#0283: Pink Ranger

PINK RANGER

BANDAI FIGUARTS

PinkRanger1

Well, the Birthday reviews continue at a steady pace. Today marks Part Four, and believe me, we still have a ways to go! One of my big gifts this year was a near complete set of the Rangers from Bandai’s latest take on the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers. I’ve looked at three of them so far, and I’ll be looking at another one today. This time around, it’s one of the show’s two female characters (and the show’s ONLY female character in Japan), The Pink Ranger!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

PinkRangerWilsonThe Pink Ranger was the fourth release in Bandai’s Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers subline of the larger S.H. Figuarts line, released at the tail end of last year. The figure is just over 5 inches tall in height and features 36 points of articulation, the same as her male compatriots. Unsurprisingly, the Pink Ranger features a completely new sculpt, given the lack of potential re-use from the male figures. The body is decently proportioned, probably more accurately than the male body, in fact. Also, the elbow and knee joints seem less intrusive this time, which is funny, what with the arms and legs being smaller. She features an add-on skirt piece, which has been split at the sides to allow leg movement, although it still impedes it a bit. At first glance the helmet seems a tad oversized, but looking at some reference, it actually seems pretty accurate to the size on the show. The paint work on the Pink Ranger is just as straight forward as the rest of the rangers. It looks pretty good, although the plastic used for the elbow and knee joints is a slightly different hue of pink than the paint used on the arms and legs. It isn’t too noticeable in person, but it’s fairly apparent in the pictures. She’s got a pretty impressive selection of accessories, including a Blade Blaster in folded up form and a Thunder slinger, which are the same two pieces included with all the basic rangers, as well as her Power Bow, and eight hands: a pair of fists, a karate chop, a loose hand, a pair for gripping the Slinger, one for holding the bow, and a hand with an arrow molded to it. Pink Ranger has one of the better hand selections of the group, and they really add a lot to her display potential.

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THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The Pink Ranger was part of the selection of Rangers I received from my totally cool parents for my birthday this year. She offers a nice bit of diversity to the set, which is certainly cool, and it’s nice to see a female figure without super weird proportions. She also lucked out with some of the cooler accessories the line has to offer, which just gives her more points. All in all a pretty great figure!

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#0282: Blue Ranger

BLUE RANGER

BANDAI FIGUARTS

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It’s time for yet another day of post birthday bliss. I’ve got quite a few items to take a look at, so hopefully the bliss will last for a little while. Amongst my many gifts this year was a set of Bandai’s latest take on the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, so for Birthday Reviews Part Three I’ll be looking at another one of those. Today’s figure is the Blue Ranger, who is incidentally the only of the original rangers to make it through all three seasons of the original show. Let’s see how he turned out!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

BlueRangerWilsonThe Blue Ranger was sixth, and penultimate release in Bandai’s Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers subset of the S.H. Figuarts line, and he was released just last month. The figure stands roughly 5 ½ inches tall and has 36 points of articulation. From the neck down, the sculpt of the Blue Ranger is identical to that of the Red and Black Rangers. This isn’t all that surprising for the Rangers, and it’s not a bad body to re-use. I’m still not totally sold on the elbow and knee joints, but it could be worse. The Blue Ranger’s head is all new, and it depicts the Blue Ranger’s triceratops-themed helmet pretty much perfectly. Like the other Rangers before him, the Blue Ranger has a pretty straight forward paint job, with no real slop or bleed over. The blue certainly looks very nice on the body, so that’s cool! The Blue Ranger has a nice selection of accessories, including a folded up Blade Blaster and a Thunder Slinger, both the same as the ones included with Red and Black, plus his Power Lance in both separated and combined forms and four pairs of hands: fists, tight and loose grips, and a pair of flat fists. He also includes the Pink and Yellow pieces for the power blaster, which I’ll be looking at with the Yellow Ranger. The hands are useful over all, though the flat ones are a bit strange, and I wish that we had gotten the Power Lance in fully extended form, but it’s a pretty good selection of stuff.

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THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The Blue Ranger was yet another birthday gift, given to me by my super cool parents. The Blue was always my favorite ranger, so it was actually the announcement of his release that got me interested in the line. He’s a pretty great figure, and he’s definitely my favorite!

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#0281: Black Ranger

BLACK RANGER

BANDAI FIGUARTS

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It’s that great time of year that is the days that follow my birthday, where I have a wealth of brand new toys to play with. Lucky for all of you, I also get to review them right here on the site. So, here’s Birthday Reviews Part Deux! Continuing on yesterday’s Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers theme, it’s the Black Ranger!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

BlackRangerWilsonThe Black Ranger was the fifth release in Bandai’s Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers off-shoot of their S.h. Figuarts line, and he was released earlier this year. The figure is about 5 ½ inches in height and sports 36 points of articulation. Good or bad (mostly good), the Black Ranger’s sculpt is identical to the Red Ranger’s from the neck down. That being the case, he has the same strengths and faults as that figure. I still find the elbow and knee joints to be a bit distracting, but they aren’t terrible. The Black Ranger does have an all new head sculpt, depicting his mastodon themed helmet. It looks really good, and is easily the best part of the figure. The paint on the Black Ranger is pretty straight forward, with no slop or bleed over. The Ranger body looks especially sharp in black and white, so that’s a definite plus. The Black Ranger includes a pretty hefty selection of accessories, including a thunder slinger and a blade blaster, both of which are the same as the ones included with Red, plus he has his trademark power axe/blaster, and nine different hands: fists, three styles of gripping, and a loose fist right hand. He also includes the Blue and Red Ranger pieces for the power blaster, which I’ll look at when I have the whole team put together.

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THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Black Ranger was another of my birthday gifts, given to me by my really awesome parents. The Black Ranger actually holds a bit more nostalgia for me than the others. Back in the 90s, I had one of the smaller scale Black Ranger action figures, given to me by one of my Dad’s co-workers. I wish I knew what happened to that figure, but I remember I really liked it. Anyway, this figure is certainly a worthy replacement to that one, and it looks great with the rest of the Rangers.

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#0280: Red Ranger

RED RANGER

BANDAI SH FIGUARTS

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So, it was my birthday yesterday. And you all missed it. Way to go. Just kidding! Anyway, birthday means opportunity for people to give me gifts, which, unsurprisingly, means that I get a nice assortment of toys. Which means I have new stuff to review! Commence Birthday Reviews Part 1!

Today’s figure hails from the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, a show that most children of the 90s will probably have a bit of familiarity with. Bandai, (Japan, not America, because Bandai America SUCKS!) has recently begun offering an assortment of figures based on Super Sentai, which is what Power Rangers was in Japan, and for the most recent round of Mighty Morphin’ inspired figures, North American distributers Bluefin have stepped in to offer some officially Power Rangers branded versions for those of us in the US. Let’s get things kicked off with the line’s Red Ranger!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

RedRangerWilsonThe Red Ranger was the first release in Bandai’s Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers off-shoot of their main S.H. Figuarts line. Similarly to Bandai’s Ultra-Act line, Figuarts doesn’t have a typical series lay out, instead opting for individual figure releases. The Red Ranger saw release in 2013. The figure stands about 5 ½ inches tall (a little bit smaller than an Ultra-Act figure) and features 36 points of articulation. He’s based on the basic Red Ranger design from Mighty Morphin’, which is also the same design as the Red Zyuranger in Japan. The Red Ranger got a new sculpt, which seems to be a pretty good approximation of the look on the show. The body is a little bit slimmer than the actual actor, but that’s probably more a stylistic choice than anything. The elbow and knee joints also interrupt the sculpt quite a bit, even cutting off the gloves a bit early in the front. It’s not too bad, but it is slightly annoying, especially since it isn’t an issue that the Ultra-Act figures suffer from. The helmet is by far the figure’s most distinctive part, and Jason’s T-Rex themed helmet looks really great here! The Red Ranger’s paint is fairly straight forward. Nothing too complex, but pretty good. There’s a few very minor issues of some bleed over, especially around the edges of the boots and gloves, but other than that everything looks ship-shape. The Red Ranger is impressively accessorized, with his Power Sword, his Blade Blaster and Thunder Slinger in varying configurations, and five pairs of hands: fists, two figure gesture, and three varieties of gripping.

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THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The Red Ranger was one of several gifts from my always awesome parents, given to me for my birthday this year. Back in the 90s, I was a pretty big Power Rangers fan, though I never really had any of the toys. Having these figures offers a nice bit of nostalgia, as well as a pretty cool set of action figures in their own right!

#0279: Groot

GROOT

MARVEL LEGENDS

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All good things must come to an end. Also, mediocre things and bad things have to come to an end too. Essentially, what I’m saying is that wherever you stand on the quality of the “Groot Week” reviews, today marks the end of said week. Yes, it’s Groot Week Part 7, featuring the main man himself, Groot!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

GrootWilsonGroot was released as the Build-A-Figure for the Guardians of the Galaxy Marvel Legends Infinite Series, who could be assembled by acquiring all of the figures in the series. The figure stands about 8 ½ inches tall and features 28 points of articulation. The figure is based on Groot’s appearance in the movie, though it could easily pass for one of the comicbook interpretations of the character. The sculpt is brand new, which is not a shock with a unique looking character such as Groot. I’m honestly impressed at the level of work put into the new pieces, considering none of them have the potential for re-use. Still, the sculpt looks spot on to the look from the movie, and it’s got some really great detail work. In particular, Groot’s face just looks perfect for the character. It would be easy to write the paint work on Groot off as simple, but the more appropriate word would be “subtle.” While the work isn’t immediately obvious, Groot has quite a bit of detail work that helps make him look like a tree-man instead of a hunk of brown plastic. Groot, like many Build-A-Figures before him, is sans-accessories, essentially being an accessory himself. It’s easy to forgive, given his larger stature and impressive detail work.

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THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Groot, being the Build-A-Figure for the series, was purchased piece-by-piece from Amazon. While the rest of the series has been pretty darn good, Groot was my main reason for buying the set. There was a fair bit of pressure for him to be a good figure, and I have to say, he really delivers on that front. Groot has proved to be my favorite figure in the series by far, and completing him makes up for some of the short comings of a few of the others in the series!

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#0278: Nova

NOVA

MARVEL LEGENDS INFINITE SERIES

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Groot Week is almost finished, but there’s still one more basic review and then the review of Groot himself left. Today’s figure is Nova, the second half of the two comic-themed figures in Hasbro’s Guardians of the Galaxy Marvel Legends Infinite Series. The Nova Corps seems set to play a fairly important role in the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy movie, so the inclusion of a Nova figure here is certainly a sensible one. Let’s see how the figure turned out!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

NovaWilsonNova is part of the Guardians of the Galaxy Marvel Legends Infinite Series. The figure is about 6 inches tall and sports 32 points of articulation (counting the moving shoulder pads). He’s based on the Nova Prime incarnation of the Richard Rider version of Nova, which is the look Richard’s been sporting for the last several years in the comics. It’s a sharp design (both metaphorically and literally), and it’s been fairly prominent in the comics, so it’s a good choice. Nova seems to have a mostly new sculpt.  He looks like he uses the basic male buck seen on figures such as Zemo and Boomerang as a reference point, and he may also use the upper arms, upper legs and feet from that body, but it’s hard to tell. The new pieces look really good, and everything seems accurate to the character’s design. Unfortunately, Nova uses softer plastic than the other figures in the series, so he ends up being rather shaky, and a bit difficult to keep standing. The paint work on Nova is all nice and cleanly applied, with no noticeable slop or bleed over, plus he’s got some pretty sweet shiny metallic coloring going for him. It’s nice to see him break from the pack paint-wise. Like iron Man, Nova’s sole accessory is his Groot piece, which is the right arm in this instance. It’s disappointing to see another figure lacking accessories, but once again, Nova doesn’t really have any accessories that jump to mind.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Like all of his series compatriots, Nova was purchased from Amazon once the series became available. Initially, I hadn’t planned on picking up Nova, but once I decided to complete Groot, he became a necessity. I’m a moderate fan of Nova, but I tend to prefer his classic design. Still, this figure does an admirable job translating his newer design. I do wish they’d used a sturdier plastic for him, but it doesn’t ruin the figure, and his issues standing don’t even come close to the ones that plague Gamora. All in all, Nova’s a pretty good figure, and is potentially the figure in the series with the best chance of being a stand alone purchase.

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#0277: Iron Man

IRON MAN

MARVEL LEGENDS INFINITE SERIES

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Groot Week continues today with part five. Like the previous reviews, this figure comes from Hasbro’s most recent round of Marvel Legends Infinite Series, based on the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy movie. The series includes six regular figures and a Build-A-Figure. I’ve reviewed the four movie figures, and today I’ll do the first of the two comic-themed reviews. The first comic-themed figure is Iron Man, who is effectively the series’ heavy hitter.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

IronManSpaceWilsonIron Man is part of the Guardians of the Galaxy Marvel Legends Infinite Series. He stands about 6 inches tall and features 32 points of articulation (counting the shoulder pads). The figure is based on Iron Man’s space-faring armor from the most recent Guardians of the Galaxy comics, also known as the “Phoenix Killer” armor. It’s certainly a unique design, and its prominent placement with the Guardians makes for a sensible inclusion in the series. The figure is predominantly re-use. He features a new head and shoulder pads on the body of the Bleeding Edge Iron Man from the first series Iron Man 3 Marvel Legends. The Bleeding Edge is one of Hasbro’s better Iron Man sculpts, so it’s a great starting point, and the head offers a different take on the Iron Man helmet. I’m not sure how I feel about the shoulder pads. They stick up pretty high, and almost seem like they’d seem better flipped the other direction. The biggest issue the figure faces, however, is his inability to put his arms all the way down, which is an issue native to the original base figure. It would have been nice if Hasbro had done some re-working to facilitate improved movement, but I can understand the need to save some money on tooling. The paint work is fairly basic. He’s molded in a metallic red and has some simple gold highlights, and a few yellow details painted on. For the most part, everything is applied cleanly with no noticeable slop or bleed over. There are one or two areas of some minor chipping, but they aren’t too noticeable, so it’s not bad. Iron Man is relatively light on the accessories, with only the right leg of Build-A-Figure Groot included. I can’t really think of any accessories that could have been included, so I can’t really fault Hasbro here.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Iron Man was purchased via Amazon, like his series-mates before him. For the most part, I only got Iron Man for the Groot piece, but I have to say, after having him in hand, I like him a whole lot more than I thought I would. The bold colors and the use of one of Hasbro’s best Iron Man bodies make this a really solid figure, and the unique design means he really stands out from the pack. Iron Man is a pretty great that will sadly be overlooked by a lot of people due to being yet another Iron Man.

#0276: Drax

DRAX

MARVEL LEGENDS INFINITE SERIES

Drax1

It’s time for part four of my look at Hasbro’s most recent round of Marvel Legends figures. This time around, the figures are based around the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy movie. There are six main figures, four based on the movie and two based on the comics. Today, I’ll be looking at Guardians member Drax (formerly Drax the Destroyer), who is also the last single release figure based on the movie. Let’s jump on in!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Drax is part of Guardians of the Galaxy Marvel Legends Infinite Series (man, Hasbro seriously needs to come up with a better naming scheme for the new Marvel Legends stuff…). Drax stands about 6 ½ inches tall and features 30 points of articulation. He’s based on Drax’s design in the movie, which is in turn influenced by Drax’s more modern design in the comics. I can’t say I’m a huge fan of the character’s more recent looks (purple spandex and pirate boots for the win!), but the movie does add a decent spin on it I suppose. Like the rest of the main Guardians, Drax features a brand new sculpt, so as to properly replicate his movie design. Drax’s sculpt is truly an impressive piece of work. The figure has a nice bit of heft to him, and has a properly bulky build. On top of the build, he’s got some wonderful texture work on his uniform and tattoos. The tattoos are something that a lesser company might have just painted, but the sculpt really helps them pop. The paint work on Drax is actually pretty good. There’s a few areas of slop and bleed over, but nothing too major, and certainly nothing as bad as some of the others in this series. In fact, Drax has the best paint of the series so far! Drax comes armed twin knives, which fit nicely in his hands and the sheaths on his boots, and he also features the lower torso of Groot.

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THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Drax was another figure acquired from Amazon after they got the Guardians figures in stock. Drax was a figure I had no real feelings about one way or the other, mostly due to my relative disinterest in the choice of costume design. While Drax still isn’t one of my favorites in the series, I do think he’s a very solid entry in the series, and he does help to make the team as a whole look a bit better.

#0275: Rocket Raccoon

ROCKET RACCOON

MARVEL LEGENDS INFINITE SERIES

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Welcome to part three of my reviews of Hasbro’s Guardians of the Galaxy Marvel Legends Infinite Series. So far, I’ve looked at Star Lord, who I was really impressed with, and Gamora, who ended up being better than I had expected. Today, I’ll be looking at the most up and coming member of the team, Rocket Raccoon. If you’re unfamiliar with Rocket, allow me to explain him. He’s a talking space raccoon with a big gun. It’s a real tough concept to grasp, I know.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Rocket Raccoon is part of the Guardians of the Galaxy Marvel Legends Infinite Series. He’s about 3 ½ inches tall and features 13 points of articulation. The figure’s small stature means that he’s left with a limited selection of movement, particularly in the legs, which are pretty much immobile. While it’s understandable that they wanted to make him a bit sturdier, it still sucks that he’s unable to do anything with his legs. Rocket features a brand new sculpt, which is decent, though nothing amazing. The head seems to lack any of Rocket’s character, and his neck is just a bit odd looking. It’s also almost impossible to get him to look anywhere but upward, which limits the figure’s display possibilities. The torso, arms and legs all look pretty decent, and seem to be accurate to Rocket’s design in the movie. Rocket’s tail seems the slightest bit stiff, but this is likely meant to aid the figure in standing. The figure’s paint is okay, but not great. Some of the detail, particularly on the face, looks pretty great, but the uniform shows some serious slop, and he’s even got some spots of paint missing entirely. It’s not terrible, but it’s certainly a lot worse than the rest of the figures in the series. Rocket includes a large gun, some sort of torso cannon, and the head and torso of Groot. The gun is a bit tricky to get Rocket to hold properly, but it looks good once it’s in position. The cannon is actually meant to go with Star Lord, and was presumably given to Rocket due to Star Lord already being overloaded with accessories. This, coupled with the largest and most key piece of Groot, seems to be an attempt to make up for Rocket’s smaller stature. It works fine if you’re buying the whole series, but I can’t see it being too intriguing to someone only interested in Rocket himself.

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THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Rocket was purchased online via Amazon, same as Star Lord and Gamora. I was actually looking forward to this figure overall, being excited in general by the prospect of Rocket Raccoon being in a movie and getting a toy from said movie. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit let down by this figure. His small stature, lack of articulation and poor paint all adds up to a figure that doesn’t fill me with loads of joy. Still, he’s far from the worst figure I’ve ever bought, and he does still look pretty darn cool when placed with the rest of the team. If you’re only looking for a Rocket by himself, this one’s not the one for you. There’s a few other versions out there that would probably have more to offer. However, If you’re looking for a full set of the team, this guy’s essential.

#0274: Gamora

GAMORA

MARVEL LEGENDS

Gamora

Marvel’s upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy movie looks like it has the potential to be one of the best movies of the year if the trailers are anything to go by. Due to my excitement for the movie, I went ahead and picked up Hasbro’s Guardians of the Galaxy Marvel Legends Infinite Series, which features the whole main team from the movie, plus two additional figures based on comic designs. Today’s review is a look at one of the main members of the team, and longtime Marvel cosmic character, Gamora.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

GamoraWilsonGamora is a part of the Guardians of the Galaxy Marvel Legends Infinite Series (Man, that’s quite a name to keep typing…). The figure is a little under 6 inches in height and sports 28 points of articulation. Like Star Lord, she’s based on the character’s appearance in the Guardians of the Galaxy movie. She’s in her more unique look from the movie, which is the one that she’s seen wearing in the majority of the promotional material. Gamora has an all-new sculpt, and it’s a pretty good one at that. The proportions are all pretty good, and it avoids the usual issues that plague female action figures. Gamora’s head sculpt features a pretty great Zoe Saldana likeness, which is certainly an improvement over the Star Lord head. The sculpt is somewhat let down by the paint work, which is uneven at best. The head has the best work, especially on the eyes. The body, particularly the torso, has some pretty serious instances of slop, most noticeably in the changeover from skin to clothing. In addition to the sloppy base paint, the figure also features some odd highlight work on her torso and upper legs. It’s very haphazardly applied, and just gives the figure a strange look over all. In addition to the issues with the paint, Gamora is also almost impossible to keep standing for any decent stretch of time, which is a major annoyance. Gamora comes accessorized with a sword and the left leg of Groot. The sword is well sculpted, but it’s incredibly difficult to get her to hold it reliably. I’ll examine the Groot leg when I look at the whole figure later this week.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Like Star Lord, I got Gamora through Amazon once they got the series in stock. I had low expectations for the figure based on the prototype pictures, but in hand I do find myself actually liking the figure more than I thought. That being said, the figure still has some major issues, mostly with paint and stability. It’s unfortunate that the figure suffers from these issues, because the sculpt is really, really good. If Hasbro could manage to get their paint issues sorted out, and possibly include stands or something with their figures, that would really help figures like poor Gamora here turn out better.

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