Doll Digest

email john


Marvel Studios Thomas Jane as The Punisher from ToyBiz

By John Medeiros

Bigger is better with the introduction of this all new 12" collectible line. Never before has the scale been so big, the sculpting so detailed, the accessories so real, and the clothing so expertly tailored, making the highly anticipated Marvel Studios Line the ultimate collectible for any fan of the Marvel Universe.

This great line of highly posable Super Heroes from the big screen continues with one of Marvel's edgiest champions: The Punisher. Thomas Jane's portrayal of the vengeful protagonist debuted in theatres this April. His likeness is perfectly captured through laser scanning and incredibly detailed sculpts, accessories and fabric clothing, and features 28 Points of Articulation.

From the box copy: "On his final assignment, FBI special agent, Frank Castle (Thomas Jane) plays his undercover role perfectly, but the operation spins out of control and a young man, Bobby Saint, is inadvertently killed. This places Castle on the wrong side of Tampa businessman Howard Saint. Behind the Saint's copious wealth are violent beginnings, underworld ties and a chilling capacity for brutality.

Inflamed by the death of his son, Howard Saint and his lieutenants wreak havoc at the Castle family reunion. But Castle, to his everlasting torment, survives. Drawing upon all he has learned in 20 years, Castle sets in motion a brilliant plan to punish Howard Saint.

As The Punisher, Castle has no superpowers to battle the evil he sees.only his fierce intelligence, his years of combat experience and, above all, his iron determination to avenge those wronged by society's villains."

When this figure was first released several months ago, it got a lukewarm reception from many collectors who dismissed it without actually opening it and seeing its hidden surprises. With the DVD release of the film upon us, I was very happy to see that Suncoast had marked them down 25% so I picked one up yesterday. After deboxing him, I have to say that this figure is terrific.

Unlike the Hugh Jackman Wolverine X2 figure in this line, the Punisher does not have the movement-limiting rubber-like chest and upper arm sheath. Instead, he is all hard plastic with a unique shoulder joint that is wide open, quadruple jointed and allows for three times the usual range of motion. This feature is superb and allows for much more realistic posing. The rest of the body has similar articulation as other characters in the series.

The laser rendered head sculpt captures Thomas Jane nicely and provides a good starting point for repainters who like to enhance their dolls and figures.

One of the best things about this guy is the ton of outfit pieces and accessories he comes with. The movie-faithful costume consists of well tailored black pants with real zipper, faux pockets and Velcro straps for weapon attachment. His black skull emblazoned flack vest is full of stitching detail, lined and uses Velcro and leatherette closures. Under this he wears a sleeveless black tee-shirt that also features the skull logo. The centerpiece of the costume is an incredible black leatherette long duster that has gobs of detailing including weapon and ammo straps and functional pockets. It is fully lined and a small work of miniature tailoring art. The outfit is finished with a working belt, web gear and sculpted boots with steel-toe painted detailing.

The weapons arsenal he arrives with is fierce. With his gattling gun, grenade launcher, machine gun, three sidearm, two knives and tons of ammo, he is ready to seriously punish any enemy that dares cross his path. The larger weapons are made of a hard, brittle plastic and caution should be used when playing with them. My first attempt at unfolding the stock on the shotgun/grenade launcher resulted in a break at the hinge.

The Marvel Studios line is carried by toy retailers and specialty stores. Suncoast stores are currently discounting them by 25%. SRP is $29.95