As I’ve mentioned in assorted Toy Stories features, I do like variant figures. What do I mean, though, by a “variant”? Well, it could mean a lot of things — different, related characters with similar designs, redesigns of an existing figure to match a different uniform or look, an “energized” version of a character with such powers… pretty much anything that’s a “real” version of the character as has appeared in the comic books or TV show. And since the last few figures I have that I haven’t shared with you guys yet all fall into this category, I thought I’d give you guys the side-by-sides of several variants in my possession.
The entire point of Urban Vinyl figures is to use different designs on the same body mold, so I guess technically any of these fits the criteria. Here we see the Vinylmation “Monorail Mickey” next to the “Fireworks” mouse I showed you guys a couple of weeks ago. Side-by-site, you can really tell that the figures themselves are identical, and it’s just the paint job that’s different.
Let’s go to a far more extreme example, shall we?
If you recognize either of this pair, it’s probably the bald guy in the green armor with major overcompensation issues going on with his shoulder pads. This is Lex Luthor, arch-enemy of Superman, and (in the DC Universe, at least) former President of the United States. To his left, in the gold with the red hair, is Alex Luthor, sole survivor of the alternate universe called Earth-3. On Alex’s world, the heroes were villains, and the only superhero left was his father, Lex Luthor. So Alex is kinda Lex’s son from another dimension. If you’re a comic book geek like me, you have no problem understanding that.
On the left here is the Wonder Woman figure that came with the recent direct-to-DVD movie in which she starred, and designed to look like that version. On the right is the basic Infinite Heroes Wonder Woman figure, based on a more iconic comic book version. The body molds of these two figures is exactly the same, but the faces and hair are drastically different. Personally, I prefer the animated version. The lines on the comic version’s W-symbol are too heavy, and actually look more like a “cartoon” than the one that’s actually based on a cartoon. Plus, for some reason she has an expression that makes her look like she’s sniffing something vaguely unpleasant.
Next up we’ve got three different, related characters. In the center is Jay Garrick, the Golden Age Flash who’s been kicking butt and taking names since World War II. I was particularly happy to find this guy in a single pack, because for a while there the only place I saw him was as a variant figure in the Flash three-pack I’d already got, and I really don’t need extras of Mirror Master or Weather Wizard. Plus he’s just a great character. To the left, the gentleman in red is Wally West, Flash III and the guy many of us reading comics today grew up with as THE Flash. On the left is his former friend Hunter Zolomon, alias Zoom, now a particularly interesting madman who believes that the way to make the Flash a better superhero is by causing great tragedies in his life to overcome. Now that the second Flash, Barry Allen, has returned from the dead, I rather hope that means we’ll have two new figures coming soon — one of Barry, and one of Wally in the new costume that’s supposedly being designed by artist Ethan Van Sciver.
Now for a few figures that didn’t require much modification at all…
Billions of years ago, the Guardians of the Universe created a legion of robotic agents to protect innocent sentients from the evil one of their number unleashed. The Manhunters turned out to be psycho, though, so they canned them and got some living agents, the Green Lantern Corps. The Manhunters have never been really happy about this arrangement, though, and lately have been known to hang around with members of the Sinestro Corps. The guy in the middle came in a single pack, but the two fellas flanking him were a third of a Green Lantern Corps six-pack. They’re in serious need of some Turtle Wax.
Speaking of Green Lantern…
Hal Jordan is one of two Green Lanterns of Space Sector 2814. The second figure in this picture isn’t his partner, John Stewart, it’s an “energized” version of Hal. While the basic Hal figure came in a three-pack with his pals Green Arrow and Black Canary, the energy version was part of the same six-pack that included the two Manhunters, plus John Stewart, Guy Gardner, and a Qwardian Weaponer. Very few of the Infinite Heroes toys have come with accessories, and Hal is one that really should have one. Why have none of the various Green Lanterns who’ve got figures in this line come with a Power Battery?
Last, but not least, we’ve got the two renditions of Johnny Storm, alias the Human Torch, courtesy of the Marvel Universe line. One is Johnny with a little bit a fire atop his noggin. The other is Johnny in full “Flame on!” mode. Can you guess which is which?
I’ve showed you guys a couple of other side-by-sides before, so just for the sake of completeness, I’m going to show those pictures to you here too. Click on each picture to go to the corresponding article:
And that’s all the toys I’ve got, folks. So this may be the last Toy Stories for a while, unless this weekend’s Nola Comic-Con brings me across some swag I’ve been looking for. Don’t worry, it’ll be back, I just don’t know when. In the meantime, in-between time, how about reading and commenting on Lost in Silver? Or the various reviews and other blogs I post here almost daily? I thrive on feedback, folks, so let’s hear some! Take it easy.