Flashback Friday Figure Addendum #0016: Scarlett

SCARLETT

G.I. JOE: CLASSIFIED SERIES (HASBRO)

What’s this?  Another Flashback Friday Figure Addendum?  Yeah, it’s been like a whole year since I’ve done one of these, I know.  And just like the last time, I’ll say don’t get too attached.

Since the second year of the small-scale G.I. Joe line, way back in 1983, running changes on the figures has been a rather common place thing in the line.  When the first year figures were brought out for a second round along side series 2, they had swivels added just above the elbows, increasing articulation, and helping them better match the other figures in the line.  So, it comes as little surprise that such things are showing up in Classified as well.  The first series of the line featured some notable deviations from prior designs, with a few of the color schemes in particular getting some notable complaints.  Hasbro decided to address this with running changes to three of the launch figures, giving them all-new color schemes for refresh cases.  I’m in a Scarlett mood already today, so why not look at that one? First, though, here’s my review of the original release.

To wrap up up my look at the first assortment of Hasbro’s G.I. Joe relaunch, I’m making my way to the First Lady of the franchise, Shanna O’Hara, aka Scarlett.  Debuting as one of the Original 13 back in the day, Scarlett has a sort of hot-and-cold run when it comes to action figures.  She’ll go long stretches between updates, and finds herself frequently left out of line-ups where she should be included (Sigma 6 being the biggest offender on that front).  Fortunately, she’s right here at the start for Classified.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Scarlett is figure 05 in the Classified Series line-up.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and has 35 points of articulation.  As far as mobility goes, she’s definitely the most limited of the first series figures, thanks to actually just having less articulation.  For the most part, she’s still pretty serviceable on that front, but the elbows are a lot more limited than I’d like, especially given that she’s got a weapon she’s meant to hold two-handed.  Some deeper bends are really needed.  Of all the designs in this first set, Scarlett’s is the one that’s the most far-removed from her original figure.  Now, in her defense, even the original animation and comics designs were a little bit removed from how the figure looked, so she’s already starting from there.  That said, there’s still a lot more modernization and tweaking going on this one.  It kind of makes sense, with her being the least regulation of the original bunch anyway.  She was running around in a leotard and was just shy of a super hero costume, so she’s always been a little bit of an outlier.  She’s also the one most prone to rather sizable re-works as the line progresses, so this is really just the next one of those.  For me, this design really works, because it possesses all of the broad strokes elements that really read as Scarlett, while still fitting in a little bit better with a modern aesthetic.  This design has a nice fusion of practicality and fantasy, and it keeps it pretty fun.  The sculpt does a solid job of bringing her into three dimensions, with a nice set of balanced proportions, and a ton of small detail work that helps her really pop.  In terms of paint, Scarlett is definitely a brighter splash of color than the rest of the assortment.  That’s not a bad thing, and it’s in keeping with usual depictions of her.  The use of the gold that’s been on most of the Joes looks a lot better here, especially when merged with the yellow that’s already there.  I’m also quire a fan of the variation on her hair, which gives it a nice sense of transparency and light.  I did notice a few spots of slop on the base paint for my figure, especially on the wrist guards.  I’m hoping Hasbro can tighten up the paint a little more on this line going forward.  Scarlett is packed with an updated version of her crossbow, plus three knives.  The crossbow is in two parts and has a tendency to pop apart a lot, but is otherwise pretty cool.  The knives can all be stowed on the figure, which gives them a nice extra interactive feel which I really enjoy.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’m a very big fan of Scarlett, so as soon as I saw Snake Eyes, I was waiting to see the corresponding Scarlett.  I know she’s not everyone’s jam, but I really dig this new design a lot, and I like having her to go with my updated Snake Eyes.  I wouldn’t mind seeing a more classic version at some point as well, though, since I’m hardly going to turn down the chance to get another Scarlett figure.

I only wrote that review a year and a half ago, so I can’t really say there are any observable changes in my reviewing style here.  As you can see from the above review, I’m not so opposed to the Scarlett figure as she was released initially.  It’s a very different take, but one that I didn’t feel was too out of place for the character.  The sculpt very definitely didn’t bother me, and that’s fortunate, because it has remained unchanged here.  What has changed is pretty much all of the paint work.  All of the gold and bright blue elements have been replaced, with the gold being swapped for a more reserved tan, and the blue just being absent entirely.  Her undersuit has been changed as well, with a black top in place of the purple from the last one, and tan on the pants in place of the grey from before.  Her hair has also been slightly darkened, and her face has just generally been given a little bit more detailing.  As someone who didn’t have issues with the prior version, I can still say that this one looks emphatically better.  She just really pops on the shelf, and I feel she’s really worth the upgrade.

Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure for review.  If you’re looking for toys both old and new, please check out their website.

#2923: Scarlett

SCARLETT

G.I. JOE: CORE NINJA SERIES (HASBRO)

“Scarlett is a high-ranking member of G.I. Joe, an elite global special operations unit that fights to keep the world safe from Cobra”

Snake Eyes is, as I’ve elaborated on before here, not a good movie.  And it’s not really even a bad movie that’s particularly fun to watch.  It’s just kind of painful and dull for the most part.  Not every single thing about it sucks, though, and in particular I did like the film’s versions of mainstays Baroness and Scarlett.  On top of that, Hasbro did at least take advantage of the film to have a push on a wider variety of toys.  In addition to the portion of the Classified Series that was devoted to the film, there are also some more basic offerings, geared towards a lower price point, and focusing more on the characters featured within the film.  Generally, I don’t *need* to start collecting yet another Joe line, but I’m a sucker for a decent looking Scarlett figure, so here we are.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Scarlett is technically part of the second assortment of…well, it’s a little hard to track what this line is officially called.  It was solicited to retailers as “G.I. Joe: Core Series”, it’s billed “G.I. Joe Origins: Core Ninja Series” on the cases, and the figures themselves have “Ninja Strike” listed on the front of the box.  I’m going with “Core Ninja Series,” because that seems to be how retailers are referring to it.  The second assortment re-packs the standard Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow from the first, alongside Scarlett, a Red Ninja, and a Night Creeper.  As of right now, only ninja-related stuff has been featured, which I guess makes sense.  The figure stands just over 6 inches tall and she has 16 points of articulation.  The waist joint is slightly impeded by the presence of a spring feature, but you can still ratchet into different spots, so it does still add mobility.  Otherwise, she’s pretty decently articulated.  If she maybe had wrist movement, she’d be pretty much perfect, but wrists have never been standard for Joes, especially at the more basic level, so I guess this works out just fine.  Though this whole line is clearly running off the momentum of the movie, and the included Snake Eyes is undoubtedly movie based, Scarlett herself seems to lean much more heavily on a more evergreen design for the character, rather than trying to directly adapt the movie design.  Her design in the film is honestly one of the best things, but at the same time, I really don’t mind the look they’ve got here.  It feels a lot like her Resolute design, which I always really liked.  It’s just generally a good modernization of her original look, and I like that it’s distinctly different from the Classified design.  The figure’s paint work is rather on the basic side, as is expected for a basic level figure.  The colors are bright and the application is rather thick.  It’s not a bad look, all things considered.  There are details in the sculpt that wind up unpainted, but there are still a surprising number of things that *don’t* go unpainted, given other lines of comparable price levels from Hasbro.  The fact that the overhanging belt strap that goes onto the leg actually gets painted the whole way stands out to me in particular.  Scarlett is packed with a wonky sci-fi rifle, a bow, and two knives.  All of these elements can be combined into a crossbow of sorts, replicating her usual choice of weapon.  It’s a fun gimmick, which gives her a little bit more range of play.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was initially curious about this line when all we had to go by was a price-point, but by the time we actually saw them, and then I actually saw the movie, I kind of had backed off a bit.  That said, we had a couple of cases come into All Time, and I honestly liked Scarlett a lot when I saw her in hand, so I figured I might as well snag her.  She’s honestly a lot of fun, and gives me hope that Hasbro might be able to keep this lower cost line concept going, though perhaps without the movie tie-in.

Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure for review.  If you’re looking for toys both old and new, please check out their website.

#2922: Lost Galaxy Blue Ranger

LOST GALAXY BLUE RANGER

POWER RANGERS: LIGHTNING COLLECTION (HASBRO)

I go back and forth on my favorite Rangers from a given season of Power Rangers, generally finding myself most enjoying the changes of dynamic that the sixth ranger brings along.  Of the core team, however, my initial connection to Billy, the original team’s Blue Ranger, has always given me a little bit of affinity for the Blue Ranger of any given line-up.  The Blue Rangers do have a tendency to be the unsung heroes of any given season, being pretty central most of the time, but also just shy of being the most central.  What I’m getting at is, really, where’s my “Forever Blue” crossover?  Seems like a missed opportunity.  Well, I’ll just build my own crossover.  With blackjack!  And….okay, actually, forget all that.  I guess I’ll just stick purely with the Rangers.  Anyway, while we’re on the topic of Blue Rangers, let’s look at another one, specifically Kai Chen from In Space‘s follow-up, Lost Galaxy!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Lost Galaxy Blue Ranger is another figure from the ninth standard assortment of Lightning Collection.  He’s the third Galaxy Ranger in the line, and the second of the core team members, following Red back in late 2019.  The figure stands about 6 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  Structurally, he’s, unsurprisingly, largely the same as the Red Galaxy Ranger.  Kai’s another rather average sized person, and the elements were shared between the Ranger costumes in the show, so it makes a degree of sense.  Kai does get a brand new helmet sculpt, which does a nice job capturing his gorilla-themed helmet from the show.  Otherwise, it’s pretty standard issue stuff, and it all works just as well as it has all of the other times.  Kai’s paint work more or less matches up with the Red Ranger in terms of how it works, just with blue in place of the red.  He does get a fair bit more detailing on his helmet design, which is cool, but he’s also still got the slight fuzziness on the transitions from white to blue, like Galaxy Red.  Galaxy Blue is packed with an unmasked head for Kai (sporting a pretty strong likeness), two sets of hands (one set gripping, the other fist/flat combo), the Quasar Saber in both forms, his Transdagger in Cosma Claw form, and a lightning effect for the saber.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I do really like Blue Rangers, and I was still kind of in on the Power Rangers thing for Lost Galaxy, but I didn’t really ever have much of an attachment to Kai, for whatever reason.  I think I was just distracted by the awesomeness that was Magna Defender.  But, if I’m game on this whole Forever Blue thing, Kai’s kind of necessary.  He’s honestly not bad.  Pretty straight forward and by the numbers, but I do like him just a bit more than Galaxy Red, so that’s cool.

Thanks to my sponsors over at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure to review.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website.

#2921: In Space Black Ranger

IN SPACE BLACK RANGER

POWER RANGERS: LIGHTNING COLLECTION (HASBRO)

When it comes to Power Rangers, there’s not much I love more than Power Rangers In Space, the show’s sixth season.  It hit at just the right time for me to catch most of it first run as a kid, and it’s also just genuinely one of the show’s best seasons, all things considered.  As a kid, I never did get the whole line-up in toy form, but I’ve always wanted them, and now, as an adult, that’s something I can more genuinely work on.  Lightning Collection has been doing a pretty alright job for the team, with three members already released, two more already in the pipeline for release, and the sixth showing up somewhere as of yet unrevealed.  Boy, I do sure hope he’s not an exclusive.  That sure wouldn’t make me so happy.  Don’t make me not happy, Hasbro.  Before I descend into madness anymore, let’s look at the latest addition to the In Space line-up, Carlos Vallerte, aka the Black Space Ranger!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

In Space Black Ranger was released in the 9th standard assortment of Hasbro’s Power Rangers: Lightning Collection.  He’s the third Space Ranger to join the line, and is one of two Zordon Era figures in this particular assortment, the other being the Tenga Warrior from Mighty Morphin’.  Carlos follows in his predecessor Adam’s footsteps, with his first figure in the line being his second Ranger incarnation, and also his second Ranger color, since, in a reverse of Adam, Carlos began as a Green Ranger and switched to black in his second season, when the Japanese footage changed over.  The figure stands about 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  Carlos’s mold is a total re-use of the one that we saw used for Andros, which makes total sense, since the male rangers were all pretty close in build, and this was one of the few seasons where the only differences on the helmets were painted.  It was a good mold the first time around, and it’s still a good mold here.  The paint obviously changes things up, swapping the red of the first figure for black, as well as changing the shaping on his visor, and adding the extra lining around the black dome on the helmet, since, well, otherwise you wouldn’t be able to see it.  Carlos is packed with an alternate unmasked head, as well as two sets of hands (gripping and a fist/open gesture combo), his Lunar Lance, Astro Blaster, and an effects piece for the lance.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Completing the In Space team is pretty much the top of my list when it comes to this line, so I’ve been mad hype about each successive figure announced.  I’ve always had something of a soft spot for Carlos in particular, so him being a relatively early addition to the line-up was very cool.  Sure, there’s not a ton of new going on here, but he still works very well, and each additional figure just really makes the whole team dynamic work just a little bit better.  Have I mentioned that I can’t wait to get the rest of the team?

Thanks to my sponsors over at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure to review.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website.

#2920: Lord Zedd & Rita Repulsa

LORD ZEDD & RITA REPULSA

POWER RANGERS: LIGHTNING COLLECTION (HASBRO)

The central villain of the first three seasons of Power Rangers, and perhaps the franchise’s foe with the most iron-clad name recognition is Rita Repulsa.  Unfortunately, despite the franchise being as toy-driven as it is, Rita’s never been quite so lucky in the world of toys.  During the show’s original run, her figure never made it past the prototype stage, and when she finally did get a figure in one of the legacy sets many years later, it was a rather infamously bad offering.  Even in the Lightning Collection, a line generally kinder to villains, she’s stuck in an exclusive two-pack with a figure a lot of people already grabbed.  No respect…

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Rita Repulsa and Lord Zedd are a GameStop-exclusive Power Rangers: Lightning Collection two-pack, released last fall.  Rita is an all-new figure who has as of yet not been planned for another release, while Zedd is almost identical to his single release.

RITA REPULSA

Let’s at least give Rita the courtesy of reviewing her first, shall we?  I mean, she is kind of the star attraction here.  It’s not like anyone was buying the set for Zedd.  No, it’s all about Rita.  Rita was originally completely sourced from Power Rangers‘ re-used Zyuranger footage’s Witch Bandora, portrayed by actress Machiko Soga, and overdubbed by Barbara Goodson.  When they ran out of Zyuranger footage in Season 2, Carla Perez was cast in the part for the new footage (still overdubbed by Goodson), with the reasoning in-universe being an attempt on Rita’s part to try and woo Zedd.  For the purposes of this figure, they’ve chosed to base her on Soga, which is probably the more distinctive of the two actresses, but is also amusing from a standpoint of Soga’s Rita never actually interacting with Zedd, since he was himself a wholly American creation.  All that said, the two looks really aren’t that drastically different, and really, it does make sense to go with the more commonly associated actress.  The figure stands just shy of 6 inches tall and she has 34 points of articulation.  Rita breaks the traditions of what we’ve seen from this line so far and goes for a mixed media set-up for her outfit.  The dress is all cloth, presumably because it allows them to got the slightly cheaper route of re-using one of the female Ranger bodies underneath of it.  Beyond that, she gets a new head, chest piece, feet, hands, and bracelets.  The head is nice because it’s a properly expressive face for the character.  She’s very angry and is gritting her teeth, as she was quite prone to do on the show.  It’s a shame there’s not an extra head with a mad cackling grin, but I suppose that’s an option for perhaps a non-exclusive release down the line.  Rita’s paint work is generally alright.  There’s quite a lot of detailing on the face, which works out surprisingly well, and there’s some extra embroidering on the dress, which gets the proper patterning.  Rita gets quite an involved selection of accessories.  There are two sets of hands, as well as her staff, which make up the more general stuff.  Since the set is *technically* based on “The Wedding” (ignoring the whole “it’s the wrong actress” thing), she also gets her bouquet of flowers, the love potion she uses on Zedd, their wedding cake, and what I believe are supposed to be the Zeo crystals.  That’s actually quite a bit of stuff.

LORD ZEDD

Remember when getting a Lord Zedd was a cool novelty?  Boy, how’d they suck the joy out of this one?  Okay, I guess it’s not all bad. This figure is largely the same as the Series 1 release, just with a touch of extra paint on his hands and accessories.  Probably should have just included those details the first time around, right?  Maybe they could have tried actually chroming the armor.  Or even making it so the armor sits a little more securely.  As it stands, it feels kind of weak and lacking.  I mean, the new paint on the hands does look better and all, but still.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This set being announced as a GameStop-exclusive came not too long after me officially swearing off supporting GameStop as a company, so I was definitely not about rushing out to buy this one.  Likewise, I wasn’t really in a hurry to drop a bunch of money just to get another Lord Zedd, since I already felt rather content with the first one.  I opted to play the waiting game, and it worked out, since one got traded into All Time just a few weeks ago, giving me an easier excuse to pick it up.  Zedd’s improvements are minor, but between the two, this is the one I’ll keep.  Rita’s certainly the star here, and while she’s not perfect, she is honestly pretty good.  Certainly the best Rita figure out there, and I do appreciate them giving her all the extras to help offset the cost.  Ultimately, I feel this set shouldn’t have been an exclusive, I think it should have been earlier in the line, and I think it should have been a debut for both characters contained, because that would have generally made it a little more appealing.  There are drawbacks to that, too, of course, but it just seems more sensible than what we ended up with.  Hopefully, Hasbro’s planning to give Rita another release on her own, so that fans aren’t forced to pay a premium and wind up with an extra Zedd.

#2916: Captain America

CAPTAIN AMERICA

RETURN OF MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

Justice and virtue have found their champion… a super-soldier named Captain America!”

In 2012, Hasbro changed the game for Marvel Legends.  And not in the way that you might think.  I mean, yeah that’s the year that they brought the line back from its hiatus, but it wasn’t just that.  See, in Series 2 of this newly launched line, released in the spring of that year, they introduced one of the most single-handedly influential things that their run on the line has experienced.  What am I talking about?  I’m talking about Bucky Cap, the body that a metric ton of the modern line uses as a starting point.  Just on this site alone, I’ve reviewed 70 of themAnd if you don’t believe me, just check out the absurd amount of hyper links that make up these two sentences where I’m referencing the number of uses, because, I assure you, it’s, like, a lot of uses, more uses perhaps than I have any right to have here on this site, and yet here they all are.  In the seven years I’ve been reviewing Legends, I’ve talked a lot about this base body, and yet, I’ve never actually looked at the original use.  So now, as the molds begin to enter into their twilight years, let’s jump back to where it all started.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Captain America was released in the Arnim Zola Series of Return of Marvel Legends, which was the second line-up for the line.  It hit in the spring of 2012, about six months after Bucky had given the title of Captain America back to Steve and resumed operations as the Winter Soldier, which is about right for timing on these sorts of things, really.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  The articulation on this mold has become rather standardized and just part of the background noise these days, but it was a really great effort for the time.  Legends were still working their way out of the “twisting meat” era at the time, so having something that was not only really posable, but also didn’t have to look terrible to get there was a pretty big deal.  At this point, some of the joints are a little restricted, but even now it does still hold up alright. For the first use of the mold, it’s actually maybe a little small for Bucky as Cap, at least in the context of the line that followed.  At the time, scale was still a little all over the place, though, so it didn’t seem quite so out of place.  It certainly wasn’t a bad match from a looks standpoint, generally doing a pretty solid job of recreating Bucky Cap’s design from the comic in a spot-on fashion.  In terms of unique parts, he has a head sculpt featuring his his slightly tweaked version of the mask (notably missing the ears, as it should be), an add-on for his belt, and forearms and shins depicting his rolled up gloves and buccaneer boots.  Later figures would retool the arms and legs to have more standardized parts, though the gloves and boots would remain in service for other figures as well.  The head and belt have remained unique to this particular figure, which is sensible, given that they have more limited applications.  The do work well with the rest of the body, though the whole body has presumably designed to work as Bucky Cap first, and then retrofitted for re-use later.  Bucky Cap’s paint work is generally pretty nice.  The metallic blue fits the design perfectly, and the application’s really not bad for the time, since Hasbro was still contending with some iffy QC.  The “A” on his head is slightly off center on mine, but all things considered, it’s not too bad.  Bucky Cap was packed with a handgun and knife, both of which could be stored in his belt, as well as his shield, and one of the legs to Arnim Zola.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As I discussed yesterday, I was hesitant to get back into Legends when it relaunched, so I didn’t pick up any of the early ROML figures new.  I think I saw this guy maybe once, but didn’t think much of it.  In light of this being such an influential figure, though, as well as being a Captain America, I did feel compelled to track it down.  I wound up snagging it from Gidget’s Gadgets in Rehobeth Beach a few years back while vacationing with my family.  He’s been sitting in my office area unopened for a couple of years (for shame, I know), but I finally got to opening him up a few months ago, and felt compelled to finally get around to reviewing him.  I’ve looked at so much of him before, so many times, but it’s honestly a very good mold, and I totally get why Hasbro was so attached to re-using it as much as they did.  As we enter into a full decade of use for it, though, I do have to wonder what base body is going to take up the baton from it, after it did the same for the Bullseye body about 5 years ago.  Until then, you do have to admire its range.

#2915: Hawkeye

HAWKEYE

RETURN OF MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

None can equal the marksmanship of Hawkeye, the world’s greatest sharpshooter!”

In light of the success of 2012’s Avengers film, and how it served to highlight pretty much the whole cast, Hawkeye actually managed to get his own solo book for the first time in a good while.  Written by Matt Fraction and pencilled primarily by David Aja, the series delved into Hawkeye’s more down-to-earth status compared to the rest of the Avengers, and has become quite the definitive take on him, even serving as a clear inspiration for his upcoming Disney+ live action show.  To keep the character at least a little more in line with his movie counterpart, he got a radical redesign (as far as the 616 version of the character was concerned; it wasn’t too far removed from the Ultimate version’s standard gear), which actually got a pretty quick turnaround on toy treatment.  In early 2013, it found itself getting the Legends treatment, and I’m taking a look at that particular figure today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Hawkeye was released in the Rocket Raccoon Series of the Return of Marvel Legends, which was in fact one of the last assortments of that incarnation of the line.  It was quite scarce on the distribution front, and was so ill-supported by retailers that its refresh cases never went into production, meaning that Hawkeye’s swap figure, a more classic version of the character, wouldn’t get released until the Allfather Series in 2015.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Rather amusingly, I’ve actually reviewed every single piece of this figure before, though, in his defense, a number of the parts were actually new at the time.  He’s build on the Bucky Cap body, and has the novelty of being only the second re-use of it.  Subsequent Hawkeye’s have followed suit, which makes sense.  His harness came from Commander Rogers, and his belt came from US Agent, although I’ve looked at both via their many other releases since.  New to this figure were the head and quiver.  The head would eventually be re-used as Yellow Daredevil’s unmasked head.  It works better for Clint than it did Matt, and actually does an okay job of merging Aja’s very distinct Clint Barton design with something more in line with the rest of the line.  At least it’s not too Hasbro-face-y.  The quiver was a re-working of the movie version, but was tweaked to actually give him arrows, and wound up being re-used on the Allfather version (as was intended when he was just a swap as well).  All in all, it’s not a bad set-up, and clearly there were a lot of worthwhile parts here.  In terms of paint, this figure’s not bad.  He definitely emulates the “house style” version of this Hawkeye suit, more so that Aja’s design specifically, since there’s a more involved design on the chest, and more purple on the boots.  It still works pretty well for capturing the feel, though.  Hawkeye was packed with his bow, which was re-used from the movie release, and would continue to see use later in the line as well.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I never once saw a single figure from this set at retail.  I don’t know that I would have bought this one if I’d seen him at the time, since I still wasn’t back into Legends, and I probably would have been waiting for the variant anyway.  That said, I do like a good Hawkeye no matter what, and when this one got traded into All Time a few months ago, it was hard to say no.  It’s funny reviewing something I’ve reviewed all of the parts of beforehand, but they do really mesh well here.  He’s quite a nice figure, and still holds up very well.

Thanks to my sponsors over at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure to review.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website.

#2914: Spider-Man – Negative Zone

SPIDER-MAN — NEGATIVE ZONE

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Spider-Man’s Negative Zone suit allows him to absorb the Negative Zone’s dark energy and even merge with shadows. By doing so, the wall crawler becomes practically invisible, which gives him a major advantage against his enemies.”

Last fall, Hasbro leaned pretty heavily into the retro carded style for Marvel Legends, specifically for their Spider-Man sub-section of the line.  There was a dedicated assortment of figures, as well as a handful of one-offs and exclusives.  Target got themselves two different variants on Spidey himself for their exclusives.  I looked at Cyborg Spider-Man last year, but I never got around to the other one, Negative Zone Spider-Man, who I’ll be taking a look at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Negative Zone Spider-Man was released at the tail end of November of last year, alongside Gambit, Rogue, and Cyborg Spider-Man, as a small set of Target-exclusive Retro Collection offerings for Hasbro’s Marvel Legends line.  Like Cyborg Spider-Man, this is the Negative Zone suit’s third time in toy form, also following a Toy Biz 5 inch figure and a Minimate, just like Cyborg.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  The figure is a total repaint of Pizza Spidey.  It’s an interesting choice, really.  I don’t dislike Pizza Spidey in the slightest, and it was the standard Spidey for several years, but I find it funny that Hasbro tooled up a new standard Spidey for this very sub-line, and yet none of the variants on Spidey made use of the new parts.  Maybe they felt Negative Zone should be a skinnier Spider-Man?  Like I said, I don’t mind so much, but it is curious.  It’s all paint that makes the difference here.  He’s in a stark all black and white, as is accurate for the design, and it does look pretty sharp, I must say.  I just dig the sleekness, and the Pizza Spidey body emphasizes that.  Also something that excites me is the accessory selection, because for the first time in far too long, we get a Pizza Spidey release that actually gets the full range of hands.  How about that?  Boy how I missed the full range of hands.  He also gets the pizza, but in Negative Zone colors, which is pretty fun.  No half-masked head for eating the pizza, but I’ll learn to live with it, I suppose.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Neither of the Spidey variants from this round were essential to me, as I was far more focused on Gambit and Rogue at the time.  Target was running that “Buy 2 get 1 Free” sale at the time that they dropped them, and the only reason I really got Cyborg over this one was that this one wasn’t in stock at the moment I was ordering.  I saw him once or twice in-store, but I wasn’t in a rush.  I wound up getting him finally when one got traded into All Time.  I know, it’s quite a thrilling story, right?  Well, I guess more a touch thrilling than “I bought it at Target.”  I didn’t think much of the figure, but he’s actually pretty fun, and I’m glad I finally snagged one.

Thanks to my sponsors over at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure to review.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website.

#2913: Deadpool & Negasonic Teenage Warhead

DEADPOOL & NEGASONIC TEENAGE WARHEAD

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Wisecracking Wade Wilson and stoic Ellie Phimister team up to defend all mutants.”

Almost an entire year ago, I looked at Domino and Cable, who made up either half or two-thirds of Hasbro’s slightly late tie-ins for Deadpool 2.  Notably, I did *not* look at the title character, which did seem a bit odd, didn’t it?  Yeah, it seemed that way to me too.  I assure you, it wasn’t an intentional slight; I really did mean to review him, and his packmate Negasonic Teenage Warhead, right around the same time, but, as you can see, that didn’t happen.  Which I guess makes these tie-ins a bit more than slight on the lateness scale.  My apologies.  I guess I’ll just get to them now.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Deadpool and Negasonic Teenage Warhead are the second of the two standard release two-packs for the X-Men Movie sub-line of Hasbro’s Marvel Legends.  They were supposed to be released at the same time as the Magneto and Xavier set, but that didn’t really seem to happen.  A small amount of them shipped to people who’d placed online preorders, and a small amount showed up in stores, but there were no notable signs of stocking the way the rest of the line dropped, and most retailers had them continually pushed back for the better part of a year.  It seems that they’re finally starting to truly make their way out, now, though, so that’s good, since this was probably the most in-demand item from the whole sub-line.

DEADPOOL

Deadpool has no shortage of action figures, but the less than stellar relationship between Fox and Disney the last decade or so meant that actual proper movie toys weren’t a thing, at least until now…or last year, I guess, if you want to be more technical.  Deadpool’s movie costume was not only quite comics accurate, it also changed very little between his two films, meaning that this one figure can also pull double duty for both movies, which is exactly what it does.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  His articulation structure is pretty darn good, working in a set of butterfly shoulders, and making sure he’s got the pinless construction on the elbows and knees, making him a rather slick figure.  His sculpt was initially all-new to him, but was subsequently re-used for the single-release ash-covered Deadpool that was an Amazon-exclusive last fall.  It’s quite an impressive sculpt, which does a strong job of capturing the costume design from the movie.  It’s rather distinctive and it translates well.  I quite like how they’ve handled all the texturing on his outfit.  The figure’s paint work is generally pretty solid.  It follows the slightly toned down scheme of the film’s design, but it again looks pretty good as a toy, and the application’s all pretty clean and sharp.  Deadpool is quite well accessorized, with four sets of hands, two pistols, two katanas, a knife, and a small stuffed unicorn.  The hands are all in different poses, but two pairs are all black like in the first movie, and two have the silver stripes from the second.  While it’s nice to have the options, it does somewhat limit what you can do with him, since you have to make sure the style of gloves match.  I feel like the original plan was probably to do a full set of hands in both styles, but it probably didn’t cost out.  The two pistols are Forge’s sci-fi styled gun, which isn’t really true to the movie.  Also, there are more film accurate pistols in the holsters, even, but they aren’t meant to be removed.  They’re separate pieces that have been glued in place, so you *can* remove them, but I gave it a fair try, and didn’t really want to force it.  Presumably, this is some sort of a request from Disney, who are trying to downplay the use of real firearms with Marvel figures.

NEGASONIC TEENAGE WARHEAD

While Deadpool may be no stranger to action figures, Negasonic Teenage Warhead has thus far only had the one.  Admittedly, prior to being featured in the first Deadpool, the character struggled to be considered even D-List, so there wasn’t much call for toys before this.  While Deadpool had more or less the same look between the two movies, Negasonic had two fairly divergent designs for the two films.  This figure opts for her Deadpool 2 design, which is really the more fully formed and actually toy worthy of the two.  The figure stands 5 3/4 inches tall and she has 27 points of articulation.  Negasonic breaks from the movie X-Men norm and is largely re-using parts, specifically the Spider-Girl body.  It’s really not a bad match, and it’s just a decent starting point in general, plus, with as many new parts as the X-Men Movie figures had, it was a good way to save some money on tooling.  She still gets a new head, upper torso, upper arms, and a belt add-on piece, which help to keep her fairly movie accurate.  The head’s got an okay likeness of actress Brianna Hildebrand, at least from a sculpting standpoint (paint’s perhaps a different story), and the rest of the parts are all pretty good matches for her on-screen design.  The paint work is a bit of a mixed bag; the base work is okay, but the face paint on mine’s not quite right, resulting in her looking a little bit doofy.  Her eyes are definitely not pointing the same way, and that’s not ideal.  Negasonic is packed with two sets of hands (fists and open gesture) as well as Scarlet Witch’s effects pieces, presumably to emulate her powers in some fashion.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I wanted this set, not so much for Deadpool, since I’ve got plenty of figures of him, but actually for the Negasonic figure.  But, then I got both Domino and Cable, and so it made sense to have Deadpool too, so I decided I was down for both parts.  And then I patiently waited for the set to arrive….and that was a lot of waiting, now wasn’t it?  When I found out these were coming in, I honestly expected some sort of diabolos ex machina sort of a thing to ensue and prevent me from getting them yet again, but it didn’t, and now I have them.  How about that?  Sure, I wish Negasonic’s face paint were better, but otherwise, it’s quite a nice set, and I’m happy to finally have them.

Thanks to my sponsors over at All Time Toys for setting me up with these figures to review.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website.

#2912: Sentinel

SENTINEL

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Its body a towering, technological marvel, the Sentinel scans the world for its quarry, a searching light emanating from its chest, its glowing eyes a warning… and a threat. Programmed with only one objective, to destroy all mutant life on Earth, the Sentinel will not hesitate, will not falter, and will never ever stop hunting.”

Man, past-Ethan really needs to stop anticipating future-Ethan needing a pick-me-up…

From an early stage of this site, I’ve been versed in supporting action figures not just from an end-of-the-process side, but also from a more preemptive side as well.  I’ve backed my fair share of KickStarters, but those are typically smaller upstarts.  It’s a bit different when the biggest toy company in the world gets in on it.  But, that’s exactly what Hasbro did in 2018, when they launched HasLab, where larger scale items that might not otherwise get made could be backed directly by the fans who wanted them.  Last summer, they added their very first Marvel project to this initiative in the form of the giant purple mutant-hunting robots, the Sentinels. Shocking very few of my readers, I’m sure, I got in on this gravy train before the end of the campaign last year.  We’ve had a bit of a wait, but the Sentinel started arriving in collectors’ hands in the last few weeks, and I’m taking a look at mine today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Sentinel was a the inaugural Marvel Legends HasLab project, launched in July of 2020, and ending August 30th. The initial goal was a rather modest 6,000 backers, but the campaign wound up as an unprecedented success, reaching 365% of its needed backers by its end.  It entered production shortly after, and began shipping out in September of this year.  The figure stands 26 1/2 inches tall and he has an astoundingly high 72 points of articulation, 40 of which come just from the hands, which have articulation at every one of knuckles.  The rest of the movement isn’t quite as involved, but he’s got a solid range of motion considering how big and chunky he is.  One point of concern once the figures started arriving and getting reviewed was the tolerancing on the knee joints.  There was some concern that they were too loose out of the box, and weren’t offering enough tension to keep the figure standing.  In hand, the issue isn’t as bad as it seemed initially, at least when it comes to my figure.  While the knees aren’t super tight, and they would likely benefit from the presence of some ratchets (curiously absent, given that the elbows have them), I found it quite easy to get the figure into that sweet spot to keep him standing.  He’s stable enough to stay standing on my rather thick carpeted floor for over 2 hours without any other support, so I consider that a win.  The Sentinels have had an evolving look over the years, but this one is specifically patterned on the design used for House/Powers of X.  It matches with the set of X-Men we just got at the start of the year, and is also a fairly nice update on the classic Sentinel design, which honestly makes for a strong translation to toy form.  There’s a lot more design work to put into the larger surface area of the figure, but it’s not enough to overcomplicate him too much.  The sculpt is, of course, a wholly unique offering, since there’s not really any prior releases to borrow from.  The engineering is rather impressive, with most of the armor plates being actual separate parts assembled over a core body, since it’s something that’s actually possible to do at this scale.  It results in the figure having a lot of depth and sharp detailing, which really helps sell the robot nature of the design.  In terms of color work the very segmented construction of the Sentinel allows for a lot of the heavy lifting to be done with molded plastic, but that doesn’t stop him from still having quite a lot of actual paint work as well.  It’s generally all pretty good, with no real issues of slop or bleed over.  There’s quite a bit of smaller detailing that can be easy to miss, as well, with some separate coloring on the wires beneath some of the plating, and even painting on the smaller rivets holding the armor in place.  There’s a lot going on beyond just the surface level, just like with the sculpt.  The Sentinel also features a light-up effect, which runs on three AAA batteries.  Pressing the core on the figure’s torso lights up both the core and the eyes of the figure.  There are three different colors which can be activated by pressing the button additional times, and it turns itself off after 30 seconds.  It’s rather bright, and works fairly well.  The additional colors add some nice variety when it comes to display, although it’s too bad there’s no way to keep the lights on for a longer period.

As massive and impressive as the Sentinel proper is, there are still quite a few extras included with him.  The most basic of the accessories is the tendril, classically used for capturing mutants more easily.  It’s about 18 inches long, and it’s bendy, so you can wrap it around smaller figures.  It’s able to be plugged into the palm of either hand.  Initially, we were just getting the one, but given the success of the campaign, Hasbro added a second one with no additional charge, so now he can capture two mutants at the same time.  Double the mutant capturing power!  There were four stretch goals for the campaign, three of which got us extra parts for the core figure.  The first tier gave us an extra head to turn this figure into Master Mold, a frequently used, more advanced Sentinel that can manufacture other Sentinels.  Typically, he’s a lot larger than the average Sentinel, which this head sort of meets halfway by being larger than the standard head.  It’s not a perfect remedy, but it’s not terrible either, and it’s not like a properly scaled Master Mold was really in the cards.  He’d effectively have to be the size of a person.  At least this way we have some sort of representation.  The second tier was yet another alternate head, this time a battle-damaged variant of the standard, and with an alternate right hand to match.  The Sentinels are constantly being torn apart by the mutants they hunt down, so these are pretty awesome extras, and they can even be used as the parts to another fallen Sentinel for the purposes of display.  The fourth tier added one last alternate head, this time around the Tri-Sentinel, the merging of three Sentinels created by Loki during the “Acts of Vengence” story line in the ’90s.  Like Master Mold, it’s a bit of a compromise, since a proper Tri-Sentinel should have additional limbs as well, but again, it’s better to get some sort of representation here than none at all.

In addition to the parts for the Sentinel proper, there were two more extras in the form of two whole additional standard-sized figures.  From the very beginning, the Sentinel was going to be packed with Bastion, the humanoid Master Mold/Nimrod hybrid introduced during “Operation: Zero Tolerance.”  Bastion is based on his more recent appearances, matching up more with the Sentinel, I suppose.  The figure stands about 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Bastion is based on the Spider-UK body, with a new head and torso parts.  The new parts mesh well with the old and do a solid job of capturing Bastion’s creepy hybrid appearance.  His paint work is generally pretty decent, though I did find a little more slop here than on the main Sentinel.  Bastion actually gets an accessory of his own, an alternate head that allows for him to serve as a generic Prime Sentinel, one of Bastion’s rank and file human/sentinel hybrids.  Big flex putting an army builder in with a $350 figure, but I guess the bigger figure’s an army builder too, so it makes some sense.  It helps that it’s a pretty nice head in its own right.

The other figure included follows in the footsteps of the extra head included with Bastion.  If you’re going to have a generic male Prime Sentinel, it’s nice to have a female one as well.  The female Prime Sentinel was added as the third tier stretch goal.  She’s about 6 1/4 inches tall and has 27 points of articulation.  She has a mix of a few different base body parts, as well as an all-new head and upper torso.  Since it was the ’90s, the female Prime Sentinels had to have specific details that still allowed for them to show off the feminine traits even more hard core, so she’s got slightly different torso armor, and her hair is exposed at the top of her head.  Ultimately, she looks more like a female Bastion, with the white hair and everything.  It’s not a bad look, but it’s funny how different they are.  Her paint work is a little bit better than Bastion’s, at least on mine, which means there aren’t any real issues to report.  The Prime Sentinel got no additional accessories, but honestly, at this point, can you really complain?

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve been in love with the Sentinel design since I got my very first Toy Biz Sentinel back in the day.  I very excitedly collected all of the Toy Biz Legends fallen Sentinel bases, and then very excitedly built the actual Toy Biz Legends Build-A-Figure.  But I’ve always longed for something more to proper scale.  When this figure was shown off, it didn’t take much for me to decide to back him.  So, I jumped on board last August, and then I began my patient wait for him to arrive.  I knew he was going to be big and impressive, but it’s honestly something that pictures just don’t do justice.  Seeing him in person and actually getting to mess with him has been so much fun.  And now I’ve got to work out just what the hell I’m gonna actually do with him.

While I obviously got this guy directly through Hasbro, I’d still like to give a shout out to my sponsors at All Time Toys, who allowed me use of the back room photo tent so that I could actually get proper pictures of this guy for the review.  That was an absolute godsend.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website.