Winged Lion and Knight
by: Fisher Price
IMAGINEXT toys get more and more of my attention every time I visit Target or Wal-mart. It’s a combination of a lack of new product I actually want to buy and a desire to find new, neat things to play with and take pictures of for this site. This tendency was only magnified when good ol’ Wesitron reviewed the IMAGINEXT Motorized Robot Villain (Reviewed Here), a toy that I’d just spent 10 minutes admiring at Target the day before. Then a little while later Newton checked out the Green Lantern Jet!
I won’t repeat what Wes and Newt said, suffice it to say that I agree with their love of the seamless melding of many different genres and the primary goal of fun over all. This little 2 pack of IMAGINEXT figures falls under the medieval knight theme. I picked it up on clearance for under $2 at K-Mart a couple of weeks ago but I just got around to opening them up. Let’s take a closer look at what makes these guys so interesting!
There’s not a whole lot to the package for most IMAGINEXT toys, it seems the philosophy behind this is that people need to be able to touch and feel what they’re buying before they leave the store. I like this a lot, it’s almost refreshing that Fisher Price has enough confidence in the public to leave only a couple of strands of plastic between their toys and theft. Interestingly enough, I have never seen any of these toys ripped off in the stores.
The back shows a nice little setup of lots of different sets from the Knights sub-line including lots of neat looking dragons. There’s a little write-up about IMAGINEXT and the knights as well as a few pictures of specific sets you can pick up. It’s a brightly colored, eye-catching little box and it serves it’s purpose very well.
The sculpt of the knight himself is just about exactly the same basic, core shape used by the majority of the little men in the toy line. He’s got a nice smooth look that makes room for the color to bring out the details of the character, it’s a good thing that the paint and color is done well too because there is literally zero sculpted detail to be found.
The knight’s got a nice sneery look on his face with on upraised eyebrow. He’s got a lot of character, right down to his wispy looking hairdo that actually looks sweaty as if he just took off a huge metal helmet post-battle.
The Gryphon, though, is the real star of the pair. He towers over the knight, his mouth right at head-eating height, his huge yellow wings making him look even taller. His face carries just enough menace for him play the part of an enemy or a fierce ally to his package mate. The cartoony style matches the general aesthetic of the IMAGINEXT world, it’s instantly recognizable that he’s a part of the line.
The paint, what little of it is present, is done very well. The gryphon’s eyes and teeth really pop and the lines on the knight’s chest are very clean.
The knight has a swivel head, swivel wrists, swivel hinge shoulders (they act like a ball) and linked swivel hips. The arms do the bulk of the heavy lifting and, along with the wrists, let you achieve lots of different action poses with his sword. The linked legs are a little annoying at first but once you realize that his knees don’t bend you realize that the only purpose of the legs is to allow him to sit down which they do nicely.
The Gryphon has a bit less going on in this department than the knight with only 4 swivel hips, 1 for each leg. Some kind of joint on the head (or the jaw!) would have been really neat to add a little more emotional range for the big fella. You could also count his flapping wings, since they move up and down, but thanks to the action feature you can’t really use them to hold any poses. The feature works nicely with the wings moving smoothly with light pressure on the button at the base of his tail.
You get 2 accessories with this set, a nice lion helmet and a cool sword. Both pieces are for the knight and they fit him like a glove, you know, assuming that the glove is the right size. They’re both molded in a very light red that’s almost pink, although don’t use the word “pink” in front of your kid or he may want nothing to do with it!
The sword and helm are both sculpted very nicely with quite a lot of detail for such small pieces in a kid’s toy line. The helm in particular has a lot of individual points that give is a lot of character and personality that I really wasn’t expecting. The sword reminds me more of an eastern weapon than one that a medieval knight would have carried into battle, but then again we’ve got Gryphons and Dragons so accuracy probably isn’t Job #1. THIS. IS. IMAGINEXT!
The retail price on this set is $5.99, a good buy for 2 figures and a couple of accessories to go with one of them. I don’t have any kids of my own but I can definitely see this pair being entertaining for a good little while to any kid who’s into this fantasy magic and monsters world. For an adult like myself you’d probably be better off spending your $6 on something like a GI Joe or a smaller Transformer but this is more a question of taste than the quality of the toys.
At closeout prices, on the other hand, I’d find it very tough to pass up any of the similarly sized sets if I saw them. A good sized monster and a cool looking little guy can provide lots of fun either by themselves or mixed in with your Playmobil, Mighty World or other kid’s toy lines. IMAGINEXT seems to come out with new releases in all sizes on a regular basis so there are older ones being discounted all the time.
The knight and the gryphon both feel very sturdy and solid while posing them and I think they’d stand up to quite a lot of punishment from even the least careful hands. Any parent who scoops these up shouldn’t have to worry about them breaking for a very long time and the limited paint applications will keep them looking mostly new for a long time.
In the end this is clearly not a toy designed to appeal to me or anyone else my age. It’s intended to be a somewhat generically styled pair of fantasy characters that can integrate with all of the other themes in the IMAGINEXT world. It reaches and far exceeds this goal. The IMAGINEXT toys have such a neat look to them that they have caught the eye of not just myself but of Newt and Wesitron as well!
I don’t know how much of a better recommendation you can get than 3 separate adult toy reviewers (people who are known for nit-picking $10 chunks of plastic!) picking up sets of kid’s toys of their own accord. While I, personally, like the Mighty World figures I’ve bought a bit more than this IMAGINEXT set I’d see no reason a kid couldn’t have both toy lines working side by side to built their own universe.
The Winged Lion and Knight set is a spiffy way to test the waters of the IMAGINEXT world to see if it’s something that you or a kid in your life will enjoy. There’s a good chance that if this one is enjoyable then you won’t be disappointed by any of the other sets in the line. If you get a chance to pick one up for a reasonable price I highly recommend that you do.