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Tron Legacy
Deluxe Sam Flynn

Tron Legacy Sam Flynn deluxe action figure by Spin Master


While Disney might be best known for it's animated features, they've produced some fantastic live action movies through the years as well. The tradition started with Treasure Island in 1950, and continued with such classics as 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Old Yeller, Mary Poppins, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Escape to Witch Mountain, the Black Hole, Honey I Shrunk the Kids, The Rocketeer, Something Wicked This Way Comes, Pirates of the Caribbean, Holes, National Treasure, The Santa Claus and arguably the best of the bunch - Tron. I suppose we can forgive them for High School Musical.

The upright arcade game craze was truly born in 1978 with the release of Space Invaders, although most of us who were American teens at the time didn't see it til 1979. The huge success of the game led to many more blockbuster uprights over the next couple years, including the obvious Pac-man, Donkey Kong, and Asteroids.

This was also the same time that many of the sci-fi concepts around a cyber world started to mainstream, and Disney incorporated this concept with the upright video game world into a rather imaginative movie, Tron. The first generation to be enthralled by computer technology responded enthusiastically, and a classic was born.

Now it's almost 30 years later, and not only our technology but our understanding of it has increased multiple times over. Yet the basic concepts of Tron still resonate, making it a smart bet for Disney to produce the sequel - Tron Legacy. Whether or not the film can live up to its predecessor is yet to be seen, as the film releases on December 17th. But the toys, made by Spin Master - have already started to ship.
Tron Legacy Sam Flynn deluxe action figure by Spin Master
Tron Legacy Sam Flynn deluxe action figure by Spin Master
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Tron Legacy Sam Flynn deluxe action figure by Spin Master
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Tron Legacy Sam Flynn deluxe action figure by Spin Master
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Tron Legacy Sam Flynn deluxe action figure by Spin Master
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Tron Legacy Sam Flynn deluxe action figure by Spin Master
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There are both large and small scale figures, as well as vehicles for the small guys and some assorted die cast goodies. I still have my SDCC coverage up for Spin Master that shows most of the upcoming items.

Tonight I'm looking at one of the 'deluxe' figures, with lights and sounds. This is Sam Flynn, Kevin Flynn's son and main protagonist in the sequel. There's also a CLU figure (Kevin) in this scale, as well as one of the bad guys. I'll be following this up with a look at the smaller figures in the near future.


Packaging - ***

There's nothing about this standard bubble/ cardback packaging that will wow you in the store, but it does give enough background info on the series and the character to be useful. There's also a Try Me feature, always important with a toy like this.

It is worth pointing out that the large cardback is likely to get curled and damaged on the peg, or even in storage later. That's going to get it an unfavorable reaction from the MOCers.

Sculpting - **1/2
I'm not going to discuss the portrait here, because there really isn't one. Instead, you'll need to jump down to the Light Up Feature to fully understand how they gave this blank helmeted face a Sam persona.

The rest of the sculpt is fairly basic, even to the point of plain. There's a little texturing to the suit, but not enough to give it any true realism. The helmet looks good, and the proportions are about right (including the hands), but there's not enough detail work to create any wow factor.

Sam stands about 7 1/2" tall in the suit, which is a bit of an odd size. They claim he's an 8" scale, but is clearly a smidge too short for that. He's too big to fit in with most 6" series, and he's even pushing it with most 7" series. I'm assuming the slightly larger scale made the nifty holographic feature (more on that in the Light Feature section) easier to produce, but this is a series you'll need to display on its own.

He does stand great on his own though, and the hands are sculpted to hold the accessories.

Paint - ***
Like the majority of the sculpt, the paint is extremely basic. Most of the figure is cast in black plastic, with some highlight lines that are variable in quality.

However, the translucent plastic they used for the torso light lines and for the front of the mask work great, and the general quality of the work is pretty much on par with what you expect for this price point.

Articulation - **1/2
The worst feature of this 'action' figure is its lack of posability. I was particularly surprised how bad it is because in package, it appears to have potential, and the photo on the figure on the back of the box implies a greater range of mobility.

Alas, that's not the case. The neck doesn't turn, although that's probably not surprising considering the electronic features. The shoulders are ball joints, with single pin/post elbows and cut wrists. That means the elbows can turn inward and out as well as move up and down, but the wrists can only turn.

There's no waist joint either, and the ball jointed hips are about as useful as a straight V crotch. For me the big surprise was the ankles and knees, both of which are merely cut joints. That means even if you did work a bit more depth into the hips, the knees and ankles couldn't take advantage of it.

That means with even a fairly high pure joint count, this figure really only has one pose.

EDIT: I upped the articulation score a bit after a reader let me know that there is a pin/post knee and ankle joint - you just have to push really hard to get it to work the first time. I've snapped enough toys in my day to be careful, but this time I was too careful when handling him. Still, the joints don't work all that well, particularly the ankles.

Accessories - **1/2
There are two accessories included - an Identity Light Disc, and a baton. Both are sculpted and painted fairly well, but there's not a ton of detail on either one. He does hold them quite well in both hands, however.

Sound Feature - ***
One of the two key features with this particular series is the inclusion of sound. There are three 'button' batteries included, allowing the Try Me feature to work on the shelf.

There is a button on his side, right below the left armpit, that can be switched to 'on', 'off', or 'try me' modes. Off is pretty obvious, but the only difference I can see between being On and being in Try Me is that when in Try Me, a single button push lights the chest, plays the sound and lights the face. When the figure is technically 'on', a single push lights the chest, and a second push is required to light the face and make him talk.

Sam says quite a bit, and it's all quite clear and audible. Included lines are:

"My name is Sam Flynn"
"Some things are worth the risk"
"We gotta work together - it's the only way!"
"This is it - c'mon"
"Where am I? Am I on the grid?"
"I'm not a program!"

While the sound feature works well, it's really its use in combination with the next feature that sets this figure apart...

Light Feature - ****
The front of the package announces that this figure is "powered by impulse projection", which sounds pretty damn intriguing. Turns out, it's pretty nifty too.

When you press the button (once in Try Me mode, twice in regular mode), the face lights up, revealing a holographic image of Sam. As he speaks the line, the face actually moves, including the lips!

Leave it to a toy line based on the sequel to a technologically revolutionary movie to give us something technically new and unique in its feature set.

It is a little disappointing that this feature was paired back a bit from what we saw at SDCC. There, the 8" figures had lights down both thighs as well, but those have been dropped in the production figures.

Fun Factor - ***
With the limited articulation, this larger series isn't as much fun as the smaller set. But the projection gimmick is one that is far more appealing than I expected, and kids are going to find it pretty irresistible.

Value - **1/2
Most action figures are running around $13 - $15 these days, truly a sad state of affairs. I don't know how parents can afford to get many for their kids. This guy is $15 as well, which is pretty average in price and does include the light and sound feature. Without them, it would take a big hit here, but the projection face does improve the value.

Things to Watch Out For -
Not a thing!

Overall - ***
This isn't a particularly exciting sculpt, and the paint doesn't do a lot to sell it. The articulation is weak, and the accessories only average.

In fact, the score here would have been much lower, perhaps a full star overall, if not for the sound and light feature. The moving holographic facial image is a lot more interesting than I expected, and while it's sort of a one trick pony, it's likely to be a pony that sees a lot of miles from kids and visitors to your cube.

If you're looking for a toy that has more play value, head toward the 4" series. If you're looking for something high end, hang tight til we see what Hot Toys does with the license. But if you want a cool, reasonably priced figure with a unique action feature, this is the one to check out.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***
Sculpting - **1/2
Paint - ***
Articulation - **1/2
Accessories - **1/2
Sound Feature - ***
Light Up Feature - ****
Fun Factor - ***
Value - **1/2
Overall - ***

Where to Buy -
These seem to be hitting Toys R Us first, but they'll be at most major retailers shortly. Online options include these site sponsors:

- Big Bad Toy Store has the set of four for $67.

Related Links -
I had a guest review of the SDCC exclusive Tron figure, and you can also check out my SDCC coverage of the other offerings shown last summer.

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

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Tron Legacy Sam Flynn deluxe action figure by Spin Master


This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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