Kevin Flynn’s Lightcycle

March 18, 2011 | By More

The original Syd Mead lightcycle design, iconic as it may be, always had this abstract art feel to it, with it’s smooth, clean geometry. The new “vintage” lightcycle design presented in Tron Legacy has a more “realistic” feel to it even though it retains all of the key design elements from the 1982 concept.

While in the original Tron the lightcycles just materialized around the driver, in the new movie this particular bike is a persistent entity, meaning it exists even if there is no one around “willing” it into existence. Kind of Zen, actually, when you think about it.

Kevin Flynn’s Lightcycle, from Spin Master, looks great, all black and white with smooth lines and a few color accents thrown in to liven things up. The upper body is made from white plastic, while the undercarriage is molded in black. The canopy is actually made from smoky translucent plastic, with the window frames painted in a dense white pigment that tries it’s best to mimic the sheen and hue of the white plastic body.

Anyway, the toy has a front-pivoting canopy that reveals the driver enclosure. There is very little detail inside and even that feels rather basic, with just a few raised lines, and a silver handle bar, but it’s really nothing too impressive.

Unlike Sam’ Lightcycle, Kevin’s has only one free-rolling rear tire made from the same hard plastic used for the lower body of the vehicle. The front wheel is actually a rolling pin placed just under the front assembly, which provides excellent stability even though the materials used for both pin and wheel don’t really add much to the tactile sensation of rolling the vehicle over any kind of surface.

As expected, Kevin Flynn’s Lightcycle comes with it’s own take on the light-up action feature included in all of these Tron Legacy toys. Not being a “Deluxe” toy, this vehicle lacks a sound chip like that on Sam’s Lightcycle (which is actually sorely missed here), but it does offer a fairly decent lightshow.

Underneath the toy there’s a battery compartment access panel and a three-position switch, which allows selecting either “Demo”, “On” and “Off” modes. On “Demo”, when you press the triangular panel at the right side of the vehicle the rim of the front wheel lights up for about 3-5 seconds. On “Off”, it does nothing (Do’h), and “On” sets the vehicle to interact with a driver figure.

The “On” setting is rather deceptive at first, because when you press the lateral triangle panel in this mode, the lights activate for even less time than they do in “Demo” mode. However, if you press and hold the round black button inside the cockpit, the lights stay on for a much longer time.

Now, the tricky part is to actually keep the button pressed down. You’ll see, the button is meant to be pressed down by the pilot’s body when put into the cockpit, but out of the six core figures released by manufacturer Spin Master in Series 1 of the Tron Legacy collection, only Sam Flynn (not Kevin) can actually fit inside this vehicle in some resemblance of a natural pose. And even then, with Sam is placed inside the toy, it is hard to keep the button switch down, as his lower body tends to wiggle inside the enclosure a little bit.

None of the other figures will fit into the cockpit because the shoulder joints are just too wide to fit, with titular owner Kevin Flynn being the worst thanks to the added bulk from his plastic robes.

To be fair, in the movie Sam is the only character that actually drives the thing, but from a toy design point of view, it is something of a big issue that figure interaction with vehicles turns out to be an exception rather than the norm; And more so when you consider that both vehicles and core figures are being marketed as compatible with each other by Spin Master. Figures from other manufacturers actually interact better with this toy than the ones supposedly designed for that purpose.

As a stand-alone item, Kevin Flynn’s Lightcycle is actually a pretty decent toy, but as part of a larger line, all it does is showcase Spin Master’s inexperience in the 4 inch figure arena.

Errex Score: 90/100

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Category: Featured, Toy Reviews, Tron

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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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