One just has to look no further than me for proof of how licensing can help build awareness and devotion to a particular brand. In the late 90’s, the combination of a Nintendo 64 game and some really fun action figures by Toy Biz essentially made me a wrestling fan. I never would have tuned in to WCW Nitro if not for the N64 game WCW vs NWO World Tour, which captured me with its intuitive controls and faithful adherence to the move set of the live action charicatures.
From there I was quickly drawn in to the soap opera stories, the awesome week-by-week build up and the explosive Pay Per View shows, so much so that I actually attended several in person house shows and even a WWE: Backlash Pay-Per-View live. For several years, I was completely enthralled, and none of that would have happened if not for a video game and some really fun Toy Biz WCW action figures.
For that reason alone, I was exceptionally excited to see my friends at Boss Fight Studios dipping their toes into the wrestling world with their Legends of Lucha Libre figures and accessories. Not only that, but it was going to be their first foray into 6″ figures, which was exciting into itself. Don’t get me wrong, I will always have a love for the 1:18 scale, and the building blocks of my action figure fandom are built in 3.75 and 4″, but recently, with G.I. Joe: Classified, Marvel Legends and Masters of the Universe (among others) I’ve been drawn into some of the larger scale figures and fascinated by what those larger sizes enable the designers to do.
Legends of Lucha Libre is no different. One just has to look at the intricate tattoo deco on both of these figures to know exactly what is possible at a larger scale. Though, to be honest, I’ve spent a very long time staring at the tattoo deco on this figure and it STILL doesn’t seem possible, even at a 6″ size. The paint deco on these figures is truly spectacular. The tattoos are so nicely painted and applied, working seamlessly throughout the joints and even included on the spare hands that come with Ray Fenix.
But really, the paint applications are only a part of the story. While I’m not necessarily a devoted follower or fan of Masked Republic or Lucha Libre in general, I have found a ton to love about these two figures. Along with the aforementioned color deco, the articulation is almost flawless. The range of motion on these figures is like a scaled up version of the Vitruvian HACKS figures, which is really all I could have wanted and more. There is so much great work in the sculpt and the way that sculpt blends with the joints, Boss Fight manages to combine fantastic range of motion with a smooth sculpting aesthetic that feels like the best of both worlds.
Like the HACKS figures, there are also some great customization options. The hands and heads are full swappable (just make sure to use some hot water or a hair dryer) so you can mix and match hands, wrist guards, elbow pads, etc… and it offers some fantastic flexibility.
But this initial assortment isn’t just about the figures and characters. There are two accessory sets included with this assortment as well, which are just insanely fun. A folding chair, the customary breakaway table, baseball bat with removable barbed wire, wooden kendo sticks, flexible strands of barbed wire, a microphone, a breakable cinder block– and a couple of Masked Republic masked heads. So many options and so much fun.
It’s been years since I collected wrestling figures, and I’m already super antsy to get my hands on an official Boss Fight Studio wrestling ring. I think I’m hooked on these things already!
The last year or so has simultaneously felt eternal and like one long blur of machine gun events that, in retrospect, seem to be the stuff of pulp novels. I should know, I write them for a living (among other things).
It seems only fitting, in times like this, pulled from the pages of some of those timeless serials, that two characters should come to life thanks to the toy design wizards at Boss Fight Studio. The small toy studio, which catapulted itself into existence thanks to one of the most successful action figure Kickstarters of all time stunned the pop culture world when they announced that they acquired the license to produce toys for several brands from King Features, including Zorro, Flash Gordon, Tarzan and The Phantom. Releasing them under a new “Hero HACKS” banner, the figures would be 1:18 scale and be fully compatible with their existing Vitruvian H.A.C.K.S. action figure line, which was already wow’ing collectors with their Greek Mythology and Fantasy based figures.
Built with articulation and customizability in mind (hence the “A” and the “C” of the H.A.C.K.S. moniker) these figures have been a hit throughout the collecting community and now, some famous licensed characters would be joining them.
In short, these figures are just what we wanted and more.
I haven’t necessarily been a massive fan of these characters throughout my comic and toy collecting fandom, but I can certainly appreciate the timeless nature of these infamous brands. One of the best things about the Vitruvian H.A.C.K.S. universe is that it’s built around the concept of an unreliable time stream which crosses through era’s and universes, giving collectors the opportunity to let their imaginations run wild.
That just happens to fit in perfectly with the acquisition of these brands– in my little H.A.C.K.S.verse, the corrupt timestream has dragged many of these warriors into its muddy waters and now Zorro and Flash Gordon have joined Leonidas, Stonefist, the Knights of the Accord and Q’al Varis in a desperate attempt to save the timestream from Medusa and her sinister sisters. It’s a battle for the ages– quite literally.
It certainly helps that these figures are fantastic. The standard release Zorro and the Zorro that comes with Tornado are both built of the same cloth, but each with some unique twists. Single pack Zorro comes with a terrific secondary head, while the one with Tornado has a cloth cape — the easier to mount a horse with.
Articulation and poseability remain top notch, and the sculpting is simply perfect, bringing these characters to three dimensional life. The H.A.C.K.S. figure system is fully intact and functional, and I can just imagine how much potential there will be for future figures, not just from these two universes, but beyond.
Tornado should look familiar to anyone who backed the Mighty Steeds Kickstarter and is just another example of how smartly Boss Fight Studio is approaching their selection of tooling and licenses. The cross-purposes for so many parts and pieces helps them get some much needed mileage out of their expensive tooling, yet manages to bring exciting new things to the table with each iteration.
Flash Gordon is a relatively straight forward release, a football player in a t-shirt and pants, but he manages to greatly resemble the movie version of the character. So much so that the Queen theme song seems to play somewhere in the distance every time I play and pose this figure.
This movie version of the character comes with an awesome metallic lunchbox, something that is becoming a Boss Fight Studio staple (Bucky O’Hare’s Deadeye Duck and Leonidas both graced lunchboxes in the past). The head sculpts are where this figure really shines, however, with three different iterations of the actor’s likeness. Once again, I can see Flash Gordon leaping from the timestream, egg-shaped artifact in hand, ready to throw down with some Gorgons, awesomely hokey orchestra music playing in the background.
Add that to the fact that he’s got alternate hands, including closed fists, and Flash Gordon is ready to throw haymakers.
And again– the customization options are fantastic, especially with Series Z right around the corner.
Each of these figures is now available at BossFightShop.com and honestly, they are among the best 1:18 scale figures for your money. Hero H.A.C.K.S. just blew the doors wide open, not just in this world, but in the collecting world in general. This is just the beginning, and as the saying goes — there are no limits!
Has it already been over five years since Boss Fight Studio first launched their Kickstarter, fueling fired up 1:18 scale action figure fans across the world? We’ve come a very long way since then and Boss Fight has amassed an impressive library of customizable parts and pieces for their vast Vitruvian HACKS universe.
The coming months and years should see even more excitement in the HACKS world as well as others when we get the opportunity to add Flash Gordon, Tarzan, Zorro, the Phantom and Court of the Dead to our already growing HACKS armies.
Meanwhile, the fantasy line continues to grow and evolve, and a figure like Gazoge only goes to show how endless the possibilities truly are, even with existing parts and pieces.
Gazoge has an interesting backstory. Designed as a split exclusive between Roma Collectibles and Boss Fight Studio themselves, Roma gets 500 pieces of the red version of Gazoge, while Boss Fight Studio gets 500 pieces of the blue version of Gazoge. The release of the blue version is still up in the air, but the red version you see here will be available at the Roma Toys eBay store this Saturday, June 13th starting at noon sharp.
So that’s the backstory of the figure… what about the figure itself?
As we’ve all come to expect with Boss Fight Studio, the end result is incredible, especially for a figure with zero new parts.
As usual, I really enjoy the bio for this character, designed as a self-trained warlock, an evil magic user who built his power through murder and evil, tapping into the malevolent demon Alor to grow his magical abilities.
Along with the Knights of Accord, Gazoge travelled to the Blasted Lands, which only served to enhance his power and his evil reputation…
The first time I saw this figure I knew we were in for something cool. Using the familiar armored torso, mage pants and long sleeves, Gazoge uses a nice mixture of Felonious and Samhain parts to put together a sinister looking evil warlock.
The paint applications are amazing here as well, borrowing a lot of the darker colors from the Knights of Asperity, but going with a bit of a glossier metallic shine on the armor. The sleeves and collar are painted with some great looking runes and even though the majority of the figure is painted in dark shades, it ends up being very striking.
As most of the fantasy figures do, Gazoge comes with three heads, including the default Skull, plus the two alternate heads from the Naga, which are two of my favorites. With some different hair color and the Asperity-like warpaint on the face, both of the other heads look new and unrecognizable from their previous iterations.
Each of the three heads has a wealth of character and mimicks some cool angles within the character’s bio (or could potentially represent the same character before and after traveling to the Blasted Lands). I’m not sure how easy it will be to get multiples of this figure, but it would be pretty awesome for Gazoge to recruit a couple of like-minded minions upon his emergence from the cursed land.
I mean, come on. This is Vitruvian HACKS we’re talking about. Boss Fight Studio has built its reputation on highly articulated and customizable action figures and Gazoge is no exception. He’s got the same base body parts as several other figures, so the range of motion is consistent across the rest of the HACKS line.
None of the additional parts or pieces restricts movement in any way, and whatever pose you come up with for Gazoge to move in, he can achieve relatively seamlessly. Great stuff, as expected.
This is where Gazoge really shines. Boss Fight Studio went above and beyond to do some mix and match for a really awesome variety of accessories. One of the neatest angles was to take Samhain’s hammer and swap the hammer top out for the dragon from Felonious, which takes a blunt weapon and makes it something more. It looks like an enchanted energy weapon of some kind and I love it.
The dragon from the Dragon Harvester is included her as well, but its metallic shine makes it clear that it’s ornamental and not real, and it works nicely with the Mage Staff. Gazoge also comes with the dragon tooth sword from the Dragon Harvester which is a great touch. One of my favorite weapons.
Gazoge’s background as a warlock also means he comes with the requisite magic books (both closed and opened) and I love the fact that the opened book seems to have an homage to Roma written in ornate text. The sort of attention to detail you don’t generally get with other figures lines.
The included red flame also plugs into the book as it did with Felonious. I also really enjoy the vibrant gold colors of the dragon hammer and the mage staff, a really great splash of bright color to offset the darkness of the figure itself.
Vitruvian HACKS remains one of my favorite action figure lines going and Gazoge is no exception. It boggles my mind how they can take their common library of parts and create so many different incredible characters.
Gazoge is a fantastic addition to the Vitruvian HACKS universe and a gorgeous looking figure to boot.
Vitruvian HACKS Gazoge
Such a great figure. Excellent use of existing tooling, subdued paint applications, but still very nicely done, and a really great backstory that weaves everything seamlessly together. This is a nice little snack as we wait for the upcoming Wave 6.
I was pretty excited when Boss Fight Studio got the license for Bucky O’Hare figures, not necessarily because I’m a huge Bucky fan (though I have become one over the past year or so), but because I knew it meant just the first step in global domination for Boss Fight Studios. Now, as we prepare for an onslaught of Flash Gordon, Tarzan, Phantom, Lucha Libre figures, and many others, turns out my assumption was correct!
In the meantime, we’ve also managed to get some absolutely incredible action figures for a fun 90’s property that doesn’t get the credit it deserves.
As the brain child of Larry Hama and Neal Adams’ Continuity Studios, Bucky O’Hare was poised to do some amazing things back in the 90’s with a comic series, action figure line and animated series all exploding onto the scene. Unfortunately it never really took off, which meant several core cast members were never realized as action figures.
While the vintage line did give us a Bruiser, the figure was pretty close to the same size as many of the other figures in the line, where this updated Boss Fight Studio version is an absolute monster.
The first deluxe figure release in the line, Bruiser looms over the rest of the Bucky O’Hare crew, and as with the other figures in this line, he is absolutely dripping with character.
The combination of animated-accurate design and incredible articulation blows me away as other figures in this line also have, providing figures that look as though they stepped straight from the screen, yet can pose and move in nearly any position you can imagine.
As mentioned already, Bruiser is huge and heavy, feeling like a quality chunk of plastic, but with some revolutionary joints he can either stand (mostly) upright or hunch over like the gorilla he is, enabling a wealth of fun display options.
Bruiser comes with two heads, one relatively calm head, another head that is decidedly un-calm, perfect for “croaking some toads”. He comes with swappable hands as well as a banana and a laser rifle. He’s equipped for almost anything.
His straps also have the same sort of universal peg system that other figures have which can hold his (or other) weapons.
The colors are terrific as usual as well, remaining very accurate to the source material, with an especially vibrant shade of silver for his armor. Boss Fight designers are truly artists when it comes to their color pallet, always finding the perfect pantone and combination of colors to really accentuate the figure.
As time has gone on, Boss Fight has had the opportunity to consider deeper and deeper dives into the core cast of Bucky O’Hare figures. I really hope people are jumping on these pre-orders to give us the opportunity to round out this cast and keep digging through the vast possibilities of the Bucky O’Hare universe.
Bruiser is a behemoth of an action figure, standing tall and wide above the rest of the Bucky O’Hare cast, and is crammed full of character and color. As a deluxe figure it’s a hefty hunk of quality plastic with some great accessories and awesome playability. Articulation like crazy and a critical component of the crew of Righteous Indignation.
HUGE figure, in scale with the rest of the crew
Great accessories, love the swappable hands and head
Stepped right from the comic and onto my toy shelf
A bit more expensive than standard figures (but totally worth it)