#2371: Harley Quinn

HARLEY QUINN

DC MULTIVERSE (MCFARLANE)

“When she first met The Joker, Dr. Harleen Quinzel was his psychiatrist at Arkham Asylum.  Instead of treating her patient, she fell in love with him and became his prankster partner in crime known as Harley Quinn.  Although mentally unhinged, Harley is highly intelligent.  She’s a skilled gymnast and her agility makes her an adept fighter.  Like The Joker, she uses a variety of weaponized gag props in her chaos-creating crimes.”

Hey, remember how McFarlane has the DC license now?  And remember how Spin Master also has it?  And how I’m really leaning into that Spin Master curve?  Well, it could only last for so long, I suppose.  In an effort to make my way through some of the stuff sitting on my “to review” pile, I’m grabbing a few things I’ve kind of been putting off.  Today’s entry is definitely in the “putting it off” category.  Guess I can’t put it off any further.  Okay, here’s Harley Quinn.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Harley Quinn is part the…well, still technically the first assortment of McFarlane’s DC Multiverse line, but exactly where she falls in that is a little debatable.  She’s not part of the Superman/Batman portion that we first saw, and she’s not part of the more Bat-family-themed build-a-vehicle assortment that Nightwing was in.  Technically, she was shown off alongside Green Arrow from Arrow and Green Lantern from JLU, neither of whom she really ties in with all that well.  It hasn’t got any less confusing since I reviewed Nightwing is the general theme of what I’m getting at here.  Harley is, according to the box anyway, based on her appearance in her self-titled miniseries from the comics, which introduced her into the mainstream DCU.  I’ll get to that.  The figure stands just over 7 inches tall and has 35 points of articulation.  Compared to the rest of the line, Harley’s not only too tall; she’s just flat out too big.  She’s not actually taller than Nightwing and Superman, but thanks to the way the parts of her body are scaled internally, she looks like she’s taller than they are.  It’s really the head that throws things off the most, because it’s so large.  Also?  Clearly not based on her main DCU design.  That head’s unquestionably meant to be an animated-style Harley, and there’s nothing about it that indicates otherwise.  Given they were already doing actual animation-based figures in the strange collection of figures that makes up “Series 1”, I’m not sure why they didn’t just say she was an animated Harley.  Okay, actually I kinda do get why, but that’ll come up later.  Whatever the case, the head’s not a great piece, even for an animated look, because it’s kinda off-model for any version of Harley we’ve seen before.  Below the neck, Harley suddenly doesn’t seem quite as animation-styled, but I wouldn’t really classify it as realistic either.  There’s a definite style there, but whose I couldn’t really say.  The part that really bugs me is the shoes, which are the usual pixie shoes, but inexplicably have high heels on them?  I don’t know how that works, and I don’t want to.  Harley in high-heels just feels wrong to me, though.  Of the three McFarlane DC figures I’ve looked at, Harley’s probably got the most basic paint scheme.  I don’t know that I’d call it “cleaner”, because the actual application is kinda messy.  There’s a noticeably splotch of white on the left shoulder, and in general the transitions between colors aren’t very clean.  It’s not terrible, though, and I don’t know that it’s really messier than the other two; there’s just less extra work to distract from the errors.  Harley is packed with a mallet, a gun with a “Bang” flag, a display stand, and a collector’s card.  The mallet is the weirdest part, because it’s definitely meant to be more real world, and therefore doesn’t fit with the rest of the figure at all.  Sure, there’s a lot of nice work on it, but why does it come with *this* figure?

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The animated figures from Multiverse kind of repulse me, and though she’s not technically an animated figure, so does Harley.  From the prototype shots, I knew I didn’t like her, and in person that didn’t change.  So, why do I have her?  It’s Max’s fault.  He bought her because he decided to buy a whole set of them, and after opening her up and messing with her for a bit, he decided he didn’t really need to keep her, and passed her along to me for the purposes of reviewing.  There it is Max.  I reviewed her.  I hope you’re happy.  Ultimately, I’m cooling on this whole McFarlane DC thing pretty quickly.  While Superman and Nightwing held my interest at first, I ultimately don’t have much to say about them a month after the fact.  And a month with Harley sitting on the shelf waiting to be reviewed did nothing to really make me like her any more than I did when I first looked at her.

#2352: Psycho

PSYCHO

BORDERLANDS 3 (MCFARLANE TOYS)

“Psychos are bandits who have gone insane with a freakish obsession for the Vault. Shirtless, wearing a white mask and dressed in orange pants, these outlaws can be immediately identified by their homicidal cries, psychotic laughter and constant desire to get into close combat.”

McFarlane’s approach to their Borderlands line was much like their approach to just about anything else.  They were very excited at the start of things, but they quickly got kind of bored and everything since then just felt like a rush to get it over with.  We got a small assortment of new figures alongside the release of Borderlands 3, though, and I guess I’ll look at the one I picked up.  Here’s the Psycho.  Woooo?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Psycho is one of the two Borderlands 3 figures put out to coincide with the launch of the game (the other being Tina).  He’s technically an  army builder, I guess, since this particular model gets used many times throughout the game.  So, I mean, I guess that means you can buy multiples?  The figure stands 7 inches tall and he has 27 points of articulation.  The Psycho is sporting the same improved style articulation we saw with Krieg and Zer0, meaning he’s a decently poseable figure, though not quite as good as, say the DC or Fortnite figures.  I found things a little more limiting on this figure than on the other two, largely due to my desire for some slightly more intense poses for the Psycho.  The sculpt’s a pretty solid recreation of the character model from the game.  Honestly, I think it’s an even better recreation than Krieg; the sculpt’s certainly a fair bit sharper on the details than that one.  They get the mask down pretty much spot-on, which is certainly a plus, given how distinctive it is for the franchise.  The paintwork on the Psycho is again something of an improvement on what’s come before, with overall cleaner and sharper work.  He’s also got a fair bit of accent work going on, and even a few smears of blood and mud.  The Psycho is packed with a display stand and a buzz-axe accessory.  The axe is quite impressive in its own right, with a spinning blade and sharp detailing.  It’s slightly tricky to get into his hand, but once it’s there it’s not going anywhere.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I got the Psycho at the same time as Krieg, mostly due to Super Awesome Wife picking up the Lillith and Tina figures, and me wanting to contribute to the line.  I myself am not really into the Psychos on a whole, so this wasn’t a figure I needed, nor one I really planned on buying.  He’s okay, and a better figure than Krieg, I’ll give him that.  That said, much like McFarlane’s stance on the line, I’m mostly just writing these reviews to get them out of the way and move onto other things.  The figures don’t do a ton to excite me.

#2327: Nightwing

NIGHTWING

DC MULTIVERSE (MCFARLANE)

“Dick Grayson began his crime-fighting career as the original Robin—Batman’s protégé and crime-fighting partner. An expert acrobat and skilled fighter, Dick eventually left the nest and ventured out on his own as a new hero called Nightwing. His childhood experiences as a circus acrobat and trapeze artist make him extremely agile. He is a superior fighter and a highly skilled martial artist who has been personally trained by Batman. Nightwing is a keen detective, a natural leader, and a strategist with advanced knowledge of a variety of technologies.”

I am nothing if not a creature of habit.  The habit of which I am a creature in this case, apparently, is trying out DC lines with the same two characters.  First Superman, then Nightwing.  I did it with Spin Masters stuff, and lookie here, I’m about to do it with the McFarlane stuff too.  You can’t say I didn’t try to warn you!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Nightwing is part of the…well, it’s still the first assortment of DC Multiverse, but it’s like distinctly separate from the one that Superman’s in, I guess?  This one’s got a different price point because there’s a build-a-thing, and so it’s…I don’t know, it’s all a little confusing, or maybe its not.  Forget it Ethan, it’s McFarlane.  Like Superman, this Nightwing figure is, at least in theory, based on specific appearance, namely “Better Than Batman,” the first volume of his Rebirth title, which reintroduced the black and blue color scheme.  Much like the “based on Action Comics #1000″ translated to “McFarlane take on Classic Superman” for yesterday’s figure, “based on Better Than Batman” here translates to “Mcfarlane take on Nightwing’s most recent costume.”  Nightwing stands 7 14 inches tall and he has 35 points of articulation.  He’s pretty much the same height as the Superman figure (and a little taller than the basic Batman), which makes him a little tall for Dick, but believe me, he’s not the worst case of internal scaling in the line.  His articulation isn’t too different from Clark’s.  There’s better range in the arms for this guy, which is good, but I didn’t find the neck joint quite as useful this time around.  The legs are also still kind of clicky and heavy on the ratcheting for my taste, making him not a ton of fun to pose.  I will say he’s pretty stable on his feet, though, so kudos to McFarlane on that.  Let’s discuss the sculpt.  By and large, I don’t like this sculpt quite as much as the Superman, largely due to this one feeling far more uneven.  The head’s definitely the strongest part, and I definitely get an effective Dick Grayson vibe off of it.  Not sure if it’s quite a Rebirth Dick Grayson vibe, but that’s really splitting hairs.  The body’s where things get funkier.  At first glance, I thought this figure’s arms were too short, and he was kinda giving me T-Rex vibes.  In-hand, it doesn’t seem like it’s the arms that are throwing things off, but perhaps the torso?  I think it’s too large relative to the rest of the figure.  It’s hard to say for sure, but it definitely looks off.  The legs, especially below the knee, also seem slightly…mishapen?  With the right posing, it doesn’t look bad, but there’s definitely something weird about this figure’s proportions in general.  As with Superman, the costume has been given an assortment of extra little details littered throughout.  I myself tend to prefer a more streamlined Nightwing, but these details still work better on him than they did on Superman.  Nightwing’s paintwork is more in line with McFarlane’s usual output than Superman was, being a little murkier on the details, and slightly washed out.  It’s not a bad look, but compared to something like the Essentials figure, he looks almost unfinished.  Maybe that’s just my classic sensibilities kicking up, though.  Nightwing is packed with his batons, a piece of the mini-Batmobile, a display stand, and a card.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

While I was sold on Superman, I was still kinda on the fence with this guy.  I liked parts of him, but I wasn’t sure about the whole.  Max wanted the mini-Batmobile piece, so he bought this guy, and ended up pretty much just giving him to me.  He’s not a bad figure.  Honestly, he’s probably about as good as the Essentials figure, which also had it’s pluses and minuses.  However, I still personally prefer the Essentials release and its slightly cleaner approach to the character.  Both figures have their merits, and neither one is truly definitive, so I guess I’m just gonna have these two nearly identical Nightwings in my collection.  Oh, the oddity of me.

#2326: Superman

SUPERMAN

DC MULTIVERSE (MCFARLANE)

“Sent to Earth from the dying planet of Krypton as a baby, Kal-El was found by farmers Martha and Jonathan Kent and raised as their son, Clark.  As Clark grew up, the radiation from Earth’s yellow sun gave him extraordinary powers, which he kept hidden.  Now fully grown, he uses his powers to protect his adopted world as Superman.  The Man of Steel is virtually invulnerable and has the powers of super-strength, super-speed, and flight.  He also has enhanced senses, including heat vision, X-ray vision, super-hearing, and super-breath.”

When Mattel lost the DC license (or chose not to pursue a renewal, depending on who you ask), it was split between two main licensees.  For the more all-ages oriented toys, Spin Master has the license, and I’ve already taken a look at a couple of their offerings.  Now I’m jumping over to the other company, McFarlane Toys, who will be handling the more collectors-oriented side of things.  I’m kicking things off with their take on the Man of Steel.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Superman is part of the rather large assortment 1 product launch for McFarlane’s DC Multiverse line.  While all 12 of the initial figures are technically part of the same assortment, they’ve been broken down into a few different subsets.  Three variants each of Superman and Batman make up the first grouping of figures.  This particular Superman is the most standard fare, being based specifically on his appearance in Action Comics #1000…at least according to the box.  I’ll touch on that in a bit.  The figure stands 7 1/4 inches tall and he has 33 points of articulation.  In terms of scaling, these guys are pretty big.  You won’t be mixing them with your Legends to be sure, as they’re more in line with McFarlane’s other offerings or the stuff coming from NECA.  You could also probably mix some of them in with the DC Essentials figures, thought they’re a bit large even for those. While there’s certainly a lot of articulation, the effectiveness of a good number of the joints is a little on the iffy side.  The neck joint and mid-torso both have some decent range, as well a smooth motion to them.  The legs have decent mobility, but the joints are really clicky and a little tricky to work with.  The arms are the worst of the bunch, with really heavily ratcheted joints, poor range on the shoulders and the elbows, and some truly hideous design on the wrists.  Ultimately, you can get some fairly decent poses out of him, but for someone who’s used to Legends, he’s a bit of a pain to pose.  Articulation aside, how’s the actual sculpt.  Well, in my eyes, Superman is the best of the initial offerings, so I don’t think it’s that bad.  For the most part, the proportions are fairly balanced and realistic, while still being rather heroic.  Although he’s supposedly based on Jim Lee’s depiction of Clark from Action 1000, I don’t get much Lee out of this sculpt myself.  The head’s a little wonky; I’m not sure exactly what kind of likeness or expression they’re going for here, but he seems a little…off from my usual mind’s eye version of Clark.  It’s not terrible, though, and far from the worst head sculpt in the bunch.  It’s probably not helping that the head was one of the few things I unquestionably liked about the Essentials figure when I reviewed it.  The body sculpt is decent, but does run into a little bit of Todd being Todd and adding details that don’t necessarily need to be there.  He’s got some various piping running along various parts of his costume, and the insignia is now large and raised.  I do like the cape a lot; while I’m not always a huge fan of the overly large cape for Superman, it works well here, and it has a nice, dynamic flow to it.  Superman’s paintwork is pretty basic, which is a good thing, because I was a little worried that was another area where things might get all Todded up.  Application is mostly pretty clean, apart from a few small issues here and there.  The most glaring thing on my figure was a little spot of flesh tone on the hair.  Superman is packed with two sets of hands, a flight stand, and a collectors card.  The hands are probably my biggest complaint, because they don’t feel very suited to the poses I want out of a Superman.  The relaxed hands aren’t as handy as a pair of flat flying hands might have been, and I can’t begin to fathom why we got a gripping hand for the right instead of a fist to match the left.  He doesn’t even come with anything to hold!

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

So, I was hesitant on the McFarlane stuff, due to them not having the best track record.  When they showed this figure off, I wasn’t much of a fan of the proto, but after getting to see him in person, I decided to at least give him a chance.  Ultimately, he’s not bad, and certainly an admirable effort from McFarlane.  He’s still got his flaws, though, and I’m hoping they can offer some improvements.  Still, he’s a solid piece on his own.

I got my figure from my friends at All Time Toys.  If you’re looking for other cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.

#2303: Krieg

KRIEG

BORDERLANDS 2 (MCFARLANE)

“Though it is uncertain what caused Krieg’s transformation into a psychotic killer, the game provides evidence hinting at an antithetical personality in the past. This is established by a fractured remnant of his psyche, manifesting itself as an ‘inner voice’ in his mind. The voice also seeks to control Krieg’s lust for murder by limiting his victims to those deserving punishment.”

It’s been forever since I talked about Borderlands, mostly due to McFarlane’s toy coverage slowing to a crawl.  They got the first four figures out in relatively short order, then solicited the next two, and then…silence for a year and a half.  I’d honestly figured the third assortment had been cancelled, or Todd had forgotten he’d shown them off and moved onto new things, but the release of Borderlands 3 and its associated figures proved enough to at least get these two figures out to the market.  The third assortment finally gives us two more Vault Hunters.  We got Lilith, one of the first game’s four, and…Krieg?  Yeah, instead of another of the core Hunters from 2, we get Krieg.  Yay? Let’s just get the review over with…

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Krieg is technically part of the third assortment of Borderlands figures from McFarlane.  The whole assortments thing seems to have fallen by the wayside, because while Krieg was solicited alongside Lillith as part of the ongoing line, he ended up dropping by himself a couple of months before the figures from 3, while Lillith showed up in the same case pack-outs as the 3 figures.  Krieg, for whatever reason, is in entirely different style of packaging than the rest of the line, being sealed up in a clamshell-style blister similar to those used for McFarlane’s Call of Duty stuff.  It makes him feel like a very odd one-off.  Everything about this figure’s release is just…weird.  But enough about the weird release, what of the actual figure?  He stands 7 1/2 inches (the tallest of the Borderlands figures so far) and he has 26 points of articulation.  On the plus side, Krieg keeps the improved hip articulation we saw on Zero, meaning he has an okay range on the hips.  On the down side, the rest of his articulation is rather impeded by the sculpt.The arms in particular are quite restricted, but the neck doesn’t have much range either.  For a player character, that’s a real bummer.  At the very least, the sculpt is a respectable recreation of the game design, on par with the other figures so far from the line.  He’s suitably chunky, and he’s certainly got an imposing build to him.  He’s also got enough of a pre-existing stance to look pretty natural on the shelf even with his limited posing capabilities.  His paintwork matches up with the other figures so far.  It’s pretty decent overall, and does its best to capture the distinctive art style.  It’s not super clean or polished, but it gets the job done.  No complaints.   Krieg is packed with a saw-thingy, which is his melee attack item in the game.  He doesn’t include any sort of gun or anything, though, which is a little annoying, what with such things being an essential piece of the game.  I guess him being larger meant there was less space for accessories?

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I picked up Krieg when the Borderlands 3 stuff hit, mostly because Jess was picking up the others, and I felt a bit like I should support the line.  Of the Hunters from 2, Krieg is at the bottom of my list, so his inclusion didn’t exactly thrill me from the start.  I was hoping that the decision to go with a more minor Vault Hunter might mean that McFarlane was committed to getting the whole set out, but at this point, it seems unlikely that we’re getting any more of them, making him feel like a bit of a wasted slot (especially with the visually similar Psycho being released in the 3 assortment).  For the figure proper, I think the most damning thing I can say, though, is that I don’t really have much to say about him.  He’s very meh.

#2037: Captain James T Kirk

CAPTAIN JAMES T KIRK

STAR TREK (MCFARLANE)

The Star Trek toy license has been through a whole lot of hands over the years, and seems to get passed along with this sort of regularity.  Aside from Mego (who held the license in the 70s) and Playmates (who held it in the 90s), nobody has been able to hold it for long.  This has become especially apprent in recent years.  In just the last decade, it’s been held by Playmates, Hasbro,  Mattel, and now McFarlane Toys.  And, McFarlane is doing what every company does when they get the license: making a Kirk. Well, let’s see how this one turned out.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Captain Kirk is one of two launch figures for McFarlane’s new Star Trek line (the other is the similarly popular toy-choice Picard).  He’s based on his classic series appearance, and will be joined in the second series by a matching Spock.  The figure stands 6 3/4 inches tall and he has 26 points of articulation.  His construction and the implementation of his articulation is pretty much the same as McFarlane’s other recent figures in this scale, which is to say actually not terrible.  They do seem to be learning how to actually work the articulation into the sculpts without it looking awful in some spots, which I count as a plus.  That said, the range of motion on the joints could still use some work, because even with all of that articulation, he’s not getting into much more than a fairly basic standing pose.  Granted, for Kirk that’s not the end of the world, but it does impact how he interacts with at least one of his accessories.  Kirk’s sculpt is definitely the strongest part of the figure, with the head sculpt really just being the best single thing about it.  Shatner’s likeness is a rather difficult to capture one, but I think this is the best classic series Shatner we’ve gotten in plastic form.  It’s not perfect from every angle, mind you, but it’s good from most, and that’s nothing to slouch at.  The body sculpt is pretty solid as well, with a decent match for Shatner’s proportions, and a nice variation of textures.  In particular, we actually get a texturing on the tunic, like the real thing, rather than the totally smooth look we usually get on classic Trek figures.  His hands are specifically sculpted to hold his included accessories, but they’re realistic looking hands.  Kirk’s paintwork is decent overall, with one slight caveat on my figure.  The base application is clean and bold, and looks fairly realistic.  I particularly like the really glossy boots.  Those are always fun.  The face is handled using the printing set-up that’s all the rage these days, and would be really nice if not for one of his eyes being slightly askew.  It’s very slight, and not enough to ruin the figure, but it’s just off enough for me to notice.  Kirk s packed with his phaser, larger rifle, an extra right hand for the rifle, a communicator, and a display stand.  The display stand makes me laugh, because it’s actually held in the package by scotch tape.  Not plastic tape, like you see on most figures (and every other accessory in this package): regular, foggy scotch tape, like off someone’s desk.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’m apprehensive pretty much any time a new Trek line is announced, because they’re all pretty much doomed to failure at this point.  Admittedly, I’m not sure this one’s going to break that mold, because Todd doesn’t have the best track record for depth in his lines.  However, I saw this figure in person while out hunting for some other figures, and I kinda liked him.  He’s actually not a bad figure.  I don’t know that he breaks the mold or anything, but he’s the nicest Kirk I’ve owned, and he looks pretty sweet with my AA Gorn figure.

#1793: Lucas

LUCAS

STRANGER THINGS (MCFARLANE)

Things have died down ever so slightly for Stranger Things in the hiatus between seasons 2 and 3.  I mean, I guess that’s pretty normal for such a show, but man was the merchandizing crazy during the Season 2 launch.  Anyway, while we all wait for Season 3’s arrival, there are still a number of figures out there just ripe for reviewing, including today’s offering, Lucas Sinclair!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Lucas, alongside Dustin, makes up one half of the second series of McFarlane’s Stranger Things line.  Admittedly, it seems a little odd to me that Lucas and Dustin jumped ahead of Mike and Will for the Series 2 line-up.  Mike and Will are both far more plot-important, and I do slightly worry with McFarlane’s track record that they may not get made.  Time will tell, I suppose.  In the mean time, let’s focus on the positive:  Lucas figure!  Lucas is sporting his Season 1 appearance, camo-headband and all,  meaning he matches up with the rest of the figures so far.  This figure stands 5 3/4 inches tall and he has 24 points of articulation.  Lucas’ articulation style is essentially the same as Series 1’s Hopper, but he doesn’t quite suffer from the wonky-looking integration of articulation that Hopper did; it’s much more naturally placed for Lucas.  Lucas’s sculpt is definitely a strong one, perhaps the strongest of three figures I have from the line so far.  While the likeness on the face isn’t quite as spot-on as I felt Hopper’s was, there’s still definitely a lot of Caleb McLaughlin in there, and I think it’s enough to help clearly identify him.  The work on his clothing is definitely very strong, from the corduroy texturing on the pants, to the sharp detailing on the seems of his jacket, as well as the rather natural way the clothes have been sculpted to hang.  Lucas’ paintwork is definitely the best I’ve see so far from the line.  It’s clean, accurate to the source, and downright eye-catching, which is certainly a nice change of pace after the last two.  Lucas is quite nicely accessorized, including his backpack, a flashlight, his slingshot, a radio (with an extra hand for holding it), and a display stand.  The backpack is definitely the coolest of the bunch; I really dig the weathering on it.  On the opposite end is the slingshot, which is hard for him to hold, unpainted, and nondescript enough that I didn’t know what it was at first.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

After picking up Eleven and Hopper back in February, I was definitely interested in getting more of these figures, but other lines took precedence, so I kind of fell behind.  Lucas was grabbed during TRU’s liquidation process, because why not?  And then, like so many of the figures bought during the summer, he just sat unopened for a good few months.  He’s actually been on the review schedule three times, and I just kept having to bump him because he hadn’t even been opened yet.  I’m actually a little annoyed with myself about that, because he’s a pretty solid figure, and I wish I’d figured that out a bit sooner.  Guess I’ll need to be tracking down Dustin now.

#1774: Evil Ash

EVIL ASH

MOVIE MANIACS (MCFARLANE)

“Oh, you wanna know? ‘Cause the answer’s easy! I’m BAD Ash… and you’re GOOD Ash! You’re a goody little two-shoes! Little goody two-shoes! Little goody two-shoes!”

Director Sam Raimi’s first proper film work was Evil Dead, a promising, but ultimately kind of generic horror film.  But promising it was, so Raimi was able to actually get a studio on board for not one, but two sequels to it.  The second of those, Army of Darkess, ended up being the most financially successful of the three, and up until recently was the one with the most merchandising attached to it.  Its first action figures courtesy of McFarlane Toys’ Movie Maniacs line.  Today, I’m looking at AoD’s primary antagonist, the dark reflection of the main character, Evil Ash.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Evil Ash was released in Series 4 of Movie Maniacs, as the follow-up to the standard Ash Williams from Series 3.  Evil Ash is based on his armored, leader of the Deadite army appearance from Army of Darkness’ big climactic battle, which is a sensible choice, since any other version would just be largely indistinguishable from a standard Ash.  The figure stands about 6 1/2 inches tall (thanks to his hunching positioning) and he has 8 points of articulation.  Movie Maniacs were from the period where McFarlane had given up on actually making real action figures…or posable ones at least.  He’s really just a plastic statue, with some cut joints thrown in.  But, as with a lot of these figures, his articulation is mostly there as a matter of habit; it doesn’t actually allow for anything but the one main pose.  On the plus side, Evil Ash’s sculpt is definitely a strong one.  It actually quite accurately captures the details of Evil Ash’s costume from the movie.  The details are all quite crisp, and they’ve even gotten the horribly scarred visage that is his face down pretty much spot on.  Also, despite rather missing the mark on the likeness for their standard variant of Ash, you can make out a pretty decent Bruce Campbell likeness on this guy, even under the horrible scarring.  It’s the chin that really sells it. Evil Ash’s paintwork is another strong point of the figure.  They’re really managed to get that grimy, really broken-in look that he has in the movie, and the detailing on his face really accents the scarring of the sculpt quite well.  Overall, he just looks like quite lifelike, and they really did the best to accentuate all of the details of the sculpt.  Ash is packed with a pair of swords, which he will forever have to hold, because what else is he going to do with those sword gripping hands, right?  He also gets a movie poster marquee base, like all of the earlier Movie Maniacs.  I guess it’s cool, but I think he might have greatly benefitted from an actual display stand.  Still, it’s kind of neat.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

My first exposure to the Evil Dead films wasn’t actually the movies themselves, but was instead Bruce Campbell’s memoir If Chins Could Kill, which I started reading because I knew him as “the guy from all of the Spider-Man movies.”  I know, weird.  I missed out on a lot of Evil Dead stuff when it was first released, and ultimately ended up going for NECA’s offerings, though those didn’t include this guy.  Despite his statuesque nature, Evil Ash is actually one of the better offerings I’ve run into from Movie Maniacs.

This guy isn’t part of my personal collection.  He was loaned to me for review by my friends over at All Time Toys.  If you’re interested in owning this figure, he’s available via their eBay page.  And, if you’re looking for other toys, both old and new, please also check out All Time’s full eBay store front, and take a look at their webstore at alltimetoys.com.

#1690: Claptrap

CLAPTRAP

BORDERLANDS (MCFARLANE)

“A general purpose CL4P-TP robot manufactured by Hyperion, Claptrap acts as the Vault Hunter’s (sometimes) useful guide and quest-giver on Pandora. Programmed with an overenthusiastic personality, Claptrap masks his fear and loneliness behind cheerful bravado.”

What happens when you cross R2-D2 and Jar-Jar Binks?  Claptrap.  Okay, well that’s what some people think, anyway.  I don’t quite agree.  Claptrap’s nowhere near as annoying as Jar-Jar.  That said, he’s cetainly more talkative than R2.  Or at least more fluent in English.  Anyway, he’s by far the most merchandised character from the Borderlands, so it wasn’t much of a shock that he turned up as one of the earlier offerings from McFarlane’s Borderlands toyline.  I’ll be looking at that figure today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Claptrap is the first deluxe offering from the Borderlands line, hitting shelves at the same time as the Zer0 figure, and thus loosely making up the second series of the line.  Most of McFarlane’s deluxe figure offerings are at a larger scale than standard releases, but this isn’t the case with Claptrap, who is meant to be in the same relative scale as the three prior figures.  The figure stands 4 1/2 inches tall and he has 15 points of articulation.  The majority of the articulation is in the arms, but he’s got a movable eye and a “lid” that goes up and down, which is a pretty nifty feature.  As far as scaling of this figure relative to the others, he seems a touch large for my eyes.  Like, not atrociously so, but he just looks a little off to me.  It *could* just be his accessories that are throwing me off.  His sculpt is an all-new one, and its a pretty solid offering.  The model from the game has been well captured here.  The details are clean, and the line work is sharp.  There’s some great work on the dings and weathering on his outer plating, which helps give him that nice broken-in look that fits in so well with the game aesthetic.  My one complaint about the sculpt is the pegs they’ve put on his top for his hats.  They’re not at all subtle, and break up an otherwise very  faithful sculpt.  I think it would have made more sense to put the pegs in the hats, since the holes would be less obvious.  The paintwork matches up with the sculpt, the base work is clean, and the accenting helps sell the sculpted details.  There’s a slight gash on my figure’s eye, which is a little annoying, but it’s minor, and I think it’s safe to say it’s not the norm.  Claptrap includes a stand, which uses an articulated arm to plug into his back.  He can’t stand without it (it’s just one of the troubles of translating this design) so it’s certainly appreciated.  He also includes a sherrif’s hat and revolver, and a wizard’s hat and two different wands.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Though I don’t dislike Claptrap as much as some of the fanbase, I still waited a bit on this one.  I ended up grabbing the last one at my local TRU, once they hit the 40% off level of their liquidation process.  He’s a pretty decent figure, but I’m not sure he’s really worth the heightened price.  It’ll be interesting to see how this concept works out for McFarlane.

#1616: Zer0

ZER0

BORDERLANDS 2 (McFARLANE TOYS)

“Shrouded in mystery, Zer0 is an assassin-for-hire whose identity and origin are unknown. Left unsatisfied after a previous target failed to fight back, Zer0 turned to Vault hunting in search of a worthy challenge.”

Borderlands 2 is, if I’m being quite honest, a favorite game.  In terms of figures, toymakers always focus, just on NPCs.  This has upset me, and other fans I’ve no doubt, who want Vault Hunters.  They are the center, of all of the cool gameplay, and have neat designs.  For their second set, McFarlane has broached the group, with the Assassin.  His is the figure, which I plan to examine, for today’s review.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Allow me to tell, the info of this figure, such as I know it. He is named Zer0, part of the second series, of Borderlands 2.  He’s from McFarlane, same as his predecessors, Jack and small Tina (Tiny is her name, usually that is, lest I do this thing).  Of the Color Tops, he is numbered 41, ‘spite the others lack. He stands 7 inches, and he is packed with movement, 26 points here.  Articulation, as it is for this figure, has been worked in well.  It’s superior, a definite improvement, to prior figures.  The hips merit note, as they diverge from others, and are the best yet.  Movement is solid, though it’s somewhat restricted, to preserve the sculpt.  Zer0’s sculpt is new, rendered from his game model, and quite expertly.  His build is proper, he’s appropriately thin, and oh so scrawny.  The other details, such as weathering and wear, is also top-notch.  His armor’s beaten, it’s all scratched up and dingy, just as it should be. In terms of paintwork, Zer0 exhibits quality, that is like his friends.  The details are clean, and the colors match the game, and he looks the part.  There is some small slop, it’s on his right upper arm, but it’s not awful.  Zer0 is packed with, an assortment of extras, all of them well picked.  First is a number, to attach to his faceplate, as within the game.  It can be tricky, getting it properly placed, but once on it stays.  Also included, the Infinity Pistol, winnable in-game.  Though it’s well-sculpted, Zer0 has trouble with it, falling from his hand.  Up next is a sword, Zer0 uses for melee, and always has near.  It’s really quite long, in fact surprisingly so, more than half his height.  It has got a peg, which helps to keep it in place, unlike the pistol.  The third thing packed in, is a display stand like Jack’s, which keeps him stable.  Lastly included,  there are SHIFT codes for the game, granting you three keys.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Zer0 was purchased, on a trip to Toys R Us, and was a surprise.  I’d just discovered, the two Series 1 figures, and didn’t expect him.  Zer0 is solid, the best of the three figures, so far in the line.  I’m happy with him, and am eager to see others, of the Vault Hunters.  Now if you don’t mind, I’m going to stop writing, in the haiku form.