Sunday, August 21, 2011

Tron Legacy Deluxe Light Runner

Last year's Tron Legacy was, above all else, a very pretty movie. It might not have been all that good, at least not objectively speaking, but it was certainly nice to look at.

Before the movie hit, I picked up a pair of three packs of small, die-cast vehicles, which I reviewed back at The Clearance Bin. They were fine, if unexceptional, toys.

Recently, I was wandering around the toy section of K-Mart (as I'm wont to do), and I stumbled across a Deluxe Light Runner marked all the way down to five bucks. These generally retail for something in the neighborhood of twenty, so that's a pretty substantial cut. I figured that, worst case scenario, I was getting a cool custom base with a light-up feature.

This is made by Spin Master, a company I have very little familiarity with. The toy itself is nice, but not stellar. It's scaled to hold 3 3/4 inch figures. Here's a shot of the Prince of Persia taking it for a test drive:

The thickness and consistency of the plastic varies in different parts of the vehicle. Some parts feel extremely light, though they seem flexible enough to resist snapping (not that I'll be testing that theory, mind you).

I should probably add that the Light Runner seems to use Flintstone's technology: there's an opening beneath the figures, presumably so they can run to propel the vehicle - why else call it a Runner?

The light-up feature is far and away the standout aspect of this toy. It's fairly bright and visually interesting, though I wish it stayed lit longer (there's very little difference between the 'on' and 'try me' settings). It uses three LEDs to get the effect, and it does approximate the look of the film. All in all, it's pretty cool.

The Runner also has some spring-loaded guns, which pop up when you open the hatches holding them down. I like the mechanism, though the guns themselves could use some detail work.

The cockpit opens and closes, allowing you to place figures inside, if you're so inclined.

In case you were worried, the wheels do turn. Or, more accurately, the outer lining of the wheels spin, while the axels are locked.

Finally, the front section is hinged, allowing the runner to drive over obstacles. It's kind of neat, though I can think of other features I'd rather have.

The main thing missing here is a figure. I'm a strong believer that plastic vehicles and playsets should always have at least one figure included. I suspect the fact this didn't contributed towards it lingering on the shelf long enough to drop to five bucks.

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