#3235: Hobgoblin

HOBGOBLIN

SPIDER-MAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES (TOY BIZ)

“A criminal mastermind bent on Spider-Man’s destruction, the Hobgoblin employs an eerie arsenal to carry out his malevolent schemes. Hurling pumpkin bombs and razorsharp bats from his jet glider, the Hobgoblin has Spider-Man constantly on his guard!”

When Spider-Man: The Animated Series was going into production, its story editor John Semper, who guided the show throughout its run, was not part of the initial crew.  When he arrived, he discovered that a number of odd decisions had been made by higher ups, in an aim to keep the show more relevant.  With the Green Goblin identity having been abandoned in the comics and Hobgoblin serving as the main goblin antagonist, initial plans had Norman Osborne assuming the Hobgoblin identity, rather than Green Goblin.  This choice was so cemented that Toy Biz’s tie-in line’s first assortment had already gone into production with Hobgoblin in its roster, in place of the more classic Green Goblin.  Semper disliked the choice, but was forced to keep Hobgoblin for merchandising purposes.  However, rather than make Norman Hobgoblin, Hobbie was kept a separate character, and the order of the goblin appearances was reversed, with Norman’s Green Goblin joining the show later.  But, Hobgoblin was still in the show’s opening line-up.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Hobgoblin was released in Series 1 of Toy Biz’s Spider-Man: The Animated Series tie-in line, with re-issues in both the Marvel Universe and Marvel Super Heroes lines.  The mold was also up-scaled for the 10 inch line, and downscaled for the diecast line.  He was based on Hobbie’s classic design, just like the show design.  It was really his only look at the time, so it made sense.  The figure stands about 5 inches tall and he has 7 points of articulation.  His articulation scheme is rather odd; he’s got shoulders, hips, and knees on both sides, but only his right arm gets elbow movement, and he lacks a joint for his neck.  It winds up making the figure rather stiff.  His sculpt was an all-new one at the time, and wound up more or less remaining unique, though there were a couple of re-issues and minor re-colors.  It’s a decent one for the most part.  Some of the details are a little bit on the soft side, but the general layout of everything looks pretty decent, and he wasn’t a terrible match for the animation design.  His paint work is generally pretty good.  The application’s not particularly intensive, but it’s generally clean.  Though he’s clearly got sculpted elements on the hips for his shorts to go a little further, they are unpainted.  It’s not terribly noticeable, though.  Hobgoblin was packed with his Goblin Glider and a pumpkin bomb.  His arm is spring loaded, and there’s a notch in his hand so he can fling the pumpkin bomb, and the Glider also features a launching missile at the front.  None of it’s terribly obtrusive to the figure’s design, which is certainly a plus.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I didn’t have the regular Hobgoblin as a kid.  I was never much attached to the character, really.  I did have the little diecast version, and one of my cousins had this particular release, but that was the real extent of it.  The one seen in the review came to me courtesy of Max.  I’ve been working on my 5 inch Marvel collection for a while, and he had snagged this guy, but ultimately didn’t feel like he needed to keep him, so he was kind enough to pass him on to me.  How very kind of him.  The figure’s okay.  There were better Hobgoblins and just better figures in general in the line.  Even the basic Green Goblin’s honestly a better figure.  But, he’s certainly not bad, especially for the era.

#3234: Mr. Knight

MR. KNIGHT

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“An expert on ancient Egypt, Steven Grant is thrust into action as Khonshu’s avatar, Mr. Knight, relying on his keen mind to enact his master’s will.”

Ohhhh! Every day I wake up, then I start to break up, lonely is a man without love!  Every day I start out, then I cry my heart out, lonely is a man without love! ….Are you guys tired of this yet?  Because, I can keep going.  Maybe I’ll just start every review with that.  You know, kick off every day with a with a little bit of Englebert?  No?  Yeah, okay, that’s fair.  Hey, how about just a little bit more Moon Knight?  There sure is a lot of Moon Knight stuff these days, and I’m on board for pretty much all of it, which translates to plenty for me to review here.  So, for the second day in a row, let’s have a look at a Moon Knight!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Mr. Knight is figure 1 in the the Infinity Ultron Series of Marvel Legends, which is, as noted yesterday, a Disney+ themed series.  He’s the second of the two Moon Knights in the set, and is, as mentioned in the bio, based on Steven’s powered up version, which is itself based on Declan Shalvey’s fancy-suited design for the character from the 2014 re-launch.  It marks the first time that the look has actually been translated into Legends form, though it’s supposedly been on the books since before we got the armored version in the Vulture Series.  Obviously, the figure’s patterned specifically on the show interpretation of the look, but there’s enough wiggle room for it to work either way.  The figure stands about 6 1/4 inches tall and has 32 points of articulation.  He’s structurally built pretty heavily on re-used parts from the Coulson suit body.  I’m gonna be honest, it’s a body that was decent for its time, but it’s kind of starting to show its age.  To try an update it at least a little bit, Hasbro’s fitted it with a new head, neck, tie, coat overlay, and legs.  The new head gives us his distinctive mask; it seems a little bit on the small side, but there’s at least a decent set-up with the texture work.  The new neck piece is similarly a little bit small, but the texturing matches well with the mask.  The new tie piece is likewise far more textured, capturing the unique patterning of his neck wear from the show.  The jacket piece features both the jacket and its underlying vest, with a lot more going on from a detailing standpoint than on prior pieces.  His new leg pieces aren’t drastically different than the previous ones, but now feature the pinless joints at the knees.  The feet, in contrast to the head, do seem a touch on the large side.  Not like clown shoes large or anything, but noticeably on the larger side.  Paint is rather sparse on this guy, as he’s almost entirely molded in white.  He does get just a little bit of accenting for his eyes and the buttons on his vest and jacket.  It’s enough for a visual pop, but he keeps the clean white look from the show.  Mr. Knight is packed with two sets of hands in fists and gripping poses, as well as his pair of eskrima sticks, which, it should be noted, are two distinctly different pieces, as they were in the show.  That’s impressive.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Obviously, there’s no way I could get one Moon Knight and not get the other.  The Mr. Knight look has been curiously absent from the toy world, and I’ve been waiting to see it show up somewhere.  This one…well, I overall like him.  That’s the most important thing.  That said, some of the specifics I’m not so keen on.  The arms on the old mold are kind of rough, and the new parts do wind up looking a touch piecemeal when placed together.  Ultimately, I was expecting to like him just a *touch* more than I ultimately do, but I still like him a lot.  And it’s another Moon Knight.  Gotta have another Moon Knight.

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.

#3233: Moon Knight

MOON KNIGHT

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Clad in the ceremonial armor of Khonshu’s chosen warriors throughout the centuries, Marc Spector is Moon Knight, sworn to obey Khonshu and deliver his vengeance accordingly.”

Ohhhh! Every day I wake up, then I start to break up, lonely is a man without love!  Every day I start out, then I cry my heart out, lonely is a man without love!  …Wait a minute…this all seems very familiar.  Have I been here before?  Yes, yes I have.  Because I totally did this bit at the start of the last Moon Knight review.  But it was also pretty funny, and I was kinda proud of it, so I decided to do it again.  So, you know, there you go.  When last I was discussing Moon Knight, I brought up how thrilled I am about the character going mainstream.  There’s just so much more Moon Knight love going around, and I really am all for that.  It’s, of course, very much centered around the show, and I loved that too.  We’re just now starting to see the main push of actual show tie-in stuff.  I already got all the Pops (yes, Moon Knight got me to buy a whole set of Pops), but they’re not all that thrilling to review.  Marvel Legends, on the other hand, are an entirely different story!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Moon Knight is part of the Infinity Ultron Series of Marvel Legends, which is another Disney+ inspired round of figures.  Moon Knight is the unnumbered, no Build-a-Figure, double-pack figure for this assortment, which, given his newfound popularity, feels appropriate.  He’s actually one of two Moon Knights in the set, with this one being based specifically on the Marc personality’s powered-up look.  It’s a design that’s obviously looking to update Marc’s classic all-white costume, albeit with a few other elements mixed in.  He gains some of the armoring from the Now design, as well as some wrappings that give him a bit of a mummy vibe, certainly embracing some of that Egyptian angle for the character.  The figure stands just shy of 6 1/2 inches tall and has 28 points of articulation.  The articulation scheme on this guy is alright, but perhaps not the top of the line.  The hips and the shoulders are a little restricted, but beyond that, he gets overall pretty decent range.  He’s also using the pinless knees and elbows, which are always a treat.  Moon Knight’s sculpt is an all-new one (courtesy of sculptor Rene Aldrete), and it’s quite a good one at that.  There’s one small inaccuracy on the figure, namely the one extra band of wrapping running over his nose; clearly this figure was based on some late stage concept designs.  It’s honestly a pretty minor thing, and I don’t mind it so much myself.  Beyond that, the sculpt tracks well with the show design, and sports an impressive selection of detail work, especially on the texturing for the wrappings.  The figure’s paint work is fairly decent; largely, he’s just molded in the appropriate color of off-white, but the accenting for the gold sections is pretty decently applied, as is the slight grey accent work.  He does strike me as a figure that could possibly use a wash to bring out some more of the texturing in the sculpt, but as it is, the sculpt’s still strong enough to do the heavy lifting.  Moon Knight is packed with two sets of hands in gripping in fists, and a pair of crescent blades, which can be combined into one.  It’s a little on the lighter side, but given the all-new sculpt, it’s not terribly surprising.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Have I mentioned that I’m a Moon Knight fan?  Because I am.  Just a touch.  I absolutely loved the show start to finish, and I’m down for anything that means more figures.  When images of the show costume first surfaced, I wasn’t sure how much I liked it, but I really enjoyed how it looked in the show, and I think that it translated really nicely to action figure form.

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.

Since there are two of this guy in a case, I was also able to snag a second one for my son Matthew, of this site’s Matty’s Corner feature.  He’s gotten quite into Moon Knight himself (though the show was just a little too intense for him), so he wants his own collection.  He insisted on sharing his thoughts on his own figure as well, so here’s what I transcribed for him!

It’s me, Matth-ew!  I like this Moon Knight figure!  My opinion of this figure is really good.  I like it.  There’s one kind of detail on the moon thing that’s kind of off.  I don’t like that they kind of put all the bandages around parts of him.  There’s a lot of gold over all of it, so the moon thing on the chest looks like a whole circle.  But other than that, I do like him, as I mentioned in the first part.  No other thoughts.  I think we’re good.  Now we can end.

#3232: Morph

MORPH

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“The mutant shapeshifter Morph returns to haunt the X-Men after being captured and manipulated by Mr. Sinister.”

Oh, yeah, it’s all finally starting to pay off, you guys!  Remember all those X-Men: The Animated Series-themed Marvel Legends I’ve been looking at since June?  And remember how up until this point they’ve all just been reworks of other Legends releases?  Well, today, that changes!  Admittedly, it only changes for the one release, and then it’s back to the reworks, but I’ll take the wins where I can get them.  When The Animated Series launched, the creators wanted to show the seriousness of the X-Men’s battle with the Sentinels by having a casualty within the first episode.  So, they dusted off a rather minor ’60s character, Changeling, re-christened him “Morph,” and went forth with their plan of killing the poor guy off just as soon as possible.  They didn’t anticipate him being nearly as popular as he wound up being, so in the show’s second season, he was revealed to be still alive, and under the control of the season’s arc-villain, Mr. Sinister.  Though not completely original to the show, Morph is still a very show-centered concept, so he’s not been quite as privy to all the toy goodness that the rest of the team received.  He got a standard figure, a Metal Mutant, and even a Shape Shifter back in the day, but it’s only now, 20 years into Legends, that he finally shows up there.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Morph is the sixth figure in the X-Men: The Animated Series sub-line of Marvel Legends, and the first figure to debut a character in Legends….well, unless you count his AoA counterpart as his actual debut, but that’s a legal grey area at best.  Following Jean’s precedent, Morph was shown off and put up for sale on his own.  Like the rest of the line, Morph ships in a VHS-styled box (sporting art by Dan Veesenmeyer), and I still really dig these things.  Morph’s is certainly a lot of fun.  The figure stands just over 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  Structurally, Morph is built on the Vulcan body, which is a sensible enough starting point, especially if Hasbro’s looking to really cement it as the Bucky Cap’s replacement.  He also makes use of the jacket piece from Old Man Logan and the arms are from Punisher, as well as an all-new head, belt, and altered legs.  All of the new pieces are courtesy of sculptor Paul Harding, and they’re quite an impressive selection.  The head does a good job of capturing the animated Morph’s general character, while also being just a touch more in line with the standard stylings of the line.  The new legs replicate the various ’90s X-Men straps, previously handled via add-on pieces that tended to fall down a lot.  Now, they’re worked into the legs, and it’s honestly so much nicer this way.  Morph’s paint work continues with cel-shading that we’ve seen with the rest of the line, thought this time around it does seem just a touch less present, so that he won’t look nearly as out of place with non-animation based figures.  It’s rather considerate, since this is Morph’s first 6-inch figure.  Morph is packed with a second head sculpt, based on his “evil” look from Season 2, and two sets of hands in fists and relaxed poses.  The extra head is really nicely handled, looking consistent to the standard head, but again capturing the feel of the show design.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Morph is the figure I was most hoping to see in this line, right from the beginning.  He wound up going up for order while I was on the road, actually, but I was able to get him ordered without too much fuss.  I’ve been eagerly awaiting his release, and I’m thrilled to have him in hand.  He’s easily my favorite figure from this set thus far, and he gives me a bit more hope for the line after being a little bit underwhelmed by a few of the mid-run figures.  He turned out really well, and he’s a great update to the original Toy Biz figure.

#3231: Clone Trooper

CLONE TROOPER

STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS (HASBRO)

Clone troopers put up an unrelenting defense against the hordes of battle droids that are pouring into the B’omarr monk monastery. The intrepid troopers are keeping the enemy at bay so that Anakin and Ahsoka can rescue Jabba’s kidnapped son. The clone troopers use their blasters and thermal detonators with skill, focusing exclusively on ensuring that the mission is a success.”

You can’t really do a toyline based on something called “Clone Wars” without a decent focus on the actual clones, can you?  No, that would just be silly.  Thankfully, Hasbro agreed, so their Clone Wars tie-in line was just chock full of Clone Troopers.  They had plenty of focus on named clones as the line continued, but at the beginning, their primary focus was just on building the numbers as quickly as possible.  The best way to facilitate that was kicking things off with a standard, all-white Clone, which I’m taking a look at today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Clone Trooper was figure 5 in the first series of Clone Wars, as one of the 8 figures that dropped at launch for the line.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 24 points of articulation.  This figure debuted the standard Clone Trooper body, which this line made a ton of use of….well, mostly.  As with all of the early Clones, he’s one of the best articulated figures in the line, making him awesome for all sorts of great poses.  The body holds up as a respectably offering.  It’s not as accurate as the later clone bodies would, but it’s also better on the articulation set-up, which feels like an okay trade-off.  This figure and a small handful of other Clones close to launch had a different head sculpt than those that followed.  It’s less accurate to the animation model, and not as conducive to matching up with the removable helmets, which is why they changed it pretty quickly.  That being said, I’ve always liked it a little bit more than the later helmet.  Just one of those things that got lost in translation, I suppose.  The paint work on this guy starts out rather basic, since he’s got no markings on his armor, and then gets the heavy wash that all of the early figures got.  The Clone Trooper is packed with a mid-sized blaster rifle, a larger rocket launcher, and a missile.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The Clone Trooper was one of the first four figures I picked up from this line, back before the show and movie had hit.  While there was a degree of taking a chance on some of the others, I was already a sucker for a good clone, and even removed from the source material, that’s what this one was.  He was my favorite of the first batch I picked up, and set the standard for my love of all the clones in this line.

#3230: Nimrod

NIMROD

X-FORCE (TOY BIZ)

“The most dangerous Sentinel of a dark future timeline, the robot known as Nimrod has returned to the present to achieve his prime directive — the eradication of all mutants! With an arsenal of weapons and a virtually indestructible body, there’s little anyone can do to stop him… even the X-Men!”

Where would we be without our dangerous Sentinels from a dark future timeline?  In a much worse place, I assure you.  I mean, without Nimrod, we wouldn’t have Bastion, or all of the Orchis subplots from Hickman’s X-Men.  Could you imagine a world without those things?  Because I can.  And…actually I wouldn’t mind it so much.  But I guess I’d miss Nimrod a little bit.  But, fortunately, he does exist.  So, you know, here we are.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Nimrod was released in Series 6 of Toy Biz’s X-Force line.  This marked his very first time as a figure, and would more or less remain his only version for a surprisingly long time.  Unfortunately, due to an issue of timing, they wound up going with a very modern and up to the moment look that Nimrod was sporting in the X-Force comics at the time, which was a rather divergent look that didn’t stick.  But, I guess it’s better than nothing?  Sure, let’s go with that.  The figure stands a little under 5 inches tall and he has 6 points of articulation.  Nimrod wasn’t particularly posable, with no neck or elbow movement, as well as greatly restricted movement on his shoulders and knees.  Not really a ton you can do with it all, but it’s kind of something you have to deal with on any version of Nimrod.  He’s just clunky.  The figure’s also rather on the small side for Nimrod, who’s classically a pretty sizable guy.  He’s chunkier than other figures, but not actually any larger, which does make him seem…less than imposing.  The figure does an alright job of capturing the design from the comics, for better or for worse.  It’s not as sleek a design as the usual, but there’s at least some cool tech detailing.  Nimrod’s colorscheme is largely red, which isn’t the usual, but it’s again accurate.  All of the red is molded, with painted yellow and black accenting.  Nimrod was originally packed with a missile for his wrist cannon, which my figure is missing.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Nimrod wasn’t really much on radar as a kid, largely due to him not actually looking like the character in anything I knew him from.  I wound up getting him much later, during one of my 5-inch Marvel sprees in the summer of 2017.  He’s not really the figure anyone wanted.  He’s not bad, though.  Just limited by the source material he came from.  It’s just a shame they didn’t at least do him in the more classic Nimrod colors at some point, just to sort of do that half step.  But, nowadays, we’ve got the Legends release, so I guess it all worked out.

#3229: George Lucas in Stormtrooper Disguise

GEORGE LUCAS IN STORMTROOPER DISGUISE

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

It’s not every film director that gets to have an action figure, but, I suppose it becomes much easier when you’re also the creator of one of the most merchandise-appealing franchises of modern times.  Subsequently, George Lucas, the aforementioned director whom created the aforementioned franchise, has actually had a few action figures over the years.  Thus far, he’s been covered by the smaller-scale, but this time around, he makes the jump to the 6 inch scale, with a figure that’s not a totally crazy exclusive for a change.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

George Lucas in Stormtrooper Disguise is a Fan Channel-exclusive Star Wars: The Black Series offering, released in honor of the 50th anniversary of Lucasfilm.  He’s done up in vintage style packaging, largely for the heck of it, I suppose.  This marks our second time getting George disguised as a Stormtrooper; Vintage Collection did it for a mail-away back in 2006, and now we’re getting it again.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and he has 29 points of articulation.  The prior Stormtrooper George notably made use of a rather outdated base body, despite an updated one being part of the same line, so there was a degree of concern that this figure might wind up on the older Black Series Stormtrooper, but this one does at the very least use the upgraded Rogue One/Mandalorian-style Stormtrooper body.  It’s an impressive sculpt, and one of which Hasbro’s gotten a surprisingly small amount of use.  The sculpt is topped off by a brand-new head sculpt, to do that whole George Lucas thing and all.  Lucas appears to be based on his look circa Revenge of the Sith, which is something of an odd choice, all things considered.  The vintage branding comes with it pictures on the box of Lucas from A New Hope, and given he’s dressed as an OT-based design, you’d expect an earlier era Lucas.  But, no, they went with this one, for whatever reason.  It’s not a bad sculpt, perhaps a little bit idealized, but still certainly George.  The figure’s paint work largely matches the standard Stormtrooper, which is generally nice and clean.  The head gets a more involved paint scheme, of course, which is appropriately lifelike.  They’ve also done a rather nice job capturing the greying in his hair.  George is packed with the standard Stormtrooper blaster, as well as a removable helmet, allowing him to pass off as a basic rank and file trooper.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The previous Lucas figures were kind of tricky to get, but I’ve always kind of wanted one of them.  Sure, George may be a slightly weird dude, but he’s also a rather important fixture in a franchise that I’ve spent a lot of time around, so I’m down for having him in some sort of figure form.  Thankfully, Hasbro saw fit to give us a fourth go at him, this time in a far more easily found manner, and making use of a base that’s a solid figure on its own.  He’s got some fun novelty to be sure, and, if you’re not feeling the George Lucas head, he also works out as a basic Trooper.

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.

#3228: Peter Parker & Ned Leeds

PETER PARKER & NED LEEDS

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

Civilians in Spider-Man movie tie-ins are always a bit hit or miss.  The first Raimi film actually did kind of crazy good on that front, with not only civilian versions of both Peter and Norman, but also Mary Jane and J Jonah Jameson.  Since then, they’ve been less invested.  For the latest range of films, we started off with no civilians, but did at least get an MJ for the Far From Home tie-ins and a JJJ from No Way Home.  We haven’t actually gotten a basic Tom Holland Peter, though, nor had we gotten Peter’s “guy in the chair” Ned Leeds.  Hasbro’s celebration of Spider-Man’s 60th anniversary amends both of those.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Peter Parker and Ned Leeds are one of the three two-packs in the “Spider-Man 60 Amazing Years” sub-line of Marvel Legends.  It’s the one movie-inspired part of the line-up, which I suppose is alright.

PETER PARKER

“Peter Parker is a high school sophomore with a big secret. Instead of rushing home to do homework, he spends his afternoons fighting crime as the Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man!”

Civilian Peter Parker figures aren’t a total rarity when it comes to tie-in lines, but thus far the only Tom Holland version of Peter is in Minimate form.  Legends has also been pretty stingy on the unmasked heads for the MCU Spider-Men, with them only being available in a handful of rather tricky to acquire exclusive offerings.  So, I guess this release just generally makes up for all of that.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and he has 31 points of articulation.  The articulation scheme on this figure is actually quite impressively handled for a civilian figure; he’s not quite as posable as the top-end Spider-Men, but it’s still pretty agile, which is certainly appropriate for Peter.  He’s also got the pinless construction for the arms and legs, which makes him a little sleeker looking.  Peter’s sculpt is entirely new.  The standard head sports a rather impressive likeness of Tom Holland, which is definitely amongst Hasbro’s best.  The body sculpt is patterned on one of Peter’s sweater wearing looks from one of Homecoming‘s school sequences.  It’s a suitably character appropriate look, especially for Holland’s take on the character, and the sculpt does a solid job of capturing the outfit, as well as balancing his proportions in a realistic manner.  The color work on the figure is generally pretty basic, with a good chunk of it being molded colors.  The face is nice and lifelike in its paint application, and the plaid pattern on what we can see of his shirt under the sweater is quite nice for the scale.  Peter is packed with an alternate smiling head, two sets of hands (fists and open gesture), a back pack, and a book.  The alternate head is an interesting concept, and I appreciate Hasbro’s attempt at something a little different, but it’s not quite right, especially compared to the standard head.  He looks more like Marty Feldman than Tom Holland.  The book’s lacking any paint details, and neither set of hands can really hold it, but it’s a decent enough extra anyway.  The back pack’s definitely a solid piece, though.

NED LEEDS

“Classmates and best friends, Ned is the only person at school who knows Peter Parker’s secret.”

While we’ve had a number of Peter Parker figures over the years, Ned Leeds has been completely absent from the world of action figures.  His comics counterpart was honestly never really notable enough to warrant any coverage (though an extra head with a Hobgoblin at some point might be nifty), but movie Ned is far more prominent.  Still not particularly action oriented, but that hasn’t stopped other figures from being made, so why would it stop Ned?  The figure stands just shy of 6 inches tall and he has 29 points of articulation.  Compared to Peter, the articulation scheme is a fair bit more restricted on Ned.  He’s obviously a far less agile character, so there’s a degree of sense to that, but I do wish he at least had a better range on his elbows.  Ah, well, you can still get some decent poses out of him.  His sculpt is another all-new set-up, courtesy of sculptor Dennis Chan.  The head sculpt has a likeness of Jacob Batalon that’s pretty much on par with the Peter figure’s Holland likeness.  I particularly like the small trace of a grin on the face; it feels very on the mark for Ned.  The body sculpt puts Ned in an outfit that matches up with Peter, which is definitely nice, and he gets a set of proportions that matches up well with Batalon’s build in the movies.  The paint work on Ned is a bit more involved than was the case with Peter, with some wear on the pants, and a decent job with the stripes on the shirt.  Ned is packed with an alternate head sporting a Spidey mask (as seen briefly in the movie), and he’s also got his own back pack, unique from Peter’s.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I picked up MJ back when they released her, and she’s kind of just been there on her own since then.  I was definitely hoping we might see at the very least a Ned figure.  Getting him and Peter together was something of a surprise, but a pleasant one.  These two aren’t going to be the most thrilling of the anniversary line-up, but they’re both still a lot of fun, and do a great job of rounding out the cast just a little bit.

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

#3227: Zodac

ZODAC

MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE: MASTERVERSE (MATTEL)

“Few are more powerful than the omnipotent master of the cosmos, Zodac.  As the keeper of the neutral balance between good and evil, the Cosmic Enforcer’s universal travels return him to Eternia – home of Castle Greyskull, the Nexus of Realities, and the center of the multiverse.  For a threat to the cosmic balance can come from anywhere at any time.”

While I *did* take a look at something Masters of the Universe related within the last month, it’s been four months since I really looked at anything new from the franchise.  It has a tendency to happen, especially when there are such gaps between the characters I actually want.  Look, this Mekaneck-erasure will not stand, you guys.  It’s driving me a little batty.  Making me but more figures of the *other* guy in a goody red helmet.  So, um, here’s another version of Zodac, I suppose.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Zodac is part of Series 5 of the Masterverse line, and he’s part of the “New Eternia” sub-branding for the line.  Thus far, New Eternia seems to be a way of doing classic versions of the characters, but with some optional updates to their looks, something that Zodac sticks to pretty closely.  The figure stands 7 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Zodac’s sculpt uses the basic male body as a starting point, as well as re-using the forearms from Barbarian Skeletor, and the feet from standard Skeletor.  He also gets a new head, upper torso, shins, pelvis, and an add-on for his armor.  The new parts are all pretty respectable recreations of that classic Zodac look.  The head’s certainly consistent with the way the classic version of the character tends to be depicted, to the point that I felt the need to double check that he wasn’t sharing his head with the Origins.  The two pieces are distinctly different, though.  The new upper torso replicates the vintage figure’s use of Beast Man’s torso, though in a far less bulky and less hairy way than the Masterverse Beast Men did.  His armored up pieces are generally consistent with his classic design, but he does get a little bit of updating, with his loincloth piece getting a fancier tabard sort of thing at the front, and his chest armor getting some shoulder pads.  It keeps his general look, while also cleaning him up just a little bit.  He also gets a holster piece, which adds a bit more practicality to him.  The look is cool, but I did find some functionality issues with how they interact.  The shoulder pads attach via clips on the back, which work fine, but they’re also meant for weapon storage, so you ultimately have to choose between them.  The holster attaches via one of the chest armor straps, which means that posing pulls the strap loose if you’re not careful.  Rather minor issues, though.  Zodac’s color work sticks to the classic set-up, with red, grey, and white.  It’s largely molded plastic coloring, but there’s some paint work on the head and torso armor.  It works out pretty well, and the application’s all pretty slick and clean.  Zodac is packed with two sets of hands, his weird sci-fi gun, as well as a staff piece, which can be split in two for storage.  Unfortunately, my figure was missing half of his staff, but Max was kind enough to loan me his for the review photos.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

So, it would seem I’ve apparently added Zodac to the list of Masters characters I’m buying in every style.  I didn’t really see that happening.  Certainly not with Zodac with a “c”.  Zodak with a “k”, perhaps.  But Zodac?  Well, I guess I have a soft spot for this goofy space guy.  This figure’s a pretty fun one.  I like the classic design with just those very slight updates.  The figure’s got a few little minor flaws, but he’s very fun, and I like that a lot.  Still holding out for that Zodak re-deco, though.

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.

#3226: Air Assault Batman

AIR ASSAULT BATMAN

BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES (KENNER)

“Gotham City’s most dangerous villains have escaped from Arkham Asylum! In order to save humanity. BATMAN and ROBIN have armed themselves with special rapid-deployment techno-cape backpack equipment and highly- camouflaged suits to track down every last criminal- no matter where they are hiding! Join the BATMAN Crime Squad on their life or death mission to save humanity from its most dangerous enemies!”

Last Friday, Kevin Conroy passed away.  Though perhaps not a household name, he was well known through the world of fandom as the voice of Batman for three decades.  He was the definitive voice for the character, and the one that legions of Bat-fans hear in their voice whenever they think of the character.  Like so many greats, I never met Kevin Conroy, but I’ve heard plenty of stories from people that did that support that, outside of being the definitive Batman, he was also just a really great person, who very genuinely appreciated the support of his fans.  Batman: The Animated Series launched the year I was born, so, for me, Kevin was always Batman.  There was no time where he wasn’t the voice I heard in my head, and his portrayal shaped my view on the character almost entirely.  It’s going to be very odd to not hear him as Batman in future projects.  But, there’s no denying the impact he had, and the legacy he left behind.  So, in his honor, today I’m taking a look at a Batman figure.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Air Assault Batman was released in 1995 as part of the “Crime Stoppers” sub-branding of Kenner’s Batman: The Animated Series tie-in line.  “Crime Stoppers” was designed as Kenner’s justification for doing a bunch of wacky Batman and Robin variants, under the trappings that these new suits were designed to aid in rounding up a bunch of escaped villains.  The first series has six Batmen and one Robin, and notably no actual villains for them to stop.  This guy was very areal themed, as you might guest from his name.  The figure stands about 5 inches tall and he has 5 points of articulation.  His sculpt was largely unique, apart from sharing his head with all of the standard Kenner Batmen from the line.  The head was, admittedly, a pretty good recreation of the animation model, so it’s a respectable re-use.  The body sculpt was new, and sports a bit of an armored up look. Presumably, it’s to help combat g-force, or something like that.  It also looks pretty sweet, so it’s got that going for it.  The extra armoring details are rather fun, and do a rather nice job of changing him up a bit from the basic Batman look.  The color scheme on this guy goes for a very sky-oriented look.  He’s largely a light blue shade, with some white accenting that got a sort of art deco kind of patterning to it.  It’s funky, and honestly doesn’t feel too out of place with the overall aesthetic of the line.  The finish on mine has taken a bit of a beating over the years, but it’s not as bad as some in my collection.  Air Assault Batman only included one accessory, but it was the source of his whole gimmick: his Transforming Techno-Wing Backpack, perfect for all your assaulting in the air needs!  It’s honestly a pretty fun piece, with a bunch of moving parts, and just a cool overall look.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This figure’s pretty notable, because, while he’s not my first Batman (that was this guy), he’s still a very early one, more than likely my second, and very definitely my first Animated Batman figure.  I got him for Christmas in 1995, alongside my very first Robin, which sort of cemented the two of them as a pair, especially given their similar gimmicks.  He got a lot of play time as my go-to Batman, until I had more standard versions to replace him (and even then, he just got shifted to being Earth-2 Batman for all of my JLA/JSA cross overs).  And, of course, he always sounded like Kevin Conroy in my head.  Thank you for everything you did, Kevin.