I happened to wander down an aisle at Toys R Us this week that I usually don't bother with. It's between NECA aisle and the TMNT aisle, and it's made up of all this random stuff (mostly military) that I don't care much about, so I never bother. Well, I happened to glance over and saw a box of Orcs, called simply "Orcs", so I went and checked it out. Turns out, it's a fairly awesome set, so I thought I'd spread the word...
Orcs is from a True Legends line and seems to be made by Toys R Us. The True Legends line includes a variety of topics from Ninjas to Military, Wild West and Pirates, amongst others. The Legends title seems to be the Fantasy theme catch-all.
The Orcs come packaged in a window box that features come pretty cool artwork and a simple backdrop that uses bright colors against a dark base to set the figures off. They are all clearly visible, as are their accessories. The part under the artwork is empty, wasted space, but the picture is so cool that I don't care.
The box back gives a quick little generic narrative about warring Elves and Orcs, along with pictures of 2 other sets: Elves and Orc Raiding Party (which comes with 2 2-headed Wargs...I mean dogs..., 2 Orcs and a stone arch). It looks pretty awesome, as well. The elf set is kind of blah, but I'm thinking they might be necessary if only for to have someone for these guys to fight!
The package is remarkably attractive, efficient and well-designed. I only bring up that point because (and keep this in mind from here-on-in) this set sells for $9.99. Yep, it's cheap. And usually, you get what you pay for (and at Toys R Us, especially, you usually get less than what you pay for, since you're paying 20% more for the same item than you would anywhere else).
The set includes 4 Orcs. Each is uniquely designed, from sculpt to articulation, paint and accessories. There are 2 "big guys"(a "Chief", with the fanged helmet, and a pale "Brute", who reminds me a bit of Gothmog from "The Return of the King"), a wiry "Lizard Guy", who actually has a lizard wrapped around his arm, and comes with a detachable lizard to wear around his neck, and finally the "Ponytail Guy". The sculpts are dynamite, with tons of intricate detail, from the armband of tiny skulls on Brute, to the dinged armor shoulder pads on Ponytail. With a little more paint, these would REALLY pop!
The paint itself is a mixed bag. There some slop around teeth, but the eyes are mostly pretty good, and there's even a bit of drybrushing on the armor that works well. That said, these would all benefit from someone with a steady hand and a fine brush.
Personally, I think the work on the Chief is my favorite, despite some poor coverage on one of the helmet tusks.
In terms of articulation, these guys are all pretty simple. Just keep in mind that they run $2.50 apiece!
You'll find cut shoulders and a cut waist and neck on all of them, and Lizard guy has T-hips. That's it. The other guys don't move at the legs, but they're sculpted with knees bent and one foot slightly in front of the other, so it works. No problems with falling over, or loose joints. Nor with breakage, and they seem to be made of a very durable, rubbery-type plastic.
Speaking of rubbery plastic, they come with a decent assortment of weapons/ accessories that are very rubbery (so expect bent handles, etc.- again, forgivable at this price point). You'll get a small hammer, Orc sword, battle axe, rocks tied together with a rope, a lizard, and another small-handled axe. One of the figures even has a notch in his back armor where a weapon can be plugged in for storage!
In case you can't tell, I really like this set. These Orcs are fun little figures (they are done in a 4" scale, by the way). They feature terrific, detailed sculpts, decent enough paint, some cool accessories, and they are pretty sturdy for play. They look great together, and (best of all) they are priced right! I'll definitely be picking up the beast sets (there's a second beast set that comes with a couple of Elves and a pair of Griffins) and maybe even the giant Castle Tower playset, which comes complete with a battering ram, catapult, 2 Orcs, 2 Elves, and a Dragon! They might even be fun for the kids to play with...