Shocker Toys’ The Maxx: Depends On What Your Definition of Isz Is

Welcome to MTV Geek’s review of The Maxx action figure! Yeah, we know it’s not the early nineties anymore; but, we’re also well aware that the Maxx is like a trashbag full of pure awesome… and hammers. Yep, a big ol’ bag of hammer-y awesomeness – that’s the Maxx! The toy in question comes to us courtesy of Shocker Toys’ Indie Spotlight Comic Book Heroes line of figures, and was the centerpiece of series 1. The actual review figure was snatched like a ninja graciously given to us from Shocker’s display at the 2011 Toy Fair, hence a lack of accessories and some paint nicks strategic weathering. Still, somehow getting an unpackaged, pre-handled figure just kind of fits the Maxx in general. On with the review!

The Maxx is the brainchild of Sam Kieth, and has existed in both comic book and animated form. In fact, this purple hobo’s cartoon can be viewed in its entirety right here on MTV Geek! Maxx is a homeless man who believes he is a superhero, defending his Jungle Queen (Julie Winters) from the forces of evil. In this case, evil takes the form of Mr. Gone and his hordes of Isz. To put it kindly, Maxx is delusional. To put it bluntly – he’s bats**t crazy! Oh, and his real name is Dave… and he might be a giant rabbit. How cool is that?!

The sculpt on Maxx is a mixed bag. Much like the comic, in which his appearance could vary from panel to panel, this figure mixes the most essential elements of the character while still catering to the articulation model. The head is spot-on with Dave’s jutting teeth and small angular head. The front of the headdress/mane is glued to the head with the bulk being a separate articulated piece. It’s large, but un-obstructive thanks to the sculpted shape beneath and its ability to be moved around. The body features simple, rounded musculature that lends itself to the exaggerated appearance of the character and the ball-joints in the elbows. The most sculpting detail has went into Maxx’s hands and feet. The hands are balled up into fists with his infamous middle finger-claw protruding out. Essentially the toy is constantly flipping us off. There are lots of wrinkles and folds along the hands, but it is also kind of a rough-looking sculpt. This can mostly be seen in the space between the fingers. It’s not noticeable from a distance, but now that we’ve seen it we can’t un-see it! Maxx’s massive feet are covered in a raggedy mess of wrappings and grommets. Lots of detail has been put in here, and the roughness is present but really works for the better in this case and is a huge contrast to the smooth texture of Maxx’s costume.

At first glance, the paintwork seems really simple on The Maxx. The figure is molded in the correct colors for the most part, so scratching the figure becomes less of worry. What, you guys don’t spend every waking moment consumed with a fear of chipping a paint app?! Anarchists, the lot of you! Anyway, Maxx has a clean paintjob and some nice detailing. His teeth have been shaded between the lines in order to bring out the sculpt, his gloves and forearms are separated by a very tight black design, and his boots have a darker wash to show all the various textures and wrinkles of his unsavory footwear. The entirety of his body has also been airbrushed to help bring out the muscle detailing and the figure is better for it. The Maxx could have used a few more paint apps on his headdress, though. It’s such a large part of the figure (practically covering his back) that some more attention to it would have been nice. Still, a great job on one of Shocker’s inaugural figures.

The articulation on the Maxx is plentiful. While some areas (like the shoulders) are only swivels, the figure can still be posed in any number of incredible ways thanks to the plentiful supply of ball-joints elsewhere on the toy. The Maxx features a ball-joint neck, swivel shoulders, ball-joint elbows, ball-joint wrists, ball-joint torso, ball-joint hips, swivel thighs, double-hinged knees, and ball-joint ankles! Hell, this crazy f**ker even has a ball-joint in his hair! Posing him is easy and feels natural thanks to the plastic and PVC used to construct the figure. He moves freely, almost as if his joints are loose, yet he manages to hold a pose without any problems. We’ve noticed this with other Shocker Toy’s Indie figures as well and can only assume it’s due to some kind of magic. Indeed, we’re all about the least scientific answers around here.

If you were to purchase a Maxx figure mint-in-box, then you would see a few different accessories. In fact, his blister card is brimming with stuff! The Maxx figure comes with an extra headdress-less head, a black Isz, a white Isz, and a Fairy Isz. The extra head pops on and off simply thanks to the large ball-joint. The Isz have no articulation, but are sculpted to look like they jumped their creepy little asses right off the comic page! The black and white are both identical besides their coloring, but the fairy Isz is much more. Not only does she have a more complicated sculpt, but she also is connected to a permanent flight stand to simulate her floating through the air… before exploding. Most 6”figure lines lately have been skimping more and more on accessories, so it’s nice to get a few with the big lug.

All in all, this figure of the Maxx is pretty fantastic. Basing this toy only on the merits of an action figure, the Maxx is a welcome part of our collection. While the figure has been sold out for some time, he can still be had on the usual secondary market spots for a slightly jacked-up price of course… c’mon, you know you wanna find one now.

Stay tuned to MTV Geek! for all your toy & homeless-superhero coverage!

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