#3089: Ultra Magnus

ULTRA MAGNUS

TRANSFORMERS: FALL OF CYBERTRON (HASBRO)

“Ultra Magnus is legendary among Autobots and Decepticons alike. The mere sight of his armored form charging into battle is more than enough to inspire his troops to victory, and his strength as a warrior is more than enough to break any Decepticon army.”

You know what I haven’t really reviewed a lot of lately?  Transformers.  As a whole, I’ve kinda slowed down on collecting them, so there’s a lot less of an influx of them waiting to get reviewed all the time, but I’ve still got a host of older ones I can fall back on.  I good chunk of those older figures are Ultra Magnus.  I know, you’re all very shocked by this crazy development that absolutely no one could have seen coming.  I’ve covered a good chunk of Ultra Magni here on the site, which has also allowed me to explore the various different eras of the toyline.  For today’s purposes, let’s discuss video games.  In 2010, a prequel game of sorts to the main Transformers storyline, titled War For Cybertron, was released, alongside a number of other tie-ins, including a handful of figures within Hasbro’s Transformers: Generations line.  In 2012, the game received a sequel in the form of Fall of Cybertron, which likewise got its own tie-ins, this time with the Generations line actually getting a proper re-titling, and the whole line focusing on adapting designs from the game.  Our boy Ultra Magnus found his way into this particular toyline, like a champ, and I’m taking a look at that particular figure today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Ultra Magnus was released in the third Deluxe Class assortment of the Fall of Cybertron line, which hit in 2013.  In his robot mode, the figure stands about 4 1/2 inches tall, and he has 19 workable points of articulation.  As a Deluxe Class release, this Ultra Magnus is notably quite small for a Magnus, especially in reference to the rest of the line which spawned him.  He’s just a little guy.  While the line was ostensibly based on the game designs, Magnus is actually not based on a game design at all.  Or, really anything really.  The question of scaling, as well as the nature of this design both stem from the fact that he’s largely a repaint of the FoC Optimus.  As such, he doesn’t get Magnus’s fully armored look, or the corresponding scale-up that would go along with it.  There does exist a third party figure which does a slightly closer job of replicating the game’s Magnus design (though even that’s based on concept art more than the actual game).  For the purposes of this release, Hasbro’s aim is clearly to make the most of what they have, so he gets an all-new, more Magnus-worthy head.  It’s a pretty nice sculpt, keeping the classic Magnus elements, but also melding things with the aesthetic of the game designs.  Additionally, the instructions also have you leave the smokestacks up in robot mode, simulating Magnus’s usual shoulder pylons.  Gotta have those shoulders for a true Magnus.  He also gets the new deco, of course.  It’s quite heavy on blue, which really helps to differentiate him from Optimus, and I really do dig the decision to go with that really stark white.  All of it results in a figure that may be small, but still looks very much like a Magnus.  Magnus was packed with the same blaster included with Optimus, as well as a big honkin’ sword.  Sword’s aren’t classically a Magnus thing, but it’s still a nifty piece.  It’s made up of three distinct parts, with the part that makes up the tip actually being the sword used by Optimus briefly within the game proper.

Ultra Magnus’s alt-mode is the same one that Prime had.  It’s a Cybertronian “truck,” which is decidedly less boxy than most Prime alt-modes, and by extension less boxy than most Magnus alt-modes as well.  It’s a different sort of design, but not a terrible one, as far as made-up sci-fi truck modes go.  The transformation sequence takes a little bit of doing, but it’s not too crazy either.  Given that it’s not really a Magnus design, it’s not the sort of thing I see myself getting much use out of personally, but it’s still nifty.  In vehicle mode, the blaster and sword can both be mounted to the figure, so as to not lose them or anything.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I discovered this figure fairly early into my dive into the depths of older Magnus figures back in 2019, and was definitely interested.  As with most older Transformers, though, I don’t really have an undying need to actively search for them.  They just sort of come to me.  This one in a more literal sense than most.  He came into All Time as part of a trade, but it was one that Max had handled, so I knew nothing about him.  So, when they came in, Max just walked up to my desk and sat this guy in front of me, because, you know, Magnus and all.  It was a fairly pleasant little surprise.  As I said above, he’s small for a Magnus, and not really based on anything specific.  That said, I do really like him.  He feels kind of unique, and he’s honestly just a very fun little figure.

#3074: Stealth Suit Captain Carter

STEALTH SUIT CAPTAIN CARTER

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Captain Carter’s secret stealth mission sets her on a collision course with new enemies.”

Man, the Marvel Legends reviews sure are spacing out a lot more than they were a few months ago.  Weird, huh?  I finally actually have the time to go back and, you know, catch up on some of the items I missed at the end of last year, when I was drowning in Legends.  With the benefit of a breather, I can better appreciate items like today’s focus, Stealth Suit Captain Carter.  I took a look at the standard Captain Carter towards the end of last year, and I really liked it, so it stands to reason that another one, now in cool Winter Solider-inspired stealth colors, is probably gonna resonate well with me.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Stealth Suit Captain Carter is a Target-exclusive Marvel Legends release, which hit stores in late November of last year.  While the first figure was based on Carter’s design from the premier episode of the show, this one is based on the season finale, which sees the Watcher pull Peggy from her timeline’s version of the opening scene of Captain America: Winter Soldier.  It’s not a drastically different look, but it’s a cool one, especially when paralleled to Steve’s look.  The figure stands just shy of 6 1/2 inches tall and she has 31 points of articulation.  This figure’s sculpt is identical to the standard Captain Carter.  I really liked that sculpt a lot, so I can certainly see the appeal of getting it a second time.  Since her costume is largely unchanged in the show, it makes a degree of sense.  The only issue is with the hair, as in the show Peggy had a slightly more modernized style, while this one still has her ’40s hair.  It’s not a major difference, all things considered, so I can kind of let it slide, especially given the whole “quick repaint” set-up for this one.  The paint work is where the changes occur for this figure.  The head is essentially identical, but the uniform captures the more monochromatic design of this outfit.  The application’s okay, though not as consistent as other releases.  It’s a little better than the standard release, though that may be largely due to there being less actual paint to apply.  Peggy is packed with the same shield as the standard release, but now in the updated colors to match her uniform.  There’s nothing else, which does feel a little light, especially given that the standard release included a BaF piece as well.  That said, I’m not entirely sure what else there is to include with her.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I do dig this whole look quite a bit, but I was content with the standard release, especially if it meant I didn’t have to track down an exclusive.  That said, Max found one out in the wild, and, while initially grabbing it for himself, decided he felt it more appropriate for me to have her, given my general Captain America love an all.  She’s not quite screen accurate, but she’s still quite a lot of fun, especially given how strong of a starting point she’s got to work from.

#3072: Ultraman

ULTRAMAN

ULTRAMAN (MEGO)

Back around Christmas time, I took a look at my first Ultraman Mego, which was, ironically, not the first Ultraman, but rather his immediate follow-up, Ultraseven.  It felt a bit inappropriate to just have Ultraseven, so I’ll be making things right, so to speak, with today’s review, which shifts the focus back to the original Ultraman, as well as also checking off that Mego box that can wind up being pretty rare around these parts.  How about that?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Ultraman was released in the 10th assortment of the revamped Mego’s line-up, under the Sci-Fi banner, and officially branded Ultraman, which is, you know, pretty sensible and all.  He was the first of the Ultramen, with Ultraseven following in the assortment just after this one.  The figure stands just over 8 inches tall and has 16 points of articulation.  Ultraman is built on the standard male Type 2 body, which is a serviceable choice for a good number of characters.  This guy is no different on that front.  While Seven got a new head and hands, Hayata just got the new head.  Given that subsequent Ultras have gotten the new hands, this was clearly something decided after this particular release.  The new head is a really solid piece; the classic Ultraman helmet really fits well with the Mego style, and it translates really well here.  The paint work is confined to the head, and it’s pretty decent.  It’s basic application stuff, but it works well.  Ultraman’s outfit is made up of a jumpsuit and a pair of standard boots.  The jumpsuit’s actually really nice.  The silver details are done with a pseudo-chrome feature, which is really spiffy, and I really dig how the color timer is actually a raised element.  I do slightly worry about how well it’ll stay attached over time, but for now it’s cool.  The boots are just a normal pair of silver boots, and, if I’m honest, they feel extraneous.  The design doesn’t actually feature boots proper, and there’s a fully detailed section of suit under the boots, so it feels almost more authentic without them.  But, hey, who am I to complain about extra stuff.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I missed this guy during his initial run at retail, for a good number of reasons.  Max was kind enough to set me up with Seven, but that only made me want this guy more.  Thankfully, Max once again came through with the save on this one, setting me up with one that was traded into All Time while I was out.  He’s nice like that.  Ultraman is a really great fit for this style, and the resulting figure is really solid.  He’s easily one of the best of the modern era Megos, and I’m glad I was able to finally snag one.

#3008: The Family That Busts Together

PHOEBE & EGON SPENGLER

GHOSTBUSTERS: PLASMA SERIES (HASBRO)

“Phoebe’s love of science and affinity for bustin’ ghosts runs in the family. She’s got Spengler blood, after all.”

Finding a good follow-up to the first Ghostbusters has been a difficult task since, well, the first Ghostbusters, honestly.  Even the combination of the whole original cast, the original director, and the original writers on Ghostbusters II wasn’t enough to capture that particular lightning back in the bottle, so in a modern world where reassembling the whole team is no longer possible, it’s an even more daunting task.  2016’s attempted reboot was divisive to put it mildly.  So, Afterlife seemed like it was taking on a rather Herculean feat, but it actually managed to achieve the seemingly impossible, and finally craft an actually pretty decent follow-up to the first movie.  Its success largely lies in how it interweaves old and new, as the old story is still there, but there’s also an actually rather likable cast of new characters to accompany them.  Central to the film is Egon Spengler’s granddaughter Phoebe, whose curiosity about her grandfather’s old habits launches her into the film’s events, as she is guided by her grandfather’s spirit, metaphorically, and then (SPOILERS), not so metaphorically.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

“The Family That Busts Together” set is a Target-exclusive Ghostbusters: Plasma Series release, which was announced the week after Afterlife hit theaters, and started hitting shelves just after Black Friday/Cyber Monday.  Currently, the set is the only way to get Plasma Series versions of either of the two included characters.  It does seem a little odd, since Phoebe is unquestionably the film’s main character, and it’s an exclusive set, but with the rather notable spoilers surrounding the other half of the set, I can get the move for a retailer exclusive, since that allows for a closer to film release, while also keeping the reveal close to the vest for as close as possible.  The set did at least prove fairly easy to find at first, though in the aftermath of holiday shopping, time will tell as to exactly how easily acquired it is.

PHOEBE

Afterlife‘s new cast each sort of follow the archetype of one of the earlier ‘Busters, with McKenna Grace’s Phoebe taking her grandfather’s spot as the slightly quieter, more scientifically-minded member of the crew, though perhaps one that’s a little more outwardly driven than Egon ever was in the films proper.  As with all of the figures thus far from the film, Phoebe is based on her fully geared up look from later in the film, which is certainly sensible, as far as toy choices go.  Just basic day-to-day attire might not be quite as fun.  The figure stands about 5 inches tall and she has 25 points of articulation.  While there are similarities in the sculpts of all the new Ghostbusters, none of them are actually sharing parts, so Phoebe is an all-new mold.  It’s a pretty solid one.  The articulation is perhaps a touch more limited than I’d like, but it does somewhat come with the territory of her being much smaller.  The likeness on the head sculpt is pretty spot on, and I really like the little touches to show that she’s had to quite hastily tailor her grandfather’s jumpsuit to her smaller stature.  The paint work on the figure is on par with the earlier releases in the line, which is to say its pretty clean and basic, with the best work by far being shown off on the head, which has the face printing.  Phoebe gets a rather impressive selection of accessories, including Egon’s modified proton pack, with removable back plate and neutron wand, as well as an effects piece, a PKE meter, which can be clipped to her belt, a jar of ooze from the second movie, and one of the chess pieces from the game she and Egon’s poltergeist are playing throughout the film.  The very moment-specific extras are definitely a lot of fun, and I was glad to see them turn up.  Lastly, and not so much for her specifically, the set also includes the head to the Terror Dog version of Zuul, designed for use with the Build-A-Figure body released last year.  Since that one was specifically Vinz Clortho, and it was re-used again for the set with Tully, it was very nice of Hasbro to find a way to give collectors both dogs.

EGON

Afterlife begins with the death of Egon, shot in such a way as to avoid showing him directly, given Harold Ramis’s passing seven years before the film.  Throughout the film, he continues to have a role in the film as a spirit with no visible form, again to keep him included, while still acknowledging the loss of Ramis.  The big reveal during the film’s climactic battle, after the remaining three original ‘busters have shown up to assist the new team, and after Phoebe in particular steps up to face down Gozer, is Egon as an actual visible ghost.  It’s a moment that allows both Egon and Ramis to stand alongside their respective teams one last time, and it’s one of the film’s most emotional moments to be sure.  This set in particular is designed to replicate that sequence, and Egon’s appearance in particular.  The figure stands just over 6 inches tall and he has 29 points of articulation.  Structurally, he’s largely the same as all of the other older ‘busters from Afterlife, meaning he’s using the Ray body from the first series.  It gives him a slightly huskier build, which matches to Ramis’s look later in life, as well as how Egon is portrayed in the film.  The only thing that *doesn’t* match up with the film is the presence of gloves, which Egon pointedly didn’t have on as a spectre.  However, there aren’t yet any non-gloved hands and forearms for the standard ‘Busters body, so it would have required new tooling, and given how the coloration works, it’s a forgivable change, since it’s not very visible anyway.  The one new piece here is a new head sculpt.  It’s not as spot-on a likeness as the prior Egon, but it’s also based on a cgi recreation of a likeness, and it given the turnaround time on this one, it’s likely it wasn’t even a fully-formed render at the time yet.  All things considered, it’s perhaps a little on the large side, but otherwise not a bad sculpt at all.  The paint work on this figure is a definite change-up from the others, since it needs to give him that spectral look.  This is achieved by molding him in translucent blue plastic, and then painting on some trace details, notably on the face and the upper torso, making him look like an apparition that fades away as it gets to the edges of his body.  It’s a well-rendered effect, especially when seen in person.  Egon’s more of an accessory himself, so he doesn’t get anything of his own, but a few of Phoebe’s accessories also work for Egon as well, so there’s some crossover there.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As I’ve mentioned before, Egon’s my favorite member of the Ghostbusters, and Harold Ramis is also one of my favorite creators, so the lack of both of them in this sequel was something I was worried about going into the new movie.  I really loved how they worked his legacy into the story, and I’ll admit to being rather touched by how they built to his ultimate reappearance late in the film.  Likewise, I really identified a lot with Phoebe and her quest to connect more with her late grandfather.  She was certainly my favorite addition to the cast, so I found myself wanting this set quite a bit after seeing the movie.  Thankfully, Max was there with the assist on this one, and snagged me one back in December.  Phoebe is definitely the real star here, but the accessory selection and inclusion of Egon really make it a home run of a set.

#3002: Ultraseven

ULTRASEVEN

ULTRAMAN (MEGO)

Welcome to Day 2 of the Post-Christmas reviews.  Last year, I finally got back into the swing of some Ultraman reviewing after a bit of a gap, thanks to the help of an Ultraseven figure I got as a Christmas gift.  This year, I guess I’m just gonna do the same thing.  Fitting.  Of course, I’m kind of looking at opposite sides of the product spectrum here, with last year’s Ultraseven being a high-end figure from Bandai, and this one being, well, a Mego, which isn’t exactly high-end.  No less in my realm of interest, of course!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Ultraseven is part of Mego’s Sci-Fi line, released as one of their mixed assortments of figures.  He’s the second figure under the Ultraman branding, following up on the standard Ultraman from earlier in the line.  Like the rest of the line, the distribution model is via a mix of specialty stores and select Target locations.  The figure stands just over 8 inches tall and he has 16 points of articulation.  Ultraseven is built on the upgraded Type 2 male body.  It’s the standard, and it’s got a nice medium, average build, which suits most characters, Ultraseven included.  Ultraseven gets a new head and hands to complete his look.  They’re pretty solid pieces; certainly a bit on the goofy side, but then classic Ultraseven frequently falls into that category anyway.  The paint work is confined to the head, and it’s pretty basic, but also does what it needs to well.  Application is all pretty clean, and the important details are all there.  Ultraseven’s outfit includes a bodysuit and a pair of short boots.  They do a respectable job of capturing the look of the character from the show, while still fitting the main Mego aesthetic.  I do really like how the printed silver looks on the suit.  Ultraseven includes no accessories, although that’s not a huge shift for the line, especially given their price point.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I missed out on the basic Ultraman, so I hadn’t really put much of an effort into getting this one.  Not that I didn’t want him, of course, but I just wasn’t really expecting to find him either.  Fortunately, I didn’t have to worry about that, since Max had my back on this one, and picked this guy up for me as a Christmas gift.  I guess it continues the tradition of getting Ultrasevens from the people I care about for Christmas.  It’s really not a bad tradition, all things considered.  And this is really a fun figure, too.  So, I call it a general win.

#2999: In Space Silver Ranger

IN SPACE SILVER RANGER

POWER RANGERS: LIGHTNING COLLECTION (HASBRO)

Okay, when I reviewed Zeo Gold, I may have been a little overzealous in calling him the greatest Power Ranger ever.  And why is that?  Because I may have been overlooking this guy, Zhane, aka the In Space Silver Ranger, Power Rangers In Space‘s resident Sixth Ranger.  Because, the thing is, Zhane?  He’s pretty darn cool.  Possibly the coolest.  And I’m down for that.  And now he’s got this brand new figure from Hasbro’s current run, which I definitely a win as far as I’m concerned.  So, let’s explore this win just a little bit further, shall we?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

In Space Silver Ranger is a Walgreens-exclusive release from Power Rangers: The Lightning Collection, with limited quantities available through Hasbro Pulse as well.  Thus far, only the Pulse quantities have shown up.  As with yesterday’s Andros, this figure’s release is a bit wonky, since we saw him before Hasbro had officially announced him, and then he showed up on Pulse with no actual quantities, before finally being put up for order, with an actual in-stock status.  Zhane is either the fourth or fifth of the Space Rangers to make it to release, depending on if you count the small quantities of Blue that have made it out as an actual release.  Whatever the case, it’s notable because it’s the first time Zhane hasn’t been the last member of team by a large margin.  The figure stands about 6 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  He’s using the same construction as the other male Space Rangers.  It’s a consistency thing, really, and at this point, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?  He does get a new belt piece, which has been tweaked to remove the holster.  Otherwise, it’s the same basic piece.  The colors are where the real changes occur, since he’s now, well, silver.  Unlike the others, it’s more than just swapping silver for the main color, since Silver gets a whole different selection of accent colors as well.  They’ve gone for more of a toy style to the colors, since his suit is actually silver, rather than a flatter shade than the helmet as it was in the show.  It’s a slightly more intriguing design in toy form, so I get the choice.  The silver is molded plastic, rather than paint.  It doesn’t look quite as slick, but it will probably hold up better over time.  Zhane is packed with an unmasked head (which looks a lot better in person than I’d expected), two sets of hands, his Super Silverizer in both blaster and blade configurations, and an effects piece.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

In Space Silver is at the very least tied with Zeo Gold for my favorite Ranger, so I was very anxious to see him show up in this line, especially after he got left out of Bandai’s Legacy Collection.  When he was shown off in-hand with no announcement, I was worried about him being an exclusive, and sure enough, there he was.  Fortunately, I had Max in my corner on this one, and he was able to help me snag one through the Pulse order window.  I’m very thrilled to have this figure in-hand, and I’m very happy to have a decent In Space Silver.

#2998: Andros

ANDROS

POWER RANGERS: LIGHTNING COLLECTION (HASBRO)

The continuing narrative of the first six years of Power Rangers, and its conclusion in Power Rangers In Space allowed for a slightly different structure to the show’s first episode.  Since most of the team had already been introduced in the preceding season, the show places its main focus on the one new member of the team, Andros, the season’s Red Ranger.  We first encounter him on a recon mission spying on a gathering of villains from prior seasons, which requires him to have a more incognito appearance, at least at first.  It’s a design that has as of yet not gotten any toy coverage, but Hasbro’s addressing that here, with the figure I’m taking a look at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Andros in Disguise is a Target-exclusive one-off release for Power Rangers: The Lightning Collection.  Or he’s at the very least an exclusive to Target for now.  It’s a slightly confusing situation, as has been the case with a handful of releases from Hasbro recently.  Photos of him showed up with no official announcement, and then Hasbro themselves showed him off, but with no actual mention of release plan, and no mention of any exclusive status.  And then he just showed up on Target’s website, and was very quickly in-stock, making the whole thing a rather surprisingly quick turn around.  The figure stands about 6 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  Structurally, his actual sculpt is identical to Andros in his Red Ranger gear (and all of the other male Space Rangers, for that matter).  It’s a sculpt that gets the job done, and it matches up with the other Andros, so it makes sense.  The main structural change up is the addition of a cloth robe piece for him.  It kind of looks like a bath robe, which I don’t really think is the intended appearance.  It’s a little goofy looking, especially in the photos, but I’ll admit it looks a fair bit better in person than I’d expected it to, and actually holds shape pretty well.  Even the velcro on the front stays secure, which isn’t always a guarantee.  The color work on this guy is another notable change up. Technically, in the show, he’s just wearing his usual Red Ranger gear under the cloak, but it’s shot in a way that hides it in the shadows.  To simulate this, Andros is wearing all black this time.  It’s an interesting look, and the presence of extra gold accenting, especially the insignia on the front, makes it feel like this is an established design from elsewhere.  That being said, I don’t know specifically where, and my brief searching on the internet hasn’t turned anything up.  So, I guess it’ll just remain a mystery.  It certainly looks cool, though.  Andros is packed with two heads, one helmeted (and in all-black to match the main figure), and one unhelmeted (re-used from the prior release), as well as two sets of hands, his Spiral Saber, Astro Blaster, and effects pieces for both weapons.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This is an odd release, and certainly not one I really thought I would need.  That said, In Space is my favorite incarnation, and there’s very little I wouldn’t buy from it.  So, this guy was certainly on my radar, not that I was in a rush or anything.  Max actually wound up ordering one online, before managing to find one in store.  Since he didn’t need two, he was kind enough to set me up with the spare.  He’s not essential, and it’s not like he really does anything new, but he’s a rather fun one-off variant.

#2986: M.O.D.O.K. World Domination Tour

M.O.D.O.K. & THE CAPTAIN

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

Stuart Immomen and Warren Ellis’s Nextwave: Agents of Hate, which ran from 2006 to 2007, is, simply put, an experience.  An experience I very much enjoyed, but one that’s very definitely of an offbeat notion.  As such, it’s maybe not the most easily merchandised thing.  While the characters within the story were helped back into prominence by its existence, and have subsequently had an easier time getting toy coverage as an extension, purely Nextwave-based merch has been effectively non-existence.  Clearly, Hasbro’s Marvel Legends team are fans of it, since they’ve been sneaking in little references wherever they can.  Most recently, they actually bit the bullet and made an honest-to-god Nextwave-inspired item, the M.O.D.O.K. World Domination Tour Collection, which I’m taking a look at today!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

The M.O.D.O.K. World Domination Tour Collection is a Hasbro Pulse-exclusive Marvel Legends offering, released as part of Hasbro’s second PulseCon event, in the fall of this year.  The set is made up of a M.O.D.O.K. variant and The Captain, two direct lifts from the pages of the aforementioned Nextwave.  The set’s focus on M.O.D.O.K. in particular seems to be an attempt to tie-in with the show on Hulu, though there are, of course, no direct ties, and M.O.D.O.K. himself is a very minor player in Nextwave proper.

M.O.D.O.K.

Certainly, M.O.D.O.K. feels like he’s what got the set made.  The show gave him some extra notoriety, and Hasbro just put the money into getting an all-new M.O.D.O.K. mold out there, so they undoubtedly wanted to get a second use out of it as quickly as possible.  So, they opted to give us the Elvis-looking M.O.D.O.K. variant seen in Nextwave #11’s “You must buy six copies of this comic now” splash page.  It’s a rather distinctive design, and one that even found its way into Marvel Vs Capcom 3, so it’s got some reach on it.  Like his standard counterpart, the figure stands about 8 1/2 inches tall and he has 25 points of articulation.  He’s mostly the same figure as we saw earlier in the year.  Not a bad call, really, because it was a nice sculpt the first time around, and was also very unique, so I get Hasbro’s desire to get more out of it.  This release gets a new face plate and hair piece, complete with the proper pompadour and side burns, as well as an alternate control stick, tweaked to look like a microphone.  In contrast to the last one, this figure only gets the one faceplate (though you can also swap for the other two, if you’re so inclined), but it’s at least a distinctly different one from the two we’d already seen.  The paint on this guy looks rather similar the other version, but there are definitely some small changes that are easy to miss.  The purples are now metallic, and a few of the smaller details have been changed up a little.  It’s still pretty clean, and also quite eye catching.  Elvis M.O.D.O.K. is packed with the two sets of hands included with the standard, as well as a pair of removable shades, his hamburger beam effect, and a corresponding display stand for the hamburgers.  Because why not?

THE CAPTAIN

Nextwave’s five-member line-up was mostly pre-existing characters, but there was one notable exception.  The Captain, formerly known as Captain ☠☠☠☠ until Captain America objected, was an all-new creation, designed to fill-in for all of the lame, terrible, or otherwise forgettable characters with the moniker of “Captain” over the years.  Unlike the other members, who have other notable appearances to draw from for their figures, the Captain has no such luck, making it quite an accomplishment that he got a figure at all.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  I was quite pleasantly surprised to find a set of butterfly joints hiding under his jacket, as well as cut joints at the tops of his shoes, both of which make him a little more agile than I’d expected.  The Captain makes use of the arms and jacket from the Netflix Punisher figure, but is otherwise an all-new sculpt.  That’s honestly surprising for such a minor character, but I’m certainly not complaining.  The Captain has largely been drawn by his co-creator Stuart Immomen, who has his own rather unique style, which isn’t quite the same as the usual Legends fare, so this figure sort of splits the difference between Immomen’s usual depictions and the line’s standing aesthetic.  It works out pretty well overall.  To my eye, his head seems to scale a bit larger compared to the body, and boy is he not a looker, but it generally feels proper to the character as we know him.  He gets two different heads, one goofy, and one serious.  I prefer the goofy myself, but they’re both good sculpts, and I appreciate the options.  It makes for better variety when posing.  The Captain’s paint work is overall pretty basic, but it does what it needs to, and it does it well.  There’s quite a bit of detailing on both faces, and they’ve also done a solid job on the camo pattern of the pants.  The star on his shirt is a little inconsistent in coverage, but it’s otherwise good.  The Captain’s only accessory is the previously mentioned extra head, but it’s honestly all I can really think to give him.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve been a big Nextwave fan since my college years, and I honestly never expected any dedicated figures for it.  I’ve been glad to get the few crossover characters we’ve seen so far, but I certainly didn’t think we’d ever get The Captain, much less a MODOK variant that appeared on one page.  I was honestly pretty hyped for this pack when they were shown off, and Max was kind enough to help me secure a set during Pulse Con.  I like this set a lot.  MODOK is far from essential, but he’s a lot of fun, and The Captain is just plain Awesome.  Here’s to hoping we can get dedicated Nextwave versions of the rest of the team.

#2982: Miles Morales

MILES MORALES

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“When a fierce power struggle threatens to destroy his new home, Miles Morales realizes that with great power there must also come great responsibility.”

In 2018, Sony took advantage of their exclusive distribution rights on Spider-Man media to release a totally PS4-exclusive game based on the character, which was rather a big hit. There were some toy tie-ins at the time, and last year they launched a follow-up game to go along with their launch of the PS5, now centering on Miles Morales in the title role. Unsurprisingly, there are some more toy tie-ins, starting with a standard version of the main character, who I’m taking a look at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Miles Morales is figure 4 in the Armadillo Series of Marvel Legends.  Miles is under the Gamerverse branding, and is the only such figure in this set.  He’s based on his standard costumed appearance from Spider-Man: Miles Morales, which is in turn a pretty straight translation of his costume design from the comics.  The figure stands just shy of 6 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  In terms of how the articulation works, he’s pretty much set-up the same way as the Integrated Suit Spidey, with the adjusted neck joint which includes the double ball joint.  It’s generally not a bad set-up, so I can get behind it.  Miles is sporting an all-new sculpt (which is shared with the Gamestop-exclusive stealth version).  It’s a little taller and the proportions are a little more nuanced than on the previous strictly comics Miles.  There’s also a good deal more texture work this time around, with raised webbing and some actual patterning on the suit proper.  It all looks pretty good, and helps give him a little bit of extra sharpness over his predecessor.  It also means that, unlike the Peter figure we got back in 2018, Miles is quite screen accurate, which is pretty cool.  Miles’s paint work is generally pretty solid.  The application’s all pretty sharp, and I quite dig the slightly metallic finish on the red sections.  Miles is packed with quite an impressive selection of accessories, getting three sets of standard hands (in fists, open gesture, and thwipping), plus a set of hands specifically for his shock abilities, as well as an unmasked head, and the right leg for the Armadillo Build-A-Figure.  Given how anemic the accessory selection on some of the Spidey variants has gotten more recently, as well as the fact that he’s an all-new sculpt, there definitely feels like a lot of value here.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Special thanks to Max for loaning this figure for review.  I’ve been taking a closer look at how I collect Legends in the last year, and with me already owning a pretty standard-looking Miles figure that I quite like, I wasn’t sure I was in a rush to get this one.  Max, not having the prior release, was snagging one, so he was kind enough to set me up with the BAF piece, as well as letting me borrow this one to round out the reviews.  This figure’s quite nice, I won’t lie.  He turned out very well, and I certainly appreciate the level of detail on the sculpt, as well as how well accessorized he is.  I also like that Hasbro’s committed to keeping a standard Miles available, especially one that’s just a strong all-around figure.

#2974: Emperor Palpatine

EMPEROR PALPATINE

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE (KENNER)

So, umm, I’m not gonna lie, today’s review was supposed to be a totally different review.  It was supposed to be a review of the Power of the Force Darth Vader with Removable Helmet.  I took the photos, I did the background  research, I grabbed the text from the back of the box.  And then I pulled up my own prior reviews for some reference, at which point I discovered that I actually already reviewed that figure on July 25th of last year.  This is really embarrassing, you guys.  I don’t know how this happened.  I’m…I’m slipping, I guess.  Well, on the plus side, my slippage has given me something more interesting to talk about in the intro than whatever I was going to struggle to say about Sheev Palpatine.  So that’s a plus.  Anyway, here’s Sheev.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Emperor Palpatine was added to Kenner’s Power of the Force II line in 1997.  It was generally a Jedi heavy year, so Palpatine’s presence was a fairly sensible one.  Palpatine actually wound up getting three of his four PotF figures all in that same year, so it was a good one for him, I suppose.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 4 points of articulation.  Like the other PotF Palpatines, while he may *have* the articulation, there’s not much he can actually *do* with it.  At least this one’s got a little more to do with his arms, I guess?  The sculpt is quite similar to both the electronic and Cinema Scene versions of the character released the same year.  I guess there are really only so many ways to sculpt a wrinkly old guy in a robe.  They do an alright job of it.  There’s honestly not a ton you can do to dress up this design, so he does what needs to, really.  Honestly, it’s probably the best of the three, just given its greater versatility.  As with the other Palaptines, the paint work here is pretty much confined to the face and hands.  It’s thickly applied, which does make it kind of hard to make out some of the sculpted details, but it generally works.  At least they got the weird shading around the eyes.  That’s right out of the movie.  Palpatine was packed with his cane.  Sure, it’s not as technically impressive as that whole unlimited power bit, but he does gets some use out of it for walking purposes.  Yes, this is certainly a walking man’s Palpatine.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

My generally middling opinions about Palpatine aren’t really a secret, so it’s not a shock that I didn’t own this one as a kid.  Instead, I actually got it as part of a batch of PotF figures I got from Max a couple of years ago.  Of all the Palpatines from the line, it’s the most average.  I guess that’s okay.  Not terribly exciting, but certainly not bad.  He’s good for standing on the shelf with other, more interesting figures.  In fact, he does that quite well.