#1357: Kit Fisto

KIT FISTO

STAR WARS HERO MASHERS

Hey, look guys!  A Mashers review.  I haven’t done one of these in a good long while.  It’s probably got something to do with me not actually being that into the line, or, more likely, it’s that the whole concept appears to have been abandoned by Hasbro.  That’s a good way of getting me to stop buying something.  Well, in theory.  Less in practice, as you can see, since I still got another one.  Without further ado, here’s Kit Fisto!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Kit Fisto was part of the first series of the basic line of Star Wars Hero Mashers…which is a little strange, when you consider that this series was released to coincide with all the Force Awakens stuff, and Fisto was barely even relevant during the trilogy that he was actually a part of, but whatever.  The figure stands about 6 inches tall and he has 18 points of articulation.  As with all the Mashers, Kit Fisto’s been stylized a bit.  He’s a little bit less removed from the source, since it appears they followed the design from the 3-D Clone Wars show more than his live-action look.  I have no issues with this, since I’ve always found the animated look to be the superior design.  Anyway, he’s been made extra angular and chunky, which I think works very well for a more alien design such as Kit.  I really dig the open-palmed hand for the left hand; it’s a nice change when compared to the other figures.  Just like every other Mashers release, Kit can be disassembled at the neck, elbows, hips, and knees, allowing for swapping with other figures in the line.  Still can’t say I completely understand the concept in general, but there it is.  He’s also got an assortment of ports and the like, allowing for various accessories to be plugged in, though Kit himself doesn’t include any real parts to do this with.  He does include his lightsaber, which is a pretty awesome piece itself.  On the paint front, Kit’s fairly decent. Not the most exciting color scheme in the world, but it’s clean, and fairly accurate to the character.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Why’d you get another Mashers figure, Ethan?  Why’d you do it?  You keep complaining about them, so why do you keep getting more?  In this case?  Price.  Super Awesome Girlfriend and I found him on clearance for like $2 at a Walgreens.  I’ve always had a soft spot for Kit Fisto, so I figured why not, right?  Honestly, he’s one of the best Mashers I’ve gotten, right up there with the basic Vader.

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#0860: Star Wars Mashers

LUKE SKYWALKER, HAN SOLO, DARTH VADER, STORM TROOPER, & SCOUT TROOPER

STAR WARS HERO MASHERS

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For a guy who’s not a huge fan of Hero Mashers, I sure do seem to be picking up a lot of these guys, don’t I? Yeah, I don’t really have an excuse. I’m a bit of a push over when it comes to certain things. But, hey, it means you guys get to keep reading about these figures. Isn’t that a plus? No? Well, sorry…

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

This five-pack of figures was released not long after the onslaught of Star Wars-merch in September. It initially appeared to be a TRU-exclusive set, but has recently begun to show up at other retailers. All of the included figures are based on Return of the Jedi.

LUKE SKYWALKER

ROTJMashers2Luke makes his second appearance in the Mashers style here, based on his Jedi look from….Jedi. Specifically, he’s based on his look from towards the end of the film, after he’s ditched the vest and unbuttoned one side of his chest-flap-thingy. The figure stands 6 inches in height and he’s got 18 points of articulation. He’s got the same reduced shoulder movement that all the more recent Mashers have gotten, but I’ve really stopped noticing at this point. The figure shares his head with the Bespin version of Luke from the two-pack. That’s nice from a consistency standpoint (even if Hamill does look different in the two films…) and the actual sculpt does a pretty nice job of tweaking Hamill’s likeness to fit the style. The rest of the sculpt is unique to this figure, and it’s a pretty sharp sculpt. This particular design definitely transfers well to the Mashers aesthetic. Like every Mashers figure, Luke can be disassembled at the neck, elbows, hips, and knees, and his parts are interchangeable with the rest of the line (if you’re into that sort of thing…). Luke’s paintwork is generally pretty simple; it’s limited to the face and chest, with some slight finish variance on the glove and boots. There’s an odd spot of silver on one side of my figure’s collar, but aside from that, the application is pretty clean. Luke is packed with his green lightsaber from the movie, which is so far unique to this set.

HAN SOLO

ROTJMashers3After getting his styling jacketed look in the two-packs, this Han returns him to his classic vested look (albeit the slightly less classic variant of it from Jedi). Han’s sculpt is mostly the same as that of the two-pack figure, with only a new torso piece. The re-use isn’t too terrible, but it does mean Han’s got pockets on each arm, which isn’t accurate. The overall sculpt isn’t bad, but Han doesn’t seem to have translated as well to the Mashers style as Luke. The head in particular just seems far too generic for Harrison Ford. Also, this figure’s hips seem particularly wideset. An additional note: Han’s hands are separate pieces from the forearms. They aren’t designed to be removable, but they might pop off if you aren’t paying attention. Han’s paint is a bit more complex than Luke’s, and it’s handled pretty well. There are a few fuzzy lines, but nothing really terrible. Han is packed with his signature blaster. It’s got a blaster bolt permanently attached, which looks a little odd in a basic pose, but does add some nice flare in an action set-up.

DARTH VADER

ROTJMashers4I’ve actually reviewed a lot of this guy before. Vader, unlike the others in this set, goes for a very scene specific look. Namely, the scene where he’s getting electrocuted by the Emperor. That seems a little morbid for a kid-aimed toyline, but okay! The torso, upper arms, legs, cape, and skirt are all exactly the same as the single-release Vader. Same sculpt, same paint, same everything. What’s new are the head and lower arms, which take the previously used pieces, add a bit of “electricity” detailing to them, and cast them in a cool translucent blue. Of course, to be truly accurate to the scene, he should be missing his right hand, but I guess that would be too morbid for the kid’s toy. Vader is packed with the same extra as his single-packed counterpart, a lightsaber, as well as two electricity effect pieces.

STORMTROOPER

ROTJMashers6And now for the set’s one straight re-pack, the Imperial Stormtrooper! Yes, this guy’s the same exact figure as the single-packed version. But come on, it’s a Stormtrooper! You can’t have too many of these guys, right? The design definitely fits the style very well, and he’s helped by the totally armored look. He’s easily got the sharpest detailing of the figures included here, which definitely helps the overall look. The one major nit with the sculpt is more an articulation issue than anything; since his elbows only swing forward and back, he can’t actually hold a blaster two-handed. Also, like Han, the hands are separate pieces, glued in place. The Stormtrooper’s paint is generally pretty decent, though the black is a little sloppy in a few spots, and there are a few bits of slop. It’s all relatively minor, though. He’s packed with a standard trooper blaster, which, like Han’s, has a blaster bolt permanently affixed. Consistency!

SCOUT TROOPER

ROTJMashers5Last, and very much not least, it’s the Scout Trooper! By far my favorite Trooper design from the OT, and also the one totally new figure included in this set. The Scout Trooper’s design is already pretty chunky and blocky, so it translates very nicely to the Mashers style, and doesn’t look quite as cartoony as some of the other figures. The general quality of the sculpt is pretty great. Some of the details are a bit on the soft side, especially on the torso, but he’s no worse than other Masher figures. The one thing that knocks this figure down a peg is his paint. It’s not terrible or anything, but there’s definitely a fair bit of bleed over, and the edges of the white paint are all pretty fuzzy. From a slight distance, he looks fine, but up close he’s a bit off. The Scout Trooper includes a small blaster, which has the affixed blast, just like the other two. Three for three!

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

“Ethan, if you aren’t a huge fan of Mashers, then why did you buy this big set of figures?” The answer is simple, hypothetical reader: Scout Trooper. I have an unhealthy addiction to Scout Trooper action figures. It was just my luck that this guy had to be part of a big boxed set. Due to the slightly high price tag of the set, I actually passed on it several times. However, last month, I was at Target, and they had this set for half-price. For $25, I figured it was worth it. I don’t regret this purchase in the slightest. The Scout Trooper is definitely my favorite, but the basic Stormtrooper and Luke are pretty awesome too. Han’s not really my preferred version and I can take or leave Vader, but the overall set is actually pretty fun.

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#0833: Ant-Man

ANT-MAN

MARVEL HERO MASHERS

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Hasbro’s Hero Mashers lines are kind of an odd thing.  They’re incredibly gimmicky, and as actual figures they don’t really have much to offer an adult collector.  For a kid, I’m sure they’re awesome, but I think it’s safe to say I’m not in their target demographic.  So, it’s a bit hard for me to explain why I keep buying them.  A toy addiction is a serious thing, folks.  Let’s look at one I bought a while ago and have been putting off reviewing for far too long, Ant-Man!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

AntManMasher2Ant-Man is part of the mid-2015 assortment of Marvel Hero Mashers.  He was undoubtedly released to coincide with the Ant-Man movie released last summer.  He’s part of the basic figure assortment, which means he’s at the lowest price-point is somewhat minimal on extras.  The figure is about 6 inches tall and has 18 points of articulation.  Like the Star Wars line’s Darth Vader, Ant-Man’s shoulders are just simple cut joints, not disc and pin joints like prior Mashers.  This is a slight letdown, but I’ve moved on.  At least they look the same aesthetically.  Design-wise, Ant-Man actually uses the second Eric O’Grady Ant-Man design for his costume choice.  The only real difference between the classic Ant-Man look and this one is the presence of the shoulder pads, which make hiding the shoulder plugs a bit easier.  That’s probably why they went with this one.  His sculpt is pretty standard for a human Masher; he’s rather jagged and squared-off at the edges, and his proportions are on the cartoony side.  If I had to guess, I’d say he probably uses some previously used parts for most of the body, since none of his specific costume details have been sculpted in.  That’s fine, since Ant-Man’s usually a “re-use a body” sort of a character.  The head is definitely a new piece; it’s not my favorite Ant-Man head, and I feel it compromises the helmet design a bit too much to adhere to the style, but it fits well enough and doesn’t look terrible.  Ant-Man’s paint is pretty decent; the colors are nice and vibrant and there’s minimal slop and bleed over.  He certainly fits in with what we’ve seen before from the line.  Ant-Man includes a pair of giant ants, which both have handles, making them look like weird bug guns.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I picked Ant-Man up waaaaaay back in August, while Tim and I were out hunting for Nerf Rival stuff.  He was at a Walmart where we stopped, and I thought he looked sort of cool.  Plus, he’s an Ant-Man figure, and I don’t tend to pass on those.  So, why the six month delay in reviewing him?  Well, to be totally honest, he’s a perfectly decent figure, but he really didn’t “wow” me in any capacity.  He’s a fine toy, but I feel more and more that Mashers just aren’t for me.  Now, if only I could stop buying them…

#0748: Darth Vader

DARTH VADER

STAR WARS HERO MASHERS

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So, hey, there’s like a Star Wars movie or something coming out this year. Did you guys hear about that? With a new Star Wars movie come new merchandising opportunities. That’s why Star Wars is showing up on everything, from kitchen timers to cans of soup. And of course, it wouldn’t be Star Wars merchandise without a healthy helping of toys. Hasbro, the masters of all Star Wars toys, have decided to add the Star Wars characters to their recently launched Hero Mashers brand. They’re starting things off easy, only tackling the pre-Force Awakens characters right now. Let’s have a look at the baddest dude to come out of the Star Wars universe, Darth Vader!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

VaderMasher2Vader is part of the first assortment of Star Wars Hero Mashers. There are three different “levels” of Mashers and he’s one of the basic figures, which seems fair enough. The figure is 6 inches tall and has 18 points of articulation. Unlike previous Mashers figures I’ve looked at, Vader’s shoulder joints are just simple cut joints, rather than the usual disc and pin style joint. The downside is that the joints look virtually the same aesthetically, but these are just lacking a whole range of movement, which is a bummer. And, judging by the Ant-Man figure I recently picked up, this appears to be something that’s happening across all the Mashers lines, which kinda sucks. Structurally, Vader’s very similar to just about every other Mashers figure. He takes the traditional Vader design and tweaks it to fit the line’s style a bit more, so he’s a fair bit chunkier and much more angular. It’s actually a look that works pretty well for Vader. Following the established Mashers gimmick, Vader can be disassembled at his neck, elbows, and knees, and his parts are completely interchangeable with all the other Mashers figures. I noticed that his pieces seemed to swap out a bit easier than previous Mashers, which is nice. Plus, they weren’t so loose as to ruin his integrity as a proper action figure, either, which is also nice. His cape and skirt are both separate add-on pieces; the cape plugs into place, but the skirt just sort of balances on his hips, which can be a bit frustrating. The paint on Vader is pretty simple, but effective. He’s got a few details for his various armor bits, but he’s mostly just black. Fortunately, the black has a multitude of different finishes, which helps to bring a bit of visual flair to the figure. Vader’s one accessory is his signature lightsaber, which has had its proportions tweaked to match him.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

After passing on the Star Wars Mashers for a few weeks, I finally broke down and got this guy at Target. For whatever reason, he just spoke to me. I don’t know. I do think that he’s the best Mashers figure I’ve gotten. His design just translated very well. Don’t know that I’ll pick up any more characters, but this guy was fun!

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#0563: Ultron, Captain America, & Hulk

ULTRON, CAPTAIN AMERICA, & HULK

MARVEL SUPER HERO MASHERS

UltronCap&IM1So, it’s been almost a whole week since I took a look at anything Avengers-related. I don’t know about you guys, but that feels a little bit too long to me. Fortunately, I’ve got another set ready to go, and it’s even got an Ultron in it! Yay!

This review marks my second look at one of Hasbro’s newest ventures, Hero Mashers, a somewhat more kid-aimed line of figures whose whole gimmick is that you, well, mash them together. It’s not exactly the highest brow concept, but as long as it’s fun, who cares?

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Ultron, Captain America, and Hulk make up a three-pack that is part of the Marvel Super Hero Mashers line. The set is exclusive to Target and it was released to sort of coincide with the release of Age of Ultron. Hulk and Cap are re-decos of previous figures, but this is currently the only way to get Ultron. I’d like to address upfront that these figures are mostly made up of previous Mashers parts, but since I am not really familiar with the line, I don’t quite know the origins of each part.

ULTRON

UltronCap&IM2Clearly, this guy’s the selling point of the set, it being his introduction to the line and all. The figure is about 6 inches tall and has 24 points of articulation. Design-wise, he seems to be an amalgam of various Ultron looks, though he does seem to skew more towards the modern side of things. I’m fairly certain that the only piece on this figure that is actually a new sculpt is the head. It’s a rather nice piece, with some pretty decent detail work. Ultron’s head is less affected by the stylization of the Mashers line than others, which definitely works in his favor. The body is a mix of pieces from various other figures in the line. He seems to draw mostly from Iron Man and Dr. Doom, which isn’t a bad choice of parts. For the most part, everything meshes together pretty well, though it is worth noting that his right hand is noticeably larger than his left. It’s not really an issue on a robotic character such as Ultron, but it does leave me wondering if it was intentional. I’m not super keen on the red energy blade thingy, which isn’t removable. Regular release Mashers tend to have more standard parts to replace the wonkier ones like this one, but Ultron seems to have gotten the short end of the stick on that one, with no additional pieces. That’s a little annoying. Ultron is mostly just molded in silver, though he does feature some minimal red paintwork for his eyes and mouth, as well as some slight detailing on the torso (which, it has been noted, when coupled with the sculpt of the chest ends up looking not unlike a frowning face. Can’t unsee it…) and the aforementioned red energy blade thingy. What’s there is cleanly handled, if a bit sparse. As previously noted, Ultron includes no accessory.

CAPTAIN AMERICA

UltronCap&IM3Cap is the first of the two repaints in the set. He stands 6 inches tall and has 24 points of articulation, just like Ultron. Cap is generally built from the same pieces as the series 1 version of Cap, with the exception of the hands and feet, which come from elsewhere, though I couldn’t begin to say specifically where. Cap is definitely more stylized than Ultron, though not to an unreasonable degree. Generally, he’s more squared off at the edges than the average Captain America figure. The hands present a similar problem to Ultron’s left hand, in that they have the what appear to be sections of railroad track permanently affixed to them. It’s less annoying here, given that this isn’t the only Cap available, but it’s still a little annoying that there isn’t an alternative. From the standpoint of paint, this figure ends up having a little extra value to it. See, instead of the usual blue, he’s got black, which actually makes him a pretty decent stand-in for lesser known Marvel hero US Agent. It’s also worth noting that the paint is all cleanly handled, with no issues with bleed over or slop. Cap is the only figure in this set to get an accessory; he comes armed with his mighty shield, which can be plugged into either of his hands.

HULK

UltronCap&IM4Last, and sadly least, it’s the Hulk. He’s the second repaint in the set, and easily the weakest figure (spoilers). Hulk is about 6 ½ inches tall and he features the same 26 points of articulation (check out those spinning fists!). Like Cap, he’s mostly built from the last Hulk, with different hands and feet. Hulk doesn’t translate as well to this style, being a character who should be a bit more organic. He’s got a neck that is the same size as Cap’s, which looks really strange. And then there’re the hands and feet, which are mechanical in nature for some odd reason. In addition, his right hand has a cannon of some sort affixed to it, and, just like the other two, there isn’t an alternate piece. Hulk ends up with a rather straightforward Hulk style paint scheme, though it’s not without issue. The hands and feet are a metallic green, in contrast to the flatter green of the upper arms, head, and torso, suggesting that maybe it’s armor or something. Also, the greens of head and arms don’t match the torso, which really bugs me. Like Ultron, Hulk is without any accessories.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

So, I was at Target with my Dad a few weeks ago, and they had this set. I knew of its existence, but I hadn’t actually seen it. It being Ulton’s debut in the line, I kinda had to go for it. Ultron’s definitely the best piece of this set. He’s just shy of greatness; it would be really nice to have an alternate left hand. Cap isn’t bad, but he’s not the most exciting, and Hulk is really just filling space. I feel like this set would be best for a kid who doesn’t have Hulk and Cap yet, since they are at least fun to mess with. For a collector, you’re essentially paying the price of three figures for an Ultron. For me it was worth it, but your mileage may vary.

UltronCap&IM5

#0466: Soundwave

SOUNDWAVE

TRANSFORMERS HERO MASHERS

If there’s one glaring omission from the numerous figures I’ve covered on this site so far, it’s Transformers. Transformers was a huge hit in the 80s, and it’s one of those toys that kind of forged its own path. The thing about Transformers is, they’re kind of their own thing. While the name technically refers to a very specific set of figures, it also loosely defines an entire genre of figures. There are “transformers” of practically everything. And none of that seems to have hurt the main brand, which doesn’t seem to be in any danger of falling out of popularity. That’s pretty impressive.

Amazingly enough, actual, name-brand Transformers make up about 0.14% of my action figure collection. That’s FOUR figures. Out of 2800. And only one of those actually transforms. Transformers thoroughly missed me. That said, I do like some of the characters, specifically Soundwave, the one that used to turn into a cassette player. He amuses me (three of my four Transformers are Soundwave). Recently, Hasbro has been getting into the “mix and match figures” idea, under the heading Hero Mashers. The line started with the Marvel brand and then expanded to Transformers. Soundwave was amongst them, so I picked him up.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Soundwave is part of the second assortment of Transformers Hero Mashers. He’s part of the regular assortment of figures, rather than a deluxe or multipack. He’s based on Soundwave’s original design (referred to as his G1 design), though I’m certain there are a few design changes that a more die-hard fan than I could point out. The figure is about 6 ½ inches tall and he has 20 points of articulation. As far as I can tell, the sculpt is wholly original to this figure, but I don’t have any others to check. It’s a well sculpted figure, though he’s definitely been adapted so as to fit the style of this line. Most of the work is on the simpler side, with no really fine detailing, but that seems to be in line with the rest of the line, and it’s done well. The figure has a few ports here and there for various add-ons and accessories to be plugged in. While it’s fairly evident that they are there, they meld pretty well with the rest of the figure. I’d be interested to see if that carries to the non-robotic designs in the Marvel line. The paintwork is roughly on par with the sculpt. It’s rather straight forward, with no real fine detail work or anything. There’s also a little bit of bleed over in a few spots, though nothing atrocious. Soundwave is accessorized with his standard shoulder cannon, as well as a handheld missile launcher (because Hasbro), two gold rocket add-on thingies, a gun of some sort, and an alternate left hand (which, going by the Colossus pieces included with a few of the Marvel characters, I’m going to assume is from another character). In addition to the accessories, Soundwave also has the main point of the Hero Mashers going for him: interchangeability. He comes apart at the elbows, neck, hips, and knees (but not the shoulders, curiously). The pieces are a bit of a tight fit and some, such as the neck/head joint, are really hard to get back in place once they’ve been removed.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Soundwave was purchased from the Kmart nearest the place my family and I stayed over the holidays. In all honesty, he was something of an impulse buy. Well, the closest that I come to an impulse buy, anyway. I had seen him a few times before and passed him up, but I was at Kmart, and they had him and I hadn’t seen anything else I wanted and I sort of caved. As just an action figure, he’s fun, though not the greatest figure I’ve ever owned. As a figure built for swapability? Hasbro’s got a little ways to go before they’re on par with something like Minimates. It’s a neat idea, and the toys are good, but the joints are just a little too tight for frequent swapping.