Stopping by for a quickie today. What’s this? More Tron? Yeah, I’m still not done with this line. You see, way back when I picked up Sam Flynn’s Lightcycle, I was lamenting the fact that I couldn’t find Clu’s version to go with it. I kept hoping that I would come across it sooner or later, but when the line finally went on clearance and started disappearing from shelves, it seemed less and less likely that I would ever own a rival Lightcycle to go with the one in my collection. As it so happened, I turned one up in Ross’ Toy Graveyard this week for the very sweet price of just under ten bucks.
What? You thought you’d seen the last of Tron Legacy toys here? Not when there’s a Ross nearby. Yes, the Tron Legacy toys had their mediocre run. They lasted longer than some movie lines, but in the end I think it was mainly Tron fanatics like myself that gave this line the short modicum of staying power that it had. And possibly more attention and credit than it deserved. If you go back and look at my feature on the 1:6 Scale Ultimate Sam Flynn figure, than you’ll see that while it had some good points, I wasn’t all that impressed with it. I certainly had no intention of picking up Ultimate Clu, the only other figure produced in this scale… that is until I found it for $13.99 at Ross and decided I might as well complete the set.
The packaging is almost identical to the Ultimate Flynn package, only with the updated artwork for Clu. There’s even a sticker on the back blocking out the one accessory that came with Sam but doesn’t come with Clu. The package is a window box with a flip open panel and does a nice job of showing off the figure inside. Unfortunately, mine has the ubiquitous Ross price stickers on the window that are impossible to get off. The packaging is fairly collector friendly and a little patience with a razor can get the tray out of the box and the figure off of the tray without mangling anything too badly, although you have to be careful with the angled edges. Most of my toy packages just get tossed, but since I tend to return my 1:6 scale figures to their packages for storage, this is a big bonus for me.
I totally expected this figure to be just a slight retool of the Sam Flynn figure, especially since unless you really look closely, a lot of the Tron character designs look pretty similar. Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised to find that Clu is a completely new sculpt and is even notably taller than the Sam figure. So Kudos to Spin Master for taking the high road. The texturing and detail on the suit is fairly intricate, and overall nicely done, and I like the bright orange paint that’s used to simulate the light lines, which aren’t part of the light up gimmick.
The electronics are similar to what we saw in the Sam Flynn figure. You get light up lines in the torso and the thighs, this time with a nice orange effect. The electronics are activated via a button on his torso. Pressing it once activates the lights, pressing it again activates the face. Unfortunately, the projected face has an issue, where a giant circular black spot appears on the right of his face during one frame of the animation. It only happens sometimes, maybe once out of three or four presses. I’m not sure if that’s in all the figures or just mine, but it’s damn annoying. Either way, the face projection seems to work better in my Deluxe Clu figure. Speaking of the Deluxe, Clu says the same lines as his smaller Deluxe counterpart:
- Greetings, Programs!
- Out there… Is our destiny!
- So you like bikes?
- Flynn lives!
Just like the Ultimate Sam figure, Clu’s articulation is somewhat limited by the electronics, but what’s here is still pretty good, and identical to Ultimate Sam. His arms feature ball joints in both the shoulders and the elbows, swivels in the wrists and biceps, and his fingers are sculpted together and hinged. Clu’s legs have ball joints in the hips, knees, and ankles and a hinge in the toe of the feet. There’s no torso articulation at all, and the head doesn’t turn. Yeah, it’s understandable, but it definitely hurts the poseability of the figure. And let’s face it, in 1:6 scale figures, articulation expectations run generally high.
Clu comes with a number of good accessories, although if you own Ultimate Sam, you’ve already seen them all. The diecast Katana is absent, which kind of sucks, as I don’t think it would have set Spin Master back to much to have kept it and it was included with the 4″ version. It would at least have saved them the trouble of covering up the word on the back of every package with a sticker. You get his Ident Disc, Light Nunchuks, Lightcycle/Lightjet Baton, and the Battle Staff. The Ident Disc is all diecast and clips onto the figure’s back. The Baton has a magnet that lets it clip onto Clu’s leg. The Staff and the Chucks don’t impress me that much, but I guess they’re nice extras. Naturally, all of the accessories feature the orange paint apps as opposed to the blue.
I never saw Clu at retail, and I was beginning to suspect that he never made it to the production run. As a result, I was surprised when I spotted a couple of these figures sitting in the Ross Toy Graveyard. I almost didn’t bother to look at them because I assumed they were just the Sam figure. Nonetheless, if there was ever a figure bound for the clearance scrapheap, it was this guy. No, not because he’s bad, because he really isn’t. The Ultimate Sam Flynn figure didn’t exactly fly off the shelves, so with Clu in the same assortment, it’s unlikely he ever made it out to the shelves in a lot of stores before hitting clearance. I think the biggest problem with this figure is that depsite the unique sculpt and electronics, Ultimate Clu still feels extremely similar to Ultimate Sam, so if you have one I’m not sure you really need the other. Plus, at the original $30 price point, I don’t think these guys do anything all that much better than the much less expensive Deluxe versions. But hey, if you’re a big Tron nut like me, and if you can find him at a good price, you could certainly do worse.
I mentioned back when reviewing the 3 3/4″ Quorra and Jarvis figures how I was surprised to see that the Tron Legacy line survived to see Series 2. That’s not a slam against the toys, but movie figures flopping and dying a quick death just seems to be the trend these days, and let’s face it Spin Master ain’t Hasbro, so I think the odds were stacked against this line from the beginning. Nonetheless, not only did we get a second series of figures, but we got some brand new vehicles as well. Today we’re going to take a look at the Series 2 One Man Light Jet.
The Light Jet comes in a solid box, no window or “Try Me” feature this time like we saw in the Series 1 Light Cycle and Light Runner. It’s a pretty compact little box, as the vehicle comes partially unassembled. All you have to do is attach the wings and insert the missiles and you’re good to go. The wings are removable again, so you can return the vehicle to the box for storage if you want to. Just like Sam Flynn’s Light Cycle, the Light Jet comes with a stand-in non-articulated figure to pilot the jet, but you can swap this guy out for one of the 3 3/4″ figures if you have them. This is a great idea in case you just want the vehicles and don’t want to bother with any of the figures. On the downside, getting the figure into the vehicle is a project and a half. His legs just don’t want to go where they’re supposed to. But once he’s in, all is well. You also get two missiles. [DCUC Flight Stand not included! -FF]
The toy seems pretty accurate to the film, although I was surprised to see the sculpted panel lines like on a real vehicle. Since the jet itself is supposed to be a computer construct, would it really have these? Even at 1080p on the Blu-Ray, I couldn’t see them on the screen version of the vehicle, but I’ll concede they do add very nice detail to the toy. I’ll write it off to the fact that the new System was supposed to be a lot more realistic than the primitive one seen in the original Tron. Features include articulated back wings and two forward firing missile launchers. As with most of the Tron toys, there aren’t a lot of paint apps at work here, just orange to simulate the lights. I will say that this is the best paint used on any of the toys to date. Yes, there’s some unfortunate rubbing/chipping on mine, but the bright neon color makes the faux light effect work really well. I wish they had used this paint on the figures.
And speaking of lights, yes the Light Jet has them. Pressing the button on the back of the jet will cause the lights to come on and stay lit for a fairly good amount of time. The lights are situated underneath the rear of the jet and under each of the pilot’s armpits. They’re bright enough, but their positioning limits their visibility, so the effect isn’t as great as it could have been.
The Light Jet retails for about $20, about the same as Sam Flynn’s Light Cycle. It’s a decent price for a toy in this assortment, particularly when you add in the lighting effects. I’m glad Spin Master gave this vehicle a toy version since it was one of the cooler new vehicles introduced in Legacy, and since I’m certainly not going to get a Recognizer in the 3 3/4″ figure scale, I’ve got to settle for what I can get. But most of all, this toy makes me really happy that the Tron Legacy toys made it to see a Series 2.
If you’re keeping score with my takes on the Tron: Legacy toys, you’ll know that I was pretty impressed with the Deluxe figures, but I’ve been kind of lukewarm on the 3 3/4″ scale figures. They’re not terrible, but they aren’t overly impressive either. One thing that is very cool about the 3 3/4″ figures, though, is the fact that they are scaled for vehicles. I loved Sam Flynn’s Lightcycle, I was fairly happy with Kevin Flynn’s Lightcycle, now let’s take a look at Quorra’s Light Runner.
Released as part of the Series 1 collection, the Light Runner comes in a partial window box, complete with the Try Me hole in the window that lets you see the toy all lit up. The big neon Tron Legacy logo runs vertically up the left side of the package, obscuring the front of the vehicle, but you can still get a pretty good idea of what you’re getting. This package also uses a much better economy of space than the Lightcycles.
The Light Runner comes out of the package completely assembled and ready to go. The first thing that impressed me about it is its size. It’s a pretty decent sized toy, especially when compared to the Lightcycles. The cockpit opens up to allow you to put in the figures, and I was very happy to see that even with Quorra’s restrictive hip articulation, she still fits into the seat pretty well, although Sam and many of the other figures fit better. The wheels roll very nicely and the front of the vehicle actually pivots to stabelize it while going over rough terrain. Don’t forget this baby was designed to travel off The Grid! There are also two spring-loaded guns on the front that flip up when you pull open the hatches. All in all, this is a great looking sculpt. The only thing to watch out for are the side pieces, which are a little delicate.
The electronics include blue lighting that runs down the center of the vehicle and also lights up in the front and back. When you activate it with the button on the back it flickers on via a cool start-up routine, but if you want to keep it lit, you need to plug one of the figures into the seat. Actually, it’s their Ident Disc that plugs into the hole on the back of the seat. It’s easy to do it with the Sam figure, but I haven’t been able to get Quorra into the right position to activate it. Fortunately, only one figure needs to be plugged in for it to work. The lighting is pretty bright and looks awesome.
The Light Runner vehicle retails at about $20-25, but Disney’s Amazon store was having a pretty sweet deal on it last time I checked at $12.99. Even with shipping it works out to less than I’ve seen it at most stores. It’s a great display piece and a really cool example of one of the brand new vehicle designs introduced in the new movie.
Given the chance, I wouldn’t have bet money on Spin Master’s Tron: Legacy figures surviving to see a second series. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been pretty pleased with the toys so far, but I’m not convinced Tron: Legacy turned out to be as a big a blockbuster as some of Disney’s other toy-pushing licenses out these days. Plus, the line has had its share of spotty QC issues that have led to some unfavorable word of mouth among collectors. Nonetheless, Series 2 happened and is filtering on to the pegs. It consists of some new 3 3/4″ figures and some new vehicles. Today we’re going to look at two of the new figures: Quorra and Jarvis.
The packaging is the same as we’ve been seeing all along, except for the “Series 2” up in the corner and the back panel of the card, which shows off some of the new figures. The vertical neon Tron logo still dominates the left side of the card and the bubble shows off the figures nicely, while including an illustrated insert to customize the packaging to the particular character. Both figures have the Try Me hole so you can see their light gimmick without removing them from the packaging.
Let’s start with Quorra. A bunch of entries back I prayed for a Series 2 so I could finally get an Olivia Wilde action figure. This ain’t quite what I had in mind. I’m not sure if it’s a way to get around paying royalties for using Ms Wilde’s likeness, but the figure features her with her helmet on as she appeared in her first five minutes or so of the film. Maybe kids will think this is cooler to play with, but I would have at least liked a swappable head. Then again, based on Spin Master’s lack of success with Sam Flynn’s head sculpt, we may be better off this way.
Nonetheless, it’s definitely Quorra. Her shoulders are bare like in the movie and she has a little skirt. Her feet are sculpted kind of strange to look like heels, but the way they curve at the heels, they don’t look very natural. Another issue is that they had to thicken her up a bit to cram those electronics into her. She looks fine from the front, but rather beefy when viewed in profile. My one big gripe with the figure is the way the skirt inhibits her leg movement. I don’t have the Light Runner yet, but when I do get it, I’m betting she won’t be able to sit in it all that well. I can’t deny Quorra is a disappointment, but just because I expected better, doesn’t make this a terrible figure.
Next up is Jarvis. He’s the creepy Michael Berryman-looking guy who served as Clu’s toady. He got a lot of screentime and had a fair share of dialogue, so he definitely deserves a figure more than 60 percent of the characters they make Star Wars figures out of. There’s not a lot to say about his sculpt. His head is pretty good, and I think the face shield is done much better on this figure than it was done on Sam Flynn. He has a bit of a skirt, which unfortunately gets in the way of his leg articulation. I do wish Spin Master used a brighter, more vibrant paint for the lighting. It just looks dull.
The light up effects are pretty good for figures in this scale. Quorra’s is very similar to the 3 3/4″ Sam Flynn figure I looked at quite a while back. Jarvis’ light is a little more underwhelming.
Both figures feature decent enough articulation. They have ball joints in their necks, shoulders, elbows, hips, knees and ankles, and swivels in the wrists.
Accessories? Both figures come with the very cool Ident Disc style figure stand that we saw with Sam Flynn. They also both come with little Ident Discs. Quorra comes with a Light Katana and Jarvis comes with a Data Pad. A sticker would have been helpful to make the Data Pad look like something other than what it is: Just a little slab of black plastic.
What’s the verdict? Not bad. I’ve tempered my expectations a bit on these 3 3/4″ figures. They are perfectly passable, but with Hasbro doing some truly stellar sculpts in this scale these days, the competition is just getting steeper for smaller companies like Spin Master. Still, they look ok, the light effects are still cool, poseability is fine, and they definitely capture the spirit of the property. I still think the Deluxe sized figures are better executed and better values, but I doubt either of these characters will be released in the Deluxe size.
Even though I’ve been going nuts, picking up all the other Tron toys, I had no intention of buying any of the 1:6 scale figures fromTron: Legacy. But sometimes a deal is too good to pass up and I wound up getting this guy for just a few dollars more than the cost of the Deluxe figures. Why not? Says I, so I took him home with me.
The packaging is pretty spiffy for a mass release figure, but probably nothing you haven’t seen in this scale before. It’s basically a window box with a front flap, emblazoned with the Tron logo, that covers up part of the window. It’s a decent enough design as it shows off the figure, screams the name of the license, and allows you to really see what you’re getting in the box. As with all the electronic Tron toys, there’s a Try Me hole cut out in the front of the window that lets you see the figure light up and demonstrate the impulse projection gimmick. The packaging is also fairly collector friendly. It’s easy to get the figure in and out without mangling anything, but the accessories are all attached to the back of the tray, so unless you go to the trouble of re-tying them, they’re going to be rattling around in the bottom of the box. And there are a lot of accessories.
Once out of the box the figure shows a lot of resemblance to its Deluxe sized cousin. There’s a lot more sculpted detail and some of the light effects that were just painted on the smaller figure, like the four rings on his torso and the bars on his thighs are now replaced with blue transparent plastic and actual lights. The painted lights are also more prominant and look a lot better than on the smaller figure.
So there’s good news and bad news about the electronics. The good news is that the lights have been added to his thighs too, so when he’s lit up you do get a much better looking effect than the Deluxe. The bad news is that pretty much everything else is just like the Deluxe. The impulse projection has a few more frames of animation, but otherwise it is exactly the same and the figure says the same lines:
- My name is Sam Flynn.
- Some things are worth the risk.
- We gotta work together. It’s the only way!
- Where am I? Am I on The Grid?
- This is it… Come on.
- I’m not a program.
A few more lines in this bigger, more expensive figure would have been welcome, but all in all the electronics look fantastic on this figure. The button has moved from his armpit on the Deluxe to the center of his chest on this version.
Accessories are definitely one of this figure’s strong points, although most of them are just scaled up versions of what we’ve seen in the Deluxe scale, albeit with some diecast added. You get Sam’s Ident Disc, a Light Katana, a set of Light Chucks, a Fighting Staff, and a Lightcycle Baton. Instead of pegging into the figure’s leg, the Baton here uses a magnet to attach. It’s a nice idea and holds on to the figure pretty well. The Ident Disc has some really nice weight to it too.
The articulation adds some useful points over the Deluxe sized figure. The arms feature ball jointed shoulders, hinged elbows and swivels in the biceps, elbows and wrists. The legs have ball joints in the hips, swivels in the knees and ankles, and hinges in the knees and ankles. The fingers are hinged to grip the accessories and the feet are hinged too allow him to stand in more dynamic positions. Still no articulation in the torso or head, though.
I think the biggest problem with this Ultimate version of Sam Flynn is that, apart from its size, it still feels like a tweaked version of the Deluxe. Yes there are a bit more electronics, yes there are more accessories, some added articulation and some diecast… when I lay it all out it seems like a lot, but with the figure in hand? I’m not so sure. On the other hand, even at full price, this figure is only twice the cost of the Deluxe. And let’s face it at $30 for a 1:6 scale figure these days, it isn’t like you’re paying for a premium format figure. It’s not at all a bad figure at the price, but unless you’re an absolute Tron fanatic, you might find yourself content with the Deluxe version.
Here we go, the last of the four Deluxe figures from the Tron: Legacy movie. This time it’s Kevin Flynn’s evil Cyber-Doppleganger and Dictator of The Grid: Clu, implessively played by the computer generated and de-aged Jeff Bridges. The last two figures we looked at in this assortment had pretty simple electronics, but Clu goes back to the same innovative formula used on the Deluxe Sam Flynn figure by including not just lights, but an impulse projected face and a soundchip.
Yep, Clu comes on a big card with the same deco we’ve been seeing on all of these figures. There’s a Try Me hole cut out in the bubble so you can see his electronics. It’s a great feature for MOSC collectors, although what they do when the battery runs out is beyond me. There’s an illustrated insert in the bubble to customize the package to fit the character and the back features a little bio blurb about Clu and a whole lot of safety and warnings gobbledygook about the toy’s electronics.
When I first had Clu out of the package, I thought for a moment that he just a repaint of Sam with some new electronics, but that’s not the case at all. Put them next to each other and you can see that Clu is a completely new sculpt, although he does look closer to Sam than either Rinzler or the Black Guard. Also like Sam, Clu’s got a lot more paint apps to replicate the lighting from the character design.
The electronics gimmick is activated by pressing the button under Clu’s left armpit. Pressing it once activates the orange lighting on his torso and pressing it again activates the impulse projected face and the voice clips. The face is a pretty good likeness of young Jeff Bridges and the speech is loud and clear. He spouts off the following quips:
- So, you like bikes!
- Flynn lives
- Out there! Is our destiny!
- You get the reward you deserve
- Greetings, Programs!
Clu’s articulation is also identical to the Deluxe Sam Flynn figure. He has the ball jointed shoulders, elbows, hips, knees, and ankles. He also has swivel cuts in the wrists. Because of the impulse projection gimmick, Clu’s head is not articulated.
Clu’s accessories consist of his Ident Disc and a Light Katana. Interestingly, he doesn’t come with a baton and the figure lacks the peg on the thigh used to secure it as we saw on Rinzler and Sam.
So, Clu wraps up Tron Legacy’s Deluxe line of figures, at least for now. Overall, I was pretty impressed with this line and I would have liked to see it go on. I guess it’s not impossible, but we’ve already seen the second wave of figures and toys from the movie hitting the shelves and online sites, but there hasn’t been any news or images about the Deluxe line continuing. Granted, I think another complete wave of four figures might be pushing it, but a case revision with Quorra and one of Clu’s Sentries would have rounded out the line pretty nicely and been most welcome.
I’m at the halfway point looking at these Deluxe Tron figures from Spin Master. We’ve already looked at Sam Flynn and Rinzler, now it’s time to check out Clu’s faceless and ruthless soldiers of his Grid police state. It’s the Black Guard!
Once again, the figure comes on a big card that features a great deco, with the awesome looking Tron logo running up the side and a whole lot of weird warnings and information about the toy’s electronics on the back. The bubble shows off the figure very nicely and includes the cut out Try Me hole so you can light him up. It’s great for MOSC collectors or if you just want to see how the lights look when you’re deciding whether or not to buy him in the store.
By now, the overall design of these guys may be bleeding together a bit to the casual eye. Yes, they’re all dudes in black body suits and helmets, but the sculpting is most definitely unique on this figure and while some of the subtle texturing is hard to make out against the all black figure, you can definitely make it out under close inspection and the Black Guard does have some really distinctive elements to his design. I like the gas mask style components on his helmet, which is a little reminscent of the ones on the masks of the MPC Guards in the original Tron. He also has the little demolision charges sculpted into his legs. There’s not a lot of paint apps here, just some orange detail work scattered here and there and on the solar panels of his wings.
Yes, wings. The Black Guard also comes with his wings attached and deployed. These are the parachute-like devices used by The Guard when attacking The End of Line club. They can be removed in two pieces, and simply clip into holes on the figures’ back. Unfortunately one of the clips on mine seems to be missing. I don’t think it’s broken, it seems more like a QC issue with the mold. It will stay on fairly well, but it doesn’t lock in as solidly as the other one.
As with Rinzler, The Black Guard doesn’t feature any sound or Impulse Projection. Instead, the figure’s electronic gimmick is confined to the lights in his chest, activated by pressing the button under his left armpit. His lights are similar to Rinzler’s as they’re orange and basically scattered points, rather than the long strips seen on Clu and Sam Flynn. They are bright and clear, though, and look pretty good. In addition to the removable wings, The Black Guard comes with his Ident Disc and two Batons. The Disc can clip onto the figure’s back just like the other Deluxe figures, although you do need to remove the wings to clip it on and remove it. The two batons can be stored in sockets on his elbows.
I’ve really been digging all of these Deluxe figures, but I think the Black Guard here edges out the others as my favorite. Besides being the most distinctive sculpt, it’s obvious that Spin Master put a little extra love into him. As with the other Deluxe figures in the line, this guy runs about $14.99 and I’ve got no complaints about the price tag. With three down, that just leaves one to go. Next time we revisit the Tron toys, I’ll wrap up the Deluxes with Clu himself.
Back again for more Tron goodness. I’m continuing my way through the larger Deluxe figures and this time we’re looking at the Rinzler character. In the off chance someone reading this hasn’t seen the film yet, I’ll cut the intro short to avoid any massive spoilers about this guy. Suffice it to say he was the best warrior on The Grid and Clu’s number one henchman. So let’s just get to the figure.
The packaging is the same as the kind used for the Sam Flynn figure we looked at a little while ago. The card is pretty generic, but I love the deco and the huge Tron logo on the side. There’s an insert in the bubble that identifies the character. The bubble is pretty big and shows off the figure and his large array of accessories. Once again, there’s a Try Me hole cut out in the bubble so you can reach in and activate Rinzler’s electronic light feature. The back of the card shows a close up of the figure and his accessories and there’s a little blurb about the character, which is understandably vague so as not to contain spoilers.
There’s a good deal of sculpted detail in the figure, but since he’s virtually all black it isn’t all that easy to make it out, except under close inspection. The only paint apps include a few orange circles on his chest and a little bit of orange on his helmet and again on his gloves. Still, the figure is a pretty good match for the character’s design.
Rinzler’s articulation is the same as the Deluxe Sam Flynn figure, with one addition: His head has a ball joint. Obviously neck articulation had to be sacrificed for Sam (and Clu’s) impulse projection tech in the head, but Rinzler doesn’t have that so he can move his head around just fine. Other articulation includes ball joints in the shoulders and hips, swivels in the wrists and ankles, and hinges in the elbows and knees. Most of the expected points are certainly here, although the range of motion in the shoulders seems a tad limited, making it difficult to hold his Katana in both hands.
After looking at the Deluxe Sam figure, Rinzler’s electronics certainly seem sparse by comparison. There’s no impulse projected face and there’s no voice chip. In this case, it’s pretty understandable, though, since Rinzler hardly said anything through the entire film and you didn’t see his face until the very end. I suppose Spin Master could have had the figure make that creepy sound Rinzler made in he film, but it’s not here. What you do get are an array of small orange lights down the front of his torso. The lights are bright enough, but the whole effect is a little underwhelming and for some reason the lights reaked havoc with my shitty old camera.
As the biggest badass warrior on The Grid, RInzler comes with a lot of accessories. He has two identity discs, one of which can clip to his back. He has a fighting staff, a light katana, a set of light-chucks, and two batons, which attach to pegs on either leg. His hands are sculpted so he can hold pretty much any of these items in either hand.
I think Spin Master did a nice job with Rinzler. The sound chip I suggested would have been a nice addition, especially since he feels a little lacking in the electronics department when compared to Sam Flynn. Both figures are at the same price point, and yet there’s a lot less tech involved in this one. Still, he comes with a lot of goodies and the added neck articulation really helps. He’s a fun figure to play around with and he sure does look nice on the shelf.
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.