#1951: Ulysses Klaue

ULYSSES KLAUE

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

An arms dealer obsessed with vibranium, Ulysses Klaue infiltrates the secret nation of Wakanda to steal the sacred metal and sell it for a hefty profit.”

Andy Serkis as Ulysses Klaue was definitely one of my very favorite parts of Black Panther (and Age of Ultron, for that matter), largely because it was so clear just how much of a blast Serkis was having playing the part.  While he was privy to two Minimates, I honestly wasn’t expecting a Legends release, due to him being just a kind of normal looking guy.  Of course, since we got Everett freaking Ross, I guess it shouldn’t be too shocking that the comparatively more exciting Klaue would be given his due, now should it?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Klaue is figure 3 in the M’Baku Series of Marvel Legends.  Like the Minimate, he’s based on Klaue’s appearance during the sequence at the casino and the ensuing chase scene.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  Klaue is built on a variant of the suit body, though no one would blame you for missing that at first glance.  He uses the torso and legs from that body, with an overlay piece on the torso, plus new arms and a new head, in order to give Klaue a sufficiently unique appearance.  I wasn’t sure about the overlay piece at first, because such pieces can end up overly bulky and cumbersome, but this one actually works out alright, and matches Serkis’ build in the movie pretty decently.  By far the best part of this figure’s sculpt is the head, which has to be one of the finest likenesses Hasbro has ever put out.  I feel like I’ve made this claim on a few figures recently, but Hasbro genuinely seems to be getting better and better at this stuff.  Not only does the head look just like Serkis, but it’s also got the mad cackling grin from the movie down pat, which is a nice change of pace on the sometimes overly stern shelves of Marvel Legends.  Klaue’s paintwork has its ups and downs, but the ups definitely prevail.  The base paintwork, especially on the tie, is a little sloppy, but the work on the arm tattoo and especially on the face is really strong.  Normally, scene-specific battle damage can be frustrating on a figure intended to replicate a character’s entire movie appearance, but I can’t help but love how beaten up Klaue looks.  He genuinely looks like he’s stepped right out of the movie.  Klaue is packed with a basic handgun, as well as an alternate left forearm with his sonic cannon in its deployed form, and the torso of M’Baku.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Of the single release figures, Klaue was definitely at the top of my list for this assortment, because how could he not be.  Even with the bar set pretty darn high, this figure still managed to really surprise me, because I just wasn’t expecting to like him so darn much.  He’s just a lot of fun to mess around with, largely because of how well that awesome facial expression lends itself to all sorts of poses.  For me, this guy is definitely a star figure.

Klaue was purchased from my friends at All Time Toys.  If you’re looking for other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#1950: Erik Killmonger

ERIK KILLMONGER

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Seeking vengeance for his father’s exile from Wakanda, Erik Killmonger returns to challenge T’Challa for the right to the Wakandan throne.”

By far the most glaring omission from most of the Black Panther merch was primary antagonist Killmonger’s tactical gear.  Though it was his primary appearance for the film, the dark-panther-reflection design’s presence in the film’s final battle meant that it was the look that all the toy-makers went for.  So, for this very prominent look, all we had was a minimate.  Our first hint of the second Black Panther assortment was actually the tribal mask from this particular design, because Hasbro knew it was the look most people were wanting.  Now he’s finally here, so how did he fair?  Let’s find out!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Killmonger is figure 2 in the M’Baku Series of Marvel Legends.  He pairs with yesterday’s Kinetic Black Panther as the double packs for this assortment.  Given the demand for this particular design, it was definitely a smart choice on Hasbro’s part.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  Killmonger is a rather sensible combination of old and new parts.  Obviously, the head is re-used from the two-pack version of Killmonger from last year, which is still one of Hasbro’s best likenesses from the MCU.  The legs are also re-used, this time from the Netflix Punisher figure.  They’re fairly basic combat attire, and again pretty nice pieces from the start.  With a new belt and thigh strap, as well as a new torso and arms, it all ends up looking new and unique, and the whole thing jibes together pretty well to make for a very strong, very spot-on recreation of Killmonger’s tactical appearance from the film.  Topping off the whole thing is a new mask piece, based on the tribal mask he steals in the film.  It fits well over Killmonger’s head, and stays in place surprisingly well.  It also fits nicely over a variety of other similarly sized head sculpts too, should you want to swap it around to other figures.  Killmonger’s paintwork is pretty decent work overall.  The face is printed, and therefore quite lifelike.  The uniform has a nice variety of colors, which makes him more eye-catching than his prior figures to be sure.  Both the camo on his legs and the brushed metal effect on his armor look pretty cool, and are done nice and convincingly.  I was a little bummed by the lack of paint on the belt actually on the figure, but with the add-on in place, this isn’t noticeable.  In addition to his removable mask, Killmonger includes a pistol and an assault rifle (both shared with the Punisher figure), as well as the head and staff of M’Baku.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As with most other people, this Killmonger was very high on my want list, so I was happy to see him in this assortment, and was very much looking forward to him.  There’s not a whole lot to report on this guy.  He didn’t surprise me, because I was already expecting him to be pretty cool, and he certainly lived up to that.  As far as single figures go, I foresee him being the most popular in the set, because he’s a nice item all in his own right.

Like yesterday’s Panther figure, I got Killmonger from my friends at All Time Toys, and he’s still available here.  And, if you’re looking for other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

The Blaster In Question #0076: Nailbiter

NAILBITER

ZOMBIE STRIKE

nailbite1Nails. We all love them. Spikes what spike stuff together. Either that or the scratchy bits on the ends of your fingers, or even a band from the 90s that wants to do stuff like an animal. What does this all have to do with Nerf though? Well think about it, if you had to grab a makeshift weapon to use against zombies, wouldn’t you go for a nail gun?  No, not a cricket bat, and not a regular ball-peen hammer and sheer unflinching willpower, a nail gun. If for no other reason than it would be cool if it worked at all. Enter Nerf’s answer to this question that you all (for the sake of the review) answered wrong by picking more wisely, the Nailbiter. Improvised weaponry made from power tools? Let me show you its features. 

THE BLASTER ITSELF

nailbite2The Nailbiter was released in 2019 as part of the Zombie Strike line. It features a double-action trigger, like the Voidcaster from the Alien Menace series, but instead of just a smart AR, the Nailbiter uses an 8 round, vertical ratcheting clip, reminiscent of how, say, a nail gun would feed. I don’t know why Nerf seems to be on such a ratcheting clip kick lately with the Thunderhawk and Rukkus in addition, but it does seem like they’re slowly improving upon the system each time. People hated the Thunderhawk’s clip cuz it stuck out to the side and made it virtually impossible to store the blaster with space efficiency in mind. The Rukkus was a little better but you couldn’t access the whole clip from a single position for nailbite3reloading. Now with the Nailbiter, not only does the clip fit entirely within the silhouette of the blaster, but when it’s ratcheted all the way up, you can reload all 8 barrels. At this rate, in a few more iterations, it’ll hold 200 rounds and have 30% critical chance. Nerf, I’m serious, pick up the Warframe license. I’ll buy everything. Anyway, being a double-action blaster, pulling the trigger not only primes and fires in a single stroke, now it also advances the clip. This makes rapidly firing very easy, especially while dual weighing which I highly recommend if you can manage it. The Nailbiter is fairly large for a pistol. It was certainly bigger than I was expecting. On the plus side, that larger size means that it was big enough to include a stock and barrel attachment point. There’s also a rail on the bottom for… something, Australian scopes?  Who knows? The performance of the Nailbiter isn’t the most amazing in terms of range and power, but it’s definitely respectable in those regards. As I said earlier, the main draw for a blaster like this is rapid fire. Busting into your younger siblings’ room with two Nailbiters and opening fire is a sight they’ll not soon forget. The Nailbiter comes packaged with 8 Zombie Strike Elite darts. 

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION 

I found the Nailbiter entirely by chance at my local target since I was under the impression they hadn’t come out yet. Needless to say, I bought 2 and I regret nothing. As much fun as the Voidcaster was to dual wield for the vague Halo-esque feeling it inspired, the Nailbiter is functionally the better blaster, and having 16 rounds of semi-auto foam on tap is quite a feeling of its own. I recommend greatly

#1949: Black Panther

BLACK PANTHER

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

With the safety of Earth threatened by the powerful titan, Thanos, Black Panther joins forces with the Avengers to protect the world from certain destruction.”

There was a time not that long ago when an MCU movie was lucky to get *any* 6-inch coverage.  Heck, Thor: The Dark World had literally none before the 10th Anniversary sets hit.  Black Panther was actually pretty fortunate in its first go, with four movie based Legends in its main assortment, plus a two-pack to augment.  However, that wasn’t enough for the fanbase, and so, for the first time, a solo MCU movie is getting a second series, a year after the movie no less.  I’ll be kicking things off with the main guy himself!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Black Panther is the first figure in the M’Baku Series of Marvel Legends.  Though the whole series is based on Black Panther, Hasbro decided to mix things up when packaging the figures, so Panther’s packaging actually lists him as hailing from Infinity War, and he’s got a bio to match.  Since the Panther costume was the same between the two film’s, it’s a perfectly reasonable choice.  This guy is wearing the same costume as the last one, but this one shows it fully charged up with kinetic energy, so he’s all fancy and purple.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  His sculpt is, unsurprisingly, completely shared with the previous figure.  It is the same suit, after all.  While I have some slight reservations about the design, and its implementation (still not crazy about those shoulders), I will admit that it’s grown on me.  The new paint definitely helps in that respect.  In addition to the slight bit of silver accenting, this one also gets a bunch of funky metallic purple, which I feel better frames the sculpt, and helps to distract from some of the odder aspects of the articulation.  Panther is packed with an unmasked head and two sets of hands.  The hands are the same as the prior figure, but the head is an all-new piece.  The last head wasn’t stellar, and definitely work with the body, but this one actually gives us a pretty spot-on Chadwick Bosman as seen in his solo film, and it looks pretty solid when placed on the body.  Not bad!  In addition to the character-specific items, Panther is also packed with the right arm of M’Baku.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I loved the Civil War Panther, and I was left sort of luke warm by the solo film release from last year.  When this assortment was first shown off, I was more focused on the other figures within it, so I wasn’t eagerly waiting for this guy.  But, since I wanted an M’Baku, I was in for him no matter my feelings on the figure itself.  I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised by this figure.  The new kinetic detailing gives him a much needed pop, and I really dig the unmasked head.  There are certainly worse figures to release.

As with most of my recent Legends purchases, Panther is from my friends at All Time Toys, and can be purchased here.  Or, if you’re looking for other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#1948: Spirit of Obi-Wan

SPIRIT OF OBI-WAN

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

You know something I really miss? Mail-away figures.  They were quite popular during the ’80s and ’90s, and even made their way into the early ’00s, and were particularly common amongst the Star Wars lines, and they even netted me my very first Han Solo action figure.  To say I have a soft-spot for them is something of an understatement.  In their hey-day, they permeated all manner of merchandising.  Perhaps one of the most infamous is today’s focus, the Spirit of Obi-Wan.  One of the first offerings of the re-launched Star Wars line, he was born out of a partnership between Kenner and Frito Lay.  If you sent in a certain number of proofs of purchase from Frito Lay’s then-new pizza flavored potato chips, they’d send you this fancy exclusive figure.  Obviously, thought the smart toy collectors out there, this figure was going to be super rare and hard to find, so they had to order as many of them as possible, so that they could retire on them in the future.  Little economics lesson here: if you create false demand for an item, then the supply will rise to meet it, and then *nobody* gets to retire.  But enough about senseless speculation, how’s the actual figure?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Spirit of Obi-Wan was shipped out to fans in 1997, as the second mail-away offer in the Power of the Force II line.  He was the line’s second Obi-Wan figure, following his standard release in ’95.  It was also our first time getting Obi-Wan in his force ghost form, which is somewhat surprising given how much of the original trilogy he spends as a ghost.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and has 0 points of articulation.  Yes, you read that articulation count right; this figure has no articulation, at least not right out of the box.  There are clearly joints at his neck and shoulders, and you can get them moving without *too* much trouble, but they are affixed in place when new, on every sample of this figure.  Why is anyone’s guess.  It’s entirely possible it wasn’t even fully intentional, but there it is.  Obi-Wan’s sculpt is, understandably, rather similar to his standard release figure.  The only parts actually shared between the two are the head and I believe the right arm, since the translucent nature of the figure makes a solid construction on the torso more sensible than the removable robe of the prior figure.  It actually looks pretty decent, and possibly one of the most surprising things about this figure’s sculpt is that it wasn’t ever repainted into a regular Obi-Wan.  I do have to say, while not spot-on, the head actually seems to have more of a resemblance to Alec Guinness when unpainted.  Speaking of unpainted, that’s the nature of this whole figure.  While later force ghost figures would experiment with variations in coloration, this one is just a straight translucent blue.  I myself like this look a little more, if I’m honest; it makes him more identifiably different.  The Spirit of Obi-Wan was packed with no accessories, unless of course you count the assortment of coupons he came with, but that seems like a stretch to me.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I had enough trouble holding onto my regular Obi-Wan back in the day, so I did not have this one growing up.  Instead, I added him to my collection thanks to my friends at All Time Toys, who got in not one, but two *sealed* copies of this figure, one of them still in its cardboard mailer.  Since they aren’t actually worth much of anything, All Time was more than happy to pass along one of the pair to me.  He’s not a super playable figure, but he’s a nifty sort of set dressing, and a great example of how badly speculators can screw up a market.  Don’t buy your toys as investments kids; it never really pays off.

#1947: King Kong of Skull Island

KING KONG

KING KONG OF SKULL ISLAND (MEZCO)

An undeniable icon of the silver screen since he first debuted in his 1933 film, King Kong is a slightly tough egg to crack when it comes to merchandising.  In the ’30s, of course, tie-in merchandise was far from the business it is now, and by the time such things had come into vogue, Kong was more of a thing of the past. Sure, the idea of 20-foot gorilla is certainly a spectacle to behold in 1933, but how exactly do you translate that into little plastic figures in a way that isn’t kind of generic and passé?  What separates a King Kong figure from some dollar store monkey?  That can be a bit of a grey area.  When the 2005 remake hit, Playmates picked up the license and did their best to sell it, but failed to make much of an impact.  At the same time, Mezco picked up the license as well, and produced a slightly more popular rendition of the title character, but this was admittedly back before they were quite as well versed in the figure-making game.  Fortunately, with a new Kong movie in more recent history (and therefore more Kong in the public eye), and a lot more experience on Mezco’s part, they’re giving it another try.  I’m looking at that today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

King Kong of Skull Island is a standalone release from Mezco, who started hitting retail at the beginning of last month.  Despite their similar naming schemes, this figure is *not* based on Kong from the recent film, Kong: Skull Island.  He is instead from Joe Devito’s illustrated novel King Kong of Skull Island.  I know, how could anyone *possibly* confuse those two things?  It just baffles the mind.  Anyway, the figure stands 7 inches tall and he has 23 points of articulation.  As with most Kong figures, he’s in a scale that’s really all his own, so as to maximize playability and minimize costs.  So, he’s not really going to be interacting with your other popular figure lines.  Well, at least not as Kong, anyway.  Unsurprisingly, he’s sporting an all-new sculpt, based on Devito’s depiction of the character.  It’s a pretty solid piece of work, and definitely calls back to some of Mezco’s more stylized figures from earlier in the ’00s.  In particular, I was definitely reminded of their comics-based Hellboy line.  Utmost realism is obviously not at the forefront here, but then again, that’s probably for the best with a character like Kong, who could otherwise prove generic.  His articulation is fairly decently worked into the sculpt, so it won’t stick out like a sore thumb, which is fairly commendable, especially when it comes to a figure with all the fur and everything.  They certainly had a better time of it than Hasbro has with their more recent Chewbacca figures.  With all that said, while the joints certainly look nice, I can’t say they offer much in the way of range.  They’re quite tight, and difficult to move.  On the plus side, this means what poses you can get him into are held pretty well, but his range is still limited.  There are two different heads included with the figure.  The first is a more serene one, a calm, yet intense expression.  The thinking man’s Kong, if you will.  This is my preferred of the two, because it’s a bit more versatile and seems better suited to the poses the figure can pull off.  The second is a far more intense, screaming head, a mid-battle or mid-escape Kong.  Admittedly a pretty classic Kong look, and while I may prefer the other one, I’d certainly feel something was missing without this one.  Paintwork on Kong is pretty decent, and very subtle work.  There are a number of details that can be easily overlooked, such as the accenting on the fur, which certainly adds a lot to the depth of the sculpt.  In addition to his extra head, Kong is packed with five hands (a pair of fists, a pair of open gesture, and a right hand designed for gripping), a pair of removable shackles (with real metal chains!), and a miniature Ann Darrow figure for him to hold.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

While I certainly have an appreciation for King Kong as a fixture in pop-culture, I’ve never found myself particularly drawn to any of the figures produced of him.  This one caught my eye moreso than others, but I still held off.  When All Time Toys got in their stock, one of the figures had some issues with his packaging, which was very fortunate for me because, hey, review sample!  Kong is a decent figure.  Not a perfect one, mind you; that articulation holds him back quite a bit.  That said, as his own, standalone sort of piece, he’s pretty nifty, and he’s certainly one of the two best Kongs on the market, with the plus side being that he’s way more affordable than his only competition (the Figuarts release).

As mentioned above, I was given this guy to review by my friends at All Time Toys.  If you’d like one of your own, he’s still available via their webstore here.   Or, if you’re looking for other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#1946: Rio Durant

RIO DURANT

SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY (HASBRO)

Though a minor part of the overall film, Tobias Beckett’s plucky pilot Rio Durant was an entertaining character with one of the niftiest modern Star Wars designs, making him a prime pick for just all of the toys ever.  Or, at the very least, two of the toys ever.  I’ve looked at one of his two figures, so today I’ll be looking at the other one.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Rio is part of the fourth series of Hasbro’s tie-in line for Solo.  As I’ve noted in my last two reviews, this assortment proved to be the one with the most actual Solo characters featured within it, making Rio a natural choice for the line-up, especially with Beckett and Val shipping right alongside him.  The figure stands 3 inches tall and with 12 points of articulation, he’s one of the best articulated basic 3 3/4-inch figures we’ve gotten in quite a while.  As with his larger counterpart, it’s those extra limbs that rally give him the advantage.  Rio’s sculpt is, unsurprisingly, an all-new affair, and it’s by far the best of the three I’ve looked at from this assortment.  Obviously, it’s slightly stepped down from the Black Series release, but not quite as much as you might think.  It’s an accurate rendition of his model from the film, and it includes some of the best detail work you can find at this scale.  While he’s slightly pre-posed, it’s just enough to give him a little bit of extra character, without proving itself too limiting.  The arms in particular are cleverly posed to work with the articulation and offer up a couple of acceptable poses for each of them.  Rio’s paintwork is fairly basic, but the application is clean, and all of the important details are there.  On top of that, he maintains the bright, eye-catching colors of his larger figure, and is just generally a nice figure to look at.  While the larger Rio includes two different blasters, this one instead only carries the smaller one, which, given the lower price point isn’t terrible.  It can be stowed in his holster on his belt, or held in any of his four hands, so you’ve definitely got some display options cut out for you.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I did *not* find Rio at the same Walmart as Beckett and Val.  However, after having found them, and knowing that they were being clearanced, I made a point to swing by another Walmart on my way home, and I was able to grab a discounted Rio there.  I thought this guy might be another situation like with Val, where getting the Black Series figure first kind of left me feeling lukewarm about the basic release, but I have to say, Rio is just a really, really nice figure, and one of the best things to come out of this basic line.  Sure, the larger figure is more poseable and has the extra weapon, but this guy is absolutely no slouch in his own right, and the smaller scale means he’s a pilot who will actually be able to pilot things, even if we don’t actually have the ship he flies in the movie.

#1945: Val (Mimiban)

VAL (MIMIBAN)

SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY (HASBRO)

Conspicuously absent from the early product for Solo were figures of Tobias Beckett’s distinctive crew of smugglers from the beginning of the film.  Though their roles weren’t huge, both Thandie Newton and Jon Favreau delivered really strong performances.  Newton in particular was praised by the film’s writer as being “too good for her role”, and famously wore a dress bearing images of action figures of all of the Star Wars-verse’s black characters (I believe from her own personal collection, though I may be misremembering that) to the film’s red carpet premiere.  I hope she gets the chance to add her own figure to that selection!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Val (Mimiban) is part of the fourth series of the Solo line, which happens to be most actually Solo-themed assortment, and likely will prove the most difficult assortment to find in the long run.  What’s interesting about this Val is that, though she’s wearing the same outfit as her 6-inch counterpart, they’re listed as being from two different locals.  This one is billed as being from Mimiban, which isn’t quite accurate, since she was wearing an Imperial disguise while there.  I mean, she does *technically* wear this gear right as they’re leaving Mimiban, but it seems odd to list this one as specifically her “Mimiban” appearance, especially if there’s any chance at releasing versions of Beckett’s crew in their Imperial get-ups (please?).  The figure stands about 3 1/2 inches tall and she has 7 points of articulation.  Like a good number of the Solo figures, she has wrist joints included, which certainly make themselves handy.  She also has a much easier time keeping standing than her partner Tobias, which I’m certainly counting as a plus.  Her sculpt is a decent enough offering.  I’d rank it above Beckett in terms of detailing and accuracy, though I can’t say the likeness is one of their best.  Black Series Val was spot-on, but this one seems a little off.  Still, she’s certainly passable.  Val’s paintwork is, like the sculpt, definitely serviceable.  There are some slightly un-even spots, but for the scale, she’s really not bad.  The figure is packed only with a single blaster, just like her larger counterpart.  However, at the lower price and smaller scale, this is less of an issue.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I grabbed Val at the same time as I grabbed Beckett, largely due to that whole thing with Walmart clearancing them out.  Admittedly, she’s a better figure than he is, but she had the misfortune of being added to my collection just a few days after I got the much more technically impressive Black Series release, which did sort of steal this one’s thunder.

#1944: Tobias Beckett

TOBIAS BECKETT

SOLO: A STAR WARS (HASBRO)

Hey, whoa, remember yesterday, when I reviewed a figure of a character played by Woody Harrelson?  Well, if you liked that, you’re in luck, because I’m totally going to be doing that again today.  What sort of crazy person would put these things back to back?  This sort of a crazy person, that’s who!  Yesterday’s review looked at one of Harrelson’s earliest on-screen roles.  Today, we’re jumping forward to 2018, with his turn as Han’s mentor Tobias Beckett in Solo.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Tobias Beckett was released in Series 4 of the Solo line from Hasbro.  As a pretty major player in the film, it’s a bit surprising it took so long to get him, but at least he actually showed up at (some) retail.  Beckett is based on his main smuggler’s appearance from the film, same as his 6-inch figure.  The figure stands 4 inches tall and has 9 points of articulation.  A number of the Solo figures added wrist joints, and Beckett furthers this by also adding swivels at the tops of the boots.  Despite these extra joints, I still found Beckett to be almost impossible to keep standing. I’m not sure why he’s so different from others in the line, but it does appear that the feet are angled a little too far back.  It’s possible this issue is limited to my figure, but it’s still frustrating nonetheless.  The figure’s sculpt is decent enough, though I don’t find it to be quite as strong as the rest of the main characters. The detailing is generally a little softer, and I don’t think there’s really much of Woody Harrelson in the likeness on the head.  It’s certainly not as good as the spot-on likeness of his larger counterpart.  Also not quite as strong as the larger figure?  The paint.  Obviously, there’s less of a canvas to work with on the smaller figure, so less detail is expected, and for the body, that’s not so bad.  It’s really the head that gets the worst of it, because they’ve transformed Harrelson’s scruff into more of a Van Dyke looking thing.  It just makes the whole figure look rather off.  Beckett is packed with his dual blaster pistols, which he can hold or store in his working holsters.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Beckett’s a figure a very nearly missed at retail.  None of the stores in my area have carried anything past the second wave of Solo product, and even that was scarce.  I ended up finding this one at the Walmart near where my family was vacationing over the winter holiday, just as they put all of their Star Wars stuff on clearance, at which point pretty much every figure they had disappeared overnight.  If you really just want a Beckett, the Black Series figure is the better offering, and may just be easier to find in the long-run.  Had I not found this guy when I did, I don’t know he would have warranted tracking down after the fact.

#1943: Woody Boyd

WOODY BOYD

CHEERS (MEGO)

“Hey Mr. Peterson, there’s a cold one waiting for you.”

Cheers had a few major characters that weren’t actually with the show from the beginning.  Perhaps the most successful of those was Kelsey Grammar as Dr. Frasier Crane, who despite being one of the show’s most popular characters and leading his own spin-off that ran for 11 seasons, wasn’t actually a member of the Cheers cast until Season 3.  Though perhaps not quite the same level of fan-favorite, Woody Harrelson’s character Woody Boyd was in a similar boat, joining the cast in their Season 4 premier, as a replacement for the late Nicholas Colasanto as “Coach.”  It’s a roll best known for getting Harrelson into the public spot-light, and now there’s an action figure!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Woody is our third Cheers figure in the re-launched Mego’s TV Classics line, shipping in the third wave of product in late 2018.  Amusingly, it’s actually actor Woody Harrelson’s third figure from last year, following his two Beckett figures from Solo.  The figure stands 8 inches tall and he has 16 points of articulation.  Like most of the line, he’s built on the standard Type 2 male body, with a new head-sculpt.  Of the three Cheers sculpts, Woody’s is definitely the weakest, due largely to Harrelson’s more subdued features, which don’t lend themselves to caricature in the same way as George Wendt or John Ratzenberger.  This makes it a touch harder to tell who it is at first glance.  That said, it’s not a terrible attempt, and he’s certainly still got more than a passing resemblance to Harrelson.  The paint on the head is also a slight step down from his predecessors, mostly due to one odd choice: the streaks in the hair.  Harrelson did have some lighter sections in his hair while on the show, but they certainly didn’t look anything like this, and I think the figure would have been far better suited leaving them off entirely.  Woody didn’t have a uniform or anything in the show, but he did have a fairly standard set of attire, a collared polo, and jeans, which he’s wearing here.  He’s got the usual Mego-style tailoring on those two pieces, plus a generic set of plastic shoes.  Woody continues the trend we’ve seen with all of the Cheers figures so far and includes a mug of beer with the logo on the front.  Presumably, this one’s for a patron, not Woody himself.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Woody proved to be a little scarcer than Norm or Cliff, so he took me little more time to track down.  I actually grabbed him on the same trip that got me the new animated Poe figure.  As I noted above, he’s probably the weakest of the three Cheers figures we’ve gotten, but given how nice the other two were, that doesn’t mean he’s awful by any stretch.  Woody was a favorite of mine, so I’m glad to add him to my collection, and I hope we see more of the characters.