#2112: Havoc

HAVOC

FORTNITE: LEGENDARY SERIES (JAZWARES)

Hey, remember Fortnite, that video game that I have no attachment to, and yet from which I still managed to pick up five action figures?  Yeah…now it’s six.  In my defense, Fortnite merch is kind of unavoidable at this point.  We already had the 3 3/4-inch Jazwares offerings (which were my main focus), plus some Pops, and even Hasbro getting in on things under their Nerf banner.  More directly competing with Jazwares in the action figure department was McFarlane, who have a line of 7-inch figures that have been running since right around the same time.  Jazwares have decided to up the ante, and get in with some 6-inch figures, undercutting McFarlane a bit, if you will.  I still don’t care about Fortnite, but I do care about good toys, so let’s see how Jazwares fares, shall we?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Havoc is part of the first series of Jazwares’ Fortnite: Legendary Series.  Rather amusingly, he and the rest of the assortment started hitting right as Havoc joined the smaller scale line from Jazwares as well.  Not knowing much about the game, I can’t speak to Havoc’s relevance in the line, or how he relates to his assortment-mates, but I do know that in the game’s lore, he’s the brother of Raptor, which I guess explains their similar designs.  The figure stands just over 6 inches tall and sports 40 points of articulation, a fact that the package proudly states, much like the Toy Biz Marvel Legends of old.  Speaking of the Toy Biz Legends, remember how I mentioned the smaller scale line feeling like a successor to the 25th Anniversary G.I. Joes?  Well, this line does the same thing for Toy Biz’s Legends.  Hasbro’s figures have become their own breed, but this guy genuinely feels like he could have been a late-run Toy Biz product, albeit with some slight adjustments to fix some of the issues those figures have suffered from hindsight.  This figure brings back things that aren’t as common place these days, notably hinged fingers and toes.  The fingers worried me a bit, as a good number of the old Toy Biz figures had some major troubles holding accessories due to the joints, and these guys kind of need to be able to hold their accessories.  Fortunately, it seems like Jazwares was aware of the potential issues, and sculpted the hands to hold the accessories first, and added the joints after.  This means Havoc still maintains a decent grip on his weapons, while having a little more freedom of posability when not holding anything.  Additionally, no wrenching open of the fingers is needed to get the accessories in place, which I’d call a plus.  Havoc also makes use of butterfly shoulder joints, well hidden by his gear, plus pretty much every joint you would consider standard for a Legend.  His sculpt stays true to the animation models (meaning he’s got easy re-use potential for Jazwares to do Raptor), while still maintaining a decent level of detailing.  There’s a slight stylization to him, but not enough that he can’t fit in with more realistic lines.  In order to keep things fresh, one of the gimmicks of this line is swappable faceplates for differing expressions and the like.  Havoc includes three, one fairly standard, one surprised, and one with the mask pulled up to reveal the face beneath.  The three faces swap out relatively easy, but stay in place securely once clicked in, and the seam where they join is pretty well hidden.  Havoc’s paintwork is pretty solid stuff.  It’s mostly pretty basic work, but there’s a decent amount of accenting as well.  Additionally, unlike the small-scale Raptor, his eyes have been placed and sized correctly, so he doesn’t look wonky either.  In addition to the previously mentioned faceplates, Havoc is packed with a scoped assault rifle, a harvesting tool, his back bling, a chug jug, and a grenade.  It’s a nice assortment of extras, especially when compared to the basic smaller figures.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Just when I think I’m out, they pull me back in!  Seriously, I thought I’d kicked the Fortnite habit, and then Jazwares went and announced this line, and boy did they look cool.  I singled this guy out as the one I wanted to grab to try out the line because his name is “Havoc” and I’m a creature of habit.  As luck would have it, there was a single Havoc left at a Walmart I swung by on my way home from work, giving me the opportunity to give the line a try.  I was very impressed with the small scale line, and I’m even more impressed with Havoc here.  I will definitely be grabbing a few other figures from this line.  Darn it.

#1929: Omega

OMEGA

FORTNITE (JAZWARES)

Oh boy.  More Fortnite.  Remember Fortnite?  That thing I said I had no attachment to, but for which I have now written four reviews? Yeah.  That’s the one.  For what it’s worth, this us my last Fortnite review, at least for the foreseeable future.  Somewhat appropriately for my last review of this set, I’m going to be taking a look at Omega!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Omega was released in the “Early Game Survival Kit”, a slightly more deluxe offering from Jazwares’ Fortnite line, which falls right between the “Solo Mode” and “Drama Llama” offerings.  The figure stands 4 inches tall and he has 28 points of articulation.  In the game, Omega is a progressive skin, meaning he starts out rather basic, and gains new armor as the player progresses.  The Omega seen here is a fully kitted-out version, which I suppose is a sensible choice.  His construction is the same styling as the other Fortnite figures, so he’s a pretty solid little toy with a decent spread of articulation.  The only slight downstep from others is this figure’s more restricted elbow movement, but he’s still getting more than 45 degrees, so we’re not quite at Mattel levels.  The sculpt does a solid job of recreating the in-game design, though like the others, the detailing can be a little soft in some spots.  He’s certainly helped by the design’s more simplistic nature, which just makes for a clean overall figure.  The paintwork is decent, if perhaps not anything amazing.  I like the metallic finish, and the application is overall pretty good.  There’s a little bit of slop, especially on the red lines, but given the scale and the price point, he’s certainly passable.  The more deluxe nature of this release means that he’s a little better accessorized than Raptor was, but not *quite* as accessory heavy as Rust Lord.  He gets a Legendary Assault Rifle, the Onslaught harvesting tool, Precision back pack, Wet Paint Glider, and a foot-peg-bearing building plate.  It’s a nice little taste of all the differing accessory types.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Despite being my last of the reviews, Omega was actually the second Fortnite item I acquired.  Super Awesome Fiancee’s store had gotten him in, and after I was so happy with Rust-Lord, she asked me if I might also like this guy.  I’m hardly one to turn down someone buying me a cool action figure, so I of course took her up on it.  Omega is another solid toy from this line, and I definitely dig it.

#1915: Turbo Builder Set

TURBO BUILDER SET (W/ JONESY & RAVEN)

FORTNITE (JAZWARES)

Well, with another week of Post-Christmas reviews under my belt, and a theme thoroughly exhausted, let’s go back to the beginning.  Yep, I started this year’s round of gift reviews off with a Fortnite item, and here I am with another.  I know, I’m as surprised as all of you.  With my last Fortnite review being on the smaller side, I’m jumping over the other end of the spectrum, and taking a look at one of the largest offerings in the line, the Turbo Builder Set, featuring Jonesy and Raven!

THE SET ITSELF

The Turbo Builder Set is the largest offering so far from Jazwares’ Fortnite line.  It’s made up of the two figures, the AC/DC and standard pickaxe harvesting tools, the hunting rifle, revolver, submachine gun, tactical shotgun, and, of course, the main focus, a whopping 81 building plates, evenly divided between wooden planks, sheet metal, and brick and mortar.  There are a lot of building options with the plates, and they are of course completely inter-compatible with the ones included with Rust Lord and Raptor.  They can be a little tricky to assemble and take back apart multiple times, which led to a few broken connectors on mine, but with the sheer quantity offered here, I don’t foresee it being too much of an issue.

JONESY

Jonesy is another character that seems to be leaning heavily on the G.I. Joe end of the spectrum, and also being about as standard issue as you can get.  There are a lot of potential variants of Jonesy, but this one seems to be based on his “Survival” variant, which again looks to be using some pretty standard issue looks.  The figure stands 4 inches tall and has 28 points of articulation.  He’s built in the same fashion as the last two figures I looked at, meaning there are a number of similarities to the 25th Anniversary Joes.  Jonesy has the first parts re-use I’ve seen in the line, with a small handful of parts being shared with the Rust Lord figures.  It’s just the lower arms, lower legs, and pelvis, which appear to be pretty similar elements in game as well.  I was surprised by how few of those parts were actually re-used, given that some of the uniquely sculpted parts are just small tweaks away from being the same.  Hey, I’m not going to knock the attention to detail, though.  Jonesy’s head is further on the cartoony side of things than some of the line’s other offerings, which I’m not huge on, because it’ll make slotting him in with Joes a little harder.  That said, it’s still a decent enough sculpt, and it’s pretty accurate to the game design.  His paintwork is pretty decently handled.  Application is clean, and there don’t appear to be any missing applications.  I was also quite impressed by the tattoo on his right arm; that’s a nice attention to detail.

RAVEN

Definitely the most unique of the figures I’ve looked at from this line, Raven moves away from the knock-off G.I. Joe bit that the others possess.  Raven’s design is one of the ones that’s a bit more dependent on the game’s animation style to sell it, which makes its translation to toy form a little more difficult.  The end result is okay, but not quite as impressive as I’d hoped.  The biggest letdown is the implementation of his head; in the game, he’s got a hood that obscures is face, so that all you can see are his eyes peering out.  I was expecting something along the lines of a Moon Knight figure, with a featureless black head underneath of a sculpted hood.  Instead, the figure has an empty head with some eyes sculpted on it.  It’s pretty shallow, so it never seems to look quite right, especially when directly lit.  The design of the body also ends up limiting the articulation a bit more than usual, especially in the arms.  Beyond that, there are still some nice details worked throughout, and he’s still a generally enjoyable figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As I touched on in my Black Series reviews, there was some slight worry about those figures not arriving in time for Christmas.  Since they were going to be my main gift, Super Awesome Fiancee wanted to make sure I had *something* and since I’d mentioned this set in passing when I got Rust Lord, she tracked one down for me.  Of course the Black Series figures ended up arriving on time, so I guess it just worked out well for me.  Jonesy’s another for my “augmenting my Joes” venture, Raven’s a flawed but entertaining figure, and the building plates are certainly going to make for some fun diorama building.  All in all, another winning piece from this line.  I hope that Jazwares can keep it up!

#1901: Raptor

RAPTOR

FORTNITE (JAZWARES)

And let the gift reviews commence.  Yes, it’s the most wonderful time of the year!  The post-Christmas season, when I have a ton of new toys to review here.  As per usual, I’ll be kicking off the post-Christmas reviews with sort of a Day 0 kind of a review, with my one non-Christmas gift of the season.

Remember a few weeks ago when I reviewed one of them there Fortfighters?  Crap, I mean Fortnite.  Yeah, that’s the one.  Despite my very obvious lack of prior knowledge of the source material, I was enamored by the toys.  I kind of foresee a good number of reviews from this line forthcoming.  Today, I’m keeping things pretty basic, and looking at Raptor, Royal Air Force Test Pilot!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Raptor is part of the first series of the basic “Solo Mode” figures from Jazwares’ Fortnite line.  He doesn’t come in the impressive packaging that Rust Lord did, nor does he feature quite as many fancy parts, but he’s also less than half the retail price.  The figure stands just shy of 4 inches tall and he has 28 points of articulation.  His construction is very similar to the previously reviewed Rust Lord figure, though his actual sculpt is completely unique.  While I think the general assembly of Rust Lord is a little more solid and better fit together, I certainly can’t fault this guy’s sculpt.  It helps that, like Rust Lord, his design lends itself pretty nicely to a toy translation.  I mean, the guy is perhaps the most blatant G.I. Joe rip-off of the bunch.  That’s pretty basic toy stuff right there.  Raptor is a bit more simple than Rust Lord when it comes to actual detailing, with the main exception being his ski mask, which does actually get some solid work.  I was sort of hoping for a bit more to his bomber jacket, but this is, admittedly, fairly true to the game design.  Raptor’s paint is a little bit of a mixed bag.  There’s a lot I like, especially the things like the insignias on his shoulders.  However, the thing that bugs me the most about the figure is completely to do with the paint, and that’s the eyes.  They’re not *terrible*, but they’re definitely too big, especially relative to what’s sculpted.  Eyes are, admittedly, hard to do, especially at this scale, but as his only visible facial feature, it’s unfortunate they aren’t more on the mark.  Raptor is a lighter release, in contrast to the more heavily armed Rust Lord.  He gets a pick axe and a building plate with a foot peg on it.  I like the variety among the plates, and I can definitely appreciate the inclusion of a melee weapon this time around, especially after getting so many guns with Rust Lord.  They’re really encouraging the play pattern here, and I can get behind that.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Raptor here was an anniversary gift from Super Awesome Fiancee, exchanged on Christmas Eve, as is our tradition.  After I raved so much about how cool Rust Lord was, she kept an eye out for the rest of the line, and thought I’d like this one.  Slight flaws aside, I really do like this figure, and he continues the “augmenting G.I. Joe” thing I started with Rust Lord.

#1888: Rust Lord

RUST LORD

FORTNITE (JAZWARES)

Oh man, let me tell you guys, today’s review?  It’s totally lit.  Like, it’s at peak levels of on-fleek-ness.  This review here?  It’s cool AF.  This is about the dankest review you’re ever gonna read.  I’m finna about to review this boi, which, I assure you, is not empty.  Yeet.  Stick with me fam, things are about to get hella turnt! …am I doing this right?  Is this how we talk about the Fortfight?  I’m sorry, I don’t have the 411 on what’s hip these days.  But, in an effort to get home with the downies, I got one of these here Fortniters to review.  Swag.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

So, homeslice here is Rust Lord, an absolute unite, who is one of the many available skins in Fortnite.  He’s a part of Jazwares Fortnite line, available exclusively in the “Llama Drama Loot Piñata” pack, which was the first item available from Jazwares’ line, first showing up on shelves at the beginning of the month.  The figure stands just shy of 4 inches tall and he has 28 points of articulation.  Stylistically, Rust Lord is very similar to Hasbro’s 25th Anniversary GI Joes, though perhaps a bit heftier.  He’ll fit in pretty well, though.  What surprised me most about this figure, though, was the articulation, which honestly is a bit of a step-up from the Joes, and even rivals the likes of Marvel Legends, but at a smaller scale.  Despite all of this articulation, the construction of the figure is still really solid, and he’s not flimsy at all.  Rust Lord’s design is definitely one that lends itself pretty well to a toy.  The figure changes up a few proportional elements, in order to make for a better translation to toy, but he’s actually pretty close.  The sculpt is clean and pretty sharp, which is honestly a fair bit better than I’m used to seeing with figures at this scale, even from the likes of Hasbro.  The paintwork for Rust Lord is fairly cleanly handled.  It’s pretty striking, and, like the sculpt, it will help him to match alright with Joes.  There are a handful of unpainted details here and there, but for the most part, he gets the job done.  Rust Lord himself only makes up a small piece of what’s included in the Loot Piñata.  There are also a whopping ten weapons*, four backpacks, and eight building plates.  For weapons, he has an assault rifle, bolt-action sniper rifle, drum gun, grenade launcher, legendary assault rifle, legendary burst assault rifle, light machine gun, pump shotgun, rocket launcher, and suppressed submachine gun.  Some of the sculpts are a little cartoony for my taste, but they’re mostly pretty solid pieces, and, like the main figure, they should do well arming your Joes and the like.  For the backpacks, he has the Bright Bag, Cuddle Bow, Satchel, and Scaly.  The satchel’s the only one that really matches up with the figure, but the options are nice nevertheless.  Lastly, there are the building plates.  Two sets of four line-up for some graffiti, and can be configured into all manner of different structures.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This is all Max from All Time’s fault.  A couple weeks ago, he told me about this set, showed me a few pictures of his and said “it’s kind of like G.I. Joe,” which was enough to sell me.  I’m an easy mark, I guess.  As someone with absolutely no experience with Fortnite, these figures weren’t even on my radar.  Doubly so when I found out they were produced by Jazwares, a company that I generally find to be the toy world’s equivalent of a yawn.  This figure has no right to be anywhere near as cool as it is, but I’ll be damned if this isn’t one of the coolest, most solidly crafted figures I’ve picked up as of late.  I’ve still got no attachment to Fortnite, but I’ll definitely be finding a spot for this guy with my Joes.

*My set actually had 11 weapons, thanks to me getting an extra drum gun in my set.  One of those few times an error totally worked out in my favor.

Guest Review #0037: Overworld Alex

OVERWORLD ALEX

MINECRAFT (JAZWARES)

Alex1

The following is a guest review by Jill Mardesich.  For more from Jill, check out her blog Future Music Educator Rambles on Life.

Minecraft by Mojang is a game that has managed to sweep the nation, and one of my personal favorites. It is available in just about every platform you can think of, minus Wii and other Nintendo consoles. Because, you know, Nintendo doesn’t play well with others. Alex is the female version of the basic player character (Steve), and I absolutely adore her. She’s not super exciting, but the design is so much more interesting than Steve’s, and she’s a girl.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Alex2Alex is, as stated before, the female player character in the wildly popular game, Minecraft. She is a part of the third series of Minecraft figures. She stands approximately 3 inches tall and has 6 points of articulation. She is a very blocky figure, which follows the game’s overall aesthetic. Her paint work is exceptionally detailed, but there are some fuzzy edges along the facial features, and there’s some pretty noticeable slop on both of her arms, but especially the left one. The orange of her hair is nice and vibrant on top of her head, but when painted onto the body, it seems to have been applied overtop the green of her shirt and causes the color to look really dingy and just… off. From a distance she looks awesome, but up close she gets a little disappointing. I don’t care that much though, because I’m really into her as a character anyway. For her accessories, she comes with a bow, a gold sword, and a Slime. The box looks pretty cool, but the edges of the paintwork are not clean, and it’s a little tricky to get her to hold it in a secure fashion. The sword is pretty nice, the paintwork is super neat and the sword is immediately identifiable as the material it is made of in the game. The Slime is a cool item to receive, replacing the normal building block that comes with the figures in this line. It also looks really cool, a 1.5 inch cube made of transparent green plastic with different shades of green plastic on the inside to provide the detailing. It leads a super clean likeness to the Slimes in the game, and a really cool looking piece. My one complaint about the Slime character is that the color green for the transparent plastic is a rather dark green, which is inaccurate to the game and causes the detailing inside to be difficult to see. If the transparent plastic was a lighter green like it is in the game, I think the details inside the Slime would be more vivid and impressive.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Even though there is literally no story to the game Minecraft, I have loved Alex since she was introduced. She was a surprise to me in one of the updates (because honestly, who actually reads the entire update list when they log in to Minecraft?) and I was ridiculously excited to discover that my Doctor Who skin wasn’t working and it was instead I got to meet Alex. I think she has a really cool design, and I think the fact that she was such a surprise to me is part of the reason why I love her so much. She was like a present that I never expected. It seems fitting that my wonderful boyfriend Tim got her for me at the store in the same manner. She’s not a perfect figure, but she is still really cool and I’m excited to have her.

#0317: Secret Squirrel

SECRET SQUIRREL

HANNAH BARBERA

SecretSquirrel1

“What an agent, what a squirrel. He’s got the country in a whirl. What’s his name? Shhh…Secret Squirrel!”

As I mentioned when I reviewed the Speed Racer figures, I’m quite a bit of an animation geek. When I was growing up, I spent many a day watching whatever was on Cartoon Network. So, I have quite an appreciation for the old Hannah-Barbera stuff. One of my favorite shows was Secret Squirrel. A few years ago, Jazwares picked up the license to do figures based on several Hannah-Barbera shows, and Secret Squirrel was among them.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

SecretSquirrelWilsonSecret Squirrel was released as part of the smaller scale line of Hannah-Barbera figures from Jazwares. The figure stands about 3 inches tall and features 12 points of articulation if you count his flip-up hat and the arm contained within. It’s not often I comment on articulation, but I feel the need to here. Secret’s arm articulation is really odd. The elbows are hinged to move side to side, rather than forward and back, and even though his hands are separate pieces, there is no wrist movement at all. The figure features a unique sculpt. It’s not bad, and it actually follows Secret’s design pretty well. Sadly, the hands strike again, being oddly shaped, and mostly off model. It’s not too hard to overlook, but it’s annoying. The tail is quite obviously made from two separate pieces, which they’ve made no real effort to conceal. The pieces only sort of line up, leaving a pretty noticeable seam. The paint on Secret is okay, but nothing to write home about. There’s no noticeable slop, and the finish is mostly consistent, but there’s one or two areas of bleed over, and the paint is rather thick. Secret includes a pistol and a cameral that can connect to the arm in his hat. He can hold the pistol pretty well, but the camera has a tendency to fall off the arm a lot.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Secret Squirrel is a figure I picked up several times, but could never bring myself to buy. At full price, he just didn’t seem worth it. So, I figured I’d never get one. Recently, while walking through Toys R Us, I came across Secret again, this time marked down. Thanks to TRU’s crazy summer clearance, he was 90% off, which brought his price to a whopping $0.70! For that price, I couldn’t buy him fast enough! He’s not the greatest figure, but at that price, he’s more than worth it, especially to a fan of the show.

SecretSquirrel2

#0288: Iron Golem

IRON GOLEM

MINECRAFT

IronGolem1

What’s this? Two video game reviews in a row? Is Ethan feeling okay? Will the sentences stop being questions? Yeah, it’s time for another Birthday review, Part 8, in fact. Once again, this figure comes from a video game, but this time it’s a game I’ve actually played quite a bit: Minecraft! This particular figure is based on the Iron Golem, one of the game’s NPCs, which can be built by a player in-game.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

IronGolemWilsonThe Iron Golem was released as part of the second series of Jazwares’ Minecraft line. The figure stands about 4 inches tall and features 6 points of articulation. As far as I can tell, the figure sports a brand-new sculpt, though it’s possible that the legs may be re-used from one of the line’s other figures. I don’t have any of them to compare, so I can’t be sure. The sculpt looks pretty good. It’s not a complex design, but they’ve done an admirable job translating to three dimensions and adding points of articulation. The paint is really great in that it looks simple, but it’s actually very calculated so as to capture the pixelated detailing of the character really well. It gives the figure a nice, unique look, and makes it instantly recognizable to fans of the game. The Iron Golem includes a rose and an iron block. These are pretty clever, as roses are one of the Iron Golem’s favorite things, in-game, and the iron block is a pivotal piece to building the character.

IronGolem2 IronGolem3

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The Iron Golem is another of the gifts I received for my birthday. My brother had originally wanted to get me this figure instead of the Heavy, but he couldn’t find the Golem in time. However, on the way home from dinner on my actual birthday, my family agreed to stop by the nearby Toys R Us with me. I found the Iron Golem, and my parents went ahead and bought it for me. How cool are they? The Iron Golem is my favorite of the designs from Minecraft and I was decently excited to see the figure turn up in series two. I can’t really see myself getting into the rest of the line, but the Iron Golem makes for a pretty decent standalone piece.