#3086: Yoda

YODA

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE (HASRBO)

“Like the swamp planet Dagobah where he lived out his last years, the Jedi Master Yoda was shrouded in mystery. A diminutive, green-skinned creature, Yoda faithfully served the Galctic Republic as one of the 12 members of the Jedi Council. When the Emperor seized control of the galaxy, he ordered the elimination of all Jedi. In his darkest hour, Yoda, the last known Jedi Master, went into a life of hiding on Dagobah. When Luke Skywalker searched out Yoda for Jedi training on the advice of Obi-Wan Kenobi, the Jedi Master had reservations, but he chose to instruct young Skywalker in the ways of the Force.”

It’s May, and this is officially my first Power of the Force review of the year.  That’s a shockingly long stretch of not reviewing any of these guys.  And I didn’t even wait until Wednesday to start back up.  I mean, it’s prime Star Wars Day material, right?  Well, I like to break from the norms, I guess.  Or, you know, I just didn’t look terribly closely at the schedule before putting this one on this here Monday, two days before the fourth, and I couldn’t be bothered to rework my layout for it.  Besides, I wouldn’t have all this fantastic material for the intro that way.  And wouldn’t that just be such a terrible loss?  Right, so let’s have a look at a Yoda figure!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Yoda was part of the first set of “Flashback Photo” Power of the Force figures.  The whole batch hit shelves at the end of 1998, as part of the promotional work leading up to the release of The Phantom Menace and its corresponding tie-in material in 1999.  This was the fourth Yoda in the line, though only the second from the main line releases, with the other two coming in the form of the Jedi Spirits Cinema Scene and the Dagobah Complete Galaxy set.  This would be the line’s final version of Yoda before it wrapped in early 2000.  The figure stands 2 inches tall and he has 4 points of articulation.  His sculpt is very similar to the first figure’s, with only minor mold changes to the body below the neck, mostly just to change the date stamp.  Otherwise, it’s virtually identical, for better or for worse.  It’s still goofy, but it’s fitting for the line.  His head sculpt marks the real changes for this release; the actual face and ears are more or less the same, but the hair is now actual rooted hair, rather than just sculpted.  It’s…honestly better than expected.  The concept feels like it would be too goofy, but it’s actually not half bad.  The paint work on this guy is similar to the first release, but stepped up just a little bit.  The eyes are a little sharper, and the accenting is a little more intensive, which is all pretty good, especially for this era of figure.  Yoda is packed with the same cane as the first release, as well as a boiling pot and a small candle.  Also included is the Flashback photo thing, which shows Yoda, and then you pull the thing, and it’s also Yoda, but, like, a little bit younger.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I picked this guy up when he got traded into All Time Toys, fairly recently.  Not much of a thrilling story there, just kind of a “hey, there he is, I don’t have him, might as well grab him” sort of thing.  He’s not anything majorly unique or special, but it’s a pretty nice little figure, all things considered.  The rooted hair works better than expected, and the accessories are pretty nifty.

#3085: Elongated Man

ELONGATED MAN

JLA (DC DIRECT)

Using an extract of the plant Gingold, Ralph Dibney transformed his body into a malleable elastic state!”

In preparation for this review, I realized that I’ve only fleetingly discussed Ralph Dibney, aka the Elongated Man, here on the site, twice in reference to Plastic Man not being him, and once in reference to him being one of three characters for whom I own all of the action figures.  That’s it.  Well, as you may have guessed from the whole “I have all of his action figures” thing, I’m a rather big Elongated Man.  I’d go so far as to say he’s my favorite DC character.  The fact that he’s been so mistreated in modern times isn’t so great, but on the flip side, he’s done alright for himself in the realm of action figures in the last two decades.  Let’s start off what should be a lovely journey through Elongated Man figures with the very first one, released way back in 2004.  That’s right, this figure’s almost old enough to vote.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Elongated Man was released in the second series of DC Direct’s JLA line.  After a debut assortment based on the team’s current (at the time) incarnation, the second series was inspired by the Satellite Era of the team.  As noted above, this marked Elongated Man’s first action figure (also true of his assortment-mate Adam Strange), though, like last week’s Kilowog figure, he would be quite shortly followed by a JLU release courtesy of Mattel.  The figure stands 7 1/2 inches tall with his neck extension in place (6 1/2 inches without it) and he has 12 points of articulation (11 if the extension is removed).  While not super articulated or anything, his movement scheme marks what became the standard for DCD figures around the time, which wasn’t really a bad one.  The only real downside to this particular figure, in relation to the others in the set, is that, due to how the neck extension works, he lacks the ball-jointed neck that the other three in the series got.  Instead, he’s just got a cut joint.  It’s not the end of the world, but does limit him a little bit.  Elongated Man’s sculpt was all-new, and it remained unique to this release.  It’s a pretty strong one, doing a respectable job of capturing that classic Ralph look.  I particularly like the head sculpt, goofy, cheesy grin, and all.  It just feels really appropriate for the character.  Elongated Man’s paint work is pretty decent.  It’s bright and colorful, which is the main effort for the design, so it works.  The application is clean, and I really like the glossy finish on the gloves and boots.  Elongated Man was packed with a JLA-labeled display stand, which was pretty standard for the time.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This set of figures, as well as a number of other DCD figures, hit around Christmas time in 2004, so I got a handful of them as gifts that year.  I was far more fixated on the Atom figure at the time, so he wound up being the one from this series I got on Christmas morning.  Elongated Man I actually made a point of buying for myself the week after Christmas, using a gift card I’d gotten for Cosmic Comix during the holiday.  I remember being quite excited to get him at the time, and he was a favorite of mine for a while.  I like him enough that I even snagged a spare over the years, just because.  To date, he’s still my favorite, and is probably the best version of the character overall.

#3084: Mechagodzilla

MECHAGODZILLA

S.H. MONSTERARTS (BANDAI)

Just over a year ago, Godzilla Vs Kong premiered on HBO Max for streaming…and was also in theatres, I guess, but I was still avoiding them, so, you know, I wasn’t tracking such things.  I really enjoyed the movie, though, since it delivered on pretty much everything I had hoped for in a movie called “Godzilla Vs Kong.”  It had Godzilla, it had Kong, they were versus-ing, and, more importantly, it also had Mechagodzilla, Godzilla’s robot doppelganger, and my second favorite thing about the Godzilla franchise.  I picked up Playmates’ movie-inspired version of the character last year, and was pretty happy with that one, but you can always use just a little bit more Mechagodzilla, right?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Mechagodzilla was released as part of Bandai’s S.H. Monsterarts line, hitting retail domestically at the end of February of this year.  He’s the third figure in the Godzilla Vs Kong subset, joining the Kong and Godzilla figures released last year to more closely tie-in with the movie.  The figure stands about 7 1/4 inches tall and he has, like, so much articulation.  Just many articulations, you guys.  The tail is almost entirely segmented into individual joints, and the pistons on the hips are designed to work.  He’s got an articulated jaw, he’s got butterfly shoulders.  About the only things missing are finger and toe movement, but at this size, that’s far from an issue.  They’d probably be at risk of breakage anyway.  As it stands, the current articulation scheme gives this guy a pretty solid range of motion.  The elbows are notably a little restricted, but beyond that, it’s impressive, especially that tail.  Mechagodzilla sports an all-new sculpt, based on his appearance in the movie.  Obviously, at this price-point, the sculpt is a lot more involved than the Playmates equivalent.  Everything is much sharper, and I do mean that literally; you gotta be careful with that tail.  Everything is very crisp, and convincingly mechanical, and there’s a ton of really great detail work on the inner mechanics of everything.  He’s also got a little bit of diecast metal worked into the legs and feet, which not only gives him a little extra heft, but also makes him very stable on his feet.  Mechagodzilla’s paint work isn’t too terribly involved, at least in terms of coloring, but it’s at least consistent.  The silver is all painted, which looks quite nice, and the handful of red accents do a good job of breaking things up just a little bit.  Mechagodzilla is light on the extras, but not completely without.  He gets two different sets of hands, one set open, the other closed, in order to add some extra variety to his posing.  It might have been nice to get a blast effect for his atomic breath, or possibly even some damaged parts, but ultimately, it’s nice that we got anything at all.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I like Mechagodzilla a fair bit, but the nature of his release meant that I wasn’t expecting to have an easy time getting ahold of this one through my usual means.  I was also pretty content with the Playmates figure, which is surprisingly good for its price-point.  That said, when one of these rolled through All Time, and I was able to snag him for a pretty solid deal.  Coupled with a general slow down in what I’ve been picking up, he just felt like the right thing at the right time.  This figure’s really solid, but in like a subtle way.  There’s a lot going on with him, but he’s not overly showy.  He’s just a really cool figure, and I’m glad I picked him up.

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.

#3083: Bishop

BISHOP

ALIENS: REACTION (SUPER 7)

Wow, I took such a gap between Aliens reviews, didn’t I?  Who knows how long it could be before I review another one?  Well, I mean, I knows.  I knows very well.  The answer is “no time at all,” by the way, because I’m totally doing another Aliens review today.  Is it an ill-advised move to group them together, knowing that it’s probably not super likely that I’ll have anything else Aliens-related to review next April 26th?  Probably.  But, I’ll risk it, especially if it means I get to get all meta with this intro.  I do like my meta intros.  Anyway, I looked at Hicks yesterday.  Today, I’m gonna look at Bishop.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Bishop is another figure from Series 1 of Super 7’s Aliens ReAction line, the second of the six “human” figures, though I suppose “human” isn’t quite right for him.  He prefers the term “artificial person” himself.  The figure stands about 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 5 points of articulation.  Bishop is another all-new sculpt, which isn’t a terrible shock.  It’s a pretty cool sculpt, which captures his general look pretty well.  He’s not the most thrilling character when it comes to design, of course, but that’s just Bishop.  They make the best they can with what they have.  Honestly, they make more than the best, because this figure’s pretty clever.  See, while on the surface he’s just a basic Bishop, he gets a fun action feature.  You can split him apart at the middle, recreating his post-Queen attack damage.  There’s even a peg shaped like his gross android entrails.  It works surprisingly well, and the split’s not as glaringly obvious as you might think.  Sure, it’s clearly there, but it doesn’t jump right out at you.  Honestly, if it sat just a little bit better at the back, it’d be pretty much perfect.  Bishop’s paint work is fairly basic, but it fits the style well, and it captures all the main elements needed.  The application is pretty clean, with no real slop or bleed over, which is nice.  Bishop has no accessories, but the gimmick is the real extra.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Hicks was my main want from this set, but Bishop here happened to be the other of the two ReAction figures that got traded into All Time, and I was hardly going to just leave this one on his own.  I gotta say, I was pleasantly surprised by this one.  Hicks was just kinda basic, but Bishop’s actually a quite clever figure.  He could have been very bland and boring, but he’s really fun instead.

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.

#3082: Hicks

HICKS

ALIENS: REACTION FIGURES (SUPER 7)

Happy Alien Day every one!  I’ve missed it the last two years, by virtue of not having anything to review, but I actually made a concerted effort to not miss it this time around.  I like, purposely saved an item and everything.  Crazy, right?  So, today, I’m turning my sights on a line I haven’t looked at in quite a while, ReAction.  The brand actually has quite a history with the Alien franchise, since it was Super 7’s desire to release the cancelled Kenner Alien figures from 1979 that launched the whole project, and got them the attention of Funko, who blew the whole thing up to epic proportions and then proceeded to run it into the ground.  Super 7 wound up splitting the brand back off from Funko, and has done a lot to refocus it, which included bringing things back to that first license, and actually doing some follow-up figures based on the second movie.  That’s a big deal for me, over here, with the second one being my favorite movie and all.  So, you know what, let’s take a look at Hicks, because that’s what I’m about, son.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Hicks (who is, notably, just “Hicks” on the package; not Corporal, not Dwayne, just Hicks) was released in Series 1 of Super 7’s Aliens ReAction line, as one of the six humans included in the line-up, hitting retail in mid-2020.  The figure stands about 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 5 points of articulation, in true replication of the intended style.   Hicks’ sculpt was all-new, and, quite surprisingly, entirely unique.  I had expected him to at least share some parts with Hudson, but the core figures are entirely different, which is actually pretty cool.  The sculpt is really good, albeit in the way that it’s supposed to be, which is, admittedly, kind of dated looking.  He’s definitely a sort of stripped down and simplified, almost Saturday morning cartoon version of the character, and it works pretty well.  Like, all of the major details of his outfit are there, just much more basic.  I like that they’ve also more accurately followed the progression of Kenner’s style than the Funko stuff did, so these figures, which would have hailed from the mid-80s had Kenner actually produced them, look more like the later end Star Wars stuff, or even the Raiders figures.  Hicks is actually a little more bulked up and sturdy in his build, which feels more appropriate.  Hicks’ paint work takes the general color palette of the character in the movie, and brightens it up a bit, as it would have been back then, as well as again simplifying things a bit.  It works pretty convincingly, and still sells the main look pretty convincingly.  Hicks is packed with a removable helmet (which is the same as the one included with Hudson), and his shotgun for close encounters.  While it’s a shame he doesn’t also get his pulse rifle, this does at least mean he’s got a unique weapon, since Hudson got the rifle packed with him.  I was also quite impressed by how well the helmet fit, while still sticking to the style.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Though I’m a huge Aliens fan, I’ll admit that I had a hard time justifying these figures when they were announced, due to them being hit by Super 7’s price creep on the ReAction line as a whole.  I want to get more of them, but at $18 a piece, it’s a bit tricky, especially when there’s a whole assortment.  Hicks was the one I *really* wanted to track down, but I just never got around to it.  Then, he kind of tracked me down, I guess.  A Lego minifigure collection that came into All Time had exactly two ReAction figures bundled in with it, and, as luck would have it, Hicks was one of them.  He’s a very specific style of figure, but it’s one that I really like.  He goes really well with the Ripley I got from the Power Loader set, and I’m definitely cool with having another Hicks in my collection.

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.

#3081: Spider-Man & Hobgoblin

SPIDER-MAN & HOBGOBLIN

MARVEL MINIMATES

It’s another Monday, and I’m doing that Minimate thing again.  So, here we are, looking at more Minimatrs.  2018 marked the year that Walgreens’ supply chains got a little gummed up, at least as far as Minimates were concerned.  Technically, four series hit that year, but for a good portion of collectors, those figures didn’t actually arrive for the better part of a year after their first sightings.  While the most infamous case of this was certainly Series 10, the two series prior also were rather afflicted.  Things did eventually level out, though, making things easier to find.  So ,let’s have a look at some of those ‘mates, specifically Symbiote Spider-Man and Hobgoblin!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Spider-Man and Hobgoblin were released in Series 9 of Walgreens’ Marvel Minimates line-up.  These two were part of the assortment based on Disney’s then-running Spider-Man cartoon, with marketing to match.

SYMBIOTE SPIDER-MAN

“Recovered on a space mission, the substance known as V-252 is actually a sybmiotic creature, which bonds to Peter Parker and increases his aggression.”

We’ve had no shortage of Symbiote Spider-Men (well, not in recent years, anyway), but this does mark the design’s first inclusion at Walgreens.  It also sports the somewhat up-dated design of the cartoon.  It’s not a bad look, truth be told.  It manages to keep the sleekness and simplicity of the original design, while still doing something a little different.  I can get behind it.  The figure is built on the standard post-C3 ‘mate body, so he’s about 2 1/4 inches tall and has 14 points of articulation.  Structurally, this, like most Spidey ‘mates, is just a standard vanilla ‘mate.  It’s the right course of action for such a design, and it’s never a bad thing to get a good focus on the core body.  It’s the paint work that really sells this guy, of course.  It’s not perfect; there are a few spots where I definitely feel the application could stand to be a little sharper, and those fuzzy edges do hinder the sleek design a little bit.  Overall, though, it’s a solid look, and has the benefit of being one that can integrate with non-animated ‘mates without too much trouble.  Symbiote Spidey includes a webline and a dynamic posing base, both of which have become fairly standard for Spideys.  Unfortunately, on my copy, the stand’s peg for connecting to the figure twisted off.  I’ve not encountered such an issue with one of these stands before, so perhaps it’s limited to my copy.

HOBGOBLIN

“Hiding his true face behind a hood and metallic mask, the mysterious Hobgoblin will stop at nothing to destroy Spider-Man.”

Despite what the bio might suggest, the 2017 Spider-Man‘s take on Hobgoblin is actually something of a departure from how the character is usually handled, being a more heroic identity held by Peter’s best friend Harry.  While the two are initially opposed, and the identity later gets co-opted by Harry’s father Norman, Harry as Hobgoblin serves as an ally for Spidey within the confines of the show.  We’ve gotten only three Hobgoblin Minimates over the years, each somewhat reflecting a different incarnation of the character.  In addition to being the show version of Hobgoblin, it’s worth noting that this design also draws fairly heavy influence from Humberto Ramos’ design for the Phil Urich version of the character.  Hobgoblin’s construction makes use of a single add-on piece for his hood/shoulder pads/backpack.  It’s a little restricting in terms of articulation, and the details do seem a little soft, but it looks fairly decent overall.  It matches well with the character’s design from the show, to be sure.  The paintwork on Hobgoblin is passable overall.  The line-work is pretty sharply handled, and instances of slop are fairly minimal.  The add-on piece is again a little more softly defined, but it’s not too bad.  Hobgoblin’s only accessory is a clear display stand.  This feels rather light, and it’s a shame we couldn’t get any of Harry’s goblin gear.  The glider might have been too big, but his sword, or even an alternate head with an unmasked Harry would have been cool.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I picked these two up back when they were still relatively new, with a bit of an assist from Max, who was also scoping out Walgreenses for ‘mates at the time.  I was slowing down by this point, but this pack appealed to me.  It got to the point where it was a little bit difficult to make a new Symbiote Spider-Man distinct, but this one did a decent job, and turned in a pretty fun, somewhat unique figure.  Issues with the breaking stand aside, he’s pretty alright.  This Hobgoblin figure represents a fairly unique take on the character, and is well-removed from previous releases of the character.  While he lacks in the accessories department, he’s still a pretty nifty figure overall.

#3080: Kilowog

KILOWOG

GREEN LANTERN: REBIRTH (DC DIRECT)

“The alien Kilowog was recruited into the Green Lantern Corps as a protector of the planet Bolovax Vik, and was killed by his former friend and ally Hal Jordan. Recently ressurected, Kilowog will play a key role in the re-formation of the Green Lantern Corps. The Kilowog action figure features multiple points of articulation and includes a display base.”

Despite the fact that the Green Lantern Corps is made up of a very, very, very large percentage of non-human members, it’s tricky for any of the non-human members to really hold the focus for too long.  I guess it’s inherently easier for humans to relate to humans.  Over the years, a few of the alien Lanterns have caught on a bit more than others, and, perhaps the most successful of the bunch is Kilowog, a character prominent not only in the comics, but also in most other media involving the Lanterns.  That also means his fair share of toy coverage, starting way back during the Rebirth tie-in days, back in 2005.  I’ll be taking a look at that particular figure today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Kilowog was released in the first series of DC Direct’s Green Lantern: Rebirth line.  This figure was Kilowog’s very first foray into the world of action figures, shortly followed by his JLU figure later that same year.  As with all of the figures in the set, he was designed to specifically tie-in with the “Rebirth” comic event, and as such he was sporting his updated design from the comics.  This brought him closer in-line with his animated appearances in the Justice League cartoon, which had served to revitalize the character for a larger audience.  So, it was certainly a sensible direction to take the character.  The figure stands 7 3/4 inches tall and he has 15 points of articulation.  His range of motion isn’t particularly amazing, but for a DC Direct offering, especially of the era, he’s not bad.  They were experimenting with a little extra articulation on this line in particular, so he’s got wrist and ankle joints, which were hardly standard at the time.  Kilowog sported an all-new sculpt, and it was one that would remain unique to this figure.  It’s a pretty darn good one, truth be told.  It’s a nice, hefty figure, befitting his larger stature nicely.  The face has a really solid level of detail, especially on the texturing.  It really adds a lot to the overall appearance, and helps the sculpt hold up even 17 years after the fact.  Kilowog’s paint work is pretty solid.  The metallic green and pearlescent white for the outfit really lend it that proper alien feel, and the skin tone, with its slight accenting, works very nicely.  Kilowog is packed with his power battery, which is a really sizable, as well as a Lantern symbol display stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Kilowog is a figure I wanted from this series, even before it was released.  He was at the top of the list.  And then the series hit, and, much like last week’s Barda, he wound up being very hard to get ahold of.  I always hoped I might find one, but a reasonably priced one never presented itself to me.  When DC Universe Classics came along, I shifted my focus over to that one, but this one was always the one that got away.  Remember how I got that Barda figure?  Well, as it turns out, that collection had two of my personal DCD grails, because this guy was there, too.  I was actually pretty enthused, and, as with Barda, I was able to get him for a really good deal.  He’s a solid figure, and one that holds up really nicely, even all these years later.

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.

#3079: Admiral Piett

ADMIRAL PIETT

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“An ambitious Imperial officer, Piett rose through the ranks to captain and was assigned to the Super Star Destroyer Executor, Darth Vader’s flagship. When Vader strangled Admiral Ozzel, Piett was granted a battlefield promotion to admiral — and given a grisly warning of the penalty for failure.”

Hey, remember yesterday, when I was filling in the lull between Marvel Legends releases with stuff I had sitting around unreviewed?  Well, prepare yourselves for the same thing, but with Black Series.  Sure, there are theoretically new figures out there I haven’t reviewed, but I also haven’t seen any of them, so I’m pretending like they aren’t really out there yet, and doing my first Black Series review in a month and a half about a figure that’s been sitting to the side of my desk, unopened, for, like, six months.  Eh, it’s just Admiral Piett.  Everyone forgets about ol’ Firmus.  Okay, not everyone.  There was actually a sizeable campaign to bring him back for Return of the Jedi.  So, I guess it was really just Lucas that forgot him.  Well, Hasbro didn’t, at least as far as The Black Series is concerned, so I guess I’ll remember him for the day and take a look at that figure.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Admiral Piett was released in 2018 as an online store exclusive Black Series release, predominately shipping through Entertainment Earth.  The figure stands about 6 inches tall and he has 26 points of articulation.  Structurally, Piett largely shares his parts with Tarkin and Veers.  It’s sensible, them all being in the same uniform and all.  As with Veers, Piett’s torso sculpt has been tweaked ever so slightly to change up the pins and properly designate his rank.  He’s also got an all-new head sculpt, sporting a pretty solid likeness of actor Kenneth Colley.  Not as strong as Tarkin, but a touch better than Veers, which is saying something.  He’s still got hat hair, but what do you expect?  Piett gets his own removable had, which is a distinct piece from the one included with Veers figure.  They should be, since their hats are slightly different, but it’s still nice that Hasbro went that extra mile, especially since the hat’s really just a bonus with Veers in the first place.  The paint work on Piett is up to the same par as Veers; nothing too terribly exciting or anything, but he gets the colors he needs to, and the printing on the face is nice and lifelike.  Piett is packed with the aforementioned removable hat, as well as the same small blaster pistol included with Veers.  Not that he ever really uses it for much, but it lets him be ready should he ever, you know, be, like, in the same vicinity as an actual fight.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Since Piett was released right around the same time as Veers, and one can only get so excited about a bunch of stuffy British guys in grey, I wound up passing on ordering him.  I kind of regretted that after the fact, since, as I mentioned in my review of the PotF figure, I do have a bit of a soft spot for the character.  Fortunately for me, I got a second chance at grabbing him, courtesy of him getting traded into All Time before the holidays.  Of course, then I dragged my feet on actually opening and reviewing him, but that’s hardly the point.  While not the most thrilling figure, he’s nevertheless a rather nice one, and fills out the upper ranks of the Imperials just a bit more.

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.

#3078: Psylocke, Nimrod, & Fantomex

PSYLOCKE, NIMROD, & FANTOMEX

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

I wasn’t lying last week about spacing out my Legends reviews.  It’s what I have to do to get by these days, during this crazy drought… Look, they got me hooked on getting new stuff like every other day, and then all of the sudden it was just gone, and I’m not entirely sure what to do with myself anymore.  Thankfully, I still have a few things from last year I never got around to, so it’s like this extra little pocket of surprise snacks for later.  Or something like that.  At the beginning of the year, I looked at an Amazon-exclusive boxed set from 2021.  Now, I guess I’ll jump way back in time, to the far back year of 2020, when their exclusive was an X-Force-themed set.  You know, for reasons.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Psylocke, Nimrod, and Fantomex were released as an Amazon-exclusive Marvel Legends boxed set at the tail end of 2020.  The set was then offered up as a wider Fan Channel release in the back half of 2021.  It wasn’t quite as fast a turn around as the Wolverine boxed set, but it was still a fairly quick one.

PSYLOCKE

Because we couldn’t very well have a Legends boxed set without some dead weight, here’s Psylocke.  Okay, that’s not fair.  Psylocke’s not really the dead weight here, I suppose.  I mean, she’s actually got a unique design, and it’s not like the prior release was exactly easy to come by.  This marks Psylocke’s third time as a Hasbro Legends release, and fourth release in Legends form overall.  It’s also the first to deviate from the “bathing suit” costume design, and I’m okay with that.  This new one is based on her later Uncanny X-Force designs, which keeps a few elements from the more classic look, while also making her look a little more tactical and more battle-ready.  Honestly, I think this is honestly a slightly better look overall.  The figure stands just shy of 6 1/4 inches tall and she has 27 points of articulation.  Her sculpt is almost entirely a re-use of the last Psylocke figure.  While I was a touch critical on that one, since she was meant to be a more directly Lee-inspired figure, on this particular design, I actually think the mold works out pretty well.  The only thing to be changed up for this release is her sash piece, which is now tighter fitting and sports an “X” insignia sculpted on the front.  It’s a subtle, but notable improvement over the prior piece, and I like it a lot more.  Beyond the new sash, all of the differences for this figure are paint-based.  It’s a pretty solidly handled application.  The costume’s details are nice and clean, and they’ve actually improved on the hair paint from the prior release a whole lot.  Psylocke includes the same accessories as the last release: a psychic effect, a katana, and a psychic knife, all molded in translucent pink, but now with a little extra purple detailing.  In addition, she also gets a spare left hand, in a grippilng pose, so she can now hold her sword with both hands.

NIMROD

There’s an unquestionable selling point of this set, and it’s Nimrod.  Introduced in 1985, Nimrod is a future Sentinel from the averted “Days of Future Past” timeline, who finds his way to the present day 616 universe.  He’s been a recurring foe in the X-books since then, with a recent resurgence in relevance during the “of X” stuff that’s been going on in the X-books the last few years.  This marks Nimrod’s third ever figure, and his first time as a Legend.  The figure stands about 8 inches tall and he has 26 points of articulation.  If there’s one drawback to Nimrod, it’s his movement.  It’s not really the figure’s fault, since the design itself is pretty limiting.  Notably, the neck joint is only there for swapping the heads, and doesn’t really work for actual posing.  Additionally, the range on the shoulders and elbows is rather restricted.  Beyond that, though, he’s decently posable, given the design.  Nimrod is an all-new sculpt, and is an amalgam of a few of his designs, taking elements from his earliest appearances, as well as his more recent look.  It’s not a clean match for anything in particular, but it captures the overall essence of the character well.  It’s a very clean and sleek design, and I definitely dig it.  There are two different head sculpts included, which are actually different, albeit in rather minor ways.  The pink-faced version is more classically inspired, while the silver-faced one follows his “of X” look a little more closely.  They’re internally consistent, and both have a very similar vibe, while still being different enough to justify including the separate pieces.  Nimrod’s paint work is generally more on the basic side, but it’s clean, fairly solid on the application front, and matches well with his usual color scheme.  Nimrod is packed with two sets of hands, one open, one closed, as well as two blast effects, and a removable set of wings to match up with the newer style head.

FANTOMEX

Remember before, when I was talking about dead weight?  Well, here we are, back at that point.  Behold, Fantomex.  Introduced during Grant Morrison’s New X-Men run, Fantomex is an X-themed pastiche of Italian comic character Diabolik, a masked master thief.  The name Fantomex is itself patterned on the French character “Fantomas,” whom Diabolik himself was also patterned on.  Fantomex has been one of those oddball characters floating around the Marvel universe and popping in and out as X-Men stories deem they need him.  He was part of X-Force for a while, and it was that era which netted him two prior action figures, one of them being his first Legends treatment, back during the Return of Marvel Legends line.  It’s been a decade since that figure’s release, so an update’s not an unreasonable prospect.  The trouble this figure runs into is how much “updating” was actually done.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  He’s built on the Bucky Cap body, with US Agent’s flared gloves, Nick Fury’s trenchcoat (amusingly, the exact same coat piece used on the first Fantomex), Cyclops’ boot cuffs, and an all-new head and belt.  The real trouble that this figure’s assembly runs into isn’t so much that it’s a bad stock of parts, but more that most of the parts are kind of on their way out, and, in fact, most of them are just as old as the prior figure.  The Bucky Cap body was introduced in that very same series, even, the flared gloves are from one series later, and the coat is even older.  The new parts are perfectly fine additions, though not drastically different themselves.  So, generally, yes he’s made from new parts, but he doesn’t feel particularly different.  Adding to that is the deco choice, which is identical to the last one, despite there being two different Fantomex decos available, both of which are arguably more demanded than this one.  This one’s not a terrible look, mind you, and the application is solidly handled.  It just feels like a little bit of a missed opportunity.  Fantomex is packed with two guns, which are similar to, but different from the prior figure’s guns, as well as the blast and smoke effects from War Machine.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was interested in Nimrod when he was first shown off, but bundling him with two extra figures, and then making the whole thing an exclusive kind of backburnered the whole thing for me.  When it made its way to a wider release, it became easier for me to snag through work, and therefore more appealing, though still on the backburner a bit, as you can tell from the lateness of this review.  Nimrod’s a very fun figure, and I like that he can pull double duty as modern and classic.  It helps add to the set’s pull.  I didn’t think much of Psylocke at first, but after getting her in hand, I like her a lot more than I thought I would, and honestly like her more than the standard Lee version.  Fantomex is a character I only have a passing interest in, and this particular figure does very little for me.  He’s just sort of there.  But, hey, two out of three ain’t bad.

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

#3077: Roy Fokker

ROY FOKKER

ROBOTECH (TOYNAMI)

I opened my last two most recent Robotech reviews with a remark that the site really could use more Robotech reviews…and that was four years ago.  Guess I didn’t really get better at that.  Or, you know, Robotech stuff isn’t super common domestically, and it’s very rare I actually actively seek things out anymore.  Could be that.  Thus far, all of my Robotech reviews have been pretty centralized, specifically on my favorite character from the series, Roy Fokker.  I’ve looked at three different versions of his Veritech, and one version of him.  Let’s even things out just a touch with another version of Roy, then.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Roy Fokker was released in 2018 as part of the first series of Toynami’s Robotech action figure series.  After some time focusing purely on the Veritechs, they finally decided to do the pilots, starting with the main cast from the “Macross” portion of the show.  The figures were first shown off in 2015, and they had a bit of a ways to go before going into production, with quite a few notable changes along the way.  Roy stands about 4 1/4 inches tall and he has 12 points of articulation.  When the figures were first shown off, they sported a lot more articulation than the final product, which presents a rather stripped down version.  While the downgrading of the knees to single joints instead of doubles, and the removal of the bicep and ankle articulation isn’t too bad, the lack of elbow joints is pretty limiting.  It seems pretty crazy that they removed so much, and I’m not entirely sure what the goal was.  I guess they were just looking to keep things as inexpensive as possible, but it feels like it’s a little too compromised on the final product.  The sculpt is at least a fairly decent piece of work.  It’s a little bit rudimentary, but it’s certainly a far better recreation of his animation model than the old Matchbox figure.  There’s some pretty solid work on the jumpsuit, and they captured his most distinctive facial features and his hair pretty well.  The figure’s paint work is fairly decent.  It’s more on the basic side, but it does what it needs to and it matches pretty well with the on-screen colors, and the application is pretty clean and consistent.  Roy is packed with his helmet, and alternate partial hairpiece for going under the helmet, and a display stand.  Not a bad little selection of extras.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I like the Matchbox Roy well enough for what he is, but I was kind of looking for something a little bit more modernized.  I remember spotting these figures online back before they were released, but they sort of fell off my radar.  A few months ago, we got the Rick figure traded into All Time, and I was hopeful we might see Roy, who thankfully followed pretty shortly.  The figure isn’t perfect; the articulation definitely cuts some weird corners, but he’s a nifty enough little figure for what he is.

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.