Flashback Figure Friday #0008: Robin

Hey, look at that, I missed another Friday.  Last week was pretty jam-packed, and I barely had the time to right Friday’s main review, much less a second feature.  Nevertheless, I apologize to all of you who were expecting one of these last week!

This week’s Flashback Friday Figure Addendum is actually less an addendum, and more me going back and finally writing a proper review for #0166: Robin.  Why?  You’ll see in a second.

Okay guys and gals, hang on tight. The site is about to go off! No, not like “off” off. It’s still gonna be here. It’s going off in a metaphorical sense, because today, we’ll be looking at one of the greatest entries into the world of action figures ever.

This figure hails from the very first Batman line released once Mattel had picked up the DC license. I know I’ve been hard on Mattel in the past, but it’s only because I’ve been trying to hold them to the standards they set for themselves so early into their run. You see, this Batman line was important, but not for the ways you think. Oh, sure the Batmen were cool and all (especially those sweet neon colored gun-toting variants!), but the real star of this line was Robin! So, let’s have a look at the greatest toy to ever grace shelves!


Robin was the flagship figure of the first series of Batman. He was the real heavy hitter of the wave, there so that Mattel could take chances on the Joker and Martial Arts Batman. He stands about 5 inches tall, and has 10 points of articulation, which may seem like a low number, but they had to take that awesome sculpt into account. Speaking of that awesome sculpt: has Robin ever looked this cool before? I mean, they really out did themselves. I’ve always found that a bad head sculpt can ruin a great figure. In this case, Mattel has wisely chosen to leave off the head so as to avoid any potential issue. This is the first time I’ve ever truly believed that Robin could make people think he’s anyone other than Tim Drake. I mean, Tim Drake has a head and Robin doesn’t. Can’t be the same guy! I’d also love to commend Mattel on the body sculpt, which perfectly captures Robin’s physique. I mean, those muscles are so realistic! And the torso’s straight posture coupled with the relaxed muscles everywhere else? Perfection. I’m heartbroken to say that I lost the accessories included with Robin. He had his ever present Blade-Shield thingy with his logo on it, which was such an important staple of the character at the time. It even launched discs! Who doesn’t need one of those?


I knew as soon as I saw the prototype pictures of this figure back in 2003 that it was going to be the figure to own. So, naturally, I spent all my time searching for this figure at every nearby store, day and night. Eventually I found one, and after sucker punching a four year old and his grandmother to get it, finally the figure was in my possession!

Yeah, so this was my first April Fool’s Day post.  It’s almost quaint, isn’t it?  This review was more a joke thing than anything.  Now a days, I’d have written the review both ways, but the figure was quite incomplete at the time.  Since I finally found this guy’s freaking head, I guess I can actually review him now!

The figure, officially titled “Battle Board Robin,” was released in the first series of Mattel’s 2003 Batman line.  Robin stands about 6 inches tall and has 11 points of articulation.  The main hook of this line at the time was that they’d brought in the Four Horsemen (who had just helped Mattel relaunch Masters of the Universe) to sculpt most of the figures, including the Bat-variants.  There was one exception to this in the first series.  Care to guess who it was?  Yep, it was this here Robin figure, which was handled by Mattel’s in-house team.  In their defense, it’s actually a decent enough sculpt.  It doesn’t look quite as good as the  prototype did, but what figure does?  His muscles are sort of impossible, and I’ve always disliked how stiff he was, bit there are some nice things about the sculpt.  The boots in particular look pretty solid.  But how about that head that I finally found after all these years?  Well, full disclosure: the reason it was missing when I found him was because I had fully intended to replace it with another one.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t particularly good at sculpting at 12, so the replacement I made wasn’t much better.  Ultimately, this one’s okay, but not my favorite Robin head.  I think it’s got a lot to do with the hair, which just doesn’t really look like anything Tim ever sported.  Also, still missing from the figure is his cape.  It was just two pieces of fabric glued together, and was too thick and short to actually hang realistically.  It’s kind of exhibit A of why I prefer capes to be sculpted.  In terms of paint, this figure was fairly basic colors.  For some reason the gloves are black.  Don’t know why, never did.  The accents on the muscles and some of the other sculpted work actually weren’t standard to the figure; I added them around the time that I tried replacing the head.  I really wanted to salvage this figure for some reason.  His only accessory was his titular Battle Board, which was really just a disc launcher than he could also stand on.  It was an odd choice.

There’s actually not a particularly exciting figure regarding the acquisition of this figure.  He, Joker, and the basic (Zipline) Batman were all really hard to find when these figures started hitting stores.  I eventually found him at the KB Toys near where my family vacationed (I got him alongside some Star Trek: Nemesis figures.  Oh what a joyous day that was).  He’s not awful, but he’s also not super great.  The saddest thing is that Mattel never actually returned to this design for Robin (apart from an inaccurate repaint of the later DCUC figure), so this is the best there is from them.   

Flashback Friday Figure Addendum #0007: Savage Land Angel

Another Friday, another Flashback Friday Figure Addendum!  This one’s another look back at Toy Biz’s epic line of 5-inch Marvel figures, with Savage Land Angel!

The 90s X-Men line!  Now there was a line.  I haven’t really looked at this line yet on the site, aside from the Original Members Boxed Set, which wasn’t actually part of the line.  But in the 90s, the X-Men were the big thing.  They had a TV show, their comics sold millions, and they had one of the most comprehensive toy lines to date.  There was a Cho’d action figure for God’s sake!  Towards the end of the line, they began to run out of new characters to release, so they started doing these theme waves with rereleases of the main characters.  One of those theme waves was a set of figures based on the X-Men’s many trips to the Savage Land.  It featured figures of the X-Men in tattered “Savage Land” uniforms.  Today, I’ll be looking at the Angel figure from that line.


So, as I said above, Angel here hails from the Savage Land series of Toy Biz’s 5-inch X-Men line.  He stands roughly 5 inches tall and has 11 points of articulation.  If you read the review of the Fallen, you’ve seen a lot of this figure before.   He shares all but his head, arms and feet with that figure.  The head was actually one that saw frequent reuse over at Toy Biz, and I know this wasn’t the first figure to use it, but I honestly don’t know what was.   Anyway, it works fine here, though it might be a bit scowly for a pre-Archangel Warren Worthington.  The figure’s look is mostly done through paint, which depicts a tattered version of Angel’s blue and white costume from the silver age*.   It’s cool to see this costume here, but a bit disappointing that the costume never got a proper release.  Angel at one point featured a pair of (very small) wings, a gray vest with an X-logo, and some weird claw thing that attached to his wrist, but I lost most of those pieces many years ago.


I got this figure on one of my many trips the KB Toys outlet in Rehoboth Beach.  I was very excited to get it because Angel figures were a bit of a rarity in the 90s.  I know I really liked this guy, and for reasons I can’t fathom at this point, I know he spent a lot of time in my Ghostbusters Ecto-1.

Well, that’s not an awful review.  Still a bit shorter than the average review nowadays, but not horribly so.  I actually listed off all of the relevant information for the figure, and even referenced re-used parts and everything (though, rather amusingly, the Fallen pieces I referenced weren’t even discussed in my The Fallen review).

When I last reviewed this figure, he was missing both of his wings and the little wrist claw, both of which were returned to him during The Find.  The wings are rather on the small side, but detailed nicely enough.  I’m not really even sure what the claw supposed to be, but there it is.  Still missing is the grey cloth vest.  Also, I didn’t mention this previously, but each figure in the Savage Land series included a creature figure of some sort.  Angel included a small Sauron figure, which I still haven’t found.  Maybe he’ll turn up one of these days and I can write a *second* addendum.

Flashback Friday Figure Addendum #0006: Ultron


Alright, it’s time for another Flashback Friday Figure Addendum!  Today’s figure is another Toy Biz Marvel entry, though this one’s from a bit later in the reviews.  Let’s have a second look at Avengers: United They Stand’s Ultron!

Ah, yes, Avengers: United They Stand.  Poor A:UTS. it gets a lot of hate and I’m not certain it deserves it.  Perhaps it wasn’t the greatest depiction of the Avengers to grace the small screen(That honor goes to the more recent Earth’s Mightiest Heroes), but I didn’t think it was all that bad.  The designs and animation may be late 90s over complication at its finest, but I thought the characterization was actually nicely done, and I loved the fact that the focus was on the slightly lesser known Avengers instead of Cap, Iron Man, and Thor.  One of my other favorite things was the tie-in toyline, which is what I’ll look at today.  In particular, the toy counterpart of the shows recurring antagonist: Ultron!  This isn’t the first time Ultron’s been mentioned on this blog.  I previously mentioned him in passing in my Vision review, where I mentioned Ultron was the creator of Vision.  Ultron himself was the creation of Avengers founding member Hank Pym, aka Ant-Man, aka Giant-Man, aka Goliath, aka Yellow Jacket, aka Wasp, aka Dude with serious identity issues!  Ultron rebelled on his creator and became a powerful Avengers foe.  He’s also set to be the villain in the upcoming Avengers sequel.


Ultron was released as part of the first wave of Toy Biz’s Avengers:United They Stand tie-in line.  Ultron had several different looks over the course of the show, but this one seems to be a bit of an amalgam of the various looks, with the largest portion of influence coming from his appearance in the show’s first two episodes.   He stands just over 5 inches tall, and features 11 points of articulation (13 if you count the moving knee-pads).  Ultron is a completely new sculpt.  It’s well done, and quite detailed, especially for its time of release.  In particular, the head really captures the look of the character.  The paint is pretty well done, being mostly all one color; a nice bluish silver.  There’s a wash over the whole figure to help bring out the details.  The figure also features a light-up feature.  By pressing the button on Ultron’s waist, you could make the figure’s eyes and mouth light up.  It’s a neat feature that helps to further simulate the look of the character from the show and comics.  At one point, Ultron had a large cannon that hooked onto his right arm, but I’ve since lost that piece.


My dad bought Ultron for me when he was initially released.  We happened to stop at a Toys R Us and there he was.  He was one of the last figures I acquired from the line.  It wasn’t because I didn’t want one, but because the A:UTS figures were quite difficult to find initially, so I kind of got them when I saw them.  Growing up, he was the closest thing I had to a classic Ultron.  Because of that, I have quite the soft spot for him.

Okay, now we’re getting somewhere!  This review is from my second month writing reviews, and you can start to see some of the regular review features coming into play.  Height, articulation and paint are all actually addressed this time.  And I even made it past 500 words!  Granted, most of it was the intro, but still.  Also, this is my first Flashback to a post-random review period. Cool.  Cool cool cool.

My actual review was pretty on point for this guy.  The only thing missing was his big ol’ arm cannon, which was amongst the many items excavated during The Find.  It’s goofy, but also manages to match pretty well with the rest of the figure stylistically, and, amazingly, it doesn’t impede his movement when attached (of course, the shoulder’s still a bit restricted thanks to the wiring that allows it to light up).  Also, I neglected to mention in my original review that Ultra’s sculpt, was an early product of the fine folks at Art Asylum, who would later launch one of the best Trek lines ever put into plastic, as well as creating my favorite brand of all time, Minimates.

I’ve actually got a story about this one! As a kid, I lost this figure around Christmas time and couldn’t locate him for a whole year.  Come the next Christmas, I put on my robe I wore one a year on Christmas morning and found this guy in the pocket.  Seems I’d stowed him there for safekeeping the prior year and total forgotten.  To date, this figure remains my favorite figure of Ultron, so I’m happy he wasn’t missing for too long!

Flashback Friday Figure Addendum #0005: Terrax


It’s Friday again, and you guys know what that means: another Flashback Friday Figure addendum!  This week, I’m moving away from the Batman Forever stuff, and jumping over to one of my earlier Toy Biz Marvel reviews, Terrax!

Today’s review is another Fantastic Four figure, this is the last of the wave one reviews: Terrax.  There was one other figure in the first wave, Benjamin J Grimm, aka the Thing, but I didn’t have that version.  I had the later wave 3 version.  And can I just address the fact that I’m reviewing Terrax, but I’ve yet to get to the Human Torch and the Invisible Woman? You know the other HALF of the title team!  How exactly did TERRAX get himself a spot in the line before two of the title characters?  He’s really not that great a character, nor has he ever really been all that important…ever.  Anyway…


So like I said before, this is Terrax, the second herald of Galactus, part of the first wave of Toybiz’s FF line.  He’s depicted here in Terrax’s only look ever, which must have made the costume choice pretty easy for the guys at Toybiz.  At one point in time, Terrax had a rock stand and his trusty axe (which tears through stuff.  Clever name….).  Mine doesn’t have these items any more.  The figure’s actually a very good depiction of Terrax, which is nice because he’s not one of those characters who gets many chances at having an action figure made.  His hands are interesting, because they’re both molded to hold his axe, but due to their vertical placement and his limited articulation, he can only hold it in one hand at a time.  This leaves the other hand with this thumbs up position.  What is this guy, the Fonz? (AAAAAAAAY!)  Actually, that might make his character a bit more interesting.  You heard it here first Marvel! (Do they even realize that this character exists?)


Terrax was another of the gift figures.  It’s fine because he’s a great, big, bad guy for your heroes to fight.  That was always good enough for me!

Okay, by this point I was starting to get into the swing of things.  Over 300 words and an actual intro.  Still doesn’t quite follow my modern structuring, but not terrible at all.  And of course, I was still doing full series reviews at this point, which is rather different than how I do things now.

Terrax is a little over 5 inches tall and has 9 points of articulation.  Missing from my original review were his rock stand, removable skirt piece and his axe.  Of those pieces, the only one I found during The Find was his axe, but that’s okay, since the axe is definitely the most important piece!

Not a whole lot of extra thoughts on this guy, I gotta say.  That’s all for cosmic Fonzie here.

Flashback Friday Figure Addendum #0004: Night Flight Batman


It’s another Friday, which means it’s time for another Flashback Friday Figure Addendum!  This week, I continue the trend of the last three FFFAs, and wrap up my Batman Forever-based addendum, with another look at Night Flight Batman!

Today’s review is the last of the Batman Forever reviews.  It’s a third variant of Batman.  This is another brief review.


This is another Batman from the Batman Forever line.  He’s yet another fairly-typical-but-not-THE-typical-version(let’s go with FTBNTTV for short).  Night Flight Batman probably has the most descriptive name of the many batmen in the line, as his big feature was a giant set of wings(Lost long ago by silly child-Ethan).  There was certainly a fanbase for the pre-face “Night” amongst the Kenner think tank.  I get that he’s Batman and all, but seriously, Night’s a bit unoriginal.  The actual figure is pretty basic.  Note that I didn’t lose the cape on this one,  he never had one.


I do actually recall getting this one.  I liked the “basicness” of this one, so my grandmother bought it for me.   He actually didn’t get much playtime as Batman himself.  Instead, he had his face and torso covered in black tape so that I could use him as Black Panther with my Avengers.  Yeah, I was that kid…

Less than 200 words on that review.  Couldn’t replicate that if I tried.  I spent more time talking about his name than the actual figure!

For those keeping track, this was another 5 and 5 figure; 5 inches tall and five points of articulation.  Some closer looking into this figure and the movie that spawned him has made it clear that he’s actually the closest recreation of the Sonar Suit that the line had to offer, with the exception of the missing cape, of course.  I located his giant wings during The Find last summer.  They’re certainly goofy, and I can’t say they’re the most thrilling thing ever.  This figure was also supposed to have some sort of handheld piece, which was not part of The Find.

I mentioned in the review that this guy spent a lot of his time as Black Panther.  In prep for the photo retakes, I cleaned him as best I could, but there’s pretty much no way to remove the white patches.  This is why you shouldn’t apply duct tape to your action figures, kids!

Flashback Friday Figure Addendum #0003: Sonar Sensor Batman

0003aDid you guys notice I missed a Flashback Friday Figure Addendum?  Because I did, but not until last Saturday afternoon.  Lotta good that did me.  Well, I’m just gonna pretend like I didn’t miss a week.  Today, I’m continuing my chronological look at my earliest reviews with Sonar Sensor Batman!

Continuing the trend of my last two posts, I’m looking at another figure from 1995’s Batman Forever Line.  This guy isn’t quite as significant as the last two, so he’ll be a bit more brief.


So, like I said above, Sonar Sensor Batman is another Batman Variant from the Batman Forever line.  This one’s a slightly more conventional Batman, though, like Robin, not THE conventional Batman of the line.  This one’s still got the cape because it’s permanently affixed, which was a good move on Kenner’s part.  And he’s got what appears to be a….nipple gun?  I mean, that’s what it looks like(And this is Scumacher we’re talking about here).  It’s right on his right pectoral, and it’s even got those red dots on it.  When you push the yellow button on his belt, the gun flips down, only emphasizing the nipple gun-ness of it.  And I have no idea what any of this has to do with sonar, or sensing for that matter.


Not a whole lot on this one.  I remember having it.  I remember thinking he had a nipple gun as a child.  I actually don’t know where I got this one, so I’m going to assume it was a gift.  Regardless, it didn’t really get much play-time as my go to Batman.

Nipple gun.  Heh!

So, this is yet another very brief review.  I really can’t even conceive of talking about a figure in so little words nowadays.

No articulation or height noted either; he’s another 5 and 5 for those that are curious.  Missing from my original review was his super sick neon orange shield.  Still have no clue where the “sonar” part of his name comes in, but he’s certainly well defended.  The center of the shield is a removable disc, which served as ammo for the disc launcher he also included (mine is, sadly, still missing).  It definitely ups the goof factor.  He can’t really stand very well while holding it, either; I had to do some very strategic posing for the photo.

I mentioned in the original review how this guy didn’t get much playtime as my go-to Batman, which is true, but a re-watch of the Batman: The Animated Series episode “His Silicon Soul” reminded me what he did get a lot of use as: Batman’s robotic duplicate.  …Who has a nipple gun.

#1195: Cannonball & Domino




Hasbro’s early days with the Marvel license were an odd time.  Truth be told, they didn’t really come into their own with the product until somewhere around Iron Man 2, which was a good three years into their run with the license.  Until then, there were some weird experiments, intermixed with just sort of copying a lot of Toy Biz’s stuff, mostly when it came to Marvel Legends.  The first two series of their Legends were almost entirely chosen and designed by Toy Biz, which gave them a bit of time to figure out some of their own stuff for the half-formed Series 3 assortment.  The first two series hit in early 2007, and the third wouldn’t hit until almost the end of the year.  Hasbro filled the gap between two and three with a handful of exclusives.  Today, I look at Cannonball and Domino, one of those exclusives.


Cannonball and Domino were a Walmart-exclusive two-pack.  They were released alongside the similarly exclusive Cable and Marvel Girl two-pack in the summer of 2007, as only the third round of Walmart-exclusive Marvel Legends.  Both characters were at something of a low-point in terms of relevance, but and were actually the first X-Force alumni outside of Cable and Deadpool to join the line.


cannonballdomino3Sam Guthrie is one of the more successful characters from his era of comics.  Cannonball started out as a member of the New Mutants and not only make it all the way through that series’ run, heal also transferred into its follow-up X-Force, and then moved onto the main X-Men team, where he was a pretty prominent character for a while.  He fell back into obscurity for a bit, but was recently brought on as one of Jonathan Hickman’s Avengers, which seems to have gone pretty well for him.  This figure is loosely based on his first X-Force design (loosely due to the necessities of parts re-use, which I’ll touch on in a sec).  He stands about 6 1/2 inches tall and has 39 points of articulation.  That’s a lot of movement, but, as you can see, it’s sort of at the cost of the sculpt.  The sculpt, it should be noted, originally hails from Toy Biz’s Johhny Blaze version of Ghost Rider.  It was heralded as a great sculpt at the time, but it’s sort of specifically tailored to Blaze, since it’s skeletally skinny.  It’s not that Cannonball hasn’t frequently been depicted as rail thin (because he was for most of his early career), but this seems a bit extreme even for him.  It probably doesn’t help that when he was with the X-Force he was usually depicted as only being a little smaller than Cable.  The point is, this figure makes Sam look more than a little emaciated.  For what it’s worth, the costume details do match up surprisingly well with his X-Force togs, and there’s a lot of really fun detail sculpted into this figure.  I can get why they wanted to re-use the parts, it’s just a bit questionable, that’s all.  As far as new pieces go, Sam got a new head, which captures his slender mug pretty well, as well as a weird dicky sort of piece that slips over GR’s exposed neck and shoulders.  They do their job well enough, and also fit pretty well with the body (though the neck is a bit jarringly smooth).  One last thing about the sculpt: Sam is a testament to why you should avoid soft rubber on action figures.  There’s rubber for the upper torso, and while mine has held up okay (only two very small tears), I’ve seen others that weren’t so fortunate. The paintwork on Cannonball is decent enough.  It takes his color scheme from the comics and translates it into something a bit more consumable by the human eye.  The application is mostly pretty clean but there’s some slop here and there, especially on the white piping of the jumpsuit.  Cannonball included no accessories.


cannonballdomino2Domino’s not a character I really have that much affinity for, so I don’t know a whole lot about her.  She’s got luck-based powers, but it was the ‘90s so that translated to “carries a gun.”  Everything seemed to translate to “carries a gun” in the ‘90s.  Domino’s had her fair share of looks over the years (mostly because no one can make up their minds about how to draw her), and this figure seems to be based on her look from the early ‘00s.  She stands about 6 1/4 inches tall and has 33 points of articulation.  Despite all that articulation, she still can’t sit, thanks to being built on a body from Toy Biz’s period of useless hip joints.  Bleh.  She uses the body of the X-Treme Rogue from TB’s 2006 X-Men line.  It’s actually a pretty good match for the art I’ve been able to find of Domino in this costume.  The proportions are still quite on the wonky side, and don’t get me started on whatever the heck’s going on with the torso (she moves at the boobs and the abdomen?  That’s odd), but Toy Biz certainly produced worse, and Hasbro put out worse the same year as this figure’s release.  So, this isn’t awful.  The head and hands were unique to this figure.  The head is a pretty decent, no-nonsense head, and looks like the later interpretations of Domino.  The hands are sculpted to hold her guns, which is a nice thing to see on a character whose whole thing is having guns.  Domino also got a new add-on piece for her belt, which is fixed with a holster for each leg.  The holsters would probably limit hip movement, but the actual hip joints beat them to it, so not a huge loss, I guess.  Domino’s paintwork is alright.  There’s some really strong work on the head, but the jumpsuit exhibits a lot of slop, in very obvious places.  Domino was packed with a pair of pistols (I seem to have misplaced one of mine…)


When these figures were released, my dad was after the Marvel Girl from the other set.  When he finally found them, our local Walmart was already clearancing them, so he went ahead and grabbed this set as well, on the off chance that I might want it.  As luck would have it, I was still into collecting action figures that particular day, so I did want this set!  Who would have guessed?  Despite not knowing a whole lot about him, I’ve always had a soft spot for Cannonball, and this figure was no exception.  I can point to all the figure’s flaws, but I still really like him.  Domino?  She’s just sort of there.  She’s not a bad figure, but I just feel nothing about her, so she just came along for the ride.  Of course, now that I actually have a Cable, she’s not quite as out of place, so that’s good!


Flashback Friday Figure Addendum #0002: Hydro Claw Robin


For my second Flashback Friday Figure Addendum, I’ll be following the lead of my actual reviews, and taking another look at my very first figure of the other half of the Dynamic Duo.  Let’s look back at Hydro Claw Robin!

So, yesterday’s post was about my very first action figure, Batman.  And, because a hero’s no good without his sidekick, here’s my very first figure of his old chum: Robin.


Hydro Claw Robin is a Robin variant from the Batman Forever line.  He’s actually a fairly standard looking Robin, though he’s not THE standard looking Robin of the line.  His main feature, now lost to me, was a jetpack with wings, a rebreather, and the eponymous “Hydro Claw.”  It’s really unfortunate that I’ve lost this piece, as I recall that it was really quite cool, but alas, 4 year old me was not very good at keeping track of such things!  Even without the accessory, this is still a pretty stand up version of Robin, even if it is based on the utterly terrible Chris O’Donnell.


This figure is a good deal less of a mystery than the Night Hunter Batman.  This guy was a gift from my dear Aunt Susan for Christmas 1995.  I had asked for a Robin figure to prevent my caped crusader from being too lonely, and she was more than happy to oblige.  Christmas morning I opened this guy up and joyfully danced around the room for a good 5 minutes, humming the Batman theme song.  I know, that story is so sweet it almost hurts, doesn’t it?

Man, I always forget how brief I used to be with these reviews.  I don’t know if my wordiness is a good thing or a bad thing.

Once again, I’ve left out a number of things I would now consider standard, namely that the figure is about 5 inches tall and he has 5 points of articulation. The main thing missing the first time I reviewed the figure was his wingpack, which has a rebreather and the titular Hydro Claw attached.  It’s actually one of my favorite parts of the figure, and I was quite bummed that it was missing, so discovering it was one of my biggest bits of excitement during “the Great Find.”  What’s pretty neat about this piece is how it sort of completes the classic Robin color scheme, with its large presence of yellow.

I love this figure no matter what, but he really feels so much more awesome now that he’s complete again!  Now he and Night Hunter Batman are proudly adorning one of the bookshelves in my living room, and I really couldn’t be happier about that.  Even if he’s still based on Chris O’Donnell….

Flashback Friday Figure Addendum #0001: Night Hunter Batman


Hey everyone!  Back in October, I made mention of finding a bunch of missing figure accessories and doing a bunch of photo reshoots and how that would mean the occasional addendum here and there in order to make older reviews as complete as possible.  Well, I’m finally getting off my butt and actually doing something with it.  Every Friday from now until I run out of updates, I’ll be linking to an old post, updating the images contained therein, and adding a few new comments about the figure or my review.  Without further ado, I present my first Flashback Friday Figure Addendum!

For today’s FFFA, I’m going back to my very first review of my very first action figure, Night Hunter Batman!

The first post in my humble little blog is a review of the very first (well, technically second, but I’ll get to that in a minute) action figure in my not-so-small collection.  Yep, this is the one that started it all, and 2400 figures later, he does seem to be a bit of an odd choice.


Night Hunter Batman is a Batman variant from the tie-in line to 1995’s Batman Forever.  He’s black with some bright yellow accents, the obvious choice for creatures of the night.  He once had a cape with a pretty nifty windswept look to it, but I’ve long since lost it.  He also used to have an actual bat symbol on his chest, but if I recall correctly, he lost that fairly shortly after I acquired him.  I feel the true highlight (aside from the actual yellow HIGHLIGHTS) of the figure is the pop-up goggle feature.  There’s a button on his back that, when pushed, extends and rotates the goggles in front of old Bruce’s eyes.  You know, for detective-stuff.  Or going by the name of the figure, hunting stuff.


Why, of all the action figures out there, was this my very first action figure?  I honestly can’t say.  I know I liked Batman, though I watched the TV series and in fact didn’t see Batman Forever until I was almost 20.  Maybe I liked the colors.  Most likely, it was the goggles.  I like goggles, and the whole focus of this little guy was those really neat goggles he had.

Remember when I pointed out above that this was technically my second action figure?  Yeah, funny story:  this particular Night Hunter Batman is a replacement for the first Night Hunter Batman, that by all accounts I gave to a girl at a restaurant.  Yes, even at 3, I was quite the charmer.  So, my parents drove me over to Toys R Us (Side-Note: Remember when Toys R Us didn’t suck?  I miss those days…) and purchased me this lovely replacement (EDIT: I stand corrected.  It wasn’t Toys R Us, it was Service Merchandise.  Man, there’s a blast from the past!) .  While there, my dad happened to wander down the aisle and find the Iron Man animated series toys, leading him to a) start his own collection up again b)introduce me to the wonders of Marvel Comics and c) even more directly lead me to my current state of being.  And it’s all because I was trying to impress a girl!  Silly girls!”

Wow, that was surprisingly brief, and left out a lot of the details I would now consider “standard.” It’s so quaint! 

It’s worth noting that Night Hunter Batman is about 5 inches tall and has 5 points of articulation.  Also worth noting are his accessories, missing from the original review.  He had a removable cape, which has a nice windswept look to it, as well as this big…shield thing.  I don’t know.  It’s shaped like a bat. Sorta.  It’s a little hard to get him to hold it properly, and I’m not sure what purpose it would serve whist one hunts…at night…but it’s an entertaining enough piece.  There were also these claw attachments, which hooked onto those two bottom rungs of the shield, but those I truly have lost.

Since writing this review, discussing with my dad about why this was my first Batman, it came up that this was apparently the closest we could come to a standard Batman figure when I went to pick one out.  It would appear this guy got to be number one by sheer luck.  Good for him!

#1160: Hermey




Christmastime is here.  Happiness and cheer.  Wait, wait, sorry, that was last year.  Yes, it’s Christmas once again.  So, to those of you that celebrate, Merry Christmas.  And to those of you that don’t Happy Holidays! Last year was A Charlie Brown Christmas. This year, it’s the other big Christmas special, Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer.  Of course, I’m not looking at Rudolph himself.  No no, that would be too obvious.  Instead, I’m looking at his best pal Hermey, the elf who dreams of dentistry.  Because why not?  You do you, Hermey.  You do you.  Let’s get onto the figure!


hermie2Hermey was released in the first series of Playing Mantis’s Rudolf and the Island of Misfit Toys line from 2000.  As with many of Playing Mantis’s lines, Hermey was available as a single packed figure, as well as in a multi-pack with Sam the Snowman and Yukon Cornelius.  My figure was the single release.  The figure stands about 4 inches tall and he has 10 points of articulation.  Not the most posable figure ever, but he was actually pretty innovative for the time.  The hip articulation in particular is very clever, and pretty much entirely hidden.  Hermey’s sculpt is all-new to this particular figure.  It’s not a 100% accurate recreation of the stop-motion model from the special.  The head’s a little more rounded, especially around the chin, and his neck is a bit shorter.  That being said, he’s a pretty darn close recreation, and it seems the changes that were made were mostly in an effort to make the figure a little sturdier, which I can certainly appreciate.  The level of detailing on the sculpt is quite impressive.  The hair in particular is very well rendered.  The figure originally sported a removable hat, which mine is sadly missing.  It was actually pretty cool and it was secured on his head via a rather discrete set of raised ridges on the back of his hair.  Hermey’s paintwork is pretty solid work.  Most of it’s just pretty straightforward color work, but the face and hair sport some quite effective accent work, which offers the sculpt some “pop.”  Hermey included two large teeth (removed from Bumble), a pair of extracting tongs, a book on Dentistry, and a small hammer, which is a very nice assortment of extras.


I picked up Hermey when he was new.  I believe my Dad and I were running an errand to Target just prior to setting up the usual Christmas decorations, and I was allowed to pick something out for said decorating.  What a shock, I went for the action figure.  Yeah, I know.  Who’d have guessed?  Hermey’s always been my favorite character from Rudolph, and this figure’s a pretty darn good representation of him.  Playing Mantis had a tendency to take outside of the box properties and turn them into some pretty awesome toys, so it’s a shame that they aren’t still around.