Cloverfiled Special Edition Figure
Item No.: No. 92700 Manufacturer:Hasbro Signature Includes:Parasites, alternate head Action Feature:Electronic roar, swappable heads, Statue of Liberty head, hidden parasite chamber Retail:$109.99 Availability: roughly December 2008 Other: The only Cloverfield to date
The Cloverfield figure from Hasbro doesn't make a lot of sense. The product itself is gorgeous, but the fact that it exists is somewhat remarkable as Hasbro rarely makes one-off figures and pretty much never makes only one product from a license. I'm assuming someone on Hasbro's board is good buddies with someone in J.J. Abrams' organization, because the monster from Cloverfield doesn't fit in with the house that Mr. Potato Head built. It's huge, ugly, from a relatively obscure (compared to other Hasbro brands) film, and also targeted squarely at a specific portion of the adult movie-going audience. Despite having action features and electronic sounds, this 14-inch creature (initially sold through HasbroToyShop.com exclusively until Entertainment Earth got some in 2011) is an example of how I think most toy collectors view Hasbro's role in the marketplace. We all assume most of the figures are being made for collectors only, and while this one is, it's one of very few exceptions to the rule of making stuff that tends to appeal to the dual kid/collector audience.
While most toys here just look nice, Cloverfield actually does stuff. For starters, he has two different heads, each of which has a different action figure. The calm/curious head not only looks adorable, but it doubles as a parasite storage container. If you pop off his head (see far below) you'll notice a little compartment, just big enough to put some of the miniscule parasites inside. The angry/furious head has engorged... uh... head things plus his tongue sticking out, revealing a fully-opened mouth full of sharp teeth and fear. The tongue doubles as a button to activate the toy's one electronic roar, which may also be activated by a switch in the figure's back, should you ever lose the head. Impressive! Oh, and I should note the included Statue of Liberty head does fit in his mouth.
This monster has more articulation than I care to count. On his torso are a couple of smaller arms which are fully jointed and, if I read correctly, designed to be an external part of the digestive system. (They weren't seen in the movie much.) In addition to this, each limb is jointed in several places in addition to the digits. That's right-- not only are the fingers and toes jointed, but they're jointed in multiple places. There's also a tail, plus he has a few extra joints you're going to discover as you futz with him. On the whole this is awesome, but gravity can be a cruel mistress when it comes to displaying the toy. Its weight will, over time, cause him to sag a bit and this may actually cause him to topple over if not leaned or balanced properly.
The amount of detail is excellent for a large plastic figure. The detail is pretty good, not as good as you might expect from a resin kit but it's certainly on par with or better than Hasbro's other beastly creations, like the Reek or Acklay from Star Wars. Those were smaller, $20 toys and Cloverfield is about six times as massive with several more moving parts. The wrinkles in the skin are brought out with a dark brown wipe, plus there are grey and pink highlights painted on the skin to make him look more like his movie counterpart.
While being a large naked wild animal, he doesn't necessarily need any accessories. Not content to put a big monster in the box alone, Hasbro included the aforementioned extra head plus a few other goodies. A plastic Statue of Liberty head has been mangled and cast in green plastic with some bronze paint added to simulate aging. Her crown is wrecked, and there are dents showing she's seen better days. In addition to that are a tiny sack of parasites from the movie's obligatory SquareSoft-inspired sewer sequence. (Ever played a Square game from the mid to late 1990s? You're going to be in a sewer.) These tiny parasites are a fraction of an inch long and sport no articulation, and are very difficult to see with the naked eye. Even with a camera, there's not a lot of detail but you can see sculpted limbs brought out through a paint wipe. I'd rather Hasbro make a larger version of the creature, but that ain't gonna happen. As a freebie it's a nice touch, and it would be great to have appropriately scaled human figures for them to attack. For time time being, I assume MicroMachines or Action Fleet human figures might be around the correct size.
The figure's one flaw-- well two if you count the price point-- is that it doesn't fit in with what works for most collectors. Its unusual size makes it hard to display, even though it includes a wonderful city backdrop display box. I had to take this guy outside to shoot some of the shots as my usual locales didn't work out for a creature of this much space.
This figure feels like a real alternate-universe collectible. This doesn't seem to fit Hasbro's operations, it seems like something NECA might have licensed but if they did, I doubt it would be quite this ambitious. While expensive, the figure is arguably worth it due to it being a lower-run item and one of the few items under the "Hasbro Signature" brand, along with the FX Lightsabers for Star Wars. Odds are Hasbro won't be doing many (any) more big monster figures like this, but if they ever do, I'd be sure to give them a good look. I'm not disappointed, but I do wish they took the time to include a little Hud with camcorder or another human snack micro-figure to round out the package.
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