I hate balljoints.
No really, I do. If you've read any of my reviews (and you really should have, by now - go read one at random, odds are good I wrote it), then that's probably a pretty shocking statement. I'm the proponent of more more more articulation. It's Rustin (and, to a lesser extent, Poe) who has no perspective on what good articulation is. So why am I suddenly ready to kill the person who invented balljoints?
Well, I'm not really. I mean, the balljoint is probably the epitome of the action figure-maker's craft, providing the maximum of poseability and, when designed well, seamless sculpt. I still believe that now, in 2006, any company that isn't providing balljointed shoulders and necks on its figures (at the very least) needs to stop fooling themselves that what they're making are action figures. It's where the technology's at, and a company that doesn't do it is either lazy or stupid or... not interested in making toys.
So come on, why the hate? Well, when they're made properly, balljoints are great. But when they're made poorly? Suddenly they're the Devil's own tools, sent to the earthly plane to torment humanity.
Tonight, I had two balljoints break. Two! In one night! DC Direct's Man-Bat snapped at the shoulder, and NECA's Julia lost her head. Now, I don't mind broken joints - they're not my favorite things, but I'm not going to throw myself off the ramparts over one. I can deal with having to superglue a piece in place. Just find the best pose and leave it steady.
But the thing is, you can't superglue a balljoint. You can't fix it when it breaks. A nice, old-fashioned peg joint, you just press the two halves together for 10 seconds and they're set. Even if you somehow manage to align the two shattered halves of the balljoint's peg perfectly, you can't apply appropriate pressure for the glue to dry, and you sure as hell can't move it afterward. Simple fact is, you can't fix a broken balljoint.
Fortunately, breaks like this don't happen often. And usually when they do, it's on a figure new enough to score a replacement. But tonight, having two shear within minutes of one another, on figures that old? It's pissed me off, and for a brief moment I could understand the rage-fueled haze in which Rustin lives every day of his life.
Still, it beats the alternative: I'd rather have a figure that's a statue because of something I did to it than because the company that released it couldn't be bothered...