A few years ago I picked up the trade paperback collection Scud: the whole Shebang by Rob Schrab on a whim. The Shocker Toys figure had debuted in their new Indie Spotlight toy line and I heard some positive things about the source material, so I gave the collection a shot while never intending on buying anything Shocker-affiliated due to bad word of mouth about the quality of their offerings.
The premise sounded pretty good. Scud was an assassin that you could purchase from a vending machine like you could a candy bar, and then could be aimed at someone. Upon completion of the mission, the robots usually exploded. But Scud became self-aware and didn’t want to blow up, so he didn’t kill his mark, and then set out to have some wacky adventures.
I really, really loved it.
It was the type of dynamic, kinetic, gripping, can’t-put-it-down read that appealed directly to my core ideals that comics should be fun and do things that no other media property is capable of doing. I think Atomic Robo and Goon may be the only properties I’ve read in the past five years that have clonked onto that specific flavor of enjoyment. As seems to be typical with me, I immediately needed a Scud figure.
Luckily, Scud figures were still very accessible. I had heard horror reports about legs popping off or breaking and such, but luckily I was able to procure one at an extremely low price, so I figured the fiscal harm would be minimal if he ended up being a little toy bastard.
Maybe I got lucky or maybe the internet was exaggerating about the explosive nature of the figure, but what I received was an action figure that was about as true to the source material as toys could get, and something that now even a few years after buying it is still an extremely fun toy to pose and play with.
Scud’s unique design was built for an action figure. Though the figure is ball-jointed at the hips and shoulders and has only single jointed knees and elbows, his robotic nature means he can put a vast majority of double jointed figures to shame with the depth of his poseablility. The only area that he could stand a little more wiggle room would be in his torso articulation, but the rest of him has such a large depth of motion that the smaller range in his torso can easily be worked around.
Scud comes with two pairs of hands: one with a gun permanently sculpted in and one without a gun. They pop and swap easily. My default is to keep the guns in, but the option is nice. I usually don’t like weapons perma-sculpted into hands at all, but usually we don’t get an un-weaponed hand option, and since we have the option on non-gunned hands and the ability to pose him freely without worrying about the gun dropping out, then this is more than acceptable.
Scud’s paint is minimal. He’s mostly cast in yellows and oranges, so there are virtually no paint errors. What few painted details he has — mostly some black detailing and his signature broken heart — are fine.
The real draw here is the amount of flexibility he has in his poses. In the comic, Scud is always pushing the boundaries of physical expression, and the toy allows you to replicate that beautifully. He has a ball jointed neck, ball jointed shoulders, bicep swivels, deep single jointed elbows, ball wrist, torso crunch, ball hips, thigh swivel, deep single-jointed knees, and single-jointed ankles with enough side-to-side motion to allow him to keep his feet flat on the ground with a wide stance.
Another advantage is due to his lithe form, Scud’s a pretty light figure, so if you find the right balancing point, you can get him into some poses most toys wouldn’t be able to hit.
Shocker Toys draws a lot of negative bile on the internet and deserves a lot of it, but if they did one thing right in the history of the toy universe, it’s Scud. I’m just sad there will more than likely never be a Drywall or Sussudio to accompany him.