#1999: Tron

TRON

KINGDOM HEARTS (DST)

Today we’re gonna party like it’s 1999!…or 1982, perhaps.

Despite a pretty solid fanbase who seem ripe for buying cool collectibles, neither Tron nor its sequel Tron Legacy have ever had much luck in the world of toys.  The original film had a small line of figures from TOMY at the time of its release (with some re-releases many years later from NECA), but not much else.  Fortunately, Tron made its way into the Kingdom Hearts franchise, which itself has been getting a lot of toy coverage recently.  Among that toy coverage was Tron’s title character, who I’ll be taking a look at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Tron was part of Series 3 of DST’s Kingdom Hearts toyline, available two differing ways.  The specialty release included a Space Paranoids Goofy as well, but there was also a streamlined release at mass retail set-ups (like GameStop), which is the one I picked up.  The figure is technically based on Tron’s game design, which is, of course, just a slightly stylized version of his design from the original film.  The figure stands 6 3/4 inches tall and has 26 points of articulation.  The sculpt is unique to this figure, and is a reasonable offering.  If you’re experienced with DSTs Select style figures, then Tron’s pretty standard faire.  His articulation is somewhat on the restricted side, but not terrible.  The stylization really shows up in the arms and the feet, where the proportions are a little bit on the exaggerated side.  The arms are kind of skinny and the feet kind of large.  The rest of things are pretty well matched to the film design, and he’s even got a halfway decent likeness of Bruce Boxleitner on the face.  What details the sculpt doesn’t cover, the paint does.  True to the film, he’s rather monochromatic, being grey with blue accents.  The tech-y details outlined in blue look pretty sweet, and their nice and crisp.  There’s a little slop on some of the lighter blue accents, but for the most part it works out okay.  Tron is packed with one extra: a Heartless Soldier minifigure.  It’s distinctive from prior Soldiers in coloring, but ultimately of little interest to me, since I was just in it for the Tron figure (which is why the Soldier is already in someone else’s collection).  Tron doesn’t include his disk, which is a bit of a shame, but not a huge shock coming from a line that doesn’t always give Sora his keyblade.  I suppose making one of your own wouldn’t be too hard.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I have no real attachment to anything Kingdom Hearts, but I knew I wanted this guy as soon as he was shown off.  I initially thought I was going to have to pony up for the larger set, but I found this guy at a GameStop a few weeks ago, which made me pretty happy.  He’s not without his flaws.  The articulation could be a little better, and the lack of disk is annoying, but he’s pretty decent for what he is, and honestly he’s the best Tron figure you can get.

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#1457: Mercury

MERCURY

TRON 2.0 (NECA)

“Jet Bradley, a young computer engineer working for ENCOM, must step into the digital world in search of answers.  He uncovers a sinister plot spinning out of control that threatens to corrupt one reality and forever transform another.”

Tron Legacy is perhaps one of my favorite movies ever.  In terms of toys, though, it’s also one of the biggest disappointments ever, with some of the most lackluster offerings imaginable under its belt.  The Tron franchise in general hasn’t really tended to have much luck with toys.  The only entry to really escape this curse is Tron 2.0, 2003’s video game sequel to the original film.  In it, the son of one of the original film’s heroes goes into the digital world looking for his missing father, and he’s aided by a kick-butt female program sent by his father to help…wait, this sounds familiar.  Yeah, there are a few similarities between 2.0 and Legacy, but they’re actually pretty superficial.  Anyway, when 2.0 hit, they went all-out and had some figures made, which were produced by the fine folks at NECA.  Today, I’ll be looking at the previously mentioned kick-butt female program, Mercury.  No, she’s not Quorra, but I’ll try not to hold that against her.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Mercury is one of the four Tron 2.0 figures NECA released in preparation for the game’s release.  She hit in early 2003, about 5 months before the release of the game.  The figure stands about 7 inches tall and she has 11 points of articulation.  She’s not the most mobile figure ever, but given that NECA was still moving past their usual McFarlane-style plastic statues at this point, she was actually pretty decent.  Honestly, my only real issue is with the v-hips; that’s a style of joint I’ve just never really lived.  Obviously, she’s based on her in-game design, though it’s a slightly idealized version.  Since the graphics of a 2003 video game were still a little bit compromised, this figure sort of smooths some things out and presents a slightly more realistic composition.  She’s still a bit6 stylized, of course, since she’d look a bit weird if she wasn’t.  They kept the essence of the character without the flaws, I suppose.  The sculpt does a nice job fitting in all of the details from the game, and I particularly dig the big bulky gloves.  Those are pretty awesome looking!  The paint on Mercury is a bit monochromatic by design, but NECA didn’t just phone it in; they actually put a lot of effort into getting all of those distinct shades of blue on the figure, and she’s better for it.  Even without translucent plastic or light-up features, this figure conveys the whole Tron aesthetic very well.  Kudos to NECA for that.  Rather than the usual disc, Mercury is armed with a cool fighting staff.  It’s translucent with dark blue piping, which has this nice holographic look about it, and it can be fairly easily held in either hand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This figure’s a recent acquisition for me, but it’s been housed in the same place as the rest of my collection for several years now.  It used to be owned by my brother, who decided over this past summer to part with a lot of his action figure collection.  I’ve taken most of the strays in, of course, because, as I’ve noted before, I’m the personification of the Island of Misfit Toys.  In the case of Mercury, it’s actually a figure that I might have tracked down on my own eventually.  I’ve never played Tron 2.0, but this is still a pretty fun figure, and an early sign of how good NECA would eventually get at making consistently awesome stuff.  One of these days, I’ll need to track down the rest of this particular line.

#0469: Tron

TRON

SCIENCE FICTION VINYL FIGURES

TronVinyl1

Tron is one of those movies that’s really innovative and that everyone remembers the name of, but that lots of people haven’t seen or don’t really remember. It’s got its loyal fans (and there are a fair number of them), but it’s not really held in the same esteem of many other landmark films. I myself didn’t actually see the movie until just before the release of its sequel Tron Legacy. But, I can appreciate the importance of the movie, and I like the designs. So hey, toys!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

TronVinyl2Tron was released as part of the first assortment of the Science Fiction Vinyl Figures from Funko. Tron is another of the more common 1:12 ratio figures . He’s roughly 2 ½ inches tall and he features no articulation. Tron is probably one of the figures that is the most drastically changed, design-wise. His proportions are the most exaggerated and his texturing and such is rather simplified. While I felt this detracted from E.T., it works pretty well for Tron. He really works in this style. The armor details are nice and sharp, and everything is pretty clean. The arms are separate pieces, but the cuts are well hidden by the shoulder armor. Tron is posed as though he’s getting ready to throw his disc, a good choice for the character. It separates him from the more statically posed Robby and E.T. fairly well. The figure’s paint work is very well done, easily the best of the figures I got. For the most part, he’s just done in a flat blue, with white detail work. The detail work is nice and sharp and is a very good replica of the design from the movie. The sculpt of his face is blank, leaving the paint to fill it in. It doesn’t really have any resemblance to Bruce Boxlightner, but it seems to fit with the rest of the “human” faces from the line. At the very least, the blank white eyes are a lot less creepy here than they are on E.T.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

After getting Robby and E.T., I decided to go back and get a few more of the blind boxes. This time around, I let Super Awesome Girlfriend do the picking, and it seems to have worked out in my favor. Tron is one of the cooler designed figures from this series, and he really translates well to the style.