Spawn Mutations
Malebolgia and Spawn

While most Mcfarlane toy collectors have been all a-flutter with the recent Matrix releases, the latest series of the Spawn line slipped in.  Called 'Mutations', it is an Elseworld version of Spawn, a what if conception of the universe.

There are five figures in the set, including Malebolgia and Spawn, reviewed here, and Kin, Al Simmons and Warrior Lilith, which I've reviewed over at Movie Poop Shoot this week.

Each of the figures is a warped version of a current character, in a world in which Spawn doesn't rise up and destroy Malebolgia, but somehow he survives.

Malebolgia manages to devour the powers of his evil minions, the Phlebiac Brothers.  Taking on the attributes of Vandalizer, Vaporizer, Vindicator and others, we get this uber-Mal.

For Spawn, his inability to defeat Mal means he must delve deeper into his own dark self, becoming more like Malebolgia.  That's probably why it's tough to tell these two apart at first, but Mal has the six eyes, and Spawn has the chains.

Retail on these should be anywhere from $10 - $13 each, depending on the retailer.  They should start hitting stores in the next week.

Packaging - ****
Okay, McToys has finally done it - given me a clamshell with enough text about each character to earn that extra half star.  Here we actually get a paragraph explaining each of the mutations figures, and the graphices are top notch as usual.

Sculpting - Spawn ***1/2; Mal ****
I can't complain about the sculpts on either of these figures.  McFarlane no longer seems capable of doing bad work.  Okay, that's not completely true - neither the Neo or Trinity head sculpts were very good.  But when it comes to big, ugly, nasty looking beasties, McToys knows no boundaries.

Mal gets a better score here though, because his pre-posed sculpt works a little better with the limited articulation than the Spawn figure does.  It seems like they put a little more effort into considering how the articulation would work with the particular sculpt.  And although he's really just a conglomeration of other figures, his sculpt seems more unique and interesting than Spawn, who seems a little too much like past work.

The other nifty feature is the real metal chains for Spawn.  These are high quality metal, and aren't going to break easily.  They look great, and really add to the character.

Paint - ***1/2
The paint application on both figures is above average, certainly, but the large amount of drab colors make for less visually appealing characters.

The detail work on the eyes, teeth, and bony horns and nails is well done, with the usual quality and consistency.

Articulation - ***
Mal has a decent amount of articulation, at least from the waist up.  He has ball jointed horns, ball jointed shoulders (with good range of motion), left elbow, wrists, hips and waist (limited movement).  You'll notice the lack of neck, due to the sculpt, and nothing in the legs.  You will be able to get him to stand fine on his own though in several poses, and the arm articulation really adds to the overall appearance.

Spawn's articulation is a little more restrictive.  He has ball jointed shoulders, but with much less range of motion, elbows, wrists, waist, neck and hips.  He actually has a couple more points than Mal, but seems a tad more restricted.  While the articulation on both is okay, neither is a stand out.

Accessories - Bupkis
While the other three figures in this set came with a variety of items including some very cool bases, these two larger figures had zippo.  Perhaps it's because of the larger size that they couldn't hit the same price point with any additional items, but it still hurts the overall figure.

While the back of the package shows graphic images similar to the background images that came with the other three figures, I was surprised to not even find these included.

The one horn of Mal's does come packaged separately, but that's simply because it was the only way they could have gotten the figure to fit in the bubble.  

Value - **1/2
I'll assume you paid $10 each for these, and that's not terrible, but no great shakes.  With no accessories, and no cool bases like the rest of the Mutations series, they aren't quite as good of a value.  Sure, they are a little bigger and heftier in the plastic department, but you definitely don't want to spend $12 or $13 each on these.

Overall - ***1/2
While the sculpting is top notch, the lack of any sort of accessories and the less than ideal articulation knock them down slightly.  Still, out of the set of five I'd rank these two as numbers 2 (Mal) and 3 (Spawn).

Where to Buy - 
I haven't found these at retail yet, but they should be hitting any day.  I'd assume Electronics Boutique, Kaybee Toys, Gamestop and Media Plays will be getting them in.  On-line:

- Aisle Sniper has the of 12 for $100 plus shipping.  That will keep you under $10 a figure, but you'll have to find a partner to share.

- Beans Toys has a great price for the set at $45.  Look under their McFarlane Toys section.

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Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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