|The Toy Island Super Posers have so much detail, that the line gets its own page!
Even though there are only 2 action figures on it: Sonic, and Shadow. The line originally had 4 figures, and included Tails and Knuckles. But as you can see here, Tails & Knuckles Super Posers & (Prototypes) were shaping up ok...They seemed to have decent proportioning and interesting articulation. WHY were they scrapped? Too costly? Repeat: These guys were NOT MADE. The photo is only a prototype from Toy Fair.
The Super Posers are based around the idea that more joints=better figure. As you'll see below, this is mostly true. They're not without a few problems though. The Super Posers ARE in SonicGear's own collection, so all the info on this page is 100% hands-on with loads of detail so you know exactly what you're getting. Be sure to look for the "Posedown" at the bottom of this page-- and then see where you can buy them for yourself!
|SonicGear Main Page|
|First, a Poser Anatomy Lesson.
As you can see here, the “Super Posers” are indeed ‘super-posable’. The box claims that they can have ‘up to 20 points of articulation’, which is a leftover statement for when Tails and Knuckles were going to be on the line. Both Sonic & Shadow have the same amounts and types of articulation. However, as you’ll see some of it is just there to “Add to the numbers” because it serves no real purpose on the figures.
This chart lists each joint and what it does. They're symmetrical.
|Here's what he looks like in the box. It says "Over 20 points of articulation" and 'collect them all'. Even though there are only 2. The bottom shows ghosting of some of the joints that move.|
|Here's Shadow in his box. The boxes are quite large, to accomodate their giant heads. The figures are fairly heavy too, with their packing so don't be surprised at shipping, if you order online.|
|Each figure has the following types of articulation, as shown in the pointed-out illustrated diagram.
1. The center of the shoe hinges up and down--however the interior isn’t painted, and the bottom is not detailed. (again, a problem for Shadow who has the glide-emitting holes)
2. The ankle will also hinge back and forth at the sock line, and above the sock line where it joins to the leg, it will rotate. The ends of their legs become ‘fat’ in this area for some reason. This may be to help strengthen the figure for the articulation of the foot. Shadow DOES have the red stripe on calf and fore-arm painted on--a good detail.
3. The knees are front/back only, which is good.
4. The hips are somewhat lacking. It’s not a REAL ball joint, so they can’t do something as simple as sit on a ledge with body/thighs at a 90 degree angle. The legs will “V” apart due to how they’re attached to the body.
5. The waist will rotate, which is nice for Shadow but looks goofy on Sonic because of his peach-colored chest spot thing. There isn’t anything that can be done for that though, it’s just a fact.
6. The shoulders have the same problem as the hips. They look ball-ish jointed but aren’t. This prohibits some natural movements.
7. The elbows are the same as the knees, and are just fine.
8. The wrists will rotate at the glove cuffs, just like the ankle.
9. The hands are hinged at the wrist so they’ll move up or down. The fingers (all of them at once) are hinged as well. Sonic’s hands are open, so they can look like they pick up things. Shadow’s are closed into semi-fists, with the thumb fused down. Meant to make him look more aggressive, his hands can hold strings or just be fists. Both hands of both figures are exactly alike.
10. Of course, their heads rotate. They cannot look up or down. The head joint can be VERY loose. This is not helped by the weight of their large spikes.
11. The ‘unneeded’ articulation comes on their heads. For some reason, they decided to hinge the ears. It doesn’t do the figures any favors though, because the ears can only be pulled foreword due to their shape. This isn’t anything that anyone has seen Sonic do…but the hinge doesn’t really distract from their head so it is fine.
|This is the 'maximum down bend' for the figures' spikes and ears. The top view shows the right half down, left half up, both max bend.|
|They also decided to hinge 4 of their spikes. (The same 2 for each figure) For Shadow, the outer spikes will hinge up or down to a fair degree that looks pretty natural. The bonus for him is, that they kept the insides of the hinges red (to match the red striping) so that when you bend them down, it still looks like a continuation of the stripe. (Unlike on Sonic’s shoe-top where they missed that for the stripe)
Sonic wasn’t as lucky with his spikes. They will hinge downward, but not up. Why are Shadow’s better? Because his were bent at a funny angle to begin with. To keep Sonic looking smooth, he lost a bit of the freedom on his. Since spikes are shown ‘blowing in the wind’ on the games, this does add a touch of realism to the figures. The other possible factor (not applicable here) is that hinging the spikes would help the figures arms out. Especially with someone like Knuckles who loses articulation because he can’t turn his head and raise his arm. However, these guys’ heads are already big enough that they weren’t ramming their spikes into their arms anyway.
|Let the problems begin! None of these eyes are very good...|
|They are not without problems though, as you see above. They can have either of 2 types of eyes, both of which are NOT GOOD. The trend seems to be if you order your figures online, you get the “Sideways Druggie-Goat” eyes, and if you go to a retail store, they’ll have the “Teeny Tiny Center Psycho” eyes. What seems to have occurred is that they all originally had the druggie goat type, and then hit a quality control hitch, caused a panic, and some of them were “improved” to the tiny-eye version. You can see the ‘paint out’ job on some!
The best of the lot seems to be retail-tiny-eye Shadow, as he almost looks natural. Sonic never really made the cut. Soon, a "Fix" that you can do at home, will be posted on this page!
|But how do they compare to figures you already own?
This photo shows them with ReSaurus Tails, and the Figures Emeralds Sonic. They're about 7 inches high, with really large heads/spikes. (Shadow's head is nearly as wide as he is high!) The pencil gives you a good reference as Shadow, affected by his somewhat loose joints, droops foreward slowly in the photo.
|Paint & Construction
The paint isn’t as rich as it is on the box. The coat you get is obviously thinner. I did not see any ‘problem figures’ with nasty overspray or bad detailing, but they’re not all perfect. It also helps that the figures are MADE OF stuff that’s the right color to begin with so not a lot of painting need get involved. The shoes, chest, face, and Shadow’s stripes are paint. All else seems to be appropriate color materials used. Their proportions are pretty spot-on as well, with no ‘big body’ or bizarre limb lengths. The only "Off" thing is that their wrists and ankles are thicker than the arm itself, which is mildly distracting.
|Note: Some Shadows may have the arm stripe on the wrong side. You MAY also see 'old version eyes' that have been painted over. Apparently, there were several 'batches' of these guys, each with different paint problems. The SonicGear reviewed ones seem a lucky set, with not many problems appearing in their paint for you to see.
UPDATE: Some of the newer figures have improved eyes but worse quality plastic
Their heads and shoes are hard, shiny hollow plastic that’s pretty heavy-duty. The bodies seem to be the same thing. The arms and legs are made of something just slightly ‘rubbery-er’ but they’re still really tough feeling. Shadow’s nose is a bit smaller than Sonic’s.
The joins are a bit loose. Are all figures this way? I don’t know, but they could really use tightening up around the neck and legs to actually HOLD the poses you set them up in. These guys would really benefit from super tight joints.
Yeah, these are good guys. Add them to your collection. They’re neat once you get hands-on. They have lots of fun possibilites for posing in your collection. The KB-Toy price is VERY reasonable as well, at 8 or 9 dollars per figure. They are quite worth your while at this price. *Note that KB Toy went out of business.
The eyes are really the deal-killer here.
|Interesting point: Look closely at the box back. You’ll see some differences. Most notably, EACH of Sonic’s fingers used to be independently movable. They have obviously cut this and fused them for the final release. (Too bad!) Another is the figures lost the little “Hinge Dots” on their shoes and socks, as well as on their spikes. Somehow, they were able to internalize these, which is nice. Another difference to watch for is Shadow’s white chest fur has more detail than on the box, and looks better too! Why is Sonic posed with his ears all the way foreward?
Also interesting to note, that only the VIZ and Toy Island logos appear. 4Kids is missing. Does this mean Sega is pulling away Sonic from 4Kids, who are known to butcher up shows? It could indicate good news.
These were re-released by Toy Island (with fixed eyes) and WORSE plastic. Make sure you get the Jazwares versions ONLY because the re-release ones break too easily. (Like, if you set it down, it can snap for no reason) If you are ordering online, ask for what company made them.
|Figure Pose-Off brought to you by MCRG to showcase their cool pose-abilities even more!|
|Want to buy these guys for yourself? As of Oct. 2007, you can find them...
www.toywiz.com for $19.95 each
www.amazon.com for $19.95 (Sonic) and $24.95 (Shadow)
www.ebay.com should also have some up for bids, with random prices.
KB-Toys and KB-ToyWORKS in the USA (Retail stores) also can carry these for about $9.00 to $12.00
These are not the only areas, but they should have a consistant supply, at least for a while.
|Of course, accidents can happen. This guy is on his card upside-down. You can see the label that goes between the plastic is normal, but the back card is totally inverted. Discovered by Berzerker.|