#0889: Absorbing Man

ABSORBING MAN

MARVEL LEGENDS SERIES

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Marvel has something of a tradition of passing foes between their heroes. Kingpin, now Daredevil’s arch enemy, began as Spider-Man foe. Similarly, Sabretooth first appeared in an issue of Iron Fist. Today’s focus character, Crusher Creel, aka the Absorbing Man, made his debut as a foe for Thor, but has spent a pretty sizeable portion of his career menacing the Hulk. He’s also faced off against a few other Marvel heroes, including Spider-Man, which I guess was Hasbro’s justification for having him be part of a Spider-Man themed series of Marvel Legends.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Absorbingman2Absorbing Man is the Build-A-Figure for the fourth series of the Spider-Man Marvel Legends Series line. Absorbing Man has had a few different looks over the years, but for the most part, they’ve all just been slight variations on the same basic theme: a bald, shirtless guy, wearing a pair of pants from a prison. Here, the pants are purple; not the most common color for prison garb, but certainly common for a Marvel character. The figure is just shy of 8 inches tall and has 29 points of articulation. As with most of the Thor-related characters that Hasbro has released, he’s much larger than he’s usually depicted. Creel’s still supposed to be a roughly normal-sized dude, and this figure’s a giant. However, his size is comparable to that of the equally over-sized Wrecking Crew, so he isn’t horribly out of place. Creel is built on the Terrax body, making its second appearance in the last year (it was also used for the SDCC set’s Dormammu). In his “clean” look, the figure uses the Terrax torso, pelvis, hips, and arms. He gets a new head and legs, as well as an add-on piece for his belt. The legs are suitably detailed, and the belt is a very nicely handled piece. The basic head is okay, but I will admit, it’s not my favorite of the two. To simulate his absorbing abilities, Creel has an extra head and arms. The head is similar to the basic one, but the left half now has a rocky texture, and his expression is an open-mouthed scream, which looks a bit better than the regular head’s slack-jawed sneer. The new arms are wooden and stone, respectively, and have some pretty awesome texture work to help sell that. Prior BAFs had some difficulty being taken apart after being assembled, but Absorbing Man goes together and comes apart without too much trouble. The paintwork on the basic parts is pretty straight forward. He’s molded in the appropriate colors where possible, but he’s still got a bit of detailing on the face, pants, and lower right arm. The pants are nice and clean, and the metal detailing on the arm is pretty cool. The face is alright, but the eyes are a bit wonky, which throws the whole head off. The extra pieces make out the best in terms of paint; the texture work of the sculpts for the arms is accented really nicely, and the face is way cleaner and more detailed on the second head. If I had one complaint, it would be that the torso has no marks of any absorbed substances, which makes the extra head a bit jarring. That said, it’s understandable, since the extra pieces necessitated going one way or another. Creel includes his ball and chain. It’s a re-use of Thunderball’s wrecking ball, which isn’t technically accurate (in-universe, it’s actually the ball and chain that Creel had attached to him when he got the powers), but it works reasonably enough that complaining about it seems petty.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

If you’re a faithful reader, then you already know where this guy came from: he’s constructed from the pieces included with this series of figures, which my parents picked up for me a few weeks ago. I’m not the world’s biggest Absorbing Man fan or anything, but I do have enough of an appreciation for the character that I wanted to complete him. His size is a bit of an issue, and the normal head looks a bit off, but this figure is actually a pretty great one.

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#0160: Captain America & Absorbing Man

CAPTAIN AMERICA & ABSORBING MAN

MARVEL MINIMATES

After another short break, I’m once again going back to my favorite toyline: Minimates.  Once again, I’m pulling a set from the Marvel Minimates line.  This set is one of the earlier sets in the line, and features the first releases of one very prominent character and one moderately well-known character.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

This set was released in the 5th series of the Marvel Minimates line.  That was quite a while ago.

CAPTAIN AMERICA

This here is Captain America’s very first Minimate release.  It’s very funny to think that he wasn’t released until 5 waves in, and he was the first Avenger to see a release, but the characters had yet to see their big resurgence at this point.  Cap is of course based on his classic look.  He’s built on the typical Minimate body, though it’s important to note that he sports the original style feet, which were longer and lacked the peg holes in the soles.  Cap features 3 sculpted pieces: mask and a pair of gloves.  These pieces would see quite a few reuses later, but this is the first appearance of them.  They look pretty spot on, and fit great with the more simplistic style of the line at the time.  The paint is quite good.  Minimalistic, of course, but very well handled.  The face has a great look of friendly assurance, which looks perfect for Cap, and I really love how well the eyes match up to the mask.  Cap includes his mighty shield, and a clip to put it on his arm.  Unlike later releases, he doesn’t have a spare non-gloved hand, which makes putting the shield on a pain, but it’s easily remedied with a spare hand.

ABSORBING MAN

I just recently looked at the most recent re-release of Absorbing Man, so it’s cool to get to look at how far the line has come.  Absorbing Man is based on the same basic look as the newer figure, just done a bit more simply.  Like Cap, he’s on the usual body, with the earlier style feet.  He’s a “vanilla ‘mate”, so not add-ons.  The paintwork isn’t bad.  Quite a bit of detailing for the time, but I’m not sure it works.  They’ve given him a screaming face, which doesn’t really suit Absorbing Man, in my opinion.  The details are all pretty well done, but he’s missing some details, such as ears.  Absorbing Man includes one accessory: his ball and chain.  It might be the same piece included with the new one, but I honestly can’t tell.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This was the 5th set of Minimates I ever got.  I acquired it from a nearby comic book store.  I know I had heard that the set was being released, but I didn’t know they were out until I came across them in that store.  I remember being very excited to buy them.  Cap was my default version of the character until about wave 45, and to this day still remains one of my very favorite Minimates.

#0139: Thor & Absorbing Man

THOR – MARVEL NOW & ABSORBING MAN

MARVEL MINIMATES

Okay, this should be the last of my “new Minimates” reviews for a little while.  I’m certain some of the older stuff will pop up on the random list of figures, but that’s different.  Anyway, it’s the other half of my review of the latest Toys R Us exclusive Marvel Minimates wave, this time featuring Thor and one of his old foes, the Absorbing Man.  For those of you who don’t know who that is: He’s a man who absorbs things.  There, you’re up to speed.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

These two were released as part of the 18th Toys R Us exclusive wave of the Marvel Minimates line.

THOR

First up, it’s Thor, the God of Thunder!  Thor is depicted here in his “Marvel Now!” look from the more recent selection of Marvel comics.  It’s not a big deviation from his usual looks, but it’s different enough to warrant a release.  Thor is built on the basic Minimate body, so he stands about 2 ½ inches tall and features 14 points of articulation.  Thor features 7 sculpted add-ons: helmet/hair, spiky bracelets, cape, belt/skirt, and boots.  The boots and cape are reused from the Marvel Vs Capcom 3 version of Thor and the bracelets come from that line’s version of Chun Li.  The helmet and belt/skirt are new to this figure and they appear to be accurate to Thor’s most recent design.  The belt has some really great texturing, and the helmet has some very cool etched lines.  The paint on Thor is pretty good.  There’s a little bit of slop here and there, particularly on his helmet, but all of the detail lines are nice and clean.  One area that does really bug me is the spikes on the bracelets.  The sliver is just haphazardly applied, and it makes him look rather sloppy.  Thor includes a spare set of arms detailed with chainmail sleves that match his legs, his trust hammer Mjolnir, and a clear display stand.

ABSORBING MAN

Absorbing Man is next up.  Absorbing man is often grouped as a Hulk villain, but he began his life as a Thor villain, so he makes sense here.  Curiously, his last Minimate was packed with Captain America, so I guess the Avengers just pass him around.  Absorbing Man’s been released in the Marvel Minimates line once before, but that was way back in wave 5 of the main line (Which just hit 54!), so the update is much appreciated.  The figure is built on the typical Minimate body, so he has the usual stats, though the sculpted add-ons can potentially bring his height up and his articulation down.  In the bulked up form (which I’m going with as default, since that’s how he’s packaged), he features 11 sculpted add-ons:  torso cover, two different sculpted hands, two different sculpted upper arm covers, a pelvis cover, a torso extender, thigh covers, and bulked up feet.  Let’s start with the reuse: the torso, pelvis, and upper leg covers are generic bulked-up pieces that have been used numerous times before; the feet originally appeared on Wave 44’s Smart Hulk; the right hand and upper arm came from the most recently released version of the Thing.  The left upper-arm is an all new piece, and isn’t a slip over, and the hand has been sculpted to match.  I think the idea is for them to look like tree bark, but I’m not 100% sure.  The paint is overall well applied, though the prison stripes can be a bit fuzzy in a few places, and there is the issue of the right arm still obviously being of a rocky texture even though it’s painted flesh tone.  I feel that a special mention needs to go to the head which really just looks like ol’ Crusher Creel to me.  Absorbing Man includes a spare set of arms, hands and feet to transform him back to normal, plus his old ball and chain, and a clear display stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

These two came from the same TRU trip as the last set, which means that I also scored them for $3.98.  Even at full price, I feel this set is a worthy purchase.  It’s not my favorite Thor, but it does round out the main Avengers in their Marvel Now! looks, and Absorbing Man is an amazing update on the previous figure.  At full price, I would have been content; at $4, these were a steal!