|Our take on Iz.
Iz is a victim of its own success.
It invaded toy departments at a time when they weren't prepared to
handle collector quality toys (which is why so few are made). The same
thing happened to Trendmaster's Iron Giant and Lost in Space classic
toys when the then largest toy chain declined to handle all but the
tiniest part of the line. Iz, on the other hand, did exist in stores,
but in the wrong department (electronics would be a better area), at a
time no one knew what it was, and as a futuristic item with appeal to
early adopters. Until you play with one, it's somewhat difficult to
figure out what it is or what it does. We got a blue one from a small
electronics kiosk in an airport. Here's our take.
looks like it was designed by
Apple. It's sleek, simple, beautifully made. And it works with an iPod.
It's not primarily an iPod accessory, however, as it runs on four AA
batteries, and functions more like a speaker than an amplifier,
although there is a volume control feature. Many of the negative
reviews on Amazon of Iz (most of them are positive) could refer to lots
of other toys/ electronics accessories as well. Someone complained Iz
doesn't dance, and they are right. The only movement is its eyes move
up and down (and not all the time). But like an eMac or an iBook, Iz
looks good off. Also, the only part that lights up is his nose horn.
that said, Iz is much more interactive than a toy that merely cycles
through lights or sounds when you press a button. Someone complained
that Iz annoyingly talks in Iz-speak when they play their iPod through
him. Well, don't connect him to your iPod (that advice is free, next
time we'll charge for our help desk). Iz is what he is. As Popeye said,
"I yam what I yam, and that's all that I am".
The mini-Izes in the snapshot above
left aren't dancing; it's merely camera shake that results in this blur
of color. We don't want them to dance. They look great just standing
around. Their three feet are also slightly poseable, as are their ears.
Pulling Iz's top hat (known as his Flicker) also does things on the big
Iz and a few of the small ones. There are a lot of Happy Meal toys out
there, so small Izes ought to be quite abundant and easily obtained. If
you're making dioramas, like the big Iz, they look great just standing
around. The big Iz ought to be making a comeback, coming out in various
models or a 2.0 upgrade, it seems to us, rather than slipping into
collector status. Everything collectible was once retail, though, and
that's the best time to get it. This is one of the few items in recent
memory where each color was sold separately. Below are a few Amazon
links (also see the Robot Store). Note that various colors are
available new or used for widely varying prices. "New" on Amazon
doesn't necessarily mean "retail": it could also refer to a collectible
being sold at a marked up price by what Amazon calls a "seller". There
was also a short-lived cartoon that made it to DVD, "Iz and the
Zizzles", cleverly playing off the name of the company, Zizzle, that
makes Iz. All of which suggests that Iz ought to be poised for another
wave of invasion soon.