Tag: Hasbro

Hydra Soldier review

My review of Hasbro’s Hydra Soldier has been posted over on OAFE.

Hydra Soldier

Silver Surfer

So, after being so disappointed by the Hydra Soldier, it was a bit of a surprise to be so…surprised by the Silver Surfer, part of Hasbro’s “Marvel Legends: Fantastic Four” wave, which features comic-inspired versions of the recent movie stars.

To help limit my spending, I’ve tried to buy only Marvel Legends versions of figures I owned as a kid. I owned Toy Biz’s first Silver Surfer (whom I later painted into a custom Constrictor), as well as the original Marvel Legends version from a few years ago. I was Silver Surferdisappointed by that figure–it had a strange, too-alien facial sculpt, massive shoulders, gawky articulation, and was nearly impossible to pose on his board.

While Hasbro hasn’t pleased too many collectors with their Marvel Legends offerings, this is one case where they’ve improved on Toy Biz’s work. Unlike the Hydra Soldier, Norin Radd features the full range of articulation that ML fans are used to, including a bicep swivels and double-pin joints at the elbows and knees.

What’s more, I like the sculpt. It’s much more sleek and streamlined than Toy Biz’s previous offering, and actually resembles Jack Kirby’s art. The facial sculpt actually looks like a face, though there is one problem: he has a wee noggin! It definitely seems to be a bit too small for his body. I can’t help wondering if perhaps it’s the head of the 5″ Surfer from the movie line stuck on a 6″ body.

The paint is also good, though it’s hard to screw up a simple silver finish. Still, I like the choice of silver paint more than the less reflective silver used on the earlier ML version.

Of course, that first Legends Surfer had a few touches this one doesn’t. Rather thanSurfin' Milky Way pegholes in the feet, it had magnets, allowing the figure to stand on his surfboard (which had a metal plate inside) in any conceivable position. It also came with a clear stand and a base, so you could actually put the Surfer in the air. And finally, it came with one of the greatest accessories of all: Howard the Duck.

Hasbro’s Surfer only comes with his surfboard, and it has a big ugly peg on it for his foot. However, I like the surfboard itself better than the Toy Biz one. It’s very long and narrow, and looks like it might actually be a cosmic form of transportation rather than a shined-up boogie board. The board is done in chrome to mirror-reflectiveness, which looks really cool (although it’s prone to fingerprints).

While the Hydra Soldier could have been a lot better, I’m satisfied with the Surfer. He looks great with my BAF Galactus.

On the Menu > Weed Killer

Note: This article was originally published on an old website of mine on October 24, 1999. It has been edited and updated for this post. Update: I have retroactively tagged this as the first “On the Menu” entry, in which I discuss the various toys represented in Red Kryptonite’s art on this site.

Hunchback freakSo orange
Green skin yellow eyes
Hunchback freak.

–Poe Ghostal, “A Haiku for Weed Killer”

Just who – or what – is this thing called Weed Killer? You may notice him over there in the menu to the left. This is his story.

Weed Killer is an action figure from the 1991 Kenner Swamp Thing line, based on a short-lived cartoon show. He was one of the evil henchmen of Dr. Anton Arcane, a mad scientist who was out to kill Swamp Thing. I got the Swamp Thing and Weed Killer figures for Easter. Why my parents chose Weed Killer over the other bad guys, I don’t know. Maybe it was the bright orange jumpsuit; maybe he was the only other figure there; maybe it was just fate. Whatever the cause, I received Weed Killer, and thus action figure history was made. Sort of.

I played with both Weed and Swamp Thing for a little while. I distinctly recall playing with them in the back of my grandfather’s car as we drove around with my dad to visit family graves, as we used to do every Easter. After a few weeks, though, I lost interest in Swamp Thing. But I kept Weed Killer around.

Why, you ask? For a few reasons. First, there’s that bright orange uniform. Very eye-catching. Then there’s the whole mutated-janitor thing he’s got going on. The hunched back, the mottled green skin, the gas mask, the glow-in-the-dark eyes – he was just weird, and I loved him for it. He was also particularly well-sculpted for an action figure of that time.

Weed Killer 2Best of all, he had no real background – he was just a random bad-guy henchman created for the cartoon. That allowed him to participate in all sorts of different adventures with different action figure lines. He fought the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Cable, Robocop, Batman, Spiderman, the X-Men, and so forth. He helped out Shredder, Magneto, Stryfe, the Joker – he was basically a temp henchman for all my bad guys. I can just see him getting up in the morning, wondering what his name would be and what mega-maniacal super-villain he would be working for that day.

Weed Killer eventually retired from henchman duty and discovered to his surprise that he had received the ultimate honor that could be bestowed upon one of my action figures – he was given a spot in the glass-encased Shrine, right next to the other two hench-temps, Soaron Sky Sentry and Warduke. Welcome to immortality, Weed Killer.

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