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Despicable Me 2 - Minion Dave
ThinkWay Toys

Minion Dave Despicable Me 2 action figure by ThinkWay Toys


My kids and I recently watched The Croods (well worth seeing, especially in 3D), and it was my first look at the full Despicable Me 2 trailer. The movie looks terrific, and I think this is going to be the winner for best animated movie of 2013. Sorry Disney/Pixar, but DM2 is going to crush Planes.

Almost immediately after, I came across the new line of toys and figures at the local Toys R Us. The standouts are the large talking figures of Minion Dave and Minion Stuart, two of the cute little guys that assist in world domination.

Minion Stuart has one eye. He also has fewer sayings and less function than Minion Dave, all for the same price. Seemed pretty obvious to me which one to pick up.

Expect to pay around $40 each for these right now, although I'm betting they sell pretty well. ThinkWay is making them (and the smaller figures), and as a company they really know how to do cool electronic toys. Remember the original Buzz Lightyear? Yep, that was them.

Packaging - ***1/2
The large box gives some interesting background information on the new movie, and provides a couple 'try me' style holes in the window to test him out. You'll want to buy one early though, before a million kids get their fingers all over the soft rubber outer skin.

The box isn't collector friendly, but there's some creative screw connections used to hold him in place instead of twisties.
Click on the photo below for a life size version
Minion Dave Despicable Me 2 action figure by ThinkWay Toys
Minion Dave Despicable Me 2 action figure by ThinkWay Toys
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Minion Dave Despicable Me 2 action figure by ThinkWay Toys
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Minion Dave Despicable Me 2 action figure by ThinkWay Toys
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Minion Dave Despicable Me 2 action figure by ThinkWay Toys
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Minion Dave Despicable Me 2 action figure by ThinkWay Toys

Sculpting - ***
This is a well designed figure, with a ton of unique features. They've built some sort of underlying skeleton for the upper body that provides support for the arm and eye articulation, as well as the electronics.

The soft rubber skin on the yellow body works well, allowing you to tilt and lean him easily. This also activates various sound features - more on that later.

The lower body is all hard plastic, and the batteries are housed above the legs. I'm not thrilled with the placement of some of the screws, especially the pair that are so obvious on the front of the belly.

The soft rubber cover is nice for movement, but it doesn't quite fit around the goggles as well as I'd like. There's gaping, and I'm concerned that over time it will get worse as you move the head around.

My biggest gripe here (i.e. the one that's going to matter for my Overall score) has to do with the hair. In the movie. minions tend to have short little insect like hairs sticking up out of their heads, sparse but cute. You can see Dave with these hairs right on the cover of the box.

But the figure has hair that's flat and part of the soft skin. Combined with the yellow color, It gives him a Homer-esque appearance, and I'm not really feeling it. Going with short hairs that were sticking up wouldn't have been difficult, although perhaps they were concerned that they would get ruined from handling over time.

This is a large figure, standing about 8" tall. He's a bit big when compared to the electronic Groo, but you'll appreciate the heft.

EDIT: An astute reader pointed out that the minion who is Dave on screen does have this hair style. I suppose it would help if they used his photo for the box, eh?  And I still don't like the look...perhaps if they'd gotten more strands, with the length varying, which is more screen accurate.

Paint - ***
Most of the paint here is the cast color, like the yellow and blue. But there are some details (teeth, tongue, hair, buttons, etc) that are painted on. This is a large figure, so any minor slop is all the more obvious. Edges could be cleaner, especially on the teeth, but the hard plastic eyes look great.

Articulation - ***1/2
The best (okay, second best) feature of this figure is the articulation. I was quite surprised by how posable he is, considering the rather round character design.

The arms have ball shoulders, pin elbows and cut wrists. That gives you quite a bit of additional posing with both arms.

The eyes move and open/close when you move the upper body, allowing for some pretty funny expressions. The eyes don't stay there, but it works well with the sound feature.

Finally, both feet have cut ankles, insuring that you can get him standing great on his own, even with the large body and small legs.

Accessories - Bupkis
I was a little disappointed that there were no extras, particularly with Dave. He should have a banana to press the tongue down, rather than just your finger.

Sound Feature - ****
Minion Dave has an advertised 55 things he says, way too many to list here. Even if I could, most are weird gibberish, the funky language of minions.

He has a couple different 'modes'. Press the button on his overalls, and he talks, and talks, and talks.

Push down on the tongue, and you go into banana mode. That means when you push the body to the side or back, he farts, quite loudly. He also has additional sayings. Push the tongue twice, and this guy toots like a trooper, passing gas like a lactose intolerant Leonard at a cheese festival.

To get a better idea of the sound feature, I put together a very quick video - you can find it here. It's only a couple minutes long, and focuses on the sound feature.

I do have to say that there's something slightly disturbing about using your finger to push down his tongue...but maybe that's just me.

Fun Factor - ****
Combine the excellent sound feature with the moving eyes and posable arms, and you have another terrific fun toy based on an animated movie. ThinkWay really knows how to come up with creative electronic figures, and they're definitely the go to company for this sort of toy.

Value - **1/2
At forty bucks, these are a pretty average value. With a great sound feature and nice size, you're paying the going rate.

Things to Watch Out For -
Not a thing.

Overall - ***1/2
ThinkWay really knows how to do electronic toys, especially when the license is an animated movie.

While the single eye of Stuart is cute, he lacks the extra features that makes Dave the winner that he is. The sound feature works extremely well, and the articulated eyes are a great addition.

If they'd gone with a different design for the hair, I would have nudged him up that extra half star, but it's still a sweet toy with a very creative design and an excellent sound feature.

Now if the movie can just live up to my expectations!

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***
Sculpting - ***
Paint - ***
Articulation - ****
Accessories - Bupkis
Sound Feature - ****
Fun Factor - ****
Value - **1/2
Overall - ***1/2

Where to Buy -
You're best bet is hitting the local Toys R Us, where Dave (and Stuart) are selling for around $40.

Related Links -
I haven't reviewed any other Despicable Me toys, but I did check out the other ThinkWay toys, like Buzz Lightyear, Wall-EU-Command Wall-E, and Spider-Man.

Discussion:
Want to chat about this review?  Try out one of these terrific forums where I'll be discussing it!

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Minion Dave Despicable Me 2 action figure by ThinkWay Toys


This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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