Do superhero toys really suck?

Posted by Gcrush 
Sanjeev (Admin)
Size doesn't seem to make a big difference to me, but I will say this: in this modern age of rubbery PVC-only action figures, I prefer larger (MotUC or old Toybiz Marvel Legends) figures. Revoltechs and modern 3-3/4" Hasbro figures usually find their way to the junk bin after precious few days.

The new big Galactus doesn't really interest me too much. It just looks...ugly to me. I have the older Marvel Legends build-a-figure, and while it's not ideal either, I think it's the best Galactus toy on the market.

Chieh, no mustache-emblazoned Duncan? Somewhere, Gcrush is crying.

Myles, I have that Thanos. Again, best Thanos game in town, but only get it if you like the sculpt. The figure is heavy and the joints are super-stable, so it's "perfect" for what it is. I, personally, am only lukewarm to it because I don't like how they chose to paint the glowing-eye effect (makes him look like he's wearing rouge) and the overall sculpt is a bit too Hulk for me. I prefer the proportions of Ron Lim's "Thanos Quest" depiction (even though this toy seems to be fairly close to Starlin's first introduction in Captain Marvel).
Curse this thread for piquing my curiosity about costumed hero toys. The fact that Target currently has these figures for $5 each didn't help. Passed on the Hulkbuster, as it looks like the unwanted lovechild of a Scopedog and a Rocklord.

A brief, much-truncated timeline of gingaio's relationship with American superheroes:
1982--arrives in the US from Hong Kong
1982--(many months later)--reads Iron Man #170
1982--(minutes later)--obsessed with the Iron Man design.

Which explains why this will always be my default Iron Man:



I also always really loved the Guardsman design, especially the goofy idea that these were basically high-powered/armored prison guards, though it's only in hindsight (and with the help of Articulated Discussion's photo), that I realize how much they resemble a male dance revue:



Pic below from [www.articulateddiscussion.com]:





Edited 5 time(s). Last edit at 12/06/2010 05:29AM by gingaio.
Attachments:
open | download - Marvel Iron Man.jpg (53.9 KB)
open | download - Marvel Guardsmen.jpg (120.1 KB)
open | download - Guardsman Posing.jpg (115.9 KB)
gingaio Wrote:
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> Curse this thread for piquing my curiosity about
> costumed hero toys.

If you like your boys a bit bigger I believe they made a six inch Eyerun Mahn figure, too.




The skin-tightedness and impracticability of superhero costumes is a running joke about the genre, but the Guardsman takes the cake. It's flagrantly sexualized disregard for both logic and fashion is utterly unsettling in a way that only John Waters could describe as "subtle". I tip my hat to you, sir. You're a saint in The Crusade to support awkward toys.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/07/2010 10:58AM by Gcrush.
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open | download - 021_ironman_hill_2pack.jpg (41.2 KB)
Gcrush Wrote:
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> If you like your boys a bit bigger I believe they
> made a six inch Eyerun Mahn figure, too.
>
Yeah, I've had my eye on that sexy beast for a while, but I kind of wanted to keep the superhero figs in scale with the Joes on display, plus I think the smaller-scale figs would work better in concert with that massive Sentinel Build-a-Figure I plan on getting. That said, the six-incher looks to me like the definitive version of that character.
>
> [Gcrush's toy habit is] utterly unsettling in a way that only John Waters could describe as "subtle".
>
Or Ed Wood, even.
Guardsman is from 1970. He was sleek and aggressive mass-producible power. Brazen, straightforward, and green.

Introducing Prometheus Rising Studio.
[prometheusrising.net]
I make 3D printed mecha action figures.
And a little bit sassy, too.
gingaio Wrote:
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> And a little bit sassy, too.


He was Irish (twice) ;)

Introducing Prometheus Rising Studio.
[prometheusrising.net]
I make 3D printed mecha action figures.
gingaio Wrote:
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> Yeah, I've had my eye on that sexy beast for a
> while, but I kind of wanted to keep the superhero
> figs in scale with the Joes on display...

Ah, yes. I keep a small handful of "little people" action figures handy for that very purpose. Reminds me of why I loved Star Wars figures better than all comers when I was a kid - it was the best line of toys for showing that people-like-things come in all different shapes and sizes.

Looking at that version of Eyeruhn Mahn again I'm struck by how masterfully they crafted its goofiness. The misplaced nipples, pinhead, and hamhands don't immediately jump out at you. It's like one of those 3D prints they sell in the mall. You have stare at it cross-eyed for a little while and then the details slowly pull themselves across your retinas.

If the Guardsman is John Waters then Iron Man is Richard D. James.
cae
I tell you, the only superhero toys I've seen, recently, that fill me with lust are those retro/Mego dolls. Oh, how I'd love to get the full run of those - Star Trek, too.



---------------------------------
hassenpfeffer



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/08/2010 10:50AM by cae.
Hey, that Mego style Black Manta seems pretty cool...
cae
I love them all - they're delightfully dorky. They even reissued the accompanying Star Trek Bridge set that I so coveted in the 70's.

---------------------------------
hassenpfeffer
LOL - I actually had the Star Trek Bridge set as a child. But NO Star Trek figures!!!
cae
That makes me sad ... oops - wrong thread!

---------------------------------
hassenpfeffer
I hate Megos.

At first I blamed Robot Chicken for this.

Then I remembered that I always hated them, even as a kid.

I'm appalled at how shitty they look. And not in a good, we weren't trying to be goofy but we ended up being goofy, kind of way. They look cheap, like they have no design value at all. Like no one cared about what they were doing when they made them. Like dollar store toys.

I have no means of understanding why that particular aesthetic is making a comeback. Perhaps because there are fewer and fewer properties left to re-mine?
Rewind to the Roger of 10 years ago:

Roger Wrote:
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> I hate Bullmark vinyls.
>
> I'm appalled at how shitty they look. And not in
> a good, we weren't trying to be goofy but we ended
> up being goofy, kind of way. They look cheap,
> like they have no design value at all. Like no
> one cared about what they were doing when they
> made them. Like dollar store toys.
>
> I have no means of understanding why that
> particular aesthetic is making a comeback.

One man's shit is another's shinola. Personally, I love that these things are making a tiny comeback although I'd never buy any. If only the phenomenon would spread to other toy lines. (I still dream about a Qui-Gon Jinn with five points of articulation, a vinyl cape, and a lightsaber that extends out of his arm.)
Gcrush Wrote:
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> I hate Megos.

This, for you I believe, only has to do with the fact that they have a little less comedic, interchangeable-nakedness.
cae
When I was a kid, I didn't even know what "Mego" was. Hell, I didn't know what a "Mego" was until about ten years ago, when I got into this "hobby" of collecting toys.

No, for me it was the Start Trek playset. I LOVED Star Trek and this playset - the figures, the accessories, the "working" transporter! - I was in such lust.

A school-friend of mine had the whole nine yards but I never even got a single figure from the set, never even kyped a tricorder or phaser. I wanted to kill this kid, I was so envious; the son of a bitch.

other than that, I didn't even *like* superheroes when I was a kid. Okay, maybe I thought the batmobile was cool but that was it. So it's Star Trek that explains my lust for not so much "Megos" as the basic style - I look at them and I think: yes, they're crappy but in that perfect, incomplete, 70's childhood nostalgia kind of way. (hey, I still want the FisherPrice Hospital playset, too)

I think the retro Mego style, with all of its attendant faults, kicks fucking ass.

---------------------------------
hassenpfeffer



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 12/10/2010 11:54AM by cae.
Speaking of Mego Star Trek playsets, your aware of this, right?

And...this?
cae
beautiful.

---------------------------------
hassenpfeffer
leMel42 Wrote:
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>
> And...this?


That's awesome! I've never seen these pictures before.

Thanks, Ken-A
Do superhero toys suck?
This pooch might have something to say. (Credit to GogDog on Flickr) EDIT for my dumbyness

[www.flickr.com]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/19/2010 11:24PM by repairtechjon.
it's GogDog, BTW. :D
Sanjeev (Admin)
You're "my hero" to me--that picture fucking rocks!!
mcfitch (Admin)
1) That picture and dog totally rock
2) The Marvel Universe line is starting to suck me in.
-Mason

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Matthewalt "I actually kinda LIKE that approach! You know: let's make a TOY. Remember those? Products designed to be played with without breaking? DO YOU REMEMBER, LOVE?!"
Haha! Mr. GogDog, would you pleeeeezz post that pic dirctly in this thread??!!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/19/2010 11:27PM by repairtechjon.
mcfitch (Admin)
I haven't bought what you'd call an "action figure" in many many many years. But damn if these little bits of hand crack aren't awesome. It was the Thor that did it. I only wanted a Thor. But then I saw the "classic" Iron Man and had to have that too. This is not your father's Iron man, its Mason's Iron Man. It's the suit I think of whenever I think of ol' Shellhead. But damn, the rest of them were so well executed I needed to buy more.




-Mason

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Matthewalt "I actually kinda LIKE that approach! You know: let's make a TOY. Remember those? Products designed to be played with without breaking? DO YOU REMEMBER, LOVE?!"
Whatever bug bit you bit me hard, too.

For an old-school comic fan, these Marvel Universe figs are really hard to resist (unlike the Marvel Legends, which are just goofy looking on the whole and over-articulated floppy messes):



Spent the last couple of weeks scouring local hobby shops/shows for these, and I've still got another half-dozen or so figs to open. They're the epitome of toy crack--cheap and cheaply made, but designed just well enough to activate and inflame whatever soupcon of desire lives in that fanboy heart of yours.

As the Secret Wars figs were a second-rate toy line, so Hasbro seems intent on living down to that lineage. And it's not like Hasbro can't do better because it's doing better, like, right now. These MU figs, with their elasticky, rubbery joints and their simplified molds and their drunken paint slops are brazenly crappy. They make my 25th GI Joes look like Rodin sculptures. Paradoxically, that kind of stupid simplicity is also what lures.

For example, compare Hasbro's MU Shellhead to Hasbro's Iron Man 2 Shellhead. The differences in sculpt, material, and design are astounding, with the Iron Man 2 Shellhead (on the left) leagues ahead in terms of just being a better toy. And believe me, you'll know right away when you hold these two in your hands. And yet, the MU Shellhead feels just as fun, but in a really simplified, vintage kind of way. It's craptastic, I guess.



It's really interesting, the difference in quality between this supposed collector's line and lines with a wider demographic, like the Iron Man 2 and X-Men Origins brands, which offer much sturdier joints and materials and more complex engineering, and which produced an absolutely spectacular Jim Lee Sabretooth (compare to the goofy MU Juggernaut in the back):



Iron Man 2 Comic War Machine has to be one of the best 1/18 figures ever made:





Edited 7 time(s). Last edit at 12/23/2010 06:32AM by gingaio.
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open | download - Marvel Shelf.jpg (105.6 KB)
open | download - Marvel Iron Man Comparison.jpg (111.6 KB)
open | download - Marvel War Machine.jpg (82.1 KB)
open | download - Marvel Sabretooth.jpg (90.3 KB)
Gingy, compare the recent Little Marvels with the GI Jonsers and the lack of quality is even more depressing. I found this Snake Eyes the other night and it made me weep. It is near perfect action figurey confection. Its guns have removable silencers. Glory.




It makes me hate superhero toys even more. Except for the DC Super Powers revival types like Tyr (previously fawned over in this here very thread). Those doods are too goofy not to love.

The Little Legends guys are okay in a Secret Wars kind of way, but they don't ante up the quality enough to make it fulfilling. Shame.
Yeah, the newer Joes are really well made. I got a taste of the new bucks with the Sgt. Slaughter sculpt, and the work put into the figures is really impressive. The upcoming Low Light should be awesome, and impossible to find at retail.
[www.collectiondx.com]

For your eye perusals. Superhero toys indeed do not suck ;)

Introducing Prometheus Rising Studio.
[prometheusrising.net]
I make 3D printed mecha action figures.
Sanjeev (Admin)
Good gods...every knuckle in those light-up hands is articulated.

Every.

Knuckle.
Sanjeev Wrote:
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> Good gods...every knuckle in those light-up hands
> is articulated.
>
> Every.
>
> Knuckle.

There is nothing about the HT War Machine that isn't insanely over the top. It is really a marvel to behold, and it is twice as cool in hand as it is in photos...
Prometheum5 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> [www.collectiondx.com]
> s_war_machine
>
> For your eye perusals. Superhero toys indeed do
> not suck ;)

Despite their name, I'm not sure I'd count Hot Toys product as "toys". But, yeah, almost everything they do is gold. Their Iron Man MK VI figure looks like it will be even better than War Machine. Oh, and they're making an Iron Monger, too.

By the way, is it true that WM has no bicep swivel? As in, it can't touch the right hand to the left elbow and vice-versa? Also, does it pass the standard Japaense toy reviewer's "crouch test"?
He has bicep swivel, but the biceps and shoulder area are too bulky for him to touch the opposite elbows. There's one sequence in the film where he crosses his arms against his chest while firing the arm weapons, but I chalk that scene up to movie magic, since in every other shot and the inherent design of the suit that looks impossible.

He does pass the crouch test. It's not the prettiest due to the length of the armored legs, but I have done it.

Introducing Prometheus Rising Studio.
[prometheusrising.net]
I make 3D printed mecha action figures.


The Sentinel does not suck (though the upcoming MU version looks sucky in comparison). Big props to the Technician of Repairs Jon for the score and for being one of the coolest people I've ever dealt with. Not only did he PM me out of the blue because I'd mentioned wanting one of these in a random post, but he actually talked me down in terms of the price, giving me a generous discount on a complete set of the new/sealed Sentinel Series figs so I could build this thing myself. Then, because the package was delayed by what I imagine to be acts of God, and after it seemed possible that it may have been lost, he offered to refund me the payment, no questions asked. I apologize for gushing, but I can't recall the last time I offered a price on something to someone and he/she actually said, "Hey, how about we go even lower?"

Anyway, the scale of the fig works really well with the MU toy crack:



And not to beat a dead horse, but man are these things craptastic...and oddly fun (Iron Man 2 Extremis figure on left, MU Extremis on right...Hasbro did a version 2 of the Extremis figure for the MU line, and it looks a lot better than the Starvin' Marvin version featured below, but still doesn't have the panache of the Iron Man 2 version--it's almost as if Hasbro is intentionally trying to suck when it comes to this line):





Okay, back to hibernation mode.



Edited 5 time(s). Last edit at 01/05/2011 04:56AM by gingaio.
Attachments:
open | download - Marvel Sentinel 1.jpg (162.8 KB)
open | download - Marvel Sentinel 2.jpg (112.7 KB)
open | download - Marvel Iron Man Comparison 2.jpg (112.1 KB)
open | download - Marvel Iron Man Extremis 2.jpg (90.8 KB)
I hate what it's done to the comics, but the IM2 Extremis suit looks amazing.

Speaking of, I picked up the new MU Resilient armor (current suit) Iron Man the other day, and that is probably the best Hasbro-made Iron Man figure so far. I'll have to snap some shots because it is not floppy at all, super posable, well painted, and Hasbro has even stolen the mono-shaft ankle design where the leg is angled to sneak in ankle-rocking without separate rocker joints. Ankles are my biggest peeve on action figures, so I was overjoyed to be surprised by this.

Introducing Prometheus Rising Studio.
[prometheusrising.net]
I make 3D printed mecha action figures.
Prometheum5 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Speaking of, I picked up the new MU Resilient
> armor (current suit) Iron Man the other day, and
> that is probably the best Hasbro-made Iron Man
> figure so far. I'll have to snap some shots
> because it is not floppy at all, super posable,
> well painted, and Hasbro has even stolen the
> mono-shaft ankle design where the leg is angled to
> sneak in ankle-rocking without separate rocker
> joints. Ankles are my biggest peeve on action
> figures, so I was overjoyed to be surprised by
> this.

I almost picked this figure up, but didn't because it initially looked like just another fucking Iron Man toy. I guess it isn't though. I will probably rethink my decision next time I see it if it isn't $9...
For Gingy.





Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/05/2011 11:28AM by Gcrush.
Attachments:
open | download - Iron Me Up.jpg (205.7 KB)
Mmmmm.....rivet-nipples.

---------------------------------
[pgaijin.blogspot.com]
While rifling through a dumpster at Wal-Mart for second breakfast, I finally found JEMM.




It's such a beautiful, sucky toy. The long goony legs. Star shaped cape clasp. Arsinio Hall fingers. And what look like gills in palms of its hands. It is so deliciously, obnoxiously, disposably hideous in both form and color palette that it is the action figure equivalent of a Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pie. Cheap, guilty, unhealthy pleasure.

Except that "cheap" in this case means quality only, not price. Fucking thing cost fifteen bones. I'm pretty sore about that. When did shitty, throw-away action figures of b-list caped goons get to be $15? It's a goddamn crime. This is a $10 toy, tops. I have no idea how Mattel stays in business pushing these things.

And yet I can't help but be intrigued by the cast of Diversity Friends:





Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/14/2011 11:41AM by Gcrush.
Attachments:
open | download - IMG_9559.JPG (155 KB)
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