#2967: Ultra Magnus

ULTRA MAGNUS

TRANSFORMERS: UNIVERSE (HASBRO)


Despite a prominent spot in 2001’s Robots in Disguise, Ultra Magnus was effectively absent from the Unicron Trilogy, at least as far as direct presence was concerned.  The name was used again for Energon, on a rather rare redeco of Armada Overload.  As far as any actual Armada coverage, the closest he would get would come two years after the Armada line, as part of the more all encompassing Universe line.  Since I’m in an Armada sort of mood, but I also gotta have some Magnus love, let’s take a look at that figure!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Ultra Magnus was released in the Transformers: Universe line, as half of one of Hasbro’s “Battle in a Box” sets, an run of market six (close out and department stores like Kohl’s) exclusive sets they tried with their in-house brands in ‘04.  His pack-mate was Treadshot, who isn’t an Ultra Magnus, so he’s not getting a review here.  In his robot mode, Magnus stands about 5 1/2 inches tall and he has 15 workable points of articulation.  Structurally, this Magnus goes back to the tried and true method of making a Magnus by taking an Optimus and painting him white.  This one specifically is based on the Armada Prime mold.  It’s not a bad mold, apart from the forearm assembly being backwards, and has a decent update on the classic Optimus aesthetic.  The new color scheme works really well with it, and actually does look pretty suitably like a new character.  He’s got a set of forearm-mounted guns, which serve as his smokestacks in his alt-mode.  They were removable here for…reasons?  I don’t really know why.  Magnus is also packed with his own Mini-Con companion, Overrun, who was shared with the previous Optimus release.  He’s slightly redecoed here.  He’s got a kind of goofy robot mode, but he can also serve as a gun for Magnus.

Magnus’s alt-mode is a truck.  That’s it.  Okay, I mean, it’s like a sci-fi truck, I guess.  It’s not a bad alt-mode, especially for a Magnus, and the transformation sequence isn’t too complex or anything.  Those smokestacks fall off a lot, but it’s otherwise alright.  Overrun gets his own alt-mode, in addition to the gun mode, where he turns into a jet.  Right out of the box, his wings are reversed, but this can be easily corrected by popping them out and then back into the right spots.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I didn’t know of this set’s existence as a kid, or even until later into my adulthood, so I never did get around to looking for it.  Instead it rather came to me, as it was traded into All Time last summer.  I just wanted the Magnus, so Max wound up taking the Treadshot I didn’t want, and I had a sweet new Magnus.  He’s nothing phenomenal or anything, but he’s a Magnus that fits with my Armada collection, and that works for me.

#2966: Eclipso

ECLIPSO

DC UNIVERSE CLASSICS (MATTEL)

“Long ago the Spectre defeated the Spirit of Wrath, exiling its physical manifestation to a black diamond called the Heart of Darkness. And so it remained until Dr. Bruce Gordon found a fragment – and was possessed by Eclipso, the Earthly incarnation of the Spirit of Wrath. During a lunar or solar eclipse, Gordon’s alter ego would grant him superhuman strength, light-powers and use him in its ancient schemes for control over all mortal beings. Since then, Eclipso has possessed others, and is ever ready to tempt and corrupt both superhumans and ordinary people.”

When introduced in House of Secrets #61 in 1963, Eclipso was effectively a superhero comics take on Jekyll and Hyde, two sides of of one man, each struggling for dominance, and ultimately reaching an impasse in all their efforts.  In the ’90s, the character’s history was reworked into what is mentioned above.  Eclipso himself was an ancient entity, a precursor to the Spectre, judged to be too cruel a spirit and banished by the Spectre proper when he finally took his place.  All that’s not terrible for a guy who looks as hokey as this one.  He’s done alright for himself on the toy front, with three whole figures.  Crazy, I know.  I’m looking at the last of those three today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Eclipso was released in Series 12 of DC Universe Classics, the first assortment to be released in 2010.  Series 12 would mark perhaps one of the most obscure selections of characters the line ever boasted, so I suppose Eclipso was right at home with them.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 23 points of articulation.  Generally standard articulation, but it’s notable that this marked the first assortment to remove the rocker ankles.  Ultimately, they weren’t blessed with a particularly great range anyway, but it marked the first step towards the sorts of things that lead to the line’s decline.  For this figure directly, it wasn’t that bad.  Eclipso was built on the mid-sized male body, with an all-new head, left hand, collar, and belt, as well as the right hand from the Series 11 Deadman figure.  The new parts were generally pretty impressive.  They’re up to par with the rest of the line at the time.  The head sculpt was certainly an expressive one, definitely on the more cartoony side, but it definitely fits the character.  The new hand holds his black diamond, which is a fun touch.  It’s posed so that he can hold it out to look through it, as he did in the comics.  Beyond the new sculpted parts, Eclipso relies on paint work to sell his design.  Generally, it works pretty well for the look.  The belt even gets a little bit of accenting, which is pretty cool.  Eclipso was packed with no parts of his own, but did include the left leg of the Darkseid Collect-N-Connect.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

2010 marked a turning point for DCUC in that, in contrast to prior years, the figures actually were generally easy to find, at least with minor searching.  Eclipso wound up was the first figure I got from that year, alongside Dr. Mid-Nite, both of whom were picked up for me by my parents, while I was away on a trip.  He’s not really a star piece for me, but he’s definitely one of those by-the-numbers figures that filled in the DCUC ranks nicely.

#2965: Thena

THENA

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“A fierce warrior, Thena has the ability to use cosmic energy to form any handheld weapon she can think of.”

Introduced in Eternals #5, Thena, the second of the two female members of the original Eternals, was, rather unsurprisingly, meant as a stand-in for Athena, Greek goddess of wisdom, amongst others.  She was later retconned to also be the incarnation of Minerva (Athena’s Roman equivalent) who appeared in Red Raven Comics #1 some 36 years earlier, in effect making her one of Marvel’s oldest characters, predating even the name “Marvel.”  Thena is perhaps one of the least changed characters within the film adaptation, where she is played by Angelina Jolie.  I’ll be taking a look at her figure today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Thena is a Target-exclusive Marvel Legends release, the equivalent to Ajak’s Walmart-exclusive release, both of them released to coincide with the main Eternals assortment.  While Thena is certainly a more directly relevant character within the context of the movie, she does spend some of her time separated from the others, and, as perhaps the biggest name in the cast, it makes some sense that a big box store might want to lay claim to her.  In a perfect world, I’d probably swap her and Ikaris, but I can get why this is the direction they went.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and she has 27 points of articulation.  Her articulation scheme is largely the same as the others in the set, with the one slightly odd caveat of her knee joints not actually having knee caps.  It looks odd to say the least.  I mean, it’s hidden by the structure of the boots in just about every pose, but it’s still kind of a weird choice.  Thena’s sculpt is all-new to her, and it’s a pretty respectable recreation of her design as seen in the movie.  Said design is itself a pretty respectable translation of her comics looks.  The only real departure is the headgear, which is now admittedly more Wonder Woman-like than it was before.  The head sculpt is sporting a rather nice likeness of Jolie, certainly one of the best from this whole line-up.  The body sculpt more or less match with the other figures in the set.  The armor detailing is fairly sharp, and the proportions are decently balanced.  The paint work on Thena is all around pretty alright.  The face detailing is quite lifelike, and the hair gets some pretty nice accenting to bring out more of the details.  The armor is a mix of metallic paints and slightly pearlescent plastic, which does a good job of capturing the finish of her armor in the movie.  Thena is by far the best armed of the Eternals figures, as she not only gets two sets of hands, but also a staff, two styles of sword, and a small blade.  After the rest of them were so lacking in any sort of replication of their on screen abilities, it’s certainly nice to see Thena actually get some of the things she crafts in the movie.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I held off on Thena prior to the film, because I just didn’t know how I was going to feel about the character.  While I was able to get Ajak through a trade-in, I was none so lucky with Thena.  After seeing the movie, I felt the need to address that, so I actually went to a Target and bought her.  Crazy, I know.  What a concept.  She’s a rather nice figure, certainly the best accessorized of the set, and really the best overall package deal, I think.  She’d be better served as a non-exclusive, but at least she doesn’t seem to be a very hard to get one.

#2964: Ajak

AJAK

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“The spiritual leader of the Eternals, Ajak can heal others and is able to communicate with the Celestials.”

Eternals, like a lot of recent MCU stuff, has its main tie-in assortment that’s at mass retail, and then a few off-shoots to that main assortment, with two in particular being store exclusive offerings.  I’m looking at the first of those two today.  Ajak was introduced in Jack Kirby’s second issue of Eternals, with his primary role being that of communicator to the Celestials.  For the purposes of the film, the now female Ajak, played by Selma Hayek, is still the communicator to the Celestials, but also serves as a more direct leader for the Eternals on Earth, given their more cohesive team nature in the film.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Ajak is a Walmart-exclusive Marvel Legends release, who hit at roughly the same time as the main Eternals assortment.  I normally decry characters being made Walmart-exclusive, but Ajak is actually not a bad choice for the exclusive treatment.  Her role in the film is certainly an important one, but it also has her removed from the rest of the group, and therefore the separate releases honestly makes a little bit of sense.  I’d still prefer no exclusives, but it one of them was destined for this role, she’s the right choice.  The figure stands about 6 inches tall and she has 27 points of articulation.  Her articulation scheme is pretty much the same as the other female figures, though, like Druid, the design of her skirt means that most of her leg articulation is greatly restricted.  She’s an all-new sculpt, based on her design from the movie.  Ajak’s design in the comics keeps some of the broad-strokes elements and silhouette of the comics character’s design, but makes it something a bit more streamlined, as well as more within the general theme of the other movie Eternals designs.  The sculpt does an alright job of translating it.  The head has a decent Selma Hayek likeness, certainly on the higher end of the likenesses in the set.   It does sit a little bit funny on the neck joint, but it’s otherwise not bad.  The paint work on the figure is generally pretty alright.  It’s fairly cleanly applied, and there aren’t any notable misalignments like on some of the other figures, which is certainly a plus.  Ajak is packed with an alternate head without the helmet piece, as well as two sets of hands, in fists and open gesture.  The alternate head also has a respectably Hayek likeness, and even sports a slightly friendlier expression than the standard.  She still gets no effects or anything, but at this point it’s not really a surprise or anything.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’m not in a rush to get anything that’s a Walmart exclusive, because that would require either stepping foot in a Walmart or trusting Walmart’s website, and none of those is a pleasant experience.  So, I was content to play the waiting game with Ajak.  As luck would have it, I didn’t really need to, because just a few short days after getting my standard release set, someone brought a whole set of Eternals, including Ajak, into All Time.  It’s hard to pass on something when it literally just walks through the door for you, so, hey, I got an Ajak, no muss, no fuss.  After seeing the movie, I was certainly glad, because Ajak’s a cool character, and she makes for a pretty cool figure as well.

#2963: Gilgamesh

GILGAMESH

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

The strongest and kindest Eternal, Gilgamesh becomes Thena’s de facto partner when the events of the past exile them from the other Eternals.”

Introduced in Eternals #13, the character that would become Gilgamesh wasn’t actually named at all, being simply dubbed “The Forgotten One,” as he was an Eternal exiled from the rest, who had actually taken many names over the millennia.  Upon meeting back up with the main Eternals, he went by the simple monicker “Hero.”  It wasn’t until he joined the Avengers in the ’80s that he finally took up the name Gilgamesh, with the rationale behind it being shared with the ancient mythological figure was that he *was* the ancient mythological figure.  The movie opts to just name him from the beginning, which is honestly the best call, because, you know, everyone else gets to start with names, right?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Gilgamesh is the Build-A-Figure for the Eternals tie-in assortment of Marvel Legends.  He’s spread across the six non-Ikaris Eternals in the set.  The figure stands 6 3/4 inches tall and he has 29 points of articulation.  His articulation scheme is pretty much the same as all of the other male Eternals.  It’s generally pretty good, but the hips are slightly restricted, and, unfortunately, even though we had that uptick with Druig, we’re back to the more reserved neck mobility.  Alas.  At least the mid-torso movement is a bit better on this one.  Gilgamesh gets an all-new sculpt based on his movie design.  In the comics, Gilgamesh has had several designs, all of them quite different from each other.  Rather than trying to replicate any of them, the movie design instead tries to tie him in more with the rest of the group.  It’s not super distinctive, but it’s also not the worst looking thing either.  And believe you me, Gilgamesh has had his fair share of the worst looking things.  The sculpt is pretty solid.  He’s notably larger than the other figures, which is cool.  The likeness on the head’s not a bad match for actor Don Lee, which I’d also count as a plus.  In general, it’s just a good translation of the movie design into figure form.  His paint work is generally pretty decent.  The face gets the printing, which is solid, and the base application’s not terrible.  There’s just a touch of misalignment on the green in a few spots, but it’s not as bad as some of the others in the set.  Despite being a BaF, Gilgamesh does actually get two sets of hands.  It’s a pair of fists and a pair of gripping.  Not entirely sure why, since he’s got nothing to grip, but I guess it’s nice that he has something at all.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Gilgamesh is the character I knew the most about barring Sersi going into the film, as I recalled his time with the Avengers.  That was not a point in his favor, mind you, because he’s not a character I’ve ever had any sort of attachment to.  He’s about as interesting as a yawn, in the comics at least.  So I certainly wasn’t poised to like the guy.  Kudos to the movie, because damn if they didn’t actually make me care about Gilgamesh.  Good on yo, movie.  The figure isn’t notably different than the rest of the set that builds him, but he, like the whole assortment, is a pretty solid offering all around, and I’m glad I opted to build him.

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

#2962: Druig

DRUIG

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Using cosmic energy to control the minds of others, Druig is aloof and powerful, but at times it’s hard to determine whether he is friend or foe.”

Introduced in the same issue of Eternals as Kingo, Druig is somewhat the black sheep of the Eternals family.  This is demonstrated ever so subtly by the fact that he dresses in all black.  You might have missed that if I hadn’t pointed it out to you, right?  In many ways, Druig owes a lot of his portrayal in the comics to common portrayals of Hades, as a sort of dark brooding figure who isn’t inherently the bad guy, but is often at odds with the more heroically inclined gods.  While the comics and the lead up to the movie all hinted at Druig being something of an antagonistic force in the film, the movie proper doesn’t really get into that at all, painting Druig as a generally well-meaning guy whose power set makes it harder for him to be as sociable as the others.  Honestly, going back to the Hades comparison, they crafted a decent parallel to Hades in the actual myths, where he’s generally not a bad guy, he just kind of wants to be left alone with his stuff.  It’s not a take you see get much proper due, so I generally liked it.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Druig is figure 6 in the Gilgamesh Series of Marvel Legends.  He’s the final non-exclusive standard single release for the line-up.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 29 points of articulation.  The articulation scheme is the same as the other male Eternals, but notably the legs are quite restricted because of how long the skirt piece is.  There’s some fine tuning that can be had to keep him standing, but no deep posing with the legs.  They did at least give him full movement, though, so there’s some credit due there.  Additionally, while I wasn’t big on the range of neck movement for Ikaris or Kingo, Druig actually gets a really nice range, which is super useful.  Druig’s sculpt an all-new piece, and it’s honestly one of the nicest in the bunch.  The head sports a pretty spot on likeness of Barry Keoghan, which is honestly the best likeness of the bunch.  It’s incredibly lifelike, and this is one figure where the very neutral expression makes perfect sense for the character.  The body sculpt is pretty good, too.  Again, he’s got a slightly different build than the others, and the detailing on the armor is all pretty sleek.  Druig’s paint work is generally pretty good.  The head gets some really nice printing, which just adds more to the lifelike quality.  The body does alright, but it’s worth noting that the red detailing on his skirt for my figure is misaligned, so it doesn’t match the sculpt.  This is an ongoing issue with the whole set, so it’s far from surprising.  Druig is packed with two sets of hands (which appear to be the same ones included with Ikaris), as well as the head of Gilgamesh.  The lack of an alternate head demonstrating Druig’s pupil-less eyes from when he’s using his powers is really criminal here, since it wouldn’t even require a new sculpt.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Again, Druig is a character I knew very little about going into this set.  I wasn’t sure I was going to like him, and I wasn’t sure about this figure.  The figure proved a surprise, and the character even more of one.  Druig wound up as one of my favorites in the movie, and the figure does him a lot of justice.

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.

#2961: Kingo

KINGO

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“An Eternal with the power to project cosmic energy projectiles from his hands, Kingo over the centuries became enamored with the idea of fame.”

Alright, we’re back with the Eternals reviews.  Let’s jump right in, shall we?  Today’s focus is one of the later additions to the group, though, unlike Phastos, Kingo is still a proper Jack Kirby character.  Introduced in Eternals #11, the Kingo of the comics had taken up as a Japanese film star, with an interest in samurais, which was signified by the fact that he looked like a samurai.  For the film, Kingo is portrayed by Kumail Ali Nanjiani, so his backstory is adjusted and he is now a Bollywood star, with the whole Samurai thing removed.  He’s loosely used as the film’s comic relief, but I emphasize loosely, since he’s also decidedly one of the team’s most capable fighters.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Kingo is figure 5 in the Gilgamesh Series of Marvel Legends.  The figure stands about 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 29 points of articulation.  His articulation scheme is pretty much the same as Ikaris’s, apart from the hips being ever so slightly more restricted, due to the longer skirt piece.  It’s generally a good set-up.  The mid-torso is still really restricted, but the neck movement is at least a little bit better on this one.  Kingo’s sculpt is all-new, and it’s similar to the others, while also having a slightly different build, as Kingo is notably a little slimmer than Ikaris and Phastos (though he’s certainly no less jacked, as Nanjiani had one hell of a fitness regiment during filming).  The head’s likeness of Nanjiani isn’t terrible.  It’s a little bit more caricature than some of the others in the set, but it’s at least quickly recognizable, and it certainly has more expressive face than, say, Phastos, which I do appreciate.  The paint work on Kingo is generally pretty solid.  The application is overall pretty clean, and is more on point than Ikaris.  There’s still a little bit of bleed over on a few spots, but it’s nothing too terrible.  The face is again more on the cartoony side in its detailing, with the eyes in particular looking rather goofy.  Again, given the choice between this and the general blandness of Phastos, I’ll take this for sure.  Kingo is packed with two sets of hands, one pair fists, the other in “finger gun” pose, complete with effects pieces.  I do wish the effects were removable from the gun hands, but other than that, it’s nice that at least one of them gets effects.  Kingo is also packed with left arm and hands of Gilgamesh.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Kingo is another character I knew very little about going into these figures, but he did look nifty enough.  Ultimately, he was a character that the film did a lot to sway me on, so I was quite happy to have grabbed him after the fact.  The figure is defintiely one of the more cartoony offerings here, but that also means he gets a little bit more character than some of the others, which makes him a good bit more distinctive.  That plays out well for him.

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.

#2960: Starscream

STARSCREAM

TRANSFORMERS: ARMADA (HASBRO)

“Starscream uses his speed and maneuverability as a jet to launch aerial attacks on the Autobots. No one can compete with him when it comes to speed and skill in the air. He slices through the sky, chasing the enemy and even endangering any Decpticon that gets in his way. As the second in command, he pretends to be loyal to Megatron, but is always looking for an opportunity to weaken his leader’s rule and take control of the Decepticons.”

Present in the franchise since its beginning, Starscream is a rather inescapable piece of the Transformers lexicon.  Other characters may come and go, but after Optimus and Megatron, the character next most likely to find himself in a given version of the story is Starscream, always Megatron’s lackey, always ready to betray him and take power for himself.  Transformers: Armada actually flipped the script on Starscream a little bit, though.  Rather than being purely motivated by his own self-interests, the Armada Starscream’s inevitable betrayal of Megatron saw him not taking power directly from Megatron, but rather switching to the side of the Autobots.  While still selfishly motivated on the surface, he would eventually find his own more valiant side, and even make a rather heroic sacrifice, something that no other version of Starscream would ever even consider in the slightest.  It was cool change-up, and a fun take on the character.  Helping even more on the fun/cool scale?  A pretty awesome toy, which I’ll be looking at today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Starscream made up one half of the first Max-Con Class (the line’s equivalent to the modern Voyager Class) assortment of Hasbro’s Transformers: Armada line, released alongside the show’s debut in 2002.  In his robot mode, Starscream stands about 7 inches tall and he has 10 workable points of articulation.  As with most of the other figures in the line, Starscream’s articulation is rather restricted by the nature of his design.  There’s no neck movement, and the shoulders don’t move either.  He’s got some swivels near the shoulders, and some okay leg movement, but there’s not a ton of posing to be had here.  He’s good for one thing, and that’s standing.  The sculpt is a pretty impressive piece.  It matches up well with how he looks in the animation, and it’s got a solid bit of heft to it.  The boxy shapes definitely work well, and his robot mode is well-formed.  There’s a bit of kibble, especially when it comes to the back of the torso, but he generally makes it work.  He’s armed with a folding sword, which is actually his left wing removed and unfolded.  It’s not the most convincing thing, but it works in its own goofy sense.  Also included is his Mini-Con partner, Swindle.  Swindle’s robot mode isn’t quite as strong as Jolt or Blackout’s were.  It’s okay, but not great.  The R&D definitely went to Starscream on this one.  Swindle allows Starscream to unlock the two cannons on Starscream’s shoulders, which each shoot a missile.  The missiles are, sadly, missing from mine.  The cannons also have a tendency to unlatch themselves from time to time, and, if you’re not careful, the latches can wear out, causing them to be permanently be forward.  Fortunately, that’s not the case with mine.

Starscream’s alt-mode is a sci-fi jet.  The transformation is a little more involved than the other two, but he’s a more advanced class, so it makes sense.  It’s still not particularly difficult, and there are also a few spring-loaded components to the transformation.  The end result is a vehicle that’s a little awkward in some spots, but one that also lacks the major under the jet kibble left over from the robot mode, which is something that shows up a lot with the jets.  In his jet mode, there are some sound effects built in; they no longer work on mine, but there are a few jet related sounds.  They’re honestly more annoying than anything, so I can’t say I miss them.  Swindle has his own alt-mode as well; he turns into a racing car, and is honestly more convincing as a car than as a robot.  Now, why a race car robot is packed in with the big jet is anyone’s guess, but I try not to dwell too much.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Of the three Armada figures that my cousin owned for a very brief time and ultimately gave to me, Starscream was definitely his favorite.  When they were in his possession, I didn’t get to play with Starscream the way I did the other two.  So, when he was finally mine, that was a pretty big deal.  Unfortunately, he also wound up being the only one readily available to me to grab when I decided to get rid of a lot of my stuff at around 15 or so.  I wound up selling him off (to All Time Toys, actually, along with a bunch of junk that they honestly gave me more than they should have for), and it’s something I’ve regretted since.  I’ve been keeping my eye out for a replacement ever since.  Fortunately, I was able to snag one from a collection that came into All Time last January.  He was missing Swindle, but Max was nice enough to set me up with a replacement, and boom, here we are.  I really dig this figure.  He’s just a really good, solid toy, and I’m very glad to have him again.

#2959: The Flash

THE FLASH

DC UNIVERSE CLASSICS (MATTEL)

You do have to give Mattel a little bit of credit, and I can’t believe I’m saying that, on how they handled the early line planning on DC Universe Classics.  There was some serious effort not to just front load the whole thing with all of the hitters right away, instead using them to anchor assortments of otherwise more minor characters.  Their first year saw them struggling to reach full retail distribution, but going into their second, things were starting to seem a little more solid.  They kicked off the year with an assortment loosely centered on today’s focus, the Flash, specifically of the Barry Allen variety, since he had just returned to life after a lengthy period of deadness just a few months prior.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Flash was part of the seventh series of DC Universe Classics, the series that built the Atom Smasher figure I reviewed last year.  This marked Mattel’s first of many assortments where the heavy hitter of the set would be sold sans Collect-N-Connect part, something Hasbro would end up co-opting into their Legends line when it returned a few years later.  Flash was, unsurprisingly, the heavy hitter for this assortment.  The figure stands about 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 25 points of articulation.  At this point in the line, the rockers are still present on the ankles, for all the good they do.  Okay, that’s a little unfair, because they do wind up being somewhat useful on Flash, at least for some slightly better running poses.  He’s still not gonna balance very well in those poses, but let’s take what we can get.  Flash was built on the medium male body, originally introduced in Series 3 for Nightwing and Green Lantern.  It was the slightest build they had available for an adult male body at the time, and would remain that way for quite a while.  Ultimately, it’s just too bulky for any iteration of the Flash.  Barry can be a little bulkier than the average speedster, but this goes to excess.  I honestly think that it’s really the shoulders that throw things off; the DCUC bucks always had very prominent shoulders, and for a character like Flash, this stands out even more.  Generally speaking, however, it’s not the worst it could be, and in light of a line that was built upon such things across the board, it’s ultimately a minor issue.  Flash got a new head, shins, and feet.  The head is decent, if a bit devoid of personality for Barry.  A slightly warmer expression would go a long way.  The lower legs gave him proper boot sculpts, which are actually quite nice.  The feet even get treads on the bottoms, just like Flash always had.  It’s certainly a nice touch.  His paint work is generally pretty basic, but it’s also generally pretty clean in its application.  He also gets a little bit of accenting on the reds and yellows, just to keep things a little more visually interesting.  It actually works pretty nicely.  Flash was the one figure in the set not to get a CnC piece, but he did get one of Mattel’s patented crappy blue display stands.  They were great for…umm…being not so good at helping the figures stand?  They sure were blue and translucent, though.  They did that part well.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

By the seventh series, the line was starting to get a little easier to get, so it wasn’t quite the nightmare of other sets to get these figures.  That said, I didn’t actually get Flash until after the line was essentially dead.  At the time he hit, I was still mixing these guys in with my DC Directs, and I had a couple of other Barry Allen Flash figures I liked well enough, so I didn’t go after this one.  When the line ended, I realized how close I was to having the Satellite Era League, so I filled in a few gaps, and picked this one up for a decent price loose.  He’s not my favorite figure from the line, but he does an okay job, and he does look cool with the rest of the League.

#2958: Phastos

PHASTOS

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Over the centuries, Phastos has helped nudge humanity forward technologically while always keeping his brilliance hidden in the shadows.”

While the bulk of the Eternals line-up in the movie are characters introduced in Jack Kirby in his original run on the title, one character who is a notable later addition is Phastos.  An inventor, creator, and pacifist, Phastos was clearly inspired by the likes of Hephaestus in terms of his placement amongst the other god-like characters.  He was introduced by Sal Buscema and Peter Gillis during the book’s second volume, and does feel like a fairly natural part of the group, even if he’s a bit underused in the comics proper.  In the film, he’s a pretty notable player, and perhaps one of the most fully characterized of the cast.  He’s also notable for being the first openly gay character in an MCU film, and accomplishment in itself.  And today, I’m taking a look at his action figure.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Phastos is figure 4 in the Gilgamesh Series of Marvel Legends.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 29 points of articulation.  Phastos’s articulation scheme follows the set-up we saw on Ikaris, which generally makes sense.  As with Ikaris, it’s a bit restricted, even a little bit more so, in fact, due to the nature of the design.  The mid-torso joint doesn’t have the same range, and the hips are notably restricted by how the skirt piece works.  Of course, Phastos is a less active character in the film, so it’s not terribly limiting for the character.  His sculpt is another all-new offering, based on his fully geared up look in the movie.  The head sculpt isn’t one of the stronger ones in the set, to be honest.  I mean, it’s not awful, and there are definitely some traits of Brian Tyree Henry in the sculpt, but something about it just generally feels off.  I think a lot of it is to do with expression; he’s kind of devoid of any, which doesn’t really suit Phastos as he’s portrayed in the movie.  Here he kind of looks a bit bored.  It doesn’t help that the head definitely sits too high on the neck, nor does it help that he’s missing his earrings, which are a pretty constant fixture of his design in the movie.  On the flip side, the body sculpt is a bit better.  The detailing on the suit is nice and clean, and the proportions do an alright job of capturing Henry’s less conventionally super-heroic build.  It makes him nicely distinct from Ikaris in terms of build.  Phastos’s paint work is generally alright.  It’s probably the cleanest application so far on the outfit, as well as one of the more intricate paint schemes.  I do like how the purple and gold work together.  Phastos is packed with two sets of hands, one in fists, the other in more relaxed posing.  He also has the right leg for Gilgamesh.  I’ve brought up the lack of effects parts on the last two reviews, but it honestly bugs me even more here; I’d have loved to get some of his tech gimmick effects, since they’re pretty prominent to his role in the final act.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I really didn’t know Phastos at all before the movie, since he’s a slightly later in the lore character.  I do like the concept, and Henry’s performance in the movie was definitely one of its most memorable ones.  The figure is ultimately one of the weaker ones in this set.  He’s better than Sprite, but I definitely wish the likeness was a bit better on that head.  Still he’s a decent enough figure, and certainly one with a more unique look.

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.