MEDUSA, SPARTAN WARRIOR, CORAL GORGON, & CURSED SPARTAN
You gotta love the classics, and the fact is that it doesn’t get much more classic than Greek mythology. That stuff’s just pretty darn cool. It’s so cool that most modern-day storytelling is just reinterpretations of things that first appeared in Greek mythology. Unfortunately, if you’re a fan of the Greek myths and also love toys (like me), you’re kind of out of luck. Sure, you’ve got stuff like Clash of the Titans or some of the Hercules adaptations, but other than that, there’s a bit of a void.
In 2014, Boss Fight Studios set out to fill that void, and launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund a series of figures based on Greek history and mythology. The campaign went far beyond its original goal of four figures, ending with a whopping 43 figures funded. The figures were initially supposed to start hitting last summer, but some production snags occurred, pushing them back a ways. Fortunately, they’ve started hitting stateside, and the first wave of figures has made its way to (most) backers. Today, I’ll be looking at Medusa, the Spartan Warrior, the Coral Gorgon, and the Cursed Spartan.
THE FIGURES THEMSELVES
These four figures make up Wave 1 of the first series of Vitruvian H.A.C.K.S. (H.A.C.K.S. stands for “Highly Articulated Character Kit System”). They’re the four figures that the Kickstarter was originally meant to fund.
Though packaging isn’t my usual thing, I did have a few general thoughts I kinda wanted to touch on. The styling of the packaging isn’t too different from Fresh Monkey Fiction’s Amazing Heroes; the basic set-up resembles a traditional blister pack, but the whole front is actually a big plastic sleeve, which folds over the edges of the backer. The backer can be slid out, allowing the figure to be removed without doing any damage to the packaging. The execution of the packaging is pretty polished, but if I have one slight issue with the figures, it’s that the layout work on the actual backer card seems a little…amateur? It’s certainly not anything close to bad, but it lacks that professional finish that everything else included seems to have. Honestly, that’s probably just the layout designer in me being hyper-critical. My interest is the toys inside; these things could ship in egg cartons for all I care.
MEDUSA – CURSED GORGON SISTER
The one named character in the first wave of figures is the Gorgon Medusa, who was cursed by Athena to turn all those that gazed upon her to stone. She figures prominently into the story of Perseus, and has as such been adapted to film a few times. Stylistically, this figure looks to take a lot of influence from the 1981 Clash of the Titans design for the character, giving her a generally reptilian appearance. When fully extended, the figure is just over 8 inches tall, and she has 26 points of articulation. Boss Fight has base male and female bodies that they build each figure on, and, unsurprisingly, Medusa uses the female body. Well, part of it, anyway. She uses the basic upper torso, arms, and hands, along with a lower torso and tail that’s being used on several of the Gorgons. The base pieces are a great starting point, and the basic proportions are nice and balanced. I wasn’t initially sure about how the tail would turn out, but it works really nicely in hand, and offers a lot of fun posing options. Medusa also gets a unique head, as well as add-on pieces for her chest and shoulder armor, belt, and the bracers on her right wrist and bicep. The quality of these parts is all pretty top-notch. The armor has a ton of fun detailing. The head is pretty cool too. The hair is obviously a separate piece, and it sticks off the head a bit, but it doesn’t look terrible, and I really appreciate that they didn’t try to make her face overly attractive. That’s a scary face right there, just like Medusa’s face should be. The paint on this figure is pretty darn cool. The armor has some great dry brushing work to help accent the sculpted details and really give it a grimy, worn in look. The upper half of the body is pretty basic, but solidly handled, and the tail gets some pretty sweet pattern work, which really sells the reptilian-ness. Medusa includes a large blade-whip thing, a small knife styled like the whip, a spare set of hands with side to side wrist joints, and a display stand (which she can’t actually use, but it’s the thought that counts, right?)
SPARTAN WARRIOR – SPARTA’S ELITE
Spartan Warrior seems so cold and detached, so I named this guy Lenny. Lenny the Spartan is a fairly standard Spartan soldier. Unlike what 300 may have had you believe, these guys did actually wear armor. This figure stands just over 4 inches tall (without the helmet; he gains an extra half-inch with it) and has 25 points of articulation. Lenny’s built on the standard male body, which structurally feels very similar to one of the more recent G.I. Joe figures. It’s rather muscular, but not insanely so, and it has a fairly balanced set of proportions. Lenny has a unique head, plus special sandaled feet, and add-ons for his helmet, chest armor/skirt, and shin guards. The head has hair and a beard, and has a suitably intense facial expression. He works as an individual, but isn’t so specific that he can’t also be an army builder, which is right about where you want this guy to be. The armor pieces are sculpted to fit pretty tightly to the body. The helmet is easy to remove, but also stays in place pretty well, and looks really cool to boot. The torso armor is a little restrictive, and a bit bulky from the side, but works pretty well, and has a nice, sharp sculpt to it. The shin guards actually surprised me a bit, because I didn’t think they were removable at first; that’s how form fitting they are. While Lenny’s paintwork doesn’t quite have the subtle work present on Medusa, his paint is no less well-handled. Everything is incredibly clean, and the colors are all nice and vibrant, which makes this guy really stand out amongst his peers. Also, I find his pair of red shorts pretty funny; Lenny is a modest Spartan! Lenny includes both long and short swords, a strap and scabbard for the short sword, a spear (which is really sharp), a shield, a spare set of hands, and a display stand.
CORAL GORGON – GORGON HORDE
One of the big things that Boss Fight was pushing with this line was army building. Getting an army of Spartans seems pretty natural, but you need something for them to fight, and it can’t very well be one lonely Medusa, can it? No, you need a whole army of Gorgons! So, this here is the first Gorgon army builder, who, going by her bio was once a human, but was transformed into a Gorgon by the bite of Stheno. Clearly she needs a name too. I’m gonna go with Diane. Diane uses the same basic body as Medusa, but she gets a different head and the edge of her tip is no longer rattle snake-inspired. The new head is nicely detailed; it loses most of the human features, for something much more reptilian, and has some pretty awesome texturing. Diane also gets add-ons for her helmet, chest armor, and wrist bracers, all of which are nicely fitted to the figure. The armor bits are simpler than Medusa’s, but still really cool. The helmet can be a little stubborn to work with when posing the figure, but it looks pretty imposing, and it stays in place surprisingly well. As her official name implies, Diane’s paint scheme is patterned after a coral snake (“red-on-yellow kills a fellow” and all that). The work is much bolder than Medusa’s, but like the Spartan Warrior, the quality is no less on this figure. Diane includes a large broad sword (different from the Spartan’s), a shield with Medusa’s face on it, spare hands, and a display stand (which, like Medusa, she can’t actually use).
CURSED SPARTAN – STONE WARRIOR
Aw, poor Jeff. He really shouldn’t have looked at Medusa. Jeff, like so many unfortunate soldiers before him, is the end result of Medusa’s curse, having not had the foresight to make use of Perseus’s method of dispatching of the beast. As a fellow Spartan, Jeff uses most of the same pieces as the basic Spartan Warrior, but he has enough differences to make him stand out. His helmet is a slightly different design, with more of his face exposed and a bit more detailing on the front and at the base of the “mohawk.” Under the helmet, he’s also got a different head, this time without the hair or beard, and with a slightly different expression. It’s worth noting that, while the pieces are more or less the same, the shin guards on my Cursed Spartan wouldn’t budge, most likely due to the differences in paint. It’s certainly not hindering my enjoyment of the figure in the slightest, but it’s worth noting. The main selling point of this guy is the paint. Unlike the others in this set, Jeff here is totally painted from head to toe, to ensure that he has an appropriately rocky finish. The end result works really well, and he looks pretty cool. He’s the dullest of the four color-wise, but he’s far from boring to look at. Jeff includes the longer sword and spear included with the Spartan Warrior, the shield from the Coral Gorgon, extra hands, and a display stand.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
So, you’ve probably pieced together that I got these guys by backing Boss Fight’s Kickstarter. Yep, I pledged in for these four, as well as two more add-on figures (plus another three figures that I’ve pre-ordered from Boss Fight’s online shop). Initially, the only one of these four I definitely wanted was the Cursed Spartan. He’s probably my favorite of the four in the end, but the other three are no slouches either. The two Gorgons are a lot of fun (and the Coral Gorgon is giving ol’ Jeff a serious run for that top spot), and the Spartan offers a nice, bright figure. As a whole, this set is just a lot of fun, and I can’t wait to get the rest of my figures.