Holy crap, what's happened!? ToyBiz produced what is one of my favorite figures ever!? Yes. And it hurts to admit that, for two reasons: one, that ToyBiz did make this, and two, that The Lizard is one of my favorite figures. But what can I say? This figure has everything I love, great sculpting, great paint, appropriate articulation and a decent price.
This figure, The Lizard, is based on MTV's computer-animated Spider-Man show (from what I gather, it was more of a mini-series than a show, but whatever). I never got into the show because A) I'm just not "into" Spider-Man, and B) the animation was very mediocre. I just couldn't bear to watch it. And that omnipresent "hip, young, garage" music that was, ugh, all it did was remind why MTV sucks...
At any rate, I always thought this figure looked okay, but when I found it (the case seemed to have been packed at 1 Lizard and 5 Spideys; thanks, Jesse Falcon) my jaw dropped. It was $11.99, which is a pretty good price for such a large "specialty store exclusive" toy with a fairly big accessory.
First off, lets hit the facts! Lizard seems to be in about 7" scale, and would probably be 8-to-9 inches tall if he could stand erect. He's got a 9 1/2" armspan, and the tail would be about 9 inches long if it could be straightened. The figure has 18 points of articulation: ankles, balljointed hips, balljointed torso, balljointed neck, jaw, balljointed shoulders, biceps, elbows, wrists, balljointed tail, and two tail "twist" joints.
The only real "problem" with the figure that the legs seem under-articulated. Lizard is a tricky figure to get standing, but he's pretty stable once you get him there. Knee or thigh joints would definitely help in poseability, but I love the sculpt so much I didn't really need them. The tall could be bendy or have some more articulation, because as it is, there's really not much to be done with it. But again, both of these aren't too major of problems, especially the tail, it's decent the way it is.
The arms are articulated perfectly, meaning there is a lot of range and poseability but all the joints work in harmony with the sculpt (as opposed to a lot of the Marvel Legends figures). The biceps obviously don't match up when turned, but with balljointed shoulders, the arms can be easily adjusted to help hide the "gaps" in the biceps. I'm sure a lot of people would complain that the fingers, which are pretty big, aren't articulated, but I say who cares! There's plenty of other articulation elsewhere, and how could you want to hinder this sculpt any more!?
I can't decide what's better, the sculpt or the paint, because this figure is a shining example of how both are so closely related that to say one is more important is near impossible! The paint is really just a lime green dry-brush over green plastic with another two shades of green used to detail various assorted scales and reptilian bumps.
The mouth is also a marvel (no pun intended) of paint and I can easily say it's the best mouth-job I've ever seen! There's a pink dry-brush on the dorsal fin(s) and a dark wash on the "turkey neck." The pupils and yellow "glint" are also perfectly placed on the eyes making both entirely believable.
The sculpt is really one of the best ToyBiz has ever released. The detail is so impressive it's almost disgusting. There are scales and wrinkles on every bit of the figure; it's really astounding. Definitely one of the best features of the figure is that even the balljoints are detailed.
So often these days we'll see detailing go all the way up to the balljoints and then stop, leaving the ball perfectly smooth; not here though! In fact, the only un-detailed areas here are the "rings" in the hip and shoulder joints, but all four of them have very really good dry-brush on them that hides the lack of detail perfectly. Again, the word "impressive" comes to mind. The way the neck-skin hangs, the mouth, the fingers, the feet... it's all gorgeous.
Just like on the Marvel Legends Thor, the Lizard's torso is actually a soft, rubbery skin placed over a solid interior chest, but the two are so perfectly fitted that you'd almost never know, plus the rubber retains the same level of detail as the hard plastic making an even more seamless blend.
Another interesting side note is that the fifth "toe" is actually on the leg, rather than the foot. It hangs down below the joint and so remains stationary. The fin on the head is low enough to allow the head to tilt all the way back, and the dangly neck skin hangs so that is looks totally fine when the jaw is closed, yet matches up with the torso perfectly when the jaw is opened.
The accessory is some sort of industrial fan with some break-away grating over it. The grating rests along the outside of the "fan circle" and holds together decently, for the most part. There's also a knob on the back of the fan for easy spinning. The sculpt is decent enough and several good paint apps make it a nice backdrop, but the star of this particular show is still the figure, of which I really can't say enough.
The Lizard is an amazing piece. Its nice and simple but executed brilliantly. Sure, the design on the show is just a big goofy iguana (modern, U.S. Godzilla remake anyone?) but the detail on this figure pushes that bad taste right out of your mouth and the image right out of your mind. This is one of those rare toys that reminds you that there is an art to action figures and The Lizard is an amazing example of it!
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