6687 Super 4 Lost Island Figure Set |
Dinosaur, Cereal Mascot, HRC?
Playmobil Super 4
Item No.: 6687
Includes: Human Figure Set, alien Figure Set, velociraptor, dragonfly, mushrooms, magnifying glass, plants, boomerang
Action Feature: n/a
Availability: Summer 2015
Other: Grab Bag
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Playmobil toys have been a part of my life for almost as long as I can remember. I wasn't always actively buying, but every few months I'd see what was new - especially as I entered college. Seeing themes like dinosaurs and ancient Egypt enter the fray was a lot of fun. Not too long ago we saw the likes of the Super 4 Lost Island Figure Set. Super 4 came out around the same time as The LEGO Movie, airing on Netflix in the USA and apparently not well-marketed in the USA. The Super 4 theme tended to be merchandised apart from the rest of the line in the Toys "R" Us stores I frequented, and their unique look - different figure faces and distinctive packaging - set apart the cobbled-together sets in a hurry. Their fate was in the clearance bins, and I've seen many figures as low as $2 and this island set as low as $5-$6. And it sat for a few months. I eventually got it because I wanted the dinosaur variant and the island.
The set - and indeed the entire line - seems like a grab-bag mashup of themes, not unlike the aforementioned The LEGO Movie. Representatives from varying themes visit washing machine robots, pirates, castles, and other disparate elements in a cohesive whole that appears to be doing well enough to keep the line going for additional years and more episodes. It definitely feels more like a LEGO-ey, "let's mix up everything" kind of play pattern that's less inspiring of mixing and matching. Playmobil always struck me as more orderly - this little set is chaos.
The 3-inch tall explorer is in a white pantsuit with a short blonde plastic wig and big, expressive eyes. Normally Playmobil toys have thoughtful brown blobs. The printing on my sample is crisp and clean, making the most out of the white plastic with tiny outlines showing where the suit is on an otherwise plain figure. Playmobil and LEGO and countless brick figure makers have done wonders using a single buck, and Playmobil impresses here with someone who looks a little like a famous face in the world of politics. She can stand and sit, but I'm left wondering why you'd wear a nice white suit on an island with killer dinosaurs and an alien. Maybe it makes sense in the context of the TV show, but I am old and cranky and do not watch this one. It's a good figure but I wish they stuck with the classic eyes.
There's a short blue creature with giant eyes, huge ears, and pink hands. It looks like an alien - upon further research, its name is indeed Alien. It looks like a lost cereal mascot. The figure is jointed at the neck, shoulders, and wrists giving you a chance to grip accessories with its paws. The eyes are incredibly expressive and there are some nice fades on the ears, going from blue to a fleshy pink color. I assume once the show ends you will never see this creature mold again.
The Velocirpator is back after a few previous releases in orange - it now has much bigger eyes, an amazing skin paint job, and somewhat wonky eyes. Its skin goes from bklue to grey, with beautiful stripes on the back offset with light blue outlines. The white teeth pop nicely, and the black stripes remind me a lot of Kenner's Chaos Effect Alpha Velociraptor from the 1990s. It appears the eyes weren't painted exactly on the sculpted markings, but they're bigger and more expressive than the dots on the previous versions.
These 3 figures are why one should buy this set - if you want a Playmobil dinosaur, here you are. It's cheap. The rest of the set... well, I don't get it.
The Lost Island is a green piece of scenery previously seen in two other sets, complete with places to plug in bizarre plants - the big palm front thing is new and so far exclusive to this set, at least as far as I know. You can have your figures swing from the vine, you can hide some stuff in a little hole in the base, and the dinosaur can pop out and attack your included researcher figure. I assume. There are no action features and the set as a whole doesn't have an obvious play pattern. Previous dinosaur sets come with a creature that can eat the plants or nurture its young or harass a larger set. I've bought a lot of Playmobil boxed sets and this may be the only one where I can't tell you what's going on or what I'm supposed to do with it. The various Advent Calendars are similarly a grab bag, but more cohesive as they usually hinge on a single theme. I hope it makes more sense if you've seen the TV show, because if I were buying a gift for a kid I'd probably go with the dragons or fairies or NHL sets first.
All of the toys are constructed nicely out of sturdy plastic and came through with almost completely perfect paint jobs. (Plus or minus those raptor eyes, at least.) If you bought the figure for $2, you'd dig it. The island scenario just raises questions of the narrative, something Playmobil had rarely inserted in its product line beyond "this is a bar with drinks in it" and "here is a homeless man who has been drinking, and the cop will soon throw him off the bench." Maybe the researcher is looking at bugs with her alien friend and the raptor invites them all for drinks? Collectors will enjoy the new flavor of dinosaur and perhaps the unique trees, plants, and accessories. Fans of the show may understand what is happening here. I'll just hold off for something else, I think, when it comes to my next blue box purchase.
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