Vintage Vault: Bionic Six Mechanic by LJN

We’re jumping back to Bionic Six this week. I know it was just two weeks ago, but I have a lot of B6 figures to check out, so you’ll just have to indulge me. We’ll keep the ball rolling with Dr. Scarab’s bad guys and take a look at Mechanic, that loveable dullard with a nail gun and soft spot for cartoons and small animals. He was basically the Lenny to Dr. Scarab’s George and while he was usually quick to try to pound any one of the Bennett family into goo, deep down he had a good heart that sometimes got in the way of Scarab’s evil plans.

Ugh, I’m still not digging on this packaging. Mechanic comes in the same coffin bubble on cardback that we saw with Glove, with his accessory in a little compartment above the figure. That black and white pattern on the card is just awful. I’m not real fond of the character art either. Sure, it’s recognizable as Mechanic, but it still looks more like mediocre fan art rather than a licensed work. At least the Bionic Six logo looks good. The back panel has a blurb about the cartoon and pictures of all the available figures, and for some reason Mother-1 is giving the Nazi salute and FLUFFI looks like he’s playing with himself. Hmm…

Before getting into anything else, let me point out that again, the gimmick with these figures was the use of die-cast metal and in some cases clear plastic. The idea sort of makes sense where the bionic Bennetts are concerned, but not so much with characters like Mechanic, who have no bionic parts. Nonetheless, Mechanic’s torso and lower legs are made of die-cast, while the rest is molded in plastic. It gives the figure a nice, satisfying heft, but does little else of any merit.

Overall, I think LJN did a good job with Mechanic’s sculpt vis-à-vis his animated counterpart. He’s the second biggest figure in the line, next only to the Bennett’s ape robot FLUFFI, or possibly JD if you count him wearing his hat. First and foremost, the head sculpt is pretty close. I’m not sure what all the pox marks on his face are all about, but his goofy mouth, eyes, and the way his little hat is perched precariously on his tufts of hair are all spot-on. The rest of the figure is equally accurate and I think Mechanic comes off as particularly good because his simple design, just a fat dude in overalls, is better suited to the die-cast parts. Although, I find the addition of his little die-cast nipples particularly creepy, the body sculpt captures the character design perfectly. The use of the translucent green for his Scarab emblem is just icing on the cake.

The coloring on this figure is also well executed. You basically get a combination of flesh tones, blue in the overalls and the orange in the gloves and hat. There isn’t a lot of slop or bleeding, but you do have that pesky chipping problem that plagues the die-cast parts of all of the Bionic Six figures. Even fresh in an unopened package, Mechanic had some paint chipping on his feet and on his backside. If you’ve shopped around for a loose example of this figure, than you know it’s almost impossible to find one with some seriously chipped up and dirty paint.

Mechanic features the standard points of articulation for this line. The neck turns, the arms have ball jointed shoulders and hinged elbows, and the legs have ball jointed hips and hinged knees. He can also swivel at the waist. Considering when these figures were released, it’s a respectable amount of poseability, although the exposed metal joints and screws definitely detract from the figure’s aesthetics.

A lot of the accessories that come with the Bionic Six figures are less than spectacular, but Mechanic’s actually fits the bill. You get a simple removable tool belt that hooks around his waist.

I’m going to rank Mechanic alongside Glove as being one of the better figures in this line. Sure, the die-cast is completely unnecessary and ultimately detracts from the figure, but LJN still managed to capture the character pretty damn well, given the context. I was always kind of disappointed that he didn’t come with his nail gun, and the paint chipping on the feet, straight out of the package is obviously a bummer, but overall, Mechanic is a solid effort in the line. I’ll give Bionic Six a rest next Friday to look at something different, and when I come back to it in two weeks, we’ll check out one of the Bennetts.

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