Johann Krauss

June 27, 2009 | By | Reply More


Johann Krauss, Hellboy, Golden Army, Mezco, Action Figure Review

Johann Krauss, Hellboy, Golden Army, Mezco, Action Figure ReviewAs of the writing of this, we are a week and a half from the release of Hellboy 2: the Golden Army on DVD. So, needless to say, I’m pretty much doing this review blind, as I haven’t seen the flick yet.

However, there are a few things I do about Johann Krauss. Or is it Kraus? I found it both ways on the web. He’s basically a spirit without a body. He “inhabits” an environmental suit that’s more designed to keep him together and the environment out. When he’s out of his suit he can take over a body or mechanical item for a short period of time.

The character’s comic book appearances are a fair bit different than the physical one presented in the film. The comic book character looks more like a standard military/police jumpsuit with a smoke filled light bulb for a head with a “Sleeper” mouth piece.

Guillermo del Toro went Steampunk with Johann in the film, though. Drawing inspiration from vintage diving suits, the film version of Krauss reminds me of a cross between Wat Tambor and the Firespeeder Pilot from SW E3 (See bottom picture.)

Johann Krauss, Hellboy, Golden Army, Mezco, Action Figure ReviewAppearance:

From what I was able to glean from web pictures, Johann here is a pretty good likeness of the movie’s newest BPRD agent.

I’ve seen a few vintage diving suits over the years and that’s immediately the vibe this figure gives off. When I was taking the bottom picture, the amount of detailing over the Star Wars figures he’s presented with pops right out. There’s just an instant realization that there’s a ton more detail on this guy. It’s not any one thing. A valve here, a bit of silver highlight there. For the most part I think of Star Wars figures as “Hasbroized” versions of the film characters they represent. Johann, and HB before him, give me a sense of being miniaturized versions of their screen counterparts, with the only concessions given to stuff that just wasn’t possible to do at that size.

Johann Krauss, Hellboy, Golden Army, Mezco, Action Figure ReviewThe head dome impressed me for being fairly clear. There’s no glue slop visible at it’s attachment either. No liberties were taken to cut corners with the detailing under the dome, either. The paint underneath is multi-ap goodness.

However, paint is also where Krauss falls a bit short. In all of the screen shots I could find of him, his uniform appears new and good working order. Mezco has over-washed this dude a bit. If I hadn’t looked at the screen shots, I’d have guessed the suit had seen a lot of action. The wash on the legs is so heavy on the legs especially, it’s hard to tell when the sloppily painted brown patches start and the weathering begins. Above the waist, not so bad. Below the waist is a weathering disaster.

One thing I was going to complain about here was the split knee pads. When they are together, they look like a solid piece. When his knees are moved they open up. After seeing some online shots, I realized this is actually how the costume was built. How’s that for attention to detail.

Fun:

Johann Krauss, Hellboy, Golden Army, Mezco, Action Figure ReviewJohann comes with three accessories. The first of which is a BPRD logo base that is a twin to Hellboy’s. Again a sculpted base would have been nice, but I’d rather have a figure that is nicer than a sculpted base the figure doesn’t even need to stand up with.

The other two accessories are his “spirit tendrils.” This is basically a bit of Johann coming out of the suit. One of his main ways he does this, is through valves on the ends of his finger tips. (Detailed in silver paint on the figure.) There’s no hokey pegs or magnets, they are sculpted to fit into his hands. I have to apologize for the pictures, between crystal skulls and clear headed characters the photos have been a bit difficult lately.

Johann Krauss, Hellboy, Golden Army, Mezco, Action Figure ReviewI have to say I’m not a big fan of these. I understand the intent and the execution is way better than say, most of the Force effects we’ve seen. A little paint on the part that fits in the hand may have sold the fingertip valves a tad better, but it isn’t bad. To me, the problem with this effect is it just never appears wispy enough. There always has to be enough strength to support it. For my part, I’ll display him without it.

The number one selling feature for this line after detail? Articulation. When I was shooting the pictures it was impossible to find a pose where the figure didn’t look good or the articulation was too limited. He’s missing a couple of things, but this may be to keep more in line with the suit idea. First, a chest joint. I expected one up under the shoulder piece, but there isn’t one. Two, swivels below the knee are missing. It’s slightly limiting, but I think it’s accurate to the character. One joint on the figure that seems a bit much, is the ball jointed head piece. I would have thought this as a more mechanical cut joint. However, it allows the figure some expression so it’s not all bad.

Johann Krauss, Hellboy, Golden Army, Mezco, Action Figure ReviewOverall:

Except for the paint, I don’t think there’s anything to complain about with this figure. He’s got the detail, articulation, and fun factor of a 7″ figure packed into one that’s half the size.

I really hope with some of the licensed properties coming out, Mezco becomes a company of choice. While having every minor character of a series is cool, having really incredible versions of the main characters is equally cool, if not awesome. Now, to go put Johann to use in the fish tank….just kidding.

Engineernerd Score: 90/100

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