BIG GUY & RUSTY THE BOY ROBOT
It’s not uncommon for an adaptation to outshine what it’s adapting. Often movie or TV adaptations of books will far outpace the things that spawned them, at least in the public eye. Most of the time, though, the adaptation is better known because it’s more widely available. Enter the strange case of Big Guy & Rusty the Boy Robot. If you look up the comic on Wikipedia, you’ll note that the series was created by Frank Miller of all people (and there’s no mention of crack whores anywhere in sight! Weird). That’s about it, because the entry for the comic is pretty sparse. The entry for the cartoon, however, will actually net you quite a bit of info. See, the cartoon ran for a whole two seasons, and managed to inject backstory and connecting through lines to pretty much every episode, despite only being a Saturday morning cartoon. It’s generally viewed as being the more formed version of the characters. But, while you can still find collections of Miller’s original series, getting episodes of the show is pretty darn hard, which has made the show pretty much unknown to anyone who didn’t see its original run. Still, mention the name and a lot of people will think of the cartoon. To the cartoon’s credit, it did manage to get a handful of toys of the two titular characters, including the figure I’ll be looking at today.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Big Guy was released as part of the smaller-scale Big Guy & Rusty the Boy Robot line from Bandai America. Yes, I know, it’s Bandai. They don’t have an amazing reputation on this site. Bear with me. The figure is roughly 6 ¼ inches tall and has 6 points of articulation. Here’s where things get a little strange; he has cut joints at the shoulders, wrists, and …knees. Yeah, cut joints at the knees. Instead of, I don’t know, hinge joints? He also has absolutely no movement at the neck, waist, elbows, or hips. You see the pose he’s standing in? That’s pretty much the only pose you’ll be getting out of this guy. His movement was so stunted that they had to release a whole separate figure to replicate his flying pose, which isn’t even all that different from the basic standing pose! Why the lack of movement? Well, his torso houses a battery compartment. Pressing the figure’s chest insignia made the eyes light up and allowed him to say some dialogue from the show. It’s an okay gimmick (not that it works on mine all these years later) but it hardly warrants the totally lack of posing options. In the figure’s defense, he does have one thing going for him: the sculpt. It’s not a perfect recreation of his look from the cartoon, but it manages to be pretty close, and certainly closer than a lot of cartoon toys from the same time. So kudos to Bandai for at least making him look like the character. Of course, the back of the figure is riddled with exposed screws, due to the electronics, but hey, small victories, right? The paintwork on this guy is generally pretty clean, if perhaps not super exciting. The figure is cast in white, and the blue is painted on. That’s about it. It’s true to the show, so I guess that’s fair. This figure originally included a small-scaled Rusty figurine. However, mine did not have the proper Rusty, but instead included the larger scale Rusty from the Deluxe Big Guy figure, which was rather out of scale with this one. Darn.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I picked this figure up from a flea market (the same one the netted me Perseus, in fact). I had a flying Big Guy when I was younger, but I couldn’t begin to tell you where he is now. This one was quite reasonably priced, so I went for it. As an action figure, he’s quite a letdown, given his total lack of posability. As a representation of Big Guy, more along the lines of a statue? He’s okay. Certainly not the worst thing ever. I liked the show, and I’m happy to have a Big Guy for the shelf, so I’d call it a win.