Art 300: H.A.C.K 1st Edition 3-Pack Spotlight

The H.A.C.K. 3-Pack

Amerikaiju is a blog with a central theme of Japanese inspired monster toys being handmade in the United States. Their first M.U.S.C.L.E.-influenced set of figures is called H.A.C.K (Handmade American Custom Keshi) 1st Edition 3 pack.

The overall design of the Header card certainly evokes a 1980’s nostalgia. Perhaps most specifically because the color of the figures are called 80’s Pink. Given the combination of the M.U.S.C.L.E.-like acronym name and 80’s Pink name a clear homage is shown to the M.U.S.C.L.E. Flesh color.

The Header card does have one potential weakness. Thankfully this rather minor issue is the biggest problem with the set. The name of the set of figures is not entirely clear on the Header card. Given the design of the front of the Header card it seems prudent to believe the set of figures are actually called Otherworld Aliens.

Header Card - Front

And that idea is further solidified when the paragraph on the back of the Header card is read.

Header Card - Back

The H.A.C.K. 3-Pack Figures

Ultimately, this is a bigger issue through the lens of effectively branding the figures. Once the figures are removed from their packaging the focus can land squarely on the figures.

The set of three figures is made up of: (1) Mag Malicious; (2) Mas Mano; and (3) Cysquatch. Each set of figures also can with a “mysterious, bonus, blind bagged, ubermini figure!” It would seem as each set might contain a different mini-figure or different color of the mini-figure. This ambiguity may be frustrating to hardcore competitionists, but most collectors will like the whimsy and fun of the idea.

Pictured to the right is the complete set that was received.

The H.A.C.K. 3-Pack Figures w/ Ubermini

The one important trait that all of these figures share is a fantastic feel. On the Amerikaiju webstore the material of the figure is described as a “soft urethane rubber.” Regardless of the specific material, all three of the figures have the density and flexibility that collectors love about little rubbery figures.

The 80’s pink is also very attractive for all three of the figures. The color is not a perfect match to the M.U.S.C.L.E. Flesh color, but that is just fine. As these are not attempting to be M.U.S.C.L.E. figures, there is little need for there to be a perfect match. This 80’s Pink is reminiscent of the M.U.S.C.L.E. Flesh color, but still manages to stand on its own.

Mag Malicious - Front

The first figure to review individually from the set is Mag Malicious – the “evil living volcano.” Prior to tangibly handling the figure preview pictures had given the impression that this figure was just a “rock guy.”

Mag Malicious - Top

But once the figure could be handled the volcanic qualities were much more obvious, specifically the open volcanic crater at the top of the figures head.

Once that volcano idea is planted into the brain, the figure no longer seems like just a “rock guy.” The sculpting leaves room for interpretation. Is it all rock? Is it all lava? Is it a combination?

Mag Malicious - Back

Mag Malicious’ pose is also very dynamic. It lends itself to display and playability. Not an easy task to accomplish.

The last part worth noting about the Mag Malicious figure is the size. The figure is placed next to a M.U.S.C.L.E. figure #38. This popular and fairly standard size of M.U.S.C.L.E. seemed ideal for comparison.

It is immediately noticeable how similar in size the two figures are. However, Mag Malicious is much thicker. Any collector would be hard pressed to argue they did not get their money’s worth of rubber.

Mag Malicious and M.U.S.C.L.E. #38 Size Comparison

Mas Mano - Front

The second figure is Mas Mano (or “More Hand”) – an “alien experiment gone wrong…”

At first glance it would be easy to dismiss this figure. It would be easy to believe that the figure is simply trying to appeal to and capture some of the ravenous #153 collectors. That may happen, but it certainly does not define this figure.

This figure is easily the best of the three figures and that should in no way negatively reflect on the other figures. The Mas Mano figure is just brilliant.

Mas Mano - Back

The #153 (the “Claw”) is probably one of the most recognizable vintage mini-figures in the world. Anything that is hand-like will be compared to it. Mas Mano is able to transcend the #153 figure. It does not look like a cheap rip-off because it is so vastly different.

The addition of fingers as feet is the first brilliant choice. The decision to omit a face is the second brilliant choice. And the third was to make the figure smooth.

Cynics might say that the figure needs “more lines” for joints or finger prints. If that had been added, it would have taken away from the experiment gone wrong feeling. And the back of the hand has just enough detailing so that it doesn’t look forgotten about or simply omitted.

The scale of the figure is also very interesting. With all the previously mention qualities, plus its perfect size the Mas Mano could probably fit into a wide variety of mini-figure brands.

Mas Mano and M.U.S.C.L.E. #38 Size Comparison

The last figure from the set is Cysquatch, “the most dangerous, and elusive creature in the universe!”

Cysquatch and M.U.S.C.L.E. #38 Size Comparison

The previous two figures’ reviews may have ended with scale, but Cysquatch need to start with it. He is huge! He stands well above the other figures from the set and he towers over M.U.S.C.L.E. figure #38.

It feels like there could be an argument that Cysquatch is actually a small normal figure instead of a big mini-figure.

But, considering his Bigfoot inspiration his large size makes perfect sense. Before even reading the Cysquatch name it was clear that there was a Sasquatch/Bigfoot connection. But is that a good or bad thing?

Cysquatch - Back

Cysquatch - Front

That answer will likely come down to the preferences of each collector. While overall Cysquatch is a charming figure, there are some choices that feel a bit confusing. The first odd choice are the eye(s), or lack thereof, for Cysquatch. It is possible some detail was lost in the molding process. However the single Cyclops eye lacked some definition. This left the whole are feeling a bit forgotten about.

The other odd choice was the positioning of the hands, specifically the right hand. With both hands being in action-figure-grasping positions it seems like something is missing from the figure. Almost like a tree trunk accessory was originally planned, but ultimately scrapped.

But overall it is still a very strong figure – great feet, hair, and a Peter Mayhew leaning quality.

Ubermini Boombox

The last piece of this set is probably the most mysterious; the “mysterious, bonus, blind bagged, ubermini figure!” The ubermini figure may not intuitively fit within the collection. This ubermini looks a lot like a cute boombox. Regardless, the figure is super cute. It’s like the radio that Challie would use.

The last piece of the puzzle regarding this set of figures is the price tag – $25 or $8.33 per figure ($6.25 per figure if you count the ubermini). Those prices are fantastic when you consider not only the quality but the actual mass of the figures.

Overall this is a fantastic set of little rubber figures. Amerikaiju has made quite a splash in the mini-figure world with the awesome keshi figures. The H.A.C.K 1st Edition 3 pack can be purchased here.


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