#3165: The Modal Nodes

FIGRIN D’AN & NALAN CHEEL

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“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!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

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 ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

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.

#3164: Sergeant Kreel

SERGEANT KREEL

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“Sergeant Kreel, formerly undercover Agent 5241, serves as the leader of an elite group of SCAR troopers, Task Force 99, under the direct command of Darth Vader.”

Hey, remember last year when Hasbro was all like “let’s do some comic-based Black Series figures?” Well, this year they were all like “let’s do that again”, so here we are. When Disney purchased Star Wars and moved the comics line over to Marvel, the first thing they did was launch an on-going book, simply titled Star Wars, set between A New Hope and Empire. The book explored a number of concepts, including giving the Imperial side a squad of elite Stormtroopers, who have since been retconned into being the Imperial answer to The Bad Batch. Leading the squad was Sergeant Kreel, a really souped up Trooper that is the subject of today’s review!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Sergeant Kreel is one of the four figures that make up the second round of comics-based Star Wars: The Black Series figures. Like the first round, they all ship on their own, though, so they’re not actually all hitting at once. Kreel is the first of this round to turn up at retail, at least around me. The figure stands about 6 inches tall and he has 29 points of articulation.  Kreel is largely built out of the updated Stormtrooper mold, with a new upper torso, new add-ons for the pouches on the arm and leg, a modified belt piece, and the shoulder pauldron from the First Order officer.  The updated Stormtrooper is a really strong mold, so it’s a pretty great starting point for a figure.  While Kreel was at times depicted as larger in build, in Issue #60, which is the one this guy is explicitly based one, he’s more standard trooper size, so this one is consistent, and it’s honestly in line with Hasbro’s trend of going a little more real world with the looks for these comics figures.  The new pieces work well with the old, and with the torso giving him a far sleeker look.  The pouches help to differentiate him a little further, and I like the more utilitarian nature behind them.  The figure’s color scheme is largely just the usual black and white, with a splash of color for the arm display and the pauldron.  The application is all pretty cleanly applied, and he looks pretty sharp.  Kreel is packed with the standard Stormtrooper blaster, as well as a lightsaber, which is re-used from one of the ones included with General Grievous, though with the hilt and blade colors changed up.  Kudos to Hasbro for, you know, actually giving this one an extra accessory in addition to the original release of the mold.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I didn’t follow the Marvel run particularly religiously or anything, so I didn’t actually read any of Kreel’s appearances first-hand.  That said, I really liked this guy’s design, and I like a cool trooper variant, so I was on-board for this guy pretty much from the start.  In hand, he’s a lot of fun.  The original mold is still a really good one, and the changes made here just add to it.  He’s just really cool, and that’s kind of the most important thing to a Star Wars toy, right?

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.

#3163: Bonebreaker

BONEBREAKER

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“The villainous cyborg known only as Bonebreaker desires nothing more than the chance to wreak havoc. Employing his robotic abilities first as a mercenary and then as a member of the nefarious Reavers, Bonebreaker leaves a trail of destruction wherever his travels lead him!”

Back in 2019, Hasbro knocked out their first member of the cybernetically-enhanced X-Men foes the Reavers with Skullbuster, an admittedly soft opening for the line-up.  But, that’s what you get when you really don’t have the name recognition to justify much new tooling right out of the gate.  We also got the team’s two different leaders, Donald Pierce and Lady Deathstrike, though the actual ranks are still rather small.  And hey, now we’re getting arguably the most quickly recognizable member of the group, by nature of being half-man-half-tank.  Let’s check out Bonebreaker!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Bonebreaker is the Build-A-Figure for the titular series of Marvel Legends, assembled from the parts included with six of the seven figures in the assortment.  This is Bonebreaker’s second time in figure form, following up on the original Toy Biz one.  Hey, it’s better than all of the rest of his team, so that certainly counts for something.  The figure is about 6 1/2 inches tall and has 18 points of articulation, as well as a moving cannon and back-flap on the tank portion of the figure.  The proper articulation is confined to the upper half, which is making use of the upper portion of the Spider-UK body.  He also gets the bands from Captain Marvel, as well as a new head, overlay for the web gear and collar piece, and, of course, the tank half.  The new pieces are actually pretty impressive.  The head’s got a ton of character, between both the hair style and the crazy look on his face.  I especially like the hinged sunglasses, which add a lot of options for the character’s expressions.  The tank section is generally pretty solid as well.  The detailing is sharp and well-handled technically, and I really dig the dings and scratches.  The assembly is also pretty solid, considering how its got to be disassembled for the purposes of the Build-A-Figure set-up.  Bonebreaker’s color work is on the drab side, as expected, but there’s a lot going on, which keeps it interesting.  Bonebreaker is packed with two sets of hands (fists and gripping), as well as an assault rifle.  It covers everything he could need, and then some, so that’s a plus.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Back in the ’90s, I remember seeing Bonebreaker’s original figure everywhere, which sort of wound up deterring me from actually getting it, until I finally broke back in 2019 and finally got him.  Over the years, I’ve grown to like Bonebreaker a little bit more, and I was certainly intrigued by the prospect of him in Legends form, and this Build-A-Figure release looked pretty awesome when it was shown off.  In-hand, he turned out really well.  Clearly, a lot of fun was had with this one.  I’d love to see them tackle more of the Reavers to fill things out a bit, because they did really well with this one.

This assortment is really oddball, and generally pretty obscure, but boy do I like it.  Obviously, Havok’s the main star for me, because it’s Havok, and he’s great.  That said, Maggot and Bonebreaker are both really well handled figures of low-tier characters, who are just a ton of fun.  Darwin, Siryn, and Sabretooth are all rather by the numbers, but they do what they need to, and they do it well.  And you don’t even need to buy the Wolverine variant to finish the set!  Oh, right, there’s also Vulcan.  I mean, I guess he’s alright.

#3162: Sabretooth

SABRETOOTH

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“With keen senses, a mutant healing factor, and zero moral restraint, Sabretooth is a dark reflection of his archnemesis, the mutant hero Wolverine.”

I fully intended to begin today’s review of a Sabretooth figure by bringing up the fact that he didn’t actually start out as an X-Men or Wolverine antagonist, and was instead an Iron Fist villain, but in doing some back-reading of old reviews in preparation, I have discovered that I’ve actually mentioned that fact in almost all of my Sabretooth reviews here on the site.  I…I should probably double check old intros a little more often, shouldn’t I?  Eh, I probably won’t.  Look forward to hearing about the Iron Fist thing in my next Sabretooth review, after I’ve completely forgotten the lesson I learned in this one’s intro.  Just try to pretend its new and exciting information when you hear it then.  And give me a break, because I’ll be older and more tired by that point.  Just keep me comfortable, is what I’m getting at here.  Man, this intro’s getting really meta and really bleak, really fast.  Well, onto the toy, I guess.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Sabretooth is figure 6 in the Bonebreaker Series of Marvel Legends, and is the final figure needed to assemble the Bonebreaker Build-A-Figure.  There’s also a Wolverine variant, but I’ve honestly got enough Wolverine variants, so I passed on that one.  This Sabretooth is based on his first appearance costume…more or less.  It marks the first time Hasbro’s done the design, and its second time in Legends form, following the Toy Biz Face Off release.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  While the last two standard universe Sabretooths have been based on the Hyperion body, this one is on the slightly slimmer Reaper body.  It makes sense, since the earlier Sabretooth design was always depicted as being a little slimmer anyway.  It’s also a body that’s not super over-used, so that’s a plus.  The figure gets a new head, forearms, shins, hands, and feet, as well as an add-on for his fur collar.  The new parts mesh well with the old, and the whole thing’s a rather cohesive looking take on the original design.  The head in particular is quite nice; rather than the more frequent screaming expression, he’s got Creed’s evil grin, which is frequently overlooked for such figures.  The figure’s paint work is generally pretty decently handled.  He does have a bit of a departure from the proper 1st Appearance look, with fingerless gloves and…toe-less boots?  They don’t appear to be based on any particular version of the costume, but I do kinda dig how they look.  Sabretooth has no accessories of his own, but he includes three separate pieces for Bonebreaker, all meant to connect to the lower tank-portion of the figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was very happy with the Jim Lee style Sabretooth from the Apocalypse Series, so I didn’t need another.  That said, I get the desire to update this look, since it’s been a while since it got toy coverage.  This one turned out pretty well.  He’s not going to be my go-to Sabretooth or anything, but he’s certainly a cool 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.

#3161: Darwin

DARWIN

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“True to his name, Darwin has the power to adapt against any threat, be it searing volcanic heat or the cold vacuum of space!”

Hey, remember when I was talking about retcons?  And, more specifically, the retcon that introduced Vulcan, the third Summers brother?  And, how terribly handled it was?  Well, for the sake of argument, how about a retcon character that I actually don’t hate, who is in fact from that exact same story?  Yes, today, I’m talking about Armando Munoz, aka Darwin, one of the other three members of Vulcan’s ill-fated team, and the only other one to survive to the present day.  Darwin has the ability to adapt to the threats around him, and has generally been a pretty low-key sort of character, whose unique (and actually decently defined) abilities and lack of connection to pre-existing characters make for a far less obtrusive inclusion within X-history, even if it was added after the fact.  And, he’s even gotten to be in a movie, which was pretty cool.  And now, he’s got a Marvel Legend.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Darwin is figure 5 in the Bonebreaker Series of Marvel Legends.  He fits well with the overall oddball-theme of the assortment, as well as having the added benefit of being in the same assortment as his former teammate Vulcan, which I suppose is a pretty nice little tie.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Darwin is built on the Pizza Spidey body, which is a reasonable choice for the character, who is usually portrayed as being more on the slender side.   He gets a new head, belt, and hands, which capture his look respectably well.  The new head is suitably alien in its appearance, matching the character’s earlier appearances, as well as the costume choice that they’ve gone with, which is his original “Deadly Genesis” design.  He winds up looking a little bit like John Lithgow, if I’m honest, which I don’t really hate.  The paint work on Darwin matches up with his comics design; I really dig the purple, and the skin tone is appropriately pale and washed out.  I like the slight accenting on the head, in order to bring out more of the sculpted details.  Darwin is packed with two sets of hands (open gesture and fists), as well as half of the tank treads for the Bonebreaker Build-A-Figure.  It might have been nice to get a few parts showing off his adaptive skills, but this figure is pretty clearly the assortment’s low-cost figure, so I get why they stuck with what we got.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

My first exposure to Darwin was actually in X-Men: First Class, where I quite liked him, despite his relatively small role.  I haven’t been actively following him in the comics, but I’ve always enjoyed the stories I’ve read with him, and, like I mentioned in the intro, I find his retcon status to be far less frustrating than Vulcan’s, so I just generally like him more.  While I didn’t *need* a figure of him, it’s one I can appreciate, and, for as basic as this one is, he’s honestly pretty fun.

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.

#3160: Maggott

MAGGOTT

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Maggott’s mutant power is his two giant slugs, Eanie and Meanie, that serve as his digestive system.”

At the height of the their popularity in the ’90s, the X-Men were in desperate need of new characters to fill up the many, many books that were being published.  You can’t just fill every roster with Wolverine, right?  As they progressed, the characters seemed to be trying to top each other in terms of both weirdness and general X-Tremeness.  Things had gotten pretty absurd by 1997, which is when we got today’s character, Maggott, frequently touted as one of the strangest X-Men.  He was crazy, and ridiculous, and honestly kind of awesome.  So, of course, he had to be killed in a horrible fashion once the ’00s came along, to prove that we were far more serious.  Super serious you guys.  But it’s okay, because none of the X-Men stay dead anymore, so he’s back!  Yeah!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Maggott is figure four in the Bonebreaker Series of Marvel Legends.  This is Maggott’s first action figure release, though he was actually slated for one back in the ’90s, as part of a cancelled follow-up assortment to Toy Biz’s “Missile Flyers” theme.  Crazy it took this long, but here we finally are.  The figure stands 6 3/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Maggott’s sculpt is an all-new affair, patterned on his primary design from the ’90s, in all of its crazy ’90s-ness.  The sculpt does a pretty great job of capturing the essence of his ’90s appearances, while still filtering it through to something that could fit in a bit better with the overall stylings of the other figures in the line.  If I have one complaint, it’s that the head seems perhaps a touch too large, but beyond that, I think it really works.  I especially appreciate the extra texture work on the jacket, as well as the more jovial expression on the face.  The color work on Maggot matches well with his in-book color scheme.  It was pretty gaudy, even for the time, but they’ve kept it true, and haven’t dulled it down, as tends to happen with such designs.  The paint application is all generally clean and well-handled, and there’s no notable slop or bleed over.  Maggott is packed with his two maggots, Eanie and Meanie, which can be placed on him (though they don’t really secure or anything), as well as the head and weapon for the Bonebreaker Build-A-Figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The cancelled Toy Biz figure was my introduction to the character, but since then, I’ve always had this sort of built-up need to own a Maggott figure.  And, up until now, there’s not been one, which is kind of a bummer.  When this guy was teased, and then confirmed, I was actually pretty excited.  Sure, he’s not Havok, but he was still quite high on my list.  He’s a fun, rather unique figure, and, after 20 years, I’m just glad to finally have a Maggott in my collection.

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.

#3159: Vulcan

VULCAN

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Vulcan sets his sights on total galactic conquest. Standing in his way are the X-Men, the Inhumans, the Kree…and his brother Havok!”

I’ve discussed before here on the site that I’m not a particularly big fan of retcons.  I just feel that jamming a character into a pre-existing narrative is at best an unsettling venture, and at worst, it’s just painfully bad.  So, today’s focus, Vulcan, aka Gabriel Summers, brother to Havok and Cyclops, is a character I’m generally non-plussed about.  The idea of a third Summers brother had been floated around for quite some time before Vulcan’s introduction, with a number of possible candidates, all of whom were previously established characters.  Vulcan was introduced in 2006, and is like a retcon turducken.  He’s the third Summers son, whom their mother was retconned into being pregnant with when she and Corsair were abducted by the Shi’ar.  He was then involved with the Shi’ar, before coming back to Earth, working for Erik the Red (a character we saw previously, who had made no prior mention of knowing another Summers brother), being found by Moira Mactaggert (another character who had not mentioned another Summers brother), and recruited by Charles Xavier (another character again to not mention the extra Summers brother) to lead a second team of X-Men to Krakoa in order to rescue the first, thereby making the All-New All-Different X-Men who actually rescue the team and defeat Krakoa in Giant-Size X-Men #1 the third team of X-Men, not the second.  He’s then hidden away for a bunch of time, until he resurfaces during “Deadly Genesis,” where we get to find out how cool and badass he is, because, he’s, like, an Omega Class Mutant, you guys.  So, he’s like the other two Summers brothers, but actually way better.  And he did a bunch of cool stuff offscreen.  We swear, you guys.  He’s, like, so much cooler than all the others.  And his powers?  They’re very cool.  No idea what they are, of course, because he’s definitely got one of those power sets that super vague and just what’s needed to make him seem “cool.”  But they’re cool.  Promise.  Okay, I’m gonna stop ragging on Vulcan and just actually review the figure, I guess.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Vulcan is figure 3 in the Bonebreaker Series of Marvel Legends.  This marks Vulcan’s very first time in action figure form, which is crazy, given how cool this guy is.  It says so in all of his appearances.  So, we’re setting things right with this one.  Vulcan is depicted here in his main X-Men attire, and seems to be most specifically based on his more recent appearances from the post-House of X stuff.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  While Havok was on a re-purposed body, Vulcan debuts an all-new base body.  This one has been specifically designed as a replacement for the Bucky Cap body, so it’s meant to have a similar build and styling.  The proportions are slightly more nuanced and balanced, the detailing is generally cleaner, and he gets additional butterfly joints for the shoulders.  Additionally, the elbows and knees are using the pinless construction, making for an all-around cleaner look for the figure.  Generally, it’s a decent base body.  I feel like the knees are possibly a touch too low, but it otherwise looks pretty solid.  It’s a good replacement for the Bucky Cap, though I do somewhat rue the fact that I’ll now be having to reference this as the “Vulcan Body” in every use going forward.  Couldn’t they have used it for someone cooler first?  Vulcan gets a unique head sculpt, which is respectable from a technical stand point.  It’s very sharply defined, and generally matches with his more recent depictions in the comics.  The color work on this figure is quite bright and bold.  The paint for the dark blue sections is nice and sharply handled, as is the face and belt.  There’s not a ton going on, but what’s there works.  Vulcan is packed with two sets of hands (fists and open gesture) and the torso, arms, and hands for the Bonebreaker Build-A-Figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

If the intro didn’t fill you in, I’ve got some issues with Vulcan.  The character is deeply flawed to his concept, and about the only thing I’ve ever liked about him is that his later stories gave some nice focus to Havok.  I’ve never particularly liked him, and nothing anyone has done with him has made me care.  His inclusion here is kind of meh, but he does at least debut the new body, which is a nice starting point for future, better figures.

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.

#3158: Havok

HAVOK

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Alex Summers aka Havok fires super-heated plasma from his hands to devastating effect. A veteran hero and leader, he longs to step out of his older brother Cyclops’ shadow.”

What’s that?  A new Marvel Legends Havok?  Well, don’t mind if I do.  When Havok was first added to Legends under Toy Biz’s tenure in 2006, they opted to put him in his original Neal Adams-designed outfit.  Since then, Hasbro’s given him two additional figures in the line, both covering different designs than the Toy Biz release.  Now, they’re going back to the beginning, with their own go at the original Havok, and, quite frankly, I couldn’t be happier.  Because, you know, Havok.  So, let’s wreak review some Havok!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Havok is figure 2 in the Bonebreaker Series of Marvel Legends.  Obviously, the assortment’s still got a Wolverine and all, but Havok does feel a bit like the headliner…but I’m probably biased on that.  I always feel like Havok’s the headliner.  I mean, he’s Havok.  Top shelf stuff.  This is Havok’s fourth time in Legends form, and his third under the Hasbro banner.  As addressed up above, this Havok is based on the character’s first costume, which he sported for about two decades, before the whole X-line got rebranded and he got his Jim Lee design.  It’s a classic look, and one that many of his designs since have referenced.  Moreover, he’s more or less wearing this costume again in the current run of the X-books.  Yay for relevance!  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  Hasbro’s last two Havoks were built on the Bucky Cap body, but with that body officially being retired, this guy gets moved to a different base.  While there’s an intended replacement in this assortment, it’s not used for Alex.  Instead, he’s built on the 2099 body.  It’s a little smaller than the last base, but as a younger incarnation of the character, it doesn’t feel too out of place.  This also feels like the most direct replacement for the old Bullseye body, which served as the basis of the original Havok Legends figure*.  So, in that respect, it works out pretty well.  He gets an all-new head sculpt and it’s a very strong piece.  It’s a slightly calmer expression than the original Toy Biz release, but it still feels very on-brand for the character, retaining a number of traits from the ’90s Havok head sculpt, even.  The paintwork on this figure is largely pretty basic, but what’s there is really good.  In particular, the energy effect on his “symbol” on his chest is quite believable, and manages to convincingly look like it’s glowing.  I definitely dig it.  Havok is packed with three separate energy effects, all three of them new.  There are two for the wrists, like with the last ones, as well as one that clips into his back.  The wrist ones are a little loose, but I otherwise really like the new pieces, and I’m very seriously tempted to buy so many of this figure just for the effects for my other Havoks.  He’s also packed with two drum pieces for the Bonebreaker Build-A-Figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Have I mentioned that I like Havok?  I feel like that may be important.  Unsurprisingly, this figure was my most wanted of the assortment, because I’m always down for a good Havok.  This is a good Havok.  A very good one.  There’s a simplicity to the core figure, in contrast to the complexity of the last Havok, and it works very well.

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.

*It was so direct a replacement, that it was actually used for the most recent Bullseye figure from Hasbro

#3157: Siryn

SIRYN

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Inheriting her mutant sonic scream from her father Banshee and raised by her criminal uncle, Black Tom Cassidy, Theresa Cassidy forges her own heroic path with X-Factor as Siryn!”

Hey, do you know what it’s time for?  Well, another review, obviously, but, more specifically, it’s time for more Marvel Legends.  You know, because there’s new Marvel Legends. So, I gotta review them.  That’s how it goes, guys.  The latest round of figures is X-themed, and its an assortment of veritable oddballs.  I’m all about that.  The first of the oddballs up to bat is our second member of the Cassidy family in recent years, Theresa Cassidy, aka Siryn.  Daughter to Banshee, and long-time X-Force member, Siryn is surprisingly short on toy coverage, with only a single Minimate release to date.  Now, she adds a Legend to that list, adding to the ever-growing X-Force team within the line.  Let’s see how she turned out!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Siryn is figure 1 in the Bonebreaker Series of Marvel Legends, which looks to be this year’s only proper X-assortment.  She’s sporting her classic Banshee-inspired X-Force look from the ’90s, which is probably her most distinctive design, making it a pretty logical choice of costume.  The figure stands a little over 6 inches tall and she has 30 points of articulation.  Her parts are a combination of the prior mid-sized body, with the pinless arms and legs first showcased on Tigra.  She also gets re-used cuff pieces on the wrists and ankles, as well as an all-new head sculpt.  The new head is pretty decent.  There’s a nice dynamic flow to the hair, and the face generally matches the look of the character as she tends to be depicted in the comics.  Notably, unlike a lot of Banshee figures, the head isn’t permanently screaming, which is generally for the best.  It’s certainly less limiting in terms of posing.  Topping things off is her “cape,” which much like Storm, is made from a very thin, almost paper-like cloth.  It’s only printed on one side, and it’s generally kind of cheap looking, but it’s pretty much what I’ve come to expect at this point.  It at least gets the point across, but I’d appreciate at the very least two-sided printing.  The color work on this figure is generally alright; the application on the yellow is a little sloppy, but not terrible.  The face, especially the freckles, is quite nicely rendered, with a very lifelike quality.  It’s definitely the strongest aspect of the figure.  Siryn is packed with two sets of hands (in fists and open gesture poses), as well as half of Bonebreaker’s tank-body.  I’d have liked to have gotten an extra head with the screaming expression, but otherwise, I guess it’s not terrible.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Siryn wound up being the first of these figures that I got a hold of, despite perhaps not being the highest on my list.  That being said, that’s less about her, and more about what else was in the set.  I’m glad to finally have a proper Siryn figure, and this one is a good one.  She’s generally by the numbers, and not without some small set-backs, but I like her.  Now, can we finally get a Banshee update to round out the Cassidy family?  Because it’s getting a little silly at this point.

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.

#3156: Street Fight Wolverine & Shingen

STREET FIGHT WOLVERINE & SHINGEN YASHIDA

MARVEL MINIMATES

In a line-up that was actually pretty focused and on-point, there was one pack from the tie-in assortment for 2013’s The Wolverine that just seemed…non-essential?  Redundant?  I don’t know exactly.  Though a far cry from the over saturation of the Wolverine: Origins days, today’s pairing of Street Fight Wolverine and Shingen Yashida is a reminder that not every set needs the title character and not every character in the film was strong enough to warrant their own ‘mate.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

These two were part of Marvel Minimates Series 52’s The Wolverine tie-in, as well as being the carried over set in the TRU assortment…for…reasons?  I don’t know why this set was carried over, but, well, I think I might be getting ahead of myself.

STREET FIGHT WOLVERINE

Here’s a design that is a definite “points for effort” on the part of the costume designers.  In the original miniseries on which The Wolverine was based, Logan spent most of his time in his then-current brown costume.  The film’s never put Wolverine in anything remotely close to any of his proper costumes, preferring to more often stick him in his civilian gear.  For the climactic battle of The Wolverine, they actually tried to put him into something that recalled his distinctive brown costume, without actually being a “costume.”  So, we get a jacket that kind of mimics the patterns of his uniform.  Not a terrible choice, though perhaps a little too subtle if you ask me.  Wolverine uses add-ons for his hair and jacket, as well as having a set of clawed hands.  The hair and hands are shared with his fellow Wolverines from the movie, but the jacket was actually an all-new piece to this particular figure.  In an assortment with a lot of re-used parts, this one being new was a little bit surprising.  Regardless, it’s a pretty nice piece, and its understandably seen some subsequent re-use since its introduction here.  Wolverine’s paintwork is okay, but not super eye-catching, since it’s just a lot of brown.  We get a more intense facial expression here, which is actually pretty nice, albeit more limited in application than the suited version.  There’s a lot of nice detail work under the jacket, which is always good to see.  He’s also got some detailing on the knees, but I can’t for the life of me figure out what it’s meant to be.  Wolverine is packed with a set of normal hands, alternate bare arms for a look sans-jacket, and a clear display stand.

SHINGEN YASHIDA

Ah, yes, Shingen Yashida.  Who could forget Shingen Yashida?  Me.  I could.  Because I totally had to look this guy up to figure out which guy he was.  For clarification, Shingen is Mariko’s father, played by veteran actor Hiroyuki Sanada in perhaps one of the least forgiving roles in the movie.  The most distinctive thing the character does is suit up in Samurai armor and try to kill Logan.  So, naturally, DST decided to release him in a business suit.  Yeah… Anyway, Shingen has three add-on pieces for his hair, jacket, and tie.  All three pieces are re-used.  The hair is from Civilian Thor, the jacket from “World of the Psychic” Peter Venkman, and the tie from The Spirit.  The suit and tie are perfectly fine generic pieces, but the hair is just flat out wrong for Shingen, whose hair is nowhere near this length or style in the movie.  I understand the need to re-use parts, but certainly there was a more accurate piece available.  The paint on Shingen is alright, but far from thrilling, since he’s mostly shades of grey.  The face has an okay likeness of Hiroyuki Sanada, but not so much of Sanada *as* Shingen, since he’s got facial hair, which Shingen very definitely doesn’t have in the movie.  This only further adds to the confusion of who the heck this guy is supposed to be.  Shingen is packed with a katana and a clear display stand.  The sword, it should be noted, is only used by Shingen during his battle with Wolverine, when he’s wearing the armor, and therefore makes little sense with this version of the character.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Wolverine’s an okay figure, but there’s not much that sets him apart from the plethora of other Wolverine variants we’ve gotten.  Shingen is at best a minor character in The Wolverine, and is really only notable because of the scene where he armors up.  This figure’s choice not to use that design robs him of pretty much all play value and recognizability, and makes the figure a real wasted slot in this assortment.  And, to add insult to injury, he was the only non-Wolverine character to be shared between specialty and TRU, so he was freaking everywhere, just rubbing in how pointless he really was.  I do not like this figure.