The Bucky O'Hare set I won on eBay that included Bucky and Blinky also included Al Negator and Dead-Eye Duck. Dead-Eye is one of my favorite characters from the original Bucky O'Hare comics, a scrappy little four-armed duck with a healthy distrust for Jenny's witchcraft. Al Negator wasn't in the graphic novel that I read, but I did see him on a few episodes of the cartoon. In the cartoon, he's a bounty-hunter type, but I wish I could see what Michael Golden (artist of the Bucky comic) and Larry Hama (writer) would have done with the character.
Al did feature prominently in the Bucky O'Hare arcade game, though. Strangely enough, even though I was a serious arcade rat at this time, I never played this game. It's too bad... it looks like a lot of fun, along the same lines as the TMNT arcade game. Anyway, let's check out these figures.
Above: Al and Dead-Eye carded. Last picture: Dead-Eye from the comics.
Year Stamped: 1990
Size: Al - 4.5", Dead-Eye - 4"
Price: $20.00 for set of 5 figures from eBay
Al Negator has a great sculpt, with cool costume detailing and a crocodilian skin texture. I love his head sculpt, which has an asymmetrical face that sports gobs of character. I also really dig his color scheme: that purple skin and neon-green eyes/teeth brings out all sorts of awesome cartooniness in the figure. Al's only problem is a slightly annoying mis-matching of colors between body parts. The purple of the skin seems to have two slightly different hues between the more lavender arms, head, and tail (cast in purple plastic), and the bluer body and legs (painted purple). There's also a color difference between the gold armor on the body (cast in gold plastic) and the duller gold on the tail's armor (painted gold). The difference isn't as drastic in person as it is in the pictures, but it's definitely noticeable.
Dead-Eye's sculpt is certainly reminiscent of the character and exhibits lots of personality. Like Bucky, his proportions have changed in the conversion from comic to toy, but unlike Bucky, Dead-Eye's design suffered in the conversion. I'd like to see Dead-Eye's head flatter, his ear-phones larger, and his neck elongated. Also, he needs green irises to make his eyes have more personality. As with Al, Dead-Eye shows a slight discoloration between the orange of his limbs and that of his torso.
Al has 7 points of articulation (swivel neck, shoulders, wrists, and hips), as does Dead-Eye (swivel neck, shoulders [all four], and hips). The articulation is average for the early 90's: better than Kenner, not as good as Playmates. And not nearly the (what was then considered) hyper-articulation of Star Trek, which appeared just a few years later.
Al comes with a cool neon-green blaster that matches the green of Al's eyes and teeth. But that's it, just that one blaster. I certainly would have liked to see more equipment than that. Dead-Eye comes with 4 blasters, all of which are essential because his four-armed body plan is his most distinctive feature. The blasters all have a different sculpt, which is a nice touch that lends some comic-book accuracy to the figure (Dead-Eye in the comics was usually shown holding a variety of blasters).
Al and his alligator buddies. I know Esoqq isn't crocodilian, but he kind of looks like he might have a bit of gator in him.
A paltry four bucks for each figure is a great deal given their vintage age. Also, their quality is pretty strong, with hard plastic bodies and softer limbs and heads. The difference in plastic consistency probably accounts for some of the color variation between Dead-Eye's limbs and body.
Dead-Eye and his 4-armed friends.
Al Negator has a great design that seems to flow directly from the original comic series. Although I never saw Al in those first few issues, I can imagine that this figure's design would be very similar to what Golden would draw. Also, there is no cooler color scheme than purple and neon green. It just screams "fun toy" to me.
Dead-Eye is a great character in the comics, a scrappy pilot and gunner who uses his wit and blasters to get himself out of scrapes. This figure loses a bit of the comic character's coolness with altered proportions that take away from his scrappy comic book appearance. But his head is actually squishy, a la Masters of the Universe (Al's head is decidedly less squishy, but it is flexible). I don't know what it is about squishy heads, but they're all sorts of fun. The only other squishy-headed figures I can think of are MOTU and TMNT (the first wave of Turtles in 1988 had squishy heads). Dead-Eye might have had the last squishy head ever!
Al Negator is a great figure that seems to come straight from Golden's artwork, with an expressive sculpt, funky color scheme, and nice articulation. I would have preferred more accessories, though... a complaint that seems much too common in this line.
Dead-Eye's sculpt features altered proportions take away from his comic book accuracy and tone down his attitude a bit. He has some pretty good articulation, though, and he comes with four super-cool blasters. Also: SQUISHY HEAD. Need I say more?