Okay, y’all better appreciate this one…I had to dig through four boxes of stuff to find this figure. This was actually a purchase I made around three years ago when I first started the site and I always wanted to review it, but like everything, it got pushed back as I acquired other figures I wanted to review.
It’s been awhile since the last review, so I thought I would sneak this in, and then add a “Throwback Thursday” since, hey, it is Thursday (or at least it was when I started this review). This Notorious B.I.G. figure goes for about $80 in the secondary market, but I open and enjoy my figures…rarely do I keep one because I think of it as an “investment”. But to each their own.
This figure comes from a time when the majority of companies were still doing clamshells for their figures. Great for the mint-in-package collector, but once you open these, you can pretty much toss the packaging in the trash. For those mint-in-package collectors I just horrified by opening my figure, the card itself was pretty much bent to hell anyway. But let me just reiterate, clamshells are the worse kind of packaging for action figures.
The design itself on the front and back are pretty basic. The front features Biggie’s picture with “The Notorious B.I.G.” blazened on the front. And pretty much the same thing on the back. Also featured on the back are the other three versions of this figure in different clothing…sure to appeal to the most hardcore B.I.G. fan, but only marginally interesting to me. Maybe when they first came out I would have tried for all four figures…maybe. I’m not even sure all four came out as I’m only able to find three of them on eBay.
Once you get the figure out of the clamshell, you can see that the figure is secured onto the inner plastic with twisty ties. Take note Marvel Select, I was able to untwist these twisty ties without extreme effort. I don’t really know why Marvel Select figures are secured with metallic laced twisty ties, but taking those figures off the plastic is extreme effort. This one, not so much.
But let me just repeat myself: I hate clamshells. Thus, the low score.
Packaging Score: 5 out of 10
This action figure comes with a cane (emblazoned with a “B” on the front of it), a cigar, a removable hat, and a white suit. I included the suit because it is removable, although I can’t for the life of me think about who would like to undress Biggie Smalls (*shudder*). Keep the suit on him please.
I like the fact that the cigar was hidden conveniently behind the nameplate on the clamshell. Reminds me of the Breaking Bad figures, also made by Mezco, and how they hid a bag of blue meth behind the name plate on their packaging. I guess that’s one way to circumvent people trying to beat them over the head with pseudo self-righteousness over the validity of an action figure having a tobacco product accessory. But whatever, I like the cigar (and I’m a cigar smoker).
The cane is a nice touch, although it makes me think the figure actually needs it because it looks so obese, rather than looking like he’s pimping it. (more on that in the next section).
Decent accessories…I don’t think there are any complaints. He is a hip-hop star, so maybe a mic would have been nice, but maybe would not have necessarily gone with this particular outfit.
Accessories Score: 7.5 out of 10
Here is where I start to pick this action figure apart a little. I know that in some ways that these figures have a “hyper-deformed” look to them. While they do look like the character, the sculptor has deformed some features on these figures to make them unique. Look at other figures made in this same line, including Chuck D and Flavor Flav…both “hyper-deformed” features.
My problem with this is that they put the focus on his weight. While Biggie Smalls was a big dude, this figure makes him look like he was nearly 500 pounds. He looks like the Black version of the comic-based Kingpin. And as I mentioned before, the cane makes it look like he’s using it to hold up his tremendous weight…not as a fashion statement.
If you compare pictures of him (at the top of this review), you can see how night and day the real Biggie is to his action figure counterpart. Don’t get me wrong, it looks like him in the face, but the exaggerated proportion definitely ruins it.
Other than that, I do like the sculpting on the cigar and cane accessories. Definitely nicely detailed. And the sculpted pinkie ring is a nice touch.
Sculpt/Likeness Score: 6.25 out of10
For what it’s worth, this figure has some okay articulation. It’s not simply a statue (again, like the Breaking Bad figures), so it’s worth taking note. This figure has about 14+ points of articulation, which again is not bad.
The clothes do hamper with the articulation. To this matter, they did try and make the clothes a little bigger to accommodate the articulation, but it really did not work out on either front.
The one thing that bothers me is that you cannot make both of Biggie’s feet lay flat on the surface at the same time. You can almost get it there, but there will always be one part that makes it look like the figure is always in the middle of taking a step.
Articulation Score: 6.25 out of10
These reviews are funny to me sometimes…I go in thinking I’m going to say one thing and then something else comes out when I’m writing it. While I don’t hate this figure, it went from pretty interesting, to a slight meh. Honestly, if I knew I would just be slightly okay with this figure, it may have stayed in the package.
With that said, I do have a Chuck D figure from the same line…I may just keep that one in the package and call it a wash. I don’t know yet.
The Notorious B.I.G. is in my top ten of greatest rappers of all time. I’m glad I have something to memorialize him…I shudder to think that it has almost been 20 years since we lost him.
In any case, this figure will be a nice addition to my shelf.