Guest Post > Bif Bang Pow’s Lost figures, Part I

Poe’s Note: I started to write up a Poe’s Point about Big Bang Pow!’s upcoming Lost figures, done in the style of the 1970s Mego lines. But then I realized that, as someone who doesn’t watch Lost and as a lifelong action figure collector, I didn’t have any idea how much these toys would appeal to BBP’s target, the Lost fan who’s only a casual toy collector (if at all). As such, I’ve invited my cousin Ed Humphries, owner of The Ed Zone and columnist for the Adrenaline Vault, to offer his perspective. I asked him to write the piece in two parts: first, his knee-jerk reaction upon seeing the photos of the toys; and then, tomorrow, I’ll post the second part, written after Ed read the press release and took into account what BBP is trying to do.

When Poe Ghostal hit up his favorite Lost obsessive looking for someone to provide an expert opinion on a new line of character action figures, I figured why not. While I have found my own web-based soapbox to offer up a weekly column spinning wild and crazy theories about what I think is really happening on that fantasy island, I realize that my powers are going to waste if they are restricted to one tiny slab of online real estate. As someone’s dead uncle once said, “With great power comes great responsibility”. Well – I’ll be damned if I’m gonna’ let all this intellect languish on feverish, imagined queries like “Who Would Win in a Jello Fight? – Kate or Juliet.” That doesn’t help anyone – least of all my marriage.

So this morning I clicked on the links that led to Bif Bang Pow!’s line of 8-inch Lost action figures, featuring the likeness of beloved characters John Locke, Hugo “Hurley” Reyes and the nefarious Benjamin Linus. And the first thing that jumped to mind is, “Thunderbirds are Go!!!” So, that’s all our intrepid band of castaways need to fend off the amorous advances of a frisky smoke monster. Slap on their best Team America: World Police Halloween costumes and tear the place asunder.

Seriously though, these figures just give me the willies – projecting a creepy marionette vibe. I have no doubt that if I position these on my desk, should I dare take a moment to eyeball my Samus Aran maquette, I’d likely get shanked by that Locke-a-like.

Granted, I’ve been pulled to Poe’s island to bring my Lost expertise and gaze at the these figures through a newbie’s eyes. I’m not equipped with the proper schooling to discuss the finer points of articulation so serious collectors may see something that I’m missing. That being said, there’s no other way to put it. These things are freaky as hell and I’m not exactly sure what market they are intended to hit.

The serious Lost fan has already been rewarded with Todd McFarlane’s line from a few years back. In fact, I possess a Kate Austen embedded in a thicket of bamboo; a true showcase that served as a table centerpiece at Poe’s wedding. The modeling of the character is spot on and does what these sculptures should do – accurately represent not just the “person” but their true character. After all, when you strip away the genre-blending (and bending) mishmash of sci-fi, adventure and conspiracy thriller influences – Lost is at heart, a character drama with the core cast populated by very specific archetypes. That McFarlane series keyed in on that and each figure went a long way to celebrating these beloved (and loathsome) characters.

I see what the Bif Bang Pow! line is trying to do but I think they’ve gone about it all wrong. Essentially, they are trying to make exaggerated versions of these characters – cartoonish representations – hence the over-exaggerated body builds. That’s the marionette effect discussed earlier. From a stylish approach, I guess that makes sense, especially considering their background in the bobblehead business. But, the glaring problem is with the face sculpting. They are pretty much spot on and hence we find ourselves wandering frightened in the uncanny valley.

The natural faces perched atop an exaggerated body do this product a disservice. The line would be better served by going all out and simply making a cartoon rendition of these beloved characters. If you can’t faithfully reproduce something that is based off a living, breathing human then don’t even try. There’s no middle ground here.

I’m also struck by the strange clothing choices. Locke’s seems the closest with his rugged khakis and matching T-Shirt but Hurley has been inexplicably rendered as Hugh Hefner gone-to-seed. Weirdest of all is the sly, manipulative Benjamin Linus who appears as if he just wandered out of the Shire. In my wildest dreams, I never thought I’d spy the Hobbit Kevin Spacey but here we have it… the once and future queen.

Get those groans ready. This really is a Lost cause.

Comments now closed (18)

  • I agree.

    I'm a Lost fan, so I was quite interested to see these but frankly, they're butt ugly and just neither fish nor fowl.

    The sculpts of the McFarlane figs were lovely and they do a great job of capturing the characters and pivitol scenes from the series but I couldn't bring myself to call them action figures due to the limited articulation.

    These new guys though…just ugh.

    I expect to see them on clearance REAL soon.

  • These certainly do look fugly. I guess I can see they're trying to do something differen by using the Mego style, but how many people are seriously going to collect these? Even the most devout LOST fans who are occasional toy collectors may be hard pressed to get into these.

    Their choice of clothing is interesting… Ben is in his Others garb, which we first thought were costumes, and now realize that the normal clothes are the costumes. Hurley is in his nuthouse robe, which I guess is more interesting than say his normal getup. As Ed pointed out, Locke is closest to his standard look in the show, khakis and a shirt of the week. Anyone notice that in the first two seasons Locke always had massive sweat stains, and ever since then his t-shirt looks like its been drycleaned and nicely pressed?

    I picked up McFarlane's Hurley and Locke entries some time ago on clearance at TRU, and while I can't say I've got 'em displayed right now, I thought they were great. I guess I don't want to be too judgmental about this line before I see more, but still, from what we've seen so far, its certainly interesting.

    Part of me almost wishes Bif Bang Pow! went with the vinyl style they used for The Big Lebowski figures. Then again, the last thing I need is something to tempt me.

  • what happened to those decent looking jack and sawyer figures we saw at comicon? these things are weird.

  • I, too, just can't be the feel for these. I have no problem with Mego figures, but the fact that the faces are so accurate seems odd compared to rest of the body.

    I'm really curious to see pictures of their Venture Bros. figures.

  • Pingback Lost Cause – Part 1 : The Ed Zone

  • BURN THEM WITH FIRE!!! gah!!! they are hideous!!

    i REALLY wanted to love them since i lost Lost but I will NEVER be able to buy these things.

    please just make straight up action figures from Lost. not dolls, not statues…action figures.

  • I could care less what they do with LOST, I didn't watch the show and don't plan on it. I also don't think the show is really a "toy" kind of show, so whatever offbeat figures they make won't matter int he grand scheme of things…

    But as I said in my rant the other day about BBP, I think they're setting the Venture Brothers up to fail. That's easily the best toy property out there today for smaller toy companies and instead of making the excellent toyline that it could be, BifBangPow has cheaped out and essentially made some crappy customs using DocMego's bodies.

    This coming, mind you, from someone who actually collects Mego stuff. I want real toys, not Mego nonsense when it comes to the Venture Brothers.

  • Well, as a fervent LOST fan, I care, but I won't lose any sleep over it. Well, unless I got the Ben doll… it'd just be all creepy over in the corner of my bedroom, just looking at me. Then I'd stuff him in my closet, but I could hear him in there… plotting… just biding his time…

  • My wife dragged me into Lost so I got stranded with it 😛

    There are a bunch of mixed feelings over this one, one guy in the comments of a post I wrote about how Bif Bang Pow! is to produce Mego style action figures suggested this may not be a tactical move but rather a desperate going under move, or some kind of merge.

    Remember that the designs are from EMCE Toys, and these guys are 1/2 old Mego, words from Dr. Mego itself who commented on a post of mine on the history of the action figure and who explained why Mego lost the Star Wars license over to Kenner.

    A lot of people still have mixed feelings over these but I bet the nostalgia is still there. Is that enough?

    P.S.: Boomarked your post.

  • I think there are people who love Mego and people who love Lost but I'm not sure there's enough cross-over between the two to make these toys fly.

  • @PrfktTear – Locking "Henry Gale"/Ben away isn't gonna' help you. You just know that he'll find a way to slowly ingratiate himself into your life – playing off your insecurities – ultimately manipulating you into springing him from your makeshift brig.

    But someday – years from now – you'll return, possessed by the spirit of a very ancient evil, and will turn the tables on the former Henry/current Ben/perpetually creepy puppet. : )

  • @Novelty – The press release also hinted at a line of Californication figures. As they say on the interwebs – WTF (WHY THE FACE)?!?!?!?

    Yeah – I'll be back. : )

  • To each their own, live and let live, my opinion is not the only one on the planet etc. – that said: these are shit. Total fucking shit. Unless that bald thing is a Hood tribute on his day off there is no point in them. At all.

    Another small, marginal company gets ready to take a cold bath…..it's a fucking recession people so why do you do this to yourselves…….?

  • I agree they look pretty rough (to be polite), but they are early prototypes and I'm sure based on the feedback and debate these pics have generated they'll be improved or at least tweaked. I just wonder who thought these images were ready to unleash on to the innerwebs and if they still have a job.

    BBP is a newish company to my knowledge, and I only own one product from them a SDCC Twilight Zone Bobble head and it's pretty fantastic so I'm sure they'll come correct with the licenses in the end, VB and all. The founder of the company seems to be a pretty hardcore toy fan, so I'd be surprised if he let the ball drop on properties with the potential to really make his company.

  • Pingback Lost – ‘The Substitute’ – 6.4 : The Ed Zone

IntenseDebate supports the following HTML tags: <a> <b> <i> <u> <em> <p> <blockquote> <br> <strong> <strike> <img>