The Blaster In Question #0068: First Order Stormtrooper Blaster (Rival)

BlasterInQuestion1

FIRST ORDER STORMTROOPER BLASTER

STAR WARS (RIVAL)

RivalStorm1Hold on. We’ve been here several times before, haven’t we?  No, once again, we’re looking at yet another First Order Stormtrooper blaster. What is this, the fourth blaster with this name?  Yes, but with a big difference. Hitherto, all the various Stormtrooper blasters have been standard dart blasters, but this particular iteration is in fact, a Rival blaster. How’s that work then? Let me tell you. Onto the review. 

THE BLASTER ITSELF

RivalStorm2Arent you a little big for a stormtrooper blaster? Not you, the reader, was doing a bit where I—  you know, because of the quote from— look, nevermind.  The Rival version of the First Order Stormtrooper blaster was released in 2018 as one of the more “collector’s” style of blaster like we’ve seen with the Boba Fett Apollo reskin and the Deadpool Kronos. Like both previous examples, this blaster comes in a fancy display style of box with lots of stormtrooper imagery, as you’d expect. Unlike the other blasters, though, this isn’t simply a recolor, it’s an entirely new shell, and boy is it a shell. Mechanically speaking, the Stormtrooper blaster works just like the Helios, albeit without the ability to switch the charging handle from one side to the other. Because of this, the body of the blaster has to accommodate the same layout of internals, which is why the stock section looks a little chunky compared to props from the movies. Add to that the barrel and fore grip section which isn’t present on the Helios and you now have a pretty huge blaster.  Not that that’s a bad thing in and of itself, but it does throw a couple RivalStorm3things off just a bit in terms of the design. More of that later. Out of the box, the blaster comes with 2 extra bits that are meant to be slotted into the right side in order to make it more visually accurate to the movie prop. They don’t serve any function beyond aesthetics but I did find it interesting that they are easily removable, I guess if you want to put everything back in the nice display box. There is a scope molded into the body of the blaster so it’s not removable, but it might have been nice if they put any kind of reticle in there at all. As it stands, it’s just a tube. The aforementioned wonkiness in scale probably has the greatest impact on ergonomics. The first thing you notice when picking this up is that the grip is absolutely huge and kind of blocky. I know the Sterling submachine gun has a grip with flat sides, and consequently, so does the movie prop on which it’s built, but some contouring around where the webbing of my thumb sits would have made a big difference here, especially since the Helios has just such contouring, so it’s not an issue for RivalStorm4preserving the function of the blaster. Secondly, because the stock is so thick, the butt plate is much wider than it would be normally. Again, wouldn’t have been an issue with some light contour work, but for now, the wide plate with hard edges along the sides can be unpleasant if you don’t seat it just right on your shoulder. And that’s really all the functional complaints I have about this. I mean, it’s a Helios and I love the Helios. The charging handle on the left side is hinged so it can flip up to be more out of the way for storage or what have you, and is a pretty good shape for being as slim as it is. As a Rival blaster, performance is solid, firing hard and far, definitely something to give your younger siblings pause. The First Order Stormtrooper Blaster comes packaged in its fancy box with the two extra decorative pieces, a 7 round Rival magazine, and 7 special red Rival rounds, you know, ‘cause it’s a laser gun. 

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION 

I do actually have one more complaint about the blaster, but I saw this one coming the moment I saw it unveiled at Toy Fair. It’s expensive. Really expensive. Such is always the case with licensed blasters. If you want a Helios, you can get one for about 1/4 the price of this. I got mine through GameStop with a bit of a discount, but still, you have to be sure you want this if you’re planning on picking one up. Maybe if you’re feeling crafty, you could paint the white parts gold and have yourself a Captain Phasma blaster. Then in true movie fashion you could never fire it once and then try to apprehend a deserter with a stick. Good choiceRivalStormbox

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#1804: Hulkbuster & Corvus Glaive

 

HULKBUSTER & CORVUS GLAIVE

MARVEL MINIMATES

Hulkbuster and Corvus Glaive would both make for pretty sick band names, wouldn’t they?  Sorry, no pithy intro here; that’s really all I got…

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Hulkbuster and Corvus Glaive are part of the second assortment of Infinity War-themed Marvel Minimates.  They’re the second of the two sets shared between specialty and Walgreens (and were originally supposed to be offered at Toys R Us).  It’s kind of an odd pairing, since I don’t know that these two ever interacted, but they were at least both part of the big final battle, so there’s that.

HULKBUSTER

What is a Hulkbuster with no Hulk to bust?  Well, if we’re going by Infinity War rules, it’s a pretty decent Hulk stand-in, actually.  Who’d have guessed?  Yes, after the slight misdirect all of the merchandise gave us by including the almost entirely absent Hulk in the early assortments of just about every tie-in, we finally got some follow-up with the Hulkbuster, Banner’s far more prominent look.  This is our seventh time getting some variation of the Hulkbuster in Minimate form, and in fact our second time seeing Banner in the suit.  The Hulkbuster armor uses 11 add-on pieces.  Since the ‘buster’s design has had an overhaul since we last saw it in Age of Ultron, it gets a number of new parts.  In fact the only parts shared between this figure and that one are the hands and the torso extender (well, and the basic Minimate body, but that’s kind of a given).  The torso and feet are brand new parts, and he also uses standard power-house pieces for his upper arms and legs, as well as a blank slip cover mask for the helmet.  The new pieces are great; they really add some bulk to the figure, and are filled with tons of great little details from the screen.  The power-house pieces work well in conjunction with these new parts, adding some decent bulk to largely unseen areas that don’t need quite as much extra detail.  The mask…I’m not sure about the mask.  It’s hardly the first time we’ve seen an Iron Man helmet handled this way (in fact, Infinity War‘s own Mark 50 uses the same basic style), but it does make the figure look a little off when placed next to the AoU variant.  Of course, this one also loses that one’s neck seam, and actually has a posable head, so you win some and you lose some.  The Hulkbuster’s paint is pretty decent.  The red and gold are a little brighter than prior Iron Men, and therefore a little more eye-catching.  The last Hulkbuster was far more reliant on sculpted elements to carry things, but this one is more willing to fall back on painted detail lines, which I do think helps him look a little sharper, and more defined.  Under the mask is a Bruce Banner face; It doesn’t dethrone the Ragnarok version as the definitive likeness, but at least it’s actually the right person in the armor.  Unlike prior ‘bustersthis one doesn’t feature any sort of detailing on the torso, but since Bruce isn’t wearing another suit of armor like Tony, I guess there wouldn’t be much to detail.  A dirty t-shirt maybe?  Yeah, I think DST can be forgiven for leaving it blank. The figure includes two accessories.  The first is a spare hair piece, allowing for an unhelmeted Banner to be displayed.  The piece looks familiar, so I think it might be a re-use, but it’s curiously not the same piece from the Ragnarok set.  The Hulkbuster also includes a standard clear display stand, for all your clear displaying needs.

CORVUS GLAIVE

Perhaps the least developed of the Black Order, Glaive’s main character trait seems to be “gets knocked down a lot.”  Nevertheless, the guy’s still got a really cool name, and a pretty solid design, so I like him.  Plus, it’s not like you can only make part of the Black Order and not the rest.  Right, Hasbro? Corvus is built using three add-on pieces on the standard body.  He’s got his headgear/ears, shoulder decoration, and loincloth/belt.  All three of these pieces are new to this figure, and they’re pretty decently sculpted, if perhaps a bit soft in some spots.  The torso piece seems to get the worst of the softness, and I’d say it at least partly is due to lack of reference material. The rest of the detailing is handled via paint, and it’s overall pretty decent work.  It’s perhaps not the most thrilling color palette, but the detail lines are all pretty sharp.  I think his face is the weakest part of the figure.  Corvus’s face is thin, angular, and very pointy, which are all the things a Minimate’s head is *not*, so his face ends up looking a bit nondescript.  He just looks like a fairly average guy who’d generally prefer not to hear about his co-worker’s vacation.  Doesn’t exactly ooze intimidation. Corvus is, unsurprisingly, packed with his glaive. It’s a solid recreation of the design from the movie, and he can hold it well enough, for a Minimate weapon, anyway.  He also includes a clear display stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Since Walgreens was kind of slow getting this assortment out, I grabbed these from Cosmic Comix when they came in.  The AoU Hulkbuster was kind of the star of those tie-in waves, so this one has some big shoes to fill.  While the differences in design and approach make it difficult to outright compare the two, I feel that this one is still a pretty admirable addition to the collection. The Black Order are actually the only “new” offerings from the Infinity War assortments, so in that way Corvus is sort of this set’s draw.  However, his design isn’t particularly minimate-friendly, and the end result is a kind of bland offering.  Not terrible, but just sort of “meh.”

#1803: Sauron

SAURON

MARVEL LEGENDS

Despite being a classic foe of one of Marvel’s biggest super hero teams, Sauron is pretty sparse in the world of toys.  He’s had three to date, and one of those wasn’t even technically a figure of him.  I’ve actually already looked at two of those three, just in the last year, in fact, and I’ll be looking at the newest addition today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Sauron—or should I say Dr. Karl Lykos (Marvel’s Sauron), as he is fully named on the box—is the Build-A-Figure for the second Deadpool-themed series of Marvel Legends.  I don’t know that Sauron and Deadpool have aver had any notable interactions, but if it gets me a Sauron figure, I’m certainly not going to complain.  The figure is 7 1/2 inches tall with a 12 inch wing-span, and he has 33 points of articulation.  There’s a lot of very unique types of articulation, especially within the torso, where a combination of ball-joints gives him a very wide range of very smooth movement.  He’s also got an articulated jaw, just like the old 5-inch figure.  Sauron is sporting an all-new sculpt, and what a beauty it is.  There’s amazing texture work all throughout it, detailing his craggly reptilian skin quite nicely.  He’s quite accurate to what we tend to see of Sauron in the comics, but it’s got this nice real-life feel to him as well.  It’s the kind of detail work that really calls back to when Toy Biz was doing figures like Man-Thing, and that’s a definite plus.  It’s great to see that Hasbro can pull off this sort of work when they put the effort in.  But of course, even the best sculpt can be marred by a sub-par paint job.  Fortunately for Sauron, he gets one of Hasbro’s best offerings in this arena.  His skin features some quite subtle highlight work, which helps to keep him from looking too bland with all those large patches of the same color.  The paint also properly lines up with all of the sculpted details, including the various pouches on his belt, and all of his teeth.  No missed applications here, which is always quite nice to see.  His wings are molded in a partially translucent plastic, giving them the proper stretched skin appearance.  There’s quite a nice fade-in front he solid green to the translucent, which helps to really sell it all as one thing.  Sauron has no accessories, but given the size of the sculpt including the wings and such, it’s definitely acceptable.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Being only a moderate fan of Deadpool, I wasn’t really sold on this whole second series of figures, but as soon as Sauron was shown off, I knew I wanted to build him somehow.  Fortunately, Max from All Time was really only interested in the Deadpool figures, so we were able to split a set, and I got myself a Sauron.  And boy am I glad I did, because he’s easily one of the best things Hasbro’s every offered from their Legends line.  He’s really, really well done, and a fantastic offering for a character that’s not likely to see another release any time soon.

#1802: Deadpool

DEADPOOL

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“So I didn’t make the cut for the school super-mutant team — so what?  I’m my own yellow-clad, spandex-wearing, most popular-girl-in-school cheerleader.  My mom would be so proud.”

Why settle for just one Deadpool variant when you could just as easily have two?  That would be totally ridiculous…again…man, I gotta work on diversifying my phrasing.  Or get way worse at it and just start actually repeating reviews in their entirety.  Admittedly, that second one would be way easier on me…which is why I totally am going with that first one, because why would I go with the easier thing?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Deadpool is figure 2 in the Sauron Series of Marvel Legends.  Numerically, he’s the first of the two Deadpool variants.  He’s based on one of the handful of times that Deadpool was attempting to join the X-Men by way of showing up in one of their uniforms.  This one’s kind of at the mid point between the not all that comical variation of Cyclops’ Astonishing suit and the really quite ridiculous short-skirted Marvel Girl costume.  It’s a fairly distinctive look, and it’s also not too far removed from the X-jersey look he sports for part of Deadpool 2’s run-time.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  This variation of Deadpool follows the model of the First Appearance Deadpool from the last series, putting Wade on the 2099 body.  It’s actually a pretty reasonable choice for him, and it’s honestly a shame they couldn’t have just been building him on this body from the beginning.  Those butterfly joints definitely come in handy for him.  He gets the head and shoulder harness from the Juggernaut Deadpool, the belt from the X-Force Deadpool, and the wrist and leg straps from the Jim Lee Cyclops.  It’s overall a decent selection of pieces, and they work well enough, but there are some slight compatibility issues, since all of the pieces were originally intended for the Bucky Cap body, and the fit isn’t quite the same.  The head’s the biggest issue, since the necks between the two bodies are slightly different lengths, so it sits a little bit too high on the head.  What’s weird is that all of the prototype shots for this figure were using the 1st App head, which was actually sculpted for this body and as such would be a better fit.  Not sure why they made the change for production.  It’s not terrible, but it’s a little off.  This figure’s paintwork is pretty decent stuff overall.  He’s certainly bright and colorful and the application is all quite clean.  Deadpool is packed with a pair of katanas, a large rifle, and the head of Madcap.  The Madcap head is definitely the most intriguing…he’s quite a minor character and not one I ever imagined having a figure of.  Now we’ve just got…his head?  No body to go with it, but I guess it looks reasonable enough when placed on this body.  He’s also packed with the tail of the Sauron Build-A-Figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Of the two Deadpool variants in this series, this is admittedly the somewhat less exciting of the two, and in addition the one with the slightly lesser execution as well.  That being said, if you’re a Deadpool fan, this is certainly still a pretty solid figure, and feels like less of a waste than some of the major character variants we’ve gotten in the past.

Like casual Deadpool and Lady Deadpool before him, this figure belongs to my friend Max from All Time, with whom I split this case.  If you’d like one of your own, He’s still available through All Time’s store.  And if you’re interested in buying other Legends figures, or are looking for other cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.

#1801: Omega Red

OMEGA RED

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“A former Russian crime lord and agent, Arkady Rossovich is used in the Weapon X project, combining mutant abilities with weaponized cybernetic appendages.”

With the already sparse selection of X-themed Marvel Legends the last few years, it was hard enough to get members of the team proper, without even touching on their villainous foes.  Because of this, we’ve had a whole team of mutants all ganging up on poor Juggernaut for two years now.  Fortunately, this year’s been something of a godsend in that respect, with four X-baddies all coming in rather quick succession.  Today, I look at possibly the most minor, and certainly the most Russsian of the bunch, the Drago to Wolverine’s Rocky, Omega Red!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Omega Red is figure 1 in the Sauron Series of Marvel Legends.  While he’s never had any really close ties to Deadpool, they’re both products of the Weapon X program, and have been grouped together from time to time (including rather humorously in Hulk Vs Wolverine).  This is Red’s second time as a Legend; his first was back in 2005, during the Toy Biz days.  That one was pretty well regarded for the time, but almost 15 years later, it’s reasonable to give him an update.  The figure stands 7 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  While you might have been expecting him to be on the Hyperion body, he’s actually sporting an all-new base.  Size-wise, it’s a mid-point between the Hyperion and Colossus bodies, which seems a good fit for Red.  The coolest thing by far about this new base, though, are the butterfly joints for the shoulders.  These show up for Spidey and Wolverine, and it’s nice to see a larger character getting them as well.  Here’s hoping we get to see this body re-used again soon.  Omega Red includes more character-specific parts for his head, fore arms, and hands, as well as add-ons for his shoulderpads/belt, and knee pads.  The head is a rather perfect recreation of the over the top nonsense that is the classic Omega Red design.  Just look at that hair!  It’s so wacky, and so Omega Red.  The detailing is some of the best we’ve seen from Hasbro, and I really dig the angry-teeth-gritting expression.  His hands and forearms offer up his more armored attachments, and the hands are nice and expressive.  The shoulder pads mark a slight change for how Hasbro does things; rather than just hovering in place like prior figures, they actually have pegs that plug into the shoulders.  They’re still easily removable, but stay in place on the shoulder better than, say, Cyclops’ straps.  His paint work is bold, clean, and quite striking.  I dig the bright red quite a bit, and I much prefer the cleaner white on this figure to the murky grey-ish hue of the prior figure.  Red is packed with two different sets of his tentacles: one pair in a retracted fashion, the other in a more dynamic fashion, tailor-made for some action poses.  They swap out fairly easily, and seem pretty sturdy, so they hopefully won’t be drooping too much over time.  He’s also packed with the left leg of the Sauron Build-A-Figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve always had something of a soft spot for Omega Red as a character, but less of a soft spot for any of his figures.  They just always seem…off somehow.  But when I saw this one, I was definitely impressed, more so than I have been on prior figures.  There are a lot of strong figures in this assortment, but of the singles, I think Omega Red is the strongest.  The new base body is very well designed, and his character specific parts are just so nicely tailored to both the body and the character.  And he looks absolutely fantastic facing off against the brand-new tiger stripe Wolverine!

Omega Red was purchased from my friends at All Time Toys.  If you’re interested in purchasing other Legends figures, or are looking for other cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.

#1800: Lady Deadpool

LADY DEADPOOL

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Also known as Lady-D, Wanda Wilson suits up as Lady Deadpool and takes fighting the power to new heights…no really, look how high her ponytail is.”

In 2010, Deadpool was really hitting the height of his popularity.  And the best way to cash in on that sort of things is spin-offs, so we got the Deadpool Corps, a whole team of Deadpool offshoots.  Perhaps the most successful of the bunch was Wanda Wilson, better known as Lady Deadpool.  As such, it’s not a huge surprise that Wanda ended up as the first of them to get a Legends release as well!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Lady Deadpool is figure 4 in the Sauron Series of Marvel Legends.  Unlike the others, there’s no doubt whatsoever about her Deadpool ties.  Lady D was only really had the one look, a take on Wade’s standard costume from the time of her introduction.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and she has 27 points of articulation.  Lady D is using a body that’s a little bit Frankensteined.  She’s got the arms and legs of Phoenix, and the upper torso and feet of Dark Phoenix.  Not sure why that particular combo was chosen, but there it is.  If I’m honest, I think I’d have preferred a re-use of the recently introduced Psylocke body, since it’s got better motion on the arms, and the legs aren’t quite as skinny, but ultimately this works out pretty well for her.  There’s one minor flaw with this sample, though; she’s got two right feet!  They’re the flat-footed ones, so it was actually quite hard to tell until close examination.  And she’s an off-shoot of a Rob Leifeld character, so she’s really lucky to have any feet at all!  Lady D gets a new head, as well as add-ons for her harness, belt, and thigh pouches.  They’re all pretty nicely sculpted, and the head in particular is a very nice offering.  I like the slight dynamic flair to the hair, and the slightly askew nature of the eyes.  The add-on pieces are all decent as well, though, like with yesterday’s Bishop figure, I find myself wishing the thigh pouches were more fixed in place.  Unlike more recent Deadpools, Lady D’s wrist and ankle straps are painted, rather than sculpted.  Obviously, sculpted is always preferred, but if something was just going to be painted, these will do.  Speaking of paint, Lady D’s is pretty decent overall.  There are a few traces of slop on the edges of the black sections of her costume, but she’s otherwise quite clean, and she uses the same brighter red as the casual Deadpool.  Lady D is packed with a pair of katanas, though curiously she has nowhere to keep them when they aren’t in her hands.  The various Deadpools have all gotten sheaths on their backs for such things, so it’s off that Wanda didn’t.  On a more exciting front, she’s also packed with an extra head, but not just any extra head!  It’s Headpool, all that remains of the Deadpool from the Marvel Zombies universe, and a fellow member of the Deadpool Corps!  He’s actually pretty cool, with an articulated propeller on the top of his head, and a flight stand for easy display.  And, if you’re not into the whole disembodied thing, he can also be popped onto a standard DP body (the First Appearance figure from the last series would probably be the best match, but I don’t own that one, so he’s on the Marvel Now body in my shot).  Lastly, she includes the right leg of the Build-A-Figure Sauron.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Lady Deadpool, and the whole of the Deadpool Corps really, was introduced right around the time I hit my saturation point for all things Deadpool.  That being the case, I don’t have a huge attachment to the character.  That said, I do have attachments to good action figures, and Lady D is a pretty solid one.  Yes, I wish they’d used a slightly more posable body, and yes I wish they hadn’t skipped out on the sheaths for her swords, but the overall figure is good enough to outweigh those issues in my book.

Like the casual Deadpool figure, this one belongs to my friend Max from All Time, who I split the case with.  If you’d like one of your own, she’s still available through All Time’s store.  And if you’re interested in buying other Legends figures, or are looking for other cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.

#1799: Bishop

BISHOP

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“On the advice of his grandmother, Alpha-mutant Bishop seeks out the X-Men and uses energy conversion and concussive blasts to join the ranks of his heroes of legend.”

There was this recurring trend amongst the newly introduced X-characters of the ‘90s, where they’d take the powerset of a previous character from the franchise, slap a nonsensical name on them, and add “carries a large gun” to their description and bam, new character.  Don’t believe me?  Let’s look at today’s focus, Bishop.  Power set similar to ‘80s X-baddie Sebastian Shaw, but channeled largely through having a gun, and his name is a common place word that has nothing to do with anything about him.  Oh, and he was also from the future, just to throw more fuel on that ‘90s fire.  Of course, he does at the very least predate some of the ‘90s worst X-characters, so that means a good chunk of people out there are still pretty nostalgic about the guy, so hey, toys!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Bishop is figure 6 in the Sauron Series of Marvel Legends, a series that is supposedly Deadpool-themed.  Bishop’s really stretching that connection, and largely gets his spot here thanks to his connection to Cable, rather than Deadpool himself.  But who am I to complain about that?  This is Bishop’s second time as a Legend; the last was during the Toy Biz days.  I think it’s been long enough for a re-do.  Like that figure, Bishop is seen here in his garb from the ‘90s.  Sure, it’s dated as heck, and he’s had other, more reserved looks, but honestly, if you’re gonna do Bishop, you might as well do him right.  The figure stands 6 3/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Bishop is built on the Hyperion body.  It’s not a terrible choice for him; Bishop’s frequently depicted as around the same size as Cable, who was also on this body.  He’s also got that swanky neckerchief piece, which covers up the slightly odd shape of the upper torso, thereby removing my only real issue with this base.  In addition to the neckerchief, he also gets a brand new head, shoulder harness, belt, rolled up sleeves, and glove cuffs.  The head is definitely my favorite piece.  It’s spot-on for the character, horribly dated ‘90s hair and all.  The face is definitely giving me a Terry Crews vibe, which makes me a little sad he ended up playing Bedlam instead.  Of course, this could all be stemming from the Brooklyn 99 binge-watch I’m currently going through, so who knows.  The various add-on pieces make Bishop suitably different from the rest of the figures built on this body.  I will say, I’m really starting to wish Hasbro would actually glue some of these add-ons down.  His sleeves in particular pop out of place constantly.  It’s ultimately a minor complaint, though.  Bishop’s paintwork is bright, colorful, and clean, which are all my favorite things in a Legends paint job.  He definitely has some presence on the shelf.  Bishop is packed with a large shotgun and the right arm of the Build-A-Figure Sauron.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Bishop’s a character I run hot and cold with.  The character was a prominent feature in some of my least favorite episodes of The Animated Series, so I have sort of this lingering dislike of him in that respect.  That being said, he’s also in some episodes I didn’t hate, and I’ve got this whole ‘90s X-Men display going, so I didn’t really want to miss him, especially after getting that awesome Cable from the last series.  Once in-hand shots started appearing, I knew I’d be tracking him down.  He’s quite a good figure, and I think he’s a marked improvement over the old Toy Biz one.  There’s definitely a nice polish to this guy, and he looks fantastic alongside the rest of the team.

Bishop was purchased from my friends at All Time Toys.  If you’re interested in purchasing other Legends figures, or are looking for other cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.

#1798: Deadpool

DEADPOOL

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

 

“La-la-la-la—oh, hi there.  Been here long?  What’s this? What am I wearing?  Well, this pretty little number is a look I like to all “Deadpool and Chill.””

You can’t have a Deadpool themed set of Marvel Legends without Deadpool, can you?  Of course not!  That would be totally ridiculous!  So, let’s review this here Deadpool figure!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Deadpool is figure 1 in the Sauron Series of Marvel Legends.  He’s the first of the three specifically Deadpool-themed figures in this assortment.  He’s the third Deadpool figure released this year.  This figure’s look is quite a unique one; rather than just being a standard take or specific version of his costume, it’s a slight variation of a prior costume.  It takes his Marvel Now costume like we saw on the Juggernaut Series release, and makes Wade…a little more comfortable.  It’s a goofy, irreverent sort of look, which makes a ton of sense for a character like Deadpool, though it’s admittedly slightly unexpected to see a figure in his boxers on regular retail shelves.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches and he has 30 points of articulation.  Like the standard Marvel Now Deadpool and X-Force Deadpool, he’s built on the Bucky Cap body. He re-uses the forearms, hands, and belt from MN Deadpool, along with all-new pieces for the head, and lower half.  The new head has Wade’s mask pulled up to show his mouth and nose.  It matches up correctly with both the masked and unmasked heads from the last figure, which is certainly a plus.  The new lower section is definitely the star attraction here.  The detail work is definitely top-notch.  I particularly love the fuzzy slippers on his feet, especially the way he only has one sock on underneath of them.  That’s a fun little character touch.  The paint work on this figure is alright, though not without some issues.  The biggest issue is the slop on the edges of the black sections of his costume.  It makes him look rather messy and unprofessional as is, and its one of the sloppiest instances of paint I’ve seen on a Legend in a little while.  The other issue, which is an exceedingly minor one, is that his red is a completely different shade than the one used for the MN Deadpool.  If I’m honest, I’m more frustrated that Hasbro didn’t just use this color from the start than I am that they changed mid-run.  The big downside is that you can’t swap the heads between the two versions like I’d hoped you’d be able to.  Deadpool is packed with two different guns, which are the same ones included with Domino, but in black.  I like these guns well enough, though this does cause an issue with the re-used belt.  Since he doesn’t include the same pistol as the last time, there’s not actually a gun that fits in his holster, so it’s going to be permanently empty.  That kind of sucks.  He also includes the torso and head of the Sauron Build-A-Figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Obviously, there’s not much competing with the Juggernaut Series release for the role of definitive Deadpool, but with these specifically Deadpool-themed assortments, a Deadpool or two is needed.  I like that Hasbro’s going with the angle of amusing variants, rather than a bunch of boring minor variations.  There’s a lot of fun to be had with this figure.  Sure, he’s got some minor issues, but he’s enough fun that you don’t really notice.

This Deadpool figure isn’t actually mine; I split this set with my friend Max from over at All Time Toys.  He was kind enough to lend me his half of the set to review alongside my half.  If you’d like one of your own, he’s still available through All Time’s story.  If you’re interested in buying other Legends figures, or are looking for other cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.

The Blaster In Question #0067: Delta Trooper

BlasterInQuestion1

DELTA TROOPER

N-STRIKE ELITE

dtrooper1I’ve talked before about how much I appreciate Nerf’s willingness to update and improve on their designs over time.  It definitely makes me, the consumer, feel that they are trying to present me with the best possible product.  That is, assuming that each iteration is actually an improvement over the last.  One of the most pervasive designs is the Recon from way back in the days of regular N-Strike.  From the Recon, we then got the Retaliator and the Recon Mk2 (which itself had an updated version to fix some issues).  Now I’ll be looking at the latest model of this type of blaster, the Delta Trooper.

THE BLASTER ITSELF

dtrooper2The Delta Trooper was released in 2018 as part of the N-Strike Elite line and moved to fill the role of the Recon Mk2 as the newest version of the slide-primed magazine-fed configurable rifle/pistol thing.  You could be forgiven for thinking it should be an updated version of the Alpha Trooper, but not this time.  It functions exactly like any of its predecessors, but with a new style of magazine release, and more importantly, with slam-fire.  Slam-fire is always nice to see added as there’s really no downside to having it, and I quite like the AR15 style push-button mag release over the latch we typically see.  All put together, it’s a pretty good looking blaster.  It has decidedly more aggressive lines than the Recon or Retaliator, which I enjoy.  Sadly, that is almost all the good things I can say about the Delta Trooper.  Here’s where we start with the complaints.  First and foremost is the ergonomics.  The pistol grip on the DT is a weird size.  It has a decent thickness to it and fills the hand quite well, but it’s about as short as it could possibly be and still fit all my fingers on it.  I could overlook this if it wasn’t made worse by the abrupt hard edge right above where my thumb sits.  If I choke up on the grip, this edge digs rather uncomfortably into my hand which makes me want to move down a bit, but then my pinky is all but falling off the grip.  I’m not exaggerating when I say I had to manually smooth out that edge to make holding this blaster normally a mostly comfortable feat.  Sure, I’ve had blasters with seams that didn’t line up where I’ve done similar modifications for the sake of comfort, but this wasn’t a seam, it was a quirk of the design that I’m surprised no one in testing had issue with.  But what about the other hand?  Well, on the main blaster body there’s a small area that can be used as a fore-grip, but trying to hold the blaster by the barrel, when dtrooper3attached, is again, thoroughly uncomfortable thanks to the design of the shell.  All those visually appealing aggressive lines just do not work with hands, but they also have another drawback.  One of the main features of the Recon/taliator is its customizability with attachments for the barrel, stock, and as rail accessories.  The DT has a stock, though short and blocky with no extra features, and a barrel, which refuses to sit parallel to the main blaster and has the aforementioned ergo problems, but what the barrel does have is the only rail on the entire blaster.  There are no rails on the core blaster itself which means that most options for customization are just gone.  The other issue, while slightly more nit-picky, is the magazine well.  With the included 12-round mag, it works as it should, but with every other magazine I had on hand, it was tight and stiff, nevermind that it simply does not accept the 35-round Raider drum mags.  Sure, the blaster still works, but this isn’t the same level of polish I’m used to seeing from Nerf.  Now, the Recon Mk2 had similar issues and those did get fixed, so maybe an update is in the works, but I’m still a little frustrated with it.  Overall, the construction does seem solid and the performance is good, but these are kind of expected at this point for a full size blaster from Nerf, so they do little to abate my annoyance with the other issues.  The Delta Trooper comes packaged with the stock, barrel, 12-round magazine, and 12 Elite darts.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION 

If I’m being honest, from when I first heard about this blaster, my thoughts on it have been a series of concessions.  First I thought it might be a new Alpha Trooper and it wasn’t, but maybe they’re going for a whole assortment of “trooper” blasters.  Then it was shown as only having one rail for the whole kit, but at least it looked really cool.  Then I got one and felt it in my hands and wasn’t thrilled, but maybe performance will justify all of it, but it’s standard Nerf performance.  I won’t go so far as to say I regret buying it, because I don’t, but I do sincerely hope it gets the same treatment the Recon Mk2 got.  Either that or I’ll hold out for the Upsilon Trooper.

#1797: Wolverine

WOLVERINE

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Laura Kinney uses assassin training paired with powerful claws to take down anyone who makes the mistake of crossing her.”

X-Men fans have had it pretty good this year when it comes to Marvel Legends.  In years prior, we’ve been lucky to get a single X-based assortment, but this year we got not only a proper X-Men assortment, but two heavily X-Men-packed Deadpool assortments as well.  It’s looking like those floodgates are finally opening!  The second Deadpool assortment is even more X-Men heavy than the first, even including usual X-Men staple Wolverine.  Sure, it’s not Logan, but is that really the point?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Wolverine is figure 4 in the Sauron Series of Marvel Legends.  As with her presence in the first series, Laura’s connection to Deadpool is tenuous at best, but she definitely feels more at home in this assortment than in the last one.  As noted by her name, this figure of Laura represents her look from after the death of the mainstream Logan, when she officially took over the mantle.  It’s a more current look than the last figure, and is definitely a prominent design, well worth the inclusion in the line.  As I noted in my X-23 review, it rivals the X-Force costume in definitiveness.  The figure stands 5 1/2 inches tall and she has 29 points of articulation.  She’s constructed from a lot of the same pieces as the X-23 figure.  She uses the Spider-Girl body, and the clawed hands from X-23.  She has a new head, boots, and belt add-on, replicating her Wolverine costume nicely.  Like the X-23 figure, Wolverine’s head is sculpted in a rather dynamic fashion with wind-swept hair and all.  It looks quite good; there’s a lot of room for error with this sort of look with the hair, but Hasbro’s two-for-two on Laura’s head sculpts.  The head’s expression is calmer than the X-23 one, representing Laura’s increased maturity at the time of taking over the Wolverine mantle.  The new boots have the usual Wolverine shaping, and include her foot claws, which had been left off of the last figure.  They can easily be removed as well, if you’re like me, and think the foot claws are kind of dumb.  Off to the cup of random accessories they go!  Wolverine’s paintwork is bright and bold, and pretty cleanly applied for the most part.  It’s quite a striking look.  Wolverine is packed with an alternate unmasked head.  This one’s much more reserved, both in expression and the hair styling, which is decidedly not dynamic.  Also included is the left arm of the Sauron Build-A-Figure, who I’ll be reviewing at the end of the week.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was pleasantly surprised by last series’ X-23, so I wasn’t sure what to think of this one.  I wasn’t really looking to have one figure of Laura, let alone two, but I do rather like this design.  And, more importantly, I wanted Sauron, so there was that.  While she didn’t catch me off guard the same way the X-23 figure did, but I do still quite like Wolverine.  She’s certainly a fun figure.

I picked up Laura from my friends over at All Time Toys.  If you’re interested in buying other Legends figures, or are looking for other cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.