#0800: Two-Face/Harvey Dent

TWO-FACE/ HARVEY DENT

THE DARK KNIGHT (HOT TOYS)

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Wow, it’s kind of a big day here. I’ve actually managed to write 800 of these things, AND it’s the last day of 2015. How about that. Well, let’s close out the year in style, with another Figure In Question “deluxe review!”

I’ve got quite a large selection of Hot Toys figures, and the vast majority are based on various Marvel Studios properties. However, the property that actually got me into the realm of high-end collecting was their rather impressive selection of figures from The Dark Knight. Wait, didn’t I just talk about how I only thought Dark Knight was okay, not great? Why, then, would I start shelling out the big bucks on figures from said movie? What can I say? My buying habits are an enigma! While everyone always praises Heath Ledger’s performance as the Joker, I’ve always found that one of the unsung parts of the film is Aaron Eckhart’s turn as Gotham District Attorney Harvey Dent, known in the comics as Two-Face.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

TwoFaceHT2Harvey Dent/Two-Face was released as part of HT’s Movie Masterpiece Series, as number 81 in the line. He’s the fifth figure from the Dark Knight sub-set, after Begins-style Batman, Joker, Dark Knight Batman, and Bank Robber Joker (and, if you count the Tumbler and the Bat-Pod, he’s the seventh Dark Knight item to carry the MMS label). Two-Face stands about 11 ½ inches tall, placing him at a height just below Batman and Joker. Going by the actor’s heights, this isn’t too far off. Going by the solicitation for the figure, he has “over 30 points of articulation,” which is the best count you’ll get barring actually stripping the figure down to count the joints (which I won’t be doing). Harvey is based on his appearance in the last half or so of the film, from right before his capture by the Joker, up through the end of the film.

Appropriately for a character such as Two-Face, this figure includes a pair of head sculpts. The first is based on his scarred look from the last third of the film, which is his more distinctive “Two-Face” look. The right half of the face is a very good likeness of Eckhart, looking rather intense and angry. The texturing on the face is a little softer than a TwoFaceHT3lot of other HT figures, but it’s actually fairly realistic, and helps to further highlight the differences between the two sides. The hair is very finely detailed, and a pretty good match for the look from the film, if perhaps a bit too neat and tidy. The left side of the face is a fairly impressive sculpt purely from an aesthetic stand point, however it has a number of inaccuracies, particularly around the nose and chin. Given how closely the figure was released to the film, one assumes a certain degree of this has to do with the final look from the film changing from preliminary designs. The overall effect really isn’t bad, though, and the sculpt truly is a nice piece of work. The second head presents a pre-accident Harvey. While you might think that the two sculpts would be more or less the same on the right side, this doesn’t appear to be the case. They’re certainly similar, but there are a few differences. The hair is (unsurprisingly) parted a slightly different way, and the general demeanor of the face is less intense. While this is in keeping with the character from this point in the film, the end result is a sculpt that I don’t feel has as strong a likeness as the scarred head. Nevertheless, the sculpt is still a very nice piece. Both heads sport some excellent paintwork, in keeping with the usual work from Hot Toys, and they both showcase incredible realism.

Harvey’s outfit is made up of seven different pieces. He has a jacket and dress pants, a tie, button down shirt, belt, and sculpted shoes. The jacket is probably the weakest piece here. The tailoring isn’t terrible, but it’s a little bunchy and oversized. To replicate the burnt nature of the left side of the jacket, it’s been coated in a rubbery sort of material. While this is nice in theory, and perhaps the most plausible way of creating the look in a mass-TwoFaceHT5produced sense, it only further bulks up the jacket, and makes Two-Face look a little flabby. The tie is oddly plastic-y, but it looks reasonable enough and does a pretty fair job of replicating the look. The shirt, pants, and belt are all pretty nicely tailored and serve their purposes pretty well. The shoes are a fairly often used piece, but they fit the part and are quite well sculpted.

Harvey is an older HT figure, so he has less extras than some other figures, but he does still have a few. He includes:

  • 2 pairs of hands
  • An extra jacket
  • 2 coins
  • Campaign button
  • Revolver
  • Display stand

The hands come with one relaxed pair, plus a right hand for holding the gun and a left hand for holding either a coin or the campaign button. Both sets of hands are pretty well sculpted, and decently sculpted, though the thumb on the left hand has a somewhat visible seam on it.

The extra jacket is the same as the regular jacket, but without the rubber coating for the burnt side. The tailoring could still use a bit of work, but it’s a better piece overall than the other coat.

TwoFaceHT4The two coins are actually the same piece twice. It’s supposed to represent Harvey’s lucky double-sided coin. In the film, the piece is scarred in the accident that scars Harvey’s face. The coin here is small enough that it’s not really clear which version of the coin it’s supposed to be.

The campaign button is one of the ones worn by various characters in the film, which says “I believe in Harvey Dent.” It’s well scaled and well painted, resulting in a very faithful piece.

The revolver is a fairly standard piece. It’s nicely sculpted and scaled. The cartridge swings out and can be removed, which is a nice touch.

Last up is the display stand, which is just the standard piece, which “Two-Face/Harvey Dent” printed on the front, as well as the logo from Dark Knight at the center.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Two-Face was my second Hot Toys figure. After getting Joker, I wanted to have a companion figure, so my parents offered to chip in half the price of the figure as part of my Christmas gift for that year. Though the figure might be worth a small fortune now, I actually got him for well below retail, since nobody seemed to want him at the time. While he’s not the greatest offering HT ever put out, and I don’t really think he warrants the high prices he goes for now, he’s a pretty solid figure, and I’m certainly glad to have him.

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#0799: First Order General Hux

FIRST ORDER GENERAL HUX

STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS

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Man, that new Star Wars movie sure was a good movie. Like, really good. To be fair, large elements of the film’s plot and certain characters were somewhat recycled from the original trilogy, but I really didn’t care.  What I do care about are the toys! And hey, now I get to actually write a Force Awakens review with actual, real knowledge of the characters! What a novel concept!

I noted in my full review of the movie that Domhnall Gleeson, who portrays General Hux, was the only new addition to the cast with whom I was already familiar. I was actually kind of pumped that he was in the film, and I really enjoyed his performance and the character of Hux in general. He makes for a good bad guy. But, does he make for a good action figure? Let’s find out!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Hux2General Hux is part of Hasbro’s smaller scale Star Wars: The Force Awakens line of figures. He comes from the “Space” subset of the line, which makes sense (well, more sense than some of the other subsets). The figure stands 3 ¾ inches tall and he has 5 points of articulation. Standard stuff for the line. Hux’s sculpt appears to be unique to him. He’s presented in his fully dressed up uniform, with his hat and overcoat. He’s only seen a few times with the full get-up, but it’s striking, so I can understand why Hasbro went for it. I suppose that in theory we might see this sculpt reused for some of the other First Order officers, at least if the line runs that far. The overall look of Hux’s sculpt is decent enough, but I have one major issue with it. For other jacketed characters, such as Finn and Poe, there is a basic body with the underlying shirt and then an overlay piece for the coat. For Hux, however, the coat is just sculpted strait onto the body. It’s not really an issue on the torso, but it looks rather ridiculous when it has to break for the leg articulation. An add-on piece would have been much preferred here, and I really don’t know why Hasbro opted not to go for it, apart from a desire to cut costs. In addition, the bulk of this figure’s sculpt is a lot more simplistic than the other figures in the line. The coat and uniform are mostly devoid of any sort of texturing or any real small detail work, which only makes the cuts for the joints even more jarring. At the very least, the figure’s face looks like Gleeson, which is perhaps the one truly nice piece of the sculpt. Adding to the rather simple sculpt, Hux’s paint isn’t the most exciting thing. I guess it’s nice that the shirt and coat are different shades. And, the basic application isn’t bad. He’s just a bit drab. For accessories, Hux includes a small pistol, as well as a piece to yet another build-a-thing. I actually kind of like this build-a-thing piece, though, because it can work like a jetpack, which makes Hux a small bit more interesting.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I picked up Hux from my local Target. I was actually out with my brother picking up the new Battlefront game, and happened to find this guy. I had been somewhat excited to get him, and I was happy to find him, but the figure’s definitely not one of the stronger entries in this line. I mean, he’s not terrible, but he’s not super fun either. The character is also getting a Black Series figure, so perhaps that one will be better.

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#0798: Mister Miracle

MISTER MIRACLE

DC ICONS (DC COLLECTIBLES)

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Jack Kirby is a pretty pivotal figure in comics, having had a hand in the creation of a huge portion of the Marvel Universe. He didn’t just work at Marvel; he also spent a fair bit of time working for Marvel’s main competition, DC. He didn’t have the same impact at DC that he did at Marvel, but he did create the Fourth World, which picked up a pretty substantial cult following. One of my personal favorite characters from the Fourth World has always been Scott Free, aka Mister Miracle. Scott (or Scot, as he’s known now. Extra “t”s are so last century) has made a fairly recent return to the DC Universe, and his new look just got a figure, courtesy of DC Collectibles’ newest line, DC Icons.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

MrMiracle2Mister Miracle is figure 04 in the first series of DC Icons. He’s the lone New 52-based figure in the first series, which is fair, I suppose. The main purpose of the Icons line was to serve as a competitor for Hasbro’s Marvel Legends, so articulation is a key point. Mister Miracle delivers pretty well on this, sporting 27 points of articulation. Like a couple of the animated figures, he would really benefit from some sort of lateral movement on his legs, but you can still get a pretty decent range out of him. What he doesn’t deliver on so much is height. He stands about 5 ¾ inches tall, which makes him a good half an inch shorter than the average Marvel Legend and almost a full inch shorter than prior DCC figures. For what it’s worth, he’s in roughly the same scale as S.H. FiguArts figures. But he, and the rest of the line, are still a lot smaller than expected. Moving past that, he has a totally unique sculpt, which is pretty well executed. The proportions of the body are actually pretty good, and most of the articulation is worked in pretty well. Design-wise, he’s based on Miracle’s look from Earth 2, which is a slight tweaking of his original Kirby design. I think the original is still a stronger look, but this isn’t a bad look. The costume details are mostly etched in, which has MrMiracle3the result of making him look a lot sharper. The cape is a separate, but permanently attached piece, made from a softer materials. The sculpt is okay, but, the cape is a little oddly shaped. That being said, it works for what it is. The paint work on the figure is nicely handled overall. The etched in lines of the costume make for cleaner paintwork, and help to make the details pop a bit more. The colors are all done in a really cool metallic sheen, which really makes him look pretty sweet. For accessories, Mister Miracle includes two sets of hands (fists and open), a pair of hoverdiscs for his feet, and what I believe is a Mother Box.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I picked up Mister Miracle from my local comic book store, Cosmic Comix. He was actually the only of the four first series figures left. I was somewhat intrigued by the concept of Icons, and I’ve always liked Mister Miracle, so I thought this guy would be a good starting point. The issues of scale are a little frustrating, especially for people who were hoping to place these figures with their prior DCC figures. That being said, Miracle is a really fun figure, and he shows a great improvement in terms of quality for a DCC product. Plus, as more of these figures are released, the scale thing will become less of an issue.

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#0797: Endor Rebel Soldier

ENDOR REBEL SOLDIER

POWER OF THE FORCE II

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Star Wars has always had army builders and generic troops as an important part of the story (and toylines). The Imperial forces tend to get the most focus and have the most effort devoted to them, but we can’t let the bad guys have all the fun, right? Enter the Rebel Soldiers. The Rebels have a tendency to change up their designs to suit their environment, even more so than the Imperials, so they’ve got a few divergent looks. One of my personal favorites has always been their uniformed look from Endor, which has been privy to a few different figures over the years. Today I’ll be looking at the second of those figures.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

EndorRebel2The Endor Rebel Soldier was released in the 1997 series of Kenner’s Power of the Force II line. The figure is a little bit over 3 ¾ inches tall and he has the standard 6 points of articulation of the time. He doesn’t appear to be based on one Rebel Soldier in particular, but is instead an amalgamation of several of the Rebels from the Endor scenes. The sculpt is generally very well done, and I’d consider it above the usual quality of a PotF2 figure. The general proportions aren’t too exaggerated, and there’s only the slightest bit of pre-posing to him. The best work is definitely on the head, particularly the helmet, which is a great recreation of the film design. From the neck down the details are a bit looser. The Rebel uniform had a few different looks, and this figure tries to make itself work well enough for a bunch of them. It does this by going a bit fuzzy on some of the more defining elements of the uniform. The texturing on the uniform is pretty nicely handled, and rather abundant, which is a little surprising on a figure from this time period. The only real iffy part of the sculpt is his feet, which look more like ugg boots than the WW2 inspired look from the film. The paint on this guy is probably his weakest point. It’s not bad, mind you, just not terribly accurate to the film. Instead of the more complex selection of various colors, the majority of this figure has been painted in a generic camo pattern. It doesn’t look half bad, and I think it probably ends up making him a bit more interesting as a toy than a more faithful color scheme might have done. The Rebel Soldier includes a backpack and a rifle. Both are a little oversized, though not as comically so as other PotF2 figures.  He also included a “Freeze Frame,” which was the gimmick of PotF2 at the time.  It’s just a projector slide of Han, Leia, and several of the Endor Rebel Soldiers in front of the Imperial base.  It doesn’t add much value to the actual figure, but I guess it’s sort of nifty.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I originally got this figure from the KB Toys outlet near where my family vacationed every summer. I recall just liking the basic look of the guy, and just being fond of the Endor Rebels in general. He was one of my favorite PotF2 figures, and I even gave him a name (Pterlick, after one of my middle school teachers). Somewhere along the line, I lost track of him. Ever since, every time I came across a selection of well-priced PotF2 figures, I’d always look for him. After a few years, I finally got lucky just last month, when I found him at the House of Fun. I’m glad to have him again, and even more glad that he held up as well as I remembered.

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#0796: The Joker

THE JOKER

THE DARK KNIGHT (NECA)

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Yesterday, we looked at a figure from 1979’s Superman: The Movie. Today, we jump to pretty much the exact opposite side of the “super hero” movie spectrum, with 2008’s The Dark Knight. It’s lauded by many fans as one of the greatest comic book films of all time. You guys ready for some blasphemy? I think The Dark Knight is just an alright movie. Like, it’s not bad, or anything, and there are some moments of it that I really quite like, but as a whole, I just found it to be rather middling. Guess gritty realism just isn’t high on my list of things I want from my super hero movies. However, the movie did give us Heath Ledger’s extraordinarily memorable turn in the role of the Joker. Ledger’s Joker has received his fair share of toys, including NECA’s pretty sweet 18 inch figure. He’s gotten one more figure from NECA, in their more usual 7-inch scale, which I’ll be looking at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

LedgerJoker2Joker is the last of the three figures offered in this year’s DVD-based partnership between NECA and Warner Brothers. He was available in Warner Brothers’ eBay store in a DVD bundle, as well as at select Toys R Us stores. The figure stands just over 7 inches tall and has 24 points of articulation. Like the other two figures in this set, Joker is a scaled down version of NECA’s 18-inch figure. The sculpt is really a great translation of Ledger’s appearance in the movie. His clothing is constructed through a number of add-on pieces atop an underlying body, which results in a really authentic layered look. Each level has a bunch of texturing and fine detailing work, which really sells the realism of the clothing. The chain of his pocket watch is an actual metal chain, which can be a slight pain while posing, but is a really nice touch. The head is made up of two parts, with the main head being one piece and the hair being separate. The face has a passable likeness to Ledger; it’s not 100% him, but it’s clear who he’s supposed to be. The hair is a rubber-like material, and it does a decent job of capturing Ledger’s hair. It’s a little bunchy and thick in a few areas, but that’s forgivable in this scale, and the overall look is good. Batman had some spectacular paint work, and Superman had passable paintwork, so how does Joker measure up? Well, I think he falls somewhere between the two. The overall look is really great, and the general application is pretty clean. The detail work on his shirt and tie is really great, and the washes and such used to highlight the sculpt are mostly pretty good. There’s a small degree of slop around the collars of the jackets, and the coverage of the darker wash on the legs is a little spotty, but that’s about it. The Joker includes a knife, a handgun, and a machine gun, which is a pretty decent assortment of extras.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I missed my local TRU’s shipment of Jokers. Given my only moderate fandom of the movie, I wasn’t super bummed about this or anything, since I wasn’t 100% sold on getting the figure to begin with. Ledger’s Joker was a good performance, but appearance-wise, I don’t quite put him on the same level as Reeve and West in their roles. However, when I found Superman, there was also a fresh stock of Joker figures, and I liked the figure enough in person to pick him up. He’s definitely a solid figure, and I like how he turned out. Glad I found him!

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#0795: Superman

SUPERMAN

SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE (NECA)

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I love 1979’s Superman: The Movie. No joke. To date, it remains one of my top movies, and it’s just about my favorite superhero movie ever. Sure, it’s a little dated, but it’s got great cinematography, some pretty decent effects, and a truly amazing score by John Williams. On top of that, it had Christopher Reeve in the title role, which may well be one of the most spot-on casting choices of all time. That guy was Superman. Literally the only downside to the movie is that, up until recently, there were no toys specifically based on the movie versions of the characters. Things changed when Hot Toys released their truly magnificent 1/6 scale version of Reeve’s Superman. However, if you wanted a more traditional, small scale version of the character, the only real option was the 3 ¾ inch Mattel figure, which was alright, but not the be-all-end-all. NECA also got in on the game with their 18-inch scale figure, but he was kind of on the large side. So, what was a fan to do? Do just a little more waiting. See, NECA worked just a little more of their licensing magic, and partnered with Warner Brothers in order to release their awesome 18-inch Superman sculpt in their more standard 7-inch scale.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

ReeveSuperman2Superman was one of the three figures, along with Adam West Batman and Heath Ledger Joker, released as part of a partnership between NECA and Warner Brothers for a DVD-based promotion.  The figure is a little over 7 inches tall and has 26 points of articulation. Superman is a pretty straight scale down of NECA’s larger Superman figure. I liked that one a lot, but I felt there were just a few small issues with the overall presentation. Well, it seems that the shrinking in scale has done the sculpt quite a few favors. Chief among them is the softening of the expression on Clark’s face. The 18-inch figure seemed just a bit too angry for Reeve’s Superman. This one’s still got an intense look, but it’s a fair bit less menacing, and therefore bears a much closer resemblance to Reeve in the role. That’s definitely his face, and even the hair’s pretty spot-on. The body also exhibits some truly awesome work; the musculature looks just right for Reeve, and the level of texturing on the uniform is just superb. Superman’s torso is handled via two separate pieces: there’s an underlying base torso, with an overlay piece for his shirt piece. This adds a nice touch of realism, but it also helps to facilitate the proper attachment of the cape. Like Batman, the cape ReeveSuperman4is cloth, but I actually think this one works a lot better. The fabric is a heftier material and hangs a lot better, and just all around looks better. There’s even a Superman symbol on the back, which looks great. The assembly of the torso is a little iffy on my figure, with it sticking up a little more on the right side than on the left. However, with the cape properly placed, it isn’t noticeable. The paintwork on Superman is decent overall, but mostly you just don’t want to look at it too closely. The face has some of the best work, with everything being pretty clean. On the costume, the colors are well chosen, but there are a few spots of slop, especially around the edges of the logo. There’s also a pretty noticeable spot of blue paint on his neck, which is slightly frustrating. Superman is a bit light on the accessories, only including a spare set of hands for flying. Be careful swapping them out, though, as the pegs are a little brittle.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Superman was quite a chore to get. See, you either had to find him in a Toys R Us or by him in a bundle with a DVD from WB’s eBay store. I missed the window on getting him online, so that meant I had to keep checking all the nearby TRUs in my area. To make matters worse, Superman ended up shipping later than the other two figures, so there was no telling when he’d hit. I searched for three weeks with no luck and I was this close to just giving up entirely. It’s not NECA’s fault, of course, since WB handled all the distribution, but it was still frustrating. Then, I was out and about with my family, a little out of the way, and we came across another TRU, and I actually managed to find this guy (plus an extra for my mom, who loves Christopher Reeve. Because I’m an awesome son). I’m really happy I found him, because he is, no contest, my favorite Superman in my collection.

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#0794: Charlie Brown

CHARLIE BROWN

A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS

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Hey! It’s Christmas! So, to those of you who celebrate the holiday, Merry Christmas! To those of you who don’t, I offer a more generic, but still fully sincere Happy Holidays! Coming up with Christmas-themed figures to review is sometimes a little difficult, since I tend to go for more year-round applicable stuff in my collecting. But, I do have a small little pool of various holiday-themed stuff. One of the classic Christmas specials is A Charlie Brown Christmas, which marked the second time the popular comic strip characters made their way into animation. Generally speaking, a bunch of normally dressed kids don’t make for the most toy-etic property, but there have been a few tries at translating the characters into plastic form. In 2003, toy company Playing Mantis (who are sadly no longer in business) did a rather expansive line of honest to god action figures based on the characters, which included a whole set devoted to the Christmas special. Today, I’ll be looking at their version of the titular character!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

CharlieBrown2Charlie Brown was part of the A Charlie Brown Christmas line of figures from Playing Mantis. He was available as both a single release figure and as part of a three-pack with Linus and Sally. Mine is the single release. In addition, he was available with two different facial expressions: a fairly basic smile, and a singing expression, as seen at the end of the special. This figure is the latter. The figure stands 4 ½ inches tall and has 10 points of articulation, which was actually quite a step up from the movement on the non-Christmas figures. The Peanuts characters have a pretty distinct look about them, which is pretty largely linked to them only being seen in two-dimensions. That being said, this figure’s sculpt actually a pretty great translation of the mid-60s look of the character. The head shape in particular is pretty spot-on, and looks great from just about every angle. The one real inaccuracy of the figure is the hands, which forego the usual shaping of the hands in place of more functional hand meant for holding accessories (though none of Charlie Brown’s accessories…). For the most part, Charlie Brown’s molded in the proper colors instead of using paint, but he does have a few painted details. His face is a good match for the look from the cartoon, and the work on his hair and shoelaces is pretty solid. CharlieBrown4Charlie Brown includes his signature hat from the special, as well as two versions of the classic tree, both spindly and fully decorated, as well as snowy display stand. The trees are pretty cool, because the fully decorated version can be cracked open, so that the smaller tree can be placed inside it, and its one ornament shows through the outer tree, just like in the actual special.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

So, Charlie Brown isn’t actually mine. He’s kind of a joint possession of my entire family, along with the rest of the A Charlie Brown Christmas figures. We pull them out and set them up every Christmas season. For a Christmas decoration, he’s actually not bad. As an action figure? Eh, he’s reasonable. The articulation’s not exactly the most extensive, but it’s good for a few basic standing poses. Plus the actual look of the guy is pretty great, and he has a cool selection of accessories.

#0793: Dutch & Jungle Predator

DUTCH – JUNGLE EXTRACTION & JUNGLE PREDATOR – BATTLE DAMAGED

PREDATOR MINIMATES

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‘Twas the day before Christmas and all through the house, Ethan was…reviewing a thing not at all related to Christmas. Because it’s the day before Christmas and not the day of Christmas. We’re not there yet. But hey, what better way to get into a festive spirit than a super advanced species of alien hunters doing battle with Arnold Schwarzenegger in the middle of a jungle? It’s got all the conventional trappings, right? Well, okay, maybe not. But, ummm, Predator Minimates.  Those are cool! Let’s look at some of those! Because I want to, that’s why!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Jungle Extraction Dutch and the Battle-Damaged Jungle Predator are the Toys R Us exclusive set from the first series of Predator Minimates two-packs, which were just released back in November. This set has the notoriety of being the only two-pack in the first series not to share either of its figures with the first set of blind-bagged figures.

DUTCH – JUNGLE EXTRACTION

Dutch&Pred3This isn’t the first time that Arnold Schwarzenegger’s gotten a Minimate; he actually got quite a few of them back in the Terminator 2 line. However, this is one of the first three versions of Dutch (all packed in the first series of two-packs), so that’s neat, I guess. He’s based on Dutch’s look right after the first encounter with the Predator, right after he’s taken off his jacket, but before he takes off the tank top (seriously, the easiest way of identifying where you are in Predator is to see what state of undress Schwarzenegger is currently in). The figure is about 2 ½ inches tall and has 14 points of articulation, which are both standard for the line. Dutch has five sculpted add-on pieces for his hair, vest, belt, holster, and knife sheath. Most of these pieces are shared between the three Dutches. The hair and vest are definitely new, and the belt and sheath might be, but I’m not 100% sure, and the holster is the same holster we’ve seen a lot recently. Regardless of origin, the pieces are all very nicely sculpted, and they do a nice job of capturing the look of the character. In particular, the hair does a much better job of capturing Schwarzenegger’s look than the T2 ‘mates did, so that’s nice to see. Dutch’s paint is great in theory, but a little iffy in execution. The colors are great matches for the source material, and all of the detail lines look great. The Schwarzenegger likeness is pretty spot-on, and the face paint for the camo is handled with some pretty great subtlety. Unfortunately, my figure has a spot on both the torso and the upper right leg where the paint is missing, leaving the white plastic totally exposed. The torso spot is easy to overlook, but the one on the leg is really glaring. For accessories, Dutch includes a rifle, a handgun, a knife, and a clear display stand.

JUNGLE PREDATOR – BATTLE DAMAGED

Dutch&Pred2The original Predator, or Jungle Hunter as it’s “officially” known, has quite a few minutely different looks, which can’t all be conveyed by the same figure, necessitating a bunch of variants. Oh, what is a toy company to do? One of the noteworthy bits about the Predator was that it bled a vibrant green blood, which had a glow to it. It looked kind of cool and led to Dutch’s immortal line “If it bleeds, we can kill it.” At the end of the movie, the creature takes a fair bit of a beating at the hands of Dutch, which leaves it splattered in its own blood. It’s a somewhat distinctive look, so it makes sense to see it show up here. The Predator is built using non-standard pieces for the head, hands, feet, and upper left arm, as well as add-ons for the torso/shoulder armor and the belt/skirt. These pieces are all-new (though their shared amongst the various versions of the Jungle Hunter), and they do a pretty decent job of translating the design into ‘mate form. They aren’t perfect, and I’m not 100% sold on some of the design choices, but the overall look is pretty good. The paint work on this figure is pretty great, with plenty of texture work, and some awesome color choices. The bright green for the blood is also pretty cool, and it adds a nice bit of difference to the figure. The Jungle Predator’s only accessory is a clear display stand, but given the number of sculpted parts on the actual figure, this is somewhat forgivable.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

So, I picked these guys up at a nearby TRU (while looking for NECA’s 7 inch DC figures). I was already planning to get a case of the singles for the main Predators, but I knew I needed a Dutch. I figured this Dutch was as good as any, and the Predator wasn’t a duplicate, so the set was fun enough. I’m at best a moderate Predator fan, but I like these two well enough, and I definitely look forward to the rest of the line.

#0792: Nightwing

NIGHTWING

BATMAN: ANIMATED (DC COLLECTIBLES)

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Okay, now I’m remembering why I don’t do long strings of reviews of figures from the same line: I always run out of things to say! It’s made even worse by the fact that I kind of covered the basics of today’s focus character, Nightwing, back when I looked at my very first figure of the character for my two year milestone. So, yeah…

Anyway, when The New Batman Adventures came along, all of the characters got redesigns. I already noted that the show’s Robin was a whole new character. So what happened to the former Robin Dick Grayson? He got to take on his comics identity of Nightwing, which meant he got one of the most drastic redesigns of any of the characters. It happens to be one of my favorites from TNBA, and it just recently got a figure from DC Collectibles’ Batman: Animated line.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

NightwingTNA4Nightwing is number 19 in the Batman: Animated line and he’s part of the line’s fifth series, which he actually shipped alongside. He stands 5 ¾ inches tall and has 24 points of articulation. He is, thankfully, taller than his BTAS counterpart (though not by a whole lot), however, he ends up losing a couple of points of articulation, which have quite an impact on what you can do with the figure, posing-wise. The most glaring omission is that of any sort of lateral movement on the legs, which causes him to be quite pigeon-toed. This is the same issue that plagued the BTAS Batman, and it’s really frustrating to see it show up again. Fortunately, Nightwing’s ankles are pointed a bit more outward, so it’s less glaring of an issue. Nightwing is based on his appearance in the episode “You Scratch My Back,” which is one of Nightwing’s more prominent episodes in the series, so it makes sense. The figure’s sculpt is frustratingly mixed in terms of quality. The head is nothing short of amazing. It’s a pitch-perfect translation of his look from the show, horribly-dated mullet and all. It’s sharp and clean, and all the angles are just right. His body is overall well built, but marred by a couple of glaring issues. First off, there’s the feet; while his feet are certainly small in the show, they weren’t that small. There smaller than Tim Drake’s feet for Pete’s sake! The real standout issue for me, though, is the logo. On the show, it was a totally flat logo, with no NightwingTNA6silhouette , as if it were silk-screened onto his costume.  Here, it’s a separate raised piece, jutting out a good millimeter from the rest of his chest. Not only is this inaccurate to the show, but it looks pretty goofy too, and it detracts from the elegant simplicity of the design. Why they opted to do it that way is beyond me. Nightwing is pretty light on paint, but what’s there (which is pretty much entirely confined to the face) is pretty good. The figure is packed with a pair of binoculars, a “night-a-rang” (just go with it….), four pairs of hands (fists, night-a-rang holding, gripping, and relaxed), and a display stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Nightwing is one of my favorite designs from the animated shows, and was one of my favorite characters too, so I was eagerly awaiting his induction into DCC’s current line. When the prototype was shown off, I was less than impressed, but hopeful that he would improve like a lot of the others in the line. When I saw him in person at Cosmic Comix, I liked him enough to pick him up. When I took him out of the box, I was a fair bit let down, especially by the articulation. In fact, I kind of thought this would end up being a rather negative review. Then, I left him on my desk for about a week, and occasionally played with the figure while doing other things, and by the time he came up for review, I’d actually found myself really liking him, a lot more than I initially had. Sure, he’s not the standout figure that Bane is, but he’s also not the disappointment that BTAS Bats was for me.

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#0791: Bane

BANE

BATMAN: ANIMATED (DC COLLECTIBLES)

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Bane was a relatively new addition to the Batman rogues gallery at the time of Batman: The Animated Series, but that didn’t prevent him from finding himself a spot on the show, even if he did only have a small handful of appearances. Though the character was always thoroughly intimidating in the comics, that didn’t really translate to his initial appearance on the show, which turned him into little more than a steroid-addicted masked wrestler, who ended up defeated in a rather laughable way. Fortunately, the creators were aware of their missteps, and when the show returned under the New Adventures of Batman monicker, Bane got an all-new, more imposing character design, and a much better debut appearance. So, it’s not much of a shock that DCC opted to go for the second version of the character for his figure in their Batman: Animated line.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

BaneTNA2Bane is part of the fifth series of the Batman: Animated line. He’s number 18 in the line. The figure stands roughly 7 ¼ tall and has 27 points of articulation. Bane’s quite a bit bigger than the other figures in the line, which gives him quite the presence on the shelf. In addition, he has some of the smoothest joint movement I’ve seen from this line, which makes posing the guy a lot of fun. The addition of a mid-torso joint really adds alot to this figure, and I kind of hope DCC uses that style of joint a bit more in the future. As noted in the intro, this figure is based on Bane’s TNBA design, and is specifically drawn from his appearance in “Over the Edge,” which was his primary appearance in the second iteration of the show. Bane’s sculpt does a pretty phenomenal job of translating his design into three dimensions. It’s one of those rare occasions where he looks right from almost every angle, which shows some serious dedication to the figure. The joints are also incredibly well worked into the sculpt, so he looks pretty good from an aesthetic standpoint. Bane’s paintwork is mostly pretty good overall. There’s some slop here and there, but BaneTNA3nothing too bad. The colors are muted, as they were in the original design. The reflections on the mask are handled via simple painted details, which add a nice bit of style to the figure without looking too specific to any one shot of the character. Bane is packed with four pairs of hands (fists, closed gesture, open gesture, and gripping) and a display stand. That’s a little less than some of the other figures, but more than acceptable given the size of the figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Bane was another purchase from Cosmic Comix, though I actually got him at full price. I wasn’t sure about whether or not I’d be getting Bane, but I was really impressed by the look of him in person, and even more impressed by just how awesome the figure is out of the box. He’s easily the best figure that DCC has produced in this line, and I really hope that subsequent figures can live up to him.

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