Review and images by stargatedalek; edited by bmathison1972
Quite the mouthful of a title this one has. Introducing “Toxin the Rattlesnake”, part of the Untamed Snakes set of the Fingerlings line by WowWee.
Full disclosure, this toy is awful and no one should ever buy it, I regret doing so heavily. It’s a bad animatronic, it’s a bad snake figure, and it’s a bad children’s toy. If you want a rattlesnake there are many better options available, including a similarly sized sidewinder (the closest match I can give) made by Safari ltd.
I have always been fond of animatronic toys and the potential they have to be incredibly realistic animal figures. Though design sacrifices typically need to be made to accommodate moving parts a number of really successful examples come to mind that ended up being arguably more realistic for the presence of moving parts.This was never going to be one of those, but I hoped it would at least have interesting animatronic features given the incredible success of this brand.
The only movement this can muster is to lean forwards and open its mouth. The head doesn’t even move independently of the mouth, so the two things it does are also kind of only one thing.
The primary gimmick of these toys is they act differently based on how you treat them. If you’re “mean” to them they become angry, and if you’re “nice” to them they become calm. The two are practically indistinguishable, aside from the angry one making more noise and the eyes lighting up in a different colour for each (red and blue respectively).
The secondary gimmick is that they can attach to someone’s finger for easy use. It obviously wasn’t meant for adult hands, it barely fits on my girly fingers so I can imagine most people probably wouldn’t be able to do this at all, and yet it feels so heavy that it could tear my finger off at any moment. I can’t picture a child comfortably holding this heavy thing on their finger.
The only other “feature” this thing has is a “snake charming mode”, and frankly it’s what graduates this thing from awful to objectionable. If you blow on it the snake leans forwards and backwards in the most lackluster display while playing fake Hollywood sounding Middle Eastern-styled music. It’s a rattlesnake so that doesn’t even make sense as a purely creative decision made in a vacuum.
Casual stereotypes aside, the toy itself is already plenty horrible. But the real kicker is that we almost got something halfway interesting. While far from amazing, the prototypes are certainly a lot nicer than what was released. This photo and others of the prototypes are being used in the marketing for these snakes. On top of that, only the rattlesnake and cobra were released in any form, but all of them feature in the advertising.
Here is the Canadian Tire add that I purchased mine through:
I like to include a few diorama photos of the animal in something at least resembling its native environment. I didn’t feel like visiting the nearest beach to find enough sand for a desert scene, so I thought this might due nicely:
No toy snakes were harmed in the making of this review. I spent way too much not to try and recoup at least some of that…