REVIEW: Unofficial ReAction Figure Guide.

  • Manufacturer: Phloston Paradise Collectibles
  • Released: 2017

Super7 have been releasing their ReAction range of figures since 2013 and have produced a terrific array of licensed characters in the popular 3.75 inch tall format, a format that Star Wars made popular in 1978. How many different properties have Super7 represented in this line up since then? How many figures have been made based on those properties? If you have trouble answering either of these questions then the Unofficial ReAction guide may be for you.

The Unofficial Guide to ReAction Figures attempts to identify all these figures produced within a specific time frame, namely between 2013 – when they first started to appear – and 2016. It turns out the company has made a lot – and I mean A LOT – of these collectible toys and for greater practical purposes in regards to the mission it sets out to achieve, this book largely succeeds. It’s not perfect by any means but as a resource it’s still an invaluable asset to someone interested in collecting these smaller scale toys or is just curious about the various licenced products that have been offered to the public during that 3 year period in this popular scale.

This guidebook is a slender volume and comprised of 64 full color pages with a light card cover. It’s by no means a large book but its tight focus on a single product line makes it a useful and specialised tool for anyone wanting to know more about Super7’s popular figures. Much of the content within I was previous unaware of and the coverage is rich  and accompanied by basic information. Enough information to identify figures with ease if you want to know about the range that has been available.

Aside from a Forward and Acknowledgements page, 60+ pages of content is dedicated to the singular task of identifiying every ReAction figure made within that 3 year time frame. Appropriately starting the book is the ALIEN ReAction line which was Super7’s first outing into these retro themed figures; and bringing in the closing pages are Super7’s own proprietary toy line, The Worst. The contents are assembled in alphabetical order makes a lot of sense for a book of this nature as a chronological format could become messy.   Having each product line identified by their property name is the convenient and easy way to locate all specific licences and their figures regardless of how many series have been produced.

My personal interest in the book was the ALIEN content which spans 8 pages but I have always been aware of other Super7 ReAction figures. Mind you, I had never been aware how prolific and diverse Super7 have been in this regard. For example, I never knew about the Fight Club series of toys, or Golden Girls line ups or that there was a 3.75 inch tall Scarface ReAction figure.  I was completely unaware the T-1000 Terminator 2 ReAction figure had 10 different versions and at the time of this book’s publication was the figure with the most variants made in any ReAction figure line up.

Today, the ALIEN figure has caught up with that count in a recent series of blind box releases in 2017 – but of course these items are outside the scope of the 3 year time frame this book investigates insuring these late release items see no inclusion within the book, which is perfectly understandable. There’s no content present beyond this 3 year period and its thorough; but the production qualities of the book are not faultless.

The book isn’t without its problems and there’s many of them. You won’t find any publishing history details, isbn number, contents page or any form of indexing anywhere inside the book. Such fundamental features that would normally be expect to be present in a volume of any credibility are all absent. You won’t even find the author’s name on the cover or find it present on the title page – as there’s no title page to speak of – and the only place you’ll attribute any credit to who assembled this guide is to be found in the forward written by Super7 Founder/Owner, Brian Flynn, tucked away and out of sight.  There’s just too many oversights in terms of presentation to call this a professional publication.

The abundance of typographical errors throughout the book doesn’t help much in this regard, either. The lack of product numbers to identify each figure is also a concern. For serious collectors, such information is vital and while it is adequate for each figure to be identified by its name and variant such precise identifiers as numbers is invaluable. Mind you, Super7 themselves haven’t been consistent in providing product numbers on their own items and on occasion they have been completely absent so the author can’t be solely responsible on this one.

Taking all these faults into consideration, this is an ‘Unofficial’ work. An enthusiastically assembled tome that documents its subject well – well enough for Super7 to make it available to purchase from their own web store. There’s a lot of passion on display here and the actual content of the book is the reason people will add it to their library. In some ways, it has the presentation of a high quality production fanzine rather than a well presented research due to its lack of basic publishing conventions and details; but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I’ve seen many a fanzine that could hold its own in terms of specialised content not found anywhere else later evolve to become the progenitor and foundation of a more substantial and credible work.

This slender book is a worthwhile investigation into the prolific output of Super7’s ReAction figures. It could have been a great book if the attention to detail to its more mundane and prosaic features had been applied. It is for this reason that I recommend this item as a part of anyone’s library who is interested in these retro themed Renaissance collectible toys Super7 have spearheaded and I hope that a 2nd edition will overcome these many flaws that really should have been addressed in this volume.

SCORE: 7/10

The incomplete presentation doesn’t mar the fact this is a great resource for anyone interested in these collectible toys. Did you know that Super7 released a 3.75 inch tall glow in the dark version of their Nightmare Before Christmas character, Oogie Boogie, as an exclusive retailer chase item? No..? Neither did I.

The Unofficial Guide to ReAction figures can be purchased from the Super7 online store.

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