Sure, the craziest ones still come from our neck of the universe--Magneto, Dr. Doom, Apocalypse, the Joker and Lex Luthor--but the really powerful ones usually come from somewhere else.
In the Marvel universe, Blastaar is one of those villains that has the raw power to take over the world single-handedly. Like Annihilus, Thanos, and Galactus, he's seemingly powerful enough that he could very well take over the universe.
So despite not having read much about him in the comics or seen him much in any other medium, I knew of him. I can't say for sure where I'd heard of him but he's always been there, hovering like some nightmare Carebear. And now he's gotten his own Marvel Universe figure! Yay! Enough talk, more review!--Okay!
Like: Glowy hands! I love how they moulded the arms after the bicep swivel in a clear, yellowish orange plastic, then gave it a gradual grey paint job, thicker from the top fading to just the orange plastic at the hands. He's about to blast someone!!!
Like: Glowy eyes! He's got pale yellow-painted eyes, which are different from his powered down variant, which are white. It matches really well with his glowy I'mma-blast-the-heck-outta-someone hands and of course, his wild facial expression!
Like: The head - great crazy expression! The flowy hair, the eyes and especially the teeth are well picked out out with paint. When you spot him for the first time it grabs you, then you realize he's got glowing hands. I imagine this is what the Fantastic Four notice too before they taste some highly concussive energy blasts to the face!
Dislike: The limited ball/hinge head joint. Because of the regally sculpt mane of hair and his beard, Blastaar loses the upward and downward motion of the hinge. The head still swivels fine, but it looks like there wasn't any other way they could've done such a great head sculpt and kept the articulation. Well, any other way other than using actual hair and fur of course. But that would be a tad creepy... Imagine, you'd have to shampoo and condition Blastaar's beard every other week to keep it soft and shiny...
Like: The re-used buck. This is the body they've used for Juggernaut, Thanos, Classic Hulk, Apocalypse, and Skaar. But I'm more than happy to pay for it--it's a well articulated and stable buck. And Hasbro gave it just enough tooling to make the figure look different. In Blastaar's case, it's the unique head and his collar.
Dislike: That I don't know much about him and I think he's been sort of under utilized by Marvel compared to the other all-conquering villains! TakeAnnihilus, for example. They're both from the Negative Zone, but Lil' Anni gets a whole series named after him--The Annilation Wave. So why the lack of love for the Blast-dog? Maybe because he looks a little too much like DC villains Darkseid and Kalibak? All the more reason to use him--D-seid and K-bak are both ferocious villains and I imagine Blastaar is more than capable of his share of violent universe conquering too!
Like: That he's a Fantastic four villain. It's always nice to see a genius like Reed Ricahrds screw up and viola!--The F4 have a new villain to deal with, all because Mr. Fantastic couldn't not be a Smart Alec. Haha. Well actually, he kinda followed Reed back from the Negative Zone. But who asked Richards to get trapped there in the first place and require rescuing? ;P
Aesthetics: 8.5/10 - The focal point of this figure is of course his great big head and his glowing arms and hands. It takes away from the act that the body is slightly under-decorated. Yep, wearing a slick, shiny onesy kinda does that to one's figure. At some point, Marvel and Hasbro would do well to release a modern uniform of Blastaar. But a classic version that we can all recognize has got to come first and they delivered well.
Poseability: 7.5/10 - I love the PoAs for this buck but he has the head hinge and ball blocked because of the large mane of hair and beard combo. Luckily, the sculpt of the head is excellent so I always wanna look at it and you don't really need to angle his face elsewhere because it's so fierce.
Blastaar's also got new leg balls joints--there's nothing new about them per se, except that the ball seems to be set deeper within the upper leg, making for tighter legs that don't keep falling out like they did with the older figures. These balls retain the old movement, which when combined with new tightness makes for a less frustrating posing experience!
Fun: 8.5/10 - Blastaar is a larger than life enemy who take on the Fantastic Four, Avengers, and Annihilus so that's always fun! He's like a team of 4 or more bad guys rolled into one. With him and the Fan 4 there's a ready-made action scene for display. And since he's a Balurrian and their king at certain points, you can buy multiples of him for an army. *Wink Wink* For now he's a bit lonely--he needs some Neg Zone backup or maybe even his mortal enemy and dimensional buddy, Annihilus!
Value: 7/10 - Not bad, but not as great as the plus-size figures from before with Fury/H.A.M.M.E.R Files and figure stands. He comes with the same "collectible comic card" as all the new figures. Again, these are nifty but are just pieces of glorified cardboard packaging. Also, some large blast effects for his hand would've been great. Not long and thin like from the Iron Mans 2 line, but like this.
Overall: 8/10 - He's a Keeper! - And safely so. Blastaar is a tried and tested formula figure that can't go wrong. However, the re-use of this buck without any additional tooling might just be getting a little stale, what with his plain body and all.