#1347: Space Ghost

SPACE GHOST (w/ BLIP)

ONE:12 COLLECTIVE (MEZCO TOYZ)

SPAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACE GHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOST!!!!!

Hey, can you guess what I like a lot?  If you guessed the incredibly obvious answer of “Space Ghost,” then good for you.  You might just yet have a career of solving the world’s most solvable mysteries.  As someone who loves both Space Ghost and action figures, it should be of no shock that I’m always intrigued by the possibility of more Space Ghost action figures.  The Toynami figure from almost two decades ago is still the gold standard for me, but when Mezco announced they’d be doing a new version of good old Tad Ghostal as part of their fancy One: 12 Collective line, I was definitely interested, especially since I’ve been looking for the right figure to give this line a trial run.  It’s taken quite a while for him to get here, but I finally have him!  Let’s see how he measures up to his predecessor, shall we?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Space Ghost was released in late May/early June of 2017 as part of the One: 12 Collective line of figures.  Like Hot Toys’ Movie Masterpiece Series, the figures from all of Mezco’s various properties have been intermixed in this particular line.  Space Ghost is the first Hannah Barbera character we’ve seen released, though time will tell if there are any follow-ups.  I’d personally love to get a Blue Falcon or a Birdman.  Anyway, the figure stands a little over 6 inches tall and has…a bunch of articulation.  I don’t know how much exactly, because that you require removing the non-removable costume, and I’m not about that.  I’m gonna take a shot in the dark and say “more than 30.”

There are two heads included with Space Ghost: calm and “expressive.”  While Space Ghost is almost exclusively depicted in his original, Alex Toth-rendered animated style, this figure opts to add a more real world touch to him.  The heads do a pretty decent job of meeting in the middle; offering a realistic looking character, but still keeping the important hallmarks of the character.  It does definitely lean a little more to the cartoony side of things than prior figures in the line, though.  He comes wearing the more calm head, which is good for a lot of poses, and generally seems to be the “default” piece.  The more expressive head has his teeth showing, in something go a grimace.  Exactly what the expression is supposed to be is a little hard to tell, but it works for a number of different poses.  While general consensus seems to prefer the calmer head, I actually like the more expressive one just a bit more.  In the show, and especially in promotional images, Space Ghost rarely had his mouth completely closed the way it is on the basic head.  The nice thing is, though, that both heads are there, so no one has to settle for one over the other (well, unless you got the exclusive…)  The paint work on both heads is generally pretty clean, and I quite like the variance in finishes between the various different parts, especially the slightly metallic finish of the eyes.

Space Ghost is built on the basic mid-sized One: 12 body.  This is my first experience with it, but it seems pretty well designed.  The costume hangs well on it and it poses well, and those are really the most important things.  I do wish there were a little more side to side motion in the upper arms, so that he had less trouble pressing his power bands, but you can make it work.  Space Ghost’s outfit is made up of several different pieces and of varying materials.  He’s got a cloth bodysuit, which is fairly nicely tailored, and has a small enough weave so that it’s not too distracting.  It’s a little prone to snags, though, so you have to be really careful.  It’s held in place at the bottom of his feet by a pair of sculpted soles.  I gotta say, I’m not super into these; they just have too much detailing for my liking.  I think the tread is just too much.  At the top of the torso, the suit’s held in place by a neck piece that matches up with the head, and also features his communicator/emblem, which is very nicely sculpted.  Attached to that is a cloth cape.  I’m not always big on cloth capes, but this is a really nice one; it’s got a wire sewn into the lining, allowing for some really fantastic posing options, and the wire’s sturdy enough that it doesn’t feel like it’ll break at a moment’s notice.  The costume is topped off with sculpted pieces for his belt and power bands.  The belt can be a little tricky to get seated right, but the power bands fit perfectly, and look super awesome to boot.  I like the slight transparency to the buttons; that’s a cool touch!

This guy comes with a pretty amazing selection of accessories.  He’s got the previously mentioned extra head, as well as four pairs of hands (in fists, open gesture, flat, and button pressing), 6 different effects pieces, and a display stand that can be configured for basic standing or flight.  The most prominent extra, of course, is his sidekick Blip, who’s a whole separate figure in his own right. Blip’s about 3 1/2 inches tall and he has 28 points of articulation.  He’s a little on the tall side for Blip, but not horribly so.  Remember how they made Space Ghost a little more “real world?” Well, that goes double for Blip, who’s been made to resemble an actual, real-life monkey.  The end result is certainly well sculpted, but also a little bit frightening.  Still, it’s cool to have gotten him, I suppose.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As I discussed in my last Space Ghost review, I’ve been a huge Space Ghost fan since I was four.  As soon as this figure was announced, I knew I was definitely getting him.  This guy was given to me by my parents.  He was *supposed* to be here for Christmas, but he missed it by about six months.  Story of my life.  So, after all that waiting, was he worth it?  That’s a very strong affirmative.  I still love my Toynami figure, but this guy’s definitely the new definitive Space Ghost figure.  He’s just a whole lot of fun, exactly like a Space Ghost figure should be.  Now I desperately want a Jan and Jace to go with him!

Advertisements

#1346: Ziv Zulander

ZIV ZULANDER

THE BOTS MASTER (TOY BIZ)

“Ziv Zulander – ZZ for short – created the CORP’s best selling bot, the 3A. But when he discovered the CORP was going to use his invention to enslave the world, he knew the only hope was to lead the BOYZZ – his own intelligent bots – in a war against the CORP! The struggle will be hard-fought, but armed with his quick-assembly laser cannon and laser-firing helmet, ZZ’s sure to show the CORP there’s only one BOTS MASTER!”

Bots Master?  What the heck is Bots Master? Well, The Bots Master is a 1993 cartoon series, produced by Jean Chalopin—Okay, sorry, sorry, that’s just the opening of the Wikipedia entry on the series.  I actually don’t really know what it is, beyond that Wikipedia page.  But, Toy Biz made the toys and I have one of them, so I guess I’m gonna be talking about The Bots Master today.  This should be amusing.  So, without further ado, let’s look at Ziv Zulander (no relation to Derek)!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Ziv Zulander (or, as my brother likes to call him, Zed-iv Zed-ulander) was released in the basic assortment of Toy Biz’s The Bots Master line.  He is presumably based on Ziv’s look from the show, but I don’t really know for certain.  The figure stands about 5 inches tall and he has 9 points of articulation.  This guy’s sculpt is definitely dated, but shows the typical signs of a Toy Biz sculpt from this time period.  He is very much at home with the first few series of X-Men and X-Force figures.  In fact, he’s so at home that I spent a fair bit of time trying to determine if he shared any parts with those lines.  It appears that he’s a unique sculpt, though.  It’s not terrible; the basic proportions are all pretty well balanced, and he’s got some interesting details here and there.  He also uses some of the strange connectors like we saw on the Iron Man figures, which is a little odd looking when he doesn’t have all of his armor and such, but it’s not really that odd when next to the other figures.  The sculpt does definitely have some other oddities to it; he’s really rigid and uptight looking.  Also, the face looks…I’m not quite sure…like, what’s going on with his facial expression?  Is he happy?  Annoyed?  Gas-y?  I don’t really know.  It’s not the greatest.  I mean, it’s not the worst, either, so there’s that.  He’s definitely a bit awkward looking, though.  The paint on this guy is pretty solid for the time; it’s clean and bright and generally pretty solidly applied.  It hasn’t held up the best over the years, but it’s better than some other figures I’ve seen.  Ziv originally included a bunch of armor pieces, as well as an actual pair of 3D glasses meant to be worn during the cartoon’s “3D” sequences.  Mine didn’t have any of that stuff, though. 

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Okay, so if I don’t know anything about The Bots Master, then why do I have a figure of the show’s main character? Well, it’s very simple: I have a condition.  Okay, no, seriously, what happened was I found him at Bobakhan Toys, and he was packed with a Toy Biz Havok (a figure that I will buy literally every time I see it).  The pair of them were $2, and I was admittedly curious about what the heck this was, so I bought it.  He’s definitely an old Toy Biz figure, and minus the nostalgic twinge or being a character I actually care about, he’s not anything spectacular.  Still, for $1, he’s entertaining enough.

#1345: Star Trek Minimates

CAPTAIN KIRK, SPOCK, DR. McCOY, KHAN, & GORN

STAR TREK MINIMATES (ART ASYLUM)

I’ve spoken twice before about the original, larger-sized Minimates, the important stepping stone on the way to getting us the licensing behemoth that we now have.  Today, I’ll be touching on them yet again, this time looking at the one property to have graced both styles of Minimate: Star Trek.   After doing ‘mates from Crouching Tiger and some music ‘mates, and even some Bruce Lee ‘mates, Art Asylum turned their sights onto Trek mostly because they already had the license (they produced a Dark Angel Minimate for the same reason, but with less success).  Anyway, I’ve got a bunch of them, and I’ll be looking at them today.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

These five were released in the first (and only) series* of the larger-scale Star Trek Minimates from Art Asylum.  There was also a Mugato in the series, as well as an accompanying ToyFare-exclusive “Trouble With Tribbles” Kirk, but I don’t yet have those two.  Maybe some day.

All of the figures featured here are built on the 3-inch Minimate body, which is a little different from the smaller body in terms of construction, mostly around the elbows and knees.  The assembly can afford to be just a touch more complex at the larger scale, and that’s really the source of most of the changes.  Nevertheless, it works the same as the smaller body from a basic functioning stand-point, and it has the same 14 points of articulation.

CAPTAIN KIRK

This was the first of the 14 MInimates of James T. Kirk.  He’s most prevalent of the Trek characters by far, though he’s got nothing on the likes of Spider-Man and Iron Man.  Anyway, this is the one that started it all.  This figure has three add-on pieces: hair, and both pants cuffs.  The hair was new to this guy (though it was also shared with the ToyFare variant, and would have presumably been used for the Mirror Universe version in Series 2).  I gotta say, I like this piece a lot more than the initial smaller Kirk ‘mates.  It’s still a bit more simplistic than more recent ‘mates, but that’s certainly not a point against it, and it’s definitely in keeping with the other ‘mates of this time period.  The paint work on Kirk is about on par with the rest of the earlier ‘mates.  It’s all pretty clean, but also rather on the simple side.  All of the important things, like the face and various uniform elements are there.  The face has a pretty decent likeness of Shatner (honestly, I think it was a bit better than later attempts), and the uniform details seem to be pretty accurate.  The colors are generally pretty decent, but once again, far more basic than later ‘mates would be.  Kirk was packed with a phaser (painted in all silver, rather than the proper silver and black), as well as one of the goofy puzzle pieces that they threw in with all of the early guys.

MR. SPOCK

Spock’s not too far behind Kirk on the variant front, with a whole 8 Minimates under his belt.  There does seem to be a little less variation to his, though.  Like Kirk, this figure has add-ons for his hair and pant cuffs.  Spock’s hair piece is fine, but I find his style of hair doesn’t translate quite as well to this sort of figure.  Later pieces worked a fair bit better, I feel.  I think his hair just needs more detail to it, otherwise it just ends up looking like a skullcap or something.  The paint on Spock is rather similar to Kirk’s, but once again, I don’t think it works quite as well.  The face definitely tries for a Nimoy likeness and, while it isn’t horribly off, I think the lack of any sort of line work for the cheekbones is really holding it back.  Most characters can get by alright without the cheekbones, but not those played by Leonard Nimoy.  In addition, the shade of blue chosen for the shirt is several shades too dark and far too greyed out for the blue shirts from Classic Trek.  This shade almost looks like something from the JJ Abrams films, which wouldn’t be released for 7 years after this.  Spock includes an extra right hand, doing the Vulcan salute, as well as a tricorder and the puzzle piece.

DR. McCOY

McCoy’s important because he finished out the show’s core trio.  Sadly, he always seems to be the one who gets overlooked.  It’s a shame, really.  But hey, he got this ‘mate and a few others, so that’s pretty good for him, right?  This guy is very similar to the other two, with the exact same cuffs on the legs and then a unique hair piece.  The hair falls somewhere between the other two, being not quite as strong as Kirk’s, but a fair bit more recognizable as hair than Spock’s.  It’s definitely not bad.  In terms of paint, he’s almost identical to Spock, overly dark blue and all.  On the plus side, the likeness on the face is the spitting image of DeForrest Kelly, surly country wisdom and all.  He includes the same tricorder and puzzle piece as Spock, but obviously loses the saluting hand.  It would have been nice to get one of his medical gadgets or something, but the tricorder’s enough, I suppose.

KHAN

Khan’s pretty popular for a guy who was only in a single episode of the show.  Oh, right, and there was that movie thing, I guess.  That might have helped.  Khan’s had a few Minimates, and not a single one of them has been in the same outfit.  This is one of his red outfits, likely chosen for it’s contrast with the rest of Series’ color schemes.  He’s got a hair piece and a skirt for the bottom of his tunic.  Both pieces are pretty solid, so that’s good.  Khan has one of the more complex paint schemes in the set (though not *the* most.  That comes later), and it’s generally pretty nicely handled.  My only real complaint is that his face is slightly off-center, which is a problem that occasionally cropped up with these early ‘mates, due to the hair peg being near the back of the head.  On the plus side, the likeness on the face is pretty decent.  Khan’s only accessory is the puzzle piece.

GORN

Okay, so I freaking love the Gorn, and this is like my whole reason for buying this set.  Because I desire to own every Gorn figure in existence.  I’m actually pretty close on that, so, yaaaaaay.  Gorn FTW!  This guy uses add-ons for his hands and his skirt.  There’s no piece for the head, which leaves the peg hole exposed, but it’s not huge issue, given the placement.  The add-ons are nicely sculpted and pretty cool looking overall.  The skirt piece is a little thick, so he splits at the middle a lot, but it’s a minor issue.  Gorn gets the most complicated of the paint jobs.  It’s still pretty simplified, but I actually really like it.  The face is pretty neat, and I like how they’ve translated his design onto the basic head block.  They’ve also done a nice job with the pattern on his tunic, so that’s cool.  He was packed with a spike, a translator, and that freaking puzzle piece.  Mine is lacking these, sadly.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I always wanted to pick up a set of these back when they were still new, back when they would have been my first Minimates, but for whatever reason, I never got any of them.  I’m the reason the line failed, you guys.  I’m sorry about that.  I’ve been on the lookout for a set for a little while now, and I ended up finding these guys at Amazing Heroes, which was a cool toys, comics, and games store that my brother found just outside of Seattle.  I was actually pretty happy to find an almost complete set in one go.  I kinda dig these guys.  Kirk and the Gorn are the definite stars, and translate really well to the more simplistic style.  The others are pretty solid as well, if not quite as stand out.  Now, I gotta get that second Kirk and a Mugato….

*There was a proposed second series, which would have rounded out the main crew and given us a Klingon, but, like all of the 3-inch lines, Trek never made it past Series 1.

#1344: The Thing

THE THING

FANTASTIC FOUR: DELUXE EDITION (TOY BIZ)

“Ben Grimm became the Thing after he was bombarded by cosmic rays in a space flight gone awry with scientist Reed Richards.  Since then he has dedicated his life to fighting crime as a founding member of the Fantastic Four, fending off many foes with the mere words — it’s clobberin’ time!”

It’s been 3 years since I reviewed a figure of Benjamin J. Grimm, better known as the ever-lovin’, blue-eyed Thing.  That’s quite a long time.  It’s a bit surprising, really, since he’s the FF member I own the most figures of, so you’d think he’d show up a little more frequently, but no.  Well, I’m fixing that today, and I’m also looking at yet another of the old Toy Biz 10-inch figures.  That’s always fun!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Thing was part of the second assortment of Toy Biz’s Fantastic Four: Deluxe Edition line.  I think.  It got a little hard to follow after the first three-figure assortment.  The main thing to note is that they only ever released Ben and Johnny in this scale (flip side, they only did Reed and Sue in the Famous Covers style.  So, it works out, I guess?)  The figure stands a little over 10 inches tall and has 9 points of articulation.  As I’ve noted a few times before, the 10-inch figures made use of the two-up prototypes used for the 5-inch line.  This is partly true for the Thing, but he also has a pretty healthy helping of new or tweaked parts, presumably to help with costs.  The only part that looks to be a straight re-use is the head, which is a pretty great Ben Grimm head, so that’s certainly a good thing.  The rest of the parts follow the general look of the smaller figure, but he’s been given a much straighter stance, thereby giving the figure less overall bulk.  He’s still quite a bit more sizable than the other figures in the line, so it’s not a really big change.  In general, he also seems a little more boxy than his smaller counterpart, which doesn’t look quite as good, but once again, it’s not a huge difference.  Regardless, the head sculpt is the real star here.  The paint on Ben is pretty basic; he’s molded mostly in orange, with a bit of blue and while for his shorts and eyes.  What’s there is pretty decent, though obviously the paint on my figure has seen better days.  This figure was originally packed with a protective helmet, emulating the helmet Ben wore in the comics when he had the robotic suit to replace his lost powers.  It was rare that a 10-inch figure got an extra not included with the smaller figure, but this was the one that got it.  If only mine still had his.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I didn’t have this guy growing up.  He didn’t hang around stores long, and he also didn’t get any prominent re-releases like some of the other figures.  This guy’s actually the first item I’m reviewing from my pretty awesome haul I picked up from Bobakhan Toys, which is a super awesome toy store I found just outside of Seattle while I was there with Super Awesome Girlfriend’s family.  I was, admittedly, a little overwhelmed by the sheer volume of toys in the store, so I was trying to pick and chose a few things that most stood out to me.  Super Awesome Girlfriend picked this guy up and insisted I get him.  I can’t say that I really fought her.  I like this guy.  He’s not quite as cool as the 5-inch version, but he’s still pretty awesome.  And Ben’s my favorite FF member, so that probably helps with the cool factor as well.

#1343: Imperial Death Trooper

IMPERIAL DEATH TROOPER

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“The elite soldiers of Imperial Intelligence, Death Troopers are encased in specialized stormtrooper armor with a dark, ominous gleam and serve as bodyguards and enforcers for Director Krennic.”

Man, for being so elite, these guys didn’t exactly amount to much, did they?  Well, it’a not really their fault, I guess.  At their core, they’re still just Imperial Stormtroopers, aren’t they?  And these guys do manage to hit at least a few of their targets.  Good for them.  Like any good faceless Star Wars troop, they also make for really great toy fodder, so hey, here’s another Imperial Death Trooper figure!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Imperial Death Trooper is part of the small, four figure assortment of Rogue One-themed small scale Star Wars: The Black Series figures, which were released exclusively at Walmart back at the end of last year.  This is one of the two troop builders in the assortment, which makes it slightly more difficult to find (though not as difficult as the Shoretrooper, let me tell you).  The figure stands just over 4 inches tall and has 26 points of articulation.  As with all of the figures in this assortment, the articulation is a marked improvement over the Force Awakens figures from the prior year, especially on the legs.  That being said, I did find the Death Trooper to be the most difficult to pose of the three I’ve got.  It’s possible that’s due to the character design, though.  The sculpt is all-new to this particular figure, and it’s a pretty great rendition of the unique Death Trooper armor from the movie.  The lankiness of the character is a little more down-played here, which I think is for the best.  There’s an add-on with a pauldron and web gear, denoting that this guy’s a slightly different variation of the Death Trooper than I’ve looked at before.  I believe this makes him a squad leader.  Anyway, the extra gear is pretty cool, and adds something new to this guy.  It’s also easily removable, should you just want a basic Death Trooper, which makes him really great for army building.  The paint on this guy is pretty straight forward; for the most part, he’s just molded in black, but there’s some slight detailing here and there to help break things up a bit.  The application is all pretty clean, and he looks like he does in the movie.  The Death Trooper includes his standard larger blaster, as well as the smaller blaster pistol we saw with the larger Black Series figure as well.  Both are pretty well sculpted pieces, though he does have a little trouble holding the rifle (though it’s nowhere near as bad as the First Order Stormtrooper from Series 2).

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As I noted in my reviews of Jyn and Cassian, when I didn’t find any of these guys back in December/January, I had resigned myself to never getting them.  When I found the other two, I still resigned myself to never getting either of the troopers, since the army builders would have no doubt cleaned out all of the supplies long ago.  But, while in Seattle with Super Awesome Girlfriend and her family, I found this guy at one of the nearby Walmarts.  He’s pretty cool, and like the other two, I think he’s the best version of the character out there.  Now, if I could just find the Shoretrooper….

#1342: T-800 – Final Battle

T-800 — FINAL BATTLE

TERMINATOR 2: JUDGEMENT DAY (NECA)

“Specs: Model T-800 {Final Battle} – After escaping Cyberdyne, the T-800, Sarah and John Connor are pursued by the T-1000 into a steel mill. The Terminators engage in violent hand to hand combat causing the T-800 to sustain critical damage. Now missing his left arm and operating on limited power and capacity the T-800 staggers to Sarah and John’s rescue and fires his last grenade into the T-1000 causing it to explode and fall into a vat of molten steel.”

Wow, it’s been like a year since I looked at anything Terminator-related.  Guess I’ll be fixing that today!  So, remember back when I reviewed NECA’s Ultimate T-800 figure from Terminator 2?  And how I mentioned that I owned one of the prior, non-Ultimate-y ones, from their earlier line?  Yeah, well that’s (one of) the figure(s) I’m looking at today!  Let’s get right to that, then!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Final Battle T-800 was released in Series 2 of NECA’s Terminator 2: Judgement Day line of figures.  At this point, the line was still exclusively variants of the T-800, but hey, that’s what we all wanted at the time.  The figure stands about 7 inches tall and has 11 points of articulation.  This is before NECA had gotten quite as good with articulation, so he’s a little stilted.  The upper half of the figure’s pretty solid, though, and while the legs are essentially motionless, there’s just enough movement there to help him balance.  On the plus side of things, the lack of motion’s not quite as killer on this particular figure, since the T-800 wasn’t exactly doing kung-fu high-kicks after taking all that damage.  As the name of the figure informs us, this guy’s based on the T-800 as he looks at the very end of T2, after he’s lost an arm and taken a serious beating at the hands of the T-1000.  The figure’s sculpt is pretty darn fantastic, offering a ton of amazing texturing on the leather jacket and pants, and even on the underlying machinery that’s been exposed. There are two heads included with this guy, with varying degrees of damage.  He’s packaged wearing the slightly less damaged of the two, which has the more unencumbered likeness.  While NECA’s gone on to give us better Schwarzenegger likenesses in recent years, this was pretty darn great for the time.  There are maybe some minor quibbles, but that’s really all that can be held against it.  The damage is consistent with what’s seen in the movie, too, which is really great.  The second head is far more damaged, depicting him after he takes a girder to the face a couple of times.  It’s actually one of those cases where the figure looks a bit better than what’s seen in the movie, since the movie had to rely on rather bulky prosthetics, and the figure can just actually carve away chunks of his face.  It’s definitely a nice piece.  The paintwork on this guy is decent enough.  Like the Kyle Reese figure, I did find the soulless eyes to be rather jarring (it’s more obvious on the more damaged head), but it’s far from awful.  There’s a lot of good work on the body, especially the clothes, though.  I do wish the damaged arm had slightly more convincing blood splatters, since these look more like red paint, but that’s minor.  In addition  to the spare head, the figure also includes the slightly damaged grenade launder, which he can hold pretty well.

Did you see in the intro where I hinted at more than one figure?  Well, I’ll touch on that now.  Alongside their 7-inch line, NECA also did some 12-inch Terminator 2 figures, and the Final Battle T-800 was one of the two they chose to do.  The figure is essentially just an upscaling of the 7-inch figure, but there are a few tweaks, most notably the inclusion of a light-up feature for the eye (activated by pressing the panel in the center of his chest).  It’s also worth noting that the larger figure only includes the more damaged head, presumably because a swapping head wouldn’t have worked too well with the light-up bit.  The larger size actually really helps the figure.  The likeness on the head, in particular, is a lot stronger at this scale (to the point where I honestly think it’s a better Arnold than Hot Toys ever gave us on a T-800), and the paint looks way better, since there’s a lot more room for subtlety.  Just like his smaller counterpart, this guy included the damaged grenade launcher.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The Final Battle T-800 is the second NECA figure I ever owned, and it’s certainly the one that got me to notice them as a company.  I don’t recall exactly when I picked it up, but I do remember anxiously awaiting its release after seeing it on the back of the Series 1 packaging.  It’s a nice figure because unlike a number of other looks from the movie, the fully battle-damaged appearance really does warrant a whole figure to itself.

The larger figure was a Christmas present, given to me by my parents.  It was the year after I’d gotten the Hot Toys T-1000, and I was really wanting to have at least some version of the T-800 to go on the shelf with him and Sarah.  While I did eventually get the Hot Toys release when it came out (a whole three years later), this guy held me over in the mean time, and actually fit in surprisingly well with the two HT figures.  Looking back, he’s still a pretty awesome figure.  It’s too bad NECA never did any other characters to go with  him!

The Blaster In Question #0012: Rey Jakku Blaster

REY JAKKU BLASTER

STAR WARS

Why does everyone want to go back to Jakku?  It does’t make sense to me, especially in regards to today’s review.  Yes, Rey is from Jakku, and yes, she uses this blaster, but she never has the blaster ON Jakku.  Why is it named the Rey Jakku Blaster, then?  Beats me, but let’s get past that and take a look at the thing.

THE BLASTER ITSELF

The Rey Jakku Blaster was released in 2016 as a tie-in to the release of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens.  The shell of the blaster is completely original but the internals are identical to the Han Solo Blaster which was released at the same time.  Both of these blaster, in turn, are largely the same as the Mega series Magnus, just chambered for standard Elite darts and holding 4 rounds instead of 3.  Due to it being a licensed product, it is entirely devoid of any Nerf branding aside from a mention on the box, opting for the Star Wars logo as well as the crest of the rebel alliance.  The blaster is based off of the NN-14 blaster that Rey receives from Han on Takodana, AFTER they have fled Jakku.  The toy is substantially larger than the blaster in the film and, sadly, is not chrome but simply white.  Additionally, there is a sizable grey boxy part that sticks out the back of the Nerf blaster that is not present on the original from the film.  I understand that it needs to be there in order to house the internal mechanism, but it does alter the form factor quite a bit from that of its inspiration.  It seems like the proportions as a whole had a rough time being translated to a functional Nerf blaster.  Even the grip feels oddly oversized.  It’s not terrible, but it definitely doesn’t help, especially with such pronounced edges along the profile.  I’m also not sure why, but there’s an attachment rail on the underside of the blaster if you really wanted to accessorize, I guess.  Functionally, the blaster works just fine.  In fact, I might say it feels better to operate than the Magnus because the loading port on the RJB is long enough to fit a dart without having to bend it or load it at an angle.  The prime is also a good bit smoother than that of the Magnus, but this may be because of the severely weaker spring.  As such, operation is fine, but performance is pretty flaccid.  This shouldn’t be surprising since Nerf needs to keep its core products competitive, but it’s still a little disappointing.  The range from the RJB is laughably short if you see it fired outside, but even indoors, it’ll hit the floor about 10 feet short of a target across the room.  It’s fun for plinking and playing pretend, but unfortunately not much beyond that.  The RJB comes packaged with 4 blue Star Wars branded Elite darts that have transparent tips which is kinda cool.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I don’t know if this has come across, but I have quite an interest in weapon design.  After seeing The Force Awakens, I do remember liking the little silver pistol that Rey has and thinking it would be easy to throw together my own prop version.  Then Nerf came along and handled it for me.  Sure, it’s not perfect, but I enjoy it, mainly for the novelty of having a Star Wars gun that actually shoots, and sometimes that’s all you need.

#1341: Robocop w/ Spring-loaded Holster

ROBOCOP w/ SPRING-LOADED HOLSTER

ROBOCOP (NECA)

Robocop.  He’s a cop and also a robot.  Okay, that’s not entirely true.  I think he’s technically a cyborg.  Right?  I mean, he uses a real guy’s face, doesn’t he?  The movie sort of blurs the line, so it’s a little difficult to say if he’s a robot with the face and memories of a dead guy, or if he’s a dead guy with robotic enhancements.  All of this is my way of saying that I have no idea what to say in a Robocop intro.  So, there you go.  Anyway, I’m looking at a Robocop figure today, so let’s just get right into it, shall we?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

“Leg Holster” Robocop is part of the second assortment of NECA’s Robocop line.  After the basic Murphy did decent business, they decided to follow him up with a couple of variants.  While this guy is *technically* a variant, he actually improves on a few issues from the basic Murphy figure, and is kind of the “ultimate” Robocop, so to speak.  The figure hands a little over 7 inches tall and he has 16 points of articulation.  He’s not super mobile, but then, neither was the character in the film, now was he?  This figure mostly re-uses pieces from the standard Robocop figure.  The sculpt was a good one, and is incredibly faithful to the movie’s design.  One notable fix between this figure and the initial one is that this one’s mask has been pushed all the way down, so he doesn’t have the slight bit of extra nose protruding down like the first figure, which makes for an overall much better look.  What can be seen of the face is rather on the generic side (since Peter Weller has yet to grant his likeness rights to NECA), but it’s a tiny enough section of face that there’s not much of a likeness to worry about.  The main change to this figure is the right thigh, which has been designed to replicate Murphy’s built-in leg holster.  There’s a button on the back of the leg, which pops it open, revealing the “holster” (which is really just a set of clips which can hold the gun), and allowing for the gun to be placed inside.  Then you can pop the leg back together, albeit with a fair bit of effort.  When I got the figure, I was initially worried that the leg holster might interfere with the quality of the figure, and possibly be too gimmicky, but it’s really not.  It’s there if you want to use it, but once you clip the leg back together, it’s as if the spring-loaded feature isn’t there at all.  The paint on Robocop is pretty solid.  The base work is all nice and clean, and I particularly like the slightly iridescent finish to the silver sections.  He includes his signature gun, as well as an alternate right hand with his data spike extended.  Apart from an unmasked head (which obviously wasn’t going to happen), I really can’t think of anything else he’d need!

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I bought this figure whilst in the midst of my NECA summer, aka the first summer that I discovered NECA, where I was playing catch-up and getting as many of the older figures as I could.  This particular figure was purchased in response to Hot Toys announcing their own version of Murphy.  He was super cool, but I realized that spending $300 on a figure from a movie I at best kind-of-sort-of enjoy made absolutely no sense.  So, I got this guy instead, and I’ve been quite happy with him ever since!

#1340: Superman

SUPERMAN

SUPER POWERS (KENNER)

“The Man of Steel – Powers: Super-strength, super-vision (x-ray vision, telescopic vision, heat vision, microscopic vision), invulnerability, flight, super-speed, super-breath, super-senses, super-voice, super-intellect – Weaknesses: Green Kryptonite can kill Superman, Red “K” affects him in bizarre ways, Gold “K” takes away hi powers. Superman’s invulnerability does not protect him against magic. Superman loses his powers in a solar system with a red sun.”

I gotta be honest, I’m a little bit shocked by how few Super Powers figures I’ve looked at on the site.  I mean, I only have so many of them, so they can’t get reviewed all the time.  Anyway, as I’ve mentioned a few times before (I think, anyway), it’s one of my very favorite lines of action figures, and it gets my vote for THE definitive DC-based toyline.  In particular, it provides perhaps the best figures available of a number of DC top-tier characters, including the Man of Steel himself, Superman!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Superman was released in Series 1 of Kenner’s Super Powers line.  Like the rest of the line, he’s based on Superman’s entry in the 1982 DC Style Guide (drawn by the consistently fantastic Jose Garcia-Lopez), which is really just the same look Supes had been sporting for almost 50 years at that point, and would go on to sport for another 30.  Stylistically, of course, he’s very much a Bronze Age Superman, but that’s something only the most dedicated of fans is really going to care about.  The figure stands about 4 3/4 inches tall and he has 7 points of articulation.  Superman’s sculpt is definitely top notch; while he’s a little wider than the Garcia-Lopez Superman seen on the packaging, he’s no less well rendered.  Like the rest of the line, he is, of course, a completely unique sculpt (and also like so many in this line, this sculpt would be slightly tweaked and re-used for Toy Biz’s DC Super Heroes line).  The head has a nice, friendly but strong look about it, which is really just perfect for Superman, and his musculature is actually pretty well balanced.  The arms are a little weird, with the preposing and the somewhat unnaturally upright fists, but they don’t look awful.  The cape is a separate, cloth piece.  It’s done the same way as all of the other capes in this line were done: flat fabric with a little plastic clip impeded in the collar.  It’s a kind of a dated look, since it’s not how such things are rendered anymore, but it’s not bad, and I particularly dig the S-emblem on the back of it.  In terms of paint, Superman is bright and colorful, and pretty clean.  My personal figure has a little wear on a few spots, but he’s generally held up pretty well.  As with all Super Powers figures, Superman has an action feature, dubbed the “Power Action Punch.”  When you squeeze his legs together, his arms rotate in opposing directions.  It’s not as clever as some others, but it’s still pretty fun.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

My first Super Powers Superman was actually not a Super Powers Superman at all, but rather the Toy Biz copy, which I fished out of a loose toy bin at Universal Comics when I was about 5 or 6.  At the time, I didn’t quite know the difference between the two yet.  A few years later, this guy was part of a large lot of Super Powers figures that I got for Christmas, and I at that point recognized the difference between the two, so this guy was added to my collection.  He didn’t have his cape, so he actually has the Toy Biz one (which was pretty much the same).  I quite like this guy, and as I noted in the intro, he’s one of my favorite Supermen.

#1339: Stealth Fred

STEALTH FRED

BIG HERO 6 (BANDAI)

It’s been two weeks, so I guess it’s about time I review another Big Hero 6 figure, isn’t it?  Yeah, I guess so.  Most of the titular team’s members are all scientists, with the exception one guy.  That guy would be Fred, the subject of today’s review.  And awaaaaay we go!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Fred is part of the third series of Bandai’s Big Hero 6 line of figures.  He, like all the figures in the set, has been labeled “Stealth” and done up in slightly darker colors.  Beyond that, he’s the same mold as his Series 1 counterpart.  The figure stands about 3 1/2 inches tall and he has 13 points of articulation.  Fortunately, thanks to the more “monstrous” nature of Fred’s design, he largely avoids the scaling issues that have plagued the rest of the line; he can comfortably fit in with just about every other figure in this line.  In terms of his sculpt, it’s pretty decent; it follows the film design pretty well, and the articulation is quite as glaring on him as it has been on a lot of the prior figures.  My one major complaint I have about this figure is that they didn’t find a way to make the top part of the costume removable, or give him an extra unmasked head.  Fred’s the only character who’s completely obscured by his costume, and not ever being able to see his face feels a little odd.  I know Bandai doesn’t tend to do extras like that, but this would have been a good time to start.  In terms of paint, Fred is generally pretty decent.  Application is pretty clean and the colors all go well together.  Of the stealth figures, Fred probably has some of the more minor tweaks; the only real difference between this and his normal look is that they swapped out the darkest blue for black, which really doesn’t end up looking all that different at the end of the day.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Fred came from Ollie’s, just like the last several Big Hero 6 figures I’ve looked at.  Unlike Hiro, I wasn’t able to get a normal Fred for the set, so I had to settle for the Stealth one.  It’s no biggie, honestly.  Fred’s an okay figure.  Nothing to write home about, but he goes well with the rest of the team, I guess.  They wouldn’t be much without their mascot.