BOLA ATTACK MARINER
Alright, it’s day 6 of the Post-Christmas gift reviews. Today, we’re keeping things moving at a steady pace. I mean, so far I’ve looked at figures from Aliens, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Star Wars, what amazing piece of science fiction could possibly follow those? Waterworld? Ah. Thought we were going a different direction. Like, maybe a less sucky one. Okay, I have to be totally fair here: I’ve never seen Waterworld, so I can’t really judge it fairly. By the nature of being a sci-fi film with a decent budget in the 90s, Waterworld actually managed to get an entire line of action figures, with vehicles and everything. The figures are kind of the action figure equivalent of head lice. Their unwanted, incredibly hard to get rid of, and they leave you scratching your head. And you get them by sharing hats. Okay, no, not that last one. But the other stuff is true! Anyway, let’s look at one of the many, many, many variants of the Kevin Costner-played lead, the Mariner.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Bola Attack Mariner was part of the first, and as far as I know, only series of Waterworld figures, produced by Kenner. The figure stands 5 inches tall and has 5 points of articulation. The Kenner standard 5 and 5! I can’t say for sure whether this guy’s look is movie accurate. Going by what I’ve been able to find online, none of the Mariner figures in the line were exact matches for his looks in the movie, but this one does seem to be closer than some of the others. Sculpt-wise, he shares a lot of parts with other Mariner figures. The upper body sculpt is shared Hydro Stinger Mariner, the legs with Warrior Mariner, and the head and hands with ALL the Mariner figures. The quality of the sculpt actually isn’t bad. The likeness is a pretty decent Costner (certainly better than any of the Prince of Thieves figures) and the body sculpt shows some pretty decent detail work, especially on the clothing. The proportions are a little off (his head and feet are both a tad large), but it’s actually not as bad as a lot of figures from the time. The paint is where things take a bit of a dive (ha!). There’s a fair bit of slop all around, and they can’t seem to decide where exactly his hairline is supposed to start. That said, his color scheme is vaguely interesting, and he does have some neat metallic paint going for him. Bola Attack Mariner a giant bola-missile launcher thing, a weird spear thing, and a purple fish thing, none of which were included with my figure.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Those of you reading this review are probably wondering why in god’s name I got this figure for Christmas, let me ‘splain. No, it’s too much; let me sum up. It all started when I was born. No, sorry, it actually started four years after I was born, when I received three Waterworld figures as a birthday present from my cousins Noah and Caryn. Now, as I noted, I’ve never seen Waterworld, so it follows that I also hadn’t seen it when I was four, making this a slightly odd gift. See, for years, extended family members who didn’t quite understand what I liked about action figures would buy me literally the first or cheapest action figure they found as gifts on the major holidays. I always assumed the Waterworld figures were another case of this, and would often cite them as such. They, like all those other odd gifts, just sort of disappeared over time. I might still have them somewhere, but I honestly couldn’t say. In the last year or two, I was discussing the figures in the company of Caryn, who stopped me and told me that, no, they weren’t just a random, cheap gift. Waterworld was, in fact, Noah’s favorite movie, which is why he bought me the action figures. This is the part of the story where I start to feel like a bit of a jerk.
On Christmas Eve this past year, my Dad and I were out doing some last minute shopping in the small beach town where my family spends the holidays. We stopped by Yesterday’s Fun, who happened to have this guy (along with a row of several other Kevin Costner action figures, mostly Robin Hoods). I joked about how I should buy him to make up for the prior figures getting lost, but ultimately passed on him. On Christmas morning, I pulled this guy out of my stocking. Yep, my Dad went back and bought him, apparently to the amusement of the shop owner, who thought he’d never be rid of the head li—I mean Waterworld figure. Honestly, he’s not that bad, and he kind of reminds me that I didn’t totally hate the three figures I had as a kid either. Also, unexpected bonus, now I’ve got a Kevin Costner figure who can shake his head silently at all of my Supermen and then go die in a tornado. Yay?