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Vault Review: Tenkai Knights
Vilius, Sho, & Lydondor

While wandering through my local TRU’s non-LEGO brick aisle, I came across this interesting new line of minifigures from Spin Master.  It seems like every company has their own version of the building brick/mini figure toy line these days, which is making it increasingly more difficult to stand out from the crowd.  So what makes Tenkai Knights so unique?  Each figure can transform into a 4×2 LEGO-like brick.

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Spin Master has labeled this new transforming brick system Ionix.  Not only are they designed to become minifigures, but they can also be combined into more complex shapes like weapons, vehicles, and even larger action figures.

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It’s a pretty inventive system that can be as complicated as you want.  But I’m going to keep things pretty simple today and give you a basic rundown of the minifigures themselves.

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I picked up a “Tenkai Action Pack”, which contains three figures.  This particular set has the evil samurai-like Vilius, the flying dragon-thing Sho, and the good guy insect Lydondor.  Each figure comes in brick form and sealed in a poly bag with a handful of accessories and building elements. There is also a small instruction pamphlet.  What surprised me most is just how many extra pieces come with each figure.

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The back of the box says 41 total, but I counted 37 elements not including the parts that make up each figure.  So you’re really looking at a bit more than they say.

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Transformation is pretty interesting.  The process itself is really simple, but you can tell they put a good deal of thought into the engineering.  First step is to fold the lower torso panel up.  Then the shoulders come together to encompass the head.  The legs fold up in a similar fashion, and then the arms fold down to rest inside a small opening.

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The brick itself is pretty comparable to the basic LEGO.  It may be just a tiny bit squatter, but all the pegs and holes match up without any issues.  I don’t know how well the larger sets fit together, but the compatibility is pretty seamless with the three I have.  Continue to page 2…

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7 comments to Vault Review: Tenkai Knights
Vilius, Sho, & Lydondor

  • That is, somehow, ridiculously cool. I can’t explain how or why a mini-figure that turns into a brick tickles my fancy, but it does. Novel and nifty on a tiny, tiny scale.

    Great review and pics, as ever!

  • dayraven

    you find the strangest shizz sometimes…

  • orionpax636

    Vault, your varied eclectic tastes in plastic are impressive. I took a look at these, very interesting concept but not enough for me to take the plunge. If, however, they can build more anatomically functional mechs or figures, that would be different. But the idea of making the core minifigures blocks themselves is worth some attention.

    Vault, have you IAT folks wandered down the aisle towards the Call of Duty Mega Bloks sets? I haven’t opened mine, but it looks like they could develop some craziness for those that love troop building, modular play and articulation on tiny plastic dudes.

  • Paul

    I picked up one of the 3-packs and one of the Tenkai Titans the last time I was at TRU. These little guys certainly have their charm, and I like that you get lots of customization pieces, but they seem a bit on the expensive side for me. The transforming feature is fun, but I tend to display them in figure mode as opposed to building with them.

    The Titans are a lot of fun, though. Lots of cool armor pieces and a very cool transformation. If you get a chance, I’d definitely recommend trying one out. the Bravenwolf one is great.

  • Juan

    These are Japanese toys. Cartoon network have the show on Saturday mornings. It’s like Bayblade and those other games with transforming mini figures…

  • Thanks for a great review!
    OrionPax: The Titan figures are much more anatomically correct, with knee, elbow, and ankle articulation.
    Paul: We are exclusive to TRU this month, so they have upped the SRP a bit more than we expected. You will see prices come down significantly next month when we release in Target and Walmart!

    Have fun everyone!

  • john mahoney

    I poop on Ionix!