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Barbarian Builder Set

Mythic Legions
by yo go re

Imitating foreign languages as a series of gibberish sounds may be rude, but it's nothing at all new. You may know that "barbarian" comes from the Greek barbaros, meaning "foreign," "rude" or "ignorant," and you may even that the root of the word is, in fact, imitation of languages the Greeks didn't speek. But it goes even further back, which is why the Sanskrit barbara- means "stammering," and it continues today with our own "blah blah blah."

The Four Horsemen's second Mythic Legions Kickstarter has started, and here we are still picking our way through Series 1. Quality over quantity and all that. And while we were planning to review this figure much later, near the end of the sequence, it seems more of a service to you, inquisitive shopper, to file it now.

This is the Barbarian Builder Set. Things like the Bronze Dwarf or Orc Legion Builder sets were still normal releases, sold in standard-sized blisters, but this is a deluxe release. It comes in a double-sized package, and features even more accessories. There's a Knight Deluxe Builder Set in the second series, so let's take a look at this one so you have an idea of what you'll be able to expect if you want to buy her.

Straight out of the package, the Barbarian is a half-naked human male. Like the aforementioned Orc, Barb has bare, muscular limbs and sharp, angular gloves and boots. He wears the same fauld, tassets and loin cloth. The chest is bare, rather than concealed behind a breast plate, but even that we've seen before. He wears the weapon strap around his chest. His skin is lightly tanned, and his armor is mostly black with touches of brown and golden/bronze accents. The choice of these sharp pieces makes a lot of sense, since a barbarian living wild out past the edges of society wouldn't have access to the most refined armor. These pieces look like they were made by unskilled hands, and that suits the character.

The head is the same one Bothar Shadowhorn sported, with the tightly closed helmet and the epic beard. No lie, that beard was amazing on the previous figure, and it's amazing here. The hair blooms from his cheeks, sticking out far enough to pass the edges of the helmet, and then waves its way down toward a point above the waist; the mustache is wide and thick, and curves in a bushy manner; there is so much beard, in fact, that it even gets done up into two massive braids that hang below the chin. It's painted a dirty blonde or a very light tan this time, so it does blend in with the torso a bit, but the sculpt is deep and detailed. The dark of the helmet offers a strong contrast, but maybe it would have better to give the dwarf the yellow beard and the barbarian the red one, if only so we could really enjoy seeing it here.

The articulation is the same as every other Mythic Legions figure we've reviewed thus far: a balljointed head, swivel neck, swivel/hinge shoulders and elbows, swivel forearms, swivel/hinge wrists, balljointed torso, swivel/hinge hips, swivel thighs, swivel/hinge knees, and swivel/hinge/swivel ankles. No surprise there. In a neutral pose, he stands 6⅞" tall, which puts him closer to MotU Classics scale than comicbook toys or Lord of the Rings (though he will be able to hang out with Triple H.

And so that is the figure alone. But this is not a figure alone - it comes with many, many extras, allowing you to customize the barbarian to your liking. Check the bullet points, son!

For the helmet, you have your choice of antlers; large, smooth, black horns; or small, ridged, tan horns. Not enough? Okay, fine: feathered wings or bat wings. You get those too. Not a fan of his beard? You're ridiculous, but whatever, have it your way - the set also includes the Blood Armor helmet, so all the earpieces can plug into that one as well.

Barb may not wear armor on his chest, but he does have two kinds of shoulder pauldrons: the wicked-looking pointy ones that match his gloves and boots, and the short kind with the smooth surfaces.

Don't like the armor he's got on his waist? Trade it for a different one, made of Roman-style vertical strips of leather, and then choose whether you want the scale mail loincloth he was wearing in the package, or swap it for a furry version with three straps and rings hanging down the front. Again, the predominant colors are black, brown and gold, so that the new pieces join seamlessly with the existing ones. He will have to wear one or the other of the pieces, since the body is not meant to be viewed without some kind of covering.

Math time! One figure, with one set of bodyparts. Two heads. A removable strap around his chest. Two different belts, and two different loincloths. Two pairs of pauldrons that can be worn (or not worn) on one or both shoulders in whatever combination you prefer. Five different kinds of decorations that can fit into either helmet. Multiplying that all up, there are 9,216 different combinations you can put together, and that's before we even get into the question of which weapons you want to arm him with!

As for the weapons, he gets one of everything everyone else has had: a spear, a two-handed sword, a one-handed sword, a dagger, the modular axe with the extra blade, and the shield that can clip onto the figure's arm. The blades on the weapons are silver, but the rest of them are a dirty golden shade. If you want to do the math on adding those to the figure, help yourself, because I'm not even going to make the attempt.

The Barbarian Deluxe Builder Set is expensive, but it's just as good a figure as any of the rest. Buying him doesn't get you every single piece available in the Mythic Legions mold library, but you get a ton of them, and that means a lot of variety in how you want to play with him. And if the fact that he's just a figure with no name or backstory to motivate him bothers you, well, there are ways to remedy that.

-- 02/18/17

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