Galvatron and Nucleon – Titans Return – Transformers: Generations

Well, look at that. Its Galvatron in all of his Voyager Class Glory. He looks like Galvatron, and he looks good. He comes with his telltale super-cannon that makes Megatron jealous.

The overall body is fantastically designed. The overall look is great. He has strong legs to stand on. Wide shoulder with a sturdy torso. He can hold up his own gun.

There are a few places that are a bit lacking. The worse offender are the inside of the forearms. They are hollow to hold his hands, but they are hollow on the inside of the arms, so the holes are very easy to see. They didn’t even try to hide the holes in the back of the arms. There are a few other problems that we look at as we get to the pictures.

Problem #1. That head. What were they thinking??? Of course Galvatron needs the horned head with the crown going around. They couldn’t figure out how to do that with the Titan Master?

Instead we have a Titan Master with a spring-loaded face plate that comes up out of the chest. It is not terrible looking, just a little off putting. The head doesn’t fit tight to the mask.

The real problem is that is takes away from the articulation. Now Galvatron’s head doesn’t turn. That was one of the great things about the Titans Return line. We get these little Titan Masters and they have turning heads. But not for this guy. Ugh!

This is the other look at Megatron… I mean Galvatron.  Hey wait a minute.  Why does Galvatron look so much like Megatron?  Well, because he is Megatron reincarnated by the evil known as Unicron.  Or something like that.   They almost gave him enough crown around the edges to be enough.  If they had added purple paint we would have been close.

Wielding that gun.  It really is a lot of gun for one bot to carry.  But we have seen Galvatron do it forever.  From way back in 1986 we saw Galvatron march around with that clear/orange cannon.  Unlike Megatron, who had his cannon mounted on the side of his arm, Galvatron has his mounted to the top of his arm. And just like the G1 version, it is mounted way up on his bicep.  Even mounted up near his shoulder, it is still a huge weapon.

The cannon hinders the movement of the arm.  He cannot really bend his elbow much since there is nowhere for the arm to go.  If he gets the cannon blown off, he has a good arm to use.

 

There is a bit of extra backpack there in the back.  This is the cockpit for the new jet mode that Galvatron gets instead of the handgun mode from G1.   It is no the worse backpack we have ever had in a Transformer.

There is our little headmaster, I mean Titan Master.  This is Megatron… I mean Nucleon.  This is getting tough to keep track of here.  ;-)

Okay, transformation time. The first transformation is a giant cannon. Well, when you have a giant cannon for an arm, it is a pretty good chance you will turn into some sort of super weapon. Unlike Megatron that only became a handgun, Galvatron was given an extra mode to allow him to be used alone.

I am a little bummed that Hasbro did not design a place for l’il Megatron (Nucleon) to sit while the cannon was being used. If you want to leave Galvatron in this mode, you can stick Nucleon in his chest with his fold-up face before you complete this transformation…or put him in the cockpit. Either way, Nucleon will be hanging out upside down.

A few flips and changes and Galvatron does not become a handgun. We are pretty far past those days. In today’s world, Galvatron needs to be something that kids cannot be killed over, though NO ONE would have mistaken the G1 Galvatron for anything close to a real gun.

Arwing0

This time around, Galvatron gets to be Fox McCloud’s Arwing from Star Fox. You remember that video game, right? Am I really THAT old? Ah, the Super Nintendo. The graphics in the day were mind blowing. But I digress. Galvatron’s ship mode is so much like Fox’s ship that it is comical.

Anyway, this makes for a really nice ship. It is very functional for Nucleon to ride in the cockpit. There is the main cannon sitting up front. There are also smaller side cannons molded into the gunmetal grey parts along both sides of the cockpit.

“Decepticon, fast approaching. Take cover Wheelie!”

“You will let me into the prison to release my brothers!”

“Why don’t you pick on someone your own size?”

Is it a coincidence that Galvatron and Scourge both showed up early in this line? Both were created by Unicron, and Scourge was one of the main henchmen for Galvatron. Now all we need is for Cyclonus to show up, and we will have all three of Unicron’s crazy creations. We did just have Cyclonus in the Combiner Wars, and in the same Class, so that will probably be all we will see of him. That will be okay with me. He was a very good Transformer.

Overall, Galvatron is a really good figure. There are a few problems here and there. Most can be overlooked. The flip-up face plate is a glaring problem that takes his robot mode down for me a few points. The rest of his body is so well done though.


Storm Megazord – Power Rangers Legacy 6.5 inch line – Build a Figure

With the new Power Rangers Legacy 6.5 inch line, you get a BAF part. The three parts of the Ninja Storm Rangers combine to create the Storm Megazord.

This guy is great looking. He is a bit taller than the Power Rangers, but they are definitely in a size category of their own. They do not fit in with the full size Zords, nor do they fit in with the posable Zords we saw from Megaforce.

What they will have going for them is quite a few of the figures when all is said and done. So far we have Storm Megazord. We will also have Dino Megazord from MMPR, since Red Ranger comes with the torso. It will be interesting to see how they package the rest of the teams. With the Ninja Storm Rangers it was easy, since there were three Rangers. One came with the torso, while the other two came with an arm and a leg each. Guess with a team of 5, each will get a single part.

Over the course of the next year, it looks like we will be getting:

Ninja Storm
Mighty Morphin’
In Space
Zeo
plus 4 mystery characters

It is a bit of a funny order, since they started with Ninja Storm (I think due to a 3-member team, plus 2 MMPR), then we go with 3 MMPR, to continue that team, along with 2 In Space. We will finish with the last 2 MMPR and 3 In Space. After that we will move into two waves of Zeo with each wave being 3 Zeo + 2 mystery.

So between just a month or so ago, up until late fall 2017, we will get 25 figures + 3 Zords (listed so far). By then we should be knee deep in Power Rangers Movie stuff too (will we see the movie characters in this scale too?). Not to mention we will also be getting regular merchandise from Ninja Steel, on the TV side of things. Power Rangers fans have a LOT to look forward to in the next year.


Red Wind Ranger, Yellow Wind Ranger – Power Rangers Legacy 6.5 inch figures – Ninja Storm

A few weeks ago I looked at the Blue Wind Ranger. Going back to the same store, I found the Red and Yellow Wind Rangers to round out the trio of figures. Now the hard part, of finding the MMPR Red and Green Rangers. That is going to be a trick I think.

Anyway, the Red and Yellow Wind Rangers. This is the new 6.5 inch scale figures. They are new molds that are presumably supposed to compete with the likes of Marvel Legends and Star Wars Black Series. They are also about double the price of the standard 5 inch Power Rangers figures. This feels like a test to see if they can compete. And the survey says: Yes they can. There are a few problems with the figures, but overall they have accomplished what they set out to do.

The Red and Yellow Wind Rangers looks really good. The paint is spot on with zero problems. There are a few different colors on the body, so there are different paint apps, but they are laid out fantastically.

They comes with two accessories. A sheathed and unsheathed Ninja Sword. I think it would have been ever so slightly better if they had made a sword and sheath combination that worked together. It is of course easier to make two separate pieces, but the playability and posability goes up exponentially when they can remove or store their swords in a working sheath.

I absolutely adore the helmet sculpts. Of course over the past few years, with the introduction of the 5 inch Power Rangers line, we have received all of the Red Rangers and secondary Rangers from the past series. The main difference were in the helmets. So it only seemed fitting that the helmets on these figures would be top notch as well. And they are. Red has gold that looks like a bird. Yellow had gold that looks like a lion. And Blue…well blue looks like she has some waves on her face. Couldn’t quite figure out how to make a dolphin head.

The articulation of the figures are great. They have all of the movement we see from the Hasbro figures, and even a little more in places like the hips. When I looked at the Blue Wind Ranger, she was a bit limited in the hips because of her skirt, but with the male Wind Rangers, they gets full motion, being able to go into splits. That being said, there is a gap at the top of the hips where the leg connects to allow for such a deep bend. It takes away from the aesthetics a bit when standing, and I think Hasbro didn’t want to jeopardize the overall look for a little more movement in the legs.

One other place where the articulation takes away from aesthetics is in the wrist. Like the larger Armored Power Rangers line, Bandai uses ball joints for the wrist. It looks a bit weird and really stands out. But what we get is a wrist that really moves well. Better than Hasbro, though Hasbro has done a great job with their movement as well.

If you saw the review of the Blue Wind Ranger, I compared her with Marvel Legends figures, and she stood right about the same height. That gave me some worry about the (generally) taller male figures fitting in, with them being in a 6.5 inch scale rather than 6 inch. Well, they are a bit tall. Is that a problem if you want to mix and match your series? Not really. If you take more dynamic shots, you will probably not be able to tell that the males are a half head taller than Captain America. So, to have two toy companies make figures that are this relatively close is great. Let the picture taking begin!!!

Bandai is lucky they had a 3 member team they could start with. Then they were able to throw in a couple of MMPR characters and get people excited about future waves.


Pier/Factory Diorama

The love of action figures goes beyond the collecting for me.   I am a hands-on kind of guy, and for me, that goes to the building of scenery to go along with my photo shoots.   Way back when I first started to blog and review toys, I spent a lot of time outside in the yard taking pictures, or using a very simple background.  Nothing special, and it showed in my photographs.  Move ahead 6 years, and I have a few dioramas under my belt.   The first was an alley that could be reversed to be some sort of concrete barracks.  It was very functional, and I still love to use it. It is timeless, and will probably be my go-to dio for a long time.   But, it was time for a change.  Not so much out of necessity for the photos, but for the necessity to get it out of my head.   I had an idea floating around in the ether of my mind for a LONG time.  It was going to be a pier for figures.  Finally it came to be.  It is 1:12 scale, though it can be used other close scales too.

My newly minted pier/factory diorama. It has been over 6 months in the making. A few do-overs with the water. Lots more detail than any other dio I have built. This one measures in at a 2 foot cube. I had to rebuild my lighting poles to be able to account for taller walls than ever before. I am already ready for my next build. I am sure I am not the only one that happens to.

The pier is made of 100% wood, nailed together and then weathered. The crane on top moves side to side as well as back and forth. There is a winch that works too. There are two doors that also slide. They are thick art board that were scored for wood texture and then weathered.

There is a secondary winch that comes out of the back door. The i-beam can move in and out as well as the pulley moving forward and back.

A close-up of the winch under the moving platform. This one was a labor of love. It was rebuilt a few times to get the right look as well as being sturdy enough to work and not break.

The water was a problem for me. I used a piece of pressboard. In my initial investigation on how to make the water, I saw someone use clear silicone. I painted the base and spread out the silicone. It looked nice, but it never dried well. It stayed sticky after a few weeks of drying. If I ever got anything on it, it stuck. So with lots of art supplies stuck in the caulk, I had to cut it off.

I ended up laying down a layer of plaster of paris and tapping it with a gloved hand. It ended up with a great texture. I added color including blues, green and black. After the paint dried, I coated it with a layer of gloss Mod Podge. That gave it a great shine and left a bit of clear residue in the waves to give even more of a definitive texture.


Nick Fury, Red Guardian, and Giant Man – Marvel Legends: Giant Man Series

Nick Fury:

As we continue to look at the comic book side of the Giant Man Series, we get a look back to the good ole boss of SHIELD, Nick Fury. Back in the day, this guy with grey sideburns was the man. Probably broken a bit by his live action portrayal by David Hasselhoff.

He is a well done figure. Pretty basic body, but really the bodies that are being used now by Hasbro are the best (in the price range). He comes in a great outfit with some great details. It is modern enough to fit in with other SHIELD figures like Maria Hill.

If you want to vary it up, you get a choice of heads. First up, Dirk Anger. Who the heck is that? I didn’t know, but thankfully Wikipedia did. He is apparently a creation of the great Warren Ellis and Stuart Immonen, who wanted to use Nick Fury, but couldn’t/ So they turned Fury in to Anger and ran with it. To have it added to this figure’s accessories is amazing and fun.

You also get a SHIELD agent head, which I have seen in droves all over the internet at an army builder. I have only ever seen one in the wild, and it is this one, so no army building for me.

Nick is a great figure. He is a good throwback to the comics, and who better to have in a Civil War line than the man in charge of SHIELD?

 

Red Guardian:

Well, this is a good choice for a comic figure for Hasbro. Basically take a new head sculpt and stick it on a repaint of the comic version of Captain America. They even are able to use Cap’s comic version shield too.

For us, Meh. He is not used since the fall of the Soviet Union, and really we have moved passed the Cold War era stuff. I am a huge fan of WWII, so Cap is great, and so are all of the comics from the 40s. The Cold War just doesn’t do it for me.

 

Red Guardian is a fine figure. This Cap body has been used a few times now, for figures outside of Cap. But since this is supposed to be the Commie version of Cap, it is a natural choice. I just think this is not going to be anyone’s choice of a favorite figure. He will be lost to time at the back of the shelf of more interesting and relevant figures.

Giant Man:

Time for the Big Boy. THIS is what Build-a-Figures is all about!!!! Give us parts for a figure that will end up being half again the size of the next figure.

This time around, you needed to get your hands on all six figures to get the parts to build this guy.

Scott Lang is sporting his outfit from Civil War, of course. It is an updated version of the Ant-Man costume from his first movie. I really liked the first costume, and didn’t think it needed an update, but if you are going to go extreme with size changes, you might want to make sure your outfit can change with you. You do not need a wardrobe malfunction when you are that tall.

I have a feeling that it is no coincidence that the Giant Man figure came out just before the new 12 inch line of Marvel Legends. Hasbro really did a good job of upscaling their line to make sure that this really big figure still functioned the way the smaller figures did.

At 10 inches, he is more than tall enough to take on the baddest of bad guys and make his presence known. The details of his outfit scaled up so well. The textures of the materials are great, and the details get better with different gloss and matte paint schemes.

His face is the best part, as with most of the best figures. He wears a full helmet this time around, so his face is hidden more. So Hasbro went and added clear red lenses on the figure with eyes on a molded face underneath. This is another case where money could have been saved by just painting the lenses red. But they went the extra distance, and really gave the collectors a treat. And the collectors will not forget that. We get the bum end some times, but others are shining moments that we carry with us to the next wave of figures.

The only problem I have with the whole figure is his left hand. It is the open hand of the two (the other being a fist). I feel like the fingers are a little fat, or maybe not long enough. Either way, the hand is a little bulky, and the opening could have been a little wider. As it is, with a bit of a struggle you can get an enemy’s wrist in there for holding.

This is another great line for Marvel Legends, and Hasbro. I like the movie side of the line better than the comic side. It feels like the comic side had to dig pretty deep to fill in three figures. Fury is a natural choice, but Nuke and Guardian are a bit old school, and out dated.

This is by far not the end of the Giant Man Series. There is still Namor (an exclusve to Walgreens), War Machine
and Iron Man Mark XXVII (in a two pack), Winter Soldier and Falcon (who are single packs)
and Spider-Man, Captain America, and Iron Man (beaten to a pulp in a three pack). That is 8 more figures added to the 7 already released. This is the biggest wave ever for Marvel Legends. I am pretty sure the first time we have a repaint (Cap and Iron Man 3-pack) in the same wave.

Well, that is the end of the Civil War’s main lineup. On to other stuff for a bit before we head back to Marvel in a little while. We have so many other things to look forward to here in the near future, so stay tuned!


Marvel Legends – Giant Man Series – Black Panther and Nuke

Today we take a look at the continuation of the Marvel Legends – Giant Man Series.   There were three main characters from the Civil War movie.  We looked at Cap and Iron Man already.  Today we are going to look at Black Panther, before we deviate into the comic book side of the like with Nuke.

Black Panther:

Black Panther was a new character introduced into the Marvel Cinematic Universe this summer during Civil War. In Civil War, it was Team Cap vs Team Iron Man. Then you had that Civil War pull in other people, like T’Challa here, who lost is dad, and wanted to see someone pay for it.

The figure by Hasbro is fantastic. We continue to see the Marvel Legends figures get better and better. Nowhere does it improve as much as in the movie line figures. The detail on Black Panther’s suit is astonishing.  He has great articulation, on a very nice body. He has lots of good movement all over.

His accessory is his unmasked head. Not that Black Panther runs around with any accessories anyway, so it was nice of them to throw in the head. If they are going to continue to have characters in the movies run around with their masks off, they need to continue to give us unmasked heads to go with them…not to mention well detailed heads that somewhat resemble who they are supposed to look like. This one does a good job. I was glad to see that Hasbro has their eyes under control, at least for the moment.

I am really looking forward to the Black Panther movie, to see what they do with this character and the world he lives in. How is he going to fare with taking over his dad’s job, and defending the world?

Nuke:

This is one crazy dude! I didn’t know a lot about Nuke as I saw the lineup for this Series of figures. He is a Nutty-McNutster. There was something strangely familiar about him, and then I remembered he was used in Jessica Jones on Netflix. It was a bit of an origin series for him, and it will be interesting to see if he makes another appearance on that show, or on Daredevil, where he got his start in the comics.

The figure is on the big body buck. He stands half a head taller than Iron Man, which is pretty tall, since Iron Man stands half a head taller than Captain America. He has a body that matches that height. He has muscles for days, probably choosing to go with the vest since he cannot find shirts that can contain those biceps.

He comes with three accessories. A futuristic rifle, a bowie knife, and an alternate head. The gun, as most of the made up guns go, does not look great. It is a bit too bulky, and the figure has trouble holding it with both hands. It would have been better to get something more realistic. It would go better with the Vietnam era outfit too. The knife is really well done, and can be placed in a sheath he wears on his back. I have said it before, and as often as I can that I love getting holsters and sheaths for the figures to hold their own accessories.

The alternate head only goes to make Nuke look even more crazy. With half his face blown off, you can see the cybernetic enhancements underneath. This being caused by being put into the Weapon Plus project where he ended up as Weapon VII. That Weapon Plus program had a way of really messing with the minds of the people that went in there. It seemed like after Weapon 1 (Captain America), the program went off the tracks and messed up some people pretty badly, or at least started with some people that were already questionable.

Nuke is not my favorite of the wave, but stands as a good figure that has all of the necessary articulation and some nice accessories. He was not on my radar as a character, so there is no real draw there for me.

We are going to carry on next with the continuation of the Giant Man Series and finish off the comic book portion of the wave before taking a look a the big man himself, Giant Man.


Graphic Novel: Rat Queens – Volume 1: Sass and Sorcery

 

rat-queens-vol-01-releasesThis is an extremely well put together graphic novel. There is plenty of humor in the writing that drips with sarcasm. Kurtus J. Wiebe does a fantastic job of writing the dialog in a way that you know exactly how the characters sound.  I really admire the writers who can capture so well the humor of a conversation.  Wiebe has put together a great team of women to fight in this book.  They are all different personalities, and like any good fantasy team, they each have their own strengths, wether it is with a sword, or magical.

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This is definitely an adult book. There is a lot of swearing that helps portrait the women as warriors.  It seems about right for what you would expect from a group of warrior women.  Though this is the first volume, we certainly get a good glimpse of who they are.   Then you add in the bloody battles.  There are some great Conan type scenes.  Guys getting cut in half, or smashed with giant hammers.   The scenes do such a great job of either helping to convey the level of anger the characters are feeling, or the challenge they are going to be facing.

RatQueens03

The art, by Roc Upchurch, is great. From the solid drawings, to the fantastic coloring. Well done for the first volume. Can’t wait to read more.  If you are looking for a quick read that will make you laugh out loud, this is the book for you.  They do a good job of tying up the story at the end to make it a great one volume stand alone, but the good news is, there is more. Yay!


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