Saturday, August 29, 2020

2005 Comic Pack Short Fuse - By Past Nastification

 A swing and a miss!  That’s the best way to sum up the 2005 Short-Fuze, a comic pack figure.  It’s one of Hasbro’s re-animated uses of the ARAH molds to create figures directly inspired by their comic book appearances.   

Some of the figures done in the sub-series (for lack of a better word), were pretty decent.  Stalker really captured the look/feel of the early Herb Trimpe artwork.  Short-Fuze is a good effort, but a low reward.  

Short-Fuze’s head was new.  After not having his spectacles for 22 years, Hasbro finally decided to set this right.  The headsculpt has a center-part haircut, a somewhat pensive facial expression, and the glasses.  Two problems plague the head, though.  First, it’s underscaled.  If it were 15% larger, it would be perfectly scaled to the ARAH body.  Secondly, Short-Fuze’s glasses are painted as sunglasses, not regular glasses.

The glasses could have been sculpted “clear” like those of the Baroness, with no actual lenses, way back in 1984.  Or at least colored in a “clear substitute” color, like sky blue or dove grey. 

Problems aside, this is still the best original/un-shared Short-Fuze head.  It might be the only original head Short-Fuze has had.  The original ARAH head was the Hawk/Steeler/Flash/Short-Fuze head.  In the mid 2000’s, both Downtown and Blizzard heads were used.  Poor Short-Fuze didn’t even show up in the New Sculpt era.  In the 25A line, Doc’s head was used.  At least he’s not Grand Slam, the only OG13 figure to never have an original head.   

The body is a retread of sorts of the ’82 body (with the larger belt) paired with ’83 swivel-arm battle grip arms.  The uniform color is green, but it is a forest ranger green, not olive drab.  Admittedly, it’s close to the green used by Marvel for the OG13 uniforms, but it manages to somehow look very… plastic, if not waxy.  The chest harness, belt, and boots are painted in a wonderful dusty tan color, and it somehow offsets the badness of the forest ranger green.  Hasbro earns big points for painting the turtleneck red.  Good work, H!   

By the way, says that the body (except for the head and lower arms) are resculpts based on the ’82 figure.  Hasbro did a good job on this.  I didn’t notice and probably never would have. also put a sidearm in the package (shared with Flash and Rock ‘n Roll) as belonging to Short-Fuze.  I must not have agreed at the time, although looking at the package it clearly was intended as for Short-Fuze, because it didn’t make it to the storage tray. 

The obvious accessories I was smart enough to properly retain were the backpack and the mortar.  These pieces are frustrating.  In 1997, the correct ones were released in the Stars and Stripes Forever set.  Seven or eight years must be a long time in toy world, because this Short-Fuze came with a Roadblock backpack and a mortar.  I had always assumed it was a Downtown mortar, but it’s not.  It’s also not a Sub-Zero mortar.  Was it a new one made just for this Short-Fuze?  I don’t know.  I would have preferred the ’82 gear again, but these are acceptable. 

 Speaking of accessories, Short-Fuze didn’t have a helmet/visor.  This figure was obviously designed to showcase its headsculpt, but that shouldn’t have precluded a helmet/visor.  

After 1983, Short-Fuze didn’t see much comic book usage.  One of his few additional appearances was in issue #25, when he was part of the transport team that took Storm Shadow to Alcatraz.  That uniform featured a collared button-up shirt with pockets.  Given that Hasbro made some obscure comic pack versions (karate gi Scarlett or astronaut Flash or undercover Grunt), this might have been an interesting choice.    

Instead of nailing Short-Fuze’s comic book look, Hasbro took small missteps.  Sadly, they’re ones that add up and detract from the figure’s overall quality.  


2005 Comic Pack Short Fuse


  1. I bought one of these recently.The plastic is very brittle. I managed to crack the chest open(that's never happened to me before on an o-ring figure) and then busted the heal putting it on a battle stand.This series seems very brittle,Buyer beware.

    1. The Comic Pack figures are NOT aging well. They had quality issues upon release. But, they are starting to fall apart already due to the cheap materials Hasbro used at the time. I'll wager that in another 10 years, it will be harder to find non-discolored 2000's era figures than it will be to find pristine white 1984 Stormshadows.

    2. Chest cracking is the "cracked elbows" of the comic packs, not sure how avoidable it is. Half my comic pack figure have it to some degree.

      Gotta be very careful with battle stands, some packs contained stand that will NOT work with figures, like the Night Watch set, the stand pegs are too thick for at least one of the molds.

  2. This figure is where the heavy B.S. of the aftermarket can be highlighted. He doesn't go for a whole lot of money loose, despite being part of the same Comic Pack wave with the Oktober Guard sets that had a "truncated" production run. Loose figures like Daina going for $30+, while Shorty Fuze has sold for as little under 4 complete! (Though 15 to 18 seems to be a more common price).

    Yeah, Hasbro lost much of the 1983 Short Fuze/Zap mold. It was nice they were willing to recreate it, but that sting that if only they'd done that with Cobra Commander and some others, too. And Short Fuze is just okay, not great. He was rarely seen and ill defined character. His first look was a buzz cut and narrow faced. In issue 6 he looks more like a skater boy. (See you later, boy!) Some later version he looks thuggish and has no glasses. Then back to his first issue look.

  3. I absolutely love this figure, not for itself, but for what it could have heralded. Hasbro recreated the entire SF/Zap mold minus the head, which meant we could have gotten a correct CP Zap, a Snake Eyes with the right waist for the first time since the '80's, or even "correct" figures that had been using those horribly mismatched Hawk legs. It marked the first (or second, since the Diana/Lady Jaye mold was around the same time) time Hasbro bothered to remake ARMS, the most often unmatched parts since '97! I still have hope that this new-in-2004 mold has survived and can be reused to one day give us, if only a few, new O-ring figures.