Guest Review #0048: Super Sons

SUPERBOY & ROBIN

DC ICONS (DC COLLECTIBLES)

The following is a guest review by my dad, writer Steven H. Wilson!  Check out more from him over at his blog, located at stevenhwilson.com

So I bought this set a while back, on new comics Wednesday, and Ethan suggested I review the figures here, and then do a piece over on my blog about the characters and their history. You’ll note that Ethan’s blog is very focused, a new action figure review every day. Mine is not so much. It’s pretty much just whatever the hell I want to talk about, when I want to talk about it. And it hasn’t always been every day, though it has been for a while now. Anyway, here we have The Super-Sons!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

The Super-Sons are a two-pack in the DC Icons line, what I’m told may be the last such two-pack in the series.

SUPERBOY

The fifth (I think?) Superboy in DC Comics history, Jonathan White Kent is the son of Superman and Lois Lane. The original Superboy was Superman, but it’s unclear these days if that was Jon’s dad. The original grew up to be the Superman of Earth One, which was destroyed (more correctly, merged with a few other earths) in Crisis on Infinite Earths. Jon’s father is the Superman of that merged Earth, who when introduced, was established never to have been Superboy [well, at least until they decided he was…–E]. I don’t know if that still holds because DC history is confusing. The other Superboys were Kon-El, a clone of Superman with different powers, Jon-El, sort of the same deal, and, of course, the dreaded Superboy Prime, the young hero of Crisis on Infinite Earths who later went bad.

Little Jon Kent, ten years old, is growing into his inherited powers. He sort of flies, has some strength, and uses his heat vision an awful lot. True to his father’s influence, he’s a boy scout who’s afraid to swear. True to his mothers, he’s utterly fearless.

Previous Superboy figures have included one that came in a two-pack with his cousin Supergirl from DC Direct, and two Superboy Primes released in the DC Direct Infinite Crisis line and the Mattel DC Universe Classics line.

Superboy stands about 3 ½ inches tall and has 29 points of articulation. He comes with the Icons “flying” stand, a clear plastic cylinder section with a slanted top and a pin the attach his foot. Face and body are original sculpts, about an inch shorter than the male adult figures in the line. The facial sculpt is good, capturing Jon’s confident half-smile and eternal optimism.

His “uniform” (or are they play clothes) is well reproduced—a Superman hoodie he found at a second-hand store, jeans with a rip in the knee, a red T-shirt and short red cape. I think perhaps the hoodie is a bit too form-fitting. It’s shown looser in the comics, contributing more to Jon’s “still-growing” look, and his air of casual disregard for his appearance.

He’s very poseable, although I had a hard time getting him into the “Up, up and away” pose shown on the box.

Like all Icons figures, he comes with extra pairs of hands, specifically three this time around.

ROBIN

The son of Bruce Wayne (Batman) and Talia Al Ghul, daughter of Batman’s immortal enemy Ras Al Ghul, Damian Wayne is the sixth individual to carry the code name Robin, the others being Dick Grayson, Jason Todd, Tim Drak, Carrie Kelly, and Stephanie Brown (very briefly). Damien Wayne is 13, short for his age, and pretends he only hangs out with Jonathan Kent because the kid has powers, not because he actually likes him, and not because their fathers have pretty much bullied them into being “friends.”

This is the sixth Damian Wayne Robin figure, the last coming out from Mattel’s DC Comics Multiverse line just recently, as well as one from Mattel’s online subscription service, two from DC Collectibles’ Son of Batman and Lil’ Gotham lines, and one from DC Direct’s Batman Incorporated before that.

The figure stands about 3 inches tall, with 29 points of articulation. The facial sculpt shows Damian pouting and angry, because, if Damian ever smiled, his head would explode in order to expel his face away from it with as much force as possible. Or maybe he’s just pissed that the figures so accurately represent how much smaller he is than his junior partner.

I wish he had come with an interchangeable head, so that he could be displayed with his hood up. He does come with a five sets of hands (in fists, flat, two different grips, and with bloody talons), and a staff to make up for not having a flying stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I looked forward to the Super-Sons title, because I was a kid when the original Super-Sons were having their imaginary adventures. (More about them on my own blog.) It’s such a completely hokey idea, and it was always great fun. I think Peter Tomasi has integrated the hokey idea into a fun book that works for a new generation of more-sophisticated (read: really jaded) readers. I was glad to see them rendered in action-figure form, since I doubt the original “Superman, Jr.” and “Batman, Jr.” (Yep, those were their names!) ever will be.

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Guest Review #0047: Thor

THOR

MARVEL LEGENDS

Heyo and happy Thorsday, everyone! Heh, get it (You can’t see me, but I’m wiggling my eyebrows)? Of course you do, and if not that’s fine too. Quick fact: Thursday was originally called Thorsday after the Norse god Thor. Another fun fact: Wednesday was originally called Wodenesday, after Woden/Odin, and Friday is in honor of Frigg or Freyja. Alternatively, Wednesday was also the day of Mercury, and the Roman’s tried masking Odin and Mercury together. Anyways, wow sorry for the detour and on with the show!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

So this beautiful female warrior is the new Thor from the currently running comic series The Mighty Thor. She’s not Miss Thor or Lady Thor just Thor, the name given to her by the previous Thor who now calls himself Odinson. This Thor is one of a few in the new Thor Marvel Legends series, which also includes Thor: Ragnarok versions of Thor (male) and Loki with the build-a-figure being gladiator Hulk.

Thor stands at about 6 inches tall, and no I’m not going to crack out a measuring tape to give an exact measurement because I don’t really care for that. All I care about is that she looks cool, which she does, so sue me. She has 29 points of articulation and is built on the Moon Stone body, but she has unique head, cape, chest, left forearm, skirt, shins, and ankle thingies.

Thor’s head is pretty cool and I like what they’ve done with it. Her face and helmet aren’t super detailed, which is fine because there’s not much detail to them in the comic since she’s trying to hide her identity. The helmet could’ve had a little more detail then some paint and suggestions of markings, but honestly it doesn’t take away from the figure’s overall look. Her hair is molded such that she can wear her cape and still have some movement, unlike other female figures I’ve seen that are limited by their long hair. The cape is neat but also kind of annoying because it has a hard time staying on sometimes, since the peg bent slightly and has to go into her back. Overall, the cape is neat in simplicity, with tons of wrinkles and some texturing to make it look like cloth. In the comic I think the cape is a bit longer, if not ridiculously long but I completely understand that that is hard to accomplish with a posable figure that’s supposed to stand on its own. Her arms are a little skinny for me, I think they should be a little bit bigger but I understand that Hasbro probably wanted to save money by reusing an older body. Her left forearm is unique because it has a special bracer that’s a part of the costume. The bracer is pretty cool and I really enjoy it. It’s all smooth and shiny with suggested layers and little markings that show where the arm bands connect to the metal, and then arm bands of tiny little buckles and actual suggestions of straps, loops, and holes for adjusting. I know, crazy to spend so much time looking at a forearm but it’s so detailed that I get carried away. Next is her chest piece which looks like a typical chest plate with some Nordic symbol that’s too small to discern. Like the arm brace, it’s shiny and has some texture that gives the appearance of thick metal, but it’s a slightly different color than the brace. My favorite part about her costume was the skirt and this figure does not disappoint me there. The skirt is not fixed to the figure, though I doubt it can be easily removed, and it is designed to help give her legs a more powerful look and also appear to be in motion, due to wind or something. It’s a simple piece but I really like it because it’s practical. The outside of the plastic is a bit rough like think cloth, the belt has little raised circles which are very common in leather belts, and the front flap’s border is a little raised to give it an embroidered look. Most of her legs are painted blank, assuming that she’s wearing leggings, and her shins are covered in cloth wrap that matches the skirt. The detailing in the wrapping is kinda cool because it does look like random shin wrappings; they’re not even symmetrical which makes it look a bit more authentic. Lastly, her boots…shoes are okay. There’s really nothing special there other than the tops are moveable, but there’s not much detailing to them.

Overall, the paint seems to be pretty well done.  I do believe that the design on her torso, under the chest plate, is printed onto the figure because the lines and details are too precise to be paint, but it’s not super obvious because the skirt covers it most of the time. There are a few places where the paint doesn’t quite fill in properly, but it’s not super noticeable. Then there are other places where the paint goes over the lines, but again it’s either well-hidden or so minor that as long as you’re not looking at it with a microscope you won’t notice. I will say that it’s weird that there are two different shades of metal grey used on the figure, her chest, helmet, and shoes are a darker grey than her arm brace and metal bits on her belt. Her only accessory is her hammer, Myeuh-muh (Mjölnir), which is pretty cool. There’re little etchings in the molding that simulate the knot designs on the hammer, and there’s groves in the handle too. You can also have her hold it by the strap or the handle.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

So I wanted to read more Marvel comics other than the ones Ethan was suggesting, even though they were good, I wanted to find something for myself. I was pushed toward the current Thor series after one of the publicity blunders Marvel faced earlier in the year. After doing more research into what happened and who said what, I realized that the whole thing was blown out of proportion and that the company wasn’t trying to be this bad guy people were crying over. So I decided that I would definitely start reading more Marvel comics, starting with one of their more popular series The Mighty Thor with the new female Thor and I fell in love instantly. When Ethan found out what figures were in this line, he immediately told me that female Thor would be included and I proceeded to make inhuman noises for about five minutes then begged him to keep a look out for her. After a few weeks of searching he found her in the bottom of a random cart in Walmart full of older Marvel Legends in an aisle completely away from the toy section. I’ve been happy with her ever since! She’s an awesome figure based on a cool character design from a comic that I’m enjoying way too much. Also she looks fantastic on my bookshelf!

Guest Review #0046: Jyn Erso

JYN ERSO

FORCES OF DESTINY

Heyo! Welcome to another review by yours truly, Ethan’s Super Awesome Girlfriend! Today I’m going to be reviewing the lovely Jyn Erso from Hasbro’s Forces of Destiny line.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

“We have hope! Rebellions are built on hope!” ~Jyn Erso

For those of you who don’t know, Jyn Erso is one of the main leads in the Star Wars film Rogue One. She’s a young woman that’s never really been on the right side of Imperial law, but she always does what she thinks is right.

This figure is about 11 inches tall with 22 points of articulation. One of those points is in the waist which has a slight restriction in movement.  All of the pieces are unique to the figure and her outfit is mostly part of the figure’s sculpt, excluding the vest, scarf, boots, and gun holster.

Her hair tries to emulate the character’s hair style in the movie, and it succeeds for the most part using some sort of gel to keep the bangs together on the sides. I mean really, it’s hard enough getting side bangs like that on a normal person so I can cut the doll some slack. The shirt is all molded onto the torso and arms of the figure and looks to be tucked in at the waist. Her pants are also part of the mold of the legs. Both articles include seams, folds, creases, dips, and various other textures to make them more realistic; the pants even look like they’ve been shoved into her boots and even look asymmetrical in their folding. The material of Jyn’s vest is a lot like Rey’s, except it’s a different color and has different designs on it. Printed on the vest are a couple of pockets, one of them with items poking out, a zipper, and patterned texture to make it look like leather. Jyn’s hooded scarf is made of a gauzy material that isn’t completely seamed and so little bits of string keep coming off. Be careful, the scarf may unravel if you’re not gentle. Her boots and gun holster are made of the same slightly flexible plastic and are about the same color too. On her boots there are various buckles, flaps, seams, and creases as part of the sculpt to give off a leather boot vibe. Most of the noticeable paint is on the torso, arms, and hands and it’s okay. There is some grey from her shirt on both her neck and the bit where the sleeves meet skin. Also there is some brown from her gloves on her fingers.

Her only accessories are her gun and her baton. Apparently, most of Jyn’s action figures either don’t come with her baton or it’s all folded up and she can’t use it, which is a shame because I really like her baton; it’s different from other characters. The baton is fully extended and made of hard plastic; parts of it also have a patterned roughness. The figure’s action feature also includes the baton. If you squeeze her legs together the arm holding the baton moves. Her gun looks like an elongated pistol and it’s two different colors, though I can’t tell if it’s painted that way or not. The grip has patterned roughness and the mold also includes various ridges, indents, and do-dads to give it an authentic look. The gun is pretty cool and fits perfectly in the holster.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This was the third figure that I bought on Force Friday this year (2017) while I was out with Ethan. Originally I was going to wait to buy this figure and the others, but we wanted to get the gift card from target which meant I had to buy 100$ worth of Star Wars merchandise…woooh. Anyways, I really like having this figure because the character was so amazing in Rogue One and I hope to see more of her in the extended universe, like the YouTube series. If not, well, I’m happy she’ll be on my shelf!

Guest Review #0045: Princess Leia Organa & R2-D2

LEIA & R2D2

FORCES OF DESTINY

Heyo! Welcome to another review by yours truly, Super Awesome Girlfriend. Today, I’ll be reviewing the Leia and R2D2 combo pack from the Hasbro Forces of Destiny line.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

This Leia figure is based off her Hoth costume in the beginning of Empire Strikes Back. It’s one costume that rarely ever makes it onto an action figure, which is a shame because it’s a cool one. Her more common costumes are her white robes from A New Hope and her slave outfit from Return of the Jedi, those aren’t terrible costumes but I’m really glad the Hoth one is a first for this line. Anyways, I digress.

This figure stands at about 11 inches tall with 22 points of articulation and like all the others in this line, one of those points is in her waist and is slightly restricted in movement. All the pieces that make her up are unique; expect maybe the head which she might share with the other Leia in this line. Most of the figure’s outfit is sculpted into the mold, except her vest and shoes.

The hair is realistic looking and tries to emulate the style from the Hoth scenes from Episode 5. Not gonna a lie, but it looks a little weird to me. I know it’s hard to do that style exactly, especially with all that hair, but it throws it off a little for me. However, I doubt a lot of kids, who are the target audience, are going to care that it’s not quite right. Her arms, torso, and legs are sculpted to look like her snow suit, including wrinkles, divots, and various padding. The detailing on the snow suit is pretty cool; on some of the pads you can see little bits to suggest stitching, the pants wrinkle and puff out like they were shoved into boots, and she even has some wrinkles on her gloved hands. Her vest is made of some thin fabric sewn together is some places. On the vest is a printed on little panel of buttons that did Lord knows what and has a stimulated diamond pattern. Lastly her boots are made of a softer, more flexible plastic and still reminds me of Polly Pockets. The boots aren’t super detailed but you can see the straps and where it folds and wrinkles from the straps.

The figure’s paint is pretty simple and alright, there wasn’t really much to paint. There’s a little bit of white on her neck, but I barely notice it unless I’m staring at it super hard. Her face looks really nice and I’m happy that they kept it simple; they kept true to Carrie Fisher and didn’t try to elongate her lashes through style or make up.

Like all the other figures in this line, Leia comes with a couple of accessories. The first is her gun, which isn’t painted and all the detailing is in the mold. It looks pretty cool and appears to be one of the more detailed guns of the line…weird. It has a scope, ribbing, and various tiny little doodads and thingies to make it look like a legit Star Wars gun. Her other accessory is R2D2, who has three points of articulation. His legs are completely unrestricted movement and his head can spin around. He stands at about 4 ½ inches tall and his detailing is in both the mold and painted. The sculpt is pretty good and it even includes little details that people normally wouldn’t notice, like various little bolts, fans, and thinga-doos. The paint leaves little to be desired. Not all the various areas are painted in, some places the paint went over the line, there’s various blue smudges and areas that don’t have enough paint. Overall, the paint could’ve been a lot better.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I got this Leia on Force Friday even though she had been out for a while by then and wasn’t one of the main draws that day, but Ethan was getting a lot of stuff and I decided to grab this figure while we were out. I’ve always really liked Leia, she was one of the first princesses I was exposed to as a child. When I was two my parents took me to a rerelease of Empire Strikes Back and even though Yoda was my favorite character then (or so my parents claim; apparently I wouldn’t sit still when he came on and I continuously giggled), Leia was my favorite princess and I think she’s shaped a lot of my preferences for female characters. She was such a cool, charismatic, strong, yet soft individual that I wanted to be like her and not Cinderella, Snow White, or Aurora. I’m excited to have this figure in my collection and I can’t wait to get the other Leia in the line. Even though the R2D22 isn’t the best, he’s still a cool character and will keep BB8 company!

Guest Review #0044: Sabine Wren

SABINE WREN

FORCES OF DESTINY

Heyo! Welcome back everyone. Wow, two reviews in one week−I’m on a roll! Anyways, today is another review for a figure that I got on Force Friday (2017), but has actually been out for a while.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

“You know what I do in hopeless situations…Blow stuff up!” –Sabine Wren

Sabine Wren is a character from Disney’s Star Wars: Rebels. A young Mandalorian warrior, Sabine kicks butt in the most creative ways and takes names…if they survive.

This figure stands at about 11 inches tall with 22 points of articulation, though again like the other figures in this line one of these points is in her waist and is slightly restricted. It’s safe to say that all of the figure’s pieces are unique. Most of the figure is made of plastic, except for her pants, gun holster, and boots.

The hair is colored after the second costume design for Sabine, with the two very different shades of blue, but I don’t think the figure has done the style quite right. Her hair always looked like it was dyed with the lighter blue at the ends, while at the base of it was the darker color. However, with this figure the top layer of the hair is dark blue and the under hair is the lighter color. While perfectly reasonably, a lot of women do similar dye jobs, it doesn’t quite fit the character design. Sabine’s torso is all hard plastic, with her collar plates, armbraces, and chest plate part of the molding. Below the armor is a under armor-like shirt that have fabric lines and seams built into the mold as well. Next, her legs a brown plastic to match her face and she is wearing simple Velcro pants, which have some printed seams, a camo pattern, and various other designs. Her boots are made of a flexible rubber-plasticy material and they appear to be slip-ons. The boots have leather creases and her ankle plates built into the mold. The rest of her armor (shoulder, elbow, and knee pads, and her helmet) is more removable than the others, and made of hard plastic with various creases to show scratches in the armor.

The paint job on the figure is okay. I really wished that they didn’t scale down the detailing on her armor, because Sabine’s armor was almost completely covered in various designs. I know it would’ve been a pain to do it, but I feel like the design of her armor suffered without it. Again, the paint job is alright. There are places where it splattered a little or smeared on the edges. The detailing on the helmet and chest plate are pretty nice though, which is the important part.

Her only two accessories are her guns. They’re identical in design and have a little detailing in the molding, but nothing with paint. They fit perfectly in their holster and she can duel wield them as well. The holster is a little disappointing because it’s a little scaled down from the original character design, in the show Sabine pretty much has her own Batman utility belt. This figure also has an action feature. If you squeeze her legs together and twist her waist her arm moves up and down.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Ethan and I started watching Rebels sometime earlier in the year and we really enjoyed it, but we haven’t had the chance to catch up with the series and the episodes have been a little hard to find. I really like Sabine because she’s a cool character that loves to change her hair color, which is something I can really relate to. I got this figure on Force Friday because Ethan was getting a bunch of stuff and I’d been looking for an excuse to get more from the Forces of Destiny line. Overall, I really like having this figure. It’s a cool character design with accurate body proportions, and I will die screaming that to the moon and back. Who wouldn’t want a kickass Mandalorian female warrior?

Guest Review #0043: Rey & BB-8

REY & BB8

FORCES OF DESTINY

Heyo! Welcome back to Super Awesome Girlfriend Tries to Review Action Figures! Today, I’ll be reviewing one of the figures from one of the new toy lines from Hasbro.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

This Rey and BB8 combo figure pack is modelled after the costume design at the end of The Force Awakens. After doing some research, I found out that this line is paired up with the web series Forces of Destiny on Disney’s youtube channel. I haven’t heard much about the series, but each episode is only a couple minutes and they focus on one character from the line at a time. So I guess I’ll have to check it out at some point. On another note, Rey does show up in the first two episodes but not in the costume of this figure here.

Rey stands tall at about 11 inches with 22 points of articulation, though I have to note that one of those points is in her waist joint that has slight restricted motion. I feel it safe to say that most of her parts are unique to this figure, the only thing I think she might share is her head sculpt with the other Rey figure in the line. Her pants and linen tunic are the only pieces of clothing that are actually apart of the figure’s mold. The rest of the outfit is made of either cloth, for the jacket and arm sleeves, or rubber, for her gun holster, the bottom of her tunic, and shoes.  The hair style is still her signature triple bun, which I still can’t replicate for myself, made with realistic hair that is tied with like colored rubber bands. Most of the hair in the buns and hanging loose are stiff to try and keep the hair all together, though my figure still got some hair pulled out from the style. Her tunic has a nice rough texture to stimulate the roughness of the material, and the bottom part is made of flexible rubber to allow the legs some free movement. Also, if you look closely enough you can see some slight creases in the top part of the tunic to indicate folds. Her jacket is made of a weird, smooth cloth material that is stitched together in some places and looks to have the jacket’s detailing printed onto the material. The end of the jacket is a little moldable, so that you can give the bottom of it a slight flare if need be. Her arm sleeves are made of two different cloth materials; the top is a striped gauzy fabric that is sown to and disappears under the second material which is the same as the jacket, including different printed designs. Rey’s pants are all plastic with simulated folds and texture in the mold and crafted knee/shin pads. Lastly, her shoes are made of a similar rubber as her gun holster, a different color of course, with texture and boot straps included in the mold. Her shoes aren’t fully attached to the figure, and they kind of remind me of a larger, rougher, and harder version of the little Polly Pocket boots.

The figure’s paint/print job is pretty good! I really like the printed detailing in the jack and arm bands. Her face is absolutely fantastic. The detailing in her eyes and brows are meticulous, including dark individual slashes in her eyebrows.  Her freckles are there but not overpowering, and it looks like there’s a slight pink tint to her cheeks that is also very subtle.

This Rey comes with a few accessories and an action feature. She has her (or rather Luke’s) lightsaber which has a simple, but decent paint job in the hilt with the blade made of clear blue plastic. Her other weapon is the pistol Han gives her, it’s made of plastic and has ridges and other detailing included in the mold of the gun. Her gun can either be held or stay in the holster. The action feature is quite simple and involves her lightsaber, but don’t let me foul you because it took me several tries to figure out how to get her to swing. Basically, you cock her right arm back until you hear a click, then you bring her legs together and twist her waist. It’s not a fantastic action feature, but it allows her to swing her lightsaber.

Then there’s BB8. I don’t know if I should count him separate or as an accessory, so I’ll do the former. BB8 is only a couple of inches tall with one point of articulation, ladies and gents he can spin his head around (wooooooo). He’s made of hard plastic with lots of grooves and ridges included in the mold to help make him look more realistic. His paint job is ok, it’s rather simple with a few mistakes here and there; not everyone can paint within the lines. Also, his antennae are made of a thinner and slightly shinier plastic, with some ridges.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve been a Star Wars fan for as long as I can remember, apparently my favorite character when I was two was Yoda when he was still a puppet. Ethan showed me these figures a while ago and I was really excited for this new line from Hasbro. I had Barbies growing up, but I was never satisfied with them. And now that I have this Rey figure I feel like I just gained something I was missing when I was a little girl: a kick-butt female doll with realistic body proportions! One of my favorite things about this figure is that she looks so real, not like she hasn’t eaten in days and is about to snap at the waist. Yes, she’s really pretty but that’s because Daisy Ridley is super pretty. This figure can be marketed to girls and boys and it makes me so happy to own her! It’s a pain in the rear to get her to stand because of her infuriating Ugg-boot-thingies, but once I get it right she looks so killer on my shelf and I love it! BB8 is cute too, but he’s nothing special.

Guest Review #0042: The Punisher

THE PUNISHER

MARVEL LEGENDS

Heyo! It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Last time, I was trying to review Mass Effect minimates (which I still need to finish, oops…) but I’m going to completely switch gears this time. Today, I’m going to introduce you guys to my gun-toting cinnamon roll Frankie (aka The Punisher)! Warning, throughout this review I will mostly call him Frankie, I know unprofessional –sue me .

THE FIGURE ITSELF

This figure is specifically designed after the character portrayed in the second season of Daredevil on Netflix. He comes in the same series of Hasbro’s Marvel Legends as Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and the build-a-figure Man Thing (who came up with that name???).

Frankie, here, stands at about 6 ½ inches tall with 30 points of articulation. According to Ethan, Frankie’s body is not reused from another figure; in fact, he is completely his own with all new pieces. What’s cool about this figure, and a lot of the newer Marvel Legends, is that some of his features are printed on. In this case, Frankie’s face and the skull on his chest have been printed, not painted, on. This allows for more precise detailing to be made on the figures, for Frankie it means that you can see a nice five-o-clock shadow going on there and a couple of small scars on his nose. I actually really like how Frankie’s face turned out, the detailing is fantastic and they were able to capture his serious, broody, and adorable face really well.  The detailing on his chest is pretty cool as well. You can see all the straps and buckles on his bullet-proof vest, they’re not painted on but are part of the chest’s sculpt. The print job on the vest is well done as well; it really does look like paint on a vest, and even includes implied rough texture of the vest’s material and a few drips of running paint. Frankie’s legs have a lot of subtle detail, with wrinkles, pockets, and rough texturing for the pants. I find his boots to be really interesting, while just normal plain combat boots, they were able to make it look like his pants were stuffed into his boots and not look like all one entity. His jacket appears to be removable, but suggest leaving it on because he would look weird without it, especially since his arms are sculpted to be wrinkly like coat sleeves. I also have to say a quick thing about his hands; if you look closely you can see the suggestions of veins and tendons, which is a neat little detailing. The paint on the figure is okay, it’s just black and skin tones. There are a few spots where his hair (mostly at the edge of his bangs is peach instead of black, and at the corners of his jaw his five-o-clock shadow doesn’t completely cover it.

For accessories, Frankie comes with two guns. The first is just your average pistol, painted silver with a textured handle and other small detailing related to that style of gun. The second is some kind of rifle…I’m not gonna lie, I don’t know guns and our gun guy isn’t here to tell me all the cool things about the larger of Frankie’s guns, including what the hell to call it. It’s a cool looking gun that I’m sure is supposed to fire rather rapidly, with a scope, a long, slightly curved magazine clip, and other gun do-hickeys. I’m sorry, I don’t know guns, you’ll have to forgive me or wait for this to be updated later with more (accurate) details on the gun. All I know is that Frankie’s larger gun is black and pretty badass looking.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Frankie came to me while we were packing up our apartment to move elsewhere. I was having a pretty stressful time, and my super sweet boyfriend decided to get me this figure when he saw it to try to help me out some. I fell in love with my gun-toting cinnamon roll after watching his part in Daredevil season two. My (over) enthusiastic love for the Punisher surprised Ethan a lot, especially since I normally don’t care for morally gray characters, but Frankie was just different and stole my heart with his sad brooding and love for lots of bullets. So when Ethan saw that they were making this figure he showed me and I’m sure our neighbors could hear my fangirl-screaming three-floors up, and I wanted one ever since. I love this design of the Punisher and I’m so happy he’s a part of my growing collection of figures! I’m also super excited for his Netflix show, and you can bet your bum I’m gonna watch it with this figure in hand!

Guest Review #0041: Harry Potter

HARRY POTTER

HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS (NECA)

Hey! So it’s that time again, that super rare time where Jill has a review to write for the figure in question (because Ethan is not in a state to write this in time!). Harry Potter is back, and he’s got an awesome backpack because he’s a high school drop out. This figure, like the Sirius Black figure from The Order of the Phoenix was a Christmas gift from Ethan when he and Tim were trying to convince me to be interested in toys and action figures. (Unfortunately for my wallet, they have been successful).

THE FIGURE ITSELF

This figure of Harry from The Deathly Hallows has 8 points of articulation, none of which are in his legs, like all my other NECA figures. He also comes with a removable backpack and a wand. I thought for a few minutes that his glasses were removable, but after some careful tinkering, I have discovered that they are just precariously attached. He stands about 8 inches tall, and has a passing likeness for Daniel Radcliffe during part one of the Deathly Hallows movies. It’s not perfect, but it’s ok. He’s recognizable. It is a little frustrating that his legs do not have any articulation, it makes it so he only really has one pose that makes sense, which is a battle pose, but his facial expression definitely doesn’t look like he’s in battle.

The backpack is fun, I like being able to pose him with or without it, and it’s accurate for the movie. The wand is both my absolute favorite and my least favorite part of this. This tiny, 1 inch strip of plastic is actually very close to what Harry’s wand looks like in the movies (I should know, I won the fancy prop version in a Harry Potter trivia contest my freshman year of college) and I think the effort that went into making this teeny-tiny little prop is exceptional. However, it is a teeny-tiny little strip of plastic that bends easy and is not held securely in his hand, which means that my greatest fear is that I’m going to lose it. If it falls out of his hand, there’s no getting this back. (My complaints about Sirius’ wand were very similar).

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This was my second Christmas present from Ethan, and it helped to establish the trend the boys have started of getting me action figures and toys as presents until the completionist in me had to start looking for the entire series of multiple toys. This figure is one of the first action figures I actually owned, and since I have gotten him I have bought several figures (including Rue) and established other collections thanks to Tim and Ethan (I own most of the Alex figures in the minecraft lines, and several other series, including some composers). My collection is not as vast of broad as Ethan and Tim’s, but it is growing, and this Harry Potter figure is part of the reason why. He’s not perfect, but he is important to my collection journey.

Guest Review #0040: Vic Viper

VIC VIPER

ZONE OF THE ENDERS (REVOLTECH YAMAGUCHI)

I love robots and space ships. Thankfully, today’s figure gives me both of these. Now, if you saw the title of this post and got exited for a review of the ship from the 1985 Konami arcade game Gradius, you might be thinking, “Where does the robot part come in? It’s just a ship.” That is because this Vic Viper (while hinted to be the same ship from Gradius) comes from the 2003 Konami game Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner as a supporting LEV to the leading orbital frame Jehuty. But we’re not here to talk about Jehuty this time, transforming into review mode.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

As mentioned before, this Vic Viper is based on its appearance in Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner. The figure is about 5 1/2 inches tall, plus a little extra height from the stand. Vic sports an impressive 65 points of articulation thanks to the extensive use of the standard revolver joints found in Revoltech figures. This makes Vic extremely poseable (almost frustratingly so), but it does disrupt the sculpt ever so slightly in places like the arms and wings. The sculpt work is entirely original to this figure and does a pretty good job capturing all the necessary dimensions and details. Everything is where it should be, although there are a few very minor instances where the mold seams interrupt some of the sculpted details. Vic’s paint is pretty great, barring one or two little spots of bleed, with a lot of really crisp detail work on the barcodes and 74 on his arms, wings, and shoulders. All of the colors match up to the game pretty closely, but what stands out is the slightly pearlescent finish to the white paint which really adds some depth to what could easily have been left a simple flat white. Contrasting that with the purple, dark grey, and metallic gold detailing really makes the figure pop. Vic comes packaged with with a spare set of arms with the hands deployed, 2 slashing effect pieces, a stand, and an extension piece that lets you transform him into ship mode if you want, though it’s a little bit of a hassle getting him there. Vic isn’t without his issues, but all in all, he’s a well made figure with a lot of potential for very dynamic poses.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I got Vic Viper a few months after I received the HD remaster of Zone of the Enders for Christmas. Oddly enough, I already had a figure of Jehuty prior to that point, so playing the game only confirmed that I would expand upon this. It took me a little time just getting used to posing him since Vic has joints all over the place, but once I got the hang of it, he turned out to be a bunch of fun.

Guest Review #0039: Snake/Big Boss

SNAKE/BIG BOSS (PEACE WALKER)

REVOLTECH YAMAGUCHI

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The following is a guest review by Tim Marron.  For more from Tim, check out Timsical Thoughts!

Kept you waiting, huh?  Yeah, it’s been a while since I’ve done one of these reviews, but it seems appropriate to bring it back with a review of the greatest hero in the world, Big Boss, or Snake.  It’s hard to tell which one.  On the box, he’s called Snake, so I guess we’ll go with that, but onto the review.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

snaket2Snake has had a wide variety of looks across the Metal Gear franchise.  This particular figure is based off of his sneaking-suit look from Peace Walker, after having established Militaires Sans Frontières but before the events of The Phantom Pain.  The figure stands about 5 1/2 inches tall and has 53 points of articulation, one of which is his eye which can be turned to look in practically any direction.  The sculpt work is quite nicely handled with a good amount of detail such as the the rivets and wires which can be seen under the fabric of Snake’s suit.  His face seems a little on the gaunt side and some of the revolver joints are a little more visually prominent than I might have liked, but that’s about par for the course with most Revoltech figures.  As far as I’m aware, this is entirely original sculpting though smaller pieces like the hands could have been used in other versions of Snake.  The only area in which the sculpt suffers isn’t even visible when the figure is fully assembled.  The aforementioned poseable eye has a peg on the back side to facilitated movement, however it sticks out just enough to get in the way of the central joint of the head. The figure’s paint is very clean for the most part, with just a little bleed around the edged of his hair and beard.  The suit in particular has some really nice fine detailing such as the MSF and FOX logos on the shoulders.  Snake comes with a bunch of accessories including some weapons, so no need to worry about OSP.  Included are 5 pairs of hands (fist, gripping, gripping w/trigger fingers, karate chop, and open gesture), an additional hand to hold what I assume is a stun baton/taser thing, said taser thing, an M16 rifle, a pistol with a suppressor, a pair of climbing hooks (perhaps?), an exclamation mark, a sleeping piece, an action effect stand, and an articulated stand.  Snake also comes packed with a piece of card stock that you can cut out and fold into the real hero of the Metal Gear universe, the cardboard box.  I like the figure a lot, but I felt it was my destiny to be here, with the box.  You should get the box too, then you’ll know what I mean.    

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Ok, fine, that last line was technically a different Snake, but you laughed, maybe, I hope.  I actually got this figure with the intent of getting a Solid Snake to go with my Revoltech Raiden but it turned out that the other options were either the wrong scale or far too expensive at the time, so I settled for Big Boss.  Sure, he and Raiden never interacted, but it suits my needs just fine.  To be fair, he’s a really cool figure in his own right and I’m glad I have him.  When I got him I spent basically a whole day playing with him LIKE A DAMN FIDDLE!  Ok, not like a damn fiddle, but like a really cool action figure.

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