As I’ve said before, here at Infinite Hollywood I try to review stuff that’s a little off the beaten path. This past week there were about a half dozen reviews of Scareglow from Masters of the Universe, but not one single review of the figure I’m reviewing today. In fact the figure I’m reviewing today has never been covered by any of the major toy websites for review. What’s this toy?
FLASH GORDON! You may remember back in May I rewatched Flash Gordon for the first time in several years and I thought it was “Still cool after all these years.” Shortly after that review I thought about picking up some of BifBangPow’s Flash Gordon figures, but after countless hours of research not a single review could be found anywhere. In fact I couldn’t even find but a handful of pictures of the final product.
So when Entertainment Earth had a sale on these guys for Black Friday I pulled the trigger and bought the entire line more or less, minus a couple of variants and I’m dedicating this entire week to Flash Gordon, savior of the universe!
I’ll be reviewing some Wave One and Wave Two figures this week, but I’m starting with a figure who’s part of both. In Wave One there were a couple of Flash variants released including Flash in his ceremonial fighting garb and this version that we’re looking at today. However this figure was re-released as part of Wave Two as well. His packaging is more in line with Wave One, but the card art is that of Wave Two.
The package is a standard clamshell. When I cut it open I was met with the most putrid scent of nail polish remover I’ve ever encountered. It was unique as it wasn’t your typical scent of fresh plastic, but most definitely acetone in nature. I like to think of it as Mongo Freshness.
The front of the package has a nice picture of Sam Jones as Flash, while the back shows off the figure as well as has a screen still from the scene this figure is supposed to be recreating. There is also a nice write up and pictures of most of the figures from the series. Interestingly they show a variant Flash I haven’t seen before with a gun, but don’t show the other variants.
Inside you have to free Flash from a few twist ties. Nothing major though and it was probably the easiest figure I’ve removed in some time. It’s nice to see a company weave effective security with ease of removal.
One of the things that kept me from buying these figures was articulation. It was very hard to tell from the promo shots just how articulated these figures would end up. BifBangPow’s prototype shots only included minimal articulation. This is similar to the way Character Options only shows off protos with nearly no articulation.
The problem with that is, it’s rare for these shots to be updated and it can steer potential clients away. I didn’t jump on the Who line until a little over a year ago for the same reason. I’m happy to report that these do have articulation, though not quite to the level of the aforementioned Doctor Who. Instead we have a very serviceable amount of articulation with cuts and hinges. There are ball jointed shoulders and a neck but both are somewhat limited.
Unfortunately Flash Gordon can’t get down into his classic football stance as displayed on the back of the card. That’s a minor thing, but it is worth noting. The package shows the scene, so it stands to reason to think he would be able to perform that, but it’s not possible. He can get pretty close though, so I guess that’s better than nothing.
The articulation on Flash is pretty good. It’s paltry by most standards, but there is some play value here. He’s certainly more articulated than most NECA, Mezco or McFarlane statue style figures, but he’s still not up to par with say, Hasbro or Mattel’s efforts.
Although Flash Gordon has been around since the 1930’s, it was the 1980 movie that inspired this figure. The film is a cult classic, with a rocking soundtrack by Queen, a fair amount of cheese and pretty intriguing special effects for the era. Flash Gordon was pretty dramatically redesigned in the movie into a jock in a t-shirt that said Flash and this accurately recreates that look.
I can’t say for sure if this figure is based off of the Alex Ross artwork, though I believe it is. The reason I can’t say for sure is that the artwork from Ross looks almost exactly like the human counterparts rendering what this is based on almost a moot point. This looks like Sam Jones.
Scale wise he’s a bit hulking to fit in with most modern lines, but he works alright with Movie Maniacs and some DC Direct. I think he’d look fine with either, but he’s not going to work next to your comic figures from the mainstream companies. Honestly I assume he was designed to fit in with McFarlane and Mezco’s movie lines.
His hand is sculpted with a hole in it and the “football” has a peg. This seems like a great way to have Gordon do a little NFL with this Mongo artifact but ultimately it’s disappointing because it really doesn’t work. I had a tough time getting it into his hand even with the peg and hole. It just didn’t fit right. In the interest of fairness it would seem there is a minor bur in my figure’s hand hole that might be the issue, but I can’t say for sure. Either way the peg is a tight fit.
What the what?
He also has a gargantuan butt. Why am I looking at his butt? Well I first noticed it when I was trying to get him down into the 3 point stance. When you bend him at the legs even just a little bit, his hips get kind of awkward and large.
Aside from dumps like a truck and thighs like what, there’s little to find fault with in the sculpt. The paint work is excellent with clean lines all around. This is every bit as good a quality as those other figures in this same genre and field.
Flash gets only his Fabergé egg football as an accessory. That’s pretty weak all in all. Most figures of this nature include a stand of some sort. I would have loved a laser blaster or something, but I understand that BifBangPow is a small company and tooling much else likely would have costed them a fortune.
Still at the price point, something else would be nice.
Nobody talks about these figures. I don’t know why the 1980’s Flash Gordon stuff isn’t more popular and I’m not sure if it has a stronger fanbase than original Gordon stuff or not. I still think Sci-Fi’s failed Gordon left a major stink in most people’s minds. The guys over at BifBangPow are real fans though and Jason Lenzi who writes over at Action Figure Insider has documented some of the trouble he went through to get this line made. I hope it’s a big success for them, though I have to wonder given the fact that after a year I’m the first person to review any of these figures on the entire internet.
At the $15ish price point you have to be a fan of the property to commit. These really aren’t for the “casual” fan. That said, if you like poseable statues then this line is right up your alley. As you’ll see in some of the reviews later this week, Flash’s friends have a wide range of poseability. It’s pretty cool regardless of any of the flaws to have some figures from this timeless cult classic. I picked this guy up on sale and he’s totally worth the sale price I paid.
Packaging – 7
Sculpting – 9
Articulation – 7
Accessories – Mongo Football Artifact
Value – 6
Overall – 8 out of 10
Captain Jack Harkness likes big butts and he cannot lie!
Keep checking in for more Flash Gordon Celebration all week! Coming up tomorrow, it’s Flash’s arch nemesis, MING THE MERCILESS!