Abridged History: Flint Marko became a successful denizen of the New York City underworld, but entertained thoughts of reforming to marry his girlfriend, Marcy Conroy. Arrested for a series of crimes, he was convicted and spent several years in solitary confinement. During that span, Marko grew increasingly hostile. Upon his release, he discovered that Conroy had left him for another member of his gang, Vic Rollins. After exacting brutal revenge on Rollins, Marko embarked on a one-man crime spree. Eventually, he was captured and imprisoned in the maximum-security ward at Ryker’s Island. Cutting short his stay, he escaped through an unguarded drainpipe, the knowledge of which he had purchased while in confinement. Marko headed south to start a new life; he was pursued by the FBI, as well as state and local police. Narrowly evading the law on numerous occasions, he made his way down the East Coast.
Marko sought refuge at a nuclear test site near Savannah, Georgia. He was lying on a nearby beach when an experimental reactor’s steam system exploded, bombarding him with a massive dose of radiation. After a short period of unconsciousness, Marko awoke to find that he could transform his body into an animated, sand-like substance. Now able to elude the authorities with ease, Marko embarked on a criminal career that brought him into conflict with Spider-Man, New York’s friendly neighborhood wall-crawler; the Fantastic Four, the greatest team of super-powered adventurers ever assembled; the Hulk, green-skinned engine of mass destruction; and a number of other costumed champions.
Enough on the character, on to the figure!
Packaging: Meh. The Spider-Man Classiscs package has been the same forever, which helps you identify the figure on the shelf, but it’s not very impressive. It’s a card with a blister pack. The thing that bugs me the most is the lack of information on the particular Spidey variation or character on the back. The same generic paragraph about Spider-Man resides on the back of all the figures, along with brief instructions on how your particular figure works. If I was a kid, I would want to know a little history about the figure I’m holding. To the package’s credit, it keeps the figure on the shelf and lets you get it home to open it though, so it serves it’s purpose.
Sculpting: Very nice. 😎 This was the Absorbing Man from the Hulk Classics line originally, but works great for ‘Ol Flinty here. They put all kinds of dents on him to make him look “sandy” which is sweet.
Paint: Hmmm. The paint on the body and hair is excellent, but something happened to the face and neck. He looks like he’s sick or doped up or dying or somethin’. The weird neck articulation leaves an off colored stripe down the front of his neck.
Articulation: Sweetness. 28 total POA
Neck x2 (up/down and side to side)
Ball shoulders x2
Bicep swivel x2
Double elbow x2
Wrist swivel x2
Hip ball x2
Thigh swivel x2
Double knee x2
Ankle up/down x2
Ankle tilt x2
Mid foot x2
It all works well and is tight, except I don’t like the look of the neck joint. Toy Biz has adopted this for lots of their new figures, and I don’t think it looks good at all.
Accessories: Sandman has four (4) interchangeable hands in a variety of poses demonstrating his shape-altering ability. They are awesome and the best “action feature” they could have given him. The only thing that would have made it better, and I’m being really picky here, is if he had a sandy base his legs could snap into. That would have made for some cool display poses.
Fun Factor: Do you like to pose your figures? If so, this guy gets full marks. Lots of great posing possibilities, and he holds a pose fairly well. He was even able to hold up Spidey unassisted in this pose:
Overall value: I spent $5.88 at Wal*Mart. It was a steal.
Final Thoughts: Great figure. Toy Biz has been continuing to raise the bar for what a mass-market line can do. Hopefully in 2005 they will finally get the case ratios sorted out with the big retailers to make both collectors and kids happy.
Even if you don’t really like the character, his figure is dynamic enough to warrant a purchase.