Rev Bem (Andromeda)

I have to be completely honest - I've never sat through an entire episode of the sci-fi show Andromeda.  I've watched a few minutes here or there, but it's never sparked my interest.

But bbi is one of my favorite sixth scale companies, and when I heard they were doing figures for this show, I was intrigued.  There are four figures in the series, three human characters and one alien.  The alien, Rev Bem, quickly caught my eye.  I like big hairy monsters, and he fits the bill perfectly.

I haven't seen these at any regular retailers yet.  I bought mine on-line, but I've heard that they will be available at Toys R Us eventually.

Packaging - *1/2
This is about as weak of a package you could get.  I think only the basic SOTW packages are worse.

It's actually somewhat collector friendly.  You can open it without damage, and if you don't mind dealing with a half dozen twisties, you could always put him back.  But the quality of the box and window are so poor, that I would be surprised to see a box survive any shelf damage in the first place.

The graphics aren't too bad, although some more text, and in particular the characters name on the front would have been nice.  Overall, it's just very cheap packaging, a big surprise coming from bbi.

Sculpting - ***1/2
I can't really say how well they've captured the source material here, since my only reference is the box pictures.  But if you consider this monster purely on his own, you'll really like this sculpt.

The head is nice and ugly, with just enough humaniod appearance.  I love the huge bat ears, and the detail is very well done.  Although it's not part of the sculpt, he also has a fine covering of hair on top of his head that looks terrific.

The other big sculpting job was the hands and feet. The sculpts are extremely well done, with excellent details.  And although the feet are pretty wild, the figure can stand on it's own just fine.

Paint - ***1/2
The paint ops are very good, although there isn't a lot of detail. The hands and feet have clean lines around the claws, and the wash used on his head, hands and feet looks great.

Articulation - ***1/2
Here's a category that really surprised me.  I've grown so accustomed to companies using a bendy wire frame for the body of their hairy beasts, that I was expecting the same.

Not so - there's a regular bbi body under all that fur.  He's got great articulation, although the tightness of the fur outfit tends to restrict some of the usual movement.  Mine also has a very loose right arm, but overall the use of a standard base body here really sets this figure apart.

Rev was even kind enough to show me the pose he struck for a photographer on a vacation in California back in the 70's...

Accessories - Bupkis
The biggest negative for this figure is the utter lack of any accessories.  Since I'm not a viewer, I have no idea what would have made for good accessories here, but I have to believe there'd be something.

Also, since this is bbi and they are well known for their excellent accessories, I had an expectation for something more.

Outfit - ***1/2
The good Rev's outfit consists of his tight fur suit, bands of burlap around his wrists and ankles, a hood/neck piece, and a necklace.

All of the outfit pieces are well done, and the fur suit is very cool.  My only problem was not really knowing what to do with it - should I comb it?  Leave it wild? How much of a bad body hair day does he usually sport?

Value - **1/2
I paid twenty five bucks for this, and was surprised at the price when I saw it on-line.  I'm not so surprised now that I have it in hand.  At $25, I would have expected some accessories, but the figure and outfit make it less painful on the wallet.

Overall - ***
If you're a big fan of the show, I bet you'll want to pick up all four of these figures.  Any alien/monster fans out there should check out Rev Bem, simply because he is so visually arresting.  But if the packaging had been better quality, and a couple accessories would have been included, he would have had a much higher rating.

Where to buy
I haven't found these at any retailer yet.  On-line, options seem pretty sparse so far as well - 

- Small Blue Planet has them also for $25, and while I've always gotten good service there, they're shipping charges are usually higher than other places.  Search for "Andromeda".

- Toy Maniacs also has them for $25, plus shipping.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford

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