The Blaster In Question #0074: Demolisher 2-in-1

 

BlasterInQuestion1

DEMOLISHER 2-IN-1

N-STRIKE ELITE

demolish1Without question, everyone who has ever owned more than one Nerf blaster has thought “I wish I could stick these together and make one super blaster.”  There’s a whole branch of the modding community dedicated to this exact goal. The fine folks at Hasbro certainly took note of this when they designed this week’s blaster, the Demolisher 2-in-1. So what madness did they concoct in the Nerf labs?  Let’s have a look

THE BLASTER ITSELF

demolish2The Demolisher was released in 2014 under the N-Strike Elite line in their bizarre switch from the standard phthalocyanine blue and titanium white color scheme to a sort of burnt sienna and ivory (blue and white became orange and white). It features 2 separate firing mechanisms that allow it to fire both Elite darts and the same big rockets that the Thunderblast uses. It sounds interesting and complicated at first until you realize they stuck the Thunderblast on the underside of a scaled up Stryfe and painted it orange.  The shell is completely original at least, and I actually think it looks really aggressive and cool. I’m not sure why but I really love that tubey bit that loops under the barrel. I also, for some reason really felt like I wanted to call it the Bullshark instead of the Demolisher.  Again, not really sure why other than it just felt right.  Both systems work well, the missiles fly out with a satisfying *thunk* and the darts fly far and hit decently hard. I really cannot stress enough that this is just a Stryfe and a Thunderblast. Ergonomics are good once you get used to how front-heavy the blaster is. My only gripe in this category is the design of the stock which has space to hold an extra missile. The problem is it holds the missile in the top of the stock, meaning you basically can’t aim when there’s a spare missile in there, and even when it’s out, the strange bulge makes putting your face against it kind of uncomfortable. As far as functionality, obviously the blaster has a stock attachment lug but it also has a barrel lug and 2 rails for other accessories. One thing that stuck out to me and probably only me because that’s the kind of guy I am, is the feel of the trigger. It’s very smooth first of all, but it also has a really nice pressure curve when you pull it. On my Demolisher at least, it starts rather stiff, but past a certain point, the amount of force to pull it the remaining distance goes way down which makes it feel really snappy and responsive. Maybe I’m just imagining it, but it makes me happy, and it may make you happy too.  On a different note, one of the more immediately noticeable appeals of the Demolisher over other blasters is its appearance, which really sets the tone well when you bust into your younger siblings’ room and they see a Nerf blaster with a missile launcher pointing at them. It’s a ton of fun. The original Demolisher came packaged with a 10 round curved magazine, 10 Elite darts, 2 missiles, and a stock, but there’s just recently been a new Modulus version that comes with a bunch of other stuff. I don’t have one of those yet, though, so I’m just telling you about the original. 

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION 

I do seem to have a tendency of using a joke in one review and then reviewing something else which would also work with the joke not long after. You have no idea how badly I wanted to make the knife-wrench reference again, but alas I had already used it. Nevertheless, the Demolisher is one of those blasters that I wasn’t super excited for and I could see it being easily overlooked given its similarities to other existing blasters, but it’s actually quite a nicely refined setup with just a few extra bells and whistles, so I definitely recommend grabbing one if you can. 

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#1907: Magneto

MAGNETO

X-MEN: DELUXE EDITION (TOY BIZ)

“After his interment in a concentration camp, Erik Lehnsherr realized that the only way mutants could survive would be to dominate mankind. Turning his complete control of magnetism to his newfound cause, Lehnsherr became the mutant terorrist Magneto, determined to win freedom from oppression for his fellow mutants, no matter what the cost. His mad dream has only been kept in check thanks to the ever-vigilant actions of the X-Men!”

For Day 6 of the Post Christmas reviews, I’m keeping that 10-inch Marvel thing going.  After a more broad Marvel Universe look with Nick Fury, I’m heading over to the ’90s commercial juggernaut that was X-Men.  Today’s focus is on the X-Men’s very first baddie, Magneto.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Magneto was released in the second “Deluxe Edition” series of the X-Men line, which preceded the larger Marvel Universe line by a couple of years.  The figure stands 10 inches tall and has 8 points of articulation.  For whatever reason, he doesn’t have a joint on his right elbow.  Left one’s still there, and the smaller counterpart figure has both of them, but this guy doesn’t.  I have no clue why, and I don’t know if anyone really does, but there it is.  The figure is patterned on the Magneto II figure from the 5-inch line, though, as with a number of these figures, the larger version allows for a much better formed sculpt.  In particular, he has less of the odd pin-headed nature that the smaller figure possessed, which makes the figure much more appealing.  The arms are still a touch stubby, but that’s a minor complaint.  Overall, though, it’s a really strong classic Magneto sculpt, unmarred by the action features that sort of held back the smaller figure.  Even his paintwork is a fair bit better.  The colors are brighter, the application is cleaner, and the use of molded flesh tone instead of painted makes him look far more lifelike.  Magneto was packed with a blaster pistol, because that was just how you did with these figures in the ’90s.  Hey, at least it wasn’t a wooden gun, right?  That would just break his mind right in two.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Magneto never got a reissue in any of the later lines, unlike a lot of the others, and as one of the more prominent characters released, he never really hung around all that much.  As such, I don’t believe I ever saw one in person.  Like Fury, this figure was a stocking stuffer from my parents.  I actually really like him, and I think he’s one of the line’s nicest offerings.  Its kind of a shame he didn’t get any reissues.

#1906: Nick Fury

NICK FURY

MARVEL UNIVERSE 10-INCH (TOY BIZ)

“When a military robot from World War II is accidentally reactivated in the present, chaos sets in! Resuming its 50-year-old mission to destroy London, the robot begins smashing its way through the crowded city streets. Called in to stop the giant steel behemoth are Wolverine, Britain’s own Union Jack and Nick Fury agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.! With Fury using his advanced S.H.I.E.L.D. technology, Wolverine striking out with unbreakable adamantium claws and Union Jack relying on sheer cunning, the three heroes successfully neutralize the robot and leave it looking like scrap metal.”

For my fifth day of Post-Christmas reviews, I’m returning to a very comfortable ground, and looking back at one of my earliest collecting sources: Toy Biz’s run with the Marvel license.  While their 5-inch line was the real star of the ‘90s, running in tandem with it was a line of double-sized figures which proved pretty popular with the younger audience.  And in the ‘90s, the “younger audience” definitely included me.  Through creative parts re-use, Toy Biz racked up quite an impressive roster for the scale, and today I’m looking at Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Nick was one of the larger scale Marvel Universe line’s 1998 offerings, hitting in an assortment that contained the Union Jack and a fairly standard Wolverine variant mentioned in the figure’s bio up there.  I’m always quite amused by this line’s way of creating a playable story from the seemingly off the wall character choices.  This one is admittedly one the most plausible of the ones I’ve found.  This figure stands 10 inches tall and he has 9 points of articulation.  While Nick had a 5-inch figure with its own unique sculpt, this figure was released after the 10-inch line was almost entirely in repaint territory, so that sculpt was never actually sized up.  Instead, Nick is a repaint of the Spider-Man line’s Punisher.  I looked the the 5-inch release of that sculpt a little while back.  The designs of the two characters are similar enough that it’s really not much of a stretch I suppose.  It’s a nice enough sculpt, especially for its time of release, so there are no complaints there.  The larger version of the sculpt has the removable shoulder holster of the smaller figure permanently affixed, but this actually works out even better for Nick, since the shoulder piece is a pretty consistent element of his design.  The main change is the addition of his eye-patch, with is a soft-goods piece that’s been glued in place over his eye.  It’s a reasonable, cost effective way of handling the design change.  Nick’s paint gives him a more SHIELD appropriate color scheme of blue and white.  It ends up adding some details where there aren’t any on the sculpt, as well as overlooking some details that *are* on the sculpt, but that’s about par for the line.  The coolest work is definitely on his hair, which is actually a black base with the brown dry brushed over, giving it a neat layered appearance.  Pretty nifty!  Nick was originally packed with a rather larger gun piece, which my figure lacks.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Nick was a stocking stuffer from my parents, and what a stocking stuffer he was!  Obviously, I didn’t have this guy growing up.  In fact, I remember seeing him only one time as a kid, and not even at a regular retail store.  The nature of the line by the time Nick hit was really one of get as many different figures out as you can and don’t look back, so there are a large number of them whose existence is really only known to the people who happened upon them for the window the figures were available.  Nick was definitely one such figure.  The Punisher mold’s a good fit for the character, and is perhaps an even better mold than his 5-inch figure had.  While he’s certainly on the goofy side by today’s standards, Nick’s still a lot of fun.

#1904: Etherow

ETHEROW

APOSIMZ (1000TOYS)

Hey, you guys remember yesterday’s review?  Well, good, because I’m covering some similar ground today.  Yes, for Day 4 of my Post-Christmas reviews, I’m returning once again to 1000Toys.  However, unlike my previous two 1000toys reviews, I’m actually mixing things up and looking at a proper licensed toy, not an original creation.  Etherow, today’s focus, is the lead character of the manga Aposimz, a sci-fi epic set on an artificial planet.  I can’t say as I know much about it, but it sounds kind of fun from what I’ve read so far.  But enough of that talk of reading!  That’s not what we do around here!  How’s the toy?  Read on!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Etherow is a 2018 release and is, so far, the only figure in the Aposimz line from 1000Toys.  Time will tell if that’s going to change, but not being familiar with the source material, I can’t really say for myself.  Though technically he’s a standalone figure, the fact that Aposimz is by the same artist who did all of the design work for 1000Toys’ in-house TOA Heavy Industries figures means that he’ll fit in very nicely with them.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and he has 43 points of articulation.  Of the three 1000Toys figures I own, I found Etherow to be by far the most restricted in terms of movement.  It’s not so much the actual joints, though, but rather elements of his design that are slightly hampering him here.  All that said, there are still plenty of awesome poses to be had, and his articulation is still very smooth and easily used.  The sculpt works all of this articulation in pretty well, and, apart from the slightly impeding nature of some of the little add-ons here and there, the two aspects work nicely in tandem.  Etherow, as an armored character, has a slightly different appearance to him than the fully robotic likes of CaRB.  He’s segmented, asymmetric, and, above all, he looks like he’s been through the wringer.  His armor is dinged and dented, and just generally looks battle-hardened.  Clearly it was at one point new and sleek, but that time has since passed.  From what I’ve been able to find of Aposimz online, the figure seems to be a rather faithful rendition of Etherow in three dimensions.   Paintwork on Etherow is actually pretty impressive, considering how basic it looks at first glance.  You might think he’s just molded in shiny red plastic, but there’s quite a bit of variation to all of that red, including a good deal of accenting on the various raised edges of the armor, helping to highlight all of the different pieces.  The white striping running throughout adds a nice bit of pop, and is cleanly applied, if perhaps a little thin.  While CaRB had no extras and the Robox was a little sparse, Etherow is actually pretty decently accessorized.  He has three pairs of hands, as well as three interchangeable left forearms, one of which includes Etherow’s Ballistic Acceleration Device, which is apparently his weapon of choice.  It’s all rounded up with a rather nice articulated display stand, which makes for lots of very fun posing.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Etherow continues the 1000Toys tradition of being from my parents.  I caught a blurry image of this guy on Twitter back in February of last year, and had no idea what the heck he was, but I knew I wanted one.  Upon figuring out what the heck he was, I wanted one even more.  Fortunately for me, my family had me covered there.  Etherow’s not quite as free range as the other two 1000Toys figures in my collection, but he’s still a lot of fun, and there’s no denying that he’s very, very cool looking.

#1904: Robox – Basic

ROBOX — BASIC

ROBOX (1000TOYS)

“Born from a collaboration between the world famous Korean artist Kim Jung Gi and 1000toys that will produce products based on designs by Kim drawn specifically for this project.  This basic Robox is highly articulated and built stiff enough to hold poses. The first release is the standard version of Robox featuring a military paint finish with weathering and small markings.”

For Day 3 of this year’s Post-Christmas reviews, I’m actually calling back on Day 3 of last year’s round, where I took a break from all the licensed stuff to take a look at something that was designed as a toy first.  That was, of course, C.a.R.B., perhaps my very favorite item from last year’s round-up, and my first experience with 1000Toys.  Today, I’m following that up with another of 1000Toys’ offerings, a line of collapsible robots called “Robox.”

THE FIGURE ITSELF

This guy is the debut figure in the Robox line, as the most basic model up for grabs.  As of right now, the only real difference between releases seems to be coloring, but time will tell if they plan to expand on things.  Basic was released early last year.  He’s about 6 1/4 inches tall (a little taller than C.a.R.B.) and he has 34 points of articulation…more or less.  There are more joints than that, but they’re tied into the collapsing feature and are thus not usable in his more standard configuration.  As with CaRB, posability is one of the figure’s strongest suits.  He’s got a ton of motion, the joints move smoothly, and he’ll be able to hold poses long-term.  He’s also quite sturdy on his feet, which is always a plus in my book.  Given the robotic nature of his design, the articulation is also quite easily worked into the sculpt, by virtue of it being purposefully on display.  Basic is decidedly a different sort of robot than CaRB was, of course, being a more deliberately robotic and utilitarian design than CaRB’s uber sleek load out.  Where CaRB (and, by extension, the Synthetic Human he’s built from) is a top-of-line, artfully-crafted masterpiece, Basic is decidedly mass-produced and economized, an emphasis on practicality over finesse.  It’s a design that quite appeals to me, and the sculpt translates the very machined appearance into plastic very well.  The design is, of course, all built around his ability to fold up into a much more compact package, and it is in fact this folded up configuration that he is packaged in.  There are a handy set of instructions included showing how to unfold him, and once you’ve done the process back and forth a few times, it’s pretty intuitive and easily done.  I didn’t feel like I was risking breaking any of the joints or anything, and he stays in either configuration pretty well once full transformed.  The paintwork on this guy really reinforces the utilitarian aspect.  He’s clearly some sort of military grade item, with his olive green base coat and all of his safety markings.  I really enjoy all of the little warnings and messages printed throughout the figure, as though he were a real piece of machinery.  The work is so tiny and easily missed and yet so pivotal to giving the figure that high-end feel.  Basic is armed with two pistol-like armaments which come plugged into each leg, as well as a large shield plate, which can either be stowed on his back or placed defensively on his arm.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Basic here was, like CaRB, a gift from my parents.  After how impressive CaRB was, I was itching to get more 1000Toys offerings.  As a smaller company, their releases are kind of slower and lesser in number, so options are somewhat limited, somewhat pricey, and somewhat likely to move more on the quick side.  Upon seeing a review of these guys, I definitely ear-marked one for hopes to add him to my collection later.  My parents were kind enough to do that part for me.  He’s rather a different figure from CaRB, but no less impressive.  I’m a sucker for cool toys and cool robots, so this guy’s right up my alley.

#1903: Moon Knight

MOON KNIGHT

MARVEL UNIVERSE (HASBRO)

“No one, not even Moon Knight himself is really sure whether he’s actually the avatar of the ancient god Khonshu, or if he’s just crazy.  It is without a doubt that he is stronger than the average man, and a far superior fighter to all but the best.  He has devoted himself to Khonshu, acting out the Egyptian god’s agenda of revenge against criminals from one end of the world to the other.”

For Day 2 of the Post-Christmas reviews, I’m returning to one of my very favorite review subjects.  Yes, it’s none other than MOOOOOOON KNIIIIIIIIIGHT!!!!  Sorry, I can’t help but do that at least once per Moon Knight review.  Contractual obligation.  So, yeah, Moon Knight’s a personal favorite character of mine, and one of those characters that I make a concerted effort to track down whenever he shows up in action figure form.  He’s got one of those designs that just usually makes for good toy.  And today, I’m looking at another!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Moon Knight was released in the fourth assortment of Marvel Universe in 2009, during the line’s inaugural year.  He was the 27th figure numerically in the line.  As seems to be frequently the case for the character, the assortment that spawned Moon Knight was sort of an odd-ball selection of characters.  Fun fact, though, the assortment also included Blade, a character that was essentially Moon Knight’s equivalent in the Tomb of Dracula books.  Anyway, Moon Knight’s seen here in his classic all-white attire, which we actually haven’t gotten in proper figure form since.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 22 points of articulation.  Moon Knight is built on the body that initially belonged to Daredevil.  It was one of two mid-sized male bodies introduced during the first year of the line, and, to be fair, it’s definitely the better of the two.  Of course, given that the other one is one of the worst bodies from the line, that’s perhaps faint praise.  As I mentioned when I first reviewed this body (when it was Vision), it’s an okay body overall, but the biggest flaw is that it looks like he’s missing a row of abs.  His torso’s just too short.  On the plus side, it poses well, and it’s certainly very playable.  He has a unique head, cape, and belt to help complete that Moon Knight look.  The belt is a little soft and ill-defined, but the head and cape are really nice pieces, and I find them to be stronger than even the more recent version of Marc.  As with the Vision parts, I can’t help but wish we could have seen these parts on a stronger base body.  Moon Knight’s paint is, as you might expect, quite monochromatic, but kept from being too drab with a nice selection of grey and silver accenting on the white portions of the costume.  Moon Knight was packed with his staff and a single crescent dart.  Both are pretty cool, but the staff’s definitely going to get more playtime from me, since he can’t really hold the dart.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Back when this figure was first released, I held off, in part because I was less of a Moon Knight fan than I am now, and in part because he was supposedly going to be re-packed later down the line in a two-pack with an Ant-Man figure.  When that pack never materialized, I found myself with no Moon Knight, and eventually settled for the more recent small-scale Legends release.  I ended up getting this guy this year as a Christmas present from my friends at All Time Toys, because that’s just how they do.  There are certainly some dated aspects of this figure, but I’m overall quite impressed by how well-crafted he is.  If nothing else, he’s certainly a lot of fun to play with!

#1902: Sohei Darth Maul

SOHEI DARTH MAUL

MEISHO MOVIE REALIZATION (BANDAI)

Post-Christmas reviews, begin!

Yes, it’s that time of year when I’ve gotten so many new toys from all the people that love me so much, and I always feel the best way of handling a large influx of new toys is to just jump headlong into the reviews.  No turning back!  Today, I kick things off with a theme that I assure you will be sticking with us for a good portion of the reviews to come: Star Wars.  That said, today’s focus item is a slight variation on the theme.  He may be from Star Wars, but it’s definitely a more conceptual version of the story.  I’m taking my second look at Bandai’s reimagining of the Star Wars movies as Samurai films, Sohei Darth Maul!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Sohei Darth Maul is one of the 2018 releases from the Meaisho Movie Realization line, which re-envisions Sith Lord Darth Maul as Sohei, or a warrior monk.  Admittedly, “warrior monk” isn’t much of a stretch from the basic Jedi thing.  It’s *almost* as if the Star Wars characters naturally lend themselves to this sort of thing!  The figure stands 7 inches tall and he has 43 points of articulation.  As with the Royal Guard, there’s something of a learning curve on posing these guys, though I had a much easier time with Maul, largely do to already having experience with the line.  Maul’s sculpt appears to be totally unique to him, which is sensible, given that as a prequel character, he would be of a slightly vintage than the Vader and troopers we’ve gotten so far.  It’s certainly a very nice sculpt, with lots of detail work worked throughout all of its various pieces.  The texturing on his tunic is very realistic, and keeps it from being too bland, and the armored pieces are all quite intricately designed.  The head is rather demonic, even for Maul, indicating that he’s actually some form of spirit or demon in this reimagined version of the tale, which is certainly a cool concept.  It gives Bandai free reign to have a bit of fun with it, and the end result is a very expressive piece.  The paint work on Maul is quite impressive, especially given the fact that the character is typically quite monochromatic.  While his basic clothing is still straight black, the overlying armor has all sorts of subtle color work going on.  It makes for a very interesting looking figure, and he’s got plenty of elements to help him pop off of the shelf.  Darth Maul is packed with a pair of swords, which can be attached at the hilt to simulate his signature double-bladed saber from the movie.  The actual blades can also be removed simulation them being turned off.  Also included are a face mask  (furthering the demonic experience), and beads, which can be removed to mix up the appearance.  Finally, he includes three sets of hands in fists, gripping, and open gesture poses.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Like the Royal Guard before him, Sohei Darth Maul was a Christmas gift from my boy Tim.  I had actually just been looking at this figure about a week prior to receiving it from him, so it was a rather well-timed gift.  Again, like the Royal Guard, there’s just a lot to like about this figure.  He’s got a cool look, has a great selection of alternate appearances, and is just generally a lot of fun.  I really look forward to seeing what else this line tackles (I’d kill for a scout trooper, let me tell you).

#1901: Raptor

RAPTOR

FORTNITE (JAZWARES)

And let the gift reviews commence.  Yes, it’s the most wonderful time of the year!  The post-Christmas season, when I have a ton of new toys to review here.  As per usual, I’ll be kicking off the post-Christmas reviews with sort of a Day 0 kind of a review, with my one non-Christmas gift of the season.

Remember a few weeks ago when I reviewed one of them there Fortfighters?  Crap, I mean Fortnite.  Yeah, that’s the one.  Despite my very obvious lack of prior knowledge of the source material, I was enamored by the toys.  I kind of foresee a good number of reviews from this line forthcoming.  Today, I’m keeping things pretty basic, and looking at Raptor, Royal Air Force Test Pilot!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Raptor is part of the first series of the basic “Solo Mode” figures from Jazwares’ Fortnite line.  He doesn’t come in the impressive packaging that Rust Lord did, nor does he feature quite as many fancy parts, but he’s also less than half the retail price.  The figure stands just shy of 4 inches tall and he has 28 points of articulation.  His construction is very similar to the previously reviewed Rust Lord figure, though his actual sculpt is completely unique.  While I think the general assembly of Rust Lord is a little more solid and better fit together, I certainly can’t fault this guy’s sculpt.  It helps that, like Rust Lord, his design lends itself pretty nicely to a toy translation.  I mean, the guy is perhaps the most blatant G.I. Joe rip-off of the bunch.  That’s pretty basic toy stuff right there.  Raptor is a bit more simple than Rust Lord when it comes to actual detailing, with the main exception being his ski mask, which does actually get some solid work.  I was sort of hoping for a bit more to his bomber jacket, but this is, admittedly, fairly true to the game design.  Raptor’s paint is a little bit of a mixed bag.  There’s a lot I like, especially the things like the insignias on his shoulders.  However, the thing that bugs me the most about the figure is completely to do with the paint, and that’s the eyes.  They’re not *terrible*, but they’re definitely too big, especially relative to what’s sculpted.  Eyes are, admittedly, hard to do, especially at this scale, but as his only visible facial feature, it’s unfortunate they aren’t more on the mark.  Raptor is a lighter release, in contrast to the more heavily armed Rust Lord.  He gets a pick axe and a building plate with a foot peg on it.  I like the variety among the plates, and I can definitely appreciate the inclusion of a melee weapon this time around, especially after getting so many guns with Rust Lord.  They’re really encouraging the play pattern here, and I can get behind that.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Raptor here was an anniversary gift from Super Awesome Fiancee, exchanged on Christmas Eve, as is our tradition.  After I raved so much about how cool Rust Lord was, she kept an eye out for the rest of the line, and thought I’d like this one.  Slight flaws aside, I really do like this figure, and he continues the “augmenting G.I. Joe” thing I started with Rust Lord.

#1900: Luke Skywalker: Rebel Commander – Bespin

LUKE SKYWALKER: REBEL COMMANDER — BESPIN

STAR WARS: HEROES OF THE REBELLION (SIDESHOW)

“The only son of Padme Amidala and Anakin Skywalker, Luke Skywalker is the Jedi Order’s last remaining hope in restoring balance to the galaxy. Unaware of his own true potential or parentage, Luke has sworn himself to the rebel cause and fights valiantly alongside his compatriots in the Battle of Hoth. It is there that Luke has a vision of his fallen friend and mentor Obi-Wan Kenobi, who instructs Luke to travel to the Dagobah system and seek the great and powerful Jedi Master Yoda.”

When Sideshow was really just starting to get their foot in the door with their Star Wars line, the initially focussed more on getting out suitable variants of the franchise’s main characters, especially Luke, Han, and Leia.  Luke was definitely a favorite of theirs at the start, with his Jedi Knight variant kicking off the line, and versions from A New Hope and Empire following in short succession.  My personal favorite Luke look has always been his rebellion-issued fatigues from Empire, and I’ll be looking at Sideshow’s take on that design today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Luke Skywalker (Rebel Commander — Bespin) was released in 2007 as part of Sideshow’s Heroes of the Rebellion line, which, of course, placed its focus on the Original Trilogy-era heroes of the Star Wars saga.  As with a lot of Sideshow offerings, there were two versions of this figure available: the regular release, and the Sideshow exclusive.  The figures proper are the same, but there were some extra accessories with the exclusive.  Luke stands just under 12 inches tall and he has 30+ points of articulation (whatever the proper count should be, he’s down two, due to this body being notorious for one half of the double jointed elbows being frozen in place).

The headsculpts for this line were, perhaps, not its strongest suit, but given what we were getting from Hasbro not long before, they were a breath of fresh air at the time.  Nevertheless, Luke was one of the slightly weaker offerings, though I think the biggest issue may have been a manufacturing issue of some sort.  For whatever reason, Luke’s head looks kind of flattened from certain angles; the left side of his face is sunken in too far compared to the right.  It strikes me as an issue with the molding process, but it afflicts the whole run of this figure.  It’s not terrible, though, and you can hide it with some careful posing.  Moving past that, it’s a fairly respectable ESB-era Hamill likeness.  The detail may not be 100% lifelike, but it’s certainly clean, and he’s recognizable.  The paintwork is a little primitive, and very thickly applied, but it looks passable.  The eyes on my figure are slightly goofy, and not quite as realistic as other figures from the line, but they’re still serviceable.

As you’d expect, Luke’s costume is a mixed media offering.  His shirt, jacket, and pants are all tailored cloth pieces, and they’re alright for the time.  The stitching is a little on the large side, and his shirt ends up having a much more involved collar than in the movie, due to needing to cover up his neck joint.  The pants suffer from being on the old Sideshow Buck, which was really starting to show its age at this point, and didn’t really look natural wearing much of anything.  The jacket is actually more accurate than it may appear in these photos, due to me being a dingus.  See, the collar is flipped down in the box, but it should be flipped up.  When it is, it looks a lot more like it should.  As seen here?  Well, it’s close, but looks slightly weird.  Luke’s belt is itself a mixed media affair, with a mostly pleather construction as the base, and plastic for the buckle and pouches.  His holster is quite impressive; the strap is magnetic, allowing for easy removal of the gun.  I always really liked that touch.  The boots are just a straight sculpted piece, but they’re still actually boots, as Sideshow hadn’t started doing molded feet at this point.

Luke was build on a modified version of the Sideshow Buck body, which had shortened arms and legs to reflect Hamill’s smaller stature.  The arms were a big deal for this release, as the Jedi Luke figure’s arms were standard length, making him look like a bit of a monkey.  The Buck body is the aspect of these figures that has aged by far the worst, and it was almost a decade old by the time it was used here.  Another decade hasn’t helped things.  It’s stiff and awkward, and just doesn’t look great with the clothes on it.  Or off it, I suppose.  It just doesn’t look great.

Luke was pretty well accessorized, with his lightsaber in two configurations (ignited and not), his blaster pistol, two pairs of hands (gripping R and L, trigger finger R, and open palm L), a stump for recreating the film’s most famous scene, and a display stand.  That was a solid offering for the main figure, but the exclusive upped the anti, adding in the auto-tourniquet he uses for his hand after the battle.  Sadly, mine’s just the basic release.  Guess my Luke’s stump won’t be getting proper treatment.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Luke is one of the figures that actually got me into the Sideshow Star Wars line.  I had attempted to jump on the Hot Toys bandwagon by asking for a Hot Toys Dark Knight Joker for Christmas in 2008.  However, delay after delay after delay meant that wasn’t to be that year (it’s okay, things worked out better the following year), so my parents let me trade in the value of that figure for something else.  It ended up being enough for three of these guys, so I got a Luke, Han, and Leia right out of the gate.  In addition to being my favorite Luke design, this figure was also the cheapest version of the character on the market at the time, so he was an easy choice for me.  Ultimately, he’s far from a perfect figure, but he’s looked pretty nifty on my shelf for the decade I’ve had him, so I really can’t complain.

#1899: 4-LOM

4-LOM

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

A couple of weeks ago, I looked at the Power of the Force II version of the Gand bounty hunter Zuckuss.  Today, I follow that up with a look at the Zuckser’s usual partner in crime, 4-LOM.  It’s been a good year at the site for these two, since I wrapped up their Black Series versions a couple of months back.  So, without further ado, here’s another 4-LOM!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

4-LOM was released in Collection 2 of the 1997 assortment of Power of the Force figures.  He joined Bossk and Dengar as that year’s bounty hunter contingent, and predated his partner Zuckuss by a year.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 6 points of articulation.  As with all figures of 4-LOM, his construction is fairly similar to the line’s version of C-3PO.  It is important to note, however, that as similar as they may be, there are actually no pieces shared between the two.  As a slightly later figure, 4-LOM shows the changes in the line’s aesthetics, so he’s not as muscly and pin-headed as earlier offerings.  While his sculpt doesn’t quite show the same level of detail as his equivalent Zuckuss figure, but he’s definitely still a lot better than the average figure from the line.  In fact, the sculpt was good enough that Hasbro still felt comfortable reissuing it in a boxed set from 2004, where it didn’t look too out of place.  4-LOM’s paintwork was a nice departure from the generally pretty basic detailing of the line up to this point.  The standard work is still pretty good, but now he’s also got this sort of rust detailing throughout via a orangey-brown wash.  It’s not the most advanced detailing, nor is it quite as impressive as Zuckuss, but it’s certainly better than no detailing at all.  4-LOM is packed with his usual long blaster rifle, as well as a smaller blaster rifle to mix things up a bit.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As I mentioned in my Zuckuss review, Getting the Black Series pairing of Zuckuss and 4-LOM got me more invested in the characters.  And, since I’ve been steadily working together a complete PotF2 collection, this pair made their way to the top of my want list.  Since All Time Toys got in a sizeable collection of PotF2 figures, I was able to pull both of these guys out at the same time.  Zuckuss was the star figure to be sure, but 4-LOM is no slouch himself, and as a pairing, they’re quite hard to beat.

As I mentioned above, I got 4-LOM here from my friends at All Time Toys, at the same time as the Zuckuss figure.  They’ve got a solid backlog of Power of the Force figures, as well as Star Wars figures from all eras, old and new.  Check out their website and eBay store to see for yourself!