#2608: Hubcap & Bug Bite

HUBCAP & BUG BITE

TRANSFORMERS WAR FOR CYBERTRON: EARTHRISE (HASBRO)

No, neither of these guys are Bumblebee.  I know.  I’m just as shocked as all of you.  Remember Cliffjumper, who is also not Bumblebee?  Well, he wasn’t the only not-Bumblebee.  Not by a long shot!  There’s so many different not-Bumblebees to choose from!  So, with that in mind, the not-Bumblebees I’m choosing are Hubcap and Bug Bite, two of Hasbro’s more recent additions to their War For Cybertron trilogy.  Marvel at their not-Bumblebee-ness!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Hubcap (aka the yellow-not-Bumblebee) and Bug Bite (aka the white-not-Bumblebee) are both part of the Generations Select component for Earthrise, and are both Deluxe Class releases.  Hubcap hit in the August time-frame, and Bug Bite followed later in the fall.  In robot mode, they’re 4 inches tall and have 22 workable points of articulation.  Both figures are built on the Cliffjumper body, and as such have the same sizing and articulation set-up as that figure.  It’s a good base body, to be sure, and definitely my favorite to come out of Earthrise.  It’s worth noting that both of these guys do get new head sculpts.  Hubcap’s is the slightly more unique of the two, matching up well with his vintage counterpart’s head.  It’s got an interesting, squared off appearance.  Bug Bite’s head is already going to be shared with Bumblebee, which makes sense, since he’s previously just been a straight Bee repaint.  Whatever the case, the new heads certainly do help them stand out.

Both of these guys share Cliffjumper’s generic sportscar alt-mode.  It makes sense for Hubcap, who has always had the same alt-mode, but for Bug Bite, it’s technically off, since he should share Bumblebee’s VW Bug alt-mode.  However, word has it that Volkswagon requires a separate license for each product, so it’s no doubt a cost-saving move here.  It’s a good alt-mode whatever the case, and the transformation’s still a pretty good one.  These two are both packed with re-decos of Cliffjumper’s modular weapon piece, in differing color schemes for both.  They could have easily kept the same one as Cliffjumper, but I dig the new colors.  That purple in particular is pretty spiffy.  And, just like Cliffjumper, it allows for that cool ski mode.  I dig it.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I really liked Cliffjumper, and I really liked the Cliffjumper mold, so I was really okay with picking that up in a few more colors.  That made both of these guys a pretty easy sell, and it was made even easier when they came into All time, removing any real work I would have had to do.  Neither of them is anything radically new or different, but they’re still certainly fun.

Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with these guys for review.  If you’re looking for Transformers, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2607: Rotorstorm

ROTORSTORM

TRANSFORMERS WAR FOR CYBERTRON: EARTHRISE (HASBRO)

Oh, we are just keeping these Transformers hits coming, aren’t we?  Well, if you guys were hoping things might angle back into slightly more known characters as we got further into the week, you were sadly mistaken.  It’s just the oddballs from here.  A while back, I brought up the concept of region-exclusive characters, and specifically talked about Impactor, a UK-comics-exclusive Transformer who led the UK-comics-exclusive Wreckers, who also incorporated some non-exclusive characters into their ranks.  The Wreckers have subsequently become not so region-exclusive, and in 2010 IDW published “Last Stand of the Wreckers,” a mini-series focused on them.  They were envisioned as a team on a suicide mission, so they needed a lot of expendable fodder.  And wouldn’t you know it, there was old Rotorstorm, just sitting there doing nothing.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Rotorstorm is Generations Select release for Earthrise.  He started showing up towards the tail end of July/beginning of August.  He’s patterned on the character’s G1 design, but also takes some very definite influence from his appearance in “Last Stand of the Wreckers.”  In his robot mode, the figure stands about 6 inches tall and he has 26 workable points of articulation.  Structually, he’s mostly the same as the Siege Spinister figure.  That said, I never got a Siege Spinister, so he’s all-new to me.  The articulation on this mold in robot mode is pretty impressive, and certainly among the best I’ve gotten from this line.  Beyond that, it’s just a pretty impressive piece, albeit one that doesn’t *quite* line up with the character’s true G1 design, at least as far as the body is concerned.  His head, on the other hand, is all-new, something that Hasbro proudly advertised…before showing off a prototype that inexplicably had a repainted Spinister head.  It’s alright, though, because the final product has the proper head, and it’s a nice recreation of Nick Roche’s illustrations of the character from “Last Stand”.

With a name like “Rotorstorm”, it’s not all that hard to piece together the guy’s alt-mode.  Just like his mold-mate Spinister, he turns into a Cybertronian helicopter.  The transformation process is slightly more complicated on this guy, and definitely more than a little bit fiddly.  It’s not really one of my favorites. On the plus side, the end result is still a pretty cool helicopter mode, with a spinning rotor and everything.  Rotorstorm’s color scheme is a bit on the garish side, but it’s faithful to the original colors; what else would you expect from an early ’90s Transformer?  Rotorstorm includes two guns, which can be held in robot mode or mounted to his sides in helicopter mode.  They’re the same ones included with Spinister, which also means the layout of the molds makes them two different base colors.  They aren’t drastically different, but it’s still, you know, different.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I never made up my mind as to whether I actually wanted Spinister or not.  I didn’t really care for his renders, but seeing a figure in-hand has changed my mind about such things before.  Then I never actually did see him in-hand, and that kind of took the decision out of my hands, I suppose.  When All Time got in this guy, Max was nice enough to let me take a look at him and make the decision for myself.  Ultimately, I’m happy to have missed out on Spinister, because it means I was a bit more open to getting this guy, and I actually think I like his overall design just a bit better.

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

#2606: Greasepit

GREASEPIT

TRANSFORMERS WAR FOR CYBERTRON: EARTHRISE (HASBRO)

Siege‘s main big gimmick was cross line compatibility, a concept best exemplified in its Weaponizers sub-set of figures, a whole type of figure designed with augmenting other figures in mind.  For the follow up in Earthrise, the Weaponizers haven’t been kept, but their general modular nature has been, and has been funneled into a new sub-set of modular figures called “Modulators.”  I know, crazy naming scheme there.   I have as of yet avoided the Modulators here, but I’m jumping into the concept today with Greasepit.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Greasepit was released as part of the Generations Select component of the Earthrise line this year.  He hit right at the same time as Decepticon Exhaust, right around July (unless, of course, you got one earlier from overseas).  As with all of the Modulators so far, Greasepit takes the name of a G1 Micromaster, and makes a deluxe class figure out of the Micromaster Station that said Micromaster came included with.  In this case, it’s Decepticon Micromaster Greasepit and his gas station base.  In his robot mode, Greasepit stands 5 1/2 inches tall and he has 19 workable points of articulation.  The Greasepit base never had a robot mode, much like the rest of the modulators, and some of the Weaponizers as well.  This means that the robot mode here is all-new…ish.  Okay, it’s not all-new at all, because he’s actually mostly a repaint of the main line’s Ironworks release.  But, I never got that one, so it’s new to me, and it’s also new to Greasepit, so I wasn’t entirely wrong. It’s overall a pretty decent sculpt; the only thing I’m not big on is the lack of a proper waist joint, though it’s worth noting this was also an issue on Weaponizer Cog.  I do like that this guy doesn’t have as many visible gaps as Cog did, and I also just generally like how his robot mode worked out.  It’s rather boxy and utilitarian.

Greasepit has a handful of possible alt-modes, and like the Weaponizers, the way you arrive at them isn’t through the typical transformation process, but rather through some serious parts forming.  By this point, it’s expected, and it does certainly allow for some more out there alt-modes.  The primary one for this guy is his more squared off gas station mode.  This replicates the original G1 base configuration the most closely of the ones offered up by Hasbro.  It’s not a perfect match, since it’s got to contend with a sculpt that was original meant for Ironworks’ oil rig set-up, but it’s still pretty close, and it gets the idea across.  The other two listed modes are a sort of a tower thing, and a longer stretch of road sort of thing…I don’t really know what that second one’s supposed to be.  The tower looks a bit like the G1 toy’s alt-mode, so that’s a cool touch, but ultimately, neither of these two modes is gonna bet much use from me.  The color scheme on this guy is rather on the bright and colorful side, which I definitely dig.  He’s actually got some decals for a few of his more intricate details, which is something that’s been absent from the line for a bit.  They look fine, but you always have to wonder about long term viability with such things.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The Modulators are a far enough reach from core Transformers that I didn’t really have much draw to them, but I did think the Ironworks mold looked kind of cool.  He ended up being the only Wave 1 Deluxe not to show up at All Time, so I didn’t end up snagging him, but in contrast Greasepit came in before most other places, allowing me another chance at the mold.  He’s a lot of fun, and I certainly dig that first alt-mode.  I may not know much about these bases, but this one’s cool.

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

#2605: Smokescreen

SMOKESCREEN

TRANSFORMERS WAR FOR CYBERTRON: EARTHRISE (HASBRO)

The Earthrise component of the War For Cybertron trilogy has had a healthy helping of retreading, adjusting a handful of characters over from their Cybertronian Siege designs into more proper Earth modes.  For the most part, it’s made Earthrise a bit lighter for me, because I don’t really feel the need to re-buy everyone.  In today’s particular case, however, it gives me an excuse to buy a character I didn’t get the first time around.  In the original G1 Transformers line, there were three different bots who turned into the Datsun 280ZX Turbo, Prowl, Bluestreak, and Smokescreen.  Siege did all three of them, and added in a G1-ized Barricade on the same base, but Smokescreen was the only one not to get a proper retail release, instead being a Generation Selects figure.  For Earthrise, they’ve decided to once again do all four Datsuns, but this time only one’s going to mass retail, and they’ve given that spot to our boy Smokescreen.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Smokescreen joins yesterday’s Arcee figure as part of the second Deluxe Class assortment of the Earthrise line.  He’s another very G1 cartoon-inspired figure, and takes things even closer than the prior Datsun bodies did.  In his robot mode, Smokescreen stands 5 1/4 inches tall and he has 22 usable points of articulation.  Smokescreen’s mold is all-new, but is of course going to be shared with the other three Datsuns, who are all more or less hitting right on top of each other (thanks 2020).  Though it’s all-new, it’s still quite similar to the Prowl mold from last year.  I quite liked that one, and I quite like this one too.  It changes things up to be more Earth-mode-y, of course, as well as also changing things up to be more Smokescreen specific, such as adding the extra bit of helmet under his chin.  The robot mold also has less gaps, particularly on the lower legs, than the prior mold, which was honestly my only complaint about the older figure.  It makes Smokescreen feel just a bit more solid than his predecessors.

Smokescreen’s new Earth-based alt-mode is an approximation of the Datsun he originally turned into in the ’80s.  It’s not an exact match, due to licensing and such, but it’s very close.  The transformation process is pretty easy, and more or less identical to the one on Prowl.  Getting the legs into place is a touch trickier on mine, probably due to the extra material that fills in those gaps, but it’s not like it terribly over complicates things or anything like that.  The car mode holds together well, and is certainly a lot of fun to mess with.  A part of me misses the sleek Cybertronian stylings of the old one, but this is still cool.  Smokescreen gets a blaster rifle and two shoulder cannons, much like Bluestreak did for Siege, though these ones are an all-new mold, which will be cropping up with the other Earth mode Datsuns.  I appreciate their versatility, and the fact that they’ve actually got spots to be stored in both modes.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I have a weird relationship with Smokescreen as a character, and it’s really not his fault.  It’s just that I ended up with the Alternators Smokescreen back in the day when Sideswipe was the one I actually wanted.  Not his fault, right?  Now that I’ve actually got a Sideswipe, and a much better one at that, I guess it’s time for Smokescreen to get a second chance, huh?  Siege Smokescreen was one of the few Gen Selects that we didn’t get at All Time, at least not first hand, so I just didn’t end up grabbing that one.  That, coupled with doubling down for Earthmodes in Earthrise and Smokescreen being the standard release, and thereby easiest to acquire of the new Datsuns, just made this guy kind of perfect for adding to my collection.

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

#2604: Arcee

ARCEE

TRANSFORMERS WAR FOR CYBERTRON: EARTHRISE (HASBRO)

The cast of 1986’s Transformers: The Movie is a rather memorable bunch.  I guess being the central characters in what amounted to a rather expensive commercial for a very merchandise driven franchise will do that for you.  Absent from the merchandising side of things at the time was the film’s lone female Autobot, Arcee, who’s had a bit of trouble actually getting toys out of this toy-based franchise.  She was supposed to have a proper transforming release with the rest of the movie crew in ’86, but was scrapped, then was intended to get a Headmaster release, which was also scrapped, then an Action Master, which was again scrapped.  There was also supposed to be a Titanium Series release, but that went about as well as the others.  Transformers Animated finally gave her an actual release (even if it wound up being a TRU-exclusive; store shelves are store shelves), but was, of course not true G1.  That said, in the last few years, there have actually been a number of options for G1-inspired Arcees, with the latest one coming as courtesy of Earthrise.  Perhaps things are finally doing a little better by Arcee…or are they?  Yeah, let’s talk about that.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Arcee is part of the second Deluxe Class assortment for Earthrise.  It was supposed to hit much closer to the release of the first Deluxe Class assortment, but, well, 2020 just wasn’t having any of that, so they sort of trickled their way out until we got into the fall, at which point they seemed to hit in more full force.  As noted in the intro, this Arcee is very much inspired by her G1 animation model.  In her robot mode, Arcee stands about 5 1/2 inches tall and she has 24 usable points of articulation.  Arcee’s mold is new to her, but will be serving as the launching point for both the upcoming Lifeline and Elite-One figures.  It’s quite divergent from the last fembot I looked at from the War for Cybertron line, Chromia, whose mold focussed more on facilitating her alt-mode, thereby crafting a somewhat compromised robot mode that was much stockier and had a lot more kibble than the character was usually depicted with.  For Arcee, they somewhat took a page out of Cliffjumper’s book, and decided that the easiest way to control the kibble on the back for a character with a much more svelte robot mode was to just give people the option of removing said kibble entirely.  So, you have the option of cutting down Arcee’s backpack by about half, which honestly works pretty well.  You can then turn said extra kibble into a sort of a hoverboard thing, which is fine, I guess.  It’s not quite as well formed as Cliff’s extra bit turning into a shield, but it’s not terrible either.  On the plus side, the robot mode’s quite nice on this figure.  I think they did a really solid job of capturing her animation model, and is just a rather fun action figure to boot.  The articulation definitely works well, and she’s just overall got a nice sleek feel about her.

So, there, I was very complimentary of the robot mode.  I really like it.  Remember that.  Hold onto that.  It’ll get you through the next section.  What’s that?  Oh yeah, it’s the vehicle mode.  Let’s talk about that, I guess.  Arcee turns into a sci-fi-looking sports car, as she did in the movie…which is rather amusing when you remember that she’s part of Earthrise, a line that was supposed to be devoted to Earth modes…but I’m getting distracted.  The transformation process is, well it’s not the most fun, that’s for sure.  I will give them one bit of credit: in contrast to how things were done with Cliffjumper, you can actually leave the extra kibble attached to the figure during the whole transformation process, so there’s not technically any parts forming this time.  That being said, that might actually be more pleasant than the actual transformation process, which isn’t great.  She’s definitely got some shell forming going on here, which, to be honest, is kind of expected with her design.  So, that much I get.  That said everything ends up being really fiddly, and rather tricky to get to line up right, and getting her to actually fold up properly into the shell isn’t as easy as you might hope.  She winds up in a car mode that is always threatening to pop apart at any second, with her folded up body barely even clearing the wheels of the car mode so that it can actually do car stuff.  It’s also not a mode that makes you feel very confident in your ability to transform things, so I kept having to double check the instructions to make sure I was in fact doing it the right way.  Even then, I remained less than full convinced, and the car mode seems a little lopsided to me.  It’s not great, you guys.  Arcee is packed with one accessory, a small gun, molded in clear plastic.  It’s a cool piece for the robot mode, but doesn’t really have anything to do for the alt-mode, which is kind of a shame.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve been waiting on an Arcee update since I got dragged into this by Max during the Siege days.  Earthrise was kind of leaving me a bit cold at first, but they showed Arcee off, and I was all on board for her to be sure.  She was definitely on the top of my list for Earthrise, and I’ve been patiently awaiting her arrival on shelves.  I love the robot mode so much, which makes how little I like the car mode a bit frustrating.  She’s…just so uneven.  Like, I don’t really see myself really using the vehicle mode at all, which is a bit sad.  Still, she’s a stellar robot figure, and that *is* the thing I wanted the most out of her.  Despite how much I may have ripped into the car mode, I can’t help but love the robot part of this figure, and that makes her an overall win in my book.

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

#2601: Iron Man – Silver Centurion

IRON MAN — SILVER CENTURION

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

Tony Stark jets back from obscurity in Silver Centurian armor, a breathtaking technological achievement equipped with a uni-beam, force field, and rapid-fire Pulse Bolts.”

Another Iron Man?  Already?  Look, this one’s worth it, I assure you.  One of Iron Man’s most definitive story lines is “Demon In A Bottle”, which delves into Tony Stark’s troubles with alcoholism, and its affects on his ability to be Iron Man, ultimately culminating in Tony vacating the armor and leaving it to his friend James Rhodes.  Rhodey would remain Iron Man for 30 issues of the main title, as well as being Iron Man during the founding of the West Coast Avengers and the Secret Wars event (something that Mattel’s tie-in toyline got slightly confused about), while Tony built himself back up to the main title.  Tony returned to the identity full-time in issue #200 of the book, sporting a brand-new, all sorts of improved armor, the Silver Centurion armor.  The armor lasted about 30 issues, and it was prominent during “Armor Wars”, another rather definitive story, which has certainly helped to cement its status as one of Tony’s classic designs.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Silver Centurion Iron Man is a late 2020 Walgreens-exclusive Marvel Legends offering, following Moon Knight, who was sandwiched between two different Iron Man variants it would seem.  This is the first Silver Centurion in Legends form since Toy Biz’s version way back in the original Series 7 line-up. The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  Like both Iron Man 2020 and War Machine, Silver Centurion uses the 80th Iron Man as a starting point for his construction.  In a similar fashion to War Machine, the only parts that are exact matches, however, are the upper arms and legs.  Everything else is newly sculpted to match these parts.  It’s sensible, since the basic arms and legs fairly standard, and there’s no point in wasting a strong sculpt like that. The new parts match up quite nicely aesthetically with the 80th figure, but with that much boxier and squared off nature of the Silver Centurion as seen in the comics.  There are also some slight tweaks to the articulation scheme with these new parts, which actually do some pretty cool things.  The neck joint is now a ball joint, which works particularly well with this design, and allows for a lot of range in his posing.  The shoulders are also tweaked a bit to allow for a solid range of motion without impeding the design of the armor.  It’s effectively a mix of the universal joint from the standard 80th body, combined with a cut joint at the base of the shoulder plate.  It works surprisingly well.  The color work on Silver Centurion is pretty basic.  For the most part, its molded plastic colors for the red and silver.  It’s a bright and vibrant look, but it’s also one that unfortunately loses a little bit of the sculpted detailing on the red sections.  A little bit of accenting would go a long way here.  It’s not the worst thing in the world, but it’s just a shame the sculpt isn’t as well shown off as it could be.  Silver Centurion is packed with two sets of hands, one in fists, the other in repulsor pose (sadly missing the wrist joint again), as well as the two different sizes of blast effects included with the 80th Iron Man.  An unmasked head would have been cool, but it’s understandable given everything else included.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’m quite a fan of this design, but it’s frequently had issues with translation into toy form, so I was waiting for a solid figure version.  I was hoping to see an update when the 80th figure came out, and I was really excited when he was shown off.  Him being a Walgreens exclusive I was a bit iffy on, especially after the whole thing with them cancelling my Moon Knight preorder, but I was able to track him down in person with minimal visits to actual Walgreens locations (i.e. I only had to stop and look when I was grabbing other things).  He’s a pretty strong figure.  Sure, some accent work on the paint front would help, but other than that, he’s aces.  Now, here’s to maybe building a larger West Coast Avengers line-up?

#2600: Evolution of Groot

EVOLUTION OF GROOOT

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“From potted prodigy to towering tree-like humanoid, Groot uses powers of regeneration to become a legendary defender of intergalactic justice.”

Man, some of these reissues are going pretty far back, aren’t they?  Hey, I’m not going to complain.  For today’s Legends review, I’m turning my sights to an area of the MCU that’s been left out a bit for the last few years (by virtue of not getting a third movie just yet), Guardians of the Galaxy.  2017 was a big year for them, with their second film taking the May release on that year’s MCU slate, and two whole assortments of Marvel Legends just for them.  I reviewed all of the standard stuff when it hit, but there’s one item I never did review, mostly because I also never got it.  Today, I’m fixing that with a look at the Evolution of Groot!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Evolution of Groot was originally released as a Toys R Us-exclusive Marvel Legends offering in 2017, designed to coincide with the first series of Guardians Legends from that year, as well as the release of the movie.  It being a TRU exclusive, distribution was spotty at best, so it was a little hit or miss as to whether people could actually find the set.  Like a lot of the TRU exclusives, Hasbro has gotten it back out there, this time as a wider release through the Fan Channel set-up.  Though sort of sold as a multi-pack, this release is really a figure and two accessories, so I’m going to review them as such.  The core figure, adult Groot from the first film, stands 8 1/2 inches tall and he has 28 points of articulation.  He’s mostly a re-use of the Build-A-Figure Groot from the 2014 assortment, and is in fact so tall that his legs had to be popped off at the knees in order to fit him into the box.  I really liked the BaF Groot sculpt the first time I looked at it, and I still really like it.  The articulation on the legs is a little limited, but otherwise, it’s a great sculpt and a great figure.  He does get a new head sculpt.  The first one was a more neutral expression, whee this one replicates Groot’s goofy smile from after he takes out the Sakaraan’s on Ronan’s ship.  It’s still fairly multipurpose, and I like both sculpts a lot.  I don’t know if I actually prefer one over the other.  The BaF Groot’s paint work has some slight green detailing to help accent the sculpt, but this release dials that up even further, and honestly looks a bit better for it.  Also, thanks to all of his parts being sold in the same package, the shading doesn’t vary from piece to piece, making him feel a little more cohesive.  Groot is packed with two additional Groots, much smaller than the core Groot.  We get potted Groot from the end of the first film, as well as Baby Groot from the second one, this time sans the Ravager jumpsuit that the standard release put on him.  Personally, I liked the jumpsuit look more for Baby Groot, but getting potted Groot is a fantastic addition to the line-up.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I saw this set once at TRU.  However, in 2017 I was in a shakier place financially, and just really couldn’t justify buying a figure I effectively already had.  The BaF was good enough for me, and that was the end of it.  However, when Hasbro announced another production run, and that it would be a lot easier to get, I had a hard time saying no.  I quite like this guy.  Sure, he’s not amazingly new or anything, but the changes they made make for a slightly unique figure, and he’s also just a very nice stand alone piece for those that didn’t get the BaF when he was released.

Thanks to my sponsors over at All Time Toys for setting me up with this guy to review.  If you’re looking for Marvel Legends, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2599: Joe Fixit

JOE FIXIT

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

In my review of the most recent Marvel Legends Grey Hulk (which was *a year* ago; boy how time flies), I discussed the printing process issues that led to Hulk’s coloring being changed from its intended grey into the traditional green that the character’s become so tied to.  In the ‘80s, thanks to improvements in the comics printing process, the Grey Hulk was brought back by writer Peter David, who established that he was a separate entity from Banner and Green Hulk, expanding on his less beastly characterization in Hulk #1 to create a unique personality, and attaching to him a name, “Joe Fixit.”  Fixit was not the brute that Green Hulk was , but was instead a morally ambiguous Las Vegas enforcer.  It was certainly different, and it’s become a fan favorite incarnation of the character.  Fixit serves as an alternate appearance for the Hulk in Square Enix’s Avengers game, which serves as a solid reason to give him the Legends treatment.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Joe Fixit is the Build-A-Figure for the second Avengers-themed Marvel Legends assortment of 2020, and serves as a nice bridging of the comics and game aspects of the assortment, seeing as he’s a figure that technically counts for both.  Fixit’s never actually gotten a proper Legends release before, but did get a release in the Toy Biz days as part of their short-lived Hulk Classics line.  The figure stands about 8 inches tall and he has 27 points of articulation.  Fixit is an all-new sculpt, something that was a little surprising to me, as I’d expected him to at least borrow a few parts from Kingpin.  I guess Hasbro decided that just wouldn’t do.  It would have probably made the figure a little shorter, which I can see being the main issue.  There are a couple of different Fixit designs to go with, but this figure opts for the full suit and hat appearance, which is also what the game is using.  It results in a figure that’s a bit more restricted on the posability side of things, but ultimately not terrible for what he needs to do.  It’s a pretty decent sculpt, and certainly gets the size of him down.  I do like some of the little touches, such as only one of his suit jack buttons being done.  I’m not super crazy about the tie and collar, which are free-floating pieces, and have a tendency to pop up during posing.  That can get a bit frustrating.  Also, my figure’s jacket has a few imperfections, two on the front and one on the back.  They’re all minor, but still a little annoying.  In terms of paint, he’s pretty straight forward, with most of the work  being molded plastic.  The skin tone is a little bit greener than I’d like; it would have been cool if had matched the last Grey Hulk.  It’s still plenty grey, though, so it’s not the end of the world.  I just prefer some consistency.  I do quite like the pattern on his tie; it could have just as easily been a straight red, but Hasbro went the extra mile here, and it helps.  Fixit’s an accessory himself, and subsequently gets no accessories of his own.  After getting extras with a few recent BaFs, it’s a shame we could’t get maybe an extra head without the hat, but given Hasbro’s track record, I have to wonder if there might be another Fixit in the works down the line.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

While I’ve personally never had a notable attachment to Fixit as a character, he’s nevertheless a cool concept, and the kind of thing I don’t mind having a figure of.  I was a fan of the old Toy Biz figure, so getting an update was certainly on the list.  Ultimately, this guy’s okay.  Nothing special or amazing, but certainly nothing bad.  If you don’t have the Toy Biz one, or just really want an update, this one’s solid.

In contrast to the rather middling nature of the first Gamerverse Avengers assortment, and also the unfortunately middling nature of the last small batch of figures from it, this assortment actually is a pretty strong one.  Sure, Cap and Iron Man are a bit unnecessary, but both offer something a little more exciting than the prior Gamerverse releases.  Fixit is a serviceable Build-A-Figure, and there’s nothing wrong with that.  The real gem of this assortment is the comics side, which is pretty much all win.  Kang, Jocasta, and an updated Falcon have all been on my list for a while, and they’re some of my favorite Legends from the last year.  Thunderstrike may not be my personal cup of tea, but that doesn’t mean he’s a bad figure at all, and he’s another character that definitely needed to be added to the line.  Definitely a strong line-up here.

#2598: Captain America – Stealth

CAPTAIN AMERICA — STEALTH

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Injected with an experimental Super-Soldier Serum, Steve Rogers has the peak potential of strength, endurance, and dexterity.”

It’s become a surprisingly recurrent thing for Captain America to wear a stealth variant of his regular uniform, just across the board.  I guess there’s just an innate desire to take him out of the bright colors, and perhaps remove him just a touch from being too overly patriotic.  Or maybe it’s just because black is cool, and we like getting cool things, and I’m reading too much into what is at its core a very simple way of getting another use out of a Captain America mold.  That seems to have been the primary motivation between today’s figure.  Does it work out?  Let’s jump in and find out!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Stealth Captain America is the final single release figure in the Joe Fixit Series of Marvel Legends.  He’s another game-inspired figure, like yesterday’s Iron Man.  His purpose is fairly cut and dry, I suppose: re-use the standard Gamerverse Cap molds again.  That he does, which means, like that figure, he stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  It’s honestly not a terrible sculpt.  Obviously, it’s going to be rather informed by your personal preferences on the game’s main Cap design.  But, as an adaptation of that design, and just as a figure in general, it’s certainly a solid offering.  The first big difference here is the color work.  The standard look already subdued the usual Cap color scheme, but this one takes things even further, subduing to purely black and white…well, black and rather light grey.  It’s honestly not a bad look, and it’s even got a bit more pop to it than the standard colors.  It honestly feels a little more suited to this particular sculpt, and has sort of a US Agent feel to it, which honestly gives a bit more of a practical purpose, at least as far as my collection is concerned.  It’s worth noting that the application of the paint is also a little better here than it was on the standard version.  That figure wasn’t bad, but notably his face paint was a little bit grey.  This time it’s a little more lively, which looks far better.  It’s a little sloppy on the edges of the mask, but otherwise looks pretty solid.  The area where this figure really improves things from the last one is the accessories.  Standard Cap had his shield and literally nothing else.  This one gets that same shield, plus two sets of hands this time (one gripping, the other fists, giving us two complete sets of the one and one pair from the prior figure), an unmasked head, and the left arm of Joe Fixit.  In my review of the standard figure, I lamented that he didn’t come with an extra head or hands, so them being here certainly helps.  It also helps that I really like the unmasked head.  It’s not quite scaled correctly to the body, but it looks really good on the 80th Cap, so that’s probably where mine will end up staying.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I wasn’t quite as against the last Cap as some collectors, but I could certainly see his shortcomings.  When another Cap was confirmed for this line-up, even I was less than thrilled, especially with it being something that feels like such a lazy repaint.  Ultimately, this figure is better than the last one in every facet, and is honestly just a pretty fun figure in his own right.  The biggest issue, is that he retroactively makes the last one even more pointless than he already was.  These two figures definitely should have been condensed into one.

Thanks to my sponsors over at All Time Toys for setting me up with this guy to review.  If you’re looking for Marvel Legends, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2597: Iron Man – Atmosphere Armor

IRON MAN — ATMOSPHERE ARMOR

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Tony Stark developed his cutting-edge Atmosphere Armor to defend the world against catastrophic threats.”

The latest round of Avengers-themed Marvel Legends are *technically* supposed to be themed around Square Enix’s Avengers game from earlier in the year, much like its predecessor from back in May.  While that assortment was a 50/50 split between game and comics, mirroring how movie themed assortments tend to work as well, the second line-up is a lot less influenced, with only two of the standard release figures coming from the game.  Said figures are also both variants of prior figures from the last assortment, making their overall impact feel even more lessened.  I’m taking a look at the first of these two today, starting with an Iron Man variant!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Atmosphere Armor Iron Man is the fifth figure in the Joe Fixit Series of Marvel Legends.  He follows the first Gamerverse Iron Man from the Abomination Series earlier this year, though he’s obviously a slightly more specialized armor choice than the first figure.  This one’s a space-themed armor, in line with the Gemini Starboost armor from Iron Man 3 (and also the same game as this one).  It’s got a lot of common design elements shared with the standard Iron Man figure, which makes sense, and keeps a cohesive thing going.  In general, I do like this design a little bit more than the standard armor, if perhaps just because it’s actually got a purpose outside of just being different.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  The movement style on this figure is very similar to that of the first Gamerverse figure, which is to say it’s a little bit stiff and restrictive.  On the plus side, this makes a bit more sense for this design, given its slightly bulked up appearance.  I’m still not a fan of the crunch joint instead of a ball joint for the torso articulation, but at least I knew it was coming this time.  In terms of construction, this figure’s entire sculpt was released previously as the Target-exclusive Starboost figure.  From what I’ve been able to find, these two are supposed to essentially be the same model, so I guess that’s accurate.  I also didn’t pick up the Starboost figure, so a lot of this is new to me.  It’s not all new, of course, by virtue of Starboost sharing his head, biceps, lower torso, pelvis, and upper legs with the standard Iron Man.  Again, this is sensible from a consistency stand point, and I actually find the head bugs me less with this new design, so I’m down for it.  The paint scheme marks a greater departure from the usual Iron Man palette, swapping the red and gold for blue and silver.  I dig it.  It’s unique and again helps to sell him as a more credible variant than the prior figure.  This one’s just drastically different, and that’s nice for the growing hall of armors we’ve got going right now.  Atmosphere Armor Iron Man’s accessory selection’s not bad.  He drops the prior figure’s blast effects, but I’ve honestly got plenty of those at this point anyway.  In their place, he gets a new unhelmeted Tony Stark head, which is pretty decent, if perhaps not my go-to Tony appearance.  It’s also not quite compatible with the standard armor body, which feels like a missed opportunity.  Atmo Iron Man also gets the same two sets of hands as the prior figure, as well as the right arm for the Joe Fixit Build-A-Figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The Gamerverse portion of the last Avengers assortment wasn’t really the star point, so I wasn’t feeling a powerful need for more of them.  They seemed kind of inevitable, of course, so I was bracing myself for whatever we might end up getting.  Ultimately, I was rather middled by the standard Iron Man, but this one stands a bit more on his own, largely by virtue of there being less to compare him to.  Sure, he’s not my favorite Iron Man by any stretch, nor is he even a contender for my favorite figure from this series, but he’s perfectly enjoyable for what he is.

Thanks to my sponsors over at All Time Toys for setting me up with this guy to review.  If you’re looking for Marvel Legends, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.