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Apr 25 2011

Green Lantern Toys

731-green-lantern-logo.jpgOn June 17, 2011, Green Lantern opens in movie theaters across the country. In conjunction with the Warner Bros. Picture release, Mattel has created a number of Green Lantern toys to go along with the movie and was kind enough to send me two items for my boys to review. Before the items came, we brushed up on Green Lantern history watching the movie preview, reading some of the Wiki page and watching some YouTube cartoons with the Green Lantern. For those unfamiliar with the Green Lantern, this was the official movie press release from last year:

In a universe as vast as it is mysterious, a small but powerful force has existed for centuries. Protectors of peace and justice, they are called the Green Lantern Corps. A brotherhood of warriors sworn to keep intergalactic order, each Green Lantern wears a ring that grants him superpowers. But when a new enemy called Parallax threatens to destroy the balance of power in the Universe, their fate and the fate of Earth lie in the hands of their newest recruit, the first human ever selected: Hal Jordan.

Hal is a gifted and cocky test pilot, but the Green Lanterns have little respect for humans, who have never harnessed the infinite powers of the ring before. But Hal is clearly the missing piece to the puzzle, and along with his determination and willpower, he has one thing no member of the Corps has ever had: humanity. With the encouragement of fellow pilot and childhood sweetheart Carol Ferris, if Hal can quickly master his new powers and find the courage to overcome his fears, he may prove to be not only the key to defeating Parallax...he will become the greatest Green Lantern of all.

By the time the box came, the boys were pretty excited.

As you can see by the video, Drew (7) and Will (4) were very excited to find out they had received a Green Lantern Colossal Cannon (age 5+) and a Kilowog action figure (age 4+).

727-green-lantern-colossal-cannon.jpg

The Colossal Cannon shoots little plastic discs a good distance while flashing lights and making cannon noises. Both Drew and Will really enjoy playing with it even after having it for a week. From a practical stand point, the cannon is sturdy and has what appears to be a reliable shooting mechanism. Other than shooting it directly into an eye, the discs are harmless and, despite being hard plastic, there is no evidence they damage furniture or walls (repeated shooting at point blank range excepted).

728-kilowog-action-figure.jpg

As you can see in the video, besides being a shooter fan, Will really likes action figures. He took an immediate liking to Kilowog but had a little trouble incorporating him into his Star Wars battles since he doesn't have much context in which to know what to do with him. I'm sure after seeing the movie (if appropriate for little munchkins) or after the expected Cartoon Network animated series comes out this fall, Will will be playing with him a lot more, especially if he gets a Hal Jordan and others to complete the team.

729-green-lantern-kilowog.jpg

A little background on Kilowog from the package:

Kilowog is the intimidating drill sergeant that trains new cadets for the Green Lantern Crops. His tactics are renowned for pushing rookies to their limits, and Hal Jordan is no exception to the rule. Representing a long lineage of Bolovox warriors from the planet Bolovox Vik, Kilowog is now the last of his race.

The action figure also comes with a Power Ring. I was surprised the Green Lantern oath was not included on the package:

          In brightest day, in blackest night,
          No evil shall escape my sight
          Let those who worship evil's might,
          Beware my power...Green Lantern's light!

I was pleasantly surprised at how robust the action figure was. It has a little bit of heft to it and the arms do more than simply rotate 360 degrees. They have some kind of ball joint that allows them to bend outward while at the same time preventing them from bending backwards in an unrealistic manner. The waist rotates 360 degrees while the legs bend up about 80 degrees. One of my pet peeves is action figures that do not stand up by themselves very well. Kilowog, however, stands on his feet and balances very well. I was curious about how sturdy the figure was, so I torqued and twisted his appendages beyond that of what I think an average kid might do. I had to stop short of literally trying to break it without any harm being done. I would say the action figure is surprisingly sturdy and well engineered.

730-green-lantern-action-figure.jpg

The hero of the story, Green Lantern Hal Jordan, was not included in our package but is a likely addition to our collection after the movie/animated series comes out.

I will end by saying that I think most any kid would enjoy playing with these toys if they are the least bit familiar with the Green Lantern. The Colossal Canon is pretty cool all by itself but Kilowog, like any action figure, needs some context and ideally some companions. Both toys are better quality than the usual crap we've all become accustomed to and should last though many adventures.

If I had to come up with a criticism, it would be that every picture on the Colossal Cannon box of the kid or Hal Jordan has them wearing a Green Lantern mask. I even double checked the box to make sure I didn't miss the mask in the packaging. No where does the box say that it comes with the mask but someone might mistakenly think that it was included.

I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Dad Central Consulting on behalf of Mattel and received Green Lantern toys to facilitate my review and a gift code to thank me for taking the time to participate.

Posted by Don |

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