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electro

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 wasn’t the worst superhero film to hit theaters but it wasn’t the best, either.  The plot was so full of villains that character development was near impossible and while the chemistry between Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone (Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy, respectively) was wonderful, it just couldn’t carry the film.  That being said, the film did provide some wonderful aspects, mostly in the costume and design department.  It is with this spirit of creativity that Hot Toys took on the task of creating a 1/6 scale replica of the main villain at the heart of the film, Electro.  The movie version of the villain who began life as Max Dillon couldn’t be more separated from his comic book appearance.  Where the comic books placed brightly colored clothing and some rather cumbersome headgear, TASM2’s Electro is much more streamlined, wearing a black leather suit that fits and accentuates the contours of his body, and the headgear is completely absent.  The designers of the movie version took the opportunity to reinvent the character a bit, providing him with translucent skin through which people may see the electricity as it flows through every cell in Electro’s body.  Hot Toys has done their best to recreate this new incarnation and, as usual, they hit it out of the park.

PACKAGING:

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Electro’s most notable characteristic is the electricity that runs through his body.  Hot Toys has attempted to emulate this electric charge with a brightly colored box, which is a stark contrast to many of their other, darker packaging choices of which the company is so fond.  The pinks and blues displayed on the packaging mirror the accessories included, specifically the tendrils of electricity that can be placed into the palm of the figure’s hands.  The character’s name is displayed in a font that is reminiscent of the comic pages that Electro was pulled from and the packaging somehow feels like a nod of the hat to the source material from which the movie version was inspired.

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While this packaging may not be as fitting as, say, Hot Toys’ recent Stealth Armor Iron Man offering, it does get the feeling of the character across, which is exactly what it is supposed to do.  That being said, one thing that TASM2 tried to accomplish was removing the sillier aspects of the comic book version of Electro in order to try to present a character that was deadly and a bit scary in his insanity.  Because the packaging leans more towards the comic book origins a bit with respect to the color and font choices, this menacing aspect of the character is a bit lost.  The packaging, while acceptable, definitely could have benefited from some darker tones.

THE FIGURE:

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Who cares about the packaging as long as the figure inside is worth the bread, am I right?  Hot Toys creates premium statues that definitely cost a bit of scratch (Electro comes with $229.99 price tag, if you buy it direct) but considering these are pieces of art, rather than toys, collectors of comic book and/or superhero art are more than happy to pay whatever Hot Toys charges because they know they are buying a quality product.  The Electro figure continues this tradition of quality, especially when it comes to those hand carved facial features.  Hot Toys employs an artist to hand sculpt an original work, then a mold of that work is made in order to produce additional copies.  It may not seem like such a big deal that Hot Toys goes this extra mile, rather than just using a 3D printer or something of the sort, but the extra attention to detail is exactly why collectors salivate at the mere mention of an upcoming Hot Toy.  In this case, the hand sculpting technique can truly be appreciated with the details in Electro’s face.

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Replicating the translucent skin of the movie version of the character, an LED light housed within the head of the statue brings the statue to life as Electro’s ultra-realistic face glows with blue light.  The sneer worn by Jamie Foxx while portraying the comic book character in TASM2 is perfectly replicated in the features of the statue.  The veins which go through his head are prominently featured and when the LED inside the head is activated, they seem to glow and almost pulse with electricity.  The light also shines through Electro’s eyes, which are void of color and simply shine with the blue of his translucent skin and deep, black pupils, making the statue, and the character, seem otherworldly. LED implants in the arms cause the tips of his fingers to glow with the same light, which brings the character straight from the screen onto the display stand.  The black leather suit worn by the character in TASM2 is recreated with precision, including the bolts throughout the costume, which are reminiscent of the iconic electric bolts on the side of Frankenstein’s Monster’s neck.  The Electro presented by Hot Toys is an Electro that has already been to battle with Spidey at least once, which is demonstrated by the damage to the side of his suit. One slight misstep with the suit is the zipper on the back.  It almost appears that the zipper could be used to remove the suit, possibly to give an awesome upper body section that is also made with that translucent blue but this is not the case.  In fact, not only does the zipper (which does seem out of place) not provide the opportunity to show off more of Electro’s skin, the booklet that comes with the statue expressly warns the buyer against trying to remove the suit.  A bit of an unusual decision on the makers’ part but it is easily overlooked.

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The figure isn’t quite as posable as some of Hot Toys’ other offerings, which limits the scenes that can be played out in a display but it is still very fluid.  The arms, hands, legs, and head can all be posed in many directions that will seem as if the figure is in motion while standing still.  This may not have a lot of moving parts but it does very well for the movement provided.

ACCESSORIES:

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While many Hot Toys products are rather packed with accessories, the manufacturer decided to take a bit of a minimalist route with Electro and the only accessories that come with the statue are two pairs of hands with the translucent tips, so that the LED light will provide the appearance of electricity flowing from his fingers, two pairs of hard plastic molded hands that are the blue-grey color of Electro’s skin, when not illuminated, and two pairs of colored tendrils that serve as shots of electricity that can be placed in his hands or on his feet, as the buyer may wish.

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The hard plastic molded hands do not have any open areas for the LED to shine through, which is a bit disappointing, but considering the chore of replacing the batteries for the LED lights housed in the statue, it is nice to have accessories that can be appreciated without the added gimmick of the lighted components.  The tendrils that act as electricity shooting from Electro’s body are colorful but a bit flimsy, and connecting them to the hands or feet can be a bit difficult.  Once attached, however, it is easy to see the effect the makers were going for and can be appreciated for what they are.

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CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM:

While this is another strong outing from Hot Toys, there are a few things that could have made the statue a bit more appealing.  As mentioned, the packaging is a bit bright for the character and rather than presenting the buyer with a package that is menacing, the box is more cartoony than necessary.  The electric tendrils, while a great idea, could have been made a bit better.  Not only are they a bit difficult to actually connect to the statue in a way that you will want to display but the items themselves feel flimsy, as if you are going to break them, simply by applying them to the piece.  The suit could have been improved by lighted components that actually shine through the suit or, at least, through the damage to the side of the suit, as if the power residing within Electro absolutely cannot be contained.  Additional accessories, or more accessories that played with the LEDs, would have been fun as well.  That being said, the folks over at Hot Toys are all about authenticity – not reimagining.  The Electro that Hot Toys has created is an exact duplication of the villain that audiences saw on screen during TASM2 and that’s where their responsibility ends.  The costume designers on TASM2 did a great job streamlining the character which (mostly) worked out on the screen but when it comes to a detail driven replica, it didn’t give Hot Toys much to work with.

CLOSING THOUGHTS:

As is their promise, Hot Toys has created something truly beautiful in this recreation of TASM2’s Electro and the designers of the on screen character should hold their heads high, regardless of how the movie turned out.  After all, without those brilliant designers, this newest addition to the Hot Toys line would not exist.  Yes, there are elements that could have been improved but, really, this one is exactly as advertised.  It is a perfect replication of the movie villain and while we may not see Electro on screen again any time soon, it is pretty cool to see him in all his glory sitting on your desk.

Want to get your hands on one of these gorgeous statues? Of course you do. You can put in your pre-order here.

Like our review? We have more! Check out some of our recent Sideshow Collectible / Hot Toys reviews:

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TOY REVIEW: Star Wars Bomb Squad Clone Trooper: Ordnance Specialist by Sideshow Collectibles

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TOY REVIEW: Hot Toys Batman & Robin (1960s TV Series) 1/6th Scale Figures

TOY REVIEW: Hot Toys ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2′ Spider-Man 1/6th Scale Figure

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