Hasbro Might Muggs
Indiana Jones, Mola Ram and Cairo Swordsman

I've only reviewed one of the Mighty Muggs so far - Boba Fett - and he was alright, but nothing that got my panties in a twist. If you haven't been paying attention, Mighty Muggs are the new low cost mass market pseudo designer vinyl figures from Hasbro. They've made figures for the Star Wars and Marvel licenses so far, and now the Indiana Jones versions are hitting Toys R Us.

As I said, the Star Wars figures didn't do much for me. Oh, I understand the appeal for some folks, but I think it was the lack of helmets and armor on figures that clearly needed it. Even back when I reviewed Fett, I said that I thought the 'normal' characters like Han and Luke actually looked much better in this format than those like Vader or a Stormtrooper.

The Marvel versions were an improvement, but I'm not a big enough Marvel fan to jump in. Ah, but could I resist? I picked up all three of this initial release, Indy, the Cairo Swordsman and Mola Ram. These run $10 at Toys R Us, and just started hitting stores nationwide.

Packaging - ***1/2
The boxes are quite attractive, and you know I love boxes. While the Star Wars and Marvel packaging is good, I think they did an exceptional job with the graphics and text on the Indy boxes, making them extremely eye catching on the store shelf.

They are also collector friendly, and you can easily remove the figures and stick them back as long as you don't mind tossing a couple rubber bands. If you do plan on saving or using the boxes again, I'd open these from the bottom, rather than the top. The top flap is glued down on the inner flaps. On some of the boxes, it comes free easily, but on others you can end up tearing it.

Sculpting/Design - ***1/2
The term sculpting doesn't quite apply here, since every figure uses the same approximate body, so I included the concept of 'design'. This is consistent with other vinyl lines like Dunnies, and is very much a big part of the appeal.

I think that the round nature of the design - rounded head, rounded body, round arms and legs - works far better with 'real' people than it does with characters like Fett or Vader, where the armor doesn't translate well. Even in the Star Wars line, characters like Han and Leia have looked much better to me.

With the Indy license, you get all those real people, and they look terrific. On top of that, rather than paint on head gear like they did with Star Wars, both Indy and Mola get cool, sculpted hats. While I was able to avoid the previous licenses, I think I'm sucked in for the long haul on this one.

While the overall style is generally identical, it's worth noting that Mola and the Swordsman have different legs than Indy. Indy has the normal legs most folks will recognize, but since Mola and the Swordsman were wearing robes, they designed a new lower section to approximate the look.

Paint - Indy, Swordsman ***1/2; Mola ***
When the sculpted pieces are fairly basic, the paint better be outstanding. Thankfully, it is. They've chosen the perfect smirking expression for Indy, and somehow managed to capture the look and feel of the character in such a simple and clean design. Sometimes simple is just simple, but other times it's elegant in its ability to convey personality and character. This is one of those times.

There's quite a bit more detailed paint work on Mola of course, due to the more complex costume and expression. Along with the additional detail came a little more slop too, but it's not out of hand. They've used the paint to give these figures their personality and charm, and it's worked great.

I did notice that the Cairo Swordsman tends to pick up rub marks on the black if you're not careful.

Articulation - **
There's cut shoulders and what amounts to a cut neck joint. If this were a figure that was supposed to look realistic, I'd be scoring it even lower here, but it gets a bit of the old slack cut since the designer vinyl style doesn't lend itself to a whole lot of articulation.

One joint that would have been nice would have been cut wrists. With the round arms/hands, a cut wrist joint would not have been obvious no matter how the hand was turned, and would have helped with the accessory posing.

Accessories - Indy/Mola ***; Swordsman **1/2
One of my complaints with the first release of the Star Wars Mighty Muggs was the lack of accessories. How much cooler would Boba Fett have been with a blaster?

These figures solve some of that issue. The Cairo Swordsman comes with his sword, a big deadly looking weapon that fits in his hands nicely. He scores a little lower than the other two because it's his only accessory, but it's a good looking one.

Indy and Mola come with their 'hats', and both look quite good, especially Mola's. Indy's is a great sculpt and fits well, but there are some marks on the brim that look like sprue burrs, or nicks from the mold. You can adjust the hat from straight on to tilted, and it really does look great on his head.

Mola's hat is even better, with the two horns and plenty of paint detail. As I mentioned in the Paint section, there's more slop too, but you'll only notice it on very close inspection.  It fits well, but not so tightly that you'll damage the paint work on his scalp.

Both Indy and Mola also come with something to hold. Indy has the whip, sculpted in a dynamic pose, and Mola has the flaming human heart, complete with a couple ventricles for him to hang on to.

Fun Factor - ***
These are actually as much like toddler toys as they are designer toys, and as such, could easily do their duty in the sandbox. In fact, at this price point, they would be a terrific way of introducing kids to this type of figure.

Value - ****
The Star Wars figures were a great value, but the early versions lacked accessories. Now the Indy line is upping the ante, and these are one of the best values out there right now. Hasbro could have tried to gouge folks on these, but instead they've hit a price point that makes them attractive to a much wider audience.

Things to Watch Out For - 
Nothing. With this type of machine paint work, you're going to get extreme consistency, and there's nothing on these guys to break or damage.

Overall - Indy/Mola ***1/2; Swordsman ***
I was going to avoid these. Avoiding the Star Wars versions was easier than I expected, and although I liked the Marvel ones better, I'm not a big enough Marvel fan to get sucked in. And so I foolishly told myself that I'd skip the Indy Mighty Muggs too - once less thing to collect. I was so positive, I could almost feel the monkey flying out of my butt.

But once I saw them on the shelf, I was hooked. I've been waffling lately about the 3 3/4" line, considering even returning the ones I've bought and not opened yet, but I'm a goner when it comes to the Mighty Muggs. Bring them on!

Of course, the real appeal of figures like these is how they look together.  Just one on the shelf won't do much for you, but have a dozen or more, and they look great together. So let's get another 8 or 9 pronto!

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpting/Design - ***1/2
Paint - Indy, Swordsman ***1/2; Mola ***
Articulation - **
Accessories - Indy/Mola ***; Swordsman **1/2
Fun Factor - ***
Value - ****
Overall - Indy/Mola ***1/2; Swordsman ***

Where to Buy -
Toys R Us is the place right now, but I expect we'll see them just about everywhere.

Related Links -
I checked out the Boba Fett when the Star Wars versions first started shipping.

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


Share this review with others!
  Digg it!    StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble It!      Reddit

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

This page copyright 2000 - 2008, Michael Crawford. All rights reserved. Hosted by 1 Hour