#2396: ARF Trooper Waxer & Battle Droid

ARF TROOPER WAXER & BATTLE DROID

STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS (HASBRO)

“Clone troopers fight battle droids to destroy a Separatist weapons factory. ARF trooper Waxer scouts ahead to gather information about the enemy. He runs into a squad of battle droids, and stops these robotic warriors before they reveal his position.”

Star Wars: The Clone Wars leaned pretty heavily on its cast of clones, a fitting choice given the title.  In order to actually keep the show interesting, they made a point of giving the clones personalities, in contrast to the fairly mindless squadrons of them we’d seen in the films.  While some of them were just one offs, others were popular enough to get a few appearances under their belts.  My personal favorite pair were Boil and Waxer, a bickering odd couple that first appeared in “Innocents of Ryloth” and would make a handful of other appearances as the show progressed.  Today, I’m looking at my boy Waxer’s second figure from Hasbro’s main toyline, which faced him off against a Battle Droid!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

ARF Trooper Waxer and the Battle Droid were released as part of Hasbro’s Clone Wars line as a Target-exclusive two-pack in 2011, hitting alongside a Special Ops Clone Trooper and Geonosian Drone set.  Both pairs were based on the Season 2 episode “Landing at Point Rain.”

ARF TROOPER WAXER

For “Landing at Point Rain,” a good chunk of the clones got new, camouflaged armor.  In the case of Waxer, he actually traded up to the ARF trooper armor, which means he’s got not only a new paint scheme, but also a snazzy new helmet with a rather Biker Scout-inspired look.  The figure stands just shy of 4 inches tall and he has 26 points of articulation.  Waxer’s just a repaint of the standard ARF Trooper from the main line.  I means he doesn’t get a removable helmet like his last figure (to be fair, he never takes it off in this gear anyway), but it also means he’s using the best Clone body that the line put out.  It’s got all the cool stuff of the usual clone body, but also throws a universal joint on the hips in place of the usual cut joints.  While it’s not a pitch perfect articulation set, it’s certainly a very good one, and means it’s really easy to get some good poses out of him.  The actual sculpt is also quite accurate to the animation models, and the helmet in particular is a real thing of beauty.  Waxer’s paintwork is quite involved, since he has to get the Geonosis-style camo, all throughout, which means he’s got some sort of painted detailing pretty much all over.  He also gets his character-specific markings, which match up with his standard armor, with the exception of one new detail: he’s got a little drawing of Numa, the Twi’lek he helped rescue in “Innocents” on the back of his helmet.  This detail was one of the coolest things added in the show, and It’s really awesome that Hasbro remembered to include it here.  Waxer gets a standard DC-15S blaster, plus a D-6 rotary blaster, a firing missile, and a display stand.

BATTLE DROID

I’ve never been much for the basic Battle Droids, and I felt that one of the best things that Clone Wars did was introduce the likes of the Commando Droids in order to shift the focus a bit.  Because of this, I never got any of the standard Battle Droids.  But, this one was packed with Waxer, so I guess I had to get him.  The figure stands 4 inches tall and he has…okay hang on, I have to amend the first part first part: he’s 4 inches tall.  He doesn’t do much standing, which is my first big issue with the guy.  He simply can’t stand without something to hold him up.  He’s got 8 points of articulation, which is my next thing.  The arms on this guy are great…and that’s about it when it comes to the articulation.  Despite all those obvious joints being there in the design, they aren’t articulated for the most part.  The legs in particular are bad, because they just get the cut joints at the hips, and nothing more.  That certainly doesn’t help with the issues of standing.  Also not helping is the fact that this guy is just warped all over the place.  His legs, his neck, even his forearms are all warped out of their proper shaping, and he came out of the box that way.  At the very least, the sculpt looks like what it’s supposed to, so he’s got that going for him.  The Battle Droid’s coloring is the darker Geonosis shading, which honestly looks a bit better in general.  He’s got yellow markings, which I believe makes him a Commander.  Good for him, I guess.  He’s packed with an E-5 blaster (which he can’t hold correctly) and a display stand (not the one pictured, that’s a Pro-Tech stand).

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Last summer, All Time got in a pretty heft Clone Wars collection, which was the source of the Assault on Ryloth pack that I picked up and reviewed at the time.  I also grabbed quite a few others, which included this pair which, like so many other Clone Wars releases, I missed when they were first released.  It wasn’t a hard sell, since it’s Waxer, who’s my favorite clone, wearing the ARF armor, which is my favorite armor.  He’s awesome, and I’m glad to have him.  The Battle Droid’s not great, and I remember part of why I didn’t pick any of them up in the first place.  Hey, at least I got Waxer.

As I touched on above,  I got these guys from my friends at All Time Toys.  While the Clone Wars stuff moved pretty fast, they’ve got other cool toys both old and new, so please check out their website and their eBay Store.

#2284: Kylo Ren vs Rey

SUPREME LEADER KYLO REN VS REY

STAR WARS: GALAXY OF ADVENTURES (HASBRO)

At the tail-end of last year, I covered the first chunk of figures offered in Hasbro’s recently-launched Galaxy of Advetures line.  There were a pretty sizable amount of figures available at the line’s launch, along with an exclusive Luke figure fairly shortly after.  Then it was time to move into the line’s real second round of product, made up of three new pieces.  I’ll be covering all three items this week, starting things off with the least “new” of the three, a Reylo-themed two-pack.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Kylo and Rey are the line’s second multi-pack, following the Droids release from launch.  They’re a Target-exclusive item, which appears to have been a slightly later in the game decision, since there wasn’t really much promotion of that fact.  They started hitting shelves in late November of last year.  Both figures included are slight tweaks of their single releases.

KYLO REN

Definitely the selling point of the set for most, Kylo’s the figure that has the most noticeable changes, the most visible of which is the brand-new unmasked head.  It’s a decent piece, matching with the rest of the human heads in terms of styling and character vs actor likeness.  The paint seems like a slight toning down compared to some of the single releases, with less color throughout the face.  I like this a little more, so I’m glad to see them pulling it back a bit.  From the neck down, he’s the same as the single release, which is fine by me, as I liked that release a lot.  In terms of accessories, he loses the hooded cloak, which is a little sad, but gets to keep his helmeted head and lightsaber, so he ends up with the same number of extras.  The helmeted head is ever so slightly different from the regular in terms of paint, but it could honestly be a case by case thing.  Something that I certainly hope is more a case by case thing is how tight the neck joint is on my figure.  When I swapped the heads and went to swap back to the unmasked, the ball joint came out of the helmet the wrong way, and it took quite a bit of work to get them properly swapped back.  I’ve got both Kylos, so I’m fine with leaving this one unmasked, but that would be a very different situation for someone who only has this release.

REY

The core Rey figure here is far less changed from her single release than Kylo.  The only real differences are mostly superficial.  The face paint is again toned down a bit, and the joints seem a touch tighter on this Rey than my single.  Beyond that, they’re the same figure.  She does get one additional accessory this time: her bag, present on both the Vintage Collection and Black Series figures, but missing from the GoA release.  It’s nothing major, but it’s cool that they gave her a little something extra.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I had contemplated holding off on the single Rey until this set was released, but ultimately didn’t, so then I wasn’t sure I was going to grab this set at all.  After falling in love with this line, though, I had a hard time saying no to another figure, especially when I had literally everything else they’d released.  The neck joint issue on Kylo is annoying, but I’m otherwise pretty happy with this set, and was even able to set Max up with the extra Rey figure.  Ultimately, I think most people will chose either the set or the singles for these, and if I’m honest, the set’s a slightly better value.

#2275: C-3PO & Babu Frik

C-3PO & BABU FRIK

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

C-3PO longs for more peaceful times, but his continued service to the Resistance keeps him on the frontiers of galactic conflict.

A tiny, well-regarded droidsmith, Babu Frik can modify virtually any droid, regardless of the security measure protecting its systems.”

Since his later than others entry into the line, C-3PO has been steadily racking up quite an assortment of Black Series figures for himself.  Though his look may not change all that drastically throughout the majority of the films, Hasbro has nevertheless seen fit to give us as many of the character’s minor tweaks as they can.  He wound up getting at least one figure for all three of the sequel trilogy films (though the Last Jedi figure was only available through Disney’s Galaxy’s Edge park expansion), with his appearance in Rise of Skywalker providing his latest offering, alongside the minuscule droidsmith Babu Frik.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

C-3PO and Babu Frik are a Target-exclusive Black Series offering, which started hitting about a week or two before the movie arrived in theaters last year.  The set depicts 3PO as we saw him in much of the promotional material before the film, carrying Chewbacca’s bandolier and bowcaster, and sporting red eyes, as opposed to his usual gold tones.  These two things don’t happen at the same time in the final film, but then again, the figure doesn’t require him to be doing everything at once either, making his more of an all-encompassing Rise of Skywalker 3PO.  The figure stands 5 1/2 inches tall and has 23 points of articulation.  This 3PO is a combination of the first 3PO and the improved protocol droid arms from 4-LOM, meaning he can bend his arms.  This same change was also seen on 000 and the Galaxy’s Edge 3PO, so it was really just expected here.  He gets a new head, sporting a removable backing, allowing for his internals to be revealed, just like in the movie.  I’m always skeptical of features like this, lest they not fit properly when popped back into place, but 3PO’s head remains together fairly securely, and I must admit the feature looks pretty darn cool.  Beyond that, the construction on 3PO is the same as the first figure, which means it’s a very nice looking sculpt, and was very posable even before the addition of the improved arms.  The paintwork on 3PO is pretty decent all around.  He is again a flat gold, rather than vac metalized, which I still don’t mind all that much.  The gold isn’t quite as bright as the first 3PO, which seems more accurate.  He also gets some small silver piping on the arm joints, which we’ve not seen before, as well as the expected extra detailing on the back of the head.  The most notable change, though, are the eyes.  Like Dryden Vos, they’re therno-sensitive. At room temperature, they’re a standard gold, but when cold, they turn a bright red, like his eyes do briefly in the film.  It’s a nifty effect, even if I don’t see myself getting a ton of use out of it.  3PO is packed with Chewbacca’s bandolier and bowcaster, both borrowed from previous figures, as well as a whole nother figure, Babu Frik.  Okay, I say he’s a whole figure.  That’s perhaps a slight stretch.  Babu is certainly more of a figure than I had anticipated; I fully expected an unarticulated mini-figure, but to my surprise, Babu sports ball joints at the shoulders and waist.  He’s also got a moving visor, so he can properly work on the back of 3PO’s head. Certainly he is far more impressive figure than I’d initially expected.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This pair was another gift to me from my in-laws.  I’d expressed a moderate interest in the pair prior to the film’s release, but wasn’t sure what to expect.  After seeing the movie and quite enjoying Babu’s sequence, I was quite happy to open these two up Christmas morning.  I was even happier when I actually took them out of their box and discovered just how playable Babu was.  Definitely a fun little offering, and a great choice of exclusive.

#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!

#2141: Spider-Man & MJ

SPIDER-MAN & MJ

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

Students at the Midtown School of Science and Technology, Peter Parker and MJ experience the powers of Spider-Man firsthand when the web-slinger must suit up to take down the Vulture.”

The Legends coverage for Spider-Man: Homecoming followed the usual Spider-Man movie range, meaning we got the main villain and a bunch of Spider-Man variants.  We did also get an Iron Man figure, but that was sort of on his own merits.  Beyond that, the other characters were really left out.  While the Far From Home offerings more or less followed the same set-up, but between the two, we did get one of the more important supporting players, albeit in a slightly rebooted form with Michelle “MJ” Jones.  Of course, surprising no one, there’s also another Spidey variant along for the ride.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Spider-Man and MJ are a Target-exclusive part of the Marvel Legends line.  They’re both officially based on Homecoming, though the set was clearly meant to tie-in with MJ’s increased role in Far From Home.

SPIDER-MAN

We got both of Spidey’s main looks from Homecoming back when the movie came out, but there was one notable design missing.  When locked in the Damage Control vault at the movie’s mid-point, Peter keeps himself warm by layering up and putting his hoody and decathlon team jacket over his costume.  It’s a pretty distinctive look, and was even used on the film’s main poster, so its recreation as a toy was pretty much inevitable.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  Spider-Man uses a lot of parts from the initial Homecoming figure, but obviously swaps out the arms for a new pair with sleeves to match the jacket.  It also re-tools the upper torso to remove the butterfly joints at the shoulders.  I was admittedly never a huge fan of how they were implemented on the original figure, so I don’t miss them here.  In addition to the arms, he also gets the Coulson jacket, plus a new hoodie piece that slips underneath of it to complete the look.  Paintwork on this guy is actually a little different from the original release; the weblines are a little tighter and the tech-lines on the blue sections are a little darker.  It makes the figure pop a little more than the original, but the reds on the suit are the same, meaning the extra head from the first figure is still compatible.  Spidey is packed with two sets of hands in fists and thwippign poses.  It’s a shame he didn’t also get his Beats, but the hands are at least something.

MJ

Zendaya’s Michelle “MJ” Jones caused a fair bit of controversy when she was added to the cast of the first movie and was originally rumored to be a more direct adaptation of Mary Jane Watson.  It was honestly downright comical given how minor her role was in the first film.  Whatever the case, I found her performance to be enjoyable and the character to be a quite likable reimagining of a character we’ve seen quite a few times before.  And now I’ve got an action figure of her, which is always the best thing about any fictional character.  She stands a little over 6 inches tall and has 27 points of articulation.  MJ is built on the same body as the last Legends MJ, which is also the one used for Jessica Jones and Elektra from the Netflix line-up.  It’s a pretty sensible body, and fits the general build and look of Zendaya in the movie.  The figure gets a few new parts to help sell the new look better.  She has a new set of arms and jacket piece, as well as new lower legs.  It’s all topped off with two new head sculpts, one with the hair down and a more intense expression, the other with the hair pulled back and a more amused expression.  Both have a pretty spot-on likeness, but I personally prefer the second one.  MJ’s paintwork is more reserved than Spidey’s, but it’s still a pretty solid offering, with plenty of nice little touches, especially on the jacket.  MJ is packed with two sets of hands, one set in open gesture, the other in a gripping/fist combo.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Wanna guess where I got this here Target exclusive?  Did you say Target?  How ever did you crack that one?  This set first started hitting way back in June, but I didn’t actually find mine until a few weeks ago.  I had almost given up hope of finding it at retail, when a quick stop off on the way home to grab a few other things led to me finding a whole stock of them.  The Spidey variant is actually a lot of fun, and MJ’s kind of an essential figure, so I definitely dig this set.

#2119: Assault on Ryloth

WAXER, BOIL, CLONE COMMANDER CODY, & MACE WINDU

STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS (HASBRO)

“Jedi generals and clone troopers battle the Separatists who have taken control of the planet Ryloth, homeworld of the Twi’leks. Mace Windu coordinates battle plans as he prepares to bring gunships onto the planet. Clone Troopers Waxer and Boil, who are eager for combat, join Clone Commander Cody on a mission to free Twi’lek prisoners being used as shields to protect a deadly proton cannon.”

Fairly early on in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, the show runners realized that a show with “Clone” in the title was going to have to lean pretty heavily on clones as characters.  With that taken into consideration, the previous depictions of clones literally just being whole squadrons of the same guy a couple dozen times over wasn’t going to work.  Over the course of the show’s first season, they began introducing the audience to lots of troopers, all with individual names and personalities, many of them even getting their own small arcs.  There were a few clone-centered early on, which included my personal favorite episode, “Innocents of Ryloth,” the middle entry of Season 1’s Ryloth trilogy.  “Innocents” brought in troopers Waxer and Boil, and bickering pair that would crop up a couple more times over the course of the show.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Waxer, Boil, Clone Commander Cody, and Mace Windu make up the “Assualt on Ryloth” Battle Pack, which was available exclusively at Target in 2009.  The set is based primarily on “Innocents,” though Mace’s presence brings in the follow-up, “Liberty on Ryloth.”

WAXER

Technically, Waxer appeared prior to “Innocents,” as part of the tie-in comic “Slaves of the Republic.”  Of course, the timing is close enough that Waxer was likely created for the show first and dropped into the comic later, given production cycles and all.  Whatever the case, Waxer’s appearance in “Innocents” is certainly the better showcase.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 24 points of articulation.  All of the figures in this set were built from pre-existing molds, which really isn’t too surprising for Waxer, what with him being a clone and all.  Nevertheless, there’s a surprising amount of frankenstiening going on here.  Waxer uses the body of Clone Trooper Denal (meaning he’s got a spot for a backpack…not that he includes one, of course), with Commander Thire’s dual holster-sporting belt, and the original Captain Rex head, all topped off with the upgraded removable helmet first seen on Gree.  The holsters on the belt on show accurate, and I’m not entirely sure why they went with the torso with the peghole, but beyond that Waxer’s as good as any figure built from the basic clone parts, which is to say he’s very good.  He poses well, and his helmet sits properly and tightly on the head, and he’s fairly accurate to the animation models.  His paintwork is solid stuff, though it’s worth noting this set was released in a period when Hasbro was going for cleaned up clones.  He still gets his proper 212th markings, as well as his personalized helmet, with tally marks and all.  Waxer is packed with a pair of DC-17 Blaster pistols, as well as a DC-15A rifle.  Technically, he’s carrying the 15C in the episode, but it’s not like I don’t have a bunch of those I can give him, including one of the two in this very set.

BOIL

Though he never seemed to get the same prominence as Waxer, Boil ended up as the more fortunate of the two, since he was one of the few prominent clones still alive at the end of the show’s run…at least as far as we knew.  Boil and Waxer’s designs were very similar, but Boil ended up sticking with the Rex/Basic Trooper hybrid body that was first introduced with Matchstick, with the head of Commander Cody.  No extra holsters or spots for back packs on him.  He does *technically* still have Cody’s molded scars on his forehead, but there’s enough else going on that you really don’t notice them.  Beyond that, he’s another pretty solid clone figure.  His paint does change up things ever so slightly from Waxer.  Obviously the head’s different, what with the mustache and all, as is the helmet, which has Boil’s specific markings and graffiti.  There’s one more rather minor change between the two: Boil has solid colors on the shoulders, while Waxer had stripes.  In the show, they actually both had stripes, but when they they got their ARF armor in their second appearance, Boil had one solid shoulder to further distinguish.  This figure just carries that forward symmetrically.  It’s not technically show accurate, but I really don’t mind the slight change for the sake of a slightly more unique figure.  Boil isn’t quite as heavily armed as Waxer, with only a DC-15C blaster rifle.

CLONE COMMANDER CODY

As the clone in charge of Waxer and Boil’s battalion, Cody’s definitely a sensible choice for inclusion.  He’s essentially just a reissue of his single release figure from the main line.  Cody shared his legs and lower arms with the standard early line clones, but had his own head, torso, pelvis, and upper arms.  The head is the same one I just looked at for Boil, but the scarring now makes sense.  The other parts incorporate Cody’s unique armor elements.  Curiously, his torso, and especially his waist, is really skinny when compared to all of the other Clones released around the same time.  Was Cody just more conscious of his figure?  Whatever the case, Cody’s sculpt is just as strong as the other two clones, making him another really solid figure offering.  For the most part, Cody’s paint is identical to his single release, though the orange on his armor was dulled down a bit to better match Waxer and Boil, and he also loses the painted aspect of his facial scar.  Cody included his removable helmet, as well as a DC-15C blaster rifle.

MACE WINDU

Windu is honestly the weirdest choice in this set, since he only has a small role at the beginning and end of “Innocents,” with the primary Jedi being Obi-Wan.  While Windu wraps up the Ryloth Trilogy in the next episode, it’s without Waxer, Boil, and Cody.  I’d wager that the main reason he was chosen over Kenobi is that he was the rarer figure at the time, and Hasbro wanted collectors to get another shot.  Worked out for me, since I didn’t have a Windu.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 14 points of articulation.  For whatever reason, the initial Jedi for this line weren’t given full articulation, so Mace lacks any sort of knee or ankle movement.  It definitely cuts down on the crazy action poses.  Despite the reduced articulation, his sculpt is actually pretty solid.  It’s a decent translation of the animation model, and fits in well with the rest of the line.  His paintwork is pretty minimal, with just a lot of browns for the most part.  For whatever reason, his eyebrows went from dark brown on the single to an orange here, which looks a little off, but really only if you closely examine him.  It honestly reads as him just not having eyebrows most of the time.  Windu included his lightsaber, plus a helmet, collar, and shoulder pads to give him some clone armor.  He also includes a spring-loaded waist joint, which gives him a sort of a slashing feature when you pull it back.  Yay?

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

With “Innocents” being my favorite episode of the show, you’d think that this set would have been on my list from day one, right?  I mean, I got the high-end Sideshow set, right?  Yeah, well this pack wasn’t anywhere near as easily gotten as the Sideshow figures, so I actually didn’t have them.  In fact, for the longest time, I just passed off my generic 212th trooper as one of them.  It wasn’t until the set got traded into All Time a couple of weeks ago that I finally had my chance, and while they may have been a little pricey, I kind of counted them as a birthday present to myself.  Expensive as they may be, I really like the Waxer and Boil included here, and I’m happy to have finally gotten them.  It’s just too bad we never got a Numa to go with them.

#2056: Hawkeye & Black Widow

HAWKEYE & BLACK WIDOW

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

From the ranks of SHIELD to the growing team of Avengers, Black Widow and Hawkeye put their expert training to use as they suit up to defend their world and universe from intergalactic threats.”

There sure was a lot of pre-movie hype built around the Avengers’ Quantum Suits in Endgame, and then…well, let’s just say they aren’t overly present for much of the film.  But, I suppose they did get that grand entrance, and they were certainly an intriguing new design.  They’re also a decent way of getting out a fair number of the main characters out with as much shared tooling as possible.  I’ve looked at one Legends offering of the Quantum Suit (worn by Captain America), and now I’m following it up with fellow founding Avengers Hawkeye and Black Widow!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Hawkeye and Widow are a Target-exclusive two-pack of Marvel Legends, and started arriving at shelves right around the film’s release date.

HAWKEYE

After quite an absence from the toy realm, Clint Barton has been pretty well-served by the initial Endgame product, with a whole two Legends figures, right out of the gate.  No body else got that!  Well, okay, Cap’s almost getting that, since the Walmart-exclusive is already hitting, just over a month after the first figure, but let’s not sully Hawkeye’s good fortune.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and has 32 points of articulation.  This guy is mostly made up of re-used parts, being identical to the Quantum Suit Cap from the neck down.  It’s really not a surprise, especially given the slightly more averaged proportions of the body.  It’s also supposed to be the same suit on everybody, so I guess it’s a sensible choice.  Hawkeye gets a brand-new head sculpt, sporting Clint’s radical new hair, or at least an approximation of it.  It’s also got probably the best Renner likeness we’ve seen from Hasbro (although Super Awesome Fiancee says he does have enough of a “dad” look to really be Hawkeye), and is generally a nice offering.  It has the added benefit of looking pretty nice on the Ronin body, should you want his look from most of the movie.  The paint on Hawkeye is about what you’d expect.  The head sports the face-printing tech, which looks nice and lifelike, and the body is an exact match for the paint on the Cap figure.  Hawkeye is packed with his bow, re-used from his first Avengers figure.  Befitting the “lots of characters from the same shared tooling”, he also includes two alternate heads, for Iron Man and Ant-Man.  They’re re-used from the IW Thanos and the Cull Obsidian series figures respectively.  Not at all accurate, but hey, that hasn’t stopped these figures before.

BLACK WIDOW

Widow was represented in the Infinity War toys, but thus far has had a much sparser selection for Endgame, with this being her only planned figure from Hasbro, at least so far.  I wouldn’t be shocked if that changes going forward, though.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and has 29 points of articulation.  Widow’s sporting an all-new sculpt.  It’s a solid match for the male version of the suit, and it’s in fact a little better, at least from a proportions stand-point.  The head is sporting a very nice likeness of Scarlet Johansen, which, again, I’d say is the best version of her likeness we’ve gotten from Hasbro.  It’s also sized well to fit on the Infinity War Widow body, if you want her non-Quantum-Suited.  The paint on Widow matches pretty decently with Hawkeye’s, so it’s another very strong offering.  I especially like that they got that little bit of blonde at the end of her ponytail.  Widow is packed with her twin batons (re-used from the Infinity War release), as well as an extra head and pistol so she can be used as Nebula (both re-used from the Mantis Series figure).

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This set was a little scarce around the movie’s release, what with the hype and whatnot.  I was searching for a little while without much luck, and kind of gave up, honestly.  Then the power went out a few weeks ago, and we had to run out for dinner and some supplies, and I just happened to wander past the toy aisle and, boom, there they were.  While having the quantum suits doesn’t mean as much to me, I’m definitely glad to have the new heads for Nat and Clint.

#2036: Spider-Man & Kraven

SPIDER-MAN & KRAVEN

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

Unwittingly bonded with an alien symbiote, Spider-Man has the enhanced strength and abilities he needs to take on his deadly enemy, Kraven the Hunter.”

The last time I reviewed a Kraven figure, I remarked that long-running lines require a somewhat cyclical nature.  Well, uhh, I’m now reviewing a re-release of Kraven from that very line…so, hey, here we are.  Guess we’ve already come back around to him, haven’t we?  I, of course, already had the previous Kraven, but one more certainly couldn’t hurt too much.  Nor could one more of the Spider-Man he’s packed with!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Spider-Man and Kraven are a Target-exclusive Marvel Legends two-pack, clearly patterned after the much-loved “Kraven’s Last Hunt” storyline.  The set started hitting shelves just a few weeks ago, and will hopefully be showing up in plentiful quantities throughout the summer.  Both figures are tweaks of prior figures that have packed up a sizable aftermarket price.

SPIDER-MAN

Spider-Man’s black costume (or at least a cloth copy of it) was central to “Last Hunt,” and is enough of a fan favorite that a re-release of his Sandman Series figure definitely makes sense.  The basic figure is essentially identical.  Same base body and head, and for the most part, the same paint scheme.  The symbol is ever so slightly different, with the head being a little wider.  It’s minor enough that you’d only notice the change with both releases side by side.  The main change-up is the accessories.  They were kind of the let-down of the original release, but this one amends that.  He loses the open gesture hands of the original, but exchanges them for the missing web-pose hands that were sorely missing the last time.  He also gains an alternate unmasked head, which is a re-paint of the unmasked head from the Spidey/MJ pack, now featuring some battle-damage.  Of course, since I still don’t have that, I’m just building a continuing collection of non-standard Parker heads.

KRAVEN

Kraven’s been absent from Legends longer than Spidey’s black costume.  His Rhino Series release was four years ago now, and just predates a lot of collectors getting into the re-launched line, meaning he still goes for a bit of a premium.  His re-release is definitely the main driving force of this set.  Where Spider-Man was a fairly straight re-issue, Kraven is actually quite different from his prior release.  Where that one was his most recent appearance, this one is a classic Kraven.  He gets a new head, right hand, and belt, and swaps out the boots of the last release for more streamlined parts.  The head is by far the best piece; the crazed expression is a perfect recreation of Mike Zeck’s Kraven from “Last Hunt,” and it’s a marked improvement over the more generic sculpt of the last release.  Another marked improvement?  The paint.  It’s sharper, bolder, and just generally better detailed than the last release.  Hasbro’s definitely gotten a lot better at this part of the figures.  Kraven includes the same spear as the prior release, and also adds in a hunting rifle, which is a pretty classic Kraven sort of piece.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Since I have both of the original releases, when this set was originally announced I didn’t know if I’d be picking it up.  The images of the new Kraven head definitely did a lot to sell me on him, but the Spider-Man didn’t look to have much new to offer.  I was out looking for the Endgame Hawkeye and Widow (who I still haven’t found), and came across this set, and upon seeing the unmasked head and webshooter hands was definitely sold.  Both figures included are improvements over their original releases, and I don’t regret grabbing this one at all.

#2010: Senate Commandos

SENATE COMMANDO CAPTAIN & SENATE COMMANDO

STAR WARS: CLONE WARS (HASBRO)

“A Senate Commando captain and his elite commando team confront suspicious arrivals to the Senate building. The captain and troopers rush to the platform where Cad Bane has landed without permission. They are prepared for a fight if necessary, but are taken by surprise when Bane springs his trap.”

In the break in movies between Revenge of the Sith and The Force Awakens, the Star Wars franchise didn’t go on hiatus as it had between Jedi and Phantom Menace.  Instead, it was kept going by a multimedia affair, the two most obvious being, of course, the toys, and the animated series Clone Wars.  Clone Wars took a lot of concepts, designs, and characters from the prequels and put them to new use.  Or, honestly, just put them to use period.  One such example were the Senate Guards, precursors to the Imperial Royal Guard.  In the movies, they didn’t do much more than stand in the background of scenes and remind you that one day they’d be putting on all red attire and serving the forces of evil.  The show, on the other hand, reworked them into the Senate Commandos, and even gave them a few focus episodes.  They made their way into the toyline, of course, but they aren’t among the easiest items to track down.  I managed to snag a set, though, and I’m reviewing it today.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Released as a Target-exclusive two-pack in 2010, the Senate Commandos paired off with a complimentary Cad Bane and IG-86 two-pack, both based on the first season episode “Hostage Crisis,” which was one of the focus episodes for the commandos.  While the other pack was straight re-releases, both figures in this pairing were only available here.  Following the 2010/2011 re-branding of the Clone Wars line, these figures were part of the “Galactic Battle Game” concept that Hasbro was attempting to introduce into the line.  To facilitate this, the set includes two stands, a card with stats for each character, and a die chance cube with various symbols on it, presumably meant for use in playing the game.

SENATE COMMANDO CAPTAIN

First up, the ranking officer, the Senate Commando Captain.  Though un-named here, if he is indeed meant to be the commanding officer from “Hostage Crisis”, that would make him the ill-fated Captain Jayfon.  Yes, he had a name, because this is Star Wars.  Everyone has a name, just ask Elan Sleazbaggeno.  I suppose Jayfon should count himself lucky that he wasn’t named “Guardo” or something.  Anyway, this figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and has 24 points of articulation.  He’s based on the streamlined design of the guards from the show.  Because of the more limited nature of the animation early in the run, the Guards could not keep their usual flowing cloaks.  For the sake of making things easier, their distinctive helmets and color-scheme were moved onto the standard Clone Trooper model.  The figure follows suit, being built on the basic Clone Trooper body from the line.  Fortunately, that’s one of the best molds the line produced, meaning this guy’s already starting ahead.    The forearms, legs, and pelvis are from the original base Clone Trooper, and the upper torso is from Rex, allowing for use of the smaller neck-peg for their heads.  The upper arms first showed up on Captain Argus in 2009, and since it’s supposed to be the same armor, they were sensibly re-used here.  It’s all topped off with a new head, which is a definite improvement to the removable helmet on the Argus figure.  It’s accurate to the source material, and sits nicely on the body.  For the most part, Jayfon is just molded in the appropriate shade of blue (which, it should be noted, is a different shade than was used for Argus; this one is technically more accurate), with black accent work.  As the captain, though, he needs some appropriate denotation, which the white accenting provides.  It’s more extensive than what we saw on Argus, though this is true to the show in both characters’ cases.  Whatever the case, it adds a very nice little pop to the figure.  Jayfon is packed with a small Clone-style blaster rifle.

SENATE COMMANDO

Okay, the Captain may have had a name, but the basic grunts really didn’t get them.  I guess this guy’s just an army builder. Crazy concept.  Like Jayfon, he stands 3 3/4 inches tall and has 24 points of articulation.  For the most part, his construction is the same as the Captain’s, but he does get a unique head, this time with the shorter head-fin that the basic grunts sported.  It’s not a huge difference, but it’s true to the show and it makes it even easier to differentiate the two.  His paintwork is also a bit simpler, as he drops the white accent work.  It means he doesn’t pop as much as the Captain, but that’s appropriate for a rank and file trooper.  Lastly, the Commado swaps out the small blaster for a larger clone-style rifle, which is certainly nice for variety’s sake.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Though not impossibly hard to find when released, the fact that this set shipped alongside a total re-pack set, and the two figures contained there-in never got re-issues meant that it never hung around anywhere for very long.  I was, rather foolishly, trying to convince myself I didn’t need to keep collecting Clone Wars figures at the time, and passed on them the one time I saw them.  I’ve regretted it ever since, especially after their price got pretty high on the after market.  Fortunately, I was able to get one when a very large collection of Star Wars figures was traded in to All Time Toys.  They still weren’t cheap, but they were a much better deal than they would have been elsewhere.  I really do like this set a lot.  The Captain’s the real star, but the basic commando is no slouch either.  It’s really criminal that the standard commando never got a single carded re-release, because I’d really love to have a whole squad.  Alas, that’s not financial feasible at the moment.

As noted above, I grabbed this set from my friends at All Time Toys.  While they only got one of these in, there was a whole lot more in that collection, and they can be found on their website and their eBay storefront.

#1995: Captain Marvel – Starforce

CAPTAIN MARVEL — STAR FORCE

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

Using her intensive training from her days in the Air Force, Carol Danvers boldly leads an intergalactic fleet as Captain Marvel.”

Well, I gave one MCU-based Captain their due.  Why not jump on over to another?  Captain Marvel continues to perform very well at the box office, and will, without a doubt, follow in Black Panther’s footsteps, remaining in theaters even as its MCU successor Endgame arrives.  I looked at the movie’s main assortment of Marvel Legends right before the film hit theaters, but there was one figure I hadn’t managed to snag yet at that time, a variant of the main character that I’ll be taking a look at today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Starforce Captain Marvel is a Target-exclusive Legends release.  She was impeccably timed, showing up at most stores within a week before or after the film’s release.  She was also a successful step forward in Target getting their exclusives up on their webstore, meaning she’s been a reasonably easy experience for most of the fans that wanted one.  As the name denotes, she’s based on Carol’s Starforce colors from the film.  The figure is a rather logical repaint of the standard Captain Marvel figure, meaning she stands the same height and has the same articulation.  While the sculpt is not a 100% perfect replica of her look from the movie, it’s still a good, solid offering, and its reuse here is kind of expected.  It’s decked out in a new color scheme, and, I have to say, I think this color set does the sculpt a lot of favors.  Obviously I’m not knocking her usual colors, but there’s something about this look that feels more dynamic and has more of a pop to it.  It makes the figure look pretty sufficiently different from the main release.  Carol gets the same masked/unmasked head selection as the standard release.  The helmeted head is understandably different, so as to match her uniform.  The unmasked head is also different, but in a much subtler, more than likely unintentional sense.  It still doesn’t look a whole lot like Brie Larson, but I’m warming up to it.  Following a trend that Hasbro’s been really getting into lately, this Carol figure isn’t *just* a Carol figure.  She also gets an extra head, hands, scarf, and rifle, allowing her to be turned into fellow Starforce member Minn-Erva.  Minn-Erva played a decently-sized role in the film, so it’s certainly nice to see her crop up, and it’s also a fantastic way of getting us an extra character out a necessary variant of the main character.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

After rather easily acquiring the main assortment through All Time Toys, this figure was slightly more illusive (though mostly because I resisted doing the easier thing of just ordering one online), but I was able to find her within a week of seeing the movie.  I’m glad I did, because I really liked the Starforce design (probably owing a lot to my history as a Green Lantern fan), and it especially translates well to toy form.  Not only is the standard Carol figure really cool, but the ability to turn her into Minn-Erva makes this an essential part of the collection.  Hopefully she continues to be easy to acquire.