I think I've mentioned more than once that I don't understand why Mattel's imprint Fisher-Price doesn't leverage its brands in Imaginext more. Specifically, He-Man. Older kids won't bite but its winning combination of distinctive and easy-to-remember names plus memorable vehicles would make it the perfect fit for the under-6 set. The Alpha Blade is incredibly similar to the Roton vehicle, which also had a geared gimmick involving a spinning blade. Had this been black and red instead of grey and blue, I'm sure fans would be accusing Mattel of stealing from themselves.
The 3-inch human figure has much more sculpted detail than his peers from previous space lines, but it's still pretty dull. His removable clear blue helmet looks like some sort of mutant SCUBA equipment, and the coloring matches the ship. Added padding, grooves, and a belt make this figure really stand out from the other humans in the line but compared to the aliens he's a total dud. You cannot compete with the bright neon colors and wild designs, so clearly they don't even try. It's a nice enough figure, but how can you compete with the driver of the Ion Scorpion?
He comes with a sniper rifle that's about an inch taller than he is, and it fits in either his hand or in the Alpha Blade. The vehicle itself has some of the best sculpting in this line, with tons of grooves and faux buttons lining it. The interior seating area is particularly intricate, which is surprising given that's not really a thing you're going to notice once a figure goes in there.
The mechanism is simple - put the ship on a table, roll it, and the blue blade quickly spins around. It quickly knocks figures to the side, so it's a fun way to smack around your other toys. There's zero paint that I can see, but for a kid's toy it's not like they're going to miss it. Still... a little color would be nice to break up all that grey. As it is, it looks vaguely like a design out of Classic LEGO Space sets.
The blue "armor" or helmet thing is a nice bonus, but with no real deco and a shade too dark to see through, it's just kinda there. Had they left it out, I wouldn't have missed it - the vehicle and figure deliver most of what makes it interesting.
The 2014 space line so far has given the aliens most of the best gear, designs, and deco. They're gleefully colorful and fun, while the humans remain somewhat bland by comparison. I'd still suggest getting an Alpha Blade for kids (or adults) if knocking around figures sounds like a good time, because it is, and it's a neat little flying saucer thing.
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