I'm a big Guillermo del Toro fan. Among the patheon of geek gods in my head, he is right up there with Thor or Peter Jackson. His sense of storytelling and composition are exactly what I look for in movies. If you've never watched his earlier pictures, I suggest you try and find copies. I still need to find "Devil's Backbone" but stuff like Kronos and Blade II are some of my favorites.
Naturally when he took on Hellboy, I was intrigued. I didn't follow the Hellboy comics by Mike Mignola, but I loved the creator's style, and was interested in seeing how the two artists would work together. Thought the first movie didn't do as well as say, Spider-man, it was successful enough to spawn a sequel.
These toys have been ones that I've wanted to add to my collection for quite sometime, but I never got the chance. When the original movie was out in theatres I wasn't that big on collecting, worrying about classes and summer jobs and wotnot. When the second one came out, and Mezco released the new line, many of the figures didn't have the same quality as the originals. So I held out only buying Wink (the cave troll guy from the second film) when I found him on the cheap.
Luckily, I braved Greenhills during one of those power outages that made the days after Ondoy so much fun and saw these loose at one of the consignment shops. 3 figures from the original line, almost complete, for only p3500. That's a good price considering what was missing was a tiny little baby Sammeal that was supposed to come with Abe. I got an extra "big baby" revolver from the new Hellboy as a trade off. Score!
The first thing you'll see when you get these in had are how much better the quality is compared to the newer figures that were released last year. The Wink that I have has some atrocious paint mistakes, like slop, dings, unwashed areas, etc. There's even a big area on his foot where it looks like a drop of gray base paint fell on it and wasn't washed off. The other figures suffer similarly, with lots of bad paint applications.
Though they're a little worn and dirty from handling, these figures here look like they are superior in terms of paint. Abe alone has the new one beat since he's in his skin instead of the boring black BPRD suit. His skin has a glossy finish while his pants are matte. Hows's that for detail? He's also got his stripes painted on, though they seem a little more faded here than I remember in the movie.
Sculpt wise, Abe is pretty solid. He looks like a lot like Doug Jones in the suit, and the sculpted hands really allow him to mimic the things that he did in the movie. The general build of the body is much much lankier than Hellboy, as is expected, but height is the same at about 7". He does have some excellent detail like the fins on his back, the buckles and pockets on his belt, and the great individual toes. He's even got the suckers on his hand.
His accessories are mostly functional, with the aforementioned baby Sammeal being the exception. He came with two parts of his breathing apparatus (the bellows and the toilet seat), a belt, and two heads (one with, and one without his googles).
I really prefer him as skins vs. shirts. He is supposed to be swimming around after all.
Next up is Kroenen, who is let's face it, one of the most badass villians I've ever seen. C'mon, a steampunk ninja zombie with clockwork innards and tonfa swords? How cool is that?
Of the three, Kroenen's got the best articulation, which isn't surprising since he does need to be flexible. Undead Nazi Ninjas apparently take pilates, don't you know? He loses Abe's extra wrist joint (which allows him to move his hands up and down in addition to swiveling), but gains double jointed knees. It's an excellent trade off. You can get some very nice action poses with this guy, which makes him a great piece to display with the brutish Hellboy.
Paint wise he's a step below. I don't know if it's from playwear or because the previous owner decided to try some re-painting, but alot of the bronze pieces on my figure look pretty dark, especially the mask's mouthpiece. The swords also have some kind of a wash on them that makes them look more like corroded cast iron than steel.
Sculpt is probably even better than Abe, which you'll see once he takes off his mask:
Juicy. That ought to give you some Halloween nightmares.The mask is removable and you can snap it back on anytime you need to. It's definitely a good touch. He's also got a lot of fine detail on his chest plate, though the rest of him is pretty plain looking; black Victorian gimp suit and brown leather straps.
Now on to the best one of the set (in my opinion), Hellboy, "Red Gorilla", Anung Un Rama!
Like I said, you won't find the Big Baby shotgun on the old figures. It was an accessory that came with the line that was released for the second movie, The Golden Army. However, the newer Hellboy mold includes an ugly new Right Hand of Doom that is sculpted to hold the huge barrel of the shotgun. The arm is bent at the elbow and there isn't any articulation to un-bend it. This older figure looks much nicer with a straight arm and a fist. You still can't bend the arm, but it doesn't look completely ridiculous in repose.
The older figure also has a nicer coat. The finish is much closer to leather than the second one, which looks more like a toy. Another difference is the face. There's one with a cigar and one without. This old one is just a nice calm grimace.
He's got the least accessories of the three with only his Samaritan gun, which fits nicely in it's holster. The Big Baby doesn't count since it's not included in the original package. The paint on the guns is top notch, sharing the same kind of weathering as Kroenen's swords. Big Baby also has a nice painting on the stock. Both however break apart so he can load it. It's a nice touch, but he can't really do anything with it since he has no elbow articulation. He also can't use both guns at once since he can't open the Right Hand of Doom.
Surprisingly, he still retains a good deal of articulation despite that long trench coat. You're not going to get him in the same kind of poses as a Marvel Legends figure, but since he's a brawler, it's not really necessary. As long as he can bend his knees and point a gun, it's all good.
These are easily the best toys I've gotten in a while. Fully poseble, beautiful sculpts, nice and useful accessories, and at a decent price. The new Hellboy II toys cost about p1,500.00 each and are much lower quality than this first round, so if you can find them at a similar price, you should scoop them up. Now if only I can get a Sammael and a Rasputin figure, I'd be all set.