#3106: Darth Vader – TIE Fighter Gunner Station

DARTH VADER — TIE FIGHTER GUNNER STATION

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

Back in the far off times of 2018, I reviewed two figures from the “Gunner Station” sub-branding of Kenner’s Power of the Force II line.  The gunner stations served as a more concise and themed continuation of the Deluxe sized figures for the line, and Luke and Han in their respective stations from the Millennium Falcon‘s dogfight in A New Hope were a pretty logical choice.  I guess Hasbro felt that they hadn’t quite heavy hitter-ed it up enough, though, so there was one more figure in the set.  It’s a Darth Vader, whose “Gunner Station” comes in the form of the cockpit of his TIE Fighter.  Yeah, it’s definitely a bit of a stretch.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Darth Vader with the TIE Fighter Gunner Station was added to Power of the Force in 1998, alongside the previously reviewed Han and Luke.  Where the other two have designs very much dialed into a very specific moment of the first film, this version of Vader continues the PotF Vader trend up to this point of being a loose amalgamation of Vader’s look in all three of the films.  The figure stands a little over 3 3/4 inches tall and he has a whopping 8 points of articulation.  Yes, in addition to the usual articulation for the line, this Vader also got knees.  It’s so much movement, you guys!  Structurally, he’s very similar to the other Vaders of the early run for the line, with the notable difference of having the knee joints, as well as a slightly more rigid stance.  Han and Luke both had some slight sculpting improvements from earlier releases, and this figure also came out the same year as the one with the removable helmet, which sported a far improved sculpt of its own.  So, this one feels a little behind the times, comparatively.  Beyond that, I guess he’s alright.  He keeps all the detail work, and swaps out the plastic cape of the prior figure for a cloth one, which is admittedly better for sitting in a cockpit.  The figure’s color work is generally pretty basic, with mostly molded black.  There are a few smaller accents, which follow the look from the movie closely enough, and keep him from being *too* drab.  Vader includes no smaller accessories, so there’s not lightsaber or anything.  He instead gets the Gunner Station thing.  It’s meant to look like the cockpit of his TIE Figher, which I guess it does alright.  There’s no upper half, of course, nor are there wings or anything.  There’s part of the window, and a weird handle thing, so that you can, like, hold it as a gun or something?  I’m a little confused about the exact intended use, to be honest.  It gets some missiles, which you can launch from the front of the “vehicle.”  And that’s really about it.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This is one of those items that’s so nonsensical and far reaching, that I actually don’t think I even realized it existed when I was a kid.  I remember the other two, of course, but this one just slipped from my radar, at least until I had reason to really look into it again, after digging more into the whole line.  I got one when it got traded into All Time, because, well, I didn’t have it, and it’s also just really cheap.  It’s an odd piece.  It just feels very forced, like they really just wanted another Vader on the market, but didn’t know exactly how to get to that point logically.

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

#3105: Human Torch

HUMAN TORCH

FANTASTIC FOUR (TOY BIZ)

“Bombarded by cosmic rays while on an experimental space flight, teenager Johnny Storm gained an ability to match his fiery disposition. With but a thought, his body would ignite and burst into flame! Realizing that he must use his powers in the service of mankind, Johnny became the Human Torch, and fights to protect the world as a member of the Fantastic Four!”

Remember at the beginning of the month, when I was talking about all the weirdness surrounding getting Invisible Woman and Human Torch added to the first series of Toy Biz’s Fantastic Four line?  Since I started the month with the weird place holder Sue, it would make a lot of logical sense to end the month with the weird place holder Johnny, right?  It sure would.  Shame that I don’t actually own that figure.  That would have been convenient.  Guess you guys will just have to settle for the not-weird-place-holder Johnny, who is, in this sense, ironically a placeholder for the placeholder.  So, you know, still kinda weird.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Human Torch was initially released in the second series of Toy Biz’s Fantastic Four line, and was then re-released as part of their KB Toys-exclusive Marvel Universe line in 1996.  The two figures are identical, but for the sake of clarity, it’s worth noting that mine is the Universe release.  Torch is seen here in his fully flamed on appearance, and is at least loosely inspired by how he looked on the cartoon.  The figure stands 5 inches tall and he has 9 points of articulation.  His sculpt was an all-new one, and remained unique to this figure (though an up-scaled version of it was used for the 10 inch line).  Generally, it’s not bad.  Fully flamed on Torches are always an iffy prospect, but this one does at least do a fair bit to keep him quite visually interesting.  His scorch lines are a sculpted element on this one, which actually works surprisingly well, and he’s got enough small flame effects to sell the “man on fire” thing.  I like that the head has a more playful expression than flamed on Torches tend to; it just feels more true to the character.  The main down side of this sculpt is the torso, which, due to the nature of his action feature, winds up a bit oversized.  It’s not awful, but it’s not great either.  Said action feature is a “Flame On Sparking Action.”  When you pull the string on his back, the torso sparks.  Or it used to, anyway.  The feature’s worn itself on mine.  Human Torch’s paint work is alright; fairly basic, really.  He’s molded in a bright red, and there’s some yellow for the flames, eyes, and mouth.  It works well enough, though the fact that everything is opaque is a little bit of a bummer.  Torch is packed with a catapult launcher stand, similar to the one included with Phoenix.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Human Torch is a figure I got brand new, albeit when he was re-issued under the Universe heading.  I had come into the collecting game too late for FF release, so I got the Series 4 version first.  This one was procured during a trip to my local mall’s KB Toys, on a trip with my Grandmother.  I think I just really wanted a fully flamed-on version of the character, since that’s what I was used to seeing on the show.  He’s not the best version of the character Toy Biz produced, but he’s also not the worst, and I kind of appreciate the goofier aspects of the figure.

#3101: Han Solo with Smuggler Flight Pack

HAN SOLO with SMUGGLER FLIGHT PACK

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

“Many labels can be applied to Corellian-born Han Solo: pirate, gambler, smuggler and Rebel hero. It is doubtful that the last title would have applied at all had he not agreed to transport Ben Kenobi, Luke Skywaker and two droids to Alderaan in his Corellian freighter, Millennium Falcon. After unwittingly becoming part of a mission to rescue Princess Leia, Solo was drawn more and more into the cause of the Rebel Alliance, becoming one of the most significant figures involved in the rebellion against the Empire. He played an essential role in the Battle of Yavin, and led the strike-team on Endor’s moon that facilitated the destruction of the new Death Star. He escaped form countless dilemmas simply because of his daring and skill as a blasterslinger and pilot – talents he retained form his days as a smuggler/gambler. He also retained a couple of other things, one of them being his trusty smuggler pack, a tool which served him extremely well during inner-atmospheric piracy jobs.

Designed and built by Solo with the help of Chewbacca, this item is basically a weapons-jet pack with a huge mechanical grappling claw attached at its base for massive lifting and cargo transport. It was assembled from old swoop parts, discarded starfighter pieces, and construction-machinery robotics. Much like the Millennium Falcon itself, the pack does not appear impressive or dangerous – concerning its appearance Solo often becomes defensive: “Well it isn’t supposed to look pretty!” However, the swoop engines provide break-neck propulsion while two repulsors engage a silent hover mode that allows atmospheric flotation up to a maximum of one-hundred meters depending on the cargo. The pack allows Solo some flexibility; he can dock the Falcon and then speed in below sensors with the smuggler pack, picking up any cargo or booty before transferring it back to his ship. Twin laser cannons, appropriated from a badly damaged stock light freighter, swing over his shoulders to create a high-powered defense module. The grappling claw has magnetized pinchers which can be de-magnetized at the flip of a switch. It is extremely durable and able to lift objects weighing up to fifteen metric tons.”

Well, with a bio like that, I hardly need much of an intro here, now do I?  Especially after more or less covering the weird Deluxe line-up thing for Power of the Force II with last week’s review.  So, you know, this one’s very similar to that, but it’s Han instead of Luke.  How about that?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Han Solo with Smuggler’s Flight Pack was part of the first Deluxe Series of Kenner’s Power of the Force II line, added in 1996.  The figure stands about 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 6 points of articulation.  Much as was the case with the Stormtrooper and Luke, Han’s sculpt is quite similar to the Series 1 Han.  Not exactly one of the line’s finest or anything, but it’s got this sort of charming quality to it, I suppose.  The only change of note between the two releases is the addition of a second vest to the torso.  You know, in case the single vest wasn’t enough, right?  Gotta add that second.  But certainly don’t add any extra sleeves.  That would be too much.  His color work is more or less the same as the earlier release.  There’s some orange and silver added for the new vest.  Doesn’t feel super Star Wars-y, but it’s not un-Star Wars-y, either.  The application’s pretty clean and consistent, so that’s good.  The big selling point for all of these was the big gimmick accessory, and that’s consistent with Han here.  He’s got his “Smuggler’s Flight Pack,” which the bio presents as a pre-existing thing that’s sort of a signature of Han, despite the whole “not showing up anywhere other than this toy ever in the whole canon of Star Wars” thing.  But, you know, there it is.  It’s big, it’s goofy, and it makes it virtually impossible to keep the figure standing.  I guess it’s kind of fun, but it also really doesn’t feel like a Han sort of thing.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Deluxe Han really never appealed much to me as a kid.  It’s only recently that I’ve really started picking them up, and it’s really only because of ease of access.  Han came into All Time as part of a larger collection, and the seal on the bubble had broken, so he was a rather easy grab.  He’s goofy, and odd, but he’s still an intriguing look at that road not travelled.

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

#3100: Firelord

FIRELORD

FANTASTIC FOUR (TOY BIZ)

“Once a herald of the world-devouring Galactus, Firelord was granted absolute control over all flames by his former master. Now freed from servitude, he wanders the spaceways, using his cosmic power to take what he desires! Unprincipled and mercenary, Firelord conceals his true demeanor beneath a facade of nobility and culture, but always displays his blazing abilities for all to marvel at…and fear!”

After Stan Lee and Jack Kirby introduced the concept of Galactus, and in turn his herald Silver Surfer, and then almost immediately dismantling it by having the Surfer removed from the role of herald at the end of that very story, it seemed Galactus was in need of a new herald to keep things running.  The first replacement for Surfer was Air-Walker, a Xandarian who’s first appearance was not even the man himself, but a robotic duplicate, created by Galactus after the original died.  The next herald after Air-Walker was another Xandarian (who was actually a friend of Air-Walker pre-herald transformation), Firelord.  Firelord would follow in the path set by Silver Surfer, eventually asking to be released from his duties as herald, and forging out on his own.  He’s remained a minor recurring character on the cosmic side of things at Marvel.  As a herald of Galactus, he got himself a spot in Toy Biz’s FF line in the ’90s.  I’m taking a look at that figure today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Firelord was released in Series 2 of the Fantastic Four line.  Unlike Thanos, who was notably never in the cartoon that the line was tying into, Firelord actually got a brief appearance on the show.  Not that it really amounted to much, since it was little more than a cameo, but hey, there it was.  Of note, he was actually voiced by Alan Oppenheimer, better known as the voice of Skeletor.  Fun times.  Until his Minimate release, this was Firelord’s only action figure.  The figure stands about 5 inches tall and he has 9 points of articulation.  He sports a sculpt that remained unique to this release.  It’s a pretty decent one.  Nothing overly showy or anything.  Generally it just sticks to the basics, but it’s good at that.  He’s got some minor detailing for the flame effects, which are a little on the soft side, but get the point across.  The strongest portion of the sculpt is definitely the head, which sticks closer to the comics interpretation of the character, with his rather other-worldly cheek bones and all.  Firelord’s paint work is alright.  It’s not quite as bold and differentiated as some of his colors tended to be in the comics, but the general look again works pretty well, apart from some slight muddying of the colors without any real clear outlines.  That said, it’s not terrible.  Not terrible at all.  Firelord was packed with his flaming staff, dubbed “Cosmic Flame Launcher” on the package.  It’s in two parts, and one part launched like a missile out of the other.  I’ve only actually got the missile part anymore, which is the half that looks more convincingly like his staff anyway.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve mentioned before on the site about Ageless Heroes, a comic store nearby that had a rather huge going out of business sale when I was between six and seven.  It served as a pretty sizable boon to my 5 inch Marvel collection as a kid.  Firelord here was one of the figures from that boon.  He wasn’t actually bought as Firelord, since I didn’t really know the character, but instead got initial use as a Jim Hammond Human Torch.  I did eventually learn who Firelord was, courtesy of a copy of his appearance in Uncanny Origins, which I got from Ageless Heroes’ back-issues, in fact.  He’s not a perfect figure, or anything, but he’s certainly one I got a lot of use out of as a kid.

#3096: Luke Skywalker’s Desert Sport Skiff

LUKE SKYWALKER’S DESERT SPORT SKIFF

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

Power of the Force II was, at its heart, very much a product of its time.  And that time was the ’90s, a time for goofy, pointless variants of main characters.  While Star Wars has always had its own particular take on such things, and PotF2 tended to stick that, the line did dabble in the more traditional goofy variants territory, courtesy of its first round of “Deluxe” figures.  The first four figures in the set were all re-workings of standard figures, each with a big gimmicky variant.  Today, I’m looking at the Luke Skywalker of the set, packed with his Desert Sport Skiff.  Perfect for all those Desert Sport needs.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Luke Skywalker’s Desert Sport Skiff was released as part of the first Deluxe assortment of Power of the Force II figures in 1996.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 6 points of articulation.  The sculpt on this figure is very similar to that of the line’s first Luke figure.  There are some minor adjustments; notably the legs are a little closer in stance, and the torso has had a peg hole added.  Not sure why on the peg hole, since there’s not practical reason for the addition, or anything, but it’s there.  Other than that, it’s the same basic sculpt as the first figure, with all that entails.  He’s still super buff, and not particularly similar to Mark Hamill in terms of look.  But, uhh, it’s consistent, right?  Who didn’t want another chance to get a real swoll Luke?  The paint work on the figure, much like the sculpt, is different for the sake of different.  Not very different, mind you.  The base colors are the same, just the exact shades are slightly tweaked.  It accomplishes the same end goal overall, so the changes are likely more of a difference in production year, and not something that was an intentional change or anything.  The main “selling point” on this figure, if you can call it that, is the Desert Sport Skiff, which was totally new to this release.  It’s a big skiff thing.  He stands on it, and it can fold up the sides, as well as having a missile at the front that can launch.  Truly thrilling stuff.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As I discussed in my review of the Crowd Control Stormtrooper, these figures always seemed kinda odd to me as a kid.  They’re ultimately a little bit pointless, being mostly re-hash, at least at the core.  That said, there’s kind of a cool vibe of a road not travelled with these releases.  Sort of an alternate path that could have been taken had Kenner stuck to doing more conventionally toyetic variants of the main characters.  The big Skiff thing is goofy and silly, but also kind of amusing, and it’s fun to get another stab at the swoll Luke figure.

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

#3095: Thanos

THANOS

FANTASTIC FOUR (TOY BIZ)

“The mad titan called Thanos worships death, and seeks to destroy all life in the universe! Possessing awesome cosmic power, tremendous physical strength, and impervious to all but the most potent forces, he is truly a foe to be feared and respected. While often stymied by such heroes as the Fantastic Four and the Silver Surfer, Thanos has never been truly defeated!”

My first Thanos-related review here on the site was back in March of 2014, when all we had to go on for his cinematic side was a brief cameo in Avengers‘ mid-credits scene.  I cited him as “likely to be a pretty big character in the coming years,” which was accurate.  Not that it took too much guessing to see the writing on that particular wall.  Eight years later, Thanos is a much bigger name, a pivotal player in two of the highest grossing films of all time, as well as the center of so, so many memes.  And I’m gonna go back to his relative beginning, at least in the toy world, with a look at his very first action figure.  Let’s see how that one holds up, shall we?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Thanos was released in Series 2 of Toy Biz’s Fantastic Four toy line.  While the line was meant to tie-in with the cartoon that had just started airing at the time, and a great many of the included figures were characters who would appear on the show, that wasn’t true for Thanos, who was absent from the two season run of the show, and wouldn’t actually show up in animation until 1999’s Silver Surfer (which gave him his second action figure in its corresponding toy line).  Thanos himself isn’t really tied to the FF all that often, but I suppose they were the best fitting line for him at the time.  The figure stands about 5 1/2 inches tall and he has 8 points of articulation.  He gets elbows and knees, but not a neck joint.  Not entirely sure as to why the neck joint wasn’t there, but it was kind of a crapshoot on such things with the Toy Biz stuff.  Thanos’s sculpt was an all-new offering, based on the character’s classic, and at the time current, appearance.  It’s a pretty decent offering, and one that remained unique to this particular release.  He’s larger and bulked up relative to the other figures, without being too extreme, and generally matches well with his comic depictions.  The details are perhaps a little soft, but not terribly so, and I love the folds on the gloves and boots; peak Thanos design there, really.  The paint work on Thanos is alright for the era.  It’s definitely got some slop, especially at the edges of the orange areas, but it’s not the worst.  Interestingly, they’ve gone to the trouble of molding his eyes as separate pieces from the rest of the head, for the purpose of vac metalizing them.  It’s certainly a cool effect, but I’m not entirely sure *why* they did it.  Ah, who am I to complain about more chrome?  Thanos was packed with a rope with some skulls on it.  Why?  No clue.  It was a re-use from X-Force‘s Krule figure, and it mostly is there to take up space in the box.  Thanos also featured a “Pulverizing Gauntlet Action” which had his left arm do a swinging bit.  It’s an unobtrusive feature, so that’s honestly not too bad.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I didn’t have this figure as a kid, but I *did* cut up the back of one of my Series 3 figure’s boxes so that I could have small paper figures of all the figures on the back, meaning I *sort of* had a Thanos figure.  It was a good few years before I actually encountered one of these in person.  The one here I picked up from an antique store a couple of years ago, at the same time as the Invisible Woman figure I reviewed last week.  This guy’s pretty nifty.  Not a lot of frills or anything, but he does what he needs to, and he does it alright.  And, he’s the first Thanos, which is itself pretty nifty.

#3091: Luke Skywalker and Tauntaun

LUKE SKYWALKER AND TAUNTAUN

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

My last Power of the Force review before my great big gap in Power of the Force reviews was a creature set.  It was, specifically, the line’s largest creature set.  So, there’s quite literally no topping that.  I guess I’ll just go to the opposite side of the spectrum, and tackle one of the line’s smallest creature sets…which was also kinda borderline one of the line’s smallest vehicle sets, I guess, depending on how you look at it.  Can a living being be a vehicle?  And, what’s the over/under on how long the Tauntauns actually live, and where that places them on this whole vehicle scale?  Eh, I think I’m going to deep on this, you guys.  Let’s just get to the actual review.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Luke Skywalker and Tauntaun were released in 1997 as part of the Power of the Force line’s creature-based sub-set, alongside Han and Jabba, the Sandtrooper and Dewback, and the Jawa and Ronto.  It was the smallest of the 1997 sets, though that didn’t mean it was any cheaper.  It was the only Empire-based creature set from the first year, and one of three overall in the sub-set (with this set effectively being split up and re-paired for the other two Empire sets the following year).

The Tauntaun was obviously the selling point of this set, having not been released in figure form since Kenner’s original Empire line.  While the vintage releases both more or less just averaged the appearances of Luke and Han’s Tauntauns, this one decidedly adapts Luke’s, so as to properly pair off with him in the set.  The figure stands about 4 1/2  inches tall and has 5 points of articulation.  The sculpt on this one was unique at the time, though most of it would later see re-use for the Han and Tauntaun pack the next year.  The sculpt is a pretty solid one. It presents a slightly more active Tauntaun than its vintage counterpart, which seems more appropriate for how we see them in the movie, where they’re frequently in motion.  The details match up pretty well with the movie prop, though it is in some ways sporting some slightly more idealized proportions than the real thing.  The detail work isn’t bad, with some passable texturing on the fur, as well as plenty of extra work going into the harness and survival kit on the main body.  The paint work on this release is mostly pretty good.  There’s a lot of attempts at proper accenting which *mostly* work.  The shading on the fur and the white flecks for snow both work out.  The odd yellow on the arms and legs, not so much.  I’m not entirely sure what the aim was on those, but it missed.  The Tauntaun’s only real accessory is its harness/lead, which clips into the mouth, and allows for Luke to more properly hold on.

It makes very little sense to release Luke’s Tauntaun and not a Luke to go with it, I suppose.  There’s of course the single Hoth Luke release, but he notably lacks in the “being able to actually sit on the Tauntaun” department.  This one aims to fix that.  He stands about 3 3/4 inches tall and has 8 points of articulation.  The extra articulation comes in the form of actual knee joints.  Pretty crazy to see those, especially on a figure of this era, but they did happen from time to time.  Check out his actual sitting action!  From the waist up, he’s effectively the same as his single-release counterpart, with one minor tweak to the left arm, so as to slightly reposition his hand.  Other than that, he’s the same, which is good from a consistency standpoint.  The paint work likewise is pretty close.  It’s solid work, with clean application, and all the major colors it needs.  Luke is packed with his blaster pistol.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I had the single Hoth Luke as a kid, and never got a ton of use out of creatures, so I never had this one.  I remember it, especially the way it lingered for a bit, but it just never really called to me.  As I’m working on a full set, I’m picking up a lot of items that I passed on over the years.  In some cases, it’s not so thrilling, but sometimes it leads to me discovering some items I really like.  This one’s part of that latter category, and I’m glad I finally got around to picking one up.

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

#3090: Invisible Woman

INVISIBLE WOMAN

FANTASTIC FOUR (TOY BIZ)

“Caught in a bombardment of intense cosmic radiation while on an experimental space flight, Susan Richards found herself endowed with the power to become transparent at will, and the ability to form invisible force-fields of incredible durability. Now, as a member of the Fantastic Four, Sue battles to defend humanity as the elusive Invisible Woman!”

Very early in my reviewing days (we’re talking low teens here), I made my way through most of the first series of Toy Biz’s ’90s Fantastic Four line.  I neglected to review the standard version of the Thing at that time, mainly because I didn’t actually, you know, own one.  I fixed that back in 2017, and officially rounded out my reviews of Fantastic Four Series 1.  Of note, that means there are still no basic Invisible Woman and Human Torch reviews for the line, and that’s for a very specific reason: Toy Biz didn’t put them in Series 1.  For some reason, they felt that the best call for a line based on a team of four was to split the team between the first two assortments, meaning that the team was to be incomplete for the entirety of the gap between the two assortments.  With the line launching to tie-in with the cartoon, retailers weren’t particularly keen on Toy Biz’s plan to split the main team, and wanted them added to the first assortment.  With the molds not ready to go, Toy Biz had to hastily throw together stand-in versions of the other two members from molds already in production, making two figures that are *technically* part of Series 1, but also not advertised as such in any way what so ever.  I’m looking at the stand-in Invisible Woman today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Invisible Woman was, as noted above, technically released in Series 1 of Toy Biz’s Fantastic Four line, or at the very least adjacent to it.  Whatever the case, that means she hit shelves in 1994.  The figure stands about 5 inches tall and she has 6 points of articulation.  She doesn’t get neck or elbow movement, which put her a bit behind other figures of the same era, and generally makes her a little bit stiff.  In order to get Sue to the market, she was a complete re-use of the Iron Man line’s Julia Carpenter version of Spider-Woman.  All things considered, it’s actually not a bad option.  Julia’s costume details weren’t sculpted in, and the build and hairstyles of the two characters were similar enough to make it work.  The only real oddity to the re-use s the lack of sculpted eyes.  I mean, it’s not totally smooth there; there’s a slight indent and all.  However, Spider-Woman’s mask has Spidey-style eyes, not actual eyes, so Sue’s were just painted on.  It does look ever so slightly odd.  There’s an action feature worked it, which has a rather visible lever on the back.  It flips her arms upward, in a sort of a “flipping the table” fashion, which is kinda comedic, really.  Otherwise, it’s a decent sculpt, no matter who it was being used for.  The paint work does the heavy lifting on making this a convincing Sue Richards figure, and it does that alright.  Some of the edges are a bit on the fuzzy side, but the colors line up well with the other two team members from Series 1, and those eyes really don’t look as bad as they could.  Sue was packed with a stand and a small shield piece, both of which are molded in clear plastic.  Not a bad little display of her powers, and I do believe these were both actually unique parts, albeit much more simplistic than the actual figures, so thereby much more cheaply produced.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This figure was a filler figure at best when it arrived at retail, and wasn’t designed to linger, so when I got into collecting figures (which was about around the time of Series 3 of the line), there weren’t any of this one still hanging around.  My first Sue was an old stock Marvel Super Heroes version, followed closely by the proper Series 2 release.  This one is a much more recent addition, picked up from an antique mall a few years ago.  Given how slap dash of a release this figure was, she’s surprisingly not a bad figure.  You could be forgiven for even thinking she was supposed to be this way.  She’s a good example of a solid quick-save from Toy Biz.  Her brother…well, he was a different story.  But Sue’s good, and that’s what matters here.

#3086: Yoda

YODA

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE (HASRBO)

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

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

THE FIGURE ITSELF

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

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

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

#3060: Jubilee

JUBILEE

X-MEN (TOY BIZ)

“As a member of the teenage group of X-Men known as Generation X, Jubilee continues to utilize the X-Mansion’s Danger Room. Joining Storm and Gambit in a futuristic scenario, Jubilee faces the threat of a dozen mutant-hunting Sentinel robots. Caught in a Sentinel’s grappling cable, Jubilee is cut loose by Gambit, leaving her free to finish off the giant robot!”

Oh no!  Is that a girl action figure on my website?  It can’t be!   That wouldn’t be right!  What if some boy saw a girl action figure on my action figure website that’s only supposed to be for boys, and then they spontaneously turned into a serial killer?  That’s a totally reasonable and totally plausible line of logic, right?  It’s not horribly behind the times and in support of a long disproven misconception about toy sales, right?  Hang on, I’m getting an update here: everything I just said appears to an utter garbage opinion.  Well, okay, glad I have that cleared up.  Here I was thinking that the ramblings of a man that calls himself “the Toddfather” were word of law, or something.  Well, without fear of creating any serial killers or anything, I guess I’ll go ahead and review today’s intended focus.  I’m jumping back into the Toy Biz Marvel game for a little bit today, and taking a look at Robot Fighter Jubilee!  She’s like the regular Jubilee, but she fights robots.  I mean, regular Jubilee fights a lot of robots already.  Well, more robots, I guess?  Let’s go with that!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Jubilee was released in the 19th series of Toy Biz’s X-Men line, which was dubbed “Robot Fighters,” and themed accordingly.  This marked the second of Toy Biz’s two Jubilee figures, and the only one to be in the X-Men line proper (the other was part of their Generation X line).  It’s a bit crazy that, at the height of her popularity, Jubilee only got two figures, and neither one was her main X-Men appearance, but that was ’90s toy ideals for you, I guess.  The figure stands about 4 1/2 inches tall (thanks to the crouching that befell all of the Robot Fighters figures) and she has 7 points of articulation.  The Robot Fighters saw elbow and knee joints dropped, but Jubilee does at leas get extra mobility on her shoulders.  It doesn’t do a ton for her in terms of the poses she can pull, but it’s not terrible.  Jubilee’s sculpt was an all-new piece and…well, it’s an interesting approach.  She’s sporting a look that’s not really drawn from anything in the comics, though it’s not as thought it looks particularly out of place amongst the designs of the time.  The sculpt ages up Jubilee a little bit, something they were kind of starting to do a little bit in the comics, and the longer hair does line-up with her slight redesign from The Animated Series‘ final batch of episodes.  As with the rest of this particular assortment, Jubilee is quite pre-posed, though she does make out a little better than the male figures from the line-up.  Perhaps the oddest part of the figure is the random Spidey-pose hand on the left side.  She’s definitely not repurposing any molds or anything, so I guess she’s just doing the pose because she’s a fan?  It’s definitely goofy, but why start taking issue with that now, right?  Jubilee’s color scheme isn’t really classic Jubilee, but does seem to at least take some cues from her AoA design.  It’s not too hideous, and she stands out from the rest of the team at least.  The paint application is generally pretty good. There are few odd spots where there shouldn’t be, but I’ve certainly seen worse.  Jubilee is packed with a giant Sentinel hand, by far the most sensible of the Robot Fighters extras.  There’s part of the tendril, and the fingers are all posable, so you can have the hand trying the capture her, which is kinda cool.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I didn’t have this figure as a kid, presumably because my parents were trying to avoid turning me into a serial killer.  Nah, that’s not really it.  It was actually because I already had the Generation X version, so I didn’t need this one.  I do remember seeing her in stores at the time, though, and kind of vaguely wanting one.  That said, I wasn’t yet into variant hunting, at least not quite so much.  So, instead, I wound up holding off on this one until relatively recently.  I got her a few years back, during one of my trips to House of Fun in New Jersey.  She’s a kind of goofy variant, with no comics basis, but I actually really like her, and she’s currently my main Jubilee on my 5-inch X-Men shelf, so she can’t be that bad.  And I promise, I’m not a serial killer.