During these past two weeks, some of Super7’s Ultimates figures were deeply discounted. So, We took the plunge and picked one to review. The one that stood out the most was the Radioactive Red Rage Toxie from the early ’90s cartoon Toxic Crusaders. The figure’s design shares many similarities with the original Playmates figure, but the Ultimates version is 6″ tall and far more expensive.
We’ve been covering Ultimates figures for a while now. Whenever I wrote an article, I always wondered if the toy’s quality matched the $55 price. Sure, the figures came with lots of accessories, detail, and articulation, but how do they stack up next to Marvel Legends or Star Wars Black Series in comparison? Is there value here?
Yes and no. Mostly no.
When it comes to variant figures, there’s always something that has to suffer: the paint application. I noticed the sloppy paint application as soon as I slid the cover off the figure’s box. I get that this toy is supposed to replicate the Playmates original, but not at the cost of making a $55 action figure look cheap. No wash was applied to the bandolier, and the yellow paint was already flaking and cracking. But, overall, Toxie seems OK for a gimmick figure.
I’ll give Super7 props for the sculpture of Blobbie. Where the toy shines, though, is in the UV-activated features. Toxie is covered in photoluminescent paint and a mixture of color-changing paint on the figure’s plastic body. These paints give the figure a double whammy of glowing green skin and deep blood-red masses. In some areas, the Radioactive Red Rage effect appears to be under the surface, possibly mixed in with the plastic.
Blobbie, the shield, and the grenades do not glow in the dark. The UV light we used did give them an excellent neon effect, but there’s no light-absorbing material here. Too bad. But how does Toxie look outside of the box? He’s decent enough, but when we started posing his limbs, we noticed that the unique paint was beginning to flake off around the joints. His shoulder joints were stuck tight because of the amount of photoluminescent paint accumulated there. Once we got the arm free, we noticed that there was now an ugly gap in the paint; see below.
Another issue was the strength of the torso. The sockets where the legs connect to the pelvis were loose. Getting Toxie into a pose where he’d stand on his own two feet took a while. This is unfortunate because the knee joints were perfect. They were ratcheted, making the legs far more securely positioned than some Marvel Legends figures.
The ab section of the torso was also gunked up with paint. It eventually snapped and resulted in a super loose joint. Now we had wobbly leg sockets and an almost spineless torso. We counterbalanced the ab issue by putting the mop in Toxie’s hands. Once the sweet spot was found, he stood upright and in a decent enough position for more photos.
If you display this figure in an area with enough light to show off the color-changing effect, I suggest keeping him in the box. However, the free-flowing joints we encountered made us not want to display Toxie out of the box just in case he tumbled off the shelf and broke something.
So, is this Toxie worth buying? Yes, if you get him at a discount, like what we found at Entertainment Earth. No, if you’re being charged the original $55 asking price.
Never heard of the Toxic Crusaders before? Let me give you a super brief rundown:
Toxic Crusaders is a pretty niche property. The series only lasted 13 episodes, and the Playmates toy line delivered one wave of figures and vehicles. Although the cartoon wasn’t unique, the toys fit in with all the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles action figures. They had the same articulation and size. Plus, the Toxic Crusaders characters had added play features that used the everpresent slime we had left over from our Real Ghostbusters toys. Maybe it was because the series premiered at the end of the gross phase we were all going through. Perhaps we were oversaturated by all of the TMNT figures? Maybe not enough kids knew about the R-rated Toxic Avenger to really care about a cartoon based on the Troma property.
[Source: Entertainment Earth]
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