Media and Merchandise

July 3, 2010

Gotta Have It! Figure Edition: Spawn Series 1: Clown

Hello there, Comic Attackers!  How is everyone doing today?  Are you ready for a little adventure?  Are you ready for a little excitement?  If you would, please, step into my Toy Box Time Machine and have a seat.  Don’t be shy, it’s okay.  Fasten your seat belts while I set the coordinates to the year 1994.  Don’t worry.  It’s perfectly safe.  We’re not going to look in on anybody’s awkward Junior High or High School years, or anybody’s naked baby bath time.  Toys are the business of the day.  This is Gotta Have It! Figure Edition, after all.  Now…we’re all set.  Hold on tight!  Here we go!

***SHOOOOM!***

Welcome to 1994, fanboys and fangirls!  Here we have a brand new company called Todd Toys.  Not familiar?  Well, a year later Mattel pressured Todd McFarlane to change the name of his company out of fear that consumers would confuse the company’s name with that of Barbie’s younger brother.  Did you know Barbie had a younger brother?  Hell, I didn’t.  Todd Toys became the beautifully and plastically artistic company that we all know and love…McFarlane Toys.  But as for Todd Toys, this is their first venture into the action figures business.  This is Spawn: Series 1.  I’d like for you all to meet, Clown!

Aww, dude!  Come on, Clown!  Put some pants on, already.  You’ve got company!  Sheesh!

Product Line: Spawn: Series 1
Company: Todd Toys (Now, McFarlane Toys)
Release Date: December 1994
Packaging: Full plastic blister card encasing.
Where to Buy: Online.  Some may still be floating around specialty shops and comic shops.  I found this bad boy at my local comic shop (LCS), Prairie Dog Comics.
Price: I’ve seen online, anywhere from US $3.99 to $24.99.  Mine was $2 on clearance.
Points of Articulation: 1 fully poseable. 1 specialized movement.
Height: 6 inches

Paint Job: This grotesque, fat ass clown is painted all around in flesh tone, black, white, gray, green, brown, and sky blue face paint, with red eyes and a pink mouth exposing vicious teeth.  He’s got tufts of  gray “troll hair” on either side of his bald head.  His Violator head has brown veins throughout.  There is a little bit of flesh paint streaked on one rolled up sleeve and on his left arm.  On his right arm, a little bit of the gray-blue rolled up sleeve paint bleeds down onto his forearm.  Other than that, it is painted in the perfect detail that has become one of the highlights of the McFarlane Toys offerings.

How's 'bout a kiss? Gimme some sugar, wouldja?

Durability: This Clown action figure is made up of multiple pieces.  Its body is lightweight and hollow.  The lower chest and back sections are hinged on the inside and are spring-loaded.  When you rotate his right arm, the chest and back open and and his Clown head rotates to reveal his Violator head.  He would probably break if he fell hard enough onto a hard surface, but I’m not going to let that happen.

Poseability: Clown really has no poseability.  His left arm can rotate a full 360 degrees at the shoulder, but that’s about it.  The joint is strong enough to hold it in any position you put it in.  His left arm only rotates to swap the Clown head to the Violator head.  To go back to the Clown head, you have to hold the chest and back open and rotate the head back into position with your other hand.  The awkward shape of the Violator head keeps it from rotating with the arm twist.  The left arm is attached by a square peg mechanism and can be removed and placed at a different angle, but pointing straight up into the air looks a little silly, and this guy definitely needs to keep his arms down.  Deodorant is not something he’s familiar with.

GAAAAHK!

Accessories: Clown comes with a brown, over-sized drumstick with a big bite taken out, revealing white meat.  What it is a leg of, who knows?  It doesn’t look like any chicken or turkey that I’ve ever seen.

You've been violated, girly man!

Because the packaging is a full plastic casing, what is normally a cardstock back on most action figures, this one is an actual comic book.

The Clown Figure #1
Publisher: Image/Todd Toys/Todd McFarlane Productions
Writer: Eldon Asp
Art: Flint Henry

The story catches Clown cooking his dinner.  It’s a rat, but Clown breaks the fourth wall and tells us that we’re just in time for dinner, but not to worry.  It’s not really a rat, it’s  just a large field mouse.  Like that’s a relief of any kind.  I don’t know about you, but I think I’m going to skip dinner this time.

Clown tells us a story of a chump named Al Simmons.  He’s a big-time war hero that kills more people than cancer, but he’s a cry baby and is always complaining about the bad things that the Army makes him do.  His partner, Chapel, “offs ‘im.”

This isn’t the end of Simmons, though.  The Big Guy, Clown’s boss, makes him an offer and Simmons becomes Spawn.  It all goes downhill from there when Simmons decides to back out of the deal and tries to save his own soul by doing good deeds.  This makes the boss mad, and he sends Clown to keep track of Spawn and to reel him back in to the dark side.  Clown then shows us that he’s also this nasty demon creature, Violator , and that he’s plenty capable of putting Spawn in his place.

Clown concludes his story and takes a bow.  He then looks at us and says, “now about that dinner…”, licks his chops, “YOU look about right….”

There is also a three-page preview for the comic book that comes with the Tremor action figure.  The art for this comic book is actually pretty good for an action figure insert, if you ask me.

The back of the comic book shows the complete set of Spawn, Tremor, Medieval Spawn, Clown, Violator, Overtkill, Spawn Mobile, Violator Monster Rig, and Spawn Alley.  The instructions are at the top, explaining how to morph the heads.  It also shows us to place the turkey leg club into the right hand.  It’s wrong, though, because it is actually showing us the left hand and that’s where the club really goes.  That’s really the only flaw in any of it.

What’s Awesome: I was all set to make fun of this sixteen-year-old action figure, but it’s really pretty awesome!  Although it is simple in function, it is pretty complex in the cool factor.  I’m glad I picked this up.  At only two bucks, I practically stole the friggin’ thing!  Todd Toys shot out of the gate with some pretty cool stuff, and we all know what they eventually evolved into.

What Sucks: The only thing that slightly sucks about this (no, not the backwards instructions.  That really doesn’t matter.  Your Common-Sense should be tingling with this one, anyways.), is that you can’t simply twist his arm again to switch back from Violator to Clown.

Overall: 4.5 out of 5.  This debut Clown action figure gets four and a half thumbs up, easily.  It would have been a whole 5 if the head transition would go both ways with just a twist of the arm.  Spawn: Series 1: Clown…gotta have it?  Sure.  If you’re a Spawn fan, hell yeah, you do!  With online shopping, it is probably easier to find today than it was when it was on store shelves!  As I’ve already said, I’ve seen it priced as low as $3.99, so that isn’t even going to put a dent in your pocket like action figures on today’s shelves can sometimes do.

I can't seem to reach this to my mouth, so how's 'bout I BEAT YOUR ASS WITH IT!? NOW, SCRAM!

***FWAAASH!***

There!  Back safely in 2010.  I told you it would be okay to travel in my Toy Box Time Machine, didn’t I!?  Now, run along and play!

Aron White
aron@comicattack.net

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5 Comments


  1. Billy

    Ya know, I never liked Spawn (**I’m dodging the rocks already**).


  2. Aron

    Aww, man! Not even in the early days? (**Picks up a few rocks**)



  3. This one takes me wayyy back indeed lol


  4. Aron

    Yeah, I like going wayyy back! I wish I could find more “classic” figures still in the package at manageable prices! I would have a lot more fun with this if i could!


  5. Brandon

    Great article! I loved the Spawn comics and figures back in 1994. I remember reading the books while listening to movie soundtrack for The Crow (ah memories). I just won the Clown figure still in the original packaging for only $3 on Ebay!



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