Aug 09, 2006
Review: David Horvath's Mothman
The mysterious Mothman is everywhere, in the shadows and in the midst of many of David Horvath's drawings. In fact, he seems mildly obssessed with the creature. The question is should you be obsessed with the 5.75" tall Mothman vinyl figure, the latest released in the cool Kaiju for Growup Series from Wonderwall ? If you're counting, Mothman by David Horvath is the third in the series following Frank Kozik's Ika Gilas and Touma's Maguman.
Recently we got up close and personal with one of the red and black Eye Witness Type Mothman figures. These were limited to 100 pieces worldwide with 60 available at SDCC 06, 10 reserved for Japan and 30 more stashed away for David and Sun-Min's grandchildren. Two other editions have emerged from the mysterious fog -- a clear smoke colored TNT Area Type (50 pieces) and the gray Silver Bridge Type. As for pricing, the Eye Witness Type sold for $80 at SDCC and the rarer TNT Area Tpe went for $85. Focusing back on the Eye Witness Type...
As with the other figures in the series, Mothman comes in the traditional kaiju packaging which means a header card and clear plastic bag. It's good to pay tribute to one's roots. Once you free Mothman from the confiment of the bag, you'll notice that he's... GLOSSY. Most opaque vinyl produced today has a matte finish. Occassionally you'll see a glossy proto but by the time the production pieces roll around glossy has become matte. While there's certainly a place for matte, the high gloss finish looks great on Mothman and it's nice to see the alternative finish out in the 'wild'.
While I'm rambling on about the material, Mothman is 100% Japanese vinyl. It's hard to put into words, but Japanese vinyl seems to feel better than the much more common Chinese vinyl. Or maybe I'm just falling prisoner to the mystique ;-) What I do know is that it's just a tad softer than most vinyl that has printed designs. I consider this a plus as it lends a nice feel. In my opinion, toys should look cool and feel cool as well.
Most of the Mothman pics I've seen have always shown him in a static pose. So I assumed he had no articulation. I was really surprised to find that Mothman is articulated about the lower torso, each wing and each arm (on the torso) -- five points of articulation when I was expecting zero. Very cool. The little arms are probably the coolest to play with -- they're stubby and you can really alter the vibe the toy gives off by posing the arms. And yes, I am obsessive ... so below you'll see a bunch of fun poses. In terms of playability, Mothamn scores quite high. Also, a little birdy told me that the articulated torso will come into play with a future release. Hmmm ;-)
Finally the design... Mothman is fairly wide and bulky which really helps convey a sense of mysterious power. This isn't a creature to be trifled with. The design also provides artiuclation without sacrifing the purity of the form -- not a small task. This one looks like vinyl sculpture, revealing its articulation only when the curious give it a try. The articulation allows for lots of flexibility display wise and allow Mothman to run the gamut from brooding to just plain goofy. Why with the ears straight up, he reminds me of a certain alien that's deathly afraid of water ;-)
The Eye Witness Type is my favorite colorway so far with the always powerful red and black color scheme. More importantly, it's what I expect Mothman to look like -- jet black with piercing red eyes.
So what's the verdict? In my opinion Mothman is one of the nicer original figures released this year. The sculpt looks great and also manages to squeeze in lots of articulation without hindering the shape. You've probably made up your mind in terms of the design and 'look' of the toy. I can confidently say there are no hidden drawbacks or flaws with this figure -- the kind you'd only discover after buying a toy. No such worries here. It's well made and sculpted. The paint job while simple is excellent and the figure is quite stable (though it's possible to upend him with both wings straight forward).
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i was able to pick one up at SDCC..i'm glad someone finally gave it a good review!