A word on LEGO action figures
LEGO recently acquired the rights to produce products based on Ben 10, a show on Cartoon Network. The new sets have been posted to Amazon.com early, and many AFOLs are crying foul because of the resemblance of these new toys to the much-maligned Galidor line from 2002.
For the uninitiated, Galidor was a show about a kid who had the power to borrow powers from other creatures in the form of their limbs. As a LEGO toy line, this theoretically makes sense – the Galidor toys had the ability to interchange their limbs and were relatively customizable. The toys themselves debuted in the wake of the extremely popular Bionicle LEGO line, and they most definitely pale in comparison.
However, there was an obvious lack of parts. Each figure was only about 12-15 pieces total, and they couldn’t really be used for much more than they were — a 2×4 brick has many uses, whereas a complete flesh-colored arm or a torso can’t be much more than that. This, combined with relatively high price points led to the demise of the line (to say nothing of the television show).
(To me, Bionicle always seemed to cause similar trouble with finding multiple uses for many of the stranger parts — though some people don’t share that problem. I’ve always thought Bionicle to be kind of a one-trick pony, even though I think a lot of the characters and elements look really cool.)
Anyway, I actually did pick up most of the Galidor figures in the discount bin, for around a dollar each. I figured that as articulated as the figures were, they might make good animation puppets. However, the limited range of motion combined with the terrible click-joints a la Knights’ Kingdom quickly discounted (hah) that thought. But I never thought the figures were that bad and I’ve held onto them. They are now sitting on a shelf in my office, admittedly because I can’t figure out which LEGO bin to sort them into.
Anyway, now we have these Ben 10 figures, and I am again intrigued by the potential animation possibilities. The Ben 10 toys appear to utilize the Bioniclesque ball-and-socket joints as opposed to the click joints, and the parts themselves seem more robust and reusable than Galidor did. I have done some experimentation with LEGO ball-and-socket joints in animation, and I find the results so far to be quite pleasing. These larger LEGO figures are again on the pricey side ($18), but sales being what they are I’ll most likely pick a few up.
So I guess my question is, am I the only AFOL excited about the LEGO Ben 10 series? And am I the only one who didn’t universally hate the Galidor toys?