Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Action Figure Review: "The Dumbest Thing I've Ever Made" from Battle Babies

I've already looked at Thunder Tread, and now it's time to look at the second Battle Babies piece I picked up from creator Brad Rader while at Charlotte's Heroes Convention: "The Dumbest Thing I've Ever Made."  That's what Brad called it when I asked him about it, and he gave me a pretty sweet deal on it, too. Once again, remember that these are assemblage-styled customs, meaning they're made up of lots of different parts and accessories from various action figures and toys. They're pretty much one of a kind and are more art statement than traditional toy, although don't get me wrong; they'll look great on your shelf.  Brad sells his various Battle Babies on his Storenvy page, so check there often for more unique pieces that might pop up. Like I always say with custom projects, the traditional categories might not apply, so you're just going to have to deal with a random look at a cool toy. Ready?

     So, what is "The Dumbest Thing I've Ever Made?"  It's a hotdog warrior baby wielding dual grenade launchers and riding a flying bear who shoots laser beams from it's eyes.  Yup.  He's a little under 6 1/2 inches tall from the feet of his bear mount to the tip of his cowboy hat.  I'm not sure what toy line you'd want to display him with.  Maybe some other random Toy Story figures or your MOTUCs?  Absolutely no clue. This is a solid piece of multiple pieces from other toys and action figures. Nothing on it moves.  It does stand nice and securely, however. Just be careful porting it around, as I could see the laser beams from the eyes or the arms potentially falling off and needing glued back on.

 So, what is this insanely cool figure made up of? Here's my thoughts.  The bear is just a random plastic bear and the only thing I can tell about him is that he was made in China.  (I'm not that knowledgeable in plastics--it's written on his belly.)  It's a nice, neutral bear pose, although this bear has wings.  They're made from a very rigid, gold plastic, and are glued onto his rear sides.  So he's a bear that can fly--could he be even more dangerous? Heck and yes.  He's got laser eyes. He's a flying bear with laser eyes.  They're made from two different lightsabers (one's a Power of the Force 2 era green saber and one's an Attack of the Clones era lightsaber) and they look awesome. They're not the same shade of green, but do you honestly care? Laser eyes!

     Ok, so the bear is a hit, but who's riding him? War Weenie, that's who!  Yup, rather than call him "The Dumbest Thing I've Ever Made" or something like TDTIEM or "Tedium," I'm calling him War Weenie. Good name, no?  Anyways, War Weenie is made of a plastic hot dog.  You know, pretend food that kids play with. I'm going to say because of the darker brownish-red color, he's probably an all beef frank.  He's got some random baby legs on his lower body and the arms from what I would guess are one of the old Food Fighters figures from Mattel.  They're oddly muscular.  In each hand is a Soviet AGS-17 automatic grenade launcher.  It's an accessory that came with General Warhawk from Coleco's Rambo and the Forces of Freedom line from the 1980s.  I love this accessory and they make perfect weapons for War Weenie. They've also got a "burst effect" on the ends, although I can't identify what the burst is from. There is a random baby face on War Weenie (he looks oddly happy) and to top things off, he's wearing a cowboy hat that he stole from a Woody toy from Toy Story.

     Since most of the pieces that War Weenie is made up from are either cast in different colors of plastic or have their own paint jobs, there isn't much added paint. The only thing added is that Brad gave the two grenade launchers some really nice gunmetal dry brushing. Those old Coleco Rambo weapons were some of the best weapon sculpts of all time and they still hold up really well today, especially with a bit of paint.  The bear looks like he has a mouth that's been painted red, but that could be from the original toy.  War Weenie is made up of plenty of accessories from other toys, but they're all affixed to the piece.  Remember, this is more a piece of pop art than a traditional toy.

     While I don't like War Weenie as much as I like Thunder Tread (Thunder Tread is a really well thought out piece that has a flow and rhythm to it's madness) I still love it.  It's equal mixtures awesome and crazy and really captures the childlike joy of just putting random toys together. I've never been one for mixing my action figure lines or giving one character another figure's accessories.  (I've done it, but it was an exception and not the rule). Battle Babies pay homage to that spirit of childhood playfulness and a carefree spirit. I'm going to say that as an piece of pop art that will look cool on a toy shelf, it's easily a Great piece.

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