#2168: Red Stripe Cylon



After siding with the Cylon Rebels and joining the Colonial Fleet, these newly-liberated and independent Cylon Centurions were a crucial weapon against Cavil’s retro-era forces.  Their distinct markings earned them the nickname ‘Red Stripes.'”

Battlestar Galactica…now that’s a name I haven’t heard in quite some time…or written about, at least.  While I was pretty into the rebooted BSG when it was airing (or at the very least for the back half of its airing), I’ve written a grand total of six BSG-related reviews for this site, the last of which was almost two years ago.  My first two BSG reviews, way back in my first month running this here site, dealt with Diamond Select Toys’ line of 7-inch figures based on the property.  While two of the three figures I reviewed were Cylons, there were no proper Cyclon Centurions to be had.  I intend to fix that today.


The Red Stripe Cylon was released as a Toys R Us-exclusive figure in 2009.  As his bio touches on, this particular Centurion hails from the series finale “Daybreak,” where the “heroic” Cyclon rebels bring with them what remain of the liberated modern-style Centurions.  In order to avoid any potential confusion from Colonial forces in the heat of battle, these guys get marked with their distinct red stripes.  Which really begs the question of just where did the Colonial fleet found so much red paint?  And who took the time to paint the stripes on these guys?  Did they use their new-found independence to paint themselves, thereby showing a capacity to learn and be creative, and by extension making the whole fleet flying into the sun at the end of the show even more depressing and oh gosh I gotta get off this train of thought.  Maybe they found a special happy farm on the other side of the sun.  Yeah, that’s it.  Or perhaps someone in the fleet was just a really big fan of Jamaican beer.  Hooray beer.  But what of the figure of which this is ostensibly a review?  He stands just shy of 8 inches tall and has 27 points of articulation.  His sculpt was shared with the several other variants of this particular design, and it’s a pretty good one.  Honestly, the Cylon Centurion sculpt is really the crown jewel of this entire line.  Without a questionably-implemented likeness to hold it back, the Centurion is free to just be pretty darn accurate recreation of the design from the show.  The details are crisp and clean, and even the articulation’s not bad, and that was something DST was still struggling with at this point.  There’s still something of a learning curve to getting decent poses out of him, and he’s not the sturdiest figure I’ve ever owned, but I can definitely dig the sculpt DST turned in here.  In terms of paint, the Centurion is a slightly cleaner model than we tended to see on the show, but virtue of the Red Stripes having spent a lot of their time on the base ships prior to “Daybreak” pulling them into battle.  It further highlights the cleanness of the sculpt, and really looks sleek.  The stripe is just a solid stripe of red, but I appreciate that it actually looks like someone quickly painted it on, as it did in the show.  The Centurion is packed with two different sets of hands: one set open, one set in fists.  There aren’t as frightening to swap back and forth as I was expecting, which I count as a definite plus.


I was a slow burn on getting into the modern BSG and an even slower burn on warming up to the modern version of the Cylons.  In my defense, they actively improved how the design was implemented as the show progressed, meaning that they were at the top of their game when it came time for “Daybreak.”  Additionally, I’m a sucker for the “formerly evil robot minion works with the good guys” idea, so the Red Stripe Cylons have long been one of my favorite parts of the finale.  That said, I never had much luck with the TRU-exclusive figures from this line, so I never saw this guy new.  Fortunately for me, I work at a toy store, and that nets you all sorts of things that you don’t see otherwise.  All Time got in a collection a few months ago that included every variant of the Cylon from the line, Red Stripe included, thus allowing me to finally add this guy to my collection!

As touched on above, I got this guy from my friends All Time Toys.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.

#1495: Simon & Ellen



When Minimates first really branched beyond Marvel Minimates (well, in the smaller style, at least) there were some interesting choices in terms of licenses.  Namely, there were a lot of choices that didn’t necessarily make for the most exciting toys.  Case in point?  Battlestar Galactica Minimates.  The BSG relaunch was an undeniable success for the Sci Fi Network, and they were looking for merchandise.  DST picked up the license and offered some 7 inch figures, but presumably wanted the ability to offer a greater range of characters than that style would allow.  Enter the Minimates.  Today, I’ll be looking at Cylons Simon and (very old spoiler) Ellen.


Simon and Ellen were released in the second TRU-exclusive series of Battlestar Galactica Minimates, a series comprised entirely of Cyclons


“Pragmatic and unemotional, the Number Four model was also known as Simon and spent many hours researching the possibility of biological Cylon reproduction. His cold and calculating human experiments were stopped with Starbuck’s destruction of his main facility on Caprica.”

Simon was originally slated for the fifth series of the line when it was at specialty, but like all of the figures in Series 5 and 6, he had his original assortment cancelled.  It was really in Simon’s favor in this case, since he was originally meant to be the short-packed figure.  He’s seen here in his fancy suit that he wore from time to time.  The figure stands about 2 1/4 inches tall and he has 14 points of articulation.  He’s built on the standard body, with an add-on piece for his jacket/shirt.  Said piece was re-used from 24’s Tony Almeida, and it’s a well sculpted piece that matches up pretty decently with the sorts of things Simon was known to wear on the show.  The paint on Simon is passable.  The likeness on the face is a good match for actor Rick Worthy, and the details are pretty sharp.  The rest of it’s…well, it’s rather bland.  Lotta grey.  Woooooo.  Simon had no accessories, lest they make him more exciting.


“The rumors of her death greatly exaggerated, Ellen Tigh rejoined her husband Saul aboard the Battlestar Galactica and played a crucial role in the war against Cavil’s forces by revealing her knowledge of the Final Five’s true history.”

Ellen’s original slot marked a bit of genius from DST.  Series 5 and 6 were slated to hit after the mid-Season 4 premiere which revealed her as the final Cylon.  Since they had to be solicited about six months out and Ellen would have been dead for over a season at this point, her presence in the main line-up would have been rather a large spoiler.  So, instead, they came up with “New Caprica” boxed set, which would have included her, her husband Saul, Starbuck, and Leoben.  Then the set was cancelled, and the show was over by the time TRU picked them back up, so she could be safely added to a main assortment.  Given the original figure’s planned release, Ellen is seen here in her garb from her time on New Caprica.  Like Simon, she’s on the standard base body, with a new hair piece and a skirt re-used from Spider-Man 3’s Gwen Stacy.  It adds up to her look quite nicely.  The rest is all paint.  The likeness of Kate Vernon is pretty solid, and the details on her blouse look decent.  Unfortunately, like Simon, her palette is quite drab, being mostly greys.  She also includes no accessories, though I can’t say I know what you could give her.


I grabbed this set at the same time as the rest of TRU, back when they were new.  I then grabbed at least one more later down the line on clearance, because they were hardly fast sellers.  It was nice to get them to complete the 12 Cylons, but this is a set that’s hardly exciting, especially without the show’s finale propelling them.

#1331: Chief Tyrol & Mortar Pack Cylon



One of the appealing things about collecting Minimates is the ability to have a very wide range of properties all in one consistent style.  Their main Marvel line is pretty much always running in tandem with at least one line based on a popular Sci-Fi property.  Currently, that’s Aliens, but a few years ago, their sci-fi line of choice was Battlestar Galactica.  While it was never a huge seller, the line ran for 4 series before getting cancelled, and even then it was picked up for another two series by Toys R Us.  I’ll be looking at one of those sets today, so let’s dive right into the review!


Tyrol and the Mortar Pack Cylon were released in the second Toys R Us-exclusive series of Battlestar Galactica Minimates.  This pair is notable for being one for the few sets in the two TRU series not to be re-purposed from the cancelled Series 5 and 6 or New Caprica boxed-set line-ups.


“One of the more troubled members of the Final Five, Chief Galen Tyrol resigned his commission after the loss of his wife and tried to find happiness with his son Nicky before learning the truth about his family’s past.”

Poor Chief.  Dude was a serious punching bag, especially later in the series.  He was pretty lucky when it came to Minimates, though; this was his third.  The figure is about 2 1/4 inches tall and has the usual 14 points of articulation.  He’s built on the standard base body, with add-ons for his hair and the bottom of his shirt.  The shirt is a standard piece and the hair came from Ghostbusters’ Ray Stanz.  The hair seems a touch bulky for Chief, especially a later in the series Chief, but it’s not terrible.  The rest of the details are rendered via paint.  Early BSG Minimates were a bit more on the simplistic side, but when TRU brought the line back, the level of detail was brought up to par with the more current stuff.  Chief’s got some pretty solid detail work, especially on his uniform.  The likeness on the face is a bit iffy.  Personally, I’ve always felt it looked more like Tamoah Pinikett (who played Helo on the show) than Chief’s actor Aaron Douglas.  I think Douglas just has one of those faces that doesn’t really lend itself to the ‘mate aesthetic, as his earlier ‘mates weren’t much better.  Chief included no accessories, but I’m not exactly sure what you’d give him.


“Capable of downing enemy aircraft from stealthily concealed positions, Cylon ground forces often include at least one Mortar Pack Cylon Centurion. When damaged in battle, these destructive units can even repair themselves on the fly.”

The Cylon Centurions were the bread and butter of this line, since they were kind of the easiest way of keeping the packs at least somewhat interesting.  Chief may just be a normal dude in drab clothes, but that’s okay, because he’s packed with this sweet ass robot, right?  The figure uses the same starting base,  as every other Minimate, but with add-ons for the faceplate, chest piece, hands, pelvis, and feet.  They’re the same pieces that had been used countless times before for other Cylons, though the chest piece has been tweaked ever so slightly to allow for the mortar pack to be plugged into it.  The pieces all make for a decent enough approximation of the Cylons from the show.  I wish the upper torso were a little more mobile, and I’d really like to be able to actually use the neck articulation, but it’s decent enough.  The details are nice and sharp, especially on the torso and face, and he looks suitably different from the standard Minimate, without deviating so much as to lose the aesthetic altogether.  The paint is a bit more lax on this guy, but it’s still pretty solid. The gunmetal grey is applied cleanly, and all of the detail work is pretty sharp.  The only accessory is the titular mortar pack.  I don’t know if this was ever actually used on the show, but it’s a pretty cool piece nonetheless.


There’s not much of an exciting story behind this set.  It hit Toys R Us, and I went and got it from my local store.  That’s really it.  I had a lot of the BSG Minimtates, but I can’t say I was ever super into any of them.  This set’s about average for the line.  Both ‘mates are well made, but there’s not a whole lot of excitement here.  If you like the show and Minimates, I guess you’d like these.

#0142: D’Anna & Apollo



We’re continuing with my old faithful of lines to review, Minimates.  This time around, I’m taking a look at a set from the BSG series of Minimates.  BSG Minimates were a line that Diamond really wanted to see succeed in spite of a just mild reception from the fan base.  Pretty much every major character from the series was released at some point, which is a pretty decent feat, but the first 4 waves of the line can still pretty much be found for exceptionally low prices.  Two additional waves were originally announced to continue the line and pretty much wrap up any missing characters, but orders proved too low.  Then, for some reason, TRU came to the rescue, and granted the line two more waves, a reboot of sorts.  The Toys R Us waves are generally seen as being far superior to the preceding waves, and can still command some decent prices.  Today, I’ll be taking a look at one of the TRU sets.


These two were released as part of first TRU wave of BSG Minimates.


First up is one of the series 12 human Cylon models, D’Anna Biers aka Three.  Three had quite a following, due to being played by fan favorite Lucy Lawless.  She’s presented here in her all white get-up, which I believe is what she wore following her model being reactivated later in the series.  She’s built on the standard Minimate body, so she has 14 points of articulation and stands about 2 ½ inches tall.  She features 3 sculpted add-ons: hair, coat, and skirt.  The skirt is a generic piece that’s been seen on a number of female ‘mates, but the hair and coat appear to be new.  I’m not a big fan of the coat, as I feel it’s needlessly bulky, but the hair looks pretty spot on for the character’s appearance on the show.  The paint is minimal on this figure.  She’s got face and torso detailing and that’s about it.  The face is nice, and looks pretty close to Lawless, certainly much better than Diamond’s first attempt. The torso detailing is nice, and allows you to display D’Anna without the coat.  D’Anna included no accessories.


Next up  is one of the central characters of the series, Lee “Apollo” Adama.  This was Lee’s 3rd Minimate, and his 2nd in his flight suit.  The figure appears to be based on his look in the final season of the show after he quit being a pilot for a while and had lost his more close cropped military hair.  Originally, the head was meant to go on a suited body to represent him from earlier in the season, but he’s been put in a flight suit, giving him an appearance close to what he had in the series finale.  He features 4 sculpted add-ons: hair, flight vest, belt, and holster.  All the flight suit stuff is reused from the previous flight suit characters, which makes sense.  The hair is a new piece, and it looks pretty good and has a lot of potential reuse.  The paint is fine, though, all the lines and such are clean.  The metallic green of the flight suit is also of a higher quality than previous pilots, so it’s less prone to chipping.  I think that this ‘mate has a closer resemblance to actor Jamie Bamber than the previous two, which is cool I guess.  Apollo includes a flight helmet and a hand gun.


I picked up this set at my local Toys R Us (which is no longer there.  They just moved it across the street, but they had this big “store closing” sale, and deeply clearance everything.  It was weird.)  when they were released.  I know the series had ended not long before and I was fairly excited to get these guys at the time.  They’re still very good Minimates, but I’ve lost a lot of my interest in BSG, so they mostly all sit in a box these days.

#0019: Boomer & Athena



Continuing the BSG theme, I’m looking at what pretty much makes up the rest of my collection (Minimates & Mego-style Cylon aside).  This time it’s two figures, though sort of two of the same person:  Boomer & Athena.  The figures were sold in a two pack after the line of individual figures fizzled.  I should note that I’ve performed a head-swap on these two and will be reviewing the swapped versions as a whole.  I feel this is for the best, because it allows for me to review a good one and a bad one, instead of two fairly mediocre ones.


I’m gonna call the one in the flightsuit Athena, since she seemed to spend a decent amount of time in it.  Athena is depicted here with the top of her flightsuit pulled down and wrapped around her waist.  Her hair is pulled back in a ponytail like it frequently was in the show.  She stands just under 7 inches tall and has 20 points of articulation.  She includes a side arm, though a different one than Helo included.  This one looks a great deal more powerful!  This figure (after the head-swap) is the reason I bought the set.   The pulled down flightsuit is a unique look, and one that was frequently featured on the show.  It’s nice to see it represented here.  The head sculpt is also a very good approximation of actress Grace Park, which is always a good thing.  This figure is a really nice representation  of the character from the show.


I’m going to refer to this one as Boomer mostly because I referred to the other one as Athena, and those were the names on the box.  Remember how I really liked the Athena figure?  All the nice things I said about it?  Yeah, none of that applies to this figure.  So she’s shown here in her dress uniform from the show.  She stands just under 7 inches and has 20 points of articulation.  Those are the nicest things I can say about this figure.  The uniform body was not sculpted for Boomer, and you can tell.  The body shape is so horribly wrong for her.  But it’s forgivable because it is a somewhat understandable re-use.  You know what’s not understandable?  That head sculpt.  Man, is that a bad head sculpt.  She’s got this weird “lantern-jaw of Justice” Thing going on, but somehow, she also seems to lack a chin.  I’m not really sure how that happened.  The face really looks like the sculptor forgot that Boomer wasn’t a man in the revamped series, and upon realization, decided to change nothing.   It’s all topped off by the odd choice of hair style.  I know that both Boomer and Athena had their hair down a few times in the series, but it really wasn’t a definitive look for either character, so it doesn’t really fit either body.  Bottom line is, it bears little to no resemblance to Grace Park, which is a shame after the very nice portrait on the other figure IN THIS SET!


I missed out on this at retail, so I picked it up online a good bit later.  And let me tell you something, finding this thing online was quite a chore.  Seems nobody wanted to part with theirs.  Anyway, I ended up finding the set online through a Canadian retailer, who really helped me out.