Pros: Simply awesome set! Wrestling Ring, Shrek, Knight and Weapons for the price of one figure!
Cons: 'action' feature on Shrek could be better
From the excellent feature film Shrek comes this excellent playset from McFarlane Toys.
At the beginning of the year, McFarlane Toys collected the master licence for this film, allowing them to create many different toys, sets and figures from the film. It gave the company a chance to branch out, as McFarlane is usually only known for doing 6" figures in sets, including Spawn and Movie Maniacs, most of which lack the articulation to be playable children's toys, and have lots of gory detail that make them unsuitable. The master licence gave them creative freedom, and the opportunity to make more detailed, more playable and more fun toys than ever before.
With the Shrek licence, heaps of different ideas were tested and experimented with, and here's a rundown of what was created:
- 6" Series of figures including Shrek, Donkey, Princess Fiona, Lord Farquaad, Mascot, and Dragon Battlin' Shrek; each with accessories and action
- Shrek Playsets including
Wrestlin' Shrek with 6" Scale Shrek, Knight and Wrestling Ring;
Duloc Dungeon with Lord Farquaad, Gingerbread Man and sound and play action;
The Dragon, standing 9" tall with articulation and bendy wings;
Shrek's Swamp Bath Playset with 3" Shrek figure brushing his teeth;
Shrek's Swamp House Playset with 3" Shrek and food; and
Shrek's Outhouse Playset with 3" Shrek and toilet
- 3" Mini Figures including Shrek and Friends set, Duloc Dungeon set, and Fairy Tale Fugitives set. Each with articulation and accessories
- Super-sized Figures including 11" Shrek and 9" Donkey, both with articulation and voice chip
- Shrek Plush including 14" Shrek and 12" Donkey, both cuddly and cute
- Shrek Bean-Bag Plush including Shrek, Gingerbread Man, Donkey, and Princess Fiona, all 6" tall with sound chip
With the immense sucess of the film, all of the Shrek toys sold extremely well, due in part to the enormously cool features and interesting little details on each toy that made them fun and interesting. For instance, the bean-bag plus Gingerbread Man had a velcro removable leg, straight from the film. The actions and accessories were also very cool, for example Princes Fiona able to perform a ninja kick, and coming with (sic) fried eggs. The Dulon Dungeon Playset was a big seller, including a tortured Gingerbread Man with a glass of milk and cooking utensils, plus Lord Farquaad with a soundchip, and an action feature where the Gingerbread Man sat up and spat at Lord Farquaad. Many of these toys are now very hard to find, particularly the Duloc Dungeon and the enormously cool dragon.
To view the entire McFarlane Shrek Catalogue, go here:
With the introduction out of the way, I'll now talk about the Wrestlin' Shrek Playset. Straight from the film scene, this playset includes a Wrestling Ring, a scale 6" figure of Shrek with wrestling action feature, an ultra-articulated knight figure, plus various knightly weapons and a fold up chair. All of this cost me just a little more than the price of a regular 6" Shrek figure. This is value! Let me go into the specifics of the playset itself:
The ring comes in pieces in the box, consisting of 12 nine inch pieces of rubber-plastic roping and 4 'wooden' turnbuckle corner pieces. Putting it together is pretty easy, but slightly time consuming; simply insert the roping into the corner pieces and connect them up and *viola!* one wrestling ring. It's about 9" x 9", a decent size for Shrek and the knight, and it looks very cool. The turnbuckle corners are well painted to look like they're made of wood, plus have hooks that hold the knightly weapons. A very cool ring, definately better than the ridiculous WCW wrestling rings you can buy for triple the price.
The 6" Shrek figure is very well detailed and painted, from his grinning, dirty teeth to his plotchy, mud-stained pants. He is articulated at the arms, hands, neck and legs, and has a movable vest which looks realistic in it's layering. He has an action feature which detracts slightly from his overall look; his arms are made to be pulled back and released, either bodyslamming the knight into the ground, or throwing the chair across the ring into the knight. This means that the arms remain in one place in display, and limits his posability. This is only slightly annoying though, since his pose looks half decent, as if he is approaching the knight, one arm lifted to deliver the final blow. I like this figure a lot, despite the flaw, and he is in perfect scale with the other 6" figures.
This guy ROCKS!!! Standing 4 1/2" tall, the knight is wonderfully sculpted and articulated: ball jointed shoulders, cut jointed arms, elbows, hands, neck, legs, knees and midsection, even with this much articulation most of it is hidden under the armour. He is sculpted exactly like the knights in the film, right down to the illustration on his torso-plate. He can carry all of his knightly weapons, and can be posed in many different striking, running and attacking positions. Something really cool to note about this guy is that his face is sculpted that of Todd McFarlane, the owner of McFarlane Toys. It's great fun getting Shrek to throw around the multi-millionare owner of one of the biggest action figure companies in the world. His headpiece opens to see the terrified face of Todd, who you can get Shrek to hit repeatedly with the chair. Awesome!!
Wrestlin' Shrek Playset comes with a number of accessories, even if you don't include the knight and the wrestling ring. The knight has four knightly weapons, including a sword, a spear, an axe and an increasingly cool mace, with a rubber chain. Each weapon can be carried and used by the knight or any of your figures, and easily fits onto the side of the ring when not in use. They are also very nicely detailed and go well with the playset.
The chair itself warrants a paragraph. Beautifully sculpted like a normal fold-up chair, it's painted excellently and even had "Property of Duloc" written on the seat. When folded up, you can place it in Shrek's hand to let him throw it at Todd-Knight, who can hold it himself to deliver a blow. Very nice, and looks excellent in the playset.
This is the Shrek toy to get. All of the Shrek toys are awesome, and I've got most of the 6" figures and the playsets and love them all, but this is the standout one for me. You can play wrestling with these guys for ages, and the opportunities are endless. If you have a large figure collection like myself, chuck Leatherface inside to settle the score with Jason Vorhees from the Movie Maniac range. Let Monev kick ugly-boy Overtkill in the face and then smack him over the head with the chair. Have an all out wrestling war with all of your toys! Kids will no doubt get as much out of this as collectors, and it's heaps of fun.
Plus, the value is excellent. I bought this when it first came out and it was good value, not it's even cheaper at stores (if you can find it) and it's still excellent.
As one of my favourite toys of 2001, I definately recommend this as the toy for the whole family and a great little Shrek toy for display.