Billy Batson all supped up is a very happy guy. But wouldn’t you be too if you had the combined abilities of Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles and Mercury? And wouldn’t you also just shorten it to SHAZAM! Add to all of that he’s also been rendered in 8 inch Mego style that has really been stepped way up on the coolness scale. Still he does look a bit goofy but that’s okay, we’ll examine the customizing possibilities thanks to his unique looks that have really brightened up my Toy Box.
1. What it is.
2. Where it came from.
As all other DC Retro Action Super Heroes (and Super Villains) he’s a Toys R Us exclusive in the brick and mortar world. I however got mine off of ebay from the seller: page3au (http://cgi.ebay.com/Retro-Action-DC-Super-Heroes-Series-3-Darkseid-New-MOC-/370493548571?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item564322e81b ) who did such a great packaging job I have to give him some props and a plug. Seriously this figure came layered in protection; Layer 1. Plastic Bag, Layer 2. Newspaper wrapped like a gift, Layer 3. Cut to size cardboard sheets laid on top and bottom of the figure and taped into place, Layer 4. Another wrapping of paper, Layer 5, A padded envelope also taped securely, and finally Layer 6, packed in a Priority Mail box with bubble wrap and packing paper filling in the gaps in the box to prevent any shaking or movement. Impressive.
3. The Good.
When I first saw the pictures of the prototype figures I thought to myself, “Wow, that looks stupid,” mainly because of the elongated neck. The final product however has that oddity corrected. Which immediately raised my rankings of this guy.
Also the costume is fantastic. From the gold boots and trim to the ornately screened cape this guy is remarkably true to the comic book look. Also the snap at the top corner of the flap on the front of his suit is a very nice detail that really adds to this particular figures perceived value.
4. The Bad.
The head sculpt is fun and I get the expression but I think the naysayers in the collecting community would have been less likely to complain about the likeness had the makers went with the squinty eyed look versus the wide eyed, happy go looking and kinda dopey stare. When I first saw the figure I was trying to put my finger on who exactly this guy reminded me of. The jury’s still out but in this guy I notice two possible candidates while my wife noted one. To me he looks a bit like Bill Paxton when he played ‘Chet’ in Weird Science and then the football player guy (Brandon Molale) that Adam Sandler punched in the mouth in Mr. Deeds. My lovely wife Alicia however says he looks similar to Lois & Clark’s Dean Cain, he just needs a tan. Again the jury is still out.
5. Why I like it.
Again the prototype pictures had turned me off originally. Thanks to those shots I had put this guy way down on the bottom of my collecting priority list. I’ll be the fist to admit that I was indeed very wrong in that assumption and the folks who are still using those pics to sell their product are doing themselves a great injustice. This figure is very cool and tons of 8 inch, clothed action figure fun! Also if you stand him side-by-side the original Mego release you’ll see the designers here refused to allow such a bland representation be re-released upon the world. To that I say “BRAVO!” to EMCE Toys for the excellent redesign work.
6. Why you should or shouldn’t get one.
You should because…
Along with the ‘Good’ points above I’ll add here that adding this figure to your collection of Super Heroes will enhance the color and pop of your displayed figures. This Shazam just explodes with brightness.
You shouldn’t because….
The only negative I can see in this aspect is that if you are a purest when it comes to likeness this figure will probably leave you cold. In that regard he does kind of look like a way to “Red Bull-ed” up car salesman in a Halloween costume.
Again I held out on this guy because of the prototype pictures and now I’m glad to say that I did finally break down and dropped the bucks on Billy Batson’s alter ego. I’m also very thrilled with the fact that Mattel did indeed fix the body issues that plagued Waves 1 and 2 of the line. So with my new Shazam in hand I look into the horizon as I wait patiently for the next Wave of Retro Action figures to be announced and then released. Now, Go Play! – Jim 05/12/11
Jim Bumgardner is a 20 year veteran of the broadcast industry and currently serves as the news director for television station TKO 8 in Harrison, Arkansas. Jim is the father of two the husband of one and firm believer in the power of toys for both the mind, body and soul. You can contact Jim via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit his website at www.jimsmegos.com
All images and products are the sole copyrighted property of it’s respective owners. Specialty photographs and graphic work used for this article were done by Jim at the TKO 8 Studios located at 500 N. Main St in Harrison, Arkansas. “Little Jim” was created by Dawn O’Connell of Little Buddies Action Figures. Learn more about getting your own Little Buddy at www.littlebuddiesactionfigures.com