#2356: Transforming Bruce Wayne

TRANSFORMING BRUCE WAYNE

BATMAN FOREVER (1995)

Today I’m making a return to the line that started these wacky-tacky reviews.  It’s more Batman Forever, but like another variant of that main guy.  Dig it.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Tansforming Bruce Wayne is another Batman Forever figure.  He’s batman but when he’s not Batman.  Also he’s Val Kilmer because it was the ’90s, but not the early ’90s when he was Michael Keaton or the late ’90s when he was George Clooney (yuck, don’t make me think about it, dudes).  He could transform into Batman with armor, most of which is still present, because instead of loosing the armor, silly child Ethan lost the whole darn figure.  Silly child Ethan.  Such a child.  I got another one but I gotta wait til the next section for that.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

It all started when I was born.  As a child of the ’90s I became a part of a society that fully embraced Val Kilmer and we made him Batman.  We did that, people.  Think of it and weep.  As the constructs of walking and talking and collecting formed in my mind, Kilmer rang out, jumping from the shelf of that service merchandise, calling to me.  Buy me Val Kilmer said, and I was sore afraid.  So I bought him.  Well, my parents did.  And I saw that it was great.  But no it wasn’t great.  It was Val Kilmer.  And so silly child Ethan FLUNG him to the far corners of the Earth, never to be found again.  That showed him.  But then he came back.  Oh dear.  Here he is.  Being reviewed.  That’s pretty much it…

(Oh gosh, did we leap through some sort of time warp, because it’s feeling real 2013 up in here…nah, it’s just April Fool’s Day.  Got ya?)

#2355: Clone Commander Bly

CLONE COMMANDER BLY

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“A veteran of many Clone Wars battles, Clone Comander Bly (clone designation CC-5052) served in the 327th Star Corps on such worlds as Quell, Maridun, and Felucia.”

When first introduced during the climax of Attack of the Clones, the Clone Troopers had no names, no personality to speak of, and no hint of individuality.  It wasn’t until Revenge of the Sith that we really got any hint of there being more to the clones than that, with the introduction of a handful of named individual clone commanders.  Amongst that handful of clones commanders was Bly, whom I’ll be taking a look at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Clone Commander Bly is figure 104 in the Black Series line-up.  Amazingly, he’s only our third clone commanding officer in the main line, and only the second under the current numbering system (the two prior figures being Cody under the blue-style packaging, and Rex under the current set-up).  Bly was one of the clones who we saw in both sets of armor over the course of The Clone Wars and the movies, but the figure opts for his Phase II appearance from Revenge of the Sith.  It’s sensible, given that all of our commanders so far have been in their Phase II armor, making for a more cohesive appearance. The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 31 points of articulation.  While the vast majority of the clones use the same pool of standard clone parts, Bly marks the first time we’ve seen a re-use of the upgraded parts used by Rex.  I’ve been waiting to see these parts re-appear since they were introduced with Rex, and I’m very happy to finally see them again.  They’re a noticeable improvement over the other body, especially in terms of the poseability on the arms, making Bly a far more playable figure than most of the other clones.  Bly uses the lower right arm, left arm, pelvis, legs, feet, and the back of the torso from Rex, a slightly modified version of the standard Phase II helmet with a visor, and a new front torso, upper right arm, pauldron, and belt.  It’s actually a fairly large number new parts, and more than I’d been expecting to see here, but they’re really nice parts, and match nicely with the pre-existing parts, as well as the source material.  It all makes for a really sharp looking figure.  The only downside is that he’s still got only one trigger finger, despite having the dual pistols, though at least in Bly’s case the dual pistols aren’t his primary weaponry, unlike Rex and Wolf.  Bly’s paintwork is pretty strong; his distinct markings are replicated, but they have been properly weathered and scarred, showing that Bly’s been on the battlefield for a while.  Bly is packed with his DC-15A blaster rifle and a pair of DC-17 hand blasters, which a fairly standard selection for a clone release, and honestly pretty good for one that uses so many new parts.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Back in 2005, when the original Bly figure was released, I came across both him and Gree at retail, but was unable to buy them at the time.  While I was able to track down a Gree, I went many years without a single Bly in my collection, and have long viewed him as the one that got away.  I actually managed to get one a few months go…just in time for this guy to be announced.  Oh well, now I’ve got them both!  I really like this guy a lot, and he’s honestly the best clone Hasbro’s put out, and narrowly edges out Zorii Bliss as my favorite figure in this assortment.  Here’s hoping for more like Bly!

Bly was purchased from my friends at All Time Toys.  If you’re looking for Black Series, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2354: Zorii Bliss

ZORII BLISS

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“It is difficult for scoundrels to remain neutral in the war between First Order and Resistance, and Zorii Bliss and the Spice Runners of Kijimi must soon take a side.”

Though her screen time was a little more on the brief side, I was nevertheless quite a fan of Zorii Bliss’s appearance in The Rise of Skywalker.  She had a cool look, served a designated purpose in the plot, gave us a little more development for Poe, and was just a rather intriguing character.  Prior to the film, I had purchased her Vintage Collection figure on something of an impulse, but after opening I wasn’t wowed.  So, after the movie, I was definitely jonesing for a slightly better version of the character. Black Series to the rescue!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Zorii Bliss is figure 103 in the Star Wars: The Black Series line-up, making her numerically the first of the most recent assortment of figures (and placing her directly after the last assortment’s Wedge Antilles figure).  She’s one of three Rise figures in the latest assortment, and the only actually named character of those three.  The figure stands just under 6 inches tall and she has 31 points of articulation.  The smaller Zorii’s articulation was one of my biggest issues with the figure.  There was a lot of it, but not much of it was very practical.  This figure’s articulation works out far better, and is on par with the best of the more recent Black Series offerings in terms of poseability.  In particular, there’s a ton of range on the neck and the arms, which makes her a lot of fun to get into various action poses.  The joints are well-toleranced, so she can hold stances well.  She’s also a good deal more stable on her feet than the smaller figure.  While the figure still does fall over in more extreme poses, I had a lot less trouble keeping her up for the photos for this review.  The sculpt was really the one thing the smaller Zorii had going for her, but this figure nevertheless builds on that further, taking advantage of the larger canvas to add even more detail, and to also sharpen up the details.  The helmet in particular really turns out much nicer on this version, with a more film-accurate design, cleaner lines, and the one feature missing from the smaller figure: a removable visor!  In the film, Zorii never removes her helmet outright, but she does slide the visor back a few times, giving us a glimpse of her eyes and some of the helmet’s internal structure.  The visor on this figure can be popped out, revealing a fully detailed pair of eyes, as well as some more of the helmet.  It’s a really cool feature, and I was happy it didn’t get overlooked here.  Paintwork is again an area where the smaller figure did okay, but again this one does better.  The base detailing is all clean, and the metal sections get some decent weathering to match the real world items.  The eyes use the face printing tech, so they look nice and realistic as well.  Zorii is only packed with her two blaster pistols, which is slightly light, bt the removable visor does at least off set that a bit.  It probably would have made more sense to include Babu here, but then they wouldn’t have the hook for that 3PO figure, so it’s really a catch-22.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was hopeful for this figure when it was shown off, because it looked a bit better than the smaller one, but I was a little apprehensive.  That lessened a bit when Hasbro confirmed the removable visor, and after getting the figure in hand she’s just genuinely a really nice figure.  She’s got one really good figure giving her a run for her money on best figure of her assortment, but it’s neck and neck, let me tell you.  Definitely the best Sequel Trilogy figure in the line, though.

I picked up Zorii from my friends All Time Toys.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.

#2353: Hot Rod

HOT ROD

TRANSFORMERS (HASBRO)

“Screws fall out all the time, sir.  The world’s an imperfect place.”

In the summer of 1986, Transformers: The Movie arrived in theaters, and brought with it a new cast of characters, and a new cast of celebrities to voice them.  Shermer High’s resident rebel Judd Nelson was brought in to voice the newly introduced Hot Rod, a character meant to take over as the franchise’s lead from the dearly departing Optimus Prime, much like his opposite number Falcon over on the G.I. Joe side of things.  And, just like with Falcon, it didn’t quite endear him to the fans the way Hasbro was hoping it would (I think in the long run the years have been much kinder to Hot Rod than they have to Falcon, though).  Whatever the case, being the proposed central character for the continuation of a popular franchise is pretty good spot to be in from a toy stand point, and Hot Rod was of course added to the toyline to coincide with the movie’s release.  I’ll be taking a look at that first toy today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Hot Rod hit shelves in 1986 as part of the heavily movie-inspired line-up for Transformers that year.  Unlike prior entries in the line, Hot Rod was not repurposed from pre-existing Japanese molds, but was instead a new creation specifically for the Transformers line, designed by working in tandem with the proposed animation model character.  The end result is something that sticks pretty close to the animation design, at least when compared to some of the other vintage figures.  In his robot mode, Hot Rod stands about 6 inches tall and he has 8 usable points of articulation.  All of the robot more’s articulation is in the arms, and that actually doesn’t include any sort of up/down motion on the shoulders, making Hot Rod by far the most limited of the four G1 bots I own in terms of poseablility.  He’s good for standing around, but that’s about it.  On the plus side, with a rather faithful to the animation sculpt, he’s got one of the nicest looking robot modes from the original line, and manages to actually nicely walk the line between the two modes a lot better than a good portion of his compatriots.  There is one running change in terms of construction for the figure.  Initial versions had metal feet, the version 2 mold got plastic feet.  Mine is a version 2 figure, though appearance-wise they’re the same.  Hot Rod’s alt-mode is a futuristic sports car from the far off year of 2005, which means he was unlike a lot of the vintage stuff, being a non-existent vehicle.  It’s a pretty sleek design though, and the transformation is a pretty slick and easy mode shift.  Hot Rod was originally packed with a pair of blasters, but mine is just the core figure.  Oh well.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I wasn’t gonna get any more G1 Transformers.  I thought I was done.  I really did.  Then this guy got traded into All Time, and he was just kinda nifty and I had trade credit to burn through, and Max was not going to talk me out of buying a Transformer, and so here I am.  Poseablity aside, I actually really like him a lot, and he offers a nice balance of both modes, and certainly looks cool!

As I noted above,  I got this guy from my friends at All Time Toys, and a good chunk of the collection he came from is still available here If you’re looking for other cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.

#2352: Psycho

PSYCHO

BORDERLANDS 3 (MCFARLANE TOYS)

“Psychos are bandits who have gone insane with a freakish obsession for the Vault. Shirtless, wearing a white mask and dressed in orange pants, these outlaws can be immediately identified by their homicidal cries, psychotic laughter and constant desire to get into close combat.”

McFarlane’s approach to their Borderlands line was much like their approach to just about anything else.  They were very excited at the start of things, but they quickly got kind of bored and everything since then just felt like a rush to get it over with.  We got a small assortment of new figures alongside the release of Borderlands 3, though, and I guess I’ll look at the one I picked up.  Here’s the Psycho.  Woooo?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Psycho is one of the two Borderlands 3 figures put out to coincide with the launch of the game (the other being Tina).  He’s technically an  army builder, I guess, since this particular model gets used many times throughout the game.  So, I mean, I guess that means you can buy multiples?  The figure stands 7 inches tall and he has 27 points of articulation.  The Psycho is sporting the same improved style articulation we saw with Krieg and Zer0, meaning he’s a decently poseable figure, though not quite as good as, say the DC or Fortnite figures.  I found things a little more limiting on this figure than on the other two, largely due to my desire for some slightly more intense poses for the Psycho.  The sculpt’s a pretty solid recreation of the character model from the game.  Honestly, I think it’s an even better recreation than Krieg; the sculpt’s certainly a fair bit sharper on the details than that one.  They get the mask down pretty much spot-on, which is certainly a plus, given how distinctive it is for the franchise.  The paintwork on the Psycho is again something of an improvement on what’s come before, with overall cleaner and sharper work.  He’s also got a fair bit of accent work going on, and even a few smears of blood and mud.  The Psycho is packed with a display stand and a buzz-axe accessory.  The axe is quite impressive in its own right, with a spinning blade and sharp detailing.  It’s slightly tricky to get into his hand, but once it’s there it’s not going anywhere.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I got the Psycho at the same time as Krieg, mostly due to Super Awesome Wife picking up the Lillith and Tina figures, and me wanting to contribute to the line.  I myself am not really into the Psychos on a whole, so this wasn’t a figure I needed, nor one I really planned on buying.  He’s okay, and a better figure than Krieg, I’ll give him that.  That said, much like McFarlane’s stance on the line, I’m mostly just writing these reviews to get them out of the way and move onto other things.  The figures don’t do a ton to excite me.

#2351: Foot Soldier

FOOT SOLDIER

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: TURTLES IN TIME (NECA)

I feel like I’ve reviewed a surprising number of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles items in the last year.  Though the license has classically just been with Playmates Toys, in the last year there’s actually been a lot of coverage from other toy companies.  In particular, NECA has done quite a bit, with movie, cartoon, and now video game-based figures all in short order.  The cool thing about the video game figures is that they’re actually just available at regular retail and not exclusives.  This marks the first time 7-inch Turtles have been available en masse since the old comic figures back in 2007.  Today, I’m not looking at any of the Turtles proper, but one of Shredder’s faceless minions, the Foot Soldiers!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Foot Soldier is part of the first series of NECA’s Turtles in Time line.  The line serves as something of a follow-up to their exclusive Arcade Game-based boxed sets from 2016, and in fact re-issues a lot of the sculpts contained therein.  The Foot Solder in particular is one such case, re-using the majority of that figure’s sculpt, which was itself repurposed from NECA’s then unreleased comics-styled Foot Soldier.  The figure stands 7 inches tall and he has 35 points of articulation.  He’s certainly got a lot of spots of movement, and the arms and legs are very mobile, but the torso and neck are a little more restricted than I’d like.  That being said, it’s still a quite useful selection of articulation, and he’s still very agile.  The sculpt is an impressive piece, and marketedly different from the cartoon version we got in the Target two-packs.  As someone who’s never been much into the cartoon style design for the Foot, I’m all for getting this sculpt here.  It’s a nice, fairly balanced sculpt.  Some of the details of the costume don’t quite match the details of the game designs, but it’s not far off, and I don’t find the differences all that distracting.  The paint scheme on this guy is meant to replicate the 16-bit designs from the game, something that NECA’s gotten pretty adept at.  The Foot Soldiers in the game came in a variety of colors, something that the 2016 set replicated, but for the purposes of this one, they’ve opted for the purple coloring.  Honestly, it’s the best choice for a starter Foot, but I wouldn’t say no to getting more of this guy in the alternate colors.  The nature of the 16-bit replication means that the Foot Soldier definitely has a stylization to him, but honestly he walks the line of stylized, but still workable with non-16-bit figures.  He actually makes some changes from the boxed set version to make him a little less obviously styled, and I like the changes they made.  The Foot Soldier is packed with a sword, a gun, two sets of hands (fists and gripping), and a hover board with a flight stand.  The board is by far the coolest extra, with some really awesome detail work going on.  I really love the cartoon foot symbol at the front.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

While I’m kinda starting to hit my limit on how many different versions of the Turtles I need, I pretty much can’t have too many Foot guys, and I’ve wanted some form of this particular sculpt since NECA first showed it off back when they were still trying to continue the comic line.  Getting the nifty new game-inspired pieces is really just icing on the cake.  I definitely dig this guy a lot, and I’m resisting the urge to at lest pick up Donatello to go with him.

The Foot Soldier was purchased from my friends All Time Toys, where he is currently in stock here.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.

#2350: Storm & Logan

STORM & LOGAN

MARVEL MINIMATES

Back in January, I delved into the time capsule of the earliest assortments of Marvel Minimates, and their choice to use the Ultimate universe’s versions of Marvel’s merry mutants over their mainstream counterparts.  Some of the characters weren’t too heavily changed, while some of them were.  Today’s set pairs both sides of that coin, with Storm (a character whose backstory and characterization were both fairly divergent from 616) and Wolverine (a character so unchanged from his mainstream counterpart that no one really noticed that the one included in this particular set *isn’t* actually the Ultimate incarnation).

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

These two were paired up for the specialty Series 3 assortment of Marvel Minimates, and they would both also be included in the TRU 5-pack and 4-pack that corresponded to the assortment.  They were split up and matched with their opposite numbers in the Wolverine/Sabretooth set for the Canadian release, and then Logan found his way into one more stray two-pack for Walmart and Target.

STORM

Storm’s Ultimate incarnation may have been different in terms of character, but in terms of design, she really wasn’t that far removed.  I could see regular Storm wearing this at some point in the ’90s.  The figure is built on the pre-c3 ‘mate body, with long feet and all.  She had four add-on pieces for her hair, necklace, and boots.  The necklace is shared with her assortment-mate Jean Grey, and the hairpiece was re-used twice more (for Emma Frost and She-Hulk).  The boots remained unique to this release, though, and use the older style slipping over the standard feet style of design.  Like the others in these early assortments, the general style on these parts is rather basic, though she’s certainly one of the most built-up ‘mates of the earliest releases.  It’s a little odd for Storm to be one of the largest characters, but that’s really just how the trappings of the early line work out.  Storm’s paintwork is actually pretty good for the early figures.  It’s still more on the basic line, but there’s a fair bit going on, with the coolest bit by far being the wraps on her arms.  That said, she does miss out on actually getting the sculpted earrings painted; at least they got her ears, though.

LOGAN

The standard Ultimate version of Wolverine was packed with Sabretooth (and Cyclops), but you can’t have just one lone Wolverine, can you?  Of course not.  As I touched on in the intro, he’s actually the one figure in this assortment who wasn’t from the Ultimate universe, instead being just a regular civilian version of the original Logan, as denoted by the hair’s distinctive shaping and his lack of goatee.  He too uses the standard old body, but with a set of the old-style claw hands as well as an add-on for the hair.  This is probably my favorite Wolverine hair piece the line produced, which makes it rather a shame that this was the only time it was used (though it was shown on prototype shots for the DOFP Wolverine, before being replaced with the New X-Men Wolverine piece). The rest of the figure is handled via paint, and it ends up working out alright.  The face is a rather unique expression for Logan, but one that works in the context of the earlier ‘mates, and the detailing on the jacket is actually pretty impressive.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As I mentioned in my Wolverine and Sabretooth review, the only Series 3 set I picked up when these were new was Cyclops and Jean.  I got this one along with a handful of other older sets from Luke’s Toy Store back during one of their sales.  I’ve always wanted this pair, so I was glad to finally get them.  Honestly, I wasn’t expecting much from them, but they’re both pretty solid ‘mates, even by more modern standards.

#2349: Green Lantern

GREEN LANTERN

DC ESSENTIALS (DC COLLECTIBLES)

So I totally neglected to review anything green for St Patrick’s Day….for like seven years running.  Look, it’s not one of the one’s I really mention.  In fact, I’m only bringing any of this up because I happen to actually be writing today’s review *on* St Patrick’s Day, and, well, it’s Green Lantern, who’s…well, green.  Also, writing this particular intro spares you all from having to read another “I’m a glutton for punishment because I keep buying toys from lines that have wronged me before” intro.  Aren’t you happy to have missed that?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Green Lantern is figure 19 in the DC Essentials line-up, heading off his assortment, which hit right after the New Year.  Like Nightwing, he was one of the earlier figures to be shown off, but it took a while for him to be slotted into the line-up.  For this assortment, he was paired off with a Sinestro figure, which makes sense.  GL is seen here sporting the same basic look he’s kept since after Green Lantern: Rebirth, though this one does take something of a more modern bend.  The figure stands 7 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  He gets a new head, hands, and shins, and the rest is…well, the rest is the basic Essentials body, for better or for worse.  Okay, it’s kinda for worse, if I’m honest…but I’ll get to that.  The new parts aren’t bad on their own.  In particular, the head is quite a nice piece, and I like it more than DC Collectibles’ last attempt at Hal.  I like that this one’s got some personality to it.  The problem I have with it is how poorly it fits the body it’s sitting on.  It’s a little too small, and it definitely sits too high on the neck.  It shouldn’t be this hard, guys; you’ve had 18 previous figures to get this scaling of the parts down.  At least the hands are a nice combo, though as with all of these figures, I wish he had a few more to choose from.  The shins just give his boots actual raised edges, which, hey, at least they didn’t screw up something this simple.  GL’s paintwork is…fine.  Like, it does what it’s supposed to, but it also raises some pre-existing issues with the sculpt.  The way the split works on the forearms for the gloves just really exaggerates how bad those overly-long arms look.  Seriously, how have they not fixed those?  How do you leave something that glaring uncorrected on every figure in the line?  You be DCC, I guess.  Hal includes no accessories because, I mean, there’s no easy accessories you can give to Green Lantern, right?  What could you possibly include with a Green Lantern figure?  Do any items that might be “essential” for a Green LANTERN figure come to mind?  No?  Well, not for DCC, anyway.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ll admit, this was moment of weakness on my part.  I’ve gotten prior Essentials figures, and I know what’s up there.  But I was at my comic store, and there was this new Green Lantern figure that I didn’t have, and….well, I kinda caved.  I then got home, opened him up and kinda regretted it a bit.  It’s really those damned arms.  I’ve hated them since the start, and they just feel like they’re even worse here.  It’s not helping that the last Essentials figure I picked up actually fixed the issue, making its return even more frustrating because they CLEARLY KNOW IT’S A PROBLEM!  Ultimately, the figure’s not the worst thing ever.  Honestly there’s a lot of him that’s genuinely good, but it’s all hidden behind the albatross that’s hung around the line’s neck since the very beginning.

#2348: King Shark

KING SHARK

BATMAN: THE CAPED CRUSADER (SPIN MASTER)

Okay, so I’ve been informed recently that I need to be higher energy.  So, I, uhh, guess I should try to be higher energy?  I mean, yeah, let’s be high energy!  I love high energy!  High energy is great!  I’m excited to be a part of this plan to be higher energy!  Something that is admittedly pretty high energy is the DC Universe subscription-exclusive Harley Quinn animated series, which launched last fall.  It starts out focussed pretty heavily on Harley and Joker, but in pretty quick fashion Harley picks up her own crew of pretty far-reaching DCU characters.  One of my favorite inclusions is the show’s version of King Shark, who subverts a lot of the usual King Shark concepts and is just generally a good time.  And right as I was getting into the show, Spin Master opted to include a King Shark in their opening line-up of DC figures, so I of course bought one.  Let’s review this boy!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

King Shark is part of the first deluxe assortment of Spin Master’s Batman: The Caped Crusader line.  King Shark’s not classically a Batman villain, but I guess with the heavy featuring on a Bat-related show, there was some wiggle room, and I’m not going to argue with something that gets me an easily attainable King Shark figure.  The figure stands roughly 4 1/2 inches tall and he has 14 points of articulation.  He’s a little bit restricted on the articulation.  The lack of neck joint is understandable, but no knees or ankles is a little annoying, especially when it comes to keeping him standing.  It’s not the end of the world, but compared to the others I’ve looked at from the line, it’s just a slight letdown.  King Shark’s got a unique sculpt, though almost all of it was immediately re-used for the Target-exclusive hammerhead version.  This one goes instead for Shark’s pre-New 52 Great White-style head, which has always been my preferred.  It’s a rather stylized take on the character, and definitely errs more on the cartoony side of things, but I really dig the detailing on his gills and the small scarring on the torso.  Those are the sorts of details that could have been overlooked, so their inclusion here really shows Spin Master is going the extra mile.  The paintwork on King Shark is more basic than the sculpt, but it gets all of the important details down, and again fits the style of the rest of the line.  Spin Master’s deluxe figures have so far followed a common theme, that theme being big armored wing pack things.  King Shark gets one of those, because why not, I guess?  It’s pretty neat, if perhaps rather gimmicky.  But then, Spin Master seems to know where their target audience is.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Super Awesome Wife’s background in marine biology has her talking about sharks a fair bit of the time, mostly touching on the unfairness of their usual portrayals in media.  So, when King Shark’s Harley Quinn appearances subverted this, she was quite thrilled.  Honestly, that did even more to endear me to a character I was already pretty into.  After getting Superman and Nightwing, I had made a passing mention to Max that I *might* be interested in King Shark, and he was kind enough to keep an eye out for one, setting me up with this guy shortly thereafter.  He’s goofy and gimmicky, but I continue to enjoy this line of figures wholeheartedly!

#2347: In Space Psycho Blue Ranger

IN SPACE PSYCHO BLUE RANGER

POWER RANGERS: THE LIGHTNING COLLECTION (HASBRO)

Hasbro’s collector’s toy lines seem to be really getting into the exclusives game across the board.  Though it’s relatively new, having only been running for a little under a year, The Lightning Collection has had its own handful, including not one, but two different exclusives for Gamestop (with a third on the way later this year).  Goldar was their first, and he got a lot of promotion, but by contrast, their second exclusive, Psycho Blue, pretty much just showed up one day.  And here he is now!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Psycho Blue is, as noted above, a Gamestop exclusive piece of Power Rangers: The Lightning Collection.  He started hitting in small quantities back in November of last year, but appears to have really hit in full force just after the new year.  He’s either the first or the second of the Psycho Rangers from Hasbro, depending on how distribution in your area worked out.  Red was shown off first, and he’s the one I got first, so I’m counting Blue as number two. The figure stands 6 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  It’s not really surprising, but Blue is a total re-use of Red’s sculpt.  The costumes in the show were the same, so it’s a fairly sensible re-use, and one that Bandai did too when they released them.  It was a strong sculpt the first time I looked at it, and it’s still a strong sculpt here.  I do wish the range of motion was better on those shoulders, but that’s still my only complaint.  I’ll be content to buy this at least twice more for Black and Silver.  The figure is differentiated by his paint, which, unsurprisingly, swaps out the the red accents of the last one for blue.  I find myself preferring the blue overall, and its application seems a little cleaner on my figure.  Psycho Blue gets the same two sets of hands as Red, plus his Psycho Axe (the one new piece included here), and the White Ranger‘s effect piece, but in yellow this time.  I appreciate that they actually did give him one additional piece compared to Red, even if it’s just a re-used one.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I didn’t find Blue in his initial shipments last year.  My first find was after the new year, and at the time Gamestop was trying to get $29.99 for him, which I was definitely not paying.  Fortunately, I came across him at another location a few weeks later, and he was now marked at a far more reasonable $18.99, at which point I quite happily picked him up.  There’s not much new here, but that doesn’t mean he’s not a great toy.  Honestly, I like him even more than Red, and I’m looking forward to the rest of the team.