I’ve never collected The Punisher comics. Oh, I’ve had one or two issues in my hoard, but the only one I really remember was a 1992 issue of The Punisher Armory. It had a cover painted by Joe Jusko, which is why I picked it up from the news stand. Inside, there wasn’t really any story, just something like the diary of Frank Castle, with his thoughts on weapons, tactics and various other things that had to do with his war on crime. It was a great read for a teenager who loved geeking out on the details.
In my head, Punisher is a lot like the way he was portrayed in the film Punisher: War Zone. He’s like Hulk: fantasy fulfillment. Who hasn’t wanted to lash out when they got angry? Who hasn’t said “I’ll kill him” when someone’s done something wrong? Don’t we all want to see our crooked politicians go the way of Jigsaw? That’s why people like the guy. He does the kind of stuff you’ve always wanted to do.
It also didn’t hurt that he has a shitload of guns.
The guns are the big draw for collectors like me when it comes to characters like The Punisher. For him, accessories like this make real sense. Other characters in the Marvel Universe that use firearms, more often than not, pull their weaponry from their resident technomancers, or from the future, or from the imagination of the pencillers: Ray Guns ‘R’ Us. So getting a toy like the 2012 Marvel Legends Punisher is great thing. It’s a poseble toy that comes with several swappable weapons that look like they could be used in real life. It’s like having a 6” G.I. Joe to play with.
Or a Barbie (but let’s not talk about that).
Those guys at Madelman knew that the 1:10 scale was the perfect size for boys’ toys. Our friends at Toy Biz and Mattel knew it, and Hasbro knows it, too. You get that all the detail and poseability of figures like Marvel Legends Deadpool, and then mix it with the playability of figures like Pursuit of Cobra Snake Eyes or Beachhead, and BAM! You’ve got yourself a hot ticket item. It looks like Punisher is the second figure in the newly released third wave of the 2012 Marvel Legends line after Deadpool to sell out.
You can read back to find my reviews of both Neo-Classic Iron Man and Deadpool from this wave to read more about the packaging for the new 2012 version of the line. The “Marvel Knights” pack isn’t any less stellar. Well, maybe a little less. The artwork on this piece is a little less inspired than the others. Still, Crain managed to make it appealing. The Punisher is paired up with Blade, his fellow “Marvel Knight”. Locally, all the deliveries so far have been Punisher, so don’t go trying to find the daywalker just yet. From the talk on the boards, we’ll probably get the variant versions in a month or so.
Out of the package, you’ll see that he comes with quite a cache of toys:
He’s got a pistol (which fits in the holster on his thigh), a sub-machine gun, an assault rifle, a shotgun, and a sniper rifle. He’s also go a removable ammo belt and his incomplete trench coat (which I’m not sure is really an accessory, but I’m including anyway). Oh, and that stupid looking stand.
It’s a pretty sweet haul. Like most Joes however, he can’t carry much of it on his person, which kind of sucks. It would have been nice if Hasbro had included ways to clip these things onto him. Maybe hooks inside his coat where you could hang the shotgun and SMG, and a strap so he could sling the rifle on his back. It would also be cool if he had a K-Bar knife somewhere…
Oh, well. This is a lot, considering in today’s toy industry, we’re lucky to even get a paper insert let alone anything else.
Let's talk a little bit about the sculpting on this guy. This version is much closer to the comic book origins of The Punisher. In recent years, he's been given a makeover by guys like Tim Bradstreet, who made him much less camp, and a lot darker and gritty.
Like Batman, but without all the cuddly, feely stuff.
This figure looks more like the cover from The Punisher War Journal #1 by John Romita Jr. than it does Bradstreet's take on the character. If you want a version that's more realistic, you'll have to track down the figure from the Walmart exclusive Marvel Legends Nemesis Wave that came out in 2009. Unfortunately, that one doesn't have this one's articulation or accessories.
The toy is made up of re-used parts mostly. From what I can tell, it's a Frankenstein's monster with the arms and trench coat of Nick Fury and the lower legs of Winter Soldier, both of which were variations on the original Nemesis Bradstreet figure.
The bigger boots do tend to give him a shorter, squatter appearance than the Bradstreets or Fury, but that's not to say it doesn't look good. To make it a little different, Hasbro's given us a new head and that ammo belt. I do hate the white boots. How can he possibly keep them clean, trudging around in mud and gore all day?
In any case, Hasbro's done an excellent job on this guy's look. His articulation is just as good as Nick Fury's, with double jointed elbows and knees, post and hinge ankles and wrists, a good torso joint that doubles as his waist as well, nice hip joints, and a head with great range. The coat does mess with his movement, but that's to be understood. They could have given him a cloth coat, but those always look a little off. I prefer this one.
Back to the accessories.
Clock wise from the top left: His pistol is either a Heckler & Koch USP (Universale Selbstladepistole or "universal self-loading pistol") or a Walther P22; His sub-machine gun is either Heckler & Koch UMP (Universale Maschinenpistole or universal machine pistol) or Heckler & Koch MP5K; The sniper rifle looks to be a Barrett M107 Heavy Caliber anti-materiel/anti-personnel long range sniper rifle (LRSR) or a Marine Corps M82A3 special application scoped rifle or the Russian Izhmash SV-98 bolt-action rifle. I can't decide; His shotgun is a Mossberg Model 930 Tactical 12 Gauge or on of those FN TPS (Fabrique Nationale tactical police shotgun); Finally, the assault rifle looks to be some kind of modernized AK-47. I thought it might be an M-4, but the silhouette looks wrong to me.
What did we ever do before Google image search?
My favorite is the shotgun, since it's got so much character to it with the two handles and the red shells sculpted to the side. My least favorite is the sniper rifle, since it's white. What the fuck?
Another gripe I have is that they kept Fury's hands. Those hands are great for dual wielding the pistols, which come with so many of the Marvel Legends figures (I've got so many of these things now it's stupid) but they don't work as well for the rifles. It would have been sweet if they had given him those awesome vertical hinges that some of the newer G.I. Joe figures have (like Commando Snake Eyes) so that he could have shouldered his weapons more properly.
In any case, every one of these new guns is a keeper, and they make great additions to my 1:10 scale (or close enough) armory. I'm sure with a little spray paint, I can even use that ridiculously white Barrett M107.
So, to break it down for you, the Return of Marvel Legends Punisher figure has got it going on with a trifecta of toy goodness: aesthetic, articulation, and accessories. Definitely worth the Php 900.00 that it retails for. If you're a lover of good toys, this should definitely be on your list.