#0184: Precision Strike Winter Soldier

PRECISION STRIKE WINTER SOLDIER

CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER

In case my last two reviews didn’t clue you in, I quite thoroughly enjoyed Captain America: The Winter Soldier. I think The Avengers still holds up as my favorite of the Marvel Studios films, just for the sheer accomplishment, but CA:TWS is a very close second.

Hasbro’s doing two separate lines of tie-in toys: one in 6 inch scale and one in 3 ¾ inch scale. Thanks to the way the characters have been laid out between the two lines, it appears I’ll be picking up both lines. Today, I’m looking at the 3 ¾ inch version of the (sub) title character, the Winter Soldier, or as he’s billed on the package “Precision Strike Winter Soldier.” Let’s see how he turned out!

THE FIGURE ITSELF
Winter Soldier was part of the first assortment of Captain America: The Winter Soldier figures. He’s based on Winter Soldier’s look for roughly the first half of the film, before he ditches the mask and goggles. I imagine this choice was made to hide the character’s true identity until most of the movie going public has a chance to have it revealed to them. It’s also just a cooler look. The figure stands about 3 ¾ inches tall and has 19 points of articulation. As I mentioned in my review of Cap, the figure is hurt by the lack of wrist, ankle, and waist articulation. Articulation issues aside, the sculpt on this figure is amazing. There’s lots of tiny detail work and textures, and the proportions are much better than they are on many 3 ¾ inch figures. Everything looks spot on to the character’s appearance in the film. The paint manages to live up to the sculpt, which is a rarity amongst Hasbro figures. There’s no slop or bleed over, and they even gave the torso and right arm a nice wash to bring out the details. The accessory selection ends up being the figure’s only real downside. Hasbro has given him a big dumb rocket launcher, and absolutely no guns at all (even though he’s labelled “precision strike”), and his hands are both molded to hold said non-existent guns. Guess he’ll forever be Marvel’s resident Fonzie stand-in…

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I had intended to only get the 6 inch scale Winter Soldier, but after finding Falcon at my local Target, I broke down and picked up the 3 ¾ version as well. I’m glad I did. Winter Soldier is easily the best of the three I picked up. Yeah, the lack of wrist joints sucks, as does the stupid rocket launcher, but the sculpt and paint on this guy are really phenomenal. Arm him with a spare GI Joe gun and he’ll be even better. If only someone at Hasbro had thought of that…

#0183: Rocket Fire Falcon

ROCKET FIRE FALCON

CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER

One of my favorite things about The Winter Soldier (which is a super awesome movie, by the way. If you haven’t already, go and see it!), was Anthony Mackie’s performance as Sam Wilson, aka The Falcon. It’s a role that could end up being either boring or too hokey, and he made it neither. He offered a great sounding board to Cap’s displacement in the present day, and I really hope to see more of him in the role (Is it too late to work him into Avengers 2?).

Needless to say, I definitely wanted the action figure. Sadly, Hasbro seems to have decided to leave him out of their really cool 6 inch line, so the only way to get him was to get into the 3 ¾ inch line (Of course, there’s no Black Widow in that line, so that means I still have to get the 6 inch stuff if I want her. Damn you, Hasbro and your ability to play into my need of action figures to get me to buy two different scales!). So, I broke down and bought him. Let’s take a look at how it turned out!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Falcon was released in the second assortment of The Winter Soldier figures, alongside “Shield Blitz Captain America.” He’s mostly based on Falcon’s look in the movie, though it’s a little bit off. He’s a little over 3 ¾ inches tall and he has 21 points of articulation. I like that he has the wrist articulation that Cap lacked, but I still think he’d be helped by ankle and waist articulation as well. The sculpt is pretty good, though it isn’t without issue. First of all, he has a bit of a pin head. Not terrible, but it’s there. Secondly, his uniform’s wrong. They’ve given him sleeves, which he definitely didn’t have in the movie at any point. Aside from that, he’s not bad. The head does actually look a bit like Anthony Mackie, which is cool to see. The paintwork kind of betrays the sculpt. It’s not atrocious, but it’s certainly sloppy, and once again, the top half of his uniform is just plain wrong. Falcon manages to get hit the least severely of Hasbro’s decision to cut actual accessories in lieu of silly rocket launchers. He still has trigger hands, to be sure, but they can be hidden by the posing, thanks to the wrist articulation. He’s got this silly bright red rocket in place of his jet pack, but Hasbro has thankfully also included a more film accurate one as well.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

So, the fact that I have any of The Winter Soldier figures from the 3 ¾ inch line is totally Falcon’s fault. I found him at Target over the weekend and decided to pick up Cap and the Winter Soldier as well. Falcon’s not a bad figure. I wish he were a bit more accurate, but he’s a decent representation of the character in the movie, which is cool.

#0182: Shield Blitz Captain America

SHIELD BLITZ CAPTAIN AMERICA

CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER

Did you guys see Captain America: The Winter Soldier? If the answer isn’t yes, go see it. Go see it now. I’ll wait. Actually, I think I may go see it myself. Yep, I’ll be back in 2 hours.

 

 

Oh, hey guys, you still here? Cool. So, yeah, that was a good movie. And you know what good superhero movies mean, right? Action figures! And thanks to Hasbro’s wonderful case pack outs and distribution, I’ve ended up buying both the 6 inch and 3 ¾ inch lines, to ensure I can get my Captain America fix. Yes, I have a problem. Anyway, there are a few versions of the sentinel of liberty himself. I picked up the “Shield Blitz” version.

THE FIGURE ITSELF
Cap was released in the second assortment of figures in the Captain America: The Winter Soldier line, along with the Falcon. This particular figure depicts Cap in his WW2 uniform seen in the first movie, though they seem to have given it a color scheme a bit more in line with the one he wears in The Winter Soldier. The figure stands about 3 ¾ inches tall and features 19 points of articulation. The figure seems a bit small, especially in comparison to other movie offerings, and he would also really benefit from wrist, ankle and waist joints. As he is currently, he seems a bit stiff. The sculpt on this figure is okay. I think it’s better than the previous movie’s take on the costume, but still not amazing. The head does bear a vague resemblance to Chris Evans, but it’s hard to tell at this scale. One of the things that does bug me a bit is the torso just seeming a bit too short, which gives him this oddly scrunched look. The paintwork is decent, with no real slop, but I do wish they had added a few more paint apps. They left his gun the same color as the holster! Also, there seemed to be quite a bit of variance in the quality of the paint work on the figures I saw, so you might want to check for the best one. The accessories, oh boy, the accessories. Hasbro is and has for quite some time been a fan of the over-sized, useless missile launchers as accessories, but they are typically in addition to one or two more sensible pieces as well. This seems to have changed with The Winter Soldier figures. Cap includes a shield launcher (because we wouldn’t want him to have to actually throw his shield…) and a shield that can be launched. No real issue, right? He still has the shield, right? Yeah, about that… To facilitate the launching feature, they kind of undersized the shield, rounded the edges, and, for some really stupid reason, replaced the usually handles meant for holding it with a single peg. Which he can’t really hold properly, since his hands have been molded in pseudo trigger fingers. Thanks Hasbro…

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This is kind of another example of my lack of self-control on certain action figure purchases. I pretty much bought this because I wanted a Cap to go with the Winter Soldier and Falcon figures I was buying to hold me over until the Minimates and 6 inch versions are readily available. Of the three Caps available, this one seemed to be the best option. The shield totally sucks, and the proportions are a bit off in some places, but I actually am not all that bummed by my decision. He’s not too bad, and I do feel, appearance-wise anyway, he’s an improvement over the one from The First Avenger.

#0181: Spider-Man – Unmasked

SPIDER-MAN – UNMASKED

SPIDER-MAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES

Spider-Man, Spider-Man.  Does whatever a spider can.  Spins a web any size.  Catches thieves just like flies.  Look out, here comes a Spider-Man….Review.  It’s a Spider-Man review.  That’s what it is.

Yes, it’s another figure from the 90s Marvel Licensing giant that was ToyBiz.  They made a big success with X-Men, so they moved onto Spider-Man and ended up finding even greater success.  This figure comes from that line.  It’s not the first figure I’ve taken a look at from this line, but the first figure was actually Captain America, so I didn’t really discuss it much at length.

Once the line proper had proved to be a hit, ToyBiz teamed up with BJs Wholesalers to have several exclusive boxed sets, consisting mostly of repaints, and based around certain themes.  Today’s figure comes from one of those sets.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

This figure was released as part of a 6 pack of figures, all based on the Clone Saga, which was going on in the comics at the time.  The figure depicts Peter in his Spider-Man costume, sans mask.  I guess he took his mask off a lot in the story?  I must confess, I haven’t actually read the Clone Saga, so I wouldn’t know.  I’m not opposed to having an unmasked Spider-Man, whatever the reasoning, so I’m not complaining.  The figure stands about 5 inches tall and features 11 points of articulation, which was pretty good for the time.  The figure was made from completely reused parts:  The head comes from the Spider-Man line’s version of Peter Parker, and the body is the same one used on Mutant X’s The Fallen.  It’s a body ToyBiz was fond of reusing.  It’s not bad, though it is a bit scrawny, especially in the lower arms.  The head was pretty nice.  It’s based on his look on the cartoon, which it emulates well.  Peter’s  paintwork is decent, not amazing.  Mine has some wear on the webbing from minor play and such.  As far as I recall, he included no accessories.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

So, I’m going to give a shout out to my friend Pat Sponaugle, who follows this blog. This figure, as well as the rest of the set he was included in, was a Christmas gift from Pat way back when!  Thanks Pat!

Overall, he’s actually a pretty neat figure.  Perhaps not the greatest Spider-Man ever, but still pretty cool.  I have fond memories of getting this figure and adding it to my, at the time much smaller, collection.  I think this was the rough start time of me becoming the kid for whom everyone just bought whatever action figures they could find during the holiday season.

#0180: Kitty Pryde

KITTY PRYDE

MARVEL UNIVERSE (HASBRO)

When Hasbro took over the Marvel license, it was no surprise when they launched Marvel Universe, a 3 ¾ inch scale line of figures. 3 ¾ inch is Hasbro’s bread and butter, what with their long runs on both GI Joe and Star Wars. Marvel Universe has officially been replaced by Avengers Infinite, but it had a pretty decent run. Most of my Marvel Universe collection was Avengers-related, but for some odd reason, all of my Marvel Universe reviews have been X-Men figures. Guess the randomized list has a preference for those crazy mutants! Today’s review continues that with the team’s #1 girl who walks through walls, Kitty Pryde, aka Shadowcat, aka Ariel, aka Sprite, aka holy crap, why the heck can’t these people just stick with a name?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Kitty was released as part of the 8th series of Marvel Universe. She’s based on John Cassidy’s redesign of the character from his and Joss Whedon’s run on Astonishing X-Men. She stands about 3 ¾ inches tall and has 21 points of articulation. When Marvel Universe started out, there was one female body to go around, and that’s the one they put Kitty on. While it I still think that the female buck was the best of the initial base bodies, that ain’t saying much. The proportions aren’t terrible, but arms and legs do seem a bit stubby, the neck is most certainly too long, and she has an odd bow-legged stance. The base body is also too big for Kitty, who is generally depicted as being a fairly small person, even as an adult. The head isn’t the worst thing ever, but it’s nothing to write home about. She looks like a woman in her 40s, not her 20s as she should be, and the hair just looks strange overall. Perhaps Hasbro was attempting to recreate Kitty Pryde: The Later Years, after she and Colossus have settled down. One can only hope we’ll eventually see the complimentary Colossus with a receding hairline and beer gut (Oh, wait, he’s Russian. Is a vodka gut a thing?).  The paint work is even worse than the sculpting, with lots of fuzzy lines, and parts of the uniform that don’t match up right from piece to piece. Kitty includes a stand with her name on it and her pet dragon Lockheed, who may well be the best part of the figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

If I recall correctly, Kitty was part of the large selection of Marvel Universe figures I picked up while Target was running a “buy-one-get-one-free” special. She’s not a particularly good figure, but she’s better than some of the earlier Marvel Universe offerings, so that’s good I suppose. Also, it’s not like there are a wide range of Kitty Pryde figures from which to choose, so if you want a figure of this fairly essential X-Woman, this is one of the few options available.

#0179: Daryl Dixon & Chopper

DARYL DIXON & CHOPPER

THE WALKING DEAD

It had a rocky start, but McFarlane’s The Walking Dead line is really becoming one of the better toylines around.  I recently looked at a few of the figures from series 5, and was quite impressed overall.  Today’s character is fan-favorite Daryl Dixon, who was actually one of the very first characters released in the line, way back in series 1.  However, that figure had more in common with Kevin Federline than it did the esteemed Mr. Dixon, so he was definitely one of the most requested re-dos.  McFarlane seems to be pulling out all the stops for Daryl, and went ahead and released him along with his distinctive chopper.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Daryl and the Chopper were released as a boxed set, which is loosely serving as a supplement to series 5 of the main line.  Daryl stands about 5 inches tall and has 27 points of articulation (the box says 25, but it’s 27.  Perhaps McFarlane needs to work on their counting skills?).  Daryl has a brand new style of hip articulation for the line, and it’s definitely an improvement over the other figures.  Hopefully, McFarlane will be making this a standard feature.  The accuracy of Daryl’s headsculpt seems to be a matter of opinion, with some claiming it’s spot on and others claiming it’s totally off.  I fall somewhere in between;  it’s not a perfect likeness, but it’s obviously Norman Reedus.  The rest of the figure’s sculpt is tremendous.  All of the clothing has the appropriate textures and such, and it really looks like a real person.  The paintwork is pretty good.  There’s no real slop, and there’s some dry-brushing and washes that help bring out the sculpted textures.  Daryl includes a knife that can be sheathed and his trusty crossbow, which has three removable arrows.  There are slots for four arrows, so I may have been shorted one.

THE VEHICLE ITSELF

The Chopper is more an accessory to Daryl than its own item, but the work put into it is still top notch.  The bike is about 4 inches tall and 6 inches long, and it has movement in four places.  The sculpt is nothing short of amazing.  All the parts line up correctly, and it’s perfectly scaled to Daryl.  The tires are even real rubber, which is a cool touch.  The paintwork is exceptional, which plenty of texturing and weathering, as well as the appropriate logos and such.  The license plate even has realistic wear, so it really looks like it’s been through an apocalypse.  The Chopper includes two bags that can be set on the back, as well as a small stand to allow it to be displayed on the shelf without the kickstand down.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I picked this set up from Amazon, back when it was up for pre-order.  I honestly only picked it up for Daryl, but the Chopper is amazing piece of work, and shouldn’t be overlooked.  Overall, this continues the upturn in quality from McFarlane, which is definitely cool to see.  I can’t wait for the next series!

#0178: Rogue & Beast

ROGUE & BEAST

MARVEL MINIMATES

Sometimes two things come together in a way that’s more awesome than you can possibly imagine. Such was the case for me with Marvel Minimates series 34. Obviously, the mere fact that it’s Minimates makes it one of my favorite things, but in addition to that, this particular wave was based on Jim Lee’s early 90s work on X-Men. This means they happen to have the same designs as the versions of the characters present on X-Men: The Animated Series, the cartoon effectively responsible for getting me into superheroes and the toys that accompany.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

As noted in the intro, these two were released in Marvel Minimates series 34, and are based on Rogue and Beast’s appearance in the comics in the early 90s.

ROGUE

This isn’t the first time I’ve looked at a figure of Rogue based on this particular design; I’ve previously looked at Hasbro’s interpretation from their Marvel Universe line. As I said in that figure’s review, I think the costume is a good choice because it’s the one most people remember. She’s built on the standard Minimate body, so she has 14 points of articulation and stands about 2 ½ inches tall. She features 6 sculpted add-on pieces: Hair/headband, rolled up sleeves, leather jacket/belt, and boots. The hair and jacket are brand new pieces and the rolled sleeves and boots are re-uses, seen several times in the line. The hair looks pretty much spot on to Rogue’s style of the time. The jacket isn’t bad, though it might be a bit bulky around the shoulders. The paintwork is cleanly applied for the most part. The detail lines are pretty much limited to the front of the torso and head, though she also has the appropriate x-logo on her right shoulder, which is nice to see because it often gets overlooked. Rogue included no accessories.

BEAST

For many people, this is the definitive version of Beast; a hulking, blue, furry guy in blue shorts with an x-logo and sporting some serious Wolverine-hair. I’m more partial to the more reserved George Perez styled Beast from when he was a member of the Avengers, but I certainly appreciate this look. He’s built on the usual Minimate body, like Rogue, so he has the same basic height and articulation. Beast features 9 sculpted pieces: hair, bulked up torso, elongated forearms, clawed hands, belt, and big, furry feet. The hands come from DC’s Cheetah, the forearms come from the sentinel released in the previous wave (more on that in a second), and the torso and belt are standard pieces; the hair and feet are new. The new pieces are great. The feet are just the right size, and while the hair may be a touch too big, it still looks good. The reused pieces are a bit of a mixed bag. The hands work fine, but the torso cover isn’t one of my favorites, mostly due to those shoulders. The forearms are odd, because they were initially used as blast-off hand pieces in the sentinel. They were cool there, but here they look way too long, giving the arms a strange set of proportions. Fortunately, they can be removed, which greatly improves the figure. The paint detailing is pretty good. I especially love the face, as it’s the perfect expression for Hank. The coloration is off on the bulked up torso, which is a bummer, but you can remove it to reveal a full set of details on the under-lying torso, so it’s not too bad. Beast includes a spare set of feet.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was pretty excited when this series was announced, but I will admit this set is just average at best. It’s easily the weakest of the wave, but it does have some redeeming features. The Rogue featured here is easily the definitive version of the character, and Beast is a passable version of a character who is severely lacking in alternative choices. It’s a solid set, and I’m certainly glad I have it.

#0177: XLR8

XLR8

BEN 10

Ben 10. Now that’s a name I haven’t heard in quite some time…

Ben 10 was one of those shows I was very interested in at first, but started to drift from after a few episodes. I don’t really know why. It wasn’t a bad show, I just started routinely missing it. Nevertheless, I had the action figures, because those alien designs were pretty cool. Today I’ll be looking at the resident speedster: XLR8. Isn’t that a clever name?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

XLR8 was released as part of the second assortment of Bandai’s Ben 10 line. He has 8 (wow a whole 8!) points of articulation and stands roughly 3 ½ inches tall. He’s a Bandai America figure, so he was in the 3 ½ inch Ben 10 line, meaning every single figure in the line was 3 ½ inches tall, regardless of relative height to each other. Oh the joys of Bandai. The 8 points of articulation allow you to put him in a standing pose and…. Yeah that’s about it. There are no other poses. The figure’s sculpt isn’t terrible, but it’s not quite on model to the animation either. Most noticeably, the upper legs look pretty off, almost like kangaroo legs. The tail has been sculpted in a position that looks good with almost no poses, so there’s that I suppose. The figure’s paint work is okay, but there are a few spots with fuzzy paint masks or bleed over. He also had random black spots various places, even when brand new. The figure includes a removable mask, which actually is pretty cool.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This figure was acquired using a gift card I got for Christmas one year, I believe. I remember I quite liked XLR8’s design on the show, and IU was very definitely looking forward to the figure. As with almost all Bandai figures I own, I remember liking the figure when I got it, but now I have no idea why. They just aren’t very good toys, truth be told. It’s a shame too, because some of the Ben 10 designs really would make cool toys if handled properly.

#0176: Avengers Boxed set

HULK, GIANT MAN, CAPTAIN AMERICA, & KANG

MARVEL MINIMATES

If there’s one toyline I like more than all others, it’s Minimates, particularly the Marvel Minimates subset. Frequent readers should be well aware of this fact, given the sheer volume of Marvel Minimates reviews present on this site. Anyway, I’ve got another Marvel Minimates review for today. This set is important in that it heralded the first release of long-demanded villain Kang!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

This was one of two boxed sets released exclusively through the Disney Store in 2012. The sets were both Avengers related, in an attempt to tie into the movie release. The sets featured three all new figures packaged with five re-releases from Marvel Minimates series 44.

HULK

The Hulk is one of the three re-packs in this set. He’s based on his Professor Hulk incarnation, from Peter David’s run of Hulk. The basic idea was that Banner’s intelligence remained when he turned into the Hulk. It was a pretty big moment in the comics, and it definitely deserves a Minimate. This is actually the second Minimate of Professor Hulk, but the less said about the first one, the better. The figure is built on the standard Minimate body, with sculpted add-ons for bulk. He stands a little over 2 ½ inches tall and has 12 points of articulation. Most of the bulked up pieces are the same ones seen on other large characters, but he does feature a new set of feet, new hair, and it’s the first official release of the basic bulked up hands. All of the pieces look pretty good, and it’s nice to finally get a hairpiece that accurately resembles Hulks occasional bowl cut look. The paint work is good overall. There’s a bit of slop a few places, but all detail work is sharp. Hulk includes two rock slabs.

GIANT MAN

GiAnt Man is yet another of the repacks from this set. He’s based on George Perez’s redesign of the character from his and Kurt Busiek’s run on The Avengers in the 90s. The idea behind this redesign was creating a look that could easily morph between Hank’s Giant Man and Ant Man personas, hence the GiAnt Man title. It’s not a bad look, so its inclusion here is fair. He’s also built on the standard Minimates body, so he’s about 2 ½ inches tall and has 14 points of articulation. The number of add-ons depends on how you set him up, but amongst them are a Giant Man helmet, an Ant Man helmet, a belt, a torso extender, a pair of tall feet and a pair of short feet. The figure seems to be a case of better in concept than in execution, as the Giant Man set-up looks a bit strange, the Ant Man set-up is a bit too large, and neither helmet actually fits his face properly, leading to his mouth being too far down, making him look silly. The figure also includes a spare hairpiece to display him unmasked. It’s a re-use of Renfield’s hair from the Dracula set, and I’m not sure it quite fits Hank. Overall, this figure had some potential, but ends up being a bit of a mess.

 

CAPTAIN AMERICA

Cap is the final repack in this set. He based on Cap’s typical look, though it does take some of the more specific cues from George Perez’s work. The figure is on the standard body, so he’s got the usual stats. He features six sculpted add-ons: mask, glove cuffs, shield strap, and boots. All of these are reuse from previous Captains, but it’s kind of a case of “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” The paint work is all pretty good. Everything is nice and clean, and he’s even got little details, like the scales on his shirt or the blue shorts he’s sometimes depicted wearing over the pants. One area that is a bit off is the face, which seems a little bit angry looking for Cap. Other than that, he’s a pretty great standard Cap release. He includes his mighty shield (in metallic colors!), and a spare hairpiece, which is a re-use from one of the Back to the Future Marty McFly figures.

KANG

KAAAAANG!!! Yeah, he was a pretty big deal. Kang is the only exclusive figure in this set. For those of you who don’t know Kang, he’s one of the more pivotal Avengers foes. He was a conqueror from the future that came back in time to take over earlier. The Avengers of course would always stop him, as they do. For a quick explanation, I’d recommend checking out the character’s appearances in Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, which is currently available for streaming on Netflix. Kang is built in the standard Minimates body, so he has all the typical stats. He features 7 sculpted add-ons: helmet, gloves, shoulder armor, belt, and upper arms. The upper arms are the same ones seen on Betsy Braddock and the Hydra Elite. They aren’t my favorite piece, but they do work for depicting more billowy shirt material, which Kang does have. I think the rest of the pieces are new, though the gloves mightbe a re-use. The paint work on Kang is pretty good. Nothing spectacular, but it isn’t bad and everything is nice and sharp. Kang includes two guns and a pink teleportation stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was pretty excited about this set. The update on Professor Hulk was much needed, and the release of Kang was super cool! I wish Giant Man had been a bit better, but overall, this is a pretty good set. I got this set from Disney’s online store, as none of the Disney Stores near me carry Minimates. I like the idea of Disney exclusives, if it gets us cool sets like this, but they should definitely work on distribution.

#0175: Keith & Black Lion (Plus Voltron!)

KEITH & BLACK LION

VOLTRON CLASSICS We’re nearing the end of Voltron Week, with Part 5! Today’s review is a look at the final Lion and its pilot Keith from Mattel’s Voltron Classics. Keith is the team’s leader and the Black Lion is the most important of the set, connecting the other four to form Voltron.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Keith and the Black Lion were the final release in the line. They went up for sale on Matty Collector in October of 2012. Keith stands about 3 ¾ inches tall and features the same 18 points of articulation as everyone else in the line. Keith shares a body with Lance. It’s not a perfect sculpt, but it works fine, and Lance and Keith should have similar builds, so it’s a sensible reuse. The head is a new piece and looks pretty spot on to the character’s look on the show. Paint-wise, Keith makes out the best of the pilots, with really clean lines and details, and by far the best detailing on the head. Like Allura, he uses a molded skin tone instead of a painted one, but unlike Allura, he isn’t plagued by messy paint. Keith includes an alternate helmeted head, the final piece of the “Blazing Sword” and a key stand.

THE VEHICLE ITSELF

The Black Lion is the central Lion, and is definitely the biggest of the five. This isn’t quite accurate to the show, where the Lions were more or less the same size, but things were understandably fudged so that the final Voltron construction looked good. The Black Lion is about 7 inches tall, and features 29ish points of articulation. Like the rest of the Lions, this articulation is mostly limited by the various spring loaded features, though the back legs, tail, neck and wing thingies are all unfettered by the features. The sculpt isn’t terrible, but the proportions are noticeably off, obviously done to optimize the design of the fully assembled Voltron. Everything is sharp and symmetrical. The Black Lion features the most detailed paintwork of any of the Lions, which does bring him up a peg. All of the paint is cleanly applied with no bleed over or slop. The Black Lion included a fully assembled Voltron sword and shield, fully completing the five lions’ transformation into:

VOLTRON, DEFENDER OF THE UNIVERSE!

Voltron

Please do excuse the out of the ordinary background for Voltron. He’s too large for me to photograph in my usual set up, so here he is standing in my family room. Voltron stands 24 inches tall and features 25 points of articulation while in Voltron-mode. Voltron is of course made up of the five Lions, so most of the things said in those reviews apply here. He does have a sculpted face, which appears when the emblem on the Black Lion’s torso is pressed, popping the Lion’s jaw open. The face looks pretty spot on to what the character looked like on the show, and it’s painted with some nice detail work. Overall, Voltron was very definitely worth the wait to get all the Lions, and his size alone makes him quite the standout piece.

VoltronAccessories

 

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Like the rest of the figures from Voltron Classics, I had to pick up Keith and the Black Lion from Matty Collector on the day of release. It was quite the hectic day, as there were a number of other items I was attempting to get at the same time. I wound up being successful, only hitting a small handful of waiting screens, and completing my order in less than 10 minutes. Upon arrival, I noticed Keith’s extra helmeted head had been quite mangled in the package. I contacted customer service to get a replacement, but they seemed very reluctant to send out a new piece, and ultimately wanted me to ship Keith and the Lion back, and then they would send me another one once mine arrived. I wasn’t really keen on sending it back, so I ended up doing a bit of work to get the head into a less mangled state.