Review – The Tick – Indie Spotlight, Shocker Toys

The Tick was one of my favorite cartoons as a kid. Even then I loved the irreverent humor, the style, and the unique and interesting characters. Ben Edlund created The Tick as a comic book that premiered in 1988. It was a huge indie success that later was adapted into the aforementioned cartoon by Fox in 1993. Bandai produced a toy line to coincide with the cartoon series that was actually pretty extensive. It had several variants of The Tick himself as well as most of the characters (both hero and villain) that were portrayed in the show as an action figure. It was cool for what it was, but ever since then has left collectors wanting. The Tick has never really been done justice in action figure form. Until now, that is.

The Tick in Package

PACKAGING:  The packaging for The Tick is a cool clamshell style packaging with the Shocker Toys logo and the Indie Spotlight emblem appropriately displayed. Also displayed is the logo and image for The Tick himself, which seems to be taken from the cartoon as opposed to the comics. The really great part about the packaging is that it’s collector-friendly. The clamshell extends to the back of the card and flaps over and is just held by pieces of tape. That means you can easily cut the tape, slide the card out, and play with the figure as you see fit, and if you so choose you can put it all back up and slide the card back in and it looks like it has never been opened. I think more toy companies should start doing this.

On the back, they have pictures of the other figures in the second series of Indie Spotlight figures, and a short bio of The Tick. The strange thing is, it seems the bio is lifted straight from the Wikipedia entry of The Tick. It even references Superman as an influence, and while that is true, it’s odd that Superman would be referenced on the packaging for a Tick figure. Still, the packaging does do it’s job and it looks good too!





Honk if you love Justice!

SCULPT:  The sculpt of The Tick is quite good. He’s on a 6 inch scale, but stands at just under 8 inches tall (because he’s such a large character). He seems to be properly proportioned for the character, and features just enough muscle definition so as not to cross the line into too realistic. The body is actually plain, but it fits for The Tick. He wears a skin tight blue suit that covers his entire body, and it’s executed quite well here.

Because of the plainness of the body, the head sculpt (sculpts!) is where this figure really shines. I feel like they really captured The Tick’s likeness in his head sculpt. The antennae are accurate, and the general shape of the head seems spot on as well, right down to that giant toothy grin The Tick is almost always sporting. My only complaint about the sculpt, and it’s a small one, is that his chest and torso could have been a bit larger to showcase the cartoon-like proportions The Tick features. Other than that, I’d say this is about as good as it gets.






PAINT:   Now the paint is where this figure falls short. From what I can tell, just about every part of this figure (except for the head) is unpainted. It seems every part of the body is molded in the appropriate blue plastic, and while it looks great it would have been nice to get some kind of shading or highlighting to help accentuate the sculpt. The plastic they used on the body does look nice, I have to admit. It’s not overly shiny like a lot of unpainted plastics on action figures tend to look like, and the color it was molded in is the perfect shade of blue for The Tick.

The head is of course painted, though I believe it too was molded in the same blue plastic as the body, and they just painted the face in. There doesn’t appear to be any much slop around the eyes or the flesh tone of the face, however the teeth are very sloppy. They’re painted white with black outlining around each tooth and the black outlining slops over a LOT on the teeth. You can’t tell really from afar, but holding it up close it becomes really noticeable. It doesn’t ruin the figure for me, but it does detract from the score. And since the only real part of the figure that’s painted is the head, it hurts the score quite a lot.





The Tick is not a very good dancer.

ARTICULATION:   Some of the articulation on The Tick is a little strange and different, however it actually works. I’m not the type to care about articulation cuts interrupting the sculpt of a figure. I actually enjoy the articulation cuts and like to see how they blend in with the sculpt. But at the end of the day, I’m an articulation junkie and love super posable figures, and The Tick does not disappoint. I posed The Tick rather strangely in the photo to the right to showcase his articulation, but I’ll give it a quick explanation here as well.

He features a double ball jointed head and neck, and the neck itself has a ball joint at the base where it meets his shoulders and is superb for some really great head movement. He also features ball jointed shoulders, double elbows, ball jointed wrists, ball and socket mid-torso rotator, ball and socket waist, ball jointed hips, double knees, and ball jointed ankles. Wow. That’s a hefty amount of articulation and it’s certainly much appreciated.

You can even tell that Shocker went the extra mile to try and cover up some of the articulation, such as on the ball jointed shoulders and hips by extending the sculpt of the arms and legs to help blend it better. The articulation is great, but not without its flaws. Because the waist is on a ball joint, it actually dips down into the pelvic area so as not to leave any gaps. Aesthetically this is great, but because The Tick is not perfectly round, it does inhibit how much you can turn his waist since the two parts end up grinding against each other. This also happens at the hips, because of the extended sculpt of the thighs trying to cover up the ball joint. It prevents how much you can widen his legs.

Also, unfortunately the antennae on his head are not articulated. It would have been nice to get some small ball and socket joints at the base so you could move them, but considering how small and fragile that would have been, I don’t blame them for not doing that.





Stop! In the name of Justice!

ACCESSORIES: The Tick is packaged with a just a few accessories which is fine since he didn’t really use any weapons or anything in the cartoon or comics. He comes with two sets of hands, both of which look exactly the same until further inspection. They’re both sets of fists, but one set has a hole through each hand so he could hold one of his other accessories. To be honest, it seems a bit strange to mold a set of hands just like the first ones except with a hole in them. They could have gotten away with having one set be closed fists with holes in them, and the other being something completely different to help add some expression and character to his posing.

The accessory he’s meant to hold is a stop sign with a chunk of asphalt stuck to the bottom. This is actually a really good weapon for him, since it references a specific scene from one of the episodes of the cartoon. Although it’s possible he’s ripped up plenty of stop signs in the comic. You’re supposed to remove the asphalt bottom from the stop sign to slip it into his hands, then reattach the asphalt chunk. The only problem is, after you take it off the first time, it doesn’t want to stay back on. Like, ever. It just kinda sits on there and will probably require some sticky tack to get it to stay on. I do love the paint job on the stop sign though, made to look as if it was all muddy. It’s a nice touch.

His last accessory is an alternate head, which I always appreciate, though this one seems a bit weird. It’s The Tick with an angry face. I know he’s gone through plenty of expressions in the comic and cartoon, but somehow the expression here just seems…too angry. Almost evil. I know this head sculpt was used on the variant Mucus Tick figure as well, which IS incredibly appropriate for that figure since Mucus Tick was a villain. I’m thinking they just decided to include it with the regular release too just as an additional accessory. I won’t be posing him with it ever, but I’m sure someone will get some use out of it. Funnily enough, his alternate head has very little paint slop on the teeth. His accessories are cool, but ultimately they could have been better.





I'm taking off the kid gloves, and putting on the very mad gloves.

FUN: When you get right down to it, the most important part of any toy is how fun it is, because if you don’t think it’s fun, then chances are you’re not going to mess it with it very much. I have to say that The Tick is a very fun action figure. Not only is it he a very unique and fun character, but the figure itself is posable enough and has enough accessories to make for some good play and posing.









OVERALL:    I love this figure. I’m a huge fan of The Tick and always have been, so despite the figure’s flaws I still think it’s great, because it’s a 6 inch scaled super posable Tick action figure. At the end of the day if you’re not a Tick fan you’re not going to buy this figure anyway, but if you are then you will love this figure too. It fits in nice with other 6 inch scaled figures, including Marvel Legends and my only regret about this figure at all is that I’ll most likely never have Arthur to go with him since he’s a mail away figure and you have to buy every figure from this series to get him. But as a stand-alone figure, he’s excellent.



Showing the scale of The Tick.


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