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Tracksuit Mafia

by yo go re

Bro. Bro! Bro? Broooooo!

The menacing Tracksuit Mafia - led by Maya Lopez and her second in command, Kazi - is one of New York City's most feared criminal underworld organizations.

Is it? I mean, eventually we saw a reason for the MCU's version to be, but in the comics the Tracksuit Draculas (so-called because of their ridiculous accents, bro) could barely even control an entire building, let alone the whole city. And isn't the point of obfuscating ownership so that the average person won't automatically associate them with that big reason to really be afraid? Like, McDonald's doesn't heavily promote its ownership of Redbox, because then consumers who dislike one would dislike the other; "Miramax" is a name Disney uses to keep its reputation clean; Planters Peanuts doesn't want anyone to know it's a subsidiary of that Japanese doomsday cult; so the Draculas should be more of an annoyance than fearsome. [Alternate interpretation? They're only the most feared by default, because Punisher killed everybody else --ed.]

The Tracksuit Mafioso is, like the Inner Demons, three figures in one: one body, three alternate heads. And it's easier to buy multiples this time, because it's not in a two-pack with a unique character, Hasbro! You will not be alarmed to learn that the figure is wearing a track suit. You know the style: nylon, zip-up, stripes down the arms and legs... it's the stereotypical thing. The legs are new, because they don't have pins in the knee joints, but the arms are reused, because they do. The torso is sculpted with appropriate wrinkles, making this jacket look like a thin and flexible material. The collar stands up slightly, thanks to only being unzippered as far as his breastbone, and he seems to be wearing a second, black, zip-up shirt beneath it. This is a nicely generic civilian look, bro.

While the Inner Demons were just three normal men, three innocent men, one of the heads in this set is Kazi, the named goon who's always hanging around Echo. He was played by not Kit Harriington, but whoever this dude is, he looks so much like Jon Snow we all just called him "Jon Slush." Thanks to Photo Real printing, this toy looks more like Jon Snow than the Jon Snow figure did! Dane Whitman hasn't even appeared out of civilian clothes yet, but the eventual MCU Black Knight figure already has a high bar to beat, bro.

The second head looks like Ben Foster, aka Angel from X-Men 3. If he was bald and had a goatee. And also a little bit of Seth Rogan DNA? So Ben Foster and Seth Rogan had a baby together, and that baby grew up to be this guy. He doesn't seem to be based on any specific actor from the show (because likeness rights), but so many of them were bald guys with goatees, he fits right in. Does he look like one of the gangsters in the photo on the side of the box? Sure, to an extent. The shaved section of his head is not only painted to look like stubble the same color as his beard, it's actually got a sculpted stubble texture! Awesome, bro!

The final head is the real army-builder of the set, because it's wearing a black ski mask to conceal the face. The lower edge tucks into the zippered front of the chest very nicely, but the fact that the skintone eyes and mouth had to be painted over black plastic means they don't match the pale shade of the other heads. Or the hands. Bro, you need to wear some gloves, bro!

Even with mostly new molds, the articulation is the standard stuff: head, shoulders, biceps, elbros, wrists, chest, waist, hips, thighs, knees, and ankles. On the plus side, the ankles actually get swivels where they enter the pantleg, so if these legs get reused in the future, we won't have to worry about pigeon-toed bodies! Love that for us! Unfortunately, while the usual balljointed hips may be enough to lift the legs all the way to the front, we'd need GI Joe Classified-style hinges to get the legs far enough up to properly do the one thing everybody wants to do: the Slav squat! Additionally, we're still having trouble matching colors between different types of plastic - his knees and elbows are darker than the limbs they're in.

To really up the "buy multiples of this set, you chumps; consume, consume" quotient, we get five weapons, a mix of new and existing molds. There's the increasingly ubiquitous machete and baseball bat, and if you're reading this in the future trying to separate out your parts bin, the machete has an orange-tan handle with no paint apps on the screws holding the grip on, and the bat is pure silver with no wraps. Next we get an all-black crowbar (not Wrecker's), a solid green wine bottle with partially translucent orange flames coming out of it, and then finally, a golf club. A driver, from the look of it. Yes, that makes sense for these guys, but who's ever going to need a golf club again? Molotov cocktail? Sure, we could see that being reused. But are there a lot Marvel characters who golf? Hasbro's not making a Casey Jones any time soon.

This set is a Target exclusive, which means it isn't terribly difficult to find; preorders sold out quickly when it went up on their website, but it's come back in stock a few times, and I found mine in a store in person. The drawback is that with all the accessories and all the heads, they're charging $3 more than usual for it - $27.99 vs. $24.99 - which is definitely more than it's worth. But with people looking to army-build, you're unlikely to be able to wait for a sale. With both a named character and several goons in one, this is a fun set, to be sure, but the price is disappointing.

-- 07/03/23

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