Super7 Planet of the Apes General Ursus Super7, 2018
Day #2,634: September 14, 2023
General Ursus From Beneath the Planet of the Apes
Planet of the Apes ReAction Figure
Item No.: No. ??? Manufacturer:Super7 Includes:Rifle Action Feature:n/a Retail:$17.99 Availability: April 2018 Other: One of Four ReAction Planet of the Apes Gorillas
I not only skipped General Ursus initially, but assumed I should just not bother since I got a decent Aldo from a bundle at work - I mean, how many gorillas does a man-child need? Apparently many.
This ape from the sequel came out in wave one with Taylor, Cornelius, Zira, Zaius, and Nova. Super7 definitely put their best foot forward and put out the most interesting looking apes first. This one has a hat! It's very Kenner-feeling, too, especially that he (and several figures) all have the same ape rifle. His hands are sculpted a lot like Chewbacca from the original Star Wars range. The armor texture is no slouch either, but that's not what made me go "wow" when I was photographing him. And to think, if he wasn't marked down to $10 at a major online store I might not have picked him up.
Little details can make a figure soar. I liked the fine detail on the hat and armor, but what got me was the molded brown platic face surrounding by a tuft of painted hair. Anybody can (and frequently does) paint a figure all in a single color and paint the smaller parts - so seeing bare plastic, with a sharper detail not washed out by a layer of paint, is rare. With Ursus, you can really see his face and the fine detail around his nose and mouth. There are little tiny wrinkles that you may never notice, but they're there. His dark dot eyes are pretty subtle, but they're there.
Like a lot of old Kenner figures, he has a pistol molded in his holster on his hip. It's a great little added detail that gives him a little more personality than you might expect from purple pants. Speaking of the pants, the legs share sculpting with Aldo and the other gorillas - parts of the arms do, too, but only Ursus has the shoulder armor. With the various wrinkles in the same place on both figures, I'd love to know if the sculptor made them with shared parts on purpose, or if someone took the sculpt and tweaked it to fill out the second wave (which was 50% gorillas by volume.)
Ursus has a rifle that's almost identical to Taylor's, and if I ever swapped them I may struggle to tell them apart. He can hold it in his hand, but it's not a perfect fit - a lot of old Kenner toys were like that, too, but it's not the kind of thing I think you should reference in newer retro figures. Hasbro actually fixed some of its reissues, like Zuckuss' right hand - this sort of thing is welcome. But by not doing that, Super7 made a figure that looks like it would belong in a box of old beater figures, or in your Creature Cantina, or on a wall of carded figures. Well, mostly - the Ed Repka art is so good, it may be too good to be convincingly of the bulk of Kenner's packaging. (Mego's maybe - Micronauts had some stunning card art.)
I've been a big fan of the Apes films for a long time and I kept getting disappointed by most of the figures I had access to when I was younger. Mego's were expensive and a bit more fragile. Or soiled. In the 1990s, Hasbro made a few scales of figures that ranged from pretty good to pretty ugly - I had to pass. Medicom did a great series of Kubrick figures that I largely regretting missing... until I got these. General Ursus is a great addition to this very small line, and I really wish they did at least one or two more batches of figures like Space Suit Zira and Dr. Milo, or Brent, or Escape from the Planet of the Apes Zira and Cornelius in their shopping spree outfits. If you can get this figure for under $10-$15 and you have any retro figures at all, this is one of the better ones. If I didn't have a lot of toys already, and all I did was buy old 3 3/4-inch stuff, I'd even say it's worth a premium price - it's just a really good, really well-sculpted figure that turned out especially well. If you see it in person I suggest you give it a good hard look - you'll probably want to bring it home with you.
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