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The Blank Slate

Amazing Heroes
by yo go re

The first series of Amazing Heroes figures comprised five characters: Black Terror, Captain Action, Stardust the Super Wizard, Daredevil, and Blank Slate.

Who is the Blank Slate? According to the Kickstarter, this mystery man without an origin has faced the Golden Age Daredevil. Along with his equally powered mindless minions, this blank spectral figure can take on the appearance and powers of anyone he's fighting. Which is nice and all, but is also complete bunk.

There was no Golden Age villain called Blank Slate. There was a DC villain, created by Peter David in 2000's Young Justice #18, who had the exact same "copies the powers of whoever he's facing" skill, which means Fresh Monkey Fiction is really skating the boundaries of legality here (or would be, if DC cared enough to defend a minor character who only ever appeared in eight issues, the last of which was in 2002). To further the illusion that Blank Slate was a real piece of history, the Kickstarter whited out the enemies on the cover of Daredevil #3 to make it look like DD was fighting Blank minions.

So really what this figure is is a two-fold benefit: one, like the original 1982 Snake-Eyes figure, it allows the company to save money on paint by just releasing a toy molded in a solid color; and two, it provides a plain base for customizers to work on. Since this line is about painted details rather than sculpted, a little bit of color and this can be any character you feel like.

All the figures share the same basic body, so if we'd reviewed this toy first, it sure would have made all those other reviews easier! The idea is to create new toys in the style of Mattel's Marvel Secret Wars line, so the sculpt and articulation are done to 1980s standards - so the toy has larger musculature than most people, but it's not as super-defined as most action figures we get today.

Since this is for making customs, it comes with two heads - alternately, since this is a totally 100% real character, the head with the sculpted hair is the actual Blank Slate, while the smooth head with no ears is one of the dominated minions. Or is it the other way around? The heads swap pretty easily, pulling off the neck with just a little bit of force.

Like we said, the articulation is part of the retro appeal. The figure moves at the neck, shoulders and hips, all plain swivels - the very definition of "the big five"! Like the toys that inspired this line, the legs have a pretty substantial bend to them, leaving the character in a perma-squat. Again, it's a nice, neutral pose for whatever character you want to turn this into. Oh, and looking inside the "hair" head reveals pink plastic, not white, so I guess that whole thing up above about this being molded in-color to save paint money was wrong. Oh, and no accessories other than the bonus head.

Technically the Blank Slate is not a character - he's a blank action figure, sold so customizers can make whatever toy they want out of him. And while other companies have made blank figures before, none of them have been an official part of the line. And really, what is a toyline with no villains for the heroes to fight? Nobody but Daredevil actually has an arch-enemy, and a toy of the Yellow Claw would be a bit too complex for this line to do right now. So Amazing Heroes retroactively invented a villain to slot into their line? Fine by us! That means he works even for people who don't want to paint their own pottery.

-- 04/24/16

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