Hot Toys MARS ATTACKS! MMS Action Figures
The toy invasion is on: New Martain Soldier and Ambassador.
Fans looking to add Hot Toys' MARS ATTACKS! Martian Solider and Ambassador to their collection can order them at the following fine retailers: BigBadToyStore.com and ToyWiz.com.
Following the release of their amusing Mars Attacks! Cosbabies (read our review HERE), Hot Toys assaults planet Earth with more Martian mayhem in the form of two new Movie Masterpiece action figures. These include 1:6 scale collectibles of a Martian Ambassador and Martian Soldier from the 1996 Tim Burton film.
As stated in my Cosbaby review, I'm not a huge fans of Mars Attacks! as a movie. I do, however, greatly admire the film's alien designs. That said, Hot Toys' Mars Attacks! action figures are an amazing visual treat; wonderful replicas of the movie monsters and the awesome 1960's trading card series that inspired them.
PACKAGING: Hot Toys' packaging design consistently surprises with each new licensed series released. With Mars Attacks!, Hot Toys takes a trip in the Wayback Machine to deliver a cool retro vibe. The packaging, in slightly faded colors of red and green, harkens back to toys of the 60's and is a nice homeage to the trading cards of the same decade. I particularly like the tongue-in-cheek art depicting the figure's "action features," as if these $100+plus collectibles were marketed towards Little Johnny to purchase and play Cowboys & Indians with. They had me sold at Mars Attacks!, though I admit that "Movable Eyes" was a big hook.
Another nifty feature is the use of a closed window box as opposed to a fifth panel window box. It's a step backwards to simpler toy times, further bringing home that nostalgic feel. Flipping open the top flap and sliding out the plastic tray reveals the figure and its host of accessories, just like previous Hot Toys releases.
SCULPT/ PAINT: Just like the movie, Hot Toys' Mars Attacks! action figures are short, spindly critters; the Martian Soldier hovers in at 10-inches with bubble helmet on, while the Ambassador stands slightly taller at almost 11-inches. What the Martians lack in size, however, is more than made up for by their large, bulbous heads. Both Martians feature the same incredible head sculpt: a human skull-like visage accentuated by a lolling tongue, big, beady eyeballs and an ominous, exposed brain. With so much attention of late being on Hot Toys' hyper-realistic human head sculpts, it's refreshing to see the company tackle something so radically different and alien. Cool articulation points (more on those later) and gorgeous use of color seal the head sculpt deal; a wickedly creative design fully realized in toy form.
Both Martians also share similar looking space suits and bubble helmets. The outfits are molded in emerald green with the hands, shoulders, feet, upper thighs and torso being cast of a tough, rigid plastic. The accordion-like arms and legs are covered in a rubbery material that stretches over the articulated body beneath. The combination of materials not only hides unsightly articulation points well, but gives the spacesuit a more realistic appearance and texture.
While close in appearance, subtle sculpting differences seperate the two Martain spacesuits. The Soldier features a red air tank with hoses that run to a circular unit on its chest. The steel neck contraption is also very broad, accommodating a much wider bubble helmet. The Ambassador replaces the air tank for a regal belt with Martian ensignia for a buckle. Its neck harness is also more streamlined, featuring a very narrow hole for the bubble helmet to attach to. Hot Toys COULD have easily cut corners here by making both Martians identical. With the robe on the Ambassador, you really wouldn't know the difference. Hot Toys took the high road though, insuring that collectors get two distinct characters, even if the differences of one are mostly hidden.
ACCESSORIES: Accessories, like the bubble helmets, are so essential to the overall look of the Martians that I almost considered them part of the sculpt. However, the option of displaying them without their helmets is there, though I truly believe they are made removeable to access the "Movable Eyes" feature (I'm getting there, promise!) Both helmets are hinged at the top and split down the sides. They connect by clamping over the alien's huge head and plugging in around the neck. For the Soldier, two slots are used to firmly attach the helmet. The Ambassador's helmet slides into a small round neck hole. It is all pretty self-explanatory, though illustrated instructions are provided.
Each Martian also includes a weapon of human mass destruction: a lethal laser rifle for the Soldier and a deadly disintegrater pistol for the Ambassador. Both are very cool retro ray gun designs. I love how they look like toy guns; an almost comical color scheme and fragile-looking construction concealing a much darker and dangerous purpose.
Hot Toys also packs in a fistful of interchangable hands, including weapon grasping, open and relaxed, and pointing. Swapping out the hands is pretty easy, and while I encountered zero problems, two spare wrist posts are given in case one of yours breaks. Last on the list of extras is the addition of a themed display stand. They aren't needed, as the figures stand just fine on their own, though I welcome the extra display security.
I'm more a fan of the simple, bare bones look of the Soldier, but it's hard not to like the Ambassador's commanding presence decked out in his royal attire. Finely tailored from thick, glittery fabric, the red robe wraps around the Ambassador's entire body and flows out in a large radius over his feet. The robe slides over both arms and fastens up the front by a strip of Velcro. Hidden wire stitched into the collar allows you to roll up both ends for that movie-accurate look. When displayed together, the Martian duo compliments each other very nicely.
ARTICULATION: As their packaging states, the Mars Attacks! action figures feature over 13 points of articulation. This includes a fully articulated TrueType body that is craftily concealed beneath the rubbery spacesuit. It's almost like posing a Gumby, albeit loads more fun.
The coolest points of articulation can be found in the head. Each Martian stars a ball-jointed neck for a wide range of cocky poses, a jaw that opens wide and closes tight, a ball-jointed tongue that can be manipulated in a number of interesting ways, and best of all, eyes that can be moved side to side. The latter is like PERS Lite. Instead of being hidden behind a removeable plate on the back of the head, the knob to position the eyeballs is exposed, but well camouflaged. Also unlike PERS, the knob on the Mars Attacks! figures only allows you to move the eyes side to side, not up and down. It's an awesome addition and I'm very pleased to see it being used on non-deluxe MMS figures, even if the feature isn't as advanced as the full-blown PERS system. Here's hoping more non-DX figures receive it.
COST & OVERALL IMPRESSION: Both the Martian Soldier and Martian Ambassador can be had for as low as $112, which is pretty darn cheap for a Hot Toys Movie Masterpiece action figure. These are not the largest or most heavily accessorized Hot Toys figures ever made, but they definitely pack a lot of value in their cool Martian sculpts.
As pointed out in my Cosbaby review, not since Trendmasters' 1996 line of movie toys have collector's been blessed with Mars Attacks! action figures. The fact that Hot Toys is making these now is simply remarkable. Don't let another decade go by for your chance at owning the definitive little green men from Mars.
For over 100 new photos of Hot Toys' Mars Attacks! Martian Soldier and Ambassador, CLICK HERE!
Review and Photos by Jeff Saylor
Review Samples Courtesy of Hot Toys