FLASH GORDON (BIF BANG POW!)
“Flash! Aaaaaaah! He’s“–wait, sorry, he’s actually not the subject of today’s review. Sorry for the slight mislead there. For what it’s worth, I’m still reviewing *something* from 1980’s Flash Gordon movie, it’s just not the film’s title character. Instead, it’s his friend and ally against the evil Ming the Merciless (as well as Robin Hood pastiche), Barin, Prince of Arboria, portrayed in the 1980 film by Timothy Dalton. Dalton’s Errol Flynn-inspired take on the character is amongst the best parts of the movie, which is really saying something, given that this is a movie that has Brian Blessed shouting the line “GORDON’S ALIVE!?!” in all its memetic glory. As one of the film’s central characters, Barin was well treated by Bif Bang Pow! when they picked up the license for the movie in 2008. I’ll be looking at one of those figures today.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Prince Barin was released in Series 2 of Bif Bang Pow!’s 7-inch Flash Gordon line from 2008. This is the standard release, but there was also a battle-damaged exclusive that depicted him from his duel with Flash in the throne room of the hawk people. Both of the larger Barin figures depicted him in his more battle-ready attire, which is what he spends most of the movie wearing, and is also his more Robin Hood-esque design. The figure stands 7 inches tall and he has 15 points of articulation. He’s not amazing articulated by current standards, but he was pretty good for a non-Hasbro/Mattel product at the time of his release. Barin’s pretty easily posed, and the only truly noticeable omission is some sort of wrist articulation. As it stands, he has trouble doing too much with his hands. Barin’s sculpt is a pretty impressive affair. Bif Bang Pow did a solid job of sticking to the source material, and the level of detail on all of these figures was pretty impressive. Barin’s costume is very nicely recreated, and there’s plenty of sculpted texturing, especially in the quilted pattern of the shirt and the folds of the pants. The likeness of Dalton isn’t quite as good as some of the line’s other likenesses, but it’s certainly not a bad attempt, and it’s more instantly recognizable as Dalton than Rassilion was. I think it’s just the eyes that throw it off; they’re not quite right for Dalton’s steely stare. The paintwork on Barin is fairly basic work. It gets them main colors down pretty well, but doesn’t really add much depth beyond that. Like the articulation, this was pretty decent for this style of figure at the time of his release. Barin was packed with a laser rifle, based on the one he’s carrying late in the film. It’s kind of a goofy design, and a little tricky for him to carry due to the limitations of his articulation. Still, something’s certainly better than nothing.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Oddly, I got this figure several years before seeing all but a few snippets of Flash Gordon. I was of course familiar with prior incarnations of the franchise and of Barin himself, and I’ve always been a fan of Timothy Dalton, so I certainly liked the idea of him as Barin, especially from the few snippets I’d seen. However, I bought this figure without the connection to the movie proper, and wouldn’t get around to seeing the movie for another eight years or so after getting this figure. Whatever the case, I’ve always thought he was a pretty solid offering, and he’s a cool Timothy Dalton toy, if that’s what you’re after. Curiously, it seems this line has all but vanished from the after market, which is always an interesting occurrence.