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Megamind and Minion

Megamind action figures by Toy Quest


Animated films have been big box office success over the last few years, and not just for Pixar. Just about everyone has gotten in on the game, and all have had success.

Dreamworks has not just had success, but continued to improve with their overall quality. I loved Kung Fu Panda, and rank it up there with some (not the best, but some) of Pixar's releases. Their next endeavor is Megamind, and I must say that from what I've seen, I'm intrigued.

SPOILER ALERT! Nothing I'm going to say in the next paragraph can't be gleaned from the trailers, but if you like to go into a movie completely uninformed, skip to the following paragraph - you've been warned.

The plot is slightly unusual. Megamind is the master evil genius, but is always foiled by the annoyingly perfect and arrogant Metro Man. Originally, word was that Megamind actually kills Metro Man, but recent trailers seem to imply he simply retires. Either way, Megamind is left without a hero to battle, and can have his evil way with the world. He grows tired of the situation though - when you can have anything, none of it seems important - and devises a plan to create a new hero as his counterpart: Tighten! However, Tighten turns evil, leaving Megamind to pick up the slack as hero and save the world. It's a tweest!
Megamind action figures by Toy Quest
Megamind action figures by Toy Quest
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Megamind action figures by Toy Quest
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Megamind action figures by Toy Quest
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Megamind action figures by Toy Quest
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Megamind action figures by Toy Quest
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Megamind action figures by Toy Quest
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Megamind action figures by Toy Quest
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Megamind action figures by Toy Quest
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Megamind action figures by Toy Quest
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Megamind action figures by Toy Quest
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Megamind action figures by Toy Quest

END SPOILER ALERT! The toys are being made by Toy Quest, and are starting to show up at Toys R Us. I picked up the 6" scale Megamind and his minion, aptly named Minion. These are running $10 each. There are also a number of mini-figures, as well as a very cool, large 14" talking Minion. I may not be able to resist his allure as well, and if I do pick him up I'll be sure to cover him here.

Packaging - **1/2
The bubble/cardback packaging is pretty standard stuff. Utilizing the design elements from the movie, it stands out well on the shelf and does give plenty of background info. However, it's likely to end up with a fair share of damage, because the bubble is very deep, and the glue (heat seal) holding it to the card is fairly weak.

And if you hate twisties, be prepared to deal with a fair share.

Sculpting - Megamind ***;  Minion **1/2
Toy Quest's last series was for Monsters Vs. Aliens, and you'll see some similarities here. But the quality of the plastic has improved, as has the general sculpting.

This is a truly demented version of Megamind, complete with crazy eyes and maniac grin.

The sculpt looks very true to the proportions from the trailer, with the large cranium and skinny limbs. The features are sharply cut, with high cheekbones and a very pointy chin. The eyes are also very well defined, much more so than we usually see in this scale.

Speaking of which, these guys are done in a 6" or 1/12th scale.  Megs stands exactly 6" tall, while the Minion is slightly bigger at about almost 6 1/2".

There's lots of good small dental work on Megamind, with some areas that could have been simply painted (like the soul patch or eyebrows) getting a raised edge to highlight them.

However, the manufacturing process took away some of the quality that was probably present in the original sculpt. There's damage on both figures from the mold process (check out Megamind's left ear for an example), and there's seam lines just about everywhere.

Minion has a design that I love because it reminds me so much of a classic creature called Robot Monster. This awful 1950's sci-fi flick set a standard for goofy humanoid monster design when the director dressed up his buddy in a gorilla suit and topped it off with a space helmet.

I can't wait to see the explanation for the contraption that is the Minion when the film debuts. It appears to be some sort of a cyber-gorilla, with a helmet/aquarium on top, housing the actual Minion - a fish. Voiced by David Cross, I suspect he'll steal the show.

The detail work on the fur is very good, and there's plenty of cool gadgets and gizmos as part of the equipment pack on the monkey fish's back. Some of this detail work is a little soft though, to the point of appearing damaged. Again, I suspect this is an issue with the manufacturing process, and not the original sculpt.

Both figures stand great on their own, even without much articulation. The hands are sculpted to hold the accessories, but this works better for Megamind than it does for the Minion.

It's worth pointing out that if you're looking for some sort of psycho sex fiend figure for a diorama you have planned (and I really don't want any of the details of that diorama), then Megamind might make a great addition. With the slightly hunched posture, insanely happy expression, and clutching hands, he's ripe to be a model for lots of humorous photos.

Paint - Megamind ***; Minion **1/2
Both figures have the type of quality work that you'd expect in a ten dollar action figure. There's some sloppy cut lines here and there, and some of the smaller details are blurred, but it's not surprising at this price point.

There are some additional issues though on the Minion that pulled his score down. The silver areas that are painted look pretty good, but the unpainted gray plastic is dull and cheap looking, especially on the otherwise intricate equipment mounted to his back.

There's also a clumpiness to the face and eyes that gives them a weird texture. I love the design, but the toy needs a smooth finish to make it look right.

Articulation - Megamind **; Minion *1/2
On the back of the Megamind card, it says he's 'ultra posable'. Clearly the folks at Toy Quest have come up with a new definition for that term.

Megs does have a ball jointed neck though, and even though the tilt action is a little restricted by the collar, it does add a lot of personality to the poses.

But that's *almost* it. There's cut shoulders and V hips, but considering the pose sculpted into the limbs and torso, these joints are really just there to hit the sweet spot for the one intended pose.

The Minion isn't as lucky, since there's no neck joint at all. He does have simple post cut shoulders and hips, although they look like they are ball from outside the package. The gorilla shoulder pads can also turn slightly, but they aren't hinged as you'd expect, so they can't come down over the shoulders themselves.

These are about as close to Nerd Hummels as you can get and still claim they are 'posable'.

Accessories - ***
Both figures come with a weapon as an accessory, but Megamind's is much more complex.

Minion has a 'DNA sampling gun", which looks like a cross between a huge hypodermic and a Buck Rogers ray gun. Sadly, it's size and weight combined with the lack of articulation means he can't hold it particularly well, but on its own it's a cool weapon.

Megamind has an 'ultimate energy blast', which appears to be the satellite he controls from earth. Rather than hovering thousands of miles above us, it sits about 5" off the ground, elevated by a bright yellow energy bolt. This hunk of lightening is supposedly controlled or created by a old school video game style control panel that Megs holds in both hands. The dish itself also fires a projectile, but I'll talk about that in greater detail in the next section.

The energy blast is made from a fairly rubbery plastic, which means it's already wilting right out of the package. I can only anticipate the eventual stoop that this accessory is going to take.

The control panel is pretty sweet though, with a nice sculpt and reasonable paint ops. The quality of the paint work could be a little better, but at least there's an attempt at some detailing.

Action Feature - Megamind only ***
Poor Minion - he doesn't get an action feature.

But his boss does. The satellite dish fires a large projectile, and does so with the usual mediocre power that is common with most modern toys. Nobody is going to loose an eye, but you kids might manage to knock Metro Man over with a close range shot...and a little extra push.

Fun Factor - ***
Once the flick hits, kids may respond pretty well to these. They are sturdy enough for rough play, and there's enough conflict between the characters they are producing to allow for battle scenarios.

Value - **1/2
At ten bucks, these are a pretty average value on the current market. There's nothing earth shatteringly unique about either one, but they are both reasonable representations of their on screen counterparts at about the right price.

Things to Watch Out For -
I'd expect to see more wilting over time with Meg's accessory, but that's about it.

Overall - Megamind ***; Minion **1/2
Most animated movies don't translate well into action figures these days, and over the last few years every line that's tried has pretty much failed. I think this is largely due to the lack of true conflict or violence in current cartoons, making a role playing toy like an action figure less appealing to kids. Iron Man and Transformers can sell toys because there's conflict that creates opportunities for play - Wall-E, not so much.

Without seeing this film, it's hard to say if the toys will end up appealing to kids or not. But Toy Quest has done a better job with this series than they have in the past, so it's a good sign overall.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***
Sculpting - Megamind ***; Minion **1/2
Paint - Megamind ***; Minion **1/2
Articulation - Megamind **; Minion *1/2
Accessories - ***
Action Feature - ***
Fun Factor - ***
Value - **1/2
Overall - Megamind ***; Minion **1/2

Where to Buy -
I found these at the local Toys R Us, but I'm betting most major retailers will have some of the figures and toys.

Related Links -
Nothing yet!

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Megamind action figures by Toy Quest


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

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