As all Legends collectors know, after finishing a hearty meal of individually boxed figures, we get served a lovely Build-A-Figure for dessert. Well, they’re clearing away the dinner plates and that means today it’s time for me to cobble together… The Absorbing Man! Carl “Crusher” Creel consists of ten pieces, including: Two legs, two sets of arms, two heads, a torso, and his big weapon.
Creel is a little unconventional as a BAF because he comes with extra swap-out pieces (like the Odin BAF) and in doing so, he sacrifices a little in size. Oh, he’s still bigger than your average Legends figure, but he’s also on par with the Legends Wrecking Crew, which were packaged figures. Indeed, some of those even came with this very ball and chain accessory. Add to that how common extra heads have become and only the extra arms make it questionable as to whether Creel could have been offered as a boxed figure. Of course, those are just some observations and if it’s a good figure, I don’t need size alone to justify a BAF’s value.
And Creel is indeed a good figure, albeit a fairly simple one when you get down to it. He sports a pair of sculpted trousers with the purple and black stripes, as opposed to the also acceptable black and white stripes. Both looks are good, but I’m glad they went purple, just because it adds some nice color to him and that’s also the version I got in the 3 3/4-inch Universe line. He’s also got a wide belt and nice pair of black shoes with a spiffy shine, and that’s the extent of this guy’s wardrobe.
From the waist up, Creel features a shirtless torso with decent musculature sculpted in (this guy is ripped!) and some rather intense looking veins running throughout. The upper body is cast in flesh tone plastic, there’s no fancy wash or additional paint apps, but it certainly gets the job done. He only has one normal arm and it’s his lefty, so I’ve started him out with that and his wood-assimilating right hand, but I’ll come back to the arms in a bit. First let’s look at the two portraits..
RUTH… RUTH BABY? Yeah, I see a little family resemblance between Creel and Sloth from The Goonies. Fair enough, Creel is often drawn as a pretty weird looking guy, so it works. I think the lazy paint on the right eye helps drive it home, and I’m not about to give Hasbro’s team of crack eye painters the benefit of the doubt and presume it was intentional. It’s really not a bad portrait at all. Hasbro has been instilling tons of personality into a lot of their Legends villains, and this is just another example of that. He looks pissed off and deranged, and I’m good with that! And speaking of pissed off..
HOLY SHIT! The other noggin features Creel in full on rage mode while in the process of assimilating stone, and this is a magnificent piece! His mouth is open and teeth exposed in a maniacal scream and the stone side of the face features craggy fissures sculpted in and is coupled with some truly effective paintwork that really sells this effect beautifully. The gold painted eye is just the disturbing cherry on this creepy-ass sundae of a head sculpt.
The stone head mates well with the stone assimilating left arm, but I do wish I had a normal right arm to display him like this, because that would be my favorite default look for him. But I can understand how yet another arm would not have costed out.
The wood assimilating arm is another example of great sculpt matched with some great paintwork.
And finally, you have the metal assimilating left arm that is meant to mate with his ball and chain weapon. Here’s where things stumble a bit. The arm itself is fantastic. The metal effect of the paint is probably the best of all three, and that’s saying something because the others are awfully good. Unfortunately, the ball and chain is just left flat silver plastic, so the idea that he’s absorbing the metal from the weapon just isn’t conveyed all that well. Besides which, the contrast between the two just make the ball and chain look cheap by comparison. It’s a shame, really.
Creel has all the right points of articulation for a bulkier Legends figure. All of the arms feature rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists as well hinges in the elbows and swivels in the biceps. The muscle-bound arm sculpts don’t allow for all that much range of motion, but then I don’t really need Creel to be all that agile when he’s clobbering someone with his giant ball. The legs feature rotating hinges and swivels in the hips, double hinges in the knees, and hinges in the ankles.
The Absorbing Man is a solid figure and I do appreciate the different display options Hasbro gave us here. That having been said, the catalog of BAFs has been pretty impressive as of late, so he does come up a little short (both figuratively and literally) when compared to some of the more heavy hitters we’ve seen in the last year or so. With that having been said, he’s an important addition to the list of bastards in my Legends universe and if this was the way Hasbro had to get him to me, I have no problem with that. It also helps that this was a pretty solid wave through and through and I genuinely didn’t feel like I was buying anyone just to get a BAF part… and yes, that includes you Speed Demon!