Face it: everyone's crazy 'bout a sharp-dressed man.
A mysterious Warlord from another dimension, a dimension destroyed by the Necromancer's army of the dead. The deadliest swordsman and battle warrior ever, he leads the King's new elite warriors to combat the Black Heart and The Plague.
Okay, so that's the story that went along with Mandarin Spawn when he first appeared way back in Series 14. Now, who knows? This figure is part of Spawn: Reborn series two, a sub-line completely separate from the regular series of Spawn toys. The Reborn series features redecorations of some of the more interesting Spawn figures from over the years.
When it comes to interesting Spawn figures, Mandy Spawn is the undisputed champ. Easily the highlight of the second Dark Ages line and one of the most popular and in-demand figures for years now, Mandarin Spawn represents McFarlane Toys at the zenith of its ability.
This figure was originally released in 1999, when McToys was still the leader of the toy industry. The sculpt was one of the most intricate ever seen, with tiny masks and faces all over the ridged, segmented armor. If the detailed sculpt wasn't enough to drive you cross-eyed, the complex paint apps were. Fans' only complaint? Not enough articulation. You can really see how Mandarin Spawn set the stage for McToys' future.
Mandarin Spawn stands almost 9" tall and has eight points of articulation: neck, shoulders, pin-jointed right elbow, peg-jointed left elbow, right wrist, and both hips. When he was first released, that seemed like a terribly small amount - man, what a difference five years make! These days we'd kill for a Spawn figure that was this mobile.
Every time McFarlane repaints this guy, fans snap it up. This was a figure made before all the Spawn figures started to become shapeless brown lumps, and the colors are always impressive. This Reborn edition is mainly white, with green noh masks, golden blades and black highlights. He really stands out from his brothers.
Unlike all the other Mandarin Spawns, the Reborn edition's loincloth isn't bordered with a flame design - it blends smoothly from black to green, with black teardrop shapes along the lower edge. To further set him apart from the rest of the clan, he's got a gold cord that can be tied around the figure however you like.
No mystical warrior would be complete without his weapons, and Mandy comes with two katanas (including scabbards), a large ornate shield and a 12" long double-bladed weapon. Besides the original red, repaint blue, Japanese black and Reborn white paint jobs, all of which are at the 9" size, there is also a 14" version of the figure with a bluish scheme, an 18.5" sword, and interchangeable faces. The figure's large, dragon-like feet make it easy for him to stand securely no matter his scale.
This amazingly detailed figure has gone through several name changes in his plastic-y life. He was originally known to fans and collectors as "The Scarlet Edge" due to his red uniform and multitude of blades and points that covered his body. However, when repaints began to show up on the market, this name no longer fit, and so the McToys official designation became Mandarin Spawn. Of course, during the initial production and design process, the name Dragon Lord was briefly considered, as well, so basically you can call him whatever you want.
With five versions of Mandarin Spawn on the market (six if you want to get really, really nit-picky), the only single figure to see more reuse is the original Series 1 Spawn, which should tell you both how important and how popular this figure is. Hell, Todd could probably do a series that was nothing but six new repaints of this guy and people would buy it by the caseload. I know I would. No matter what his colors, Mandarin Spawn looks sharp!
How many Manadrin Spawns would you buy? Tell us on our message board, the Loafing Lounge.