Review: Skeleflex Stegosaurus
The danger of walking into a Toys R Us in late winter is that you're likely to walk out with a pile of toys you didn't know you wanted.
It wasn't long ago that I looked at a couple of Skeleflex sets, which I'd transformed into a dracolich. As far as I was concerned, I was done.
Then I went back into Toys R Us to find that everything on clearance had been marked down an extra 20%. In addition, it looked like someone had raided their warehouse, since there were now toys available that weren't there before.
So, in my quest to build a better skeletal dragon, I found myself purchasing yet another of Wild Planet's Skeleflex sets. This time, I picked up a stegosaurus, mainly interested in his head. Lets see how he measures up.
We went through this last time, but in case you missed it, I'll recap. I'm reviewing this guy as though he were an action figure, thus docking him a ridiculous number of points up front, and returning them down the road.
Overall, the stegosaurus is more or less par for the course. The overall look is good for a building set, but slightly weak for an action figure. The head looks great, while some of the other areas could have used a bit more detailing. I like the tail, though can't help but think the spikes may be somewhat exaggerated (any paleontologists want to weigh in?).
The plastic used is actually different in some spots, which I find a bit surprising. The contrast is greatly exaggerated in the photographs, though: in person, you'll hardly notice.
These are getting four out of ten for the lack of paint and detailing. It's the same score I gave the earlier sets, and I don't feel this one deviates greatly.
Packaging and Extras: +1
Once again, I'm rewarding the packaging. It's not often you get this kind of carrying case on toys marketed to kids over four. I've got all of mine lined up on the top of shelf as sort of a backdrop, but down the line I might do something else. There's a lot to consider here: the back panel, for instance, would make a remarkably effective space station floor or wall. There's a lot of potential here for customizing.
You also get more of those rubber pegs I mentioned last time. These can be used to... ah... I got nothing. These are, as far as I can tell, completely useless.
You also get a poster. On one side, there are blueprints for putting your stegosaurus together. On the other, you get definitive proof that Wild Planet needs a new marketing department.
I mean, come on: is this supposed to make me want to own more of these? It's a three-headed jumble of parts. I'd have a hard time thinking of something LESS interesting to do with all those pieces.
Play and Display: +3
You knew it was coming.
Yes, once again, the vast number of ball jointed connecting pieces win out. The majority of joints are fantastic and deserve applause.
But, as usual, I've got a few complaints. First of all, the armored plates don't work out as well as you'd hope. Because they attach to the sides of the pegs, they can interfer with each other, restricting movement. This can be at least partially controlled by altering which side they're attached to, but that's not a perfect solution.
In addition, while I like the tail spikes, I think they could have fit in a little more articulation. As it is, you actually get some options: the two sections are separate, so you get a few ball joints to play with. Not to shabby in most circumstances. But these have the potential to be more. If they'd have dropped a cut joint on the spikes, they'd be much more useful.
Is is a huge deal? No, but it is an area for improvement.
Price Tag and Final Analysis: 8/10
I thought getting the last two for seven bucks each was a steal: this was marked down to about $5.50.
If you have any use for skeletal dinosaurs, aliens, or dragons in your collection, I suggest you head to the nearest Toys R Us and see what they still have in stock.
These aren't perfect, but at this price, they're pretty cool.
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