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Legendary Heroes
by yo go re

When the announcement came (out of left field) that Hasbro had purchased the Marvel license, there was a lot of fan speculation about what ToyBiz would be doing next. Eventually ToyFare magazine published an uncredited image of Image Comics' Pitt, which (coupled with rumors that Erik Larsen had been in talks with ToyBiz to produce Savage Dragon and SuperPatriot toys) led to speculation of "Image Legends." But still, we had no confirmation until an unexpected picture showed up, blowing fans' minds and crediting ToyBiz. It was still a while before we'd learn the true name of the line everyone was calling "Indie Legends," and that it would be continuing the Build-A-Figure tradition.

click to embiggen

The fetus that would become Pitt was stolen from Ann Bracken's womb early on in her pregnancy. The thieves were alien geneticists, members of a race conquered long ago by the interstellar warriors of the Creed. Combining the fetus's DNA with that of the Creed Emperor Zoyvod, those aliens created a being who embodied the most aggressive traits of both human and Creed - the most savage, most powerful hybrid ever to emerge from one of Zoyvod's gestation tanks. Pitt possesses stupendous strength and endurance; his unusual brain chemistry responds to pain as a stimulant instead of a deterrent, so the more he hurts, the harder he fights. He weighs about a thousand pounds, and stands 7 feet tall. He's a mighty force with his massively-muscled legs, razor-sharp teeth and retractable talons. Genetically engineered to be an assassin for Creed, Pitt struggles to cope with his human emotions.

So, wow, Pitt's half-human? I used to read the comic and never knew that. Guess it's kind of hard to get any story momentum going with a bi-annual shipping schedule. As we said earlier, not every creator who made the move from Marvel to Image brought a big book of fresh ideas with them. Dale Keown is a great artist, for instance, but he went from drawing Marvel's big angry guy to drawing his own big angry guy. And a kid. That makes it different.

Pitt comes in six pieces: arms, head/chest, hips/torso and legs. The pieces snap together tightly, but once they're together, don't expect to take them apart again with breaking something. His vest and the chains on his ankles are separate pieces, but it's not like they're included with different figures, you know?

Fully assembled, Pitt stands nearly 11" tall - which, honestly, is too much. The character's supposed to be 7' tall, which means the toy should be 7" tall. Now, yes, Keown played fast and loose with the size relationships in his artwork, but 10¾" is still excessive. That and the fact that you only need to buy six figures (instead of the eight needed for a Hasbro Legends BAF) really seems like Marvel Toys is just thumbing their nose at Hasbro. "We can still do this better than you, nyah!" That wouldn't be too professional, though.

Of course, that's not to say Pitt isn't one massive, badass beast of a figure. He has a balljointed neck, balljointed shoulders, bicep swivels, hinged elbows, peg forearms, hinged wrists, eight finger joints on each hand, a hinged torso, swivel waist, balljointed hips, swivel thighs, hinged knees, peg shins, hinged rocker ankles and hinged toes. Mighty! Plus, all the major joints are ratcheted, so he'll remain poseable for years to come.

In the Madman review, we mentioned that he came with two extras: a piece of the BAF as well as Timmy, Pitt's little friend. Who turns out was actually his little brother.

A young boy from Connecticut, Timothy Alan Bracken has seen more than his share of sorrow. His parents mysteriously disappeared when Timmy was only two. For years afterwards, nightmares plagued his sleep, and they came terrifyingly true with the arrival of Pitt and the Creed on Earth. Timmy's mind once served briefly as a sanctuary for Jereb, an alien of immense spiritual powers; when they separated, a part of Jereb's life-force remained inside the boy.

Timmy, unlike Pitt, is not grossly oversized. He is, in fact, the size a child should be, which makes Pitt's gigantism all the more apparent. He's got a decent look, and does a decent job of duplicating Dale Keown's artwork, but he's not articulated. Just a 3⅜" plastic that looks kind of like a real-world version of Bart Simpson. Maybe if ToyBiz Marvel Toys had cut back on Pitt's size, they could have spent the money on articulation for the poor kid, here. Big is cool, but save it for when it counts.

Dave Cortes' sculpt is extremely good. It's not just his muscles, or the weave of the fabric in his pants, or even his big, noseless face, but more about the way everything works together. The chains he wears wrapped around his... everything are done well, with the look of individual links rather than the solid lumps they actually are. The chain around his chest is a molded part of the vest, so it obviously stops at the edges, but look at Pitt's back, and you'll see the rear of the vest is sculpted to suggest the chains which would be under there. Hot damn! There are even free-floating padlocks on his waist and right shoulder. This is a friggin' display piece, right here! Once again, Marvel Toys proves that you don't have to choose between sculpt and articulation.

Pitt is painted well, too. His grey skintone calls for dark shadows, and the paint apps deliver. Rather than just use darker grey, they also used a few hints of ochre to add to the illusion. His chains are silver, but speckled with age, and his pants and jacket look like denim and leather, respectively. His jacket/vest has a red flannel lining, and the thin black lines on the collar are crisp. His eyes are red, and though there's some smudging on his teeth, they just look like he ate something messy, not like overt mistakes. Timmy's wearing light blue jeans, gray shoes, and a red shirt, and his hair is a sandy blond. His big blue eyes are painted cleanly, and the interior or his mouth is pink.

The purpose of a Build-A-Figure is the same as those loyalty cards you get at the grocery store or Hot Topic - to keep you buying. Of course, a store card is intended to keep you buying from the same place, while a BAF is about buying from the same company. A successful BAF will make you buy figures you didn't want just because you want to finish the big guy, and in that regard, Pitt is a complete success. Just ask Poe. Once you see how cool even a part of this alien hybrid is, you'll want the rest of him; once he's assembled, you'll be glad you gave in. Sure, he's too big, but call it artisic license. If nothing else, you have someone who can fight your rotocast movie Hulk.

Ripclaw | Judge Dredd | SuperPatriot | Madman | Savage Dragon | Witchblade

-- 10/03/07

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