- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Thanks to the proliferation of film, comic-book and cartoon characters, companies are bombarding consumers with an incredible selection of action figures. With tongue in cheek, let’s take a peek at some of the specimens worthy of a place in Zad’s Toy Vault.

Silver Savage

Hasbro’s Marvel Legends line of 6-inch action figures continues with the special Red Hulk Build-a-Figure collection. The lineup includes Union Jack, Wolverine, Adam Warlock, Black Costume Spider-Man, Spiral and a permutation of the most famous former herald of Galactus, Silver Surfer, in serious need of his powers.

All six of the highly articulated celebrities from the Marvel Comics’ universe must be purchased to find the pieces required to assemble the gamma-broiled monster.

Figure profile: From the packaging - Temporarily fitted with an obedience slug, the Silver Surfer once again knows servitude. Armed with primitive weapons and clad in warrior garb, he is pitted against his old friend the Hulk. Robbed of full access to the Power Cosmic by his enslavement, he is nearly killed by the Hulk before his obedience slug is destroyed. His power, finally unleashed, sets in motion the events that will destroy the Red King and lead to the coronation of the Hulk as King of Sakaar.

Accessories: Besides more than 20 points of articulation, Norrin Radd (aka Silver Surfer) gets his trusty silvery surfboard, a golden mace, large sword and Red Hulk’s right leg. Nice costuming detail includes a loincloth, armor and back holder for the sword.

Price: $9.99

Read all about it: The Surfer’s battle came to light in Incredible Hulk No. 95. I suggest enjoying the full story line, which found the green guy on Planet Sakaar in the hardcover “Incredible Hulk: Planet Hulk” ($34.99), which collects issues Nos. 92 to 105 of the Hulk series, Giant Size Hulk No. 1 and a Gladiator Guide.

What’s it worth: As an exclusive to Target stores, younger fans could find the figures at a reasonable price, and persistent shoppers may still find them on select shelves. Now the collecting market has kicked in, so expect to pay twice the price for this rare look at the Silver Surfer.

Despero

Since 1999, DC Direct has brought the world of sequential art to three-dimensional life with its 6 1/2-inch scale action figures.

The company’s latest line pays tribute to the DC Comics’ Superman/Batman story arc Enemies Among Us. Figures to the collection include Batman, Superman (with alternate alien head), Green Lantern and the bruising bad guy who has been causing trouble in comics since 1960.

Figure profile: Paraphrased from the packaging - Chaos is sure to reign wherever this three-eyed villain turns up to battle the Justice League members he hates so deeply. In Enemies Among Us, Superman and Batman are mysteriously turned against each other when a secret villain gains control of the minds of all the aliens living on Earth, including the Man of Steel.

Accessories: The infuriated red superfoe sports just nine points of articulation and an attached soft plastic cape. He gets a simple display base shaped like the Superman/Batman comic-book series logo and nothing else.

In comparison, fans who bought all of Mattel’s recently released series 4 DC Universe Classic Collection: Series 4 (Wonder Woman, Cyborg, Captain Atom, Batman Beyond and Ares) received pieces to build a much more robust and classic version of Despero complete with weapons and holsters.

Price: $16.67

Read all about it: DC Comics published a trade paperback compiling the Enemies Among Us story (issue nos. 28 to 33) within the hardcover Superman/Batman: Volume 5 ($19.99).

What’s it worth: This Despero is not the best DC Direct has to offer. With a bit too hefty of a price, it provides little play value for the younger fan and is not unique enough for the collector.

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