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|Toy Island Space Fighters Action Figures
This is a "gimmic line" plain and simple. These figures have nothing at all to do with the real plot of ANY Sonic video game or the Sonic X TV show. How did this line get approved? What is its inspiration? Who knows...but Toy Island made it, and it was released nearly simultaneously with their Figures & Chaos Emeralds and the Mega Bot lines. The lines started around April of 2006.
|If you are going to get a new Toy Island line, and you don't mind the gimmic, I would say "Make it Space Fighters"
The Shadow is from the Mega Bot line. You can see that all the Space Fighters guys are a little bit bigger than their other line counter-parts. Missile Wrist is much smaller than the 'mega bot' (and also its Sonic X size is out of scale, or else it would be huge!)
|Aside from wearing the wierd space gear, these figures have semi-translucent plastic rods. The rods are slightly soft, and snap into 2 pieces. The pieces then fit into the top and bottom of the figures' hand, and transfer the light from the LED in the fist, when you press a button on the figure. The helmets do not come off, nor do any suit-pieces. These are more well-constructed than the Mega Bot figures.|
|Space Fighters Sonic the Hedgehog
Space Sonic has a minorly different head than the other lines, but he's still a bit off. His hands don't have the same attention to detail as the Mega Bot Sonics, but naturally 1 must accomodate the LED. His 'weapon' or whatever is more a rod than a staff. Note that it has tiny versions of his spikes near the 'chaos emerald'-like top. The shoes are a bit odd with blunt fronts, but he's pretty poseable and the figure actually makes a good presentation if you can get past the odd space theme.
|Drawbacks in General:
The rods needed to be better implemented. They ALWAYS fall out of the figures' hand, due to mis-sizing. They could have had a snap in, or a twist/screw in rod and it would be fine...but they're supposed to pop in and don't. The only way to keep Tails holding his, is to glue it permenently to his hand, which no one wants. Their joints can also be a tad loose, but they tend to keep the poses most of the time. The helmets are non-removable. Tails' isnt attached but his hair keeps it on. They could have had some kind of 'snap on' helmet or something, but I guess they thought everyone would lose it.
Their hands aren't as well crafted as some on the MegaBot line. They're simplistic, but still fairly nice, nothing outrageous either way. Of course, one hand is always a 'pre-made' simple fist of some kind to hold the light. Although it is similarly sized, it tends to be blocky, but with good reason.
|No horrible key-hole eyes for this Tails figure!|
|Tails' LED is orange.|
|Mega Bot Tails is actually kind of cool.
You can imagine Tails inventing something like this suit, if he had to. (but who knows why) The suit makes him look proportionate, and not suffer from 'big body' at all. This is one of the most poseable figures on the line, with his tails for support. You can see that they also bothered to color the insides of his ears this time, however they added a bit much 'white space' to his tail tips (they are actually about half+ white) which is inaccurate, but somewhat nit-picky.
Tails' magic space wand or whatever is more of a staff. It is a good deal longer than Sonics'. There is a bump on the emerald top for some reason. If you look closely, the bottom is divided into 2 tail shapes, with zig-zag ridges to denote tip color although the staff is all one color. WHY do they think it is necisary for the accessory to have body-part features of it's carrier?
|Missile Wrist the Robot:
Whimsical wielder of tethered projectiles. It is good to see that Toy Island is giving some of the badguys (obscure or not) some decent figures.
|Missile Wrist is a rather odd addition to the line.
This robot was one of the first robots that Eggman sent after our heroes in the Sonic X tv show. It was rather un-charismatic, and non-important in the grand scheme of things, however...here it is. This figure makes it look almost whimsical and fun. (although it was really a destructive badguy) It's quite pose-able, and will even sit down, adding to its odd charm.
It is obviously different than all the other figures. It's not as big as it was in the show (if it was, it'd be the size of the mega bot!) but it is still fairly large. The 'dome light/eye' is what lights up for it. You can extend both parts of the arms, and rotate the bottom of the arm 360 degrees to simulate missile firing, which is a nice touch. It has huge feet, so it's pretty stable too. The arms twist at the shoulders, and the legs at the hips. The 'knees' will also go 360. It is all hard plastic, with some paint details. This one has a really bright light! You can use him for a flashlight.
The LEDs are colored according to the rods, to better help it match when it lights up. This is a nice touch. Missile Wrist's light is blue.
|Why is Shadow all the way down here? Because he's that hard to get. With so much Scalping going on, Gear had to wait for a third Re-stock at Toys R Us to get ahold of him.
The Space Fighters Shadow the Hedgehog was a *little* dissapointing because he has the EXACT same head as his MegaBot counter part, which was not that great. Only this time, they neglected to paint inside his ears. It seems like they did not try to improve him at all, unlike the other figures.
|Shadow is also more prone to paint defects because all his plastic seems to be black so the accents are painted on, giving the chance for smears, holes, 'thin spots' and uneven-ness. This is extra bad, because Shadow is soooo scarce that you have to buy him even if you notice his paint isn't spot-on in the store. See how his shoes look dirty/dingy? They're not, its just his paint over the black surface.|
|Shadow is unique in that he has a sword, rather than a staff. It is also the top half only, needing no handle-bottom--although it shows one on the box-back! The sword is actually rather cool, with interesting hilt and design on the blade. It also makes a bit of sense, given that he used weapons (like swords) in Shadow The Hedgehog video game. Also: Sword does not photograph very well, there's more detail than that but you can't see it much.|
|Knuckles is also vaguely rare for whatever reason. He is also wearing the most curious space-suit. He has the largest 'helmet' with two Dragon Ball Z style scouters on the front instead of a full mask like everyone else. They chose 'really odd green' for his accent color (taken from his socks) and splashed it around his suit making for a bit of a clash. His shoes are by far the oddest, with giant claws sticking up out of the tops. He also has a 'sheath' (but no knife?) on one side.|
|Knuckles has a similar Emerald-like rod, but this ones' top is perched on 3 long dreadlock or claw like tips, as is expected from the 'body parts' theme. His rod arm is bent at the elbow, also unique. For some reason, Knuckles holds onto the space weapon better than all of the other reviewed figures do. That they COULD make the figures grip the wepons better as he proves, but that not all of them do, is frusterating.|
|And last but not least, a comparison of the space rods or whatever they are, size-wise.|
|This much rare-er head sculpt shows they could do a pretty decent job with Shadow, but selected the far worse head (seen above) to be the 'real head' for the figure instead. Why would they choose a clearly inferior sculpt? This space fighters figure is much harder to come by, and more valued because it just looks better! It may have been seen at the very start of the release in select areas. Photo by LarryInc64|
|This is what the box for the Space Fighters looked like. All of the boxes were pretty much the same for everybody, except the photo of the figure on the band in the front (bottom right). They're quite Sonic X branded, with the logo & forward/punch Sonic art that was pretty much exclusive to X there in the corner. The bottom has a photo of all the figures on the line so you know who else you can collect. (notice Missile Wrist down there on the left) The bullet points text up there says how they come with the accessory & the figure makes it 'glow' (the light in the fist shines into the semi-clear plastic of their magic space rod /scepter whatever that's supposed to be) to create the effect. Photo discovered by KarateKid1717|
|Here's a full body pic of that "Better Head Shadow" from the Space Fighters line. It's a little lopsided (one eye higher than the other) but he looks better than the 'yelling white mouth' one above.|
|This one is uncommon. If you see it, pick it up. Notice that in the trio of figures above, someone has pried off Sonic's helmet, & the bottom parts of 2 of the magic power staffs (or whatever those are) are missing. Photos discovered by 09SonicFan|
|In all, Space Fighters is a pretty all-right line for this early time.
Added articulation, better body/head ratio sizing, and proof that they can do detailing makes this line nice. The colors, if you notice, are all taken directly from ONLY the colors already present on the figures. Only Sonic's suit introduces light blue, which was technically his color already anyway. This gives the characters' suits a familiar feel and insures that they aren't jarring. This was a very smooth move.
They could have copped out and done different repaints of the same helmets for everyone, but they chose the high-road and made each one different. If you look closely, each one has a detail which looks like a comm-unit. For something so out of left-field, these are surprisingly thoughty.
It's this nice attention to detail that causes the flaws to be downplayed, but baffeling. Why skip some paint portions? Why use a clone-head on Shadow that they KNEW was an inferior sculpt? Why the wide varience in paint quality? Joint mobility & weapon-grasping? The other stuff proves they knew better, or seem to, and then just didn't act to get it that final 100%.
The good points, attention to detail, extra mobility, and smart theming, make this set one to look for, especially with the oddity value. As a gimmic line, it may be overlooked now or shunned, but in the future these figures may prove quite the addition to your collection...or not.
|Here is Shadow mint on the card in his Space Fighters box. The box back shows all of the figures on the line so you'd know who else there was & what they come with. Missile Wrist is just labeled "Robot", did they not know what the character was called on the show? Photo by Max6464|
|Notice something different about THIS Space Fighters Shadow in his box? Compare it closely with the one right above, and you'll spot what's going on. This box shows his sword with a handle below the fist. Also, notice the figure pictured ON the box isn't the one IN the box. The pictured one (inset, close up) is the much-coveted "Better Head" figure released in the UK. Notice the position of the head on the neck & the eyes...it's much better sculpted & with a better expression than the one you actually get here. The sword handle was likely excluded because it is super tiny & kids would simply lose it right away (which is too bad|
|Because this figure is made of all black plastic, thin-spray could be likely, where the black shows through the other colors that are supposed to be there, as example here with the yellow & white from the shoe. Photos by Max6464|
|More MIB shots of the Space Fighters, here there's Sonic & Tails. Notice how Tails is packaged smartly, he's faced a bit off to one side, to avoid crush/rub of the front of the bubble hitting his bangs or nose, damaging the figure. The right photo is inside a KB Toys store, look at all those pegs full of figures! In this time, it was common to just be able to walk into a store & choose whatever figures you wanted since they were nicely stocked. It would be great to find something like that today. Photos discovered by Max6464|