Day Two of Scarabus week may be running a bit late, but I hope you won’t mind once you see the pictures. Today, I’m focusing on the sculpt and since that’s the one aspect that any picture can show, I thought I’d try & spice this one up with a little help from Scarabus’ two alternate looks: Demon Fire & Dormant Form!
While the improvements in quality that I talked about yesterday demonstrate how Four Horsemen Toy Design has hit their stride on the production end of the toy industry, the sculpt is there to always remind us where the Four Horsemen got their start.
The best thing I can about the sculpt might just be that nothing’s missing. I know that sounds odd, but think about how many toys you buy were the boots or gloves are delineated only by two areas of paint on the same smooth sculpt? I’m not one to complain about a figure like Negative Man having to miss a sculpted detail here or there (I rather enjoyed that figure, in fact), but I think you’ll understand that I simply must praise a figure where every detail is sculpted, right?
Take the Scarabus’ figures standard leggings as an example. Not only are they are believably layered and detailed with some nice crosshatching, but they have their straps, and those straps have fasteners where they originate and buckles – that just happen to be little scarabs – where they end. That’s just two pieces. Scarabus is like that from head-to-toe.
I mean it feels somewhat silly getting so excited about the little details like straps and buckles, but I think that’s a byproduct of the toy industry. There are some expertly sculpted mass/online retail toy lines out there (some sculpted by the Four Horsemen, no less), but those sculpts aren’t… terribly complicated. Take MOTU Classics as an example, those figures have great sculpts, but, like a lot of toys, the designs themselves are relatively simple and the figures end up being relatively straightforward as a result. Again, there isn’t anything wrong with that, I love MOTU Classics. But I will admit that having Scarabus makes me wonder what He-Man would look like give the same sense of realism.
As I tout the level of detail, it’s probably important that I similarly point out that the sculpt doesn’t look busy. There aren’t any excessive lines, rivets, or texturing. Every detail on the figure has a purpose and it gives the figures a cohesive, layered look. Some of that is by virtue of actual layering. While there are pieces separated by articulation, there are also a few areas where separate pieces help give the figure some extra depth without adding movement.
If you haven’t seen the awesome exploded view of Scarabus that was on display at Toypocalypse, you need to. Go ahead. I’ll wait…
I think that photo, more than anything, demonstrates how much care and craft went in to making this figure. You might also pay special attention to the neck and lower torso which are also separate, but immobile pieces.
Now, the pieces could be there as part of articulation that had to be removed (the ab crunch being one, the back of the figure shows that it was intended early on), but they are still doing their job providing depth and layering. Again, I feel like I’m overstating little things, but take a closer look as the neck in the pictures, I don’t think it would look nearly as nice if it were one piece. Continue to Page 2…