Ben 10 is one of those properties I always appreciated from an arm’s distance. It premiered on Cartoon Network around the same time I stopped watching TV 24/7, and Bandai’s original toys– like much of their U.S. output– left much to be desired. All the same, I appreciated the strong character designs, and the story of a boy who could morph into a variety of super-powered aliens certainly held an appeal.
Now, Cartoon Network is rebooting the series, and they’re teaming up with Playmates to release a new toy line featuring Ben Tennyson, his alien alter egos, and various allies and enemies from the show. The toy line is presently exclusive to Toys R Us, and figures come in a variety of styles and sizes, including 5″ basic figures, deluxe action feature figures, 10″ giant figures, and– of course– a kid-sized, wearable Omnitrix.
As is often the case, the rebooted Ben 10 designs take all the iconic elements of the original and present them in a sleeker, more streamlined aesthetic… and Playmates’ figures follow suit with the trend. Diamondhead and Four Arms are two of the most iconic creatures in the Ben 10 mythos, and each Playmates action figure features a cartoon accurate sculpt, in (roughly) comparable scale. Both figures are fairly well articulated, including ball necks, shoulders, and hips, hinged elbows and knees, and swivel wrists. This allows for some decent action poses, helped along by their accessories– Diamondhead includes a clip-on diamond weapon which connects on top of either hand, while Four Arms comes packed with a chain which he can break in half– and their overall aesthetic is pretty cool. I particularly love the translucent blue plastic used on Diamondhead’s “skin,” which stands out perfectly against his black and yellow uniform. Of course, both figures feature the Ben 10 insignia on their chests, and these and other paint apps are well applied here.
The Omnitrix is another cool piece. While intended for kids, the role play-sized wrist watch comfortably fit on even a 6’6″ ogre like me, meaning it should work just as well for Ben 10 cosplayers as for kids. The device features a push-down activation, which allows you to dial between aliens just like Ben’s Omnitrix on the show. It also features over 40 phrases and sound effects from the show, which can be activated with ease.
Overall, Playmates’ Ben 10 toys are a lot of fun, and feature great plastic iterations of the heroes, villains, and aliens of the animated series. If you want to get an early start on this new toy line, head to Toys R Us, the exclusive home of the all new Ben 10 for the time being. I wouldn’t be surprised if the line expands out to other retailers sooner than later, but for now you can pick up Ben, his alien alter egos, and most of the supporting cast from the show at your local Toys R Us store, or by hitting ToysRUs.com.
Thanks to Playmates for giving us the chance to review these great new Ben 10 toys!