#1737: Batman – Superfriends

BATMAN — SUPERFRIENDS

DC COMICS MULTIVERSE (MATTEL)

In addition to overall DC theme, I’m introducing a sub-theme today.  I know, that’s a lot to handle, but bear with me.  Anyway, the theme I’m going with is Batman on alternating days.  Why?  Because I have a lot of Batmen, that’s why.  Today’s Batman follows the trend set by yesterday’s Green Lantern, being at the very least inspired by the Super Friends cartoon.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Superfriends Batman was distributed through the same means as Green Lantern, being a Walmart-exclusive entry in the DC Comics Multiverse line.  He, too, would actually stay a Walmart exclusive, unlike the second half of the Super Friends sub-set (who, despite their non-exclusivity, I don’t actually have).  Unlike GL, Batman’s a pretty natural choice for this assortment, since Batman was with Super Friends for its entire run, and was a pivotal player in most episodes.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 23 points of articulation.  For the most part, his sculpt is a straight re-use of the DC Universe Classics Series 1 Batman, with one small exception.  The sculpted cape has been replaced with a cloth one, which has been done in the style of the old Super Powers capes.  Not *quite* the right source material, but it’s goofy and fits the general aesthetic.  I find myself liking the look of it quite a bit, actually, though it’s definitely not going to be for everyone.  AS with Hal, Bats’ mold is definitely showing its age and the wear from all those repeated uses.  On my figure in particular, one of the shoulders doesn’t even quite peg together the right way.  Batman’s paintwork actually ends up more faithful to the source material than GL, which is a plus.  It’s also pretty clean, and likewise very bold.  It looks good on this sculpt.  I appreciate the return of the black shading on the cowl (it’s true to the show, but I wouldn’t have put it past Mattel to leave it off).  Bats even makes out pretty well on the accessories front.  To start with, he’s got the same base and backer card as GL (with the same issue with the peg on the stand).  The back of both cards has part of the Super Friends logo, so that if you get all four, you have the whole thing.  In perhaps the most Mattel move of all, GL and Batman (who, it should be noted, shipped together) don’t have sequential cards, unless of course you really want to celebrate the “Per Inds”.  Fortunately, Batman gets more accessories than GL; he also gets a grappling hook and a batarang (and it does *not* have “CHINA” stamped on it, which was a nice change).

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I grabbed Batman at the same time as GL, from an Ollie’s for $3.  I couldn’t just leave him there, now could I?  That would have been cruel.  Minor issues aside, this figure is actually not terrible.  He’s hardly going to be anyone’s default Batman, but unlike GL, he seems to more fully embrace the concept Mattel was going for.

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#1736: Green Lantern – Superfriends

GREEN LANTERN — SUPERFRIENDS

DC COMICS MULTIVERSE (MATTEL)

DC doesn’t get quite as much play around here as other, Disney-owned properties.  It’s not a conspiracy, I swear!  And to prove that there is absolutely no anti-DC conspiracy around these parts, I’m gonna pick up the trend I started yesterday and do a whole week of DC reviews!  …Well, a business week…let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

While Adventures of Superman, the ’60s Batman, and Wonder Woman got the main trio of DC heroes some solid public recognition, it was Hannah Barbera’s Superfriends and its subsequent spin-offs that introduced the DC Universe as a whole to a mainstream audience.  Because of its mainstream impact, it’s also a version of the characters that toy companies like to go back to.  Mattel was no exception.  I’ll be looking at one of their handful of Superfriends offerings today, namely my main man Green Lantern.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Green Lantern is part of the four figure Superfriends sub-set of Mattel’s DC Comics Multiverse.  The set was originally meant to be a Walmart-exclusive, but that was ultimately only half true.  For Mattel-ish sorts of reasons, the four figure assortment needed to be split in two, with GL and Batman hitting Walmarts back in September of last year.  By the time the second two figures were ready to go, Walmart backed out.  The long and short of it is that Green Lantern and Batman were exclusive to Walmart (at first, anyway), but Superman and Aquaman weren’t.  Of the four figures in the set, GL is admittedly the odd man out in terms of character selection.  He wasn’t in the original Superfriends roster, only appearing in the later Challenge of the Superfriends incarnation.  Even then, he was never super prominent in the series.  The choice of him instead of another founding member, like Wonder Woman or Robin, is somewhat baffling.  That said, the Green Lantern fan in me is insisting that I not complain too much.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 23 points of articulation.  In terms of construction, there’s not a single thing new about this figure.  He’s a head-to-toe re-use of the DCUC GL from 2008.  That was a good sculpt at the time, and the original figure remains one of my absolute favorite GL figures.  With that being said, it’s a sculpt that’s a decade old, and it’s definitely showing its age, not just stylistically, but also in terms of the actual life of the mold.  While some parts, like the head, still look quite good, the limbs in particular are showing quite a bit of mold degradation.  It’s still in better shape than a lot of Mattel’s more recent output, but it’s time to let it die.  The main thing that’s new here is the paint.  I’m of two minds.  On the one hand, I really do like the bright, bold colorscheme.  It’s quite aestheitcally pleasing, at it looks nice on the mold.  That said, it’s not actually accurate to his Superfriends colors, which means there’s not anything about this figure that’s truly Superfriends-inspired.  They didn’t even get the slightly different Lantern insignia from the show.  His accessories, like the figure, are nothing new.  He gets one of the Batman ’66 stands, with a new iridescent cardstock backer featuring….the Jose Garcia-Lopez illustration of Hal from the style guide.  I love Garcia-Lopez’s work and all, but it’s an odd choice here, you know, instead of, say, something from, I don’t know, Superfriends?  Also, the stand has been designed with slightly smaller figures in mind, so the peg is actually too small for GL’s foot, so it’s not actually any help…standing him.  Yeesh.  I guess I can forgive the lack of power battery, since it never figured that prominently into the show, but he still feels a little light, especially since there are no new pieces in the box and he originally retailed for $8 more than the first release of this mold, which, it should be noted, included the battery *and* a Build-A-Figure Collect-N-Connect piece.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As I noted above, these figures hit in September.  And I saw them in-store when they hit.  But you know what also hit in September?  All of the Last Jedi product.  Given the choice between that and a total rehash of a figure, I went with the Star Wars stuff.  However, I found this guy at the same Ollie’s where I got yesterday’s Batman, and he too was $3, which was the right price for me.  The thing about this figure is that, as just a Green Lantern figure, removed from the source material, he’s actually not a terrible figure.  Dated and light on extras, but decent nonetheless.  However, he’s just *not* a Superfriends Green Lantern, and he’s a really poorly-executed, rather disinterested attempt at replicating the design, which makes him feel a little bit like a bit of a cash-grab.

#1735: Batman – Dark Knight Returns

BATMAN — DARK KNIGHT RETURNS

DC COMICS MULTIVERSE (MATTEL)

Hey hoooo, it’s a Mattel review.  Haven’t done one of these in a little while.  Ooooooo boy, this’ll go well.

Running parallel to Hasbro’s hit line Marvel Legends, Mattel has their own DC line, DC Comics Multiverse.  It started as a 3 3/4 inch line, before making a jump a few years ago when 3 3/4 inch figures were largely dropped by the toy industry.  One of the earliest offerings from the reformed Multiverse was a set of commemorative figures celebrating the 30th anniversary of Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns.  Of the three figures offered, I’ve looked at two.  Today, I’m looking at the last of those three, Batman himself!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Batman was a Walmart-exclusive release from the DC Comics Multiverse line.  The figure stands 7 inches tall and he has 25 points of articulation.  Batman’s actually just a slight retooling of an earlier Batman Unlimited Dark Knight Batman, with a new head.  By extension, that means he shares a lot of pieces with the DKR Superman I looked at back when they were first released.  It’s very similar to the Masters of the Universe Classics base body, but Mattel to this day insists they are completely separate molds.  I guess I just have to believe them.  It works well enough for what they’re going for.  Obviously, it doesn’t really look that much like Frank Miller’s artwork, but it melds decently enough with the DCUC style that Mattel was trying to carry forward.  In the context of the whole MotU concept, and even Superman to a smaller degree, the body works, but for Batman, it feels a little….lumpy?  Balloon-y?  I don’t know.  It just feels somewhat off.  The new head goes for a more reserved look than the prior DKR Bats, though he’s still a little grumpy.  I think it’s perhaps a little large for the base body, and it’s definitely on the softer side.  Compared even just to the other two figures from this same assortment, it looks rather off, as both Superman and the Son of Batman figures have much crisper details.  Batman’s sculpt has a quality not unlike mashed potatoes, if I’m honest.  It’s kind of lumpy and ill-defined, even by Mattel standards.  Also bad even by Mattel standards?  The paint.  Sloppy doesn’t begin to describe it.  It looks like the yellow paint was applied from across the room.  It’s just everywhere.  His logo’s at least not terrible, but the general lack of paint overall just makes the rest of the mistakes that much more noticeable.  Batman was packed with a single accessory: one lone batarang…with “CHINA” stamped on one side.  Apparently he gets all those wonderful toys from China.  Who knew?

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

So, I bought the Superman figure at full retail, and I liked him well-enough.  And I got the Son of Batman for a decent discount, and he was alright.  I already had the Unlimited figure of this guy, though, so I wasn’t in much of a hurry to get him.  I ended up buying him *not* from Walmart at all.  I instead found him at an Ollie’s, for $3.  That was enough to get me invested.  I gotta say, I’m really glad that I didn’t pay full price for him, because…well, he’s just not that strong a figure.  I guess I’ve had worse figure, but there’s not a lot that this figure does right.

#1578: Black Panther

BLACK PANTHER

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“T’Challa wears a glowing suit made of Vibranium technology as the warrior hero Black Panther!”

Hey, hey, guess what was released in theaters today!  Yes, Black Panther finally made its way to the big screen!  In honor of T’Challa’s big debut, why not have a look at another of the many toy offerings surrounding the film’s release?  For today’s review, I’m going to be looking at another variant of T’Challa himself, once again based on his comic-book origins.  Let’s have a look at how he turned out!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Black Panther is a Walmart-exclusive Marvel Legends release, just like the last comic Panther.  While he’s not officially tied to any particular series of the line, he started hitting right around the same time as the Okoye Series.  Thanks to Walmart’s weird distribution style, he actually ended up arriving at a lot of stores less than a month after the last Black Panther-exclusive.  Hopefully, this doesn’t lead to issues of shelf warming for either of them.  The last Panther opted for a very classic take on the character but this figure goes for his most recent redesign from the “All-New, All-Different” relaunch.  It’s generally not terribly far removed from his other looks, but there are some minor tweaks.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  The last two comic Panthers were built on the Bucky Cap body.  This figure mixes things up a bit, moving T’Challa to the Spider-UK body.  This means he’s also the first non-Spider-Man on the body, which I suppose is pretty cool.  It’s a nice base body to be sure, and I think it’s quite a good fit for Panther.  I’m not sure which base body I prefer for him, honestly.  Of course, his more recent design has also been drawn with a generally more stocky appearance, so I think this might be a case pf both bodies being totally valid choices.  The figure gets a new head, as well as the hands from the Rocket Raccoon Series Panther, and an add-on piece for his necklace.  The head is a pretty solid piece, and a decent translation of artist Brian Stelfreeze’s more streamlined take on Panther’s mask.  While the swept back ears take a little bit of getting used to, it certainly makes for a distinctive figure.  The hands fit well on the figure, and in fact look a bit better scaled to this particular body.  I was admittedly a little surprised by the return to these hands after they were left off of the last comic Panther, but they’re still decent pieces.  The necklace I can kind of take or leave.  It looks fine, but it’s a bit too loose fitting for my taste.  As far as paint goes, this guy’s a bit different from prior Panther figures.  Recently in the comics, T’Challa’s begun to experiment with tactical applications of Vibranium’s energy output, resulting in this glowing look when his suit is fully activated.  There’s a bit of a Tron-lines thing going on all throughout the figure.  He’s very pink (Does that make him the Pink Panther?  Only Inspector Clouseau can know for sure). The line work is all pretty clean, and it certainly helps him to pop a bit on the shelf.  Panther includes an extra head without the pink details, as well as a spare set of hands in fists, and two energy effect parts.  The hands and energy parts are definitely fun, but the head baffles me a bit.  It’s just the same head without the extra detailing.  When placed on the body, it looks kind of out of place, and it’s too large to look right on the last Panther body.  I would have much rather have gotten an unmasked T’Challa. 

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I initially found this figure while still finishing the Okoye Series.  I passed on him at the time, since I had just gotten the other two Black Panther figures, and wasn’t 100% sure I liked the look of this one.  After finishing the first set, I saw this guy again, and I decided I liked him enough to pick him up.  While he’s still not my go-to version of the character (that’s still the last exclusive figure), there’s no denying that this figure is sill pretty fun.  I’m glad I went back on my initial decision.

#1541: Black Panther

BLACK PANTHER

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“With his claws sharp and his eyes set on his target, Black Panther is ready to pounce.”

I really try not to critique the packaging bios too much, but I gotta say, if you’re completely unfamiliar with Black Panther as a character, that’s probably not gonna do much to help.  In fact, it sounds more like the sort of description you’d see of an *actual* panther.  Hasbro knows he’s not an actual panther, right?  One would certainly hope so…

We’re about a month out from the theatrical release of Black Panther, 2018’s first on a long list of super hero movies.  This, of course, will mark the second time audiences see T’Challa grace the screen, after his pretty much universally praised appearance in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War.  I’m certainly excited to see more of the character, especially given the rather rich history they’ve got to draw from.  The landslide of movie-based product just started hitting last week, but before I get to that, I’ll be looking at one of Panther’s comic-based figures!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Black Panther was a Walmart-exclusive Marvel Legends figure, released last year.  When it was released last year is very much up for debate.  Samples of the figure started showing up over seas at the beginning of 2017, and the product was given to Walmart not long after that.  However, there was no official announcement that he was coming from Hasbro or Walmart, and no real estimated street date.  A few people found him starting in the spring, but for a lot of people, this guy didn’t actually show up until just before the winter holidays.  Quite a lag time.  But the figure’s here now, and that’s really all that matters, right?  For the most part, this figure’s just a slight re-working of the Rocket Raccoon Series Black Panther from 2013.  That whole series was pretty difficult to track down, and Panther in particular was always the most popular, so it’s nice for Hasbro to give some of us another shot at him.  Like the Marvel Universe figure, this one’s based on his classic 60s/70s appearance, from when he was with the Avengers.  With the included cape, he actually comes pretty close to a first appearance Panther, but the cape’s a touch long and he’d still need the satchel.  The point is, he’s a pretty standard “classic” Black Panther.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  He’s built on the Bucky Cap body (which, when it was used for the last Panther, was still a fairly new addition to the line).  There have been some arguments made that he should actually be on one of the slightly larger bodies, but I find this base feels right.  He gets the same head as the Rocket Raccoon Series figure, which is a good translation of Panther’s distinctive full-face mask.  There are enough details that you can actually make out some of T’Challa’s face beneath it, which I think is pretty darn cool.  Changing things up ever so slightly from the last figure, this one gets the belt piece from Daredevil, and the hands from the Civil War Panther.  I wasn’t sure about the use of the hands at first, since the CW Panther has a lot of sculpted textures that I thought would be out of place on an otherwise comics-inspired figure, but they work surprisingly well.  The figure also sports a cape, reused from the 2008 Adam Warlock figure.  It’s not bad, but I definitely prefer Panther sans-cape.  The paint on Panther is subtle, especially when compared to the RR one, which had a lot of blue going on.  This one’s mostly just straight black, with a bit of detailing for the accents on the boots, gloves, and belt.  I really dig the striped boots and gloves, as they’ve always been one of my favorite parts of the classic design.  Panther is packed with the previously mentioned cape, a spare set of normal gripping hands, and a spear (borrowed from Kraven the Hunter).

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I always wanted the RR Series Panther figure, but never could find one.  I eventually got the Civil War figure, which is an awesome enough figure that I was willing to let it slide that he wasn’t a classic Panther.  Needless to say, when this figure first surfaced, I was pretty dead set on getting one.  It took me until December to actually find one.  My closest Walmart put out about 20 of him all at once (all of which were gone within a week, I might add), so I grabbed him as soon as I saw him.  There’s not anything particularly innovative or new about this figure, but he’s still one of the best Black Panther figures in my collection, and I’m happy to add him to my Avengers shelf.

#1471: Scarif Stormtrooper Squad Leader

SCARIF STORMTROOPER SQUAD LEADER

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES

“Specialist stormtroopers stationed at the top-secret Imperial military headquarters on Scarif, Shoretroopers patrol the beaches and bunkers of the planetary facility.”

Though the main Star Wars line has moved onto all of the product from this December’s Last Jedi, I’ve still got a few Rogue One products sitting on my shelf waiting to be reviewed.  There was sort of a mass influx of new figures over the summer, and a lot of them had to wait for their slot in the reviewing schedule.  None more so than the Rogue One stuff, which got put on hold so that I could focus on TLJ.  Now that I’ve got a bit of lull, I can finally get back to some of them.  So, after much delay, here’s this Shoretrooper figure!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Scarif Stormtrooper Squad Leader is the fourth and final figure from the Rogue One assortment of the Walmart-exclusive small-scale Star Wars: The Black Series line.  Of the four, this guy was by far the most difficult to acquire (which is part of why he’s being reviewed four months after the other three), largely due to his status as an army builder.  The name on this guy is a little confusing.  He’s listed as the “Squad Leader,” which is the name generally associated with the more decorated guy from the two-pack with the Moroff.  That name was again used for the more decorated look in the larger Black Series, where the look seen here was listed simply as “Scarif Stormtrooper.”  And when this look showed up in the basic line, it was “Shoretrooper.”  If I had to guess, I’d say Hasbro may have been initially planning to release the guy from the two-pack, but changed their minds after the packaging was underway.  At the end of the day, none of this actually affects the figure, though, so I guess it doesn’t really matter that much.  The figure stands a little under 4 inches tall and he has 26 points of articulation.  As with the rest of his assortment, the Shoretrooper’s articulation represents a marked improvement over the Force Awakens offerings from the prior year.  I’d place this guy on par with Cassian in terms of posabilty.  It’s nice that Hasbro put in the effort on these guys, since they’re probably less likely to see new figures going forward.  The sculpt on this guy is totally unique to him; no parts shared with any of his less articulated brethren (though I feel certain we’ll be seeing most of this body again for the Vintage Collection Hovertank Pilot).  It’s definitely solid work, and on par with the larger version of the same design.  The helmet could perhaps be a little sharper, but the detailing on the body is definitely top-notch.  The paint on this guy is definitely solid work.  All of the base work is pretty clean and the colors match what we see on-screen.  Like the larger Shoretroopers, he gets some dirt and grime, to help make his armor look a bit more used.  It’s a nice touch, and really adds a lot to the figure.  The Shoretrooper is packed with a standard E-11 Stormtrooper blaster.  That’s a bit less than the others in this assortment, so he feels a little light, but it’s not terrible.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve been looking for this guy pretty much since they hit back in last December.  He and Cassian were definitely my most wanted, but while I was able to find Cassian back in May, this guy eluded me for several more months.  I ended up finding him at the Walmart across the street from the apartment I was moving out of back in August.  Which, of course, was just in time for Walmart to bring the price on these figure back up to their full $12, rather than the $6 they’d been at all summer.  Oh well.  At least I got him.  Is he the most thrilling figure ever?  Perhaps not.  I’ve gotten every other Hasbro Shoretrooper, so he’s not particularly different or new, nor does he blow me away the way Cassian did.  That being said, he’s still a very good figure, and I’m glad I found one.

#1455: Elite Praetorian Guard

ELITE PRAETORIAN GUARD

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES

“As the Supreme Leader of the First Order, Snoke was flanked by crimson-clad guardians, loyal protectors encased in ornate armor ready to defend the Supreme Leader from any threat.”

It’s been almost a month since I reviewed the Force Link reader and wrapped up my Last Jedi reviews.  Now I’m back with more!  Woooooo!  I’ve yet to find any of the post-Force Friday basic figure releases, but I have managed to find a few other things of interest.  As with The Force Awakens and Rogue One, there’s a Walmart-exclusive assortment of smaller-scale Black Series figures.  It would seem the timing is a little better this time around, since they started hitting only a week or two after the initial product.  Today, I’ll be looking at that series’ take on the Praetorian Guard!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Elite Praetorian Guard is one of the four figures in what is the final series of Walmart-exclusive Black Series figures (the line’s being replaced by the returning Vintage Collection next year).  This guy’s got a different helmet than the one in the two-pack with Rey, denoting he’s a different guard.  I like this one a little more than the last one.  Given the presence of this design in the big playset with Snoke and as the main release in the larger Black Series, I’ve got a sneaking suspicion that this guy might be the “lead” guard, but time will tell.  The figure stands about 4 inches tall and he has 28 points of articulation.  The Guard’s articulation is showing the same improvements we saw with the Rogue One figures, though I found his to be about on par with the Death Trooper, who was definitely the most limited of that bunch.  Still, he’s way easier to mess with than the TFA figures.  The Guard gets an all-new sculpt, which is pretty decent overall.  The upper half is really the best work; it’s sharply detailed, the articulation is pretty well integrated, and the build looks to match what we’ve seen so far of these guys.  The lower half has his skirt piece done with cloth, rather than sculpted.  It looks alright, and helps with porsablity, but the shaping’s definitely a bit off in basic standing poses.  His legs are also really skinny, at least to my eyes.  Like his more basic counterpart, the paint on this guy is pretty simple.  He’s mostly just molded in glossy red plastic, with some slight black detailing here and there.  It still looks pretty slick, and one can hardly fault them for following the film design.  This guy includes one accessory: his spear.  It’s a pretty cool piece, and this figure can hold it with both hands, which is a definite plus.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I came across this assortment while I was out searching for a Voltron Keith (who I still haven’t found, by the way).  Luke and Rose weren’t different enough from the basic figures for me to feel they were worth it, and the Executioner’s built on the same body as the rather flawed FO Stormtrooper, so this guy was the only one that came home with me.  Admittedly, I don’t think he’s quite as strong as the Rogue One figures, but he’s still pretty fun, and I’m happy to have him.  Now, let’s wait and see if Hasbro decides to offer all of the helmet variations in this style.

#1395: Vulture & Spider-Man

VULTURE & SPIDER-MAN

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

Adrian Toomes uses a specialized flying suit to soar through the skies as the Vulture – but when this winged menace threatens justice, it’s up to Spider-Man to swing in and stop him in his flight.”

Didn’t I *just* review a Vulture & Spider-Man two-pack?  It’s like Hasbro has a reason to be releasing multiple Spideys and Vultures all of the sudden.  I mean, I guess it could be the movie, but I’m not sure.  As has become the norm these days, Hasbro’s taking advantage of the hype from this new movie and using it to put out a few comics-based figures in addition to all the movie fare.  Today’s focus set is a pair of those figures.  Let’s check them out!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Vulture and Spider-Man are a Walmart-exclusive two-pack, as part of Hasbro’s 6-inch Marvel Legends.  They started hitting not too long before Homecoming’s release.

VULTURE

It’s been twelve years since we got a comics Vulture.  Seems like a reasonable waiting period to me.  Where the last one was a classic Vulture, this one’s actually based on his Ultimate counterpart (who, if you want to get technical, isn’t Adrian Toomes like the bio says; he’s actually Blackie Drago.  Of course, the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon uses this basic design for Toomes as the Vulture, so I guess it’s not totally inaccurate.  Also, few enough people know Vulture at all, we probably shouldn’t be throwing a whole second, more obscure character at them.  This is a really long parenthetical).  The Ultimate costume isn’t that far removed from the classic design, just a bit more armored and sleek, and the wings are different.  The figure stands about 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  He’s built on the Pizza Spidey body, with a new head, torso, pelvis, and forearms.   The new pieces mesh pretty well with the old, and he replicates Mark Bagely’s artwork for the character very well.  The head in particular really gets that Bagley style down.  I really enjoy the crazy grin he’s got going on.  Sure, he’s a little young for my preferred Vulture, but that’s accurate to the source material, so I’m not going to complain.  One thing I will complain about ever so slightly is the wings.  Moving past the fact that I’m not super into the Ultimate Vulture styled wings (they just look too much like Archangel’s wings), I’m annoyed that they aren’t at all articulated.  They plug into place, and due to the way they attach, they don’t have any sort of movement.  It’s kind of boring.  I mean, they still look cool, but I just wanted a little more out of them.  Vulture’s paint work is pretty solid.  It’s very green, but it’s a few shades of nice, metallic green.  Everything is nice and sharply applied, and the colors all accent each other well.  In addition to the removable wings, this guy also includes an extra, helmeted head, which is based on his appearance from the cartoon.  It’s a fun extra, and makes for a cool alternate look.

SPIDER-MAN

Can’t have a Spider-Man multi-pack without another Spider-Man, I suppose.  This one’s a slight re-deco of the Ultimate Spider-Man from the Space Venom series.  I didn’t get that figure, but I did get Miles, who uses the same sculpt.  Miles was a very good figure, and by extension, this guy’s quite good too.  He has essentially the same paint work as the Space Venom figure, but with two minor changes.  First, the blue has been changed to a bolder, less teal shade.  Second, he lacks the stripes of red running down his arms.  Why make these changes? Because now, instead of being an Ultimate comics version of Peter, he’s Peter from the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon.  Which means this is actually another Spider-Verse figure.  I can get behind that.  The figure lacks the unmasked head, right fist, and left thwip hand of his single-release counterpart, which is a bit of a letdown, but he does at least get both open gesture hands.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I saw this set a few times and passed on it.  Vulture’s never been super high on my list, and the Ultimate design even less so.  Plus, I hardly needed another essentially standard Spider-Man.  I ended up grabbing this set because while I was out looking for the Homecoming series, I came across this pair on clearance for a 50% mark-down, at which point I was essentially just paying for the Vulture figure.  For that price, it seemed more worth it to me.  Vulture’s a decent enough figure overall.  I have some minor issues, but he’ll do.  Spider-Man’s decent in his own right, but is definitely a “more of the same” sort of deal.  I feel like it would have been nice to get a more unique variant, but at least this one gets us another Spider-Verse entry.

#1378: IG97 & Rom Mohc

IG97 & ROM MOHC

STAR WARS: LEGACY COLLECTION COMIC PACKS (HASBRO)

“Rom Mohc is an Imperial general involved in the testing of advanced battle droids known as Dark Troopers. One of these droids ends up on Tatooine and becomes activated by scavenging Jawas. The Dark Trooper attacks three friends camping in the desert. But things change when the prototype encounters a clumsy IG97 Battle Droid on Tatooine, and the machines battle each other.”

The Star Wars Expanded Universe may not be as “official” as it once was, but when it was in full swing, it encompassed a whole lot of stuff.  TV, video games, novels, and of course, comic books.  There are many, many unique characters there-in, with many of them remaining exclusive to one medium or the other.  Only a handful of characters have made appearances in multiple forms of media.  The set I’m looking at today includes one of those cross-over characters, as well as a character that only has one appearance to date.  Without further ado, let’s take a look at IG97 and Rom Mohc.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

This pair was released in 2010, during the Star Wars: Legacy Collection line.  They were part of the Comic Packs sub-line, and were offered as a Walmart-exclusive set.  The two are based on the Star Wars Tales #4 story “Sand Blasted,” in theory at least…

IG97

IG97, or IG-97 as he would be if he followed the usual droid naming conventions, is the less frequently appearing of the two figures included in this set.  In fact, his only appearance is in Star Wars Tales #4.  While he’s not the most major player in the story, he’s a fairly sensible choice.  The figure stands about 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 12 points of articulation.  He’s surprisingly posable for a figure of his scale, and definitely a lot of fun to play with.  IG-97 is built using the body of the 2009 Legacy Collection version of the Battle Droids from the prequels.  It’s a pretty close match for the design of the  droid from the comic, and it was one of the best droid bodies Hasbro had at the time (and even now, it really hasn’t been topped).  He gets a new head, which is based on the art from the book.  This is a point of contention for some, who find him to be too cartoony and goofy to truly fit in with the rest of the figures of this era.  Personally, I rather like him, and enjoy the character and expression present in the head sculpt.  I certainly prefer this look to the basic Battle Droid head.  For a figure that’s largely a pale tan color, the paint on this guy is surprisingly well-done.  He’s molded in the base tan, and then has a darker brown wash, which brings out the details of his sculpt very nicely, and also helps to replicate the line-art from the comic.  IG-97 included a standard Battle Droid blaster, as well as both the standard and commander back-packs from the Battle Droid.

ROM MOHC

Rom Mohc is a character with a decent chunk of appearances, in a number of differing mediums.  He first appeared as the antagonist of the Dark Forces video game.  Subsequent appearances have been related to that, by and large.  Him getting a figure isn’t that odd, but it being part of a set based on “Sand Blasted” is somewhat strange, given that he only appears in about 3 panels of the story at the very beginning, and he’s almost completely divorced from everything else that’s going on.  But, he’s here nonetheless.  The figure stands about 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 14 paint of articulation.  Despite technically having more articulation than his pack-mate, he’s much stiffer, and way more limited in posability.  The figure is largely re-used, with his upper torso and arms coming from the Revenge of the Sith Tarkin (which also served as the basis for the previously reviewed Comic Pack Tarkin) and his legs coming from Janek Sunber.  He gets a new head to top it all off.  While the actual quality of the pieces used isn’t bad, they don’t add up to a figure that looks much of anything like any of Mohc’s appearances; certainly not the comic that this guy was actually supposed to be based on.  A lot of it comes from the re-used body, which just doesn’t have the right build for Mohc.  All of the available Imperial officer bodies were on the skinny side, so there’s not much Hasbro could have done, I guess.  The paint on Mohc is decent enough.  It’s not terribly exciting, being mostly drab colors, but it gets the job done.  He’s packed with a SE-14C blaster, which he has a little bit of trouble holding.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I wasn’t super familiar with either character in this set prior to acquiring it, but I’m always a sucker for a cool robot toy, meaning this sets been in my sights for a little while.  I spotted the two at Yesterday’s Fun, and Super Awesome Girlfriend insisted on getting them for me as an early birthday present.  I can take or leave Mohc, since he’s not super exciting.  Still, he works as a nice generic Imperial Officer, so that’s something.  IG-97 more than makes up for any of Mohc’s shortcomings, and is easily one of my favorite Star Wars figures I’ve gotten in a while.

#1343: Imperial Death Trooper

IMPERIAL DEATH TROOPER

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“The elite soldiers of Imperial Intelligence, Death Troopers are encased in specialized stormtrooper armor with a dark, ominous gleam and serve as bodyguards and enforcers for Director Krennic.”

Man, for being so elite, these guys didn’t exactly amount to much, did they?  Well, it’a not really their fault, I guess.  At their core, they’re still just Imperial Stormtroopers, aren’t they?  And these guys do manage to hit at least a few of their targets.  Good for them.  Like any good faceless Star Wars troop, they also make for really great toy fodder, so hey, here’s another Imperial Death Trooper figure!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Imperial Death Trooper is part of the small, four figure assortment of Rogue One-themed small scale Star Wars: The Black Series figures, which were released exclusively at Walmart back at the end of last year.  This is one of the two troop builders in the assortment, which makes it slightly more difficult to find (though not as difficult as the Shoretrooper, let me tell you).  The figure stands just over 4 inches tall and has 26 points of articulation.  As with all of the figures in this assortment, the articulation is a marked improvement over the Force Awakens figures from the prior year, especially on the legs.  That being said, I did find the Death Trooper to be the most difficult to pose of the three I’ve got.  It’s possible that’s due to the character design, though.  The sculpt is all-new to this particular figure, and it’s a pretty great rendition of the unique Death Trooper armor from the movie.  The lankiness of the character is a little more down-played here, which I think is for the best.  There’s an add-on with a pauldron and web gear, denoting that this guy’s a slightly different variation of the Death Trooper than I’ve looked at before.  I believe this makes him a squad leader.  Anyway, the extra gear is pretty cool, and adds something new to this guy.  It’s also easily removable, should you just want a basic Death Trooper, which makes him really great for army building.  The paint on this guy is pretty straight forward; for the most part, he’s just molded in black, but there’s some slight detailing here and there to help break things up a bit.  The application is all pretty clean, and he looks like he does in the movie.  The Death Trooper includes his standard larger blaster, as well as the smaller blaster pistol we saw with the larger Black Series figure as well.  Both are pretty well sculpted pieces, though he does have a little trouble holding the rifle (though it’s nowhere near as bad as the First Order Stormtrooper from Series 2).

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As I noted in my reviews of Jyn and Cassian, when I didn’t find any of these guys back in December/January, I had resigned myself to never getting them.  When I found the other two, I still resigned myself to never getting either of the troopers, since the army builders would have no doubt cleaned out all of the supplies long ago.  But, while in Seattle with Super Awesome Girlfriend and her family, I found this guy at one of the nearby Walmarts.  He’s pretty cool, and like the other two, I think he’s the best version of the character out there.  Now, if I could just find the Shoretrooper….