B.P.R.D. Buddies Review: Hellboy & Johann Kraus

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The first B.P.R.D. Buddies pack I picked up was Hellboy and Abe Sapien, and while I liked the figures the price kept me from rushing out and grabbing the rest. So when I found second pack marked down, I figured I might as well grab it.

Hellboy is back again, or as the packaging calls him “Red,” and this time he’s in his classic B.P.R.D. suit. It’s just a black shirt, boots and pants along with a belt. Nothing terribly exciting but shows off the figure well – plus it matches Abe! Mezco has done a good job of matching Hasbro’s style of hero figures without going straight copycat. The sculpt has more detail and much better paint.

Hellboy’s got the same head as last time, which is a shame because he’d really benefit from a cigar. His body isn’t the most exciting, just a bulky guy but it works. His feet are massive and his tail is creeping out. His belt looks great with a few pouches and a holster for the Good Samaritan. But the belt buckle is a sculpted version of the BPRD logo! This time around his Right Hand of Doom is closed in a fist and he’s clutching his favorite revolver in the left.

Articulation is on the disappointing side since Hellboy only moves at the wrists and neck. His sculpt makes it look like his shoulders rotate but sadly they don’t. His tail doesn’t even rotate.

The paint is exceptional. His matte black costume looks good, while his red skin stands out. The Good Samaritan is solid black with some light brushing to make it look metallic. The dark wash on the Right Hand of Doom looks amazing, as does the paint work on his belt. His face is great once again, but the eyes are black with yellow irises and black pupils which seems almost like one level too many since Hellboy is often drawn with solid yellow eyes.

Paired up with Hellboy is Johann Kraus. Made up of ectoplasma, Kraus is forced to live in a containment suit or risk drifting away forever. But in his plasma form, he can control inanimate objects and he happens to be a medium. So every time he uses his powers, he risks losing himself.

For the second movie, Kraus got a redesign from his comic roots. Wearing an outfit that screams Steampunk Mysterio, Kraus is wearing what looks like a deep sea diver’s scuba suit with one minor change – there’s no head. The suit looks incredible and is full of folds and details. Covered in metal points for fingertips, toes and elbows to give him definition, Kraus just looks weird but he should so it works.

Kraus’s pose seems somewhat unnatural, but for a guy without a corporeal form, I’m not going to say his feet are at an odd angle. His body is covered in riveted metal and overlapping canvas. He’s even sporting the same belt buckle as Hellboy, so I guess they’re standard issue by the BPRD.

Like Hellboy, Krauss is lacking in the articulation department. Only his wrists move, nothing else. But as a guy who isn’t known for being active, it seems more fitting. Though the pose he’s trapped in makes him look like he’s scolding someone with his unnaturally long fingers.

The paint is exceptionally well done with tans, browns and bronzes looking perfect. The wash makes the suit look worn and it just feels right. His clear plastic dome could have probably used some effect to make it look like it’s full of mist but that’s a minor nitpick.

In Hellboy 2, Guillermo del Toro said that Kraus is the perfect bureaucrat since he has no face to call his own. These two figures are decent and the paint and sculpting is much better than most of what Hasbro releases but that premium comes at a price. I just wish the articulation was better. If you can grab them for a few bucks off retail, they’re worth it but I still have a hard time recommending them when they go for almost $10 a pack.

Written by jestergoblin

September 18th, 2010 at 12:00 am

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