Author Archives: Carnitas Fever

Transformers: Robots in Disguise (Mini-Con Weaponizers) – Strongarm and Sideswipe

We are going back in the vault for this set. Today we are looking at the Mini-Con Weaponizers 2-packs of Strongarm and Sawtooth, and Sideswipe and Windstrike.

The idea of the Mini-Cons morphed into their moving beyond the ball and torpedo shapes and becoming weapons. I have collected many of the Mini-Cons, but they became much more fun when they became weapons. One of the problems with the initial line was for them to be viable as toys, they needed to be a certain size. And unfortunately that was bigger than what would fit in with the Warrior Class, were we saw most of the figures. Once we went Weaponizers, the Warrior Class figures could wield the weapons. Well, in comes the 2-packs. The first two waves of the series was a versus wave. The smaller scale figure would battle a Mini-Con from the other side. This time around, they are a team.

Strongarm and Sawtooth:

This is the first Strongarm we have seen in this inbetween size. It is similar in scale to the Legion Class we see in the Generations line. Strongarm is teamed up with Sawtooth, a pretty nasty looking Mini-Con.

Sawtooth becomes a long-handled bladed weapon of some sort. Kind of an axe.

There is the pile of clear plastic parts that can be put on Strongarm to create battle armor. It is much more fitting this time around, since the two figures are teamed up. In the versus line, it is a bit odd that the Transformer can wear the armor of their enemy.

Strongarm can of course transform into her truck mode. This is a more simplistic mode from her Warrior Class, which is pretty simplistic from the Generations line. Nothing to call home about.

Sawtooth can of course wear the armor as well. It looks pretty cool on Sawtooth. It has the feel of an energy field around him.

And Sawtooth is able to transform while wearing the armor to make a very formidable weapon for Strongarm to wield. It is taller than she is.

 

Sideswipe and Windstrike:

This time around, Sideswipe is in his Alpine Strike color scheme. Funny that they would not have listed that on the box. Seemed like a good selling point to me. But I am not in charge, so I will just report what I see. It is just a new paint scheme on the figure we got back when he was versus Anvil.

He comes with Windstrike, who becomes a sword. And a long sword he is.

Sideswipe can use the armor, and it looks really good. He looks like he has wings. With the white and orange, it looks like he is on fire.

Windstrike can use the armor as well. It looks like it is way more tailored to Sideswipe, and doesn’t really work all that well with Windstrike.

And of course we get a big weapon. Another weapon as tall as the user. That is a pretty nasty looking sword.

This is an okay wave of figures. Overall, I think the Robots in Disguise line uses too many gimmicks to try and sell the toys. They have made much cheaper versions of toys they are not selling for all that much less than the higher quality Generations line. They come up with armor that does not always fit well. Kids will be losing the pieces all over the place, since they do not stay in place well. Hopefully with a new TV show coming, there will be a revamp of the toy line, and we will see some better quality coming out of Hasbro.

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Matchbox – Ford F-100 Panel Delivery (1955)

This 1955 Ford F-100 Panel Delivery by Matchbox is a car well loved at my wife’s library. After storytime on Fridays, the kids get to bring out the toys. Diecast cars are always a favorite, and she says the more unique cars get the most love.

This truck showed up a few years back, went into the lost and found for a time, and then went into the box with the rest of the diecast for the kids to play with.

Yesterday a kid brought it up with the back axle split in two. My wife said, “I think my husband can fix that.” I have become known as Uncle Toy Doctor after fixing my nephew’s powered toy truck.

I have played around with diecast in the past, and I have a list of projects I want to do. Most of what I have done did not require work on the chassis. Well, this one was going to require something special.

Not only had the axle broken in half, but the wheels were fused to the axle, so if I glued them in place, the wheels would not spin, and that is a no-go when this is meant to be played with.

I had bought some brass tube to allow for new axles, but had not tried it yet. I had only read about it. Well, this was the perfect opportunity. I cut out the other axle, and drilled out the hole for the axle to accept the bigger size brass tube. I glued it into place, cut it to size, and I was half way home.

I thought it would be fun to use a pair of wheels off of a Brush Fire Truck. Unfortunately, with about a millimeter of size difference, that was all that the wheel needed to not be able to fit. Boo! Okay, on to plan 2. Find any set of wheels that fits. All of the donor cars I had laying around, I have plans for and need the wheels in tact, or they were just too big. Then I found wheels to the Hot Wheels Back Slider. This thing has a big set of dual back wheels that were smaller than usual. And that smaller size was perfect to fit in the wheel wells of this truck. And being red, it made this truck look more like a sleeper anyway. It must be a hot rod under the patina.

All glued into place, and ready to go back into service. I would love to have added it to my collection, with the perfect patina to the paint, but it is important for the kids to have the wide variety of cars to play with. Really, this project wet my appetite to really get going on one of my own projects and see what I can come up with soon.


Elite Praetorian Guard (with Heavy Blade) (Amazon Exc) and Elite Praetorian Guard Comparison

Since Amazon was ready ahead of time, the exclusive Elite Praetorian Guard (with Heavy Blade) was sent out early. So, now that I have it in hand, I wanted to compare it to the standard Elite Praetorian Guard #50.

First off, the helmets. I was expecting the figures to be the same except for the weapons. I am happy to see that there is a different helmet for each of the types of guards. The Heavy Blade guard is in the left, with the upswept mask, while the standard figure on the right has the longer mask.

Let’s take a look at the rest of the figure too. First up is the standard guard. He is VERY red. The only spot of color are the black pants hidden under the skirt.

Now that is a lot of red, but the figure has a lot of texture going for it that allows for some variation. There is a leather texture on the skirt as well as the around the neck. The arms have layered armor that allows for color variation in the highlights and shadows. And the mask itself is shiny.

The details included are really well done. From the leather material to the fine lines of the body armor. They even have cool double jointed knees with the big knee pads as the main part that separates the two parts of the leg.  he guard comes with a pretty nasty looking bladed weapon. It is interesting that these guards have bladed weapons as opposed to the long range blasters that the majority of the characters use. It will be interesting to see how these weapons hold up against weapons like the lightsaber.

Heavy Blade guard has the heavy blade that has a pole as tall as the guard and then there is a massive blade on top of that. It is a formidable close-combat weapon. He also comes with a spear or pike of some sort. The SHFiguarts Heavy Blade Guard shows that this weapon separates to become a whip. Seeing him in hand really gets me excited to see these guys in action. Unlike the Emperor’s Royal Guard, we should see these guys in action.

The only real problem with these guys are the elbow joints. The joints are lost behind the layers of armor, so they cannot bend their arms very well. I have seen some fixes that I may try.

The director of The Last Jedi, Rian Johnson said that he wanted these guards to look more like samurai than the Emperor’s guards. He wanted them to look like they could fight if they needed to. I think they succeeded in the desired effect. I really like that there are different helmets and weapons available. There is one more guard out there. The “fingernail” guard with a wide brim on his helmet that looks like a big fingernail. It is part of the Gamestop Exclusive 4 pack that comes with 3 other guards going back to the Republic days. It is way too expensive for what it is, so I am going to hold out hope that Hasbro will put out a single pack with the 3rd Elite Guard. I am also interested to see what the numbers of each type of guard are for the movie. There are supposedly 8 of them.


Black Widow – Marvel Legends Retro / Vintage Packaging

Finally we get a comic version of Black Widow. Mostly it looks like Mary Jane Watson in a black suit, but we get the point. It was a great head sculpt with fantastic hair, and the body was equally as good. So we should go with it for a while longer.

She comes dressed all in black save for the gold belt and the matching bracelets. She comes with a pair of black handguns that we have seen before. Most recently we have seen a silver version used by Bullseye in the Man-Thing wave (that I have not yet reviewed but have photographed, so they are in the queue to drop soon).

This is a pretty plain figure, but she is a solid one. She has great movement in her articulation, and she is well sculpted. An all around great figure.

The wave is 6 figures. Most are a skip for me, but I was so happy I lucked into finding Natasha on the peg at my local Toys R Us. The rest of the figures are a repaint of Punisher, a repaint of Spider-Man, a Repaint of Captain America, a re release of gaijin Wolverine, and a partially new Iron Man. I will keep my eyes out for the Iron Man, since you can never have too many Iron Men, but the rest of the wave is a pass for me, unless I luck into a good deal somewhere. This is a case where I am glad there is no Build-A-Figure in this wave, since I am not too excited about 3/5 of the wave.

The women of the Marvel Universe continues to grow, and they are looking great. Hasbro has continued to do a great job of bringing better body sculpts, nice sized feet for standing, and great head sculpts. Though they are still a bit hit and miss with the hair, for the most part, they have gotten that down too. This is a great figure to add to my collection.


Marvel Legends – Human Torch – Walgreens Exclusive

My 250th Marvel Legends figure is none other than Johnny Storm. The continuing exclusives from Walgreens is focusing on the Fantastic 4. We now have Namor, The Invisible Woman (Sue Storm), and now The Human Torch (Johnny Storm).

The Human Torch is a good figure. He is a solid buck with good articulation. There is not a lot to him, since he is flaming, so therefore not heavily clothed.

He has flaming forearms, and a new head sculpt. There are removable flame effects that sit on his shoulders and a small post that goes into his back.

He comes with a flaming fist, as well as an open hand. These are great for posing and photo shoots.

 

He also comes with two fists that are not flaming. They are needed as regular fists.

Add on some flames, and you have a good number of accessories for this guy.

The team keeps growing. Now with three figures, the other two are on their way next year.

I think this is a solid outing for The Human Torch, and he looks great hanging with his sister. This is going to be great when the whole team is together.


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.


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.


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