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Final Faction
by yo go re

Okay, they can't all be winners.

Queen Malara's most trusted general, Diabol is a ruthless mastermind who never fails. While Diabol prefers to dictate the rules of engagement from his command center, he has no fear of the battlefeld and is happy to engage his enemy in hand to hand combat. Diabol is a brutal warrior who uses his spiked and armored limbs in combat. Adorned with the bones of his enemies, this juggernaut is unstoppable.

At last we've got Final Faction's big bad - and his introduction in the first cartoon episode called him the "high queen's hand of wrath," so we can't be surprised there's someone above him. Of course, very few organizations have "general" as their ultimate leader, and the Kharn were hibernating in the moon for who knows how long, so it makes sense there'd be someone else out there in charge of everything.

Diabol is a large enough figure that he doesn't come with any accessories (though the front of the card says he's got his own Weapons Pack on the way some time in the future). That bit in the bio about him covering himself with the bones of his enemies explains why he's so spiky - the tips are rounded, naturally, but it's still sharper than you'd expect from a kids' toy. (He's molded from a very stiff ABS.) It's a good thing the feet are so large, because the soles aren't molded flat: they curve up near the edges, like he's lifting some of his toes; fortunately, there's so much foot surface down there, lifting a little bit doesn't make him unstable.

His face is likely meant to look somewhat skeletal, with its prominent cheekbones and wide jaw, but what it really reminds us of is Killface, from Frisky Dingo (which, if you're having trouble recalling, was the show that bridged the gap between Sealab and Archer). It's an intimidating face, to be sure, and clearly anatomically the same as the other Kharn, just given more mass.

The Final Faction figures only move at the Big Five: neck, shoulders, and hips. Diabol doesn't change that, even with his big, crooked legs and giant arms. Unfortunately, the shape of the head limits the motion somewhat. The neck is so thick and come up so high on the skull, it had to be shaped to accommodate the jawline. So now the head sits down in that pocket, and that would make it hard to swivel. Their solution was to make the peg holding the head on longer than necessary, so it can pull up and out of the body slightly when you turn it. Eh, better than not moving at all. The animation also makes him look like he's 50% bigger than the Kharn Brutes (who were themselves bigger than the drones), but this toy maxes out just under 4½" - tall for a 4" line, but not as drastic as intended.

And then there's the paint. Obviously we can only ask so much from a figure that only costs $1.25 (inflation has come for the Dollar Tree), but Diabol is really weakened by his limitations. The head and torso are pink, the limbs are slightly darker, there are dark bands above and below the elbows, a little bit of highlighting painted on the forehead and shoulders, yellow patches on the chest... it's not that he's unpainted, but if you compare this to the Diabol in the cartoon, it's clear just how vastly different he looks. Even switching the reds for purples would have gone a long way in making him look right. All the Final Faction toys would look better given a customizer's once-over, but Diabol is one that really needs it.

Even with a few flaws, General Diabol is a giant chunk of plastic that feels worth the asking price. If we're lucky, maybe a better painted "deluxe" version will show up at Family Dollar like the Arrow ATV did (since, as it turns out, Dollar Tree and Family Dollar are owned by the same company). Now it's going to be interesting to see what his Weapons Pack will be.

-- 07/08/22

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