Sometimes we forget just how much fun toys are meant to be. While collecting action figures has become a race to acquire the most detailed, hulking, plastic monstrosity -- sometimes it’s easy to dismiss the impact that toys and playtime have for kids. Kids?! You know what we’re talking about -- those squatty, loud, less-prone-to-worry-about-bills versions of “adults”. Today’s review is for a toyline that can be fun for the work desk, but even more so down on the ground in the grubby little paws of a Kool-Aid infused terror, fresh from a day stuck in the prison of grade school.
In honor of the new season of Fantasy Factory, and the release of the first web-isode of Wild Grinders, we snagged a couple of toys and took ‘em outside! Stick around while we take a look at two of the basic figures from Rob Dyrdek’s Wild Grinders by Mattel!
Lil Rob leads the Wild Grinders with his infinitely upbeat personality, street smarts, and imagination. Sprawl City is a world seen through Rob’s eyes – not just skyscrapers, malls, mass transit, and pedestrians – but spots to skate, new places to discover, and hustles to be hustled. Lil Rob has big guts for a little guppy – sometimes too big. He frequently tries calling his parents by their first names and always bites off a little more scheming than he can chew.
Jay Jay is THE OLDEST in the crew. He steps in to protect the guys when trouble is around but his toughness is just an act that he drops if things get scary. Sure, he talks a mean game, but the moment someone comes back at him he will climb straight up a fire escape to flee the scene. Jay Jay has split personas between the streets and his home. With the crew, he’s a fast-talking, cool character throwing down his own unique street-lingo and staring down anyone who tries to mess with the group. But the moment he steps into his house, Jay Jay is a proper young gentleman who greets his very genteel family.
Both Lil’ Rob and Jay Jay feature very stylized-sculpts that match the animated style to a tee. Both figures also have removable hats that fit on their heads in any position. The figures in the line feature large magnets placed in the soles of their shoes in order to attach to their skateboards, so they don’t randomly just fall off onto their faces… like we’ve been known to do. The boards themselves are very well done, with a matte-finished grip tape on top and a slick and glossy design on the bottom of the deck. The wheels are plastic, and might receive a lot of distress and wear if pushed to roughly across pavement, *ahem* not that we were doing that or anything. Quit looking at us like that!
For the most part, the toys are molded in their correct colors which helps in keeping the scratches and wear from showing after an afternoon of shoving these guys down a makeshift ramp. The parts that ARE painted are done so rather cleanly, including the ever-important eyes. The tampographs on Rob’s hat and Jay’s shirt are also tight without any slop. In fact, looking back, the only scratches on these figures were caused by us -- such as on Lil Rob's hand in the last photo of this review.
The articulation on these little guys is sparse, but that’s understandable for what they are. A ball-joint neck, swivel/hinge shoulders, and swivel ankles are the only joints to be found on the basic line of figures. All of the movement is smooth and kid’s (or people who have just partied way too hard) can easily manipulate the toys during play.
Overall, these are some cool toys, especially for the younger crowd. However, thanks to the blocky art style, these guys will fit right in with a collection of design vinyl, or other animation-based collections. Personally, I kind of liked taking them outside, regardless of the awkward stares and mutterings of people passing by! For more info on the Wild Grinders toy-line and animated web series, be sure to visit www.wildgrinders.com and check out all of the other characters in the series!
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