It's all too easy to take a hobby too seriously, even when that hobby is collecting toys. So every so often it's nice to
put aside concerns about sculpted detail and elaborate paint applications and remember that toys are suppose to be fun.
Fortunately there is a toy line that not only has this in mind, they've made it their motto. So I picked up yet another
Stikfas kit, the Diver and Octopus set this time, because "it's simply fun!"
Packaging - 8/10As usual, the Stikfas kits come in a simple white box. The front has a computer generated image of the figures while the back shows off all of the parts trees that are included as well as several of the different variations possible with the parts. Inside the six racks of parts as well as a sheet of decals and three postcards are stored in a large, plastic, zip top bag. The packaging is simple and designed well for the overall theme of the Stikfas line.
Sculpting - 3/10The sculpting for Stikfas figures is very minimal. It is suppose to more or less be a stick figure after all. This set includes one Alpha Male as well as an octopus. The Alpha Male is the original, slimmer male body. The set includes extra chest, hips, biceps and thighs that have square peg holes in them to attach accessories to the figure. The sculpt is simple but quite cute. It's the octopus that interested me more though. Its design is simple, a large round body with a conical 'nose' and its eight tenticles attached below. The tenticles even have small square pegs on their underside so that they can 'stick' to other figures. There are also parts included to make the octopus into a squid instead. But that does lead to its biggest drawback. As an octopus, there is a pelvis sitting unused under the tenticles. It is there to provide a spot to which you can attach the extra squid tenticles. But when it isn't being used, it looks quite odd. An extra lower half to the body to be used just for the octopus shouldn't have been that hard to include.
Paint/decals - 1/10There is no paint work on a Stikfas figure. The only color is provided by the color of the plastic. In the case of the diver and octopus set, there are four colors used. The octpus parts are all orange. The diver's parts are all blue. All of the diving equipment is cast in yellow plastic while the remaining tools are grey. Its a nice color combination. The orange for the octopus stands out quite well amongst my other Stikfas figures since they are mostly black. There is also the usual sheet of decals. I've never been a big fan of these decals and these are even worse than usual. Almost half of the sheet is used for fish, rocks and other undersea sights. But there is nothing to put these on. If you have a small, clear container, they could be useful to create a little diving environment I suppose. Even the remaining decals are of questionable use. The stickers for the goggles are too large for the part. They even included two flag decals when there is nothing to put them on.
Articulation - 8/10The articulation for the stikfas figure includes fourteen ball joints while the octopus has twenty five points of articulation. For the diver figure, the joints are at the ankles, knees, hips, waist, wrists, elbows, shoulders and neck. That is enough to provide an impressive range of motion. The octopus has a joint just above the tenticles and then three joints for each tenticle. While that does give the octopus quite a bit of movement, there are limits. The joints only allow about one hundred degrees of movement, almost all of which is in one direction. The result are tenticles which can bend outward but not inward very far.
Accessories - 9/10The diver and octopus set comes with quite a few accessories. For the octopus, you have two extra tenticles and a replacement body to turn it into a squid. The diver comes with a whole range of diving equipment including googles, a mouth piece that can be used as either a snorkle or scuba mouthpiece, a scuba tank, swim fins, diving boots, an old style diving helmet, a life vest, a utility vest and a diver's tow. There is also a dead fish thrown in there for some reason. Then there are a few other tools including a trident, a spear gun with two spears, another style of spear, a camera, two flashlights and a treasure chest of course. The camera is neat and fairly detailed for a Stikfas piece. There are also two pieces that can be used to clip the flashlights onto the sides of the camera. With all of those accessories, there are plenty of option to display your diver however you want, from snorkling along the shore to exploring the very depths of the oceans.
Value - 3/10The biggest drawback to the Stikfas line has been the price. And the diver and octopus set is no different. At a retail price of $15, cheap is not a term I would use to desrcibe the set. Ultimately Stikfas sets are so much fun that they are probably worth the price. But it certainly helps to be able to pick them up on sale or on clearance as I did with this set.
Happy Hunting:Stikfas are not something you are going to find at many brick and mortar stores. If you are lucky enough to have a specialty toy store in your area, it might be worth a look though. (Even if they don't carry Stikfas, they probably have quite a few other treasures to be found.) The good news is that Stikfas have found quite a bit of support among internet retailers. I got my set from Entertainment Earth. They have quite a selection available there. Big Bad Toy Store also has a good selection and great service. They also run sales quite often if you are willing to wait.