MF DOOM, now going simply by DOOM, is my favorite rap/hip hop artist. Between his clever lyrical work, unique voice and ability to seem to turn everything music related he touches to gold, he is in my opinion one of the most underappreciated artists of recent times. In 2007 (I believe), a company named Kid Robot, known for vinyl toys and working closely with artists of various genres, released a Madvillain vinyl figure based off the video for ALL CAPS from the album Madvillainy.
And here he is! Some history; Madvillainy is a collaborative album between DOOM and a DJ going by the name of Madlib. The entire album is amazing, but ALL CAPS is by far one of the best tracks on it and has had an incredible music video. Basically an animated "reading" of a comic book, scientists representing DOOM and Madlib are mutated when an experiment in their lab is sabotaged and they must flee from mysterious goons who seem to want Madlib's new found psychic powers. It's way cooler than I'm describing it.
I'm not normally one to keep a toy's packaging, but this is no ordinary packaging! Each side of the heavy weight box has reproductions of "panels" from the video, which is weirdly meta if you think about it.
I don't know if these are just really good copies or if they scanned the original art panels the video used, but they look fantastic. This side shows DOOM's scientist persona mutating into a hulking brute and slapping a convenient mask on his face.
The opposite side has DOOM facing off against the gang of thugs and their leader drawing a laser cannon on him, as well as a couple of the great fake comic ads present in the video.
The back panel features a real portrait of DOOM, a drawing of the figure highlighting it's "Lifelike Detail!" and "Action Pose!", comic panels of Madlib mutating into a big-headed psychic guy (like every big-headed guy in comics ever) and DOOM bounding off with him under his arm.
The figure itself is a very faithful reproduction of the music video's design, incorporating the trenchcoat, fedora and DOOM's trademark mask and keeping the cartoon style. The coat is nicely sculpted with lots of folds and wrinkles and his face has quite a few fine details as well, including eyelids and creases in his lips.
Paint work is smooth and clean with no slop or wear and the eyes are crisply painted with well defined pupils. The body's base vinyl color (except for the hands, which are separate parts cast in a chocolate brown) is the green of the coat, but the paint work is nice enough that you'd never know at first glance.
DOOM has only four points of articulation with swivel shoulders and wrists, but this is more than most designer vinyl toys have and is really all he needs. He can punch and he can turn his fists to better hand out knuckle sandwiches. These joints are enough due to his legs being sculpted in an action-oriented stride, giving a dynamic sense of motion no matter how you pose him.
"Until the next chapter!"
I am very pleased to have had the foresight to buy this figure when he was first released at roughly thirty dollars since now he seems to sell for no less than a hundred on secondary markets. There is also a gray coat variant which I have never even seen listed for sale anywhere after the initial release, so unfortunately it seems your chances at owning this guy are slim. Still, if you find one for a decent price he's worth grabbing if you're a fan of DOOM, Kid Robot, or vinyl toys in general.
Find out next week!