Toy Fare 2009! I finally found Xtractaurs in the stores, but they're squirreled away in another aisle separate from the action figures. That's probably because Xtractaurs is an online video game/action figure combo toy line. In the game, you use an Extraction Gun to extract a dinosaur's DNA through holes in the figure's back. You then feed that DNA into the computer and use it to create fearsome Frankendinos! I won't be reviewing the game because I'm not forking over $20 for the Starter Kit... all I care about are the action figures. So I decided to start out with a couple of my favorite dinos: the T-Rex (Quikfire) and the Styracosaurus (Battlespike).
Size: 6" length (Battlespike) - 7" length (Quikfire)
Price: $9 each at Walmart
Looks: Quikfire Battlespike
The sculpts for both are great. I love the geometric and blocky designs; they're very much a product of our times, looking like they come straight out of an episode of a cartoon like The Secret Saturdays. If you like that sort of styling, this is a cool line for you.
But Quikfire's color scheme is somewhat lacking, with white and black stripes airbrushed on dull orange plastic. Some of the stripes don't wrap around all the way as they should (especially on the legs) and the sprayed stripes are inconsistent and bleed into themselves in some places. Also, they just phoned-in the teeth; some of them are barely half-painted.
I love Battlespike's color scheme, with an atomic green plastic base and dark green details and stripes. The "glowing" green spray on the nose horn is especially cool. But like Quikfire, many of the paint apps are lame. The stripes are inconsistent and the claws and beak could be cleaner. But the colors work well with the figure.
Articulation: Quikfire Battlespike
Both have very similar articulation: swivel necks, shoulders, hips, and tail. Quikfire just edges out Battlespike in the articulation contest with an additional hinge jaw. But there are no ball-socket joints and the tail swivel is totally useless, so any sort of meaningful movement is very limited.
Neither come with any accessories.This won't detract too much from their final scores because accessories aren't really necessary with dinosaurs. But it would be cool if they came with extra dino parts... or, even better, blaster cannons that you could mount on their backs! Meh... I guess I'll have to stick with Dino Riders for my dino-blaster fix.
$9 is pretty steep for these guys. They're not that much bigger than Plasma Dinosaurs, which I think retail for about $6. I guess you're paying extra for the microchip that allows you to play the game, but for those of you who don't give a flip about the game and just want cool dinosaur figures (like me), you'll probably not be too thrilled at the cash register.
Coolness: Quikfire Battlespike
Wow... that's a big discrepancy! What makes Quikfire such a bad figure, you may ask? Just one thing: he can't stand. Like some other T-Rex figures, he's front-heavy because the tail isn't big enough to act as a counter-balance to the rest of the body; hence, without some help (like that which Crayboth's providing in some of the pictures) the figure topples over. My most basic requirement for any action figure is the ability to stand independently; without that, the figure is worthless for display. So, Quikfire is a HUGE disappointment.
But Battlespike doesn't have those issues (being a quadruped and all) so I can concentrate on appreciating his utterly cool Styracosaur sculpt.
One other moderately-cool thing about these figures: you can swap the heads and tails. The swapability seems to be limited to only those parts, though. I tried to pop off the legs and they seemed very unwilling to come out.
Overall: Quikfire Battlespike
Despite Quikfire's cool sculpt, the figure ultimately crashes and burns due to an iffy color scheme with sloppy paint apps... and an annoying inability to stand independently. Battlespike fares better, with a super-cool sculpt and a great color scheme. Quikfire's so disappointing that I'm tempted to give up on the line, but Battlespike's coolness draws me back. There are plenty of other figures that look great, so I think I'll just avoid the theropods.