Junkyard Jack

Last year, 21st Century toys caused quite a stir when they produced their first figure in the Villains series.  The figure, called 'the terrorist', sparked debate because of it's close resemblance to the shooters at Columbine.  Of course, there was no real relationship - it was merely a case of the Columbine killers of not only being brutal and stupid, but unimaginative dressers as well.

This year, they are producing four more figures in the Villains line.  It's likely that these will be less controversial, but they are no less stereotypical.  The first to be released is Junkyard Jack.  He's just now hitting Toys R Us stores, and like all 21st Century figures currently is $29.99.

Packaging - **
Similar to other 21st Century boxes, but deeper this time to handle the two Dobermans that accompany Jack.  The graphics are all right, but nothing superb, and the inside flap lacks any descriptive or background text.  Who is Junkyard Jack?  Hell if I know.

Sculpting - **1/2
A step up from recent figures from 21st Century, and certainly better in both sculpting and paint than figures like the German Machine Gunner.  The scars are deep and clear, and the soul patch is a nice touch.  He's also sporting a small pony tail in back.  Actually, if he didn't have the serious scarring, you might mistake him for a beatnik artist.

Also of note is the sculpting on the hands - the detail in the veins is nicely done.

Uniform - **
Leather is a real tough look to pull off, particularly leather pants.  Just ask anyone in L.A. these days.  Jack doesn't pull it off particularly well, and the belt is extremely cheap on top of it.  The quality of the jacket is nice, with good seams and heavy gauge pleather used, but it's too big for him.  It might look better on the bulkier Max Steele figure.

The shirt has the Punisher's skull on it - I don't know any better way to describe it.  It's a sleeveless shirt of course, and the skull is transfer, and not painted on.  You should be careful when opening the jacket for the first time, as it may be stuck to the transfer and pull some of it off.

The boots are very nice, and easily the best single part of his overall outfit.

Articulation - ***
As usual, 21st Century articulation is above average.  What I find odd here though is that this isn't completely one of the newer Super Soldier bodies.  He has the double joints at the knees, but his elbows are the older style, single joint.  What gives?  Oh, and the pooches have no joints.

Accessories - ***1/2
An area that some of the recent 21st Century figures have been sorely light on are accessories.  Fortunately, that's not the case here.  Jack has his two companions with him, very mean looking Dobermans.  They come with nice collars that work very well, and a terrific double leash with metal clips.

Also included is a assault shotgun, and three rather bizarre accessories.  A watch, perhaps so that Jack knows what time Oprah is on, a cell phone, since all hip criminals are wireless, and a chain with padlock.  Now, the weird thing about the chain and padlock is not their inclusion - every junk yard is locked up - but that they are so far out of scale.  It's a real metal chain, but it looks more like an ankle bracelet for Jack than security for the junk yard.

Value - **1/2
The value is certainly higher here than for some figures, like the Police or Fire Helicopter Pilots.  But I still would have liked a better uniform for $30, since it appears most of the money is going for the two dogs.

Overall - **1/2
This figure is an improvement over many of the other recent figures from 21st Century.  Thirty bucks is pushing it slightly, but the dogs are sharp, the leash surprisingly well done, and the sculpting on the face above average.  I still think you should wait for clearance if you can though - I bet we see this at on sale.  Personally, I'm looking forward to Matilda, and hoping she is far superior to Jack.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford

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