I stayed home sick from work today and in honour of that I decided to review one of the sickest toys I own, Mandarin Spawn. Spawn is comic character created by Todd McFarlane. Todd was a fan-favorite artist drawing Spider-Man for a number of years in the 90s before he and some other superstar artists decided to leave Marvel and start their own comic company, Image. It was a huge gamble for those guys to go up against the two comic book power houses, Marvel and DC. When Image launched it’s initial wave of books they were hugely successful and proved that there was room in the market for other publishers. Image paved the way for the dozens of companies publishing comic books these days. The problem with Image was these guys were all artists not writers, and when it came to writing their own books most of them sucked. The majority of the launch books fizzled out fairly quickly and many of the founding artists went back to work for the big two. But not Todd. His book, Spawn, was put out on time each month and it consistently sold well. Within just a few years of his creation Spawn had an HBO cartoon and even a live-action movie. He beat Spider-Man to the punch on that and Spidey’s been around since the 60s. With Spawn’s quick rise to the top toy companies came calling asking Todd if they could make Spawn toys. Todd didn’t like the idea of a company like Hasbro or Mattel making silly “arctic spawn” or “parachute spawn” figures so he turned them down and decided to start his own toy company. When Todd Toys started releasing Spawn action figures it changed the face of toy collecting. These were toys geared towards adults and it was a huge success. Just like he revolutionized the comic world he had now revolutionized toys and just like in comics he soon had dozens of imitators.
Todd Toys became McFarlane Toys and continued to churn out amazing figure lines which soon expanded beyond the Spawn comic book and into rock stars and sports heroes. Currently they produce Halo and Walking Dead figures while Spawn figures have been brushed aside for the time being. When Spawn figures were still their biggest line, Todd found an interesting way to release multiple versions of the lead character Spawn without being repetitive or cheesy. Todd released toys of Spawn through different eras which fit into the lore he established in the comics. These period-specific Spawns brought us this gem here.
This action figure is simply amazing. It’s more a work of art than a toy and I don’t feel that I’m exaggerating; just look at this thing. The detail is through the roof. Even with the large “skirt” hiding most of the character’s legs the sculptors did not skimp on any details. The kneepads have more detail than most action figures have in their entire sculpts. Not to mention the paint applications which are so finely done and in such amazing colors. He’s got a pair of swords which sit in their sheaths and a long double-bladed staff that’s taller than he is. Plus he’s got a shield which is just as sickly detailed as he is and makes for a perfect accessory. McFarlane toys has put out a ton of amazing figures over the years but I still think that this one is head and shoulders above the rest. An action figure masterpiece. 10 out of 10.