#1584: Red Falcon

RED FALCON

MICRONAUTS (PALISADES)

“The most fantastic and elaborate of the original Micronauts figure line, this winged warrior was dubbed “The Prince of the Micronauts” and – like Emperor – plays a mysterious role in the Microverse.  Red Falcon transforms as occasions or battles require, becoming an avenging angel or transforming into a stellar warbird with Hypersonic Missile Launchers.  The prize of the classic Magna-Powered Micronaut series, he returns to a new century with a new weapon and fantastic new colors.”

I’ve delved into the sad tale of Palisades’ Micronauts line twice before, with one figure from the first series and one from the first and a half series (just go with it).  Today, I jump forward one more series, looking into one of Palisades’ final offerings from the line, Red Falcon.  Red Falcon?  Wait, isn’t that the Marvel comics character?  No, wait, that’s just the Falcon, and he’s mostly red.  This guy’s blue.  Does that make him Blue Falcon?  No, because then Hannah Barbera’s gonna be all mad and poor Dyno-Mutt will be confused.  This is RED FALCON, the Micronauts character.  Who, inexplicably, doesn’t actually have much red going on.  Try not to think about it too much, okay?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Red Falcon was part of Series 2 of Palisades’ Micronauts, which, thanks to some rough circumstances surrounding the line, actually ended up as the third assortment of figures to hit retail.  Unlike his vintage counterpart, which only had one color scheme, this Red Falcon was available in three different color schemes: the classic primary colored scheme (seen in this review), a green and bronze scheme, and a translucent red/yellow scheme.  The classic scheme was the heaviest packed, followed by the green, and finally the red.  Yes, that’s right, the red Red Falcon was the chase.  Good times.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and he has 11 points of articulation (you could add two more points to that for the wings, but when plugged into his back, they don’t really move).  Red Falcon was one of the lager Magna-Powered Micronauts, in the same style established by the likes of Baron Karza and Force Commander.  In addition to his larger size, he also featured a magnetically attached head and limbs.  It’s an interesting gimmick, but has the unintended side-effect of causing him to fall apart a lot.  He also had rocket fists, which, while cool, also means his hands pop out a lot.  What I’m getting at here is that he falls apart a lot.  But, the important thing here is that he also goes back together, which was more than could be said about the Series 1 figures.  Palisades made tweaks to their Micronauts to distinguish them from their Mego counterparts, but Red Falcon was probably one of the least changed, I’m sure largely due to how rare the original figure was in the States.  Red Falcon’s sculpt is definitlet one of my favorites from the line.  Though he still keeps much of the Micronauts aesthetic, there’s no denying that Red Falcon showed a lot more Japanese influence than many of the line’s offerings.  His head in particular brings to mind a lot of classic anime, and even a little bit of a super sentai vibe.  This is a guy wouldn’t look out of place fighting the likes of Ultraman or the Power Rangers, or helping out Astro Boy.  As with all Micronauts, this sculpt is definitely a product of the time it came from, but there’s a definite charm to the clean, smooth, line work of this guy.  of course, there are still a lot of small details that are a lot of fun, especially the fully detailed mechanics under his clear torso.  Paint is at a minimum on this guy; he’s mostly just molded in the appropriate colors.  He’s definitely very vibrant, though, and the chrome on the torso does a great job of tying him back to the rest of the line.  In terms of extras, Red Falcon was pretty well-off.  He gets his big-ass sword (which is chrome and oh-so-cool), as well as the new cannon piece that matches it.  Also included are the pieces to turn him into his actual bird form.  Yes, Red Falcon was one of the earliest examples of a transformer.  Of course, it’s really rudimentary.  Essentially, you just pop off the head and limbs and put on the bird pieces in their place.  The only shared piece is the torso, and if you’re clever, you can even assemble the pieces without that, giving Red Falcon a cool companion.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Red Falcon was one of my earlier Micronauts.  I was fascinated with the original, but obviously he wasn’t available to me.  So, the re-release was at the top of my list, and he was my second purchase (after a Series 1 Time Traveler, and at the same time as Series 1.5’s Time Medic).  But here’s the thing: remember how I mentioned he fell apart really easily?  Well, I was twelve when I got him, and not quite so careful with my figures as I am now.  Needless to say, my original figure is no doubt scattered throughout various sections of my parents’ house.  During my collecting renaissance the summer after my first year of college, I decided I ordered a replacement, though I assumed I’d be getting the green variant.  Instead, this guy showed up, and I wasn’t even mad.  In fact, I was quite the opposite.  This figure remains one of my favorite Micronauts, challenged only by Battle Acroyear.

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#1406: Spider-Man – Cosmic

SPIDER-MAN – COSMIC

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“With incredible strength, stamina and cosmic senses, Spider-Man battles tirelessly on the side of universal justice.”

So, as you may have pieced together from my review of Moon Knight yesterday, I’ve finally tracked down the entirety of the latest Spider-Man Series of Marvel Legends.  This particular series is about half Spider-Men variants, so I’ll be alternating between Spider-Men and non-Spider-Men.  Today’s Spider-Variant actually has roots in another toyline: Micronauts.  Marvel’s tie-in comic for the line added a whole lot of original concepts, including the Uni-Power, an extra-dimensional force that imbues its host with the great cosmic power, thus transforming them into Captain Universe.  The Uni-Power’s been passed around a lot; that’s kind of part of its gimmick.  One of the hosts was Peter Parker, because that’s what happens when you sell the most comics. That’s where today’s figure comes into play.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Spider-Man (that’s what the packaging says; just “Spider-Man.”  How is the average consumer to know of is cosmic-ness?) was released in the Homecoming-tie-in series of Marvel Legends. In the main universe, Peter gave up the Uni-Power, but there have been a couple of alternate universe versions of him that didn’t.  This figure appears to take the most influence from the Peter Parker of Earth-13, who played a decent role in the “Spider-Verse” event.  The figure stands about 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  This guy marks the second use of the Spider-UK body.  It befits the more powerful and experienced nature of the Earth-13 Peter, and it’s still a favorite of mine.  I hope we see it used for more than just Spider-Men moving forward.  The standard masked head is pretty basic; I won’t be surprised to see it turn up on other masked characters.  It’s a decent enough piece, I guess.  I wish the chin were just a little more pronounced, but it’s a minor complaint.  There are two additional heads.  The first is an unmasked Parker, whose beard signifies that is definitely the Earth-13 version.  He’s not directly patterned on the art of Oliver Copiel (who drew most of Earth-13 Peter’s appearances), going instead for a more general look.  It’s a very nice sculpt, and one of Hasbro’s better human heads.  The second head isn’t a Spider-Man head at all; instead, it’s a more generic Captain Universe head, allowing for this figure to pass for a number of the Uni-Power’s other hosts.  So, if you so desire, this guy doesn’t have to be a Spider-Man variant at all, which is very nice of Hasbro.  The paintwork on this guy is generally pretty solid.  Some of the application could be a little cleaner, but I’m really digging both the metallic blue and the pearlescent white.  It looks really sharp.  In addition to the two extra head sculpts mentioned earlier, Cosmic Spidey is also packed with the outer wing of Vulture’s wing-pack, the mirror of the one included with Moon Knight.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Obviously, when this series was shown off, I was a little distracted by the Moon Knight figure, so I didn’t really pay Cosmic Spider-Man much mind.  I actually passed this guy up a few times while I was out on the hunt for the rest of this series, since he wasn’t a priority of mine.  But, after several unsuccessful runs, he was the only figure left at one of the Targets I checked, and I was desperate not to leave totally empty-handed.  I also had a gift card, so that helped.  He’s not a bad figure at all.  Cool concept, cool design, cool execution.  It all adds up to a pretty fun figure.

#1337: Battle Acroyear

BATTLE ACROYEAR

MICRONAUTS (PALISADES)

“Described as an ‘Enemy of the Micronauts’, this stalwart warrior is surely still a hero among his people and a formidable knight to his allies. Clad in his distinctive crimson and white armor, and possessing the strength to wield his massive Power Sword against the powerful intergalactic foes of his people, what childhood imagination couldn’t give Acroyear the chance to be a ‘good guy’?”

Poor Palisades and their poor cursed Micronauts line.  Though its parent line, Microman, has been a pretty strong seller in Japan, the American-ized adaptation never quite took off the same way.  Mego saw decent success into the ‘80s, but it quickly dwindled under the juggernaut that was Star Wars.  20 years later, fan favorite company Palisades did their very best to bring new life to the line, but they ran into roadblocks at every turn.  The worst of it really hit right at the beginning. The factory producing Series 1 of the relaunched line pulled a fast one on Palisades, by sending them sub-contracted “production samples” which in no way represented the actual quality of the product being produced.  When the Series 1 figures arrived, Palisades was left with a stock that was subpar, with pretty much no funds to replace them.  Worse, stores were already getting the stock, so there was little they could do.  They quickly shifted production to another factory, and put into production a Series 1.5, which offered slightly fixed figures built on the Series 1 molds, with the hopes of tiding collectors over until proper corrected Series 1 figures could be produced later down the line (this, sadly, never happened).  Each Series 1 figure was given a new deco, with some sort of neat backstory to it.  My personal favorite was Battle Acroyear, the redressing of (you guessed it) Acroyear!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

As noted, Battle Acroyear was part of the Series 1.5 assortment of Palisades’ Micronauts line.  The Series 1 Acroyears were perhaps the most negatively effected by the poor quality; the heavy metal torsos would cause the plastic around the joints of the limbs to disintegrate into dust almost immediately after opening, leaving collectors with little more than a pile of wobbly plastic bits.  That’s hardly going to do justice to one of the greatest warriors of all time, so the replacement was necessary.  The figure stands about 4 inches tall and he has 13 points of articulation.  Unlike most of the rest of the line, which used an internal band construction similar to vintage G.I. Joes, Acroyear uses a solid construction.  Like I said above, the figure has a die-cast metal toros, with plastic limbs and head.  Fortunately, unlike his predecessors, this guy’s legs can actually hold his wait, pretty well I might add.  Really, the construction on this guy is really solid; he feels like he could survive most things (and mine’s made it through a few shelf dives, so I know from experience).  The details of the sculpt are nice and clean, and appropriately reto-sci-fi.  While all of the Palisades Micronauts had minor deviations from their Mego counterparts, Acroyear’s were even more minor than most; there’s some slight tweaking to the shape of the head, but it’s the sort of thing that you can really only tell if you’re looking right at both figures.  Paint schemes were a defining factor for the Series 1.5 figures.  While the Series 1 Acroyears had deviated pretty wildly from the classic Acroyear colors, this one brings it back a bit, albeit with a twist.  The original Acroyears were all the same basic colors, with three different accent colors: blue, green, and pink.  This figure gives us a fourth accent color: red.  This is actually a pretty cool reference, as red was the color used for the heroic Prince Acroyear, the main Acroyear from the Marvel Comics adaptation from the ‘80s.*  It’s a color scheme that really works well with the design, and he certainly stands out on the shelf.  Acroyear includes a battle sword (a much larger replacement for the original figure’s smaller dagger), a spy drone, his extra large wing pack, and clear display stand.  The sword is suitably awesome, and the wings are cool, even if they aren’t quite as nifty as Space Glider’s.  The spy drone is interesting enough, and serves a secondary function: Acroyear can be “transformed” into a tank-like thing, using the drone as a turret of sorts.  Not as advanced as later Transformers, but cool nonetheless.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I actually had one of the Series 1 Acroyears back in the day.  Fell to pieces in like a day.  One of the more depressing action figure interludes of my childhood.  This figure ended up in my collection a fair bit later, after the secondary market prices on most of the line had shot pretty far up.  Cosmic Comix bought someone’s toy collection, and there were a handful of Micronauts in it, which I ended up getting for a steal.  Battle Acroyear was among them, and he’s easily my favorite of the bunch.  In fact, I think he’s my favorite Palisades Micronaut period.  He’s just a really fun toy.

*Since the team already had plenty of blue and green, Acroyear’s third color was chosen for his primary look.  However, due to the limitations of printing in comics, pink would have been nearly impossible to render consistently, so he was shifted to a straight red.

#0729: Time Traveler

TIME TRAVELER

MICRONAUTS (PALISADES)

TimeTraveler1

Mego’s Micronauts line of the ‘70s was never a super huge hit, and it was definitely overshadowed by the many toys first toylines of the ‘80s, but it does still have something of a cult following. This cult following helped get the line a relaunch in the early 2000s, courtesy of fan-favorite toy company Palisades. Palisades put a lot of effort into bringing Micronauts back. Sadly, the line was cursed with several pretty awful factory issues, causing the final figures to suffer, hurting the sales of what was already a pretty niche line. This came back to bite Palisades pretty hard, leading to the end of their Micronauts line after just two full series, and their eventual bankruptcy. Kind of a bummer. So hey, how ‘bout those figures, though? Let’s have a look at what is perhaps the most iconic of all Micronauts figures, the Time Traveler!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

TimeTraveler2The Time Traveler was part of the first series of Palisades’ Micronauts line. The figure was available in four possible color schemes, two transparent and two opaque. This one is the clear translucent one, which is a pretty direct recreation of one of the original Time Travelers, with just a few minor differences. He’s 3 ¾ inches tall and he has 18 points of articulation, same as his 70s predecessor. Sculpturally, this figure is more or less identical to the original version, but there are a few differences to note. The real differences are on the head, which is a little thinner than the original and features a higher level of detail work. It’s certainly a higher quality sculpt than the original, though I’m not sure I prefer it to the original. It’s in that weird area of being a more modernized sculpt that still possesses many of the style tics of the vintage toy, but without the nostalgic charm. The Time Traveler possesses no actual paint, but his head and all of his chest plates are done in a nice vac-metalized gold. The golden head is actually another change from the vintage figures,
where all of the Time Travelers were silver. While the original Time Traveler figures each only included a single chest plate, chosen at random from the four possible designs, Palisades’ Time Traveler included all TimeTraveler3four of the original plates, as well as two new designs (though, I could only find four of the chest plates when I went to take the pictures!). My personal favorite is the “windows” piece, but they’re all pretty cool. The Time Traveler also included the L-port piece from the original figure, as well as a black display stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Palisades’ Micronauts line, amongst other things, was not super easy to find, especially before the introduction of all the online toy buying options we now have. I did end up finding a Time Traveler at an out of the way toy store around the time of release, but it wasn’t this one. Unfortunately, the first series figures were incredibly fragile and he ended up breaking, which was a definite bummer. I ended up getting this guy many years later, courtesy of the Toy Robot Museum, near Allentown, PA. Even with all of the factory issues and the slight changes from the originals, this guy’s a lot of fun, and I’m definitely glad I managed to find one.

#0609: Jarknoid Zain

JARKNOID ZAIN

ASSEMBLE BORG (REVOLTECH)

Zain1

“What the hell is a Jarknoid?

 –Tim Marron

When Mego imported Microman as Micronauts, they started off with a selection of figures that were more or less the same as their Japanese counterparts. However, as the line moved forward, Mego decided to add a few of their own touches. The Japanese line had relied on the Acroyear as the foes of the heroic Micromen, and Micronauts had started much the same way. Mego decided that the ‘nauts needed a more diverse selection of foes, and created their own set of unique foes, under the heading “Aliens.” These Aliens became some of the more distinctive Micronauts, and are the primary point of separation of the two lines.

Assemble Borg, is no doubt inspired by Microman. In fact, one of Borg’s main designers originally worked on Microman. What’s interesting to me, though, is that Assemble Borg’s main set of villains, the Jarknoids, actually seem to have more in common with Mego’s line than they do the line it was based on. That kind of makes Assemble Borg the closest thing Micronauts has to a successor. And that’s actually pretty cool. So, let’s take a look at one of those freaky Jarknoids, shall we?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Zain2Jarknoid Zain is entry 008 in the Assemble Borg line. Numerically, he was the last of the trio of Jarknoid villains, released as a direct follow-up to the original heroic Assemble Borg figures.  Each of the Jarknoid’s was given their own epithet, and Zain’s was “Astro-Killer,” which is simple, but rather effective in establishing the character, I guess. Like Panzer, Zain predates the line’s changeover to the more modular “Nexus” style, meaning he’s a more traditional style of action figure, but the customizability is still a present feature. The figure is about 6 inches in height and has 42 points of articulation.  Zain is built on what was the standard Assemble Borg body. We’ve seen some of this before, as Panzer made use of the same torso, pelvis, and thighs. The sculpt is definitely on the more basic side, but it offers a nice sleekness, which offers a nice contrast to the more intricate character specific pieces. Speaking of character Zain3specific pieces, holy crap is that head a really impressive piece of work. He’s got a mask that just looks like a giant skeletal hand is just grabbing his face, which is a truly disturbing design. The mask can be removed, revealing a smaller chrome head underneath, which is a fairly neat feature, though I can’t see anyone displaying this in favor of the mask. He’s also got a chrome chest piece, which is really pointy and fit’s with the mask pretty well. In addition to the basic body, each of the Jarknoids included a few character specific parts that could be swapped in place of the normal body parts. Zain gets a cool arm piece, which, depending on how you configure it can either be a big gun arm or a big claw thing. Both are pretty cool, and they have a nice bit of silver detailing to bring out the awesome details. In addition to those parts, the figure includes four sets of hands (fists, open palm, trigger finger, and Zain4pointing/splayed), a sword, an axe, a small gun, a slightly larger small gun, a medium gun, a huge gun, an adaptor to attach the weapons to any revolver connector, an assortment of revolver joints, and a coin worth 10 revolchip points.  I really love the weapons, because they all have some really fantastic spikey detailing that looks pretty awesome. Like the other Assemble Borg figures I’ve looked at, paint is relatively minor on Zain, but I do really love the color of the plastic he’s molded in.

Zain6 Zain7 Zain8

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I tried to ease into this whole Assemble Borg thing. I really did. I picked up Panzer because he was relatively inexpensive, and I thought he would hold me over. Then I got Nexus for free. I wanted Zain, but I was trying to hold off. Then Tim (who still remains at fault for all of this) showed me the Yeeg figure he’d bought (Yeeg’s another of the Jarknoids) and I found myself really wanting one of the villains. So, I ended up getting this guy off of eBay. Zain is a really, really cool figure, and he’s definitely my favorite of the Jarknoids. He’s properly imposing and just a lot of fun to mess with. Man I love this line.

Zain9

#0602: Jackall & Jaeger

JACKALL & JAEGER

ASSEMBLE BORG (REVOLTECH)

JackalJaeger1

Man, when I find a new line to collect, I sure jump all-in, don’t I? I’m relatively new to this whole Assemble Borg thing, but I really, really enjoy it. And why not? It’s essentially an update to Micronauts and Microman, which are two of my very favorite toylines. Just like those two lines, Assemble Borg‘s focus is on interchangeability. This isn’t just limited to figures, either. While they aren’t the main focus, the Assemble Borg line has more than a few vehicles in its backlog. Today, I’ll be looking at one of those, the Jackall motorcycle.

THE VEHICLE ITSELF

JackalJaeger2The Jackall (and Jaeger) is entry 022 in the Assemble Borg line. It’s the first vehicle since the line re-launched under the “Nexus” heading at number 020. It comes packaged as a rather basic motorcycle (the “Jackall”) with a bunch of extra pieces that can be distributed however you like. Of course, like just about everything else in the line, there’s no real reason you have to leave it in the default set up. The pieces are all designed to potentially work in just about any configuration, and each piece has several standard relolver joint hook-ups. In the basic cycle set-up, the Jackal is about 6 inches long and about 2 ½ inches tall at its highest point. It’s quite well scaled to the basic Assemble Borg figures, which is good. The individual pieces are all very nicely sculpted, with lots of JackalJaeger3cool and interesting little technical details. While Jackall is packaged as its own item, its real purpose is to augment the basic Nexus figure. Clearly, the bike itself is meant to be used with the figure, but many of the additional pieces included are also meant as additional accessories for Nexus. The “& Jaeger” potion of the set is the clearest example of this, as it refers to an extra faceplate and chest piece that are specifically designed to be used with the Nexus figure, allowing you to build the Jaeger “character.” The pieces offer a nice, streamlined look, which really works very nicely with the motorcycle idea, and itJackalJaeger4 offers a nice set of additional options for the basic Nexus. In addition to the Jaeger pieces, the set includes a pair of handles, a pair of pedals, and a kickstand, all meant to be used with the bike, as well as a sword, a machine gun, a large hand gun, two shotguns, two knives, a pick axe, four holster clips, two double peg adapters, an assortment of other random pieces that I couldn’t begin to classify, and the usual selection of pegs and joints to maximize customizability. That’s a whole lot of stuff. I also like that all of the weapons included are different from what was included with Nexus, as it adds some nice variety to the mix. JackalJaeger6Paint is always a light subject with Assemble Borgs, but it’s worth noting that this set was available in two different color schemes. This is the regular version, but there’s also the Ghost Motor version, which reverses the black and silver bits (it also has some slightly tweaked sculpted parts). I myself prefer the color the way it is here, so I’m pleased that this was the one I went for. Also, there’s a little bit of slop on the faceplate and chest piece, which I hadn’t seen before. It’s nothing too extensive, but it is a little annoying.

JackalJaeger5 JackalJaeger7

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

So, after Tim dragged me into this line and I realized just how amazingly fun it was to tweak how my Nexus figure was laid out, I kind of figured I should pick up one of the two cycles. I had planned in holding off buying one, just for a little while, but I happened upon a couple of Assemble Borg auctions on eBay for pretty decent prices, and this set was one of them. The cycle itself is a lot of fun, but I’m really excited by all the new Nexus pieces I got. Granted, nothing’s trumped the handle face layout, but I like the extra weapons, and the chest piece is definitely my favorite of the bunch. All in all, this is a fantastically fun set!

JackalJaeger9

#0595: Panzer Puncher

PANZER PUNCHER

ASSEMBLE BORG (REVOLTECH)

PanzerPuncher1

What the heck is a Panzer Puncher? That’s probably a question that you, dear reader, are wondering right now. Well…um…it’s kind of just this thingy. I honestly feel like no explanation is ever going to live up to that name. Is he a Panzer that also punches? Is he a guy who exclusively punches Panzers? Who knows? Not me, that’s for sure, but I’m hardly going to complain. ‘Cause how can you complain about a name like Panzer Puncher? You just can’t. Anyway, he’s another figure from the Assemble Borg line, on which have recently become hooked. Does he live up to the phenomenal Nexus? Let’s find out!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

PanzerPuncher2Panzer Puncher was entry 011 in Revoltech’s Assemble Borg line. He was part of the second round of heroic Borgs, under the “Counter Strike” heading. The Counter Strike figures each had a “CONVERTING SYSTEM” gimmick, and Mr. Puncher here is apparently “For Close Combat CONVERTING SYSTEM” according to the box. Panzer Puncher pre-dates the change-over to the more modular style of Assemble Borg introduced with Nexus, so he’s a little bit more of a traditional figure. However, he does still have a fair bit of customizability. In his standard, no-add-on set-up, Panzer Puncher is roughly 6 inches tall and has 42 points of articulation. While Nexus had a rather technical detail-intensive sculpt, Panzer has a much cleaner, sleeker design. Every detail carries a certain quantity of weight to it, which gives Panzer Puncher a rather bold looking design. He definitely feels like a different style of character compared to Nexus, though the two still manage to mesh well together. They’re definitely from the same line. All the PanzerPuncher5Counter Strike figures feature the same set of pieces as a starting point, with tweaks here and there to emphasize their particular theme. Since Panzer Puncher is a thoroughly close-combat style of character, his armored parts are a little bit more bulky and lot more squared-off. The guy’s even got a freaking battering ram on his face, just to send home the message of what exactly his specialty is. Panzer also includes a set of big ol’ shoulder pads, which, through use of some extra Revolver joints, can be attached to his shoulders for additional protection. But, hang on, isn’t this guy’s name Panzer Puncher? Shouldn’t he have some serious fighting-fist capabilities? Fear not, dear reader. The shoulder pads can be moved from the shoulder and attached in place of his normal-sized hands, for proper giant fighting-fists. What’s more, the tops of the shoulder pads can be removed and placed together, to create a big sea mine looking thing, which you can use for just about whatever you want. Also, I don’t think this is true of every version of the figure, PanzerPuncher4but my Panzer came with three tops for his shoulder pads instead of two. More armor for me! In addition to the shoulder pads/fighting fists, Panzer includes a multi-part display stand, an action impact stand (my favorite of the two), a backpack, a selection of Revolver joints (with a cool box to keep them in), and four pairs of hands: fists, gripping, open gesture, and karate chop. For some reason, my figure has two left chopping hands, but I feel certain it’s supposed to be right and left. Bummer, but it’s not like I’ll be using the normal hands anyway. Also, Panzer has a Revolchip worth 10 points. During the line’s run, these could be traded in for various promotional items, but only if you had a Japanese address. No Revolchip points for me! For Nexus, the paint hardly seemed worth mentioning, but I would be remiss to neglect it on Panzer. He doesn’t have the most complicated paint in the world, but he does have some pretty amazing semi-metallic, glossy finish blue on his armored parts, which just looks absolutely amazing in hand. It just pops!

PanzerPuncher3 PanzerPuncher6

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

It’s still Tim’s fault. See, I didn’t quite share the whole story last time. After Tim showed me the two figures he had ordered and before they arrived, the two of us decided to troll eBay to see what figures were readily available. Tim ended up purchasing yet another two figures, and, after looking through a fair amount of pictures, I decided that Panzer would be my first Assemble Borg. So, I went ahead and bought an amusingly incorrectly named “Panzer Pancher” from a seller on eBay. Of course, then Tim got an extra Nexus and ruined that plan, but hey, what are you gonna do? Panzer definitely exhibits a different side of the line than Nexus, but I certainly didn’t enjoy him a single bit less. He’s an incredibly fun figure, and one of those toys that I keep finding myself picking up and messing with a lot. Of course, now I’m firmly entrenched in this line and there’s no way of going back, but, hey, what’s one more import line to collect?

PanzerPuncher7

#0584: Nexus

NEXUS

ASSEMBLE BORG (REVOLTECH)

Nexus1

A lot of the entries on this site are reviews of licensed properties. Quite frankly, a lot of action figures in general are licensed. It’s easier to sell something that people already know, and, as a buyer, it’s far easier to be swayed on a purchase when it’s something you’re familiar with already. However, action figures didn’t begin their life as a licensing thing, they began with GI Joe (which, ironically enough, has become a property that is licensed). As someone who appreciates action figures as action figures first, I get an immense enjoyment out of figures that are something all their own. Things like Micronauts, Weaponeers of Monkaa, or even I Am Elemental, offer a totally different experience than something that’s just licensed, and, when done right, they’re pretty much pure fun. I’ve recently stumbled across another such line, from the toymakers Revoltech, called Assemble Borg. Today, I’ll be looking at my first figure from the line, Nexus.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Nexus3Nexus is entry 020 in the Assemble Borg line. Technically, that makes him the 20th item in the overarching line, but it should be noted that the original Assemble Borg line actually went on hiatus a couple of years ago, and Nexus is in fact the first figure in the re-launched version of the line, which now bears the sub-heading of Nexus. So, if you want to really get technical here, this is actually an Assemble Borg Nexus Nexus. That’s not confusing or anything! Initially, Assemble Borg focused on a set of characters, divided into heroes and villains, who were sold as established figures whose parts could be interchanged. The focus was very much on collecting each specific character, much like a traditional action figure line. For Nexus, things have changed ever so slightly. Instead of many figures, there are two figures. One is Nexus, who is the base figure from which many other figures can be built. The idea here is that, in theory, you can have as many Nexuses as you want, and they can all be different, through use of either the extra pieces FANG Versionpacked in with this figure or with complimentary pieces included in various add-on sets that are available (more on those later). The line is built around the collector’s creativity, which makes each collection completely unique. In his most basic set-up, Nexus stands 6 inches tall and features 42 points of articulation. As a Revoltech figure, Nexus’s body is built out of a large number of pieces, each connected by a Revoltech revolver joint.  Many Revoltech figures will have sculpts that are made to mask these joints, however, the Assemble Borg figures leave them pretty much fully exposed to allow the fullest possible range of motion. That being said, the sculpt still does quite a bit to make the joints “meld” with the overall flow of the sculpt, so the figure doesn’t look flimsy or hastily put together. Each piece of the figure has a nice mixture of textured mechanical sculpting and smoother housing components, which ends up being really cool looking. ToGaliber Version aid in customizability, many portions of the body feature ports that will fit any basic Revoltech, meaning you can pretty much plug anything into anything else. You want Nexus to have hands on his calves? I mean, that’s kind of weird, but you have the ability to do it. If I had one complaint, it would be that there aren’t quite enough of these ports. For instance, there aren’t any on the arms, which can be a little limiting. More ports = more fun! Now, the cool thing about this figure is all the extra parts he comes with. In his basic, out-of-the-box load-out, Nexus has a faceplate, a set of shoulder pads, a center piece for the torso, and a pair of fists. According to the back of the box, this is the “Fang” setup. The faceplate is the most “face-like” of those included, with eyes and such outlined, and he’s got quite a bit of orange going on.  This is probably the slimmest combination of parts and it seems the most “conventional” of the bunch. On the opposite end is the “Galiber” set-up, Edge Versionwhich features a much blockier selection of parts, with lots of squared edges. I liked the look of this one on the box, but the face plate ends up sitting at a weird angle, which I was not a fan of. Also, the bulkier shoulders are cool, but you need revolver joints to hold them in place, so they do sit out just a bit far. On the plus side, these can be used in place of the hands, for a metal fighting fists type of set-up, which is sweet. The final set-up is called “Edge,” and it’s a sharp one. No, literally, it’s sharp. Everything is blades on this one, except for the face, which is simple and smooth. In addition to the three sets of faceplates, chest armor, and shoulder pads, Nexus also includes a pair of gripping hands, a pair of splayed hands, a gun, a sword, two holster pieces, and two double port pieces, as well a wide selection of various Revoltech joints and connectors so that you can configure the figure (say that ten times fast!) however you like.

Nexus4 Nexus2 Nexus9 Nexus8

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This is Tim’s fault. No, really, it’s all Tim’s fault, start to finish. He told me he found this cool line of figures (always a bad thing to say to me) and followed up by saying that people were comparing them to Micronauts (an even worse thing to say to me). He then tells me he’s already ordered himself two of the figures and shows the pictures to me. Well, great, now I have to buy myself a few of these. But then, Tim texts me a few days later and tells me that Amazon accidentally sent him two of Nexus, and they’re letting him keep the second. He then asks if I might, possibly, just maybe, be interested in the spare. Seeing as I just reviewed the figure, you can probably guess what my answer was. Now, the prototype shots of Nexus were cool, but I wasn’t super sold on any of the set-ups. Then I got him in hand and discovered the whole “plug anything into anything” bit, and the figure became oh so much better. So, I bulked him way up, gave him fighting fists and a handle face, and now he’s one of coolest figures I own. This line is just way too cool.

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#0432: Time Traveler

TIME TRAVELER

MICRONAUTS (MEGO)

It might seem odd that I, someone born 15 years after the line’s release, would be such a big fan of Micronauts. Like with so many things, I blame my dad. I used to stay at my grandparents’ house a lot when I was younger, and he pulled out some of his old toys for me to play with while I was there. My interest in superheroes, Star Wars, and Star Trek can pretty much be directly tied to that. However, there was one figure in particular that intrigued me. Only his top remained, but he was translucent yellow and he had this really cool chrome head. He was a Time Traveler, generally considered the signature figure of the Micronauts line. And thus, a monster was born.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Time Traveler actually saw two separate releases in Mego’s Micronauts line. This is one of the ones released in the first series of figures. It’s easy to distinguish: the original releases were all translucent, while the later ones were opaque. The Time Traveler was initially released in four colors: Clear, Yellow, Orange, and Blue. This one is the blue one. The Time Traveler is roughly 3 ¾ inches in height and he features 18 points of articulation. Unlike his space-faring friend, the Time Traveler is all plastic. The Time Traveler was based on Microman’s Microman M10X, although he has shoes in place of the M10X’s bare feet. That’s just how we roll in America, I guess. Like the Space Glider, the sculpt shows its age, but it definitely has a certain charm about it. The Time Traveler is definitely the more simplistic of the two, but his sculpt is still pretty fun. His chrome chest plate is a removable piece, and there were four possible variations of it. This figure has what is commonly called the “radio dial” plate, due to its resemblance of an old-time radio. It’s not my favorite of the possible options, but it’s still pretty good. Plus, chrome, so…you know. The Time Traveler actually features no paint work. His head and chest plate are vac-metalized, and the rest of his parts are molded in the appropriate colors. The figure originally included an L-port which could hook into his back to allow him to be attached to vehicles, but mine doesn’t have this piece.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Like the Space Glider, the Time Traveler was purchased from the Antique Depot during Ellicott City’s annual Midnight Madness event. The Space Glider’s my favorite, but the Time Traveler is old faithful when it comes to Micronauts. The figure has a definite style about him and he’s instantly distinctive.

#0431: Space Glider

SPACE GLIDER

MICRONAUTS (MEGO)

So, yes, it’s the day after Christmas, and yes, I have tons of new toys to review.  However, I am away from my usual photo shooting set-up, so the Christmas stuff won’t actually be reviewed until the 31st.  Bear with me.  In the mean time, here’s our regularly scheduled programming!

One line that I am surprised I haven’t talked about more on this site is Micronauts. Before I was firmly on the Minimates train, there were few lines that filled me with as much joy as Micronauts. For those of you that don’t know, Micronauts began its life as a Japanese toyline called Henshin Cyborg, which were actually the Japanese equivalent of the original GI Joes. Toymaker Takara decided to make a line of smaller scale figures, called Microman. In 1976, US toymaker Mego decided to import the line under the title Micronauts. The figures are some of the earliest 3 ¾ inch figures, and they ended up having quite a few lasting contributions to toys in general, even if the Micronauts themselves may not be as widely remembered. Today, I’ll be taking a look at one of the line’s heroic characters, the Space Glider!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Space Glider was released in the first series of Mego’s Micronauts line. He was available in three different colors: Blue, Green, and Yellow. In case you couldn’t tell from the pictures, the one being reviewed is blue. The Space Glider is about 3 ¾ inches tall and he has 16 points of articulation. It’s also worth noting that, aside from the head and hands, the whole figure is made from die cast metal. It means the figure is pretty darn sturdy, and he has quite a bit of heft to him. Space Glider was an import of the Super Steel Microman M21X, from the Microman line. His sculpt is essentially the same. While the sculpt does show its age a bit, it’s certainly well done for the time. The torso and arms have lots of hard angles, which look really good. His head is a great, generic “70s space hero” look, although the vac-metalizing has made some of the details a little soft. This figure has some definite style to it, which really makes it stand out. The paint work on the Space Glider is fairly basic, but well done. All of the blue areas are done with a very nice metallic sheen, and the color is nice and evenly applied. Everything else is pretty much just molded in the proper color, but it looks good. The Space Glider included a helmet and a wingpack, both of which are sadly missing from mine.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I got the Space Glider from the Antique Depot, an antique store not far from where I live. I saw him while walking through during Ellicott City’s annual Midnight Madness event. The Space Glider has long been my favorite of Micronauts figure, but I had never had one of the originals. With some light prodding from my friends Tim and Jill, I purchased the figure. The Space Glider really holds up. He’s a really strong figure, and he’s just a lot of fun!