Marvel Super Hero Squad Review – Human Torch & Silver Surfer

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A good super hero team is about balance, both in terms of powers and personality. Otherwise you end up with a table of Supermen and that isn’t nearly as exciting as it sounds. In fact, when Stan Lee was tasked to create a new super hero team to go against DC’s Justice League, he made it a point to make the characters different from anything that had been seen in comics.

“For just this once, I would do the type of story I myself would enjoy reading…. And the characters would be the kind of characters I could personally relate to: they’d be flesh and blood, they’d have their faults and foibles, they’d be fallible and feisty, and — most important of all — inside their colorful, costumed booties they’d still have feet of clay.” But Stan Lee isn’t the only creator of the Fantastic Four, half of that credit belongs to the legendary Jack “the King” Kirby and this two-pack honors them both.

The younger brother of Sue Storm, Johnny Storm for some unknown reason was allowed to go along on the trip that gave the group their super powers. Each member got a power based off the respective element: Thing was earth, Sue was air, Reed was water and Johnny was fire. So he took the name, the Human Torch! Not the most creative, because there was a character in the Marvel universe already named that!

Like his sister, the Human Torch has always had a tough time getting a well done toy. In the comics he was drawn as a red body with lines surrounded by a yellow flame, not exactly something that is easy to replicate in a toy form. For this figure, Hasbro decided to paint the figure orange while having translucent flames come off his head, hands and feet. It’s a unique take on the figure but it doesn’t really work.

All the other members of the Fantastic Four are based off their Ultimate look but Johnny doesn’t seem to be based off any look in particular. He looks like a guy who painted himself orange and shaved his head as if he really messed up his Blue Man Group audition. But there are little details on the figure that just seem odd.

The Human Torch has sculpted gloves but not boots. His head is bald and only has one ear while where it should be on the other side of his head is empty. The paint on the face seems really weird too; the eyes and expression just don’t feel right. Throw in the fact that the 4 on his chest is off center, you’re left with an underwhelming, unarticulated figure. Had the flames been yellow and his body was red with black lines they could have gotten credit for at least trying to be accurate but this figure just doesn’t seem to fit with the rest of his family.

Packed with Johnny is a creation of Jack Kirby: the Silver Surfer! The herald of Galactus, the Silver Surfer is a major player in Marvel’s cosmic storylines. Near limitless power and a slave to his master’s will (when he isn’t free) the Silver Surfer is a tragic character.

Many past Silver Surfer toys have looked weird either because the figure was chromed or because the blue highlights wrecked the paint. This one is painted silver with just white eyes. No shading, no air brushing and it works so well.

Permanently attached to his surfboard, Silver Surfer is in a mid-flight pose that looks decent. The figure has an ever-so-slight smile and eyes that are unlike any other eyes painted on any figure in the Super Hero Squad. One odd thing about the figure though is his exceptionally stubby fingers and oversized head. But he’s an alien, so I’ll let it slide.

Silver Surfer’s surfboard, while attached, looks absolutely great. It’s as long as the Human Torch is tall and is basic and plain like it should be. Only five parallel lines run down the middle of it for texture.

When first released, this pack was near impossible to find but there’s no real reason for the shortage. The Human Torch just looks plain odd (well, he actually looks like he’s doing the YMCA) and the Silver Surfer is decent but the fact that his board is attached is a disappointment, especially since Doctor Doom got to ride it in the second movie.

Marvel Super Hero Squad Wave 3: The Fantastic Four
Mister Fantastic & Super SkrullInvisible Woman & Doctor DoomHuman Torch & Silver SurferThe Thing & Namor

jkerr@firekc.com

Written by jestergoblin

April 28th, 2010 at 12:00 am

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