Friday, January 16, 2009

Why hasn't this Thing gotten an action figure?

Moments before, Doom hints that he hasn't really been seen since 'the battle of the Baxter Building,' as Ben puts it, 'a zillion years ago!'
From Fantastic Four #350, "The More Things Change, or it's the real Thing..." Written and pencilled by Walt Simonson, inks by Allen Milgrom. This issue also wrapped up the Kristoff/Doom war that had been running for years by then, and gave Doom a great redesign that was never seen again.

Ben first mutated into this version of the Thing in Fantastic Four #310 in 1988. Steve Englehart's version of the Four had Ms. Marvel (who mutated into the She-Thing in the same issue) and Crystal taking the spots of the semi-retired Reed and Sue. It didn't really take, and Ben would be turned into a human again for a while there, as we saw the other day.

Like I've said before, sometimes I can go long stretches without reading Fantastic Four, so I wonder: was this the last time Ben was turned into the armadillo-style Thing? And, did no one like it, at all, ever? In the review of the much-maligned First Appearance Thing figure over at, yo points out "It's not like they [then, Toy Biz] can make Tiger Stripe Thing or Weapon X Thing, you know? Thing's Thing. That's it." Hmm, maybe. But I can't recall anything made of this version of the Thing. No action figures, definitely. As near as I can tell, not even a Heroclix or a Bowen bust, and Bowen's made busts of Machine Man and the Jackal, so that tells us something. I don't personally have the First Appearance Thing, but I have three other Legends versions: the initial one, the initial one with the trench coat, and the one with the different head from the FF box set. All Toy Biz, although Hasbro has made a couple more since.

Over at Comics Oughta Be Fun! Bully has started 365 Days with Ben Grimm, which is a daunting task but a noble one. How many armadillo-Things do you think we'll see? Um, two or three would be fine, yeah: Walt Simonson brought it out for a second before the end of his all-too-brief run--in the end, Ben simply reverts to his "normal" Thing form, noting someone upstairs prefers him that way. I'm guessing, but I think Keith Pollard was the artist in those first new look issues; and Jeff Purves got to draw a very different Hulk vs. Thing battle: The Grey Hulk versus the stronger new Thing. Still, there's no telling: Bully may go for armadillo month, for all we know.

1 comment:

Bully said...

I loves me the Armadillo Thing. (And yes, there'll be appearances by him in 365 Days with Benjy!)

And hey, that would be a great Thing figure. I'd also like one of Ben Grimm in his "Thing" power suit from the late 1970s...pop off the Thing's head and there's Bashful Benji!