The Incredibles Basic Assortment

Is Pixar infallible? It certainly appears that way. Toy Story, Toy Story 2, Bug's Life, Monsters Inc., Finding Nemo - how can you argue with success like that? Their next film, The Incredibles, hits November 5th, and I've got high hopes that it could be one of their best.

Of course, whenever you have such high hopes, there's also a greater possibility of serious disappointment. But with a story about old superheroes, written and directed by Brad Bird, the same guy who wrote and directed the great Iron Giant for Warner Brothers and spent years working on the Simpsons, they'd have to go out of their way to screw this one up.

With the movie a month away, we've been hit by the toy juggernaut. But unlike films like Shrek or Monsters Inc, who did huge box office numbers but flopped as action figures, I predict this line will do extremely well once the film hits theaters. The Incredibles toys will be on a lot of Christmas lists, because this film is perfect for action figures.

Boys use action figures to role play, and act out as though they were the action figures themselves. While little Billy might want a stuff Shrek to sleep with, he really doesn't want to pretend to BE Shrek, because Shrek really didn't do much. No, little Billy wants to be Spider-man, and put the hurt on Doc Ock. With the Incredibles, I think we'll get real action and conflict - or so I hope - and that will give little Billy some reason to buy the action figures.

The first series of action figures includes a deluxe set of two Mr. Incredibles, Frozone, Dash and Syndrome. I've reviewed that complete set today over at Movie Poop Shoot. See how that all ties in together, proving that there is a greater intelligence in the universe?

There is also a 'basic' assortment, sans action features, that includes Mr. Incredible, an island henchman of Syndrome, a two pack of Jack Jack and Mrs. Incredible, and a two pack of Dash and Violet.

If you haven't been paying attention to the commercials, here's the basic story - Bob Parr is Mr. Incredible, a superhero, with a wife and three kids who are all superheroes as well. Mrs. Incredible has the whole super stretch thing going for her, while Dash, obviously, can run like hell. Violet is the teenage superhero daughter, and I'm not quite positive what her super power is (although it looks like it has something to do with force fields or energy), but I'm hoping it's not just being super moody. There's also Jack Jack, the baby of the bunch, and he's clearly super cute.

Being a superhero gets outlawed, so Bob has to take a job as an insurance agent, which is slowly killing him. Sounds like most folks I know. When some new diabolical plan crops up, the Incredibles decide to jump back into action even though they aren't supposed to. Sometimes a superhero just has to do what a superhero does.

The basic figures run about five bucks, and I've only found them at Meijers so far. They should be hitting Target, Wal-mart and Toys R Us in serious quantities very soon however.

Packaging - ***
I'm being a little generous on the score for this category. The cards are pretty basic, as is all the designs and logos for this movie. But these packages have something going for them that is damn attractive in its own right - their small! No pumped up, bulky, steriod popping packages here, nope. These are nice and compact, and even though I had no plans of keeping a set carded, once I saw how little room they'd take up, I seriously considered it.

Sculpting - ***
These figures are NOT perfectly on model. It's most noticeable with Mr. Incredible of course, since he's the guy we've gotten the most images of at this point. His chin is off, his hair is off, and his midsection is way too buff. If you're looking for statues of these guys, hold out for the maquettes. If you're looking for toys however, you won't be all that disappointed.

Mr. Incredible's pose is perfect though. Given the standard hands on hips, I'm here to kick your butt pose, this is the definitive version of the character to have. While the two Mr. Incredibles that come in the deluxe set (and the one that comes with the Incredobile) aren't bad, if you can only buy one, it should be this one.

Jack Jack is cute and adorable, but he's so small in this scale. Scale is important here though, and although characters like Jack Jack and Dash would be very tiny next to the adults, Hasbro stuck with going with close to proper scale rather than over sizing the kids. Thank you!

Mrs. Incredible has arms in a permanently stretched pose, and they are not bendy. The pose isn't too bad though, and makes it very clear what her superpower is.

Violet has her hair sculpted hanging down in her face, and looks much better than the 12" scale version with the rooted hair. She's awfully skinny, even more so than Mom, but again, Hasbro was trying to get closer to proper scale, and I applaud them for it. It's a good thing they made the Mom and Violet two packs though with the smaller boys, because you would have felt ripped otherwise.

Dash is sculpted in a running pose, and will require his display stand to stay up. He's given a great expression that shows just how much fun he's having, and it's pretty clear he loves to run.

Speaking of expressions - everybody in this family is happy. The final figure, one of Syndrome's island henchman, doesn't look all that happy, but then that visor doesn't look all that comfortable. He's sculpted with one hand capable of holding his weapon, but the other in a weird finger-pointing-but-arm-bent pose.

This henchman is nicely in scale with the rest of the family, but the other two that came with the deluxe Dash are slightly smaller. I've included a photo of the three together for comparison.

Dash is the only figure that really can't stand on his own, but you'll probably want to use the bases for both Violet and Mrs. Incredible as well, since they fall over at the smallest vibration.

Paint - ***
If you consider that these are mass market toys, aimed squarely at kids, than you'll have some idea of the quality of the paint application. It was a little better for me on the basic figures than on the deluxe, but that is probably just the luck of the draw.

There's a bit of slop here and there, and some poor definition between colors. There were also some stray marks on both Bob and Dash's faces, but you have to look VERY closely to notice them. Of the set, the henchman had the most paint issues, since he had more colors to deal with and more opportunities for mistakes.

Articulation - Jack Jack Bupkis; the rest **1/2
Here we get fairly standard Hasbro articulation - neck, shoulders, and hips. Jack Jack is just a PVC with no articulation.

Here's another case where just adding cut joints at the glove lines would have been soooo nice, but Hasbro cheaped out.

Accessories - Henchman **; others *1/2
I'm not counting Jack Jack and Dash as accessories to Mrs. Incredible and Violet, but rather as two packs due to the small size of the figures all around. Therefore, that leaves a lot less in the accessories department, but calling the assortment 'basic' implies some cost cutting.

All the figures, and actually all the toys for the movie, come with a mini-poster. On one side is the line up of toys, and on the other is some sort of poster image about a member of the family or the whole family. Since there are six to collect, I'd assume there is one about each family member and the one overall group poster. I've only found five so far, and since I don't have one for Mrs. Incredible, I'm betting that's the image on the one I'm missing.

All of the Incredibles also come with a display stand, designed around their logo. You'll definitely want to use them for Mrs. Incredible, Dash and Violet. Oh, and no, Jack Jack doesn't get a stand.

The henchman comes with a gun, that fits nicely in his right hand. This guy is the epitome of army builder, but until I see the film I'm not sure if you really need an army builder figure. Also, there's the pair that come with Dash, plus the one that comes with the henchman vehicle, so you'll have plenty of these guys in your collection.

Fun Factor - ***1/2
This should be a very fun movie, and the toys reflect that for the most part. Oh, this Dash might not be as much fun to play with as the deluxe version, but overall kids will have loads of fun with the toys. Of course, you'll need to include figures from both the basic and deluxe assortments to get the most bang for your play time, but that's actually a pretty smart move on Hasbro's part.

Value - ***
At five bucks a pop, these figures are one of the better values on the market right now. Oh, sure, they don't come close to the outstanding value of something like the Teen Titan two packs for four bucks, but they are certainly a much better deal than most of the $10 - $15 figures on the market right now.

Overall - ***
I love this line, and I'm really hoping the film lives up to my astronomical expectations. The last animated movie line Hasbro gave us was Shrek 2, and these figures are so much better than those that it's really not even fair to compare.

Still, I'm not an idiot. Most of the time. These are not the same quality as the special market action figures that we've seen so much of the last couple years, and certainly can't come close to scoring in the same range. But considering the price, the intended audience, and the style, these are clearly a B average set.

If you're looking for a definitive set of figures for your collection from the movie, your best choices from what's been offered so far is the basic Mr. and Mrs. Incredible, basic Jack Jack Dash and Violet, and deluxe Syndrome and Frozone. The action features of the deluxe figures won't get in the way of displaying them together, and they've all been done in the same scale, thankfully.

Packaging - ***
Sculpt - ***
Paint - ***
Articulation - Jack Jack Bupkis; the rest **1/2
Accessories - Henchman **; others *1/2
Fun Factor - ***1/2
Value - ***
Overall - ***

Where to Buy - 
You should be finding these at just about any retailer that carries toys, and some that don't. Start checking your local Target, Toys R Us, Kaybee, Wal-mart or Meijers to find them.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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