AMAZING HEROES (FRESH MONKEY FICTION)
“When policeman Dan Garret grew tired of the slow pace and red tape of normal police work, he adopted the masked identity of the Blue Beetle to continue his battle to avenge the murder of his father!”
In the summer of 2014, I backed a good number of action figure-centered Kickstarters, as I was trying to really expand my reviewing options, as well as my reviewing foot print out in that crazy online world. A pair of the Kickstarters that I backed were for Fresh Monkey Fiction’s Amazing Heroes line, which was devoted to producing figures of some more obscure, largely public domain super heroes. After running two successful Kickstarter campaigns to get us nine figures to start things out, Fresh Monkey has also been slowly adding more figures as they can, through other channels. At the beginning of this year, they ran a Jumpstart campaign to get another four figures produced. I managed to jump in for one of those, Blue Beetle, who I’ll be looking at today.
Now, before I jump into the review proper, I’m sure there are a good number of you going “wait, isn’t Blue Beetle a DC character?” Yes, yes he is. And before that, he was also a Charlton Comics character. However, thanks to a whole bunch of different incarnations in the character’s lineage, the very first Blue Beetle, Dan Garret (note the single “t” at the end of his last name; it’s important), actually went into the public domain. Charlton picked up the character in the ‘50s, and eventually introduced his successor Ted Kord in the ‘60s, at which point the quietly added a second “t” to the end of his name, making Ted’s true predecessor Dan Garrett a proper Charlton creation. But, at the end of the day, Garret is still public domain, and therefore easy pickings for this line. Amusingly, he gets a figure, while Garrett never has.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Blue Beetle is one of the four figures produced for Wave 4 of the Amazing Heroes line. He was produced to demand, and he and the rest of his compatriots started arriving to backers in late June/early July. The figure stands 4 1/2 inches tall and he has 5 points of articulation. As with the rest of the line, Blue Beetle is built on a centralized body, patterned on the old Secret Wars bodies from Mattel. He uses the core body and the bald head piece. He also gets a little bit of new tooling for his arms, which now sport flared gloves. It’s a small touch, but it does a lot to make him feel just a bit different from the earlier releases. In general, this figure’s construction is nicely consistent with the more simplistic and basic feel of the rest of the line. It definitely works well with Blue Beetle’s design. The paint work is likewise pretty basic and simple, but it again works pretty well to convey the design. They’ve opted not to do any hinting of his scale-mail, which seems like the right call, and is also consistent with the Secret Wars stylings, since Cap was the same way. The application is all really sharp, though, which looks great. Beetle is packed with an extra unmasked Dan Garret head, which is a repaint of the Captain Action head. It’s a decent enough match for him, and it’s just nice to have the option.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I had to forego most of the post Kickstarter Amazing Heroes offerings due to monetary reasons, which definitely bummed me a bit. However, once these guys were shown off, I knew I wanted to at least grab this guy. And hey, even in the midst of everything going on right now, Fresh Monkey still managed to get these guys out in a reasonable amount of time. Blue Beetle’s pretty basic, but also pretty fun, and it’s nifty that we were finally able to get him in figure form.