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Vault Review: Light & Dark Talisman Scarabus

I was so excited for the upcoming Fantastic Exclusive Scarabus figure by the Four Horsemen, that I decided I couldn’t wait for the official release. So I saved up a little bit of extra money and placed an order for the Light & Dark Talisman set that debuted at the Horsemen’s Toypocalypse showing.

For those of you who don’t know, Fantastic Exclusive is project started back in 2005 by Four Horsemen Design Studios (yes, those Four Horsemen). They give the fans a choice of various characters/themes to choose from. Whichever character wins the vote becomes a toy. From there, the fans get to choose the scale, articulation, and even submit suggestions for possible variants. It’s a really great project, and the Horsemen deserve beaucoup props for sharing this process and allowing the toy buyers to actually choose what they want.

Fantastic Exclusive 3 was won by the Dark Lord of Gothitropolis, Scarabus. The packaging describes him as an ancient demon with the power to control the dead that was born into this worldly plane by way of a scarab beetle. Since centuries have passed since his initial resurrection, you get the feeling that he’s a big picture fellow that chooses to bide his time while amassing greater strengths and armies. The card back also states that he hails from the year 2332, and he’s about to make his move and establish his presence on an unsuspecting humanity. His city of the undead, Gothitropolis, will be his new capitol in a world of shambling corpses that he commands.

The card back states all that more eloquently, of course, and there’s more there too. I don’t want to spoil it all for ya. The cool thing here is that the first character we get from the property is the Big Bad himself. (Well, technically he’s the second. The first was Scarabus’ little demon servants, the Timekeepers.) Originally there were going to be nine variants of this figure. Two of them are Scarabus in his Demon Fire and Dormant forms. The other seven not only have different decos, but also entirely different heads, making them unique characters. But The Horsemen are sneaky, and they found a way to slip two more figures into the mix.

From what I understand of their back story, the Dark & Light figures are true scale totems for those of us who worship the Dark Lord. Making them into life size props is a really cool idea, but I’m not going to be worshipping them so much as putting them with other toys. So I decided to come up with my own explanation. To me the Dark one is Scarabus’ Shadow, while the Light is Scarabus’ Ghost. If the guy’s as evil as they make him sound, there should be no problem with his ghost and shadow also being badass.

If you’re like me and just really love the hell out of a good toy, no matter what the brand or character, then you have to buy this toy. Maybe not the Dark & Light ones specifically, but you’ll need to pick up at least one of these figures. The first thing that will strike you is how much fantastic (no pun intended) sculpting has gone into this figure. This is where The Horsemen truly shine as artists. There is so much detail, Scarabus really seems to have a life of his own. His style and detail rivals that of Mandarin Spawn, which is another incredible 4H figure.

This toy has so much detail packed into it that I don’t know where to start. Sure the scales of his horns are sculpted, but there’re also small fractures and chips along the very organic looking edges of each scale’s rim. The bands of his armor are easy to see, but you have to look closer to notice the shoulder pads of his cape have an intricate labyrinthine pattern etched into them. Even his armor pieces have tiny little rivets dotted all around. Not to mention that his leggings have the cracked look of old leather and his hooves are splintered and worn, even on the bottoms. Continue to Page 2…

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24 comments to Vault Review: Light & Dark Talisman Scarabus

  • dwaltrip

    Vault, I love that idea of the two scarab legs on his back in his hand pegs. Great picture.

  • Bigbot

    Awesome review. I purchased these, but haven’t had time to open them up. Now I know what I’ll be doing this weekend.

    • dayraven

      you have a patience that borders on insanity sir. there’s no way these could be in my home and unopened. you’re like gandhi, but better.

    • AdventureVault

      Thanks! I think you’ll be happy with them. But I’m with Dayraven, I have no idea how you haven’t broken them out yet, lol.

  • These guys look very impressive but I just don’t have enough interest to plunk down that kind of money for them.
    Your review does a great job of pointing out everything special about them and I could definitely see paying the $50 if I knew or cared about the character.

    Thanks for the great review as always!

  • He-Mullet

    Wow! That’s the power of the Horsemen when they’re not bound by silly rules from Logistics, Anime Hyper detail is retired, and whatever starfruit Mattel can think of to cut corners and deliver lower quality at a greater price…

    • AdventureVault

      I know. It kind of makes me miss the old days when McFarlane was experimental with their toy designs. It’s really too bad there aren’t a lot of companies willing to take that chance anymore.

    • Lay Ze-Man

      Truer words, He-Mullet . . .

      The 4H are making sure that everything that sucks about MOTUC (basically, everything they DON’T handle) is rockin’ to the hilt with these figures.

      Awesome QC, awesome packaging design, awesome packaging illustrations (by the sensational Nate “Baena” Baertsch), and a bio that absolutely blows anything MOTUC has tried to come up with out of the water.

  • dayraven

    dude, this is what i’ve been asking for, gracias vault!! you got some really nice shots in there, and showcased a figure that is truly blowing the mass market crap right out of the water. YAY!!! SCARABUS!

  • JoMi

    Scale question, if I may? How does Scarabaus look next to the Diamond Select Stargate Serpent Guard? They both have that rad Egyptian motif…If you have the Serpent Guard piece, I would love to see a comparison picture. Thanks in advance.

  • AdventureVault

    That’s a pretty good idea JoMi, thank you.

    I had to dig around a bit for my SG1 figures, but I eventually found them. Scarabus fits in pretty well with them. He’s still a bit taller than everyone, except for the ridiculously ginormous helmet on the Serpent Guard. He’d make a really good System Lord I think.

    • JoMi

      Thanks! I asked because as mush as I love the Scarabus, I’m not a fan of the hooves. I think I want to swap out the Serpent Guards legs and feet when I pick up the Anubis-headed version…I’m glad they line up!

  • Man…I almost have no words to say…as a collector i wish i could see one day one of those in hand…

    amazing figures

    • AdventureVault

      They’re pretty cool. It’s not a bad investment if you’re looking for a great figure.

  • Lay Ze-Man

    Glad you got these two dudes, Vault!

    Nice review!!!

    I can’t wait to see how mixing and matching some of my D&L pieces will look on some of the regular painted Scarabi.

    Should be interesting . . .

    • AdventureVault

      Thanks!

      I played around with mixing the Light & Dark parts, but it didn’t turn out as well because they are solid colors. I think the painted ones will make for better amalgamations.

      I do wish there were more interchangeable pieces though. It would be cool to change out the feet or arms or even torso.

  • dayraven

    those new shots in front of the stargate are spiffy, but he looks almost too egyptian (and no futurey components) and the serpent guard’s feet look way too small to work for scarabus. plus, as i understand it, scarrie is pretty well balanced on those hooves, so find feet to fit is also a challenge in balance and engineering.