Power Charge Rhino | Produced by Hasbro | Released 2010
Aleksei Sytsevich was just another thug in the Russian Mafia, grasping at dreams of easy money, and headed for a short brutal life. Seduced by promises of wealth and power, Aleksei underwent a life-threatening series of chemical and radiation treatments to transform him after several months into the superhumanly strong agent for a collective of professional spies - in part, to support his family. Aleksei's powerful armor permanently bonded to his form, was modeled after the hide of a rhinoceros. Two scientists named Igor and Georgi chose this form, both for its visual impact and in recognition of the fact that the rhino is the result of countless generations of evolution towards the ultimate form for armored assault.
Thus was born... The Rhino!
Hasbro's Spider-Man Range
Before we continue, I just want to quickly point-out that I don't normally collect the Hasbro Spider-Man toys. Designed with a younger audience in-mind, the toys are a little too ''toy-ish'' for my tastes and I'm not a fan of the amount of recycling or gimmick-driven figures the line features like Ninja Battle Spider-Man or Aqua-Rescue Spider-Man or Emergency Soup-Delivery Spider-Man or whatever other concepts the designers dream-up that morning.
However, one thing I do like is that the range includes some villains not yet seen the Marvel Universe line and - as the figures are about the same scale - this means it's possible to cross-over the two. Granted, some of the villains may still be a little cartoon-ish to sit next to the Marvel Universe figures, but there are some exceptions, chief of which is today's offering, Power Charge Rhino.
The Spider-Man line uses similar packaging to that found on the Marvel Universe line (and most figures of this scale.) Obviously the packaging is intended to catch the eye of little Timmy and so is much simpler than the packaging from its sister-line. Spider-Man is featured prominently, with the villain's name and image appearing within the blister-pack. One nice touch is the side of the box shows an image of the character with Hero of Villain below it.
The back of the packaging continues this simplified approach, with a few photos of the toys and very little in the way of descriptive text.
Like all Hasbro single-carded figures, the blister-pack is held in-place with glue, and must be ripped/cut to open.
Power Charge Rhino
Power Charge Rhino is an absolute brute of a toy. It's heavy - weighing more than the Marvel Universe Hulk figures - and incredibly sturdy. There's a lot of plastic here for your money.
But let's take a step-back and examine him in more detail.
First, the bad: the figure's articulation is somewhat lacking when compared to the Marvel Universe figures. In full: his head pivots and can be tilted up/back and down/forward, his shoulders use ball joints allowing a good range of motion, elbows are similarly mobile and his hips feature ball-joints but with a more restricted range of motion. He has no wrist, knee, waist or ankle articulation.
What joints there are, though, are sturdy and although initially it may feel as if you're going to snap them, the points of articulation are quite solid. Also, for a figure with articulation so limited the designers have actually managed to work within these restrictions and it's possible to pose him quite nicely, thanks to the legs being cast with a bent-knee. He doesn't look rigid at all.
The other negative is that the figure's snap-on armour spends more time snapping-off. The six pieces, as seen above, cover his shoulders, fists and shins. Or that's the theory. The only pieces that will stay in-place are the spiked shoulder-pads, with the other pieces simply refusing to stay on. However, given that the ''naked'' mode of this toy is as he appears in the comics, I think most collectors will remove the armour anyway, so it's no great loss.
Now onto the good stuff!
For starters, the sculpt is superb. He's chunky, heavy and just radiates power. His plated-hide is covered in knots and bumps and it's an incredibly detailed piece of work, with numerous tiny details that draw the eye. It doesn't really matter that the figure's articulation is below the Marvel Universe standard, because the sculpt is way above the majority of figures from that line.
Barring the joints, there's not a millimetre of the figure that doesn't feature some kind of detailing. It's a superb achievement.
The paint is also very well-applied on the whole, with dark washes and highlights used to further accentuate this detail. There's weathering on the horns and around the toes that's particularly effective and whilst his face may not be up to this standard (there are a few grey marks around the mask edge and across his brow) most of the facial details are well-applied. He doesn't suffer from bong-eyedness and his teeth are all individually painted.
And as has been mentioned, the designers have done a good job working within the limited articulation, posing the ''fixed position'' pieces nicely to avoid him looking stiff or like a statue.
All-in-all, he's a very good-looking toy.
Power Charge Rhino includes - as mentioned previously - six pieces of armour plating. They don't really fit very well (and the shoulder pieces restrict movement anyway) but let's face it, most people are going to display him without the armour, so it's really no great loss.
He also includes a set of Fiercest Foes Battle Cards, a kind of card-based Rock, Paper, Scissors game. There are - apparently - 72 cards to collect. This figure includes 3. So yeah, that's a lot of figures...
I'd seen the Power Charge Rhino figure before and - stupidly - put him back on the shelf. I'm glad I was able to find him again (after many months of looking) because this is a superb figure and - although most of the Spider-Man range are too colourful/cartoony/childish - Rhino works well with the Marvel Universe toys.
He's not without his faults - the armoured pieces don't stay on and his articulation is limited - but the overall impression his sculpt and paint-job give are superb and I'd recommend any fans of the Marvel Universe range hunt him down, as he's streets ahead of the last few releases from that line.