#1891: Amazo

AMAZO

DC UNIVERSE CLASSICS (MATTEL)

“Amazo is a powerful android capable of absorbing and mimicking the superpowers of the members of the Justice League of America. “Absorption cells” allow Amazo the ability to duplicate the power of any superhero he encounters, but is only able to use the powers of one super hero at any given time.”

Hey, this is convenient timing.  Just last week, the CW tv shows did their annual crossover event, “Elseworlds,” the first part of which prominently featured today’s figure in question, Amazo.  Amazo’s not a stranger to popular media, having previously appeared in both Justice League and its sequel series Justice League Unlimited.  That being said, JL and JLU rather drastically shifted the character’s design, so the casual fan might be forgiven for not quite making the connection.  “Elseworlds” used a variant of the classic design, which was pretty darn cool if you ask me.  Amazo’s actually a fairly frequent choice for various DC toy lines, including Mattel’s DC Universe Classics.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Amazo was released in Series 5 of DCUC.  It was a noteworthy series for the line, as the first Walmart-exclusive assortment and, by extension, the first assortment carried in Walmart.  It was also our first real taste of some of the worst the line was going to serve up to us, with accessories cut at the last minute, horrible distribution, and some pretty awful quality control.  Walmart had requested the assortment be produced as cheaply as possible, and Mattel delivered.  This figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 25 points of articulation.  Amazo’s a little on the small side for most depictions of the character, thanks to his sticking to the main male base body, another symptom of this assortment’s general lack of newer parts.  Amazo’s actually got one of those: his head.  It’s pretty basic, but matches the classic Doc Savage-esque design he’s been sporting for fifty some years.  He also gets the right hand from Green Lantern, since he’s typically seen replicating the ring.  It’s a sensible choice in theory, though in practice it means he has wrinkles on his hand, since the original piece was gloved.  I suppose it’s easy enough to explain away, what with him being an android and all.  Amazo’s paintwork is decent enough.  They’ve gone with his original costume, which is sensible, since it’s the most easily conveyed with just paint.  While my other Series 5 figure, Black Lightning, was all over the place in terms of paint quality, Amazo actually manages to keep it pretty clean and consistent.  Some of the stripes, especially at the top, are a little wobbly, but I’ve certainly seen worse.  Amazo was packed with one of the pieces to the Series 5 Collect-N-Connect Metallo…and that’s it.  Nothing character specific.  Not even the Wonder Woman lasso that they already had tooled for Series 4.  Sadly, Amazo was not alone on this front; there was exactly one proper accessory among all of the Series 5 figures.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Series 5 was legendarily hard to find at retail, with many regions reporting a single case of figures being put out, if any arrived at all.  Needless to say, I didn’t find a single one of them at retail.  To be totally fair, the line-up was so-so enough that I didn’t really look too hard, but I’ve warmed up to some of them over the years.  So, when All Time Toys got in someone’s DCUC collection and I fished Amazo here out of the bin, I was a pretty easy mark.  He’s an okay figure, but nothing to really right home about.  That said, he’s also a lot less flawed than I’d expected, given the assortment that spawned him.

Obviously, I bought All Time’s only figure of this guy, but they have a whole bunch of other DCUC figures listed on their eBay store.  And, if you’re in the market for something newer, please check out their website as well!

#1890: Imperial Assault Tank Driver

IMPERIAL ASSAULT TANK DRIVER

STAR WARS: THE VINTAGE COLLECTION (HASBRO)

The re-launch of The Vintage Collection after its six year hiatus was rather soft, with its first assortment being almost entirely re-releases from the Walmart-exclusive Black Series releases.  Only Snoke was new, but, honestly, who really cared that much.  Fortunately, the second assortment has flipped the script, with three new figures and only one re-issue.  I’ll be looking at one of new releases, and perhaps the most popular figure in the assortment today.  Without further ado, here’s the Imperial Assault Tank Driver!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Assault Tank Driver is one of the four figures in the second series of the re-launched Vintage Collection line, and is officially numbered VC126.  He’s based on the driver seen during the Jedha sequence of Rogue One.  It was one of the earliest figures we knew was coming from this line, as it was showcased alongside the line’s first vehicle, the Assault Tank.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and has 26 points of articulation.  From a sculpting standpoint, the Driver has a lot in common with the Walmart-exclusive Scarif Stormtrooper from the 2016 Rogue One assortment.  Given the similarities of the two designs, as well as the fact that the larger-scale figures did the same thing, it’s neither surprising, nor is it a bad choice.  The sculpt was a pretty strong one the first time around, and it remains so now (in general, those Rogue One sculpts were the best to come out of that iteration of The Black Series).  In order differentiate him a bit from his shore-dwelling brethren, the Tank Drive gets a new headsculpt and belt piece, patterned after his unique armor set.  The helmet is particularly sharp, and ends up being a notable improvement over the somewhat softer Scarif Trooper helmet.  We kind of saw this same thing occur with the main 3 3/4″ line’s versions of these two, so my guess is that the Driver’s helmet just better lends itself to a small-scale sculpt.  The Tank Driver’s paintwork is some of the best we’ve seen from Hasbro, especially at this scale.  They’ve used their printing technique to handle the weathering on the figure’s armor, which gives him a nice, worn appearance, matching the somewhat rundown nature of Jedha as we see it in the film.  It’s similar to, but distinctly different from, how things were handled with the Scarif Trooper, and it really gives the figure a lifelike quality.  The Tank Driver is packed with a standard Stormtrooper blaster. It’s molded in a solid grey, which was the slightest bit of a letdown when compared to the more detailed blaster we got with the Scarif Trooper.  But, if they’re gonna cut paint apps, I’d prefer they cut slightly less essential ones like these.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

He’s been somewhat hard to find, but I actually didn’t have any real trouble with this guy.  He was amongst the first case of them I found, about two months ago.  The Tank Driver is a strong design, and I’ve loved him the two prior times I’ve bought him in figure form.  This guy continues that trend, being another very solid offering in the more articulated Star Wars range.  I hope that going forward, this figure represents the trend of figures to come.

#1889: Rocket & Adam Warlock

ROCKET & ADAM WARLOCK

MARVEL MINIMATES

What’s this?  New Walgreens-exclusive Minimates?  And someone’s actually found them?  Crazy concept, I know.  Even though Series 8 and 9 have yet to show up in full force in many parts of the country, it would appear that Series 10 is starting to make its way out there.  Today, I’ll be looking at its Guardians of the Galaxy-themed set, featuring Rocket & Adam Warlock!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Rocket and Adam are one of the four sets in Series 10 of the Walgreens-exclusive animated sub-line of Marvel Minimates.  Both figures are based on their animated counterparts, but should fit in pretty well with most comics-inspired ‘mates as well.

ROCKET

Due to his smaller stature, the first two Rocket ‘mates we got weren’t proper ‘mates at all, but were instead unarticulated pack-ins.  Since Guardians Vol. 2 and Infinity War both gave us a proper figure for the MCU Rocket, it’s only fair that we’d also get an update to the animated Rocket (who can, of course, double for a Vol. 1 Rocket, for those so inclined).  Rocket is constructed from the same selection of pieces as the Infinity War release, so he uses the Series 71 head and belt/tail piece, the shortened child-sized arms, the IW legs, and the torso from NBX’s Sally.  For those keeping track, that means Rocket’s only “classic” Minimate piece is the pelvis, but unlike some overly sculpted figures we’ve seen in the past, Rocket still feels very true to the Minimate form, and fits well with his teammates.  As with the Infinity War release, this is my favorite selection of parts for the character.  Since cartoon Rocket is still wearing his orange jumpsuit from the first movie, that’s the look we get for this figure.  The paint translates it well, and while he’s definitely of a more animated style than his movie counterparts, I think they’ve left in enough details that he won’t look out of place with the movie stuff.  One slight change that stands out is the presence of actual, discernible pupils for Rocket, which I think are the one main thing to marks him as “animated.”  I actually like them a lot, as they add a little more life to the figure, I feel.  Rocket is packed with a repainted Nova Centurion blaster, as well as a clear display stand.  The Centurion blaster works a lot better for him than the two prior guns, so I’m happy with its inclusion, and I’m honestly just happy to see it crop up in another release.

ADAM WARLOCK

It’s been a good long while since we’ve gotten an Adam Warlock Minimate.  His first and only prior to this figure was part of the Infinity Gauntlet set from back in 2009.  Fortunately, his presence on the Guardians cartoon’s second season made him a prime choice for a spot in the line-up here.  Adam is constructed from three add-on pieces, used for his hair, shoulder pads, and belt.  They’re all re-used parts; the belt’s a standard piece, the hair’s from Archangel, and the shoulder pads are from the GSXM Nightcrawler.  The hair is perhaps not a 100% perfect match for his animated look, but it’s close enough, and the overall construction and choices of parts are well-thought-out.  The paintwork on Adam is cleanly applied and has a nice amount of pop to it.  He doesn’t look as washed out as a lot of the animated ‘mates end up looking, and even his details, especially on the face, are actually more in line with the comics-based ‘mates than the average animated ‘mate.  The highlight work on his infinity stone and the black portions of the costume really add some solid dimension to the whole figure as well.  The last Adam Warlock suffered from somewhat lackluster paint, but that’s very much not the case with this guy.  Adam’s only accessory is a clear display stand, which feels a little light.  An extra Magus head or even a flight stand would have been nice.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I happened upon this set back in November, at a Walgreens nearby a run that my mom and brother were participating in.  I wasn’t expecting to find them, since I haven’t seen anything from the two series that preceded this one, but the whole set was there.  I was only immediately interested in these two, so they were the only ones I bought.  Come to find out, I’m one of the first people to find them, and they aren’t officially hitting until the spring.  Now I’m kicking myself for not grabbing the whole set!  Oh well, I’ll just have to make due with these two.  The IW Rocket was my favorite version of the character, but this one’s edging him out on that front.  Another solid take on the charatcer.  The IG Warlock has been representing the character for almost a decade now without much issue, but for a character as prominent as Adam, it’s nice to get another chance, and the somewhat differing nature of his animated design makes for some nice variety, even if you have the previous release.  This figure’s got a lot going for him.  All in all, a pretty solid set.

#1888: Rust Lord

RUST LORD

FORTNITE (JAZWARES)

Oh man, let me tell you guys, today’s review?  It’s totally lit.  Like, it’s at peak levels of on-fleek-ness.  This review here?  It’s cool AF.  This is about the dankest review you’re ever gonna read.  I’m finna about to review this boi, which, I assure you, is not empty.  Yeet.  Stick with me fam, things are about to get hella turnt! …am I doing this right?  Is this how we talk about the Fortfight?  I’m sorry, I don’t have the 411 on what’s hip these days.  But, in an effort to get home with the downies, I got one of these here Fortniters to review.  Swag.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

So, homeslice here is Rust Lord, an absolute unite, who is one of the many available skins in Fortnite.  He’s a part of Jazwares Fortnite line, available exclusively in the “Llama Drama Loot Piñata” pack, which was the first item available from Jazwares’ line, first showing up on shelves at the beginning of the month.  The figure stands just shy of 4 inches tall and he has 28 points of articulation.  Stylistically, Rust Lord is very similar to Hasbro’s 25th Anniversary GI Joes, though perhaps a bit heftier.  He’ll fit in pretty well, though.  What surprised me most about this figure, though, was the articulation, which honestly is a bit of a step-up from the Joes, and even rivals the likes of Marvel Legends, but at a smaller scale.  Despite all of this articulation, the construction of the figure is still really solid, and he’s not flimsy at all.  Rust Lord’s design is definitely one that lends itself pretty well to a toy.  The figure changes up a few proportional elements, in order to make for a better translation to toy, but he’s actually pretty close.  The sculpt is clean and pretty sharp, which is honestly a fair bit better than I’m used to seeing with figures at this scale, even from the likes of Hasbro.  The paintwork for Rust Lord is fairly cleanly handled.  It’s pretty striking, and, like the sculpt, it will help him to match alright with Joes.  There are a handful of unpainted details here and there, but for the most part, he gets the job done.  Rust Lord himself only makes up a small piece of what’s included in the Loot Piñata.  There are also a whopping ten weapons*, four backpacks, and eight building plates.  For weapons, he has an assault rifle, bolt-action sniper rifle, drum gun, grenade launcher, legendary assault rifle, legendary burst assault rifle, light machine gun, pump shotgun, rocket launcher, and suppressed submachine gun.  Some of the sculpts are a little cartoony for my taste, but they’re mostly pretty solid pieces, and, like the main figure, they should do well arming your Joes and the like.  For the backpacks, he has the Bright Bag, Cuddle Bow, Satchel, and Scaly.  The satchel’s the only one that really matches up with the figure, but the options are nice nevertheless.  Lastly, there are the building plates.  Two sets of four line-up for some graffiti, and can be configured into all manner of different structures.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This is all Max from All Time’s fault.  A couple weeks ago, he told me about this set, showed me a few pictures of his and said “it’s kind of like G.I. Joe,” which was enough to sell me.  I’m an easy mark, I guess.  As someone with absolutely no experience with Fortnite, these figures weren’t even on my radar.  Doubly so when I found out they were produced by Jazwares, a company that I generally find to be the toy world’s equivalent of a yawn.  This figure has no right to be anywhere near as cool as it is, but I’ll be damned if this isn’t one of the coolest, most solidly crafted figures I’ve picked up as of late.  I’ve still got no attachment to Fortnite, but I’ll definitely be finding a spot for this guy with my Joes.

*My set actually had 11 weapons, thanks to me getting an extra drum gun in my set.  One of those few times an error totally worked out in my favor.

#1887: T-Rex

T-REX

HALFTOYS DINO SERIES (HALFTOYS)

T-REX is part of a family of unique creatures that live in a place called Halfworld.  They roam freely in search of new friends.  Help bring the family together by collecting them all!”

I don’t talk about dinosaurs super often on this site.  In fact, I’ve only really talked about them once before.  Believe me, if certain other writers for this site had their way, I’d definitely be talking about them way more often, but alas, here we are.  Still, as a mark for good toys, dinosaurs do come up with at least a bit of frequency, since you certainly can’t deny their inherent toyeticness.  Yes, “toyeticness” is totally a word.  Anyway, I’m going to be doubling my dino-themed output today, and taking a look at the king of all dinos, the Tyrannosaurus Rex!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Tyrannosaurus Rex, whose proper given name appears to be “T-Rex” here, is figure 002 in the Halftoys Dino Series.  The line is produced in China by Halftoys, and distributed in the US by LearnPlay.  As of right now, there are six dinos available, covering most of the basics.  The figure is about 2 1/2 inches tall, and doesn’t have any real articulation, in the traditional sense at least.  These guys are sold as “model sets” moreso than traditional figures, so they’re just slightly outside of my usual area.  That said, T-Rex himself comes assembled in the package, so he’s a pretty basic figurine in that respect.  He’s constructed from seven pieces.  There’s an outer shell gives us a friendly, cartoon caricature of the classical depiction of the T-Rex.  It’s downright adorable.  This shell splitsin two, right down the middle, befitting the “Halftoys” monicker.  When in place, the two halves are held together by magnets, which is a nice, sleek, clean way of handling it.  Beneath this shell is T-Rex’s skeleton, which, like his exterior, is a friendly caricature of the real thing.  It can be disassembled into five different pieces, which all go back together like a small 3D jigsaw puzzle.  Since there’s only one way for everything to go back together, there isn’t any confusion or frustration when trying to reassemble, and all of the parts are large enough that they shouldn’t be very easily lost.  And, at every stage of the process, the figure remains a solid little toy, which I quite liked.  In addition to the main figure, you also get a buildable diorama to go with him.  It’s just a paper-crafted item, so it’s not anything revolutionary, but it does make for a nice extra touch.  Assembly took about 30 minutes for me, and it’s mostly pretty intuitive.  Some parts are a little trickier than others, and I had some stability issues with the tree once I’d assembled it, but for paper-craft, it’s not too shabby.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Full Disclosure:  the T-Rex reviewed here was provided to me in exchange for a review by LearnPlay.

Prior to being contacted by LearnPlay, I wasn’t familiar with anything from Halftoys, but after checking them out, I was certainly intrigued.  This little guy is certainly a lot of fun.  Sure, he’s not your traditional action figure, but they’re certainly going to be appealing to a younger dino-obsessed crowd, and I can definitely see myself lining up a bunch of them on my desk at work.  The figure is solidly constructed, and should hold up to some sustained play.  Plus, I just find him a lot of fun to sit and fiddle with, which is honestly the most appealing thing for me in any toy I pick up.  I will definitely be getting some more of these for myself.  If you’re a dino-fan, or are looking for a cool gift for your favorite dino-fan, I can heartily recommend this guy and his compatriots.  For more information, head on over to LearnPlay’s site here.

The Blaster In Question #0073: Rukkus ICS-8

BlasterInQuestion1

RUKKUS ICS-8

N-STRIKE ELITE

rukkus1People that know me know that I spend more than a fair bit of time playing Warframe. And if, like me, you too play more Warframe than you should, you probably know that the Soma rifle from the game is a boss and I’ll fight you if you don’t like it.  Sure it’s not the KOHM, but that’s a shotgun and doesn’t relate to today’s review. Visually one of the more distinctive features of the Soma is a giant clip that feeds vertically through the gun as you fire, and that specifically is where my mind went when I first saw the Rukkus ICS-8. I’ll tell you right now it’s not the Soma, or even the Aksomati, but that’s like comparing apples to fictional oranges from a video game that are meant to be lethal firearms, so not really fair. Let’s get into the review. 

THE BLASTER ITSELF

rukkus2The Rukkus ICS-8 was released right at the end of 2018 as part of the N-Strike Elite series of blasters. It is yet another entry into the list of ratcheting clip-fed blasters like the Battlescout but this time the clip feeds vertically rather than horizontally. Additionally the clip on the Rukkus is curved slightly and is not removable from the blaster. It holds 8 rounds and is capable of slam-fire. The blaster also uses a top priming slide rather than a pump grip or bolt. This isn’t unusual for a smaller Nerf blaster at all but it does play into my next bit so sit tight. If recent news has told us anything, it’s that Nerf is not shy about license deals with upcoming products for both Overwatch and Fortnite. At this point, I would like to submit for consideration, Nerf Warframe. Just extend the clip, put a stock and proper barrel with maybe a pump grip, and you have a decent analog for the Soma, at least in form. Hasbro, if you’re listening, just think about it. Anyway, the Rukkus has no C696D89D-1202-45FC-8BC5-C482973E4A41attachment rails or lugs of any sort so, sadly, your options for customization are essentially nil without getting into mods. Personally I start with a Hornet Strike and Pistol Gambit to boost the critical- wait… different mods, sorry. The ergonomics of the Rukkus are decent, nothing really remarkable but it’s all comfortable and functional. Likewise, performance is solid without being mindblowing. There are some shots that feel like they don’t hit quite as hard as others but it’s not consistent so it’s hard to nail down what the cause is.  The mechanical sound and feel of clip advancing between shots is quite satisfying and can be rather intimidating to your younger siblings when you bust into their room. Just count your shots because reloading is a little cumbersome given that the clip is never fully exposed to put darts back in. The Rukkus ICS-8 comes packaged with 8 Elite darts. 

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION 

I know in reality the odds of Hasbro picking up the Warframe license are slim to none, but you have to admit there would be plenty to work with. Other weapons in the game would be easy pickings for conversions into the toy market.  I mean, the Furis is basically a Stryfe as is, and we know Nerf has experience with melee foam toys. Perhaps one day I’ll be able to swing around a big foam Galatine like a cool guy. Until then, I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a Tenno-Strike series of blasters or even a Warframe Legends action figure line.

#1886: Mr. Fantastic & Dr. Doom

MR. FANTASTIC & DR. DOOM

MARVEL MINIMATES

The Marvel Minimates Best Of assortments frequently paired off classic Marvel characters and their greatest foes, but what happens when the foe is actually the foe to a whole team?  You compromise, I guess.  At least in the case of the Fantastic Four, Reed Richards does have the slightly more personal connection to long-time foe (and greatest villain of all time) Dr. Doom, so he was the one who got the slot.  Good for him!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Mr. Fantastic and Dr. Doom were part of the second Best of Marvel Minimates series, which hit stores in early 2013.

MR. FANTASTIC

Second only to The Thing in terms of number of Minimates, this particular Mr. Fantastic was his sixth time in this particular style.  He’s sporting his classic black and blue gear, based on his look from earlier in his career. Curiously, there are, to date, no other members of the team with uniforms to match this one.  Not even the Ben from Series 1 of the Best Of line. This is something of an odd development.  In his most standard configuration, Reed is built on the basic Minimate body and uses just one add-on piece, for his hair.  It’s the Frank Wemple piece, which saw a lot of use right around this time.  It’s definitely well-chosen for Reed. Of course, since Reed’s powers make for a pretty versatile look, the figure has multiple other configurations.  DST experimented a bit with TRU Series 6’s Stretch-Attack Mr. Fantastic, which gave us a stretched out base piece to swap out for the lower legs.  This figure includes that extra, along with several new ones to match.  There’s an extended neck and stretched out arms, which can be mixed and matched into all sorts of different configurations.  Perhaps my favorite part is that the open hand on the right arm is perfectly sized to grip a standard Minimate torso.  Reed’s paintwork is fairly clean, and the color choices are bold.  He’s more colorful than his TRU Series 8 counterpart, but the blue isn’t quite as deep as the original Reed figure.  He’s somewhere between them.  I already chronicled the extra stretchy parts, but Reed also includes a standard display stand, if you want to be silly and not display him with that sweet stretched out base piece.

DR. DOOM

Victor Von Doom actually has his nemesis beaten in number of Minimates available, with eight releases under his belt.  This one was the seventh, and actually came out in rather close proximity to the Marvel vs. Capcom version, which it is quite similar to.  Most of the similarity between the two Dooms is in their sculpted parts.  Doom uses add-ons for his cloak, belt/skirt, gloves, and boots, as well as non-standard upper-arm pieces.  All of these were used on the prior figure.  They work decently, though the cloak runs into the same problem that prior Dooms have run into, with limitations being placed on his mobility.  It also makes him quite top heavy. And, in conjunction with all of the other sculpted parts, it generally creates a figure that’s not great for much other than standing.  The main change-up between the two Dooms is paint.  While the MvC release was in more game accurate colors and featured metallic armor, this one goes for a more print-styled flat color scheme.  It works well enough, and it’s definitely a more unique take on the character, compared to what we tend to see.  I think it helps the detailing on his faceplate stand out better, but leaves the arms and legs looking slightly bland.  Doom is packed with three accessories: a pistol, and alternate head with Doombot detailing, and a clear display stand.  I really like the Doombot head.  It’s a quite fun touch, and seems to especially work well without the cloak over top, thereby making the figure a good deal more playable.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I grabbed these two back when they were new, from my regular Minimate haunt, Cosmic Comix.  Reed is a solid figure, marred not by anything about this figure himself, but rather by the lack of any other members to match him.  Ben’s an easy enough fix if you just want to swap out the pelvis, and Johnny’s just really a head swap, but there’s no matching Sue, and that’s a little sad.  So soon after the MvC version, this Dr. Doom felt a little redundant, and ultimately inherits all of that figure’s flaws without any time to have fixed them.  That said, the Doombot head does quite a bit to salvage this guy.  Overall, he’s a decent offering.

#1885: Zuckuss

ZUCKUSS

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

“Zuckuss answers Darth Vader’s call for bounty hunters to help locate the Millennium Falcon and her crew.”

I’ve established a loose ranking of Empire Strikes Back’s bounty hunters throughout my various Black Series–wait a minute…this isn’t a Black Series review.  That was my Zuckuss review from two weeks ago…this one’s very different.  For one thing, he’s about 2 inches shorter, and for another, he’s 20 years older.  But he’s still Zuckuss, and he’s still getting reviewed.  So there.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Zuckuss was released in Power of the Force II‘s 1998 assortment.  Like with the Black Series releases, he followed his partner in crime 4-LOM, who was released the prior year.  The figure stands 3 1/2 inches tall (befitting Zuckuss’ slightly smaller stature) and has 6 points of articulation.  The articulation is ever so slightly hampered by the nature of the character’s design and its implementation on the figure, which sees Zuckuss’ robes recreated through a thick rubber piece, similarly to the line’s take on Obi-Wan.  This time, however, the robes cannot be removed, due to the figure’s somewhat oddly shaped head.  It’s a shame, really, since there’s a fully detailed body under there, which is a lot of fun.  Oh well.  The sculpt that you actually can see is still a solid offering, to be fair.  The aliens were always where PotF2 shined, and Zuckuss is no exception.  The detail work is nice and crisp, and he’s a fairly spot-on recreation of Zuckuss’ on-screen appearance.  Zuckuss’ paintwork is actually some of the best we got from this line, by virtue of not being as cut and dry as most samples.  The robes in particular really benefit from that dry-brushed weathering that’s been placed all along them, giving them a more real-world-feel than most of his compatriots.  Also, quite impressively, the painted detailing extends under his robe, meaning if you find a way to remove it, he’ll still look all finished and proper.  Zuckuss is packed with his blaster pistol, which is a fairly standard inclusion.  And, as a 1998 figure, he was also packed with a Freeze Frame Action Slide, which shows off Zuckuss and his fellow bounty hunters on the bridge of the Executor.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Completing my Black Series pairing of Zuckuss and 4-LOM got me interested in the characters, and their prior figures.  I’ve been steadily piecing together a PotF2 collection, and, as luck would have it, my friends at All Time Toys just got in a fairly substantial collection from someone.  I never had Zuckuss growing up, but he looked cool enough that I just really felt compelled to buy him.  He’s an example of how good this line could be when Kenner really pulled their A-game.  Definitely one of my favorite figures from this line.

So, as I mentioned above, I got Zuckuss here from my friends at All Time Toys.  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!

#1884: The Lizard

THE LIZARD

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

Have you ever noticed that Spider-Man has a lot of animal-themed super villains?  Because he really does.  And a lot of them are pretty straight forward, too.  Like today’s focus, “The Lizard.”  He’s a guy who turns into a lizard-human hybrid.  Guess we should be grateful that he’s not “Lizard-Man”, or, going by Marvel’s creature naming thing, “Man-Lizard.”  The utter simplicity of Lizard’s name always reminds me of a time when I was in high school and, having picked up the reputation of being the comics guy, was asked to identify all of the Marvel characters on one guy’s shirt.  When I got to Lizard, I said his name, and everyone laughed and said “you’re just making these up, aren’t you?”…not really sure what I was getting at there, but hey, how about this Lizard figure?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Lizard is the eponymous Build-A-Figure for the Lizard Series of Marvel Legends.  This is the second officially Marvel Legends-branded Lizard, following the Toy Biz version from the old Fearsome Foes boxed set.  As with many Spider-Foes, there were also a couple of figures of him in the Legends-compatible Spider-Man line from Toy Biz.  As a Build-A-Figure, he’s decidedly a more monstrous take on the character than previous versions, perhaps most in-line with modern day interpretations of the character.  The figure stands about 6 3/4 inches tall (he’d be at least an inch taller if standing straight, but the figure has a slight hunch and a permanent crouch) and he has 39 points of articulation.  Lizard is another all-new sculpt, and I’d imagine it’s one that will stay unique to this figure.  More than size, I’d say the unique sculpt is why Lizard got the BaF treatment.  The sculpt has a lot of plusses, but I’m going to address its few small flaws first.  The biggest thing for me is the sculpt/articulation balance.  Some of the articulation works, but some of it’s very restricted.  The torso and the legs really showcase the most of this; the legs being stuck in that crouching pose proves rather restrictive.  Additionally, Lizard continues the trend of recent BaFs being really prone to popping apart after assembly.  This, coupled with the articulation limitations, can make him a real pain to pose.  Moving past those issues, though, Lizard’s sculpt is really fantastic.  He’s definitely on par with Sauron in terms of detail work, and I love just how much depth they were able to work into this sculpt.  The use of two add-on pieces on the torso (for his lab coat *and* his shirt) is a serious attention to detail I had not been expecting.  Some collectors have expressed issue with the decidedly dino stylings of Lizard’s head, but I actually don’t mind; Curt’s cranium was always the most prone portion of him to change, and I think this particular look gives him a more modern feel.  Plus it makes me think of Dr. Dinosaur, and that’s always a good thing.  Lizard’s paintwork continues the upward trend, especially amongst the Build-A-Figures, of increased paint apps.  There’s a lot of accent work on his scaly skin, which really helps to pronounce how much detail there is in that sculpt.  Lizard includes no accessories, but as an accessory himself, that’s quite alright.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Okay, I may have been slightly premature with yesterday’s “Finally!!!!!!!!!” intro, because if there’s a figure that deserves that exclamation more the Mysterio, it’s Lizard.  I’ve had 5/7s of this guy sitting on my desk since April, just begging for his remaining leg.  It was honestly getting to the point where I didn’t know if I would finish him at all.  But, as I noted in yesterday’s review, All Time Toys set me up with a Mysterio figure, thereby allowing me to finally finish this guy off.  There were a few flaws in this figure’s implementation, mostly in the way of articulation.  However, the positives far outweigh the negatives, and the end result is what is by far the best version of Lizard we’ve gotten in toy form.

My reviews of the assortment that built this figure ended up rather split up, which doesn’t tend to be my of handling such things.  Nevertheless, this assortment has proven to be perhaps my favorite Spider-themed assortment.  The Build-A-Figure was worth the wait, and many of the individual figures included are personal favorites.  It’s nice to finally have the whole thing.

#1883: Mysterio

MYSTERIO

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“A master of illusion, Mysterio seeks universal fame as a cloaked villain with an unmistakable helmet.”

FINALLY!!!!!! …Sorry, was that too much?  I can get carried away some times.  It’s just…this guy was really hard to get, and I…ah, this is the wrong section for all of this.  Sorry!

So, Mysterio.  Former-movie-special-effects-technician-turned-supervillain, with perhaps one of the most distinctive design in comics.  And, of course, soon to be played by Jake Gyllenhaal on the big screen in the upcoming Spider-Man: Far From Home.  Pretty cool guy all around.  No stranger to action figures, but being a decently well-known foe of Marvel’s best known hero will do that for you.  Now I’m going to review his latest figure right here and right now.  Let’s get right to that!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Mysterio is figure 6 in the Lizard Series of Marvel Legends.  He is, by far, the most demanded and hardest to find in the set, in part because he’s sort of an army builder (he frequently makes duplicates of himself to fool Spidey), in part because there was a distinctive change to the figure half way through production, and also just because he’s never had a figure that was quite this good.  This is out first officially Legends branded Mysterio, though Toy Biz put out a Legends compatible figure in their Spider-Man: Classics days.  That figure, like many from the line, was marred by a half-formed action feature, and, as an non-Spidey figure, was also rather hard to find.  It was definitely time for a replacement.  This figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  I’m pretty sure Mysterio is sporting an almost entirely unique sculpt.  His hands look to be from other figures, but otherwise he’s all-new.  Obviously, the cape/helmet, and the gloves and boots were always going to be new pieces, but I really have to commend Hasbro for going the fully sculpted route on his body.  They really could have phoned it in here and just painted the grid pattern on a basic body, but they didn’t and the figure looks so much better for it.  I really dig the cuffs to his gloves as well; those are slightly tricky to make work in three-dimensions, but they look quite nice here.  The one slightly off part of the sculpt is the helmet/cape combo.  It’s a nice enough sculpt, but making it all one piece feels slightly off to me, and the way it pegs into his back has it popping off more frequently than I’d like.  And then there’s the topic of the underlying head.  Hasbro was somewhat secretive about what was going to be under the fishbowl at first.  I myself was hoping for another go at a Quentin Beck head (which we sort of saw on the Toy Biz figure), or maybe even some sort of blank head, just to leave a silhouette under the helmet.  Hasbro opted for something more out there, meant to be another illusion created by Mysterio.  It’s a skull with a tentacle running through it, which is certainly…different.  It’s an interesting sculpt, but the helmet ended up being a lot more transparent than most of us had expected, which, coupled with the dark green plastic of the initial release’s head, left a lot of fans unhappy with the end result.  Fortunately, Hasbro was able to change the figure mid-run, so later shipments had the head molded in white instead of green, which works a little better.  I think I might have just preferred for the whole dome to just be a solid piece myself, but this works better than I’d expected.  The paint work on Mysterio is fairly straight-forward stuff, being mostly basic color work.  There’s a little bit of accenting on the gloves, which is cool, and I definitely like the metallic green paint.  I’m not thrilled by the slight change in the color of plastic from the hips to the legs, though it’s not quite as bad in-person.  Mysterio is packed with a pair of effects pieces, which clip onto his feet, making it appear that things are emanating from the ground beneath him.  It’s a fun effect, and really tops off the whole look of the figure, since Mysterio is so often seen with his feet obscured like this.  He’s also packed with the left leg of Lizard, meaning I can finally complete that guy!

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

It’s been a long road to getting this figure.  This was the first full series of Marvel Legends that All Time Toys got in, and I just missed the boat on getting Mysterio from them the first time around.  The assortment hasn’t been particularly plentiful at mass retail around these parts either, so six months after getting the rest of the assortment, I didn’t really expect to get this guy.  But, you see, I have these wonderful sponsors who own a toy store, so they were finally able to get ahold of another case of this series, and the Mysterio format was set aside for me.  Yay!  After waiting so long for him, this figure certainly has a lot to live up to.  Does he?  More or less.  There are some definite flaws here, which sort of impact his playability, but for the most part I’m happy with him.

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