Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Indie Toy Maker's Time to Shine: Morphonauts

I was just talking about how independent toy makers are hitting home runs all over the place nowadays, and to further drive that point home: Here's some Morphonauts!

I dunno if you knew, but your boy Alexx is ALL ABOUT them mix-and-match toys. If I can customize, then I'm probably in line with the shakes waiting to make my own whatever-you-have-for-me-to-make. I've made my own lightsabers, droids, Xevoz, anything Glyos, and the list goes on and on. It's time to add something else to the list - plus - add a new comer to the list of magnet toys! Haven't heard that in awhile, have you? Seemed like magnet related action figures were all over the place in the early 2000's, but then some dangerous (I.E. deadly) magnet ingestion brought the house of magnets crashing down.

You don't have to worry about any detachable magnets here, though. Magnets are intelligently used to hold these guys together - like Mag Warriors, if you remember those - except these hold together much stronger.

Let's start with Razornaut, and pull this sucker apart.

Each Morponaut separates at the neck, shoulders, and hips. Each one also sports a backpack (attached by the same magnet system) with two holes in the sides of the pack for more weapons/arms/legs/heads/whatever you want. The magnets are STRONG, though not so much that they snap out of your hands to attach to each other. There's also magnets in the feet, so you can slap them on any metal surface!

They use basic articulation in the limbs, like joints in the elbows and knees.

Razornaut is the human of the trio, with a very "Attack of the Mutant" look, if you used to read Goosebumps books. He sports some blades on his fists and some sickles on his back. The sickles are attached by magnets, so those can go anywhere. They also have handles on two sides, for holding options.

The designer (designers? How many of you are there?) attached the magnets on ball joints, for the most part, so the legs can move outwards on the hips, and the head can look up. The shoulders don't have any outward movement though, and the lack of the bicep swivel limits things a bit, but I think it's a fine sacrifice for a solid toy that's hard to break.

Morphonauts are almost 5 inches, so they're a bit bigger than joes and Marvel Universe, but match up nicely with Power Rangers stuff.

Still, they look nice with just about anything, especially the non-human ones!

Case in point: The Pyronaut, which is a walking flame thrower. It looks good anywhere! Plus with flame! Then again, everything looks good with flame. All things.

The Pyronaut is a beast, with big 'ol shoulders and stomping feet. There's pipes all over him, bolts keeping him together, and a tank of gas on his back. He comes with two flame throwers on magnets, so they can be over-the-shoulder throwers or hand-held (with the peg handles).

Or, you know, you could put the arms on the backpack and the guns on the shoulders. Your choice.

I do wish the backpacks had a couple more holes, so there were more options for adding other weapons or limbs. It's a little limited to just swapping with only the two holes, instead of multiple holes allowing you to add all sorts of wacky combinations.

The Pyronaut was my favorite right from first sight, but the surprise favorite ended up being the next one. A monster, of all things! What's the world coming to when the robot isn't my favorite?

The Crabinaut (that is also my favorite name, because Crabinaut) is a horrifying alien monster!

My first thought was: Star Brigade. I mean, look at him! He looks like he came right out of the 90's G.I. Joe subset.

Crabinaut has a lot going on, and then some. The backpack isn't just a pack this time, it's also a little beast all on it's own!

It could even be used as a head, when you mix things up.

The little crabby guy is the source of my only complaint about Crabinaut, though:

As you can see, all the limbs or weapons attaching with magnets makes a need for friction. The magnet-on-magnet action is totally frictionless, so the parts just swing down with gravity. They remedied that with the little ridges you can see on Pyronaut's gun (and on the rest of the figure's limbs). They didn't, however, add these to the little crab-pack's arms, so they constantly swing down when you pose him. In fact, that flop around with almost anything you do.

Still, though I have to mention it, I can't say it gets in the way of my enjoyment. Since it's a rampaging monster, I could see the flailing limbs kinda cool if I were a little kid knocking these around. It does hinder posing, but if you're using the limbs, you can find ways to set them up.

See? If you just place someone's neck in there, the arms hold up fine!

So let's break things down:

 - Are these for kids? UH, YEAH. Totally. These things are sturdy as heck, and swapping them around is fun.

...granted, there are other bodies you can use than Razornauts over and over, but hey, I got my favorites, you know?

Anyway, the swapping is fun, the toys are posable, but not so much that they're gona be a mess if the younger kids are messing around with them and tossing them about. I tend to review a lot of collector's toylines, but these are pure TOY. Absolute YES, for kids. Kids won't be able to keep their hands off these things.

 - Okay, well, what about collectors? Eh, hard to say. I'm the kind of collector that likes to mess with the toys, so I like a plain old fun toy as much as a fancy, expensive hand-candy figure. Personally, I feel like the sculpting is interesting enough to bring in collectors, 'cause the 90's influences and bright colors are just eye catching, you know? The nostalgia is pretty heavy with these dudes, I mean, they just LOOK like something you've had when you were a kid, right?

Basically, these are for everyone. Nothin' not to love.

You can get Morphonauts at their website, where you'll find the store and a cool app that allows you to mix and match all the possible Morphonauts that are planned as toys for the future. The app is free, so money or no; there's a way to play with Morphonauts.

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