Sunday, November 28, 2010
TRON Lightcycles from Spin Master...
I still remember watching TRON for the first time as a kid on a Sunday evening during The Wonderful World of Disney back in the mid 80s. I was 2 years old when the film first came out in theaters so I didn't get a chance to experience it until its T.V. debut. To this day I still remember the thrill I felt watching the lightcycle chase scene. It was so visceral, exciting, and just plain fun that I kept replaying it in my head and trying to recreate it with my G.I.JOE motorcycles and Star Wars speeder bikes.
I had no idea back then that TOMMY had released a series of TRON figures and lightcycles so I was never able to get them. By the time I saw the film any toy merchandise had long been off the shelves. With the upcoming release of TRON LEGACY we've been treated to some superb toys from Spin Master. I was expecting to be completely disappointed by this toy line given Spin Master's less than impressive track record until I picked up their Impulse Projection figures a few weeks ago and reviewed them for the blog. Those were so impressive that I decided to give the rest of the line a try. I couldn't wait to finally pick me up some lightcycles. I'm glad to report that I'm really happy with these vehicles. Let's take a closer look at them.
To start off the packaging is pretty cool. Spin Master goes with the now standard window box packaging but they make it more exciting by adding cool artwork featuring the lightcycles in action right under the window area. Back in the 80s a big part of what made us pick up a toy and beg our parents to buy it for us was the very imaginative and exciting art that covered these boxes. Sadly those days of elaborate package art are gone so it's really nice to see Spin Master make an effort to make these boxes look as exciting as possible.
The Sam Flynn bike box has a pretty cool gimmick at the bottom with two holes that serve as viewers giving you a 3 dimensional image of the bike in action. Again, this is the sort of thing that makes a kid pick up an item at a store and really get excited about playing with the actual toy by seeing it in action in an imaginary scenario. Kudos to Spin Masters for having this idea and incorporating it into what is already a pretty darn impressive and creative packaging job.
The toys themselves are beautiful and loads of fun. They're jam packed with features as well as some really cool looking lights and sounds features. It's been a long time since I was this excited over a toy line based on a movie, specially when dealing with a company that's not really known for producing great looking toys that can also be considered highly collectible.
The Sam Flynn bike is a sleek and attractive vehicle and the Spin Master version captures it's essence perfectly. There's multiple ways to activate the lights and sounds features. My favorite function makes the engine sounds rev up as well as all the lights as you roll the bike on a flat surface. Also, once the wheels roll, the engine mechanism in the mid part of the bike's body begins to turn. A great detail which adds more realism to the toy. From certain angles this lightcycle looks like a futuristic version of the Bat Pod from The Dark Knight.
The TRON LEGACY figures fit perfectly on the bike. It comes with a plastic, non articulated rider figurine which you'll want to remove, strap to an ESTES rocket and launch as soon as possible since there's not much use for it. The only good thing about the included rider figure is that you can remove the helmeted head and put it on your regular articulated Sam Flynn figure's body.
The bike also has "working" air brakes which add more play features. Not just a great toy but a beautiful display piece as well. I could never afford anything that company's like Hot Toys put out but with this bike I can have a pretty detailed replica which I can also play with for less than 20 bucks. Not a bad deal at all!
There's also a CLU lightcycle which is a slightly different version of this bike designed to look like the one used in the film by Jeff Bridges' evil computer program-counterpart. That bike is only currently available at Walmart. There are rumors that Spin Master will begin to ship it to every other retailer that carries the line with their wave 2 assortment.
The Kevin Flynn bike is a new deco on the classic TRON bike we all love from the original film. With a very modern white and black color palette, reminiscent of an Apple Ipod or Macbook, the bike modernizes the look of the classic film's design.
With an opening cockpit and an interior that actually has some details on the control areas this updated lightcycle is perfect for fans of the original TRON. Like I mentioned before I never got to pick up the original TOMMY bikes so this one was a must have for me.
The bike looks really beautiful when lit up. The design is really simple, yet clean and elegant. I love toy vehicles with cockpits that open up and can house action figures. They're a lot more fun to play with. I was able to fit my Sam Flynn figure inside perfectly. Once you get your figure inside the bike lights up on each side, specifically the area surrounding the wheels as well as through a series of small openings between the cockpit and the wheels.
I found myself racing these babies down my table and doing wheelies with them immediately after opening the boxes and feeling like a 6 year old kid again. What more can you ask of a toy than that? Plus, if you're not the type to play with your toys then you still have a beautiful yet inexpensive display piece. Spin Master has really hit the mark with these cycles. I can't think of any kid out there who wouldn't be able to get countless hours of fun out of these.
The Kevin Flynn lightcycle is priced about 5 to 10 dollars less than the Sam bike so it does not include any sound effects, it only lights up. I would've liked for it to also have sound effects but it's not something that ruins it. I still think it's a great piece. They probably wanted to have a lower price point vehicle and had to sacrifice the sound feature in order to hit the price mark.
If I had to choose between lights or sounds I'd go with lights so I'm glad Spin Master made this decision. I still haven't seen any footage of this bike in action in the film so I'm not sure how it ties into the storyline, but regardless it's great to get a new version of a beloved classic vehicle.
Right now you can pick each one of these bikes for $14.95 and $19.95 respectively from most retailers. A lot of stores and websites are offering deals for Cyber Monday including Toys 'R Us online where you can pick them up for 20% off.
I'm really enjoying these toys and finding myself pleasantly surprised by Spin Master's efforts. Check back later in the week for more reviews of other TRON products from this truly impressive line.