One of my earliest reviews on this blog was of a Daredevil “figure” that I got out of a vending machine at KFC. I saw the adorable balled up faces of Dr. Doom, Daredevil, and Wolverine staring at me through the glass and I just couldn’t resist pissing a few toonies away in order to add them to my collection. (Toonies are what we call our two dollar coins for you non-Canadians). Initially I thought I was just buying balls with the faces of Marvel heroes stamped on them. It wasn’t until the first one popped out of the machine and I heard a rattling inside that I realized they were actually little figurines. Inside the head was a cute stumpy little body which snapped onto the bottom of the head. They reminded me of Mighty Muggs, a similarly styled cutesy toy line. But a Mighty Mugg will run you upwards of 15 bucks so these little guys are a steal at only 2 bucks a pop. I would’ve liked to complete the small collection of 6 but wasn’t willing to blow 20 dollars trying so I gave up after my first double.
Well a few months later I was at the new Toys R Us store that had recently been erected in Dartmouth and I noticed that they also had a vending machine containing the adorably round super heroes. I figured I’d take a stab at trying to get one of the characters that I still needed but I was sidetracked when I noticed that they also had a machine containing South Park characters. I’ve been a pretty big South Park fan since day one and I feel that I have the best set of action figures based on the series ever released. I’ve been holding off on reviewing any of the good ones but I covered Tweak in a quick review a while back. But as I stated in my Starscream review last week I cannot resist buying new versions of characters that I love; even if I already have superior versions at home. Such was the case with these South Park toys. I couldn’t help myself. And so I pissed a few more toonies away on these cheap little knick-knacks.
My initial couple turns of the dial got me Kenny and Butters which is fine but they were characters that I already had superior versions of at home. I was hoping to get either Token or Wendy; two characters which I didn’t already have in action figure form. I still need a Wendy but I did score a Token ( and a Cartman) on a later trip to Toys R Us. Unless you’re a serious South Park fan you may not even know who Token is. He’s the token black kid included in wide shots of the classroom, playground or cafeteria. At least he started out that way. Like Craig, Clyde, and others, Token initially served no purpose other than to fill backgrounds and inhabit the world of South Park as an “extra”. But as the show continued to run for years and years more of those background characters were given prominent roles. Characters like Jimmy, Timmy, and Butters have been upgraded to co-starring roles and even Token has been made a central character in several episodes now. I like the character but don’t really have a whole lot to say about him and there’s really not much to say about this figure either. Its one of the coolest things that I’ve ever gotten out of a vending machine but that’s not exactly high praise. What I really like about this particular licensing is just how well suited the South Park characters are for this figure style. As much as I like the Marvel ones I wouldn’t want them to be the only representations of those characters in my collection. In the case of South Park, if these vending machine toys are the only South Park toys you ever own then that wouldn’t be so bad, the likenesses are pretty spot on. I hope a series two eventually sees release as I’d love to fill my shelf with more of my favorite forth graders who weren’t popular enough to warrant a toy back when the bigger figures were available. 5 out of 10.