#1901: Raptor

RAPTOR

FORTNITE (JAZWARES)

And let the gift reviews commence.  Yes, it’s the most wonderful time of the year!  The post-Christmas season, when I have a ton of new toys to review here.  As per usual, I’ll be kicking off the post-Christmas reviews with sort of a Day 0 kind of a review, with my one non-Christmas gift of the season.

Remember a few weeks ago when I reviewed one of them there Fortfighters?  Crap, I mean Fortnite.  Yeah, that’s the one.  Despite my very obvious lack of prior knowledge of the source material, I was enamored by the toys.  I kind of foresee a good number of reviews from this line forthcoming.  Today, I’m keeping things pretty basic, and looking at Raptor, Royal Air Force Test Pilot!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Raptor is part of the first series of the basic “Solo Mode” figures from Jazwares’ Fortnite line.  He doesn’t come in the impressive packaging that Rust Lord did, nor does he feature quite as many fancy parts, but he’s also less than half the retail price.  The figure stands just shy of 4 inches tall and he has 28 points of articulation.  His construction is very similar to the previously reviewed Rust Lord figure, though his actual sculpt is completely unique.  While I think the general assembly of Rust Lord is a little more solid and better fit together, I certainly can’t fault this guy’s sculpt.  It helps that, like Rust Lord, his design lends itself pretty nicely to a toy translation.  I mean, the guy is perhaps the most blatant G.I. Joe rip-off of the bunch.  That’s pretty basic toy stuff right there.  Raptor is a bit more simple than Rust Lord when it comes to actual detailing, with the main exception being his ski mask, which does actually get some solid work.  I was sort of hoping for a bit more to his bomber jacket, but this is, admittedly, fairly true to the game design.  Raptor’s paint is a little bit of a mixed bag.  There’s a lot I like, especially the things like the insignias on his shoulders.  However, the thing that bugs me the most about the figure is completely to do with the paint, and that’s the eyes.  They’re not *terrible*, but they’re definitely too big, especially relative to what’s sculpted.  Eyes are, admittedly, hard to do, especially at this scale, but as his only visible facial feature, it’s unfortunate they aren’t more on the mark.  Raptor is a lighter release, in contrast to the more heavily armed Rust Lord.  He gets a pick axe and a building plate with a foot peg on it.  I like the variety among the plates, and I can definitely appreciate the inclusion of a melee weapon this time around, especially after getting so many guns with Rust Lord.  They’re really encouraging the play pattern here, and I can get behind that.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Raptor here was an anniversary gift from Super Awesome Fiancee, exchanged on Christmas Eve, as is our tradition.  After I raved so much about how cool Rust Lord was, she kept an eye out for the rest of the line, and thought I’d like this one.  Slight flaws aside, I really do like this figure, and he continues the “augmenting G.I. Joe” thing I started with Rust Lord.

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#1900: Luke Skywalker: Rebel Commander – Bespin

LUKE SKYWALKER: REBEL COMMANDER — BESPIN

STAR WARS: HEROES OF THE REBELLION (SIDESHOW)

“The only son of Padme Amidala and Anakin Skywalker, Luke Skywalker is the Jedi Order’s last remaining hope in restoring balance to the galaxy. Unaware of his own true potential or parentage, Luke has sworn himself to the rebel cause and fights valiantly alongside his compatriots in the Battle of Hoth. It is there that Luke has a vision of his fallen friend and mentor Obi-Wan Kenobi, who instructs Luke to travel to the Dagobah system and seek the great and powerful Jedi Master Yoda.”

When Sideshow was really just starting to get their foot in the door with their Star Wars line, the initially focussed more on getting out suitable variants of the franchise’s main characters, especially Luke, Han, and Leia.  Luke was definitely a favorite of theirs at the start, with his Jedi Knight variant kicking off the line, and versions from A New Hope and Empire following in short succession.  My personal favorite Luke look has always been his rebellion-issued fatigues from Empire, and I’ll be looking at Sideshow’s take on that design today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Luke Skywalker (Rebel Commander — Bespin) was released in 2007 as part of Sideshow’s Heroes of the Rebellion line, which, of course, placed its focus on the Original Trilogy-era heroes of the Star Wars saga.  As with a lot of Sideshow offerings, there were two versions of this figure available: the regular release, and the Sideshow exclusive.  The figures proper are the same, but there were some extra accessories with the exclusive.  Luke stands just under 12 inches tall and he has 30+ points of articulation (whatever the proper count should be, he’s down two, due to this body being notorious for one half of the double jointed elbows being frozen in place).

The headsculpts for this line were, perhaps, not its strongest suit, but given what we were getting from Hasbro not long before, they were a breath of fresh air at the time.  Nevertheless, Luke was one of the slightly weaker offerings, though I think the biggest issue may have been a manufacturing issue of some sort.  For whatever reason, Luke’s head looks kind of flattened from certain angles; the left side of his face is sunken in too far compared to the right.  It strikes me as an issue with the molding process, but it afflicts the whole run of this figure.  It’s not terrible, though, and you can hide it with some careful posing.  Moving past that, it’s a fairly respectable ESB-era Hamill likeness.  The detail may not be 100% lifelike, but it’s certainly clean, and he’s recognizable.  The paintwork is a little primitive, and very thickly applied, but it looks passable.  The eyes on my figure are slightly goofy, and not quite as realistic as other figures from the line, but they’re still serviceable.

As you’d expect, Luke’s costume is a mixed media offering.  His shirt, jacket, and pants are all tailored cloth pieces, and they’re alright for the time.  The stitching is a little on the large side, and his shirt ends up having a much more involved collar than in the movie, due to needing to cover up his neck joint.  The pants suffer from being on the old Sideshow Buck, which was really starting to show its age at this point, and didn’t really look natural wearing much of anything.  The jacket is actually more accurate than it may appear in these photos, due to me being a dingus.  See, the collar is flipped down in the box, but it should be flipped up.  When it is, it looks a lot more like it should.  As seen here?  Well, it’s close, but looks slightly weird.  Luke’s belt is itself a mixed media affair, with a mostly pleather construction as the base, and plastic for the buckle and pouches.  His holster is quite impressive; the strap is magnetic, allowing for easy removal of the gun.  I always really liked that touch.  The boots are just a straight sculpted piece, but they’re still actually boots, as Sideshow hadn’t started doing molded feet at this point.

Luke was build on a modified version of the Sideshow Buck body, which had shortened arms and legs to reflect Hamill’s smaller stature.  The arms were a big deal for this release, as the Jedi Luke figure’s arms were standard length, making him look like a bit of a monkey.  The Buck body is the aspect of these figures that has aged by far the worst, and it was almost a decade old by the time it was used here.  Another decade hasn’t helped things.  It’s stiff and awkward, and just doesn’t look great with the clothes on it.  Or off it, I suppose.  It just doesn’t look great.

Luke was pretty well accessorized, with his lightsaber in two configurations (ignited and not), his blaster pistol, two pairs of hands (gripping R and L, trigger finger R, and open palm L), a stump for recreating the film’s most famous scene, and a display stand.  That was a solid offering for the main figure, but the exclusive upped the anti, adding in the auto-tourniquet he uses for his hand after the battle.  Sadly, mine’s just the basic release.  Guess my Luke’s stump won’t be getting proper treatment.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Luke is one of the figures that actually got me into the Sideshow Star Wars line.  I had attempted to jump on the Hot Toys bandwagon by asking for a Hot Toys Dark Knight Joker for Christmas in 2008.  However, delay after delay after delay meant that wasn’t to be that year (it’s okay, things worked out better the following year), so my parents let me trade in the value of that figure for something else.  It ended up being enough for three of these guys, so I got a Luke, Han, and Leia right out of the gate.  In addition to being my favorite Luke design, this figure was also the cheapest version of the character on the market at the time, so he was an easy choice for me.  Ultimately, he’s far from a perfect figure, but he’s looked pretty nifty on my shelf for the decade I’ve had him, so I really can’t complain.

#1899: 4-LOM

4-LOM

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

A couple of weeks ago, I looked at the Power of the Force II version of the Gand bounty hunter Zuckuss.  Today, I follow that up with a look at the Zuckser’s usual partner in crime, 4-LOM.  It’s been a good year at the site for these two, since I wrapped up their Black Series versions a couple of months back.  So, without further ado, here’s another 4-LOM!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

4-LOM was released in Collection 2 of the 1997 assortment of Power of the Force figures.  He joined Bossk and Dengar as that year’s bounty hunter contingent, and predated his partner Zuckuss by a year.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 6 points of articulation.  As with all figures of 4-LOM, his construction is fairly similar to the line’s version of C-3PO.  It is important to note, however, that as similar as they may be, there are actually no pieces shared between the two.  As a slightly later figure, 4-LOM shows the changes in the line’s aesthetics, so he’s not as muscly and pin-headed as earlier offerings.  While his sculpt doesn’t quite show the same level of detail as his equivalent Zuckuss figure, but he’s definitely still a lot better than the average figure from the line.  In fact, the sculpt was good enough that Hasbro still felt comfortable reissuing it in a boxed set from 2004, where it didn’t look too out of place.  4-LOM’s paintwork was a nice departure from the generally pretty basic detailing of the line up to this point.  The standard work is still pretty good, but now he’s also got this sort of rust detailing throughout via a orangey-brown wash.  It’s not the most advanced detailing, nor is it quite as impressive as Zuckuss, but it’s certainly better than no detailing at all.  4-LOM is packed with his usual long blaster rifle, as well as a smaller blaster rifle to mix things up a bit.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As I mentioned in my Zuckuss review, Getting the Black Series pairing of Zuckuss and 4-LOM got me more invested in the characters.  And, since I’ve been steadily working together a complete PotF2 collection, this pair made their way to the top of my want list.  Since All Time Toys got in a sizeable collection of PotF2 figures, I was able to pull both of these guys out at the same time.  Zuckuss was the star figure to be sure, but 4-LOM is no slouch himself, and as a pairing, they’re quite hard to beat.

As I mentioned above, I got 4-LOM here from my friends at All Time Toys, at the same time as the Zuckuss figure.  They’ve got a solid backlog of Power of the Force figures, as well as Star Wars figures from all eras, old and new.  Check out their website and eBay store to see for yourself!

#1898: Hulk

HULK

THE AVENGERS (HASBRO)

“The world seen through the eyes of the Hulk is distorted with rage, a haze of violence like a bad dream. Trapped within the mighty frame of the Hulk, Bruce Banner is barely able to maintain control. And yet, the Hulk is a hero. His immense strength is always turned to the protection of the weak, and the defense of justice. For while the Hulk may be rage incarnate, it is rage that is always properly directed against those hoping to cause harm.”

He’s a Hulk.  Smash.  Uhhhh…..that’s all I got.  So, here’s this Hulk figure?  Yeah, here’s this Hulk figure.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Hulk is the third Walmart-exclusive 6-inch-scale Avengers figure I’ve looked at on the site.  He is, of course, based on Hulk’s somewhat updated, Ruffl-ized design of the Hulk from The Avengers.  It’s not like it’s far removed from the standard classic Hulk design, but he was decidedly more human looking for this appearance, and it shows through on this figure.  The figure stands 7 1/4 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  Hulk’s sculpt was brand new to him at the time.  It has subsequently seen re-use for both the Ultimate Green Goblin Build-A-Figure (which I have not reviewed), and the Age of Ultron Hulk (which I have reviewed). Unlike Cap and Thor, this figure is widely divergent from Hulk’s smaller-scale counterpart, which, honestly, is for the best, because the basic Avengers Hulk kind of sucked.  This figure’s sculpt, on the other hand, really doesn’t suck.  The proportions are more exaggerated than the movie’s were, but it makes for a good visual for the figure.  In addition, his skin has this really nice texture work to it that I like a lot more than the much more basic, much less interesting replacement pieces we saw for Age of Ultron.  I also really like the two different hand poses this guy is sporting; I’m always down for more than just the two-fisted combo.  Hulk’s paintwork is fairly subdued, especially when compared to the other two figures I’ve looked at, but it’s accurate enough, and it looks pretty hecking decent.  Hulk included no character specific accessories, but he did have the re-purposed Heroscape-styled display stand that was packed with all of these guys.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Remember how I got Thor and Cap?  Yeah, same deal for Hulk.  I think of all three, he has always been the one I’ve been most interested in finding, just due to how underwhelmed I was by his Age of Ultron variant.  This one’s a lot better than that one, and, like the other two, ends up being a surprisingly good figure for his time.

Hulk came from my friends over at All Time Toys.  He’s one of many 6-inch Marvel figures in their back catalog of figures, which can be viewed at both their website and their eBay store.

#1897: Thor

THOR

THE AVENGERS (HASBRO)

“It is occasionally intolerable to be forced to live and work alongside humans with their short lifespan and petty troubles — but Thor has grown to have a deep affection for the people of Earth.  In the Avengers, he is gratified to have found a group of peers.  These are warriors with whom a man can be proud to serve. Thor is glad to fight alongside mighty creatures like the Hulk and noble men such as Captain America.”

Happy Thor’s Day everyone!  Despite some pretty intense audience support, Thor frequently seems to be the hardest sell of the main Avengers when it comes to toys.  Neither of his headlined toyline’s have done particularly well at retail.  But, by virtue of being a rather important member of the team, he does still warrant his token spot, which is a good thing for all of those fans, myself included, who would hate to see him left off the roster.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Thor is another figure from the six-figure Walmart-exclusive larger-scale line of Avengers figures, which hit shelves not too long after the movie in 2012.  For the line based on Thor’s own solo film, Walmart had also offered up a 6-inch figure, which featured a brand-new sculpt, but also featured Thor’s helmet, which he wore for less that five minutes of the first film’s screen time, permanently attached to the head.  Not exactly the most indicative of the MCU take on the character.  This figure is really just a quick fix to that one; he’s exactly the same, but with a new head.  He stands 7 inches tall (this is the figure that would start the trend of MCU Thors being rather on the tall side) and he has 27 points of articulation.  The sculpt is a decent enough piece of work, though it shows its age a bit more than the Cap figure from yesterday, likely because the majority of it is a year older, and Hasbro was improving rapidly at this point.  It’s mostly the articulation that shows the age, especially the hips, which are difficult enough to pose that he’ll essentially just be standing.  The detail work on the sculpt is all pretty sharp, and mostly pretty accurate to the films.  His proportions are idealized slightly, but not terribly unbalanced.  The head, as the new piece, was the main focus. The head and hair are separate pieces, and the head is sporting one of Hasbro’s best Hemsworth likenesses.  The hair, which is decidedly based on the first Thor, rather than Avengers, isn’t quite up to the same snuff as the face.  It’s decent, but feels just a bit…full?  I’m not 100% sure how to describe it, but it’s certainly a bit off.  Thor’s paintwork is pretty solid work.  Application is clean, the palette is a good match for the movie, and he isn’t missing any notable details.  Accent work is minimal, but the sculpt does the heavy lifting here.  Thor is packed with Mjolnir, as well as a stackable display base patterned on the Heroscape tiles.  My figure only has the hammer, though.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I grabbed Thor at the same time as Cap.  It was actually Cap that I’d noticed first, with Thor being the follow up.  This really wasn’t a figure I had much want for at the time of his release, and I’ve tended to prefer some of Thor’s later looks in the movies.  But, with the Mark VII already in my collection, and Cap soon to be, I was hardly going to just pass this guy up.  He’s not perfect, and he certainly shows the learning process Hasbro was going through at the time, but he still sports the best Hemsworth likeness Hasbro’s produced to date.

Like yesterday’s Captain America, Thor came from my friends over at All Time Toys.  He’s one of many 6-inch Marvel figures in their back catalog of figures, which can be viewed at both their website and their eBay store.

#1896: Captain America

CAPTAIN AMERICA

THE AVENGERS (HASBRO)

“As a soldier in World War II, Captain America fought for the safety and honor of his entire nation.  Now, as the leader of the Avengers, he fights to protect the entire world.  Villains great and small wield earth-shattering power without hesitation.  Only the original super-soldier and his team of awesome heroes stand between those ruthless individuals and the devastation of the planet.”

2012’s The Avengers was a big success for the MCU, but came at an odd time for Hasbro’s Marvel toys.  The 6-inch scale had all but died out, mostly replaced by their 3 3/4 inch offerings.  However, the poor sales of the Captain America and Thor toys the preceding year meant even those offerings were decidedly modest.  For both prior films, as well as Iron Man 2, Walmart had offered up a smaller assortment of Legends-styled figures, and continued this trend at an even larger scale offering five of the team’s six members*.  Today, I’m looking at the team’s leader, Captain America!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Captain America is one of the six figure line-up from the Walmart-exclusive Avengers 6-inch Movie Series.  He is, of course, based on his somewhat derided costume from the first Avengers movie. The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall (the tallest of the MCU Caps in this scale) and he has 29 points of articulation.  The articulation is handled slightly differently than more modern releases; Hasbro was still figuring some of these things out.  The hips are definitely the weakest part and make him a little difficult to pose.  He also could do with some actual wrist joints, but given what we were getting not long before, this is pretty good.  Cap’s sculpt is unique at this scale, though it shares a rather similar construction with the smaller line’s version of the same costume.  They’re definitely divergent sculpts, though; the articulation is cut differently, and this figure, as a later offering, catches some of the design changes that appeared between the concept art and the final costume.  It’s still not a pitch-perfect match for the on-screen counterpart, but it’s very close.  The texture work on Cap’s uniform is definitely top-notch.  It’s sharply defined and nicely contrasts the various different materials that make up his costume.  Hasbro definitely took advantage of the larger scale of this figure to really go all out with the detailing.  It doesn’t so much extend to the likeness on the face, though.  It’s rather on the generic side, so it’s not like it looks un-like Evans, but it’s definitely not on the same level as the two Evans likenesses we got this year.  Cap’s paintwork is pretty straight forward and clean.  He’s got the slightly brighter colors of this particular costume down pretty well, though the reds may perhaps be a touch brighter than they should be.  The application is all clean and consistent.  Technically, that last stripe of white on his back should be blue to match the rest of the costume, but it’s an easily missed detail, and far from holds the figure back.  Cap was packed with his mighty shield, as per usual.  It’s actually a unique mold, not used since for the MCU Caps.  It’s a little bit on the small side, but it does have advantage of having extending straps, allowing for placement on his back.  It’s that one detail that I miss most from the later releases, and I was happy to see it here.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was still very much on the fence about the whole 6-inch Marvel endeavor when these figures arrived in stores.  This, coupled with their relative scarcity, meant that I skipped this set in its entirety.  After getting the Tenth Anniversary Mark VII Iron Man, I was a little bummed not to have any other figures to go with him.  Fortunately, as luck would have it, All Time Toys got in a collection with several of them in it, so I was able to assemble the team pretty quickly.  Cap’s a surprisingly nice figure, and really showcases a turning point for Hasbro’s Marvel offerings.  He’s a precursor for all of the amazing MCU figures we’ve gotten in the years since, and even 6 years after his release, he holds up pretty darn well.

*Widow was left out of the line-up to free up a slot for Loki.  There was much frustration with this choice at the time.  However, she would finally get a figure two years later as part of the Mandroid Series, and has been granted a Legends release for both of the Avengers sequels.

#1895: Spider-Man & Mary Jane

SPIDER-MAN & MARY JANE

SPIDER-MAN: HOLIDAY SPECIAL (TOY BIZ)

“Peter Parker spends a lot of the tome swinging from building to building, patrolling the streets as Spider-Man.  But when the holidays come around, Spidey makes sure he’s home in time to spend them with his wife, Mary Jane.  Spider-Man and Mary Jane celebrate the holidays like any normal couple, except that Spidey delivers the holiday gifts by swinging in through their apartment window!”

It’s once more that time of year; another Christmas day, a therefore another Christmas-y review!  I’ve covered all sorts of different topics over the course of the last five Christmas reviews, from basic Christmas concepts (Santa and a Gingerbread Man), to classic holiday specials (Hermie from Rudolph and Charlie Brown from…well, A Charlie Brown Christmas), to one of my favorite Christmas movies (White Christmas).  This year, I’m actually playing it a lot closer to the sorts of things I review on this site from day to day, and taking a look at Spider-Man and Mary Jane…albeit a slightly more festive take on the characters.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Spidey and MJ were released in 1999 as part of a seasonal “Holiday Special” pack, which was an extension of the Spider-Man: Animated Series line that was still running at the time, as well as a more festive take on the Famous Couple’s pairing of these two from the same year.  It included the two figures, as well as a Christmas-themed magnet featuring the two of them.

SPIDER-MAN

Headlining the pack is our main man Spider-Man.  Spider-Man takes his usual look, and adds a Santa hat, belt, and boots.  The figure stands 5 inches tall and has 11 points of articulation.  He uses the Spidey-sculpt first introduced with Octo-Spider-Man, which would be one of Toy Biz’s favorite sculpts to re-use during their 5-inch days.  It’s not the most posable take on the character, but it worked well enough.  The new parts, with the exception of his belt buckle, are all cloth parts.  It works best for the hat (which, it should be noted, is glued in place), and the belt is decent enough.  The boots, however, are kind of odd, and make keeping him standing a little tricky.  They’re removable if you so choose, though, so you have your options there.  The paintwork is mostly standard, though it’s worth noting that he gets a metallic blue in place of the classic blue.  Not entirely sure why the change was made; perhaps metallic blue is more festive?  Spidey actually does get an accessory; it’s a cloth bag, with a little printed cardboard insert with some presents on it.  It’s a little finicky to get him holding it, but it’s a decent addition.

MARY JANE

Both of Mary Jane’s figures during the Toy Biz run came in 1999, and they were built from the same base figure.  I mean, I guess that’s pretty sensible, right?  She stands 5 inches tall and has 9 points of articulation (though the neck is, as always with this mold, very restricted).  Like her Famous Couples release, this Mary Jane is a repainted Invisible Woman from the Fantastic Four line.  It’s  decent sculpt in its own right, though it’s slightly hindered for this release, by virtue of all the cloth and such she’s got glued to her.  The hat’s okay, and the skirt’s workable, but the fake fur on the arms, legs, and especially the torso end up looking really goofy.  She’s just not particularly playable as a figure, nor is she particularly appealing to look at.  She’s definitely the weak link of the set.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I remember seeing this set a good number of times at various stores back when it was new, but I never got around to actually buying one.  As regular readers will have no doubt noticed, I’ve actually had to outsource a couple of my Christmas review items in recent years, but last year, right before the holiday, I actually came across this set at Gidget’s Gadgets, and while I couldn’t get it done last year, I was able to ear-mark it for this round.  It’s goofy, and hokey, and totally without use outside of the holiday season, but the pair does have something of its own charm.

#1894: Princess Leia – Bespin Escape

PRINCESS LEIA — BESPIN ESCAPE

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“Princess Leia Organa was one of the Rebel Alliance’s greatest leaders, fearless on the battlefield and dedicated to ending the tyranny of the Empire. With her quick-thinking and inspired leadership, Leia ranks among the the galaxy’s great heroes.”

For a number of reasons, December has a tendency to put me in a rather Star Wars-y sort of mood.  Be it the fact that three of the last four films have hit this month, or how I tend to make watching the Original Trilogy an annual occurrence, or perhaps just the fact that I have a tendency to get a lot of Star Wars stuff around the holiday season, whatever the case, I’m certainly in a Star Wars-y mood today.  So, in a vaguely holiday spirit, I’m taking a look at this Leia figure!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Princess Leia — Bespin Escape is a Target-exclusive entry in The Black Series.  She first started showing up intermittently in the early fall, but seems to have been arriving in full force in the last couple of weeks.  This version of Leia is an oft-overlooked variant from the climax of Empire, during her, Lando, and Chewie’s chase to re-claim the frozen Han Solo.  It’s really just a dressing down of her main Hoth gear that she wears for the majority of the film.  It’s the similarity between those two that generally causes this one to be overlooked.  Nevertheless, its presence during a fairly important section of the film makes it a reasonable choice for a figure, especially an exclusive one.  The figure stands 5 inches tall and she has 27 points of articulation.  Her scaling matches perfectly with the ANH figure, which is a nice bit of internal consistency that we don’t always see in this line.  Her sculpt is totally new, but hasn’t remained unique to her, thanks to the almost concurrent release of the proper Hoth Leia.  Regardless of origin and uniqueness, it’s a strong sculpt.  The head sculpt has the strongest Carrie Fisher likeness we’ve seen to date for this line (or any of the smaller ones, for that matter), and they’ve even nicely translated her hair braids.  I imagine this head will be seeing a re-use at some point for a Bespin Gown variant, or at least I sure hope it will.  Mine has an unfortunate error on her left ear, with a small chunk missing out of the lobe, but it’s fortunately not super noticeable.  The jumpsuit’s sculpt is nice and crisply detailed, and looks appropriately like a garment she’s been running around in for a substantial amount of time.  The paintwork on Leia is largely pretty basic; the jumpsuit’s just molded white plastic, and they’ve let the sculpt do all the lifting.  This is one of those times I don’t mind the lack of accenting, as accenting on white can go very badly very quickly.  She does get the printed face; she’s the first Leia to get this treatment, and it works very well for her.  I especially like how they handled the hairline, which is a frequent slip-up on such figures.  Leia is somewhat sparsely packed, with just a stolen Stormtrooper blaster alongside her.  It’s scene-accurate, of course, but something else would have maybe added some extra excitement.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Leia sort of just started showing up, without too much fanfare.  I wasn’t initially sure I was going to grab her, what with the Hoth Leia on the horizon.  However, I was at Target looking for something else, which I was unable to find, and when I came across Leia.  Determined not to let the trip be a waste and impressed by how the figure looked in person, I was swayed into getting her.  She’s a decent enough figure, but I will curious to see how she performs once the Hoth Leia is more readily available.  She’s really the sort of figure that is really aimed at the more hardcore collector.  Which, of course, is me.  So, hey, how about that.

#1893: Ant-Man

ANT-MAN

MARVEL LEGENDS VINTAGE (HASBRO)

“What matters most is not the size of the man in the fight, but the size of the fight in the man — and the bad guys take big hits from Ant-Man!”

A few weeks ago, I looked at *most* of the latest Vintage sub-series of Marvel Legends, but didn’t quite cover them all.  The two missing were Ant-Man and Hawkeye, and, while I still haven’t found a Hawkeye, I did manage to snag an Ant-Man.  So here he is!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Ant-Man is another piece of the second series of the Marvel Legends Vintage line, and is the natural pairing to the Wasp figure from this same assortment.  The set hit stores right around the time of Ant-Man and the Wasp’s home media release, so I guess they were pretty sensibly timed.  In terms of the character he’s representing (that being a Hank Pym version of Ant-Man), he’s actually a first for Legends, though in terms of the actual figure, he follows the rest of the assortment’s trend of being a lot of revisited ground.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Sculpturally, this Ant-Man is identical to the Walgreens-exclusive Black Ant from 2015.  Technically, it’s not a pitch-perfect translation, since the two designs hive some slight discrepancies, but it’s close enough that we’ve all pretty much been expecting this exact figure since Black Ant was first shown off.  That it took Hasbro so long to deliver it is the reals surprise.  His paintwork is the main difference, of course, as it returns Ant-Man to his classic red and blue.  It’s a striking combo, and the hues chosen are bold and eye-catching.  The silver for the helmet is just the raw color of the plastic, so it’s got that slight swirly effect going on, but it works alright for this particular design.  There are some slight flaws, most notably a spot of missing paint on the figure’s nose, but he overall looks pretty decent.  I was going to rag on this figure’s boots for being straight across the top and not jagged like his gloves, but a quick review of classic Ant-Man appearances shows that the boots were just as often depicted this way, so hey, Hasbro’s not wrong.  Since Ant-Man is designed to pair off with Wasp, he comes with the natural counterpoint to her mini Ant-Man accessory: a mini Wasp.  It’s the same one used twice before in the Marvel Universe line, but this time painted up to match the Wasp figure from this assortment.  I really do wish she had included a flight stand of some sort, but oh well.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Ant-Man’s a figure I’ve been waiting for, and I certainly didn’t want to miss out on him.  That said, I was willing to be patient, even when he wasn’t among the first round of these figures I found.  Fortunately, the same connection that got me Vision and Wasp was also able to snag Hank for me, so now I’m one step closer to a complete set.  Though there’s not a lot of new going on with this figure, the starting point was already a pretty good figure in the first place, and the new colors definitely make him pop.

#1892: Wolverine II

WOLVERINE II

X-MEN (TOY BIZ)

“His super-sharp adamantium claws can slash through steel. His mutant healing ability can mend even the worst wounds in minutes. He’s Wolverine, the best at what he does and what he does best is fight Evil Mutants! With his keen senses of sight, smell and hearing, and his frighteningly fierce fighting style, enemies claim Wolverine is more animal than mutant. But his fellow X-Men know that he’s the best friend they have, especially when the going gets deadly dangerous!”

Did you know that wolverines use snow as refrigerators to keep their food fresh?  That’s your fun FiQ fact for today…’s Tiger Stripe Wolverine review.  You guys thought I was going to forget about the running gag, didn’t you?  Well, I didn’t!  Okay, let’s just take a look at the figure, shall we?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Wolverine, or “Wolverine II” as he is referred to on all of the packaging, is part of the second series of Toy Biz’s X-Men line. The first series had used Wolverine’s then-current brown costume, but Logan had reverted back to an approximation of his classic look not too long after that figure’s release, so Toy Biz followed suit with this figure.  The figure stands 5 inches tall and he has 10 points of articulation.  Wolverine’s sculpt was new to him, and would serve as the basis for a number of figures that would follow, including when it was up-scaled for the 10-inch Deluxe Edition figure (reviewed here).  While the smaller scale doesn’t quite serve the sculpt quite as well as the larger, but all of the basics are still there, and it’s still a pretty strong offering for the character.  He’s a little on the tall side for a proper Logan, but that was the trend of the time, and he’s certainly not as bad as some of the figures that would follow.  The primary differences between this figure and the larger one are to do with his claws and the raised lever on his back to allow for an “action feature” when spinning his torso.  The claws are an interesting choice.  They’re spring loaded, but since there’s no locking mechanism, they just pop right back into place.  Also, they’re stubby and curved, and the spring feature makes his forearms really boxy, so I’m not really sure it’s worth the tradeoff.  Wolverine’s paintwork is decent enough.  Fairly basic, and not without some slop, especially around the edges of the blue parts of the costume.  The black details also seem to extend a bit further into the rest of the costume than they traditionally do in the comics, but that’s rather minor.  Wolverine was packed with a gun, because, when you get down to it, isn’t that really Wolverine’s defining trait?  Having a gun?  Well, not my Wolverine, because his gun is missing.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

So, this figure was *not* my first Wolverine.  That would be the Battle-Ravaged Wolverine from the Invasion Series, which was the current figure of Wolverine when I got into collecting.  The trouble with that figure, as cool as it is, arose when I got the Black Bird, which the larger Battle-Ravaged figure couldn’t actually fit inside of, meaning I really needed a smaller figure.  Around the time I got my Black Bird, my parents were in the process of buying a new house, and my dad was going back and forth many days getting things ready to move in.  I accompanied on many of those trips, Black Bird in tow, with only my Series 1 Cyclops in it, since he was the only one who actually fit.  On one of those days, my dad had to go and pick up carpet from the mall, where there was also a KB Toys.  In exchange for accompanying, my Dad bought me this guy (he also bought himself a Ch’od figure, because him also getting a figure was part of the ritual) to go with my Black Bird.  He stuck with me for the whole move in process at the new house.  Is he the best Wolverine ever?  Maybe not, but I do still really like him.