Hot Toys’ Black Panther Takes a Wakanda Wild Side
Since Hot Toys first started showing off its Captain America: Civil War figures, many collectors have been waiting for the first glimpse at the Black Panther. Unlike many of the other characters getting figures from the upcoming sequel, Black Panther won't merely be an update to an existing toy. This is the first time he'll be joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and as such, is the first time he'll be getting a figure of Hot Toys' quality. It's unfortunate then the figure itself is a little disappointing.
In the pages of his Marvel comics, Black Panther's suit is simplistic. It's loaded with all kinds of Wakandan technology, but it lacks definition. It's sleek, like the character's namesake. To pop a little more on screen, the costume designers applied some fantastic texturing that pays tribute to T'Challa's heritage. Hot Toys gets a lot of details right. The suit from the upcoming film is incredibly intricate, and that starts with the cowl. There's all kinds of wonder Wakandan art inscribed throughout, providing so much more personality to the character than his more traditional comic costume.
I'm a big fan of this new movie version of the costume. While there's absolutely nothing wrong with Black Panther's comic clothing, you're able to do a lot more with a lot less in 2D. Black Panther would look a little strange if his costume was just a black body suit in the film. All those fine details provide depth to the suit, and make it look like something befitting a king, not like some guy who couldn't afford colored spandex like some teenager from Queens.
While the overall piece looks great, there's a bit of pop missing. From the trailers and footage we've seen so far, Black Panther's accents are a much brighter silver. I'm assuming the highlights in his mask, the necklace and bands around his forearms are all made from vibranium. They look dulled and matte instead of bright and shiny, and I wish they popped as much on the figure as they do in the film.
Additionally, this figure is incredibly light on accessories. Including just a few additional hands is a bit of a let down. Granted, Black Panther isn't exactly known for his many accoutrements, but there is a scratched shield in the promotional imagery that would have been interesting to add. Even if there was just an alternate head sculpt of Chadwick Boseman, that may have been enough to make this package a bit more impressive. For the debut of such a major Marvel character, particularly at this time in his media life, it seems like Panther got the short stick on a great action figure.
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