Bandai Ben 10 Alien Force ALBEDO & FOREVER KNIGHT
An evil doppelganger and armored warrior threaten Ben and his friends...
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The Ben 10 Alien Collection toy line is comprised primarily of heroic Omnitrix alien figures. You can collect pretty much all of Ben's standard transformations, giving you a sizable army of "good guys." Thus, it's pretty momentous when one evil character appears, let alone two in the very same wave. And that's why I was very happy to see two special inclusions in the midst of the current "Defender" series of Ben's aliens, the wicked Albedo and Forever Knight!
The Alien Collection single-carded packaging hasn't changed in well over a year. I've discussed it frequently in Ben 10 Alien Force, so here's just a brief rundown. The front of the card is covered in a pattern of Omnitrix aliens in silhouette, in bright blue and green. Also on the front is the Ben 10 Alien Force logo, and on the bubble of each figure is character art of Ben Tennyson and the individual figure's name. The back of each card has a lineup of other available figures, in this case the other members of the "Defender" series.
Albedo, Latin for "white" and an astronomical term regarding the surface reflectivity of the sun’s radiation, was a character in Ben 10 Alien Force and a thorn in Ben's side. A Galvan and assistant to the creator of the Omnitrix, Albedo resented the powerful device being used by a mere human and conspired to get his own version. Not realizing that Ben had become the default DNA pattern, Albedo was permanently transformed into a physical copy of the human. An energy pulse later reversed his colors, turning the alien into a sort of mirror image of Ben.
The Forever Knights have long been opponents of Ben and the Plumbers, stealing alien technology and profiteering on the black market. Their rank and file soldiers wear what looks like medieval armor, but upgraded with high tech components.
Albedo is a straight repaint of the Alien Force Ben Tennyson figure, in the same outfit with a different color scheme. A very screen-accurate version of the hero, the figure is a good representation of the cartoon style of the show. Action ready, Albedo has thin legs and thicker jacketed torso. His sculpt is good for a human figure, with distinctive clothing details and a great head sculpt. Albedo's head sculpt captures the character perfectly, with the tousled hair and sly smile. Best of all, the Omnitrix on his left wrist is very detailed.
The paint scheme is what sets this figure apart from Ben, literally. While the original wore blue pants and a green jacket, Albedo has gray and red. Where Ben’s racing stripes were white, Albedo's are black. The alien also has bright white hair instead of Ben’s brown, and scary red eyes. The only thing that’s the same is the Omnitrix, still bright green and black.
Albedo has pretty standard action figure articulation with joints at the neck, shoulders, elbows, hips, and knees. That's actually pretty good for Ben 10 figures, and certainly enough for basic posing. Albedo also comes with an accessory, a red painted hover board. Like Ben's original one in green, the board has a post that plugs into the figure’s foot and wheels for zooming around!
The Forever Knight figure has appeared once before in a three-pack, and so it's very cool to find him single-carded. He resembles nothing so much as a stylized medieval knight, something totally new and different in the Ben 10 toy line. Taller than the regular human figures, the Knight is completely encased in armor from his pointed toes to the top of his helmeted head. The sculpt really shines with armor plating and layering along edges, not to mention banding and ridges. The coolest, and kind of creepy, parts of the Knight's sculpt are his fingers. Instead of normal armored or mail fingers, this suit of armor has long bony looking, crooked fingers. The fingers on his left hand are loose while the right is clenched in an open fist. There's also a nice infinity symbol on the Forever Knight’s midsection.
Befitting a suit of armor, the Knight is mostly a dark bluish gray. There are thick black lines along some of the seams in the armor, and they decorate the chest and helmet. Otherwise, the only other color is a light gray on the symbol.
The Forever Knight is only articulated at the shoulders, elbows, and hips, which doesn’t give him a huge range of motion. Upper body poseability isn't too bad, and he looks good in "at attention" or menacing poses. The Knight comes with one accessory, a high tech blaster-type weapon that was included with the previous version as well as the single-carded Kevin Levin figure. The gun is very alien looking, with a triangular main body and conical muzzle. The Knight can hold the gun in his right hand, by the center grip or the bottom protrusion.
These two baddies are a great addition to the Ben 10 Alien Force Alien Collection series, and they're both very well done. I don't have to explain to any toy collector the allure of "evil versions" of their favorite characters, and Albedo doesn't disappoint when it comes to a parallel Ben in interesting colors. The Forever Knight is great as an army builder and generic alternate world or spacey small scale knight. Younger fans of Ben 10 especially will love these two, as will older collectors looking for something a bit different.
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Review and Photos by Scott Rubin