With Voltar and Darklon’s release in the convention set from a few years ago, Metalhead became the most wanted individual as part of the Iron Grenadier corps. So much so that a custom version offered at the New Jersey Collectors Convention became a highly desirable item on the secondary market. The Club enlisted the aid of Boss Fight Studio to design and sculpt the head, and I assume they did the build for the figure as well, and by and large it’s successful.
I think it could have been a bit better.
When it comes to developing these modern updates, you must always walk a fine line between paying tribute to the vintage and trying something new, especially in the case of Metalhead, who has such a different and unique vintage appearance. You can sacrifice an homage to bring something new and different to the table, or pick an element from that classic figure to build around. We ended up with sort of a mixture of the two.
First and foremost, the head sculpt is just terrific. It has loads of character, from the mullet-like hairdo, to the crosshair etched goggles, and the grimace encased inside the crazed beard. Even if nothing else on the figure resembled the Iron Grenadier explosives expert, you’d know exactly who it is.
Using pretty slender arms was an interesting design element here, especially considering those ’90 era figures tend to be on the bulkier side. They tried to make up for it with the extra bulky Jungle Viper legs, which I actually really love for Metalhead. Deco is relatively straight forward, with the familiar black, red, gray, and just the slightest hint of gold.
I’m not sold on the build. I realize that the Club (and Boss Fight) were going for some vintage elements with the strap patterns of Snake Eyes’ webgear, not to mention the knife sheath, but combining the extra large webgear with the extra slender torso and arms just makes for a somewhat odd combination. It’s almost as if the bulky webgear exentuates the skinny parts underneath (and vice versa) so it appears to be more drastic than it really is. At some point I’ll likely swap out the webgear as a test, because I really do love most of the figure, it’s just those parts together don’t jive really well in my eyes.
As I mentioned, he’s using the PoC Snake Eyes webgear, which is an awesome vest, even if a bit oversized in this case. He also comes with a knife for his sheath, the great Retaliation Cobra Commander laser gun, and the Pursuit of Cobra Duke missile launchers, which suit the character so perfectly it’s almost scary. I’m not one of those vintage devotees who won’t accept a Metalhead without rocket launchers attached at each thigh…I think what he comes with is pretty much perfect. The color matching of the rockets and the launcher/backpack is pretty flawless as well.
There is a lot to love about this Metalhead. His new head sculpt is really perfect. The range of motion on his arms and legs is excellent. The deco is spot on, and I so much want this to be my favorite Convention figure ever. But that oversized webgear combined with the extra-scrawny torso and arms just makes for a weird combo. Thankfully webgear is easy to swap, and I’ll kick some stuff around to see if anything else grabs me. Beyond the issue with Metalhead looking a bit too skinny, most of the figure is great, and will look awesome among the other score of Iron Grenadiers.
Now we need some Nullifiers and TARGATs!
Metalhead is a figure I want to love, and I almost do. The head sculpt is spectacular, Boss Fight Studio at their best, but the combination of large, gapping webgear and slim body makes for a figure that just doesn’t mesh real well. He doesn’t look like he goes together. The articulation is great, the paint scheme is pretty nice, there are just a couple minor choices that I might have preferred. Ultimately he’s a good addition to the Convention set and offers a great template to build from, I just wanted Metalhead to be perfect. He isn’t quite.