Thursday, May 17, 2018

Imaginext Power Rangers Pink Ranger and Pterodactyl Zord

I've made no secret that I love the Imaginext MMPR line. It's a 100% fun way to collect toy versions of the classic characters that honestly works really well. While Imaginext is aimed towards smaller children, it does have it's share of adult collectors and Fisher Price acknowledges that often. Imaginext is essentially the modern day equivalent of Adventure People and just like Adventure People, Imaginext makes just plain wonderful toys. Their Power Rangers line doesn't give the characters much of a cutesy make over. These are essentially smaller sized figures with really neat vehicles and play sets. There's often some neat play feature integrated into the vehicles and play sets that is utilized by way of turning the figure on a base.

The Pink Ranger makes the Pterodactyls mouth open. Also, if you have the wings folded up, they snap back into place. Just a silly little play feature that's hard to hate.

The Zord makes me think of Windstorm from Starriors a bit. Owing more to it's similar nature as a robot pterodactyl than anything, I'm curious if a blue version might find it's way out at some point just as a robot figure turns up in the blind bags. Imaginext is crafty like that sometimes. As you can see, the Pink Ranger stands on her base to pilot the Zord in a satisfying manner and even has some firing rockets. I've already got the Pink Ranger from the figure two pack, and just like the other Rangers that come with standard versions of the Zords, they are the same figures without the variations that run throughout the line. So really, if you missed the two pack, here's another with the bow for the combining Power Cannon.

Imaginext toys are really hefty and satisfying. I had been passing on this Zord set as I already have the regular figure from the two pack. Though when I saw it in my local Walmart's spring clearance section for $4, there was no way I was passing on that deal. Which I'm really happy about as my track record with these larger Zords has been all positive. These are just wonderful old school Adventure People style sets themed to a series I really love and it works amazingly well. I'd argue better than normal Power Rangers toys. This set is normally around $14 on average, so $4 was such a steal I expect the police to knock down my door any minute.

I think the best example of just how neat these toys are can be summed up in the Zord's hidden form. Despite the sets not being able to combine to form the Megazord, you can still convert the Pterodactyl into it's chest formation. It's not a happy accident either, they took time to paint and deco up the Zord's underside just for this detail and really could have skipped it. See what I mean when I say these are arguably better toys than the normal toys? I do worry that when Hasbro's toy control kicks in that the Imaginext line will eventually go away and Playschool will take over. Which, could be awesome. Playschool makes great similar figures and I'd wager they'd possibly explore other series than MMPR. Just, man, Imaginext is really nailing it. It's going to be a tough act to follow.

Lizzinator's pretty awesome

Let's talk a minute about the Lizzinator. Like a lot of things following Terminator 2 in the 90's, Lizzinator's name follows the 'nator' naming structure, but also gets a generic Arnold Schwarzenegger personality. I totally dig it, the overall goofiness of the dialog in Power Rangers is part of the fun and who doesn't like a lot of cheese? As a monster, he has a great design, almost like a Dragonball Z villain combined with a Battle Beast. I just love when he picks up that car, not only does his mask smush up against the car visibly (haha), but it's a classic monster power move. Then just the overall selling of his brute strength as he pretty much has his way with the Rangers in the fight while laughing like an idiot.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Authentics Grimlock (large version)

As far as the larger Authentics figures go, Grimlock is king. So far there isn't a smaller version, which I don't rule the possibility of out, so this was a completely fresh experience going in. Though like Optimus there is some slight assembly required and due to his transformation, his legs are quite hollow. Fortunately that's where the lower budget stops affecting the figure and what's left is a completely satisfying toy.

He turns into a dinosaur, we all know this.
I won't lie, I was completely shocked by just how pleasant a toy Grimlock is. While individual experiences may vary, my Grimlock had pretty tight joints and really was exactly what I expected going in. Which was a generally traditional Grimlock. I do draw a few comparisons to his dinosaur mode to Goldran, but that can only be helped so much with similar alt modes and the general throwback nature these simpler toys have to older designs. Though it would make for a fun custom.

As I noted before that Grimlock's legs are hollow, they form his tail in robot mode. It actually makes for a pretty thick tail. Overall his dinosaur body is much more chunky than one would expect. Nothing wrong with that, it's just a fact. He's a sturdy big and chunky toy for a kid to stomp all over the carpet and 'RAWR' just often enough to border on cute and annoying. Like the other Authentics, Grimlock is all toy, so those going in for display pieces will probably balk at the idea of allowing such a simple to thing grace their shelves. Though if you like toys or outright have an affinity for the more random items (like I do), you'll probably be happy with this big silly thing (I am).

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Pirantishead has fishy breath

Honestly, I'm sitting at my desk taking a second to enjoy the mayhem to get away from the mayhem.

Authentics Optimus Prime (large version)

Optimus Prime in his larger Authentics toy, despite initial appearances in package, actually differs from his smaller counterpart (much more so than Bumblebee). One thing I'll point out in the picture, you'll notice part of his body isn't attached on card. Obviously owing to the budget needs of the card, there is some slight assembly needed. Nothing major, just snap that part on and you'll never have to remove it again. That part forms a back pack in robot mode and the front of Optimus's cab mode (his chest is a fake out). It actually snaps in nice and firmly on the robots back, though mileage may vary (individual cases may be different and that just happens sometimes).

Optimus is a much more solid and satisfying figure. He has a decent amount of articulation and has some pleasant heft with just enough paint to make him look nice. Now like his smaller counterpart, his legs are hollow due to his transformation, but unlike his smaller version, the rest of him is solid. I was actually really happy with this guy as I was initially concerned that I basically just bought a scaled up version of the smaller toy. Though, I do admit, these larger toys do feel overpriced at $10 each. I'd say 7-8 would be a more fair price and probably what they toy would cost at a Walmart or Target versus a discount channel (where some things are just more expensive for some universe imploding reason).

Of course Optimus turns into his normal semi truck vehicle mode, and like Bumblebee is very large and chunky making for a pleasant hand feel. The colors present in his robot mode aren't as dominate here. These are lower budget toys meant for children and it can really show at times. Much like an episode of Saved by the Bell. Just check out that episode where Mr. Belding's wife goes into labor in the school elevator. The elevator is very clearly a open door with somebody sliding as piece of cardboard. That's the level of compromise here. It's 100% adequate for it's intended purposes, though the lower budget is more clear at times.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Universal Studios Japan Nightime Parade featuring the Transformers

Some time back I posted about the then upcoming Nighttime Parade at Universal Studios Japan that would feature Transformers, Jurassic Park, and other park characters. Welp, it's finally became a thing and video from the parade is starting to make the rounds. Check out just how awesome the Transformers look in those parade floats. That certainly would be a spectacle to see right in front of you.

Authentics Bumblebee (large version)

Unlike the smaller assortment of Authentics Transformers budget figures, I outright walked onto the larger assortment the other day. So I thought I'd take a individual look at each one of the figures. Unfortunately, I'm starting with the weakest of the batch. Bumblebee isn't much of a step up from the smaller figure, which itself wasn't the highlight of the assortment.

Bumblebee has a much more solid body, but retains the hollow arms. If I was to look right at him in package, I wouldn't be able to notice any real difference. That's a shame because they added elbow articulation and the added weight does give the figure some plesant heft. In fact, it's really nice in hand, even if it doesn't look like much more than a sized up version of the smaller 5$ figure.

I wish I could do something more than constantly compare this figure to the smaller version, but it's really hard not to. The car is exactly the same, just bigger with some additional heft. Though the wheels didn't pop off so easily. It's a big chunky toy that's really pleasant to hold. There's no mistaking it for anything other than what it is. Which is a discount chain toy intended for children at a budget price. As neat as these guy's are, the display shelf types would probably pass out in shock if these ever came to their attention.

It was probably unfair to lead the way with the weakest of the batch (the others are super neat), I did so intentionally since the next post coming later tonight is much more flashy and neat. I try to make constantly interesting updates and leading off a series of posts with 'this one's not as great' isn't what I'm all about.