#1723: Y-Wing Scout Bomber

Y-WING SCOUT BOMBER (W/ KANAN JARRUS)

STAR WARS: REBELS (HASBRO)

“Discover exciting stories of good versus evil in a galaxy of starships and vehicles. Armed with proton bombs and laser cannons, this prototype Y-wing Scout Bomber uses its rotating engines to provide enhanced maneuverability during flight.”

For the next entry in my week of Star Wars vehicles, I’ll be starting off a trend that’s going to finish out the week: Star Wars: Rebels.  Rebels had its own devoted line of figures back when it first started out, but it was sort of swallowed up by the recent movie toylines (which is how I acquired my rather modest collection of figures).  The main crew has each cropped up at least twice, with a few of them popping up a little bit more than that.  Kanan Jarrus is probably the most common, and he’s part of today’s review, alongside a variation of the Y-Wing.

THE VEHICLE ITSELF

The Y-Wing Scout Bomber was released as one of the mid-sized weapons in the Force Awakens toyline, and was re-released unchanged for the Rogue One line as well.  It’s a much smaller variant of the traditional Y-Wing from the original trilogy, with its roots in The Clone Wars.  The vehicle is actually an almost entirely re-used sculpt, from back in the Clone Wars days, but tweaked a bit to fit Chopper in place of a more standard astromech droid.  The ship is about 7 inches long by 4 1/2 inches wide, and stands about 3 1/2 inches tall.  The thrusters on the back are both posable pieces, as is the turret for the astromech droid.  Overall, it’s a very squat and compact ship, which isn’t perhaps as impressive as a more standard piece, but for the price point, it’s about what you’d expect.  The paint work on this piece shifts it more from a Clone Wars design to something closer to the Original Trilogy, adding in some white and yellow.  The details are a little sloppy in some spots, but nothing too terrible.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Included with the Bomber is the aforementioned figure of Kanan Jarrus.  Kanan is sort of the show’s lead, I guess, so his prominence in the toy form makes a little bit of sense.  What makes less sense is how many times they released him the exact same get-up.  This was the fifth time this figure was released, more or less.  This one has a slightly tweaked head with the head set, but that’s the only difference.  Most egregiously, there was a standard Kanan in the launch wave of the Force Awakens product, so he was hitting twice on that same day.  The fact that he was picked over the less oft-released Chopper, whom the ship kind of needs to look complete, is rather frustrating.  It’s not like anyone who needed a Kanan was missing him.  But I digress.  The figure stands about 4 inches tall and has 5 points of articulation.  He’s using most of the same sculpt used several times before, but with the new head.  It’s Kanan’s basic garb, which works decently enough.  The sculpt is softer than later releases, in part due to his animated nature, but also due to him just being a slightly older sculpt.  He’s still a pretty respectable looking figure.  Kanan’s packed with his lightsaber, which is a pretty cool piece.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Kanan and the bomber is a set I saw very many times, but never picked up.  However, in Toys R Us’s last days, they had a bunch of these various vehicles for rather cheap, and I got sucked in.  Honestly, it’s not much to write home about, but it’s a decent enough toy, especially for the much lowered price.

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#1711: A-Force

SHE-HULK, SIF, MARVEL’S SINGULARITY, LADY LOKI, ELSA BLOODSTONE, & MONICA RAMBAEU

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

Spawning out of 2015’s Secret Wars event was an all-female super team dubbed A-Force.  Gimmicky?  Perhaps, but of course, so was the whole event.  I appreciated it for what it was: a chance to focus on some of Marvel’s fun secondary characters, who maybe get overlooked a little too often.  The event-tie-in got its own spin-off, and ongoing that went 10 more issues.  And, in 2017, the group even got an exclusive boxed-set of Marvel Legends, which I’ll be looking at today!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

The A-Force boxed-set was a partnered offering between Entertainment Earth and Toys R Us, which first hit at SDCC 2017, before eventually making its way to Toys R Us retail establishments.  Well, for a little while, anyway.  The set includes six figures: She-Hulk, Sif, Singularity, Lady Loki, Elsa Bloodstone, And Monica Rambaeu.

SHE-HULK

A blood transfusion from Bruce Banner leaves Jennifer Walters with the gamma-powered abilities of the Hulk.

She-Hulk is the one character in this set who’s had a Legends release before.  Three of them, in fact.  But the most recent of those was still a decade ago, so we feel overdue for the update.  She’s also the biggest name in the set, and one of the easier to produce figures just based on parts.  The figure stands 7 inches tall and has 28 points of articulation.  She-Hulk is built on the same body used for both Thundra and Valkyrie, which was debuted on a She-Hulk figure, just not a Jen Walters one.  It’s a decent enough body, though it’s a little out dated compared to the others in the set.  Ultimately, it’s not bad, of course, but the articulation scheme’s a bit archaic.  This body’s definitely the next one that needs replacing.  She-Hulk’s got a new head sculpt, which is very nice.  The expression is perhaps a touch bland for Jen, and nothing’s ever going to top the original Hasbro release for me, but this one’s still very well crafted.  Jen’s paintwork is nice, bold, and colorful.  The paint on the face is very clean, as are the costume’s color transitions.  The metallic purple looks very slick, as well, but then I’m a sucker for metalic purple.  She-Hulk included no accessories, but what would you give her, really?

SIF

As a gifted warrior goddess of Asgaard, Sif traverses time and space through teleportation.

Sif is an important character in the world of Thor, but rarely travels outside of that particular realm.  Seeing her interact with others in A-Force was admittedly pretty cool.  Though she may not be the heavy hitter here, Sif is very much this set’s star.  She stands 6 3/4 inches tall and has 27 points of articulation.  Sif is one the newest body in this set, making use of parts from last year’s Angela figure (which I’d predicted back when I reviewed that figure).  She does, however get a new head, upper torso, upper arms, and cape and skirt piece add-ons, all of which add-up to a very different looking figure than Angela.  My main complaint about Angela was not liking the character, so Sif gets an extra leg up here.  This gives the body a new chance to shine, and I find myself really enjoying this figure.  Her paint is very clean, the colors are very bold, and that bright red helps her to be the most eye-catching member of this set.  The blue wash on the fur lining of the cape is perhaps a touch heavy, but I’ve seen worse, and it helps to distinguish it from the rest of the white.  Sif is packed with a sword, which seems pretty sensible to me.

MARVEL’S SINGULARITY

Singularity is a multi-dimensional being whose powers of energy manipulation grant her unique psionic abilities.

Singularity is probably the most obscure of the figures in this set, by virtue of being the only character in the set to have no existance outside of A-Force.  Singularity is sort of a personified walking pocket dimension, and is something of a gender-flipped Beyonder from the original Secret Wars.  While she’s perhaps not the most known character, she’s important to the specific event this set was commemorating, and has the added bonus of an appealing design.  The figure stands 5 3/4 inches tall and she has 29 points of articulation. Singularity is built on the Spider-Girl body, which is always a good one, though its mold might be starting to show its age a bit.  She gets a new head sculpt, which captures the art style of the book pretty well, while also melding well with the rest of the body.  The big thing that sets her apart is her color scheme.  She’s molded in clear blue plastic that has these little metallic flecks all through it, and then has a little metallic purple airbrushed over that in a few key places.  It makes for quite an interesting look, and it’s a great way of capturing how she looks in the comic.

LADY LOKI

A being of Frost Giant descent, Loki also possesses Asgardian powers of shape-shifting and sorcery

Lady Loki is sort of a confusing character in the context of this set, since she’s technically the same person as the usual Loki (who was still running around elsewhere during Secret Wars), and she’s also technically in Sif’s body, but Sif is also in this set.  Best not to think about it too much.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and she has 28 points of articulation.  She’s built on the Black Cat body, which means she’s a fair bit smaller than Sif, who she supposedly shares a body with.  Of course, the armored details and such on the Sif body would have made this impossible to do here, and I’d much rather have an inaccurate Loki than a slightly diminished Sif, so I’m letting it slide.  She *does* share a cape with Sif, though, so there’s at least that.  Her head and her skirt add-on piece are both new to this figure, and they’re both quite nicely sculpted, though as with She-Hulk, I might have liked a little more expression in the face.  My figure had a slight molding issue, which left some noticeable flashing at the bottom of her chin, but an X-acto blade cleared that up fine.  Loki’s paint is probably the most complex in the set, with all the scaling detaining and such.  It’s all pretty clean, and once again the metallic colors are looking pretty cool.

ELSA BLOODSTONE

A gun-toting, foul-mouthed monster hunter, Elsa Bloodstone follows in the family tradition of fighting supernatural evils.

Originally a pretty thinly-veiled rip-off of Buffy: The Vampire Slayer, Elsa Bloodstone was re-purposed by Warren Ellis for his cult hit Nextwave series, which completely changed the character, making her far more absurd, and far more entertaining.  Her placement in this set continues the Nextwave appreciation that began with the Dirk Anger head included with Nick Fury.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and she has 27 points of articulation.  She’s built on the medium-sized female body, but since no member of Nextwave is truly complete without their trenchcoat, she also gets the arms and jacket pieces from Scarlet Witch.  In addition, she gets a new head, knees, and feet, as well as a belt add-on with a holster.  The whole thing adds up to another very unique looking figure that’s surprisingly true to her Nextwave appearances.  Elsa is the best accessorized figure in this set, getting both her twin shotguns, as well as an oversized revolver.

MONICA RAMBEAU

Gifted in her control of the electromagnetic spectrum, Monica Rambeau uses powerful blasts of energy to shut down her enemies.

Ah, it’s Monica Rambeau, aka Captain Marvel, aka Photon, aka Pulsar, aka Spectrum, aka the most unlucky superhero ever when it comes to keeping a code name.  She’s a favorite of mine and a lot of other fans, and probably one of the bigger draws for this set.  Also, like Elsa, she’s a member of Nextwave.  Two members in one set!  Alright!  Of course, Monica’s not quite in her Nexwave gear, instead wearing her Ultimates costume that she had at the time of the event.  Still, that’s a costume that’s very Nextwave-inspired, so I’m calling it a win.  Monica uses the same basic construction as Elsa, but with standard leg pieces and without the holster.  She also gets a new headsculpt, which is tied with Sif for nicest in the set.  Monica’s paintwork is mostly black and white, which looks very striking, and is in keeping with the design.  There’s a slight pearlescent finish to the white sections, which adds a nice energy-like quality to her design.  She came with no accessories, which is a little disappointing.  Not even an energy effect?

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Okay, you saw who was offering this set, so you probably know how I got it.  Yep, this was another Toys R Us liquidation purchase.  I’d seen the set when it was new, but only felt like I really needed three of the six figures included, so the price was a bit prohibitive.  I decided I would wait it out, and if the set ever came down in price, I’d get it.  I firmly set my entry price at 25% off and waited.  When the liquidation began, my store still had a whole stack of this set, and they didn’t really move any faster, but I stopped by one day and they only had a single set left.  What was the discount? 30% off.  So, home with me it came.  Sif is this set’s star, with Elsa and Monica picking up right behind her.  They were the three I wanted, and I’m very happy with them.  Loki and Singularity are both pretty nice as well, but as more event/time specific characters, I have less need for them.  She-Hulk’s the real weak link here, but even as the weakest, she’s still a very nice figure!

#1710: Ray Stanz

RAY STANZ

GHOSTBUSTERS (PLAYMOBIL)

There’s Ray!  I found him! The heart to counter Venkman’s “the mouth” and Egon’s “the brain,” is Dan Ackroyd’s turn as the lovable goof Ray Stanz.  Though perhaps not as colorful a character as Venkman or Egon, Ray nonetheless plays an essential role in the plot.  Just don’t tell him to think about nothing.  Or ask if he’s a god.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Ray is the third figure in Playmobil’s Playmogram 3D sub-line of Ghostbusters.  As with the other two, he’s sporting his darker Ghostbusters 2 attire.  It’d be odd if they changed that up in the middle, though, wouldn’t it?  His figure stands 3 inches tall and has 6 points of articulation.  Ray is built on the same body as the other two, but once again with a different hairpiece.  Once again, the hair seems off, but there’s a bit more of an excise this time.  The more geometrically rounded bit on the the top is a fairly standard concept for Playmobil, and it’s there to allow for attachment of various head gear.  In the case of Ray, it’s to allow for him to wear his ghost-detecting googles.  They’re a little bulky, but they’re also on an articulated hinge, thus allowing them to be raised up or leveled down, depending on how you want him to wear them.  Ray also has the proton pack and removable gloves, just like the other two, and my opinion of them here remains the same.  Ray’s paintwork is pretty much the same as Venkman’s, but there are some slight tweaks to it, just to prevent them from all having the exact same look.  I certainly appreciate that.  Ray is the best accessorized of the three; in addition to the goggles, proton pack, and gloves, he also includes the same trap as the other two (this time with a blue piece for the ghost catching bit), the proton beam energy effect, a readout piece to plug into the goggles, and three tubes of the pink slime in a device of some sort.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Take a guess where I got Ray.  Did you guess “the same Toys R Us where I got the other two”?  Congrats, you win.  Don’t you feel special?  Yeah, so I had the other two and there was Ray, and I was hardly going to leave him behind, right?  He’s pretty fun.  I think Egon’s still my favorite of the three, but Egon’s also my favorite character of the three, so that could be coloring my opinion.  Sadly, the same store did not also have a Winston to go along with these guys, so my set is woefully incomplete.  I do believe I’ll have to end up paying full price for him.  That’s how they get you.  Put a whole chain store out of business, just to get that extra $7 out of you.  The nerve of some companies, am I right?

#1708: Egon Spengler

EGON SPENGLER

GHOSTBUSTERS (PLAYMOBIL)

Playmobil?  On this website?  This seems like different and uncharted territory!  Oh, wait, it’s licensed Playmobil?  Well, maybe that’s not so different.  Yeah, after years of making non-licensed toys, Playmobil decided to follow in Lego’s footsteps and start releasing some actual pop culture characters to go with their pre-existing sets.  Amongst the earliest properties to be adapted is actually one that’s run the whole gamut of block figures, Ghostbusters.  Today, I’m looking at my personal favorite ‘buster, Egon!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Egon is part of Playmobil’s Playmogram 3D product range, which offered up the four main ‘busters in their Ghostbusters 2 uniforms.  There’s a gimmicky phone feature included, but for the most part, it’s just an excuse to release some fairly straightforward figure releases.  Egon is built on the standard Playmobil body, which stands 3 inches tall and has 6 points of articulation.  The Playmobil body is kind of one of the standards for the industry.  Its not super posable, and it’s very definitely of it’s own style, but it certainly works for someone of an average build like Egon.  He’s got an add-on piece for his hair, which if I’m honest seems a bit long for Egon’s hair.  It’s got more of an Elvis thing going on.  It gets the job done, though, and it looks close enough to work.  Egon also gets a unique set of legs, detailing his boots and the bottom of his jumpsuit, which is just different enough from the basic legs to give him a unique edge.  You can also add Egon’s proton pack and gloves into the mix, via snap-on pieces.  The gloves are a little odd, since they only cover one side of each hand, so I’m leaving those off of mine.  The proton pack, on the other hand, is an awesome piece, which gets all of the important details of the design, while still simplifying it for the style.  Egon’s paintwork is pretty decent.  Basic, of course, since that’s what the line’s going for, but there’s actually a lot going on with the uniform, especially since Egon’s been covered in some pink slime.  Egon’s pretty decently accessorized for a smaller set.  He gets his PKE meter, a splotch of slime, and a ghost trap.  The trap is where the Playmogram feature comes in.  Download the app to your phone, and you can get a little holographic ghost to appear in the trap.  It’s somewhat nifty, in the same vein as the Star Wars Studio FX thing that Hasbro tried with Rogue One.  And, if you don’t like it, you’ve still got a cool trap accessory.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’m not entirely unversed in the whole Playmobil thing, but I don’t think I’ve bought a set in over a decade.  My mom had them growing up, so I recall them from when I’d stay at her parents’ house when I was younger.  They’ve always caught my eye, though, and I very seriously considered some of the larger Ghostbusters sets when they hit, but just never got them for whatever reason.  This guy was purchased largely due to TRU going under.  He was there, and at the discount they’d hit, it was very hard to say no.  He’s actually quite fun, if you’re into this sort of figure.

#1707: Agents of Hydra

HYDRA AGENT & HYDRA ENFORCER

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Driven by rage, these advanced Hydra super soldiers are prone to clash with anyone in their paths.”

Back when the newest incarnation of Marvel Legends was first launched, Hasbro was still figuring some things out.  The Captain America-themed Mandroid Series still had some troubles with distribution, and some…interesting choices in case packouts.  The assortment was split into two waves.  For the first wave, the Agents of Hydra swap figure’s packout was split evenly between Red Skull and the basic Hydra Agent.  Both moved pretty quickly, but there was definitely more demand for the army buildable Hydra Agent.  When the second wave hit, Hasbro decided to repack…Red Skull?  And then the Hydra Agent never resurfaced, so finding one was a mean feat.  Last year, having started to learn from their earlier woes, Hasbro did a re-release of the Agent, alongside a new Hydra Enforcer figure, in an exclusive two-pack.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

The Agents of Hydra two-pack was a Toys R Us-exclusive offering under the greater Marvel Legends banner.  It *was* a TRU-exclusive, emphasis on “was.”  It was supposed to be released last summer, but apart from being on their website for exactly one afternoon, it never really showed up.  And then, it sort of did, in the wake of all of the closing stuff.  Now it’s made its way to Entertainment Earth, who have been grabbing all of the former exclusives.

HYDRA AGENT

The basic Hydra Agent is, for all intents and purposes, a straight re-issue of the Mandroid Series release.  He’s a more modern interpretation of the Hydra troopers, in the vein of Bob, Agent of Hydra.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  He’s build on the Bucky Cap body and he has add-ons for his harness and belt.  Both pieces are unique to this figure and his predecessor.  They’re well sculpted, and well fitted to the body.  He’s also got a unique head, which is a good recreation of the Hydra Agent’s usual design.  His paintwork is a point of marked improvement over the last release.  Not only is the application a lot cleaner across the board, but he also gets a few more details, particularly the Hydra emblem on his shoulders.  Also an improvement are his accessories.  The last Hydra Agent included two rather goofy sci-fi-y rifles.  This one instead gets two less goofy rifles, which look a lot better.  He also gets a vest to swap out for the harness and and two extra heads.  The first head is Taskmaster’s alt-head, recolored to match the Hydra soldier scheme, which is nice and imposing.  The second is the same one included with the Nick Fury figure from the Giant-Man Series.  It all makes for a nice selection of options on this figure, which is especially nice for army building.

HYDRA ENFORCER

The Hydra Enforcer is a newer concept, and seems to be the figure that’s actually being referred to in the bio on the back of the box.  Despite being a new concept, the figure is just as much re-use as his pack-mate.  He stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  The figure is built on the Hyperion body, specifically the Nuke variant of the body, with the pants and combat boots.  He also gets Nuke’s vest and belt, as well as the head of Captain Britain, which works surprisingly well with the Hydra theme.  The design presented by these piece complements the basic agent pretty well, and he seems to fit the overall Hydra aesthetic nicely.  His paintwork is pretty similar to the standard agent, and the application is all pretty clean.  The Enforcer is packed with a large rifle (re-used from the AIM Agent), a missile launcher (re-used from Drax), a knife, and two extra heads.  The first head is Nuke’s, matching the other pieces on the figure.  It’s been re-decoed with a pretty intensive scar.  The second head is re-used from Radioactive Man, done up with a sort of a Jason Statham look.  Both are pretty fun, and far more specific designs than any of the basic heads, which I guess makes sense, since you’d assume the Enforcers are a more unique bunch.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Having missed out on the original Hydra Agent release, I was definitely on board for this set.  Of course, I couldn’t find it anywhere, so that all meant for nothing.  Then I was going through my local TRU during it’s liquidation process, and there was just a stack of this set.  Yay for me, right?  It’s a solid offering, very definitely.  It’s only real drawback is that it’s a little difficult to army build if you don’t want a bunch of Enforcers.  Still, a very fun set, and I’m glad it’s finally making its way out to the people who want it.

#1690: Claptrap

CLAPTRAP

BORDERLANDS (MCFARLANE)

“A general purpose CL4P-TP robot manufactured by Hyperion, Claptrap acts as the Vault Hunter’s (sometimes) useful guide and quest-giver on Pandora. Programmed with an overenthusiastic personality, Claptrap masks his fear and loneliness behind cheerful bravado.”

What happens when you cross R2-D2 and Jar-Jar Binks?  Claptrap.  Okay, well that’s what some people think, anyway.  I don’t quite agree.  Claptrap’s nowhere near as annoying as Jar-Jar.  That said, he’s cetainly more talkative than R2.  Or at least more fluent in English.  Anyway, he’s by far the most merchandised character from the Borderlands, so it wasn’t much of a shock that he turned up as one of the earlier offerings from McFarlane’s Borderlands toyline.  I’ll be looking at that figure today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Claptrap is the first deluxe offering from the Borderlands line, hitting shelves at the same time as the Zer0 figure, and thus loosely making up the second series of the line.  Most of McFarlane’s deluxe figure offerings are at a larger scale than standard releases, but this isn’t the case with Claptrap, who is meant to be in the same relative scale as the three prior figures.  The figure stands 4 1/2 inches tall and he has 15 points of articulation.  The majority of the articulation is in the arms, but he’s got a movable eye and a “lid” that goes up and down, which is a pretty nifty feature.  As far as scaling of this figure relative to the others, he seems a touch large for my eyes.  Like, not atrociously so, but he just looks a little off to me.  It *could* just be his accessories that are throwing me off.  His sculpt is an all-new one, and its a pretty solid offering.  The model from the game has been well captured here.  The details are clean, and the line work is sharp.  There’s some great work on the dings and weathering on his outer plating, which helps give him that nice broken-in look that fits in so well with the game aesthetic.  My one complaint about the sculpt is the pegs they’ve put on his top for his hats.  They’re not at all subtle, and break up an otherwise very  faithful sculpt.  I think it would have made more sense to put the pegs in the hats, since the holes would be less obvious.  The paintwork matches up with the sculpt, the base work is clean, and the accenting helps sell the sculpted details.  There’s a slight gash on my figure’s eye, which is a little annoying, but it’s minor, and I think it’s safe to say it’s not the norm.  Claptrap includes a stand, which uses an articulated arm to plug into his back.  He can’t stand without it (it’s just one of the troubles of translating this design) so it’s certainly appreciated.  He also includes a sherrif’s hat and revolver, and a wizard’s hat and two different wands.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Though I don’t dislike Claptrap as much as some of the fanbase, I still waited a bit on this one.  I ended up grabbing the last one at my local TRU, once they hit the 40% off level of their liquidation process.  He’s a pretty decent figure, but I’m not sure he’s really worth the heightened price.  It’ll be interesting to see how this concept works out for McFarlane.

#1687: K-Tron

K-TRON

VALERIAN: CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS (NECA)

“The combat androids serve as the police force on Alpha, the city of a thousand planets.  The anti-riot force is durable, unstoppable and extremely precise.  K-Trons have a reputation for ruthless efficiency,  A light on the robot’s head offers two responses to any given issue: blue means “move”; red means “target elimination.”  With concentrated cobalt armor, they are practically indestructible.”

Valerian: City of a Thousand Planets falls into that category of movies that I totally meant to see but just haven’t gotten around to watching yet.  I’ll get to it eventually.  Of course, that hasn’t stopped me from being interested in the toys.  NECA picked up the license for the film, and put out three figures, including today’s offering, K-Tron.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

K-Tron is part of the first (and it would appear, only) series of NECA’s Valerian line.  The figure stands 8 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  K-Tron’s articulation is mostly pretty good, with the only real restrictions being on his shoulders, which are a little tight.  This is partly due to the design of the character, and just partly due to some slightly stuck joints.  It’s hardly enough to keep him from being put into lots of fun poses, though.  K-Tron’s sculpt is wholly unique to this figure, and he lives up to the usual NECA standards.  Everything is clearly defined, and the details are all very sharp.  He shares more than a few similarities with some of their Pacific Rim figures.  Those were some of their best, so this guy does pretty well by association.  Having not seen the movie, I can only go by the images I’ve found online, but NECA seems to have done a pretty good job of accurately recreating the design in all of its sleekness.  K-Tron’s paintwork continues the trend of sleekness with the design.  The glossy black looks really sharp, as do the white insignias on the shoulders.  The gold bands are a little fuzzy around the edges, but are okay overall.  K-Tron is packed with a rifle.  It’s got some pieces that are practically begging to be snapped off, but that’s accurate to the film design.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

If I haven’t seem the movie, why do I have this figure?  Well, for one thing, I’m a sucker for cool looking action figures.  Couple that with Toys R Us’ currently running liquidation sales, and this guy was definitely coming home with me.  Honestly, I’d probably have bought him at full price, because he’s really just a quality figure.  Now, one of these days I really need to get around to actually seeing the movie…

*Want a K-Tron of your own?  He’s currently in-stock with our friends over at All Time Toys!  Click here to check him out!

#1661: Thor, Rocket, & Teen Groot

THOR, ROCKET, & GROOT

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“When a blaster-toting raccoon, a teenage tree, and a Asgardian god get together, the journey is sure to be out of this world.”

You thought I’d slip, didn’t you?  You thought I’d forget about my new favorite running gag!  That I’d review a Thor figure on a day other that Thursday!  Well….I actually almost did.  Yep, had this one queued up for tomorrow.  Like an idiot.  It’s okay, I got better.  It’s been a week since I wrapped up my first round of Infinity War-themed Legends reviews.  Now I’m coming back to it for another multi-pack.  This one’s got the aforementioned Thor, as well as one-third of the Guardians of the Galaxy, Rocket and Groot!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Thor, Rocket, and Groot are another displaced Toys R Us-exclusive.  They were meant to be the follow-up to Vision and Scarlet Witch, and were only confirmed to exist just before TRU announced they were going under.  It’s not known how many of them actually made it to TRU, but it’s certainly less than Vision and Scarlet Witch.  As with the other displaced exclusives, it’ll be available over the summer via Entertainment Earth.

THOR

After taking a bit of a back seat for Age of Ultron, Thor’s right back in the forefront for Infinity War.  Of the many characters included in the film, he’s the first to have a variant confirmed.  This one uses his early-in-the-film appearance, picking up from the end of Ragnarok.  If you haven’t seen that film, his eye-patch-wearing head’s going to be a bit of a spoiler.  It’s a major selling point for this set, though, being the only version of the character available right now with the eye patch.  He’s also sans cape, which is a first for the MCU Thor figures.  I like it.  The figure stands 7 inches tall and has 30 points of articulation.  At first glance, I’d kind of expected this figure to make use of a lot of Gladiator Thor’s pieces, but there doesn’t actually appear to be anything shared between them.  I think that’s ultimately for the best, as I felt there were some minor issues with the last one.  This one has a really solid, hefty construction, and his posablity is actually really great given how bulky he is.  The head looks to be about the same as the un-helmeted Ragnarok sculpt, but with the eyepatch, of course.  It’s a pretty decent likeness of Hemsworth, so I can’t complain.  What I can complain about?  The paint.  It’s perhaps the only thing I don’t like about this figure.  I mean, the basics are fine.  The detailing on the hair works.  But, what I really don’t like is the lightning effects.  The details on the torso in particular look rather cheesy.  I don’t hate the effects on the eye; if it were an extra head, I’d probably find it really cool.  As the only eye-patched Thor head out there?  It’s a little annoying.  Like the Ragnarok two-pack release, he’s packed with Heimdall’s sword.  He still doesn’t use it in this movie, and I still want an actual Heimdall, but it’s better than nothing.

ROCKET

Any Rocket figure is going to have the rather difficult task of surpassing the Mantis Series release.  Hasbro has acknowledged this fact, and pretty much just given us a straight re-release of that figure.  There are some minor paint differences between the two, with the accents being a darker grey this time.  He also only gets the calm head, but he does still get both of his blasters (sadly lacking the cool painted details) as well as his brand-new gun that’s been packed with all of the Infinity War Rockets.

GROOT

I’d say Groot’s the biggest draw of this set, since we’ve not yet gotten this version of the character in Legends form (though we did get a surprisingly good version of him from the basic Infinity War line).  The figure stands 5 1/2 inches tall and he has 25 points of articulation.  Articulation is the main differentiating thing between the two teen Groot figures, with this one being not only far more posable, but also having the articulation better worked into the overall sculpt.  This figure also gets a little more detailing, especially on the smaller details, such as the little twig growing from the top of his head.  His head seems to be a little more accurate to Groot’s Infinity War design than the basic figure (in the basic figure’s defense, he seems to have been based on our brief glimpse of Teen Groot from Guardians Vol. 2), with a rounder face, and an even poutier expression.  He’s not a perfect recreation of Teen Groot; I think his chin’s a bit too pronounced; but he’s still pretty close.  The paint is kind of sparse on this figure, which is a little surprising given the accent work that the basic figure got.  The browns are just left flat, which is a little disappointing.  On the plus side, there’s some slight green representing vegetation, which keeps him from being too monotonous, and his eyes are nice and sharp as well.  Groot includes his gamepad…or *a* gamepad, because I don’t think this is the one he had in the movie.  It’s still a nice touch, though, and I’m glad he got *something*

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I found this set at one of the two slowly dying Toys R Us’s near me.  I thought Vision and Scarlet Witch were just a stroke of luck, but this set popped up about a week after.  Honestly, it’s a set I was uncertain about when it was first shown off, since there’s not a *ton* of new stuff here.  Rocket’s essentially identical.  If you missed his first release, it’s great that there’s a second opportunity, but if you didn’t, he’s extraneous.  I quite like Thor, like to a surprising level, but he’s got a few flaws, and if you aren’t big on lots of variants of the same character, he too can feel a bit extraneous, especially with the fully equipped version from the Cull Obsidian assortment on its way.  A lot of this set’s selling power is resting on Groot.  He’s a good figure, but I can’t say he’s enough of an improvement on the basic series figure to warrant 5 times the price to get him.  Of course, I got my set for 20%, since I got it from TRU, but I can see it being a tricky sell at full retail.  I’m certainly happy I have it, but not everyone’s as willing to drop tons of money on toys as I am!

#1658: Obsidian Fury

OBSIDIAN FURY

ROBOT SPIRITS (BANDAI)

“A towering mecha so powerful its origins are shrouded in secrecy, meet the deadliest Jaeger to ever walk the Earth.  With stealth chrome armor plating chainsaws and a chest-mounted AKM salvo-launcher, Obsidian Fury is ready to defend our world…or destroy it!”

Infinity War may have come along and blown everything else away, but before it came along, I was all about Pacific Rim: Uprising.  Though hardly a perfect film, it was certainly a fun movie-going experience, and, most importantly, it gave us a bunch of cool new robot designs!  One of the coolest was the dark rogue Jaeger, Obsidian Fury!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Obsidian Fury is figure 231 in Badai’s Robot Spirits line, sequentially the first of the second series of Uprising figures, and fourth overall from the movie.  The figure stands the tallest of the new Jaegers at 7 inches and has 31 points of articulation.  Obsidian is the most advanced Jaeger we see in the film, so his design is a lot sleeker and made up smoother lines than all of the others.  This gives him a slightly more organic feel that goes well with his Kaiju-origins.  He’s also got a bit of a modern-BSG Cylon feel to him, which helps keep him appropriately sinister.  The figure’s sculpt is handled the same way as the others; there’s an underlying skeleton of sorts, with all of Obsidian’s armored bits placed on top.  It’s definitely a solid piece of work, though I do have one complaint, having to do with how the articulation has been worked in.  For the most part, the joints of the figure follow the natural points of movement from the movie, but Obsidian’s shoulder pads just sort of break right in the middle to allow them to move.  It doesn’t follow the flow of the design at all and can be quite jarring.  Like his three predecessors, Obsidian is mostly light on the paint, but the few bits he has work well.  I quite like the translucent orange visor; it looks a little off from some angles but when it catches the light just right, it looks pretty sweet.  The figure is packed with two sets of hands in both open grasp and fist positions, as well as his laser chainsaw attachments from the film.  Interestingly, the blades aren’t attached to a separate forearm like Gipsy, but instead require you to pop the outer plate off of the forearms and click the blade into place.  It’s actually a lot easier than swapping the arm every time, so I prefer this method.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I picked up the whole first set from Toys R Us a week before they announced they were going under.  I wasn’t expecting to find any of this set there.  After the announcement of their closure, and the beginnings of the markdowns, I made my first stop at my usual store.  It was something like a wasteland, really, with things just in piles everywhere from people rummaging through (and this was when they were still only at 10% off, mind you).  After doing a few loops around the store, I had one or two things I was going to buy.  I was standing in line at the register, when Christian texted me about an Amiibo they had that he wanted.  On my way back to grab it, I happened to knock over something from a shelf near the front, thus revealing two of this bad boy.  I was surprised to say the least.  This is a pretty good figure, and a great counterpart to the first assortment’s Gispy Avenger.

#1653: Taskmaster

TASKMASTER

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“An expert in mimicry, Taskmaster copies the stunts and skills of his opposition to beat them at their own game.”

To paraphrase Jeff Goldbloom “Uhhh, Hasbro, uhh, finds a way.”  What does that mean?  I’m glad you asked.  See, with long-running lines such as Marvel Legends, you will run into the need to update characters as the line’s style and quality improves.  Toy Biz went pretty deep with their original line-up, but 15 years after the fact, a lot of them are starting to look out of place.  The trouble is, that while some of the heavy hitters are an easy sell for re-do, it can be tricky to get retailers on-board for new versions of second and third-stringers.  So, Hasbro’s doing their best to tie-in with more current media, and get us new figures of old characters that way.  The trouble is, this often results in those characters wearing more recent, less fan-favorite costumes.  And if you’ve *just* gotten a figure of a lower tier character, it’s unlikely you’ll get another shot.  Right?  Well, Hasbro doesn’t seem to think so, if the two Taskmasters in the space of three years are anything to go by.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Taskmaster is figure 4 in the Thanos Series of Marvel Legends.  He’s the third, and final, comic-based figure in the assortment.  Where the last Taskmaster was based on his up-to-date-iest look, this one goes for Taskmaster’s classic design, which is sensible, seeing as he’s spent most of his career with it.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  He’s built on the Bucky Cap body.  There was some campaigning to get him on the Reaper body instead, but I don’t mind this one, and it matches what was used for the last Taskmaster figure.  Taskmaster uses the flared boots and gloves like we saw on Zemo (amongst others), which are as good here as they have been all the prior times. He’s also got a (partially) new head sculpt, and add-ons for his cape, belt, and leg straps.  So, how’s the head only partially new?  Well, the actual head part is new (though, as a few others have pointed out, it does appear to be at least patterned on the head from Red Onslaught, which, coincidentally, was the piece included with the last Taskmaster), while the hood is re-purposed from the skull-styled head from the first Taskmaster.  I’m honestly a little surprised that they didn’t just straight re-use the last figure’s head, but I can’t say I’m upset.  While the belt is re-used from the prior figure, the cape and both leg straps are new to this particular figure.  The cape is a very nice piece, and I’m not going to be at all surprised to see it show back up later down the line.   The right leg strap finally gives us a new leg holster for the Bucky Cap bod, so we can retire that one with all the pouches, while the left matches perfectly with the weird studded thing Taskmaster had in his first appearance.  The color work on Taskmaster is a fairly typical Legends offering.  The molded colors all work well enough, and the paint’s application is mostly pretty clean.  There’s some slight slop on a few of the edges, but he mostly looks pretty solid.  The most impressive paintwork is definitely on his head, which makes use of the printing technique to get the gradations in shading on the skull down just right.  In a somewhat accessories-lite assortment, Taskmaster makes out pretty well, getting a sword, shield, and pistol.  All re-used pieces (the shield is the standard comic Cap shield, and the sword and pistol come from Zemo), but a nice selection nonetheless.  Taskmaster also includes the right leg of Thanos.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Taskmaster was nearer the top of my list of wants for this assortment.  This appears to have been the case with other collectors as well, since only Iron Spider was harder to find than Taskmaster.  On one of my many recent TRU runs, they had just put out a case of this set, and fortunately Taskmaster was still on the pegs.  I was quite a fan of the last Taskmaster, so this one had a high bar set for it.  The two are actually kind of hard to compare; they appeal to separate versions of the character, and each offer their own awesomeness.  But, for classic Taskmaster, you can’t do better than this guy.