#2274: Strong Guy

STRONG GUY

MARVEL MINIMATES

On a team of oddballs and easily overlooked characters, Lila Cheney’s bodyguard Guido, under the alias of Strong Guy, is probably the most oddball and easily overlooked of the second X-Factor line-up.  Perhaps because of that, he became sort of the signature character for the team, a fixture for incarnations going forward.  The team’s line-up just really feel complete without him.  So, making a toy version of the team without him simply hasn’t happened.  The advent of Build-A-Figures for Minimates finally made it possible to make this five man team work in an assortment that could still sell to retailers, all while giving us the whole line-up in a single shot.  And, hey, it gives Strong Guy his second ever action figure.  Not bad.  Not bad at all.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Strong Guy is the Build-A-Figure for the 78th Series of Marvel Minimates.  He’s the fourth Minimate BaF, and the first one to really take advantage of the ability to get a slightly larger ‘mate out there by divvying up their pieces amongst four sets.  Unlike the rest of the assortment, Strong Guy is totally new to Minimates, which makes sense, what with him not really having other bankable looks to fall back on like the rest of the two teams.  The figure stands 2 1/2 inches tall and he has 14 points of articulation, though like most bulked up ‘mates, there’s the caveat of the articulation all being rather limited.  Strong Guy starts with the basic ‘mate body, and then has add-ons for the torso cap, pelvis cap (with a torso extender), bulked up thighs, and straps for the wrists and ankles.  Somewhat amusingly, he doesn’t get the poofy upper arm sleeves like Havok and Polaris, which makes his arms seem slightly under-developed.  Why they didn’t opt to include those parts is anyone’s guess, but I suppose it’s possible they just didn’t cost out.  Strong Guy’s torso piece is all-new, and does a respectable job of recreating his distinctive proportions from the comics.  The design clips over the standard torso and replaces the arm pegs with another set mounted on the new torso piece.  For my money, they seem to sit out a little too far from the core of the body, and I definitely worry about their long-term integrity in terms of posing without breaking.  That said, they do the job alright.  The rest of the parts are re-used from elsewhere, and keep him inline with his teammates. His paintwork is respectable.  The best work is definitely on the face, which gets his design from the comics down.  The base color work on the body could be a little crisper, and the paint on some of the joints is a little thick, but he looks alright.  He’s got no accessories, but he’s technically an accessory himself, so I guess that pans out.  It would have been nice to at least get an extra stand for him, though.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Gee, I wonder where Ethan got this Build-A-Figure, built from the parts included in four sets that he just reviewed this week.  Yeah, this whole assortment was a gift from my Super Awesome Wife.  Havok was my primary focus, but I was also pretty invested in completing Strong Guy as well, which was the main push for rounding out the assortment.  He’s not perfect, but he’s a solid recreation of the character.  And now I’ve got this pretty nifty little X-Factor team.

#2273: Wolfsbane & Beast

WOLFSBANE & BEAST

MARVEL MINIMATES

Four days into these reviews, you should know what to expect here.  It’s time for one more of these Minimates reviews!  While yesterday’s pairing of characters was perhaps a little off-kilter, the assortment is finishing off with a pairing that’s actually a pretty natural one.  The feral but dignified Wolfsbane and Beast are both offered up in this final two-pack.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Wolfsbane and Beast are the final two-pack in Series 78 of Marvel Minimates.  Like the other sets in the assortment, they also include part of the Build-A-Mate Strong Guy, specifically the torso.

WOLFSBANE

“Rahne Sinclair was originally a member of the New Mutants before joining X-Factor. Her power is to shift into a wolflike form.”

Wolfsbane was a slight odd-man out for the New Mutants.  While most of their number were shunted from New Mutants into its direct replacement X-Force, Rahne was grabbed in the shuffle for a slight upgrade to X-Factor member.  It’s okay, her place in the X-Force roster had to be filled by the thinly-veiled knock off Feral.  They hardly missed her.  This figure marks Wolfsbane’s second time as a ‘mate, after getting released with her New Mutants team mates back in 2011.  This one stands 2 1/4 inches tall and she has 14 points of articulation.  She’s built on the modern ‘mate body, with add-ons for the hair and shoulder pads, and non-standard hands for her claws.  The hair piece is new, and is shared with her pack-mate.  Sensible, I suppose, as they typically had fairly similar hair, though perhaps a bit odd to see when looking at the pack in the box.  The claws and shoulder piece are both re-used parts, which is a sensible choice.  In general, they do a decent job of capturing Rahne’s team appearance.  The paintwork on her is solid work.  It translates the design and has all of the important details.  One of the knee joints was a little stuck from the paint, but at least it didn’t break like with Polaris.  Wolfsbane’s only accessory is a clear display stand.

BEAST

“Henry ‘Hank’ McCoy initially only had large hands and feet, and was a natural gymnast, until an experiment turned him furry and blue.”

There’s been something of a revolving seat for who gets left out of any ‘mate recreation of the various forms of the original five-man X-Men team.  The last time we got a boxed set of them all together, it was Hank who was left out, but this time he gets the nod over Bobby, who was the one member of X-Factor whose costume didn’t change with the others.  Beast actually had three different looks, with two “human” looks and the usual blue and furry.  This one is the usual blue and furry, which we haven’t gotten a ‘mate of since Series 34, prior to the move to the properly bulked up larger characters.  This figure uses those bulked up parts, alongside the feet from the Series 34 figure, the hair he shares with Wolfsbane, and a new set of bulked up hands.  It’s a good selection of parts, and easily the most accurate recreation of the bulked-up Beast we’ve gotten in the line.  The paintwork is about what you’d expect, and it’s worth noting it goes more heavily into that beastly look from the end of his stint in X-Factor, rather than a friendlier appearance.  The color of his fur is a close match to the Series 34 version, however, should you prefer the friendlier look.  Like Wolfsbane, his only accessory is a clear display stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This would be the last of the four sets of Minimates I got this year for Christmas from Super Awesome Wife.  It’s an okay set, though it’s probably my least favorite of the four sets personally.  Neither of the two included is really that much of a stand out, but they’re both certainly serviceable.

#2272: Multiple Man & Archangel

MULTIPLE MAN & ARCHANGEL

MARVEL MINIMATES

The last two sets of Minimates I looked at each paired off one member of X-Factor’s first incarnation with one from the second.  The first was the team leaders, Scott and Alex Summers, the similarly powered leaders of their respective teams.  The second was Jean Grey and Lorna Dane, the again fairly similarly powered love-interests of the team leaders.  For the third set, the connective tissue appears to be choice in head gear…*

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Multiple Man and Archangel are another set in Series 78 of Marvel Minimates, a whole assortment based around X-Factor.  Multiple Man is also available in a Luke’s Toy Store-exclusive two-pack with a duplicate of himself, allowing for quicker army building.  Also included with this pair is the head of the assortment’s Build-A-Mate, Strong-Guy.

MULTIPLE MAN

“Jamie Madrox has possessed the mutant ability to form duplicates from birth. He has been a member and the leader of X-Factor.”

Multiple Man’s first minimate was based on his 2000s X-Factor Investigations appearance, and pretty much since then a more classic version of the character has been fairly heavily requested.  Like a lot of this assortment, Multiple Man treads down the same roads as his recent Legends release; at least they know there’s a market, right?  The figure stands 2 1/4 inches tall and has 14 points of articulation.  He’s built on the modern ‘mate body, with an add-on piece for his jacket.  The jacket’s actually a new piece, which is a little surprising, but nice to see nevertheless.  The rest of his design is conveyed via paint work, which is a pretty impressive affair.  The shading on the uniform works really well, and I dig the green trench coat that more closely replicates the comics art.  Multiple Man’s only accessory is a clear display stand, which is a slight let down.  It’s too bad we couldn’t get some alternate arms for a sans jacket look, or maybe an extra head with a different expression like the Legends release had.

ARCHANGEL

“Warren Worthington III lost his feathered wings in battle, but was given new, metal wings by the mutant Apocalypse.”

Archangel marks this assortment’s first straight remake of an earlier ‘mate.  His Death design was first released back in Series 19 of the line, and hasn’t been updated since.  This one is different, but I don’t know that it’s inherently better.  He gets an add-on for his wings, which are a different piece than the previous Archangels, another surprise.  While these seem to capture the earlier stylings of the wings a bit better, it’s at the cost of the cool ball joints of the old ones; these wings only have the one possible pose.  That’s a bit of a letdown.  His paint work is at least pretty good.  I like the general color scheme of this one a little more than the prior release, and I think the face is more Warren Worthington-esque than the earlier version.  Archangel gets a flight stand and a regular display stand.  Cutting the death mask from this release is another letdown.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I got these two from the same source as the last two packs: Super Awesome Wife!  As I noted yesterday, I mostly wanted the first set, and the rest were along for the ride.  That said, this set’s probably number two for me.  Both figures are decent, but I can’t help but wish there were some more extras included, and there’s no denying that Archangel suffers a bit from change fro the sake of change.  Multiple Man’s pretty cool, though.

*Interestingly, as odd-ball as this pair may be, this is not the first time Madrox and Worthington have been paired up in this line; Madrox’s more modern appearance from Series 31 was packed with two different versions of Angel.

#2271: Polaris & Jean Grey

POLARIS & JEAN GREY

MARVEL MINIMATES

To round out the first week of my Post-Christmas reviews, I’m continuing yesterday’s theme, with another look at some Minimates.  Yesterday kicked off a pair of X-Factor teams with their respective team leaders, the brothers Cyclops and Havok.  Today, I’m following that up with their respective love interests from said teams, Jean Grey and Polaris!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Polaris and Jean are the second set in Series 78 of Marvel Minimates.  Like yesterday’s set, they also include part of the Build-A-Mate Strong Guy, specifically his arms.  I’ll be looking at those arms alongside the rest of him at the end of the week.

POLARIS

“The Mistress of Magnetism, Lorna Dane is the daughter of the mutant Magneto, and occasionally battled the X-Men before joining X-Factor.”

Though Havok has been a little more lucky, Polaris hasn’t actually gotten a single ‘mate since her very first one, all the way back in Series 20 of the line, a whopping 12 years ago.  In DST’s defense, that figure held up surprisingly well, and the only reason she really needed a follow up was to get her a second costume.  Like the Legends figure also released this year, Polaris is sporting her first X-Factor costume.  The figure stands 2 1/4 inches tall and has 14 points of articulation…or at least she would if mine hadn’t had the peg tear off of the right hand the first time I tried to move it, necessitating me gluing it back in place for this review.  Yay for tacky paint on joints!  She uses the basic ‘mate body, with the same poofy-sleeved upper arms as Havok, plus an all-new hair piece, and add-ons for the wrist and ankle straps.  The hair is a decent recreation of her wacky, crazy ’90s hair.  It doesn’t translate quite as well to this style as Havok’s look did, but for the most part they did a decent job of making it work.  The paint work on Polaris is fine, apart from it’s tacky, joint destroying nature in a few spots.  Aside from that little nit, it does actually look pretty solid.  Lorna included two effects pieces and a clear display stand.  Like the Legends figures, Polaris and Havok again share the same effects, just differentiated by color.  I’m still not sure how well it works.  Also, my figure has that whole torn joint thing, so she can only use one of the pieces.

JEAN GREY

“A powerful telepath, Jean Grey was a founding member of the X-Men. She later became a founding member of X-Factor.”

Jean’s the first figure so far from this assortment to not have been beaten to market by a Legends equivalent….probably due to this being a fairly low-profile look for her.  While her initial green and yellow number checks off the standard Jean Grey boxes and has therefore seen a little bit of toy love, and Scott’s second round costume was forever immortalized by having an action figure early on, Jean’s red and yellow number is often overlooked.  This is actually her first figure.  She is largely built from the same bank of parts as Cyclops, which I guess makes sense, what with the whole uniform thing.  The gloves are still technically incorrect, but at least they remained internally consistent.  The only differing piece between the two figures is Jean’s hair, which is the same one they’ve been using for Jean since the ’90s costume back in Series 34.  Again, props for consistency. Like Scott, Jean’s paintwork is rather straight-forward.  It’s clean, it’s eye-catching, and it’s definitely very red.  Jean looks weird in this much red.  Jean comes up light on the accessories front, with only a clear display stand.  Since her mask is painted onto the face, it would have been nice to at least get an unmasked head to swap out, or possibly some sort of telekinesis effect.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As I touched on yesterday, I got this whole series of figures from my Super Awesome Wife.  Let’s all be real, the stars of the assortment are yesterday’s set; everyone else was really just along for the ride.  This set’s okay, not anything really amazing.  Neither figure has that wow factor, but neither one of them is bad either.  All in all, a decent set.

#2270: Havok & Cyclops

HAVOK & CYCLOPS

MARVEL MINIMATES

Okay, six days into this year’s Post-Christmas reviews, we’ve stumbled into our first theme: Minimates.  Yep, the next five days are going to be all about Minimates, which, somewhat like the Robin figure I reviewed on Saturday, feels a bit like getting back to my roots.  It’s been a while since I’ve just done a week of Minimates reviews.  For years, one of the more persistently demanded teams yet to grace Minimate form was the ’90s incarnation of X-Factor.  After giving us most of the characters in other, non-X-Factor forms, DST has finally given us the core team, each paired alongside one of their predecessors from the original X-Factor line-up.  I’m kicking things off with the two teams’ respective leaders, the brothers Havok and Cyclops!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Havok and Cyclops are part of Series 78 of Marvel Minimates, which is, as noted above, based on the first two incarnations of X-Factor.  In addition to the two main figures, this set also includes the legs and torso of this assortment’s Build-A-Figure, Strong Guy, who I’ll be reviewing on his own at the end of the week.

HAVOK

“Alex Summers, Scott’s brother, was a member of the X-Men before leading a new incarnation of X-Factor. He can create directional directional energy blasts.”

Okay, so the Legends release has stolen this guy’s thunder ever so slightly, but I am nevertheless still stoked to have yet another figure of Havok’s X-Factor duds.  They’re very sentimental to me, and while I’m glad we got the two versions of classic Havok we did before this guy, I am still so thrilled by this guy’s existence.  In contrast to the Legend, the old Toy Biz figure, and even the Kubrick, this Havok actually gives us the first incarnation of Havok’s ’90s costume, before he got the yellow straps to match the main X-team.  The only other instance of his first costume in toy form that I can think of is the X-Men Under Siege! board game from the ’90s, so it’s a pretty noteworthy thing.  The figure is 2 1/4 inches tall and he has 14 points of articulation.  He’s constructed using the modern standard ‘mate body, with the poofy-sleeved upper arms, and add-ons for the hair, jacket, and glove cuffs.  The cuffs are the same Spirit pieces we’ve seen many times before, but the hair and jacket are all new pieces.  While I always envisioned this look with a full head-piece myself, I must admit that this layout works pretty well, and keeps him from being overly bulked up.  Havok’s paintwork is pretty impressive, given just how much detail is going on.  The face is really the first time I feel they’ve gotten comic Havok down; the previous two seemed just a bit too intense with the screaming.  The gritted teeth here look good.  The torso is fully detailed under the jacket, and I was pleased to see that they had even included some of the easier to miss details such as the pockets on the sides of his legs.  Havok is packed with two brand new effects pieces and a clear display stand.

CYCLOPS

“Scott ‘Slim’ Summers was the deputy leader of the X-Men before forming X-Factor. He possesses the power of optic blasts.”

And again Legends did a bit of thunder stealing here, what with giving us this exact costume in the Vintage wave this year.  Who would have guessed?  Certainly not me.  While I don’t have quite the same level of attachment to this costume that I do Havok’s, this Cyclops costume is still pretty sentimental to me, and I’m down for another version of it.  It should be noted that this is Cyclops’ second X-Factor costume.  The first was released as part of a boxed set in 2009, and remains the only time that the original costume has been done in toy form.  In that regard, Minimates are just catching up with everyone else and releasing the more popular white and blue.  The figure is constructed solely from re-used parts, with the cowl/visor piece from Series 68’s Giant Size X-Men Cyclops, plus standard cuffed boots and flared gloves.  If you want to get really technical, the gloves are supposed to have folded over cuffs like the boots, but otherwise the parts make for a good match to his comics appearance.  Cyclops’ paint is a bit more straight-forward than his brother’s, but still very nicely done, with clean application and a striking color scheme.  Cyclops is packed with an alternate hairpiece (borrowed from the Series 34 release) with his Jim Lee-style exposed hair, which he had towards the end of this costume’s run, as well as a clear display stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This pair (and the rest of the series, for that matter) were a Christmas gift from my Super Awesome Wife.  Amusingly enough, the series was wrapped as two pairs, and these two weren’t in the first pair, but I knew they had to be in the selection of wrapped gifts.  It may have slightly undermined my excitement on the first pair, which may have slightly annoyed Super Awesome Wife.  Whatever the case, I was very glad to get them, and this pair in particular has extra sentimental value to me, being my first two figures of both characters packed in one set.

#2242: Optimus Prime

CLASSIC ANIMATION OPTIMUS PRIME

TRANSFORMERS WAR FOR CYBERTRON: SIEGE (HASBRO)

What up my diddly dudes, it’s Chey’s and Jess’s ultimate toy review part 2 with optimus prime. This ones for you Jasonn , i dont know who you are, but here go my dude. congrats! So here we are back it again with the transformers, that series the two of us know so much about. This week is Optisium prime, leader of the…. oh god… not decepticons…. just ask ethan autobot vibes, cool. The truthamal about this figures is that is cool, ish. I don’t know this history of optismus prime

Bur I do, i think. So optimusy comes from planet Cybertoner. He’s the leader of the the autobot vibers and i think he dies a few time. he also has a brother, that might not be his brother, but by nming conventions it makes sense. his brother is ultra magnus, totally the brother of optimus primus. is transformia actually a thing? who da figly knows.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

This figgu comes from this line that did the transformers as cartoons (Ethan: that would be the 35th anniversay line). He has the same body as the live colored Optimpusy  but he’s colored like the original cartoon, which is why we get to review him becaus he jus a repaint of a figga that Ethan already reviewed some times ago. Octopus Slime is bigger than my hand by a quaterish of an inch…so maybe six some inches. He’s got 420 points of articulation. HA blaze. idk hoq mNY HE ACTUALLY HAS. He’s fourth in line to the throne of Cybertoner, and his bitty brother who is also possible multiple people passed thru a family thru generations is after him in line to the throne. He’s got these flappy dos that you find when trying to transform him that Tim says protects the royal nuts and bolts. What else about this figure?

While CChey’s trying to race tim in trying to turn the autobot viber into a semitruck without a load, I talk about the truck. SURPRISE HE TURNS INTO A SEMI TRUCK WITHOUT A PAYLOAD. the bed is the blue bit and the cab where a trucker would normally drive, sleep and play is reeeeeed. If yous drunk then it probably gonna be hard to turn him inta a semi uck. if ya sober yee still may have trouba getting this figure to turn into a duck truck. Chey says IT’S NOT USER FRIENDLY. WARNING Must use magick and sacrifice an atual caaarl to get it to transform properly. Hey, show runners that have no more ideas, you should do a show based purely on drunk peple trying to turn transformeders into cars and visversa.

The colors are meant to mimic the tv show which is the 80s which the colors are flat as hell. boom i said  it. the kia optima from this line is you and the one from the transformers line is the guy she told not worry about. before i get into the color i just want say that this stuff, i cant say bad words, is not user friendly, its a rubiks cube that makes zero sense, so read the instructions friends, because that what every kid wants to do on christmas morning, follow rules. alright, so the cell shading gets nicer the more i look at it, but its too light to notice on first glance, bear with me im actually trying to write a review worth reading even drunk. the red WHACK the bleu WHACK the white WHACK, it doesnt got much demension compared to transformers line toy. Though like i said last time the silver “battle damage” as ethan calls it looks like a last minute disicion and i am not a fan. however, the more i look at the cartoon toy, the more i enjoy, so maybe get over the first glance and youll feel the same. Optima Prius is a cool cat.

Theres a lot of points of articulation, I lost count and gave up… so if youre interested, im sure ehtan did a better job because it took me 15 minutes and maybe more to figure out how it actually worked so yeah.

 

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

If you like kia optima, buy ittttt that what matter treat yourself and maybe you can figure out HOW IT WORKS because if im honest, tim had to finish it for me

I, Jessho, have no real connection to Octopussy Primussy. i didn;t really watch the cartoons. i think i watched a movie once at the drive thru threther in my bummby duck no where town . i rememember we couldn;t use the radio for movie audio becuase the car was too old or something and we had to try and follow aong to the outside audio which was really bad. i dunno what happned. i thin there wasa  pyramid and a reallt old transformer with weird gonad chins. I almost transformed this duck hinter into a truck all by myself, without instructiosn, but ethan had to help me in the end. I got to review this firgure cuz it’s a repaint of one that ethan already review, which is where you cn find more accurate infor BTDubes. But ultimately i get to review these guys because Jason gave Ethan a job at All Time, which exposed him to all dem transformers that he started buying when he started working at your cool store! It’s been a great spark in Ethan’s week and imma so happy that he’s found you and this store. So in summation, it’s you’re fault we now have so many transformers and I get to write drunk reviews on them and that Ethan ets to end hs week on a high note.

PS ETHAN YOU’RE NOT ALLOWED TO FIX YOUR PHOTOS or imma be real sad like baby yoda without his MAndo Dad.


#2238: Bluestreak

BLUESTREAK

TRANSFORMERS WAR FOR CYBERTRON: SIEGE (HASBRO)

Whad up my diddly-does and my homefries. Tonight, today, this afternoon this whateva is another special treat brought to you by the drunken mind of Ethan’s wondaful wifu! On this occasiona we’re gonna talk about Bluestreak, who will no longer be refered to by that name because HE’S NOT BLUE.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Bluesteak is made by the brothers of Has. He’s from wave #, along with Well-done and Raw. He has 42 points of articulation or something–it’s hard to count when drunk, also Ethan is too busy working on models to help so that’s okay. Do you know what’s a good show so far? Mandalorian on Disney+. I never knew I wanted a show about a bounty hunter babysitter. Anyways, Medium-rare isn’t from Star Wars because he’s a transformer, but he’s technically in the same universe as Doctor WHo and Marvel because of Death’s Head. According to the wiki he talks a lot, but I wouldn’t know because I’ve never seen hhimk  in a transformer show. I deviate a lot, don’t I? On with the figure!

Bluesteak is about 5-51/2 inches tall, but we tell him he’s 6 inches so that he doesn’t feel inferior ito the other transformers. *Whispers* he’s very sensitive about his size! He’s a repaint of somebody, at least I think because theat’s the only reason why I can review some of these metal bois. Actually, yes, he’s a repaint of Prowl *gggrrrrrrr*. 

Speaking of paint. Let’s talk about his paint! Do you know what this boi ain’t? He ain’t blue that’s fo shore. He’s like a red-based grey with red and black accents. BUT NO BLUE! So the main colors though are red and this weird grey, and they look rather nice together. Then it’s accented with black, and there’s hints of silver on his faces and the rims of the wheels. He also has some clear plasstoc bits, specifically on his shins and on his back behind his head between his door wings. The clear plastic is kinda cool, like leeting you see the inner workings of the transformer-car guy. You ever want to see the inside of a steak? Well now you can with this figure! Thw detaling of the fihure is pretty cool too; I like the detailing on the inside of the doors and legs the best. I also really like waht ever joint piece the hips are because of the ratcheting, there’s something satisfying about it.

Medium-rare can turn into a car, but not just any car, a cool sports car for sleek see through flim-flam. It’s actually pretty easy to turn him into his car state, even when intoxicated. The trick, for me is turning him back intp his non-car self.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I have no personal attachment to this figure. I got to review him because he was the first transformer I was able to trasnform into their alteernate self by myself. ETHAN DIDN’T HELP ME AND HE WAS PROUD. Also I made a stink about him not being blue and how it was false advertising, and I wanted to wirte a review dedicated to making fun of him BECAUSE HE’S NOT BLUE. But yea, that’s aout it. Thanks for coming to my TED talk and I hipe we can drinkg and review again to your entertainent.

PS: Because I promised Max…Silversteak would’ve been a better name because this mofo is SILVER AND NOT BLUE. But I like Medium-Rare better because it has nothing to do with the figure, like his original name. There now I’m done.

#2225: Darth Vader

DARTH VADER

STAR WARS: GALAXY OF ADVENTURES (HASBRO)

If there’s a face of Star Wars, it’s pretty undeniably Darth Vader.  Guy kind of made the franchise, being easily the most marketable character in the bunch.  So, pretty unsurprisingly, Vader is pretty much a lock for every new style product launch.  There’s a Vader for everyone.  Understandably, this means that even the newly launched Galaxy of Adventures line also has a Vader as one of its three OT characters at launch.  That’s the figure I’ll be taking a look at today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Darth Vader is the last of the basic release figures for Wave 1 of Galaxy of Adventures.  He’ll be one of the four figure carrying forward to Wave 2, a good fit, given the overall OT-bend of the second line-up.  Standing 5 3/4 inches tall, Vader is the second tallest figure in the line-up, and he has 23 points of articulation.  Vader’s articulation is somewhat restricted by his design (as is the case with pretty much all Vader figures), so he’s a little stiffer than the other figures in the line-up.  However, while he’s not going to be doing any crazy kung-fu moves or anything, there’s plenty of far more Vader-esque poses you can get him into.  Also, I will say I was particularly impressed by the range of motion on the neck, an area where most Vader figures tend to be lacking.  While other sculpts in the line are rather stylized, Vader’s is the first one to really fully take advantage of the style to push some of his character aspects a bit further.  Vader’s always daunting in size and an imposing figure, but for this one he’s actually like twice the size of Rey and Finn, with super broad shoulders, and a quite impressive silhouette.  This is a very good example of getting all of the base elements for a character design and just really ramping them up to get that really cool, almost mind’s eye take on the character.  Also, like Chewbacca, he really seems to push that Genndy Tartakovsky feel, and I am again all about that.  Boy does this guy look like a bad guy, which is, you know, what you want out of a Vader design, I suppose.  Vader’s paintwork is fairly cleanly handled.  All of the important details are there, and the application’s good.  There’s some variation to the finish on the various blacks, which looks nice.  He’s packed with his lightsaber, which is the usual fair.  He also features a “Force Slash” feature built into his waist, which again is pretty non-intrusive.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Vader was honestly pretty high on my list for this line, because he’s typically a fairly good trial run type of character (which is why I have his Mashers figure).  I knew I wanted him, but I didn’t know when.  Turned out “at the same time as all the others” was the answer, thanks to Super Awesome Wife’s intervention.  Vader may well be the line’s star figure.  I mean, I like them all a lot, don’t get me wrong, but Vader’s translation into the line’s style just really ends up working, and he ends up as the most striking individual design in the set.  I can foresee a lot of people just having a Vader and no one else from the line.  Whatever the case, I do hope the strength of this particular figure might help to get some more of the old school fans to give this line a try, because it’s honestly the best Star Wars offering Hasbro’s got out there right now, and I’d like to see it succeed.

#2224: Chewbacca

CHEWBACCA

STAR WARS: GALAXY OF ADVENTURES (HASBRO)

So far, the focus of the Galaxy of Adventures line has been on the new trilogy, specifically Rise of Skywalker.  Not a huge shock given that they hit with that film’s product launch.  That said, there are a few Original Trilogy elements in play as well, and definitely will be more of a shift to that as the line continues.  The first assortment does have two hold-overs, with today’s figure, Chewbacca, making for a nice bridge between the two trilogies.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Chewbacca is another of the six figure assortment that makes up Wave 1 of the basic Galaxy of Adventures figures.  Chewbacca is one of the four figures that will be carrying forward to Wave 2, which is sensible, since his best friend Han will be joining him in that line-up. At just over 6 inches tall, Chewbacca is the tallest figure in the line so far, which is fairly typical for Chewbacca figures.  He’s got 23 points of articulation, but he’s definitely the most restricted of the figures at launch.  It’s really more a design thing, since the hair means that areas such as the neck are never going to have the same mobility of other characters.  That being said, he actually ended up far more posable than I was expecting when I looked at him in the packaging.  Of all the figures, Chewbacca is also probably the most stylized, something I wasn’t sure I’d like at first, but ultimately I really quite like in hand.  He’s got almost a Genndy Tartakovsky style to him, which is something I’m always okay with, and also just continues the general trend of this line feeling like a slightly larger scale Clone Wars line.  The stylization also helps Chewie in the one area where Chewie figures always have trouble, which is convincingly working in the articulation.  It’s still pretty obvious where the joints are, but there’s a slightly better flow to how they’re implemented.  Chewbacca’s paintwork is some of the more complex of the line, which is actually a bit of a reverse from how it usually works out.  There are some variations within the coloring of his fur, which is especially impressive on the head, where all of the different colorations converge.  Chewbacca is packed with his go-to weapon, the Bowcaster, which takes a little bit of doing to get into his hands the first time, but stays securely, and is easier to mess with on later attempts.  He’s also got a “Wookie Slam” feature, which is similar to the other spring-loaded arm features, but with both arms instead of just one.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Chewbacca is the one figure in the first set I really wasn’t sold on.  Something about how he looked in the package just seemed off to me.  So, he was the last figure I was intending to grab.  Then Super Awesome Wife made it clear I was getting all of them on that fateful Walmart trip, and so he was along for the ride.  I’m really glad that was the case, because Chewbacca was the most pleasant surprise of the bunch.  Everyone else, I had a good sense on, but Chewie’s a lot better than he seems at first glance, and I’m just very happy with the end result.  I can’t wait to have a Han to go with him.

 

 

#2223: Finn

FINN

STAR WARS: GALAXY OF ADVENTURES (HASBRO)

After getting a whole slew of figures and product for the launch of The Force Awakens, Finn became a character that made retailers a little less than comfortable.  He was definitely over saturated for TFA, leading to all of his figures sitting around at retail, because boy were there a lot of them, and boy did no one need all of them.  For Last Jedi, he got three figures, one of which didn’t even go to main retail.  So far for Rise of Skywalker, he’s got exactly one.  That will presumably change, but I bet Hasbro’s waiting to see if this one sits like the others.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Finn is the fourth of the six figures in the basic figure line-up for Galaxy of Adventures.  Alongside Rey, Finn is one of the two figures getting dropped from the line-up for the Wave 2 assortment, I’d guess to make sure he doesn’t build up too much at retail.  Given how many Finns I’ve seen, I’d say this is probably a smart move.  Finn is seen here in his new look for Rise of Skywalker, which is far more divergent from his established look than Kylo and Rey.  The usual jacket is gone, replaced with a similarly styled vest, his shirt is now a more neutral color than the white/black from before, and his hair is noticeably longer.  Honestly, this is best look Finn’s had, because it’s the first one to look properly Star Wars-y.  He’s still more civilian than others, but the feel is there.  The figure stands 5 inches tall and he has 23 points of articulation.  The holster restricts the right hip a little bit, but beyond that the articulation is comparable to the others from the line, which is to say it’s very good and very mobile.  The sculpt is definitely stylized like Rey, although it’s a little more subdued than Rey was.  He still follows that same model of not having a Boyega likeness, but capturing that character likeness for Finn.  He’s got that nice generic hero look about him, which certainly works well for the line.  It’s a good, clean looking sculpt.  His paintwork mostly follows the basic look, but there’s still a fair bit of smaller detail work, and like Rey the face is properly aligned and fairly cleanly handled.  Finn is packed with a small blaster pistol and a backpack.  The blaster fits well in his hand or in the holster.  He’s also got a quick draw feature that’s similar to the Jet Trooper’s.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I almost passed on this guy on the trip that ended with me getting all of the figures, but after insisting on buying me Kylo, Rey, and the droids, Super Awesome Wife also informed me that I wasn’t allowed to leave the store without buying the remaining three figures for myself, and Finn kind of fell in with that.  This is definitely the most I’ve enjoyed a Finn figure.  I think the new design definitely plays into that, but also it’s really just the most playable a Finn figure has ever been.  More than the troopers and masked figures, I think this is the type of figure that showcases the core strength of this line at making fun toys out of even the potentially less exciting characters that other lines have let down.