#0708: T-1000 – Police Disguise

T-1000 – POLICE DISGUISE

TERMINATOR GENISYS (NECA)

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One of the most distinctive parts of Terminator 2 is its main antagonist, the T-1000, played oh so menacingly by actor Robert Patrick (and some CGI). The T-1000 upped the threat presented by the original T-800 in spades. After T2, the movies really struggled to up the ante again, which was disappointing. Genisys not only successfully brought up the threat, but they also brought back the T-1000 for a second round. The new T-1000 was chosen as one of the characters to be represented in NECA’s line of figures based on the movie. I’ll be looking at that figure today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

T1000Genisys2The T-1000 is the second figure in the first assortment of NECA’s Terminator Genisys figures. He’s based on Byung-hun Lee’s performance as the T-1000 in the movie. The figure is 7 inches in height and he has 22 points of articulation. As far as sculpt goes, he’s got more than a few parts in common with NECA’s previous Robert Patrick T-1000. Seeing as they wear more or less the same uniform and Lee’s build isn’t that different from Patrick’s, this is a pretty reasonable re-use. The re-used parts are generally pretty good, but they are just a tiny bit more stylized than NECA’s more recent stuff. It’s not horribly noticeable, but the arms are definitely longer than they would be realistically. Still, the line work is nice and sharp, and the overall look of the character is captured very nicely. The figure obviously gets a new head sculpt (well, technically two), but he also gets a new lower half, which has been updated to give him proper leg articulation. That’s much appreciated. The figure has two different heads and two T1000Genisys3fronts for his torso, with and without bullet wounds. I prefer the damaged pieces, as they quite succinctly illustrate the T-1000’s abilities, but both sets of parts are nicely handled. The head sculpts both do a decent job of capturing Byung-hun Lee’s likeness, though I think the one with the bullet hole looks a little more like him. The paint on the T-1000 is pretty solid work. Nothing extraordinary, but nothing particularly bad either. Hopefully, the color of the uniform on this one will match up with the upcoming Ultimate T-1000 figure, but only time will tell. In addition to the extra head and torso pieces, the T-1000 is packed with his standard issue sidearm, two alternate right hands (trigger finger and basic grip), an alternate nub piece for his left arm, and liquid metal javelin. Hook arms would have been nice, but I guess they had to draw the line somewhere.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I ordered the T-1000, alongside the Guardian T-800, from NECA’s eBay store. The character’s relatively minor in the film, but I never got any of NECA’s previous T-1000s, so this one’s a good stand in, at least until the Ultimate version is released. But, you really can’t have too many T-1000s, can you? Plus, this guy makes for a pretty awesome pairing with the 1984 Guardian. He’s got a fair bit going for him!

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#0707: Guardian T-800

GUARDIAN T-800

TERMINATOR GENISYS

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Frequent readers of the site will recall that I was quite complimentary of Terminator Genisys. Ever since the movie’s release, I’ve been eagerly awaiting its tie-in toyline. The line is produced by NECA, who are one of my favorite toy companies of late. They’re starting off with a small assortment of three figures. Two of them are available, and the third will be out some time later this year. Today, I’ll be taking a look at the first version of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Guardian T-800.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

GuardianT800bThe Guardian T-800, referred to in the film as “Pops,” was released in the first assortment of Terminator Genisys figures. He’s based on his appearance from the 1984 portion of the film. It’s ultimately not quite as important as the 2017 look (which will be the third figure in the line), but it is how we first see him, which is a defining moment, to be sure. Plus, it’s a pretty good move on NECA’s part to release this version first, as many people who might pass on this version were both available will be inclined to get this guy as a place holder. The figure stands a little over 7 inches tall and has 24 points of articulation. Pops gets an all-new sculpt, some of which will probably see re-use on the 2017 version. Overall, I really love the sculpt. The proportions are great, the articulation’s been worked in really well, and he has some superb detail work. His leather jacket is creased and worn, just like the real thing, and the rest of the clothing has great texturing and depth. If there’s one drawback to the sculpt, it’s the likeness on the head. It’s not terrible, or anything, just not as good as what we’ve seen from NECA’s previous Schwarzenegger sculpts. I think a lot of it’s the hair, which just seems a little too bulbous around the sides. The actual face seems more on point, though it’s better from some angles than it is from others. From one angle, it’s Arnold, from another, he looks not unlike John Larroquette. The paint is pretty decent, but there are a few minor issues here and there. Most of the issues are on the head; the hairline in particular is a little sloppy. It’s not noticeable from a normal viewing distance, but it’s there when he’s up close. Pops is packed with a shotgun, which is what he’s seen wielding during his introductory scene. It’s nicely sculpted and it fits well in his hand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As I mentioned above, I was anxiously awaiting these figures. When NECA tweeted that the first two figures were in stock in their eBay store, I ordered them as quickly as I could. The 2017 version is still the one I’m waiting for, but this guy is pretty awesome. He’s got a few minor issues here and there, but the overall figure is cool enough that it doesn’t really bug me. This guy’s definitely a solid figure, and I’m very happy to have him!

#0706: Unmasked Black Costume Spider-Man & Gwen Stacy

UNMASKED BLACK COSTUME SPIDER-MAN & GWEN STACY

MARVEL MINIMATES

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Hey, you guys like Minimates, right? Well, if you’re still following this site at this point, you kind of have to, don’t you? Though Marvel Minimates based on the latest Marvel movie are more or less a certainty these days (unless you’re Fant4stic…), they weren’t always such. X-Men, Spider-Man, Daredevil, Hulk, and Fantastic Four all had to make due with loose, comic-based tie-ins. It wasn’t until Series 14’s X-Men 3 Minimates that we would see any direct representation, though that series sure did open the floodgates. It was followed shortly thereafter by a whole two series based on Spider-Man3, which included the pair I’ll be focusing on today, Unmasked Black Costume Spider-Man and Gwen Stacy.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

These two were released as a two-pack in Series 18 of Marvel Minimates. Gwen was the regular release figure, who was swapped out for Mary Jane in the variant set. But, I don’t have Mary Jane, so…

UNMASKED BLACK COSTUME SPIDER-MAN

Spidey&Gwen2Wow, that’s a long name isn’t it? Need a few more adjectives there Pete? Trying to compensate for something? Every single pack in these two series featured a Spider-Man variant and he’s the one for this set. Yay. The figure is about 2 ½ inches tall and has the standard 14 points of articulation. He is, of course, based on the symbiote version of the Spider-Man costume, as seen in the third movie. He’s got a specially sculpted mask piece, with his mask part of the way rolled up. I’m not a fan of this piece; it’s awkwardly shaped, and, for some reason, the bottom, unmasked portion of his face is a part of the piece, making his head look really bloated. Also, given that this figure is packed with Gwen, one would presume the rolled up mask is meant to replicate their kissing scene from the movie. Except for one thing: Peter’s still wearing his normal costume at that point in the movie. So, I’m not really sure what this is meant to be. Overlooking the whole bit with the wrong costume, the paint on this figure’s not bad. The weblines are nice and clean, and the texturing on the unlined portions looks great. Under the mask is a Peter Parker face, with more or less the same expression as what’s on the bottom of the mask piece. It doesn’t really look much like Tobey Maguire, but it’s a decent enough Peter. The expression’s totally wrong for this costume, but oh well. The figure included a spare hairpiece, allowing him to actually live up to his name.

GWEN STACY

Spidey&Gwen3This was actually only the second time Gwen made into the Minimates line. This one’s based on her movie appearance, of course. Her inclusion as the heavier packed figure between her and Mary Jane was somewhat odd, seeing as she has a rather minor role in the film. That said, she was played up pretty heavily before the film’s release, so that probably influenced DST’s decision. She was based on her appearance from the previously mentioned “kissing scene” (which only further emphasizes Spidey being in the wrong costume). She’s built on the standard Minimate body, with add-ons for her hair, jacket, and skirt. All of these were new to this figure; they’re well sculpted, and they capture her look from the movie very nicely. The skirt would go on to become a standard piece, which is still in fairly current use, but the other parts remained unique to Gwen. The level of detailing on her hair and jacket is actually very nice, and marked the some of the Marvel Minimates line’s earliest transitioning into the more modern style of Minimates. Gwen’s paint work is fairly basic, but it does a pretty good job of translating her look from the movie into the ‘mate style. Her jacket could probably stand to be a few more shades removed from the flesh-toned plastic, but that’s a minor issue. The face has a rather good likeness of actress Bryce Dallas-Howard, which is good. Gwen included no accessories.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I got this pair, as well as all of the other regular release Spider-Man 3 Minimates, as a Chritmas gift from my parents, the year they were released. Purely looking at the quality of the ‘mates, they’re pretty well done. The mask on Spider-Man is weird, but it’s easily swapped out for the much better looking hair piece that was included. Gwen is actually a pretty top-notch ‘mate, with some fantastic sculpted pieces, a good likeness, and pretty decent paint work. As a whole, though, neither of these two is particularly exciting. Maybe they would have fared better if they’d been packed with other figures.

#0705: Spartan Jorge

SPARTAN JORGE

HALO: REACH(MCFARLANE)

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You know what goes well with Halo? More Halo. So, how ‘bout some more of that? Of all the Halo games, I think Halo: Reach may be my favorite play-through experience. I really liked the customizability, and I liked Noble Team (well, most of Noble Team, anyway). The coolest member of the team was definitely Jorge, the team’s heavy weapons guy. So, let’s have a look at one of his figures, shall we?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Jorge2Spartan Jorge was released as part of the first series of McFarlane Toys’ Halo: Reach line of figures. The figure stands a whopping 6 inches tall and has 34 points of articulation. Like Mickey, his size is a bit divergent from Spartan Thorne, though in the opposite direction. It is once again accurate to the source material, as Jorge’s listed height is 8 feet on the dot, so he’s a pretty tall dude. His joint layout is more in line with Thorne than Mickey, but the hip joints are still different. It’s for the better, as Jorge’s hips allow for a much better range and a stronger set of joints than Thorne’s. Jorge got his own unique sculpt (which would later be re-used for an unmasked Jorge.) It’s a great translation of the game design. The armor has a nice amount of texturing and weathering, which adds a nice touch of realism to the figure. He’s also got a suitable amount of bulk to him, which is definitely true to the character. If there’s one drawback, it’s his backpack; it’s a separate piece, and it doesn’t stay in place very well, which is super annoying. However, it’s nothing a spot of glue can’t fix. Jorge’s paint is a good match for the sculpt, with plenty of variety to the colors and nice bit of weathering, which brings out the sculpted details nicely. He’s even got some very nicely handled insignias on his torso, which are a great touch. Jorge’s one accessory is his signature mini-gun, which is exquisitely detailed, even if it is a little difficult for him to hold.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

After picking up Mickey and Thorne, I knew my next purchase would have to be Jorge, my favorite member of Noble Team by far. I was fortunate enough to come across an eBay auction with him, Carter and Noble Six. The other two were missing most of their parts, but Jorge was totally complete, which I was very happy about. Jorge is a very nicely handled figure, with only a few minor issues that don’t hold him back.

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#0704: Mickey

MICKEY

HALO: ANNIVERSARY (MCFARLANE)

Mickey

Over the course of the last several months, I’ve gotten pretty well sucked into the Halo games. I really have come to enjoy them. One of my favorite parts of the games are the Orbital Drop Shock Troopers, or ODSTs, who sometimes assist the game’s Spartan lead, Master Chief. The ODSTs actually had their own game, Halo 3: ODST (that I am still currently playing my way through. I get distracted…), which gave us a whole team of named ODSTs, each with a unique design. As an added bonus, three members of the team were voiced by Firefly alums Nathan Fillion, Adam Baldwin, and Alan Tudyk. Alan Tudyk, known for playing the plucky, upbeat, sometimes panicky pilot on Firefly, played ODST Michael “Mickey” Crespo, the team’s plucky, upbeat, sometimes panicky pilot (well, he flies a few of the ships, anyway).

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Mickey2Mickey was released in the second series of McFarlane’s Halo: Anniversary line, which was released to coincide with the special 10th anniversary re-release of Halo: CE. The figure stands 4 ½ inches tall and has 26 points of articulation. He’s a good half an inch smaller than Spartan Thorne, but that’s actually accurate to their respective heights. The articulation scheme is also a bit different than Thorne’s. Some of it, such as the wrists and shoulders, is a bit more primitive, but other parts, such as the hip articulation, are actually a far better design. It’s an interesting assortment of joints. Structurally, Mickey has a lot of pieces in common with the Halo 3 line’s version of the Rookie, which is sensible, given they’re both ODSTs and all. The sculpt is really nicely done, with a ton of detail work and some very intricate work on the armored pieces. He’s also the spitting image of his in-game counterpart, which is always a good thing. I really love all of the patchwork details of the armor, especially the little add-ons like the ammo strapped to his calf. The little details really make this guy work. The paint accents the sculpt marvelously, Mickey5showing off all the various bits of armor quite well. The best part of it is once again the little details, in this case the small things printed on his armor, such as the emblems and writing on his chest. They even got the piece of tape on his helmet with his name handwritten on it. That’s really cool! Mickey was packed with his rocket launcher, which is his primary weapon from the game. It’s just as nicely detailed as the rest of him, and even has instructions on use written on the side. It does have one small piece broken off, but that’s not the worst thing. He also included a piece of the “Build-A-Logo” thing, but mine didn’t have that.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

After really liking Spartan Thorne, I decided to dive headfirst into McFarlane’s Halo line. Since I like the ODST design so much, I figured one of them would be a good starting point. Of course, most of them are on the pricier side now. Fortunately, I was able to find Mickey, courtesy of a seller on eBay who had a large selection of Halo figures loose. Thorne may have been cool, but Mickey’s even cooler, and definitely gets my vote for personal favorite!

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#0703: Death Archangel, Apocalypse, & Archangel

DEATH ARCHANGEL, APOCALYPSE, & ARCHANGEL

MARVEL MINIMATES

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Jeez, didn’t I just review a set of Minimates a few days ago? Is it already time for another one? <looks at randomized list from which I may not break> Yep, guess I’m reviewing Minimates again. Worse things have happened. Next year will see the release of the next installment in the X-Men movie franchise, X-Men: Apocalypse, which will feature, you guessed it, X-Men villain Apocalypse. It’s also set to feature Warren Worthington III as Archangel. And, would you look at that, they’re both in today’s review. How about that?

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

This trio was released in the 19th Series of Marvel Minimates, way back in 2008. Death Archangel and Apocalypse were the standard, heavier packed set, and Archangel was the one-per case variant, also packed with Apocalypse.

DEATH ARCHANGEL

Archangel&Apocalypse2Following losing his natural, feather-y wings in a battle, Warren got a replacement pair of metal wings, courtesy of Apocalypse. Of course, he didn’t read the fine print and ended up becoming one of Apocalypse’s Four Horsemen, Death. And he got saddled with a hideous costume to boot. Rotten luck, right? This figure depicts him in said look, which was Warren’s primary look for a few years. He stands roughly 2 ½ inches tall and has a whole 16 points of articulation, thanks to the wings. The figure is constructed on the basic Minimate body, with add-on pieces for his wristbands, and, of course, his wings. The wing harness is the same piece we saw on the Avengers #1 Wasp ‘mate, though they did actually show up here first. The wings themselves are all-new pieces, shared between the two Archangels (and a third that came a few years later). They’re bigger than the figure himself, and give him quite an impressive presence on the shelf. They’re also quite accurate to the source material and sport some very nice, clean detail work. They do have an unfortunate habit of getting a bit warped over time, but they regain their shape pretty easily. A lot of Archangel’s design is dependent on paint, which is quite nicely handled, even if it is a hideous costume. The pink lines are nice and sharp, and I quite like his stern expression. It’s very in-character. The only drawback is the faint gold lines on his face, which are transfer lines from his death mask, which happens to be his one accessory. It’s an okay sculpt, but the paint really hasn’t stood the test of time.

APOCALYPSE

Archangel&Apocalypse4So, uh, this is the guy that turned Warren into Archangel. And gave him that hideous costume. Also, he’s tied to Kang the Conqueror, a guy from the future, but the two met in the past, and then Apocalypse turned out to be immortal and may or may not have been from the future, some of the time. It’s a little confusing, and, if I’m totally honest, I don’t care enough about the guy to sort it all out. Apocalypse is presented here in his original look, which has been his main design on and off for quite some time. The figure stands 2 ½ inches tall (thanks to some added height from the boots) and he has 12 points of articulation (also thanks to the boots). The movement is rather limited on this guy, due to the various sculpted parts interfering. The worst offenders are the tubes connecting his arms to his torso, which are just solid plastic, rather than something more flexible. Apocalypse has six sculpted add-ons, for his chest piece, gloves, belt, and boots. The pieces are all pretty well sculpted, with plenty of great detail work. It’s worth noting that this guy predates the move to bulk up larger characters, but he’s actually not too badly held back by it. Apocalypse does a bit of size-changing anyway. The paint on this figure is pretty decent. The leg muscles are somewhat ridiculously defined, but it works for the character. The head exhibits some excellent work, with tons of great detail. Apocalypse included no accessories.

ARCHANGEL

Archangel&Apocalypse3After getting past that whole being a henchman to ultimate evil bit, Archangel was still stuck with the blue skin and the metal wings. However, he had a choice in the whole costume manner, so he moved to get rid of that hideous thing that Apocalypse stuck him in. Truly a sign that he had returned to good. So, he started wearing a variant of one of his older costumes, which is what this figure is wearing. Structurally, he’s not far off from the Death Archangel. The wings and harness are the same setup, and they’re just as cool here as they were on the other figure. He ditches the wristbands and gains a hairpiece, which was all-new to this figure. It’s a pretty good piece, which does a decent enough job of capturing Warren’s hair of the mid-90s. The rest of Archangel’s detailing is done via paint. It’s, admittedly, not as good as the other two. The blue doesn’t continue onto the harness, which is quite distracting. Also, he’s got some serious muscle detailing on his torso, but nowhere else. To top it off, the face is oddly angled and set too high, which just makes it look really odd. Archangel included no accessories.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I got Death Archangel and Apocalypse on their day of release, courtesy of my local comicbook store Cosmic Comix. I ended up picking up Archangel from a vendor at Comic Con a few years later, and gave the spare Apocalypse to my younger brother. These guys are a little dated (mostly just the basic Archangel), but they’re still pretty good, and they mark one of the earliest instances of what most would consider “modern” Minimates.

#0702: Ant-Man

ANT-MAN

MARVEL SELECT

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Ant-Man was a cool movie. After things went pretty colossal with Age of Ultron, it was kind of refreshing to move back to a smaller scale.  And who better to move back a smaller scale with than Ant-Man, dude who shrinks. That seems downright ingenious. As the latest smash-hit of the Marvel Universe, Ant-Man has found himself privy to more than a few action figures, including Diamond Selects non-Minimates line, Marvel Select.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

AntManMS4As noted above, this Ant-Man is a part of the Marvel Select line. There are two different versions of this figure available: a basic one, with just the helmeted head, offered at specialty stores, and one with both helmeted and un-helmented heads, offered exclusively through the Disney Store. I’ve got the Disney exclusive version, because I felt the need to own a tiny Paul Rudd. Just go with it. The figure stands a little over 7 inches tall and has 30 points of articulation. Ant-Man is, obviously, based on his movie appearance, though, like pretty much all of the other movie Ant-Men, he’s based on slightly out of date promotional artwork. This means that a few of the details on the face of the mask are a little bit out of place compared to the final design. Because of this, the figure feels slightly unfinished, or at least the helmet does. However, this is hardly DST’s fault, and at least they didn’t give us the weird half mask thing that Hasbro did. The rest of the sculpt is a bit closer to the final look, and it’s quite nicely handled. There’s plenty of texturing on the suit and the various metal parts look appropriately machined. Due to the interchangeability of the head, the hoses in the back have a tendency to pop out of place, which is really annoying, but ultimately not very noticeable. This figure definitely has the best paint we’ve seen so far on a movie Ant-Man, which is definitely cool. Everything’s pretty cleanly handled, and the gradation on the red parts looks quite good. He also exhibits a greater deal of smaller detailing, especially on the sliver parts, than other Ant-Men. All in all, very solid work. The figure includes the previously mentioned un-helmeted head, as well as three pairs of hands (fists, open gesture, and relaxed), and a miniature version of himself. The extra head isn’t spot-on, but it has a decent Paul Rudd likeness, which is really only held back by somewhat below par paintwork. It’s not terrible, but it could be a little better. The hands swap out easily enough, and are definitely a step up from the other Ant-Men with their permanently splayed hands. Mini Ant-Man is, obviously, not as detailed as his larger counterpart, but he’s got a decent level of detail and looks pretty good.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I got Ant-Man at the same time as Sunday’s Hulkbuster Iron Man. He was another purchase courtesy of my always amazing parents. When all the various Ant-Man stuff was announced, this was the figure I wanted the most. In the end, he’s definitely the best of the currently available Ant-Men, which isn’t a small (heh!) feat.

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#0701: Rocketeer

THE ROCKETEER

THE ROCKETEER: LEGACY COLLECTION (FUNKO)

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I love 1990’s The Rocketeer. It’s legit one of my favorite comicbook movies ever.  Just everything about it is so much fun, and it’s lead character, Cliff Secord, aka The Rocketeer, has a really, really cool design.  Unfortunately, the movie was a box office flop, so rather than being yet another entry in the Disney merchandising giant, and getting tons of cool toys, it was instead buried for many years.  However, it’s built up quite a cult following in the last few years, which seems to have made it marketable again.  Funko, masters of getting every license ever, have released him in just about every style of figure they offer, including their 6-inch Legacy line, designed to compete with Hasbro’s Star Wars: The Black Series.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

RocketeerL2The Rocketeer is figure 1 in the The Rocketeer: Legacy Collection.  I’d place pretty good money on him being the only figure this line sees, but maybe Funko will pull a surprise out of their hats.  Time will tell.  Though the line was designed to compete with The Black Series, the figure is actually at a slightly larger scale, standing just shy of 6 ½ inches tall.  The figure also features 26 points of articulation.  Some of the joints are a little tougher to move than others, but movement is decent overall.  Structurally, this guy’s an all-new sculpt.  It’s a pretty good one, to be fair, though it isn’t perfect.  For one thing, the sculpt seems to favor the appearance of the basic standing over any other pose, meaning he looks slightly off in certain poses.  Also, I’m not sure what’s going on with the cut joints at the hips, but man do they look weird.  Like, I feel like Funko was trying to hide the joints a bit, but they ended up being more obvious than they would have been if they’d just been straight cuts.  The biggest issue is the helmet, though.  It’s not bad; in fact, it’s really good; but there’s something about it that seems just a bit off-kilter, almost like someone leaned on the mold while it was cooling.  It’s really close, but just shy of being right.  Those assorted issues aside, the sculpt actually shows off some very nice work, especially in terms of proportions and finer detailing.  The signature rocket is handled exquisitely, and is a near-perfect match for the prop from the movie. The paintwork on the Rocketeer is pretty decently handled.  There’s no real slop to speak of, and there’s even a nice wash on the pants to help bring out the details.  The figure includes his signature Mauser C96, as well as an un-helmeted head.  The head is a decent enough sculpt, with more than a passing resemblance to actor Billy Campbell (who was himself the near spitting image of the comics version of Cliff).  The paint is a little basic, but it’s not bad. Also, while some of the promo pics show the front of the jacket and the jetpack as removable, they don’t appear to be so on the final figure.  Not a big deal for me, but just worthy of noting.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I ended up snagging this guy at a somewhat out of the way Toys R Us, after a few weeks of searching.  Seems there was a fair bit of demand for this guy.  I’m really glad I found one.  The figure certainly isn’t without issue, but I’m just glad to have an awesome Rocketeer figure after all these years!

RocketeerL3

#0700: Joe Colton

JOE COLTON

G.I. JOE: RETALIATION (HOT TOYS)

Colton1

Hey! I made it to 700 reviews! Cool! Alright, it’s another milestone, so, faithful readers know it’s time for another Deluxe Review! Let’s take another dip into the world of high-end collecting, courtesy of Hot Toys.

Now, G.I. Joe is the very first action figure, and it’s also completely owned by toymakers Hasbro. It’s very rare that one toy company allows another to make toys from an in house property, especially Hasbro, who are notorious for not even letting other companies anywhere near licenses that they merely hold, not own outright. So it was a bit of a shock when they allowed Sideshow to make 12-inch versions of their A Real American Hero characters, and even more of a shock when they let Hot Toys have the license for 2013’s G.I. Joe: Retaliation. They only made a small handful of figures, one of them being Bruce Willis’ Joe Colton, namesake of the G.I. Joe team.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Colton3Joe Colton is another figure from HT’s main Movie Masterpiece Series. He was technically an exclusive to San Diego Comic Con 2013, though he wasn’t actually available at the con; he just went up on the Sideshow site shortly after. So, he really wasn’t much different from a normal release. He’s figure number 206, putting him right between fellow exclusives “Star Spangled Man” Captain America and Evil Superman. The figure stands roughly 12 inches tall and has “over 30 points of articulation” according to Sideshow’s website. I’ll trust them on that. Joe is, obviously, based on his appearance from G.I. Joe: Retaliation. Specifically, he’s presented as he looks during the film’s big climactic fight scene (more or less).

Let’s start things off by taking a look at the head sculpt. It’s another fantastic piece of work from Hot Toys. The likeness is absolutely spot-on to Willis, right down to his slight, sarcastic sneering, grin. The lack of any sort of hair adds actually adds to the realism of the figure, and it helps that HT’s managed to get Willis’ head shape down pretty much exactly. The paint on the head lives up to the sculpt, further enhancing the likeness, and adding even more to the realism.

Colton2Joe’s costume is a pretty cool little nod to the history of G.I. Joe, actually. It’s based on the uniform of the Adventure Team Commander from the G.I. Joe: Adventure Team line from the 70s, who, by extension of appearing to be the same guy as the original Joe, is the guy Colton is supposed to represent. The outfit is made up of three main pieces, a t-shirt, a pair of combat pants, and jacket, as well as an assortment of additional parts, including two different belts, hip and shoulder holsters, and a pair of boots. The boots are sculpted pieces; they’re pretty nicely detailed, though they seem harder and less movable than previous boots. The holsters are also sculpted, and they fit their corresponding guns pretty well. The rest of the outfit is made up of tailored parts.  Everything fits pretty well on the body, though maybe not quite as perfectly as I’d like. The jacket in particular feels just a bit bulky when placed on the figure. That said, most of outfit sits very nicely with a minor amount of futzing. In an odd move for a HT figure, the pants of Joe’s uniform are just a bit inaccurate to the film; the right leg is permanently tucked into the boot, which is odd, and the left leg sports a kneepad not seen in the film, which cannot be removed. I’m not sure why HT decided to do these things; one would assume the more accurate straight green pants would have been easier to produce.

Joe makes use of one of HT’s more posable bodies. It also happens to be the body that balances look and posability the best of HT’s standard bodies, which makes it a good choice. The only real drawback is that the body uses a rather obvious set of double joints at the elbows, which is a bit of a bummer if you want to display him without the jacket. That said, the movement allowed by these joints is essential to him properly holding his weapons, making it a worthy trade-off.

Colton5Joe includes a decent selection of extra pieces, though he was lighter than some others. He included:

  • 6 different hands
  • Machine gun
  • Spare Magazine
  • Shot gun
  • 3 pistols
  • 5 ammo clips
  • Display stand

The hands come in a nice variety of poses, with basic relaxed (R and L), trigger finger (R and L), gun holding (R), and fist (L). The hands are very realistically sculpted and painted, and each fulfill their intended purpose quite well. Willis is left-handed, so I was happy to see the gun grip hand was his right, allowing him to hold the guns as he actually would. That seems like it should be a given, but the poor T-1000 didn’t even get a proper left-handed trigger finger, so you never know.

The machine gun is very nicely handled. It’s exact model is a SCAR-L*. It has a removable clip and a folding stock, as well as a strap, allowing it to be slung over his arm. It’s impressively detailed, with tons sculpt and paintwork, all of which do a good job of passing this off as a miniaturized version of the real thing.

The shot gun is my personal favorite of the weapons, mostly due to it being his most used weapon from the film, and it just working very well visually with the figure. It’s the Benelli M4*. It’s admittedly not quite as exciting as the machine gun, since it’s a more simplistic design to begin with. Still, it’s got a moving stock and a spring-loaded breach and it looks pretty cool in his hands.

The three pistols are mostly just there to fill the three corresponding holsters. Two of the three are identical, and the third isn’t far off. All three are Colt 1911s*. They’re well sculpted, and they have moving slides and removable clips, which is always cool. Unfortunately, the included trigger fingers aren’t really optimized for a smaller weapon, so he really can’t hold them all that well.

The ammo clips are the same as the ones in the three pistols, placed into nice little sculpted holders. They can be hung on is belts, or removed if you so choose.

The display stand is fairly run of the mill. It’s just the basic black oval stand, with a little tag for his name and the film’s logo printed on the base.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Like so many of my Hot Toys figures, Joe was pre-ordered from the online store of Sideshow Toys, the North American distributor for HT’s stuff. He ended up being the last thing I ordered from their site, and in fact, I almost cancelled the pre-order. Not because I didn’t want him or anything, but because I had gradually been moving away from HT. I’m glad I never got around to cancelling it, since he’s actually a pretty cool figure.

*Thanks to Tim Marron, of Timsical Thoughts, for helping me ID the specific models of the guns.

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#0699: Jules & Vincent

JULES & VINCENT

PULP FICTION MINIMATES

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I’ve previously mentioned here how I am not much of a fan of Pulp Fiction. In the last couple of years, I’ve familiarized myself with most of Quentin Tarantino’s film catalogue, and I’ve enjoyed a few of them quite a bit. However, I just can’t bring myself to Pulp Fiction enough to even make it all the way through the movie. I’ve tried several times, but I just can’t do it. That said, it got Minimates, so I couldn’t completely ignore it, right? Today, I’ll be looking at two of the film’s most definitive characters, Jules & Vincent.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Jules & Vincent were released as a two-pack in the Pulp Fiction Minimates line. In fact, they’re the only two-pack in the line so far, as the rest have all been four-packs. Given that these two are such a distinctive pair, however, it makes perfect sense to offer their main looks by themselves.

JULES

JulesVince3Jules is one of the legendary Samuel L Jackson’s earlier film roles, and it helped to make him as well-known as he is today. He’s also one of the few parts of the movie I could actually stand, so that’s definitely a plus. He’s shown here in his distinctive black suit/black tie look that he sports for the majority of his time in the film. The figure is roughly 2 ½ inches tall and he has the standard 14 points of articulation. He’s built on the standard Minimate body, with add-on pieces for his hair, jacket, and tie, as well as unique hand pieces. The hair is the same piece we saw on the Casual Jules ‘mate I reviewed earlier, though it first appeared here. It’s a good sculpt and it captures the character’s look pretty well. The jacket and tie are both pieces we’ve seen lots of times before; they’re good pieces, so there’s no need to change things up now. The hands are new, and they’re by far the coolest part of the figure (but also slightly annoying. We’ll get to that in a sec.) They’re sculpted holding his “refreshing beverage” and “tasty burger” from the movie. The pieces are stylized just a bit to fit the ‘mate aesthetic, but it’s clear what they’re supposed to be. They’re exceptionally fun pieces, and I hope we see them again. Paint on Jules is pretty decent, though not super intricate or anything. The face is slightly different from the Casual Jules, but still has a great SLJ likeness. The paint on the drink and burger is just a touch sloppy, but pretty good overall. Jules is packed with a handgun, a wallet, and a clear display stand. Remember when I said the hands were slightly annoying? Here’s where that comes in. Even though he’s got accessories he’s clearly meant to be able to hold, he doesn’t actually include a set of normal hands. To DST’s credit, a set of hands for him was included in the following boxed set and you could also have them sent to you by contacting CS, I just haven’t done either of those things.

VINCENT

JulesVince2Vincent Vega is one of the film’s main characters, played by John Travolta, whose career was re-ignited courtesy of Pulp Fiction. Here’s the thing: I don’t really care for John Travolta. Guy rubs me the wrong way. That’s probably a big piece of my dislike of the movie, to be honest. Anyway, here he is. Like Jules, he’s in his definitive suit and tie look. From the neck down, he’s essentially the same as Jules, apart from having normal hands. He makes use of the basic jacket and tie, which are still good pieces. He’s got his own hairpiece, which does a pretty good job of capturing Vince’s slicked back look from the film.  Vince’s paint is pretty straight forward, with the body being pretty simple black and white. The details on the face are nicely handled, and they present an excellent likeness of Travolta, so there’s no mistaking who this is supposed to be. Vince includes a handgun (Same as Jules’), a briefcase, and a clear display stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

So, if I don’t like Pulp Fiction, why do I keep getting Pulp Fiction Minimates? Well, this one wasn’t really a conscious effort. For their 6th anniversary, Luke’s Toy Store had a special sale, which included grab bags. I picked up a few of them, and this pair was in one (I also got a second, loose Vince in another). Not exactly something I would have picked up on my own, but it’s not a bad set, and I did end up getting them for less than retail. Jules is legitimately a pretty cool ‘mate, and Vince is at the very least well made.

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