The only reason I picked up this figure is because Dr. Mrs. Ghostal and I own two guinea pigs (Tribble and Nibbler), and the novelty of owning a guinea pig action figure–particularly one who looked a lot like Nibbler–was too much to resist.
The figures are based on Jerry Bruckheimer’s new Disney action movie G-Force, featuring an elite team of guinea pig spies (the plot seems to involve some sort of Mission: Impossible-style double-cross by their agency, I think, but that’s really neither here nor there). In any event, I’m not here to discuss the movie, just the toy.
The figures are produced by a Hong Kong company called SCS. I’m reviewing is Darwin, who appears to be the leader of the team, and is voiced by Sam Rockwell, best known for his role as “Head Thug” in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Packaging: For a toy based on a movie obviously targeted toward kids, Darwin’s package is surprisingly collector-friendly, featuring a nice round blister and a card that can be slid in and out once you cut the tape. But the graphics aren’t anything to write home about and the cross-sell on the back is dull (it’s inexcusable that a figure based on a movie about spies, especially animal spies, doesn’t have some sort of bio or profile card).
Sculpt and Design: Unfortunately, Darwin & friends appear to have been either a rush job or Disney simply farmed out the contract to the lowest bidder. While guinea pigs aren’t exactly complex sculpts, Darwin ends up being pretty boring. All of his tools and weapons, with the exception of the fly, are permanently attached to him.
Plastic and Paint: Darwin’s made from solid construction, and the paint is as dull as the design. Moreover, the paint is simply lacking in some places, like the front of the wrist-mount for the fly.
A better way to go with this line might have been slightly larger figures (perhaps real-life scale) made from rotocast plastic.
Also, the eyes are terrible. Real guinea pigs eyes aren’t nearly as glassy and dull as these, never mind the ones in the movie, who are a lot more animated (pardon the pun). Good work on the eyes, as opposed to this zombie expression, might have given this figure character and saved it from being a total disappointment. It’s telling that he looks better with the goggles on than off.
Articulation: Darwin has cut joints at the shoulders, hips, and waist. The waist also features the “twist-and-punch” action from the old He-Man figures. The arms won’t hold any position other than the standard one, due to the action feature (see below).
Action Feature: Along with the twist-and-punch waist, Darwin has two huge buttons on his backpack that, when pressed, caused his arms to swing up. He can kind of throw the fly when you do it, but honestly, the feature comes off looking a little shabby. (Man, I’d have a blast tearing into this figure if it were, say, some stupid cheap human figure from a dumb summer blockbuster, but the fact that it’s an adorable guinea pig just makes me sad.)
Accessories: The fly is the only removable accessory, but he also has some sort of gun (or maybe it’s an arc welder?) and a pair of flip-down night-vision goggles. The fly doesn’t stay on very well.
This figure could have been made in 1990 and it would have been lackluster. Probably like G-Force itself, I can’t imagine anyone enjoying this other other than kids who enjoy the movie and some of my fellow cavy owners.
See… you want to go outside of the box and do a review like this, but then you get stuck with a toy that blew.
It's nice to review so much 4 Horsemen product…
@Ben: That Bearded sumbastich better give me back my glasses if they do!
Here's the sad thing: If this line WAS made in 1990, I would be all over it. While it may not fit into the quality standards we all demand of our action figures today, it certainly fits into MY "Can you believe they actually made this?" standard that I used for buying vintage stuff. In other words, I'll keep my fingers crossed for deep, deep clearance discounts.
And the company would have been a lot smarter if they had made a Zach Galifinakis figure (and a variant in his "pretentious illiterate" disguise!).
His chest plate is pretyy much totally red. It's like they applied too much shade to it. The only spot on it that matches the rest of his armor is the top of his face basket thingy.
If you pick up the fly spy microphone figure, will you do a review? That's the only figure in this line that genuinely piqued my interest.
What's wrong with yours?
@Poe: Don't take that as me doggin' ya. I just look forward to your reviews. And I was also curious to see if your MAA was as off colored as mine.
@finkrod: My only excuse is that this review was waay shorter and faster to write. I'll get to MAA today or Monday.
Why am I not surprised you have guinea pigs named Tribble and Nibbler?
You don't need to defend your purchases to us Poe. We don't want to know how you get you sick little kicks, OK? I'm terrified of Guinea Pigs btw. I've been bitten by just about every fur-bearing varment except one of these giant hamsters. And I aim to keep it that way.
I'm am little surprised you did a review of this before MAA, but hey, it's a free country.