Monday, May 21, 2012

Attaboy's Heat Seeking Axtrx

In an effort to annoy my friend Morgan, who really wants me to review the Kenner Mantis Alien, I give you Attaboy's Heat Seeking Axtrx vinyl figure!

This is a bit of an odd one for me, I won it from a contest on toy news site that I'm pretty sure no longer exists. I entered just because it was a random draw and never expected to win and when I did I wasn't sure what to make of it. 2004 College Zarak was completely unaware of the vinyl toy scene and Axtrx at the time was mainly a cool little thing I had won which also happened to really creep out a friend in my dorm.

A little research shows that this fellow is actually a gal, created by a designer going by the name of Attaboy who has a slight obsession with punctuation marks, hence Axtrx's name and nubbly silhouette. Axtrx had been released in a few colors before for larger scale releases, but this version is the "Heat Seeking" glow-in-the-dark green variant,  limited to just 500 pieces and including an additional bonus piece other releases lacked.

Like Kid Robot's DOOM, Axtrx's packaging was nice enough that I've held onto it it for almost a decade. Unlike DOOM's packaging however, Axtrx's has gotten a lot more beaten up so you just get the back panel. There's an entire wrap-around painting featuring Axtrx herself and a landscape of strange, bulbous towers spouting steam and flying structures that look suspiciously like science fiction condoms. Given the fact that this version of the character is supposed to depict her as near insane with the urge to mate, all this imagery is surely intentional.

Axtrx's main gimmick is that her mouth pops off like Mr. Potato Head and she has an array of other chompers to choose from. She's packaged with a standard smiley mouth, the spares stored in little indentations in the box's plastic insert when not in use.

Some of the mouths can be flipped around to change her look a little. Turning a smile to a frown for example when someone drinks Axtrx's last Voltage...

The most disturbing is perhaps the leech-like sucker mouth.

She's also got fangs for chompin'! That poor Steel Brigade Trooper...

This is probably the most neutral expression Axtrx has. It's funny how the eyebrows seem to emphasize the expression of the mouth currently attached, regardless of the vast differences between them. About four inches tall at the tips of her head nubs, she resembles a small, bipedal dinosaur-ish creature, complete with short spiked tail. Axtrx has always reminded me of Nickelodeon's Aaahh!!! Real Monsters, she'd fit right in with Ickis, Oblina and Krumm.

The bonus piece available only with this (and the limited to 100 pieces blue Comic-Con version) is a pair of huge buck teeth. Buck Fangs? Anyway, she's either sucking blood or opening cans with those things.

The Heat Seeking aspect comes into play as Axtrx glows quite brightly in the dark or under black light. So brightly in fact, you can see the paint chipping on the toes of mine, d'oh!

I must confess that even if I was largely ignorant of her background (I didn't even know she was a she until I started writing this!), I've always loved Axtrx. The design is whimsical and adorable and Axtrx looks like she could be slipped into a children's show like Yo Gabba Gabba! without anyone noticing. The weird thing is, I've run into a lot of people in my time of owning this thing who are terrified of it. I've seen people react to Axtrx like she's one of those evil cymbal-clanging monkeys, even insisting that I take her out of the room! It's bizarre and endlessly amusing to me.

Sweet dreams

Axtrx to me, is a great little piece. She's fun to futz with, she starts conversations and she GLOWS IN THE DARK! You may notice that things with this feature earn extra praise from me. As of writing this, I can't find this version nor the more limited blue glow version for sale anyway online, but there are a few standard green Axtrxs on eBay at the moment ranging from ten to twenty bucks, a very decent price. If you aren't one of the few supremely creeped out by her, Axtrx may very well be worth tracking down for your collection.

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