#1753: Spider-Man & Spider-Gwen

SPIDER-MAN & SPIDER-GWEN

MARVEL AMAZING YAMAGUCHI (REVOLTECH)

While I’m familiar with Revoltech, I’ve not really jumped into the deep-end when it comes to their stuff.  I was quite a big fan of Assemble Borg, an in-house line of theirs, but my experience with licensed figures has so far been limited two their two Aliens offerings.  Outside of Aliens, perhaps the best way to pique my interest is Marvel, and as luck would have it, Revoltech has recently been offering up a line of Marvel comics-based figures, under their Amazing Yamaguchi banner.  Today, I’ll be looking at two such figures, Spider-Man and Spider-Gwen.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Spider-Man and Spider-Gwen were released in Revoltech’s Marvel Amazing Yamaguchi line of figures.  They’re numbered 002 and 004 respectively.  Spider-Man arrived in early 2017, with Gwen arriving just a few months later (Venom bridged the gap between the two of them).

SPIDER-MAN

Spider-Man is, of course, no stranger to action figures.  In fact he’s usually on the short list whenever anyone picks up the license.  So, it’s not a shock that he was amongst Revoltech’s first two releases (supplanted only by fan-favorite Deadpool).  This Spider-Man appears to take inspiration from J. Scott Campbell’s version of the wall-crawler, with a little bit of Humberto Ramos’ very expressive version thrown in, and it’s all filtered through Revoltech’s usual style.  The point is, he’s definitely a very stylized figure, designed to fit specifically with the rest of Revoltech’s Marvel figures.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall (just a little shorter than Hasbro’s Pizza Spidey) and he has 43 points of articulation…theoretically.  He’s got a lot of joints (the majority of them are Revoltech’s signature Revolver joints), to be sure, but how they interact and are used is slightly different that your typical action figure.  Due to how the figure has been sculpted and how the Revolver joints are placed throughout the sculpt, you can’t really just pick this figure up and randomly pose him, the way you might with, say, a Marvel Legend.  You have to know what pose you’re going for, and sort of reconfigure him into that set-up.  In some ways, he’s a little more like a construction set that you can reassemble into different configurations.  The end result is a figure that can get into and hold some pretty spectacular and very Spidey-esqe poses.  He’s definitely dynamic.  By nature of the figure’s design, his sculpt is, overall, rather unimpeded by the articulation, though he is rather segmented.  Depending on how you have him posed, this segmentation isn’t as noticeable.  He’s very sleek, and there’s no denying that this is a very good looking figure.  His paint only adds to that.  The blue is nice and metallic, and the red has a satisfying glossy sheen, which only furthers the very slick stylings of this guy.  Accessories are another strong suit of this figure.  He includes four different sets of hands, in fists, open palm, web-shooting, and gripping.  The gripping hands don’t really have much practical use on this figure, but the rest are all pretty great.  The fists and the web-shooting hands have spots to plug in weblines, making for even more dynamic set-ups.  My personal favorites, however, are the open palmed ones, because they’re just very versatile.  There are two full-length weblines and two shorter ones, as well as one with a slight hook on the end, for actually using to hang the figure.  They definitely follow the Todd McFarlane style guide for webs, which is a good a good one to go by.  Perhaps the coolest extras included with this guy are the extra eyes.  Some of the recent Legends Spider-Men have experimented with extra heads with differing “expressions” on the eyes of his mask.  This takes that idea and runs with it, allowing for the eyes to be swapped out independently.  There are rather basic eyes included on the figure, plus squinting, wide-eyed, and “angry.”  You can mix and match as well, which certainly results in some amusing combos.  Lastly, the figure includes display stand with an articulated arm, so you can keep him in those more intense poses for longer.

SPIDER-GWEN

Who knew Spider-Gwen would take off quite as well as she has?  Marvel, apparently, since they actually managed to get her merchandising out there pretty darn quick for a brand new character.  Her Legends release hit shelves in record time, and this one wasn’t that far behind, hitting less than three years after her original appearance.  Gwen is actually a lot less stylized than Peter.  While she’ll still certainly fit in with him, she’s a lot more versatile than he is.  She stands about 5 3/4 inches tall (again, not much different from the Legends figure) and she has 45 points of articulation.  Unlike Peter, who has a bit of a learning curve attached to his articulation, Gwen’s actually fairly straight-forward.  Her articulation is far more intuitive, a lot smoother, and the joints are more carefully placed.  Where Spidey feels a little like the Revolver joints were added to a finished sculpt after the fact, Gwen definitely was sculpted with those joints in mind.  This is most clearly illustrated in the two figure’s knees.  On Spidey, the joints are set back behind the knee, and there’s this large flat gap that appears when the knee is bent.  On Gwen, her knees *are* the joints, and they work like actual knees.  No weird breaks in the sculpt necessary.  On the flip side, however, Gwen’s multi-part hood construction doesn’t work quite as well as the multi-part head/neck that Peter has.  For the most part you can make it look alright, but there are some angles where it just looks perpetually off.  Still, its hinged design is somewhat inspired, and I can tell they were trying for something a little better than how the hood was attached for the Legend.  There’s a bit more going on with Gwen’s paintwork than there was with Peter.  It’s all very clean, and the slight gradient of the pink around the eyes is very impressive.  There’s a slight bit of slop on the edges of the white parts, but it’s very minor, and not particularly noticeable.  There’s another very impressive accessory complement with Gwen.  She gets even more hands, with all of the same basic offerings as Peter, as well as an extra pointing hand for her right hand, and a left hand for holding her phone.  She then gets the aforementioned cellphone, two very dynamic web-lines, and two shorter ones for plugging into her web-shooter hands.  Instead of swappable eyes, Gwen features four different face plates to choose from.  There’s the basic eyes, the squinty eyes, the asymmetric eyes (by far my favorite), and a fully unmasked face.  The unmasked face is very stylized, and I find not particularly well-scaled to the body, but the other three plates work very well, and swap in and out without much trouble.  Lastly, Gwen also includes a display stand, for those prolonged poses, though she’s quite stable on her own.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

In terms of 6-inch figures, my go-to for Marvel’s always going to be Marvel Legends.  When this line was announced and Deadpool and Spider-Man were unveiled as its first offerings, I wasn’t particularly sucked in, but I kept my eyes open to see what else they might be doing.  Upon seeing these two in-person, I was certainly intrigued.  Ultimately, I think your opinion on these figures is going to be heavily depended upon what you want from them.  Do you want something that looks good on your shelf and can hold extreme poses long-term?  These are for you.  Do you want a figure that you can just pick up and mess with from time to time?  These are less for you.  Ultimately, I’m more in that latter category.  As such, Gwen, the more traditional figure of the two, is definitely my favorite.  I can appreciate both for what they are, though, and there’s no denying that they’re both solid, well-made figures.

This pair aren’t from my personal collection, but were loaned to me for review by my friends over at All Time Toys.  If you’re interested in owning either of the figures reviewed here today, they’re both available individually from All Time’s eBay store.  And, if you’re looking for other toys, both old and new, please also check out All Time’s full eBay store front, and take a look at their webstore at alltimetoys.com.

Advertisements

Guest Review #0040: Vic Viper

VIC VIPER

ZONE OF THE ENDERS (REVOLTECH YAMAGUCHI)

I love robots and space ships. Thankfully, today’s figure gives me both of these. Now, if you saw the title of this post and got exited for a review of the ship from the 1985 Konami arcade game Gradius, you might be thinking, “Where does the robot part come in? It’s just a ship.” That is because this Vic Viper (while hinted to be the same ship from Gradius) comes from the 2003 Konami game Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner as a supporting LEV to the leading orbital frame Jehuty. But we’re not here to talk about Jehuty this time, transforming into review mode.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

As mentioned before, this Vic Viper is based on its appearance in Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner. The figure is about 5 1/2 inches tall, plus a little extra height from the stand. Vic sports an impressive 65 points of articulation thanks to the extensive use of the standard revolver joints found in Revoltech figures. This makes Vic extremely poseable (almost frustratingly so), but it does disrupt the sculpt ever so slightly in places like the arms and wings. The sculpt work is entirely original to this figure and does a pretty good job capturing all the necessary dimensions and details. Everything is where it should be, although there are a few very minor instances where the mold seams interrupt some of the sculpted details. Vic’s paint is pretty great, barring one or two little spots of bleed, with a lot of really crisp detail work on the barcodes and 74 on his arms, wings, and shoulders. All of the colors match up to the game pretty closely, but what stands out is the slightly pearlescent finish to the white paint which really adds some depth to what could easily have been left a simple flat white. Contrasting that with the purple, dark grey, and metallic gold detailing really makes the figure pop. Vic comes packaged with with a spare set of arms with the hands deployed, 2 slashing effect pieces, a stand, and an extension piece that lets you transform him into ship mode if you want, though it’s a little bit of a hassle getting him there. Vic isn’t without his issues, but all in all, he’s a well made figure with a lot of potential for very dynamic poses.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I got Vic Viper a few months after I received the HD remaster of Zone of the Enders for Christmas. Oddly enough, I already had a figure of Jehuty prior to that point, so playing the game only confirmed that I would expand upon this. It took me a little time just getting used to posing him since Vic has joints all over the place, but once I got the hang of it, he turned out to be a bunch of fun.

Guest Review #0039: Snake/Big Boss

SNAKE/BIG BOSS (PEACE WALKER)

REVOLTECH YAMAGUCHI

snaket1

The following is a guest review by Tim Marron.  For more from Tim, check out Timsical Thoughts!

Kept you waiting, huh?  Yeah, it’s been a while since I’ve done one of these reviews, but it seems appropriate to bring it back with a review of the greatest hero in the world, Big Boss, or Snake.  It’s hard to tell which one.  On the box, he’s called Snake, so I guess we’ll go with that, but onto the review.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

snaket2Snake has had a wide variety of looks across the Metal Gear franchise.  This particular figure is based off of his sneaking-suit look from Peace Walker, after having established Militaires Sans Frontières but before the events of The Phantom Pain.  The figure stands about 5 1/2 inches tall and has 53 points of articulation, one of which is his eye which can be turned to look in practically any direction.  The sculpt work is quite nicely handled with a good amount of detail such as the the rivets and wires which can be seen under the fabric of Snake’s suit.  His face seems a little on the gaunt side and some of the revolver joints are a little more visually prominent than I might have liked, but that’s about par for the course with most Revoltech figures.  As far as I’m aware, this is entirely original sculpting though smaller pieces like the hands could have been used in other versions of Snake.  The only area in which the sculpt suffers isn’t even visible when the figure is fully assembled.  The aforementioned poseable eye has a peg on the back side to facilitated movement, however it sticks out just enough to get in the way of the central joint of the head. The figure’s paint is very clean for the most part, with just a little bleed around the edged of his hair and beard.  The suit in particular has some really nice fine detailing such as the MSF and FOX logos on the shoulders.  Snake comes with a bunch of accessories including some weapons, so no need to worry about OSP.  Included are 5 pairs of hands (fist, gripping, gripping w/trigger fingers, karate chop, and open gesture), an additional hand to hold what I assume is a stun baton/taser thing, said taser thing, an M16 rifle, a pistol with a suppressor, a pair of climbing hooks (perhaps?), an exclamation mark, a sleeping piece, an action effect stand, and an articulated stand.  Snake also comes packed with a piece of card stock that you can cut out and fold into the real hero of the Metal Gear universe, the cardboard box.  I like the figure a lot, but I felt it was my destiny to be here, with the box.  You should get the box too, then you’ll know what I mean.    

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Ok, fine, that last line was technically a different Snake, but you laughed, maybe, I hope.  I actually got this figure with the intent of getting a Solid Snake to go with my Revoltech Raiden but it turned out that the other options were either the wrong scale or far too expensive at the time, so I settled for Big Boss.  Sure, he and Raiden never interacted, but it suits my needs just fine.  To be fair, he’s a really cool figure in his own right and I’m glad I have him.  When I got him I spent basically a whole day playing with him LIKE A DAMN FIDDLE!  Ok, not like a damn fiddle, but like a really cool action figure.

snaket4b

#0803: Alien Warrior

ALIEN WARRIOR

SCI-FI REVOLTECH

XenoRevol1

We move onto day 2 of the post-Christmas gift reviews. Continuing from the theme started yesterday, how about some more Aliens? I mean, let’s be honest here, the Queen isn’t any good all by her lonesome, right? No, she’s got to have someone to do her bidding! Well, as luck would have it, Revoltech had one more Aliens figure in their line-up, based on one of the basic Alien Warriors from the second film. Let’s see how this one fares!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

XenoRevol2The Alien Warrior was figure #016 in the Sci-Fi Revoltech line, placing him two figures ahead of the Queen numerically. The figure between them isn’t Aliens-related at all; it’s Santa Jack from Nightmare Before Christmas, which isn’t a sci-fi movie, but whatever. Like the Alien Queen, the Warrior is also based on the Stan Winston-designed look from Aliens, which happens to be my personal favorite. The figure stands just shy of 7 inches tall (meaning he’s nowhere near being in scale with the Queen) and he has 52 points of articulation, plus a bendable tail. The design of this figure may take its cues from Aliens, but this definitely feels much more like a “concept” take on the look than it does an actual proper translation of what is seen in the film. A lot of that has to do with proportions. This figure foregoes trying to look like a man in a suit, and is instead very spindly and bug-like. It makes the figure a bit more unearthly, but I’m not sure it’s as frightening as the film design. A lot of this has to do with the head being more or less unchanged, and thereby much larger compared to the body. He doesn’t look goofy or anything, but there’s a touch less menace. The figure is still fantastically detailed, though, and all of the signature XenoRevol3Xeno details are impeccably captured. The overall look of this figure is definitely a creepy one. The Warrior’s paint is rather similar to the Queen’s; the base plastic is a smokey clear color, with a semi-metallic blue painted over it, and then a few smaller silver details. I think the overall result is better here, though, and this figure doesn’t suffer from the same tackiness as the Queen. The Warrior includes a pretty nice assortment of extras, including a spare set of forearms without the big fin pieces, a pair of more splayed hands, an egg, a name plate, a display stand made to look like part of the colony’s floor, and a standard Revoltech box.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This guy was the other half of my gift from my boy Tim. I liked the Queen well enough, but the Alien Warrior really does step it up to the next level. He’s oh so posable, and he’s got the interchangeability thing going on, and he’s a whole lot sturdier. All that adds up to a pretty fantastic little figure. Is he perfect? No, but what figure is? That said, he’s just oodles of fun!

#0802: Alien Queen

ALIEN QUEEN

SCI-FI REVOLTECH

QueenRevol1

Alright, let’s get this party started! Christmas reviews officially kick off today! And it’s hardly a proper Christmas without some Aliens. It is, after all, the greatest film of all time (and required Christmas viewing in The FiQ household. No joke). As a fan of Aliens, I like to get as many of the figures as I can, and there have been more than a few different styles released over the years. Not too long ago, toy makers Revoltech had the license to the film. They released two figures from the movie, the second of which was the Alien Queen, which I’ll be reviewing today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

QueenRevol2The Alien Queen was released as figure #018 in the Sci-Fi Revoltech line. She’s based on her appearance in the second movie, which is the correct appearance to base a figure on. The figure stands approximately 7 inches tall when fully extended and has 86 points of articulation, plus a bendable tail. The vast majority of these joints are Revoltech’s signature revolver-style joints, which are some of the best designed joints in the industry. There are a few non revolver joints, used on the wrists and ankles. The ankle joints are fine, and they hold up pretty well, but the wrists, particularly the ones on the larger arms, are quite fragile. In fact, both of the larger wrists on my figure broke and had to be repaired, more than once, resulting in loss of movement on those joints. That’s quite a bit of a bummer, and really knocks this figure down in playablity. Regardless of stability, the sculpt of this figure is pretty darn impressive. The design has been made a bit more stylized, to better fit the rest of Revoltech’s stuff, but it’s a pretty good translation of the film design. The sculpt does a pretty great job of working in the joints, for the most part, anyway. Some, such as the hips, are a little more obvious, but not terribly so. The level of detail and texturing on the individual parts is pretty awesome, and there’s even detailing on the underside of the head! As an added bonus, the figure’s construction makes her compatible with prior Revoltech figures, such as their Assemble Borg line, which adds a pretty fun bit of customizability. The paint on the Queen is actually pretty cool, at least in theory. She’s molded in smokey-clear plastic, with a dark blue, semi-translucent paint over it. It gives her this really cool, otherworldly look. The paint is also somewhat metallic, which adds a nice polish, and there’s some pretty cool lighter highlight work to it. So, why “in theory”? Well, I got this figure a little while after its release, and upon opening, I discovered that the figure was quite tacky, which doesn’t make the figure super fun to play with long term. The Queen is a pretty intensive figure in her own right, so she isn’t jam-packed with accessories. However, she does get a few things, including a display stand that looks like the floor of the Sulaco, a name plate, and a standard Revoltech box.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The Queen was given to me by my boy Tim, who’s well aware just how much I love Aliens, and fairly consistently quizzes me on just which versions of the creatures I own. After introducing me to Revoltech earlier this year and getting me hooked on their Assemble Borg line, he decided that the Revoltech Aliens were the next appropriate step. The Queen is not without her flaws, and she doesn’t quite stand up to the majesty that is the NECA version. That said, this figure did come first, so I can cut it some slack, and truth be told, she’s really not bad. As long as you’re careful, this can be a pretty awesome figure. Oh, and did I mention the fighting fists?

Queenrevol4

#0627: Jarknoid Xo

JARKNOID XO

ASSEMBLE BORG (REVOLTECH)

Xo1

Hey, have I told you guys about Assemble Borg? I have? Well, do you want to hear more? Whether you do or not, that’s what I’m talking about today. So, you know, just deal, I guess. Yeah, I’ve been sucked down the rabbit hole on this one, and there’s no turning back. Of course, my display was starting to look a little one-sided, with all those heroes and only one villain to fight. Enter Jarknoid Xo!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Xo2Jarknoid Xo was entry 006 in the Assemble Bog line. He’s the first of the Jarknoid trio, and signifies the start of the second “series” of figures. Xo is meant to be the leader of the Jarknoids and is in many ways an evil counterpart to Mr. Assemble. Each Jarknoid had their own descriptor, and Xo’s was “Galactic Sorcerer,” which, I have to admit, is pretty darn metal. It’s more exciting than Mr. Assemble’s “Commando Leader” anyway. The figure stands 6 inches in height and has 42 points of articulation, both of which are standard for the line. Like Zain and Mr. Assemble before him, Xo makes use of the standard Assemble Borg body as a starting point. It’s a good, basic body to build on, and its simplicity really sells the character specific pieces, so it’s definitely a good re-use. Xo gets a unique head and chest plate, just like Zain and Mr. A. Both pieces feature a similar swooping, twin-horned design, which gives Xo a nice bit Xo4of elegance, while also hammering home that this dude’s a bad guy. I like how he’s pretty much exclusively built on v-shapes. V, the evilest of the letters. Also, while his face is devoid of any eyes, his chest piece has this cool central eye motif, which really fits with the whole “Galactic Sorcerer” thing. Xo’s head continues the “helmet” trend of the last two figures, the outer head can be removed, revealing a smaller inner head. Xo’s isn’t too far off from Zain’s, but he’s got a bunch more “eyes” and a whole lot less symmetry to them, which is effectively creepy. Following the trend of the first three figures in the line, the Jarknoids each featured a character specific set of add-on armored pieces. As Mr. A’s evil counterpart, Xo features a set of large, bio-mechanical feet, which can be swapped out for the regular feet. They add a fair bit of height, and help to make Xo that much more imposing. In Xo5addition, Xo also includes four pairs of hands (in fist, open palm, trigger finger, and pointing/splayed configurations), and the weapons compliment that we saw with Zain, but this time in a dark grey. He also comes with the requisite selection of revolver joints and pegs and a box in which to store them.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Okay, it’s another Assemble Borg review. You know the drill: it’s all Tim’s fault. Xo was the other figure I got from the somewhat sizeable eBay lot of AB stuff that Tim and I split. In fact, Xo was my main reason for going in on said lot, as he was a figure I was really interested in getting. Sure, he’s not quite Zain, but he’s definitely an imposing villain guy and a really fun figure in his own right. Of course, not I really want the last Jarknoid, Yeeg. I can’t just leave the set incomplete, can I?

Xo3

#0621: Mr. Assemble

MR. ASSEMBLE

ASSEMBLE BORG (REVOLTECH)

MrAssemble1

Boy do I sure enjoy me some Assemble Borg figures. Trouble is, they aren’t the easiest things in the world to come across here in the US. There are a few figures in decent supply, but most of the line is virtually non-existent. So, I kind of have to take the dribs and drabs that I can get. I did manage to recently come across a few of the more difficult to find figures, which was quite exciting. Today, let’s have a look at Mr. Assemble, who is sort of, kind of the lead character of the series.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

MrAssemble3Mr. Assemble was entry 001 in the Assemble Borg line. Yep, he’s the very first figure in the whole line. No pressure or anything. The first three figures were the three main heroes of the line, and Mr. Assemble seems to be their leader. Like many of the others from the early “heroes and villains” iteration of the line, Mr. Assemble was given his own descriptor, “Commando Leader.” It’s admittedly not the most exciting descriptor, but hey, it works. The figure is 6 inches tall and features 42 points of articulation, both of which are standard for the line. Mr. Assemble is built on the standard Assemble Borg body. We’ve seen most of this body before with Jarknoid Zain. Technically, Assemble was the originator, but it’s the same body either way. It’s nicely done; it’s simple and sleek, with a nice stylistic flair to it. It’s a great base from which to build a multitude of figures. Assemble features a unique head and chest plate. The head is the MrAssemble4most…anime-influenced(?) of the sculpts I’ve seen from the line. A lot of that comes from the hair (which is also a first) which is spiky and lively. It’s not really up my alley, but it’s certainly well handled. Like Zain, this head is really a helmet, over a smaller underlying head. The head below is slightly different from Zain’s, but once again, I can’t see this being anyone’s default display choice. The chest piece is fairly basic, with only a few details, but it’s nicely designed, and does a nice job conveying the more basic hero-style of Mr. Assemble. Each of the first three figures was given a set of extra pieces to enhance them in some way. The other two had weapons that could be swapped out for one of their arms, but Mr. Assemble gets a set of robotic boots. They’re actually pretty cool, and very well sculpted. They add a nice bit of pop to the figure, and stand out very nicely against the dark blue body of the MrAssemble6figure. Mr. Assemble also includes four sets of hands (fists, open palm, trigger finger, and pointing/splayed), a big gun, a medium sized gun, a small gun, an even smaller gun, a sword, a knife, and a selection of revolver joints and pegs. Unfortunately, my figure was missing most of the weapons, but the one I did get was pretty cool.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Yeah, I totally fell overboard with the whole Assemble Borg thing. I’d like to point out that this is once again Tim’s fault. See, I had all my other Assemble Borg stuff and I thought I’d be good for a while. Then Tim came over with his AB stuff, which was fine. But, he had to go and mention this auction he was watching on eBay, which had a whole bunch of stuff, and wasn’t really clearly labeled. So, I had to look at it. And I noticed this guy and one other I wanted. So, I had to buy it. Tim and I ended up splitting it, which meant we not only got actual figures, but a whole ton of extra pieces as well. So, yay for that. To be honest, Mr. Assemble was probably the one of the first three that I was the least interested in getting. That said, with Assemble Borg, you sorta need to take what you can get, and Mr. Assemble’s actually pretty fun.

MrAssemble5

 

#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

#0606: Wilderness Crawler

WILDERNESS CRAWLER

ASSEMBLE BORG (REVOLTECH)

WildCrawler1

One of the cool things about Assemble Borg (which is totally my new favorite toyline) is that it goes beyond just offering a basic set of figures. Sure, they’re still there and they’re still important to the overall line, but one of the primary focuses is customization and interchangeablity (is that a real word? Spellcheck says no, but I don’t trust these pesky machines) amongst the figures. There are also a number of vehicle sets, which offer a nice variety of extra parts to help spruce up your basic figures. One such set is the Wilderness Crawler, which I’ll be taking a look at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

WildCrawler2Wilderness Crawler is set 013 in the Assemble Borg line. The Crawler was part of the “Assault Gear” subset of the line. There were three “vehicles” that each loosely matched up with one of the three “Counter Strike” figures. The Crawler seems to have been designed to accent Ghost Gunner, however, in contrast to the Jackall, these sets are designed to work as standalone pieces in their default setups. The Wilderness Crawler’s descriptor is “All Terrain Assault Tank A.G.A.” What you can probably gather from that (and the WildCrawler5image at the top of this review) is that the Wilderness Crawler’s default setup is that of a tank. In the tank setup, the Crawler is 3 ½ inches long, 2 ½ inches wide, and 2 ¼ inches tall. In this configuration, there is movement at the “neck” and at the turret.  This is essentially what you would expect from a tank, though I will admit to being just a tad disappointed that the treads don’t actually move. The Wilderness Crawler is assembled (heh!) from 18 sculpted parts, in conjunction with an assortment of Revolver joints and connectors. Unlike previous entries from this line, the Wilderness Crawler doesn’t come put together; instead, the pieces are packed disassembled and there is an included instruction sheet showingWildCrawler6 how to configure them into the basic tank setup. Some pieces, such as the main body, the treads, and the head, are clearly sculpted to be specific things, and they convey what they need to pretty well. The “goggle” piece of the head can be removed, which is cool. I do somewhat wish that the main body was made up of a few more parts; it’s just one big chunk as it is, which limits what you can do with it. The rest of the parts are handled in such a wayWildCrawler4 that they can be used for plenty of different applications, allowing the Crawler to have more than a few potential builds. Each piece of the set is sharply detailed, and they all fit together vary nicely from aesthetic standpoint. Color-wise, the Crawler is mostly done in silver and darker metallic greys, but the goggles and “chest piece” both offer a splash of green, which livens the set up quite a bit. In addition to the base pieces used to assemble the tank layout, the Wilderness Crawler also includes a box of Revolver joints, a stand, and a Revolchip worth 10 points.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I continue to maintain that this is Tim’s fault. He ordered himself one of the Jackall sets, prompting me to look into getting one of my own. I ended up finding a seller that had both the Jackall and this set for a fair bit below their usual going rates. I was somewhat intrigued by the “Assault Gear” subset, so I figured I’d give this one a try. The Wilderness Crawler isn’t quite as exciting as the actual figures, and it doesn’t have the direct ties to a particular figure like the Jackall did, so it’s probably the most underwhelming piece I’ve looked at from this line. That said, it’s also the one I paid the least for, which does it some favors, and it’s far from a boring set. Plus, the pieces can easily be configured into a pretty sick robot, which I’m always in support of!

WildCrawler7

#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