Wednesday, November 6, 2013

McFarlane Toys - Badrock

1992 was a pretty exciting time for comics. X-Men and Spider-Man had enjoyed relaunches that were hugely popular, largely because of speculators planning on getting rich twenty years later, and stories were becoming more gritty and "extreme." And then Marvel lost almost all of its most major talent.

Jim Lee, Rob Liefeld, Todd McFarlane, Erik Larsen, Jim Valentino, Marc Silvestri, Whilce Portacio, and Chris Claremont decided to form their own company in the interest of owner's rights, and founded Image Comics. Each of the creators would have their own company underneath the umbrella Image logo, and would control their own creations exclusively (although Portacio and Claremont did not create their own companies, ultimately). Easily the two most popular out of the gate were Rob Liefeld with Youngblood and Todd McFarlane with Spawn, although Jim Lee's Wild C.A.T.S. and Erik Larsen's Savage Dragon would be close in the running. McFarlane would soon create a toy line to capitalize on his creations (and not being happy with what existing toy companies could do for him) and later branched out to include some of the more popular Image characters. And that's how Badrock ended up in toy form.

Badrock is actually.. uhm..

Ok, let's be honest here. I don't know a damn thing about Badrock. Never cared a lot for Rob Liefeld in his Image years or his comic books when he started writing his own stuff. He's big, made of rock, and apparently has missile launchers in his shoulders. That's really about all I know, and all of that just comes from looking at the toy.

As was common back in the day, there were about 93 different repaints of Badrock. I don't know about any of them, either, other than the fact that he looks kind of normal here, so that's a plus.

Regardless of my lack of knowledge, I wanted to get this figure because the toy itself looks really awesome. It's a giant hunk of plastic, which is always a weakness of mine. Also, it is definitely a product of comic design in the 90s, which I have a real weakness for. Giant guns? Built into the shoulders, sucker! Pouches? Two useless bandoliers of them around his thighs, along with the ones on his belt! Shoulder pads? Did you not see the rocket launchers? Knee pads? Check! Scowling demeanor and pointless technology on the face? Check check check and check!

McFarlane really changed everything when he started making toys. He hired the best sculptors he could find, and they created detailed sculpts that had never been dreamed of before, forcing all the other toy companies to scramble to catch up. They still typically only had five or six points of articulation, but standing on the shelf they looked absolutely impressive. There weren't just toys for kids - they were toys for adults. As a result, his company shot through the roof and became hugely successful from the very beginning.

Most of the figures from this time frame were actually made in a 5" scale, as opposed to the more modern 6" scale, but for a figure like Badrock that didn't really matter for much. He's huge in any scale, and solid plastic throughout which is even better. All of the paint was applied by hand as well, which was extremely rare in the time that this figure was created. Whether or not it was painted by an underpaid 12 year old is another debate entirely, but it was definitely hand painted!

Despite not knowing a thing about this character, and even not really knowing if the character is still active in comics at all, I'm thrilled to have this big guy displayed on the shelf, usually with the flaps up and rockets ready to launch. It's aged remarkably well and has a striking image that really stands out amongst many of my other figures.

The great thing about this Badrock figure is that there were so many made, it's very easy to get him in package for far less money than you'd pay for figures currently on store shelves, especially if you find him on sale somewhere. He's a great toy for any child to play with, beyond just being a collectable for adults. Sturdy, and without any small parts to inadvertently kill a child, Badrock is definitely a great gift for a budget-conscious parent as well as just someone looking to pad their collection. It has aged fantastically well and I can't recommend it enough for pretty much any toyetic use!


Eric Stettmeier on November 6, 2013 at 9:58 PM said...

There's no way in hell those massive fingers are opening up any of those pouches! And what would he keep in them anyways, eighteen cents in change per?

Wes Grogan on November 6, 2013 at 10:59 PM said...

When I was about seven years old, I begged and begged for a pair of Kangaroos.
The problem is that I was seven years old. They pockets on my shoes were so small a penny couldn't even fit in them. It was a bit disappointing, and the pockets ended up not getting as much use as I had hoped for (I had envisioned having my own utility belt).

Anyway, story aside, I like to think that each pouch contains the toll fare for that day, personally.

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