Big Blast Grendel, Hellboy and The Spirit
Posted 03/19/01
Overall score - **
*1/2 out of ****

(originally published at Comic Book Galaxy)

Big Blast and Graphitti Designs have produced some excellent action figures.  It's been awhile, but they've just added to their impressive collection with three new figures - Hellboy, The Spirit and the Christine Spar version of Grendel.

These are available at comic shops, both online and bricks and mortar.  These were from Stadium Comics here in Ann Arbor, and were $15 a pop.  In the 8" scale, these are larger than the DC Direct figures.

Packaging - ***
Colorful, with great text and graphics, this bubble packaging isn't bad.  Of course, they still haven't came up with a good way to give us bubble packaging that can be opened without destroying it, but that's a minor complaint in this case.

Sculpt - ****
Big Blast has done a nice job capturing all three of these characters.  The sculpting on the Spirit and the alternate head for Grendel are particularly nice, but overall the series is certainly above average.

Articulation - ***1/2
Hey, look at there - figures with real articulation and great sculpting!  Gee, I wonder how they do it since both MAC and Mcfarlane still say it's impossible?  Neck, shoulders, knees, hips, elbows...and the figure can actually use the articulation, unlike many of the 'highly articulated' figures we're seeing from other companies.  Nice work!

Paint - ***1/2
Great paint ops is the secret to a great sculpt.  You can do the most wonderful sculpting in the world, but bad paint work will hide all that talent.  Here we have nicely done paint, with little overspray or bad color choices.

Accessories - ****
And Big Blast not only shows us that articulation and great sculpting is possible, they also show us that given figures great accessories isn't out of the question.  All three figures come with a number of items, including extra heads for The Spirit and Grendel, an extra hand for Grendel, the cloth coat for Hellboy, a cloth tie on The Spirit, and other cool pieces.

Value - ***
Fifteen bucks is more than I like to spend on your basic figure.  But at the 8" scale, with some great accessories and good articulation, these aren't bad.  Sure I'd prefer if they were $10, but I realize that selling in these lower volumes drives the price up.

Overall - ***1/2
I think that Big Blast is doing some great things with their figures, and I wish that other companies could see that asking for sculpting, accessories AND articulation are not exclusive requests.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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