Kreigaffe #10
Comic Hellboy Series 1

BigGuido is back tonight with another Hellboy review - this time it's the big ape!  What's the 411, Guido?

Monkeys are just darn fun, especially really big monkeys with an attitude. Just ask Peter Jackson if you doubt Guido on this. I believe it's quite interesting that an action figure of Hellboy's Kriegaffe (German for "war ape") #10 has hit the pegs concurrent with Playmates' rollout of their REALLY disappointing line of King Kong action figures. I found myself partaking in much head shaking when I saw Kong and company on the peg at my local Target Über (more German) Center. I had high hopes for some really good Kong figures to go along with what appears to be another classic motion picture from the folks at Wingnut Films Ltd., but instead all we got was a pile of plastic primate poop! How's that for a quick review of Playmates' Kong toy line? Anyhoo, let's get back on track and see if our beloved war ape rises above the excrement, shall we?

Packaging - ****
Clamshell packaging is great when you're marketing an action figure that is this honkin' huge! If Ol' Kriegaffe had been blister carded, I think he would have popped off the cardboard backer and run amok in the aisles of my local Suncoast! Thankfully Mez, in his wisdom, decided to encase "Herr Affe" in a nice, sturdy clamshell. I'm certain this move will bring accolades from MOCers. The insert card once again is graced with the stunning artwork of Mike Mignola, which is always a feast for the eyes. There's nothing I like better than a monkey drawing done up by Mr. Mike!

Sculpting - ****
Yet another job done to perfection by Dave Cortes and INU Art! The sculpt captures the comic art perfectly and translates quite well into the 3-D realm. The sculpt on Herman Von Klempt is also wonderfully executed and gets the same kudos here as it did in my review of the Mezco Online Exclusive Hellboy that came with the Nazi-fied version of the Kriegaffe's creator.

Paint - ***1/2
The paint apps on Herr Affe are quite limited, but well done. There is a little bit of slop on his face, but nothing too awful. I didn't have the chance to compare paint apps between figures because the other Kriegaffes that came in at Suncoast disappeared faster than bottled water and bleach at a Red Cross relief station. I only managed to snag mine because I was wise enough to call and ask the folks at Suncoast to hold one for me the day the shipment came in. By the time I got there to pick mine up every last war ape had left the building. You might fair better at getting one of these monkeys online, because he is a scarce commodity at the brick and mortar venues.

I really wish that there had been more dry brushing done on this figure to bring out more of the sculpt's texture. It would have helped the figure not look so flat. Due to the facial slop and lack of dry brushed texture causes Kriegaffe #10 to fall short of painting perfection, bringing about half a star deduction. 

Articulation - **
21 points by my count and they are as follows:
Jaw: hinge = 1
Neck: ball joint = 1
Shoulders: ball joint = 2
Elbows: Single pin = 2
Forearms: cut swivel = 2
Wrists: combination 2 point swivel and ball joints = 6
Chest: ball joint = 1
Hips: ball joint = 2
Knees: single pin = 2
Ankles: single pin = 2

21 points is pretty swell, so why only 2 and a half stars? Well, outside of the war ape's forearms and wrists, the other articulation points have a VERY LIMITED range of motion. When I opened the figure, I was surprise to find that the Kriegaffe is primarily made up of rotocast components. As such, it uses the typical double ball-in-socket joint for the majority of its articulation points. This was a real disappointment for me and I felt quite let down by this figure. He really isn't all that posable and can't assume any convincing primate poses. The lack of bicep and thigh swivel joints really hurts this figure big time, especially seeing as they were implemented so well on the Hellboy and Lobster Johnson figures from this line.
Another big disappointment for me was that Herr Affe's hands are sculpted and molded as solid plastic fists instead of having them hinged ala Marvel Legends. 

As an avid customizer of action figures, I can see some hope for Kriegaffe #10, but $15.00 U.S. for what is primarily a rotocast figure, we should have gotten better articulation. The upper arms, shoulders and hip joints should have followed the same design philosophy as that used for Hellboy and the Lobster. Instead, we get a figure with a lot of articulation points, but with few posing options.

Accessories - ***1/2
Kriegaffe #10 comes with the non-Nazi-fied head of Herman Von Klempt and nothing else. For a figure this large, I'm surprised we got any accessories at all. I think the decision to go rotocast on this figure may have been to make it financially possible to include Herman with his abominable creation. The sheer size of the Kriegaffe is probably one of the reasons why we saw an increase in the price point for this toy line as well. If the truth were known, I would rather have forgone the inclusion of Herman or any accessory what so ever if it had resulted in us getting a fully injection-molded Kriegaffe with better articulation. 

Taking Herman as a stand alone, he is a pretty cool accessory. If his bulbous head case had come with bendy tentacles, I would be tempted to think of him as a second figure altogether. I wish Herman was actually "on model" and came with a swastika (actually the Nazis called it a "Hakenkreuz" or "hooked cross." The term "swastika" is derived from the Sanskrit word "svastika" which means "lucky" and ironically was a popular symbol on product packaging and literature in early 20th century America) emblazoned on his forehead, but for retail, dropping it made sense – especially after Plan B Toys was taken to the woodshed last year for their "Special Forces WWII" and "Call of Duty" German soldier offerings. I'm glad Mez opted to give us the Nazi-fied version of Herman included with the online-exclusive Trench Coat Hellboy.

As a side note, I'd like to say that I'm a little confused as to why it is okay to smatter a swastika on the cover of a comic book, yet "ist verboten" when it comes to action figures that are themed around the World War II European conflict. Don't get me wrong; I think Nazism was given birth to in the lowest pits of the abyss. I just don't understand why a swastika is considered to be appropriate in comics but not on era-specific toys and plastic models.

Fun Factor - **
As stated earlier, monkeys are darn fun, but this one isn't so much. Kriegaffe #10 had so much potential to be a truly GREAT TOY, but he left me wanting so much more than I actually got. I was extremely disappointed when I discovered he was a primarily a rotocast figure and even more disappointed when I discovered how limited his articulation's range of motion is. I had my major sad face on after busting this critter loose from his vacuum-formed cage.

Value - ***
A very big monkey packaged with a cool, disembodied Nazi head accessory…for $15.00 U.S. I would normally give this figure 5 stars, but due to the rotocasting and clunky articulation I'm knocking off a star.

Things to Watch Out For:
Spotty face paint application.

Overall - ***
GAH! I really wish that I could give this figure a higher score, but because of the major disappointment factor I just can't do it. This COULD HAVE BEEN such a great action figure, but it just isn't! Kriegaffe #10 isn't as weak of a figure as previously reviewed Liz Sherman was, but I sure was a lot more disappointed by it. 

To end on a positive note, Herr Affe is definitely a major step above Playmates' Kong figures – by a loooong shot! I guess that's saying somethin'! If you must have one big monkey figure this year, this is the one to get. As for me, I'm on the look out for a second Kriegaffe so that I can try my hand at playing Herman Von Klempt and "improving" this primate! 

Score Recap:
Packaging - ****
Sculpt - ****
Paint - ***1/2
Articulation - **
Accessories - ***1/2
Fun Factor - **
Value - ***
Overall - ***

Where to Buy - 
You can find these at specialty stores like Media Play or Suncoast, or at online stores such as:

- Killer Toys has him (along with others from the series) for $11.

- CornerStoreComics has him for $11, or the full set (including the big monkey!) for just $55.

- Amazing Toyz has him for $13.

- OMGToys has him for $14.

- YouBUyNow has him for $14 as well.

- Yikes Comics has thim for $15.

Figure from the collection of BigGuido.

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