Guest Review #0051: Mola Mola

MOLA MOLA

HALFTOYS OCEAN SERIES (HALFTOYS)

Mola mola, otherwise known as ocean sunfish, are the heaviest bony fish in the ocean, but are ten times smaller than whale sharks, the largest cartilaginous fish. One Mola mola was recorded to weigh 2.5 tons, which is comparable to an SUV! And do you know what they eat? Planktonic organisms and jellyfish!

Wait, why am I talking about ocean sunfish? This is an outrage! This is a blog about action figures, not fish and the ocean.

You’re right; this is outrageous because this goofy looking fish head with modified fins got an action figure! Well, technically it’s more toy than action figure because it doesn’t have any moving joints…

Ethan said I could review him, and so review him I shall!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Mola is the second figure in the HALFTOYS Ocean Series. If you remember, they were the company that launched with their Half-Dinos, the cute little dinosaur toys made of hard plastic and magnets.

Mola mola measure at about 14 feet from head to end and 10 feet from the tip to tip of its modified fins. The Mola figure measures at about 2.5 inches long and 3.25 inches tall—significantly smaller than its real world counterpart!

This figure has no points of articulation. Mola is comprised of five pieces, three bone pieces and then the two that make up the skin. The skeleton is very easy to put together, the pieces just slide into place and fit rather snuggly. The skeleton isn’t quite accurate, but it’s a simplistic representation of what someone can find in a Mola mola. Then the outer covering snaps over the skeleton and is held together by magnets that line the edge of the skin.

Fun fact: Mola mola don’t have scales like other fish do.

There’s no paint job for the Mola, the hard plastic is all one color. The skeleton is all white, obviously, and the skin is a nice shade of sky blue.

Now, let’s talk accessories.

Mola comes with a build-it-yourself diorama with 31 cardboard pieces, including the stage and the stand for Mola. Luckily, this guy also comes with a manual that shows you how to put it together using pictures and numbers. The diorama was honestly really fun to construct, and it’s really easy to pop the pieces out of their cardboard holders. The diorama includes sea rocks, three brightly colored sea anemones, what I believe is some kind of coral, and three schools of smaller fish. The schools of fish can be positioned wherever you want them to go, to make your diorama slightly different from everyone else!

I will warn you that while the cardboard is pretty sturdy, it can still bend or tear if you’re not careful with it. I recommend someone with steady fingers to construct the diorama and to not take it apart once you put it together.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I really enjoy the Mola and its diorama! It’s a clever way to get kids into ocean life and science. The color job on the diorama is great. The sea anemones are brightly colored as they should be. Mola mola don’t really hang out around coral reefs where you would find the flashier fish, so the simple blue and yellow fish in this diorama make perfect sense and match beautifully. The platform, or stage, is colored in blues and greens, giving the suggestion of seagrass. And the coral-like structure is a nice shade of orange that is striking while also going along perfectly with the rest of the set up.

My super awesome husband, Ethan, got the Mola and the rest of the ocean series for me as a surprise. I had wanted to get them, but couldn’t justify the cost at the time. So one day, a package came in the mail addressed to him and he told me I could open it. The amount of squealing that followed I swear alarmed the neighbor’s dog! This is a great gift for children and ocean fans alike. I highly recommend it for everyone.

And if you’d like to read more about the goofy fish that is the Mola mola you can read all about them on my blog, A Siren’s Call to Sea! It’s a daily blog about marine science and all things related to the ocean!

#1887: T-Rex

T-REX

HALFTOYS DINO SERIES (HALFTOYS)

T-REX is part of a family of unique creatures that live in a place called Halfworld.  They roam freely in search of new friends.  Help bring the family together by collecting them all!”

I don’t talk about dinosaurs super often on this site.  In fact, I’ve only really talked about them once before.  Believe me, if certain other writers for this site had their way, I’d definitely be talking about them way more often, but alas, here we are.  Still, as a mark for good toys, dinosaurs do come up with at least a bit of frequency, since you certainly can’t deny their inherent toyeticness.  Yes, “toyeticness” is totally a word.  Anyway, I’m going to be doubling my dino-themed output today, and taking a look at the king of all dinos, the Tyrannosaurus Rex!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Tyrannosaurus Rex, whose proper given name appears to be “T-Rex” here, is figure 002 in the Halftoys Dino Series.  The line is produced in China by Halftoys, and distributed in the US by LearnPlay.  As of right now, there are six dinos available, covering most of the basics.  The figure is about 2 1/2 inches tall, and doesn’t have any real articulation, in the traditional sense at least.  These guys are sold as “model sets” moreso than traditional figures, so they’re just slightly outside of my usual area.  That said, T-Rex himself comes assembled in the package, so he’s a pretty basic figurine in that respect.  He’s constructed from seven pieces.  There’s an outer shell gives us a friendly, cartoon caricature of the classical depiction of the T-Rex.  It’s downright adorable.  This shell splitsin two, right down the middle, befitting the “Halftoys” monicker.  When in place, the two halves are held together by magnets, which is a nice, sleek, clean way of handling it.  Beneath this shell is T-Rex’s skeleton, which, like his exterior, is a friendly caricature of the real thing.  It can be disassembled into five different pieces, which all go back together like a small 3D jigsaw puzzle.  Since there’s only one way for everything to go back together, there isn’t any confusion or frustration when trying to reassemble, and all of the parts are large enough that they shouldn’t be very easily lost.  And, at every stage of the process, the figure remains a solid little toy, which I quite liked.  In addition to the main figure, you also get a buildable diorama to go with him.  It’s just a paper-crafted item, so it’s not anything revolutionary, but it does make for a nice extra touch.  Assembly took about 30 minutes for me, and it’s mostly pretty intuitive.  Some parts are a little trickier than others, and I had some stability issues with the tree once I’d assembled it, but for paper-craft, it’s not too shabby.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Full Disclosure:  the T-Rex reviewed here was provided to me in exchange for a review by LearnPlay.

Prior to being contacted by LearnPlay, I wasn’t familiar with anything from Halftoys, but after checking them out, I was certainly intrigued.  This little guy is certainly a lot of fun.  Sure, he’s not your traditional action figure, but they’re certainly going to be appealing to a younger dino-obsessed crowd, and I can definitely see myself lining up a bunch of them on my desk at work.  The figure is solidly constructed, and should hold up to some sustained play.  Plus, I just find him a lot of fun to sit and fiddle with, which is honestly the most appealing thing for me in any toy I pick up.  I will definitely be getting some more of these for myself.  If you’re a dino-fan, or are looking for a cool gift for your favorite dino-fan, I can heartily recommend this guy and his compatriots.  For more information, head on over to LearnPlay’s site here.