#3007: Bo-Katan Kryze with Gauntlet Starfighter

BO-KATAN KRYZE with GAUNTLET STARFIGHTER

STAR WARS: MISSION FLEET (HASBRO)

Remember Mission Fleet?  You know, that all-ages-aimed Star Wars toy line that I’ve been following and actually really enjoy thoroughly every time I get around to reviewing one?  The one that I have, despite this, only reviewed twice on this site?  Yeah, that’s the one.  I keep bringing up the need to go back and get some of the backlog of them reviewed, but I keep, you know, not doing it.  Instead, I keep holding off for a new addition, which is what I’m doing now.  Again.  For the third time.  It happens.  Thus far, the two items I’ve reviewed have both been Mandalorian-themed, and this third review follows that same trend.  So, let’s have a look at Bo-Katan Kryze (who, much like sand, is coarse and gets everywhere) and her Gauntlet Starfighter!

THE TOYS THEMSELVES

Bo-Katan and the Gauntlet Starfighter make up the “Starfighter Siege” set of Star Wars: Mission Fleet, a Stellar Class release (the next size up from the two Expedition Class sets I’ve already looked at) from the tail end of 2021, which hit alongside Moff Gideon’s TIE Fighter and Obi-Wan’s Jedi Starfighter.  Though officially billed Mandalorian on the packaging, this set can work just as well as a Clone Wars release too, giving it a little more range, which is pretty cool, even if it is Bo-Katan.

The core Bo-Katan figure is in her full-armored attire.  The extra detailing on the helmet signifies her as at the very least a post-late Clone Wars version of the character.  The figure stands 2 1/2 inches tall and she has 9 points of articulation.  The articulation scheme here is the same as on the Mando, which is to say that it works generally pretty well given the scale.  Her sculpt is certainly more stylized than larger offerings, with slightly tweaked proportions on the head, hands, and feet.  It’s more cartoony, but not too overly so.  There’s still plenty of small detail work, and it tracks well with her design in both animation and in live action.  Bo-Katan’s paint work actually has quite a bit going on.  All of the important armor details are there, and she’s even got all the proper detailing on the helmet, which does look pretty cool.  Bo-Katan is packed with her jetpack (which is distinct from Mando’s), twin blasters, and her energy shield.

The vehicle portion of this set is far more prominent, given the higher price-point of the set.  Rather than just a speeder bike like the other two sets, there’s a full-fledged Gauntlet Starfighter include here.  It’s the ship she’s most frequently seen using, and it’s a fairly distinctive design, so it’s a strong choice.  The ship measures just shy of 9 inches tall and it’s 8 1/2 inches wide.  It’s just a one-person seater, but it’s still got a decent size to it, and it’s even got the full worked-in movement for the wings, as seen on-screen.  It’s a cool feature of a cool design, so it’s great that they worked it in there properly.  Given the ship’s larger scale, the added ports for compatibility with the rest of the line aren’t quite as obtrusive here as on the smaller vehicles, which is also pretty cool.  The color work on this one is also a bit more involved than the speeder bikes, making it a more vibrant and eye-catching design.  As with other vehicles, this one gets a large missile launcher and missile.  It can be mounted to any of the ports on the ship, and also includes its own articulated tripod piece for stand-alone use.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Cheyenne requested fairly early into Mission Fleet‘s run that I not buy all of them for myself, so I’ve been pretty deliberately holding on most of the line, just to give her a good stock of choices for gift ideas.  So, this was the one she opted to go for this year, which is honestly a pretty good call.  This is one of the cooler ship designs, and one that’s kind of rare in toy form.  It’s a lot of fun, and while Bo-Katan might be a coarse character, she does at least still have a cool design, making for a generally fun toy set-up.

#3006: Kalibak

KALIBAK

SUPER POWERS (KENNER)

“Kalibak, The Cruel Crusher! This massive warrior is incredibly powerful and nearly indestructible. A savage fighter, Kalibak wields the deadly Beta-Club, which can fire nerve beams powerful enough to fell an entire army.  Despite his size and strength, Kalibak is not too intelligent. He can be bested by an opponent like Superman, who combines his strength with a sense of strategy.”

When I last discussed Kenner’s Super Powers line from the ’80s, I was getting pretty deep into the Fourth World component of the line, which hit during its second and third years.  Thus far, I’ve looked at three of Darkseid’s lieutenants, as well as one of his sons.  Today, I look at the figure that combines those two epithets, Kalibak, half brother to Orion, and the brutish son of Darkseid.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Kalibak was released in 1985, as part of Kenner’s second year of Super Powers figures.  As with the rest of the Fourth World figures in the line, this would be his debut action figure, and it would remain his only figure until Mattel got back around to him in 2009 as part of their DC Universe Classics line.  Heck of a gap there, huh?  There was definitely a preferred son of Darkseid in the toy world is all I’m saying.  The figure stands just shy of 5 inches tall (he’s got a bit of a hunch, which would place him at closer to Darkseid’s height were he standing straight up) and he’s got 5 points of articulation.  Kalibak lacks the knee joints sported by most of the line, presumably to give him a slightly more stable stance with the hunch and everything.  He still has a bit of trouble remaining standing even so, due to his hip joints being a little loose from how the action feature works.  Most of the Fourth World characters got rather changed-up designs for the line, still courtesy of Jack Kirby, of course.  Kalibak’s design was new, but he actually had a rather evolving design throughout Kirby’s actual run on New Gods, so this was really just the next step in that evolution.  It’s honestly one of the best of the updated designs, and the one that really has the most lasting influence on the character’s main look going forward.  The sculpt does a pretty nice job of capturing Kalibak’s larger build, and while he’s a little bit goofy looking, that’s on-brand for Kalibak, so it works out better here than it does for, say, Steppenwolf.  Kalibak’s paint work is pretty straight forward.  A lot of the Fourth World designs were heavy on green in the comics, and Kalibak was included in that.  For the Super Powers designs, they leaned a little more into browns and warmer colors, since there was kind of a shortage of those colors in the DC roster.  Kalibak is largely brown and yellow, with a bit of blue.  It’s not a bad look, and the application is generally pretty clean.  Kalibak is packed with his Beta-Club, which is convenient for use with his “Power Action Beta-Club Swing.”  When is legs are squeezed together, the left arm swings in and out, which is actually a pretty cool feature.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Kalibak is the newest addition to my Super Powers collection, in the continuing tradition of my Dad getting me a Super Powers figure at Christmas.  He’s slowly but surely helping me make my way through the figures that remain between me and a complete run of the line.  Kalibak is one of those figures I wasn’t in a rush to get or anything, but I actually like him a lot more than I’d expected now that I actually own him.  And with that, I’m down to just 6 more figures!

#3005: Wolverine, Callisto, Jason Wyngarde, Omega Red, & Cyber

WOLVERINE, CALLISTO, JASON WYNGARDE, OMEGA RED, & CYBER

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

Wow, it’s been, like, weeks, plural even, since I reviewed any Marvel Legends.  That’s crazy.  I mean, technically, I haven’t reviewed any of them since last year.  Can you believe that?  I’m honestly still sort of wrapping my head around it after two months of un-filtered Legends reviews.  Well, there’s still more to be reviewed, so I’d best ease myself back in.  Today’s review fulfills the component of being both a Legends review *and* a post-Christmas review, so it’s the perfect choice!  The last couple of years running, Amazon has gotten a larger boxed Legends-exclusive nearer to the holiday season, and 2021 followed suit, with a five-pack of figures, all (sort of) Wolverine-themed.  And that’s the set I’m looking at today!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Wolverine, Callisto, Jason Wyngarde, Omega Red, and Cyber make up the Amazon-exclusive Wolverine 5-pack of Marvel Legends.  Well, it started out as an Amazon-exclusive, anyway.  It didn’t stay that way for much time at all, though, and is already available through a number of other retailers, including my sponsors over at All Time Toys, if you’re feeling inclined to pick a set up.

WOLVERINE

It’s difficult to do a Wolverine-themed set and not include a Wolverine, so Hasbro opted to do that.  I suppose that’s a reasonable stance for them to take.  We’ve had no shortage of Wolverines in the line, especially recently, so a lot of the major looks have already been covered.  In an effort to be a little bit different, Hasbro’s gone with a look that appears to be at least a little bit inspired by the cover of X-Men #251, which features a beaten Wolverine in his brown costume, sans shirt, cowl, and gloves.  It’s an interesting twist on his usual design, and has a fairly distinctive visual to it, so it’s not a bad choice.  The figure stands just shy of 6 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  He’s built on the same core body they’ve been using since the Juggernaut Series, which is especially fitting in this figure’s case, since it’s meant to be the same costume as that one and all.  He gets two new head sculpts, both of them unmasked.  As of yet, the unmasked Wolverine heads for modern-era Legends have all felt a little bit lacking, so there was definitely a big push to get some ones that worked a bit better to translate that crazy hair into three dimensions.  These two give us both crazy and slightly more neutral expressions, and are easily the best unmasked Wolverines that Hasbro has produced.  I myself really like the calmer expression, but they’re both quite impressive in how they capture that more ’80s style look for Logan.  Otherwise, Wolverine is using re-used parts, and doing pretty well with that.  The paint work on this guy is pretty strong, as making him shirtless gives him all that body hair to contend with.  Fun stuff, right?  It actually works pretty well, and doesn’t look as goofy as painted hair can, so kudos to Hasbro on that.  The heads get some pretty solid work, with the calmer expression actually getting some bruising and cuts.  It stops it from being a totally standard head, which is a slight bummer, but at the same time, it does look really cool.  Hopefully, they’ll just repack this head with a more standard paint app later down the line, for a best of both worlds sort of set-up.  In addition to the two varieties of head mentioned above, this figure is also packed with hands both with and without the claws.  No X-crucifix, but I can see why Hasbro might want to forego packing such a thing in.

CALLISTO

This set is, ostensibly, supposed to be Wolverine-themed, being Logan versus a bunch of his foes.  Two figures in, we’re already kind of loosing that.  Callisto was introduced alongside the rest of the Morlocks, a group of sewer-dwelling mutants, in X-Men #169, as an attempt to have a few more mutants who weren’t quite as physically pristine as a lot of the X-Men were.  While she and the other Morlocks have certainly been involved with Wolverine by virtue of being in the X-Men universe and all, it’s not like there’s any sort of particularly close ties there.  That being said, she’s been without any toy treatment up until this point, so an excuse to finally release her in some form isn’t unwarranted.  The figure stands just over 6 inches tall and she has 27 points of articulation.  For the most part, Callisto is really just an excuse to get another use out of the Mohawk Storm parts.  Everything but the head and hands are shared with that figure.  It’s really not a bad bit of re-use; the two designs are quite similar, and given Storm and Callisto’s history, I suppose it wouldn’t be the weirdest thing in the world for them to share a taste in fashion.  Callisto’s new head sculpt is perhaps a little more conventionally good looking than Callisto was classically portrayed, but it’s in line with her more modern incarnations, and it’s not a bad sculpt.  The detailing on the scarring and the eye patch is pretty decent, and I do like that they’ve gotten at least a little bit of her usual scowl going on there.  Her paint work is generally pretty straight forward.  There’s not a ton of work going into it, since there’s a lot of molded color work, but the work on the head is well-handled, and the application is overall clean and fairly consistent.  I’m not big on how the painted edge of her torn shirt looks, but it was unlikely that they were going to sculpt a new lower torso just for Callisto.  As it stands, it looks alright.  Callisto is packed with two sets of hands, one gripping, the other in fists, as well as two different knives.

JASON WYNGARDE

Remember this being a Wolverine-themed set?  Hasbro doesn’t seem to so much, because the third figure, much like the second, is kind of not fitting that mold.  Appearing during “The Dark Phoenix Saga,” Jason Wyngarde is key to Jean’s descent into madness and her eventual dark turn.  Late in the story, he is revealed to be former Brotherhood of Evil Mutants member Mastermind in disguise, leaving the Wyngarde identity largely discarded, though it does get dusted off from time to time.  Wyngarde has little to no actual interaction with Wolverine, since it’s Jean he’s attempting to seduce and Cyclops he’s in more direct conflict with.  Perhaps he’s here because he and Wolverine both sparred with Cyclops for Jean’s affections?  Or perhaps because they both share a love of unique facial hair?  I don’t know, and I won’t complain, because I really like the Wyngarde persona, so I’m down for whatever needs to be done to get it in figure form.  Well, within reason.  Like, you know, this.  This is actually about as far as I’d go, really.  So, it worked out, all things considered.  No real moral compromises or anything.  You know what?  I’m proud of us.  We knew where to draw the line.  Great.  Back in the land of actually reviewing this figure on this here toy review site, the figure stands about 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Wyngarde is largely using parts from the two male members of the Hellfire Club set released last year.  Since he’s of similar build and also wore the same basic attire as Shaw and Pierce, it’s a sensible and in fact an expected choice.  This is the first time I’ve gotten to mess with the body, but it’s a pretty decent piece of work, and matches up well with how the characters are depicted in the comics.  Wyngarde’s head sculpt does a good job of capturing Byrne’s design for the character, while also translating that into the more standard Legends styling.  He’s suitably smarmy, while also still looking suave enough to understand part of how Jean might be swayed by him.  Wyngarde’s color palette is an interesting choice, since he’s patterned not on this “Dark Phoenix” appearance, but rather on his more recent All New All Different X-Men appearance.  It’s a minor change, and it’s not a bad color scheme, it’s just odd that they went for something other than literally the one appearance everyone knows him from.  Wyngarde is packed with an alternate Mastermind head.  It’s an impressive piece, though one that’s a little out of place without a body to match.  I’m sure it should be easy enough to rig something up, though.

OMEGA RED

Okay, now we’re actually getting to something properly Wolverine-related.  How about that?  Omega Red has had the Legends treatment rather recently, and is mostly just here in this set because that particular release has gotten rather pricey on the aftermarket these days.  This figure, like that one, stands about 7 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Omega Red is using the same parts selection as his Sauron Series release.  That was quite a nice figure, and by extension so is his one.  The molds have held up pretty well, and they still suit the character quite nicely.  I really do like those butterfly joints a lot.  The color work marks a notable change-up.  The colors are even brighter than they were the last time, with more brilliant whites and reds, as well as a few changed out colors on certain parts of the costume.  Overall, I like the new color scheme more than the old, though I will admit that I miss the cool omega symbols on the backs of the hands.  Otherwise, he’s got more of a ’90s animation feel than the last release, and I really dig that.  Like the last release, this one gets the two sets of tendrils, and also adds in a second head sculpt, with a screaming expression, which gives him some more posing options.

CYBER

Certainly the most obscure of the figures included here, Cyber is also the one that’s really the most sensible, as he’s actually only got the ties to Wolverine, and not the rest of the X-Men, so he’d be kind of out of place in a main assortment.  The figure stands just shy of 8 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  Cyber makes use of the Colossus body, which is honestly a kind of criminally under-used base body.  He makes use of a combination of parts from both Colossuses, as well as Death’s Head, in order to have the most basic selection of parts possible.  He also gets a new head, as well as forearms and hands in order to complete his look.  It’s a very basic look, but that’s true to the character, so I guess Hasbro got it right there.  He’s big and imposing, which is pretty cool.  Cyber’s paint work is actually surprisingly involved, given how basic the design is.  There’s some accenting going on for the blue sections, which helps them to look a lot better than they would if they were just flat blue plastic.  I can dig it.  There are no accessories included for Cyber, though I’m not entirely sure what exactly you could give him.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I got this whole set as a Christmas gift from my parents this year.  It’s one of those sets that’s kind of a hard sell, if I’m honest.  It’s not that any of the figures are bad, but really that they don’t seem to make for much of a cohesive package.  I myself really just view this as a very expensive way to finally own a Jason Wyngarde figure.  A very nice Jason Wyngarde, mind you, and one I’m very happy to have.  The others are all nice figures on their own, but ones I might have just as well skipped if I’d been given the option.  They’ll all suit my collection well when divied up to go into various different sections, though, so I can’t really complain too much.

#3004: Grice Anna – 19th Legion United

GRICE ANNA — 19th LEGION UNITED

BATTLE FOR THE STARS (JOYTOY)

Hey, remember when I was talking about Joytoy?  It was, like, three days ago?  Man, wasn’t that cool, and new, and different?  I sure thought so.  How about we give that another go, perhaps?  While the main focus of their output is the cool Mechas, Joytoy actually puts quite a lot of effort into the scale figures that go with said Mechas.  Enough effort that they don’t just want to leave them only available within the larger sets, so they also sell them in a few other ways, including just flat out selling them on their own.  So, today, I’m looking at one of those figures on its own.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Grice Anna is from Joytoy’s Battle For The Stars line, which, in contrast to the last item I looked at, is actually one of their 1/18 scale lines, meaning the humans are roughly at that 3 3/4 inch mark.  The figure follows suit, standing just shy of 4 inches tall and sporting 32 points of articulation, at least on the base body.  The design also features an exoskeleton sort of brace kind of set-up, which also features some articulation, though mostly its really just in a fashion that allows the underlying figure to still be posed without any trouble.  The articulation on the core figure is a lot like a 30th Anniversary/POC Joe, but even further improved, to the point where there’s even toe articulation, which, at this scale?  Well, that’s pretty impressive.  The joints are also quite well-toleranced, so she’ll be able to hold poses without much trouble, which is always a concern at this scale.  Anna’s design is sort of a merging of modern tactical gear with a little bit of military sci-fi, in keeping with the other stuff Joytoy’s been doing.  The core figure is much more on the realistic modern tactical side, and you could honestly fit her in pretty well with Joes and the like in this state.  She’s got a long sleeve shirt and some combat pants, as well as armoring on the torso, knees, and shins (the shin armor is a separate piece, so you could remove those too if you wanted).  The full armor is comprised of a pair of shoulder pads, an alternate helmeted head, and an exoskeleton that hooks over the wrists and legs, and runs pretty much the whole body.  She’s also got a cool neckerchief, you know, for a little bit of tasteful accessorizing.  Everything slides into place pretty well, although you will need to do a little bit of disassembly of the main body to get everything on there.  My only complaint is that the helmet isn’t actually attached to the alternate head in any way, so it falls off a lot.  Feels to me like it would have made the most sense to just glue it in place, especially since the alternate head foregoes even giving her painted eyes or anything, which winds up looking pretty creepy.  Her paint work is generally pretty nice.  The base work is clean, and she also gets a darker wash on the armored parts, as well as the pants, which helps to not only emphasize the sculpted details, but also to give her a slightly more worn-in appearance, which fits the setting they’re going for.  Anna is packed with two sets of hands with differing grips, as well as an assault rifle and a pistol.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve been keeping Tim in the loop on my delve into Joytoy, since he is also big on the cool robots front.  This turned out to be a point in my favor, as his sister-in-law Becca was looking to get me something cool for Christmas this year, and he was able to point me in the direction of this particular figure.  I wasn’t intending to jump down the rabbit hole of the individual figures quite this quickly, but this one’s admittedly really cool.  Sure, she’s not the same scale as the one Mecha I have, but I guess I’ll just have to get a Mecha that scales with her.  Oh darn.

#3003: The Batman Who Laughs – Sky Tyrant Wings

THE BATMAN WHO LAUGHS — SKY TYRANT WINGS

DC MULTIVERSE (MCFARLANE)

“Born from the nightmares of the Dark Multiverse, The Batman Who Laughs is a hybrid version of the Batman and The Joker from Earth -22. This twisted version of Batman was created when nanotoxins from The Joker’s heart were released into Bruce Wayne’s bloodstream, causing the Dark Knight’s perfect mind to merge with the warped psyche of the Clown Prince of Crime. He soon became part of an attempt to plunge the entire Multiverse into ultraviolence, chaos, and utter darkness. After being initially defeated, The Batman Who Laughs managed to survive and remains a threat to the greatest heroes of the Multiverse.”

For Day 3 of the post-Christmas, we’re going back to more of my usual territory, specifically the realm of super hero comics.  Even more specifically, DC Comics.  They’re pretty busy doing nothing but Batman these days, and, well, umm, here’s some more of that, I suppose.  The last few years, DC’s bread and butter (and, by extension, their main licensee McFarlane’s bread and butter) has been Dark Knights Metal, a multiversal story where everyone is Batman.  Except for Batman.  Sometimes Batman is Joker.  And here we are with that.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Batman Who Laughs with Sky Tyrant Wings is the second version of the Batman Who Laughs to be released in McFarlane’s DC Multiverse line, as part of the Merciless Collect-To-Build assortment, which was released at the tail end of 2020, at least in some quantities, and made it out more fully last year.  The figure stands 7 inches tall and he has 40 points of articulation, thanks to the extra joints present in the wings.  In terms of articulation scheme, he generally follows the usual McFarlane set-up, for better or for worse.  The notable change-up is to the hips, which don’t have the same full range of mobility that we usually see, being far more restricted to just forward and back.  Given the long jacket, it’s not a huge surprise or hinderance, but it’s still noteworthy.  This Batman Who Laughs is based on the character’s later appearance after he steals the wings from the Sky Tyrant, the Dark Knights Metal version of Hawkman.  To give McFarlane some credit, as far as I can tell, there are no shared parts between the two versions of BWL they released.  There are certainly similarities, but this sculpt just generally improves upon the shared elements between the two, making for a generally more well put-together offering, at least to my eyes.  The crazier, more exaggerated facial expression works a lot better for the character, especially in toy-form, and the texture work on the outfit is pretty solid.  McFarlane certainly does torn-up and gritty well.  I also feel that the more posed hands work a lot better for the character than the more generic gripping hands of the prior release.  The most obvious change here, of course, are the wings.  They actually work quite nicely, as they’re well-articulated, well-detailed, and not terribly balanced considering.  It would be nice to see such work on a proper Hawkman, but this is McFarlane, so a Batman variant is really the best we can hope for, I suppose.  The paint work on this figure is generally pretty good.  It’s largely rather basic work, but I think that’s for the best, especially after the weirdness surrounding the accent work on the last figure’s mouth.  It just looked odd, so going a little more straight forward here is probably the right call.  The Batman Who Laughs includes a display stand and a collector’s card for the figure proper, as well as the head, shoulder pads, and sword of the Merciless Build-A-Figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Dark Knights Metal really isn’t my sort of thing.  It’s honestly a lot of the stuff I don’t like about DC’s current obsession with Batman and the need to constantly place him above all of the other heroes rolled into one big event.  The Batman Who Laughs himself is a concept that I don’t think is terrible, but like the whole cross-over, I kind of feel like he got played out a lot quicker than he went away, and he just sort of keeps resurfacing.  So, I wasn’t seeking this figure out on my own.  That said, I received this one from Jess’s parents for Christmas, and I can certainly appreciate the thought, the gesture, and ultimately the figure proper.  The story that spawned him may not be my main thing, but the figure did turn out pretty nicely, so I can’t really knock it.

#3002: Ultraseven

ULTRASEVEN

ULTRAMAN (MEGO)

Welcome to Day 2 of the Post-Christmas reviews.  Last year, I finally got back into the swing of some Ultraman reviewing after a bit of a gap, thanks to the help of an Ultraseven figure I got as a Christmas gift.  This year, I guess I’m just gonna do the same thing.  Fitting.  Of course, I’m kind of looking at opposite sides of the product spectrum here, with last year’s Ultraseven being a high-end figure from Bandai, and this one being, well, a Mego, which isn’t exactly high-end.  No less in my realm of interest, of course!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Ultraseven is part of Mego’s Sci-Fi line, released as one of their mixed assortments of figures.  He’s the second figure under the Ultraman branding, following up on the standard Ultraman from earlier in the line.  Like the rest of the line, the distribution model is via a mix of specialty stores and select Target locations.  The figure stands just over 8 inches tall and he has 16 points of articulation.  Ultraseven is built on the upgraded Type 2 male body.  It’s the standard, and it’s got a nice medium, average build, which suits most characters, Ultraseven included.  Ultraseven gets a new head and hands to complete his look.  They’re pretty solid pieces; certainly a bit on the goofy side, but then classic Ultraseven frequently falls into that category anyway.  The paint work is confined to the head, and it’s pretty basic, but also does what it needs to well.  Application is all pretty clean, and the important details are all there.  Ultraseven’s outfit includes a bodysuit and a pair of short boots.  They do a respectable job of capturing the look of the character from the show, while still fitting the main Mego aesthetic.  I do really like how the printed silver looks on the suit.  Ultraseven includes no accessories, although that’s not a huge shift for the line, especially given their price point.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I missed out on the basic Ultraman, so I hadn’t really put much of an effort into getting this one.  Not that I didn’t want him, of course, but I just wasn’t really expecting to find him either.  Fortunately, I didn’t have to worry about that, since Max had my back on this one, and picked this guy up for me as a Christmas gift.  I guess it continues the tradition of getting Ultrasevens from the people I care about for Christmas.  It’s really not a bad tradition, all things considered.  And this is really a fun figure, too.  So, I call it a general win.

#3001: Steel Bone HO2 Firepower Mecha

STEEL BONE HO2 FIREPOWER MECHA — GRAY-GREEN

DARK SOURCE (JOYTOY)

It’s a new year, and this intro serves to cover a few bases, really.  First and foremost, faithful readers will no doubt notice that there were two days between this review and #3000.  After writing a review every day of every week for over eight years, I’ve finally arrived at the conclusion that it’s maybe a little much for me.  So, I’ll be stepping back.  Not a ton, mind you, but I’ll at least be taking weekends for the foreseeable future.  But, hey, that’s still five days a week for you guys to read my crazy ramblings, right?  With that out of the way, let’s jump into the first day of my post-Christmas reviews!

More often than not, I tend to stick to more domestic offerings, as well as generally lower-price point options.  Every so often, I do like to branch out just a little bit and try something new.  This year, that’s apparently Joytoy, a company that I was honestly not really familiar with prior to 2021, but who I’ve become rather fascinated with in the last few months.  Hey, I like a cool mecha, and they certainly have a lot of those.  So, I’m looking at my first Joytoy item today, with the Steel Bone HO2 Firepower Mecha!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Steel Bone HO2 Firepower Mecha [Gray-green] is part of Joytoy’s Dark Source toyline.  Their various different lines correlate to different themes/storylines, which are really just excuses to more cool robot designs, really.  It also corresponds to a few different scales.  Dark Source is a 1/25 scale line, centered on figures that are about 2 3/4 inches for a standard sized human.  The mechs are, of course, much larger than a standard sized human.  In the case of this one, it stands just shy of 8 3/4 inches tall.  An exact articulation count is a bit tricky on this one, due to how many moving components there are, and how many pieces have to flex out of the way in order to do any real posing.  The limbs can be a bit restricted, especially at the shoulders and hips, but there’s a lot that can be done, especially given how bulky the design is overall.  I especially dig all of the movement in the hands, as the fingers not only get movement at each of the knuckles but there’s also side-to-side movement on the fingers, which adds a lot of extra gripping options, which is pretty cool.  In terms of structure, the Steel Bone design is pretty squared off and rather on the utilitarian design.  It’s certainly meant to be military in nature.  The actual construction of the mech is actually made out of quite a lot of potentially modular pieces.  It comes out of the box in effectively the load out seen in the photos, but there are lots of other possible builds, if you so choose.  It can be a little tricky swapping parts in and out, and finding just the right balance and layout, but it does add a lot more fun to the figure.  In the effort to aid in that modular nature, the mech gets a few deliberately swappable pieces, namely the chest plate and thigh covers, which have an option for slightly more rounded parts.  I myself prefer the alternate parts, so I appreciate them being there.  The mech’s armaments also tie into the modular nature.  Worked into the mech proper are two shoulder mounted mini guns.  They attach with a handful of the modular parts included, but also can be worked in a few different ways, again with the whole modular thing in mind.  Separate from the mech proper, there’s a big hammer.  What’s fun about the hammer is that it’s almost no unique parts; everything is a basic modular piece, or shared with the Mecha’s own construction.  So, again with the modular.  That’s commitment to the concept.

The Steel Bone includes its own pilot, designed to work with it’s built-in cockpit.  He’s about 2 3/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  He’s utilitarian and military-inspired in a fashion similar to Mecha, which is sensible.  He works in a lot of rather classic sci-fi psuedo-military type stuff, which makes him suitably generic, but also serves as a nice call back to other designs.  I quite dig the removable helmet, and how well it sits, especially given the scale and how little it impacts the underlying head’s design.  The pilot gets a fun selection of extras himself.  There’s an alternate left hand, two rifles, a pistol, and a medical kit.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve been just starting to dip my toes into the waters of Joytoy, and it’s pretty much exclusively the fault of Jason from All Time Toys.  He’s recently decided to give them a try at the store, and we’ve all pretty much been looking for that entry point.  This one’s boxy, green, and he’s got a hammer and miniguns.  He checks off a lot of my boxes.  So, it certainly made things even easier when Jason gave me this guy as my Christmas gift this year.  It’s pretty darn great, really, and a great introduction to Joytoy.  I could foresee this getting a little bit dangerous…

#2640: The Mandalorian w/ Speeder Bike

THE MANDALORIAN w/ SPEEDER BIKE

STAR WARS: MISSION FLEET (HASRBO)

Alright, are you guys ready to get cyclical?  I sure hope so, because we’re going to be rounding up this year’s post-Christmas reviews by circling back to where we kicked them off, namely Star Wars, or more specifically, The Mandalorian.  Before the dumpster fire that was last year had really kicked into high gear, Hasbro was looking to experiment a little bit with their Star Wars output.  Obviously, The Black Series and The Vintage Collection have the collector’s side covered, but that leaves a bit of a lack of stuff for a younger audience, or indeed someone who just likes a good, fun toy.  Their first attempt at slight more all ages fare was Galaxy of Adventures, which I covered as they were released in 2019, and which was *supposed* to have more product added in 2020 but…didn’t.  The other line, shown off at Toy Fair last year, was Mission Fleet, a stylized line with a heavier focus on vehicles.  The line started showing up at retail last fall, and it’s been a fun little experiment.  Today, I’m taking a look at its first set based on The Mandalorian.

THE TOYS THEMSELVES

The Mandalorian with Speeder Bike is part of the launch wave of Mission Fleet product, in a set officially dubbed “Battle For The Bounty.”  They have a few different sizes and price points for the sets, and this one is part of the Expedition Class set up, which covers more proper vehicles of the smaller persuasion.

The core figure gives us Mando in his full Beskar armament, and was in fact the first toy from Hasbro to do so, having beaten both the Black Series and Vintage Collection versions to market by a little bit.  The figure stands about 2 1/2 inches tall and he has 9 points of articulation.  Despite the small stature, he does still get a ball-jointed neck and universal joints on the shoulders, so he’s got an alright range of motion.  His sculpt is a pretty respectable little offering.  He’s definitely rather stylized, with a slightly enlarged head, hands, and feet.  He’s not quite as far removed as, say, a PlaySkool offering, but definitely not a hyper realistic recreation of the live action stuff by any stretch.  I think it works pretty well for him, and gets all of the important details for the character, while making him perhaps a touch more kid-friendly.  His paint work is pretty on the basic side, but all of the important details are again present.  Application is clean, and he matches the show depiction pretty well.  Mando is packed with both his cape and jetpack, though, like the Black Series figure, you have to choose one or the other.  He also includes both his rifle and pistol.  The only downside to the two weapons is a lack of storage for them while he’s on the vehicle, an unfortunately recurring issue with the line.

Though not quite as much of a figure proper as the Mando, this set also includes the *other* major player in The Mandalorian, the Child, who was still unnamed at the time of this figure’s release, so he sticks with just being “The Child.”  In an effort to be kind to people who aren’t entirely current on the show, I’ll just stick with that here.  He’s about an inch tall and is articulated only at his neck, which is honestly more articulation than I’d been expecting, really.  He’s definitely way too large to be in proper scale with the Mando or any other normal sized characters from this line, but for proper scaling, he’d be incredibly minuscule, and even more easily lost than he already is.  He’s sculpted holding the control knob from the Razor Crest, and is caricature-ized, much like the Mando.  His paint work’s not quite as clean as Mando’s, but it’s still not too bad.  Again, all of the important details are there.  The Child includes his floating pram from the first few episodes.  Like the Child itself, the pram is quite up-scaled compared to the rest of the line, but it’s a cool piece.  I do wish it was a little easier to get him sitting up in it, though.

The main vehicle component for this set is the speeder bike the Mando uses while on Tatooine in the episodes “The Gunslinger” and “The Marshall.”  It’s a pretty basic speeder bike layout, and it’s certainly a more economical vehicle choice for the character than going the Razor Crest route, so I can dig it.  It’s about 6 inches long, so its scale relative to the Mando is pretty decent.  The detail work is more on the basic side, focusing on the more broad stroke details to sell it.  It works well with the style they’ve gone for with the figure.  There are some slightly obtrusive ports on the sides, two of which are for the included cannon, and the other two don’t seem to match up to anything.  I’m guessing they’re for something in the future, maybe?  There’s also a spot on the back allowing the pram to be hooked up, making this whole thing one larger piece.  Also included with the vehicle is a rather large missile launcher, with included missile.  Obviously, it’s not based on anything from the actual show, but it’s a cool extra, more toyetic thing to throw in, and you can mount it in a few different spots on the bike.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was pretty interested in Mission Fleet when it was shown off at Toy Fair, and when it hit, I enlisted some help from Cheyenne in tracking down a few of the sets.  She obliged on a handful of them, and requested that I maybe, possibly, not buy any for myself, so that she’d have an easier time getting me gifts and the like.  So, I held off, and then I honestly forgot, truth be told, until she presented me with this bad boy just a few days after Christmas.  This is a fun line, and one that I honestly put off actually reviewing for far longer than I should have.  This set in particular is a nice little contained package of all the major Mandalorian elements, but the whole line is just great.  Maybe I should review those other ones I’ve got sitting around at some point, huh?

#2639: Cyborg

CYBORG

DC MULTIVERSE (MCFARLANE)

“Half robot, Vic Stone is a high-tech genius and valued member of Robin’s Teen Titans team. Cyborg not only designs and engineers T-vehicles and excels at video games, he’s also a great cook–specializing in spaghetti and burgers!”

At the beginning of the entire decade of time that made up the year 2020, the DC Comics license passed from Mattel into the hands of both Spin Master and McFarlane Toys.  Spin Master’s been sticking more to the “toys” side of things, and have generally wound up resonating far more with me, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t attempted to give McFarlane’s more “collector” oriented line its fair shot as well.  One of the problems I’ve been having with the McFarlane stuff is how Batman-centric its been, so I’ve been trying to keep my eye out for cool not-Batman stuff.  The most recent assortment of figures has a little bit of that, including today’s focus figure, Cyborg!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Cyborg is part of McFarlane’s DC Multiverse line.  As far as wave/series/assortment, I’d honestly be hard-pressed to tell you, because there hasn’t really been any clear delineation, and releases have been hitting all over the place.  He’s not from Series 1, and that’s the best I can hone in on.  So far, the DC Multiverse stuff has all been drawn from specific source material, and in the case of Cyborg, he’s based on the 2003 Teen Titans cartoon.  He’s the first figure based on the show, and so far the only one to be solicited.  The figure stands 7 inches tall and he has 31 points of articulation.  With the McFarlane stuff, there’s been a bit of an issue on the articulation front; there are plenty of points of movement, but range isn’t always the best.  Cyborg improves a bit over the prior Multiverse figures I’ve had, but I did find the arms to still be rather restricted, especially at the elbows.  Also, while the shoulders have decent range, they’re a little bit on the loose side for my figure.  They can hold poses fine right now, but I’m a bit concerned about the long-term integrity of the joints.  Cyborg’s sculpt is an all-new affair, and compared to the animated sculpts of the first assortment, it’s actually a marked improvement.  I don’t know if it’s just the change in style between the shows, but they’ve managed to get a much closer recreation of Cyborg’s cartoon design than any of the other three animated figures.  It’s still not really in scale with anything (though he does look okay with some of the larger Bandai figures), as has been a recurring issue with the McFarlane stuff, but internally, it’s at least got solid proportions and does an okay job replicating the design.  I quite like the way they’ve handled the blue sections of the cybernetics, being white plastic with the detailing sculpted in, and then a clear blue plastic shell over top.  It works very well, and solves a problem that other animated Cyborgs have never quite gotten down.  In terms of paint, he’s pretty basic.  There are a few errant marks on the white sections, but for the most part it look okay.  It’s appropriately bright, and refrains from McFarlane’s tendency to go a little murkier, so it’s not bad.  Cyborg is packed with an extra hand in sonic cannon configuration, plus one of the small black disc stands, and a card.  The cannon piece is definitely the coolest part, and swaps out for the hand without much trouble.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve not really been picking up any of the McFarlane figures, because I really just wasn’t that impressed by the three I had already gotten.  I did like the look of this guy when his prototype was shown off, but was planning to refrain from getting him largely because I honestly don’t trust Todd and company to actually get the whole team line-up out.  At most I’m expecting to get a Robin and *maybe* a Beast Boy, but I can’t see anything beyond that, which does make the prospect of this figure weird to say the least.  I wound up getting this one from Cheyenne and her parents, and it’s honestly a pretty strong figure, and one I’m pretty glad I ultimately got.  Hopefully, I’m proved wrong on the team line-up, but for now, he does look pretty nice with my Bandai Speedy figure.

#2638: Bistan & Shoretrooper Captain

BISTAN & SHORETROOPER CAPTAIN

STAR WARS: ROGUE ONE (HASBRO)

“Relishing the thrill of action, Bistan fights to ensure the freedom of fellow Iakaru, taking on enemies like Imperial stormtroopers. Specialist stormtroopers stationed at the top secret Imperial military headquarters on Scarif, Shoretroopers patrol the beaches and bunkers of the planetary facility.”

Alright, let’s get ready to jump back in time!  I mean, not a lot, to be honest.  And in fact, it’s not even as much as I frequently jump back, given that over the weekend I jumped back 15 and 35 years respectively.  This time, it’s just a little three year jump, back to the day’s of Rogue One, before Star Wars officially ended for the, what was it, fourth time?  Man, that thing keeps meeting its end, huh?  I actually looked at a fairly large portion of the Rogue One line while it was coming out, but there were a few pieces that I missed.  One in particular was today’s offering, covering one of the Rebel aliens and another variant of one of my favorite Trooper variants, the Shoretroopers.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Bistan and the Shoretrooper Captain were originally slated for release in the third wave of Battle Packs for the Rogue One line, which was to hit retail in early 2017.  Unfortunately, retail support for the line fell-out on the back end, and this pack wound up without a home for its release.  Fortunately, Entertainment Earth picked it up as an exclusive at the end of 2017, alongside the similarly orphaned Fenn Rau.

BISTAN

Bistan is one of the more minor Rebels from Rogue One, only showing up during the run on Scarif at the climax of the film, and not even getting a name or any on-screen dialogue.  He’s most memorable as being seen hanging out of one the U-Wings that arrives with the reinforcements, manning a rather large gun.  He was one of the aliens shown off somewhat prominently in the marketing despite his smaller role, so his inclusion as a toy made a lot of sense.  The figure stands 3 1/2 inches tall and he has 5 points of articulation.  Obviously, we’re going back into the basic line here, so the articulation’s pretty limited by design, but this guy actually does manage to be impressive within that context.  The neck joint has a really nice range on it, and makes for some expressive posing, to some degree at least.  The detailing on the sculpt is pretty top-notch.  There’s a lot going on here, and he replicates the design of the creature from the movie quite nicely, as well as having some impressive detailing on his jumpsuit and gear.  The paint work on Bistan is on the drab side, fitting with the rest of the movie’s cast, really, but the application’s all pretty clean, and he again looks the part of the character from the film.  Bistan is packed with a big ol’ missile launcher thing to mount on his shoulder, with two missiles to shoot as well, and a smaller, more film accurate blaster.  I don’t know that I really missed those launchers, but I had certainly forgotten how prominent they were.

SHORETROOPER CAPTAIN

The Shoretroopers or Scarif Troopers, or whatever the official branding is going with today, were one of my very favorite parts of Rogue One.  The film sports three notable rankings of them, and we got both the standard trooper and the squad commander in both the basic line and Black Series, but the Captain, the rank above those two, got substantially less toy love.  This one here marked its only domestic release.  It’s extra sad for me, because it was honestly my favorite of the three variants.  This figure is a little over 3 3/4 inches tall and has 5 points of articulation.  Structurally, he’s the exact same figure as the basic Shoretrooper, which is sensible, since the two are wearing the same armor.  It was also just a pretty solid sculpt, so a re-use is really an alright thing by me.  The big change-up occurs with the paint, as the Captains have a slightly more involved color scheme than the rank and file guys.  There’s a whole lot more blue on this guy, with far more detailing on the chest and left arm.  It’s a good, eye-catching look, and one that translates well.  Additionally, the application on this figure seems a little sharper than other Rogue One troopers, which I certainly was happy to see.  The Captain is packed with the same E-22 heavy blaster rifle as the other two Shoretroopers.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was pretty closely following the Rogue One line when it was hitting stores, and I was definitely excited for this set, but after it got shelved and then moved, I honestly just lost track of it.  It’s one of those items I kept meaning to track down for myself, but I just never got around to it.  Fortunately for me, I didn’t have to!  This pair was another gift from Cheyenne and her parents, who decided to be far too kind to me this year and give me a nice little handful of gifts.  I’ve wanted this set for a while, and maybe it’s not the most showy or technically impressive pairing, but they’re certainly fun, and I’m just glad to finally have them.