#0606: Wilderness Crawler

WILDERNESS CRAWLER

ASSEMBLE BORG (REVOLTECH)

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One of the cool things about Assemble Borg (which is totally my new favorite toyline) is that it goes beyond just offering a basic set of figures. Sure, they’re still there and they’re still important to the overall line, but one of the primary focuses is customization and interchangeablity (is that a real word? Spellcheck says no, but I don’t trust these pesky machines) amongst the figures. There are also a number of vehicle sets, which offer a nice variety of extra parts to help spruce up your basic figures. One such set is the Wilderness Crawler, which I’ll be taking a look at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

WildCrawler2Wilderness Crawler is set 013 in the Assemble Borg line. The Crawler was part of the “Assault Gear” subset of the line. There were three “vehicles” that each loosely matched up with one of the three “Counter Strike” figures. The Crawler seems to have been designed to accent Ghost Gunner, however, in contrast to the Jackall, these sets are designed to work as standalone pieces in their default setups. The Wilderness Crawler’s descriptor is “All Terrain Assault Tank A.G.A.” What you can probably gather from that (and the WildCrawler5image at the top of this review) is that the Wilderness Crawler’s default setup is that of a tank. In the tank setup, the Crawler is 3 ½ inches long, 2 ½ inches wide, and 2 ¼ inches tall. In this configuration, there is movement at the “neck” and at the turret.  This is essentially what you would expect from a tank, though I will admit to being just a tad disappointed that the treads don’t actually move. The Wilderness Crawler is assembled (heh!) from 18 sculpted parts, in conjunction with an assortment of Revolver joints and connectors. Unlike previous entries from this line, the Wilderness Crawler doesn’t come put together; instead, the pieces are packed disassembled and there is an included instruction sheet showingWildCrawler6 how to configure them into the basic tank setup. Some pieces, such as the main body, the treads, and the head, are clearly sculpted to be specific things, and they convey what they need to pretty well. The “goggle” piece of the head can be removed, which is cool. I do somewhat wish that the main body was made up of a few more parts; it’s just one big chunk as it is, which limits what you can do with it. The rest of the parts are handled in such a wayWildCrawler4 that they can be used for plenty of different applications, allowing the Crawler to have more than a few potential builds. Each piece of the set is sharply detailed, and they all fit together vary nicely from aesthetic standpoint. Color-wise, the Crawler is mostly done in silver and darker metallic greys, but the goggles and “chest piece” both offer a splash of green, which livens the set up quite a bit. In addition to the base pieces used to assemble the tank layout, the Wilderness Crawler also includes a box of Revolver joints, a stand, and a Revolchip worth 10 points.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I continue to maintain that this is Tim’s fault. He ordered himself one of the Jackall sets, prompting me to look into getting one of my own. I ended up finding a seller that had both the Jackall and this set for a fair bit below their usual going rates. I was somewhat intrigued by the “Assault Gear” subset, so I figured I’d give this one a try. The Wilderness Crawler isn’t quite as exciting as the actual figures, and it doesn’t have the direct ties to a particular figure like the Jackall did, so it’s probably the most underwhelming piece I’ve looked at from this line. That said, it’s also the one I paid the least for, which does it some favors, and it’s far from a boring set. Plus, the pieces can easily be configured into a pretty sick robot, which I’m always in support of!

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#0605: The Brood

THE BROOD

X-MEN (TOYBIZ)

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For the X-Men, simple terrestrial foes just weren’t enough. No, they had to kick off the extraterrestrial bit, starting fairly early in the series, before the original team had even left, when they faced off against the dastardly Lucifer! The aliens continued to show up with a fair bit of regularity, and in the mid-80s, we were introduced to the Brood. They were a bug-like race of creatures that gestated inside other beings and when they hatched, they would take on certain characteristics of the hosts. Sound familiar? Yeah, they weren’t too far removed from the Xenomorphs seen in Alien and Aliens. Not that it was a bad thing! The Brood have made their way into a few X-themed toylines over the years, with their first plastic appearance being in ToyBiz’s massive X-Men line from the 90s.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Brood2The Brood was released in the fifth series of the X-Men line. The figure is about 3 ½ inches tall and 4 inches in length. It features 8 points of articulation, as well as an action feature that flaps the wings and opens the jaw when you press the button on the figure’s back. The Brood are all fairly similar in design, and this figure was meant to be just a generic Brood. That said, if I recall correctly, the presence of wings denotes this as a Brood Queen. But, I could be wrong on that (EDIT: nevermind. I double checked and it looks like some of the drones were winged too). Given the non-human nature of the character, it’s not much of a surprise that the Brood had an all-new sculpt. Overall, it’s a pretty decent translation of the comic design, or at least their appearances in the 80s. It’s not quite as “buggy” as later figures would be, and it’s somewhat on the simpler side when it comes to texture, but it’s not bad, and it certainly fits in with the rest of the line. The muscles at the top of the front arms seem weirdly over-defined, but hey, it was the 90s. Everything had muscles then! I’m surprised the figure didn’t have shoulder pads and pouches. The Brood’s paint is pretty decently handled. The colors are on the drab side, but that’s accurate to the comics, and everything is pretty cleanly defined, if a little on the basic side. The Brood included no accessories, but what the heck would it even come with?

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The Brood is another Balticon acquisition. It came from the same dealer as Shatterstar and Magneto, though, this one was actually dug out of bin of $5 loose figures. So, a little more expensive, but honestly it feels worth it. The figure is a pretty solid piece and it holds up rather well even twenty years later.

#0604: Medusa

MEDUSA

FANTASTIC FOUR (TOYBIZ)

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The Inhumans. They seem to be Marvel’s new pet project. They served as major players in Agents of SHIELD’s second season, they’ve had a couple of recent events that centered on them, and they’re slated to get their own movie. Rumor has it that Marvel’s hoping to elevate them to a near X-Men-like status. Best of luck to them on that. The Inhumans have been rather obscure for a while, but they’ve shown up a few times in toy form over the years. Let’s have a look at the very first figure of the hair-controlling Medusa, member of the royal family.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Medusa2Medusa was released as part of the fourth series of ToyBiz’s 90s Fantastic Four line. This series was based on the cartoon of the same name, and it was the first (and only) series to be based specifically on the show’s second season. Medusa was a recurring character throughout the season, so her inclusion here is quite sensible. The figure is roughly 5 inches tall and features 10 points of articulation. The articulation is…odd. She has some very nice shoulder movement, but she’s got the v-style hip joints that plagued most of the female figures of the 90s, and she has no neck movement at all. Posing her isn’t the easiest thing. Medusa had a sculpt that was new to her (though it would end up being re-used a few times), and, truth be told, it’s not great. The proportions are all pretty off; the hands and feet are rather large, and the torso feels way too small, especially by comparison. Also, for a character whose whole shtick is hair, hers seems rather lacking in volume. Then there are her legs, which are a) at a weird angle, and b) two different lengths, resulting in a figure that’s rather difficult to stand. At the very least, the figure’s face isn’t terrible, which is a good thing for the time. Paint on the figure, sadly, doesn’t do much to salvage the sculpt. It’s not terrible, but there’s more than one instance of bleed over, the face is kind of sloppy, and the purple paint on the lower arms and legs doesn’t match the molded color of the rest of the body. This particular series’ main gimmick was that each figure included a stand with an action feature of some sort. Medusa included a stand sculpted to resemble her hair. It has a set of wheels on the bottom, and when it’s pushed forward, the “pinwheel” at the top spins. Yay?

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Medusa was another Balticon purchase. She was actually packaged when I got her, but still pretty low priced. She’s a figure I’ve seen lots of times before, but never actually gotten around to buying. She’s not exactly the most thrilling figure, which is kind of a shame, since was her only figure for over ten years. Oh well.

#0603: Lex Luthor

LEX LUTHOR

SUPERMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES (KENNER)

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Batman: The Animated Series is pretty much universally viewed as one of the best interpretations of Batman and his supporting cast ever. It was revolutionary at the time it was released, and, thanks to top notch writing, animating, and acting, it still holds up pretty great after over 20 years. For me, though, the best entry in the DC Animated Universe is the series that followed B:TAS, Superman: The Animated Series. While B:TAS got a pretty decent run of figures at the time of its release, S:TAS wasn’t quite so fortunate. Kenner produced a line of toys to tie-in, but the character selection was somewhat limited, and many of the characters were rather off-model. One of the characters hit the hardest by off-model-ness was Big Blue’s arch enemy Lex Luthor, who is the focus of today’s entry.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

LuthorSTAS2Lex Luthor was released as part of the first series of Kenner’s Superman: The Animated Series tie-in line. He was one of the two non-Superman characters in this particular series. The figure is a little over 5 inches tall and has 6 points of articulation. Dig that waist articulation guys! It’s more than most DC figures had at this point! Now, this figure is sort of based on Luthor’s animated appearance, but, as I noted in the intro, the figure is more than a little bit off-model. To Kenner’s credit, they managed to produce a near-perfect rendition of the animated Luthor’s noggin. It’s really a very good piece. The trouble lies with literally every other piece of the figure. Rather than release him in his signature suit, Luthor is depicted here in a Kryptonite armor suit, which is completely made up for this figure. The “Kryptonite” parts are all snap-on armor pieces, which can be removed to reveal….some sort of exoskeleton thing. It’s a perfectly fine sculpt on a purely technical level, but it looks pretty wonky and the body doesn’t even have proper Bruce Timm-style proportions. I get that a guy in a suit doesn’t make for the most exciting figure. That said, if they were going to do the clip on armor thing, why not put a more conventional suit under the armor? Just seems like a weird choice. Also, the figure seems to have borrowed Total Justice’s guide to posing; his arms and legs are all bent and turned. It’s most annoying on the legs because it makes getting him to stand next to impossible. As far as paint goes, Luthor is pretty reasonably handled. Nothing super thrilling, but everything is applied pretty cleanly. It’s a nice touch that he veers away from the primary colors, helping set him apart from Superman. In addition to the clip on armor, Luthor includes a big freaking missile launcher thing. Hasbro would be so proud.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I never had this figure growing up. I saw him many times over the years, but I just never got one. It’s most certainly due to the weird design of the figure. Why now? Simple, my comicbook store had a table of action figures for $2.99. If you bought five, they were only $2 apiece. So, I bought ten. Luthor was one of them. This actually isn’t a bad figure, just kind of weird.LuthorSTAS3

#0602: Jackall & Jaeger

JACKALL & JAEGER

ASSEMBLE BORG (REVOLTECH)

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Man, when I find a new line to collect, I sure jump all-in, don’t I? I’m relatively new to this whole Assemble Borg thing, but I really, really enjoy it. And why not? It’s essentially an update to Micronauts and Microman, which are two of my very favorite toylines. Just like those two lines, Assemble Borg‘s focus is on interchangeability. This isn’t just limited to figures, either. While they aren’t the main focus, the Assemble Borg line has more than a few vehicles in its backlog. Today, I’ll be looking at one of those, the Jackall motorcycle.

THE VEHICLE ITSELF

JackalJaeger2The Jackall (and Jaeger) is entry 022 in the Assemble Borg line. It’s the first vehicle since the line re-launched under the “Nexus” heading at number 020. It comes packaged as a rather basic motorcycle (the “Jackall”) with a bunch of extra pieces that can be distributed however you like. Of course, like just about everything else in the line, there’s no real reason you have to leave it in the default set up. The pieces are all designed to potentially work in just about any configuration, and each piece has several standard relolver joint hook-ups. In the basic cycle set-up, the Jackal is about 6 inches long and about 2 ½ inches tall at its highest point. It’s quite well scaled to the basic Assemble Borg figures, which is good. The individual pieces are all very nicely sculpted, with lots of JackalJaeger3cool and interesting little technical details. While Jackall is packaged as its own item, its real purpose is to augment the basic Nexus figure. Clearly, the bike itself is meant to be used with the figure, but many of the additional pieces included are also meant as additional accessories for Nexus. The “& Jaeger” potion of the set is the clearest example of this, as it refers to an extra faceplate and chest piece that are specifically designed to be used with the Nexus figure, allowing you to build the Jaeger “character.” The pieces offer a nice, streamlined look, which really works very nicely with the motorcycle idea, and itJackalJaeger4 offers a nice set of additional options for the basic Nexus. In addition to the Jaeger pieces, the set includes a pair of handles, a pair of pedals, and a kickstand, all meant to be used with the bike, as well as a sword, a machine gun, a large hand gun, two shotguns, two knives, a pick axe, four holster clips, two double peg adapters, an assortment of other random pieces that I couldn’t begin to classify, and the usual selection of pegs and joints to maximize customizability. That’s a whole lot of stuff. I also like that all of the weapons included are different from what was included with Nexus, as it adds some nice variety to the mix. JackalJaeger6Paint is always a light subject with Assemble Borgs, but it’s worth noting that this set was available in two different color schemes. This is the regular version, but there’s also the Ghost Motor version, which reverses the black and silver bits (it also has some slightly tweaked sculpted parts). I myself prefer the color the way it is here, so I’m pleased that this was the one I went for. Also, there’s a little bit of slop on the faceplate and chest piece, which I hadn’t seen before. It’s nothing too extensive, but it is a little annoying.

JackalJaeger5 JackalJaeger7

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

So, after Tim dragged me into this line and I realized just how amazingly fun it was to tweak how my Nexus figure was laid out, I kind of figured I should pick up one of the two cycles. I had planned in holding off buying one, just for a little while, but I happened upon a couple of Assemble Borg auctions on eBay for pretty decent prices, and this set was one of them. The cycle itself is a lot of fun, but I’m really excited by all the new Nexus pieces I got. Granted, nothing’s trumped the handle face layout, but I like the extra weapons, and the chest piece is definitely my favorite of the bunch. All in all, this is a fantastically fun set!

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#0601: Magneto II

MAGNETO II

X-MEN (TOYBIZ)

The 90s, as wacky as they may have been, are still a rather important decade to me. Obviously, being born in that decade does it some favors, but many of my formative action figure collecting years occurred during that decade as well. Growing up, my favorite toy company was very definitely ToyBiz, who were just killing it with their huge selection of Marvel toys. The line that pulled me in was X-Men, which also happened to be their biggest line. And what kind of an X-Men line would it be without a few versions of their very first foe, Magneto?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

MagnetoII2Magneto (or Magneto II, as he’s officially known) was part of the third series of ToyBiz’s X-Men line. He was the second version of the character to show up in the line, which, you have to admit, is pretty impressive for someone who wasn’t Wolverine. The figure stands roughly 5 inches tall and features 9 points of articulation. The 90s X-Men definitely had a style to it when it came to the figures’ sculpts. Some of them have aged pretty well, some haven’t. Magneto is one of the latter. He’s not too bad, but he definitely has some odd spots. The arms are rather stubby, and the torso is quite short as well. He also has a strange assortment of muscles on his torso. I think they’re meant to represent muscles that exist on actual people, but they seem to have missed the mark. At the very least, they’ve managed to translate his costume pretty well to three dimensions. The figure has a weird action feature, even for the 90s. He has a (rather obtrusive, I might add) lever on his back, which, when pulled, is supposed to activate a sparking effect in the transparent square on the front of the chest. It’s worn out on my figure, which is actually a rather common occurrence. Magneto originally included a cape, to aid in masking the action feature, but, as you can see, my figure no longer has his. The paintwork on Magneto is fairly straightforward. He’s got some pretty basic color work, which is all pretty clean.  There is some bleed over on some of the edges, but nothing too major. He’s lacking in pupils; I’m not sure if that’s purposefully that way, but it seems a little weird. Magneto originally included a blaster, because…I really don’t know. Mine doesn’t have that either, so I guess it doesn’t matter.

EDIT 12/25/20 – I have located both the cape and the gun for my figure, so now he’s complete.  Yay!

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

For as many of these figures as I owned growing up, this Magneto wasn’t one of them. I ended up finding this guy in a bin of loose figures at this past Balticon. Not quite as great a find as Shatterstar, but, for a dollar, I really can’t complain. I still prefer the first version of the character, but this one’s not bad.

#0600: Tony Stark – Mech Test

TONY STARK – MECH TEST

IRON MAN (HOT TOYS)

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Holy crap, I’ve actually written 600 of these things. Wow. And people are still reading, like, at an increasing rate, even. I think I’m actually not scaring people off! Yay! Anyway, another milestone means another “Deluxe Review.” So, we once again dive into the world of high end collecting, with another figure from renowned toy makers Hot Toys.

HT first got into the Marvel game with the first Iron Man film. Over the last few years, Iron Man’s kind of been HT’s bread and butter. It seems like no matter how many versions of the guy they release, the demand just isn’t dying down. I’ve already looked at one of their more conventional Iron Man variants, but my personal favorite is actually a Tony Stark figure. Let’s check that one out!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Tony is part of HT’s main Movie Masterpiece Series. He’s number 116 in the line, and he’s numerically the fourth Iron Man figure in the line. He stands roughly 12 inches in height and has…ummm….a bunch of articulation. As with lots of HT figures, the clothing covers the majority of his joints, and since I’m not really in the habit of undressing these guys, I don’t really have an exact count. It’s worth noting that the movement in the arms is somewhat restricted, due to the armature on his arms. The figure’s appearance is based on the sequences of the first Iron Man film where Tony is testing out the mechanics of the armor, specifically the flight systems. Not the lengthiest portion of the film, but certainly an important one.

TonyMechTest2Let’s start things off by checking out the head sculpt. RDJ has one of those likenesses that seems to be difficult to capture, especially for Hot Toys. That being said, even though it was only their second attempt at a full RDJ sculpt, I actually think it holds up as one of HT’s better attempts. There are still a few issues here and there. I think the biggest issue with the likeness is the eyes, which seem maybe a little off. I can’t put my finger on it, but they just don’t seem right. Regardless, the sculpt is certainly of a high quality.  It’s full of some great texture and it really looks like a real person’s head. The paintwork just enhances this, with the expertly handled detailing for which HT is best known.

Typically, an Iron Man figure from HT is going to be a fully-sculpted venture. However, this one’s a little bit different. His costume is made up of a short-sleeve t-shirt, a long sleeve t-shirt, a pair of pants, knee pads, a few belts and straps, his boots, and his arm exo-skeletons. The short-sleeve shirt is a little too big to be in proper scale, especially around the collar, but it’s passable. The pants are pretty nice, an feature working pockets and belt loops. The kneepads are a nice hybrid of tailored and sculpted parts, as actual kneepads would be. The big work here is on the armored parts, which feature some tremendously detailed sculpting. You could almost be fooled into believing they’re actually made up of many smaller parts, but they’re just solid pieces. They are also exquisitely painted, which just helps to further the realism.

TonyMechTest3Under the costume is a fairly standard narrow-shouldered True-Type body, with a few main changes (that I know of, anyway). The biggest is the upper torso, which has be reworked to feature Tony’s signature Arc reactor. In addition, the arms (and torso) have been slightly re-worked in order to facilitate a light-up feature. The arms are wired up and can be plugged into the battery pack cleverly hidden in one of Tony’s pouches, and the torso features its own battery pack. The light-up feature works decently enough, however the batteries don’t last very long.

Tony was a little on the light side as far as extra pieces went, though he included one fairly large accessory that made up for it a bit. He included:

  • 2 pairs of interchangeable hands
  • A pair of shoes
  • Dummy
  • Display stand

The hands come in “repulsor” and relaxed varieties. Both pairs are gloved and allow for use of the light-up feature. It’s certainly nice to have the option of relaxed hands, but they really aren’t that different from the repulsor hands, making choosing between them somewhat pointless.

The shoes are a fairly standard pair of HT dress shoes. They’re molded in matte black. Truth be told, I didn’t keep track of the ones included with my figure, hence them not being pictured. I guess they’re meant to allow you to display a more casual Tony, though, it’s somewhat pointless, since the arm pieces can’t really be removed.

TonyMechTest4Dummy is definitely the coolest of the accessories. He’s integral to the mech test scene, so his presence here is much appreciated. He’s very nicely sculpted and painted, and matches up pretty much perfectly to the machine from the film. He isn’t perfect, though. A lot of his pistons and joints are just mock pieces, and don’t actually move the way they’re supposed to, which is somewhat frustrating. Also, he’s rather fragile. The bottom piece of mine just snapped one day, sending the poor bot tumbling. Hence the carefully cropped photo. Still, he’s a fun enough piece.

The display stand is actually different from the normal HT stand. It’s a flight stand, which is nice, considering the scene this figure is replicating hinges on Tony flying. The base is designed to look like a section of Tony’s workroom floor, which it replicates quite nicely, and there’s also a nice little engraved name tag at the front. I do wish it were just a little bit more compact, as it’s quite a shelf-hog as it is, but it’s not the worst thing ever. He also included a tri-fold cardboard background depicting the rest of the workroom. It’s rather simple; just a screen shot of the room, which can be stood behind the figure. Not the most exciting thing, but it’s there.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Tony here was a combination birthday/graduation present from my parents. Some kids get a car or something big to take off to college. Me? I got an action figure. Not that it’s really that surprising, right? Tony was only the third HT figure to be added to my collection, and he was the first Marvel HT I got, which makes him pretty special. Truth be told, he’s still one of my favorites, and I find him to be far more interesting than just a basic Iron Man.

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#0599: TIE Fighter Pilot

TIE FIGHTER PILOT

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES

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Star Wars: The Black Series started out pretty strong, but it sort of got a little bit lost for a while, with weird case packouts and a few questionable character version choices. However, it seems like things have picked up a little bit in more recent assortments.  I’ve been starting to find new figures at a more steady pace, which is always a good thing! Let’s have a look at one of the line’s more recent additions, the TIE Fighter Pilot!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

TIEPilot2The TIE Fighter Pilot is part of …ummm….Series 5(?) of Star Wars: The Black Series. I think that’s just means it was the fifth series of the 2014-2015 segment of the line. Hasbro likes to confuse people that way. He’s marked #005 on the package; I think that places him in the second round of numbering, though it would seem he’s been released out of sequence. The figure is just over 6 inches tall and features 28 points of articulation. The TIE Pilot is based on his appearance from A New Hope. The sculpt is mostly new, which actually surprised me a bit. At first glance, I assumed that the TIE Pilot was making use of Pilot Luke’s body. However, upon closer examination, the only pieces they share are the left hand, and the hips. Some of the other parts are similar, but the TIE Pilot is taller than Luke, and the proportions have been tweaked to match. The star piece here is definitely the head sculpt. It’s got a lot in common with the Stormtrooper, but it’s all new. The details are nice and crisp, and everything is properly symmetrical. It looks pretty much like a miniaturized version of the real thing. Paint on the TIE Pilot is on the light side, but what’s there is quite well handled. He’s got the proper Imperial emblems on his shoulders and helmet, which are nice and clean. Also, the figure may be all black, but he’s got matte and shiny finishes on various parts of the uniform, which adds a nice level of realism. The TIE Pilot is also a bit light on accessories, including only a basic Stormtrooper rifle. However, given that the Pilot’s spend most of their time in the TIE Fighters, there aren’t really a lot of accessory options, so I guess it’s forgivable.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The TIE Pilot is another addition to my collection courtesy of Super Awesome Girlfriend. We needed to pick up a few things from Wegman’s, and, as I’m prone to do, I wandered over to their small toy aisle, where I found this guy. Since she felt bad for dragging me along on a run to the grocery store, Super Awesome Girlfriend decided to buy the figure for me. Because, as I’ve noted many, many times before, she’s waaaaaaaaaay too supportive of this whole collecting thing. The TIE Fighter is a fun addition to the Black Series line-up, and I’m happy to have one.

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#0598: Shatterstar II

SHATTERSTAR II

X-FORCE (TOYBIZ)

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Ah, the 90s. What wondrous creations you gave us. The X-Men were super hyped up, so, obviously, it being the 90s, they needed an edgier, x-ier spin-off team. Enter X-Force, a slightly re-worked version of the New Mutants, with several new, more x-treme members. It had art done by Rob Liefeld, who seemed to set out to make it the most 90s thing imaginable. One of his additions was the character Shatterstar, who was either an alien or a mutant who had the amazing ability to…ummm….have swords? Yeah, I don’t know.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Shatterstar here was released as part of Series 3 of ToyBiz’s X-Force, which, like the comic, was a spin-off of the X-Men line. As the name denotes, this is the second figure of Shatterstar that the line offered. Shatterstar stands roughly 5 inches tall and features 9 points of articulation. This figure is actually based on Greg Capullo’s redesign of the character following Liefeld’s departure from the series. It’s…a little better? It’s more symmetrical, that’s for sure.  That being said, he’s still got many of the 90s trademarks. He’s got pouches, shoulder pads, pouches, some weird headband thing, pouches, and that funky sunburst tattoo over just the one eye. Though, I guess you need some of that 90s flare to recognize it as Shatterstar, right? It should also be noted that Shatterstar also appears to have been doing a bit of juicing since his first figure. He looks…I don’t want to say puffy… but, yeah. He’s gotta be at least twice the size of the previous Shatterstar figure. Now, to be fair, that figure did seem a little emaciated, but this one seems to have gone a bit too far the other way. It’s not completely off the mark for Capullo’s rendition of the character, but the size feels a little bit laughable. That being said, the figure has a sculpt that is up to the standards of other ToyBiz Marvel stuff of the time. The details are nice and clean (which is certainly better that the comics) and the figure does a pretty good job of translating the comics design to three dimensions. The paintwork on Shatterstar is generally pretty clean. There’s some bleed over here and there, but nothing too noticeable. The colors are nice and bright, which is always a plus. Shatterstar included a pair of his trademark (and oh so silly looking) twin-bladed swords. Sadly, my figure doesn’t have them. He does, however, still have his action feature. His arms can be raised and locked into place, and then released by pressing the button on his pack, resulting in a slashing effect of sorts. So there!

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Whilst at Balticon this year, I dug this guy out of a dollar bin of loose figures. I kind of have an addiction to the old 90s ToyBiz stuff, so I obviously had to get him (and several others…). Truth be told, goofy as he is, I kind of like Shatterstar, and this is definitely the best of his 90s figures. Certainly worth the dollar I paid!

#0597: Iron Legion

IRON LEGION

AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON

IronLegion1

It seems that not everyone agrees, but I thought that Avengers: Age of Ultron was a pretty fantastic movie. I was thoroughly entertained from start to finish, and after having seen it five times, I feel it really holds up to repeat viewings. For me, perhaps the most disappointing piece of the movie experience has been the rather light offering of movie-based action figures. Hasbro’s offerings in particular seem to be missing several key pieces of what made me love the movie just as much as I did. Interestingly enough, more than one line of figures is placing a decent-sized focus on the Iron Legion, who ultimately have a minor role in the film. But, hey, new toys is new toys, so I got one.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

IronLegion2The Iron Legion figure is part of the second series of Hasbro’s 3 ¾ inch line of Avengers: Age of Ultron figures. The figure stands roughly 3 ¾ inches tall (not a huge shocker there) and has 5 points of articulation. It’s disappointing that Hasbro’s decided to switch to the lower articulation count, but I guess it’s, at the very least, consistent. The Iron Legion figure appears to be an all-new sculpt. It does a nice enough job of translating the movie’s design to the smaller format. The proportions are all pretty good, and the details seem to be well-placed. The sculpt is a little on the soft side in terms of details, but it’s about on par with the rest of the line. Overall, not a bad sculpt. Paint? That’s a different story. Hasbro desperately needs to work on the paint on their figures. It’s consistently their downfall. First of all, this guy is missing more than a few details. The blue is only applied to about half of the places it should be. Also, while they’ve chosen the red accent color (which I think belonged to either 03 or 05, depending on which one of those was Ultron Mk 1), they haven’t actually put in a number or done any of the detailing outside of a small section of the torso. The worst thing is that, with the exception of the small bit of red, all of the paint is very sloppily applied, with fuzzy edges, bleed over, inconsistent coverage, and splats of paint where there shouldn’t be. It’s an incredibly messy figure. The Iron Legion’s one accessory is some sort of an energy blade clip-on. Not really sure what it’s supposed to be, but I don’t think it was in the movie. At least it’s not a missile launcher…

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Getting the Iron Legion was sort of bittersweet. I found him along with an entire case of Series 2 figures, which is really great. However, the figure I wanted most, Scarlet Witch, is only packed one per case (which is super dumb). My Dad really wanted one (he’s a long-time Scarlet Witch fan) so the single Witch I found went to him. So, I got this guy and an Ultron to hold myself over until I can get a Scarlet Witch for myself. The trouble is, he’s not particularly well done, nor is he a figure I was desperate to own, so my opinion of him is rather “meh.”