#1694: Domino



Domino creates her own luck with a subconscious ability to predict the success of any given action.”

In the ’90s, there was this quiet sort of trend amongst new X-Men characters, where they took the basic power set of a prior character, but added “carries a lot of guns” to them, and there they were.  Domino was amongst that crop of characters, taking the luck-based gimmick of Longshot, and…adding guns.  The luck bit tends to get pushed to the side, but that’s seeming to change, with her new solo series and appearance in Deadpool 2.  She’s also gotten another Marvel Legends release along the way.


Domino is figure 3 in the Sasquatch Series of Marvel Legends.  She’s definitely based on a more recent incarnation of the character, though I’m not really familiar enough with her history to pinpoint exactly which costume this one is wearing.  I’m thinking this is meant to be the costume she wore during her run with Wolverine’s X-Force?  Whatever the case, it’s a fairly decent summation of her various looks over the years, and has the benefit of not looking anywhere near as terrible as some of them.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and she has 27 points of articulation.  Domino shares quite a few pieces with 2016’s Mockingbird figure.  She gets a new head, hands, and a slightly tweaked torso that removes some buttons.  Mockingbird’s sculpt was a pretty good one, and although it’s got some more specific details than others, they don’t stand out so much as to make the re-use to exceedingly obvious.  Also helping in keeping the two unique from each other are the shoulder harness and belt add-on pieces, which fit Domino’s more prepared nature.  It adds up to a solid looking sculpt that the average onlooker probably wouldn’t realize had any re-use.  Her paintwork is appropriately stark and contrast-y.  The mostly black and white thing translates quite well here, and the few bits of silver we get break it up pretty well.  The application is all nice and sharp.  The prior Domino Legends figure got pretty standard guns.  This one goes slightly more unique, but not at the same time.  The two guns included with this figure are the actually scaled down from the pair included with the 12-inch Legends Deadpool figures, and as an added bonus, the smaller of those two guns is actually based on Hasbro’s own Nerf Vortex Diatron (thanks to our in-house Nerf-expert Tim for spotting that one).  In addition to the guns, Domino also includes the right arm of Sasquatch.


Had the TRU that I purchased Deathlok from had a Domino in-stock, I would have likely gotten her instead of X-23.  But they didn’t, so I didn’t.  Given how much I liked the X-23 figure, that was probably for the best.  Nevertheless, it did spark in me a moderate desire to grab a Domino figure.  I ended up taking advantage of a Barnes & Noble coupon I had to get her for a pretty good deal.  Though I’m not overly familiar with her (I say as a man who owns three action figures of the character), I do quite like this figure.  She’s a lot of fun!

*Want a Domino figure of your own?  She’s currently in-stock with our sponsors over at All Time Toys!  Click here to check her out!


#1693: X-Force Deadpool



Need someone to do the dirty work? Great news: that’s his favorite kind of work.”

This spring has been jam-packed when it comes to big blockbusters.  Wedged in-between event-film-10-years-in-the-making that was Infinity War and the decidedly-smaller-scale-but-base-breaking Solo, was the somewhat quieter, more laid back Deadpool 2.  I was apparently one of the few people on the planet not terribly thrilled by the first one, so I wasn’t expecting much from the sequel, but I actually rather liked it.  As a Fox-produced film, it’s got no direct merchandise from Hasbro, but it did get an assortment of loosely themed Marvel Legends.  There were two variants of the title character included, and I’ll be looking at one of those today.


X-Force Deadpool is numerically the first figure in the Sasquatch Series of Marvel Legends.  A quite similar figure was released earlier, as an exclusive to HasCon 2017.  While the main figures are similar, they are not identical, and the accessory complements are completely different.  Both figures are based on Deadpool’s more monochromatic look from the pages of Uncanny X-Force, which is coincidentally quite similar to how Wade looks after taking a fair bit of damage in the final act of Deadpool 2.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and has 32 points of articulation. On the outside, the figure’s doesn’t seem all that different from the one released two years ago in the Juggernaut Series, but he’s actually more different than you might think.  They share the same base body (the Bucky Cap), and the same head.  They also share the same shoulder harness and thigh holster.  Beyond that, he gets a new belt, wristbands, and ankle bands.  They succeed in making the figure moderately different, and by extension, more accurate to the original source material than a simple recolor would have been.  Even the paint masking is a bit different, and not just a simple palette swap.  The shaping of the black sections of his costume are actually the inverses of the last figure’s, which is another point in the accuracy column.  Sadly, Deadpool’s accessories have been stepped way back from both the HasCon offering of this costume and the prior standard release.  Still, he does get the swords, the rail gun, and the pistol (both painted in a fun blue color that makes them look vaguely Nerf-ish), and he also comes with the head of Sasquatch.


I had no real intent to pick up this figure.  I have the standard colors version from 2016, and I figured that was good enough.  Then I ended up with every other figure from the set, and I saw DP2, and I found myself kind of wanting this figure.  Sadly, by that point he’d sold out pretty much everywhere.  I eventually found him on Amazon for base retail, and here we are.  He’s a surprisingly enjoyable figure, and I’m happy I tracked him down.

#1530: Avalanche



“A mutant with the ability to control earth and rock, Avalanche’s powers earned him a place in the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants! Now operating largely on his own, or in the company of his allies, the Blob and Pyro, Avalanche strikes not so much out of hatred for normal humans, but from a desire to make a profit!”

Back in the ‘90s, the X-Men were super hot, and by, extension, the various X-Men spin-offs were super hot.  X-Force, the spawn of everyone’s favorite artist Rob Liefeld, was inexplicably successful, but only the actual team seemed to get real notoriety.  The villains were mostly forgettable, however, so for the toyline Toy Biz borrowed a few classic X-Men baddies, including today’s focus character, Avalanche!


Avalanche was released in Series 5 of Toy Biz’s X-Force toyline.  He was the second of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants figures featured in this particular line, following Pyro.  Seeing how the two of them were a semi-recurrent pair on X-Men: The Animated Series, it was a pretty sensible inclusion, I suppose.  The figure stands 5 1/2 inches tall and he has 11 points of articulation.  He got extra disk joints on his hips, which I guess was kind of nice.  It does seem a little bit odd that Avalanche of all people got extra special articulation, but I’m not gonna fight it.  HIs sculpt was all new to this particular figure, and it was fairly decent for the era.  The proportions are a little exaggerated, obviously, but given that he was in the X-Force line, it’s actually fairly balanced.  There articulation could perhaps be worked in a bit better, but it’s not awful.  The details of the costume are pretty clean, and I do like the intensity of the expression on what we can see of his face.  It’s a bit of a shame that his helmet is permanently affixed, since he had it off rather frequently on the cartoon, but it looks good, and that’s ultimately the most important thing.  Avalanche’s paintwork is fairly standard, mostly silver and blue.  It looks decent enough, though it’s perhaps not the most thrilling color scheme.  Avalanche was originally packed with an “Exploding Rock Platform” which demonstrated his powers via action feature.  My figure was purchased loose, however, so he doesn’t include this piece.


Avalanche is a rather recent addition to my ‘90s Marvel collection, picked up over the summer from Yesterday’s Fun.  They had a number of old X-Men figures, and this was one I kept meaning to grab, but never got around to.  He’s a pretty decent figure of a character I admittedly don’t have a ton of attachment to.  Nevertheless, I’m happy to have him, and he brings me one step closer to completing this collection.

#1267: Shatterstar



“Armed with superhuman physical and mental abilities, Shatterstar conquers his enemies with strength and certainty.”

Can you get more ‘90s than Shatterstar?  Created by Rob Liefeld?  Check.  Name made up of two unrelated “kewl” words?  Check.  Weird head gear?  Check.  A single eye tattoo?  Check.  A hairstyle that no human who ever lived has had?  Check.  Shoulder pads and pouches?  Check and check.  All this dude needs is a leather jacket, a giant gun, and a can of Surge, and he’ll check off the whole list.  As a paragon of all things ‘90s, he was a pretty popular guy back in the day, and got a whole three action figures from Toy Biz’s ‘90s X-Force line.  However, since then, he’s sort of fallen down (well, aside from a pair of Minimates).  With that being said, there’s been a slight resurgence of some of the ‘90s stuff, leading to Shatterstar being fortunate enough to get a figure courtesy of Hasbro’s latest set of Marvel Legends.


Shatterstar is figure 2 in the Warlock Series of Marvel Legends, taking the X-Force slot established by Stryfe and Cable in the last two series.  This is the first time he’s had a Legends figure, which actually seems a little surprising, given his popularity in the ‘90s.  In terms of design, he more or less goes back to the original Liefeld look.  I know there was a contingent that was hoping for his more recent X-Factor look (I myself was sort of pulling for that look), but if Shatterstar’s only going to get one Marvel Legend (which seems rather likely), you kind of *have* to do the ridiculous ‘90s monstrosity.  On the plus side, they really did make it suck a lot less than it could have.  I think that’s partly to do with them actually drawing the main influence from the Marvel: Avengers Alliance design for him, which is a nice, cleaned up version of his original design.  The figure stands about 6 1/2 inches tall and has 32 points of articulation.  He’s built on the Bucky Cap body, specifically the Doctor Strange variation of it, which works nicely to replicate his poofy shirt.  Also aiding in the poofy shirt bit are the new arms, which are built similarly to the normal ones, but with lots of wrinkles.  I do wish his arms could sit a bit closer to the arms, but that’s a minor complaint.  He’s also got the flared glove pieces, which are bulkier than the ones seen on Zemo and Boomerang.  The lower half is mostly the basic pieces, with add-ons for the belt and thigh pouches (which are kind of a necessity), and a pair of brand new boots (which Super Awesome Girlfriend has classified as “fabulous”).  He’s topped off with an all-new head and an add-on for his scarf/halfcape/shoulderpad.  The single shoulder pad has always perplexed me.  It would make sense if he favored one arm over the other in sword fighting, but he’s pretty much always dual wielded, so, what’s the deal?  To Hasbro’s credit, the shoulder pad sports some pretty sweet detailing, so good on them for that.  The head sculpt is commendable in its ability to faithful recreate Shatterstar’s goof hair and headgear without getting too laughably bad.  They’ve gone for a calmer facial expression than Liefeld would have given him, but it’s actually one that better fits the persona Shatterstar took on after Liefeld left the book.  Shatterstar’s paint work is really solid.  The basic color work is ask nice and clean, with only minor coverage issues on the legs.  The brown bits have all been given a bit of a wash to accent the details, which once again shows how nice a Hasbro sculpt can look with the tiniest bit of extra accent work.  It’s worth noting that Hasbro did tweak Shatterstar’s colors a little bit, making the gloves and scarf a light grey instead of the straight white they were in the comics.  It’s only a minor change, and honestly, it helps to break up the colors a bit more than they otherwise would be.  Shatterstar was packed with a pair of swords; since Liefeld could never make up his mind about whether Shatterstar’s swords were two bladed or just one single blade, Hasbro’s been nice enough to give us one of each.  Aside from possibly benefiting from a little bit of paint, the swords are pretty cool, and Shatterstar has an easy time holding them.  The figure also includes the right arm of Warlock, who is shaping up to be pretty cool.


I know I’m hyper-critical of the ‘90s, but I do have an appreciation for Shatterstar as a character.  When he was announced, I was actually pretty excited, especially after how well the Juggernaut Series Cable turned out.  Shatterstar was nearer the end of my discoveries of this set; I found him at the slightly further away Target near me, which had just put out a case, albeit one that was already missing Cyclops.  While I’d still like to see the X-Factor version at some point, this guy, like Cable before him, is a lot better than I’d expected.  Once again, the Rob Liefeld character is one of the stronger figures in the series.  How do they keep doing that?

*Want a Shatterstar figure of your own?  He’s currently in-stock with our sponsors over at All Time Toys!  Click here to check him out!

#1195: Cannonball & Domino




Hasbro’s early days with the Marvel license were an odd time.  Truth be told, they didn’t really come into their own with the product until somewhere around Iron Man 2, which was a good three years into their run with the license.  Until then, there were some weird experiments, intermixed with just sort of copying a lot of Toy Biz’s stuff, mostly when it came to Marvel Legends.  The first two series of their Legends were almost entirely chosen and designed by Toy Biz, which gave them a bit of time to figure out some of their own stuff for the half-formed Series 3 assortment.  The first two series hit in early 2007, and the third wouldn’t hit until almost the end of the year.  Hasbro filled the gap between two and three with a handful of exclusives.  Today, I look at Cannonball and Domino, one of those exclusives.


Cannonball and Domino were a Walmart-exclusive two-pack.  They were released alongside the similarly exclusive Cable and Marvel Girl two-pack in the summer of 2007, as only the third round of Walmart-exclusive Marvel Legends.  Both characters were at something of a low-point in terms of relevance, but and were actually the first X-Force alumni outside of Cable and Deadpool to join the line.


cannonballdomino3Sam Guthrie is one of the more successful characters from his era of comics.  Cannonball started out as a member of the New Mutants and not only make it all the way through that series’ run, heal also transferred into its follow-up X-Force, and then moved onto the main X-Men team, where he was a pretty prominent character for a while.  He fell back into obscurity for a bit, but was recently brought on as one of Jonathan Hickman’s Avengers, which seems to have gone pretty well for him.  This figure is loosely based on his first X-Force design (loosely due to the necessities of parts re-use, which I’ll touch on in a sec).  He stands about 6 1/2 inches tall and has 39 points of articulation.  That’s a lot of movement, but, as you can see, it’s sort of at the cost of the sculpt.  The sculpt, it should be noted, originally hails from Toy Biz’s Johhny Blaze version of Ghost Rider.  It was heralded as a great sculpt at the time, but it’s sort of specifically tailored to Blaze, since it’s skeletally skinny.  It’s not that Cannonball hasn’t frequently been depicted as rail thin (because he was for most of his early career), but this seems a bit extreme even for him.  It probably doesn’t help that when he was with the X-Force he was usually depicted as only being a little smaller than Cable.  The point is, this figure makes Sam look more than a little emaciated.  For what it’s worth, the costume details do match up surprisingly well with his X-Force togs, and there’s a lot of really fun detail sculpted into this figure.  I can get why they wanted to re-use the parts, it’s just a bit questionable, that’s all.  As far as new pieces go, Sam got a new head, which captures his slender mug pretty well, as well as a weird dicky sort of piece that slips over GR’s exposed neck and shoulders.  They do their job well enough, and also fit pretty well with the body (though the neck is a bit jarringly smooth).  One last thing about the sculpt: Sam is a testament to why you should avoid soft rubber on action figures.  There’s rubber for the upper torso, and while mine has held up okay (only two very small tears), I’ve seen others that weren’t so fortunate. The paintwork on Cannonball is decent enough.  It takes his color scheme from the comics and translates it into something a bit more consumable by the human eye.  The application is mostly pretty clean but there’s some slop here and there, especially on the white piping of the jumpsuit.  Cannonball included no accessories.


cannonballdomino2Domino’s not a character I really have that much affinity for, so I don’t know a whole lot about her.  She’s got luck-based powers, but it was the ‘90s so that translated to “carries a gun.”  Everything seemed to translate to “carries a gun” in the ‘90s.  Domino’s had her fair share of looks over the years (mostly because no one can make up their minds about how to draw her), and this figure seems to be based on her look from the early ‘00s.  She stands about 6 1/4 inches tall and has 33 points of articulation.  Despite all that articulation, she still can’t sit, thanks to being built on a body from Toy Biz’s period of useless hip joints.  Bleh.  She uses the body of the X-Treme Rogue from TB’s 2006 X-Men line.  It’s actually a pretty good match for the art I’ve been able to find of Domino in this costume.  The proportions are still quite on the wonky side, and don’t get me started on whatever the heck’s going on with the torso (she moves at the boobs and the abdomen?  That’s odd), but Toy Biz certainly produced worse, and Hasbro put out worse the same year as this figure’s release.  So, this isn’t awful.  The head and hands were unique to this figure.  The head is a pretty decent, no-nonsense head, and looks like the later interpretations of Domino.  The hands are sculpted to hold her guns, which is a nice thing to see on a character whose whole thing is having guns.  Domino also got a new add-on piece for her belt, which is fixed with a holster for each leg.  The holsters would probably limit hip movement, but the actual hip joints beat them to it, so not a huge loss, I guess.  Domino’s paintwork is alright.  There’s some really strong work on the head, but the jumpsuit exhibits a lot of slop, in very obvious places.  Domino was packed with a pair of pistols (I seem to have misplaced one of mine…)


When these figures were released, my dad was after the Marvel Girl from the other set.  When he finally found them, our local Walmart was already clearancing them, so he went ahead and grabbed this set as well, on the off chance that I might want it.  As luck would have it, I was still into collecting action figures that particular day, so I did want this set!  Who would have guessed?  Despite not knowing a whole lot about him, I’ve always had a soft spot for Cannonball, and this figure was no exception.  I can point to all the figure’s flaws, but I still really like him.  Domino?  She’s just sort of there.  She’s not a bad figure, but I just feel nothing about her, so she just came along for the ride.  Of course, now that I actually have a Cable, she’s not quite as out of place, so that’s good!


#0769: Cable & Stryfe




The X-Men were so popular in the 90s that they not only had two books of their own, but also a whopping three spin-off titles. Two of those, Excalibur and X-Factor, had been launched in the 80s, and the other, X-Force, was a rebranding of the New Mutants in order to make them more “extreme.” This included adding Cable, a dude who’s mutant power was apparently being a big dude with a gun, aka being the personification of 90s comics. Cable had a twin/clone, called Stryfe. Let’s look at some figures of those two today!


This pair was released in the second series of Toy Biz’s X-Men: Steel Mutants line, because apparently the X-Men just weren’t 90s enough.


CableStryfe2Oh man, here’s Cable. Why’s he called Cable? God only knows. Maybe he used to work for Comcast. That would certainly explain his surly nature. The figure stands 2 ½ inches tall and he has 4 points of articulation. Cable had quite a few figures in the 5 inch X-Force line, and this one uses Series 2’s Rapid Rocket Firing Cable as sort of a reference point. I don’t know if it’s based on a specific look, but it does present a slightly more subdued look for the character than usual. He doesn’t even have shoulder pads! His sculpt is generally pretty well handled. He’s got a good amount of detail, and his build does set him apart from the other figures in the line. Plus, I do dig that assymetry. His pose is pretty straight forward, with no real outlandish poising or anything, and he’s decently balanced, so there are no issues with getting him to stand. Cable’s paint is pretty much on par with the rest of the Steel Mutants. There’s a fair degree of bleed over around the edges, but he doesn’t look atrocious. The colors are pretty well chosen, and he looks pretty sharp.


CableStryfe3Yes, you read that name right. He’s named Stryfe. And it’s spelled with a “y.” Because 90s. Strule also stands roughly 2 ½ inches tall and has those same 4 points of articulation. Stryfe is presented here in full 90s glory. Check out that head gear. Seriously, that helmet looks like Liefeld deliberately set out to out-Wolverine Wolverine. I suppose they succeeded in that effort. Doesn’t make it look any less stupid, but more power to him. He appears to be inspired by the Stryfe figure in the 5-inch line, though he’s lost most of that figure’s interesting armor detailing, which has the unintended side effect of drawing more attention to just how goofy the main design of the character is. It doesn’t help matters that his sculpt is just markedly inferior to that of his pack mate. Cable is nicely sized, full of detail, and not in a super goofy pose. Stryfe is the opposite of those things. The size is particularly egregious, since he’s a clone of Cable, and should therefore be about the same size. That coupled with the long monkey arms, the strange lunging pose of the legs, and the ill-fitting cape makes for a really rough looking figure. The paint doesn’t really do him any favors either. He’s mostly a somewhat drab silver, which only further highlights the blandness of the sculpt. It is, at the very least, clean, which I suppose is a plus.


This pair was purchased for me from Yesterday’s Fun, alongside the previously reviewed Cyclops and Mr. Sinister set, courtesy of my Super Awesome Girlfriend. Unlike the other set, I never had either of these guys growing up. In fact, this set represents the first, and to date only, Stryfe figure in my collection. So, there’s that. Cable is a pretty solid figure, but Stryfe is easily one of the weakest figures this line had to offer, resulting in an oddly balanced set.

#0614: Domino




Grrrrr! 90s! Everything had to be soooooo X-Treme! And no one was more X-Treme than the X-Men! Well, okay, actually, that’s not true. There was one team than was more X-Treme, by design. They were the X-Force and they were super hardcore 90s. So hard. One of their more prominent members was Domino, who had luck based powers. You know, like a domino!


Domino2Domino was released in Series 6 of ToyBiz’s X-Force line. It’s surprising to see one of the team’s higher tier members not being released until one of the last few series of the line, but, hey, it was the 90s, and we were in the worst dregs of boys thinking girl toys were icky, so…..yeah. The figure stands 5 inches tall and has 9 points of articulation. While she was fortunate enough not to be saddled with the dreaded v-style hip joints that plagued many female figures of the time, she’s completely lacking in neck articulation, and for some strange reason her elbow joints are just simple cut joints. This ends up severely limiting what can be done with the figure, which is quite a bummer. Domino featured an all-new sculpt (though it would see a couple of re-paints later on down the line). It’s…passable. They’ve done a fairly decent job of capturing the design from the comics, which, it should be noted, is her second, non-Liefeld-designed costume. It’s got all the requisite buckles, pouches, shoulder pads, and even a weird head thing! The proportions aren’t the worst thing ever and she has one of the better female faces of the time. That said, she’s rather boxy, especially in her lower half, and I’m really not sure what’s going on with the straps on her torso. They certainly can’t be comfortable configured that way. Also, she seems to have lost a row of abdominal muscles, which ends up making the legs look way too long. The paintwork on the figure is alright.  Nothing amazing, but the colors are pretty good matches for the look in the comics, and there isn’t any substantial slop or bleed over. Domino originally included a set of gun attachments, which hooked into her legs. Yeah. Not really sure why they did that, since she just held the guns in her hands in the comics, but hey, whatever. Mine didn’t have them anyway.


Domino was another figure that I fished out of a box of loose figures at one of the dealer’s tables at this past Balticon. I was never really into X-Force growing up, and Domino never played a prominent role in the X-Men cartoon, so I didn’t really have a reason to get this figure while it was still new. But, it was a dollar. It’s not ToyBiz’s best work, but it isn’t atrocious.

#0598: Shatterstar II




Ah, the 90s. What wondrous creations you gave us. The X-Men were super hyped up, so, obviously, it being the 90s, they needed an edgier, x-ier spin-off team. Enter X-Force, a slightly re-worked version of the New Mutants, with several new, more x-treme members. It had art done by Rob Liefeld, who seemed to set out to make it the most 90s thing imaginable. One of his additions was the character Shatterstar, who was either an alien or a mutant who had the amazing ability to…ummm….have swords? Yeah, I don’t know.


Shatterstar here was released as part of Series 3 of ToyBiz’s X-Force, which, like the comic, was a spin-off of the X-Men line. As the name denotes, this is the second figure of Shatterstar that the line offered. Shatterstar stands roughly 5 inches tall and features 9 points of articulation. This figure is actually based on Greg Capullo’s redesign of the character following Liefeld’s departure from the series. It’s…a little better? It’s more symmetrical, that’s for sure.  That being said, he’s still got many of the 90s trademarks. He’s got pouches, shoulder pads, pouches, some weird headband thing, pouches, and that funky sunburst tattoo over just the one eye. Though, I guess you need some of that 90s flare to recognize it as Shatterstar, right? It should also be noted that Shatterstar also appears to have been doing a bit of juicing since his first figure. He looks…I don’t want to say puffy… but, yeah. He’s gotta be at least twice the size of the previous Shatterstar figure. Now, to be fair, that figure did seem a little emaciated, but this one seems to have gone a bit too far the other way. It’s not completely off the mark for Capullo’s rendition of the character, but the size feels a little bit laughable. That being said, the figure has a sculpt that is up to the standards of other ToyBiz Marvel stuff of the time. The details are nice and clean (which is certainly better that the comics) and the figure does a pretty good job of translating the comics design to three dimensions. The paintwork on Shatterstar is generally pretty clean. There’s some bleed over here and there, but nothing too noticeable. The colors are nice and bright, which is always a plus. Shatterstar included a pair of his trademark (and oh so silly looking) twin-bladed swords. Sadly, my figure doesn’t have them. He does, however, still have his action feature. His arms can be raised and locked into place, and then released by pressing the button on his pack, resulting in a slashing effect of sorts. So there!


Whilst at Balticon this year, I dug this guy out of a dollar bin of loose figures. I kind of have an addiction to the old 90s ToyBiz stuff, so I obviously had to get him (and several others…). Truth be told, goofy as he is, I kind of like Shatterstar, and this is definitely the best of his 90s figures. Certainly worth the dollar I paid!