Friday, 12 October 2012

The Rare Improving Flaw

As I get older, I find I'm becoming much more picky with my figures.  When I was a kid I could go into a store and grab a toy I liked and be happy and that was it.  Now I put a lot of time into scrutinizing faces (I look over the entire figure as best I can, but it's the faces I'm really picky about), making sure that the eyes aren't crossed, there's no paint flaws on the hair or noses or whatever.  If a figure is supposed to have pupil-less eyes and there's a bit of paint missing in the eye, it looks like the figure has a pupil in one eye and not the other.  And I dwell on these things!  My toys don't have to be 110% perfect, but some flaws, especially on the face (which draws the attention), just bug me to no end.  If a flaw is noticeable enough, in can make a figure pretty much useless to me.

These kinds of flaws are out there.  They're not even that hard to find, but thankfully I'm usually able to find a figure I'm happy with (well, except for the new Ninja Turtles line, but that's not the point here).  What's less common is coming across a flaw that actually improves the look of the figure.  For someone  like me (who's starting to border on perfectionist), an improving flaw is almost unheard of.  But it does happen.

Case in point, check this guy out:

Now, I wanted a figure of the Red Skull from Captain America: The First Avenger.  Not badly, but I wanted one.  He was harder to come across than other figures in the Captain America line, but I'd see him every now and then and figured I'd get him eventually.  But one day I was checking out a Winners store (always great for rarer toys with reduced prices) when I found this guy.  It was the same standard Red Skull from the Captain America line, but this one had a significant "flaw".  The brown wash used to make the details of the skull stand out had somehow left a large, scar-like stripe down the right side of his face.  It goes right across his eye, all menacing-like.  He also has the brown paint covering his entire nose, but thankfully it works well enough on a skull face.  I wouldn't complain if the brown nose wasn't there, but it doesn't take away from the wickedness that is the stripe.

I was blown away!  I figured if I bought this figure I wouldn't bother getting a normal looking Red Skull, but up to that point I hadn't gotten one any way.  I couldn't deny that this so-called "flaw" made the figure unique, so I snatched him up.

The geek in me started trying to come up with reasons why the Red Skull would look like this.  Is it some kind of scar?  A tattoo?  The kid in me started coming up with original character ideas for him that had nothing to do with the Red Skull.  Part of me was thinking that you could use him as any number of (red skull-faced) villains.  The creative juices were flowing, and all because of a brown stripe on the figure's face that was never supposed to be there!  And what are action figures if not avatars of the imagination!  This is a flaw done right.

So keep your eyes open.  You don't want to let any paint errors take away from your figures, but on the other hand you never know when the illusive improving flaw will turn up next!

The Red Skull's accessories.  He comes with a Cosmic Cube!  Maybe the stripe is a sign of his cosmic powers!

1 comment:

  1. WOW, you're right! That is a great flaw! Heck, it transforms him into a character all it's own, just about.