#3313: ODST Rookie (with Drop Pod)



I’m a sucker for side characters, and that’s no more true than the Halo franchise’s plucky group of not-quite-Spartans, the Orbital Drop Shock Troopers, better known as the ODSTs, who got their own focus in Halo 3: ODST, a spin-off released in 2009.  It follows a squad of them through events bridging Halo 2 and Halo 3, and it’s a rather unique game within the context of the franchise.  The ODSTs are not without their own merchandising coverage, though they’ve been a little bit absent from the toy coverage in the last couple of years.  But, hey, it looks like things might just be changing.  And here’s a look at our favorite silent protagonist, the Rookie!


The ODST Rookie is part of Jazwares’ World of Halo line, the smaller scale of their two lines.  He’s a deluxe-sized item, and appears to be part of Jazwares’ new product for 2023.  Distribution’s been a bit iffy on the line, so it’s tricky to tell.  He’s technically the second ODST in the line, though, again, with the distribution, it’s been hard to track.  The figure stands just shy of 4 inches tall and he has 27 points of articulation.  The articulation scheme on this figure is fairly similar to Jazwares’ Fortnite line of the same scale and style.  With the exception of the elbows, which are a bit restricted, the movement’s all pretty good.  The Rookie’s sculpt is a pretty solid one.  It doesn’t quite have the crispness of some of the McFarlane ODST sculpts, but it still gets all of the details of note, capturing all of the little tacked-on elements of his design quite well.  His build is just a bit bulkier than other ODST figures, keeping in line with the other Jazwares sculpts, much like the Fortnite figures.  Some of the proportions aren’t an exact match for the game models, and I’m not 100% sold on the exact shaping on the helmet (it took McFarlane a few tries to get that one right, too), but the overall structure of the figure really works.  The Rookie’s paint work is generally pretty decent.  His colors in the game are all rather subdued, and that’s true of the figure as well.  The differences between the greys and black are a bit more pronounced here than in the actual game, but I don’t mind that so much, especially given the general stylings of how Jazwares has been handling the line.  The general layout of the colors mostly matches up; the chest plate’s supposed to be a lighter color, but other than that, it works.  The application is mostly pretty good; the only thing I’m not too keen on is how the fingers have been painted on the hands.  They go too far up, past the knuckles, which doesn’t match up with the design, or even the sculpt, and just generally looks rather sloppy.  For the figure proper, the set includes the Rookie’s signature silenced SMG, his handgun, and his backpack.  The biggest part of the set, though, is the Rookie’s Drop Pod.  It’s a key piece, what with being the thing that gives the ODSTs their name and all.  It looks to be decently scaled to the figure, and gets an impressive amount of detailing, including a fully detailed interior, complete with his seat and controls.  It’s a little bit basic in exactly how it works; there’s a sort of a spring-loaded feature for the hatch, but no actual way to trigger it from the outside, meaning it…well, it doesn’t seem to actually do much of anything.  There’s a locking system on the inside, which also doesn’t really do much, as whether it’s locked or not, you still have to manually pop the hatch off.  It feels like there was meant to be more to this mechanism, but it was cut at some point to save costs.  As it stands, it’s still a nice display piece, even if it doesn’t really do anything.


I’m unabashedly a huge ODST fan, so I’m always eager for more toy coverage from the game.  I’ve enjoyed what I’ve gotten to mess with from Jazwares’ Halo offerings, but the lack of anything ODST has definitely been a bit of a bummer.  This one actually caught me by surprise.  I had no clue it was coming out, and only happened to find the set while doing a quick wander through the Target toy aisle during some quick errands.  It was certainly a pleasant surprise.  The Rookie is a pretty straight forward, but nevertheless quite fun figure.  The Drop Pod is a rather basic piece, which doesn’t quite land the features it reaches for, but given the price point for the whole set, it’s still hits the marks it really needs to.  Hopefully this set signifies some more cool ODST stuff for the line!

Matty’s Corner #0003: Shadow the Hedgehog



Hi, Ethan here!  Welcome to Matthew’s Corner, where I’m collecting the mad ramblings of my 6 year old Matthew, who also likes to talk about action figures.  What can I say, I’m sympathetic to his need to ramble about action figures.  So, I’m just gonna let him take it away…though, for what it’s worth, I’m still transcribing for him.

This is Matthew back on the writing!  I told you I would meet you back with Shadow, and I thought about being back with Venom, but I said “no, I could never miss saying that”  I said I was gonna be back on Shadow.  So, I am back on Shadow.  Now I’m gonna stop with this.  But I’m still back on Shadow.  My dog’s name is Shadow.  But I’m not reviewing my dog.  I’m reviewing Shadow.


Shadow is from, right now only, Sonic the video game.  The figure is from the Sonic line.  Jakks Pacific makes the Sonic line.  Aaaaah.  Aaaaah.  Aaaaah.  Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah.  Okay, just being weird.  I meant to do that.  But, Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah.  Okay, now I’m actually done.  For once in a lifetime, someone has to be done with something.  And I am.  I am back reviewing SHADOW!  MY DOG!  No, not my dog.  I’ve not actually finished the review yet.  Aaaaaaaaaaaaaah.  Okay, so now I’m really done.  Sorry for being stupid in the other part.  The figure of this has 17 joints.  I really like the detailing of the figure.  I like the painting and I like the sculpting.  I like the fur detailing on his chest because I think that’s really hard to do.  So if the person that made this hears that, thank you, that’s really impressive.  I really like the shoes.  I think they’re really detailed and intense.  Especially how they’re symmetrical.  The most talented sculpting would probably be the head on the back.  It’s really pointy and the colors are where they’re supposed to be.  Now we’re going to pronouncing the colors of everything on the figure.  The gloves are white, and part of the shoes is also white, and the curvy part of the eyes, and then the chest fur is white, but just a little bit.  Now we are going to be listing the black things on this figure.  The head is black, but not all-purposely, and part of the not-white part of the shoes is black, and of course the nose is black, and part of an arm thing is black too.  Now we’re listing the gold and orange things.  The gold things are the things on the arm and then part of the shoes, and the outside of the mouth, and the inside of the ears.  Last but not least, the red things on this figure!  The bottom of the shoes are red, and part of the spikes on his head are red, and his eyes too, and part of his arm pads.  That’s all of the color listing.  Shadow comes with a coin.  It’s only in like one picture.  The coin is pretty cool.  And, one thing, the colors.  There’s only gold and red.  The number “10” is red, and the outside of all of that is gold.


The reason why I got Shadow is because I really liked Sonic the Hedgehog 2, so I planned on getting two figures from it and only two, because Ethan likes Knuckles, so I let him get that one.  The reason why I got Shadow is because I needed a third person.  What is Sonic without three people?  So, I got Shadow because he’s in the next movie, which is going to be in a year or something.  Anyway, I’ll see you guys later goodbye.  I will see you next for a review of a Blue Power Ranger!

#3189: Spartan Buck



Wow, is this me, doing another Halo review?  Already?  I mean, yeah, I guess so.  If I’ve got the figure to review, I might as well.  During the lead-up to Halo 5‘s release, Microsoft was trying to move past the purely older age range of the franchise up to that point.  In keeping with that, they moved the master license for the property from McFarlane Toys over to Mattel.  Mattel’s handling of the license was kind of lackluster for the most part, but they were also doing stuff for Halo 5, which was also kind of lackluster, so I guess it fit.  While Mattel’s first batch of products were pretty much everywhere, the weak response to their offerings meant that all of the follow-ups were generally scarce.  Amongst those scarce items: the second series of their Halo Universe line, which happened to feature the only ODST-related figure the line had to offer, Spartan Edward Buck!


Spartan Buck was part of the aforementioned Series 2 line-up of Halo Universe, which started to just show up online in little trickles over a year after the release of the first series.  Buck wasn’t even truly confirmed as part of Series 2 prior to its release, and he’d been long assumed cancelled when he just randomly showed up.  Yeah, that was really just how the end of Mattel’s run on the Halo license went in a nutshell.  The figure stands just shy of 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  This line’s scaling was definitely weird; the Spartans are supposed to be pretty big compared to regular people, so at only 6 1/2 inches tall, these guys don’t fit in with much.  But, I guess they had each other?  Sure is great that Mattel gave us a deep cast of characters, right?  Yeah… Given the general bulkiness of the figure and how Mattel figures generally were at the time, Buck’s articulation is surprisingly well-handled.  The range of motion is pretty decent, and he can pretty easily hold his weapon with both hands, something that I know the Series 1 figures really struggled with.  For this line, Mattel designed all of the Spartan figures to feature removable armor.  Given that we rarely see the Spartans without all of their armor, it was an odd choice, but I suppose their desire to do something different isn’t the worst thing. The construction means that he’s even bulkier than a Spartan usually would be, but it was consistent with the overall look of the line.  Mostly, it’s just the head being a bit too small that’s the issue, but I don’t hate it.  The armor actually looks pretty nice, and, apart from the calf armor having a tendency to pop out of place, it’s actually pretty secure.  The underlying suit is kind of goony looking, and I’m not ever gonna display him that way, but, again, it’s at least something different.  Buck’s paint work is largely on the basic side, but the application is clean, and he’s got a few pretty cool smaller details.  Buck is packed with an assault rifle, a knife, and an unmasked head.  The unmasked head is kind of on the large side relative to the helmet, but it’s a decent enough sculpt, and kudos to Mattel on actually giving him the extra head to swap, rather than trying to get an extra sale out of it.


I’m amongst the people who though this figure got cancelled back in the day.  I was really not into the first series of the line, and was at least a little curious about this guy, but when a year went by and the others all got clearanced out, I called it quits and didn’t pay it much attention.  In the years since, this figure’s value’s gotten really high on the aftermarket.  Fortunately for me, I was able to snag a loose one that got traded into All Time for a reasonable price.  He’s a better figure than I’d expected.  He’s still got his own odd quirks, but I actually kind of like him.

#3104: Knuckles



Video game movies are always a tricky prospect.  There’s a whole lot of room for error in any adaptation to a new medium, but games to movies has classically proven particularly troublesome, typically resulting in films that not only fail as adaptations of the source material, but also as movies on their own.  Released just before the start of the pandemic in 2020, the first Sonic the Hedgehog movie started off with some trouble, namely the uncanny valley surrounding the title character’s design.  However, by the time the final product hit theaters, audiences were surprised to find that…it was actually a pretty solid movie?  Like, both as an adaptation, and just on its own merits?  I was certainly surprised. With the success of the first film, its sequel was fast tracked (at least as fast-tracked as anything can be during the pandemic era), and it just hit about a month ago.  It’s even more fun than the first one, and introduces a few more of Sonic’s usual supporting cast.  This includes my personal favorite character, Knuckles, voiced within the film by Idris Elba.  It’s pretty great, you guys.  Let’s have a look at the figure today.


Knuckles is one of the four figures that make up the first series of Jakks Pacific’s Sonic 2 movie tie-in line.  The figure stands 4 1/2 inches tall and he has 21 points of articulation.  Knuckles is sporting a pretty impressive selection of articulation, given the scale/price point.  The joints do have a tendency to get stuck, at least on mine, but with enough working, they pose pretty nicely.  The sculpt is an all-new affair, based on Knuckles’ design from the movie.  His movie design is quite faithful to his classic video game appearance, just brought a little bit more in line with the first film’s take on Sonic.  The figure follows the movie model quite well, making for a pretty spot-on recreation.  The sculpt gets some pretty solid detailing, especially on the texturing for his fur.  The color work on Knuckles maintains the design from the movie pretty well.  It’s rather basic, of course, but that’s kind of expected.  The red is all molded, as is much of the white, but what paint work is present is generally well-applied.  There was a bit of iffy coverage on the white patch on the torso on the figures I looked at, but my copy generally looks pretty good.  Knuckles is packed with a snow board (which is also included with Sonic).  Not the most Knuckles-esque extra, but I suppose it’s better than nothing.


The first Sonic movie was a pleasant surprise for me, and I was excited by what more the sequel could offer.  The confirmation of Knuckles, followed up by Idris Elba’s casting, made me quite hyped for it.  I’ve been eying the Jakks Pacific stuff for a bit, wanting to grab a decent Knuckles.  This particular release finally cemented the deal for me.  He’s a pretty fun little figure.

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.

But hang on just a second here!  We’re not quite done with today’s feature.  Since I’m admittedly a little outside of the target demographic for these figures, I’ve decided to bring in a little bit of help from my good buddy Matthew, who’s a little more in the realm of being a kid, because…well, um, he is.  He’s not quite so versed on the reading and writing thing himself just yet, but he took some pictures, and he’s supplied me with his thoughts on the rest of the series, which I’ve done my best to transcribe.  Take it away Matthew!

This is Matthew!  Just so that you know, you heard about me from the other paragraph.  These are my figures from Sonic 2.  Tails, Sonic, and Eggman…no, Dr. Robotnik.  I went to the theatre to watch this movie, and it was really good.  If you have not watched it, please do, and then check out Ethan’s website [hey, this kid’s a pretty good promoter–Ethan].  You should go to All Time Toys if you want these.  That’s where I got them.

I want to tell everyone my favorite figure, which is the one in the middle.  It is Sonic.  I like blue.  My room is blue.  And they painted it right on this figure.  I like the board of Sonic [his accessory–E], it is really cool.  Just forewarning, he falls apart really easily, so be careful when you get them.  The feet come off…when I said that, the feet just came off.  Especially be careful with the hands and shoes.  But I do like how the joints move when he’s not coming apart.  I’m done talking about Sonic.  I wanna talk about Tails now.

Presenting the one on the left hand side: Tails!  One thing did not come with him: the backpack.  And just so that you know, if you have watched the movie, I’m just telling you a part of it, because he has a backpack in the movie.  I like that he has his gadget thing.  All his parts still come off like Sonic’s can too.  I don’t like the tail because it makes Tails fall over if you haven’t put down his feet properly.  If you have him on the Eiffel Tower tipping, he will fall over.  I’m done talking about Tails.

Presenting Dr. Robotnik! I like that he has an egg.  I do not like Dr. Robotnik.  I like the toy.  Not the guy.  Why I do not like the guy, is because I do not like his beard.  His mustache I mean.  I love his mustache.  I mean I hate his mustache.  I do not like that he’s evil.  And he likes drinking coffee.  And that’s why he comes with a coffee cup.  Because he’s Dr. Robotnik.  And he loves coffee cup.  He could even eat a coffee cup with coffee in it.

I hope you like the website.  And if you want the toys, you should go to All Time Toys.  Good bye!

#2867: Hulk



“Bruce Banner smashes anything in sight as the gamma-powered Hulk!”

Square Enix’s Avengers game really wasn’t the smash they were hoping for, now was it?  The game was off to a rocky start pretty much from the word go, but it certainly wasn’t helped by its intended release being interrupted by a pandemic.  There were a number of planned tie-ins, including some stuff in the Legends range, but somewhat weirdly, we got quite an eclectic selection of characters in that area.  The main line gave us two versions each of Cap and Iron Man, as well as Ms Marvel and Abomination.  The only other notable character released was the Hulk, who was not only not a main line release, but also wasn’t even a standard version of the character.  It’s weird my guys.


Hulk (who is officially just named “Hulk” on the package, but is referred to as “Outback Hulk” by pretty much every one whenever he’s referenced) was a GameStop-exclusive Marvel Legends release.  He was under the Gamerverse banner, and sold at the deluxe price point.  He was released in mid-2020, in an attempt to loosely tie-in with the game, and he’s based on one of Hulk’s alternate skins from the game, itself patterned loosely on his look during “House of M.”  The figure stands 7 3/4 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  This figure is largely built on the body introduced with the Endgame Hulk Build-A-Figure, which is a decent starting point for a slightly more realistically proportioned Hulk figure.  Also, with only one prior use, it’s understandable that Hasbro might want some more mileage out of it.  The only slight snag, at least on my figure, is that the arms are very prone to popping out of their sockets, due to the Build-A-Figure origins.  I actually found it to be a more frequent occurrence with this release than with BaF proper.  Ultimately, it’s a minor side issue, though.  Hulk gets a new head, depicting the game’s longer haired and bearded take on the character.  It’s a different look to be sure.  There are actually two different heads, each with its own expression.  One’s more calm, and the other is baring his teeth, ’cause he’s angry, I suppose.  The heads do seem maybe a touch too large for the body, but they’re otherwise decent enough sculpts.  Hulk also has a new set of add-on pieces for his wrists.  They’re meant to be the tattered remains of his shirt, thematically looking like wraps on his forearms, I suppose.  They’re a little light on the detailing to really sell them for what they are, but I do like how they change up the overall look of the core figure a bit more.  In terms of paint, this Hulk is a little different from the usual, being grey, and also having the somewhat tribal detailing painted on his face and torso.  Again, it helps to change up the usual look, and is at least a somewhat different take on the character.  The actual application’s not a bad set-up.  It’s nothing crazy, but it works.  Hulk is packed with two different sets of hands, one in fists, the other in open gesture.  This gives him two full sets of the combo pair we saw on the original release of the mold.  I do like when they update it to give us the full sets.


Nothing about this particular release really spoke to me when he was shown off, and he certainly wasn’t worth the hassle of going through GameStop to get him, so I held off on him.  Honestly, I kinda forgot he even existed, really.  However, one of them got traded into All Time a couple of months ago, and he’s gotten quite cheap, so I figured it was a decent enough time to pick him up.  Ultimately, there’s not a lot going on here that you can’t get elsewhere, and he’s not exactly a standard Hulk anyway, so his exact purpose is sort of weird.  I don’t dislike the figure, but I’m hard pressed to figure out what I’m gonna do with him now that I own him.

#2850: Plastic Patroller



My last Fortnite-themed review was back in December of 2019.  Ah, 2019.  What a different place to be.  Given that I’ve never played even a second of the game, I do actually review stuff from it here with a surprising frequency.  Look, I’m a sucker for a fun toy, and you can’t deny that Fortnite‘s designs do result in some fun toys.  While I’ve stuck with the Jazwares component of the tie-ins thus far, McFarlane has also had their own line running alongside for a bit, which offers up a lot of the same stuff at a slightly different scale, but also a few unique pieces.  Included amongst the unique stuff is today’s figure, the Plastic Patroller.  Added in Season 9 of the game, the Plastic Patroller is a pretty straight forward concept: he’s an old school plastic green army man.  That’s very toyetic, and I’m all about it.


The Plastic Patroller was added to McFarlane’s Fortnite line early this year. The figure stands 7 1/4 inches tall and he has 35 points of articulation.  Comparing the two toymakers’ lines, I don’t find the McFarlane offerings to be quite as easily posed, at least going by this particular figure, but I don’t think it’s a bad set-up.  It’s on par with the DC stuff, so it’s certainly much better than what Todd used to do.  In-game, the Patroller is largely a recoloring of the Jonesy skin, so this figure is unsurprisingly built on a lot of the same parts as the McFarlane Jonesy.  It’s a decent enough starting point.  I’m super crazy about how the ankles and wrists look, but for the most part it works.  I also did find it interesting that the trigger finger is on the left side, which isn’t very common.  That I definitely don’t mind, though.  He does get a new head and feet, though, in order to give him both the helmet, and the excess plastic at the feet, to help really sell that green army man feel.  The helmet does maybe feel a little to joined to the head and not a distinctly different part, based on the animation model, but it’s not terrible, and does still feel like the old toy, so it still works.  The extra stuff on the feet actually makes him a bit more stable, so I won’t complain about that.   In terms of color work, the Patroller is actually a little more involved than you might think at first glance.  He’s based on the skin’s second iteration, after it was reworked in order to remove its potential for blending in with certain environments.  So, he’s not just straight green, but actually has a little bit of dirt build-up.  Though not quite as classically green army man, it does make him a slightly more involved design, I suppose.  It’s like he’s been taken out to the playground.  The Patroller is packed with the Response Unit Back Bling, Scar Assault Rifle, Knockwurst harvesting tool, and a stand.  Not a bad selection of parts, and it certainly follows the gamut of the game’s stylings, being a mix of goofy and straight forward.  The rifle’s basic, but I really dig the Knockwurst, as goofy as it is.


My Fortnite purchases are entirely based on “hey, that’s a cool design”, with no underlying knowledge beyond that.  Jazwares had dragged me in with the Joe compatibility, and then gotten me on board with the 6 inch stuff, but I was steering clear of McFarlane, because why would I need to start another scale.  Well, a green army man’s a good enough excuse.  I mean, I’m pretty sure it’s a one-off.  I hope it’s a one-off.  I’m sticking by it being a one-off.

FYI, we’re heading into another post-Jess section here.  The Plastic Patroller came from the same trip to Target as yesterday’s Major Bludd.  Likewise, I didn’t go in expecting to find him, but after finding Bludd, I was wandering through the video game section, and I spotted this guy.  And I heard this little voice in the back of my head telling me that they’d be mad at me if I didn’t buy him, because I’d regret it later.  It felt very Jess.  Again, I may be doing some projecting, and maybe I’m seeing more than what’s there and attributing silly, little minor things to her, but hey, that’s where I am.

#2793: Civil Warrior



“In an alternate Earth ravaged by civil war, Captain America assumes the mantle of Civil Warrior.”

If there’s one thing alternate realities have taught us, it’s that Cap’s side winning Civil War always results in him getting some sick-ass armor.  This just furthers that his side was the morally correct one the whole time, because how could you NOT want the sick-ass armor?  In the mobile game, Contest of Champions, Cap actually gives himself a whole new identity upon dawning his armor, the Civil Warrior.  He may fight, but he’s gonna do it very civilly, I guess. And he’s also gonna get a Marvel Legend, because that’s just how he do.


Civil Warrior is figure 5 in the Mr. Hyde Series of Marvel Legends.  He’s one of the two non-Shang-Chi based figures in the assortment, as well as being the only figure in the set under the “Gamerverse” branding.  He definitely feels like something of an odd man out in this assortment, since he’s got no real ties to anything else thematically.  He’s kind of like the Black Bolt and Sub Mariner figures from the Okoye Series in that respect, I guess.  And just like those two figures, I’m not going to complain too much about getting him.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Structurally, Civil Warrior is almost identical to the Hydra Supreme figure from 2019.  It’s sensible, since the two designs are just the same apart from colors.  It’s also nice because it was a really nice sculpt to begin with, and I’m happy to see it show up again.  The only change-up to this release is that he reverts back to Taskmaster‘s gripping style hands, instead of the Iron Man hands.  I’m not entirely sure why they made the change, but it’s kind of a lateral move, I suppose.  The largest change-up for this figure is, of course, the color scheme, which is now a more traditionally Captain America-y color scheme, as opposed to the prior Hydra colors.  It’s pretty straight forward, but it looks really nice, and honestly I think it works even better with the sculpt than the Hydra colors did.  The other notable change-up for the figure comes in the form of the shield.  Since Civil Warrior has a more traditional style Cap shield than Hydra Cap, the piece included here reflects that.  It’s an all-new piece, which was admittedly a little bit surprising.  It’s quite a nice piece, and the detailing on the arc reactor is cool.  The shield’s still got the peg for mounting on the figure’s back, but there’s no corresponding spot for it on the figure, which is a little odd.  Also included with this figure is the head to the Mr. Hyde Build-A-Figure.


In my review of Hydra Supreme, I ended by saying I hoped we might get this recolor of the sculpt.  It took a little bit longer than I’d expected, but that doesn’t make it less cool that we finally got him.  I really liked the Hydra Supreme figure when he hit, but this one does him even better.  The traditional colors really work, and he’s just a lot of fun.  As simple as he is, he’s honestly my favorite figure in the set, because he just does what he does really well.

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.

#2785: Evil Ryu



What better way to wrap up my Street Fighter II Minimates reviews than with a character who’s not even in Street Fighter II at all?*  Evil Ryu is a pretty straight forward concept, with all real questions about his nature answered by the name.  He’s a corrupted version of the generally heroic Ryu, who has succumbed to the power of the “Satsui no Hado” (“Surge of Muderous Intent”), which is the thing that powers Akuma.  He was first worked into the games in Street Fighter Alpha 2, and has been a recurring concept since.  He’s not really a separate character, but is more of a “What if?” surrounding Ryu giving into evil at some point in the future.  He’s also a pretty simple re-paint of a standard Ryu, making him a very easy repaint.  Hence, so many toys.


Evil Ryu was originally released in a two-pack with Shin Akuma, an Akuma variant.  The pair were exclusive to Hollywood Video of all places.  Yes, the number two video rental store opted for an exclusive item.  Kinda weird, huh?  He was also packed with Morrigan, Dimitri, and standard Akuma as one of a pair of four-packs, aimed at making these a little easier to get, I guess?  The two releases were effectively identical, so it doesn’t really matter, I suppose.  The figure is built on the standard post-c3 body, so he’s about 2 1/2 inches tall and he has 14 points of articulation.  Construction on this guy is identical to the standard Ryu, as you’d expect.  Those pieces are good pieces, so he’s still pretty darn cool.  The paint marks the main change-up.  For the most part, it’s a palette swap, with generally darker colors present.  He does get an all-new facial expression, which is more intense even than the already more intense P2-color version.  He’s real mad, and his eyes are now red and pupil-less.  Additionally, he has gained the kanji character that was present on Akuma, signifying his corruption by the Satsui no Hado.  Likewise, his energy effect piece is now the same purple as Akuma’s.


As with most of the SF2 Minimates, I didn’t get Evil Ryu new, in his case largely because my local Hollywood Video was rather downtrodden, and never saw these sets.  He was probably the figure I wanted the most out of the whole set, truth be told, because it’s a look I’ve always kinda liked.  Thankfully, I was able to get him at the same time as the others, courtesy of All Time Toys.  He’s a pretty fun figure, as are all of the SF2 ‘mates.  It’s a shame this line didn’t take off, because it certainly had the effort put into it.  It’s also a shame that a third of its slots were devoted to Darkstalkers…

*Okay, that’s not entirely true; Evil Ryu was added to the roster for SFII in its Ultra incarnation…which was released 11 years after this figure…better late than never, right?  Beyond that, though, he was also featured in the SFII manga, and one of the animated films.  So, it’s not the craziest thing, I suppose.

#2771: Ryu & Akuma



2005 into 2006 marked a rather turbulent time for the Minimates brand.  DST and Art Asylum were definitely trying to expand it, but there was some trouble with that.  Attempts to add DC and Lord of the Rings kind of fell through, so a desire for other licenses to replace them was building.  Marvel, still the flagship line, went on hiatus for over a year, while they tried to regroup on other licenses.  In early 2006, they attempted to get into the video game character market with Minimates based on the classic fighting game Street Fighter II, hoping that might be the thing that took off and saved the line.  Spoilers: it wasn’t.  In the line’s one and only assortment, we got some of the game’s heavy hitters, which included today’s figures, Ryu and Akuma!


Ryu and Akuma were released in the standard retail assortment of Street Fighter II Minimates.  The two of them were based on their standard Player 1 colors, but there was also an AFX-exclusive variant pack that put them in their P2 colors, as well as changing up their expressions.  The standard versions also surfaced overseas as part of a blind-box assortment, which also featured the P2 colors, but this time without the changed expressions.


Ryu, one of two character’s carried over from the first game, is arguably the star of the Street Fighter series, so he’s certainly a sensible choice for the line-up.  He’s seen here in his standard white gi with red accents set-up.  The figure was built on the standard base body, so he’s about 2 1/4 inches tall and he has 14 points of articulation.  He has four add-on pieces, for his hair, the bottom of his robe, and his hand bracers.  It’s honestly a pretty nice selection of parts, and matches up pretty well with his in-game sprite, while still helping him remain consistent with the overall ‘mate aesthetic.  There’s still some flow and expression to the parts, but they aren’t overly detailed like some later parts would be.  His details are handled largely through paint work, of course, and it’s pretty nicely done.  The face has just enough detail to really capture the character, and his body is well defined.  I appreciate that they’ve gone to the trouble of actually outline the edges of his sleeves and pants, so that they’re a little more defined.  Interestingly, like Spider-Woman from last week, Ryu is totally painted.  It looks nice, so I can’t really complain.  Ryu is packed with a blue effects piece, presumably meant to replicate his Haduken attack, which makes for some fun posing options.


Facing off against Ryu is the game’s hidden final boss, Akuma, a pretty solid opponent for Ryu.  He’s built rather similarly to Ryu, which is honestly appropriate.   The only part that’s actually shared between the two is the arm bracer piece, which works well for both of them.  His hair is obviously a new piece, as is the skirt piece, which they could have probably gotten away with re-using, but they didn’t, so good for them.  He also gets a new piece for the necklace as well, which is something that could have been painted on, but wasn’t, and is honestly the better for it.  The hair’s a little bit devoid of detail, which makes it look a little wonky, but for the most part it looks okay.  The detail work on this guy is a good match for Ryu, and he is likewise totally painted.  I appreciate that they actually changed up the tampo for the torso detailing, as that’s another area where they didn’t *have* to change it.  Akuma is packed with the same effects piece as Ryu, but in purple instead of blue.


The SFII Minimates line was one I really wanted to support, but it was one that I unfortunately didn’t really see in person.  The only ones I ever found were the P2 colors for these two, which got clearance out at KB toys of all places.  Interestingly, my Ryu from that set was erroneously the single pack version, so I never had the changed up expression for him.  I eventually got the chance to get the proper P1 versions when All Time got in that big Minimates collection back in 2019, which I was pretty happy about.  These two are well made to be sure, and it’s a shame the line didn’t take off the way DST hoped they would.

#2611: Cammy



I don’t talk video games incredibly often on this site, but there’s enough cross-over between them and action figures that I do at least dabble in discussing them from time to time.  As a kid, I wasn’t much into the whole video game thing, but I did get to play the occasional game at an arcade here or there, which gave me a taste of some of the more popular arcade fighting games.  My favorite franchise out of these was definitely Street Fighter, whose colorful cast of diverse characters also happens to lend itself quite nicely to the action figure treatment.  Today, I’m taking a look at my favorite character from the games in figure form.  Let’s take a look at Cammy!


Cammy was released in 2017 as part of Bandai’s S.H. Figuarts line.  She followed up the releases of Ryu and Chun-Li earlier that same year, and like them served as a tie-in with the release of Street Fighter V.  She’s officially based on her character model from that game, of course, but that also makes her a more than serviceable stand-in for Cammy from Street Fighter II, which works well for me.  The figure stands about 6 inches tall and she has 39 points of articulation.  Her articulation scheme is a bit more conventional than the usual Figuarts release, with less floating pieces and just a generally tighter set of joints.  It means she’s also just a touch more restricted than the average Figuarts offering, but that’s not the end of the world.  She can still get a lot of really solid poses.  And they even articulated her hair.  How about that?  I really have only two notable complaints regarding the articulation.  The first is the movement on the neck, which I wish had some more up and down.  The second is to do with how the sculpt and the articulation interact in a very key area of the figure.  Cammy’s posterior is a rather notable part of the character, at least from a pop culture stand point.  It’s also rather prominently shown off in her win animation.  So, the fact that this figure opts to put the break for the hip joints in a rather obvious spot in such a way that it never really sits flush ends up hurting the figure’s appearance a bit.  That being said, in the grand scheme of the whole figure, it’s a more minor point, and the rest of the sculpt and articulation work quite well together.  I was actually quite impressed by the way the joints in the torso work, and the sculpt does a strong job of capturing Cammy’s design from the games.  The construction on the figure also just has a nice solid feel to hit, which gives her a little more weight than the usual Figuart, and I think that really helps her when it comes to posing and playability.  Cammy’s paintwork is clean, bright, and colorful, which are really all the things I would want out of paintwork on a Cammy figure.  There’s not a ton of work going on there, but what is there works well.  Cammy’s accessory selection is pretty decent, no surprise, given that she’s a Figuart.  She gets three different faceplates, three pairs of hands, and a three-piece effect part.  There’s a lot of threes going on here, is what I’m getting at, I guess.  The faces provide standard expression, screaming, and side-eye options, which are fun.  The sideways glance is definitely my favorite of the three, even if it’s just a minor difference.  The hands come in fists, flat, and open gesture, and are great for all sorts of poses.  The effects piece is a little bit difficult to get in place at first, but it makes for an impressive kicking effect.  It’s too bad the stands don’t come standard.  She also included two small cardboard backdrops, allowing you to build a small stage for your fighters.


My first introduction to the Street Fighter characters was not through the games themselves, but rather through Toy Biz’s X-Men Vs Street Fighter toy line.  I was obviously just in it for the X-Men component, but it did give me a taste of a few of the characters.  Cammy was the second of them I got, and I always rather liked that figure.  When I finally got around to playing one of the games, she was the character I latched onto, and I’ve been hoping to get a figure of her for a while.  I always kicked myself for missing the SOTA one back in the day, and I couldn’t pull the trigger on this one when she was new.  However, she ended up getting traded into All Time, and it was hard to pass at that point.  She’s a really fun figure, and almost makes me want to track down some more of the Figuarts Street Fighter stuff.  For now, though, she’s an awesome stand alone piece.