Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Adventure Time toys

Many of us are Adventure Time fans and when it was announced at NYTF (that's New York Toy Fair for those that aren't hip to the groove) that Jazwares was named the primary production company for everything Adventure Time related, I was slightly concerned to say the least. Jazwares was a very familiar company for me because they supplied my former employer, KB Toys, with a ton of poorly constructed toys based off of properties such as Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter, Sonic the Hedgehog and numerous defective electronic toys and room decor. But how badly could they screw up such simplistic designs as Finn and Jake? My questions were answered one fateful Monday morning during a toy run with my wife.

It really hadn't been much of an exciting morning to say the least. Three Walmarts and 2 Targets later we found ourselves at Toys R Us's doorstep and my wallet still had all the money in it that I left the house with. I really must thank my wife for putting up with my man-child impulses, I have been going to toy stores all my life and it's a habit I don't see going away anytime soon. Browsing the toy aisle with much dismay I came across the 2 foot long section of Adventure Time toys, which had been empty for most of the month till today. There on the pegs were the 5 inch Finn and Jake and Finn's sword of mighty, the shelf below had the 7 inch plushies and the shelf below that had the 10 inch Finn with changing expressions. My eyes got big like a kid on Christmas morning as my wife and I squealed for joy and grabbed the 5 inch figures and the 10 inch toy. Running for the registers, I couldn't wait to open these and display them proudly on my shelves at home.
The first knee jerk reaction came just before checkout when I remembered reading on the 4chan/toy message boards that fellow collectors felt the figures could have been done better. I couldn't remember what exactly was the issue, but I'm a consumer and anything I feel isn't made right can go straight back to the store as long as I hold on to that precious receipt. The second knee jerk reaction came while looking at 5 inch Jake and 10 inch Finn and thinking why not just get the Finn and Jake that are in scale with each other. My wife said she'd pick up the 10 inch Finn as long as I got the 5 inch set, at that point I couldn't say no to that offer. Besides, they look totally awesome and Jake shape-shifts all the time so my concern with scale went completely out the window.
Here's where the sobering realization that these figures were as poorly made as everything else Jazwares makes, has made or will ever make. Opening the figures in the car, I notice the knee and hip joints for both figures have been painted over. Not just a slight over spray, but intentionally painted over like someone didn't tell the child labor not to do that. Also, while the rubber arms translate well for Finn and his sword they don't work out so well for Jake's big fist attachment. The whole figure falls over. And while the first couple of times it's very comical, it becomes frustrating after a while. Secondly, for what you pay for ($9.99 or in my case $7.49 since they were on sale) you kind of feel like you are getting ripped off. The figures are hollow plastic and look great in the package but feel like a happy meal prize in your hand. And lastly, just with mild posing the paint starts to chip off. I'd hate to see how long these toys last in a 5-7 year old's hands. You probably wouldn't get out of the parking lot without having to turn around to exchange or return the figures.

If I had to grade these toys on a report card, they'd get a solid D. My summary, keep them in the package folks. They look wonderful until your breach that veil of cardboard and plastic and I have a strange feeling they won't be in production for long.


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