#1219: Myzax

MYZAX

VOLTRON: LEGENDARY DEFENDER (PLAYMATES)

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A giant fighting robot is only as good as the giant foes he giant fights.  Giantly.  As much as Voltron is defined by its title character and the five Paladins who pilot him, it’s also very much defined by the Robeasts with which the Defender of the Universe did battle in just about every episode.  The Robeasts are just as much a part of the new series as they were the old.   Playmates line of figures based on the new show includes the Robeasts, starting things off with the show’s premiere RoBeast

THE FIGURE ITSELF

myzax2Myzax is part of the first series of Voltron: Legendary Defender figures.  He’s the only non-Voltron in the lot, and from the looks of things, he’s not as heavily packed as the others.  The figure is just under 5 inches tall and he has 17 points of articulation.  He’s a lot more posable than the Lion Attack Voltron, which is definitely a point in his favor.  He’s still missing the elbow articulation on one arm, but he’s got bicep and thigh swivels, which makes for a lot more posing options than we saw with yesterday’s figure.  Myzax was one of my favorite designs from the new show, and the figure does a pretty respectable job of translating that design into three dimensions.  The arms and legs should probably be a little longer, and his right arm’s a little too thick, but aside from that, most of the details are pretty accurate.  The level of detail could probably be sharper, but he’s about on par with the work seen on Voltron, which is certainly reasonable.   Even the action feature is better worked in than it was on Voltron.  He’s still got the missile launching gimmick, but the actual missile isn’t an integral part of the figure’s design (meaning it’s totally fine to display him without it), and the feature actually half-way replicates his special attack from the show.  Plus, it’s button activated, so it’s less likely to break over time.  The paintwork on the figure is passable, but it could definitely be a bit better.  All there really is to it is the most basic colors.  The application is clean, but he’s missing a lot of the smaller details from the show.  As it stands, he looks alright, but I can’t help but feel he’d look even cooler with a top-notch paint job.  As far as accessories, his only real extra is the missile for the launcher gimmick.  It replicates the energy ball weapon that’s built into his arm in the show.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I found Myzax at the same time as Voltron.  He’s really the figure that sold me on the whole line.  I’d picked up the Voltron and wasn’t sure I wanted him, but I spotted this guy on the back of the card, and he happened to be hidden back behind several Voltrons.  Myzax is my favorite of the Robeasts from the new show so far, so I’m pretty psyched about his inclusion so early in the line.  On top of that, he’s actually a pretty fun figure, and a good indicator of how good this line can be if Playmates puts in the effort.

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#1218: Lion Attack Voltron

LION ATTACK VOLTRON

VOLTRON: LEGENDARY DEFENDER (PLAYMATES)

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Back in late January, Netflix dropped the second season of their reboot of Voltron, which proved to be just as good as, if not better than, the show’s first season.  The first season’s release was woefully devoid of accompanying toys, but between the first and second season, Playmates picked up the license and released a selection of action figures about a week before the second season’s premier.  There are a couple of different options for those that want a basic Voltron.  I opted for one of the two smaller versions, which I’ll be looking at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

voltronld2Lion Attack Voltron is part of the first series of Playmates’ Voltron: Legendary Defender line.  The figure stands about 5 1/2 inches tall and he has 11 points of articulation.  Hardly the most posable figure ever. At the very least, I would have liked some bicep swivels and elbow movement for *both* arms, but I guess what this guy’s got is workable.  There’s certainly worse out there.  This Voltron figure is based on the modern Voltron design, which is really just a sleeker, more rounded out version of the classic design.  The sculpt does a reasonable job of recreating the show look.  He’s a bit stiffer, and some elements (the neck in particular) are rather on the boxy side.  All the details are pretty well defined; some of them are a little on the soft side, but it’s generally pretty solid work.  The wings are removable pieces, but don’t combine into the shield like on the show.  It might be nice to have gotten some alternate extended wings, but maybe those will show up on another figure down the line.  The biggest deviation from his established look is in order to facilitate the action feature.  The head of the Green Lion is actually mounted to a projectile, which juts out of the back of the elbow about an inch.   The actual sculpt has some tweaks to allow the missile to go through more smoothly, which means there’s some odd extra plastic in a few spots.  Fortunately, it’s not too hard to hide these inaccuracies with some careful posing, but it’s still a bit annoying.  Even more annoying is the way the missile launcher works; there’s no actual lock and release button, it’s a more simple tension hold.  The problem with this design when dealing with softer materials like plastic is that it will eventually warp, and eventually the notch that holds the missile in place isn’t strong enough to resist the tension of the spring.  How do I know this will happen?  Because it *already* happened to my figure; after a few days, the hand simply wouldn’t stay in place.  I had to deepen the notch to keep it from firing, and I’ll likely have to keep doing it every so often.  Not something I want to have to do to a mass-produced figure.  Voltron’s paintwork is decent enough.  It’s fairly basic color work, but everything is nice and clean, and colors are bold.  Voltron includes no accessories, but with the missile feature and removable wings, the box doesn’t feel too empty.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The new Voltron toys were actually an in-store surprise for me.  I had heard Playmates had the license, but hadn’t seen any prototypes.  I stumbled upon them while running some errands at Target.  There are two different smaller Voltrons available, and I went with this one because he looked to be the more articulated of the two.  He’s nothing amazing, and I really would have preferred they’d dropped the missile launcher feature in favor of just properly articulating that arm (since mine’s already broken).  Still, he’s not awful, and he’s certainly got some promise.  If Playmates is willing to try and learn from their mistakes, this like could be really fun.

#1211: Lt. Cmdr. Geordi LaForge

LT. CMDR. GEORDI LaFORGE

STAR TREK: FIRST CONTACT (PLAYMATES)

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While I’ve been exposed to Star Trek pretty much my whole life, my only real solid memories of the franchise from my childhood are seeing Star Trek: First Contact in the theatre when it was released (and subsequently getting it on Laserdisc when it came to home video.  For over a decade, that was literally the only way we owned it.  I’d have to fire up the laserdisc player anytime I wanted to watch it.  I’m not joking).  By extension, my first real memories of Star Trek toys are the figures from that movie, which are still some of my favorites.  Today, I’ll be looking at that line’s version of  Enterprise-E’s chief engineer Geordi LaForge!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

geordifc2Geordi was released as part of Playmates’ Star Trek: First Contact line, which hit shelves in early 1996.  The line was noteworthy at the time for abandoning the scale used by all of the prior Playmates Trek figures, opting instead for a larger size.  As such, the figure stands just shy of 6 inches tall.  He sports 14 points of articulation; he and all the other main crew members were given additional thigh swivels, which greatly improved their ability to sit. Of course, the larger scale meant they weren’t compatible with any of the prior vehicles or playsets, so he doesn’t actually have anywhere to sit, but that’s neither here nor there.  Movement is movement.  Prior Trek lines had done their best to give each crew member their own unique body sculpt, but the First Contact figures went for the more obvious shared body idea.  Geordi shares his body with both Data and Picard.  It’s a decent enough sculpt.  The details of the uniform are rather on the simplified side, and they’ve cut down on some things, such as the number of ridges on the grey part, and the seam at the front of the collar.  All of the key details are there, which is good I guess.  Honestly, it’s not that much of a departure from the smaller figures, so I guess the consistency is good.  The build on the body works well enough for Burton (and the other three actors mentioned).  The head sculpt is really big, definitely a bit out of scale with the body.  I don’t think its really any more out of scale than any of the smaller figures, but it’s definitely more noticeable here.  There’s a passable likeness in there, but I can’t say its one of their best (which is kind of a shame, because the First Contact figures overall had some of the best likenesses Playmates produced).  Still, it’s not a bad sculpt, and has some decent texture work, which Playmates didn’t always put on their figures.  The paintwork on Geordi is serviceable.  The body is fairly basic, but it’s clean and the colors are right, so that’s good.  The head has some more in-depth work, and the eyes in particular look really good (Playmates was really good at eyes).  Geordi was packed with an assortment of various gadgets, all molded in black, as well as a display stand shaped like a communicator badge.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Geordi was my second figure from First Contact.  I got him on a day out with my dad, who took me to Toys R Us to get him (and then I think we got lunch and he read me some Norse mythology.  It was a cool day).  I know I specifically requested this figure, because my cousin Noah had one and I really wanted my own.  I remember being surprised that he didn’t include his visor (despite having already seen the movie and knowing he didn’t have it anymore).  He’s not the most thrilling figure, but I have fond memories of getting him, and that certainly goes a long way!

#1196: Dr Z – Rubin Zellar

“DR. Z” — RUBIN ZELLAR

SEAQUEST DSV (PLAYMATES)

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Okay, I went slightly ‘90s with yesterday’s Cannonball and Domino review.  I went a little more ‘90s with the Superman Red review.  Today, I’m going full ‘90s.  Yes, today I tackle SeaQuest DSV. SeaQuest, to those of you that don’t know, was a sci-fi series from the early ‘90s set in the futuristic world of 2018, aboard the naval submarine SeaQuest DSV 4600.  It was a little like classic Trek, but in the water.  Its first season was very strong, and heavy on the actual science (each episode ended with Dr. Robert Ballard explaining the science of that week’s plot), and featuring a diverse and fun cast of characters.  There were two seasons after that, but it’s generally in everyone’s best interest not to talk about them.  The series was fortunate enough to get a short-lived line of toys by Playmates (the then current holders of the Trek license, no less), which covered most of the main crew, plus two of the show’s antagonists.  Today, I’ll be looking at one of the antagonists, Biochemical Terrorist Rubin “Dr. Z” Zellar from the episode “Games.”

THE FIGURE ITSELF

drz2Dr. Z was released in 1993 as part of the first and only series of Playmates’ SeaQuest DSV line.  He’s based on his early appearance from “Games,” when he’s first picked up by the SeaQuest and is masquerading as a prison warden.  He probably spends a greater portion of the episode wearing a borrowed SeaQuest science staff uniform, but that might have proved slightly confusing in the toyline, since it would have made him look like an actual member of the crew.  The figure stands about 4 1/2 inches tall (putting him in the same scale as Playmates’ Trek line) and has 14 points of articulation.  While the Trek figures all got saddled with those wonky v-hips, the SeaQuest figures actually got pretty traditional t-hips, and also got thigh swivels too.  Odd that the unproven show got the better treatment.  The sculpt is pretty similar to the Trek stuff in style, which is to say it’s not super ultra realistic, but it’s still a halfway decent recreation of Zellar’s look from the show.  The head sports a passable likeness of Zellar’s actor Alan Scarfe, and the general proportions are actually a little better than the Trek stuff I’ve looked at.  The standout bit of this figure is definitely the fur coat, which is surprisingly well detailed for a figure of this era and scale.  Zellar’s paintwork is pretty solid; it’s not the most exciting work, but what’s there is nice and clean, and the once again the jacket stands out with some detail work to keep it from being too drab.  Zellar was packed with a number of cool accessories, including a pick axe, a display stand, and a ….weird gun thing.  The coolest piece is the T5-6000 Cryo-Chamber, originally meant to carry Zellar, but in actuality carrying the prison warden he replaced.  It’s just a simple plastic shell with a cardboard illustration on top, but I really like it.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I picked up Zellar from Yesterday’s Fun this past summer, as he was one of the two SeaQuest figures I didn’t yet have.  There’s no denying he’s a well done figure, but he’s also one of the most frustrating figures from the line.  SeaQuest was hardly defined by its antagonists, so the fact that we got two of them in place of the three missing members of the Season 1 crew, is really annoying.  “Games” is certainly a memorable episode, and Zellar’s a compelling villain, but the success of the episode hinges more on its focus on Dr. Kristin Westphalen, who was absent from the toyline (interestingly enough, she was the only of the three unreleased crew members to get a prototype, but was left unreleased for whatever reason).  Zellar’s presence in the line seems to have come at the expense of the character that would give him an actual reason to be in the line at all, which just feels rather backwards.

#1062: Flash Gordon – Flight Suit

FLASH GORDON – FLIGHT SUIT

FLASH GORDON (PLAYMATES)

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When your name is the same name as the toyline that you’re a part of, it’s pretty much a given that you’ll get at least one more figure than everybody else.  Especially in the ‘90s.  This was the case with Alex “Flash” Gordon of…Flash Gordon.  Yep, in a series of eight total figures, he still managed to get two of them.  He was a whole quarter of the figures released!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

flashspace2Flash is the final figure from the basic assortment of the Playmates’ Flash Gordon line.  He’s the only duplicated character in the set (though, plans were drawn up for a corresponding Dale figure).  Where the last Flash was based on the character’s rather decade-specific main design from the show, this one’s based on his Flight Suit look, which was a bit more, shall we say timeless?  The figure is a little over 5 inches tall and has 6 points of articulation.  Amazingly enough, this figure’s sculpt is 100% unique, sharing no parts with the prior Flash.  Even the head, which looks more or less the same, has a slightly different expression.  I actually prefer this head to the other, just because he looks a little less slack-jawed.  The rest of the body is, obviously, new.  It’s noticeably less pre-posed than the regular Flash, which is both a blessing and a curse.  While the more standard pose is a bit more versatile, when coupled with the articulation, it makes him a bit stiffer looking.  It’s not horrible, but if he could have at least gotten the articulation we saw on Ming, I think he could have been far superior.  The actual design is pretty fun, and it translates well two action figure form.  It’s still a little less detailed than I’d like, but it’s not bad, and at the very least he fits in with the rest of the line.  The paintwork on Flash is pretty good.  As with the Playmates Trek figures, the face stands out from the rest by featuring a surprising amount of detail, especially on the eyes.  The body’s far more basic, but the colors are at the very least pretty exciting.  There’s some bleed over here and there, but nothing truly atrocious.  He’s still really shiny, but doesn’t look quite as glazed as some of the others in the series.  Flash included a helmet, a TriBlaster, a communicator, and an AirSled (in a slightly darker red than the normal Flash’s).

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This was my third figure from this line.  I got him from Ageless Heroes’ legendary going-out-of-bustiness sale, around the same time as Ming.  I think it was shortly after I got Ming, truth be told, and I know for a fact it was on a school night, as a reward for finishing up my homework early or something like that (I also got a Black Widow figure at the same time.  Score!).  I got a second of this figure in the set of eight that I picked up last summer.  Ultimately, despite some tiny flaws, I think this is the better of the two Flash’s released in this line.  The design is just better overall, and the final execution just barely nudges past the regular version.  All-in-all, the ‘90s Flash Gordon line is kind of an oddity.  It’s based on a cartoon that almost no one remembers, and the figures are at best a mediocre attempt at translating some of the designs.  The thing the line has going for it is that it’s probably the cheapest way to put together a Flash Gordon set-up.  Ultimately, I’m happy to have them all, but I’ll always wish they were just a bit better.

#1061: Kobalt the Mercenary

KOBALT THE MERCENARY

FLASH GORDON (PLAYMATES)

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Flash Gordon is, in many ways, the quintessential space opera.  The characters contained therein pretty much all fit the standard archetypes for such a story. As such, when introducing new characters to the franchise, if you don’t want them to stick out like sore thumbs, they kind of need to fit an archetype too.  Today’s focus, Kobalt, is no exception to that line of thought.  He’s very much the standard villainous gun for hire, sent to chase down the heroes, much in same vein as the likes of Boba Fett and Jubal Early.  So, let’s see how his figure turned out!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

kobalt2Kobalt is yet another of the basic Flash Gordon figures from Playmates.  Also worth noting: he’s the last of the three  villains the line produced.  Yeah, for some strange reason, they didn’t go for the obvious 50/50 split.  The figure stands about 5 1/4 inches tall and has 6 points of articulation.  He’s one of the few figures in the line not to get the stupid v-hips, which is always a good thing.  Kobalt’s sculpt is decent enough, though nothing particularly amazing.  He’s about on par with Flash and Dale.  The proportions are fine, and he looks like his cartoon counterpart.  That said, the details are all on the more basic side, which makes him look a little less impressive than the likes of Ming and General Lynch.  As it stands he’s accurate to the show, but feels lacking as a figure.  Kobalt’s paintwork is fairly decent, and certainly on par with the rest of the series.  His colors match up with those from the show, and the overall application is pretty clean.  He’s still exceptionally shiny, but at this point, at least he’s consistent.  Kobalt was packed with a Transrupter (whatever that is), an Imperial TranScanner, and an AirSled in a dark red color.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Kobalt is yet another figure from the lot of 8 I picked up at a convention last summer.  Like Lynch, he’s not really a character that jumped out at me.  As a matter of fact, I didn’t really remember this guy until I picked up the set of figures.  This figure’s alright, but not anything particularly impressive.   He’s fairly run of the mill for the line.

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#1060: General Lynch

GENERAL LYNCH

FLASH GORDON (PLAYMATES)

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Today we get to the character that is perhaps the first wholesale new character from the ‘90s Flash Gordon, General Lynch.  Lynch fulfilled the role of Ming’s main lackey, which was hardly a unique role to the series.  However, he himself didn’t have any direct counterparts in the earlier iterations.  He’s just sort of a typical big-muscled lackey, of course, so he wasn’t really breaking new ground or anything.  On to the figure!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

generallynch2General Lynch is yet another figure from the basic assortment of Playmates’ Flash Gordon line.  The figure is a little under 5 inches tall (due to his slight hunch), and he has 5 points of articulation. He’s one of the shorter figures in the set, but he’s also the widest, so…good for him?  While his articulation’s more in line with the rest of the series, his sculpt actually has a lot in common with his boss Ming.  There’s a lot more texture and detail, and everything as a whole is just a lot sharper than most of the other figures.  The details of his face and the scaly texture of his skin stand out in particular as very cool.  He still bears a resemblance to his show appearance, but also has a certain degree of added realism, which just puts him above the others.  It’s definitely one of the better sculpts the line had to offer, alongside Ming.  Perhaps the only real downside (apart from the articulation) is his tendency to topple over.  The paint on Lynch is pretty decent as well.  It’s not perfect; there are a few spots of slop and bleed over, but the colors match up with his show appearance pretty well.  The General included the usual AirSled (which is a purple very similar in hue to his boss’s sled), as well as strange, ice cream scoop-looking weapon of some sort.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Hey, do you want to take a guess where Lynch came from?  Yep, same place as the last few figures: a lot I picked up at a convention last summer.  I can’t say he was one of the figures I was particularly looking forward to, since Lynch on the show is ultimately a bit forgettable.  That said, he’s actually one of the nicest figures in the set.  The detail on that sculpt just can’t be beat!  Now, why couldn’t they put this kind of work in on Talon and Thundarr?  It’s unjust!  Unjust, I tell you!

#1059: Princess Thundar

PRINCESS THUNDAR

FLASH GORDON (PLAYMATES)

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Okay, remember yesterday’s discussion of the characters unique to the various incarnations of Flash Gordon.  Well, today’s focus is technically one of those, but only sort of.  See, Princess Thundarr, of the Leonids was a new addition to the cast of the ‘90s cartoon, but she’s effectively just a gender-swapped version of the original strip’s Prince Thun, leader of the Lion Men (who, it should be noted, weren’t actual lion people, unlike the Leonids).  Yes, of the eight figures released from the cartoon, a whole two of them were female.  That’s pretty good for the time!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

princessthundra2Princess Thundar (that’s how it’s spelled on the packaging, but every other reference I’ve found has the two “r”s, so I’m guessing someone goofed) was another of the basic assortment of figures from Playmates’ Flash Gordon line.  The figure stands a little under 5 inches tall (she’s the shortest figure from the line), and has 6 points of articulation, counting her tail.  Not an amazing selection, but at least she doesn’t have those v-hips!  Thundar’s sculpt is pretty decently handled.  She’s a fair translation of the show design into three dimensions, though she does seem a touch…blander?…than her show appearance.  In fact, bland is probably a apt descriptor of her in general.  From a purely technical standpoint, she’s perfectly fine, but she doesn’t really have the spark of character that Flash, Dale, and Ming all had.  Her expression is rather blank, her pose is little more than a simple standing pose (which isn’t inherently bad, but looks off compared to the others in the line), and she just feels a bit meh.  Even the paint is kind of boring.  Her colors aren’t far removed from how they looked on the show, but they do seem a little more washed out than they should be (in contrast to the overly bright Talon figure).  They’re still handled well technically, but it just feels like there could be more pop.  Princess Thundar included a weird bladed disc thing, a rebel VisiPad, and a purple AirSled.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Thundar also came from the lot of eight I picked up last summer.  I can’t say my expectations of her were strongly one way or another.  Ultimately, she feels like something of a counter point to Talon.  Her paint work is sharp, but dull.  Her sculpt is decently detailed and all, but still…dull.  And her pose is very stiff, which seems very contrary to her nature on the show.  Of the two, she’s the superior figure, but that takes her from being bad to being just sort of “meh.”

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#1058: Prince Talon

PRINCE TALON

FLASH GORDON (PLAYMATES)

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Each new iteration of Flash Gordon brings its own unique characters to the table.  The 90s cartoon was no exception.  In some cases, characters were created wholesale, and in others, they were amalgamations or approximations of previously existing characters.  Presumably, after the unforgettable performances of Brian Blessed and Timothy Dalton as Prince Vultan and Prince Barin, respectively, in the 1980 Flash Gordon movie, the makers of the cartoon felt replacing them might be difficult, and instead gave us Prince Talon, who was one of the Hawkmen, just like Vultan, but also was far less antagonistic, and served as a foil to Flash, much like Barin (who would later appear in the cartoon, albeit in a much smaller role).  Today, I’ll be looking at Talon’s one and only action figure.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

princetalon2Talon was one of the basic assortment figures from Playmates’ Flash Gordon line.  The figure is about 5 inches tall and he has 8 points of articulation, counting his wings. After reviewing Ming, Talon feels like quite a step down in terms of movement.  The one pose you see him in for the pictures?  That’s pretty much the only pose you’ll be getting out of him.  Talon is ostensibly based on his cartoon design (well, the second one, since he had a different look in the pilot), but he doesn’t really translate as well as the others in the line did.  On the show he was very angular, classically heroic in built, and had a very rigid stance.  On the figure, he’s round, a little pudgy, and permanently in a weird sort of mid-lunging pose.  Most of the cool details from his costume are just painted on, despite many of them having dimension on the original design, and the others in the set getting all the appropriate details on their sculpts.  And for some reason, they’ve given him a pair of sunglasses.  I guess all black guys in the ‘90s had to have cool shades?  They just end up looking rather hokey, though, since their shape doesn’t fit with anything else about the design.  It feels like the sculptor just got too lazy to actually sculpt his eyes, and did this as a time saver.  The wings can be removed if you so desire (because it was easier to fit him in the package with them off).  They’re rather basic and uninspiring, and once again seem to miss the coolness of his design from the show.  The paint on Talon is also some of the worst the line had to offer.  His colors are rather drab, and don’t really match up with his show design.  The pale green has been replaced by a warm yellow, which just looks even more dorky.  His details are all kind of fuzzy around the edges, and he’s painfully shiny in hue.  He just looks rather fake and cheap.  Talon included a weird bird-shaped blade-gun thing, which has an extending feature, as well as another AirSled, this time in light blue.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Talon is one of the last figures I got from the line.  He came from the lot of 8 I picked up at a convention last summer.  He was actually one of my main reasons for picking up the set, because Talon was one of my favorite parts of the show.  Unfortunately, the Talon figure takes a look at the bar set by yesterday’s Ming figure and just sort of face plants just in front of it.  Somehow, they managed to take the coolest of the show’s designs and turn it into the lamest of the 8 figures released.  It’s a real shame.

#1057: Ming the Merciless

MING THE MERCILESS

FLASH GORDON (PLAYMATES)

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If Dale Arden is the prototypical heroine/love interest, then Ming the Merciless is most definitely the prototypical arch villain.  I mean, c’mon, “Merciless” is part of his name.  Over the years, Ming has run the gamut between alien and human; he’s always just different enough to be clearly of another world, and always human enough to hit close to home with his evil ways, but the exact balance can be anywhere between those points.  In the case of the ‘90s cartoon, he was definitely in the more alien camp.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

ming2Ming was released as part of the basic assortment of Playmates’ Flash Gordon line, which is sensible seeing as he’s, you know, the primary villain (though being a major character was hardly a guarantee of a figure for this line.  Just ask poor Dr. Zarkov…).  The figure stands about 5 1/4 inches tall and he has 7 points of articulation.  Of particular note on the articulation is the presence of knee joints, something no other figure in this line possessed.  Why did Ming get the extra articulation?  Simple.  Playmates also released his throne, and he had to be able to sit on it.  So, rather than give all of the figures this quite useful articulation scheme, they just made Ming that way, which means he doesn’t quite fit with the rest of the line stylistically.  On the plus side, he has one of the nicest sculpts the line produced.  He takes the show design and tweaks it to make it just a bit more realistic, both in level of detail and in overall proportions.  It still makes him seem very different from the others, but that’s kind of okay.  The cape is a separate piece, which is alright, but it has a bit of trouble staying on, and it makes hime slightly difficult to keep balanced. The paintwork on Ming is pretty decent.  The colors are a fair bit less vibrant than the last two figures, but that’s show accurate, and it makes him seem a bit more villainous.  The details are all pretty clean and sharp.  He’s also got a nifty light-piping feature on his eyes, which gives him sort of an eery kind of a gaze.  Ming was packed with an extending staff thingy, and an Airsled, this time in purple.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Ming was my second figure from this particular line.  He was one of the many figures I picked up from Ageless Heroes’ going out of business sale back in ’99.  Ming was then my fourth figure in the line, when I got another as a gift from someone a year or two later.  Another Ming was later acquired as part of the full set of figures I bought last summer, bringing the total Ming number up to three.  That’s a lot of Mings, but I can’t say I totally mind.  The biggest problem this figure faces is being very different from the rest of the line, but that’s less a problem with him and more a problem with the other seven figures.