Last week I reviewed Shocker Toys Indie Spotlight’s ShadowHawk figure. I was pretty kind to the toy for a few reasons. Namely though because it was a real first time effort and captured the character well despite a few flaws. Today I’m reviewing another figure from the Series 1 of Indie Spotlight and it is hands down, the BEST figure in the entire series and easily one of the best figures made in the past several years.

That’s a strong statement, but it’s one that I’m going to stick with. The figure is SOL from the Rob Schrab’s SCUD: The Disposable Assassin comic book. I’ll make no bones that I’m a big fan of SCUD, but I’m a new fan and not devout or anything, so there is no biased here. SOL is very much a background character in Scud and is hardly a top choice. He was made because he’s an easy variant to the actual SCUD character.

SCUD is a robot assassin bought in a vending machine and once he kills whosoever you want, he must self destruct. The crux of the comic is that Scud finds out he’s supposed to self destruct and decides not to kill his target. He mortally wounds them, then takes assassin jobs freelance to pay for the life support. It’s a wild comic but true genius in terms of creativity.

SOL however is the later model of the SCUD robots and instead of being yellow like the “heartbreaker” model, he’s black. He’s also suped up and new and improved, although he doesn’t seem that much different. That’s the version of the figure I’m reviewing today but a lot of the same can be applied to Scud.

Packaging:
I won’t verbally fellate the package as bad as I did last time, but suffice to say this is one of my favorite package designs of all time. The card slips off and is easy to remove the figures as well as put them back in. The one area where this package suffers is that although the front refers to him as SOL and features artwork of SOL (Although it could be a redecoed SCUD), the back does not.

Instead the back of the card refers to him as SCUD and gives him SCUD’s bio. The same thing happened on the ShadowHawk figure, but since the ShadowHawk variant was just a different guy in a slightly different suit, it was more passable. I mean a Flash figure can be Wally West or Barry Allen no matter what the nerds say, because they look identical and were basically the same guy once they became “Flash”… The same could be said for Robin.

But SCUD and SOL are two pretty different things. Character wise they may be similar, but it’d be nice if these variants had proper bios. Again, it’s a minor thing in the grand scheme of things, but the little things sometimes add up.

Articulation:
I don’t even know where to begin on this articulation. In two words, FREAKING AWESOME! SOL features a ball jointed head for starters. Because of his ball jointed head and design he’s able to not only turn side to side but to look straight up as well. While many figures can sort of look up, few can look straight up like SOL. He’s able to get down into a 3 Point Stance and look forward. It’s awesome.

SOL actually has less joints than ShadowHawk and doesn’t have a single double hinge joint on his body, yet his articulation is even better than ShadowHawk’s. Why? Because of the character design largely. Rob Schrab’s robot design is one that is so simplistic and yet versatile. He has ball jointed shoulders which do have some limitation in movement and are probably the most fragile feeling of the entire figure.

Moving down he has hinged elbows with a complete range of motion, a chest joint that some have said doesn’t work but it does, a cut waist, ball jointed thighs, cut thighs, hinge joint knees, hinge ankles. As well as removeable ball joint hands. That seems like a small amount of articulation but it works better than 99% of the articulated figures out there.

That’s what makes this figure’s articulation so brilliant. SCUD and SOL are constantly posing in ridiculous dynamic poses. The comics are littered with cool shots of him bending and twisting and firing his guns. So getting a figure to replicate that seems unlikely, but this figure can.

EVERY picture in this review is of SOL standing on his own. No trickery. No manipulation. No stand. No careful balancing SOL against something in the background. He’s standing on his own in all of these pictures. One leg up fully in the air, arms twisted out? No problem. Because of the design, the articulation and his center of balance he can pose incredibly. He doesn’t even have huge feet like the NECA Ninja Turtles figures, he just has good articulation and balance.

This figure does have the same “flaw” that the other Indie Spotlight toys do, that the joints can move as much forward as they can backwards. While that seems odd on figures like ShadowHawk, it’s perfect for someone like SOL who is a robot and can do moves like that. In fact SCUD does some weird stuff like that in the comics, so it really works here, even if it doesn’t elsewhere.

Sculpt:
This is a thin figure. I’ve read other reviews where people have said his design is sort of bland. The sculpting isn’t that good. They probably have a point except… He looks EXACTLY like he just walked off the pages of Schrab’s comic.

SOL is identical to his in comic counterpart with the minor exception of the logo on his back. He shares the same logo as SCUD on his back and in the comic it’s different, but barely. Again this is a minor thing that you’d really have to be nitpicking about.


One minor error.

Contrary to popular belief SOL has a different head sculpt than SCUD and it’s done excellent here. He also has some small paint aps throughout his body although most of the sculpt is bare in the black he was cast in. That’s how he should look, so again it’s perfection in it’s simplicity.

No real paint slop and it appears his “sun” design on his chest is a tampo as well as his information on the back. This is well done and is probably the best way to get those on there. No rubs or anything on mine.

Accessories:
Since this is part of the Maxx series like the previous Indie Spotlight figure I reviewed, he is also eligible for the Mr. Gone mail away. Inside the package however is a second set of non-gun hands. See, the Shocker Toys feature all the weapons sculpted into their hands. More on that in a second.

Also included with him is a Black Isz. Much like the white Isz I mentioned in the ShadowHawk review this guy is perfect. He’s got a different sculpt that makes him appear more evil, as it should. This again, blows away the McFarlane toys version from a few years ago.

The two sets of hands are well done, but obviously they’re not that much different in terms of sculpt. One set of hands just happen to feature the guns of SCUD/SOL. This is well done and probably a plus for a figure like SOL, but I could see it being annoying for other figures. Especially since most the other figures come with fist hands. SOL and SCUD are lucky that their “normal” hands allow them to hold other weapons, although not very good.

As I said, in this case it works because SOL is able to pose in some incredible positions and never lose his gun. He has his fingers spread out almost doing the Hawaiian “aloha” sign, which is how he carried his guns most often in the comic.


Down… Set… Hut…

Additional Notes:
Some of the other reviewers got this figure for free. I’m envious of them because I would have loved for Shocker to send me this guy for free. SOL is an army builder in my view. There were dozens of SOLs and in the first issue he appeared there was probably two dozen shown in one panel. Needless to say I want to get a few more SOL figures. I’d like at least 4 more ideally. The figure is so good, he’s worth having multiples of.

His articulation and balance is just incredible. He works almost like a Revoltech figure because you can get him into many poses. I could see him meshing well with Stikfas too because he’s reminiscent of them as well.

Value:
This is a tricky situation here. I paid close to $20 for this one SOL. Why? Because the Indie Spotlight figures are very hard to get right now. I can’t even find a SCUD. He’s not worth $20 because there’s just not a lot here. However at his retail price of about $13-14 he’s very much worth it. I’d say even up to about $16-18 he’s worth it. Especially if you like the character or enjoy very poseable toys.


ROCK ‘N’ ROLL!

Score Recap:
Packaging – 7
Sculpting – 8
Articulation – 9
Accessories – Black Isz, Spare Hands
Value – 8
Overall – 8.5 out of 10

Much like my review of the 4th Doctor figure, the score may seem a bit off to you. Why the final score of 9.5 out of 10? Because this figure is near PERFECT. Sometimes the awesomeness of the full figure is better than the sum of it’s parts. All of the minor quibbles don’t matter much when the end result is this strong. I could pose this guy for hours. I definitely will be doing some figure comics with him. SOL is awesome.


Classic SCUD style!

If Shocker Toys never made another figure, they could still go down as a company that deliver one real five star toy based on this one figure alone. Hell, personally I think Shocker should throw out the next series of Indie Spotlight and start making more SCUD figures. Work out a deal with Rob Schrab and start offering new colors of these guys, red, blue, green… I’d buy them. This is one of the best toys I’ve had my hands on in a long time.

GO BUY THIS FIGURE NOW! And if you see a SCUD send him along my way. Or if you see some more SOLs, send them my way. I need more of these guys. SOL is an A+ without a doubt!

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