Construction Jack Carpenter
And Plumber

Guest reviewer Dr. Greg from Belgium has sent over his first review of what I hope to be many - take it away!

Hello. Dr. Greg here, with his toy diagnosis for the week. Today weíll be examining the new Construction Jack line of 1/6th scale figures from Link. These are action figure based on blue collar workers, with the first release seeing the Painter, Electrician, Carpenter, and Plumber.

Michael has already taken a look at the Painter, so today Iím examining the Carpenter and Electrician. As Michael did, I will review these as collectibles and as playthings for children (children being represented by my son Alex, who is 4).

Packaging - **
I think the word that best sums up the boxes on these figures is boring. What with all the patriotism now being proudly shown all over America you would think that Link would have been a little more creative here and given us a package worth displaying. Maybe some pics of real carpenters and electricians hard at work, with Old Glory proudly flying in the background. While not ugly, it certainly could have been done with a lot more flair. I give them credit, however, for using the back of the box to say a little about the hard working pros who do this work, instead of using the space to hawk more of their wares to the munchkins. Still, boring just about sums it up. Alex barely looked at the box before tearing into it, and he is very sight oriented right now.

Sculpting - Kids **, Collectors ***
Can anyone say ĎStepford Husbandí? These guys all look alike except for hair color. While that works well with a decent face sculpt,  theirs is rather bland and non-threatening.  Most of the blue collar guys I know  (I worked as a mover for 10 years before becoming a Chiropractor) were much scarier looking than these boys.  Not very bad,  but it needs work. One other noticeable problem was the ripped bodies on the guys.  Who are we kidding here anyway?  Where are the beer bellies, fer crise sake?!  Seriously,  the body sculpting is terrific,  but who looks like this?!    Superman maybe,  but not Jack (or Bob or John or Bill) the carpenter.  You know how Ďtheyí say that Barbie is bad for girls  because it gives them a standard that most canít live up to.  Well,  the only men I know who look like this are Olympic gymnasts.  Most little boys will NEVER look like this, ever.   Oh well,  for the collector the body sculpt is awesome  (if youíre into that sort of thing).  As a side note,  Alex couldnít care less if these guys looked like male models or like you and me (balding and paunchy),  he just likes throwing them at his sister,  so 1 point less.

Paint - ***
Thereís not much here to paint.  The accessories are well done where necessary.  The skin tone is a bit off,  and the hair is O-K but nothing special.  Still,  a decent job on the few bits that were done.

Articulation - ***1/2
Not bad for a beginner company.  They are definitely on a par with GIjOE and Action Man,  even doing better with the legs.  Sturdy and easy to pose,  the only problem was the lack of bicep swivel  (a definite need for this type of figure to pose with his tools better)  and the crappy neck joint.  The carpenter is definitely going to cut his fingers off one of these days because he canít look down.  The hands are well sculpted,  but could have been a little softer to make holding the hand tools easier.  These arenít Dragon quality articulated,  but  definitely above par.

Accessories - Kids **, Collectors ***
Both figures come with a nice belt and cool little tape measure.  The goggles are also well done,  as are the helmet and hand tools  (hand saw and hammer for the carpenter,  tube bender and pliers for the electrician,  hard plastic  Ďtool pouchí for both).  I found the tool box much too small,  however,  and the lid falls off easily which means that it will be just as easily lost. The biggest problem I had was the lack of bigger accessories.  How about a saw horse or 2 for the carpenter,  or a fuse box with wires for the electrician.  Speaking of the electrician,  Iím not sure why he comes with a tube bending tool.   Isnít that for the plumber?  Just as with the package box,  I found a lack of flair here that was disappointing,  although the overall quality was good.  As for Alex,  if an accessory isnít big enough to grab good and tight itís useless.

Outfit - Kids ***, Collectors **
Yaaaaaawn !  Decent quality,  velcro for the kiddies,  and a real yawner.  The Carpenter does come with a nice heavy jacket,  which really puts him a notch above the Electrician who has none.  Besides color and the jacket,  the outfits are exactly the same.  O-K,  itís hard to imagine how they could have done anything much different,  but I guess Iím just used to seeing such high quality stuff at this size that these just didnít cut it for me.  As for Alex,  he likes dressing and undressing the figures and,  since it was relatively easy for him to do that,  kids gets a point more here.

Playability - Kids **
With a lack of any real antagonist here,  there is a lack of play value other than dressing and undressing the figure,  which gets old real quick.  Alex was never really enthused about these guys,  and after 3 days I think he has forgotten about them completely.  This is in stark contrast to the Action Man Extreme Kayak figure that he got the same day  (his birthday) which he plays with all day long and sleeps with at night.   Granted,  it has a boat,  but I think that the fact that their figures lack any large or really cool accessories underlines what will surely be a problem for Link in the future with this line.  With a little imagination Iím sure they could have come up with something better all around, and I hope they do in the future.

Value - **
I paid $24.99 each for these babies,  and that is more than a notch above what they are worth.  I paid the same for the Action Man Kayak Extreme,   which had less in the way of clothes but  much more kayak.  At about $14.00 these would have gotten 1 star more.  That being said,  if this were a contest between Construction Jack and Action Man,  the winner in Alexís little mind is A-Man by a mile.

Overall -  **1/2
Based on my sonís reaction this line may have a cloudy future.  The playability level here is very low,  with a distinct lack of fun.  That being said,  I think they should concentrate on the collector market and the actual tradesmen themselves,  many of whom would probably love a little action figure of themselves.  Up the quality of the clothing,  add some die cast metal  tools and larger tools such as saw-horses,  throw in a heaping helping of patriotism and you got yourself a winner.  Better yet,  go for the white collar crowd and make doctors, lawyers,  dentists, chiropractors and the like.

Where to Buy:
You can pick these up directly from Link at their own on-line store, or by phone. They are $20 plus shipping.

Figure from the collection of Dr. Greg.

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