Review: Tron Select Action Figures by Diamond Toys
Bless Diamond Select Toys for making this particular toy line finally happen. While the Tron franchise never quite set the box office on fire, its unique style and intricate world has kept it memorable. Even the original movie spawned toy tie-ins that were cool for the day with clear plastic. NECA rereleased them years later, along with more detailed figures for the Tron 2.0 video game. When Disney finally produced a sequel, Spin Master created some elaborate figures with LED animations on the faceplates. But movie-accurate figures to the first film are new, and got approval first by being part of Diamond’s existing Kingdom Hearts figure line. Disney agreed to a spin-off series based solely on the film, and that relationship led to even more classic mouse-house sci-fi figures like the Rocketeer and the Black Hole robots.
The Tron Select line went through a hiccup with original plans to include pieces of a Recognizer vehicle. Thus a no-frills/minimal accessory version of the first series hit Walgreens long before the main versions showed up. The Recognizer simply couldn’t be reconciled, and to make up the difference Diamond added extra hands and accessories. But since those are still smaller items than diorama bits, the company also lowered the price from $24.99 to $19.99. As such, these don’t come in the standard Diamond Select figure package with the left-hand cardboard panel, but more basic blister cards. And each figure gets the same one.
We should note that these are not the same as the Kingdom Hearts figures. Those looked substantially less detailed. Nor are they exactly the same as the Walgreens figures, which used a lighter color scheme, and featured Flynn in classic blue rather than infiltrator red. Tron and Flynn, however, do appear to use the same base body (with different chests). Albeit with Tron having an additional wrist guard and Flynn including the half-toga shirt.
Headsculpts most definitely look like actors David Warner, Jeff Bridges, and Bruce Boxleitner. If they seem in any way off, it’s perhaps because of the thick paint and even color over the sculpt. Diamond has not yet adapted to the digital face-printing technology most other companies use now. As such, likenesses that would have been considered excellent in years past get more scrutiny now. But that’s way less of a problem with Tron, where the characters are computerized avatars, than something more realistic like The Rocketeer. Few fans will find fault with the final figures.
Each character features intricate circuit patterns, in bright colors with clean lines. The primary shapes and lines are sculpted, but most of the pattern is print. Each figure also has a hole in the back to attach the identity disc. Flynn’s has the benefit of the shirt to help hold it in place; my Tron’s often falls out. Sark’s has a nice tight fit, though.
Tron includes the most extra hands, with open hands, “jazz hands,” and disc-holding hands. Flynn omits the disc hands, while Sark omits the jazz hands. Flynn also comes with the sole unique accessory – a red disc in flight deflected by a blue disc. Collectors can display this a couple of ways. Either pose it thrown by a red character with an implied deflection from a blue…or a blue disc held up by a blue character deflecting an incoming red.
Both Tron and Sark have two discs with attached throwing effects: one straight-ahead and one curve. They don’t necessarily attach easily; the best approach seems to be sticking the energy trail between forefinger and middle finger on the left open-hand. Even then, be careful with displays as it doesn’t take a lot to knock them out.
Consistent with most Diamond figures, these guys hit the 7-inch scale. Perfect for display alongside most McFarlane or NECA movie and TV figures. Articulation breaks down like this: Limited ball-joint neck and mid-torso. Cut waist, mid-bicep, and mid-thigh. Full ball-and-socket hips (a nice change for Diamond). Disc-ball shoulders and wrists. Hinge and rocker ankles. Double hinge elbows and knees. (The top right knee joint is slightly loose on my Tron, but that seems like an anomaly. Tiny drop of glue in there will fix it right up.) Flynn’s shirt is sufficiently flexible to allow most joints under it some leeway.
I’d love to see glow-in-the-dark variants of these. Maybe comic-con exclusives, if any comic-cons actually happen this year. LED lights at this scale would be just too prohibitive, cost and technology-wise. Considering a variant Flynn comes in the first series, I’d say Diamond at least initially planned for more of these. I hope that happens. Across both films, the 2.0 game and the animated series, we could get enough figures to pack-in pieces of a really big Recognizer. Or at least a Light Cycle.
Meanwhile, each figure comes with a single-footpeg oval stand. And it seems to have been made for something else, because the peg is mostly too narrow for these foot-holes. The stand doesn’t 100% not-work, but it isn’t a great fit either.
However, this dude will totally abide with the first three otherwise excellent figures. But failing to continue after such a promising start would be aggression that will not stand, man!
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Review: Tron Select Action Figures by Diamond Toys