Marvel Review: Punisher (Shape Shifters)

Intro:
            Now, this is definitely the one review that I have absolutely been waiting to do for quite some time.
            It’s so often that a collector can come across a piece of history – meaning something that is so noteworthy in that certain franchise that it actually means something.
            Confused?
            For example, Fortress Maximus is a piece of history – it has been the largest Transformers figure ever made – a record which has stood the test of time for the nearly 30 years of the franchise. There are other examples as well, it’s just that nothing else comes to my mind right now.
            In comes Toy Biz, a company formerly known as Charan  Toys, but later became a division of Marvel Entertainment called Marvel Toys.
            Back in their heydays, Toy Biz was known to be the producer of action figures, whose characters were based of DC Comics, Marvel Comics and the old World Championship Wrestling promotion. Some of Toy Biz’s products were quite revolutionary, which brings us to today’s review.
            In mid-2000, Hasbro introduced to us the Marvel Crossover line, in which some of Marvel’s popular characters were given robots (which mimic their “real life” look) that could transform into vehicles. However, the idea of transformable Marvel character was not an original one.
            Back in 1998/99, Toy Biz came out with the line called Shape Shifters, in which popular Marvel characters such as Iron Man, Spiderman, Hulk, and Apocalypse etc were given the ability to transform into an assortment of weapons, which brings us to the character in question – The Punisher.
            The Punisher, also known as by his real name, Frank Castle was one of the original anti-heroes in the world of comic-dome. He is an antihero that has no superpowers whatsoever, and has to rely solely on his experience as a former US Marine, as well his knowledge in various martial arts, guerilla tactics and weaponries. Unlike your typical heroes, he has no qualms to kill a villain, which made him at loggerheads with various other characters in the Marvel Universe.
            Anyways, why do I say that this particular Punisher figure is actually a piece of history? Well, the answer is simple – in various rankings of the worst/ inappropriate/pause-worthy/or-whatever-you-wanna-call-it toys ever produced, this particular figure has been consistently on that list ever since it was introduced.
            Why, you may ask? Well, keep reading.

Action Figure Mode:
            At first glance, he’s not much different from its contemporaries – just a normal action figure, which looks kinda cool really.
            The huge skull logo on the front of the figure is definitely difficult to miss.
            The head sculpt is absolutely gorgeous. The sneer on his face and his no-nonsense facial hair – he looks like he really means business.
            In terms of size, he is almost the size of any normal Transformers Voyager-class figures, or in this case, exactly the same size of a Jakks Pacific TitanTron Mankind figure.
Animated Blitzwing & Punisher
Mankind & Punisher
            Back in the 1990s, there were far more demand for its overall looks instead for a well-done articulation. Hence, the articulation on this figure could be way better than it is. I mean, some of the basic articulations are there, although some of them are actually due to transformation joints.
            The head can turn – barely; the elbows, although they bend, are quite horrendous, and the same can be said of his knees and ankles. That’s all.
            Punisher may look and tough and buff, but he surely ain’t got the moves.

Power Pistol Mode:
OMG!
            Now, before we actually go to its alternate mode, we are going to talk about the transformation sequence of this particular item, because this is where this figure had caused uproar in the entire action-figure-collecting worlds (as well as perturbed parents).
            Just by looking at the photos, I guess it really does speak volumes on the reasons behind the uproar. The worse is how that friggin’ missile is supposed to be launched – an action that – well, how should we put it here – mimics a certain sexual movements.
            I guess most parents are quite disturbed by that, because they know what they resemble like. Still, as far as kids are concerned, they don’t know anything, so they would probably love it, for all the RIGHT reasons.
            To be honest, the Power Pistol only vaguely resembles a pistol. Kibbles are everywhere and they could probably have done this a little bit better.
            The sight at the gun nozzle protruding out of his crotch is probably a little unnerving and hilarious at the same time. There are no triggers, and the gun is meant to be triggered by moving the nozzle back and forth.
            As far as the size goes, it is definitely for kids as the handle can be a little bit small for a grown adult to hold.

Accessories:
            The set comes packed with 3 bullets and a bullet holder, equipped with a belt clip.
            The bullet holder can store all 3 bullets, and the bullets can be taken one by one. It doesn’t feel like it’s spring-loaded, but when the bullets are released, they can really “fly” far.

Overall:
            Now, it really depends on what you see in this set. Kids may think of it as a really fun toy to play with. Parents might think of it as being totally inappropriately-designed.
For collectors such as yours truly, this is a piece of history. I mean, why not? This is an action figure which has consistently being on any rank list of the toy with the worst designs, and being consistently at number two on most rankings.
So yeah, I am quite happy with my acquisition and I do somewhat dig him.
            Recommended.

            Final verdict: 8/10 

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