#3199: Moon Knight

MOON KNIGHT

MARVEL LEGENDS RETRO (HASBRO)

“A mercenary bound to the ancient spirit, Khonshu, Moon Knight fights to win the spirit its due!”

Ohhhh! Every day I wake up, then I start to break up, lonely is a man without love!  Every day I start out, then I cry my heart out, lonely is a man without love!  …you see, it’s clever, because that’s the song that Stephen wakes up to in Moon Knight, and…umm, I’m using it to start my review.  Fun, right?  Look, I’m just thrilled to be here, really.  Moon Knight’s mainstream, you guys.  I got Moon Knight socks the other day!  Moon Knight socks, you guys!  And there’s so many Moon Knight toys. We had this small selection, and now, it’s just so much more, and I’m all about it.  Moon Knight’s been shown on the card art for Hasbro’s Marvel Legends Retro line since the line began, but he’s just now finally made it into the line.  And I’m pretty excited about that too.  Let’s check him out!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Moon Knight is part of series 7 of Marvel Legends Retro, alongside Amazing Fantasy Spider-Man, Nova, Firestar, and repacks of Cap and Iron Man.  He’s one of two figures double-packed, the other being Spider-Man.  Moon Knight’s on Spider-Man’s level.  That’s crazy.  I’m so here for it.  As with the rest of the line, Moon Knight comes packaged in a beautiful retro throwback package, with lovely unique card art and graphics, all of which you must utterly destroy to open the figure.  That’s right, I destroyed this art, just for you guys.  I sure hope you appreciate that!  After being aggressively torn from his packaging, the figure stands just a hair over 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 7 points of articulation.  His articulation scheme is the same as the Cap I already looked at from this line, which is the classic 5 POA set-up with the addition of swivels on the forearms.  The boots are still separate pieces, but they’re also still glued in place, so there’s no extra movement there.  Moon Knight’s construction uses the same core body as the Cap figure, so he adheres pretty closely to the line’s own established style.  He gets his own unique head and cloak pieces.  The head’s a very basic full-face mask, which I feel like we’ll see more use of as the line continues.  The cloak is quite an impressive piece.  Still more on the basic side, but that perfect classic Moon Knight look.  The paint work on this figure is generally pretty basic, but I appreciate the slight change-up in tones of white for the belt and symbol, as well as the rarely used red eyes in reference to the original Moon Knight #1 cover.  The only thing I don’t really care for is the rather obnoxious brown production code printed on his inner right thigh; the odd color makes it kind of stand out, but it’s at least in a spot you won’t see most of the time.  Moon Knight doesn’t get any accessories.  I’d have liked maybe a staff or moonerangs, but accessories are at a minimum for this line in general, so it’s not majorly surprising, especially since he’s got the cloak.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Like I said in the intro, Moon Knight’s been on the card backs for this line since the beginning, and I’ve been eagerly waiting for his proper announcement since.  I was very excited when he was finally shown off.  Obviously, he’s just a basic figure.  I’m not expecting him to break the mold or do anything crazy.  And I still have my slight reservations with this line as a whole, as I did when I reviewed Cap.  But I’ve also kind of mellowed on things a bit there, and I’m honestly just super thrilled at another Moon Knight.  Perhaps the luster will start to wear off once there’s a ton of Moon Knight stuff everywhere for a prolonged period of time, but for now, I’m just really happy about it all.

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.

#3197: The Controller

THE CONTROLLER

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

First appearing at the end of the first year of Iron Man’s initial solo title, Basil Sandhurst aka The Controller is one of those villains who’s always sort of stuck to the background.  He’s largely remained an Iron Man foe, but also spent some time working with Thanos against Captain Marvel and the Avengers, as well as doing the general bounce around amongst the core Avengers cast.  He’s never risen to any particularly crazy heights, and despite his nature as a guy who controls other people, he’s more often than not working for someone bigger these days.  Most recently, he resurfaced in Iron Man’s current run, this time working for Michael Korvac.  This increased prominence, coupled with his design being “blue Thanos,” has netted him his first action figure treatment, as a Marvel Legends Build-A-Figure.  I’m taking a look at that figure today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Controller is the Build-A-Figure for the self-titled series of Marvel Legends, which is the most recent Avengers-themed assortment.  Given that the assortment also features Iron Man in his most recent armor, Controller is a pretty natural fit.  The figure stands 7 3/4 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  His size is a bit large for his listed height of 6 foot 2 inches, but as with most listed comic book character heights, there’s always a degree of variance in how they’re actually portrayed.  Controller’s certainly one of those characters that’s crept up in height over the years.  It’s also more excusable given the nature of his construction, which banks pretty heavily on the deluxe Thanos molds from last year.  He shares his arms, legs, pelvis, and shoulder armor with that figure, and his torso is also a slightly modified version of Thanos’s as well.  The two have classically looked astonishingly similar in their designs, and this is certainly a major factor in Controller getting made for this assortment, so I definitely get it.  He gets a new head, forearms, hands, shins, and feet, as well as a new belt piece.  By far, the head is the strongest piece.  It captures Controller’s cracked and segmented face really well, just really looks the part.  His new gloves and boots are far more simplified than Thanos’s were, which better fits the Controller’s usual look, and also just further removes him from the prior figure.  Controller’s paint work is more involved than it looks at first glance.  While the basic blues are just molded plastic, there’s a bit of highlighting on the lighter blues to make some of the muscle detailing stand out a bit more.  The exact shades seem just a little bit off, so it looks a little funky, but I do like to see Hasbro trying something other than just the flat colors.  The face also gets some accenting to really bring out those cracks, and that winds up paying off much better.  Despite being a Build-A-Figure, Controller nevertheless actually gets two sets of hands: basic fists, and a combo with open gesture.  The right open gesture hand is even holding a pair of his control discs, which is a fun touch.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I didn’t intend to finish this figure nearly as quickly as I did.  After a couple years of just buying full sets of everything Legends and sorting out what I didn’t want later, for this series I actually decided to be picky, since I wasn’t really that interested in more than half of the figures.  And, while I wasn’t opposed to owning a Controller, I was also content to wait for his parts to get traded in.  No rush.  Well, I got my two pieces from the figures I wanted.  And then Max got one figure, and didn’t want the parts.  And a customer at the store also wasn’t getting a full set, so I got those parts too, and one by one, I assembled a Controller in just over a day.  Hey, I won’t knock that!  He’s another one of those fairly by the numbers figures, who does exactly what he needs to, and ultimately succeeds because of it.  I wasn’t expecting a lot, but he’s certainly fun.

#3194: U.S. Agent

U.S. AGENT

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Originally appointed by the US Government to replace Steve Rogers as Captain America, U.S. Agent John Walker must balance his moral compass against his duty to his country.”

When you need a Captain America-esque guy, but you need him to do un-Captain America-esque things, there’s one guy to call: John F. Walker, the U.S. Agent!  Beginning as the Captain America antagonist Super Patriot, John was tapped as the new Cap when Steve gave up the title during a falling out with the US government.  Obviously, Steve was always going to come back, and when he did, his uniform from his interim time as “The Captain” was handed over to Walker, who repurposed it as U.S. Agent.  He’s since become the go-to character for when you need someone who’s on the right side of the law, but maybe not morally there, albeit not in a totally villainous sense.  And, he got a great focus in the MCU in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.  All of that’s given him some leverage for a cool new comics-based figure.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

U.S. Agent is figure 6 in the Controller Series of Marvel Legends.  His presence in the series allows for all three of the main heavy hitter Avengers to have some sort of presence, without there being an actual Steve Rogers Cap variant needed.  This marks U.S. Agent’s third time in Legends form, and his second comics-based release, following the prior Hasbro version from way back in the Return of Marvel Legends days.  The figure stands 6 3/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  U.S. Agent is built on the Reaper body, along with its Cap-specific parts courtesy of the Cap-Wolf release.  The Reaper body is perhaps just a touch small for how Walker is usually portrayed, but it’s not too far off, and I get the want for internal consistencies with the standard Cap.  He gets a brand-new head sculpt.  After years of Hasbro going a bit too gruff with Steve before finally getting it right, they dial back in on that gruffness for Walker.  The head’s maybe just a touch too large for the body, I think, but it’s otherwise a pretty good fit for the character.  U.S. Agent’s paint work is generally pretty decent.  Not quite as impressive as Speedball, but still better than previous fare.  The face gets a decent amount of accenting, and the detailing on the uniform is nice and crisp.  U.S. Agent is packed with his shield, two sets of hands (fists and a gripping/open gesture combo), and the arm for the Controller Build-A-Figure.  If there’s one thing I’d have liked to see, it’s an alternate Steve head to let this figure double as The Captain, but that’s far from an essential piece.  As it stands, he works well for John.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Since getting a few goes at a good update to a classic Cap, and finally getting a really definitive one in the 20th Anniversary release, I’ve definitely been jonesing for a good U.S. Agent.  The prior one just wasn’t cutting it, so this one was certainly welcome.  As with Speedball, I expected this one to be a rather by-the-numbers release, though unlike Speedball, U.S. Agent winds up being truer to that expectation.  He’s not anything crazy, but he’s honestly just what he needs to be.

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.

#3193: Speedball

SPEEDBALL

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“When Robbie Baldwin is exposed to an extra-dimensional energy source, he becomes Speedball, able to project a kinetic energy field allowing him to bounce like a super-powered rubber ball!”

Introduced in 1988, Speedball was one of Marvel’s active attempts at recapturing the success of Spider-Man through another young hero, going so far as to include Steve Ditko in the character’s creation, just for that extra push. Though he ultimately didn’t meet their expectations, he did find some notoriety as a member of the New Warriors when that book was launched just a few years later.  He’d go on to become a defining member for the team throughout its many iterations, right up until they got totally discarded in order for big shocks in Civil War, at which point we got sad emo boy Robbie becoming the ultimate edgelord Penance…yeah, it’s not great.  But it’s okay, because he’s back to being Speedball, and now he’s even got an action figure, which I’m taking a look at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Speedball is figure 4 in the Controller Series of Marvel Legends, which is ostensibly an Avengers assortment.  He’s the fourth member of the founding New Warriors in the line, following Night Thrasher, Firestar, and Nova.  Fingers crossed for a Justice figure in short order!  This is Speedball’s first figure, though Robbie did get a Minimate as Penance.  But I don’t wanna talk about it.  You can’t make me.  ….Anyway, the figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  Speedball is built on the 2099 base body, which is a more than respectable choice for the character.  The build’s a pretty good match, and the articulation scheme, especially with those butterfly joints on the shoulders, makes for a lot of fun posing.  It’s a solid basic body choice for a guy with a pretty basic costume set-up.  It’s only real downside is that we still have the expose pins on the elbows and knees, but it’s going to take a little bit for such things to completely disappear from the line.  Speedball gets an all-new head sculpt, and it’s very definitely the star piece of the figure.  The hair has a wonderful dynamic flow, giving it that crazy flop that was so signature to the character’s look.  Gambit *wishes* his hair was this chaotic.  The face has a nice warm and friendly expression that feels right for a fun-loving guy like Robbie, and the goggles, which are separate pieces, top of the look pitch perfectly.  Speedball’s color work surprised me in its quality.  Not only is the base application all clean and sharp, they also handle his distinctive patterning on his gloves, belt, and boots quite well, without missing any noticeable spots or cutting anything too keep it simpler.  His face and hair also get a far bit more accenting than we’ve typically seen on the Hasbro Legends, which really just gives the whole thing a really polished feel.  If I have one complaint about this figure, it’s that he doesn’t get any accessories of his own.  A recoloring of the Havok/Polaris effects with his multicolored kinetic energy would have worked decently in a pinch, I feel.  That said, it’s not the end of the world, I suppose.  Ultimately, he’s packed with the torso for the Controller, which is the largest piece, so the box is far from empty feeling.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

When I was seven, I bought an issue of Wizard magazine because it had a feature on the upcoming Avengers: United They Stand cartoon, and I wanted to know everything I could about it.  Said issue also included a free preview copy of the latest iteration of the New Warriors at the time, which of course had Speedball front and center.  I’d not encountered him previously, and while I wouldn’t actually read most of his early New Warriors appearances until much later, the character’s distinctive visual always stuck with me.  I hated what they did with him in Civil War, and was always bummed that his only Minimate was as Penance.  So, this figure?  I was fairly excited.  He looked like a cool by-the-numbers figure.  In hand, that’s not what he is, because, despite the base body build, he’s not just a by-the-numbers figure.  He’s got a lot of care put into him, and he’s so much fun.  He’s simple, but he’s thus far my favorite Legend of the year.  And there was a Havok and a classic Cap this year, so that’s pretty high praise by me.

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.

#3192: Iron Man

IRON MAN

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Tony Stark resolves to get back to basics, donning a new stripped-down Iron Man armor inspired by his most classic designs.”

Oh boy, are you guys ready for some more Marvel Legends?  I sure hope you are, because apparently the only settings on Hasbro’s release schedule for these are nothing at all and everything at once.  It’s…it’s a lot.  With no Avengers movies out or upcoming in the next year, the Avengers portion of the line is shifting over to purely comics based, which is where the most recent assortment sets its sights. The resident heavy hitter for this round is an Iron Man, who I’m gonna be taking a look at today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Iron Man is the non-numbered figure for the Controller Series of Marvel Legends. He’s based on Alex Ross’s updated Iron Man armor, which is his current set-up in the comics.  It’s a fairly nice merging of modern aesthetics with his classic design elements, offering a look that’s both unique, but still reads as a standard Iron Man.  Definitely a solid choice for the line-up.  The figure stands 6 3/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  This Iron Man’s articulation scheme is probably the best we’ve gotten on a Legends Iron Man.  The 80th body and its spin-offs certainly weren’t bad from a movement perspective, but his figure takes a lot of the things that Hasbro’s learned from other lines and implements them for Marvel.  In particular, the neck is a mix of two ball joints and a universal, resulting in a ton of range we don’t usually see.  And, it’s all worked in really well from an aesthetic standpoint, making it doubly successful.  His sculpt is an all-new affair, of course.  It’s a really nice recreation of the armor as we’ve seen it on the page.  The depth of detail is also quite impressive, in part because it’s handled with so many separate pieces that are all assembled.  The only part I’m not super crazy about is the shoulder armor, which is a softer piece that goes over; when posing, it can be slightly restricting, and I worry about warping it by leaving the arms up for too long.  Beyond that, though, it’s a really strong sculpt.  His color work isn’t terrible, but it’s probably the figure’s weakest aspect.  The reds and golds are largely molded, rather than painted.  For the red, it means its not metallic; not the end of the world, but it doesn’t quite have that same pop.  For the gold, it means he’s got the swirls going on.  On my figure they’re rather prominent on the faceplate, which can be a tad distracting.  The actual paint application is all at least pretty clean, though, and I do like how the whites really stand out from the rest of the armor.  Iron Man is packed with two sets of hands (repulsor blasts and fists), and the two-part blast and smoke effects that were first included with Ironheart.  The replusor hands get the full wrist articulation, which I’m very happy about, and I’m also happy to see the Ironheart effects turn back up, as they’re honestly pretty cool.  It’s a shame that there’s not an unmasked Tony head, but there are at least options available.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

With classic Iron Man and Modular Iron Man checked off, there’s not a ton left on my Iron Man checklist, but I’ll admit that I’ve liked this look since it was first shown off and was on-board for its inevitable Legends release.  When this one was announced, I was definitely planning to grab it, but didn’t think much beyond that.  It’s actually a pretty awesome figure.  He’s not my standard armor or anything, but it’s just hard to deny that this is a really, really good Iron Man figure.

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.

#3191: Rise of Boba Fett

BOBA FETT, BOSSK, & ANAKIN SKYWALKER

STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS (HASBRO)

“Ever since the Battle of Geonosis, young Boba Fett has made it his mission to confront the Jedi who defeated his father. Jango’s son doesn’t care that the duel between his father and Mace Windu was a fair battle between skilled warriors; Boba wants his chance to fight the Jedi. Eventually, his hunt is successful. He and Bossk fly Slave I to a planet where Mace and Anakin Skywalker are on a mission. The moment has come, and Boba is determined to make Windu pay for his actions on Geonosis, and to take his place as the greatest bounty hunter in the galaxy.”

Prior to the Book of Boba Fett, as far as general audiences were concerned, Boba Fett was a character in three Star Wars films with about five lines spread across them, and very little in the way of motive or characterization.  I mean, there was probably something there, but it was easy to overlook.  Even within his expanded universe stories, the character’s main set-up was just being the ultimate undefeated bad-ass who was the best at everything all the time.  He was like a walking Chuck Norris joke.  It’s honestly kind of boring, narratively speaking.  The first real bit of character work he got came when he was worked into Clone Wars, seeking vengeance on Mace Windu, the Jedi that killed his father.  Since Clone Wars was a prequel to Revenge of the Sith, a story where Mace is still alive, so he can’t exactly have anything of note happen to him.  So, Boba’s revenge arc must instead take the form of a character study, as he faces inevitable failure.  Given he’s a character that was previously defined as undefeated, it’s a unique take, and one that made the character far more intriguing to follow.  There was a whole set of figures based on the arc from the show, and I’m looking at that (or a portion of it), today!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

“The Rise of Boba Fett” was a Toys R Us-exclusive Ultimate Battle Pack released in 2010 as part of Hasbro’s Star Wars: The Clone Wars line.  It consisted of Boba Fett, Bossk, Anakin Skywalker, Mace Windu, R3-B7, the Slave I, and Mace Windu’s Starfighter.  Today, I’m just focussing on Boba Fett, Bossk, and Anakin Skywalker.

BOBA FETT

There were two Boba Fett’s in the Clone Wars line, but this one was specifically based on Boba’s first arc on the show, where he sports his Kamino clone smock thing that he uses to infiltrate the cloning facilities, which is also effectively the same attire he’s got in Attack of the Clones…which begs the question, did Boba change his clothes between his appearances, or was he just running around in the same set of clothes for god knows how long?  Only Boba really knows.  Or perhaps those who were within smelling distance.  The figure stands 2 3/4 inches tall and he has 22 points of articulation.  Boba’s an all-new sculpt, sporting just shy of the line’s best articulation scheme.  All he’s really missing are the universal joints on the hips, but given the outfit, the t-hips are just fine. The sculpt is pretty solid, especially for that mid-line level of being fairly accurate to the show models, but just a bit removed for accuracy’s sake. He’s perhaps a little full-faced for animated Boba, especially when compared to the later single release, but it’s still a very good piece of work. Boba’s color work is largely pretty basic. Most of it’s just molded colors, but what paint application is present is all pretty clean. Boba included a display stand, a collector card, and a chance cube. Light for a figure on his own, but given how much other stuff came with the set, not too surprising.

BOSSK

Another OT character getting some representation in Clone Wars, it’s Bossk, whom the show confirmed had ties to Boba pre-Empire. He too appears to have not changed his clothes in the meantime. Of course, it’s a pressure suit, and presumably there’s other stuff beneath it, so I guess it’s maybe a bit less gross.  The figure stands about 4 inches tall and he has 22 points of articulation.  Bossk’s sculpt is all-new, and remained exclusive to this release.  It’s a pretty impressive piece of work.  It really embraces the style of the show, so that it’s clearly different from a standard movie Bossk figure.  I really enjoy the exaggerated proportions, as well as the lager scale relative to the other figures in the set, and I like how the articulation works with the rest of the sculpt.  The color scheme on the figure takes Bossk’s usual colors, and goes slightly brighter with them.  The paint work is pretty basic, but it’s clean, and it does what it needs to.  I particularly like the slight accenting on the exposed skin.  It really sells the detailing on the sculpt well.  Bossk is packed with his usual blaster rifle, as well as a display stand and a collector card.

ANAKIN SKYWALKER

You gotta have one of the main guys in the big sets, I suppose, so this one got an Anakin.  Not the worst thing ever, but, you know, it’s still another Anakin.  This one is, at the very least, a pretty good one.  The figure stands a little over 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 22 points of articuation.  This Anakin re-uses the mold from the Space Suit Anakin, which, while it looks like just a re-use of the first series Anakin at first glance, was actually an updated mold, with a better articulation set-up, specifically giving him actual knee and ankle movement.  Beyond that, the sculpt is just a pretty impressive piece.  It’s fairly accurate to the show design, while still working in the articulation and everything pretty well.  Anakin’s color work is nicely handled; there’s a fair bit going on, and the detailing on the armored parts in particular is quite an impressive set-up.  Anakin is packed with his lightsaber, a display stand, and a collector card.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I remember this set being released, but I was not in the market for the whole set-up, with the big vehicles and everything, especially at that time.  It just wasn’t really worthwhile for the two figures I actually wanted.  When these three came into All Time a couple of years back, I was able to get those two, plus the extra Anakin, which is honestly a pretty good one too, all in a more affordable package.  Boba got a slightly better figure later, but this one’s still cool, and the Bossk figure is very definitely hard to beat.

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.

 

#3187: Ultra Magnus – Shattered Glass

ULTRA MAGNUS

TRANSFORMERS GENERATIONS: SHATTERED GLASS COLLECTION (HASBRO)

“Welcome to an alternate universe where the bad guys are good, and the good guys are bad…Shattered Glass is a mirror universe where Optimus Prime and the Autobots are the evil conquerors and ruling class of Cybertron, opposed by the noble Megatron and his heroic Decepticon rebels.

Ultra Magnus has become bored with warfare.  Having ended more sparks than he can count, he sets his sights on something greater: the destruction of the universe.”

First appearing in 2008 as the inspiration for a Botcon-exclusive boxed set, “Shattered Glass” is the Transformers version of a pretty classic sci-fi trope: the alternate universe where all the good guys are evil and all the bad guys are good…you know, kinda like it says in the italicized text above.  I guess Hasbro’s kind of okay at explaining that one too.  While all the tie-in toys were initially just handled by Fun Publications, the group in charge of both the Transformers and G.I. Joe Collector’s Clubs and their respective exclusives, and therefore not part of any of Hasbro’s proper Transformers lines, Hasbro officially brought “Shattered Glass” into their line with a Generations Select two-pack featuring the evil counterparts to Optimus Prime and Ratchet, in 2020.  In 2021, they launched a full sub-line, the Shattered Glass Collection, which was exclusive to Hasbro Pulse.  Personally, I’m not deep enough into Transformers to really need the Shattered Glass stuff, but…well, as you can see, there’s kind of an Ultra Magnus.  And, uhh, I kinda tend to just buy everything Ultra Magnus.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Ultra Magnus is figure #6 in the Shattered Glass Collection.  He’s the first of the second batch of figures for the line, and started arriving to those who pre-ordered him at the beginning of September, which was about a month ahead of his original projected release date.  Hey, it’s not as drastic as *some* of Hasbro’s recent date changes, right?  Right.  In his fully built up robot mode, the figure stands 7 1/4 inches tall and he has 20 workable points of articulation.  Structurally, he’s mostly the same as the Kingdom Magnus.  It’s a good, classic Magnus mold, and genuinely my favorite Magnus, so I’m certainly not hurt by seeing it turn up again.  There are a few quirks to this particular use of the mold, but they’re largely to do with the paint, so I’ll get to them in a moment.  Before that, I’ll discuss the one new part of this mold, which is the head.  The original BotCon Shattered Glass Magnus had a unique head sculpt, which gave Magnus a skeletal visage and a more sinister shaping to his helmet.  It’s certainly a different design for the character, and it’s kind of the one signature part of SG Magnus, so this figure gets a new head to match that look.  Personally, I feel it clashes just a bit stylistically with the rest of the body, but it’s not a bad piece in its own right.  The paint work marks the biggest change-up for this figure, as has been the case for all of the Shattered Glass releases.  While a lot of the palette shifts for the Autobots are more centered on giving them more classically evil colors to mess with, in Magnus’s case, he actually gets a throwback to his history, with the colors of Powered Convoy, the original toy Magnus used the molds from (which were almost Magnus’s colors as well, had Hasbro not decided to shift his colors before Transformers: The Movie‘s release).  It’s honestly a sensible choice for an alternate universe Magnus, since it involves reversing his color scheme, making it feel all evil and stuff.  Unfortunately, this color scheme winds up requiring some paint where there wasn’t on the first use of this mold, which messes with the tolerances on some of the moving parts just a bit.  On my figure, the prime offenders are the inner wrist guards and the shoulder rockets, neither of which really wants to sit just right.  Beyond that, though, they look pretty solid.  It’s worth noting that in the Transformers canon, the Powered Convoy colors have been made into a separate character, Delta Magnus, and in order to facilitate this guy pulling double duty, he also includes the standard Kingdom Magnus head colored to match the core body.  He’s also got his blaster rifle (now in red), as well as the sword, axe, and Matrix of Leadership from the Legacy Laser Prime.

As a re-use of the Kingdom mold, SG Magus has an inner bot under all of the outer armor.  His mold is totally unchanged, which is honestly just fine by me.  He does get a drastically different color scheme, however.  While the outer robot could pull double duty as Delta Magnus, the inner robot uses the original Powered Convoy inner bot colors, thus allowing him to serve as a third character, Magna Convoy.  I’m gonna be honest, I don’t know anything about Magna Convoy, and reading his wiki entry didn’t really help much on that front, but I do like the look of the color scheme he’s got.  Not enough to ever display this figure sans armor, but such is the curse of any inner Magnus bot.  The inner bot turns into the same truck cab as the original Kingdom release did, just with the updated colors, and just like that one, you can reconfigure the armor pieces into a trailer for the cab.  It’s still a little bit slapdash, but I still don’t really mind that.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

It’s Max’s fault.  No, really, it’s totally Max’s fault.  He completely enabled me on this one.  I didn’t even know it was coming, he told me about its existence, and he even let me jump in on his Pulse Premium membership to help me get one.  How dare he?  Downright unreasonable.  In all seriousness, I’ve been wanting a Delta Magnus re-deco since Siege, and that only increased with the Kingdom mold in play.  I wasn’t expecting the Shattered Glass angle, but I can’t say I’m upset about it, since it just means extra stuff.  He’s gonna stay in the Delta Magnus mode for my display, but I’m always down for more options.

Oh, and there’s also a comic.  Right.  Genuinely forgot.  Was gonna do a bit and then I actually forgot.  He comes with the first issue of IDW’s Transformers: Shattered Glass II, which gets a special exclusive cover for this release.  It sure is a comic.  There are words.  Illustrations.  Colors.  Events occur.  Not sure I’d say it has a plot, but it’s sure got a lot of Magnus.  I can’t say it’s good or bad.  It just…is.

#3186: IG-86 Assassin Droid

IG-86 ASSASSIN DROID

STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS (HASBRO)

“An IG-86 Assassin Droid lies deactivated in a Trandoshan trader’s cargo hold until a buyer can be found for the dangerous droid. But he is accidentally reactivated by a clumsy astromech droid, and the lives of everyone on board the ship are in peril.”

In addition to fleshing out the prequel-era characters, The Clone Wars also placed a focus on more directly tying the two trilogies together.  We got handful of younger OT characters featured, as well as a few lineages, and predecessors to things seen in the OT.  Amongst those predecessors, a recurring feature were the IG-86s, precursors to IG-88 and other Assassin Droids of the same model.  They never really step beyond bit player, but they help to more fully fill-in the world around the characters, and they always make for a good toy.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The IG-86 Assassin Droid was released in 2008 as part of the first year of Hasbro’s Clone Wars tie-in line, where he was figure #18.  The figure saw a few multipack releases as well during the line, with minimal deco changes, as well as one more widely changed version in the form of Ziro’s assassin droid, added to the line as figure #37 in the following year (that’s the one pictured next to Wilson over on the right).  All of the releases used the same mold.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 26 points of articulation.  The IG-86 mold was one of the most posable molds in the whole line, with universals on the shoulders, elbows, hips, and knees.  He’s also got posable hands as well, making for far better gripping of the weapons.  The point is, there’s just a lot you can do with this guy, and it’s a lot of fun.  The sculpt is one of the best from the line.  It’s a great recreation of the animation model, with a nice merging of function and form.  Figures like the most recent Vintage Collection IG-11 are totally still banking on how this figure worked.  For the first release, IG-86 got a tarnished and dirty finish, a stark contrast to the usually more clean Clone Wars offerings.  It was a really impressive set-up especially for the time, and captured the whole “deactivated” thing quite well.  Ziro’s assassin droid trades in the grime for a unique set of markings, as well as a less metallic finish than the original release.  It’s suitably different, but cool for its own set of reasons.  Both versions of the Assassin droid, included two droid-style blasters, as well as a backpack for storing both of them.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The standard IG-86 was one of my earliest purchases from the line, shortly after he hit retail.  I’ve always had a soft spot for IG-88, and I liked seeing the elements in animated form.  The sculpt, form, and function all just really work, making him one of the line’s very best.  I like him so much that I wound up snagging Ziro’s assassin from a collection that came into All Time, just so I could get another chance to mess with it.  They’re both really fun, and I love the two different decos.  Seriously top-notch.

#3182: Jet Trooper

JET TROOPER

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“Star Wars: Battlefront II lets players call in reinforcements from the most skilled soldiers and units in the galaxy, including the aerial specialist Jet troopers.”

First appearing in a very bit appearance in the background of one shot of the fifth season Clone Wars episode “Sabotage,” the 501st Jet Trooper’s rather unique design was set to get a mass release figure as part of Hasbro’s main Clone Wars line in 2013, as part of the wider Star Wars line re-launch that was to go along with the 3D re-release of Attack of the Clones.  When Phantom Menace’s 3D re-release went over worse than Phantom Menace‘s original release, the AotC re-release was scrapped, and the domestic release of the toys to accompany was cancelled.  The nine Clone Wars figures included wound up with only an international release, which was kind of a shame.  The design wound up brushed off for a few other projects, including Battlefront II, which finally got the Jet Trooper another chance at a figure…albeit an exclusive one.  Eh, you win some, you lose some.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Jet Trooper is a Gamestop-exclusive Star Wars: The Black Series release, as part of their larger “Gaming Greats” sub-line.  He’s #6 in the sub-line.  The figure stands just over 6 inches tall and he has 29 points of articulation.  In what is just a confusing sequence of parts creation and selection at this point, the Jet Trooper is largely *not* built from the updated Clone body we got at the start of Phase IV.  He gets the new head/helmet, but that’s it.  Below the neck, he’s using a variation on the Captain Rex tooling.  It’s not a bad selection of parts, and now it’s been almost completely reverse engineered into a standard Clone body.  The question just remains: why?  Why, after introducing the new body, are we still getting a combination of parts from three distinctly different Clone base bodies, interwoven with each other?  Like, maybe just pick one and stick with it?  Ultimately, it doesn’t impact this guy too badly, since, as I said, the Rex tooling is still pretty solid.  The leg movement is kind of stiff, but otherwise it works okay.  The torso’s been modified to add a port for the jetpack, so that works out well.  The Jet Trooper’s paint scheme is fun, bright, and fairly unique, and the application is nice and clean.  It’s definitely the best thing about the figure, and it really works out well.  The Jet Trooper is packed with his jetpack (borrowed from Jango Fett), and a small blaster pistol.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I quite like this design.  I quite like Clones in general, and this one just really works.  It’s a cool, nifty look, begging for good toy treatment.  It’s a shame that there are so many barriers to entry on the first figure, and I wasn’t thrilled about the Gamestop-exclusiveness on this one.  Fortunately for me, I was able to get one via a convenient trade-in at All Time.  That sure was easy.  He’s a really fun figure of a really fun design, and I’m glad to have added him to the collection.

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.

#3181: Obi-Wan Kenobi

OBI-WAN KENOBI

STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS (HASBRO)

Obi-Wan battles the enemies of the Republic as war expands across the galaxy. The Jedi General continues his hunt for General Grievous and leads diplomatic missions to far-flung worlds. Whether he is battling droids or negotiating with potential allies, Obi-Wan is resolute in his fight to save the Republic.”

The prequel films were, admittedly, not great when it came to character building. They were a bit like reading a Wikipedia article on the events. All the big stuff was covered, but there was ver little human element. The Clone Wars does a lot to salvage the films and the characters within by actually spending time with them, and even giving them some genuine emotional arcs, making you actually care about what happens to them. Though technically one of the main characters of the films, Obi-Wan had the misfortune of largely getting shoved to the side in favor of the plot. The Clone Wars gives him his own stories, and even a small glimpse into his history before the movies. And it also lets him just be cool, and that’s never a bad thing.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Obi-Wan Kenobi was released in 2011 as figure 40 in Hasbro’s Clone Wars Collection. He was the fifth version of the character in the line, and the first to be based on Obi-Wan’s improved design model from later in the show, as they slowly moved him closer to his RotS look.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 18 points of articulation.  As the line moved into its more show-design accurate era, the Clone figures notably took a slight hit to articulation, but, on the flip side, the Jedi characters made out a lot better, by virtue of, you know, actually getting knee joints.  That’s the case with Obi-Wan, and even with the harder plastic skirt piece and the t-hips, he still manages to be quite mobile.  His sculpt was an all-new one, and it’s a far more show accurate one than the four that preceded it, and for my money, more accurate than those that followed it as well.  There’s a really good flow to it, and I love all the sharp angles.  The style is really captured well here.  The color work on this guy is generally pretty good as well.  The paint work is cleanly applied, and the colors all match well with the show.  Obi-Wan’s only accessory was his lightsaber.  It was a step down from prior offerings, but it does at least cover the basics, so it’s got that going for it.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The late run Clone Wars figures were much harder to keep up with at retail, so by this point I was really just making do with what I already had.  Since I already had the first Obi-Wan, I wasn’t actively searching for another, and this one slipped under my radar.  Back in the summer of 2019, All Time got a sizable collection of Clone Wars figures, and I wound up snagging a large swath of them.  Mostly, they were clones, but I also picked up this figure out of the bunch.  He’s probably the best Obi-Wan to come out of the line, and certainly my favorite.

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.