Mars Attacks Cosbaby
following is a guest review. The review
and photos do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Michael Crawford
or Michael's Review of the Week, and are the opinion and work of the
|Jeff Parker is back tonight
with a look at some more Cosbabies - take it away, Jeff!
Ack, ack, ack! Ack ack, ack ack, ack ack, ack, as always to Michael.
It’s hard to believe… well, at least for us ‘more senior’ collectors,
that Mars Attacks is almost 14 years old!
It was Tim Burtons seventh big movie, sandwiched lovingly between Ed
Wood and Sleepy Hollow, and was basically an all star ensemble cast
comedy, kind of similar to the old screwball comedies of the 60’s, I
mean, just check out the cast here.
|But the funny
thing is, it’s actually a slightly smarter movie than you
might first think. On face value it’s just a romp, in which a bunch of
Martians make mincemeat of human kind, only to be thwarted by the
dulcet tones of Slim Whitman.
But it only takes a little thought
to realise its more of a satire about North America, and how ‘it’
thinks EVERYONE desperately wants to be ‘All American’, it showed
Burton, pointing out that Uncle Sam simply can not understand ANYONE
who doesn’t want to be assimilated into it’s ‘have now, pay later’ mass
And It seems even more ironic that it was
released in the same year as Independence Day, two films about alien
invasion that were in their own silly ways dealing with the same
questions, but while Mars Attacks stands up as a satire, ID4 is now
more of a jingoistic embarrassment than it was when it came out (and
that’s without even thinking about the Mac/alien computer hook up!).
And the questions that Mars Attacks throws up (all be it that they are
disguised in thick layers of slap stick comedy) are even more pertinent
in the post 9/11 world of 2009 than perhaps they were on its release in
But, enough with heavy movie critiquing, I mean, forchrisake we’re here
to talk toys!
with the Cosbaby line now incorporating these cute Martian critters in
their various forms, how do they measure up to those that came before?
Once again we are back to the classic Cosbaby blind boxing, with the
design borrowing heavily from the 50’s pulp Sci-Fi feel that was so
lovingly embraced by the Topps bubblegum cards
that inspired the movie. The front of the box uses an image based on
the one sheet poster
showing a sea of Martian brains, with one peeking above the rest.
Behind the figures is the rising red planet of Mars, set against the
movie title in its distinctive font. The sides show the seven standard
figures available in the line, but as is usual this line also has a
chase figure, but more on that later. The back has an image of the
flying saucers approaching Earth with information about the series and
licensing credits. Inside the box the figures are polly-bagged
alongside their accessories… when they have one!
So as is usual with Cosbaby boxes, it’s a pretty no frills, standard
format, but just fine for pocket money collectibles.
Martian heads ****, Girl heads ***
The full line up of this series is-
1. Martian Leader (purple robe)
2. Martian Ambassador (red robe)
3. Martian Trooper (ray pistol)
4. Martian Trooper (ray rifle)
5. Martian Girl (human head)
6. Martian Girl (human damaged face)
7. Martian Girl (exposed Martian head and bobble ray gun)
And lastly the short packed chase figure-
8. Martian Trooper (fogged green helmet)
Another trend that continues is the clever re-use of body parts, by
mixing and matching the various pieces and altering the paint apps we
end up with eight relatively distinct variations… well, apart from the
two troopers, they just have different guns and to be honest the two
human headed Martian girls are pretty damn similar… but you know what I
The highlight here is the actual Martian head, it’s been translated
into the classic Cosbaby style, but because of its ‘unusual’
characteristics it demanded a much higher degree of detailing than the
usual human heads. I think the fact that this head gets used on five of
the eight figures demanded that it had to be done well, and I’m glad to
report it’s been done very well indeed. We have the massive exposed
brain with its complex interwoven maze of frills and squiggles (well,
you think of a better description!). This blends down into the
grotesque skull like face with its huge oval eyes, hooked nose cavity
and strange dangling wattles at the sides of his head.
This head is used on both of the troopers, which come dressed in a
Cosbaby representation of the classic green space suit, with its large
metallic chest and shoulder rig (to hold the glass domed helmet, which
sadly isn’t actually here) it also has the dual red gas tanks mounted
on the back with black hoses running around its sides and attaching it
to the front. The head is also utilized on the leader and ambassador
figures, they share the same body sculpt of the floor length, high
scroll collared robes. Because of their length they have no legs
beneath and the arms are just popped into the sides, and lastly it’s
also used again on the Martian girl with the fully exposed Martian head.
She again has no legs; instead her long sweeping dress is also floor
length, showing her 50’s style ‘Madonnaesque’ conical breasts and
engraved swirly pattern that covers her whole body. The two ‘human’
Martian girl heads are also identical in their sculpting, using the
classic Cosbaby human face with its button nose, cute rosebud mouth and
huge Manga eyes, her hair is worn in the huge cartoon blonde beehive
(to hide that big ‘ol’ Martian head) as sported my Lisa Marie (Burtons
squeeze at the time) in the movie, it shows some cute details including
the large kiss curl at the front and the scroll curl that runs around
Lastly we get the chase figure, this shows the after effects on a
Martian after listening to a little of the country and western style
yodeling of Mr Slim Whitman, specifically his song ‘Indian Love Call’.
Would it be considered a spoiler to let you know it makes their heads
explode inside their helmets… what the hell the movies 14 years old,
and I’ve told you anyway! So, what we have is in effect a hollow
plastic light bulb shaped helmet sprayed green on the inside to mimic
the unfortunate Martians exploded head… Mmm, nice!
As is usual with Cosbaby figures, they are all very stylized
representations of the characters. But because of the ’unusual’ look of
the Martian heads, like the Alien and Predator Cosbaby figures that
came before them, they end up with a far more accurate portrayal than
their human counterparts.
Like the sculpting, the paint apps on Cosbaby figures usually follow
their own distinct style. It’s normally quite simplistic, reducing the
subject down to simple shapes and quite flat colours, and on the human
heads this is evident as usual here. The paint on the eyes and mouths
is all nice and crisp with clean precise division lines, the hair is a
flat bright yellow, so all the detail comes from the sculpt, but
luckily the sculpt is more than up to the job. The pink dresses seem to
have had a darker pink wash that has flooded all the sculpted swirls
that make up her patterned outfit, and the effect works surprisingly
But like the sculpting the stand out work is on the Martian heads. They
show some nicely observed details, with the base colour being a deep
pink terracotta, over this are details picked out in beige/mushroom on
the lower face with brighter yellows and greens radiating up from the
brow onto the swirls of the brain. For small scale relatively cheap
figures it’s a very impressive job.
The three trooper bodies all have a base green colour with bright red
gas tanks on the back and some relatively convincing metallic hues on
the chest rigs. So in terms of the bodies, that just leaves the Martian
leader and ambassador, they have bright glossy metallic robes that are
purple and red respectively. Both have a glittery iridescent finish
that means with the simple application of a little golden thread these
could make pretty cool Christmas tree ornaments… so golden thread is on
my to buy list this week!
- Troopers ***, The Rest N/A
These follow exactly the same routine as the other Cosbaby figures, the
troopers have the standard push in ball and socket joints on all the
limbs, while the robed figures just have moving arms and necks… and to
be honest there’s not a whole lot of movement at the neck, well apart
from the ability to turn from side to side.
So, you won’t be getting any great action poses, but that’s not what
Cosbabies are all about, no, they are just meant to stand there looking
cute, and so far all of them can do that!
As always, these wear sculpted outfits!
- Ambassador, Troopers and Martian headed girl **1/2, The Rest N/A
These little figures aren’t famous for coming laden with goodies, quite
frankly any accessory is quite a plus when it comes to your average
Cosbaby. And four of the eight come with nicely observed little ray
guns, the Ambassador and one trooper have a pistol,
whilst the other trooper has a rifle version,
and lastly the Martian headed girl has the bobble
gun that she... sorry ‘it’ pulls from its bobble clutch bag.
So, not a lot of accessories, but that’s to be expected with Cosbabies,
however where we do get them they are nicely observed and painted.
for money - ****
On release your average Cosbaby is not expensive, but like all
collectibles, dependent on the popularity of the license they can get
pretty crazy on the secondary market, and pretty darn hard to find,
especially those elusive chase figures!
These were all available from Sideshow for $8.50 (well, apart from the
chase variant), so basing my score on that price, these just have to
get full marks.
Factor - ***1/2
These are certainly in a price bracket where you wouldn’t mind letting
your kids play with them, and they are mostly robust enough to stand up
to a bit of play. But at the end of the day, these are not intended to
be a replacement for Playmobile,
no, these inhabit their own little niche, like Kubrick’s and Mezitz.
So, if like me, you have that obsessive collector gene, then these are
just waiting to be embraced by you!
As I’ve said before, these aren’t for everyone… but lets face
‘collectibles’ in general aren’t for everyone. I bet most readers have
at least one of those moments when a friend or colleague has given you
‘that’ look after you’ve admitted to your ‘madness’.
However, if you are at one with your inner collector, if you can suffer
the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, and if you have the guts
to admit… yeah, my name is (insert name here) and I like Cosbabies!
Well, then there’s very little ‘not’ to like here. However if you are
still in denial just walk away now… go on, while you still can!
But for the record it’s a cool little set, I’m loving the detail on
those Martian heads, and these have got me itching for the 1/6th
figures… which must be due pretty soon!
As I said above, Sideshow did have these for $8.50 a pop, but they have
long since sold out. However you can try the waitlist or try some of
Michael’s sponsors who have them for the prices listed below-
Big Bad Toy Store
- set of 7 $57.99 or $8.99 each
Planet - £6.49 each
ebay looking for a deal.
This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer.
Photos and text by Jeff Parker.