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Ronan the Accuser

Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 3
by yo go re

Ronan the Accuser got his first action figure in 1998, and his second in 2007; we were overdue for an update.

As Supreme Public Accuser, Ronan enforces Kree justice with his cosmi-rod, the Universal Weapon, which often brings him into conflict with the space-faring races of the Marvel Universe.

When the Fantastic Four visited a South Pacific island to investigate the archaeological discovery of a giant robot, they accidentally awoke the machine and had to fight it. Just before it was defeated, it sent a signal to its creators, and soon Ronan the Accuser was dispatched to pass judgement on those who had destroyed Kree property. When the FF kicked his butt, Earth was suddenly elevated from an unimportant mudball to a planet worth watching.

While the Build-A-Figure Ronan was wearing his then-current costume, this one is in the more classic, Jack Kirby-inspired look. It's not specific to any comic art, being influenced more by the Contest of Champions game. The arms and legs (and thus the gloves and boots) are simply repaints of Extraordinary X-Men Colossus, but the sculpted pattern on the chest, and the inclusion of a skirt and giant shoulder pads, really give him some classic vibes. Some artists draw him with a chest twice as wide as his hips, but this toy is much less ridiculous.

Unlike the last figure, this one's judicial hood cannot be removed: the mask is molded as part of the head, and the actual hood itself is glued in place. The lower edges of it disappear under his shoulder pads, so it at least looks a bit like the seamless piece it should be but a physical toy could never reproduce. The face is the only exposed skin, showing that he's a blue Kree, not pink.

The majority of Ronan's costume is dark green, with a lighter green used to pick out all the geometric lines and shapes on the surface. The arms, legs, belt, and the collar around his neck are a metallic light yellow-green as is the cowl he wears beneath his hood (other than the bits around the eyes, which are black). In the wake of the movie, the comics did try to make him black-and-red, but it didn't stick, so green he remains.

Ronan has a balljointed head and a hinged neck, but the hood keeps those from being of their full use. From Colossus, he inherited swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel biceps, hinged elbows, swivel/hinge wrists (up and down on the left hand, back and forth on the right), balljointed hips, swivel thighs, double-hinged knees, swivel shins, and swivel/hinge ankles, and then the new torso has a swivel waist and a hinged chest. The shoulder pads sit high enough that the arms move fine beneath them, and the skirt is designed so as not to block the legs.

As always, Ronan includes his "Universal Weapon," which is basically a big hammer. Or, well, most people would recognize it as a hammer, and thus have the wider end point forward, but it's interesting to see how often comic artists will draw him wielding it with the thinner side forward, or even one of the side faces. I guess when your weapon is Universal, it works no matter what you do with it! This is a new mold, with a thick handle that has textured grips and studs at the base. The head has inset lines that are painted blue to make them look like they're glowing with power. There's a bit of wiggle between the head and the handle, suggesting they're molded as two pieces and then put together, rather than all as one. Unusual. Probably to keep it from being too heavy for the toy to hold up. He doesn't have any alternate hands or anything, which at this price point feels like a bit of a rip.

Ronan the Accuser is an Amazon exclusive, because why would you ever want to make a character who hasn't had a toy in 16 years available in stores where fans might see it and buy it? I got mine as a "damaged box" special, to knock a couple bucks off the price, but I'm definitely glad I got him. The BAF was fine for its time, but this one's way, way better.

-- 07/31/23

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