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REVIEW: WizKids Games 2013 HeroClix Convention Exclusive Prize Figures

Posted on August 23, 2013

 

HeroClix players the world over know that some of the coolest figures are those you can only get by winning tournaments, whether that’s at your local venue via a prize kit or at one of the major conventions each year.  Today we’re going to take a look at the exclusive limited edition prize figures only available to winners at events in such hallowed halls as Origins Game Fair and Gen Con Indy.  From Marvel they included Obnoxio the Clown, Death Mask, and Old Man Logan while DC brought us Bat-Mite, Gentleman Ghost, and Superman and Wonder Woman!  With a decidedly interesting mix of characters and power levels (not to mention popularity), these prizes show off the kind of unique things WizKids can do with limited edition figures in terms of character selection, game mechanics, and more.  Read on to get the scoop on this year’s stable of prizes!

 

Whether we’re talking about the tiny Bat-Mite or the sweeping duo of Superman and Wonder Woman, all of the 2013 prize figures came to the tournament winners in the same standard small box we’ve seen for years.  With the “Promotional Figure” label you know that these aren’t available for purchase just anywhere.  Each panel of the box has something different; two of them have CG renderings of the figure with either its name or the Promotional Figure tag while the others have two illustrations from the comics.  Interestingly, both Obnoxio and Superman and Wonder Woman use one iconic comic image and then a close up on the other panel.

 

So which characters brought out the HeroClix players in droves?  First up is Obnoxio the Clown, a pretty obscure personage in the Marvel Universe... so much so that he only appeared in a single one shot and then as a mascot in the Marvel-published magazine Crazy.  You’ve got to hand it to WizKids for the depths of the licenses they’ll plumb for figures; if Obnoxio was made there’s hope for everyone!  Back to the clown, you’ll see that his box uses art from the cover of Obnoxio the Clown #1, complete with him chomping on a cigar and carrying Kitty Pryde in his arms.  Out of the box he’s a creepy, dirty, angry clown that makes me glad WizKids doesn’t use scratch and sniff.

 

Dressed in his frumpy green and orange polka-dotted jumpsuit (with holes and tears), Obnoxio leans forward to point an accusing finger at you as if to demand “Why aren’t you laughing?”  There are a lot of really subtle details on the figure from the toes sticking out of one broken shoe to the intricate face sculpt and paint deco, and of course the classic seltzer bottle sticking out of the gag bag on the ground behind him.  What really makes Obnoxio cool (for those of us not into clowns) is his dial.  The 78 point entertainer has one of the most unique game designs I’ve ever seen, with a trait that has you randomly determine where he starts on his dial.  He isn’t out of the game when he hits KO slots either; every click on his dial has something wildly different, and he’s only knocked out once he’s received a total of 7 damage (counted by tokens).  You never know what you’re going to get with Obnoxio, and that definitely makes for some fun HeroClix games.  Check out his full dial and card, along with his other cool trait, on HeroClix.com.

 

One wacky character deserves another, and so next we’ll jump over to DC with the sometimes scourge of the Dark Knight, Bat-Mite!  An imp obsessed with Batman, the Mite has appeared in the pages of his stories since 1959 and has made appearances in various animated series.  Bat-Mite is generally a bother to Batman, though he has proved himself helpful, and in Batman R.I.P. can be understood as a part of Bruce Wayne’s imagination.  The figure’s box has two images of the imp, a silly one from his first appearance and a much darker version from Morrison’s Batman.  The figure itself is appropriately tiny, an oddly proportioned little creature in an odd costume.  Bat-Mite stands on a pillar of translucent roiling pink smoke, giving him a little height.  The mighty mite has a pudgy body, short limbs, four-fingered hands (one of them waving), and a bulbous head with enormous grinning mouth and eyes.  His blue and gray costume looks like Batman’s and includes long, upward pointing shoes, a yellow utility belt, cape, and cowl with two lengthy ears.  Notably, Bat-Mite’s chest symbol is a squiggly line instead of a bat.

 

HeroClix has seen several magically-powered characters like this one before (Mr. Mxyzptlk, Impossible Man, etc.), but Bat-Mite is definitely different.  At 65 points he has the Batman Ally team ability (of course) and a long 10 range plus a trait that lets him select another friendly character as his “Idol.”  He’s a helpful creature with a little Incapacitate, Probability Control, and Outwit, plus three unique special powers.  One lets him move and then teleport over his Idol (with a die roll determining special follow up events), another is a modified Incapacitate that doesn’t let a hit character target Bat-Mite or his Idol, and the last gives him Super Senses with added movement on a successful roll.  The Bat-Mite HeroClix.com article has the figure’s full dial and card.

 

Next up is another interesting selection from the depths of the Marvel Universe, an alternate reality version of Wade Wilson known as Death Mask.  Saved from a brain tumor by Reed Richards on his world, the mutant became a powerful super-villain wearing the armor of Doctor Doom (but with a few of his own personal touches, of course).  The Death Mask figure then, except for a few details, could be a perfect stand in for Doom or a Doombot with its armored limbs, long tunic and hooded cloak, thick belt, and distinctive metal facemask.  However, the bright red instead of green and the black circles painted over the mask’s eyes are dead giveaways, as is the comical bomb Death Mask holds in his hand!

 

The sculpt has a nice mixture of solid sections and hard lines on the armor and flowing creases and folds on the cloak and tunic, especially where it’s bunched up under the belt.  The little bomb is especially cute with its painted skull and short, textured fuse.  The Wilson of Earth-11638 can be played at 200 or 100 points and has the Minions of Doom team ability, Sharpshooter, a 6 range, Improved Movement: Ignores Hindering Terrain and Characters, and a trait that potentially lets him heal up to two clicks each turn.  In combat Death Mask has a variety of tricks up his sleeves including a special power mimicking his bombs, another that forces opponents within range to attack him, and even a “stop” click!  For the full dial and card see Death Mask at HeroClix.com.

 

Another classic character, DC’s Gentleman Ghost was once “Gentleman” James Craddock, a criminal in 1800s England who first appeared in Flash Comics #88 in 1947.  Dead but not willing to let go, the man became much more powerful as a spirit and would go on to haunt a variety of heroes like Hawkman and Hawkgirl and Alan Scott.  He even re-appeared in an early arc of the New 52’s Savage Hawkman, again causing trouble for the winged warrior.  The two images of Gentleman Ghost on his prize box reveal the invisible nature of the character, with only his ghostly white clothing and accessories giving away his position and body language.  As for the figure, it’s a big improvement over the previous Craddock from way back in Origin.

 

The new Gentleman Ghost is entirely translucent white plastic, standing tall in his antique finery.  The sculpt on this figure is really fantastic, but you have to look closely to see all the details like his multi-layered outfit, fringed cape, textured vest and cravat, and much more.  In one hand he holds a thin cane while the other tilts the brim of his tall hat in greeting, the head decoration floating above an unseeing monocle.  So how does new Craddock stack up against the old?  From Origin the Con LE jumps from 83 to 98 points and adds Flight, Indomitable, a slightly better range of 5, the Mystics team ability instead of Injustice League, and a trait that lets him spawn Vengeful Ghost tokens (depicted on the back of his card) in certain situations.  Gentleman Ghost also has a full dial of Phasing/Teleport, good defense powers to avoid getting hit, and the premiere of the Precision Strike pink power in DC HeroClix!  Check out Gentleman Ghost on HeroClix.com for the full info.

 

The final Marvel convention prize figure is a character that some players have been requesting since his comic run in 2008 by the same name, Old Man Logan!  The eight-issue story arc from Mark Millar saw the “former” Wolverine living in what’s left of the United States in the near future, a terrible time of ruling supervillains and crushed and defeated heroes.  Hired by Hawkeye, Logan travels the country and once again finds himself at the center of Earth-shattering events.  The years have not been kind to the mutant, and the old man now shows the wear and tear he’s felt all his life.  The figure’s box depicts the mutant thusly on one side, covered in wounds, while on the other it’s the iconic image of him finally unsheathing his claws after he swore never to do so again.  We’ve had a lot of Wolverine/Logan figures in HeroClix over the years, and for the first appearance of this specific incarnation Old Man Logan looks pretty darn cool.

 

Back in action, the old man lunges forward, adamantium claws leading the way.  He wears what’s left of jeans and a black t-shirt, though those are both slashed and shot through showing bloody flesh.  Of course, the really cool part here is that on Logan’s right arm is Captain America’s shield in all of its glory!  The reluctant hero is complete with a grim expression on his face surrounded by white hair and even more blood splatter.  Logan clocks in at a lofty 178 points with an 8 click dial and two interesting traits; the first lets him heal at the beginning of your turn if he’s on an odd-numbered click, and the other lets him swap out relics he has equipped with others from outside the game!  He starts with a sort of activation/taxi click before he gets down to business, and business is good with lots of movement, strong attack numbers, damage reducers, Exploit Weakness, and more.  End dial he beefs up even more with an intense special movement power and a final stop click that lets him make one more attack before the end... though it might just kill him.  As always, you can get all of the details on Old Man Logan on HeroClix.com.

 

While several of the other prize figures represent characters from the past, the final DC LE came right out of the New 52 and literally depicts a shocking moment from the comics: the kiss between Superman and Wonder Woman!  Two super powerful beings who are not quite human, maybe it was only a matter of time until they found love together.  But as we saw in the finale of Justice League International, all might not be well for the world once these two get closer than comrades in arms...  The iconic Jim Lee artwork of the two embracing in mid-air (and both wrapped up in Diana’s lasso) serves double duty on the prize figure box, both as a full shot of the pair and as a close up on the opposite side.  The figure captures that artwork as well, freezing a beautiful moment in time as they hold each other.  The Superman and Wonder Woman duo is thus more of a miniature statue even than other HeroClix since it recreates such a famous, and non-combat, scene.

 

Hovering atop a clear flight effect, Superman leans over Diana and cradles her while his cape whips around them.  Wonder Woman leans back with her eyes closed, one arm outstretched and the other wrapped around Clark’s neck.  Both individuals wear their New 52 costumes with all the appropriate details like the new piping on Superman’s suit and all of Wonder Woman’s jewelry.  Belying their loving pose, this super duo makes for a killer HeroClix piece.  Playable at either 350 or 250 points, they come loaded for bear with the Superman Ally and Justice League of America team abilities, the Transporter symbol, the Duo symbol, Indomitable, 8 range with two targets, and a crazy trait giving them Super Strength, the ability to hold two standard objects, and the option to use Charge as part of a Duo attack!  Their stats are suitably sky high, with a matching elite power set featuring the first Invincible pink power in DC HeroClix.  Head over to HeroClix.com for all the info on Superman and Wonder Woman.

 

There are a couple of different ways to judge these figures.  The first is by character selection, and more specifically in that several of these are relatively obscure (Obnoxio), minor (Bat-Mite), or alternate versions of popular characters that are already more or less readily available in the game (Death Mask, Old Man Logan).  Even when we look at the DC duo, it’s a particular comic moment rather than an important new version of these beloved characters, so all in all unless you’re a hardcore fan of these guys it shouldn’t be heartbreaking that not everyone can get them.  Likewise in the game play department several of these figures have cool dials and unique traits and special powers, but none of them are particularly game-breaking or must-haves to win tournaments.  All in all I’d say that WizKids did a pretty good job balancing character selection and cool figures in making these rare prizes.  With Gen Con Indy behind us a lot of players have won these figures in various tournaments, and so you’ll see them on the secondary market for a range of prices in case you absolutely have to have them.  There is no word on any of these appearing again, but you never know.

 

Check back next week when CritToHit.com will take an in-depth look at another set of HeroClix 2013 convention prizes - the new Utility Belt items!

 

Scroll down for a complete 2013 HeroClix Convention Exclusive Prize Figure gallery!

 

Review and photos by Scott Rubin.

Review samples courtesy of WizKids Games.

 

So what do you think of this year’s crop of convention prize figures?  Leave a comment below!

 

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