Image 10th Anniversary 
Spawn and Ripclaw

Hard to believe, but it's been over ten years since the start of Image comics.  To celebrate the anniversary, McFarlane Toys has produced a series of four figures from the original comics that made the company successful - Ripclaw, Shadowhawk, Savage Dragon and Spawn.

These figures are so exceptional I decided to break them up into two reviews - Spawn and Ripclaw today, and next week Savage Dragon and Shadowhawk over at Movie Poop Shoot.

The figures are based on the comic source material, and each comes packaged with a display base.  They are a specialty shop only release, so you'll have to hit your local comic shop or buy on-line (suggestions in the Where to Buy section).  Retail is around $13-$15 depending on where you buy. 

Packaging - ***1/2
Once again, McToys is going with the clamshell style packaging with insert artwork.  This isn't collector friendly packaging in my traditional sense, since you'll have to tear it up to remove the figure.  But this style of packaging has really grown on me over the last few lines, and it does work well for both the opener and the collector.

The hard shell is unlikely to damage easily, and makes for easy storage.  The figures also are displayed well inside, so the MOCer is happy.  And while opening them might take a little effort, the sturdy packaging is likely to keep the toys in tip top shape in transit and on the shelf for the opener.

Sculpting - ****
McFarlane has won the People's Choice for Best Sculpting here at MROTW for three years running.  They must be doing something right.

This line is no exception to that rule.  Both of these figures have lots of detail, with excellent sculpts that are true to the source.  These sculpts aren't quite the same as something like the Viking Age Spawn, where even more detail is appropriate.  But the style and design of these sculpts is perfect for a comic based license.

Ripclaw is much more pre-posed in nature than Spawn, but his stance and facial expression emote motion and action without looking constipated.

Paint - ****
It may be necessary to wear a mask to avoid being overcome by the fumes, but that's fairly standard for McFarlane paint ops.  Also pretty standard these days - though it hasn't always been true - are excellent ops and application.

The colors are bright and consistent, and the use of wash to highlight muscle and define detail is done cleanly and in just the right amount.  I was particularly impressed with the face on Ripclaw, but all the ops were well above average.

Articulation - Ripclaw ***, Spawn ****
Ripclaw has fairly standard articulation for a figure in this scale (6"-7").  With neck, shoulders, waist, hips, wrists and cut biceps, he has the ability to do quite a few upper body poses.  He's a bit limited below the waist (something no man wants someone to say), but the sculpted pose works fine.

Spawn is a work of articulation beauty.  This IS the ultimate Spawn figure, and blows the rest out of the water.  Okay, maybe not every previous Spawn figure actually flew out of the water and into the air, but this version is easily my favorite.

He's articulated at the neck (with a special joint to allow for some great 'hunched' poses), shoulders (with special joints to allow his arms to complete cross his chest), cut biceps elbows, cut forearms, wrists, chest (with TWO joints, again to allow for poor posture), waist, ball jointed hips, double jointed knees, cut thighs, cut calves (just above the ankles), ankles and even mid-foot.  The only joint I had much of an issue with was the ball jointed hips - the range of motion is more limited than you'd expect.  But overall this is truly an impressive figure in any scale.

Accessories - Ripclaw ***, Spawn ****
Both figures come with an included display base.  For Ripclaw, this is the only accessory.

His base looks good, with nice detail sculpting and good paint ops, but it's really just a patch of forest ground.  There are pegs for his feet, although he stands fine on his own as well.

Spawn technically has only one accessory, his ornate display stand.  But since his cape is removable, I'm counting that, and since the chains are just so damn cool, I'm counting them as well.

The cape is made from soft rubber, and fits over his shoulders nicely.  There's actually a post on the cape that fits in his back, but I didn't use it much.  It hangs the cape lower on the body than I liked in most poses.  It's not necessary to use the post though, since the cape sits on the shoulders and stays draped over the body without it.

There's a ton of detail in the cape sculpt, and the pieces cover the more obvious articulation points perfectly.  One caveat - it's awfully heavy.  That means that standing without the base, while possible, is unlikely to work for long.  The cape's weight will tend to cause the legs to buckle.

The chain is great - real metal, and extremely long.  You'll be able to drape it over his body, through his hands, and around the base with ease.

The real work of art here is the base.  Designed to look like a church steeple, the bottom has a detailed gargoyle along with two pegs for Spawn's feet.  The ornate cross also has two pegs above - one on the left arm, and one on the front center - to attach his feet for more display possibilities.

While the sculpting on the base is great, the paint work really makes it stand out.  It captures the look and texture of stone perfectly, and you can easily imagine Spawn surveying the city below from this perch.

As great as the stand looks though, there appears to be one major issue.  I've only had him perched up there for about 24 hours, and already the shaft of the cross is beginning to wilt.  I don't think it will be possible to keep him up on the top of the cross long term, although that's clearly the best looking option. 

Value - Ripclaw ***, Spawn ***1/2
I paid $13 each for these, and while that's not a terrible price, it's just a tad right of perfect.  Obviously Spawn is the better value, with much greater articulation and accessories.

Still, when you consider that Stan Winston is charging $2 more for figures with less articulation but in the same approximate scale, you have to give McFarlane credit.  Selling these only through comic shops is what has driven the price up from $10 to $13 or so, since there numbers are far more limited than if they were going through the large retailers.

Overall - Ripclaw ***1/2, Spawn ****
If your a fan of Image, these really are must buys.  I was never a huge fan of Ripclaw - something I'm betting most of you are saying as well - but this figure really does look terrific.  While I enjoyed playing with Spawn, I felt Ripclaw was just more photogenic.

And you certainly can't pass up a Spawn figure this well done and this highly articulated.  This figure puts most of the rest to shame, and proves just how good McToys can be when they really set their mind to it.  I'm sure that the fact that Spawn is Todd's baby played no small part in the fact that of the four figures, he's clearly the stand out.  But you should give the others a serious look as well, particularly if you were a fan of the books.

Where to Buy:
I got mine on-line from:

- Aislesniper, where they have them in stock and ready to ship for $13 each.

Scroll down for a photo of the Spawn base!

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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