#1645: Hiding Scooby-Doo & Funland Robot



“Why is Scooby-Doo hiding in a trash can?  Because everything in the theme park is mysteriously running by itself!  But that’s not all that sends Scooby running—a mysterious robot is chasing him!”

I don’t have a huge collection of Scooby-Doo figures (though it’s actually increased by 400% in the last two years, if you’re keeping track).  For the longest time, my entire collection was made up of two figures.  One of them was Fred, my favorite member of the Scooby Gang.  The other was Charlie, the Funland Robot, by far my favorite “monster” (though it’s a loose use of the term).  I know, what a shock; Ethan likes the robot.  Crazy.


This pair is one of three two-packs in the 2018 assortment of the Imaginext Scooby-Doo! line.  Each two-pack is one member of the gang and one monster.  This one’s a solid pairing, giving us the Funland Robot alongside a hiding Scooby-Doo seen in the Funland Robot’s episode “Foul Play in Funland.” (okay, technically Scooby’s hiding in a barrel, not a trash can, in that episode, but it’s close enough).


Admittedly, this Scooby variant is less of a figure in its own right and more a glorified accessory to the other figure.  But, it’s billed as a separate figure on the package, so I’ll count it the way they want me to.  I’m nice like that.  The figure stands just shy of 3 1/2 inches tall.  He’s got no actual articulation, but he does have a spring-loaded action feature that pops his head and feet out of the trash can.  It’s pretty nifty, I suppose.  Scooby’s sculpt is unique, rather unsurprisingly.  The trash can is basic in details, but has a few more in-depth areas of dents and dings.  The button that activates the action feature is rather obvious, but it’s small enough not to ruin the whole effect.  The lid and top of the can are slightly bent, so that when the head is fully retracted, you can still see Scooby’s eyes peering through.  The actual Scooby parts are fairly standard, rather un-stylized for the line, truth be told.  He lines up pretty well with the standard Scooby figure I looked at earlier this year.  Paint is largely minimal on this particular figure; it’s just on the eyes and nose.  Everything else is just done up in the proper colors.  The grey on the trash can is a little bland, but it’s not terrible.


The main star here is definitely this guy.  The Funland Robot’s a distinctive looking character from the show, who’s sadly lacking in toys when you really get down to it.  The figure stands 2 3/4 inches tall and he has 8 points of articulation.  His movement is the same basic set-up as the other Imaginext figures I’ve  looked at.  It’s pretty solid for the size and style.  His sculpt is unique to him, and it does a good job of capturing his in-show design and translating it into the style of the toyline.  He’s a design that certainly works quite well in this particular style, and I appreciate the small touches, such as the small wrinkles at the base of his pants legs.  Like Scooby, the Funland Robot’s paint is fairly minimal.  The majority of the colors are molded plastic, and tend to work pretty well.  Like the older figure I looked at, his torso is a pink color, rather than the indigo shade from the show.  I’d say it’s a licensing thing.  The actual paint on the face is pretty clean, and captures the character’s likeness, with a fun bit of stylization thrown in for good measure.


My Imaginext purchases are rather sparse.  My Scooby-Doo purchases are also pretty sparse.  So, how did I come upon this set?  Well, I’ve been frequenting my closest TRU on a rather frequent basis, keeping an eye out for all the new stuff coming in from the warehouses.  My TRU has become a bit of a war zone, if I’m honest, with stuff just strewn all over the place.  I found this set sitting in the Marvel aisle of all places.  I didn’t know it existed, but I couldn’t bring myself to turn down a Funland Robot figure.

#1514: Mystery Inc



Almost a year ago, I took a look at a few Scooby Doo figures, which are a little bit outside of my usual reviewing bubble.  Not super far or anything, but just outside.  Of course, as anyone who reads this site with any regularity can probably tell you, all it takes is one figure and the next thing you know, I’m getting a whole set.  So, I had Fred, I had Daphne, and I had the Mystery Machine.  But the Mystery Machine needed the rest of its passengers, right?  I certainly thought so.


The figures included here are all part of the “Mystery Solving Crew” boxed set, which is part of Character Options’ overarching Scooby Doo line.  All of the figures available here are also available a few other places, but this is the most convenient way of getting the whole gang.  Included in this set are Scooby, Shaggy, Velma, Daphne, and Fred, all based on their slightly modernized appearances from Scooby Doo: Mystery Incorporated.  Daphne and Fred are the same ones reviewed here and here.


This is quite a landmark for me, because this is actually my first Scooby figure.  Handful of Scooby Doo figures, and not a one of them’s been the main character.  Yeah, I know, I’m weird.  Anyway, Scooby’s Mystery Inc design was one of the least changed; mostly he just had a few sharper angles.  The figure stands about 3 inches tall (since he’s on all fours) and has 10 points of articulation.  He gets a whole extra point thanks to that tail of his.  His sculpt is a pretty decent translation of the design from the show; I think Scooby’s design translates better to three dimensions than some of the others.  This results in a slightly less wonky looking figure than some of the others.  And when you really get down to it, it makes a bit of sense that Scooby’s figure would be the best, since he *is* the title character.  His paint is fairly basic, and there’s not a ton going on, but it’s certainly clean, which is better than the last two figures I looked at.


You can’t have Scooby and not have Shaggy.  It’s just wrong.  So, here’s Shaggy!  His figure stands a little over 5 inches tall and has 9 points of articulation.  He’s the tallest of the five, and also the scrawniest, both of which fit the character, so that’s good.  His sculpt is also a pretty decent translation of the show design, with only minimal changes being made to help him work in three dimensions.  I can’t really point to anything in particular being different on him the way I could with Fred and Daphne, and I think he’s second after Scooby in terms of a successful translation.  I like that they’ve carried over his distinctive posture, since the other four humans just got fairly generic standing poses.  Shaggy’s paint is also pretty decent, but it’s once again pretty simple, so there wasn’t a whole lot to screw up.


Last up is Velma, the perpetual fifth wheel of the group.  Her figure stands about 4 inches tall and has the same 9 points of articulation as Shaggy, albeit with far more limited hip joints.  Velma’s redesign for Mystery Inc was actually one of my favorites, as I felt it injected some new life into the character.  I’m not sure how successful the figure was in that venture.  She’s rather similar to Daphne in that regard.  I think she still ends up looking decent, but it’s not as strong a sculpt as some of the others, that’s for sure.  Her head’s a little big, and the glasses seem a bit misshapen.  Also, her right hand is sculpted to hold an accessory of some sort (I’d guess a magnifying glass), but no extras are included, which is a little weird.  Velma’s paint is passable, and for the most part pretty clean, but it ends up missing a few details (such as the barrettes in her hair, which are just left brown), which is a little annoying.


In my review of Daphne, I noted that I just needed to resist the urge to finish off the gang.  I’d like it to be noted that I managed to do so for a whole 10 months.  Kudos to me, right?  I found this set at one of the last K-Marts in the area, priced at $9.99, which I’m fairly certain was an error, since the two-packs with the monsters were $7.99.  Regardless, I wanted to finally have the whole gang, and even with the extra Fred and Daphne, this was the cheapest way to go about it.  None of these figures are amazing or anything, but they’re kind of fun, and I’m happy to have the set.

#1206: Daphne Blake




Hey, remember last week when I reviewed Freddy and the Mystery Machine?  Yeah, well, I bet it’s not a huge surprise to find out that wasn’t the only Scooby Doo purchase I’d made in recent history.  Scooby Doo has always operated by pairing characters off; Scooby and Shaggy, Fred and Daphne, Velma and…one of the other pairs, you get the point.  Anyway, since I had Fred, it just seemed wrong to not at least pick up his better half, Daphne Blake!


daphneblake2Daphne was released a few different ways.  She was included in a five-pack of just Mystery Inc, a ten-pack with five classic ghosts, and in one of two two-packs, with either the Skeleton Man or the Witch-Doctor.  Since my figure was picked up loose, I can’t actually say which particular release it is.  Regardless, the figure stands about 4 1/2 inches tall and has 10 points of articulation (though the hair makes her neck joint essentially useless).  Like Fred, Daphne is based on her design from Scooby Doo: Mystery Incorporated.  It’s not a huge departure from her classic look; essentially, the main difference is some sharper angles here and there.  The figure’s sculpt does an okay job of capturing her design, though I’d say she’s definitely got a look that just doesn’t translate so well into three dimensions.  The head (especially the face) seems rather on the large side, as do the hands and feet, and her limbs just seem a bit stubby.  Where Fred’s design is a lot of hard angles, and is therefore a bit more forgiving of some slight slip-ups, Daphne’s is a bit more of a careful balance, which causes her to look a bit more off when one or two things are out of whack.  With all that said, her sculpt is certainly passable, and you can very easily tell who this is supposed to be and even which iteration of the show she’s based on without too much trouble.  In terms of paint, Daphne’s decent enough.  There’s a bit of slop here and there (and my figure’s exhibiting a bit of wear), but the application is pretty solid overall.  The purple on her skirt doesn’t quite match the rest of the figure (purple is a really hard color to work with), but aside from that, the colors look quite nice; she’s quite vibrant, which is always a plus.  Daphne included no accessories, but aside from her own ransom note, what exactly would you give her?


After picking up Fred and the Mystery Machine, I knew I at least wanted a Daphne figure to go with him.  I was planning to track down one of the two-packs, but I was at Yesterday’s Fun and they had her loose for $3, which was good enough for me.  She’s not going to be winning any awards or anything, but for the price point we’re looking at here, she’s more than acceptable.  Now, I just need to resist the urge to finish the gang…


#1199: Mystery Machine (w/ Fred Jones)




In addition to being a comics geek and a sci-fi geek, I’m also quite a bit of an animation geek.  Obviously, I love the cartoons of the ‘90s, being the ones I grew up with and all, but access to the likes of Boomerang and Cartoon Network also afforded me an appreciation for a number of older cartoons.  Of course, it hardly takes an animation geek to be familiar with today’s subject of review.  Scooby Doo hit the airwaves in 1969 and there’s been at least one new iteration of it every decade since, keeping it pretty squarely in the public eye.  As I noted in my previous Scoobybased review, I actually don’t have a particularly large selection of Scooby Doo items in my collection, but as with just about everything there isn’t enough of in my collection, I’m working on it.  Today, I’ll be looking at one of the fixtures of the franchise, the Mystery Machine, along with perpetual driver of said machine, Fred Jones.


mysterymachine5The Myster Machine was released as part of the latest iteration of Character Options’ Scooby Doo line, which hit last year.  While lots of places seemed to have the two-packs featuring the one member of the gang each packed with a ghost, the Mystery Machine seems to be a slightly rarer find (for me anyway).  The vehicle is 6 1/4 inches tall, 5 inches wide, and 9 1/4 inches long.  In terms of design, exactly what version of the Mystery Machine this is supposed to be is a little hard to place.  Near as I can tell, it’s not actually based on any specific design for the MM, but is instead a somewhat stylized take on the classic design.  I think a lot of this may be due to some mold re-use, as it appears this mold initially showed up as the “Goo’busters Mystery Machine,” which was a playset designed to go with a line of Superhero Squad/Galactic Heroes-style line of Scooby characters.  That would mysterymachine6explain the harsher stylization present here.  It doesn’t look awful, provided you aren’t looking for a really faithful recreation of the original vehicle.  The biggest complaint I have is that it’s rather difficult to get the full-sized figures into the front, since it wasn’t designed with them in mind.  Aside from that, it’s actually remarkably well-scaled, to the point that it was only after a considerable amount of digging around that I realized it was originally made for the smaller guys.  It’s worth noting that it’s clearly designed as a playset first and a functioning Mystery Machine second.  There aren’t any functioning doors (the figures are placed in the front through the hatch at the top), there’s no actual seating in the back, and the steering wheel doesn’t turn.  It does at the very least have actual moving wheels on the bottom.  From what I’ve read online, this mysterymachine3is a change from prior releases, so I guess they’re learning.  Yay!  The back of the van folds out into a…thing.  Not really sure what.  I guess it’s supposed to be a crime solving lab or something? The original release had some traps and stuff built in, but this one leaves those out, so we just end up with a lot of flat surfaces with printed on details.  It’s kind of cool, but a little confusing.  Also, the fold-out feature results in some rather ugly hinges running along the middle of the van, which is really unfortunate.  Could those not have been worked into the interior of the design?  The paint on the Mystery Machine is rather on the sloppy side, especially around the edges of the green sections.  Of course, actual paint is minimal; most of the details are decals.  By and large, this is a perfectly fine way of handling the details (since they’re mostly on large, flat surfaces anyway), but there are some peeling edges and, in the case of the flowers on the side, some issues with underlying paint showing through.  There’s a valiant effort to ignore a few of the sculpted elements to bring the design closer to the classic look, which works about as well as anything else on this thing.  For accessories, the Mystery Machine includes one main extra, and that’s….


mysterymachine8….Fred Jones!  Fred (who, fun fact, was named after CBS executive Fred Silverman, who was a driving force for getting Scooby Doo, Where Are You? on the air) is the leader of Mystery Inc, the owner of the Mystery Machine in at least a few versions of the story, and above all, the guy usually seen driving the Mystery Machine, making him quite the sensible inclusion here.  The figure stands 5 inches tall and has 9 points of articulation.  Fred is based on his slightly updated design from Scooby Doo: Mystery Incorporated, where he was given a slightly more brawny physique and a more pronounced lantern jaw of justice.  I actually quite liked his redesign from that show, so I’m happy it’s the version they went with.  It’s transition into three-dimensions isn’t too terrible; he looks a little off from certain angles, but that’s the sort of thing you expect with action figures of two-dimensional designs.  The legs could stand to be a little longer, and the torso a little less tubular, and his chin should probably be a little less pronounced.  He sort of reminds me of the Kenner Batman: The Animated Series figures, being slightly off-model, but still pretty solid as an action figure.  The paint on Fred is a good deal cleaner than we saw on the Mystery Machine.  While he’s still not devoid of sloppiness, especially around his hairline, the overall appearance is a lot cleaner.  His eyes are also kinda goofy, thanks to no one really being very sure of how exactly this style of eye should be done in 3D.  He looks a bit surprised.  While my figure is pretty decent, I should note that I had to pick through four of this set, and finding a combo of good paint on both Fred and the Mystery Machine was pretty much impossible.


Fred’s my favorite character from Scooby Doo.  Prior to picking up this set, he made up half of my Scooby Doo collection (granted, it was a collection of TWO figures, but still).  So, when I spotted the two-packs last year, I immediately flipped through the rack to find the set Fred was in.  Imagine my dismay when I discovered they doubled up on Scooby instead of including him.  Now, all of my issues would have been resolved had there simply been a picture of the Mystery Machine and the included Fred figure somewhere on the packaging for the two-packs, but Character Options didn’t see fit to actually inform their customers what was actually out.  So, instead of tracking this set down early last year, I ended up stumbling upon it at the K-Mart near where my family vacations for Christmas.  It was even marked down to $15.  There’s a whole extra $10 they could have gotten out of me if I’d known this thing existed (to say nothing of me forking over the cash for the rest of the gang).   Ah well, I got my Fred figure, and that’s really what matters.  Ultimately, this is a more toy-etic set than I tend to go for in modern toys, but I can’t say I’m unhappy with the purchase.


#0110: Funland Robot



Scooby Doo where are you?  That’s actually a good question to ask when examining my action figure collection.  You see, I own exactly 2 figures from Scooby Doo, and neither of them is the title character (or Shaggy for that matter).  It’s not that I don’t like Scooby Doo, or anything.  Just, for whatever reason, I never really picked up any of the figures outside of the two that I had a specific interest in owning.  Today’s figure comes from my favorite episode of the original series, “Foul Play in Funland.”  The episode was a bit out of the ordinary, as it featured an out of control robot named Charlie, which actually turned out to be an out of control robot, not some guy in a mask pretending to be one.


The Funland Robot was released as part of the second series of Scooby Doo figures released in 2000 by Equity Marketing, Inc.  He stands about 9 inches tall and features 7 points of articulation.  The sculpt is fairly basic, but that’s pretty accurate to the show.  I feel that the head might be a bit to long for Charlie’s design on the show, but it isn’t too terrible, especially since Charlie did have a tendency to look different from frame to frame.  For the most part, Charlie is molded in the appropriate colors, with minimal paint for the gloves, boots, and then most of the paintwork appearing on the head.  There’s a few questionable choices, chief among them being that Charlie seems a bit too bright for the character on the show.  In particular, his torso being pink seems to be quite off, as it was more of a darker purple in the show.  The head is overall well done, though there is an odd choice to paint most of the jaw a pale indigo color.  I’m not really sure why they did that, since it should just be the same color as the rest of the face, which would have actually saved them a pass with the paint.  Oh well.  The Funland Robot was packed with a giant magnet that could be attached to his back, and a funhouse mirror.


Charlie’s always been one of my favorite characters from the old Scooby Doo series.  He’s the main point of my favorite episode, plus he’s also a robot, which is one of my favorite things, so he just added up to a whole lot of cool.  When the Funland Robot was announced back in 2000, I knew I most definitely wanted one.  My parents paid close attention to this, and he was amongst my birthday gifts for that year.  While he may not be a perfect figure, he’s one that I really enjoy.