Monday, November 5, 2012

Review: The Avengers Collectible Figure 8-Pack!

I’m always looking for the opportunity to add to my creepy Black Widow collection, so when this 8-pack of “collectible” Avengers figures popped up, featuring sculpts and poses inspired by some instantly recognisable promo art, I was powerless to resist. This humble yet mysterious box contains eight 2 inch (or thereabouts) figures for the meagre sum of $10 - $15. There has to be something of merit lurking within there, right? Right? Or is this a Lost Ark of the Covenant scenario where all we’ll reveal is face-melting disappointment?

Join me after the jump where I am going to crack one of these open so that you probably don’t have to!

I will say that this set is at least nicely presented. All your favourite characters are presented on the brightly coloured box set and I instantly felt the lure of Scarjo’s Siren call urging me to pry open the flap. Do just that and you’ll reveal a window into another world where a fierce plastic battle rages on the streets of cardboard New York...

Yep. This box is definitely full of tiny, pre-posed figures all right! Let’s free them and see what they actually look like.

You know, freeing them from their cell was actually a laborious undertaking. They are bound by twist-ties into a tight plastic blister that clings unforgivingly to their round Avengers logo bases. After struggling a bit with releasing the first one I sadly viewed the other seven and for a brief moment contemplated jettisoning the entire thing out the window. But then I remembered Agent Coulson’s brave sacrifice and it spurred me on.

So who did we get...

Iron Man. With no likeness to capture, the fully armoured Iron Man is an action figure no-brainer. If you screw up Iron Man then you need your toy manufacturing license revoked and fed to a hungry, hungry hippo. He also has very few paint application, really just red, yellow and silver, so Tony should look pretty good. He’s fine here doing his iconic talk-to-the-hand pose. You know, from that hilarious scene when he told the Hulk to talk-to-the-hand. 

Next up is...

Iron Man? Wait... but there’s only eight figures. So if there are two Iron Manz then who is missing? Oh snap! It sucks to be you, Nick Fury! Samuel L. Jackson better sort out a bitch! This time Iron Man is flying. He sure loves to fly.

But how are the unmasked characters? This is where we start to run into some trouble.

Hulk’s not terrible. He just looks a little manic. Like an arts and craft enthusiast attacked him with a pair of stick on googly eyes. “How can Hulk stay angry when Hulk’s eyes all googling?” Exactly. At 
least he’s in a pretty dynamic pose.

Thor looks like Chris Hemsworth. Assuming you’re in a dimly lit room and staggeringly drunk.

Captain America looks like a huge dork. Which is pretty much how he looks in the film.

Hawkeye looks exactly like Jeremy Renner, if he was a model in a wax museum, and somebody had left the heat on. Notice that he’s doing faux archery again, with no bowstring and no arrow. I subscribe to the theory that Hawkeye spends a lot of time standing on rooftops pretending to fire arrows while making the noises with his mouth.

Now here’s where it gets really ugly.

Loki, God of Mischief, has become a popular character and his (relatively decent) sculpt here captures him in an iconic pose from the marketing materials. But how bad is this frigging paint job!

It’s like squirrel in a sugar-frenzy painted it with its filthy tail! What was going on in that factory? An early Christmas party? Did the manufacturing machines gain sentience and start attacking the humans with flesh-coloured paint? Is this anyway to treat a god?

And sadly, as we move to my prize here, Scarjo Black Widow, things are even sloppier still! Again, the pose is one we’ve seen on posters, but look what they’ve done to her!

I’m all for Widow showing more flesh but not when it’s splattered all over her hair and clothes! She looks like a wicked witch who has water thrown on her! What’s worse still is that she probably can’t even be saved with a repaint. There’s something crazy going on with her nose, like the paint got too thick and then a bit snapped off. Was it grazed on the pavement? Did the painter use her face to dislodge some grout between some nearby tiles? This botch job is a mystery to me.

Still... it’s going in the collection! That said, if you can find a better painted one hit me up!
Oddly enough I’m at that point now with my collecting where I think I enjoy both extremes on the quality scale. I love high-end, super-detailed stuff like Hot Toys, but I do get a kick out of crazy, poorly produced bootleg-looking stuff provided its characters I collect. I’ll accept any misfit Black Widow into my collection, so from an obscure niche collecting standpoint this set is quite cool.

For everybody else though, I’d probably stay away. These have zero playability for kids, and are far too scattershot for collectors. Cheap though.

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