#1852: General Veers

GENERAL VEERS

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“A cool and efficient leader, General Veers led the Imperial assault on Hoth, marching his AT-AT walkers across the planet’s frozen plains and destroying the massive generators powering the Rebel base’s protective energy field.”

Star Wars fans love elevating those seemingly minor characters to unexpected heights, and General Maximillian Veers is just another example of that.  The guy’s in two scenes in Empire but he’s perhaps one of the most popular ranking Imperial Officers within the fanbase, and has a fully fleshed out backstory and all sorts of other media appearances.  And now, he’s even got a Black Series figure, which I’ll be taking a look at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

General Veers is the latest Walgreens-exclusive Black Series release.  Samples have been showing up since early in the summer, but the proper release seems to have just started hitting in the last couple of weeks.  If the precedent set by the other Walgreens-exclusive Black Series offerings is anything to go by, he shouldn’t be tricky to track down.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and has 26 points of articulation.  Veers, rather unsurprisingly, shares quite a few parts with the Tarkin figure.  Hey, same uniform, and same basic build, so it’s definitely a sensible idea (and also goes along with the Walgreens offerings being heavy on the re-used parts).  The torso’s been slightly tweaked, to ensure he has his proper denotations of rank, and he’s got a new head and some gloved hands.  The head features a pretty solid likeness of actor Julian Glover.  It’s not quite as remarkable as the Peter Cushing likeness, but still very, very close.  The paintwork on Veers is up to the new standard with these figures.  The face is using the printed technique, which works well here, and the rest of the standard paint is fairly sharp as well.  Despite his rather brief appearance, Veers is notable for having two distinct appearances in the film.  This figure’s accessories, a standard uniform cap, and a helmet and chest plate, allow for both of those designs to be achieved with this figure.  I definitely prefer the armored look, which adds a nice unique flair to Veers, but I definitely appreciate the extra parts.  He also includes a small blaster pistol, should you want to make him even more battle-ready.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was pleasantly surprised to find this guy at one of my nearest Walgreens.  Veers has always been a favorite of mine (hey, I fall into that “character-elevating Star Wars fans” category; I won’t deny it), and I was definitely looking forward to this figure.  He did not disappoint.  The dual looks really add a lot to him, and he’s just a very fun offering.

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#1848: The Thing

THE THING

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“An impressive, boulder-like exterior grants the Thing exceptional strength and durability in even the rockiest of battles”

They did it!  Look at that, they totally did it!  They finished the FF!  It’s a Christmas Miracle! …but it’s only just now November, so it’s, like, a pre-Thanksgiving Miracle?  That just doesn’t seem to have quite the same ring to it. 

The Fantastic Four and Marvel Legends have a rather storied history.  The team was rather infamously incomplete in the main line for the entirety of Toy Biz’s run, and even with the aid of boxed sets and other such things, over the years, getting the whole team in one cohesive style hasn’t been all that easy.  So, when Hasbro announced they’d be releasing the latest versions of the team, one at a time, at Walgreens, I was excited, but decidedly skeptical.  I also had to go in more or less blind, since at the time of Sue’s release, we’d only seen a prototype for Johnny, who is easily the least impressive of the set.  Reed came along and was awesome, which reignited hopes, but there was a lot riding on this final piece of the set, Benjamin J. Grimm, the ever-lovin’-blue-eyed Thing!  Does he deliver?  Well, to paraphrase the man himself, it’s reviewin’ time!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Thing is the tenth Walgreens-exclusive Marvel Legends release, and the sixth in their Fantastic Four sub-set.  He started arriving on store shelves last month, and will hopefully be arriving in serious numbers over the next few months.  The figure stands 7 inches tall and has 28 points of articulation.  As we’d all pretty much expected (especially when he was slotted at the very end of the release schedule), Ben is sporting an entirely new sculpt.  His rather unique build and the rocky structure of said build means Ben’s usually the one with the all-new sculpt.  In the past, it’s also tended to translate to him being the figure with the most behind the times construction.  This time, however, it seems Hasbro has been taking note of what does and doesn’t work when it comes to Legendsizing larger scaled characters.  Ben’s mobility is surprisingly good for a figure of his size.  His elbows end up rather limited, which is a bit of a bummer, but on the flipside, the knees have a ton more movement than I’d expected from this figure.  This figure manages to do a pretty solid job of walking the fine line of articulation vs. aesthetic.  Speaking of aesthetic, there was much discussion before this figure was unveiled as to which version of the character we’d be seeing.  There was definitely a campaign to get a more Kirby-inspired version of the character, but the final release opts for something that’s more an amalgamation of his more recent appearances.  While I would love a more Kirby-faithful figure at some point down the line, the amalgamated, less artist specific nature of this one means he fits right in with the rest of the team, and consistency of style in FF line-ups has long been one of the biggest issues I’ve had with them.  It helps that the design they’ve gone for works really really well, and that the sculpt is just filled to the brim with sweet, rock monster goodness.  There are two different heads included.  They aren’t much different from each other, but give Ben some slight variety in expression.  The head he comes wearing has an angrier, teeth-baring appearance, while the second head is decidedly more reserved.  While both are solid sculpts, I definitely find myself more drawn to the calmer head, because for some reason Ben having regular teeth just really weirds me out.  Maybe it’s just flashing me back to the old Roger Corman flick.  The paintwork on Ben could have been really basic.  They could have just molded him in orange plastic, and left it at that.  Instead, Hasbro actually put in the effort to do the accent work on Ben’s rocky hide, and the figure is all the better for it, with the intricacies of his craggly being deftly highlighted.  In addition to the second head, Ben is also sporting two sets of hands in both fists and open gesture.  They allow for a nice variety of additional poses.  With two heads, four hands, and one of the largest single-release sculpts we’ve gotten since the Legends re-branding, Ben’s packaging ends up pretty darn jam-packed, and pretty darn hefty.  It’s honestly a little bit astounding that he’s the same retail as the other three.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Ben’s my favorite member of the FF, so I was a little bummed out that I’d have to wait to the very end to get him.  He’s had an okay stock of figures in the past, but none of them ever seemed to quite stand-up to the test of time, or even the figures from the very same assortments.  I will admit, I was a little worried about how this guy would turn out.  Prototype shots of him surfaced at Toy Fair, and I didn’t hate them, but he wasn’t wowing me as much as I’d hoped.  Then the in-package shots hit, and the whole story changed.  In-hand?  I love this figure.  I love, love, love this figure.  Have I mentioned that I love this figure?  Because I do.  I really, really do.  I love this figure, and I love my whole FF line-up that goes with him.  This is just the best, and I sincerely doubt this FF display is ever going to be topped.  Now, can I please have a new Dr. Doom to go with them?

#1847: Silver Surfer

SILVER SURFER

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“A metallic-skinned humanoid from the planet Zenn-La, the Silver Surfer gets his name from his shimmering appearance and iconic hovering surfboard.”

Introduced during the legendary “Galactus Trilogy” that ran through issues 48, 49, and 50 of the original Fantastic Four run, Norrin Radd, the Silver Surfer, took on something of a life of his own, as quite a popular hero in his own right.  He found himself teamed with Dr. Strange, Namor, and the Hulk to form the surprisingly under-known Defenders (no relation to the Netflix series of the same name), and proved a pivotal figure in quite a number of Marvel’s great big cosmic epics.  Nevertheless, he’s still inescapably linked to the team whose book spawned him.  In fact, it’s extraordinarily rare that the FF makes a toy appearance without this guy in tow, and their latest, much heralded return to Marvel Legends was no exception, though we sure did have quite a wait to get him.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Silver Surfer is the ninth Walgreens-exclusive Marvel Legends figure, and the fifth in their Fantastic Four sub-line that’s been running since early 2017.  He was originally supposed to start showing up at Walgreens this past spring/early this summer, but they seem to have run into a few issues with distribution over the last year, meaning he’s really just started showing up in substantial numbers within the last month, almost in tandem with the Thing figure that was supposed to be his follow-up.  Though Surfer was an early addition to Legends during both Toy Biz and Hasbro’s tenures, we haven’t seen a new one since 2007, and that one was somewhat middling, even when it was new.  His absence has certainly been felt as we’ve added more cosmic figures to the line.  This figure stands a little under 6 1/4 inches tall and has 34 points of articulation. He’s built on the Sunfire/2099 base-body, and I’m of two minds about this.  While the general build and the presence of those very nice butterfly joints at the shoulders make for a figure that’s impressive internally, the use of the 2099 body also means that Norrin’s a little smaller than I generally think of him being when compared to the rest of the line.  As it is now, he’s a smidge shorter than the Human Torch (who was on the Bucky Cap body), which just seems wrong.  Of course, that could be more connected to my increasing frustration with the choice of the Bucky Cap body for Johnny…I’ll get past it.  The simple fact of the matter is that this is really the best body Hasbro had on hand for the Surfer right now, and I certainly don’t hate it.  I’m just mildly perplexed, that’s all.  Surfer gets a new headsculpt, and aims to really set right the problem that both prior Legends Surfers had: tiny heads.  This one is certainly much more properly sized for the body it’s been placed on, and captures his usual stoic expression quite nicely.  The paint is pretty what you expect from Silver Surfer: a lot of silver.  Just a standard metallic silver, though; no fancy chroming or anything, though I imagine that wouldn’t hold up too well with all of the articulation.  It’s just a straight silver, with no accents or anything, which, after seeing how the Toy Biz figure turned out, was probably for the best.  Silver Surfer is packed with a healthy assortment of extras.  He’s got three sets of hands in fists, flat-handed, and open gesture poses, adding a much appreciated variety of character to the figure.  He also includes his titular surf board, which is a decent piece.  It goes back to the foot-peg method of connecting, which may not be as fancy as the magnets from the Toy Biz one, but I think it ultimately looks a bit better in the end.  Lastly, he includes a pair of energy effects pieces.  They’re the same swirly ones we’ve seen a number of times over, but this time they’re clear yellow and all sparkly.  Yay?

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I had a few near misses on finding this guy, which was more than a little frustrating.  Fortunately, I was able to find him without much trouble (in fact, I was even able to score a second one for my dad).  He’s not without his little quirks, but by-and-large, he’s a solid offering, and certainly the best Legends version of the character to date.

#1619: Mr. Fantastic

MR FANTASTIC

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“A master inventor and impressive shape-shifter, Reed Richards uses intelligence and flexibility to protect the universe as Mr. Fantastic.”

Where would Marvel Legends be without Walgreens?  The humble drugstore chain started offering exclusive figures back in 2014, but only at a pace of about one per year.  However, they’ve really stepped things up in the last year, with a whole sub-set of Fantastic Four-inspired figures.  We’ve already gotten two members of the team (Invisible Woman and Human Torch), as well as a pair of frequent guest stars (Sub Mariner and Medusa).  The third member, Mr. Fantastic, just started hitting stores in the last month.  I’ll be looking at him today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Mr. Fantastic is the first Walgreens-exclusive Marvel Legends figure of 2018.   The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  Believe it or not, this guy’s on a mostly new body.  I’d really been expecting a Bucky Cap re-use here, especially after Johnny cropped up on in, but Hasbro had other ideas.  This new base looks to use the legs from the Pizza Spidey body with a new torso, pelvis, and arms.  It’s a good build for someone like Reed, who shouldn’t exactly have Captain America proportions.  I look forward to seeing the other applications of this particular base body.  Reed also gets an new head sculpt, which isn’t inspired by any one artist, but fits quite well with the other two FF members and definitely captures Reed’s essence very well.  The arched eyebrow and slight self-assured grin are just spot-on for the character.  Reed’s paintwork is pretty solid stuff.  His uniform is a pretty close match to Sue’s, which is definitely a good thing, and helps with selling that whole “team” thing.  The work on the face and hair is nice and clean.  I might have liked maybe a bit more subtlety on the greying temples, but it’s not awful, and I prefer this to the too slight greying we saw on most of the Toy Biz figures.  Reed is packed with a spare set of elongated arms (re-used from the first Hasbro Mr. Fantastic) which swap out at the shoulders.  They’re rubber with a wire armature, and make for a solid recreation of Reed’s abilities.  Reed is also packed with the Ultimate Nullifier, the weapon given to him by the Watcher in order to defeat Galactus.  It’s a fun little piece, and shows that Hasbro is willing to go the extra mile on these figures.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I had pretty much no trouble finding Reed.  I found him at a Walgreens I’d stopped at on my way home from work and was quite happy to find him. I loved the Sue figure, but Johnny was a slight letdown for me, so I wasn’t sure about how Reed would turn out.  I’m happy to report that he’s by far my favorite Mr. Fantastic figure, and is my favorite member of the team in this little sub-set (so far; Ben still has the chance to top him).  I now anxiously await the arrival of the last team member.

#1606: Tactical Killmonger & Casino T’Challa

TACTICAL KILLMONGER & CASINO T’CHALLA

MARVEL MINIMATES

Movie merchandise is always a tricky thing, especially with “top secret” movies like the Marvel Studios stuff.  It can often prove difficult to determine which characters, and more specifically, which designs for those characters, are going to end up with the most prominence in the final product.  For Black Panther, while it was a pretty safe bet which look would be T’Challa’s main costume, his primary antagonist Killmonger proved a different story all together.  His rogue Black Panther look ended up on all of the merch, and while that was prominent, it was actually his more unique tactical gear that most people were drawn to.  Unfortunately, if you want a properly articulated version of this design, Minimates are your only way to go.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Tactical Killmonger and Casino T’Challa are the second Walgreens-exclusive Black Panther two-pack.  Though they don’t quite interact with these particular looks, Killmonger’s rescue of Klaue happens just after the Casino sequence, so they fit together reasonably well in the timeline of the film.

TACTICAL KILLMONGER

Obviously, this figure is the draw of this set.  Erik’s tactical design doesn’t really have direct comics counterpart (though it does share a few elements with some of his looks over the years), but it offers him a more unique design than the basic Panther-riff.  The figure is built on the standard ‘mate body, so he stands about 2 1/4 inches tall and he has 14 points of articulation.  Killmonger has a single add-on piece, but it’s a good one.  It’s the tribal mask he steals during his museum heist with Klaue, which he then uses to obscure his face later on.  It’s only worn in one scene in the film, but it certainly has a lasting impact.  For this figure, it’s an all-new piece, which does a pretty respectable job of recreating the mask and simplifying it enough to look proper on the ‘mate.  The rest of Killmonger’s design is handled via paintwork.  The armor plating on the torso is definitely impressive, as is the camo and all of the stitched elements on his pants.  The likeness under the mask is also quite good; it depicts a slightly calmer Killmonger than is seen on the first ‘mate, which makes for nice variety.  There are a few spots of white on his face, but otherwise all of the paint is quite clean, and the colors are nice and vibrant.  Killmonger is packed with the same hairpiece as the last figure, allowing for the much needed unmasked look, as well as a pair of blades (the same stylings as were included in with the Legends figure), and a clear display stand.

CASINO T’CHALLA

Not quite a “civilian” take on the character, but very close, Casino T’Challa depicts T’Challa as he is seen when he goes undercover in South Korea while on the hunt for Klaue.  I would guess this look was chosen over T’Challa’s other “civilian” look in the film because this one could be made with all pre-existing parts.  And made with pre-existing parts he is!  The hair is the same piece used for the unmasked look on both of the prior Black Panthers from this line, and the jacket is re-used from all the way back on the very first George McFly Minimate.  That one’s gotten some milage.  The paint does the hard work here, selling this guy as “all-new.”  The likeness on the face gives us yet another T’Challa expression.  This one’s somewhere between the other two in terms of intensity, but certainly still looks like the same guy.  The jacket and arms get extra detailing, depicting the texturing of his jacket from the film, and preventing this figure from being dressed in just flat black.  Casino T’Challa’s only accessory is a clear display stand.  A little light, but I think Killmonger makes up for it.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This was the set I went to Walgreens to get, the others were all just along for the ride.  Of the two Killmonger designs, this one was definitely my preferred, and this being only way to really get it right now, makes this guy top priority.  Fortunately, he’s one of the best ‘mates from the whole assortment.  Casino T’Challa’s not anything to write home about, being essentially just a guy in casual clothes, but he’s still a solid figure overall, and I certainly don’t mind that we got him.

#1605: Powered Up Black Panther & Everett Ross

POWERED UP BLACK PANTHER & EVERETT ROSS

MARVEL MINIMATES

For Black Panther, we had a few returning players.  In addition to T’Challa and Ulysses Klaue, there was another, more minor return in Martin Freeman’s Everett Ross.  It’s not a shock, since Ross began his comics carrier as a Black Panther supporting player, and all.  I have to say, after getting virtually no impression from the character at all in Civil War, I was actually quite pleased by his reappearance.  Suffice to say, I was happy to find he was one of the many Minimates offered for the film, alongside a variant of its main character.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Powered Up Black Panther and Everett Ross are the first of the two Walgreens-exclusive Black Panther two-packs.  It’s not actually a terrible pairing, since Ross first appears during the sequence that also introduces Panther’s new uniform’s kinetic deflection abilities.

POWERED UP BLACK PANTHER

Our first proper Black Panther variant.  Very cool.  This is, of course, the same suit as the last one, just fully charged up with kinetic energy.  So, the construction is identical between the two.  He’s still 2 1/4 inches tall with 14 points of articulation, and he still has the mask add-on and clawed hands.  Everything works just as well here as it did on the first ‘mate, and the consistency is certainly sensible.  The main changes are obviously to the paint.  It’s the same basic starting point, but with some additional metallic blue details added to indicate his energy build-up.  It’s a subtle difference, but a cool one, and I actually find myself overall liking the look of this one a little more.  Under the mask, we get a second expression for T’Challa.  This one’s angrier, which makes sense for this particular look.  He’s packed with an extra hair piece and a clear display stand.

EVERETT ROSS

This is Everett Ross’s first ever figure, but won’t be his last (or, shouldn’t, anyway.  His Legends figure was set to be a TRU-exclusive.  It’s future’s a bit up in the air at the moment).  For a normal guy in a suit, that’s not terrible.  Ross is seen here in his suit and tie from the Casino sequence. It’s probably the best overall look for the guy, and it’s the same look he had in Civil War, so there’s crossover appeal.  He has add-ons for his hair, jacket, and tie.  All of these are re-used from elsewhere, though I don’t know 100% where the hair first showed up.  I just know it’s been used on others.  The pieces are all perfectly fine for Ross.  Generic, but that’s rather true to the character.  His paintwork is fairly straightforward stuff.  Lots of greys, which don’t excite all that much, but the Freeman likeness is quite good, so that’s a plus.  Ross is packed with a display stand.  It would have been nice for him to get a gun or something.  He just feels a bit light otherwise.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I picked up this pair as the same time as Panther/M’Baku and Killmonger/Klaue, during Walgreens’ recent sale on Minimates.  I was impressed by Ross in the film, and liked how the powered up effect looked in action, so I was definitely on board.  Sure, there’s not a whole lot of new going on here, but they’re both still pretty solid ‘mates.

#1506: Medusa

MEDUSA

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Born into Inhumans royalty, Medusa is a formidable leader who uses her steel-like hair to command power.”

Hey, more Inhumans stuff!  Why the sudden spotlight?  Did something notable happen with them?  Oh, right, TV show.  That helps, I guess, even if the show wasn’t everybody’s favorite (I like what I’ve seen so far, but haven’t finished it). Regardless of rationale behind it, I’m excited to get new Inhumans figures.  Today, I’ll be looking at the Queen of Atalan, Medusa!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Medusa is the third Walgreens-exclusive Marvel Legends release of 2017.  Like the last two, she’s not really tied into a regular assortment (although her husband Black Bolt will be a part of the upcoming Black Panther assortment).  This isn’t the first Marvel Legends Medusa; there was one previously released as part of the SDCC 2014-exclusive Thanos Imperative set.  That one sported a more modern design than this, and was a fair bit harder to get, so the second figure is definitely appreciated.  This figure stands about 6 inches tall and she has 27 points of articulation.  She’s largely made from the same pieces as the last Medusa.  She’s got a unique head and uses the mid-sized female body used for the likes of Hellcat and Wasp.  This figure swaps out the last one’s high-heeled shoes for flats, and also adds a belt piece as well.  While the hair is a touch on the modern side for the otherwise classically inspired design, it works well enough, and it’s a pretty nice sculpt to boot.  I only wish the hair was a touch longer, just so she had a slightly easier time standing, but it’s otherwise pretty great.  The paintwork is, of course, the main point of difference.  It’s fairly basic work, but the purples go together pretty well, and I particularly like the metallic shade on the accent pieces.  The mask is just painted on, but it works surprisingly well, and you can hardly tell this wasn’t the original plan for the sculpt.  Medusa doesn’t include any extras, but with the hair and everything, it’s not that big a deal.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I tried and failed to get the Thanos Imperative set when it went up on Hasbro Toy Shop, so I’ve been in the market for a Legends Medusa since then.  I was pretty happy when Hasbro announced she’d be getting another release, and was pleasantly surprised to find her at my local Walgreens just last week.  She’s a pretty great addition to the line, and I look forward to having Black Bolt to go with her!

#1485: Human Torch

HUMAN TORCH

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Flame on!  Johnny Storm suits ip to command the head as the scorching hot hero, The Human Torch.”

I noted the miracle that is new Fantastic Four Marvel Legends when I reviewed the Invisible Woman earlier this year.  She was the inaugural figure in what is set to be an under-running theme in the upcoming Walgreensexclusive Legends releases, which is set to give us a complete FF by the end of next year.  For the second figure in this them, Hasbro’s gone with Sue’s younger brother Johnny, better known as the Human Torch!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Human Torch is the newest Walgreens-exclusive Marvel Legends figure.  He started hitting most Walgreens’ shelves in the last month (though people have reported finding him for a few months now).  Johnny is a character that’s proved to be somewhat difficult to translate to plastic over the years.  The most successful figures have tended to be the ones that went for some sort of half-flamed-on variation.  This figure doesn’t do that, and instead takes a stab at the every so tricky fully flamed-on variation.  The figure stands about 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  He’s built on the Bucky Cap body, and, if I’m honest, I’m not 100% behind this choice.  Johnny’s typically be depicted as more on the slight side, so I was sort of expecting he’d be on the Pizza Spidey base.  At the very least, I was hoping that he’d use the Bucky Cap base with the less muscular Dr. Strange torso.  No such luck.  Admittedly, it’s not the worst choice of body.  It hardly ruins to figure.  He gets a new head, forearms, hands, shins, and feet, all sporting flame effects sculpted right onto them.  They’re obviously of a more stylized nature, but I think they look pretty decent.  They certainly look better than prior attempts.  The head is actually a fairly well rendered piece.  He’s got a sly grin, which is perfect for Johnny, and is a much better fit than the angry, teeth-gritted expressions we’ve gotten on prior figures.  They’ve foregone his hair, opting for a “bald” Johnny with unrelated flames at the top of his head, rather than some bizarre flame-hair-combo thing.  The paint on Johnny is pretty decent.  He’s molded all in translucent plastic, which adds quite a bit of life to the figure.  There’s some more opaque work on the actual flames, as well as some variation in the coloring, indicating his uniform beneath it all.  He’s clearly wearing his classic costume, which means he matches his sister.  I like that the head is a lighter yellow shade, making it clear that it’s his exposed flesh, and not the same color as his uniform.  Johnny is packed with two flame effect pieces (re-used from Iron Fist), as well as two standard fists, molded to match the figure.  Not quire as impressive as the whole extra figure included with his sister, but not terrible.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I grabbed Human Torch from a slightly out of the way Walgreens, where I was actually looking from Black Widow from the new Vintage series of Legends.  No luck there, but they had Johnny and he looked pretty cool, so I grabbed him.  Personally, I’m still a fan of the mid-flame-on style of figure, but this is definitely the best take on a fully-flamed-on Johnny that we’ve gotten!

#1479: Skurge & Grandmaster

SKURGE & GRANDMASTER

MARVEL MINIMATES

Thor Ragnarok hit the big screen last week.  After being more than a little underwhelmed by Thor’s last solo cinematic adventure, I was definitely hoping this one would be a marked improvement.  Having seen it, I’d say it most definitely succeeded on that front.  It wasn’t perfect, but it was still very, very good.  There were a quite a few new characters introduced in the movie, and several of them were real standouts.  Two of my favorites are the two I’m covering today, Skurge and Grandmaster!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Surge and Grandmaster are one of the Walgreens-exclusive sets for the Thor Ragnarok tie-in series of Marvel Minimates.  They’re something of an odd pairing, truth be told, seeing as the two don’t ever once interact or even participate in the same segments of the plot line.  That said, I’m hardly going to complain, since I like both characters.

SKURGE

In the comics, Skurge was at first simply known as “The Executioner.”  He was the right-hand-man to the Enchantress, and a key piece of the original Masters of Evil.  Definitely an important player, so his inclusion in the film was definitely something I was very much looking forward to.  Throw in that he was played by Karl Urban, a personal favorite, and you’ve got a real winner.  His design in the film isn’t too far removed from his comics incarnation, which means this figure can pretty well serve as either version.  The figure stands about 2 1/4 inches tall and he has 14 points of articulation.  He’s built on the usual body, with add-ons for his chest cap and bracers.  The add-ons are new to Skurge, and are pretty decent overall.  The torso piece could probably be a little tighter to the body, but it looks decent enough.  His paintwork is decent enough.  It’s not super vibrant, but that’s true of the movie design, and it’s in keeping with what we’ve seen of the Asgardians in the MCU so far.  The details are all pretty crisp and clean, and his face looks passably like Karl Urban.  Accessories are easily this figure’s biggest failing.  He gets a clear display stand and nothing else.  Not his axe, not even his twin M-16s, which DST already had the molds for.  It’s more than a little disappointing.

GRANDMASTER

Grandmaster of the comics is one of the Marvel universe’s Elders, and he’s actually a little bit on the boring side.  In the movie, he’s Jeff Goldbloom, essentially playing himself.  That works out pretty well for…well, everybody.  He too is built on the standard base body, with a unique upper left arm (taken from the TMNT Foot Ninja), as well as add ons for his hair and jacket.  The pieces are decently handled, and look pretty sharp.  They translate the film design pretty well, which is pretty great.  His paint work is nice and colorful; the Grandmaster has one of the more vivid designs in the film, and that comes through here.  The likeness of Goldbloom is pretty spot-on as well, which is a definite plus.  Like Skurge, Grandmaster’s only accessory is his clear display stand, but that’s a bit less annoying in his case, since there’s not as much in the way of obvious extras.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I got this pair at the same time as the last two sets I reviewed.  By-and-large, I was holding off on the Ragnarok merch until after the film’s release, but these two in particular called to me.  As they ended up being two of my favorite parts of the movie, it’s safe to say I don’t regret my purchase.  Sure, it’s annoying that they don’t really have any accessories, but the ‘mates themselves are pretty solid.

#1478: Vision & Abomination

VISION & ABOMINATION

MARVEL MINIMATES

Yesterday, I reviewed some Minimates.  How about some more Minimates?  That sound okay to you guys?  Ah, it doesn’t really matter; I’m reviewing the Minimates whether you like it or not.  What are you gonna do, stop reading?  Wait, wait, please don’t stop reading!  I didn’t mean it!  …I mean I sort of did…I’m still reviewing the Minimates, but genuinely hoping that doesn’t upset anyone…or something.  Without any further weirdness, here’s Vision and Abomination!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Vision and Abomination are from the sixth Walgreens-exclusive series of animated Marvel Minimates.  They join yesterday’s Black Bolt and Medusa in making up the Avengers Assemble portion of the series.

VISION

An artificial person designed by Ultron, the Vision draws his power from an Infinity Stone, and can adjust his mass from intangible to super-dense.”

This is far from the first time I’ve looked at a Vision Minimate.  In fact, of the 8 Vision Minimates out there, I’ve reviewed 7.  This one is rather similar to both the Age of Ultron and Civil War ‘mates, since the cartoon is really just using the same design as the movies.  The figure stands about 2 1/4 inches tall and has the standard 14 points of articulation.  Like the last two costumed Vision ‘mates, this guy’s just the standard ‘mate body, topped off with the DC Minimates Series 1 Superman cape.  Pretty standard stuff all-around.  The real difference here is the paintwork.  His line work is much simpler, cleaner, and a bit bolder, matching the show’s more streamlined design.  The colors are also a bit brighter, and in a rare instance for an animated ‘mate, they’re a little bit more exciting than the colors seen on the last two ‘mates.  Vision includes both the standard display stand and a flight stand, for those that want choices.

ABOMINATION

“Emil Blonsky wanted the power of the Hulk, so he subjected himself to massive gamma radiation bursts, becoming a super-strong monster.”

While Vision’s just been swimming in Minimates in the last few years, poor Emil here hasn’t been quite so lucky.  He got two ‘mates back in 2008, but nothing since.  And one of those was based on his movie appearance, which is pretty far removed from the typical Abomination design.  He was definitely in need of an update.  From DST’s perspective, this guy’s great because he’s also all re-used parts, taken mostly from the Ultimate Spider-Man incarnation of Green Goblin.  In their defense, all of the pieces work pretty amazingly well for Abomination.  In fact I like them more for Abomination than their original use, but that’s more a personal preference of design thing.  The paint work on Abomination is pretty solid work.  The colors feel a bit warmer than usual for this sub-line, which is certainly a plus in my book.  Abomination’s only extra is a display stand, which feels a little light, but I’m not sure what else he could have been given.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I grabbed this pair at the same time as Black Bolt and Medusa.  It was a bit of an impulse buy, truth be told.  I probably didn’t need this set.  Abomination’s never been a must-have for me, and I’ve got two Visions that look almost identical to this one.  But it was another Vision, and I’m all about Vision, no matter how minority different he may be.  And Abomination actually looked pretty cool.  And I was feeling kind of generous, so I got them.  It’s actually not a bad set.  Not the most exciting ever, but I liked it more than I’d initially expected to.