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Captain Toy/Michael's Review of the Week

Review of Mi World Karaoke Playground
Action Figure Diorama Playset

Jakks
Date Published: 2016-06-10
Written By: Michael Crawford
Overall Average Rating: 3 out of 4

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Mi World Karaoke Playground Playset Diorama by Jakks

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Introduction

Collectors of most 6" action figures - Marvel Legends, Star Wars Black, DCUC, etc. etc. etc. - like the figures in part because of their posability. They can create cool scenes in their displays, grand battles and dramatic moments, thanks to the figure's articulation. That makes finding various dioramas and accessories to assist in creating these displays a priority.

Many of these same collectors are complete goofballs as well. It might look great to have them battling it out in a darkened, realistic 1/12 scale alley way, but it's even more fun to have them hanging out together at the local Dairy Queen.

That's where sets like Mi World come into play.  I'm sure that creating goofy locations for 6" action figures to socialize wasn't Jakks main intent. This is a line of play sets designed for girls, and more specifically, girls who like to shop. They licensed actual stores, including Claire's, Mrs. Fields, OPI Nail Salons, AMC Theater, and others, creating 'stores' that can be connected to form one giant, hedonistic testament to all things consumer.

This line is made of up of different sets, including Starter sets, which are single room stores or eateries like DQ. Each floor and wall piece is about 8"x8". The Deluxe sets are two floor sections wide, and feature areas like the AMC Theater (which I used in a photo in a recent review) or Skechers. The largest set, and there's only one of these that I know of, is three floor sections wide, and is the Karaoke Playground, reviewed here tonight.

That's not all though - they also make a bunch of small, bagged, accessory packs, containing goodies like pizzas and other extras.  There's even two feature accessory packs of the photo booth and the vending machine!  I highly recommend the latter.

These all range in price from a couple bucks each for the small accessory packs to $50 for the Karaoke Playground. However, almost all of these are currently on sale at Toys R Us, and I paid just $26 for the set I'm reviewing tonight, almost 50% off.

I'm reviewing this set from the perspective of one of the goofball collectors looking for a fun diorama for his or her figures, not from the perspective of a child looking to use it as intended. As such, your mileage may vary.

Mi World Karaoke Playground Playset Diorama by Jakks

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Packaging - ***
The sets come in boxes of course, and the various accessories are poly-bagged together in what seems to be reasonable groupings. You get a sticker sheet that you have to apply, and there's some assembly, snapping the walls and floors together for example. It's all straight forward, and the instructions are clear.

Mi World Karaoke Playground Playset Diorama by Jakks

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Sculpting - ***
The base set is made up of three sturdy floor pieces and five wall pieces. The walls come decorated as you see in the photos, and the floors are covered by a cardboard sheet that you put in place. That makes it easy to swap out the floor colors if you're so inclined.

Four of the five wall pieces are sturdy plastic that snap tightly into place.  The corners are cut on a 45 degree angle, making the final assembly look much more neat and clean.  There is one wall - the center wall with 'Karaoke Playground' in big letters - that is just a cardboard sheet, and it's not nearly as sturdy or solid as the rest. I'm not sure why they went this route, but they did provide special connectors to attach it tightly to the walls on either side, and it does fit into the base as well.

The set is about 8" tall by 24" wide, and if you really want to get picky, it's best suited for figures in the 5 - 6" range.  The accessories are pretty large though, and actually work better with figures in the 6 - 7" range, making it a bit of a mixed bag when it comes to final appearance.

While this set is three floors wide, it's also designed to support additional layers above or below it. This allows the building of your very own mall, and you can see the concept in this photo from their website.

There are two girl action figures included with the set, and I'll be pretty much ignoring them. They stand about 5" tall, and have large, over sized heads and skinny bodies.  The articulation is decent, but they aren't something that will appeal to the collectors looking to use this set with other lines. I did include on working the snack counter, and as teenagers perhaps the height isn't that bad.

Mi World Karaoke Playground Playset Diorama by Jakks

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Paint/Stickers - **1/2
The set has both permanent sticker features, like on the front of the walls, and a sticker sheet you can use to add graphics. Some of these are pretty critical, like the front of the stereo, while others (like the wraps on the coffee cups or water bottles) are up to you. Some of the stickers aren't even intended to go on the set itself, but rather wrap on themselves to make another accessory, like the Karaoke song books.

The walls are decorated in printed spotlights and speakers, with bright pastels and pinks dominating. My favorite feature is the unicorn picture in the snack shop, but while the overall look is somewhat childish, it fits the theme well. Sure, it's obvious it's a kid's toy, but that's part of the appeal.

Furniture pieces are generally cast in bright colors, and you can change all that of course with a little paint, if you were inclined. But this sort of furniture - like the stools or the low seating/foot rests - often come in bright, wild colors in real life, and considering the location, it's not completely out of place.

Mi World Karaoke Playground Playset Diorama by Jakks

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Articulation - Bupkis
Some play sets will have articulation, like opening doors or windows, or other moving parts. Nothing with this set, but I'm not counting that as a negative. Think of this as an FYI category this time around.

Mi World Karaoke Playground Playset Diorama by Jakks

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Accessories - ****
This is one area where these sets really shine.  This one comes with 76 pieces, and while some of that is the floors and walls, the vast majority is extra goodies like water bottles, candy bars, chip bags, boxes of french fries, napkin holders, ketchup and mustard bottles, Karaoke CD's and DVD's, microphones, hot dogs, serving trays, and multiple types of drinks.

A few of these are useless with most action figures outside of the figures Jakks has created specifically for the set. As I mentioned earlier, these figures have very large heads, and the glasses and hats designed for them won't work with normal 6 - 7" figures. Most of the rest of the goodies are in a reasonable scale however, particularly when considering the silly nature of the overall concept.

You can also count the two girls that come with the set as accessories, although most people reading this review will give them to the first child they see.

One of the more interesting extras is the photo booth. It's one of those accessories that's a little undersized for most 1/12 action figures, and is really better suited to something in the 5" range. But it can work, and I suspect some folks will turn it into a Porta-Potty, a role it can easily fulfill.  What makes it interesting from a play perspective is that a cel phone can be attached to the wall, and a photo of the character inside snapped.  Of course, certain size phones work better than others, but even larger phones can manage it, since you can just hold the lens up to the small hole in the wall and take the snap.

There is one chair included here, and it's too small to be useful.  This is a problem across the line, where chairs are also included in sets like the Dairy Queen. You'll need to come up with another alternative for seating, but this set also includes two blue stools, and these work much better.

There's other various pieces of furniture, including a low coffee table, stereo, snack bar counter, cash register - everything you need to have a party in the house and raise the roof. Except the roof.

I didn't picture them, but there are two support 'beams' or posts that are included. You can use these in the center slots of the floor to support a second story of stores above this one.

Mi World Karaoke Playground Playset Diorama by Jakks

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Fun Factor - ****
Yea, this is a lot of fun for all ages.  Very few adults actually 'play' with action figures in any traditional sense. Life has crushed that out of us long ago. But much like modern adult coloring books, this sort of silly play set gives them a chance to have fun with their collection, creating scenes that reflect the absurdity of life.

There's also a mobile app to go with the sets, which allows for some sort of interaction between your in app avatar and the sets themselves. Not something I care about, but if you're getting these for a child, you should check out the info on the app here.

Mi World Karaoke Playground Playset Diorama by Jakks

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Value - ***1/2
You're getting a ton of stuff here for $25.  While this is a sale price, it's a sale that's been going on for awhile. If you like these, I'd jump on them now, because sale prices like this (all the sets are cheaper to some degree) tend to indicate the end of the line, and once the various sets start selling out, they'll be gone.

Mi World Karaoke Playground Playset Diorama by Jakks

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Things to Watch Out For -
Not much. Removing and reapplying the stickers wasn't quite as tough as you might expect, but you still don't want to do it too often.

BTW, the photo below is using an iPhone with the peephole in the photo booth. Yea, they're as goofy and bad as the real thing!

Mi World Karaoke Playground Playset Diorama by Jakks

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Overall - ***
Kids can have a great time with these sets, no doubt about it.  Perhaps some parents will find the intrinsic consumerism a bit much, but will miss the irony of complaining about it while sipping a double mocha latte at the Starbucks in their local mall.

But this review was more about collectors, and whether these sets could be useful with their collections.  The scale on the various pieces is a all over the place - the seats are too small, some of the cups are too big - but in general you can get enough value out of the accessories and sets to make it well worth it. If you can find the vending machine set, I'd grab it in a heart beat, and several of these - like the AMC and the DQ - really make for fun dioramas.  Others, like Claire's or the pet store, might seem out of place to you, but the included display racks can be re-purposed for all sorts of things, including gun and weapon racks.

The sale prices right now make these all the more attractive (I picked up the vending machine for about $6 at a local Meijer), and also signal that the window of opportunity to pick these up at retail might be closing. If there's a particular set you want (for me, it's the DQ that I haven't gotten yet), I'd suggest hitting your local Toys R Us as soon as possible.  You were going to be there this week anyway, right?

Score Recap (out of ****):
Packaging - ***
Sculpting - ***
Paint - **1/2
Articulation - Bupkis
Accessories - ****
Fun Factor - ****
Value - ***1/2
Overall - ***

Mi World Karaoke Playground Playset Diorama by Jakks

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Where to Buy 
This particular set is a Toys R Us exclusive, so the best place to pick it up is their website, where it's $26.  They are also a good source of many of the other sets, large and small, as well as the bagged extras, although I have seen them at some other retailers like Meijer. Most of the smaller sets are on sale right now as well. Of course, you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
This is the first of the Mi World stuff I've checked out, but you can check out Jakks Mi World website for more info on the entire series.

You should also hit the Search Reviews page, in case any other applicable reviews were done after this one was published.

Discussion:
Want to chat about this review?  Try out one of these terrific forums where I'll be discussing it!

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This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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