Review: HBII Red with Samaritan and Big Baby
In my opinion, Hellboy II: The Golden Army was one of the best movies of last summer. It's unfortunate that it was released between Iron Man and The Dark Knight, two high profile movies which caused the majority of the film-going public to overlook this one. While I wouldn't go so far as to say Hellboy II was better than the other two movies, I actually enjoyed it a little more.
If you're interested, you can check out my review here.
Like every large summer release, Hellboy needed toys. Mezco picked up the license for this line, and they did a admirable job at capturing the likeness in a seven inch scale. I held out on buying at first, because they were pretty expensive. Well, actually they weren't THAT expensive: it's just that I'm that cheap.
Well, nothing stays retail price forever, and I recently ran across some marked down at Toys R Us. I skipped the rest and grabbed a Hellboy. If they don't disappear from the shelves, I might consider picking up a few more at a later date.
Hellboy isn't a small figure. He stands at about seven and a half inches, which makes for a hefty toy. The appearance, overall, is quite impressive, though I do have one complaint.
The head sculpt is, in many ways, exceptional. They've captured the look of actor and character alike. I just wish they'd used a slightly more versatile expression. The figure's face is contorted, mouth open, and it appears that he's screaming (most likely in rage). Actually, the expression would also work if he'd come with a cigar, but I'll have a lot more to say about that later.
I'm not saying I dislike the angry look, just that it's not as interesting as some other they could have gone with.
Other than that, it's hard to find fault with the appearance. The costume pieces are wonderfully sculpted and painted (I'm particularly smitten with the symbol of the BPRD - a hand grasping a sword - on his belt buckle). And, while we're on the subject of hands, Hellboy's right looks tremendous. The tail's pretty good, too.
This is a great figure, at least as far as the appearance is concerned.
Packaging and Extras: +1
The packaging looks good, for what it's worth. There's just one problem:
Did you miss it? Go look again.
That's right: this is clearly a "Red" action figure from the movie "HBII". All right, I'm not going to get carried away with this: I understand this is a mass market toy being carried by Toys R Us and other retailers, but it's a bit absurd to omit both the name of the movie and the name of the figure.
Is "Hellboy" really that objectionable? If a parent isn't going to buy a product with that name on the front, are they still going to buy one containing a large, gun-wielding demon?
Of course, as anyone who's been to this site before is sick of reading, my motto is toys on the shelf; trash in the garbage. So it doesn't really bother me - in fact, I found the omission amusing - but I feel for those who like to keep their figures packaged.
But, hey: no big deal. There are few accessories easier to throw together than a cigar. For now, I used a piece of cardboard lying around, but eventually I'll get around to sculpting a nicer one (or I'll pester my wife to make one for me).
While smoking is an unforgivable sin, violence is more acceptable. Therefore, Hellboy... er... Red... comes with not one but TWO guns.
Play and Display: +1
I've got a lot to say here, and almost all of it's positive. There is one issue, though, so I'm getting that out of the way first.
Other than the shoulder joint, Hellboy's right arm is entirely unarticulated. No elbow joint; no cut wrist, no movable fingers... nothing. This is a little annoying: it really looks like there should be a point or two of articulation, but there just isn't.
But everything else is fantastic. Every joint that should be present is present. Ball joints are used for the hips and shoulders. Usually, I object to using ball joints for hips, since they're ugly, but there's no problem here: his trench coat covers the waist.
Oh, and lets talk about that coat. Hellboy's tail can hold up the back, giving a nice "tossed in the wind" appearance. I doubt it was intentional, but it works great nonetheless.
And speaking of his tail, you get multiple points of articulation, giving you several options for posing. The chest is equipped with a joint, as well, and it gives you some great choices.
The figure also has a holster that can hold his smaller gun. This means you can have him holding the big gun while the little one is on his person. Or you could strap the big one to his back while the little one's in his hand. But who wants that.
Special Deductions: Missing Peg, Leg Falls Off, Cracking Coat: -4
We knew that gun peg had to come up sooner or later, but that's really the least of HB's problems.
When I first pulled Hellboy out of his package, his leg didn't come with him. All right, I said, it's a ball joint. And ball joints are notoriously loose. So I popped his leg back in place.
And, a few minutes later, while I was posing him, out it popped again.
The good news is that it always seems to go back where it belongs and it seems capable of being posed in any position it could otherwise take. It just means a bit more work whenever I want to pose him.
The next problem almost escaped notice: there's a crack forming on Hellboy's coat just below the collar. It's not easy to spot, but I expect it'll get worse over time.
I figure three of the deducted points are being taken for the above problems. Three and a half, really.
But that missing peg also needs to be addressed, and this is where it's done. So, between these three issues, I'm knocking his score down by four points.
Of course, there's no way to know you'll have the same problems. These issues could be unique to my figure. But be aware there could be production issues.
Price Tag and Final Analysis: 7/10
Hellboy is a great figure with a few problems. This really shouldn't have been made with children in mind, of course, but that doesn't hurt the figure much: it's easy enough to make a small cigar and I could care less how he's labeled. The lack of articulation on the right hand/arm is annoying, but it's a minor quibble in the scheme of things. And the larger issues I encountered - the leg that keeps dropping off, the missing peg on his gun, and the coat - could just be luck of the draw. Even these were correctable, with the exception of the coat.
And there's a lot to love about this toy. He looks great, he's well balanced. The accessories look good, too. If you're okay gambling, rest assured this figure would have scored above a ten had it not been for the issues with the leg and the gun.
In terms of cost, Hellboy was originally going for around sixteen bucks, plus or minus. When I found him he was marked down to ten.
If it weren't for the problems, I wouldn't hesitate to say he's worth sixteen. This is a good sized figure, and there was a lot of effort and thought put into him.
Even with the problems, he's certainly worth ten.
If you've got questions or comments, the doors to The Middle Room are always open. They're metaphorical doors, of course, but that changes nothing.