With Series 5 of Imaginext's excellent blind-bag figures landing at retail, it may seem a little redundant to be Reviewing a figure from the previous wave. But considering that Series 5 arrived before the dust of Series 4 had even settled (and the fact that there are some great figures in that wave) we're going to split our time between these two new(er) waves, the first of which is the rather cool-looking Mad Scientist.
The Mad Scientist
(Note: ''The Mad Scientist'' is our designation for this figure. As yet, Fisher-Price has yet to officially name him.)
One of the great things about the Imaginext line is that many of the figures work in a variety of settings. For example, the Gill-Man is a great Creature from the Black Lagoon tribute that fits right in with the unofficial Universal Monsters of the line but he also makes for a great space alien. The Mad Scientist is also one of these ''cross-over'' figures, being as much a Steampunk Scientist as he is Insane Inventor.
So here's what's inside the pack - a basic figure, a removable helmet/tabard and a green-tinged, clear plastic lab set.
It's interesting to note the ''basic'' figure's costume has a very retro-futuristic look to it. It's more Dr Zarkov than Baron Frankenstein, which is a cool look but if you're looking for a white lab-coated scientist, then you may be a little disappointed with this figure.
And here he is all kitted-out. I love all the little details on the magnifying lenses on his goggles and the little tools in his pocket. It's just a shame those really cool vials on the ''unmasked'' figure's belt are lost here.
It's actually a pretty terrifying-looking figure!
As with all Imaginext figures, we can play ''spot the reference.'' In this instance, I'm pretty convinced the Mad Scientist is a reference to the Mad Gasser of Mattoon (a character previously immortalized in the Monsters in my Pocket line and a definite influence on the Golden Age Sandman...), as his mask, protective gauntlets and lab equipment seem to indicate he's brewing up some kind of noxious substances there...
And that rear-mounted tank could contain poison gas (or maybe it's just his air supply...) Either way he's a really creepy-looking figure.
Unmasked and you can see how crazy this guy is. I guess that's what happens when you spend so much time around various chemical compounds... And insanity would certainly explain THAT haircut...
The figure has the standard Imaginext articulation set-up - twist head joint, double-jointed shoulders, wrist twists and a connected hip/leg joint. The mask/coat, of course, makes his head articulation pretty much useless but that's the only real issue with it.
What paint is here is neatly applied but, as is always the way with Imaginext figures, there's a lot of close-up detail that would really benefit from a paint pass. You could customize him yourself pretty easily but it's a shame there's a lot of stuff here that you miss on first pass, simply as it tends to get lost due to the monotone nature of the figure's casting.
And whilst the lab set may be small, it's a neat-enough set. Again, though, a bit of paint to differentiate the table from the lab equipment would be great, as it does look a little too hologram-like to really work properly...
The Mad Scientist isn't really one of the standouts in the Series 4 line-up. At least, not at first. I'm sure many collectors may overlook him in favor of the more ''pure scares'' figures like the Witch or even the Pennywise-in-all-but-name Clown but to do so would be to rob yourself of what's actually a very cool figure with enough horror credentials to make it into your monster line-up.
And whilst he may be a little too Steampunk for some of the more cogs and clockwork Pirate sets, he's certainly a pretty cool companion figure to the Series 2 Steampunk or Series 3's HazMat/Walter White figure, or as a new villain for your Justice League to battle.
I have to admit I'm still waiting for a ''real'' Mad Scientist, something akin to a Victor Frankenstein to stand beside my Series 2 Creature but despite my initial doubts, I've come to really dig this figure. The Mad Gasser is a character I've always found interesting and this figure certainly brings an element of that urban legend to the line, which is something I dig.
It's just a shame that the paint app is a little bland. But if you can get over that (or you fancy tackling it yourself) then there's certainly a lot of fun to be had here.
Creepy and weird. I like it.