A few years ago, before McFarlane Toys began their slow slide out of first place, back when the action figures still had some action and the sports figures had yet to get official logos, Todd wasn't afraid to try something new. Now every line we get is the exact same thing - comic-based Spawns in slightly different poses - but back then? Fans actually looked forward to Toy Fair (yeah, remember when McToys still participated in Toy Fair?) because McToys actually had interesting things to debut. One of those interesting things was Spawn Series 18 - Interlink 6.
There was no story behind Interlink 6 - it was just a progression of what had begun with Series 15's Cyber Spawn and Series 16's Nitro Riders: semi-robotic characters with hints of anatomy showing through. The hook this time was that the six robots could be combined into one massive beast. The line wasn't a spectacular success, but apparently it sold well enough that McToys is ready to exploit it again eight years later. Being that this is Old Toys Month and that the re-releases are due out in just a few weeks, it seemed a perfect time to take a look at these little guys.
We begin with HD1, a long, lanky machine. As his name implies, he becomes the head of the larger robot, but that's not important yet. He's the tallest and thinnest of the Interlink crew, helped to his 8" height by giant rocket boosters in his feet. His toes fold down over the front to reach the ground, and while they look okay from the front, when viewed from the side it looks like he's wearing high heels. Kinda silly.
His shins are large and bulbous, with a shell of smoky, translucent plastic protecting a series of pistons, tubes and hoses. His knees and thighs are a metallic blue, and a large, working piston runs up the back of his legs. Above his slender waist, his ribcage is wrapped with more translucent plastic, and a large orange circle - looks like another rocket booster, or some sort of energy vent - in the center of his chest.
His arms are detailed nicely, with pistons, gears and all sorts of technological doodads. His left arm has a normal hand, while his right arm is a big honkin' gun underneath a black and white shield. He's got a huge antenna array on each shoulder, and a slightly skeletal face with some inhuman fangs and a metal plate over the left eye. The sculpt and design on this guy are both great, but the articulation is even better.
These figures were released when McToys was beginning to rely more on a flashy sculpt than good toy mechanics, so the fact that they're articulated at all is impressive. Yes, some of the joints are just used for the large transformation, but there's plenty that isn't. HD1 moves at the knees, hips, waist, shoulders, elbows, left wrist and neck, which is an excellent amount. Most of those are balljoints, too, so the range of motion is even greater. Those high-heeled shoes he calls feet give him a pretty stable base, though the spikes on his shoulders do have a tendency to pull him backward. Just move his waist one step forward from vertical and he stands fine.
Looking at HD1's paint scheme now, we can see how he was an indicator of where McFarlane would be going in the next few years:
the figure is a big, brown mess, despite a few spots of color that fail to adequately break up the monotony. Yes, there's plenty of detail, but it gets lost way too easily in the scheme of things. The upcoming re-releases have been given completely new paint jobs with much brighter colors, so maybe that will help.
As far as a standalone figure goes, HD1 isn't the worst in Series 18, but he's definitely not the best, either. The gun hand and the big shoulder spikes are cool, but the weird heels seem out of place, and the large lower legs don't really fit with the rest of the robot. In the Cyber Units release, HD1 is called Infiltrator Unit 001, and probably shouldn't be at the top of your "must buy" list.
HD1 | TS2 | RL3 | LL4 | RA5 | LA6