#0076: Alicia Masters & Moloid

ALICIA MASTERS & MOLOID

MARVEL MINIMATES

Hey look!  More Minimates!  Yay!  Ahem.

So, yeah… more Marvel Minimates.  This time around, it’s The ever-lovin’ Blue-eyed Thing’s girlfriend Alicia Masters, and her longtime nemesis the Moloid.  Okay, not really, but isn’t that more interesting than “they just happened to be packed together”?

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

These two were released as the short-packed one-per-case set in Series 48 of the Marvel Minimates line.

ALICIA MASTERS

First up, my main interest in the set, Alicia Masters.  This is Alicia’s first venture into the world of action figures, though that’s not a huge surprise, given that she’s a fairly average looking person in a world full of super heroes.  Alicia is built on the typical Minimate body, with the standard height of about 2 ½ inches and 14 points of articulation.  She’s depicted here in a pink sweater and a slightly darker pink skirt.  I’m honestly not sure if this is based on a specific look for Alicia, but it seems to suit the character.  Alicia has a newly sculpted hair piece, and a reused skirt piece.  The hair looks fine, and sits well, and the skirt is a well worked piece of reuse.  The rest of the detailing is handled via paint.  The line work is all well-handled, with the edges and wrinkles of her clothes all handled with care.  I do wish the sleeve detail on her arm went all the way around, but it isn’t terrible.  I do like the unevenness of the bottom of the sweater, as it adds a nice touch of reality to her look.  The face looks appropriate for Alicia, and I like the way her eyes have been handled to denote her blindness.  Alicia includes a clear stand and a clay bust of her boyfriend.  The bust is really cool, and has a nice faint face detail.

MOLOID

Next is the Moloid.  The Moloid is the army builder of the series, and depicts one of the Mole Man’s faithful minions.  The moloid isn’t totally new to the action figure world, but he’s not the most frequently released character.  He’s also built on the usual body, only he’s got a specially sculpted head to show off the Moloid’s big, pointy ears, and a pair of “short” feet.  The short feet aren’t totally new, though this is the first time they’ve had the holes in the bottom to allow them to be plugged onto one of the stands.  The Moloid’s also got a sculpted loin-cloth, which is new to the figure, and accurately depicts the typical wear of the Moloids.  The Moloid has fairly basic detailing, done on a completely painted pale yellow body.  The Moloid’s only accessory is a clear display stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I enjoy this set a lot, more than I should, given the relative low-keyness of the character’s featured.  But things like Alicia’s awesome Thing sculpture are a great example of how Diamond can take a figure that could be boring and make it one of the stars of the series.  Both figures in the set are really cool additions to anyone’s Fantastic Four collection.

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#0075: Luke Cage

LUKE CAGE

MARVEL LEGENDS (TOY BIZ)

Today, it’s my second look at the early 2000s juggernaut, Marvel Legends.  I’ve mentioned in the past my issues with this line’s tendency to draw out the worst in the collector market, but the figure’s themselves weren’t always bad.  I’ll be looking at one of the figure’s from towards the end of Toy Biz’s run with the line: Luke Cage, sometimes known as Power Man.  Sweet Christmas!

Luke Cage was a character created in the 70s to somewhat tie-in to the trend of “blaxplotation” movies.  Marvel wanted to try and appeal to that market, so they created Luke Cage, Hero for Hire.  He starred in his own series for a while, that was very 70s.  When his own series started to suffer, he was rolled in with fellow 70s character Iron Fist.  It was here that the two characters found their audience, and it’s how they’re often remembered.  When the 70s passed, Cage fell into obscurity, but he came into a bit of a revival in the last few years, and is set to appear in his own Netflix-original miniseries in 2015.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Luke Cage was released as part of the 14th Series of ToyBiz’s Marvel Legends line.  He’s a little bit over 6 inches tall, and he has 35 points of articulation.  The figure depicts Luke in his original yellow and black look.  It’s incredibly dated, but given that the character seems to just where normal clothes these days, this is the most interesting look the character’s had.  Luke’s sculpt isn’t too bad.  The body sculpt is one of the better ones that the line had to offer.  It doesn’t have some of the stranger proportions that plagued the line, although his super articulation does make some parts of the sculpt look a little…off.  The head looks fine, if a bit on the angry side.  Most of the figure is molded in the proper color, but there’s some nice accent work done to bring out the sculpt’s details.  Cage included a piece of Series 14’s Build-A-Figure Mojo, and a copy of his first appearance.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

In my last review of a Marvel Legends figure, I lamented how difficult it was to get a hold of the figures.  Well, but the last two series or so of the line, this was less the case, so I had no real issues getting Luke here.

#0074: Barbarian

BARBARIAN

LEGO MINI FIGURES

I’ll be taking a look at another entry from the always cool LEGO Minifigure line.  Getting the figures relies mostly on blind luck, but you luck out occasionally and get the figure you want.  This is one of those.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Barbarian is the 1st figure in the 11th series of the LEGO minifures line.  The Barbarian is on the usual LEGO body.  The LEGO Minifigures are generic characters, but occasionally are influenced on an existing character.  The Barbarian draws a lot of his inspiration from the lead character from the recent John Carter movie, with a fair bit of Conan thrown in.  He has a medium length hair-piece that I do believe was first used on Aragorn from Lord of the Rings.  Practically every piece of the figure has some form of paint detailing.  Everything is really sharply executed, and the fine details are really cool.  This guy looks like a seriously battle-hardened warrior.  The Barbarian includes two swords and a black LEGO stand.  The swords are a bit rubbery, but do the job, and the stand is as good here as ever.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I picked this guy up at a bookstore at the beach, while staying there for a friend’s wedding.  I picked up a sizeable selection of the bagged figures, hoping this guy would be in the mix.  I like the John Carter influence, and since the chances of getting any kind of officially licensed toys from the property seem slim at this point, that’s who I’ll be using him as.

#0073: Demon Blue Acroyear

DEMON BLUE ACROYEAR

MICROMAN MAGNE POWER (TAKARA)

Today’s review comes from if from the line Microman, a toyline that is more influential to the toy industry than many people would realize.  The line started in Japan in the 60s, and it’s been imported to the US under three separate names.  The first was Mego’s Micronauts line in the late 70s, which reused a bunch of Microman molds with new names and color schemes.  The second is the one most people know, Hasbro’s Transformers in the 80s.  This connection is generally lost, based on Hasbro’s desire to make the line its own thing.  More recently, the line has been brought back under its original name, but the line’s never really died down in Japan, just been rebranded numerous times.  The line always featured heroes with chrome heads, and most of the time the heroes faced the villainous Acroyears.  I’ll be looking at one of the Acroyears today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

This version of Acroyear was released as part of the Microman Magne Power line, which was the branding of the line during the 90s.  He was part of a whole series of Demon Acroyears.  The figure was offered in red, green, and blue.  I have the blue one, mostly because it was the one I found.  The Magne Power line showed a break from the typical Microman style in scale.  Traditionally the figures have been in 3 ¾ inch scale, but Magne Power was closer to just 3 inches even.  Acroyear himself stands about 3 ½ inches tall, and has 11 points of articulation.  His sculpt is lanky and textured, and is slightly reminiscent of Transformers in the 90s.  The figure is light on paint, instead relying a lot on pieces molded in the appropriate color.  Part of his head and his upper torso are vac-metailized to give them the appropriate chrome look that the line sports.  The chrome is accented by a translucent blue color, which is a neat combination.  The Acroyear included 3 small sphere-shaped missiles that can be launched out of the cannon on his right arm.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Though this figure was released in the 90s, it was only released in Japan.  As such, I only had the chance to get him when online stores started to hit it big.  I picked Acroyear up a few years ago along with a bunch of other figures from the Magne Power line.

#0072: Ice

ICE

DC UNIVERSE CLASSICS (MATTEL)

So, here’s an interesting review.  Rather than looking at something that’s been out for a while, I’m taking a look at something that technically isn’t out yet.  I’m doing some crazy time travel voodoo!

So, I spoke briefly in my review of Ultra Humanite about the demise of the DC Universe Classics line.  This year saw the release of third-tier Justice Leaguer Fire, leading many fans to wonder when we’d see her longtime companion Ice.  Well, Mattel, in their infinite wisdom was attempting to get another year out of the line by making anyone who wanted to complete the duo buy into a whole year’s worth of monthly figures on blind faith.  As much as some people wanted the figure, Ice isn’t exactly going to make a huge number of sales for the line as a whole.  So it failed.

Or did it?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Ice was released as…hmm…Ice was part of….um.   Ice is a figure that somehow fits into the DC Universe Classics line.  Exactly how is still a bit iffy.  Anyway, Ice is depicted in her Adam Hughes designed costume from when she was part of the Justice League International.  This is my favorite look of Ice’s, so I’m glad it was the one they chose for the figure.  Ice stands a little over 6 inches tall and has 19 points of articulation.  She’s built on the second female base body that Mattel introduced into the line, with new sculpts for the head, upper torso, and lower legs.  The head is okay.  Not the greatest, but far from the worst sculpt the line has produced.  The upper torso and lower legs depict the more 3d elements of Ice’s costume.  The fur of the boots looks pretty good, and the t-shirt thingy on the torso looks accurate and has some nice sculpted folds and such.  The paint is alright.  There’s some fuzziness on some of the lines of the costume, but nothing too terrible.  Ice’s only accessory is a clear ice blast piece, but my crazy time-travel-copy doesn’t have that piece. Oh well.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Funny thing about the toy industry:  In order to have the first few figures for next year ready to go if the line did go through, the first three figures had to already be in production.  So Ice actually exists.  Rumor has it that she’ll see a release on Matty’s site sometime next year, but I imagine she’ll see quite a mark-up, and trying to order something from that site has to be one of the levels of Hell.  So, I got one…early.

Another funny thing about the toy industry: sometimes figures “fall off” the production line.  And occasionally, they wind up on certain auction sites.  And if there were, say, a significant delay between production and release, these “rejects” might show up several months before the real deal.  And perhaps, a few fans, eager to get the figures a bit early and with a little less hassle might just happen to acquire said figures.  Not that I’d know anything about that, of course.  It’s purely speculative.  I got my figure through crazy time travel voodoo!

#0071: Aquaman & Ocean Master

AQUAMAN & OCEAN MASTER

DC MINIMATES

Just when you thought there couldn’t be more, it’s another Minimates review.  Okay, I know.  It’s hardly a surprise at this point.  I’m a creature of habit.

Anyway, this’ll be my second look at the tragically too short DC Minimates line.  Unlike other Minimates, the DC ones were handled by DC Direct.  They were actually pretty innovative, and were released during a time when the Marvel line had somewhat stagnated.  When DC Direct upped the game, Marvel caught up and quickly surpassed them.  DC, for a variety of reasons decided to get out of the Minimate game just before Minimates hit it big.  Oh well.  So, today I’ll be looking at one of DC’s most infamous heroes: Aquaman and his *second* greatest foe Ocean Master.  So, there…

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

These two were released as part of the 3rd series of DC Minimates.

AQUAMAN

First up, it’s the ever loveable Aquaman.  Yes, loveable.  Deal with it.  Aquaman is presented here in his classic orange and green look.  If you want to get technical, he’s got his look from the early issues of the Peter David series, since he doesn’t have the black shorts over his pants.  But most people probably wouldn’t notice the difference.  He’s on the usual Minimate body, which means he’s got 14 points of articulation and stands about 2 ½ inches tall.  He has specially sculpted hair, gloves and feet.  The hair has a “heroic hair” thing going for it.  The gloves were used a few times over the course of the line, and are just basic flared gloves.  The feet are specially sculpted to feature fins at the back.  The rest of Aquaman’s details are handled via paint.  He’s mostly molded in the appropriate colors, so the paint is only really used to provide detail lines.  Everything is pretty sharp.  The face has a nice stern regality, and the shirt has the appropriate scaled texture, which is nice and subtle.  Aquaman includes a trident, because that’s the accessory you give Aquaman.  I’m pretty sure that’s like in the DC license or something, because every damned Aquaman has one, and the character’s used one, like once.  But it’s there, so…

OCEAN MASTER

Next, it’s umm, well its Ocean Master.  “Who is Ocean Master?”  Yeah, legit question.  He’s Aquaman’s half-brother Orm, who wanted to be Master of the Ocean or something, so he fought Aquaman a lot.   He’s shown here with what I believe is his look from the 90s.  It’s not far off from his earlier look, but he’s gray instead of a mash of purples.  He’s on the usual body, and has the usual stuff.  He’s got a helmet, cape, belt and gauntlets.  All new pieces, and I don’t believe any of them were ever reused, which is bold, considering it’s Ocean Master.  The rest of the detail is handled with paint.  It’s all very sharply done, although the face is a bit odd.  Ocean Master includes his own trident, but it does make a little bit more sense here.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Like with the rest of the DC Minimates line, I eagerly picked this set up the day it was released.  It’s a pretty good example of the line’s strengths, in how it handled the heavy hitters, and it’s well done sculpted parts, but it also shows the lines faults, like releasing Ocean Master over a better known Aquaman villain such as Black Manta, or even Aquaman’s sidekick Aqualad.  I still really like this set and still wish there were more DC Minimates!

#0070: Gingerbread Man

GINGERBREAD MAN

LEGO MINIFIGURES

In the spirit of being festive for Christmas, I’ll be looking at something vaguely Christmas related.  It’s another figure from LEGO’s Minifigures line.  This time depicting everyone’s favorite Christmas themed cookie (okay, maybe not everyone’s­) :  The Gingerbread Man

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Gingerbread Man is the 2nd figure in the 11th series of the LEGO Minifigures line.  He uses the traditional LEGO body, but he has a specially sculpted head in place of the usual piece.  It’s a really cool piece, and looks perfect for its intended use.  The Gingerbread man is molded in a creamy brown color, and has detailing to represent his icing details.  In addition to the icing, he’s also got a slightly darker brown detailing to show the texture of the gingerbread he’s made from.  It’s a subtle effect, and could have easily been left out, but the extra mile really adds to the figure.  The Gingerbread Man includes a mug and a LEGO stand.  The mug has painted letters that read “DUNK ME!” which is another really cool touch.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I picked the Gingerbread Man up along with several others from the same series from a bookstore at the beach while vacationing.  I think he’s really cool, and is definitely a shining example what LEGO can do with the line.

#0069: Storm

STORM

MARVEL SELECT

Yesterday, I looked at Wolverine from the Marvel Select line.  Today, I’ll be looking at one of his teammates, Storm.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Storm was released in the last year of the line.  As with everyone else in the line, she’s not part of a specific series. Instead, she was released solo.  Storm is presented here in her original costume.   It’s nice to see this costume, as it’s not used as often as it should be in my opinion.  Storm stands about 7 inches tall, and has 17 points of articulation.  She’s definitely got one of the better female sculpts I’ve looked at on the site.  It’s pretty well proportioned, and does a fair job of living up to her comic book counterpart’s looks.  She’s not as Cockrum influenced as Wolverine, instead going a bit more generic, but she still looks appropriate for the character, so I can’t complain.  The paint is all nice and cleanly applied, with no slop or fuzziness.  I really like the choice of shiny finish for the black parts, as it makes them stand out well.  They’ve opted to use gold for the traditionally yellow parts, which adds an air of regality to her, which works nicely.  Storm includes a small display stand and a corner of the Danger Room.  It’s got several parts, and has a great geometric look to it.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Storm was picked up at the same time as the Select Wolverine, also at my local comic book store’s end of the year sale.  I’d actually been wanting to pick this figure up for a while, and I was glad to find it at a slightly lower price.  I don’t have many Storm figures in my collection, so I was very glad to add this one.  She’s not just a good Storm figure, but a good action figure in general.

#0068: Wolverine

WOLVERINE

MARVEL SELECT

It’s honestly surprising how few Wolverine figures I’ve reviewed so far, given how many I own.  Anyway, this is another Marvel Select review, based on the aforementioned Wolverine.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Wolverine was released a few years ago as part of the Marvel Select line.  Like all the others in the line, he’s not part of a “series”, but rather, he was released on his own.  Wolverine is based on his look from his early appearances in X-Men in the late 70s.  Specifically, he looks to be based on Dave Cockrum’s interpretation of the character.  He stands about 6 ½ inches tall, giving him the proper stature of an early Wolverine, and he has 17 points of articulation.  The sculpt is handled well.  He’s a tad bit skinny, but not too bad.  The head in particular is great, because it’s spot on to Cockrum’s take on the character.  I also like that the claws are handled better than on most Wolverine figures, and have a nice unique look to them.  The paint is done well, particularly the yellow parts, because yellow can look hideous in some cases, but they’ve added a nice wash to it to bring out the sculpt.  Wolverine is topped off with a display stand, depicting a chunk of scenery from what appears to be Weapon X, which is appropriate to the character.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I got this guy from my comic book store’s annual end of the year sale.  I’m not the biggest fan of Wolverine, but I love the early Claremont/Cockrum run on X-Men, so I was super excited to get a Wolverine based on that time period.  He’s definitely one of the best Wolverine’s out there, and my favorite in my collection.

#0067: Breaker

BREAKER

GI JOE: RISE OF COBRA

Today’s figure comes from the original action figure line:  GI Joe.  It’s far from one of the original figures, but he’s part of the line, so…umm…there’s that.  Anyway, it’s Breaker (who, incidentally was one of the original 13 figures from the 3 ¾ incarnation of the line) from the 2009 GI Joe movie, Rise of Cobra.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Breaker was released in the first series of Hasbro’s tie-in line for Rise of Cobra.  He’s based on Breaker’s more casual look from the film, instead of his “impact armor” look.  The figure stands roughly 3 ¾ inches tall and has 16 points of articulation.  The sculpt is pretty good overall, with nice texturing and folds and such.  The head sculpt is a decent approximation of the actor who plays Breaker in the film.  However good the sculpt is, it doesn’t matter, because the paint is where this figure falls apart.  The paint is thickly applied, and kind of haphazardly applied.  The paint on the body is a bit better, but still leaves a lot to be desired.  Breaker is accessorized with a removable vest, a machine gun, a handgun, a laptop, a big freaking missile launcher, and a stand with his name on it.  The missile launcher isn’t pictured, because I got rid of it, along with all the other over-sized missile launchers Hasbro seems intent on giving us.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I got Breaker along with several other figures from the line at the time of the movie’s release.  I liked the character, so I bought the figure.  Mistakes may have been made.