#1679: Moon Knight & Punisher

MOON KNIGHT & PUNISHER

MARVEL MINIMATES

2018 marks the fifteenth year of Marvel Minimates, if you can believe it, and DST’s celebrating that with Series 75 (which, of course, all long-term fans know, is actually only the 74th Series in actual count, thanks to Series 15, the only series of Marvel Minimates ever to be outright cancelled).  75 is Marvel Knights/Defenders themed, offering up some of Marvel’s lower level characters.  Today, I’m looking at the one set in the series not to actually feature any of the current Defenders members (but don’t hold that against them), Moon Knight & Punisher!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

As noted above, Moon Knight and Punisher are part of Series 75 of Marvel Minimates, which takes loose inspiration from the Netflix slate of Marvel shows.  Moon Knight’s kind of out of the odd man out in this respect, but maybe he’ll show up in the next slate of them?  Please?

Also included in this set are two pieces of the very first Minimate Build-A-Figure, Quake!  In this set, we get both the legs.  They’re just standard legs, done up in colors to match the SHIELD agents from Series 43 and 51.

MARVEL NOW MOON KNIGHT

This is only Moon Knight’s sophomore figure in the Minimates line.  His last was all the way back in Series 29, 46 series and 9 years ago.  I think that’s a decent enough wait time for a re-do, don’t you?  This one’s not actually a straight re-do; it’s based on his armored look from Warren Ellis’s re-boot of the character.  It wasn’t his main look during Ellis’s run, but it was picked up by others, and has shown up in a few games and one of the cartoons.  I think it’s a solid re-imagining of his usual look.  Of course, as luck would have it, he went back to his all-white look a few months before this guy hit shelves.  Oh, darn, I guess we’ll just need another Moon Knight.  The figure stands 2 1/2 inches tall and has the usual 14 points of articulation.  Moon Knight’s sculpted elements are limited to his signature cloak.  Like his last Minimate, the hood and cape are two separate pieces, in order to help maximize posability.  These have been the source of some contention in the fanbase, with lots of debating over which cloak is the superior one.  While the old one always looked nice, it was never much for posing, and made keeping him standing nearly impossible.  This new one dials things back a bit, and gives us a more simplified design.  It’s still not perfect.  The hood in particular bugs me; something about its shape is slightly off.  Still, it’s an improvement in terms of playabilty, which makes for a better figure. Moon Knight’s paintwork is nice and bold.  It’s coming at the character from an entirely different angle than the last ‘mate, being very sleek and clean.  There’s a little bit of bleed over on some of the black-to-white changes, but for the most part, he looks pretty sharp.  In particular, the wider eyes seen on this version’s mask feel more in tune with the character than the tiny squinting eyes from the last one, and I also really like the grey highlights, which keep the black sections from getting too monotonous. Included with Moon Knight are his staff and a clear display stand.  The staff is re-used from the animated Proxima Midnight, but it a decent match for the staff Moon Knight is usually seen carrying about.

FRONTAL ASSAULT PUNISHER

I’m not sure of how comfortable I am with the “Frontal Assault” descriptor.  Wouldn’t such a name would be more appropriate for one of the trench-coated variants?  To DST’s credit, there are only so many buzzwords you can throw in front of the name “Punisher.”  Just plain “assault” was already taken and yet another character with the “Marvel Now” moniker might tear open a rift in the space time continuum.  But, I digress. Frank Castle is no stranger to Minimates, this being his eighth entry in the line.  This one’s his first comics-based ‘mate since 2013 (barring the 2016 re-release of the Best Of ‘mate), and it’s based on his pre-Secret Wars look from around 2014 or so.  It’s a nice sort of tactical look for the character, and also offers something in keeping with how the character looks in the Netflix shows. Punisher has add-on pieces for his hair and tactical vest.  I believe both of these are new to this particular figure.  The vest definitely is, but the hair is throwing me.  Regardless, both pieces are incredibly well-sculpted, and very nicely suited to the character.  The vest in particular just really encapsulates how I feel the Punisher should look. Punisher’s paint work is really a collection of pleasant surprises.  Let’s start from the weakest point and move upwards: his vest and sleeves show a little bit of slop.  Nothing too terrible, but notable given the quality of the rest of the paint.  The face is pretty classic Frank Castle, all grizzled and angry.  The application’s quite clean, and I like that they’ve even given him his stubble (not that stubble’s exactly a new thing on Minimates).  Under the vest, there’s a skull-emblazened t-shirt, which is a very nice touch.  He’s also got some incredible small detail work on his arms and legs, with the legs in particular standing out with all the stitching and line work associated with the tactical pants.  Really great attention to detail there. Punisher includes an HK94A3 Rifle (first included with the T2 SWAT officer), as well as a skull-faced mask piece (based on a mask he was frequently seen wearing during the 2014 run), and a clear display stand.  I’d have liked to get some additional guns.  Just the rifle seems a little light.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I got this set from my LCS, Cosmic Comix (okay, technically I got it from Tim, who bought it from CCX; he was paying me back for grabbing him an Obsidian Fury).  Moon Knight’s been due another Minimate for a while now.  This one takes a decidedly different approach to the character than the last one, so a direct comparison is a bit difficult, but this offering walks the line of look vs playability better than the last one.  I’m hopeful an all-white variant might show up in the near future.  In the mean time, this one’s a solid addition.  In a set where the clear selling point was Moon Knight, Punisher serves as sort of a sleeper figure.  As only a moderate fan of the character, I wasn’t anticipating much from him, but he’s a high quality, truly exceptional ‘mate.

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Guest Review #0042: The Punisher

THE PUNISHER

MARVEL LEGENDS

Heyo! It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Last time, I was trying to review Mass Effect minimates (which I still need to finish, oops…) but I’m going to completely switch gears this time. Today, I’m going to introduce you guys to my gun-toting cinnamon roll Frankie (aka The Punisher)! Warning, throughout this review I will mostly call him Frankie, I know unprofessional –sue me .

THE FIGURE ITSELF

This figure is specifically designed after the character portrayed in the second season of Daredevil on Netflix. He comes in the same series of Hasbro’s Marvel Legends as Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and the build-a-figure Man Thing (who came up with that name???).

Frankie, here, stands at about 6 ½ inches tall with 30 points of articulation. According to Ethan, Frankie’s body is not reused from another figure; in fact, he is completely his own with all new pieces. What’s cool about this figure, and a lot of the newer Marvel Legends, is that some of his features are printed on. In this case, Frankie’s face and the skull on his chest have been printed, not painted, on. This allows for more precise detailing to be made on the figures, for Frankie it means that you can see a nice five-o-clock shadow going on there and a couple of small scars on his nose. I actually really like how Frankie’s face turned out, the detailing is fantastic and they were able to capture his serious, broody, and adorable face really well.  The detailing on his chest is pretty cool as well. You can see all the straps and buckles on his bullet-proof vest, they’re not painted on but are part of the chest’s sculpt. The print job on the vest is well done as well; it really does look like paint on a vest, and even includes implied rough texture of the vest’s material and a few drips of running paint. Frankie’s legs have a lot of subtle detail, with wrinkles, pockets, and rough texturing for the pants. I find his boots to be really interesting, while just normal plain combat boots, they were able to make it look like his pants were stuffed into his boots and not look like all one entity. His jacket appears to be removable, but suggest leaving it on because he would look weird without it, especially since his arms are sculpted to be wrinkly like coat sleeves. I also have to say a quick thing about his hands; if you look closely you can see the suggestions of veins and tendons, which is a neat little detailing. The paint on the figure is okay, it’s just black and skin tones. There are a few spots where his hair (mostly at the edge of his bangs is peach instead of black, and at the corners of his jaw his five-o-clock shadow doesn’t completely cover it.

For accessories, Frankie comes with two guns. The first is just your average pistol, painted silver with a textured handle and other small detailing related to that style of gun. The second is some kind of rifle…I’m not gonna lie, I don’t know guns and our gun guy isn’t here to tell me all the cool things about the larger of Frankie’s guns, including what the hell to call it. It’s a cool looking gun that I’m sure is supposed to fire rather rapidly, with a scope, a long, slightly curved magazine clip, and other gun do-hickeys. I’m sorry, I don’t know guns, you’ll have to forgive me or wait for this to be updated later with more (accurate) details on the gun. All I know is that Frankie’s larger gun is black and pretty badass looking.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Frankie came to me while we were packing up our apartment to move elsewhere. I was having a pretty stressful time, and my super sweet boyfriend decided to get me this figure when he saw it to try to help me out some. I fell in love with my gun-toting cinnamon roll after watching his part in Daredevil season two. My (over) enthusiastic love for the Punisher surprised Ethan a lot, especially since I normally don’t care for morally gray characters, but Frankie was just different and stole my heart with his sad brooding and love for lots of bullets. So when Ethan saw that they were making this figure he showed me and I’m sure our neighbors could hear my fangirl-screaming three-floors up, and I wanted one ever since. I love this design of the Punisher and I’m so happy he’s a part of my growing collection of figures! I’m also super excited for his Netflix show, and you can bet your bum I’m gonna watch it with this figure in hand!

#1190: Daredevil & Punisher

DAREDEVIL & PUNISHER

MARVEL MINIMATES

ddpunisher1

Today marks the penultimate post-Christmas review for 2016.  This review is more or less a continuation of yesterday’s.  I’ll be looking at the remaining Marvel Minimates based on Netflix’s Daredevil series.  Yesterday’s set was heavy on the civilian looks, but this set turns things around, giving us Daredevil’s official, more superhero-y costume, as well as his fellow Hell’s Kitchen vigilante, Frank Castle, aka the Punisher!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

DD and Punisher were released as an exclusive two-pack at SDCC 2016.  They served as a way of hyping up the rest of the Netflix-based sets, as well as tying into the recently released second season of Daredevil.  The set was supposed to get a wider release following the, but some issues with misplaced product in one of Diamond’s warehouses meant that a good chunk of the sets didn’t arrive until almost the end of 2016.

DAREDEVIL

ddpunisher2After spending 13 episodes in Season 1 sporting the all-black number seen yesterday, the final battle of the season finally gave DD his more familiar red getup.  This figure isn’t *quite* that version, but is instead based on his look from the back 3/4 of Season 2, after a stray bullet from the Punisher cracks his original helmet and he has to get a replacement.  The differences are negligible, really, but it’s still important to note.  The figure uses the standard ‘mate body, and as such stands about 2 1/4 inches tall and has 14 points of articulation.  He’s got add-ons for his mask and thigh holster.  The holster is the same piece seen on yesterday’s Season 1 DD (though flipped to the other leg, as it was in the show), but the mask is all-new to this particular figure.  It’s a decent enough translation of his second mask, though the forehead section seems a little too tall.  It’s a minor enough issue not to really bug me.  His paintwork is far more complex than any of yesterday’s ‘mates, and does a pretty solid job of capturing the suit seen in the show.  The colors are a good match, and all of the line work is nice and sharp.  Under the mask, there’s another Matt Murdock face, this time a bit more intense than either of the two in yesterday’s set.  It’s perfectly fine (the stubble in particular is very impressive), but something about this particular expression messes with the likeness a bit; I’m not seeing much of Charlie Cox in there.  DD is packed with his billy club (the same pieces as the eskrima sticks, but in red this time), an extra hairpiece for an unmasked look, and a clear display stand.

PUNISHER

ddpunisher3Frank Castle serves as the antagonist for the first several episodes of Daredevil’s second season, before becoming something of a dueling protagonist as the season progresses.  Season 2 was admittedly a slight step down from the show’s first season, but Jon Bernthal’s turn as the Punisher was easily the high point of the season, and this is coming from a guy who’s never really liked the Punisher.  His presence as the second half of this pack is far from surprising.  Frank spends most of the season in rather normal clothes, but does finally dawn a pretty straight forward Punisher costume during the second season finale.  It’s only on-screen for a few minutes, but it’s a pretty distinctive look.  Punisher uses add-ons for his hair and  coat.  The hair is a new piece, specifically designed to replicate his close-cropped style.  It does alright in that respect, though I feel like something more along the lines of the Red Hulk hairpiece might have done the job a bit better.  The coat is the long coat piece first introduced way back in 2007 on the very first Doc Brown, and it’s a nice, basic piece, which does its job pretty well.  Punisher’s paintwork is more on par with the Season 1 set than DD, being mostly a lot of black.  That being said, there’s a lot of really great detail work on the front of the torso and the belt.  He also has a pretty good likeness of Jon Bernthal, and the detailing on his hair even continues under the hair piece, allowing for him to be displayed with his closer cropped ‘do from earlier in the season (even if he’s not wearing the right jacket and shirt).  In terms of accessories, Frank is packed with a spare set of arms with rolled up sleeves, a machine gun, two handguns, and a clear display stand.  I wouldn’t have minded getting the larger rifle he uses during the final battle with the hand, or even the mini gun he was seen carrying at the very end of the finale, but I guess this assortment works alright too.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Since I didn’t attend SDCC, I couldn’t pick up this set in person.  I also missed out on the initial supplies that hit online, so I ended up having to play the waiting game.  Ultimately, they were a Christmas present from my parents (who have been supplying me with pretty much all of my Minimates as of late).  This is a great counterpart to yesterday’s set, and gives me another two of my favorite characters from one of my favorite shows!

#1064: Punisher

PUNISHER

MARVEL LEGENDS SERIES

punisherhas1

A ruthless vigilante, Punisher single-handedly takes down crime one bad guy at a time.”

Historically, I’ve never been much of a Punisher fan.  For me, he was one of the prime examples of what went wrong with comics in the late ‘80s on into the ‘90s.  An amoral anti-hero who’s primary gimmick was shooting stuff up, who operated on making other, less extreme heroes look lame and old-fashioned.  When he was announced to be appearing in the second season of Netflix’s Daredevil series, I was a little apprehensive, but Jon Bernthal’s phenomenal turn as the character was one of the best parts of the season, and made me realize that I didn’t hate the character as much as I’d thought, I just hadn’t seen the right interpretation of him.  As it turns out, the timing was just right on me getting into Punisher, since he just got a brand-new Marvel Legend, which I’ll be taking a look at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

punisherhas2Punisher is the latest Walgreens-exclusive Marvel Legends Series figure.  Going by the back of the box, he’s supposed to be a part of the Absorbing Man series from earlier this year, though he didn’t arrive even close to that series’ release, nor was he intended to.  He ended up hitting stores about a month ago, not long after the Namor figure (making them the two closest released Walgreens-exclusives since they started carrying the figures).  The figure is based on Punisher’s Jim Lee-designed look from the ‘90s, which is a decent choice, since it’s just a slight variation on his classic design.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Punisher is built on the Reaper body, which was somewhat surprising at first, but, upon having the figure in hand, feels like a pretty good choice. The only downside to this body is that they have yet to release hands with trigger fingers for it, which is a bit of an issue for a gun user like Punisher, but can fairly easily be remedied with a little minor modification.  Punisher gets a new punisherhas3head, as well as two add-on pieces for his shoulder straps and belt.  The new head is quite a nice piece.  The headband is certainly a unique look, and the whole sculpt captures the Lee take on the character quite well, as well as fitting the base body very nicely.  The add-ons are also very well-rendered pieces, which add a nice extra touch of character to the figure.  Punisher’s paintwork is clean and sharp, and makes the figure look very well put together.  The slightly off-black of the uniform looks really nice, and the details such as the logo and the face are superbly rendered.  The accessories are an area where this figure really shines.  He gets an extra head, sans headband, for a more classic look, an m60 machine gun, a Striker shotgun, and a SMAW rocket launcher.  That’s actually a pretty impressive selection, especially compared to the likes of Winter Soldier or Black Widow from earlier in the Infinite Series line.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Wanna guess where I got Punisher?  That’s right, Walgreens!  After tracking down <most of> the latest X-Men series, this guy was at the top of my list.  My dad, who was helping me track down the X-Men figures, actually saw this guy and didn’t realize I hadn’t gotten him yet.  So, we made a trip back to that same Walgreens and I picked him up.  Gotta say, I really like this guy a whole lot, and that’s surprising to me, since I didn’t care about the character a year ago.

punisherhas4

#0983: Punisher

PUNISHER

SPIDER-MAN (TOY BIZ)

PunisherWJ1

Hey! It’s another Punisher figure. That’s actually a pretty rare occurrence in my collection (since only own two of them). I’ve never been much of a Punisher fan, but Jon Bernthal’s truly amazing turn as the esteemed Mr. Castle in Daredevil has definitely changed my opinion, at least a little bit. So, let’s have a look at the second half of my Punisher collection!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

PunisherWJ2This Punisher was part of the “Monster Mayhem” set from Toy Biz’s 5-inch Spider-Man line. The set was initially a BJ’s exclusive, but it later showed up at KB Toys as well. All the figures in the set were loosely based around the “Man-Spider” arc from Spider-Man: The Animated Series. This figure stands 5 inches tall and has 9 points of articulation. Structurally, this figure is the same as the last Punisher I looked at. It’s a fairly sensible re-use, since that figure was a fairly decent rendition of the animated design. The only downside to the sculpt is that it lacks any sculpted indication of a headband, despite there being one painted on. Speaking of the paint, it’s kind of the figure’s main selling point. The prior Punisher was based on his classic black and white look. When they were translating Punisher to animation, it was decided that black and white would be too hard to animate. So, he was given a slightly altered version of his War Journal look from the ‘90s, and that’s what this figure represents. With the exception of the clearly just painted on headband, the paint on Punisher isn’t bad, aside from the obvious wear and tear present on my figure. Punisher included a cloth trenchcoat (to complete the cartoon look) and a knife.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

My dad bought me the whole “Monster Mayhem” set from the KB Toys in Rehoboth Beach, on a trip we took just after my brother was born. I remember being incredibly excited by the set, even though Punisher was not a favorite. I actually gave my original Punisher to my friend Charlie, who was a much greater Punisher fan than I, and seemed rather happy to have the figure. Of course, years later, I regretted this decision, since it meant my set was now incomplete. It’s okay, though, because I ended up finding myself a replacement at this year’s Balticon! Now no one’s the wiser….apart from everyone reading this review….which I believe actually accounts for about 100% of anyone who cares about my action figure collection in the slightest. Oh well.

#0775: The Punisher

PUNISHER

SPIDER-MAN (TOY BIZ)

Punisher1

The Punisher. This guy. He’s the quintessential anti-hero. He was the 90s stereotype fifteen years early. He was introduced as a Spider-Man foe in the late 70s, and he seemed to amass a fairly sizeable fan base overnight. Sure, he was never an A-lister, but people knew the guy. He’s had a whole three movies (though only two were actually released theatrically), and he’s set to play a pivotal role in the second season of Netflix’s Daredevil show. If you find Marvel related apparel, there’s like a 99% chance this guy (or his logo) will be there. Plus, he’s one of the few Marvel characters who has ever been allowed to age at a rate vaguely resembling real life. Also, I don’t really like the guy. Wait, what? Yeah, you read that right: I don’t like the Punisher. I mean, I don’t hate him, but I’ve just never seen the appeal. I did love the Punisher parody “Big Shot” for the 90s Tick cartoon, so there’s that. So, umm, let’s look at a Punisher figure?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Punisher2The Punisher was released in Series 5 of Toy Biz’s Spider-Man line, which was based on the 90s cartoon. He’s actually the third Punisher figure they released, which doesn’t seem that odd until you realize that, at this point they had only released one single Captain America figure. Hey, it was the 90s. The figure is 5 ¼ inches tall and has 9 points of articulation. While he hails from an animated series-based toyline, he’s actually not based on the animated design (which removed a lot of the black from his costume in order to make animating him a bit easier), but rather his more standard comics look. His sculpt still takes a few key points from the anima aged look, especially the facial features, but also his general build as well. His proportions are fairly standard for the time, being rather exaggerated, though not as severely as other figures. The arms seem to get the worst of it. They’re pretty long, and those biceps are huge. Guess that’s what happens when you lug around a bunch of huge guns all the time! Beyond the proportions, the sculpt actually has some neat touches. The face definitely conveys Punisher’s less than pleasant disposition pretty well. He’s also got some cool straps and pouches, like proper 90s guy should. Punisher’s paint is the real Punisher3breaking point from the animated look; they’ve just gone for the classic black and white scheme. The paint is pretty sharply handled, and the black and white look really great together. One oddity is his five o’clock shadow, which is conveyed here as just a solid patch of grey on his lower face. To be fair, this is accurate to the cartoon, so there’s that. Punisher actually has a pretty neat assortment of accessories. While he doesn’t have a normal gun, he does have a giant missile launcher (and this was BEFORE Hasbro got the license!) with two different projectiles. He also has a headset, a shoulder holster, a knife (which fits into his leg sheath), and a pin with his logo on it.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This is the one, single Punisher figure in my entire collection of over 3000 pieces. That’s a position that used to belong to the more cartoon-accurate repaint of this figure from one of the boxed sets, but I ended up giving that figure to a friend of mine who was a Punisher fan a few years back. I’m nice like that. I may not be a fan of the character, but I did like that figure. So, when I found this guy at a dealer’s table at this past Shoreleave, I went for it. I really love this guy. He’s kind of goofy, but in the best possible way.