Monthly Archives: October 2017

Marvel Legends – A-Force Box Set (Toys R Us Exclusive)

A-Force. Who now? A band of women that teamed up together to take on evil. It has comprised about every female member of the Marvel Universe from the Inhuman Medusa all of the way down to the crime-fighting Misty Knight. Since there cannot be a box set of 30+ figures, they had to pare that down a bit. And what they ended up with was a unique look at some different women of the Marvel Universe. None of which I have in my collection. The only woman here who has had a figure was She-Hulk. She has had two figures before (back in 2007 and 2008). So, let’s take a look at the figures.

She-Hulk:

Jen Walters herself in all of her green glory. They went with the purple and white color scheme for her suit that we have seen forever. This particular design is from the A-Force series. It is a nice suit, since it takes cues from her original outfit with the white belt line around the middle. She also has the high neck and gloved arms that we saw later in other designs. And I sure am glad they decided to give her shoes at some point. Just because Hulk goes around barefoot, doesn’t mean She-Hulk as to as well.

Her face is good. I think this box set came out at the perfect time, when Hasbro figured out how to make pretty ladies. She-Hulk has a bit of a shine to her skin. It looks like she has been working out a bit. It will be nice to see more consistency with the less shiny skin.

Lady Sif:

Lady Sif (or just Sif on the box) has also been around a long time. 1964 is a ways back. She really came into pop-culture more recently as she fought alongside Thor in his movies. This Sif has an outstanding outfit. Red and white adorn her body. She has armored gauntlets and boots that protect her appendages. Her torso has some white detailed painting
that is really crisp and clean.

Her face is very lovely. She looks a lot like Jessica Jones to me. I feel like there is a lot of Krysten Ritter in her face. She has a headdress on with the same white and red motif.

Sif comes with a good number of accessories. She has a cape that rests on her shoulders. It does not peg into her back. She also comes with a belt that has a skirt attached around the bottom. The belt also has a hilt for her sword. And then she also has her sword. It is a fairly plain sword. There are no special markings or great details to the sword. I think it is very fitting of a warrior to have a weapon that is all business.

Singularity:

Supposedly she is a sentient quantum singularity. Very Star Trek of them. She is a very small member of the team. She does not wear an outfit, instead just being. She has some great color tones of blues and purples over a translucent body with glitter. The only other paint is her white eyes.

It is pretty neat that she is translucent, but I always worry about those clear bodies. I hope she will hold up over time. She has such a small body. She is a similar height to Loki and Monica, but that is only because of her high hair. She is only about nose high to them.

Loki:

Since Loki is a god, he is able to return from the dead. When he came back after Ragnarok, he was a lady. Sure, why not. At some point Loki joined up with the A-Force for a time. And now we have this fantastic figure. She has some of the most beautiful green paint I have ever seen applied to a figure. I love that her boots are not gold, but a deep mustard yellow. You may recognize them as Rogue’s boots. I only noticed because, just like with Rogue, the tops of the boots are not glued into place, and one was flopping around. They easily squeeze back into place.

She has a beautiful face, and stuff her in hair, just like in the comics. Her horns are large and magnificent.

If you had an eagle eye, you might have noticed a bit of a problem with Loki’s hands. Yup, she has two left hands. Well, that isn’t great. I was not going to go all of the way back to Toys R Us to return this set that has 5 fantastic figures and one wrong hand. One it is too far away, and two, I may end up with another problem later on.

This one I fixed by giving her Phoenix’s gold hands. I have an email in to Hasbro to see if there is any way to get a replacement hand. If not, I will see about repainting a hand so she can have her ungloved hands back.

Elsa Bloodstone:

A gunslinger to be sure, Elsa has strength too, because of the Bloodstone she wears around her neck. I actually have the Bloodstone comics from when she was blonde, before she joined Nextwave and dyed it red. She comes with a pair of rifles, as well as a revolver that fits in the holster on the belt around her waist.

She has a very pretty face, as we can see the trend going in this set. It is not a perfect face, as there are a few lines from the molding process.

Along with her great outfit, mobility with a duster, she also has the amazing long red hair. The details in the hair are quite well done. We may be done with the days of blobby hair.

Monica Rambeau:

Though going by a dozen or so names over the years, Monica was most known as Spectrum. She has also been a part of 10 teams, including Nextwave where she met Elsa Bloodstone, and of course A-Force.

She is decked out in her Spectrum outfit of black and white with a knee-length black trench coat. She continues the trend of beautiful faces. She has some amazing hair too. This style could have easily been a mess, but there was great detail taken, and she looks great with it pulled back behind a headband.

She has the darkest outfit, but the dark fits in, to give a unique look from the rest of the vibrant colors.

This is a fantastic team of women. Guess the adage that female action figures don’t sell didn’t get into Hasbro’s mind when they went for this set. It is decently priced for an exclusive. It was $120, which is $20 per figure, which is what we pay for the figures regularly at full price in the stores for Marvel Legends figures, and they are all new figures (save for She-Hulk who we haven’t seen in 9 years). Some would argue that the price is not quite the great deal, since the standard figures come with BAF parts for another final figure for each wave.  I highly recommend this set. And more fun yet will be to continue to build up the A-Force team. About any woman you have in your Marvel collection will have been a part of this team.

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Hound – Transformers: The Last Knight

Hound is a figure that we can’t look at without thinking of the version that came out last time. That was a really good version that matched the movie pretty well, and had a ton of weaponry to go with him. How will the new Hound stack-up?

First off he comes out of the box in robot mode. The first thing I thought was just how light the green was. It was a bit too washed out compared to the movie. But I think it was a better choice than the vibrant green used in the last version of Hound.

His head is much bigger in this version, and looks a lot better than the last version that has a bit of a pin-head thing going on. The face sculpt is good. There is a bit of bleeding on the colors, but not too bad.

The guns can combine and be stored on his back when not in use.

He comes with a good amount of weaponry this time around. Two big guns and two smaller guns. None of them are the weapons he uses in the movie. He still uses the same weapons from the last movie, which came with the last figure. There is a reason of the change in vehicle mode. Is it worth it for the wrong weapons? We will see. Apparently all of the weapons from the previous version can be attached to ports across his body.

Standing together, this new version is only slightly taller. He has a lot more bulk to him this time around, which fits the movie better.

In vehicle mode he is a Mercedes Unimog. He is missing the cover for the truck bed that was in the movie, and instead he has a weapons platform. All four guns combine with an extra piece to allow the turret to rotate.

The front end of the truck looks really good. There was some changes to the back, but the front stayed true.

This is a good usage of the guns in this mode. I do really like the way the guns were broken down in the last version. A little more “Robots in Disguise” but this has a lot more playability to it.

Now side by side it is amazing how much larger the new truck is from the old one. The figures were not that much different in robot mode, but the size difference is quite drastic in vehicle mode.

This is another good figure from the Last Knight line. Hasbro has been having some trouble getting figures out to the people and it has been hard to find some of the figures. Most are worth it. I have a few more from the movie to look at in the future.


Autobot Squeeks – Transformers: The Last Knight (Deluxe Class)

Squeeks is a little robot that showed up here and there during Transformers: The Last Knight. He was a character mostly in the first part of the movie. Once things got crazy, he went to the wayside so the big bots could battle it out. I had expected to see more of him in the film, maybe in a roll similar to Fixit from Robots in Disguise.

Well, Squeeks comes in his robot mode with a trailer, an arm, and a giant gun.

The trailer opens up into a repair station not unlike Optimus Prime’s trailer. It has a weapons system in the back, a repair arm, and a red tool box for holding parts. In this case, the arm, and his handlebars in vehicle mode.

He can sit on the repair stand in robot mode to get fixed up.

When one of the handlebars is removed, the arm can take it’s place and give Squeeks an actual usable hand.

He can change out that arm for a cannon as well. This this is crazy. It also had a handle so someone else could also use the gun.

The trailer can fold up once more and become a backpack, though it does make Squeeks back heavy, so his front wheels are off the ground. The weapon system is deployed in this mode over Squeeks head.

Transforming Squeeks is quite involved. It is pretty amazing the engineering that went into making a fat round guy into a long scooter. But it works, and he looks great. The rust and dirt is brushed on from the factory, and does not look all that good.

The trailer can attach to a flip-up hitch. There are little wheels on the bottom of the trailer so it can roll. The hitch was hard to get connected the first few times, but got a bit easier. The parts hold together very well.

The only thing missing is a place to store the big gun. It is not very “disguise” like if a scooter is driving around with a super cannon on the trailer.

And if the scooter mode needs a bit of fixing up, it can fit well on the trailer as well.

I have been waiting for this guy since I first saw him online. I knew he would be a unique figure with some pretty neat transformations if he was to change his look that much. I had expected him to be slightly bigger. I was thinking he would be a similar size to the motorcycles that have come out in the Generations line. It was going to be my main vehicle for my 6 inch Deadpool.

But alas, it is ever so small. Great for comedy relief, but out-scaled nonetheless. Either way, he is a whole lot of fun to play with. Keep your scanners peeled for this one.


Transformers: Generations – Titans Return: Gatorface and Decepticon Krok (Deluxe Class)

So this is a weird figure to go back into the vault for. Back in 1990 the Transformers franchise was coming to an end. They went with a new idea of “Action Masters” who were Transformers who lost the ability to transform because of the use of a powerful fuel source called Nucleon. The fuel gives strength to a mechanoid being, but at a cost. There is always a cost.
One of the figures to come out in that line was Krok. He was apparently a mecha-soccer player who had played for centuries. He had a sidekick Gatoraider. Nice! A soccer player with a sidekick almost named Gatorade.

Anyway, flash forward to 2017. We had Grax and Skullmasher, so why not do a recolor and reintroduce Krok, now the the ability to transform into a crocodile.

He is pretty much exactly like Skullsmasher, but with some new coloring. And boy is it wild. Black, purple and neon yellow, with touches of pink here and there.

That head is terrible looking. It is so boxy. I don’t think it had to be quite so cubicle, but whatever. This is what we get.

Krok comes with Gatorface, who surprise surprise, could not keep the name Gatoraider. Neon yellow and purple. Not much to see here. Moving on.

Comparing Krok next to Skullsmasher, it shows how a repaint can really change the overall look of a character. I do see that Skullsmasher has quite a squared off noggin too.

Transforming into Beast-mode, and we get… another crocodile. I do like the design a lot. This model is a lot of fun to play with, with the moving legs and the opening mouth with twisting head.

The neon yellow carried into his mouth with a bit of a translucent green color. The color is up in the eyes and forehead as well as the cockpit hatch on his back.

I don’t think we really needed a second crocodile on the Decepticon side. I don’t know of too many good guys that are crocodiles, so it is probably a good thing they did not try to shoehorn one onto the Autobot side.

Krok and Gatorface is another repaint. If you liked Skullsmasher, you will like this guy too. The colors are a bit extreme, so he will definitely stand out on your shelf. Unless you are a completist or superfan, you probably don’t need him. I like him even more after learning about the Action Master line of non-tranforming Transformers. Silliness.


Marvel Minimates – Thor: Ragnarok – Walgreens and Toys R Us sets

With Thor: Ragnarok only a few weeks away, it is time to break into these MiniMates boxes and see what we have going on here.

Gladiator Thor and Hela:

Gladiator Thor and Hela are one of the two packs that are the same across the series. They come dressed for battle. Thor is wearing his gladiator outfit that we are very familiar with from the preview. The details in the outfit are fantastic. He comes with two blue/green swords that have replaced Mjölnir after it was destroyed by Hela.

Hela comes in her over-the-top headdress. It is so wide and fantastic looking. Hela also comes with a cape that is bit too long for her. It touches the ground before her feet, so she leans forward a bit. Good thing I was posing the figures in sand.

They both come with an additional accessory. Thor comes with his short hair, while Hela comes with an unmasked head and long hair.

Gladiator Hulk and Valkyrie:

Gladiator Hulk and Valkyrie are the other set that are the same amongst the retail sellers.

Hulk is nothing short of amazing in this small scale. He is HUGE! Well relatively huge anyway. He stands nearly a head taller than any of the other figures. He comes with lots of additional body parts to beef up his arms, legs and torso. There are great little additions here and there to make him larger overall using the same basic body as a standard Minimate and then going from there. He has his hammer and axe going into battle.  Valkyrie looks good. She comes with a sword that matches those of Thor in color. The design is unique. She also has a half cape similar to Thor, with a different color.

These two also have additional accessories. Hulk comes with hair, and Valkyrie comes with two small daggers. They are SO small. I am sure I am going to lose them soon.

It is not a surprise that these would be the four figures selected to be in all retail packs. You have to have the main two stars, Hulk and Thor, and you want a bad guy as well as someone else of interest. This is a good start.

 

Roadworn Hero Thor & Civilian Loki:

The Walgreens Exclusive side consists of 2 more 2-packs. The first is Roadworn Hero Thor and Civilian Loki. Thor looks to be in a toned down version of his Avengers outfit. We don’t know what he has been up to yet, but I am sure he is going home for a bit of a rest (you know because he is Roadworn Hero).

Loki is just a civilian at the moment. We know that won’t last long, but I like the all-black suit. It suits Loki very well. The only accessory in this set is Thor’s Mjölnir. We know what happens in the previews with the hammer…

Skurge & Grandmaster:

The other Walgreens Exclusive pair is Skurge and Grandmaster. We saw Grandmaster last at the end of Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2. Now he plays a major role in this movie as he is the leader of Skaar, and the reason we get to see a battle between Thor and Hulk.

Grandmaster is played by Jeff Goldblum, who I really like as an actor. Along with him in this set is Skurge who is played by Karl Urban, who I think is a totally under-utilized actor today. Skurge looks a little on the fat side as opposed to being in armor.  Neither figure comes with an accessory.

These are interesting secondary characters that make for a richer collection. It is nice to get some figures that are not all the same.

All 4 Walgreens packs have the same back pictures and info.

Sakaar Loki & Heimdall:

The final set is the Toys R Us Exclusive. TRU only got three 2-packs for this series, and the first two showed up at Walgreens as well.

A fitting 2-pack. Heimdall had been cast out of Asgard by Loki who was posing as Odin. Heimdall does not have his gold armor, but he does have his fantastic sword.

In the meantime, Loki is in his second box and is being called Sakaar Loki. Guess he ditches the black suit for some super colorful armor. I am bummed to see that there were not additional accessories beyond Heimdall’s sword. We saw Loki in the preview flipping a few daggers. That would have been an easy addition to the set, since we just saw two that came with Valkyrie.

All 3 2-packs come with the same backing for the TRU set.

I don’t know about the rest of the Marvel Universe, but I have been dying to see these two go at it since they began fighting amongst themselves in The Avengers. This should be a pretty epic battle.

Overall this is a great series of figures. Lots of fun, as I am sure the movie will be. Now I just have to wait for the movie in a few weeks.


She-Ra Princess of Power 12 inch figure – Mattel

 

She-Ra here sat in my pile of reviews for a long time. I got her from Matty Collector when she went on clearance. I had not actually known she existed until I heard about the clearance deal at the end of 2016. The price was good, so I grabbed her.

Once she finally arrived I was blown away by the extreme size of the box. It was one of the largest boxes I have ever gotten a single figure in, and that includes the boxes for Trypticon and Fortress Maximus.

There was some great art all of the way around the box, with a great story on the inside of the creation of She-Ra and the hard work that went into creating this figure after 30 years.

Getting her out of the box, she is wearing the She-Ra outfit from the TV show. I am not gonna lie, I had a huge crush on She-Ra back in the day. I was a young guy back then, but I knew a strong beautiful lady when I saw one.

The face sculpt is fantastic. She has piercing blue eyes and just enough makeup to make her cheekbones pop. A few little touches here and there, and she is perfect.

The cloth goods are amazing. The dress is a leather type material in white. There is a separate piece of gold leather that is added to make the accent on her torso. You always need accessories, so gets gold gauntlets, a gold belt, gold leather boots, a gold headdress, and a red double thick cape.

Don’t forget any warrior princess’ main accessory, her sword. Of course, as a TV character, she would need to tie into He-Man, so her sword looks very similar.

Let’s take a look at the body they used for She-Ra as we change her clothes. This is an amazing body sculpt. She has muscles for miles. I cannot believe Mattel went to so much trouble for this body sculpt. I haven’t seen anything like it since.

I wonder if they were planning to use it more for other figures in the line at a later time. Maybe they were using SDCC 2016 as a test pool to see if She-Ra could make a comeback in store.

Okay, onto outfit two. Princess Adora. I really liked Adora better than She-Ra in the show. There was something about her that was more personable.

 

This is a completely different outfit. They went with the leather goods again for the main suit, this time a red unitard. She has white spandex material that goes up to her neck, and down her arms. She wears red plastic gauntlets that are solid, so they have to be put on before the hands.

Always one that has to be ready to jump into action, Adora has loops in the back of her unitard that allows for her sword to be held in place.

The only part I have trouble with here is her hair. It came pushed back behind her tiara initially, so she has a bit of a case of hat head going on. The price we pay for real hair as opposed to molded plastic hair.

Now things get interesting. Back in the day, She-Ra came out in stores across the country. She had an outfit that was nothing like the outfit from the cartoon. It was designed to be a fashion warrior look, and it was something. Well, we actually got an updated version of that outfit too. Now you can see why this box was so big. Three full outfits.

This outfit is probably the most intricate of the three with a gold bodice that has a flower and a big jewel in the middle. There is a little white fabric that pops up on the right side from the asymmetrical undergarment. She comes with a different cape that has white frills at the top.

Her other accessories consist of a silver shield, new gold gauntlets, and a new sword.

Her tiara can be reversed to make a mask. Back when she was first created in 1985, This was a feature of the original doll. It was not a hit with the kids when they did testing, and downplayed the design of being able to flip over the tiara. What were those kids thinking? A double use for an accessory? Oh well.

She-Ra is strong and powerful, and they made her look great. I put her with a soldier to show her in comparison. They are about the same height, and her body proportions are great.

Comparing her to some other Mattel dolls, it is clear that this one went more of the route of realism. She is more proportionate to a real human as opposed to the exaggerated head and legs of some other popular lines. So, she will be able to play with.

I am glad I picked her up. She has been living on the shelf in her She-Ra outfit as it looks fantastic, and though I love Adora, the hair is not great. I may have to try washing it at some point in the future. We will see. I would love to have seen Mattel make a He-Man to go with her, but since I got her on clearance from SDCC 2016, I am guessing she did not sell well, and we have probably seen the end of the line for the Princess of Power.


Blastwave – Transformers: Robots in Disguise (Warrior Class)

This guy is an Autobot? He has a skull for a face. How can HE be an Autobot? Oh, he is a bounty hunter. Okay, ya gotta be pretty mean looking when you are after some of the greatest types of villainy in space.

Blastwave is a SUPER retooled version of Megatronus. And I mean major. They share the same basic structure, but everything is different on the outside from the knees up.

The face on his chest is a pretty cool looking effect. It reminds me of the anime, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, with the robots that had faces for chests.

Blastwave comes equipped for battle. He has a sword, as well as a double cannon. The cannon and sword can be stored on his back for when good old fashion fists work best.

In tank mode, he continues to be a force. Double cannons on a tall rotating turret.

The sword can be mounted to the top and is not actually that much of a standout when in place.

From the back it is clear that the arms make up the turret. The fists face upwards. This is more of a trait that we have in the Robots in Disguise line. Not as much attention to detail go into these figures than the Generations line, and we tend to see a bit more greeble. This isn’t too bad.

Blastwave hanging out with a few of the guys that followed him in the following wave. I like the figures overall. It helps that they are pretty fun in their TV show. The figures are pretty basic as they are. Some are definitely better than others. I am a bit surprised at the variety of details put into the figures. Some are really cool with good transformations, while others seem more thrown together. I am definitely not as much of a fan of the RiD line as I am the Generations. And I am really not a fan of the super gimmicky Crash Combiners that came out of the Combiner Force.

There are supposed to be a few more figures coming out in the Warrior Class, Thermidor (Bisk repainted, Twinferno (who we also got as a two-headed dragon in Generations), and Bludgeon (who is a repaint of Blastwave). I bet the skull face makes more sense when you know that the extensive retool of Megatronus was to make Bludgeon and a second repaint for Blastwave. Make the most of your money spent. Not a good deal if they never come out in the stores.


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