#2448: Bonebreaker

BONEBREAKER

X-MEN (TOY BIZ)

“The villainous cyborg known only as Bonebreaker desires nothing more than the chance to wreak havoc. Employing his robotic abilities first as a mercenary and then as a member of the nefarious Reavers, Bonebreaker leaves a trail of destruction wherever his travels lead him!”

Man, we are just jumping into the deep end with the obscure ’90s X-Men characters, aren’t we?  I mean, it’s kinda hard to top Senyaka and his lack of any staying power in the slightest, so that does give today’s entry a slight leg up…okay, so not “leg up”…because, you know, the lack of legs and all.  Tank up?  Tread up?  Ah, this is definitely way too much thought to put into a Bonebreaker intro.  Look, he’s half-man, half-tank.  It’s pretty cut and dry stuff, really.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Bonebreaker was released in Series 7 of Toy Biz’s X-Men line.  It was the final series to be released solely on the more character-specific short cards, which actually proved a little tricky for the breaker of bones here, since they had to manage fitting his lower half into the package with him.  You have to wonder if that may have slightly influenced the decision to go to the larger cards.  By and large, Series 7’s line-up is one of the softer selection of characters in this line, with only two real “heavy hitters” in the line-up, one of them being quite possibly the most boring Wolverine the line ever produced.  Of the remaining five figures, Bonebreaker may possibly be amongst the best known (although I myself tend to favor Ch’od and Raza on that front; it really comes down to which era of the comics you’re most familiar with).  Why am I talking so much about all of this not Bonebreaker stuff?  I don’t know.  I’m honestly not sure I can bear to talk only about Bonebreaker for quite this long.  But, I suppose I’ve stalled for long enough.  The figure stands 3 inches tall and has 7 points of articulation, as well as rolling wheels (though not proper moving treads, unfortunately).  There aren’t exactly a lot of potential posing options with this guy, but it’s not exactly for lack of trying; there’s really only so much you can do with the design.  The sculpt is decent enough for the time, with a pretty on-brand sculpt for the human portions.  His lower tank half is actually pretty impressive, with fairly sharp and solid technical detailing throughout.  It rivals Ch’od for the best sculpting work in this assortment.  The paint work on Bonebreaker is fairly drab and basic, which I guess is more or less a clean translation of the source material.  The tank’s sculpt kind of suffers here, because the nice detail work ends up getting a bit lost in all that un-painted turquoise plastic.  It’s perhaps not the best choice of coloring.  Bonebreaker was originally packed with two guns, one hand-held, and the other for mounting to the tank.  I have neither.  For shame.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Bonebreaker’s a figure I remember seeing…a lot.  This whole assortment (barring Rogue) was everywhere for a long time, but Bonebreaker is the one I recall seeing the most.  I didn’t get one, I guess because the design didn’t really speak to me, and because his appearance in X-Men: The Animated Series wasn’t one of my favorites.  But, I’m getting pretty serious about the Toy Biz X-Men collection, so I ended up picking up Bonebreaker here loose while on vacation last summer.  He’s honestly a bit better than I’d expected, and I’d like to see how he might turn out in Legends form.

#2441: Senyaka

SENYAKA

X-MEN (TOY BIZ)

“A member of the humanity-hating Acolytes, Senyaka is perhaps the most ruthless soldier in Magneto’s war against mankind! Often leading the other Acolytes into battle, Senyaka uses his psionic whips to course pain into his ensnared foes! Even more deadly, however, is his power to energize his own energies by sapping his victim’s very life forces. Though struck down in battle by Magneto himself, Senyaka has returned to plague humans once again, with each attack more lethal than the last!”

Remember in my last two Toy Biz X-Men reviews, where I was discussing characters who were pretty much only relevant during the ’90s?  Yeah, so today’s focus wasn’t even particularly relevant *then.*  That bio up there? Probably the most that’s ever been said about Senyaka.  I think I actually learned stuff from that bio, which I guess is the point, isn’t it?  Well, Senyaka got an action figure, so I guess I should maybe review it.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Senyaka was released twice during the Toy Biz X-Men run.  Initially, he was offered up as a TRU-exclusive alongside Series 7 in 1994, and then was added to a proper assortment in 1995 as part of the Mutant Genesis Series.  He’s the same figure either way, and mostly it just served to make him *incredibly* easy to find.  The figure stands 5 inches tall and he has 8 points of articulation.  He’s got no movement at his neck or right elbow, due to how the figure is designed, making him a bit on the stiff side.  Apparently, Senyaka’s had multiple costumes?  Who knew?  Well, he’s sporting his Alcolytes costume, which seems reasonable enough.  The sculpt is pretty typical for the line.  He’s stiff, he’s buff, and he’s got pouches and shoulder pads.  There’s not a ton of detailing going on, but it looks like all of the important stuff is there.  Senyaka’s paint work is pretty standard.  The base color work is all pretty clean, and the colors seem to more or less match what Senyaka was usually sporting.  Senyaka had a slightly different accessory selection depending on release.  Both included his whip, but the Mutant Genesis release also added a nunchuck-looking thing.  Mine has neither, so I guess doesn’t really matter.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Senyaka’s another one of those “if I’m getting the rest of the line, I might as well” figures.  I’ve got no attachment to the character, but then who really does?  I got mine loose, hence the lack of accessories.  Perhaps someday I’ll find them.  Ultimately, there’s nothing really impressive about this guy, but he’s certainly not the worst thing the line offered, and fills in a line-up of villains alright.

#2427: Trevor Fitzroy

TREVOR FITZROY

X-MEN (TOY BIZ)

“An evil criminal from the future, Trevor Fitzroy used his power to create portals through time to elude the authorities of his native era by escaping into the past. Now trapped in our century, he uses his mutant abilities and futuristic battlesuit to fulfill his every lethal wish – and to attempt the destruction of his arch-enemy Bishop!”

You didn’t think I was just going to walk away from 5-inch X-Men, did you?  Okay, actually, that would be pretty sensible.  I reviewed 19 of them all in one day, just over a week ago, and that’s like a 30% increase in the number of them reviewed for the site as a whole in the 6 1/2 years I’ve been running it.  I think I technically met my yearly quota already.  Well, in actuality, all the Day of the Wolverines really did was reignite my desire to review these guys, although perhaps not in quite as crazy a fashion.  So, I’m picking up where I left off and diving into the world of ’90s X-Men with a character that exists purely within that world and pretty much nowhere else, Trevor Fitzroy!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Trevor Fitzroy was released in Series 6 of Toy Biz’s X-Men line, and was quite renowned for being a notorious peg warmer for the assortment.  Even at peak ’90s, nobody really wanted this guy.  Poor Trevor.  Despite general lack of interest in the character, there were two variants of Fiztroy produced, one as part of an FAO Schwarz-exclusive four pack (which traded out his blue for purple), and the other in a KB Toys-exclusive two-pack with the previously-reviewed Maverick, which is actually featured in the picture at the bottom of this review.  Whichever version of Fitzroy you get, the figure stands 5 inches tall and he has 9 points of articulation.  His sculpt was unique to him, and it’s honestly not a bad one.  He definitely reflects the trend of these figures bulking up as the line progressed, but this one looked okay.  He’s exaggerated, but not too insanely so.  The head’s got a decent bit of character to it, as well, and they were finally starting to really get a grip on translating some of those radical ’90s hair styles into plastic by this point.  His paintwork is decent enough; nothing amazing or anything to write home about, but it gets the basics down.  The standard release had a yellow stripe down the middle, while the two-pack version swaps it out for gold.  In general, the two pack version isn’t quite as nicely painted, I found.  Fitzroy is packed with some clip-op armor which, if I’m being totally honest here, was more than a little disappointing.  It pretty much won’t say on the figure at all.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I didn’t have a Fitzroy growing up, but boy do I recall seeing Fitzroy…everywhere.  He was just all over the place.  That’s probably why I never bothered to get one, honestly.  Well, that, and his two episodes of X-Men: The Animated Series not being terribly impressive.  After getting Maverick all by his lonesome a few years ago, I tracked down the standard Fitzroy loose, and then discovered that the two-pack one was different, at which point I lost my drive for completion because it meant buying another Fitzroy.  However, when All Time got in their mega Wolverine collection, this pack was in there (because of the small diecast Wolverine included), and it was honestly easier than going through the trouble of getting Fitzroy by himself.  Fitzroy is perhaps not the most thrilling figure, but he’s better than I expected him to be, so I can’t really knock him all that much.

#2019: Nighthawk

NIGHTHAWK

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Originally a member of the Squadron Sinister, the wealthy Kyle Richmond has a change of heart and joins the Defenders.”

In the past, I’ve briefly touched on the Squadron Sinister, Roy Thomas’s Justice League pastiches created in 1969 for an unofficial crossing over of the Avengers and the Justice League.  While the Champions of Angor, the Avengers parody that the Justice League fought in their own book shortly after, weren’t particular successful in any fashion, the Squad was successful enough to get not only their own heroic spin-offs (the Squadron Supreme), but also to have a couple of its original members worked into the mainstream universe proper.  The team’s resident Batman expy, Nighthawk, actually did alright for himself, going on a path of redemption and eventually becoming a mainstay of the second-tier superhero team the Defenders!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Nighthawk..sorry, *Marvel’s* Nighthawk is figure four in the first series of Endgame-themed Marvel Legends.  He’s the second comics-based figure in the assortment, and I guess if I ragged on Living Laser for his spot being questionable, then I have to rag on Nighthawk too, since he’s really more a Defenders character, despite starting off as an Avengers villain.  Despite all that, I can’t really complain too much, since I doubt there are going to be any dedicated Defenders assortments anytime soon.  Plus, we got three other Defenders back during the tie-ins for Age of Ultron, so I’d say there’s some precedent.  Nighthawk is based on his second costume, following his turn to the heroic, which is definitely sensible, since he spent most of his career in variations of this look.  It also further removes him from his Distinguished Competition counterpart, which I’m sure makes the legal department extra happy.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Nighthawk returns to the tried and true method of building figures on the Bucky Cap body, even re-using that figure’s buccaneer-style boots.  It’s a good fit for Nighthawk’s stature, and still a very good body, though I imagine it’s nearing its retirement.  The figure gets a new head, hands, and forearms, as well as brand new cape add-on.  The newly sculpted parts are nice and clean, and fit well on the body.  The head is a pretty basic piece.  It’s a guy in a cowl, so there’s not a ton of unique work to do there.  It’s a good adaptation, and I do prefer the streamlined mask design they went with. I appreciate that they actually sculpted the ends of his gloves, rather than just painting them on, and I also dig that they made his claws distinctly different from Wolverine.  The cape is big and bulky, but it’s also really dynamic, and certainly the best interpretation we’ve gotten of it in three dimensions.  I was expecting it to be a lot more cumbersome than it ended up being, so I was pleasantly surprised to be sure.  Nighthawk’s paintwork is clean, bright, and bold, which is pretty much everything you’d hope for.  I definitely like the palette here more than the Marvel Universe figure from a few years back, and the application is overall pretty clean.  I did see some slight variance on the coverage of his logo on the few figures I looked at, but for mine it looks pretty solid.  Nighthawk includes no accessories for himself, which, while slightly sad, isn’t a huge shock.  An unmasked head would be cool, as would some non-clawed hands, but they aren’t the sort of thing you expect to see on a character like Nighthawk.  He does include the right arm of Thanos, as well as Thanos’s bladed weapon.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve been a fan of Nighthawk ever since Kurt Busiek made him a prominent player in his late ’90s Defenders series, and I’ve wanted him in figure form for pretty much just as long.  He and the rest of the secondary Defenders are some of my favorites, and he’s the last one I needed for a true classic Defenders set-up, so I was pretty stoked for his release.  The final figure lives up to my expectations, and I’m happy to have him.  He’s sort of Living Laser’s counterpart in this assortment, another formulaic lower tier character release who’s actually a pretty solid toy.  The difference between the two is that Nighthawk is actually a character/design I wanted, so he resonates just a little bit better with me.

Nighthawk came from my friends at All Time Toys, and he’s currently in-stock at their store, here. And, if you’re looking for other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

 

#1935: Spider-Man & Jean DeWolff

SPIDER-MAN & JEAN DEWOLFF

MARVEL MINIMATES


In 1985, then up-and-coming writer Peter David penned “The Death of Jean DeWolff.”  Published in Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #107-110, the four part story began with the discovery of the titular death of Police Captain Jean DeWolff, a once quite prominent Spider-Man supporting cast-member.  It was rather ground breaking at the time of its publication, shifting the overall tone of the book, and helping to pave the way not only for longer form storytelling, but also darker stories, all within the confines of the mainstream Marvel universe.  In 2012, the story was used as the basis for the 43rd Series of Marvel Minimates.  The first of those sets includes Jean DeWolff herself, alongside Spider-Man.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

These two are a pair from the aforementioned Series 43 of Marvel Minimates, dubbed the “Jean DeWolff Saga” by a label on the upper right side of the box.

SPIDER-MAN

Though he had at this point ditched the actual symbiote, Peter Parker was still wearing his cloth replica of his black costume at the time of this story.  It’s fairly fortunate, really, as it better fit the more film noir stylings of the story.  In a meta sense, it gave Minimate collectors another chance at the black costumed look; this was the fourth time we’d seen it show up in Minimate form.  Unlike the prior release of this costume, which made use of a removable mask, this one returned back to the straight vanilla body, with no add-ons at all.  Given the general sleekness of this particular design, it was a definite improvement.  The important details are all handled via paint.  This figure takes a page out of the Big Time costume’s book, and augment’s Spidey’s two-toned look with a bit of accent work, detailing not only the musculature of his torso and legs, but also granting a slightly more human shape to his head and face.  In contrast to the Big Time release, whose accenting seemed a bit too subtle, this figure’s seems perhaps a touch too noticeable; that bright blue really stands out, and perhaps robs the design of some of its more striking elements.  Still, it’s far from bad work.  Spider-Man was packed with a webline, a fairly standard inclusion.  Given that he hit retail shelves at the same time as the Best Of version of the character, it’s a little bit of a shame that he doesn’t also get an unmasked head.  Of course, he hit retail shelves at the same time as that figure, so it’s not like an unmasked Peter Parker head was difficult to find.

JEAN DEWOLFF

Before becoming the unfortunate victim of the murder that kicks off this story, Jean DeWolff had been a fairly prominent Spider-Man supporting player for about a decade or so.  Jean was introduced by Bill Mantlo while working on Marvel Team-Up in the ’70s, as he wanted a supporting cast member to serve as connective tissue from story to story.  I suppose in that respect, Jean was something of a prototype for the live-action versions of Phil Coulson and Claire Temple.  Jean was always known for her retro sense of fashion, with berets and fishnets and the like; this figure follows that, giving us a look that is a good summation of DeWolff’s classic look.  Jean makes use of two sculpted add-on pieces, one new, one old.  The new was her hair/beret.  It’s a very nicely detailed piece, and manages to make her hat not look totally ridiculous, which is always good with this style of thing.  She also uses the knee-length standard skirt piece, first introduced on the Series 17 Gwen Stacy.  It’s a fairly basic piece and perhaps a little limiting to the articulation, but it gets the job done.  Despite getting more sculpted extras than her pack-mate, Jean doesn’t skimp on the painted details either.  The colorscheme is bright and eye-catching, and the detail lines, especially the stitching on her jacket, is some of the best we’ve seen on a Minimate.  She’s even got the proper cross-hatching on her legs for her fishnets.  That’s definitely a nice touch!  Jean is packed with two accessories: a revolver, and an alternate hand holding her badge.  The revolver comes from the Dollars sets, and is still a great piece.  The badge was originally set to be included in the Beverly Hills Cop set, but with that set’s cancellation, it saw its debut here.  It’s always cool to see such pieces find a new home, and given how Jean’s badge factored into the Death of Jean DeWolff, it’s a smart inclusion here.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This was an assortment I was quite excited for, so I quite eagerly picked them up from Cosmic Comix when they first showed up at retail.  Topping the original Black Costume Spidey is a very steep task indeed, and this one doesn’t quite get there.  He’s very close, and definitely the best of the follow-up black costume releases, but that bright blue detailing holds him back ever so slightly.  Still, a very strong offering.  Jean could have just been a rather forgettable civilian figure, but instead, DST put in the effort to make her one of the best figures in this wave, and certainly the star of this set.

#1843: Lak Sivark

LAK SIVRAK

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

“The Shistavanen Wolfman, expert hunter, tracker and Imperial world scout meets the mysterious Rebel Florn Iamproid, Dice Ibegon. The two would eventually become Rebel Warriors and fight in the Battle of Hoth.”

When looking to fill the Mos Eisly Cantina with an assortment of visually interesting creatures, the effects team initially set out creating all sorts of new and unique creatures, the likes of Panda Baba, Momaw Nadon, and even Greedo.  But, sometimes you don’t have time to make an expensive and unique costume, so you just have to make due with an off-the-shelf wolf man costume.  Thus began the life of Lak Sivrak, the cantina patron that George Lucas hates, precisely because he’s just an off-the-shelf wolf man.  For the 1997 special edition, Lak found himself replaced all together, with a totally new alien, but that didn’t stop him from getting an action figure as a consolation prize.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Lak Sivrak was released in the 1998 assortment of Power of the Force II figures.  The figure stands 3 1/2 inches tall (because of the slouch) and has 6 points of articulation (unaffected by the slouch).  Have I mentioned the slouch?  It figures somewhat prominently into this guy’s sculpt, which was brand-new at the time, and has remained unique to him.  It’s a pretty decent offering.  As an alien, he’s not held back by this biggest issues that plagued Power of the Force, being far less stylized looking that his compatriots.  Sure, he’s still quite stylized, but he looks less so, and that’s really the important thing, right?  The aforementioned hunch falls in line with the typical pre-posing of these figures, but when it’s applied to a wolf man creature, it’s certainly less noticeable than it would be on the likes of Han or Luke.  Maybe that’s just how he stands all the time.  We don’t know, we’ve only seen him that one time, and he was sitting down.  Weird wolf man posture canon confirmed.  You heard it hear first, guys.  Lak’s paintwork is pretty standard faire.  It’s clean, it matches well with the source material, and there’s enough small detail and accent work to keep him from looking too bland, so I think we can call that a win.  Lak is packed with a blaster pistol, a “vibro-blade” (whatever the heck that is), and one of the freeze frame slides, offering up proof that, yes, this guy really was in the movie.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Lak is yet another more recent addition to my collection, though recent is becoming increasingly relative in these reviews.  I picked him up from one of Lost in Time’s sidewalk sales back during the spring, alongside a whole slew of other figures.  He’s nice enough, and has the virtue of being something of a talking point, due to his disappearance during the special editions.  And hey, if nothing else, he’s a pretty sweet Wolf Man figure, right?

#1785: Poison

POISON

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Believing himself to be a living miracle after seemingly coming back from the dead, symbiote-possessed Peter Parker rejects the Venom identity and calls himself Poison.”

Guys….I’m gonna critique the bio for a sec here.  I know, I keep promising I won’t, but it’s sort of important.  So, the “living miracle” “back from the dead” “gave up the Venom identity” Peter Parker, aka Poison, mentioned in the bio appeared in What If? Spider-Man: The Other in 2007.  He is *not* the character this figure is based on.  This figure is instead based on the Peter Parker Poison from last year’s Venomverse, where a symbiote-wearing Peter Parker was one of the first victims of the host-devouring symbiote hunters known as the Poison.  In Hasbro’s defense, neither character is anything bordering on major, so they can be forgiven for some slight confusion.  Now, let’s get onto the figure, shall we?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Poison is figure 3 in the Monster Venom Series of Marvel Legends.  After the pretty obvious choices of Venom and Carnage, Poison is undoubtedly out of left field, given he’s got, what, three appearances?  If that?  But, I guess if Hasbro’s content to give us every single Spider-Man from Spider-Verse, it shouldn’t be a huge shock to see them dipping into Venomverse as well.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Poison is built on the Spider-UK body, which is a favorite of mine.  That said, he actually gets a surprising number of new pieces.  He only actually shares his upper arms and lower legs with the standard body; everything else is brand new.  This allows for the figure to properly replicate Poison’s inorganic, exoskeleton-like appearance.  It serves as quite a nice counterpoint two Venom and Carnage from the last two days.  I definitely dig all of the etched detailing work on his torso, head, and upper legs as well; its something that could have easily been overlooked.  The tendrils mounted on the front of his torso showcase the last traces of the symbiote Poison assimilated, and while they can be a little odd to work with at first, they certainly do add a unique flair to him.  Poison’s color work is more involved than you might think; he appears just straight white and black at first, but the white is actually a slightly pearlescent plastic, and there’s some light silver accent work running along yhr engravings, giving them a nice extra bit of pop.  It’s a small touch that really adds a lot to the figure.   Poison includes no character specific accessories, but he does still get the left arm of the Monster Venom Build-A-Figure, which is certainly a sizable piece.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I had no clue who Poison was prior to this figure being shown off, and therefore didn’t really think much of his announcement or really plan on picking him up.  Like the last two days, it was really that Monster Venom piece that was pulling me in.  That said, after getting all of the figures in hand, Poison is undoubtedly my favorite of the set.  There’s just so much coolness going on with the design, the sculpt, and the paint.  Who would have ever thought a character like this would get this sort of treatment from Hasbro?

Poison was purchased from my friends at All Time Toys.  If you’re interested in buying other Legends figures, or are looking for other cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.

#1696: Paladin

PALADIN

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

Paladin is a mercenary marksman who always has his eye on the bottom line.”

Ah, Paladin.  Truly the most–he’s really quite the–okay, I don’t have a lot to say about Paladin.  I mean, to be fair, nobody really does.  In the 40 years since his introduction, he’s not actually gotten much of a backstory…or anything, for that matter.  He just sort of exists to fill a mercenary slot when needed.  Like in this Deadpool-themed Marvel Legends assortment.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Paladin is the final figure in the Sasquatch Series of Marvel Legends.  He’s based on a more modern incarnation of the character, from around his time with the Thunderbolts.  Not his most memorable or distinctive look, but there’s a clear rationale behind this design choice, and that rationale is parts re-use.  I’ll get to that momentarily.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  As noted above, Paladin makes use of some parts re-use, though not as much I’d initially thought.  He’s built on the body used by the last Blade figure (which in turn re-used some parts from the ASM2 Electro).  He gets a new head, forearms, hands, and shins, as well as a holster add-on piece which appears to be new, but I could be wrong on that.  The new parts are decent recreations of his comics designs.  The head’s suitably generic, and the padded forearms and shins help to differentiate him from Blade.  The holster is mostly just there to hide that Hasbro still hasn’t re-tooled the Electro legs to remove that little nodule on his left thigh.  Paladin’s paint work is really the main thing that signifies his modern influences.  His palette is swapped from the classic look, which was purple armor on black, rather than black armor on purple.  I find this isn’t quite as striking a design, but I suppose it’s not terrible.  The application is at the very least cleanly handled, so I’ll give him that.  Paladin is packed with a pair of golden pistols (re-used from Zemo) and a knife.  The knife can be nicely slotted into the sheath on his boot, which is cool.  Unfortunately, there’s one holster for two guns, and the guns don’t actually sit that well in the holster.  That’s kind of disappointing.  He also includes another leg to the Build-A-Figure Sasquatch.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Paladin slightly frustrated me.  When I heard they were making him, I was kind of excited, but when the prototype was unveiled with the modern look, I was a bit let down.  The more streamlined modern Paladin design facilitates the re-use more than the classic look would have, I suppose, but I can’t say I’m super into it.  I feel like with the amount of new pieces he got in the end, it wouldn’t have been too much of a stretch to go for an approximation of his classic design.  Because of this, I ended up passing on him the first few times I found him.  I ended up getting a bunch of store credit for Cosmic Comix after helping out on Free Comic Book Day, and they had this guy, so I ended up grabbing him from them.  He’s not a bad figure at all, and certainly works as a generic merc, but I do wish he were a little more distinctive.

*Want a Paladin figure of your own?  Well, he’s literally everywhere, but do you also want to help out an awesome business?  All Time Toys currently has this guy in stock!  Check him out here!

#1583: Animal Man & B’wana Beast

ANIMAL MAN & B’WANA BEAST

DC UNIVERSE CLASSICS (MATTEL)

Mattel’s DC Universe Classics was really all about the odd-ball characters.  And it’s hard to get much more oddball than the pair of characters I’m looking at today.  Born out of the ‘60s fascination with animal themed heroes, both Animal Man and B’Wana Beast have picked up their respective fanbases over the years, and, believe it or not, they’ve both manage to gain multiple action figures.  Weird, right?

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Animal Man and B’Wanna Beast were part of DC Universe Classics, released in 2009 as the Matty Collector-exclusive “Justice of the Jungle” two-pack.  This was the last of the four such two-packs released this way in 2009, and ultimately the last two-pack in this particular venture for Mattel.

ANIMAL MAN

“When a teenage Buddy Baker went hunting in the Adirondacks, he found more than big game – he found an alien spacecraft! After being exposed to its strange radiation, Buddy found he could take on the powers and characteristics of any nearby animal – down to regenerating severed limbs, like an earthworm. He has faced many surreal menaces, traveled through space, and seen his entire reality torn apart more than once, but he always remains plain old Buddy Baker, family man and occasional hero – an oasis of sanity in the stranger corners of the DC Universe.”

Buddy Baker sort of follows the Ant-Man model of super hero creation.  His initial appearance wasn’t quite of the super heroic variety, instead just following the story of a stuntman who gained animal powers.  It wouldn’t be for another year that he’d get his costume, and even then he was A-Man, not Animal Man.  He was just a fairly run-of the mill forgotten hero, until Grant Morison relaunched the character in the ’80s, bringing the character to critical acclaim and giving him his own unique flavor.  Animal Man’s first figure was via DC Direct’s 52 line, but that one was admittedly less on the whole “action” front, so this one was appreciated.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 23 points of articulation.  He’s built on the medium sized male body, which is a decent enough fit for Buddy.  He gets a new head and arms, as well as an add-on piece for his jacket.  The head is possibly the most detailed head sculpt we got out of this line.  There’s a lot going on there, between the fully detailed eyes beneath his goggles and the insane amount of detail that’s gone into his face.  While it certainly helps him to stand out from the pack, I do feel all of those lines on his face do age poor Buddy just a touch more than I’d like.  Obviously, I’m okay with him looking a bit more experienced than some of the DC heroes, but this does feel like it goes a little far.  Still, an impressive piece nonetheless.  The jacket served to mask some of the same-ness that this line was really running into with the base bodies, and was very nice recreation of Buddy’s signature denim jacket.  The texturing and the small detail work on all of the zippers and stuff is really top-notch.  The paintwork on Animal Man is decent enough; he hails from the line’s best period in this regard.  The base application is pretty sharp, and there’s even some pretty nice accent work.  The only real issue is the slight mismatching of the oranges on the legs, but that’s quite minor.  There were no accessories for Animal Man, which, while a slight bummer, wasn’t much of a surprise.

B’WANA BEAST

“While in Tanzania, Mike Maxwell found himself trapped in a cave high atop Mount Kilimanjaro. In his attempt to survive, he drank the cave’s water – which, unknown to him, was infused with a strange elixir that increased his muscle mass, making him much stronger. When Maxwell donned an ancient helmet, he discovered he could merge any two animals together into a new, hybrid form called a chimera. B’wana became a fighter for animal rights as the jungle’s premier hero.”

Despite being definitely the more obscure of the two, B’wana Beast actually has more figures than Animal Man, with this being one of four.  It was his first (though not by much) and is to date his only comics based figure, but still, that’s pretty impressive.  Like his pack-mate, this figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and has 23 points of articulation.  He too is built on the medium-sized male body, which is fine, except for one small problem: no nipples.  B’wana Beast is supposed to be shirtless, but the sculpt doesn’t quite reflect that.  Mattel had done a shirtless torso prior for Series 6’s Hawkman, but I suppose the wing attachment was too difficult to remove.  Oh well.  On the plus side, B’wana Beast does get a new head and shins, as well as a new add-on piece for his loin cloth.  The pieces are all very nicely sculpted.  The helmet definitely takes its cues from his JLU counterpart, and manages not to look totally dumb, so that’s cool.  Also, despite just looking like the same cuffed shins introduced on Series 1’s Red Tornado, B’wana Beast’s shins are totally new, featuring a pretty nifty fur texturing.  B’wana Beast’s paint is very nice; not only did they manage to pull off the cheat spots on his shorts, boots, and mask without getting messy, but they also did a pretty solid job accenting his skin tone, making him look appropriately tanned for someone who runs around outside in nothing more than a loincloth and boots.  Like Animal Man, B’wana Beast has no accessories.  Still not surprising, but still disappointing.  No cool chimeras? For shame!

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Despite Mattel’s claim that these sets didn’t perform as well as they’d hoped, this set was sold out in less than two weeks.  Not a lot of time for someone without their own expendable income to get them, so I didn’t.  Instead, I wound up picking them up around Christmastime in 2012, using an Amazon gift card I’d gotten over the holiday.  I paid a bit of a mark-up, but they were worth it to me.  Neither figure is without its flaws (the biggest for both being the complete lack of extras), but both figures are amongst the strongest that Mattel produced for this line.

#1451: Jedha Revolt

JYN ERSO, SAW GERRERA, EDRIO TWO TUBES, & IMPERIAL HOVERTANK PILOT

STAR WARS: ROGUE ONE (HASBRO)

With all of the Last Jedi product floating around, it can be a little difficult to fit in some of my older Star Wars products, especially when it’s stuff that’s only a single movie back.  At least the Power of the Force stuff is noticeably different, right?  Not so much the case with Rogue One, from which I still have a few lingering figures.  Today, I’ll be crossing a few of those off my list and taking a look at the Jedha Revolt boxed-set!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

The Jedha Revolt set is comprised of Jyn, Saw Gerrara, Edrio Two Tubes, and an Imperial Hovertank Pilot, all of whom came from the film’s first big set piece, Jedha.  This set is part of the Rogue One line, and is very similar to the Takodana Encounter set from The Force Awakens.  The real notable difference here is that there’s three new figures and one repack, instead of one new figure and three repacks.  Those numbers are better.

JYN ERSO

“Pushing behind a checkered past by lending her skills to a greater cause, Jyn Erso is impetuous, defiant, and eager to bring the battle to the empire.  Used to operating alone, she finds higher purpose by taking on a desperate mission for the Rebel Alliance.”

The Jyn in this set is the same one released in Series 2 of the main line.  I didn’t get that one, though, because I knew this set was coming.  That being said, the mold is also the same one used for the Jyn included with the AT-ACT.  It’s not a bad sculpt at all.  The paint’s a little different on this figure.  It’s not an incredible difference, but there’s enough to notice.  I prefer the work on the AT-ACT figure, truth be told, but I guess this one’s passable.  She gets the same blaster pistol, and adds in her scarf she wears on Jedha for good measure.

SAW GERRERA

“A battered veteran of the Clone Wars as well as ongoing rebellion against the Empire, Saw Gerrera leads a band of Rebel extremists.  Saw has lost much in his decades of combat, but occasional flashes of the charismatic ad caring man he once was shine through his calloused exterior.  Gerrera is bunkered on the ancient world of Jedha, coordinating a prolonged insurgency against the Imperial occupation.  Saw’s ailing health has not withered his resolve to fight.”

Saw is definitely a big selling point of this set, since he’s a fairly prominent character and this is literally the only proper figure of him released at this point.  We see Saw here in his garb from later on in the film, during the “present” sequences.  It’s a sensible choice, since his other look is only seen briefly and it’s not the one he’s sporting on Jedha.  The figure stands about 4 inches tall and has 5 points of articulation…in theory.  All of the joints are there, but you’re not really going to get much range out of any of them.  Saw’s not super agile or anything, so it’s not a big loss, but it’s still slightly frustrating.  The sculpt is all new to this figure, and it’s a fairly nice piece.  There’s quite a bit of detail work going on, and he certainly has a lot of depth.  The head has a passing resemblance to Forrest Whitaker, which is nice, and the overall design seems to have been translated quite nicely.  Saw’s paintwork is generally pretty decent and clean.  I do have one notable complaint, which has to do with the breathing apparatus.  It’s just molded in a solid off-white sort of color, which looks a little goofy.  It really would have looked better if they’d done it in clear plastic and added a few painted details.  Saw is packed with his walking stick which is almost seen carrying in the movie, as well as a small sidearm which he never uses, but is seen carrying on his hip just the same.  Both pieces are nicely detailed and great additions to the figure.

EDRIO TWO TUBES

“Edrio Two Tubes is a mercenary pilot who flies alongside his eggmate, Benthic.  They share the nickname derived from the breathing apparatus that allows Tognath physiology to process oxygen atmospheres.  Edrio’s notice world of Yar Tonga was conquered by the Empire, forcing him to flee as a refugee.  With a desire to strike back at the Empire, Edrio and Benthic have allied with Saw Gerra’s movement on Jedha.”

And now for the “who the heck is this guy?” portion of the set, it’s Edrio Two Tubes!  Yeah, I don’t know either.  But he looks cool, and that’s really the only necessary element for a successful Star Wars character (see: Boba Fett).  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and has the same 5 points of articulation as the rest of the set, albeit in better working order than the ones on Saw.  Edrio gets another all-new sculpt, and it’s certainly top notch.   There’s a lot of really awesome detail work, especially on the jacket.  I dig the similarities between the chest piece and that of the Rebel Pilots.  Definitely a cool touch.  The only real complaint I have is that he’s a little hard to get standing, but once you get him there, he stays up alright.  Edrio’s paint is pretty solid, offering up clean base work, as well as some pretty sweet accent work on his jacket.  He definitely has the best work in the set.  He’s packed with a big ol’ rifle, which he sadly can’t hold particularly well, due to the limitations of his posability.  You can still get a decent “over the shoulder” sort of look, so it’s workable.

IMPERIAL HOVERTANK PILOT

“Imperial combat drivers operate the Empire’s arsenal of armored repulser vehicles, from troop transports to heavily armored hovertanks.  Combat drivers are lightly armored, relying instead on the thick skin of their vehicles to protect them in battle.” 

No set would be complete without some sort of Stormtrooper variant, and this one actually gets one of my favorites.  We got the Hovertank Pilot in the 6-inch line pretty early on, but it’s certainly still cool to get him again in the smaller scale.  The figure is largely built from re-purposed parts from the standard Shoretrooper.  It’s a more than adequate starting point, as that was a pretty solid figure in its own right.  He gets a new head and belt, both of which are incredibly sharp sculpts, which certainly add a lot of polish to the final figure.  The paint on this guy is pretty straightforward, off-white and dark brown.  It’s all cleanly applied, though, and he looks pretty spiffy.  He’s packed with a large blaster rifle, which is the same one we saw with the Shoretrooper, Scarif Squad Leader, and AT-ACT Driver.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was rather excited for this set when it was first shown off, but by the time it actually hit about 6 months later, I had sort of cooled down, and was actually in a bit of a tight spot financially.  Fortunately, it stuck around for a bit, and I was actually able to pick it up from Target for about half of its original value.  I will say, this one definitely has a lot more to offer than the TFA set, since most of the figures are new.  Saw, Edrio, and the Hovertank Pilot are all really solid offerings, and are among some of my favorite figures from the Rogue One line.