Pros: It's Sulley!!! Cute sculpt and articulation, and a fun scaring action...
Cons: The sound feature is a slap in the face to Monsters, Inc. fans
James P. Sullivan - one of the Top Scarers in the company known as Monsters, Inc. - might be a big, scary blue yeti-type monster by night; entering the bedrooms of sleeping children to scare them silly; but by day he's just a big softy with a big heart. Sulley is the protagonist from the family hit Monsters, Inc., and one of the most likable and entertaining characters in a family film in a long time. The film was one of the big hits of late last year, earning itself a spot as one of the best films of 2001, aside the other big animated comedy Shrek.
Unfortunately, while the big green ogre got himself a huge line of wonderfully detailed, articulated and fun toys, the opposing monsters have had dismal few toys that haven't exactly become eye-openers for the toy buying public. The Top Scarer "Sulley" James P. Sullivan toy I'm reviewing today comes from the 6" line of figures entitled Top Scarers. Other figures in the line include:
- Top Scarer George Sanderson, with "fur falling" action feature and sound;
- Red Alert C.D.A. Agent, with sound and light action;
- Top Scarer Randall Boggs, with "disappearing" action feature and sound;
- Top Scare Assistants Mike Wazowski, Frungus and Ray; with eye-changing action and sound; and
- CEO Henry J. Waternoose, with jump action feature and sound.
All of the figures in this line are reasonably well sculpted, but suffer major design flaws; the action features in particular, apart from being imaginatively created, are painful and dull. Evil Randall's disappearing feature, which is meant to resemble him becoming camouflaged, is just a red light that appears inside his transluscent body. George's "fur falling" feature has the top layer of plastic fall off his body, which breaks within seconds of coming off him. Not just this, but all of the sound features that come with the figures aren't voiced by the actors. I hate this!! It's really annoying when the excellent voice of Steve Buscemi doesn't even resemble the mutter which comes out of the Randall figure. Other disappointments arise from the figures - for example, Mike has a hard hat that's permanently glued to his head, leaving him looking like the same Mike seen in the film for about 30 seconds. Ugh. The Red Alert C.D.A. Agent is a hopeless pegwarming figure, with no value for kids or collectors. And, as the final straw, there is no Boo figure in the line, who was easily my favourite, most cutest little character in the film. Arggh!!
Luckily, Sulley is the best in the line, and is a fair step above the other figures featured in the Top Scarers series.
Sulley stands exactly 6" tall, from big hairy feet to his yellow stained horns. He comes on a nice big card; with a description of Sulley's features on the back, and pictures of the rest of the characters in the line. As well as this, there's a hole in the back which reaches into the button on Sulley, which causes his sound feature to work. This isn't a bad idea, and allows you to sample his sounds before you buy; but this leaves a lot of Sulley's running out of batteries in the store before he comes home. Overall, the packaging is quite good and attractive.
Sulley's sculpt is excellent; he's dead on from the film, covered in light blue hair with the occasional large purple spot. He has big feet and hands, and a nicely detailed face, with a broad cuddly smile, large eyes, and neatly detailed horns. His back sports little spines which run down his spine to his tail. Sulley is definately recognisable of the big lug from the film, and the expression on his face is dead on to the personality. The sculpt and detail is flawless; they couldn't have made it better if he actually had hair.
The articulation is where the guy stoops - he has a nice 10 points, including ball jointed shoulders, peg jointed elbows, and cut jointed hands, legs, neck and tail. Unfortunately, both the ball jointed shoulders and one of his leg joints don't move thanks to his nifty "scaring" feature; when you squeeze his legs together, he throws his arms up into a scaring pose. It's actually not bad, a good, well constructed action feature; but it takes away from Sulley's posability and renders some of the articulation useless. However, kids will still find plenty of ways to play with the monster, so it's not a big problem, and it's the better of the action features from the Top Scarers line.
The sound feature, on the other hand, is like the others - total crap. The actor who was hired to do Sulley's voice sounds nothing like John Goodman, who did the big fella in the film. The lines are just as appalling - there's no memorable "RAAAAR!" or sentimental "Boo..." like from the film - instead it's raw stupidity like "I hope you learned some valuable scaring today" - hey, Sulley speaka english the good! Ugh. The button to make him speak is on his back in one of the spines, which is reachable from outside of the package, as mentioned, which might run down the batteries before you bring him home. This is a mixed blessing - I got $2 knocked off the price of my Sulley because I convinced them that the sound was broken after I selected one whose sound feature had run out of batteries. Actually, the batteries were in my pocket to be put into my Deluxe Movie Malebogia at home, but that's another story. Anyway, the sound feature isn't a bad idea, but its execution is incredibly poor and a rip-off for fans of Monsters, Inc.
Overall, Top Scarer "Sulley" James P. Sullivan is an average figure. He has a good sculpt and a good action feature, but this subtracts from his neat articulation, and his sound feature just plain ole' sucks. On the note, I'm sure kids will like Sulley a lot, and even collectors who want a good Sulley figure will like him, though others will be disappointed. Although Sulley doesn't come with any accessories, it's fine since he's the biggest figure in the lot anyway. It's a shame the rest of the line isn't as nice as he is, especially the Mike figure and the fact that there's no Boo. Boo I especially wanted with sound, so she can say the immortally cute line "Kitty!" over and over. Luckily, McDonalds came to our aid, with some neat happy meal toys with both Boo (alas, without Kitty! sound, but still nice) and Mike available, so I could, indeed, play with my one eyed monster. I recommend Top Scarer Sully - just without the horrid sound feature.