Hellboy 2 The Golden Army
Wink, Abe and Nuada


"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."

Big Guido is back tonight to wrap up his look at the Hellboy 2 movie figures - take it away, BG...

BigGuido here with Part 2 of my 2-part review of series one of Mezco's Hellboy II: The Golden Army 7" scale line of action figures. This time around I'll be reviewing HB's erstwhile sidekick, Abe Sapien, and the two heavies for this film outing, the evil Elf-Lord, Prince Nuada and his major-domo, Wink the Troll.

Packaging: **1/2
Same packaging, same score as last time. I am very glad we got the clamshell packaging (especially with such a massive character like Wink) even if the graphics are somewhat uninspired.
2 ½ stars.

(MWC Note - for a package photo, check part one of the review).

Sculpt: Abe: *** Prince Nuada: *** 1/2 Wink: ****
Abe suffers from the same issue that Hellboy did in the previous review, he is basically a slightly retooled version of the previously released Abe movie figure – not that that is an altogether bad thing mind you. My original review of the Abe movie figure (posted on another website) gave him top marks all around – especially in the sculpt category. It sucks that the weaknesses of the first figure weren't addressed more fully this time around. As such, he looses a star. It would have helped if Mez had included a goggle-less version of Abe's noggin as well as an interchangeable left hand that was capable of holding the scanner accessory. 3 Stars.

Prince Nuada appears to be dead-on model here. I really like this sculpt a lot even if he looks like an escapee from the Dead Marshes sequence in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. I am looking forward to terrorizing my Frodo action figures with him once I dig them out of storage. It looks like the Hellboy II's Elven cultural designs owe a lot to Peter Jackson and the folks at Weta workshop – not to mention the incredible talents of Alan Lee and John Howe. Perhaps this was a tip of the hat by Del Toro to Jackson and company, greasing the rails for Del Toro's pending trip to Middle-Earth. Who knows, but what I see, I like. The only thing I can really find fault with is the sculpt detail on his accessories, which seem a bit sparse given the detail of the figure proper. 3 ½ Stars.

Wink the Troll receives the coveted 4 star treatment in the sculpt category - but not so much for what we do get, but for what we will get. Enclosed with the figure is a mail-in certificate that entitles you to receive a movie-accurate alternate head for Ol' Wink direct from Mez and company. Apparently, as is the case in the development of many toy lines, the final screen version of Wink was modified extensively from the preproduction version that Mez modeled their figure after. By the time the error was caught, it was too late to fix it in order to make the ship date for the first series of action figures. So instead of pulling the Wink figure – which is probably going to be the most sought after of the bunch – as was the Sammael figure from series one of the original movie figures, Mez opted to go this route. Major kudos to Mez for this boffo idea! The sculpt of Wink that we do get in the package is terrific none the less and probably would have warranted 4 stars by his lonesome, but this added effort to give us a truly great and movie-accurate figure sculpt is above and beyond the call of duty! Any other company would have done a running change and said, "Meh! Let the little squirts buy two figures. That'll keep the share holders happy!" But Mez once again sets himself apart from the pack and shows that he truly appreciates our patronage. 4 Stars.

Paint: **
Paint apps continue to be a major issue for these three figures as well. Abe's paint is nowhere near as nice as the paint we saw on the original movie figure. Abe is actually painted in flat colors this time around and doesn't look fishy at all. Gone are the multileveled airbrush applications and glossy wet look of the original. It's quite sad actually.

Prince Nuada has a rather boring color palette and there is a lot of slop all over the figure. The dark brown wash is applied in a rather haphazard and heavy-handed fashion. The detail work is sloppy at best and does nothing to bring out the nuances of the extremely detailed sculpt. Nuada will definitely be receiving a trip to Guido's "Pimp My Ride" inspired body and paint shop.

Alas, the same is the case for our 4 Star sculpt winner Wink the Troll. The paint is just all over the place and I can't help but think that the folks in the paint department at Ol' Chang's factory in Guangdong Province were either really rushed or were replaced with myopic, caffeine-addicted spider monkeys with end-stage Parkinson's. 2 Stars across the board.

Articulation - Abe: *** Prince Nuada and Wink: **1/2
Here's the articulation break out:

Abe: 26 points by my count and they are as follows:
Neck: Ball joints = 2
(One at the base of the head and one where the neck joins
to the chest)
Shoulders: ML style ball joint = 4
Biceps: Swivel = 2
Elbows: Single pin = 2
Forearms: Cut swivel = 2
Wrists: Pin = 2
Chest: Ball joint = 1
Waist: Cut swivel = 1
Hips: Marvel Legends Showdown ball-in-socket type = 4
Knees: single pin = 2
Ankles: single pin with side to side foot pivot = 4

Prince Nuada: 18 points by my count and they are as follows:
Neck: ball joint = 1
Shoulders: ML style ball joint = 4
Biceps: Swivel = 2
Elbows: Single pin = 2
Wrists: Cut swivels = 2
Waist: Cut swivel = 1
Hips: Ball-in-socket type = 2
Knees: Single pin = 2
Ankles: Single pin with side to side swivel = 4

Wink: 19 points by my count and they are as follows:
Neck: Ball joint = 1
Shoulders: Pin and swivel ball joint = 4
Elbows: Single pin = 2
Wrists: Ball-in-socket type = 2
Chest: Ball joint = 1
Waist: Cut swivel = 1
Hips: Marvel Legends Showdown ball-in-socket type = 4
Knees: Single pin = 2
Ankles: Single pin = 2

As I explained in part 1 of this 2 part review, we are seeing what I refer to as Action Figure Devolution (AFD) taking place in the industry, i.e. the systematic reduction of articulation points in direct contrast to an ever-increasing price point. Both Prince Nuada and Wink suffer from a minor case of AFD. Wink is missing the all-important bicep swivels, while Nuada is missing thigh swivels and upper chest articulation. As a customizer, adding thigh swivels to a figure like Nuada is pretty much a no-brainer as I have been doing it for a number of years. The fact that he too suffers from the Easy Dismemberment action feature makes it an even easier task to complete. However, adding those bicep swivels to Wink is going to be a major pain in the butt without just going out and buying a second Wink and cannibalizing his arms. Oh it can be done without buying a second Wink; it's just going to really suck in the process of getting there and the chances of screwing up are much higher. I really hate trying to mod a short-packed figure like Wink because if you do screw him up, getting another one will probably cost you through the nose.

EDITOR NOTE: Wink isn't actually shortpacked, just popular.

One pleasant surprise so far as Wink is concerned, was seeing that thigh swivels were added to him in the 11th hour of tooling up for production. The only problem with this additional articulation is that it doesn't add all that much to his posability. This is primarily due to the joints' limited range of motion and the lack of lower leg swivels and an ankle side-to-side pivot joint to accommodate the positioning of those gunboat feet of his. Oh, well…at least they tried. If given the choice, I would have opted for the bicep swivels over the thigh joints.

EDITOR NOTE: I believe the thigh swivels were shown back at Toy Fair as well.

Good Ol' Abe retains all of his articulation from the previously released movie figure and the new hip joints offer more range of motion. Just like Hellboy though, that increased range of motion results in Abe acquiring the Easy Dismemberment action feature. Luckily, the legs snap back on with ease. It's just irritating that it happens so often. One thing of note is that Abe comes with an alternate right hand and forearm that retains the wrist articulation of the standard arm; a definite mark in the plus column for Mez here.

All told, due to AFD and the Easy Dismemberment action feature, everybody once again takes a hit in the articulation department. Wink and Nuada lose 1 1/2 Stars whilst Abe loses 1 Star.

Accessories: Abe: ** Prince Nuada and Wink: ****
These 3 figures come with a nice number of accessories and probably account for why the Liz Sherman figure ended up being so light on them.

Abe comes with his 2 part out-of-water breathing apparatus (rubber collar and wrap-around water tank) a funky portable scanner device and an alternate forearm and hand. These are all pretty cool, but once again Mez crossed a line that shouldn't have been crossed. Like Liz Sherman before him, Abe comes with a molded gun hand!!! GAAAAAHHHHH AGAIN!!!! I really, really hate it when toy companies do this! As I stated previously, I want my weapons to be stand-alone accessories – NOT MOLDED as part of the figure's paddle fin! The molded gun hand is completely unacceptable – especially when the existing right hand (just like Liz's) appears to be molded to accommodate holding a pistol. GAAAAAHHHHH YET ANOTHER TIME!!!

Well, at least he retained the wrist articulation point on the gun hand, and I have to admit the other accessories are quite nice albeit the breathing apparatus is a simple reissue. The scanner is okay, but doesn't really add all that much to the figure. It makes Abe look like he's going on a service call for the Geek Squad. And it only fits in the standard interchangeable right hand as the left hand is fixed in an open pose, unable to hold anything. 2 Stars

Prince Nuada comes with three accessories : A leaf bladed spear, and dagger (although it looks more like a short spear or axe-like weapon to me) and a sword that looks like Nuada brought over with him from Weta Workshop. All three weapons a re quite nice, if a bit plain and can be easily held by Nuada and are probably why they added the bicep swivels to his figure in the 11th hour. Without the bicep articulation, his ability to be posed with any of the weapons in a convincing fashion would have been extremely limited. 4 Stars!

Wink also receives the coveted 4 Star award for accessories he comes with an Iron Box, the contents of which we will probably find out about when we see the movie. My guess is that it contains a few changes of under wear, a bottle of Old Spice and Nuada's entire collection of old Playboys.

The really cool accessory that comes with Wink is his interchangeable mace fist. It swaps out quite easily (Perhaps a little too easily – the ball joint is really loose in the wrist socket and pops out with the slightest pressure – another component of the Easy Dismemberment action feature?) with Wink's big metal paw and looks great! 4 Stars!

Fun factor- ***
These figures, like the three previously reviewed ones, are a lot of fun and lack some of the more fragile issues of Johann and Hellboy. Collectors and Kids alike will have considerable fun with these toys. This is especially true of Wink – what kid doesn't want to add yet another big honkin' monster to his collection? 3 Stars.

Value: ***
At $15.00 a pop U.S. these are pretty much an average value for a specialty market figure. This is especially true of Wink who is the real value of the bunch!

Things to Watch Out For -
I'll say it again, check the paint on these. The quality just isn't up to Mez's usual standards.

Overall: ***
I ended the first part of this review on kind of a sour note so I am going to try and be a bit more optimistic in closing out this one. Things may look bad at times and the media is constantly telling us that everything sucks. Well, the fact of the matter is that everything doesn't suck. These action figures are an example of just that fact. These are really good figures that bring a lot of pleasure to those who collect them and put money in the pockets of the artisans that create them. Commerce is taking place despite all of the impediments that bureaucrats, power mongers, ideologs and plain out and out evil people are trying to foist upon us. Enjoy your hobby and don't feel guilty about it. At the same time, donate some of your time and monies to worthwhile causes that help people better themselves and their situations. Things don't get better by themselves. It's only when good people using common sense and wisdom take positive action and stand-up for what is noble and right that things change for the betterment of all mankind.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ** 1/2
Sculpt - Abe: *** Prince Nuada: *** 1/2 Wink: ****
Paint – Abe, Prince Nuada and Wink: **
Articulation - Abe: *** Prince Nuada and Wink: **1/2
Accessories - Abe: ** Prince Nuada and Wink: ****
Fun Factor - ***
Value - ***
Overall - ***

Where to Buy -
Lots of Sponsor options:

- CornerStoreComics has the set of six for $83, or the singles for $16 each.

- Things From Another World doesn't have all six in stock right now, but they have a great price on the singles they do have at just $13.50 each.

- Alter Ego Comics has the set of six for $92.

- Urban Collector has a case for $174.

- YouBuyNow has the singles at $17 each, or the set for $93 for the set of 6.

- for the UK collectors, you can find them at Forbidden Planet for 12 pounds a piece

- for Australians, you can search (an ebay family site).

- or search ebay using


Figure from the collection of BigGuido.

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