Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Prince of Persia: Alamut Gate Playset
Sometimes, I feel a little bad for toy companies. They pick up licenses to upcoming films long before seeing the movies. When McFarlane bought the rights to Prince of Persia, they were gambling it would be the next Pirates of the Caribbean.
It wasn't. And, because of that, McFarlane must have taken a pretty substantial hit. Great movies move new merchandize for years; poor ones ensure toys linger in clearance, slowly dropping price until they get so cheap....
This is the Alamut playset. The irony is that this is a good toy. It looks cool as a backdrop, and (if you're into play features) it comes loaded. Actually, far too loaded for my tastes: I just wanted a backdrop.
The figure included is pretty good, though it loses most of its value due to the movie's poor quality. Who really wants a reminder of Prince of Persia sitting on their shelf?
Let's talk features. The gate opens and closes, thanks to a crank on the side. This takes some time, though, and it's generally more trouble than it's worth.
There's also a bunch of rocks designed to drop out of a shoot with the press of a button. They seemed to stick on mine. Even if they'd functioned right, they'd still have been trouble than they're worth: like I said, I want a backdrop, and things like that just remind you that you've got a playset.
Next up, are the fold out stairs. These don't really hurt much, but they're more or less useless. Again, more trouble than they're worth.
As is the catapult, designed to launch the aforementioned rocks in the air. Cute idea, but the execution is a bit tame. Also, the lock on mine came broken. It's hard to complain too much, given how little I paid and how long this lingered on the shelf, but still.
Finally, there are a bunch of pegs going up the front, in case you want to have the figures running up or along the walls or something. To be fair, these will hold the figure up. However, given the figure's limited articulation, you can't accomplish much. The edge at the top works far better, allowing the figure to look like he's holding on for dear life. I don't have any idea whether this was intentional or a happy coincidence, but it's pretty cool. As for the pegs, you guessed it: more trouble than they're worth. Here's the best use I found for those:
Yes, you can display the hero plummeting towards his death.
While this set has some serious issues, right now it's a hell of a bargain. I found this at a Toys R Us in Queens for a buck fifty. At that price, I grabbed a pair of them.