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If you’re a Hellboy fan, it’s been a very good year for you and collectibles based on the license. Even without a new movie, plenty of terrific product is being released. And it’s not just expensive stuff, but everything from kid themed B.P.R.D. Buddies to high end Hot Toys figures.

Gentle Giant picked up the license for Hellboy II for a series of mini-busts, but the results so far have been less than exciting. The first release included Red of course, as well as Prince Nuada. This version of Hellboy was one of the worst sculpts I’ve seen in quite some time, looking nothing like the movie character.

Now the third bust is out, and it’s the big bad Wink. Johann is the fourth, but nothing else has been announced, and I’d be surprised if there is. The edition size on Wink is only 500, down even further from the low edition size of 700 for Nuada.

If you have any questions or comments, drop me a line at mwc@mwctoys.com, or swing by my site at Michael’s Review of the Week - Captain Toy, where you’ll find thousands of reviews of pop culture collectibles like this.

Hellboy II Wink Mini-bust by Gentle Giant

Technically, it’s Mr. Wink, but I have a hard time envisioning a cave troll like this being called ‘mister’. Then again, if he wants to be called ‘mister’, you call him ‘mister’.

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Packaging - ***
It’s the usual box you’ve come to know and love from Gentle Giant. Wink has those little spikes on his back, and they are VERY fragile, so designing an interior tray that would keep him safe was critical. Judging from mine, they did a great job, as he arrived safe and sound without any trouble. Be careful taking him out though - while the spikes might make it to you in one piece, it will take great care to keep them that way.

There’s also the usual Certificate of Authenticity as well, a feature that I’ve always liked about Gentle Giant busts.

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Sculpting - ***
Gentle Giant hasn’t wowed me with a mini-bust sculpt in quite some time, but this one is at least an improvement on the Hellboy bust they did earlier this year. What impresses you most right out of the box is its size, as it stands a whopping 8 inches tall. It has plenty of heft and volume to go with that height, making it a bust that will certainly stand out for this if no other reason. These are designed to be sixth scale, so the usual bust is around 6″ tall, making this guy tower over them.

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The sculpt detailing is decent, but it’s still a bit softer than what we’ve come to expect these days. The best work is on the face and eyes, where the wrinkles and scars add all that troll personality. The details aren’t perfectly movie accurate, and if you check out the stunt mask in comparison you’ll notice issues (such as the shape of the nose, or the details around the area where the tusks attach to the face), but it’s in the ball park.

Of course, the lack of textures that has always been an issue for Gentle Giant and their busts remains so, becoming even more glaring as other companies step up to create sculpts that are as realistic as possible.

Paint - **
Unfortunately, it’s once again the paint that lets the overall bust down. There’s a flat, cheap look to the work on these busts, which doesn’t help the lack of fine texturing. The brush strokes are fairly broad and sweeping too, with no real attempt to give us smaller detailing or any realism.

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There’s also a fair amount of basic slop, like poor cut lines along the body armor, and errant marks and bubbles. The darker shadowing is done in a very heavy handed way, too toyish and cheap looking for something in this price range. Great paint jobs are the key to making truly fantastic looking collectibles, but for some reason, Gentle Giant’s paint work has been going in the wrong direction in recent months.

Design/Quality - ***1/2
I do really like the design, however. The smaller, hair-like spikes on his back were definitely tricky to design and execute, but they did so extremely well. The pose, with the box over one shoulder and a snarl on his face, works great both in context of the movie and this particularly character. And the sheer mass of this guy gives him some added punch on the shelf.

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Value - **
These guys have steadily risen to a $60 - $70 price point, depending on the retailer, and that’s too much for what you’re getting. Wink makes up for it a bit with both his large size and his low edition number, but he’s still a bit below average in this category.

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Things to Watch Out For -
Those spikes on his back! They might make it to you safely due to the intelligent design of the interior foam trays, but once you get them out, it’s awfully easy to hold the bust wrong, or pick it up wrong, or just breathe on it wrong and break one. They’d be mighty tough to glue back on straight too, so take care and avoid the issue all together.

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Overall - ***
Much like Nuada, Wink has a reasonably good sculpt, but weak paint work. It’s been awhile since we’ve seen a truly outstanding bust come out of Gentle Giant, but I’m hopeful that this summer’s SDCC Dumbledore will turn things around.

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Score Recap -
Packaging - ***
Sculpting - ***
Paint - **
Design/Quality - ***1/2
Value - **
Overall - ***

Where to Buy -
Check out these online options:

- Urban Collector has him at $60.

- Entertainment Earth his him in stock at $66.67.

Related Links -
There’s been a ton of Hellboy merchandise over the past few years, and I’ve covered an awful lot of it:

- Most recent was the B.P.R.D Buddies, little figures done in the Galactic Heroes style.

- Hot Toys recently released both Hellboy and Abe Sapien in sixth scale, with their usual level of quality.

- Before that was the other two Gentle Giant Hellboy busts, which I’m not too keen on.

- if you’re looking for another expensive collectible, check out the 1:1 replica Samaritan.

- there’s the 3 3/4″ line of action
figures from Mezco, the SDCC exclusive Hellboy that is also in that scale, as well as their 18″ HB II igure, and the smaller scale Angel of Death.

- Mezco released series 1 of their movie figures, which are covered in two guest reviews, one here and one here.

- I ran two ‘retro reviews of the old Hellboy movie line - one for Hellboy, and one for Sammael.

- Gentle Giant did some animated versions, including one included in the most recent release of the movies, and there was also a guest review by Poe Ghostal of the first DVD release of Hellboy. I looked at the regular release animated figures as well.

- I also have guest reviews of some of the comic based figures, including Kreigaffe #10, Lobster Johnson, and the old Graphitti Designs version.

- I have my own reviews of the comic based battle damaged Hellboy and 18″ version, the stylized Extreme Hellboy, the movie 8″ line (including the Nazi Kroenen in the second series), the 18″ version, and even some Mez-itz.

- also movie based, Sideshow has done several 12″ figures, including Abe Sapien, Nazi Kroenen, regular Kroenen, and regular Hellboy.

- for those into mini-busts, there’s also this version that came with the release of the DVD.

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