#2966: Eclipso

ECLIPSO

DC UNIVERSE CLASSICS (MATTEL)

“Long ago the Spectre defeated the Spirit of Wrath, exiling its physical manifestation to a black diamond called the Heart of Darkness. And so it remained until Dr. Bruce Gordon found a fragment – and was possessed by Eclipso, the Earthly incarnation of the Spirit of Wrath. During a lunar or solar eclipse, Gordon’s alter ego would grant him superhuman strength, light-powers and use him in its ancient schemes for control over all mortal beings. Since then, Eclipso has possessed others, and is ever ready to tempt and corrupt both superhumans and ordinary people.”

When introduced in House of Secrets #61 in 1963, Eclipso was effectively a superhero comics take on Jekyll and Hyde, two sides of of one man, each struggling for dominance, and ultimately reaching an impasse in all their efforts.  In the ’90s, the character’s history was reworked into what is mentioned above.  Eclipso himself was an ancient entity, a precursor to the Spectre, judged to be too cruel a spirit and banished by the Spectre proper when he finally took his place.  All that’s not terrible for a guy who looks as hokey as this one.  He’s done alright for himself on the toy front, with three whole figures.  Crazy, I know.  I’m looking at the last of those three today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Eclipso was released in Series 12 of DC Universe Classics, the first assortment to be released in 2010.  Series 12 would mark perhaps one of the most obscure selections of characters the line ever boasted, so I suppose Eclipso was right at home with them.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 23 points of articulation.  Generally standard articulation, but it’s notable that this marked the first assortment to remove the rocker ankles.  Ultimately, they weren’t blessed with a particularly great range anyway, but it marked the first step towards the sorts of things that lead to the line’s decline.  For this figure directly, it wasn’t that bad.  Eclipso was built on the mid-sized male body, with an all-new head, left hand, collar, and belt, as well as the right hand from the Series 11 Deadman figure.  The new parts were generally pretty impressive.  They’re up to par with the rest of the line at the time.  The head sculpt was certainly an expressive one, definitely on the more cartoony side, but it definitely fits the character.  The new hand holds his black diamond, which is a fun touch.  It’s posed so that he can hold it out to look through it, as he did in the comics.  Beyond the new sculpted parts, Eclipso relies on paint work to sell his design.  Generally, it works pretty well for the look.  The belt even gets a little bit of accenting, which is pretty cool.  Eclipso was packed with no parts of his own, but did include the left leg of the Darkseid Collect-N-Connect.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

2010 marked a turning point for DCUC in that, in contrast to prior years, the figures actually were generally easy to find, at least with minor searching.  Eclipso wound up was the first figure I got from that year, alongside Dr. Mid-Nite, both of whom were picked up for me by my parents, while I was away on a trip.  He’s not really a star piece for me, but he’s definitely one of those by-the-numbers figures that filled in the DCUC ranks nicely.

#2959: The Flash

THE FLASH

DC UNIVERSE CLASSICS (MATTEL)

You do have to give Mattel a little bit of credit, and I can’t believe I’m saying that, on how they handled the early line planning on DC Universe Classics.  There was some serious effort not to just front load the whole thing with all of the hitters right away, instead using them to anchor assortments of otherwise more minor characters.  Their first year saw them struggling to reach full retail distribution, but going into their second, things were starting to seem a little more solid.  They kicked off the year with an assortment loosely centered on today’s focus, the Flash, specifically of the Barry Allen variety, since he had just returned to life after a lengthy period of deadness just a few months prior.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Flash was part of the seventh series of DC Universe Classics, the series that built the Atom Smasher figure I reviewed last year.  This marked Mattel’s first of many assortments where the heavy hitter of the set would be sold sans Collect-N-Connect part, something Hasbro would end up co-opting into their Legends line when it returned a few years later.  Flash was, unsurprisingly, the heavy hitter for this assortment.  The figure stands about 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 25 points of articulation.  At this point in the line, the rockers are still present on the ankles, for all the good they do.  Okay, that’s a little unfair, because they do wind up being somewhat useful on Flash, at least for some slightly better running poses.  He’s still not gonna balance very well in those poses, but let’s take what we can get.  Flash was built on the medium male body, originally introduced in Series 3 for Nightwing and Green Lantern.  It was the slightest build they had available for an adult male body at the time, and would remain that way for quite a while.  Ultimately, it’s just too bulky for any iteration of the Flash.  Barry can be a little bulkier than the average speedster, but this goes to excess.  I honestly think that it’s really the shoulders that throw things off; the DCUC bucks always had very prominent shoulders, and for a character like Flash, this stands out even more.  Generally speaking, however, it’s not the worst it could be, and in light of a line that was built upon such things across the board, it’s ultimately a minor issue.  Flash got a new head, shins, and feet.  The head is decent, if a bit devoid of personality for Barry.  A slightly warmer expression would go a long way.  The lower legs gave him proper boot sculpts, which are actually quite nice.  The feet even get treads on the bottoms, just like Flash always had.  It’s certainly a nice touch.  His paint work is generally pretty basic, but it’s also generally pretty clean in its application.  He also gets a little bit of accenting on the reds and yellows, just to keep things a little more visually interesting.  It actually works pretty nicely.  Flash was the one figure in the set not to get a CnC piece, but he did get one of Mattel’s patented crappy blue display stands.  They were great for…umm…being not so good at helping the figures stand?  They sure were blue and translucent, though.  They did that part well.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

By the seventh series, the line was starting to get a little easier to get, so it wasn’t quite the nightmare of other sets to get these figures.  That said, I didn’t actually get Flash until after the line was essentially dead.  At the time he hit, I was still mixing these guys in with my DC Directs, and I had a couple of other Barry Allen Flash figures I liked well enough, so I didn’t go after this one.  When the line ended, I realized how close I was to having the Satellite Era League, so I filled in a few gaps, and picked this one up for a decent price loose.  He’s not my favorite figure from the line, but he does an okay job, and he does look cool with the rest of the League.

#2952: Atom Smasher

ATOM SMASHER

DC UNIVERSE CLASSICS (MATTEL)

DC’s handling of the Justice Society from the ’60s forward marked an important change in how they handled story telling as a whole, at least for a while.  With the dawn of the Silver Age, they had rebooted most of their popular titles, but “Flash of Two Worlds” confirmed that the original DC heroes existed in a universe all their own, where time had progressed since we last saw them.  It created a universe where the heroes were allowed to age, which, in tandem, created a universe where the heroes were allowed to retire or otherwise pass their mantles onto a new generation.  Roy Thomas’s All Star Squadron was a series dedicated to the exploits of the JSA after we stopped seeing them regularly, and through it we were introduced to a whole collection of legacy heroes, who would eventually become Infinity Incorporated.  Amongst those heroes was the original Atom’s god-son Albert Rothstein, also known as Nuklon.  Al would later move up to the JSA proper, and would take on a new identity, Atom Smasher, whose second figure I’m looking at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Atom Smasher was the Collect-N-Connect for Series 7 of Mattel’s DC Universe Classics.  Atom Smasher would mark the first proper JSA offering within the line, but he would be the first of quite a few, including a whole JSA-themed series by the time the line ended.  Atom Smasher’s status as a CnC allowed him to be a little taller than is compatriots, standing about 8 1/4 inches tall.  His base body was really just patterned on the standard male body, so he kept the same basic 25 points of articulation.  In terms of height, Al had the ability to vary his, much like Giant-Man, but this figure still seemed a little bit on the small side; he felt more like a kind of tall guy, and less like an actual giant.  Still, it was at least a better representation of his size than *some* of the figures in this line…heck, in this very same assortment (looking at you Little Barda).  In terms of sculpt, the sized up base body worked pretty well for the character’s design at least, and the figure specific elements on the neck, belt, forearms, and boots all look pretty good.  The head was a pretty nice piece as well, and would wind up scaled down to normal figure size for use on Mattel’s version of the Al Pratt Atom a few years later.  Atom Smasher’s paint work is pretty good, showing the slightly more involved work from earlier in this line.  The base work is generally pretty cleanly applied, and he also gets some pretty nice accent work, especially on the larger stretches of the same colors on his mask and torso.  Atom Smasher had no accessories, but as an accessory himself, and without any major extras that warranted inclusion, that’s really not a big deal.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Atom Smasher was a slow burn figure for me.  I picked up the figures I most wanted from this assortment right away, so I had their parts for him floating about for a bit.  I even wound up with the Barda figure as well, so I had her part too, but I was so unimpressed with her, and so disenchanted with the possibility of finding the rest of the parts, that I actually wound up trading off the part that came with her before completing this guy.  It wasn’t until the end of the line, when I really started to go back and fill in some holes that I finally brought myself to finish him.   I’m glad I did, because even at his slightly smaller size, he’s a cool figure, and it’s unlikely we’re ever going to get a better Atom Smasher.

#2945: Hawk & Dove

HAWK & DOVE

DC UNIVERSE CLASSICS (MATTEL)

“The yin and yang of the superhero world, Hank and Don Hall were complete opposites, working together as powerful vigilante champions for justice. Opinionated and reactionary, Hank always butted heads with his reasonable, yet indecisive, brother. The Lords of Chaos bestowed upon Hank powers that came about when he uttered the word, ‘hawk,’ and his brother was imbued with the same powers from the Lords of Order. Working together, ‘Hawk’ and “Dove” balanced each other out and battled evil.

Dawn Granger was given powers by the Lords of Order, effectively stripping them from Don Hall (the original Dove). Needing the “Hawk” to balance her new role as ‘Dove,’ Granger joined forces with Hank Hall. Lured to Druspa Tau, they were forced to battle each other in a war between the Lords of Chaos and the Lords of Order and their devotees. At the conclusion, Hawk and Dove absorbed the powers of their creators; leaving Dove with a new ability: flight.”

Created by Steve Ditko and Steve Skeates in 1968, Hawk and Dove were originally brothers Hank and Don Hall.  Hank was an aggressive and forceful personality, while his brother Don took on a role of pacifism.  In their super-heroic personas, they were assigned powers that complemented their personalities, all while complementing each other.  The duo first appeared in DC’s Showcase book, before getting a brief run on their own, and then moving into sporadic appearances in various DC books.  Don would wind up as one of the casualties of Crisis on Infinite Earths, and two years later, Hank would gain a new partner in Dawn Granger, the second Dove.  These two would become quite the distinctive pair themselves, but would have their own rather storied history as well.  Amongst other things, they figured rather prominently into Brightest Day, an event that would put them into the public eye long enough to at least get them a little bit of toy coverage.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Hawk and Dove were released separately in Series 20 of Mattel’s DC Universe Classics line.  The entire assortment was based on Brightest Day, which was a rather current story at the time.  It was also the last proper assortment of the line, due to the ending of the mainstream DC Universe and the launching of the New 52.  Boy, that sure stuck, huh?

HAWK

In the comics at the time of this figure’s release, Hawk had just come back from the dead, and was also the only male member of the Birds of Prey, presumable because when you’ve got a team named “Birds of Prey”, you might be willing to amend some of the by-laws for a guy named “Hawk.”  Hawk’s design has essentially remained unchanged over the years, so this figure had an easy choice.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 23 points of articulation.  By this point in the line, the ankle rockers had been completely removed from all of the base bodies, which was on one and a shame, but on the other not really that big of a deal, since they were kind of useless joints anyway.  Otherwise, the articulation remained standard for the line.  In light of modern articulation standards, it’s not fantastic, but compared to early Legends, he’s at least not a floppy mess.  Hawk was built on the larger male body, which was a reasonable fit for the character.  He got a new head and “cape.”  Both pieces fit well on the body and meshed with the pre-existing parts.  The head in particular feels like it’s a good fit for Hawk, especially with that teeth baring expression.  Hawk’s paint work is generally quite straight forward, though it’s worth noting that they adjusted the white sections of his costume to be a light grey.  Maybe to prevent yellowing?  Hawk’s only extra was the torso to the Nekron Build-A-Figure.

DOVE

Believe it or not, Dawn Granger is actually a Rob Liefeld creation.  Well, like half a Rob Liefeld creation.  Barbra and Karl Kessel were also involved, which I’m certain helped her to be a lot less ridiculous than, well, Leifeld’s other body of work.  Like Hawk, Dove’s design has remained essentially unchanged over the years, apart from the whole switching from it being Don to it being Dawn.  Man, that name change sure was convenient, though, right?  The figure stands 6 inches tall and she has 23 points of articulation.  Her articulation scheme is the same as Hawk’s, but there are some pluses and minuses on the ranges of the joints.  The neck joint works very well, but the elbow and mid-torso joints are definitely very restricted.  Dove is based on Mattel’s second attempt at a base body.  It’s definitely the stronger of the two, and it worked well for the character.  She got a new head, as well as a new collar piece.  I quite like the head sculpt, and I think it fits her nicely.  There’s some good dynamic flow to the pony tail, which is cool.  The collar piece is perhaps a touch bulky at this scale, but overall it looks pretty decent, and it actually doesn’t really impede her movement at all.  Dove’s paint work is generally alright.  Like Hawk, the white portions are now a light grey.  Unfortunately, since the hair and collar are softer plastic, they’re also more prone to paint transfer, which has happened on my figure.  Dove was packed with the waist piece for Nekron.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Series 20 of DCUC was one that wasn’t amazingly well received by fans.  It being the end of the line probably didn’t help it.  That said, Christian and I had really gotten into the line together, so we split a full set of figures that we ordered from Big Bad Toy Store.  I took these two, as I had really enjoyed what was being done with them just before the New 52 hit.  Honestly, they’re pretty straight forward, by the numbers figures, but that’s absolutely the right approach for the characters, and they turned out really well.  The only downside is that they didn’t do any variants for the last set, so we never got a Don Hall Dove to round things out.

#2927: Orko

ORKO

MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE ORIGINS (MATTEL)

I’m slowing down on Masters of the Universe Origins, as my focus shifts just a little bit more over to the new Revelation-related stuff in Masterverse, but that doesn’t mean I’m not gonna still pick up the occasional release here and there, mostly when they do one of those characters that I like to have in every style.  Still waiting on that Mechanek love, but until then, I guess I’ll just make due with one of the *other* characters I have across numerous styles, one despised by fun-haters everywhere, Orko!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Orko was released in Wave 2 of Mattel’s main Masters of the Universe Origins line.  It technically shipped to Walmarts at the tail-end of last year, but that’s a very technical thing.  It actually started showing up later in 2021, and has finally started showing up at general retail a bit more in the last few months, along with the rest of the oddly delayed Wave 2 figures.  The figure is about 4 inches tall and he has 13 points of articulation.  Obviously, he’s got no legs, so by extension there’s no leg movement, but he does get all of the standard movement in his arms, as well as a quite useful ball-joint on the neck.  While the line is largely built on re-use, Orko continues the usual Orko trend of being an entirely unique mold.  He’s clearly based on his vintage figure, especially when it comes to scaling (he’s rather one the large side), but certainly takes some inspiration from his Filmation animation design in terms of the sculpt’s specific styling.  It’s a fun, streamlined sculpt, and certainly fits the character well.  Orko’s paint work is generally pretty basic, with most of the colors being molded plastic.  What paint he does have is a little bit on the sloppy side.  There’s some errant paint on the back of the hat, as well as a couple of spots of yellow where they shouldn’t be around the eyes.  It’s also pretty messy around the edges of the ears.  From afar, it’s not terrible, but it doesn’t seem up to the same standard as the other figures I’ve gotten from the line.  Orko is packed with a display stand designed to emulate his floating from the show.  It’s a pretty impressive piece, complete with an articulated arm and everything, a great improvement over prior hover stands for the character.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I didn’t intend to get this guy at first.  I’ve got the Classics release, and, as far as I’m concerned, that’s pretty much the best version of a classic Orko we’re ever going to get.  So, this guy didn’t really feel needed.  That being said, I got to finally see him in person, and my resolve on not getting him wore down.  Ultimately, he’s a pretty good little figure.  He’s very different than the rest of the line, but he works well, even as sort of his own contained piece.

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.

#2906: Beast Man – Revelation

BEAST MAN — REVELATION

MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE: MASTERVERSE (MATTEL)

The events of Masters of the Universe: Revelation show us the end of the big heroes and villains conflict that’s run throughout the entirety of the franchise, and at the other side of that end, the characters don’t really have the same hard-lined loyalties of earlier stories.  As a result, Teela’s rag-tag band assembled to save Eternia isn’t just heroes, but also includes a few classically villainous characters, such as Evil-Lyn and Beast Man.  No longer Skeletor’s eternal punching bag, Beast Man is now loyal purely to Lyn and her wishes, as well as wanting what’s ultimately best for Eternia.  It’s a nuanced take on a classically rather one-note character, and I very much enjoyed that.  And now he’s also got a figure!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Beast Man is another figure from Series 2 of Mattel’s Masterverse line, the second of the two post-time-jump characters included in the line-up (the other being yesterday’s Teela figure).  We’ve gotten takes on Beast Man’s classic evil-beast-master design, but for Revelation he’s got a more reserved noble savage look about him, befitting his character growth.  He’s less dressed up, and more focused on just being him, I guess.  The figure stands a little bit over 7 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Beast Man’s articulation scheme is very similar to that of the main male body, though it’s thankfully without the hip issue.  There are some slight tradeoffs, though, and the neck/mid-torso joints definitely don’t get the same kind of range as other figures in the line.  For the first time ever, I believe, despite the two of them being so close in release times, Beast Man does not share any parts with Moss Man.  I was honestly rather shocked by that, but it’s not so bad.  I anticipate this one will be sharing lots of parts with the inevitable classic Beast Man, but for now he’s unique.  It’s a good, slightly more bulky sculpt, and the texture work in particular is quite impressively handled.  It’s not as layered as some of the other sculpts, but it follows his slightly simpler design well.  His paint work is overall pretty good.  Generally pretty basic, but there’s some cool smaller touches.  I do have to say, though, I saw a pretty abominably bad version of the eye paint in the same case I grabbed mine from, so it’s worth keeping an eye out on this one.  Beast Man is packed with three different sets of hands (fists, gipping, and open gesture), as well as his whip.  The whip is a tad rudimentary in terms of design, but gets the job done, and the hands offer a lot of variety.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’m typically only a moderate Beast Man fan (although I did really dig his 200x figure), but I really liked how they changed up the character a bit in Revelation.  He was just a nice fit for the whole team dynamic they had, and I definitely wanted his new design as a figure.  This one’s a bit more basic than the others, but he’s a still a pretty fun figure.

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.

#2905: Teela – Revelation

TEELA — REVELATION

MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE: MASTERVERSE (MATTEL)

As we wait for the second half of Masters of the Universe: Revelation, Mattel is still at work actually getting us the toys from the show.  The first assortment of figures based on the show (released as part of Mattel’s newly launched Masterverse line), were largely inspired by the show’s pre-time-skip opening episode, which was a little heavier on the classic aesthetic.  For the second assortment, there’s a bit more focus on those later appearances, including Teela, who spends the post-jump sequences as the the show’s central character, as she and her patchwork team attempt to restore power to Eternia.  Teela’s always been a major character in the mythos, but Revelation really gives her some proper focus, and she’s one of my favorite parts of the show, so I’m very excited about this figure.  Let’s see how it turned out.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Teela is part of the second series of the Masterverse line, which just started showing up at retail in the last few weeks.  As noted in the intro, this Teela is her post-jump design, which is how she looks for most of the show’s run, at least so far.  We also had a confirmation at PowerCon that there will also be a classic-inspired version of her coming later in the line.  As with Evil-Lyn’s new design, Teela’s new design keeps elements of her original, while also modernizing.  She honestly takes it a bit further even then Evil-Lyn, with a design that’s probably the most up-to-the-minute and “trendy” of the new Masters design.  It’s got a good post-apocalyptic vibe, and it’s quite utilitarian, so I dig it.  The figure stands 7 inches tall and she has 31 points of articulation.  At her core, Teela shares parts with Evil-Lyn, as expected, though it’s not a ton.  Mostly, it’s just the inner workings and most base level parts.  It means that she’s got Evil-Lyn’s more improved articulation, which isn’t prone to the weird sticking at the hips, making her far more easily posed.  The majority of the sculpt is still new parts, so as to better line-up with Teela’s show design.  As with the others, it’s not a direct translation of the animation, but gets the important details and sort of homogenizes them with the house style.  Generally, I really like it.  The only slight issue I had with mine was where the hair piece aligns with the head; because of the undercut, there’s a little more room for error, resulting in my figure having a little bit of a gap where they join.  It’s not terrible, though, and it varies from figure.  Mine also has a glue spot on the back of the hair, which I wasn’t so thrilled about, but, again, this is an isolated issue…at least I hope.  Teela’s paint work is one of the more involved schemes from the line so far.  It all manages pretty well, with all of the base work being rather cleanly applied.  There’s even some accent work on her boots to make them look a little bit muddy, which is a cool touch.  In the show, Teela’s staff has the ability to take on a few different forms, so the figure gives us a few different versions.  There’s the spear set-up, the sword, and the collapsed version.  She’s also got two sets of hands, making for a pretty nice little selection of extras that cover a fair number of bases.  Not quite the same level as Evil-Lyn, of course, but still very good.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I really enjoyed Teela’s portrayal in Revelation, and I also liked her new design for the show, so I was down for the figure pretty much as soon as I knew it was coming.  As with Evil-Lyn, I’m very glad they started off with the post-jump look, and it makes for a very fun figure, especially with the extras that they threw in to cover more bases.  I look forward to building up more of her team from the show!

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.

#2902: Dr. Ian Malcolm

DR. IAN MALCOLM

JURASSIC WORLD: AMBER COLLECTION (MATTEL)

Wait, another Jurassic thing?  This quickly?  But I just looked at one last week.  Shouldn’t I be spacing them out more?  It’s okay, this one’s not actually a dinosaur, so it gets a special exemption, under the Goldblum by-laws.  Unless he, uhh, unless he wants to be a dinosaur.  That’s also covered by the by-laws.  They cover a great many things.

Ian Malcolm is really just a supporting player in the first Jurassic Park novel, and is even technically killed off, but when it came to the movie, Jeff Goldblum’s very Jeff Goldblum-y performance made him one of the film’s most distinctive and likeable characters.  His presumed death at the end of the book was therefore removed from the film, paving the way for him to take up the lead for the film’s first sequel.  He’s gotten plenty of toy coverage over the years, and Mattel made sure to include him as one of the very first human figures in their more collector-oriented Amber Collection line.  I’m taking a look at that figure today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Dr. Ian Malcolm was part of the first assortment of the Jurassic World: Amber Collection from Mattel.  It initially was a GameStop-exclusive line in 2019, but over the course of the last year, the follow ups have seen wider releases, and so has Malcolm himself.  He’s seen here in his all-black attire from the first film, which is really just the best choice for him.  The figure stands about 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 29 points of articulation.  Malcolm’s articulation represent’s Mattel’s learning curve from 2019 pretty well.  They were definitely taking strides in the right direction, but he’s not *quite* there.  The original prototype for this figure was sporting double-jointed elbows, which were removed and turned into a universal joint during the production process.  It’s a little bit of a step-down, and Mattel clearly recognized this, since they’ve subsequently done a V2 release that swaps out this figure’s arms for ones with those joints added back in.  The two releases are otherwise the same, and the rest of the articulation is still a little bit of a mixed bag of not the best range and rather obtrusive to the sculpt.  It’s certainly not Mattel’s worst work, though, and was a vast improvement to their output from the few years prior.  The sculpt’s quality is generally pretty decent.  The likeness is a rather respectable Jeff Goldblum, certainly better than any prior attempts for the character, and really rivaled only by Hasbro’s Grandmaster figure in terms of closeness.  The glasses are a separate piece, but not one designed for removal.  I’m okay with that, as it gives them the appropriate depth, but means they aren’t overly bulky or at risk of getting lost.  His body matches decently with Goldblum’s rather slender build as well, and while the detailing is maybe a little soft on the clothing, it’s an overall respectable output.  The paint work on Malcolm is largely centered on the head, which gets a rather lifelike and realist paint app which helps the likeness quite a bit.  The rest of the work is rather basic, but it gets the job done and is generally pretty clean.  Malcom was packed with two sets of hands (relaxed and gripping), the flare he uses to distract the T-Rex, a glass, and a display stand.  My figure is without the extra hands and the glass, but he’s still got the flare, which is the most exciting piece anyway, so I’m not too bummed about it.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Ian Malcolm is definitely my favorite character in Jurassic Park, so I’m not opposed to having a cool toy of him, and I was certainly interested in this one when it was shown off.  Of course, then he was a GameStop exclusive, and I wasn’t having any of that, so I held off.  Fortunately for me, life, uhh, finds a way a loose one was traded into All Time back at the beginning of the summer, and while he was missing a few small pieces, it meant he was a whole lot easier to get, so I went for it.  I like him quite a lot, actually.  He’s not perfect, but he shows the direction Mattel was headed, and he’s just a pretty solid figure.  It almost makes me want to possibly pick up one or two of the others, and I’m not even that big a Jurassic Park fan.

#2901: Orko

ORKO

MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE ETERNIA MINIS (MATTEL)

I closed out last month with my first look at Eternia Minis, the line that began as Mattel’s ill-fated attempt to cash in on the Galactic Heroes craze in the early ’00s, but has now found new life as part of their new push to get the Masters of the Universe brand as far as they can.  The line is still sans Mechanek and Roboto, my two go-tos for trying out new lines, so I’ve had to settle for my back-ups, first with Zodac, and now with He-Man’s goofy sorcerer sidekick, Orko!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Orko is another 2021 release in the Eternia Minis line, technically part of the same assortment that brought us Zodac.  That means he’s *technically* a spring release, but that’s all very theoretical.  The figure is about 2 inches tall (thanks to the stand granting him some extra height), and he has 4 points of articulation.  Without legs, he doesn’t really have a waist, but there’s the spot where the stand connects, and it’s on a balljoint, which does allow for some slight adjustment of posing.  It also makes the stand removable, if you so choose.  Orko sports a totally unique sculpt, based on his classic design.  He generally doesn’t get quite as far removed from his usual look as the rest of the line, seeing as he’s already pretty cartoony to start with.  His head’s a little larger, and his hands are a little blockier.  That’s pretty much the extent of it.  He fits in nicely all the same, and it looks pretty good.  Definitely a design that fits in with the set-up.  Orko’s paint work is generally pretty bright and colorful, as well as being in line with his usual depictions.  The application is a little messy, with some slop on a few of the areas where colors shift.  There’s a notable splotch of blue on the right sleeve, and his “o” is also off-center on mine.  Orko get’s the removable stand, but that’s all on the accessories front.  His scepter might have been cool, especially given the gripping pose on the hands, but it’s not something I really feel is a glaring omission.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

It’s Max’s fault again.  Okay, maybe a little bit less so this time.  He just bought me Zodac as a surprise.  I actually did ask him to keep an eye out for an Orko for me.  I’ve always had a soft spot for the little guy, and this style does really seem to work well for him.  He’s again a very fun little figure, and I like how this line has turned out.  I’m still hoping for a Mechanek or Roboto.  That’d be swell.

#2892: Ocean Protector Mosasaurus

OCEAN PROTECTOR MOSASAURUS

JURASSIC WORLD: CAMP CRETACEOUS (MATTEL)

You know how I don’t review dinosaurs much around these parts?  Well, sometimes, I go against the norm.  I know, it’s weird, right?  This time, I’ve definitely got a good reason, though.  I can assure you of that.  Also, this one might not strictly be a dinosaur.  I no longer have a resident marine biologist on hand to give me the solid facts, so I make do with what I can find online myself.

The Mosasaurus, or “Lizard of the Meuse River,” is an aquatic reptile which inhabbited the Atlantic Ocean and seaways adjacent to it 82 to 66 million years ago, during the Late Cretaceous Period.  Though extinct now, they can be traced to modern day reptiles, with either monitor lizards or snakes being their closest relatives, depending on who you ask.  Though reptilian, scientific evidence suggests that these creatures were actually endothermic, or warm-blooded.  Pretty nifty.  And, hey, look, it’s a Mosasaurus toy.  How about I review that?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Ocean Protector Mosasaurus is part of Mattel’s Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous toy line, which is meant to tie-in with the Netflix spin-off of the same name.  I’ve got it on pretty good authority that the show’s not really worth it, but if it means more toys, I guess that’s not so bad, right? The figure is about 8 1/2 inches in height and measures a whopping 17 inches in length.  Based on the Mosasaurus’s average length being between 23 and 33 feet, that makes this figure about 1/18 scale, so it would technically fit with your 3 3/4 inch figures.  Of course, it’s sheer size means it’s not going to look exceedingly out of place with most common figure scales, since it’s always going to be really big by comparison.  The figure has 11 points of articulation, which includes an articulated jaw, flippers, and tail.  Not super posable, but also not a bad set-up.  While the majority of the line is just fairly average toy dino fare, the Mosasaurus, being an “Ocean Protector” and all, has a fun quirk to his construction.  He’s actually made from a pound of recycled ocean-bound plastic, which is plastic waste that is at risk of ending up in the oceans.  The plastic for these was recovered from within 31 miles of waterways in areas lacking in formal waste collection systems.  Plastic waste is a pretty big issue all around, but is especially bad for the oceans, and I’m all for any venture that does something to help stave that off.  The quality of the plastic doesn’t seem to be that far removed from what you see with other items in the line.  It’s slightly softer, so the details aren’t quite as intense, but what’s there looks pretty solid.  There’s a slight shift in detailing between different parts, as some of the plastic is a little more rubbery, but this all feels pretty by design.  I’m kind of curious to see how it holds up long term.  The actual design is a little more fearsome, I think, than most renditions of the creature, but that fits the style of the franchise, and it looks nice enough.  The paint work on this figure is pretty nice.  There’s some variance to the creature’s skin tone, with some cool flecks of color in the plastic, as well as some solid accenting and work on the lighter portions of the skin.  There are no accessories included with the Mosasaurus, apart from the potential satisfaction of doing your part to help protect the ocean.  And really, isn’t that an accessory enough?

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Jess was a marine biologist, something that I don’t think was too much of a secret.  She really liked the ocean, and even had an internship at the National Aquarium not too long before the pandemic shut things down.  She fully intended to return once she was able to, but never quite reached that point.  Teaching others about the ocean and the creatures within it was one of her very favorite things, and she was also very devoted to conservation efforts, even more so after starting her work with the Aquarium.  She liked to bring others into the conservation thing when she could, and she certainly worked at that with me.  For Christmas this last year, she got me a pair of Wall-E and EVA Pop!s that were made using some recycled plastic, and she was so excited by them.  When I heard about this toy, I knew it was the sort of thing that she would have absolutely tracked down to give to me, because it was very important to her that we find the places where our loves overlapped.  So, when I found this figure just a few days after my birthday, I has a hard time not getting it, as a little gift to myself, in memory of Jess.  Of course, my mom was with me at the time, and decided to beat me to the punch on that one.  I may not be the biggest fan of dinos, but I’m a big fan of what this toy represents, both personally and on a larger scale.  And I love it for that.