It has certainly been a long time coming for the Indie Spotlight series from Shocker Toys. The line, in all of its various forms, has been in production since early 2006. While Shocker has endured production delays, stiff competition from other toy companies and a heavy dose of internet skepticism, the full series of 6″ scale figures finally made it into store this spring. Indie Spotlight Series 1 consists of five “heroes” from a variety of somewhat-obscure but well-loved comic books. Katchoo, The Maxx, Shadowhawk, Kabuki and SCUD: The Disposable Assassin round out the eclectic selection of characters in Shocker’s inaugural series. In this review, I’ll take a look a the variant “SOL” version of SCUD: The Disposable Assassin.
Each figure in the Indie Spotlight series comes in a simple blister-style package. However, the plastic bubble and insert which holds the figure doesn’t actually attach to the cardboard backing. Meaning, it is an easy task to remove each figure from its plastic prison, all while retaining the packaging for easy storage and display. The cardboard insert is composed of durable heavyweight stock, meaning no creasing or bending will ruin the display for those collectors who covet their pristine packaging. The back of each card features a full-color image of each of the figures in Indie Spotlight Series 1, as well as a character-specific bio.
Sculpt & Likeness:
Adapting a comic book character into three-dimensional form isn’t exactly a new process. However, there is always a certain level of difficulty when a company makes an attempt at creating the first action figure of a specific superhero or villain. So it goes with SCUD, who sees his action figure debut with Indy Spotlight Series 1. SCUD is essentially a robot, which made the job for Shocker’s sculptors a bit easier. The 6″ scale figure is little more than a combination of cylindrical appendages and round joints. However, this in no means undermines the figure’s aesthetics, which are a spot-on match to SCUD’s comic likeness. The figure comes with two sets of detachable hands with one set featuring SCUD’s trademark dual pistols. The hands and pistols look great but are unfortunately sculpted as one piece, not allowing for the weapons to become detached. A minor gripe, but one worth noting especially since customizers might have enjoyed using these awesome looking guns with other 6″ scale figures.
SCUD has to be easily the most articulated figure in the Indie Spotlight series, and might certainly be one of the most posable 6″ scale figures that I have added to my collection. The figure has over 20 movable joints, allowing for SCUD to be bent and formed into almost any action pose imaginable. Since the figure is constructed of fairly lightweight material, most of these poses don’t cause SCUD to topple over. Its a well-balanced figure and one that that takes advantage of its articulation points better than most of the “super-posable” toys available in other toy lines.
Paint & Color:
The variant “SOL” version of SCUD is almost completely black, save for only a few white highlights on the figure’s joints and head. The black wash and subtle details are cleanly applied, but the color choice makes SCUD look less like a comic hero and more like a Battle Droid. However, his front and back sport comic-accurate decals (including SCUD’s trademark “Attention” label) and prevent the figure from looking too bland. The “SOL” version might be a better fit for action figure customizers, who will likely see the figure’s amazing articulation and plain color apps as a blank slate. SCUD’s standard version has the character in his more recognized yellow and red, which is actually my preferred version.
Given the well-chronicled delays that Shocker’s Indie Spotlight series has seen throughout its production, fans of the line should be ecstatic with the toys that they can now hold in their hands. Each figure in Series 1 also include a miniature ISZ figure (from The Maxx comic series), which is a nice and simple addition to the series. Each ISZ is different in color and sculpt, but doesn’t include any articulation. The SCUD figure is a great piece and will undoubtedly be a must-have for fans of the disposable assassin, or independent comics in general. The “SOL” variant appears to be available in fewer quantities, while the regular version (yellow/red) of SCUD is more readily available. The articulation alone makes SCUD worth the $15 – $18 you might pay to purchase him from your local comic shop or onlne retailer. Here’s hoping that Shocker has finally found their niche and that we can expect more Indie Spotlight figures from them very soon.