Folks, I can’t tell you how much I waffled on whether or not to pick up any of these new Tron toys. Why wouldn’t I? Well, a big sticking point is that the movie isn’t out yet, and considering what a sacred part of my childhood the original Tron was, there’s a chance I might end up alienated. I’m already a bit iffy on the new designs, but I think I’m ultimately going to do my best to love it. Then there’s the other little problem. Who the hell is Spin Master? Ok, so I looked them up and was surprised that I was already familiar with many of their products, but there’s nothing really there that told me they new how to make a good action figure line. Considering I have such fond memories of the old Rip Cord Lightcycle and Kevin Flynn figure, I decided to go ahead and pick up one of these new Lightcycles and a 3 3/4″ Sam Flynn Core figure to go with it. Let’s see if it was a mistake…
Let’s get the Sam Flynn Core figure out of the way, because I don’t have a whole lot to say about him. Keep in mind, this is the 3 3/4″ as opposed to the two larger versions being produced at the same time. He comes carded in a very nice package and it’s so nice to see the neon Tron logo branded on a toy package again. It’s a generic card, with an illustrated paper insert in the bubble to customize it to the character. The bubble shows the figure off very well, along with his two accessories. There’s also a Try Me window so you can see how well the lights work before you buy the figure. The back panel of the card shows off the other figures in the line.
The good news is, almost everything else about this figure is quite good. The sculpt seems fine from what I’ve seen in the film clips. Most of the light bars on his suit are executed with paint apps, except for the two middle ones in his torso, which light up when you press the button on his back. I didn’t think this feature would be at all impressive in the small 3 3/4″ figures, but I was wrong. It’s very bright, and very cool looking.
The figure comes with three accessories. He has a figure stand, a Lightcycle baton, and his Ident Disc. The figure stand is a nice bonus and is designed to look similar to the Ident Disc. The Lightcycle baton is just a small plastic rod that is supposed to clip onto his leg, but my baton is so warped it won’t go on. I’m not going to fault Spin Master on this one since the piece is required to be so ridculously small. The Ident Disc is decent and he can hold it fine in either or both hands, but sadly it can’t be clipped onto his back. I would have liked the katana that is included with the larger scale figure, but no biggie.
Sam is very well articulated. He has a ball jointed head, which easily pops off (more on that later). His arms have ball jointed shoulders, elbows with hinges and swivels, and swivel wrists. His legs have ball joints in the hips, hinges and swivels in the knees, and hinges and swivels in the ankles. There’s no articulation in his torso, but that’s obviously because of the lighting effects. So, yeah, his articulation is fine.
Ultimately, Sam’s head is the only issue I have with this figure, and part of that is just quality control on my particular figure, which I should have noticed before I bought him. Silly me, when I buy a brand new toy, I expect it to be perfect. But with solid articulation and a great lighting effect, I would have no qualms about picking up the rest of the figures in this line.
On to the lightcycle. The packaging on this piece is really nice and at the risk of repeating myself, I love seeing the neon Tron logo branded on a toy package again. The box is far bigger than it needs to be, but that’s in order to accomodate a viewmaster-type hologram gimmick. It was almost cool enough to get me to keep the package, but the jagged edges made it too frustrating for me to open it carefully and I wound up shredding it to pieces to get at my toy. But seriously, look at the picture and realize that everything in the package is in that little window area, which only takes up like 30 percent of the entire package. Why am I going on about this? I don’t know. Spin Master either really cares about presentation or isn’t very savvy when it comes to curtailing production costs.
One of the confusing things about this toy is the figure. It looks like it’s sculpted onto the Lightcycle and yet the package proclaims that the Cycle works with the 3 3/4″ Core Figures. The answer is that the figure on the Cycle is a pre-posed stand-in, which is a really nice bonus, because you don’t really have to buy the separate Sam figure if you aren’t commiting yourself to the line and just want the Lightcycle. The figure doesn’t have the same sculpted details or paint apps as the carded figure, but he looks fine on the Cycle. He also has the Cycle helmet head that you’ll need to swap out with your Core Sam Flynn if you want to put him on the vehicle.
The Cycle itself is really awesome. I love the new design and the toy captures it perfectly. It features three articulated airbrakes on the back and it rolls along nicely and turns the little engine piece in the center of the bike as it rolls. The figure is tough to get out, but once you do, you can pop off his head and swap it with your Sam Flynn head and than put him on the bike for an even better looking setup. Like I said earlier, it’s not necessary to display the piece, but the Core figure does look marginally better on the bike than the included figure. Plus it gives me an opportunity to get rid of my Sam figure’s shitty head.
The lighting and sound effects on the Cycle are extremely well done. The lighting is around the edge of both wheels and the center engine window. You can activate the lights and sound by pressing in the button on the side, or by rolling it along a smooth surface. I believe the design of the cycle is supposed to activate the Core figure’s lights when you plug him in, but this feature doesn’t really work well, but that’s ok, since his chest lights are hard to see when he’s on the Lightcycle anyway.
I picked up the Sam figure for $7.99 and the Lightcycle was $19.99. I think both are pretty fairly priced. Eight bucks is about what most 3 3/4″ figures sell for these days, and these have added lights, so it’s hard to complain about the cost of the figures. The fact that the Lightcycle comes with a stand-in figure and excellent lights and sound also makes it seem like a pretty good deal, especially with the flashy presentation of the packaging. Ultimately, I was concerned about the quality control of these toys, but now that I have them, I’m overall pretty impressed, Sam Flynn’s head notwithstanding. I’ll definitely be picking up some more toys in this line. I’m really hoping this line sells well enough to produce another wave of figures so I can get my hands on Olivia Wilde more great Tron figures!