#0831: Pvt Crowe & Attacking Warrior Alien

PVT CROWE & ATTACKING WARRIOR ALIEN

ALIENS MINIMATES

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“You always say that, you always say ‘I’ve got a bad feeling about this drop’”

Pvt. Tim Crowe

I love me some Aliens, and I love me some Minimates. So, I’m pretty pumped to have the second series of two-packs from the line. The line tends to follow the model of 1 Marine, 1 Alien for at least two of the sets in each series (and all of the sets in the TRU-exclusive series). Some of those sets are a bit more colorful and exciting, with some of the more prominent Marines being featured. However, some are just sort of fill space, just like some of the marines and aliens in the actual film. Today’s set is one of those.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

These two are one of the four sets in the second series of Aliens Minimates. Crowe will presumably remain unique to the specialty assortment, but only time will tell if this particular Alien will show up elsewhere.

PVT CROWE

CroweXeno2Man, if you thought Wierzbowski was scraping the bottom of the barrel, at least his name was memorable. Crowe’s claim to fame is that he is both seen on-screen AND has a line or two of dialogue, however is never both on-screen and speaking at the same time. Crowe stands roughly 2 ½ inches tall and has 14 points of articulation. Crowe uses the same helmet, chest piece, and boot add-ons as all of the other standard Marines so far. Crowe’s shoulder lamp, it should be noted, is not removable like the Series 1 Marines, which is a slight letdown, but not a major shortcoming. The general sculpt of the pieces is still pretty great, and a very nice translation of the armor shown in the film. Crowe’s paintwork is decently handled overall, but has one glaring issue, which I’ll get to in a second. The general application is pretty clean, and the basic work is on par with the prior Marines, if perhaps a bit more muted in color. The armor lacks any sort of customization, which is slightly disappointing, but hardly a change, given that Dietrich, Drake, and Apone all lacked those details. The face is a decent enough likeness of the late Tip Tipping; he certainly looks more like his on-screen counterpart than the other more minor Marines. Now, about that glaring issue: do you see Crowe’s sleeves, or more accurately, his general lack of them? Yeah, that’s not quite right. The Marines in the film all have various different states of how they keep they’re sleeves. While most opted for an around the bicep look, Crowe’s are generally seen pulled down to his wrists. So, they aren’t quite right here. But, aside from that, he looks fine. Crowe is packed with a standard issue pulse rifle, an extra hair piece for an un-helmeted look (re-used from Marvel Minimates’ Indestructible Hulk), and a clear display stand.

ATTACKING WARRIOR ALIEN

CrowXeno3Yep, it’s another Alien. I mean, it’s totally fair, what with them being the title characters and all. You kind of expect there to be a lot of them (156 of them to be properly cannon for the second movie), but they do tend to get a bit…same-y. This one is essentially identical to all of the other basic attacking Aliens we’ve gotten. That’s not bad; it’s a good sculpt, with a lot of fun details, and the paint adds a lot. This figure does have one minor difference: the tip of his tail is a light grey, as opposed to the usual black. I don’t know that this is based on anything in particular in the movie (unless it’s supposed to represent the Alien’s stinger tail, which is how Gorman is injured in the novelization and the initial film script), but it does make him nicely different from the others. This figure is also different in terms of accessories. In addition to the usual display stand, the Alien also includes an alien egg in both open and closed orientations. The pieces are a tad light on detail, but still cool, and certainly a fun accessory.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As with the Ripley & Newt set, this pair was part of a slightly delayed Christmas gift from my parents. It’s probably the least exciting set from this series (well, excepting the Hudson & Vasquez set, since they’re both straight re-releases), but I still like it. Crowe is essential to completing the Marines, and is a solid ‘mate, even with his slight inaccuracies. The Alien is still as good as every other time we’ve gotten it, and the slight change makes it a valid variant, I suppose. Plus, those eggs are definitely a plus.

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#0830: Jumpsuit Ripley & Newt

JUMPSUIT RIPLEY & NEWT

ALIENS MINIMATES

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“They mostly come at night.  Mostly.”

-Rebecca “Newt” Jordan

Aliens is oft remembered for the Colonial Marines, but they’re just part of the film’s small group of survivors.  One of the most important characters in the movie is Newt, the lone surviving colonist following the initial Xenomorph attack on LV-426.  She’s found her way into the latest series of Aliens Minimates, alongside a Ripley variant.  Let’s see how this set turned out!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

This pair is part of the second series of Aliens Minimates.  So far these two are both exclusive to the specialty release, but time will tell as to whether either of them will be picked for TRU release.

JUMPSUIT RIPLEY

RipleyNewt9The last Ripley ‘mate we got was based on her appearance from the last act of the film, when she’s storming the Alien hive.  It’s an important look to be sure, but it’s not how she’s spends the majority of the movie.  This figure is how she spends most of the movie, in a jumpsuit and a leather jacket.  The figure is 2 ½ inches tall and has 14 points of articulation.  She has add-on pieces for her hair, jacket, watch, and the rolled up sleeves on her arms.  The hair and watch are the same pieces used on the previous Ripley, which is good for consistency.  They’re also just pretty good pieces, so no complaints there.  The jacket is from the second Michael Knight minimate, which is a pretty common reuse.  Technically, it should have pockets on the front and straps at the tops of the shoulders, but the piece is close enough, especially at the smaller scale. Ripley’s paint is generally pretty decent.  The overall application is all really clean and the detail lines are tight.  The face doesn’t quite look like Sigourney weaver, but it isn’t horrid.  It’s clearly the same person as the Rescue Mission version.  I do wish she looked a little less bored, though.  The legs are identical to the prior Ripley, which is once again good for consistency. For accessories, Ripley is packed with a standard issue pulse rifle, a pair of arms to match the jumpsuit, and a clear display stand.  The rifle is just as nice as always, and the extra arms allow for this figure to cover another important Ripley look (sans-jacket). I would have liked to have gotten a motion tracker or something, but what she has is acceptable.

NEWT

RipleyNewt11Newt is definitely the main focus of this set, being not only a new character, but also the most pivotal character who had not yet been released.  Newt’s figure is based on her appearance when she’s found by Ripley and the Marines, after she’s been hiding from the Aliens for a while. Newt has one add-on piece for her hair.  It’s a re-use from BSG’s Tory Foster.  It’s a decent enough piece, though it does seem a little too… kempt(?) for Newt.  She also uses the shorter arms and legs introduced with the Peter Pan sets, so that she can be a little shorter, since she’s a kid. The paint on Newt is actually pretty nicely handled.  It’s maybe a little more cartoony than I was initially expecting, especially the bright yellow of the hair, but the overall look is really sharp.  The face does a reasonable job capturing a young Carrie Henn, though the smudges of dirt, while a nice touch, are completely covered by the hair piece. Newt includes Casey, the disembodied head of her doll, and a clear display stand.  The head is definitely a cool touch, since she’s rarely seen without it in the movie.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

These two were a slightly late Christmas  present from my parents, who know very well how much I love Aliens. This Ripley has the misfortune of following the Series 1 version.  She is by no means a disappointing figure, but she just fails to be quite as exciting as the earlier figure. Newt is a surprisingly cool figure.   While she’s not ever going to be Hicks in terms of sheer awesomeness, there’s a lot to like about this figure, and she’s a key character to boot.

#0829: Guavian Enforcer

GUAVIAN ENFORCER

STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS

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It feels like forever since I’ve done a Star Wars review. <Checks previous reviews> Okay, it’s only been two weeks. Well, that’s still too long! It’s time for another! Plus, I’ve still got to catch up on reviewing things I got before the holiday season came and threw everything out of whack. Anyway, here’s another Force Awakens-based review. Let’s have another look at the Guavian Enforcer, but this time with more of me knowing what the heck he is!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

GuavianEn2The Guavian Enforcer is part of the smaller-scale Star Wars: The Force Awakens line. He’s from the second assortment of the “Space” subset of the line (the same one as General Hux). The figure is 3 ¾ inches tall and he has 5 points of articulation. The Guavian’s sculpt is new to this particular figure, but it in many ways feels like a simple scale-down of the Black Series version of the character. It’s not, obviously, since that figure had a totally different articulation scheme, and the details were just the slightest bit different, but they’re pretty close. Which is good really, since it’s supposed to be the same design. The sculpt is definitely high-quality. The proportions are pretty great, and there’s a ton of texture and small detail work. The separate parts of the costume could perhaps stand to be a little more defined, but at this scale, the work is acceptable. The Guavian’s paint work is fairly straightforward; he’s molded in red, with paint for the black and silver bits. The application is passable, if not anything amazing. He lacks a lot of the more subtle work from the larger scale figure, which is a shame, but reasonable at the smaller scale, I suppose. The figure is packed with one of the two guns packed with the larger Enforcer (the shotgun looking one), as well as a piece the Build-A-Thingy for this subset. On the plus side, this one’s a giant gun, so it can actually be used as an extra piece for the figure, if you don’t plan to finish building the whatever it is.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The Guavian Enforcer was purchased from a nearby Walmart, while I was out and about with my brother. He’s the very last TFA figure I picked up prior to seeing the movie, so therefore the last one I bought with no idea of his role in the film. Fortunately, I found the Guavians in the film enjoyable enough, and I do really like their design. So, I’d consider this figure a win.

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#0828: Spider-Man 2099

SPIDERMAN 2099

SPIDER-MAN (TOYBIZ)

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The 90s was definitely an interesting time for comics. Marvel was pretty much slapping their brands on whatever ideas they could to see what stuck. From this came Marvel 2099, a bunch of books set in the year 2099. Generally speaking, they tended to be 90s insanity at its finest, so most of them have been (thankfully) forgotten. The only one who really stuck was Spider-Man 2099, probably because a) his series didn’t totally suck and b) his costume was super cool. I think that second bit is the lion’s share of what made him last. The design also made him a natural fit for action figures. I’ve looked at his two most recent figures, but let’s look at his first action figure.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Spidey2099bSpider-Man 2099 was released in Series 7 of Toy Biz’s 90s Spider-Man line. The figure is just over 5 inches tall and has 11 points of articulation. Structurally, he uses one of Toy Biz’s favorite 5 inch bodies, which was first introduced with the Octo-Spider-Man from Series 6. It’s a decent enough sculpt, with fairly balanced proportions. My biggest issue with this base body, which was the scrawny forearms, is not an issue with this particular figure, as he has a new set of forearms/hands, specially sculpted to reflect 2099’s clawed hands. These new pieces actually seem a touch on the large side for the body, though not to insane levels. 2099’s cape was handled via a cloth piece, which attached to the figure at the neck and wrists. It’s much more solid than it was in the comics, and it actually looks a bit better if you unhook it from the wrists. There were actually two different color variations available for this figure: dark and light blue. Mine is the lighter one, but the difference is fairly minor. The red detailing is handled via paint, and it’s applied pretty nicely. The red is a touch inconsistent, but it’s not bad. 2099 is packed with a big giant fiery axe (which came in both red and white variations), and a big giant gun thing. He’s never used either of those things, but it was the 90s, so…

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

2099 isn’t one of the figures I had growing up, but he was one who always fascinated me. I ended up finding him at the last Shoreleave, from the same dealer who sold me Punisher, as well as a number of other 5-inch figures at Balticon. They really like me. Anyway, he was a little bit pricey, so I was going to hold off. However, Super Awesome Girlfriend was there, and was having none of that, so she bought him for me. One of these days, she’ll stop doing that. He’s a fun little figure, and definitely worth the purchase.

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#0827: Egon Spengler

EGON SPENGLER

REAL GHOSTBUSTERS (KENNER)

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Hey, did you like yesterday’s Ghostbusters-themed review? Well, whether you liked it or not, I’m doing another one today. Because this is my site. So there. Also, because I have this master list of items I review, and I don’t dare deviate from it. Therein lies madness.

Anyway, let’s have another look at Kenner’s The Real Ghostbusters line, with another member from the titular team. This time around, it’s the nerdiest of the nerds, the scientist amongst scientists, Egon Spengler.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

EgonRGB2Egon is part of the first series of the previously mentioned The Real Ghostbusters line from Kenner. He was released in early 1987. Like Ray, he pre-dates the move to wacky variants for the line; he’s just a basic version of Egon. The figure stands about 5 inches tall and has 5 points of articulation. His sculpt is a pretty decent approximation of his cartoon design, though he’s not as close as the other ‘busters. The proportions of the body are definitely right, and the face is pretty close. The hair is the most “off” part; it’s just a little too subtle to properly capture Egon’s ‘do from the show. The general quality of the sculpt is really nice, though, and the base detail work is really nice. His build is appropriately different from Ray’s, being tall and lanky, as opposed to short and stocky. The figure’s paintwork is pretty good, though it’s a fair bit more subdued than the cartoon look. The blue is quite grey, and he lacks the pink accenting. The color of his hair is also much paler. However, the application is pretty nice and he works as a pretty good mid-point between the movie and cartoon designs. Egon was packed with his proton pack and a “Gulper Ghost.”

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

When stopping at that antique store on the way down to NC, I didn’t just find Ray on that low sitting shelf, I also found good ol’ Egon here. I actually had a couple of the Egon figures from this line growing up (he was my favorite of the Ghostbusters, or at least the one I related to the most), but I never had the most basic version of him, so I picked this one up. Sure, he’s not super exciting, but he’s a solid figure.

#0826: Ray Stanz

RAY STANZ

REAL GHOSTBUSTERS (KENNER)

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Ghostbusters was a pretty big deal in the ‘80s. Unlike so many other films from that decade that had no business getting toys, but miraculously got them, Ghostbusters wouldn’t get any movie-dedicated toys until the early 2000s (and the actual ‘busters wouldn’t get figures until 2009). Anyone who wanted Ghostbusters toys would have to settle for the next best thing: Real Ghostbusters. Yes, the cartoon based on the movie did get a toyline, from the masters of licensed toys, Kenner. Today, I’ll be looking at ¼ of the title team, Ray Stanz.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

RayRGB2Ray was released in early 1987 as part of the first wave of Kenner’s The Real Ghostbusters line. The first wave pre-dates Kenner’s move into wacky variant territory for the main characters, so he’s a pretty straightforward version of Ray. The figure is roughly 4 ¼ inches tall and has 5 points of articulation. Ray’s sculpt offers a pretty nice representation of his design from the show. Obviously, he looks nothing like Dan Ackroyd, which is correct. The basic sculpt is somewhat simple, but he actually shows a bit more detail than his animated counterpart. He’s got a unique build, which very much fits the character, and the jumpsuit actually has a nice amount of finer detail work. Ray’s paint is pretty much to be expected. Of the four Ghostbusters, his color palette changed the least from movie to show, so he’s mostly just brown and dark grey. They aren’t the most exciting colors, but they look fine. He has his proper ghostbusting logo on his right shoulder, which is nice and sharp. Ray was originally packed with his proton pack and a “Wrapper Ghost.” As is the case with many retro figures I own, mine did not include these pieces.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Ray was a rather interesting find. On the way down to visit some extended family in NC, my family and I stopped at a few antique stores. I actually did a few rounds of the store, having found nothing, but at one point, I stopped to tie my shoe, and noticed Ray sitting on a bottom shelf. Since he was a fairly low price, and I never actually owned a Ray figure, I picked him up. He’s definitely a nice figure, even if he isn’t the most thrilling.

#0825: SDCC Ant-Man Minimates

SHRINKING ANT-MAN, SHRINKING YELLOW JACKET, ANT-HONY, & SCOTT LANG

MARVEL MINIMATES

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Ant-Man seems to be that movie I keep forgetting when looking back on 2015. It’s a shame, really, because I actually enjoyed the film immensely, and thought it was a highlight of the summer. But, I keep forgetting about it. For instance, there were two sets of Marvel Minimates based on the film, both of which have been readily available since November, and I’ve only picked up one. Furthermore, I’ve had said set since November and not yet gotten around to reviewing it. Today I fix that.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

These four were one of the SDCC exclusive items this year, offered via a partnership between DST and Action Figure Xpress. This set is meant to accent the main specialty release set… which I don’t have. Oh well.

SHRINKING ANT-MAN

AntManSDCC2As the main character, it’s only natural for Ant-Man to get one or two variants. That said, the suit maintains a pretty standard look throughout the entirety of the film, so coming up with a compellingly different version of the character can be a little difficult. Enter the “shrinking” variant, which is certainly different. Structurally, he’s the same as the normal Ant-Man. He uses the standard Minimate body, so he stands about 2 ½ inches tall and has 14 points of articulation. He has add-ons for his helmet and belt. They’re decent enough matches for the film designs; the helmet is a little off, but that’s true of all the figures for the movie, since the mask was changed somewhat last minute. Regardless, the pieces look pretty great. The paintwork is kind of the key thing with this figure. He’s (mostly) molded in clear plastic. The torso of the figure has some white detail lines, outlining a few different Ant-Men, each smaller than the last, to make it look like he’s shrinking. The effect works well enough, but you do really have to view him head-on to get it to look right. Under the helmet, instead of Scott Lang (like on the regular release) it’s a younger Hank Pym. The likeness is pretty fantastic, and I love that we actually got a young Hank Pym. Ant-Man includes a hairpiece (re-used from BSG’s Apollo), a normally painted torso piece, a slab of rock, a smaller ‘mate painted up in Ant-Man’s basic colors, an effect base, and a basic display stand, made up like a giant penny.

SHRINKING YELLOWJACKET

AntManSDCC3If you have two main characters with shrinking abilities, it’s not really fair to give just one of them a figure replicating the shrinking feature. So, here’s shrinking Yellowjacket. Like Ant-Man, he’s structurally the same as his normal release version. He’s got add-ons for his helmet and harness/extra legs. These are pretty decent parts, but I don’t feel they’re as strong as Ant-Man’s, and I do wish the legs were actually poseable. Still, they work well enough, and he certainly looks the part. His paint is handled very similarly to Ant-Man’s, with the necessary changes for the differences in character designs. Under the helmet is Darren Cross. His expression is a bit more angry than the regular version, so there’s a bit of variety there. The face doesn’t really look much like Cross in the movie, especially the stubble, which just seems to be too heavy. Yellowjacket includes a normally painted torso, a slab of rock, a smaller ‘mate in black and gold, a flying stand, and a display base painted like a bottle cap.

ANT-HONY

AntManSDCC5Scott’s ant buddy Ant-Hony was definitely a surprisingly enjoyable character, and who would have thought he’d actually get three whole figures? I certainly expecting the ‘mate, though. Ant-Hony follows the lead of ‘mates such as the Brood drone, moving away from the standard Minimate build. Ant-Hony uses the head and arms (three sets of them, actually) of the basic ‘mate, along with the six-armed torso piece, which has been used a few times before. The figure also uses the little nubby feet pieces from the Brood, wings from the Wasp, and all-new pieces for the top of the head and his lower half. The end result is a slightly odd looking figure, but it approximates an ant’s shape fairly well. The paint is mostly just the same dark brown, but he does also have detailing for his eyes. Ant-Hony comes packed with a flight stand.

SCOTT LANG

AntManSDCC4Civilian variants are fairly commonplace with movie ‘mates, so getting a basic Scott in this set is to be expected, especially since he’s not the one in the Ant-Man suit. He’s based on the look he sports when breaking into Pym’s mansion early in the film, which is easily the most distinct of his non-costumed looks. The figure is entirely reliant on re-used parts, with the hat from Punisher: Warzone’s Looney Bin Jim and the coat from Big Bang Theory’s Leonard. The parts are both pretty generic, but they certainly work well to capture Scott’s look from the film. Scott’s paint is pretty straightforward; it’s mostly just a bunch of dark blues (which is film accurate). There’s not an overabundance of detail work on the body, but the waist of his pants has a bit of line work. His face is actually a really great likeness of Paul Rudd, and I love that he’s got the little bandages on his brow. Scott includes an extra hair piece, a spare set of short-sleeved arms, ungloved hands, a backpack, and a clear display stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As noted several times before on this site, I didn’t go to SDCC 2015. So, I had to wait for this set to show up elsewhere. Specifically, I waited for it to come into stock at Luke’s Toy Store, my preferred Minimate retailer. I wasn’t expecting a whole lot from this set, but I was pleasantly surprised by every ‘mate contained. Definitely a worthy purchase.

#0824: Predator Minimates

BILLY, CHUCHILLO, EDWIN, CITY PREDATORS, JUNGLE PREDATORS, & THERMAL PREDATOR

PREDATOR MINIMATES

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I really can’t just do one Minimates review, now can I? That would be wrong. One of the newest additions to the stable of Minimates licenses is Predator. Seeing as they added Aliens last year, this wasn’t a super huge surprise, but it was still pretty cool to see it actually happen. Like Aliens, they kicked off the line with a set of single-packed ‘mates, prior to moving onto the usual two-packs. However, unlike Aliens, these singles were blind-bagged.  I, of course, went all-in on said blind-bags, so I’ll be taking a look at the lot of them today.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

All of these are part of the first series of blind-bagged Predator Minimates. There were eight unique Minimates in all in this first set, available in cases of 18 blind-bagged figures. The humans and the thermal predator are unique to this particular assortment, with the others finding their way into the first series of two-packs.

BILLY

PredatorMates3Billy is the first member we’ve received from Dutch’s squad of super-macho-men from the first film. He’s the squad’s tracker, which is a tad stereotypical, since he’s also Native American, but he never really steps into offensive territory, fortunately. Billy’s really only got one look in the film, and this is it. The figure stands about 2 ½ inches tall and has the usual 14 points of articulation. He’s got four sculpted add-ons: hair, vest, belt, and sheath. The hair and vest are both new to Billy, and they’re both fantastically sculpted, and pretty spot-on matches for Billy’s look in the film. The belt and sheath are both the same as those seen on Dutch; they’re both good sculpts, and it makes total sense to reuse them here.  Billy features some great paintwork, all-around. The camo on his paints is pretty well handled, and the face looks sufficiently like Billy; it’s definitely got that terrifying stare down. Under the vest, there’s a fully detailed torso, which even features the wound from where Billy slashes his own chest before his stand-off with the Predator towards the end. That’s an awesome touch! Billy includes an assault rifle, a machete, a small knife, and a clear display stand.

CHUCHILLO

PredatorMates4Well, now we can officially add Danny Trejo to the list of people who have Minimates, which is pretty cool. Oh, right, I should probably talk about the actual character, Chuchillo. He’s Danny Trejo’s character from Predators. He’s pretty much the same as any Danny Trejo character, but this time he’s fighting Predators. That’s about it. Chuchillo has one add-on piece, for his hair, which is re-used from the Marvel Minimates Series 42 Thunderstrike figure. It’s a decent match for Trejo’s hair from the film, so it’s a fine choice. Everything else here is done with paint. The detail work on the various parts of the figure is all pretty sharp, and the Trejo likeness is absolutely spot-on. There’s no denying who this guy is, which is good, because aside from the face, he’s just a dude in normal clothing. Chuchilllo is packed with a sub-machine gun and a clear display stand.

EDWIN

PredatorMates2I can honestly say, I never expected to get a Minimate of Topher Grace’s character from Predators, and certainly not in the first assortment of characters. Guess that’s why he’s the one-per-case figure. This is actually Topher Grace’s third Minimate, as he got two previous ones via the Spider-Man 3 ‘mates. Edwin has two sculpted add-on pieces for his hair and his hood. The hair is the same one that was used for all of the Dutch ‘mates, and the hood was first used on Walking Dead Series 2’s Amy. They’re reasonable enough matches, though Edwin’s hair was a little spikier in the movie.  Edwin’s paint is perfectly reasonable from a purely technical standpoint; the colors are pretty good, and all of th various detail lines are well-handled. Unfortunately, he’s just another guy in totally normal clothing, and unlike Chuchillo, he doesn’t have a spot-on likeness to sell him. I really can’t see any Grace in there at all. Edwin’s only accessory is a clear display stand.

JUNGLE PREDATOR(S)

PredatorMates5Now, we finally get to the actual “Predator” Minimates, starting with the main creature from the first film, the Jungle Hunter. There are two versions of the Jungle Hunter in this set: masked and unmasked. They’re pretty much the same, the only difference is the head. The unmasked version is more or less the same as the Battle-Damaged version; the only real difference is the paint and the addition of the plasma caster on his shoulder. The masked version obviously gets an all-new head, in addition to the plasma caster. While I do tend to prefer the Predators masked, I’m not sure I like the masked head quite as much; the dreds seem a little shorter, which looks a little goofy. The paint on both of these guys is pretty good (and mostly identical). The figures (obviously) lack the blood detailing of the battle-damaged version, but they also lose the gold rings from the dreds, which is sad to see. Both Predators are packed with a clear display stand.

THERMAL JUNGLE PREDATOR

PredatorMates7There’s one more Jungle Hunter variant in this set, though this one’s a fair bit different than the other two I looked at. Sculpturally, he’s the same figure as the basic masked Jungle Hunter. The real change here is the paint, which is wildly different from the rest of the Predators we’ve seen. This one is meant to depict him as though he were being viewed through the Predators’ signature thermal vision. Now, why the Predator is looking at another Predator, I can’t begin to tell you (apparently it’s from a video game), but I honestly don’t care, because the end result is this pretty sick looking Predator variant.

CITY PREDATOR

PredatorMates8Say what you will about Predator 2, it didn’t disappoint on the main Predator design. While the City Hunter isn’t quite as much of a classic as the Jungle Hunter, it’s still a pretty strong look. The City Predator has six sculpted add-on pieces for the shoulder armor, belt/skirt, hands/gauntlets, and feet, as well as non-standard pieces for the head and upper left arm. Surprisingly enough, absolutely none of these are re-used from the Jungle Hunter, which is nice, since they’re designs were different in the movies. If anything, I’d say the City Hunter translates a little better to the ‘mate aesthetic. Unlike the Jungle Hunter, the basic City Hunter’s masked and unmasked heads are both included with the same figure, and they are both fairly decent recreations of the source material. The overall paint on the City Hunter is quite good; the colors are nice matches and he’s got a ton of small detail work, which all looks amazing. However, my figure also has a substantial amount of slop on his left gauntlet, which is quite annoying. In addition to the previously mentioned extra head, the City Hunter includes a Kambi Stick and a clear display stand.

CITY PREDATOR – BATTLE DAMAGED

PredatorMates6Of course, even if the normal City Predator has both masked and unmasked heads covered, we can’t very fairly leave him with only one variation in this set, right? Enter this version. Unlike the Jungle Hunter, the City Hunter actually takes a fairly substantial beating over the course of Predator 2, including losing a hand about ¾ of the way through. So, this figure showcases the character as he’s seen in the last quarter of the film. Structurally, he’s mostly the same as the regular version, albeit with an all-new stump piece in place of his left hand. It’s the same as the normal piece, just cut off before the hand, as it should be. His paint is also mostly the same, with a few changes. Obviously, there’s the green blood splattered all over the place, to indicate he’s been damaged, but he also is sporting the breathing apparatus he wears while fixing himself up, after losing the hand. I actually don’t remember it all that well, but it’s been shown on a few of the City Hunter toys. It’s a cool feature, and it helps to differentiate him from the other City Hunter, so it works well. Unlike his pre-battle version, this figure’s only accessory is a clear display stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Since I wanted a full set of the figures included here, my best purchasing option was buying a whole case of these guys. Fortunately, Edwin was the only single-packed figure, which meant I got two mostly complete sets, allowing me to split the case with my buddy Tim. Ultimately, I think getting a complete set is the best way to get these guys. On their own, there are a couple of figures here (Edwin and at least one of the two basic Jungle Hunters) who might be a bit disappointing. However, as a full set, the lesser figures are easily balanced out by some really strong figures. Billy, the Thermal Pred, and the City Hunter are all really strong figures, and the rest are well enough made to make the whole set feel pretty cool.

PredatorMates9

#0823: Ghostbusters Ghosts Minimates

JOGGER GHOST, VIGO THE CARPATHIAN, SLIMER, & TITANIC GHOST

GHOSTBUSTERS MINIMATES

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You know what this site could always use more of? Minimates. While Marvel Minimates have undeniably been the flagship line for the brand ever since their inception, the number two spot is one that’s been passed through a number of different licenses. For a while a few years ago, it was very definitely Ghostbusters, which was largely due to Minimates being the first expansive line of toys from the property to actually be based on the first two movies. Over the course of the line, they covered just about every ghost seen in the first two movies. These were typically distributed through two-packs, with each ghost being packed with a variant of one of the Ghostbusters. Of course, not everyone feels the need to own an army of Venkmans (Venkmen?), so DST was kind enough to offer some of the ghosts without their human foes.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

These four were each initially released in one of the Toys R Us exclusive two-packs, throughout the run of the Ghostbusters Minimates line. This set of four was released through specialty locations in June of 2011. The four figures contained in the set are identical to their two-pack releases.

JOGGER GHOST

GhostMini5The Jogger Ghost was first released in the second series of two-packs, alongside an Egon variant. He’s one of the ghosts during the “back in business” montage in Ghostbusters 2. He’s caught via a well-placed trap while running a marathon. The figure is roughly 2 ½ inches tall and has 12 points of articulation, due to his shoes blocking ankle movement. He has four add-on pieces: his hair, watch, and shoes. The hair was first used on the 24 Minimates “Day 2” set’s George Mason; it’s a fairly standard receding hair piece, which fits the jogger’s look on screen. The sneakers are from the Back to the Future 2 version of Marty McFly, and work reasonably well for running shoes. The wristwatch was originally used on of the Rocky ‘mates, where it wasn’t actually a wristwatch, but hey, it works. The Jogger’s paint is particularly cool, because he’s done completely translucently, which looks pretty darn cool, and gives him that proper ghostly look.

VIGO THE CARPATHIAN

 GhostMini2Vigo was first released in the third series of two-packs, alongside the “World of the Psychic” version of Peter, who I reviewed here. He is, of course, the main antagonist of the second film, so he’s somewhat important. He uses six sculpted add-on pieces for his hair, chest piece, gloves, and boots. All of these are unique to Vigo, and they do a pretty decent job of looking the part. The only real complaint I have is that his arms end up being just a tad long compared to the rest of him. He definitely would have benefited from a torso riser of some sort. Other than that, the parts are actually quite nicely sculpted, and manage to look fairly imposing. Vigo’s paint is generally not bad, though the work on the body is a little sloppier than I’d like. He’s got one of the most detailed faces I’ve ever seen on a Minimate, which does actually look a fair bit like the character in the movie. Vigo includes a mask piece, which depicts him in his more monstrous form. The cool thing about this piece is it can go on Vigo himself, or be placed on another ‘mate, as if Vigo is possessing them.

SLIMER

GhostMini3Slimer, or Clear Slimer as he was dubbed originally, was first released in Series 1 of the two-packs, alongside a slimed version of Venkman. However, that figure had a few issues, leading to a Best Of release a little while later, which is the one this figure is a re-release of. Slimer is based on his appearance in the first film (making him the only ghost in this set not to be from GB2), where he was a bit more frightening and less “cutesy” than GB2 and the cartoons would later make him. He only uses the upper half of the usual Minimate body, replacing the legs with a flight stand (Slimer was the very first to use the flight stand, actually). In addition to the flight stand, he also has a piece that slips over his head and torso, making up Slimer’s “body.” It’s a fairly simple piece, but it does a pretty good job of capturing Slimer’s basic shape. Slimer’s paint is by far his best feature. He’s done in a nice, disgusting clear green, with detail lines on the add-on piece to represent his face. The best part is the food printed on the actual torso block, which can be seen through the add-on piece, to make it look like Slimer’s just eaten. Definitely a cool touch!

TITANIC GHOST

GhostMini4The Titanic Ghost was released in the third series of two-packs, which a GB2 version of Egon. He’s another GB2 ghost, from the scene towards the end when the ooze is playing havoc with the streets of New York, including finally bringing the Titanic to its intended destination. He’s not a super notable ghost himself, but the scene is somewhat memorable. He makes use of two add-on pieces, for his hat and the bottom portion of his jacket. The hat is from the Marvel Minimates Series 22 General Ross, and it’s a pretty decent fit for a captain’s hat. The skirt piece was first seen in the BSG line, and it’s simple enough to do its job well. The paint work is kind of key on this guy, and it’s pretty on point. Like the Jogger Ghost, he’s done in all translucent parts, which looks sufficiently ethereal. The face in particular has some really nice detail work, with a whole lot of depth, which really sells what could have been a fairly boring ‘mate.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I received this set from my friend Diane, over the summer. She’s been a friend of the family for quite some time, and has long been supportive of my action figure habit. She apparently won this set somewhere, and since she doesn’t really collect Minimates, I was the first person she thought to give it to, which was really nice of her. It’s a pretty solid set all-around. None of the actual ‘busters are present, but these are easily four of the strongest ghosts DST produced in the line. Each of them has something cool to add to the collection.

#0822: Donatello

DONATELLO

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES

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The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are a trend that I seem to always juuuust miss, since the first cartoon and toyline were big right before I got into collecting, and the second cartoon was just after I was watching Saturday morning cartoons on a regular basis. The 2002 had quite a few fans, which included my younger brother. Since we were into a lot of the same stuff, I actually had a small handful of figures from that particular toyline. Today, I’ll be looking at my personal favorite member of the Turtles, Donatello.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Donatello2002bDonatello was part of the first series of the 2002 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles line from Playmates. He’s the first version of the character released in this particular iteration, so he’s just a fairly standard version, before the onset of the wacky variants. The figure stands 5 ¾ inches tall and has 13 points of articulation. The articulation isn’t terrible, but he can’t really do much but stand in the one pose. Later figures added a bit more, but these early figures weren’t so lucky. The sculpt of this figure is pretty good. It’s specific to Donatello, but it really could be any of the four depending on the paint. It captures the look of the characters on the show fairly well. He’s definitely a bit more detailed and “toyetic” than a straight translation would be, but it’s clear which of the incarnations of the show this is based on. There’s some nice texture work on the shell and the sides of his torso, but it doesn’t really extend to the rest of the figure, which is a bit odd. The paintwork on Donatello is pretty nicely handled; the basic colors match up with Donatello’s from the show, and he’s got a decent amount of accent work. The figure included his signature Bo staff, a sword, axe, and two throwing blades. Mine has none of these, however.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

So, I actually didn’t get this guy when he was new. I ended up finding him at the same place where I purchased the recently reviewed Secret Wars Wolverine. I don’t have any undying need to own the figures from this line, but he was $1.99, so I figured he was worth it. The 2002 figures actually weren’t that bad, and they hold up pretty well over a decade after release, which can’t really be said of most figures from 2002.