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Review: Disney Infinity Figurines

Posted by Ron DelVillano

Beyond Infinity, into your home

To fully grasp the concept behind Disney Infinity, it’s important to understand that the whole game uses a meta concept in which things in-game also must exist in real life. Without delving too deep into theories or abstractions, the simplest way to put it is by saying that everything is a toy. Whether it’s the character that you’re playing as on your television screen or the physical figure in your hand, you have to keep in mind that they’re both toys that occur in separate spaces, but one cannot exist without the other. Because these toys exist outside of the game and permeate into real-life, the creators of the figures were thoughtful enough to make something that reflects the quality of the actual game.

Each figure is made from a soft plastic that allows just enough give to bend without breaking. Some of the thicker characters such as Mr. Incredible or Sulley obviously have larger masses so their forms are much thicker and sturdier, but even without flexibility they still feel durable. Characters such as Jack Sparrow and Mrs. Incredible who are thinner or have lanky proportions and protruding accessories – namely Jack’s sword – are noticeably softer and provide for more bend. Again, this bend is just enough to allow for the characters to be moved and tossed around without serious risk of damage. It is still advisable not to play with these figures too hard though, as everything has its point at which some breakage is bound to occur.

The one downside to their sturdiness is that the figures lack in any form of articulation. They make for good trophies to proudly display on your shelf, but outside of the game you won’t be getting much action out of them. This lack of articulation also brings up the first of few issues that these toys present, and that is their seams. At the points where limbs connect with torsos, some of the figures are a little off, leaving obvious lines where one piece of plastic is attached to another. It is also at these points that some of the figures have issues with discoloration. The paint jobs on all of these are absolutely gorgeous, but that doesn’t always hold up at the connection points. Whether this is a case of mixing chemicals between the paint and adhesive or a simple quality control issue is unknown, but the results are disappointing nonetheless. From even a slight distance everything looks fine, but the flaws are easily noticed by scrutinizing eyes.

The issues with discoloration and broken seams only appear to exist on some of the smoother figures such as Mr. Incredible and Sulley however, as other figures – particularly Jack Sparrow and Lightning McQueen – have such attention to detail that it’s astounding. Captain Jack, the outlandish and ostentatious pirate, is adorned with his signature dreadlocks and accessories, all of which are detailed and painted, making for one of the most attractive of the launch figures. Lightning McQueen, while less intricate than Jack in form, showcases all of his brandings and decals from the Cars films. Most noticeable are McQueen’s hubcaps, all four of which contain more precision painting than some of the other figures contain on their entire person. It really is impressive that so much attention to detail was paid to such a small and innocuous aspect of the McQueen figure. The hubcaps are a testament to how much the producers care about the aesthetic appeal of these plastic figures.

The Power Discs, conversely to the figures, are made of a hard plastic with a sticker labeling. Because of their build, they’re not much to look at outside of their in-game effects, but they are very sturdy and capable of withstanding a good tossing around. If you’re looking to build and create as much as you possibly can in the Toy Box, then you’ll want to get your hands on as many of these accessories as possible, but they don’t provide much to impress the majority of casual collectors.

Disney Infinity figures are obviously targeted to owners of the game, but it’s clear that they were also produced with any Disney fan in mind. Whether or not you’re playing Disney Infinity, there’s bound to be a character that you like who eventually gets the figure treatment, and these are hard to resist. As collector’s items, it’s difficult to determine whether or not the figures will hold any intrinsic value, but fans of the Disney universe will love having these on display with the rest of their memorabilia.

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User Comments (32)

orravan85

#1

orravan85 said:

Must do everything in my power to ensure boys do not see these toys. Wallet would not survive it this holiday!

unrandomsam

#2

unrandomsam said:

These articles never mention cost which is extremely fishy.

(And extremely important - Cannot think of any game ever made other than maybe Panzer Dragoon Saga - NTSC I would find worth £200 - think it will end up being more than that though).

If they did an Aladdin one that was all hand drawn I might go for it but I think I would end up regretting it.

Shambo

#3

Shambo said:

I love the art style, I love figurines, I love collecting, I love video games, I love Disney... Disney from the past mostly. And there's already Skylanders. It's not easy for me to avoid this money-trap... But I manage to, so far.

Shiryu

#4

Shiryu said:

If they make some TRON figurines, I will pick them up and then maybe, just maybe, the whole game...

MathRaph

#5

MathRaph said:

I'm really impressed by the build quality of these things and the consistency between figurines and in game character models. Smart design move.

Sonic128

#6

Sonic128 said:

All that money soon to be wasted on a couple figurines. At least their designed well.

Rerun

#8

Rerun said:

I didn't start. I'd I did, I'd be hooked like a junkie. If they came up with Hercules and had all the monster figs like the Hydra, scaled to size, I won't be able to stop myself.

Nictendo64

#9

Nictendo64 said:

@Shiryu
I've been hoping for Tron ever since this came out. You can actually create and unlock Tron pieces and vehicles for the Toy Box (level creator). So I'm sure Tron would arrive sometime.

DarkCoolEdge

#10

DarkCoolEdge said:

I'm starting to feel an itch. I might end up getting the game :o If you had asked me just a week ago I would have told you that I would never buy this game

rjejr

#11

rjejr said:

@Rerun - Keep forgetting about Hercules. When Disney gets serious about wanting to sell these as toys we'll see the "princesses" line. I think they are up to about 11 now. And I'll be glad once again that I don't have a daughter.

They are much nicer than the Pokemon Rumble U characters, but at 4x the price.

ACK

#12

ACK said:

Mark my words: the figures will hold Infinity back from breakout success.

They are too similar to the Disney junk littering any toy aisle in every store. The appeal of Skylanders is that kids have never seen those characters before. Never imagined them. Never watched them. And, most importantly, never owned them. That's why when they saw a new one they had to have it. That's why when the individual characters were disappearing their parents obliged.

As I said in another topic, what is difference between these figurines and the numerous Disney toys kids' have gotten in Happy Meals and promptly lost in the sandbox?

Quality? Collect-ability? Maybe, but those are hardly the ideals that will be governing all those dainty fingers as they write the annual X-mas commandments. As a result, I fear drastic price cuts will be legacy of these figurines come the holiday shopping season.

Mk_II

#13

Mk_II said:

mildly interesting sidenote: i was speaking to a retailer earlier this week an he told me that in his store the "attach rate" for Skylander figurines wasn't that great to begin with and is dropping fast. He blames the price and has serious doubts about the Disney Infinity figurines because they're even more expensive. These things should be an impulse buy at 4 or 5 bucks/euro and not three times as much.

ricklongo

#14

ricklongo said:

@ACK What's the difference, you ask? Why, those new figurines have got videogame counterparts. I will never underestimate the power of that deail alone.

I'm not interested in DIsney Infinity (especially because the characters aren't the classic Disney I grew up with), but I think this will be an insanely massive success.

MadAdam81

#15

MadAdam81 said:

You can buy single figures for AU$15, and compared to other toys the same price, they look amazing. You can get 3 packs for $30.
The figures look much better than other toys - my figures don't have the seam issues listed in the article - and the size is good too, particularly for the Cars figures.
Considering I got the game for AU$68 and extra plasters for $35, this is a game where it's important to research prices before buying.
As far as the discs go, you can buy singles you want on eBay for good prices if you don't want to bother with blind packs.
Lastly, rare discs have a clear orange plastic base and a 3D sticker.

ACK

#16

ACK said:

@ricklongo You're right... But here's the thing: kids have played as all these characters before. Parents have bought games featuring these licenses - often in the bargain bin for the price of a figurine itself. And you know what? Disney has honestly burned them time and time again. Believe me, as a parent I've been there many times and still hardly learned my lesson...

DeathlyDarkness

#18

DeathlyDarkness said:

@Ron Devillano

I gotta ask: Were you lying on the floor shouting "BAM! BOOM! KIIIIIYAH!" while witnessing an epic battle between Mr. Incredible and Captain Jack Sparrow while reminiscing of your early childhood?

Zodiak13

#19

Zodiak13 said:

I've made my views on Disney here before so I wont rehash, but I'm glad financially that I refuse to support Disney. Buying Skylanders for my son was mildly annoying due to the cost, but I enjoyed having a game we both played and collected together. That has weighned drastically enough that we both decided not to get swapforce, it was fun while it lasted. This "game" doesn't look fun at all, even putting my Disney hate aside. Hope it bombs.

Pixel-Perfect

#20

Pixel-Perfect said:

Hmm... I'd like to try this. Maybe I should try renting it... Anyways, these figures are at least a step up from Skylanders if nothing else, I've never found an appealing design there.

Banker-Style

#21

Banker-Style said:

I think the figures lookd great and do feel very sturdy,but my problem is the price £15 a figure.

Sceptic

#22

Sceptic said:

@ACK: Wow, I totally agree on your first post.

Add to that the fact that most parents (even my wife! Go figure.) have now realized the bait and switch that was Skylanders and they will do everything in their power to avoid getting sucked into another multi-hundred-dollar toy collecting spree.

We have a drawer full of Skylanders. As neat as these Disney figures are, I will use every dirty trick in my arsenal to get around having a drawer full of these guys too.

What could save them though is quality over quantity. If the idea they are marketing is that on average you just have three, four or five of your favorite figures, people may go for it after all. And then end up buying ten...

Four or five as opposed to 20 or 30 Skylanders where you 'had' to buy three-packs to get one particular one of them, and where the game is constantly reminding you that you really need a water Skylander for this, you need an earth Skylander for that bonus level, you find a sould gem for another one that you don't own, "do you want to preview?" etc. But all those tie-ins where what made it so successful. We'll see.

Also, throwing all their characters into one franchise doesn't leave much individual charm IMO. As cool as Jack Sparrow and Sully were in their own films, my gut reaction to having them in a game together is "that's pretty stupid."

delt75

#23

delt75 said:

If they ever did a DC or Marvel game with this concept I'd be bankrupt within a week. Although, these are tempting. I had to force myself to leave Best Buy yesterday without buying the game and some extra figures.

SuperconsoleAdmin

#24

Superconsole said:

I really like the Disney Infinity figures, but agree about the messy part where the arms etc. connect to the main bodies. My Sully figure is awfully discoloured around the joints, which is a bit of a shame.

daveh30

#25

daveh30 said:

@ACK

In my opinion, I think you got it totally backwards. Where this will succeed above Skylanders is the fact that everyone already knows and loves these characters, and has their favorites (and if you don't, i don't think the game is really aimed at you anyway). When I'm playing the Monsters U play set with the included Sully character, personally I want to go out and buy the Mike figure because he was my favorite character in those movies... i know that character and his charms and want to play as him. If this was the exact same game with new, unknown characters, I would have absolutely no motivation to buy the additional characters. Same thing goes for Mator in the Cars set... I doubt my 4 year old son would have wanted a new random beat up tow truck character like he wanted Mator... he would have been happy to stick with the included shiny red race car.
I wanted to get into Skylanders, just because I like collecting things, and never could get into just for that reason. I don't know these characters, or anything about them, beyond "I need a water Skylander to access this level..." I purchased both game's starter packs (the original for 3DS, Giants for Wii U) when i could get them on sale, and used the 6 characters included in the 2 packs to beat both games. never felt the need to purchase one additional character. With Disney Infinity, I've purchased all the launch characters and can't friggin' wait Toy Story. Is it an expensive money grab? absolutely, but I haven't found too many other games I can play with my 4 year old where there truly is something for both of us.

AJSjedi

#26

AJSjedi said:

@ACK
Where do I begin? First off let me say clearly this is not mean to offend. However, you sound like a marketing persona, and a bad one at that. I have to disagree with all your principles. You come off sounding like someone with a grudge against disney.

It has been established the roster is the way it is because it's targeted toward the younger generation. They are more familiar with pixar films / characters than classic disney ones.

Regarding skylanders figures, what exactly are they. Everyone I know who looks at one asks themselves that. Where as when you look at disney you instantly know exactly who or what it is. And saying they are poor quality? They are not meant to be "toys" you play with. You mentioned kids not wanting to buy things they already have...umm call of duty anyone? When they come out with new toys from a line already released they don't seem to have any trouble selling them.
One last thing also regarding skylanders, only little children seem the least bit interested, where as with infinity I've seen / read / heard more adults talking about this than kids. That is why you see so many items at the store, everyone is enjoying this game.

Again nothing personal but your points come off as bitter and biased. I copied this to your other article as well not to upset or anger you or bait you into an argument, but for the sake of discussion

ACK

#27

ACK said:

Not enough time to respond to everyone, so hopefully a lengthy, unedited dissertation will clarify my perspective. And don't worry, I'm not easily offended. Not on the internet at least...

I don't believe I'm biased at all. I own practically every classic Walt Disney film from the vault. This isn't against Disney. Understand though that their licensed games are usually pretty bad. Also understand that they are easily obtainable at bargain basement prices. I can buy a Cars game, Incredibles, Pirates, etc... for about the price of a figurine alone.

As for those figurines. My kids own toys that all look eerily similar. Except their Cars move. Those cost less than $3. Their Incredible are articulated. They cost about $10. Walk down any toy aisle and there are loads of Disney toys in the same vein that do more for less.

About the characters. My kids like the Pixar characters, but they only show an interest in the games after seeing a movie. And they certainly don't like them more than Nintendo characters, Pokemon, Superheroes, classic Disney characters, or yes, even Skylanders. Let's be real. You have cars with eyes. B-list superheroes. Generic monsters. And silly looking pirates.

I'm not trying to defend Skylanders, but it is a true videogame. Those Skylanders are videogame characters through and through. With cool special moves and unexpected abilities. They appeal in the same way you may strive to unlock all the characters in a fighting game. You want to see their moves and feel how they control. Skylanders is mysterious in that way. A kid sees unique, cartoonish videogame characters which entice and surprise them.

I've seen this all happen. Every kid I've talked to about Infinity sees it as more Disney stuff and little else. I spend a lot of time in retail and I never have seen a kid drawn into the Infinity display. I still see a few looking for that last Skylander and ask them about Infinity. What do they say? That's a little kids game.

Of course, we'll see how this plays out, but the figurines are selling incredibly poorly so far. My store brought in two extra employees to work launch... One person bought Infinity in the afternoon. On the other hand people still call asking for the "Darklight Crypt".

I'll concede there are seemingly obvious reasons for Infinity to succeed. However, I can't ignore the serious hurdles either. The prevalence of similar toys from the same franchises. The lack of videogame appeal. The dubious collect-ability of the figurines. And last but least, Disney's terrible track record with kids' videogames.

And I haven't even touched upon how poorly Infinity markets it's concept. It really looks generic Disney mash up that forces you to buy characters individually. Skylanders was able to sell the idea because most similar kids game only have a couple characters and slight content. Skylanders was bursting with content and the ability to buy new, unheard-of characters felt freeing to kids because usually they would be stuck playing that sort of game with the same couple characters. Those same kids expect a Disney game to come loaded with characters. Why should they bother their parents to buy all the Cars, for instance, when they have one or more Cars games already on their shelves?

Even to kids Infinity feels slimy. Skylanders was able to avoid that pitfall by acknowledging what kids really want. Not what parents think they do or should want.

Bacon_Gal_Blaze

#28

Bacon_Gal_Blaze said:

I don't understand how Skylanders - and most likely this too - sold so well. I mean, who can afford to buy all those figurines? D:

himemochi

#29

himemochi said:

I understand that the method is Skylander-ish, but I bought all the characters that are out and preordered Jack Skellington because these characters are what I want NOT the weird Skylanders. Also each character being a beautiful piece makes me happy to spend that little bit extra. Skylanders are terrible looking for the most part, I had to search for a hot dog where his eyes weren't already chipped in the pack.

Being able to create in this game is one of the main things I love and the Disney created worlds are fun to jump right into. I love playing multiplayer locally with my friends because when they have to go or are done playing they just take their character off the pad and go on haha. Its the mash ups like Sugar Rush and Tron that get my creative juices going and I collect all kinds of things for my in game Toy Box.

Also with each figure, you get a digital card that gives you that character in the PC gaming coming out in October. Skylanders are 12-14 and so are these, so i am not sure about the price difference in my area.

Overall , I am very excited for this, I hope they announce Alice or Mulan, they have two girls from Frozen already in the game for when they come out this fall.

This is one of those games you really have to try it to know if you will like it :)

jpfan1989

#31

jpfan1989 said:

I'm hoping for a classics sets.
Mickey and the gang, Aladden, Lion King, sword in the stone etc.

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