I haven't been buying Happy Meals toys in
years. I used to buy them all the time, but I was able to break
the habit with much effort.
Then we had the Spooky Light Ups. Then Mickey D's followed with Monsters Inc., one of the best kid's meal
lines in ages. And now Burger King comes back with a third punch
to the chin - Lord of the Rings.
There are 19 (nineteen!) figures in this assortment. Why 19? There
were 20 rings if you include the Great Ring, so it seems odd they chose
19. Each one
comes with a base that either causes the figure to light up, or talk and
light up. Obviously, light up features are hot these days. The bases form a circle around the central piece, the 'One Ring'.
Turn the center ring will cause each of the light up or talking features
to activate around the circle.
Fortunately, with this many figures they aren't as expensive as the
Monsters Inc. figures were. I found them at the first BK I hit for
about a buck each. Your mileage may vary.
Pictured in this review are 'assortment
2' as labeled on the box - Arwen,
Strider, Gandalf, Merry, Pippen, a Lurtz, Boromir, Legolas and an Orc.
The central ring, pictured below, appears to ship separately.
Sculpting - **
These are pretty weak sculpts, even for kids meal toys. Several of
the figures really look off, particularly Arwen. Her scale is way
off to the rest of the set.
Trying to do anything with
this much detail in this small of scale is difficult, and if these figures
had been just slightly bigger I'm sure the sculpting wouldn't have
Paint - **1/2
The paint ops aren't too great either. While they are certainly
sufficient for the cost, there are some pretty sloppy areas. In
particular, the extra strip of gray hair across the top of Gandalf's
forehead seems oddly out of place.
you really don't expect too much from a kid's meal toy, but the bar has
been raised in recent years even with these toys.
Most of the figures have one point, often the neck or the waist.
Nothing too exciting here, but the are really just little statues.
Of course, that makes the poorer sculpting even more noticeable.
The bases are the cool item here. Overall, I think the concept of
the interconnecting, interoperable bases is great.
bases fit together fairly well, although you have to be some what
particular on who stands next to who, since some figures are much larger
Play Factor - ***1/2
With the cool bases, central 'ring', ring theme for the entire set, and
sheer number of figures, the play and fun factor on these is very
high. Kids will enjoy getting the whole set, but even if they don't
they'll still enjoy the individual toys. Turning the ring lights it
up as well, but the turning mechanism is a little tight and works better
with some of the figures.
The light up features all
worked well, and are a neat touch. Only three of these nine speak
- Gandalf, Legolas and Boromir, and only Gandalf both lights up AND
speaks. I'm surprised that more don't, and I'm not sure why
some do and others don't.
There's another feature to
these figures. Each comes with a 'magic message'. Go to the Burger
King site and enter the message, and you get a sweepstakes form to
fill out. They are giving away 100 sets of the toys. This is
fairly weak though, since you have to buy the toys to get the messages
to get the forms to win the toys you already bought.
Kid's meal toys are always a great deal. At around a buck, you're
getting a pretty decent PVC, with a neat little base. Tie that in
with a great license, and you'll always have a winner.