#1105: Imhotep & Sarcophagus

IMHOTEP & SARCOPHAGUS

UNIVERSAL MONSTERS MINIMATES

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It’s Halloween!  Oooh, aaah, scary and what-not.  To keep with the spirit of things (funny, riiiight?  I’ll show myself out…), I figured I’d take a look at something of the horror variety.  The last three Halloweens, I’ve looked at Minimates, and I’ll be darned if I’m gonna break the tradition now.  Today’s entry, like my first two Halloween reviews, comes from DST’s Universal Monsters Minimates line.  While years 1 and 2 covered some big guns with Frankenstein and Dracula, this one goes slightly more minor, being based on 1932’s The Mummy (which is one of my personal favorites of the Universal Monsters films).  Let’s look at the film’s titular creature, Imhotep, and the thing he comes sealed in!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

mummy2So, right off the bat, let’s address something: this was technically sold as a two pack, but there’s really only one figure included.  He just gets an extra large accessory, which takes the place of the second figure.  Imhotep was released in the third (and sadly final) series of Universal Monsters Minimates.  He and the Sarcophagus were exclusive to Toys R Us (though they weren’t initially meant to be.  I’ll touch on that tomorrow).  Imhotep is seen here in the wrappings he was buried in.  He only spends about five minutes of the film’s run-time this way, but it’s what’s on the poster and just about all of the merchandise, and it’s hands down the more memorable look for the character, so DST’s choice of garb is hardly in question.  The figure is about 2 1/4 inches tall and he has the standard 14 points of articulation for a Minimate.  Apart from a slightly unique right hand featuring a ring, Imhotep is a vanilla ‘mate.  No sculpted add-ons here.  This means there’s extra pressure on the paint to deliver, but fortunately this figure passes with flying colors.  The level pf painted detail on this figure is nothing short of amazing, and he’s easily got the best paint work I’ve ever seen on a Minimate (and I’ve seen a lot of Minimates).  Application-wise, the sheen is surprisingly flat for a mass market item, which does a lot to bring out the painted details.  The bandages on the body are very well crafted, match up with the wrapping seen on screen, and even sport some awesome texture to boot.  The head takes the cake, though, rendering not only Imhotep’s decaying visage perfectly, but really nailing the Boris Karloff likeness as well.  The Sarcophagus is the only extra here (and even then, it replaces a figure), but was an all-new piece.  It’s done in two parts, so that you can remove the lid and place Imhotep inside.  The lid gets the bulk of the sculpted and painted work, and it does an admirable job of translating what we see on the screen into Minimate form.  Perhaps the only downside to this extra is that Imhotep can’t properly cross his arms to mimic the pose on the lid.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

At the time that this set of ‘mates came out, I actually hadn’t seen The Mummy, but being a good Minimate fan, I picked this pack up first, and was then driven to see the movie, at which point I realized that both the movie and this set were actually pretty awesome.  This ‘mate remains to this day one of my very favorite Minimates, and he’s the definite standout of the Universal Monsters line.

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#1104: Cyclops

CYCLOPS

X-MEN: METALLIC MUTANTS (TOY BIZ)

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I’ve discussed Toy Biz’s larger 10-inch-scaled Marvel figures in the past.  Essentially, since Toy Biz did the prototypes for their successful 5-inch line as two-ups, they had an easy time re-using those sculpts for a line of slightly cheaper 10-inch figures (though, interestingly, the line was originally billed as a deluxe line of figures.  It was only later, when they decided to focus more on building as many figures as they could out of a limited pool of parts that it became “cheap”).  Toy Biz’s 10-inch X-Men line, like it’s smaller scale counterpart, was the most successful of the initial lines, even managing to get its own spin-off line, Metallic Mutants, where certain figures were re-released with metallic color schemes.  Today, I’ll be looking at the Cyclops figure from that line.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

cyclopsmetallic2Cyclops was from the first series of X-Men: Metallic Mutants. The whole Metallic Mutants line was available exclusively at KB Toys (who would also become the exclusive retailers of the entire 10-inch line a few years later).  The figure is about 10 inches tall and he has 9 points of articulation, which was a whole extra point more than his 5-inch equivalent had.  The figure is a straight repaint of the basic 10-inch Cyclops, who was himself patterned on the sculpt of Cyclops II from Toy Biz’s main X-Men line.  The sculpt is a little bit different.  He lacks the light-up feature of the smaller figure, which results in him getting the neck articulation the smaller figure lacked.  Aside from that, the sculpt is pretty much the same.  It’s okay for the time, but certainly isn’t one of Toy Biz’s stronger sculpts.  Due to the light-up nature of the smaller figure, the torso was made a bit larger to house the battery compartment, and that’s still seen here.  While the legs seem to match up okay with the larger torso, the arms and head feel rather under-sized by comparison, which makes him look rather odd overall.  Each piece of him seems fine on its own, but as a whole he looks a bit patchwork.  I will admit, there’s a certain quaintness to the sculpt that I appreciate, though.  The big deal on the figure, of course was the paint.  It’s certainly metallic, there’s no denying that.  The costume looks cool in the metallic shades, but what sort of throws him off is the decision to do his skin and hair in the same gold as the “yellow” bits of the costume.  Clearly, Toy Biz caught on to this being weird, since the second set of Metallic Mutants just had the metallic colors on the costumes, not the actual faces.  Cyclops included a blaster thing, in the same gold as used on the body, which is cool I guess.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As hokey as this guy is, I’ve actually always wanted one.  Growing up, I had the little product booklet that came with the TB Galactus, which had these guys all pictured in it, and I always wanted Cyclops in particular.  I ended up finally getting this guy for my birthday this summer from my parents, who bought him from 2nd Chance Toyz.  Is he weird and goofy and strange?  Yes.  Do I love him? Emphatically yes.

#1103: Ant-Man & Falcon

ANT-MAN & FALCON

MARVEL MINIMATES

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There are a lot of different standout characters in Civil War.  For a great number of people, it was Spider-Man, and for an almost equal number it was Black Panther.  Me personally?  Vision and Scarlet Witch all the way.  There was also a pretty sizable contingent of people whose favorite bits centered around Paul Rudd’s (Gi)Ant-Man, who made the most of his screen-time.  As such, it’s not a huge surprise to see the character turn up amongst DST’s offerings for the film.  Alongside him, my favorite character from the last Captain America film (as well as one of my favorite parts of the Ant-Man film), Sam Wilson, aka the Falcon.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Ant-Man and Falcon are the second TRU-exclusive set for Civil War, and were released alongside Series 67 of the main line (meaning the hit in late July/early August).  It’s easily one of the better pairings we’ve gotten so far.

ANT-MAN

antmanfalconmm11Like so many characters before him, Ant-Man was one of those MCU characters who’s costume changed just enough from one movie to the next to warrant a new figure (hey, at least he’s more different than Vision).  I myself never got the basic Ant-Man from his solo movie (bad me), so this guy was actually pretty cool to get, and I can’t deny that the new design is pretty sharp.  The figure is built on the basic ‘mate body, and as such stands a little under 2 1/2 inches tall and has 14 points of articulation.  He has one add-on piece for his helmet.  It’s new to this particular figure and is a pretty faithful recreation of the helmet he was sporting in the movie.  The paintwork on Ant-Man is nice and sharp, detailing all of the various bits of his costume, and overall looking pretty accurate to the source material.  That’s especially refreshing with regards to the helmet, since none of the Ant-Man movie merch got his helmet down right.  Ant-Man includes a spare hairpiece for displaying Scott sans helmet, as well as a clear display stand.

FALCON

antmanfalconmm10As cool as I think Falcon’s comic book costume is, it’s understandably a little hard to adapt to real life.  So, it wasn’t much of a surprise that he was sporting more or less real-world fatigues in The Winter Soldier.  That being said, it wasn’t the most exciting design.  Over the course of his cinematic appearances, his uniform has slowly evolved into something a bit more akin to his comics appearance.  His Civil War design is his most exciting yet, keeping the real world nature of the Winter Soldier design, but also adding the the color scheme from his comics incarnation.  Structurally, Falcon uses add-ons for his goggles and backpack, as well as a unique set of upper arms (with removable posable wings), and two different gloved hands.  The end result does a very nice job of converting his onscreen appearance, and improves in a number of ways on the last MCU Falcon (which was already a pretty awesome figure).  The paintwork on Falcon is decent, though not quite as clean as the work on Ant-Man.  The detail lines are all pretty sharp, and the colors are nice and bright.  The only real downside is the sloppiness on some of the basic color work, mostly on the shoulders.  The overall look is pretty cool, though.  Falcon includes a handgun (why just the one is a little baffling, since he always has two in the film), Redwing, two different styles of flight stands (one for him, one for Redwing), and a clear display stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I grabbed this set while out and about looking for those pesky X-Men Legends at various TRU’s.  I was actually quite happy to find it, since these are two of my favorite characters from the movies (and the comics, truth be told).  Ant-Man is a pretty solid addition to the roster of Ant-Men, though he may not be the most exciting ‘mate to people who have the last two ‘mates.  Falcon is a really nice improvement over the last MCU Falcon, and even more welcome since that one’s a bit hard to find now.   Probably one of best sets to come out of the Civil War Minimates. 

#1102: Agent 13 & Mercenary

AGENT 13 & MERCENARY

MARVEL MINIMATES

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One of the nice things about the Marvel movies is that their various tie-in products give us a much better coverage of some of the heroes’ supporting casts.  This is especially true of Minimates, where the multipack nature of the line allows for more than a few extra characters, who might otherwise get overlooked.  I think Captain America has perhaps faired the best of all the heroes.  The first movie got us a Peggy Carter and a few of the Howling Commandoes, the second got us the likes of Jasper Sitwell and Batroc the Leaper.  Cap’s third film, Civil War, is a bit more jam-packed with named characters, so there isn’t quite as much room for Cap’s supporting cast.  That being said, we still managed to get Agent 13, aka Sharon Carter, who is a pretty important character in the Cap mythos!  Oh, and there’s like a mercenary or something too.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Agent 13 and the Mercenary were released as part of Series 67 of Marvel Minimates, which is the second of the two Civil War-themed sets of ‘mates.  These two are one of the specialty-exclusive packs, alongside the Thunderbolt Ross and Merc set.

AGENT 13

agent13merc3I’ve been eagerly awaiting this particular ‘mate ever since the character was announced to be in Winter Soldier, so it’s nice to see her finally turn up here.  This marks Sharon Carter’s first Minimate, though some of the non-comics geeks might miss that, since she’s only referred to as Agent 13 on the box, including in her bio (which also doesn’t mention her relation to Peggy).  I guess Marvel wanted to keep that “reveal” under wraps until everyone had seen the movie.  Ah well, Agent 13 sounds cooler anyway.  The figure is a little under 2 1/2 inches tall and she has the standard 14 points of articulation.  Agent 13 uses the basic ‘mate body, with add-ons for her hair, the bottom of her jacket, the knife sheath and her two holsters.  Everything here is a re-use, with the hair coming from Peggy Carter (clever re-use there), the bottom of the coat coming from Kill Bill’s Elle, and the holsters and sheath being standard use pieces.  They’re all decently chosen parts.  I don’t remember exactly when Sharon sported this look in the movie, but it’s the one featured on all the promotional stuff and concept art, so I can’t complain.  As far as paint goes, Agent 13 is pretty standard for a ‘mate.  The details are all nice and sharp, and the face bears a passing resemblance to Emily Van Camp.  The color palette isn’t the most exciting thing in the world, but it’s accurate.  Sharon includes two silver handguns, a knife, and a clear display stand.

MERCENARY

agent13merc2Ah, yes, the Mercenary.  Who could forget the Mercenary?  Most people, I’d assume, including me, at least until I re-watched the movie.  This is supposed to be one of the guys working with Crossbones at the beginning of the movie.  Why this figure was packed with Agent 13 and Ross is anyone’s guess.  The Merc is built using the standard body, with add-ons for the mask, tactical vest, belt, and holster.  The mask, belt and holster are just standard pieces, and the vest comes from Series 55’s Batroc.  The end result looks more or less like the Mercs from the movie, though the mask is more an approximation than anything.  One presumes this is due to keeping this guy within budget, which seems fine by me, especially when we’re talking about a generic army builder that’s on screen for maybe 15 minutes.  Paint-wise, this guy matches pretty well with what we saw on screen.  He’s a little dull in terms of color, but has some nice bits of “pop” like the goggles.  The level of detail is pretty impressive, especially for a no-name character.  Under the mask, there’s even a fully detailed face, with a buzzcut and everything, which both gives him some extra character, but also can work as more than one guy.  The Mercenary includes a sub-machine gun, a handgun (in a dark metal grey), and a clear display stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

So, I got this set at the same time as Widow and Crossbones (who I’m just now realizing I didn’t mention to origin of), courtesy of my parents for my birthday.  I was really looking forward to Agent 13, and she’s a pretty solid ‘mate, even if she’s not the most exciting figure ever.  I didn’t expect a whole lot from the Mercenary, but I actually quite like how he turned out.  He’s a nice accent piece for yesterday’s Crossbones.

#1101: Black Widow & Crossbones

BLACK WIDOW & CROSSBONES

MARVEL MINIMATES

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Gosh, Civil War feels like two forevers ago, but it really was released just earlier this year.  I suppose part of why it feels so long ago is the overall lack of toys I’ve picked up from it.  I mean, the last thing I got was the Giant-Man series of Legends, and that was back in July.  Back in May, when the movie hit, there was a series of Minimates dedicated to the film, which I reviewed. However, given the sheer number of players in the film, one series wasn’t enough to cover everything, so we got a follow up, which hit at the end of July.  And I’m just now reviewing them.  Yes, I know, bad Ethan.  Today, let’s have a look at Black Widow and Crossbones.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Widow and Crossbones were released in Series 67 of DST’s Marvel Minimates.  The whole series is based on Civil War, and these two are no exception.

BLACK WIDOW

widowcrossbones2Widow’s really not a stranger to Minimates, especially not her movie incarnation.  This is the sixth time that we’ve gotten a Scarlet Johansen Black Widow as a Minimate.  But this time she’s got different hair, I guess.  The figure is a little under 2 1/2 inches tall and has 14 points of articulation.  Widow is built on the standard ‘mate body, with add-ons for her hair and her two thigh holsters.  The holsters are the usual pieces we’ve seen several times before (if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it), but the hair looks to be new.  It’s a decent piece, and captures the styling of her hair in the movie, but it seems a tad high-sitting for me.  She looks like she’s got a bit of a receding hair-line.  Just one of the limitations of the style, I suppose.  In terms of paint, Widow’s pretty solidly done.  The detailing on her bodysuit is the sort of thing that could easily be overlooked, but it’s really strong, and it conveys all of the little details of the suit very nicely.  The likeness on the face is a decent approximation of Johansen.  I think the Winter Soldier face is still the closest, but this one’s a strong contender.  I like that she’s got a fighting face, so she can fit in with Cap and Iron Man in that respect.  Widow includes a pair of batons (which aren’t clear like the AoU versions, but are still cool, I suppose), two handguns, and a clear display stand.  Pretty standard faire as far as Black Widow ‘mates are concerned.

CROSSBONES

widowcrossbones3This marks Crossbones’ fourth time overall as a Minimate, and his second as an MCU ‘mate (provided we’re counting Winter Soldier’s Rumlow).  His inclusion in this set is definitely a sensible one.  While he only gets ten minutes or so of screen time in Civil War, he’s a fairly important figure to the plot, and he gets some decent fight time with Widow to boot.  Plus, how can you not love his new design?  Crossbones has add-ons for his helmet, torso/shoulder armor, fighting fists, and thigh holster.  The helmet is just a standard slip cover piece, and while that means we can’t see the eyes on the actual head, it still works pretty well.  The holster is the same piece as Widow’s and it works for what it is.  The armor and fighting fists are new pieces, which turned out quite nicely.  The armor could perhaps stand to be a little less bulky, but the fists are really cool.  Once again, the paintwork is really sharp here.  Crossbones doesn’t have quite the high level of painted detail as Widow (since he’s a bit heavier on sculpted parts), but what’s there is very well rendered.  In particular, I really like the work on his boots, and especially like how the face under the helmet turned out.  For accessories, Crossbones has a spare hair piece (Lt Gator’s from the Platoon set, which is a piece I’m always happy to see), a pistol, a pair of standard black hands, and a clear display stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This is definitely the set I was most anticipating from the second round of Civil War ‘mates.  While this particular Widow isn’t quite as good as the Winter Soldier version, she’s still a very solid addition, and another chance for people to get such an important character is always a good thing.  Crossbones is the real star here of course, and it’s unlikely we’ll be getting another movie version anytime soon, so the fact that this one turned out so well is pretty awesome.  Plus, fighting fists.  How can you go wrong with fighting fists?

#1100: Spider-Man

SPIDER-MAN

SPIDER-MAN 3 (HOT TOYS)

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We just got through the whole “three years” hubaballu, and now we’ve got another monumental review?  Sheesh, I gotta space this stuff out more.

Hi there readers, and welcome to the 1100th review on The Figure in Question.  As with my other “00” reviews, this is another deluxe review, where I look at a slightly higher-end figure.  Today’s figure once again comes from out friends at Hot Toys.  While HT has been making their mark with a number of figures from the very successful MCU films, they haven’t shied away from some of the pre-MCU films.  In addition to a few Wolverines, and a handful of characters from Blade, HT put out three figures from Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy (well, specifically Spider-Man 3, for whatever reason).  The figures hit right on the cusp of Hot Toys exploding in terms of popularity, in much the same way that the movies hit right on the cusp of the whole super hero movie explosion.  It was pretty fitting really.  Today, I’ll be looking at the basic Spider-Man figure.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

spidermanht2Spider-Man was figure 143 in HT’s Movie Masterpiece Series, placing him between their two Tron: Legacy figures chronologically.  He was released in mid-2011, which is a bit odd, since Spider-Man 3, from which his appearance is taken, was released three years prior.  As noted, this figure is based on the main costume design from Spider-Man 3.  It’s essentially the same design that was used in Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2, but, like the Stormtroopers in Star Wars, there are small details on the costume that change from film to film, which someone with a more mindful eye then my own could probably point out.  Of course, all three versions of the costume are in turn based on the classic Spidey costume from the comics.  The only real difference between the movie and comics designs is the movie designs have raised silver webbing, rather than the printed black webbing from the comics.  Spider-Man stands about 12 inches tall and, going by the Sideshow website, he has “over 30 points of articulation.” 

spidermanht3Unlike most HT figures, Spider-Man possesses neither an actor’s likeness, nor any real discernible head sculpt to speak of, for that matter.  I mean, there’s a head, and it’s unique to this figure.  The sculpt is certainly important, but in a different manner than usual.  The mask is cloth, but there’s a “blank” head underneath, which gives the mask a proper shape.  It’s actually very nicely done in that respect.  The shape matches pretty well with the appearance of Tobey Maguire in the mask from the movies.   The tailoring of the mask itself is pretty good, though it could perhaps be a little better.  The seam right at the top is sort of annoying (and it was something that future HT Spider-Men removed); it really should have gone somewhere more inconspicuous.  There are also a few issues around the neck of the costume, with it bunching up at certain points in a rather unrealistic way.  A lot of this stems from HT’s decision to make the mask and suit all one piece, presumably to emulate the look of the film (where movie magic makes the whole thing look seamless).  Unfortunately, it doesn’t translate quite so well to the smaller scale.  The later symbiote Spidey forewent the idea entirely and just had the break right at the base of the skull, which looks quite a bit better.  The head is topped off with a set of sculpted lenses (which hold the whole mask in place on the head), and they work pretty nicely (though there’s a slight scratch on one of mine), as well as a small bit of rubber for the webbing.

spideyht1The costume on this figure is technically made up of three parts, though they really function as one big body suit.  The main suit is pretty well done.  As with the head, there are some issues with the cloth bunching up weirdly in a few areas, which has a lot to do with the one-piece nature of the design.  That being said, it’s very well tailored to the body, is incredibly flexible, and offers a really great range of motion.  The suit ends at the wrists, but there’s enough extra material to cover the wrists and join up pretty well with the sculpted hands. The boots are a separate part (which you’d really only know if you had to disassemble the figure like I did.  More on that in the next section), starting halfway down the calf.  They’re actually a pretty clever in design.  There’s a sort of a skeleton calf and foot, to keep the articulation at the ankle, which is then incased in a rubber material to maintain a more natural shape.  The actual visible boot is really just a sock that slides over the foot, and it’s all held in place by a plastic sole that clips into the base of the foot.  The figure was originally shown with plastic boots (like the ones sported by most of my prior HT figures), but after some fans brought up how it ruined the seamless nature of the design and would also rob him of ankle movement, HT changed it for the final product.

The underlying body is, I think, unique to Spidey, though I’m not 100% sure on that.  It’s a good body for him aesthetically, being lean but still muscular.  It also offers a good deal of posability, and it looks good from under the costume.  That being said, the major issue that plagued this body was its durability.  Remember how I said I had to disassemble the boot?  Yeah, that’s because when I got this guy he couldn’t stand, due to his ankle joint being broken into three pieces.  Fortunately, the foot is easy to access and repair, but I’ve heard stories of figures breaking at the hips, shoulders, or even the neck, places that are virtually impossible to fix due to the design of the suit.  In addition, to make sure they blended with the costume, Spidey’s wrist pegs were cast in red plastic.  Red plastic is notoriously fragile if you don’t pay for a very high quality product, which it seems HT did not.  The pegs are only good for about one hand swap, and then they’re pretty much done.  Fortunately, this figure was released after a spare set of pegs became the standard, but it’s still very frustrating.  I myself have already broken one of the pegs (which is why you only see him wearing one pair for most of the pictures).

spideyinventorySpidey included a fairly decent accessory complement.  He has four pairs of hands, several different lengths of webbing, the edge of a building to perch on, and the usual display stand.  The hands are in fists, open gesture, web gripping, and web shooting poses.  Apart from the issues swapping them, they’re pretty cool.  The open gesture ones are my personal faves.  The webbing is fairly cool, and tow of the pieces can be slipped over the wrist pegs to look like he’s firing it from his wrists, which is a fun touch.  The perch is a pretty cool base, though he has a little trouble actually standing on it.  The basic stand is exactly what it says on the tin, but it works for its intended purpose.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Despite being a huge fan of the Raimi Trilogy (even Spider-Man 3!), I didn’t get this guy when he was new.  At the time, I didn’t have the funds for Hot Toys figures, and he fell right between my birthday and Christmas, so I couldn’t even really ask for him as a gift.  By the time I got into HT collecting hardcore, his price had gone up a fair bit.  I thought about getting the black suited version, but it wasn’t really the same.  I ended up finding him on Ebay for a reasonable deal, from a collector who had opened him and put him on the shelf, but that was it.  Despite his issues, I really like this figure a lot, and he’s probably one of my favorite HT figures I own!

#1099: Malcolm Reynolds

MALCOLM REYNOLDS

FIREFLY LEGACY COLLECTION

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If you had to pick a face of Firefly, I think it’s pretty safe to say it’s Malcolm Reynolds.  Despite the definite ensemble bent of the show, he was the captain, and he was front and center for pretty much everything.  As the “face,” Mal has been privy to by far the most action figures of any cast member, with a good seven of them under his belt.  As one of only two characters to get a figure (well, two, actually) from the criminally short-lived Serenity line back in 2005, he was already covered in the 6-inch scale, but Funko probably didn’t want to do Legacy without him (and I’m sure a good number of people never got the Serenity figures), so he found his way into that line too.  I’ll be looking at that figure today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

mallegacy2Mal was figure #1 in the first series of Funko’s Firefly Legacy Collection.  That makes sense, what with him being the captain and all.  The figure stands a little over 6 inches tall and he has 26 points of articulation.  Or he would had my figure not broken.  Yep, after fairing alright with my Rocketeer, all of my GoT figures, and Wash and Zoe, Mal was my first official break from the Legacy line.  It was just a manner of time, I suppose.  While taking this guy out of the box, I apparently handled his right hand a little too roughly, and it fell off.  I can’t say I’m surprised, though, since his wrist pegs are thin, hollow, and made of clear plastic (the weakest plastic out there).  I’m not sure how this figure wouldn’t break.  That’s just very poor design.  Like most of the other figures in this set, Mal is sporting his look from the promotional images.  It’s a pretty straightforward look for Mal, what with the suspenders, red shirt, and signature brown coat.  Mal’s sculpt is…well, it’s something.  It’s definitely not as good as Wash or Zoe, or even any of the GoT figures.  I wouldn’t call it bad per se, but I can’t say I’d call it particularly good either.  He’s long and lanky, which isn’t necessarily wrong for Mal, but it’s handled in an odd sort of “this person wouldn’t be able to live” sort of way.  I’m not sure what’s going on with the hips, but it looks sort of like he broke one of them and is trying to hide the body cast in his pants.  His shoulders are quite narrow, which is emphasized by the slightly bow-legged stance of the figure and his inability to put his arms down all the way.  Then there’s the jacket, which I can’t tell if it’s too short or his legs are just too long, but something’s off about it.  It also sits rather clumsily on his shoulders, as if it was taken from another figure entirely.  The head is probably the figure’s strongest point, though even it’s a little strange.  From some angles, it’s a spot-on Fillion likeness, but from others he looks kinda like Michael J Fox.   The paint work on the figure is decent, I suppose.  The best work is probably the body, though it feels kind of murky and slapdash compared to the others.  The head has some okay work, but something about the eyes is just deeply disturbing.  Mal includes his usual revolver, as well as a larger rifle (different from the one included with Zoe).

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Seeing as I already had the Serenity Mal, and I was hemming and hawing over Wash and Zoe to begin with, I was definitely not planning on getting this guy.  But then Movie Stop was going out of business, and this was one of the very last figures they had, and he was like $4.  And for that price, I figured he was worth a shot.  Between the strange sculpt, the iffy paint, and the fact that he broke right out of the box, I’m definitely glad I didn’t pay full or even half price for this guy.  I’d like to write this guy off as being an example of Funko’s inexperience in the field of action figures, but the other Legacy figures show they can make a very good figure when they want to.  I guess everyone needs a worst.  Man, this one was kind of a bummer…

#1098: Zoe Washburne

ZOE WASHBURNE

FIREFLY LEGACY COLLECTION

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If Wash is my favorite character in Firefly, then today’s focus, Zoe, is a very close second.  Zoe was one of those amazing female characters who was strong in her own right, but not without a few weaknesses to make her human.  Unrelenting in a fight, but not without compassion.  Deadly serious when she needed to be, but just as funny as any other member of the crew when the moment was right.  She’s probably the most “normal” of Serenity’s crew, but that never made her less interesting.  Zoe was awesome.  And awesome characters deserve awesome action figures.  So, does Zoe have an awesome action figure?  Let’s find out!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

zoeylegacy2Zoe was released as part of Funko’s first (and so far only) series of Firefly Legacy Collection figures.  Of the five figures released, she’s #5.  That seems sort of odd to me, since she’s second in command, and Gina Torres was second billed on the show.  Weird.  The figure stands about 6 inches tall (she’s a fraction of an inch shorter than Wash) and has 26 points of articulation.  Or she should.  My Zoe’s left elbow swivel is frozen, and given the breakage possibilities with these figures, I’m not pushing it.  Her hair also limits the range of motion on her neck joint, but that’s more or less expected, so I can’t really complain.  Zoe gets a brand-new sculpt, which I actually think turned out a fair bit better than Wash’s.  While his was good, there was a sort of cartoony-ness to it, that made him feel a little off.  Zoe, on the other hand, feels a lot closer to the GoT figures in terms of style, which I think is really great.  The likeness on the head isn’t a spot-on Gina Torres, but it’s very close, certainly close enough that you should easily be able to identify who this is supposed to be.  The rest f the body sports some pretty solid detail work from top to bottom, and I especially like how detailed her hair is.    Just all-around, this figure’s sculpt feels like a step up from the Wash figure, which is good.  The paint work on Zoe is pretty solid, too.  The basic application is all pretty clean.  There’s a bit of slop here and there, but it’s reasonable.  Her eyes are a little goofy looking too, but once again, not awfully so.  The clothing all has nice accent work, which does a lot to make the sculpt pop.  Zoe is packed with her faithful shotgun, as well as a smaller pistol, both of which fit nicely in the figure’s hands.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I picked up Zoe at the same time as Wash.  Like Wash, I was sort of putting off picking her up until I had some sort of confirmation of getting the rest of the cast.  When I found them for half price at Think Geek, it was enough to nudge me into getting both of them, since I was essentially getting them both for the price of one.  Zoe is the superior of the two figures, I think.  The sculpt is great, and so is the paint.  Maybe the movement could be a bit better, but she’s a really solid figure.  She is an awesome figure, befitting an awesome character.

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#1097: Hoban “Wash” Washburne

HOBAN “WASH” WASHBURNE

FIREFLY LEGACY COLLECTION

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So, last Sunday, I reviewed a K-2SO figure, and the Sunday before that I also reviewed a K-2SO figure.  Well, I’m all out of K-2 figures, but I do have the next best thing.  Yes, it’s that other famous Sci-Fi character played by Alan Tudyk, Hoban “Wash” Washburne!  I’ve already looked at two Wash figures on this site, but there’s one more that I never got around to taking a look at, and he may just be the best one in the lot.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

washlegacy2Wash was released as part of Funko’s Firefly Legacy Collection, their third attempt at launching a Firefly line.  There were five figures released, and Wash was #4 in the set.  The figure stands a little over 6 inches tall and he has 26 points of articulation.  While many of the Legacy figures used the same costume designs as their ReAction and Pop! figures, Wash actually got a slightly different look for his Legacy entry (in fact, Wash has gotten a slightly different design for all three of his figures), based on the gear he was wearing in the promotional shots for the series.  In my opinion, it’s the quintessential Wash look, so I’m actually happy to have seen in turn up here.  Wash sports a wholly unique sculpt.  It’s admittedly a little more cartoony than I was expecting, especially after the Game of Thrones and Rocketeer figures, which are more in the style of The Black Series.  There’s a lot of decent work, but there’s definitely a bit of stylization going one here.  This is especially evident when it comes to the likeness on the head, which certainly encapsulates the figure and does bear a resemblance to Alan Tudyk.  That being said, there’s just something off about the look.  Like, they got all the obvious details of the likeness, but missed the more minor bits that really seal the deal.  So, while the figure looks like Wash at first glance, it starts to be less on the nose when you take a closer look.  The figure also feels rather narrow shouldered, but this is actually a common issue with the Legacy figures.  Lastly, there’s the hands, which are rather on the large side, but there’s actually a reason for this, which I’ll touch on in the accessories section.  The paintwork on Wash is pretty good overall, though not perfect.  It’s about on par with prior Legacy figures.  The colors are well chosen, and detailing on the clothes (especially his shirt) is top notch.  The head is alright, but a little messy.  I do like the variation to the skin tone, though; it makes him look more lifelike than, say, the GoT figures.  Wash is packed with a pair of toy dinosaurs (because what else would you give him?).  The hands have been slightly enlarged to better hold the dinos, which they do very well, certainly well enough that it doesn’t bug me how large those hands are.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I took my sweet time getting this guy.  When Funko picked up the Firefly license, I was very excited.  I ended up picking up a full set of the ReAction figures, despite them not necessarily being my preferred style, in the hopes of getting the whole crew at some point.  Then Funko sort of gave up on the ReAction figures, and released the Pop! figures, however, they once again released the same five characters and no one else.  Then they announced the Legacy figures, which was really the style I wanted to begin with.  Problem?  Same. Five. Characters.  As cool as the figures were, I had trouble spending $100 and ending up with yet another incomplete line-up.  Over the summer, I ended up finding this Wash figure at Think Geek’s brick and mortar store in the Westminster Mall, for just half of his original price, which was enough encouragement for me to pick him up.  Wash isn’t bad.  Is he perfect?  No. Is he enough fun that I’m glad I got around to picking him up?  Yes, yes he is.

#1096: Green Lantern

GREEN LANTERN

DC SUPER HEROES SILVER AGE COLLECTION (HASBRO)

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Hey guys!  In case you didn’t see earlier, The Figure In Question has made it through another year of reviews, which marks three years of me running this humble little site.  In honor of the occasion, I’ll be taking a look at a figure with some extra meaning to me.

I’ve discussed once or twice here how I’m a pretty big Green Lantern fan (or I was.  It’s complicated).  Well, back in the ‘90s, when I was just getting into the world of action figure collecting, Green Lantern was something of a rarity on toy shelves.  To make matters worse, what Green Lantern figures did exist were all based on Kyle Rayner, not Hal Jordan, who was the Green Lantern I was most familiar with (due to Cartoon Network’s Super Friends re-runs and a healthy diet of bronze-age DC comics provided to me by my Dad).  The first Hal Jordan Green Lantern to be released within my lifetime was part of the DC Super Heroes Silver Age Collection, which was Hasbro’s attempt at copying Toy Biz’s attempt at copying Mego with Famous Covers.  Confused?  You probably still will be after this review.  Sorry.  On to the figure!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

gl9inch2Green Lantern was released as part of the first Series of the Silver Age Collection, alongside Aquaman and Green Arrow.  It was actually a pretty bold selection of characters for the time, since all three were at best second stringers, two of whom had been replaced in their respective roles and the third of whom had undergone a massive redesign a few years prior.  The figure stands 9 inches tall and he has 25 points of articulation. He’s based on Hal’s initial Silver Age costume, defined by the lack of green on the shoulders.  As a throwback to the old Mego figures (which, incidentally, did not include poor GL here), this figure makes use of a cloth costume.  The costume is alright.  It’s a little baggy, and the stitching around the shoulders and hips is a touch bulky.  It’s worth noting that the costume looks far better on this figure in it’s packaged-fresh form; my figure has been beat to heck thanks to 10 years or so of steady play, which stretched his uniform out of shape.  The underlying body on this figure (which is the same one used for the other DC 9-inch figures, as well as the later Marvel-based Signature Series) is actually pretty decent, especially when compared to the ones used by Playmates and Toy Biz for their figures in this same scale.  It posed pretty well, and was actually fairly nicely proportioned.  In addition to the base body and the cloth suit, GL gets a sculpted head, hands, glove cuffs, feet, and boot cuffs.  The head is the standout piece on this figure.  I think this is, to date, the best Hal Jordan sculpt ever made, and it was perhaps the strongest sculpt the line produced.  The detail is sharp, and it’s a very good likeness of how Hal was portrayed in the comics.  The rest of the sculpted pieces are decent, if not quite as stand-out awesome as the head sculpt.  The right hand is cool, what with the power ring and all.  And check out Hasbro using that finger articulation a few years before Toy Biz popularized it with Spider-Man Classics.  That’s pretty cool.  As far as paint goes, Hal here is pretty basic, with the vast majority of it being on the head, and even then only being on the hair and the mask.  What’s there is clean, and, most impressively, the green of the mask actually matches the green of the tunic.  GL’s only accessory was a display stand with the DC logo on it.  Each figure included one, but with a variety of different colors, with GL’s being black (rather than the more obvious green…).  He’s one of the few GL figures not to include his power battery.  I actually had a small Coleman lantern keychain that I used with this figure, which I really wish I still had.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

So, since this was the first Green Lantern Hal Jordan to be released within my lifetime, you’ve probably gathered that this was, by extension, my first Hal Jordan figure.  Not my first Green Lantern, of course, but still.  I remember first seeing the prototype pictures of this figure and being very excited, and then being even more excited when my parents and I found him at the store (I believe it was Target).  This figure is extra important to me because I got him in 1999, which was the same year my younger brother Christian was born, and this guy came with me to at least a few of the hospital visits to see him, which gives him a whole other dimension of awesome for me (the figure, not my brother.  Though my brother’s awesome too, for what it’s worth).