#2332: White Rabbit

WHITE RABBIT

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“A brilliant woman with a twisted mind, Dr. Lorina Dodson is the deranged Queen of Crime, White Rabbit.”

The best part of a successful super hero toyline is once it gets far enough in that all the main hero’s primary rogues have gotten coverage, and then you get to have the fun of those second and third stringers.  For me, it’s those lower tier characters that really make or break a rogues gallery, especially when they get a good gimmick.  The literary gimmick is not an uncommon one, and Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland is one that’s spawned a few on its own.  The most prominent, of course, is Batman foe the Mad Hatter, but Spider-Man gets in on it to with his own Carroll-ian foe, the White Rabbit, who has recently gotten a nice little notoriety boost courtesy of Nick Spencer’s current run on the main Spider-Man book.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

White Rabbit is part of the Demogablin Series of Marvel Legends, where she is by far the most obscure figure offered up.  It’s her very first figure, which really isn’t that much of a surprise I suppose.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and she has 29 points of articulation.  White Rabbit is constructed from a pretty solid mix of old and new parts.  She’s got the jacket and arms from the Civil War Scarlet Witch figure, plus standard legs and feet, as well as all-new parts for the head, torso, and boots.  The new and old combine into a pretty faithful recreation of her comics design (with the patterning on Wanda’s jacket even serving as a solid approximation of the plaid pattern of White Rabbit’s jacket), and are just generally a pretty nice selection of parts.  I like the continued trend of slightly more dynamic head sculpts, especially as it applies to the hair on this figure.  She’s maybe a little bit restricted on the articulation front, especially at that mid torso joint, though, so her posing is a little more limited.  That said, while it’s restricted by Legends standards, she’s still quite poseable.  The paint work on White Rabbit is all pretty basic.  It’s cleanly applied, and matches with the comics color scheme, so it certainly gets the job done.  White Rabbit is packed with her umbrella, a blast effect for the front of it, and the glider and flight stand for the Demogoblin build-a-figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

White Rabbit is the sort of character that is right up my alley when it comes to these line-ups.  She’s relatively obscure, got a distinctive look, and cool gimmick.  I was definitely down for her when she was shown off.  In-hand, she can easily fade into the background of this particular line-up, but she does what she does well.

White Rabbit came from my sponsors at All Time Toys, and is still available here.  If you’re looking for Marvel Legends, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2321: Shang-Chi – Master of Kung Fu

SHANG-CHI — MASTER OF KUNG FU

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Shang-Chi is a master of martial arts and a warrior for justice.”

In the ’70s, Marvel was really trying to stay with the times and cash in on what was popular, expanding their comics into new, different horizons, including horror, Blaxploitation, and even kung fu.  Some of these things aged better than others, to be sure.  On the kung fu front, they had two prominent characters: Iron Fist and Shang-Chi.  Though Iron Fist would remain the more commonly known of the two, Shang-Chi has quite an interesting history, being one of a handful of Marvel characters with ties to characters outside of Marvel, since his backstory involved him being the son of Sax Rhomer’s early 20th Century villain Dr. Fu Manchu.  However, when Marvel lost the rights to Fu Manchu, they had to sort of muddy Shang-Chi’s backstory a bit in order to keep him as part of the mainstream universe.  He’s been something of a rising character in the last few years, and he’s slated for his own movie early next year.  Perfect time for an action figure, I’d say.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Shang-Chi is part of the Demogoblin Series of Marvel Legends.  Though the assortment is definitely Spider-themed, Shang-Chi follows in the footsteps of the likes of Moon Knight, being a loosely related character packaged in a box that has its own “Master of Kung Fu” branding.  This marks the first time Shang-Chi has been a Marvel Legend, and in fact only his second time getting an action figure; the first one was way back in the Toy Biz 5-inch days.  And he had to share a head with Northstar!  Poor guy!  Shang-Chi has has a number of appearances over the years, mostly centered around the same basic attire; this figure is based on a variant of his original look, sans his gi.  It helps to hammer home the general “this guy’s supposed to be Bruce Lee” nature of the character.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Like yesterday’s Ock figure, Shang-Chi is built on the 2099 body, which is a solid choice for the character as far as build and poseability are concerned.  He also gets a rather sizable helping of new parts to help sell the character, including a new head, belt, legs, and feet.  These new parts do a really nice job of not only meshing with the pre-existing parts, but also capturing Shang-Chi’s classic appearance.  I like how the head has a loose resemblance to Bruce Lee, while still being generic enough and stylized enough to fit in with the rest of the comic-based figures in the set.  I also appreciate that it’s not just Northstar’s head, because man would that be embarrassing if it happened twice to the same guy!  My biggest complaint about the figure’s new parts is admittedly something small and minor that unfortunately has some fairly large ramifications on the figure’s fun factor.  For whatever reason, Shang-Chi’s feet don’t have peg holes on the heels like…well pretty much every Legends release ever.  I don’t know if it’s an aesthetics thing or what, but it means that utilizing a third-party display stand to assist with the cool kung fu poses that this figure pretty much begs to be put into isn’t happening.  I *was* able to make due with one of the weird stands that Hasbro’s been packing in with the Black Series exclusives, but it’s not ideal, what with “Star Wars” being stamped on it and all.  I’m just really not sure why Hasbro opted to omit such a standard feature on a character that really needed it.  Shang-Chi’s paint work is fairly basic stuff, but it does what it’s supposed to.  It’s clean, and the color scheme isn’t quite as garish looking as it could have been.  The paintwork is nice and sharp, especially on the face.  Perhaps the best part of this figure by far is the accessory selection.  Following in the steps of the Allfather Series Iron Fist, Shang-Chi includes a whopping five different pairs of hands in all sorts of useful poses, as well two pairs of nun-chucks, and to top it all off, he still gets the torso of the Demogoblin build-a-figure.  That’s quite a package full of extras, and it certainly adds a lot of playability to the figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Shang-Chi is one of those characters that I’ve always been aware of, but never had a ton of attachment to (probably because of that goofy 5-inch figure), so he wasn’t exactly high on my want list for Legends.  That being said, it’s not like I was opposed to him getting a figure, especially if it’s a cool one.  Weird issue with the feet aside, this is a very, very cool figure, and offers up a lot of fun options.  I really enjoy the all-in approach on the accessories, and I hope that Hasbro continues this approach for such characters going forward.

Shang-Chi came from my sponsors at All Time Toys.  If you’re looking for Marvel Legends, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2320: Superior Octopus

SUPERIOR OCTOPUS

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Otto Octavius suits up in a high-tech spider suit to protect the city as the Superior Octopus.”

Hey, remember when Doc Ock died and then put his mind into Peter Parker’s body and then took it over and then fought for dominance with Peter’s remaining subconscious and then ultimately relented his hold on the body so that Peter could take back over in order to defeat Green Goblin and save the day once again?  Well, that just turned out to be the set-up for the rest of Doc Ock’s story.  The events of Spider-Verse led a pre-giving-the-body-back-to-Peter Ock to create a back-up of his mind in the Living Brain, which he then used to reconstitute himself in a clone body that merged Octavious’ DNA with Parker’s during the events of “The Clone Conspiracy,” thereby leading to the creation of the Superior Octopus! Wooooooo!  Yay comics!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Superior Octopus is figure 3 in the “Demogoblin” Series of Marvel Legends.  He’s sort of a two-fer figure figure, being both a high-profile Spider-Foe, and also kind of being a Spidey variant, which no doubt made him an easy sell for the assortment.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and has 42 points of articulation.  Ock is nominally built on the 2099 body, although it’s a slightly changed, slightly improved version of it, getting a retooled torso section.  It’s not wildly different from the standard pieces in terms of general sculpt and musculature, but in place of the previous ab-crunch joint, this one gets a ball-joint instead.  There’s some give and take on the range of motion on the respective joints, and it’s a little bit of a shame that Hasbro didn’t take advantage of this opportunity to go all out and do the joint combo they’ve been doing on their Lightning Collection figures, but on the whole, I do prefer this joint both in terms of poseability and aesthetics.  In addition to the tweaked base body, Ock also gets a new character specific head, hands, wrist bands, and back-pack with the tentacles that give him his namesake.  The new head and hands match the source material nicely, and also meld well with the pre-existing parts.  It’s again a bit of a shame that he just has the one set of hands, but the combo here works well enough.  The tentacles are handled in pretty much the same way as the last Ock, being solid pre-posed pieces with joints at the base and the claw.  The slightly thinner nature of them does make them a little more workable and less obstructive when posing him, and by and large, I like them a lot more than the standard Ock pieces.  The paint work on Ock matches up well with the comics design, and I certainly like the color scheme here. That bright green just really pops on this figure, especially in contrast to the otherwise monochrome colors.  Ock doesn’t get any of his own extras beyond the tentacles, but he does include both arms for the Demogoblin build-a-figure, who I’ll be taking a look at later in the week.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Superior Ock is one of those designs that was really just begging for toy treatment from the moment it was introduced, so I was neither surprised, nor upset when it was shown off for this line-up.  Honestly, it was probably one of the figures I was most looking forward to from this assortment.  There’s not a ton of new or different going on, but he’s a good example of slight tweaks to an already successful formula working out well for the final product.  Now, I really wouldn’t mind an updated Superior Spidey to match this one in terms of quality.

I purchased Superior Ock from my friends at All Time Toys.  If you’re looking for other cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.

#2319: Spider-Man – Velocity Suit

SPIDER-MAN — VELOCITY SUIT

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Peter Parker enhances his spider suit with speed-boosting technology to become velocity suit Spider-Man.”

Oh yeah, how about some more Marvel Legends?  I know that’s what everybody is really craving.  Well, I kicked off a whole week of reviews with a Spidey variant.  What better way to follow that up than with another Spidey variant?  You can’t have too many Spideys, right?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Velocity Suit Spider-Man is the second of the two Spidey variants present in the Demogoblin Series of Marvel Legends, which is the first Spidey-themed Legends assortment of 2020.  Like yesterday’s Mark III Spider-Armor, this figure has been branded as part of the “Gamerverse” sub-line.  Unlike yesterday’s figure, he’s a more natural fit for that branding, since the Velocity Suit was one of the suits created specifically for Spider-Man for the PS4, and aside from game-specific tie-ins, it’s remained exclusive to that source.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  As with the Spider-Armor, the Velocity Suit is another all-new sculpt.  It’s definitely not something Hasbro *had* to do with this guy; I could see them getting away with a base body and some add-ons, but it wouldn’t be quite right, I suppose.  It’s a fairly decent sculpt, but I don’t find it to be quite as technically impressive as the Spider-Armor was.  A lot of the details are a bit more rudimentary here, and he feels more blocky and less sleek than he should for a suit called “velocity.” Also, despite the general nature of the design being less restricting, I found the range of motion on this figure to be a little bit of a let-down when compared to the Armor.  It’s not terrible, but it doesn’t quite feel like it lives up to the current Legends standards.  Despite the reduced range, the joints are actually fairly obvious on the sculpt, with the torso joint in particular sticking out like a sore thumb.  It’s not ideal.  In terms of paintwork, he’s generally okay, aside from one notable thing: the blue.  In the game, his suit’s more of a red/grey combo, but it’s a more standard blue on the figure.  It’s not terribly different, but it’s enough that the design does look a little…off.  It also removes some of the impact of the bright blue on the symbol, which would have stood out a bit better against a more subdued color.  The actual application’s alright, though, and I do like the sort of glossy finish.  The Velocity Suit is packed with another web effect piece, this time one that wraps around the shoulders, as well as the left leg for Demogoblin.  As with the other Spidey, I would have at least liked to see a spare set of hands included here to help the package feel a little less empty.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Of all the game original suits from Spider-Man, this one was probably my least favorite, so the fact that it got a figure wasn’t exactly thrilling to me.  It doesn’t help matters that the other Spidey variant turned out really well, and this one didn’t seem to quite translate to the toy form as nicely.  This isn’t a bad figure, and I certainly can’t fault Hasbro for wanting one of the two “Gamerverse” figures to be something actually original to the game, but he just doesn’t work so much for me.  The web effect is nice, though, and at least I can just stick him at the back of my Spider-Verse shelf.

I picked up the Velocity Suit from my sponsors at All Time Toys, and he’s still available here.  If you’re looking for Marvel Legends, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2318: Spider-Armor MkIII

SPIDER-ARMOR MKIII

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

Oh man, we went a whole week without any Legends reviews.  That was a rough week, wasn’t it?  Everybody pull through okay?  No one lost during the long drought?  It’s okay, we’ve made it to the promised land which is…more Legends.  Whew.  And hey, it’s a Spider-Man.  That’s a rare sight!  …Listen guys, there are a lot of Marvel Legends, and I’m buying pretty much everything, and I have to review them sometime, so, you know, just go with it, huh?  Let’s just smile through another week of Legends reviews, shall we?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Spider-Armor Mk III is one of two Spidey variants in the latest Spidey-centric round of Marvel Legends.  It depicts Peter in his improved anti-Sinister-6 armor from “The Ends of the Earth.”  The suit then re-appeared as an alternate costume in Spider-Man for the PS4, which is how it earned its spot here, officially under the “Gamerverse” sub-line.  It’s a fairly unique design, with a fairly prominent role in a big Spider-event, which matches up with a few other figures we’ve gotten, so I really can’t complain about it showing up here.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  The armor gets an all-new sculpt, as it really has to.  It’s actually a pretty impressive offering, managing to capture the design from the comics, as well as keeping it slightly more real-world as it appeared in the game model.  There’s a lot of really nice layering to the armored parts, as well as some really great texturing in the under suit elements.  It also manages to bulk him up sufficiently from the standard Pizza Spidey body, making it look like he’s actually wearing armor.  Posability on this figure is a little more limited than your average Legends Spidey, but it kind of comes with the more heavily armored territory, and he’s still got a solid range on most joints.  Honestly, I was expecting him to be a lot more restricted than he ended up being. The paintwork on this guy is pretty decent; he’s a little more reserved in color than most Spidey variants, but still keeps enough of that distinctive scheme to make him easily identical.  The armor was also pretty consistently depicted as a little washed out, so it’s accurate to the source material.  The application is all pretty sharp, with no noticeable slop or bleed over.  The Spider-Armor is packed with a web effects piece that can slip over another figure’s face, as well as the right leg of Demogoblin.  It’s annoying that we aren’t getting alternate hands standard with Spider-Man variants; at the very least, I’d like a set thwipping and a set in fists.  As it stands, he does feel a little light.  That said, I do really like the web effect piece, and I appreciate that Hasbro is willing to try some new things here.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I can’t say that this design was at the top of my list of most wanted Spidey variants (honestly, I’d prefer a Mk I armor myself), but do like this design well enough, and I can’t deny that it translated well into toy form.  The all-new sculpt is definitely fun, and I dig the new web effects thing they’re trying out.  If this figure had one or two more extras, he’d be fantastic.  As is, he’s still a very passable figure, and I feel worth a Spider-fan’s time.

I picked up the Spider Armor from my sponsors at All Time Toys, and he’s still available here.  If you’re looking for Marvel Legends, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2317: Lost Galaxy Red Ranger & In Space Psycho Red Ranger

LOST GALAXY RED RANGER & IN SPACE PSYCHO RED RANGER

POWER RANGERS: THE LIGHTNING COLLECTION (HASBRO)

Following Power Rangers move from one overall narrative from Mighty Morphin’ into In Space, to the more one and done, self-contained approach starting with Lost Galaxy, the show still had the Super Sentai counterparts’ yearly team-ups with their predecessors for the prior year.  That meant that, in the midst of establishing a new universe for Lost Galaxy, they also were bringing back the last of the wider universe they’d wrapped up the prior year.  Alongside the returning heroic Space Rangers, we also saw the return of In Space‘s resident evil Rangers, the Psycho Rangers, who found new adversaries in the Galaxy Rangers.  Hasbro is paying homage to that in their latest two-pack, pairing Psycho Red off against Lost Galaxy‘s own Red Ranger.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

The Red Galaxy Ranger and Psycho Ranger are the second two-pack in the Lightning Collection line-up, hitting shelves about a month or two after the Green and Putty set I looked at yesterday.  They also starting hitting right around the same time as GameStop’s exclusive Psycho Blur figure, giving the Psychos a bit of jump start.

RED GALAXY RANGER

We got Lost Galaxy‘s sixth ranger in the second assortment of the main line, so getting the Red Ranger in rather quick succession isn’t much of a surprise.  It also introduces the Galaxy Ranger-specific tooling, clearly opening the door for the rest of the team.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  For the most part, he’s using the core Ranger parts, with his only truly unique parts being his helmet and belt, something we should all get comfortable with as Hasbro fills in more of the more basic-looking Ranger teams.  Both new pieces make for a decent match for the design from the show, and match pretty well with the already sculpted base body parts.  There’s not much to write about beyond that; he’s a pretty straight-forward, no frills design.  The paint work is respectable, but again follows that same basic model of the sculpt, being pretty straight-forward.  There’s a little but of fuzz on the edges of the changes from white to red, but other than that, things look pretty solid.  The Red Ranger includes an alternate unmasked Leo head (with a pretty solid likeness), two pairs of hands (in gripping and a fist/flat combo), the Quasar Saber in full-sized and compact modes, and a flame effect for the full-scale Saber.

RED PSYCHO RANGER

Evil Power Rangers aren’t an uncommon element for the franchise, but the Psycho Rangers are probably the most prolific, with ten television appearances under their belt, making them the natural choice for first Evil Rangers to get toy coverage.  Bandai was supposed to do a full set in their Legacy line, but ended up not completing them, so Hasbro’s giving it a shot.   Their starting with Psycho Red, who’s a fairly sensible starting point.    The figure stands 6 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  Psycho Red is an all-new sculpt, though I would imagine that a number of these parts are shared with Blue.  I can’t say for sure, because I’m not paying GameStop’s mark-up on that one, so it’s totally conjecture.  How dare I?  It’s a pretty nice sculpt, all things considered, and there’s a lot more going on with this sculpt than with Galaxy Red.  The poseability isn’t quite as free range as I’d like, especially on those shoulders, but for the most part it turned out very well.  Psycho Red’s paintwork is pretty solid.  Again, there’s a little more going on than with Galaxy Red, making him the slightly more visually interesting appearance.  Application is pretty clean for the most part.  There are some slightly sloppy points, but it’s nice looking overall.  Psycho Red is packed with his Psycho sword, and two sets of hands (one pair gripping, one pair fist/lightning effect).

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Lost Galaxy is right as I started to fall out of Power Rangers.  I had a few of the original toys, and I love me some Magna Defender, but I don’t have any major connection to Leo.  He’s fine, but ultimately nothing much to write home about.  Psycho Red, being from In Space, my personal favorite incarnation, is right up my alley.  He’s got a few small issues, but is otherwise really cool, and the definite star of this set.  I look forward to getting the rest of this team, as well as some proper Space Rangers to fight them.

I picked these two up from my friends All Time Toys, and they’re still available here.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.

#2316: Fighting Spirit Green Ranger & Putty Patrol

FIGHTING SPIRIT GREEN RANGER & PUTTY

POWER RANGERS: LIGHTNING COLLECTION (HASBRO)

At the beginning of 2019, Hasbro took over the Power Rangers brand, and got right to work producing their own line of 6-inch scale figures on par with their Marvel Legends and Star Wars: The Black Series lines.  They’ve been working to bolster their numbers within the line through any means necessary.  We’ve gotten three standard assortments, augmented by two three store-exclusive figures, an SDCC two-pack, and two wide-release double packs.  I’m looking at the first of those wide-release packs, Fighting Spirit Green Ranger and the Putty Patrol, today!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

The Green Ranger and the Putty were the first Lightning Collection two-pack to hit shelves, initially showing up (in a small capacity, at least) in the late summer of last year.  They started hitting more in full force just before the end of last year.  Both figures are, of course, based on the Mighty Morphin’ incarnation of the show.

FIGHTING SPIRIT GREEN RANGER

Tommy Oliver’s other MMPR Ranger incarnation served as the backbone of the first standard assortment of the line, so I guess it’s appropriate that this one would anchor the two-packs.  This figure is officially dubbed the “Fighting Spirit Green Ranger” on the package, as he’s based on the Power Rangers: Dino Thunder episode “Fighting Spirit,” which see’s Tommy facing down three of his prior Ranger identities.  While the White and Red designs would go unchanged, the Green Ranger costume had some minor tweaks (which the fanbase was *so* forgiving of, of course…), and this guy reflects those. The figure stands 6 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  I’ve actually looked at most of this figure previously, when it was used for the Dragonshield Black Ranger, though this figure was *technically* released first.  Whatever the case, the two share all but their heads and belts with each other.  It’s sensible enough, given the similarities of the base costume designs, as well as the fact that the Dragonshield is cannonically the same piece between them anyway.  The new helmet is a solid recreation of Tommy’s green helmet, matching well stylistically with the other MMPR Rangers we’ve gotten so far from this line.  Sculpturally, the only thing that sets this guy apart from a proper MMPR Green is the belt, which has his dagger sheathed on the right hip, rather than the left.  Big change-up, I know.  The paintwork is where most of the changes between the two designs crop up, with the most prominent change being detailing the helmet’s crest in silver rather than leaving it green like on the original piece.  As much as it may be sacrilege, I don’t hate the extra detailing there; it adds a nice little pop to the helmet.  Beyond that, he’s got a couple smaller changes.  The belt buckle is silver, like the other five rangers, rather than his unique gold, and the sheath for the knife is white instead of black, again matching the holsters of the core five.  If you want to get really picky, the green’s a slightly more saturated shade as well, which can be seen in the comparison between the Figuarts and this guy at the end of the review.  The Green Ranger is just as well accessorized as any of the solo-packed figures, with an unmasked head (borrowed from the White Ranger), four hands, his dagger, his sword, and an effects piece for the sword.

PUTTY

As I discussed in my reviews of Zedd and Goldar, the Rangers villains don’t tend to get quite as much toy love from the Japanese side, and by extension seem to miss out on the best of the toys.  This was also true of the franchise’s original army builder, the Putty Patrol, who were a conspicuous absence from the Figuarts stuff.  Bandai’s American side did at least give them a little more coverage, but they always felt a little more phoned in than the Rangers themselves.  Fortunately, Hasbro seems committed to not phoning in the villains for their ownership of the line, and the Putty is finally joining Zedd and Goldar.  As with most toys of them, this Putty is sporting the more basic Season 1 appearance, from before Lord Zedd retooled them into his own force.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  The construction on this figure is actually largely shared with that of the core Ranger body.  For the most part, that’s pretty reasonable; they were all similarly build guys in spandex, so it’s not like there’s a *whole* lot different you can do.  That said, he does end up sharing his boots with the Rangers, which isn’t strictly speaking accurate, as they should sit lower and be less ridged for a proper set of Putty boots.  It’s quite minor, though.  He does get a new head, lower arms, and belt, though, which sure do help to sell the Putty-ness of the figure.  The head and hands both spot quite a nice selection of texture details which give him that real world feel.  The paint on the Putty is fairly monochromatic; they were just shades of grey on the show, and they remain shades of grey here.  It’s more or less accurate, although I suppose there are some spots where they could stand to have dialed up the differences in shades a little bit.  It’s really not bad, though, and the monochromatic nature does help those red eyes to really pop.  The putty is packed with hands in both standard hand configurations, as well as a blade/club combo, which gives you some options if you opt to army built.  He also includes an effects piece, which he borrows from the White Ranger.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I already had the Figuarts Green Ranger, so my Green Ranger in this scale was covered, meaning I didn’t *need* this set.  Of course, I like the Putty, and I’ve wanted a few of those for a while, which did leave me mighty conflicted on this set.  With the Green Ranger *technically* being a different version of the suit, it did make things a little easier, so once I was able to take a look at one in person, it wasn’t exactly a hard sell.  Ultimately, I think I still prefer my Figuarts Green overall, but this one’s still a lot of fun, and the Putty is definitely a cool figure that I hope Hasbro makes more of, because boy do I want to army build.

I picked up this pair from my friends All Time Toys.  If you’re looking for other cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.

#2315: Nightwing

NIGHTWING

BATMAN: THE CAPED CRUSADER (SPIN MASTER)

Remember how I ended yesterday’s review by saying I wanted to see more from Spin Master with their DC stuff?  Well, it happened sooner than I expected.  Like, you know, right away.  Don’t you look at me like that.  We all knew what this was, okay?  Look, just sit back and enjoy this Nightwing review, alright?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Nightwing is part of the first standard assortment of Spin Master’s Batman: The Caped Crusader line.  Rather wisely, Spin Master has opted to separate out the Bat-characters from the main DC line, which means that the main line-up won’t get too overshadowed by the Bat-family.  This Nightwing figure is based on the character’s DC Rebirth design, which is my favorite of his more recent redesigns.  I dig the New Adventures vibes.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 17 points of articulation, for real this time!  No broken joints on this guy!  Nightwing’s sculpt is an all-new piece, but given its generally generic nature, I wouldn’t be surprised to see it get re-used for some similarly built characters.  He’s actually smaller in build than the Superman figure, which is nice to see, given that the far more expensive DC Essentials version didn’t even get that.  You know there’s a problem when your $30 collector’s figure gets outclassed by an $8 toy….I’m getting distracted, aren’t I?  Yeah, it’s a decent sculpt.  It’s not perfect; the neck is a smidge too short, and the hair’s not my ideal choice for Nightwing.  The hands and feet are also a little chunky, but given that the same is true of Superman, that feels more like a stylistic thing.  Also, it’s nowhere near the level that it was on Mattel’s old Infinite Heroes line, so I can give it something of a pass.  Nightwing’s paintwork is all fairly basic, but the bright blue looks really nice, and the application is all pretty sharp. There are one or two spots of missing paint on mine, but nothing too bad or figure ruining.  As with the Heroes Unite line, the Caped Crusader line is also doing the blind-boxed accessories.  There are currently two different accessory sets available for Nightwing.  Mine has the “Harbor Defender” selection, which is a pair of batons (with built-in gauntlets), a scuba mask and tank, and a batarang.  I found the accessories a little more interactive for Nightwing than with Superman, and really like the batons in particular.  He’s also got a collector’s card like Superman’s.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Again, Max’s fault.  I mean, in a slightly different fashion than yesterday’s review.  And, admittedly I get a lot of the blame on this one, since I did actually buy it myself, but Max let me know that the Walmart near All Time had this guy, and said “if you’re gonna grab one, mind getting one for me too?”  At that point, I felt a little obligated, because what was I gonna do, make Max stop on his way home?  That just wouldn’t be very nice, now would it?  So, I got my Nightwing, because obviously I wasn’t just gonna buy one for Max.  As with Superman, I’m very happy with this figure, and am further intrigued by the rest of the line.  Also, this has perhaps set a precedent of me trying out new DC lines by buying Superman and Nightwing.  Possible spoilers for future reviews?  You’ll have to keep reading to find out…

#2314: Superman

SUPERMAN

DC HEROES UNITE (SPIN MASTER)

It’s a time of change.  After 17 years with the DC license, Mattel lost it at the end of 2019.  In their stead, two companies are taking over as the primary holders: Spin Master and McFarlane Toys.  The first product from both companies started hitting in the middle of last month, giving collectors a chance to try out both styles.  Spin Master is handling the more kid-focused, all-ages side of the license, and I managed to pick up some of their stuff first.  Today, I’ll be taking a look at one of their versions of the Man of Steel, Superman!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Superman is part of Spin Master’s DC Heroes Unite line, and is one of two versions of Superman available at launch.  This one is marked “rare” on the included booklet, so I would assume that means he’s a one-per-case figure.  That said, Spin Master’s set-up for the line tends to suggest that none of the figures will be that hard to find in the long run.  This Superman is based on the Superman’s appearance from the 2016 Lois & Clark series, which saw the Lois and Clark of Earth-Prime return to the Nu-Earth, and gave Clark this new darker costume.  It’s clearly meant to call back to the “rebirth” costume that he wore in the ’90s after coming back to life, but it’s still effectively a modern appearance.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 17 points of articulation…or at least he should.  My figure’s right knee was fused out of the box, and ended up snapping when there was an attempt to bend it.  Probably just a one-off issue, but certainly something to keep in mind.  The sculpt of this figure is shared with the standard Superman, which actually isn’t the worst thing, given the similarities between the costumes.  The only downside is that the upper portion of the cape that’s not there is still…there.  With it being all-black, it’s not terribly distracting, but it’s too bad he couldn’t at least get a unique torso.  Aside from that, the sculpt is actually pretty nice, especially given the quality of the last Spin Master figures I picked up in this scale.  He’d certainly benefit from a waist joint and maybe some wrists, but he’s a far better offering at this scale than anything we ever got from Mattel, both in terms of sculpt and and articulation.  It’s a fairly basic layout of details, but it works very well for the style that they’re after.  Superman’s paintwork is pretty decent across the board.  The details are all pretty sharp, and the bleed over is minimal.  The painted beard works better than I’d expected, and I like how sharp the eyes are.  The primary gimmick of Spin Master’s 3 3/4 lines right now is tied in with the accessories, which are blind-boxed, and have a few different possibilities for each figure.  For my Superman, I got the armor in blue, the Kryptonite in green, and the eye beams in red, indicating this is the “Metropolis Mayhem” accessory selection.  Not a bad little assortment, and honestly not the worst gimmick for the line.  There’s also a little collector’s card, which can be removed from the front of the package, if you’re into that sort of thing.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This is Max’s fault.  I saw the Spin Master stuff and was honestly interested in checking them out in person, but Max beat me to the punch, and picked up this very figure for himself.  Then it went and broke on him, and he was going to throw it in the trash.  I can’t bear to see a figure thrown in the trash, and I honestly wasn’t quite as perturbed by the broken knee, so I salvaged him (with Max’s permission, of course), and fixed him up.  And, boom, new line tried.  Breaking knee issue aside, I’m very happy with this figure, and I think that all of Spin Master’s launch product looks really great.  I look forward to seeing more from them.

#2313: Xenomorph vs Super Power Loader

XENOMORPH VS SUPER POWER LOADER

ALIEN COLLECTION (LANARD TOYS)

I had my first look at Lanard’s new Aliens line yesterday with the line’s star piece, the Alien Queen.  But, what good is an Alien Queen without a Power Loader to do battle with, and at least one minion to be all Queen-ly with?  Practically no good at all!  Fortunately, the line offers up both of those things in one convenient package!  That’s some fairly smart planning right there.  It got me to buy them, anyway.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

The Xenomorph Vs Super Power Loader set is part of the next step down from the Alien Queen on the price scale for the Alien Collection line, the “Xenomorph Attacks” sets.  There’s this set, and an APC (which, somewhat amusingly, is the only set at launch to not have a Xeno packed in, despite being in the “Xenomorph Attacks” sub-set).

XENOMORPH

There’s one of these in just about every set Lanard’s put out so far.  Currently, we’ve got two styles of Xeno drone: one based on the Aliens Warrior, and one based on the Alien 3 Runner.  This one is the Warrior.  The figure stands about 4 1/2 inches tall and has 14 points of articulation.  Stylistically, much of this sculpt matches up with the Alien Queen, which is no surprise.  It’s fairly faithful to the film design, while still dialing things back a bit to make it a little more kid-friendly.  The various Xeno elements are all present, and things are pretty sharply defined.  The articulation is pretty well implemented, though the lack of elbow joints is a little bit restricting.  Additionally, the joints on mine are already starting to get rather loose from regular usage, so I’m not sure how well they’ll hold up to long-term play.  That said, it’s a fairly impressive sculpt, with some cool little touches.  Though he lacks the inner-mouth action feature of the queen (forgivable, given the size), he’s still got the details of the inner mouth sculpted on the interior of his jaw, which is a nice touch.  Like the Queen’s vibrant purple, the smaller Xenos are all privy to some Technicolorization, with this one being a rather eye-catching metallic green.  It looks pretty nice, and it’s something different, so I really don’t mind the change-up.

SUPER POWER LOADER

Though the most unique piece of this set within the context of this line, the Super Power Loader is the most clear-cut re-use (similar to what we’re used to seeing from Lanard), and does feel like more of an after thought to make sure there’s a Power Loader to face off against the Queen.  This release takes a pre-existing mech-suit from Lanard’s Corps! inventory and re-purposes it for something more familiar.  It’s not terribly far removed from the Power Loader of the movies, but it’s not terribly similar either.  It’s big and yellow and one of the hands is a claw.  That’s about where the similarities end.  That doesn’t stop it from being a respectably cool piece, although one that feels more designed for conventional weaponry than the glorified forklift from the film, which I suppose is really just an extension of the slightly more weaponized Loader from Kenner’s line.  It does make the name of the machine feel increasingly like an artifact, though.  The construction is fairly hollow, since it’s really just a shell for a figure, but it doesn’t feel too light weigh or like it’s going to break or anything.  I do like the color scheme a lot, and the caution stripes and bright yellow do a lot to sell this as the genuine article.  Power Loaders don’t always include a pilot, but this one does.  He’s not much to right home about, being one of Lanard’s cheapest figures.  He’s got the basic 5 points of articulation, and is very hollow.  Not particularly impressive, but okay for being essentially a glorified cardboard cut-out that’s only there to fill out the Loader in the box.  He’s armed with a pickaxe of some sort, which doesn’t feel like the best choice of weapon when your opponents bleed acid.  Whatever the case, I fairly quickly replaced him.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ll admit, I kind of got swept up in the awesomeness of the Alien Queen, and found myself buying this in the same purchase.  I like having Loaders to face off against my Queens and this one was sitting right there, and was admittedly quite affordable.  The Alien’s the better of the two items here, definitely.  Clearly Lanard’s put their resources into making the Aliens cool, and is filling in everything else as cheaply as possible.  Given that the Loader was not part of the first batch of items we saw, it wouldn’t surprise me that this was a somewhat later addition, which would explain the more blatant re-use for the Loader.  It’s not a piece, mind you, but it’s not nearly as impressive as the Queen.  That said, they still look pretty impressive sparring off against each other.