Thursday, September 19, 2013

REVIEW: Imaginext Collectible Figures - The Robot

Produced by Fisher-Price | Released September 2013

Imaginext Collectible Figures
As you'll already be aware - if you read our earlier Imaginext Collectible Figures Mummy Review - Fisher-Price has launched a line of blind-bagged figures similar to the popular Lego and Playmobil toys. The Mummy was an impressive little toy but how does his wave-mate The Robot shape-up? Read on and find out!

The Robot
The Robot (code #23, as marked on the upper left of the pack's rear) was one of the three ''fantastical'' figures that really caught my eye and when I found a box of the figures at Target a few squints and squeezes netted me the figure I'd been looking for.

Sculpt & Design
The Robot was the first figure I saw (online) from the Imaginext Collectible Figure line and I have to admit, I thought Hasbro had released a new line of super-cute Transformers figures. Am I the only one who thinks he looks like Bumblebee?
Maybe that's just me.

Anyway, The Robot is one of those figures that features a lot more close-up detail than the initial first glance would suggest. For starters, he's clearly a mechanoid, rather than a person in a suit of Iron Man-style armor, as you can see from his exposed torso, which features a central ''core'' and two pistons/joints.
It's a neat little touch that gives him a strong silhouette but when his tool-pack (more on that in a moment) is attached the detail does become a little lost, which is a shame.
I also like that he has ''clamps'' rather than five-digit hands. It may be a little impractical from a ''real-world'' design point of view but it does help sell the idea of him being a robot. The same goes for his skinny legs (with awesome bell-bottom calves) and hard T-crotch design.
Up-close you'll see a whole bunch of extra little touches and design spots. It's neat to see the plates on his forearms, the hinged clamp/claws, the robotic ''ribbing'' of his limbs and other surface details. It's not that easy to spot but his butt even has a couple of power outlet sockets on it!
The head design is also pretty cool, continuing the robot theme and managing to tread a fine line between being too-cute, having a robotic appearance but also not being too alien or weird as to freak kids out. I also like he has a kind of Masters of the Universe Trap-Jaw-esque look to his design.

I also dig that his oversized feet make him pretty stable, even with his blaster in-hand (or should that be claw?)

The Robot sports the same set-up as The Mummy: a twist neck joint, ball joint shoulders, rotating wrists and joined leg/hip joints.
It's a pretty decent level of articulation for a figure at this price/for this age group but as I mentioned in my Review of The Mummy, individual hip joints would have been very cool.

The Robot's paint app is, on the whole, pretty good. As I mentioned the yellow color-scheme is reminiscent of Bumblebee but there are some neat color choices that help give The Robot his own identity.
His arms, upper body and feet are rendered with a really cool gun metal (although in some lights it's almost dark brown), with yellow and silver being used to good effect to add some nice detail touches. Oddly though his upper legs/thighs are cast in a more matte silver color that's not seen anywhere else. It's not so obvious due to the ''break'' the yellow T-crotch and ''spats'' provide but it's still a little odd.

The head features a pretty cool tampo app but on my figure the jaw line was just slightly sloppy. Still though for a figure of this scale it's a pretty impressive bit of work.

Extras & Accessories
The Robot comes with two extra pieces in the form of a huge - and I mean HUGE - blaster pistol and a tool-pack that attaches to his back.
The blaster is a very snug fit and sits nicely in The Robot's hand. There's also some cool detailing on the weapon, with a neat sight and an assortment of ejector chambers, heat sinks and other details all present. It may be a little on the large side (and I know some adults may be uncomfortable with their kids having toy guns, which I personally think is a complete non-issue) but it's a cool-looking accessory that allows for some neat posing and fun play scenarios. 
The second accessory is the tool-pack, a round, four-limb multi-tool that slots onto the figure's back and features a hammer, pneumatic drill, claw and boring tool. I'm not sure exactly how this is supposed to work (if it were a real-world object, I mean) as the Robot's hands are too broad to allow him to hold the piece. At first I wondered if the gun would combine with it to make some kind of remote tool/side-kick robot but that's not the case either. I'm reminded of Doctor Octopus' backpack/limbs so maybe it's supposed to have ''extending'' arms in the casing and operate in a manner similar to the cyber-limbs of Spidey's foe. 
Whatever its purpose, it's a neat-looking piece that sits nicely on the figure but - as I mentioned above - it would have been neat to be able to combine it with his blaster in some way or have it feature some form of functionality. Maybe I'm just trying to make it something it isn't.

Final Thoughts
The Imaginext line is definitely intended for younger toy collectors, but that doesn't mean as adults we can't enjoy them, too! Indeed, it's neat to see just how many echoes of earlier toys are present in the design of these figures. If you ever owned Adventure People (the line the Imaginext figures are clearly designed in homage to) or vintage sci-fi toys or even Glyos figures then you'll totally dig the aesthetic of the line. Add to this the fact that each figure retails at $3 - making them comparable to the half-the-size Lego Minifigures - and that the designs are just so much fun, you'll see why I'm starting to pay more attention to Fisher-Price's line of toys.

As for The Robot himself, he's a strong addition to the Imaginext Collectible Figures line. The designers have embraced the idea of him being a robot and really played with that in terms of his design. The skinny limbs, open torso and clamp-like hands are all really cool touches. He may be humanoid but he's definitely not human!

He also comes with some pretty neat accessories, but I have to say that if I had my way I'd have done things a little differently, re-tuning the size of the weapon to be something more manageable and adding some connectivity between the accessories, or maybe adding a socket to the blaster so it could be stored on the protruding port on his back. It just seems a missed opportunity that the designers didn't run with the idea of combining the mechanical parts in a more sci-fi manner. But maybe that wasn't their intention from the out, so I can understand it.

Still, tiny quibbles aside, this is a really fun figure I can't wait to have face-off against the next figure on my ''to get'' list - The Alien!

Image Gallery


  1. I'll have to keep my eyes out for these blind bags, because I really want this little robot. He looks like a cross between Bumblebee and Fugitoid.

    1. Yeah, they're proving to be pretty popular. As I say, you're looking for the pack stamped with 23 on the back, top-left corner.

      And funnily enough, last night I noticed Hasbro HAS launched a line of SD-style bagged Transformers (and Marvel Heroes) that includes Bumblebee. The difference is the pack fronts are clear so you can pick out the figures you want.


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