#0647: Marvel’s Klaw

MARVEL’s KLAW

RETURN OF MARVEL LEGENDS

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Hasbro’s really been making some great strides with Marvel Legends lately. When they took over the license several years back, they certainly had a rough time managing the line, leading to the whole scale being scrapped for a little while. Then they came back and they came back strong. Now, I’ll admit, I was a hard sell on Marvel Legends after the hiatus. I was happy with my Marvel Universe figures, and Hasbro’s early Return offerings still had some issues to work out. But, they gradually got better, almost sneakily so, and now that they’ve moved onto the Infinite Series, I’ve become thoroughly hooked. So, now I’m playing the catch-up game with some of those Return figures, such as today’s figure of Klaw, major foe of the Black Panther, and a supporting player in this summer’s Avengers: Age of Ultron.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Klaw2Klaw was released as part of the Terrax Series of the Return of Marvel Legends, which was the first series of Marvel Legends following the hiatus. The figure is just over 6 inches tall and sports 30 points of articulation. This figure represents Klaw post soundwave-based transformation. Not really much of a shock there, since a pre-transformation Klaw wouldn’t exactly be the most exciting thing, and he’s spent 99.9% of his career as a red sound guy. Klaw is built on the body first used for Hasbro’s take on Silver Surfer. It was one of Hasbro’s earliest attempts at a base body, and it’s definitely before they had quite gotten the hang of designing these things. It’s not terrible, and certainly not as bad as some of ToyBiz’s worst sculpts, but it’s definitely got some issues. For one thing, it’s really scrawny. Klaw’s not the hugest guy ever, but he’s usually shown with a fair bit of heft to him. Also, the muscles are really, really defined, as if he’s flexing really hard, which looks rather uncomfortable. Throw in articulation that can best be described as clunky and obtrusive, and you’ve got a body that holds poor Klaw back. To Hasbro’s credit, the new pieces (the head and his sound converter) are both very well handled. The head does a great job of capturing Klaw’s very Kirby-styled head and is appropriately menacing, and the “claw” is full of fun little details (though it’s been warped a bit by the packaging, which is annoying). The paintwork on Klaw is pretty decent. It’s rather straightforward, but that works well for a character like Klaw. There’s a little bleed over here and there, but it’s all relatively minor. The biggest issue for me is that the reds of the arms and legs don’t match with the torso. It’s really noticeable on such a simple figure. Klaw’s only accessory was the left leg of the series’ B-A-F Terrax. I don’t have any of the other figures from this series and I doubt I’ll be getting them anytime soon, so all I’ve got’s a leg. Huzzah.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I didn’t purchase Klaw when he was new. Nor did I buy him any of the many times I saw him on clearance at Target. I really can’t say why. I like Klaw, I really do. I guess I was just cold on Legends as a whole. Anyway, I ended up finding this guy at Yesterday’s Fun while on vacation this year. He was less than I would have paid at retail, so I really can’t complain. Ultimately, the figure’s fatal flaw is the unfortunate choice of body. I’d be curious to see how the head and claw might look on the Bucky Cap or Grim Reaper body, as it might make for a nice improvement. As is, he’s passable, which isn’t the worst thing.

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#0646: Leon Kennedy

LEON KENNEDY

RESIDENT EVIL (TOYBIZ)

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For a guy who’s not really into video games, I sure do have a lot of video game-based action figures, don’t I? Hey, I’m a sucker for a halfway decent action figure, regardless of its origin. That said, I do usually try to have at least a passing familiarity with the source material. In the case of Resident Evil, I can name most of the franchise’s main characters and give a fairly loose summary of what’s going on in a given game. I consider that good enough. Now, without ever playing any of the games, I’d say my favorite character is Leon Kennedy. Dude just looks super cool. Of course, everyone else agrees, so figures of him tend to be quite pricey. However, I did manage to find one of them, for better or for worse.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Leon2Leon was released as part of ToyBiz’s first series of Resident Evil figures. He was originally packed in a two pack with a Licker, but I just picked up Leon. Resident Evil seems like a slightly odd choice for ToyBiz in the 90s, but they were running the X-Men vs Street Fighter and Marvel vs Capcom lines at the same time, so I’d guess RE was just part of the master Capcom license. Leon stands 5 inches tall and has 14 points of articulation. He’s seen here wearing his Racoon City Police Department uniform from Resident Evil 2. It’s nowhere near as cool as his bomber jacket look from RE4, but it’s not a terrible look, and it’s certainly distinctive. The figure featured a sculpt that was unique to him. It’s alright, but not really fantastic. It certainly isn’t the same quality of a lot of ToyBiz’s Marvel stuff from the same time. His proportions are weird, with a huge head and hands, but a tiny waist and feet. He’s also very oddly posed, with this sort of hunch and oddly turned legs. It’s weird. The uniform has some decent detail work, so that’s cool, I guess. Leon’s paintwork is actually pretty good. He’s mostly molded in the appropriate colors, but he has a fair amount of paint. I like the subtle differences between the regular parts of the uniform and the padded ones, and the RPD initials are nice and sharp. To be really true to the game design, Leon’s hair should be sort of two-toned, but the single color they’ve gone with is at least a decent midpoint. Aside from being packed with the aforementioned Licker, Leon also featured a shotgun he could hold, which my figure is also missing. In addition, Leon has a lever on his back which…raises his arm and turns his head to the right. Yeah, I guess it went with the gun somehow?

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I ended up finding Leon loose in a bin of other video game figures at Yesterday’s Fun. Since he was fairly inexpensive, I figured I might as well get one, just for the novelty of it. He’s definitely not going to be winning any awards or anything, but he’s not the worst thing ever. I certainly can’t say the guy disappointed me or anything.

#0645: Hudson & Screaming Alien

“CPL” HUDSON & SCREAMING ALIEN

ALIENS MINIMATES

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The first series of Aliens Minimates covered a lot of bases in terms of major characters, but there were definitely a few key characters missing. Fortunately, the Toys R Us assortment and Series 2 are doing their part to fill some of those holes. The TRU series has added two new marines, including today’s focus, the shell-shocked Marine Hudson, who is packed with another Alien Warrior variation.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

These two were released as part of the TRU assortment of Series 1 of Aliens Minimates. As of now, both figures are exclusive, but Hudson is already slated to appear in Series 2 at specialty stores.

“CPL” HUDSON

HudsonXeno2So, let’s get something out of the way right now: Hudson isn’t a Corporal, he’s a Private. The package totally gave him the wrong rank. But, I’m probably one of the few people to actually notice such a thing, so, whatever. Hudson is probably one of the film’s more memorable Marines. He’s got a fair bit of screen time, and, whether you like it or not, his panicky personality sets him apart from the rest of the crew. Anyway, he’s pretty important to the film and the line would feel very incomplete without him, so it’s good to see him turn up here. The figure stands about 2 ½ inches tall and has 14 points of articulation. Hudson features additional sculpted parts for his helmet, chest armor, and boots. These parts are all the same as those used on the Series 1 Marines and Weirzbowski. This is sensible, given that the armor was standard issue in the film. Hudson continues the trend of the removable shoulder lamp, which is a nice option to have. His is a little looser than previous versions, but it stays in place alright. The armor is all stuff we’ve HudsonXeno3seen a few times before, but it’s no less impressive than it was before, and it still does a great job of translating the real deal into ‘mate form. Hudson’s paintwork is pretty decent, but it does have a few nits here and there. The basic armor detailing and underlying fatigues match up with the rest of the Marines, which is good. The chest armor has most of Hudson’s distinctive graffiti; it’s cleanly applied for the most part and helps set him aside from the others. Hudson wore a cover on his helmet in the movie, which featured a slightly different camo pattern and an 8-ball on the back. However, the figure just has the standard issue helmet. It’s not the worst thing ever, but it is just a little disappointing. The likeness on the face isn’t spot-on to Bill Paxton, but it’s a lot closer than the other Marines in the line, so that’s good. On the accessory front, Hudson has an extra hairpiece, a standard issue pulse rifle, a facehugger, and a clear display stand. The rifle and facehugger are the same ones we’ve seen before, but if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The hair is one of the standard male hairpieces, first used for Marvel Series 27’s Ultimate Iron Man. It’s too long to really work for Hudson, and it’s definitely painted too lightly to be Paxton’s hair. But it’s the thought that counts, I suppose.

SCREAMING ALIEN

HudsonXeno5Well, I guess it wouldn’t really be an Aliens set without another Alien, right? So, here’s this one. But this time he has a new hat—err, I mean, he’s screaming! That’s sort of different. Different enough when you’re dealing with army builders, anyway. For the most part, this figure is more or less the same as the other Aliens. It has sculpted pieces for the head, torso, tail, hands, and feet. The pieces are as well sculpted as always, so that’s good. This figure uses the “attacking” head, but it lacks the inner mouth piece, giving it the screaming appearance hinted at in the name. The figure’s paint is pretty much identical to all the prior Warrior and Attacking Aliens the line’s offered. There’s plenty of painted texturing and such, which keeps the figure visually interesting.  As far as accessories go, the Screaming Alien only includes a clear display stand. However, this is totally on par with prior Aliens, and it’s totally reasonable, given how many sculpted parts the figure has.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

When it was announced that Hudson and Vasquez would be available in both this line-up and in Series 2, I had planned to just wait for the later release. Then I saw these guys at my local TRU and I caved. Big shock, right? Hudson’s a pretty good addition to the line. He has a few minor issues, but he’s an important character, and he’s good overall. I’m curious to see if the Series 2 release might fix one or two of the issues here. The Screaming Alien isn’t really that different from the other Aliens, but it’s different enough to add a little bit of variety to your horde of Aliens. And isn’t that the dream?

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#0644: Roboto

ROBOTO

MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE

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I am, at best, a moderate fan of Masters of the Universe. That’s mostly a timing thing. It was really big in the 80s, but it was completely gone by the time I started collecting in the 90s. My first real exposure to the line was the 2002 relaunch, which I quite enjoyed at the time. I have a handful of characters I really like, but beyond that, I’ve never gotten super hooked on any iteration of the line. Still, I really enjoy the various iterations of the line for what they are, and I do pick up the occasional figure here and there, including today’s focus, Roboto, Heroic Mechanical Warrior.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Roboto3Roboto was released as part of the 1985 assortment of Mattel’s Masters of the Universe line. He stands roughly 5 ½ inches tall and has 7 points of articulation. That’s actually one more point of articulation than the average MOTU figure, so that’s cool. MOTU figures were generally pretty big on parts re-use, and, while Roboto isn’t completely exempt from that, he has a surprising amount that is exclusive to him. The legs are the same as those used on Trap-Jaw, but the rest of the figure is unique. He’s admittedly a little on the goofy side, but that’s hardly a bad thing. The sculpt features lots of cool hard angles and the “tech-y” details, which gives him a distinctive look. The head is probably one of the goofier aspects of the sculpt, but it does actually present a nice melding of MOTU’s contrasting barbaric and futuristic styles. It’s got a sort of a knight’s helmet look, but also maintains a more classic robot look. The figure takes advantage of the usually empty torso of action figures, and adds some cool gears to represent Roboto’s inner workings. Roboto is somewhat light in paint, being mostly molded in the appropriate colors (the clear plastic on the torso is super cool, by the way), but there’s some minor paintwork for his left hand and boots, as well as a few of the details on his head. The figure is packed with three possible attachments for his right arm: blaster, axe, and claw. All three snap in and out pretty easily, and offer a nice selection of variety. In addition, Roboto features a pretty nifty little action feature; when the figure’s waist is turned, the gears in the torso spin and the mouth guard opens and closes. It’s nothing big, but it’s something.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Roboto is another of the figures I got from the Rehoboth Beach branch of Yesterday’s Fun. Like I said, I don’t usually go for MOTU stuff, but I saw Roboto sitting in their glass case and he just called to me. It doesn’t help that I’m a sucker for robots. So, I bought him. He’s cheesy as hell, but I really dig it. He’s a really fun figure! Oh, and I went a whole review without a single Mr. Roboto joke. You’re welcome.

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#0643: Kyle Reese

KYLE REESE

THE TERMINATOR (NECA)

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For me, the Terminator franchise is similar to the Alien franchise in that I generally prefer the second film to the first. But, like Alien, I still have quite an appreciation for The Terminator. One of the coolest things it has going for it is Michael Biehn’s performance as resistance fighter (and unknowing father of humanity’s savior John Connor) Kyle Reese. Merchandise for the movies tends to focus on the second film, so Kyle’s been somewhat absent from the action figure form. He did get a couple of Minimates and a ReAction figure, so that’s cool. He also managed to get a single figure NECA, right at the very tail-end of their original run with the licenses to the first two movies. That’s the one I’ll be looking at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

KyleReese2Kyle Reese was released in Series 3 of NECA’s Terminator Collection, which was the line that replaced their Terminator 2 line after they picked up the first film’s license. The figure stands 7 inches tall and features 14 points of articulation. The Terminator stuff was something of a middle point for NECA in regards to articulation. They’re the first time that NECA really began giving their figures any sort of articulation. That being said, it was pretty much entirely on the upper half, leaving the legs mostly stationary. This can be a little limiting, and makes it especially hard to get figures to stand, but it’s not the worst thing ever. Interestingly enough, Kyle was actually sculpted with leg articulation, but it was removed in order to keep him stylistically the same as the rest of the line. Admittedly, it holds him back a little, but it’s understandable. Kyle is presented here in his 1984 look, specifically his first, green-coated look from the first half of the film. The sculpt is unique to this figure, although it appears that the face on this guy and Series 1 Corporal Hicks are at the very least by the same sculptor, if not variants of the same sculpt. His likeness is decent, if maybe not quite as spot on as some of NECA’s work. While the likeness is a tad off, the rest of the sculpt is absolutely superb. All of the clothing has great texture and small detail work and he’s accurate to the look from the film. The legs have been posed mid-stride, which works with the shotgun pose the figure is destined for. While they look pretty good, it’s really hard to keep him standing, which can be very frustrating. Paintwork is something that NECA’s made great strides to improve in the last few years. This puts Kyle at something of a disadvantage. He’s not terrible, to be fair. Most of the work is nice and clean, and they even managed to get the paint splatters right on his pants. But, they missed the stripes on his shirt, which is minor, but still a bit of a bummer. Also, there’s a certain degree of lifelessness to the paint on the eyes, which stands out in comparison to NECA’s most recent work. Kyle includes a shotgun (with a string to keep it attached to him, as in the movie) and the picture of Sarah that Kyle carries with him in the future sequences.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Hey! It’s the beginning of the onslaught of things I picked up while on vacation! I picked up Kyle here from the recently opened Rehoboth Beach branch of Yesterday’s Fun. I missed out on him (and most of NECA’s Terminator stuff) the first time around, and I was really happy to find this guy. Sure, he’s not quite on the same level as NECA’s most recent work, but he’s still a very good figure. A strong figure, all around.

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#0642: Beetle -Deadliest Foes

BEETLE – DEADLIEST FOES

MARVEL LEGENDS INFINITE SERIES

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There are very few lines of which I would consider myself a “completist.” Off the top of my head, I believe the only two I’ve really stuck with are NECA’s Aliens and SMC’s Weaponeers of Monkaa. There was a time, back during ToyBiz’s run on Marvel Legends that I gave owning every figure in the line some thought, but I ultimately decided against it, due mostly to the unevenness of figure quality. When Hasbro took over, I backed down even more, and almost quit the line entirely. When they re-launched under the Infinite Series handle, I went back to cherry-picking, but the quality of the figures has been rapidly increasing, leading to me getting figures I normally wouldn’t. Take, for instance, Beetle, the subject of today’s review. Now, I generally like Beetle as a character, so it’s odd for me to say that he wasn’t a figure I’d normally buy. I’ll get to the why of that in a bit.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Beetle2Beetle was part of the first series of Amazing Spider-Man 2 Marvel Legends Infinite Series. Officially, he’s not actually called Beetle, he’s called Deadliest Foes, a name he shares with Boomerang, who was his swap figure in this line. While they are swap figures, they don’t actually share anything but the Build-A-Figure piece. Beetle is roughly 6 ½ inches tall and has 30 points of articulation. Beetle’s had a few looks over the years, of varying styles. This figure is based on his Ultimate universe design, which is my least favorite of all the Beetle designs. It’s the one used in the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon show, so I guess it makes a little sense, but it definitely turned me off the figure. Beetle features a sculpt that is unique to him (though a fair bit of it will be re-used for a comic-style Ultron later this year). It’s a well detailed sculpt, and it does a nice job of replicating Mark Bagley’s design of the character from the comic. While there are lots of details and bits, the sculpt still maintains certain sleekness, which is definitely cool. The wings and backpack are a separate piece, which clips into place and stays there nicely. The paintwork on the figure is okay, but, for me, it’s flawed from the start. See, the Ultimate Beetle is silver and red, in contrast to the green and purple scheme of EVERY OTHER BEETLE DESIGN EVER. So, yeah, I don’t really care for the color scheme. Aside from that, the paint is decent enough. There’s a bit of slop here and there, but it’s generally pretty clean. Beetle’s only accessory is the leg to the series Build-A-Figure Ultimate Green Goblin. So, now I’ve got two of those. Cool?

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Beetle was yet another contribution to my collection courtesy of my Super Awesome Girlfriend. Apparently, she was walking through Walgreens and saw this guy and thought I’d like him. Amazingly enough, I hadn’t actually broken down and gotten him yet! While I’m not the biggest fan of the design he’s based on, the figure is actually a lot of fun. I’m really glad I got him!

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#0641: Vision (w/ Sub-Ultron 011)

VISION (W/ SUB-ULTRON 011)

AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON

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With the last few Marvel movie tie-in toy lines, Hasbro’s been trying out a variety of different scales and styles, just to see what sticks, I guess. Guardians of the Galaxy skipped the company’s signature 3 ¾ inch scale in favor of the slightly smaller 2 ½ inch scale. Age of Ultron has delivered the best of both worlds (sort of) by giving us both scales. I’ve looked at a few of the 3 ¾ inch figures with…mixed results. Yesterday’s Scarlet Witch review was my first look at the smaller line, and, aside from the weird Sub-Ultron pack-in, I quite liked her. Now, Scarlet witch was one of my favorite additions to the team in Age of Ultron, but, for me, the absolute top was today’s focus, The Vision. That dude rocked super hard. Currently, his only movie-based figure (not counting the Pop! bobble-head) is in the 2 ½ inch line.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

VisionAoU2Vision (and his pack-mate Sub-Ultron 011) was released in the second assortment of 2 ½ inch Avengers: Age of Ultron figures. Given the scale, it’s no surprise that the figure stands 2 ½ inches tall. This is a slight point of annoyance for me because he’s just a smidge shorter than the Scarlet Witch figure, which isn’t accurate. Vision is played by the 6’3” Paul Bettany, while Elizabeth Olsen, who plays Scarlet Witch, is only 5’6”. Scale’s a bit harder when they’re this small, so it’s sort of forgivable, but still annoying. But what about the figure outside of comparative heights? Well, obviously, he’s based on Vision as portrayed by Bettany in the movie. That being said, he appears to have been based on an earlier design for Vision. He’s not incredibly different, but the headpiece is a little bulkier and more rounded that it was in the final film. Aside from that, he’s got a pretty decent sculpt. The proportions are all nicely balanced, and his “uniform” VisionAoU3has the appropriate texturing. The cape is a little bulky at the top, but not horribly so, and it does a very nice job of capturing the intricate design from the movie. The paintwork is another area where the people at Hasbro were clearly working from a less than finalized design. In general, his palate is far more washed out than it was on screen; the greens are grey and the reds are more of a magenta. The yellow’s about the same, but the cape is missing all of the accent work of the one seen in the film, which puts the very nice sculpt somewhat to waste. Also, his headgear is just straight silver instead of green, and he’s lacking pupils. If Wanda can get pupils, so can he! Vision has no accessories of his own, but he does get packed with yet another Sub-Ultron. This one continues the wheeled theme, though we get a set of treads this time around. I think this particular Sub-Ultron is new to this pack, though the upper torso(s) did show up on a few other Sub-Ultrons in the first assortment. I like 011 more than 008, but the dual upper torso thing does confuse me a bit. Which one of them drives?

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

My parents went to Hawaii and all I got was this Vision action figure. Okay, not really. I mean, yes, my parents buy him for me while they were in Hawaii, but it’s not like it’s all I got. Plus, it’s the Vision. As I stated above, he rocks super hard. I think he’s on par with Hawaii. I will admit, Vision’s not quite as good as the Scarlet Witch in this scale, but he’s pretty decent, overall. Add in the fact that I like this Sub-Ultron more than the last, and you’ve got a pretty winning set. I do hope Hasbro does Vision in one of the larger scales, though. He’s too cool to be contained in a 2 ½ inch figure.

#0640: Scarlet Witch (w/ Sub-Ultron 008)

SCARLET WITCH (W/ SUB-ULTRON 008)

AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTON

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Well, Age of Ultron has come and gone. As of last week, it’s officially no longer the hot new Marvel movie. That said, some of the tie-in product is still making its way into stores, or, in most cases, sales on more desired stuff have slowed enough that the average consumer can actually find them. That’s where I come in! Yay! Scarlet Witch was definitely one of the film’s breakout characters, so her (admittedly under-packed ) figures have been difficult to find for some time. But I got one!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

ScarWitSubUlt2Scarlet Witch (along with Sub-Ultron 008) was released as part of the second round of Avengers: Age of Ultron Avengers Vs. Sub-Ultron sets. The figure stands 2 ½ inches tall and has 5 points of articulation. She’s based on the character’s appearance in the big, climactic battle from the film. Seeing as this is when she actually joins up with the Avengers, it’s a sensible choice, and it’s the look we’ve seen on all of the merchandise so far. Scarlet Witch features a unique sculpt, which is pretty good, especially given the scale. There are a few minor issues; the neck is a little too long, and the hips feel a little detached from the torso. However, the head bears more than a passing resemblance to Elizabeth Olsen and the clothes are quite well detailed. It’s also nice to see the hands in a position other than the overly large, generic gripping pose that all of the GOTG figures had. The paintwork is simple and straightforward, but it’s cleanly handled and looks good overall. Scarlet Witch is packed with a pair of hex attachments. They’re a different mold from the ones used for the recent Marvel Legends and 3 ¾ scale figures; I guess that mold was too big. The solid red isn’t as nice as the translucent color of prior figures, but it’s serviceable. What’s that? Does she come with something else? Oh, right, that Sub-Ultron thing. Yeah, she’s packed with that. It has to be an accessory, because I really can’t count it as its own figure. There’s one of these things with every figure in this set. This one’s motorcycle-based; it first showed up, molded in blue instead of red, packed with Hulk. It’s okay, I guess. The Ultron portion is on the boxy side. The arms look to be cannons, and they sort of move at the shoulders. The cycle bit is just a solid hunk of plastic; the wheels are totally stationary.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

No exciting story here. I ended up finding this while at my nearest Walmart. There it is. There’s a clear focus for this set, and it’s Scarlet Witch. She’s a cool figure, and is definitely worth a purchase. The Sub-Ultron…ehhh. It’s not like it’s bad, but it doesn’t really offer a whole lot of fun.

#0639: Invisible Woman

INVISIBLE WOMAN

MARVEL HALL OF FAME

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The Fantastic Four have sort of become personae non gratae over at Marvel Comics in the last few years (thanks Fox) but they’re kind of one of the most important sets of characters Marvel’s ever had. Without them, there really isn’t a modern day Marvel Comics. It’s a shame they aren’t getting the respect that they deserve. It’s been a little while since any of the team has graced the toy world, but there’s a pretty decent back catalogue of stuff out there, including today’s focus, Invisible Woman.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

InvisibleWoman2Invisible Woman was released as part of the first series of ToyBiz’s Marvel Hall of Fame line. The figure stands 5 inches tall and has 9 points of articulation. She, like most of the other figures in the line, is more or less a re-release of a previous Marvel figure. In this case, she’s a rehash of Marvel Superheroes’ series 3 version of the character. That figure was available in both color-changing and non-color-changing versions, but this one seems to just have been offered with the feature, hence her somewhat odd coloring. The sculpt for the figure is definitely a dated one; it’s from very early in ToyBiz’s run with the license, so they were still finding their footing. The head is rather small, the articulation isn’t worked in very smoothly, and the figure just feels rather clunky in general. It’s not the worst thing ever, and it’s not even the worst female figure of the time (I’m looking at you, Monkey Face Princess Leia) but it certainly shows its age. The paint on the figure is somewhat hard to judge, mostly due to the figure’s color-change “action feature.” I can’t speak for when it was new, but the feature doesn’t really work anymore, which leaves the InvisibleWoman3figure sort of in this middle state. I tried putting her in cold water, as the packaging says to do, and all it really did was slightly change the back of the figure. Now she looks like a pie…(Tim’s been calling her Miss Meringue). Invisible Woman’s only accessory is…uhh…well, it sort of looks like a Tron disk or a Fantastic Four Frisbee. I don’t know. It plugs into her back. So, there it is.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This figure’s another piece of the slew of figures I bought from Cosmic Comix a few months back. I actually own the original, non-Hall of Fame release, but I didn’t have the color-change version, so I figured this one was probably worth the $3 I paid. She’s not a figure that’s going to win any awards or anything, but she’s a neat little product of the early 90s.

 

#0638: Wolverine & Blob

WOLVERINE –STRIKE FORCE & THE BLOB

MARVEL MINIMATES

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Man, I haven’t reviewed many Minimates recently. There’s no denying that the X-Men, particularly the 90s incarnation of the team, have gotten quite a bit of love from DST. The latest comics-based series of Marvel Minimates has done its best to fill some important holes in the team (and give them a few more foes to fight) while also trying out a new way of distributing some of the characters. Today, I’ll be looking at the guy who’s easily the most well-known X-Man, Wolverine, as he faces of against Brotherhood of Evil Mutants member the Blob!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

These two were released as part of Marvel Minimates Series 60.

WOLVERINE (& FORGE!)

Wolv&Blob2Wolverine is no stranger to Minimates, with this being his 57th foray into the line. Hey, a heavy hitter’s a heavy hitter. There has to be at least one in every series, right? The figure depicts him in the standard Strike Force uniform that several of the X-Men wore during the 90s. Wolverine didn’t really stick with it, but he did wear it a few times. The figure is about 2 ½ inches tall and has 14 points of articulation. He has sculpted add-ons for his hair, gloves, and the two sets of straps on his legs, as well as a standard pair of clawed hands. The hair is a piece that’s been used several times before. It first showed up on the TRU Series 9 Brown Wolverine, and has been used fairly regularly since then. It’s definitely a good piece, and it’s accurate to that wacky hair of his from the comics. The leg straps are the same as those used on Series 34’s 90s Cyclops, which is fitting, seeing as they’re meant to be the same design in the comics. The gloves are the same as Banshee, released in this same series. They’re a good sculpt, and they sit nicely on the Wolv&Blob3figure. The paintwork on Wolverine is passable, but not the best. The detailing on the face is top notch; all the lines are nice and sharp and the facial expression feels perfect for the character. The torso detail is also pretty good, though it’s hampered a little bit by the sloppy edges on the change from blue to yellow. The real issues with the paint are on the shoulders, where the yellow hasn’t been consistently applied, resulting in the underlying blue bleeding through, and on the pelvis, where the red of the belt does not continue down through the whole buckle. The accessories are what sets this figure (and the rest of the series) apart. In addition to the standard clear display stand, the figure also includes an extra head, hair, hands, and right leg, as well as a shoulder harness and a large gun, allowing the figure to be re-configured as Forge, a previously un-released X-Man. The pieces are all nicely handled and match up well with the regular parts, resulting in a figure that is just as much Forge as it is Wolverine. Also, I really like that the skin tone on the head is different from Wolverine, thus properly denoting Forge’s Cheyenne ancestry, which is far too often overlooked.

BLOB

Wolv&Blob4Fred Dukes, aka the Blob, is actually one of the X-Men’s oldest foes, first appearing in X-Men #3. This isn’t the first time he’s appeared as a Minimate, however, his last figure was based upon his film appearance in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which wasn’t the comics-inspired look most were hoping for.  Blob is no slouch when it comes to sculpted add-ons. He features pieces for his hair, torso, upper arms, lower arms/hands, thighs, and feet, as well as a torso extender hidden under that torso piece. The last Blob figure was somewhat on the small side, but this one moves to correct that, making use of a combination of pieces from the Marvel line’s various Hulks and the Street Fighter vs Tekken line’s Rufus. The pieces all mesh together quite well, resulting in a Blob that accurately represents him as the wall of mutant we know from the comics. One small issue with my figure: one of the shoulders on my figure has a chip missing out of it. It isn’t terribly noticeable, but it’s still annoying. Blob’s paintwork is generally pretty well handled, though it isn’t without issues. The colors are all of the proper shades for the character, which is always good, and the detail lines on his torso and face do a tremendous job of bringing the character to life. However, some of the more base level paint is a little off. The straps on the shoulders don’t quite line up with each other, and the gold bands on the wrists are rather uneven and sloppy, with gold paint ending up a few places it shouldn’t. For accessories, Blob isn’t quite as loaded as Wolverine, but he’s certainly no slouch. He includes a spare set of hands and feet, without wristbands or boots, allowing for the figure to be displayed as the Blob from some of his earlier appearances. This offers a nice bit of extra value, and gives the buyer two possible looks, should they end up with a second Blob while completing their Strike Force X-Men. He also includes the standard clear display stand, which is always appreciated.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

So, this is actually my second set of these two. When my full series set arrived from Big Bad Toy Store, I opened these two up first, and they seemed fine. Then I took a closer look at Wolverine’s torso and noticed he had…boobs. Seems my figure got a Storm torso by mistake. Hey, secondary mutation, right? Or maybe they were just easing us into X-23 taking over the title. Anyway, I ended up buying a second set from Cosmic Comix, so, there’s that!

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