Woohoo!! Another movie tie-in toy line! And, once again, I’ve bit on it, hook, line, and sinker. Today, we’re looking at Men In Black 3′s Agent J.
Am I biased as I go by “Jay”? Well, yes, but still, I was interested from the first pictures I saw of this toy line. How is the articulation? How is the actual sizing of this 4″ figure? Will it be able to mesh with my G.I. Joe and other assorted 1/18th scale figures? The answers, I’m happy to say, is a resounding yes! Well, the actual answers are: Not bad, On par, pretty well. One of the things G.I. Joe fans have wanted for some time, is action figures in a suit. For various reasons… The president, Secret Service, civilians, many reasons, but we’ve never really had one. And, frankly, Hasbro yet has to put something out. But boy, did Jakks Pacific pick up the slack. Agent J is a well done figure in the 4″ scale. The likeness to Will Smith/Agent J is remarkable, and looks damned good for a figure in the scale. Wearing dark glasses, the paint is well done and on point. The fade of his hair is well painted and cleanly applied. J has a white undershirt with a sculpted on tie, with a soft goods jacket permanently attached on overtop. It’s a pretty well done job for the overcoat, but the white of the undershirt shows through at the arm connection, but mostly on the underside, so it doesn’t look too out of place. The jacket itself is kind of bland, there’s not too much action in terms of creases, folds, or depth, but it sells it for a static pose, so it works. The sleeves have a little more life going on, but no so much as to where it looks off from the body part of the jacket. The figure IS a little wide-bodied, but I wonder if that has to do with the soft goods jacket than the body mold. It’s not terrible, but it was somewhat noticable. Dress slacks and shoes complete the look of J, and a bit bland, but, considering what it is, and who it’s representing, a nameless, faceless organization who’s dressed in black business suits, and looking as everyman as possible, it works for the figure. The undefining bit of the figure is it’s high point, and will make the figure a very hot commodity with customizers and collectors looking for the business suit body. It will be able to be put in any situation, for any reason, and it will work. You’ll want to note that the plastic for most of the figure is a bit soft, so warping can occur. The lower arms are really soft, and the legs are a bit soft, as well.
Honestly, this figure is only a few articulation points away from a perfect figure. The head appears to be on a ball post (I haven’t taken it apart yet, but the feel and look of the construction appears to be so), so it has unrestricted left and right movement. It does have some ability to go up and down, but that’s minimally. The shoulders are on a ball hinge, allowing up and down motion, as well as being able to go perpendicular to the body. The elbows have basic hinge joints, which go a full 90 degrees up. What we’re missing is a swivel in the upper arm. Be it at the upper bicep or the upper elbow, it really needs that arm swivel capability to become one of the better figures out on shelves. The wrists have a swivel, and the swivel joint is hidden in a recessed joint in the sleeve. I love it when they do that! There is no torso joint on this figure, which is a shame. Torso joints should be a given on modern figures nowadays, but we have none. The hips are a ball pin, similar to G.I. Joe. While that does have a good range of motion attached to that joint, the jacket goes down below the joint to restrict a lot of the movement. You can get fair movement, and the jacket is soft, so you can move a little further than what it looks like, but it’s still hampered. Articulation ends with simple hinge joints on the knees. No ankle articulation, which is a bummer. If this figure had the swivel arm, a torso joint, and maybe feet articulation, this would be one of the more hotter figures out now. However, it’s a hampered figure due to the articulation set and overhanging jacket.
The accessories with this figure are FUN. He comes with a large alien looking shotgun. He has a good grip on the gun, but it is a single-handed grip. He’s unable to give the correct two-handed hold to it due to construction. Still, it’s a very detailed weapon, and a neat looking piece. There is a black paint app on the handle to give it some life. The action figures in this line all have gimmicks. In this case, it’s a ring that converts to some kind of flying scooter thing. I admit, I figured I was going to forever bag this thing and leave it to rot. But I have to say, that thing is pretty fun. Unlike the Green Lantern line, this ring has a spring-loaded double clamp that will allow kids and adults to wear it. Obviously, it’s a bit goofy of a ring, but at least it’s available. With a push of a button, the riding vehicle pops to life, and flip out the handles, and he can now ride the device. The device REALLY needs footstands (the figures have holes in their feet for mounting onto objects and stands) to have secure footing, but even still, he has little issue standing on the device. Once you flip the handles out of the satellite looking part, he’s ready to go. I was surprised how much I like this thing. It’s absolutely silly, but I really do like it.
Overall, this figure is a nice set. You can use the figure for SO many things in your 1/18th scale collection. Businessman, president, lawyer, politician, hired hitman, innocent bystander, or the actual Men in Black… It does a great job of capturing the essence, and looking basic enough for multiple purposes. The articulation issues are a slight set back, but it doesn’t kill the figure. It’s a little expensive at Toys R Us at $10 a pop, so you may wait until the big box stores have it on their shelves, they’ll probably be cheaper there.