When Disney made the new Tron movie, it’s pretty obvious that they were trying to tug at the nostalgia strings for us old folks, as well as appeal to a new audience of young minds. Here’s a perfect example of that in toy form: Kevin Flynn’s lightcycle, patterned pretty closely after the CG models seen in the original film, the toy is also remarkably close to the pair of red and yellow Tomy Lightcycles I owned as a kid. Of course, those featured rip-sticks instead of LED lights and the white deco on this one isn’t quite as exciting, but let’s take a look and see how it turned out.
I can’t say enough good things about the packaging for the Tron: Legacy toys. The logo and art deco on the box captures the movie motif really well, and the window shows off the toy nicely. There’s a hole cut into the window, which allows you to hit the Try Me button and see the lights. The back shows photos of the 3 3/4″ figures in the line and illustrates that the cockpit opens and you can cram one of those figures into here. The packaging isn’t quite so elaborate as the one that houses Sam Flynn’s Lightcycle. You remember, the one I looked at a while ago, with the viewmaster-style gimmick in it? But this one looks just as good and certainly makes use of a better economy of space. The box is sort of collector friendly, although it’s easy to mangle when opening, because I sure did. If these things ever hit clearance, I could see myself buying another just to keep it in the box.
Once out of the package, the toy looks very close to the Lightcycle seen in the movie. It was designed by Kevin Flynn to be the “fastest thing on the grid,” despite its old age. I’m a little iffy on how he can keep this thing as a musem piece, parked in his living room like a common motorcycle, when the rest of the time they summon them forth when they use them and dispell them when finished, but I digress. Besides, I so wanted to see a Tron sequel on the big screen, I was willing to look past a lot of stuff to favor my enjoyment of the film and I’m prepared to do the same here as well. There isn’t a whole lot else to say about the toy. It stands up fine on its own and rolls along really well. It does feel a little small and insubstatial for the price, so, do any of the gimmicks save the day?
Well, the cockpit does open and theoretically you can put a figure in it. I don’t yet own the Kevin Flynn 3 3/4″ figure, but from what I hear he doesn’t fit in the cockpit very well because of his sculpted robe. Sam Flynn, on the other hand, does fit, but you really need to contort and mash him in there if you’re going to get the cockpit to close, and even then he doesn’t look like he’s piloting it, but rather like he was knocked unconcious and stuffed inside. The older Tomy Lightcycles held those figures much better than this one, and they only had five points of articulation.
How about them electronics? Unfortunately, I’m not all that impressed, especially when compared to Sam Flynn’s Lightcycle. First off, there’s no sound, which was pretty disappointing. Couldn’t they have just stuffed the other Lightcycle sound chip into this one? Secondly, the lights are confined to just the small area by the front wheel and it doesn’t stay lit for long. There’s a peg inside the cockpit, which is supposed to activate the lights when you put the figure in, but it’s hard to get him to keep contact with the peg, and even when he does, the lights just flicker on for a little while and go out. Sam Flynn’s Lightcycle lights up when you push it along a surface, this one doesn’t do that either.
If it sounds like I hate this toy, I really don’t. It’s a fine representation of what was in the film and it looks great on display, especially with one of the figures standing next to it. As a toy, however, most of the play gimmicks are iffy or broken, especially compared to how well the Sam Flynn Lightcycle toy performs. I thought both toys were in the same price point, but I could be mistaken. I did pay about ten dollars more for my Sam Flynn Lightcycle, but I think it’s because this one was on sale and pretty deeply discounted at $9.99. By the way, Spin Master, if you repaint this thing a couple three times in red, yellow and blue, I’ll buy all three of them. Just saying, is all.