SEARCH REVIEWS    LIVING WITH LATE FEES    FEATURES    LINKS    BIO    MISSION    EMAIL    MAIN PAGE >


Hellboy 2 Angel of Death

Hellboy 2 Angel of Death action figure from Mezco Toyz

I went into Hellboy II with low expectations, and was pleasantly surprised. Having low expectations doesn't always mean you'll end up pleasantly surprised (I just watched "Zombie Diaries" with low expectations and the movie didn't even reach those), but it can help.

One of the highlights for me was the exceptionally cool creature and set designs, which is becoming standard for Guillermo Del Toro. His vision and creativity created a number of great beasties, and one of my favorites was the Angel of Death.

Mezco's second series of action figures is now shipping, including a couple versions of Red himself, the Goblin, and the Princess Nuala. Along with these four figure, there's also a deluxed boxed vesion of the Angel of Death.

Retail on this puppy is around $20 - $25, depending on the retailer.  Toys R Us is also carrying the regular figures (I've seen series 2 there in the last week), but I haven't heard if they'll be carrying this boxed figure.
Hellboy 2 Angel of Death action figure from Mezco Toyz

Hellboy 2 Angel of Death action figure from Mezco Toyz
Hellboy 2 Angel of Death action figure from Mezco Toyz
Hellboy 2 Angel of Death action figure from Mezco Toyz
Hellboy 2 Angel of Death action figure from Mezco Toyz
Hellboy 2 Angel of Death action figure from Mezco Toyz

Packaging - ***
Boxes are good.  They are usually collector friendly (and this one is), they store easily (this one does), and they are usually very sturdy (and this one is as well).

I also really like the HBII designs, used here in a very effective way.

Sculpting - ***
The sculpting for the entire line has been solid, and there's some nice work on this figure.  There's lots of detail in the unique face, recreating the cracked bone appearance quite well.

There's also a ton of detail in the wings, with the individual feathers sculpted and textured.

The body has the funky design, although it lacks some of the fine detail you see in the face. The sculpted torso has the large bold cuts, but no texture or fine cuts.

The least visually interesting area is the cape. The folds and wrinkles are thick and heavy, with very little detailing.

The figure is quite large, standing 8 1/2 inches tall at the top of the head and just over 15 inches tall to the tips of the wings if you move them directly overhead.

However, the entire body is hollow. As an action figure, it feels quite cheap because of this.  Then again, you could actually use this figure as a tree topper for Christmas! You know, I just might have to do that. I think it would be amusing enough to risk an eternity in Hell.

Paint - **1/2
Unfortunately, the paint doesn't do much to accent or improve on the sculpt. It's not as much a lack of quality as a lack of paint ops themselves.

The best work is on the face, where a wash was used to bring out some of the detail work, as well as some reasonably clean work on the teeth.

They used a broad wash that was wiped clean on the highlights of the feathers as well.  The eyes on the wings are generally clean, but there's a blip here and there.

The rest of the figure lacks much in the way of paint detail.  The cape is largely one color, and the body/skirt has no wash or fine detail work.  The lower skirt has three colors, but the transition between these colors is fairly sharp, making it look more like stripes than a smooth transition from light to dark.

Articulation - *1/2
Nerd Hummel - yep, this is one of those. The articulation is limited to ball jointed shoulders (jointed only at the torso), and ball jointed wings. It might take you a bit of effort to break the ball joints on the wings free at first, since the pegs are a bit short, and the body a bit soft, but use a little hot water if it gives you any trouble.

The ball joints on the wings allow them to move in and out on the body, and since they are on pegs that insert into the body, they can turn up and down as well. That's plenty of articulation for the body, but something for the neck (it looks like it should move at least a little, but mine won't budge to save my life), and perhaps some additional arm articulation would have been nice.  Still, if you're not expecting much articulation, then this category isn't going to have much effect on your overall.

Accessories - Bupkis
Nope, there's nothing extra here.

Fun Factor - ***
It might seem at first blush that a figure like this wouldn't be much 'fun', but kids aren't nearly as wrapped up about articulation as adult collectors. A figure like this makes for an excellent villain against any 6 - 8" action figure line, and kids don't even need to see the film to appreciate the cool character design. Howevver, of upi get them an Angel of Death, don't be surprised when they want to see more of the movie.

Value - **
The figure is pretty expensive for what it is. You'll pay between $20 and $25 for this guy at most retailers. The wings make it seem bigger than it really is, particularly since the body is hollow, and I suspect the lightweight nature of the construction will hurt it for most folks in this category.

Things to Watch Out For - 
Not a thing.

Overall - **1/2
Companies are looking for ways to cut costs, and because paint is a) a unit cost rather than a fixed cost and b) it's a cost that's incurred late in the overall product lifecycle, it tends to be the one they use to manage the bottom line.  But on the stagecoach of collector disappointment, bad paint is riding shotgun.

Glancing over the regular figures in the series, I have to say that the Goblin looks like the big winner of the set.  Poor Princess Nuala doesn't far as well, and it's mostly the paint once again.

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

Where to Buy -
I haven't seen these at Toys R Us yet, so online options are your best bet:

- Urban Collector has it for $21.

- CornerStoreComics has it for $22.

- Entertainment Earth has it at $23.

- for the UK collectors, Forbidden Planet has it at 18 GBP.

- or you can search ebay using the sponsor MyAuctionLinks.

Related Links -
Other Hellboy reviews include:

- if you're looking for the more expensive collectible, check out the 1:1 replica Samaritan.

- there's the 3 3/4" line of action figures from Mezco, the SDCC exclusive Hellboy that is also in that scale, as well as their 18" HB II figure.

- Mezco released series 1 of their movie figures, which are covered in two guest reviews, one here and one here.

- I ran two 'retro reviews of the old Hellboy movie line - one for Hellboy, and one for Sammael.

- Gentle Giant did some animated versions, including one included in the most recent release of the movies, and there was also a guest review by Poe Ghostal of the first DVD release of Hellboy. I looked at the regular release animated figures as well.

- I also have guest reviews of some of the comic based figures, including Kreigaffe #10, Lobster Johnson, and the old Graphitti Designs version.

- I have my own reviews of the comic based battle damaged Hellboy and 18" version, the stylized Extreme Hellboy, the movie 8" line  (including the Nazi Kroenen in the second series), the 18" version, and even some Mez-itz.

- also movie based, Sideshow has done several 12" figures, including Abe Sapien, Nazi Kroenen, regular Kroenen, and regular Hellboy.

- for those into mini-busts, there's also this version that came with the release of the DVD.

Discussion:
Want to chat about this review?  Try out one of these terrific forums where I'll be discussing it!


Reader Ratings!
Here's your chance to weigh in!  Select your rating for this figure(s) to the right.  Yea, it's a five star system and not a four star system like mine, but it's the best I've been able to come up with so far.  You can only rate once from any particular IP.  My score converted to a five star system for comparison: 3.13

Share this review with others! 
  Digg it!    StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble It!      Reddit

Hellboy 2 Angel of Death action figure from Mezco Toyz



Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

This page copyright 2000 - 2008, Michael Crawford. All rights reserved. Hosted by 1 Hour Hosting.com