#1837: Abe Sapien

ABE SAPIEN

HELLBOY (MEZCO)

Man, I’ve gone almost the whole month of October without looking at anything all that spooky.  That in and of itself seems pretty spooky, right?  No?  Okay, fair enough.  Anyway, within the spirit of the month, I guess I’ll look at something from the more paranormal side of things, with another visit to the world of Hellboy, a series that blends so many of my personal interests.  Today, I’m looking at my favorite character from the Hellboy-verse, Abraham Sapien!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Abe Sapien was released as part of the first series of Mezo’s movie-based Hellboy line.  There were two different Abes available, one standard release (shirtless), and one Previews-Exclusive release.  Today’s review focuses on the exclusive release, which allowed for (more or less) a fully-suited up Abe.  The figure stands 7 3/4 inches tall and he has 25 points of articulation.  He has the same articulation as the Kroenen figure I looked at a few years back, which means he has the same pluses and minuses as that figure.  Overall, it’s standard for the time, but there remain a few odd-ball joints that subsequent lines from Mezco would re-work or drop entirely.  Some of these joints, the mid-foot cut joints in particular, were a little fragile and prone to breakage, as was the case with one of my Abe’s feet.  Fortunately, it’s one of the less essential joints, so gluing the foot back together hasn’t robbed him of all that much.  Abe’s sculpt was shared between the two variants, and then re-tooled for the battle-damaged figure from Series 1.5 and the main Abe from Hellboy 2.  It’s a pretty solid sculpt overall.  It’s filtered a bit through the lens of Mezco’s more stylized sensibilities, so he’s a little ganglier, and a little more angular than he was in the movie.  There are two heads included with the figure.  Since this Abe is meant to be the fully kitted-out Abe, he comes wearing his goggled head, which is accompanied by the two pieces of his rebreather system.  The rebreather can easily removed by popping off the head, allowing the head to be displayed without it, if that’s your prerogative. By virtue of being a straight re-paint, he lacks the gloves and shoes that Abe should technically have in this set-up, but I suppose we can all just imagine that he’s decided to forego those pieces for the day. The paint is, of course, imperative here, since it separates him from the standard release.  The first Hellboy figures were a bit more reserved in coloring than later counterparts.  Abe in particular seems to have been toned down a fair bit from his on-screen appearance.  His blues are more murky, which makes him a little less eye catching.  I do like the shiny finish they’ve given him, but beyond that, he does sort of run together a bit more than I’d like.  Of course, he’s still far from terrible.  Abe is packed with a second head, sans the goggles, and also included a belt, but mine seems to have gone missing.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I came into the first Hellboy movie with no familiarity of the source material, so I didn’t know what to expect.  Retailers didn’t either, so the figures weren’t the easiest to track down.  I never found the basic Abe, but I was fortunate enough to get this one through a friend who worked at Diamond.  He’s a decent figure, but perhaps not as strong as the Kroenen figure I looked at before.  Admitedly, my opinion may be slightly colored, since there are a greater number of Abes on the market to choose from.  Still, you could do a lot worse than this one.

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#1299: Bloodstorm

BLOODSTORM

MUTANT X (TOY BIZ)

“Ororo Munroe was once the X-Man code-named Storm for her ability to control the weather.  After a horrific encounter with Dracula, she died and returned as a vampire.  Soon thereafter, she left the X-Men, seeking answers about her self and her new state-of-being.  She later returned to join Havok’s mutant superteazm, The Six, calling herself Bloodstorm.  Ororo retained her mutant power of weather control but now has the preternatural gifts of the living dead at her disposal making her an even more formidable opponent.  Bloodstorm can transform her body into mist, summon and control the myriad of creatures of the night and on occasion use a “hypnotic stare” to hold humans in her thrall.  Her vampiric nature amplifies her control of the forces of nature but makes her unpredictable in battle.”

Well, I don’t think I can get any more in-depth than that there bio, now can I?  So, this particular variant of Storm hails from Mutant X, an alternate reality-based X-Men series from the ‘90s.  I only have a handful of issues from the series, but I always enjoyed it (having Havok as the main character probably helped a lot).  There were a handful of action figures released, and I had to whole set.  Today, I’ll be looking at the alternate version of Storm, dubbed “Bloodstorm” because it was the ‘90s.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Bloodstorm is one of the four figures in the Previews-exclusive Mutant X series, put out by Toy Biz in 1998.  You’d think that with the main team being called “The Six” and all, they might try to, you know, release *six* figures and finish out the whole team, but this was the same company that on more than one occasion neglected to release all four of the Fantastic Four in a given style, so I guess it wasn’t a huge shock.  Storm stands about 5 inches tall and has 10 points of articulation.  While much of Storm’s mold was technically new to her, she was largely built on top of the Alpha Flight Guardian body, with the extra details sculpted on where needed.  In the end, only the arms are truly identical between the two figures.  The body is decent enough for how Bloodstorm tended to be drawn in the comics, and I like the extra details, but I did always feel she was a little on the short side for Storm (this was a common issue with the Toy Biz Storm figures).  She got an all-new head sculpt, which is really good, almost too good for the body it’s been placed on.  There’s a ton of detail work, and it’s really sharply handled.  I really love the intensity of the facial expression.  About the only issue I have with it is the pony tail, which is made from a soft rubber material and can be rather easily torn off if you aren’t careful.  Her coat is a soft goods piece, which looks alright, I guess.  It was supposed to be actually sculpted on, going by the prototype, but I guess it didn’t cost out.  At least this way you get the extra look.  The paintwork on this figure is generally pretty good, apart from a few oddities here and there.  I’m really not sure what’s going on with her abdomen; it looks like they tried to airbrush it or something, but it just didn’t work out right.  On the flip side, the work on the head is fantastic, and does a wonderful job of showing off the already great head sculpt.  Her one accessory is a metallic green “X” stand, which is the same stand included with all of the Generation X figure, just in a different color.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Like the previously reviewed The Fallen figure (sorry about that review in advance; it’s not one of my better ones), Bloodstorm was Christmas gift from my parents.  I recall not having much of an opinion one way or the other about her when I got her (Bloodstorm wasn’t really one of my favorite characters from the series), but I have to say, after taking her back out to review her, I was pleasantly surprised by this figure.

#1175: Electronic B-9 Robot – Anti-Matter

ELECTRONIC B-9 ROBOT — ANTI-MATTER

LOST IN SPACE (DST)

lisrobotantimatter1

For Day 8 of my post-Christmas reviews, I’m switching gears and taking a look at a property I’ve only looked at a few scant times before, albeit one of my personal favorites, Lost In Space.  The last time I looked at something Lost In Space-related, it was one of the Trendmasters figures from the less than stellar 1998 movie.  Let’s try and do a bit better, shall we?

Instead, let’s turn to 1967.  It was the year of parallel universe stories.  Everyone remembers Star Trek’s “Mirror Mirror,” but all the cool kids remember that year’s *other* mirror universe story, Lost In Space’s “The Anti-Matter Man.”  These days, Lost In Space toys are pretty much limited to variations of the Robot, and the only merchandise from this episode follows suit.  There are not Anti-Matter John and Don to be found, but we did get the slightly less “goody-goody” incarnation of the B-9 Robot (who wasn’t quite so “B-9” in the Anti-Matter world), which I’ll be looking at today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

lisrobotantimatter2The Anti-Matter Robot is one of three available decos for Diamond Select Toys’ Electronic B-9 Robot.  This particular version was a Previews Exclusive and was released late last fall.  The figure stands 11 inches tall, has 8 points of articulation, bendable arms, and moving wheels on his base.  His sculpt (which is shared by all three Electronic B-9s) is a solid recreation of his design from the show.  It’s probably one of the closest recreations we’ve seen, so kudos to DST for that.  Some of the details are a little on the soft side, especially on the “feet.” There are also some obvious points of assembly on the clear sections of his head.  For the dome, it’s not a big deal, since it’s mostly hidden by the mechanics within, but for the top of his torso, it’s a little more annoying.  For the price, it’s not unreasonable, but it’s still a slight tick against the figure.  I do also wish the “mouth” on my figure was a bit better seated; it’s a bit crooked on mine, and that makes him look a little less like his on-screen counterpart, and just makes the figure look a lot cheaper in general.  While I appreciate the design of the arms, and really do appreciate how much movement you can get out of them, I do feel like the ability to slide them back and forth as seen in the show would have added a lot to the figure.  However, I suspect the lack of said movement may be tied to the presence of the electronics within the body.  Since the electronics were a major selling point of the figure, I can understand the need for some compromises.  As I noted above, the main difference between this figure and the basic B-9 Robot is paint.  The three Anti-Matter characters we see in the episode are all denoted as such by their black and while color schemes. Overall, the paint is pretty good, but there’s one notable inaccuracy; the colors on his right hand and arm actually reversed.  The arms should both match in color, and the hands should be black and grey.  I’m not sure why they get the colors wrong, but the same issue is present on the Vinimate version of this guy.  Maybe it was a licensing thing?  The Robot includes no accessories, but he does have some cool electronic features.  When turned on, he replicates the blinking light effects the Robot always had going in the show, and when the button on his side is pressed, he’ll say one of twelve phrases from “The Anti-Matter Man” (okay, they actually cheated it a bit.  I don’t think the Anti-Matter Robot actually has twelve phrases in the one scene in which he appears, so the last four phrases are just from the first episode).  It’s a much cooler feature than I was expecting!

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Okay, so there’s kind of a funny story to this guy.  My dad’s a huge Lost In Space fan, and is the whole reason I even know of the show’s existence.  As I’ve noted in previous reviews, the merchandise for the show isn’t as plentiful as you might hope, but I do my best to find him as many exciting new figures as I can.  Since the Anti-Matter version of the Robot hasn’t gotten a toy before, I thought it would make for a pretty awesome Christmas gift for him.  “But, Ethan, if you bought it for your dad, why are you reviewing it?”  Well, this isn’t the one I bought for my dad.  A day or so after I ordered it for him, he called me from a small toy store just outside of Philcon, and asked about this figure, saying he’d just seen someone buy the last one at said store.  I took this as a sign that he thought it cool and I’d chosen the gift well, and even went so far as to talk it up a bit.  Cut to Christmas morning, when I opened up this figure, and immediately started laughing, and handed my dad his present, which is when he joined in on the laughing.  See, he had taken my interest in the figure as a sign that *I* wanted it, and had contacted our local comic book store to order me one, completely unaware that I was getting it for him.  I honestly couldn’t be happier; I love the Robot and I quite enjoy this particular episode, so I’m glad to have my own.  And now I’ve also got this amusing story of that time my dad and I bought each other the same Christmas gift to go along with it!

#0030: The Fallen

THE FALLEN

MUTANT X (TOY BIZ)

Ah, Mutant X.  Man, that was such a 90s comicbook.  One that I enjoyed immensely!  Diamond Comics’ catalogue Previews offered figures of four members of the books main team “The Six”(No, I don’t really know why they didn’t offer all six.  Seems a little odd, doesn’t it.  It’s like only releasing  three of the Fantastic Four!).  Being a fan of the comic and a fan of action figures, particularly 90s Marvel figures, I of course wound up with a set.  Today, I’ll be looking at The Fallen, who was an alternate universe version of Warren Worthington III, aka Archangel.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Fallen stands about 5 inches tall, and has 13 points of articulation.  He also had his signature wings, which could be snapped onto his back, and were made of a soft translucent green material, with wire running through to allow them to be posed.  The wires honestly didn’t offer much poseability, but it’s the thought that counts, I suppose.  Fallen also included an X-Logo shaped stand, which is good, because he can’t stand without it due to his top heavy nature.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Fallen, along with the other figures from the Mutant X line, was a Christmas gift from my parents.  I recall being fairly excited to open him, as he was my favorite character from the series.  Yay!