Heroic Clicking

I don’t understand HeroClix. This is not the beginning of a knock against them, I mean it literally. I don’t know how they work, either as a hobby or an industry.

I have been aware of HeroClix for about as long as they have been around, but I’ve never actually played the game, nor known anyone who played it (at least, that I was aware of) or actively collected the figures. I have never so much as seen – let alone read – a rulebook or equivalent. This despite the fact that HeroClix has been in near-continuous production (under a couple of different owners) for over twenty years, so someone has to be buying and (presumably) playing with them.

HeroClix was first released by WizKids back in 2002, when it won a variety of gaming awards – which again, suggests that somebody was playing it. The system made use of the same “combat dial” that had originally been developed for Mage Knight, though I think by now that HeroClix is probably the place that most folks are like to have seen it, a system that, again, I have never seen in action, but that seems honestly pretty clever. Originally, HeroClix were, as the name might suggest, built around comic book superheroes from Marvel and, a little later, DC.

Topps bought WizKids in short order, and some time later the HeroClix line shut down. In 2009, NECA bought some of the IP rights that had previously belonged to WizKids, including HeroClix, and since then, NECA has been in charge of the line. Over the years, it has expanded well beyond just comic books to include various other properties from video games to Yu-Gi-Oh! to movies like Pacific Rim, which got a small string of (sadly not to scale) Clix. There was even a dedicated horror line (HorrorClix) with limited compatibility to the HeroClix line, and a Star Trek series that were all ships, rather than people.

Until somewhat recently, the only HeroClix I owned were a handful of Hellboy ones that I had acquired somewhere simply because they were Hellboy-related. I had no others, and no interest in any others. Then, in a little game shop I visited while on a trip, I found HeroClix, made to scale, of Giganto (the subterranean one, not the whale one) and Shuma-Gorath, which I bought for a song. My fate, as they say, was sealed.

Regular HeroClix, for those who have never seen them, are pre-painted miniatues of a similar scale to those which you might use for, say, D&D. Which means that each human-sized miniature is roughly an inch tall. Giganto and Shuma-Gorath being made to scale means that they are closer to a foot tall. Which is delightful. Shuma-Gorath’s central eye is even articulated!

More recently yet, I happened upon a large lot of HeroClix, which I got purely in order to secure the largest, as far as I know, HeroClix ever made – a similarly scale model of Fin Fang Foom, standing some two feet tall or thereabouts.

(There are, in fact, three variants of the Fin Fang Foom model. In ascending order of rarity, there is the green one I have, a green one wearing his classic purple shorts, and an orange one, harkening back to his coloration in his first appearance back in Strange Tales #89.)

This acquisition left me with several other HeroClix, as well, and among them I found a few that were delightfully weird. Some of these I recognized, such as Man-Thing, while others were (and remain) entirely new to me. But they are extremely strange and sometimes wonderful little miniatures of goofy robots, Stone Men from Saturn, and caterpillars in jars. Apparently, as a result of this experience, I have become a collector of HeroClix after all – albeit only, in keeping with my brand, the weirdo ones.

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