#2899: Batgirl

BATGIRL

BATMAN: THE CAPED CRUSADER (SPIN MASTER)

It’s been a little bit since I’ve looked at anything from Spin Master’s DC slate.  Admittedly, that’s because it tends to be a little tricky to find.  I’m reviewing it as fast as I can, you guys!  I swear!  This year’s theme for the line is Bat-Tech, which is allowing them to do all sorts of whacky variants for the Caped Crusader, his allies, and his foes.  It’s a mix of re-decos, re-workings, and even some all-new figures.  I’m looking at one of those all-new additions, Batgirl, today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Batgirl is part of the sixth assortment of Spin Master’s Batman: The Caped Crusader line, which is also the second assortment under the “Bat-Tech” banner.  The figure stands about 4 inches tall and she has 17 points of articulation.  Apart from the way the hair is sculpt blocking the neck movement a bit, it’s a good articulation set-up, like the other Spin Master DC offerings before it.  Batgirl’s design here is a mix of a few different designs.  Her Batgirl of Burnside design from recent years is very definitely being referenced, but there’s also some more classic ’60s Batgirl vibes, especially with the gloves and boots.  And it’s all topped off with just a dash of the whole Bat-Tech aesthetic, making it all future-y and sci-fi.  I expected Batgirl to be using parts from Batwoman, but upon comparing the two, that doesn’t seem to be the case, and it looks like Barbara is sporting an all-new sculpt.  It’s a pretty good one at that.  Like Wonder Woman, she’s still rather leggy, but it comes across as more of a stylistic thing, and with the long cape and such as well, it all comes together for a nicely put together sculpt.  Probably one of my favorites, honestly.  The paint work on the figure is pretty decent as well.  The base work matches the sort of amalgamated design, and the extra tech detailing is a rather fun, generally unobtrusive choice.  Batgirl is packed with three accessories, a batarang, a katana, and a grapnel gun, all in transparent blue.  They’re all kinda goofy and silly, but it fits the vibe of the line well, so I can’t really knock them.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I discovered this Batgirl figure’s existence while going through the line’s upcoming releases during my first Bat-Tech review, and I knew I wanted her right away.  I’ve already got a Nightwing, and in my mind, no Nightwing really feels complete without a corresponding Batgirl.  Thankfully, Max was able to keep his eye out for me, and I got my hands on one without much fuss.  She’s a lot of fun, and I honestly don’t mind that we got the Bat-Tech version first, because the extra details are nifty.  I dig it.

#2879: He-Man – Revelation

HE-MAN — REVELATION

MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE: MASTERVERSE (MATTEL)

About a month and a half ago, Netflix dropped the first half of Masters of the Universe Revelation, the Kevin Smith-led continuation of the original series.  It’s a really fun product, and an absolute love letter to the vintage toyline and the history behind it.  It is, notably, the first Masters cartoon not to have He-Man’s name above the title, which signifies his slightly diminished role, at least in what we’ve seen so far.  He’s still very much present, and very much pivotal to the story, but it’s in a way that allows some of the others to shine just a little bit more.  That said, he’s still He-Man, and Mattel knows what’s up with how the toys work, so he’s part of the first drop of figures from the show, and I’ll be taking a look at him today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

He-Man is part of the first series of Masters of the Universe: Masterverse, which just started showing up in stores towards the middle/end of July, and is more fully making it out there now.  The first set is unsurprisingly heavy hitter led.  How are you not going to put He-Man and Skeletor into the first line-up, right?  The figure stands a little over 7 inches tall and he has 31 points of articulation.  The Masterverse figures stand just a little bit taller than Classics did, however, the proportions are a little different, so these figures will fit a little bit better with 6 inch lines, since they look more like they’re just really tall, rather than genuinely being a larger scale like Classics were (despite Mattel’s insistance to the contrary).  After a long time using the same articulation schemes, or even dumbing some of those schemes down, the Masterverse figures feel like they’re actually trying to get on Hasbro’s more recent level.  Elbows and knees are both double jointed and they’re true side to side motion on the ankles.  The articulation is also worked into the sculpt in a more aesthetically pleasing way, and they’re even doing the pinless construction on the elbows and knees as well.  There’s still a little bit of a learning curve; the softer plastic of the hips means they have to be posed just right or they risk getting stuck, which may cause some stressing on those joints long-term.  Also be careful with the knees, as the right knee on mine has some slight imperfections in the plastic that would have caused it to tear had I not been careful with it on my first posing.  Hopefully, they will continue to improve on those fronts so that breakage isn’t too much of a risk, but it’s honestly not as bad as it could be, given it’s Mattel we’re talking about here, and their track record hasn’t been the greatest.  He-Man is built on what will be the primary base body for this line.  He already shares a good portion of it with Skeletor, as is expected.  It’s a different build for him, not quite as squatty and wide as Classics or Origins.  It’s more of a step towards 200x, but without the harsher line work.  I like it, as it feels more naturalistic.  The sculpting is a little on the softer side, but looks pretty decent, and in line with the animation style from the cartoon.  I’m not 100% sold on the head sculpt, but it’s not terrible, and I like it much more than I ever liked the Classics sculpt.  He-Man’s paint work is pretty basic overall.  There’s some decent accent work on the loin cloth and boots, which I quite like, but otherwise it’s a lot of molded coloring.  It fits the style well.  He-Man is packed with the power sword, his shield, and four hands (two gripping, a right fist, and a left relaxed).  It’s not a ton, but it’s also more than we’ve gotten on other Masters releases.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

He-Man is usually the weakest link in any Masters set for me, so I wasn’t chomping at the bit to own this figure, at least initially.  After watching the show, I found myself really liking this take on the character, and enjoying how this design looked on screen, so I was warming up to the idea of getting one.  Max ended up snagging this one for himself, but upon opening it, wasn’t really feeling it, so he offered it up to me.  My expectations were moderate, but I was pretty happy with the final figure, and I honestly like him a lot more than the Classics version, so he’ll be replacing that one in my collection.  Now, for the rest of the line!

#2878: Zodac

ZODAC

MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE ETERNIA MINIS (MATTEL)

In 2013, Mattel got in on the game that Hasbro had been in on for almost a decade, which in hindsight is pretty darn Mattel I suppose.  What game was that?  The theoretically more kid-oriented super stylized small 2-inch versions of popular characters game, launched by Galactic Heroes, and then expanding to Super Hero SquadRobot Heroes, and Combat Heroes.  Mattel’s own version for Masters of the Universe was, ever so creatively, Masters of the Universe Minis.  It was completely locked into Matty Collector, so it sort of missed its market, and wound up dying a rather quiet death.  However, with renewed interest in the brand in the last year, Mattel’s giving it another try, this time under the branding of Eternia Minis.  My usual go-to characters Mechanek and Roboto haven’t been done thus far, but there’s at least a Zodac, so I’ve got a little bit of an entry point.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Zodac is a 2021 release for Eternia Minis.  He and his assortment mates first started showing up in the spring…in theory.  It’s Mattel, of course, so take that with a huge grain of salt.  The figure stands 2 inches tall and he has 4 points of articulation.  It’s not a ton of mobility, but the balljoint for the neck certainly does a lot.  It’s honestly a bit better than most of the Hasbro items of the same style, so kudos to Mattel there.  Like his larger scale figures, Zodac’s arms are shared with the standard Skeletor from the line.  Everything else is unique (though it’s shared with his 2014 two-pack release) and it’s a pretty fun little sculpt.  Zodac’s goofy helmet really works in this set-up, and I love that they even included details of his hairy chest poking out from under his armor.  The 2014 Zodac was done up in his toy colors, but this one instead gives him his cartoon colors, which feature the gloved appearance, which I do really like.  It’s a small change, but an effective one.  Otherwise, the paint’s pretty solid; some of the edges are a little fuzzy, but it’s nothing too terrible given the scale.  Zodac is packed with his sci-fi-esque gun, which is a lot less “L-shaped mace”-y than the Origins one, so that’s cool.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

When Mattel first launched MotU Minis, I was very interested, but the price point and having to contend with Matty Collector were just too much for me to ever get involved.  I was glad to see them re-surface last year at a more reasonable price, but they still weren’t super easy to get, so I still wasn’t really jumping on the line.  Max wound up coming across a small display of them just a few days before my birthday and the Zodac really called out to him for me, so he snagged him.  He’s just a little piece, but he’s quite fun, and I really enjoy him.  I’d like to see maybe a Roboto or a Mechanek, if you don’t mind, Mattel.  That’d be swell.

#2853: Mr. Freeze

MR. FREEZE

BATMAN: THE CAPED CRUSADER)  (SPIN MASTER)

Spin Master’s DC lines had a slightly rough start last year, what with the pandemic and everything, but they’re seemingly starting to get things a bit more back on track this year.  In particular, they seem to be having alright luck with the Batman half of their product lines.  Thus far, they’ve even had a small handful of store exclusives, with Target in particular having a few different pairs of Batman and one villain variant at a time.  The latest villainous addition is one of my favorites, Mr. Freeze, who I’ll be taking a look at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Mr. Freeze is one of the two latest Target-exclusive figures from Spin Master’s Batman: The Caped Crusader line, the other being another Batman repaint.  Freeze, on the other hand, is actually an all-new figure, which I do believe is a first for one of these exclusives.  That’s pretty nifty, I guess.  The figure stands about 4 inches tall and he has 16 points of articulation.  He lacks the usual neck movement, as most Freeze figures do, thanks to the domed helmet, which is a permanent fixture on this guy.  Design wise, he’s taking his cues largely from the post-New 52 version of the character.  While I was iffy on the design earlier in its run, the slight adjustments to it have made it a little bit more palatable.  I’m still not big on the suns out guns out arms, but I’ll live.  Structurally, he’s an all-new sculpt.  It’s pretty decent and generally in keeping with the rest of the line in styling.  There’s some pretty nice detailing going on in his various tech pieces, and I appreciate that he’s got a fully detailed head underneath the helmet.  It’s even got that pitch-perfect lack of expression on the face.  Can’t have any emotion on a Mr. Freeze figure.  I mean, not in front of other people, anyway.  That’s for later, back in his cell, when he’s all weepy and stuff.  But we don’t talk about that.  It gets awkward.  So let’s move on.  In terms of paint work, Freeze is rather basic.  There’s a little bit of painted work on the torso, but that’s it, with everything else just relying on the molded colors.  It’s not really far off from his usual colors anyway, so it works out fine.  There are a few smaller details that get left the same color as the surrounding stuff, but it’s still generally in keeping with the rest of the line.  Freeze is packed with three accessories, all of which are guns.  Lotta guns.  He likes his guns. They’re all re-used, which is a little bit of a let-down, but I guess they have to save some tooling where they can.  The re-used Killer Moth gun works out okay, but the Batman and Joker guns are a bit less so, since they’ve got a Bat-emblem and a pie tin on them, respectively.  Kind of not Freeze’s usual branding.  At least with the clear blue plastic, it’s not quite as immediately evident, but it would have been nice to see at least one new one here.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As with so many of the Spin Master DCs, this one’s Max’s fault.  Okay, well, not entirely, I suppose, since I actually told him about the figure’s existence in the first place.  So, that’s on me.  I’m very definitely a Freeze fan, so I’m glad to see him added to the line, and while it may not be my first choice of outfit, it’s still pretty darn fun.  Spin Master’s quite good at keeping things fun, and I very much appreciate that.

#2844: ARC Trooper Echo

ARC TROOPER ECHO

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

First introduced in the first season episode “Rookies,” Domino Squad is a group that The Clone Wars uses to really showcase the general progression of the clones throughout the wars, as well as also hitting home just how bad war can be, seeing as the Squad has a tendency to fall like, well, dominos.  Central to the squad’s early stories are Fives and Echo, the two that have the most advancement of any clones in the show, starting off as mere cadets, and eventually becoming full-fledged ARC Troopers.  Echo himself has gone even further, becoming one of the few Regs to continue his story post-Order 66 as part of Clone Force 99, aka the titular team from The Bad Batch.  This kid’s got some range, let me tell you.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

ARC Trooper Echo is another of the four figures in the Target-exclusive Clone Wars-retro assortment of Star Wars: The Black Series.  He’s the first figure of Echo in the line, though it would be an incredible shock if he were the last, given the incredible prominence of Echo’s updated Bad Batch gear.  As the name signifies, this figure is based on Echo’s ARC Trooper look, which he sported in the “Citadel” arc of the show, which is notably the story that “killed” him, before the final season brought him back.  It’s the look that had the most appearances within the show (prior to The Bad Batch, of course), and it’s his coolest look as a Reg.  Plus, they haven’t done any actual ARC troopers in this scale, so he’s a good reason to introduce the tooling.  It does mean that he doesn’t actually go with any other figures in the line, of course, since he doesn’t match up with the Batch, and he also doesn’t match up with Rex, since Rex was in his Phase I armor still when Echo died, but there are worse things to have to deal with.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 29 points of articulation.  Remember how I mentioned the weird mix-up of Hawk retooling Rex’s body into a more basic clone body, rather than using the newly introduced basic clone?  So, you might assume that Echo, with his ARC Trooper gear, would naturally be using the Rex body as well, right?  Nope.  Echo’s on the new basic clone body, with a bunch of stuff tacked onto it.  I know.  It’s weird.  I mean, it’s still a nice body, so I’m not complaining.  I’m just confused, that’s all.  In order to update that standard clone armor into a full ARC Trooper set-up, Echo gets a new set of forearms and lower legs, as well as new add-on pieces for his additional torso gear, as well as his belt, kama, and holsters.  He’s also got a brand new head and helmet to complete the whole set-up.  It’s interesting that he’s got a rubber kama, as opposed to the cloth we’ve gotten for the commanders thus far, but I don’t hate the look, and it doesn’t hold back the articulation too badly.  The unmasked head continues the trend of the unmasked clones not looking all that much like Temuera Morrison, though this one does at least seem to be heading a bit more in the right direction, I suppose.  The helmet sits well on the head, though, which is a definite plus, as some of the others have had a little bit of trouble with that fit.  The rest of the new parts mesh well with the old, and the end result is a quite nicely put together ARC Trooper set-up.  The paint work on Echo is generally pretty decent.  There’s a good deal of variety to it, but the application is generally pretty cleanly handled.  There are some fuzzier edges on a few of the blue lines, but it can be written off to a little bit of wear, to be honest.  He’s got the face printing on the unmasked head, which definitely helps with the likeness, at least a little bit.  And, just to make him properly Echo, he’s got the hand print graffiti, which is always a fun touch.  Echo is pretty well accessorized, getting a long blaster rifle, a short blaster rifle, and two blaster pistols.  He still can’t properly hold both pistols at once, of course, since only the right hand has a trigger finger, but at least you have some options.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

“Rookies” was the first episode of Clone Wars that really spoke to me, and I’ve long since had a soft spot for Domino Squad, and Echo in particular.  I always liked his story, and I was sad when he was killed off in the “Citadel” arc.  I was very glad to see him brought back in Season 7, and he’s thus far been one of my favorite parts of The Bad Batch.  I hope to get a Batch version of him soon, but I’m also glad to have gotten him in his peak form here.  Sure, he doesn’t match up with anyone at the moment, but hopefully we can at the very least get a Fives to go with him.  Once again, thanks to Max for setting me up with this one.  I wasn’t expecting him to be quite as easily acquired, but I’m happy he was.

#2843: Clone Pilot Hawk

CLONE PILOT HAWK

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

Store exclusives have been the bane of pretty much every collector’s existence for the last year, because not only has the number of things that are exclusive jumped, but so has the number of people trying to scalp them in order to make a quick buck.  Not helping matters is the general lack of quality distribution when it comes to actually getting them out there, making for an all around just unpleasant experience.  So, there’s definitely a little twinge of anxiety that hits every time a new item is announced, and then also confirmed as an exclusive.  In the case of Star Wars: The Black Series, there’s a whole sub-set of throwback Clone Wars figures, which seemed poised to be the worst thing ever to get, but which now seem to be significantly less so, which I suppose is a good thing.  For me personally, I was most invested in getting the clones, which I have.  I’m starting things off today, with a look at Clone Pilot Hawk.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Clone Pilot Hawk is one of the four figures in Target’s exclusive assortment of Clone Wars-retro carded Black Series figures.  He’s the most obscure character in the bunch, to be sure, notably being the only one included who has never had a figure, even in the days of Hasbro’s far more expansive Clone Wars toy line.  Not only did we not get Hawk, we never even got one of the pilots with this specific helmet design, which does feel kind of baffling when you get right down to it.  The figure stands just over 6 inches tall and he has 29 points of articulation.  Now, the fact that Hasbro very recently introduced an all-new basic clone body into the line might lead you to believe that Hawk might, you know, be built on it, what with being kind of a basic clone and all.  However, you’d in fact be a fool to think that, because he’s absolutely not built on that body.  Neither is he built on the old clone body, though, so don’t think that either.  Instead, he’s actually built on the Captain Rex body, for some reason.  I mean, I’m not knocking it.  It’s a good body in its own right, and certainly an improvement on the old clone body, meaning his movement isn’t really restricted like it would have been on that older body.  In fact, his movement’s pretty darn great, so that’s cool.  He gets an all-new head for his unique helmet, as well as a connected breathing device, to signify his pilot nature.  Also, in a far more minor touch, he also gets a new belt, sans the kama and the holsters.  The new parts are nicely crafted, with the helmet in particular being the real star piece here.  It does a quite respectable job of walking the line between animated faithfulness and merging with the realistic style of the line.  I definitely like it a lot.  Hawk’s paintwork is generally pretty nicely handled.  There’s a little bit of slop on the hands on my figure, but he otherwise turned out pretty nicely.  I like the extra markings on the armor, as well as how they’ve weathered them a bit to show that his armor’s been in use.  Hawk is packed with a standard small Clone Trooper blaster.  It’s a little light, but it’s also fairly standard set-up for a pilot figure in this line, so it’s hard to say it’s a surprise.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Hawk was my only “must have” figure in this set, largely because I’ve just always liked this particular pilot design and it’s literally never gotten a figure before.  I was happy he got a figure, but not so happy that it wound up as an exclusive.  Fortunately, Max was able to help me out with this one, as it wound up being literally the first of the four he saw at retail.  He turned out really nicely, and I’m curious to see if we might actually get some of the other Clone Pilots in the main line now.  Time will tell.

There’s also a bit of a post-Jess segment to this one as well.  This figure is the last figure added to my collection before Jess died.  Max brought him to me during her last week in the hospital, and I had him with me those last few days.  He’s the last new figure I got to show her, and the last figure she got to be excited about me adding to my collection.  I didn’t know that when I got him, but those are the sorts of things you never do know, I guess.  I do know that showing off my new figures to her was one of my very favorite things about collecting in the last eight years, and the items I gotten since all feel a little different, since something’s very definitely missing.  He gets to be my last contact to that feeling, and the last true part of that collection.  My collection post-Jess will be a different one, and I’ll have to figure out how as I move forward.  But this guy’s not going anywhere, I can tell you that much.

#2818: Elite Praetorian Guard with Heavy Blade

ELITE PRAETORIAN GUARD with HEAVY BLADE

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“As the Supreme Leader of the First Order, Snoke was flanked by crimson-clad guardians, loyal protectors encased in ornate armor ready to defend the Supreme Leader from any thread.”

The Last Jedi‘s Praetorian Guards may not be on the screen for long, but they make the most of their time, and participate in the very coolest fight scene in the whole sequel trilogy.  Plus, they’ve just got a very cool look.  Actually, they have three slightly different, but all very cool looks, due to their three differing helmet designs mixed in amongst them.  Hasbro opted for completely separate figures for each of these three helmets, something they delivered through a few different avenues.  For The Black Series, I had two of the three, but was waiting on the last one.  I wait no more.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Elite Praetorian Guard with Heavy Blade was an Amazon-exclusive Star Wars: The Black Series offering, which they placed up for order in the fall of 2017, in anticipation of the movie.  It was the third of the three figures to be released.  This one is the “underbite” helmet, which is the only one I haven’t looked at in any style here on the site (largely due to him being an exclusive in every case).  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 29 points of articulation.  From the neck down, this figure is identical to the #50 Guard, which makes sense, since they were all the same.  It’s interesting, of course, because it makes the one from the Guardians of Evil pack the outlier on exactly how he handled the skirt, since this one is sculpted, not cloth.  The posability’s not there as much, but it does look better.  This guy gets a new head sculpt in order to replicate the third helmet design.  It meshes just as well with the body as the other two, and fits the styling of the rest of the armor quite well.  It’s fairly easy to tell it’s a new piece, so that’s good.  The paint work on this figure truly is just identical to the standard release figure, which is to say it’s basic, but it looks good.  Apart from the helmet change-up, the other new piece for this guy was the weapon selection.  He gets the larger Heavy Blade weapon, which is mentioned in his name. It’s a larger, and certainly impressive piece.  He also gets a second weapon, which is more of a sword thing.  Not my preferred of the two, but it’s nice to get the options.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The slightly higher base retail on this release was enough for me to hold off on buying him right away.  Unfortunately, he wound up selling out through Amazon, and that meant I missed out on him entirely.  It always bummed me out, because this was my favorite of the three helmets, and I had missed out on both his Hasbro figures.  Fortunately for me, Max had picked one up a while back, and while downsizing his Star Wars collection, he was kind enough to set me up with the one I was missing.  I’ve reviewed the majority of this guy before, so it’s not like he’s doing a whole lot new for me, but it is nice to finish the set, and he really is the best of the three, so I’m glad to have him.

#2813: Emperor’s Royal Guard

EMPEROR’S ROYAL GUARD

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

NOTE: This review was written before June 6th.

“Only the most promising soldiers are chosen to serve as Emperor Palpatine’s personal guards. Experts in many forms of combat, both armed and unarmed, they are conditioned to automatically react to the Emperor’s will.”

Introduced in Return of the Jedi, the Emperor’s Royal Guards don’t really do much of anything on the screen.  The just stand there.  They look cool and all while doing it, but still, it’s just standing.  Then they reappeared in Revenge of the Sith, and did some more standing.  Also got force thrown around by Yoda a bit, which is something, I suppose.  But mostly still with the standing.  The toys, at least early ones, kind of go along with this, being built mostly for said standing.  Behold, a figure that stands!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Emperor’s Royal Guard was added to Kenner’s Power of the Force line in 1997.  This marked the second figure of the design, following up on the vintage release from 1983.  The figure stands just shy of 4 inches tall and has a whopping two points of articulation.  Okay, technically three, I suppose, because the neck is sort of jointed.  Doesn’t really move, but they tried.  The Royal Guard was the type of figure referred to as a “salt shaker” by the fanbase, due to his skirted design meaning that his torso was all one immobile piece, much like a common table salt shaker.  While the original figure had placed a whole body beneath the figure’s cloth cape, the cloth pieces weren’t really a thing at this point in the line, and so Kenner just made the underlying body one solid block.  The red cloak is still a separate piece, so you can lift it up and see that they’re nothing impressive beneath it, if you so choose, but it hardly seems worth it.  At the very least, the helmet’s pretty cool.  It’s nice and sharply defined, and just looks pretty clean.  The arms, on the other hand, look kind of chunky for some reason.  Odd choice there.  The paint is virtually non-existent on this figure, apart from the black on his visor.  That was it, with nothing more.  I mean, I guess it works, but it’s not terribly exciting.  The Guard is packed with his little poking stick, and, if you were lucky, a Freeze Frame slide.  I was not lucky.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Seeing as they only really stand there, I never had much attachment to the Royal Guards.  They look cool, but that’s it.  And, when it came to this figure, that really was it.  There’s virtually no play value at all here.  He stands real good, because, well, there’s not actual legs, so it would be hard for him to fall over, now wouldn’t it.  This figure wound up coming to me through a trade I did with Max a couple of years ago.  Mostly I got it because I’m getting all of the Power of the Force figures, and I kind have to get this one, now don’t I?  Honestly the sturdiness is nice from a display standpoint.  If you just want an army of them to stand behind Palpatine at attention, as in the movie, this is honestly your best bet.  So, maybe he’s not without value.  But he’s still not a great toy on his own.

#2804: Zodac

ZODAC

MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE ORIGINS (MATTEL)

NOTE: This review was written before June 6th.

“Cosmic Enforcer!”

Action figures are like potato chips: you can’t have just one.  Or maybe that’s just me.  But only with action figures.  Because I’m actually not that big on potato chips…so I don’t even tend to have the one.  But I do have a lot of action figures.  So, there’s that.  What was the point of all this?  Oh, right, I’m looking at another Masters of the Universe Origins figure.  That’s pretty nifty.  And even niftier, it’s a character I haven’t looked at before, because I don’t actually own him in any other form.  Yes, it’s MotU‘s own resident Cosmic Enforcer (who is no longer “Evil”), Zodac!  Zodac’s actually one of the franchise’s original characters, debuting in the original line-up, and originally being billed as an “Evil Cosmic Enforcer,” so as to keep the numbers equal between both sides.  Outside media generally stuck to a neutral alignment for the character, though, and as the line progressed, “Evil” was removed from his packaging, helping to cement his status as not-a-bad-guy.  Let’s have a look at this not-a-bad-guy.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Zodac is another figure from Wave 3 of Masters of the Universe Origins, right alongside yesterday’s Roboto.  The figure stands about 5 1/2 inches tall and he has 23 points of articulation.  His articulation scheme is effectively the same as Roboto’s, though he gets the extra movement on his right wrist joint.  Like his original figure, Zodac is largely built from shared parts. He’s got the Beast Man torso (because he’s got a lot of back hair, I guess), and the reptilian forearms and boots, as well as the standard upper-arms, upper-legs, and waist.  It’s all topped off with a new head and armor piece.  They do a respectable job of recreating his original, as goofy and silly as it’s supposed to be.  Since his torso is a different set-up, he winds up a little sturdier than Roboto, so he’s less prone to wobbling.  Zodac has a little more in the way of paint than Roboto, but it’s still pretty well applied, on my figure at least.  There’s a slight discrepancy on the painted flesh of the face compared to the molded plastic body, but that’s been an issue with Zodac pretty much since day one.  It’s also not as bad in person as it looks in the photos.  Zodac is packed with his blaster, or, as Tim would like me to point out, his L-shaped mace, seeing as it looks more like that than it does a gun.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

While I was sold on Roboto as soon as he was announced, I wasn’t really planning to pick up Zodac.  However, Max got his earlier, and I got to mess around with it, which was enough to convince me I kind of wanted one of my own.  He’s a fun little figure, and a nice change of pace for my collection at this point.  Here’s to hoping me might get a Zodak redeco at some point!

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 and their eBay storefront.

#2776: Ultimate Mech Suit Captain America

ULTIMATE MECH SUIT CAPTAIN AMERICA

AVENGERS: MECH STRIKE (HASBRO)

“Captain America gears up in a massive, high-powered mech strike suit combat the evil Thanos!”

With a lack of actual Avengers movies to tie into at the moment, as well as a general lack of other Avengers things to really go for (since the game didn’t exactly do the business that they were hoping for), this year, the Avengers are getting a more specifically toy-geared push, with the Mech Strike branding.  It’s a pretty simple concept, really: the Avengers are all getting big robo-suits.  I know.  It’s a real high-art concept, to be sure.  I like the Avengers, and I also like big robo-suits, so I don’t hate the idea.  I’m looking at one of the resulting toys today, with Ultimate Mech Suit Captain America!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Ultimate Mech Suit Captain America is part of Hasbro’s wider-range Avengers: Mech Strike line, which starting showing up at retail in the last month or so.  There are a few different price points for the figures, with Cap and the corresponding Iron Man both being at the mid-range $20 price point.  These figures are a whole figure and mech-suit set-up, which really gives the whole intended experience, I feel.  The core Captain America figure stands about 6 inches tall and he has 15 points of articulation.  He’s a pretty basic Captain America, following the general look of the “house style Cap” we’ve been seeing since the MCU took off.  It’s pretty decently designed, and there are a lot of smaller details on the uniform that make him pretty fun.  He’s also pretty posable.  Obviously, he’s not quite Legends material or anything, but all of the basics are covered.  The only thing I could really drag him on is the lack of waist joint, but that’s fairly minor.  There are a few ports worked into the sculpt, as well, which are mainly used for giving him spots to attach the included shield.  They’re not too jarring, and generally fit well with the overall aesthetic of the core design.  His paint’s on the rather basic side, but it’s enough to get the job done.  The basic red, white, and blue is all there, and the application’s mostly pretty clean.  The reds are a little sloppier, but it’s admittedly a more difficult color to get consistent.  There are definitely some sculpted details that get left unpainted, especially on the blue sections, but this is kind of expected, what with the style and price point.  This core figure’s primary function, of course, isn’t really to be seen.  Instead, he’s supposed to be the pilot of the aforementioned “Ultimate Mech Suit.”  The fully suited up figure stands about 7 inches tall and has 6 points of articulation, all of which are contained in the arms.  It’s not exceedingly posable, largely due to it being more or less a shell that folds over the main Cap figure.  The arms are, at least, able to get some movement, but he’s otherwise a rather static, and also rather chunk boi.  The design’s honestly pretty appealing, at least to me.  It’s a big, bulky, and appropriately spangle-y mecha, with very clean line-work.  It feels a little bit Ultra Magnus-y to me, but that may be me filling in some things I want to see.  Wouldn’t mind him getting some killer shoulder pylons, though.  The only slight trouble to how the design of the thing works is that there’s nothing to be done with Cap’s arms once he’s in the mecha; they just kind of hang there, which looks a little silly.  Fortunately, they do blend in alright with the sides of the mecha’s torso, if you just wrap them around.  Still, it would have been nice to see them come up with something a little bit more clever.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I had only a passing familiarity with this line when I got a text from Max a few weeks ago, informing me that he had been in a Captain America mood, which had led him to pick this figure up.  It certainly looked nifty, but I wasn’t in a major rush to get one of my own.  Upon talking to Max a little more about it, it turned out he wasn’t really feeling it as much as he’d hoped to, so he asked if I wanted it for a good deal.  I had just put together a whole shelf of my Captain America stuff, so I had a place to put it, which I guess was as good a reason as any to take it off Max’s hands.  Ultimately, it’s still not something I think I would have picked up for myself, largely due to not really being in the main target market for this line.  That being said, I do like it now that I have it, and I can’t really knock it’s cool factor.  And how many times are we going to get a cool Captain America Mecha?  Okay, probably a lot going forward, but this one’s still cool.