#3235: Hobgoblin

HOBGOBLIN

SPIDER-MAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES (TOY BIZ)

“A criminal mastermind bent on Spider-Man’s destruction, the Hobgoblin employs an eerie arsenal to carry out his malevolent schemes. Hurling pumpkin bombs and razorsharp bats from his jet glider, the Hobgoblin has Spider-Man constantly on his guard!”

When Spider-Man: The Animated Series was going into production, its story editor John Semper, who guided the show throughout its run, was not part of the initial crew.  When he arrived, he discovered that a number of odd decisions had been made by higher ups, in an aim to keep the show more relevant.  With the Green Goblin identity having been abandoned in the comics and Hobgoblin serving as the main goblin antagonist, initial plans had Norman Osborne assuming the Hobgoblin identity, rather than Green Goblin.  This choice was so cemented that Toy Biz’s tie-in line’s first assortment had already gone into production with Hobgoblin in its roster, in place of the more classic Green Goblin.  Semper disliked the choice, but was forced to keep Hobgoblin for merchandising purposes.  However, rather than make Norman Hobgoblin, Hobbie was kept a separate character, and the order of the goblin appearances was reversed, with Norman’s Green Goblin joining the show later.  But, Hobgoblin was still in the show’s opening line-up.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Hobgoblin was released in Series 1 of Toy Biz’s Spider-Man: The Animated Series tie-in line, with re-issues in both the Marvel Universe and Marvel Super Heroes lines.  The mold was also up-scaled for the 10 inch line, and downscaled for the diecast line.  He was based on Hobbie’s classic design, just like the show design.  It was really his only look at the time, so it made sense.  The figure stands about 5 inches tall and he has 7 points of articulation.  His articulation scheme is rather odd; he’s got shoulders, hips, and knees on both sides, but only his right arm gets elbow movement, and he lacks a joint for his neck.  It winds up making the figure rather stiff.  His sculpt was an all-new one at the time, and wound up more or less remaining unique, though there were a couple of re-issues and minor re-colors.  It’s a decent one for the most part.  Some of the details are a little bit on the soft side, but the general layout of everything looks pretty decent, and he wasn’t a terrible match for the animation design.  His paint work is generally pretty good.  The application’s not particularly intensive, but it’s generally clean.  Though he’s clearly got sculpted elements on the hips for his shorts to go a little further, they are unpainted.  It’s not terribly noticeable, though.  Hobgoblin was packed with his Goblin Glider and a pumpkin bomb.  His arm is spring loaded, and there’s a notch in his hand so he can fling the pumpkin bomb, and the Glider also features a launching missile at the front.  None of it’s terribly obtrusive to the figure’s design, which is certainly a plus.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I didn’t have the regular Hobgoblin as a kid.  I was never much attached to the character, really.  I did have the little diecast version, and one of my cousins had this particular release, but that was the real extent of it.  The one seen in the review came to me courtesy of Max.  I’ve been working on my 5 inch Marvel collection for a while, and he had snagged this guy, but ultimately didn’t feel like he needed to keep him, so he was kind enough to pass him on to me.  How very kind of him.  The figure’s okay.  There were better Hobgoblins and just better figures in general in the line.  Even the basic Green Goblin’s honestly a better figure.  But, he’s certainly not bad, especially for the era.

#3187: Ultra Magnus – Shattered Glass

ULTRA MAGNUS

TRANSFORMERS GENERATIONS: SHATTERED GLASS COLLECTION (HASBRO)

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

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

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

THE FIGURE ITSELF

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

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

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

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

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

#3173: Martian Manhunter

MARTIAN MANHUNTER

DC MULTIVERSE (MCFARLANE TOYS)

“J’onn J’onzz, the mysterious Martian Manhunter, is one of the last survivors of the planet Mars, and was accidentally transported to Earth not long after the majority of his people were wiped out. Martian Manhunter is thought to be as strong as, or possibly stronger than, Superman, and has a variety of powers including super-strength, super-speed, flight, telepathy, telekinesis, shape-shifting, phase-shifting, regenerative abilities, and near-invulnerability. Manhunter also has genius-level intellect and strong leadership skills. Using his vast powers and skills, Martian Manhunter strives to protect the citizens of his new home, Earth.”

Three years into their run with the license, McFarlane Toys’ handling of DC can still largely boiled down to “wow, Todd sure does like Batman, doesn’t he?”  And when it’s not that, it can often be boiled down to “wow, Todd sure does like squeezing extra uses out of a mold in often frustrating ways, doesn’t he?”  Today’s the second thing.  But I’ll get to that in a bit.  For the big super hero teams, I like to discuss the term “quintessential,” for those characters that may not be the heavy hitters, but whom the team kind of feels lacking without.  For the Avengers, I long maintained that character is Hawkeye.  For their equivalent team over at the Distinguished Competition, my vote goes to Martian Manhunter.  He’s just very important to the line-up, and it never feels quite right without him.  J’onn can be hit or miss when it comes to toy coverage, but he generally does alright with his figures when he actually manages to get them.  And hey, by virtue of being not a girl, and therefore unlikely to drive any boys to become serial killers, he gets two whole figures from McFarlane!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Martian Manhunter is one of McFarlane’s “Platinum Edition” figures for DC Multiverse.  As usual with McFarlane, the branding of “Platinum Edition” is one that has a confusing meaning, since he doesn’t seem to be very consistent in how he’s using it.  In the case of Manhunter, it means he’s a Target-exclusive.  So, I guess there’s that.  This Manhunter is the second figure under McFarlane’s tenure, with the first one, based on J’onn’s New 52-era design, hitting mass retail just about the same time that this one was announced.  You know, just to really split that market on the poor guy.  This one, on the flip side, is a “classic” Manhunter, or at the very least a mid-to-late ’80s Manhunter, given he’s still got the heavy brow and red eyes. The figure stands a little over 7 inches tall and he has 39 points of articulation. The articulation scheme on this figure is pretty much the same one on every McFarlane figure, and as with other releases, it’s clearly been inserted into a finished sculpt, which has its ups and downs. Much like the Peacemaker figure, getting the full range out of some of the joints, especially on the elbows and knees, requires breaking the flow of the sculpt entirely. Not exactly a great look. Additionally, there are a few instances of the sculpt getting in the way of movement, most notably on the hips.  As far as the quality of the actual sculpt, it’s honestly not a bad one.  The upper half of the figure, is mostly shared with the other Martian Manhunter.  He gets a new lower half, as well as new chest harness, and a slightly tweaked cape.  The head is more on the alien side for J’onn, but not out of character.  I like the inhuman and stoic, but still slightly friendly expression of the face, and the angling of the brow is a cool look.  The body sculpt does a respectable job of capturing J’onn’s stockier build, with a fairly realistic set of proportions, that still retain that somewhat heroic look.  There’s some pretty decent texturing at play, especially on his skin.  The cape is generally okay looking, but the collar, which wasn’t on the other release, feels a little haphazardly added; it doesn’t actually connect all the way around, so certain posing will have it clearly disconnected from the rest of the cape, which definitely looks odd.  The color work on Manhunter is nice and bright, which is honestly a refreshing change of pace for the Multiverse figures.  It’s largely molded colors, which keeps it fairly clean.  The greens of the elbows and knees are a slightly different shade from the rest of the body, but beyond that, the plastic coloring works out okay.  The paint work is kept to a minimum, but it looks pretty clean, and there’s not slop or bleed over.  Martian Manhunter is supposed to come with a collector card and a display stand, but mine doesn’t have the stand, and didn’t even have the spot for it in the package.  I mean, it’s just a black disk, and I have a bunch of them, but still.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve got a soft spot for a decent Martian Manhunter figure, so when McFarlane showed off their original, more modern Manhunter, I was very tempted to pick him up, and was *this* close to doing so.  Like, he had arrived at All Time, and I was planning to take a look at him in person to make my final call.  And literally that exact day, McFarlane announced this guy, which kind of took all of the wind out of my sails on the other one.  The timing on that announcement was pretty darn rotten.  Also, with a character that’s not a heavy hitter, it feels like splitting an already niche audience isn’t the smartest call.  This was clearly the look that most everyone wanted, so why not just make this the main release.  Was Target really clamoring that much for a Martian Manhunter variant?  Whatever the case, while I’m not one for really hunting anymore, Max was kind enough to give me an assist on this one, so I was able to get him without much trouble, at the very least.  Stupid decisions about his release aside, the figure’s actually pretty darn good.  There’s still some weirdness, but it’s minor, and I really do like how this figure turned out.

#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.