Appliance Hero Vacuum
Review by The Enthusiast
Unique toys from China's burgeoning popular culture continue to trickle beyond the nation's borders. Blandly derivative properties aping the Transformers and Power Rangers are punctuated with flashes of inspired lunacy, like Appliance Hero, a series of transforming household appliances.
I'm not even sure this series is actually called Appliance Hero. Sirtoys, a reliable conduit for cheap Chinese toys, refers to them as such, but who knows? The most legit information I can find, a solicitation on an Ali Baba-esque distributor's site, uses the phrases "Appliances Hero" and "Household Transforming Series." Whatever the case, these are singularly goofy toys.
That Offerany page shows slick packaging, but my specimens are loose. These are very cheap, borderline-bootleggy pieces. I've been pleased with the quality of most domestic Chinese bots, like Transtruck Titan or the Shrine Warriors, but the Appliance Heroes are inferior. They're fun enough, but poorly executed.
The Vacuum Cleaner model is a standout of the series.
The appliance mode is compact, clean, charmingly retrograde, vaguely soviet. Are sixties-era canister vacuum cleaners still used in China? I like the bent tube and wand attachment. Paint applications are crude but effective.
If the Appliance Heroes merely transformed from appliances to robots, they would be awesome. However, each also transforms into a cartoony, Thomas the Tank Engine-like character. The front panel of the vacuum folds out, allowing for a face panel to flip around. Little hands unfold from the sides.
You have to love this thing.
Transformation into bot mode is engaging and complex, but the fragility of the low-grade plastic makes the process daunting. There are all kinds of weak little tabs and connectors which easily disintegrate.
I rather like the result. While the head is that typical Chinese half-baked doughy Optimus Prime knockoff, the figure has real presence. Thoughtful, crisp paint applications on the arms and legs really pop.
Articulation is almost non-existent. The arms flap and down, the wrists rotate, the knees bend but in the wrong direction. He can sit though.
The vacuum wand unfolds to become a weapon.
I like the designs and strangeness of these toys, but the weak quality makes them suitable for odd toy fetishists only.
Collect them all. The rice cooker is also pretty great. It comes with a spoon.
|Posted 27 July, 2014 - 16:29 by The Enthusiast|