Tuesday, January 20, 2009

For comparison purposes: can you believe I have two Judge Deaths?

Why good posture is important.
Need? Maybe not so much. But I have 'em!

Although I'm glad they made the effort, I don't know what Re:Action Toys (the smaller Death, from their 2000 AD line) or Toy Biz (the larger, from their Legendary Heroes second series) were thinking. Yes, Judge Death is a coolass looking monster. Yes, making figures based on action-packed British comics probably are an easier sale than say, action figures of the comics heroes of Belgium. But the fact is, kids in America? Figure ten out of ten of 'em have no drokking idea who Judge Dredd is, let alone Death. You would scarcely believe, what a colossal pain in the ass setting up this one picture was.

Which is probably why I'm positive I paid a combined $6.33 for these two. The older Death was marked down at KB Toys when there was still one around; the newer from Wal-Mart. I could've even made it three for three: I passed on the clear, ghosty version from Toy Biz. That version shipped with the first wave of figures, and both TB versions came with the build-a-figure piece for Monkeyman, a big ape leg.
Just in passing, I love Judge Anderson.
(Panels reprinted in Quality's 2000 AD Presents #6: Judge Anderson, story by John Wagner and Alan Grant, art by Robin Smith and Cliff Robinson.)
That helmet has to be like looking through a picket fence all day.

Based on the art here, the Toy Biz version actually seems more on-model, at least as far as the costume details. For the Re:Action version, though, Death was often pictured with huge hands, making him a hit with the ladies...however, R:A Death has no articulation beneath the waist. Ouch. Perhaps in compensation, he came with a human heart and a bomb. Look, Judge Death may seem like a hands-on kind of killer, but he's really more about getting the job done.

So TB Death easily wins the articulation contest, except for one point: R:A Death has an articulated jaw, and that gives him a touch more personality. Not pictured: Death's lovely singing voice. Either because of that, or his age, or the fact no one remembers Re:Action Toys, I only found one on eBay; TB Death is plentiful and cheap. Sadly, Toy Biz's Legendary Heroes line never got their third wave out, which may have included Dredd villain Mean Machine Angel. I blame their failure on planning a figure for Aphrodite IX. I don't care if she is a hot robot chick in a short skirt, and no one else did either. I don't think anything with the Aphrodite IX name has ever been successful, from comics to alleged anime to toys...

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