*Review* Foxbox Studio’s Hades


INTRO

Foxbox Studio may not be the most well known toy company in the world, but they have one of the most interesting premises of any toy line I’ve heard of in the past 2 years.

It’s called God Complex.

From what I’ve scrapped off the internet floor, and I won’t go into the real details here, it’s all about mythological gods being heads of modern (futuristic?) day corporations and criminal organizations. There’s a fairly well fleshed out back-story that hints at human revolution and warring factions. It paints a pretty epic picture and comes off more as something I’d expect from a movie script or comic book as opposed to a toy-line from a company that as of now only has two figures under it’s belt. You can get all the juicy details and back story for the characters, both released and unreleased, on Foxbox’s site here. It’d definitely worth the read.

I was fortunate enough to be turned on to these guys near the end of last year. Seeing some of the production pics and reading the extensive plot lines associated with it, I was incredibly excited to get my hands on whatever they were putting out.

The unfortunate thing is that by the time I managed to stumble across Foxbox, their first toy Hermes, had already come and gone. I had just learned about them and already, despite the cash in my pocket, had missed their virgin release. The search on the second market was a no go either. As limited as Hermes was, I found that it was crazy difficult to hunt one down and when I did find him, people wanted mucho grande amounts of cash for him. I just couldn’t do it and had to give up the chase.

About the time Foxbox Studio started to fade from my frontal lobe, they previewed their next toy in line, Hades. I jotted down the released date, set a bazillion reminders on my iPhone and waited patiently for February to roll around. On the drop date,  I was lucky enough to snag one of the first 50, which also scored me a limited edition signed print. (update: I was informed that the original print was given to the first 30, but due to some errors on Foxbox side, they extended it to the first 77)
I was excited, suffice to say!

Let me interject a thought here; I’m very used to waiting on designer toy’s production to delivery times thanks to my addiction to ThreeA, but it seemed to take an eternity for Foxbox to deliver this guy. Ordered in February, delivered in October. Nine whole months, and in that time, hardly a mention of any follow up.

That being said, Foxbox Studio, a young toy company with some big ideas, has officially delivered on their second toy from their God Complex franchise.

Hades is here.

PACKAGING

Foxbox packaged Hades in jet black packaging. Some minimal design elements that mirror the bright fire orange in Hades’ helm are emblazoned on the front. On the back a short list of creative credits to those behind the toy.

Inside, Hades and his accessories are safely packaged up in several layers of form fitting foam. The print resides rolled up in a separate cardboard compartment in the shipping box. The packaging is fittingly minimal by design and looks really nice. I love the almost luminescent glow the orange gives off once you open the box. The black and orange theme marry perfectly with the color pallet of Hades himself.

WHAT’S INCLUDED

Included in the pack is a gun, staff, a plethora of hands, the top half of Hades’ helm and of course, Hades.

Thanks to my impeccable skills at scoring low number toys (I kid, I kid..) my set also included a really nice looking canvas print signed by the artist.

THE BREAKDOWN

First impression? Sharp. Hades looks really sharp.  His cloths are very nicely tailored to the toy body underneath. All the stitching is carefully set with no frays or strays anywhere to be seen. The jacket actually appears ironed, being completely sans wrinkles.  Some very thin and nicely sewn silver details polish off the look of the jacket.

He’s a well tailored man all the way down to his shiny shoes, which match his shiny gloved hands. Opening the jacket to get a better glimpse of what he’s working with reveals a black, fitted, tucked in tee. At the pants waistline you can see where the fabric is pulling a little at the snaps, but it still looks good. Unlike 3A’s Rothchild, Hades’ pants are actually fastened at the fly.

Thank goodness.

The neck piece that goes into the skull is a very interesting design and adds a lot of character to the figure. It does however limit how much his head can move around. In fact, his head only turns left or right.

While the sculpt of Hades skull head is flat-out rad, the execution of it isn’t as awesome as I hoped it be. It has a great design and from a distance, looks very cool. However, up close, you may find it a little lacking.

First off, there’s absolutely no paint details. It’s a skull, it’s painted white. OK, maybe it’s off-white. It’s plain non-the-less.

There’s no light wash to make it pop or get into the recesses to show off form, etc.  There’s a very visible and ugly seam runs along the top of his head where you can easily spot the equally visible and poorly painted over magnet circles.

Again, the skull design itself looks really cool, it’s a shame it looks so unfinished.

With Hades helmet on however, it’s a different story. He looks killer! Again, thanks to the really unique designs by Bryan Lie.  The one negative here is that the unfortunately obvious magnets don’t do a better job at holding the helmet firmly in place. They’re pretty weak and it took a bit of tender finesse to get it too sit center and look right. I find it hard to believe that Fobox would toss any old magnet on there to attach such a key character element. My unscientific, blind guess is that they tested the strength of the magnets when they were unpainted and thought they’d work out great. Once doused with acrylic however, it’s possible that’s where their miscalculation went.

Anyway, once you get it sitting right, it’s looks pretty BA.

Hades comes with a cornucopia of swap-able hands. I swapped them out right away so he could hold his gun and cane. I was a little less than excited by the hand variety.  There’s no dynamic, wide fingers or tightly clenched fist or.. I don’t know,a rude gesture anywhere. There’s six hands with nine possible sets here, but they’re all just subtle variations of the last meant to hold his accessories in slightly different ways.

Pretty unexicting.

Perhaps that’s a good thing really, because it’s a pain in the rear to swap the hands out. The material they used to make them is very hard and unforgiving. A little sheet of paper Foxbox included in the packaging recommends you use a hairdryer before swapping any of them out. Come on man! I don’t have time to hunt down a hairdryer, I’ve got things to do, reviews to write!

You’re more likely to find a set that works with the gun and staff and just leave it at that. In the end it’s probably better for your nerves and safer for your toy.

I really dig the shoulder guard attached to the right shoulder of his jacket. From what I can tell, it’s not removable, so you better love it too. I was happy to see that it’s not a solid piece and thanks to it being sectioned, you can adjust it to whatever angle you mange to raise his arms to. If I had a complaint about it, it’d be the same as I had with the skull. There’s no painted details. It’s pressed plastic with a visible seam and that’s it. No decals, no rust, nothing. Some may be cool with that, but again.. if I had a second one of these guys, I’d add some highlights and a light wash to it so it reads as less plastic and more metal.

While I didn’t exactly disrobe Hades down to his birthday suit to inspect the goings on of his body, he seems to sport a fairly now-standard 1/6 action figure body. All the familiar points of articulation are here. But once you start pushing him around, you’ll run into his limitations.

Due to the well tailored, form fitted jacket, you really can’t move his arms around as much as you’ll probably want to. Jumping jacks would be impossible for this guy. The same for his waist. It’s difficult to twist him side to side which will most likely have you making due with predominantly front facing poses. His pants are a good deal more forgiving, though the material is still tight at the thigh. I actually found his ankle joints to be pretty loose as he took a tumble a number of times during this shoot.

The accessories themselves are pretty nice. The gun looked a little cheap in the preview pics, dull plastic grey with a slightly bent barrel, but it actually looks a bit better in person. It still looks more like a toy gun than something made of steel, but I think it passes. The staff on the other hand, is the bee’s knees. It has a really great design to it and makes Hades look ever more the self respecting villain when he’s holding it.

However, it’s something I had completely forgotten about that makes Hades just that much cooler. The staff is actually a sword. A frik’n cane sword! You can simply pull the lower portion off to reveal a bright orange, light saber-like blade. It’s gorgeous and just perfectly executed. A funny little thing to get so excited about, but it’s really fun to play with. Also worth noting that there is actual painted detail on the blade. It goes from a darker warm orange to a brighter, almost yellow orange at the tip. Maybe it’s because I’ve got a thing for cane swords but I think it’s one of the coolest and original weapon/accessory I’ve seen.

THE FINAL WORD

Hades is a sharp dresser and despite it limiting his articulation, Foxbox has done a great job in the tailoring of his clothes. Setting him in a simple pose with his helmet on, weapons out and he looks dangerously good head to toe. I really dig the head sculpt, it’s freaky and very well designed. The helmet itself is also a really cool element, despite it not locking in like it probably should.

The shoes make the man. When it comes to designer toys, it can come down to the accessories. I love the cane sword. It’s dynamic sculpt and hidden light-saber-like blade is perfectly befit a ruler of the underworld. Personally I really like the pistol in one hand, cane in the other combo. It’s not something I’ve seen much in toys before. In fact, I could say that for the whole character. For all his faults, Hades is unique.

On the negative side of things, there’s little to no paint detail. Foxbox seemed to rely mostly on the color of the plastic itself and flat tones of paint than worry with enhancing anything with gradients or variety in shade. The shoulder armor, while cool, is completely flat. The skull head, again very cool, is flat white. A bit more attention to detail there would have been appreciated I think. He doesn’t need to be covered in grime etc.. but some light wash to set off the cool sculpts would have gone a really long way. If these guys weren’t so hard to get, I’d custom him up myself.

From what I’ve heard from a few folks who actually own Foxbox’s first figure, Hermes, he was really nice to look at but incredibly fragile. Hades doesn’t feel fragile, but he looks and feels a little unfinished.

I definitely like him enough to buy the next figure in Foxbox’s chamber, Inari, but I’m hoping that he will be as much an improvement on Hades as Hades was to Hermes.  I also hope it doesn’t take the larger part of a year to deliver.

I’m cheering for Foxbox to work out the kinks and polish up their end product. With their fantastic figure designs and the compelling universe they’ve created around them, they have all the ground work laid for some incredible things down the road.

I’ll be watching.

PROS:

  • Fantastic and unique character design by Bryan Lie
  • Finely tailored and fitted clothes
  • LOVE the sword cane. The perfect accessory. Need a 1.1 version
  • Great back story to get you excited about the product
  • Love the print on canvas

CONS:

  • No real paint detail leaves much of the cooler elements looking pretty flat
  • Articulation is very limited due to fitted clothing
  • Magnets on head are not only visible but are not very strong; helmet feels loose.

NEXT REVIEW: 3A’s METAL GEAR SOLID REX

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4 thoughts on “*Review* Foxbox Studio’s Hades

  1. That thing looks crappier than I originally thought. Close ups just make it look worse. I guess this gives 3A a perfect excuse to not have to step up their game. Character design is great > Execution is Jr. kitbasher level.

    Like

    • Well, keep in mind this is a tiny team pulling this together. Obviously some parts of the figure are drastically stronger than others.. but give ’em time.

      Like

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