#3262: Parks & Recreation ReAction Figures

LESLIE KNOPE, BEN WYATT, DONNA MEAGLE, APRIL LUDGATE, & BURT MACKLIN

PARKS & RECREATION REACTION FIGURES (SUPER 7)

“Ba ba badadada ba badadada ba badadada ba badabada….”

Parks & Recreation Theme Song (Paraphrased)

The Office gets, like, a lot of attention.  So much attention.  Absurd amounts of attention.  And, the thing is, honestly?  It’s kind of overplayed.  Don’t get me wrong, there are some very funny bits on The Office.  But, for the most part, they can just be boiled down to quippy clips that make just as much sense, if not more, when chopped up and thrown into compilations as when shown in actual context.  For my money, the superior workplace comedy by a wide berth is Parks & Recreation, a show that’s also just one of my favorite shows in general.  As a show with a lot of pretty normal looking people, there’s not a *ton* in the way of merchandising for Parks & Rec, but there’s more than you might think.  Funko of course grabbed the license for Pops a while back, and last year Super 7 also got the license for the purposes of doing a set of ReAction Figures, most of which I’m taking a look at today!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Leslie Knope, Ben Wyatt, Donna Meagle, April Ludgate, and Burt Macklin are five of the six figures (the other being Ron Swanson) that make up the first series of Super 7’s Parks & Recreation ReAction Figures line, which started hitting retail in the fall of last year.

You can’t very well have a line of Parks & Rec figures and not include the main character, so Leslie was always along for the ride.  Leslie gets quite a number of looks over the course of the show, but this figure settles on one of her office attire blazer and skirt looks, which feels pretty appropriate for the character.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and she has 5 points of articulation.  The movement on her neck is a little restricted by the hair, but otherwise it’s a decent basic set-up for movement.  Leslie’s sculpt is obviously stylized to be a bit more basic.  It’s gets the important details, while dialing back a bit on some of the specifics.  The head’s got a passable likeness of Amy Pohler; it’s not spot-on, but at this scale and in this style, it’s hardly expected to be.  I’d say she’s probably the best of the likenesses present in the initial line-up.  The paint work is, like the sculpt, pretty basic.  It does what it needs to, and it looks the part.  Leslie is packed with a plate with a waffle on it, undoubtedly one made by JJ’s Diner.  There’s honestly nothing more on-brand for Leslie, so it’s definitely nifty.  She can’t really hold it, though, which is a shame.  Still cool.

Though absent until the end of the show’s second season, Ben’s still very much a signature character for the show.  Gonna be honest, there are few fictional characters I identify with more than Ben Wyatt.  His absence from the first two rounds of Pops kind of soured me on those, so I’m very excited that he’s here.  Ben’s sporting his more dressed-down, getting things solved look, which definitely works well.  The figure’s sculpt is one that works better in context than on its own.  The head’s an okay Adam Scott, but it could honestly just as easily be Jason Bateman or Jason Sudekis.  I don’t hate the smile, but it’s also not quite a quintessential Ben expression.  The body doesn’t seem quite skinny enough for Scott’s build; he’s too doughy in the middle, I think.  It’s definitely a little bit of a stylistic thing, though.  The paint work on Ben is pretty basic, and fairly drab, but that’s all about right.  Ben’s packed with a small recreation of the Cones of Dunshire, Ben’s absurdly complicated strategy game he invented.  As with Leslie’s waffle, this is a very on-brand piece, so it’s a lot of fun.  He does have a little bit more luck actually holding it, so that’s a plus.

Donna may have been in the show from the beginning, but she’s a character who very much grew as the show progressed, going from a glorified extra in the first season to a prominent series regular by the end.  Donna also has a lot of looks over the course of the show, but this one goes for her more casual attire.  Donna’s sculpt is a little more immediately obvious as to who it’s supposed to be, but it’s still not quite as on the mark as Leslie.  The likeness to Rhetta’s not overly there, but at the same time, it’s not like the figure looks *unlike* her.  As with Ben, the context of the rest of the figures fills it in pretty quickly.  Her sculpt is pretty basic, as expected, but her proportions seem a little more on the mark than Ben’s were.  Her paint work adds a little more color to the set, with a nice splash of bright pink, which works well for the set.  Donna is packed with a box of baked goods, marked “Treat Yo Self”, which is another very appropriate extra, since the Treat Yo Self antics really helped to cement her character.  We’re back to the figure not being able to hold the accessory, unfortunately, but it’s still nifty to have it.

April’s one of the few characters that comes out of the gate more or less fully formed on the show, albeit in a way that still very much allows her to grow as the series progresses.  For her figure, she’s another casual attire look, which is again pretty on-the-mark for her character.  April’s sculpt winds up being the weakest of the bunch, I find.  Something about the head just misses the mark.  The hair seems to sit too far back, making her forehead seem far too large, and the proportions on the body seem a bit off.  None of it’s terrible, but it’s not super great either.  Her paint work is at least pretty bright, so she’s got that going for her.  April is packed with a small minifigure of her and Andy’s three-legged dog Champion, which isn’t quite as spot-on for the character as some of the others, but is still a pretty solid inclusion.

Burt Macklin, FBI!  Yes, while everyone else in the assortment is just their normal selves, our first version of Chris Pratt’s Andy Dwyer is him using his Burt Macklin persona, which he’d whip out whenever things got “serious.”  It makes him the most targeted of these figures in terms of appearance, and also marks him as someone they’re probably looking to do multiple variants on, should the line progress.  “Burt” is a pretty decent sculpt as well.  The likeness is a little harder to place, since he’s got the glasses sculpted in place, but it seems to land the look pretty alright, and the body gets Pratt’s slightly huskier build down well.  “Burt” has a slightly sloppier paint scheme than the others in the set, especially on the hair and beard.  Given the scale and style, though, it’s not that bad, and the rest of the figure’s all pretty clean.  There are no accessories for this guy, which is a bit of a bummer, but I suppose they’re holding out on the more fun stuff for another Andy variant.  Still feels a bit light.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

With Parks & Rec being very high on my list of favorite TV shows, it’s hard for me to justify passing up the chance to own the cast in action figure form.  Of course, given the price point on these things, I was initially thinking I might just grab Ben.  I wound up being swayed into getting the five of these when my wife Rachel and I found them at Target, and she insisted on buying them for me as an early Christmas gift.  They’re definitely expensive for what they are, and they’re not perfect, but I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t be down to pick up whatever else they want to do from the line.

#3247: Ace Duck

ACE DUCK

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES ULTIMATES (SUPER 7)

What’s this?  Another TMNT-centered review?  But I just did one of these in February!  Certainly it’s too soon!  Okay, I’ll lay off my usual lead-in for TMNT reviews now.  Back in February, when I looked at my last TMNT item, I took my first look at Super 7’s Ultimates umbrella of figures, of which they’re TMNT line makes up quite a hefty portion.  While I’m not one for getting all of the Turtles over and over again, I do quite like some of their allies.  I’ve already looked at my favorite of the bunch, Casey Jones, but now I’m following up with something of an under-dog character, in the form of Ace Duck.  While Casey is a fixture of most incarnations of the franchise, Ace Duck is a far less explored character, with only a handful of rather brief appearances, most of them not even that closely related to his original toy.  But, he’s a duck in a bomber jacket, and it’s hard not to find that cool, right?  Right.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Ace Duck is part of Wave 6 of Super 7’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Ultimates line, which also includes Sewer Surfer Mike, Slash, Scratch, and a Mousers pack.  This is actually Ace’s second figure this year, quickly following up on NECA’s toon-based version.  This one, like the rest of the line, is specifically based on Ace’s vintage toy, albeit upgraded to a more modernized detailing and articulation scheme.  The figure stands just shy of 6 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  His articulation scheme is pretty similar to Casey’s, which makes sense.  The waist is still kind of restricted, but the neck’s a little better on this figure.  The rest of the joints have a decent range of motion, and he’s quite stable on his feet.  He’s sporting an all-new sculpt, which takes the original figure’s sculpt and upscales and adds a little bit more to it.  In a similar fashion to Casey, the nature of Ace’s toy design relative to his very brief animation appearance makes him more comparable to NECA’s offering, though his adherence to the toy design results in this particular figure having a lot more in-depth detail work, especially when it comes to his exposed feathering.  The head sculpt sticks pretty close to the vintage head, keeping the general expression and detailing, just larger and with a little more going on.  He’s got that same goofy, crazed look going on.  Ace Duck’s color work is rather on the basic side, which is kind of expected.  Most of it’s molded colors, and that works out alright.  There was some concern brought up that the brown for his jacket was a bit too light, and I can see that.  It’s perhaps a touch too light, but not as bad in person as I’d feared based on early reports.  The rest of the molded colors are pretty spot on, though, so it works out alright.  The paint work is lighter, with some work on the face and jacket, as well as some accenting on the feathered areas of the figure.  As with most Super 7 Ultimates, Ace is packed with an impressive selection of accessories.  Like the vintage figure, Ace is packed with his pilot’s cap, his wings and tail (which in this release are now three separate parts, rather than one), a bandolier with removable grenades (six of them for this one, rather than the four from the vintage figure), and a small pistol.  In addition to the strictly vintage inspired items, the figure also gets five sets of hands (fists, gripping, trigger finger, open gesture, and relaxed), a Tommy gun, an alternate head with an aviator cap and a cigar, a pair of goggles, and an alternate jacket piece without the holes in hit for the wings.  It’s all topped off with one of those simulated weapons trees that all of the figures in the line have been getting.  Ace, much like Casey, didn’t have a tree on his vintage figure, so Super 7’s had a little more fun with it, making the excess look like a plane’s landing gear.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

It’s actually Ace Duck that really sold me on the Super 7 Ultimates as a whole.  I’ve just always wanted an Ace Duck; the duck in the bomber jacket’s just a cool look.  Same reason I love Launchpad McQuack.  Whatever the case, I was weighing my options on Casey Jones figures, and Ace Duck got shown off around that time, and I just really liked the look of this guy.  As with Casey, this figure comes with a hefty price point, but one that really feels worthwhile.  He’s a lot of fun, and I love all the extra stuff they included.

Thanks to my sponsors over at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure to review.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website.

#3202: Dr. Dave Bowman

DR. DAVE BOWMAN

2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY ULTIMATES (SUPER 7)

“Mission commander of the Discovery One spacecraft and lone survivor of the five astronauts on board.  After being led out of the spacecraft by HAL 9000 in an attempt to leave him behind, Dr. Bowman manages to improvise his way back onto the ship and shuts off HAL 9000, continuing his journey to Jupiter.”

As someone whose main focus of writing is for a website that deals entirely with toys, it’s very rare that I really get to flex that deeper meaning, human existence, really makes you think, cerebral side of myself.  I mean, sure, sometimes I wax on seriously about things within the absurd, but it’s rare.  So, today, I’m switching things up, and discussing a Stanley Kubrick movie of all things.  I know.  I’m surprised about this development, too.  I promise to not let all this high art stuff go to my head, though.  Kubrick, and in turn Kubrick’s estate, was always sort of odd about merchandise in regards to his film work.  Something about true artistry or something like that.  By and large, it’s not a big deal, since many of his works don’t exactly lend themselves to easy toy coverage.  Over the years, some of the barriers have been broken on some of the more figure-friendly things.  A Clockwork Orange in particular has become easier to work with, and clearly Funko’s doing something right, because we’ve also gotten an assortment of Pops.  For some reason, 2001: A Space Odyssey has been a particularly tricky one for licensing over the years.  Companies will try to get something off of the ground, only for it to be ultimately cancelled before going into production. For something that’s probably *the* definitive science fiction film, it’s honestly a bummer that there’s been such an uphill battle on doing something for it toy-wise.  When Super 7 announced they were adding 2001 to their Ultimates banner last year, I was excited, but also worried.  I’ve been misled before.  However, it’s not the case this time around!  The figures are actually here!  How about that?  So, in honor of the things actually getting produced and all, I’m taking a look at the closest thing the movie’s got to a main character, Dr. Dave Bowman, today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Dr. Dave Bowman is part of the first, and presumably the only, wave of 2001: A Space Odyssey Ultimates figures from Super 7.  Dave is seen here in his space gear, the most sensible and most distinctive of his looks in the movie, and also the look he’s got for a good chunk of his screen time.  It’s also a quite distinctive and a rather signature design for the genre as a whole.  The figure stands 6 3/4 inches (sans helmet; he gets an extra half inch with the helmet in place) and he has 26 points of articulation.  The first Super 7 Ultimates figure I looked was Casey from their TMNT line, and his articulation scheme was pretty solid.  These figures are a little different, and the end result is definitely a lot more limited, especially when it comes to the elbows and knees.  A degree of this is certainly due to the design of the suit; you can clearly see in the film that there’s some definite restricting.  That said, it doesn’t quite get to this level.  It’s not like Dave gets into many action poses or anything in the movie, but I’d have liked just a touch more motion on the elbows at the very least.  Dave’s sculpt is new to this line, albeit mostly shared with Frank and Heywood, since they all had variants of the same space suits.  It’s a generally sensible sculpt.  Some of the details are a little on the softer side, but, for the most part, it’s quite a nice recreation of the suits seen in the film, especially in its fully-assembled set-up. Once the helmet’s off, though, things do get a bit rougher.  Firstly, the join between the helmet and the suit is off; the silver part should stay on the suit, but here it’s on the helmet; it winds up making his neck look very long and wonky with the helmet off.  Secondly, the head beneath the helmet’s definitely the weakest part of the overall sculpt.  He doesn’t look entirely unlike Keir Dullea…but it’s not super close either.  His hair is parted the opposite direction, his forehead’s too short, and his jaw’s too pronounced.  He also just generally looks too old for Dullea in 2001.  All that said, there’s a sort of a caricature effect going on, and the head looks decent beneath the helmet, which is really what’s most important.  Dave’s paint work is generally okay.  It’s a lot of base color work, but there’s some really nice work on the smaller details of the suit, especially it’s insignias.  The head under the helmet is again the weak spot; the paint’s a bit on the thick side, and, in the case of my figure, there’s a slight imperfection on the right cheek, which looks like he’s gotten a bruise or something.  Thankfully, it’s mostly hidden by the helmet.  Dave makes out with a pretty solid accessory selection here.  There’s a second helmet in green, three sets of hands in gripping, relaxed, and open gesture, his sketchbook, an alternate older head, and a whole separate character in the form of HAL-9000, Discovery‘s on-board AI-turned antagonist.  The green helmet allows for Dave’s look after his airlock jump, which is cool.  Technically, he should have a set of gloves in green to complete the look, but it’s still a nice gesture.  The sketchbook shows one of his drawings of the sleeping crew members, which is fun.  The alternate head actually has a slightly better likeness of Dullea than the standard head, so that’s cool.  HAL’s the star extra here, of course.  He’s based on his smaller console appearance from the pod bay, which is notably the console he uses to read Dave and Frank’s lips, and thus find out their plan to shut him down.  It’s also a far more easily packaged version of him than the larger version from the bridge.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

My first exposure to 2001 was when it was still technically in the future, though not by much.  I was about 7 at the time, so I didn’t really understand it, but it’s designs certainly stuck with me, as did HAL in particular.  Hey, us ’92 kids gotta stick together, am I right?  As I’ve gotten older, I’ve grown to appreciate the movie as a whole.  When Super 7 announced these, I was already drawn to Dave, just on the basis of wanting one of the space suits.  Seeing that HAL was included just clinched the whole thing.  Yes, I bought a $50 figure for the small hunk of plastic that came with him.  Okay, no, not really.  I did want the whole figure.  This is a figure that’s definitely got some flaws, but at the same time, there’s so much cool going on here that it all winds up actually working pretty well.  And also there’s a HAL!  Did you see the HAL?

Thanks to my sponsors over at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure to review.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website.

#3153: Ripley

RIPLEY

ALIENS: REACTION (SUPER 7)

You know, every so often, I remember that Aliens is my favorite movie, and it’s got a diminishing presence here on the the site.  It’s the sort of thing that happens when you tend to buy just about everything from said film, and keep up with reviewing it all as its released.  Or the fact that you do sort of hit this point of only needing so many different versions of the same cast of characters.  Back in April, I took a look at a few of Super 7’s ReAction figures from the movie, and I’m circling back with another from the set.  This time around, it’s the film’s main character, Ellen Ripley!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Ripley is part of Series 1 of Super 7’s Aliens ReAction line, the third of the six human figures that I’ve looked at here on the site.  In contrast to the rest of the figures in the set, this is Ripley’s fourth time in the ReAction style, and the second Aliens-based version, following up on Funko’s two-pack with the Loader and the Queen.  Despite using the same basic style and design, she is, nevertheless, a unique figure.  If I’m honest, I do feel like it might have been a good spot for a bomber jacket Ripley, since the final battle was already covered by Funko, but that might be my bomber jacket bias talking.  The figure stands just shy of 4 inches tall (about a 1/4 inch taller than the Funko version), and she has 5 points of articulation.  The sculpt is all-new, and it’s just kind of different from the Funko version.  Not, like, in particularly notable ways.  Just different.  There are elements I like more, namely the head (and its more accurate hairdo) and the height/general build better matching Weaver.  The detailing on the outfit is a bit of a step down, making her look a lot more basic, but it at least covers all the bases, and she still matches up with the other figures in the set.  The paint work is similarly basic.  The colors are close to what they are in the film; notably, they’re brighter than the Funko version, which again matches better with the Super 7 set, so that makes sense.  Ripley is packed with her combo pulse rifle/flamethrower, which follows the stylings of the shotgun packed with Hicks, so that’s cool.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

After snagging the Hicks and Bishop when they were traded into All Time earlier in the year, I was definitely looking to pick up a few more of the figures in the line, but also totally content to wait for more of them to come through in trade.  Ripley wound up being the first of them to come through in follow-up, so she wound up being the next one to get added to my collection.  I didn’t really feel like I needed her at first, what with having the Funko version and all.  That said, I appreciate this one for its distinct differences, and I like how she pairs with the rest of the set.  Now I get to wait for the rest of the set to walk through…

Thanks to my sponsors over at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure to review.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website.

#3142: Iron Giants

IRON GIANTS

THE IRON GIANT REACTION FIGURES (SUPER 7)

Okay, so I wrapped up the Retro-styled Star Wars figures yesterday, but I’m not pivoting away from the whole retro thing entirely just yet.  Instead, I’m doing one more day, this time turning my sights on 1999’s 1950s-era space-race coming of age robot story, The Iron Giant.  It’s certainly a favorite of mine, and it’s had a growing presence in the toy world in the last few years.  One of the most recent additions comes courtesy of Super 7’s ReAction brand.  I’ll be taking a look at a couple of those today!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

The Iron Giants, both with Hogarth and with Super symbol, are two of the three figures that make up the Iron Giant ReAction Figures line-up, with the other being the “Weapon” version from the film’s climax.  The figures both stand just a hair shy of 4 inches tall and they have 5 points of articulation.  The sculpts between the two are largely very similar, as expected.  The arms and legs are entirely the same, with the heads and torsos getting minor deviations.  The “with Hogarth” version is meant to be a standard variant of the character, with no extra frills or anything, and a fairly all-purpose expression.  The Super version has the torso modified to add the “S”, as well as a goofy grin on the head, which feels pretty perfect for the scene.  Both sculpts are a really solid recreation of the character’s on-screen design, and there’s a lot of really sharp technical detailing, which looks really good.  The paint work is pretty basic, since he’s mostly just molded in the proper colors, so it’s really just the eyes and the darker grey accents, as well as the “S” on the Super version.  The main version includes a small micro figure of Hogarth (which is admittedly far too large for proper scaling, but for the style of figure, it makes sense), while the Super version is without any extras.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

After a rather long gap in terms of toy coverage, I’ve been pretty thrilled by all the cool Iron Giant stuff recently.  That said, I didn’t jump on these immediately, largely due to the heightened price point on ReAction figures.  When All Time was able to get them in and set me up with an alright deal on them, as well as give me the chance to see them in-person, I was a much easier target.  I really dig them.  They’re kind of basic, but I like having something more on the basic side.

Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with these figures for review.  If you’re looking for toys both old and new, please check out their website.

#3083: Bishop

BISHOP

ALIENS: REACTION (SUPER 7)

Wow, I took such a gap between Aliens reviews, didn’t I?  Who knows how long it could be before I review another one?  Well, I mean, I knows.  I knows very well.  The answer is “no time at all,” by the way, because I’m totally doing another Aliens review today.  Is it an ill-advised move to group them together, knowing that it’s probably not super likely that I’ll have anything else Aliens-related to review next April 26th?  Probably.  But, I’ll risk it, especially if it means I get to get all meta with this intro.  I do like my meta intros.  Anyway, I looked at Hicks yesterday.  Today, I’m gonna look at Bishop.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Bishop is another figure from Series 1 of Super 7’s Aliens ReAction line, the second of the six “human” figures, though I suppose “human” isn’t quite right for him.  He prefers the term “artificial person” himself.  The figure stands about 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 5 points of articulation.  Bishop is another all-new sculpt, which isn’t a terrible shock.  It’s a pretty cool sculpt, which captures his general look pretty well.  He’s not the most thrilling character when it comes to design, of course, but that’s just Bishop.  They make the best they can with what they have.  Honestly, they make more than the best, because this figure’s pretty clever.  See, while on the surface he’s just a basic Bishop, he gets a fun action feature.  You can split him apart at the middle, recreating his post-Queen attack damage.  There’s even a peg shaped like his gross android entrails.  It works surprisingly well, and the split’s not as glaringly obvious as you might think.  Sure, it’s clearly there, but it doesn’t jump right out at you.  Honestly, if it sat just a little bit better at the back, it’d be pretty much perfect.  Bishop’s paint work is fairly basic, but it fits the style well, and it captures all the main elements needed.  The application is pretty clean, with no real slop or bleed over, which is nice.  Bishop has no accessories, but the gimmick is the real extra.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Hicks was my main want from this set, but Bishop here happened to be the other of the two ReAction figures that got traded into All Time, and I was hardly going to just leave this one on his own.  I gotta say, I was pleasantly surprised by this one.  Hicks was just kinda basic, but Bishop’s actually a quite clever figure.  He could have been very bland and boring, but he’s really fun instead.

Thanks to my sponsors over at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure to review.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website.

#3082: Hicks

HICKS

ALIENS: REACTION FIGURES (SUPER 7)

Happy Alien Day every one!  I’ve missed it the last two years, by virtue of not having anything to review, but I actually made a concerted effort to not miss it this time around.  I like, purposely saved an item and everything.  Crazy, right?  So, today, I’m turning my sights on a line I haven’t looked at in quite a while, ReAction.  The brand actually has quite a history with the Alien franchise, since it was Super 7’s desire to release the cancelled Kenner Alien figures from 1979 that launched the whole project, and got them the attention of Funko, who blew the whole thing up to epic proportions and then proceeded to run it into the ground.  Super 7 wound up splitting the brand back off from Funko, and has done a lot to refocus it, which included bringing things back to that first license, and actually doing some follow-up figures based on the second movie.  That’s a big deal for me, over here, with the second one being my favorite movie and all.  So, you know what, let’s take a look at Hicks, because that’s what I’m about, son.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Hicks (who is, notably, just “Hicks” on the package; not Corporal, not Dwayne, just Hicks) was released in Series 1 of Super 7’s Aliens ReAction line, as one of the six humans included in the line-up, hitting retail in mid-2020.  The figure stands about 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 5 points of articulation, in true replication of the intended style.   Hicks’ sculpt was all-new, and, quite surprisingly, entirely unique.  I had expected him to at least share some parts with Hudson, but the core figures are entirely different, which is actually pretty cool.  The sculpt is really good, albeit in the way that it’s supposed to be, which is, admittedly, kind of dated looking.  He’s definitely a sort of stripped down and simplified, almost Saturday morning cartoon version of the character, and it works pretty well.  Like, all of the major details of his outfit are there, just much more basic.  I like that they’ve also more accurately followed the progression of Kenner’s style than the Funko stuff did, so these figures, which would have hailed from the mid-80s had Kenner actually produced them, look more like the later end Star Wars stuff, or even the Raiders figures.  Hicks is actually a little more bulked up and sturdy in his build, which feels more appropriate.  Hicks’ paint work takes the general color palette of the character in the movie, and brightens it up a bit, as it would have been back then, as well as again simplifying things a bit.  It works pretty convincingly, and still sells the main look pretty convincingly.  Hicks is packed with a removable helmet (which is the same as the one included with Hudson), and his shotgun for close encounters.  While it’s a shame he doesn’t also get his pulse rifle, this does at least mean he’s got a unique weapon, since Hudson got the rifle packed with him.  I was also quite impressed by how well the helmet fit, while still sticking to the style.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Though I’m a huge Aliens fan, I’ll admit that I had a hard time justifying these figures when they were announced, due to them being hit by Super 7’s price creep on the ReAction line as a whole.  I want to get more of them, but at $18 a piece, it’s a bit tricky, especially when there’s a whole assortment.  Hicks was the one I *really* wanted to track down, but I just never got around to it.  Then, he kind of tracked me down, I guess.  A Lego minifigure collection that came into All Time had exactly two ReAction figures bundled in with it, and, as luck would have it, Hicks was one of them.  He’s a very specific style of figure, but it’s one that I really like.  He goes really well with the Ripley I got from the Power Loader set, and I’m definitely cool with having another Hicks in my collection.

Thanks to my sponsors over at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure to review.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website.

#3039: Casey Jones

CASEY JONES

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES ULTIMATES (SUPER 7)

Apart from they year 2019, which saw an inordinately high number of TMNT-themed reviews, they tend to be a little bit scarce around these parts.  Not that I deliberately avoid them or anything, especially when I’ve got a good reason not to.  I guess I’ve got a good reason not to.  The story of where we are right now starts with Matty Collector.  I know, that’s rarely a good start, but this one plays out okay, I swear.  After running pretty much the whole platform into the ground, Mattel decided they didn’t really want to support a collector site anymore, and was looking to shut things down.  However, Masters of the Universe Classics still had a little traction left in it.  Rather than giving up entirely, they licensed the whole thing out to Super 7, who had previously been pretty much exclusively focusing on smaller Kenner throw-back figures.  Super 7 took the assignment rather to heart, initially continuing, and then circling back to further improve upon what Mattel had been doing with MOTUC.  When Mattel decided to take Masters back in-house, Super 7 opted to keep the style they’d started going, under the banner of Ultimates, and spread to other ’80s and ’90s properties, chief among them being TMNT.  They’re a good way into the line now, and they’ve just added one of the Turtles’ two best human friends, Casey Jones!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Casey Jones is part of Wave 4 of Super 7’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Ultimates line, alongside Donatello, Mondo Gecko, and Muckman.  As with the rest of the line, his focus is specifically on recreating the vintage Playmates figure, up to modern standards of sculpting and articulation, so that’s what he’s specifically based on.  The figure stands 6 3/4 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  His articulation scheme is sort of its own style of thing.  There are certainly some elements of the Mattel work that Super 7 inherited with their Ultimates lines, but with its own sort of flair, which honestly marks some improvements to how things work.  There’s a pretty solid range of motion on most of the joints (the neck and waist are both a little restricted on mine, but that’s really it), and he holds poses well and maintains a pretty stable footing without much trouble.  The figure’s sculpt is all-new, with the express purpose of recreating the original Playmates toy design for the character.  For Casey, that’s not as far removed from the animation design as some others, making him perhaps a more comparable offering to what we got from NECA.  That said, there’s a slightly more in-depth level to the detailing, especially the smaller stuff and the texturing.  You can make out the individual wrappings of the bandages on his knees and right hand, as well as little traces of hair on his arms and what we can see of his torso.  I also really dig the smaller, personal touch details, like his left shoelace being untied, adding to Casey’s classically disheveled appearance.  His mask is even sculpted to look convincingly like a separate piece, even though it’s non-removable.  Casey’s color work isn’t terribly involved, which is rather true to the original design.  There’s a lot of swathes of solid colors, largely molded in the proper color of plastic.  That said, the base work is generally pretty clean, with only a few minor fuzzy spots.  He’s also got some decent accent work to help some of the sculpted elements pop just a little bit.  Casey is packed with a rather impressive selection of accessories.  He includes four sets of hands (fists, open gesture, gripping with a forward/back joint, and gripping with a side-to-side joint), three different baseball bats, a golf club, a hockey stick, three hockey pucks, and his bag to carry everything.  All of the figures also include a weapons tree simulating the ones included with the old Playmates figures.  The vintage Casey didn’t have one, but this one still gets it.  It’s actually kind of neat, since the excess parts of the tree resemble a goal net.  I don’t see myself getting any use of of this piece from a display standpoint, but it’s still kind of a nifty piece.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

While the idea of spending $50 a pop on TMNT figures doesn’t exactly thrill me or seem like a thing I’m really game for, I do certainly have a soft spot for Casey Jones, and after all of the fiascos surrounding NECA’s various figures, I decided it might be worth my time to at least give this one a try.  After snagging this guy, I think it’s safe to say that he was definitely worth my time.  He’s a lot of fun, and I think Super 7 really found a footing to justify the price point on these.  I’m not going to be jumping in full force or anything, but I’m definitely game for at least one or two others, to say nothing of the other Super 7 Ultimates offerings that are upcoming.  But, in the mean time, I can safely say this is the best Casey Jones I’ve got, and that’s certainly a plus.

Thanks to my sponsors over at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure to review.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website.

#1839: VF-1S

VF-1S

ROBOTECH: REACTION FIGURES (SUPER 7)

This site could always do with a little more Robotech.  I didn’t know that until just recently, but now that I do, I’m working to fix that unfair dearth of Robotech reviews post-haste.  Post-haste, I tell you!  Of course, since a lot of Robotech/Macross stuff is imported, I’m at a slight disadvantage for quantity.  Fortunately, every so often, a domestic company will take a stab at it, with the most recent attempt being from Super 7, as part of their reclamation of the ReAction branding.  Surprising no one who’s familiar with my prior Robotech reviews, I picked up the Roy Fokker’s veritech, the VF-1S.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The VF-1S is one of the six figures in the first series of Super 7’s Robotech: ReAction Figures line, and is inspired by the appearance Roy’s Veritech in the original Macross, more or less.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 5 points of articulation.  Obviously, this whole scaling thing is being handled rather loosely, since the VF-1S would have to be quite a few times larger to properly scale with other ReAction lines.  But then these guys couldn’t be at the same very affordable price, which sort of defeats the whole point, doesn’t it?  The VF-1S shares a good number of his pieces with the other three VFs in this assortment; specifically, they’re all identical from the neck down.  This is true to the show, though, so it’s really just a sensible re-use on the part of Super 7.  It’s a decent sculpt, a bit more squat than the look from the show, which helps it to be a bit more in keeping with the ReAction aesthetic.  There’s still plenty of detail work all throughout, and the details are appropriately clean and machined looking.  He gets a unique head piece, which matches up with the body in terms of style, and also guarantees him a unique design from the others.  The VF-1S’s paintwork is fairly cleanly applied, and consistent with his on-screen appearance. He’s obviously had less wear-and-tear than the last 1S I looked at.  There are a few fuzzy paint masks here and there (the edges of the feet are the most obvious), but for the given scale, it’s passable.  His Skull Leader emblem is particularly well-handled, and helps to pull him slightly above the others in terms of detailing.  The 1S is packed with his standard-issue rifle, which he can hold in either of his hands, or mount on his right arm.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Remember when I reviewed Mekaneck?  Well, I picked up the VF-1S at the same time.  In fact, it was the 1S that caught my attention, as I’ve had the hankering to pick up something Robotech-related ever since I reviewed the 0S several months back.  I love the 1S design, so I was a pretty easy mark for this guy.  I’m really, really pleased with how this figure turned out.  Sure, he’s not in the same league as one the high end Veritechs, but he’s still a lot of fun, and I really want to pick up a whole set to go with him now.

As with Mekanek, I bought the VF-1S from my friends at All Time Toys.  If you’re looking for other cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.

#1806: Mekaneck

MEKANECK

MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE REACTION FIGURES (SUPER 7)

“Heroic Human Periscope!”

I’ve looked at entries from all throughout the history of Mattel’s home-brewed Masters of the Universe line.  Today, for the first time, I look at a Masters of the Universe offering that doesn’t come from Mattel at all!  Yes, Mattel has outsourced their MotU operations to the considerably smaller-scale company Super 7, who previously worked with Funko for their ReAction Figures line of vintage-inspired toys.  After Funko ran that brand into the ground, Super 7 split off on their own, and has been doing their best to re-invigorate it, by focusing on quality over quantity.  Amongst the much smaller list of properties they’re offering is, unsurprisingly, Masters of the Universe, which is now seeing its second assortment of ReAction Figures.  Today, I’ll be taking a look at my personal favorite Master, Mekaneck!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Mekaneck is part of Series 2 of Super 7’s Masters of the Universe ReAction Figures.  He’s based on his classic vintage appearance, just like the rest of the line.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall (4 1/4 inches with the neck fully extended) and he has 4 points of articulation, plus an extending neck.  Like his vintage counterpart, this Mekaneck is without the ability to turn his head.  While it’s a slight bummer, it’s rather understandable at this size, and in this style, and doesn’t prove to be too limiting as a whole.  Mekaneck’s arms and legs are shared with He-Man and a number of the other standard Masters, which is sensible, given that’s been the case for all but his 200x incarnation.  Standard limbs are standard limbs, and if you don’t have to make new ones, then don’t.  The head and torso are new, and definitely very nice recreations of Mekaneck’s original design.  The extending neck feature is a fairly simple, no fuss action feature; there’s just a small tab on his back for moving it up and down.  I actually prefer this to the original turning waist feature, since it means he no longer has to stand with is legs to the side if you want his neck extended.  Mekaneck’s paintwork is bright and colorful, and overall very clean.  He definitely catches your eye, and those primary colors do his sculpt well.  Mekaneck is packed with a rather goofy looking yellow club, the same rather goofy looking yellow club that’s been his sidearm since his introduction.  It’s a nice extra, which is well fitted to his hand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I hadn’t really been following ReAction since it shifted back to Super 7.  I gave it a good try during the Funko years, but there was definitely a lot of variance to the quality from figure to figure.  The first series of MotU figures intrigued me, but I wasn’t really feeling any of the line-up.  But, like I noted in the intro, Mekaneck is my favorite, and I’ll pretty much buy any version of him out there, so when All Time got in their set of Series 2, I was definitely down for this guy.  I gotta say, Super 7 really seems to have turned things around for this brand.  Mekaneck is a much better match for the style they’re aiming for than most of Funko’s output, and his design in general is just a good fit for it.  I’m very happy I picked him up, and I can definitely see myself tracking down a few more.

I bought Mekaneck from my friends at All Time Toys.  If you’re looking for other cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.