Hazardous Materials Unit
By: Mighty World
$7.99 at Tuesday Morning
I end up in Tuesday Morning stores every month or so, my wife likes to look around in there and they always have a nice assortment of random toys I can dig through. For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure, Tuesday Morning is sort of a Marshalls or TJ Maxx aimed at people more interested in slightly out of style decorations than in clothing. They range from “somewhat clean and organized” to “oh hell, who threw a grenade into the thrift store?”.
On my last visit I had a blast rummaging through a big selection of “Mighty World” toys, a line that’s clearly aimed at kids, and marvelling at the detailed accessories and vehicles. The sets were really impressive, they ranged from a small set that included a kid and an ATV all the way up to a MASSIVE construction play set that boasted a truck, Bobcat, cement mixer and lots more (day laborers sold separately).
It was really hard for me to decide which set to pick up and review, there were so many of them priced between $8 and $20 and there’s no guarantee anything would still be there if I decided to come back for another set. I looked at a motorcycle cop, a set with a horse and a river raft set before deciding on the Haz Mat Unit, mostly because they came with a robot.
Most of the Mighty World sets, including the one I’m looking at, come in a bright orange box that really looks attractive on the shelf. Even before they started showing up at discount shops I found myself drifting to the kid’s toys at Target to admire them. Some of the smaller sets come on a blister card, this includes the motorcycle cop and some of the single figure sets.
The packaging does a good job of showing you exactly what you’re going to get when you bring home these little men, showcasing them in different situations with some of their different accessories in action. I’d have liked to have seen a selection of some of the other sets that fall into the same theme as these guys bur overall the box serves it’s purpose well.
All of the items in the set are designed in a cartoonish style that looks like it’s just a step sideways from realistic. The details on the robot and all of the tools are really impressive, I think if you saw them on their own you’d never guess they were part of a set designed for kids.
The people, on the other hand, are decidedly unrealistic. They look like a blend of Playmobil figures and Adventure Heroes, two other successful toy lines. They’ve got a likable beefiness that not only makes them look tough but should extend the lives of the toys under the heavy hands of their intended audience.
There is actually a lot of well done paint work on these figures that gives you a sense of overall quality. From the silver parts of the tools to the lines on the characters suits there is a level of care that shows clearly on these small pieces.
The faces get all of their definition from paint alone. Both are bald headed and have great smirky expressions that you’d want to have on your Hazardous Materials team. The last thing we need is our bomb squad getting unsure of themselves at the wrong time!
There is a slot cut into the top of each of the figures’ heads that allows the helmets to plug in, preventing a tumble from compromising the structural integrity of the suits. While this set didn’t include any of them, some of the other sets come with hair pieces that will plug into those slots. It’s a nice touch that could have easily been left out so kudos to the team responsible.
The silver suited fella is the one that feels more like a Haz Mat specialist while the red suited chap leans more towards “just” a fireman. I think it would have made more sense to simply include 2 of the silver guy for consistency’s sake, especially since there are another couple of sets themed around firefighters, but I understand that kids may be more interested in variety than I am. Both guys have well appointed suits with just enough details. The helmets are nicely done and carry the same “just realistic enough” vibe that makes the rest of the set work so well.
The figures in this Mighty World set have a bit more articulation than I thought they would. They have cut joints at the shoulder, legs and wrists as well as a swivel head. The head was nice and allowed me to get some extra emotion in the pictures. While they won’t hold a candle to most collector aimed toy lines in posability they get the job done nicely because about the only thing these figures need to be able to do is hold their gear and sit in their vehicles.
The robot / bomb disposal unit / portable water spraying machine has a really impressive range of movement from it’s spraying arm as well as some cool shocks on it’s rubber tires. It has multiple hinge joints that allow you to stretch it way out to reach out of the way places or coil it up like a Snake Man, ready to strike.
The Haz Mat Team comes with a surprising amount of accessories. Loaded into the box is an axe, a hammer, 2 different types of shovels,a walkie talkie, a hosed fire extinguisher and 4 bright orange parking cones. If you count the helmets as accessories it brings the grand total up to 12 separate pieces, and that doesn’t even count the 2 people and the robot!
The tools (or is that weapons…) fit smoothly into the character’s hands and can easily get into several believable poses. You can make your little men earn their room and board, it’s even possible to get a 2 handed grip on the shovel with a handle so it looks like your fella is poised to dig up something.
The fire extinguisher doesn’t really work the way it’s supposed to, there’s a handle sculpted onto the nozzle but it’s way too small to be held by these figures. You can get the little guys to hold onto it where the hose connects though, so maybe that’s not actually a handle? The nozzle clips smoothly onto the main part of the extinguisher.
The parking cones are flat out AWESOME. They’re a good size, big enough to use with larger scale figures like MOTUC or DCUC but small enough to work for your GI Joes and Marvel Universe guys. You haven’t lived until you’ve had your minimate police officers give Mart McFly a parking ticket for parking in a coned off area. Or cordoned off the front door of Castle Grayskull for construction. The possibilities are limitless, and while I don’t think they’re quite worth the cost all by themselves, the parking cones are fantastic.
At the price I paid for this set it feels like an outstandingly good deal. There are just a massive amount of play options for anyone who decides to pick it up and the whole set is extremely well constructed. If you can find some of these sets at a discount you’ve got to check one of them out, especially if there’s a kid in your life who’d enjoy playing with them once you’re through.
If you don’t have a Tuesday Morning or similar store nearby(I saw them at Marshalls around Christmas time) then you can also check out the company’s website (www.mightyworld.com) for a really well done blog about the toys as well as a store that carries all of the products. For the MSRP they are still a really good buy considering the quality of the products. They have the Hazardous Materials Unit for $14.99.
At the end of the day, these are toys designed for kids to play with and to enjoy. They reach and FAR exceed that goal in my opinion. These are very sturdy toys that are FUN above and beyond everything else with plenty of options for an imaginative kid to use.
While the 2 men themselves are extremely stylized and exaggerated the rest of the pieces come off as almost realistic in scale. I could see them being used for GI Joes or other 4” scale toys to bring some variety into a display or a diorama.
The Mighty World brand is such a good toy line that it actually makes me wish I had a kid to play with them with. I cannot think of any better praise for a toy company and these toys come with my highest recommendation.