Avatar the Last Airbender has developed quite a fan base. Unfortunately the toy line has been far less successful. I reviewed
most of the figures earlier. (Air Series) But the line was buried
under a sea of Avatar repaints while core characters like Katara and Toph were completely ignored. But while the line is
winding down, or grinding to a halt, there were still a few new figures to come out as part of the Water Series of figures.
The figures include yet another version of Zuko, this time in his Arctic gear from his attack on the Northern Water Tribe,
Admiral Zhao from the Fire Nation and Jet. There is also yet another repaint of Aang available, this time painted to match
the dark version of himself he encountered while trying to master the Avatar State at the end of season 2. While I thought I was
down with the line after the last series of figures, time wore down my resolve and I picked up these final few figures to
fill out my collection.
Packaging - Avatar State Aang 1/10, others 8/10Mattel gave the Avatar line a new look for the packaging for the Water Series figures. The bubble has been redesigned to an oval shape and then sculpted to look like a wave of water surrounding the figure. An insert inside makes further highlights the wave design and provides the character's name. The cards have gotten slimmer and now feature artwork of the Northern Water Tribe's temple. The back of the cards has a profile card for the character, photos of the figure with its accessories and images of the other figures available. While radically different from the previous packaging design, it is quite attractive and fits the Water Series theme well.
Avatar State Aang is packaged as a bonus with the fourth DVD of season two. The figure is shrink wrapped to the front of the DVD case with a piece of clear plastic folded around it. The only other change to the packaging is a sticker which promotes the inclusion of the bonus figure.
Sculpting - Jet 4/10, others 6/10Aang reuses the mold from the first series. And just as with the first series, it doesn't really match the design from the show around the shoulders. Admiral Zhao's figure does a better job of getting the costume design right. The only issue I have with it is that yellow details on the skirt armor and gauntlets are a larger than they need to be. Arctic Stealth Zuko has a pretty dull costume. But the figure captures it well. They did mess up and put the coiled rope that he has on his chest going over the wrong shoulder. But since it is removable, that is easy to fix. I was amused to see that they even included the snow cleats on his boots. He also has a new head sculpt so that his hair will fit under his mask. It isn't much different from the regular Zuko figure but the eyes seem to be open slightly wider. Jet is the biggest disappointment. His hips are much too wide. And the softer material used for his right shoulder pad and the skirt armor stick out too much. The face sculpt is okay. But the details on it don't seem quite as pronounced as on other figures.
Paint - Jet 5/10, others 6/10The paint work on all four figures turned out well. There are no serious issues with stray marks or sloppiness. Unfortunately they gave Jet a very glossy sheen even for his face.
Articulation - AS Zuko & Zhao 7/10, Jet & Aang 8/10Aang has twenty three points of articulation including:
Accessories - Aang 0/10, others 5/10Aang doesn't come with any accessories. Jet comes with two pairs of hook swords. One pair has short hooks while the other set is longer. Both are fully painted and look good. Admiral Zhao comes with a battle club and three different flame blasts. All of his accessories are recycled from previous Fire Nation figures. Arctic Stealth Zuko also comes with a lot of recycled accessories including two flame daggers and two flame blasts. He also has a removable mask made of soft rubbery material. It can be slightly annoying to put back on, but it does fit well.
Value - Aang 8/10, others 6/10The retail price for the Avatar the Last Airbender figures is usually $7, but it can go as high as $10 each. If you are paying full price that may be more than you want to spend for B list characters or variations of a character that only appeared for two episodes. But since many stores are dropping the line, you stand a decent chance of getting the figures for clearance prices if you can find them. This dark version of Aang was only available as a bonus when you bought the fourth volume of the season two DVD's. Since that means that the figure is essentially free if you are already planning on buying the DVD.
Happy Hunting:The worst thing about these figures is finding them. Aang is an exclusive through Wal-mart. So if you want your own black licorice Aang, you'll have to head to Wally world. The other figures are available anywhere that still sells Avatar Toys. Toys R Us seems to have the best selection around here. But you may have some luck checking KB Toys as well. Online options are going to be harder to come by. Not many sites carried the line to begin with and even fewer supported it past the first series. There are a few sites that have them, but you can expect to pay an arm and a leg for them.