#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!

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#1898: Hulk

HULK

THE AVENGERS (HASBRO)

“The world seen through the eyes of the Hulk is distorted with rage, a haze of violence like a bad dream. Trapped within the mighty frame of the Hulk, Bruce Banner is barely able to maintain control. And yet, the Hulk is a hero. His immense strength is always turned to the protection of the weak, and the defense of justice. For while the Hulk may be rage incarnate, it is rage that is always properly directed against those hoping to cause harm.”

He’s a Hulk.  Smash.  Uhhhh…..that’s all I got.  So, here’s this Hulk figure?  Yeah, here’s this Hulk figure.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Hulk is the third Walmart-exclusive 6-inch-scale Avengers figure I’ve looked at on the site.  He is, of course, based on Hulk’s somewhat updated, Ruffl-ized design of the Hulk from The Avengers.  It’s not like it’s far removed from the standard classic Hulk design, but he was decidedly more human looking for this appearance, and it shows through on this figure.  The figure stands 7 1/4 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  Hulk’s sculpt was brand new to him at the time.  It has subsequently seen re-use for both the Ultimate Green Goblin Build-A-Figure (which I have not reviewed), and the Age of Ultron Hulk (which I have reviewed). Unlike Cap and Thor, this figure is widely divergent from Hulk’s smaller-scale counterpart, which, honestly, is for the best, because the basic Avengers Hulk kind of sucked.  This figure’s sculpt, on the other hand, really doesn’t suck.  The proportions are more exaggerated than the movie’s were, but it makes for a good visual for the figure.  In addition, his skin has this really nice texture work to it that I like a lot more than the much more basic, much less interesting replacement pieces we saw for Age of Ultron.  I also really like the two different hand poses this guy is sporting; I’m always down for more than just the two-fisted combo.  Hulk’s paintwork is fairly subdued, especially when compared to the other two figures I’ve looked at, but it’s accurate enough, and it looks pretty hecking decent.  Hulk included no character specific accessories, but he did have the re-purposed Heroscape-styled display stand that was packed with all of these guys.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Remember how I got Thor and Cap?  Yeah, same deal for Hulk.  I think of all three, he has always been the one I’ve been most interested in finding, just due to how underwhelmed I was by his Age of Ultron variant.  This one’s a lot better than that one, and, like the other two, ends up being a surprisingly good figure for his time.

Hulk came from my friends over at All Time Toys.  He’s one of many 6-inch Marvel figures in their back catalog of figures, which can be viewed at both their website and their eBay store.

#1897: Thor

THOR

THE AVENGERS (HASBRO)

“It is occasionally intolerable to be forced to live and work alongside humans with their short lifespan and petty troubles — but Thor has grown to have a deep affection for the people of Earth.  In the Avengers, he is gratified to have found a group of peers.  These are warriors with whom a man can be proud to serve. Thor is glad to fight alongside mighty creatures like the Hulk and noble men such as Captain America.”

Happy Thor’s Day everyone!  Despite some pretty intense audience support, Thor frequently seems to be the hardest sell of the main Avengers when it comes to toys.  Neither of his headlined toyline’s have done particularly well at retail.  But, by virtue of being a rather important member of the team, he does still warrant his token spot, which is a good thing for all of those fans, myself included, who would hate to see him left off the roster.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Thor is another figure from the six-figure Walmart-exclusive larger-scale line of Avengers figures, which hit shelves not too long after the movie in 2012.  For the line based on Thor’s own solo film, Walmart had also offered up a 6-inch figure, which featured a brand-new sculpt, but also featured Thor’s helmet, which he wore for less that five minutes of the first film’s screen time, permanently attached to the head.  Not exactly the most indicative of the MCU take on the character.  This figure is really just a quick fix to that one; he’s exactly the same, but with a new head.  He stands 7 inches tall (this is the figure that would start the trend of MCU Thors being rather on the tall side) and he has 27 points of articulation.  The sculpt is a decent enough piece of work, though it shows its age a bit more than the Cap figure from yesterday, likely because the majority of it is a year older, and Hasbro was improving rapidly at this point.  It’s mostly the articulation that shows the age, especially the hips, which are difficult enough to pose that he’ll essentially just be standing.  The detail work on the sculpt is all pretty sharp, and mostly pretty accurate to the films.  His proportions are idealized slightly, but not terribly unbalanced.  The head, as the new piece, was the main focus. The head and hair are separate pieces, and the head is sporting one of Hasbro’s best Hemsworth likenesses.  The hair, which is decidedly based on the first Thor, rather than Avengers, isn’t quite up to the same snuff as the face.  It’s decent, but feels just a bit…full?  I’m not 100% sure how to describe it, but it’s certainly a bit off.  Thor’s paintwork is pretty solid work.  Application is clean, the palette is a good match for the movie, and he isn’t missing any notable details.  Accent work is minimal, but the sculpt does the heavy lifting here.  Thor is packed with Mjolnir, as well as a stackable display base patterned on the Heroscape tiles.  My figure only has the hammer, though.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I grabbed Thor at the same time as Cap.  It was actually Cap that I’d noticed first, with Thor being the follow up.  This really wasn’t a figure I had much want for at the time of his release, and I’ve tended to prefer some of Thor’s later looks in the movies.  But, with the Mark VII already in my collection, and Cap soon to be, I was hardly going to just pass this guy up.  He’s not perfect, and he certainly shows the learning process Hasbro was going through at the time, but he still sports the best Hemsworth likeness Hasbro’s produced to date.

Like yesterday’s Captain America, Thor came from my friends over at All Time Toys.  He’s one of many 6-inch Marvel figures in their back catalog of figures, which can be viewed at both their website and their eBay store.

#1896: Captain America

CAPTAIN AMERICA

THE AVENGERS (HASBRO)

“As a soldier in World War II, Captain America fought for the safety and honor of his entire nation.  Now, as the leader of the Avengers, he fights to protect the entire world.  Villains great and small wield earth-shattering power without hesitation.  Only the original super-soldier and his team of awesome heroes stand between those ruthless individuals and the devastation of the planet.”

2012’s The Avengers was a big success for the MCU, but came at an odd time for Hasbro’s Marvel toys.  The 6-inch scale had all but died out, mostly replaced by their 3 3/4 inch offerings.  However, the poor sales of the Captain America and Thor toys the preceding year meant even those offerings were decidedly modest.  For both prior films, as well as Iron Man 2, Walmart had offered up a smaller assortment of Legends-styled figures, and continued this trend at an even larger scale offering five of the team’s six members*.  Today, I’m looking at the team’s leader, Captain America!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Captain America is one of the six figure line-up from the Walmart-exclusive Avengers 6-inch Movie Series.  He is, of course, based on his somewhat derided costume from the first Avengers movie. The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall (the tallest of the MCU Caps in this scale) and he has 29 points of articulation.  The articulation is handled slightly differently than more modern releases; Hasbro was still figuring some of these things out.  The hips are definitely the weakest part and make him a little difficult to pose.  He also could do with some actual wrist joints, but given what we were getting not long before, this is pretty good.  Cap’s sculpt is unique at this scale, though it shares a rather similar construction with the smaller line’s version of the same costume.  They’re definitely divergent sculpts, though; the articulation is cut differently, and this figure, as a later offering, catches some of the design changes that appeared between the concept art and the final costume.  It’s still not a pitch-perfect match for the on-screen counterpart, but it’s very close.  The texture work on Cap’s uniform is definitely top-notch.  It’s sharply defined and nicely contrasts the various different materials that make up his costume.  Hasbro definitely took advantage of the larger scale of this figure to really go all out with the detailing.  It doesn’t so much extend to the likeness on the face, though.  It’s rather on the generic side, so it’s not like it looks un-like Evans, but it’s definitely not on the same level as the two Evans likenesses we got this year.  Cap’s paintwork is pretty straight forward and clean.  He’s got the slightly brighter colors of this particular costume down pretty well, though the reds may perhaps be a touch brighter than they should be.  The application is all clean and consistent.  Technically, that last stripe of white on his back should be blue to match the rest of the costume, but it’s an easily missed detail, and far from holds the figure back.  Cap was packed with his mighty shield, as per usual.  It’s actually a unique mold, not used since for the MCU Caps.  It’s a little bit on the small side, but it does have advantage of having extending straps, allowing for placement on his back.  It’s that one detail that I miss most from the later releases, and I was happy to see it here.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was still very much on the fence about the whole 6-inch Marvel endeavor when these figures arrived in stores.  This, coupled with their relative scarcity, meant that I skipped this set in its entirety.  After getting the Tenth Anniversary Mark VII Iron Man, I was a little bummed not to have any other figures to go with him.  Fortunately, as luck would have it, All Time Toys got in a collection with several of them in it, so I was able to assemble the team pretty quickly.  Cap’s a surprisingly nice figure, and really showcases a turning point for Hasbro’s Marvel offerings.  He’s a precursor for all of the amazing MCU figures we’ve gotten in the years since, and even 6 years after his release, he holds up pretty darn well.

*Widow was left out of the line-up to free up a slot for Loki.  There was much frustration with this choice at the time.  However, she would finally get a figure two years later as part of the Mandroid Series, and has been granted a Legends release for both of the Avengers sequels.

#1891: Amazo

AMAZO

DC UNIVERSE CLASSICS (MATTEL)

“Amazo is a powerful android capable of absorbing and mimicking the superpowers of the members of the Justice League of America. “Absorption cells” allow Amazo the ability to duplicate the power of any superhero he encounters, but is only able to use the powers of one super hero at any given time.”

Hey, this is convenient timing.  Just last week, the CW tv shows did their annual crossover event, “Elseworlds,” the first part of which prominently featured today’s figure in question, Amazo.  Amazo’s not a stranger to popular media, having previously appeared in both Justice League and its sequel series Justice League Unlimited.  That being said, JL and JLU rather drastically shifted the character’s design, so the casual fan might be forgiven for not quite making the connection.  “Elseworlds” used a variant of the classic design, which was pretty darn cool if you ask me.  Amazo’s actually a fairly frequent choice for various DC toy lines, including Mattel’s DC Universe Classics.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Amazo was released in Series 5 of DCUC.  It was a noteworthy series for the line, as the first Walmart-exclusive assortment and, by extension, the first assortment carried in Walmart.  It was also our first real taste of some of the worst the line was going to serve up to us, with accessories cut at the last minute, horrible distribution, and some pretty awful quality control.  Walmart had requested the assortment be produced as cheaply as possible, and Mattel delivered.  This figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 25 points of articulation.  Amazo’s a little on the small side for most depictions of the character, thanks to his sticking to the main male base body, another symptom of this assortment’s general lack of newer parts.  Amazo’s actually got one of those: his head.  It’s pretty basic, but matches the classic Doc Savage-esque design he’s been sporting for fifty some years.  He also gets the right hand from Green Lantern, since he’s typically seen replicating the ring.  It’s a sensible choice in theory, though in practice it means he has wrinkles on his hand, since the original piece was gloved.  I suppose it’s easy enough to explain away, what with him being an android and all.  Amazo’s paintwork is decent enough.  They’ve gone with his original costume, which is sensible, since it’s the most easily conveyed with just paint.  While my other Series 5 figure, Black Lightning, was all over the place in terms of paint quality, Amazo actually manages to keep it pretty clean and consistent.  Some of the stripes, especially at the top, are a little wobbly, but I’ve certainly seen worse.  Amazo was packed with one of the pieces to the Series 5 Collect-N-Connect Metallo…and that’s it.  Nothing character specific.  Not even the Wonder Woman lasso that they already had tooled for Series 4.  Sadly, Amazo was not alone on this front; there was exactly one proper accessory among all of the Series 5 figures.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Series 5 was legendarily hard to find at retail, with many regions reporting a single case of figures being put out, if any arrived at all.  Needless to say, I didn’t find a single one of them at retail.  To be totally fair, the line-up was so-so enough that I didn’t really look too hard, but I’ve warmed up to some of them over the years.  So, when All Time Toys got in someone’s DCUC collection and I fished Amazo here out of the bin, I was a pretty easy mark.  He’s an okay figure, but nothing to really right home about.  That said, he’s also a lot less flawed than I’d expected, given the assortment that spawned him.

Obviously, I bought All Time’s only figure of this guy, but they have a whole bunch of other DCUC figures listed on their eBay store.  And, if you’re in the market for something newer, please check out their website as well!

#1885: Zuckuss

ZUCKUSS

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

“Zuckuss answers Darth Vader’s call for bounty hunters to help locate the Millennium Falcon and her crew.”

I’ve established a loose ranking of Empire Strikes Back’s bounty hunters throughout my various Black Series–wait a minute…this isn’t a Black Series review.  That was my Zuckuss review from two weeks ago…this one’s very different.  For one thing, he’s about 2 inches shorter, and for another, he’s 20 years older.  But he’s still Zuckuss, and he’s still getting reviewed.  So there.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Zuckuss was released in Power of the Force II‘s 1998 assortment.  Like with the Black Series releases, he followed his partner in crime 4-LOM, who was released the prior year.  The figure stands 3 1/2 inches tall (befitting Zuckuss’ slightly smaller stature) and has 6 points of articulation.  The articulation is ever so slightly hampered by the nature of the character’s design and its implementation on the figure, which sees Zuckuss’ robes recreated through a thick rubber piece, similarly to the line’s take on Obi-Wan.  This time, however, the robes cannot be removed, due to the figure’s somewhat oddly shaped head.  It’s a shame, really, since there’s a fully detailed body under there, which is a lot of fun.  Oh well.  The sculpt that you actually can see is still a solid offering, to be fair.  The aliens were always where PotF2 shined, and Zuckuss is no exception.  The detail work is nice and crisp, and he’s a fairly spot-on recreation of Zuckuss’ on-screen appearance.  Zuckuss’ paintwork is actually some of the best we got from this line, by virtue of not being as cut and dry as most samples.  The robes in particular really benefit from that dry-brushed weathering that’s been placed all along them, giving them a more real-world-feel than most of his compatriots.  Also, quite impressively, the painted detailing extends under his robe, meaning if you find a way to remove it, he’ll still look all finished and proper.  Zuckuss is packed with his blaster pistol, which is a fairly standard inclusion.  And, as a 1998 figure, he was also packed with a Freeze Frame Action Slide, which shows off Zuckuss and his fellow bounty hunters on the bridge of the Executor.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Completing my Black Series pairing of Zuckuss and 4-LOM got me interested in the characters, and their prior figures.  I’ve been steadily piecing together a PotF2 collection, and, as luck would have it, my friends at All Time Toys just got in a fairly substantial collection from someone.  I never had Zuckuss growing up, but he looked cool enough that I just really felt compelled to buy him.  He’s an example of how good this line could be when Kenner really pulled their A-game.  Definitely one of my favorite figures from this line.

So, as I mentioned above, I got Zuckuss here from my friends at All Time Toys.  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!

#1884: The Lizard

THE LIZARD

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

Have you ever noticed that Spider-Man has a lot of animal-themed super villains?  Because he really does.  And a lot of them are pretty straight forward, too.  Like today’s focus, “The Lizard.”  He’s a guy who turns into a lizard-human hybrid.  Guess we should be grateful that he’s not “Lizard-Man”, or, going by Marvel’s creature naming thing, “Man-Lizard.”  The utter simplicity of Lizard’s name always reminds me of a time when I was in high school and, having picked up the reputation of being the comics guy, was asked to identify all of the Marvel characters on one guy’s shirt.  When I got to Lizard, I said his name, and everyone laughed and said “you’re just making these up, aren’t you?”…not really sure what I was getting at there, but hey, how about this Lizard figure?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Lizard is the eponymous Build-A-Figure for the Lizard Series of Marvel Legends.  This is the second officially Marvel Legends-branded Lizard, following the Toy Biz version from the old Fearsome Foes boxed set.  As with many Spider-Foes, there were also a couple of figures of him in the Legends-compatible Spider-Man line from Toy Biz.  As a Build-A-Figure, he’s decidedly a more monstrous take on the character than previous versions, perhaps most in-line with modern day interpretations of the character.  The figure stands about 6 3/4 inches tall (he’d be at least an inch taller if standing straight, but the figure has a slight hunch and a permanent crouch) and he has 39 points of articulation.  Lizard is another all-new sculpt, and I’d imagine it’s one that will stay unique to this figure.  More than size, I’d say the unique sculpt is why Lizard got the BaF treatment.  The sculpt has a lot of plusses, but I’m going to address its few small flaws first.  The biggest thing for me is the sculpt/articulation balance.  Some of the articulation works, but some of it’s very restricted.  The torso and the legs really showcase the most of this; the legs being stuck in that crouching pose proves rather restrictive.  Additionally, Lizard continues the trend of recent BaFs being really prone to popping apart after assembly.  This, coupled with the articulation limitations, can make him a real pain to pose.  Moving past those issues, though, Lizard’s sculpt is really fantastic.  He’s definitely on par with Sauron in terms of detail work, and I love just how much depth they were able to work into this sculpt.  The use of two add-on pieces on the torso (for his lab coat *and* his shirt) is a serious attention to detail I had not been expecting.  Some collectors have expressed issue with the decidedly dino stylings of Lizard’s head, but I actually don’t mind; Curt’s cranium was always the most prone portion of him to change, and I think this particular look gives him a more modern feel.  Plus it makes me think of Dr. Dinosaur, and that’s always a good thing.  Lizard’s paintwork continues the upward trend, especially amongst the Build-A-Figures, of increased paint apps.  There’s a lot of accent work on his scaly skin, which really helps to pronounce how much detail there is in that sculpt.  Lizard includes no accessories, but as an accessory himself, that’s quite alright.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Okay, I may have been slightly premature with yesterday’s “Finally!!!!!!!!!” intro, because if there’s a figure that deserves that exclamation more the Mysterio, it’s Lizard.  I’ve had 5/7s of this guy sitting on my desk since April, just begging for his remaining leg.  It was honestly getting to the point where I didn’t know if I would finish him at all.  But, as I noted in yesterday’s review, All Time Toys set me up with a Mysterio figure, thereby allowing me to finally finish this guy off.  There were a few flaws in this figure’s implementation, mostly in the way of articulation.  However, the positives far outweigh the negatives, and the end result is what is by far the best version of Lizard we’ve gotten in toy form.

My reviews of the assortment that built this figure ended up rather split up, which doesn’t tend to be my of handling such things.  Nevertheless, this assortment has proven to be perhaps my favorite Spider-themed assortment.  The Build-A-Figure was worth the wait, and many of the individual figures included are personal favorites.  It’s nice to finally have the whole thing.

#1883: Mysterio

MYSTERIO

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“A master of illusion, Mysterio seeks universal fame as a cloaked villain with an unmistakable helmet.”

FINALLY!!!!!! …Sorry, was that too much?  I can get carried away some times.  It’s just…this guy was really hard to get, and I…ah, this is the wrong section for all of this.  Sorry!

So, Mysterio.  Former-movie-special-effects-technician-turned-supervillain, with perhaps one of the most distinctive design in comics.  And, of course, soon to be played by Jake Gyllenhaal on the big screen in the upcoming Spider-Man: Far From Home.  Pretty cool guy all around.  No stranger to action figures, but being a decently well-known foe of Marvel’s best known hero will do that for you.  Now I’m going to review his latest figure right here and right now.  Let’s get right to that!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Mysterio is figure 6 in the Lizard Series of Marvel Legends.  He is, by far, the most demanded and hardest to find in the set, in part because he’s sort of an army builder (he frequently makes duplicates of himself to fool Spidey), in part because there was a distinctive change to the figure half way through production, and also just because he’s never had a figure that was quite this good.  This is out first officially Legends branded Mysterio, though Toy Biz put out a Legends compatible figure in their Spider-Man: Classics days.  That figure, like many from the line, was marred by a half-formed action feature, and, as an non-Spidey figure, was also rather hard to find.  It was definitely time for a replacement.  This figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  I’m pretty sure Mysterio is sporting an almost entirely unique sculpt.  His hands look to be from other figures, but otherwise he’s all-new.  Obviously, the cape/helmet, and the gloves and boots were always going to be new pieces, but I really have to commend Hasbro for going the fully sculpted route on his body.  They really could have phoned it in here and just painted the grid pattern on a basic body, but they didn’t and the figure looks so much better for it.  I really dig the cuffs to his gloves as well; those are slightly tricky to make work in three-dimensions, but they look quite nice here.  The one slightly off part of the sculpt is the helmet/cape combo.  It’s a nice enough sculpt, but making it all one piece feels slightly off to me, and the way it pegs into his back has it popping off more frequently than I’d like.  And then there’s the topic of the underlying head.  Hasbro was somewhat secretive about what was going to be under the fishbowl at first.  I myself was hoping for another go at a Quentin Beck head (which we sort of saw on the Toy Biz figure), or maybe even some sort of blank head, just to leave a silhouette under the helmet.  Hasbro opted for something more out there, meant to be another illusion created by Mysterio.  It’s a skull with a tentacle running through it, which is certainly…different.  It’s an interesting sculpt, but the helmet ended up being a lot more transparent than most of us had expected, which, coupled with the dark green plastic of the initial release’s head, left a lot of fans unhappy with the end result.  Fortunately, Hasbro was able to change the figure mid-run, so later shipments had the head molded in white instead of green, which works a little better.  I think I might have just preferred for the whole dome to just be a solid piece myself, but this works better than I’d expected.  The paint work on Mysterio is fairly straight-forward stuff, being mostly basic color work.  There’s a little bit of accenting on the gloves, which is cool, and I definitely like the metallic green paint.  I’m not thrilled by the slight change in the color of plastic from the hips to the legs, though it’s not quite as bad in-person.  Mysterio is packed with a pair of effects pieces, which clip onto his feet, making it appear that things are emanating from the ground beneath him.  It’s a fun effect, and really tops off the whole look of the figure, since Mysterio is so often seen with his feet obscured like this.  He’s also packed with the left leg of Lizard, meaning I can finally complete that guy!

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

It’s been a long road to getting this figure.  This was the first full series of Marvel Legends that All Time Toys got in, and I just missed the boat on getting Mysterio from them the first time around.  The assortment hasn’t been particularly plentiful at mass retail around these parts either, so six months after getting the rest of the assortment, I didn’t really expect to get this guy.  But, you see, I have these wonderful sponsors who own a toy store, so they were finally able to get ahold of another case of this series, and the Mysterio format was set aside for me.  Yay!  After waiting so long for him, this figure certainly has a lot to live up to.  Does he?  More or less.  There are some definite flaws here, which sort of impact his playability, but for the most part I’m happy with him.

As noted above, Mysterio was purchased from my friends at All Time Toys.  If you’re interested in buying Marvel Legends figures, or are looking for other cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.

#1882: Gwenpool

GWENPOOL

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“A self-made hero from the so-called real world, Gwenpool possesses unrivaled knowledge of the comic book universe.”

The original Gwen Stacy may have been dead for 45 years, but that hasn’t stopped all sorts of variants of her from popping up.  The most prominent of late is, of course, Spider-Gwen, who made her debut during 2014’s Spider-Verse event. The success of Spider-Gwen led to a series of Gwen Stacy-themed variant covers for the Marvel line, leading to the creation of the Deadpool/Gwen Stacy amalgam “Gwenpool.”  Gwenpool has been starring in a string of self-titled books since, and just recently joined up with the relaunched West Coast Avengers.  Oh, and she also has a Marvel Legend.  Yay!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Gwenpool is figure 1 in the Lizard Series of Marvel Legends, which was our first Spidey-themed assortment of the year.  The figure stands just under 6 inches tall and she has 29 points of articulation.  She’s built on the Spider-Girl body, which is sensible enough, given that’s the same body Hasbro used for Spider-Gwen.  It lends some consistency to the Gwen Stacy-take-off characters.  Gwenpool actually gets a fair quantity of new pieces to set her apart from all the other Spider-Girl builds.  There’s a new head, upper torso, forearms, shins, and feet, as well as add-ons for her belts and backpack.  The parts all mesh well with the base body, and do a pretty respectable job of melding Gwenpool’s typically cartoony style with the established stylings of modern Legends.  I really appreciate the little details that Hasbro has peppered throughout the sculpt, such as the piping on her socks under her shin guards.  I also really like the implementation of the new ankle articulation (like we saw previously on Moon Knight and Spider-Punk).  So, I guess, what I’m really getting at here, is that I quite like Gwenpool’s lower legs.  Just go with it.  The rest of the details are quite fun in their own right.  Her facial expression is a nice big smile that feels very true to the character as established in the comics.  I also really enjoy her penguin-shaped back pack.  Gwenpool’s paintwork is clean and appropriately pink-heavy.  Nothing particularly notable, but it works to get the job done.  Gwen includes a nice selection extra accessories, including an extra head (with tongue out for proper selfie etiquette), her phone (which can be nicely stashed in her utility belt), a pair of katanas, and three sets of hands (in heart-shaped, phone-holding/peace sign, and standard gripping poses).  It adds up to a rather expressive figure.  She is also packed with the tail of the Build-A-Figure Lizard.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve got no particular attachment to Gwenpool, so I didn’t rush out to buy her.  Sure, she came with a piece for Lizard, who I definitely wanted to build, but there was one other figure preventing me from completing him, so Gwen stuck nearer to the bottom of my want list.  When I was finally able to get ahold of that other figure (who I’ll be reviewing tomorrow…spoilers), Gwen was along for the ride, because, dammit, I was finishing that Lizard figure.  I may have only bought her for the Build-A-Figure piece, but Gwenpool is a fairly strong figure in her own right.

I got Gwen here from my friends at All Time Toys.  If you’re interested in buying Marvel Legends figures, or are looking for other cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.

#1877: Ultimate Alien Warrior

ULTIMATE ALIEN WARRIOR — BLUE

ALIENS (NECA)

I have this running gag with my family where we all refer to Aliens as one of my favorite Christmas movies.  It all stems from me setting up some last minute decorations on the 23rd of December one year, and being a little Christmas movie-d out, I threw on Aliens, since it’s kind of my favorite movie.  The thing is, there’s kind of a solid rhythm to it, so it just kind of stuck, and now it feels weird to have a Christmas without it.  So, I guess this review is me starting to get into the holiday spirit?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Ultimate Alien Warrior is NECA’s latest entry in their ever-expanding Aliens line.  It’s a stand-alone, boxed release, just like all of the other “Ultimate” offerings they’ve been doing, shipping in cases split between the two color variants: brown and blue.  Both figures were shown off a ways back (like, more than a year ago), and seemed to be stricken with quite a few delays, but they’re here now, and that’s the important thing.  The figure reviewed here is the blue variant, because that’s my favorite version.  The Xeno stands 8 inches tall and has 39 points of articulation.  He uses the new and improved Aliens Warrior body, which we got a preview of with the Concept Xeno that was packed with the Burke figure last year.  As I noted in that figure’s review, the body is aesthetically very similar to the Series 1 Xeno body, but it’s far more posable, and just generally sturdier than the prior body was.  The details also look to be a little sharper, but this could just be improvements in the manufacturing process.  This figure, of course, trades in the domed head of the last one for a more Aliens-accurate ridged head.  I think it’s just the same one we saw on the earlier figures, which seems sensible enough.  This new Xeno’s paintwork is, of course, heavy on the blue accenting, as I mentioned above.  This replicates the lighting scheme of the movie a bit more accurately.  What’s quite impressive about this particular release is that it’s a lot more subtle than prior offerings, and it melds the blue with some varieties of brown, making it even more clear that the blue is more of a lighting thing.  Essentially, it matches the Warrior to NECA’s Alien Queen figure, which definitely works for me.  Prior Xenos have been sans-accessories, but as an Ultimate release, this one’s actually nicely accessorized.  There’s the egg and face hugger combo like we saw with the half-Bishop, as well as a newborn chestburster, previously seen in the creature pack.  It’s always nice to get some extras of these, and especially nice to see the Xeno actually get something for a change.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

When NECA’s Aliens line launched, I was pretty firm on only getting six Xenos total (because that’s the number of Xeno suits used in the film; it’s a very geeky thing).  I long ago surpassed that.  But, back in the Series 2 days, when I had just gotten my first Blue Warrior, I thought I might actually be able to stick to it, because he was my favorite and I didn’t think he could be surpassed.  Then, while I was taking photos for my Queen review, I picked up the blue guy, and his leg didn’t come with him.  At this point, he was rather expensive to replace, so I just solemnly placed him at the back of my display.  Needless to say, when NECA announced the Ultimate offerings, I was thrilled, and now that I have this guy in hand, he’s undoubtedly my favorite Xeno figure.  I’m glad to have a blue leading the pack again!

This guy was purchased from my friends at All Time Toys.  As of this writing, the figure is still in-stock, so if you’re interested in this figure, or are looking for other cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.