At the time of its introduction at the 2002 Toy Fair, the Imaginext System included only two themed worlds: medieval and city venues. The original medieval line attempted to capture the action of battle with its fortresses, dungeons, knights, wizards, and dragons and featured the Battle Castle play set as well as several knight and wizard action figures sold separately. This line quickly expanded to incorporate the Wizard’s Tower and Goblin’s Dungeon play sets.
The other Imaginext line that was released in 2002 attempted to capture life in the big city with a focus on emergency and rescue figures and play sets. The Imaginext Rescue Center was the initial lead play set of the rescue line which, like the medieval line, quickly expanded. The rescue world soon included a police station and sea rescue center with a number of additional figures and accessories—a mounted police officer, an EMT, and a deep sea diver to name a few. Compared to the medieval line, the Imaginext rescue world was rather short-lived. In 2003, however, it would be supplemented by a construction-themed world. Construction worker and mechanic figures and accessories complemented the rescue world’s urban theme.
In 2003, the Imaginext brand released of a pirate (or sea) line. The line was popularized by its two lead playsets: Pirate Raider and Buccaneer Bay. A glow-in-the-dark Pirate Crew figure pack (also released in 2003) became so popular that an entire phantom line was developed and released in 2004. In contrast to the pirate line, the phantom figures were all glow-in-the-dark and had skeletal bodies.
In 2005, a dinosaur world was added to the Imaginext repertoire. Following in the footsteps of the castle line, the Imaginext dinosaurs were divided into rival sects: the predators—whose goal is to wipe out the world’s natural resources—and the ecovores—who fight to preserve the land.
In Fall 2006, the Imaginext brand was renamed Imaginext Adventures, marking a shift in design and production of Imaginext toys. A number of Imaginext playsets were redesigned to feature figure-activated buttons and switches that with various functions (a pirate figure, when placed on one such site on the Pirate Raider, can be used to extend the plank or lower the sails). Several of these playsets could even be purchased fully assembled. The new figures appeared rather larger than the original figures. In 2008, Imaginext released new figures such as Superman and Batman. New playsets like the Batcave were created. By 2011, Imaginext no longer released Superman but continued to release new Batman play sets that included villains and vehicles. Imaginext also produced adventure sets that included knights, dragons, and castles, similar to its original sets. Imaginext also has sets that involve jungles and dinosaurs.
The Imaginext Words include, but are not limited to DC Super Friends, Dragons, Robot Police, Toy Story and Dinosaurs. In 2011 the Samurai world was created. Previous worlds include Jungle, Forest, Castle, Pirate, and City.
DC Super Friends
One of the most popular worlds is DC Super Friends, based on the 1970s and 1980s TV series of a similar name. This world has 27 sets (not including exclusives): Batcave, Planet Oa, Motorized Batmobile, Joker's Fun House, Batwing, Batboat, Batcopter, Batmobile, Green Lantern Jet, Riddler Car, Clayface, Batmobile with Lights, Penguin Sub, K. Croc, Hawkman & Flash, Two-Face, The Riddler, Robin Cycle, Batcycle, Arctic Batman, Mr. Freeze, The Penguin, The Joker, Superman, and Batman. A Gotham Jail, Bat-Jetpack, New Motorized Batmobile, and a new Joker Tank, are planned to be released in summer and late spring.[year needed]
In May 2008, DC Comics produced an ongoing comic book series based on the toyline.
In 2010, an original video animation based on the line named The Joker's Playhouse was included on a DVD packaged with toys. Directed and produced by Ciro Nieli (Teen Titans) and written by Brandon Auman (Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go!), the story involves the Joker taking over the Hall of Justice and the Super Friends running the gauntlet to reclaim it. The main theme for the show is the same as The World's Greatest Super Friends and the opening sequence borrows from the original Super Friends series and Challenge of the Super Friends.
In 2012, Imaginext released new DC Super Friends figures and play sets to be sold for the release of The Dark Knight Rises. This includes Bane, Bruce Wayne, Gotham City, Gotham City Jail, The Motorized Batmobile and Mr. Freeze's Headquarters. In 2013, Imaginext began to introduce females into its toyline featuring Catwoman, Wonder Woman and Harley Quinn. Imaginext also began producing toys based on the DCAU such as Superman, Aquaman, Cyborg, and Commissioner Gordon. As of 2013 Superman sets based on The Man of Steel and Superman: The Animated Series were released including the movie version of the Fortress of Solitude and Zod as well as Lex and Battle suit and Bizzaro figures. Also, a Justice League line was introduced with a new Batcave with new Batman and Robin, Darkseid, Green Arrow, Red Tornado, Gorilla Grodd, Black Manta and Wonder Woman with invisible jet.
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- "Fisher-Price® Imaginext™ DC SUPER FRIENDS™ The Joker's Playhouse DVD Episode". YouTube. August 26, 2011. Retrieved June 16, 2013.