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Sasquatch

Marvel Legends
by yo go re

Marvel obviously doesn't subsrcibe to the "less is more" philosophy. They hit it big with a superhero who has problems? Suddenly every character they publish is a nuerotic basketcase. The book about mutants is a success? Their ranks will multiply until the company has to off 90% of them just to make them a minority again. The little Canadian guy is wildly popular? They'll make a whole team of Canadians!

Walter Langowski had it all. Professional football player. A Ph.D. in physics. Millionaire status. He also had something else: thick orange fur, an ape-like physique, and clawed hands and feet. Walter designed and constructed a device to generate gamma radiation bombardments similar to those which had created the Hulk. He used this equipment on himself and was transformed ino a ten-foot tall, superhumanly powerful creature. Walter called his bestial form "Sasquatch," the Canadian name for the legendary "Bigfoot" creature that he resembled. Once he learned how to maintain his normal personality and intelligence as Sasquatch he joined Alpha Flight. Walter Langowski continues to be his own successful experiment, a man changed into a superhuman Sasquatch with powers that can benefit all of mutantkind.

Every superteam needs a strong guy, and Sasquatch brought the muscle to Canada's Alpha Flight. He's not as strong as Hulk, but has fought the green guy to a standstill. Stood up to Juggernaut for a while, too. And unlike most brutes, he's got brain power to go along with it, even when he's bulked up - big orange Sasquatch is just as capable as little pink Walter.

The last (and only) time Sasquatch got a figure, the mold was later reworked to make Man-Thing. because of that, most folks assumed this version would be a reworking of the recent ML Man-Thing. That's the circle of life, kids, and you didn't have to sit through a bunch of Elton John songs to learn about it. But you know what happens when you make an assumption: you make an "ass" out of "u" and "mption."

Sasquatch is a huge beast of a figure, standing 8⅝" tall when completely upright. However, he's designed to be posed with a bit of a hunch - the way his hair sticks out in the back is the giveaway. It makes him look more bestial, though, so we can accept that. Good thing he's got a nice, sturdy torso hinge to give him that mighty hunch; it would suck if he started flopping around. To go with it, he's got movement at the toes, ankles, shins, knees, hips, waist, head, shoulders, biceps, elbows, forearms, wrists and individual fingers. The hips and head are balljointed, and the shoulders are balljoints set on sliding lateral joints.

Sasquatch is absolutely covered with fur, just as you'd expect. When the figure was revealed, everyone assumed he'd just be a repaint of Man-Thing, but considering how different Sasqy's tiny, tiny tufts of fur are from the roots and muck that covered MT, the shared parts, if any, are at a minimum.

In the comics, Sasquatch had these crazy scooped eyebrows that could have given Wolverine's ridiculous head-wings a run for the money for the title of Stupidest Hair. In any case, the figure re-creates those things really well - they're combed back to his ears, but still manage to stick out over his bright red eyes pretty far. His mouth is open, revealing pearly white teeth. It's just Sasquatch's fur that's orange: as seen on his face and hands, his skin is yellowish. There's a dark wash over the whole figure to bring out the detail in the fur, but it's also one of the problem spots to watch out for: not because it's applied too heavily, but because spots can be missed, leaving Sasquatch with flat orange bits.

The word "sasquatch," incedentally, is an invention of British Columbian school teacher J.W. Burns. Collecting Native American stories of the creature in the 1920s, Burns found that the local tribes called them by various names. Since the names all sounded vaguely similar, he decided to create a new word to encompass them all. His word is closest to the Salish term "sesqac," in which the c has a "ts" sound.

All but one of the figures in ML12 have a variant, and Sasquatch's second version is white, rather than orange. This version has shown up a few times in the comics: first when Walter was seemingly killed, then came back in the body of Alpha Flight's resident shapeshifter, Snowbird; the second albino monkey showed up in the pages of Exiles, where it turned out to be Heather Hudson, wife of Alpha Flight founder James Hudson.

The White Sasquatch has a wash of gray and blue to bring out the detail in the fur, but is otherwise the same as the normal version. Despite being comic-accurate, Whitey is proving pretty popular because he also resembles the Wendigo, the mystical beastie that roams the Canadian wilderness and played a part in the first appearance of Wolverine. Of course, the Wendigo had a tail that Sasquatch doesn't, but if a Wendigo is what you want, that'd be an easy custom. The paint on this one is a mess, but since he's so rare, there's no telling for sure if they're all like that.

Marvel Legends 12 is the Apocalypse Series, so rather than a display base, Sasquatch comes with the right arm of Apocalypse. The arm is 5½" long, which means this single appendage is taller than ToyBiz's original Marvel figures. It's detailed like you'd expect the arm of Apocalypse to be detailed: painted blue, got some silver on it, lots of mechanical details that make it look more like the outside of an airplane wing than the inside of a stereo... you know the score. The arm moves at the elbow, wrist and fingers, and the shoulder will be part of a balljoint once assembled.

Sasquatch comes with a reprint of Alpha Flight #10, which sees the Fantastic Four's Thing rescued from outer space, mysterious fires and murder. It's an excellent solo showcase for Sasquatch, with only minimal subplot (and a back-up feature) taking time away from the star of the show.

-- 03/28/06


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