#3011: Magneto

MAGNETO

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Magneto casts off his anti-human sentiments and carries on Xavier’s dream of peaceful coexistence, thereby founding the X-Men.”

2020 marked the 25th anniversary of the X-Men crossover “Age of Apocalypse” and 2021 marked the 25th anniversary of the tie-in toys for that crossover.  What’s the significance of 2022?  It’s the 25th anniversary of the toys being a year old, I guess.  That’s gotta count for something, right?  Well, I’m gonna make it count for something, because in my case, it counts for reviewing another round of AoA-themed Legends.  That’s pretty cool, all things considered.  Throughout the history of the X-Men, Magneto has flirted with the idea of not being such a bad guy, even aiding, or in some cases outright joining the team.  It rarely lasts, but AoA posited that, were Magneto to see his friend Xavier murdered at a young age, that might just be the thing to make him an objectively good character.  So, in the AoA universe, Magneto is an unquestionable force of good, founder and leader of the X-Men, and the most prominent force in the fight against the objectively evil Apocalypse.  As such, he’s a pretty perfect choice for headlining the second assortment of AoA Legends.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Magneto is part of the Colossus Series of Marvel Legends.  He is the only figure in the set not to include a piece of the Build-A-Figure, and is likewise this assortment’s double pack, which is honestly pretty sensible.  This is the fourth time the AoA version of Magneto’s gotten a figure, following the original Toy Biz 5-inch figure, the Minimate, and the 3 3/4-inch Hasbro version.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  As with the last few Magnetos, he’s based on the Spider-UK body, which is a good fit for the character, so I’m pretty happy to see it continue to be in use for the character.  In terms of design, Magneto’s AoA look wasn’t a drastic change from his mainstream look, so there’s a lot of room for parts re-use.  That being said, the only part (aside from the base body), that’s shared with the standard Magneto is the belt.  He also shares his forearms and boots with the modern Magneto, which are generally pretty good matches for the updated designs from the AoA books.  He gets a few new parts as well, namely an all-new cape/shoulder pad piece, as well as two new heads.  The cape does seem a little tame for how the AoA Magneto’s cape was usually depicted, but it’s still a pretty nice piece, which at least keeps the figure well-balanced.  The new heads give him helmeted and un-helmeted looks.  The un-helmeted is certainly the stronger of the two.  The facial features are a bit more defined, and the hair turned out quite well.  The helmeted head’s not terrible, but the helmet seems a touch on the small side, and I do feel like there’s a missed opportunity in not doing the blacked-out face under the helmet, as he was frequently depicted in the books.  Magneto’s paint work is generally pretty decent.  It’s straight forward, and really rather minimal, but it does what it needs to for the most part.  There’s a little bit of misalignment on one of the eyebrows one un-helmeted head, but it generally looks pretty good.  The only odd part is the decision to leave off the purple trunks. Later illustrations of the character dropped them, but the actual cross-over itself always showed him having them.  Magneto is packed with two sets of hands, one in fists, the other in open gesture, as well as two electricity effects.  Not a ton of stuff, but it covers the basics.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

AoA Magneto is really one of my favorite parts of the whole AoA thing, something I brought up when I reviewed the Toy Biz figure, itself my favorite of the Toy Biz AoA figures.  I’ve definitely been hoping for an update in Legends form for quite some time.  I was bummed when he wasn’t included with the first assortment, but his absence felt like it really confirmed a second assortment, since how can you not do this guy?  I was happy to be right.  Ultimately, there are some elements of the figure that could stand to be a little stronger, but he’s generally still a pretty solid take on the character, and I’m glad we got the update.

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

#3010: Blue Ranger

BLUE RANGER

MIGHTY MORPHIN POWER RANGERS (THREEZERO)

Oh man, I haven’t reviewed any Power Rangers since last year!  …get it?  Because we’re only two weeks into the–okay, yeah, it’s not that funny, I guess.  Also, it’s a joke I’ve already pulled once.  So, you know, there it is, I guess.  Look, I’m not proud of it either, okay?  Let’s just get to the actual review, I guess.  As far as Rangers reviews go, the original incarnation, Mighty Morphin, has become a bit rarer around here, what with me having already gotten the whole core team in my preferred scale some time ago.  I do have a soft spot for the Blue Ranger, of course, so that does leave me more avenues to review the occasional release here and there.  While we’re here and there, ThreeZero has recently picked up the license for the purposes of some 1/6 scale figures, which includes my boy Blue, so I’m taking a look at their take on him today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Blue Ranger was released at the same time as the other five Rangers in ThreeZero’s Mighty Morphin Power Rangers line, hitting late last fall.  He and the others were available both as single releases and in one boxed set for the whole team.  Obviously, mine’s the single release, but the actual figures are the same between the two styles of box.  The figure stands just shy of 12 inches tall and he has over 30 points of articulation.

In true 1/6 form, the most prominent piece of sculpting here is the head, or in this case more specifically the helmet.   Blue’s triceratops-inspired helmet is nicely recreated here.  It’s not quite a perfect match for the on-screen helmet, but it gets all of the elements, and it’s pretty close.  It’s quite sleek in its implementation, and the sculpting is all properly clean and sharp in its detailing.  The paint work is likewise clean and sharp.  The extra panel lining on the edges isn’t strictly show accurate, but at this scale it helps to make the sculpted elements pop a bit more, which is a plus.  The overall finish of the helmet is glossy, in proper fashion for how it looked in the show…most of the time, anyway.  There’s no alternate unmasked head included with these releases, which is on one hand a slight letdown compared to other 1/6 stuff, but on the other hand totally understandable given how much lower the price point is on these figures compared to others on the market.

In contrast to my last two ThreeZero reviews, where the figures were fully sculpted, and a mix of plastic and diecast parts, the Rangers are more classic 1/6 scale figures, making use of cloth costumes with plastic accents and underlying body.  It’s appropriate, what with all the spandex involved with the actual costumes and all.  The main suit is a spandex-like material, which scales well to the body and is generally well-tailored to match.  Obviously, some of the stitching is a little larger than it should be, but not by much.  The metallic finish on the material matches the original Sentai costume, and is just overall very sleek looking, which I’m all about.  The white elements are applied via a rubberized paint, which is clean, sharp at the edges, and offers consistent coverage.  The belt piece is a mix of cloth and plastic, with the main belt being a pleather like material, and the buckle being plastic.  The back of the belt is a little bit rudimentary in its design, but otherwise the piece works well.  The cuffs for the boots and gloves are sculpted plastic parts.  They’re nicely fitted to the body, and help to further keep the costume in place, as well as maximizing the posability on the wrists and ankles.

The body under the suit is clearly designed for function over form, as you would hope for this style of figure.  It shapes well under the suit, but is largely built for being well articulated.  There’s a rubbery sort of a padding on the mid section for more proper shaping, which does its job nicely.  The articulation is a little stiffer than I’m used to at this scale, but that makes it more practical for holding poses.  It just takes some getting used to hearing the joints make a rather noticeable squeak every time you pose them.  All things considered, this body certainly competes well with the top end of 1/6 scale bodies, which is a definite plus.

The Blue Ranger is pretty decently accessorized.  He includes 4 pairs of hands, his Power Lance, and the Blade Blaster.  The hands are great for all manner of poses, giving you a lot of options.  The Lance and Blaster are notable for actually being fully transformable.  The Lance can be used in the separate dagger forms, as well as combined, and full extended.  Likewise, the Blade Blaster is capable of all three of its forms, in one piece, rather than three separate versions like we tend to see.  The weapons getting their full compliment of set-ups was actually a pleasant surprise for me, as I’d fully expected them to just be in their collapsed forms, since that was how the Figuarts release handled things for all the non-Reds.  Ultimately, the combined form on the Lance is a little wobbly, but it’s still cool that the functionality is actually there.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

ThreeZero has been a rather pleasant discovery for me in the last year.  I really liked both of the prior offerings I’d grabbed, and when I saw this guy go up for order, I was definitely down to at least give him a try.  I was expecting him to be a passable figure at least, but at the price point, I wasn’t expecting him to be nearly as impressive as he wound up being.  For less than half of the price of your average Hot Toy, you get a figure that’s maybe not *quite* the same quality and is a little lighter on the accessories, but it’s not as much of a gap as you might think.  This is another win for ThreeZero as far as I’m concerned, and they certainly have my attention for future releases.

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

#3009: Snake Eyes & Timber

SNAKE EYES & TIMBER

G.I. JOE: CLASSIFIED SERIES (HASBRO)

I haven’t actually gotten to talk about G.I. Joe, specifically it’s most recent re-launch, Classified Series, since all the way back in October, which on one hand doesn’t seem that long ago, but also really does.  It’s not really like I’m missing much that’s worth reviewing, of course; there hasn’t really been much new.  When last discussing things, I brought up the line’s Original 13, the debut line-up for the Real American Hero incarnation of the franchise.  While some of them remained more or less confined to those early years, a few of them took off.  Most notable was the first year’s resident cost-saver, Snake Eyes, who would become the franchise’s most distinctive character.  Today, we turn our sights his earliest incarnation, or at least a re-imagining of it, alongside his trusty sidekick, Timber!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Snake Eyes and Timber are a deluxe-sized release, thus far unseen in the main retail line, for Hasbro’s G.I. Joe: Classified Series, where they are item 30, placing them right after Breaker and the RAM Cycle in the numbering sequence.  Though pairing off Snake Eyes with Timber is nothing new for the brand, it’s not usually this version of Snake Eyes that gets paired with Timber, since Timber was first included with Version 2.  However, with the initial Snake Eyes being V2-inspired already, it made sense not to double back on variants.

SNAKE EYES

We’ve had no shortage of Snake Eyes variants in this line up to this point, with this in particular being the fourth version.  There have been two versions based on V2, and one based on the film, but this one goes back to the original commando-based V1 design.  The figure stands just over 6 inches tall and he has 37 points of articulation.  Snake Eyes is built on a mix of parts, largely stemming from the Beach Head-version of the Duke mold.  It’s a good starting point for an update on Snake’s classic turtle-necked design, and just a good starting point in general, as it remains one of my favorite figures in the line.  He borrows the holster from the first Snake Eyes, in a nice bit of cross-use, and then gets a new head and shins, along with new overlay pieces for his webgear and the sheath for his knife.  As stated above, the aim of this sculpt is to capture the V1 design, or at least to offer something of an update to it.  It does a good job of that, and in fact stays a lot closer than the more sci-fi-inspired figures from the rest of the line.  It’s a fitting choice, since this is supposed to be an earlier in his career Snake Eyes, presumably from before the Joes get quite as tech savvy.  I particularly like the new head, especially how you can see the separate parts of the assembly.  The webgear likewise has a lot of depth of detail to it.  In general, it captures all of the broad strokes of the original figure, but at a larger scale and with more going on.  Still, it’s not over designed, or anything like that; it’s the right level of detailing.  Snake Eye’s paint work is much simplified compared to the prior figures.  This is on purpose, no doubt to call back to the V1 figure’s complete lack of paint.  This one is a little more detailed than that one, but does have a slight variance to the exact finish of the blacks, just to give him a little bit of variety.  He also gets one small bit of white detailing on his grenade, which is a nice touch.  Snake Eyes is packed with his classic Uzi, as well as an ump45 with, to quote Tim, “a whacked out front end,” an assault rifle that appears to be a combination of a number of things with a lot of customizations, a Beretta m93r (with removable silencer, just like the first release),  and a large knife.  The rifles are fun, since they both feature removable magazines, which I always enjoy.  Snake Eyes includes no sword, of course, as is proper for a true commando Snake Eyes.

TIMBER

First included with the V2 Snake Eyes back in ’85, Timber had appeared in other media prior, notably in the cartoon as the wolf that guides an irradiated Snake Eyes back to safety in the second mini-series.  Over the years, he’s been featured in the main line a good number of times, but it’s rare that he’s ever anything more than an unarticulated accessory.  For his debut in Classified, Hasbro’s given him the proper figure treatment.  He’s about 3 inches tall and 5 1/2 inches long, and he has 29 points of articulation.  While his articulation doesn’t have as full a range as I might like, there’s still quite a bit of range to it, and he can get into a decent selection of poses.  The sculpt does quite a nice job of capturing a rather basic wolf look, with an impressive level of detail work.  He includes two different heads, one calm, and the other snarling, again adding to the display options for the figure.  The paint work on Timber is generally pretty solid.  There’s a pretty nice two-toned thing going on with the fur, which has a rather subtle change-over.  I also really like the gold irises on the eyes, as well as the slight shading to the scars on the face.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

While I generally do angle towards the V2-style for my default Snake Eyes, I’ll admit I have quite a soft-spot for the commando look for the character, especially as sort of a “starter” look for the character.  I was hoping we’d see at least some sort of a nod to it in the modern line, but wasn’t expecting a full-on update.  I’m very happy with how this one turned out.  He’s just a very nice figure.  Timber’s also kind of an essential piece, and I’m happy to see Hasbro give him the proper deluxe style treatment here.  In general, this is really one of the coolest sets to come out of Classified, and I look forward to seeing what else Hasbro might do with this price-point.

Thanks to my sponsors over at All Time Toys for setting me up with these figures to review.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#3008: The Family That Busts Together

PHOEBE & EGON SPENGLER

GHOSTBUSTERS: PLASMA SERIES (HASBRO)

“Phoebe’s love of science and affinity for bustin’ ghosts runs in the family. She’s got Spengler blood, after all.”

Finding a good follow-up to the first Ghostbusters has been a difficult task since, well, the first Ghostbusters, honestly.  Even the combination of the whole original cast, the original director, and the original writers on Ghostbusters II wasn’t enough to capture that particular lightning back in the bottle, so in a modern world where reassembling the whole team is no longer possible, it’s an even more daunting task.  2016’s attempted reboot was divisive to put it mildly.  So, Afterlife seemed like it was taking on a rather Herculean feat, but it actually managed to achieve the seemingly impossible, and finally craft an actually pretty decent follow-up to the first movie.  Its success largely lies in how it interweaves old and new, as the old story is still there, but there’s also an actually rather likable cast of new characters to accompany them.  Central to the film is Egon Spengler’s granddaughter Phoebe, whose curiosity about her grandfather’s old habits launches her into the film’s events, as she is guided by her grandfather’s spirit, metaphorically, and then (SPOILERS), not so metaphorically.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

“The Family That Busts Together” set is a Target-exclusive Ghostbusters: Plasma Series release, which was announced the week after Afterlife hit theaters, and started hitting shelves just after Black Friday/Cyber Monday.  Currently, the set is the only way to get Plasma Series versions of either of the two included characters.  It does seem a little odd, since Phoebe is unquestionably the film’s main character, and it’s an exclusive set, but with the rather notable spoilers surrounding the other half of the set, I can get the move for a retailer exclusive, since that allows for a closer to film release, while also keeping the reveal close to the vest for as close as possible.  The set did at least prove fairly easy to find at first, though in the aftermath of holiday shopping, time will tell as to exactly how easily acquired it is.

PHOEBE

Afterlife‘s new cast each sort of follow the archetype of one of the earlier ‘Busters, with McKenna Grace’s Phoebe taking her grandfather’s spot as the slightly quieter, more scientifically-minded member of the crew, though perhaps one that’s a little more outwardly driven than Egon ever was in the films proper.  As with all of the figures thus far from the film, Phoebe is based on her fully geared up look from later in the film, which is certainly sensible, as far as toy choices go.  Just basic day-to-day attire might not be quite as fun.  The figure stands about 5 inches tall and she has 25 points of articulation.  While there are similarities in the sculpts of all the new Ghostbusters, none of them are actually sharing parts, so Phoebe is an all-new mold.  It’s a pretty solid one.  The articulation is perhaps a touch more limited than I’d like, but it does somewhat come with the territory of her being much smaller.  The likeness on the head sculpt is pretty spot on, and I really like the little touches to show that she’s had to quite hastily tailor her grandfather’s jumpsuit to her smaller stature.  The paint work on the figure is on par with the earlier releases in the line, which is to say its pretty clean and basic, with the best work by far being shown off on the head, which has the face printing.  Phoebe gets a rather impressive selection of accessories, including Egon’s modified proton pack, with removable back plate and neutron wand, as well as an effects piece, a PKE meter, which can be clipped to her belt, a jar of ooze from the second movie, and one of the chess pieces from the game she and Egon’s poltergeist are playing throughout the film.  The very moment-specific extras are definitely a lot of fun, and I was glad to see them turn up.  Lastly, and not so much for her specifically, the set also includes the head to the Terror Dog version of Zuul, designed for use with the Build-A-Figure body released last year.  Since that one was specifically Vinz Clortho, and it was re-used again for the set with Tully, it was very nice of Hasbro to find a way to give collectors both dogs.

EGON

Afterlife begins with the death of Egon, shot in such a way as to avoid showing him directly, given Harold Ramis’s passing seven years before the film.  Throughout the film, he continues to have a role in the film as a spirit with no visible form, again to keep him included, while still acknowledging the loss of Ramis.  The big reveal during the film’s climactic battle, after the remaining three original ‘busters have shown up to assist the new team, and after Phoebe in particular steps up to face down Gozer, is Egon as an actual visible ghost.  It’s a moment that allows both Egon and Ramis to stand alongside their respective teams one last time, and it’s one of the film’s most emotional moments to be sure.  This set in particular is designed to replicate that sequence, and Egon’s appearance in particular.  The figure stands just over 6 inches tall and he has 29 points of articulation.  Structurally, he’s largely the same as all of the other older ‘busters from Afterlife, meaning he’s using the Ray body from the first series.  It gives him a slightly huskier build, which matches to Ramis’s look later in life, as well as how Egon is portrayed in the film.  The only thing that *doesn’t* match up with the film is the presence of gloves, which Egon pointedly didn’t have on as a spectre.  However, there aren’t yet any non-gloved hands and forearms for the standard ‘Busters body, so it would have required new tooling, and given how the coloration works, it’s a forgivable change, since it’s not very visible anyway.  The one new piece here is a new head sculpt.  It’s not as spot-on a likeness as the prior Egon, but it’s also based on a cgi recreation of a likeness, and it given the turnaround time on this one, it’s likely it wasn’t even a fully-formed render at the time yet.  All things considered, it’s perhaps a little on the large side, but otherwise not a bad sculpt at all.  The paint work on this figure is a definite change-up from the others, since it needs to give him that spectral look.  This is achieved by molding him in translucent blue plastic, and then painting on some trace details, notably on the face and the upper torso, making him look like an apparition that fades away as it gets to the edges of his body.  It’s a well-rendered effect, especially when seen in person.  Egon’s more of an accessory himself, so he doesn’t get anything of his own, but a few of Phoebe’s accessories also work for Egon as well, so there’s some crossover there.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As I’ve mentioned before, Egon’s my favorite member of the Ghostbusters, and Harold Ramis is also one of my favorite creators, so the lack of both of them in this sequel was something I was worried about going into the new movie.  I really loved how they worked his legacy into the story, and I’ll admit to being rather touched by how they built to his ultimate reappearance late in the film.  Likewise, I really identified a lot with Phoebe and her quest to connect more with her late grandfather.  She was certainly my favorite addition to the cast, so I found myself wanting this set quite a bit after seeing the movie.  Thankfully, Max was there with the assist on this one, and snagged me one back in December.  Phoebe is definitely the real star here, but the accessory selection and inclusion of Egon really make it a home run of a set.

#3007: Bo-Katan Kryze with Gauntlet Starfighter

BO-KATAN KRYZE with GAUNTLET STARFIGHTER

STAR WARS: MISSION FLEET (HASBRO)

Remember Mission Fleet?  You know, that all-ages-aimed Star Wars toy line that I’ve been following and actually really enjoy thoroughly every time I get around to reviewing one?  The one that I have, despite this, only reviewed twice on this site?  Yeah, that’s the one.  I keep bringing up the need to go back and get some of the backlog of them reviewed, but I keep, you know, not doing it.  Instead, I keep holding off for a new addition, which is what I’m doing now.  Again.  For the third time.  It happens.  Thus far, the two items I’ve reviewed have both been Mandalorian-themed, and this third review follows that same trend.  So, let’s have a look at Bo-Katan Kryze (who, much like sand, is coarse and gets everywhere) and her Gauntlet Starfighter!

THE TOYS THEMSELVES

Bo-Katan and the Gauntlet Starfighter make up the “Starfighter Siege” set of Star Wars: Mission Fleet, a Stellar Class release (the next size up from the two Expedition Class sets I’ve already looked at) from the tail end of 2021, which hit alongside Moff Gideon’s TIE Fighter and Obi-Wan’s Jedi Starfighter.  Though officially billed Mandalorian on the packaging, this set can work just as well as a Clone Wars release too, giving it a little more range, which is pretty cool, even if it is Bo-Katan.

The core Bo-Katan figure is in her full-armored attire.  The extra detailing on the helmet signifies her as at the very least a post-late Clone Wars version of the character.  The figure stands 2 1/2 inches tall and she has 9 points of articulation.  The articulation scheme here is the same as on the Mando, which is to say that it works generally pretty well given the scale.  Her sculpt is certainly more stylized than larger offerings, with slightly tweaked proportions on the head, hands, and feet.  It’s more cartoony, but not too overly so.  There’s still plenty of small detail work, and it tracks well with her design in both animation and in live action.  Bo-Katan’s paint work actually has quite a bit going on.  All of the important armor details are there, and she’s even got all the proper detailing on the helmet, which does look pretty cool.  Bo-Katan is packed with her jetpack (which is distinct from Mando’s), twin blasters, and her energy shield.

The vehicle portion of this set is far more prominent, given the higher price-point of the set.  Rather than just a speeder bike like the other two sets, there’s a full-fledged Gauntlet Starfighter include here.  It’s the ship she’s most frequently seen using, and it’s a fairly distinctive design, so it’s a strong choice.  The ship measures just shy of 9 inches tall and it’s 8 1/2 inches wide.  It’s just a one-person seater, but it’s still got a decent size to it, and it’s even got the full worked-in movement for the wings, as seen on-screen.  It’s a cool feature of a cool design, so it’s great that they worked it in there properly.  Given the ship’s larger scale, the added ports for compatibility with the rest of the line aren’t quite as obtrusive here as on the smaller vehicles, which is also pretty cool.  The color work on this one is also a bit more involved than the speeder bikes, making it a more vibrant and eye-catching design.  As with other vehicles, this one gets a large missile launcher and missile.  It can be mounted to any of the ports on the ship, and also includes its own articulated tripod piece for stand-alone use.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Cheyenne requested fairly early into Mission Fleet‘s run that I not buy all of them for myself, so I’ve been pretty deliberately holding on most of the line, just to give her a good stock of choices for gift ideas.  So, this was the one she opted to go for this year, which is honestly a pretty good call.  This is one of the cooler ship designs, and one that’s kind of rare in toy form.  It’s a lot of fun, and while Bo-Katan might be a coarse character, she does at least still have a cool design, making for a generally fun toy set-up.

#3006: Kalibak

KALIBAK

SUPER POWERS (KENNER)

“Kalibak, The Cruel Crusher! This massive warrior is incredibly powerful and nearly indestructible. A savage fighter, Kalibak wields the deadly Beta-Club, which can fire nerve beams powerful enough to fell an entire army.  Despite his size and strength, Kalibak is not too intelligent. He can be bested by an opponent like Superman, who combines his strength with a sense of strategy.”

When I last discussed Kenner’s Super Powers line from the ’80s, I was getting pretty deep into the Fourth World component of the line, which hit during its second and third years.  Thus far, I’ve looked at three of Darkseid’s lieutenants, as well as one of his sons.  Today, I look at the figure that combines those two epithets, Kalibak, half brother to Orion, and the brutish son of Darkseid.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Kalibak was released in 1985, as part of Kenner’s second year of Super Powers figures.  As with the rest of the Fourth World figures in the line, this would be his debut action figure, and it would remain his only figure until Mattel got back around to him in 2009 as part of their DC Universe Classics line.  Heck of a gap there, huh?  There was definitely a preferred son of Darkseid in the toy world is all I’m saying.  The figure stands just shy of 5 inches tall (he’s got a bit of a hunch, which would place him at closer to Darkseid’s height were he standing straight up) and he’s got 5 points of articulation.  Kalibak lacks the knee joints sported by most of the line, presumably to give him a slightly more stable stance with the hunch and everything.  He still has a bit of trouble remaining standing even so, due to his hip joints being a little loose from how the action feature works.  Most of the Fourth World characters got rather changed-up designs for the line, still courtesy of Jack Kirby, of course.  Kalibak’s design was new, but he actually had a rather evolving design throughout Kirby’s actual run on New Gods, so this was really just the next step in that evolution.  It’s honestly one of the best of the updated designs, and the one that really has the most lasting influence on the character’s main look going forward.  The sculpt does a pretty nice job of capturing Kalibak’s larger build, and while he’s a little bit goofy looking, that’s on-brand for Kalibak, so it works out better here than it does for, say, Steppenwolf.  Kalibak’s paint work is pretty straight forward.  A lot of the Fourth World designs were heavy on green in the comics, and Kalibak was included in that.  For the Super Powers designs, they leaned a little more into browns and warmer colors, since there was kind of a shortage of those colors in the DC roster.  Kalibak is largely brown and yellow, with a bit of blue.  It’s not a bad look, and the application is generally pretty clean.  Kalibak is packed with his Beta-Club, which is convenient for use with his “Power Action Beta-Club Swing.”  When is legs are squeezed together, the left arm swings in and out, which is actually a pretty cool feature.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Kalibak is the newest addition to my Super Powers collection, in the continuing tradition of my Dad getting me a Super Powers figure at Christmas.  He’s slowly but surely helping me make my way through the figures that remain between me and a complete run of the line.  Kalibak is one of those figures I wasn’t in a rush to get or anything, but I actually like him a lot more than I’d expected now that I actually own him.  And with that, I’m down to just 6 more figures!

#3005: Wolverine, Callisto, Jason Wyngarde, Omega Red, & Cyber

WOLVERINE, CALLISTO, JASON WYNGARDE, OMEGA RED, & CYBER

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

Wow, it’s been, like, weeks, plural even, since I reviewed any Marvel Legends.  That’s crazy.  I mean, technically, I haven’t reviewed any of them since last year.  Can you believe that?  I’m honestly still sort of wrapping my head around it after two months of un-filtered Legends reviews.  Well, there’s still more to be reviewed, so I’d best ease myself back in.  Today’s review fulfills the component of being both a Legends review *and* a post-Christmas review, so it’s the perfect choice!  The last couple of years running, Amazon has gotten a larger boxed Legends-exclusive nearer to the holiday season, and 2021 followed suit, with a five-pack of figures, all (sort of) Wolverine-themed.  And that’s the set I’m looking at today!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Wolverine, Callisto, Jason Wyngarde, Omega Red, and Cyber make up the Amazon-exclusive Wolverine 5-pack of Marvel Legends.  Well, it started out as an Amazon-exclusive, anyway.  It didn’t stay that way for much time at all, though, and is already available through a number of other retailers, including my sponsors over at All Time Toys, if you’re feeling inclined to pick a set up.

WOLVERINE

It’s difficult to do a Wolverine-themed set and not include a Wolverine, so Hasbro opted to do that.  I suppose that’s a reasonable stance for them to take.  We’ve had no shortage of Wolverines in the line, especially recently, so a lot of the major looks have already been covered.  In an effort to be a little bit different, Hasbro’s gone with a look that appears to be at least a little bit inspired by the cover of X-Men #251, which features a beaten Wolverine in his brown costume, sans shirt, cowl, and gloves.  It’s an interesting twist on his usual design, and has a fairly distinctive visual to it, so it’s not a bad choice.  The figure stands just shy of 6 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  He’s built on the same core body they’ve been using since the Juggernaut Series, which is especially fitting in this figure’s case, since it’s meant to be the same costume as that one and all.  He gets two new head sculpts, both of them unmasked.  As of yet, the unmasked Wolverine heads for modern-era Legends have all felt a little bit lacking, so there was definitely a big push to get some ones that worked a bit better to translate that crazy hair into three dimensions.  These two give us both crazy and slightly more neutral expressions, and are easily the best unmasked Wolverines that Hasbro has produced.  I myself really like the calmer expression, but they’re both quite impressive in how they capture that more ’80s style look for Logan.  Otherwise, Wolverine is using re-used parts, and doing pretty well with that.  The paint work on this guy is pretty strong, as making him shirtless gives him all that body hair to contend with.  Fun stuff, right?  It actually works pretty well, and doesn’t look as goofy as painted hair can, so kudos to Hasbro on that.  The heads get some pretty solid work, with the calmer expression actually getting some bruising and cuts.  It stops it from being a totally standard head, which is a slight bummer, but at the same time, it does look really cool.  Hopefully, they’ll just repack this head with a more standard paint app later down the line, for a best of both worlds sort of set-up.  In addition to the two varieties of head mentioned above, this figure is also packed with hands both with and without the claws.  No X-crucifix, but I can see why Hasbro might want to forego packing such a thing in.

CALLISTO

This set is, ostensibly, supposed to be Wolverine-themed, being Logan versus a bunch of his foes.  Two figures in, we’re already kind of loosing that.  Callisto was introduced alongside the rest of the Morlocks, a group of sewer-dwelling mutants, in X-Men #169, as an attempt to have a few more mutants who weren’t quite as physically pristine as a lot of the X-Men were.  While she and the other Morlocks have certainly been involved with Wolverine by virtue of being in the X-Men universe and all, it’s not like there’s any sort of particularly close ties there.  That being said, she’s been without any toy treatment up until this point, so an excuse to finally release her in some form isn’t unwarranted.  The figure stands just over 6 inches tall and she has 27 points of articulation.  For the most part, Callisto is really just an excuse to get another use out of the Mohawk Storm parts.  Everything but the head and hands are shared with that figure.  It’s really not a bad bit of re-use; the two designs are quite similar, and given Storm and Callisto’s history, I suppose it wouldn’t be the weirdest thing in the world for them to share a taste in fashion.  Callisto’s new head sculpt is perhaps a little more conventionally good looking than Callisto was classically portrayed, but it’s in line with her more modern incarnations, and it’s not a bad sculpt.  The detailing on the scarring and the eye patch is pretty decent, and I do like that they’ve gotten at least a little bit of her usual scowl going on there.  Her paint work is generally pretty straight forward.  There’s not a ton of work going into it, since there’s a lot of molded color work, but the work on the head is well-handled, and the application is overall clean and fairly consistent.  I’m not big on how the painted edge of her torn shirt looks, but it was unlikely that they were going to sculpt a new lower torso just for Callisto.  As it stands, it looks alright.  Callisto is packed with two sets of hands, one gripping, the other in fists, as well as two different knives.

JASON WYNGARDE

Remember this being a Wolverine-themed set?  Hasbro doesn’t seem to so much, because the third figure, much like the second, is kind of not fitting that mold.  Appearing during “The Dark Phoenix Saga,” Jason Wyngarde is key to Jean’s descent into madness and her eventual dark turn.  Late in the story, he is revealed to be former Brotherhood of Evil Mutants member Mastermind in disguise, leaving the Wyngarde identity largely discarded, though it does get dusted off from time to time.  Wyngarde has little to no actual interaction with Wolverine, since it’s Jean he’s attempting to seduce and Cyclops he’s in more direct conflict with.  Perhaps he’s here because he and Wolverine both sparred with Cyclops for Jean’s affections?  Or perhaps because they both share a love of unique facial hair?  I don’t know, and I won’t complain, because I really like the Wyngarde persona, so I’m down for whatever needs to be done to get it in figure form.  Well, within reason.  Like, you know, this.  This is actually about as far as I’d go, really.  So, it worked out, all things considered.  No real moral compromises or anything.  You know what?  I’m proud of us.  We knew where to draw the line.  Great.  Back in the land of actually reviewing this figure on this here toy review site, the figure stands about 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Wyngarde is largely using parts from the two male members of the Hellfire Club set released last year.  Since he’s of similar build and also wore the same basic attire as Shaw and Pierce, it’s a sensible and in fact an expected choice.  This is the first time I’ve gotten to mess with the body, but it’s a pretty decent piece of work, and matches up well with how the characters are depicted in the comics.  Wyngarde’s head sculpt does a good job of capturing Byrne’s design for the character, while also translating that into the more standard Legends styling.  He’s suitably smarmy, while also still looking suave enough to understand part of how Jean might be swayed by him.  Wyngarde’s color palette is an interesting choice, since he’s patterned not on this “Dark Phoenix” appearance, but rather on his more recent All New All Different X-Men appearance.  It’s a minor change, and it’s not a bad color scheme, it’s just odd that they went for something other than literally the one appearance everyone knows him from.  Wyngarde is packed with an alternate Mastermind head.  It’s an impressive piece, though one that’s a little out of place without a body to match.  I’m sure it should be easy enough to rig something up, though.

OMEGA RED

Okay, now we’re actually getting to something properly Wolverine-related.  How about that?  Omega Red has had the Legends treatment rather recently, and is mostly just here in this set because that particular release has gotten rather pricey on the aftermarket these days.  This figure, like that one, stands about 7 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Omega Red is using the same parts selection as his Sauron Series release.  That was quite a nice figure, and by extension so is his one.  The molds have held up pretty well, and they still suit the character quite nicely.  I really do like those butterfly joints a lot.  The color work marks a notable change-up.  The colors are even brighter than they were the last time, with more brilliant whites and reds, as well as a few changed out colors on certain parts of the costume.  Overall, I like the new color scheme more than the old, though I will admit that I miss the cool omega symbols on the backs of the hands.  Otherwise, he’s got more of a ’90s animation feel than the last release, and I really dig that.  Like the last release, this one gets the two sets of tendrils, and also adds in a second head sculpt, with a screaming expression, which gives him some more posing options.

CYBER

Certainly the most obscure of the figures included here, Cyber is also the one that’s really the most sensible, as he’s actually only got the ties to Wolverine, and not the rest of the X-Men, so he’d be kind of out of place in a main assortment.  The figure stands just shy of 8 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  Cyber makes use of the Colossus body, which is honestly a kind of criminally under-used base body.  He makes use of a combination of parts from both Colossuses, as well as Death’s Head, in order to have the most basic selection of parts possible.  He also gets a new head, as well as forearms and hands in order to complete his look.  It’s a very basic look, but that’s true to the character, so I guess Hasbro got it right there.  He’s big and imposing, which is pretty cool.  Cyber’s paint work is actually surprisingly involved, given how basic the design is.  There’s some accenting going on for the blue sections, which helps them to look a lot better than they would if they were just flat blue plastic.  I can dig it.  There are no accessories included for Cyber, though I’m not entirely sure what exactly you could give him.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I got this whole set as a Christmas gift from my parents this year.  It’s one of those sets that’s kind of a hard sell, if I’m honest.  It’s not that any of the figures are bad, but really that they don’t seem to make for much of a cohesive package.  I myself really just view this as a very expensive way to finally own a Jason Wyngarde figure.  A very nice Jason Wyngarde, mind you, and one I’m very happy to have.  The others are all nice figures on their own, but ones I might have just as well skipped if I’d been given the option.  They’ll all suit my collection well when divied up to go into various different sections, though, so I can’t really complain too much.

#3004: Grice Anna – 19th Legion United

GRICE ANNA — 19th LEGION UNITED

BATTLE FOR THE STARS (JOYTOY)

Hey, remember when I was talking about Joytoy?  It was, like, three days ago?  Man, wasn’t that cool, and new, and different?  I sure thought so.  How about we give that another go, perhaps?  While the main focus of their output is the cool Mechas, Joytoy actually puts quite a lot of effort into the scale figures that go with said Mechas.  Enough effort that they don’t just want to leave them only available within the larger sets, so they also sell them in a few other ways, including just flat out selling them on their own.  So, today, I’m looking at one of those figures on its own.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Grice Anna is from Joytoy’s Battle For The Stars line, which, in contrast to the last item I looked at, is actually one of their 1/18 scale lines, meaning the humans are roughly at that 3 3/4 inch mark.  The figure follows suit, standing just shy of 4 inches tall and sporting 32 points of articulation, at least on the base body.  The design also features an exoskeleton sort of brace kind of set-up, which also features some articulation, though mostly its really just in a fashion that allows the underlying figure to still be posed without any trouble.  The articulation on the core figure is a lot like a 30th Anniversary/POC Joe, but even further improved, to the point where there’s even toe articulation, which, at this scale?  Well, that’s pretty impressive.  The joints are also quite well-toleranced, so she’ll be able to hold poses without much trouble, which is always a concern at this scale.  Anna’s design is sort of a merging of modern tactical gear with a little bit of military sci-fi, in keeping with the other stuff Joytoy’s been doing.  The core figure is much more on the realistic modern tactical side, and you could honestly fit her in pretty well with Joes and the like in this state.  She’s got a long sleeve shirt and some combat pants, as well as armoring on the torso, knees, and shins (the shin armor is a separate piece, so you could remove those too if you wanted).  The full armor is comprised of a pair of shoulder pads, an alternate helmeted head, and an exoskeleton that hooks over the wrists and legs, and runs pretty much the whole body.  She’s also got a cool neckerchief, you know, for a little bit of tasteful accessorizing.  Everything slides into place pretty well, although you will need to do a little bit of disassembly of the main body to get everything on there.  My only complaint is that the helmet isn’t actually attached to the alternate head in any way, so it falls off a lot.  Feels to me like it would have made the most sense to just glue it in place, especially since the alternate head foregoes even giving her painted eyes or anything, which winds up looking pretty creepy.  Her paint work is generally pretty nice.  The base work is clean, and she also gets a darker wash on the armored parts, as well as the pants, which helps to not only emphasize the sculpted details, but also to give her a slightly more worn-in appearance, which fits the setting they’re going for.  Anna is packed with two sets of hands with differing grips, as well as an assault rifle and a pistol.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve been keeping Tim in the loop on my delve into Joytoy, since he is also big on the cool robots front.  This turned out to be a point in my favor, as his sister-in-law Becca was looking to get me something cool for Christmas this year, and he was able to point me in the direction of this particular figure.  I wasn’t intending to jump down the rabbit hole of the individual figures quite this quickly, but this one’s admittedly really cool.  Sure, she’s not the same scale as the one Mecha I have, but I guess I’ll just have to get a Mecha that scales with her.  Oh darn.

#3003: The Batman Who Laughs – Sky Tyrant Wings

THE BATMAN WHO LAUGHS — SKY TYRANT WINGS

DC MULTIVERSE (MCFARLANE)

“Born from the nightmares of the Dark Multiverse, The Batman Who Laughs is a hybrid version of the Batman and The Joker from Earth -22. This twisted version of Batman was created when nanotoxins from The Joker’s heart were released into Bruce Wayne’s bloodstream, causing the Dark Knight’s perfect mind to merge with the warped psyche of the Clown Prince of Crime. He soon became part of an attempt to plunge the entire Multiverse into ultraviolence, chaos, and utter darkness. After being initially defeated, The Batman Who Laughs managed to survive and remains a threat to the greatest heroes of the Multiverse.”

For Day 3 of the post-Christmas, we’re going back to more of my usual territory, specifically the realm of super hero comics.  Even more specifically, DC Comics.  They’re pretty busy doing nothing but Batman these days, and, well, umm, here’s some more of that, I suppose.  The last few years, DC’s bread and butter (and, by extension, their main licensee McFarlane’s bread and butter) has been Dark Knights Metal, a multiversal story where everyone is Batman.  Except for Batman.  Sometimes Batman is Joker.  And here we are with that.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Batman Who Laughs with Sky Tyrant Wings is the second version of the Batman Who Laughs to be released in McFarlane’s DC Multiverse line, as part of the Merciless Collect-To-Build assortment, which was released at the tail end of 2020, at least in some quantities, and made it out more fully last year.  The figure stands 7 inches tall and he has 40 points of articulation, thanks to the extra joints present in the wings.  In terms of articulation scheme, he generally follows the usual McFarlane set-up, for better or for worse.  The notable change-up is to the hips, which don’t have the same full range of mobility that we usually see, being far more restricted to just forward and back.  Given the long jacket, it’s not a huge surprise or hinderance, but it’s still noteworthy.  This Batman Who Laughs is based on the character’s later appearance after he steals the wings from the Sky Tyrant, the Dark Knights Metal version of Hawkman.  To give McFarlane some credit, as far as I can tell, there are no shared parts between the two versions of BWL they released.  There are certainly similarities, but this sculpt just generally improves upon the shared elements between the two, making for a generally more well put-together offering, at least to my eyes.  The crazier, more exaggerated facial expression works a lot better for the character, especially in toy-form, and the texture work on the outfit is pretty solid.  McFarlane certainly does torn-up and gritty well.  I also feel that the more posed hands work a lot better for the character than the more generic gripping hands of the prior release.  The most obvious change here, of course, are the wings.  They actually work quite nicely, as they’re well-articulated, well-detailed, and not terribly balanced considering.  It would be nice to see such work on a proper Hawkman, but this is McFarlane, so a Batman variant is really the best we can hope for, I suppose.  The paint work on this figure is generally pretty good.  It’s largely rather basic work, but I think that’s for the best, especially after the weirdness surrounding the accent work on the last figure’s mouth.  It just looked odd, so going a little more straight forward here is probably the right call.  The Batman Who Laughs includes a display stand and a collector’s card for the figure proper, as well as the head, shoulder pads, and sword of the Merciless Build-A-Figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Dark Knights Metal really isn’t my sort of thing.  It’s honestly a lot of the stuff I don’t like about DC’s current obsession with Batman and the need to constantly place him above all of the other heroes rolled into one big event.  The Batman Who Laughs himself is a concept that I don’t think is terrible, but like the whole cross-over, I kind of feel like he got played out a lot quicker than he went away, and he just sort of keeps resurfacing.  So, I wasn’t seeking this figure out on my own.  That said, I received this one from Jess’s parents for Christmas, and I can certainly appreciate the thought, the gesture, and ultimately the figure proper.  The story that spawned him may not be my main thing, but the figure did turn out pretty nicely, so I can’t really knock it.

#3002: Ultraseven

ULTRASEVEN

ULTRAMAN (MEGO)

Welcome to Day 2 of the Post-Christmas reviews.  Last year, I finally got back into the swing of some Ultraman reviewing after a bit of a gap, thanks to the help of an Ultraseven figure I got as a Christmas gift.  This year, I guess I’m just gonna do the same thing.  Fitting.  Of course, I’m kind of looking at opposite sides of the product spectrum here, with last year’s Ultraseven being a high-end figure from Bandai, and this one being, well, a Mego, which isn’t exactly high-end.  No less in my realm of interest, of course!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Ultraseven is part of Mego’s Sci-Fi line, released as one of their mixed assortments of figures.  He’s the second figure under the Ultraman branding, following up on the standard Ultraman from earlier in the line.  Like the rest of the line, the distribution model is via a mix of specialty stores and select Target locations.  The figure stands just over 8 inches tall and he has 16 points of articulation.  Ultraseven is built on the upgraded Type 2 male body.  It’s the standard, and it’s got a nice medium, average build, which suits most characters, Ultraseven included.  Ultraseven gets a new head and hands to complete his look.  They’re pretty solid pieces; certainly a bit on the goofy side, but then classic Ultraseven frequently falls into that category anyway.  The paint work is confined to the head, and it’s pretty basic, but also does what it needs to well.  Application is all pretty clean, and the important details are all there.  Ultraseven’s outfit includes a bodysuit and a pair of short boots.  They do a respectable job of capturing the look of the character from the show, while still fitting the main Mego aesthetic.  I do really like how the printed silver looks on the suit.  Ultraseven includes no accessories, although that’s not a huge shift for the line, especially given their price point.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I missed out on the basic Ultraman, so I hadn’t really put much of an effort into getting this one.  Not that I didn’t want him, of course, but I just wasn’t really expecting to find him either.  Fortunately, I didn’t have to worry about that, since Max had my back on this one, and picked this guy up for me as a Christmas gift.  I guess it continues the tradition of getting Ultrasevens from the people I care about for Christmas.  It’s really not a bad tradition, all things considered.  And this is really a fun figure, too.  So, I call it a general win.