It's that time again, when Toys R Us decides unloading tons of crap that didn't sell at a loss will lose them less than paying taxes on the toys in stock. Clearance season.
I've probably walked by Trio sets dozens of times, but I don't recall ever actually *seeing* them until last week when something caught my eye. Maybe it was the bright red package or exciting graphics.
Nah. It was the 70% off sign.
I paid a little less than four bucks for the "Dragon Battle Arena" and something like $1.80 for the "Watch Tower." Actually, it was more like $3.60, because I wound up buying two.
The toys themselves aren't bad for building sets. There are a few play features that are more obnoxious than fun, but other than that they're pretty straight forward. You've got a bunch of plastic blocks (some of which are fused together into logs - pick up the Dragon Arena if you want mostly blocks). There are also long pegs that clip into holes in the blocks/logs, and panels that fit between the pegs. Cute concept, but I'm not entirely sold on the execution.
As you can see, there are plenty of extras. Both sets come with a pair of knights and a cardboard window panel (eh). The tower has some wheels, which are nothing special. The Dragon Arena has (surprise, surprise) some dragons you put together:
Again, nothing special: the block bodies limit the dragons' use outside of the set.
However, this is one of those cases where the whole is less than the sum of its parts. And there are a lot of parts to consider. I mainly picked this up to get my hands on those panels, and I'm intrigued by their potential. Much to my surprise, the blocks might be even more useful to me: the plain black ones that came with the Dragon Arena are particularly versatile.
Even those dragon heads have some promise: I might slap some paint on the red dragon head and see if I can make something interesting out of it.