Big movies mean tons of merchandise. It’s inevitable. Action figures must be made regardless of how much sense it makes. So clearly, if Space Jam required action figures, then Avatar, the movie by James Cameron that is exploding everyone’s heads with visuals and everyone’s hearts with joy, darn well has a series of action figures for it. But are they any good?
The Nitty-Gritty Truth
Sure, why not. They aren’t terrible, but there are two versions to look at here. There are the “good” versions of the action figures, the bigger versions that include a total of three characters, making them somewhat pointless as a “series” of action figures and rather just good additions to the vast imaginative toyland adventures your kids should be having anyway. But there are also the “bad” versions, the ones you’ll see most and like least. I didn’t even have to look at them for very long before coming to these conclusions either. It just sort of becomes apparent when you look at them for yourself.
Confession time: I haven’t seen Avatar. I’ll see it soon enough, most likely by the time this article is posted, but as of writing this here review I haven’t seen the actual source material. I still know enough about the movie to know what is cool and what isn’t cool. The coolest thing? Definitely the RDA Scorpion Gunship. Why? Because the thing is a freaking heli-jet called a “Scorpion Gunship.” I don’t need to have seen the movie to know that whatever that is it makes for a good toy.
But the actual figures are the problem. The good series, as I’m calling them, the ones that are taller, are pretty solid and fun for playing with. Like I said though, there isn’t a ton to choose from, so you’ll inevitably need to have a bright imagination to fit these Avatar characters into some sort of story involving the Transformers or the Ninja Turtles. But at least you are getting something cool.
The smaller toys just look cheap, even though they aren’t in the truest use of the word. You’ll plunk some dough for a toy that looks weird, and part of that may just be the way the actual characters appear. They have that strange freakish skinniness to the joints that instantly makes me think “This is a toy” and not, “Oh cool, a new toy!” There’s a definite difference at work there. Even worse for me especially since I haven’t seen the movie, I can’t tell the difference between the characters since they look either like “Weird Blue Cat-Like Creatures” and “G.I. Joe Rejects.” As far as I can see, one character has a bow and arrow while another has a double bow and arrow thing, or something like that. Yeah, you see the importance of the RDA Scorpion Gunship now?
So I’m keeping this one short but sweet. The new Avatar toys aren’t entirely bad considering everything about them. They do look cool and have some cool things that go with them, but I can’t see the appeal of the toys since the movie seems to be for adults anyway and the toys themselves aren’t very different from one another. You’ll see a ton of these in the discount bins in a few months since all the stores have been buying these in excessive amounts. If your kid wants one, wait just a bit and then snatch them up when they’ve been clearanced to 50% off or more.