#2557: Domino

DOMINO

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

 

“With the mutant power to manipulate probabilities, the odds are always in Domino’s favor.”

Luck?  That’s her power?  Pretty sure luck’s not a super power.  I mean, what could luck as a power possibly do for you?  I mean, what’s gonna happen, is a character that’s B-list at best get a mass-release single-packaged figure from a movie where the title character and the arguable deuteragonist wound up in a two-pack and as a store exclusive respectively?  Wait, that’s…that’s exactly what happened.  Maybe luck’s a pretty good super power…which is my roundabout way of saying “let’s look at this Domino” figure.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Domino is a single-release in the X-Men movie sub-line of Hasbro’s Marvel Legends.  She’s one of three standard release single figures in the line-up so far, the other two being Mystique and Wolverine, both of whom seem much further up the list than Domino, who completes the main Deadpool trio whose other two pieces are currently not quite as readily available.  What a weird set-up, right?  Hey, I’m really not going to complain too much myself.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and she has 27 points of articulation.  The articulation scheme is really solid here.  It’s not terribly far removed from prior Legends female base bodies, but the range on the joints is generally a lot better, and they’re very well toleranced, meaning she keeps the poses without too much trouble.  She also stands pretty well, which is always a plus in my book.  The sculpt is an all-new affair, patterned on Domino’s main action-oriented appearance in Deadpool 2.  She’s got two different head sculpts,  one standard and one with goggles.  Both have a pretty solid likeness of Zazie Beetz, but I personally find the one with the goggles has just a touch more personality to it, and is subsequently my preferred of the two.  The body sculpt is fairly realistic and well-balanced in terms of proportions, and the detail work is nice and sharp.  Her costume details all look to be fairly spot on, and the articulation is well integrated.  In terms of paint work, I find Domino has a bit of a leg up on Cable, whose paint was a little uneven.  Here it’s pretty strong from start to finish, with clean work on both faces, as well as all of the important details being covered on her costume.  In particular, I really like the hair, which has been molded in a semi-translucent plastic and then been given some accent work on top of that.  It really helps to prevent the usual unnatural thickness that occurs with fuller hair styles, and allows light to pass through in a quasi-realistic way.  In addition to the previously mentioned extra head, Domino includes two sets of hands (gripping and fists), two MAC 10s, and a pistol.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

When Domino’s look was first shown off back before the movie’s release, I was a little iffy on some of the design choices they’d made, as I felt there were definitely some shortcuts taken that made her less of a comic-accurate creation than Deadpool himself had been in the prior film.  Because of this, I wasn’t sure what I’d think of this take on the character.  Then I saw the movie, and I was really impressed with Beetz’s take on the character, and she was ultimately one of my favorite aspects of the final product.  I was definitely happy to see her show up among the earliest X-Men movie stuff, and I’m even happier that the figure’s as solid a final product as it is.

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.

#2556: Cable

CABLE

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“A powerful mercenary, Cable uses telekinetic abilities and combat expertise to get the job done.”

The X-Men movies and Marvel Legends have never had the best relationship.  The first film predated Legends, and the second was its own removed thing.  The production schedule of the third film was fast tracked, so Toy Biz had to produce a vaguely film-inspired side line at the time.  When Hasbro took over the license, they included X3 figures in a few of their early assortments…and the less said about those, the better.  X-Men Origins: Wolverine hit right as Hasbro was taking a break from Legends for a bit, so it got a Universe-compatible line instead.  Then the relationship between Fox and Marvel really blew up, and we got absolutely nothing for the next several years.  Now, with Fox under Disney, things are starting to smooth out, and we’re actually getting a whole little sub-line of Legends figures just for the X-Men movies.  Among the earliest offerings are some figures based on the most successful branch of the X-Men films in recent years, Deadpool and Deadpool 2, including today’s focus, Cable!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Cable is a Walmart-exclusive Marvel Legends offering, released to coincide with the main line releases of Domino and the Deadpool/Negasonic two-pack.  Another Walmart-exclusive wasn’t something that got anyone excited, but so far this particular release doesn’t seem like it’s been quite as hard to acquire.  Your mileage may vary, of course.  The figure stands 6 3/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  He’s sporting an all-new sculpt based on Josh Brolin’s appearance as the character in the second film.  If you’ve messed with any of the post-movie MCU figures, then he’s pretty much the same story.  The articulation’s pretty solid for the design, and he’s more or less built like a real person.  The likeness on the head is a really good match for Brolin, and the detail work on his body is all quite sharp.  They even included his daughter’s bear on his belt, which is a cool touch.  The only thing I’m not super crazy about is how long the neck ends up looking when the cloak piece is removed, but getting the right pose helps with this.  Cable’s paint work is largely monochromatic, as it was in the film.  The face is suitably lifelike, thanks to the face printing technique, and they manage to get the hairline down okay.  The cybernetics on the neck are a bit sloppy, and almost seem to be just slightly misaligned to the sculpt.  The cybernetic arm showcases some decent accent work, but that more or less marks the end of any accenting.  The rest of the figure is just really basic work.  It’s not bad, but it kind of lacks that gritty feel that Cable has in the movie, and it means that some of the sharpness of the sculpt ends up getting lost.  A solid repaint could definitely really help the sculpt.  Cable’s accessory selection is rather decent.  He gets his larger rifle (which is a hodgepodge of a Kriss Vector with a Thompson stock and two barrels on the fore end), with two separate under barrel grenade launcher attachments, plus a pistol, and two sets of hands (one gripping, one in fists).

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I went against the grain a bit and was not really as big on the first Deadpool movie as a lot of people were, so I wasn’t exactly lining up for its sequel.  That said, my brother Christian wanted to see it opening weekend, and didn’t want to see it alone, so I went along, and I was honestly pleasantly surprised.  Brolin’s Cable was definitely a solid addition, and I was a little bummed when he was announced as a Walmart-exclusive.  Fortunately, Max was able to score me one on one of his Walmart runs, so I was good to go.  Cable’s a decent figure overall.  The likeness is strong, and the accessories are fun.  If they could slightly up the paint quality, he’d be top notch.

#2555: Mysterio

MYSTERIO

MARVEL LEGENDS RETRO COLLECTION (HASBRO)

“A cloud of smoke heralds the arrival of the villainous mastermind who uses the art of illusion against Spider-Man — Marvel’s Mysterio!”

Man, remember when the Lizard Series Mysterio was so easy to get and not stupid expensive and really illusive?  No?  Oh, that’s right, because that was never really the case.  From the moment he was released, that figure was always the first one pulled from any case and remained well above regular retail pricing for pretty much his entire shelf life, if you can really call it that.  I eventually got one, but it certainly wasn’t easy.  Since it was so darn hard to get him, it’s probably not a huge surprise that Hasbro’s already got a repaint of him out, just two years later.  I’m taking a look at that figure today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Mysterio is his own standalone release for the Retro Collection sub-line of Marvel Legends, released to coincide with the recent Spider-Man-themed assortment.  Given how popular the last release was, singling him out was definitely the right call.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Structurally, he’s *almost* identical to the prior comics Mysterio.  It was a pretty decent sculpt, and also a largely unique sculpt, so seeing Hasbro get some more mileage out of it makes sense.  It certainly looks impressive.  I’m still not overly fond of quite how the cape/helmet piece attaches, but I’ve had time to make my piece with that.  The only change to this figure’s sculpt is one that’s not evident at an outward glance: the head under the dome, which on the original figure was a skull/tentacle-illusion thing, has now been replaced by a sort of holographic Quentin Beck head (a repurposed Multiple Man head, for those that are curious).  I can dig both ideas, but I think I personally prefer the Beck head.  Beyond the un-helmeted head, the major change-up for this release is the paint work, which is, simply put, just a lot better this time around.  The helmet is now mostly opaque, allowing it to more properly capture the classic Mysterio look, and the jumpsuit’s impressive quilted sculpt is now much better showcased by the more intense accent work going on it.  Also, the gloves, boots, and clasps on the cape are all gold instead of light green, which is a slightly later look for the character but one that I think works better in toy form, as they add some extra pop to the figure.  Additionally, this figure avoids the clashing plastic colors of the last release, which again help him to just look a bit cleaner. Mysterio includes the two effects pieces for his feet, which are essentially the same between the two releases.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

After the difficulty of getting the last release, this one was, comparatively, much easier to acquire.  I wasn’t sure I was even going to get him at first, but I really liked the new look in person, and I definitely wanted that Beck head.  Ultimately, both figures have their merits, but this release is definitely the superior offering, and I’m glad to have it.

Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this guy 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.

#2554: Iron Man 2020

IRON MAN 2020

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

Arno Stark wields powerful weapons and a superior armor suit as Iron Man 2020.”

2020’s been such an onslaught of a year, it needs to have its own dedicated Iron Man.  Simply having the standard just wasn’t enough.  Introduced in 1984, Arno Stark was the distant first cousin of Tony, and was from a far off future, that none of us dared to even think of.  Man, remember when 2020 was far off and it couldn’t hurt us? Those were the days.  Arno, rather unsurprisingly, got a bit of a revival this year, this time as Tony’s previously unmentioned half brother, who takes over the Iron Man identity for a bit.  He also got an action figure, again rather unsurprisingly, although this one’s based on his classic design.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Iron Man 2020 is a Walgreens-exclusive Marvel Legends release, and was the first for this year.  He was shown off at Toy Fair, and started arrived in late spring/early summer.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  He uses the 80th Anniversary Iron Man figure as his starting point, which, given the similarities between the armors, and the general quality of the body, is a very sensible choice on Hasbro’s part.  He gets a new head and belt, as well as an all-new overlay for his chest piece.  It translates to a figure that does a pretty solid job of replicating the character’s comic appearance.  The head’s not too far removed from the standard classic Iron Man in design, but it does mix things up by making the faceplate a separate (albeit unremovable) piece, allowing for at least a glimpse at Arno’s eyes.  It’s a goofy look, but also an entirely accurate look for Iron Man 2020, who is admittedly pretty goofy looking.  With the overlay piece, I was definitely a little bit worried that it might be too free floating, but it actually stays in place pretty well, thanks to seating in place over the original sculpt’s unibeam.  The figure’s paintwork is pretty similar to the prior release as well, with the obvious changes for the new design elements, as well as the newly visible eyes.  Also, for some reason, they’ve molded the unibeam in a transparent yellow, a cool touch that will literally never be seen, since it’s completely covered by the overlay piece.  I shouldn’t even know it’s there, but somehow I do.  Iron Man 2020 includes the same two sets of hands as the 80th release, as well as the standard repulsor effects for his hands, and an all-new (well, at the time of the release, anyway) set of blast effects for his boot thrusters, which can work as single boosts, clipped into a supporting stand for each side, or all be joined together into one stand.  Sadly, there’s no unmasked head, so we don’t get to see Arno’s fabulous Snidley Whiplash mustache, but I guess he’s still got an okay selection of extras.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve never really clicked much with the whole Iron Man 2020 thing, which is probably why I didn’t snag either of his previous figures, despite actively collecting both of the lines he was included in at the time of release.  Honestly, I wasn’t in much of a hurry to get this figure either, but I managed to find him on a quick stop-off for some other supplies at Walgreens, and he looked nice enough in person to be worth it.  Of course, I still couldn’t get excited enough to review him all that quickly, which is why it took my like five months to get this thing up here.  Hey, at least I got it up before the end of the year, right?

#2553: Princess Leia Organa – Ewok Celebration Outfit

PRINCESS LEIA ORGANA — EWOK CELEBRATION OUTFIT

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

“An accident during a furious speeder bike chase leaves the princess without a way of finding her Rebel companions. Befriended by Endor’s Ewok civilization, Leia is once again united with her friends, but under different circumstances.”

You know what’s just really the best variant of a main character in an action-oriented action figure line?  An outfit that never sees a single moment of action!  Or, at least, that’s what numerous Star Wars toy lines would have me believe.  Sometimes it works out, of course, and we get cool looks that *could* see some action, if you really wanted them to.  Sometimes we get looks that even *do* see action in later EU tales (Luke’s jacketed look from the end of A New Hope springs to mind).  Sometimes, however, you get today’s focus.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Princess Leia in Ewok Celebration Outfit joined Kenner’s Power of the Force II line in 1998.  This wasn’t the first time this look got a figure, or even the first time it was in PotF; a slightly different version was released alongside a re-packed Wickett figure as part of the Princess Leia Collection in 1997.  Like all the other Leia Collection figures, however, that figure used a lot of cloth pieces, making it stand out a bit from the core line’s releases.  This one instead was an all plastic variant.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and she has 6 points of articulation.  Both the neck and the hip joints are greatly restricted by the figure’s design, but on the plus side, the arms and waist are free and clear.  So there’s that, I guess.  These restrictions do not help with the already very non-action feel of the figure.  Also not helping is the figure’s pose, which is…I don’t know exactly what it is.  The legs are close together and sort of prim and proper looking, but there the arms are just slightly elevated…because?  I don’t know.  I got nothing.  The paint work is all very brown.  It’s accurate, but not super thrilling or eye-catching.  At least it’s well applied.  Leia is packed with a small blaster (hinting at her doing something more exciting than standing around, which doesn’t really track with the rest of the figure) and a freeze frame slide.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve never been much for this particular Leia design, as I always have preferred her more practical get-ups, and her Endor tactical set-up is just a much better design to me.  This figure is one of those ones I have seen many times over the years, and I certainly knew I was going to have to get it some day now that I’m doing this whole complete run of the line thing.  I wasn’t really in much of a hurry, and really only snagged it because it was right in front of me.  Thrilling, I know.  Almost as thrilling as the figure itself, right?

#2552: Wolverine Fang

WOLVERINE FANG

X-MEN (TOY BIZ)

“The adamantium-clawed Wolverine is the best there is at what he does – no matter what the venue! And, dressed in the guise of the Shi’ar Imperial Guardsman known as Fang, he intends to prove it – by doing battle with intergalactic evil on a cosmic scale!”

Wolverine’s had more than a few costume changes over the years, beginning with a somewhat unintentional change to his mask when Gil Kane drew up the cover to GSXM #1.  That one definitely stuck.  The ones that would follow had varying degrees of success.  Neither Dave Cockrum nor John Byrne was ever much for the tiger stripe design, and both attempted their own replacements.  Byrne’s was the brown costume, a rather successful alternate look for the character, which clung to the roots of the tiger stripe design.  Cockrum’s, introduced just before he left the book in issue #107, was more drastically different, and decidedly not quite as successful.  During a battle with the Shi’ar Imperial Guard, Logan’s costume is destroyed, and he has to quickly find a replacement, which he does by taking down the Guard’s own resident feral guy, Timber Wolf Fang, and stealing his threads.  It’s a unique look, to be sure, and when Toy Biz was looking for excuses for more Wolverine figures (before just deciding to start making stuff up), it proved worthy enough for inclusion as a toy.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Wolverine Fang was the Wolverine variant for the “Mutant Genesis” series, the tenth series of Toy Biz’s X-Men line.  It’s rather amusing that he didn’t arrive until two series after the Phoenix Saga, given that’s where the costume showed up in the comics.  However, not being in Fox’s animated adaptation of the story probably didn’t make it the most sensible inclusion there.  The figure stands 4 3/4 inches tall and he has 7 points of articulation.  While this figure was an all-new mold when he was released, the following year saw it repurposed as Savage Land Wolverine, a figure I looked at during the Day of the Wolverines.  As I noted when I reviewed that figure, this is probably the best Wolverine sculpt to come out of this line.  Certainly one of my favorites, and definitely the closest we ever saw to anything really approaching Cockrum’s style for this line.  The paint work on the figure is pretty decent, albeit pretty basic and straightforward.  It’s certainly very brown, which is pretty accurate.  Wolverine’s accessories are the same as Savage Land Wolverine, so the weapons tree of blades from Spy Wolverine and the two additional blades.  It’s a little bit overkill, what with him already having the claws, coupled with him only actually having one hand to actually grip things with.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Fang Wolverine was not a figure I personally had growing up, but he was my Dad’s Wolverine for his collection, and I rather fondly remember when he got that figure.  When I went on my first real dive back into Toy Biz Marvel the summer after my Freshman year of college, this guy was one of the very first figures I picked up.  Toy Biz figures were being cleared out at frankly insane prices on Amazon at the time, and that’s how I got him, along with a nice little thank you note post-it from the seller, which honestly made my day at the time.  This figure’s really strong, and remains a favorite.  I’d really love to see him updated for Legends.

Flashback Friday Figure Addendum #0015: Kanan Jarrus

KANAN JARRUS

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

Oh boy, it’s a FiQ Flashback Friday Figure Addendum!  Man, it sure has been a long time since I’ve done one of these, hasn’t it?  Well, don’t get too attached; it’s not likely to become a regular feature again or anything like that.  As I discussed in my review of Hera earlier today, Hasbro’s doing a set of reissues on their Rebels figures from The Black Series.  I snagged Hera, because I missed the prior release, and I’ve skipped Ezra and Chopper, since they’re indistinguishable from the original releases.  I did, however, snag the Kanan re-issue, despite purchasing and reviewing the original release.

So, when The Black Series was launched, the focus was most prominently on the Original Trilogy characters (with one or two Prequel characters here and there, but definitely secondary).  As the line has continued, it’s become a bit more inclusive, adding The Force Awakens, of course, but also some Clone Wars and Rebels characters (and in the most recent series, even a proper EU character).  Today, I’ll be looking at one of those Rebels figures, namely Kanan Jarrus!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Kanan was released in the sixth series of the third round of Star Wars: The Black Series (i.e. the sixth series of Force Awakens Black Series).  He’s figure #19 in the line, which I believe makes him the first Rebels figure numerically.  The figure stands about 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 27 points of articulation.  This figure takes Kanan’s animated design and sort of real-world-izes it.  It’s a good plan on Hasbro’s part; with the smaller scale figures, you’re guaranteed to get a larger quantity of them, so the stylized look won’t stand out as much, but for the larger figures, where animated releases will be far more spaced out, it’s far better to have them fit with the rest of the established line.  This way Kanan can get right to mowing through Stormtroopers without waiting for a proper Rebels Trooper release.  Overall, I think Kanan’s sculpt does a reasonable job of taking Kanan’s animated design and translating into how he might look in a live action film.  It’s not perfect, and I do really think Hasbro would have been smart to base Kanan on his voice actor Freddie Prinze, Jr in terms of likeness and build.  While it certainly looks like Kanan, he still ends up being a little more cartoony than a real person; his eyes (and head in general, really) are rather large, and his torso and arms seem very scrawny.  They’re certainly not as exaggerated as his animated counterpart, but when compared to some of the other figures from the line, he does look ever so slightly famished.  On the plus side, the texture work on the figure’s clothes is pretty outstanding, even better than a few of the other Black Series figures.  I like that each article of clothing has its own texture.  As far as the paint work goes, Kanan matches up with most of the more recent Black Series releases.  He’s a notable improvement over some of the prior figures, and most of the work is pretty sharp.  He could probably stand to have a little more accent work in a few spots, but what’s there works.  There is this weird clump scratched paint on his neck thing, almost like he was scratched before the paint had completely dried, but that’s the only real nit.  Kanan is packed with sidearm blaster, as well as his lightsaber, the hilt of which is designed got separate into two pieces that clip onto his belt, just like on the show.  It’s not the world’s largest accessory complement, but it’s better than several other figures in the line.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

So, Kanan was released prior to me getting into Rebels, which means I saw him a number of times and passed him up, since I didn’t know the character (yes, I know I bought all of the Rogue One and Force Awakens stuff before seeing the movies and “knowing the characters.”  You’re very smart.  Now shut up).  By the time I got into the show and actually wanted this guy, he had pretty much disappeared from shelves.  Fortunately for me, there are still some cases of series 6 making their way out there, and one such case had hit the Target where I found the second series of Rogue One figures, allowing me to grab this guy at the same time.  Karan has his flaws, but so did a lot of figures in this particular series, and at least his don’t prevent him from being a fun action figure.

That review was from December of 2016, and actually isn’t that bad.  Hey, my writing actually holds up; good for me, right?  In my original review, I was overall pretty positive on this figure.  I did remark that the Kanan seemed a little bit on the scrawny side in terms of build, and that I wasn’t all that big on the way the head looked.  I definitely was hoping for more of a Freddie Prinze Jr likeness on that head.  All of the Rebels figures barring Ezra predated the addition of the face-printing to the line, but Kanan in particular hit during one of Black Series‘ low points on the paint front.  A major appeal of this latest release of the figure is updating Kanan to this new style.  While the figure is effectively identical to the original release from the neck down, the face is an incredible change-up for the figure.  Simply put, he just looks better.  Like, so much better.  Better enough for me to feel totally okay with dropping the price of a standard figure so that I could get this update.  I liked Kanan’s original figure well enough, but this update makes me like him way more, and he feels much more at home with the rest of the line as its evolved.

Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this guy 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.

#2551: Hera Syndulla

HERA SYNDULLA

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“The captain and heart of the Ghost crew, Hera Syndulla was a gifted pilot and leader. The Twi’lek could bring out the best in her team, making them believe in themselves.”

Star Wars: Rebels hit at a rough spot for merchandising on Star Wars.  The 3D re-release of Phantom Menace and its ensuing tie-ins practically killed Star Wars at retail in its entirety, necessitating a major re-work and as major scaling back.  Rebels was treated to a line of basic figures at the smaller scale, just as The Black Series was launching at the 6-inch scale.  Black Series was very OT focused at itself, so the Ghost crew had to make due with slowly being added to the line one-by-one.  Of course, having them mixed in with a bunch of other product launches didn’t exactly make them the easiest figures to get ahold of.  I myself missed my first shot at Hera, who originally dropped during the Last Jedi launch.  Fortunately for me (and the many other fans who missed out on her initial release), Hasbro’s decided to just go ahead and reissue the whole crew in one shot.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Hera Syndulla is part of Hasbro’s latest relaunch of Star Wars: The Black Series figures.  Gone is the red packaging and the line-wide numbering, replaced by mural-building subgroups of figures.  The seven figure Rebels subgroup’s packaging can be lined up for a full cast shot.  Hera’s fifth in that line-up, but there seems to not be any correlation between placement and release, as she and Kanan are in the second “batch” to show up at retail, at least around here.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and she has 27 points of articulation.  Hera was fortunate to hit right as Hasbro was really getting a handle on articulating these figures, so she winds up with a pretty solid range of motion.  The elbows get more than 90 degrees, and I dig the ball jointed waist.  The only part I’m not super crazy about is the neck, but even that’s not terrible.  Hera’s sculpt is by far my favorite of the humanoid Rebels characters in this line (Chopper still takes the top overall, though), as they really found their footing on that line between cartoon and reality, and made a sculpt that really captures the main essence of her show design, while also managing to look properly at home with the figures from the live-action films.  I also really love how much detail work they’ve managed to inject into her costume.  The paint work on the figure is mostly pretty basic, but seems to stick pretty close to how Hera’s supposed to look.  It’s worth noting that this figure adds the face-printing, which the initial release just narrowly missed.  It’s not quite as essential for her, but it still adds a nice touch to the overall look of the figure, and certainly looks more lifelike.  Hera’s only accessory is a rather small, but also rather well-detailed blaster pistol, which can be held, or stashed in her ankle holster.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I saw Hera’s original release one time, and just didn’t have the money for it at the time.  Given how scarce she wound up being, I definitely regretted that, especially as the rest of the crew started to show up.  As soon as this re-issue was confirmed, I was totally on board.  She’s a really solid figure in-hand, and honestly my favorite of this little subset.  I’m very glad to finally have one.

Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this guy 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.

#2550: DJ R3X

DJ R3X

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“RX-24, more commonly known as Rex, has given up the pilot’s life and has reimagined himself as DJ R3X.   Behind his DJ table, he spins and plays upbeat music as he watches over the crowd of the cantina.”

Back before Disney owned Star Wars outright, they licensed the property out for Star Tours, a simulator attraction that took riders on a tour of the Galaxy Far Far Away.  When it launched 1987, the ride’s central character was the StarSpeeder 3000’s Paul Reubens-voiced bumbling pilot, RX-24, aka Captain Rex (back before that name was more widely associated with an entirely different character).  Rex was removed from the ride with the Adventure Continues update in 2011, but with the larger Galaxy’s Edge attraction, he’s made his way back, this time repurposed as a DJ.  And wouldn’t you know it, there’s also an action figure.  That’s just how these things roll.  I certainly can’t complain.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

DJ R3X was originally packed alongside C-3PO, R2, and BB-8 in the “Droid Depot” boxed set, one of the Black Series sets originally available exclusively through Disney’s Galaxy Edge attraction.  However, with the parks being shut down for a good portion of this year and people trying to refrain from unnecessary travel, Hasbro’s partnered with Target to split off a few of the single figures from the park sets as part of an exclusive “Trading Outpost” subline of figures, and R3X found himself in that line-up.  He stands about 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 17 points of articulation.  For his reappearance in Galaxy’s Edge, R3X’s design was tweaked a bit to match his new speciality.  His eyes now have a set of lenses over the optics, simulating some stylish shades, his mouthpiece looks like a microphone, and his ear pieces have been tweaked to look like headphones.  Minor enough tweaks, each of them, but they give him a nice little flair.  The sculpt on this guy does a pretty solid job of replicating the design of the actual prop from the attraction, and I really dig how all of his limbs and the spinning sections of his torso work.  His neck also has a periscopic action to it, allowing for more emoting, I suppose?  That’s pretty neat.  As a DJ, R3X’s paint scheme has also changed up a bit, to be something slightly more eye-catching and worthy of the party.  Now he’s predominately orange, with a little bit of blue accenting.  It’s a good look, and the figure adds in a bit of weathering to it, which suits that used future look of Star Wars well.  R3X gets no accessories, but I can’t say I can think of anything to give him off the top of my head.  It’s worth noting that he comes in a larger than standard package, so it still feels like a good deal even if it’s just him by himself.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I always really liked R3X as the captain of the StarSpeeder, and he was my favorite thing about the ride the two times I did it.  I was bummed when he was removed from the main ride in 2011, so I was happy to see him find a new profession, and even happier about the figure.  When he was only part of the three pack, I was planning to have my brother snag one for me on his planned trip this year.  That, sadly, got cancelled, but then Max was able to hook me up with the single release of this guy, so it doesn’t feel like a total loss.  This figure’s a ton of fun, and I’d love to see him get retooled into a classic Rex at some point.

#2549: Alpha 5 & Zordon

ALPHA 5 & ZORDON

POWER RANGERS: LIGHTNING COLLECTION (HASBRO)

The Achilles Heel of just about any Power Rangers toyline since the brand launched has been its treatment of the franchise’s American-exclusive characters.  Since so much of the early product was repurposed Super Sentai merch, any American characters would require all new molds, and frequently were treated to molds of a slightly lesser quality than the others.  Additionally, given their largely supporting roles, characters such as Alpha 5 and Zordon just didn’t set themselves up for figures that put much “action” into “action figures.”  Fortunately, under Hasbro, things are looking up for them!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Alpha 5 and Zordon are a standalone release for Hasbro’s Lightning Collection, and are currently a Walmart exclusive, though time will tell on that, I suppose.  The two are patterned on their appearances in Mighty Morphin’ Season 3 and Zeo.  The set-up of this set is nominally a two-pack, but it works out more as a single figure with a really big accessory, so I’m going to tackle it that way.  Alpha stands about 5 inches tall and has 27 points of articulation.  There a few joints present on the Rangers that are missing here, but given Alpha’s more diminutive stature, this gives him most of the movement he needs, without turning him into a floppy complicated mess.  Moreover, it’s not like Alpha was the show’s most agile character; this figure can probably pull off more poses than the actual suit could.  The sculpt for Alpha’s all-new, as you’d expect, and does a respectable job of capturing Alpha’s design from the show and translating it into the line’s style, while avoiding making it look too hokey (seriously, the suit on the show isn’t something you want to look to closely at; there’s a reason new Alpha suits were made for both of the movies).  Alpha’s chest plate and waist piece are floating pieces much like White and Gold Ranger’s armor.  They’re actually sized pretty well to the body, and don’t bob around too much during posing, so I really don’t mind the set-up.  Alpha’s paint work is a little bit on the rough side.  It’s not atrocious, but Hasbro’s certainly done better.  The application on the yellow sections in particular is really sloppy, and my figure has a couple of noticeable scuffs on the top of his head.  Nothing that ruins the figure, but enough to be a little bit annoying.  Alpha is packed with his little robot-headed teddy bear that he’s seen carrying in a few episodes of Zeo.  It’s rather obscure, but a fun little extra nevertheless.  The second half of this set is the Zordon…well, “figure” seems inaccurate.  He’s more of a display piece.  He’s about 7 inches tall and has, predictably, no articulation, because he’s just a head in a tube.  For a head in a tube, he’s not bad.  The sculpt does a reasonable job of capturing that weird ripple effect thing he had going on.  He’s perhaps a little small for proper scaling, and only meant for being viewed from head-on, since his back is totally flat.  There’s a light-up feature (which you’ll need to provide three of your own AAAs for), which is okay.  I was hoping for maybe some dialogue or sounds or something, but it’s an okay base level item.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for Alpha, but his figures have never done much for me.  I was pretty excited to see him added to the line, though this significantly lessened when I found out he was a Walmart exclusive.  Fortunately, Max had my back on this one, and was nice enough to snag me one during one of his runs.  Alpha’s a fun figure, and I love that little teddy bear accessory.  Zordon…Zordon’s a big accessory, and not even that impressive of one.  I would have liked to see them do more, but ultimately, it’s Zordon.  He’s a head in a tube.