Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Retro Review: Stan Winston's Medieval Trakk!

'With the blast shield down I can't even see, how am I supposed to fight?' What could be better than a review of a figure you can't buy off the racks now? How about a figure from 2003 that may well be cheaper today than when it came out? Today we've got Stan Winston's Medieval Trakk, from the Blood Wolves line! Or Stan Winston's Creatures, I'm not sure how the line was billed. Especially since I bought it used.

Probably should insert a KISS/'Detroit Rock City' joke here or something, but I'm afraid I'm not a fan.
Without getting into all of the history, Stan Winston was awesome. Four time Oscar winner, the man behind the effects of dozens of classics like the Terminator films, Aliens, and Jurassic Park. Winston did so much stuff, his own toy company doesn't even rate a mention on his wikipedia entry...

Feeling horny, apparently.
But around the early part of the century, Stan Winston Creatures was the group name for several lines of figures: Creature Features, Realm of the Claw, Extreme Gargoyles, Mutant Earth, and Blood Wolves. Our hero Trakk here also appeared in Mutant Earth, since in-story, he was an immortal (or at least, long lived) warrior, fighting werewolves in medieval times and mutants in the post-apocalyptic future. Or maybe he travelled in time? Whatever.

Just nice sculpting, there. Hmm. I just had to do a quick eBay check for Extreme Gargoyles, since I don't believe I had ever seen them before, anywhere, in person or mentioned online. That's not a great sign...best guess, from what I remember and what I've seen online, is that Creature Features was the first offering, but they were a little spendy, I want to say fifteen bucks in 2001 or so. They looked good, and came with good-sized bases and some kind of CD-ROM or something; but weren't overly poseable. (And the trouble with putting any sort of money or effort into a CD-ROM or even DVD add-on, is not only is it going to be woefully outdated in a couple of years; but best case it's probably going to end up in a collector's drawer somewhere.)

I think SWC improved wave by wave, though: adding more articulation, and more usable accessories. I got a couple of the Realm of the Claw figures back in the day, although I couldn't tell what I paid for them, and I'm positive I didn't pay full price. (You can see them occasionally in Bastards of the Universe strips, or in one of my favorite strips here, "It's the Great Disaster, Charlie Brown.") By the way, I gotta say Realm of the Claw figures would probably look just swell with your Seventh Kingdom cat figures, Masters of the Universe Classics Chief Carnivus, or probably Thundercats whenever they come back.

Aaaaand, imagine I drew in the arrows pointing out the articulation here.  Ah, you're smart, you can figure it out.
Let's see, back to Trakk here: ball-jointed shoulders, hinged knees, then cut wrists, elbows, hips, neck, and waist. Twelve points total, so I don't think he received all of the articulation SWC would work up to as a company. But...he still looks pretty good, and I say that as someone who doesn't love the face tattoo look or the silly skull codpiece. The armor, particularly the chainmail sleeve and hood, looks just beautiful; even though his iron boots seem a bit oversized and look like they'd weigh a ton. Well, the big boots keep him standing. And the accessories all add to his look: bucket helmet, shield, knife, and massive bastard sword. (Oh, and a stone castle steps base.)

Trakk's not a perfect figure by any stretch, but he's not bad. And I would say he'd fit in pretty well with any batch of fantasy figures, from your Lord of the Rings to your Monty Python and the Holy Grail toys.

(While doing some research for this, over at OAFE.net, in a review of one of the other Blood Wolves figures, they brought up the idea of a knights' display; and also reviewed a lot of Stan Winston's other figures. At Michael Crawford's, he mentioned the problems the early SWC figures faced with pricing, which they may have made strides against too late.)

I may have to check out some of the other Blood Wolves on eBay, so go look for Trakk now, 'kay? Don't drive up the prices on the other ones until I get mine...

1 comment:

SirDragonBane said...

Hey, I actually saw some of these figures in the store but they were gone by they time I went back the next time. I thought they were brand new, but alas...

They look cool though, but like you said lack articulation here and there. Love the equipment they come with though, swords and stuff.