I'm becoming something of a self-proclaimed expert on Gormiti toys out here in Dooyoo world, having suggested two products and written quite frankly excellent reviews on them. This is my third suggestion, and of course my third review. I don't quite know why I've taken it upon myself to turn Dooyoo into the definitive Gormiti guide. Maybe I should try going outside more often. Maybe I should take my Tuesday pills on Tuesday and my Thursday pills on Thursday.
Anyway, Gormiti toys are fairly popular with the six year old renting out the box room upstairs, so I've taken it upon myself to take a good look at what's capturing his imagination and report on it for you guys. I can only imagine your excitement.
Gormiti forced their way into our household via an aggressive advertising campaign bookended onto each CITV cartoon in weekday mornings. Before and after every episode of Danny Phantom and Baby Looney Tunes was a 'Sponsored by Gormiti' message, not to mention the 30 second advert that popped up in the commercial break. Needless to say, they soon found their way onto our junior lodger's Christmas list.
== What is a "Gormiti"? ==
(Apologies if you've read this bit before, I've used variations of it in all three of my Gormiti reviews.)
Gormiti is a series of collectable action figures, trading cards and play sets aimed at the youngsters. The Gormiti themselves are the "Invincible Lords of Nature" - six tribes of elemental warriors. The island of Gorm used to be a pretty nice place to live, until the Fire Mountain erupted and unleashed the monstrous Lava and Magma people. Bang, there goes the lush countryside, and here comes the dust and ash and general nastiness. Kind of puts the Credit Crunch into perspective, doesn't it. Luckily, help was at hand for the island of Gorm - the Old Sage! He gathered together the people of Air, Earth and Sea to wage war with these new buzz-killing beasties. This battle is now in your child's hands!
Although they have been around in Germany for a few years now, the Gormiti have only just come over to our shores. The toys we have are 'Series 1', and are made up of a collection of action figures, plus a few play sets where the warriors are supposed to live. The main toys are two-inch high plastic monsters, painted to represent their elemental style. For example, the "Air" creatures are blue, white and yellow, and most of them look like humanoid birds, while the "Magma" creatures are red, demonic beasts with muscles and attitude problems. Although they are not poseable, they have a professional look to them and appear well put together.
== The Game ==
Each figure has a point value on the base of its foot. This represents their strength in battle, and is vital if your son wishes to play the Gormiti game. Basically, each character has a corresponding trading card, which has an additional strength value on it. If you have both figure and card to hand, you can add these values together to form your warrior's total strength. This is pitted against a friend's figure/card combo, with the highest number winning. A pretty basic game that doesn't really inspire me, but my son seems to enjoy it to a limited extent. Luckily, the Gormiti are fun to play with just like regular toys, and it seems they're better suited to that use.
== What am I buying here? ==
Now that you've got the background information, we need to look at what Gormiti toy you're actually getting your hands on. The Figure Foilbag is a small packet which includes one mystery Gormiti figure and one mystery trading card. Basically, you've got no idea what you're going to get. It's all a bit pot luck really, like buying a packet of stickers or trading cards.
This is the most basic of Gormiti toys, and probably will serve as the entry level for most children. They retail for between £1.22 (Amazon.co.uk) and £1.99 and are available from some newsagents and independent toy stores, although they're quickly being phased out by more popular craze toys such as the countless Crazy Bones variations and Dino Eggs. You'll probably have a hard time finding these in bigger toy shops due to the shoplifting potential.
== Is it worth it? ==
If you can find a bag, you shouldn't necessarily buy it. There's nothing wrong with the Gormiti brand - they're not brilliant, but good enough - but this isn't the best way to get involved. The problem is that you don't know what character or card you're getting. The figures themselves vary widely in quality - some of them are big and impressive-looking, while some are either lazily designed or just not interesting. And then there's the risk of winding up with a duplicate.
The cards include a rather unimpressive illustration of the character, his name, his strength rating and a brief description bigging him up. The card that is included won't necessarily correspond with the figure you receive, so you could end up with a pointless card as you can't use them unless you have the right toy to go with them. Of course, a resourceful child can invent any sort of game with anything he's given, but you can imagine the disappointment one would feel if he spent £2 of his hard-earned pocket money on one of these only to receive a figure he's already got and a card he doesn't need.
== Product comparison ==
Contrasting this product with the 'Gormiti 4 Figure Card', you can see how pointless it is. The '4 Figure Card' includes four Gormiti figures, three of which are visable through the packaging so you know what you're paying out for. You also get four guaranteed corresponding trading cards, and a poster too. And how much does this set you back? On Amazon, a tidy £3.00. So... let's break this down.
4 Figure Card (4 figures, 4 corresponding trading cards and poster) = £3.00 (75p per figure)
Figure Foilbag (1 random figure, 1 random trading card) = £1.22 (£1.22 per figure)
It doesn't take the Old Sage to work out where your money should be going. Sadly, it's not exactly that simple - there are some figures that aren't available in the 4 Figure Cards, so if you want to complete your collection then you'll need to make a big investment and quite a few risks.
Essentially, is this worth buying for a child? No. Don't waste your money, or theirs. However, this does not mean you should abandon the Gormiti brand. Just pick up one of the bigger packets. Much better value for money, plus you know what you're getting and have the luxury of picking and choosing.
Gormiti collectable character figurine with a unique power value printed under its foot numbered 1-9. Trading battle cards detailing the description of the character and his story. 1st series leaflet showing all the 6 tribes and the 42 characters available to collect. There are hundreds of combinations between action figures and battle cards. One supplied. Styles vary.