Independent Opportunites: Shocker Toys’ Shadowhawk

Miss me? Of course you did you buncha toy-addicted plastic lovin’  fiends!  Well, I’m back with a review for Shadowhawk from Shocker ToysIndie Spotlight Series 1.  Shocker is an up-and-coming toy company that is doing their damnedest to continue the legacy of awesomely articulated superheroes, which was began by Toy Biz all those years ago.  Sure we’ve all heard tale of broken joints from these figures, but I had to find out for myself.  Looks like its high time I chug some of this Drain-O pour myself a drink and beat the hell outta some kittens get right into this review!

Ah, the birth of Image Comics… I can remember it like it was yesterday.  Actually, no I can’t.  Years of glue inhalation and blows to the head have mixed up my recollection worse than Wolverine.  Shadowhawk was one of the flagship titles from the publisher and was drawn and written by Jim Valentino.  I remember 3 things about Shadowhawk: 1. He wore a shiny suit that featured a helmet much like Wolverine’s.  2. He was African-American. I know this because sadly, there just aren’t that many racially diverse superheroes that carry their own books. 3. Shadowhawk had AIDS.  This is actually why he started beating the hell outta criminals. Me? If I scored an incurable and fatal disease, I’d gonna rob every Dollar Store from here to Texas!  I’d be ridin’ high on bootleg toys and over-stocked deodorant!

The package for the Indie Spotlight series deserves a quick mention (but not any photos, cause the Early Times is already coursing through my veins and takin’ photos is NOT on the alcohol’s agenda!).  TH3RD WORLD Studios designed a very nice blister for the figures.  Its re-sealable! That’s right you can take the figure out anytime you want and still be able to display it MOC whenever you’re finished.  The cardboard backer simply slips out the top of the plastic blister. Fan-friggin’-tastic!

The sculpt on Shadowhawk is pretty basic.  Through my drunken haze, I think it has something to do with creating a sort of “Buck System” like Mattel uses for DCUC.  However, it could just be the nail polish-remover talkin’.  The head, gauntlets, and waist all feature very unique detailing though that helps make Shadowhawk stand out as an individual.  I would have preferred for all the striping on the costume to be raised; but, I’d have also liked the figure to shoot lasers. C’mon who doesn’t want a figure to shoot lasers?! Communists, that’s who!  Shadowhawk’s shoulder pads are separate pieces that snap on with pressure.  They basically hang onto his shoulders by two points…and tend to snap off. A LOT.  It generally happens when you rotate the shoulder or shove the arms up high,then they spring forth like a caged tiger ready to strike!  The thing is: he looks REALLY good with the shoulder pads attached, and when posed on a shelf there’s not gonna be any problem.  However, if you’re gonna play with his guy, beat puppies with him, or rub his plastic body against your genitals (you know that at least one of you had that planned), then you’re gonna want to remove the shoulder pads so they don’t get lost and/or swallowed by a wayward hooker sifting through your carpet for her spilled condom full of coke.  Oh, and for Dr. Nightmare’s (and other’s) info, Shadowhawk is sculpted with a big ol’ bulge in the front of his spandex.  Toss him in with your DCUC figures and it won’t take long before Black Canary and the rest of the women are climbin’ all over his silvery ass!  My only gripe is with the arms. I think they could use a little more muscle definition.  When they’re to his sides they look fine, but when his arm is flexed its like’s hes fightin’ crime with 2 wet noodles, depending on the way you pose him.

The paint on Shadowhawk is very simple, but gets the point across.  The lines that divide the silver from the black are mostly very tight with only minor “fuzzing” around the upper chest. Sadly, this is where a lot of the design takes place in the costume.  From a distance, its not a problem, but up close its not so hot.  The belt is where the most varying paint is applied.  The belt has been molded in black with a brown coating over top.  This lets the black beneath fill the cracks and details of the belt, giving it that comic-style look.  the belt buckle is silver and features the red Shadowhawk logo.  Its sculpted raised and helps to add a little color to the mostly basic figure.  the red eyes in the mask first appeared to be painted directly on the mask, but upon closer inspection (I scratched my nails across it like Salad Dressin’ Sally does my back) they are recessed into the mask.  the paint here is very sharp and would have ruined the figure if it was any bit off.

Articulation! This is the saving grace of any figure, and Shadowhawk here is no exception.  For any complaints I had previously, his articulation model helps to make up for it. Here’s the rundown of all the articulation points:  ball-joint head, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel upper biceps, double-hinge elbows, ball-joint wrists, ball-joint mid torso, ball-joint waist (you read that right fuckers!), swivel/hinge hips, swivel upper thighs, double-hinge knees, and ball-joint ankles. It’s not just the articulation points that make this figure so fun, but the manner in which they have been executed.  The waist and hip joints are so different from most everything else on the market right now, it’s amazing. Simply amazing. you wouldn’t believe how much extra personality you can put into a pose of a figure just by being able to cock his hip to the side as he stands.  Arrgghh! I can’t even start to properly explain it. Just go buy/steal/borrow/magically-teleport one of these for yourself.  I’m not sure if this same model is used for anyone else in Series 1, but Shadowhawk definitely has something cool going on. Oh, and for all those wondering: his joints are strong as any other figure that I’ve seen recently. The hands or feet may pop off at the ball-joint with a lot of pressure, but they’d easily be reattached.

Shocker has Shadowhawk light on accessories, but much like a Wolverine or Superman figure, there’s just not that much damn stuff to put with him anyway.  He comes with his Wrist Grapple/Claw and an Isz.  The Grapple attaches, duh, to his goddamn wrist and is sculpted to look as if it’s being shot with a line attached.  It sticks up kinda high, so other than action poses, I don’t leave it attached.  The Isz is black and is made of rubber.  The paintwork is good on the teeth and its a nice little extra, especially if you have The Maxx figure.  In fact, everyone from Series 1 of Indie Spotlight comes with at least one Isz so you can quickly build a little demon army…or a whatever-the-hell-they-are supposed-to-be army.

There it is folks: Shadowhawk’s review is done! While hes not perfect, I’ve seen much worse in the action figure aisles and for a first release, hes not too shabby.  I’m rootin’ for these guys to keep growing and working out any of their QC issues cause they have the possibility of being the next Neca (at the very least), in my opinion.  Go out and grab up this guy. Help support the little guys, plus you really need to see that hip articulation. It’s like DCUC…only hidden. Friggin’ great!


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13 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I have heard a lot of negative things about Shocker Toys, but shadowhawk seems cool. though I have never read and will never read his comic.

    i am a big scud fan and so is one of my best pals, so I got him both scud and sol for his birthday. he seems to think they’re titz on glass.

    • I was surprised myself. I expected a pretty simple figure, but that articulation makes him well worth the purchase.

  2. I dont know how to feel about Shocker, yet. They have a great lineup, but I’m STILL waiting on them to replace my Kabuki figure from 3 months ago!

    • I remember your review. Broken hands right?

      • Hand AND foot.

        I’m thinking of buying one from TRU, then returning the broken one to them. Let them take it up with Shocker since Shocker doesn’t want to deal with their customers directly. 😦

  3. Last I checked, a local store had a Shadowhawk…with his head off, in the package. I don’t know if that’d pop back on or not.

    On the brighter side of Shocker, that Scud figure is great. I’m waiting to see if they get any other figures out that I can’t live without.

    • In the package?! Funny that they’d even stick it on the shelf like that.

  4. I kinda wanna give this figure boobs and make some kind of Cyber-Hawkgirl. Oh, and cut off the crotch of course, I like my women bulging with power, but not that much power.

    Anyway, yeah, spiffy figure, I hope the sculpt gets thicker as the line progresses though.

    I would have asked Beckett for a review sample at SDCC, but I’m already on his bad side, didn’t want to risk a punch in the mouth xD

    • LOL. What’d you do?

  5. I just act stupid when he’s in chatrooms and on forums and call him my baby daddy and stuff, but I do that all the time, to everyone, for no reason whatsoever.

    No, wait, I do it out of secret affection, yeah, that’s the ticket!

    • Affection? I’ve never been called your baby’s daddy…. 😦 I feel so slighted, and a tad used.

  6. I would never punch anyone in the mouth. This persona that has been created for me is crazy, I am the nicest guy in the world when you meet me in person.

    By the way great review hope to see your Maxx review soon.

    • There you go nightmare, your teeth are safe from fists!…tooth decay is another matter entirely though, so keep on brushing!

      Thanks Geoff, as soon as I get the figures they’re going to the top of my list to be reviewed. 🙂

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