#2682: Frog-Man

FROG-MAN

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Eugene Patilio suits up as Frog-Man in a misguided attempt to restore his family’s good name.”

FROG-MAN!?! They made a Frog-Man!?!  …Okay, can I really be that surprised at this point?  Probably not.  I don’t know.  Everything is skewed these days, and the current state of Legends is such that making previously unthought of characters no longer seems so unthought of.  Where was I?  Frog-Man.  Right. So, for those of you who aren’t so familiar with Frog-Man (which I’m going to assume is most people, because he’s Frog-Man), he’s actually a little bit of a legacy character.  His father, Vincent, was the Daredevil villain Leap-Frog, and after he gave up on the whole super villain thing, Eugene took over his gear, and took up as a would-be hero, now using Frog-Man, after Leap-Frog was deemed too goofy.  Eugene has mostly stuck to the background of the Marvel universe, but turns up every now and then, including most recently as one of Tony Stark’s allies in the newest Iron Man series.  And hey, now he’s got a toy!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Frog-Man is figure 6 in the Stilt-Man Series of Marvel Legends, and he’s the second of the comics-based figures in the set.  He’s this assortment’s resident odd-ball figure, picking up from last year’s inclusion of White Rabbit (a character Frog-Man’s got a little bit of history with, so there’s that).  The figure is 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 31 points of articulation.  Frog-Man’s construction is largely made-up of re-use, specifically of the Doc Ock body from 2018.  It’s a good body, and one that so far hadn’t seen any sort of re-use, so it’s still rather unique.  It also matches up quite well with Frog-Man’s design in the comics, which makes it quite a sensible choice for re-use.  The only slight downside is that it means he’s still got visible pins on his elbows and knees, but they’re at least comparatively smaller than some of the others.  In order to switch him from Ock to Frog-Man, this guy gets a new head, feet, and an add-on piece for the back pack.  The head’s definitely the most distinctive part, and it’s pretty nicely implemented, with clear differentiating for the mask and what we can see of the underlying head.  The head under the mask is perhaps a touch intense, I think, for Frog-Man, but it’s a minor thing, and I really like how the mask looks.  The feet give him not only his flippers, but also the springs on the heels that give the suit its jumping abilities.  He’s quite stable on these feet, which makes him quite easy to pose.  The back pack is useful in covering up the one character-specific remnant of the Ock sculpt, the ports for his arms on his back.  It plugs into the top ports to keep it secure, and otherwise works out pretty well for the look.  Frog-Man’s paint work is largely pretty basic.  Most of the colors are molded plastic, but what paint is there is pretty cleanly applied.  I do like the pattern on the darker sections; it helps sell the goofy comics design even further.  Frog-Man doesn’t seem like a character who lends himself to accessories, but he does still get two sets of hands, in both fists and open gesture poses, so that’s pretty cool.  He also gets the left arm, extra hand, and gun for the Stilt-Man Build-A-Figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Frog-Man’s one of those characters so minor that I know him more from his reputation of being minor than from actually reading his comics appearances.  I’ve definitely read a few of his appearances, and I have this sort of soft spot for the guy, even without that really direct connection. I was not expecting him at all before he was officially shown off, and I didn’t pay him too much attention in light of the rest of the set.  After getting them in hand, though, he really works for me, just because I didn’t expect him, so I just got to enjoy him for being the cool, goofy toy that he is.  And boy is he cool and goofy.  And boy do I love him.

Thanks to my sponsors over at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure to review.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2609: X-Cutioner

X-CUTIONER

X-MEN (TOY BIZ)

“Concerned about the growing menace of evil mutants, FBI agent Carl Denti assembled an arsenal of weapons obtained from the X-Men’s greatest foes. Now, in the guise of the X-Cutioner, he seeks out those mutants he deems a threat to human society, and ruthlessly eliminates them!”

Ah, yes, X-Cutioner. Guy with a name that’s so ’90s X-Men that it actually got used twice, because, if you can believe it, this guy who is named “X-Cutioner” has absolutely nothing to do the the big grand X-crossover “X-Cutioner’s Song” from ’92.  I know, I was as shocked as you.  You feel like two uses of the same really stupid misspelling would be at least a little related, right? No, that’s stupid!  What was I thinking?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

X-Cutioner was released in the “Mutant Genesis” Series, the tenth assortment of Toy Biz’s X-Men line.  He hit in 1995, just two years after the character’s debut in the comics, which is a pretty short turn around time when you get right down to it.  X-Cutioner is the last figure from his assortment that I’ve taken a look at, and, were it not for freaking Senyaka, he’d be the most obscure of a rather low tier list of characters.  The figure stands 5 inches tall and he has 9 points of articulation.  His movement scheme is up to the standard count, but isn’t really a standard set-up, thanks to the wonky set-up of the right arm and the presence of the hood piece on his head.  His sculpt is a rather stiff one, surprising for this late in the game.  By this point, the stances were getting a little looser, but X-Cutioner seemed to miss the memo.  He did get the memo on the super swoll muscles, though, so I guess that’s good.  He’s not gonna look out of place.  X-Cutioner had one of those color schemes that looked like he threw darts at the wall to decide what to use, and that’s replicated here.  The silver makes sense, but the blue and the two colors of green, plus that weird orange/brown are all rather odd looking.  X-Cutioner included his mask/hood piece, which could fit down over his head and generally improves the look of the figure.  He also had two weapons, which mine is missing.  He also had a spinning feature worked into his right arm, for spinning purposes, of course.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

X-Cutioner is a figure that I definitely remember seeing as a kid, but also one that I definitely remember not really wanting.  He’s never been much of a presence in the comics, nor is he a particularly exciting design.  But, I’m all about those ’90s Toy Biz figures, so I’m slowly but surely picking everyone up as I find them.  This guy came into All Time about 2 months ago, with a bunch of others.  Yeah, he’s missing his weapons, but honestly, is that really stopping me now?

#2513: Shiklah

SHIKLAH

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Shiklah is the shape-shifting superhuman Queen of the Undead and former Mrs. Deadpool.”

Oh goody, today I get to review Shiklah.  She’s my faaaaaaavorite.  Ever since that time that…ummm…she did that very memorable…thing?  And then that other thing happened?  Wasn’t that great?  ….Okay, real talk, I’ve been fooling you this whole time.  Not only do I not remember either of those memorable things I mentioned, but Shiklah is also *not* my favorite.  I know, you’re shocked.  I’m very convincing with this ruse, right?  Okay, let’s just get to the damn review.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Shiklah is figure 3 in the Strong Guy Series of Marvel Legends, and she falls squarely into the Deadpool portion of the assortment.  Woooooooo.  Deadpool-theme.  It’s automatically wacky and zany and off the wall and they don’t even have to try, right?  Well, that seems to have been the prevailing theory on this one.  The figure’s 6 inches tall and she’s got 27 points of articulation.  Shiklah is using the Lady Deadpool body, and it’s not really the greatest.  From the (admittedly brief amount of) research I did, the body seems rather skinny for how she’s usually depicted, so it’s not great standpoint.  Also, her joints are kind of warped, and she’s got the really high-heeled feet, culminating in a figure that can not stand.  At all.  The effort I had to put into getting her to stay standing for the few photos I have here was insane, and I couldn’t even actually keep her up for all of them, which is why she’s just on the ground for one, and totally absent from another.  Really frustrating and poorly made are the best terms to describe her, really.  She gets a new head, which is fine, but seem large on this body, and she’s got floating add-ons for her necklace and belt, which don’t really stay in place, so hey, there’s more frustration to look forward to.  Her cape is a “cloth” piece, in the same vein as Storm’s.  I use the quotations because I struggle to really call this material cloth.  It’s effectively just paper when you get down to it.  It doesn’t hang well, it doesn’t pose well, and it’s not going to hold up well over time in the slightest.  There’s no pose where it doesn’t look dumb, apart I guess from when she’s laying flat on her face.  How fortunate, then, that that’s the only pose she can actually pull off long-term.  Shiklah’s paint work is, at least, fairly inoffensive.  It does its job, and seems to match the comics alright.  It’s quite purple.  There are no glaring issues, which I suppose is a piece of mercy given the rest of the figure.  Shiklah includes two accessories, neither of which is actually hers.  The main one is Jeff, Gwenpool’s pet land shark.  He’s just an unarticulated figurine, but he’s a fun little piece, and certainly an enjoyable addition to the Gwenpool figure.  He’s got a nice little jaunty walking pose that’s fairly versatile, and he interacts well with Gwen.  There’s a bit of obvious flashing and join lines that are a little bit annoying, but they don’t ruin the figure.  The other extra is Strong Guy’s arm, for those that want that (which is, like, 90% of the people buying this thing).

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I do not care about Shiklah.  She’s far outside of the period of time when I still enjoyed Deadpool, and she just doesn’t seem like she’s got much going on.  Honestly, it doesn’t even seem like Hasbro cares about Shiklah, given Jeff was actually shown off before she was, and is in front of her on both the side illustration and the product image on the back of the box.  I was originally planning to be more jokey with this review, and have Jeff as the main figure and Shiklah as the accessory.  Then, in the course of getting my photos, I realized how actually phoned-in and terrible the figure is, and I felt the need to actually talk about her.  I loathe this figure.  Do you know how bad a figure has to be for me to loathe it?  I’ve bough Mattel figures that I didn’t loathe!  But boy do I loathe this one.  I loathe it so much that I’m getting rid of it.  Not selling: getting rid of.  At least Jeff and the Strong Guy arm justify the cost for me, but you can tell that Hasbro just needed a space filler for this set and didn’t feel like they should put out another Gwenpool just yet.

Not so mixed feelings aside, thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure for review.  If you’re looking for Marvel Legends, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#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.

EDIT 12/25/20 – I now have both of the two guns.  Less shame!  Also, I found one of his included missiles that I didn’t even list before.  For shame again!

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.