#1647: Colonel James Cameron

COLONEL JAMES CAMERON

ALIENS (NECA)

Okay, so Avengers: Infinity War starts hitting US theatres today, but I’m taking a one-day reprieve from the Avengers stuff to celebrate today’s other notable thing:  it’s Alien Day again!  And I actually remembered to set aside an Aliens-related item for this year.  Of course, the focus of this review, a figure based on Aliens director James Cameron, is rather amusing in light of Cameron’s comments in the last week about hoping for audiences to get “Avengers fatigue” so that we can back to creating new sci-fi ideas.  You know, like those 5 Avatar sequels we’ve all really been clamoring for.  That’s what the people want.  I wonder how he’d feel about his action figure being smack dab in between Avengers figures.  Well, he’d have to read the site for that to apply.  Odds of that seem low.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Colonel Cameron was a Toys R Us-exclusive figure, released as part of NECA’s running 30th Anniversary assortment of their Aliens line.  He started cropping up in stores towards the end of last year/early this year.  As with Sgt. Windrix, Cameron doesn’t represent a character actually from Aliens, but is more of a concept figure instead.  The figure stands 7 inches tall and he has 28 points of articulation.  He uses the long-sleeved Marine body we’ve seen on both Windrix and Frost.  It’s still a very strong sculpt, even five years after its introduction into the line, and I can’t really see any improvements on it at this point.  It remains one of NECA’s strongest sculpts, so their desire to get as much mileage out of it as possible is pretty sensible.  Cameron gets a new head sculpt, which is sporting a pretty darn fantastic likeness of Cameron circa 1986.  The details are sharp, and it’s well-fitted to the base body.  He’ll fit right in with the rest of the crew.  Colonel Cameron’s paint work is on par with what we’ve been seeing on the more recent offerings from this line.  Application is cleaner than most of the line’s earliest offerings, and he makes use of the molded skin-tone plastic, which helps him look more lifelike.  The detailing on the armor matches up with the other Marines, but Cameron has his own unique graffiti-ing.  It’s really just a planet on his backplate.  I might have liked a little bit more personality, but this is a fun touch, and it’s certainly better than nothing at all.  Cameron’s accessories are his most impressive aspect.  The re-used compliment includes the standard issue M41A pulse rifle, the handgun included with Frost, and a motion tracker.  Figure-specific, there’s a clapboard (which admittedly doesn’t make much sense in-universe, but it’s cool nonetheless) and the viewfinder Cameron used when scouting locations.  A lot of fun pieces in there, which show a real commitment to making this release stand out from the standard-issue figures.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Obviously, the odds of me missing a figure like this were always going to be slim.  That being said, I did see him a couple of times in the store before I finally got around to picking him up.  It was ultimately the announcement of Toys R Us’ planned closure that pushed me to pick him up, since I definitely didn’t want to miss out.  He’s another top-notch figure from NECA, and a fantastic addition to the line.  Happy to have the chance to add him to my collection.

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#1646: Vision & Scarlet Witch

VISION & SCARLET WITCH

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Both empowered by the Mind Stone, Vision and Scarlet Witch are powerful forces in the throes of battle.”

Avengers: Infinity War is almost upon us, which is pretty darn exciting.  There’s a metric ton of product out there for it right now, including the largest movie compliment of Marvel Legends Hasbro’s done yet.  When Age of Ultron came out, the MCU-Legends were still on the slow rise at retail.  This meant that it was tricky enough just to get the core Avengers all represented, so there was certainly no space for the team’s new recruits from the movie.  Scarlet Witch found her way into the Civil War assortments, but poor Vision’s been up in the air for three years.  Can I get a “finally”?

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

When is an exclusive not an exclusive?  When the company that paid for it goes out of business.  Yes, this pair was supposed to be the first of a large number of Toys R Us-exclusive Marvel Legends two-packs planned for this year.  Because of Infinity War’s release date, this set was already produced and some of it had made its way to TRU’s warehouses prior to their announcement of liquidation.  They’re keeping what they already had, but anything not already in their possession is going to be distributed through online retailers later this year.

VISION

Vision is very obviously this set’s star, and looks set to play quite a pivotal role in Infinity War, what with possessing one of the Infinity Stones and all.  His design has remained consistent through all three of his MCU appearances so far, so this figure has an easy time of picking an appropriate look.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Okay, so first minor complaint about the figure: his height.  Bettany is 6’3”.  On a strict 1:12 scale, the figure’s height is fine, but Legends hasn’t really ever been on a strict 1:12 scale.  Bettany is the same height as Chris Hemsworth, and while the Thor figures have a tendency to slightly over-state Hemsworth’s height, I feel Vision should be at least a little taller, so as to not be totally dwarfed by Thor.  Moving past that, it’s worth noting that this figure is sporting a brand-new sculpt.  I have a few minor nit-picks, mostly having to do with him seeming a bit too skinny.  That said, the overall quality is pretty top-notch.  The likeness on the head bears a decent resemblance to Bettany, and the texture work all throughout the body is definitely impressive.  He’s certainly on par with the recent kick of very strong MCU sculpts.  Even the cape has a nice flow about it, and captures the intricate nature of the design from the films.  Vision’s paintwork is pretty decent.  The metallic colors are fun, and he uses the same face printing technique as the others for his eyes.  His cape is a slight letdown; the semi-translucent effect is nice, but rather than fully detailing the back of the cape like in the movie, he’s just got several streaks of metallic pink going down the back.  It gets the general effect alright, but it does rob the sculpt of some of its impact.  Vision’s packed with two sets of hands.  The standard ones are in open gestures, which feel very true to the character, and there’s also a pair of fists.  You know, for punchin’.

SCARLET WITCH

Scarlet Witch’s design has only changed minimally since Civil War, so it follows that this figure is mostly just a retread of that one.  It’s the same exact sculpt, which is fine by me, since that sculpt was a favorite of mine.  It still holds up well two years after its release.  The figure gets a new paint scheme, detailing her lighter hair color from this film, as well as upgrading her to the new face printing tech, which has improved her likeness to an amazing level I didn’t realize was possible.  I thought the Civil War release was pretty solid at the time when it hit, but this release makes that one look kinda goofy.  This figure also ditches the effects pieces form the last version, and adds in a new set.  I thought the old effects pieces were by far the weak point of the last figure, so the new pieces are a very welcome addition.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve been wanting Vision since 2015, so I was happy to hear he’d be getting a figure courtesy of Infinity War.  I was less happy to hear it would be a TRU exclusive, and even less so when they announced the impending closures.  I initially thought I might be missing this set, but then when Entertainment Earth put it up for pre-order, I planned to just wait to get it from them.  Then TRU started clearing out their warehouses, and I walked in one day to find a case of this set sitting on the shelf.  That was most definitely a pleasant surprise.  If only I’d had more experiences like that *before* they were going under.  Vision isn’t a perfect figure, but he’s a very, very good one, and an awesome addition to my collection.  Scarlet Witch takes a figure I already loved and makes it bafflingly better than it was before.  This is a fantastic set, and I hope everyone who wants one can get one.

#1645: Hiding Scooby-Doo & Funland Robot

HIDING SCOOBY-DOO & FUNLAND ROBOT

SCOOBY-DOO! (IMAGINEXT)

“Why is Scooby-Doo hiding in a trash can?  Because everything in the theme park is mysteriously running by itself!  But that’s not all that sends Scooby running—a mysterious robot is chasing him!”

I don’t have a huge collection of Scooby-Doo figures (though it’s actually increased by 400% in the last two years, if you’re keeping track).  For the longest time, my entire collection was made up of two figures.  One of them was Fred, my favorite member of the Scooby Gang.  The other was Charlie, the Funland Robot, by far my favorite “monster” (though it’s a loose use of the term).  I know, what a shock; Ethan likes the robot.  Crazy.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

This pair is one of three two-packs in the 2018 assortment of the Imaginext Scooby-Doo! line.  Each two-pack is one member of the gang and one monster.  This one’s a solid pairing, giving us the Funland Robot alongside a hiding Scooby-Doo seen in the Funland Robot’s episode “Foul Play in Funland.” (okay, technically Scooby’s hiding in a barrel, not a trash can, in that episode, but it’s close enough).

HIDING SCOOBY-DOO

Admittedly, this Scooby variant is less of a figure in its own right and more a glorified accessory to the other figure.  But, it’s billed as a separate figure on the package, so I’ll count it the way they want me to.  I’m nice like that.  The figure stands just shy of 3 1/2 inches tall.  He’s got no actual articulation, but he does have a spring-loaded action feature that pops his head and feet out of the trash can.  It’s pretty nifty, I suppose.  Scooby’s sculpt is unique, rather unsurprisingly.  The trash can is basic in details, but has a few more in-depth areas of dents and dings.  The button that activates the action feature is rather obvious, but it’s small enough not to ruin the whole effect.  The lid and top of the can are slightly bent, so that when the head is fully retracted, you can still see Scooby’s eyes peering through.  The actual Scooby parts are fairly standard, rather un-stylized for the line, truth be told.  He lines up pretty well with the standard Scooby figure I looked at earlier this year.  Paint is largely minimal on this particular figure; it’s just on the eyes and nose.  Everything else is just done up in the proper colors.  The grey on the trash can is a little bland, but it’s not terrible.

FUNLAND ROBOT

The main star here is definitely this guy.  The Funland Robot’s a distinctive looking character from the show, who’s sadly lacking in toys when you really get down to it.  The figure stands 2 3/4 inches tall and he has 8 points of articulation.  His movement is the same basic set-up as the other Imaginext figures I’ve  looked at.  It’s pretty solid for the size and style.  His sculpt is unique to him, and it does a good job of capturing his in-show design and translating it into the style of the toyline.  He’s a design that certainly works quite well in this particular style, and I appreciate the small touches, such as the small wrinkles at the base of his pants legs.  Like Scooby, the Funland Robot’s paint is fairly minimal.  The majority of the colors are molded plastic, and tend to work pretty well.  Like the older figure I looked at, his torso is a pink color, rather than the indigo shade from the show.  I’d say it’s a licensing thing.  The actual paint on the face is pretty clean, and captures the character’s likeness, with a fun bit of stylization thrown in for good measure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

My Imaginext purchases are rather sparse.  My Scooby-Doo purchases are also pretty sparse.  So, how did I come upon this set?  Well, I’ve been frequenting my closest TRU on a rather frequent basis, keeping an eye out for all the new stuff coming in from the warehouses.  My TRU has become a bit of a war zone, if I’m honest, with stuff just strewn all over the place.  I found this set sitting in the Marvel aisle of all places.  I didn’t know it existed, but I couldn’t bring myself to turn down a Funland Robot figure.

#1644: Crimson Dynamo

CRIMSON DYNAMO

IRON MAN (TOY BIZ)

“As the United States had its armored champion in Iron Man, so did the former Soviet Union have their own crusader — the Crimson Dynamo! His first mission was to destroy the symbol of Western democracy — Iron Man — a mission which led to the first of many defeats for the Dynamo. As the Cold War came to a close, so did their animosity; now these uneasy allies focus their combined might against such foes as Fin Fang Foom and Titanium Man!”

The biggest problem faced by the ‘90s Iron Man toyline was Iron Man’s overall lack of a really strong rogue’s gallery.  I mean, he’s got Mandarin, and….alcohol?  That’s hard to do in a toyline, though.  Another good, solid Iron Man foe (and my personal favorite) is Crimson Dynamo.  Unfortunately, Dynamo wasn’t very prominent in the cartoon that the toyline was based on, so it took a few assortments.  Still, at least he got a figure.  Living Laser was on the show a couple of times, and he never did…

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Crimson Dynamo was released in Series 4 of Toy Biz’s Iron Man line, as the assortment’s only villain.  The figure stands 5 inches tall and he has 9 points of articulation.  This figure uses Dynamo’s armor design from the Valentin Shatalov incarnation of the character, which was the most recent version  of the character at the time of this figure’s release.  It’s got a lot more silver than most Dynamo designs (the cartoon even recolored the whole thing red to keep him consistent with other versions), and is a but thinner, making it much more similar to an Iron Man design.  Personally, I’d have preferred one of the earlier models, but I think it’s fair to say this version worked a bit better with the overall style of the line.  As with all of the Iron Men and War Machines of this line, Crimson Dynamo’s fished look is completed using a base figure with a bunch of clip-on armor pieces.  Dynamo had 9 clip-on pieces, for his chest plate, back plate, gauntlets, belt, boots, and helmet horns.  What’s that you say?  You don’t see any horns on his helmet?  Yep, mine’s missing his.  I’d have borrowed them from my dad’s figure, but his is missing them too.  They have a tendency to go missing.  Why they didn’t just make them a permanent fixture of the head is anyone’s guess.  I can’t imagine why someone would want him without them.  The rest of the armor is cool enough, though I’m not a huge fan of how the boots work, since they make posing the figure a bit difficult.  Another major issue with the figure’s design is linked to his action feature, which launches a missile from the middle of the figure’s torso, resulting in a big hole in the middle of his chest.  Another item that harms the integrity of the figure’s appearance for essentially no good reason.  On the plus side, the paint’s decent enough.  Moderate slop on the edges of the silver, but nothing too terrible.  Beyond the clip-on armor, Dynamo also included a flame-styled projectile, meant to go in that big gaping hole int he torso.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I believe Dynamo was a gift, possibly for Christmas.  I definitely remember getting one of the other Series 4 figures for Christmas that year, so I think Dynamo was part of the same set of gifts.  Honestly, Dynamo is one of the line’s weaker entries.  Off costume choice, and a number of very strange design choices in the actual implementation of the figure.  He’s hardly a bad figure, but he’s still a rather frustrating one.

#1643: Admiral Kirk & Duty Uniform Scotty

ADMIRAL KIRK & DUTY UNIFORM SCOTTY

STAR TREK MINIMATES

The first three series of Star Trek Minimates were entirely based on The Original Series’ three season run.  While that was quite alright for the first two, there was no denying that by the time of Series 3, they were starting to run of fumes.  As such, DST expanded the reach of the line, turning it to focus more on the other shows and films.  Today’s set comes from one of the movies, funnily enough, one of the ones starring the original crew.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Admiral Kirk and Duty Uniform Scotty were released in Series 4 of Star Trek Minimates.  This pair were supposed to come from The Wrath of Khan, considered by pretty much everyone to be the best of the Trek films.  Given that these were the only TWOK-based figures in the line, the pairing does seem slightly…odd.  There was a variant version of this set, which featured Scotty in his maroon dress uniform.

ADMIRAL KIRK

This is the second time I’ve looked at a movie Kirk Minimate, but chronologically the first of the two.  His later ‘mate was based on his jacketed away team look from later in the film, while this one is based on his standard uniformed look.  The figure is built on the standard ‘mate body, and as such stands about 2 1/4 inches tall and has 14 points of articulation.  He has add-on pieces for his hair and jacket, both of which were new to this particular figure (though the hair has seen subsequent re-use).  The jacket works quite nicely.  The details are pretty sharp, and it matches up well to the movie.  The hair is less impressive.  Admittedly, Shatner’s hair from this period has always been slightly difficult to pin down, but this one just seems to miss it.  Kirk’s paint is reasonable enough.  The uniform in particular captures the scheme seen in the movie, and the application is mostly pretty clean.  The face doesn’t have much Shatner to it, I’m afraid.  I think the later attempt had it down a bit better.  Also, the tampo of the face seems a bit too high on the head block as well.  Kirk was packed with a movie-styled phaser.

DUTY UNIFORM SCOTTY

Scotty’s place in this set is definitely weird.  I mean, the guy’s important in the movie, but producing him over Khan, or even Spock, McCoy, or David Marcus, all of whom are more pivotal to the film, seems sort of strange.  I guess maybe they wanted a variety of uniforms?  But, of course, even then, with the variant set, that excuse was lost.  I’m back to no idea again.  This is the standard release of Scotty, which is in his slightly more exciting Engineering uniform, which is what he spends most of the movie wearing.  Also, since these were one of the few designs to stick around from The Motion Picture, he’ll also fit in with Series 5’s Decker and Illia, so that’s cool.  He’s got sculpted add-ons for his hair and chest piece.  Both of them are definitely well handled pieces.  Scotty’s hair in particular is a much better match for Jimmy Doohan’s style from the movie.  The paintwork on Scotty is pretty solid, apart from one slight issue.  See that slight pink discoloration on his forehead?  Well, that’s *supposed* to be blood from an injury, but it seems the wrong color was used, making it look more like there’s just a slight flaw in the plastic.  Beyond that, it’s actually pretty decent work, though, with the details of his uniform being quite well-defined.  The burn damage to his suit is also pretty awesomely done, and keeps him from looking too boring.  Scotty is packed with a pair of engineering gloves to swap for the standard hands.  Shame we never got Spock to steal them from him.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was always a little behind on collecting this line, so I didn’t get this set new.  Instead, I picked it up a little after the fact from the Record & Tape Traders in the town where my family vacations.  They’d been marked down, so I ended up with a full Series 4 set, this pair included.  They’re both okay Minimates, but neither’s really much to write home about.

#1642: Sandtrooper

SANDTROOPER

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

Where would the Imperial forces be without their plethora of environment-specific troops? More importantly, where would toymakers be without and endless supply of Stormtrooper variants to keep selling in rotation from now until the end of time?  They’d definitely have to get a little more creative, to say the least.  Interestingly enough, the Sandtrooper, the very first climate-specific Trooper wasn’t initially recognized as it’s own separate thing for quite some time, so it wasn’t until the ’90s that it actually got an action figure.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Sandtrooper was released in the 1996 assortment of Kenner’s Power of the Force II line.  As noted in the intro, this was the first time the design was released as a figure.  In fact, it was such an uncharted area that initial releases weren’t even called Sandtroopers.  They were “Tatooine Stormtroopers.”  Pretty crazy, right?  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 6 points of articulation.  Given the similarities between the two designs, you might think the Sandtrooper re-used a lot from the basic Stormtrooper.  Not the case, though.  Apart from the head and pelvis, the two figures are unique.  I mean, they still are clearly styled from the same basic look, and are the same figure in differing poses, but the two figures maintain mostly unique tooling nevertheless.  The PotF2 Stormtrooper is, of course, one of the goofiest, most 90s-ified figures in the line, so this guy follows suit.  I will give him this, though: he’s at the very least designed to actually hold his weapon two-handed.  It would be a little while before a standard Stormtrooper got that.  Similarities in design aside, the paintwork is the real dividing line between these two figures.  The Sandtrooper is, appropriately, covered pretty much from head to toe in sand.  Seriously, he’s just a real mess.  The figure handles this very nicely, making use of an airbrushed sort of look, which helps to keep him looking quite worn-in.  You definitely won’t be mistaking these two for each other, even without the orange pauldron.  The Sandtrooper is packed with a removable back pack, and a rather large blaster rifle, that, as noted above, he can actually hold the proper way.  Yay!

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The Sandtrooper is another figure in the ranks of Power of the Force figures I had access to but did not technically own as a child.  There was one at my Grandmother’s house, meant to be shared by my cousin and me.  When the figures were split up and sent home between the two of us, the Sandtrooper went with my cousin, who’d always been more of a trooper fan than myself.  I got this particular figure from the Farpoint charity auction this past year.  He’s just as goofy as his standard issue compatriot, but that doesn’t stop him from being fun.

#1641: Black Panther

BLACK PANTHER

MARVEL MIGHTY MUGGS (HASBRO)

While I have come to tolerate Funko’s Pop! line in recent years, and even put together a sizable collection, there’s no denying that they’ll always be my second choice for pseudo designer vinyl media tie-in figures.  Number one will always go to Hasbro’s sadly under-appreciated Mighty Muggs.  Fortunately for lovers of the Muggs, they’ve made a comeback this year.  I’ve looked at one of the Star Wars ones, but Hasbro’s also launched a Marvel line alongside them, and I’ll be looking at my first of those today with Black Panther!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Black Panther is figure 07, the second figure numerically in the second assortment of Marvel Mighty Muggs.  Panther’s design is based on his appearance from Captain America: Civil War.  A movie design allows Hasbro the chance to offer some more detailing, and of the two film designs, I’m still pretty partial to the original design.  The figure stands 3 1/2 inches tall and has articulation at each shoulder.  Panther uses the same standard body used for Luke, with a different head piece depicting Panther’s mask.  Only the actual “face” of the mask is left uncovered.  It works with the natural lines and breaks of the mask, so the changeover from the sculpted headpiece to the painted face is fairly subtle, and doesn’t look to jarring.  The sculpted details of the headpiece are simple enough to fit the style, but still plentiful enough to add some nice depth to the overall design.  As I discussed in my review of Luke, the new Mighty Muggs all feature an action feature, allowing for changing facial expressions.  As a masked character, his expressions have to be a bit more inventive than Luke’s, I suppose.  It all comes down to the eyes.  There’s wide-eyed, squinty-eyed, and a mix of the two.  There’s a lot of variety offered by those different eyes, and it’s an impressive handling on Hasbro’s part.  I think the basic wide-eyed is my personal favorite, but all three are a lot of fun.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

After being so impressed by the Luke figure, I was definitely on the lookout for some of the others.  Panther certainly looked cool, and Super Awesome Girlfriend ended up picking him up for me one day while she was at work.  My excitement for this line has not subsided at all; Panther is just as well handled as Luke, and I’m definitely on board with both currently running Mighty Muggs lines.

#1640: Mr. Meeseeks

MR. MEESEEKS

RICK AND MORTY (FUNKO)

“I’m Mr. Meeseeks!  Look at meeeee!”

Oooooooooo, it’s another Mr. Meeseeks review!  Caaaaan dooooo!

I’ve touched on Rick and Morty once on this site before, in fact in another Mr. Meeseeks review.  It’s certainly an odd show, but it amuses me.  There’s a bunch of associated merchandise out there to choose from, especially if you’re an action figure fan like myself.  Funko of course did their usual Pops and Mystery Minis, but there’s also a proper action figure line as well, and my personal favorite character (or characters, I suppose), Mr. Meeseeks was included amongst the initial assortment.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Mr. Meeseeks was released in the first series of Rick and Morty figures from Funko.  He represents Jerry’s first Meeseeks from “Meeseeks and Destroy,” which is the most prominent Meeseeks by far.  The figure stands just shy of 6 inches tall and he has 17 points of articulation.  His sculpt isn’t a straight recreation of the design from the show, largely due to the design not really being meant for three dimensions or adding things like articulation. From the outset, there were some compromises that needed to be made.  On top of that, Funko looks to be trying to create some sort of line-wide style for the Rick and Morty figures, at least partly influenced by other media adaptation lines from the ‘90s and such.  It’s not too far removed from the already established Rick and Morty style, and the figure still has all of the characteristics necessary for selling this figure as a Meeseeks figure.  The head in particular is a solid recreation of the show design.  The articulation is rather obvious, but it’s not particularly obtrusive, and it has a pretty good range of motion, which is the important thing here.  There’s not actually much paint on this figure.  The vast majority of the figure is just molded in light blue plastic, with paint limited to the head, specifically the eyes, brows, and hair. The application is all clean, but that’s pretty easy to do when there’s this little to apply.  Meeseeks is packed with a golf club (which you gotta choke up on, while remembering to square your shoulders; you know you gotta do both) and a hand gun.  His hands aren’t exactly designed for optimal grip on either, but it’s not like he can’t hold them at all.  It might have been cool to get an extra head or two to allow for multiple Meeseeks to be depicted, but it wouldn’t surprise me if Funko was holding out to release more variants down the line.  Meeseeks is also packed with the leg of the Build-A-Figure Snowball.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Despite not being a fan of the show herself, Super Awesome Girlfriend got me this figure, just like the last one.  We had stopped to look for the Solo product, and I didn’t find much, so I guess she took a bit of pity on me and bought me this guy (it probably had something to do with me only being out that day because I was doing some volunteer work with her, as well).  I don’t know that I’ll be going all-in on this particular line, but I do quite like this particular figure.

#1639: Han Solo

HAN SOLO

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“Han Solo reinvents himself after leaving behind his old life.  Now, Solo is growing increasingly comfortable traveling with law-benders and scoundrels.”

Yes, that’s right, the Solo product is finally here.  And it arrived…with a bit of a whimper, really.  Maybe I’ve just been more invested in the last three of these things, but the Solo product launch just kind of happened, low-key, with no announcements, no build-up, nothing.  Well, I spent some time tracking down a handful of items for myself, and I’ll be looking at the Black Series release of the main character today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Han is part of the latest assortment of Star Wars: The Black Series figures, which officially started hitting stores last Friday.  He’s numbered 62 and is one of four figures in the first assortment to be specifically from Solo.  He’s the fourth Han in the line, and, of course, the first not to be based on Harrison Ford.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and he has 26 points of articulation.  Han’s articulation is some of the best we’ve seen in the line.  Range of motion on the elbows is almost equivalent to a double-joint, and the posabilty of the ball jointed neck is downright astounding.  Han gets an all-new sculpt, which at this point in the line is hardly a surprise.  It’s definitely up to the line’s increasing standard of quality when it comes to sculpts.  The details are all very crisp, and he looks quite a bit like Alden Ehrenreich.  If I have one complaint about the sculpt, it’s that I’m not a huge fan of the non-dominant hands on these figures having this weird empty grip they’ve been going with as of late.  Of course, that’s exceedingly minor.  A good sculpt can still be brought down by bad paint, but I’m happy to say that isn’t the case on this figure.  The Black Series figures have begun implementing the same face-printing technique that Marvel Legends has begun using on their MCU figures, an Han is my first figure from this line to feature it.  I’m very happy with the end result; he looks very lifelike, and definitely avoids that sort of dead-ness that some of the earlier Black Series figures possessed.  Moving past the face, they’ve even put some slight accenting on his hair (something that is far too often overlooked) and his jacket, thereby preventing him from being quite as bland as some of the figures in this line have ended up.  Han’s only accessory is his DL-44 blaster pistol; it’s still a good piece, and this isn’t a huge change of pace from prior figures, so I can’t really complain.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I had plans for Friday morning when the Solo product hit, so I didn’t really have the chance to go out and look for it first thing.  I instead settled for stopping at a Target on the way back from said plans, which is where I found this guy and…pretty much nothing else.  So, this guy it was.  I gotta say, while I liked the look of the figure in the package, I had no idea what I was getting into here.  This is, hands down, the best Han Solo figure that Hasbro has produced to date.  It’s just a little sad that it’s not actually a Harrison Ford Han Solo.  If we don’t get a Bespin Han of equivalent quality to this one within the next year, I will be sincerely disappointed.

#1638: Rocket & Teen Groot

ROCKET & TEEN GROOT

AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR (HASBRO)

Remember last week when I looked at Star-Lord, and I did the whole thing about the Guardians of the Galaxy being part of the line?  Well, here’s the follow-up, Rocket and Groot, the inseparable pair, who make up the token Guardians slot of the deluxe assortment.  So, let’s see how they turned out!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

This pair makes up the second half of the first deluxe series of Avengers: Infinity War figures.  Unlike Hulk, it’s not that either of them is really larger than a standard figure, but more the two-pack aspect that makes them deluxe.

ROCKET

Rocket’s look is essentially unchanged from his Guardians Vol. 2 look (which was itself pretty much the same as his look from the end of the first film).  The figure stands about 3 inches tall and the has 7 points of articulation.  The sizing of this figure is much smaller, so it made more sense to do the two-pack thing for him.  His sculpt is decent enough.  Obviously, not quite as impressive as the recent Legends figure, but certainly superior to the Vol. 1 version.  No elbow joints, but at least this one can actually move his legs.  That’s certainly a plus in my book.  The level of detailing could perhaps be a touch sharper, and it’s hard to make out any sort of expression on his face, but for the style of the line, it’s a pretty solid sculpt.  His paintwork is probably the most nuanced of the figures I’ve looked at so far from the line, especially on the face, which features a number of variations in the coloring of his fur.  The work on his jumpsuit and armor plates is a little fuzzy around the edges, but it isn’t terrible.  Rocket is packed with a rather large gun, which, unfortunately, he can’t really hold that well.  He also has the Power Stone, which is the first repeated stone we’ve gotten (having been also included with Black Widow).

TEEN GROOT

Groot is possibly one of the most changed characters for Infinity War, having aged to adolescence over the course of the Vol. 2 stinger scenes.  This is our first Teen Groot figure.  The figure is 5 1/2 inches tall and has the same 11 points of articulation as most of the other figures in this line.  His sculpt is once again all-new, and it’s probably my favorite of the sculpts from the basic line.  What I really like about it is how well it can slip in with a set-up of Legends figures, should you be so inclined.  The level of detail is still a little simpler, but it’s really not that far off.  He definitely has some similarities to the Build-A-Figure Groot, which was one of my favorite sculpts of the time.  I quite like Teen Groots sulky expression, which perfectly encapsulates what we’ve seen of him so far.  Like Rocket, Groot’s paintwork is more nuanced than the others in the line.  There’s some darker accent work, as well as a little bit of green, since he’s a plant and all.  It’s perhaps not as subtle as I’d like, but it’s still much better than just getting a straight brown.  Teen Groot has no accessories of his own, but with Rocket and all of his extras, it’s not like this pack is particularly light.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This set, along with Widow, is what really sold me on the whole line.  Sure, there’s a Legends set with these two in the pipeline, but without them being available right now, and with Groot being the only of the Guardians to be notably different, this set certainly has quite a bit of appeal.