Welcome back to another Retro Review! Today Dan's ToyBox is pretty pumped to bring you a real blast from the past as we take a look at the Diamond Select Toys Minimates Knight Rider KITT and KARR vehicles, complete with Michael and Garthe Knight minifigs. I thought this would be a fun review to talk about, all the while featuring one of my favorite television series from the '80's.
"Knight Rider... a shadowy flight into the dangerous world of a man...who does not exist. Michael Knight...a young loner on a crusade to champion the cause of the innocent, the helpless, the powerless, in a world of criminals who operate above the law."
From 1982 to 1986, for four seasons viewers tuned in to the thrilling adventures of Michael Knight and his indestructible car; K.I.T.T, the Knight Industries Two Thousand. An artificially intelligent Pontiac Trans Am. KITT was covered with a protective molecularly bonded shell which could withstand tremendous punishment, protecting the vulnerable computer and its human occupant. KITT was equipped with such features as ejector seats, auto drive, a chemical analyzer, internal fax, tracking screens, oil slicks, grappling hooks, a turbo boost and in the last season a "super pursuit" mode. Former police officer Michael Long was shot and left for dead. Saved by Wilton Knight and the Knight Foundation, Michael was given a new name and face. The newly risen Michael Knight became an operative for the Foundation for Law and Government and was tasked with helping average citizens or corporations under threat from people who were often in positions of power or controlled the local police. In those four seasons, viewers were introduced to Garthe Knight, the estranged son of F.L.A.G founder Wilton Knight, upon whose face, Michael was modeled. Garthe and his nearly indestructible truck, Goliath, got the better of Michael and KITT in their first meeting, but were eventually captured and Goliath was destroyed. We are also introduced to KITT's primary nemesis: K.A.R.R the Knight Automated Roving Robot. KARR was the prototype for the vehicle that would eventually become KITT. The biggest difference between the two was KITT's programming to protect human life at all costs, while KARR's programming was self-preservation, thus making him a danger to anyone he considered a threat to his own survival. KITT and KARR squared off against each other in season one, with KARR seemingly destroyed at the end of the episode. Much to audience delight, KARR returned in season three, sporting a new paint job, but just as menacing as ever. In 2002 Davilex released a PC game of Knight Rider that actually pitted Michael and KITT against Garthe and KARR, which Minimates has recreated in this set of vehicles and figures. Knight Rider aired on Friday nights on NBC and was created by Glen A. Larson and starred David Hasselhoff as Michael Knight and William Daniels as the voice of KITT.
We will take a small deviation from our normal formula of Accessories, Appearance, Articulation and Affordability. Instead, we'll just draft an overall look at the two vehicles and accompanying figures, while still hitting on the highlights of each of our normal categories. We will still give an overall rating of zero to ten toyboxes at the end though.
Images © Dan's ToyBox 2022
Minimates does a pretty amazing job of making these figures and sets with a solid degree of accuracy, all the while maintaining a "cuteness" factor to them. Both KITT and KARR are detailed throughout with the instrument panels and other button panels throughout the interior of the vehicle and their respective sensor lights, Red for KITT and Gold for KARR on the front of each car. Even their license plates are faithfully replicated on the back of each. Michael is glad in his trademark leather jacket, jeans and boots, while Garthe is seen in the white suit, and carrying the walking stick he was portrayed with in the series. I am, honestly, quite impressed with the level of detail applied to the figures and cars, especially for what is essentially designed for younger children to play with. I am really impressed with the gloss of the black paint on both cars and even the tinted windows on KARR. These are really very well done and make for fun collectibles.
Images © Dan's ToyBox 2022
Both sets of doors open on each vehicle, the wheels spin, and both figures feature movable heads, arms and legs. The arms actually move very nicely, and the legs even have jointed knees and ankle pivot. Both figures fit in the driver seats and are easy to load and unload from their respective cars. I am honestly impressed with the engineering in such small figures and really like the amount of detail packed into both sets. I bought both of these quite some time ago. In fact, I bought KITT when he was originally released back in 2012. I honestly don't recall what I paid for it back then, but I do recall getting KARR in 2017 for about $36. I didn't realize just how much these had jumped in price until I started researching for this review. You can find KITT on the secondary market now, for as low as $45 on some online stores and as high as $150 on eBay. Sadly, I couldn't find KARR available any place online. If any of you happen to find one, please drop me an email at email@example.com with the price.
Images © Dan's ToyBox 2022
Overall, these are just two very fun pieces to have in the collection. For fans of Knight Rider, they are a great, nostalgic callback to a terrific era of television and adventure. I have no problem at all with giving them a combined score of
9 out of 10 ToyBoxes!!!!!
These are so much fun to have on display, but the cost to find them could be prohibitive, which is why they just fall shy of a full 10/10. Thanks as always for hanging out in Dan's ToyBox today. Until next time... GEEK OUT!!!!