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Spawn Series 1
by Shocka

The Violator was the transformation of Clown's human form to a fully fledged demon with a massive underbite, a creature to scare Spawn into leading Hell's army. Although Violator is a long-dead character from the Spawn comics, his death hasn't stopped McFarlane Toys making new figures of him, with at least a dozen different Violator figures and repaints over the past decade. I suspect this is because, like myself, all collectors love demon figures - frightening and scary, demons represent the fearless, guiltless aspect of humanity, malicious creatures who can kill and destroy without conscience, that reside in Hell in the scriptures and reside under the bed in fairy tales.

The first incarnation of the Violator from Todd McFarlane's Spawn is infamous with toy collectors. A simple but effective little toy that's been repainted and resold often over the years due to its durability. This figure is almost 100% bendy, which means it can be kept on the shelf with your other figures - or conversely, wrapped around the rearview mirror in your car, hanging from your doorknobs, anywhere.

When Todd shopped his wares to other companies, Mattel came back with a nifty-looking Violator which stunned some of us on the Spawn Message Boards - a big scary creature that looked like a combination of the Movie Violator and Violator III. Though this looks like an awesome figure to have, McToys has since then sold incarnations that are similar but haven't been received nearly as well as the original Violator has - this is because the "Todd Toys" Violator is a true original, showing the early creativity of the company that would eventually go so far.

Violator stands anywhere from 4" to 9" tall, with the slender body and slender limbs that we've all come to know. As a figure, he's technically a fully unarticulated piece, though his bendy legs and arms allow him to be posed or wrapped around furniture or even stand (with some major difficulty). Violator can barely stand at all unless you spend half an hour posing him, but that's not the point of the toy. He's for playing!

Violator does have one real point of articulation - his jaw opens and closes in an "action feature" of sorts - when you move the horn on top of his head backward, his mouth shuts. In all honesty, it's pretty weak - although biting with his mouth is good, you can't close his mouth all the way because it looks ludicrous with the terrible underbite, and it doesn't moves smoothly/easily enough to make it look like he's talking. In the default mouth-open "Wasssap!" pose the Violator looks best.

Paint is good on the Violator - his teeth, mouth, eyes and horns are all painted nicely, with the rest of the body one color. As mentioned, there have been heaps of variations on the original grey color, including red, black, gold and all a manner of others. As it is, I only have the grey ones - although I have a dozen or so of these, all haunting the shelves as a Violator army. Customisers can even paint them in new colors if they so desire.

Overall, Violator is a nifty piece of memorabilia, a simple but effective concept that works well enough, even though he's not as threatening as later Violator figures. Although my favourite Violator to date is the Movie Violator, I still have heaps of these little buggers because they're so versatile and cool, everyone needs at least one.

-- 02/24/03

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