#1631: Black Widow

BLACK WIDOW

AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR (HASBRO)

All of our favorite heroes are back for Infinity War…okay, most of our favorite heroes…amongst our favorite heroes, many of them are—right, I’ll come in again.

Today, I’m looking at the latest figure of Black Widow, a character who has far too often been left out of the whole merchandising thing. For Infinity War, Hasbro looks to be making a conscious effort to avoid that, with two figures already out and a third one on its way.  I’ll be looking at one of those first two today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Black Widow is part of the first series of the basic Avengers: Infinity War line.  This figure gives us Widow’s brand new look for the film, which, despite her prior looks all being just slight variations on the same basic design, is actually kind of new and different.  This time around, she’s sporting a look based on the second main Black Widow from the comics, Yelena Belova.  It’s mostly the blonde hair that informs this.  Supposedly, she’s changed her hair color while on the run after the events of Civil War.  The figure stands 5 1/4 inches tall and she has 11 points of articulation.  It’s the same articulation scheme as we saw on Cap (and before that, Shuri and Star-Lord).  Her sculpt is actually quite good.  The proportions are well-balanced, the head has a pretty solid Scarlett Johansson likeness, and the level of detail is almost on par with what you’d get from a Legends release.  My only real nit with the sculpt is that only one of her hands is in a gripping position, which limits her posing potential slightly when it comes to her weapon.  Even her paint is pretty decent.  It’s still rather on the basic side, but her face in particular gets some really clean work.  Certainly cleaner than what we saw on Cap yesterday.  Widow is packed with her staff, which is sadly only in its full assembled form.  No separate batons, but I guess she couldn’t hold them anyway.  There’s a rather obvious peg on it, where the Infinity Stone is meant to attach.  Not the smoothes way of handling that, but I guess it’s not awful.  Widow’s included stone is the Power Stone, which is the only one to be doubled-up in the first assortment (it also comes in the Rocket/Groot pack).  Giving her, rather than a bruiser like Hulk, the Power Stone is certainly an interesting choice.  I wonder if it means anything.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Widow is actually kind of the figure that sold me on this line.  I saw her in the store and I really liked her, and almost bought her on the spot.  That said, she was actually one of the few figures in the set I did *not* pick up from Toys R Us.  They were all out, so I ended up finding her at Target the next day, rounding out the set that way.  She’s actually a pretty good figure.  I’m curious to see how much the Legends release is able to improve on her.

#1628: Man-At-Arms

MAN-AT-ARMS

MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE (MATTEL)

“Man-At-Arms aka Duncan was a mentor to the young Prince Adam as well as a foster father to Teela.”

Most of my knowledge of Masters of the Universe comes from the 2002 reboot of the franchise, which served as my introduction to the context, and also provided the backbone of my MotU collection.  As such, most of my reviews here on the site have also been from the 2002 series.  Today, I’m going into less charted territory, and looking at a vintage offering.  So, let’s look at He-Man’s mentor, Man-At-Arms!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Man-At-Arms was part of the first assortment of Masters of the Universe figures, released in 1982.  The figure stands 5 1/2 inches tall and he has 6 points of articulation.  MotU was largely about getting as many uses out the same few bodies as possible, and Man-At-Arms follows suit.  He uses the standard Barbarian body (seen on the previously reviewed Tri-Klops figure), meaning he’s got those same goofy, overly-muscled proportions seen on the rest of the line.  They picked a style and they stuck with it.  Man-At-Arms had a new head, as well as add-on pieces for his chest, shoulder, and shin armor (mine’s missing the shin armor).  The head is infamously missing Duncan’s signature mustache, present on all other incarnations of the character, due to the figure’s design being put into production before Filmation added the mustache for the cartoon.  It results in a slightly different look for Duncan, but not an outright terrible one or anything.  The helmet has some pretty decent detail work going on, as do the clip-on armor pieces.  Man-At-Arms has a pretty simple paint scheme.  For the most part, he’s just molded in the appropriate colors, with only his face, helmet, belt, and boots getting any actual paint.  Application is mostly pretty clean, but the boots in particular have some definite slop.  The armor has no paint at all, making it look rather cheap and goofy, which is a real shame given how much detail went into the sculpt.  Man-At-Arms included a mace, to be held in his right hand.  It was the same color as his armor, and a little small and non-threatening, but I guess if you have muscles like that, you can afford for your weapons to be small and non-threatening.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

With the exception of a few personal favorite characters, the vintage Masters line isn’t one I really go out looking for.  That being said, the 2nd Ave Thrift store nearby seems to have gotten in someone’s ’80s toy collection, which has been slowly trickling out.  This guy and a few others popped up, and for a few bucks for the set, I felt like I could do a lot worse.  This line’s not totally my thing, but Man-At-Arms isn’t a bad figure.

#1590: Shuri

SHURI

BLACK PANTHER (HASBRO)

“The sister of T’Challa, Shuri designs and wears vibranium-powered combat gear.

You know what was a good movie?  Black Panther.  Really just a solid picture all-around.  I gotta admit, I was a little worried at first that it might not live up to all of the hype surrounding it (especially since I’m apparently one of the few people on the planet who didn’t like Wonder Woman), but it really delivered, and I think it’s one of the MCU’s strongest entries.  T’Challa had already made a pretty solid impression with his appearance in Civil War, and he lived up to that here, but what really made the movie for me was his supporting cast.  I’d picked up the Marvel Legends offerings prior to the movie, and I’m happy to have the figures offered there, but sadly two of my favorite characters from the movie haven’t yet been granted Legends releases.  One of those two was Shuri, who was at least lucky enough to find her way into the movie’s basic figure line.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Shuri is part of the first (and so far only) series of basic Black Panther figures.  In an assortment of variations on the panther suit, she certainly stands out, and, as the only character included here that’s not in the Legends assortment, she tends to be the first figure to disappear.  The figure stands right at 6 inches tall and she has 11 points of articulation.  She’s a bit shorter than your average Marvel Legend, but given Shuri’s slightly smaller stature, she blends in pretty well.  The articulation is a little disappointing, especially after the Homecoming figures got actual knee joints, but what she’s got is certainly passable.  Shuri’s design is based on her fully geared up look from the film’s final battle sequence.  It’s definitely her coolest look, and it matches up with the version of Nakia they released, so I can certainly get behind it.  The sculpt is all-new to her, and it’s decent, but not without a few glaring issues.  The biggest problem is the hair, which is just inaccurate.  The tight braids she has here almost make it look like there’s an extra piece to her hair that’s missing from the final figure.  She should definitely have more hair than this, and it really ends up throwing off the figure’s whole look.  The face has a rather generic look about it as well, making me think this figure was put together based on design sketches rather than actual footage from the film.  I’m also not a huge fan of how the head connects at the neck; it just looks very unnatural and odd.  Fortunately, below the neck, the sculpt is actually pretty solid.  The proportions are pretty balanced, and there’s a lot of really great texture work on her armor.  Her skirt piece is a free-floating add-on, which helps to maximize posablity, and looks pretty solid to boot.  The paint on Shuri is passable, but definitely a bit rudimentary when compared to something like Marvel Legends.  She could definitely use a little more detailing on the armored parts, but she generally looks pretty good.  Shuri includes her pair of arm gauntlets, which can be slipped over her forearms.  The detail work on them is surprisingly sharp, and the energy effects look pretty awesome.  Definitely better than some gimmicky missile launcher or something.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

After seeing the movie, I knew I needed at least some version of Shuri in my collection.  Of course, so did everyone else, so she was a little difficult to find.  Fortunately, when I swung by Cosmic Comix to get my comics the next day, they still had a Shuri figure on the rack, and thus I was able to add her to my collection.  She’s not a perfect figure, and I’m still hoping for a proper Legends release down the line, but this one will hold me over until then.

#1370: Diamondhead

DIAMONDHEAD

BEN 10 (BANDAI)

Much as I tried, Ben 10 was one of those shows I just could never really keep up with.  I don’t really know why.  I liked the concept and I loved the character designs.  Heck, I even had a handful of the toys, despite the fact that they were made by Bandai America.  But I just never really got into the show.  Well, at least I still have the toys, right?  That’s always the most important thing.  Today, I’m gonna look at one of those toys!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Diamondhead was released in the basic figure series of Bandai’s main Ben 10 line.  He was in the second wave of figures, hitting a few months after the initial assortment.  He represents Ben’s initial Diamondhead look.  The figure stands about 4 inches tall and he has 7 points of articulation.  As with a lot of Bandai America figures, he’s rather under-scaled in comparison to the rest of the line, but he looks halfway decent when placed with other aliens that are meant to be of similar stature.  His articulation is a bit lower than the usual Bandai fare, to the point of not being useful for a whole lot other than standing.  I mean, it’s certainly better than nothing, but it’s still rather on the lacking side.  The sculpt was unique to this guy, and, on the plus side, it was actually a pretty solid piece of work.  He manages to be a mostly spot-on recreation of Diamondhead as seen in the show, and is generally just really sharp looking.  This is one of the better sculpts that this line produced to be sure.  The paint work on this figure is perfectly acceptable, but ultimately rather uninspired.  The colors are all chosen well enough, and the application’s pretty clean for the most part.  Heck, there aren’t even any missing paint apps, a rarity when it comes to Bandai America products.  The issue?  The diamond parts.  In the show, it’s clear that he’s not just one single shade of opaque blue-green, but that’s exactly what he is here.  This figure really would have benefited from some sort of slightly translucent or even pearlescent plastic for his exposed diamond skin.  As it is?  He feels a little drab and lackluster.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Here’s something I don’t say much on this site: I don’t know where I got this figure.  That generally doesn’t bode well, since if I don’t remember getting it, it means I’m not very attached to it.  This is perhaps the one Ben 10 figure I own whose origins I can’t relay.  Going back and reviewing the figure, I can’t say that’s a surprise.  He’s not anything special, and he’s not particularly fun.  Sure, the sculpt’s decent, but that’s really it.  Nothing about this figure goes beyond so-so, and without any sentimental value, I can’t say he does a whole lot for me.

#1239: Katana

KATANA

DC COMICS MULTIVERSE (MATTEL)

Hey, remember when I was talking about Suicide Squad yesterday?  Well, I’m gonna do some more talking about it today.  If I’m very lucky, this will be my last bit of talking on the Suicide Squad front.  As noted yesterday, one of the biggest flaws with the movie was just how under-utilized anyone not named “Deadshot” or “Harley Quinn” was.  Boomer at least got some characterization (mostly due to Jai Courtney’s scenery chewing performance), but today’s focus, Katana, gets a whole lot of nothing.  No fancy introduction, no particularly good fights, next to no dialogue, and no anything else that would make her even slightly interesting.  Karen Fukuhara really tried to inject something into the character, but there just wasn’t anything there to work with.  Anyway, she got a figure, which I’m looking at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Like yesterday’s Captain Boomerang, Katana was released in the second Suicide Squad-themed assortment of Mattel’s DC Comics Multiverse, which hit well after the movie’s release, thereby guaranteeing that most audiences would have zero interest in the figure.  You know what might have solved this problem?  Shipping all six figures at the same time! (In Mattel’s defense, the most recent series of Multiverse wasn’t split in two, so maybe they’re learning)  The figure stands about 6 1/2 inches tall and has 25 points of articulation.  The ab crunch can move a little bit this time, but not much more than Deadshot’s.  Of course, the elbows and knees are both unable to make it to a full 90 degree angle (really restricting for a sword wielding character).  Also, the ankles on this figure are essentially useless, which makes it very hard to get her to stand.  How do you screw up ankles this badly?  Okay, the movement’s not good, but it’s all for the sake of the sculpt, right? Well, that wasn’t the case with Boomerang, so it’s probably not a shock to find it’s not the case here.  All of the joints stick out like sore thumbs, her torso is flat and thick, her arms are super spindly, the legs and pelvis continue the trend of not really looking like any human ever, and the head doesn’t really resemble Fukuhara at all. Perhaps the worst piece of this already pretty bad sculpt is the sash which holds the sheaths for her swords.  The sash itself is super thick and juts out really far from the figure’s hip, in a way pretty much no real fabric ever would.  The sheaths are separate pieces, and they are actually too small to properly fit in the proper slots, leading them to shift out of place a lot.  This is particularly bad with the smaller front sheath, which tends to naturally fall so it hands straight down, thereby making Katana look like she has a certain appendage that she shouldn’t really have.  It’s really a mess.  Who looked at that and went “yeah, that’s okay?”   As far as the paint goes, Katana’s alright, I guess.  The colors are all pretty basic, but there’s at least some interesting character work on the left leg and the back of her jacket.  She looks way too clean to be from the movie, but she fits with the other figures in that regard.  Katana includes a long blade and a short blade, neither of which she can actually hold properly, as well as the head and pelvis of Killer Croc, the CnC I’ll never be finishing.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

After determining that Boomerang was only $1, I went back and also grabbed a Katana figure.  Not really sure why her, aside from the whole $1 thing.  I was actually in a bit of a hurry, so these were the only two I grabbed, and by the time I made it back to that particular Walmart, they’d been mostly cleaned out.  Alas, no more crappy $1 action figures for me.  I’m not gonna lie, Katana’s a really rough figure.  I’d have a hard time telling you whether she or Boomerang was the worse figure, just due to the large number of issues associated with both of them.  For $1, I feel like I got what I paid for, but I can’t imagine ever being willing to spend even close to full retail on this thing, even if I *had* liked the movie.

#1217: Michone

MICHONE

THE WALKING DEAD (MCFARLANE TOYS)

michone1

So, I guess The Walking Dead TV-show starts up soon.  Or maybe it already started back up.  I don’t actually know, because I haven’t watched the show since about fifteen minutes into this season’s premiere, nor will I be going back.  But, I’ve still got all these figures, so…yeah…  Here’s Michone.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

michone2Michone was released in the first series of McFarlane’s comic-based The Walking Dead line, which hit around the same time as the TV show’s series premiere.  The figure stands about 5 inches tall and has 18 points of articulation.  So, right off the bat, there’s the weird scale thing.  I’ve looked at the TV line and one or two of the comic figures, so the scale’s not new to the site, but it was actually new to this particular line.  It was an odd choice to say the least, since the rest of the industry was doing either 3 3/4 or 6-inch scale at the time.  McFarlane’s gotta be different.  Michone is based on her first appearance from the comics, which is a fairly standard look for her, but at the same time a bit gaudy compared to the character’s look as the series progressed.  The sculpt is alright, I guess.  It certainly wasn’t as bad as some of how of the other figures from the earliest days of this and the TV line.  That being said, while the sculpt isn’t bad, it’s also michone3kind of boring.  The pose is just sort of her standing with her hand holding the katana downwards.  There’s also pretty much no trace of Charlie Adlar’s art style in the sculpt; she instead looks like just some generic sort of super model or something.  Not exactly very indicative of Michone as a character.  I guess it could be worse, though.  She’s not the ultra-hideous figure that the first Rick was.  At the very least, the paint on Michone is actually pretty solid.  The colors are vibrant, which works surprisingly well, and all of the application is very clean.  Miocene was packed with her katana, a power drill, and a spoon.  The sword is pretty much expected, but the drill and spoon are some pretty fun issue specific pieces, even if she didn’t use them in this outfit.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I bought the corresponding Rick figure from this line first, which didn’t really make me want to pursue any of the others.  But, Cosmic Comix had their biggest sale of the year going, and she was 40% off, which was enough for me to go for it.  It’s hard to get super excited about this figure, but she certainly could have been far worse.

#1035: Ellen Ripley – Fiorina 161 Prisoner

ELLEN RIPLEY – FIORINA 161 PRISONER

ALIENS (NECA)

RipleyCubed1

Hey, you know what movie I love? Aliens! By extension, you know what movie I hate? Alien3 of course! Now, I know what you’re thinking: If I hate Alien3 so much, why do I keep buying figures from it? Well, there’s at least a part of it that’s about it giving me more time to air my grievances with the movie. It could also have something to do with that fact that, as bad as the movie may be, there were still a few interesting designs. Mostly, though, it’s due to the fact that I have an action figure addiction which cannot be stopped. That seems to be the cause of a lot of things in my life, if I’m honest. Anyway, today’s particular figure is NECA’s fifth version of Ellen Ripley, based on her appearance in the aforementioned film.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

RipleyCubed2This version of Ripley was released in the 8th series of NECA’s Aliens line, which, as I noted in my Weyland Yutani Commando review, is a series totally devoted to Alien3. The figure is just shy of 7 inches tall and she has 25 points of articulation. Rather than giving us different figures based on various parts of the film (like the Alien Ripleys), this figure kind of rolls her two main prison looks into one. She has two sets of arms and a removable vest for both jacketed and unjacketed looks. The pieces swap out well enough and provide two nicely distinctive looks, making it almost a bit surprising that NECA didn’t go for two separate figures. I’m hardly complaining, though. The inclusion of two sets of arms was fortuitous for me, since the left hand broke off the jacketed arm while I was removing Ripley from the box. Nothing a quick dab of superglue couldn’t fix, but be careful unpacking her. This Ripley gets an all-new sculpt, which is, overall, pretty good. Perhaps it’s a bit of personal bias, but I don’t find this sculpt to be quite as good as the Series 5 Ripley, especially when it comes to the facial likeness. While I won’t deny that there’s a lot of Weaver in there, the whole face seems just a bit pinched. That said, there’s still some awesome detail work on her shaved head, and the rest of the body is both well-proportioned and very impressively textured and detailed. This definitely feels like the same person from the last two figures. Let’s talk about the paint. So, overall, the paint on the figure is quite good. The clothes all have lots of subtle work to bring out the sculpted textures, and the overall work is very clean and sharp. The skin even has the tiniest bit of airbrushed red to make her look a bit more lively, which is a fantastic touch. There’s one major issue with my figure, and it’s one I didn’t actually notice until partway through writing this review: her face detailing is skewed just the slightest bit downward. It’s seriously slight. So slight that, like 99% of people wouldn’t even notice. However, it’s enough to throw off the likeness a bit, which may be at least part of why I haven’t warmed to this sculpt like I did the prior Weaver sculpts. In addition to the spare arms, Ripley includes a flashlight and the torch used to lead the Dog Alien to its demise. Both pieces are very impressively sculpted, and both fit nicely into her right hand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I actually found Ripley at the same time as the Commando, but I ended up passing on her at that time. Of course, then I found the remnants of the series at a couple of TRUs, and was kicking myself for not picking her up the first time. Fortunately, my closest TRU got in a case and I was able to score the last Ripley they had. I don’t like this figure as much as the Aliens version, but then again, I never really expected to. As a figure on her own merits, she’s pretty solid. If nothing else, I’ve got a nice little set of Alien3 figures that I can just pretend are a few more “concept figures.”

RipleyCubed3

#1034: Tom Riddle

TOM RIDDLE

HARRY POTTER & THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS (MATTEL)

TomRiddle1

Welcome to The Figure In Question, where I refuse to let any of my guest reviewers have an area of coverage all to themselves.  Tim covers Metal Gear?  So do I!  Christian has AmiiboMe too!  Super Awesome Girlfriend has some Halo?  I’ve got that covered!  The only guest reviewer with something I hadn’t covered was Jill, over there with Harry Potter.  Well, now I’m doing that too!  That’s right, I bought this figure new,  11 years before starting the site  and 10 years before meeting Jill, all to upstage her.  That’s all it could possibly be!  *ahem*  So, here’s this Tom Riddle figure.  Let’s have a look, shall we?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

TomRiddle2Tom Riddle (better known as Voldemort) was released in the second assortment of Mattel’s Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets figures.  He’s based on Christian Coulson’s portrayal of Tom from the second movie (in case the name of the line hadn’t clued you in).  The figure stands just over 5 inches tall and has 13 points of articulation.  That may not seem like a lot of articulation, but Tom here was actually one of the best articulated figures in the line, believe it or not.  Tom featured a sculpt that was unique to him.  It’s….well, rudimentary would probably be a good way to describe it.  The proportions are rather off, with poor Tom getting quite the melon of a head.  And, while the face doesn’t look too unlike Coulson, the hair isn’t even close.  It’s a totally different style entirely.  Also, with the upper half of the figure is sculpted very dynamically, the legs just sort of hany there, and, deapite their incredibly obvious joints that are not in the slightest bit worked into the sculpt, there are pretty much no poses that help them match the rest of the sculpt.  The robe has a very nice texturing to it, but none of this texture translates to the rest of the figure, which just make him look even further imbalanced.  The hands are actually not bad, what with the cool sculpted poses.  Of course, the poses mean that he has to have a peg hole in his palm to be able to properly hold his accessory, but it could be worse.  On the plus side, the paint work on Tom is actually pretty decent.  There’s some nice, subtle work, especially on the robe, which looks quite realistic.  Easily the best paint of any of the figures in this line.  Tom was packed with a single accessory, but it’s a good one: the diary that brings Tom “back to life”.  He can sort of hold it, thanks to the peg at the base of the book’s spine.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

So, I never really had a lot of the  Harry Potter figures, but, as noted in the intro, I got this guy new.  Chamber of Secrets was my favorite book, and I quite liked the Tom incarnation of Voldemort.  I ended up finding this guy at the KB Toys that used to be near my family’s summer vacation spot.  He, like the rest of Mattel’s output from the movies, hasn’t aged particularly well.  He’s not awful, though.

#0980: Arkham Origins Boxed Set

BATMAN, JOKER, DEATHSTROKE, & BLACK MASK

ARKHAM ORIGINS (DC COLLECTIBLES)

ArkhamOrigin1

Video game adaptations of comic book characters have a somewhat rocky history. For every — there’s a Superman 64; for every Spider-Man 2, there’s an Aquaman: Battle for Atlantis. The Batman: Arkham series is probably one of the best adaptations out there, though even it hasn’t been totally immune from criticism. Perhaps the most criticized game in the series is Arkham Origins, a prequel game that wasn’t even developed by the same group as the others. Today, I’ll be looking at several figures based on that game.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Batman, Joker, Deathstroke, and Black Mask were all released as a big boxed set as part of DC Collectible’s Batman: Arkham Origins line. They were all also available individually, with Batman, Joker and Black Mask being in Series 1 and Deathstroke being in Series 2. The figures are pretty much identical in both releases.

BATMAN

ArkhamOrigin3Batman manages to get a slight tweak to his design for each Arkham game. Oddly, the Arkham Origins design was even more advanced than the Asylum and City designs, despite this design supposedly predating those looks. Maybe looks are deceiving? The figure is about 7 inches tall and he has 31 points of articulation, which is quite impressive for a DC Direct/Collectibles figure. The sculpt on this figure is pretty solid. It does a pretty great job of capturing Batman’s Origins look. One of my issues with a lot of the Arkham-based Batman figures is that they all seem to be stuck with pinheads, which this figure manages to mostly avoid. I mean, his head is still smaller than his biceps, but it’s fairly true to the game and, it’s also not as drastic as some of the others.  The rest of the sculpt is quite beefy (seriously, this is a beefy, beefy Batman. He has all the beef), but he has very sharp detail work, and just all-around pretty cool looking. I especially appreciate the choice of a straight hanging cape, since Batmen have a tendency to go for absurdly flowy capes. The paintwork on this figure is rather subdued, and very well carried out. Everything is nice and clean, and he’s got some really great accent work, especially on the stubble and the shadows on the grey parts. Batman included a weird gun thing that I feel certain someone more familiar with the game than me could ID. His elbows hinder him from really holding the thingy in any truly believable way, but hey, he’s a cool Batman. Who cares if he can hold some weird gizmo the right way?

JOKER

ArkhamOrigin2Joker serves as a primary antagonist in (most of) the Arkham games. Seeing as he’s Batman’s greatest foe, I guess that’s not too strange a concept. While other Arkham Jokers stuck more closely to the classic Joker design, this one goes for a more subdued “real world” look. Well, for the clothes, anyway. The face is pretty standard, and clearly made to look like a slightly younger version of the guy from the prior games. The figure is about the same height as Batman and has 16 points of articulation. He’s got about half the articulation of Batman, but he’s got even more restricted movement than you’d expect. He’s not going to be doing much more than just stand there. That wouldn’t be terrible, but he’s also got some weird issues, like his arms sticking out at weird angles. Also, while the sculpt looks okay on its own, it doesn’t do a particularly good job of capturing the in-game design. Like, his whole face is just kind of the wrong shape. And his body just feels kind of soft and lumpy, especially when compared to the much sharper Batman sculpt. The paint doesn’t really help matters. The basic work isn’t terribly, but there’s a lot of bleed over. Also, they tried to vary the look of his skin with some grey accents, but it ends up just making him look splotchy and unwell. Joker includes no accessories, making him the only figure in the set not to have any extras.

DEATHSTROKE

ArkhamOrigin4Do you guys remember when Deathstroke wasn’t over-exposed and annoyingly shoved into tons of stories where he didn’t belong? Because I do. I actually kind of used to like him, even. Somewhere along the way to being overexposed, he also seems to have become inexplicably linked to Batman, which is a little odd, but I guess it isn’t a horrible fit. Deathstroke made his debut Arkham-verse appearance in Arkham Origins, sporting a look that was a pretty decent tactically-based update of his original comics appearance. This figure stands the same height as the other two figures and has 27 points of articulation. His overall movement is comparable to that of Batman, though he does get a different articulation scheme on the hips, which seem a little flimsy by comparison. I think Deathstroke’s sculpt is probably my favorite in the set. Not only is he a great recreation of the in-game look, but the sculpt is also loaded with lots of really cool texture work, which makes him truly look like a battle-worn gun-for-hire. My only real complaint is that the articulation could have probably been worked into the sculpt in a smoother way. The paint on this figure is also pretty solidly handled. He’s by far the most colorful and exciting figure in the lot, and the metallic used for his armored pieces is really sleek. Deathstroke has the most accessories of all the figures in the set, with a katana, a pistol, and a staff.

BLACK MASK

ArkhamOrigin5Oh great. Black Mask. He’s my faaaaaaaaaavrite. Okay, actually I don’t always hate Black Mask, as long as he gets a good story. He just doesn’t tend to get good stories, like, ever. Ah well. So, here’s Black Mask! The figure is 7 inches tall and he has an oh-so-exciting 7 points of articulation. He can like, turn his head and move his elbows less than 45 degrees, and move his legs at the hips, but not at the knees! Awesome, right? Okay, maybe not. This figure’s even worse than Joker on this front, which is just really weak. But his sculpt can still save him, right? Yeah, not so much. The head sculpt is admittedly not bad. I like that he looks like he’s actually wearing a mask, and I like the details of said mask. The rest of the figure is really just lame. The sculpt is incredibly soft and his pinstripes on is suit are so deep that he ends up looking like he’s wearing corduroy or something. Plus, his arms are stuck at a slight enough angle to make the fact that they don’t go back any further incredibly annoying. Black Mask’s paint is mostly off-black and off-white, which could be kind of striking if done right, but…it’s not quite there. I mean, it’s not bad, but it’s also not super interesting. It’s just there. Black Mask includes a pair of pistols, which are oddly chunky. Maybe they’ve been juicing.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve never played any of the Arkham games. I’ve gotten a couple of the figures before, but mostly because I liked the characters the figures represented, which isn’t really the true here. That being case, why would I buy this set? Because its box was damaged and Cosmic Comix was selling it for $20. Deathstroke is definitely the best that the set has to offer, and Batman’s no slouch either. Of course, on the flipside, both Joker and Black Mask are very, very weak figures, with little in the way of redeeming qualities. So, half the set’s great, and half the set’s pretty bad. At full price (which is $60-$70), this set is a pretty terrible value. At $20? Sure, Joker and Black Mask may be a waste of plastic, but Batman and Deathstroke are easily worth $10 each.

#0866: Spartan Athlon

SPARTAN ATHLON

HALO 5: GUARDIANS (MCFARLANE)

AthlonWal1

One of the things that makes the Halo license so appealing to toy companies is that, thanks to armor customizableity, you can generally get several different figures out of one Spartan Armor mold via repaints. McFarlane Toys in particular exploited this during their tenure with the license, while at the same time using these repaints to give their most supportive retailers exclusive figures. The Halo 5 line was pretty egregious about it, with half of the Spartans in the first series being offered in two distinct paint schemes. I’ve already looked at one variation of the Athlon, but why not look at another?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

AthlonWal2Like the prior Athlon, this figure was released as part of the first series of Halo 5 figures from McFarlane. This particular version was exclusive to Walgreens. The figure is roughly 5 inches in height and he’s got 32 points of articulation. The sculpt is the same one used on the prior Athlon figure. I liked it there, and I like it here. It’s nice and clean, has plenty of details, and sums up the design from the game pretty well. The main selling point of this figure is his paint job. Instead of the bumblebee-like yellow and black, this figure is blue and off-white. It’s definitely a more appealing color combo, if I do say so myself. Also, instead of a dark blue visor, this one gets a more standard gold visor. If I’m honest, that part doesn’t look quite as clean. It’s not bad, but it’s a little flatter than I’d like. In general, I like the color choices on this figure better, but the actual application of the paint seems to be a slight step down. There’s a fair amount of slop and bleed over, which is just a bit more noticeable on a cleaner Spartan design such as the Athlon. It’s not terrible, but it’s a noticeable step down from the other Athlon. Another area of difference between the two figures is the accessories selection. He includes the same basic Magnum (included with all the first series Spartans), but he’s traded out the assault rifle for an SMG, which is a change I’m definitely okay with!

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

None of the Walgreens near me had this particular figure in stock, so I didn’t get him until I was on vacation with my family over the winter holiday. I was actually pretty excited to find him, as this color scheme is definitely my preferred of the two available. Ultimately, the quality of this figure isn’t quite as high as the normal release, which is a bit of a bummer. However, this is still a pretty solid figure, and he adds enough new to make him worth the purchase.