#2648: Phage

PHAGE

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“The Phage symbiote gives its host the ability to forge incredibly dangerous bladed weapons to attack its victims.”

Hey, do you guys remember Lasher?  Or perhaps Scream?  Because that saves me a lot of trouble and explaining if so.  Or, you could just follow the links I dropped in there.  That would also save me some explaining.  Look, the long and short of it is that Lasher and Scream, the spin-offs of a spin-off of a spin-off, were actually from a whole group of spin-offs, created in the comics by the Life Foundation.  It was five symbiote crew, and we’ve just gotten another member of said crew, my boy Phage here, who I’ll be taking a look at today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Phage is figure 3 in the “Venompool Series” of Marvel Legends.  He’s the third Life Foundation Symbiote, and definitely the most obscure of the characters included in this line-up.  Phage has had one prior figure, back in the Toy Biz days, but that one was…well, let’s be diplomatic and say it wasn’t very comic book faithful.  This one, on the other hand, aims for a slightly more faithful appearance.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Phage is built on the Bucky Cap body, which was just vacated by Carnage, thereby meaning it doesn’t suffer from any overuse in this assortment.  He’s also the first of the Life Foundation Symbiotes to use it, so again, there’s the diversity factor there.  He gets a new head, forearms, shins, and hands, and an add-on piece for his back piece.  It’s all pretty straight forward stuff, and matches with how they’ve handled the various symbiotes in this line previously, while still being different enough to stand out.  It fits pretty well with how Phage was depicted in the comics in the ’90s, and is just generally pretty decent looking.  In terms of coloring, Phage was somewhat similar to Scream in the comics, with them both being largely yellow.  Phage, however, was usually depicted as being slightly darker, and a touch redder in hue.  This figure replicates that pretty decently overall, and that, coupled with black accenting in contrast with the brown on Scream, means he’s not too similar to her in color scheme.  Phage is packed with an alternate arm piece, replicating the blade that Phage would usually use.  It’s a shame it’s just the one, but it’s cool never the less.  Phage also includes both legs to the Venompool Build-A-Figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve got a soft spot for the Life Foundation Symbiotes, and after getting Lasher and Scream, I was definitely looking forward to getting more of them.  Phage was definitely my most wanted figure from this assortment because of that.  Phage is a fairly by the numbers figure, but it works, and he definitely looks cool with the other two.  Now, can we get Riot and Agony?  And possibly a deluxe Hybrid?

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

#2647: Carnage

CARNAGE

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Twisted criminal Cletus Kasady sows chaos in the streets as the bloodthirsty villain Carnage.”

Another film amongst the planned films for release this year is a sequel to 2018’s Venom, which will, in addition to bringing back the title character, be bringing in Venom’s best-known spin-off, Carnage.  In honor of the whole thing, much like we saw in 2018, we’re getting a whole assortment of Symbiote-themed Marvel Legends.  Headlining the assortment are both Venom and Carnage, and I’ll be taking a look at the latter figure today, because, hey, you can never have enough Carnages right?  I mean, I can’t.  Or can I?  Question for another time, I suppose, because here’s a new one right now!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Carnage is figure 2 in the Venompool Series of Marvel Legends. Carnage was one of two double-packs in this assortment, just like he was the last time there was a Venom assortment.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  While this Carnage is, in many ways, a classic Carnage, unlike the last release, he’s not actually mostly a re-issue of an older figure.  Instead, he’s head-to-toe an all-new sculpt.  It seems to be at least a little bit patterned on the 2099 body, at least in terms of build and articulation scheme.  How ever, in contrast the smooth and more or less featureless base body, this one is very Carnage-specific.  It goes back more to the Toy Biz style of handling the character, actually sculpting in the more flowy details of the symbiote as texture, rather than just leaving them as painted details the way the last few figures have.  It looks really nice, and adds a nice, visual pop to the appearance of the figure.  I don’t dislike the painted appearance of the earlier figure, and I think it has its own place in the collection, but there’s no denying that this looks really, really good.  The only part I’m not really up on is how the back tendrils turned out; they just feel a little too built up at the base for my taste, turning them into more of a backpack thing.  Fortunately, the piece can be removed, and you can even replace it with the tendril piece from the two earlier figures if you so choose.  The paint work on this guy goes hand-in-hand with the sculpt, and does a great job of making all that texturing really work.  The red’s back to the flatter shade used for the first figure, rather than the metallics of the last one.  I think I like the flatter shade just a bit more, so I’m really okay with that.  The one slight downside here is the accessory compliment.  He loses the Kassady head and extra hand attachments from the last one, and gets an alternate “Absolute Carnage” inspired head in their place. It’s a fine piece, but not one I see myself putting to much use.  He also includes the head for the Build-A-Figure Venompool.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was quite happy with the first Hasbro Carnage and didn’t feel like I needed an upgrade.  I was then very happy with the upgrade to the figure that I didn’t feel I needed an upgrade for, and in fact felt that the upgrade himself was without need for upgrade.  I should honestly have expected Hasbro to prove me wrong again, I guess.  When this figure was shown, I wasn’t sure I *needed* him, but picked him up in-hand, because at this point, why not.  He’s awesome, and just the best Carnage out there, really.  I’m glad I picked him up, and he’s a highlight of this set for me.

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

#2646: Morbius

MORBIUS

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Michael Morbius, the living vampire, prowls the night tortured by his life-sustaining thirst.”

Originally slated for last year, and now (hopefully) on the slate for this year, alongside a lot of other displaced films, is Sony’s Morbius.  It follows the lead of Venom in spinning a Spider-Foe off into his own exclusively Sony-produced solo flick, but this time around, the ties to the actual Spider-Man films are more tangible, if Michael Keaton’s appearance as Adrian Toomes in the trailers is anything to go by.  As of yet, there’s not direct merchandise tie-ins for the film, but Morbius’ comics counterpart is getting another appearance in Hasbro’s Marvel Legends, so I guess that *sorta* counts?  Hey, it means less Jared Leto to deal with, right?  Silver lining?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Morbius is the first figure in the “Venompool Series” of Marvel Legends, the Venom-themed assortment for this year.  Well, it’s technically for this year, although it actually started showing up in October/November of last year, because to hell with the schedules, it was 2020.  Things were just gonna happen when they happened and we weren’t gonna stop them. Morbius being in a Venom assortment is iffy at best, and he’s certainly the figure with the least reason to be here, but he’s not horribly far removed, at least thematically.  While the last Legends Morbius was very definitely based on his classic ’70s appearance, this one is instead based on his design from his solo series in 1992.  It’s…certainly different.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  He’s based on the Spider-UK body, albeit with a lot of new parts, including a new head, torso, pelvis, and hands, as well as add-ons for the cape and wrist bands.  The ’92 design is a very stylized one, and this figure is himself very stylized in turn.  There’s a lot of detailing going into his outfit, and all of its various straps and such.  It’s certainly visually interesting if nothing else.  The head’s a pretty extreme piece, with the hair flowing back dynamically, and the face shows off his fangs in a screaming expression.  The cape piece matches this dynamic set up, with a notable flair to it, though it honestly never really looks natural to my eye.  In terms of paint work, he’s accurate to the ’90s color scheme, which means he kind of ends up looking a bit washed out, especially when compared to his prior incarnation.  I also find that the face really could use some sort of accenting or something.  As is, he seems really devoid of any detail there. At the very least, some extra shadowing around the eyes would help.  Morbius lacks any accessories of his own, but does include the right arm and alternate hand for this assortment’s Build-A-Figure, Venompool.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was initially skeptical about the first Hasbro Morbius, but that figure wound up being one of my favorites out of his particular series, so there’s precedent for me being wrong about Morbius figures.  I kept that in mind when I was likewise skeptical about this one.  Unfortunately, unlike the last figure, this one winds up leaving me feeling rather cold, not unlike one of those not-living Vampires that Morbius isn’t one of.  This particular design just doesn’t fell as clean or bold as the last one, and generally doesn’t do anything for me.

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

#2645: Robin

ROBIN

DC C3 CONSTRUCTION (PLAY ALONG)

In 2004, Marvel Minimates entered their second year, making them by far the most successful Minimates offering up to that point.  Not that it took much, of course.  That same year, the brand attempted to expand…in a fashion, anyway.  Since Marvel’s cavalcade of super heroes proved successful, there was an attempt to get DC in the game as well.  Due to how the DC license was split up at the time, there was no space for a straight forward DC Minimates release at quite that time, but through a bit of loophole abuse, Art Asylum was able to partner with Play Along, who held the license for DC-based construction sets.  Dubbed “C3” (for “Create, Construct, Customize”), the sets each included at least one Minimate as a pack-in figure.  The first round was Batman-heavy, and included multiple versions of the Caped Crusader, as well as his trusty sidekick, Robin, who I’ll be looking at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Robin was included in the “Mini Batmobile” set, one of the first 7 sets released in the DC C3 Construction line in the summer of 2004.  There was also a Batman included in the set, but I’m just focusing on Robin this time.  Robin was one of the comic-based figures, and was specifically based on the Tim Drake incarnation of the character.  This was noteworthy for being the only Minimate version of Tim ever to be produced.  The figure was based on the standard ‘mate body, with the new C3 feet, of course, so he stands 2 1/4 inches tall and he has 14 points of articulation.  While he’s got the C3 feet, he’s still without a hair piece with a peg, showcasing the slow evolution of the line.  He gets a new hair piece, cape, belt, and gloves.  They were pretty decent pieces overall, but for whatever reason, the add-ons for this guy are really rubbery.  This is the biggest issue when it comes to the hair, which has a lot of trouble staying properly in place, as it’s not rigid enough to actually clip on.  It still looks okay, but it’s not ideal for play.  The gloves are definitely the nicest pieces, though, and have some pretty sharp detail work.  The paint work is pretty solid.  It showcased a bit more detailing than earlier Marvel efforts, with the mask and boots in particular having quite a bit of creative lighting to them.  The face and musculature remain fairly basic at this point, but it allowed him to remain at least somewhat consistent with the animation-based figures from the same set.  Though Robin was effectively an accessory himself, he nevertheless did get an extra of his own, namely Tim’s signature bo staff.  It’s another soft plastic piece, but it still looks pretty cool.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

When these guys were shown off, the Mini Batmobile was the one I most wanted, and was subsequently the first one I got.  As with many of my early ‘mates, I lost most of the parts to both the Batmobile itself and the two figures it included.  Batmen are a dime a dozen, but this was the only modern era Robin, so I’d been looking for a replacement for a little while.  Thankfully, when All Time got in that large collection of Minimates last year, I was able to snag a replacement Robin.  He’s definitely one of the coolest C3 offerings, and honestly holds up pretty well, even after all this time.

#2644: Martian Manhunter

MARTIAN MANHUNTER

SUPER POWERS (KENNER)

“The Martian Manhunter has a truly awesome array of powers. Beside being practically invulnerable, he has the power of super-breath, flight, invisibility, super-vision, and super-strength. He also has the ability to walk through walls, as well as the power to transform himself into any creature and acquire that creature’s powers and abilities.  The Martian Manhunter cannot survive in a vacuum, and cannot use any of his other powers when he is invisible. Most important, however is his vulnerability to fire, which can weaken and eventually destroy him.  On Mars, the Martian Manhunter’s real name is J’Onn J’Onzz. On Earth, he sometimes adopts the civilian identity of Detective John Jones.”

I’m quite a big fan of the Kenner’s Super Powers, and it’s no secret around these parts that it gets my vote for quintessential DC toy line.  Speaking of quintessential, if there’s a member of the Justice League who gets my vote for quintessential, it would be J’Onn J’Onzz, better known as the Martian Manhunter, who received his very first action figure as part of the Super Powers.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Martian Manhunter was released in 1985, the second year of Super Powers.  He was one of four members of the Justice League to be added to the line that year.  He’s based on Jose Garcia-Lopez’s illustration of the character from the DC Style Guide, just like the rest of the line, which means he depicts J’Onn just after they’d started adding in a few more of his more Martian aspects.  It means it wasn’t *quite* as classic a design as some of the others in the line-up, but it also made him slightly more distinctive, and ultimately became the more common design for the character.  The figure stands 4 1/2 inches tall and he has 6 points of articulation.  His sculpt was an entirely new affair, well-matched to the style of the rest of the line.  It gives Manhunter the proper presence for the character, with a build that’s not quite as bulked up as the line’s version of Superman, but which still casts an imposing silhouette.  His arms aren’t as preposed as the first year figures were, which looks a little better in the basic standing pose.  Manhunter’s head sculpt is the part that is the most modernized portion of the figure, with Manhunter’s much more prominent brow.   His expression has a nice, friendly, if still alien feel about it, which really feels perfect for the character.  Like other figures in the line, Manhunter’s cape is a separate cloth piece.  It’s got the extra bit of collar, which helps to hide the plastic clip a bit better than other figures, making it a slightly more convincing piece.  Martian Manhunter’s paint work is pretty simple, but it’s bright, colorful, and pretty clean, at least apart from the bit of wear and tear that my figure’s taken.  As with all Super Powers figures, Martian Manhunter got his own action feature, dubbed “Power Action Martian Punch”.  When you squeeze his legs, his arms swing back and forth.  Or at least they should, but they actually don’t on mine.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Martian Manhunter is on the earlier side of my Super Powers collecting, when I went through a string of getting them as Christmas presents from my parents.  I want to say he was the fourth or fifth figure I got from the line?  It would have been when I was around 7 or 8.  He was the same year as Green Lantern, so he did sort of pale in comparison just a touch at the time.  He didn’t have his cape originally, but I got one for him later down the line.  He’s a really cool figure, and definitely a fantastic starting point for the character.

#2643: Han Solo – Endor

HAN SOLO — ENDOR

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“Han Solo volunteered to lead the mission to destroy teh new Death Star’s shield generator. He and his strike team landed on the forest moon of Endor, where they encountered Scout Troopers and Ewoks.”

While Luke and Leia got drastically re-designed looks for Return of the Jedi, Han wound up with an appearance that was generally pretty re-tread-y of his first movie attire.  It doesn’t make for thrillingly different figures, and that’s probably why when we do get Jedi-inspired Hans, they’re almost always from the Endor segment, which does at least throw a trench coat over his main look, just to mix things up a bit, I suppose.  That’s the look that finally got him in on the RotJ bandwagon for The Black Series, and that’s the figure I’m looking at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Han Solo (Endor) is another piece of the second assortment of the relaunched Star Wars: The Black Series.  He joins the similarly themed Luke and Leia figures from the same set, and is figure #5 in the RotJ sub-set.  Like the last two, he was also available in the “Heroes of Endor” boxed set earlier last year.  The figure stands a little over 6 inches tall and he has 27 points of articulation.  Structurally, a lot of this figure is shared with the Bespin Han figure from 2018.  I was overall pretty fond of that figure and his sculpt, so you’d think the re-use wouldn’t bug me…but it kinda does.  Mostly, it’s because they keep some of the stuff I didn’t like about it, and don’t really fix the handful of issues that were present.  The head proper is very similar to the last piece, but to my eyes it looks like the jaw’s a touch more prominent on this one.  I don’t know if that’s intentional or just mold variation, but it doesn’t really help the issues of the prior figure looking kind of narrow-shouldered for Han.  Nor does the new hair sculpt, which is just generally a bit poofier than the prior piece, again making the head look larger compared to the shoulders.  Additionally, the jacket piece has been swapped for a vest, which doesn’t have the same high-sitting collar as the jacket, which makes the neck look longer and thinner, which just makes the head look larger and thereby makes the shoulders look again smaller by comparison.  He also gets a new set of arms, which wind up looking rather on the scrawny side themselves; given how thin they are, but yet how baggy the sleeves are, Han must really not have any muscle mass to speak of under those sleeves.  The whole thing is topped off with the trench coat, which is a cloth piece to match Luke and Leia’s ponchos.  Trouble is, the coat just exacerbates the issues with the body, honestly, because it’s clearly tailored for a figure *slightly* bigger than this one.  This results in it dragging at his feet and hanging down over his hands, making it look not unlike Han is a small child who has stolen his father’s coat.  It’s not a very imposing or impressive look, and ultimately just adds to his gooniness.  It honestly looks a bit better when placed on the Bespin Han, if I’m honest. Of course, even then, the jacket is also missing the pockets on either side, and the pattern generally seems a bit too dark for what Han wears in the movie, so it’s always a bit of a compromise.  Even Han’s paintwork ends up a little rougher than previous entries, with some rather sloppy application on the shirt and belt, even going down to the strap for the holster.  The face also feels like it has a bit too much color going into it, making it look like Han is a bit flushed.  Han’s only accessory is his usual blaster pistol.  It’s the same piece as the Empire version, but this time with the proper color scheme.  It’s too bad they couldn’t also give him a few of the detonators or something, just to make the package a little more exciting.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Han’s Endor look has never been one of my favorites.  Even in the films, after the coolness of the Bespin look, this one seemed like a bit of a step down, at least to me.  It doesn’t help that it always seems to have rotten luck with figures.  This figure is, unfortunately, not an exception, either.  There’s no real smoking gun as to why this figure doesn’t work compared to the other two; it’s just a lot of small stuff that ultimately adds up to a figure that’s just not so great.  It’s a shame, because this one feels like one that could have really shined, but it’s instead the weakest in its respective series.  Oh well.  At least it’s another Han Solo for people to buy.

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

#2642: Princess Leia Organa – Endor

PRINCESS LEIA ORGANA — ENDOR

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“Princess Leia Organa rendezvoused with the Rebel fleet and helped organize a plan to destroy the Empire’s new Death Star: they would head to Endor and knock out the space station’s shield generator.”

Princess Leia’s sure gotten a lot of toy coverage courtesy of Hasbro’s The Black Series, so it’s kind of amusing to think there was actually a pretty sizable gap between her earliest releases.  It mostly had to do with Hasbro’s rather poor choice of costume for the line’s first Leia, the somewhat ill-advised Slave Outfit Leia from Series 2 of the line. It wasn’t the greatest figure, and it wasn’t really an essential look, so fans held off, and that in turn scared retailers off of the character for a bit.  Fortunately, things have more or less re-oriented, and we’re more or less getting her at a yearly pace these days.  Leia’s got four prominent looks in Return of the Jedi, which looks like it will be getting most of the 2021 love.  We’ve already gotten her two looks from Jabba’s Palace, so now we’re doing a somewhat linear progression forward, and getting an Endor appearance to match her brother’s figure from yesterday!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Princess Leia Organa (Endor) is part of the second assortment of the relaunched Black Series.  She’s #3 in the RotJ line-up, and like Luke, she was also available earlier last year as part of the “Heroes of Endor” boxed set.  Leia is likewise in her combat gear from the Endor mission, which actually makes her a more prominent variant for the character than for Luke, since she hangs onto this gear through the film’s climax.  The figure stands a little over 5 inches tall and she’s got 30 points of articulation.  In terms of movement, she more or less has the same movement scheme as the Hoth and Bespin Leias, which is to say she’s got a pretty darn solid movement scheme, which both poses well and hides the articulation decently while doing it.  The sculpt’s an all-new one, and a pretty darn good one at that.  In terms of build and size, it matches with all of the post-40th ANH Leias. The head sculpt is a rather respectable likeness of Carrie Fisher.  I don’t think it’s quite as spot on as the Bespin Leia, which is still my favorite to date, but it’s certainly not a bad one.  And, unlike Luke, there’s actually not too much compromising with the hair in order to let the helmet fit, which is nice to see.  The poncho is cloth, much like Lukes, but actually has a slightly different pattern, like it does in the film.  There’s a fully detailed version of her Rebel command uniform beneath the poncho piece, allowing for this figure to pull double duty as Leia late in the film.  I can definitely appreciate Hasbro’s willingness to not milk us for yet another version of the figure, since that’s tended to be how they’ve handled things in the past.  Ultimately, the scaling of various pieces looks a bit better with the poncho in place, but having the option is still nice. The helmet piece looks to be the same one used for Luke, which is sensible.  It works fine for this figure too, although I do prefer this one without the helmet.  The paint work on Leia is all pretty solid.  There’s the face printing again, of course, as well as a slightly more involved paint scheme under the poncho than we saw with Luke.  Leia’s only real accessory is a blaster pistol, which does feel a touch light.  But, with the sort of double nature of this figure thanks to the helmet and poncho being removable, it doesn’t feel quite as bad as it could have.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Hoth Leia is really my default version of the character, but the Endor attire is a pretty close second.  It does add something of a commanding presence to the character, which I can really get behind.  I was hoping for both her and Luke in this style, so getting them both in one fell swoop works out even better than I’d hoped, really.  This figure ends up being the best of the three Endor variants, if I’m honest, and that’s probably for the best, because it’s also the one that feels the most one and done from this set.

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

#2641: Luke Skywalker – Endor

LUKE SKYWALKER — ENDOR

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“Utilizing stolen schematics, the Rebel Alliance formulated a plan to destroy the new Death Star. Luke Skywalker joined his friends for this mission to Endor.”

Last year was the 40th anniversary of Empire Strikes Back, which translated to a lot of toy coverage for that particular movie.  Though it’s not an anniversary year, this year looks to be shifting to its follow-up film, Return of the Jedi.  Right out of the gate, we’re getting proper coverage for the film’s versions of the three main characters.  No stranger to Jedi-based figures in The Black Series, Luke has gotten yet another one, which I’m going to be taking a look at today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Luke Skywalker (Endor) is part of the second assortment of the relaunched Star Wars: The Black Series, officially slated for an early 2021 release, but it hit some places a little earlier.  Luke is part of the RotJ-sub-set of the line, and is figure #4 in that set.  The same figure was also previously available as part of the “Heroes of Endor” set that Hasbro released as an online “con” exclusive mid last year.  As the name denotes, he’s based on the attire Luke wears during the mission to the forest moon of Endor.  In Luke’s case, it means he’s wearing a poncho and helmet atop his standard Jedi attire from the movie.  The figure stands just shy of 6 inches tall and he has 27 points of articulation.  For the most part, he’s made out of pieces re-used from the first Jedi Luke figure.  From the neck down, he’s the same as that figure, although, like last year’s Jabba’s Palace variant, he’s only got the standard flap attached to the front of the chest, and it’s glued in place.  Like that figure, he also ditches the belt piece from the first figure.  In an effort to fully differentiate the various releases, this one gets a new head, helmet, belt, and a cloth poncho.  The head’s not a bad piece.  It’s our third attempt at a Jedi Luke in this scale, and aside from the hair being a little bit matted down in order to fit the helmet (which is admittedly pretty minor and not too far off of his on-screen appearance), and the face in particular seems pretty good for a Hamill likeness of this era.  The helmet piece is just a touch rounder than it was in the film, but it’s not terribly far off, and the detailing is pretty sharp.  It fits nicely over the head sculpt and stays pretty securely in place.  The poncho piece is a cloth piece, and that’s honestly the best way to handle it.  The tailoring is pretty decent, and the belt helps to keep everything in place and looking pretty good.  The paint work on this guy is largely pretty basic.  It’s just molded plastic for most of the underlying body, but he gets the printing for his face.  It’s slightly misaligned on my figure, but isn’t terribly far off, and honestly looks okay from most angles.  The helmet also gets some extra detail work, with some scarring and weathering in place.  In addition to the removable helmet and poncho, Luke also gets his lightsaber.  It’s a shame didn’t also throw in his standard belt to allow for a full final duel Luke set-up, but the belt for the poncho still works in a pinch.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I quite like the Endor Luke set-up, and I’ve been hoping to get him since early on in this line.  I’m actually a little bit surprised that it took quite this long to finally get him, but he’s a nice way of getting another Jedi Luke figure out there.  The Endor parts are all nicely put together, and the underlying figure’s not bad either.  Of course, I’m kind of expecting to see another variant on Jedi Luke sooner than later for…reasons.  Until then, this one will do well for all those people suddenly looking for a Jedi Luke for…reasons.

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

#2640: The Mandalorian w/ Speeder Bike

THE MANDALORIAN w/ SPEEDER BIKE

STAR WARS: MISSION FLEET (HASRBO)

Alright, are you guys ready to get cyclical?  I sure hope so, because we’re going to be rounding up this year’s post-Christmas reviews by circling back to where we kicked them off, namely Star Wars, or more specifically, The Mandalorian.  Before the dumpster fire that was last year had really kicked into high gear, Hasbro was looking to experiment a little bit with their Star Wars output.  Obviously, The Black Series and The Vintage Collection have the collector’s side covered, but that leaves a bit of a lack of stuff for a younger audience, or indeed someone who just likes a good, fun toy.  Their first attempt at slight more all ages fare was Galaxy of Adventures, which I covered as they were released in 2019, and which was *supposed* to have more product added in 2020 but…didn’t.  The other line, shown off at Toy Fair last year, was Mission Fleet, a stylized line with a heavier focus on vehicles.  The line started showing up at retail last fall, and it’s been a fun little experiment.  Today, I’m taking a look at its first set based on The Mandalorian.

THE TOYS THEMSELVES

The Mandalorian with Speeder Bike is part of the launch wave of Mission Fleet product, in a set officially dubbed “Battle For The Bounty.”  They have a few different sizes and price points for the sets, and this one is part of the Expedition Class set up, which covers more proper vehicles of the smaller persuasion.

The core figure gives us Mando in his full Beskar armament, and was in fact the first toy from Hasbro to do so, having beaten both the Black Series and Vintage Collection versions to market by a little bit.  The figure stands about 2 1/2 inches tall and he has 9 points of articulation.  Despite the small stature, he does still get a ball-jointed neck and universal joints on the shoulders, so he’s got an alright range of motion.  His sculpt is a pretty respectable little offering.  He’s definitely rather stylized, with a slightly enlarged head, hands, and feet.  He’s not quite as far removed as, say, a PlaySkool offering, but definitely not a hyper realistic recreation of the live action stuff by any stretch.  I think it works pretty well for him, and gets all of the important details for the character, while making him perhaps a touch more kid-friendly.  His paint work is pretty on the basic side, but all of the important details are again present.  Application is clean, and he matches the show depiction pretty well.  Mando is packed with both his cape and jetpack, though, like the Black Series figure, you have to choose one or the other.  He also includes both his rifle and pistol.  The only downside to the two weapons is a lack of storage for them while he’s on the vehicle, an unfortunately recurring issue with the line.

Though not quite as much of a figure proper as the Mando, this set also includes the *other* major player in The Mandalorian, the Child, who was still unnamed at the time of this figure’s release, so he sticks with just being “The Child.”  In an effort to be kind to people who aren’t entirely current on the show, I’ll just stick with that here.  He’s about an inch tall and is articulated only at his neck, which is honestly more articulation than I’d been expecting, really.  He’s definitely way too large to be in proper scale with the Mando or any other normal sized characters from this line, but for proper scaling, he’d be incredibly minuscule, and even more easily lost than he already is.  He’s sculpted holding the control knob from the Razor Crest, and is caricature-ized, much like the Mando.  His paint work’s not quite as clean as Mando’s, but it’s still not too bad.  Again, all of the important details are there.  The Child includes his floating pram from the first few episodes.  Like the Child itself, the pram is quite up-scaled compared to the rest of the line, but it’s a cool piece.  I do wish it was a little easier to get him sitting up in it, though.

The main vehicle component for this set is the speeder bike the Mando uses while on Tatooine in the episodes “The Gunslinger” and “The Marshall.”  It’s a pretty basic speeder bike layout, and it’s certainly a more economical vehicle choice for the character than going the Razor Crest route, so I can dig it.  It’s about 6 inches long, so its scale relative to the Mando is pretty decent.  The detail work is more on the basic side, focusing on the more broad stroke details to sell it.  It works well with the style they’ve gone for with the figure.  There are some slightly obtrusive ports on the sides, two of which are for the included cannon, and the other two don’t seem to match up to anything.  I’m guessing they’re for something in the future, maybe?  There’s also a spot on the back allowing the pram to be hooked up, making this whole thing one larger piece.  Also included with the vehicle is a rather large missile launcher, with included missile.  Obviously, it’s not based on anything from the actual show, but it’s a cool extra, more toyetic thing to throw in, and you can mount it in a few different spots on the bike.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was pretty interested in Mission Fleet when it was shown off at Toy Fair, and when it hit, I enlisted some help from Cheyenne in tracking down a few of the sets.  She obliged on a handful of them, and requested that I maybe, possibly, not buy any for myself, so that she’d have an easier time getting me gifts and the like.  So, I held off, and then I honestly forgot, truth be told, until she presented me with this bad boy just a few days after Christmas.  This is a fun line, and one that I honestly put off actually reviewing for far longer than I should have.  This set in particular is a nice little contained package of all the major Mandalorian elements, but the whole line is just great.  Maybe I should review those other ones I’ve got sitting around at some point, huh?

#2639: Cyborg

CYBORG

DC MULTIVERSE (MCFARLANE)

“Half robot, Vic Stone is a high-tech genius and valued member of Robin’s Teen Titans team. Cyborg not only designs and engineers T-vehicles and excels at video games, he’s also a great cook–specializing in spaghetti and burgers!”

At the beginning of the entire decade of time that made up the year 2020, the DC Comics license passed from Mattel into the hands of both Spin Master and McFarlane Toys.  Spin Master’s been sticking more to the “toys” side of things, and have generally wound up resonating far more with me, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t attempted to give McFarlane’s more “collector” oriented line its fair shot as well.  One of the problems I’ve been having with the McFarlane stuff is how Batman-centric its been, so I’ve been trying to keep my eye out for cool not-Batman stuff.  The most recent assortment of figures has a little bit of that, including today’s focus figure, Cyborg!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Cyborg is part of McFarlane’s DC Multiverse line.  As far as wave/series/assortment, I’d honestly be hard-pressed to tell you, because there hasn’t really been any clear delineation, and releases have been hitting all over the place.  He’s not from Series 1, and that’s the best I can hone in on.  So far, the DC Multiverse stuff has all been drawn from specific source material, and in the case of Cyborg, he’s based on the 2003 Teen Titans cartoon.  He’s the first figure based on the show, and so far the only one to be solicited.  The figure stands 7 inches tall and he has 31 points of articulation.  With the McFarlane stuff, there’s been a bit of an issue on the articulation front; there are plenty of points of movement, but range isn’t always the best.  Cyborg improves a bit over the prior Multiverse figures I’ve had, but I did find the arms to still be rather restricted, especially at the elbows.  Also, while the shoulders have decent range, they’re a little bit on the loose side for my figure.  They can hold poses fine right now, but I’m a bit concerned about the long-term integrity of the joints.  Cyborg’s sculpt is an all-new affair, and compared to the animated sculpts of the first assortment, it’s actually a marked improvement.  I don’t know if it’s just the change in style between the shows, but they’ve managed to get a much closer recreation of Cyborg’s cartoon design than any of the other three animated figures.  It’s still not really in scale with anything (though he does look okay with some of the larger Bandai figures), as has been a recurring issue with the McFarlane stuff, but internally, it’s at least got solid proportions and does an okay job replicating the design.  I quite like the way they’ve handled the blue sections of the cybernetics, being white plastic with the detailing sculpted in, and then a clear blue plastic shell over top.  It works very well, and solves a problem that other animated Cyborgs have never quite gotten down.  In terms of paint, he’s pretty basic.  There are a few errant marks on the white sections, but for the most part it look okay.  It’s appropriately bright, and refrains from McFarlane’s tendency to go a little murkier, so it’s not bad.  Cyborg is packed with an extra hand in sonic cannon configuration, plus one of the small black disc stands, and a card.  The cannon piece is definitely the coolest part, and swaps out for the hand without much trouble.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve not really been picking up any of the McFarlane figures, because I really just wasn’t that impressed by the three I had already gotten.  I did like the look of this guy when his prototype was shown off, but was planning to refrain from getting him largely because I honestly don’t trust Todd and company to actually get the whole team line-up out.  At most I’m expecting to get a Robin and *maybe* a Beast Boy, but I can’t see anything beyond that, which does make the prospect of this figure weird to say the least.  I wound up getting this one from Cheyenne and her parents, and it’s honestly a pretty strong figure, and one I’m pretty glad I ultimately got.  Hopefully, I’m proved wrong on the team line-up, but for now, he does look pretty nice with my Bandai Speedy figure.