With 6” Marvel figures only trickling out in recent years, it seemed like the toyline of the early 2000s was deep in slumber. The behemoth is awake now. I know because I just bought some figures I didn’t want to build-a-figure I knew nothing about. That’s the power of Marvel Legends.
So, some weeks ago, if you asked me who Terrax was… and then reminded me that he was a herald of Galactus, I could’ve told you that he was a herald of Galactus. My awareness of his existence was the sum total of my Terrax knowledge. So the question you have to ask yourself is why would some crazy bastard (and you know he’s crazy because he runs a toy website) go from not knowing who a character really is to snatching up $90 worth of figures (some not terribly wanted) to obtain him?
Putting aside the possibility of any deep psychological issues, its two things. One is the simple power of a good figure. Not to spoil this review, but I’ll be fawning over dear Terrax here in a bit. Two is the power of the BAF. When Toy Biz introduced the ML BAFS with Galactus years ago, I was pretty damn impressed (though Hasbro has since bested that Galactus). They followed up with Sentinel, which is still one of my favorites to this day and many of the subsequent BAFs turned out pretty nicely as well.
Now, the truth is that BAFs aren’t as cool as they used to be – money and time have had their impact on the BAF like everything else. After the switch from Toy Biz to Hasbro, those first few BAFs were… not quite on par with what had come before. While Marvel Legends was resting, Mattel had some impressive C&Cs, but their internal budget issues and the sad state of DC’s inability to move units capped their size and design.
Even now that Marvel Legends is back, the BAFs aren’t as magnificent as the days of old, but I’m really happy with the 1.5 BAFs I have so far (can anyone believe ROML2 hit so soon? I am Noisy’s empty wallet) because I do think Hasbro has at least gotten them back to being good figures even if they’re not as impressive as the early offerings. That’s why when I have one or two pieces, I simply tend to want the rest. The same is happening with Arnim Zola right now.
For Terrax, it was a slow burn which converted into a desire TRU, Target, & Walmart couldn’t fill fast enough. That helped Iron Man, Klaw & Ghost Rider to come home with me despite my initial intentions. Those figures are varying levels of cool in their own right, but I’d be lying if I said the BAF pieces weren’t a key component in their purchase. And while I know I could buy/trade just the BAF pieces (another cool aspect, by the way), I find that I do better as the guy that eventually sells/trades off the unwanted figures to the folks that don’t share my love of the BAF concept enough to learn to love a new character. It was with that attitude, and after a few trips to TRU & Walmart over a few weeks, I happily completed my Terrax.
Which raised the important question for me to consider – who is Terrax? Hasbro did some legwork for me by including six inserts (one with each piece) that explained a different aspect of Terrax’s story. I did have to do a little more reading around the ‘net, but those inserts are awesome!
Turns out, Tyros was an alien dictator that Galactus wanted as a herald. To that end, Galactus maneuvered the Fantastic Four against him and, upon his defeat, converted him into Terrax. He gained all the supercharged heraldness, but he also has mastery over rock. He also carried a big ax – so Terra + Ax = Terrax. Whoo hoo.
Anyway, he seemingly sucked as a herald, often running afoul of Galactus and getting into various altercations, some of which are outlined in those little inserts. I found them rather amusing, particularly that he got his ass kicked by Dazzler. Nice.
Terrax the figure appears to be an entirely new sculpt and one that is definitely intended to be reused for future characters. While the armor, loincloth, and bootcuffs provide much appreciated accuracy and depth, the basic figure underneath is essentially a clean buck. While this is more a page out of Mattel’s playbook, I’m okay with it. It’s got great articulation and I won’t mind seeing it on another future figure – particularly if its covered for by the new pieces as well as it it with Terrax here.
There is just one tiny little issue that I discovered while reading up on Terrax. He’s kinda supposed be the height of the average hero. I’m not sure how he’s been portrayed in the art over the years, but he’s consistently listed at 6′ 6″ and tends to be more wide than your average dude. That, as Mattel will tell us when it comes to Lead or Ram Man, is not ideal in a buck line. If you’re a Terrax fan, I’d understand if you can’t enjoy this figure being nearly an inch-and-a-half taller than he’s supposed to be, but – by virtue of ignorance – he doesn’t look wrong to me and I rather enjoy the figure.
There is one other tiny drawback to the Terrax buck too: the painted glove lines. Not a big deal, we’re all well use to paint delineating features on shared use parts, but it just sticks out like a sore thumb on a figure where it’s the only instance of it happening. If Hasbro is going to continue down this road, I might suggest they swipe one thing from Mattel and that’s to create a library of forearms with different glove lines (which Mattel didn’t annoyingly always use properly themselves). Continue to Page 2…