#3006: Kalibak

KALIBAK

SUPER POWERS (KENNER)

“Kalibak, The Cruel Crusher! This massive warrior is incredibly powerful and nearly indestructible. A savage fighter, Kalibak wields the deadly Beta-Club, which can fire nerve beams powerful enough to fell an entire army.  Despite his size and strength, Kalibak is not too intelligent. He can be bested by an opponent like Superman, who combines his strength with a sense of strategy.”

When I last discussed Kenner’s Super Powers line from the ’80s, I was getting pretty deep into the Fourth World component of the line, which hit during its second and third years.  Thus far, I’ve looked at three of Darkseid’s lieutenants, as well as one of his sons.  Today, I look at the figure that combines those two epithets, Kalibak, half brother to Orion, and the brutish son of Darkseid.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Kalibak was released in 1985, as part of Kenner’s second year of Super Powers figures.  As with the rest of the Fourth World figures in the line, this would be his debut action figure, and it would remain his only figure until Mattel got back around to him in 2009 as part of their DC Universe Classics line.  Heck of a gap there, huh?  There was definitely a preferred son of Darkseid in the toy world is all I’m saying.  The figure stands just shy of 5 inches tall (he’s got a bit of a hunch, which would place him at closer to Darkseid’s height were he standing straight up) and he’s got 5 points of articulation.  Kalibak lacks the knee joints sported by most of the line, presumably to give him a slightly more stable stance with the hunch and everything.  He still has a bit of trouble remaining standing even so, due to his hip joints being a little loose from how the action feature works.  Most of the Fourth World characters got rather changed-up designs for the line, still courtesy of Jack Kirby, of course.  Kalibak’s design was new, but he actually had a rather evolving design throughout Kirby’s actual run on New Gods, so this was really just the next step in that evolution.  It’s honestly one of the best of the updated designs, and the one that really has the most lasting influence on the character’s main look going forward.  The sculpt does a pretty nice job of capturing Kalibak’s larger build, and while he’s a little bit goofy looking, that’s on-brand for Kalibak, so it works out better here than it does for, say, Steppenwolf.  Kalibak’s paint work is pretty straight forward.  A lot of the Fourth World designs were heavy on green in the comics, and Kalibak was included in that.  For the Super Powers designs, they leaned a little more into browns and warmer colors, since there was kind of a shortage of those colors in the DC roster.  Kalibak is largely brown and yellow, with a bit of blue.  It’s not a bad look, and the application is generally pretty clean.  Kalibak is packed with his Beta-Club, which is convenient for use with his “Power Action Beta-Club Swing.”  When is legs are squeezed together, the left arm swings in and out, which is actually a pretty cool feature.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Kalibak is the newest addition to my Super Powers collection, in the continuing tradition of my Dad getting me a Super Powers figure at Christmas.  He’s slowly but surely helping me make my way through the figures that remain between me and a complete run of the line.  Kalibak is one of those figures I wasn’t in a rush to get or anything, but I actually like him a lot more than I’d expected now that I actually own him.  And with that, I’m down to just 6 more figures!

#3005: Wolverine, Callisto, Jason Wyngarde, Omega Red, & Cyber

WOLVERINE, CALLISTO, JASON WYNGARDE, OMEGA RED, & CYBER

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

Wow, it’s been, like, weeks, plural even, since I reviewed any Marvel Legends.  That’s crazy.  I mean, technically, I haven’t reviewed any of them since last year.  Can you believe that?  I’m honestly still sort of wrapping my head around it after two months of un-filtered Legends reviews.  Well, there’s still more to be reviewed, so I’d best ease myself back in.  Today’s review fulfills the component of being both a Legends review *and* a post-Christmas review, so it’s the perfect choice!  The last couple of years running, Amazon has gotten a larger boxed Legends-exclusive nearer to the holiday season, and 2021 followed suit, with a five-pack of figures, all (sort of) Wolverine-themed.  And that’s the set I’m looking at today!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Wolverine, Callisto, Jason Wyngarde, Omega Red, and Cyber make up the Amazon-exclusive Wolverine 5-pack of Marvel Legends.  Well, it started out as an Amazon-exclusive, anyway.  It didn’t stay that way for much time at all, though, and is already available through a number of other retailers, including my sponsors over at All Time Toys, if you’re feeling inclined to pick a set up.

WOLVERINE

It’s difficult to do a Wolverine-themed set and not include a Wolverine, so Hasbro opted to do that.  I suppose that’s a reasonable stance for them to take.  We’ve had no shortage of Wolverines in the line, especially recently, so a lot of the major looks have already been covered.  In an effort to be a little bit different, Hasbro’s gone with a look that appears to be at least a little bit inspired by the cover of X-Men #251, which features a beaten Wolverine in his brown costume, sans shirt, cowl, and gloves.  It’s an interesting twist on his usual design, and has a fairly distinctive visual to it, so it’s not a bad choice.  The figure stands just shy of 6 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  He’s built on the same core body they’ve been using since the Juggernaut Series, which is especially fitting in this figure’s case, since it’s meant to be the same costume as that one and all.  He gets two new head sculpts, both of them unmasked.  As of yet, the unmasked Wolverine heads for modern-era Legends have all felt a little bit lacking, so there was definitely a big push to get some ones that worked a bit better to translate that crazy hair into three dimensions.  These two give us both crazy and slightly more neutral expressions, and are easily the best unmasked Wolverines that Hasbro has produced.  I myself really like the calmer expression, but they’re both quite impressive in how they capture that more ’80s style look for Logan.  Otherwise, Wolverine is using re-used parts, and doing pretty well with that.  The paint work on this guy is pretty strong, as making him shirtless gives him all that body hair to contend with.  Fun stuff, right?  It actually works pretty well, and doesn’t look as goofy as painted hair can, so kudos to Hasbro on that.  The heads get some pretty solid work, with the calmer expression actually getting some bruising and cuts.  It stops it from being a totally standard head, which is a slight bummer, but at the same time, it does look really cool.  Hopefully, they’ll just repack this head with a more standard paint app later down the line, for a best of both worlds sort of set-up.  In addition to the two varieties of head mentioned above, this figure is also packed with hands both with and without the claws.  No X-crucifix, but I can see why Hasbro might want to forego packing such a thing in.

CALLISTO

This set is, ostensibly, supposed to be Wolverine-themed, being Logan versus a bunch of his foes.  Two figures in, we’re already kind of loosing that.  Callisto was introduced alongside the rest of the Morlocks, a group of sewer-dwelling mutants, in X-Men #169, as an attempt to have a few more mutants who weren’t quite as physically pristine as a lot of the X-Men were.  While she and the other Morlocks have certainly been involved with Wolverine by virtue of being in the X-Men universe and all, it’s not like there’s any sort of particularly close ties there.  That being said, she’s been without any toy treatment up until this point, so an excuse to finally release her in some form isn’t unwarranted.  The figure stands just over 6 inches tall and she has 27 points of articulation.  For the most part, Callisto is really just an excuse to get another use out of the Mohawk Storm parts.  Everything but the head and hands are shared with that figure.  It’s really not a bad bit of re-use; the two designs are quite similar, and given Storm and Callisto’s history, I suppose it wouldn’t be the weirdest thing in the world for them to share a taste in fashion.  Callisto’s new head sculpt is perhaps a little more conventionally good looking than Callisto was classically portrayed, but it’s in line with her more modern incarnations, and it’s not a bad sculpt.  The detailing on the scarring and the eye patch is pretty decent, and I do like that they’ve gotten at least a little bit of her usual scowl going on there.  Her paint work is generally pretty straight forward.  There’s not a ton of work going into it, since there’s a lot of molded color work, but the work on the head is well-handled, and the application is overall clean and fairly consistent.  I’m not big on how the painted edge of her torn shirt looks, but it was unlikely that they were going to sculpt a new lower torso just for Callisto.  As it stands, it looks alright.  Callisto is packed with two sets of hands, one gripping, the other in fists, as well as two different knives.

JASON WYNGARDE

Remember this being a Wolverine-themed set?  Hasbro doesn’t seem to so much, because the third figure, much like the second, is kind of not fitting that mold.  Appearing during “The Dark Phoenix Saga,” Jason Wyngarde is key to Jean’s descent into madness and her eventual dark turn.  Late in the story, he is revealed to be former Brotherhood of Evil Mutants member Mastermind in disguise, leaving the Wyngarde identity largely discarded, though it does get dusted off from time to time.  Wyngarde has little to no actual interaction with Wolverine, since it’s Jean he’s attempting to seduce and Cyclops he’s in more direct conflict with.  Perhaps he’s here because he and Wolverine both sparred with Cyclops for Jean’s affections?  Or perhaps because they both share a love of unique facial hair?  I don’t know, and I won’t complain, because I really like the Wyngarde persona, so I’m down for whatever needs to be done to get it in figure form.  Well, within reason.  Like, you know, this.  This is actually about as far as I’d go, really.  So, it worked out, all things considered.  No real moral compromises or anything.  You know what?  I’m proud of us.  We knew where to draw the line.  Great.  Back in the land of actually reviewing this figure on this here toy review site, the figure stands about 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Wyngarde is largely using parts from the two male members of the Hellfire Club set released last year.  Since he’s of similar build and also wore the same basic attire as Shaw and Pierce, it’s a sensible and in fact an expected choice.  This is the first time I’ve gotten to mess with the body, but it’s a pretty decent piece of work, and matches up well with how the characters are depicted in the comics.  Wyngarde’s head sculpt does a good job of capturing Byrne’s design for the character, while also translating that into the more standard Legends styling.  He’s suitably smarmy, while also still looking suave enough to understand part of how Jean might be swayed by him.  Wyngarde’s color palette is an interesting choice, since he’s patterned not on this “Dark Phoenix” appearance, but rather on his more recent All New All Different X-Men appearance.  It’s a minor change, and it’s not a bad color scheme, it’s just odd that they went for something other than literally the one appearance everyone knows him from.  Wyngarde is packed with an alternate Mastermind head.  It’s an impressive piece, though one that’s a little out of place without a body to match.  I’m sure it should be easy enough to rig something up, though.

OMEGA RED

Okay, now we’re actually getting to something properly Wolverine-related.  How about that?  Omega Red has had the Legends treatment rather recently, and is mostly just here in this set because that particular release has gotten rather pricey on the aftermarket these days.  This figure, like that one, stands about 7 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Omega Red is using the same parts selection as his Sauron Series release.  That was quite a nice figure, and by extension so is his one.  The molds have held up pretty well, and they still suit the character quite nicely.  I really do like those butterfly joints a lot.  The color work marks a notable change-up.  The colors are even brighter than they were the last time, with more brilliant whites and reds, as well as a few changed out colors on certain parts of the costume.  Overall, I like the new color scheme more than the old, though I will admit that I miss the cool omega symbols on the backs of the hands.  Otherwise, he’s got more of a ’90s animation feel than the last release, and I really dig that.  Like the last release, this one gets the two sets of tendrils, and also adds in a second head sculpt, with a screaming expression, which gives him some more posing options.

CYBER

Certainly the most obscure of the figures included here, Cyber is also the one that’s really the most sensible, as he’s actually only got the ties to Wolverine, and not the rest of the X-Men, so he’d be kind of out of place in a main assortment.  The figure stands just shy of 8 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  Cyber makes use of the Colossus body, which is honestly a kind of criminally under-used base body.  He makes use of a combination of parts from both Colossuses, as well as Death’s Head, in order to have the most basic selection of parts possible.  He also gets a new head, as well as forearms and hands in order to complete his look.  It’s a very basic look, but that’s true to the character, so I guess Hasbro got it right there.  He’s big and imposing, which is pretty cool.  Cyber’s paint work is actually surprisingly involved, given how basic the design is.  There’s some accenting going on for the blue sections, which helps them to look a lot better than they would if they were just flat blue plastic.  I can dig it.  There are no accessories included for Cyber, though I’m not entirely sure what exactly you could give him.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I got this whole set as a Christmas gift from my parents this year.  It’s one of those sets that’s kind of a hard sell, if I’m honest.  It’s not that any of the figures are bad, but really that they don’t seem to make for much of a cohesive package.  I myself really just view this as a very expensive way to finally own a Jason Wyngarde figure.  A very nice Jason Wyngarde, mind you, and one I’m very happy to have.  The others are all nice figures on their own, but ones I might have just as well skipped if I’d been given the option.  They’ll all suit my collection well when divied up to go into various different sections, though, so I can’t really complain too much.

#3004: Grice Anna – 19th Legion United

GRICE ANNA — 19th LEGION UNITED

BATTLE FOR THE STARS (JOYTOY)

Hey, remember when I was talking about Joytoy?  It was, like, three days ago?  Man, wasn’t that cool, and new, and different?  I sure thought so.  How about we give that another go, perhaps?  While the main focus of their output is the cool Mechas, Joytoy actually puts quite a lot of effort into the scale figures that go with said Mechas.  Enough effort that they don’t just want to leave them only available within the larger sets, so they also sell them in a few other ways, including just flat out selling them on their own.  So, today, I’m looking at one of those figures on its own.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Grice Anna is from Joytoy’s Battle For The Stars line, which, in contrast to the last item I looked at, is actually one of their 1/18 scale lines, meaning the humans are roughly at that 3 3/4 inch mark.  The figure follows suit, standing just shy of 4 inches tall and sporting 32 points of articulation, at least on the base body.  The design also features an exoskeleton sort of brace kind of set-up, which also features some articulation, though mostly its really just in a fashion that allows the underlying figure to still be posed without any trouble.  The articulation on the core figure is a lot like a 30th Anniversary/POC Joe, but even further improved, to the point where there’s even toe articulation, which, at this scale?  Well, that’s pretty impressive.  The joints are also quite well-toleranced, so she’ll be able to hold poses without much trouble, which is always a concern at this scale.  Anna’s design is sort of a merging of modern tactical gear with a little bit of military sci-fi, in keeping with the other stuff Joytoy’s been doing.  The core figure is much more on the realistic modern tactical side, and you could honestly fit her in pretty well with Joes and the like in this state.  She’s got a long sleeve shirt and some combat pants, as well as armoring on the torso, knees, and shins (the shin armor is a separate piece, so you could remove those too if you wanted).  The full armor is comprised of a pair of shoulder pads, an alternate helmeted head, and an exoskeleton that hooks over the wrists and legs, and runs pretty much the whole body.  She’s also got a cool neckerchief, you know, for a little bit of tasteful accessorizing.  Everything slides into place pretty well, although you will need to do a little bit of disassembly of the main body to get everything on there.  My only complaint is that the helmet isn’t actually attached to the alternate head in any way, so it falls off a lot.  Feels to me like it would have made the most sense to just glue it in place, especially since the alternate head foregoes even giving her painted eyes or anything, which winds up looking pretty creepy.  Her paint work is generally pretty nice.  The base work is clean, and she also gets a darker wash on the armored parts, as well as the pants, which helps to not only emphasize the sculpted details, but also to give her a slightly more worn-in appearance, which fits the setting they’re going for.  Anna is packed with two sets of hands with differing grips, as well as an assault rifle and a pistol.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve been keeping Tim in the loop on my delve into Joytoy, since he is also big on the cool robots front.  This turned out to be a point in my favor, as his sister-in-law Becca was looking to get me something cool for Christmas this year, and he was able to point me in the direction of this particular figure.  I wasn’t intending to jump down the rabbit hole of the individual figures quite this quickly, but this one’s admittedly really cool.  Sure, she’s not the same scale as the one Mecha I have, but I guess I’ll just have to get a Mecha that scales with her.  Oh darn.

#3003: The Batman Who Laughs – Sky Tyrant Wings

THE BATMAN WHO LAUGHS — SKY TYRANT WINGS

DC MULTIVERSE (MCFARLANE)

“Born from the nightmares of the Dark Multiverse, The Batman Who Laughs is a hybrid version of the Batman and The Joker from Earth -22. This twisted version of Batman was created when nanotoxins from The Joker’s heart were released into Bruce Wayne’s bloodstream, causing the Dark Knight’s perfect mind to merge with the warped psyche of the Clown Prince of Crime. He soon became part of an attempt to plunge the entire Multiverse into ultraviolence, chaos, and utter darkness. After being initially defeated, The Batman Who Laughs managed to survive and remains a threat to the greatest heroes of the Multiverse.”

For Day 3 of the post-Christmas, we’re going back to more of my usual territory, specifically the realm of super hero comics.  Even more specifically, DC Comics.  They’re pretty busy doing nothing but Batman these days, and, well, umm, here’s some more of that, I suppose.  The last few years, DC’s bread and butter (and, by extension, their main licensee McFarlane’s bread and butter) has been Dark Knights Metal, a multiversal story where everyone is Batman.  Except for Batman.  Sometimes Batman is Joker.  And here we are with that.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Batman Who Laughs with Sky Tyrant Wings is the second version of the Batman Who Laughs to be released in McFarlane’s DC Multiverse line, as part of the Merciless Collect-To-Build assortment, which was released at the tail end of 2020, at least in some quantities, and made it out more fully last year.  The figure stands 7 inches tall and he has 40 points of articulation, thanks to the extra joints present in the wings.  In terms of articulation scheme, he generally follows the usual McFarlane set-up, for better or for worse.  The notable change-up is to the hips, which don’t have the same full range of mobility that we usually see, being far more restricted to just forward and back.  Given the long jacket, it’s not a huge surprise or hinderance, but it’s still noteworthy.  This Batman Who Laughs is based on the character’s later appearance after he steals the wings from the Sky Tyrant, the Dark Knights Metal version of Hawkman.  To give McFarlane some credit, as far as I can tell, there are no shared parts between the two versions of BWL they released.  There are certainly similarities, but this sculpt just generally improves upon the shared elements between the two, making for a generally more well put-together offering, at least to my eyes.  The crazier, more exaggerated facial expression works a lot better for the character, especially in toy-form, and the texture work on the outfit is pretty solid.  McFarlane certainly does torn-up and gritty well.  I also feel that the more posed hands work a lot better for the character than the more generic gripping hands of the prior release.  The most obvious change here, of course, are the wings.  They actually work quite nicely, as they’re well-articulated, well-detailed, and not terribly balanced considering.  It would be nice to see such work on a proper Hawkman, but this is McFarlane, so a Batman variant is really the best we can hope for, I suppose.  The paint work on this figure is generally pretty good.  It’s largely rather basic work, but I think that’s for the best, especially after the weirdness surrounding the accent work on the last figure’s mouth.  It just looked odd, so going a little more straight forward here is probably the right call.  The Batman Who Laughs includes a display stand and a collector’s card for the figure proper, as well as the head, shoulder pads, and sword of the Merciless Build-A-Figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Dark Knights Metal really isn’t my sort of thing.  It’s honestly a lot of the stuff I don’t like about DC’s current obsession with Batman and the need to constantly place him above all of the other heroes rolled into one big event.  The Batman Who Laughs himself is a concept that I don’t think is terrible, but like the whole cross-over, I kind of feel like he got played out a lot quicker than he went away, and he just sort of keeps resurfacing.  So, I wasn’t seeking this figure out on my own.  That said, I received this one from Jess’s parents for Christmas, and I can certainly appreciate the thought, the gesture, and ultimately the figure proper.  The story that spawned him may not be my main thing, but the figure did turn out pretty nicely, so I can’t really knock it.

#3002: Ultraseven

ULTRASEVEN

ULTRAMAN (MEGO)

Welcome to Day 2 of the Post-Christmas reviews.  Last year, I finally got back into the swing of some Ultraman reviewing after a bit of a gap, thanks to the help of an Ultraseven figure I got as a Christmas gift.  This year, I guess I’m just gonna do the same thing.  Fitting.  Of course, I’m kind of looking at opposite sides of the product spectrum here, with last year’s Ultraseven being a high-end figure from Bandai, and this one being, well, a Mego, which isn’t exactly high-end.  No less in my realm of interest, of course!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Ultraseven is part of Mego’s Sci-Fi line, released as one of their mixed assortments of figures.  He’s the second figure under the Ultraman branding, following up on the standard Ultraman from earlier in the line.  Like the rest of the line, the distribution model is via a mix of specialty stores and select Target locations.  The figure stands just over 8 inches tall and he has 16 points of articulation.  Ultraseven is built on the upgraded Type 2 male body.  It’s the standard, and it’s got a nice medium, average build, which suits most characters, Ultraseven included.  Ultraseven gets a new head and hands to complete his look.  They’re pretty solid pieces; certainly a bit on the goofy side, but then classic Ultraseven frequently falls into that category anyway.  The paint work is confined to the head, and it’s pretty basic, but also does what it needs to well.  Application is all pretty clean, and the important details are all there.  Ultraseven’s outfit includes a bodysuit and a pair of short boots.  They do a respectable job of capturing the look of the character from the show, while still fitting the main Mego aesthetic.  I do really like how the printed silver looks on the suit.  Ultraseven includes no accessories, although that’s not a huge shift for the line, especially given their price point.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I missed out on the basic Ultraman, so I hadn’t really put much of an effort into getting this one.  Not that I didn’t want him, of course, but I just wasn’t really expecting to find him either.  Fortunately, I didn’t have to worry about that, since Max had my back on this one, and picked this guy up for me as a Christmas gift.  I guess it continues the tradition of getting Ultrasevens from the people I care about for Christmas.  It’s really not a bad tradition, all things considered.  And this is really a fun figure, too.  So, I call it a general win.

#3001: Steel Bone HO2 Firepower Mecha

STEEL BONE HO2 FIREPOWER MECHA — GRAY-GREEN

DARK SOURCE (JOYTOY)

It’s a new year, and this intro serves to cover a few bases, really.  First and foremost, faithful readers will no doubt notice that there were two days between this review and #3000.  After writing a review every day of every week for over eight years, I’ve finally arrived at the conclusion that it’s maybe a little much for me.  So, I’ll be stepping back.  Not a ton, mind you, but I’ll at least be taking weekends for the foreseeable future.  But, hey, that’s still five days a week for you guys to read my crazy ramblings, right?  With that out of the way, let’s jump into the first day of my post-Christmas reviews!

More often than not, I tend to stick to more domestic offerings, as well as generally lower-price point options.  Every so often, I do like to branch out just a little bit and try something new.  This year, that’s apparently Joytoy, a company that I was honestly not really familiar with prior to 2021, but who I’ve become rather fascinated with in the last few months.  Hey, I like a cool mecha, and they certainly have a lot of those.  So, I’m looking at my first Joytoy item today, with the Steel Bone HO2 Firepower Mecha!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Steel Bone HO2 Firepower Mecha [Gray-green] is part of Joytoy’s Dark Source toyline.  Their various different lines correlate to different themes/storylines, which are really just excuses to more cool robot designs, really.  It also corresponds to a few different scales.  Dark Source is a 1/25 scale line, centered on figures that are about 2 3/4 inches for a standard sized human.  The mechs are, of course, much larger than a standard sized human.  In the case of this one, it stands just shy of 8 3/4 inches tall.  An exact articulation count is a bit tricky on this one, due to how many moving components there are, and how many pieces have to flex out of the way in order to do any real posing.  The limbs can be a bit restricted, especially at the shoulders and hips, but there’s a lot that can be done, especially given how bulky the design is overall.  I especially dig all of the movement in the hands, as the fingers not only get movement at each of the knuckles but there’s also side-to-side movement on the fingers, which adds a lot of extra gripping options, which is pretty cool.  In terms of structure, the Steel Bone design is pretty squared off and rather on the utilitarian design.  It’s certainly meant to be military in nature.  The actual construction of the mech is actually made out of quite a lot of potentially modular pieces.  It comes out of the box in effectively the load out seen in the photos, but there are lots of other possible builds, if you so choose.  It can be a little tricky swapping parts in and out, and finding just the right balance and layout, but it does add a lot more fun to the figure.  In the effort to aid in that modular nature, the mech gets a few deliberately swappable pieces, namely the chest plate and thigh covers, which have an option for slightly more rounded parts.  I myself prefer the alternate parts, so I appreciate them being there.  The mech’s armaments also tie into the modular nature.  Worked into the mech proper are two shoulder mounted mini guns.  They attach with a handful of the modular parts included, but also can be worked in a few different ways, again with the whole modular thing in mind.  Separate from the mech proper, there’s a big hammer.  What’s fun about the hammer is that it’s almost no unique parts; everything is a basic modular piece, or shared with the Mecha’s own construction.  So, again with the modular.  That’s commitment to the concept.

The Steel Bone includes its own pilot, designed to work with it’s built-in cockpit.  He’s about 2 3/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  He’s utilitarian and military-inspired in a fashion similar to Mecha, which is sensible.  He works in a lot of rather classic sci-fi psuedo-military type stuff, which makes him suitably generic, but also serves as a nice call back to other designs.  I quite dig the removable helmet, and how well it sits, especially given the scale and how little it impacts the underlying head’s design.  The pilot gets a fun selection of extras himself.  There’s an alternate left hand, two rifles, a pistol, and a medical kit.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve been just starting to dip my toes into the waters of Joytoy, and it’s pretty much exclusively the fault of Jason from All Time Toys.  He’s recently decided to give them a try at the store, and we’ve all pretty much been looking for that entry point.  This one’s boxy, green, and he’s got a hammer and miniguns.  He checks off a lot of my boxes.  So, it certainly made things even easier when Jason gave me this guy as my Christmas gift this year.  It’s pretty darn great, really, and a great introduction to Joytoy.  I could foresee this getting a little bit dangerous…

#3000: Captain America – Infinity War

CAPTAIN AMERICA

AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR (HOT TOYS)

In a turn of events that I suppose is all rather fitting, today, the last day of 2021, also marks my 3000th review here at the site.  Pretty crazy, huh?  I never really foresaw myself making it quite this far, and yet, here I am.  3000 is a very big number, and a bigger number than the the total quantity of figures I had in my collection when I started this thing.  Moreover, I’ve made it all the way to the end of 2021, a journey that I would very much be underselling with the description “turbulent.”  A lot’s happened, and it has not been easy.  But I’m here.  And I’ve got a thing to review.  And I suppose that’s the most important thing in the moment.  So, let’s jump back to 2018, back to the throws of Avengers: Infinity War, specifically Captain America and his rather disheveled look from his own rather turbulent year.  Fitting, I suppose.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Captain America is part of the Infinity War tie-in component of Hot Toys’ Movie Masterpiece Series, where he’s figure MMS 481, which made him the sixth of the IW tie-in figures.  The figure arrived not too long after the film’s release, hitting in the fall of 2018.  There were two releases of him, a standard and a “Movie Promo Edition” which was a Sideshow-exclusive in the US.  The difference between the two comes down to a few accessories; the figure proper remains the same.  This Cap is based on his Nomad appearance from the film, which is of course the only look he actually has in Infinity War, so I guess that makes sense.  The figure stands about 12 1/2 inches tall and he has over 30 points of articulation.

While most Caps these days include multiple heads, this release only has the one.  It makes some degree of sense, since he doesn’t have the helmeted look in the film, so I suppose he only needs the one head.  It’s only the one facial expression, but that’s not uncommon for unmasked heads from Hot Toys.  This one does live up to Hot Toys’ usual penchant for very lifelike sculpts.  It sports a pretty spot-on likeness of Evans in the film, at least facially.  The hair is perhaps a little bit too orderly for proper film accuracy, but it’s not too far off, and it’s certainly closer than either Hasbro or Bandai’s attempts were.  It avoids the seam at the sides of the head that the Endgame release had, but trades it out for a rather noticeable join at the back of the head where the longer hair attaches.  It’s still not the worst thing, but at this price point, you do hope for a little better.  At the very least, the paint work topping it all off is really good, up to Hot Toys’ typical standards for face paint, with a very lifelike quality to the whole thing.

In Infinity War, Cap is, at least canonically, supposed to still be wearing the suit he had in Civil War, having had not time on the run between films to swap out.  In actuality, there are a few changes to the suit beyond just the expected wear and tear of being on the run, but they’re generally minor.  In terms of how the suit works on the figure, it’s pretty similar to the Endgame figure, being two main parts, with a lot of layers attached.  As with that figure, this one’s belt sets perhaps a little low, but it’s otherwise a well-tailored outfit that works well with the underlying body of the figure and captures the look of the outfit seen in the film quite nicely.

The underlying base body appears to be the same one used for Endgame Cap, which was a good fit for Evans’ build for the character, as well as doing a good job of balancing aesthetics and functionality.  As with that figure, the movement of the base body is somewhat impeded by the nature of the suit design, which does have some notable restrictions at the hips and shoulders.  Still, there’s plenty of movement to be had, and he can get some pretty solid range on most of the joints.

When it comes to accessories, Cap gets quite a few, including:

  • 8 hands
  • 2 Wakandan shields
  • Outrider corpse
  • Corvus Glaive’s Spear
  • Proxima Midnight’s staff
  • Display stand

The hands include a pair of fists, a pair of gripping, a pair of relaxed gesture, and a right pointing/left open gesture combo.  They give all the important needs for posing and working with the included accessories, and also do a good job of capturing the look of his gloves from the movie.  They’re a little tricky to swap out, but not impossibly so.  The two Wakandan shields are designed for specifically right and left sides, and are able to be fully collapsed or extended, which is certainly nice engineering.  The display stand is the same style as we saw on the Endgame figure.  I dig the hexagonal shape.  And that’s all of the standard release stuff.  The exclusive also adds a fallen Outrider corpse piece to sit atop the stand (along with a printed piece which looks like dirt ground), as well as both Corvus Glaive and Proxima Midnight’s weapons.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I missed out on the standard release of this guy when he came into All Time.  I mean, not really missed out, I suppose, since he was in stock, and I just dragged my feet on him, because I wasn’t sure I wanted to jump back into Hot Toys.  Once the Endgame release truly broke me on that, I regretted passing on this guy, so he went on my list of figures I was definitely planning to snag should they get traded in.  As luck would have it, this guy wound up getting traded in within about a week of me getting the Endgame version, which was a solid thematic thing.  He’s the best version of this design available to be sure, and he’s honestly the version of Cap that most reflected my personal mind state as I navigated the last year. A little broken, a little lost, and his resolve a little shaken.  But he’s still him deep down.  A fitting send off to the year.

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.

#2999: In Space Silver Ranger

IN SPACE SILVER RANGER

POWER RANGERS: LIGHTNING COLLECTION (HASBRO)

Okay, when I reviewed Zeo Gold, I may have been a little overzealous in calling him the greatest Power Ranger ever.  And why is that?  Because I may have been overlooking this guy, Zhane, aka the In Space Silver Ranger, Power Rangers In Space‘s resident Sixth Ranger.  Because, the thing is, Zhane?  He’s pretty darn cool.  Possibly the coolest.  And I’m down for that.  And now he’s got this brand new figure from Hasbro’s current run, which I definitely a win as far as I’m concerned.  So, let’s explore this win just a little bit further, shall we?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

In Space Silver Ranger is a Walgreens-exclusive release from Power Rangers: The Lightning Collection, with limited quantities available through Hasbro Pulse as well.  Thus far, only the Pulse quantities have shown up.  As with yesterday’s Andros, this figure’s release is a bit wonky, since we saw him before Hasbro had officially announced him, and then he showed up on Pulse with no actual quantities, before finally being put up for order, with an actual in-stock status.  Zhane is either the fourth or fifth of the Space Rangers to make it to release, depending on if you count the small quantities of Blue that have made it out as an actual release.  Whatever the case, it’s notable because it’s the first time Zhane hasn’t been the last member of team by a large margin.  The figure stands about 6 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  He’s using the same construction as the other male Space Rangers.  It’s a consistency thing, really, and at this point, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?  He does get a new belt piece, which has been tweaked to remove the holster.  Otherwise, it’s the same basic piece.  The colors are where the real changes occur, since he’s now, well, silver.  Unlike the others, it’s more than just swapping silver for the main color, since Silver gets a whole different selection of accent colors as well.  They’ve gone for more of a toy style to the colors, since his suit is actually silver, rather than a flatter shade than the helmet as it was in the show.  It’s a slightly more intriguing design in toy form, so I get the choice.  The silver is molded plastic, rather than paint.  It doesn’t look quite as slick, but it will probably hold up better over time.  Zhane is packed with an unmasked head (which looks a lot better in person than I’d expected), two sets of hands, his Super Silverizer in both blaster and blade configurations, and an effects piece.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

In Space Silver is at the very least tied with Zeo Gold for my favorite Ranger, so I was very anxious to see him show up in this line, especially after he got left out of Bandai’s Legacy Collection.  When he was shown off in-hand with no announcement, I was worried about him being an exclusive, and sure enough, there he was.  Fortunately, I had Max in my corner on this one, and he was able to help me snag one through the Pulse order window.  I’m very thrilled to have this figure in-hand, and I’m very happy to have a decent In Space Silver.

#2998: Andros

ANDROS

POWER RANGERS: LIGHTNING COLLECTION (HASBRO)

The continuing narrative of the first six years of Power Rangers, and its conclusion in Power Rangers In Space allowed for a slightly different structure to the show’s first episode.  Since most of the team had already been introduced in the preceding season, the show places its main focus on the one new member of the team, Andros, the season’s Red Ranger.  We first encounter him on a recon mission spying on a gathering of villains from prior seasons, which requires him to have a more incognito appearance, at least at first.  It’s a design that has as of yet not gotten any toy coverage, but Hasbro’s addressing that here, with the figure I’m taking a look at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Andros in Disguise is a Target-exclusive one-off release for Power Rangers: The Lightning Collection.  Or he’s at the very least an exclusive to Target for now.  It’s a slightly confusing situation, as has been the case with a handful of releases from Hasbro recently.  Photos of him showed up with no official announcement, and then Hasbro themselves showed him off, but with no actual mention of release plan, and no mention of any exclusive status.  And then he just showed up on Target’s website, and was very quickly in-stock, making the whole thing a rather surprisingly quick turn around.  The figure stands about 6 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  Structurally, his actual sculpt is identical to Andros in his Red Ranger gear (and all of the other male Space Rangers, for that matter).  It’s a sculpt that gets the job done, and it matches up with the other Andros, so it makes sense.  The main structural change up is the addition of a cloth robe piece for him.  It kind of looks like a bath robe, which I don’t really think is the intended appearance.  It’s a little goofy looking, especially in the photos, but I’ll admit it looks a fair bit better in person than I’d expected it to, and actually holds shape pretty well.  Even the velcro on the front stays secure, which isn’t always a guarantee.  The color work on this guy is another notable change up. Technically, in the show, he’s just wearing his usual Red Ranger gear under the cloak, but it’s shot in a way that hides it in the shadows.  To simulate this, Andros is wearing all black this time.  It’s an interesting look, and the presence of extra gold accenting, especially the insignia on the front, makes it feel like this is an established design from elsewhere.  That being said, I don’t know specifically where, and my brief searching on the internet hasn’t turned anything up.  So, I guess it’ll just remain a mystery.  It certainly looks cool, though.  Andros is packed with two heads, one helmeted (and in all-black to match the main figure), and one unhelmeted (re-used from the prior release), as well as two sets of hands, his Spiral Saber, Astro Blaster, and effects pieces for both weapons.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This is an odd release, and certainly not one I really thought I would need.  That said, In Space is my favorite incarnation, and there’s very little I wouldn’t buy from it.  So, this guy was certainly on my radar, not that I was in a rush or anything.  Max actually wound up ordering one online, before managing to find one in store.  Since he didn’t need two, he was kind enough to set me up with the spare.  He’s not essential, and it’s not like he really does anything new, but he’s a rather fun one-off variant.

#2997: High Evolutionary

HIGH EVOLUTIONARY

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“With a highly advanced intelligence and a cybernetic exoskeleton, the High Evolutionary challenges the Fantastic Four.”

First appearing in the pages of Thor, Herbert Edgar Wyndham, aka the Higher Evolutionary, is kind of one of those grander scope sort of villains.  He’s not really straight-forward evil, but more invested in a larger advancement of humanity and life as a whole.  Some times these goals put him at odds with our heroes, some times less so.  And, more often than not, he’s really just off on his own.  Interestingly, despite what the bio says outright and the presence of the figure in the assortment may suggest, he’s only had fleeting contact with the FF, and very rarely as an adversary for the team.  But, if it gets me a High Evolutionary, it gets me a High Evolutionary.  I won’t be picky.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The High Evolutionary is the final figure in the FF-themed Retro Collection assortment of Marvel Legends.  This marks his very first time in action figure form, which is pretty darn cool.  The figure stands about 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 28 points of articulation.  High Evolutionary’s movement scheme is pretty standard for the line.  He’s a little bit on the restricted side, especially on the torso and hips, but given the character’s tendency to mostly just stand around menacingly, it honestly isn’t too bad.  He’s also got the pinless construction on the elbows and knees, which continues to be a nice upgrade for all of the figures that have it.  High Evolutionary’s sculpt is an all-new piece, and it’s honestly got a lot going on.  It’s clearly classically inspired at its base, but uses some of the more modern interpretations of the character to add a little bit more detailing, especially on the face.  It makes for a figure that’s a little more visually stimulating than he might be if he were just a straight classic look.  Generally, I quite like it.  The figure’s color work is almost entirely reliant on molded plastic, which is all metallic and swirly.  I’d prefer that the maroon sections were maybe a touch darker, but otherwise it looks pretty solid.  He’s got minor paint work for a few of the smaller accents, which works out pretty well.  They’re cleanly applied and they get the job done.  The High Evolutionary is packed with two sets of hands, one set in fists and the other in open gesture.  It’s not a ton, but he is a completely new sculpt, and I’m not really sure what else there is to give him.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

My primary knowledge of this guy came from his one episode of X-Men: The Animated Series.  He’s a weird guy, but he’s got a cool look, and it’s definitely been one I’ve wanted for a while in toy form.  His inclusion in this particular assortment may be a little weird, but I’m honestly just glad to have gotten him, and it’s especially nice that Hasbro really put the effort into making as much of a one-off as possible.

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.