#2785: Evil Ryu

EVIL RYU

STREET FIGHTER II MINIMATES

What better way to wrap up my Street Fighter II Minimates reviews than with a character who’s not even in Street Fighter II at all?*  Evil Ryu is a pretty straight forward concept, with all real questions about his nature answered by the name.  He’s a corrupted version of the generally heroic Ryu, who has succumbed to the power of the “Satsui no Hado” (“Surge of Muderous Intent”), which is the thing that powers Akuma.  He was first worked into the games in Street Fighter Alpha 2, and has been a recurring concept since.  He’s not really a separate character, but is more of a “What if?” surrounding Ryu giving into evil at some point in the future.  He’s also a pretty simple re-paint of a standard Ryu, making him a very easy repaint.  Hence, so many toys.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Evil Ryu was originally released in a two-pack with Shin Akuma, an Akuma variant.  The pair were exclusive to Hollywood Video of all places.  Yes, the number two video rental store opted for an exclusive item.  Kinda weird, huh?  He was also packed with Morrigan, Dimitri, and standard Akuma as one of a pair of four-packs, aimed at making these a little easier to get, I guess?  The two releases were effectively identical, so it doesn’t really matter, I suppose.  The figure is built on the standard post-c3 body, so he’s about 2 1/2 inches tall and he has 14 points of articulation.  Construction on this guy is identical to the standard Ryu, as you’d expect.  Those pieces are good pieces, so he’s still pretty darn cool.  The paint marks the main change-up.  For the most part, it’s a palette swap, with generally darker colors present.  He does get an all-new facial expression, which is more intense even than the already more intense P2-color version.  He’s real mad, and his eyes are now red and pupil-less.  Additionally, he has gained the kanji character that was present on Akuma, signifying his corruption by the Satsui no Hado.  Likewise, his energy effect piece is now the same purple as Akuma’s.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As with most of the SF2 Minimates, I didn’t get Evil Ryu new, in his case largely because my local Hollywood Video was rather downtrodden, and never saw these sets.  He was probably the figure I wanted the most out of the whole set, truth be told, because it’s a look I’ve always kinda liked.  Thankfully, I was able to get him at the same time as the others, courtesy of All Time Toys.  He’s a pretty fun figure, as are all of the SF2 ‘mates.  It’s a shame this line didn’t take off, because it certainly had the effort put into it.  It’s also a shame that a third of its slots were devoted to Darkstalkers…

*Okay, that’s not entirely true; Evil Ryu was added to the roster for SFII in its Ultra incarnation…which was released 11 years after this figure…better late than never, right?  Beyond that, though, he was also featured in the SFII manga, and one of the animated films.  So, it’s not the craziest thing, I suppose.

#2778: M. Bison & Chun-Li

M. BISON & CHUN-LI

STREET FIGHTER II MINIMATES

When delving into a completely new line, it does make a certain amount of sense to go for the heavy hitters right out of the gate…or at least you would think so.  Curiously, there’s a little bit of a connection between Minimates lines that have failed, and a propensity to front load with heavy hitters.  I mean, after all, Marvel Minimates, the definitive flagship of the brand, started with an assortment that was B-Tier for the most part.  On the flipside, Street Fighter II Minimates had some of the game’s biggest names coming right at the beginning, and still failed.  Coincidence?  Probably.  Honestly, what probably killed Street Fighter Minimates quicker than anything was forcing Darkstalkers into it, not the heavy hitters.  I mean, does anyone really think that it’s M. Bison & Chun-Li’s fault the line died?  I don’t, and that’s certainly got nothing to do with me being in the room with them right now…Be cool guys…they’re right here!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

M. Bison and Chun-Li were released in the first (and only) series of Street Fighter II Minimates.  The main line release is the Player 1 colors for both characters, but like Ryu and Akuma, there were also offered up in their P2 colors as part of an AFX-exclusive two-pack.  Bison and Chun-Li are probably the line’s most sensible pairing, given their history together and the tendency of the other media to have them pair off for battles within the narrative.

M. BISON

Bison is the primary antagonist of Street Fighter II and most of its spin-offs, as well as being one of the franchise’s most distinctive characters.  He’s certainly got a definitive look.  The figure was built on the basic post-C3 minimate body, so he stands about 2 1/4 inches tall and he has 14 points of articulation.  Bison is constructed using three different add-on parts, which includes his hat, his cape, and his skirt/belt.  All three pieces are new to the figure, and they do a solid job of capturing his in-game look through the lens of Minimates.  Of particular note is the cape piece, which has a really fun dynamic flow to it, which I believe was a first for capes for the brand; they tended to just be hanging there.  Like the other SFII Minimates, Bison is all-painted, rather than using molded colors.  It looks pretty nice, and makes the colors pop a bit more.  His facial expression is definitely one of the coolest elements, which a huge, mad-man-esque smile.  It’s so perfect for the character.  Bison featured his own unique effect piece, which is a little hard to balance, but is still pretty cool.

CHUN-LI

Chun-Li may not be the central figure, but she’s probably the closest SFII and it’s various media narratives have to a proper protagonist.  She’s also become one of the franchise’s most enduring characters, despite not technically being in on the action until the second game.  She’s second only to Ryu in terms of Minimate coverage, which seems about right.  Like Bison, she uses the standard post-C3 body.  She’s got four add-on pieces, for her hair, skirt, and her spiked wrist bands.  All of the were new pieces, and would be shared only with her P2 variant.  The skirt doesn’t feel as dynamic as some of the other pieces from the line, but it’s not terrible.  The hair and wrist bands get just enough detailing to sell the design, without going over board.  Chun-Li is, like Bison, an entirely painted ‘mate, and it’s generally pretty good.  The detailing on her outfit is quite nicely handled, and apart from some fuzziness on the edge on the blue/white change over on her torso, it’s all pretty clean.  Chun-Li was packed with her own effects piece, replicating her tendency for kicking.  Sadly, it’s the only piece I’m missing from my set.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Chun-Li and Bison was a set I really wanted, but never got when they were new.  I didn’t even get their P2 colors, as I had with Ryu and Akuma.  I was definitely always bummed about that.  Fortunately, when I got my standard Ryu and Akuma, I was also able to grab this pair.  They’re quite nice, just like the other two, and show that DST and Art Asylum were really trying to make these guys work.  It’s a shame they didn’t take off.

#2771: Ryu & Akuma

RYU & AKUMA

STREET FIGHTER II MINIMATES

2005 into 2006 marked a rather turbulent time for the Minimates brand.  DST and Art Asylum were definitely trying to expand it, but there was some trouble with that.  Attempts to add DC and Lord of the Rings kind of fell through, so a desire for other licenses to replace them was building.  Marvel, still the flagship line, went on hiatus for over a year, while they tried to regroup on other licenses.  In early 2006, they attempted to get into the video game character market with Minimates based on the classic fighting game Street Fighter II, hoping that might be the thing that took off and saved the line.  Spoilers: it wasn’t.  In the line’s one and only assortment, we got some of the game’s heavy hitters, which included today’s figures, Ryu and Akuma!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Ryu and Akuma were released in the standard retail assortment of Street Fighter II Minimates.  The two of them were based on their standard Player 1 colors, but there was also an AFX-exclusive variant pack that put them in their P2 colors, as well as changing up their expressions.  The standard versions also surfaced overseas as part of a blind-box assortment, which also featured the P2 colors, but this time without the changed expressions.

RYU

Ryu, one of two character’s carried over from the first game, is arguably the star of the Street Fighter series, so he’s certainly a sensible choice for the line-up.  He’s seen here in his standard white gi with red accents set-up.  The figure was built on the standard base body, so he’s about 2 1/4 inches tall and he has 14 points of articulation.  He has four add-on pieces, for his hair, the bottom of his robe, and his hand bracers.  It’s honestly a pretty nice selection of parts, and matches up pretty well with his in-game sprite, while still helping him remain consistent with the overall ‘mate aesthetic.  There’s still some flow and expression to the parts, but they aren’t overly detailed like some later parts would be.  His details are handled largely through paint work, of course, and it’s pretty nicely done.  The face has just enough detail to really capture the character, and his body is well defined.  I appreciate that they’ve gone to the trouble of actually outline the edges of his sleeves and pants, so that they’re a little more defined.  Interestingly, like Spider-Woman from last week, Ryu is totally painted.  It looks nice, so I can’t really complain.  Ryu is packed with a blue effects piece, presumably meant to replicate his Haduken attack, which makes for some fun posing options.

AKUMA

Facing off against Ryu is the game’s hidden final boss, Akuma, a pretty solid opponent for Ryu.  He’s built rather similarly to Ryu, which is honestly appropriate.   The only part that’s actually shared between the two is the arm bracer piece, which works well for both of them.  His hair is obviously a new piece, as is the skirt piece, which they could have probably gotten away with re-using, but they didn’t, so good for them.  He also gets a new piece for the necklace as well, which is something that could have been painted on, but wasn’t, and is honestly the better for it.  The hair’s a little bit devoid of detail, which makes it look a little wonky, but for the most part it looks okay.  The detail work on this guy is a good match for Ryu, and he is likewise totally painted.  I appreciate that they actually changed up the tampo for the torso detailing, as that’s another area where they didn’t *have* to change it.  Akuma is packed with the same effects piece as Ryu, but in purple instead of blue.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The SFII Minimates line was one I really wanted to support, but it was one that I unfortunately didn’t really see in person.  The only ones I ever found were the P2 colors for these two, which got clearance out at KB toys of all places.  Interestingly, my Ryu from that set was erroneously the single pack version, so I never had the changed up expression for him.  I eventually got the chance to get the proper P1 versions when All Time got in that big Minimates collection back in 2019, which I was pretty happy about.  These two are well made to be sure, and it’s a shame the line didn’t take off the way DST hoped they would.

#2666: Martian Manhunter

MARTIAN MANHUNTER

DC C3 CONSTRUCTION (PLAY ALONG)

The vast majority of the DC C3 Construction line was Batman-related.  It’s not a shock, since Batman’s always been DC’s main squeeze, and they tend to go heavy on him in any untried territory.  However, they did also include a few not-Batman characters, all courtesy of tying in with Justice League, which had just wrapped up its two season run a year prior, and was moving onto Justice League Unlimited.  This, of course, still got us one more Batman, but at least it also gave us Superman, Flash, and today’s focus, the J’onn J’onzz, the Martian Manhunter.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Martian Manhunter was released as part of the “Mini Javelin” set, which was part of the second series of DC C3 Construction, which hit in early 2005.  Like the Mini Batmobile, this set was meant to be a smaller version of a more properly scaled Javelin, which was set to include GL, Hawkgirl, and Wonder Woman, but was ultimately scrapped.  So, instead, we got this set, which included this guy here and one of two different versions of Flash.  I’m just looking at Manhunter today.  He’s built on the basic C3 body, but still has one of the heads without peg-hole.  He gets a healthy helping of new parts, with add-ons for his head-piece, cape/torso, and the tops of his boots.  Ultimately, it’s a strange bit of give and take on the new parts.  It’s cool that he got so many, but ultimately I don’t know how well they handle the character.  The head piece seems a touch extraneous, especially given that there’s full detailing beneath it, allowing him to be displayed without.  Manhunter tends to have a somewhat pronounced brow, but this takes it a bit to the extreme.  The cape piece is nice, but is permanently attached to a bulked up torso piece.  Manhunter was depicted as larger than the rest of the team on the show, but this takes it a bit past that and makes it look more like J’onn has been enjoying too many Oreos.  The boots are nice in theory, but ultimately feel like they sit a bit short on the figure’s legs.  So, you know, it’s all kind of got issues.  Ultimately, the fully assembled product doesn’t look quite so bad, I suppose.  In terms of paint, J’onn sticks to the show’s color palette.  As much as I like how that looks on the show, it does wind up being a little on the drab side on this figure.  It’s not awful, I suppose, and the actual detail lines work quite well to define the character.  The face in particular seems quite right for J’onn.  Though these figures were little more than accessories themselves, J’onn actually got one for himself.  It was an alternate head piece, designed to look like his more natural Martian form.  Not a bad piece, though somewhat non-essential, so the fact that mine’s missing it isn’t the end of the world.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This set was definitely the most in-demand of the second assortment (the fact that the other two sets were quite extraneous bat-variants aided in that), and I never actually saw it at retail.  It only became harder to find once DCD did their own official DC Minimates and neglected to update J’onn, making this figure the only version of the character.  I wanted one for a while, but he was just always outside of my price range.  Back in 2019, when All Time got in a big Minimate collection, this was the one item I requested from the start, and I actually wound up getting him in exchange for staying late one night to help get all of the ‘mates processed for sale.  Given his rarity and price, getting him was a touch anti-climactic, I suppose, since he’s not a terribly impressive ‘mate in his own right.  That being said, as with a lot of the older ‘mates, I do enjoy the old charm of this one, and I’m glad I finally got one.

#2659: Nightwing

NIGHTWING

DC C3 CONSTRUCTION (PLAY ALONG)

The DC C3 Construction line was divided into two segments: cartoon-based and comic-based.  In both cases, the products were mostly based on current iterations of the characters.  In the case of the comics stuff, they were largely focused on what was going on at that moment in the Batman side of the DCU, which meant a bat-family that was made up of Tim Drake as Robin, Cassandra Kaine as Batgirl, and Dick Grayson as Nightwing.  It’s that last one that’s going to be my focus today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Like last week’s Batman, Nightwing was released in April of 2005, as part of the “Mini Flyers” assortment of DC C3 Construction, which would prove to be the line’s final assortment.  He was part of the very cleverly named “Nightwing Mini Flyer” set.  Man, how did they come up with those craaaaaazy names?  Nightwing was patterned on his late ’90s/early ’00s costume, which is ultimately his most memorable and lasting design.  The figure is built on the fully upgraded C3-style Minimate body with the shorter style feet *and* the peghole on the head, to allow for better hold on the hair piece.  He makes use of add-ons for his hair, wrist cuffs, and boot pieces.  The wrist cuffs were previously used on Power Man, and would go on to be used on so many other figures, but the hair and boots were new to this guy, and would remain unique to this release.  Like Robin, his hair piece is made of a much softer plastic than usual.  That said, with the peg on the piece, it has a lot less trouble staying in place.  In terms of paint work, Nightwing’s generally pretty decent, but is not without a few missteps.  Notably, on this particular copy, the face is printed a little bit high on the head, which makes him look like he’s got a big chin going on.  The actual face looks pretty good though, as is the detailing on the torso.  The only thing I’d really like to see changed would be how dark the blue is, since it’s easy to miss it on the black plastic.  Of note, that was one thing that the DCD release ended up changing.  Nightwing was packed with his pair of Eskrima sticks, which were their own new mold, albeit one that was very similar to the mold used for the Daredevil billy club pieces.  They were kinda small, but it was nice to get something for him.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

When the Mini Flyers originally hit, Nightwing was the one I was most interested in, due to that whole “being a big Nightwing fan” thing that I’ve got going on.  I wound up getting him at the time, but wound up losing most of his parts over the years.  Thankfully, when the other C3 figures came into All Time, so did he.  He’s pretty decent overall.  There are some issues that the DCD release would fix, but there are also some parts that this guy did a little better, so it winds up as something of a toss-up between the two.

#2652: Batman

BATMAN

DC C3 CONSTRUCTION (PLAY ALONG)

The initial assortment of DC C3 Construction hit in the summer of 2004, and they were really focused on actually selling it as a line of construction sets that also included some Minimates.  In their second year in 2005, they tried that again, albeit with a smaller assortment this time.  Following that assortment, they kind of gave up even trying to pretend about what they were doing, and transitioned the line to a much more compact, lower price point selection of “Mini Flyers”, small vehicles that were a very thin excuse to put out the Minimates effectively on their own, only, you know, not.  Even through this end, they stuck to their heavy focus on Batman characters, including variants of the main man himself.  I’m looking at one of those variants today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Batman was released in April 2005 in the very originally named “Batman Mini Flyer” set, one of the six Mini Flyer sets that made up the final assortment of the DC C3 Construction line.  By this point, they were only packing a single Minimate with each set, so as to keep the price down, so Batman was all by his lonesome.  He was a comic-based figure, specifically drawn from his ’70s era appearances, as denoted by his predominately blue color scheme.  He’s built on the standard ‘mate body with C3 feet.  Still no standard peg holes for the heads, so he’s got a solid noggin piece.  He’s got add-ons for his mask, cape, belt, and gloves.  The mask, cape, and belt are the same ones used on the Dark Knight Batman included with the larger Batmobile set, but the gloves are new pieces for…reasons?  There were four standard Batmen in the C3 line, and every one of them used a different set of glove pieces, and I couldn’t for the life of me begin to tell you why.  These ones do at least put the arm spikes on the back of the gloves, where they’re supposed to be but tend not to be.  So, that makes them cool, I guess.  Also, these parts are not rubbery like last week’s Robin, so that’s another marked improvement.  Batman’s paint was generally pretty basic, and definitely not as involved as Robin.  Given the classic inspiration, that’s somewhat sensible, but not doing the shading on the front of the mask does feel like a missed opportunity.  I do like the slightly different expression on the face under the mask, though; it’s a nice change-up from the usual neutral expressions.  This Batman didn’t get any accessories, but there was the Mini Flyer, I guess.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The Mini Flyer’s are really where this line lost me, so I missed out on picking all of them but one when they were at retail.  Batman wasn’t that one, but he was a figure I was always interested to have.  Thankfully for me, he came in with the larger Minimate collection that showed up at All Time last year, and here we are.  Ultimately, I think DCD’s later classic Batman was slightly better, but this one’s still got his own charm to him.

#2645: Robin

ROBIN

DC C3 CONSTRUCTION (PLAY ALONG)

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

THE FIGURE ITSELF

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

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

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

#1939: Gorn

GORN

STAR TREK (ART ASYLUM)

For an alien that only actually shows up one time in all of The Original Series, the Gorn sure does get a fair bit of toy love.  Every manufacturer to hold the classic Trek license has given us at least one of this guy.  And can you blame them?  Just look at him.  Isn’t he super awesome?  Well, I sure think so.  Among the toy love he has received was a figure during the Art Asylum/Diamond Select years, which gave us some of the most accurate and well-crafted figures that Trek has ever seen.  I’ll be looking at that particular figure today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Gorn was released in 2002, in the third series of Art Asylum’s Star Trek: The Original Series line, as part of an alien-heavy assortment, which also included a slightly worse for wear Kirk variant, which paired off nicely with this figure.  The Kirk and Gorn were re-released in 2010 in two-pack form, as part of the “Dilithium Collection,” but the Gorn seen here is the original release.  The figure stands 8 inches tall and has 18 points of articulation.  The Gorn sported an all-new, totally unique sculpt.  It takes the design of the character as seen in “Arena” and idealizes things just a little bit, with the end result being a figure that keeps all of the important details you remember, while avoiding so costume accurate as to look goofy and fake.  He’s a large, hulking figure, with an impressive stature, and he’s packed with tons of detail all throughout.  The head is by far my favorite piece of the figure.  It’s sharply defined, and captures that sort of sneering menace of the character from the episode.  The cross-hatch pattern on the eyes is well-scaled to the rest of the head (earlier figures have been known to make it too large), and he’s just got a great likeness of the mask from the show.  The rest of the body is pretty strong in its own right, with the texturing of the skin continuing all throughout.  The garment he wears is slightly cleaner and smoother, but still has enough detail to keep it from looking jarring when placed next to the very detailed body.  There’s some slight mixed-media going on, with a rubbery material being used for the skirt piece.  It’s surprisingly thin and malleable, which is always a little concerning in regards to long-term integrity, but it seems to have held up in the 15 years since his release.  Gorn’s paintwork is actually some of the nicest that the line had to offer.  The base work is clean, and he’s got some very subtle, very well-applied accenting.  Definitely a very life-like appearance.  The Gorn was packed with the typical Gorn accessories, a spike and a translator, as well as the typical AA Trek accessory, a weird plastic coin.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The Gorn is a figure I’ve wanted for quite some time.  In general, AA’s Classic Trek line was never easy to find at retail, and this set in particular was a fan-favorite.  I’d only seen this Gorn in person a few times, and he was always rather pricey.  I finally found him at Factory Antiques (the largest antique mall in the country!…or at least that’s what all the signs say), loose, and for a price I was willing to pay.  He’s a very nice figure, and perhaps the finest Gorn figure ever released.  Personally, I think he’s the best figure to come out of the AA Trek run, but I may be slightly biased.  Whatever the case, I’m just really happy to finally have him in my collection.

#1612: Cardassian Borg

CARDASSIAN BORG

BORG: ASSIMILATION (ART ASYLUM)

Okay, we looked at the Borg of the species I like, and we looked at the Borg of the species I don’t know but that looks cool.  Now, we look at this Borg.  It’s not a Borg of a species I like.  It’s actually the opposite of that.  It’s the Borg of a species I actively dislike.  And it’s not even cool like the last one.  It’s…it’s just the third one, and I have this unhealthy need to finish things.  So, without further ado, here’s the Cardassian Borg.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Cardassian Borg, designated 3 of 3, is the final figure in the Borg: Assimilation line from Art Asylum*.  The Cardassian is the shortest of the three Borg figures, at a little under 8 inches tall.  He’s got 17 points of articulation, which includes moving arms on his left arm attachment, which is pretty cool, actually.  That’s probably the last time I’m using “pretty cool” in this here review.  Because this is a Cardassian, perhaps one of the most boring races in all of Star Trek.  This figure has an all-new sculpt, which is, from a technical standpoint, pretty solid.  The Cardassian Borg is probably the least borg-ified of the bunch, lacking the shoulder pads and more obvious technical implants, and also having his neck and one of his hands exposed, which keeps him looking more like a standard Cardassian.  Even the armor’s detailing follows the usual Cardassians design more closely than the others in this assortment.  Even the facial expression lacks that dead-ness that the other two figures have.  He’s got the same sort of a sneering expression that seemed to be a genetic trait of those wacky Cardassians.  The paint on this guy is pretty much on par with the other two, which is to say it’s honestly pretty good.  Hey, look at that.  I almost said “pretty cool” again.  Well, what do you know.  Like the other two figures in this assortment, the Cardassian Borg’s only accessory is that weird coin thing.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I really only got this guy to complete the set.  I’m guessing you probably could have gathered that from the review.  Honestly, just as a figure, this one’s the weakest of the three, but he’s not atrocious. It’s more that I just don’t really like Deep Space 9, and I sort of associate the Cardassians entirely with that show.  He could be worse, I suppose.

*There were actually four Borg figures originally designed for this assortment.  The fourth would have been a Ferengi, but for a number of reasons, the assortment was cut back to three figures.  The Ferengi would have likely been in a second series, had there been one.

#1611: Hirogen Borg

HIROGEN BORG

BORG: ASSIMILATION (ART ASYLUM)

Okay, so this post isn’t brought to you by Super Awesome Girlfriend like yesterday’s.  I mean, it’s still inspired by her, since it follows a theme she set forth, but…yeah…

Today, we’re looking at a combo of two of the badassiest threats in Sci Fi!  Yeah, it’s not only a Borg, it’s also a Predator—what’s that?  Oh, it seems I’m getting reports that this is not, in fact, a Predator.  Apparently, it’s a Hirogen.  What’s a Hirogen?  Well, according to Memory Alpha, they’re “a nomadic species of hunters.”  Are we sure they aren’t just Predators?  Because they sound like Predators.  Ah, what do I know?  Let’s just look at the figure.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Hirogen Borg was officially designated 2 of 3 and was part of Art Asylum’s one-series wonder Borg: Assimilation.  Fun fact: this borg-ified variant of the Hirogen is actually the only Hirogen action figure in existence.  Yes, even in all of Playmates’ insane coverage of the license, they never ever made a single Hirogen.  I think that speaks to the obscurity, right?  Or to the fact that they were on Voyager.  Either way, no prior figures.  The Hirogen is the tallest of the three Borg figures, at 8 1/4 inches tall.  He’s also got 17 points of articulation.  The sculpt is once again all-new, and very, very impressive.  In particular, the texture work on the face is really sharp.  In terms of design, the Hirogen Borg is far more symmetric than the Klingon.  There’s still some definite asymmetry in a few spots, but by and large he’s a lot more balanced than the last figure.  His stance is also straighter, which is another nice change, helping to sell the differences between the two species.  He still keeps the slight stylization present on the Klingon, which is nice for consistency’s sake, and I believe makes for the superior sculpt.  As with the Klingon, the paintwork on the Hirogen is monochromatic, but still very much top-notch.  It’s impressive the kind of range AA was able to pull out of variations on silver and grey, but they certainly did a lot.  He’s a little cleaner looking than the Klingon, which once again seems to fit with the stylistic differences they were pushing with the sculpt as well.  Like his Klingon compatriot, the Hirogen’s only accessory is the weird coin thing, but, once again, he’s hardly hindered by it.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Though I certainly checked out the Klingon figure when he was new, the Hirogen didn’t even cross my radar.  Chalk it up to me knowing nothing about the Hirogen in the slightest.  Upon seeing the full set of three figures in person, the Hirogen actually stood out to me the most of the three, and in hand he’s definitely my favorite of the bunch.  Not bad for a figure of a race I didn’t know a single thing about until a month ago.