#0627: Jarknoid Xo




Hey, have I told you guys about Assemble Borg? I have? Well, do you want to hear more? Whether you do or not, that’s what I’m talking about today. So, you know, just deal, I guess. Yeah, I’ve been sucked down the rabbit hole on this one, and there’s no turning back. Of course, my display was starting to look a little one-sided, with all those heroes and only one villain to fight. Enter Jarknoid Xo!


Xo2Jarknoid Xo was entry 006 in the Assemble Bog line. He’s the first of the Jarknoid trio, and signifies the start of the second “series” of figures. Xo is meant to be the leader of the Jarknoids and is in many ways an evil counterpart to Mr. Assemble. Each Jarknoid had their own descriptor, and Xo’s was “Galactic Sorcerer,” which, I have to admit, is pretty darn metal. It’s more exciting than Mr. Assemble’s “Commando Leader” anyway. The figure stands 6 inches in height and has 42 points of articulation, both of which are standard for the line. Like Zain and Mr. Assemble before him, Xo makes use of the standard Assemble Borg body as a starting point. It’s a good, basic body to build on, and its simplicity really sells the character specific pieces, so it’s definitely a good re-use. Xo gets a unique head and chest plate, just like Zain and Mr. A. Both pieces feature a similar swooping, twin-horned design, which gives Xo a nice bit Xo4of elegance, while also hammering home that this dude’s a bad guy. I like how he’s pretty much exclusively built on v-shapes. V, the evilest of the letters. Also, while his face is devoid of any eyes, his chest piece has this cool central eye motif, which really fits with the whole “Galactic Sorcerer” thing. Xo’s head continues the “helmet” trend of the last two figures, the outer head can be removed, revealing a smaller inner head. Xo’s isn’t too far off from Zain’s, but he’s got a bunch more “eyes” and a whole lot less symmetry to them, which is effectively creepy. Following the trend of the first three figures in the line, the Jarknoids each featured a character specific set of add-on armored pieces. As Mr. A’s evil counterpart, Xo features a set of large, bio-mechanical feet, which can be swapped out for the regular feet. They add a fair bit of height, and help to make Xo that much more imposing. In Xo5addition, Xo also includes four pairs of hands (in fist, open palm, trigger finger, and pointing/splayed configurations), and the weapons compliment that we saw with Zain, but this time in a dark grey. He also comes with the requisite selection of revolver joints and pegs and a box in which to store them.


Okay, it’s another Assemble Borg review. You know the drill: it’s all Tim’s fault. Xo was the other figure I got from the somewhat sizeable eBay lot of AB stuff that Tim and I split. In fact, Xo was my main reason for going in on said lot, as he was a figure I was really interested in getting. Sure, he’s not quite Zain, but he’s definitely an imposing villain guy and a really fun figure in his own right. Of course, not I really want the last Jarknoid, Yeeg. I can’t just leave the set incomplete, can I?


#0621: Mr. Assemble




Boy do I sure enjoy me some Assemble Borg figures. Trouble is, they aren’t the easiest things in the world to come across here in the US. There are a few figures in decent supply, but most of the line is virtually non-existent. So, I kind of have to take the dribs and drabs that I can get. I did manage to recently come across a few of the more difficult to find figures, which was quite exciting. Today, let’s have a look at Mr. Assemble, who is sort of, kind of the lead character of the series.


MrAssemble3Mr. Assemble was entry 001 in the Assemble Borg line. Yep, he’s the very first figure in the whole line. No pressure or anything. The first three figures were the three main heroes of the line, and Mr. Assemble seems to be their leader. Like many of the others from the early “heroes and villains” iteration of the line, Mr. Assemble was given his own descriptor, “Commando Leader.” It’s admittedly not the most exciting descriptor, but hey, it works. The figure is 6 inches tall and features 42 points of articulation, both of which are standard for the line. Mr. Assemble is built on the standard Assemble Borg body. We’ve seen most of this body before with Jarknoid Zain. Technically, Assemble was the originator, but it’s the same body either way. It’s nicely done; it’s simple and sleek, with a nice stylistic flair to it. It’s a great base from which to build a multitude of figures. Assemble features a unique head and chest plate. The head is the MrAssemble4most…anime-influenced(?) of the sculpts I’ve seen from the line. A lot of that comes from the hair (which is also a first) which is spiky and lively. It’s not really up my alley, but it’s certainly well handled. Like Zain, this head is really a helmet, over a smaller underlying head. The head below is slightly different from Zain’s, but once again, I can’t see this being anyone’s default display choice. The chest piece is fairly basic, with only a few details, but it’s nicely designed, and does a nice job conveying the more basic hero-style of Mr. Assemble. Each of the first three figures was given a set of extra pieces to enhance them in some way. The other two had weapons that could be swapped out for one of their arms, but Mr. Assemble gets a set of robotic boots. They’re actually pretty cool, and very well sculpted. They add a nice bit of pop to the figure, and stand out very nicely against the dark blue body of the MrAssemble6figure. Mr. Assemble also includes four sets of hands (fists, open palm, trigger finger, and pointing/splayed), a big gun, a medium sized gun, a small gun, an even smaller gun, a sword, a knife, and a selection of revolver joints and pegs. Unfortunately, my figure was missing most of the weapons, but the one I did get was pretty cool.


Yeah, I totally fell overboard with the whole Assemble Borg thing. I’d like to point out that this is once again Tim’s fault. See, I had all my other Assemble Borg stuff and I thought I’d be good for a while. Then Tim came over with his AB stuff, which was fine. But, he had to go and mention this auction he was watching on eBay, which had a whole bunch of stuff, and wasn’t really clearly labeled. So, I had to look at it. And I noticed this guy and one other I wanted. So, I had to buy it. Tim and I ended up splitting it, which meant we not only got actual figures, but a whole ton of extra pieces as well. So, yay for that. To be honest, Mr. Assemble was probably the one of the first three that I was the least interested in getting. That said, with Assemble Borg, you sorta need to take what you can get, and Mr. Assemble’s actually pretty fun.



#0609: Jarknoid Zain




“What the hell is a Jarknoid?

 –Tim Marron

When Mego imported Microman as Micronauts, they started off with a selection of figures that were more or less the same as their Japanese counterparts. However, as the line moved forward, Mego decided to add a few of their own touches. The Japanese line had relied on the Acroyear as the foes of the heroic Micromen, and Micronauts had started much the same way. Mego decided that the ‘nauts needed a more diverse selection of foes, and created their own set of unique foes, under the heading “Aliens.” These Aliens became some of the more distinctive Micronauts, and are the primary point of separation of the two lines.

Assemble Borg, is no doubt inspired by Microman. In fact, one of Borg’s main designers originally worked on Microman. What’s interesting to me, though, is that Assemble Borg’s main set of villains, the Jarknoids, actually seem to have more in common with Mego’s line than they do the line it was based on. That kind of makes Assemble Borg the closest thing Micronauts has to a successor. And that’s actually pretty cool. So, let’s take a look at one of those freaky Jarknoids, shall we?


Zain2Jarknoid Zain is entry 008 in the Assemble Borg line. Numerically, he was the last of the trio of Jarknoid villains, released as a direct follow-up to the original heroic Assemble Borg figures.  Each of the Jarknoid’s was given their own epithet, and Zain’s was “Astro-Killer,” which is simple, but rather effective in establishing the character, I guess. Like Panzer, Zain predates the line’s changeover to the more modular “Nexus” style, meaning he’s a more traditional style of action figure, but the customizability is still a present feature. The figure is about 6 inches in height and has 42 points of articulation.  Zain is built on what was the standard Assemble Borg body. We’ve seen some of this before, as Panzer made use of the same torso, pelvis, and thighs. The sculpt is definitely on the more basic side, but it offers a nice sleekness, which offers a nice contrast to the more intricate character specific pieces. Speaking of character Zain3specific pieces, holy crap is that head a really impressive piece of work. He’s got a mask that just looks like a giant skeletal hand is just grabbing his face, which is a truly disturbing design. The mask can be removed, revealing a smaller chrome head underneath, which is a fairly neat feature, though I can’t see anyone displaying this in favor of the mask. He’s also got a chrome chest piece, which is really pointy and fit’s with the mask pretty well. In addition to the basic body, each of the Jarknoids included a few character specific parts that could be swapped in place of the normal body parts. Zain gets a cool arm piece, which, depending on how you configure it can either be a big gun arm or a big claw thing. Both are pretty cool, and they have a nice bit of silver detailing to bring out the awesome details. In addition to those parts, the figure includes four sets of hands (fists, open palm, trigger finger, and Zain4pointing/splayed), a sword, an axe, a small gun, a slightly larger small gun, a medium gun, a huge gun, an adaptor to attach the weapons to any revolver connector, an assortment of revolver joints, and a coin worth 10 revolchip points.  I really love the weapons, because they all have some really fantastic spikey detailing that looks pretty awesome. Like the other Assemble Borg figures I’ve looked at, paint is relatively minor on Zain, but I do really love the color of the plastic he’s molded in.

Zain6 Zain7 Zain8


I tried to ease into this whole Assemble Borg thing. I really did. I picked up Panzer because he was relatively inexpensive, and I thought he would hold me over. Then I got Nexus for free. I wanted Zain, but I was trying to hold off. Then Tim (who still remains at fault for all of this) showed me the Yeeg figure he’d bought (Yeeg’s another of the Jarknoids) and I found myself really wanting one of the villains. So, I ended up getting this guy off of eBay. Zain is a really, really cool figure, and he’s definitely my favorite of the Jarknoids. He’s properly imposing and just a lot of fun to mess with. Man I love this line.


#0606: Wilderness Crawler




One of the cool things about Assemble Borg (which is totally my new favorite toyline) is that it goes beyond just offering a basic set of figures. Sure, they’re still there and they’re still important to the overall line, but one of the primary focuses is customization and interchangeablity (is that a real word? Spellcheck says no, but I don’t trust these pesky machines) amongst the figures. There are also a number of vehicle sets, which offer a nice variety of extra parts to help spruce up your basic figures. One such set is the Wilderness Crawler, which I’ll be taking a look at today.


WildCrawler2Wilderness Crawler is set 013 in the Assemble Borg line. The Crawler was part of the “Assault Gear” subset of the line. There were three “vehicles” that each loosely matched up with one of the three “Counter Strike” figures. The Crawler seems to have been designed to accent Ghost Gunner, however, in contrast to the Jackall, these sets are designed to work as standalone pieces in their default setups. The Wilderness Crawler’s descriptor is “All Terrain Assault Tank A.G.A.” What you can probably gather from that (and the WildCrawler5image at the top of this review) is that the Wilderness Crawler’s default setup is that of a tank. In the tank setup, the Crawler is 3 ½ inches long, 2 ½ inches wide, and 2 ¼ inches tall. In this configuration, there is movement at the “neck” and at the turret.  This is essentially what you would expect from a tank, though I will admit to being just a tad disappointed that the treads don’t actually move. The Wilderness Crawler is assembled (heh!) from 18 sculpted parts, in conjunction with an assortment of Revolver joints and connectors. Unlike previous entries from this line, the Wilderness Crawler doesn’t come put together; instead, the pieces are packed disassembled and there is an included instruction sheet showingWildCrawler6 how to configure them into the basic tank setup. Some pieces, such as the main body, the treads, and the head, are clearly sculpted to be specific things, and they convey what they need to pretty well. The “goggle” piece of the head can be removed, which is cool. I do somewhat wish that the main body was made up of a few more parts; it’s just one big chunk as it is, which limits what you can do with it. The rest of the parts are handled in such a wayWildCrawler4 that they can be used for plenty of different applications, allowing the Crawler to have more than a few potential builds. Each piece of the set is sharply detailed, and they all fit together vary nicely from aesthetic standpoint. Color-wise, the Crawler is mostly done in silver and darker metallic greys, but the goggles and “chest piece” both offer a splash of green, which livens the set up quite a bit. In addition to the base pieces used to assemble the tank layout, the Wilderness Crawler also includes a box of Revolver joints, a stand, and a Revolchip worth 10 points.


I continue to maintain that this is Tim’s fault. He ordered himself one of the Jackall sets, prompting me to look into getting one of my own. I ended up finding a seller that had both the Jackall and this set for a fair bit below their usual going rates. I was somewhat intrigued by the “Assault Gear” subset, so I figured I’d give this one a try. The Wilderness Crawler isn’t quite as exciting as the actual figures, and it doesn’t have the direct ties to a particular figure like the Jackall did, so it’s probably the most underwhelming piece I’ve looked at from this line. That said, it’s also the one I paid the least for, which does it some favors, and it’s far from a boring set. Plus, the pieces can easily be configured into a pretty sick robot, which I’m always in support of!


#0602: Jackall & Jaeger




Man, when I find a new line to collect, I sure jump all-in, don’t I? I’m relatively new to this whole Assemble Borg thing, but I really, really enjoy it. And why not? It’s essentially an update to Micronauts and Microman, which are two of my very favorite toylines. Just like those two lines, Assemble Borg‘s focus is on interchangeability. This isn’t just limited to figures, either. While they aren’t the main focus, the Assemble Borg line has more than a few vehicles in its backlog. Today, I’ll be looking at one of those, the Jackall motorcycle.


JackalJaeger2The Jackall (and Jaeger) is entry 022 in the Assemble Borg line. It’s the first vehicle since the line re-launched under the “Nexus” heading at number 020. It comes packaged as a rather basic motorcycle (the “Jackall”) with a bunch of extra pieces that can be distributed however you like. Of course, like just about everything else in the line, there’s no real reason you have to leave it in the default set up. The pieces are all designed to potentially work in just about any configuration, and each piece has several standard relolver joint hook-ups. In the basic cycle set-up, the Jackal is about 6 inches long and about 2 ½ inches tall at its highest point. It’s quite well scaled to the basic Assemble Borg figures, which is good. The individual pieces are all very nicely sculpted, with lots of JackalJaeger3cool and interesting little technical details. While Jackall is packaged as its own item, its real purpose is to augment the basic Nexus figure. Clearly, the bike itself is meant to be used with the figure, but many of the additional pieces included are also meant as additional accessories for Nexus. The “& Jaeger” potion of the set is the clearest example of this, as it refers to an extra faceplate and chest piece that are specifically designed to be used with the Nexus figure, allowing you to build the Jaeger “character.” The pieces offer a nice, streamlined look, which really works very nicely with the motorcycle idea, and itJackalJaeger4 offers a nice set of additional options for the basic Nexus. In addition to the Jaeger pieces, the set includes a pair of handles, a pair of pedals, and a kickstand, all meant to be used with the bike, as well as a sword, a machine gun, a large hand gun, two shotguns, two knives, a pick axe, four holster clips, two double peg adapters, an assortment of other random pieces that I couldn’t begin to classify, and the usual selection of pegs and joints to maximize customizability. That’s a whole lot of stuff. I also like that all of the weapons included are different from what was included with Nexus, as it adds some nice variety to the mix. JackalJaeger6Paint is always a light subject with Assemble Borgs, but it’s worth noting that this set was available in two different color schemes. This is the regular version, but there’s also the Ghost Motor version, which reverses the black and silver bits (it also has some slightly tweaked sculpted parts). I myself prefer the color the way it is here, so I’m pleased that this was the one I went for. Also, there’s a little bit of slop on the faceplate and chest piece, which I hadn’t seen before. It’s nothing too extensive, but it is a little annoying.

JackalJaeger5 JackalJaeger7


So, after Tim dragged me into this line and I realized just how amazingly fun it was to tweak how my Nexus figure was laid out, I kind of figured I should pick up one of the two cycles. I had planned in holding off buying one, just for a little while, but I happened upon a couple of Assemble Borg auctions on eBay for pretty decent prices, and this set was one of them. The cycle itself is a lot of fun, but I’m really excited by all the new Nexus pieces I got. Granted, nothing’s trumped the handle face layout, but I like the extra weapons, and the chest piece is definitely my favorite of the bunch. All in all, this is a fantastically fun set!


#0595: Panzer Puncher




What the heck is a Panzer Puncher? That’s probably a question that you, dear reader, are wondering right now. Well…um…it’s kind of just this thingy. I honestly feel like no explanation is ever going to live up to that name. Is he a Panzer that also punches? Is he a guy who exclusively punches Panzers? Who knows? Not me, that’s for sure, but I’m hardly going to complain. ‘Cause how can you complain about a name like Panzer Puncher? You just can’t. Anyway, he’s another figure from the Assemble Borg line, on which have recently become hooked. Does he live up to the phenomenal Nexus? Let’s find out!


PanzerPuncher2Panzer Puncher was entry 011 in Revoltech’s Assemble Borg line. He was part of the second round of heroic Borgs, under the “Counter Strike” heading. The Counter Strike figures each had a “CONVERTING SYSTEM” gimmick, and Mr. Puncher here is apparently “For Close Combat CONVERTING SYSTEM” according to the box. Panzer Puncher pre-dates the change-over to the more modular style of Assemble Borg introduced with Nexus, so he’s a little bit more of a traditional figure. However, he does still have a fair bit of customizability. In his standard, no-add-on set-up, Panzer Puncher is roughly 6 inches tall and has 42 points of articulation. While Nexus had a rather technical detail-intensive sculpt, Panzer has a much cleaner, sleeker design. Every detail carries a certain quantity of weight to it, which gives Panzer Puncher a rather bold looking design. He definitely feels like a different style of character compared to Nexus, though the two still manage to mesh well together. They’re definitely from the same line. All the PanzerPuncher5Counter Strike figures feature the same set of pieces as a starting point, with tweaks here and there to emphasize their particular theme. Since Panzer Puncher is a thoroughly close-combat style of character, his armored parts are a little bit more bulky and lot more squared-off. The guy’s even got a freaking battering ram on his face, just to send home the message of what exactly his specialty is. Panzer also includes a set of big ol’ shoulder pads, which, through use of some extra Revolver joints, can be attached to his shoulders for additional protection. But, hang on, isn’t this guy’s name Panzer Puncher? Shouldn’t he have some serious fighting-fist capabilities? Fear not, dear reader. The shoulder pads can be moved from the shoulder and attached in place of his normal-sized hands, for proper giant fighting-fists. What’s more, the tops of the shoulder pads can be removed and placed together, to create a big sea mine looking thing, which you can use for just about whatever you want. Also, I don’t think this is true of every version of the figure, PanzerPuncher4but my Panzer came with three tops for his shoulder pads instead of two. More armor for me! In addition to the shoulder pads/fighting fists, Panzer includes a multi-part display stand, an action impact stand (my favorite of the two), a backpack, a selection of Revolver joints (with a cool box to keep them in), and four pairs of hands: fists, gripping, open gesture, and karate chop. For some reason, my figure has two left chopping hands, but I feel certain it’s supposed to be right and left. Bummer, but it’s not like I’ll be using the normal hands anyway. Also, Panzer has a Revolchip worth 10 points. During the line’s run, these could be traded in for various promotional items, but only if you had a Japanese address. No Revolchip points for me! For Nexus, the paint hardly seemed worth mentioning, but I would be remiss to neglect it on Panzer. He doesn’t have the most complicated paint in the world, but he does have some pretty amazing semi-metallic, glossy finish blue on his armored parts, which just looks absolutely amazing in hand. It just pops!

PanzerPuncher3 PanzerPuncher6


It’s still Tim’s fault. See, I didn’t quite share the whole story last time. After Tim showed me the two figures he had ordered and before they arrived, the two of us decided to troll eBay to see what figures were readily available. Tim ended up purchasing yet another two figures, and, after looking through a fair amount of pictures, I decided that Panzer would be my first Assemble Borg. So, I went ahead and bought an amusingly incorrectly named “Panzer Pancher” from a seller on eBay. Of course, then Tim got an extra Nexus and ruined that plan, but hey, what are you gonna do? Panzer definitely exhibits a different side of the line than Nexus, but I certainly didn’t enjoy him a single bit less. He’s an incredibly fun figure, and one of those toys that I keep finding myself picking up and messing with a lot. Of course, now I’m firmly entrenched in this line and there’s no way of going back, but, hey, what’s one more import line to collect?


#0584: Nexus




A lot of the entries on this site are reviews of licensed properties. Quite frankly, a lot of action figures in general are licensed. It’s easier to sell something that people already know, and, as a buyer, it’s far easier to be swayed on a purchase when it’s something you’re familiar with already. However, action figures didn’t begin their life as a licensing thing, they began with GI Joe (which, ironically enough, has become a property that is licensed). As someone who appreciates action figures as action figures first, I get an immense enjoyment out of figures that are something all their own. Things like Micronauts, Weaponeers of Monkaa, or even I Am Elemental, offer a totally different experience than something that’s just licensed, and, when done right, they’re pretty much pure fun. I’ve recently stumbled across another such line, from the toymakers Revoltech, called Assemble Borg. Today, I’ll be looking at my first figure from the line, Nexus.


Nexus3Nexus is entry 020 in the Assemble Borg line. Technically, that makes him the 20th item in the overarching line, but it should be noted that the original Assemble Borg line actually went on hiatus a couple of years ago, and Nexus is in fact the first figure in the re-launched version of the line, which now bears the sub-heading of Nexus. So, if you want to really get technical here, this is actually an Assemble Borg Nexus Nexus. That’s not confusing or anything! Initially, Assemble Borg focused on a set of characters, divided into heroes and villains, who were sold as established figures whose parts could be interchanged. The focus was very much on collecting each specific character, much like a traditional action figure line. For Nexus, things have changed ever so slightly. Instead of many figures, there are two figures. One is Nexus, who is the base figure from which many other figures can be built. The idea here is that, in theory, you can have as many Nexuses as you want, and they can all be different, through use of either the extra pieces FANG Versionpacked in with this figure or with complimentary pieces included in various add-on sets that are available (more on those later). The line is built around the collector’s creativity, which makes each collection completely unique. In his most basic set-up, Nexus stands 6 inches tall and features 42 points of articulation. As a Revoltech figure, Nexus’s body is built out of a large number of pieces, each connected by a Revoltech revolver joint.  Many Revoltech figures will have sculpts that are made to mask these joints, however, the Assemble Borg figures leave them pretty much fully exposed to allow the fullest possible range of motion. That being said, the sculpt still does quite a bit to make the joints “meld” with the overall flow of the sculpt, so the figure doesn’t look flimsy or hastily put together. Each piece of the figure has a nice mixture of textured mechanical sculpting and smoother housing components, which ends up being really cool looking. ToGaliber Version aid in customizability, many portions of the body feature ports that will fit any basic Revoltech, meaning you can pretty much plug anything into anything else. You want Nexus to have hands on his calves? I mean, that’s kind of weird, but you have the ability to do it. If I had one complaint, it would be that there aren’t quite enough of these ports. For instance, there aren’t any on the arms, which can be a little limiting. More ports = more fun! Now, the cool thing about this figure is all the extra parts he comes with. In his basic, out-of-the-box load-out, Nexus has a faceplate, a set of shoulder pads, a center piece for the torso, and a pair of fists. According to the back of the box, this is the “Fang” setup. The faceplate is the most “face-like” of those included, with eyes and such outlined, and he’s got quite a bit of orange going on.  This is probably the slimmest combination of parts and it seems the most “conventional” of the bunch. On the opposite end is the “Galiber” set-up, Edge Versionwhich features a much blockier selection of parts, with lots of squared edges. I liked the look of this one on the box, but the face plate ends up sitting at a weird angle, which I was not a fan of. Also, the bulkier shoulders are cool, but you need revolver joints to hold them in place, so they do sit out just a bit far. On the plus side, these can be used in place of the hands, for a metal fighting fists type of set-up, which is sweet. The final set-up is called “Edge,” and it’s a sharp one. No, literally, it’s sharp. Everything is blades on this one, except for the face, which is simple and smooth. In addition to the three sets of faceplates, chest armor, and shoulder pads, Nexus also includes a pair of gripping hands, a pair of splayed hands, a gun, a sword, two holster pieces, and two double port pieces, as well a wide selection of various Revoltech joints and connectors so that you can configure the figure (say that ten times fast!) however you like.

Nexus4 Nexus2 Nexus9 Nexus8


This is Tim’s fault. No, really, it’s all Tim’s fault, start to finish. He told me he found this cool line of figures (always a bad thing to say to me) and followed up by saying that people were comparing them to Micronauts (an even worse thing to say to me). He then tells me he’s already ordered himself two of the figures and shows the pictures to me. Well, great, now I have to buy myself a few of these. But then, Tim texts me a few days later and tells me that Amazon accidentally sent him two of Nexus, and they’re letting him keep the second. He then asks if I might, possibly, just maybe, be interested in the spare. Seeing as I just reviewed the figure, you can probably guess what my answer was. Now, the prototype shots of Nexus were cool, but I wasn’t super sold on any of the set-ups. Then I got him in hand and discovered the whole “plug anything into anything” bit, and the figure became oh so much better. So, I bulked him way up, gave him fighting fists and a handle face, and now he’s one of coolest figures I own. This line is just way too cool.