Like most of the figures, Spector is built using the basic buck and a few parts borrowed from Trap Jaw. It works, but I do lament that we still don’t have a proper buck without nipples for clothed figures. I guess it’s just one really tight time travel suit or maybe Toy Guru’s been drawing him with nipples for years. I can’t be sure.
The new left forearm makes for the coolest piece – and I love the detachable cosmic key as an accessory. On the one hand, it’s just cool to be able to swap it out with the “blade” (and I’m disappointed we couldn’t get the whip accessory). But the real fun is the play value it could’ve provided me as a kid. Since it comes off of his arm, this cosmic key could be stolen and spawn an afternoon adventure where Spector has to retrieve it from the evil clutches of Skeletor or Darkseid. I would’ve loved an “action feature” like that as a kid and I have to appreciate it today, even if it’s technically just a side effect of part swapping.
The new noggin is also a highlight for Spector. You can see the stern expression in the face despite the lack of visible facial features. A+ work from the 4H. Also, the solid purple and red “eyes” create an interesting effect for me that I can’t quite describe. This isn’t the first time that we’re seeing this type of design on a mask, but either the colors or the subtle 4H sculpting messes with my head. You know where his eyes are supposed to be, but they’re not quite there. I can’t quite explain it, but it’s a cool effect for a time traveling character.
The newly sculpted harness is the one area I’m not too thrilled about. I like the basic design of it and I love the leg-strap and holster, but there’s just something I’d like to change about it. I’m not sure if it’s the design or the color. The mix of silver/gold metallics and bright yellow is always an odd pairing. Or maybe if there was just some more yellow on the figure itself, that would tie the figure together. And the spade… I know that Toy Guru explains the spade away by saying that known symbols have different meanings on Eternia, citing He-Man’s iron cross, but it’s just not working with the spade. Y’know the old saying, “call a spade a spade”? Well, that’s got double meaning here. Admittedly, the playing card shtick works for Bow, but I think I’d like this figure better without it.
In terms of execution, Spector is one of the most spot-on figures this year. The slightly pearlized plastic is sharp and the paint apps that are here are great (though the harness could’ve used a little more). The articulation has no design elements blocking the range. There are some good accessories, including the pistol that I’d neglected to mention above, and some fun little tidbits like the removable cosmic key and the green “ammunition” on his leg strap that powers the key, the blade, or the pistol and helps the figure to tell a story. He can be a fun figure if you want him to be.
I think Toy Guru got a lot of this figure right (as he should, I suppose), but I still think the figure needed a little more. I’m willing to just chalk it up to the fact that Toy Guru and I have wildly different favorite colors, but I’m left wondering if Spector could’ve used a little more of an abstract touch.
As Sallah said in his great piece about Spector, Toy Guru had the opportunity to insert his own childhood into the line and he unashamedly took it. I have no problem with that beyond professional jealousy. But in a follow-up interview with Toy Guru, it was also pointed out that very little changed from conception to execution. I won’t begrudge Toy Guru having the figure he wanted, especially in his pocket at NYTF (which was totally awesome), but I can’t help but wonder if that “something more” might’ve been found had Spector been given a once over in the planning stages. Would he have gotten a better figure or at least a less divisive one? Would Spector’s future in MOTU be just a little brighter?
We’ll never know, but I still think we got a fun figure out of the process… even if purple isn’t all that high on my favorite colors list.
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