Sunday, July 8, 2012

Review: Spider-man 'Flip & Attack Spider Jet'

Toy merchandising for movies is so strange nowadays. BACK IN MY DAY there was one action figure for each character. Just one. You didn't need more than that. We had the ability to use our imaginations. I found my old set of Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves action figures the other day which proved my point. Well, okay, they DID make two versions of Robin, but it was casual Robin and Sheriff butt-kicking Robin. Not cyber ice-jet Robin or hyper atomic projectile blast Robin. They kept it simple.

NOT ANY MORE. Join me as I look at the Flip & Attack Spider Jet, released as a tie-in with the Amazing Spider-man movie. I must've missed the scene where Andrew Garfield turned into a shitty Transformer.

I found this guy in the bargain bin due to damage to the packaging. By 'damage' I mean 'looks like it went through a meat grinder' (thus the stock image above). It cost me AUD$12, but they normally retail for AUD$20. Keep that in mind as you read this. Twenty dollars. Think of all the things you could buy for $20.

Alright, we'll start with the good. In robot form he does look kinda cool, and he was pretty fun to photograph. He's solid too, so would take a beating if you (or, presumably, a child) were to actually play with it. He also transforms into a pull-back vehicle!

He's hinged at the waist, and that weird protrusion on his chest clips into a little hole in the leg, and then voila! You have a jet. And the cock pit is It's a fairly hilarious codpiece. Mine wouldn't clip in no matter how many times I tried, so I consulted the instructions and they helpfully told me that 'occasionally' it may be necessary to reset the latch by winding tension into the wheels and then letting them go.

It worked, but then 'occasionally' ended up being 'every second time I tried to do the thing that the toy was designed to do'. But I got there eventually, and hey, a jet! Jets are cool, right? Everybody loves jets!

WHAT THE HELL IS THAAAAT? That is not a jet. That is a piece of crap. That's folding a robot in half to create a vehicle that looks exactly like a robot folded in half. But what about the 'Flip & Attack' thing? Surely that's gotta make up for the disappointment. Shockingly, it doesn't. I pulled back on the car to wind it up, it went about two inches (after I prodded it to go) then Spiderman flipped UP...and just landed on his back while the wheels spun out the rest of their tension. Excitement plus. I tried it a few more times, but with similar results. To be fair to Spidey-pants, I did find a fault that might've gone SOME of the way towards explaining the toy's lacklustre performance.

At some point during the process where this toy was violated by the Hulk the right wing was damaged, meaning it would drag along the floor and make it hard for the car to roll by itself. So that explains THAT, but not all of the other crap.

The Spider-man 'Flip & Attack Spider Jet' isn't a TERRIBLE toy, but it is pretty awful value for money. You can sort of justify the $20 pricetags on the normal basic figures with their articulation and accessories (okay, no you can't), but this just offers so little. Once the movie hype is over and ALL of these are in the clearance bin they may be worth picking up (I'm actually a little curious about the Lizard version that's available), but I'll personally be staying away for now.