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Captain Toy/Michael's Review of the Week

Review of Captain Action, Daredevil, Silver Streak, Black Terror, Stardust
Amazing Heroes action figures

Fresh Monkey Fiction
Date Published: 2016-05-06
Written By: Michael Crawford
Overall Average Rating: 3 out of 4

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Amazing Heroes Silver Streak action figure by Fresh Monkey Fiction

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Introduction

One of the best things about Kickstarter is the opportunity it has provided to smaller companies to produce unique action figure lines, many of them based on nostalgia and childhood memories. A little more than a year ago, Fresh Monkey Fiction started a Kickstarter campaign to fund a new line of action figures, called "Amazing Heroes". I love it when small companies get the chance to produce something they really love, and these figures are a terrific example of exactly that.

The intent was to bring to market a line of action figures based on a body type similar to earlier lines (like Secret Wars), but of classic and modern characters that aren't really getting the love these days. The fundraising campaign was successful (obviously), and the first wave of 10 figures has shipped.  I'm looking at five of those ten tonight: Captain Action, Daredevil, Black Terror, Silver Streak, and Stardust. There's also a blank figure called The Blank Slate, as well as the Champion of Mars, the Green Turtle (heheheheheh), Madman, and Amazing Man.  They also offered alternate backer cards (more on these in a minute) called Golden Age editions for $2 each, and Artist Editions for $3 each. The figures themselves are available for $15 each, and picking them up at the Fresh Monkey website is your best bet.

Click on the image below for a Life Size version
Amazing Heroes Captain Action action figure by Fresh Monkey Fiction

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Packaging - ****
Are you writing the new dictionary for toy collectors, and are looking for the definition of great packaging? You just found it.

First, these are designed to be completely collector friendly. The outer plastic bubble wraps around the interior backer card on all four sides, and there is no tape to cut. Just slip the backer over one end and slide it out. The backer cards are gorgeous, with terrific artwork and a nifty retro look. They even have that worn, slightly dog eared look of an old comic, although they are very, very heavy stock.

Amazing Heroes Black Terror, Captain Action, Stardust, Daredevil, Silver Streak action figure by Fresh Monkey Fiction

There are also alternate backer cards, which can be purchased with the figures or separately. They come on VERY heavy stock, and look fantastic. There's a "Golden Age" edition, as well as an "Artist" edition. The Artist Editions are done by various well known artists like Erik Larsen or Mike Allred.  In the photo below, you can see the two alternate card backs for the Black Terror as an example.

Amazing Heroes Black Terror action figure by Fresh Monkey Fiction

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Sculpting - ***
If you're my age - or so - you'll remember the Mego Comic Action Heroes. Obviously, Mego is much better known for their larger action figures with cloth outfits, but the CAH line was loved by many as well. The line launched in 1976, and like other Mego lines, included licensed characters from a variety of companies. This line influenced future lines of course, including the Marvel Secret Wars figures that came out in 1984 and 85. While it was a short lived series, 80's kids were big fans.

That style has now influenced the look and feel of the Amazing Heroes.  Look at a Secret Wars Captain America, and I think you can see it quite clearly. Bill Murphy, head of Fresh Monkey Fiction, was obviously one of those 80's kids affected by the Secret Wars line, and he has translated that general style nicely into this new/old series.

Amazing Heroes Daredevil action figure by Fresh Monkey Fiction

These figures stand about 4 1/2" tall with the bent knee pose, making them about a 5" scale.  All use the same base bodies, but with a few extra pieces added (like Stardust's belt or Black Terror's cape) to differentiate them. The majority of the character differentiation is in the head sculpt and paint scheme, although even the heads appear to be shared in some cases. For example, I'm pretty sure that Captain Action and Silver Streak share the same head, while Black Terror and Stardust look like twins to me. Thanks to some variation in paint style and color, the overall look remains fairly unique.

The detailing on the sculpts is good, particularly the portraits, when you consider the scale. Ears, lips, eyes, hair - all of it fits in nicely with the style, yet has a decent amount of detail. The bodies are all a standard buck of course, with hands sculpted to hold the non-existent accessories. There's nothing sculpted onto the bodies - belts, necklaces, logos, straps - everything is painted on. With cleaner, sharper lines in the faces and bodies, the sculpting is an improvement on the Secret Wars figures, a key component in my opinion when producing a retro line.

Amazing Heroes Captain Action action figure by Fresh Monkey Fiction

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Paint - ***
Again, considering the scale, the paint work is solid.  Remember, details are done with paint, not sculpt, and there are quite a few depending on the character.

For example, Captain Action has his lightening bolt buckle and logos on the boots, even though they are quite tiny. All the chest logos, which appear to be tampo style, are very clean, well centered, and even. Colors are bright, finishes are consistent, and even the eyes are straight and sharp.  Compare that to the recent Mattel Ghostbusters or the even the DST Ghostbusters, both of which cost quite a bit more than these.

Amazing Heroes Silver Streak action figure by Fresh Monkey Fiction

That doesn't mean all is perfect - Black Terror has a belt buckle that's slightly off center, the split down the center of Daredevil between the red and blue isn't exactly straight, and other edges aren't always perfect. But considering the scale, cost, and low production run, the overall quality is certainly reasonable.

Amazing Heroes Black Terror action figure by Fresh Monkey Fiction

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Articulation - **
These aren't hyper articulated figures, and that was never the intent. What is the intent is to capture the feel of the 70's and early 80's, and they've done that extremely well.

There are five points here: cut neck, shoulders and hips.  This is very similar to the older lines that I mentioned earlier, and the look and feel is appropriate.  They aren't going to take too many different poses, but they will remind you of the figures of your youth. Or maybe your dad's youth.  Punk kid.

Amazing Heroes Stardust action figure by Fresh Monkey Fiction

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Accessories - Stardust, Silver Streak Bupkis; Daredevil, Black Terror, Captain Action ***
Stardust, and Silver Streak don't come with anything extra.  You can argue that Daredevil does have a separately sculpted belt, but it's not intended to be removed, and that disqualifies it as an 'accessory' for me.

Daredevil does come with a small silver boomerang that he can hold in either hand. Captain Action has his nifty hat of course, which fits neatly on his head or in his hand.  The Black Terror comes with a removable cloth cape, which snaps onto his neck thanks to a C shaped wire in the cloth.

Amazing Heroes Daredevil action figure by Fresh Monkey Fiction

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Amazing Heroes Black Terror action figure by Fresh Monkey Fiction

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Fun Factor - ****
This is a purely nostalgia based line.  If you love the old action figures similar to this, and have an affection for these characters, you'll have a lot of fun with them.

Amazing Heroes Stardust action figure by Fresh Monkey Fiction

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Value - **1/2
The figures will cost you $15 each with the standard backer card. Upgrading to the Golden Age version is another $2, upgrading to the Artist Edition is another $3.

While the $15 is about $5 more than the current 'standard' for mass market action figures, these aren't mass market figures. You aren't going to see them at Toys R Us or Target, and they were made in very small quantities, and only because of the generous support of the Kickstarter contributors. Considering the quality and ingenuity that went into them, I consider the price tag to be an average value.

Amazing Heroes Daredevil action figure by Fresh Monkey Fiction

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Things to Watch Out For -
Not a thing. However, the boomerang for Daredevil is taped sideways in the plastic tray. It's easy to miss - I did the first time around - and if it comes loose in transit, it's easy to lose since there's no indentation in the tray to indicate something is missing.

Amazing Heroes Captain Action action figure by Fresh Monkey Fiction

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Overall - ***
Using a retro style to recreate a nostalgic passion is not new - the ReAction figures are perhaps the best current example, but there are plenty of others.  I've also been very hard on the ReAction figures, because I feel that they haven't provided the quality or updates to the old Kenner style that they needed. Here, you're getting better sculpting, better paint, and better quality plastic than what we saw in the late 70's and early 80's, and these are the sort of improvements, while still retaining the overall look and feel, that I think are necessary.

But these are still a nostalgic line. If you're looking for amazing articulation or modern sculpts, you'll need to find a different outlet. These are targeted toward a very specific audience, and that audience should be quite pleased with the end result.

Score Recap (out of ****):
Packaging - ****
Sculpting - ***
Paint - ***
Articulation - **
Accessories - Stardust, Silver Streak Bupkis; Daredevil, Black Terror, Captain Action ***
Fun Factor - ****
Value - **1/2
Overall - ***

Amazing Heroes Black Terror, Captain Action, Stardust, Daredevil, Silver Streak action figures by Fresh Monkey Fiction

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Where to Buy 
Your best bet is to get these direct from Fresh Monkey Fiction at their online store, where they are $15 each. Online options include these site sponsors:

- has a set of four for $70, or the singles for $20.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
Nothing else directly related, but if you like Captain Action in general, you should check out Round 2's version of his nemesis, Dr. Evil, or their base figure and the outfits. Cast-A-Way toys also did some smaller scale versions of the Captain and Dr. Evil.

You should also hit the Search Reviews page, in case any other applicable reviews were done after this one was published.

Discussion:
Want to chat about this review?  Try out one of these terrific forums where I'll be discussing it!

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Amazing Heroes Captain Action action figure by Fresh Monkey Fiction

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This product was provided for the review by the manufacturer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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