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Hasbro: Dungeons and Dragons Cartoon Classics: Hank the Ranger Action Figure Review


Image © Dan's ToyBox 2023

Welcome back to another Dan's ToyBox action figure review. Today is a figurative trip down memory lane, with a newly released (and long overdue line, I might add) figure from one of the best cartoons of the 1980's. I'm glad you are taking the time to visit today and hope you will enjoy this review as we combine nostalgia with our take on the Hasbro: Dungeons and Dragons Cartoon Classics: Hank the Ranger action figure.


In the 1980's, Dungeons and Dragons fever swept through the country. Every bookstore you went to either sold or had D&D books, modules, and dice. Here, where I live, there used to be a book shop downtown and not only did they carry an extensive line of Dungeons and Dragons materials, but they also hosted games on Friday nights and Saturday afternoons. In 1983, the cartoon version of this game was launched. The show focused on a group of young (9 to 15 yrs old) friends, magically transported to the realm of Dungeons & Dragons by going for a ride on a cursed amusement park roller coaster. Upon arriving, they meet Dungeon Master (named for the host in the role-playing game) who gives each child a magical item.

Though their main goal is to find a way home, invariably they end up helping people in need or finding themselves caught up in other dangerous situations. Their primary foe is a powerful wizard named Venger. His sole goal is to destroy Dungeon Master and rule the realm, and his desire for the kids' magical weapons fuels his animosity toward them. As if Venger wasn't bad enough, another major enemy for the group is Tiamat, a five-headed dragon, and the only creature that Venger fears. At 15, Hank the Ranger is one of the oldest kids in the group and roundly considered to be their leader. Hank is brave and noble, and even in the face of great danger is able to maintain a level head, stay focused and display considerable determination. Hank is a Ranger, with a magical energy bow that shoots arrows of glowing energy. He has used the arrows as climbing tools, to hurt enemies, to bind them, to create light, or to form temporary makeshift cages. One of the amazing things about the show was the voice talent. Willie Ames voiced Hank, and other notable actors such as Frank Welker, Adam Rich, Peter Cullen, Donnie Most, and Katie Leigh lent their talents to bring these incredible characters to life. Dungeons and Dragons ran for three seasons, for a total of 27 episodes before cancellation. Sadly, the unfinished season three (possibly series) finale wasn't completed before the show was cancelled. The plot would have left a potential cliffhanger with the kids having the opportunity to finally return home or to remain in the realm to fight evil. I was always a big fan of Hank, as I thought his magic bow and costume were the coolest, immediately followed by Sheila, the Thief. I have to confess that it's been awfully difficult to not try and collect the full set of these figures... or at least, the six kids. I still might, especially since Bobby and Diana are available at my local Walmart. I guess we shall see!


As always, we will focus on the Accessories, Appearance, Articulation, and Affordability of the figure. Each category will receive an individual rating before the figure receives the overall grade of zero to 10 ToyBoxes. Let's journey into the realm of Dungeons and Dragons!



ACCESSORIES

Hank the Ranger comes with an unpowered bow, the magical powered version of the bow and an eight-sided die. Each of the characters comes with a different "dragon die." For those unfamiliar with the game, the multiple sided dice were used for a number of activities in the game, from determining if an attack was successful, to the amount of damage inflicted. The dice range included 4 sided, 6 sided, 8 sided, 10 sided, 12 sided, 20 sided, and I've seen both 30- and 100-sided dice. Given that the characters really only carried the magical devices given them by Dungeon Master, there really isn't much else that Hank could come with, although perhaps an alternate hand for the right arm might have been nice. I do like that the dice are included, which is a nice touch. For the simplistic nature of the accessories, I'm surprisingly good with the minimalism and am good with giving Hank a decent 7 out of 10 for accessories.



APPEARANCE

I will say, right from the start, I was impressed with the look of the figure. For Hasbro to so accurately create a figure from a 40-year-old cartoon is solid. All the paint apps are surprisingly solid and very clean. I especially was impressed with his eyes and teeth. I was even more pleased with the silver applications on his belt buckle and the small studs on his studded leather tunic. The different shades of green for his leggings and undershirt really go well with the olive green over piece and the dark brown boots and belt round out the costume well. The light brown, unpowered, bow fits well in his hand and the sculpting looks great. I know that, being based on a cartoon, they weren't going to do any type of weathering or wash, but I may end up doing that myself. I really do like the translucent yellow bow with magic arrow, but I have to confess... I had hoped that the actual bow itself would have been painted brown, as in the cartoon, the only magic effect was the arrow and drawstring itself. That is a minor gripe from an old man though, so I'm really not overly concerned about it. I'm even impressed with the red 8-sided die. It has a bit of wash over it and the numbers are all painted a clean white. Overall, this is a great looking figure and one that I'm really glad has hit the collectors world. Again, it's a simple design based on a cartoon, but it's an elegant one at that and earns a solid 10 out of 10 from me.



ARTICULATION

This is likely the weakest category for the figure. His head turns side to side easily, and thanks to a movable neck joint, allows him to tilt his head to the side and to look down a bit. Unfortunately, he can't really look up much at all. The shoulders should be able to rotate a full 360, but due to the design of his tunic overlay are very limited. Thanks to slits on the sides, though the arms can raise out to a really good T pose. There is no bicep swivel but the single jointed elbow, which doesn't even hit 90 degrees when bent, can pivot. His hands rotate but there is no hinge. This makes getting him into a decent archer pose decidedly difficult. The only torso movement is located in a lower diaphragm ball joint. This will allow rotation, side tilt and a small amount of forward and backward crunch/bend. The skirting at the bottom of his tunic has slits in the side to accommodate leg splits, which are ok, but not spectacular. Unfortunately, they really hinder forward kicking movement so you're really only going to get basic poses for running or standing. The knees are double jointed but limited to just past 90 degrees in bend. Amazingly enough, there is boot rotation at the shins and his ankle pivot and hinge is actually nice. I more accomplished "poser" than I can probably get Hank into some dynamic looks, but the limitations are a bit on the frustrating side, which leads me to give him a 4 out of 10 for articulation.


AFFORDABILITY

I found Hank at my local Walmart for $24.99. Both of the other currently available figures are the same price and though I gave Hank a decent score for accessories, I honestly think that $24.99 is a bit too high for nostalgia. I could see this line coming in at $19.99 or even $21.99 at most. With that in mind, I hate to say it but the figure, to me, is overpriced and deserves a 4 out of 10 also for affordability.


Overall, from a nostalgic standpoint, I am really happy to have Hank the Ranger. I enjoyed the cartoon as a child and always liked the character. From a completist standpoint, it's going to be tough to pass up the others, but from a collector's standpoint... the Hasbro Dungeons and Dragons Cartoon Classics: Hank the Ranger earns:



6 out of 10 ToyBoxes.


It's always great to see something from my childhood make its way back into popular culture and this is no exception. However, unless you're really a die-hard D&D fan, or fan of the cartoon, these will likely be shelf statues, rather than action figures. As always, I appreciate your time spent here and until our next review... GEEK OUT!!!

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