Flashback Friday Figure Addendum #0014: Cyclops

Hi-dy-ho-there readers!  It’s Friday again, and you know what that means: another Flashback Friday Figure Addendum!  We’re going to continue trending with the Marvel thing today, and take a look back at another one of my Toy Biz X-Men reviews.  Let’s have a second look at the very first Toy Biz Cyclops(es), shall we?

Toy Biz may have become one of the most prominent toy makers in the industry in the late 90s, but less than a decade before that, they were just a small upstart company that was recovering from having totally tanked the DC Comics license. In a move baffling to pretty much everyone at the time, Marvel Comics decided to give them a second chance at the world of comics. They kicked off things with a line of figures based on Marvel’s premiere super-team at the time, the X-Men! And, why not take a look at their very first take on the very first X-Man, Cyclops.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Cyclops was released as part of the first series of Toy Biz’s X-Men line. He was available in two different color schemes. He was originally released in his second X-Factor costume (which he had JUST replaced in the comics), and when the first series was re-released he was also available in his classic Dave Cockrum costume. I, of course, have both. Both figures stand right at 5 inches tall and feature 8 points of articulation. The heads don’t move, due to the inclusion of a light-up feature for the visor. Unfortunately, there was no way to remove and replace the batteries to this feature, so both of my figures lost this feature years ago. Also, this feature results in a rather noticeable lever on the back of both figures. But what about the actual sculpt? Well, there’s no denying that this figure shows its age. The proportions are somewhat cartoony, and the details are rather primitive and basic. He does have sculpted outlines for the white parts of his costume which is pretty neat (for the X-Factor version, at least). I don’t know if anybody else remembers the Dial M for Monkey segments from Dexter’s Laboratory, but I can’t help but see Monkey when I look at Cyclops’ head sculpt, and I feel like that wasn’t Toy Biz’s intention. It’s not a terrible sculpt; this guy just doesn’t have quite the presence of the comics version of the esteemed Mr. Summers. The paint is where these two diverge. The original X-Factor version is the one with the big white X on his chest, and it’s pretty decently painted, with most of the details staying where they’re supposed to. There’s some slop on the edges of the boots and gloves, but that’s really it. The second, Cockrum-based version adds a few more colors and gets rid of the white. He’s got the same issue with the boots and gloves, but is otherwise pretty well handled. However, he’s stuck by one issue that doesn’t hit the first Cyclops: his paint clearly doesn’t line up with the figures sculpted outlines. It’s not the most noticeable thing ever, and Toy Biz didn’t originally intend for this sculpt to be used for both costumes, so it’s pretty easy to overlook. Both Cyclops included a weird blaster thing that clipped over the figures’ hands. It was strange and completely made up for the toys.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The X-Factor Cyclops is actually my very first Cyclops action figure, purchased for me by my Dad one of our many runs to the local KB Toys, just as I was getting into this whole collecting thing. I had the choice of either paint scheme, but I went with this one, I think due to it being closer to his look from the cartoon. The second version was a later addition to my collection, after the figures had left most retail stores. I picked him up from my local comicbook store, Cosmic Comix, who just happened to have one. Neither of these figures has aged very well, but I do still have a bit of a nostalgic love for both of them.

I was intending to open this discussion with “hey, this review’s pretty recent,” but it was posted back in October of 2015.  That’s not forever ago, but it *has* been more than a year and a half.  Time flies, huh?  This review hit right around the time that I started putting actual effort into making sure my older items were finding their way onto the review schedule, following a summer that was rather jam-packed with newly-acquired figures.  He was also almost the pick for my final Year 2 review, but I opted for Nightwing instead, since I’d reviewed the Toy Biz Havok for my final Year 1 review.

I think my review for this figure was pretty on point.  It’s definitely a goofy figure, no denying that.  I can’t say there’s really anything else I feel I should have touched on.  During The Find, I dug out that strange blaster thing that both figures included.  It’s definitely odd.  I had no clue what this was supposed to be, but now my figures have their’s again, so, you know, there it is.

And thus end the Flashback Friday Figure Addendums.  Well, for the foreseeable future, anyway.  Thanks for reading!

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Flashback Friday Figure Addendum #0013: Quicksilver

Hey ho, it’s Friday at The Figure in Question, so welcome to another Flashback Friday Figure Addendum!  Today I once more dive back into my extensive archive of Marvel-centered reviews, taking a look at Quicksilver.  Quicksilver was originally reviewed in May of 2015, a month that is notable because it’s a month that was completely made-up of Marvel reviews.  Not even on purpose either!

Countdown to Avengers: Age of Ultron: 7 days remaining.

Alright, we just took a look at Scarlet Witch and Hawkeye, two of the most important Avengers in my books. They both joined the team back in Avengers #16, along with the subject of today’s review, Quicksilver. They were led by Captain America and dubbed “Cap’s Kooky Quartet.” Yeah, it was the 60s. Anyway, Quicksilver is an Avenger of moderate importance, though he’s not quite on the same level as the other two. Still, he’s an important guy, and seeing as he’s Scarlet Witch’s twin brother, it’s a little difficult to have one without the other. Plus he had that fantastic scene in X-Men: Days of Future Past, so he’s going places. Let’s look at one of his action figures!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Quicksilver was released in ToyBiz’s 90s X-Men line as part of their infamous “Muntant Armor” series. The figure was available in two possible decos: his classic blue and white and his current (at the time) white and grey. This one, in case you hadn’t already noted, is the white and grey, which, for those interested, was designed by legendary artist George Perez when he helped re-launch The Avengers in the 90s. The figure is 5 inches tall and has 11 points of articulation. Quicksilver was built on one of ToyBiz’s recurring male bodies of their 5 inch lines, which first popped up in the sixth series of ToyBiz’s Spider-Man line. It’s a pretty decent sculpt, with a nice, lean look, and a decent amount of movement. The only real downside is the left hand, which was hastily retooled from a web-shooting pose, resulting in a rather strange looking fist. In addition to the base body, Quicksilver features a head that is sort of new. The facial structure is the same as that of the “Battle Brigade” series Archangel, but the hair is completely new, giving us Pietro’s signature ‘do. The face is actually a lot better for Quicksilver than it was for Archangel, and the hair is very nicely handled, so it works very well. The figure’s paintwork is generally pretty well-done, though mine has taken its fair share of wear and tear. The lines are a bit fuzzy in some places, but overall the figure is pretty decent. The semi-metallic sheen on the dark grey parts is actually pretty cool, so there’s that. Quicksilver was packed with a stands shaped like a dust cloud and some sort of strange machine gun thing. Most intriguing about this is that he doesn’t actually have any armor, not even of the “Muntant” variety.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I got Quicksilver at a local toyshow, which my dad took me to, probably about 15 years ago. I remember that I was never able to find either of the Quicksilver figures when they were at retail. My dad had the blue and white version, but my collection was sadly Quicksilver-less. So, when I found this guy, I was pretty excited. I didn’t have a choice in deco, but I actually like this one, so it worked out. This figure’s still a pretty strong figure, even after almost 20 years. I’m certainly glad I found one!

Oh man, this review was part of my rather lengthy countdown to Age of Ultron’s release.  I was very excited for that movie.  It’s funny to see my line about him “going places” seeing as the MCU Quicksilver won’t be going much of anywhere.  You didn’t see that coming?

My actual review for this guy is pretty solid, I think.  It’s worth nothing that, despite this being the fourth figure I reviewed on this body, I do believe it’s the first time I actually reviewed it.  I kept referencing the Fallen figure’s review, but I never actually discussed the body there at all.  Pro tip, guys: re-read the reviews you reference.

During The Find, I dug up this guy’s little dust cloud base thingy.  It was re-used from the X-Men 2099 line’s Mean Streak figure.  Quicksilver’s feet slide into the two slots, and he looks like he’s running.  I guess.  There are also wheels on the bottom, so you can push him around like he’s a parade float or something.  Nifty.

I still like this guy a lot.  One of these days, I’ll need to track down the other costume.

Flashback Friday #0012: Green Goblin

Hello and welcome to another Friday at the Figure in Question!  It’s time for another Flashback Friday Figure Addendum!  Today, I’m taking a look at another Green Goblin figure, specifically the one from the ‘90s Spider-Man line.  This is from back *before* he was Willem Dafoe.

Alright guys, after a brief stop over into the strange bizzaro world of The Stapler in Question, we are back at home with the action figures. Yay! So, back in the 90s, the 5-inch scale Marvel figures, produced by the very much at the height of their game ToyBiz were totally my jam. The figures were (at least loosely) based on the then current cartoons. Amongst those cartoons was Spider-Man: The Animated Series, which ended up with a fairly nice toyline of its own, at least for a few series. So, let’s have a look at one of Spidey’s greatest foes, the Green Goblin, as he was presented in said line.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Green Goblin was released as part of Series 3 of ToyBiz’s Spider-Man line. The cartoon did this odd thing where Hobgoblin preceded Green Goblin, which resulted in Hobs taking the Goblin slot in Series 1. And Goblins never go for even numbered series. That’s just not how they roll. The figure is about 5 inches tall, with 9 points of articulation. He’s pretty much standard for a ToyBiz figure of the time. He’s based on the character’s animated appearance, which itself was a fairly faithful recreation of the comics design. Mostly, it just comes down to style cues, resulting in a slightly “friendlier” looking Goblin. Surprisingly, Green Goblin got his own sculpt, which shared no pieces with Series 1’s Hobgoblin. I think that may be the only time these two have both appeared in a line with no re-use at all. Impressive. The sculpt itself ends up being quite impressive, with not only some pretty good proportions, but also some killer texturing, especially on the scaly arms and legs. They aren’t super-detailed like some of the sculpts that followed, but they are a great example of using just enough detail to suggest the rest (which, incidentally, is how Goblin was drawn for most of his classic appearances). Also, it’s an odd thing to point out, but this figure has some of the best hand sculpts of any figure from this time. Most were molded in a generic clasping positon, but Goblin has one splayed as if it’s just thrown a pumpkin bomb and one in a pointing position. I don’t know what he’s pointing at, but at least it’s different. Goblin’s paintwork isn’t quite up to the same level as the sculpt, but it’s pretty much on par with just about everything else being offered at the time. The colors match up pretty well to the show’s design. The colors don’t so much match up to themselves, however. The purple ends up changing a few times over the course of the figure, which is rather distracting. There is also some rather noticeable bleed over around the edges of the gloves and boots, and the edges on the shorts aren’t even close to being even. Green Goblin included his faithful goblin glider (which even launched missiles) and a pumpkin, but pesky child-Ethan lost them!

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As into the ToyBiz Marvel stuff as I was as a kid, I actually ended up avoiding a lot of the Spider-Man line. The cartoon never really gripped me like the others, so I just never really had the connection. So, Goblin here wasn’t part of my “initial collection.” He was a later acquisition, fished out of a bin of low priced figures at a nearby comic book store sometime around the mid-00s. I don’t know exactly why I picked him up, but I imagine I was just filling in some gaps in the collection at low prices. Going back to review this guy, he surprised me. With most of the 5-inch figures, the nostalgia filter is firmly in place, but not for this one, and yet he still impressed me. That really says something.

Ah yes, this was the first review following 2015’s “Stapler In Question” gag, which was my second April Fools Day post.  I had originally pegged this figure as the subject of that year’s gag post, but I couldn’t come up with any good gimmicks, so he was pushed back a day, and the Stapler replaced him.

My review for this guy was pretty on point.  I had thoroughly shaken the off slump that plagued a chunk of my 2014 reviews, and was back to having some more fun with the writing again.  It probably helps that he immediately followed my SiQ review, which really reignited my writing spirit.  It should be noted that this was my second-to-last review to be published using one of my old catalogue shots.  He still had a Wilson photo I’d shot later, but I apparently deemed the original lead photo as “good enough.”  Not something I’d do nowadays, or even a month after for that matter.

Missing from my original review were his Goblin Glider and pumpkin bomb.  They cropped up during The Find.  Still don’t have the glider’s missiles, and technically there should be a second bomb, but I’m calling this close enough.   The glider is a little on the flat side, but not a bad piece for the time, and it’s honestly not noticeably worse than any of the other pack-in gliders we’ve gotten (barring the Famous Covers one, because that thing is goddamned perfection).  The pumpkin bomb could actually plug into the base of GG’s right hand, allowing for some pretty sweet posing options.  Nice forethought on that guys!

I was pleasantly surprised by this guy when I reviewed him the first time, and I’m still surprised by how much I like him now.  And, as an added bonus, he’s even more complete!

Flashback Friday Figure Addendum #0011: Johann Kraus

Hey ho, it’s another Friday, which means it’s time for another Flashback Friday Figure Addendum!  Today, I move away from Marvel and DC and set my sights on another big comics company, Dark Horse, specifically the Hellboy side of things.  Let’s have a second look at the esteemed Johann Kraus!

I came in somewhat late to the Hellboy scene. My first interaction with the characters and story was the release of the first Hellboy movie in 2004. I saw the movie with a group of friends and had no expectations at all. I actually thought that Abe Sapien was supposed to be the villain! Anyway, the movie was really good, and I was hooked on all things Hellboy. Mezco Toys had the license for the movie, and I picked up a few figures from that line, and then Mezco decided to move onto a line of figures based on the comicbooks. Today, I’ll be looking at that line’s version of the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense’s resident expert on ectoplasmic stuff, Johann Kraus.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Johann was released as part of the second series of comicbook-inspired Hellboy line from Mezco Toys. He stands a little over 7 inches tall and features 15 points of articulation. He’s based on Johann as Mike Mignola drew him. Seeing as Mignola originated the design, that’s a good call. The sculpt does a pretty good job of translating Mignola’s 2D drawings to 3D, which was no easy feat, I’m sure. They’ve incorporated some great texture work all around, which captures the gritty look of the series very nicely. The paint is serviceable, with some pretty decent dry brushing all around. They’ve used a semi-translucent paint on his head, which works nicely to capture his ectoplasmic look. Sadly, my figure has a scratch on his face, which brings the work down a bit, but I’d be exceptionally happy were that not the case. Johann included a spare set of hands to simulate his ectoplasmic powers at work.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I got Johann from my local comic store (Cosmic Comix) when series two was first released. Shortly after the release of the first Hellboy movie, I picked up an issue of Hellboy Weird Tales, which among other things, contained a story that focused on Johann. It was my first interaction with the character, and I enjoyed him immensely. So, when the figure came out I knew I definitely wanted one. I never got any of the other comicbook Hellboy figures, but Johann is still very entertaining, and a great representation of the character.

Right, I forgot I went through this second period of brevity about 3/4 of the way through my first year.  A lot of these reviews were written during a visit with Super Awesome Girlfriend early that summer, and I didn’t actually have the figures with me, which kind of shows, if I’m honest.

First off, I incorrectly listed the articulation; he has 17 points, not 15.  Not a huge difference, but lets get those facts straight, shall we?  Aside from that, my review of this guy wasn’t too bad.  I mean, it’s kinda short, and only briefly touches on everything, but at least nothing major got left out.  The first time around, my figure was missing his extra hands with the ectoplasm attachments.  I found those during The Find, and I’m really glad, because they add a lot of life to the figure.

That outro is, of course, now inaccurate, since I did eventually pick up both Lobster Johnson and Roger, just last year.  But, for a while, this guy was the only one I had, and that wasn’t so bad.

Flashback Friday Figure Addendum #0010: Green Goblin

Oh yeah, it’s Friday!  You know what that means: it’s time for another installment of Flashback Friday Figure Addendum!  Today, we flip back over to the Marvel side of things, with long-time Spidey foe Green Goblin, from back when he was Willem Dafoe!

The first Spider-Man movie may have been surpassed by other superhero movies in recent years, but when it was released it was my favorite superhero movie, and remained in that spot until it was dislodged by its sequel. The movie was also one of the earliest comicbook based movies to get a decent tie-in toyline, on par with, and perhaps even better than the comic stuff at the time. I’m certain it surprises no one that I owned a few of the figures from that toyline, and today I’ll be looking at one of the figures of the film’s big bad, the Green Goblin.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Goblin was part of the first series of Spider-Man movie figures. The figure stands 6 inches tall and features 38 points of articulation. He has an all new sculpt based on Willem Dafoe’s performance as the character in the film. It’s a pretty good sculpt and, whether you like the suit or not, it’s a good representation of the suit’s design. Under the figure’s removable mask is an unmasked Norman Osborn head, which bares more than a passing resemblance to Dafoe. The resemblance might be a bit closer were it not for the slick back hair style, but it was necessary in order to facilitate the removable mask feature. The mask is a well done piece and is essentially a scaled down version of the real thing, though it is missing the backing it had in the movie. This is once again to aid the removability. The paintwork is cleanly applied, with no real issues with slop or bleed over. His skin tone is a tad too yellow for my tastes, but only a tad. The figure came packaged with his goblin glider and a flight stand, but both of mine have been lost. Sorry!

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I got Green Goblin from the KB Toys in my local mall shortly after the first series was released. That would have been a few months before the release of the movie. For some reason, I wanted Green Goblin, but none of the other figures in the series. So, I only had the Goblin for a while. He’s a quality figure for sure, but that goblin costume looks worse every time I see it.

Okay, so first of all, I feel the need to apologize for the complete lack of a shot of his unmasked face in the original review.  I’m not sure how that got completely left out.  It’s now been added as part of his Wilson photo.

This was another short review, though it does hit on most of the major points.  Perhaps I should try for brevity more often? Nah, that’s silly!  Anyway, as nice as the actual details on the costume are, the actual body they’ve been placed on is rather oddly proportioned, and suffers from a lack of any useful articulation on the torso.  Still, he’s on par with most of the early Marvel Legends and Spider-Man Classics, so he’s not awful.  Missing from my original review was his Goblin Glider, which I discovered during The Find.  It was actually split between several different boxes, so finding the whole thing was quite an accomplishment.  It’s honestly one of the best parts of this figure.  There’s a ton of detail and it’s not undersized like so many of the gliders end up being.  There’s even some slight articulation, so you can get him posed on it just right.

This guy feels a lot more complete now.  His design’s still really, really goofy, but this was a pretty fun figure for its time, and it was honestly the best Goblin Toy Biz put out until the Series 13 Legends release.

Flashback Friday Figure Addendum #0009: Power Armor Batman

Hey guys!  It’s Friday, and you know what that means!  It’s time for another Flashback Friday Figure Addendum!  Today, I set my sites back on DC, specially Power Armor Batman from Kenner’s Batman Beyond tie-in line!

In the 90s, the DC Animated Universe was in its prime. Kenner held the license for the toys, and they were doing some pretty great stuff too. Batman: The Animated Series got a great line, with the majority of the characters seeing release. Sure, it wasn’t all winners, but it was a decent line.  Superman: The Animated Series came along, and while Kenner didn’t quite have the nice selection that B:TAS had gotten, most of the key characters had been released in their basic looks. And then, there was Batman Beyond. Oh, boy was there Batman Beyond. The show was great, but the toyline released along with it was… strange to say the least. For starters, they never actually released a proper normal Batman, and the supporting cast and villains were pretty much non-existent. They weren’t bad toys per say, but they didn’t do the cartoon justice. Case in point, today I’ll be looking at the line’s release of BB’s alter ego, Terry McGuinness, wearing that red and gray power armor he was so known to wear…

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Okay, officially, this wasn’t a Terry McGuinness figure. He was actually labeled “Power Armor Batman” on the box. Let’s be real here: people didn’t buy this figure because it was “Power Armor Batman,” they wanted the Terry McGuinness head. Anyway, the figure was released in one of the later assortments of the first series of Kenner’s Batman Beyond line. The figure stands a little over 5 inches tall and features 5 points of articulation. Kenner were big fans of the 5 and 5 set-up. From a purely technical standpoint, the sculpted work on the figure is pretty top notch. The circuits in his underlying suit look great, and the head is the spitting image of Terry’s appearance on the show. Stylistically, the figure’s body sculpt is completely wrong for the designs of the show, but it was in keeping with the rest of the line, so at least Kenner was consistent. The paint work is passable, with no real slop or bleed over (though mine has suffered some minor wear). For some reason, they’ve gone with a bright red and gray color scheme. Terry’s Batsuit on the show had red circuitry, so I suppose that’s what they were going for, but the light gray armor is just plain weird. The figure was accessorized with several snap-on armor pieces, a removable helmet, and a robotic bird. It’s red, green and yellow, so maybe they were going for a Robin thing? Yep, according to the package, it’s a strike R.O.B.I.N. Okay then.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Odd variants aside, I was very excited for the Batman Beyond line at the time of its release. I actually recall seeing this figure at the store several months before I actually got one. I saw the figure on a trip to the store with my parents, who told me I’d have to get it some other time. Little did they know that it would end up being one of the harder to find figures in the line. So, months went by, and I just assumed I’d missed my chance at the figure. Then, on another routine trip to the store, I wandered to the toy aisle, where I found this figure, as well as Blight. My parents were more than happy to get them for me this time around. As strange as this line was, I still have a major soft spot for those two figures in particular. Plus, they actually are pretty good toys!

This review was after I’d passed 200, so  for all intents and purposes it’s effectively a modern review.  It remains the only figure I’ve looked at from this line, a whole 1000 reviews later, which means I’ve yet to get a chance to really touch on how odd this toyline was.  I mean, this guy was actually one of the more faithful figures, and he’s still really off.  Maybe Kenner was wanting to keep these figures consistent with Total Justice and JLA?  It’s odd, because they were still running the TNBA line at this point, so you’d think they’d have wanted the two lines to be compatible, right?  I don’t know.

During The Find, I uncovered that damned R.O.B.I.N. sidekick animal thing.  It makes about as much sense as the rest of the line, I suppose.  I also found one piece of the clip-on armor, but sadly the rest of it’s still missing.  Maybe it’ll turn up one day!  At least it was the other arm piece, so he looks a little more symmetrical now.

Oh, and there’s another piece of the Me Half of the Equation that I left out initially.  I noted that I found Blight at the same time as this figure, after looking for both of them for several months?  Well, I actually found Blight first, and eagerly ran back to my parents with him in tow.  When I showed him to them, they, in their wisdom that is far beyond mine, suggested that this guy might be there too.  So, I went back to the aisle, and, sure enough, someone had cleverly hidden him behind the other, goofier Batman variants.  This figure still makes me pretty happy, truth be told, as goofy as he may be!

Flashback Figure Friday #0008: Robin

Hey, look at that, I missed another Friday.  Last week was pretty jam-packed, and I barely had the time to right Friday’s main review, much less a second feature.  Nevertheless, I apologize to all of you who were expecting one of these last week!

This week’s Flashback Friday Figure Addendum is actually less an addendum, and more me going back and finally writing a proper review for #0166: Robin.  Why?  You’ll see in a second.

Okay guys and gals, hang on tight. The site is about to go off! No, not like “off” off. It’s still gonna be here. It’s going off in a metaphorical sense, because today, we’ll be looking at one of the greatest entries into the world of action figures ever.

This figure hails from the very first Batman line released once Mattel had picked up the DC license. I know I’ve been hard on Mattel in the past, but it’s only because I’ve been trying to hold them to the standards they set for themselves so early into their run. You see, this Batman line was important, but not for the ways you think. Oh, sure the Batmen were cool and all (especially those sweet neon colored gun-toting variants!), but the real star of this line was Robin! So, let’s have a look at the greatest toy to ever grace shelves!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Robin was the flagship figure of the first series of Batman. He was the real heavy hitter of the wave, there so that Mattel could take chances on the Joker and Martial Arts Batman. He stands about 5 inches tall, and has 10 points of articulation, which may seem like a low number, but they had to take that awesome sculpt into account. Speaking of that awesome sculpt: has Robin ever looked this cool before? I mean, they really out did themselves. I’ve always found that a bad head sculpt can ruin a great figure. In this case, Mattel has wisely chosen to leave off the head so as to avoid any potential issue. This is the first time I’ve ever truly believed that Robin could make people think he’s anyone other than Tim Drake. I mean, Tim Drake has a head and Robin doesn’t. Can’t be the same guy! I’d also love to commend Mattel on the body sculpt, which perfectly captures Robin’s physique. I mean, those muscles are so realistic! And the torso’s straight posture coupled with the relaxed muscles everywhere else? Perfection. I’m heartbroken to say that I lost the accessories included with Robin. He had his ever present Blade-Shield thingy with his logo on it, which was such an important staple of the character at the time. It even launched discs! Who doesn’t need one of those?

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I knew as soon as I saw the prototype pictures of this figure back in 2003 that it was going to be the figure to own. So, naturally, I spent all my time searching for this figure at every nearby store, day and night. Eventually I found one, and after sucker punching a four year old and his grandmother to get it, finally the figure was in my possession!

Yeah, so this was my first April Fool’s Day post.  It’s almost quaint, isn’t it?  This review was more a joke thing than anything.  Now a days, I’d have written the review both ways, but the figure was quite incomplete at the time.  Since I finally found this guy’s freaking head, I guess I can actually review him now!

The figure, officially titled “Battle Board Robin,” was released in the first series of Mattel’s 2003 Batman line.  Robin stands about 6 inches tall and has 11 points of articulation.  The main hook of this line at the time was that they’d brought in the Four Horsemen (who had just helped Mattel relaunch Masters of the Universe) to sculpt most of the figures, including the Bat-variants.  There was one exception to this in the first series.  Care to guess who it was?  Yep, it was this here Robin figure, which was handled by Mattel’s in-house team.  In their defense, it’s actually a decent enough sculpt.  It doesn’t look quite as good as the  prototype did, but what figure does?  His muscles are sort of impossible, and I’ve always disliked how stiff he was, bit there are some nice things about the sculpt.  The boots in particular look pretty solid.  But how about that head that I finally found after all these years?  Well, full disclosure: the reason it was missing when I found him was because I had fully intended to replace it with another one.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t particularly good at sculpting at 12, so the replacement I made wasn’t much better.  Ultimately, this one’s okay, but not my favorite Robin head.  I think it’s got a lot to do with the hair, which just doesn’t really look like anything Tim ever sported.  Also, still missing from the figure is his cape.  It was just two pieces of fabric glued together, and was too thick and short to actually hang realistically.  It’s kind of exhibit A of why I prefer capes to be sculpted.  In terms of paint, this figure was fairly basic colors.  For some reason the gloves are black.  Don’t know why, never did.  The accents on the muscles and some of the other sculpted work actually weren’t standard to the figure; I added them around the time that I tried replacing the head.  I really wanted to salvage this figure for some reason.  His only accessory was his titular Battle Board, which was really just a disc launcher than he could also stand on.  It was an odd choice.

There’s actually not a particularly exciting figure regarding the acquisition of this figure.  He, Joker, and the basic (Zipline) Batman were all really hard to find when these figures started hitting stores.  I eventually found him at the KB Toys near where my family vacationed (I got him alongside some Star Trek: Nemesis figures.  Oh what a joyous day that was).  He’s not awful, but he’s also not super great.  The saddest thing is that Mattel never actually returned to this design for Robin (apart from an inaccurate repaint of the later DCUC figure), so this is the best there is from them.   

Flashback Friday Figure Addendum #0007: Savage Land Angel

Another Friday, another Flashback Friday Figure Addendum!  This one’s another look back at Toy Biz’s epic line of 5-inch Marvel figures, with Savage Land Angel!

The 90s X-Men line!  Now there was a line.  I haven’t really looked at this line yet on the site, aside from the Original Members Boxed Set, which wasn’t actually part of the line.  But in the 90s, the X-Men were the big thing.  They had a TV show, their comics sold millions, and they had one of the most comprehensive toy lines to date.  There was a Cho’d action figure for God’s sake!  Towards the end of the line, they began to run out of new characters to release, so they started doing these theme waves with rereleases of the main characters.  One of those theme waves was a set of figures based on the X-Men’s many trips to the Savage Land.  It featured figures of the X-Men in tattered “Savage Land” uniforms.  Today, I’ll be looking at the Angel figure from that line.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

So, as I said above, Angel here hails from the Savage Land series of Toy Biz’s 5-inch X-Men line.  He stands roughly 5 inches tall and has 11 points of articulation.  If you read the review of the Fallen, you’ve seen a lot of this figure before.   He shares all but his head, arms and feet with that figure.  The head was actually one that saw frequent reuse over at Toy Biz, and I know this wasn’t the first figure to use it, but I honestly don’t know what was.   Anyway, it works fine here, though it might be a bit scowly for a pre-Archangel Warren Worthington.  The figure’s look is mostly done through paint, which depicts a tattered version of Angel’s blue and white costume from the silver age*.   It’s cool to see this costume here, but a bit disappointing that the costume never got a proper release.  Angel at one point featured a pair of (very small) wings, a gray vest with an X-logo, and some weird claw thing that attached to his wrist, but I lost most of those pieces many years ago.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I got this figure on one of my many trips the KB Toys outlet in Rehoboth Beach.  I was very excited to get it because Angel figures were a bit of a rarity in the 90s.  I know I really liked this guy, and for reasons I can’t fathom at this point, I know he spent a lot of time in my Ghostbusters Ecto-1.

Well, that’s not an awful review.  Still a bit shorter than the average review nowadays, but not horribly so.  I actually listed off all of the relevant information for the figure, and even referenced re-used parts and everything (though, rather amusingly, the Fallen pieces I referenced weren’t even discussed in my The Fallen review).

When I last reviewed this figure, he was missing both of his wings and the little wrist claw, both of which were returned to him during The Find.  The wings are rather on the small side, but detailed nicely enough.  I’m not really even sure what the claw supposed to be, but there it is.  Still missing is the grey cloth vest.  Also, I didn’t mention this previously, but each figure in the Savage Land series included a creature figure of some sort.  Angel included a small Sauron figure, which I still haven’t found.  Maybe he’ll turn up one of these days and I can write a *second* addendum.

Flashback Friday Figure Addendum #0006: Ultron

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Alright, it’s time for another Flashback Friday Figure Addendum!  Today’s figure is another Toy Biz Marvel entry, though this one’s from a bit later in the reviews.  Let’s have a second look at Avengers: United They Stand’s Ultron!

Ah, yes, Avengers: United They Stand.  Poor A:UTS. it gets a lot of hate and I’m not certain it deserves it.  Perhaps it wasn’t the greatest depiction of the Avengers to grace the small screen(That honor goes to the more recent Earth’s Mightiest Heroes), but I didn’t think it was all that bad.  The designs and animation may be late 90s over complication at its finest, but I thought the characterization was actually nicely done, and I loved the fact that the focus was on the slightly lesser known Avengers instead of Cap, Iron Man, and Thor.  One of my other favorite things was the tie-in toyline, which is what I’ll look at today.  In particular, the toy counterpart of the shows recurring antagonist: Ultron!  This isn’t the first time Ultron’s been mentioned on this blog.  I previously mentioned him in passing in my Vision review, where I mentioned Ultron was the creator of Vision.  Ultron himself was the creation of Avengers founding member Hank Pym, aka Ant-Man, aka Giant-Man, aka Goliath, aka Yellow Jacket, aka Wasp, aka Dude with serious identity issues!  Ultron rebelled on his creator and became a powerful Avengers foe.  He’s also set to be the villain in the upcoming Avengers sequel.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Ultron was released as part of the first wave of Toy Biz’s Avengers:United They Stand tie-in line.  Ultron had several different looks over the course of the show, but this one seems to be a bit of an amalgam of the various looks, with the largest portion of influence coming from his appearance in the show’s first two episodes.   He stands just over 5 inches tall, and features 11 points of articulation (13 if you count the moving knee-pads).  Ultron is a completely new sculpt.  It’s well done, and quite detailed, especially for its time of release.  In particular, the head really captures the look of the character.  The paint is pretty well done, being mostly all one color; a nice bluish silver.  There’s a wash over the whole figure to help bring out the details.  The figure also features a light-up feature.  By pressing the button on Ultron’s waist, you could make the figure’s eyes and mouth light up.  It’s a neat feature that helps to further simulate the look of the character from the show and comics.  At one point, Ultron had a large cannon that hooked onto his right arm, but I’ve since lost that piece.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

My dad bought Ultron for me when he was initially released.  We happened to stop at a Toys R Us and there he was.  He was one of the last figures I acquired from the line.  It wasn’t because I didn’t want one, but because the A:UTS figures were quite difficult to find initially, so I kind of got them when I saw them.  Growing up, he was the closest thing I had to a classic Ultron.  Because of that, I have quite the soft spot for him.

Okay, now we’re getting somewhere!  This review is from my second month writing reviews, and you can start to see some of the regular review features coming into play.  Height, articulation and paint are all actually addressed this time.  And I even made it past 500 words!  Granted, most of it was the intro, but still.  Also, this is my first Flashback to a post-random review period. Cool.  Cool cool cool.

My actual review was pretty on point for this guy.  The only thing missing was his big ol’ arm cannon, which was amongst the many items excavated during The Find.  It’s goofy, but also manages to match pretty well with the rest of the figure stylistically, and, amazingly, it doesn’t impede his movement when attached (of course, the shoulder’s still a bit restricted thanks to the wiring that allows it to light up).  Also, I neglected to mention in my original review that Ultra’s sculpt, was an early product of the fine folks at Art Asylum, who would later launch one of the best Trek lines ever put into plastic, as well as creating my favorite brand of all time, Minimates.

I’ve actually got a story about this one! As a kid, I lost this figure around Christmas time and couldn’t locate him for a whole year.  Come the next Christmas, I put on my robe I wore one a year on Christmas morning and found this guy in the pocket.  Seems I’d stowed him there for safekeeping the prior year and total forgotten.  To date, this figure remains my favorite figure of Ultron, so I’m happy he wasn’t missing for too long!

Flashback Friday Figure Addendum #0005: Terrax

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It’s Friday again, and you guys know what that means: another Flashback Friday Figure addendum!  This week, I’m moving away from the Batman Forever stuff, and jumping over to one of my earlier Toy Biz Marvel reviews, Terrax!

Today’s review is another Fantastic Four figure, this is the last of the wave one reviews: Terrax.  There was one other figure in the first wave, Benjamin J Grimm, aka the Thing, but I didn’t have that version.  I had the later wave 3 version.  And can I just address the fact that I’m reviewing Terrax, but I’ve yet to get to the Human Torch and the Invisible Woman? You know the other HALF of the title team!  How exactly did TERRAX get himself a spot in the line before two of the title characters?  He’s really not that great a character, nor has he ever really been all that important…ever.  Anyway…

THE FIGURE ITSELF

So like I said before, this is Terrax, the second herald of Galactus, part of the first wave of Toybiz’s FF line.  He’s depicted here in Terrax’s only look ever, which must have made the costume choice pretty easy for the guys at Toybiz.  At one point in time, Terrax had a rock stand and his trusty axe (which tears through stuff.  Clever name….).  Mine doesn’t have these items any more.  The figure’s actually a very good depiction of Terrax, which is nice because he’s not one of those characters who gets many chances at having an action figure made.  His hands are interesting, because they’re both molded to hold his axe, but due to their vertical placement and his limited articulation, he can only hold it in one hand at a time.  This leaves the other hand with this thumbs up position.  What is this guy, the Fonz? (AAAAAAAAY!)  Actually, that might make his character a bit more interesting.  You heard it here first Marvel! (Do they even realize that this character exists?)

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Terrax was another of the gift figures.  It’s fine because he’s a great, big, bad guy for your heroes to fight.  That was always good enough for me!

Okay, by this point I was starting to get into the swing of things.  Over 300 words and an actual intro.  Still doesn’t quite follow my modern structuring, but not terrible at all.  And of course, I was still doing full series reviews at this point, which is rather different than how I do things now.

Terrax is a little over 5 inches tall and has 9 points of articulation.  Missing from my original review were his rock stand, removable skirt piece and his axe.  Of those pieces, the only one I found during The Find was his axe, but that’s okay, since the axe is definitely the most important piece!

Not a whole lot of extra thoughts on this guy, I gotta say.  That’s all for cosmic Fonzie here.