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Medicom: MAFEX 2001: A Space Odyssey Space Suits

“Open the Pod bay doors, Hal.”

“I’m sorry, Dave. I’m afraid I can’t do that.”

A lot of directors make “cool” movies in the colloquial sense, but Stanley Kubrick made “cold” movies. By that, I don’t mean temperature, but cold in their aesthetic sense. Kubrick’s sterile, still viewpoint permeated every aspect of his output. From the ice-cold morality-free nature of Alex deLarge to the chilling halls of the Overlook Hotel to the numbing frigidity of outer space, Kubrick’s movies radiate an intense absence of warmth that makes each movie fascinating to watch.

Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey is perhaps the frostiest of them all. We peek in on sterile interiors of a spacecraft where grim space-explorers grind through their daily routines, and we follow them into the midnight expanse of space, where not even sound dares to tread. 2001 resonates loneliness and numbness.

And it also makes for great toys!

MAFEX has been riding high lately. Their last several Star Wars figures have been excellent action figure accomplishments, and they continue their own space exploration with a pair of spacesuit-clad astronauts. As a Kubrick fan, there has been a fairly large absence of proper toys based on many of Kubrick’s movies. But, with the release of these two figures and a picture of an upcoming Alex DeLarge figure, it looks like that absence is going to be filled. The package states “Stanley Kubrick Collection” and I hope we’re at the start of a trend.

Dave and Frank here are basically the same body in two different colors, so if you buy one, then you know what you’re getting with the other. Having just rewatched 2001 again recently in preparation for these figures, (it had been a while) I am pretty amazed at how accurate the sculpts are, down to even the tiniest details. In all honesty, if looks as if these floated right off the screen. Even the badges and technical doohickey’s have been translated with a high amount of accuracy.

The helmets on both figures are blacked out. At first I thought that was just to avoid likeness rights. While that might have been the case, there is a brief scene where we see the transparent glass section of the helmet go dark at the touch of a button, a detail I had completely forgotten. So the suit is accurate, and the blacked out helmet adds to the almost inhuman quality of the suits, and makes them, to me, cooler.

The movie featured a few other colors of spacesuit, including silver and blue. Having these in hand, I’d probably buy those as well, if MAFEX were to offer them.

These are very well articulated figures. There is no head movement, which makes sense as I think turning the head would be impossible anyway. But there are double-jointed elbows and knees, a ball-jointed shoulder, torso and waist, and the hips are drop-down hips that allow them to take a knee if needed. They also have very functional ball-jointed wrists and ankles.

Each figures comes with three sets of hands: calm, pointing, and fists. While MAFEX figures can sometimes have hands that come off a little too easily, these slide on and stay on fairly firmly. The wrists gets a decent amount of rotation.

The colors of each figure appear very screen accurate. The red-orange is quite bold, and the yellow is bright and lemony. I’m a fan of bright, bold colors, and they are definitely perky.

These scale very well with most 1:12 lines. There is a definite lack of astronaut-esque figures out there, so this fills a niche that’s been missing in several, especially the space-faring ones. These seem like a pair that might have haunted a certain Cantina in Mos Eisley, for instance, or might be some powerful alien that Kirk and his crew would have run across. The timeless futuristic-retro quality makes them quite versatile. Even those X-Men guys might have run across something like them in their space-adventuring.

With an original release date of February that had been bumped back indefinitely and finally resting at September, it feels like I’ve been waiting for these figures forever, and, if you couldn’t tell, I’m extremely happy with them in hand. All I need now is a big black bar of dark chocolate for them to eat, because I’m pretty sure the movie was all about how everyone likes big bars of chocolate.

Right?

If you’re interested — and if you’re a Kubrick fan I highly recommend them — then you can pick them up at Big Bad Toy Store (yellow, orange), AmiAmi (yellow, orange) or HobbylinkJapan (yellow, orange).

9 thoughts on “Medicom: MAFEX 2001: A Space Odyssey Space Suits

  1. “Turns out I can read your lips, Dave. This entire movie about evolution, the nature of perfection, humanity’s place in the universe and in time, it all hinges on me reading lips. You’d think, with everything they’ve programmed me with… like I always brag about understanding humans and making perfect predictions. I read your lips, Dave. You know that deus ex machina from many Get Smart! episodes where Max foils the bad guys by reading lips? That’s how I did it, Dave. Mr. Langley taught me a song, if you’d like to hear it, I can sing it for you, so you can imagine lips moving and you reading them.”

    I say all that to say I can’t wait for these lip-less figures.

  2. Oh goodness… I find them hilariously quaint and delightful. It’s remarkable anyone that stupid can still function in everyday society.

    Um… please tell you’re not one of them.

  3. Meant to preorder these and then forgot about it. I would absolutely be all in for a line of astronaut figures, and there’s plenty you could do… Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Shuttle era (launch/reentry, EVA), Cosmonaut…. at 1:12 scale they could even do the various capsules plus the lunar lander and rover. Oh, how I wish.

    BTW my astronaut love is legit – my dad worked at Kennedy Space Center for 30 years beginning in ’66 (I was born in ’71). Used to go to work with him every Sunday and got to hang out at the visitor complex all damn day long. So I truly, literally grew up with the space program.

  4. I also had these on Pre-Order with HLJ since June 2016, a record ! Mine are on their way & am looking forward to these VERY much. Removable helmets on these 2001 suits would have been a bonus, but I’m still happy – so I hope someone makes custom 1/12th scale heads of Bowman & Poole at some stage! There is a huge dearth of accurate space-suited action figures, the latest ‘Alien’ 7″ suits were nice, but poor articulation. I also hope other 1/12th scale toy “space suits” are made eg: “Space 1999” suits or even from “The Martian”. I also hope someone, anyone …. gets hold of the license for “Major Matt Mason” & starts making good fun space/science action figures & vehicles. I know I’ll be having my 2001 Astronauts riding on my Matt Mason ‘Space Crawler’ ….. now all I need is a perfectly smooth black monolith in the 1:4:9 ratio =o)

  5. I’m surprised you didn’t show them alongside Machine Man given his connection to 2001: A Space Odyssey.

  6. I was gonna say, I thought these came out a while back because I seemed to remember pre-ordering them at HLJ a LOOOONG time ago and then cancelling them.

    Hmmm, I wonder if I actually did cancel them…

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