REVIEW: McFarlane's RABBIDS INVASION
Silly Rabbid, Toys Are For Kids!...
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Perfectly timed with the upcoming Easter holiday, McFarlane Toys has released RABBIDS INVASION, a fun new toy line based on Nickelodeon's animated series (which in turn is based on the Raving Rabbids video games by Ubisoft). Rabbids Invasion toys can be found at Walmart and Toys"R"Us and include blind bagged mini figures (SRP $2.99 each), 3" sound and action figure 2-packs (SRP $12.99), and the ultimate in wacky role play items, the Rabbids Plunger Blaster (SRP $12.99).
Packaging for this line is an eye-catching mix of yellow and blue, a refreshing new color pop in the toy aisle. McFarlane leaves no doubt that these are Rabbid toys; from the bright orange Nickelodeon stamp at the top, prominent "Rabbids Invasion" logo front and center, to more product placement photos than you can shake a plunger at. A Rabbids invasion, indeed. Despite the initial sensory overload, McFarlane's Rabbid packaging actually works quite well. The color palette helps tone things down (the use of red would have been assaulting) and the fun to be had is immediately apparent. I particularly like how everything - and I mean everything - you need to know about the toy is displayed - front and back - in an explosion of callouts. "Try Them Both!," "15 Unique Rabbid Sounds!," and "Did You Get The Mystery Figure?". The back of each pack also does an excellent job of showing off the rest of the Rabbids Invasion line, something I've always appreciated McFarlane doing as far back as their early Spawn days.
RABBIDS MINI FIGURE BLIND BAGS
I have a love/hate relationship with blind bag mini figures. I love the surprise of what you'll get inside and the hunt for that one awesome figure you want can be exhilarating. That hunt can also prove to be a big pain in the ol' derrière, especially when you keep opening multiples of the same (often undesirable) figure you already own. More blind figures in a wave equals more variety. It also means your odds of getting that one cool fig are drastically reduced. The fewer figures in wave - such as McFarlane's first 7 figure Rabbids blind bagged series - means you're more likely to hit gold... and more likely to get a dud or duplicate. Of the three blind bagged Rabbids I opened, I was treated to two desirable characters: the "feeling ill" Rabbid and the hilarious starfish bikini Rabbid (love it!). I ended up with two of the bikini bunnies, but I suppose that's better than a fig I didn't want (*ahem* baseball Rabbid).
Standing 2 inches tall and including a blue pegged base for solid display, each Rabbid mini figure features an excellent cartoon sculpt. Aside from the baseball Rabbid (I'm not a huge sports fan and I hate when companies force the pastime on innocent cartoon characters), the kooky Rabbids chosen for Series 1 are expressive and fun. The mystery Rabbid, for those wanting to know, is THIS GUY. At the suggested retail price of $2.99 a pop you really can't go wrong with the blind bagged Rabbids. However, I've seen 'em sold in my area for closer to $5 (shame on you Walmart). At that price point these unfortauntely become more of an expensive gamble.
RABBIDS SOUND & ACTION FIGURE 2-PACKS
The best bang for your Rabbids buck is McFarlane's sound and action figure 2-packs. Unlike the markup I've seen on the mystery minis, these 3 inch tall figure sets have been consistently priced at around $12. That's $6 a figure, one that may not be articulated, but one that comes packed with an amusing sound and action feature! These are really fun figures. It's truly a shame that there are only two sets available in the first assortment as I see these being the most popular Rabbid toys. The set I received stars "Chicken Surprise" and my favorite, "Plunger Face" (what is it with Rabbids and plungers? Or starfish, for that matter?
"Chicken Surprise" features a Rabbid geared up for battle with a cooking pot helmet (firmly snaps onto the head) and an egg-firing chicken gun. The action gimmick for this figure is fun, but a little awkward thanks to the string-attached egg. Don't get me wrong, kids will LOVE this guy, but I'm one that dislikes action gimmicks that you can see and that get in the way. To work "Chicken Surprise," simply shove the egg up the chicken's butt (it's not a firm fit and tends to fall out, another small nitpick), pull back the chicken's head (careful not to dislodge the egg) and FIRE! Releasing the head (with or without the egg inserted) triggers a zany sound effect. Check out the video above.
"Plunger Face" is F-U-N. Not only does the figure look hilarious just standing there, but the action feature is well-concealed and absolutely comical. To activate, just pull back the plunger and release. The plunger - featuring a real rubber suction cup - uses a tried and true pull string mechanism. Pulling back on the plunger activates a loud "BWAAAH!" while letting go and letting it smack the Rabbid in the face triggers a "BOP". What's neat here is that you can become sort of a Rabbid DJ by rapidly pulling back and releasing the plunger for a hip-hop scratch table effect. Yes, it will annoy the heck out of your friends or loved ones, but dang it's so much fun.
RABBIDS PLUNGER BLASTER
This potty-humorous role play item is aimed at younger kids... or the kid-at-heart. Nothing wrong with that, mind you, toys are meant to be fun and played with! Belching and fart sounds are the name of the game here, and if that's your sense of humor (as I'm sure most kids will agree), then this toy is for you. Squeezing the trigger activates not two, not five, but 15 "Unique Rabbid Sounds". It's an impressive array of audible bodily functions that had me giggling like a school girl more than once. I'll let the video below demonstrate...
Like I said, the kids will LOVE it. As a parent you'll quickly wish it never existed. Still, $12.99 is an amazing deal and a small price to pay for some laughs. Featuring an extremely solid and fun sculpt, this is a well-crafted role play item that will take a lickin' and keep on tickin'. Best of all, two AA batteries are included, though thanks to the Try Me feature, "battery life may be impaired". Oh, I almost forgot! The Plunger Blaster actually has TWO MODES! The trigger pull activates "Bwaaah Mode," while pressing and holding the trigger for 5 seconds activates "Prank Mode". In this state the gun will start emitting random sound effects in 20 seconds. Hide it in the bathroom for some silly fun.
In closing, it's great to see McFarlane Toys take a crack at fun toys, which let's face it, are primarily aimed at kids. Not everything in the toy world has to be so serious and collector-centric. Heck, McFarlane practically revolutionized the collector figure market with Spawn and continues to show they have the chops with Halo, Walking Dead and their SportsPicks. But to compete with the big boys - like Hasbro and Mattel - with fun kid toys? That shows strength, diversity and marketing genius. It takes a really fun kid's license to make that work, and while Rabbids isn't a household name like Bugs Bunny (yet), it's kooky and creative and sure to bring a smile to your face. I can't get enough of this "Plunger Face" Rabbid...
All Photos by Jeff Saylor
Review Samples Courtesy of McFarlane Toys
Last edited by JeffSaylor; 04-16-2014 at 05:35 PM.