One of the most anticipated movies of the year,
perhaps of the decade (hey, it's still early) is the first in the Lord of
the Rings trilogy, The Fellowship of the Ring. Coming out this
winter, fans of Tolkien's classic work have high hopes that this time
they'll get the transfer to film just right.
Toybiz got the toy license, and they employed their
Real Scan technology. Of course, since it's Toybiz, we also got
action features, along with accessories and articulation. The price
point on these 6" figures is around eight bucks.
are actually ten figures in this first assortment, including Legolas
(reviewed here), Samwise Gimgee, Frodo, Sarumen, Gandalf, the Ringwraith,
an Orc Overseer, a Newborn Lutz, Gimli the dwarf, and Strider (although I
have heard he's not shipping yet).
Packaging - ***
The packages are extremely attractive, and I love the use of the map in
the background. The graphics are terrific, but only half of the
initial line is shown on the back - the same five figures that ship
together are placed on the cardbacks.
Another negative is that the curved flap
obviously didn't want to stay closed for them, so clear tape is used in
quantities to keep the flap shut.
Sculpting - ***1/2
Wow. The real scan technology does wonders for this line, and every
character I saw looked just like the actor. In particular, Legolas
and Frodo look fantastic.
sculpting on the accessories and dioramas is good too, but the pose that
Legolas has been given is restrictive. The left arm can't do much,
and the articulation is pretty useless. That means the pose for that
arm is only useful for holding the bow to the side, and that hurts an
otherwise perfect sculpt.
Accessories - ***1/2
Legolas gets a bow, with string, four arrows, and two blades. The
bow is terrific, and actually fires the arrows fairly well.
The blades were both intended
to fit in his hands, and each has a small post on the inside. There
is a one palm to accomodate a blade, but unfortunately, they seem to have
screwed things up. The right hand has the hole, but both blades have
the post on what would be the left side. Therefore, the only way to
use the post, is to have him hold a blade upside down in his left hand.
However, ignoring this goof
up, the accessories are great. Of course, this varies across the
line. Of the figures I've seen, the Hobbits have the best
accessories, with some very cool dioramas included, while the Newborn Lutz
gets practically nothing.
Nothing is ever perfect. Too bad that what looks like an amazing
figure in the package didn't turn out quite that way once it was free.
big negative here is the poor articulation. It sounds good on paper
- neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, knees and ankles. It amazes
me how little you can do with so many joints.
left shoulder is very restricted, as are the ankles. The number of
poses you'll actually be able to use are surprisingly small, but the
figure does stand on it's own very well.
The paint ops on all the figures I've seen are quite good, although you
can see that on Legolas face there are a couple little goops. That
seems common for Toybiz, and these are certainly better than the majority
of their recent released.
details on the bodies and costumes are very good, and the colors are
consistent and clean.
Action Feature - ***
Lots of folks are going to be disappointed that they included an action
feature at all. A line like X-men Evolution makes sense to have
something like this - it's a kid's line. But these figures are
clearly intended for a collectors market first, kids second. And
collectors have little desire for action features. Okay, most
The action feature on Legolas involves
squeezing his legs together. Do so and he swings the blade in his
left hand. The feature works smoothly, and feels like it would hold
up to plenty of serious play.
Shooting the bow is probably also
considered an 'action feature' by Toybiz, but since it merely means he
holds the bow and you pull back the string, I don't count it as much
This score is purely for Legolas. The hobbits, with the cool
dioramas, would get another half star, while something like the Newborn
Lutz would end up with a lower score. While the price might be
consistent across the line, the value isn't.
Overall - ***
This figure was *this* close to a ***1/2. I spent 30 minutes at the
store deciding if I wanted more than one of these, and if I wanted to get
the whole line. I decided, after much pacing around, to only pick up
one and see how they were. After opening Legolas, I decided that
while they were pretty nice, it was a line I could do without. And
that's why he didn't quite make that extra half star.
holding out for the 12" line now...
Where to Buy -
R Us is the first stores around here getting these, but I'm betting both
Target and Wal-mart will have a ton in the next couple weeks. Try there
first before you resort to on-line...
Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford