Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Review: Adventure Time 5" Action Figures (Plus Bonus Cosplay!)

An exhibition hall packed with fans in costume is a pretty solid indication of which properties are currently ruling the pop culture zeitgeist. At this past weekend’s Supanova, Star Wars was on the decline, Minecraft continued to flourish and Doctor Who remained steady, but the real surprise was the sudden surge of costumes inspired by Pendleton Ward’s delightfully chaotic and subversive animated series Adventure Time! Especially abundant were portrayals of not Finn the human, but Fionna his gender-bending equivalent who debuted in the episode Fionna and Cake.

As a fan of the show myself, this seemed like the perfect time to grab hold of the Jazwares five inch Jake the Dog and Finn the Human action figures from our friend Drew at Red Griffin Games.

To find out what I thought, and to see some photos of aforementioned cosplay, it’s time to join me after the jump!

The Adventure Time graphics are certainly bright appealing and the figures certainly have an allure in the package. “Stretchy Jake” sounds like far more fun than the average child can handle, and such wild claims make the whole blister appear to be bursting with promise and mayhem. Whether these “action features” live up to such claims is yet to be revealed, but I will say that if you’re an adult fan then you may be tempted to keep and display these in their artwork emblazoned packaging - and that’s not something that I encourage very often. I'm usually a "rip it open immediately" collector. (And lover). 

By the way, here's Finn...

Now let’s take a quick look at the back of the package to see what other items are available...

These bigger, chunky figures are my favourite but there doesn’t appear to be any further releases (at this stage) beyond Finn and Jake. The smaller, non-posable PVC line of collectible figures delves further into the show’s cast with two-packs that include favourites like Marceline the Vampire guitarist girl and the Lumpy Space Princess. They’re not all shapes that lend themselves easily to what we think of as “action figures” so these smaller pre-posed guys might very well be the better solution. Red Griffin Games also had a wide range of plush that included characters like Lady Rainicorn, and that seems to be the perfect outlet for characters with more fanciful designs.

Okay, we’re going to ignore my previous suggestion and crack these open, starting with colossal fatty Jake...

These are such simple figures but they make me smile. There’s something about this bright, fat, child-like design that just makes me happy. Like the action figure equivalent of a birthday cake.

However, this same design that works so well in the show (and looks great on this figure) is a little precarious when it comes to supporting a large character on tiny spindly legs. Jake does OK because his feet are large and he balances reasonably well, but it’s not going to take a lot of encouragement to send him plummeting off a shelf. His legs have little ball joints but they’re clumsy to move and I wouldn’t want to force them too much. Although he can sit down if that feels safer.

His accessory is the sentient videogame console Beemo and, as wonderful as his inclusion is, if you think that he’s standing up easily on those tiny wiry legs then you are having your own fantasy episode where wizards conjure physics. Beemo is going to need to lean on something. Still, I’m thrilled to have him.

If you were already concerned about breakage, Jake’s arms are made of “stretchy” rubber. They’re solid enough and attached well but I would be terrified to stretch them as the package suggests. And that’s really my basic point about these figures - you would assume that they’re made for kids to play with, but I fear that the average child would destroy their limbs pretty quickly. They’re going to want to see just how far these things will stretch before they break.

Jake’s other accessory is an enlarged fist which slots over his bendy arm:

There’s no way that the rubber of the arm can support this weighty ham-like evil-pumcher, and no way that he can really stand while it’s attached so unless you’re going to keep him seated it is really just a novelty. Still, it’s better than an actual punch to the face.

But what about Finn (the human)? Let’s bust him out of his cell..

We’re looking at a very similar scenario to Jake. It’s a beautifully sculpted figure, and it makes me extremely happy to look at, but goddamn does he have trouble standing on those tiny legs!

The backpack is probably the real villain here because it throws him off balance and I had to really persevere to get him to stand for the photo. Once you do it, he looks great, but you may not want to ever touch him again. I felt that the articulation is Finn’s legs was also a little fragile.

His one accessory is his chipped up adventuring sword and despite having rubber stretchy arms he manages to hold it - although it flops around limply in limited poses.

But all that said, once you pose Jake and Finn together something magical happens. Seriously! Look at these guys! It’s like Pendleton himself has come around to your house and is using his mighty, ink-stained fingers to push your face into a massive grin:

So there’s a distinction at play here. If you want Adventure Time toys for kids to play with then I would buy the plush or the smaller non-articulated figures. However, if you’re an adult hipster fan enjoying the show on a whole other level and these are going to be delicately placed on your shelf then these are pretty great looking.

And didn’t I promise Cosplay? Here are a few of the many Fionnas present at the con!

With Finn (and Jake):


And versus the Ice Queen while wielding the awesome crystal sword!

Image: Jacinta Mathews
We also saw many young Finns, a Cake, and a fantastic Lumpy Space Princess and even a Bubblegum Princess but we sadly didn’t manage to capture pictures of those guys. Plus, if the Ice King has taught us anything, capturing Princesses is kind of a dick move.

And that’s the end of that Adventure!

1 comment:

  1. Very awesome! I just saw that Toys R Us have these on sale this week with a free Finn hat - going to go get them after work!!