#3321: Clone Trooper – 41st Elite Corps



“The clone troopers in the 41st Elite Corps are led by Clone Commander Gree and Jedi General Yoda. The troopers are equipped with specialized gear for combat on jungle worlds such as Rodia, one of the planets to which this unit is assigned during the Clone Wars.”

People love Clone Troopers, and one of the things people particularly love about Clone Troopers are all the fancy colors you can get them in.  For their first appearance in Attack of the Clones, their colors corresponded to a rank structure, which was maintained in the 2D Clone Wars series.  By the time of Revenge of the Sith, the colors were modified into being unit markings, so when it came time to do to the 3D Clone Wars, they decided to retroactively make the the Phase I colors line up to units.  And that’s the way that Commander Gree inherited the 41st Elite Corps, whose design was previously that of the Clone Sergeant.  Which means that the figure I’m looking at today isn’t a Sergeant, but rather a member of the 41st Elite Corps.  How about that?


The 41st Elite Corps Clone Trooper was initially released as figure 26 in the first run of the Clone Wars tie-in line, as part of the fifth and final assortment of the original run, and numerically the second-to-last of the figures in that set (Kit Fisto was the last figure in that first numbering, something he’d repeat when he also wrapped up the Phase III Black Series run).  The 41st was the re-released early into the next run, as figure 04, in an assortment entirely populated with repacks moving to the new packaging style.  He was the line’s third generic clone in the main run, following the all-white and the 212th.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 24 points of articulation.  From a structural standpoint, this figure is identical to the 212th, complete with the newer style of helmet.  It solidified the plan to keep the adjusted helmet going forward, after the Space Gear Trooper threw some things into question.  Beyond that, it’s all really down to paint.  This guy swaps out the orange markings of the 212th for a somewhat subdued green.  He’s still got a much cleaner armor set-up, as became the norm for the Clones in the line.  Unlike the 212th, this guy’s shading also remained consistent with the Commander Gree figure later down the line, so they matched.  Yay!  The figure is packed with a small blaster rifle, as well as debuting the D-6 rotary blaster in this line, complete with a launching missile.  You know, for all those missiles that the rotary blaster launched.


Though I definitely wanted one of these back in the day, the 41st was never one of those figures I was able to track down.  Thankfully, I got a second chance when All Time got a huge Clone Wars collection in a few years back, so my collection didn’t have to go 41st-less forever.  He’s a basic figure, but he does what I need him to, and I’m always game for more green!

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.

#3320: Jean Grey



“Trapped in an alternate universe, Jean Grey wages a battle against Omega, one of Apocalypse’s minions. One of the most powerful mutant telepaths on the planet, Jean Grey has teamed up with Wolverine to put an end to Apocalypse’s diabolical plans once and for all. With her transforming Catapult Tank Blaster, Jean has a secret weapon that can send any opponent down for the count!”

By 1997, Toy Biz’s X-Men line had firmly moved away from purely comics-based figures, and was fully venturing into the “wacky variants” territory.  Assortments moved to a generally themed nature, with that theme usually being some sort of gimmick.  Both X-Men and Spider-Man took on an underlying line rebranding in ’98, with the X-Men one being
“Secret Weapon Force.”  Though the main purpose of these assortments was have an excuse for wacky variants, Toy Biz did at least throw peopled a bit of a bone, and tried to make some of those variants line-up with something actually from the comics.  In the case of today’s figure, Jean Grey, it allowed them to give her “Age of Apocalypse” look some coverage, after it had been left out of the proper tie-in assortment for the storyline.


Jean Grey was released in the “Battle Blaster” series of Toy Biz’s re-branded X-Men: Secret Weapon Force line.  The four figures in the assortment were all loosely AoA-themed, with the pretense of this being our Jean trapped in an alternate universe.  Jean was the most straight forward of the bunch, at least in terms of design.  The figure stands about 5 inches tall and she has 5 points of articulation.  Jean marked the second use of the Monster Armor Mystique body, which would become one of Toy Biz’s favorites in the later 5-inch run.  She uses the main body, sans the skirt, with a new head sculpt (though the prototype on the back of the box was just a straight repaint).  The new head is a decent match to her AoA look in the comics, so that’s pretty decent.  The body’s not terrible, though I’m not a huge fan of the enormous right hand, or its general lack of posing.  Also, this release kept the etched-in lines from Mystique’s gloves and boots, which don’t line up with Jean’s costume details.  Jean’s paint work was generally okay.  It follows her look from the comics fairly closely.  Some of the details are a little fuzzy, especially on the costume.  I do like the tattoo on the face, though.  She’s also got a “Secret Weapon Force” insignia on her leg, which isn’t true to the original design, but is still a little cool, honestly.  Jean was packed with her “Secret Weapon Force” secret weapon, which was a Catapult Tank Blaster.  Given the sheer size of this thing, I’m not clear on just how she manages to keep it “secret,” but she *is* a telepath, I suppose.


Despite being a main character for the franchise, by this point in the X-Men line, Jean Grey figures were still rather rare.  If you saw one, you got it.  That’s just how it was.  I wanted a non-Phoenix Jean, and this was my only real option at the time, so you know I went out there and got one…with my Grandmother’s money, most likely.  I know I got the Cyclops from this set first because, well, Cyclops, but Jean was a fairly close second.  Gotta have those two together, right?  She’s not a bad figure, I guess.  I mean, not great, but also not bad.  It was a nice way for Toy Biz to get this variant of Jean out there and continue the AoA line-up just a little bit more.

#3319: Gold Ranger



You know who’s pretty cool?  The Zeo Gold Ranger.  Like, just pretty top-notch, really.  At the very least, top three when it comes to Power Rangers, at least as far as I’m concerned.  It’s really him and Space Silver.  I have a draw to toy coverage for both of them, and Zeo Gold winds up being ever so slightly more prevalent, so, you know, there’s a little bit more of him, I suppose.  So, anyway, here’s one of those Zeo Gold Rangers.  Let’s check him out!


The Gold Ranger (who is listed as such, with no specific “Zeo” denotation or anything) was released in 2008 alongside an MMPR White Ranger as part of the second round of Power Rangers: Super Legends figures from Bandai.  The Super Legends figures were released intermixed with the Jungle Fury product as a special release for the 15 anniversary of the franchise.  They were officially designated as chases, so they weren’t super plentiful or easily found back in the day.  Because that’s definitely the best way to celebrate the franchise: by releasing its most popular characters as hard to find chases.  Oh, Bandai, you sure know how to Bandai.  The figure stands 5 1/2 inches tall and he has 17 points of articulation.  By current standards, the articulation scheme’s not premium or anything, but it was pretty good for the time, and matched up with the best of the line at the line.  Honestly, the only glaringly missing things are a waist joint and maybe some lateral motion for the arms.  It’s definitely workable, though.  The Gold Ranger’s sculpt was an all-new one at the time.  Like the articulation, the sculpt is a bit dated by current standards, but it was honestly a notable step forward compared to prior Zeo figures.  The biggest drawback is definitely how the articulation’s worked in, but it’s not terrible, just a little obvious.  The proportions are a little bit stilted, but generally decently balanced, again, relative to prior offerings.  The detailing on the outfit’s pretty strong, and the armor’s actually a separate piece for a change.  The paint work on the Gold Ranger is fairly basic, but it does what it needs to.  The finish on the gold is consistent and the application’s all pretty clean.  He’s packed with the removable armor, as well as his Staff of Gold, which is, ironically, totally silver for this release.  It’s not a bad piece, aside from perhaps being a little bit stubby, and, of course, the aforementioned silver coloring.  Why it wasn’t just molded in gold is something of a mystery, but there it is.


I’ve always been a big fan of Zeo Gold, and even though I was well and truly out of Power Rangers when this line hit in ’08, this guy almost pulled me back in.  I say “almost,” of course, because the fact that I was never able to find one at retail meant that, you know, I never got one.  Well, not for a good long while, anyway.  This one wound up coming to me courtesy of a big Rangers collection that came into All Time back in the summer of 2020.  I’d just gotten the Lightning Collection version, and I was feeling rather nostalgic, so this guy struck something of a chord.  He’s an interesting half-step between modern and vintage.  I like him, but he’s definitely got a more limited audience these days.

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.

#3318: Mekaneck & Ground Ripper



The best and easiest way for me to manage not going stupidly overboard on any given toy brand is really dig myself in on just a couple of characters I really like.  That way, instead of feeling like I need to go all-in on any iteration of a brand, I can just focus on when they got to those couple of characters.  Perhaps the most successful go at this I’ve got in my arsenal is Masters of the Universe.  When it comes to any given Masters line, I really only need to concern myself with three characters: Orko, Roboto, and Mekaneck.  Mattel’s been pretty darn lax on Mekaneck recently, and we had three different running Masters lines without any coverage for him, but that’s finally changing up at least a little bit.  I already got Orko and Roboto from Mattel’s Origins line, but now I’ve got a Mekaneck.  Oh yeah.  Time for another Mekaneck!


Mekaneck and the Ground Ripper are a deluxe offering from Mattel’s Masters of the Universe: Origins line, bundling a standard figure with a smaller scale vehicle, following in the footsteps of the Prince Adam and Skysled pack from the line’s first year.  This set initially went up for order exclusively through one of Walmart’s collector events, but it very quickly showed up through other vendors, so it looks like it was just some sort of exclusive pre-order window deal.  Whatever the case, this is a standard release item, and that’s certainly a plus.

Mekaneck’s original figure was a 1984 release, and he’s the last figure from that year to make it to Origins, which also somewhat duplicates his late-game addition to Classics as well.  He’s, unsurprisingly, an update on his vintage counterpart.  The figure is about 5 1/2 inches tall and he has 23 points of articulation.  As was the case with his vintage counterpart, Mekaneck’s body is based on the standard barbarian base body, which I looked at when it was used for Clamp Champ.  It’s a nice recreation of the vintage base body proportions and design sensibilities, but with better articulation worked in.  I can definitely dig it.  Mekaneck gets a new head sculpt, patterned on his original sculpt, though definitely a bit more refined.  The helmet and what we can see of the face are two separate parts, which keeps the division between them nice and sharp. Since it’s actually just the head, Mekaneck also gets neck articulation, something that his vintage counterpart lacked.  The figure also makes use of the chest piece previously used for Stinkor, which makes sense, since the shared the part in the vintage and Classics lines.  Of course, in the vintage line, Stinkor was re-using the piece from Mekaneck, rather than the reverse that’s occurred in every line since.  For some reason, everybody’s way more into the smelly skunk guy than the guy with the extra long neck.  I don’t get it either.  Mekaneck’s color work is quite nice; it’s very bright and very colorful, and it really makes him pop.  He’s quite eye catching.  It’s largely molded colors, but they work.  In particular, I really like the mirrored lenses on the goggles; they’re so very shiny.  Since this Mekaneck is without his vintage counterpart’s built-in neck-extending feature, this version takes a page out of the Classics book, and gives him an extended neck to swap in.  It maintains the posability of the ball-jointed neck, which makes this the Mekaneck with the most posable mecha-neck of all his figures.  I wouldn’t have minded getting multiple lengths of neck like the Classics version, I suppose, but this one does at least duplicate the length of the vintage version.  Mekaneck is also packed with his usual yellow club-thing, which is as yellow and club-thing-y as ever.

The Ground Ripper, or Road Ripper as it was originally named, was also a 1984 debut.  It’s original release was a single, though it was also available in a gift set during the vintage run, albeit with a Battle Armor He-Man, rather than Mekaneck.  The vehicle is about 9 1/2 inches long, and features rolling wheels in the front and back, as well as a working seatbelt.  Yay for proper vehicular safety!   The Ground/Road Ripper does *not* have its vintage version’s rip cord for its “ripping” feature, instead just being a rather basic vehicle.  It’s okay, but not super thrilling, really.  The sculpt more or less just follows the vintage version.  The details are certainly a little crisper here, so there’s that.  It also gets an alternate “head” for the front; the standard is rather bird-like, while the replacement is more like a dragon.  They’re both pretty decent, and I like the extra customizability.  There’s not paint to speak of on the vehicle, but there’s an assortment of stickers, which do alright on the whole detailing front, as well as getting that vintage feel down pretty nicely.


Have I mentioned previously how much I like Mekaneck?  I’m just not sure if I’ve adequately conveyed that point.  As with any Masters line, the first thing I wanted out of Origins was a Mekaneck.  Unfortunately, I had a bit of a wait there, now didn’t I?  Well, that’s okay, because it just meant that I got to appreciate other figures before Mekaneck inevitably came along a blew them away.  Because, quite frankly, that’s what he did.  Sure, the other Origins I’ve gotten are cool and all, but Mekaneck is just absolutely fantastic.  Even worth the extra price for the stupid tricycle he comes with, which will be promptly handed over to Matty.  But Mekaneck?  Superb.

Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this set for review.  If you’d like to see a video of this guy in action, I actually helped out with one for their YouTube channel, so check that out.  And, as always, if you’re looking for toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#3317: The Regeneration Set



“In this adventure, the Thirteenth Doctor meets her old enemy the Master in an epic showdown that includes Daleks and the Cybermen.  Her final battle before she regenerates once more…”

I haven’t written anything about Doctor Who since back in 2019.  That’s quite a while ago.  Admittedly, part of that was because I sort of fell out of watching the show part way through the Capaldi years, so I wasn’t picking up new stuff from the show.  It’s also not *super* easy to keep up with the toyline on this side of the pond, so there’s that working against me.  But, you know what, it’s a year for change…or going back to things maybe?  Perhaps the change is going back?  I don’t know.  Whatever the case, this year marks the franchise’s 60th anniversary.  There’s a bunch going on there, with Thirteenth Doctor Jodie Whitaker departing, Disney acquiring distribution rights, and also the return of not only showrunner Russell T. Davis (who was behind the successful 2005 relaunch of the show), but also former Doctor David Tennant, who, in a shock turn, is not playing the Doctor’s tenth incarnation, but the fourteenth.  That is whack.  It’s all terribly exciting, and it’s got me invested again.  So, onto the new toys!


“The Regeneration Set” is part of Character Options’ ongoing Doctor Who toyline.  It’s a special exclusive two-pack, only available through Character’s web store.  It was put up for preorder shortly after “The Power of the Doctor” aired last year, and started shipping out in mid-January.


“The Thirteenth Doctor is a charismatic and confident explorer, dedicated to seeing all the wonders of time and space whilst championing fairness and kindness wherever she can.  After crash landing to Earth this Doctor wasted no time in jumping into action to save the universe.  Surrounded by the friends she treats more like family, she is brave and selfless – a hero who will run towards danger without hesitation.”

As part of the circumstances that lead to her regeneration, the Thirteenth Doctor’s final outfit winds up consisting of little pieces of prior incarnations.  It’s an appropriately wacky and zany look, as well as a rather distinctive look for her send-off, all while still holding onto at least a little bit of her own style, which is a definite plus.  The figure stands just shy of 5 1/2 inches tall and she has 16 points of articulation.  The typical articulation scheme on Character’s Who line has been rather in flux in exactly how it works, and that continues to be the case with Thirteen.  She gets a ball-jointed neck joint, which is an improvement on her predecessors’ usual swivel cuts, but loses the universal joint at the shoulders that the “Time” and “Night of the Doctor” figures got, and lacks the thigh swivel seen on all the post Tennant doctors.  I’ve not yet reviewed any figures of Thirteen, so I haven’t seen any of those sculpts.  This one (which is the work of sculptor Edmund Barnett-Ward) is at the very least largely new, if not entirely so.  It’s a pretty respectable offering, all things considered.  The likeness has a very strong resemblance of Jodie Whitaker, and is honestly one of the best Doctor likeness I think we’ve seen from Character.  The body has proportions that match pretty well to Whitaker’s build, and the outfit’s detailing is generally strong.  The texturing on the scarf and vest in particular is quite impressive.  Other areas are a little flatter, as is fairly typical for the line.  The celery stalk in particular is a little soft and blobby, but that’s really the only drawback.  This design is certainly a rather colorful one, which makes for a rather colorful paint scheme.  There’s a whole lot going on here.  There are a few spots where there’s a little slop or bleedover, especially at the neckline of the shirt.  That said, given how many smaller details and applications there are here, it’s extraordinarily well handled.  I’m also quite pleased by how the detailing on the head turned out; the hair gets some rather nice accenting, and the face has a more lifelike quality than other releases from the line.  It’s still a far cry from the face printing seen on Hasbro offerings, of course, but it works well within the established style of the line.  Thirteen is packed with her version of the Sonic Screwdriver; it’s a distinct shape compared to the others, which is pretty cool.  She holds it rather tightly in her right hand, so you won’t have to worry about losing it.


“The Fourteenth Doctor, just like the Tenth Doctor, is an intriguing mixture of apparent opposites.  An extraordinary mix of kindness and sensitivity, but also someone who gives no second chances and who can be alien, detached and even vengeful, but never cruel.  Time will tell how this doctor will respond to the universe around him…it always does.”

Curiously, when Thirteen regenerates into Fourteen, in contrast to prior takes on regeneration, Fourteen *doesn’t* wind up in the same clothing as his predecessor.  I suppose there’s some bit of timey-wimey-wibbly-wobbly explanation for how that happened, but we won’t know for sure until the show returns in November.  Instead of Thirteen’s mix of prior styles, Fourteen is wearing something that’s not entirely out of place for Ten’s usual style, though with a bit of a change-up to keep it fresh.  The figure stands just over 5 1/2 inches tall and he has 18 points of articulation.  His articulation is again a change-up from Thirteen; the neck is back to a swivel instead of a ball, but he regains the universal joints on the shoulders.  The sculpt is largely new (and again the work of Edmund Barnett-Ward), though it does appear that the legs are the same sculpt as the standard Tenth legs from some years back.  Judging this sculpt is a little tricker than Thirteen’s.  We’ve gotten a lot more Tennants, so there’s more to compare to, I suppose, but also it feels like the paint gets a bit more in the way on this one.  The actual sculpt of the head looks to have a pretty respectable likeness of Tennant, looking appropriately about a decade older than the last sculpt.  The body sculpt isn’t too bad; the arms are perhaps a touch too long, but the rest works out pretty well.  The detailing on the outfit is pretty spiffy; the jacket gets a nice bit of texturing, and the underlying suit is appropriately disheveled.  As I hinted in the sculpt discussion, the paint here is a little limiting.  It’s not *awful*, but the work on the face is especially thick and without much accenting, so it loses a lot of the sculpt’s subtleties.  The work on the outfit is a little stronger, especially on the patterning of the suit and tie.  He doesn’t get any paint for the laces on the shoes, and the shoes are generally sloppy, but it’s otherwise decently handled.  Fourteen isn’t packed with any accessories for this release.  His hand is still very clearly sculpted to hold his screwdriver, but he’ll have to borrow one from another Doctor.


Doctor Who‘s 50th anniversary was the year that I met Jess, and, in fact, Peter Capaldi was even announced as the Twelfth Doctor the very weekend that we met.  She got into the show shortly after we met, and got me into it not too long after that.  She was very strict about not letting me buy any Who figures for myself, so that she always had something easy to go-to for gifts at Christmas and my birthday, and she stuck with it for quite a few years.  The combination of us both falling away from the show during the Capaldi run and the 5-inch line slowing down for a few years there led to her getting me a lot less of them.  But, my collection has always remained prominently displayed, even after it stopped growing.  Tennant was by far Jess’s favorite Doctor, and his return got me to go back to the show, if nothing else than because Jess wasn’t here to do it.  And, with that in mind, the opportunity to add more to my collection, and even catch-up my line-up of Doctors up to the current incarnation was hard to turn down.  So, breaking tradition, I bought myself a set of Doctor Who figures, and now I’m steadily catching myself up on what I’ve missed from the show.  These figures are fun, and I’m happy to have them.  I’m happy to be collecting the line again, and I’m excited by the future of both the show and its toys.

#3316: Magnaguard



“The bodyguard droids for General Grievous are trained by the cyborg general himself. He has had their memories and combat libraries wiped clean so that the droids can learn battle techniques rather than rely on stored programs. This has resulted in more sophisticated — and lethal – droids.”

When the battle droids were first introduced in The Phantom Menace, we just had the two main versions, standard and Destroyer.  Attack added Super into the mix, and Revenge of the Sith further added the Magnaguards, the robotic bodyguards for General Grievous.  Though only a small part of Sith, they were repurposed for Clone Wars as well, giving them a little bit more to do during its run.  It also gave them a shot at more action figures, and I’m never one to complain about that.  So, let’s look at one of those action figures!


The Magnaguard is figure #22 in Hasbro’s Clone Wars tie-in line, as part of the fourth assortment within the first year of figures.  This was the first of the two Magnaguards in the line.  This one was more on the basic side, stripping away the cloak and headdress that they had in the movies.  Those pieces were added for the next release.  The figure stands a little over 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 14 points of articulation.  As an early run non-Clone, his articulation is a little imbalanced.  The movement on the upper half, especially the arms, is really solid, and quite cleverly implemented.  Below the waist, however, he lacks anything beyond basic hip movement, which is frustrating, but it’s also just where the line was at this point.  At the very least, he was actually able to stand, unlike the basic Battle Droid mold.  His sculpt was all-new, and it’s honestly a pretty strong one.  It takes the Magnaguard animation model, and translates it quite nicely into plastic form.  The front and back of the torso have removable plates, allowing for more of a glance into the figure’s inner workings, which is definitely a lot of fun.  The paint work on the Magnaguard is quite impressive.  His base color is a gun metal grey, with a lot of brushing and washes, giving him lots of highlights and shadows, and really bringing out the details of the sculpt really nicely.  The Magnaguard was packed with his staff, which has electricity effects attached, as well as a large missile launcher, which mine doesn’t have.


I was always intrigued by the Magnaguards in the movie, but none of the toys really lived up to their coolness in my eye.  This one was the first one that I really felt came close to that, so it was one I made a point of tracking down at retail.  He was slightly beaten to the punch of “best droid in the line” by the IG-86 assassin, but he was still a nice step forward for the droids, and a very nice figure in his own right.

#3315: Quicksilver



“The speedster known as Quicksilver belongs to a family of strong mutants, his sister is the Scarlet Witch and his father is Magneto! Quicksilver spend the early part of his career as a member of Magneto’s Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, before realizing his powers would best be put to use for the good of all Mankind. Since that time, Quicksilver has been a member of several super-teams, including X-Factor and the Avengers!”

Though he hasn’t quite made the lasting impressing that his twin sister has in recent years, Quicksilver is still certainly in a better spot than he was back before 2014.  Nowadays, he’s almost a household name…well, one of him is, anyway.  Not sure which.  Probably not the comics one, but that’s the one I’m looking at anyway, so let’s just stick with that.  Anyway, here’s a Quicksilver, I guess.


Quicksilver was released in the infamous “Muntant Armor” series of Toy Biz’s X-Men line.  There were two variants of Quicksilver available, one in his classic blue and white costume and one in his his then-current white and grey one.  Back in 2015, I looked at the white and grey, so today’s review focusses on the blue and white.  The figure stands about 5 inches tall and he has 11 points of articulation.  As noted in the prior review, Quicksilver was built on the smaller male base body, which Toy Biz got quite a few uses out of around this time.  He shares his mostly new head sculpt (retooled from the Battle Brigade Archangel) with his variant, and it’s still a pretty good take on the character.  His paint work was obviously the main selling point.  It’s a pretty solid recreation of his classic design.  For true accuracy, it should have the black shorts, but this isn’t horribly inaccurate or anything.  Application is pretty clean for the most part, with minimal slop or bleed over.  Both versions of Quicksilver got the same accessories, a weird machine gun thing (missing from both of mine) and a dust cloud running effect stand, which was re-used from Meanstreak, but was now in a fun translucent grey, which was generally just a little more effective for the appearance of a dust cloud.


My dad had this version of Quicksilver, while I had the other one when I was growing up.  I was always a fan of this one too, but I liked having my own distinct version.  Over the years, though, I’ve been slowly working at getting a full run of the Toy Biz Marvel, and I was able to snag this guy at a toy show, in order to help me towards that goal.  It’s intriguing that Toy Biz did Pietro with both costumes, seeing as he’s exactly the sort of character that you don’t really need multiple figures for, but now, well, now I have both, and I guess that’s kinda cool, right?

#3314: Faker



“Of all the deadly minions at Skeletor’s disposal, Faker’s mastery of deception and destruction makes him among the most dangerous.  The cybernetic doppelgänger of He-Man takes on the appearance of Eternia’s most powerful protector, fooling many heroes, including the Sorceress of Greyskull herself.  By the time the heroes discover Faker’s true nature, it may be too late.”

You gotta have the evil clone, right?  It’s, like, a staple of crazy, action-oriented fiction.  Even more so if there are toys involved.  I mean, it’s an easy repaint.  That’s the whole basis of today’s focus, Faker, who, as the above bio outlines fairly thoroughly, is a robotic duplicate of He-Man.  Faker’s been a fixture of the Masters of the Universe toy lines, though not so much the other media associated.  The cartoons have all featured a duplicate of some sort of He-Man, but it wasn’t until Revelation that one was officially dubbed “Faker”, thereby tying toy and show together fully.  So, Masterverse got to be the very first show accurate Faker figure.  Noice.


Faker is a deluxe offering for the Masters of the Universe: Masterverse line.  He was the second deluxe offering, and began as a Target exclusive (though he wasn’t officially billed as such), before moving to a wider release.  The figure stands a little over 7 inches tall and he has 31 points of articulation.  His movement is more or less the same as the standard He-Man, though he doesn’t seem to have the same issue with the sticky hips, at least on my copy.  The sculpt shares a lot of its parts with the standard He-Man, as expected, although it’s actually a lot less parts than you might expect, given how Faker’s previous figures haven’t gotten any new parts in the past.  To properly differentiate him from standard He-Man, Faker is based on his look after his deception is revealed by the Sorceress, so he’s got a lot of his robotic parts revealed.  As such, he only actually shares the lower half of his body, plus his hands, bracers, and chest harness with He-Man.  All of the other parts are adjusted to feature the skin pealing back, which is actually pretty impressively handled.  What remains of the skin is consistent with regular He-Man, and the whole look adds a bit of menace to him.  His paint work is again pretty consistent with the standard He-Man, adjusting of course for the parts with the exposed silver.  He’s also got a slightly more metallic finish to the gold parts of his armor, and his eyes have red irises, so he’s got that proper “evil” feel.  Faker’s standard head has a split face, with have robot and half He-Man, but he also gets two extras, which go the opposite directions, so there’s the standard He-Man head (with the adjusted red irises), and a fully-revealed robot head.  He also gets the two sets of hands that He-Man had, as well as a tweaked Power Sword with Faker’s usual orange coloring, and Skeletor’s chest harness, also in orange, so that you can do a bit of a classic Faker throwback.


Faker’s been sitting on my shelf waiting to be reviewed for a very long stretch of time.  I wound up grabbing him when Target put him on sale back at the end of 2021.  He was cheap enough that I felt it was worth it, but I just kind of kept forgetting to review him, for one reason or another.  He’s honestly a pretty fun figure.  Not a classic Faker, but a fun refresh on the concept.  I’d love to see a more straight update of his classic design as well, but I can definitely dig trying something new, especially when it turns out as well as this.

#3313: ODST Rookie (with Drop Pod)



I’m a sucker for side characters, and that’s no more true than the Halo franchise’s plucky group of not-quite-Spartans, the Orbital Drop Shock Troopers, better known as the ODSTs, who got their own focus in Halo 3: ODST, a spin-off released in 2009.  It follows a squad of them through events bridging Halo 2 and Halo 3, and it’s a rather unique game within the context of the franchise.  The ODSTs are not without their own merchandising coverage, though they’ve been a little bit absent from the toy coverage in the last couple of years.  But, hey, it looks like things might just be changing.  And here’s a look at our favorite silent protagonist, the Rookie!


The ODST Rookie is part of Jazwares’ World of Halo line, the smaller scale of their two lines.  He’s a deluxe-sized item, and appears to be part of Jazwares’ new product for 2023.  Distribution’s been a bit iffy on the line, so it’s tricky to tell.  He’s technically the second ODST in the line, though, again, with the distribution, it’s been hard to track.  The figure stands just shy of 4 inches tall and he has 27 points of articulation.  The articulation scheme on this figure is fairly similar to Jazwares’ Fortnite line of the same scale and style.  With the exception of the elbows, which are a bit restricted, the movement’s all pretty good.  The Rookie’s sculpt is a pretty solid one.  It doesn’t quite have the crispness of some of the McFarlane ODST sculpts, but it still gets all of the details of note, capturing all of the little tacked-on elements of his design quite well.  His build is just a bit bulkier than other ODST figures, keeping in line with the other Jazwares sculpts, much like the Fortnite figures.  Some of the proportions aren’t an exact match for the game models, and I’m not 100% sold on the exact shaping on the helmet (it took McFarlane a few tries to get that one right, too), but the overall structure of the figure really works.  The Rookie’s paint work is generally pretty decent.  His colors in the game are all rather subdued, and that’s true of the figure as well.  The differences between the greys and black are a bit more pronounced here than in the actual game, but I don’t mind that so much, especially given the general stylings of how Jazwares has been handling the line.  The general layout of the colors mostly matches up; the chest plate’s supposed to be a lighter color, but other than that, it works.  The application is mostly pretty good; the only thing I’m not too keen on is how the fingers have been painted on the hands.  They go too far up, past the knuckles, which doesn’t match up with the design, or even the sculpt, and just generally looks rather sloppy.  For the figure proper, the set includes the Rookie’s signature silenced SMG, his handgun, and his backpack.  The biggest part of the set, though, is the Rookie’s Drop Pod.  It’s a key piece, what with being the thing that gives the ODSTs their name and all.  It looks to be decently scaled to the figure, and gets an impressive amount of detailing, including a fully detailed interior, complete with his seat and controls.  It’s a little bit basic in exactly how it works; there’s a sort of a spring-loaded feature for the hatch, but no actual way to trigger it from the outside, meaning it…well, it doesn’t seem to actually do much of anything.  There’s a locking system on the inside, which also doesn’t really do much, as whether it’s locked or not, you still have to manually pop the hatch off.  It feels like there was meant to be more to this mechanism, but it was cut at some point to save costs.  As it stands, it’s still a nice display piece, even if it doesn’t really do anything.


I’m unabashedly a huge ODST fan, so I’m always eager for more toy coverage from the game.  I’ve enjoyed what I’ve gotten to mess with from Jazwares’ Halo offerings, but the lack of anything ODST has definitely been a bit of a bummer.  This one actually caught me by surprise.  I had no clue it was coming out, and only happened to find the set while doing a quick wander through the Target toy aisle during some quick errands.  It was certainly a pleasant surprise.  The Rookie is a pretty straight forward, but nevertheless quite fun figure.  The Drop Pod is a rather basic piece, which doesn’t quite land the features it reaches for, but given the price point for the whole set, it’s still hits the marks it really needs to.  Hopefully this set signifies some more cool ODST stuff for the line!

#3312: The Invisible Man



Back at the beginning of last year, I took a look at a couple of Universal Monsters figures from a rather unlikely source, Jada Toys.  The line was just generally a surprise, in terms of both existence and quality.  It was also just a really cool little set of figures.  A lot of the basics were covered in that first assortment of four, but there was still some room for a few additional offerings, based on a few more of the old Universal films.  The one that got me the most excited was the figure based on the titular character from 1933’s The Invisible Man, and I’ll be taking a look at that figure today!


The Invisible Man is one half of the second “assortment” of Jada’s Universal Monsters line.  Assortment is a loose term here, of course, since they all ship in solid cases anyway, but he and the Wolf Man went up for order together, and a shipped to retailers at about the same time.  As I’ve noted in previous Invisible Man reviews, there are a couple of looks for the title character from the original film.  Like the 8 inch Sideshow figure I looked at before, this guy is sporting the robe/smoking jacket look, which I really feel is his most distinctive and most impressive design.  The figure stands about 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 29 points of articulation.  Invisible Man’s articulation scheme continues to follow the impressive standards set by the rest of this line, being just shy of the current Hasbro level.  That said, he’s improved even a little bit from last year’s figures.  The range remains similar, but he doesn’t break up the sculpt quite as much to get there.  The only slight issue I ran into was with my figure’s right ankle, which appears to be stuck due to the paint; nothing a little hot water won’t fix, though.  The figure’s sculpt is an all-new one.  It’s a very strong one, much like the others I’ve looked at.  In fact, I’d say it’s the strongest of the bunch thus far.  All of the detailing is nice and sharp, and there’s just a ton of great texture work on the clothing, especially the jacket and the wraps on the face.  His glasses are a separate piece, which helps to give things the right amount of depth.  The jacket for the upper torso and the waist is made from a soft rubber; it’s not bad looking, and it preserves the posability, but I do worry just a little bit about the long-term durability of it.  We’ll just have to see on that one.  The paint work on this guy is a little bit of a mixed bag; the bandages are fantastic, as is the detailing on the glasses, and even some of the smaller details of the jacket and pants.  The biggest issue is the trim for the jacket, which isn’t terrible on mine, though perhaps a little misaligned.  The trouble is that I had six of them to choose from, and had to ultimately settle for one that was “good enough.”  It’s definitely the one weak point of the figure.  What’s *not* a weak point is the accessory selection.  This guy gets an alternate head with the bandages being unwrapped, five different hands (a fist and two styles of grip for the right, a relaxed for the left, and a really cool left hand that’s designed to look like he’s taking off his right glove), a hat, a book, and a beaker.  I like the mix of parts to “reveal” his invisible nature, so those are definitely my favorites.


The Invisible Man is one of those designs that I’ve always really loved, and it’s one I’m always on the lookout for whenever there’s Universal Monsters stuff.  When NECA unveiled their Universal stuff, I was sort of interested, but then got more pulled towards Jada’s first round.  I was waiting to see which would get to this guy first, and it was NECA, but then they did the version of the Invisible Man that I didn’t want as much, so when this one was shown off, I was in from day one.  He’s got one or two small flaws, but I really like him, and I continue to be impressed by the work that Jada’s putting in with this line.  They just announced Street Fighter and Mega Man lines as well, and I’m very interested to see how those go, because they’re really shaping up to be a serious contender in the 6 inch market.

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.