Combatants’ Branthoc "Devilfish"
By Hervé St-Louis
January 11, 2022 - 20:47
Branthoc is part of the first series of Combatants action figures by XesRay Studio released in 2020. Combatant is a line of authentic gladiator 1:12 action figures based on the old Roman culture. The line reuses the same bodies for most gladiators and with new bodies for the upcoming gladiatrix in wave three. Many collectors have combined the Combatants with the Mythic Legions fantasy action figures by the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, even though XesRay's line is much more historically based. Branthoc was meant to represent the typical Nordic warrior who would enter the gladiatorial combats of the Roman Empire.
Combatants are an original intellectual property that is not supported by a media series. The mythology is self-contained with the action figures. However, it is highly inspired on historical records of the gladiatorial age. This the armour, the clothing, the weapons used by Branthoc are based on historical records.
Branthoc looks like a classic retiarius gladiator and the colour of his tunic, the belt he wears and the arm guard is very reminiscent of such types of combatants. I would argue that Branthoc is probably too muscular for a retiarius, considering he is supposed to be of lower skills and lower survival rates. However, since all Combatants action figures use the same body mould, he comes in the standard build used for the line.
The articulations on Branthoc are well hidden. I like how there is little gaps on the back of his neck and skull. Aligning the head and the neck does make him look like his hunching. There are gaps in his shoulder blades and arms, and his diaphragm, when his torso is bent up. I dislike the ball joints at the wrists, but they are well hidden in the wrist guards.
Branthoc is a good fit with the other Combatants but a bit shorter, even though he is supposed to be using the same base build. He is slightly shorter than Marcus Marius Avitus and Ambillus "Beetle" from wave two. However, he is slightly taller than the Heavy Artillery Roadblock and towers over the other released G.I. Joe Classified figures. He is also taller than most Marvel Legends and of course, much taller than all Star Wars Black Series figures.
Branthoc is very stable and has not fallen although he is top heavy, and his ankles appear a bit weak. He is easy to pose in different ways while keeping his balance. I’m impressed.
The head is on a ball joint and can swivel and rock. His shoulders are on ball joints with a simulated but limited butterfly joint. He has single articulations at the elbows where the forearms can swivel at the base. His wrists are on ball joints giving him full rotation and swivel capabilities. There is a diaphragm articulation but none at the waist. He can bend down a lot and extend his back too.
Combatants action figures are expensive, especially the first wave which is no longer restocked by XesRay Studio. Originally, Branthoc cost around $69.99 USD and $74,99 CAD. On the secondary market, he can be found for much more than $100 USD. I paid for $79.99 CAD for Branthoc from an auction site. He is the price of two regular G.I. Joe Classified or Marvel Legends. Combatants are significantly costlier than many other action figure lines. They are close in price the Mythic Legions action figures.
Finding Branthoc is not difficult, although there are not much original stock around. There are some at BigBadToyStore on order, but who knows about how much they are ordering. Most other stores have run out of stock. Of course, Branthoc is sold almost exclusively in collectible stores like comic book stores, or online toy stores. They can be found in auction sites too. I like this figure a lot and am going to buy a few more of the newer Combatants. They price, however, can be detrimental to collecting them all.
Brian Wood's Conan the Barbarian #13 Review
Conan the Barbarian #9 Advanced Review
Conan the Barbarian # 8 Advance Review
Conan The Barbarian #7 Preview
Conan the Barbarian #7 Advance Review
Conan the Barbarian # 6 Review
Conan the Barbarian #3 comic review
Conan the Barbarian #1
Joe the Barbarian - The Deluxe Edition
Conan the Barbarian