I really loved Kung Fu Panda 2.
While it's not as spot on as the first movie, the way Jack Black's antics translate to Po remind me of the way Tom Hanks and Tim Allen inhabited Buzz and Woody. There just aren't a lot of actors who can do that. Will Smith failed at it. So did Brad Pitt. The list goes on. There are certain qualities that a voice actor needs that guys like Black have in abundance.
The Kung Fu Panda line from 2008 is one of the toy lines I regret not picking up when I had the chance. Those oversized toys looked awesome (Tai Lung was especially savage looking), but at the time, I was just starting to build my collection and was concentrating on getting Marvel Legends figures.
With no toys out locally to coincide with the second movie's release, I was forced to patronize that mainstay of cheap movie toys, the McDonald's Happy Meal.
Solicitation photo from McDonald's
There are two choices if you want to get a Po the Panda toy (or there WERE two choices - It looks like they've sold out of both); the adult Po with Mantis, or the Baby Po. I chose the adult Po and the BALANCE OF JUSTICE!
This particular toy is really 2 figures in one; the somewhat articulated Po, and an unarticulated, unpainted Mantis figure.
The gimmick is that Mantis the praying mantis, who like all martial artists in kung fu movies is super powered, can hold up Po the Panda with one hand. Mantis' upheld hand is a tiny cup, and Po has a hole in his back with a little nipple inside the depression.
But wait! You need to be a kung fu master like the furious five to get Po to balance!
Po's arms are weighted so that the center of gravity of the toy shifts depending on the position of the arms. In order for him to balance on Mantis' hand, you need to position the arms downward (which when he's laying flat, is towards the back of the figure). You can also point them up, but it makes it harder to find the sweet spot.
Personally, I don't find the gimmick that great. I prefer the gimmick they used during the first movie Po (a voicebox). The 2008 set was something else, and I really regret selling off the Furious Five.
Compared to the 2008 Po, the new one doesn't really cut it for me. He's not as round, he's not as cute, and he looks distinctly evil. Plus, since he's a glorified accessory to Mantis, he's not posed in a particularly good looking stance. On the shelf, he doesn't compare with the 2008 Po.
Sadly, I completely forgot to go back and get another Happy Meal to secure the Baby Po toy, only remembering it when I watched the movie again yesterday night. Since the film has been out for several weeks now, the toys have of course sold out. Unless you want Shen.
Really, who wants a toy of Shen? I'd rather have seen a toy of Master Thundering Rhino. Stupid Mcdo.