Thursday, December 8, 2011

Spotlight: Henry Bemis action figure (Bif Bang Pow!)

Today we spotlight Henry Bemis, another of Bif Bang Pow!'s latest Twilight Zone action figure offerings. We were introduced to Henry in season one's "Time Enough at Last," in which a meek bank clerk who loves to read finds himself the sole survivor of an all-out nuclear holocaust. He's certainly not the most visually arresting character in the TZ universe, nor is he a character that I'm particularly fond of (see here for a detailed accounting of all the ways I hate both the episode and the character), but I will concede that the action figure commemorating him works... for the most part.


The Henry Bemis action figure looks enough like the character without necessarily nailing Burgess Meredith's likeness (which I presume would've raised production costs considerably). As a Meredith fan, I would've loved to see a true facial rendition, but the figure's mustache and Coke-bottle glasses are sufficient to evoke the character. There's no mistaking who this guy's supposed to be.


I'm counting Henry's glasses (which are a bit too big) as an accessory, since they aren't part of the actual head sculpt. However, they are tightly glued to his head, which I guess will ensure that they won't slip off and break. I guess this Henry Bemis will get his lifetime of reading after all. Speaking of which, his other accessory is a stack of books, which he can gleefully carry around.

I guess another viable accessory would've been the pistol that he nearly offs himself with (the same pistol from the Bob Wilson/Don Carter hybrid figure would've worked)... but I guess that's kinda morbid.

With regards to Henry's suit.... well, shit. It's the same unwieldy, ill-fitting suit that plagues Bob Wilson/Don Carter (though in different colors; plus, Henry's jacket has 3 fake buttons instead of 1). I'll repeat my comments here:

The Mego-style body used for these TZ figures works well enough if they aren't encumbered by too much clothing.... which (Henry Bemis) is. You've got a shirt with collar, a necktie and a jacket, which adds up to a problem I'm calling EPS (Excessive Puffiness Syndrome). Nothing looks (or sits) right, poseability is severely restricted, and the sleeves of both shirt and jacket aren't long enough. Further, the elastic-band necktie (while a clever idea) totally fucks up the shirt collar.

No, I am not Harry Potter's creepy uncle.

My solution is to put the necktie UNDER the shirt, which looks a bit goofy but allows the collar to lay down (mostly) correctly.

I'm not gonna sugarcoat this: I hate the fabric suit, period. Why they couldn't simply create a single-piece jacket with a faux shirt collar and tie is beyond me. It would've looked better, been easier to handle, and would've undoubtedly been cheaper to produce. At this scale, it's just too many layers, and it looks ridiculous.

And no, I didn't take Henry's clothes off (like I did with Bob Wilson/Don Carter). No, no, no, NO.


Henry Bemis arrives in the usual blister pack, heat-sealed to a card. The newest figures are depicted on the front (all five of which we are spotlighting this week).

The back of the card features a delightful diorama featuring every single TZ action figure released so far, along with six figures not yet released (Santa Claus, Alicia, Maya the Cat Girl, Alien, Clown, and Nurse; those should hit in mid-2012). The Bob Wilson/Don Carter hybrid figure is marked as a Comic-Con exclusive; interestingly, last year's Willie the Dummy/Talky Tina pair is NOT marked as such. The wrecked spaceship in the background looks like it came from season five's "Probe 7 - Over and Out," which is a nice touch (wonder if we're getting a Richard Basehart figure at some future point...?). The new figures are limited to 1704 pieces each... my Henry Bemis is number 923.

Henry Bemis comprises half of "Series 4" in Bif Bang Pow's ongoing Twilight Zone action figure releases. Henry, along with Doctor Bernardi, can be purchased from Entertainment Earth here. Each action figure is limited to a measly 1704 pieces, so you really don't have "all the time in the world" to get yours.


Clothing issues aside, the Henry Bemis action figure successfully evokes a beloved TZ character, and the accessories really add to the piece. There's enough here for a recommendation, but since he's bundled with Doctor Bernardi, you'll get him either way... right?


Bill Huelbig said...

As long as they don't make a Mr. BEVIS action figure, everything's all right.

Tanya said...

Love it so much!

Yeah, Bevis was terrible.

Joel Benedict Henderson said...

All we need now is a Paul Radin figure and a minituarized "New York post-nuke wasteland" cyclorama!

Craig Beam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Craig Beam said...

If Bif Bang Pow! ever decides to make a mortal enemy of me, all they need to do is release a Mr. Bevis figure. There will, as the saying goes, be hell to pay.