#3173: Martian Manhunter



“J’onn J’onzz, the mysterious Martian Manhunter, is one of the last survivors of the planet Mars, and was accidentally transported to Earth not long after the majority of his people were wiped out. Martian Manhunter is thought to be as strong as, or possibly stronger than, Superman, and has a variety of powers including super-strength, super-speed, flight, telepathy, telekinesis, shape-shifting, phase-shifting, regenerative abilities, and near-invulnerability. Manhunter also has genius-level intellect and strong leadership skills. Using his vast powers and skills, Martian Manhunter strives to protect the citizens of his new home, Earth.”

Three years into their run with the license, McFarlane Toys’ handling of DC can still largely boiled down to “wow, Todd sure does like Batman, doesn’t he?”  And when it’s not that, it can often be boiled down to “wow, Todd sure does like squeezing extra uses out of a mold in often frustrating ways, doesn’t he?”  Today’s the second thing.  But I’ll get to that in a bit.  For the big super hero teams, I like to discuss the term “quintessential,” for those characters that may not be the heavy hitters, but whom the team kind of feels lacking without.  For the Avengers, I long maintained that character is Hawkeye.  For their equivalent team over at the Distinguished Competition, my vote goes to Martian Manhunter.  He’s just very important to the line-up, and it never feels quite right without him.  J’onn can be hit or miss when it comes to toy coverage, but he generally does alright with his figures when he actually manages to get them.  And hey, by virtue of being not a girl, and therefore unlikely to drive any boys to become serial killers, he gets two whole figures from McFarlane!


Martian Manhunter is one of McFarlane’s “Platinum Edition” figures for DC Multiverse.  As usual with McFarlane, the branding of “Platinum Edition” is one that has a confusing meaning, since he doesn’t seem to be very consistent in how he’s using it.  In the case of Manhunter, it means he’s a Target-exclusive.  So, I guess there’s that.  This Manhunter is the second figure under McFarlane’s tenure, with the first one, based on J’onn’s New 52-era design, hitting mass retail just about the same time that this one was announced.  You know, just to really split that market on the poor guy.  This one, on the flip side, is a “classic” Manhunter, or at the very least a mid-to-late ’80s Manhunter, given he’s still got the heavy brow and red eyes. The figure stands a little over 7 inches tall and he has 39 points of articulation. The articulation scheme on this figure is pretty much the same one on every McFarlane figure, and as with other releases, it’s clearly been inserted into a finished sculpt, which has its ups and downs. Much like the Peacemaker figure, getting the full range out of some of the joints, especially on the elbows and knees, requires breaking the flow of the sculpt entirely. Not exactly a great look. Additionally, there are a few instances of the sculpt getting in the way of movement, most notably on the hips.  As far as the quality of the actual sculpt, it’s honestly not a bad one.  The upper half of the figure, is mostly shared with the other Martian Manhunter.  He gets a new lower half, as well as new chest harness, and a slightly tweaked cape.  The head is more on the alien side for J’onn, but not out of character.  I like the inhuman and stoic, but still slightly friendly expression of the face, and the angling of the brow is a cool look.  The body sculpt does a respectable job of capturing J’onn’s stockier build, with a fairly realistic set of proportions, that still retain that somewhat heroic look.  There’s some pretty decent texturing at play, especially on his skin.  The cape is generally okay looking, but the collar, which wasn’t on the other release, feels a little haphazardly added; it doesn’t actually connect all the way around, so certain posing will have it clearly disconnected from the rest of the cape, which definitely looks odd.  The color work on Manhunter is nice and bright, which is honestly a refreshing change of pace for the Multiverse figures.  It’s largely molded colors, which keeps it fairly clean.  The greens of the elbows and knees are a slightly different shade from the rest of the body, but beyond that, the plastic coloring works out okay.  The paint work is kept to a minimum, but it looks pretty clean, and there’s not slop or bleed over.  Martian Manhunter is supposed to come with a collector card and a display stand, but mine doesn’t have the stand, and didn’t even have the spot for it in the package.  I mean, it’s just a black disk, and I have a bunch of them, but still.


I’ve got a soft spot for a decent Martian Manhunter figure, so when McFarlane showed off their original, more modern Manhunter, I was very tempted to pick him up, and was *this* close to doing so.  Like, he had arrived at All Time, and I was planning to take a look at him in person to make my final call.  And literally that exact day, McFarlane announced this guy, which kind of took all of the wind out of my sails on the other one.  The timing on that announcement was pretty darn rotten.  Also, with a character that’s not a heavy hitter, it feels like splitting an already niche audience isn’t the smartest call.  This was clearly the look that most everyone wanted, so why not just make this the main release.  Was Target really clamoring that much for a Martian Manhunter variant?  Whatever the case, while I’m not one for really hunting anymore, Max was kind enough to give me an assist on this one, so I was able to get him without much trouble, at the very least.  Stupid decisions about his release aside, the figure’s actually pretty darn good.  There’s still some weirdness, but it’s minor, and I really do like how this figure turned out.

#3172: Jun-A266



In early 2021, after a five year break, I wrote a Halo review…and the proceeded to take a break again. Look, you guys, this is what happens when none of your products are focused on ODSTs. I lose interest. I just can’t help it. But, I’ve got at least one more of these reviews in me, even if it’s not an ODST. No, instead, it’s another Spartan, but this time it’s actually a named one. So, let’s have a look at the only surviving member of Team Noble, Jun-A266!


Jun-A266 is part of the fourth assortment for Jazwares’ Halo: The Spartan Collection.  He continues with the line’s overall heavy emphasis on Reach, and is the fourth member of Team Noble to be added to the line.  He’s one of the two named Spartans in the assortment, with the other being the Halo 2 version of Chief.  The figure stands 7 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  In terms of build and articulation, he’s very similar to the Spartan Mark V I already looked at from the line.  He’s a little bit more restricted in terms of movement on a few spots, just due to how the armor is laid out, but beyond that, he’s still pretty posable, with a very solid range of motion for most of his joints.  He struggles a little bit getting his rifle held properly, but is otherwise alright.  Jun’s sculpt, which appears to be all-new, is again about on par with the Mark V figure.  The detailing is generally pretty sharp, and a good match for the in-game models.  The legs are still a little bit tube shaped, and there are some spots where the details get a little soft, but it’s an overall decent set-up.  He’s still got the cool gimmick with the flip-out panel for mounting his side-arm on his leg, which is still cool.  He’s also got some fun, more character specific pieces, which help to dress the armor up just a little bit more.  Jun’s color work isn’t bad.  The base colors are all molded, and they match well with the in-game stuff.  He’s got a little bit of accenting, including some wear and tear, which works well at the scale.  He’s also got that really cool chromed visor piece, which is just super slick.  It was dropped from a few of the named Spartans, so I’m glad to see it’s still turning up at this point.  Jun is packed with his sniper rifle, a Magnum, 7 different hands, and an unhelmeted head.  The rifle features moving legs, and is generally just a cool piece, even if he struggles a little bit to hold it properly.  The Magnum is the same one seen with the Mark V, and the hands are all pretty similar.  While it’s nice to get the unmasked head (especially after McFarlane versions made them wholly separate releases), the sculpt is definitely much softer, and the paint much thicker, making it look somewhat out of place on the figure.


Jun isn’t a character I really have much attachment to, since he’s not an ODST, and, even within the context of his own game, he’s not even Jorge, objectively the best member of Team Noble. But, I can’t really say I dislike Jun, which does at least put him above Carter and Kat, making him sort of this middle ground. Why do I have this figure? Well, my son Matthew really wanted to get me an action figure for my birthday, and he dragged my mom down the action figure aisle at Target to get me something. We’ve been playing a little bit of Halo together, so he jumped on these figures. He knows the ODSTs are my favorite, but without any of them to choose from, he opted to get me Jun, who he felt looked the coolest of the options present. I do have to admit, he certainly makes for a cool figure.

#3171: Savage Wolverine & Reaper



In 2013, Marvel decided to a soft re-branding of their comics, under the banner “Marvel Now!” which would do new and and innovative things with the line.  Like giving Wolverine another book!  Nobody had done that before!  Okay, so Savage Wolverine may not have been the most unique thing, but it did get some decent buzz, thanks to Frank Cho’s name being attached to it. When DST put together some complimentary assortments of Minimates, Savage Wolverine got not one, but two packs dedicated to it.  I looked at the first, which featured Shanna the She-Devil (Wolverine’s co-star in the book) and a Savage Land Reaper, back in January of 2018.  Today, I’m looking at Wolverine proper…and the Reaper again…


Savage Wolverine and the Savage Land Reaper were released in the 16th TRU-exclusive series of Marvel Minimates, which was TRU’s equivalent to the 51st specialty assortment.  The Reaper was the only cross-over between the two assortments, and is the same figure between both of its pack-outs.


Wolverine has had a lot of Minimates.  This particular one was his 48th.  It’s a derivation of the John Cassady Astonishing X-Men design, which had gotten a number of tweaks from several artists at this point.  This one marked his most current at the time, and it remained his most current until his padded number from the “Payback” story.  The figure is based on the standard ‘mate body, so he’s 2 1/2 inches tall and he has 14 points of articulation .  Wolverine uses add-ons for his mask and belt, as well as “unique” pieces for the clawed hands.  The mask was the first actual, proper update to the mask we’d gotten since the Series 26 version, and I quite like it.  It’s got a unique shaping to it, and I dig the sculpted seams running along the head.  The belt, which I believe was new to this figure, but it can be hard to tell, is another nice piece, full of lots of fun details.  The hands are the same hands used initially on the Series 47 Wolverine, and they’re my favorite of the clawed hands we’ve gotten.  The paint is my favorite aspect of this figure, because at the surface, it’s just a basic Wolverine paint job, but there’s so much else going on.  The yellow with black in place of blue makes for a figure that’s quite striking, and while there are still some spots of slop on some of the edges, the small detail work is crisp, and very plentiful.  The face gives us a great, intense, Wolverine-style snarl, the hair on the arms is sharp and well defined, the muscles are subtly handled in a fashion that mimics Cho’s artwork pretty well, and they’ve even included all of the laces on his boots.  There’s a ton of attention to detail, and a lot of details that could have easily been overlooked.  Logan is packed with an extra hair piece and a clear display stand.  It’s a shame they stopped giving Wolverines extra, non-clawed hands, but at least in this one’s case, it won’t be hard to find a pair that matches.


I wasn’t really intending to get this figure when he was shown off, since who really needs the 48th version of Wolverine?  Well, me, apparently.  Once packaged shots surfaced, I found myself really liking the look, and at the time, it was easiest to just order a whole assortment from TRU.com, to make sure you didn’t randomly get the wrong pack in place of what you actually wanted.  Wolverine pairs off well with this same assortment’s version of Captain America.  He’s a variant of an A-lister that no one was necessarily asking for, but DST put in some of their best work here, and the end result is a figure that really rocks.

Matty’s Corner #0002: Red Ecliptor



Hi, Ethan here!  Welcome to Matthew’s Corner, where I’m collecting the mad ramblings of my 6 year old Matthew, who also likes to talk about action figures.  What can I say, I’m sympathetic to his need to ramble about action figures.  So, I’m just gonna let him take it away…though, for what it’s worth, I’m still transcribing for him.

Hello, this is Matthew again.  It has been a while since I have written.  If you were not happy, you can just say so in the comments section.  I understand.  But I have been catching up with all my stuff on my weeks. So, today, I’m talking about Red Ecliptor!  He’s from Power Rangers.  Space Power Rangers [that’s the best Power Rangers –E].  I’m gonna get to the figure now!


The toyline of Red Ecliptor is Lightning Collection.  The Lightning Collection is a whole toyline of Power Rangers.  Red Ecliptor is a Power Ranger enemy.  He was released by himself.  Red Ecliptor has 33 joints.  He is 6 3/4 inches tall.  He is re-using parts from the normal Ecliptor [who I reviewed here–E].  I like everything about the sculpt.  All of the parts stand out.  I love them all.  He has lines that are kind of criss-cross and swirly.  I like that because it makes him stand out, like that’s the main part of his body.  He looks strong.  And just so that you know, Ecliptor’s sword and stuff are all part of him, because that’s how it is in Space Power Rangers.  The main figure is mostly red and grey.  The eyes are green.  It looks really good with all of those colors.  I like how all the grey looks.  It looks like it’s kind of burned.  He comes with a sword and four hands.  One hand had lightning.  Another is out like he’s touching something.  The other ones look like he’s punching.  I really like the sword. The sword’s colors are red and grey and blue and yellow and brown.  One of the hands is red with blue lightning.  The other hands are just red with gold rings on them.


I got Red Ecliptor because I was thinking of getting a collection of Space Power Rangers.  Ethan, the one that owns this website, had an Ecliptor and that made me want to get one.  So, Ethan got the figure for me and now I have a Red Ecliptor.  I really like Red Ecliptor.  He’s a really special thing to me because Ethan got it for me.  I am all done writing.  I will see you back here for my next review of Shadow!

#3170: Jean Grey



“Possessing near-limitless psychic potential, Jean Grey is Charles Xavier’s first student, and could someday become the greatest psychic on earth, and beyond.”

At the beginning of the month, I continued my look into Hasbro’s X-Men: The Animated Series-inspired sub-line of Marvel Legends with a look at the updated version of Storm, who got reviewed all on her lonesome because I didn’t really need another Mr. Sinister, and the figure that I ordered alongside hadn’t shipped out yet.  Well, as luck would have it, I got that other figure, and I’m going to be looking at it today!  Which figure is it?  Why, it’s Jean Grey!  Yes, founding member of the X-Men, and central piece to a bunch of the show’s storylines, to say nothing of her spot in the show’s main love triangle, Jean is finally getting her due in the line, especially given that she didn’t really even get her due in the line that was running when the show was on the air.  It’s just overdue, really.


Jean Grey is the fifth figure in the X-Men: The Animated Series sub-line of Marvel Legends.  Unlike the last two rounds, Jean was shown off on her own, which has been the trend since.  It was a little odd at the time, since it kind of felt like Cyclops would be her natural pairing figure, but as of yet we’re still waiting on him to be added to the line.  Oh well.  Guess I’ll just make do.  This is the third time we’ve gotten a ’90s-based Jean Grey in Legends, with all three of them being under the Hasbro banner, and the most recent one being under this same incarnation of Legends, even.  As with the rest of the line, she ships in a VHS-inspired box, and I’m continuing to love these, guys.  They just look so fun and nostalgic.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and she has 27 points of articulation.  Structurally, this Jean Grey is the same as the last ’90s Jean Grey, making use of all of the same parts.  For the most part, that’s okay.  The body in particular gets the point across, and there are a lot of really solid unique pieces just for this design.  The only real issue is that the hands don’t have the proper sculpting for how the gauntlets looked in animation, but that’s quite minor.  The heads are…well, they’re a bit of a different story.  While they’re certainly not bad, especially from a comics perspective, they don’t quite match up with the animation models as well.  Wolverine and Storm both got new heads, and even Jubilee got a slightly better alternate head that was a little more accurate.  I’d have really liked to see them throw us a more animation accurate Jean head.  Honestly, they could have even done that and cut the extra head with the longer hair, since she only had that look in the final season of the show, and by that point, the model was already far different.  As it stands, the ponytail head is workable, but it’s not quite as good as it could be.  The paint work for Jean is cel-shaded, like the rest of them in the line.  There are some fuzzy edges, but it’s generally a good set-up, and I prefer the brighter palette of this release to the prior one.  Jean is packed with two sets of hands (open gesture and fists), as well as the two heads.  Again, this feels a bit lacking for the animation angle.  An extra head with her psychic effect, or even a Cerebro piece would have been really cool.  As it stands, it just really feels like bare minimum, especially with no new sculpting on the main figure.


I was really excited about Jean initially.  Excited enough to actually get me to go back and order the Storm, who I had skipped at that point.  That said, getting her in hand, I’m a little letdown.  The complete lack of any new parts, and the barebones nature of the accessories is rather upsetting, especially after Wolverine kicked us off with such a good set-up of new parts and extras.  I’m worried that this line is already kind of losing its focus of animation accuracy, a mere five figures in.  I hope that’s not the case.  Perhaps Morph will change the tide of things a little bit.  As it stands, I do like the Jean more than the three pack release, and I’m glad that there’s another version of her available.

#3169: Cobra Officer



Sometimes, you need a good army, made up of good army builders. But you can’t only have the base-level grunts. No, you’ve got to have some internal structure of ranks. Otherwise, it all just falls apart. It’s a false economy, I tell ya! But it’s okay, because Cobra, having a background in being a pyramid scheme started by a used car salesman, has plenty of levels. So, you don’t just have the Cobra Infantry, you also have the Cobra Officers!


The Cobra Officer is figure 37 in the G.I. Joe: Classified Series line-up. He’s the last of the three figures in the second 2022 assortment for the line.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and he has 37 points of articulation.  Like Spirit, the Cobra Officer is a mix of old and new parts.  Unsurprisingly, he’s using a number of pieces from the Cobra Trooper/Cobra Infantry mold, though it’s perhaps not as much as you might expect at first glance.  The pelvis, upper arms and upper legs are the same, but he gets new pieces for just about everything else.  The general gist of the sculpt is to keep things overall visually consistent with the prior mold, but making adjustments to make him ever so slightly more vintage in how things are set-up.  The gloves and boots are now more standard pieces, rather than the more  sci-fi looking ones of the prior sculpt, the torso armor is a little cleaner and sleeker, looking more like the tunic sported like the original figure.  The new head still keeps the full mask under the helmet, but the face mask portion is now a more standard cloth piece, again keeping him a little more in-line with the original figures, especially when the helmet is in place.  He also gets a slightly more streamlined version of the webgear from the last figure, a new helmet (also a bit more streamlined) now with rank at the front, and he also gets the arm band piece from the Cobra Island Trooper, just to more fully sell that extra bit of rank.  I like that it all assembles to something that’s still consistent with what they’ve already released, while still going for something just a little more classically inspired, keeping with that slow trend of the line as it moves forward.  The figure’s color work sticks pretty close to the standard Infantry release, with the expected changes for the new sculpt elements.  All of the application is pretty sharp and clean, and the eyes get the printed set-up, which continues to really work for these figures.  The Officer is packed with a small pistol, a short rifle (with removable magazine), a long rifle (with removable magazine and scope), a knife, and a holster that goes on his back to hold the long rifle.  All of the weapons are all new, and the long rifle even gets some additional paint work.



I’ve enjoyed seeing the incremental changes that Hasbro’s been making to the Cobra Trooper look over the course of these figures.  I didn’t think much of the Officer when he was first announced, but after seeing all of the changes they made to go more classic, I was certainly interested.  He’s a figure that’s definitely going to get overshadowed by his wave-mates, but that doesn’t make him a bad figure at all, and I honestly think he’s an improvement even on the basic Infantyman.  And hey, it’s always nice to diversify your army a bit, right?

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

#3168: Spirit Iron-Knife



It has decidedly *not* been a while since I reviewed G.I. Joe here, because I just did it yesterday.  So, that joke’s not gonna fly this time.  Instead, I’m just gonna let this fight for freedom keep on rolling, and look at yet another figure from the latest round of Joes from Hasbro.  Yesterday, I looked at Cobra’s top ninja, but today I’m jumping over to the Joe side, with 1984’s resident tracking expert, and perhaps slightly stereotypical Native American addition to the team, Spirit Iron-Knife.


Spirit Iron-Knife is figure 36 in the Classified Series line-up, and is the middle figure of the second 2022 assortment.  He’s the only Joe present this time around, and is generally a pretty sensible inclusion alongside a classically-inspired Storm Shadow, given that they not only both debuted the same year in the toy line, but they also served as some-time nemeses in the original cartoon, when it was decided that having the non-verbal Snake Eyes serve as Storm Shadow’s sparring partner would be too difficult to do in animation.  So, you know, it’s not a bad set-up, really.  The figure stands a little over 6 inches tall and he has 35 points of articulation.  Spirit’s design is clearly patterned on his V1 design.  I myself have never been a huge fan of this look, given that it really hammers home some of the stereotyped elements of the character, and have always been more partial to the way Sigma 6 handled his look.  That said, it’s the classic look, and it’s not a terrible one, with a bit of tailoring.  This version takes the broad elements of the original, and modernizes and makes them a little more “standard issue”, as well as injecting just a little bit of the sci-fi side of the earlier figures from the line.  It’s a lot more subtle, and it works better because of it.  His construction makes use of a mix of old and new parts.  He’s banking on some of the parts from Duke, who has become a fairly standard starting point for the line.  He’s definitely using the torso, as well as parts of the legs, and I think the hands as well.  What’s actually pretty cool is that he’s *not* using the arms.  Yes, for the first time in the Classified line, we get a set of sleeves rolled up past the elbows!  I’m very excited about that, and eagerly anticipate getting updated versions of Flint and the Viper with their proper sleeve lengths.  Like, legitimately excited.  Yes, that’s what excites me most on this guy.  And it’s not even a knock on the rest of the figure.  The only real downside is that he’s still got the pins at the elbows, suggesting that this was an older sculpt that only just made it to release.  The rest of the sculpt is pretty strong.  His head showcases the appropriate features for Spirit’s background without going too bold or caricature-esque, and the hair is a little more reigned in.  The outfit loses the feather necklace and skirt, which I think are both calls for the best, and he gains a little bit more on the tactical side, with two different knife sheaths, and a holster for a sidearm.  Spirit’s color scheme more or less matches with his original figure, though a little toned down on the brightness front.  The paint work is all pretty clean, and he generally looks pretty solid.  Spirit is packed with a sniper rifle, a pistol, two different knives, a back pack, and his pet eagle Freedom.  Freedom’s definitely the coolest part.  He gets two different sets of wings, for flying or for perching.  He’s also got pegs in his feet, allowing him to peg into either the built-in perch on Spirit’s back pack, or sit on Spirit’s left arm.  Definitely a great touch there.


Vintage Spirit never clicked with me, but I recall becoming much more interested in the character when he was redesigned during the Devil’s Due run in the early ’00s, and then I really liked his Sigma 6 look, of course.  While this one doesn’t really replicate any of my preferred looks for the character, I will admit that he turned out pretty nicely on his own merits.  The changes to the design preserve the feel of the original, while also making him feel less out of place in a modern setting, and I really dig how they handled Freedom with this release.  I still look forward to the potential of an update on one of his other designs, but until then, this one will do just fine.

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

#3167: Storm Shadow



Okay, how long has it been since I reviewed G.I. Joe? Probably a while. I feel like it’s been a while. Has it been a while? It’s probably been a while. I could check. But, I kind of don’t want to. I get lazy like that. Anyway, the point is I’m going to review some more G.I. Joe today. At the beginning of the line, Classified Series kicked off with a deluxe version of G.I.Joe’s main ninja guy Snake Eyes. The first version of his nemesis, Cobra’s equivalent, Storm Shadow, was a was A) a wonky variant and B) an exclusive. The second version was based on the movie and the less said about that, the better. Three years into the line, we’re finally getting a proper version of Storm Shadow. I am looking at that figure today.


Storm Shadow is figure 35 in the line-up of Hasbro’s G.I. Joe: Classified Series.  He’s numerically the first figure in the second assortment of the line for 2022, and picks up right from the last assortment’s Alley Viper on the numbering.  The figure stands just over 6 inches tall and he has 37 points of articulation.  The overall set-up of the articulation is the same as the rest of the line, but with the added caveat of adding the pinless construction, which works especially well with the bare-armed look that this figure has.  The sculpt is all-new, and is clearly based on Storm Shadow’s V1 release.  It’s his classic look, and the one we’ve all been waiting for, so it’s logical.  As we’ve been seeing more and more as the line moves forward, Storm Shadow’s new design adheres quite closely to the old.  There are some slight adjustments, and a few modernizations and extra details added for the larger scaling, but he really is just a straight upgrade to the original look, rather than a re-imagining like the earlier figures in the line.  The biggest change to this design is the presence of a hood (something that became a lot more common place for the character after the V1 figure), and even that is completely removable, should you want him to be more spot-on with his reference.  The sculpt is a very nice one.  It’s sleek where it needs to be, functional where it needs to be, and has a lot of texturing and small detail work going on, which really makes it nice and visually interesting.  The proportions are quite nicely balanced, and I really like how naturally his clothing hangs on his body; it actually looks like there’s a person beneath all of that ninja gear.  Storm Shadow’s color work is generally pretty solid.  There’s a lot of molded colors, and not a huge amount of accenting, but what’s there is cleanly applied.  The eyes are printed, which looks really good on this figure.  Storm Shadow is packed with two different versions of his hood (up and down), two swords, a bow (which is different from the Arctic version), an arrow, and a quiver (with sheaths for the swords).  The swords, bow, and the arrows (both the loose one and the ones sculpted into the quiver) all get some paint apps, which is always nice to see.


This figure’s been pretty much inevitable since the line launched, but he definitely took his sweet time getting to us. The arctic version was a nice way of tiding us over until the real thing, but he was at best just a place holder. Still, with him being as good a figure as he was, there was certainly some worry that this one might not fully measure up. Well, thankfully, he not only measures up, he manages to blow that release out of the water, and showcase how much Hasbro can up their own game even in a short span of time.

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

#3166: Cowboy Tony Stark & Aldrich Killian



Now listen up, here’s the story, about a little guy who started both of his Iron Man 3-themed Minimates reviews the same way, and all day and all night, everything he sees is reviews, inside and outside.  Okay, I think the Eiffel 65 thing as far as it can possibly go.  Look, you get the gist, right?  Minimates?  Iron Man 3?  Great.  Here’s Cowboy Disguise Tony Stark and Aldrich Killian!


Cowboy Disguise Tony Stark and Aldrich Killian were released as part of Series 49 of Marvel Minimates, the specialty component of the Iron Man 3-tie-in ‘mates.  It’s one of the two sets contained there in which was completely exclusive, the other being the previously reviewed War Machine and Maya.


Over the course of his three films (and Age of Ultron), we’ve gotten all manner of Tony Starks, but I think Cowboy Tony may very well be the most out-there variant. Well, at least he seems that way on the surface.  In practice, he’s actually just a fairly standard Tony, who also includes a cowboy hat.  The figure is built on the standard post-C3 body, so he’s about 2 1/2 inches tall and he has 14 points of articulation.  He uses two add-on pieces, one for his hat, and one for his sweater.  Both parts are re-used; the hat is from Mad Dog Tannen and the sweater comes from Agent Zero.  The sweater is fine, but the hat ends up being rather off the mark for the one he was wearing in the movie.  Obviously, DST wanted Tony to be a re-use figure, and I guess this hat was just the closest thing they had on hand? I don’t know, but it makes him look more like a mountie than a cowboy.  The paint work on Tony is the strongest aspect of the figure, to be sure.  His likeness to RDJ is a decent one, and the replication of Tony’s injuries from the move on his face make for a more distinctive look for the character.  The detailing on his vest and what we can see of his plaid shirt is also pretty impressive.  Tony is packed with an extra hair piece, for those of you that want the non-cowboy/mountie look for him, as well as a set of extra arms for a look sans-sweater, and a now standard clear display stand.


Man, Killian really through marketers for a loop, didn’t he?  His role was super down-played going into the film, with all the focus going to Ben Kingsley’s Mandarin, but toy companies were still informed he’d be important, but in a sort of a vague way.  The character in the comics is very, very minor, but then, boom, there he was, main villain of the piece, unquestionably.  Well, at least the Minimates included him, right?  Killian uses three add-on pieces for his hair, jacket, and tie.  All three are re-used; the hair’s from Larry Talbot, the jacket from World of the Psychic Peter Venkman, and the tie from The Spirit.  It’s a reasonable enough collection of parts, though I personally find the hair to be a touch to close cropped for Killian.  We’ve seen worse, though.  Killian’s paint is pretty straight-forward color work.  He’s not terribly thrilling or anything, but he’s accurate to his (present day) introductory scene in the film, and the face has a decent Guy Pierce likeness.  Aldrich’s only accessory is a clear display stand, which is rather light.  Some extra Extremis-powered parts would have been cool, though it’s possible they weren’t a viable option, due to spoilers.  He still feels like he should have *something* else, though.


I picked these up, alongside the rest of the assortment, the day they were released from my local comic book store, Cosmic Comix, on a special trip to the store in the middle of my day of college classes, meaning I got to carry them around in my bag.  You know, like I was in elementary school.  No, I mean, like an adult.  Yeah, an adult.  Sure.  Tony is a figure I had little interest in when he was initially shown off, but the ability to remove that hat actually opens the figure up quite a bit, and makes him a fairly intriguing variant of the character.  Overall, Killian is a passable figure of the character, but there’s not a whole lot that really sells him.

#3165: The Modal Nodes



“Figrin D’an was the rocking frontman for the all-Bith band ‘The Modal Nodes.’ His deft playing of the Kloo Horn for the band earned him the nickname ‘Fiery’ Figrin

Members of the Modal Nodes, like Nalan Cheel on the Bandfill, played their recognizable tunes in the Mos Eisley cantina.”

There are quite a number of distinctive aliens present in the Mos Eisley Cantina in A New Hope, but my favorites are definitely the bunch of Bith up on the stage, the Modal Nodes.  Their catchy tune is key to the ambiance of the sequence, and they just look so snazzy in their matching outfits.  They don’t have a ton of action figure coverage, but they were in Power of the Force, and they’ve just been added to The Black Series, so that’s all that really matters to me.  So, I guess that’s all that matters to the site as well.  There are two members of the band available, with the frontman Figrin D’an in the main line, and Nalan Cheel as a deluxe exclusive.  I’m taking a look at both of them in a combo review today!


Figrin D’an and Nalan Cheel are figures 4 and 5 in the A New Hope sub-set of Star Wars: The Black Series.  Figrin is part of the latest standard assortment of the main line (the largely Obi-Wan Kenobi-based assortment), while Nalan is a shared exclusive between Hasbro Pulse and Shop Disney.  Since all of the Nodes look effectively the same, the two are the same core figure, with the accessories marking the difference between the releases.  The core figure stands a little over 6 inches tall and he has 27 points of articulation.  The sculpt appears to be all-new to these two figures.  The articulation scheme is pretty impressive; the lack of the butterfly shoulders can make things a little tricky when posing with some of the instruments, but it’s generally pretty easy to work with.  As far as the quality of the sculpt proper, the head’s definitely the strongest work, capturing the look of the masks from the movie quite well.  The outfit seems to be the closest Hasbro’s gotten to the actual Modal Nodes attire of all the figures they’ve done.  It looks quite sharp, and I really like that.  The paint work on the core figure is well-handled.  Obviously, the outfit is basic, since it’s just flat black and grey.  The accenting on the head and hands is impressive, and really sells the detailing of the sculpt, and gives him a more lifelike quality.  Accessories mark where these two figures differ.  Figrin is the more basic release, so he gets his Kloo Horn, as well as a Dorenian Beshniquel (the slightly longer oboe-looking thing, played by Doikk Na’ts), and a Double Jocimer (the shortest instrument, played by Ickabel G’ont).  All of the instruments are really nicely sculpted and well-scaled, and the paint work is pretty respectable, and the mouth pieces even slot into the mouth, which is pretty cool.  As the deluxe, Nalan gets the larger set-up.  It’s still three instruments, but they’re literally larger, so, you know, that’s how it is.  He’s got his Bandfill (the organ looking thing), drums and matching drum sticks (played by Sun’il Ei’de), an Ommni Box (played by Tech M’or), and three additional sets of hands to match up with the instruments.  It’s again an impressive set-up, and all of these instruments work a little bit better with the core figure, I feel.  I quite like the drums, but I also dig the seated option of the Ommni Box.  I’m also really down for the extra hands, but I also appreciate that he’s still got the hands from Figrin, so that he can still use the extra instruments included with that release.


The Cantina Band is one of those very memorable parts of the first movie, and one that I really like.  While I only got the PotF version a few years ago, I really liked him and the gimmick behind him.  When Figrin was announced I knew I was at least grabbing him, and maybe a few duplicates as I got the chance.  I missed out on the pre-orders for Nalan, and honestly wasn’t expecting to find him, but shortly after All Time got their standard assortment with Figrin, a Nalan got traded in, giving me an easy shot at both of them.  I really enjoy the core figure a lot, and all of the instruments are so nicely handled.  I will definitely be trying to snag a few more of the core body for a full band, but in the mean time, I’ve got the miracle of photoshop!

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