Tuesday, January 27, 2009

For comparison purposes: The same guy, only not (but he kinda is)

Here's an interesting one to compare: two different figures, two different companies, two different characters, but the same guy. Huh? Well, the same actor, anyway. Ben Browder has a batch of credits on IMDB, but the one we're interested in to start with is Farscape. You know, I think I got this figure, astronaut John Crichton, marked down perhaps, before I ever got to watch the show. It was a program I knew I'd like, but I didn't have cable at the time. Space adventure with Jim Henson studio puppets? Oh, that doesn't push any of my buttons...Eventually I got to watch the show, and loved it, just in time for it's horrible cliffhanger ending. Eventually, Farscape got a miniseries that wrapped up all the loose ends, and that was pretty much that.
OK, John came with a better gun than these.

Almost immediately, (or so it seemed) Farscape's leads Browder and Claudia Black were rotated into the cast of Stargate: SG-1. Although many wits (including Warren Ellis, I believe) suggested Browder needed to fire his agent, he (and Black) did get another action figure out of the deal--two in two different lines from two different properties. 'Wait, don't I need air?'(Hell, Black got a variant in there as well...) Browder took the role of Lt. Colonel Cam Mitchell. (Cam probably gets a promotion at some point during the series.)

Over at OAFE there is a helpful review (and recap of the show and it's tribulations) of the Farscape box set from Toy Vault. I got John as a single, although he did come with his helmet, jacket, a rifle and a couple DRD's. (Little robot helpers, if you didn't watch the show!) As usual for this scale, the jacket seems overly thick--less a regular jacket than an arctic one, and the collar is going to stay up. Still, the jacket covers the lack of elbow joints. Quickly: John has cut joints at the neck, waist, shoulders, and wrists. Six points. Also, being the token human character, John is probably not going to run you on eBay like D'Argo or Rygel will.

Diamond Select/Art Asylum's SG-1 Col. Mitchell has the benefit of several years of improvements in sculpting and articulation, and has a ball-jointed neck and shoulders, cut joints for the biceps, waist, knees, and wrists; and both elbows and hips. Better sculpting, or furrowed brow in worry over his career?Say fourteen points of articulation. Cam doesn't do too badly in terms of accessories, either: machine gun (that's tough for him to hold!), a zzaat pistol, a removable vest, a build-an-accessory piece (for the DHD or the mount, I guess: other waves had Stargate pieces), a radio, another accessory I can't name, and a sword that I guarantee you is probably bent to hell when you buy this figure. Still, a nice haul. I liked Stargate, but I didn't watch it religiously, so some of those accessories I'm fuzzy on.

It's doubtful Browder's picking his next role with action figures in mind, but that's for the best: I'm hard pressed to think of another series that could slot him in, and new properties don't seem to get new figures as a given anymore.

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