Battlestar Galactica: Cylon Centurion by Bif Bang Pow

Yup, Transformers Thursday’s hiatus continues. It’ll be back soon. I promise! In the meantime… A while back I picked up a whole bunch of Bif Bang Pow’s Mego-Style figures from the original Battlestar Galactica series. Oh yeah, I love how I’ve lived to be so old, that I have to preface every goddamn thing from my childhood with either the words “classic” or “the original” because it’s all been recycled. Anyway, I opened Starbuck and Apollo and then got sidetracked by something else and the rest of the figures wound up in a box in the corner of the closet. UNTIL LAST WEEK, when I uncovered them and opened up Lt. Athena. Today I’m continuing to open the line with the Cylon Centurion!

It rarely ever bothers me to tear into an action figure package, but opening these gives me a few pangs of regret. The presentation is so good, and these figures look absolutely amazing on their cards. All the Mego figures I had as a kid were hand-me-downs from my uncle, so I don’t think I ever actually got to open a new one, so the experience is kind of neat. Also, the Battlestar Galactica license works perfectly here, right alongside the vintage Space 1999 and Star Trek figures as well as BBP’s Mego-Style Doctor Who releases. The card is generic with a giant Cylon head on it and a sticker to denote the character. The back has a “Collect Them All” style layout with some of the other initial releases in the line.

I can’t put into words how much I love the original Cylon design. I think it’s better than or at least on par with anything that came out of Star Wars, and there are at least several episodes of the Classic Battlestar that I would put up against Star Wars any day. FIGHT ME!!! And in terms of blending that cool design with the Mego style, I’d say BBP did an fantastic job here. This is a fairly complex figure with a lot going on and I think it’s pretty obvious that they poured a lot of love into it. Unfortunately, I’m going to have a lot of stuff to pick at.

But before I get all nitpicky, I’ll say that the costuming is a thing of beauty. It starts with a standard Mego-style buck wearing a black bodysuit, and then come the layers. The legs feature plastic boots with vac metal shin guards and the thighs are wrapped in a black leather-like material. Next comes the enormous chest torso covering, which incorporates the sculpted belt, a ribbed covering over the pelvis, the chest and shoulder armor, and the backpack. Again, all done in one piece and served up with some beautiful vac metal goodness.

The backpack has a little paint detailing and he has a cloth butt flap with silver discs attached to it to make a pretty cool effect. The arms have plastic bracers on the forearms with a combination of vac metal armor and black ribbed areas, and there are two silver rings around the elbows.

The head sculpt is excellent, but because it’s made of softer plastic and sprayed silver, it doesn’t match the shiny lustre of the rest of the armor. It’s kind of a shame, but I have to imagine that it’s similar to what we might have gotten from a Mego Cylon. As for the visor strip, I’m not sure what they were shooting for here. The bulk of the visor is painted black and there’s a thin red strip running across all the way at the top, but it doesn’t really convey that there’s just supposed to be a single red eye travelling back and forth. I would have much preferred if they had just painted the red eye onto the visor.

OK, so notice how all of my shots have been just the figure from different angles and not in any cool poses? Well, one of the big bummers about this guy is that all that armor renders the articulation almost entirely useless. The only joints that can be fully utilized are the neck and the rotating hinges in the wrists. I can get his arms and legs to move a little bit, but they won’t move enough to hold a pose. It’s a good think he looks so good just standing there.

The Cylon comes with two weapons, his rifle and sword. The rifle is a simple, but decent, recreation of the ones they carried in the show. I really loved the bayonets they had on the ends. The sword is pretty simple too. I don’t recall them whipping these out all that often, except once when they were going to execut Baltar. So here’s the other big bummer… The Cylon can barely hold his rifle. The hands are definitely not sculpted to do so, but I was able to make it work… just barely. The hands themselves are hard plastic, so I just had to push it in there really hard and hope that the finger didn’t snap. The sword worked a bit better, but only because the grip is thin. Obviously, the hands are original sculpts for this guy, so why not mold them to hold his weapons? WHY NOT???

There’s a lot to love about this Cylon Centurion, and a lot to feel let down over. In the end, this is one figure that might be better off left in the package, but who knew? The Colonial pilots featured great and useful articulation and are tons of fun to play with. Good thing I have an extra Cylon that’s still carded! But even if I didn’t, I’m not unhappy that I opened him, because I need a loose one to display with my other Galactica figures. Oh yeah, and BBP also released two variants of this guy, a gold Commander, and a tarnished “battle damaged” version. I’ll get to checking those out eventually.

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