#2912: Sentinel

SENTINEL

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Its body a towering, technological marvel, the Sentinel scans the world for its quarry, a searching light emanating from its chest, its glowing eyes a warning… and a threat. Programmed with only one objective, to destroy all mutant life on Earth, the Sentinel will not hesitate, will not falter, and will never ever stop hunting.”

Man, past-Ethan really needs to stop anticipating future-Ethan needing a pick-me-up…

From an early stage of this site, I’ve been versed in supporting action figures not just from an end-of-the-process side, but also from a more preemptive side as well.  I’ve backed my fair share of KickStarters, but those are typically smaller upstarts.  It’s a bit different when the biggest toy company in the world gets in on it.  But, that’s exactly what Hasbro did in 2018, when they launched HasLab, where larger scale items that might not otherwise get made could be backed directly by the fans who wanted them.  Last summer, they added their very first Marvel project to this initiative in the form of the giant purple mutant-hunting robots, the Sentinels. Shocking very few of my readers, I’m sure, I got in on this gravy train before the end of the campaign last year.  We’ve had a bit of a wait, but the Sentinel started arriving in collectors’ hands in the last few weeks, and I’m taking a look at mine today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Sentinel was a the inaugural Marvel Legends HasLab project, launched in July of 2020, and ending August 30th. The initial goal was a rather modest 6,000 backers, but the campaign wound up as an unprecedented success, reaching 365% of its needed backers by its end.  It entered production shortly after, and began shipping out in September of this year.  The figure stands 26 1/2 inches tall and he has an astoundingly high 72 points of articulation, 40 of which come just from the hands, which have articulation at every one of knuckles.  The rest of the movement isn’t quite as involved, but he’s got a solid range of motion considering how big and chunky he is.  One point of concern once the figures started arriving and getting reviewed was the tolerancing on the knee joints.  There was some concern that they were too loose out of the box, and weren’t offering enough tension to keep the figure standing.  In hand, the issue isn’t as bad as it seemed initially, at least when it comes to my figure.  While the knees aren’t super tight, and they would likely benefit from the presence of some ratchets (curiously absent, given that the elbows have them), I found it quite easy to get the figure into that sweet spot to keep him standing.  He’s stable enough to stay standing on my rather thick carpeted floor for over 2 hours without any other support, so I consider that a win.  The Sentinels have had an evolving look over the years, but this one is specifically patterned on the design used for House/Powers of X.  It matches with the set of X-Men we just got at the start of the year, and is also a fairly nice update on the classic Sentinel design, which honestly makes for a strong translation to toy form.  There’s a lot more design work to put into the larger surface area of the figure, but it’s not enough to overcomplicate him too much.  The sculpt is, of course, a wholly unique offering, since there’s not really any prior releases to borrow from.  The engineering is rather impressive, with most of the armor plates being actual separate parts assembled over a core body, since it’s something that’s actually possible to do at this scale.  It results in the figure having a lot of depth and sharp detailing, which really helps sell the robot nature of the design.  In terms of color work the very segmented construction of the Sentinel allows for a lot of the heavy lifting to be done with molded plastic, but that doesn’t stop him from still having quite a lot of actual paint work as well.  It’s generally all pretty good, with no real issues of slop or bleed over.  There’s quite a bit of smaller detailing that can be easy to miss, as well, with some separate coloring on the wires beneath some of the plating, and even painting on the smaller rivets holding the armor in place.  There’s a lot going on beyond just the surface level, just like with the sculpt.  The Sentinel also features a light-up effect, which runs on three AAA batteries.  Pressing the core on the figure’s torso lights up both the core and the eyes of the figure.  There are three different colors which can be activated by pressing the button additional times, and it turns itself off after 30 seconds.  It’s rather bright, and works fairly well.  The additional colors add some nice variety when it comes to display, although it’s too bad there’s no way to keep the lights on for a longer period.

As massive and impressive as the Sentinel proper is, there are still quite a few extras included with him.  The most basic of the accessories is the tendril, classically used for capturing mutants more easily.  It’s about 18 inches long, and it’s bendy, so you can wrap it around smaller figures.  It’s able to be plugged into the palm of either hand.  Initially, we were just getting the one, but given the success of the campaign, Hasbro added a second one with no additional charge, so now he can capture two mutants at the same time.  Double the mutant capturing power!  There were four stretch goals for the campaign, three of which got us extra parts for the core figure.  The first tier gave us an extra head to turn this figure into Master Mold, a frequently used, more advanced Sentinel that can manufacture other Sentinels.  Typically, he’s a lot larger than the average Sentinel, which this head sort of meets halfway by being larger than the standard head.  It’s not a perfect remedy, but it’s not terrible either, and it’s not like a properly scaled Master Mold was really in the cards.  He’d effectively have to be the size of a person.  At least this way we have some sort of representation.  The second tier was yet another alternate head, this time a battle-damaged variant of the standard, and with an alternate right hand to match.  The Sentinels are constantly being torn apart by the mutants they hunt down, so these are pretty awesome extras, and they can even be used as the parts to another fallen Sentinel for the purposes of display.  The fourth tier added one last alternate head, this time around the Tri-Sentinel, the merging of three Sentinels created by Loki during the “Acts of Vengence” story line in the ’90s.  Like Master Mold, it’s a bit of a compromise, since a proper Tri-Sentinel should have additional limbs as well, but again, it’s better to get some sort of representation here than none at all.

In addition to the parts for the Sentinel proper, there were two more extras in the form of two whole additional standard-sized figures.  From the very beginning, the Sentinel was going to be packed with Bastion, the humanoid Master Mold/Nimrod hybrid introduced during “Operation: Zero Tolerance.”  Bastion is based on his more recent appearances, matching up more with the Sentinel, I suppose.  The figure stands about 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Bastion is based on the Spider-UK body, with a new head and torso parts.  The new parts mesh well with the old and do a solid job of capturing Bastion’s creepy hybrid appearance.  His paint work is generally pretty decent, though I did find a little more slop here than on the main Sentinel.  Bastion actually gets an accessory of his own, an alternate head that allows for him to serve as a generic Prime Sentinel, one of Bastion’s rank and file human/sentinel hybrids.  Big flex putting an army builder in with a $350 figure, but I guess the bigger figure’s an army builder too, so it makes some sense.  It helps that it’s a pretty nice head in its own right.

The other figure included follows in the footsteps of the extra head included with Bastion.  If you’re going to have a generic male Prime Sentinel, it’s nice to have a female one as well.  The female Prime Sentinel was added as the third tier stretch goal.  She’s about 6 1/4 inches tall and has 27 points of articulation.  She has a mix of a few different base body parts, as well as an all-new head and upper torso.  Since it was the ’90s, the female Prime Sentinels had to have specific details that still allowed for them to show off the feminine traits even more hard core, so she’s got slightly different torso armor, and her hair is exposed at the top of her head.  Ultimately, she looks more like a female Bastion, with the white hair and everything.  It’s not a bad look, but it’s funny how different they are.  Her paint work is a little bit better than Bastion’s, at least on mine, which means there aren’t any real issues to report.  The Prime Sentinel got no additional accessories, but honestly, at this point, can you really complain?

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve been in love with the Sentinel design since I got my very first Toy Biz Sentinel back in the day.  I very excitedly collected all of the Toy Biz Legends fallen Sentinel bases, and then very excitedly built the actual Toy Biz Legends Build-A-Figure.  But I’ve always longed for something more to proper scale.  When this figure was shown off, it didn’t take much for me to decide to back him.  So, I jumped on board last August, and then I began my patient wait for him to arrive.  I knew he was going to be big and impressive, but it’s honestly something that pictures just don’t do justice.  Seeing him in person and actually getting to mess with him has been so much fun.  And now I’ve got to work out just what the hell I’m gonna actually do with him.

While I obviously got this guy directly through Hasbro, I’d still like to give a shout out to my sponsors at All Time Toys, who allowed me use of the back room photo tent so that I could actually get proper pictures of this guy for the review.  That was an absolute godsend.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website.

#2739: Tri-Sentinel

TRI-SENTINEL

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

The Sentinels, a recurring X-Men foe since their introduction in the ’60s, continue this trend as foes into the “House of X” story line, where they and the humans present the primary faction warring against the titular team of mutants.  As the story jumps around, we see the Sentinels in a variety of forms, as their designs advance.  During the sequences set 90 years in the future, amongst the Sentinel forces are a new form of the Tri-Sentinel, dubbed the Theta Sentinels.  Despite their quite minor role, they nevertheless serve as the inspiration for the newest X-themed Build-A-Figure for Marvel Legends, which I’m taking a look at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Theta Sentinel, or “Tri-Sentinel” as it’s been dubbed by Hasbro on the packaging, is the Build-A-Figure for the Tri-Sentinel Series of Marvel Legends.  It’s based on the Theta Sentinel design as seen in the future sequences of “Powers of X”, tying it in with the rest of the assortment…sort of.  I mean, most of them are present day designs, and it’s from the future.  I guess Wolverine goes with it?  Maybe that was the main reason for him getting the extra head?  That would actually make sense.  Good form on Hasbro, I guess.  The figure stands 8 inches tall and has 31 points of articulation.  There was discussion when this figure was unveiled (well, after the resounding “wait, what is that?” reaction) about it making use of parts from the SP//dr Build-A-Figure, but it actually doesn’t share any parts with that release at all.  Instead, it’s an all-new sculpt, based directly on the art from the book.  It’s not a bad piece.  It captures the design from the series pretty closely, and it’s fairly clean.  The detailing does feel a little soft in a few spots, especially on the core body, but it’s not terrible.  The articulation is also pretty solid, allowing for a rather wide range of motion, without too much impact on the sculpt.  The only real issue is with the way the heads connect to the torso.  Firstly, the sculpting doesn’t allow for a ton of range at the base of the heads, and secondly, they just really don’t want to stay in place.  That middle head in particular just keeps wanting to pop out of place on mine.  I think the socket for the joint is just a little too shallow for it to properly seat.  On top of that, it’s pretty hard to get the heads in there in the first place, due to the tight, cluttered placement, and how small the necks are relative to the heads.  It wasn’t a very pleasant experience putting it together, really, especially for my hands.  The paint work on the Tri-Sentinel is pretty basic, and follows the usual Sentinel set-up.  A few different purples, and some silver and grey.  There’s a lot of metallics in the finish, which does look pretty good.  The application’s generally pretty clean.  There are some slightly fuzzy edges, but for the most part it’s pretty good.  This figure gets no addition accessories, but as a Build-A-Figure, that’s not really a point against him.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The Theta Sentinel is a really minor player, enough that I had literally no clue who the Build-A-Figure was supposed to be when Hasbro announced this set.  I had to actually look it up, and even that didn’t exactly give me a lot to go on, especially given how minor the Theta Sentinels were.  Getting this figure wasn’t much of a driving factor behind getting the set or anything, so I just, sort of, completed it.  It’s an alright figure.  The posability on the body is nice, but the heads are frustrating, and having no attachment to the character leaves me in an odd spot with it.  It feels like there were probably better choices for this slot, but I guess they tried to make the best of what it was.

I find this whole assortment to sort of illicit almost a non-response from me.  I’ve been keeping current with the current X-books, but “House of X” itself wasn’t much for me.  Ultimately, this set’s kind of middling, I guess.  Moira and Jean are two long term wants, that turned out decent, if perhaps not quite as good as I’d hoped.  Wolverine and Cyclops are both solid, if perhaps slightly redundant, variants of core characters and a lot of fun.  Xavier and Magneto aren’t really designs I care for, nor do the figures really do a lot to win me over.  The pleasant surprise for me was definitely Omega Sentinel, who I had knowledge of going in, but who makes for a pretty fun little figure.  Overall, it’s a set I like well enough, but I don’t know if it’s much to write home about.

#0360: Iceman, Bobby Drake, & Sentinel(s)

ICEMAN, BOBBY DRAKE, & SENTINEL(S)

MARVEL MINIMATES

Of all the original X-Men, Bobby Drake, aka Iceman, is probably the most straight forward. It’s all there in the name. He’s a guy who does stuff with ice. That’s pretty simple. Interestingly enough, he was also one of the first X-Men to make it big, thanks to his role as one of the titular friends in Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends. He’s often looked at as rather goofy, but he’s actually got one of the more impressive power sets on the team. Anyway, Bobby has distinctive looks for his powered up and powered down forms, and it’s rare to see the powered down form in the toy world. Diamond is using their recent All-New X-Men themed wave to break convention and give us both versions of him, as well as one of those wacky, purple, mutant-hunting robots, the Sentinels.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

These figures were released in Series 59 of Marvel Minimates. Each of the Icemen was packed with a Sentinel, with the iced-up version being the more plentiful version and Bobby Drake being the one-per-case variant for this series.

ICEMAN

Iceman pretty much breaks even on the whole “All-New” thing. Bobby really hasn’t had much happen to him since the early days of the X-Men, so his character has remained relatively the same. Still, you can’t bring all but one of the original X-Men forward in time; they’re kind of a package deal. Iceman is about 2 ½ inches tall and he’s got 14 points of articulation. He’s in his iced-up form, but you can make out most of his Immomen-designed costume. Iceman is a “vanilla ‘mate,” which means he’s built out of the standard Minimate body with no other add-ons. It’s not really a surprise, since that’s in line with the design. This means the figure is entirely reliant on the paint. The good thing here is that Iceman easily has the cleanest paintwork in the series. He’s molded in solid white plastic, which is a departure from the usual semi-transparent plastic we’ve seen on previous figures. I think I like it better because the detail lines stand out much better. The detail work is really great, with all the proper line work for his uniform, as well as some additional texturing to really sell the ice look. Iceman includes an ice blast, an ice sled, and a clear display stand. Both of the ice structures are new to this figure, and they look really great, sculpt wise. The ice sled is a piece I’ve been waiting to see for quite some time now.  However, the pieces are a little bit yellowed, which doesn’t seem right.

BOBBY DRAKE

Ah, yes, the illusive Bobby Drake. So, this is what Iceman looks like powered down. How about that? Like his icy incarnation, Bobby is about 2 ½ inches tall and features 14 points of articulation. He’s completely powered down, allowing you to see his All-New X-Men uniform in full detail. Bobby makes use of the standard Minimate body with one sculpted addition: his hair. Now, here’s where things get interesting. Bobby’s hair is a re-use of the T2 Kyle Reese’s hair, but that’s not what’s in the pictures. Somehow, my Bobby ended up with a different piece. This one is from T2’s young John Connor. I’m not sure how it happened, but there it is. Both pieces are respectable hair pieces, though neither one is a direct match for Bobby’s hair in the comics. If I’m honest, I probably prefer the hair I got, so I don’t mind the mix-up. Bobby’s paint is pretty well done. It’s not as clean as Iceman’s, but it’s a bit more complex, so there’s that. The initial prototype for this figure was missing the black details on the shoulders, due to Bobby’s comic design being changed before print, but DST managed to get it fixed before the figures saw release. The coolest thing about Bobby is that the detail’s line up perfectly between him and Iceman, very nicely conveying that they are one and the same. Bobby includes an ice blast, a chunk of ice that a figure can be placed in, and a clear display stand. The ice blast is shared with the main Iceman, and the chunk of ice was originally seen with the Frozen Captain America from the CA: TTA set.  They too seem a bit yellowed, which is a shame.

SENTINEL(S)

The final figures in the set are the Sentinels. This marks the fourth version of the Sentinel in the line (not counting Nimrod, since he’s kind of a different thing). The Sentinel is a little over 2 ½ inches tall and sports 12 points of articulation. As is a common issue with the Sentinels in this line, he’s woefully out of scale, but that’s just a thing everyone has to live with. The Sentinel is a hybrid of multiple designs, with a leaning towards classic. The figure makes use of the basic Minimate body with sculpted add-ons for the helmet, upper torso, waist, gloves, and boots. The parts on this figure are 100% re-use. The helmet is from the Marvel vs Capcom 3 Sentinel, the hands are from the TRU exclusive Omega Red, the torso cover is from the TRU exclusive Extremis Iron Man, and the waist and boots are from the TRU Exclusive Box. These pieces are pretty well chosen, though the upper torso is just a bit too distinctive to Iron Man. The changed colors mean this isn’t too noticeable, but it’s there. The paint on the Sentinel is pretty good overall. The base colors are a bit more drab than what we saw on the DoFP Sentinel, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. There’s a bit of slop on one of my Sentinels’ torso pieces, but nothing too distracting. The torso and waist feature full detailing, allowing you to remove the covers and display the Sentinel in a classic set-up if you so choose. The Sentinel includes two tendrils (courtesy of Omega Red), a blast off base (previously used on the Marvel vs Capcom 3 MODOK), and a clear display stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Iceman and his corresponding Sentinel were purchased from my local comicbook store, Cosmic Comix, just like the other two sets. However, my store had already sold Bobby, so I had to order him through the always reliable Luke’s Toy Store. Iceman is the real star here, but Bobby and the Sentinel are still respectable ‘mates in their own right. Bobby is just slightly off from the source material (which is true even with the right hairpiece), and the Sentinel’s only real fault is that I don’t personally like it as much as the recent DOFP Sentinel. Still, this is a good set of figures, and the series as a whole is really a lot of fun.

#0352: Days of Future Past Minimates

FUTURE WOLVERINE, FUTURE KITTY PRYDE, MYSTIQUE & FUTURE SENTINEL

MARVEL MINIMATES

Minimates! Oh, how I’ve missed you. It’s been almost 30 reviews since I last looked at a set of Minimates, and almost 50 since I last looked at any Marvel Minimates. I’m not sure how I let that happen. I guess I was just buying too much other stuff. So, here’s a set based on one of the best known X-Men stories of all time!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

This set was released as a San Diego Comic Con exclusive, just this summer. It’s based on the “Days of Future Past” story that ran through X-Men #141-142. The set was released to coincide with the movie adaptation of that story, released this past summer.

FUTURE WOLVERINE

It wouldn’t be a proper X-Men set without Wolverine, now would it? Wolverine is, as the figure’s name notes, based on the version of the character from the bad future presented in DOFP. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen this version of Wolverine in Minimate form, as it was also a variant all the way back in Marvel Minimates Series 13. However, a few things necessitate a re-do of this particular look: 1) The style of Minimates has changes since then, 2) This figure actually represents what wolverine looks like in the actual issue, while that one was based on the slightly different look from the cover, and 3) the old figure just isn’t very good. The figure is about 2 ½ inches tall and he has 14 points of articulation. He’s built on the basic Minimate body, with a set of clawed hands and additional pieces for his hair, coat, belt and the pouch on his leg. All of these pieces are re-use. The hair and hands have been used on a handful of previous Wolverines. Thecoat is from the Street Fight Wolverine from Series 52. The belt is a generic piece used several times before, and the pouch has been used before, but I don’t know where. Aside from the coat being a touch long for the one Wolverine was sporting in the story, all these pieces are spot on, and they do a great job translating the look to the Minimate form. For the most part, the paint on Wolverine is relatively basic, but it’s pretty good. There are a few areas on the coat and around the boot lines where the lines are a little sloppy, but otherwise it looks pretty great. The face and torso also have some very nice detail line work, which give the figures some pretty good dimension. Future Wolverine includes a clear display stand. 

FUTURE KITTY PRYDE

Okay, so right off the bat, I have a slight bone to pick with DST: In DOFP, Kitty isn’t Kitty Pryde, she’s Kate Pryde. It’s a small but important difference. That being said, I suppose for marketing purposes, it makes sense to call her Kitty. Anyway, she’s the main character of the comic version of the story, so it’s good to see her included here. She is, of course based on the future version of Kitty from the story. In her default setup, she’s meant to replicate Kate’s look from the cover of X-Men #141. Kate stands about 2 ½ inches tall and features 14 points of articulation. She’s built on the standard Minimate body, with additional pieces for her hair, collar, and coat. Like Wolverine, all of the pieces are re-use. The hair is from the Shadowcat Minimate from Series 31, the coat is from the Series 46 Peter Parker, and the collar is just a generic collar piece. These pieces make for a decent approximation of Kate’s cover look, which is good. The coat has a small hole on the right shoulder where Peter’s book bag originally attached, but it’s forgivable since it’s re-use. The paint on Kate is basic, but clean. The jacket, pants and shoes are all solid colors, but at least she doesn’t have any slop. The facial expression is a near perfect recreation of her face from the cover, so that’s great. Kitty includes a clear display stand, a spare hairpiece (re-used from Series 43’s Aunt May), and extra arms and legs. By removing the coat and replacing the arms and legs, you can recreate Kate’s prison camp look, which is the look she actually has in the story itself. It’s a masterfully done extra look and it’s absolutely spot on to what she looked like in the story.

MYSTIQUE

Mystique is the only “current” figure in the set. She’s a great choice, seeing as she operates as the main antagonist in all of the present day sequences, plus she was in dire need of an update. Mystique is in her classic costume, which is the one she was wearing in DOFP, so that’s cool. Mystique is about 2 ½ inches in height and features 14 points of articulation. Like the others, she features the standard Minimate body as her starting point, with add-ons for her hair and skirt. The hair is re-used from the “Curse of the Mutants” Vampire Jubilee and the skirt is from the Series 38 Elektra. These are both very nicely sculpted pieces, and they work great for Mystique. Mystique’s paint is very well done. Everyhing is clean and sharp, and the line work brilliantly translates Mystique from the page to the Minimate. There are even ties on her sides going from the front to the back of her dress! Mystique includes a clear display stand and two extra heads: one Senator Kelly and one half-Kelly/half-Mystique (both of which make use of the hair previously seen on the Lost in Space Minimates Doctor Smith). The heads are a great idea. The half-and-half head makes for a perfect illustration of Mystique’s abilities and with the addition of a spare suit body, the Kelly head allows you to make your own Senator Kelly, another character pivotal to the story. (For reference, I used the body of a Series 43 J Jonah Jameson, which I have several of thanks to SHIELD Agent army building.)

FUTURE SENTINEL

This particular Sentinel could work equally as a current day and future Sentinel, but the box says “Future” so that’s what I’m going with. The Sentinels are the antagonists of the future sequences, so the inclusion of one here is perfect. I just wish it were available outside of this four pack because I’d love to have a few of them. The Sentinel is based on the classic Sentinel design, as was seen in DOFP. The figure is a little over 2 ½ inches tall and features 12 points of articulation. The height puts him way out of scale with the rest of the set, but that’s just a thing we’ll have to live with. The Sentinel is built using the standard Minimate body, with add-ons for the helmet, hands, torso extender, and feet. The helmet first saw use on the Marvel vs Capcom 3 Sentinel, the hands are from the TRU exclusive Annihilus, the torso extender has seen a few uses, and the boots are from the TRU exclusive Box. All of these pieces add up to the best looking Sentinel the line has offered yet. The paint on the Sentinel seems particularly good. All of the details are very shard and clean, and the shades of purple and pink are just right, which was something I always found off about the previous Sentinels. The Sentinel includes an alternate battle-damaged head, an orange flight base, and a clear display stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Since I did not attend San Diego Comic Con, this set was picked up from my very favorite Minimate retailer, Luke’s Toy Store. When Diamond first announced they were planning on doing a set based on the story, I was pretty excited, and this set really lives up to my expectations. Mystique and the Sentinel are easily my default versions of those characters now, and Wolverine and Kate are fun variants. Throw in the fact that I can build my very own Senator Kelly, who I never though in a million years we’d get, and I’m as happy as I could be with this set.