Winx Club is an Italian Magical Girl animated series that is quickly starting to take over the toy aisles in the United States. Reviewing these toys kind of goes against my mission statement of focusing on female characters with "boy" brands, but I give Winx Club a pass because at it's core, it's an adventure series, with cool villains, magical powers, and great characters (think modern-day She-Ra). This playset is a little disappointing to me because it doesn't highlight any of the action/adventure themes. Flora is the fairy of plants in the group and I really wish this set would have included some snared ivy or a snatching venus fly trap for combating the evil witches. Instead, we get a tea party. Oh well. The figure is a great addition to my little collection and it is my first in-person look at the new tooling incorporated in all the 2013 figures hitting the shelves right now. There are seven additional new figures showing up (although none have been officially announced): 4 Fairies in Harmonix form and 3 Witches. I found one of them at TRU almost a month ago and am eagerly awaiting (ie hunting) the rest. On to the review!
I read that this set is supposed to be exclusive to Wal-Mart and Toys'R Us. There are no markings on the packaging indicating that, but I found mine at Walmart.
The figure doesn't come with any energy blasts, power wings, or anything like that. But it is nice to have characters in "civilian" clothes.
These figures have a lot of great articulation. The only probelm with posing them is that their hair makes them want to topple over.
Check out my previous post The Girls of WINX CLUB showing all the 3.75" Figures from 2012.
Let's take a look at the playset.
The Magic Garden playset includes a Garden Base with a Fountain and Magic Lilo Plant (I don't know the story of the Lilo Plant, but the blurb on the cardback adds a tiny bit of action/adventure intrigue by saying "It is up to the Winx Club to make sure the Magical Lilo plant doesn't get into the wrong hands or it will destroy all of the magic on Earth!"). The Playset also includes a little rubber figure of Kiko, Bloom's magic pet bunny. There are a lot of pets in this series that add a very Japanese Super-Deformed quality. Lastly, the set includes a chair, a table, a pitcher, and two drinks.
The packaging says "Add Water to Open the Magical Lilo Plant!" This is a very interesting action feature. The sculpted "water" portion of the fountain is essentially a tube leading directly to the purple basin. By rotating and lifting the water, you can see the mechanism that makes the flower open. The pink "cup" in the basin is on top of a trigger that controls the flower with a simple hidden level action. the water that comes down the fountain fills up the pink cup and eventually weighs down the trigger and opens the flower. There is also a peg in the base of the flower meant to hold Kiko. Simple and well-designed.
Let's check out some Comparison Pics!
From Left to Right: Believix Collection Flora (with Zoomix Wings), Concert Collection Flora, Gardenia Playset Flora, and Transformation Boxset Flora.
I noticed that all the limbs on the new figure are thicker and sturdier. The articulation seems to be the same and the overall quality is still great.