Spawn 28
Mandarin Spawn

Recent Spawn releases have fallen into a rather annoying pattern - updates and remakes of older figures.  Isn't it bad enough that Hollywood seems intent on taking every thing old and making it new?  Does it really have to be true of action figures as well?

Spawn series 28 is a little different than the Reborn line, however.  The Reborn line is simply repaints and minor redeco's of past figures.  On the other hand, Regenerated (the label for series 28) is classic figures completely redone, in new poses and new interpretations.

Mandarin Spawn has always been a huge fan favorite from his initial introduction in series 14.  Since then we've gotten a 12" version and a repaint in one of the Reborn series, and now we get a whole new version in the Regenerated series.

You can find these at most retailers now, including Toys R Us, Media Play, and Sam Goody. Retail runs from $10 - $12 depending on the store.

Packaging -  **1/2
Clamshells. Twisties. Little text. I do believe we've seen this once or twice before.

One difference here is that the entire clamshell is taken up by the figure - there's now 'wing' to one side.  That means there's even less that the insert provides.

Sculpt - ****
I don't know exactly what it is about old Mandy, but they always pull out all the stops on this guy.  His first three versions all had the same upright stance, so they went with a more dynamic stance this time.

Some folks aren't going to be happy with it, and it can appear awkward at some angles.  But I'm very happy with it, and even with the lower body articulation, think it still works well.

The amount of detail is truly amazing. Every minute spot on this guy's body has some sort of texture, detail, or cut.  Even the tiniest area has something extra added, and this is the kind of work that you can look at many times and still not see all the extras.

Mandy fits in a 6" or 7" scale, depending on how tall you think he is in relation to other characters.  You'll be able to include him with any of the Spawn lines, although his obvious Asian background makes him particularly good to go with Far Eastern themes.

Paint - ****
I believe one of the earlier Mandy's won some sort of award for it's paint ops, and this guy is likely to win as well.  I know he'll be in my top ten of best painted figures this year.

There's a nice palette, with each color complimenting the other. All those small details I mentioned in the sculpt section are all painted with painstaking care, and the little wash that's been used brings out the textures beautifully.

Articulation - **1/2
Well, you can't win them all I suppose.  Mandarin Spawn has amazing paint and sculpt, but only average (or even below average) articulation.

He has a cut neck, and a ball joint would have been really nice here.  No real excuse (other than perhaps cost) to skip it either, since it could easily be hidden by the design.

He does have ball jointed shoulders, which have a nice range of movement, and the shoulder pads are jointed so that they can move out of the way of the arm for higher positions.

There is also a cut joint just above the right elbow, cut joints just above both gauntlets, cut joints on both knees, and ball ankle joints.  Perhaps the most useful joint however, is the chest joint, and it's pretty unusual to say that.  But this ball joint rotates and holds poses well, giving him a little more personality in his stance.

The cut knees and ankle joints are really only there to help you find the sweet spot that keeps him standing.  Most of your posing will come from the waist up, but a cut joint on the left arm (or perhaps a pin elbow) would have really increased the possibilities.

Accessories - **
There's one accessory, his wicked looking blade.  It comes apart to allow you to remove it and replace it in his right hand, and adjust it into a few different poses.

There's no stand though (although he does have a peg hole in one foot), and that means he's mighty light in the accessory department.

Fun Factor - **
This isn't really much of a toy for kids.  If they can appreciate the sculpt and paint they'll like looking at it, but it won't see much action in the sand box.

Value - **1/2
I'm assuming you pay around $12 for this, like I did.  That's a pretty average value in the current 'specialty' market.  However, if you manage to snag him down closer to $10 (like you might at a store like Meijers), you can add another half star to this score.

Things to watch out for - 
Not a thing - he didn't seem to have any issues or areas that might cause concern.

Overall -  ***1/2
This is a tough one.  I have to admit I've had WAY too many ***1/2 star figures lately, due in large part to all the high quality stuff coming out from companies like Mcfarlane.

If you don't care about articulation and accessories, and don't mind the pose (I've heard lots of folks complain about it, but I thought it was well done), then you'll probably give this a full four stars.

I'm hanging back slightly not just because of the low scores in accessories and articulation, but because the lack of any sort of mid-joint in the right arm really limited what you could do.  Adding a joint there - and a ball joint for the neck - would have turned him into a four star figure for me as well.

But there's no arguing that his sculpt is absolutely amazing, with a level of detail you won't see anywhere else this year.  On top of that, the paint application is excellent, making him pretty deadly with that one/two combination of perfect sculpt and apps.

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

Where to Buy -
These are at a lot of retailers now, but online options include:

- CornerStoreComics has the individuals for $11 each.

- Yikes Comics has them for $11 - $12 each, depending on the character.

- YouBuyNow has the figures for $12 each.

- Killer Toys has him for $17.

Related Links -
Check out the following for more Mandarin stuff:

- I reviewed the repaint back in the Reborn series, along with a couple others.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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