If you've been following the action figure market during the last year or two, you've
probably heard of Stikfas, the generic build-it yourself action figure kits. They
started as import figures from Singapore until Hasbro began importing them for domestic
sale. Since then they have come up with several several waves of figures and two deluxe
sets but they still haven't been able to get a strong foothold in the mainstream market.
Enter Xevoz, Hasbro's next step towards the mainstream. Like Stikfas, Xevoz are sold as
kits rather than completed figures. Each set includes parts to build the figure several
different ways. But Xevoz add a new element, the figures can be used as part of a
role playing dice game. The first three basic figures started to hit Toys R Us stores
just before Christmas and the two deluxe figures are showing up now. This review will
cover one of each, the Razorclaw basic figure and Inferno Fury deluxe.
Packaging - 9/10Where Stikfas have rather generic looking packaging to them, Xevoz have a much more attractive and creative packaging. From the front it is a normal card with a plastic bubble over the figure. The bubble contains about half of the parts in the usual plastic tray and then there is a translucent insert on top of that tray with the Xevoz logo, image of the completed figure and the figure's name & affiliation. What really sets the package apart is when you turn it over. Rather than a standard flat card, the bottom section is actually a box containing the rest of the parts. The portion of the card above the box has a image of the figure showing the various components and a brief bio. The box section has a trapizoidal shape similar to the Stikfas packaging and gives info on the game and the interchangability of the figures. Though not entirely collector friendly due to the card on the front, the packaging in creative, looks great and should prove to be quite sturdy. Oh, and NO TWIST TIES! The parts aren't even taped in. The packaging deserves a few extra points just for that.
Sculpting - 5/10 Razorclaw 7/10 Inferno FuryIf you were expecting these to be generic figures like the stikfas, think again. While they won't be giving McFarland any competition for the most detailed sculpts, they've done a great job of making the best of the limited detail there is. Razorclaw loses a few points due to the the poor continuity between the various section of his body, especially the waist. Once the armor is added, he looks much better. The Inferno Fury doesn't suffer from that problem. Even the barebones figure looks great and as an added touch there is a dark plastic "molten heart" embeded within the clear plastic chest.
Paint & Decals - 5/10 bothBoth of these figures are perfect examples of doing alot with very little. Razorclaw only has a handfull of paint applications: parts of the fur are painted, the teeth and tongue for the head with the opening mouth, his claws, and then the silver and purple areas on the weapons and armor. Inferno Fury just has one, the gun metal grey areas on the figures and weapons. However, Inferno has something better going for him, the clear plastic. The entire figure is molded in translucent plastic except for the two bands around his chest. Hasbro did an amazing job of keeping the colors consistent as they blend from the red of the extremities to the yellow of the main body.
But then you get to the decal sheets. Each figure in the line includes a sheet of decals that are supposed to be used to customize the figures just like Stikfas. I say supposed to because they really don't work very well at all. They don't adhere well enough to the uneven surfaces of the sculpts and they stick out due to their reflectiveness when they are applied. Personally I think the figures look better without them. Between the two figures, the only decal I did bother to apply was the eyes for Inferno Fury's unmasked head. And I didn't intend to use that head anyways.
Articulation - 8/10You aren't going to find many people complaining about the articulation of these figures. Each part is connected via a ball joint; effectively giving three points of articulation for each joint. With approximately 16 joints each depending on which parts are used. The figures have an impressive range of motion. Since the figure's parts are connected using ball joints, there was the possiblity that they could be very loose and the figures rather floppy. But that is not the case. All of the joints are tight, sometimes too tight. They fall short of a perfect score since the interchangable parts don't stay connected as well as you might want.
Accessories - 8/10You'd expect a good score in this category from a line that is all about customizing and interchangable parts. And the line doesn't disappoint. Both figures come with four weapons and various replacement body parts. Razorclaw has a large sword, an axe, a handheld blade, a metal claw, 5 pieces of armor, two heads (closed mouth and one with a hinged jaw) and three sets of hands. (grasping, open hand and boxing gloves) Inferno Fury as a large sword, flame spear, handheld blade, flame missle, grasping hands, oversized articulated hands, a forearm that launches the missle, the backpack with flame wings, and three different heads: masked, unmasked and a flaming eyeball.
Both figures also come with parts to build the six sided die that is used to play the Xevoz game. To construct the die you select six of the triangular pieces after choosing which face of the piece you wish to use, the piece is inserted into the end pieces to form a die with six sides. (The die can't land with the ends face up.) The game places limits on which combination of values can be used on the die but I haven't read the full rules. Razorclaw comes with seven pieces to form a die while Inferno Fury comes with eight.
Value - 7/10 Razorclaw 6/10 Inferno Fury (for the figure alone)It's hard to compare these to normal figures since they differ in so many ways. At $7.99 for the basics and $10.99 for the deluxes, the basic figures are actually selling for a dollar less than Stickfas which is still higher than many lines. But for that price you are getting a well done figure with decent accessories. But after having bought the skeleton figure before Christmas, these don't hold up quite as well. Where as that figure had enough parts to create very different creations, both of these sets really just allow you to accessorize the basic figure differently. Inferno takes an additional hit since aside from the coolness of the translucent plastic, the deluxe figure really doesn't add anything other than the missle launcher. I suspect the added cost has more to do with his value in the game than with the figure. If you are into the game you can probably added another point to the score, possibly two for Inferno Fury.
Happy Hunting:Thus far, these have only shown up at Toys R Us. As I mentioned, the basics have been out since just before Christmas while the deluxes have just started to show up. There is also a two pack scheduled that doesn't seem to have been released yet. It would appear that the line will probably only be carried by the same places that have carried Stikfas. For brick and morter stores that means Toys R Us, Gamestops, Electronic Boutique stores and the occassional comic or game shop that order them.