The return to black and white for this review can only mean one of two things: I screwed up the HTML code for the page or
I'm reviewing more Stikfas figures. For those who don't know, Stikfas are stick figure inspired action figures. They
combine simple, interchangeable body parts, plenty of articulation and creative accessories to create a line of unlicensed
figures that emphasize play value. Or as their boxes proclaim, "it's simply fun!"
Packaging - 8/10The theme of simplicity is reflected in the packaging of the Stikfas as well. Each figure comes packaged in a plain white cardboard box. The front of the box has a computer generated image of the toy along with the line's logo. The back has more CGI examples of the figure in various poses as well as an image of all of the parts trees included. And yes, the figures come completely unassembled and still attached to the sprues like a model kit. The actual toys are not visible until the box is opened. Inside the box is just as simplistic as the exterior. All of the contents are included in a resealable plastic bag. The simple style of the packaging may not appeal to everyone, but it matches the toys themselves.
Sculpting - Beta Female 2/10, dinos 7/10The human Stikfas figures are little more than articulated stick figures, so you can't expect a great amount of detail work. I don't mind the lack of detail. But the beta female body has a few extra drawbacks compared to the other Stikfas figures. The forearms are thicker than the upper arms in order to be thick enough for the ball joints on both ends. The same is true of the lower legs and feet. The figure looks like it is wearing big leg warmers and clogs. Once you accessorize the figure they are less noticeable at least.
The dinosaur stikfas figures take a radically different approach, opting for skeletal versions. I'm not sure why they decided to go this route, especially since they have done Stikfas style animals in the past. But it does mean that the figures are quite interesting visually. Of course, while they may be interesting, they certainly aren't scientifically accurate. The triceratops has very generic feet. And including the wing flaps on a skeleton is sort of out of place, but necessary both structurally and for aesthetics.
Paint/decals - Pterodactyl 4/10, others 3/10The paint work for the Stikfas figures is nonexistent. The beta female has both pink and tan body pieces. But there are not enough pieces included to build a complete figure with all pink or all tan pieces. There are no pink arms or thighs and no tan torso or waist. There is also a sheet of decals included that can be used to add facial features and other decorations. It's a nice way to personalize your figure, but I prefer the clean look of the figure without the decals. The triceratops and one of the pterodactyl figures are bone colored. The other pterodactyl is cast in glow-in-the-dark plastic.
Articulation - Beta female 9/10, Pterodactyl 8/10, Triceratops 5/10The articulation on the human Stikfas figures is quite impressive at fourteen ball joints. That includes the neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists, waist, hips, knees and ankles. With the ability to bend up to ninety degrees as well as rotating, they provide a decent range of motion and can hold a pose well. The elbows could use a greater range of motion, and some of the joints pop loose more easily than they move. But they are just as easy to pop back into place. The pterodactyl figure has fifteen points of articulation including hips, waist, double jointed neck, jaw, and two double joints on each wing. I wish they had put an additional joint at the ankles so the feet could have been positioned better. It would have made it easier to clip the figure onto things or allow it to hang. An additional set of joints on the wings would have been nice as well, but not entirely necessary. The triceratops is the only disappointment in terms of articulation. It has nineteen points of articulation. But the joints at the base of the tail and mid-torso have a restricted range of movement. The rear hips have redundant set of joints in an attempt to reinforce them. I was also quite disappointed that the jaw can not be closed completely. I can't be too harsh on it though, after all a triceratops isn't exactly a creature that lends itself to being flexible and limber.
Accessories - Triceratops 0/10, others 7/10The Triceratops comes with no additional parts or accessories. That is a shame. There isn't a lot that the figure needs. But they could have included a different head to create a different species or perhaps a baby dino and it would have added a lot of additional value. The Pterodactyl comes with an alternate head that allows you to choose between a pterodactyl or a pteradon. Best of all, since the set includes two complete sets, you can actually have one of each. The beta female fairy is the only one of the three that comes with a significant set of accessories. In addition to the extra body parts, she comes with a set of four butterfly style wings, a wig, a crown and a tiara, a pair of bracelets, a bow with two arrows, a wand, a large mallet, a pair of hearts and a pair of flowers that can be used to decorate the mallet and a flower. That's a lot of accessories. And they are all quite fitting for the fairy theme of the set. Ideally it would have been nice to have an alternate set of wings as well.
Value - 4/10The retail price for the basic Stikfas kits is between $9 and $14. The concept and the figures are enough fun that even at that price they are worth considering. But I can't help thinking that since each unassembled kit consists of two to four parts trees with no painting, you're paying upwards of $5 for each piece of plastic which is rather steep. If they could get the price down to around $5, these would be a much better value.
Happy Hunting:The Stikfas line is no longer available through regular retail stores which is a shame. But they are not terribly difficult to find. Some comic shops and other specialty shops will carry them. They are also quite common through online toy stores. Mine were ordered from Big Bad Toy Store.com. Entertainment Earth.com also has a large selection of Stikfas, but their prices are pretty steep. If you're curious, check your favorite e-tailer, there's a good chance they carry them as well.