Bif Bang Pow! announced this week that they were releasing more two new series of KISS action figures.
These 3 3/4 Inch action figures feature 11 points of articulation and were released the week of July 20th, 2020.
Bif Bang Pow! have released several sets in their 3 3/4 Inch KISS figure line: “Love Gun”, “Destroyer”, “Unmasked”, “Rock N Roll Over” and “Psycho Circus” with box sets and figure variants for each line.
As a KISS fan it’s impossible to ignore the obvious: While each set of these figures may be based off a different “era” of the bands career the actual differences in some of these figures are very minimal and here’s a few for instances for you:
The Gene Simmons “Rock N Roll Over” and “Destroyer” / “Destroyer Variant” figures are almost identical with the only difference being the variations in packaging and basses. Look closely and you will see that the “Psycho Circus” figure is the same as these two with the only difference being the color of the costume which is black instead of silver.
The Paul Stanley “Rock N Roll Over” and “Destroyer” / “Destroyer Variant” figures are almost identical too with the only difference being the guitars in each package, the packaging, and the “Rock N Roll Over” figure has a red fire helmet while the “Destroyer Variant” has a black fire helmet.
The Ace Frehley figures vary in packaging and instruments (RNR Over has a Black Les Paul and Destroyer has an Explorer) but in terms of the overall figure the only difference is the spots on Ace’s pants.
As far as the Peter Criss figure is concerned the main body is the same and here are the only difference:
“Rock N Roll Over” - has a silver diamond on boots, light colored drum sticks
“Psycho Circus” - dark colored drum sticks, bottom pattern on boot is different
“Destoyer” Boot pattern is slightly different, light colored drum sticks.
Digging a little deeper there was also a Bif Bang Pow! “Alive II” box set released and these figures were identical to the “Love Gun” era figures with an interesting twist: Each figure had a colored head which mirrored their solo record covers. There was the standard Instrument switch but overall these figures were very similar to the “Love Gun” figures.
The only true “New” figures in the just released lines, on a technical level, would be the Gene and Paul “Psycho Circus” figures which offer true variations in the figures clothes. The Gene Figure, as stated above, has the same body armor as prior figures but the armor on this new figure is all black and Gene’s tongue is not sticking out. The Paul figure is shirtless and his neck has a choker.
Comparing the Gene Simmons "Unmasked" figure to the "Dynasty" figure you can see that the body mold is similar but there are just enough differences to make them both unique.
The sad reality of these figures is the lack of quality control; not all figures are made to the same standards and it’s very common to find figures poorly painted; look at the example below of a random Paul “Dynasty” figure with a bad paint job.
In comparison, the KISS figures released by Figures Toy Company were of a higher quality and a definite upgrade to the figure released by Mego in the 1970’s. Figures Toy Company offer 8 inch and 12 inch versions of their figures with several variant figures including their highly coveted "Blood Spitting" Gene figure which actually spits blood. Figures Toy Company have released a total of eight different sets which include: "Love Gun", "Destroyer", "Dynasty", "Alive", "Dressed To Kill", "Monster", "Sonic Boom", and their "First KISS record".
Speaking of Mego, The Mego company have offered KISS fans a new take on their classic 70’s figures by releasing an updated version of the “Love Gun” era figures. Mego has plans to release brand new KISS figures based off their “End of the Road” costumes but no release date has been announced. The Mego figures are numbered but those numbers mean very little and add nothing to the value. Initially the Gene and Paul figures were sold exclusively through the retailer Target but their distribution of the figures throughout their stores and online was an absolute nightmare and left fans utilizing auction sites to obtain the figures. All four of the figures are available now at comic/hobby shops with the Ace and Peter figures being the hardest to find.