WildC.A.T.S. GIANT Sized Grifter by Playmates

So, you thought it was safe to come back without having to read any more of my gassing on about WildCATS figures? Oh, no no no. Don’t pass out on me yet. We’ve got one more to look at. This time around it’s one of Playmates’ self-proclaimed GIANT sized WildCATS figures. Playmates produced three characters in this larger scale: Spartan, Maul, and the one we’re looking at today… Yep, my favorite loose cannon of the WildCATS: The Grifter.

The package is a nice big window box with all the busy-ness of a Las Vegas billboard. Just check out some of my looks at Playmates’ Star Trek figures of the 90’s and you’ll see how much they love to scream at you with the package. In this case, the running theme seems to be GIANT, GIANT, GIANT!! I like the comic book style illustrations on the box, but the colors seem a little dull. Maybe my box is faded, I don’t know. The back panel of the box shows all three of the GIANT figures and includes a bio on Grifter. The Grifter figure is secured to the inner tray with twisties and his two blasters are mounted to the left and a collector card is mounted to the right. This is pretty collector friendly packaging. If you’re patient, you can get the figure out and get him back in for display with no worries. Also like the aforementioned Star Trek figures, Playmates did the whole Collector’s Number on the package thing to make you think you were buying some kind of rare and limited piece. Mine is numbered 7,428, which is actually the lowest number I ever had on a Playmates figure… by about 100,000.

While Playmates calls this a 10″ figure on the package, keep in mind he’s pre-posed so as not to be standing erect. He is defintely in the 1:6 scale, which would put him more in line with what we all consider the 12″ standard. And keep in mind, while this figure has a passable amount of articulation on paper, in reality, there’s only so much you can do with it, which sets him right in the middle of the whole statue vs. action figure debate. In theory he’s an action figure, in practice, I think he’s more a statue with some articulation. But we’ll discuss the articulation in a minute.

Essentially, this sculpt is the exact same one used on the smaller figure, just blown up to GIANT size. It’s still an excellent sculpt, but Playmates uses a much softer plastic on this guy than on the normal sized figure. Softer plastic means softer sculpt, plus you’re dealing with a sculpt designed for a much smaller figure. Add the two together and you are definitely losing something in the process. That’s not to say this is a bad looking figure, because it certainly isn’t, but unless you’re just looking for a nice big display piece, you will likely be more happy with the detail on the smaller figure. Apart from that the essentials are recreated nicely here. I like the determined, I’m going to kick your ass, expression in his eyes and the billowing of his trenchcoat works well if you have him just standing or in a running or lunging pose.

The colors are close to the smaller figure, but muted. While everything on the smaller Grifter was high gloss, GIANT Grifter is mostly flat matte paint with just a little gloss showing through on his shirt and mask. The flat paint used here is more realistic, but I tend to prefer the bright shiny gloss on my comic book figures. The red used on his mask and gauntlets looks a little deeper and definitely less vibrant. Playmates also changed the color of his belts from gold to green, probably to reduce costs.

GIANT Grifter has nine points of articulation. His head turns, his arms rotate at the shoulders and have swivel cuts in the forearms. His legs rotate at the hips and have swivel cuts at his boots. You can definitely get him into a few different stances, but there’s still only so much you can do with this articulation and his slightly pre-posed nature.

Grifter comes with his two trademark Kherubim blasters. These are decent sculpts and he can hold them very well in either hand. He also comes with a huge figure stand, which is the exact same stand that came with his smaller version, only GIANT.

So, if you haven’t sensed the theme here, it’s bigger but not necessarily better. I like this figure a lot, and I love having a huge Grifter to display on my shelf, but I wouldn’t trade my smaller one for this one if I had to make the choice. Nevertheless, he’s a cool item, but as soon as I had him in hand, I knew I didn’t need to hunt down the other two GIANT figures. Grifter’s my favorite, so I’m content to have him in this size, but I just don’t need Spartan or Maul. If you are interested in picking any of these up, they are just a little tougher to find than the regular sized figures, but they are definitely out there and you still won’t pay a lot for them. I seem to recall getting Grifter here for less than $20, shipping included.

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