Minion fever has swept across the Philippines with the release of Despicable Me 2 (see our movie review here)! The trailers and shorts have taken the internet by storm creating a soft spot in the hearts of many for Minion Stuart, Singing Tim, or Dancing Dave and the rest of the gang. Because of this, we’ve all seen and heard stories on social media of people scrambling to collect all the available minion toys from a well known fast food chain. Believe me, it’s real. I personally have tried to collect them and have 6 so far!
As fun as these meal toys might be to collect; toy collectors like myself, enthusiasts, as well as fans of the movie might be looking for other releases that might satisfy our needs. Though creative in terms of variety and function, these trinket toys can’t match the quality of a toy geared for extended play and use. So if you’re in the market for a legitimate toy of a higher calibre, don’t despair! Thinkway Toys have stepped up to the plate to provide us with exactly that. They’ve released a good amount of Despicable Me 2 merchandise ranging from mini figures to plush toys, all of which seem to hold up to pretty high standards for their respective niches.
For this particular review, we’ll be focusing on the Thinkway Toys Dancing Dave from Despicable Me 2! Who wouldn’t love a dancing minion, right? It depends. But then again, that’s what we’re here to find out! Let’s get down to business. Banana!
Let’s start with the packaging. For this toy, the packaging is simple yet very appealing. You get your standard box, a no nonsense design that prioritizes the toy and nothing else. It makes good use of the white outer box colour with easy-to-read text and very nice box cover art and photos. The “Try Me” view window choice is particularly nice for this figure because of the need to press his pocket button for Dancing Dave to do his many tricks. I also love that they went in and chose a dark orange as the inner wall for their packaging as it really makes the toy pop out more. I believe they could’ve tried and created a more interesting box design, but they reserved that for their Collectors Edition releases (I do hope I can get a hand on these for reviewing as well).
The figure is held in place by plastic locks which I find totally ingenious. I haven’t purchased a children’s toy for quite a while, so I can’t tell if this comes standard on other Thinkway products or products of the same nature for that matter. Anyway, these locks lock and unlock by twisting them clockwise or counter-clockwise respectively. None of those unruly and time consuming twist ties that just eat up all the fun by the time you get your toy out.
The overall sculpt of Dancing Dave is amazing! The thing I like the most about licensed toys is that more often than not, they’re given really specific information about the character so that they can recreate it as accurately as they can. This guy is no exception. All the nifty details from the eyes and mouth down to the etched lines for the jumpsuit are all beautifully done.
For this particular release, Dancing Dave is made with hard plastic as opposed to his rubberised talking minion kin. This is mostly to provide a solid housing for the mechanical parts that power the main attraction for this piece that we will be tackling later. From the back, you can see that they tried to reduce the number of unnecessary screw holes to maintain the look of the figure which to me is a big plus.
One thing to note by the way is the overall weight distribution of this figure. This will play in handy once we get to the Articulation section.
There isn’t anything else to say about the paint work on Dancing Dave. It’s pretty clean by any standards, any stray marks don’t pose much of a problem to the whole look of the toy. I’m not too sure as to how scratch resistant this toy is though. This might come as an important thing to remember once we talk about the dancing part of Dancing Dave.
The colours they chose sticks true to what you’d imagine a minion would look like in real life. They chose a pretty bright yellow that’s striking yet at the same time still easy on the eyes. Their colour choice for Dancing Dave’s trousers isn’t bad either. Their current colour palette will surely get not only the attention of the kids, but as well as those kids at heart.
This section will not only tackle articulation, but also Dancing Dave’s special features to give this toy a fair chance at a deserving score since the main attraction for this toy is it’s dancing after all. Why name him Dancing Dave if it wasn’t, right?
Let’s get the small things done first. In terms of articulation, you’re not given much room to play around here. Dancing Dave is awarded joints and pivot points on his arms, and our story about articulation pretty much ends there.
Now let’s get to the actual fun bit, Dancing Dave’s special features: the dancing!
I was really curious as to how it’ll do out of the box. I also wondered how to get the voice activated actions up and running since it doesn’t recognize any sounds during in-store demonstration. If you check inside the box, it comes with an instruction leaflet that tackles battery replacement and how to activate the sound activated mechanism. All you have to do is flip the switch located at the back of Dancing Dave to ‘off” for 5 seconds and then switch it to “on” as opposed to having it at “try me” mode. Once in this mode, Dancing Dave becomes aware of his surroundings and will react to somewhat loud noises.
Zip. Nada. Nothing to mention over here. Not necessarily a bad thing though as Dancing Dave doesn’t really require extra accessories.
The toy in itself is pretty enjoyable from the get go. It’s a great likeness to Minion Dave and looks pretty impressive afar and up close. I’d be happy already with the toy as a display figure, but that’s not what you paid for. Of course it isn’t.
After switching it to full on “on” mode and once it started moving and talking, this toy really made my day. It talked and moved from left to right, arms and legs alike. Dancing Dave surely is entertaining. I imagine good laughs with friends and family just interacting with this toy, especially for the kids!
It would’ve scored a higher mark if it had maintained it’s balance all throughout. Sadly, once Dancing Dave does his most anticipated number, The Banana Song and dance, his excitement levels are a bit too high, and as a result he ends up knocking himself over falling face first to the ground 2 out of 3 times. This really dampens the mood if you hate having to stand him up every single time, other’s might find this constant falling down part of its appeal though.
BANG FOR YOUR BUCK
Now we come to the all important question, is it worth your money?
At Php 2,800.00, this toy is actually great! I’ve seen toys positioned at this price point that are done poorly and leave almost nothing to be desired, but this one is the opposite of that. Dancing Dave is sure to get a chuckle out of you and your family and friends because of his antics. He will also be a worthy entertainer for the kids as well as guests. If you feel like keeping him as a display toy, just pop out the batteries to avoid leaking in the long run and switch him off. You magically get yourself a decent scale model for a minion.
Hey, what can I say? There was a reason why I had to buy the set as soon as I laid eyes on them. Toy collectors, fans of the movie, as well as almost any family who loves cute toys to liven up family time will surely love this toy. The build on this toy seems rock solid, good audio playback and fun interactions really sell this toy.
It might be a bit too steep go all out and collect the whole gang, but for what you get, I’d recommend you do that if you can afford it!
Interested in trailers, news and details of Despicable Me? Check it out: Despicable Me 2 in IMDB
Or would you like to visit their official site? See: Despicable Me 2 official website
Would you like to see more from Thinkway Toys? Check out their link here: Thinkway Toys