Carrying on with the trend of pairs of items, I'm looking tonight at two of the most recent mini-busts from Bowen Designs: Pyro and Arcade.
These two X-Men Villains are the kinds of characters that I've come to really appreciate Bowen for making. To me, they're important X-Men villains, but in the scheme of things they're probably not significant enough to be the focus of that many collectables. Randy Bowen and co. certainly know their Marvel Universe, and they've been doing a fantastic job of covering it throughout the life of their Marvel licence.
Pyro is immediately a visually impressive bust due to the arc of flames shooting above his head, but that's not his only attribute - it's an excellent bust in all respects. There's alot of excellent sculpting here, from his flowing hair to his flame-thrower backpack to the flames in the arc and also the section between his torso and the base. The flames are slightly translucent and made of a light but sturdy material.
There are a number of colours here on the yellow / orange / red spectrum. but the paint work is excellent and the finish isn't at all garish. I've mentioned before that I really like the mixing of different materials in these pieces, and the tubing attached to Pyro's flamethrowers are a big win in this category.
This is a very tall bust due to the height of Pyro's flames - you can see a comparison pic in the Facebook album linked at the bottom of this post. This makes it quite a standout amongst all of the Bowen busts. It's all one piece too - no assembly required, so expect a big box. It really is an impressive piece, and it's getting a revisit in terms of a First Appearance Variant which is being done as an exclusive to the Statuemarvels website - worth checking out! (You must be a registered member of Statuemarvels to order).
Arcade is one of those kinds of characters that I've come to really appreciate Bowen for making. He's a iconic X-Men villain, but as a plain-clothed non-powered sort he's unlikely to be the focus of many collectables. Randy Bowen and co. certainly know their Marvel Universe, and they've been doing a fantastic job of covering it.
The design concept here is sound, and there are some nice touches, like the flow of his open jacket, the ribbing on his shirt, and the dice he's holding in his outstretched hand. There was something bugging me about the head on this piece, however, and when I did some searching of classic Arcade pics I saw what it was - he was drawn with a fuller face, slightly longer hair and no freckles. This version certainly looks and works well, and I'd imagine it must have a comic base somewhere as I know Bowen does a lot of work on source pics etc, but it doesn't scream classic Arcade to me.
Headsculpt aside, there's a couple of issues with this bust that take a bit of the shine off of the pleasure of getting such an oddball character choice. The first is an issue that is going to crop up when I post about the Modern Emma Frost Statue, and that is the "white" isn't really white. There's an almost bluish wash over it, and with so many other colours already at play with his tie and shirt, it's a tad hectic.
The second niggle is the red stars on the base. Going back to the promo shots now I see the clearly, but I never noticed them until I had the bust in hand. There's just so much happening colour-wise already with this piece that I don't think they were necessary, and they seem to fight with everything else that's happening here.
All up, I guess we have one my favourite and one of my least favourite Bowen busts in the same review. Shame about Arcade, but he's definitely a character I'm more than happy to have in my collection, but Pyro more than makes up for any disappointment.
You can see more pics (and pics of all of my Bowen busts) at Facebook, discuss this at the AFB Forum, and comment on this post to enter the October AFB Comment of the Month Contest - with an extra prize for an AFB Facebook fan this month!
Until next time!