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    Bandai Ben 10 Ultimate Alien Comic & Figure Pack #2

    Young Ben returns to take on an evolved Vilgax...















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    A very popular item in the toy aisles recently has been the “comic pack.” Put out by a variety of companies, the comic pack usually includes two action figures and a comic book, bundling a hefty amount of content for a low price (which is usually helped by reissued or at least repainted figures). A staple of Hasbro toy lines, the comic pack is now part of Bandai’s Ben 10 Ultimate Alien lineup of toys! The initial release included three packs labeled #1-#3 in Vol. 1, and notably each one comes with an exclusive figure not available anywhere else. Today we’re going to take a look at Vol. 1 #2, pitting the young hero Ben Tennyson against his greatest (and most recurring) foe, Vilgax!

    In the first incarnation of Ben 10 starting in 2005, the title character was just a boy at 10 years old when the Omnitrix device found its way onto his wrist. Even at that tender age the Tennyson youth had amazing adventures, and in that time he fought against the intergalactic menace Vilgax on several occasions. Partly responsible for where the Omnitrix ended up, Vilgax was a crime lord seeking to increase his power by any means. Disabled in the hunt for the powerful device, the vicious alien spent much of the first season recuperating and manipulating events behind the scenes. Much later in the series, Vilgax would return from the stars augmented by various alien weaponry and armor.


    An all new series, the Comic Packs don’t look exactly like anything that’s come before them. Both figures and comic book are packed into a standard bubble on a tall card. The top of the comic’s cover is a huge Ben 10 Ultimate Alien logo, serving as the largest iconography of the package. Its color scheme blends into the card behind it, and below it the huge leering face of Vilgax peeks out from behind the figures.


    The back of the card is simple yet effective with a high res photo of the figures at the top and an advertisement for the Alien Creation Battle Launchers at the bottom.


    The 10 year old Ben Tennyson figure is a repack/repaint of the original from way back in 2007. Essentially a short kid, Ben closely resembles the animated form of the first season character complete with cartoon proportions. For example, despite being six years younger this Ben is almost exactly as tall as the 16 year old version from Alien Force (3 ½ inches).


    He wears his iconic black and white t-shirt and green pants, which actually have a decent amount of detail from pants pockets to clothing creases. Ben’s face perfectly captures the animated look with its smirk and bright green eyes, and the Omnitrix on his wrist is very detailed. Ben has nine points of articulation: neck, shoulders, hips, swivel thighs, and knees.


    Vilgax, the exclusive figure in this set, is a pretty big departure from the other toy versions of the character (and indeed is based on a specific time in the animation when he looked different). While the other figures and versions are tall and monstrous, and more than a little scary, this one is quite a bit more cartoony. You’ll notice right away that he’s sculpted into an action pose with crouched legs and both arms outstretched. His sculpt is pretty good, especially since there are so many different things going on.


    Vilgax’s wears on his legs a blue bodysuit with lighter blue armor plates along with a complicated belt and holstered energy weapon. On his chest is a red harness over a black shirt, and his bare right arm reveals sinewy muscles covered only by a black wristband with a huge red jewel. Vilgax’s left arm has flashy yellow armor complete with clawed gauntlet, another power crystal, and a “V” logo on his shoulder. Finally, the alien menace’s Cthulhu-like head is bare save for a gray collar so his red eyes, gaping mouth, and long tentacles are unencumbered.


    Posing Vilgax is easy since he’s pre-positioned, but you still have options with some limited articulation. He has joints at the neck, waist, shoulders, and wrists, which provide more flexibility than you might think. Vilgax is also the rare Ben 10 figure that comes with an accessory, in this case a large gray sword that fits perfectly in his open right fist. He may not be as menacing as the other Vilgax figures, but this one certainly has a dynamic and unique look. Plus, this is the only existing figure of this version of the character!


    Finally, the set comes with a very short comic book titled “Time Saver.” In it, the current Ultimate Alien Ben Tennyson is whisked into the past to fight Vilgax at the site and time when young Ben first found the Omnitrix. The 5 page story manages to cram in several characters and aliens, and even an actual Bandai toy! While it may not be sophisticated reading, the comic is perfect for younger fans, and they’re the ones who will be blown away by this set.


    Ben Tennyson figures are always in high demand, and the young version hasn’t been available in a while (plus he actually appeared in the show recently!), and as I noted previously this is the only toy version of “supervillain” Vilgax. Bundle all of that up with a comic to boot and you’ve got a great Ben 10 gift for around $15.

    Review and Photos by Scott Rubin

    Review Sample Courtesy of Bandai


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