Last Sunday, September 15, 2012, I trekked on over to Toy Kingdom SM Megamall for the release of the new Furby, Transformers and Marvel toys courtesy of TK and the great people over at Cybertron Philippines. Admittedly, I didn't get there early enough because I misread the article and went to Rockwell first. I probably got there around 10:30 AM and by then, the line was this long.
I was 66th in line, and guess what! The 5-piece set of Punisher, She-Hulk, Scarlet Witch, Kang the Conqueror and Future Foundation Spider-Man had a limited stock of 65 pieces. So I was pretty pissed that I wasn't going to get my Punisher. Suddenly, a brilliant idea popped into my head. I walked up to the people in line at the cashier and asked if I could buy their Punisher off them. I even offered one guy twice the price for the figure; and the dude declined. Who could blame him? Look at it!
It looks so bad ass.
I eventually found a guy who was more or less willing to sell me his because he didn't want it anyway. It's awesome that he gave it to me at SRP! So, yeah, thanks GeronG45 of PTK and Cyb PH glory!
This is fairly standard for MU figures, though the art in front makes me like it a lot. It looks familiar, but I can't place the artist. Anyone out there wanna enlighten me? Looks like Mike Deodato, Jr. to me but that isn't immediately obvious because they aren't standing with their legs way too far apart.
From the front, you can clearly see the figure and his accessories through the clear plastic. It's not like you can pick through the lot, though, due to the way they were distributed but this is a welcome effort from Hasbro.
That tiny comic cover that no one really cares about is still there. It's a nice touch, and it reminds me a lot of those Pinoy "teks" cards from the 80's, but they're entirely unnecessary.
Do you remember the very first wave of the Marvel Universe line? I was so excited for them, I excused myself from the office around 10AM just to pick them up on release day. I got myself a Punisher, and I was very disappointed that he looked like he was suffering from giant-head-itis.
As far as improvements go, this is a pretty goddamned big one, even if it did take 3 years.
The body is the Jim Lee Cyclops mold; the same one Daredevil, Bullseye and FF Spider-Man use. You gotta admit, this is the new "medium body" benchmark, like the old Toybiz Bullseye body. It looks great, but I have an issue with it that I'll talk about later in the articulation section.
What's most impressive about this sculpt is the face. Besides it being the right size this time, it makes Frank Castle look appropriately pissed off. The facial expression is all scrunched up like there's a black hole made of murdered-family induced rage.
Here's what I hated about the sculpt, which is a quality control issue, I think. The hands were obviously designed to hold his weapons with his trigger fingers within the trigger guards. Problem is, all five fingers were sculpted together with a sizable web of plastic that joins the index finger with all the rest. That meant that holding the weapons were awkward as hell. I had to take a knife to slice his trigger finger away from the rest of his fingers! I shouldn't have to do that!
Punisher's never been designed to have a lot of color. He's got black spandex with white boots and gloves. For a dude who needs to blend in and stay hidden in the dark, and handle a lot of things that splurt blood, it probably isn't such a great idea to wear white anything. Logic aside, Punny rocks the white. And it isn't easy to fuck up black and white paint.
I have no beef with the black. That's painted on nicely with no overlaps or bleeding. What puts me off is the wash on the white parts, especially on the skull. It doesn't look like shading. It looks like faded dirt. Okay, this is me being nit-picky. It's not that bad, just a little weird.
The only thing that isn't painted in the monochromatic scheme is the head, and it is painted very cleanly. However, I did hear about some Punishers with supremely fucked up eyes - as in, pupils painted on the cheek kind of fucked up. Thankfully, mine is fine.
Since Punisher uses the Jim Lee Cyclops body, he shares the exact same articulation, which is my beef with this body mold. Let's talk about each joint and my problem with them.
He has a neck ball joint that goes down far enough to have him do that "My family is DEEAAADDD" look. Going up? Not so much, just enough to look forward. Barely. He has a chest crunch and that's fine. He has a waist twist, that's okay, too.
His arms have a shoulder pivot, swivel and tilt, a bicep twist, a single joint elbow and a wrist twist. Therein lies the problem. How come he can't shoulder ANY weapon properly. I know the body wasn't designed to do that because they were more for posing with pistols, billy clubs or anything else except rifles. I really wish they used new arms for Frank with G.I. Joe articulation.
He has ball joint hips, a cut thigh, double jointed knees, a boot twist, an ankle rocker, pivot and tilt. Seems like a lot, yeah? On paper sure, but he can't move his legs outward very much. On my Daredevil, which shares the same body, the leg even pops off. He can't really move his legs forward very far either. I'm not sure if it's because of the holsters, but I believe the holsters only aggravate the problem. And when you do get him to do anything with his legs, his knees point inward and his feet point outward normally. It's pretty bad. It's like he's doing a duck walk. He can stand okay, but that's it.
Thing is, even though I'm having trouble with this body mold, others seem to have no problem posing it. I just cannot get the flexibility out of it that most people seem to get.
Punisher comes with a few things. I would've liked for it to come with Pursuit of Cobra-level number of accessories, but I guess MU costs more to make due to licensing. He has two pistols that fit perfectly into his hands IF you cut his index finger free, an SMG that I cannot identify, and a flimsy knife.
I tried other Marauder guns on him but they don't fit quite right, except for those with big handles. Fortunately, the shotgun fits on him very nicely, but pistols just have so much more character.
The SMG fits nicely but Punisher cannot hold it convincingly. Gah, this is why I think the Joes have much better quality over MU figures even though they're made by the same company.
You can have all of Punisher's accessories on him - pistols in the holsters, knife in the sheath by his feet and the SMG in his hands.
There are multiple issues with this figure, with the badly made hands being primary among them, it doesn't take away from the fact that this is an amazingly good looking figure. Sure, he can't hold other weapons well and he can't really pose creatively, but he does look amazing.
So if you're looking to upgrade your Punisher, this is the best choice. It looks so good that if you can bring yourself to fix his hands yourself, you're going to enjoy this figure a lot! I give it a 3.8 out of 5!