What a great way to bring 2014 to a close! I was really anxious to get my hands on this I Am Elemental series since it was my first foray into the world of Kickstarter and I couldn't shake the feeling that I was taking a gamble. I have friends who have backed Kickstarter campaigns in the past and have been disappointed by the final product (or lack thereof). My paranoia was assuaged though by the professional and thorough framework presented by creators Julie Kerwin and Dawn Nadeau. The concept, design, funding, and delivery of these figures was fully fleshed out before the Kickstarter even went live. It's amazing to think that a mere seven months after I first heard of the concept of these toys, I am holding a fully realized, beautifully made set of action figures. I know there is a future series in the works (Series 02: Wisdom), and I know without a doubt I'll be adding it to my collection. I'd also like to add that I had zero QC problems with this set; no sloppy paint lines; no stuck joints; no casting seams. I don't have this much confidence in any of the top toy companies. Let's check out the Elements of Courage!
There are many ways to receive these figures. I opted for the lunchbox set since I open all my figures. There is a display box set as well that many collectors might prefer.
Inside the lunchbox is an activity book, a bracelet, and seven individually wrapped figures.
The figures are all sealed in identical bags. The "check box" system on the back indicates the figure inside.
Inside each bag is a figure, a shield (that doubles as a charm for the bracelet), two collectible cards, a fold-out informational sheet, and a black drawstring carrying pouch.
Before we look at each figure individually, I wanted to break my typical routine and show a group shot. I think these figures are wonderfully colorful and dynamic. I'm especially happy to know that future figures are already in the works and the momentum seems to be going strong. There's never been a better time for me to cut my ties with G.I.Joe.
Bravery does not shrink from challenge or difficulty.
She has the ability to create a protective force-field around herself and others.
This one is my favorite of the bunch. I like her coloring, her simplistic hair, and her knightly motif.
Each figure feature nine points of articulation: Neck, Shoulders, Elbows, Hips, and Knees. They could really benefit from ankle articulation and possibly wrist or gauntlet swivels, but nevertheless they are pretty great as is.
Bravery's unique accessory is her shoulder-armor.
Each figure also come with a shield sporting their elemental symbol.
Industry works hard at all she does. She has the ability to control physical objects and repair anything that is broken.
Industry's unique accessory is her backpack - presumably containing tools and gear.
I think Industry has the coolest hair of the group.
Persistence finishes what she starts and persists in spite of obstacles.
She has the ability to push through any obstacle with super strength.
Persistence's (say that three times fast!) unique accessory is her cape.
Honesty tells the truth.
She has the ability to make others tell the truth.
Honesty's unique accessory is obviously her beautiful wings.
The Kickstarter campaign offered an exclusive Honesty figure in Courage Red.
Enthusiasm cultivates and shares a positive mindset.
She has the ability to change the negative emotions others.
Enthusiasm's unique accessory is her armored breastplate.
Energy approaches life with excitement and does not do things half way.
She has the ability to control electrical impulses.
Energy's unique accessory is her awesome shoulderpiece made of flame.
Fear spreads the impulse to pull away and hide.
She has the ability to stop a moving object in its tracks.
Fear has two unique accessories: (1) shoulder armor in the shape of snake heads, and (2) a snake-shaped blaster.
The lunchbox set came with a rubber bracelet which is meant to be used as a charm bracelet for all the shields.
The lunchbox set also came with an amazing activity book. As an adult collector, I wasn't planning on giving this add-in a second look. But once I flipped through it I really appreciated the effort and the overall message of the line so much more. I am now actively suggesting this set to all the parents of young children in my life as well as ordering a few more sets in the near future for my nieces.
It's full of thought-provoking questions like:
"What is the bravest thing that you have ever done?"
"If you could make a protective force-field around yourself and others, who would you protect?
The illustrations are fantastic.
And there are even drawing activities to cultivate the comic book artists.
Did I mention the value of this set? I got all seven figures, plus the bonus figure and the add-ins for $65. If Hasbro or Mattel was producing this, they would be charging well over $100 (and the QC issues would be abundant)
You can place an order at www.iamelemental.com
Time for some Group and Comparison Pics!
Here is Industry with a Jinx (Kim Arashikage) figure from G.I.Joe Retaliation (Hasbro).
From Left to Right: Mattel DC Multiverse Catwoman, Hasbro G.I.Joe Jinx, Industry, Hasbro Marvel Universe Valkyrie, and Bandai Big Hero 6 Go Go Tomago.