Tuesday, January 29, 2013

REVIEW: Marvel Universe's Kang

Produced by Hasbro | Released November 2012

A time machine built by his ancestor Reed gave Nathaniel Richards the ability to reshape the past and bend the future to his will. Jumping between time and dimensions, his being was spliced into multiple planes of existence, all linked by a name, Kang, and by a common goal: total domination of their spot in the space-time continuum. Able to harvest advanced technology from future worlds, Kang has a suit and weapons beyond scientific comprehension, giving him untold power whenever he chooses to wield it!

Marvel's Kang
We continue our round-up of the latest Marvel Universe figures with the subject of today's Review, Kang the Conqueror! So let's jump straight in, shall we?

Sculpt & Design
Kang the Conqueror is another character created by the collaborative powerhouse that was Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and his roots most certainly show in his design. There's no denying that this is a character visualized by Kirby, from his neo-Egyptian collar to his alien, emotionless face, the King's fingerprints are all over this design. And thankfully the figure does a pretty good job - on the whole - of bringing the original character from the page and into plastic.

The sculpt features some neat folded clothing effects and the retro-futuristic design aesthetic of Kirby, captured to a ''T.''  Whether you actually like Kang (the figure) will depend entirely upon your thoughts about Kang from the comics but as a fan of Silver Age characters I have to admit that when I saw Kang was coming our way, I did get rather excited about the prospect. And I'm pleased to say that sculpt-wise, at least, Kang does not disappoint.

Looking over the figure, it seems Hasbro went to great lengths to get the sculpt as accurate as they could. To a point, anyway: his chest harness/strap (which extends from his collar to his belt) is painted on rather than a molded piece, but that aside the figure does still sport a number of unique pieces I've not seen on other Marvel Universe toys and, as a result, he has a unique look (and silhouette especially) that, when combined with the color scheme (see below) really make Kang ''pop.''

As seems to be a running theme with the recent Marvel Universe figures, Kang is a fairly unusual, almost obscure character, so it's certainly good to see Hasbro not only including him in the roster but also going to such lengths to make him look so good.

Unfortunately, whilst Kang looks great you'll find him pretty limited in terms of poseability. For starters, he features the new Marvel Universe utterly useless hips. The already incredibly limited range of movement is further hampered by the tails of his tunic, which - although cast from a soft plastic - do stop the joints from really moving beyond the most minimal of angles.

It's an absolute shame - no, disgrace - to see the figure hampered so, as the remainder of his articulation is excellent. Not only does he feature double-jointed knees, torso and waist joints, cut-thigh and cut-calf joints and rocker ankles but he also comes with the modern GI Joe-style tilting wrists. It's a little redundant to be honest, as Kang doesn't really need to be able to bend his hands in this manner but it's nice to have the option.

On the subject of the thigh-cut joints, however, I have to add that they're also somewhat disappointing. As you can probably see from the above images, there's a very large gap between the hip and thigh pieces and I did feel a few times as if the pegs holding his legs (especially the left one) were about to sheer off as I moved them. Not good.

Kang's paintwork is actually pretty impressive. The metallic sheen on his purple armor pieces looks neat and the green costume has been treated with a low-light wash to further accentuate the sculpt. As for the face detail, it's very neatly applied on the whole, with his pupil-less eyes being particularly good, although my Kang does have a tiny splash of purple on one side of his face.

I normally avoid flash photography but I wanted to include a couple of images that would really showcase the paintwork, hence their inclusion here.

Extras & Accessories
Kang comes with a blaster pistol, which  - whilst it's a nice fit in his hand - seems a little out of character. I'm by no means a Kang expert but he always strikes me more as a monologue-ing kind of ''tremble as I activate... THE DEVICE!'' kind of guy, so the pistol seems like a bit of a wimpy weapon for him to be using. It also doesn't seem as Kirby-esque as the rest of the design and does tend to stand out a little (in a bad way.) 

As with all modern Marvel Universe figures, Kang does not include a base.

Final Thoughts
Kang is both fantastic and awful. On the fantastic front, the sculpt is superb, an impressive bit of work that translates the character's design from page to figure very effectively and looks great. There's a ton of detail sculpt here (rare for a Marvel Universe character, given how they tend to be clad in skin-tight costumes) and the inclusion of the collar is a great way to break-up his shape and give him a unique look. Add to this a really eye-catching paint job and you've got a figure that looks really quite special.

Sadly though he's hampered with some truly terrible articulation. From the waist up, all is actually pretty impressive, with a twisting waist, tilt-and-twist torso and tilting wrists really adding up to something special. But the moment you try to do anything but have him stand in his Galactic Conqueror pose you'll be sorely disappointed. I thought the hips were bad on She-Hulk but here they're - incredibly - even worse.

If you're a fan of Kirby's designs, the character of Kang himself or a collector of the Marvel Universe line (and in the latter case, then you'll know what to expect with the awful hip rig) then there's a lot of good stuff to enjoy here. Just be warned that this is more poseable statue than action figure. And if you can live with that then you'll be more than happy with your purchase. But if you're looking for a super-poseable, dynamic figure, this isn't it.

A great looking figure ruined by poor hip articulation.

Final Score: B

Image Gallery

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...