Unlike the rest of the Rock Lord toys that were basically created by Bandai / Popy and imported from the Machine Robo series in Japan, the Narlies were wholly unique and created by Tonka themselves. This wasn't an unusual move as they previous released new characters and toys in the GoBots series as well.
The toys were unique. Covered in different colored "fur", their mouths, tail and feet were all made of plastic. Underneath the toy was a large wheel. When you would push the toy across a smooth hard surface, the mouth would open and close and the tail would essentially "wag". Add to this that the toy wasn't full of stuffing underneath all that fur. As you would move it along the ground, you could feel the mechanism working inside. This would give it a feeling as if it were alive! There was also a noise the wheel would make when turned...almost a cranking sound.
The Narlies were released in two series', with the first being the more common. The second series contained four more Narlies, all being evil this time around. I'm guessing the toy line was starting to die out around this time and due to poor sales or distribution, this second series of Narlies is really difficult to come across now on the secondary market. It's a real shame too as the designs are much more interesting in my opinion than the ones in the first series.
Narlielion is based on, well, a lion. The toy surprisingly has a good bit of detail. Just look at his snout, chin and those sharp teeth! He even is sculpted in a way that it looks like he is about to pounce. While most of the detail is in the molding, his teeth and nails are highlighted with some pink paint applications. Being that this toy is over 20 years old and most likely played with by a kid at some point, the paint on mine does show some wear. However it's been a cool conversation piece in my collection for years.
I understand that not every Rock Lord fan likes the Narlies. At first I didn't care for them myself either, but as I started to round out my Rock Lords collection I found that the Narlies were some of the only toys that I didn't own. I only picked up a few, including Narliebat, before I stopped due to space restrictions. However they are fun little toys and the non-educated Rock Lord fans will most certainly ask you about them when they see them on display in your collection.