#1359: VF-1S Roy Fokker – Last Stand

VF-1S ROY FOKKER – LAST STAND

ROBOTECH: VERITECH SUPER POSABLE FIGURE (TOYNAMI)

For someone who’s so hardcore into media that has to do with giant robot fighting suits, you’d probably assume that I’d be all about Robotech.  Truth be told, I only actually started watching the show a month ago.  I’ve absolutely been loving it; I can’t really say why I put off watching it for quite so long.  Anyway, there are a ton of Robotech toys out there.  They aren’t the most common items to find, since there’s a pretty big fanbase that collects them, but every so often you do find the occasional stray figure, and I was fortunate enough to do so.  Today, I’ll be looking at the Veritech fighter of my personal favorite character from the show, Roy Fokker.  So, let’s look at the figure!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

In 2001, Toynami picked up the license for Robotech, and they put out a line dubbed Robotech: Veritech Super Posable Figures.  Roy Fokker’s VF-1S was from that line.  This particular version is dubbed the “Last Stand” version, presumably based on Episode 18 of the series, which contains Roy’s final stand and eventual demise (spoilers, I guess).  The figure was released as an exclusive through ToyFare magazine, as a way of promoting the line.  Sculpturally, the VF-1S is the same figure as the standard release, just with a tweaked paint job.  The figure stands about 7 inches tall (largely due to his splayed legs; he’d be closer to 8 standing straight) and he has 22 points of articulation.  It’s somewhat amusing to see this figure branded as “super-posable” in this day and age, given his lack of a number of joints that are kind of essential in this day and age.  The most egregious omission is the lack of anything beyond cut joints on the hips, which means he’s perpetually stuck in this slightly splayed-leg-pose.  It’s far from the worst thing ever, and there’s no denying that he’s highly posable in several other areas, but it’s still a little limiting.  For the time, though, it was actually pretty amazing, so credit where credit is due.  The sculpt on this guy is really solid work; he pretty closely follows the show’s design and the detail work is all really sharp and geometric, just like it should be.  The joints are also worked in very nicely, but that’s just a matter of keeping consistent with the character design (which isn’t exactly something that’s always done; looking at you, Hasbro!).  This is a non-transforming figure, so he’s always in robot mode (which is the cool mode), but the important elements that remain from the original mode are still there, and very nicely detailed.  They’ve even made his skull leader insignia a raised element, to help differentiate him from the other Veritechs.  There are a few mold lines that I wish were a little less obvious, but beyond that, I’m very happy with the sculpt.  The paint is what differentiates this from the normal release; where the basic figure was clean and shiny, this figure depicts Roy after he takes a beating.  There’s a bunch of heavy shading and burn marks, as well as some pretty amazing bullet holes and puncture wounds.  Those are all still just painted on, but are quite convincing as actual damage to the figure.  I find that all of this extra work really does a lot to bring out the strengths of the sculpt and makes for an all-around more visually interesting figure.  Roy’s VF-1S is packed with three sets of hands in fists, trigger finger, and open gesture poses, as well as his rifle, which has adjustable pieces, allowing it to be held in his hand or slung over his shoulder.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As noted in the intro, I only got into Robotech very recently, so I didn’t get this guy new (though I do recall when he was offered in ToyFare, since I was a subscriber at the time).  Instead, I found him just a few weeks ago at this awesome place around the corner from me called Lost In Time Toys.  My brother got their card at AwesomeCon and we went to check them out and just happened to catch them in the middle of a moving sale.  This guy was amongst the handful of items still yet to be moved, so I got him for half of his usual price, which was a pretty darn good deal.  I will admit, I was a little annoyed by the hips when I got him out of the box, but other than that small issue, I just can’t help but love this guy.  I foresee myself tracking down more of this line.

#0907: Captain Yesterday

CAPTAIN YESTERDAY

FUTURAMA (TOYNAMI)

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Futurama is a show that I tend to forget how much I enjoy until I’m actually watching it. While it’s framed as a dumb comedy, it’s actually pretty intelligent. It’s never been anywhere near as successful as its sister show, The Simpsons, but it’s done pretty decently for itself (seriously, the show’s been canceled how many times now?). Back when it first aired, Moore Action Collectibles picked up the license, hoping to replicate some of the success of Playmates’ World of Springfield line. Sadly, that didn’t work out for them. They only produced a single series of three figures, and that was all. Several years later, following Comedy Central ordering new episodes of the show, Toynami dusted of MAC’s old sculpts, and added a few of their own to launch a new line of figures. The line was actually fairly successful, with 9 series of figures. This allowed for Toynami to offer a few of the main characters with some variant looks, including today’s figure, Captain Yesterday, aka Phillip J Fry.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

CaptainYesterday2Captain Yesterday was released in Series 4 of Toynami’s Futurama line. Series 4 was the first series to include pieces of the line’s second Build-A-Figure, Robot Santa. Captain Yesterday is based on Fry’s appearance in the fourth season episode “Less Than Hero,” where he and Leela gain super powers and decide to fight crime as the New Justice Team. The figure is about 6 inches tall and has 4 points of articulation. While the MAC figures, and by extension some of Toynami’s figures, had a fair bit of articulation, the later figures only had the most basic movement, and were patterned after World of Springfield in that respect. Captain Yesterday was an all-new sculpt. He’s rather pre-posed, but he’s at least based on Captain Yesterday’s “role call” pose. If he could only have one pose, this is a pretty good one. The sculpt does an admirable job of translating Fry into three CaptainYesterday3dimensions. It’s not a perfect translation, but it’s close enough that you’ll really only notice the issues when doing a direct comparison. The paint on this figure is pretty well done for the most part. There are some spots with some minor bleed over, but the basic application is very clean, and he looks really sharp. Captain Yesterday includes two accessories: a tube of Dr. Flimflam’s Miracle Cream (which is what gave Fry his powers), and the head of Robot Santa.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was late to the party on this guy. I remember these figures being released, and I had even became a fan of the show by the time most of them hit stores, but for one reason or another, I never got any of these figures new. And, if I’m honest, I never had much motivation to track them down on the secondary market later. So, why do I have this guy? Well, I was in a Moviestop a few weeks ago, and discovered that Moviestop has apparently been bought out by Hastings, a collectibles store from the Midwest. This means they have a lot of action figures. Like, a LOT. Anyway, they had a bunch of Futurama figures, all priced below their original retail value. Since I always liked “Less Than Hero,” I figured Captain Yesterday was worth the purchase. This isn’t a revolutionary figure, or even a particularly stand out one, but he’s not bad, and certainly worth what I paid for him. Now, I just need to fight the urge to complete the New Justice Team…

#0329: Space Ghost

SPACE GHOST

SPACE GHOST: COAST TO COAST

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SPAAAAAAACE GHOOOOOST!

Once or twice before, I’ve mentioned my love of old cartoons. There is one old cartoon in particular that I love more than any other. That cartoon is Space Ghost. Space Ghost is simply put, one of the coolest cartoons ever. The characters were designed by legendary artist Alex Toth, who is the man responsible for most of the character design work on the original Super Friends, and they are all amazing examples of just how awesome his work could be.

In the late 90s, Cartoon Network was looking for some original programing that could possibly appeal to an older audience. They turned to Space Ghost, and through some re-editing of old animation and some new dialogue, they created Space Ghost: Coast to Coast, which re-imagined Space Ghost as a late night talk show host. I’ve never actually seen a full episode of the show, but toymakers Toycom put out a set of figures based on the show. Thanks to Coast to Coast re-using the original animation, this meant that they could work just as well as figures from the original. Today, I’ll be looking at that line’s version of the title character!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

SpaceGhostWilsonSpace Ghost was released a few times in Toycom’s Space Ghost: Coast to Coast line. Initially, he was released on his own, but he also shipped with the release of Zorak, Brak, and Moltar. The releases are pretty much identical. The figure was released in both normal and invisible versions. They both used the same sculpt, but the invisible one was made of unpainted clear plastic, while the normal one featured a full paint job. I’ll be looking at the normal one today. Space Ghost stands about 6 inches tall and features 16 points of articulation. Space Ghost features a unique sculpt, based on his appearance in both the original Space Ghost and Coast to Coast. The sculpt does a pretty great job capturing the essence of the character. He’s even got the proper little bit of flow to his cape, which is absolutely essential to Space Ghost. An argument could be made that the face is perhaps a little too smooth for Space Ghost, but there was enough variance in the character’s design on the show that this isn’t a very noticeable issue. The paint on the figure is basic, but that’s right for the design. He’s molded in white plastic for the body and yellow for the cape. Unfortunately, the white plastic doesn’t age well, so it’s yellowed over time. However, this is hardly an issue that the toymakers could have known at the time. The actual paint is all pretty well applied. There’s next to no bleed over, slop or fuzzy lines, which is certainly impressive for the time. One issue is the slight tendency of the black paint to chip, especially at the base of the neck joint. It might have been better to mold the head in black plastic to avoid the issue, but at least it’s not too obvious. Space Ghost is quite well accessorized, with an alternate set of hands (one for holding his cards, one for activating the power bands), a desk, a stool, four cue cards with Space Ghost logos, and a Space Ghost coffee mug.

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THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

When I was about 4 or 5, a friend of my dad loaned me his copy of the entirety of the original Space Ghost (and Dino Boy!) on LASERDISC! If you don’t know what that is, don’t feel bad, it’s a format that never really took off. Essentially, it’s a precursor to DVD that was about 5 times the size and held a whole lot less. Anyway, I loved the show and would watch it all the time, prompting the friend to essentially give me the laserdisc on a permanent loan. When the Coast to Coast figures came out, I remember searching several places trying to find the normal version. I eventually got one from my faithful comicbook store, Cosmic Comix. I loved that figure to no end. Okay, I actually loved that figure to its end. By the time I was through with it, the cape was gone and a fair bit of paint was missing from the head and power bands. Eventually, I replaced him with an invisible version (bought years later, also from Cosmic Comix), but that wasn’t the same. A few years ago, I considered replacing him with the Jazwares version, but I never saw one with a paintjob that wasn’t atrocious, so I never got one. Just last month, Cosmic Comix got in a collection of loose action figures, and wouldn’t you know it, there was a Space Ghost. I should point out, I was actually travelling that week, so my Dad found him and got him for me, making this the third Space Ghost purchased for me by my Dad from Cosmic Comix. Which is actually kind of cool! I still love this figure, and I’m glad to have a proper replacement!