#1704: Grand Moff Tarkin

GRAND MOFF TARKIN

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES

“An ambitious, ruthless proponent of military power, Wilhuff Tarkin became a favorite of Emperor Palpatine and rose rapidly through the Imperial ranks.”

Before the introduction of Emperor Palpatine in Empire, the original man behind the man that was Darth Vader was Wilhuff Tarkin, Grand Moff of the Empire, and really the central antagonist of A New Hope.  Yes, his name is really Wilhuff.  At least it’s better than Sheev, right?  Tarkin hasn’t always been the most prevalent figure when it comes to action figures, but he was fortunate enough to be one of the recent additions to The Black Series.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Grand Moff Tarkin is figure #63 in the Star Wars: The Black Series line.  He hit alongside the Solo product back in April, and has proved to be the most difficult to find of the set.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and he has 24 points of articulation.  As an Imperial officer, it’s not a huge surprise to find that Tarkin makes use of some of Krenic’s parts, namely the arms and legs.  He gets a unique torso and skirt piece, to denote his slightly differing rank and his lack of a sidearm.  The torso does a good job of capturing Peter Cushing’s more narrow-shouldered build.  He’s also got a new head, of course, which is definitely one of Hasbro’s best offerings from this line.  The likeness of Cushing is spot-on, right down to the slight little sneer he had in all of Tarkin’s scenes.  There are tons of subtle little details, which really help to make this sculpt incredibly lifelike, even more so than a lot of others in this line.  Tarkin makes use of the new face printing technique, just like the rest of his assortment.  Like with the sculpt, I think Tarkin is one of the best iterations of this technique we’ve seen in the line.  Between the sculpt and the paint, there’s a lifelike quality to Tarkin that just about rivals a Hot Toys offering.  The rest of the paint is more basic, but it’s still very clean, which is always a plus.  Tarkin is only packed with one accessory, but boy is it a good one.  He includes the Imperial Interrogation Droid (or, as he’s known to Robot Chicken fans, Dr. Ball, M.D.!).  It’s a pretty sizable piece, and almost counts as a figure in its own right.  It also highlights how lightly packed the Jawa from this same assortment was, but let’s just focus on the awesome that is this figure and his amazing accessory.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Tarkin’s been a high-ranking want from this line for a good while, so I was super pumped when he was shown off last year.  The figure was also my main want when all of the Solo product was hitting, though it took me a little bit to finally track him down.  I ended up getting him at the same time as Lando and the Jawa.  He’s absolutely my favorite figure from this line, and he’s going to be very hard to top going forward.  This is a figure that no Star Wars fan should miss out on!

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#1703: Jawa

JAWA

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES

“Jawas comb the deserts of Tatooine in search of discarded scrap and wayward mechanicals. Using their cobbled-together weaponry, they can incapacity droids and drag them to their treaded fortress-homes, immense sand-scarred vehicles known as sandcrawlers.”

Though rather simple in execution (they’re literally just children in brown robes), the Jawas are a distinctive part of the the first Star Wars film.  They’re also pretty plot-relevant, moving R2 and 3PO to Owen Lars’ farm, and thereby getting Luke involved in the whole story.  And then they get barbecued.  What a day.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Jawa is figure 61 from Star Wars: The Black Series.  He hit alongside the first assortment of Solo figures, and is a re-pack of the 40th Anniversary Jawa from last year.  That one saw a much more limited release, so seeing it again here is much appreciated.  Unlike most Jawa figures, which come paired with another Jawa or droid, this one returns to the release method of the original vintage figure, being sold all on his lonesome.  The figure stands about 4 inches tall and he has 28 points of articulation.  I’m happy to report that, unlike the earlier Yoda figure, the Jawa was not short-changed on the leg articulation.  Of course, the plastic skirt piece kind of removes most of the mobility on those leg joints, but lets not go down that road.  The Jawa’s sculpt is unique, and definitely very strong.  The robes are all plastic, which I think was the appropriate call after the spotty cloth work on figures like Luke and Leia.  The detail work on said robe is exquisite, with tons of texturing all throughout, to really capture the heavy coarseness of the fabric. The head and hood are done as two separate pieces, which is a smart move.  It allows for the head to be fully detailed, or at least as fully detailed as the completely covered head can be.  The two straps running across the figure’s chest are a separate, but non-removable piece.  I was expecting there to be a buckle somewhere on there, because there usually is on pieces, but no luck.  So, if for whatever reason you were hoping to remove that, it’s going require a little finagling.  There’s an Ion Cannon attached to one of the straps via a somewhat lengthy cord.  It can’t be removed either, but it can be holstered on one of the belts.  The paintwork on the Jawa is decent.  Mostly it’s pretty basic, but I do appreciate the slight weathering on the bottom of the robes.  The Jawa includes a second Ion Cannon, this time not connected to the straps.  For versatility, I guess.  Given the smaller stature of the figure, I would have liked maybe a smaller droid or something to be included, or just more accessories in general, but I think this figure’s being slightly held back by the 40th Ann release having less space for such things in the blister, and Hasbro not wanting to add extras here and thus detract from that figure’s value.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

When the 40th Anniversary figures were hitting last year, I wasn’t in the financial state to be going toy-hunting, so I never found this guy.  When the re-release was announced, I was definitely happy.  I didn’t have luck finding him initially, but ultimately found him on the same Target trip that got me Lando.  The Jawas have long been a favorite of mine, so I’m very pleased to have this figure.

#1702: Qi’ra – Corellia

QI’RA — CORELLIA

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES

At 18 years of age, young Qi’ra is already enmeshed in a life of crime, working for a gang on Corellia.”

Well, I’ve already burned through the “confusing Emilia Clarke for her other roles” bit for the first Qi’ra figure I reviewed, so I’m out of obvious intro material.  Darn.  Here’s this action figure, I guess.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Qi’ra is figure 66 in Star Wars: The Black Series.  She was part of the second round of post-Solo releases, packed alongside the bounty hunter 4-Lom.  As of right now, she’s by far the easier of the two to find of retail, and I kind of feel like that’ll stick.  Like her smaller figure, Qi’ra is based on her look from the film’s prologue.  It’s not her main look from the movie, nor is it a look that really interacts well with the other figures, but it’s a decent enough look nonetheless, and probably the one that has the easiest translation into toy form.  The figure stands 5 1/2 inches tall and she has 27 points of articulation.  Her articulation is a little more restricted than Han and Lando, but compared to your average Black Series release before them, Qi’ra is still pretty darn mobile.  Qi’ra gets an all-new sculpt, and it’s a pretty decent one.  Very similar to the smaller one, which makes sense, what with them being the same design and all.  I think the smaller one might actually have the slightly better Clarke likeness, but this one’s certainly not bad, and it’s definitely well-detailed.  Her paintwork is pretty good overall, but it does suffer a bit more than other recent offerings.  The biggest issue is definitely they eyes.  She’s using the printed face technique, but something seems off about this particular release, especially around the eyes.  It’s like the printing got misaligned.  Hopefully this is something that’s more or less confined to my figure.  Qi’ra is packed with her unique blaster pistol, just like her smaller counterpart.  It’s not much, but it’s pretty cool, especially since it even opens for re-loading.  That was an unexpected touch!

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Qi’ra was a purchase of convenience, really.  I found her at Target, and I needed to spend another $20 for one of their get $25 off $100 deals, so home with me she came.  And she was essentially free at that!  After the tremendous Han and Lando (and even Rey, for that matter), Qi’ra’s a slight step down in quality.  That said, she’s still a pretty decent offering overall, and definitely a fun figure.  Now, here’s hoping we can get her in her heist outfit, because that one was the coolest.

#1701: Lando Calrissian

LANDO CALRISSIAN

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES

“Smooth and sophisticated, Captain Lando Calrissian stands ready to retire from the life of a smuggler and instead become a full-time gambler (or “sportsman”, as he calls it), shuffling from card game to card game across the galaxy.”

For my second and third entries in this week of Black Series reviews, I’ll be moving over to the newest installment in the Star Wars franchise, Solo.  I’ve looked at the smaller figures, as well as the Black Series release of the main character, but now I’m going to look at one of the other major returning characters, and one of the highest-praised parts of the movie, Lando Calrissian!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Lando is figure 65 in Star Wars: The Black Series, released in the assortment that arrived on shelves alongside the other Solo-themed product.  This is Lando’s second time as a Black Series figure, in rather quick succession, actually.  He’s based on his main Solo look, which is certainly dynamic, and makes for a solid figure design.  The figure stands just over 5 3/4 inches tall and he has 27 points of articulation.  His articulation set-up is rather similar to Han’s, meaning he’s got quite a bit of range in most of those joints, and he’s a ton of fun to pose.  His sculpt is an all-new offering, and does a respectable job of translating Donald Glover’s version of Lando into figure form.  The likeness on the head isn’t quite as spot-on as Han or Rey; I think Glover might just have one of those difficult to capture faces.  On the plus side, the face is very expressive, and very in character for Lando, so it’s a nice change of pace from the blander expression seen on other figures in the line.  The cape and scarf are both separate, removable pieces, allowing you to mix and match looks, and give him a bit of variety.  The softer plastic isn’t too restricting of the figure’s articulation, and it still manages to hold the details pretty well.  Like Han and Rey, Lando makes use of the new face printing technique, to give his face more realism.  It’s not quite as convincing here as it was on the other two, in part due to the more cartoony expression.  Still, it looks pretty good, and it still avoids that lifeless look of the earlier figures.  The rest of the paint is really bright, and quite eye-catching, but there’s one small issue with my figure; the bottom half of his shirt is painted yellow rather than molded.  Not a huge deal, but on my figure the paint application is a little thin, so some of the underlying black plastic is bleeding through.  It’s not terrible, but a little annoying.  Lando is packed with his fancy blaster, which is the same model as included with his smaller figure, but this time it comes with a removable barrel attachment, and that’s pretty fun.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve been on the look out for Lando ever since the figures first started hitting.  I saw the ESB version a few times, but the figure never really grabbed me, so I never got him.  So, this one carries some extra weight.  He was a little tough to come by initially, but I managed to track him down during a completely not-toy-related stop to my local Target.  He’s another strong figure, and like Han, I’d love to have a main Billy Dee Williams version of this quality down the road.

#1700: Rey – Island Journey

REY – ISLAND JOURNEY

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES

“With the power of the Force awakening inside of her, Rey travels to the hidden world of Ahch-To. There, she seeks out Luke Skywalker as the last hope of the Resistance.”

I’ve bought a lot of Star Wars figures recently.  Try as I may to space them out, sometimes you’ve just got to paraphrase Tom Cruise and say “What the heck?” and do a week of Black Series reviews.  Because that’s just how I roll.  So, let’s kick this week off by answering the that question I love answering, “Where’s Rey?”  She’s right here!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Rey (Island Journey) is figure 58 in Star Wars: The Black Series.  She originally hit alongside DJ and Captain Rex in the first assortment of 2018, and she’s also received a re-pack alongside the Solo-themed offerings.  She was originally shown off prior to the Last Jedi releases, intended as a Force Awakens release.  But, since her Resistance togs appeared in both films, it was pretty easily re-fitted into a Last Jedi variant.  The figure stands 5 3/4 inches tall and she has 27 points of articulation.  Rey sports a mostly new sculpt, with her arms and hands being re-used from the Jedi Training version of the character.  I had initially thought this caused a slight inaccuracy on the figure, since she’s lacking the wrist covers that go with the resistance outfit.  However, after double-checking various stills from the movie, she actually removes those covers for some parts of TLJ, especially when she’s wearing the poncho that this figure added.  So, the re-use is actually warranted here.  The rest of the sculpt is really quite good.  The proportions are nicely balanced, and the details of her outfit are sharply defined.  The vest piece can be removed, and she manages to not look totally goofy without it, which is a plus.  My favorite part of the sculpt is definitely the head, which is my favorite Rey headsculpt yet (it’s managed to supplant the Titan Heroes sculpt), and has a really strong Daisy Ridley likeness.  As with the previously reviewed Han Solo (who Rey actually predates, of course), the paintwork on Rey is really strong, and helps to further elevate an already strong sculpt.  Her assortment premiered the introduction of Hasbro’s new face-printing technique into The Black Series.  As with Han, this adds a much more lifelike quality to the figure, almost on par with the likes of Hot Toys, and just makes the figure look that much better.  In terms of extras, Rey is pretty well packed, coming with her staff, blaster, and Luke’s lightsaber (all shared with the Jedi Training figure), as well as the poncho she’s seen sporting on Ahch-To.  The poncho’s just a simple cloth piece, but it’s better tailored to the figure than prior softgoods pieces from this line, and it does add a lot more to display options.  I’m kind of a sucker for a nice poncho.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Rey’s Resistance look is definitely my favorite of her three designs, so I’ve been on-board with this figure since day one.  The announcement that she was getting the poncho from TLJ and would be introducing the face-print tech only got me more on-board.  Of course, I had to find her first, which proved a little difficult.  I never lucked into her in her initial case packout, but the reissue made her a little easier to track down, and I was able to get her through Super Awesome Girlfriend’s work.  This is a really nice figure, and hands down my favorite Rey.  I liked the Jedi Training version quite a bit, but this one blows it out of the water.

#1699: Howard Stark, Peggy Carter, & Hydra Agent

HOWARD STARK, PEGGY CARTER, & HYDRA AGENTS

MARVEL MINIMATES

The civilians in superhero stories are very important to the mythos, but sadly, as rather average looking people, they don’t exactly lend themselves to lots of toys, no matter their prominence in the stories they hail from.  Fortunately, there are lines like Minimates, which are able to take advantage of their slightly different distribution methods to get us characters we might not otherwise see.  Take, for instance, today’s focuses, Howard Stark and Peggy Carter!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Howard, Peggy, and the Hydra Agent made up the specialty-exclusive component of the First Avenger-themed ‘mates, released in Series 40 of the main Marvel Minimates line.  Howard was the heavier packed of the two, with Peggy being his one-per-case “variant.”  In light of the movie and Peggy’s later importance moving forward, this was, and still is, an odd sort of case pack-out, but I guess they really wanted to make sure everyone had a chance at a young Howard.

HOWARD STARK

The young Howard Stark presented in The First Avenger is clearly influenced by another famous Howard, aeronautics pioneer Howard Hughes.  Director Joe Johnson had experience with Hughes, having used him in the film adaptation of The Rocketeer, so I guess he was just going with what he was comfortable with.  The figure is built on the standard ‘mate body, so he’s about 2 1/4 inches tall and he has 14 points of articulation.  Howard has two add-on pieces, for his hair and his suit jacket.  Both are re-used, from the Universal Monsters line, in fact.  The hair is from Creature From the Black Lagoon’s Dr. Reed, and the jacket is from The Wolfman’s Laurence Talbot.  Given the similar time-period of all of the films in question, the re-use is pretty sensible.  Additionally, it’s nice to see the pieces made from slightly higher grade plastic, as it allows the details to show through a lot better.  His paintwork is somewhat on the drab side, being mostly greasy and the like.  The face has a reasonable likeness of Dominic Cooper, though he’s more of a generic Howard sort of look.  I might have liked a more expressive face, but this works well enough.  Howard is packed with a hat (re-used from The Spirit line), which can be swapped out for the hair.

PEGGY CARTER

It seems crazy to me that this is the only Peggy Carter action figure out there.  It’s also true of Howard, of course, but he’s more of a supporting player.  You’d expect Peggy to get a little more respect, wouldn’t you?  Though, I suppose it’s fitting that a character like Peggy wouldn’t be getting the respect she deserved.  At least she got this.  She’s got two add-on pieces, one for her hair, and one for her skirt.  Both are re-used, though the hair was originally meant for Peggy, but ended up going on the First Class Emma Frost first.  It works well enough for the look they’re going for.  The skirt piece is the same one used on Gwen Stacy, and it’s a standard piece that is still in use now.  It all replicates her uniformed look from the movie nicely (though, if we’re being picky, I personally would have preferred her Hydra base-storming gear from the end of the movie; oh well).  Her paintwork is a little more detailed than Howard’s, since she’s not relying on sculpting for the torso detailing.  The detail work is nice and sharp, and her face even has a decent likeness of Haley Atwell, though it’s once again a little void of expression.  Peggy is packed with a Thompson machine gun, first seen with another WW2 hero, Sgt Rock.  It’s a little tricky to hold, but it’s a nice piece.

HYDRA AGENT

Also offered in the army builder singles case, the basic Hydra Agent was easily one of the most sensible MCU army builders to grace the ‘mate line.  There’s a whole ton of these guys running around getting plowed through by Cap and the Howling Commandos, so getting a minimum of two to start with here was great.  The figures are add-on heavy, with pieces for their masks, straps/skirts, and glove cuffs.  Apart from the glove cuffs (which are, appropriately, re-used from Captain America), the other pieces were new to these guys.  Or, at least, they were new to this general assortment, since the parts are shared with the other variations of Hydra agent.  The pieces match up well with the film design, and the detail work is pretty clean.  The paintwork is pretty decent, and features more detailing than you might notice at first glance.  Perhaps the coolest part is what’s under the mask piece; since there were a few different Hydra masks seen in the movie, this one has the bulked up look, as well as a more streamlined design beneath it.  It adds an extra element of customization to them, which makes the army building all the more fun.  The Hydra Agents were both packed with a rifle, which has remained exclusive to the First Avengers offerings.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I picked both of these sets up new from Cosmic Comix.  These were actually the sets I was most excited for at the time, and while they are perhaps not the most thrilling designs, I still really like them all.  The execution is definitely there.  And where else are you going to get Howard Stark and Peggy Carter action figures?  No where!

The Blaster In Question #0057: Vigilon

BlasterInQuestion1

VIGILON

VORTEX

vigilon1I know what you’re about to ask, so let me go ahead and answer it before you do.  No, I’ve still not heard anything from Mads but I’m staying optimistic.  That’s not what you were gonna ask?  Ok, weirdo.  Oh, right, that.  Yeah, I have no idea what the heck a vigilon is either but it’s the name of this week’s blaster.  Maybe taking a look at the blaster will inform us on the matter.  Let’s find out if that’s the case.

THE BLASTER ITSELF

vigilon2It’s not the case, it’s a made up word.  Anyway, the Vigilon was released in 2011 as part of the Vortex series of blasters.  It then disappeared with the apparent death of the Vortex line a few years later, only to be brought back in 2018 in the Target exclusive Vortex VTX line-up.  Really all that changed is the colors, so I’ll be reviewing them both as the same blaster here.  The Vigilon uses the same mechanism for launching the Vortex discs as most blasters in the line but with the added bonus of an integrated internal magazine that holds (officially) 5 discs.  I find it odd that the Vigilon has only ever been marketed as a 5-round blaster despite the fact that I can fit 6 discs in the magazine just fine without using any trickery, plus, you can keep another disc in the chamber, effectively giving the blaster a 7-round capacity.  The magazine vigilon3itself is an interesting design in which you open the loading gate with the release levers just above the trigger and load rounds in the side of the blaster rather than the top or front like we’re used to seeing on dart blasters.  Releasing the magazine cover is also rather satisfyingly snappy and makes it feel like something akin to a plasma weapon from the Halo franchise venting heat.  The outer shell is all original to the Vigilon, and while the green and orange color scheme of the first wave was fine at the time, the sky blue/neon green VTX colors really do it for me.  Just- MM, so good.  Naturally, the new colors are also carried over to the ammo which also looks quite nice and again, an improvement over the older version.  I mean, they work the same, they just look nicer while they do it.  The Vigilon gets the same performance as just about every other Vortex blaster out there.  The discs do travel far, but they vigilon4slow down as they fly through the air and end up floating a bit near the end of their flight path.  If you’re planning on using this as a weapon against your younger siblings, just make sure they’re not too far away, otherwise, even if your shots hit, they won’t have nearly the same impact as they would at closer range.  Plus, with some practice, you can do crazy stuff like bank shots off the wall and whatnot.  Then you can really make them feel like they’ll never be safe again, and isn’t that really the goal?  What do you mean that sounds abusive?  I’m just saying they shouldn’t feel completely at ease in their own home cuz they’ll never see the radtastic VTX discs coming.  Well, yeah, when you say it like that, you can make anything sound like abuse.  Anyway, the original Vigilon came packaged with just 5 Vortex discs, but the new VTX version comes with 10 and they look way cooler to boot.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION 

I don’t normally care too much about straight recolors, but the Vortex series was different and innovative in a way not often seen in the toy blaster market.  Moreover, it seemed to garner a decent fan base over traditional darts, so it’s fairly unique in that regard.  In reality, though, I just think the folks over at Nerf did a great job with the new colors.  I wish this had been what Vortex looked like from the get-go.  It’s just so- MMM, I love it.

#1698: Probe Droid

PROBE DROID

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

After some rather goofy offerings to kick off the deluxe sub-set of their Power of the Force II line, Kenner followed up with some downright sensible offerings.  In the ‘90s.  I know, it was weird.  I was there, and I thought so.  But that’s not the point.  The point today is that I’m reviewing the very first figure of the Imperial Probe Droid.  Woooo!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Probe Droid was released in the 1997 deluxe assortment of Power of the Force II figures.  It’s based on the droid’s appearance in Empire, which was, at the time, its only canon appearance.  The figure stands 4 1/2 inches tall and has 6 points of articulation.  Not above the norm on movement, but a bit surprising, given the different anatomy of the design.  It also gets more mobility, since the limbs are all on ball-joints, which is pretty cool.  The figure has a sculpt that was, up until very recently, the only Probe Droid sculpt out there.  It’s not 100% accurate to the model from the film, but it’s certainly good for this era of figures, especially when compared to some of the humanoid figures from the line.  There was definitely a reason this sculpt stuck around.  There were some minor fixes to the proportions that were fixed on the more recent one, such as a slightly smaller head, and slightly longer legs.  The legs in particular have been tweaked so that it can actually stand on them, rather than relying on a flight stand like the more recent figure.  It’s the biggest departure of the figure, but it’s sensible from a practicality standpoint.  The paintwork on the Probe Droid is pretty decent, especially for the time and design.  Technically, the base plastic should be a little darker, but it works alright, and there are lots of small little details.  The Probe Droid features two different action features.  The first is a “Photon Torpedo,” which is just a fairly standard missile launching feature, which fires from its eye.  It has the side effect of making the central eye bright orange, which is kind of weird, but there it is.  The second feature is a “Self-Destruct Exploding Head” which works in a similar fashion to the missile launcher above, just at a slightly larger scale.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The Last Jedi release was my first Probe Droid, and I liked him enough to be on the look out for this figure.  I ended up grabbing it from Lost in Time Toys, during one of their winter sidewalk sales.  Though the newer one is still the superior offering, there’s still a lot to like about this release.

#1697: Sasquatch

SASQUATCH

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

Huzzah!  Another Build-A-Figure is complete.  And, like last year’s Titus, this one was sort of by accident.  It’s not that I *don’t* like Sasquatch, and I certainly know more about him than I did the cyborg Tony the Tiger, but Deadpool-themed assortment with an Alpha Flight-themed Build-A-Figure doesn’t immediately jump out at me.  However, here we are, so I might as well review this thing.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Sasquatch is the Build-A-Figure for the somewhat predictably named Sasquatch Series of Marvel Legends, which is also the first of 2018’s two Deadpool-centric series.  His connection to Deadpool’s tenuous at best, but they *are* both Canadian, so I guess there’s that.  I’d also point out that this and the next assortment feel more like extensions of the X-Men subline more than anything, and that’s definitely a theme Sasquatch fits right into.  This is Sasquatch’s second time as a Marvel Legend; the last one was back during the Toy Biz days, when it was still cost effective to do such a large figure as a single-packed figure, rather than splitting him up.  This figure stands 8 1/4 inches tall and he has 28 points of articulation.  Despite some claims to the contrary, he’s an all-new sculpt.  Nothing on him is shared with last year’s Man-Thing BaF.  They may share some common ancestry somewhere along the way, but the final products aren’t the same at all.  Sasquatch’s sculpt is definitely bulkier than his last figure, and overall does a pretty great job of capturing a non-artist specific version of the character.  I quite like the calmer facial expression they’ve gone with here; it’s a nice change of pace from what we’ve seen in the past.  One thing I did notice about Sasquatch that I’ve been seeing crop up with more recent BaFs is how easily he pops back apart.  I don’t want quite go back to the days of no disassembly that we had going for a little while there, but my Sasquatch has a tendency to fall apart during fairly routine posing, which is more than a little annoying.  Sasquatch’s paint work is decent, but it runs into a problem we’ve seen before on BaFs like this.  What are meant to be subtle changes in the shading of his fur are made less subtle by the slight variations from piece to piece clashing on the fully assembled product.  It’s not terrible, but you can definitely see some rather jarring jumps on my figure.  With that said, I do prefer this to a shadingless lump of orange.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

So, like I mentioned it the intro, I really didn’t mean to finish this guy.  I got Deathlok and X-23 back in February, and I kind of thought that was the end of it.  Then I got Cable because I like the animated series, and I thought I might regret missing out on him.  Then I got Domino and Paladin because of coupon deals.  And then, all of the sudden, I had this headless Sasquatch sitting on my desk, and that seemed a little silly, so X-Force Deadpool was purchased and here we are.  This whole assortment is something of a sleeper hit for me.  I expected nothing from it, but I’m honestly pretty happy with it as a whole, and there are some definite pleasant surprises, Sasquatch included.

#1696: Paladin

PALADIN

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

Paladin is a mercenary marksman who always has his eye on the bottom line.”

Ah, Paladin.  Truly the most–he’s really quite the–okay, I don’t have a lot to say about Paladin.  I mean, to be fair, nobody really does.  In the 40 years since his introduction, he’s not actually gotten much of a backstory…or anything, for that matter.  He just sort of exists to fill a mercenary slot when needed.  Like in this Deadpool-themed Marvel Legends assortment.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Paladin is the final figure in the Sasquatch Series of Marvel Legends.  He’s based on a more modern incarnation of the character, from around his time with the Thunderbolts.  Not his most memorable or distinctive look, but there’s a clear rationale behind this design choice, and that rationale is parts re-use.  I’ll get to that momentarily.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  As noted above, Paladin makes use of some parts re-use, though not as much I’d initially thought.  He’s built on the body used by the last Blade figure (which in turn re-used some parts from the ASM2 Electro).  He gets a new head, forearms, hands, and shins, as well as a holster add-on piece which appears to be new, but I could be wrong on that.  The new parts are decent recreations of his comics designs.  The head’s suitably generic, and the padded forearms and shins help to differentiate him from Blade.  The holster is mostly just there to hide that Hasbro still hasn’t re-tooled the Electro legs to remove that little nodule on his left thigh.  Paladin’s paint work is really the main thing that signifies his modern influences.  His palette is swapped from the classic look, which was purple armor on black, rather than black armor on purple.  I find this isn’t quite as striking a design, but I suppose it’s not terrible.  The application is at the very least cleanly handled, so I’ll give him that.  Paladin is packed with a pair of golden pistols (re-used from Zemo) and a knife.  The knife can be nicely slotted into the sheath on his boot, which is cool.  Unfortunately, there’s one holster for two guns, and the guns don’t actually sit that well in the holster.  That’s kind of disappointing.  He also includes another leg to the Build-A-Figure Sasquatch.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Paladin slightly frustrated me.  When I heard they were making him, I was kind of excited, but when the prototype was unveiled with the modern look, I was a bit let down.  The more streamlined modern Paladin design facilitates the re-use more than the classic look would have, I suppose, but I can’t say I’m super into it.  I feel like with the amount of new pieces he got in the end, it wouldn’t have been too much of a stretch to go for an approximation of his classic design.  Because of this, I ended up passing on him the first few times I found him.  I ended up getting a bunch of store credit for Cosmic Comix after helping out on Free Comic Book Day, and they had this guy, so I ended up grabbing him from them.  He’s not a bad figure at all, and certainly works as a generic merc, but I do wish he were a little more distinctive.