The Lion Guard is a spin-off of 1994's feature animated film, The Lion King. The Lion King was a coming of age tale that followed Simba as he grew into the future king of the Pride Lands. The Lion Guard focuses on his son, Kion. Kion, younger brother to Kiara (who we first met in The Lion King 2) and prince of the Pride Lands, is given great power when he learns that it's his destiny to lead the Lion Guard. The Lion Guard is tasked with protecting the Pride Lands. Kion's Lion Guard... includes Bunga (a Honey Badger), Fuli (a Cheeta), Ono (a Cattle Egret) and Beshte (a Hippo). The unique thing about Kion's choices? None besides himself are lions. This caused some drama in the premiere, but after Kion showed how dedicated his team was to defending Pride Rock, Simba, who was against the idea of having non-lions on the guard, gave the new Lion Guard his blessing.
Lion Guard first premiered as an animated television movie that showed us all how the Lion Guard was formed. In January 2016, it started airing weekly on Disney Junior. Only a few months in and it's already been renewed for a second season.
As we've seen with other popular Disney Junior shows, the fun doesn't stop at the TV screen! Just Play has a huge array of toys themed around The Lion Guard that fans of the show will love! For review today, we have Just Play's Pride Land Brawlers. The Pride Land Brawlers are large, interactive toys that say popular phrases from the television show.
01 of 05
We'll start with Kion, leader of the Lion Guard.
Kion, like the rest of the Pride Land Brawlers, works with three AG13 batteries. These come installed and ready to go! The battery compartment is located on Kion's chest and held shut with a screw. Aesthetically, this 8" Kion interactive action figure looks just like his cartoon character. He's made of a hard, sturdy plastic and has articulated limbs.
When you push the button on his back forward, Kion lowers his head, opens his mouth and after a short pause will say a key phrase from... the television show. At the same time, his Mark of the Guard (located on his shoulder) will light up.
Besides the token Roar of the Lion Guard, Kion will say phrases like:
- Lion Guard Defend!
- Lion Guard, follow me!
- Ahh, back off!
Kion goes to sleep after 30 seconds of non-play. If that happens, you have to turn him off and then back on. Speaking of which, Kion has an on/off switch, which will help conserve the batteries.
02 of 05
Let's move onto Bunga.
Bunga is Kion's best friend. This little honey badger is the bravest of the Lion Guard. Just like Kion, he looks nearly identical to his cartoon alter ego. Unlike Kion, though, his action is a cool Karate chopping motion. After you turn Bunga on and move his left arm up, squeeze his legs together. When his Mark of the Guard lights up (located on his shoulder), Bunga will karate chop both arms and say a quote from the show. Because his arms are his interactive element, he can't hold a... pose other than his karate pose.
Bunga says things like:
- I'll take that as a compliment.
- Run right at ya's more my style.
- Take this!
His audio, to me, comes out a little more muffled than Kion's, but he fits in perfectly with Kion's Pride Land Brawler. Bunga's IR sensor is on his chest.
03 of 05
Finally, we have Beshte.
Beshte is the strongest member of the Lion Guard, which makes sense, because he's a hippopotamus. Like Kion, he has articulated limbs. To make Beshte work, push the button on his back forward. When you do, you'll notice his Mark of the Guard will light up and his huge hippo mouth will open.
Beshte says true to character sayings like:
- Lion Guard Defend!
- Just don't give up.
- Don't worry, the Lion Guard is on the job.
Beshte has an IR sensor near his throat area.
04 of 05
The fun doesn't stop there!
As I mentioned, each character has an IR sensor on it. This allows the interactive action figures to talk to each other and unlock even more phrases. When you turn on each character and trigger one of the characters, the others that are in the area (facing each other) will begin interacting with each other. They will go back and forth a few times and then stop. If you find that a character has dropped out of the conversation, it may be that you left him inactive for 30 seconds. Just shut them... all off, turn them back on and then enjoy more fun conversations between the Lion Guard.Continue to 5 of 5 below.
05 of 05
Looking for something softer?
If interactive action figures aren't your thing and you are looking for something a little softer, the Lion Guard Talking Kion is worth a look. Kion takes 2 AAA batteries, included. The battery compartment is hidden underneath a velcro closure.
Kion is super cute and super huggable! If you press the Mark of the Guard on his shoulder, the mark will light up and Kion will say key phrases from the television show. His phrases are more limited than the interactive action figures, going randomly... through four different lines.
One thing I like about this plush is that Kion can look like he's sitting or standing! He's also a great size for car trips that allow a medium sized plush to come along. Also available in talking plush form is Bunga.
Just Play has even more great Lion Guard toys headed our way this year, including mini figures, smaller scale action figures, different plush characters and more! Check back for more cool Lion Guard toys popping up for review soon! *Note* The products featured in this post were sent for a fair and honest review. All opinions stated are my own.