Sam Flynn

January 7, 2011 | By More

Apparently this year Spin Master was very active hunting down movie licenses to produce movie tie-in toys. Despite the rather limited impact they had with their Last Airbender toy line, Spin Master got the license to produce toys for the upcoming TRON: Legacy movie by Disney.

Although the flagship segment of the line seems to be the 6 in., gimmick-ladden action figures and vehicles, they wisely decided to also produce a 4 in. line of figures, and from that assortment the first figure I got is the movie protagonist, Sam Flynn.

From the movie trailers, you can guess Sam (played by actor Garret Hedlund) is Kevin Flynn’s son, and he somehow gets sucked into the inner computer world after finding some clue as to his missing father’s whereabouts. From that point onwards, I suspect the story mimics to some degree the one used for the TRON 2.0 videogame, although the protagonist there was Jet, Alan Bradley’s son.

Enough with the name throwing, so, How is the figure?

For starters, I must say the sculpting is quite sharp and detailed. Although the character design is not overly complex. The costume has just enough grooves and textures to look good in this scale and the body proportions seem correct, although at times it may look odd if you place Sam next to the more stylized figures from other lines.

Sam’s face sculpt, on the other hand, is more difficult to appraise because it is covered by a non-removable transparent faceplate The piece is thick enough to withstand reasonably to a child’s play, but it has the downside that it produces a fish-eye lens effect that makes very hard to actually determine the shape of the face underneath, therefore talking about actor likenesses would be completely moot at this point.

Spin Master seemed to learn something about figure design after their Last Airbender efforts, and it shows in Sam Flynn’s articulation spread:

Ball jointed neck. Free swivel and moderate tilting all around.

Peg & hinge shoulders.

• Upper biceps swivel.

• Peg & hinge elbows. Oddly, the peg part goes into the forearm, making the swivel redundant with that on the wrists.

Swivel wrists.

• Peg & hinge hips. Slightly angled to help in sitting and riding vehicles.

Upper thighs swivel.

• Peg & hinge knees.

• Peg & hinge ankles.

All of the joints work nicely and feel tighter than expected. There is no torso or waist articulation because the built-in action feature would not allow for both, but overall the trade-off works out well enough for me.

These figures were all given panels on their torsos that light up for a few seconds whenever you press the buttons at their backs.

I must say I like the way the gimmick was implemented this time, as the last figure with a similar feature I reviewed had to had it’s switch pressed on constantly to remain lighted up, whereas Sam’s can remain lighted on it’s own for about 5 seconds after the button is pressed. The button itself is conveniently disguised as part of the costume, so even though the mechanism is rather bulky, it doesn’t look too out of place.

Sam Flynn is molded mostly in black plastic, but the torso (or at least the front half of it) is made from slightly opaque, translucent plastic. The black suit is painted over leaving three torso sections free of paint, allowing the light from the action feature to shine through with a blue tinted glow.

On the rest of the suit the glow lines are painted in a light blueish gray color in an attempt to approximate the look in the movie. These lines look fairly neat for mass-market standards, but it is always a good idea to look out for the better painted samples.

The only other area in this figure with paint applications on is the face, but then again, other than making sure coverage is even and the eyes are roughly aligned and the same size, there is not a lot to comment upon.

Sam comes with a few accessories: a baton, an ID disc and a round display base. All of these accessories are molded in black plastic, but the base and the ID disc have additional paint apps to mimic the glow lines on Sam’s suit.

The base and the disc work well with the figure, holding it in place and being held in either hand, respectively, but the baton has some issues I’d like to discuss.

First off, right out of the package you will notice that the baton is misshapen due to the way is was secured into the tray using one of those near-indestructible clear rubber bands toy companies like so much lately. The baton looked more like a boomerang, but I fixed it without much trouble by dipping the piece into hot water for a while to help it regain it’s shape.

The other issue has to do with the design of the baton itself. The baton has a keyed indentation that presumably allows Sam to carry it on a peg at the side of his right thigh. Problem is, the shape on the baton doesn’t match the shape of said peg. Since the baton is made from a fairly flexible material, you can kind of force it in place, but you can tell something is not quite right from the way the plastic gets bent out of shape again.

So yes, not too big an issue, since you can opt to simply have Sam hold the baton in his hand, but after being bothered to heat up a cup of water to fix it up in the first place, I found this to be an annoyance.

In the end, and not taking the accessory issues into account, I really think this is a pretty decent, fun action figure. Sam may not be the most accomplished figure in his assortment, but what I see in him arouses my interest for the other figures in the line.

Errex Score: 80/100

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Category: Featured, Toy Reviews, Tron

About the Author ()

I've been collecting action figures since the original Kenner Star Wars days. Nowadays, I still collect pretty much anything that catches my eye.

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