Toy Review - Danger Mouse Action Figures and More!
You’re going to want to read my review for the re-vamped Danger Mouse series on Netflix before going any further.
Good. So, having read that [You didn’t, did you? Of course not, it’s the age of the tweet after all, TL;DR. – Ed.], you should know that I’m a huge fan of the Danger Mouse. While I certainly didn’t think about it during the run of the old show…and come to think of it, it really didn’t occur to me while I was binge watching the new series either…but around the time I finished my review, I got to thinking…were there any toys associated with this children’s TV program. I mean, anymore, there are ALWAYS toys. So, in a seemingly random mad dash to Amazon, I sought the answer.
And Jazwares heeded the call. Yes, there are indeed toys. That leads us to the next question: Are they any good? I can answer with a resounding ‘mostly’.
Let’s get the big negative out of the way first…they’re small, with Danger Mouse being the tallest at 3.5 inches and Penfold the shortest at 3 inches even (and Baron Von Greenback somewhere between the two). And, in what appears to be a trend amongst toys from British properties (cough*DoctorWhoActionFigures*cough), it’s a scale that really doesn’t fit in well with any other line you might be collecting. It’s certainly not a deal breaker for me…but many action figure collectors do indeed concern themselves with scale.
That out of the way, I have to admit that the amount of articulation they squeezed into these figures is rather impressive. As one would expect, the pinnacle of this would indeed be DM himself. Ball-jointed shoulders and hips, hinges at the elbows and knees and neck, wrist and ankle swivels…I have to admit that this is more articulation than I was expecting. Having said that, you can see that the articulation can lead to breaking up the sculpt, which, if you think about it, is certainly to be expected from an action figure based off a cartoon model…and, again, the small size we’re dealing with. Keeping those limitations in mind, it’s clear they did the best they could and honestly, I appreciate it. While it may not look great, the figures remain fun…and isn’t that the most important aspect of a toy? To continue, Penfold is a step down…but is surprising in the articulation that is present, again, given how short he is. He’s got a swivel at the neck, shoulders (so no outward arm movement from him) and waist with universal joints on his hips (which was the biggest surprise to me). Greenback proves the weakest of the three with only universal joints on his shoulders. Additionally, the packaging says you can rest Nero on his back…but it’s more of a trick of balance than anything else…certainly not a ‘feature’.
Naturally, no super spy heads out into the field without his dashing sports car…so Jazwares cooked up a Mark IV Danger Car for the figures! Granted, it doesn’t do much…but it does what it needs to, that being that wings pop out for flight mode at the push of a button. Yeah, it’s neat that there’s an openable trunk (or boot since we are talking about British toys here)…but it’s too small for anything to fit in it. [So clearly DM’s agency outsourced the Mark IV’s production out to Italian supercar designers? – Ed.] You can see from the pics that the figures fit okay in it. DM seems almost slightly too tall and requires a slight bend at the knees whereas Penfold is a bit too short and thus is prone to a bit of rolling around…which, honestly, probably happens in the ‘real’ Mark IV, so maybe that’s a slavish dedication to cartoon reality as opposed to any shortcomings on the manufacturer or designer’s part. The only thing that can be a bit of a distraction though is that DM’s feet are behind the steering wheel, pressed up on the dash panel. Thankfully, the decals take that into account, putting the speedometer in a more central location as opposed to where it’s typically found. Still, it bugs me a little that there’s no place to put the feet under and thus better capture a realistic set up. Oh, and yes, the car is right side drive…so, accuracy!
Lastly, we picked up three stuffed toys…again DM, Penfold and Greenback. And again, they’re a bit smaller than you’d expect…about the size of the ‘medium’ stuffed toy you’d win off a midway game at an amusement park or one of the larger items you’d find in one of those rigged claw games. The only thing to point out is that each one does have a ‘press here’ electronic gimmick that gives you three sounds/phrases. Nothing that really stands out as memorable or funny (which I can honestly say because as I write this, I cannot remember what phrases they say)…but all applicable to the characters.
All in all, I have to say that while yes, die hard action figure fans or collectors will likely have issues with these toys…well, that’s just it, they’re toys. They’re fun and they’re for kids…with just enough articulation to make them interesting. If you keep that in mind and are a fan of the show, then these are definitely worth picking up. If you’re expecting what you typically get with 6 or 7 inch scale action figures…or even Playmates recent Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles line…you’re probably going to be disappointed.