HEROES OF THE GOLDEN AGE (Mattel)
Someone at Mattel deserves a promotion for finally realizing
that their Ultra Max Steel figure was being foolishly underused.
In many ways, it is the best 1/6th scale figure on the market--when
it can be found. Indeed, the "ultra-articulated" Max
has all the poseability of the popular Dragon figures, but has
a decent athletic build with broad shoulders. Sadly, the vast
majority of Max Steel products seen languishing on the pegs
at local toy stores are pathetic imitations of the Ultra, with
drastically limited articulation, which undercut the commercial
potential of the Ultra Max body.
Mattel has announced plans to spin-off a new adult collector
line, based on Ultra Max. These figures will not suffer from
tattoos, molded wristbands, poofy hair, audio chips, lights,
or butt-ugly, useless accessories that have plagued the CGI
cartoon-based, kiddy, Max Steel line. Extra heads and bendy
hands for the base figure will be easily interchangeable and
available in carded sets.
Also, Mattel plans to start producing licensed action figure
sets, based on their new Ultra Max body. Doc Savage and The
Phantom (prototypes shown) are the first two characters announced
in the "Heroes of the Golden Age" series. They come
in their own collector display boxes with a mini poster and
Clark "Doc" Savage, Jr., was the first "super
man" from the pulp magazines of the 30s. Scientist, Musician,
Surgeon, Detective, Explorer, Adventurer, Scholar, and heir
to the fabulous gold of Hidalgo, this 1/6th scale action figure
sports detailed, 1940s-style jodhpurs with a wide, brown "leather"
belt and brown riding boots, as well as his ubiquitous, signature
ripped shirt. Doc comes with neck chain, utility belt pouch,
rope, map, crossbow, and gas grenade (not shown).
The back of the box contains a proof-of-purchase coupon for
a discount on a mail-in "super machine pistol" with
adjustable brown leather shoulder strap (not shown).
The "immortal" Ghost Who Walks--nemesis of pirates
worldwide--was one of the first costumed heroes. Why a jungle
hero felt the need for a domino mask and head-to-toe uniform
is anyone's guess.
The figure's mask and costume are impeccably detailed, and are
not removable. His black "leather" boots and holsters
look great, and the "good & bad" silver (real
metal) rings set off the ensemble. The Phantom comes with his
twin 45s, of course, along with a black-blade knife, rifle (pewter),
and Zulu spear (not shown).
On the back of the box is a proof-of-purchase coupon for a
discount on a mail-away Devil, the Phantom's faithful wolf/dog
(with bendy legs and tail).
Dragon is the preeminent designer of quality 1/6th scale bodies,
well-sculpted and painted heads and accessories, but until now
most collectors have been more familiar with the Dragon military
lines, but they produce more exciting lines in Asia. Recently,
Dragon has decided to market these in America, starting with
The Shadow! Who knows what evil lurks in the minds of men? The
The Shadow comes on a standard Dragon body. These base figures
are rather "slim" as a rule, but this look works well
with the Shadow character and multi-layered costume. From the
wide brim of his black fedora, to his deluxe, "satin"
cape, the Shadow comes ready for action in his own display box!
His face concealed behind a blood red scarf, his lithe form
is draped in a long, belted overcoat. Complete with panel-front
black shirt and baggy trousers, the Shadow's gloved hands clutch
his diecast Colt 45s. The Shadow also comes with a double concealment
shoulder-holster (not shown), worn over his trench coat, a wicked-looking
knife (not shown), and his legendary girasol ring, that gives
him the power to "cloud men's minds."
The Shadow has a handsome and familiar headsculpt, reminiscent
of the recent movie, with just the right "hawkish"
nose. The back of the box contains a proof-of-purchase coupon
for a discount on a mail-in, carded Lamont Cranston tuxedo set
with plain replacement hands.
The Mighty Thor
ToyBiz has announced yet another line of action figures. Aimed
at adult collectors, as opposed to 10 year-olds, this line will
be in 1/6th scale with plenty of articulation, drawing from
the vast catalog of Silver Age characters that Jack Kirby created
for Marvel in the 60s. Marvel representatives revealed that
a significant portion of the profits will go to the family and
estate of the late Jack Kirby, in consideration for his years
of stellar service to Marvel, and the comic book art form, in
general. It's about time!
Future plans include inclusion of Jack's DC-licensed characters,
such as OMAC, the Demon, and Kamandi.
The first figure in this highly anticipated series will be
The Mighty Thor (prototype shown). As you can see, this version
of the god of thunder is true to Kirby's most familiar design,
and does not sport the beard, armor, eye patch, cloven hooves,
or--ugh--breasts attributed to Thor by latter day, junior varsity
"artists!" Thor comes with winged helmet, large poseable
cape, colorful costume, knee-high boots (all non-removable),
molded hair, and magic, uru hammer.
A stylish figure stand is included, with poseable support column,
and a broad, flat base in basic black with padded surface. The
back of the box contains a proof-of-purchase coupon for a discount
on a mail-in, carded Dr. Don Blake secret identity figure.