Masters of The Universe Classics Demo-Man
Release: December 2011
I figured December's Masters of The Universe Classic figure was a good starting point for this lil' feature, because I'm really really excited for him. For those who aren't knowledgeable in MOTU lore, Demo-Man is an evil creature from the realm of Despondos that Princess of Power villain Hordak fused with He-Man's uncle Keldor to turn the young Sorcerer into Skeletor. If that sounds confusing... It sort of is. However, regardless of how odd the backstory is, this figure looks inarguably amazing. Mattel is notorious for reusing the same parts for multiple figures. They're doing that here, but everything is incorporated well enough that you hardly even notice. Plus, DM has a lot of new stuff. The new headsculpt is amazing, looking kind of sort of like Skeletor, but a little bit more monstrous and organic. The blade is awesome, as is the mace. They're really imposing looking weapons. The massive weapons, combined with all of his armor and the overall bulkiness of MOTUC figures in general, give Demo-Man a really cool, imposing look. He also comes with a Skeletor head in the style of MOTU comic book artist Alfredo Alcala. The Skeletor head is awesome. He looks totally vicious and crazy. DM also has this odd second head that I'm sure we'll get an explanation for in his bio. Overall, this is a figure I need to own. Mattel made a ton of new parts, and Demo-Man is a very interesting character in the MOTU mythos. I believe he drops December 15th, and I'll be ordering him that day.
For more pre-release plastic evaluation, hit the jump!
One Piece Portrait of Pirates Admiral Kizaru
Release: Mid-January 2012
Here's another upcoming figure I'm really really excited for. I won't break into a long spiel, but for those non-One Piece fans, Kizaru is undoubtedly one of the series' coolest characters. We've gone without a high quality statue of him for too long. As usual, the manufacturers, Megahouse, have perfectly captured the cartoonish aspects of the character and Oda's designs, while also making the figure look startlingly realistic. I don't think I need to reiterate the quality of POPs. They're statues, not mere figures. They're more or less the apex of modern collectibles. Pricey as all hell, but worth it. Megahouse has included a ton of show/manga accurate accessories that I really dig, such as the sword and little Den Den Mushi (Snail wristwatch thing, for those unfamiliar with the series vernacular). His face is also superb, like I said earlier, capturing the cartoonish style of One Piece, while also maintaining some very realistic minute details. However, since this figure is based off of an existing character with a set design and appearance, I have a few concerns. He's not nearly broad shouldered enough. I think that it sort of goes back to Megahouse proportioning everything realistically, but still. The Three Admirals in One Piece are massive guys. This Kizaru looks a tad bit too lanky. There's also something kind of funky going on with his hair. It's kind of raised off of his head a little bit, and it just looks odd to me. Those small issues aside, this is another piece of Megahouse perfection I'll be eager to add to my collection whenever I acquire the funds. This won't be release day purchase for me.
The Walking Dead TV Series 1 Deputy Rick Grimes
Company: MacFarlane Toys
Release: November 2011
I will say straight up that I am not a fan of The Walking Dead. I have no interest in the TV series, nor the comic. I do enjoy Kirkman's other work Invincible, but the Walking Dead doesn't appeal to me. Zombies are kinda boring. Except in Dead Rising. That game rules. Anyway, my lack of interest in the property aside, wow. Just wow. That figure is absolutely amazing. MacFarlane toys tends to impress, and this is no exception. The figure resembles Andrew Lincoln to such a degree that it's basically like having a little tiny person. I came across this while randomly searching the internet for various action figures, and I was absolutely astounded. The clothes look completely realistic, with every fold and crease on the shirt adequately represented. The headsculpt, as I mentioned, is just uncanny in its resemblance to Lincoln. Plus, he's got a good deal of arm articulation it seems, which will allow for multiple posing opportunities. I believe he comes with a few more accessories than shown here as well. This figure almost makes me wish I liked The Walking Dead. I honestly might pick this one up if I see it in a store. You know you've made a good figure when people who aren't even fans of the property it's based on desperately want it.
DC Universe Classics Reverse Flash
Release: January 2012
I'm a pretty big fan of Reverse Flash (Professor Zoom?). I think it's the color scheme. I dig yellow heroes. I like Daredevil's yellow outfit too. Anyway, when I saw that Mattel was releasing him in their DCUC line, I got pretty excited. Mattel must love that... They're able to release a straight repaint of an already released figure, as a totally different character, and comic nerds get all giddy. However, I will admit that Professor Zoom here is a tad more than a straight up repaint. He has a new headsculpt, that I'm slightly divided over. He kind of just looks like a sort of displeased middle aged man. I think Professor Zoom should always look really vicious or angry. Maybe it's just a matter of preference, but once I saw a Professor Zoom figure in a comic store (The manufacturer of said figure's name escapes me) and he looked totally crazy and malicious. His eyes were bright red and his teeth were kind of sharp. It was awesome. This figure looks like a guy who's getting a little red faced because he's progressively getting more annoyed at something. Or something like that. He looks a tad too calm for a character who isn't normally calm, from what I've seen. Not much to say about the sculpt otherwise. It's just The Flash's body, painted a different color. He's got a little arrow accessory too, which is nice I guess. Overall, as excited as I got when I first saw the preview pic for this figure, I'm a little divided over whether or not I'm actually going to end up getting him. I guess I'll see when he comes out.
Play Arts Kai Arkham Asylum Joker
Release: February 2012
I wanted to end on a really strong, Batman-related note, since this a feature we (Hopefully) won't be seeing again. I believe this end note is strong enough. This figure looks absolutely amazing. Basically, Play Arts Kai is a line of super-articulated, highly playable, but still collector-grade action figures. I absolutely adore the designs of Batman and Joker from Arkham Asylum/Arkham City, so when I stumbled upon the existence of these super-articulated figures, I was understandably excited. The Batman is amazing as well, but I figured I'd focus on The Joker here. It has a superb amount of detail, the textures and ruffles on the outfit look totally realistic and just perfect. One issue with a figure this articulated is that the joints are very visible. I think that if you pose him right, that sort of thing isn't as noticeable. It's also a bit stylized. His hair looks a little different than it did in AA, and the figure is sort of more broad shouldered than Joker was in the game, but I still enjoy it. I believe the figure will be coming with a few accessories as well. It's going to be a bit pricey, but this thing is seriously almost perfect. I'm a little dissapointed I have to wait til February (And probably a bit longer; The thing is going for 59.99 on most sites) to get my hands on this, as I really want a videogame style Joker, but this figure might be worth the wait. Perfect sculpt, amazing attention to detail, and it looks really fun to play with to boot.
Well, that's it for a strange feature I hope I will never again have to do here on NWC. The REAL Figure Fraction (The review) will be up as soon as I can smooth out my camera issues. Let me know how you felt about this evaluation by emailing me (Either firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com) or leaving a comment. Remember to check out The Ink Spill and our Podcasts, subscribe to the feed for constant updates, and download our Podcast episodes on iTunes! It's all free! You have no reason not to! Until the actual review is posted, let's all keep collecting action figures well beyond the age it's generally considered socially acceptable, and Welcome to Your Doom!