Thursday, August 28, 2014

Toy Review: Mega Toothless Alpha Edition

Toothless, the titular dragon of Dreamworks' How To Train Your Dragon series, is one of the most memorable and appealing animated characters ever to grace the silver screen.  Both adorable and ferocious, Toothless can win over just about any audience member.  Such a visually interesting character is one no doubt many a fan would like to display in all his glory on their shelf.  Unfortunately, most toys of Toothless are rather off-model and leave a lot to be desired.  Until now, that is.  The enormous 23" Mega Toothless Alpha Edition figure, from Spin Master, finally captures a representation of the famous Night Fury that fans have been itching for.

The first thing you'll notice about Mega Toothless is that, well, he's huge!  At 23" long, Mega Toothless comes packed in an enormous box.  Fortunatley, it's relatively easy to get Toothless out of his packaging, which you'll certainly want to do so you can appreciate how impressively detailed he is!

As far as the overall likeness goes, Mega Toothless is spot on.  He looks almost identical to the Night Fury we all know and love.  Though he's definetly still a toy, and made out relatively cheap feeling hollow plastic, the sculpt is still impressively detailed, largely because of the size of the figure.  At 23" long, Mega Toothless really lives up to his name!  Toothless's entire body has a very nice scaly texture all over it, and his saddle and rigging are carefully sculpted into the figure.  A leather strap that should connect the harness across Toothless's belly is strangely absent, but it's a minor flaw, as you'd never see it when the figure is standing upright, anyway.

Toothless's head-sculpt in particular is what really sets this figure above all other toys of Toothless thus far.  The likeness is absolutely spot-on, with Toothless depicted with a relatively neutral facial expression.  While a lot of figures of Toothless end up depicting him looking rather walleyed, Mega Toothless has great eye focus.  The head can actually rotate, this figure's only point of articulation, allowing you to tilt Toothless's head at various angles to give the dragon a more curious or inquisitive demeanor.  It allows a mostly static figure to be remarkably expressive.

The rest of the figure, though not articulated at all, is still very well crafted.  Toothless's bowing position was no doubt chosen to boost his overall length as a selling point, but it looks very playful and in-character.  It's notable that Mega Toothless is one of, if not the only Toothless toy currently available to depict the dragon's wings folded at his sides.  It makes sense to have fully extended wings on smaller action figures, as kids will likely want to make Toothless fly through the air.  However, Mega Toothless is so large he's really better suited to being a display piece, so it's nice to have his wings folded in a more natural position.  As mentioned previously, his saddle and rigging are all very nicely detailed, even if the paint application is a little basic.  It's clean and effective, at least.

Flaws are few and far between with this figure.  Toothless is just about perfect for what he is.  As mentioned before, his harness is missing a strap, but it's a minor loss.  His wings have been shortened a fair amount from how they appear in the films, but as they're folded at his sides, it's not particularly noticeable.   Toothless's spines are shown apart and glowing blue, hence the "Alpha Edition" subtitle attached to the figure.  Given that Toothless is otherwise shown in a fairly calm pose, the blue spines do seem a touch out of place, but they do add a nice bit of color to a primarily monochromatic figure.  The skull on the tail fin is only visible on the top, while it appears on both sides in the film.  All that said, any issues I have with Mega Toothless are minor nitpicks.  There are no glaring flaws with his design. 

Until now, the best Toothless toy on the market has been a relatively scarce plush toy.  It's great to finally have a figure that is such a close representation of the character we see on screen.   Unfortunately, Mega Toothless is also very uncommon to track down.  Near as I can tell, his retail price is around $25 to $30, but his scarcity tends to skew his price a bit higher.  He's certainly not worth the inflated prices often seen on Ebay, but for the right price, this is the definitive version of everyone's favorite Night Fury.  Though not the best choice for playtime, given his size and limited articulation, he's a must-have for fans looking for a good display piece.  He's not easy to track down, but it's worth the effort!