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McFarlane Toys
by yo go re

They better not do anything to his family!

Ray Garrison is a soldier recently killed in action and brought back to life as the superhero Bloodshot by the RST corporation. With an army of nanotechnology in his veins, he's an unstoppable force - stronger than ever and able to heal instantly. But in controlling his body, the company has sway over his mind and memories, too. Now, Ray doesn't know what's real and what's not - but he's on a mission to find out.

Sony's Bloodshot had an interesting premise, but was a pretty poor movie - heck, the low-budget Ninjak vs. the Valiant Universe web series was a better movie, and it starred a wrestler, a Power Ranger, and the guy who got replaced by Josh Brolin as Thanos, and made SciFi Original movies look good by comparison. I know that sounds mean, but seriously, go watch it: you'll have a more enjoyable time (and see better versions of the characters) than the big-budget Hollywood flop managed to deliver. Still, only one of them got a toy, and that's McFarlane's version.

Cinematic Bloodshot was played by Vin Diesel, so the toy shares his likeness. Comic Bloodshot has never been bald, but Vin isn't about to let his natural fro grow out and (outside of 2006's Find Me Guilty) no studio is going to pay his salary and then make him unrecognizable by throwing a Bruce Willis wig on him, so what we get here is Dominic Toretto, but white. Well, gray.

This Bloodshot is based on his modern version, not his first version (who wore a totally '90s tactical vest) or his late-90s version (who managed to dress like Blade before Blade even came out), so his costume consists of a black T-shirt and blue jeans. He has small plates of metal armor strapped around his lower legs, but can't even be bothered to tie his boots all the way. And if he's got nanites in his blood that repair any damage he takes, what purpose does wearing armor at all serve? Especially since it's protecting his shins, not anything vital?

Bloodshot's iconic look has always involved chalk white skin with glowing red eyes, and while it took the movie a little while to get there, the action figure dives right in to the look we want. Sure, a "human" Vin Diesel toy might have been interesting, but powered up is better. His T-shirt has the bleeding circle logo right in the center, and the jeans get deep shadows in the recesses of their wrinkles. His armor looks like brass, with a wash to make it weathered, and the straps holding it on are the same brown as his belt and holsters.

These days McFarlane's toys move pretty well - a decade ago, we'd have been lucky if Bloodshot moved at the shoulders and neck. Remember the Prince of Persia toys? Heck, did you even remember there was a Prince of Persia movie? The answer is probably "no" to both, because they were equal disappointments. Anyway, in the year of our movie theater shutdowns 2020, Bloodshot moves at the head, neck, shoulders, biceps, elbows, wrists, chest, waist, hips, thighs, knees, ankles, and toes. The wrists and ankles are the "hinge joint between two swivels" style, while the biceps are just cut straight through the arm so they look out of place when you turn them even slightly, and like usual, the design of the hips makes the thigh swivels pretty much functionless. And like the real Vin Diesel (probably), he can't actually put his arms down at his sides.

The figure comes with two pistols for his holsters, an assault rifle of indeterminate type, and a knife so extravagant and stupid it looks like a leftover from a '90s Spawn figure. He looks best wielding the pistols, with the other two weapons just left in the package (which itself is a nice blend of his colors: black and gray, with red highlights and a circular window allowing us to see the stark figure contrasted in a lovely way against the crimson backdrop).

Bloodshot was not a good movie - again, the Valiant-produced web series was better in every way except budget - and fittingly, Bloodshot is not a good toy. At least, not a great toy: it's fine, it's workmanlike, it shows McFarlane Toys doing solid work that, a few years ago, would have been beyond them. We're living in a time when McToys' "mediocre" is better than the best they used to give us. You may not like Bloodshot, but that fact alone is something special.

-- 07/12/20

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