#1333: Noisy Boy



“The Magma Mangler – Strength: 5%, Speed: 45%, Intelligence: 45%, Special Moves: 5%”

I think I’ve mentioned before on this site that I’m quite a fan of robots.  So, in that respect, it’s probably not a huge surprise that one of my favorite movies in the last decade was Real Steel, a movie about fighting robots.  Based on Richard Matheson’s short-story “Steel,” the movie is essentially two hours of Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots.  Which is seriously awesome.  The movie’s also full of super awesome robot designs, which make for some cool toys.  Jakks Pacific picked up the license and actually put out just about every ‘bot seen in the movie.  Today, I’ll be looking at a personal favorite of mine, Noisy Boy, the Magma Mangler!


Noisy Boy was released on the first series of Jakks’ basic Real Steel line (there was also a larger deluxe version released, but the basic line had a larger selection, so that’s the one I went with that one).  The figure stands about 5 inches tall and has 16 points of articulation.  The movement could be a little better.  As it stands, he lacks bicep swivels, a neck joint, and any sort of torso movement.  The figure has a light-up feature, which is why the neck and torso movement isn’t there, but I don’t think there’s any excuse for the missing bicep movement.  He manages alright without it, but it’d definitely add a lot to the figure.  Slight mobility issues aside, his sculpt is actually quite good for the price point.  Some of the details have been softened a bit (especially the spikes on the shoulders, which are now little more than tiny nubs), but all of the important bits are there, and there’s a surprising amount of detail in the legs in particular.  Overall, not a bad sculpt at all, especially from a company like Jakks, who fall more towards the middle of the pack.  The paint work on Noisy Boy is okay; what’s there is generally pretty clean (there’s a little bit of slop on the head, but it’s minor).  The only real issue is that there are a number of missing details, specifically the Japanese characters on his chest and shoulders.  It’s a little frustrating that they’re missing, but they were likely cut due to cost consideration (this is supported by the deluxe figure’s inclusion of the extra details).  Noisy Boy included no accessories, but he had the same mix and match feature employed by all of the smaller-scale figures, allowing for his arms and legs to be switched out with any other compatible figures.


I loved Real Steel when I saw it in theaters, so it’s not a huge surprise that I went out and bought the figures afterwards.  Noisy Boy was the first figure I got, grabbed from my local Target the day after I saw the movie.  He was the last figure left in the store, which was pretty fortunate, since he was the one I wanted the most.  He’s got some minor issues, but all-in-all, he’s still a pretty solid offering.

#1328: The Wolf Man



Hey, remember when Hugh Jackman starred in a Van Helsing movie?  I know, I know, you were trying to forget.  Why’d I have to go and bring it up again?  Well, the reason is very simple: there were toys.  And, big shock, I had a bunch of them.  For the most part I’ve phased them out of my collection, but one item still remains.  It’s the subject of today’s review, The Wolfman, who within the context of the film isn’t the usual “wolfman” Larry Talbot, but is instead Velkan Valerious, brother to…oh who really cares?  He’s a werewolf.  There ends the list of interesting things about him.


The Wolf Man was released as part of Jakks Pacific’s basic Van Helsing: Monster Slayer line.  There were a couple minor variations on this basic figure; mine’s the one with “magic transformation color change,” which pretty much translates to “the actual Wolf Man bit has this clear patch at the front.”  The figure is just under 4 inches tall and he has 16 points of articulation.  The actual figure is just an un-transformed Velkan figure, which has him sporting the Bruce Banner shredded pants (they never did explain in the movie where those pants when he was the werewolf, by the way).  The sculpt was okay.  None of the figures in this line were particularly noteworthy, and Velkan seems to be the middle-est of the middling sculpts.  The proportions of the sculpt are passable; the hands and feet seem a little small, and the shoulders are definitely set too far apart, but that’s about it.  A lot of the work, especially on the body, definitely seems a bit rudimentary for the time when this was released.  The head bears a passing resemblance to actor Will Kemp, though he’s completely clean shaven here, and he wasn’t in the movie.  There’s some nice detail work on the hair, so that’s cool.  The paint is also pretty basic.  He’s mostly just molded in the appropriate colors.  The only real paint work is on the face, which seems oddly dirty.  He wasn’t exactly squeaky clean in the movie, but it seems a bit odd when compared to the rest of the figure.  The “Wolf Man” part of this Wolf Man figure is actually just a rubber suit that you pull over the Velkan figure.  I’m gonna be honest, it’s not ideal.  The basic sculpt is fine, but since it’s just thick rubber cover, there’s no actual articulation, and since it’s just rubber and not something sturdy, there’s actually no way for the thing to stand, especially with Velkan inside it.  Also, since the “magic transformation color change” bit requires the piece to molded in clear plastic, and paint on rubber is prone to chipping, the figure is invariably left with random clear patches all over.  Why exactly didn’t they just make this a whole separate figure?


So, believe it or not, I actually liked Van Helsing when it was released.  In my defense, I was 11.  Anyway, I ended up getting a bunch of the figures for my birthday that year, and the Wolf Man was one of them.  He was always my favorite of the bunch, so when I got rid of the set, he remained.  The figure’s not anything to write home about; he’s a kind of bland figure based on a flat character from a mediocre movie.