#1646: Vision & Scarlet Witch

VISION & SCARLET WITCH

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Both empowered by the Mind Stone, Vision and Scarlet Witch are powerful forces in the throes of battle.”

Avengers: Infinity War is almost upon us, which is pretty darn exciting.  There’s a metric ton of product out there for it right now, including the largest movie compliment of Marvel Legends Hasbro’s done yet.  When Age of Ultron came out, the MCU-Legends were still on the slow rise at retail.  This meant that it was tricky enough just to get the core Avengers all represented, so there was certainly no space for the team’s new recruits from the movie.  Scarlet Witch found her way into the Civil War assortments, but poor Vision’s been up in the air for three years.  Can I get a “finally”?

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

When is an exclusive not an exclusive?  When the company that paid for it goes out of business.  Yes, this pair was supposed to be the first of a large number of Toys R Us-exclusive Marvel Legends two-packs planned for this year.  Because of Infinity War’s release date, this set was already produced and some of it had made its way to TRU’s warehouses prior to their announcement of liquidation.  They’re keeping what they already had, but anything not already in their possession is going to be distributed through online retailers later this year.

VISION

Vision is very obviously this set’s star, and looks set to play quite a pivotal role in Infinity War, what with possessing one of the Infinity Stones and all.  His design has remained consistent through all three of his MCU appearances so far, so this figure has an easy time of picking an appropriate look.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Okay, so first minor complaint about the figure: his height.  Bettany is 6’3”.  On a strict 1:12 scale, the figure’s height is fine, but Legends hasn’t really ever been on a strict 1:12 scale.  Bettany is the same height as Chris Hemsworth, and while the Thor figures have a tendency to slightly over-state Hemsworth’s height, I feel Vision should be at least a little taller, so as to not be totally dwarfed by Thor.  Moving past that, it’s worth noting that this figure is sporting a brand-new sculpt.  I have a few minor nit-picks, mostly having to do with him seeming a bit too skinny.  That said, the overall quality is pretty top-notch.  The likeness on the head bears a decent resemblance to Bettany, and the texture work all throughout the body is definitely impressive.  He’s certainly on par with the recent kick of very strong MCU sculpts.  Even the cape has a nice flow about it, and captures the intricate nature of the design from the films.  Vision’s paintwork is pretty decent.  The metallic colors are fun, and he uses the same face printing technique as the others for his eyes.  His cape is a slight letdown; the semi-translucent effect is nice, but rather than fully detailing the back of the cape like in the movie, he’s just got several streaks of metallic pink going down the back.  It gets the general effect alright, but it does rob the sculpt of some of its impact.  Vision’s packed with two sets of hands.  The standard ones are in open gestures, which feel very true to the character, and there’s also a pair of fists.  You know, for punchin’.

SCARLET WITCH

Scarlet Witch’s design has only changed minimally since Civil War, so it follows that this figure is mostly just a retread of that one.  It’s the same exact sculpt, which is fine by me, since that sculpt was a favorite of mine.  It still holds up well two years after its release.  The figure gets a new paint scheme, detailing her lighter hair color from this film, as well as upgrading her to the new face printing tech, which has improved her likeness to an amazing level I didn’t realize was possible.  I thought the Civil War release was pretty solid at the time when it hit, but this release makes that one look kinda goofy.  This figure also ditches the effects pieces form the last version, and adds in a new set.  I thought the old effects pieces were by far the weak point of the last figure, so the new pieces are a very welcome addition.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve been wanting Vision since 2015, so I was happy to hear he’d be getting a figure courtesy of Infinity War.  I was less happy to hear it would be a TRU exclusive, and even less so when they announced the impending closures.  I initially thought I might be missing this set, but then when Entertainment Earth put it up for pre-order, I planned to just wait to get it from them.  Then TRU started clearing out their warehouses, and I walked in one day to find a case of this set sitting on the shelf.  That was most definitely a pleasant surprise.  If only I’d had more experiences like that *before* they were going under.  Vision isn’t a perfect figure, but he’s a very, very good one, and an awesome addition to my collection.  Scarlet Witch takes a figure I already loved and makes it bafflingly better than it was before.  This is a fantastic set, and I hope everyone who wants one can get one.

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#1644: Crimson Dynamo

CRIMSON DYNAMO

IRON MAN (TOY BIZ)

“As the United States had its armored champion in Iron Man, so did the former Soviet Union have their own crusader — the Crimson Dynamo! His first mission was to destroy the symbol of Western democracy — Iron Man — a mission which led to the first of many defeats for the Dynamo. As the Cold War came to a close, so did their animosity; now these uneasy allies focus their combined might against such foes as Fin Fang Foom and Titanium Man!”

The biggest problem faced by the ‘90s Iron Man toyline was Iron Man’s overall lack of a really strong rogue’s gallery.  I mean, he’s got Mandarin, and….alcohol?  That’s hard to do in a toyline, though.  Another good, solid Iron Man foe (and my personal favorite) is Crimson Dynamo.  Unfortunately, Dynamo wasn’t very prominent in the cartoon that the toyline was based on, so it took a few assortments.  Still, at least he got a figure.  Living Laser was on the show a couple of times, and he never did…

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Crimson Dynamo was released in Series 4 of Toy Biz’s Iron Man line, as the assortment’s only villain.  The figure stands 5 inches tall and he has 9 points of articulation.  This figure uses Dynamo’s armor design from the Valentin Shatalov incarnation of the character, which was the most recent version  of the character at the time of this figure’s release.  It’s got a lot more silver than most Dynamo designs (the cartoon even recolored the whole thing red to keep him consistent with other versions), and is a but thinner, making it much more similar to an Iron Man design.  Personally, I’d have preferred one of the earlier models, but I think it’s fair to say this version worked a bit better with the overall style of the line.  As with all of the Iron Men and War Machines of this line, Crimson Dynamo’s fished look is completed using a base figure with a bunch of clip-on armor pieces.  Dynamo had 9 clip-on pieces, for his chest plate, back plate, gauntlets, belt, boots, and helmet horns.  What’s that you say?  You don’t see any horns on his helmet?  Yep, mine’s missing his.  I’d have borrowed them from my dad’s figure, but his is missing them too.  They have a tendency to go missing.  Why they didn’t just make them a permanent fixture of the head is anyone’s guess.  I can’t imagine why someone would want him without them.  The rest of the armor is cool enough, though I’m not a huge fan of how the boots work, since they make posing the figure a bit difficult.  Another major issue with the figure’s design is linked to his action feature, which launches a missile from the middle of the figure’s torso, resulting in a big hole in the middle of his chest.  Another item that harms the integrity of the figure’s appearance for essentially no good reason.  On the plus side, the paint’s decent enough.  Moderate slop on the edges of the silver, but nothing too terrible.  Beyond the clip-on armor, Dynamo also included a flame-styled projectile, meant to go in that big gaping hole int he torso.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I believe Dynamo was a gift, possibly for Christmas.  I definitely remember getting one of the other Series 4 figures for Christmas that year, so I think Dynamo was part of the same set of gifts.  Honestly, Dynamo is one of the line’s weaker entries.  Off costume choice, and a number of very strange design choices in the actual implementation of the figure.  He’s hardly a bad figure, but he’s still a rather frustrating one.

#1641: Black Panther

BLACK PANTHER

MARVEL MIGHTY MUGGS (HASBRO)

While I have come to tolerate Funko’s Pop! line in recent years, and even put together a sizable collection, there’s no denying that they’ll always be my second choice for pseudo designer vinyl media tie-in figures.  Number one will always go to Hasbro’s sadly under-appreciated Mighty Muggs.  Fortunately for lovers of the Muggs, they’ve made a comeback this year.  I’ve looked at one of the Star Wars ones, but Hasbro’s also launched a Marvel line alongside them, and I’ll be looking at my first of those today with Black Panther!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Black Panther is figure 07, the second figure numerically in the second assortment of Marvel Mighty Muggs.  Panther’s design is based on his appearance from Captain America: Civil War.  A movie design allows Hasbro the chance to offer some more detailing, and of the two film designs, I’m still pretty partial to the original design.  The figure stands 3 1/2 inches tall and has articulation at each shoulder.  Panther uses the same standard body used for Luke, with a different head piece depicting Panther’s mask.  Only the actual “face” of the mask is left uncovered.  It works with the natural lines and breaks of the mask, so the changeover from the sculpted headpiece to the painted face is fairly subtle, and doesn’t look to jarring.  The sculpted details of the headpiece are simple enough to fit the style, but still plentiful enough to add some nice depth to the overall design.  As I discussed in my review of Luke, the new Mighty Muggs all feature an action feature, allowing for changing facial expressions.  As a masked character, his expressions have to be a bit more inventive than Luke’s, I suppose.  It all comes down to the eyes.  There’s wide-eyed, squinty-eyed, and a mix of the two.  There’s a lot of variety offered by those different eyes, and it’s an impressive handling on Hasbro’s part.  I think the basic wide-eyed is my personal favorite, but all three are a lot of fun.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

After being so impressed by the Luke figure, I was definitely on the lookout for some of the others.  Panther certainly looked cool, and Super Awesome Girlfriend ended up picking him up for me one day while she was at work.  My excitement for this line has not subsided at all; Panther is just as well handled as Luke, and I’m definitely on board with both currently running Mighty Muggs lines.

#1638: Rocket & Teen Groot

ROCKET & TEEN GROOT

AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR (HASBRO)

Remember last week when I looked at Star-Lord, and I did the whole thing about the Guardians of the Galaxy being part of the line?  Well, here’s the follow-up, Rocket and Groot, the inseparable pair, who make up the token Guardians slot of the deluxe assortment.  So, let’s see how they turned out!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

This pair makes up the second half of the first deluxe series of Avengers: Infinity War figures.  Unlike Hulk, it’s not that either of them is really larger than a standard figure, but more the two-pack aspect that makes them deluxe.

ROCKET

Rocket’s look is essentially unchanged from his Guardians Vol. 2 look (which was itself pretty much the same as his look from the end of the first film).  The figure stands about 3 inches tall and the has 7 points of articulation.  The sizing of this figure is much smaller, so it made more sense to do the two-pack thing for him.  His sculpt is decent enough.  Obviously, not quite as impressive as the recent Legends figure, but certainly superior to the Vol. 1 version.  No elbow joints, but at least this one can actually move his legs.  That’s certainly a plus in my book.  The level of detailing could perhaps be a touch sharper, and it’s hard to make out any sort of expression on his face, but for the style of the line, it’s a pretty solid sculpt.  His paintwork is probably the most nuanced of the figures I’ve looked at so far from the line, especially on the face, which features a number of variations in the coloring of his fur.  The work on his jumpsuit and armor plates is a little fuzzy around the edges, but it isn’t terrible.  Rocket is packed with a rather large gun, which, unfortunately, he can’t really hold that well.  He also has the Power Stone, which is the first repeated stone we’ve gotten (having been also included with Black Widow).

TEEN GROOT

Groot is possibly one of the most changed characters for Infinity War, having aged to adolescence over the course of the Vol. 2 stinger scenes.  This is our first Teen Groot figure.  The figure is 5 1/2 inches tall and has the same 11 points of articulation as most of the other figures in this line.  His sculpt is once again all-new, and it’s probably my favorite of the sculpts from the basic line.  What I really like about it is how well it can slip in with a set-up of Legends figures, should you be so inclined.  The level of detail is still a little simpler, but it’s really not that far off.  He definitely has some similarities to the Build-A-Figure Groot, which was one of my favorite sculpts of the time.  I quite like Teen Groots sulky expression, which perfectly encapsulates what we’ve seen of him so far.  Like Rocket, Groot’s paintwork is more nuanced than the others in the line.  There’s some darker accent work, as well as a little bit of green, since he’s a plant and all.  It’s perhaps not as subtle as I’d like, but it’s still much better than just getting a straight brown.  Teen Groot has no accessories of his own, but with Rocket and all of his extras, it’s not like this pack is particularly light.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This set, along with Widow, is what really sold me on the whole line.  Sure, there’s a Legends set with these two in the pipeline, but without them being available right now, and with Groot being the only of the Guardians to be notably different, this set certainly has quite a bit of appeal.

#1637: Hulk

THE HULK

AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR (HASBRO)

Alright, after a short intermission and a quick word from our sponsors at…Kenner and DC Direct (coincidentally both dead companies, it should be noted), I’m diving back into the world of Avengers: Infinity War!  As I noted last week, Hasbro has two different main lines of product tying into the film, but there’s even some further division within those particular lines.  The basic line has its standard assortment, of course, but there’s also a complementary deluxe assortment, handling some of the more oddly-sized characters.  From that assortment, I’ll be looking at main Avengers member The Incredible Hulk!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Hulk is one of two items in the first deluxe series of Avengers: Infinity War figures.  He’s based on Hulk’s newest look from Infinity War, which doesn’t appear to be all the different from the one he was sporting in Age of Ultron.  The sweatpants are a little shorter this time; that’s about it.  The figure stands about 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 11 points of articulation.  He’s a bit on the small side for a proper MCU Hulk, who should probably have another inch or so of height to him, with bulk to match.  That said, he’s visibly taller than the others in the line, which is the most important thing when dealing with a Hulk figure.  The sculpt is decent enough I suppose.  As with a few others in this line, it reminds me of a Legends sculpt, specifically the Age of Ultron Hulk from 2015.  It was far from a perfect sculpt, but I think the issues of simplicity and lack of texturing are far less of an issue in the context of this line.  The paint on Hulk is fairly simple stuff, and it’s mostly pretty good.  The only real issue I have is with the eyes, which just sort of seem to be a little downshifted from where they should be.  It’s entirely possible that this is limited to my figure, though.  The accessories in this line so far have been rather connected to the characters they were included with.  Cap gets his shield, Thor gets his hammer, Widow gets her baton, etc.  Hulk?  Hulk gets his unforgettable weapon, the ol’ chunk of cement with a piece of girder sticking out of it.  You know, that thing that Hulk is never seen without?  Okay, yeah, it’s not exactly essential.  It’s largely just here to have something for the included Infinity Stone (the Soul Stone, for those keeping score; now I’ve got a complete set!) to be attached to.  There are certainly worse extras, and, if I’m totally honest, I like this extra more than Iron Man’s cannon.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I grabbed Hulk at the same time as Cap and Star-Lord, from a somewhat out of my way Toys R Us I’d stopped by.  He’s an alright figure.  Nothing amazing to write home about, but a reasonable figure nonetheless.  And, without a Legends figure on the market at the moment, he’s your best bet for a new Hulk figure.

#1634: Iron Man

IRON MAN

AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR (HASBRO)

So, yesterday, I had to review a Thor because it was Thor’s Day.  Obviously, I have to review an Iron Man today, what with it being….Friron Man’s Day?  Not buying it?  Yeah, that’s okay, I don’t blame you.  I’m still reviewing the Iron Man figure, though.  You know, because, well, I reviewed all of the others.  So, without further ado, here’s another Iron Man!  Woo!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Iron Man is the last figure in Series 1 of the basic Avengers: Infinity War line.  Tony is seen here in his brand-new Mark XLVIII armor, which is being called the “Bleeding Edge” armor, after a similarly advanced armor from the comics (pretty much all of the movie armors since Mk 43 have been patterned on the Bleeding Edge’s design, but it sounds like they’re actually using the name this time).  The figure stands 5 3/4 inches tall and he has 11 points of articulation.  The sculpt is once again all-new.  It reflects the more organic nature of this armor’s design pretty well.  It’s very smooth and sleek; sort of divergent from the rest of the figures from this assortment so far, who have all been full of a lot rough textures.  It does make this figure seem a bit simpler at first, and I wasn’t sure I liked that so much, but ultimately, I’ve found it to actually be a very clean and polished looking figure.  I also quite like the repulsor hand on the right arm; it’s a subtle change-up in the posing, but it adds a lot of character to the figure, as well as offering up some more variety in posing.  The paint is, like the sculpt, rather on the basic side; mostly he’s just molded in the appropriate red, with paint for the gold, silver, and blue.  The application is mostly pretty clean, though there’s a little bit of missing paint right at the top of Tony’s faceplate here.  Other than that, it’s solid work.  Iron Man includes a…cannon?  Something like that.  It’s done up to match his armor, which is nice enough.  I don’t know if it’s actually going to be in the movie, though, especially since it’s hand-held, which doesn’t quite seem like Tony’s style.  It’s also rather awkward for him to hold.  Really can’t see this getting much use, from collectors or kids, honestly.  It does at least have a peg for attaching the included Infinity Stone, which, for those keeping track, is the Time Stone.  Well, as long as it’s with *one* of the Sherlock Holmeses, I guess it’s okay.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Iron Man was the last of these I picked up.  I actually just got him within the last week, grabbed from my local TRU during one of my many visits.  I’d seen him a few times before, when I picked up the others.  Since there were an odd number of figures, and I grabbed the others during “buy-one-get-one” sales, he was just the actual odd-man-out every time.  I’m glad I finally grabbed him.  I mean, an Iron Man’s an Iron Man, but I didn’t have one in this particular style, and this design is actually pretty strong.

#1633: Thor

THOR

AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR (HASBRO)

Okay, you had to know which Infinity War figure I was reviewing today.  You just had to.  Because it’s Thursday, aka Thor’s Day.  When a guy’s got the day named after him, he’s kind of a lock for the subject of the review.  If you’re thinking to yourself, “hasn’t Ethan already done this gag?,” the answer is yes, I very definitely have.  I very definitely will again.  It’s probably a safe assumption that I’ll do this with every Thor figure I remember to do this with going forward (so, probably about a 50/50 split; I’m forgetful).  Anyway, here’s my latest Thor!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Thor is another figure from Series 1 of the basic Avengers: Infinity War line.  Thor’s design has not changed drastically since we last saw him in Ragnarok.  Well, actually, a little before we last saw him in Ragnarok, truth be told.  He’s got both of his eyes again.  As of yet, all of the trailers and the like have shown him still sporting the eyepatch.  It’s still possible it will be healed during the film.  Of course, Hemsworth wasn’t actually wearing the eyepatch on-set for Ragnarok, and I don’t believe he was for Infinity War either.  It’s always possible licensees were seeing unfinished shots from the film, in order to preserve Ragnarok’s twist, and now we just have a bunch of inaccurate Thor figures.  I guess we won’t know until we see the movie.  Anyway, the figure stands 5 3/4 inches tall and he has 11 points of articulation.  Like yesterday’s Star-Lord, his sculpt has some definite similarities to last year’s Legends release.  Understandable, since they’re adapting similar looks.  The Hemsworth likeness is halfway decent.  It’s not amazing, but it’s hardly like it’s impossible to figure out who it is.  The body, particularly the proportions, feel a bit more cartoony and exaggerated than the others I’ve looked at from the line.  I think that’s largely the arms, which have almost a Popeye sort of feel about them.  It’s not like it looks bad or anything, just slightly different from the previously established style.  The rest of the body is fairly well detailed, and his costume is quite well-defined.  The paint on this figure is passable, but definitely more on the basic side.  Where Cap’s hair went too brown, I think Thor’s goes too yellow, adding more to that whole cartoony thing.  Also, his eyes seem a bit off.  Or maybe it’s his eyebrows.  Either way, he ends up looking like he just remembered he didn’t put the trash out to the road last night.  That’s not how I tend to think of Thor looking.  Thor is packed with his new weapon, Stormbreaker, which is actually pretty cool, and has some pretty awesome electricity effects going on.  Also, like the other figures in the set, Thor’s got an infinity stone, specifically the Space Stone.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Thor seems to be a rarer figure in the first Infinity War assortment, as he’s the one I’ve seen the least.  When I found most of the others, he wasn’t there, so I ended up getting him alongside Widow the new day.  I wasn’t even sure I was going to get him, but I sort of wanted all of the stones.  He’s not a bad figure.  Perhaps a little bland in terms of design (having the eyepatch probably would have helped), but he’s still cool.

#1630: Captain America

CAPTAIN AMERICA

AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR (HASBRO)

Apparently, there’s some sort of an Avengers movie coming out at the end of this month.  I know, it’s easy to miss it.  It’s not like there’s been *any* coverage or anything.  I’d imagine most people are planning to stay home that weekend, right?  Or perhaps go and see…<checking movies for April 27th>…the re-release of When Harry Met Sally perhaps.  Yep, that’s totally what the people want.  Or, I suppose, they could just see Infinity War.  I mean, I’m planning to see it.  I have to justify all this stuff I bought!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Captain America is from the first series of Hasbro’s basic Avengers: Infinity War line.  He depicts Cap with his bearded “Nomad” look, which is looking to be his main (possibly only) look from the movie.  It’s the same suit he was wearing in Civil War, but it’s looking a bit more worn.  As the name suggests, it’s calling back to his Nomad identity from the (first) time he quit being Captain America in the comics, though it doesn’t really look much like that particular design.  The figure stands about 5 1/2 inches tall and he has 11 points of articulation.  The lack of knee joints is still kind of bugging me, but he’s actually pretty posable for the price point.  His sculpt is unique to this particular figure, and does a pretty respectable job of recreating what we’ve seen from the trailers.  The level of detail isn’t quite on par with a Legends release, but it matches up well with the Homecoming and Black Panther offerings.  The paintwork is likewise a slight step-down from other offerings in the scale, but it’s not like it’s awful or anything.  Honestly, I think my only real complaint is how dark the hair and beard are.  At least some highlights or something would make it look a little better.  As it is, it’s decent, but kind of looks like an animated version of the character.  Cap is packed with one of his new Wakandan-designed shields, which he can’t quite hold like an actual shield, but it’s fairly cool.  Each figure in this series also comes with an Infinity Stone; Cap gets the Mind Stone, which can be clipped onto his shield.  It’s kind of nifty, and apparently ties into the “Hero Vision” gimmick that Hasbro’s currently pushing.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was initially just planning to stick with the Marvel Legends offerings for Infinity War, but I ended up seeing these figures in the store, and they sort of oddly called to me.  I passed on them the first time I saw them, but ended up picking up Cap alongside most of the rest of Series 1 on one of my very many trips to Toys R Us recently.  He’s actually quite a good figure, especially for the price.  Sure, he’s not high-end, but I was hardly expecting that, now was I?

#1629: Ultimate Spider-Woman & Vault Guard

ULTIMATE SPIDER-WOMAN & VAULT GUARD

MARVEL MINIMATES

Minimates are great, because they give you a wide swath of characters, but there’s also a little side bit of amusement, drawn from their multi-pack nature.  While there are plenty of totally natural pairings of characters, every so often, you just get a couple of left-overs, who deserved to be made, but had not hard-set compatriots.  Today’s pairing is notable in that, not only have the two characters never met, they aren’t even from the same universe!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Ultimate Spider-Woman and the Vault Guard were released in Series 30 of Marvel Minimates.  Spider-Woman was the one-per-case variant, swapping out for the more heavily-packed May Parker Spider-Girl.  The Vault Guard was packed in both versions of the set.

ULTIMATE SPIDER-WOMAN

“The result of genetic experimentation by Dr. Otto Octavius, Ultimate Spider-Woman actually shares a majority of her DNA and memories with Peter Parker. Choosing to abandon her previous life, she takes the name Jessica Drew and continues fighting crime.”

At the time of this figure’s release, Ultimate Spider-Woman was a relatively recent and still quite relevant member of the Ultimate Spider-Man supporting cast, though she did come after the Ultimate line had mostly disappeared from Marvel Minimates (Series 27’s Ultimates line-up notwithstanding).  Her placement likely had a lot to do with the character having one of the better designs to come out of the Ulitmate line in later years.  The figure stands 2 1/4 inches tall and has 14 points of articulation.  She’s built on the usual body, with an add-on for her hair.  The piece was originally designed for “Natalie” Six from the BSG line, but since that figure never made it to release, I believe this was its first appearance.  It’s a decent piece, though slightly restricting to the articulation on the neck.  The rest of the costume is handled via paint, which turned out relatively well.  The metallic red gives her a more unique look, and the creative use of shading, especially on the face, capture’s Bagely’s depictions of the character quite nicely.  The black on her face ends a little bit earlier than I’d like, but it’s not terrible.  Spider-Woman didn’t include any accessories, which always struck me as a bit of a waste.  The lack of an extra unmasked head is somewhat forgivable, since they weren’t yet a common item, but not even giving her a webline or something seems a bit weak.

VAULT GUARD

“Tasked with monitoring and protecting the maximum security super-villain prison known as the Vault, the Guardsmen utilized a variation of Tony Stark’s Iron Man armor to create their super-powered battle suits and weaponry.”

The fifth figure in the army building venture was one of the armored Guardsmen from super villain prison The Vault.  Thanks to some shared designs, he can also sort of double as a non-army builder as well, representing either Kevin or Michael O’Brien.  This is quite the versatile figure!  He’s built on the same standard body, with add-ons for his helmet, chest plate, gloves, and boots.  All these pieces are re-used, with the helmet being a standard mask piece, the chest plate coming from the Mark I War Machine, and the gloves and boots coming from the DC Series 1 Lex Luthor.  It all adds up to a Guardsman that’s a little bit of a departure from the sleeker design of the comics.  Why would they do this?  Simple, it’s emulating the Toy Biz Techno Wars Vault Guardsman figure from the 90s, which is actually a pretty nice little nod.  As designed, he was even supposed to have all of the detailing for a proper classic Guardsman painted under the extra armor bits.  For the final product, he ended up losing the proper detailing on the wrists and shins for boots and gloves, but still has the classic torso detailing (as well as a bonus face under the helmet).  If I have one complaint beyond those small missing details, it’s that his palette’s a bit more monochromatic than it should be.  He’s classically been all green, but the greens tended to be a little more divergent.  They aren’t awful as it is, though.  Guardsman included a spare set of standard green hands and feet, as well as a pair of mini-gun attachments for his shoulder armor.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I picked these guys up the day they were released from my usual haunt Cosmic Comix.  I’ve always been a big fan of the Guardsman, so I was thrilled about the inclusion here.  That said, I wasn’t super into either of his pack-mates.  I ended up going with the one whose design I most liked.  In the end, both figures have some minor nits, but they’re overall really cool additions to the collection.  Even if the pairing is still totally whack.

#1627: Psylocke

PSYLOCKE

X-MEN (TOY BIZ)

“A master of martial arts, Psylocke is also one of the most powerful telepaths on Earth! Focusing her mental power, Psylocke can create what she calls her “psychic knife”. Using this weapon, Psylocke is able to incapacitate her opponents without any physical injury! As beautiful as she is powerful, Psylocke is a key member of the X-Men team!”

Today’s review subject is brought to you in part by Tim, who ran through about five potential review subjects, before we both agreed to a Psylocke figure.  Sometimes that’s just how things work here at the FiQ offices (okay, it’s not so much an office as it is the Jeep Cherokee that we both happened to be riding in at the time).  So, without further ado, here’s Psylocke.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Psylocke was part of the “Light-Up Weapons” Series of Toy Biz’s X-Men toyline.  This was Psylocke’s first action figure, and is based on her Jim Lee-inspired post-mind swap look.  While it’s not my personal favorite, it’s the look that she was sporting for a decade or so and it’s how most people know her.  The figure stands about 4 3/4 inches tall and she has 9 points of artiuculation.  As with all of the figures in this particular assortment, she looses movement in her arms in order to facilitate the light-up feature, so her posablity is a bit down.  She’s also got the dreaded v-hips, so sitting isn’t much of an option.  Essentially, she’s only good for a basic standing pose.  ….Which is odd when you take into account the sculpt’s decision to give her very dynamically flowing hair.  That just ends up looking weird, like she’s standing sideways in a wind tunnel or something.  I mean, the rest of the sculpt is decent enough, though, and for all of her restricted posing, the figure has a natural sort of posture to her, so she doesn’t look too unreal.  The paintwork on her is alright, but has some notable flaws.  The straps on her arms and legs are really showing some slop, which is a bit frustrating.  Also, the coloring of her hair is a bit off, since it shouldn’t really be so much a straight purple color as a black with purple dye.  Psylocke was packed with her psychic knife (which is the basis of her light-up feature), as well as a more standard katana.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Psylocke is a recent addition to my collection.  I feel like I’ve been saying that a lot recently.  I swear, I had a lot of these figures growing up, I just happen to be reviewing the more recent ones.  Anyway, I picked her up back in December from Time Warp Toys, during Ellicott City’s Midnight Madness event.  She’s an alright figure, but, admittedly, not one of the stronger Toy Biz X-Men or even one of the stronger figures just in this series alone.