Hasbro's Hero Mashers line is slowly winding down, sadly saving its best concept for the very end - and it's currently being dumped overseas, where you'll never see it, and all of them aren't going to make it out. So be frustrated when I tell you that Fish Hook is really cool. While some of the licenses Hasbro made with this brand - Marvel, Star Wars - make a lot of sense, others didn't quite fit the mold as much. Transformers that don't transform seem pointless, and Jurassic Park - which cool - were an incompatible form factor unless you just wanted freaky things. And maybe you did - who am I to judge? Hasbro's mostly original monster designs, though, are where this line could have and should have started - being able to build on something original would have been a treat.
The sizable creature is sort of an all-purpose pirate-meets-creature from any of a number of lagoons, borrowing elements familiar to similar toys. The hook is fully removable from his arm as a weapon, and nearly every articulated piece can be popped off and swapped. I couldn't get the shoulders on my sample removed so rather than break something, I'm going to assume that they're stuck in place. A backpack is completely removable, and you can switch it out with other figures. If you want. To be honest, it doesn't even add much to Fish Hook, so I don't know why you'd want to give one to, say, Spider-Man or Darth Maul. But - you can! Figures like these are the spiritual sequel to Xevoz, but you're probably too young to care about those gems.
You can split this fish man into about 10 easily losable parts, meaning if you saw it in a thrift store he'd probably lose the hook and the backpack. The various joints are mostly quite sturdy, but can pop off with the right amount of force. The Fish Hook feet are surprisingly hollow - there's a peg hole in there, but it's mostly empty space. I assume this cuts down on cost of materials and weight, and it's still largely pretty sturdy. You've got up to 16 joints - maybe, depending on how you want to count them - and he's basically the right size to be a minion of Mer-Man or another similarly sized large action figure.
The costume seems to borrow from a few styles, with a left hand hook that's vaguely steampunk, a starfish belt with matching metal loincloth that reeks of TMNT, and a hint of a tight spandex shirt that wouldn't seem out of place on your average superhero. With the bonus eyepatch and big old fangs, this is a figure that really works well as his own thing courtesy of rolling in so many disparate elements. If you told me that the designer was a frustrated fan of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures comics who wanted to make his (or her!) original toys based on that style, I'd believe you. It's big and chunky, with the only real absence being some sort of cool handheld accessory. His one remaining hand is a little too wide to grip any normal accessory, but he might be able to grab an arm or a face belonging to another figure.
At nearly 6 1/2-inches tall, this figure would have been around $10 in the USA. The import cost me about $20 delivered from England, which I assume means it was closer to $10. Because it's such an oddity I'd definitely suggest that the finer figure snobs out there get it, largely due to the unique design and originality we don't get to enjoy from hasbro as much as we did in the past. Licenses rule the roost, so seeing something like this - a real special shining gem of toy-ness - will probably be something people won't appreciate until they realize it's no longer available. I hope you get yours while the getting is good. Hasbro hasn't done a lot of wholly original things since Xevoz ended a decade ago, so grab these now and treasure them.
16bit.com is best not viewed in Apple's Safari browser, we don't know why. All material on this site copyright their respective copyright holders. All materials appear hear for informative and entertainment purposes. 16bit.com is not to be held responsible for anything, ever. Photos taken by the 16bit.com staff. Site design, graphics, writing, and whatnot credited on the credits page. Be cool-- don't steal. We know where you live and we'll break your friggin' legs.