Review by JoshB
Avatar is not the story of the Last Airbender. That was the cartoon. This is James Cameron's Avatar, his latest big budget extravaganza. People are anxiously awaiting this movie, due out in December 2009. Me, I have mixed feelings about it so far, from viewing the trailer. We'll see.
In anticipation of the release of the film, Mattel sent out a bunch of sample toys to us to take a look at. I had been eyeballing this powered suit so their timing was good.
The main gimmick of the Avatar line is the iTag system. The iTag system enables you to have a 3D model of the toy you bought on your computer. But it is not just any model. The iTag system uses a webcam to detect the iTag included with each Avatar toy. Once it locks on, it displays a 3D model of that toy on your screen, on top of the tag you are holding. Turn the tag and the model turns. Tap the info square and an information block appears. It is very, very cool.
To use the iTag system, you must first go to http://www.avataritag.com and download a small application. Once installed, it runs in the browser and allows you to interact with the website.
The AMP suit uses this iTag system to great effect. Just watch this video:
The iTag system is worth the price alone. But the powered suit is not bad either, and for $20 bucks you can't go wrong.
The name "AMP Suit" is short for "M-6 Amplified Mobility Suit". In the movie the AMP Suit is 13 feet tall and six feet wide, with verbally activated cockpit commands, hip mounted 30mm cannon, flamethrower and slashing knife. The toy however is only 9 inches tall, and does not shoot flames.
The box is interesting. It's heavy cardboard and an odd polygonal shape. It looks as if a toy like this would not fit inside, as the box is only 2.5 inches deep. The trick is that it's in a bunch of pieces.
To say some assembly is required is an understatement. You have to attach the cockpit cover, torso, arms, legs and cannon.
Once assembled, you've got an honest-to-goodness solid, playable TOY. It's a lot of fun.
Oh - the pilot figure is not included. I'll review him later.
The cockpit of the AMP suit looks a bit like the front of a helicopter. The clear canopy can open and close. Inside the cockpit there is no painted detail, no stickers. any 3 3/4 figure should fit in just fine as you just stick the figure in a hole - you don't bend the legs. There's nothing for the figure to hold on to, but once again, TWENTY BUCKS.
The shoulders each are on a long curved track that allows the arms to slide backward. Unfortunately, they do not "click" in any position so they have a tendency to move on their own. The shoulders are detented, and they also have a hinge that swings out. Above the hinged elbow is a swivel joint, and the range of motion is pretty good. The hand is hard rubber and only swivels at the wrist. The hand details are a bit mushy.
The top half can swivel at the waist, but motion is restricted by the attached knife and holder. Why a giant powered suit needs a big crocodile dundee knife is beyond me, but whatever. The knife can be removed from the holder and placed in either hand, but you have to place it just so else it will fall right out.
The hips are solid detented joints, the knees are simple swivel joints. The feet bend at the ankles and then there is another joint at the toe.
The big gun that comes with the toy is actually pretty cool. First, there are rubber ammunition belts that clip into the gun and the back of the body. On the gun it looks like it can clip in two positions. While you can remove the gun from the hand, the ammunition and clip are permanently attached to the figure. The gun is nicely detailed, and big, with several places to hold onto. The main gimmick with this gun is that it is a missile launcher, but the launcher is weak and the thing only comes with ONE missile. Also, the AMP suit has a loose grip on the gun.
It may sound like I am complaining here, but I really am not. Keep in mind, this thing was $20. It's a toy, it's gonna have a few minor flaws, and kids won't care. Collectors may bitch and moan but you just know a company like Hot Toys or Aoshima will make a high-end gokin toy of this. But it is fun to play with, looks good, and the iTag gimmick is fun.
|Posted 4 November, 2009 - 22:54 by JoshB|