#2006: Bizarro

BIZARRO

DC COMICS MULTIVERSE (MATTEL)

You know, it would be really clever to write this whole review in Bizarro speak, wouldn’t it?  Well, clever as it may be, that seems like way more energy than I have to put into a Monday review.  I know, making things easy for myself seems to run counter to my whole brand, but consider this: I did the backwards speak gimmick for my first Bizarro review, meaning that doing it again would be a retread, so, in a way, this is the less traversed and therefore more difficult path.  Yeah, that’s what I’m going with…

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Bizarro is a Walgreens-exclusive release for the DC Comics Multiverse line.  He started cropping up in the last couple of months, though he was originally shown alongside the figures that made up the “Lex Luthor Series.”  The majority of those figures are modeled on the characters’ “Rebirth” appearances, but Bizarro here is actually a much more classically inspired figure, which was a kind of nice change.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 23 points of articulation.  Bizarro, understandably, re-uses the body introduced with the Rebirth Superman figure from the Clayface Series.  It shares a more common ancestry with the old DCUC body than the body used for Ray, meaning it’s just not quite as refined.  It’s still a definite improvement on the old body, though it feels a little more piecemeal and uneven.  I think the pelvis and hips are the part that really throw the whole thing off.  Bizarro gets a new head sculpt, which is a pretty respectable piece.  It’s appropriately squared off and blocky, and the detailing on the hair in particular is quite nice.  Bizarro trades out Superman’s sculpted cape for a cloth piece that connects around the neck.  On a standard figure, it would be a little goofy, but for Bizarro it actually works to the design’s favor.  His paintwork is overall pretty clean.  The colors are nice and bright, and his skin has a nice textured look about it which works really well.  Bizarro is pretty decently accessorized.  He’s got two sets of hands, in fists and flat flying poses, as well as his signature “Bizarro No. 1” placard.  And, if you want an alternate look, well hey, he has one of those too!  You can give him his Kent Clark guise from the comics by adding a pair of glasses, a tie, and a rather raddy-looking jacket.  As a bonus to this look, the use of a cloth cape means that it can fit under the jacket and stick out like it does in the comics.  It’s a fun extra look and adds a real unique touch to this release.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was moderately interested in this figure when he was shown off, but wasn’t 100% sold on it.  After picking up and being quite impressed by Ray, I found this guy while out on a day trip with my parents and my brother, and was actually pretty happy to do so.  While he’s not quite as strong as Ray, he’s still a lot better than Mattel’s output has been for a good long while.  I am again frustrated that they managed to improve things just before losing the license.  But hey, at least I got this cool Bizarro figure.

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#1988: Yon-Rogg & Phil Coulson

YON-ROGG & PHIL COULSON

MARVEL MINIMATES

Hey, do you guys remember yesterday’s whacky pairing of two guys from Captain Marvel that never meet?  Well then you’ll love today’s pairing of two other guys from Captain Marvel that also never meet.  Though, I guess in a slight uptick of connectivity, at least these two do occupy the same planet at the same time, which is more than yesterday’s pair.  Maybe they formed a budding relationship off-screen!  Well, let’s look at best buds Yon-Rogg and Phil Coulson.  Nope, that feels wrong.  I don’t think these guys are friends.  Let’s look at mortal enemies Yon-Rogg and Phil Coulson.  There, that feels better.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Yon-Rogg and Coulson are the last of the Walgreens-exclusive Marvel Minimates for the Captain Marvel assortment.  There’s also going to be a specialty-exclusive boxed set, but these are it for now.

YON-ROGG

Man, we were really itching to find out what Yon-Rogg’s big secret was before the movie came out.  Turns out the big secret was that there was really no big secret, aside perhaps from this version of Yon-Rogg somehow ending up as less villainous than his comics counterpart.  Honestly, though, it feels like they came up with the role for Law without knowing exactly which Kree officer he’d be playing, and eventually decided to tag him with Yon-Rogg’s name (the fact that said name is only spoken once in the film, said in a scene where his character isn’t even present kind of lends credence to this).  Whatever the case, he’s a pretty prominent character, and obviously he was going to show up somewhere in this line.  He makes use of add-on pieces for his hair, backpack, gloves, belt, and holster.  The hair is reused from Venkman, but otherwise these pieces are new.  At first glance, the holster looks the same as Korath’s, but it’s actually its mirror piece, correctly representing their placement in the film.  Like Carol, Yon-Rogg also includes an alternate helmet piece, should you want him fully armed up.  But, given how briefly he wears it in the movie, I don’t see it getting much use from me.  Yon-Rogg’s paint is pretty involved, and matches up with Carol and Bron-Charr (but not with Korath and Ronan). The face has a pretty solid likeness of Jude Law, which is certainly refreshing after the Legends figure.  Yon-Rogg is packed with a pistol, an effect piece for his weird gauntlet thing, and a clear display stand.

PHIL COULSON

Though relatively minor in the film, Coulson’s return to the MCU proper was still a delightful one, and Clark Gregg was clearly having a blast playing the rookie field agent version of the character.  His presence in this assortment is no doubt due to the large fanbase for the character.  He’s not new to Minimates, with an MCU release back in Series 39 for the first Thor film (reviewed here), plus animated and comics versions of the character.  That said, it’s nice to get another go at him, if for nothing else than to pair off with Fury.  Coulson is pretty much the same as Fury in terms of construction, just swapping out the hairpiece for a new one, representing Coulson’s ’90s hair.  Of course, it’s nondescript enough to work for a modern Coulson as well, if that’s what you’re looking for.  Coulson’s paintwork is respectable.  I think the facial likeness is better than prior attempts, and I especially like the different pattern on the tie.  Like Fury, Coulson is packed with a spare set of white arms, a handgun, a shoulder holster, and a clear display stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Though they don’t offer much new after looking at all of the other figures in this line-up, I do find myself quite liking this pair.  It’s nice to get a Yon-Rogg figure that isn’t horribly disappointing, and I’ve been hoping for a Coulson update since The Avengers came out.  All in all, a nice pair to round out a pretty fun little assortment.  I look forward to the boxed set.

#1987: Nick Fury & Ronan

NICK FURY & RONAN

MARVEL MINIMATES

When it comes to Minimates, specifically the two-pack driven lines, there are bound to be some slightly oddball pairings.  The prior two sets for Captain Marvel made a lot of sense.  Today’s set?  Well, the two characters contained within it not only never meet, there never even on the same planet at the same time.  And yet, here we are.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Nick Fury and Ronan are the third set in the Walgreens-exclusive assortment of Captain Marvel-themed Marvel Minimates.  It’s worth noting that both characters in this set have had MCU-based ‘mates before, for what it’s worth.

NICK FURY

Though his name may not be in the title, Nick Fury is still an undisputed star in Captain Marvel, with his largest MCU role to date.  We get to see quite a different side of the character, and start to see where the Fury we met back in Iron Man came from.  Like the Legends release, this figure goes for his men-in-black style suit, which, while not his main look for the movie, is a fairly distinctive one.  The figure makes use of three add-on pieces for the hair, jacket, and tie.  All three are re-used from many prior figures.  They’re pretty basic, but then, so was his look.  The rest of the work is handled via paint.  My figure has one major flaw; a splotch of missing paint on his cheek.  Apart from that, I guess things are pretty decent.  The face doesn’t have much of a likeness of SLJ, but it doesn’t look unlike him.  I do particularly like the pattern on the tie.  That’s a fun touch.  Fury is packed with a handgun, a spare set of white arms, a shoulder holster, and a clear display stand.

RONAN

Unlike Fury, the movie doesn’t really give us any more backstory on Ronan prior to our introduction to him Guardians.  Pretty much, Ronan’s still just kind of Ronan, for better or for worse.  On the plus side, the film uses Ronan’s affiliation with the Kree Empire to give him his more traditional color scheme from the comics.  The figure uses two add-on pieces: one for his head piece, and one for his skirt.  They’re the same pieces used for the prior MCU Ronan figure, which is sensible enough, since, design wise, they’re pretty much the same.  The new paint job is a lot greener, as expected of this variation of the design.  Like yesterday’s Korath figure, Ronan’s green isn’t metallic like the first two Kree uniforms were.  Of course, since Ronan’s from a different group, I guess it’s not quite as odd for him.  Beyond that, there’s a lot of nice detailing going on.  Ronan is packed with his signature hammer (with it’s head on the proper way this time) and a clear display stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I got this pair at the same time as the rest of the assortment.  Nick’s an important player, and the two distinct looks help him.  Ronan may be a much more minor character in the film, but he’s a nice, distinctive design, with a lot more pop than his prior Guardians release.

#1986: Starforce Captain Marvel & Korath

STARFORCE CAPTAIN MARVEL & KORATH

MARVEL MINIMATES

Despite its ’90s setting, Captain Marvel had quite a good number of returning (or, from a certain perspective, debuting) characters, who were a sizable part of not only the marketing, but also the merchandising.  It also followed the MCU trend of multiple distinct looks for its main character.  Both of those two things will be touched on in today’s review.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Starforce Captain Marvel and Korath are the second set of Walgreens-exclusive Captain Marvel Marvel Minimates.  All of the sets in this line-up feature at least one Starforce uniform, but this one goes nuts and gives us two.  I know.  Crazy.

STARFORCE CAPTAIN MARVEL

In a nice little throwback to Mar-Vell’s original colors, Carol begins the movie in green.  She also bears a slight resemblance to another comics company’s former test-pilot turned super-powered space cop, but I’m sure that’s just a total coincidence, right?  Would you believe this is the first time we’ve gotten any version of Captain Marvel in green?  That seems a little bit wacky to me.  Construction-wise, this figure is exactly the same as yesterday’s standard colored Captain Marvel.  She’s got the same basic hair, and swaps out for the same helmet piece as before.  The main difference is the paint, which is swapped for green and black and gives her a different facial expression.  I’m not crazy about the facial expression’s look when unmasked, but it ends up working out a lot better when the helmet is in place, so I find it to be a worthy trade-off.  Starforce Carol again mimics the standard figure for its accessories, meaning she includes a flight stand and a standard clear display stand.

KORATH

“WHOOOO!?!” …You see, it’s funny, because it’s Korath…the guy…the guy who say’s “WHOOOO!?” to Star-Lord at the beginning of the first Guardians….and now I’m applying it to him?  Get it?  I assure you, it’s very funny.  I’ve got this certificate that says so.  Where was I?  Australia!  No!  Korath!  That’s the one.  Though the Guardians ‘mates went pretty deep with their coverage, Korath was perhaps the one notable character to be left out.  Fortunately he got a second chance!  The figure’s almost a vanilla ‘mate; his only add-on is his holster for his sidearm.  Beyond that, he’s carried out via paint, which is decent enough.  The likeness is pretty spot-on, which is really the most important part, since I suspect a number of collectors will be sticking it on another body for a Guardians Korath.  The body’s okay, but not great.  The details just don’t seem to be quite as sharp on Korath as they are on the other two Starforce members, and the green appears to be a slightly different shade for some reason.  Korath is packed with a pistol and a pair of swords, as well as a clear display stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Like yesterday’s pair, I grabbed these two a little while before the movie’s release, but didn’t actually open them until the night I saw it in the theatre.  I wasn’t sure what to think of another Marvel, but I really dig the Starforce colors for her.  Korath’s not perfect, but it’s at the very least nice to finally have him, even if it is a slightly different version of him.

#1985: Captain Marvel & Bron-Char

CAPTAIN MARVEL & BRON-CHAR

MARVEL MINIMATES

“Ace Air Force pilot Carol Danvers becomes one of the universe’s most powerful heroes when Earth is caught in the middle of a galactic war between two alien races.  Set in the 1990s, Marvel’s Captain Marvel is an all-new adventure from a previously unseen period of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.”

“Marvel’s Captain Marvel” does seem a touch redundant, don’t you think?  I mean, for the general public, at least.  I suppose there was a time there was some genuine confusion, but DC’s pretty firmly on that “Shazam” train.  So, while we’re on the topic of “Marvel’s Captain Marvel,” the movie sure is doing well at the box office, topping even DC’s own female-led Wonder Woman.  That’s pretty cool.  I’ve looked at most of the Legends from the movie, but this week I’ll be looking at the other major offerings, courtesy of DST’s Minimates brand.  I’ll be starting things off with the good Captain herself, as well as fellow Starforce member Bron-Char.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Captain Marvel and Bron-Char are the first of four Walgreens-exclusive Marvel Minimates released to tie-in with the film.  Unlike prior films, there are no shared figures between these sets and the specialty boxed set, so these two are totally unique.

CAPTAIN MARVEL

Seen here in her main colors from the end of the film, this is the definitive Captain Marvel release for the set.  Amazingly, this is only Carol’s third Minimate, and her second under the title of Captain Marvel.  The figure’s built on the standard body, so she’s 2 1/4 inches tall and has 14 points of articulation.  She’s got an add-on for her hair, which appears to be a new piece.  It’s a respectable match for her hairstyle from the movie.  It’s a little restricting on the articulation side, but it’s hardly the worst.  She’s also got an alternate helmeted piece, which is another new part.  It’s accurate to the film, and cleanly sculpted, but it doesn’t quite line-up so well with the face on this one.  The paint on this figure’s not bad.  I definitely dig the metallics, though some of the basic applications are a little sloppy around the edges.  The helmet probably gets the worst overall work; in addition to not really lining up with the face, it’s also got a really wonky misprint on the eyes, so make sure to keep an eye on that.  In addition to the helmet, Carol is also packed with a flight stand and a clear display stand.

BRON-CHAR

A slightly more minor character in the film, Bron-Char’s the Starforce’s resident bruiser.  He’s actually a decent choice to partner off with the main colors Captain Marvel, since they do have a notable fight scene in the film.  He’s a bigger guy, so he makes use of add-ons for his torso, belt, and gauntlets.  The torso and belt are standard parts; the torso isn’t one of my favorites, and doesn’t really work so well without any add-ons are the arms and legs.  The gauntlets are new, and nice enough pieces.  There’s no hair piece, which I kind of think might have been a mistake.  At the very least, one of the sculpted beard pieces would have added something to him.  The paintwork is pretty respectable.  There’s a lot of detailing and it’s all pretty sharp.  Bron-Char’s only accessory is a clear display stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I found this whole assortment of ‘mates at Walgreens a couple of weeks before the movie’s release.  I ended up letting them sit until the day I went to see the movie, so I was able to come home that night from the movie and open them up, which was pretty fun.  Basic Carol is a good basic Carol.  Fairly straightforward, but good nonetheless.  Bron-Char’s cool to see crop up, since it’s not like we’re really going to see him anywhere else.

#1979: Mystique

MYSTIQUE

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

An expert of duplication – and duplicity – Mystique uses powers of shape-shifting to assume others’ identities and complete covert missions.”

Though considered an X-Men character by pretty much every metric, Mystique’s first appearance came in the pages of Ms. Marvel (which was, at the time, being helmed by Chris Claremont and Dave Cockrum, the then-current writer and just-departed artist of X-Men).  She wouldn’t run into the X-Men until 1981’s “Days of Future Past” story, which had her forming  a new iteration of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants.  Since then, she’s been pretty well interweaved with the team and all their exploits, and has become one of the franchise’s most bankable characters.  Despite all of this, she’s actually not the most prevalent character when it comes to toys.  She’s got a few, but not as many as you might expect.  I’ll be looking at the latest of those today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Mystique is the second offering in the latest Walgreens-exclusive theme of Marvel Legends, which appears to be all about the ladies of X-Men, since she follows Magik and precedes Emma Frost.  She’s the third Legends release of Mystique, following Hasbro’s first go back in 2012.  Of course, that was a modern take on the character.  Our last classic Mystique was back during the Toy Biz days, a whopping 14 years ago.  And that figure wasn’t even good *for the time*, to say nothing of how it looks now.  To say an update was needed is something of an understatement.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and has 27 points of articulation.  She’s built on the Phoenix body, which is a decent enough choice for Mystique.  Certainly better than either of the last two figures.  Mystique gets a new head sculpt, as well as an add-on piece for her skirt.  Both of these pieces are nicely rendered, with the head in particular being a really solid piece of character work.  The paintwork on Mystique is pretty standard fare at this point, but that certainly isn’t a bad thing.  It’s cleanly applied, nice and bold, and eye-catching.  The standard straight white works better than the attempts at shading we’ve gotten over the years.  There’s also some quite nicely handled and very subtle accent work on her hair, which I can definitely appreciate.  Mystique is packed with two styles of gun: a handgun and the futuristic tommy gun from Chameleon.  Both are molded in gold plastic and fit nicely in her hands.  She is also packed with two extra heads.  The first is a re-use of Rogue‘s, but painted up to be in mid transformation.  It works well on this figure to show off her shapeshifting, or, if you have the Rogue figure already, it also makes for a nifty reveal figure.  The second head is a toy debut for a major X-Men player.  Yes, it’s leader of the Shi’ar Empire, and the once-love-interest of Charles Xavier, Lilandra.  Kind of an interesting choice for a Mystique figure, but it sure does look nice on the recent Silver Sable body.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I actually had that truly terrible Toy Biz Mystique back in the day…for about 30 seconds, before she promptly sprung apart at the mid-section in an irreparable fashion.  So, no Mystique for my collection.  This one was a very welcome addition, and she’s a very nice figure, and I’m also really digging the extra Lilandra head, because how cool is it to finally have a Lilandra?

#1938: War Machine & Cull Obsidian

WAR MACHINE & CULL OBSIDIAN

MARVEL MINIMATES

“As the Avengers and their allies have continued to protect the world from threats too large for any one hero to handle, a new danger has emerged from the cosmic shadows: Thanos. A despot of intergalactic infamy, his goal is to collect all six Infinity Stones, artifacts of unimaginable power, and use them to inflict his twisted will on all of reality. Everything the Avengers have fought for has led up to this moment – the fate of Earth and existence itself has never been more uncertain.”

Man, three Marvel movies in one year sure does have a way of burning out and making it easy for some of the merch to slip through the cracks for way longer than you’d expect.  Good thing I made it through last year unscathed and I don’t have to do it again…crap, I have to do it again, don’t I?  Well, I’d best get through the last of *last* year’s stuff, then, shouldn’t I?  So, without further ado, War Machine & Cull Obsidian!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

War Machine and Cull Obsidian were one of the two Walgreens-exclusives pairings in the second Infinity War-based assortment of Marvel Minimates.  Compared to the more retread-heavy Drax and Gamora, they had a tendency of being the first set to vanish a lot of the time.

WAR MACHINE

After peddling the same War Machine ‘mate three times, DST finally gave us an honest to god update for his Infinity War appearance.  Though not amazingly different from his armor in Civil War, Rhodey’s suit had still been slightly tinkered with for its somewhat brief appearance in IW, so that’s what we’re seeing here.  The figure is based on the standard ‘mate body, with a generic slip-on mask piece, a new torso cap, upper arms, and belt, and the gauntlets from the last five versions of the character.  It does a respectable job of estimating Rhodey’s appearance from the movie.  I don’t mind the move back to printed faces for the helmets, and it’s at the very least consistent with how they handled Tony’s Mark 50 armor.  The more specific parts are as well-sculpted as ever, matching up with the re-used gauntlets in terms of design aesthetic and level of detailing.  The paint work on this figure is better than the last few War Machine’s; the mix of gunmetal grey and silver looks nice, and I’m happy that they kept the camo patterning the armor had in the movie.  It helps to make this armor seem a bit more unique compared to the others.  Under the helmet is another stab at a Don Cheadle likeness.  I think this one’s not as good as the IM2 version, but at least it doesn’t look as goofy as the AoU variant.  War Machine is packed with a flight stand and a standard clear display stand.

CULL OBSIDIAN

Poor Cull Obsidian.  He just can’t catch a break for accuracy.  His Legends release, though an awesomely fun figure, was based on an early design that wasn’t all that close to the final.  The ‘mate clearly was put into production later in the process, as he ends up a lot closer, but there are still some slight inaccuracies.  He gets a unique head, torso cap, upper left arm, and skirt piece, as well as re-using the standard “big guy” parts for his right arm, left hand, legs, and feet.  The detail work on some of the character-specific parts, the head in particular, is a little soft, but the important details are all there, and he’s got more sculpted elements than not.  The design, at least from a sculpting standpoint, isn’t that noticeably different from his final look in the movie.  The paint is is decent, though he’s again a little light on the detailing.  I think it’s the skin that bugs me the most, especially after the Legends figure.  The colors on the costume were ever so slightly tweaked by the time the movie came out as well, but they aren’t terribly far off.  The biggest change from this figure to the screen comes in the form of accessories.  In the movie, Cull has a sort of hammer/axe/chain sort of thing.  Here?  He’s essentially got some space-brass-knuckles.  The Pop! and one of the statues also had these, indicating the weapon he had in the final movie was a very late game adjustment.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I picked these up…gosh…back in September, if you can believe it.  The second set took forever to hit Walgreens, but I managed to find this particular pair without too much trouble once they actually started showing up.  And then they sat and waited for me to open them for a good four months, because I got distracted and kind of forgot I had them…whoops.  It’s nice to finally get a new War Machine after all this time, and a more accurate Cull Obsidian is pretty cool too.  Definitely not a bad pack.

#1930: Ghost Rider & The Fallen

GHOST RIDER & THE FALLEN

MARVEL MINIMATES

Toys and gimmicks go together like…two things that go together really well.  Sorry, I’m not much of a wordsmith.  (Pay no attention to the fact that I’ve written 1929 prior daily entries for this site).  Toys and comics also go together pretty well, as do comics and gimmicks.  So, sometimes, you hit this perfect trifecta of toys based on gimmicky comics.  Take, for instance, today’s focus, the Avengers of 1,000,000 BC, a very gimmicky concept running in the current Avengers comic from Jason Aaron, which has, in turn, led to some matching gimmicky toys.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Ghost Rider and The Fallen are one of the four two-packs in the standalone “Avengers of 1,000,000 BC” series of Marvel Minimates, available exclusively at Walgreens, starting in the fall of last year.

GHOST RIDER

“Bonded to a Spirit of Vengence, the Ghost Rider sits atop a giant wooly mammoth, who later falls victim to the Fallen.

I feel I should at this juncture clarify something I needed clarified for me: it’s the mammoth that is a victim of The Fallen, not Ghost Rider.  The phrasing on the bio’s slightly off, so I got confused, especially since I haven’t actually read the whole “Avengers of 1,000,000 BC story.  With that bit of confusion aside, let’s look at the actual figure!  He stands 2 1/4 inches tall and he has the usual 14 points of articulation.  He’s constructed on the basic ‘mate body, with add-ons for his “hair,” necklace, loincloth, and arm wrappings.  The hair is re-used from the Series 50 Ghost Rider; a sensible choice, since it’s not like flame hair’s gonna really change all that much.  The arm bands are similarly re-used; they’re the same ones that cropped up on the Best Of Iron Fist, among others.  The necklace is new, and it’s a pretty impressive piece.  It certainly sells the 1,000,000 BC aesthetic.  I *think* the loincloth is new, which is honestly a little surprising, since there’s not really anything all that unique about it.  That said, the same piece was also used for the Phoenix from this line-up, so maybe DST just thought it was time for a new standard piece.  Whatever the case, it gets the job done.  The paintwork on Ghost Rider is solid work.  The colors are a bit monochromatic, but that’s true of a number of the designs from this set.  The line work is quite sharp, and I do really like the skull face on this one.  I may be swapping that onto a more standard issue GR.  Ghost Rider is packed with a pair of flame effects to slide over his fists, as well as the standard clear display stand.

THE FALLEN

“The Fallen is one of a race of Celestials, highly powerful beings who pass judgement on all planetary bodies and the creatures who live on them.”

Despite their recurrent presence in the Marvel Universe, the Celestials have never been a particularly toyetic bunch.  Also known as Zgreb the Aspriant, The Fallen is the first of them to actually been made as an action figure, largely thanks to his presence as the main antagonist to the Avengers of 1,000,000 BC’s first story arc.  He’s by far the most divergent of the bunch design-wise, being all futuristic and robot-y.  He’s also largely re-used parts, if you can believe it.  His torso/head is an all new piece (and a quite nicely sculpted one at that), but the other eight add-on parts are borrowed from the Series 63 Hulkbuster. While not perfect matches for the source material, I’m willing to call the appendages close enough, and there’s no denying he looks pretty darn cool.  Also pretty darn cool is the paint; unlike the rest of the assortment, he’s actually pretty colorful and dynamic, going back the classic Marvel color scheme of green and purple.  The application is nice and clean, and the metallic finish really looks top notch.  His only accessory is a clear display stand, but honestly, I don’t know what else you would give him.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’m not overly enamored by the whole Avengers of 1,000,000 BC thing, so for the most part the ‘mates didn’t do much to excite me.  However, I came across them after last year’s incredibly lengthy minimate drought, so I was just excited to find *anything* new.  While the other three sets still didn’t grab me, I liked The Fallen a fair bit, and if nothing else Ghost Rider had a decent Ghost Rider head.  Of course, then they sat on my desk waiting to be reviewed for five months.  Yikes.

#1889: Rocket & Adam Warlock

ROCKET & ADAM WARLOCK

MARVEL MINIMATES

What’s this?  New Walgreens-exclusive Minimates?  And someone’s actually found them?  Crazy concept, I know.  Even though Series 8 and 9 have yet to show up in full force in many parts of the country, it would appear that Series 10 is starting to make its way out there.  Today, I’ll be looking at its Guardians of the Galaxy-themed set, featuring Rocket & Adam Warlock!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Rocket and Adam are one of the four sets in Series 10 of the Walgreens-exclusive animated sub-line of Marvel Minimates.  Both figures are based on their animated counterparts, but should fit in pretty well with most comics-inspired ‘mates as well.

ROCKET

Due to his smaller stature, the first two Rocket ‘mates we got weren’t proper ‘mates at all, but were instead unarticulated pack-ins.  Since Guardians Vol. 2 and Infinity War both gave us a proper figure for the MCU Rocket, it’s only fair that we’d also get an update to the animated Rocket (who can, of course, double for a Vol. 1 Rocket, for those so inclined).  Rocket is constructed from the same selection of pieces as the Infinity War release, so he uses the Series 71 head and belt/tail piece, the shortened child-sized arms, the IW legs, and the torso from NBX’s Sally.  For those keeping track, that means Rocket’s only “classic” Minimate piece is the pelvis, but unlike some overly sculpted figures we’ve seen in the past, Rocket still feels very true to the Minimate form, and fits well with his teammates.  As with the Infinity War release, this is my favorite selection of parts for the character.  Since cartoon Rocket is still wearing his orange jumpsuit from the first movie, that’s the look we get for this figure.  The paint translates it well, and while he’s definitely of a more animated style than his movie counterparts, I think they’ve left in enough details that he won’t look out of place with the movie stuff.  One slight change that stands out is the presence of actual, discernible pupils for Rocket, which I think are the one main thing to marks him as “animated.”  I actually like them a lot, as they add a little more life to the figure, I feel.  Rocket is packed with a repainted Nova Centurion blaster, as well as a clear display stand.  The Centurion blaster works a lot better for him than the two prior guns, so I’m happy with its inclusion, and I’m honestly just happy to see it crop up in another release.

ADAM WARLOCK

It’s been a good long while since we’ve gotten an Adam Warlock Minimate.  His first and only prior to this figure was part of the Infinity Gauntlet set from back in 2009.  Fortunately, his presence on the Guardians cartoon’s second season made him a prime choice for a spot in the line-up here.  Adam is constructed from three add-on pieces, used for his hair, shoulder pads, and belt.  They’re all re-used parts; the belt’s a standard piece, the hair’s from Archangel, and the shoulder pads are from the GSXM Nightcrawler.  The hair is perhaps not a 100% perfect match for his animated look, but it’s close enough, and the overall construction and choices of parts are well-thought-out.  The paintwork on Adam is cleanly applied and has a nice amount of pop to it.  He doesn’t look as washed out as a lot of the animated ‘mates end up looking, and even his details, especially on the face, are actually more in line with the comics-based ‘mates than the average animated ‘mate.  The highlight work on his infinity stone and the black portions of the costume really add some solid dimension to the whole figure as well.  The last Adam Warlock suffered from somewhat lackluster paint, but that’s very much not the case with this guy.  Adam’s only accessory is a clear display stand, which feels a little light.  An extra Magus head or even a flight stand would have been nice.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I happened upon this set back in November, at a Walgreens nearby a run that my mom and brother were participating in.  I wasn’t expecting to find them, since I haven’t seen anything from the two series that preceded this one, but the whole set was there.  I was only immediately interested in these two, so they were the only ones I bought.  Come to find out, I’m one of the first people to find them, and they aren’t officially hitting until the spring.  Now I’m kicking myself for not grabbing the whole set!  Oh well, I’ll just have to make due with these two.  The IW Rocket was my favorite version of the character, but this one’s edging him out on that front.  Another solid take on the charatcer.  The IG Warlock has been representing the character for almost a decade now without much issue, but for a character as prominent as Adam, it’s nice to get another chance, and the somewhat differing nature of his animated design makes for some nice variety, even if you have the previous release.  This figure’s got a lot going for him.  All in all, a pretty solid set.

#1874: Boba Fett – Prototype Armor

BOBA FETT — PROTOTYPE ARMOR

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“Before he put on the familiar Mandalorian armor from the Star Wars saga, this notorious bounty hunter was initially envisioned as a “Super Trooper” in all-white armor. This special figure captures the beginning of a character that has become a legend who is both respected and feared across the galaxy…Boba Fett”

Yesterday, I looked at a rather new Black Series release.  Today, I’m jumping back to rather close to the line’s beginning, with a look at one of its earliest exclusive offerings.  Both of the line’s first two exclusives were of the Boba Fett variety.  While the initial figure was really just an exclusive accessory, the follow-up was a little more unique…provided your definition of unique is “common repaint of a popular character that crops up just about every time he gets a new mold.”  Eh, close enough.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Prototype Armor Boba Fett was the very first Walgreens-exclusive Black Series figure, first arriving on shelves in the fall of 2014, alongside the non-exclusive Darth Vader,  Jedi Luke, and Chewbacca.  He’s just a straight repaint of the SDCC/Series 2 Boba Fett mold, as is to be expected.  As such, he stands 6 inches tall and has 23 points of articulation.  It remains a strong sculpt, on par with more recent offerings (which is probably why Hasbro’s going to be doing a straight re-issue of the standard figure later this year).  If you want to get really finicky, the helmet shouldn’t have a dent in it, and his rocket pack should have barbs at the tip of it, but it’s close enough to warrant the cheaper repaint.  Another slight point of change is the cloth cape piece, but this one’s a little more warranted.  The actual prototype suit made use of a Star Wars-branded towel, which I suppose wouldn’t fit with the overall serious aesthetic of the figure.  So, instead, it’s white with a grey stripe.  The paint is where the important work is at, and he’s actually more than a Fett figure molded in straight white, which is certainly a nice surprise.  He’s got a slightly darker toned jumpsuit (as the real prototype suit had), and a few smaller details assorted throughout.  Boba is packed with the same pairing of guns as his standard release, in a straight black.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

When this figure hit, I was being far more picky about which Black Series figures I would be picking up, so I was more interested in Boba’s assortment-mates than he himself.  But I’ve subsequently had a change of heart about such things, so when I came upon this guy for only a little higher than his original retail at 2nd Chance Toyz, I was an easy mark.  Is he the greatest figure ever?  No, but he’s got all of the pluses of the original release, and that means he makes for a fun toy.