#2200: Shrikethorn

SHRIKETHORN

PACIFIC RIM: UPRISING — SOVI SPIRITS (BANDAI)

Though not the smash critical success of its predecessor, Pacific Rim: Uprising was if nothing else a nice run through the world of the original, even if under some slightly different confines.  Had Pacific Rim been made in the ’70s, Uprising would have no doubt made a solid pilot movie for the inevitable TV adaptation.  It also did wonders for the very strong collectibles market associated with the franchise, giving us a whole new pool of Jaegers and Kaiju to give cool new toys.  Back around the movie’s release, I looked at a bunch of the Jeagers, but never did get around to looking at any of the Kaiju.  Let’s switch that up today, with a look at one of the three final battle Kaiju, Shrikethorn!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Shrikethorn was part of Bandai’s Sofvi Spirits line, as one of three Uprising-themed figures in the line.  The Jaegers were covered by the more conventional action figure stylings of the Robot Spirits line, but for the much larger designs of the various Kaiju, it’s not really quite as cost effective to produce solid, fully articulated figures.  So, these figures take a page out of the same book as the likes of the Ultra Hero 500 and Ultra Monster 500 lines, crafting the figure from a soft (and hollow) vinyl and cutting back on the articulation.  It makes for a much lighter, and slightly less detailed figure, but it also means that getting the Kaiju in the same scale as the Jeagers is attainable without dropping rather insane amounts of money.  The figure is about 6 inches tall (with a bit of a hunch, of course), about just as wide, and has 7 points of articulation.  The articulation’s really not meant for getting much variance of poses; it mostly is there to help add more balance when getting the figure standing.  For a big monstrous thing like Shrikethorn, it’s not really like there are going to be a ton of poses needed.  He’s good for looking rather menacingly at your Jeagers, which is kind of the main point here.  Being made from a softer material, his sculpt is understandably a little softer when compared to the likes of the Robot Spirits figures, and especially when compared to the NECA figures.  That said, all of the important details are there, capturing the broadstrokes idea of Shrikethorn’s design quite well.  Most importantly, they get the silhouette down, and that’s really were this figure’s success lies.  Shrikethorn’s paintwork is respectable enough for what it is.  Again, when compared to something like NECA, it’s a little soft, a little cartoony, and a little simplified, but the slightly more cartoony designs from Uprising do the figure some favors here, and the end result is a pretty solid offering.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Since all of the Uprising stuff was hitting right as Toys R Us was going under, these guys showed up there at full price, quickly got discounted, and quickly disappeared.  I recall looking at Shrikethorn when he first hit, but just never got around to tracking one down.  So, where did this one come from?  Well, from my Super Awesome Fiancee Wife (yes, you read that right), of course!  She found him all alone in the clearance aisle of the Barnes & Noble right next to her new job, and decided to bring him home for me.  As a piece on his own, Shrikethorn is perhaps not the most impressive offering, but he’s a really fun accent piece to the Jeagers, and I’m honestly just happy to finally have one.

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#2175: Thundercracker

THUNDERCRACKER

TRANSFORMERS WAR FOR CYBERTRON: SIEGE (HASBRO)

What up my diddly dudes, this is NOT ETHAN reporting for review duty. Today we’re gonna review this bitchin transformer that looks like every other transformer thats not Optimus prime or bumblebee but here we go. I don’t know anything really about this history of transformers other than it was an opportunity for hasbro to make money off robots that they turned into a tv show to get kids to dish out their weekend allowance. BUT here we go, welcome to Chey and Jess’s fun time review. 

Yea, Ethan is feeling under the weather and it worked out sooooooo well when I reviewed transformers last time, right Max? This time we actually have the figure in front of us and we won’t be writing this off just one photo. Don’t worry, I’ve had less to drink this time so it won’t be so awful but still terribly funny! 

Thundercracker is a seeker, or so I’ve been told. This one in particular can turn into a jet so that’s pretty neat. Thundercracker was originally a part of the toy line before being introduced into the show, I’m assuming, at sometime in probably the 90s. Ethan just me no, so, I’m going to google it. OH so apparently he’s a decepti-boi and introduced in the GEN-1 cartoon phase in 1984. Dope, so this has generations like MLP thats cool. So what I learned in boating school is that this is actually one of the important transformers from gen 1, who is on team Decepticon, can turn into a jet, and fights flightless beings for the hell of it. 

THE FIGURE ITSELF

So ThunderBoi™ here is from the 4th series of the Voyager Class series and was released with Big Baddy Megatron, but not with the others from the Storm Brigade. Which is unfortunate because he’d be lonely in those shipments without the rest of the Storm Squad to keep him company! Anyways, he shares the same body as the other Seekers, but he has a different head. Wanna know what’s different about the head? He’s smirking cuz he knows what’s up and that he has cheeks that just won’t stop till they drop! He even has the same silver detailing on his robot shins and wings that I mistook for mud last time. He has like 72 points of articulation or something, I gave up on counting them. Actually, after looking up the Star Cream review that Ethan wrote eons ago, I’ve deduced that ThunderBoi™ has 28 points of articulation and is 6 1/4 inches tall. Also, fun fact he looks exactly like Creamy except for different color choices.  

Let’s talk about color scheme! The boi is a deep cerulean blue, with black, grey, and firetruck red accents. Not brick, not blood, not scarlet, no FIRETRUCK RED. The false cockpit is a translucent orange as well as what I can only assume is the real cockpit. The forearms, hands, and heeled boots are black, and the entire figure is spattered with a metallic silver paint. And last but not least there are two barney purple Deceptiboi logos on the inner most middle portions of his wings. The silver paint is an interesting choice, I can’t tell if its been splattered across the body to give it a vintage look, or to look like wear and tear, or if transformers actually bleed silver and that’s just the blood of his enemies. Either way, in certain lighting it somewhat looks like the paint has come up from the figure instead of being intentionally put on there. However, the other colors that make up the figure are vibrant and consistent so thats pretty neat.

When I reviewed the Stormie Roadies I might’ve complained that they had all the prime colors but blue. But now we have blue and our prime color scheme is complete with a side order of acid green! 

LAST BUT NOT LEAST he transforms into a jet, but ya’ll knew that, I guarantee it. Most importantly he’s a tetrajet (sp?) which is NOT a fighter jet, I learned, but looks like this picture below this, of which will be placed in here by the time the review goes up. The transformation process looks relatively simple when Ethan did it, but could be difficult if done with a migrane, so be weary friends.

I think he looks like one of those jet toys you get in like happy meals. You know, the bulky ones that had the wheels at the bottom of the toy so that when you pulled them back and let it go the toy would roll or ‘fly’ forward? I think they did transformer toys in happy and big kids meals. BUt the ones that I remember stayed as either the firgure or the vehicle, they couldn’t switch between them. So ThunderBoi™ is pretty cool because despite what I think is a goofy looking plane, he has nice articulation and functionality as a jet and a person.

What else is there to talk about? We talked about articulation, paint, color scheme, and the jet. We’ve even covered the cheeks that won’t stop till they drop. Oh! I can talk about his smirking face! As mentioned before, ThunderBoi™ has the same body as the other Storm Chasers but a very different head. His smirk is nice but kinda funny to me because it’s kinda cartoony looking. In fact, his head looks like they were gonna go for the same design as the other Seekers but one of the interns got a little excited with the sculpting knife and his face was the unlikely victim. But since it looked so nice they didn’t fire the intern, gave him a little extra money for coffee, and decided to keep the smirk to make him stand out from the Stormy McDaddies. There, I think that’s everything I can think of!

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Ethan came home from All Time Toys with ThunderBoi™ a few weeks ago. In fact, it’s been an increasing occurrence of him coming home with transformers, but that’s okay because it makes him really happy! I have no real attachment to transformers because I wasn’t really into robots when I was growing up so they were never really my thing. Instead I had Barbies, but they often met untimely ends like getting stuck in a pine tree for years and getting covered in sap, or getting their heads ripped off when I’d swing them from the ceiling fans. And according to Ethan I’ve been lying, but not to you guys I’d never lie to you! Nah, I told him that I’d put the photos in the review properly, but shhhhhh! I’m not gonna! He’s not gonna be looking at this until after it’s posted and by then it’ll be too late. Mwhahahahahahahahaha! ;-D

Though my knowledge of transformers extends as far as the 2000 something shia lebouf movie, I enjoy taking my time learning about new things so this is PRETTY NEAT. I’d tried to give as honest and entertaining of a review as possible so if you liked this be sure to like and subscribe for more content. This has been FUN TIME REVIEW with Chey and Jess, hope to see you in the future. 

 

 

#2158: Goldar

GOLDAR

POWER RANGERS: THE LIGHTING COLLECTION (HASBRO)

Though not as unfortunate as the completely American creation Lord Zedd, as a villain, Goldar, originally named Grifforzer in Japan, wasn’t exactly rolling in action figures.  In particular, he was absent from all of the higher end offerings, which mostly meant there was no Goldar to go alongside Bandai Japan’s Figuarts version of the Mighty Morphin’ team.  Fortunately, he was pretty high on Hasbro’s radar when they took over the property.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Goldar is his own solo offering in the Lightning Collection line-up, offered up as GameStop-exclusive figure.  Though he ended up being the second proper exclusive to hit, he was the first to be announced and offered up for pre-order.  He was initially supposed to ship in October, but ended up arriving a bit ahead of schedule.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 42 points of articulation, which includes a fully articulated set of wings.  Goldar’s sculpt is a unique affair, and follows pretty closely with what Hasbro’s done so far stylistically.  He’s got a combination of solid construction on the body with some overlay pieces to properly get his full armored appearance, which allows for some pretty solid mobility.  Compared to Zedd, the overlays work out a bit better, holding to the figure more solidly than Zedd’s, resulting in a figure that feels less flimsy for the most part, especially when posing.  The sculpted work is pretty nicely detailed, with the best work being on his face and his wings, but even his armor exhibits some decent texture work.  If there’s one slight downfall to this figure, it’s the paintwork, or rather the general lack thereof.  In the figure’s defense, the end product is much better than I’d anticipated.  The big thing is that a good portion of his gold armor is molded plastic.  The thing about molded plastic is that colors like gold and silver don’t tend to look quite as good as painted plastic.  That said, a number of sections are actually painted, which helps maintain the illusion of proper gold.  Additionally, the gold plastic used isn’t quite as disappointing as I’d expected, especially when compared to the Legacy Collection Gold Ranger.  Goldar is packed with two different sets of hands, a sword, and a lightning effect to go over it.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

While Goldar isn’t my favorite Power Rangers foe, but I still think he’s a cool enough dude that I wanted him as a toy, so I was on board for this figure as soon as he was announced.  Fortunately, Super Awesome Fiancee was kind enough to order one for me, originally as a birthday present, although it did end up being ever so slighlty delayed.  I wasn’t sure how I’d like him at first, but having gotten him in hand and played around with him for a bit, I have so say, I’m quite pleased with the final product.  Here’s to more releases like this!

#2144: Seekers Acid Storm, Ion Storm, & Nova Storm

SEEKERS ACID STORM, ION STORM, & NOVA STORM

TRANSFORMERS WAR FOR CYBERTRON: SIEGE (HASBRO)

You know, it’s actually been a surprising amount of time since I’ve written a Transformers review.  I mean, like not a lot of time, but notable time. I sure have added a lot to my collection since then! And now, apparently, I’m letting Jess write this one, because that’s just how I do.  It’s just repaints, so I guess we’ll see how this goes….

These bois are the storm seekers, like the guys that chase the storms. They the storm roadies of the Transformers, maybe they actually decepticons but idk yo…

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

One is blue. One is green. And one is yellR. They all look the same though, except for the colors of course! They shouldv’e done red instead of green though because then they would’e had all their prime colors! But yea, they all look the same though. So like the same molding and even have the same mud stains on their shins. Do robots have shins? Or are they like lower leg plates? Anyways, they’re about 6 inches tall. They’ve got 12 points of articulation, so in total they’ve got 36 points of articulation. Really it’s just one mold painted in three different colors. Obviously, green is Acid Storm, blue is Ion Storm (I guess, though I think blue is better for Ice Storm), and yellow is Nova Storm. They’re kinda bulky looking, but that’s okay because they turn into vehiculars, planes or something. I wonder if they’re like the Flying Angels or whatever. The paint is okay, kinda bright but i like that because they probably look cool in blacklight. The mud stains are kinda genwric though and only on the legs. I wonder why they only have mud stains on their legs, I’ll let you guys think about that one! Anyways, I guess these figures are decent because I haven’t heard Ethan complain about them. I thought they looked really cool, the bright colors are nice accessories to any room, like the bedroom, dining room.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Ethan got this acton figure set from Target. He was gonna leave it cuz he thought he didn’t need it, but I convinced him that he should get it and here we are!

#2079: Motorized Battle Tank – MOBAT (w/ Steeler)

MOTORIZED BATTLE TANK — MOBAT (W/ STEELER)

GI JOE: A REAL AMERICAN HERO (HASBRO)

“Steeler comes from a blue collar middle-class background. He put himself through college on an ROTC scholarship and work as a heavy equipment operator. Familiar and proficient with all NATO and Warsaw Pact AFV’s. Graduated Armor School, top of class. Special Training: Cadre-XAFV Project; Artillery School; AFV Desert Exercise; Covert Ops School. Qualified Expert: M-16; M-1911A1; MAX-10; Uzi.”

The first year of G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero didn’t just serve up its original 13 Joes and their two enemies, it also took a page out of the Star Wars and Micronauts playbook and went hogwild on giving them some vehicles with which to play around.  There were eight vehicles and playsets that first year, but perhaps the most impressive was the Motorized Battle Tank, or MOBAT for short.  Though lacking in some of the fancities of later vehicles, the MOBAT gave the Joes some serious offensive power, and definitively gave us the sort of vehicle to which the old 12-inch line could never really do proper justice.  And, of course, it had one of the cooler launch-Joes driving it, which is always a good point in its favor.

THE VEHICLE ITSELF

The MOBAT is definitely the main focus here (well…for most people; at my heart, I’m still a figure guy), and is a pretty straightforward “tank.”  It’s specifically patterned after the MBT-70, which was a scrapped US/German tank design from the 60s.  It’s fitting that it would get repurposed here, and really fits that experimental angle that the Joes were getting into, while tying them more to the real world than they would be later.  It’s also a fittingly “all-American” design that just looks like the average US tank to most people who don’t spend their time researching these sorts of things for toy review sites.  What an uninformed life that must be…with so much free time!  Though it would be dwarfed fairly quickly as the line progressed, the MOBAT was the largest vehicle in the line at the time of its release, measuring about 10 inches at its longest length, and sitting about 5 inches tall.  Its mold was brand new at the time, but has subsequently been re-used for both re-releases of the MOBAT, as well as both versions of the Crimson Attack Tank, Cobra’s equivalent.  While not a high-quality scale model, the sculpt on the MOBAT is still pretty solid for the time, and certainly looks a bit less dated than the figures it was meant to accompany (which is why it was still able to be used 25 years later, when the figure molds had been long since retired).  The details are all clearly defined, and there are lots of great little bits, with all the panelling and grates and rivets.  It’s mostly a hard plastic construction, but uses a more rubbery material for the treads, as vehicles tend to do.  There’s only space for a single figure (probably this vehicle’s main drawback), in the turret at the top, and the rest is a solid construction.  And I do mean solid; this thing’s got some definite heft on it, with a potential for even more.  The name’s inclusion of “Motorized” isn’t just a fancy naming scheme, it actually refers to the tank’s special feature, which was a full working motor that could run off of two D Batteries.  Sadly, my MOBAT doesn’t move, a common problem with most vintage MOBATs these days.  I’ll have to tinker with it to see what’s up.  Still, I bet that was pretty cool when it worked.  Paint’s not really a thing on the MOBAT, which instead has a whole ton of decals.  They haven’t held up super well over the years, but they do offer up some nice extra details to give it more of a finish.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The MOBAT’s driver was Pennsylvania-native Ralph “Steeler” Pulaski.  Steeler, like a number of the original Joes, sort of fell by the wayside as the line continued, and was never a major focus in the first place.  He did get a pair focus episodes thanks to the cartoon’s alternate-reality-based “Worlds Without End,” which gave a respectable send-off to Steeler, as well as fellow O13-members Grunt and Clutch.  This (and the 1983 swivel-arm re-issue) would be Steeler’s only figure for the entirety of the vintage run.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and has 12 points of articulation.  Like all of the original ’82 figures, he was available straight-armed or swivel-armed, and mine is the former.  Additionally, there are two different styles of thumb thickness, and mine is the thin-thumbed version, which is something I’ll be touching on a bit later.  Steeler was largely made from shared parts, with the most egregious being his head, which he shares with both the previously reviewed Flash and Hawk, as well as the as of yet un-reviewed Short-Fuse.  It’s generic enough to work, and in Steeler’s case there’s a unique helmet, which further helps in masking it.  Unlike Hawk and Flash, Steeler does actually get one new part on his person: his torso.  He’s got a zippered jacket (instead of the usual sweater) and a shoulder holster that goes across the chest.  It’s a nice, unique look among his companions.  Steeler follows the trend of rather basic, rather drab paint for the original Joes.  He’s a slightly different shade of green than the others and gets a darker hair color than Hawk and Flash.  He also gets gloves, because he’s very special, I guess.  Steeler included a standard helmet, but had a non-standard, and in fact quite distinctive visor.  He also included an uzi, making him the only vehicle driver from the first year to actually be armed, and with a fairly standard weapon at that.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Okay, so first of all, I need to throw in a very, very important shout-out to my Super Awesome Fiancee, without whom this review would not have been possible and I might very well still be a quivering mass on the floor of my toy room.  Remember how I mentioned that Steeler was a thin-thumbed figure?  Do you see how he still has both of his thumbs?  Yeah, that’s actually a pretty big deal, and I was pretty excited to have found him that way.  Then I was a big dumbo who decided to stick Steeler’s uzi in his hand, and when I went to take it out, off came the thumb, which went flying into the oblivion that is the floor beneath my photo stage…before I had even gotten a single shot of him.  I was feeling pretty dumb, but Jess was having none of that, and marched upstairs to help he search for the missing piece, which she managed to find in a few short minutes, thereby allowing me to repair this guy, get the photos taken and regain a good deal of my sanity.  Truly she lives up to the “Super Awesome” monicker.

With that out of the way, where the heck did this guy come from?  Well, recent reader’s will likely guess correctly that it came from All Time Toys, who got in a really huge GI Joe collection last month.  I got the pleasure of sorting through all of them to get all the figures, vehicles, and parts matched up, and this was one the somewhat expensive haul of figures I picked up.  I’ve only recently gotten the opportunity to collect the straight-armed Joes, which is a set that’s always fascinated me.  Steeler called out to me due largely to his slightly more distinct look among the basic grunts.  He’s pretty cool for what he is, and the MOBAT is certainly a nice centerpiece to my Joe display.

As I noted, All Time Toys are absolutely swimming in vintage Joes at the moment, so check out the Joe section of their eBay page here.  If you’re looking for other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2035: Imperial Jumptrooper

IMPERIAL JUMPTROOPER

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“An elite squadron within the Imperial ranks, jump troopers (also known as rocket troopers) were outfitted with jetpacks and utilized in tight spaces.  They were trained to act in unison, often swarming and overwhelming their targets.”

Since the standard Imperial Stormtroopers first graced the screen back in 1977, we’ve been getting a steady stream of variants on the concept, be they Sandtroopers, Snowtroopers, Scout Troopers, etc.  There have been a few recurring concepts among the non-movie variants.  A popular one is the Jumptrooper, which has found its way into comics, video games, and, most recently, Star Wars: Rebels.  And now, it’s gotten a new figure, courtesy of Hasbro’s Star Wars: The Black Series.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Jumptrooper is a GameStop-exclusive offering from the Black Series line, released in the last couple of months.  The Jumptrooper is based on his Rebels appearance, specifically the commanding officer of the squad, as denoted by the colored shoulderpad.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 29 points of articulation.  The Jumptrooper re-uses a lot of parts from the standard Stormtrooper figure, which is pretty sensible, given that the designs are pretty similar.  It’s also a pretty solid sculpt in its own right, and certainly a nice starting point.  He has a new helmet, backpack, and shoulder pads, which match well with the pre-existing parts, and also match up well with his design from the show (albeit modified for a more real-world appearance).  Most importantly, though, they set him nicely apart from the standard trooper.  I really dig the changes they’ve made, because he’s just a super sleek looking figure.  The colorwork on the Jumptrooper is subtle, but pretty impressive.  The glossier finish of the armor looks nicer than the matte finish of the original, as do the additional accenting details that the original lacked on the belt and boots.  Throw in a little extra splash of color, and you’ve got a figure that pops nicely on the shelf.  The Jumptrooper is packed with a standard E-11 Stormtrooper blaster and a brand-new style of display stand.  The stand’s not quite as conventional as I’d hoped for, but it can make for some decent running poses once you get it properly seated.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As soon as the Jumptrooper was unveiled, I knew I wanted one.  Something about the design just immediately jumped out at me (heh), so when I found out he was a GameStop exclusive, it was Super Awesome Fiancee to the rescue!  She was kind enough to pre-order this guy through her work for me, thereby making his acquisition fairly painless.  I’m very happy with the final figure.  He’s definitely one of my favorite troopers.

#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.

#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?