This summer has surprisingly been all about the action figures for this guy. It started with Fortnite figures, of which I’ve already done a review of the single figures and the sets from the first wave. By the time my articles started to post, the next wave of sets started hitting shelves. Awesome! Then, Lootcrate started selling some of their wares for half off, which gave me a chance to pick up some of Hiya Toys Injustice 2 action figures. Then my comic shop guy started putting out the Hiya Predator Toys, Kamen Rider Shodo released a wave of bad guys, and what has been a slow go at the four inch scale for the last year or two all of a sudden seemed to pick up steam really quickly.
Let’s look at the Fortnite figures today, as this is really part 3 of my 2 part Fortnite review. You read that correctly. Jazwares is pumping out product faster than I can keep up! This line has really emerged as a personal favorite for a couple of reasons. The character selection is all over the place, and really fun at that. The figures are really well put together with 17 points of articulation. The playsets offer an additional value with their modular builder pieces, to the point where I’m more excited to get new building pieces than I am the figures. There are three new sets for the second wave of action figures, which really surprised me, just because it’s been so long since a toy company has gone so far in on the 4 inch scale line.
Fortnite has grabbed my attention and it doesn’t look like it plans on letting go any time soon with their constant updates and releases. Now’s a great time to get in on the action, as the first wave of sets are getting clearanced out at great prices. Stock up on building materials while you can!
Up first, we have the next Turbo Builder Set. With an MSRP of $40, This set comes with Vertex, who reminds me of a more technologically advanced update to GI Joe’s Alley Viper, and Rabbit Raider, who is basically Ralphie from a Christmas Story in his bunny outfit—with a hockey mask and lots of weapons.
How fun is that? He’s even got little bunny slippers! Then, we get the extras: 4 weapons, 2 harvesting tools, and 81! new building materials! Yes, please. If Jazwares keeps making a Turbo Builder set for each wave, I will happily keep buying them just for the building pieces. There’s so much potential for fun there!
Next, we have the next version of the Squad Mode 4-pack, including Trog, a disco-ball mace wielding Yeti; Moisty Merman, a green-gilled fish-dude; Omen, with removable hood and crystal hex ball harvesting tool; and Ravage, who appears to pair nicely with Raven from the last round’s Turbo Builder set.
The character selection continues Jazwares’s crazy character selection from all across the pop culture spectrum. There are the dark, mysterious characters, the representatives of the techo-military-industrial-complex, and the wacky pop culture references. You can re-enact your own Shape of Water scenes (not that one you’re thinking of though—eww) with your Merman if you really want to, just understand it’s a guy in a suit, just like in the movie. Some characters, like Moisty Merman, have removable masks, revealing a repainted Rex/Jonesy face whereas Trog is completely committed to the bit–and still totally silly due to his disco motif.
Each character comes with their own harvesting tool, weapon, and metal stand.
This set really displays that Jazwares is listening to their customers and taking their feedback into consideration. Why, you ask? Well, for starters, they added footpegs to the metal building pieces that came packed with the figures. Formerly, only the wooden pieces had footpegs. They must have heard the customer cries and adapted the metal pieces as well. I will say, they did NOT change the metal pieces in the second builder set, so no metal foot-pegs there. Also, they included instructions on how to use the building pieces so you don’t break them. What kind of moron would need instructi—-oh wait. They’re actually a really thoughtful inclusion to help address what was an issue. Bravo, Jazwares, for not only listening, but being proactive in solving problems!
I do have one gripe with this set that Jazwares can learn from for the next time: my Merman’s shoulder pads keep falling out of their pegs. This is the first Fortnite character where I’ve had a hard time keeping him completely together, as the slightest touch will send the shoulder pad sailing. He’s got some glue heading his way in the future, which should solve the problem, but still, buyer beware on this one.
At a $40 MSRP, the Squad Mode is still a solid deal that showcases how fun and how quality these figures are. The one gripe aside, none of my figures ever felt like they needed to be forced to move joints or like they would break on me. Not all lines can say that. And not all lines can say they are as responsive as Jazwares demonstrates here with the foot-pegs and additional instructions. Good on them!
Finally, just like my recommendation for the last round, I saved opening the Pinata set for last. This time around, the theme is Birthday Llama Loot, as opposed to the Llama Drama theme from last time.
Still, the set contained a really cool Dark Voyager figure, 10 weapons, 4 backpacks (one designed for each of this round’s Squad Mode figures), and 8 building materials. The weapons are really cool (this was the first crossbow I’ve seen in the line), but the highlights are Trog’s boombox backpack bling and the Dark Voyager figure. Seriously, he’s a dark astronaut. It’s like if Snake Eyes went to space. Space Ninjas! Think of all the great ninja moves you could do without gravity! Plus, the silent aspects of ninja stealthiness are already baked in–no one can hear you scream in space, anyway. Or in my case, huff and puff after trying some acrobatic ninja stuff. Cardio gets me.
Anyway, I think I just may have invented Star Wars with Ninjas. I’ll have to patent that stuff. Ninja Spacey Star Wars! Ha! But that’s the sort of fun, creative stuff that comes out of such a wacky toyline like what Jazwares has going here with Fortnite. Even still blissfully unaware of the game itself, this line has so much potential in its pure madcap craziness to provide an unfettered imagination hours of room to play.
So with all the nuts and bolts out of the way, let’s get to grades:
To wrap up the Pinata set, it’s another fun capper to the second wave. It’s not the first piece from the wave I’d buy, as it really depends on having the appropriate Squad Mode pack. Remember, the Pink Cuddly Bear figure goes with the pink pinata; the blue yeti goes with the blue one. I’d actually give this pinata set the edge over the previous, just because I like the Dark Voyager figure so much better than Rust Bucket. He’s a space suit ninja! I still think the accessories are a bit overvalued with this set carrying $25 price point. With that said, you get boomboxes and crossbows. I’ll take it. Final Grade: A.
However, as far as the Squad Mode packs go, I would actually side with the first wave Squad Mode pack. The choices were bolder the first go around. These choices were still fun, just not as appealing for me personally. That Omen figure might grow on me, though, as it’s a really slick design. Ravage is cool to have in context to pair with my Raven. Throg and Merman are fun, too. The pegs are a plus, and showing growth is a great sign from Jazwares. The only knock is Merman’s shoulder piece. Still, I believe the value in these squad sets is one of the best and most obvious selling points of the line. Final Grade: A.
Finally, the Turbo Builder Set with Ralphie from a Christmas Story, knock off Alley Viper, and a bajillion building pieces gets all of my love. The figures are sweet. Whereas the value of the four packs is readily apparent through the plastic windows, these Turbo Sets keep their even greater value within those building materials. They’re so much fun and a useful resource, not only with fellow Fortnite toys, but 4 inch scale toys in general. Turbo Builder Sets keep getting the highest possible score from me. Final Grade: A+
All in all, I’m very satisfied with the quality of the Fortnite IRL line thus far, and I’m hoping they can keep up with this pace…or a slightly slowed down version of this pace. I’ll save the reviews of this summer’s other toy pickups for another time, as Fortnite keeps dominating my attention (and toy budget!). Heck, there’s another piñata out there with an $80 MSRP and a clock tower amongst some other things, but that’ll have to wait until I make more room in the toy budget. Selling plasma doesn’t pay as much as it used to!
As I was putting the finishing touches on this article, I made a quick Target run only to find a new exclusive set, this time a 5 pack–with 3 repaints and 2 straight-up repacks from the first wave. Those repacked figs are still warming the shelves two feet up from where this is stocked. They’re not bad figures by any stretch, just not a choice I would have made. Raptor already has a repaint in wave 2 called Havok–why not go with a character who hasn’t had as much play. Who am I kidding, if it were at least a new re-deco I’d appreciate the inclusion more. I’ll probably end up getting this set anyway at some point down the line.
Until next time, I’ll be searching for new ways to put together my building materials and for new ways to keep them hidden from my wife so she can’t tell how much money I’m spending on toys!