Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Zach Vs Monsuno

When a company says they want to send me a toy line, I think long and hard if my audience wants to see it, how long it will take to do the shoot and what my absolute deadline for people caring looks like. When the line is super kid friendly...I call Zach. Zach is my 7 yr old nephew. He enjoys Family Guy, Adventure Time, Regular Show, smashing things together, conning folks into playing Mario Cart so he can beat them, the beach and fried Mozzarella Sticks. We are a lot alike.

When I dumped the Monsuno box in Zach's lap..well..let's just say the face in the picture isn't far from the one he made. "CAN I KEEP IT?!" was the first question and it soon became clear he was interested in the total package and perhaps far more impressed with the box than the contents. He is a detail oriented man. I told him first we work...then it is all his. He is used to this as when Uncle Paulie comes around with new toys, there is always a stipulation before we split the booty. In this case, I wanted to see how quickly Zach would pick up the game play, operate the figures, etc. He recognized the cards from his experience with Pokemon and immediately identified the shiny ones as being more special. The cores were another thing all together.

The larger cores are tubes in which you pop small figures. The website calls these "Wild Cores". The action figures are little monsters/animals/what have you, that fold up smartly to fit perfectly in the tubes. With a flick of your finger, the cores jump away from you and spin in a fairly impressive manor. WITCH CRAFT!! Seriously..when these suckers spin you'll want to do it another 6 times and perfect your technique. The idea is to launch your core at another player's core and when they collide, the character pops out ready for BATTLE!! There are also die-cast metal cores that spin a bit faster and have the character on the side for more compact action. If the folding of the figure into the Wild Cores or the spinning action doesn't impress you enough, Jakks have constructed multiple ways to launch your cores into play. There's a standard Strike Launcher, a bad ass Strike Glove that will give you Nintendo Power Glove flash backs and the show stopper, the Auto Strike Multi Launcher. Genius! Even more genius are the videos Jakks has prepared, assuming people like me would read the directions and still go WHAAAAAt?? Of course, Zach just wanted to spin and make them crash into each other. Here's how gameplay works...

After a couple of rounds of attempted play, I figured out how to drop the Wild Cores to launch my creature at Zach and that became a new game in itself. I'm a bad influence...I know. Zach loved it. The figures are sturdy and nicely sculpted so you can fall in love with your favorite one, enjoy all their moving parts and not risk them exploding into bits as they fly across any sort of terrain. Unlike Transformers, you also have little fear of breaking them while you figure that transformation. Zach had zero problems with transformation, setting the Wild Cores, was quickly better at spinning them than I was and picked up gameplay super quick.

So..basically...Jakks is printing money. They've got awesome, well sculpted little transforming monsters that launch out of impact resistant tubes. They've got highly collectible game cards with special shiny ones occurring often enough to keep a kid smiling. How could this get more addictive? HOW ABOUT A CARTOON!!

The bottom line...buyer beware. Monsuno is more than likely to become highly addictive in your home, which means you won't be able to buy just one. Jakks is well aware of this and boasts a lineup of 24 characters to start things off (or so says the website) and promises over 100 to fill things out. Then there's the card packs (times infinity), launchers, stadiums to play in and whatever else Jakks can pump out before the next Skylanders game drops to steal the little one's attention away. Even then, you can tell Monsuno has staying power. Fun like this won't get old for a very long time.

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