Excelsior! Stan Lee Preserved For All Eternity in Action Figure Form by Hot Toys
After the long string of successes Hot Toys has had with its various Marvel-themed figures, it actually not all that surprising to learn there will soon be a Stan Lee figure coming from the Hong Kong-based company. This actually isn't the first time the Marvel legend has been captured in figure form, as NECA, Funko, ToyBiz and more have all tried their hand at bringing the living embodiment of comic book history to life before. However, very few have been as true-to-life as Hot Toys' latest piece, which brings Stan to life in all his grandfatherly glory right down to the Members Only jacket.
It's a curious thing that most toy companies have captured Stan well beyond his glory days in the Marvel Bullpen, and instead have focused on his semi-retired persona as the cameo du jour in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This current version is the more recognizable though, I suppose, but it would have been an interesting take to showcase Stan "The Man" in a younger guise back when he was still influencing the biggest guns in the business on a daily basis. It's also a tiny bit sad that Hot Toys' penchant for realism and accuracy depicts the Marvel mainstay in such a fragile form.
The portrait is well-sculpted, and captures the charm Stan's been exuding for decades in capacity as the face of Marvel's yesteryear. The off-center hairline and squinting smile are perfectly recreated, and the inclusion of two different kinds of glasses mean you can opt for Hollywood Stan or standard Stan when the mood fits. However, the arm sculpts are thin and veiny, and give the impression that Stan is a man diminished by time. I'm not saying Hot Toys should have given Stan the Captain America body mold, but it seems almost mean-spirited to craft a figure of a man in his diminished state. I mean, even the watch is too big for his wrist.
That complaint aside, that a person known only for creating comics and delivering a funny look or two in some movies can have a figure created by one of the preeminent collectible companies in the world speaks volumes about Stan Lee's legacy. For better or worse, he's often the one comic creator name anyone and everyone can recall with ease, and it would have been completely unthinkable back in the early days of Marvel comics to believe any one working there would get an action figure alongside some of the heroes on the page.
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