Anyone who visits the toy isles knows that Imaginext is a kids line started by Fisher-Price that is meant for children ages 3-8. But it’s the kind of line you see on the shelves and think “Aw, man! I would have LOVED that as a kid!” Some of us are old enough to have kids of our own and use that as the gateway to start buying the various incarnations of the line. Some of us just love DC Comics or castles or dragons or just cool toys. No matter how you came to the line adult collectors are responding to the line and are adding it to their collections at an increasing rate.
For a brief history of Imaginext I couldn’t say it any better than the Wikipedia entry on the line, so here it is:
At the time of its introduction at the 2002 Toy Fair, the Imaginext System included only two themed worlds: medieval and city venues. The original medieval line attempted to capture the action of battle with its fortresses, dungeons, knights, wizards, and dragons and featured the Battle Castle play set as well as several knight and wizard action figures sold separately. This line quickly expanded to incorporate the Wizard’s Tower and Goblin’s Dungeon play sets.
The other Imaginext line that was released in 2002 attempted to capture life in the big city with a focus on emergency and rescue figures and play sets. The Imaginext Rescue Center was the initial lead play set of the rescue line which, like the medieval line, quickly expanded. The rescue world soon included a police station and sea rescue center with a number of additional figures and accessories—a mounted police officer, an EMT, and a deep sea diver to name a few. Compared to the medieval line, the Imaginext rescue world was rather short-lived. In 2003, however, it would be supplemented by a construction-themed world. Construction worker and mechanic figures and accessories complemented the rescue world’s urban theme.
In 2003, the Imaginext brand released of a pirate (or sea) line. The line was popularized by its two lead playsets: Pirate Raider and Buccaneer Bay. A glow-in-the-dark Pirate Crew figure pack (also released in 2003) became so popular that an entire phantom line was developed and released in 2004. In contrast to the pirate line, the phantom figures were all glow-in-the-dark and had skeletal bodies.
In 2005, a dinosaur world was added to the Imaginext repertoire. Following in the footsteps of the castle line, the Imaginext dinosaurs were divided into rival sects: the predators—whose goal is to wipe out the world’s natural resources—and the ecovores—who fight to preserve the land.
In Fall 2006, the Imaginext brand was renamed Imaginext Adventures, marking a shift in design and production of Imaginext toys. A number of Imaginext playsets were redesigned to feature figure-activated buttons and switches that with various functions (a pirate figure, when placed on one such site on the Pirate Raider, can be used to extend the plank or lower the sails). Several of these playsets could even be purchased fully assembled. The new figures appeared rather larger than the original figures. In 2008, Imaginext released new figures such as Superman and Batman. New playsets like the Batcave were created. By 2011, Imaginext no longer released Superman but continued to release new Batman play sets that included villains and vehicles. Imaginext also produced adventure sets that included knights, dragons, and castles, similar to its original sets. Imaginext also has sets that involve jungles and dinosaurs.
We have a very robust Imaginext forum here on AFi… so much so that the people at Fisher-Price took notice and reached out to us and want to share more information with fans of the line. We are looking at doing some Q&As, some give-aways down the line, but this week we have new reveals! – a whole WEEK of Imaginext debuts!
Every day this week we will reveal at least one new Imaginext product thanks to the Imaginext team. I had the privilege of talking with the line manager and one of the designers for Imaginext a few weeks back and they are our kind of people. They’re collectors, toy lovers that grew up in the age of the original Star Wars trilogy and LOVE making cool toys and they love that people of all ages are responding to them.
Our first reveal is going to be the figures in the 2nd wave of their blind bag series. I know some other folks on our forum have done some poking around on the Fisher-Price website and found a few names and a few images of this wave, but we’ll show you the entire wave and the packaging!
In the worlds of Imaginext®, these are more than just figures. They’re characters who can literally make an action happen, just by placing them on any activation disk in any Imaginext® play set and giving it a turn! Integrating characters into the action really enhances imaginative play. So do the cool accessories that come with each figure! Collect all the Imaginext® Collectible Figures: caveman, sky diver, monster, steam punk, arctic explorer, Sasquatch, jungle explorer and cowboy! (Sold separately and subject to availability.)
Series 2 feature EIGHT all new figure/characters. Each figure comes with an additional snap-on costume piece and most come with one accessory.
Thank you to the Imaginext team for letting us do this week of reveals!
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