#2658: Hawkman

HAWKMAN

SUPER POWERS (KENNER)

“Hawkman’s wings enable him to fly and his belt enables him to defy gravity.  He uses weapons of the past from the museum he curates, matched with futuristic weapons, and criminology from his home planet, Thanagar.”

Oh man, I haven’t written a review about Hawkman since #0029.  Not only is that from the site’s first month, but it was also the review where I instituted my old randomized list I used to pull from.  Man, I used to talk about that thing all the time!  What a crazy trip down memory lane.  Well, it’s fitting that I’m doing this whole trip down memory lane, because I’m also doing that in a greater sense with the contents of today’s review.  Yes, I’m taking a look at another Super Powers figure today, specifically the aforementioned Hawkman.  Like last week’s GL, he was a character left out of Mego’s treatment for DC Superheroes, and was therefore making his debut in action figure form courtesy of this line.  And I’m looking at that figure today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Hawkman was released in the first series of Super Powers in 1984.  As I touched on in my GL review, the line-up for that first series was very much inspired by Challenge of the Super Friends, and Hawkman’s inclusion here really goes along with that, given he was probably the most obscure character in the first assortment.  He’s the tallest figure in the original line-up, at 4 3/4 inches tall, and he’s got 8 workable points of articulation (the wings technically have two joints each, but on each of them one of those joints is explicitly tied into the action feature).  In addition to height, Katar also was just generally bigger in size than the rest of the Justice Leaguers from the first set.  It’s pretty fitting, since he tended to be drawn as a little bit bigger, and it helped to sell him as a little more alien.  It also gave a nice variety of height and build to the male members of the Justice League right out of the gate.  Super Powers‘ handling of uniqueness of build has always been one of my favorite aspects of the line, and it’s ultimately why I feel it holds up as the quintessential DC line, even in light of lines with deeper character selections.  The detail work on Hawkman is really pretty great, with the best work being on his mask and wings, both of which get some great texture work.  His wings are also large enough to not look too dinky, while also being small enough that he doesn’t have major issues with stability, which is something later Hawkman figures would struggle with.  The paint work on Hawkman was, like the rest of the line, very clean, very bold, and very bright, all of which are good things.  Mine’s taken a little bit of beating on the front of the nose, and has a little bit of discoloration on the torso, but has for the most part held up well.  Hawkman was packed with his mace, and also featured “Power Action Flight Wings.”  When you squeeze his legs, his wings flap.  Not a bad feature at all.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Hawkman’s one of the earliest when it comes to my Super Powers collecting.  I got him for Christmas, I want to say in 2000, which would have made him I think my third or fourth Super Powers figure.  It was the year prior to GL and Manhunter, I know that for sure.  I had my Total Justice Hawkman at the time, and he wasn’t really doing it for me as a classic Hawkman, so my Dad found a small little lot of figures, which included him, and gave him to me that year.  He’s a good one.  Kind of an odd one for me to have so early on in retrospect, but a good one nevertheless, and certainly high on the list for the character’s figures.

#2657: Bumblebee

BUMBLEBEE

TRANSFORMERS WAR FOR CYBERTRON TRILOGY (HASBRO)

Despite his prominent placement in the franchise as a whole and in the tie-in media for the War For Cybertron Trilogy, mainstay Autobot Bumblebee has been completely absent from the main line for the first two parts of said trilogy.  It’s been a weird, almost gnawing omission, since we got Cliffjumper and a handful of other Bee-esque molds throughout the year, and he’s also had a fairly sizable role in Netflix’s tie-in animation.  Eventually, he surfaced, but rather than being a mainline release, he’s instead part of the previously repaints-only Walmart tie-in line for the animation.  Oh joy, another Walmart exclusive.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Bumblebee is part of the second round of Walmart’s War For Cybertron Trilogy line, and is part of the five piece deluxe-class assortment, alongside three repaints, and the similarly new offering of Elita-1.  In his robot mode, Bumblebee stands 4 inches tall and has 22 workable points of articulation.  In theory, he’s based on the cartoon, but…well, he’s not.  Bumblebee had no Siege figure, so while many of the characters featured in the cartoon used direct copies of the original CAD files, Bumblebee was an all new model created for the cartoon.  These two designs are certainly drawing from the same source (G1 Animation Bumblebee), but a spitting image of his cartoon counterpart, he is not.  Structurally, this figure is, as expected a re-tool of the Cliffjumper mold from early last year.  It was probably my favorite mold to come out of Earthrise, so it’s definitely a good starting point.  He gets a different head (shared with Bug Bite, but obviously designed for Bee), as well as new parts for his mid-section and feet.  Why the new parts for the mid-section and feet?  That’s because…

…he also gets a new alt-mode!  While Bug Bite and Hubcap both shared Cliffjumper’s generic sports car alt-mode, Bumblebee gets his exterior pieces replaced, allowing him to transform into an authentic, fully-licensed Volkswagon Beetle.  The general transformation sequence is the same as all prior uses of the CJ mold, so there’s still that little touch of parts-forming required with the back of the car, but I still really don’t mind.  It’s a decent transformation sequence, and ultimately it results in quite a nice alt-mode for the figure.  It’s clean, it holds together well, and it’s undeniably a Beetle.  It also means that Bee stands out a bit from the other uses of this mold, which feels appropriate for him.  Bumblebee gets the same accessory selection as all prior uses of the mold: the modular cannon thing.  It’s in the same colors as Cliffjumper’s.  It’s a fun piece, and adds a lot of variety to the figure, so I don’t mind getting it again.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Obviously, I, like a lot of people, have been waiting for a proper Bumblebee in this line since Siege launched.  Simply put, it’s stupid that they opted to make him a Walmart-exclusive, because it guarantees that he’s going the be hard to find and go for stupid amounts of money on the aftermarket.  They really need to stop making core looks exclusives, especially to Walmart.  Hopefully, the plethora of fiascos revolving around these exclusives in the last year will get Hasbro to ease up on them a bit moving forward.  As I’ve said on a lot of these exclusives, I hope that Hasbro finds a way to make these more readily available so that more people can get them, because Bumblebee is a very nice figure, and goes very well with the rest of the standard line.  Also, a shout out to Max for setting me up with this figure, so that I could, actually, you know, have him.  That was super dope.

#2656: Soundwave

SOUNDWAVE

TRANSFORMERS: R.E.D. (HASBRO)

Ah, yes, non-Transforming Transformers.  A wonderful little oxymoronic concept that’s been rattling around ever since the introduction of Action Masters in 1990.  Over the years, it’s been something that Hasbro (and some of their licensees) have gravitated back to every so often, as a way of offering figures that are more accurate to what you see on the screen, thanks to not needing to have any sort of compromise for the sake of an alt-mode.  They’re newest stab at this venture is Transformers: R.E.D., short for “Robot Enhanced Design.”  It’s designed to pair off with the likes of The Black Series, being a highly-articulated line of collector-aimed Transformers figures…that don’t transform.  I’m giving the line a try with who else but Soundwave?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Soundwave is one of the three figures in the debut assortment of R.E.D., which was exclusive to Walmart.  I know, everyone’s super-thrilled, right?  This version of Soundwave is heavily inspired by his original G1 cartoon design, taking into account all of the impossibilities of that design in regards to an actual transformation sequence.   The figure stands about 6 inches tall and he has 33 points of articulation.  In terms of sizing, he falls somewhere between and deluxe and a voyager class from the main line, meaning he fits in alright with the standard, actually transforming Transformers, if that’s something you’re interested in.  Despite being designed as a companion line to their other 6-inch stuff, he’s, of course, not even remotely in scale with Black Series or Legends.  Honestly, actual scaling aside, even just as a “hey wouldn’t he be cool robot figure to put with them” sort of thing, he seems a bit on the small side.  The articulation is overall pretty good on this guy.  It’s a slight step up from the Siege mold in its robot form, with more range in areas such as the shoulders and wrists in particular, but just a greater range of motion across the board, really.  The only area where I had any trouble was the ankles, which are just hard to get to move, I think in part due to the size of the joints.  They’re rather large joints, and prone to getting stuck.  In terms of sculpt, Soundwave is admittedly a pretty spot-on recreation of the G1 animation model.  They really got the proportions down pretty well, and the head and torso in particular really nail this particular look.  The torso even features the eject feature for the tape deck in his chest, although in the case of my figure, it does have a tendency to get stuck.  The articulation is pretty well worked in, and it all looks pretty clean.  For the most part, anyway. I do have one notable issue with the sculpt, and it circles back around the issue I had with the articulation: the ankles and feet.  They’ve given him these rather large ball-shaped universal joints, and they’re just kind of obtrusive and not very well worked into the sculpt.  They don’t follow the model, and they don’t look great.  But, from the ankles up, everything’s great.  The paint work on this figure goes for a flat color scheme to match the cel animation.  It’s a more muted appearance than other figures as of late, but it works out alright.  And hey, it’s a Soundwave with a red visor.  That’s cool!  Two of those from Hasbro in a year.  Not bad.  Soundwave is packed with a small version of Laserbeak in tape form, two sets of hands (gripping and fist/button pressing), his shoulder cannon, and his gun.  It hits all the basics, but it feels a bit light.  Couldn’t we at least get Ravage or Laserbeak in their robot modes?  Or perhaps the perpetual red-headed stepchild of the cassettes, Buzzsaw?

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

My interactions with Transformers in the last two years have sort of shifted my opinions on things, because in 2018, this is the kind of line that I probably would have been a bit more excited by, being a fan of the Transformers as cool robots, but not much else.  But, Siege and Earthrise have showcased to me that Hasbro can make some really good robot action figures that still have transformations, making the prospect of this line a harder sell.  When Prime and Megatron were the only two we knew about, it was an easy pass, especially with that bit about the Walmart exclusivity.  Then they had to go and show this guy, and my stupid love of stupid Soundwave dragged stupid old me back in.  The Soundwave that eventually became mine wasn’t originally meant for me at all, however.  Max found two of them at retail, but was unable to get a response from me, so only bought this one for himself.  After opening and messing with the figure, however, he ended up just asking if I wanted this one, because he wasn’t really feeling it.  I certainly wasn’t going to pass on a G1 Soundwave I didn’t have, so I was more than happy to take it off his hands.  Ultimately, getting him within a week or so of the Earthrise Soundwave, he feels a little redundant and out of place, but I can appreciate him for what he is, even if what he is winds up being a bit…counterintuitive?

#2655: Batman Earth -32

BATMAN EARTH -32

DC MULTIVERSE (MCFARLANE)

In DC’s Dark Multiverse, on Earth -32, the green light of will has twisted an angry Bruce Wayne into something very dark and sinister. After the murder of his parents in Crime Alley, young Bruce is gifted with a Green Lantern ring, which allows him to fly and to generate deadly hard-light energy constructs. With no Alfred Pennyworth to guide him, he soon swallows his fear and pain and lets the void that remains corrupt him and the ring, unleashing a wave of darkness across his world, and now ours, as The Dawnbreaker.”

There’s no denying that McFarlane’s DC output for the last year has been rather Batman-centric.  So Batman centric that the storyline they’ve been most faithfully focusing on has been “Dark Knights: Metal”, a story that focusses in on “what if all of the non-Batman characters were also Batman?”  One of the Batman-ed characters is Green Lantern, and, to be honest, the Green Lantern/Batman mash-up isn’t actually a new concept.  It’s something DC’s been flirting with for a while in differing capacities, and this is just the most recent version, I guess.  It could be worse, really.  Anyway, it got a toy, and Green Lantern and action figure are two things that are rather up my alley, so here I am.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Batman of Earth -32 is part of the first proper “Dark Knights: Metal”-themed assortment of DC Multiverse figures.  Where it falls in the actually numbering scheme is something that’s lost on me, but I do know it hit right at the end of 2020, for what it’s worth.  This and The Grim Knight are the lighter packed figures in the line-up, at just one of each per case.  The figure stands 7 1/4 inches tall and he has 39 points of articulation.  His articulation scheme is similar to the Superman and Nightwing figures.  It’s definitely more restricted on the neck, torso, and hips.  The neck’s due to the costume design, which is understandable, but the torso and hips is just down to poor implementation.  For the most part, though, it’s a decent layout.  The sculpt is an all-new piece, based on  Jason Fabok’s art from the cover of Batman The Dawnbreaker #1, which is certainly the most distinctive piece of art for the character.  It also has the unintended bonus of making him fit in pretty well with the DC Essentials figures from DC Collectibles, since those are based on Fabok’s artwork too.  Of course, it being a McFarlane product, there’s a certain level of McFarlane-izing going on.  In this figure’s case it means he’s a little bit lankier than the illustration, and falls into the same territory as a lot of McFarlane’s DC figures of adding a lot of piping and other smaller costume details that aren’t present in the source material.  It makes him a little busier than the comics design.  It’s not as bad here as on more simplified designs like Superman and Nightwing, but I still do wonder why they feel the need to keep busying everything up.  Also, for some reason, the GL-logo is different from every piece of artwork I was able to find of the character.  It’s missing the circle around the actual lantern.  I don’t dislike it, but it’s another case of change for the sake of change.  One area that they got down pretty spot-on is the head sculpt.  It’s got the lopsided sneer that the character frequently sports, which is a rather distinctive appearance.  Dawnbreaker’s paint work is fairly decent.  It’s an interesting mix of differing greens.  There are some nice differences in sheen, and I definitely dig the metallic greens.  Dawnbreaker includes a construct shaped like some eldritch abomination bat/octopus thing, a flight stand, and a collector’s card.  The construct’s a lot of fun, but I do wish it were a little more secure on the figure’s arm.  Still, it’s a cool visual, as is using the flight stand to allow him to hover off the ground.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

My initial experience with McFarlane’s DC figures wasn’t super impressive or confidence inspiring, so I haven’t really been following them since.  However, I knew I’d have a hard time saying no to this figure when it was shown off, and sure enough, when I saw it in person, I was game.  It’s a design that feels really up McFarlane’s alley, and they did a pretty decent job of capturing it in toy form.  There are some definite flaws, but in general, this figure works out better than previous offeringsm and I’m much happier this time.

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

#2654: Venompool

VENOMPOOL

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

Alright, I guess I might as well get to reviewing the thing I’ve been literally building up to.  Yes, it’s the veritable merchandising gold mine that is “Venompool.”  A pretty straight forward mash up of Venom and Deadpool, Venompool’s not exactly an original concept, since we’ve been seeing variants on the basic idea since 2010.  Heck, we’ve even gotten another take on the concept in Marvel Legends previously, when they did the “Back in Black” design.  But, the particular version that’s been getting all the love in the last couple of years is not any of the plethora of comics-based designs, but rather the version that appeared in Marvel’s Contest of Champions mobile game, which is this hulking brute that I’m taking a look at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Venompool is the eponymous Build-A-Figure for the “Venompool Series” of Marvel Legends, built from parts included with 5 of the 6 figures included.  As noted above, he comes from Contest of Champions, and is the first Legends figure to explicitly based on a design from that game.  He’s also the third figure based on this particular design, following the Pop and the Hot Toys.  Like with Miles last week, I’m not super big on this design as a whole.  It feels less symbiote-y and more like a monstrous version of Deadpool.  And boy is he monstrous.  The figure stands 8 inches tall and he has 28 points of articulation.  In terms of mobility, he’s pretty restricted, given his rather bulky build.  He can get some okay poses, of course, and covers pretty much everything you’d expect from a character of this size.  He’s also not too hard to keep standing. He’s an all-new sculpt, which gives me a frightening sort of feeling like Hasbro’s going to try and get some sort of a variant release out of him, just to double down on the mold.  It’s an accurate recreation of the game’s design, and there’s certainly a lot of detail going on there.  They’ve somewhat followed in the steps of the movie design and given him a lot of texturing on his costume, which does at least keep things somewhat visually interesting.  It was a touch disappointing that the chain links on his wrist and ankle bands were solid to the bands, and not separate, but I guess the line had to be drawn somewhere.  The paint work on this guy is pretty good.  It gets all the important details down, and application is all pretty clean.  Venompool is notably well accessorized for a Build-A-Figure, getting two sets of hands (open and gripping), two swords, and a removable pair of sheaths for his back.  The sheaths are a little tricky to get in place, and not the most secure.  I’m not sure why they didn’t just do a peg to connect them, but maybe there’s a very important reason that I’m missing.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I wasn’t big on the Venomized stuff, and I’ve been suffering from some serious Deadpool fatigue the last few months.  So, this guy, not really for me.  Still, I decided I may as well build him, just to see what all the fuss was about.  He’s a decently put together figure, but there’s just nothing that really grabs me.  The design is so-so, and I have no real spot for him in my collection.  Ultimately, this really isn’t one I see myself hanging onto.

This assortment is one that I was iffy on from the beginning.  Only Phage really jumped out at me from the start.  But, I went into it with an open mind, because the last Venom assortment wound up impressing me a lot more than I’d expected it to.  This one just really didn’t change my mind.  I like Phage, and Carnage is cool.  Even Ghost-Spider is at least a neat visual.  The rest of the assortment left me cold, and even the presentation didn’t really sell it.  It’s notably a small set, and ultimately feels more cobbled together from left-overs than other recent assortments.  Without so much connective tissue, the assortment relies more heavily on the individual figures, and they’re all fine from a technical stand point, but are largely “meh” from a design standpoint.  I’m probably the outlier on this one, though.

#2653: Venom

VENOM

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Failed reporter Eddie Brock is hijacked by an alien entity that takes a liking to Earth and decides to protect it.”

There’s been a Venom solo film in the works since at least as far back as Spider-Man 3, back when it would have been starring Topher Grace, and then again during the Amazing Spider-Man era, but it finally came to fruition in 2018.  It was far from high art, and wasn’t much of a critical success, but it was enough of financial success to justify a sequel, which should be released this year.  The film was in a dubious spot in terms of merchandising in 2018, but at this point things are a little more comfortable between Marvel and Sony, and we’re finally getting a proper movie version of the character now.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Venom is technically part of the “Venompool Series” of Marvel Legends, in that he ships in the same case.  However, he has no number, doesn’t list “Venompool Series” at the top of his box, and shows none of the other figures in the set on the back.  Furthermore, none of the other figures in the set show him either.  One has to wonder if he was originally intended for some sort of solo release, ala the Fan Channel figures, and wound up slotted into an assortment at the last minute.  The figure stands 7 1/2 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  The articulation scheme on this figure is a heavy re-work for a Marvel figure, following the lead of other lines like Lightning Collection.  It’s a pretty good set-up, and works particularly well for a larger character like Venom.  His sculpt is an all-new offering, and not a bad one at that.  It gets the general proportions of the character down pretty nicely, making him tall and pretty bulked up, without quite going to the absurd cartoonish levels of some of the larger Venom figures out there.  There’s also quite a bit of detail work going into the figure; rather than just being smooth, he’s got texturing all throughout the body, helping him to look rather slimy and gross, which certainly feels appropriate.  It also sets him apart from the more comic-based figures in this assortment from a stylistic stand point.  He gets two different heads, one with tongue and one without.  He comes wearing the one with the tongue, and that one’s the stronger of the two.  Both of them are fairly accurate to the film design, which is the main aim.  My biggest issue is that it’s really hard, on my figure at least, to swap the heads; it required heating the joint, and even then it was a real chore.  The paint work on him is generally pretty basic, since the vast majority of it’s just molded black plastic.  He does get the painted elements on the heads, of course, as well as some white detailing on the shoulders and forearms, but as the movie Venom lacks the usual symbol, he’s otherwise unembellished.  In addition to the extra head, Venom also includes two sets of hands, one open, and one in fists.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I wasn’t interested in Venom at all when it was released in theaters, so I skipped the theatrical run, and only caught it at home much later.  It didn’t really do much for me, and I wasn’t really missing getting toys.  When this guy was shown off, I was about as interested in him as I was the movie that spawned him.  In hand, I’ll admit he’s a lot better than I was expecting.  I’m not much for the film design overall, but I’ll certainly join in with all the other people that want to see this retooled into something more comic-inspired.  I’d definitely be down for that.

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

#2652: Batman

BATMAN

DC C3 CONSTRUCTION (PLAY ALONG)

The initial assortment of DC C3 Construction hit in the summer of 2004, and they were really focused on actually selling it as a line of construction sets that also included some Minimates.  In their second year in 2005, they tried that again, albeit with a smaller assortment this time.  Following that assortment, they kind of gave up even trying to pretend about what they were doing, and transitioned the line to a much more compact, lower price point selection of “Mini Flyers”, small vehicles that were a very thin excuse to put out the Minimates effectively on their own, only, you know, not.  Even through this end, they stuck to their heavy focus on Batman characters, including variants of the main man himself.  I’m looking at one of those variants today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Batman was released in April 2005 in the very originally named “Batman Mini Flyer” set, one of the six Mini Flyer sets that made up the final assortment of the DC C3 Construction line.  By this point, they were only packing a single Minimate with each set, so as to keep the price down, so Batman was all by his lonesome.  He was a comic-based figure, specifically drawn from his ’70s era appearances, as denoted by his predominately blue color scheme.  He’s built on the standard ‘mate body with C3 feet.  Still no standard peg holes for the heads, so he’s got a solid noggin piece.  He’s got add-ons for his mask, cape, belt, and gloves.  The mask, cape, and belt are the same ones used on the Dark Knight Batman included with the larger Batmobile set, but the gloves are new pieces for…reasons?  There were four standard Batmen in the C3 line, and every one of them used a different set of glove pieces, and I couldn’t for the life of me begin to tell you why.  These ones do at least put the arm spikes on the back of the gloves, where they’re supposed to be but tend not to be.  So, that makes them cool, I guess.  Also, these parts are not rubbery like last week’s Robin, so that’s another marked improvement.  Batman’s paint was generally pretty basic, and definitely not as involved as Robin.  Given the classic inspiration, that’s somewhat sensible, but not doing the shading on the front of the mask does feel like a missed opportunity.  I do like the slightly different expression on the face under the mask, though; it’s a nice change-up from the usual neutral expressions.  This Batman didn’t get any accessories, but there was the Mini Flyer, I guess.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The Mini Flyer’s are really where this line lost me, so I missed out on picking all of them but one when they were at retail.  Batman wasn’t that one, but he was a figure I was always interested to have.  Thankfully for me, he came in with the larger Minimate collection that showed up at All Time last year, and here we are.  Ultimately, I think DCD’s later classic Batman was slightly better, but this one’s still got his own charm to him.

#2651: Green Lantern

GREEN LANTERN

SUPER POWERS (KENNER)

“Green Lantern’s power ring that can create, temporarily, any object he desires with his willpower. The ring also is used as an offensive weapon. The ring protects him form mortal harm as well: he cannot be killed. The ring enables him to fly and survive in space, or even at the bottom of the ocean. The ring is powerless against the color yellow. The ring must be recharged every 24 hours at his power battery.”

Oh man, are you prepped to get psyched?  I sure hope so, because I certainly am.  Why is that?  Remember how Super Powers is my favorite DC toy line?  And how Green Lantern’s my favorite DC character?  Well, put those two things together, and, boom, you get the subject of today’s review.  Pretty slick, right?  No?  Admittedly, it may just be me.  But, hey, it’s my site, so we’re gonna just roll with it.  After being so cruelly overlooked by Mego when they were giving most of the DC heavy hitters their first action figures, Hal Jordan, aka the second Green Lantern, was finally given his toy due in 1984, when Kenner launched their own run on the DC brand, with the figure I’m taking a look at today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Green Lantern was part of the first series of Kenner’s Super Powers line.  The line was certainly drawing from Challenge of the Super Friends, whose prominent use of GL I’m sure did him a lot of favors when it came to being included in this line-up.  The figure stands 4 1/2 inches tall and he has 7 points of articulation.  Hal’s design, like the rest of these early figures, was based on Jose Garcia-Lopez’s illustration of the character in the 1982 DC Style Guide.  This had Hal in his slightly updated GL uniform, which featured the additional green detailing on the shoulders.  It became something of a defining trait for the character’s design, helping to make this figure look rather timeless.  Hal’s sculpt is a very nice one, perhaps one of the nicest to come out of the line.  It’s very clean, and appropriately sleek for GL.  The build on the figure had him slightly more svelte than the likes of Superman or Batman, which definitely seems right for Hal, and I quite like how the various parts of the uniform are actually raised elements, rather than just being painted in place as most later figures would handle things.  I will say, in regards to the head sculpt, Hal’s chin does seem a bit more pronounced here than it usually is, but overall, the head does seem right for the character.  That mask is really spot on.  Hal’s paint work is pretty simple, but appropriately clean and striking.  Mine has a touch of wear on his nose, but is otherwise pretty good.  GL was packed with his lantern power battery, which my figure actually has.  Pretty sweet! He also gets an action feature, the “Power Action Ring Thrust.”  Gotta love that name.  Essentially, you squeeze his legs, and the right arm raises. Pretty appropriate for the character.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

In the dark days of the ’90s, Hal Jordan had been replaced by Kyle Rayner, and was therefore not really getting much toy coverage.  This was at cross purposes with my desire to own a Hal Jordan figure, thanks to becoming familiar with the character through Super Friends re-runs on Cartoon Network.  After my dad introduced me to the wonderful Super Power Archives, Hal became the first Super Powers figure I actively wanted to own.  He wasn’t the first one I *got*, but was fairly early on.  I specifically requested him for Christmas one year, and came down Christmas morning to find both him and Martian Manhunter propped up on the Christmas Village waiting for me.  He didn’t have the Power Battery originally, but I was able to get him one of those too, eventually.  He’s definitely my favorite figure in this line, and probably my favorite Green Lantern figure period.

#2650: Ghost Spider – Maximum Venom

GHOST-SPIDER

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“When the Venom symbiote attaches to Gwen Stacy, she gains extreme new powers as Ghost-Spider.”

Remember everything I mentioned about Miles yesterday?  Yep, that pretty much all applies to today’s figure, except that now it’s about Ghost-Spider, aka Gwen Stacy going by her latest supranym.  Can we also, for a moment, bring up that Miles just gets his name on the box, but Gwen gets an up-to-the-minute super hero identity?  That seems unfair to at least one of them.  Not sure which, if I’m entirely honest, but it’s one of them.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Ghost-Spider is figure 5 in the “Venompool Series” of Marvel Legends, and is the final figure in the set to contribute to the Build-A-Figure.  Like Miles, it’s our third Spider-Gwen, but the first not to be standard issue.  The figure stands 5 3/4 inches tall and she has 29 points of articulation.  As with Miles, Gwen uses the same body as prior version of the character, but with a few new parts to properly Venomize her.  In her case, it’s a new head, upper torso, forearms, hands, and feet, as well as a new jacket overlay piece.  While Miles’ new parts were all very texture heavy and didn’t really mesh well with the old parts, Gwen’s are actually a bit more sleek and clean, meaning they line-up a bit better.  Aside from the tongue being a bit clumsy and hard to pose around, it’s actually a pretty cool looking design.  It’s more cohesive, and less of a direct take-off from the standard Spider-Gwen design, making it feel a lot more in line with the classic symbiote Spider-Man design, while still respecting the more character-specific elements of Gwen’s appearance.  Even the tongue’s not a terrible idea, just one that’s a little harder to do in toy form.  If it was posable in some fashion, I feel like it would be a bit better, but there are of course drawbacks to that approach as well.  The paint work on Gwen is also a bit more intriguing than on Miles.  It’s certainly got a better visual contrast to it, making it pop a bit more.  Application is pretty clean for the most part, although there’s a bit of slop around the edges of the hood.  Nothing terrible, but it could be cleaner.  Gwen is without accessories of her own, which is again a shame.  Certainly there was some extra they could have thrown in here?  She does at least get the torso and swords for Venompool, which is by far the largest section of the Build-A-Figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As I noted yesterday, I’m not big on the Venomized figures.  That being said, Gwen’s design is a little more appealing to me, so I was slightly more interested.  In hand, I do quite like the figure. The tongue’s still weird, but the design translates well, and generally feels less lazy than Miles.  I’m glad I got this figure, and I’ll make space for her with my other Symbiotes.

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

#2649: Miles Morales – Maximum Venom

MILES MORALES — MAXIMUM VENOM

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“When the Venom symbiote attaches to Miles Morales, he gains extreme new powers.”

Season 3 of Marvel’s latest Spider-Man cartoon was dedicated to an overarching theme: “Maximum Vemom.”  Essentially, the symbiotes got proper Oprah treatment and were just handed out to everyone in the studio audience super hero community.  While Peter Parker is classically the Spider-Man with symbiote experience, this time around Miles got in on the action, getting his own Venomized appearance in the process.  Marvel Legends doesn’t tend to cover the cartoons, but they’ve made a little bit of an exception here, with a few Venomized figures to help fill out this Venom assortment, and Miles is included among them.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Miles Morales is figure 4 in the “Venompool Series” of Marvel Legends.  He marks our third variant of Miles under the modern banner, though this one’s certainly less all-purpose than the last two.  The figure stands 5 3/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Miles is largely built out of the same parts as the prior, more standard Miles, using the smaller male base body.  He does get a new head, arms, hands, and feet to grant him that more venomous appearance.  They add a fair bit more detail and texturing, which is cool on its own, but does make him feel generally less cohesive when compared to the pre-existing parts.  Honestly, the way the jaw ends up looking more beak-like and the feet end up looking a touch on the large side, the whole figure kind of screams “chicken” to my eyes, but maybe that’s just me.  Whatever the case, he’s not a very imposing looking figure by my count, nor do I feel he really does all that great a job of translating Miles into a more symbiote-inspired appearance.  He winds up looking like someone got Miles’ regular design a bit wet.  He’s just…droopy.  At the very least, the core body’s a good one, so he’s at least a solid figure from a just playing around with him sense.  In terms of paint work, he follows the general Miles color scheme, albeit with some more metallic finish on the black sections. It’s not terrible, but the whole thing does sort of contribute to the overall runny feeling of the design.  Miles includes no accessories of his own, which is a real shame.  He does include the left arm and alternate hand to the Venompool Build-A-Figure, however.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The venomized designs aren’t really my thing, so I had no interest to speak of in this figure.  In hand, I still don’t have much interest in it.  The base body is good, so he’s at least some fun to mess with, but otherwise he really does nothing for me, other than give me an opportunity to reflect on how good the standard Miles figure still is.  I guess that’s not the worst thing, but it doesn’t speak well to a figure if the best thing it does is remind you of how much you like a figure you already owned previously.

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