Packaging - ***
The graphics are attractive on both the cardbacks and the box. On
the back are pictures of the rest of the line, plus some basic background
information. It's a pretty standard story, but at least there is
some sort of background. Too often we get unique figures with no
information at all.
Unfortunately, McToys continues to amaze me with the number of twisty
ties used. Jyaaku has at least a dozen!
Sculpting - ****
The strongest suit for McFarlane Toys has always been sculpting, and this
series is certainly a perfect example. The level of detail on the
heads, bodies and costumes is simply amazing.
Of these two figures, Samurai Spawn is particularly eye catching.
The details on his uniform are exquisite, and that's a hell of a word to
use when describing something so pedestrian as an action figure. But
this level of detail is as close to art as you can come in an eight dollar
Jyaaku is also excellent, and the small details on the elbow, knee and
shoulder pads are amazing. Every millimeter of these figures is
minutely detailed, and while I am rarely amazed, McToys has managed to do
it this time.
The fur on Samurai Spawn is great. I pokes out just where it
should, and looks terrific. The braided beard is well done, and the
addition of a different type of material works with this piece.
One negative - I could really do without the red hair on the dragon
heads. Perhaps Jyaaku just reminds me way too much of Danny
Articulation - ***1/2
McFarlane Toys is so psychitzo when it comes to articulation. One
line can be nothing more than little statues, then another can be
terrifically articulated. Fortunately, this series of Spawn is the
If I had only picked up the Samurai Spawn, you'd see four stars
here. He's got joints up the wazoo, and they are useful, well
designed joints. He has an excellent ball jointed neck, ball jointed
shoulders (with moving shoulder pads to allow for full range of motion),
elbows, cut joint wrists, jointed waist and chest, ball jointed hips, and
The ball joints used at the shoulders and hips are very unique as well,
acting as both a ball joint and a cut joint. This allows full motion
through all axis. The left knee has a similar design, allowing the
left lower leg to rotate. If you look at these joints, you can see
that they look a little odd, but since this figure is covered with a
costume, they work perfectly.
Jyaaku is also highly articulated, but unfortunately he is why they
lose a half star. His necks are bendies, but the armor is designed
to separate and return to position as you bend his head around. This
is a terrific design, and allows for more movement than you might expect
just by looking at him. Each neck also has a cut joint at the base,
and a joint at the very top near the head.
The arms have ball jointed shoulders, elbows and cut joint
wrists. Each leg also has a ball jointed hip, knee, ankle, and what
must pass as a calf joint on a dragon. The cut joint on the tail
(which is also a bendy) and the check joint round out the amazing level of
So why the loss of a half star? Simply because the joints on
Jyaaku are hurt by the sculpt somewhat. I had a very tough time
finding any good poses for him, and he has a tough time standing, even in
the three legged pose pictured on the box.
Accessories - ***1/2
Jyaaku needed something - that's why they lose a little in this
category. The sword that comes with the Samurai Spawn is excellent,
and fits in his hand perfectly.
Some folks are unhappy that there will be additional accessories
offered for these figures through the Collectors Club as a separate
pack. I'm not one of them. I think it's a great idea, and if
done correctly will allow for some cool accessories that you might have
had to buy some unwanted character to get. This way you can get them
all, and since each character (other than the J-Man) comes with at least
one decent accessory, it's not such a bad deal.
However, I did notice that the costume pieces for the back of Samurai
Spawn, pictured on the card, are part of this pack. I'm assuming
that accessory is only useful with that character, and packing those type
of specific items in some generic pack is a mistake. Stick with
other swords, knives, shields and other general items that any character
Quality - ***1/2
Yes, a piece of Samurai Spawn's armor did fall off once I got him off the
card. But it wasn't too bad, and Jyaaku seemed to hold up to my
twisting him around extremely well. Quality has always been an issue
for McToys, but it looks like they have it licked for this line, at least.