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Hellboy 2
by yo go re

A fun game to play while watching Hellboy II: The Golden Army is to try to guess which monsters were the creation of Mike Mignola, and which were the work of Guillermo del Toro. This guy? I'm guessing Mike. Guillermo loves outlandish, inhuman designs; Mignola's all about the combination of vaguely human and somehow changed or deformed.

During the war between the humans and magical creatures, an unnamed goblin suggested the idea of creating an invincible army. King Balor agreed to this plan, and the Goblin started work on the 4,900 soldiers. Though he lost his legs in the process, the army was completed and sent to battle. The army was too effective, though, and King Balor was shocked by the carnage caused. In the end, the Golden Army was shut down and sealed inside Bethmora. Bethmora was eventually abandoned, all except for the Golden Army's creator, who began to regret creating them.

Part of Series 2 of Mezco's HB2 movie toys, the goblin is an unusual choice for a figure. He's of historical importance within the film, but his role is ultimately minor as far as plot goes: he shows the BPRD crew the door to Bethmora. You have to figure the only reason Mezco made him was because they knew people would want monsters, and he was the easiest to make. I know, I know, you prayed for a Cathedral Head toy. No dice.

They never really explained how the goblin lost his legs making the Golden Army, but sure enough, this figure stops somewhere around the waist. His skin is pebbled with warts, and there are realistic rolls and wrinkles all down his torso. Three horns poke out of his scalp at odd angles. They're different sizes and different shapes, to make them look organic rather than prosthetic. His face is nearly human, but retains exaggerated proportions to set him apart.

The goblin wouldn't fit in packaging the normal way, so he's actually slightly disassembled in the packaging: the gob is one part and his cart is another; it's up to you to slot them together and plug everything in place. Once that's done, he's 5½" tall, 6" long and 4½" wide - big enough to look appropriate in the toyline's 7" scale. He has a balljointed neck and shoulders, and hinged elbows.

For some reason, the goblin has numerous crabs crawling over his shoulders, with a lone straggler on his stomach. He has Mr. T-levels of necklaces sculpted onto his chest, though his are all string and shells, rather than gold. He wears a tattered pair of gloves, like someone in a wheelchair would - makes sense, eh? To help move him along, he has two large wooden clubs: the one in his right hand is just held in place, while the one on his left side is actually strapped and tied onto his arm for long-term use; it even has a point of articulation built into it, to keep him flexible.

The goblin's "seat" and front wheel are molded as part of his body, while the rest of the cart is separate. There are six "ropes" (actually plastic, of course) that hold the two halves together. The cart is detailed well, with a texture that looks like driftwood. The back is filled with the goblin's treasures: i.e., things he picked up off the ground near the water's edge. Seashells, starfish, netting, a big bottle... you know, flotsam. There are individual paint apps, but all in tones of brown. This would look at home in pretty much any modern videogame, where brown brown brown is the order of the day for the scenery.

Beyond the right-handed walking stick, the Goblin set includes two buckets and two lanterns that can hang on the cart. The lanterns are two different types, and the buckets look as though they're filled with brackish water. The coolest feature, though, has to be the rolling wheels: they're not perfectly circular and a bit off-set, so as you roll the Goblin around he seems to wobble side-to-side just a bit, making his movements more natural. This isn't some glorified Matchbox car, rolling perfectly on your desk, it's a real being, struggling to deal with his handicap differently able.

Series 2 of the Hellboy movie figures wasn't as fast a seller as series one, but when it comes to strange monsters for your collection, the Goblin is one you should really give a chance.

-- 10/28/09

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