|Shockinis Samples Review Capsule|
|A lot of customizable figures are being sold lately, and a lot of brick figures are as well. Shocker Toys enters the fray with Shockinis, a new twist on the concept of brick figures. These samples were given away at Toy Fair in New York in February, 2004.|
A new entrant in a field that's more and more crowded, the Shockinis were previewed at Toy Fair. Surprisingly, there was a little bit of talk about them, and I was told to seek them out because they were supposedly really nifty. I'm glad to say that they are, in fact, pretty nifty.
There were two samples given away at Toy Fair as far as we could tell. Sample one was a white plastic, sample two was an off-white color that glows in the dark... just not very well.
These things were designed with customization in mind, and there are also going to be character-based figures later this year. More on that below. For the record, in the above picture, the white one is on the left and the glow-in-the-dark one is on the right.
As blank white figures go, this one is actually pretty nice to look at. There's a little more to him than a blank Stikfas kit, but not as much as, say, the Japanese Toys "R" Us Exclusive blank Microman Microforce figures.
The sculpt is actually pretty nifty as a figure in and of itself. It seems to be made of 19 sturdy plastic pieces with good, tight joints that lend it to a bunch of great poses. There's a ball joint where each of the pieces meet, except the elbows and knees, which gives the figure a little more range of motion than other figures. The figures have an excellent range of motion. From the waist down, they're about the same as a fairly limber man (can't do the splits) and I had no problem getting the legs into any standing position I so desired. I also got some great seated poses out of it as well, and the end result is pretty slick.
The arms aren't as mobile. As you can see on the shoulders, you can't have the arm at a right angle to the body, and there isn't much range of motion out, but aside from that, they move just as much as you might require for a figure like this.
While it seems like it might break, the figure can be popped apart at most of the joints... just not the knees or elbows. This should make repainting a breeze should one be so inclined.
The hands are hard plastic, and don't have much in the way of give. It doesn't appear the size of the hands were meant to be compatible with existing accessories from LEGO, Playmobil, Stikfas, or other similar figures, and as such we went looking for things it could hold. The answer? Q-Tips.
Accessories & Gimmicks
Each figure includes a nondescript black stand.
If you ever purchased the Star Wars compatible Action Stands, these are pretty much the same kind of thing, except the peg fits into the hole of the foot like a glove. I daresay I've never had a figure plug into a base this well before.
When combined with the figure's construction, it seems the base will allow the figure to stand and balance in any position with no real problems. Hats off to you, Shocker Toys, as a lot of companies have real problems mastering this.
These samples came in little plastic bags, completely nondescript and as such not represented here. The final product will come on a blister card like other action figures or Mini-Mates figures.
Aside from blank figures to customize, the company has plans for a whopping 150 different figures based on "Electrobytes," a new comic property from, you guessed it, Shocker Toys. Plans call for male, female, and neutral robots.
Above is an image of a flyer the company made to promote the items.
The prices are said to be under $10 a pop and the concept is actually pretty nifty. The painted figures are actually pretty slick, and you can see additional images of them at Shocker Toys' Web site. The robots will have different head sculpts instead of the basic bucket design shown in our review.
For big fans of customizable or brick figures, this is a neat new design. Stikfas have a greater range of motion and more ability to expand, but these seem a lot better than Mini-Mates and Kubricks, and are capable of quite a bit. Having not tried my hand at customizing these, I couldn't tell you how well they work, but it seems these would make a great template for a plastic figure.
There was no firm release date given in their press materials, so we'll put this at "coming soon." Like most figures of this nature, I'd say you should snag one if you're looking for something to customize, because they're a fairly nice design. If you're sick of the whole block thing, though, steer clear.
Reviewed and photographed by Adam Pawlus
Sample obtained from Shocker Toys at Toy Fair 2004 in New York
Reviewed on March 2, 2004.