Your Home for Toy News and Action Figure Discussion!

Make My Mort! – DC’s Bouncing Boy!

He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother.

bb2

I’ll be honest with you — I’ve never been a fan of The Legion of Super Heroes. The book’s dense continuity, teen dynamic, and general soap opera tone always left me cold. Characters like Sun Boy, Saturn Girl, and Invisible Kid belonged in that antiquated stack of coverless DCs at the barber shop, not in my comics pile. Even as I got older I had a hard time with the team — it seemed like a cool concept and Dave Cockrum’s art was appealing to my Marvel-hewed sensibilities, but it still read dull. The ’90s reboot didn’t hook me and today’s version is… wait, does the Legion even exist any more? With all these Crises and New52s, it’s hard to be sure. Anyway, I don’t care about the Legion of Super Heroes — but I am all about Bouncing Boy.

ohno

Yikes!  3/4ths of his body has become moob. If that’s a super power, then Louie Anderson is Minnesota’s second-greatest hero. Ordinarily I’d talk a little a bit about Bouncing Boy’s origin, but the above panels pretty much sum it up: he’s a fat slob who is either too stupid or lazy to bother looking at what he puts into his body. A valid metaphor for contemporary American society? Sure. Effective super power? Eh, not so much. People mock Aquaman’s power set, but I’ll take those over the ability to instantly transform into a NASCAR fan any day of the week.

bb

What kind of pathetic villains does the 31st century have if this clown is still around? How hard could it be to kill a huge target whose only mode of locomotion is bouncing? And I don’t wanna hear about how his elastic skin repels projectiles or insulates him from energy attacks — considering whale blubber was used for lamp fuel, I’m guessing he’s pretty flammable. Now there’s a Legion comic I’d like to read! Anyway, all fantasies of superhero immolation aside, Bouncing Boy’s long existence is another example of DC’s inability to overcome it’s own nostalgia-fueled narcissism. (Barry Allen, anyone?)

bb1

So if I’m so down on old Tons o’ Fun here, why am I pushing for him to get an action figure? Well, my toy-collecting habits are not nearly as discriminating as my reading is. When it comes to comic characters in toy form, I want ’em all. I like variety — what can I say? Now, if you were to ask “What are the chances of getting Bouncing Boy in the future?” Matty would most likely laugh in your face before giving the same stock answer about new tooling costs, blah blah blah. I mean, look at the guy!

bb5

No, Bouncing Boy is not a character that could be done on one of the existing base bodies. To get him to fans, Matty would need to think outside the box — or perhaps outside the ball.

Bouncing Boy- front

Three-time soapbox derby champ and Fwoosher Rodkeith schools the big boys at Matty when it comes to innovation. Eschewing a complex sculpt and needless articulation, Rod instead went back to basics and gave us Bouncing Boy as he was always represented: as a rubber ball. Startling in it’s effectiveness, shocking in it’s simplicity, Rod’s custom demonstrates both an understanding of the character and the need for toys to be, well, fun!

Bouncing Boy 5- on stick

Considering the placement of that stick I don’t think I’d be smiling, but to each his own. Bouncing Boy is realized almost entirely through his killer paint job. His face is wonderfully lifelike, featuring some nice flushing on the cheeks and chin. His squinting eyes and wide, benevolent smile really sell his personality as the team’s lovable goofball. Flaws in the surface of the ball only add to the “rubber-like” quality of the character in this form, adding depth and realism that regular plastic would be hard-pressed to match.

Bouncing Boy with Legion

As you can see, Bouncing Boy looks terrific standing next to his Legion pals. His fanciful shape and smart color combination really add some pizzazz to the group. As far as manufacturing him goes, Matty could either emulate Rod’s custom or give us a hollow plastic Bouncing Boy, perhaps as part of a larger SDCC-exclusive package? Seriously, what would you rather have: bright noisy cardboard or an entirely new figure to bolster your Legion?

In the end, I have to give it up for Bouncing Boy. In spite of being a one-note joke, he’s managed to hang on for the better part of 50 years, endearing himself to comics readers simply through his persistent presence. He’s been represented in both the HeroClix game and as a McDonald’s toy (how apt). Plus, he’s had a featured role in the LOSH cartoon — in spite of his obvious Mortdom, fandom loves Bouncing Boy! But don’t take my word for it:

bb3

Thanks to Rodkeith for allowing us to feature his work. Please feel free to check out more of his Mortastic customs.

Jason R Mink

2 thoughts on “Make My Mort! – DC’s Bouncing Boy!

  1. that bouncing boy would be the only way to do him but his chances now are slim since dcu is dead toy wise at mattel. plus the legion does not really sell well toy wise in their mind

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *