#2908: Green Lantern – John Stewart



“John Stewart is a former U.S. Marine who uses his military training and discipline to protect Earth, and the rest of Space Sector 2814, as a member of the intergalactic peacekeeping force known as the Green Lantern Corps. As Green Lantern, John wields a power ring, which creates a protective shield around him, allows him to fly, and generates hard-light energy constructs in the form of anything he imagines. Fueled by willpower, Green Lantern’s power ring is one of the mightiest weapons in the universe!”

On the topic of McFarlane not always *just* doing Batman, here’s a bit more in that category.  I’m classically a pretty big Green Lantern fan, and there’s no denying that Todd’s been rather stingy on the GL love.  To date, there’s been a Green Lantern Batman (which only half counts), and two different versions of John Stewart.  I don’t really want to delve into the monstrosity that was the animated-style version, so I guess I’ll look at the other one.


Green Lantern John Stewart was 2021 release for the DC Multiverse standard line.  Again, there’s the whole distribution thing, which means he showed up early some places, but just showed up rather recently others.  Yay, that’s fun.  The figure stands 7 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  John’s articulation scheme is again pretty much the same as the other DC McFarlane stuff, but I did find the range of motion on him to be a fair bit more restricted, and also more prone to breaking up the flow of the sculpt.  John’s sculpt was unique to him to start, but most of it’s already planned for a re-use on the upcoming Hal Jordan.  Effectively, this means they kind of designed it with the two uses in mind, so you can sort of see how the details are loosely meant to work for their two differing costume designs.  In simplest terms, that means that no matter which of the two you’re looking at, they’re really over designed, especially for GLs.  There’s just so many unnecessary details just really muddying up the cleanness of the GL design.  It’s especially notable on John, since he’s wearing his more modern, even further streamlined costume.  They didn’t even add extra lines to his costume during the New 52, you guys.  Even New 52 standards knew not to mess up the John Stewart design.  And yet, here we are, with way too much going on.  Todd really does remind me of the old adage “if less is more, think of how much more more could be.”  All the excess detail might be easier to get away with if the actual body sculpt worked, but it’s got kind of wonky proportions, with the arms in particular just being far too long.  I’m also really not digging that the right hand is doing a trigger finger grip; how do you not give a GL a fist for their ring hand?  Topping it all off is the unique head sculpt that’s supposed to be pulling the heavy weight on selling this figure as John Stewart.  Trouble is, it doesn’t really look like John.  It looks like a generic black guy.  They don’t all look the same, I can assure you.  I felt kind of the same way about Mezco’s version of John as well, so maybe there’s just some confusion about his defining facial features.  John’s paint work is alright.  It’s nothing to write home about, and I find myself wishing the greens were a bit brighter, or possibly even metallic.  Just something to make it pop more would be good.  John’s accessories include a construct armor piece for the torso, a construct minigun, a display stand, and a collector’s card.  The minigun isn’t the worst thing ever, but it does really feel a little less joyful and fun than the usual constructs.  I also don’t really like that’s only held, and doesn’t clip on in any way, nor do I like that we missed out on getting a lantern, or maybe some extra hands.  It’s not an awful selection, but it’s not particularly thrilling either.


The general lack of GL focus in the McFarlane output hasn’t really thrilled me.  I wanted to be excited by this guy, but the prototype shots did nothing for me, and seeing him in person didn’t do a lot either.  A loose one wound up coming in at the same time as the Flash figure I reviewed yesterday, so I decided that was the time to give him a try.  He’s…well, he’s really not great.  I want to like him, but I guess I’ve been a little bit spoiled by earlier, better John Stewart figures.  If I’m entirely honest, I pretty much went the whole review just wanting this figure to be the DCUC one, and he’s not, and he’s never gonna be.

#2907: The Flash



“In a freak lab accident, forensic scientist Barry Allen was struck by lightning and doused with chemicals, which gave him the superpowers of the Speed Force. Now he uses these powers to defend his hometown of Central City—and the rest of the world—from the forces of evil as The Flash! The Fastest Man Alive can run up the sides of buildings, across oceans, and around the world at light speed. He can also vibrate his molecules to phase through solid objects!”

Hey, look at that, sometimes McFarlane doesn’t only do Batman.  I know, it’s a crazy concept.  Sometimes he’ll laser focus in on a different character for just a moment.  And for a little portion of the last year or so, one such laser focused character was the Flash, who’s now had a whole five figures.  Can you believe that?  I mean, I guess it’s possible to believe it.  I mean, there’s like empirical evidence to support it and all.  It’s probably been peer reviewed.  Speaking of reviews, that’s what I’m supposed to be doing here, so why don’t I do that?  Yeah, I think I will!  Let’s jump in on that!


The Flash was part of the basic DC Multiverse line-up, hitting retail at roughly the mid-point of last year…some places anyway.  McFarlane’s distribution’s been all over the map, so exact timelines can be weird.  He was the first of the Flash figures McFarlane released, but was quickly followed by the slight retool of this one for the two-pack release with Red Death.  The figure stands 7 1/4 inches tall and he has 33 points of articulation.  Flash’s articulation scheme follows what we’ve become used to with McFarlane’s DC stuff.  The range isn’t bad, but it does have a tendency to break up the sculpt in rather odd ways.  Also, some of the joints, notably on the ankles, are a little on the loose side, so it can be hard to get him to hold poses for terribly long.  But, for the most part, it’s not terrible.  Flash’s sculpt was initially unique, but then saw re-use for the two-pack release, and is getting another re-use for the upcoming Reverse Flash as well.  It’s patterned on his far more ridge-y post-New 52 appearance.  While it’s got a bit too much going on for it to be my preferred Flash, it does seem like it’s more up Todd’s alley.  Also, it’s still his current look, so it adds up.  It does at least make for a pretty nice looking figure, and they didn’t add a bunch of other unnecessary details that don’t need to be there.  The main defining trait of this figure, in contrast to the two-pack release, is the head sculpt.  For this one, he gets a more playful expression with a smile.  It’s a bit cartoony an exaggerated, but it feels appropriate for the character, and I really like it.  The only part I’m a bit iffy on is the ear wings, which seem a little too crazy for my preferred take on Flash.  Otherwise, it’s pretty solid.  Flash’s paint work is generally pretty basic.  It’s bright and colorful, which is a bit of a contrast from the usual McFarlane output, so I won’t really complain on that.  The figure is packed with an assortment of lightning effects, as well as a display stand, so that you can get some more intense running displays…when he remains standing, of course.


When DC Collectibles launched Essentials, I picked up Reverse Flash, but not the standard, because I found basic Flash to be just a touch too bland for my taste.  I still wanted one in a comparable scale, so when this guy was shown off, I was at the very least interested.  Of course, with the wonky distribution and such, All Time never ended up getting theirs, and I couldn’t really be bothered to actually hunt him down.  As luck would have it, he wound up getting traded in loose a couple of months ago, so I was able to pick one up without much fuss.  He’s still got those typical McFarlane things going on, but I do like him a fair bit overall, and he fits in well with my Essentials figures, so I’d call that a win.

#2906: Beast Man – Revelation



The events of Masters of the Universe: Revelation show us the end of the big heroes and villains conflict that’s run throughout the entirety of the franchise, and at the other side of that end, the characters don’t really have the same hard-lined loyalties of earlier stories.  As a result, Teela’s rag-tag band assembled to save Eternia isn’t just heroes, but also includes a few classically villainous characters, such as Evil-Lyn and Beast Man.  No longer Skeletor’s eternal punching bag, Beast Man is now loyal purely to Lyn and her wishes, as well as wanting what’s ultimately best for Eternia.  It’s a nuanced take on a classically rather one-note character, and I very much enjoyed that.  And now he’s also got a figure!


Beast Man is another figure from Series 2 of Mattel’s Masterverse line, the second of the two post-time-jump characters included in the line-up (the other being yesterday’s Teela figure).  We’ve gotten takes on Beast Man’s classic evil-beast-master design, but for Revelation he’s got a more reserved noble savage look about him, befitting his character growth.  He’s less dressed up, and more focused on just being him, I guess.  The figure stands a little bit over 7 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Beast Man’s articulation scheme is very similar to that of the main male body, though it’s thankfully without the hip issue.  There are some slight tradeoffs, though, and the neck/mid-torso joints definitely don’t get the same kind of range as other figures in the line.  For the first time ever, I believe, despite the two of them being so close in release times, Beast Man does not share any parts with Moss Man.  I was honestly rather shocked by that, but it’s not so bad.  I anticipate this one will be sharing lots of parts with the inevitable classic Beast Man, but for now he’s unique.  It’s a good, slightly more bulky sculpt, and the texture work in particular is quite impressively handled.  It’s not as layered as some of the other sculpts, but it follows his slightly simpler design well.  His paint work is overall pretty good.  Generally pretty basic, but there’s some cool smaller touches.  I do have to say, though, I saw a pretty abominably bad version of the eye paint in the same case I grabbed mine from, so it’s worth keeping an eye out on this one.  Beast Man is packed with three different sets of hands (fists, gipping, and open gesture), as well as his whip.  The whip is a tad rudimentary in terms of design, but gets the job done, and the hands offer a lot of variety.


I’m typically only a moderate Beast Man fan (although I did really dig his 200x figure), but I really liked how they changed up the character a bit in Revelation.  He was just a nice fit for the whole team dynamic they had, and I definitely wanted his new design as a figure.  This one’s a bit more basic than the others, but he’s a still a pretty fun figure.

Thanks to my sponsors over at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure to review.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website.

#2905: Teela – Revelation



As we wait for the second half of Masters of the Universe: Revelation, Mattel is still at work actually getting us the toys from the show.  The first assortment of figures based on the show (released as part of Mattel’s newly launched Masterverse line), were largely inspired by the show’s pre-time-skip opening episode, which was a little heavier on the classic aesthetic.  For the second assortment, there’s a bit more focus on those later appearances, including Teela, who spends the post-jump sequences as the the show’s central character, as she and her patchwork team attempt to restore power to Eternia.  Teela’s always been a major character in the mythos, but Revelation really gives her some proper focus, and she’s one of my favorite parts of the show, so I’m very excited about this figure.  Let’s see how it turned out.


Teela is part of the second series of the Masterverse line, which just started showing up at retail in the last few weeks.  As noted in the intro, this Teela is her post-jump design, which is how she looks for most of the show’s run, at least so far.  We also had a confirmation at PowerCon that there will also be a classic-inspired version of her coming later in the line.  As with Evil-Lyn’s new design, Teela’s new design keeps elements of her original, while also modernizing.  She honestly takes it a bit further even then Evil-Lyn, with a design that’s probably the most up-to-the-minute and “trendy” of the new Masters design.  It’s got a good post-apocalyptic vibe, and it’s quite utilitarian, so I dig it.  The figure stands 7 inches tall and she has 31 points of articulation.  At her core, Teela shares parts with Evil-Lyn, as expected, though it’s not a ton.  Mostly, it’s just the inner workings and most base level parts.  It means that she’s got Evil-Lyn’s more improved articulation, which isn’t prone to the weird sticking at the hips, making her far more easily posed.  The majority of the sculpt is still new parts, so as to better line-up with Teela’s show design.  As with the others, it’s not a direct translation of the animation, but gets the important details and sort of homogenizes them with the house style.  Generally, I really like it.  The only slight issue I had with mine was where the hair piece aligns with the head; because of the undercut, there’s a little more room for error, resulting in my figure having a little bit of a gap where they join.  It’s not terrible, though, and it varies from figure.  Mine also has a glue spot on the back of the hair, which I wasn’t so thrilled about, but, again, this is an isolated issue…at least I hope.  Teela’s paint work is one of the more involved schemes from the line so far.  It all manages pretty well, with all of the base work being rather cleanly applied.  There’s even some accent work on her boots to make them look a little bit muddy, which is a cool touch.  In the show, Teela’s staff has the ability to take on a few different forms, so the figure gives us a few different versions.  There’s the spear set-up, the sword, and the collapsed version.  She’s also got two sets of hands, making for a pretty nice little selection of extras that cover a fair number of bases.  Not quite the same level as Evil-Lyn, of course, but still very good.


I really enjoyed Teela’s portrayal in Revelation, and I also liked her new design for the show, so I was down for the figure pretty much as soon as I knew it was coming.  As with Evil-Lyn, I’m very glad they started off with the post-jump look, and it makes for a very fun figure, especially with the extras that they threw in to cover more bases.  I look forward to building up more of her team from the show!

Thanks to my sponsors over at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure to review.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website.

#2904: X-Force Cannonball & Shatterstar



Marvel Minimates have always paid very close attention to ‘90s Marvel, specifically the X-Men side of things. In 2010, we even got a small subset of Liefeld-inspired X-Force Minimates, which included Liefeld-favorite Cannonball and Liefeld-creation Shatterstar!


Cannonball and Shatterstar were released in the ninth TRU-exclusive series of Marvel Minimates, which hit at the tail end of 2010.


Not Cannonball’s first or last time as a Minimate, this particular take on the former New Mutant gives us his first Liefeld design, which, despite my usual distaste for things Liefeld, is actually one of the better takes on Cannonball.  Cannonball is built with four add-on pieces, for his hair/goggles, coat, and gloves. The gloves are just standard flared gloves (DC flared gloves, though; not Captain America flared gloves), but do their job well enough. The hair piece and jacket are both new, and do a reasonable job of capturing Sam’s in-book appearance. The hair could perhaps stand to be a little sharper in terms of detailing, but the coat definitely turned out well.  The paint on Cannonball is reasonable overall, but some of the application is rather sloppy. The boots on my figure are particularly messy. This assortment falls during the stretch of time where the plastic quality on Minimates took a bit of a dive. They aren’t hit by the worst of it, but you can sort of see the difference in the coloring of the skin-tone on the head, and how the paint takes to the plastic (detail lines here are generally a bit duller).  In terms of accessories, Cannonball’s only got one, but it’s a good one. He’s got a blast effect piece that plugs into the bottom of his torso in place of his legs, depicting how he is usually drawn when using his powers.


This figure marked Shatterstar’s debut as a Minimate, appropriately in his debut costume from the pages of New Mutants #99. Shatterstar is a character with a history of truly hideous costumes. This one is hardly an exception.  Shatterstar has add-on pieces for his hair/headgear, shoulderpad/scarf, belt, and gloves. The gloves are the same ones used on Cannonball, but beyond that, all of the other add-ons were new to Shatterstar.  They’re decent enough recreations of his gear from the comics, goofy as they may be. Shatterstar also has the poofy sleeved upper arms that first showed up on the Series 29 90s Storm. I’ve never been overly fond of these pieces, given how far they stick out from the chest block. Just the standard arms might have worked better, especially on a figure that’s already as bulked up as this one.  Shatterstar’s paint is rather similar to Cannonball’s. There’s some serious slop on the changeover from white to black on the legs. He’s also plagued by the same issues of plastic quality. The skintone’s a sickly color, and the white has always been a little bit yellowed. Just an overall messy piece of work.  Shatterstar is packed with a pair of his signature twin-bladed swords. They’re decent enough on their own merits (apart from some slight warping from the packaging), but the choice of hands for him means he has some serious trouble properly holding them. Getting them into his hands can take some serious effort.


This pack marked a rather easy to acquire purchase for me back when they were new, surprisingly.  I wound up finding them on a last minute stop at TRU during the holiday season, when I wasn’t actually expecting to find anything.  Cannonball is an overall decent rendition of the character, slightly held back by a few quality issues.  Shatterstar is a flawed figure, in both design and execution. Had the execution been there, I think he still would have been fine, but he had the misfortune of being released during one of the roughest periods of quality control, so he ends up really middle of the road. Not awful, but not so great either.


#2903: Steppenwolf



As one of Darkseid’s most trusted agents, Steppenwolf commands the every action of the huge, vicious, canine army known as the Hounds of Hades.  In addition, Steppenwolf carries the Electro-Axe, a universally dreaded device that fires deadly Radion Bolts.”

Even within the Fourth World itself, Steppenwolf has always kind of been the red-headed steppenchild stepchild.  He’s just sort of there, and occasionally they’d send him off to go look imposing at someone and invariably get the snot kicked out of him to prove that the heroes are greater than expected. Even Jack Kirby didn’t know what to do with him, and he created him. He’s low tier in an already low tier bracket.  The choice to use him as Justice League‘s main antagonist was odd to say the least, no matter which version you took in.  But, I guess more people know him now?  Yay?  Well, let’s go back to the beginning, and look at his very first action figure.


Steppenwolf was added to Super Powers in its second year.  Initially, he was the line’s very first mail-away figure, but he was later added to the line proper with his own carded release.  The figure stands 4 1/2 inches tall and he has 7 points of articulation.  Steppenwolf’s design was one of the most changed of the Fourth World Characters.  Up to this point, he’d generally worn a lot of green with more of nobleman hunter sort of a feel, but his Super Powers design really amped up the sci-fi side of things, as well as just generally making him a whole lot spikier.  I mean, not Justice League levels of spikes, or anything, but, still, like, a lot of spikes.  While I’ve generally been okay with the Super Powers redesigns, Steppenwolf is one that I’ve never really jived with.  There was a formality to the original, which just is lacking here.  So, rather than being imposing he’s just…goofy.  I don’t think that’s what they were aiming for.  From a technical standpoint, it’s not a bad sculpt.  As with all of the Super Powers sculpts, it’s got a nice set of balanced proportions, and just enough detailing to keep him interesting, without making him too overcomplicated.  His backpack and axe are all connected to the figure permanently, and the axe is *supposed* to clip onto the backpack for storage.  On my figure, however, that clip has broken, so he’s forced to forever just hold his axe.  Poor guy.  While the character had classically been done up in shades of green and yellow, for this figure he was inexplicably in red and brown, perhaps to further differentiate him from Mantis?  I don’t know, but I’m not sure I like it.  The application’s not bad, though, and he’s even got some vac metalizing on his axe, which is pretty cool.  Steppenwolf’s action was his “Power Action Electro-Axe Chop,” which swung his right arm downward when his legs were squeezed.


I’ve never been a huge Steppenwolf fan, and I’m even less of a fan of his redesign here.  So, when it came time to confront buying this figure, I wound up bundling him in with another figure I actually was very excited to get, Brainiac.  Even when he was new to me, he wasn’t my focus.  And that’s probably for the best, because he still doesn’t really wow me, honestly.  He’s hardly a bad figure, but probably on the low end of my list for Super Powers.  That’s the price of being such a strong line in general, I suppose.

#2902: Dr. Ian Malcolm



Wait, another Jurassic thing?  This quickly?  But I just looked at one last week.  Shouldn’t I be spacing them out more?  It’s okay, this one’s not actually a dinosaur, so it gets a special exemption, under the Goldblum by-laws.  Unless he, uhh, unless he wants to be a dinosaur.  That’s also covered by the by-laws.  They cover a great many things.

Ian Malcolm is really just a supporting player in the first Jurassic Park novel, and is even technically killed off, but when it came to the movie, Jeff Goldblum’s very Jeff Goldblum-y performance made him one of the film’s most distinctive and likeable characters.  His presumed death at the end of the book was therefore removed from the film, paving the way for him to take up the lead for the film’s first sequel.  He’s gotten plenty of toy coverage over the years, and Mattel made sure to include him as one of the very first human figures in their more collector-oriented Amber Collection line.  I’m taking a look at that figure today.


Dr. Ian Malcolm was part of the first assortment of the Jurassic World: Amber Collection from Mattel.  It initially was a GameStop-exclusive line in 2019, but over the course of the last year, the follow ups have seen wider releases, and so has Malcolm himself.  He’s seen here in his all-black attire from the first film, which is really just the best choice for him.  The figure stands about 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 29 points of articulation.  Malcolm’s articulation represent’s Mattel’s learning curve from 2019 pretty well.  They were definitely taking strides in the right direction, but he’s not *quite* there.  The original prototype for this figure was sporting double-jointed elbows, which were removed and turned into a universal joint during the production process.  It’s a little bit of a step-down, and Mattel clearly recognized this, since they’ve subsequently done a V2 release that swaps out this figure’s arms for ones with those joints added back in.  The two releases are otherwise the same, and the rest of the articulation is still a little bit of a mixed bag of not the best range and rather obtrusive to the sculpt.  It’s certainly not Mattel’s worst work, though, and was a vast improvement to their output from the few years prior.  The sculpt’s quality is generally pretty decent.  The likeness is a rather respectable Jeff Goldblum, certainly better than any prior attempts for the character, and really rivaled only by Hasbro’s Grandmaster figure in terms of closeness.  The glasses are a separate piece, but not one designed for removal.  I’m okay with that, as it gives them the appropriate depth, but means they aren’t overly bulky or at risk of getting lost.  His body matches decently with Goldblum’s rather slender build as well, and while the detailing is maybe a little soft on the clothing, it’s an overall respectable output.  The paint work on Malcolm is largely centered on the head, which gets a rather lifelike and realist paint app which helps the likeness quite a bit.  The rest of the work is rather basic, but it gets the job done and is generally pretty clean.  Malcom was packed with two sets of hands (relaxed and gripping), the flare he uses to distract the T-Rex, a glass, and a display stand.  My figure is without the extra hands and the glass, but he’s still got the flare, which is the most exciting piece anyway, so I’m not too bummed about it.


Ian Malcolm is definitely my favorite character in Jurassic Park, so I’m not opposed to having a cool toy of him, and I was certainly interested in this one when it was shown off.  Of course, then he was a GameStop exclusive, and I wasn’t having any of that, so I held off.  Fortunately for me, life, uhh, finds a way a loose one was traded into All Time back at the beginning of the summer, and while he was missing a few small pieces, it meant he was a whole lot easier to get, so I went for it.  I like him quite a lot, actually.  He’s not perfect, but he shows the direction Mattel was headed, and he’s just a pretty solid figure.  It almost makes me want to possibly pick up one or two of the others, and I’m not even that big a Jurassic Park fan.

#2901: Orko



I closed out last month with my first look at Eternia Minis, the line that began as Mattel’s ill-fated attempt to cash in on the Galactic Heroes craze in the early ’00s, but has now found new life as part of their new push to get the Masters of the Universe brand as far as they can.  The line is still sans Mechanek and Roboto, my two go-tos for trying out new lines, so I’ve had to settle for my back-ups, first with Zodac, and now with He-Man’s goofy sorcerer sidekick, Orko!


Orko is another 2021 release in the Eternia Minis line, technically part of the same assortment that brought us Zodac.  That means he’s *technically* a spring release, but that’s all very theoretical.  The figure is about 2 inches tall (thanks to the stand granting him some extra height), and he has 4 points of articulation.  Without legs, he doesn’t really have a waist, but there’s the spot where the stand connects, and it’s on a balljoint, which does allow for some slight adjustment of posing.  It also makes the stand removable, if you so choose.  Orko sports a totally unique sculpt, based on his classic design.  He generally doesn’t get quite as far removed from his usual look as the rest of the line, seeing as he’s already pretty cartoony to start with.  His head’s a little larger, and his hands are a little blockier.  That’s pretty much the extent of it.  He fits in nicely all the same, and it looks pretty good.  Definitely a design that fits in with the set-up.  Orko’s paint work is generally pretty bright and colorful, as well as being in line with his usual depictions.  The application is a little messy, with some slop on a few of the areas where colors shift.  There’s a notable splotch of blue on the right sleeve, and his “o” is also off-center on mine.  Orko get’s the removable stand, but that’s all on the accessories front.  His scepter might have been cool, especially given the gripping pose on the hands, but it’s not something I really feel is a glaring omission.


It’s Max’s fault again.  Okay, maybe a little bit less so this time.  He just bought me Zodac as a surprise.  I actually did ask him to keep an eye out for an Orko for me.  I’ve always had a soft spot for the little guy, and this style does really seem to work well for him.  He’s again a very fun little figure, and I like how this line has turned out.  I’m still hoping for a Mechanek or Roboto.  That’d be swell.

#2900: Wreck-Gar



“Wreck-Gar and the Junkions team up with the Autobots after exchanging the universal greeting: ‘Bah-wheep-Graaaaagnah wheep ni ni bong!'”

Transformers: The Movie boasted, amongst other things, a rather impressive cast of celebrities voicing many of the new characters being introduced within the film.  They were a rather far-reaching group, from all different backgrounds, including Monty Python’s own Eric Idle, who voiced the leader of the TV-obsessed Junkions.  The character’s goofy charm and penitent for speaking in quotes and slogans made him rather popular within the fanbase, resulting in a character that’s had a fairly lasting impact.  No anniversary celebration of the film would be complete without him, and so Hasbro’s made sure that he’s properly present for the film’s 35th, with his own Studio Series release.


Wreck-Gar is a Voyager Class release within the Studio Series line, numbered 86-09.  While initial ’86 figures were a contained subset, they’re now just shipping with the rest of the Studio figures, so Wreck-Gar’s case mate is Thrust from the Bumblebee movie.  Wreck-Gar marks our first version of the character since his exclusive release during Power of the Primes, though it’s hard to say that one’s really been off of shelves for a long time.  In fact, if you head over to your closest Walgreens right now, you might even still be able to find one!  In his robot mode, Wreck-Gar stands about 6 inches tall and he has 24 practical points of articulation (26 if you count the articulated nipple lasers….I’ll leave that one to you and your conscience).  As with all of the figures in this particular sub-set, the focus of Wreck-Gar’s sculpt is primarily to recreate the G1 animation design, something that this figure’s robot mode does quite well.  Yes, that even means including the weird laser nipples, a detail that has been missing from all of the other figures of the character.  In general, this figure just takes him much closer to animation designs than any of the prior versions, which, for a guy as TV-oriented as Wreck-Gar, just feels rather appropriate.  His construction does result in a few hollow spots on the figure, notably the backs of the arms and the inner legs.  I’m generally still not so much a fan of that, but it’s not the end of the world, and it’s kept to spots that aren’t quite as obvious.  Only the backs of the forearms really bother me.  Wreck-Gar is packed with his four-bladed axe, as well as two shields that can be placed on either his arms or legs.  Or both.

Wreck-Gar’s alt-mode is the same one he’s always had, which is a sci-fi motorcycle, a mode shared with at least one of his fellow Junkions, since he’s seen riding one of them during the film.  The transformation sequence isn’t too bad, especially not for a Studio release.  I was more or less able to figure it out without the instructions, so I’ll count that as a win.  As part of the transformation, his shields are removed and used as his wheels, which is a pretty standard conversion for Wreck-Gar’s, I gather.  The final bike mode is pretty decent.  There’s a kickstand, which is a fun touch, and while he’s maybe a touch small for another Wreck-Gar to ride him (although you can certainly make it work), he does scale alright with Deluxes, and even the more recent Voyager Hot Rod.  You can also store his weapon in vehicle mode, although it’s admittedly a little awkward.


I’m a pretty big Monty Python fan (although I’m more of Palin fan than an Idle fan), so Wreck-Gar’s always struck something of a chord with me.  When I got into collecting Transformers more seriously, I almost picked up the Primes version just to have him for my collection, but held off because I hoped for a better take.  I’m glad I did.  This one’s not perfect, but he’s a very nice figure, and it’s great to get another of the ’86-ers for the shelf.

Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this guy for review.  If you’re looking for Transformers, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website.

#2899: Batgirl



It’s been a little bit since I’ve looked at anything from Spin Master’s DC slate.  Admittedly, that’s because it tends to be a little tricky to find.  I’m reviewing it as fast as I can, you guys!  I swear!  This year’s theme for the line is Bat-Tech, which is allowing them to do all sorts of whacky variants for the Caped Crusader, his allies, and his foes.  It’s a mix of re-decos, re-workings, and even some all-new figures.  I’m looking at one of those all-new additions, Batgirl, today!


Batgirl is part of the sixth assortment of Spin Master’s Batman: The Caped Crusader line, which is also the second assortment under the “Bat-Tech” banner.  The figure stands about 4 inches tall and she has 17 points of articulation.  Apart from the way the hair is sculpt blocking the neck movement a bit, it’s a good articulation set-up, like the other Spin Master DC offerings before it.  Batgirl’s design here is a mix of a few different designs.  Her Batgirl of Burnside design from recent years is very definitely being referenced, but there’s also some more classic ’60s Batgirl vibes, especially with the gloves and boots.  And it’s all topped off with just a dash of the whole Bat-Tech aesthetic, making it all future-y and sci-fi.  I expected Batgirl to be using parts from Batwoman, but upon comparing the two, that doesn’t seem to be the case, and it looks like Barbara is sporting an all-new sculpt.  It’s a pretty good one at that.  Like Wonder Woman, she’s still rather leggy, but it comes across as more of a stylistic thing, and with the long cape and such as well, it all comes together for a nicely put together sculpt.  Probably one of my favorites, honestly.  The paint work on the figure is pretty decent as well.  The base work matches the sort of amalgamated design, and the extra tech detailing is a rather fun, generally unobtrusive choice.  Batgirl is packed with three accessories, a batarang, a katana, and a grapnel gun, all in transparent blue.  They’re all kinda goofy and silly, but it fits the vibe of the line well, so I can’t really knock them.


I discovered this Batgirl figure’s existence while going through the line’s upcoming releases during my first Bat-Tech review, and I knew I wanted her right away.  I’ve already got a Nightwing, and in my mind, no Nightwing really feels complete without a corresponding Batgirl.  Thankfully, Max was able to keep his eye out for me, and I got my hands on one without much fuss.  She’s a lot of fun, and I honestly don’t mind that we got the Bat-Tech version first, because the extra details are nifty.  I dig it.