Fisher-Price Imaginext DC Super Friends Batman & Swamp Thing Action Figures Fisher-Price, 2018
Day #2,100: June 13, 2019
Batman & Swamp Thing They rock all night to jungle hop
Imaginext DC Super Friends 2-Packs
Item No.: Asst. M5645 No. FGV86 Manufacturer:Fisher-Price Includes:2 figures, backpack, green machete Action Feature:n/a Retail:$7.99 Availability: Spring 2018 Other: Possibly on clearance near you
Fisher-Price has altered Imaginext throughout the past couple of decades more than a few times - I have some of the first "trial set" releases that I bought on a lark, as I used to do a lot more. When they got more standardized I ignored them for a while, despite their being pretty perfect and sort of like an American Playmobil - not unlike the old Fisher-Price Adventure People. I didn't buy much Batman or DC for the longest time, but I broke when I saw Batman & Swamp Thing for half price at a grocery store. Imaginext's DC Comics offerings are usually as good as or better than the variety we got out of Mattel proper for kids or collectors these days, and I still regret not getting some of those awesome villains like Mr. Freeze. Well, at least I got this one.
3-inch Batman has a machete and jungle-explorer get-up, while 3 1/2-inch Swamp Thing is significantly more detailed and reminds me a lot of the baffling-that-it-exists Kenner line from when I was a kid. It also makes me wish Fisher-Price was repainting these into Bio-Glow and Camouflage versions. Those things were gorgeous. But I digress. The set is about $7-$8 and the figures are of the usual Imaginext quality - decent joints, 7 points of articulation. It's the kind of thing where the necks don't turn - Swamp Thing has no joint, and Batman's cowl gets in the way.
I bought this set for Swamp Thing. I got a Bio-Glow Swamp Thing from a friend who mailed me a box of thrift store toys when I was in college - hello to she who was once Liz Zaborowski if you're out there and hope yours was and is a good life - so a new one seemed like a fun thing to try. After all, I keep missing all those awesome Glyos Bog-nar figures. The legs are about standard size, as are the arms, but they're all new parts. The head and torso are a single piece, all sculpted with vines. He stands a bit taller than his companions, plus the detailing seems more or less on par with - or slightly better than - that of the 1990s Kenner figures. While mostly green, you can see red in his eyes and tons of sculpted seeds, berries, and other elements in his person. A blank Swamp Thing would likely be a customizer's dream.
Batman is less essential - and oddly my first Imaginext Batman. It looks like a typical Batman but with bare arms, cargo pants with accessories, and a backpack with a green-for-some-reason machete. The sculpted detail is pretty good, with brown boots and an unpainted dagger to go with all his pockets. The backpack features the Imaginext "i" sculpted in there, and it was reused in Series 12 with the backpacker figure. I assume it was used elsewhere too. The face is painted nicely and the logo is the bigger, wider one we tend to see more often than not. It's a very un-Batman Batman. I like it - but now I want to get a standard Batman to go with it. It's the kind of thing that feels like a Kenner release... but not.
What's truly amazing is how not amazing this figure is - Fisher-Price loaded up its DC and Batman lines with popular characters and some real obscure choices. The Wonder Twins, a "Green Lantern Riddler," Darkseid, Dr. Fate, Carrie Kelly robin, Mr. Miracle, and countless other kids-won't-recognize-these-choices are peppered in the line. They look cool and make for good toys - and sadly they're getting less and less shelf space in spite of countless cool Batcaves and Batmobiles over the years. It's currently not completely certain if this line is continuing forward despite the shake-ups in toy licensing kicking off in 2020. There may be 3 or more lines around this size targeted at this age range - depending on how it all comes down.
Where was I going with this?
Oh right. I'm regretting not buying more Imaginext when it was cheaper. Get yourself this set if you can find it for a decent price. Imaginext toys are one of very few toy lines influenced by collectors but not sold to them - so kids can buy the stranger items and enjoy something that's a good all-around toy. Collectors can appreciate the influences spanning decades of pop culture and toys. It's very much the way these things should be, and it saddens me when I find shelf space for Imaginext going down with clearance sales. To a point. I'm still buying on clearance.
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