Imaginext Robot Police
Motorized Villain Robot
I collect the way I do today because I was lucky enough to be around when some major things were going down in the toy world. Transformers, GI Joe, Masters of the Universe, these are the big names of the 80’s that brought new ideas and licensed cartoon product to the toy aisles. A lot of shows were then created that were built off the idea of gimmicks in the toy lines. For many of us, these ended up being some of our favorite toys of our time. Missile launchers, motorized vehicles and pilots, lights and sounds, hidden features, and cool and fun designs became the name of the game.
Here we are 30 years later, and Fisher-Price is the one continuing the trend with their Imaginext series. Basically, any cool idea they come up with they can create a line for. There’s no continuum, no majorly defined characters, just pure toy fun. You want pirates with cannon-firing ships and figure-activated features? Done. Underwater adventures more your thing? They have a whole line just for that. Space men? Dragons? Dc Superheroes? Done, done, super-done.
Imaginext is continuing that wonderful trend of making toys that are great because they’re fun to play with. They don’t really rely on licenses or weathered paint jobs or build-a-figures to sell their toys. Imaginext toys sell because they’re a blast to mess around with.
Today, I’m reviewing a toy out of duty. I’d been looking at this one for a while, but could never really justify the cost because it’s so big and I’m limited on space. Well, I noticed that it recently went on sale, so I decided to do some research to see if it was worth a buy. I checked YouTube and found nothing. I Googled and got the same answer. So today we’re going to look at the Target Exclusive Imaginext Motorized Villain Robot, because it’s a really cool toy and parents and toy lovers alike should be able to at least see the thing work.
Love it love it love it! The packaging is awesome, as is the packaging for all Imaginext toys.
You have complete access to the toy to see what you’re actually getting, a Try-me feature, and very clear information about the batteries needed, the inclusion of such batteries, and the age range for whom it’s recommended. You’ll also notice a dark blue and white robot in the bottom right of the front of the box, indicating it’s from the Robot Police Imaginext series. This way the Imaginext boxes can still be readily identifiable, but you can look for faction symbols like this to determine which toy goes with which line. Very cool.
But what’s this? Open here it says? I haven’t seen this kind of feature on a box before, but I love it. On the bottom and back of the box are tabs. All around the tabs are perforated edges on the cardboard, which is very sturdy. Pull out on the tabs and the perf’d edges become like flaps, which give you full access to the twist ties and releases on the toy. Thank you. Toy gods. You can completely remove all the tabs and twist ties without having to try and tear through the heavy cardboard. I have to say, bravo Imaginext. A+ on this one.
In fact, the only drawback I see to this packaging is that some germophobic parents might be a little hesitant to buy a toy that’s exposed in its box. To that I say kids need stronger immune systems anyway. Live a little.
Awesome awesome awesome!
The box contains the mech, an unnamed pilot, the missile, and Instructions.
This is the standard design for Imaginext heroes and villains. He’s just under 3” tall, bald, and his hands are designed to hold items or attach to controls. Slightly muscular and cartoonish, he’s small enough for pocket toys fans, stylish enough for heroes-scale fans, and generic enough for customizers.
The only reason I’m drawing attention to the missile is because the sculpt on it is wonderful. It’s not deeply etched, so you may have to look at the full-sized photo, but you can see it has a shark-like face on the front. I love this little detail! They didn’t have to add it, but having done so adds personality to the whole toy and reminds me of the fun of classic designs like the Bob-ombs or Bullet Bill from Super Mario Bros.
Now we get to the beast himself. The 6.5” tall, 9” wide MOTORIZED ROBOT VILLAIN!!! MUAH HA HA HA!
K, so his name sucks. Thankfully the toy doesn’t. If the missile reminds me of Mario, the mech reminds me of the classic Sega Genesis villains of old. This would fit in perfectly as one of the evil machinations of Dr. Robotnik. The mixture of the hard edges of the skull and cockpit and the softer, rounder design of the arms and legs creates a really nice presence for the toy, making it seem both utilitarian and lethal. He includes a missile launcher for a left hand and a spring-loaded pincer claw on his right. You depress the button on the forearm and it closes, and when you release it snaps back open.
You can see tiny details added, like the grate step outside the cockpit, or the riveted and paneled legs. This thing really comes off as one mean machine.
Paint on the mech itself is scarce, with only the eyes, area around the button and EVIL ROBOT VILLAIN faction symbol painted, albeit quite cleanly.
However, the paint on the Bad Guy toy is quite different.
This guy is smooth from head to toe, with only his nose and ears having any sort of definition. Everything else from his belt to his kneepads to his mouth and eyes are completely painted. The paint is sharp and smooth, with no bleed. Excellent work.
Being that this is a toy that is intended to be play with, I can’t knock it for the lack of paint. I think the colors they chose are strong enough that the paint required is as minimal as the paint applied.
If there was anything to knock on the toy, it might be the articulation.
However, you have to allow that for fun gimmicks, there may be some sacrifices to articulation. In this case, the waste (under the skull) can rotate only about 30 degrees in either direction. I’m assuming this is because the sound feature is in the back of the cockpit while the batteries are housed underneath, where the legs are connected. The shoulders are on ball-hinge joints that have a very nice range of motion. I would have liked swivels underneath the hinges to allow outward rotation of the arms, but I do understand that this is aimed at kids in the under 10 range, so I can forgive. Dangit.
Bad guy himself has more articulation than you might think, with ball-hinged shoulders and swivel hips, neck, and wrists. The legs are connected, so they do not move independently of each other, but adding the wrist swivels means he can hold his controls in the cockpit perfectly.
It may not be much, but it’s enough for the demographic and it doesn’t impede the function or fun of the toy at all.
It’s about time. Let’s talk value. The figure is small, the mech is large and cool, but with only the firing missile and pincer claw is it worth the $16.99 sale price? Probably not. The figure doesn’t come with any armor or weapons like some of the other Imaginext heroes, so he doesn’t really up the ante there at all either.
However, the pincer and missile launcher are not the only action features on this guy. You press the grey button underneath the cockpit and the mech walks forward. ON ROBOT CRAB LEGS!!!
Each leg moves independently and the feature works flawlessly:
He walks about 12 to 18 inches every time he moves, perfect for ramming into Lincoln Logs or smashing up your GI Joes. He doesn’t walk very well on carpet, as the legs need firm ground for purchase. Tables, floors, and asphalt should all work beautifully.
Adding in this feature really throws a wrench into the old value scale, as I would say it is probably worth the $19.99 asking price and very worth the $16.99 sale price going on right now. Your mileage may vary, depending on how you feel about gimmicks, motorized toys, and robots, but being a fan of classic gimmicky toy lines, I say he’s right on target. Plus, if you’re a fan of Onell Designs, the aesthetics of Imaginext and Glyos actually work pretty well together. The major difference is paint, but this guy’s got just enough sculpted detail that some nice washes and rivet colors will do wonders in that department.
Packaging: Adults/Kids: 10
Sculpting: Adults: 9, Kids: 10
Paint: Adults: 9, Kids: 10
Articulation: Articulation: 7, Kids: 10
Value: Adults: 8, Kids: 10
Overall: Adults: 8.6, Kids: 10
I know giving a perfect 10 seems extreme, but I think for the recommended age range, this really is a perfect toy for kids. It’s got great design, cool colors, adequate articulation, and an easy-to-use gimmick with included batteries. It’s small enough to fit in a toy box, but big enough to seem imposing against other toys.
As a collector, it reminds me of the toys and games of old, with huge over-the-top villains and threatening but fun designs. As an uncle, I can’t wait for my nephews to come over and get a load of this thing. I think this is what toys are all about.
Thanks for reading and as always, it’s just a toy. Open the darned thing.