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Bobby & Uni

Dungeons & Dragons Cartoon Classics
by yo go re

The classic pairing of a boy and his pony.

Bobby the Barbarian and his sidekick Uni the Unicorn are always ready for battle the forces of evil.

"Ready for battle the forces"? Boy, I'm sure glad to see the copy-writing and package design for this line is exactly the same high level of quality as the figures themselves. Truly, you've outdone yourselves, Hasbro. You know, when Mattel did the Movie Masters Batpod, they didn't make the Four Horsemen sculpt it; they recognized that, being the owner of both major toy car brands - Hot Wheels and Matchbox - they already had employees who were better suited to doing the work well. Obviously we don't know for sure that Hasbro's Wizards of the Coast team is being forced to design and produce their own action figures from scratch, we're just saying that there are many departments in the company that already have a track record of quality and success, so maybe they should have been asked for help?

Bobby serves as the youngest of the group, and is also the team muscle, which really says more about them than it does about him. If what we learned in the Diana review is accurate, and Dungeon Master assigned them D&D classes based on their existing skills, we can assume that 10-year-old Bobby was headstrong, violent... and illiterate? Eh, that tracks. He draws on the same archetypes that clothed He-Man, meaning he wears fur boots, fut trunks, metal wristbands, and a studded leather harness crossed over his chest. Amusingly, the straps hang farther down on his right shoulder than on his left, suggesting the garment is still too big for his tiny frame. Guess Dungeon Master is counting on them being in the Realm long enough for him to grow into it!

Or maybe Bobby's just bad at dressing himself. He wears a horned helmet (like early He-Man would have done), and it sits crookedly on his head despite him having a giant mop of blonde hair to tuck under there and keep it centered. The expression sculpted on his little round face could be interpreted anywhere between amused and grumpy, but the way his eyebrows are painted definitely makes him look sour.

All Bobby's joints are accessible, but that doesn't mean they're problem-free: like Diana, the first Bobby I got broke, so the photos in this review are of the second. In his case, it was the head; I popped the head off the balljoint so I could get the neck hinge moving, and after I put it back on, turning the head on the ball just made it shear off. Terrific. I haven't decided, as of this writing, whether I want to try again with my new one. Does he really need to be able to put his chin against his chest, or tip his head back to look straight up? Yes, it would be better if eveything moved, but am I losing anything real if it doesn't? I already got the swivel/hinges in his shoulders, elbows, and wrists moving safely, and unstuck his double-hinged knees with a little work, so do I want to have to go through all that again? (For the record, his balljointed hips and waist, swivel shins, and swivel/hinge ankles all moved fine right away.)

The Barbarian's weapon is a simple club, because you can't expect him to operate anything more complex than that. ["A hammer is just a very heavy set of lockpicks" --ed.] According to those 3.5 stats released a few years back with the DVD, it's a +2 "Thunder Club" that gives its user a +4 bonus to Strength. So you have options in wielding it, the hinge in his right wrist moves vertically, and the hinge in the left moves sideways. The "handle" (aka "narrow end") of the club is wider than the molded hands, though, so expect either of them to stretch out and loosen over time.

Since Bobby is the smallest (human) character in the line, his toy includes a pack-in: Uni, the baby unicorn sidekick who was the first native inhabitant the kids met when the roller coaster brought them into the Realm. Uni fills the "cute sidekick" role all cartoons were required to have back then, but she's honestly less anoying than most. Even with her plaintive bleating (and the fact she was, several times, the direct reason the kids didn't get to escape back home), I'd take Uni over Snarf any day.

Uni is a mostly solid figure, with a balljoint for the head and nothing else. Her skin is off-white and her hair orange, like it should be, and she's got brown paint for her hooves. She stands about waist-high on Bobby, which seems accurate to the cartoon: things would change from scene to scene, obviously, but she is a baby unicorn, not an adult, so she was always at least partially tiny. Who ever knew that Hasbro would be good at making cutesy unicorns!

Rather than a Build-A-Figure, the Dungeons & Dragons Cartoon Classics have a "Build-A-Dice-Set" - get them all and you'll be able to play a game of D&D. Bobby and Uni have a dodecahedron, or D12.

If you're a fan of the D&D cartoon and you want these figures, then you should absolutely get them. I mean, I'm still planning to pick up the next three, even knowing what I know about the toys now. But we'd say that, given their general quality so far, you can probably wait a couple months and get them on a really nice discount. ...on the other hand, given their quality control, if you wait a few months for markdown, there might not be any left that haven't already been broken and traded for an intact replacement (not to mention the trouble you'll have getting any replacements of your own).

-- 03/15/23

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