Director Krennic – Star Wars: The Black Series – Rogue One

Director Krennic may not be the most anticipated or fun character to come out of the 6 inch Black Series, but he has a pretty major role in the formation of the Death Star, the main reason Rogue One will be taking place, and the reason for the Rebel Alliance to come together and ultimately create the original trilogy. So, he is pretty important. I am currently reading Catalyst, the novel that leads up to Rogue One, and Krennic is in it a whole lot. We really get a sense of who this guy is, and his motivations behind the Death Star.

In 6 inch scale he is pretty great. He is wearing a white tunic with black pants and a white cape. His outfit is very similar to the Imperial Officer’s outfit, but instead of the drab color, he went with the brighter white and black. And the addition of the cape. Who knows what that is all about? He is pretty egotistical, so it would be no surprise for him to create his own outfit that is more similar to that of the Grand Admiral.

He has really good articulation, as we are used to. The cape comes around the front, which does limit the movement, but I don’t think we are going to see him doing a whole lot of action in the movie.

When you remove the cape, you get full view of the uniform. The tunic is so white and clean, while the black pants stand apart, with their flared thighs.

On Krennic’s belt, he has a holster to hold his other accessory, a small gun. It is very well done. Good details, and a little extra paint applied to the handle.

The cape is actually really well done. I wish it was fabric like we have seen with some other Black Series 6 inch figures. It would have made movement better. Guess that is something for the customizers to work on. There are a lot of details in the cape with some designs stitched in there.

Krennic stands apart from the rest of the Rogue One series so far. We have had a lot of soldiers come our way. Now we get a politician, and a leader for all of the Death Troopers.

The timer is counting down. The movie will be upon us soon.


Vorath and Mindwipe – Transformers: Generation – Titans Retrun (Deluxe Class)

Today we are going to look at the other Decepticon animal in this wave. Mindwipe is a Headmaster from 1987. He was teamed up with Vorath. Today, he has the same name, his Titan Master has the same name. That might be a first for the entire run. Probably not, but there seems to be a lot of trademark causing name changes from Headmasters to Titan Masters.

In robot mode, Mindwipe looks pretty good. He has a real G1 feel to him. Squared off corners, with big bulky square legs. He even has tiny wings on his back to show that he is a bat in his other mode. Do we really need those wings? It is a nice aesthetic in robot mode, but then it gives him extra wings in bat mode, which is a bit odd. I think they were needed to cover up the fact that Mindwipe has a giant bat head hanging off back there, and they needed to cover it up a bit.

He comes with a blaster with a good solid Transformers design to it. As with the rest of this line, Mindwipe comes with a second weapon that the Titan Master can interact with. It is a shield with blades and blasters. That is a pretty good weapon there. Close combat and range weapon in one. I like it.

As I mentioned earlier, Mindwipe comes with Vorath. Like with Wolfwire’s Titan Master Monxo, Vorath is also organic in some universes. Interesting that the two would be organic, and also team up with animals. He is standard with movement in the arms, head, and the legs attached.

When Mindwipe transforms into his bat mode, this is where things get really special. We know Mindwipe will have pretty sizable wings, but they fold up so well, and that is pretty awesome. They unfold out of the sides of his legs, with the foot becoming the bottom of the wing. He is fairly boxy in beast mode, with little movement besides his wings’ joints. He does have an opening mouth that is a nice addition.

In his chest, he has a cockpit hatch that opens to reveal a seat for Vorath. Vorath snuggles right in there, ready for his trip.

In the 1987 version, Mindwipe had a terrible tail that impeded his sitting. This new version is a bit better. It hinges out of the way. It is made up of the shield and gun combined. It is very long and very wide. It seems like it would have been a lot better to have the shield as a backpack. It could have ported in on the bat’s back, fit in between the fake wings really nicely, and been out of the way.

The gun and the shield can combine to form a weapon for Vorath. It is pretty much a triple blaster that he rides on. You can flip out the blades for a little extra weaponry, though I doubt you would really want your Titan Master in quite that close combat.

Mindwipe and Wolfwire make a good team in this wave. A couple of beasts hanging out together. I can’t imagine they would be that good of friends, you know, with one that talks to himself, and another that thinks he talks to ghosts.

Crazy is as crazy does.


Buzzsaw – Transformers: Combiner Wars (Titans Return)

He was a bit of a funny figure. He was released in the Combiner Wars series, even though he was going to be a tablet that worked with Soundwave in the next series, Titans Return. He was looked down upon as being a strange figure, since he didn’t fit in.

Of course, now he fits in fine with a plethora of other tablets coming out on the Autobot and Decepticon side, including his redecoed version and more popular character, Laserbeak. It is funny how often we have seen the alternate versions come out first in the recent times. We had Sentinel Prime come out, and we knew he was going to be remade into Astrotrain. There have been others too.

Well, as a bird, he is pretty great. He has enough going on in the design to give a nice nod to the old birds of G1. He has the high head with a jetpack on the back. Thankfully they found a way to integrate the accessories from G1 into the figure, so we didn’t have leftover parts when they are in tablet mode.

Form the bird, he transforms into a tablet, of course. The screen sticker has some good details. It is a bit broken up by different parts forming the screen, but you get the idea, that he is a Decepticon, and he does not like the Autobots.

As per what we later found to be the norm, this guy had a third mode. Some of the tablets have really great alternate modes. This one is pretty weak. It is some kind of forklift thing. Originally I thought maybe it was some kind of battle tank, but after having both Rewind and Rumble show up with really good tanks, this one has to be some weird forklift.

So now, as with many of the previous series we have had that has featured data robots, I have a pile of them. Blaster is pretty great, and I am looking for Soundwave to allow some of the Decepticon tablets a chance for espionage.


Dino Super Drive Power Rangers (Graphite, Silver and Purple) and Singe

Aaaaaahhhhh! Here I am all happy that I have finally found some of the Dino Super Drive Rangers, and people are already posting about finding the movie figures as well as Ninja Steel figures. Can’t we get one show done before we move along to the next?

Anyway, I found three of the Rangers, Graphite, Silver and Purple. I still think it is silly that they gave us graphite and silver colored rangers, but they look different enough that it works okay. The Dino Super Drive Rangers come with a Dino Super Drive Saber. It is color coordinated to the Ranger, which does not hold true to the show, but it is a nice touch for collectors to get the same saber in a variety of colors. And yes, Graphite comes with a grey saber, while Silver comes with a silver saber.

The armor the Rangers have this time around gets pretty crazy. They are pretty well covered and ready for battle. The figures come with the standard articulation we are used to in this line. The Purple Ranger continues to be hindered by the skirt being tight and unmoving, so she loses all of the movement in the joint at the hips.

There are a few more villains to introduce here at the end of the line. I found Singe for these Rangers to beat on for a bit. Singe has some pretty good paint apps. Typical with the line, the Rangers are pretty spot on for paint, with special colors, bright shiny paint, and details. The villains usually have some paint apps, but they are always missing some extra that will really set them apart.

One issue I have with the villains, and apparently will continue to have is the lack of articulation. While the Rangers usually run around 13 points of articulation, the villains run about 5 POA. That makes posing pretty crappy, and no fun to shoot.

Overall, I like the new Rangers. They are beefed up with all of the armor, and look like good final versions. I am going to be sad with the last few villains as we end this line. Not much I can do about that. Hopefully as the holidays progress, I will find some good figures in the store, and be able to complete this line. There are a lot of colors represented in the Dino Charge franchise, and Bandai has gone to great lengths to give us all of them in every version possible.


Monxo and Wolfwire – Transformers: Generations – Titans Return – Deluxe Class

Wait, is this Titans Return or Robots in Disguise? They love to make Decepticon animals in RiD, but we are getting a bit of overflow into Titans Return. This is not the only animal we are getting in this wave either.

Today we are looking at Wolfwire with his Titan Master Monxo.

Wolfwire is a bright yellow and blue robot. I think he is giving off a really strong Wolverine vibe with the X-Men coloring and bad attitude.

His little head, Monxo is blue and grey. He has a weird back story, where sometime he is a humanoid fleshbag. They went with the Headmaster version. The colors are pretty close, with a bit lighter blue this time around.

As for Wolfwire, this is a pretty darn close redesign of the original version from 1987. The former Weirdwolf slimmed down a lot for this iteration, but he looks very close, including the sword tail and red cockpit for the Monxo to ride in.

Wolfwire comes with a great big gun along with the grey sword. The Titan Return figures certainly do carry a lot of weaponry. His gun of course doubles as a seat for his Titan Master. We will see that a bit later.  He has an opening door in his chest that is similar to the original. This one does not really serve a purpose, except to help push out the torso of the wolf when going through transformation.

In wolf mode, Wolfwire has an opening mouth. It is a bit scary looking with the red teeth. His head is on a swivel to allow the head to swing side to side, and there is even a slight head turn as well.

Moving back, Wolfwire has… ah crud! I just realized I blew the transformation on the front legs. They are backwards and show the empty elbows. Ugh! Anyway, he has pretty good articulation in the fore legs and unlike is G1 counterpart, he can move his back legs too.

The cockpit window flips forward to allow access to the seat.

There is so much room in the cockpit because of the stretch of the waist, that you can actually fit two Titan Masters in there. Pretty neat.

Once closed, the gun can be placed on top of Wirewolf, and he has himself some heavy firepower at his disposal. He looks like a Wolf-tank to me.

Phew! Got the legs the right way around this time!

The gun can also be attached under his body so his back is free for someone to catch a ride. Now he can have his fire power and little help too.

After a few weeks of playing with him, I did notice a problem around the cockpit hinge. Both sides have broken and the hinge dangles loose when the hatch is open. Thankfully there is the rubbery plastic that is attached to the same metal post, so the door does not fall off. It is just a bummer with this guy being so good otherwise.


Star Wars: Rogue One – Target 3-Pack, Jyn Erso, Captain Cassian Andor, Imperial Death Trooper Specialist

Boy is that a dusty box.  I was doing a lot of scratch building for a new diorama, and I didn't see how much stuff was stuck to the box.

Boy is that a dusty box. I was doing a lot of scratch building for a new diorama, and I didn’t see how much stuff was stuck to the box.

Target has been getting some larger packs while other stores are getting single figures as their exclusives. The Target 3-Pack consists of Jyn Erso in her Jedha outfit. The people that went out and got her on Force Friday were not happy when the news came out a few days later that she would be included in this 3-pack with the exact same outfit and gun. Thankfully my Force Friday was more miss than hit, so I didn’t find her, and was happy when the news came that she would be available in the 3-Pack. Along with her is Cassian Andor in his flight jacket. This is different than his first release in his cold-weather gear. He also comes with a very special weapon. Finally in the set comes the Imperial Death Trooper. They forgot to mention on the box that this is the Death Trooper Specialist. Similar to the very loved Sandtrooper, the Specialist comes with a pauldron over their right shoulder, and additional weaponry across the webbing. This version is missing the Long Range Blaster Rifle that we have seen in the previews, but more on that later. For now, let’s bust this pack open and see what have to play with.

Jyn Erso:

Jyn is a fantastic figure. I have seen some problems with the eyes, though mine look up slightly, all three packs at my Target seemed to be okay. She comes in her head scarf. The gun is packed separately, but fits in to the holster on her hip. The holster has a strap to keep the gun securely in place.

The head scarf is removable to show Jyn with a bare head. She has her hair back in a low bun, but with parts hanging down on both sides of her face.

The gun is a nice little thing. It is well painted in black and silver.

For the fans that got her early, they will be a bit erked to have to buy her again to get the other two characters. And they have good reason to be bummed. There are many version of Jyn we could have seen, and I don’t think we are done yet.

Captain Cassian Andor:

This time around, we get Andor in his flight jacket. He matches Jyn with their stripes down the sleeves. The sculpting on this one continues to be great. He is not as heavily padded as he was in his cold-weather gear from the first release, so they had to do a little more work to make the sculpt work. And boy did it. The shirt has an open flap, a little similar to Luke’s shirt flap. He has a low-slung belt holster. A strap goes around his leg to hold it in place. A really good look overall.

Cassian comes with the blaster he came with in the Eadu release, but this time it has a bit of something different going on. There is an extra tab on the back to let you know it does something special. And that special has something to do with the two extra gun parts that come in the box. There is a longer front and a stock for the back.

The parts are better molded than the usual E-11 Blaster Rifles we see every Imperial come with. They are usually a bit soft in the mold. Not this gun though. It is crisp, clean, and well painted. The parts fit snugly together to make a really well done blaster rifle.

This is a great team of Rebels. I am excited to see them on the big screen soon. But that is not all, there is one more guy in this box.

Imperial Death Trooper Specialist:

The Specialist is similar to the first release of the Death Trooper, but it has the pauldron with extra ammo, and grenades attached to the webbing. Is that enough to warrant getting this 3-pack?

 

For those that already got Jyn, I would say it is still worth it. This guy looks different enough from the other Death Trooper. He looks pretty hard core. He comes with the standard modified E-11 blaster rifle and the SE-14 blaster pistol, both molded in grey plastic.

I have already modified my two sets from the Death Troopers I have. I repainted them black and added silver scratches and scrapes as they appear in the movie.

I mentioned before the Long Range Blaster Rifle that the Specialists carry in the movie previews. I went ahead and built my own. I made two, since I figured it would be just as easy as making one, and who knew who was going to have to wield one of these? I made them out of scrap styrene and wire for the piping along the sides.

With the addition of K-2SO, this is a Rebel team that is coming together nicely. I think we are out of Rebels for now. I have some more Imperials coming in soon, and the battle is really going to heat up.


Darkmoon and Astrotrain – Transformers: Generation – Titans Return – Voyager Class

Anyone who picked up Infinitus and Sentinel Prime was not surprised that Astrotrain was close behind. It is a fun design since Astrotrain was not a Headmaster back in the day.

Standing with Sentinel Prime, Astrotrain’s colors are a lot better. While Sentinel looks like he is wearing a deco like a sun or lava (they went a little overboard with the red, orange, and yellow), Astrotrain has much subtler colors in his original grey and purple. Hey, purple. He must be a bad guy. He comes with the same two guns that Sentinel comes with. One is a rifle, while the other is a gun that his Titan Master rides in.

Speaking of a Titan Master, Astrotrain comes with little Darkmoon, created just for this version. Nothing special here, just another Titan Master.

Transforming Astrotrain for the first time, creates his shuttle mode. It is quite a machine.

There are some better paint apps than with Sentinel, so you can see so much more of the detail work.

jupiterii

It really has the feel of the 1998 version of the Jupiter II from the Lost in Space movie.

Split the ship in half with a few twists and turns, and you get the train from hell.

ban07

It looks like it was taken right out of the screen of a Toqger episode when the Power Rangers take on the trains of the Shadow Line.

You certainly get the sense from looking at the two trains that one is a good guy and one is a bad guy.

If you want Astrotrain to get a bit of a darker look, and I know you do, team him up with Apeface. The colors are right on, and it gives Astrotrain a darker head with a more menacing look.

This is a good figure overall. Even though it is a triple changer, he has a good robot mode, and a good spaceship. The train is a bit off with some wings and other parts floating around there, but that is to be expected with a triple changer. The overall design is well done and has a lot of playability.


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