With all the excitement of Black Panther in the air, it comes as no surprise that all the merch and toys are coming at us thick and fast, too. The latest product to hit the FOS office is the Black Panther Vibranium Power FX Mask.
It took a few hours to pry the mask from everyone’s hands as everybody wanted to pose with it on, proclaiming “Wakanda forever!” and wanting to sip grape juice to see if they, too, could get the powers of the Black Panther. Eventually, it’s in my hands, so let’s get on with this review before the mask disappears again…
The actual size of the mask is decent. Obviously, the product is aimed at children, but it’s big enough for an adult to put on as well. What’s disappointing, though, is the adjustable straps; if you tighten it too hard, it’ll leave marks on your face, but if you leave it too loose, the mask doesn’t stay in position. Preferably, the makers should’ve used elastic straps or made this into a helmet instead of a mask.
In terms of design, the plastic is extremely durable while the detail is terrific. It looks like a replica from the movie (with a few subtle changes such as the breathing sliver by the mouth) and isn’t an eyesore when it’s lying around. I wouldn’t recommend throwing it around too much, though, as there are a couple of screws and flimsier plastic casings for the battery that are weak points of the mask.
A nifty design feature is the soft rest for your nose inside the mask. Things can get quite rowdy when you’re playing with these masks and there’s nothing worse than smacking your conker into the hard plastic. Fortunately, this safety precaution will prevent any potential tears or parental hatred for this product.
The flip-down lens is a simple, yet cool, feature. You can easily flip the switch on the side of the mask to activate or remove the lens, and it looks authentic, too. I do recommend that people with long eyelashes take care when flipping the switch because the lens goes up or down rather fast.
The other “big” feature is the FX. To be frank, I’m a little disappointed by the FX on offer as it’s only light-based with no sound. If you press the button on the side of the mask once, you get pulsating light effects. Pressing it a second time gives you a fixed light, while a third touch turns it off.
The light effects are impressive, but you would expect some sort of sound effects to accompany a product such as this. Especially for the price difference between this mask and the standard one without lights.
All in all, the Black Panther Vibranium Power FX Mask is a fun playtime accessory for children. While it could’ve been better and included more FX, it’s sure to delight the young fans of the film and Marvel character.