#0135: John Stewart – Green Lantern

JOHN STEWART – GREEN LANTERN

DC: INFINITE HEROES

JohnStewart

So, I’m taking a short break from all the Minimate-y goodness I’ve just gotten and looking at a few other figures in my collection.  This one’s not a new figure, nor is it one of my favorites.  But I own it, and it’s on the list of random figure choices from which I dare not deviate.

Mattel is a company I’ve mentioned a few times before on this site.  They aren’t really my favorite topic, as I have a tendency to go off on rants when I bring them up.  They just recently started up a new 3 ¾ inch scale line of figures.  This is actually their second venture into this scale.  Their first was called DC Infinite Heroes, and was widely seen as a pretty big failure on their part.  It didn’t last as long as some of their other lines, but it went a few years, and did release a fair number of figures.  I’ll be looking at one today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

So, it’s John Stewart.  Earth’s 3rd or 4th Green Lantern, depending on how you look at it.  Not the host of The Daily Show.  Sorry if it’s confusing.  John was released as part of a Green Lantern themed 6 pack.  The set was released relatively early on in the life of the Infinite Heroes line.  The figure stands about 3 ¾ inches tall and has 10 points of articulation.  Like most of Mattel’s DC toy lines, DCIH operated on the buck system, meaning every figure was built on one of the few stock bodies.  Unfortunately, the stock bodies for DCIH aren’t anywhere near as nice as those used for DCUC or even Justice League Unlimited.  John was built on the slightly larger male body.  This is okay, since John tends to be depicted a little bigger than Guy and Hal, but the body itself is probably one of the worst of the stocks.  The waist is super tiny, the arms are bulky and stubby, and the hands are GARGANTUAN.  The only new piece here was the head, and it doesn’t do much to improve the figure.  I’m not really sure what look they were going for, but John looks sort of like he was kicked in the crotch while eating a whole pack of Sour Patch Kids.  I’d love to say the paint helps the figure, but it just makes things worse.  For some reason, they gave John brown hair and eyebrows, which makes his whole heal look a bit…mushy.  Plus, his eyebrows kinda give off a weird Vulcan vibe.  The paint is particularly sloppy on the wrists, and for some reason his boots are an entirely different shade of green than the rest of his uniform.  John includes no accessories, which is a shame because they might have added some value to this figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I don’t remember where I got this figure exactly.  I know at one point I had the whole set, but I think I sold most of the others off.  I don’t know why I kept him.  I think I just wanted to have John represented in this scale.  Infinite Heroes wasn’t a very good line, but there were a few figures that didn’t totally suck.  John is not one of those figures.

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#0134: Doctor Smith & B-9 Robot

DOCTOR SMITH & B-9 ROBOT

LOST IN SPACE MINIMATES

Robot&Smith

The Marvel Minimates reviews wrapped up yesterday (well… sort of.  For a few days anyway.), but I’m not quite done with my new Minimates reviews!  Last year, Diamond picked up the license to sci-fi classic Lost in Space.  I was really excited!  Finally, a Joey Tribbiani Minimate!  I kid, I kid.  Anyway, they seem to be a bit apprehensive of diving into the line, so for the time being, we’ve only gotten Dr. Smith and the Robot.  This amuses me because they were the only two of the main characters completely absent from the original pilot for the series, and now it looks like they’ll probably be the only characters we receive from the show.  Kinda funny.  Anyway, the duo was initially released in black and white for SDCC, but they’ve just now released them in color, which is what I’ll be looking at today.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

These two were released as a single set in the Lost in Space Minimates line, with no corresponding series.  So, there.

DOCTOR SMITH

DrSmith

Have no fear, Smith is here!  Yes, first up, it’s the villain turned loveable coward, Doctor Zachary Smith.  Smith is based on his look a little ways into the series, after he had unofficially been added to the crew, and had received his own colorful uniform.  Well, maybe not as colorful as the rest, but still pretty out there.  He’s built on the basic Minimate body, so he features 14 points of articulation and stands about 2 ½ inches tall.  He features two sculpted add-on: his hairpiece, and a collar piece.  The collar is reused from the Captain Pike figure included with the Enterprise.  The hair looks to be a newly sculpted part, and looks about right for the hairstyle that Jonathan Harris sported, though it may be a little full in the front.  The majority of the details rely on the paint, which is handled DrSmith2quite well.  All of the detail lines are sharp, and the basic paintwork is also pretty clean, with no slop.  The face has captured Smith pretty darn well, with a perfectly in character smug smirk.  Smith includes a laser gun, a clear display stand, and coolest of all: heads with alternate expressions!  There’s angry Smith and scared Smith, both important and frequent looks for the character, and both just as good as the standard head.

B-9 ROBOT

Robot

Okay, the package and all other material refers to this guy as the “B-9 Robot,” but let’s be honest: he’s THE ROBOT.  Plain and simple.  In a pinch, he might be “The Lost in Space Robot,” or “Robut,” depending on how you interpret Billy Mumy’s pronunciation of the word.  But I’m just calling him “The Robot.”  So, the Robot is based on his standard look from the show.  He never really changed like some of the other characters, but there were a few one-off looks he sported in a few episodes, so it’s an importand distinction.  The Robot is also built on the basic body, though the sculpted parts bring the articulation closer to 10.  The Robot’s kinda the anti-Smith in the sculpting department.  It’s easier to list what isn’t a new sculpted piece.  Seriously, he uses the standard arms and legs.  That’s it.  All the sculpted pieces look great, and are appropriately on model for the character.  This figure is an interesting case for Minimates, as it’s one of the few times a character’s design just won’t translate to the format without some serious use of unique parts.  I think they made the right call, but I can see how some people might think he takes away from the basic aesthetic of a Minimate.  The paint isn’t quite as good as the sculpt, with a few areas of slop here and there.  Nothing that ruins the figure, but it does pull him back a bit.  The Robot features no accessories, but that’s okay, given how many sculpted pieces he features.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I really love this set.  It makes me kind of sad that we likely won’t see anymore, because having the whole crew would be super awesome.  I’m a lifelong Lost in Space fan (it’s all my father’s fault), and I have always been on the lookout for cool toys from the series.  I can only hope that the sales on this set might encourage Diamond to release some of the others.

#0133: Baron Strucker, Viper, & Hydra Elite

BARON STRUCKER, MADAME HYDRA & HYDRA ELITE

MARVEL MINIMATES

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I’ll be wrapping up my reviews of the most recent wave of Marvel Minimates today.  This wave is based around Captain America.  I’ll be looking at a few of his recurring foes today, all of whom are members of the deadly Hydra organization.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

These figures were released as part of the 54th wave of the Marvel Minimates line.  Baron Strucker was the more widely packed figure, with Madame Hydra as the one per case variant and both of them packed with one of the Hydra Elite.

BARON STRUCKER

Strucker

First up, it’s the leader of the organization, Baron Strucker.  Not to be confused with Baron Smucker, the tyrannical leader of that company that makes jam.  Though I’m sure Strucker does love him some jam…  Anyway, Strucker is depicted in his Hydra uniform(s).  He’s built on the basic Minimate body, so he features 14 points of articulation and stands about 2 ½ inches tall.  He’s fairly light on the sculpting, featuring only a set of shoulder pads, which were reused from Rictor.  The paint detailing is quite nice, especially Strucker’s face, which is appropriately old and surly.  I also like the simulated transparency of the monocle.  Stucker is well accessorized with a coat that can be swapped out with the shoulder pads, his trusty demon’s claw, a sword, a pistol of some sort, and a clear display stand.  I quite like the coat and the demon’s claw, as they allow me to set up the Strucker that I’m more familiar with.

MADAME HYDRA

MadameHydra

Next, it’s Strucker’s second in command, Viper…er Madame Hydra…no wait, um…hmmm.  Yeah, I can’t make up my mind.  That’s okay, though, neither could Diamond, since she’s listed as Madame Hydra on some of the boxes and as Viper on the others.  I prefer Madame Hydra because it avoids any connotations to the lackluster interpretation of the character in the recent Wolverine movie.  Madame Hydra has only really had one look, and that’s the one they went with here, so that works out.  She’s on the standard body, and has all the usual stuff associated.  She features 4 sculpted add-ons: hair, belt, and dual leg holsters.  The belt is a new piece I believe. The hair is a reuse from one of the figures in the Femme Fatales set, Dawn I think.  The holsters are from the Avengers movie line, and were most recently used on the comic version of Maria Hill, second in command of SHIELD, which is kind of a neat touch, I think.  The paint is a bit of a mixed bag on this figure.  All of the detail lines are nice and sharp, and I particularly like the face, which even features a scarred eye behind the peek-a-boo hair, but the transitions on the gloves and boots are incredibly sloppy.  Not enough to ruin the figure, but enough to be very annoying.  Madame Hydra includes two handguns, a bullwhip, and a clear display stand.

HYDRA ELITE(S?)

HydraElite

Lastly, this wave’s army builders, the Hydra Elite!  Or they could just be basic Hydra dudes.  That works too.  This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a Hydra army builder, but it’s been a while since the last one, and that one wasn’t as good as it could be, even then.  So, I’m glad to see Diamond revisiting these guys.  They’re built on the standard body, so they’ve got the usual articulation and height and such.  They feature 5 sculpted pieces: mask, ruffled shirt arms, a cape, and a belt/skirt combo.  I believe the belt and the Mask are new pieces, and the cape and upper arms are pieces that have been used lots of times before.  The paint on these is quite nice, and what is really cool is the completely different Hydra mask underneath of the sculpted one.  The first Hydra Agent had this piece, but it didn’t work quite as well.  The colors are also brighter and bolder than the previous Hydra Agent, which looks much better.  One thing that does bug me is that the gloves and boots aren’t all the same length from piece to piece, which can look a bit odd.  The Hydra Elite include a small handgun, a sword, a larger gun, and a clear display stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

These are probably my two favorite sets in this wave.  I’ve been hoping for a redo of the Hydra agents for a while now, and these guys really do that nicely.  I’ll need to track down a few more of them because I want a serious squad of these guys.  Strucker and Madame Hydra are nice additions too, and really allow for a proper parallel set up with SHIELD and HYDRA, which is super cool!

Wave54Group

#0132: Falcon & The Winter Soldier

FALCON & WINTER SOLDIER

MARVEL MINIMATES

Flacon&WinterSoldier

Today is part 2 of 3 of my review of the latest wave of Marvel Minimates.  The wave is themed around Captain America, and I’ll be looking at two of his compatriots, both of whom are set to get pivotal roles in the upcoming Captain America Sequel.  It’s the Falcon and Winter Soldier!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

These two were released as part of the 54th wave of the Marvel Minimates line.

FALCON

Falcon(MM)

First, my favorite part of the set, Sam Wilson aka the Falcon.  Oh, sorry “Marvel’s Falcon.”  ….TM….  The Falcon is depicted here in his more modern outfit, specifically the one he wore during Brubaker run on Captain America.  I would have preferred his classic outfit, but after 54 waves with no Falcon at all, I’ll take what I can get.  Falcon is built on the standard Minimate body, so he stands about 2 ½ inches tall and has 14 points of articulation.  Falcon features 5 sculpted add-ons:  2 2-piece wings, and a hairpiece.  The hair looks to be new to this figure and the wings were originally sculpted for the Vulture  in the Spider-Man Friends and Foes boxed set.  I would have liked for the mask to be separate piece, so I could swap out the face for one without a goatee, but it looks okay.  The paint isn’t perfect, but it’s serviceable.  The work on the face is sharp, but the body doesn’t quite match up, with some fuzzy lines and a little bit of slop.  Falcon includes his sidekick Redwing, a flight stand, and a clear display stand.

WINTER SOLDIER

WinterSoldier

Next, it’s Cap’s former sidekick-turned-Russian-Assassin (umm…Spoilers?), Bucky Barnes aka the Winter Soldier.  There used to be a joke that nobody stayed dead in comics except for Uncle Ben, Bucky and Jason Todd.  I am eagerly awaiting the big summer event that brings back Uncle Ben.  Winter Soldier is depicted in his look he sported during the initial Winter Soldier arc.  The key difference between this look and more recent ones is the longer hair and the red star on his robot arm. Winter Soldier is built on the standard body, so he’s got the regular stats.  He features 4 sculpted add-ons: Hair, shoulder holster, belt, and leg holster.  The hair was originally used on Warpath and the shoulder holster originated on the wave 42 SHIELD Agent.  The belt and leg holster look familiar to me, but I can’t figure out for sure where I’ve seen them before.  The leg holster doesn’t quite keep the gun in place, which can get a bit annoying.  The paint is well done on this figure, with no noticeable slop.  The facial expression looks pretty dead-on for the character, with a dead-set determination.  Winter Soldier includes 2 different handguns, a sniper rifle, and a clear display stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This set was part of a larger order I placed with my favorite Minimates retailer, Luke’s Toy Store.  This was one of the sets I was most looking forward to in the wave, as both of these characters are long overdue.  I still hope to get a more classic Falcon down the line, but this one should do all right in its place.  And Winter Soldier is certainly no slouch either.

#0131: Captain America & Red Skull

FIGHTING CHANCE CAPTAIN AMERICA & ROBOT RED SKULL

MARVEL MINIMATES

Cap&RoboSkull

Continuing the theme started two days ago, I’ll be looking at another set from my recently received shipment of Minimates.  Today marks my first of three reviews from the most recent wave of Marvel Minimates.  With increasing regularity, waves will follow a set theme, and this wave continues the trend.  All the figures in this wave are based around Captain America, likely to somewhat tie-in with the upcoming movie.  This review focuses on variants of Cap and his arch nemesis the Red Skull.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

These two were released as part of the 54th wave of the Marvel Minimates line.

CAPTAIN AMERICA

FightingChanceCap

First up, the lead hero of this wave, Captain America.  He’s billed as “Fighting Chance Captain America,” and according to the back of the box, this figure depicts Cap from a storyline where the effects of the super-soldier formula began to wear off, which served as an excuse to give him padding and pouches.  Because the ‘90s, that’s why!  Cap is built on the usual Minimate body, so he features 14 points of articulation and stands about 2 ½ inches tall.  He features 9 sculpted add-ons: Mask, shoulder/chest padding, glove cuffs (with straps!), a leg holster, a matching leg-thingy for ammo, and his trademarked boots!  The mask is a reuse from the WW2 Cap released in the Captain America Through the Ages set, but everything else appears to be a new sculpt.  This includes the boots, which have been reworked to fit a bit better.  Everything else looks appropriately detailed, and very “pouch-y”.  The paint is quite good.  Cap’s face is covered in lines, which seems right for the art style, and the torso is fully detailed under the armor, in spite of the fact that the armor can’t easily be removed.  There are a few fuzzy lines, notably on the sleeves, but overall, everything looks okay.  Cap includes an alternate hairpiece, which was reused from The Walking Dead’s Rick Grimes, a handgun, his mighty shield, and a clear display stand.

RED SKULL

RobotSkull

Next, the arch enemy of Captain America, the Red Skull!  …Sort of.  This is “Robot Red Skull”, who supposedly represents the Red Skull after he transfers his mind into one of Arnim Zola’s robot bodies, following the death of the Russian general he was inhabiting before.  Okay, so that happened.  I think that was actually during the Ed Brubaker run on the series, so it was probably much better than it sounds.  Robo-Skull is built on the typical body, so he’s got the usual stats.  Robo-Skull is one of the less sculpt-heavy figures in this wave, but he still features a brand new head, plus shoulder pads, and a skirt.  Go ahead, insult the skirt.  I dare you.  The head looks nice, and seems to be accurate to what they were going for.  The rest of the figure relies on painted details, which look very nice.  The face on the torso in particular is very cool looking!  Robo-Skull includes a Red Skull mask that fits over the robo-head, a hand holding the Cosmic Cube (you call it a Tesseract and I will hurt you), and a clear display stand.  The Cosmic Cube in particular excites me, because it’s a piece that’s been sorely missing for far too long!

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

These two were part of the large shipment of Minimates I ordered from my favorite Minimates retailer, Luke’s Toy Store.  I really only got these two because I was buying a whole set of wave 54, but they aren’t too shabby.  The Cosmic Cube is practically worth the price I paid alone!

#0130: Age of Ultron Minimates

CONQUEROR ULTRON, NICK FURY, IRON MAN, & ANGELA

MARVEL MINIMATES

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I mentioned yesterday that I just got a new shipment of Minimates, so I’m gonna continue looking at those today.

I’ll be going back to old faithful, the Marvel line, this time looking at a boxset based on the recent Marvel crossover Age of Ultron.  I won’t go into my thoughts on Age of Ultron itself, because I’m trying not to go all nerd-rage-y too often.  Suffice to say, I did not care for it.  But, they made Minimates, and Minimates have the ability to make most things better, so I bought the set.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

These guys were released late last year as a 4-pack centered around the aforementioned Age of Ultron story.  They’re all based on the looks of certain characters from the series.

CONQUEROR ULTRON

ConquerorUltronConquerorUltron2

First up, it’s the title character, Ultron.  He’s not actually based on a look from the series itself, but rather from one of the variant covers to the series.  It’s a decent design, so I have no issues with them deciding to use it here.  Ultron is built on the basic body, but thanks to a new set of lower legs and a few other add-ons, he stands roughly 3 inches tall and features 24 points of articulation (The 6 arms really help him there).  Ultron has a buttload of sculpted pieces: Head, upper arms, 3 different hand sculpts, torso, upper legs, and lower legs.  The upper arms and one of the sets of hands are shared with the Marvel Now! Iron Man that was released in the 16th Toys R Us wave, but everything is brand new to Ultron.  The amount of new pieces present is impressive.  I had assumed, due to the quantity of sculpted pieces, that Ultron would be a bit more lax on the painted details.  This is definitely not the case.  He’s got a detailed face, both on the Ultron head, and on the translucent red standard head underneath it.  Plus, he’s got full detailing on the torso under the sculpted piece, allowing you to display Ultron in a more classic two-armed state if you so desire.  Ultron’s only accessory is a display stand, which he can’t use due to the new foot sculpt.  I’m willing to be a bit forgiving on that front, given how many add-ons he features.

NICK FURY

Fury Fury2

Next, it’s Nick Fury, Agent of Shield.  What’s that you say?  He doesn’t look like Samuel L Jackson?  Yeah, this is classic Nick Fury, before the Ultimate Universe recast him in his more SLJ state.  Specifically, this is the look Fury was sporting during the crossover.  It looks to be a “business casual” style SHIELD uniform, with a polo shirt, combat boots and a tactical vest.  I still prefer the basic SHIELD uniform, but this doesn’t look to terrible, and I suppose it does add some variety to the SHIELD line-up.  Fury is built on the usual Minimate body, so he’s got the standard 14 points of articulation, and he stands around 2 ½ inches tall.  Fury features 6 sculpted pieces: hair, vest, gloves, belt, and a holster.  The hair and holster are definitely reused, with the hair hailing from the Tomb Raider line, and the holster first appearing on the Avengers Movie Maria Hill, Fury and Widow figures.  The belt and gloves might be reused, but I can’t say for sure.  The vest is a brand new piece, and it looks really cool, and has the jetpack previously seen on Hope Summers and the Heavy SHIELD Agent attached to it.  Apparently, the jetpack was supposed to be a removable piece, but a mix up at the factory led to it being glued to the vest.  It’s too bad it can’t be removed, but it doesn’t ruin the figure.  The paint detailing is pretty good.  All of the detail lines are nice and sharp, though he does have a fair bit of noticeable slop, particularly around the sleeves and on the hands.  But, the logos all look great, and he even has a fully detailed shirt under the vest.  Fury includes a large gun, a hand gun, a blast base for his jetpack, and a clear display stand.

IRON MAN

IronManAoU

Next up, it’s the biggest name in the set, Iron Man.  He’s shown here in his slimmed down armor from the series, which also bears a resemblance to the armor he was sporting towards the end of Matt Fraction’s run on Iron Man.  He’s built on the usual body, so he’s got all the typical stats.  Iron Man is the most basic of the set, with only a single sculpted piece: his helmet.  I think the helmet is a reuse from the Marvel Now Iron Man from TRU wave 16.  Since he’s only got one sculpted piece, the figure mostly relies on paint.  Fortunately, the figure delivers on this front.  All of the paint work is nice and sharp, with none of the slop that was seen on Fury.  Iron Man’s only accessory is a clear display stand.

ANGELA

Angela

Last, and very much least in my opinion, it’s Angela.  Angela!  The big, highly kept secret from the end of the series!  Oh boy, I’m so glad that was a thing.  Yeah, I have, like, no interest whatsoever in this character.  But, since she was packed in a set with other figures I wanted, I got her anyway.  So, she’s built on the basic Minimate body, with all the usual stuff.  She’s got 5 sculpted add-ons: Hair, 1 shoulderpad (because kids dig asymmetry!), 2 separate hand sculpts, and a belt with a sheath.  Near as I can tell, all of these are new pieces.  From a purely technical standpoint, all of its well-handled, with some pretty decent detailing.  The paint on the figure is neither the best nor the worst in the set, which is fine.  Angela includes a newly sculpted sword, and a clear display stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I got this set in a recent order from my favorite place to get Minimates, Luke’s Toy Store!  I really only bought this set for the Ultron and the Nick Fury, and after having the set in hand, I pretty much still only got the set for those two.  Ultron is, without a doubt, the star of this set.  I’d be hard pressed to find something I don’t like about that figure.  Fury isn’t quite as good as Ultron, which is due mostly to the sloppy paint that plagues him.  Still, he’s a nice update on the classic Nick Fury, who’s been in dire need of an update for a while now.  Iron Man’s actually not too bad.  I enjoy him more than I thought I would, and he really is well put together.  But, at the end of the day, he’s just another Iron Man variant that is gonna get tossed in a box.  Angela is Angela.  This set has in no way swayed me on the character.  I’m happy for those who wanted her, I guess, but she’s just not for me.

#0129: The Ghostbusters!

PETER VENKMAN, EGON SPENGLER, RAY STANZ, & WINSTON ZEDDEMORE

GHOSTBUSTERS MINIMATES

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You know what I haven’t reviewed enough recently?  Minimates.  I’ve only reviewed one set of Minimates in the last month, and it wasn’t even a set I was all that excited about.  Well, I promise you, that’s going to change with the next few reviews.  I just got in a shipment of new Minimate stuff, and I’m gonna go nuts!

I mentioned in my review of Ray from Mattel’s Retro Action line that there hasn’t been the greatest selection of Ghostbusters merch over the years.  There’s been one exception to that:  Ghostbusters Minimates.  I know I may be a little bit biased, given my love of all things Minimates, but they’ve had a really great offering.  They were the first company to offer all four of the ‘Busters styled after the movie, and they gave us just about every major character and ghost from the films.  They are definitely some of my favorite Minimates.  However, the main versions of the main characters are a few years old, and haven’t aged the best with some of the more recent innovations in Minimate design.  Diamond being the cool company that they are, they responded with a brand new set of the guys, with some improvements to their designs.  Let’s take a look at the figures!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

These four were just released as the newest entry in the Ghostbusters Minimates line as part of the “I Love This Town!” Boxed set, which is, of course, named after Winston’s final line in the movie, after the team successfully defeats Gozer.

PETER

VenkmanVenkman2

First up, the guy who is arguably the lead character of the first movie, Peter Venkman.  By the way, does anybody else find that they refer to Venkman by his last name, but all of the others by their first?  Because I feel weird calling him “Peter.”  It seems off.  Anyway, Venkman is based on his look from the first movie.  He’s on the basic Minimate body, so he’s got the usual 14 points of articulation and he stands about 2 ½ inches tall.  Venkman features 7 sculpted pieces: hair, proton pack, 2 elbow pads, a belt, and 2 glove cuffs.  Most of this appears to be reuse, with the hair and elbow pads hailing from the original Venkman release, the proton pack coming from the Real Ghostbusters Janine, and the glove cuffs being one of the standard pieces.  The belt appears to be a new piece to this set, but I’m not 100% certain of that.  The proton pack is a pretty big deal, as there’s been demand for the regular ‘Busters to be updated to that piece since it first appeared.  It looks much better than the bulky overlay that the originals had, so it’s a welcome change.  The paint also features an important change as well.  On the original Ghostbusters Minimates, the ‘Busters were depicted with a light gray uniform.  Apparently, the actual uniforms looked like this, but due to the lighting of the film, they looked different on screen.  So, while the gray was technically more accurate, everybody remembers the uniforms being khaki.  This time around, Diamond obliged and released them in the color we all remember.  The paint detailing on the  figure is on par with what you’d expect from a Minimate.  Everything’s nice and clean, and you can even read “VENKMAN” on his little nametag.  Also, the face is probably the best Bill Murray that we’ve gotten from Diamond, which is really great.  Venkman includes a ghost trap, a walkie-talkie, a proton stream, an alternate screaming head, and a clear display stand.  The trap can be plugged onto the proton pack for easy storage, and the walkie talkie can hook onto the belt.  The screaming head is a nice touch and makes for some entertaining set-ups.

EGON

Egon

Next, the resident genius on the team, Egon Spengler.   Egon is on the basic body, so he’s got the usual statistics.  Like Venkman, he features 7 sculpted pieces, which includes: hair, proton pack, belt, 2 elbow pads, and 2 glove cuffs.  He shares all of the uniform pieces with Venkman, and the hair is from one of the previous releases, though this is the first time we’ve seen this particular hairpiece on an Egon from the first movie.  Most of the paint is the same as Venkman, though Egon does have his uniform tucked into his boots, as opposed to Venkman’s more lax “over the boots” look.  The paint work is okay, though the line between the pants and the boots is a bit fuzzy.  The likeness on the face is pretty good, better than the previous Egons’, though perhaps not as good as Venkman.  Harold Ramis does have a pretty distinctive nose, so the lack of it probably doesn’t help.  Egon includes a ghost trap, a walkie-talkie, a proton stream, a PKE meter, an alternate head with a disgusted expression, a marshmallow covered hairpiece, and a clear display stand.

RAY

RayRay&EgonGooped

Next up, it’s the loveable and ever so helpful Ray Stanz.  Ray is also on the basic body, and has all the usual stats.  Like the previous two, he’s got 7 sculpted add-ons, which is pretty much the same layout.  He’s got a different hair piece than the previous two, and it’s the same hair we’ve seen on every release of Ray so far.  If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, I guess.  Ray’s painted details follow the same layout as Egon, with the pant legs tucked into the boots.  He has the same issue as Egon, with sloppy edges on the boots, but everything else looks pretty sharp.  The face is definitely Dan Akroyd, and looks better than some of the previous attempts, though I do wish there was an option for a more normal expression, similar to Egon and Venkman.  Ray includes 2 ghost traps: one closed and one deployed, a walkie-talkie, a pair of goggles, a marshmallow covered hairpiece, and a clear display stand, making him the most accessorized ‘mate in the set!

WINSTON

Winston

Lastly, the ‘Buster that always seems to be left out, but my personal favorite: Winston!  I suppose he’s getting a little bit of respect, given that it’s one of his lines that the set is named after, but it’s hard to tell.  He’s got the same body and sculpted add-ons as the rest of the figures in the set, though with a unique hairpiece like all the others.  It’s a piece we’ve seen used for Winston a few times before, and I believe it was sculpted specifically for him.  Winston has the same uniform detailing as Egon and Ray, with the nametag changed, of course.  He does seem to have lucked out on the boot front, as he doesn’t have the same sloppy paint issues in that area.  The likeness is definitely there, and they’ve decided to depict Winston right as he delivers the line the set is named for.  As with Ray, I would have liked to have a more “default” expression, but it actually suits Winston pretty well, so I can’t complain too much.  Winston includes a ghost trap, a walkie-talkie, and a clear display stand.  He’s the lightest figure in the set, accessory-wise, though I suppose you could group the open trap with him, to even things out a bit.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This set was purchased from my favorite Minimates provider, Luke’s Toy Store.  I hadn’t kept up with all of the Ghostbusters boxed sets once they got the original set of the main four out, but I was definitely on board when they announced an updated set.  I still love my original set, but every ‘mate in this set mops the floor with its predecessor.  If you’re a fan of the movie, I wholeheartedly recommend picking up this set.  It’s easily the best version of the team available anywhere!

#0128: Superman

SUPERMAN

JUSTICE LEAGUE (MATTEL)

Superman

A large portion of my appreciation for DC characters comes from the DC Animated Universe, created back in the early 90s by Bruce Timm and Paul Dini, when they first started Batman: The Animated series.  Batman led to Superman and Batman Beyond, and eventually, they moved on to what many see as the greatest entry on the list: Justice League and Justice League Unlimited.
Kenner offered the initial figures for BTAS, and when they were bought out by Hasbro, Hasbro continued.  By the time of JL, Hasbro was interested solely in Batman and Superman variants, so they had no plans to release the team from the show.  Eventually, the license was moved to Mattel, and Mattel quickly released a set of the seven main characters.  Today, I’ll be looking at the Superman from that line.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Superman was modeled after his design on the show, specifically his look from the first season, although the differences are minor.  He stands just shy of 5 inches tall and features 5 points of articulation.  The sculpt is really sharp, and  very accurately represents the design on the show.  The design doesn’t really translate well to articulation, so Mattel seemed to go for the looks over movement, and I actually greatly prefer it this way.  I do wish that he had a little less of a hunched look on his neck, but overall, it doesn’t look too bad.  For the most part, Superman is molded in the appropriate colors where necessary, but what paint is there is fairly cleanly applied, and has no real issues.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

While I rushed to get the rest of the members of the team, I had plenty of Batmen and Supermen, so the two of them kinda had to wait.  Superman was actually not picked up individually, but actually was included with the Javelin 7, which I believe my brother and I bought a few years ago from a local toystore.  My brother kept the Javelin 7 to himself, and I got the Superman.  It’s probably one of the best animated Superman figures released, and fits nicely with the rest of the line.

#0127: Jean Grey

JEAN GREY

X-MEN MOVIE SERIES (TOYBIZ)

JeanGrey(Original)JeanGrey

In the 90s, the 5 inch scaled ruled to toy aisle, due in no small part to ToyBiz’s gargantuan line of Marvel toys, specifically those based on the 90s mega-giant X-Men.  It looked like that was where we’d be staying for a while.  But then, the X-Men movie was released in 2000, and they were released in… 6 inch scale?  It wasn’t the first time we’d seen such a scale, but it certainly wasn’t prevalent.  Coupled with ToyBiz’s continued release of other 5 inch product, it looked like this might just be a blip on the radar.

If you’ve followed the action figure industry in recent years, you would know that the 6 inch scale was far from a blip on the radar.  It went on to become the ruling scale on the market for over ten years, which was impressive.  And a lot of its owed to the X-Men Movie line making a bold jump.  Today’s review is a two-fer, looking at both versions of Jean Grey from the line.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Jean was released as part of the first series of the X-Men Movie Series.  She stands about 6 inches tall and has 10 points of articulation.  I feel it necessary to point out that only about 6 of those points are really useful, and even then it’s iffy, thanks to the odd cut joints and strange pose of the figure.   Anyway, the sculpt is a bit of a mixed bag.  Sculpturally, the only difference between the two figures is the hair style.  The original release had it down, the second had it up in a ponytail.   They both look fine, though the ponytail look is more accurate to the character’s appearance in the movie.  The facial sculpt is actually a pretty decent approximation of Famke Janssen.  The body’s where things start to fall apart.  It has some really nice details on the suit, with some great work on the zippers and folds and such, but the proportions of the underlying body are just weird.  The arms are too long, the waist is too thin, and her legs are in this odd sideways crouch sort of thing.  All in all, just very strange.  The paint on these two is pretty good for the time.  I think I like the work on the first release a bit more, as it looks a bit cleaner.  There is one notable change between the two on the paint front.  The second release has a black t-shirt painted on under the uniform.  Apparently, this was the main reason for the second release, as there were some complaints from a few concerned parents about the pulled down zippers and total lack of any kind of covering on the two female characters in uniform.  Honestly, it’s a perfectly reasonable point to make, and it’s actually a bit odd that they had their uniforms zipped so far down, given that Jean has hers zipped up just like her male compatriots in the film proper.  Both Jeans included an incredibly creepy mutated Senator Kelly as there only accessory.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The first version of Jean was my second figure from the movie line.  She, along with Professor X were purchased for me by my Nana as an end of school gift.  Yeah, I had the option to get anyone in the line, and I bought a girl and a guy in a wheelchair.  I was a strange kid.  Anyway, I held onto that one for a while, and remember the controversy and subsequent rerelease of Jean, now with t-shirt and appropriate hair style.  I was happy with my first release version, and thanks to the reissue thing, it was actually quite rare.

Then, I came home one day to find that my dog had gotten into my room and pretty much destroyed my Jean figure.  The first release was fairly difficult to find at that point, so I had to settle for the reissue.  Fortunately, a few months ago, my comic book store got in a large selection of older figures loose, and the first release Jean was amongst them, allowing me to once again have the figure!

#0126: Angel – Savage Land

ANGEL – SAVAGE LAND

MARVEL 10-INCH (TOYBIZ)

Angel

Okay, so I’m currently attempting to stay on top of work and school, while at the same time doing my best not to miss posting any updates.  As such, the next few reviews may be a bit more on the brief side.  Hope nobody is offended.  If you are…ummm…I’m sorry?

Today, I’ll be doing my second review from ToyBiz’s line of 10-inch scaled marvel figures.  For those of you who missed my previous review, quick little backstory: in the 90s, ToyBiz had a rather expansive line of 5 inch scaled Marvel stuff.  They decided to double their profits by up-scaling a bunch of the molds and releasing them as 10-inch scale.  Towards the end of this line, they actually started mixing up some of the pieces to get some new concoctions and character designs.  I’ll be looking at one of the later additions: Savage Land Angel.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Angel was released towards the end of the line, after it had become an exclusive to KB Toys.  He stands 10 inches tall, and features 13 points of articulation.  The figure, coming from the end of the line is completely built from previously used parts.  The head comes from the second Archangel figure, released in the Invasion series of  ToyBiz’s X-Men line.  The body is reused from The Vulture, who was released as part of the 90s Spider-Man line.  The head is sensible, given that it’s the same character, but I’ve never been the biggest fan of this sculpt, with its odd expression and wide eyes.  My issues are only amplified with the larger scale and normal flesh tone coloring.  The body is an interesting choice, I suppose, but given that is was the overly armored 90s Vulture, it means that Angel is left wearing this odd armor.  The paint is a bit of a mixed bag.  The head actually has some pretty decent work, and the shading on the armor is nice, but the costume under the armor looks a bit strange.  They seem to have tried to replicate the look of the previous Savage Land Angel, with his classic costume torn up.  However, while that figure had  bare feet, that wasn’t an option, as those pieces weren’t tooled for the large scale, which means that he’s got these weird painted on boots. Which look very strange with the shorts look, like he’s perpetually that nerdy guy who wears shorts with dress shoes and socks.  It’s weird.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve mentioned before how much I enjoyed the 10 inch line, and how I practically got a new one every time I went into a KB Toys.  Not this guy.  This guy, I passed up more times than I can remember, mostly based on how damned creepy he looks.  I’ve mentioned before about the trip I took to that huge KB Toys outlet center, which had a 5-10 year back log of toys.  This guy was amongst them, and I finally decided to get him to round out my X-Men.  I still think he’s a bit odd, but, he’s not the worst thing ever.