Saturday, April 23, 2011

Green Lantern Toy Review

Not too long ago I mentioned that I was going to give the upcoming Green Lantern movie a chance, even though I'm usually a Marvel Comics fan. Well, this longer trailer shown at Wondercon actually got me excited for the film:

Of course, in conjunction with the release of this film they're also making a series of Green Lantern-themed toys. My wife, who participates in what you could call "Internet-Age Advertising", applies to receive various free items in exchange for creating a buzz for them through blogging, house parties, etc. Knowing how much I like comic books and that I collect toys, she told me about the Mattel Green Lantern blog tour being hosted by Dad Central Consulting. I applied for the promotion, although I thought it was a long shot since they were mostly looking for dads with sons between 3 and 11 and I had stated that I only have girls around those ages. Perhaps they were swayed by the fact that I collect toys for myself. Anyway, I was sent two Green Lantern toys to review and will receive an Amazon gift code as a small added incentive to review them (the exciting legalese can be found at the end of this post!). Don't tell Dad Central Consulting, but I would have done it just for the free toys.

A Green Lantern figure (Hal Jordan in this picture) and the Colossal Cannon

Green Lantern Figure
But, it's not a collectible if
it's taken out of the box!
As shown in the trailer, the Green Lanterns are an intergalactic brotherhood of peacekeepers. Each has a ring that gives him or her various powers, including the ability to give physical form to the ring holder's thoughts. So many Green Lanterns, so many characters to make into action figures! Dad Central sent me the Abin Sur figure (the dying purple alien from the trailer that's played by Temuera Morrison; a.k.a. Jango Fett!), who comes with a removable mace.

"In brightest day, in blackest night..."
The packaging is pretty clever; the Green Lantern Oath made famous by the comics and found in the movie encircles the figure. Unfortunately, reviewing this figure required me to remove it from the packaging and actually let my daughter play with it, which was very difficult for me to do. Along with the mental construct, the figure comes with a fairly movie-accurate power ring. It's too small for my fat fingers, and a bit too big for my my oldest daughter's fingers (she's 8), but it would probably fit a 10 year old boy (the target demographic, although my tomboyish daughter thinks the ring and the figure are "cool"). And yes, like the geeks on the Big Bang Theory, I want a power ring for myself. Of course their $395 model also came with a lantern.

Disclaimer: Power ring does
not give user superpowers
As you can see from the photo below, the action figure is a little bit bigger than a typical Star Wars toy (this is my daughter's since mine are still in their packaging). Abin Sur has fewer points of articulation than a Star Wars figure (the head turns, the arms rotate up, down, and out, the legs move at the hips, and he turns at the waist) but the lack of joints actually produces a nicer looking figure that stands on its own more easily. And when you have a bunch of boys playing with superhero figures, the fact that you have less joints to break is a plus. The figure is highly detailed and has been given a decent paint job. He even has a noticeable power ring on his right hand.

Padmé Amidala versus Abin Sur: who will win?

I liked the action figure enough that my wife is keeping an eye out for when the figures from Green Lantern hit the local Walmart. I would like a Hal Jordan (i.e., the human Green Lantern) to go with Abin Sur, and a few of the other figures like Isamot Kol look pretty nifty, too.

Green Lantern Colossal Cannon
My girls started fighting over this one before I even got it out of the packaging. It's a cannon that's apparently meant to emulate this scene from the movie:

I bet a power ring-spawned minigun never runs out of ammo

Do all little girls like guns as much as mine?
Like any of the Green Lantern power ring constructs, the cannon is mostly a translucent green. A stylized hand wearing a power ring is mounted on the underside. When the user pulls a large trigger mounted inside the center of the barrel, the barrel rotates, portions of the gun and the power ring glow, the cannon makes a satisfying firing noise (although the sound can be turned off in deference to mom's sanity), and a disc is launched. The discs spin like a Frisbee when they leave the barrel, which gives them a good range without having too high an exit velocity. I was able to launch a disc an impressive 25 feet.

I didn't realize that the power ring
lights up until she shot me with it
I had a pretty good time chasing down my daughters with the cannon, and our gun-loving 6 year old daughter (she loves our Star Wars E-11 blaster) quickly emptied the 10 disc reservoir on her sisters. This episode revealed the only problem with the Colossal Cannon; the discs are a light translucent green and are easily lost if you don't pay attention to where they end up. I hope Mattel will be selling replacement disc packs. And since the kids will almost certainly be fighting over it, you'd probably have to buy more than one.

Unfortunately for the one with the E-11, the blaster only makes noise

"Let you have it? Oh, I'll let you have it, all right."

My wife's scared that I'm going to start another collecting binge.

Now behold! The promised disclosure statement:
I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Dad Central Consulting on behalf of Mattel and received Green Lantern toys to facilitate my review and a gift code to thank me for taking the time to participate.

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