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New Vision of Spawn Classics
The idea behind Spawn Classics is not a new one but it is still interesting to see McFarlane's new take on these Spawn classics figures.
The idea was to simply take four fan-favorites, or "classics," and update them with all-new sculpts and deco.
But the result isn't as good as may be expected and is a little hit and miss.
This is a bit akin to the remakes you see of old and loved classic movies.
Generally they have become classics and well loved for good reason and all to often the remake lacks what the original had.
A prime example here is the Manga Spawn.
So what does Spawn ClassicS Spawn 34 have to offer?
Included in this set is:
Spawn Classics Due July, 2008
The very first Manga Spawn was released in 1997 in the Spawn 9 series of action figures.
This series was a departure from McFarlanes more traditional Spawn action figures and was inspired by Japan's futuristic mecha designs.
Spawn, his allies and foes were a fantastic fusion of two cultural art forms which was a big hit with collectors and "spawne" (sorry, couldn't resist that) a second series the following year.
Manga Spawn is considered a classic for many reasons and still remains popular even after 11 years and still stands out as one of the best Spawn action figures all time for its innovation, originality and uniqueness.
Manga Spawn was a toy ahead of its time.
It also had ample articulation, something which is sadly missing from many of todays figures, although recently it seems McFarlanes have starting to revert back to figures with lots of articulation as in their more recent Halo action figures.
Manga Spawn had the standard mix of cut and hinge joints, but it was his semi-transforming ability that made him particularly popular.
His robotic head, for example, when removed a snarling hamburger Spawn head popped up via a spring mechanism.
As well as this neat little feature when you took Manga Spawn's winged backpack you could attach the robot head to it and in an instant you had an articulated bionic bug.
And his original deadly curved sword was more than a worthy weapon for him.
The newest version however is more than a "make over" of the original but more of a completely new concept and design.
Although a unique and classic action figure in its own right it isn't really comparable to the original.
With its sleek bright red and white paint job and smooth techno design it lacks any real "depth" of the original and has only medocre articulation.
This newr version is unlikely to replace the original, or even come close, in the hearts of fans and collectors.
Measures 6 inches at highest point on head.
Articulated at shoulders, biceps, wrists, stomach, hips and knees.
Pirate Spawn was an attempt, a very good one at that, to cash in on the romantic aura around pirates, and their continued popularity.
But there was nothing romantic about Pirate Spawn – he was a zombie pirate at its best, or should I say worst.
With his high level of detail is and an excellent sculpt with exposed muscles, the etched boot and peg-leg, the real string on the gunpowder horn, the skull belt buckle and the nameplate on the musket which has “A. Simmons 1818.” etched on it.
It is therefore no surprise to see this one included here, but what of the latest version?
Does it live up to expectations?
The "remake" again is an excellent figure but...
Still not quite to the level of the original.
Gone is the hook and the bare sinew and musle.
The new Pirate Spawn sports a long red coat, black trousers and a white shirt.
The intense detail and the sculpt however remain excellent and the articulation here is good.
But it lacks the menace and "zombie" like effect of the original.
Measures 6ฝ inches at top of hat.
Articulated at neck, shoulders, wrists and knees.
Includes removable hat, sword and guns.
Poacher Spawn is probably the best of the lot in as much as this seems to be an imprivment on the original.
Although remaining true to the original concept the overall look of this action figure is clearer and more defined.
The original was a much more "basic" sculpt and lacked any real "kazzam".
But the new version has a more sinister and cunning look about him.
This is a definite improve to my mind and well deserves its place in this series.
Measures 6 inches tall at top of head.
Articulated at left biceps and right wrist.
Includes removable sword.
The original Wings of Redemption Spawn from Spawn 21: Alternate Realaties was a favourite of mine.
Despite lacking some of the usual detail and "grossness" of other Spawn figures the sculpting here was still very good and the Wings were really cool.
Despite the sculpting being fairly simple it was still very effective.
The overall look of this figure, transforming the traditional red and black spawn into a grimly angelic figure, I found to be very appealing to the eye.
It also had ten points of articulation so was capable of quite a bit of movement.
The biggest problem with the original which seems to have been addressed with the new version was balance due to the wings.
In the latest version Wings of Redemption Spawn comes with a stand the resembles an outcrop of rocks and he can be posed on the end of a metal pole, but although this takes care of the balance problem it makes him unplayable.
Another problem is that although the wings have to be attached to the figure, which is quite easy to do, they tend to be to loose and fall off far to easily.
The detail of the sculpt and paintwork have been improved overall but there is far less articulation and this figure was obviously geared more towards the collector due to its lack of posability and articulation,
When standing on custom base, figure measures 9 inches at top of head, 14 inches at highest point of wings.
Articulated at neck, left biceps, left shin and right thigh.
Base measures 4 inches wide by 2 inches deep.
Wings are removable.
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Colin Dorman 2008 mcfarlanes-figures.com