Bandai Ben 10 Alien Force Gwen Anodite & Humungousaur Defender
Ben 10 figures return with a long-awaited girl and an updated dinosaur...
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Ben 10 Alien Force is as popular as ever, with new episodes airing weekly on Cartoon Network and the recent debut of a live action film. To celebrate, Bandai is continuing the tried and true Ben 10 toy lines, including the main Alien Collection series of (approximately) 4 inch scale figures. At the end of last year there were four new releases that proved fairly difficult to find, including the very rare Highbreed. This year, Bandai is unleashing many more figures. Just like in the ending phase of the regular Ben 10 line, just so in Ben 10 Alien Force we’re starting to see repaints and slight updates on existing figures in their own sub-series, the Defenders. There are also all-new figures including a certain female character whose toy is long overdue.
Since the very first episode of Ben 10, Gwen Tennyson has been the constant companion of the titular character. Cousin to Ben, Gwen is the smart one. In the initial series she dabbled in magic, but in Alien Force learned that her arcane abilities really derived her from alien lineage. Her grandmother was Anodite, a species that utilizes energy in a variety of interesting ways including solid energy constructs, long distance communication, flight, and much more. When her powers manifest Gwen takes on aspects of the Anodite, starting with luminescent pink eyes. At the peak of her abilities she morphs into the full Anodite form, at which point she is drawn to join with her alien heritage and leave her Earthly concerns behind. Although she’s been around since the beginning, there has only been one prior figure of Gwen and even that one depicted her in her “Magic Girl” guise and costume.
One of Ben’s go-to alien forms in Alien Force is the mighty Humungousaur. A Vaxasaurian, he’s basically a humanoid dinosaur with extreme strength and durability. Humungousaur can also grow in size, becoming exponentially more powerful. A mostly repaint figure, the Defender version of the Omnitrix alien has many more paint applications than the original along with a new head.
While the figures may be new, not much about the packaging is. The Alien Force single-packed figures have shared the same straightforward bubble and card for a while now. Behind the plastic bubble is a very dynamic collage of Omnitrix alien silhouettes in blue and green. At the top right corner is the Ben 10 Alien Force logo, and in front of the figure is an image of Ben Tennyson. Next to Ben is the character’s name, but you need to look very closely to read it. The back of the card is just a pictorial listing of the other available Alien Collection figures.
The Anodite form is a basic humanoid with blurred, soft features and a massive mane of energy instead of hair. In the show, Gwen literally glows with energy, and Bandai has recreated that look very well in plastic. The Gwen figure is completely comprised of translucent plastic with different concentrations that make her look alternatively pink and purple. As is standard for the Ben 10 figures she is light on articulation, with joints only at the neck, shoulders, and V-crotch.
Along with the exotic alien looks Gwen has a pretty neat sculpt. She’s very smooth and not extremely colorful, so the sculpt brings out her thin limbs, long fingers, and pointed feet. Her face sculpt is very good, bringing out the “alien” Anodite look with huge oval eyes, small mouth, and no nose. Gwen’s hair piece is huge and has cool curves that make it look alive.
As noted before, the entire figure is made of translucent plastic in pink and purple with the sole exception of her white painted eyes. Gwen has one accessory (in addition to the standard informative character card), an energy orb that fits over her fingers for blasting action.
Humungousaur is still the hefty dinosaur alien, with a huge upper body, incredibly long arms, and tiny legs. Though not much taller than Gwen he “looks” big with his odd proportions and body shape. His hunchback means his neck sticks out and down and the beefier lower arms give him weightiness. Since the only thing new on this Humungousaur is his head the articulation is the same: shoulders, elbows, and hips. It’s not great, but the arms are decently poseable.
The sculpt on this figure, good to begin with, is made better with its all-new head. Bony plates are intermixed with muscle details around the main joints, and the Omnitrix is front and center on his chest. Humungousaur’s long arms are thickly muscled with finger segments and nails, while the short legs have detailed knees and claws. The previous figure’s head was small with a relatively neutral pose. The new one, on the other hand, is much more dynamic, dominated by a huge snarl. The alien’s teeth are exposed and even his eyes are larger.
Along with the new head Humungousaur has a spiffy new paintjob. Still mostly yellow and brown, the alien has many additional paint details in the form of stripes and accented muscle lines. Humungousaur comes with the standard character card and a clear bust of the alien that can be used on the Ultimate Omnitrix role play toy.
With new versions of the cool Omnitrix aliens, the Defender series is going to be very popular with kids and collectors. Humungousaur is a great example of what’s good about the line. He’s a solid figure with enough of a different look to make him worthwhile to people who already own the original. The new bust additions are also a nice way of making the Defenders stand out. On the other hand, many fans have been waiting for a Gwen figure since the Alien Force art first hit the internet. Anodite Gwen is cool enough, but it would still be great to have a regular human Gwen. If you feel the same way I do, make sure you let Bandai know on its Facebook page.
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Review and Photos by Scott Rubin.