#3368: Donatello as the Invisible Man



During the vintage TMNT line run, Playmates was faced with the dilemma of needing to keep the main Turtles in the line, without the line becoming just repeats of the same basic looks over and over again.  Enter the wacky variants.  But not just any wacky variants; the Turtle variants were like variants on steroids.  They covered all sorts of themes and play features, and eventually they even started doing cross-over figures with other properties.  In 1993 and 1994, they did two sets of Universal Monsters cross-over Turtles, and 30 years later, NECA is also exploring that concept.  They’re actually reaching the tail end of the line-up, it seems, but they’re also getting around to the best Turtle, crossing over with the best monster, with Donatello as the Invisible Man!


Donatello as the Invisible Man is the sixth figure in NECA’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles X Universal Monsters line, and he started hitting retailers at the end of March/beginning of April.  He’s the second to last figure in the line (at least based on what we know so far), and he’s also the final of the four Turtles.  For Playmates’ vintage versions, there was an Invisible Man, but it was actually Mikey that got assigned the identity, while Donnie’s only figure in the set had him as Dracula.  NECA’s changed almost all of the crossovers for their versions, and while I think some of it’s been a bit of a mixed bag, making Donnie into the Invisible Man is one that feels much more natural than either of the Playmates choices.  The figure stands about 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  The movement on this guy is pretty decent, an improvement on the usual set-up for their actual Turtles molds (which were first sculpted a good long while ago), bringing him closer to their more recent Ultimate offerings.  Range of motion has some slight restriction on the mid section and hips, due mostly to how the design is laid out.  Donnie sports an all-new sculpt, courtesy of Tony Cipriano and Kushwara Studios.  It’s an all-new design, of course, since they’re not doing a direct translation of any prior figures.  It’s a pretty good set-up; the actual turtle side of things seems to be more 1990 movie-inspired than anything else, which I think vibes pretty well with the horror feel.  The Invisible Man elements are a bit more broad strokes, and less specifically the Universal version.  This one’s a tad more steampunk, and that honestly works out alright with it being Donatello.  The sculpting has quite a bit of detailing, including some impressive texturing, especially on the jacket and the scarf.  While other Invisible Man figures go for making the invisible parts truly invisible by just omitting them entirely, this one molds those parts in clear plastic, which feels more Playmates-y.  The standard head has exposed “eyes”, and the feet are wrapped up to the toes, both featuring clear parts for what you can’t see.  Likewise, the shell is also clear, which allows for some fun Playmates-esque details, notably the pizza slices visible in his shell on the back; how exactly they got there is anyone’s guess, but it’s a funny touch.  The only thing I’m not keen on is an issue I also had with the movie Donnie; the straps on the back of his shell for his bo staff storage are just cloth ties, and they really don’t work all that well, especially at this scale.  It’s really difficult to make use of them at all, and I’m honestly just not going to bother.  Donnie’s paint work is rather on the muted side, which has been the general theme on this line.  While the other three turtles kept their bandanas in the usual colors, the adjusted design for Donnie removes the bandana, replacing it with a more Invisible Man appropriate set of goggles.  To help keep some of Donnie’s trademark palette in play, the strap of the goggles, as well as his scarf, are purple, which adds a nice little splash of color.  Donnie is packed with three sets of gloved hands, one set of clear hands, an alternate set of clear feet, an alternate head, his goggles, his hat, his bo staff, a TGRI journal, and a beaker of serum.  For the most part, the extras are pretty solid.  The only one that’s weird is the extra head; it goes for the “going mad” partially wrapped look seen in the original film, and achieves its invisibility by leaving it hollow, much like the standard NECA Invisible Man did.  That’s all well and good, but everywhere else this figure commits to the molded clear plastic look, so it makes for a rather strange mix of styles.  I wouldn’t have minded seeing a standard turtle head in clear for an unmasked look, like the vintage Mikey had.


The crossover Turtles are a cool idea, but they weren’t wowing me at the start.  That said, I’m a Donatello fan, so I was always planning to wait until they showed him off to pass final judgement.  I wasn’t really big on him as Drac in the vintage line, so the move to Invisible Man, who’s also one of my favorite monsters, was quite fortuitous.  He’s not a perfect figure, but he’s a pretty good one.  I don’t see myself getting anything else from the line, but he makes for a fun standalone piece.

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 and their eBay storefront.

#3367: Abe Sapien



Comic book companies sure do like their fish men, don’t they? After Hellboy did a few brief appearances in other books, and moved to headlining his own series, he brought with him his own host of supporting players. Debuting in the first issue of “Seed of Destruction” was the franchise’s own resident fish man, Abraham Sapien. Abe became a popular character in his own right, eventually taking a leading role in his own self-titled series, as well as the BPRD spinoff series. As the franchise’s secondary lead, he’s a good go-to for merchandising, making him a pretty natural choice for the second offering in 1000toys’ Hellboy line.


Abe Sapien is, as noted above, the second character added to the 1000toys Hellboy toyline. Not quite the second figure, counting the various versions of Red, but the second, and thus far final, unique character. There were two versions of this figure released: a standard version and a Dark Horse-exclusive version with a non-articulated Rasputin figure. This one is the standard. He stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 36 points of articulation.  Abe’s articulation scheme has a lot in common with Hellboy’s; obviously, his right arm doesn’t get the extra movement with the individually jointed fingers, instead mirroring the way the movement on the left works.  Like Hellboy, his torso is a softer material, to allow for more posability.  Abe winds up with some segmenting at the middle, which allows for even a bit more range than Hellboy was able to get.  In general, Abe’s movement is up to the impressive standards that everything else from 1000toys has set.  Abe’s sculpt is all-new.  He’s again got a heavily Mignola-inspired design, albeit just a touch more polished.  Abe is, of course, less rough and scarred than Hellboy, but he still gets a lot of smaller details, capturing his slightly more amphibian skin.  I also appreciate the difference of texturing between the skin and his shorts.  The only thing I’m not super crazy about is how his gills attach to the neck; it’s a whole slip-over piece at the top of the torso, which results in a separation between the two parts, which looks a tiny bit like his throat’s been slit.  Thankfully, it’s usually covered by the chin, so it’s not a *huge* issue.  In place of the cloth greatcoat sported by Hellboy, Abe gets a rubber BPRD vest piece, which fits pretty snuggly over the figure’s torso.  It stays on securely; securely enough that I didn’t actually realize it was meant to be removable at first.  Abe’s color work is strongly rendered, with plenty of accenting, especially on the exposed skin.  It really emphasizes the strengths of the sculpt, and matches up nicely with his incarnation from the comics.  Abe is more impressively accessorized than Hellboy, with six different pairs of hands (in fists, tight grip, loose grip, trigger finger, relaxed, and open gesture), a dive watch, knife, sheath for the knife, handgun, holster for the handgun, and a spear.


Abe’s my favorite part of the Hellboy mythos, and I’m always down for a good figure of him.  Back when Mezco did their comics-based line, I really wanted an Abe, but they made him a convention exclusive, and it honestly kinda killed me on the whole line.  I’ve been waiting for another chance since then, and it was actually this guy’s announcement that really sold me on this line as a whole.  Thankfully, when the Hellboy that I snagged got traded into All Time, this guy was alongside him.  The partners remained partners!  Abe’s a fantastic figure, just like HB.  Now I don’t even mind that I never got the Mezco.  And, if this is all we get from 1000toys, I’ll be content.  But, I certainly wouldn’t say no to a few others.  Like a Liz.  Or a Lobster Johnson.  Or a Johan.  Or a Roger.  Or just a whole entire line of really amazing figures based on all the characters.  And maybe some movie ones, too.  Right?  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.

#3366: Mandalorian Police Officer



Mandalorian officers maintain order on Mandalore. Because this planet of warriors has become a world of peace, the guards are seldom needed for more than minor issues. But the Death Watch group has begun committing acts of violence, so the officers are prepared with riot shields and weapons, in case all peaceful solutions fail.”

When Mandalorian culture was brought into Clone Wars‘ second season, there was a great focus on the divide in the two sides of Mandalore; while the antagonistic Death Watch were violent and warlike, the masses at large had attempted to take on a more peaceful stance.  The toys, of course, largely focused on the more visually exciting Death Watch side of things, but we did at least get some token coverage for the peace keepers, in the form of the Mandalorian Police Officer.  They’re ultimately a minor part of the show, but a cool look is a cool look, especially when it comes to Star Wars.


The Mandalorian Police Officer is from the second wave of 2010 offerings for the Clone Wars tie-in line.  He’s figure #9 in that year’s line-up, making him the second figure in his assortment, following up the similarly-themed Pre Vizsla figure.  The figure stands about 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 14 points of articulation.  While the line was generally improving on the articulation front at this point, this guy doesn’t quite benefit from that.  Instead, he’s using the early line non-trooper articulation scheme, meaning he’s got decent movement on his arms, but only the basic hip movement, with no knee or ankle joints.  I suppose, given his more peaceful nature, that this isn’t as horribly limiting, but it’s a little bit of a bummer.  His sculpt was an all-new one, and one which would remain unique for this figure.  It’s generally pretty solid, capturing the knight-like design from the show rather well.  He’s a bit more angular and stylized than some of the line’s other figures, and his proportions look a little strange, especially with the arms being as long as they are relative to the other parts of the body.  The visor is also rather loose fitting, and doesn’t quite sit the way it’s supposed to when it’s down.  Beyond that, though, he does what he needs to.  His color work is more on the drab side; in the show, the police sported variations of grey (fitting the generally off-white colors of the peaceful Mandalorians), and that’s what we get here.  Application’s generally pretty good, and he looks like he should, which is the important thing.  The officer is packed with his baton and riot shield, as well as a missile launcher and missile, which can be mounted on the back of the shield.  There was also a display stand, as had become standard for the line at this point.


This guy wasn’t my main want from this assortment back in the day (that was Pre Vizsla), but he was a close second.  I always thought this was a pretty cool design, and it’s a shame they never did too much with it.  I picked this figure up new, just before starting my freshman year of college.  He and Pre were two of the last items I got before moving into my dorm, and were in fact picked up while I was shopping for dorm stuff.  I intended to use these two to slow down my figure buying, but that…didn’t happen.

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.

#3365: Cyclops



Studying the genetic structure of Scott Summers’ family for many years, Mister Sinister took special care when mutating Cyclops into the one-eyed mutant monster Cyclaw! A bizarre genetic creation, Cyclaw is a one-eyed beast with optic blasts that disintegrate whatever they hit! Completely under the control of Mister Sinister, Cyclaw is Sinister’s chief weapon against the remaining X-Men!”

At the end of the ’90s X-Men toyline from Toy Biz, they got much more experimental with themes.  1997 seemed to hit peak levels of weirdness for that experimentalness, including turning a bunch of the team into monsters.  You know, as you do.  Amongst the X-Men getting all monster-ized was Cyclops.  Big surprise, I have a Cyclops figure to review.  I know.  Crazy.  Anyway, let’s look at the figure.


Cyclops is part of the “Monster Armor” series of Toy Biz’s X-Men line, which was the line’s 20th assortment.  He was the line’s sixth version of Cyclops.  The standard portion of the figure is sporting Scott’s Jim Lee costume, which made its second appearance in the scale here, after Cyclops II.  The figure stands just over 5 inches tall and has 8 points of articulation.  This assortment’s articulation set-up marked a move towards slightly less posable, and slightly more detailed sculpts, as Toy Biz attempted to emulate some of the McFarlane style that had become so popular towards the end of the decade.  Scott made out alright, though he lost elbow and knee movement.  On the flip side, he got universal joints at the shoulders, and a swivel at the waist.  I’ve actually looked at most of this figure’s sculpt before; it was re-used the next year for the X-Men vs Street Fighter version of the character.  The unique piece between the two was the head sculpt.  This one is a far more intense sculpt, with his head back and his expression screaming.  It’s not exactly an all-purpose sort of sculpt, but I guess it’s unique.  It also fits that whole “I’m transforming into a monster” vibe that the whole set was going for.  The figure’s paint work was more on the basic side.  His colors were very bright; arguably too bright for his design, and that’s something the X-Men vs Street Fighter figure would adjust.  Cyclops, like the rest of the series, was packed with a selection of clip-on Monster armor, which turns him into “Cyclaw,” which is kind of a lackluster name.  There’s a mask, “gloves”, and “boots.”  My figure is missing the feet pieces these days, but beyond that, the remaining pieces are appropriately grotesque and horrifying.


Cyclops was, unsurprisingly, the only one of this set that I got when they were new.  Look, I liked Cyclops, okay?  He got some play time as my standard Cyclops, before getting pretty quickly replaced by the Vs version.  Something about the head always seemed a little off to me, but I really liked the monster set-up, so that got a lot of use.  And, honestly, that was kind of the main point, right?

#3364: Rocket Launcher Robot



I’ve talked exactly once before here on the site about the 1998 Lost in Space movie.  It’s got quite a reputation of being quite bad.  It’s a well-earned reputation, I’ll tell you that.  There’s a very short list of things about the movie that don’t totally suck.  Amongst them is the handling of the Robinson family’s companion the Robot. Voiced once more by his original series voice actor Dick Tufeld, the Robot got a radical redesign for the film, but one that was still pretty solid.  He also stuck pretty closely to his original characterization.  Unsurprisingly for any adaptation of Lost in Space, the Robot was also the most heavily merchandised member of the cast, forming the backbone of Trendmasters’ tie-in toyline for the movie.  He was available in all manner of styles and sizes, and I’m looking at one of the smaller ones today.


The Rocket Launcher Robot was one of two smaller-scale Robots released in 1998 to go with the main 5-inch scale Lost in Space line of tie-in figures.  This was the more standard of the two Robots at this scale, meant to serve as the Robot in his basic configuration from the first half of the movie.  The figure stands about 5 3/4 inches tall and he has 9 points of articulation, as well as the same spring-loaded pop-up legs feature and rolling wheels seen on the Battle Ravaged version of this guy.  He’s also got a grabbing feature for the pincers on his hands, and his head extends outward on his “neck.”  The Robot’s sculpt is one of the best offerings Trendmasters had from its output for the movie.  It’s got a couple of parts in common with the Battle Ravaged release, though not as many as you might expect.  Obviously, the most of the upper half is unique, since the design is different, and all.  All of the arms are shared with the other release (though, the other figure only used one of the larger ones), as are the legs and outer treads.  The inner portion of the treads is different, so as to allow for rocket storage.  Everything makes for a solid recreation of the Robot’s updated design from the movie.  Some of the technical details are a little bit on the soft side, but it’s not out of line given the era, the price point, and the general style.  Since the figure gets “Rocket Launcher” as his descriptor, he understandably works in the shoulder launcher he has in the movie.  It’s a more complex mechanism in the movie, actually folding out and all.  While the larger Robot from Trendmasters did it more like the movie, this one goes more rudimentary.  The launcher is held to the back with a single peg.  You pull it out and re-orient it and boom: rocket launcher.  The paint work on this figure is generally pretty solid.  He’s more basic in his color work, but that’s more appropriate for this particular design.  He still gets all of the proper details he needs to.  Some of the application is a little sloppy around the edges, but it’s overall pretty good.  The Robot is packed with two rockets for his rocket launcher, which he can store in his treads.  He also got a sound feature.  When the button on his base is pressed, he alternates between “Weapons systems armed!” and a blasting sound effect.


I’m quite nostalgic for this movie, regardless of its quality.  I saw it in the theatre when I was 6, and I had a bunch of the toys.  This was the one main Robot release from this movie that I never had as a kid, and one I’ve been low-key keeping an eye out for in recent years.  Cosmic Comix got a run of Trendmasters Lost in Space figures in a little while back, and this guy was there for $5, and at that price, he was an easy grab.  He’s a fun figure.  Nothing fancy.  Just fun.

#3363: Wicket



Isn’t it great how the Star Wars movies are all spaced out in such a way that you’re bound to be celebrating some sort of anniversary for them, almost every year?  The more recent theme on the Hasbro side has the been the 40th anniversaries of the Original Trilogy films, and up to bat this year is Return of the Jedi and its original 1983 release.  As with all the other 40th celebrations, Black Series is getting a couple of rounds of retro carded figures, which are a mix of old and new offerings.  There’s but one new offering in the very first of those assortments, and it’s one of those devilishly divisive Ewoks.  But it’s not just any Ewok: it’s Wicket!  He’s, like, the best one!


Wicket was released alongside re-carded versions of Endor Leia, Endor Han, the Scout Trooper, and Skiff Guard Lando in the first series of the RotJ Retro Carded Black Series figures.  As noted in the intro, he’s the only unique figure this time around, and he’s our third Ewok in the line.  As the main Ewok, it’s a little surprising that it’s taken quite this long to release him, but he’s at least a good choice for an anniversary.  As of right now, he’s exclusive to the Retro Card, but it wouldn’t be that shocking to see him show up in the standard line later, as they’ve done with a few of the other anniversary figures.  The figure stands 3 inches tall and he has 20 points of articulation.  Given how small he is, he’s honestly got a pretty impressive articulation set-up.  The only major joint missing is the knee, but that would probably have broken the legs up too much, and it admittedly doesn’t mess with the movement too badly, due to the range on the hips and ankles.  Wicket’s sculpt is all-new, and it’s a very strong one.  He’s very small, of course, but that’s proper scaling for him, so it makes sense.  Even with his smaller stature, there’s a ton of texturing, and it’s got a great likeness of the Wicket costume from the movie.  The face in particular really captures the look of the character.  His hood is a separate piece, which can be removed if you’re so inclined, but it’s not really much to look at that way.  He just looks extra goofy.  But, it’s cool to have the option, and it stays in place very well.  Wicket’s paint work is pretty well handled, with accenting on his hood and his fur.  The fur jumps a bit in intensity from piece to piece, but the head is again the best work, with a rather subtle set-up, as well as gloss on the eyes that really helps to make they pop up against the rest of the face.  Wicket is packed with his spear, which is his signature weapon.  Presumably to make up for his smaller size while still occupying the standard price point, Wicket also gets a bow, an arrow, and two different styles of club.  They’re not things that he uses in the movie, but they’re good base Ewok weapons, and it’s not like he *couldn’t* have used them at some point, and it does give you extra options.


Back when I was still operating under the delusion that I was only buying a very select run of figures from Black Series (in 2013, when the line first launched), Wicket was one of the figures on my list that I was definitely buying.  I assumed he’d be the first Ewok at the time, and also thought we’d be seeing him sooner than ten years into the line, but I knew I wanted him all the same.  In an otherwise kind of lack-luster launch wave for the 40th RotJ figures, Wicket was a pretty exciting figure, and in hand, I really dig him.  Sure, you’re paying full price for a figure that’s half the size, but there feels like an extra attention to detail on this one, and to me he feels like a better deal than Yoda and R2 were.  And he’s just a fun little guy.

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 and their eBay storefront.

#3362: Hellboy



I don’t get to talk about Hellboy nearly enough on this site.  The last time I talked about anything Hellboy-related here on the site was all the way back in 2018, which honestly seems absurd to me.  But, there it is, I guess.  Well, I’m gonna try to make it better!  While the majority of Hellboy product has been courtesy of Mezco, there have been a few other manufacturers to take up the reigns since Mezco last left things off.  There have been a small selection of figures on the higher end side of things, including a couple of offerings from 1000toys, a company that always does its best to impress with me.  Today, I’m taking a look at their take on the titular character.  Is he sufficiently awesome?  I mean, more than likely.


Hellboy is the debut figure in 1000toys’ Hellboy line and was released in 2019.  There are a few different versions of him, but the one seen here is the most standard of the releases, which was the very first of them to hit.  This one covers all of your basic Hellboy needs, without delving into the more involved stuff.  The figure stands just shy of 7 1/2 inches tall and he has 45 points of articulation. Hellboy figures have a tendency to be a little more restricted on the articulation front, especially when it comes to the Right Hand of Doom, but that’s not the case with this guy. 1000toys has put their usual care into giving this guy a quite impressive range of motion, which even includes the Right Hand of Doom getting fully articulated fingers. Oh boy, are those a lot of fun. The shoulders took a little bit of getting used to for posing, and the right elbow can look a little odd depending on the pose, but its otherwise quite nicely implemented. Hellboy’s sculpt was all-new, though at this point it’s obviously been shared with his variants. It’s clearly Mignola inspired in its design, though it’s a slightly more cleaned up Mignola look, which lends itself just a little bit better to an articulated figure. He’s got a bit of a mixed media thing going on; the torso is a softer plastic, to allow for a little more movement, while preserving the cleanness of the design. It’s a little spongey when posing, and I always worry a bit with durability on such things, but it seems to work alright.  It also maintains a nice level of detailing, including his more rock-like features, as well as the various scars littered throughout his body.  Furthering the mixed-media set-up, he’s got his rosary, which hangs from his belt on an actual chain.  Likewise mixed-media is his coat, which is cloth goods here.  It’s bulky, as it should be, and has a wire running through the bottom, to allow for some minor posing.  The coat can be removed, though it will require popping off the right hand, which is a little tricky the first time around.  The color work on this guy is pretty solid stuff; the main red is bright and eye catching, which I really dig.  That’s largely molded plastic, of course, though I do have to give them kudos for being able to get the shades to all match up very closely; that’s especially difficult with reds.  The skin tones get a decent amount of accenting, which adds a little bit of shading, and also brings out the sculpt’s smaller details.  He’s also go those very bright yellow eyes, which make for quite an impressive pop of color.  This version of Hellboy is the most stripped down version in terms of extras, but he still gets an extra head, four hands, the Samaritan, and a holster.  The extra head gets an angrier expression, which is very in character.  Interestingly, the horns aren’t part of this sculpt, instead being shared between the two heads.  This was pre-planning for the release that also included his full horns, meaning this guy will still be compatible with those extra pieces, should you get them.  The hands are all lefts, since the right is fully posable; he’s got fist, gripping, relaxed, and open gesture.  The Samaritan is appropriately oversized, and fits well in the gripping hand.  The holster’s a touch tricky to use, but it works well enough and holds the gun securely.


I’ve been hoping to pick this guy up since he was first released back in 2019, but, for a number of reasons, he just kept getting pushed off, until several different releases of him had all sold through, and I assumed I wouldn’t be finding one.  I assumed incorrectly.  I just needed to be patient was all.  This guy got traded in, opened but unused, at All Time, which gave me to perfect opportunity to get myself one for a not terrible deal.  1000toys has not disappointed me in the past, and they’ve still not disappointed me.  This guy’s easily the best Hellboy figure I’ve ever handled, and just a great toy in general.

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 and their eBay storefront.

#3361: Pre Vizsla



Pre Vizsla is governor of Concordia, the moon orbiting Mandalore. Vizsla appears to support peace and criticizes the Death Watch, a violent group of Mandalorians who want to return to their warrior past. But when Obi-Wan discovers the Vizsla is actually the leader of the Death Watch, the governor tries to silence the Jedi in a duel — darksaber to lightsaber.”

If you’re going to try recreating Boba Fett at regular intervals, I suppose sometimes it just pays to go back to the source.  In The Clone Wars‘ second season, that’s what the franchise did, giving mass audiences their first glimpse at the Mandalorians.  Oh, sure, it’s all very passé these days, since they now make up a very large chunk of the franchise’s offerings, but this was back before that, when we were just learning about it all.  Leading the villainous contingent of Mandalorians was Pre Vizsla, voiced by none other than Jon Favreau, who was not yet involved in Star Wars.  Oh how times have changed.


Pre Vizsla was released in the second wave for the 2010 incarnation of Hasbro’s Clone Wars tie-in line, a wave which, in what would become fairly standard for the line, had been preceded by one entirely populated by repacks of main characters.  Vizsla was figure #8, making him the first of the new figures in his assortment, numerically.  The figure stands about 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 26 points of articulation.  Hasbro was getting pretty serious about actually articulating these figures by this point, and Pre represents the line at its peak in terms of mobility, rivaling the ARF Trooper, which was the best of the Clones.  It grants him quite a bit of playability, which is always a plus.  The figure’s sculpt was all-new; parts of it would be re-used for the standard Death Watch trooper later the same year, but for the start it would be unique.  It’s a pretty strong offering.  He’s notably skinnier than the clones, which was true to the character.  His helmet was a removable piece, with an unmasked sculpt beneath it.  The unmasked head is a touch on the small side, but not terribly so, and it matches up well with Vizsla’s earlier appearances on the show.  His half cape piece is cloth; it’s a little bit oversized for the scale, but it’s certainly a better set-up than a sculpted piece might have been, as it preserves the articulation.  Vizsla’s paint work is decent; the base set-up is all there, and he certainly captures the color scheme from the show.  You can see that they were intending the body to be re-used for standard Mandos from the start here, though; the Pre-specific elements are largely painted over the standard armor.  Pre is packed with the Dark Saber (making its toy debut here), as well as two dual pistols, and a display stand.


By the time of Clone Wars‘ second season, I was actually starting to get a bit more invested in it, and I remember the trailer that showed off Vizsla and his Mando goons for the first time.  It was very cool, and I was very excited.  This figure was one of the ones I was most looking forward to from the line, and I recall getting both him and the Mandalorian Police Officer while I was out buying things for my first college dorm room.  They were meant to be my last toy purchase for a while but…uh, I didn’t stick to that for long.

#3360: Captain America



When Steve Rogers volunteered to serve his country by undergoing the experimental super-soldier augmentation process, Captain America was born. Captain America is the defender of truth and justice, and is the living embodiment of freedom. He has sworn an oath to protect the weak and shepherd the innocent. Armed only with an unbreakable shield, Captain America guards the freedoms held most dear.”

Remember when you had go out to a place to play a video game?  Pepperidge Farm remembers.  Okay, it’s a little more than that, right?  In the ’90s, fighting games were a big craze in the arcade world, and comics, specifically Marvel comics, were big in other parts of the world, and some genius had the idea to smash those two things together.  First, we got X-Men vs Steet Fighter in 1996, followed but Marvel Super Heroes vs Street Fighter in 1997, and then Marvel vs Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes in 1998.  With the games themselves a success, Toy Biz licensed the Capcom half of the characters, for the purpose of doing some two-packs interacting with their Marvel line.  Like the actual games, they started with X-Men, but they eventually expanded to the rest of the Marvel and Capcom universes for a short-lived line in 1999.  And all of this is a very long lead in for me saying “hey, look at the Captain America figure I’ve got.”  Oh, and I guess there’s another figure as well.


Captain America and Morrigan are one of the four two-packs that made up Toy Biz’s one-series Marvel vs Capcom: Clash of the Super Heroes line, which fell under their larger Video Game Super Stars branding.  They hit retail in 1999.

There was a surprisingly small number of standard Cap figures in the ’90s, and this one was on that rather short list.  The figure stands about 5 3/4 inches tall and he has 14 points of articulation.  He was on the larger side for Cap, at least in terms of height, though was not quite as crazy on the width as some of the other Toy Biz Caps.  His articulation scheme is amongst the best that this era had to offer, which was certainly a plus.  His sculpt was all-new at the time, though it was quickly re-used for the Silver Age line’s take on Cap, and the head got a subsequent re-use for the Greatest Moments Bullseye, all in the same year.*  It’s honestly a pretty respectable offering.  The head sculpt goes for a slightly more anime-styled look, which fits with the overall style of the game he’s meant to be based on.  It still captures his usual features, and keeps him from looking too angry or intense, like some other Caps ended up being.  The body sculpt is nicely balanced in its proportions, being bulked up, but not ridiculously so.  He’s still a little wonky in some spots, but for this era of the line, it was actually quite tame.  Cap’s paint work is generally pretty nicely handled; the base colors a touch more muted than usual, but not incredibly so.  There’s a little bit of accenting on the blue and white sections of the costume, which generally works pretty well.  The eyes get quite a bit of detailing, adding a lot of depth and life to his overall look.  Cap was packed with his usual shield; it was a unique piece, and, like oh so many Cap shields, the clasp on the back is quite prone to breaking.

Fulfilling the proper video game portion of the set, coming straight outta Darkstalkers, it’s Morrigan.  Look at her, over here, all Morrigan-y.  Oh yeah.  Morrigan.  ….Okay, I’m gonna be honest with you all here: I don’t really know much about Morrigan.  Or anybody from Darkstalkers for that matter.  I mostly know them as space fillers when Capcom needs more characters for a cross-over roster, which is probably really reductive, but it’s my site, and that’s where we are.  The figure stands 5 inches tall and she has 11 points of articulation.  Despite having a lot of articulation, the actual range of motion on most of the joints is pretty restricted.  The head can’t really turn because of the hair and wings, the shoulders don’t really go any further down, and there’s always the dreaded v-hips.  It all makes her rather difficult to keep standing as well, which is really frustrating.  She got an all-new sculpt, which has a fair bit of pre-posing, but does honestly look pretty spot-on for the character’s usual look.  Morrigan’s paint work is all pretty basic, but it matches well with her character again.  Everything is pretty clean in application as well, so that’s nice as well.  Morrigan is packed with a small bat creature thing, which clips onto her wrist.


In 1999, I had some sort of half-day at school, and my father had a dentist’s appointment that he was unable to get out of, the location of which meant there would be no time for me to go home and actually get anything that I could entertain myself with.  There was, however, a Toys R Us rather close to the dentist’s office, so my Dad took me in to pick out something to entertain me.  This Cap (and the Morrigan that was packed with him, I guess) was what I picked.  I was always in search of the best possible Cap for my collection, and this guy looked right up that alley.  He’s honestly my favorite of the Caps in this scale, and remained my go-to Cap pretty much from the time I got him onward.  Also, there’s Morrigan.  She’s there too.

*This mold was also the one shown on all of the packaging images for the Avengers: United They Stand line’s take on Cap, though it was replaced with an entirely different mold before they actually arrived at retail.

#3359: Captain Christopher Pike



“After a disastrous mission on Rigel VII, Captain Christopher Pike diverted the U.S.S. Enterprise to Talos IV after receiving a distress call from survivors of S.S. Columbia.  On the Talosian surface, the landing party found a group of aging scientists and a young woman named Vina.  But it was all an illusion.

Vina led Pike into a trap set by the Talosians living underground.  Imprisoned in a menagerie, they were to begin repopulation of the surface.  Pike learned to fight the Talosians’ mental power, filling his mind with primitive thoughts they could not block.

After discovering that the humans would rather die than be held captive, the Talosians released Pike and his ship.  Vina, the only true survivor of the Columbia, remained with the Talosians.  The captain recommended to Starfleet that Talos IV be placed off limits.”

Star Trek reviews are certainly a rarity around here.  It’s not that I don’t like the franchise, but I don’t know that I enjoy it as much as a lot of other people.  What I do like from the franchise tends to be rather TOS-centric.  My favorite ship’s captain from the franchise, Captain Christopher Pike, comes from that era, although with some technicalities, I suppose, since he’s not a main captain by the point of the actual show, instead serving as the main character of “The Cage,” the show’s first pilot.  When the network didn’t pick up the show based on that pilot, lead actor Jeffery Hunter backed out, and Pike was replaced as captain of the Enterprise by William Shatner’s Kirk for the series proper.  Much of the footage from “The Cage” was then worked into the series proper as the extended flashback that makes up the bulk of “The Menagerie,” so there’s at least *some* Pike.  That’s better than none.  It also makes him a good pick for merch!  Yeah, the merch!  Let’s look at some of that.


Captain Christopher Pike was released in 1996 under Playmates’ combined Star Trek line, which gave a mix of all of the shows up to that point.  He was part of the fifth series of that set-up, and was released, alongside a Spock variant, Vena, and the Talosian Keeper, to celebrate the 30th anniversary of “The Cage.”  The figure stands about 4 1/2 inches tall and he has 12 points of articulation.  Pike has the line’s standard articulation set-up.  Not exactly the best scheme, and I never cared much for those silly v-hips, but it is what it is.  They were at least consistent by this point.  Pike’s structure is pretty similar to the rest of the standard TOS Starfleet officers.  That being said, he’s notably a little skinnier than the others, which I’m not sure is entirely accurate.  Of course, it’s not like any of the proportions were all that accurate on any of these figures, so it’s all kind of a toss up.  The likeness on these figures were rarely spot-on, and Pike’s not an exception.  Playmates did three Pike figures with Hunter’s likeness; this one’s the weakest of those three, but it was, at least, still not a terrible offering.  He’s got at least a hint of who he’s supposed to be.  The head does seem a tad large relative to the rest of the body, but that was common with these figures.  The body sculpt is rather on the basic side; there’s a little bit of detailing on his collar, but he’s otherwise without any real details of note, making him a softer sculpt than even the rest of the line.  Pike’s paint work is likewise basic.  The eyes are the best work, and the lips aren’t bad either.  The hair on mine has seen better days, but that’s not so much Playmates’ fault.  Other than that, he’s very basic and very shiny.  Pike was packed with his “Starfleet Hand Laser”, communicator, shield, and spear, all molded in the same sort of indigo shade, as well as a display stand.  Of all the parts, mine only has the stand these days.


This figure started out as my dad’s.  He got it new, back when I was a kid.  I was always fascinated by “The Menagerie” and Pike in particular, so I would borrow this guy all the time, and he wound up taking a bit of a beating.  That scuff on the hair happened pretty early on, and it was around that time that my dad realized he wasn’t going to shake me off of this one, so he bought himself a replacement and let me keep this one.  Of my meager Trek collection, he was always a favorite of mine.  He’s dated and goofy, but I dig it.