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Kevin Flynn - Tron
Hot Toys

Kevin Flynn Tron action figure by Hot Toys


It seems to me that many 80's movies are remembered much too fondly by people who saw them in their youth, before they could fully appreciate good cinema from mediocre. Movies like Footloose, Conan, Fright Night and Monster Squad come to mind, but there are plenty of others.

TRON is a film that hovers in between, caught between silly and classic. Watched in a vacuum, it is easy to see where a new viewer would consider it lame - the special effects are far, far inferior to the cheesiest current movies, and even the plot seems seriously dated. But taken in context, you realize that it was a truly ground breaking film both in story (the idea of humans and computers melding was only starting to get play) and in effects.

I suspect this is something that only those of us who saw both TRON and TRON Legacy when they originally opened in theaters will be able to fully appreciate. When I left the theater in 1982 after seeing TRON, I realized I'd seen something exciting and new, something that made me think about the possibilities of the future. The effects were unlike anything I'd seen before. In contrast, leaving the theater after seeing TRON Legacy, I felt none of that. The plot was tired, and while the effects were far superior to the original, they were nothing exceptional when compared to the other fare currently running on the other screens.

That being said, when Hot Toys announced they were doing TRON figures based on the new film, we all knew they'd be amazing. Hot Toys has a way of making even mundane characters cool, and the costume designs in the new film were one if its highlights for me.

Kevin Flynn, played by Jeff Bridges in both versions, is the first figure hitting shelves. He retails for around $130 - $150, depending on the seller, and you should be able to find a pretty decent deal on him with a little searching.
Kevin Flynn Tron action figure by Hot Toys
Kevin Flynn Tron action figure by Hot Toys
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Kevin Flynn Tron action figure by Hot Toys
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Kevin Flynn Tron action figure by Hot Toys
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Kevin Flynn Tron action figure by Hot Toys
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Kevin Flynn Tron action figure by Hot Toys
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Kevin Flynn Tron action figure by Hot Toys
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Kevin Flynn Tron action figure by Hot Toys
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Kevin Flynn Tron action figure by Hot Toys
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Packaging - ***
The box is pretty standard - slip cover over simple window box. In fact,when you first pull off the slip cover, it's a pretty unimpressive sight, since the second costume is hidden underneath the figure.

However, there is a cool small window in the back of the package that allows you to see the light disc on the black outfit, and the general design is decent. It's collector friendly of course, just like every other recent Hot Toys package, and getting the figure in and out of the trays is quite easy.

Sculpting - ***
It's unusual for a Hot Toys portrait to be off, but I have to say that this time I think they missed the mark.

It's still just as tremendously life-like as always. They manage this with subtle skin textures, finely stranded hair, and the most amazing eyes in the business. There's no doubt that this sculpt looks more human than just about anything on the collectibles market today.

But it's also supposed to look like Jeff Bridges from the film, and there it falls short. There's a little of him here, but I have to say that it reminds me more of Kurt Russell - especially in the eyes and nose - than Mr. Bridges.

There's also something odd about the mouth, something that might actually be a production problem. The mouth is sunken inward too far, and looks unnatural - or like Grampa did whenever he forgot to wear his false teeth.

This might be an issue with how the head was removed from the mold, especially if it was still too soft. Either way, it's a bit of an odd look in person.

Paint - ****
While I might find a thing or two to complain about in the other categories, once again Hot Toys astounds with the realism and life-like nature of their production paint work.

The eyes have that haunting quality that the folks at most wax museums only wish they could obtain. The skin tone is aged, but not overdone, and the transition between skin and hair is about as good as it gets in this scale.

Articulation - ***1/2
The underlying body is no surprise to the Hot Toys aficionado. All the expected articulation is here, and it all works well with stiff joints and tight pins.

The only missing articulation point is the top neck joint. There's the usual ball in the torso at the bottom of the neck, but there's nothing at the top of the neck, below the chin line. The head and neck is one solid sculpted piece, common on Hot Toys releases in the past, but less common in recent months. The lower neck joint has a great range of movement, so you can get plenty of tilt and turn out of it, but the poses won't be quite as lifelike as the double jointed necks we've started to grow accustomed to.

Accessories - ***
I'm including the second black outfit in my next category, but it is worth noting that there are two complete sets here, not just the white.

Outside of the outfits though, there's not a ton of extras. There are three additional hands - one set of fists, and one gripping right hand. He comes wearing a pair of relaxed pose hands. That's quite a step down from some recent releases where there are 4 or 5 sets, not 4 or 5 hands. The sculpts are good though, and they swap smoothly. The included a few extra wrist pegs just in case.

To go along with the white and black outfits are a white and black bracelet, with identical sculpts. These go on his right arm I believe, but are usually covered by the clothing.

I decided to call his two light discs (one white, one black) accessories, although they do snap onto the back of each costume, similar to the look in the movie. The discs are scaled well, with good sculpts and clean paint, and they attach and detach from the back 'harness' cleanly.

Finally, there's the stand. This time around it lights up, glowing blue through the name and logo. It's a nice add, but not as exciting for those of us that don't include the stands in our display.

Outfit - **
I'm counting both the black and white outfits here, since they are very similar.

Flynn comes wearing his clean, soft white costume. Underneath everything is a soft body suit, designed to poof him up a bit in key areas.

Over this is a white tunic, with two snaps to hold it in place. Over this goes another, larger white tunic, more coat than shirt, but shorter than the black coat. It also closes on each side with a plastic snap.

There's white pants too, with a velcro zipper and snap. They fit well, with the usual Hot Toys quality tailoring.

The black costume is similar, but adds one more layer. There's the thin inner shirt, which wraps and snaps just like the others. Over that goes the black 'jacket', similar to the white, which also snaps twice. Finally, there's a larger, longer black coat which does not snap, but fits over the other two. It has a beautiful white lining, as well.

The black pants are pretty much identical to the white, but lack the snap at the waist, going with only the velcro zipper.

With the white costume, Flynn went all hippy and zen-like, going barefoot. But the black costume includes some very cool black rubber boots, which are attached to the ankle pegs instead of the feet. The are stiff enough to reduce some of the ankle articulation, but look great.

On both outer layers of clothing there is a round attachment for the discs, which I mentioned earlier.

So if the costumes look so good, why the low score? One simple reason - those damn plastic snaps.

I've had issues with them for awhile now, and regular readers may remember I complained about them on their Enter the Dragon Bruce Lee, but there was only one on that figure. Here there are eight - four on each costume! And there's simply no way to avoid dealing with them if you are going to swap the outfits.

Swapping them was the ultimate exercise in frustration. I spent far too long just trying to get the black suit in place, and I finally gave up, only getting two of the four snaps to close. Fortunately, they were the two outer snaps, one on each shirt, which were the most important to hold everything together. Then I tried to swap back to the white, and got the first three to snap just fine...and then simply could NOT get the final, outer snap on the outer coat to close. Try as I might, I finally had to throw up my hands and yield before my hair burst into flames.

These snaps are ridiculously difficult to work with, far more daunting than any other type of closure I've seen. I think it's because they are plastic, and once the little post gets even slightly bent, it's almost impossible to get them to work cleanly again. Hot Toys must find a way to correct this issue, and save what hair I have left.

Fun Factor - *
There was absolutely nothing fun about this experience. I finally had to simply walk away lest I lose it and take a life.

Value - **
This figure is actually at the low end for the price point of a Hot Toys figure, coming in at around $140. If there were no issues, it would be a good value at that price.

But throw in the slightly off head sculpt, the slight shortage of accessories, and the decidedly frustrating outfits, and I have to deduct a half star off average here.

Things to Watch Out For -
Those frickin' snaps.

And be careful when you pull off the boots. You should try to get them off the foot pegs, rather than pulling the pegs out of the leg. Trust me, I had one go one way and the other go the other way, and getting the peg back out of the boot was a pain.

One other thing to watch - the white outfit is very easy to get dirty. The soft material picks up dirt better than a Dyson, so be sure your hands are very clean before handling him.

Overall - **1/2
It's pretty rare for me to oppugn Hot Toys, but even the best occasionally stumble. Given a slightly better likeness, or snaps that didn't almost make me, and you'd have seen another half star here easy. But those two issues held poor Pops Flynn back.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***
Sculpting - ***
Paint - ****
Articulation - ***1/2
Accessories - ***
Outfit - **
Fun Factor - *
Value - **
Overall - **1/2

Where to Buy -
Online options include these site sponsors:

- Alter Ego Comics has him at $135.

- Big Bad Toy Store has him at $145.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
This is the first of the Hot Toys Tron figures I've covered, but I did check out a few of the smaller toys earlier in the summer, including the small Flynn and CLU, the large Flynn, and the SDCC version.

Discussion:
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Kevin Flynn Tron action figure by Hot Toys


This product was provided free for the review by the manufacturer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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