#3006: Kalibak



“Kalibak, The Cruel Crusher! This massive warrior is incredibly powerful and nearly indestructible. A savage fighter, Kalibak wields the deadly Beta-Club, which can fire nerve beams powerful enough to fell an entire army.  Despite his size and strength, Kalibak is not too intelligent. He can be bested by an opponent like Superman, who combines his strength with a sense of strategy.”

When I last discussed Kenner’s Super Powers line from the ’80s, I was getting pretty deep into the Fourth World component of the line, which hit during its second and third years.  Thus far, I’ve looked at three of Darkseid’s lieutenants, as well as one of his sons.  Today, I look at the figure that combines those two epithets, Kalibak, half brother to Orion, and the brutish son of Darkseid.


Kalibak was released in 1985, as part of Kenner’s second year of Super Powers figures.  As with the rest of the Fourth World figures in the line, this would be his debut action figure, and it would remain his only figure until Mattel got back around to him in 2009 as part of their DC Universe Classics line.  Heck of a gap there, huh?  There was definitely a preferred son of Darkseid in the toy world is all I’m saying.  The figure stands just shy of 5 inches tall (he’s got a bit of a hunch, which would place him at closer to Darkseid’s height were he standing straight up) and he’s got 5 points of articulation.  Kalibak lacks the knee joints sported by most of the line, presumably to give him a slightly more stable stance with the hunch and everything.  He still has a bit of trouble remaining standing even so, due to his hip joints being a little loose from how the action feature works.  Most of the Fourth World characters got rather changed-up designs for the line, still courtesy of Jack Kirby, of course.  Kalibak’s design was new, but he actually had a rather evolving design throughout Kirby’s actual run on New Gods, so this was really just the next step in that evolution.  It’s honestly one of the best of the updated designs, and the one that really has the most lasting influence on the character’s main look going forward.  The sculpt does a pretty nice job of capturing Kalibak’s larger build, and while he’s a little bit goofy looking, that’s on-brand for Kalibak, so it works out better here than it does for, say, Steppenwolf.  Kalibak’s paint work is pretty straight forward.  A lot of the Fourth World designs were heavy on green in the comics, and Kalibak was included in that.  For the Super Powers designs, they leaned a little more into browns and warmer colors, since there was kind of a shortage of those colors in the DC roster.  Kalibak is largely brown and yellow, with a bit of blue.  It’s not a bad look, and the application is generally pretty clean.  Kalibak is packed with his Beta-Club, which is convenient for use with his “Power Action Beta-Club Swing.”  When is legs are squeezed together, the left arm swings in and out, which is actually a pretty cool feature.


Kalibak is the newest addition to my Super Powers collection, in the continuing tradition of my Dad getting me a Super Powers figure at Christmas.  He’s slowly but surely helping me make my way through the figures that remain between me and a complete run of the line.  Kalibak is one of those figures I wasn’t in a rush to get or anything, but I actually like him a lot more than I’d expected now that I actually own him.  And with that, I’m down to just 6 more figures!

#2995: Rancor with Luke Skywalker



“Within Jabba the Hutt’s desert palace on Tatooine, there is a special pit that houses a rancor. Over five meters in height, this reptilian-like creature has long, exaggerated arms, dangerous fangs and huge claws — truly a fearsome sight. The crime lord uses the rancor as a means of eliminating enemies and failed employees. Its pit is located beneath Jabba’s court, providing an excellent view for the crime lord and his associates as victims struggle helplessly to defend themselves. That all changes when Luke Skywalker is dropped into the loathsome pit. Armed with only a large bone leftover from one of the rancor’s previous victims, the Jedi Knight conquers the horrible beast.”

Oh boy, that sure is a nice Rancor there.  Sure would be a shame if someone were to…SABOTAGE IT!!!!  Right?  Get it?  Because, it’s like the whole thing where a bunch of winy fanboys claimed that Hasbro was sabotaging their own product, and then it was ultimately the winy fanboys who…you know…actually sabotaged it?  Isn’t it funny?  Or is it just sad.  Oh, right, it’s probably just sad.  And I’m likely to piss someone off with this intro, aren’t I?  Ah well, these days I fear nothing, so I’ve really got nothing to lose.  Not even the Rancor.  Especially since I wasn’t backing the Black Series one anyway.  But that’s not the point.  What is the point is that I’m falling back on my classic Star Wars reviewing fodder, Power of the Force, and that’s where I’m staying.


The Rancor with Luke Skywalker were added to Kenner’s Power of the Force II line in 1998, as the largest of the creature packs that they were doing.  They’re based on Return of the Jedi, of course, and were actually the only creature pack where that was the case, since Jabba was from his Special Edition appearance in A New Hope, rather than his classic Jedi look.


Certainly one of the largest creatures in the Star Wars verse, or at least one of the largest that’s justifiable in toy form, the Rancor has been getting toy treatment since the vintage line.  This would mark its second time in toy form.  The figure stands about 10 inches tall (thanks to the hunch) and has 6 points of articulation.  He’s not an overly mobile figure, but the Rancor’s also not an overly mobile creature.  It’s main purpose is really just to lumber menacingly, which this one does quite well.  It does have a little trouble standing up, but careful posing can help it find that sweet spot for staying balanced.  The Rancor’s sculpt was an all-new one.  The vintage figure had gone far more basic on its detailing, so this one stepped things up a bit.  The end result is quite a nice piece, especially when compared to some of the smaller figures of the same line.  He’s a respectable match for the creature we see on-screen, and there’s a lot of solid texture and smaller detail work.  Due to the nature of the softer plastic, some of the details are likewise a little softer, but it’s generally quite good.  The only downside to this one is the “Real Feel Skin” feature, which can make him prone to a bit of gunk build-up.  It’s not quite as bad as yesterday’s Clayface figure, but it does require some occasional cleaning.  The paint work on the Rancor is pretty solid, actually.  There’s some decent accent work on the skin, which helps to bring out more of the sculpted details, as well as add a little more depth to the figure’s overall look.  The Rancor gets no accessories of its own, but it does get…


…a Jedi Luke variant.  1998 had quite a few Jedi Luke variants, covering various deviations of his main look throughout the film.  This one is very specifically Jabba’s Palace, after he’s lost the cloak and saber, before he’s gotten shot in the hand.  It’s the only one to fit that very specific narrative.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 6 points of articulation.  He uses the same head and torso as a few of the Jedi Lukes from the same year, which makes sense from a consistency standpoint, and also means he’s re-using some pretty decent parts.  The arms and legs are new, and designed with him leaning back to look at the Rancor in mind.  The legs do make him a little tricky to keep standing, and the arms are unfortunately rather stiff for any decent posing.  He’s not a bad sculpt, but he’s a more limiting one to be sure.  His paint work is a little more involved than other Jedi Lukes by virtue of him having a bunch of brown flecks to simulate Tatooine sand.  It’s all a ploy to keep his father at bay, really.  Luke is packed with the large bone he uses to defend himself against the Rancor, which is a pretty fun scene specific piece.


I was definitely a Jedi Luke fan as a kid, and liked this particular scene a lot, but it was kind of an expensive set, and never a super easy one to find, so I didn’t get this one as a kid.  Instead, I got it quite recently, just over the last summer, when one of them came through All Time loose.  I’ve actually been low-key looking for one for a while now, so I was pretty happy to finally get one.  It’s definitely an important piece of the PotF collection, and one I’m glad to finally have.  There have been more involved Rancors since, but this one’s still just a very nice piece, and the Luke pairs off well with him.

#2988: Nien Nunb



“The outstanding Rebel Pilot from the planet Sullust, Nien Nunb served as Lando Calrissian’s copilot in the Millennium Falcon during the Battle of Endor.”

Though one of their most defining traits is their high rate of mortality, there are a few Rebel pilots from the Original Trilogy who actually survive their missions, at least a few times.  The run on the second Death Star actually has a few of its participants make it out unscathed, including today’s focus, Nien Nunb, who is Lando’s copilot aboard the Falcon.  Nien Nunb isn’t a major character, but he’s certainly visible, which makes him slightly more memorable, and he’s also one of the handful of minor characters to return during the Sequel Trilogy, which is kind of cool.  Let’s look at Nien Nunb!


Nien Nunb was added to Kenner’s Power of the Force line in 1997.  He was a little bit isolated that year, as he and Ackbar are really the only later Jedi figures, and the Lando that matched wouldn’t be added until the following year.  This marked Nien Nunb’s second figure, following one from the vintage run.  The figure stands about 3 1/2 inches tall (Nien Nunb was a little shorter; he’d never pass as a Stormtrooper) and he has 6 points of articulation.  His sculpt was all-new, and remained unique to this release.  Ten Numb from the Cinema Scenes set was similar, but there are no actual shared parts between them.  Generally, it’s not a bad sculpt.  The head’s certainly the best part, and captures the on-screen puppet’s design pretty well.  The body is certainly a mid-run PotF body, so it’s ever so slightly pre-posed, and probably a little too bulky and puffy for true accuracy, but it works alright.  Nien Nunb’s paint work is generally pretty basic.  They match up with the colors on screen alright, application is clean, and no notable details are left unpainted.  In terms of accessories, he includes two blasters, one large, one small.


Not much of a story on Nien Nunb, really.  I always remembered the character, but in that sequence I’m usually fixated on Wedge being there, so I miss everyone else.  I didn’t have this figure as a kid, and wound up getting it in one of my batches of figures from All Time.  He’s an okay figure.  Nothing amazing, but he does what he needs to, and he’s another fun alien design.

#2981: Orrimaarko (Prune Face)



“Leader of a resistance cell on his homeworld of Dressel, Rebel Alliance member Orrimaarko proved to be a fierce warrior against the evil Empire.”

When the face is a prune, action goes Boom! …or something like that.  There’s this whole subset of Star Wars characters I really only have any sort of attachment to because of how they were handled in the Robot Chicken Star Wars specials, and today’s focus, Orrimaarko, better known as Prune Face, is certainly in that category.


Orrimaarko (Prune Face) was added to Kenner’s Power of the Force II line in 1998, alongside fellow Rebel briefing room characters Mon Mothma and Ishi Tib.  This was Prune Face’s second figure, following the one he got during the original vintage line.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 6 points of articulation.  Prune Face was sporting an all-new sculpt, and one that remained unique.  Not a shock there, since, well, who else are you gonna use a Prune Face mold for?  I mean, maybe one of the other Dresselians, I suppose, but that’s an especially deep reach.  It’s a goofy sculpt, but Prune Face is a goofy looking guy, so that goes with the territory.  The face sculpt, as with many of the aliens in this line, is certainly the best part.  There’s a lot of solid detail work going on there.  The body is a little more on the pre-posed side, but not terribly so, and he can at least stand pretty well on his own.  While other Prune Face figures have made use of cloth capes, this one notably goes the soft plastic route.  It’s a little bulkier and more restricting to the arm movement, but it also means it actually holds a shape, which the others haven’t been so great at.  Prune Face’s paint work is generally pretty strong work, with a lot of accenting going on to help out the sculpt.  Prune Face is packed with a quite un-Star Wars-y rifle, which he’s not really meant to hold in so much of an actual gun pose, as much as just use it as a makeshift cane.  It’s a cool piece, fully painted, which wasn’t common on the guns at this point.


Prune Face isn’t one of those characters that I absolutely need to have or anything, but I’ll admit that I found the Robot Chicken sketch rather amusing.  Mostly, though, I bought him because of the whole completionist angle.  I picked him up during one of my big runs of the line a few years back, shortly after getting involved with All Time.  He’s goofy and hideous, but in a way that he’s supposed to be, so it works out.

#2974: Emperor Palpatine



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


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


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

#2932: B’omarr Monk



So, these days, I fear, like, nothing, but other people do fear things, and one of those things, at least pretty consistently, is spiders.  Seriously, when I bring up my lack of fears, it’s like a 50/50 chance that the next question that follows is “Even spiders?”  Why am I talking about everyone’s fear of spiders?  Well, I wanna be kind to my readers who aren’t so big on them, so I’m gonna give a little bit of a content warning on the pictures that go along with today’s review.  Enter at your own peril.

Continue reading

#2918: Gamorrean Guard



“The brutish nature of Gamorreans, along with their great strength and violent tendencies, made them excellent mercenaries and guardsmen in Jabba’s desert palace.”

Jabba’s green pig-man guards make for a rather distinctive introduction back into the world of Star Wars during Return of the Jedi‘s opening scenes.  They’re a great merging of puppetry and prosthetics, making for a generally pretty unique design, and one that’s not quickly forgotten.  It’s hard to imagine the whole Jabba’s palace sequence without them present in some fashion, so when Kenner turned their sights on building up that particular locale for Power of the Force in the ’90s, the Gamorrean Guards were right there, along for the ride!


The Gamorrean Guard was added to Power of the Force II in 1997, a year that, as I noted last time, is quite packed with Jabba-related characters.  This marked their first time in toy treatment since the vintage line, as was the case for most of these guys in the ’90s.  The figure stands just shy of 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 6 points of articulation.  The vintage Gamorrean sculpt was definitely not bad for the time, so this one had a slightly higher bar to clear than other offerings.  That being said, creatures are certainly where the ’90s line excelled, especially early on, so they were in pretty safe hands here.  The sculpt’s a pretty strong one.  It’s a little bit more pre-posed, but that’s largely just to allow the arms to be bent for holding the weapon just a bit better.  Otherwise, it’s nothing too crazy, just a generally looser stance, I suppose.  The detail work is generally pretty good.  Perhaps a little softer than a modern figure, but very good for the time.  It does a good job of capturing the design of the creatures as we see them in the movie, and it also maintains a generic enough appearance that you could pick up multiples for the purposes of army building, and it would still work pretty well.  The Guard’s paint is pretty basic and overall pretty drab, but that’s as expected, and it does a perfectly adequate job of recreating the base colors as seen in the movie.  I suppose some accenting would do a bit to help the sculpt pop a bit more, but that wasn’t really what this era of the line was about.  There is at least a little accenting on the face, and it does look quite nice.  The Gamorrean was packed with a single vibro axe, which is pretty standard issue for these guys.  It fits nicely in the left hand, and generally looks appropriately menacing.


The Gamorrean has never been an essential piece of my collection, as much as I do enjoy their presence at the palace.  As such, I was never in much of a hurry to get this one, especially with it not being particularly rare, either.  I wound up snagging this one a little over a year ago, when one with a less than stellar box got traded into All Time.  He’s a pretty cool little figure, and he does what he needs to, which is always nice to see.

#2911: Bib Fortuna



Behold the biggest surprise return Star Wars character of 2020, Bib Fortuna.  Sure, Boba Fett gets all that fuss around him, but we all knew that would happen anyway.  And I’m still not entirely convinced it was Boba anyway.  I mean, did you see how he actually had an impact on the plot and like a character arc, and like dialogue, and like something to do other than just suck?  I feel like that’s not very Boba Fett.  What if he’s another clone?  What if that’s the real twist of Book of Boba Fett?  What if he was really Rex the whole time?  Yeah, that’d be cool.  Wait, I’ve gotten too far off track ragging on Boba Fett.  What was I doing?  Right, Bib Fortuna review.  Of course.  How could I possibly get distracted from that?


Bib Fortuna was added to the Power of the Force II line in 1997, a year with quite a solid helping of Jabba’s Palace related characters.  Guess they really wanted to have them all ready for the playset the next year.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and he has the usual 6 points of articulation.  Bib is rather restricted on the articulation front, thanks to a handful of his design cues.  The tendrils on the head negate most of the neck movement, and the robes negate most of the leg and waist movement.  So, while all that articulation is present, he’s not really much more posable than, say, the Royal Guard.  His sculpt is still kind of from the transitional period of the line, so he’s kind of got some of that lingering bulkiness, which makes him not terribly far removed from his Mandalorian appearance, I guess.  The head’s kind of light on detailing for an alien from the line, and while there’s a fully detailed body beneath the rubber robes, there’s also no easy way to see it, since the robes can’t make it over his head.  In general, the detailing on him does seem to be a little softer than other entries from the line, which is too bad.  It’s not terrible, but not great either.  In terms of paint, he’s likewise not bad, but also not terribly inspiring.  The base work is alright, but it’s really just bare minimum.  Also, the blues seem a little too bright to me, but that might just be personal perception.  Bib was packed with a small blaster pistol, you know, for all that cool action stuff he gets into.


Bib is an alright character, I guess, and it was cool seeing him show back up after three decades, but I’m not sure he makes for the most exciting action figure.  This one’s really only good for standing there, which, admittedly, is all the character really does anyway, so I can’t fault them there.  This one wasn’t one I had as a kid, nor was he one I wanted as a kid.  I got his rather recently, as part of a batch of PotF figures I picked up from All Time in the fall of 2019.  He’s okay.  Not super exciting, but he stands behind Jabba well enough.

#2903: Steppenwolf



As one of Darkseid’s most trusted agents, Steppenwolf commands the every action of the huge, vicious, canine army known as the Hounds of Hades.  In addition, Steppenwolf carries the Electro-Axe, a universally dreaded device that fires deadly Radion Bolts.”

Even within the Fourth World itself, Steppenwolf has always kind of been the red-headed steppenchild stepchild.  He’s just sort of there, and occasionally they’d send him off to go look imposing at someone and invariably get the snot kicked out of him to prove that the heroes are greater than expected. Even Jack Kirby didn’t know what to do with him, and he created him. He’s low tier in an already low tier bracket.  The choice to use him as Justice League‘s main antagonist was odd to say the least, no matter which version you took in.  But, I guess more people know him now?  Yay?  Well, let’s go back to the beginning, and look at his very first action figure.


Steppenwolf was added to Super Powers in its second year.  Initially, he was the line’s very first mail-away figure, but he was later added to the line proper with his own carded release.  The figure stands 4 1/2 inches tall and he has 7 points of articulation.  Steppenwolf’s design was one of the most changed of the Fourth World Characters.  Up to this point, he’d generally worn a lot of green with more of nobleman hunter sort of a feel, but his Super Powers design really amped up the sci-fi side of things, as well as just generally making him a whole lot spikier.  I mean, not Justice League levels of spikes, or anything, but, still, like, a lot of spikes.  While I’ve generally been okay with the Super Powers redesigns, Steppenwolf is one that I’ve never really jived with.  There was a formality to the original, which just is lacking here.  So, rather than being imposing he’s just…goofy.  I don’t think that’s what they were aiming for.  From a technical standpoint, it’s not a bad sculpt.  As with all of the Super Powers sculpts, it’s got a nice set of balanced proportions, and just enough detailing to keep him interesting, without making him too overcomplicated.  His backpack and axe are all connected to the figure permanently, and the axe is *supposed* to clip onto the backpack for storage.  On my figure, however, that clip has broken, so he’s forced to forever just hold his axe.  Poor guy.  While the character had classically been done up in shades of green and yellow, for this figure he was inexplicably in red and brown, perhaps to further differentiate him from Mantis?  I don’t know, but I’m not sure I like it.  The application’s not bad, though, and he’s even got some vac metalizing on his axe, which is pretty cool.  Steppenwolf’s action was his “Power Action Electro-Axe Chop,” which swung his right arm downward when his legs were squeezed.


I’ve never been a huge Steppenwolf fan, and I’m even less of a fan of his redesign here.  So, when it came time to confront buying this figure, I wound up bundling him in with another figure I actually was very excited to get, Brainiac.  Even when he was new to me, he wasn’t my focus.  And that’s probably for the best, because he still doesn’t really wow me, honestly.  He’s hardly a bad figure, but probably on the low end of my list for Super Powers.  That’s the price of being such a strong line in general, I suppose.

#2896: Desaad



“The Tiny Tyrant of Terror! Although DeSaad has no special powers, he is a master at creating devices to torment humans. Among his arsenal are the Fear Machine, which can incite entire cities to panic, Nerve-Beams, which induce instant paralysis, and Vertigo Grenades, which make people lose their sense of balance.  For all his torturous abilities, DeSaad is a coward. Thus, he uses Darkseid’s other minions to fight battles for him. But when cornered, DeSaad will beg for mercy.”

When Darkseid joined the Super Powers line, he brought with him a handful of his faithful servants from the comics.  While Darkseid himself was a hulking figure of great strength, one of his closest devotees was DeSaad, a small, cowardly lackey, whose primary focus was on manipulating his opponents into fearing him through less scrupulous means.  After Darkseid himself, DeSaad is one of the more notable residents of Apokolips, within the grand scheme of things.  Fitting, then, that he was right there with Darkseid getting his first figure in tandem.


DeSaad was added to Kenner’s Super Powers line in its second year in 1986, getting the first of his two figures to date.  The figure stands 4 1/2 inches tall and he has 7 points of articulation…sort of.  Depending on how you look at it, it could be a little more, but also a little less.  The shoulders do have some butterfly motion, but it’s totally tied to his action feature.  Moreover, the hips are restricted by the skirt piece, the neck is restricted by the tubes on the head, and the shoulders are restricted by the device on his chest.  Lotta restricting going on there.  This is definitely one more for just kind of standing there.  DeSaad’s design in the comics is pretty basic; he’s a small scrawny guy in a purple cloak.  This one isn’t too far removed from that at its starting point, but then also adds the weird contraption on his chest, which does give him a little more flair, to be fair.  The device, along with the tubes running to it from his head, are unfortunately quite prone to breaking, which is why one of the tubes on mine is in such a state.  Otherwise, it’s not a terrible piece of work.  He looks suitably creepy, and the detailing on the outfit does get pretty involved, which is cool.  His paint work’s not bad.  Fairly nuanced compared to others in the line, with a sickly green skin tone, and some subtle accenting on the legs and cloak.  Generally, it looks pretty solid.  DeSaad’s gimmick is a “Power Action Shock Squeeze.”  Squeezing his legs moves his arms in closer to his center.


DeSaad is one of the most recent Super Powers I added to my collection.  He was purchased in the fall of 2019, from Factory Antique Mall, the largest antique mall in America.  They got a lot of stuff there, and that included this guy.  I didn’t have him, and he wasn’t a terrible price, so I bought him.  That’s really the whole story.  He’s cool looking, but definitely a lot less playable than the rest of the line, which is a little bit of a bummer.