A few months back, I stumbled onto another great find one of my favorite neighborhood toy shops, Lanz Collectibles in St. Francis Square Mall. It's one of those stores where you always seem to find something you want, even if you're not really looking for anything in particular. I've gotten Madelman figures from there, Star Wars figures like the Vintage Series MagnaGuard, and a whole lot of DC Universe Classics toys. Many of the toys are second hand or overruns from various sources, but if you know what you're looking for, and don't mind the occasional quality control issue, you can find some gems there.
These loose Toys 'R' Us Exclusive 3.75" UFC action figures were a case in point.
These figures were exclusively sold in Toys 'R' Us back in 2010 (I think) and came in 2 waves of 8 figures each. Wave 1 consisted of Randy Couture, Shogun Rua, Anderson Silva, Bas Rutten, BJ Penn, Georges St. Pierre, Lyoto Machida, and Brock Lesnar. Wave 2 had Chuck Liddell, Forrest Griffin, Royce Gracie, Matt Hughes, Kimbo Slice, Frank Mir, and Tito Ortiz. Each of the toys came with one piece of an octagonal ring, for which the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is famous for. Both Wave 1 and Wave 2 come with the build-a-playset pieces.
However, these toys are overruns: toys that for some reason or other, were rejected or not included in the shipments to Toys 'R' Us. Sometimes the cause for their non-inclusion is obvious (switched parts, smeared paint, malformed limbs, etc.), but most of them actually pass muster if you're not a particularly choosy collector. Overruns usually don't come with any accessories, either. In this case, it means no octagon.
I only came across 4 different figures: Rua, Rutten, Lesnar, and Ortiz. Since I bought them, I've seen replacement stocks of both Rua and Rutten (last time was about 2 weeks ago), but no other characters popped up. Either I came to the party late, or these really are the only ones available.
I guess having 4 is a pretty good number, but I'd love it if I could have gotten all 16 of them.
No I'll admit that I don't know these men from Adam (I spent an hour looking up the names of these four figures just so I could do this review), but after looking them up, I've got to say that the likenesses aren't that bad, especially for something in 1:18 scale!
Again, as with most toys these days that are based on real life people though, the facial expression is basically nil. I suppose it's because they don't actually do any sculpting in the traditional sense, but more of the scanning and then 3D printing. I would have loved it if they had these guys faces grunting as if they were really duking it out.
Well, what they lack in that area, they make up for in others.
Most of the details on the figures are tampographed onto the surfaces. This is a process where the patterns are basically "printed" onto the figure using a rubber stamp. This way, you have nicer, cleaner lines, which is a must when you're graphics are small and delicate like those on these figures. Both the sponsors logos and the tattoos on the fighters' bodies would have been unrecognizable if they were painted on.
Since these are again, overruns, some of the applications are pretty bad. The Lesnar figure I got has got a huge unintelligible smear on the back where the tampographed tattoo was handled before the ink was dry. If I'd paid retail for these, I'd have been pissed, but seeing as I only shelled out Php 200.00 for each of them, I can let a lot pass.
Besides, I didn't really get these because I'm a huge fan of the UFC. I've watched a few of the early fights, back when MMA was still new to the mainstream, but got bored since everything ended up on the floor for 30 minutes. I hear they mixed up things to prevent that in later tournaments, but by then I'd already moved on.
No, I got these figures because their articulation has to be seen to be believed!
These are, by far, the best articulated figures I have ever owned. The only figures that even approach this level of bendiness are probably the Japanese Mircoman line, and those suffer from the fact that they fall apart every time you touch them. These babies hold together pretty well, which means you get unparalleled poseability with high levels of playability.
I was goofing around with these things for hours after I brought them home.
Each of the toys has a standard set of joints:
- Compound ball joint in the neck (barbell-like piece connects two holes, one in the neck, one in the head)
- Universal swivel-hinges at the shoulders
- Swivel biceps
- Hinged elbows with a better than 45 degree range
- Swivel wrists
- Hinged palms
- A fantastic torso crunch hinge
- Swivel waist
- Ball and socket hips
- Swivel thighs
- Double-hinged knees
- Universal swivel-hinge ankles
That's 23 or so usable points of articulation! On a 3.75" body! Holy shit!
If I had some customizing talent, I'd have bought all of these figures up and started planning out some nice ninja figures or something. Or use these to make a super-poseable Spider-Man or something (since lord knows that most of the ones that Hasbro's released aren't really that poseable). I'd actually bought that with practicing that process in mind, but after playing with them, I can't bring myself to damage them further than they already are.
In fact, I'm contemplating tracking down the rest of the series, even if I have to pay secondary market prices for them.
This is why older collectors learn to STICK TO ONE LINE!