#1651: Serpent Society

SERPENT SOCIETY

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“The leader of the Serpent Society, Klaus Voorhees uses powerful venom to strike down his enemies.”

Okay, let’s just get this out of the way up front: this figure’s name is kind of silly.  As the bio notes, Klaus Voorhees is the *leader* of the Serpent Society.  That’s not his name.  You wouldn’t release a Mr. Fantastic figure and call him “Fantastic Four” now would you?  The trouble with Klaus is that his actual villaining name is Cobra, which is now more closely associated with the terrorist organization fought by G.I. Joe (or healthcare, I suppose.  Also, I hear there’s this animal or something?).  He’s subsequently been renamed King Cobra, but I guess that’s not trademarkable enough?  Not even if we throw “Marvel’s” in front of it?  They do always love that.  Oh well, Serpent Society it is.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Serpent Society (bleh) is figure 6 in the Thanos Series of Marvel Legends.  He’s one of the three comics-based figures in the assortment.  I know, spoilers, right?  I just ruined the twist that King Cobra’s *not* in Infinity War!  How dare I?  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  King Cobra is ostensibly built on the Bucky Cap base, but the only parts he actually shares with Bucky Cap are his pelvis and his feet (Bucky Cap was wearing buccaneer boots, so the non-booted shins showed up later).  He gets the standard shins, plus Doctor Strange’s less muscled torso, Hob/Green Goblin’s scaly arms and legs, and Civil War Black Panther’s hands. On top of that, he gets a new head, cape, belt, and gauntlets to help complete his look.  It’s actually pretty amazing how well all those pieces mesh together to make this guy.  The new parts are fantastic on their own (I especially love that grin on his face), but they combine with all the re-used stuff and make for a figure that might as well be an all-new sculpt.  This is kind of the best you can hope for with this guy, and I commend Hasbro for the inventiveness when it comes to re-used parts, towing the line with new stuff.  Great middle ground.  The paint work on King Cobra is another strong point; the bright metallic green makes this figure really pop, and the purple offers a nice contrast.  Some of the application could be a tiny bit cleaner, but it’s still a lot better than what we were seeing in years past.  King Cobra’s only extra is the left arm of Thanos.  Nothing character specific.  While it’s not quite as frustrating here as it was with yesterday’s Iron Spider (due to this figure being larger, and Cobra having less obviously missing extras), it’s still a somewhat annoying trend of lacking accessories for this Series.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

King Cobra was one of the handful of figures I found all at once from this set.  I wasn’t really expecting a whole lot out of him, being only passingly familiar with the character.  He mostly got purchased for the Build-A-Figure piece.  I was pleasantly surprised, after opening the figures up, to find that he was actually my favorite of the lot.  The simplicity of the design, and the very well-planned re-use just make for a really strong figure of a classic look.

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#1650: Iron Spider

IRON SPIDER

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

Advanced technology and high-tech gear are signature marks of the web-slinging hero, Iron Spider.”

After being introduced during another big crisis-cross-over in Civil War, Spider-Man follows suit for his third MCU-appearance in Infinity War.  As he says himself in the film, it’s hard to be “Your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man” if there’s no “Friendly Neighborhood,” so saving the world is part of his game plan.  Also, selling toys, of course, because that’s what Spider-Man does.  There was some odd licensing stuff that kept Peter almost entirely out of the Civil War merch, but it seems that’s been sorted out for the go-round, if his Marvel Legend is anything to go by.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Iron Spider is figure 2 in the Thanos Series of Marvel Legends.  He’s the third of the directly Infinity War-based figures in this assortment.  As the name suggests, he’s wearing his second Stark-designed suit, which we got a preview of at the very end of Homecoming.  It gets brought out in full force for Infinity War, and barring a very brief sequence early on, it’s Peter’s primary look this time around.  It’s certainly less of a departure from his classic red-and-blues than the comics Iron Spidey was, which I’m okay with.  It actually seems to have gotten a fair bit of inspiration from Peter’s more recent Parker Industries-created armor.  The figure stands just shy of 6 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  While his sculpt is certainly very similar aesthetically to the Homecoming release, it’s definitely a brand new piece.  The texturing and detail work on the costume is all quite impressive.  It takes a lot of the dentils from the last figure, and sort of amps them up.  Apart from the obvious cosmetic changes for the costume’s details, the main difference between the two figures is how the arms are handled.  The kind of stubby shoulders and arms of the last figure were really my only complaint on that one, so the improved design here is a definite plus.  The paint on Iron Spider is quite clean, with sharp detailing, and no noticeable missing details.  I do wish it were more metallic; his suit from the movie was really, really shiny, and this one is a bit dull by comparison.  Given the CGI nature of the suit, I’d guess the duller colors come from Hasbro working from pre-film designs and what we saw at the end of Homecoming.  The biggest failing of this figure is, hands down, the accessory complement.  He’s got the left leg of Thanos, and that’s it.  No spider-arms like we saw in the film.  No unmasked Peter Parker head.  Not even extra hands, which the Homecoming release had.  Absolutely nothing character specific.  I get that he’s an all-new sculpt, but the lack of anything at all is a real blow to the figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Iron Spider is by far the most difficult to acquire figure in this set.  This surprised me, given the visual similarities between this figure and the one from Homecoming.  Of course, in retrospect, that figure was never super easy to find either, so I guess it makes sense.  After many times of finding the whole set sans just this guy, I finally did come across him at my closest Target, who had just put out their case.  This figure is frustrating, because he himself is quite a good figure, but his complete lack of accessories is really frustrating.

The Blaster In Question #0051: Star-Lord Assembler Gear

BlasterInQuestion1

STAR-LORD BLASTER

ASSEMBLER GEAR (INFINITY WAR)

assemblelord1Sometimes performance isn’t the end-all be-all for having a fun Nerf blaster.  If you’ve read some of my earlier posts, you may have seen a review I did way back in the way back for the Star-Lord Quad Blaster.  That’s a great example of fun despite pretty lackluster performance.  Well, today, I’m looking at yet another Star-Lord themed blaster, this time coinciding with the release of Marvel’s latest film, Infinity War.  Now I should warn you, I have seen the movie but I’ll try my best to stay away from spoilers.  Let’s get into it.

THE BLASTER ITSELF

assemblelord2Snape kills Dumbledore.  DAMMIT!  Sorry, I tried.  Anyways, the Star-Lord Assembler Gear blaster kit… thingy was released in 2018 alongside similar compatible kits themed around other characters like Iron Man, Captain America, and Bruce Willis who was a ghost the whole time.  GAHHH! Sorry, sorry.  The idea is that each kit comes with one core blaster component and then a bunch of other parts that can be attached in a number of different ways, kind of like the idea behind the Modulus series, but even crazier.  The blaster piece for the Star-Lord kit has 2 female barrel sockets, 2 male barrel sockets, 3 short little rails, and a rail clip on the bottom.  In addition, the two included extra parts each have a male and female barrel socket and rail and rail clip.  It’s rather a lot, to be honest but it does definitely lend itself to coming up with some pretty crazy combinations which is fun.  It is important to note that the barrel sockets on the Assembler Gear blasters are not compatible with regular Nerf barrel attachments.  It seems the extra parts aren’t really modeled after anything, just shaped vaguely like sci-fi blaster pieces. The core blaster is definitely intended to be modeled after assemblelord3Star-Lord’s signature blaster pistols from the films though it seems like they may have put the top on backwards as it slopes the wrong way.  This could have been an accident or could have been intentional for a number of reasons, but I can tell you it was not so they could fit halfway decent internals in this thing.  The mechanism that launches the dart out of the blaster is the bane of my existence as a Nerf fan.  I can only be talking about the dart flicker style of blaster like that in the Marvel’s Captain America Civil War Iron Man Stark Strike gauntlet blaster… from Hasbro that I looked at a few weeks ago.  I’ve already ranted on this subject before so I’ll spare you, good reader, this time, but it really is just terrible.  One potential argument you could make is that maybe a non-trash based mechanism would take too much space, to which I’d reply “Kevin Spacey is Keyser Soze.”  Then I’d go on to say that maybe scaling up the blaster as a whole wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world because as it is now, the ergonomics are atrocious.  I understand these are meant for children, but so was the Quad-Blaster and that was perfectly fine to hold.  This, on the other hand, is just not remotely comfortable.  A slightly larger blaster could mean a better grip and halfway decent internals, but sadly, it is not so.  Given the ergo and the performance, I feel justified saying it’s just not worth taking this blaster if you’re planning to bust into your younger siblings’ room and open fire.  Pick something else.  The Star-Lord Assembler Gear blaster kit comes with 2 attachments and 3 Star-Lord colored Elite Darts.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I picked this blaster up on a trip to a local TRU.  I don’t recall if this was before or after the whole going out of business thing took effect, but I had seen them online and was curious enough so I picked it up.  Having done so, I don’t think I can really recommend a blaster this uncomfortable to use with such pitiful performance.  Maybe that’s the point though.  Maybe it’s meant to make you feel like Star-Lord.  Just get your biggest friend to hot glue some Jolly Ranchers to their hand and tell them to start punching as hard as they can while you try and keep them away by shooting.  I don’t see how this could possibly go wrong.

On a side note, I’m pleased to announce that after their hiatus, the fine folks at Timsical Thoughts have partnered with The Blaster In Question to bring you some degree of “content.”  I know the guy who runs the site personally and he’s just great so feel free to check that out.

#1649: Proxima Midnight

PROXIMA MIDNIGHT

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

A lieutenant of the Black Order, Proxima Midnight serves Thanos in his quest for power.”

Okay, so I’ve actually seen Infinity War now.  And that’s all I’ve got to say about that.  No, really, I can’t actually discuss beyond that for fear of spoiling…everything.  If you haven’t yet seen it, please do so immediately.

Infinity War was largely built on assembling all of our favorite heroes, but it did have a few new faces, most of them as part of Thanos’ support team, The Black Order.  The Black Order are a new addition in the comics, showing up during the 2014 Infinity event.  They’re sort of Thanos’s equivalent to Apocalypse’s Four Horsemen.  So far, only one of them’s gotten the Legends treatment, and it’s Proxima Midnight, who I’ll be looking at today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Proxima Midnight is figure 3 in the Thanos Series of Marvel Legends.  She’s the second of the specifically movie-based figures in the assortment and the first of the Black Order to join the line (Cull Obsidian will be joining her in the next assortment).  The figure stands 7 1/4 inches tall and she has 29 points of articulation.  She’s not quite as mobile as some of the others in this set, but she’s still pretty posable, certainly posable enough to mimic the character from the movie.  Proxima’s film design isn’t too far removed from her comics design.  All the basic design elements are the same; the movie design removes some of the more stereotypically “comic super villain” elements, while also adding some more texturing and such.  I like the head gear from the comics design a little bit more, but I do think the movie made the overall thing a little more visually interesting.  Proxima gets a brand-new sculpt, and while I do like it overall, I do have to admit, she feels a little bit like a step back compared to some of the more recent MCU offerings.  Comparing her to the Guardians Vol. 2 offerings, some of the details feel a little soft, and the articulation isn’t quite as well worked-in.  Still a solid sculpt, just not quite as good as the phenomenal work Hasbro was putting out last year.  Proxima’s paintwork is fairly decent.  The application is all pretty clean, and the colors match up well with what we see of her on-screen.  She doesn’t have the printed face like the more human characters, but given her CGI creation in the film, this doesn’t exactly rob her of her realism.   Proxima is packed with her spear (perfect for being caught by Captain America) and the torso of Thanos.  Given she’s the largest single-packed figure in the set, it’s actually quite impressive she comes with the biggest piece  of Thanos, and it means her box is rather on the hefty side.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

After getting Cap from Super Awesome Girlfriend, I began my hunt for the rest of the series.  I actually didn’t have to search for long, and ended up coming across most of the set while running an errand at Walmart.  I wasn’t certain about picking her up, but finding them mostly in one go got me sort of pumped, so home with me she came.  She’s alright.  More consistent than Cap, though perhaps not quite as exciting or fun.  I think she’ll standout better once we have more of the Black Order.

FiQ Friday Fab Five at 5 #0004: Top 5 Iron Man Figures

Hey there FiQ Fans!  We’re at the final Friday of April, and that means it’s time for our fourth installment of the FiQ Friday Fab Five @ 5!  In honor of the theatrical release of Infinity War, I’ll be taking a look at the top five Iron Man action figures!

#5:      Invincible Iron Man – Marvel Legends (Hasbro)

Starting off more on the modern end of things, Hasbro’s version of Iron Man’s newest armor is one of their most fun variants of the character.  The design transfers well to the new Legends style, and he’s got a fun set of extras packed-in that really add a lot of value.

#4:      Modular Iron Man – Iron Man (Toy Biz)

The “standard” Iron Man of Toy Biz’s ‘90s cartoon tie-in line, who makes use of the then current Modular armor.  The concept for this line is perhaps a little dated years later, but the figures still have a lot of charm.

#3:      Classic Iron Man – Marvel Legends (Toy Biz)

The high point of Marvel Legends‘ first series, and, amazingly enough, one of only two classic Iron Men that Toy Biz put out during their lengthy tenure with the Marvel license.  Like all early Legends, he shows his age, but he’s still very impressive for what he is.

#2:      Iron Man – Marvel Minimates (Diamond Select Toys)

A lot of firsts on this list.  This is one of them.  Iron Man’s first Minimate really nailed the classic armor’s style, and apart from those old-style feet, he still holds up well even now.

#1:      Iron Man World’s Greatest Super Heroes (Mego)

It’s hard to beat the classics, and it’s hard to forget your first.  Iron Man’s first action figure came at the hands of Mego’s World’s Greatest Super Heroes.  Yeah, the nose is goofy (though not inaccurate; Tony’s armor had the nose for a short period of time), but this was really one of Mego’s crown jewels.

(Photo courtesy of Mego Museum; my figure’s in slightly ratty shape)

#1648: Captain America

CAPTAIN AMERICA

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

From the streets of Brooklyn to the intergalactic stage, Steve Rogers defends justice as Captain America.”

Infinity War is here!  Yes, the movie 10 years in the making has arrived.  By the time you, dear readers, read this review, I will have already seen the film, but I’m writing this one in advance.  So, no spoilers or anything to worry about here!  Anyway, I’ve actually managed to track down the last few missing figures from the first assortment of Infinity War-themed Marvel Legends, so, over the course of the next week, I’ll be taking a look at all of those.  Up first, Steve Rogers, the former Captain America!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Captain America is the first figure in the Thanos Series of Marvel Legends.  He’s the first of the four IW-based figures in the series (five if you count the Build-A-Figure), and, like his basic-line counterpart, he’s based on Cap’s “new” Nomad look.  Well, mostly, anyway.  I’ll get to that in a bit.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  This guy gets an all-new sculpt, which is definitely a positive.  That Winter Soldier mold was great for its time, but was starting to look a little dated.  This figure’s the same height as that one, but he’s been bulked up a little bit more, which prevents him from looking quite as shrimpy as the prior figure.  Overall, I like this new sculpt for this costume, and I’m hopeful that the 10th Anniversary two-pack Cap from later this year will be making liberal use of these pieces.  I do have some slight issues, mostly to do with the IW-specific pieces, and some questionable accuracy.  The first is the head.  By far, it’s the best Evans likeness we’ve gotten from Hasbro yet, and the face in particular is quite well detailed.  The issue lies with the hair, a separate, and going by what we’ve seen in the trailers, rather inaccurate piece. It looks to be the same styling he had in Civil War, when it really should be much longer.  Maybe he gets an important haircut in the film?  I don’t know, but I think it’s more likely Hasbro made a mistake.  Time will tell.  Another slight oddity to the sculpt?  The glove, or should I say lack of glove, on his right hand.  In all the trailers, he’s quite clearly got them on both hands, but this figure’s pulling a Luke Skywalker.  Again, maybe this is to do with something that happens in the film, but it certainly looks off.  His paintwork is overall pretty decently handled.  The uniform is appropriately dingy and dirty, but the application is still clean.  The face uses the face printing technique, and it’s okay, but on my figure it does seem to be a little slight bit off.  Not terrible, though.  Cap is packed with one of his new shields, a pair of fists to swap out for the hands he’s packaged wearing, and the head of Thanos.  Like the basic figure, just the one shield, despite him having two in the trailers, but it’s at least a well-detailed piece.  The hands run into another issue of accuracy.  They’re now *both* ungloved.  Not an issue for his right hand, but since the left forearm has the cuff from his glove sculpted on it, it looks a little odd with the spare hand in place.  Another rather odd choice.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Cap was the first of these figures I was able to track down.  He showed up at Super Awesome Girlfriend’s work, so she grabbed him for me.  He’s not a bad figure, but I will admit to being a little bit let down by him.  Maybe my opinion will change after I’ve seen the movie, and maybe some of Hasbro’s choices will make more sense.  As it stands, he’s certainly far from awful, but I think the basic figure is a bit more faithful to the film.

#1647: Colonel James Cameron

COLONEL JAMES CAMERON

ALIENS (NECA)

Okay, so Avengers: Infinity War starts hitting US theatres today, but I’m taking a one-day reprieve from the Avengers stuff to celebrate today’s other notable thing:  it’s Alien Day again!  And I actually remembered to set aside an Aliens-related item for this year.  Of course, the focus of this review, a figure based on Aliens director James Cameron, is rather amusing in light of Cameron’s comments in the last week about hoping for audiences to get “Avengers fatigue” so that we can back to creating new sci-fi ideas.  You know, like those 5 Avatar sequels we’ve all really been clamoring for.  That’s what the people want.  I wonder how he’d feel about his action figure being smack dab in between Avengers figures.  Well, he’d have to read the site for that to apply.  Odds of that seem low.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Colonel Cameron was a Toys R Us-exclusive figure, released as part of NECA’s running 30th Anniversary assortment of their Aliens line.  He started cropping up in stores towards the end of last year/early this year.  As with Sgt. Windrix, Cameron doesn’t represent a character actually from Aliens, but is more of a concept figure instead.  The figure stands 7 inches tall and he has 28 points of articulation.  He uses the long-sleeved Marine body we’ve seen on both Windrix and Frost.  It’s still a very strong sculpt, even five years after its introduction into the line, and I can’t really see any improvements on it at this point.  It remains one of NECA’s strongest sculpts, so their desire to get as much mileage out of it as possible is pretty sensible.  Cameron gets a new head sculpt, which is sporting a pretty darn fantastic likeness of Cameron circa 1986.  The details are sharp, and it’s well-fitted to the base body.  He’ll fit right in with the rest of the crew.  Colonel Cameron’s paint work is on par with what we’ve been seeing on the more recent offerings from this line.  Application is cleaner than most of the line’s earliest offerings, and he makes use of the molded skin-tone plastic, which helps him look more lifelike.  The detailing on the armor matches up with the other Marines, but Cameron has his own unique graffiti-ing.  It’s really just a planet on his backplate.  I might have liked a little bit more personality, but this is a fun touch, and it’s certainly better than nothing at all.  Cameron’s accessories are his most impressive aspect.  The re-used compliment includes the standard issue M41A pulse rifle, the handgun included with Frost, and a motion tracker.  Figure-specific, there’s a clapboard (which admittedly doesn’t make much sense in-universe, but it’s cool nonetheless) and the viewfinder Cameron used when scouting locations.  A lot of fun pieces in there, which show a real commitment to making this release stand out from the standard-issue figures.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Obviously, the odds of me missing a figure like this were always going to be slim.  That being said, I did see him a couple of times in the store before I finally got around to picking him up.  It was ultimately the announcement of Toys R Us’ planned closure that pushed me to pick him up, since I definitely didn’t want to miss out.  He’s another top-notch figure from NECA, and a fantastic addition to the line.  Happy to have the chance to add him to my collection.

#1646: Vision & Scarlet Witch

VISION & SCARLET WITCH

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Both empowered by the Mind Stone, Vision and Scarlet Witch are powerful forces in the throes of battle.”

Avengers: Infinity War is almost upon us, which is pretty darn exciting.  There’s a metric ton of product out there for it right now, including the largest movie compliment of Marvel Legends Hasbro’s done yet.  When Age of Ultron came out, the MCU-Legends were still on the slow rise at retail.  This meant that it was tricky enough just to get the core Avengers all represented, so there was certainly no space for the team’s new recruits from the movie.  Scarlet Witch found her way into the Civil War assortments, but poor Vision’s been up in the air for three years.  Can I get a “finally”?

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

When is an exclusive not an exclusive?  When the company that paid for it goes out of business.  Yes, this pair was supposed to be the first of a large number of Toys R Us-exclusive Marvel Legends two-packs planned for this year.  Because of Infinity War’s release date, this set was already produced and some of it had made its way to TRU’s warehouses prior to their announcement of liquidation.  They’re keeping what they already had, but anything not already in their possession is going to be distributed through online retailers later this year.

VISION

Vision is very obviously this set’s star, and looks set to play quite a pivotal role in Infinity War, what with possessing one of the Infinity Stones and all.  His design has remained consistent through all three of his MCU appearances so far, so this figure has an easy time of picking an appropriate look.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Okay, so first minor complaint about the figure: his height.  Bettany is 6’3”.  On a strict 1:12 scale, the figure’s height is fine, but Legends hasn’t really ever been on a strict 1:12 scale.  Bettany is the same height as Chris Hemsworth, and while the Thor figures have a tendency to slightly over-state Hemsworth’s height, I feel Vision should be at least a little taller, so as to not be totally dwarfed by Thor.  Moving past that, it’s worth noting that this figure is sporting a brand-new sculpt.  I have a few minor nit-picks, mostly having to do with him seeming a bit too skinny.  That said, the overall quality is pretty top-notch.  The likeness on the head bears a decent resemblance to Bettany, and the texture work all throughout the body is definitely impressive.  He’s certainly on par with the recent kick of very strong MCU sculpts.  Even the cape has a nice flow about it, and captures the intricate nature of the design from the films.  Vision’s paintwork is pretty decent.  The metallic colors are fun, and he uses the same face printing technique as the others for his eyes.  His cape is a slight letdown; the semi-translucent effect is nice, but rather than fully detailing the back of the cape like in the movie, he’s just got several streaks of metallic pink going down the back.  It gets the general effect alright, but it does rob the sculpt of some of its impact.  Vision’s packed with two sets of hands.  The standard ones are in open gestures, which feel very true to the character, and there’s also a pair of fists.  You know, for punchin’.

SCARLET WITCH

Scarlet Witch’s design has only changed minimally since Civil War, so it follows that this figure is mostly just a retread of that one.  It’s the same exact sculpt, which is fine by me, since that sculpt was a favorite of mine.  It still holds up well two years after its release.  The figure gets a new paint scheme, detailing her lighter hair color from this film, as well as upgrading her to the new face printing tech, which has improved her likeness to an amazing level I didn’t realize was possible.  I thought the Civil War release was pretty solid at the time when it hit, but this release makes that one look kinda goofy.  This figure also ditches the effects pieces form the last version, and adds in a new set.  I thought the old effects pieces were by far the weak point of the last figure, so the new pieces are a very welcome addition.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve been wanting Vision since 2015, so I was happy to hear he’d be getting a figure courtesy of Infinity War.  I was less happy to hear it would be a TRU exclusive, and even less so when they announced the impending closures.  I initially thought I might be missing this set, but then when Entertainment Earth put it up for pre-order, I planned to just wait to get it from them.  Then TRU started clearing out their warehouses, and I walked in one day to find a case of this set sitting on the shelf.  That was most definitely a pleasant surprise.  If only I’d had more experiences like that *before* they were going under.  Vision isn’t a perfect figure, but he’s a very, very good one, and an awesome addition to my collection.  Scarlet Witch takes a figure I already loved and makes it bafflingly better than it was before.  This is a fantastic set, and I hope everyone who wants one can get one.

#1645: Hiding Scooby-Doo & Funland Robot

HIDING SCOOBY-DOO & FUNLAND ROBOT

SCOOBY-DOO! (IMAGINEXT)

“Why is Scooby-Doo hiding in a trash can?  Because everything in the theme park is mysteriously running by itself!  But that’s not all that sends Scooby running—a mysterious robot is chasing him!”

I don’t have a huge collection of Scooby-Doo figures (though it’s actually increased by 400% in the last two years, if you’re keeping track).  For the longest time, my entire collection was made up of two figures.  One of them was Fred, my favorite member of the Scooby Gang.  The other was Charlie, the Funland Robot, by far my favorite “monster” (though it’s a loose use of the term).  I know, what a shock; Ethan likes the robot.  Crazy.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

This pair is one of three two-packs in the 2018 assortment of the Imaginext Scooby-Doo! line.  Each two-pack is one member of the gang and one monster.  This one’s a solid pairing, giving us the Funland Robot alongside a hiding Scooby-Doo seen in the Funland Robot’s episode “Foul Play in Funland.” (okay, technically Scooby’s hiding in a barrel, not a trash can, in that episode, but it’s close enough).

HIDING SCOOBY-DOO

Admittedly, this Scooby variant is less of a figure in its own right and more a glorified accessory to the other figure.  But, it’s billed as a separate figure on the package, so I’ll count it the way they want me to.  I’m nice like that.  The figure stands just shy of 3 1/2 inches tall.  He’s got no actual articulation, but he does have a spring-loaded action feature that pops his head and feet out of the trash can.  It’s pretty nifty, I suppose.  Scooby’s sculpt is unique, rather unsurprisingly.  The trash can is basic in details, but has a few more in-depth areas of dents and dings.  The button that activates the action feature is rather obvious, but it’s small enough not to ruin the whole effect.  The lid and top of the can are slightly bent, so that when the head is fully retracted, you can still see Scooby’s eyes peering through.  The actual Scooby parts are fairly standard, rather un-stylized for the line, truth be told.  He lines up pretty well with the standard Scooby figure I looked at earlier this year.  Paint is largely minimal on this particular figure; it’s just on the eyes and nose.  Everything else is just done up in the proper colors.  The grey on the trash can is a little bland, but it’s not terrible.

FUNLAND ROBOT

The main star here is definitely this guy.  The Funland Robot’s a distinctive looking character from the show, who’s sadly lacking in toys when you really get down to it.  The figure stands 2 3/4 inches tall and he has 8 points of articulation.  His movement is the same basic set-up as the other Imaginext figures I’ve  looked at.  It’s pretty solid for the size and style.  His sculpt is unique to him, and it does a good job of capturing his in-show design and translating it into the style of the toyline.  He’s a design that certainly works quite well in this particular style, and I appreciate the small touches, such as the small wrinkles at the base of his pants legs.  Like Scooby, the Funland Robot’s paint is fairly minimal.  The majority of the colors are molded plastic, and tend to work pretty well.  Like the older figure I looked at, his torso is a pink color, rather than the indigo shade from the show.  I’d say it’s a licensing thing.  The actual paint on the face is pretty clean, and captures the character’s likeness, with a fun bit of stylization thrown in for good measure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

My Imaginext purchases are rather sparse.  My Scooby-Doo purchases are also pretty sparse.  So, how did I come upon this set?  Well, I’ve been frequenting my closest TRU on a rather frequent basis, keeping an eye out for all the new stuff coming in from the warehouses.  My TRU has become a bit of a war zone, if I’m honest, with stuff just strewn all over the place.  I found this set sitting in the Marvel aisle of all places.  I didn’t know it existed, but I couldn’t bring myself to turn down a Funland Robot figure.

#1644: Crimson Dynamo

CRIMSON DYNAMO

IRON MAN (TOY BIZ)

“As the United States had its armored champion in Iron Man, so did the former Soviet Union have their own crusader — the Crimson Dynamo! His first mission was to destroy the symbol of Western democracy — Iron Man — a mission which led to the first of many defeats for the Dynamo. As the Cold War came to a close, so did their animosity; now these uneasy allies focus their combined might against such foes as Fin Fang Foom and Titanium Man!”

The biggest problem faced by the ‘90s Iron Man toyline was Iron Man’s overall lack of a really strong rogue’s gallery.  I mean, he’s got Mandarin, and….alcohol?  That’s hard to do in a toyline, though.  Another good, solid Iron Man foe (and my personal favorite) is Crimson Dynamo.  Unfortunately, Dynamo wasn’t very prominent in the cartoon that the toyline was based on, so it took a few assortments.  Still, at least he got a figure.  Living Laser was on the show a couple of times, and he never did…

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Crimson Dynamo was released in Series 4 of Toy Biz’s Iron Man line, as the assortment’s only villain.  The figure stands 5 inches tall and he has 9 points of articulation.  This figure uses Dynamo’s armor design from the Valentin Shatalov incarnation of the character, which was the most recent version  of the character at the time of this figure’s release.  It’s got a lot more silver than most Dynamo designs (the cartoon even recolored the whole thing red to keep him consistent with other versions), and is a but thinner, making it much more similar to an Iron Man design.  Personally, I’d have preferred one of the earlier models, but I think it’s fair to say this version worked a bit better with the overall style of the line.  As with all of the Iron Men and War Machines of this line, Crimson Dynamo’s fished look is completed using a base figure with a bunch of clip-on armor pieces.  Dynamo had 9 clip-on pieces, for his chest plate, back plate, gauntlets, belt, boots, and helmet horns.  What’s that you say?  You don’t see any horns on his helmet?  Yep, mine’s missing his.  I’d have borrowed them from my dad’s figure, but his is missing them too.  They have a tendency to go missing.  Why they didn’t just make them a permanent fixture of the head is anyone’s guess.  I can’t imagine why someone would want him without them.  The rest of the armor is cool enough, though I’m not a huge fan of how the boots work, since they make posing the figure a bit difficult.  Another major issue with the figure’s design is linked to his action feature, which launches a missile from the middle of the figure’s torso, resulting in a big hole in the middle of his chest.  Another item that harms the integrity of the figure’s appearance for essentially no good reason.  On the plus side, the paint’s decent enough.  Moderate slop on the edges of the silver, but nothing too terrible.  Beyond the clip-on armor, Dynamo also included a flame-styled projectile, meant to go in that big gaping hole int he torso.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I believe Dynamo was a gift, possibly for Christmas.  I definitely remember getting one of the other Series 4 figures for Christmas that year, so I think Dynamo was part of the same set of gifts.  Honestly, Dynamo is one of the line’s weaker entries.  Off costume choice, and a number of very strange design choices in the actual implementation of the figure.  He’s hardly a bad figure, but he’s still a rather frustrating one.