Review by JoshB
Amber is a character in the Korean children’s show Robocar Poli (로보카 폴리). It's very much in the same vein as Thomas the Tank Engine or Jay Jay Jetplane, only with cute vehicles that actually transform.
I’d seen this on ebay here and there, but never wanted to pay the high import prices AND international shipping. They were neat looking, but not $50 USD neat looking.
It wasn’t until I found myself in the local Korean supermarket – H-mart that I saw one of these in the flesh for the first time. At $29.99 it wasn’t cheap, but the impulse got to me and I picked it up.
It’s a neat little toy and fun for the little ones who want to play with daddy’s transformers.
The box is nice and compact, with little wasted space. The toy is displayed in robot mode and behind the backdrop has the look of the garage. When you remove the toy the backdrop unfolds a little creating a small diorama that unfortunately does not stand up on its own.
My first impression taking this out of the package is how well it is made. The plastic quality is top-notch and everything is smooth and tight. Nothing on this is going to break or pop off so it truly is safe for the little ones.
Articulation is good, with ball jointed shoulders, hinge elbows, swivel waist, ball jointed hips, bendable knees and even the toes compress a little. Not that this is going to mean a lot to the little kids, but it poses well.
Transforming is simple and quick, but not without some interesting aspects. The panel on the back swivels and the flips out the long way ; It’s held in place with spring loaded tension. The toes tuck in, the legs click together and compress and then you twist them 180 degrees and fold them up into the body. Lastly, the arms compress and the hands tuck in the sides.
Check out this commercial for transformation
In vehicle mode it retains the fun look and feel of the medical robot. I know all girl robots don’t have to be pink but this one looks damn cute.
The wheels are hard plastic and roll freely.
It appears that this toy was made by Academy Toys out of Korea – which on CDX are known for their awesome 80s bootlegs and model kits. However, on the package another company is credited – Silverlit Toys out of Hong Kong (http://www.silverlit.com/). This appears to be a for-hire manufacturer for various toy companies. So although this is a product of the mature Academy Toys, now a legitimate toy manufacturer and one of the largest in Korea, it’s probably actually manufactured in China by Silverlit. Don’t worry, most of your toys are probably made this way, you just don’t know their real factories.
In the end, while this is a fun little toy, it’s just not my thing. I passed it on to an actual child in hopes that they will enjoy it as it was intended.
|Posted 19 November, 2012 - 16:44 by JoshB|