#1978: Thanos, Iron Man Mark L, & Doctor Strange

THANOS, IRON MAN MARK L, & DOCTOR STRANGE

MARVEL LEGENDS — MARVEL STUDIOS: THE FIRST TEN YEARS

Despite being the central piece of the Tenth Anniversary celebration for Marvel Studios, Avengers: Infinity War was initially absent from the dedicated line of MCU figures from Hasbro, due largely to the initial MCU line figures hitting at the same time as the initial Infinity War offerings.  It wasn’t completely left out though, coming in right at the end with a boxed set based on the film.  So, what thrilling new, untouched characters did we get?  Well, none, actually.  New looks?  Again, no.  So what’s the point?  I’ll get to that.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

The Infinity War set is item 10 in the Marvel Studios: The First Ten Years sub-line of Marvel Legends, and contains Thanos, Iron Man, and Doctor Strange, meaning it’s a set entirely based on the battle on Titan.  All three figures in the set are slight reworkings of prior figures.

THANOS

As the central character of Infinity War, Thanos’ presence in this set is rather sensible, I suppose, though it is perhaps a little undercutting to the people that went to the trouble of actually building the Build-A-Figure.  This figure is a reworking of that one, reviewed here. As I noted the first time I reviewed it, it’s an okay sculpt overall, but not without its issues.  Fortunately for this figure, a couple of those problems have been addressed.  The figure comes pre-assembled, so the issues of falling apart don’t occur.  Additionally, his kind of gassy looking expression has been replaced with two different heads.  The first has a simple grimace, while the second has an angry teeth-baring expression.  Both are much better suited to Thanos than the one included to the BaF, and look like pitch-perfect recreation of his look from the movie.  Additionally, his gauntlet hand is a new piece; rather than the fist of the prior release, this Thanos’ hand is in an open gesture, which feels like a more classic Gauntlet pose.  I actually like this a lot more than I’d expected to, and it adds a lot to the figure’s posing options.  Lastly, the paint on Thanos has been changed, to better match the film.  The skin in particular is a lot nicer looking, being lighter, more lively, and flatter in its finish.  The rest of the paint is a bit brighter, slightly more contrasting, and just generally more exciting to look at.

IRON MAN MARK L

As cool as Iron Man’s armor was in Infinity War, none of the figures really captured the full extent of said coolness, his Legends release included.  This one doesn’t really fix that, but let’s see what it does.  He’s a re-working of the Thanos Series Iron Man, which is the same suit, so I guess it makes sense.  I actually liked that one a lot, despite it not being completely film accurate.  This one swaps out the torso for a new one, which loses the mid-torso joint, but in exchange gains a light-up feature on his arc reactor.  It’s gimmicky and somewhat restricting, but it’s still pretty fun.  This Iron Man includes the same accessories as his predecessor, extra hands and blast effect pieces.  No cool nano creations or anything, which is sad, but not a huge surprise.

DOCTOR STRANGE

Despite his decently sized role in the film, Doctor Strange was actually not featured in the Legends line-up for Infinity War.  As such, this figure goes back to Strange’s figure from his solo outing, reviewed here. This figure’s actually pretty substantially changed compared to the other two figures in the set, since the initial figure was based on early designs, rather than his final film look.  This one amends that, with a new head, cape, and right forearm.  The head sports a much better likeness of Cumberbatch, especially his disheveled self from the movies.  The new cape also captures the proper shaping of the movie much better, plus it actually pegs into his back this time, so it doesn’t shift all over the place like the original.  The new forearm has the Time Stone effect sculpted on it.  It’s a little warped on mine, but still looks pretty cool.  It’s not removable, and there’s no standard forearm to replace it, so you have no choice but to have him using it.  That’s really the only flaw against this figure.  Strange’s paintwork is also a bit different from the last release.  The most major change is the printed face, which certainly looks more lifelike.  He also changes up the overall color scheme of his costume, following Thanos’ lead by making the overall design brighter and more contrasting.  Doctor Strange is packed with a spare left hand, as well as another magic effects piece, which looks a little odd in conjunction to the Time Stone effect.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

When this set was unveiled, I will admit, I was quite underwhelmed, since I had the original releases of all three figures and all.  It didn’t really matter, though, since it never really showed up around me.  Or so I thought.  The set showed up at Super Awesome Fiancee’s store, and was actually there long enough to get decently clearanced. Being the ever-supporting Fiancee that she is, she of course bought it for me.  I knew going in the Strange was going to be my favorite, and that proved true.  I didn’t anticipate how much I was going to like the Thanos figure, who is just across the board an improvement to the BaF.  And, while Iron Man may not blow his predecessor away like the other two, I actually like the light-up feature a fair bit, so I’m happy enough to have him.

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#1974: Leonardo

LEONARDO

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: THE MOVIE (NECA)

Okay, so at this point, you can’t really be surprised by the subject of today’s review.  I looked at the other three, obviously I was going to round out the full set of Turtles and look at brother number four, Leonardo, the leader of the team.  I don’t really have a ton to say about Leo as a character, but I will say that the order of this week’s reviews correspond with my rankings of the for Turtles, so make of that what you will.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Leonardo is the fourth of the GameStop-exclusive Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie figures from NECA.  He too is based on his appearance in the first TMNT film.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and has, you guessed it, 21 points of articulation.  Leo is once again a scaling down of the 1/4-scale release from last year, and just like that figure, he shares most of his parts with his three brothers.  Hey, if you’re gonna commit to it, commit to it, right?  He gets a new head, showcasing Leo’s more reserved and disciplined nature.  Perhaps it’s not the most exciting expression, but it’s certainly true to the character and versatile as well.  He also gets a new belt/shoulder-strap, which, like Donatello’s, sits a little higher than I’d like.  Of course, it’s not quite as high as Donnie’s, and it’s still film accurate, so I can’t complain too much.  I mean, I *can*; it’s my site and all; but I won’t.  The new straps have sheaths for Leo’s katanas, and it’s definitely the most easily utilized storage of the bunch.  Leo’s paintwork is pretty much the same song and dance as it was for his brothers, but obviously with blue for his mask, what with it being his main color and all.  Leo is packed with his twin katana, two sets of hands (gripping and relaxed), two styles of ties for his mask, and another slice of pizza.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

If you’ve read the other three reviews, then you know that Leonardo, like the rest of the set, was gotten for me by my Super Awesome Fiancee, who put a lot of effort into securing me a complete set of these figures.  The larger scale figures weren’t my thing, but I always appreciated the work put into them.  These smaller releases are pretty great, and I hope they aren’t too hard to get in the long-run.

#1973: Michelangelo

MICHELANGELO

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: THE MOVIE (NECA)

Hey, did you dig yesterday’s one-armed review?  Okay, before you answer that, I’m gonna need you to clarify if you dig my two-armed reviews as well.  You know, for a more controlled study and what not.  So, what am I getting at here?  Well, I’m writing another one-armed review.  So, you know, there it is.  Please enjoy it to level you would a two-armed review.  For a controlled study and what not.

Today, I’m looking at the next piece of the Turtles puzzle, Michelangelo!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Michelangelo is the third turtle in NECA’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie figures, available exclusively at GameStop…until they inevitably unload the excess stock on some other retailer…because they’re GameStop.  Anyway, the figure stands 6 inches tall and he has 21 points of articulation.  Like Donnie and Raph, he’s a scaled-down version of the 1/4-scale figure from 2017.  As with that figure, this one uses the same body as his brothers, along with a new head sculpt.  Mikey’s expression is much lighter and more jovial than his brothers, with a wide-eyed expression and a light-hearted grin.  His expression is definitely my favorite of all the figures in this line-up, and is certainly a spot-on look for the character.  Mikey is also sporting his own unique belt, which, like Raph’s, is a simple across the waist affair.  It’s a nice enough piece, and while it doesn’t have specific storage for his nunchucks, there’s enough give that they can be wedged in there as they were in the film.  His paintwork matches the other two, aside, of course, from the color on his mask.  Mikey is packed with his nunchucks (which get my vote for least impressive weapons in the set.  It’s not really NECA’s fault, though; the nunchucks are always hard to adapt to toys), two sets of hands (gripping and thumbs up; I particularly love the thumbs up ones), two styles of mask ties, and a slice of pizza.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Mikey is once again a gift given to me by my Super Awesome Fiancee, just like the rest of the set.  Despite Donnie being my favorite Turtle, I think Mikey’s my favorite individual figure, because he just so clearly captures the look and spirit of the character in the movie.  And boom: two one-handed reviews.

#1972: Raphael

RAPHAEL

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: THE MOVIE (NECA)

C’mon, c’mon, I’ll review ya with one arm tied behind my back!  Or, tied to my front.  Restrained, is what I’m getting at here.  Confused?  Totally fair.  Allow me to sum up:  thanks to one of my shoulders taking on the properties of a chunk of rock, and thereby rendering me down a hand for this review.  Obviously, things had just gotten too easy for me, so I had to take things up a notch.  Because stress certainly isn’t an issue.  Why would you say that?  So, without further ado, here’s this Raphael figure!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Raphael is the second of the four GameStop-exclusive Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie figures from NECA.  Like Donatello, he’s based on the first live action TMNT film (and, by extension, the second as well), and is a down-scaling of NECA’s 1/4-scale figure from back in 2017.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and he has 21 points of articulation.  As with the larger figures, most of Raphael’s sculpt is shared with his brother Donatello.  Fortunately, it’s a really solid sculpt, so it works out really well.  Raph gets a new headsculpt.  He’s more intense than Donnie, with his Brow furrowed and his teeth bared.  It’s definitely appropriate for Raph as a character, and matches his depiction for most of the movies.  Also unique to this figure is the belt.  It’s just across the waist this time, and actually sits far more naturally.  Also, the storage for his weapons is way easier to use than on Donatello.  Raph’s paint is pretty much the same as Donatello’s, swapping out red for the purple on the bandana.  Raph is packed with his sai, two sets of hands (in gripping and relaxed poses), two styles of ties for his mask, and a slice of pizza (the same one included with Donnie).

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As with his brother, Raphael was given to me by my Super Awesome Fiancee, along with the rest of the set.  Raphael has all of the pluses of Donatello, without the one main drawback of ill-designed weapon storage, which is a definite plus in my book.  And look at that, I’ve written this whole review one-handed.  How about that?

#1971: Donatello

DONATELLO

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: THE MOVIE (NECA)

Despite being a licensed property, rather than an in-house brand, the main license for Ninja Turtles has been held by Playmates Toys since the franchise arrived on the scene in the ‘80s, meaning that other companies have had rather little chance to give the characters their own stab.  Perhaps the only exception to this rule would be NECA, who first got into the TMNT-thing with a set of comics-based figures back in 2007, while the franchise was between re-boots.  Since the brand was bought by Nickelodeon in 2011, Playmates has had more of a strangle-hold on the main figure scales, but NECA again got their foot in the door by offering up some 1/4-scale figures based on the 1990 film.  Those were a rousing success, and through some loop-holer-y, NECA was able to parlay that success into a line of more conventionally scaled figures.  I’ll be looking at my personal favorite Turtle, Donatello, today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Donatello is the first of the four GameStop-exclusive Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie figures, which started arriving at stores in the late-January/early-February time frame.  Based on his appearance in the first (and second, since they were the same suits) TMNT movie from 1990, the figure stands 6 inches tall and has 21 points of articulation.  All of the figures in this set are scaled-down versions of the 1/4-scale figure.  This means that the sculpt on Donnie has a ton of detail work, since he was originally 12 inches taller.  It’s a very sharp sculpt, and quite nicely recreates the suit from the movie, albeit in a slightly idealized fashion (because, let’s be honest, nobody really wants a straight re-creation; it would look pretty darn terrible).  The majority of the body is shared with Donnie’s brothers, but he has a few parts to keep him unique.  Obviously, he’s got his own unique head sculpt, which follows the more reserved and calm take on the character that we usually see, and works nicely for a number of poses.  The other unique piece is his belt/shoulder strap.  I’m admittedly not a huge piece, for two reasons.  The first isn’t really NECA’s fault, but I just don’t like how high on his chest the belt sits.  This is accurate to the movie, but it’s a design element that’s always bugged me.  Still, it’s accurate, so that one I can’t hold against NECA.  The second issue’s more on them, though.  See, the design of the back of the strap, where the Bo is meant to be stowed, isn’t so great.  They’ve just used cloth straps, which are tied in place.  The trouble is that they came untied almost immediately after I took him out of the box, they aren’t very easy to re-tie, and even when you do re-tie them, they don’t hold for very long.  Getting them to stay in place for the photos was no small feat.  I don’t foresee myself leaving the Bo on his back much anyway, but it’s a little frustrating not really being able to use this facet of the figure.  Donatello’s paintwork is a pretty solid offering.  There’s a lot going on, with tons of small subtle detail work all throughout, again mimicking the suit from the film very well.  Donatello’s accessory complement isn’t quite as extensive as his larger counterpart, but he’s still pretty well-packed.  He has his Bo, plus two sets of hands (in gripping and open gesture poses, two styles of ties for his mask (relaxed and dynamic), and a slice of pizza.  Not a bad assortment.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

There have been some definite horror stories from collectors trying to track down a full set of these figures, stemming largely from the problems inherent to giving a highly demanded item as an exclusive item to a retail chain that’s not had a particularly great history with this sort of product.  Fortunately for me, I have someone on the inside: Super Awesome Fiancee.  She was able to be assertive enough with her co-workers to net me a complete set, meaning I had no real troubles!  Donatello has some slight flaws, but is generally a very strong figure, living up the standards NECA has set for themselves.

#1929: Omega

OMEGA

FORTNITE (JAZWARES)

Oh boy.  More Fortnite.  Remember Fortnite?  That thing I said I had no attachment to, but for which I have now written four reviews? Yeah.  That’s the one.  For what it’s worth, this us my last Fortnite review, at least for the foreseeable future.  Somewhat appropriately for my last review of this set, I’m going to be taking a look at Omega!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Omega was released in the “Early Game Survival Kit”, a slightly more deluxe offering from Jazwares’ Fortnite line, which falls right between the “Solo Mode” and “Drama Llama” offerings.  The figure stands 4 inches tall and he has 28 points of articulation.  In the game, Omega is a progressive skin, meaning he starts out rather basic, and gains new armor as the player progresses.  The Omega seen here is a fully kitted-out version, which I suppose is a sensible choice.  His construction is the same styling as the other Fortnite figures, so he’s a pretty solid little toy with a decent spread of articulation.  The only slight downstep from others is this figure’s more restricted elbow movement, but he’s still getting more than 45 degrees, so we’re not quite at Mattel levels.  The sculpt does a solid job of recreating the in-game design, though like the others, the detailing can be a little soft in some spots.  He’s certainly helped by the design’s more simplistic nature, which just makes for a clean overall figure.  The paintwork is decent, if perhaps not anything amazing.  I like the metallic finish, and the application is overall pretty good.  There’s a little bit of slop, especially on the red lines, but given the scale and the price point, he’s certainly passable.  The more deluxe nature of this release means that he’s a little better accessorized than Raptor was, but not *quite* as accessory heavy as Rust Lord.  He gets a Legendary Assault Rifle, the Onslaught harvesting tool, Precision back pack, Wet Paint Glider, and a foot-peg-bearing building plate.  It’s a nice little taste of all the differing accessory types.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Despite being my last of the reviews, Omega was actually the second Fortnite item I acquired.  Super Awesome Fiancee’s store had gotten him in, and after I was so happy with Rust-Lord, she asked me if I might also like this guy.  I’m hardly one to turn down someone buying me a cool action figure, so I of course took her up on it.  Omega is another solid toy from this line, and I definitely dig it.

#1917: Doctor Who Series 6 set

ELEVENTH DOCTOR W/ COWBOY HAT, CORRODED CYBERMAN, & SILENCE

DOCTOR WHO (CHARACTER OPTIONS)

Hey, remember yesterday when I reviewed some Doctor Who figures?  Wanna see me do it again?  I sure hope you do, because…uhh, well, that’s what I’m doing.  But these Who figures come from way later in the franchise, because timey-wimey-wibbly-wobbly something or other.  Yeah, that’s it.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

The three figures featured in today’s review make up the Series 6 boxed set, which are all based on the second series of Matt Smith’s run as the character.  There’s a variant of Eleven, a variant of a Cyberman, and a variant of a Silence.  It’s just variants all around!

ELEVENTH DOCTOR

Hey!  It’s another Eleventh Doctor.  But this one’s different!  He’s got a new hat!  No, really, that’s the big difference.  They took the basic Eleven from the 11 Doctors set, slapped a Cowboy hat on him, and called it a day.  If you want to know my opinions on the sculpt, go read that review, because, yeah, just the new head on this one.  The hat’s decent enough; it’s molded in place, since that’s really the only way to handle it with Smith’s big mop of hair.  The paint is actually a fair bit different, and not really in a good way.  There was a lot of subtle work going on with the prior figure that I really liked, but this one ends up stripping it down to just the basics.  The shirt, for instance, is straight white, despite the fact that I don’t believe Eleven ever just wore straight white.  Oh well.  He’s packed with his standard sonic screwdriver, which is the only accessory in this set.

CORRODED CYBERMAN

Hey!  It’s another Cyberman!  But this one’s different!  He’s got a new corrosion!  …Yeah, umm, so they kind of did it again.  This figure is built from the same base parts as the Cyberman from the Doomsday set I looked at back during the site’s first year.  There’s a tweaked torso simulating the damage, and then a really mucked up paint job, giving him that extra corroded feel.  I’ve always liked the Cyberman sculpt, and I certainly like seeing it here with some slightly different accent work.

SILENCE

Hey!  It’s another Silence!  But this one’s…actually not really that different from the last one.  Yeah, it’s one of these reviews.  This Silence is virtually identical to the prior Silence figure I reviewed.  The difference between the two is the head, which on this figure is sporting a sort of a screaming expression, I guess.  The Silence would do this from time to time.  I don’t really find it to be as versatile as the basic figure’s expression, but I guess it works well enough.  Beyond that, he’s the same figure, just minus the electricity effects, which is kind of a shame.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Like yesterday’s set, this trio came from my Super Awesome Fiancee’s parents.  It’s not the most exciting bunch of figures.  Eleven’s non-standard, but not distinct enough to really feel worth it.  The Cyberman and Silence are nice enough figures, and technically army builders, so they aren’t a waste, but they do feel a little redundant if you already have the single releases.  Ultimately, it’s a set that probably should have been split up and packed with more exciting figures, because as it stands, it lacks any real hook.

#1916: The Fourth Doctor & Dalek

THE FOURTH DOCTOR & DALEK

DOCTOR WHO (CHARACTER OPTIONS)

So, I was all prepped to kick this review off by remarking how freakishly long it had been since I’d reviewed anything Doctor Who…and then I realized I totally reviewed a figure of the Tenth Doctor back in August.  I mean, that’s still five months and all, but hardly a cause for exclamation, really.  An area of the franchise I’ve only just touched on is Classic Who.  My introduction to the show was with Eccleston, and a lot of the merchandise was driven by the Tennant and Smith eras, but there’s still a healthy helping of merch for the older doctors as well, especially for Tom Baker’s Fourth Doctor, seen by many as the definitive take on the character (not by me, but that’s a whole other thing).  I’ll be looking at variant of Four today!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

This pairing was one of 11 “Doctor and Dalek” two-packs released in 2013 as exclusives to the UK-branch of Toys R Us, before being distributed through specialty shops in the US.  This pair of figures is based on “Genesis of the Daleks,” one of the most popular serials from the Fourth Doctor’s tenure.

THE FOURTH DOCTOR

This isn’t the first time I’ve looked at the Fourth Doctor, since I also did that mammoth-sized review of the 11 Doctors boxed set, which nearly killed me.  This one seems less death-inducing.  The figure stands 5 1/2 inches tall and has 18 points of articulation, keeping consistent with the line as a whole.  The Doctor’s sculpt did surprise me slightly, since it’s not just the same as the prior figure I looked at.  It’s still a repaint (because all of the figures in the “Doctor and Dalek” line-up were), but this Fourth Doctor is actually wearing a rather different outfit from the last one.  It’s the same overall appearance, of course, and the two share a number of pieces between them for consistency’s sake.  The main differences are the jacket, tie, and shoes.  While I like the new shoes, which feature some nifty detailing, the much smoother jacket doesn’t seem quite as cool to me, since the detailing on the jacket was one of my favorite parts of the last figure.  Paint’s another area where the figure slightly changes things up, with a few color swaps here and there.  For the most part, it’s about the same quality as the last one, though the skin tone on this one seems a little less organic than the last one.  The Fourth Doctor’s one accessory is his Sonic Screwdriver.

DALEK

Obviously, a “Doctor and Dalek” set needs a Dalek.  So, here he is.  He’s a pretty straightforward “classic” Dalek.  He’s about 4 1/2 inches tall and has 4 points of articulation, like most Daleks do.  This one is pretty similar in construction to the Dalek Sek figure I looked at way back when, just with slightly different “horns” on his head to show that he’s not from the RTD era like that one was.  It’s a very nice sculpt, filled with lots of in depth details, which really make him look like a scaled down prop from the show.  This Dalek is somewhat less colorful than others have been, with a sort of grayish-blue as his main hue.  It does the sculpt well, though, and ends up being pretty eye-catching.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This pair were a Christmas gift from my Super Awesome Fiancee’s parents, based on some suggestions from Super Awesome Fiancee herself.  I think they may have been part of a bulk buy of some other Who stuff.  I don’t know that this Fourth Doctor really out-paces the 11 Doctors one, but he’s a decent enough offering.  The Dalek, on the other hand, is a lot of fun, and will likely end up nearer the front of my Who shelf.

#1915: Turbo Builder Set

TURBO BUILDER SET (W/ JONESY & RAVEN)

FORTNITE (JAZWARES)

Well, with another week of Post-Christmas reviews under my belt, and a theme thoroughly exhausted, let’s go back to the beginning.  Yep, I started this year’s round of gift reviews off with a Fortnite item, and here I am with another.  I know, I’m as surprised as all of you.  With my last Fortnite review being on the smaller side, I’m jumping over the other end of the spectrum, and taking a look at one of the largest offerings in the line, the Turbo Builder Set, featuring Jonesy and Raven!

THE SET ITSELF

The Turbo Builder Set is the largest offering so far from Jazwares’ Fortnite line.  It’s made up of the two figures, the AC/DC and standard pickaxe harvesting tools, the hunting rifle, revolver, submachine gun, tactical shotgun, and, of course, the main focus, a whopping 81 building plates, evenly divided between wooden planks, sheet metal, and brick and mortar.  There are a lot of building options with the plates, and they are of course completely inter-compatible with the ones included with Rust Lord and Raptor.  They can be a little tricky to assemble and take back apart multiple times, which led to a few broken connectors on mine, but with the sheer quantity offered here, I don’t foresee it being too much of an issue.

JONESY

Jonesy is another character that seems to be leaning heavily on the G.I. Joe end of the spectrum, and also being about as standard issue as you can get.  There are a lot of potential variants of Jonesy, but this one seems to be based on his “Survival” variant, which again looks to be using some pretty standard issue looks.  The figure stands 4 inches tall and has 28 points of articulation.  He’s built in the same fashion as the last two figures I looked at, meaning there are a number of similarities to the 25th Anniversary Joes.  Jonesy has the first parts re-use I’ve seen in the line, with a small handful of parts being shared with the Rust Lord figures.  It’s just the lower arms, lower legs, and pelvis, which appear to be pretty similar elements in game as well.  I was surprised by how few of those parts were actually re-used, given that some of the uniquely sculpted parts are just small tweaks away from being the same.  Hey, I’m not going to knock the attention to detail, though.  Jonesy’s head is further on the cartoony side of things than some of the line’s other offerings, which I’m not huge on, because it’ll make slotting him in with Joes a little harder.  That said, it’s still a decent enough sculpt, and it’s pretty accurate to the game design.  His paintwork is pretty decently handled.  Application is clean, and there don’t appear to be any missing applications.  I was also quite impressed by the tattoo on his right arm; that’s a nice attention to detail.

RAVEN

Definitely the most unique of the figures I’ve looked at from this line, Raven moves away from the knock-off G.I. Joe bit that the others possess.  Raven’s design is one of the ones that’s a bit more dependent on the game’s animation style to sell it, which makes its translation to toy form a little more difficult.  The end result is okay, but not quite as impressive as I’d hoped.  The biggest letdown is the implementation of his head; in the game, he’s got a hood that obscures is face, so that all you can see are his eyes peering out.  I was expecting something along the lines of a Moon Knight figure, with a featureless black head underneath of a sculpted hood.  Instead, the figure has an empty head with some eyes sculpted on it.  It’s pretty shallow, so it never seems to look quite right, especially when directly lit.  The design of the body also ends up limiting the articulation a bit more than usual, especially in the arms.  Beyond that, there are still some nice details worked throughout, and he’s still a generally enjoyable figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As I touched on in my Black Series reviews, there was some slight worry about those figures not arriving in time for Christmas.  Since they were going to be my main gift, Super Awesome Fiancee wanted to make sure I had *something* and since I’d mentioned this set in passing when I got Rust Lord, she tracked one down for me.  Of course the Black Series figures ended up arriving on time, so I guess it just worked out well for me.  Jonesy’s another for my “augmenting my Joes” venture, Raven’s a flawed but entertaining figure, and the building plates are certainly going to make for some fun diorama building.  All in all, another winning piece from this line.  I hope that Jazwares can keep it up!

#1913: Lando Calrissian – Skiff Guard

LANDO CALRISSIAN — SKIFF GUARD

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“Once a smooth-talking smuggler, Lando Calrissian changed from a get-rich-quick schemer to a selfless leader in the fight against the Empire. When his old friend Han was held captive in the palace of Jabba the Hutt, Lando joined Princess Leia in a mission to rescue him from certain demise.”

Lando Calrissian may not have joined our heroes until their second outing, but he has maintained a notoriety amongst the fanbase, no doubt due to his suave scoundrel-y nature.  Despite this, he didn’t actually join the Black Series line-up until four years into its run, and with a figure that only saw moderate release at that.  Fortunately, his presence in 2018’s Solo brought him more into the spotlight, with two separate Black Series releases.  The first was based on his Solo appearance, but the follow-up gives us Lando’s Palace Guard disguise from Return of the Jedi‘s opening moments.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Skiff Guard Lando is figure 76 in the Black Series line-up.  He’s the second to last figure in the newest assortment, as well as the final of the OT figures this time around.  The costume is from Jedi, which makes it slightly out of place in a Solo/Empire split assortment, but it’s actually pretty well chosen, given the costume’s cameo appearance as Beckett’s heist disguise in Solo.  The figure stands just shy of 6 inches tall and he has 27 points of articulation.  This Lando is head-to-toe a new sculpt.  While prior Skiff Landos have been known to reuse previous heads, that is thankfully not the case here.  While the prior Black Series head wasn’t *bad*, the likeness definitely could have been better, as this one deftly illustrates.  It’s hands down the best Billy Dee Williams likeness we’ve ever gotten from Hasbro.  The rest of the sculpt is pretty strong in its own right, with nice balanced proportions and a ton of detail worked all throughout.  There’s no shortage of texturing on this guy, meaning he’ll fit right in with the other denizens of Jabba’s palace.  The paint work on this figure is in line with the current improved standards of the line.  The base work is all clean, and there’s some pretty substantial accent work, showcasing that Jabba’s palace really isn’t the cleanest place to hang out.  He also uses the face-print tech, which builds on the figure’s already very strong head sculpt to give us a very realistic looking Lando.  Lando is packed with his Skiff Guard helmet, as well as the standard guard armament, the vibro-axe.  He doesn’t include the blaster we usually see with Skiff variants of Lando, but his hand is molded with a trigger finger, should you wish to arm Lando yourself.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The first Lando hit at a time when I wasn’t really able to buy many figures, so the one time I saw him, I had to pass on him.  While the Solo variant was certainly a strong offering, I was really hoping for a proper OT version.  While the Skiff Guard set-up isn’t necessarily my go-to look for Lando, there’s no denying that this is the best version of the character available.  I’m hopeful that Hasbro may give us a slightly udpated Bespin Lando down the line, maybe as part of the Archive line.  Until then, this guy will hold me over just fine.