Medicom Blade


"The 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 guest author."

Rob jumps in with a terrific review of the Medicom version of Blade - tell us all about him, Rob!

Thanks, Mike.

As some of you may know, the first Blade movie was the one that started it all when it came to Marvel Comics based movies. Without it, we wouldn’t have had hits such as X-men and Spider-Man. Blade’s earliest debut outside of the comics,was guest starring in a few episodes of the 90’s hit Spider-Man: The Animated Series. But I must say, actor Wesley Snipes went above and beyond the call of duty in re-inventing the obscure vampire-hunting character from the 70’s Tomb of Dracula comics, into the modern, cult classic we see today. The first movie was so popular that it even spawned a short-time comic starring the re-invented Blade as well as a sequel directed by Guillermo Del Toro, though the third film suffered from poor casting as well as equally poor directing by the long time writer and producer of the films, David S. Goyer . Currently, Blade stars in his own all new comic series that debuted in September of last year. 

Now about the figure;

Last year around April, Medicom released this baby, retailing at exactly $350 dollars, limited at just 1000 worldwide and only available in Japan. Luckily, some of our Japanese friends took it upon themselves to share this rare and beautiful piece with us by bringing it into their online retail stores for a price of $350 to $250 each.
Now on with the review!

Packaging - ****
Protection wise, the packaging is unlike any of the other standard Marvel comic-based packaging that Medicom has produced for their RAH line. This one instead uses a plastic sheet to protect all sides of the outside of the box from scratching while under it the front, back and side are made from what appears to hardcover material that they use on books, making it more protective that the standard Marvel RAH packaging. The inside opens up like a book, with one side housing the included DVDs, which, sadly, can’t be used with most standard US DVD players, due to Region Encoding, and the Japanese comic book. The other side houses the figure, which is obscured by a bag with a big photo of the current day Blade from the comics. The inside is basically the same as any other standard RAH packaging, with the plastic insert specifically molded to protect the figure as well as no need for twisty ties.

Art wise, the box is just as good as the protection, featuring two big photos of Blade covering both the back and the front, with an insert that advertises the Box set and included figure.

Sculpting - ****
In this category, Medicom hit it out of the park.

The sculpt, however simplistic, is AMAZING! It looks like they’ve actually take Blade from the comics after the first movie and turned him into a figure! The sculpt looks EXACTLY like Wesley Snipes in comic form, with an equally imposing ‘Don’t mess with me’ expression that doesn’t look too overdone. The hair as well matches the look it had in all three movies and has the right texturing to make it look realistic enough. 

Unlike most Medicoms however, Blade doesn’t come with infamous ‘neck line’ that Medicom is notorious for putting on their head sculpts, which makes the sculpt look even better all the more!

Paint - ***
However, where it succeeds in sculpting, it somewhat fails in the paint application.

Deciding to take a cheap way out, Medicom decided to just paint the eyes red. No pupils or anything, just RED. With that, comes the reason of why bother taking off the sunglasses? I’m sorry, but Medicom really dropped the ball here. For over $200 dollars, I expect everything on it to be perfect.

The paint on the sword is VERY, and I mean VERY, delicate. I accidentally scratched mine, but was able to fix it with some paint and clear coat. So my advice in this area is be careful with the sword and maybe apply a few coats of clear gloss on it that way you don’t have to worry about it being scratched too easily. 

Other than that, the paint is pretty much perfect everywhere. The ‘mustache’ looks like it did in the movies and the hands are painted perfectly and the stake succeeds in looking somewhat like it is made out Teakwood.

Articulation - ***1/2
Blade’s body is the basic Medicom RAH 301 ‘Superhero’ body , the same one Medicom used on Superman and their Comic Spider-mans, with all the working joints you could possibly hope for, however, that does not cancel out it’s problems. The problem is mainly with the ankle articulation. The boots Blade has are even harder than the ones Medicom used on their Comic Wolverine, which means, you guessed it, no ankle articulation. However, Medicom somewhat redeems this by giving Blade’s hands ball joint-like articulation, which makes them much more articulated than the standard hand joints Medicom puts on their figures.

On a personal note, I also have to agree with what many have said about the Medicom body, the poses you can get seem a lot more natural than the Art S Buck body Sideshow uses with their figures.

Blade measures exactly 12” in height, so for all you more height sensitive people, yes, he’ll fit right along your Sideshow figures just as good.

Outfit - ***1/2
Blade’s outfit is pretty basic; black overcoat with scabbard attached, black shirt, charcoal gray pants with belt attached and boots. However, the coat is not only has a wire running through it, making it articulated as well as weighed down, making it sit just right, but it is actually made out of REAL leather! The scabbard is attached on the back of the coat with it glued through a hole to a plastic piece inside the coat, effectively holding it in place. 

The pants are made of some kind of vinyl material, it stretches pretty good everywhere else except the crotch area. The pants also has a velcro fly, but to be honest it really doesn’t effect anything on the figure itself. The shirt is tight fitting and made out of something that feels like spandex, though my guess is that it’s probably just cotton. The boots are sculpted nicely, succeeding in looking exactly combat boots, and, as I mentioned in Articulation, are made out of some plastic harder than Comic Wolverine’s boots.

It doesn’t seem like much, but trust, you probably don’t really need or want anything else except maybe a battle vest, though even I don’t think it would look too good anyway.

Accessories - ***
Blade comes with his removable sunglasses, his sword, Teakwood stake, 2 open hands, 2 fist hands, a gesturing left hand, his sword/stake holding right hand and the standard clear Medicom stand.

The open hand is sculpted so that the fingers are basically molded onto it, so as to hold the sword and stake tight, in which it succeeds perfectly. However, this only increases the paint problem with the sword that mentioned back up in Paint. The hand so tight that it basically rips off some paint on the sword every time you put it in. I’d advise you to somehow make the sword hand’s grip a little more loose so as to maybe stop it from chipping off paint every time you put the sword in it’s hand.

The fist hands are sculpted nicely. They show the material on the gloves bunching up where it should and making it look convincing enough.

The open hands are pretty much the same. They’re put in a tense-like position that can be used for such as making him look like he’s gesturing for someone to stop or like he’s landing on it.

The gesturing left hand is probably the most convincing of them all. Unlike some gesturing hands that, in my honest opinion, just don’t natural and more like forced, this hand is pretty much the best gesturing hand I've seen and looks pretty convincing all the while.

The Teakwood stake is sculpted nicely, succeeding in looking like and actually special cut stake. It uses flexible yet durable rubber, so you won’t have to worry about it breaking easily.

The sword is the most simple sculpt of them all. It succeeds in looking more accurately like the one he uses in the comics than the one he uses in the movies. But to be honest, I think Blade’s sword in both the comics and movies is double-edged, while this one is single-edged.

The sculpt of sunglasses is simple and takes on the look of the first movie’s sunglasses more than the sunglasses in the second and third movies. The also have to small pieces sticking from the ends so as to connect into the two small holes on the side of the head, making them and removable while at the same time keeping them on the head.

Sure, he certainly comes with everything he needs, but I expect more for a $200 figure. Perhaps a left hand that can hold the stake or sword, 2 more stakes and a leg holster for them. If he came with all that, he would have most certainly gotten 4 stars in this category, though it does not mean I am disappointed in the figure when it comes to accessories, I just expect to get my money’s worth is all.

Fun Factor - ***1/2
This figure is a real joy to play with. Sturdy yet articulated as well as flexible. I wouldn’t recommend this figure for anyone below 14 years, but as long as you’re careful with it like I am, you can bet that you’ll have a lot of fun with this figure! Just be sure to be extra careful with the sword. 

Value - **1/2
This figure is VERY expensive. I’d have to say that if it was available for the standard Medicom price, it would’ve grabbed 4 stars easy. I like Blade, honestly, but even I have a stopping point, and obviously this figure is a lot more than it’s worth, especially with all the errors it had with paint and the lack of more accessories, but to be honest, it’s really up to the buyer, in this case. I don’t feel cheated in any way.

Overall - ***3/4
I have to say that this figure is probably the best Blade figure available. He doesn’t really have much competition at this point and I doubt other companies are going to be attempting making their own ‘Ultimate Blade’ figure unless there’s a big enough cry for one, which will probably never happen in the future now that the movies have came and went. If you have the money, I’d say go for it.

Packaging - ****
Sculpt - ****
Paint - ***
Articulation - ***1/2
Outfit - ***1/2
Accessories - ***
Fun Factor - ***1/2
Value - **1/2
Overall - ***3/4

Where to Buy -
I got mine from an international ebay retailer who still had it in-stock, so your best bet would be to look around there. You could look around Yahoo!Japan’s auction area, as I've heard they sometimes have a few available there.

Figure from the collection of Rob.

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