#2587: Psycho Rangers

IN SPACE PSYCHO RED, BLUE, BLACK, YELLOW, & PINK RANGERS

POWER RANGERS: LIGHTNING COLLECTION (HASBRO)

Remember yesterday, when I was talking about Power Rangers In Space, and how it’s my jam, man?  Well, that continues to be the case.  While the main team of Rangers from the show is just now starting to make their way into Hasbro’s Lightning Collection, we do already have one complete team of Rangers from the show, specifically the Psycho Rangers.  These evil counterparts of the main team were notably absent from the show’s tie-in toys at the time.  They eventually surfaced in Bandai’s Legacy Collection, but the line was cancelled before the whole team could be completed.  The Lightning Collection initially started out with seeming plans to release each Psycho Ranger individually, but then rather quickly threw in that towel and just dropped the whole darn team all at once.  So, uh, here we are.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

The Psycho Rangers were released as an Amazon-exclusive boxed set, as part of the Lightning Collection line-up, hitting towards the end of the summer of this past year.  Black, Yellow, and Pink are exclusive to this set.  The Red and Blue Psycho included in this set are indistinguishable from the prior releases, reviewed here and here, though there is also an effects piece included for Red’s sword, albeit one re-used from elsewhere in the line.

PSYCHO BLACK RANGER

Psycho Black was fortunate enough to be one of the ones Bandai got to, by virtue of being largely a parts re-use of the other male Psychos.  Hasbro’s version sticks with that, rather unsurprisingly.  He’s still 6 inches tall and he still has 34 points of articulation.  The articulation on this body, specifically the arms, is a bit on the limited side, but otherwise, I do really like this sculpt, and I certainly don’t have any issues with its re-use here.  Obviously, he swaps out the paint scheme, with the primary color accents of the least two being changed to black here.  I do appreciate that they kept the shinier finish to the accented parts, thereby keeping those parts from getting too lost in with the rest of the black on the costume.  Psycho Black is packed with his Psycho Rod, and two sets of hands in gripping and a fist/electrical effect combo pairing.  I’m bummed that he didn’t get an effects piece for his weapon, but it’s worth noting that his effect hand is actually a unique sculpt from the other two male Psychos.

PSYCHO YELLOW RANGER

Absent from Bandai’s attempt at the Psychos were both female members of the team, Psycho Yellow included.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and she has 34 points of articulation.  The articulation here is pretty similar to the male body, with the slight limitations on the shoulders and all.  The double elbows are swapped out for the universal joints, as is usually the case for female bodies, but no major posability is lost.  On my copy of this figure, there are a lot more loose joints, notably in the arms and the neck.  This means she struggles a bit with holding a pose and staying standing, but fortunately not as bad as some figures, but it’s still annoying.  While Black was a total re-use, Yellow, being female and all, is mostly new, apart from the helmet, which is identical for all of the Psychos.  The sculpt matches up well with the other version, and it means she slots in beside the other three team members just fine.  The paint on Yellow pretty much matches up with everyone else, with the accents changing to Yellow, of course.  Yellow is packed with the two sets of hands to match the male body’s and her Psycho Sling.  Again, no effects piece, which is a shame.

PSYCHO PINK RANGER

See what I wrote above, about Psycho Yellow?  Great, you can pretty much just swap the word “Pink” in there and you’re good to go.  Okay, maybe not quite, I guess.  The joints on my copy of Pink are a little tighter than on Yellow, so that makes her a slightly more easily used figure.  At the very least less frustrating.  Paint’s more or less the same, color change aside.  She gets the same hand selection as Yellow, plus her Psycho Bow.  Also, somewhat astoundingly, she gets an effects piece, the firing arrow that MMPR Pink and Ranger Slayer got.  I guess that’s not too bad.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As cool as the Psychos are, and as much of a fan of In Space as I am, I will admit that I was kind of cold on this set.  I was all prepped for picking them up one by one, and that’s why I’d gone and gotten Red and Blue.  I was waiting for the other three, so when they decided to drop the whole set of them all at once, it sort of felt anti-climactic.  Not helping things was the fact that Red and Blue are included again and are also completely unchanged for this round, meaning I was only actually getting three new figures in a set of five.  And, of course, one of those three new ones is a straight repaint, and the other two are the same mold as well.  It’s just a lot of sameness all in one go, I guess.  So, I opted not to jump right in on this set.  Max, on the other hand, did, but upon receiving them, was iffy on keeping them.  Since I’m a big In Space fan, and I did want to get them eventually, I was happy to take them off his hands.  Ultimately, the set’s fine.  Nothing amazing, and I still think spacing them out would have been better, but I’m glad I have them.  Now, I need to figure out what to do with the extra Red and Blue, I guess…

#2572: Red Ninja

RED NINJA

G.I. JOE: CLASSIFIED SERIES (HASBRO)

Oh, we’re just out of the frying pan and into the fire on G.I. Joe elements that Ethan’s not too big on, aren’t we?  That’s right, Ethan doesn’t really care for the Red Ninjas.  Let’s discuss.  The Red Ninjas were introduced in issue #21 of Marvel’s G.I. Joe comic, which is the famous “Silent Interlude,” the story that also introduced Storm Shadow, solidified Snake Eyes as a fan favorite, and hinted at a possible connection between the two.  Storm Shadow was, of course, introduced into the toy line the same year as “Silent Interlude’s” publication, but the Red Ninjas were not part of the line, since they were initially just rather generic looking ninjas meant to serve as Storm Shadow’s back-up.  They wouldn’t join the toy line proper until 1993, under the Ninja Force banner, and with a rather different look.  It wouldn’t be until the 2000s that we would get the more classic attire in toy form.  They then went on the be a key piece of one of the most infuriatingly repetitive sequences in G.I. Joe: Retaliation, and also got some more toys along the way.  And now they’re in the Classified Series line-up, which I guess isn’t unreasonable.  I guess.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Red Ninja is figure 08 in the Classified Series line-up, capping off the second main release series of figures.  Given how “core cast” the figures have been so far, he’s slightly obscure by comparison, but if you factor in that the Snake Eyes movie was supposed to be hitting this year, likely right around when this particular assortment would have arrived on shelves, it makes a bit more sense.  The figure stands just over 6 inches tall and he has 37 points of articulation.  The original Red Ninja design in the comics was a rather basic one, essentially being standard ninja garb, but in red.  Nothing thrilling or anything, but it’s a pretty straight forward look.  When it comes to toy designs, they’ve always been a little inconsistent.  The v1 figure’s a garish ’90s monstrosity, and subsequent releases have generally stuck to just being repaints of whatever Storm Shadow mold is available at the moment.  This one opts to take the basic Ninja look and inject it with, like, steroids, or something.  Remember how I was bringing up the whole “over designing” thing on Cobra Commander?  Yeah, I think it’s worse here.  There’s just too much going on with this guy.  He’s got a hood.  He’s got a collar.  He’s got a faceplate.  He’s got shoulder pads. He’s got gear strapped onto gear.  Where the Cobra Trooper took a lot of piece meal elements and made them flow into something that felt cohesive, and added a bit of customization, there is neither customization nor cohesiveness with this guy.  He’s just got…stuff everywhere.  At his core, this figure uses the same body as Snake Eyes, and boy did I love that Snake Eyes mold.  Unfortunately, one of the strengths of the Snake Eyes mold was its sleekness and posablitity.  This figure throws a bunch of stuff on top of the body, which ruins both the sleekness and the posability, and I don’t really feel that the appearance of the stuff they threw on top of him really justified the sacrifices they made.  Posing the figure for the photos was a bit of a chore, if I’m honest, and that’s not what you want out of a toy.  The paint’s not too terrible, I suppose.  There’s a few different shades of red going on, but I think they come together all right, and the pupil-less white eyes are appropriately eerie.  In terms of accessories, he’s at least well-armed, with two swords, two Sais, two Kama, and two axes, all borrowed from the Pulse-exclusive Snake Eyes figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

My enthusiasm for the Red Ninja has never been all that high.  Honestly, I think armies of faceless ninjas are a little over done as a whole, and it’s hard to dissuade me of that.  However, I am still a fan of a good action figure, and figures such as the Articulated Icons Basic Red Ninja did just that.  And perhaps that figure did things a little too well, I suppose, because this guy just really doesn’t click with me.  He’s one of those figures that feels lesser than the sum of his parts, because there are certainly elements that I like, but I just don’t enjoy the final product all that much.  In fact, I so don’t like the final product that I didn’t even opt to keep this one I’m reviewing, which is actually now in Max’s possession.  That’s just how it is some times, I guess.  With this guy out of the way, here’s to some slightly more exciting army builders.

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.

#2570: Cobra Commander

COBRA COMMANDER

G.I. JOE: CLASSIFIED SERIES (HASBRO)

Since it was re-branded in the ’80s, G.I. Joe has been as much about the evil forces of Cobra as it has about the titular team of heroes.  The very first year of the line saw (as a mail away, anyway), the introduction of one of the most distinctive faces of the franchise…despite his lack of, you know, an actual face, Cobra Commander, the faceless leader to the faceless goons!  It’s really not much of a Joe line without him at this point, so it comes as little shock that he’s a pretty early addition to Hasbro’s recent relaunch…with three separate versions, no less.  Today, I’m looking at the only version I have so far, the most standard-est of the bunch!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Cobra Commander is figure 06 in the G.I. Joe: Classified Series line-up, and heads up the second main release assortment of the line, which wound up being the third assortment at retail if you count the Target stuff…look, let’s not think about it too much, okay?  The figure stands 6 inches tall and he has 31 points of articulation.  He’s a little bit more restricted than some of the other figures in the line, missing out on the drop hips and the ball jointed waist in particular.  While it’s a little bit of a bummer, it’s not the end of the world, since the Commander’s rarely as agile as a lot of the other characters in the franchise, and what he has still allows him to pull of a lot of really good poses for the character.  Cobra Commander’s design is definitely a take on his original V1 battle-helmeted design, which has always been my preferred lineage for redesigns of the Commander.  This figure follows in the footsteps of both the Valor Vs Venom and Resolute takes on this particular look, taking the slightly more utilitarian design of the original figure and injecting some of the regal flair that would become so integral to the character.  On the whole, I think the design works, but I’ll also freely admit that there’s a degree of overdesigning going on with this guy, especially when compared to others in the line.  There are areas where I think simplifying things just a touch would help sell the design.  In particular, I think there’s just a little too much going on with the gloves, and the shoulder pad/half-cape also seems a little bit too involved.  I think this guy’s similarities to the Resolute version might be hurting him in that regard, because that design’s pretty cleanly handled, and is kind of the gold standard for Cobra Commander re-designs.  This one is quite far from being bad, mind you, and I do still really like a lot about it.  The paint work on this guy takes the Commander’s usual color scheme and slightly dials it back, going for an overall more subdued appearance, at least as far as the blues are considered.  As with the overall design on the sculpt, there’s perhaps a little too much going on with some of the color work, but as a whole it works, and it’s certainly got the appropriate vibe behind it.  Cobra Commander is packed with two sets of hands, one pointing/fist combo, and one gripping/open gesture combo, as well as a flintlock-style gun and a small sword.  The hands are definitely great for getting some expressive poses out of him, but I find the weapons once again fall victim to the dreaded over designing.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’m all-in on this new Joe line, or at the very least all-in on all of the standard release stuff, so there was no way I was missing out on the Commander.  I was planning to snag him through All Time, but ended up getting him just a bit earlier courtesy of Max, who snagged the standard early and then decided to upgrade to the PulseCon exclusive version.  While I see a few more flaws on this guy than with the prior figures, he’s still a solid figure.  Now I have to debate about whether I want the two repaints.

#2569: Cobra Trooper

COBRA TROOPER

G.I. JOE: CLASSIFIED SERIES (HASBRO)

So, how ’bout that new G.I. Joe line?  Aren’t you all really glad that everything from it’s so easy to get at regular pricing and not getting scalped at the first chance pretty much everywhere?  Oh, right, that’s…that’s just how it is in my dreams.  The real world is far more sad and painful.  What a shame.  Well, despite the relative insanity that is this line and its distribution, here’s another new review, of one of those insanely hard to get items, nonetheless.  Please don’t hurt me.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Cobra Trooper is figure 12 in the Classified Series line-up, making him numerically the last of the “Special Missions: Cobra Island” singles.  As with that whole sub-line, he’s a Target exclusive, but as Pulse Con confirmed, there’s a slightly tweaked version of this guy coming out in the main line in a few months.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and he has 37 points of articulation.  Like a lot of the figures coming out of this line, the Cobra Trooper’s design has its roots in the v1 figure design.  That said, this one works in a lot more modernized elements, and even grabs from a few later incarnations (the v3 from ’06 comes to mind, given the full balaclava under the helmet).  The final assembled product feels very v1-esque, but there’s a lot of layers going on there.  As with pretty much everything from the line so far, it’s a truly impressive sculpt, with a ton of detail work and careful thought being put into how it all assembles.  I really dig how much work goes into stuff like the mask, most of which is never going to be seen when it’s under the helmet.  This is definitely one of the line’s most impressive sculpts (though I think Beach Head still edges him out in my book).  The paint work is about what you’d expect from Cobra forces.  There’s a lot of blue and black, with just a hint of red.  This version in particular has more black than usual, which doesn’t look bad, but is certainly different.  This particular version of the Cobra Trooper has quite the accessory selection, with the removable helmet, a set of goggles, a removable arm band to give him a higher rank, standard and sniper rifles, two pistols, and a knife.  Everything can actually be stored on the figure at once, which is quite impressive, especially since it doesn’t require him to be holding one of the rifles like most Joes fall back on.  I dig the customization angle that all of these parts give the figure for sure, though I myself am drawn to a rather “standard” trooper set up.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve been able to pull some favors to get the rest of the Target-exclusive stuff for this line, but this Trooper in particular has been pretty much a ghost around here since before these figures dropped.  This one’s actually not mine, and is instead Max’s.  He was able to procure one through some of his connections, and even offered to let me have it outright, but I was content just to get to do the review.  He’s a fun figure, but one that I see a lot of people hyping up way too much and ultimately being let-down by.  I’m planning to wait for the standard release myself, but it was nice to get a little preview of how that version should turn out.

#2566: Batman – Defender

BATMAN — DEFENDER

BATMAN: THE CAPED CRUSADER (SPIN MASTER)

Remember earlier in this week when I was talking about the DC line’s wacky variant coverage?  Remember the thing about getting the variant before getting the standard?  And also the thing with the gold?  Great, that makes writing this intro a bit easier for me.  This time it’s Batman.  Here we go.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Gold Batman, who is apparently called “Batman Defender,” is part of the very first series of the Batman: The Caped Crusader line.  He ups that “rare” game that was going on with Wonder Woman to a “Super Rare” game…again, whatever that means.  I’ve got this one and not the standard one, so I don’t know about the relative rarity.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 17 points of articulation.  There are currently three Batman sculpts floating around in this line, and this figure makes use of the most “standard” of the the three.  It’s based on the Rebirth design for his costume, which is a pretty darn solid Batman design, all things considered.  The sculpt is pretty much on par with the rest of the Spin Master DC stuff, so it’s a little bit bulked up when compared to the comics depiction, but honestly, it has a pretty good basic Batman feel to it.  The costume details are well rendered, and I appreciate the level of work that’s gone into it.  The head in particular has a nice classic Batman vibe, which I can definitely dig.  He’s got a cloth cape, and like I noted with Superman and Shazam, it’s not a terribly impressive piece, but it’s also not like it’s particularly bad either.  They made a point of leaving a hole in it that corresponds with the port on his back, so at least he can make use of all of the gear from other figures, if you’re so inclined.  While the Gold Wonder Woman was totally devoid of paint, Batman mixes things up slightly.  He’s got his black insignia, white for his eyes, and flesh tone for his lower face, indicating that this is supposed to be a costume, I guess.  It’s different from all of the other gold variants, but it was also the first one, so I guess they hadn’t quite made up their minds fully on the concept yet.  I think I might have preferred the straight gold, but this isn’t bad either.  Gold Batman includes three blind packed accessories: a grapple in neon green, chest armor in black, and a shield in yellow.  It’s a shame they didn’t go for the all gold pieces like with Wonder Woman.  I feel that would have inclined me to use them, instead of just tossing them to the side.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I liked the Wonder Woman a fair bit, and I definitely want the Gold Superman, so I figured I might as well grab a Gold Batman too.  The one from the corresponding series is built on the armored body, which I wasn’t quite as big on, but fortunately for me, Max was on board with trading out that one for this one, and passing this one along to me.  It’s a little weird that they changed the gimmick mid-run on these guys, but I still like this figure.  I guess I should pick up a Batman in standard colors now.

#2565: Killer Moth

KILLER MOTH

BATMAN: THE CAPED CRUSADER (SPIN MASTER)

So far, Spin Master’s DC product has been pretty heavy hitter-centric (though, for that matter, so has McFarlane’s), which is pretty understandable, given their more mass-release driven audience.  That said, it’s not *all* heavy hitters.  There are a few lower tier characters thrown in, to toss some of us more hardcore fans a bit of a bone.  One such character is c-list Batman foe the Killer Moth, who is today’s focus figure.  To quote Max, “WEEEEE HE’S A MOTH BOI!!!!!!!”

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Killer Moth is part of the second assortment of Spin Master’s Batman: The Caped Crusader toyline.  He’s one of two “new” figures in the line-up, the other being Batwoman.  Killer Moth has had a few rather differing appearances over the years; this figure’s main inspiration is clearly his original ’60s get-up, in all its garish glory, though it seems to have gotten a bit of an update.  The figure stands about 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 17 points of articulation.  On my figure, the neck joint is rather stuck, so I haven’t been able to really get any motion out of it, for fear of tearing the ball clear off.  Hopefully that’s not a wide spread issue.  Killer Moth gets an all-new sculpt, which is just downright shocking, because typically the main thing he’s got going for him is the ease of building him on a buck body.  This one, however, has quite a few character specific elements built into it.  Sculpturally, he looks to have taken a lot of influence from Batman: Bad Blood‘s incarnation of the character.  It’s a sleek and modern update on the classic jumpsuit with a harness and a helmet.  This one feels a little more cohesive and put together.  I definitely dig it.  The color scheme marks the major change-up from that design.  In the film, it’s mostly all black, but this figure gives Moth the classic color scheme I mentioned above.  Why’s a moth guy orange, green, and purple?  No idea, but I sure do love it.  The application’s all pretty solid, and the whole thing just really works.  Killer Moth’s blind-packed accessories include a gun in neon green, a briefcase in silver, and a chest piece, which mine does not have.  I’m pretty sure it did have that piece originally, but by the time it came to me, said piece was gone.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I saw this guy and Batwoman when they’re promo shots got leaked early in the year.  I was definitely down for him right away, but finding him was the main obstacle there.  Max got one pretty quickly, and ultimately ended up passing along his to me shortly thereafter (though the chest piece appears to have not been passed along…).  This guy’s definitely another really fun figure, and I look forward to some more oddball characters when we get the chance.

#2562: Green Lantern

GREEN LANTERN

DC HEROES UNITE (SPIN MASTER)

2020’s been rough on everyone, and the toy industry’s no exception.  While bigger companies with established product lines, such as Hasbro and…uh, Hasbro’s it, I guess, have been able to more or less keep going, smaller companies have been having slightly more trouble.  At the start of the year, Spin Master was one of two companies to pick up the license for DC figures, with a focus more on the kid-friendly side.  They got out their initial product before the shut down, but things have been rather scarce since.  Fortunately, they seem to finally be getting more product out there, and I’ve managed to fine enough of it to justify doing a whole week of reviews.  So, I guess that’s just what I’ll do.  I’m kicking things off with (spoiler) my favorite of the recent additions, Green Lantern!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Green Lantern is part of the second assortment of Spin Master’s DC Heroes Unite line, which is their more Justice League-oriented line.  For their first GL, Spin Master’s gone for John Stewart, a pretty smart idea, since he’s really become the most marketable of the bunch these days, and is a nice way of getting some more diversity into the line right from the get-go.  He’s in his cartoon-inspired costume, which is again a smart choice because a) it’s his most recognizable and b) it’s his best looking one.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 17 points of articulation.  His body looks to be an all-new sculpt, something that I’ve kind of got to commend Spin Master on.  A lot of the bodies they’ve put out have been basic enough that I could see some justification for re-use, but they’ve actually been trying to keep the heavy hitters unique.  John’s build is definitely the bulkiest on the standard build characters I’ve looked at so far.  On one hand, it’s weird that he’s larger than Superman, but on the other hand, he’s been pretty consistently shown as roughly this build, so I think it really works.  The head’s the most unique piece, and it goes for a slightly younger looking John than we tend to see, but one that never the less still sports that usual look of determination, so it’s very on-brand for the character.  The paint work on John is pretty basic, but it’s clean, it’s bright, and it’s eye-catching, so it works well for me.  The only issue I have with it is that they’ve made John a lefty by painting the ring on his left hand.  Come on, guys!  All of the accessories so far for these lines have been blind-boxed, but for this round, it looks like most of the new figures don’t actually have randomly packed ones.  John in particular seems to only have the one color set.  He’s got his lantern, a fist, and a gun construct, all in green.  A translucent green would have been cool, but this still works for me.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’m a big GL fan, so I was really looking forward to one being added to this line.  He wasn’t the first of the new set I found, but I spotted him on the included pamphlet, and was on board immediately.  Fortunately, Max was able to help me score one, so I didn’t have to wait long.  He’s really fun.  Pretty simple and straight forward, but also just fun, and probably my favorite from this line so far.

#2556: Cable

CABLE

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“A powerful mercenary, Cable uses telekinetic abilities and combat expertise to get the job done.”

The X-Men movies and Marvel Legends have never had the best relationship.  The first film predated Legends, and the second was its own removed thing.  The production schedule of the third film was fast tracked, so Toy Biz had to produce a vaguely film-inspired side line at the time.  When Hasbro took over the license, they included X3 figures in a few of their early assortments…and the less said about those, the better.  X-Men Origins: Wolverine hit right as Hasbro was taking a break from Legends for a bit, so it got a Universe-compatible line instead.  Then the relationship between Fox and Marvel really blew up, and we got absolutely nothing for the next several years.  Now, with Fox under Disney, things are starting to smooth out, and we’re actually getting a whole little sub-line of Legends figures just for the X-Men movies.  Among the earliest offerings are some figures based on the most successful branch of the X-Men films in recent years, Deadpool and Deadpool 2, including today’s focus, Cable!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Cable is a Walmart-exclusive Marvel Legends offering, released to coincide with the main line releases of Domino and the Deadpool/Negasonic two-pack.  Another Walmart-exclusive wasn’t something that got anyone excited, but so far this particular release doesn’t seem like it’s been quite as hard to acquire.  Your mileage may vary, of course.  The figure stands 6 3/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  He’s sporting an all-new sculpt based on Josh Brolin’s appearance as the character in the second film.  If you’ve messed with any of the post-movie MCU figures, then he’s pretty much the same story.  The articulation’s pretty solid for the design, and he’s more or less built like a real person.  The likeness on the head is a really good match for Brolin, and the detail work on his body is all quite sharp.  They even included his daughter’s bear on his belt, which is a cool touch.  The only thing I’m not super crazy about is how long the neck ends up looking when the cloak piece is removed, but getting the right pose helps with this.  Cable’s paint work is largely monochromatic, as it was in the film.  The face is suitably lifelike, thanks to the face printing technique, and they manage to get the hairline down okay.  The cybernetics on the neck are a bit sloppy, and almost seem to be just slightly misaligned to the sculpt.  The cybernetic arm showcases some decent accent work, but that more or less marks the end of any accenting.  The rest of the figure is just really basic work.  It’s not bad, but it kind of lacks that gritty feel that Cable has in the movie, and it means that some of the sharpness of the sculpt ends up getting lost.  A solid repaint could definitely really help the sculpt.  Cable’s accessory selection is rather decent.  He gets his larger rifle (which is a hodgepodge of a Kriss Vector with a Thompson stock and two barrels on the fore end), with two separate under barrel grenade launcher attachments, plus a pistol, and two sets of hands (one gripping, one in fists).

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I went against the grain a bit and was not really as big on the first Deadpool movie as a lot of people were, so I wasn’t exactly lining up for its sequel.  That said, my brother Christian wanted to see it opening weekend, and didn’t want to see it alone, so I went along, and I was honestly pleasantly surprised.  Brolin’s Cable was definitely a solid addition, and I was a little bummed when he was announced as a Walmart-exclusive.  Fortunately, Max was able to score me one on one of his Walmart runs, so I was good to go.  Cable’s a decent figure overall.  The likeness is strong, and the accessories are fun.  If they could slightly up the paint quality, he’d be top notch.

#2502: Ultra Magnus

ULTRA MAGNUS

TRANSFORMERS PRIME: BEAST HUNTERS (HASBRO)

At the end of yesterday’s Soundwave review, I mentioned one more Prime figure coming along with him.  If you know really anything at all about my Transformers collecting habits, then it’s not even remotely surprising that the other figure was an Ultra Magnus.  He’s kind of my guy here.  Magnus was absent from the first two seasons of Transformers: Prime, but made his way to the show for its third and final season, which also meant he got in on the toys, one of which I’m taking a look at today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Ultra Magnus was released as part of the third Voyager Class wave of the re-branded Prime: Beast Hunters line.  In his robot mode, the figure stands 7 inches tall and he has 19 workable points of articulation.  Magnus’s sculpt is, of course, based on his cartoon appearance, which was notable, because he wasn’t the first Magnus figure in the Prime line-up, but he was the first to actually be based on his show look.  Said show look isn’t quite as far removed from the classic Magnus design as Soundwave was.  It’s really just streamlined and generally brought more closely in-line with how the show handled Optimus’s design, since the two are usually built out of at least *some* of the same parts.  That fully tracks with the actual construction of this figure, which borrows pretty heavily from the Powerizer Optimus Prime from earlier in the line.  Magnus gets a new head, chest plate, and shoulders, which bring him more in line with Magnus’s show design, and help to really sell them as, you know, different characters and all.  The new shoulders are in line with the usual Magnus tradition of big ol’ pillars on his shoulders, but are also functional, as they can shoot missiles out of the top…if you have them…which I don’t.  Also missing from my figure is his Forge of Solus, the big battle hammer this version of Magnus carried.  Not missing, however, is his wing-pack, because apparently Magnus needs some wings.  Hey, I can dig it.  What I can also dig, as show-inaccurate as it may be, is Magnus’s color scheme, which has that cool bright blue that the old toy did.  Most stuff these days goes with the more cartoon accurate darker blue, but I enjoy the brighter shade still showing up occasionally.  Magnus’s alt-mode is pretty much the same truck mode that Optimus got, them being mostly the same mold and all, but with a few surface details here and there changed.  It’s a transformation that’s a little tricky to get the hang of the first few times through, but I was able to get there, and it’s not so bad now that I have a few attempts under my belt.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

So, obviously, I got this guy from Max, just like with Soundwave.  He knows I’m a Magnus guy, and he always keeps an eye out for the ones I don’t have, and he was nice enough to snag this one for me, also for my birthday.  Interestingly, the figure didn’t have any of his accessories when he got traded in, but Max has just so happened to have the wing-pack sitting on the shelf above his desk for over a year now, and was actually pretty excited that a matching Magnus finally came through.  And hey, it makes mine that much more complete!

#2501: Soundwave

SOUNDWAVE

TRANSFORMERS PRIME: ROBOTS IN DISGUISE (HASBRO)

It’s been a bit of a spell since I’ve looked at any Transformers, which is something that didn’t used to be a weird thing, but now has become one.  What a weird world I live in now.  Well, the lack of Transformers should be changing post-haste, as I have some new stuff waiting for review.  However, before getting into the new stuff, how about some old stuff?  Though I didn’t watch it new, Transformers: Prime is one of my earlier instances of sitting down and actually watching a Transformers show through, and I definitely dig some of the updated designs that came out of it.  Obviously, my favorites to come out of it are my favorites to come out of any incarnation of the franchise, so I am just all about this incarnation of Soundwave, who I’m taking a look at today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Soundwave was released in the first series of the Prime: Robots In Disguise “Revealers” line, which was the deluxe-class component of the tie-in line.  In robot mode, he stands 5 1/2 inches tall and he has 23 points of workable articulation.  As with most figures in this line, he was based on his cartoon appearance, which was a quite streamlined, almost bat-like design.  It’s pretty far removed from the classic G1 design, but it still really fits with the spirit of the character, and I feel makes for a much cooler update than what we ended up getting in the movies.  His sculpt was all new to this figure, and does a pretty respectable job of capturing Soundwave’s animated appearance from the show.  It’s pretty slick and poses pretty well considering how it’s designed.  He’s a touch restricted at the shoulders, but for the most part it’s impressive the level of posing you can get out of him.  This Soundwave, as with just about every Soundwave post-80s, had to come up with a new alt-mode that wasn’t just a cassette player, what with those being out of vogue these days and all.  Instead, Prime Soundwave’s alt-mode is a spy drone, reminiscent of the Predator B drone.  Honestly, it’s a pretty solid choice of alt-mode, given Soundwave’s typical characterization as a spy and all that.  His transformation process is a little more involved and finnicky than some of the more recent Transformers I’ve picked up, but it’s still pretty easy to figure out, and the end result is a pretty convincing spy drone.  Soundwave was packed with his companion Laserbeak, who can either be plugged into one of the 5mm ports throughout Soundwave’s body, or folded into his chest for easy storage.  The chest storage is definitely a nice throwback to the cassette set up of the vintage figures, and I really dig it.  In 2013, under the revised Beast Hunters branding for Prime, Soundwave’s mold got a slight re-working, a new color scheme, and a new capture claw weapon and Ravage in place of Laserbeak.  It’s a fun change-up from the initial figure, with a slightly brighter and bold color, and the new accessories are certainly a lot of fun.  Not quite show-accurate, but still kind of nifty.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Since I wasn’t watching Prime when it was first airing, I wasn’t picking the figures up either.  However, the Beast Hunters release of this mold was eye-catching enough for me to make my first “modern” Transformers purchase to pick it up.  I always dug that one, but when I sat down and actually watched some of the show, I found myself kind of wanting that more standard Soundwave.  I never did get around to snagging him…on my own, anyway.  It’s kind of been raining Transformers collections at All Time recently, though, and one of them had a lot of Prime stuff in it.  Max made it a point of setting aside this guy and one other figure (who I’ll be looking at tomorrow) for me, as a really awesome birthday present.  Now I have Soundwave and both of his smaller buddies!