Super7 made Destroying A Dog as a tribute to the classic Topps "Mars Attacks" trading cards, which were before my time and supposedly banned/offensive/confiscated/etc. The whole idea was it depicted alien gore and mayhem on trading cards - and there was no Trading Card Authority like the Comics Code Authority to tell people what belonged on their cards. They were such a success that they spawned a Tim Burton movie, which seemed like a nod to 1970s disaster films as a packed-with-celebrities comedy that I genuinely enjoy. Can you name another movie with Natalie Portman, Jack Nicholson, Michael J. Fox, Sarah Jessica Parker, Pam Grier, and... gosh just typing all this out makes me want to watch it again. It was a lot of fun.
This figure from 2021 has Super7's typically lavish attention to packaging art, adopting the original "Destroying a Dog" trading card with big yellow and red graphics inspired by the trading card wax packs from 1962. I felt bad opening this one - it's flawless. Beautiful. Whoever designed this nailed it. It doesn't evoke a retro era of package design, it's more of an art piece. The same is true of the figure inside - it falls a little short of retro in some places, but it reminded me a lot of other space toys that I loved - so I wanted to play with one. As I am writing reviews of these guys, I'm checking Google and I'm not seeing anybody else writing reviews of him or most of Super7's other ReAction Figures anywhere. Nobody bothered! Why the heck not? These are neat, and worthy of a few inches of copy.
Super7's Planet of the Apes and Universal Monsters line look like they were mostly crafted by old-hat Kenner sculptors. If I remember my trivia, the Alien figures - at least the first five - were new sculpts made inspired by the original Kenner prototypes from 1979. These things look like they belong next to your recalled Battlestar Galactica figures and your Fisher-Price Adventure People. But the Martian here is kind of an odd duck. It's rare that my initial opinion of a toy is "I don't know."
He has a removable helmet that comes off and on easily, and it holds well. That's good. His blaster was unable to fit in his right hand (with the bent arm) when I was taking photos - I had to poke out some paint with a screwdriver, so it fits now. If you buy one, it will most likely be able to be held in either hand. I have no problem keeping him standing, and he fit in the vehicles I had handy. Super7 sculpted him with a rounded butt so no corners of his legs stick out when he sits down, so that's good!
The body itself is odd. I always viewed the Martians as shorter than human adults, and he's taller than most people figures. (To be fair, this is the kind of thing Kenner would do and actually did in the 1970s with Snaggletooth.) I don't know if it was a design choice - if it was, good on them. It makes the monster look more menacing than some tween-height creatures from the red planet. The sculpt seems to be incredibly simple, with smooth torso costuming not matching the textured suit on the trading cards. Similarly, his limbs are much thicker than the card art, and the gloves don't match what I see there either. If anything, the design seems to borrow more from the movie creature designs, minus the height, with a pose that seems to match that of my 1978 Han Solo action figure.
The tanks on the back look great, with some simple black painted vents on the side. Where the figure went overboard for me was the head - it's gorgeous. The mouth is open in that "ack ack ack" movie pose, with a green textured brain with tons of paint. The eyes are multiple colors, and the level of detail is too good for the 1970s. It looks a lot closer to what Hasbro was doing in 1999, with lots of ridges and grooves making it look like a state-of-the-art head on what may be a simpler body sculpt. The very smooth boots and the simple bands look like a distant cousin of the Kenner Greedo figure, with the head not looking too far off from the movie Trendmasters figures. Since the trading card has a pink brain on the martians, I would say they whiffed it as far as those go - but this figure is a pretty good movie-ish figure. And maybe that's the point - the card art is one thing, while the figure is something else. Something you'll probably ignore, because you're going to be too distracted by a generously sized reproduction of a dog being disemboweled - and that's something a lot of people don't have a sense of humor about. (Have you ever played the song "Dead Puppies Aren't Much Fun" for people? Their reaction says a lot.)
He's joined by a tiny dog being blown up. You can see the blast mark went clear through him with a blast mark on both sides plus visible bones. It's gory. The little guy has a fully-painted mouth with white teeth and a pink tongue, plus wide dead eyes and an ear flopped back probably indicating a moment of absolute surprise. It's a nice extra for no extra money - a plain Martian "The Invasion Begins" figures has variant arms and no dog for the same price.
For those obsessed with mid-century sci-fi, late 20th-century space toys, and 3 3/4-inch action figures in particular, you may need to buy one of these. I would put this in the same category as their Vincent Price ReAction Figure [FOTD #2,526] in that it's not an impressive body. But the head is very good, and the accessories aren't bad. At below the standard $18-$20 this is a real gem, above $20 and I don't know if I'd highly recommend it, but I am enjoying playing around with it and given the unusual stylistic choices made in its design, sculpting, and size, Super7 made one of the perfect Mars Attacks! collectibles and a pretty good little action figure. Having said that, they could go back and redo it to better match the art some day - it's not quite a 1970s-1980s figure, but it's a unique interpretation of the monsters as a fake retro licensed toy. I don't regret picking it up but I'd nudge you to get a Ripley or Metaluna Muntant or Dr. Zaius first.
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