Category Archives: Vehicles

Tie Striker – Star Wars – Rogue One (3 3/4 scale)

The Tie Striker. There were a lot of new vessels introduced in Rogue One. One of them was this alternate version of the Tie Fighter. It is always an interesting gable to throw a new vehicle into a world that already has a long history. Why didn’t we see Tie Strikers and U-Wings during other movies. Well, they were created after the other movies, but take place before. Like the Death Troopers, you have to have a good story to go along with it. Basically the Galactic War takes place over an entire galaxy, and the places that have these vehicles were not visited… or something along those lines.  Over the years, Hasbro has come out with some amazing Tie Fighter variations. We have had Tie Bombers, Tie Fighters, Tie Interceptors, and the Tie X1. And now the Tie Striker.

This version comes with very long wings. It is nearly as long as Hasbro’s U-Wing, which is impressive on its own. There are 5 main parts to put together. The top part has an opening canopy. The bottom has the NERF cannon. Then there are two wings that are a bit tricky to get in place, but not too bad.

The Tie comes with a pilot. He is a very standard 5POA figure. He does come with an E-11 blaster.

Just like the First Order Tie Fighter, this one has a place in the canopy to hold the blaster. That way it is not bouncing around in there when the ship is flown around.

The wings are locked in the up position for landing. There is a bit of a forward slope to the wings while it is on the ground.

From the top the wing design is unique, but not too dissimilar from the standard Tie variation, so it still fits into the universe.

With a press of a button, the wings fall down into attack mode. Apparently this helps the fighter to fly faster.

From the front, you can see the increased fire power. Yes, there is a NERF cannon down there, but that is of no concern. What is interesting is the second set of cannons below the first. This fighter is ready for battle with 4 cannons instead of two.

From the back, you can see the button on top for dropping the wings. There are holders under the wings for up to 4 NERF darts. The fighter only comes with two.

Overall this is a great model of a Tie Striker. It is big and fun to swoop around. There is a lot of playability with the wings flapping up and down as the flyer sees fit. The NERF guns work well, and the darts fly far, for some added playability. To me, the NERF parts detract from the overall appeal of the toy. It isn’t too bad on this one, like the giant blob hanging off of Hera Syndulla’s A-Wing from the Rebels TV show. I am hoping for a passing phase on this as we get closer to the next Star Wars film coming out, which means the potential for some new vessels.

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Barricade – Transformers: The Last Knight (Deluxe Premiere Edition)

I was set to skip the movie figures this time around, but then I couldn’t. As part of my 11 state summer trip, I was in a whole mess of Walmarts, and they had the Deluxe figures for a way better deal in the middle of the country than here at home in California. So I pulled the trigger on three of the four. I grabbed Barricade, Bumblebee, and Berserker. I skipped Slash, since he is just a repaint of the Age of Extinction figure.

We are going to take a look at the three figures and see what is going on this time around. I decided I am going to be a little more scientific this time around, with a star rating for three areas: vehicle, robot, and weapons. One star is not good, and five stars is the best.

Today we will start with the guy that made me want some of these movie figures, Barricade.

Vehicle: *****

I am giving Barricade a 5 star rating on the vehicle. The paint is right on, and he snaps together nice and tight.

The front end is right on with the heavy duty push bars with the lights mounted in there.

There are some liberties taken at the back end with the taillights and rear bumper area, but the back end is not the most important part.

There are only a few things missing on the toy that the real car had, such as searchlights on both A-pillars, and the rear spoiler. I can see skipping the lights, as they would be hard to mount. But the rear spoiler should have been included, but that would have been an extra piece that I can see why it would also be skipped.

His 8-barreled wrist cannon can be opened in half and mounted on the back of the car. That is a fun touch.

Robot: ****
Weapons: *****

Barricade is a great car, and he is a really good robot. With the movie figures we get into a bit of a grey area where transforming comes into play. The movie robots can transform and tuck parts away in a way that they cannot do with a toy… at least not with a toy that wouldn’t cost hundreds of dollars.

What we get this time around is a really good representation of the movie Barricade. His head sculpt is fantastic. He is so creepy with the four eyes.

He has all of the colors where they should be for the most part. He is a good combo of black, blue, grey, and white, much like his car mode.

One area that really hurts this figure is on the back. The windshield to the back of the trunk are all one giant piece. There is no way to hide that one. It looks pretty bad back there with so much of the car being left. I feel like they could have done one hinge in the middle (similar to Bumblebee’s), and it would have brought the bottom part up a lot and gotten it out of Barricade’s legs.

Articulation with this one is really good too. He has good all around movement. The movie figures seem to lack hip movement more times than not, which would really up the ante on the articulation.

He comes with three weapons, which is really great. He has his 8-barreled cannon that attaches to his wrist. He also comes with a handgun and a nightstick. Something any cop/robot should be carrying. It is a great touch to add these items in.

In addition to his three main weapons, Barricade also has a pair of “brass” knuckles. They have “PROTECT” and “SERVE” written on each fist backwards, as to leave a nice mark on whatever he hits.

  • Vehicle:      *****
  • Robot:         ****
  • Weapons:  *****

Overall, this is a great first figure to look at in the The Last Knight, Deluxe line. I am not as favorable of the other two figures, but we will get to them next.


U-Wing – Star Wars: Rogue One – 3 3/4 inch scale ship

Let’s take a look at something from a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…

The U-Wing. A starfighter that doubles as a troop transport. It saw a good piece of action in Rogue One. It is too bad it was created so recently, as it could have been very useful in the original trilogy that followed Rogue One. There are a bunch of cool things we saw in Rogue One that didn’t carry over to the original trilogy, but that is to be expected. Today we are going to look at the ship.

It comes in a good sized box. I was surprised to see so much room left in the box. The biggest complaint I saw was how relatively small the body actually is. It seems that they could have gone 10-20% larger and still stayed inside the box.

There are a lot of parts in the box. The body, Cassian with a gun, two super long wings, four engines, and 2 NERF darts. If you read my A-Wing review, you will know I have no love of the NERF gimmick. At least this time around, the blaster can be tucked up in the body, so it isn’t so blatantly annoying, like it is with the A-Wing.

First let’s look at Cassian. It is a typical figure we see in this modern, but not Golden Age of Star Wars. It should be the Golden Age, with figures that have good articulation. But no, somewhere along the line, Hasbro went backwards from the Clone Era where we got super articulation, to going back to 5 points. Ugh.

Well, he is very static with such a small amount of articulation, but I am not terribly worried about it, since I am really only interested in the ship. My figure focus is in The Black Series with the 6 inch figures. He comes with his blaster, and a holster on his hip for carrying his gun.

He comes with a seatbelt. HAHA!!!

Onto the ship. Let’s put Cassian in the…wait a minute. What is this cockpit they have him going into? The cockpit in the movie is big enough for two people and extra space for moving around. This one has room for one pilot and that is about it. This is where the smaller size comes into play, and there are plenty of people bummed about it.

Moving on to the outside of the ship. It has those great engines that connect the U-Wing to the X-Wing in design and function. That was a great touch. It has the fat belly, but it is a bit on the slim side for allowing soldiers to jump out of the door that is way too small.

Other than the size problem, this is a really nice ship. The details are really well done, from the mold lines, to the paint. It does look a little too clean, and could go a long way with a bit of weathering, which I will probably get around to one of these days. There are four landing struts that are moved down by hand. Two are under the body, and two are in the bottom engines. Having four struts really makes a strong platform for the ship to settle onto terra firma.

The biggest excitement for this vehicle when it was premiered in the trailers was the swept wing that stick out way in front, and then sweep back to make the ship very long. It totally changes the look of the ship. If you look at the bottom, you can see the NERF blaster sticking out. It is dark in color, and slides up and down easily. Thankfully it is out of the way for the most part.

Taking a look at the top of the ship, you can see the lever that gets pulled to make the wings sweep back.

Overall, this is a really nice ship. There are issues with size, and adding an unnecessary NERF blaster to the bottom, but those are fairly minor, and the design of the ship is very appealing, and fun to play with. It is big and has moving parts. Can’t ask for much more than that.


Power Rangers Legacy 6.5 inch figures – Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers Team Compete (White and Yellow Rangers)

Today we are taking a look at the last and final two figures to complete the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers in the 6.5 inch Legacy line.

This is wave 3, but technically the 4th wave due to the Toys R Us exclusive set of movie figures that came out a little while ago. This wave is again split between two teams. 2 figures are to complete the MMPR team, while the other three figures will complete the Power Rangers In Space team. I grabbed the MMPR figures first since I know there is a whole lot of love for both the White and Yellow Rangers. It is not a big surprise that Bandai would wait until the end of the line to give us these two figures.

First off, let’s look at the White Ranger. Another Tommy Oliver. Haha! This is not the first line to have multiple Tommy’s in it, and we have at least one more on the way, when we get to Zeo.

Tommy comes with Saba, and a sheath for said beautiful sword. The Saba sword really is a work of art. Saba is so nicely painted, with a base of white, and touches of gold, red and silver. This is probably the most expensively colored single piece that Bandai has ever done in terms of paint apps.

Facing off, Tommy vs Evil Tommy. Actually this works and is show accurate. If you remember, Rita had a second Tommy, an evil Tommy made, and they fought. Of course you know a copy is never quite as good as the original.

Next up, let’s look at Trini. The original TigerRanger from Zyuranger was a male, hence the lack of a skirt. It made the transition to MMPR fairly well, and Trini had her helmet off enough that we just went along with it being her.Of course in the Legacy line, they give their ladies a little more going on up top, so this is definitely a woman this time around. She has one of my favorite helmets in the entire series, with the tiger face and teeth coming down over the visor.

Trini comes with the final part of the Dino Megazord, though back in the day it was just Megazord. She comes with the yellow right leg. It is not quite as nice looking as the blue leg. It is a bit flat around the bottom, and the face of the tiger is a bit cartoonish.

The girls are together and they look great. There are some subtle differences in the two, as to not just be a repainted copy from pink to yellow. For one, Trini is shorter than Kimberly. Now that I say that, in season 2, Trini leaves for a peace conference, and Aisha Campbell takes her place as the new Yellow Ranger along with Rocky and Adam who took over as the Red and Black Rangers respectively.

The core 5 members look great together. The colors are so bright, as they were back in 1993. So many different colors that created a genre of action TV all it’s own.

So, you can go with season 1 and 2, when Tommy broke the power of the Green Ranger and became a part of the team.

Or you can go with Season 2 and 3 with the White Ranger. Whatever your favorite team makeup, you certainly can make it here.

The Megazord is complete. As with other Build-a-Figure lines, these are generally very special parts that are going to end up being one-off parts. There are no other Zords that are like the Megazord, so we will only see these used once. Megazord is really well done. It has open hands that makes me think he should have a sword of some sort. It really is too bad it didn’t come with one.

Now we have 2 complete Zords, not including the Astro Megazord that will be done with the rest of the In Space team at the end of this wave.

I am really, really happy with what they are doing with these figures. Bandai America is really doing a great job of giving the Power Rangers fans what they really want and deserve. From fantastic figures, to nice Build-a-Figures.

The rest of In Space will follow with Zeo on the horizon. There is also the whole metallic MMPR figures debacle that is coming soon, but I won’t get into that. I will just hope for a weapons pack so the core 5 can have their individual weapons at some point.


Hera Syndulla’s A-Wing – Star Wars Rebels – 3 3/4 inch vehicle

There is a Mandalorian fighter in the background.  Will we get one of those too?

There is a Mandalorian fighter in the background. Will we get one of those too?

Hera is one of my favorite characters in the Rebels show. She has such an even attitude, which probably helps make her a great pilot. I recently finished the novel A New Dawn, in which Hera and Kanan meet each other for the first time. It wasn’t a long time together, but Kanan fell in love with her from the start. We got a glimpse of what a good pilot she was in the book. In the book Rise of the Empire, that also includes A New Dawn, there is a short story were we see a brand new Hera take on the Empire for the first time, not only showing good pilot skills, but also what a good heart she has.

In the show, Rebels, Hera usually flies The Ghost. She got to fly the new experimental B-Wing, and really showed that she was a great pilot overall, and not just of her beloved Ghost. And then her great flying and good leadership saw her promoted to the leader of Phoenix Squadron, an A-Wing team of fliers.

The A-Wing comes with Hera in her trademark puffy orange pants. She has traded her goggles for a proper flight mask, though she does not wear a full helmet, probably due to her lukku which would give some trouble to putting a helmet on.

She is a typical 5 POA figure. Head, shoulders, and legs. I am still really bummed that this is the way Hasbro decided to go with the Star Wars figures. The Clone Wars era toys had so many POA, and now we are back to 5.

Hera sits in the cockpit of the A-Wing with no problem. It is a bit wide in there, so when she is flying around, she does bump around a bit. There is no place for her to store her blaster. In the Force Awakens and Rogue One vehicles, there were added holders for weapons. Not so this time around.

The A-Wing is such a recognizable fighter, from the flat pointed nose, to the giant fins off the back. The color scheme is really well executed, with tan, grey,white and burgundy. That is a lot of color on a small ship like this. This is a slightly different version than we see in the later Star Wars movies. This is the unmodified version where the fins completely go through the large engines. The nose is also flat all of the way across. In The Battle of Endor, we got to see the modified A-Wings in action that were much faster with less armor and weaponry.

The details are really well done. This is a new model, so the lines are nice and crisp. From the details of the engines to the panel lines on the body.

Then there is the glaring extra on this one. Apparently we need things that fire, and fire incorrectly for the show. We saw this with the giant Millennium Falcon that had an opening front end, the U-Wing with a drop-down gun, and now the A-Wing with a giant cannon attached to the bottom. All of that to fire a Nerf projectile. Ugh! I do not want to fire a Nerf projectile from the bottom of my A-Wing. What I want is an accurate version of the ship for the first time in forever. That being said, the firing mechanism is super strong, so the people that actually want to fire the cannon will have a lot of fun with the two projectiles included in the box.

From the back you can see the great details of the engines. Some really nice work went into making this look fantastic.

The underside shows the giant cannon and the holders for the two projectiles. Unfortunately, there is no way to actually take the cannon off the bottom. It is molded into the bottom of the ship. There goes that plan of a remodel.

 

Overall, I like this ship. I had yet to have an A-Wing in my vehicle collection. I have yet to see one in the store, but they are going for a really good price as of today on Amazon.


The Phantom – Star Wars Rebels – Hasbro

When Episodes 1-3 were coming out, I was very into the 3.75 inch Star Wars figures. I have armies of Clone Troopers and ships up the wazoo. As we moved toward The Force Awakens and beyond, I was turned off by the lack of articulation, with Hasbro going back to the 5-point bodies, but still charging the same amount or more. Rebels came out, but it was on Disney DX, which I was not going to pay extra for on an already crazy priced cable TV package.

Finally it came out on DVD and I got it from the library to watch. Needless to say I absolutely loved the new team and the show. The problem then was that I wanted to ships, but they had been long out, and most of the stores don’t have them any more. And online was crazy for pricing. In comes Amazon Warehouse Deals. They sell items that may not look too beautiful, but that is generally just in the packaging, and the insides are okay. I found The Phantom for a good price and pounced on it.

When it arrived, I was not surprised to see the box really scratched up, dented, and taped back together. I have bought a lot of stuff through the Warehouse, and I have only ever had one item missing parts, so I was not worried by the look of the box.

Inside we get The Phantom all closed up, like it looks when it is attached to The Ghost. This is a pretty standard type vehicle for Star Wars. It has the look, and the details, but it is slightly undersized compared to how the show’s ship would actually be.

There is an opening cockpit that can hold one figure. In the actual ship, there is space for two seats as well as room behind for 2 more seats, so it is already on the small side.

The back end opens up and allows for the seating of one more figure, and a droid, with some extra room to spare. In the show, there are drop seats that line the side. They are molded in there, but don’t function. The back part is a bit closer in look, but I would like to have seen the back door open, since there are a lot of scenes with the characters hanging off the back.

One of the best gimmicks of this ship is the fold out wings. They fold out by hand and stay in position as you swoop the ship around. I was worried that the wings would be really floppy, but they stay right where they should.

When the wings fold out, the engines are exposed along the sides, and they are amazing. The details are spectacular.

The front guns can slide out of the covers. I went through the whole first season of the show, and didn’t notice just how far out the front guns extend from the front of the ship. They are SO long.

There are also cannons that slide out along the edge of the wings. This is not a part of the design of The Phantom, but an addition to the toy only.

Now this Phantom is outdated, since season 2 when Hera met with Quarrie and ended up with a much needed upgrade. They added a droid socket and an engine upgrade to allow for a hyperdrive. That also lets Chopper drive the ship from outside the ship, and the team relies on him more after that.

I love this ship, and I am glad I was able to get my hands on it. It is now happily flying around my hobby room amongst the other Star Wars ships.


First Order Special Forces TIE Fighter – 3.75 inch scale – The Force Awakens

I was able to do a hard pass on most of the 3.75 inch Star Wars toys. For the most part, I love them. Before, we would get really good vehicles and lots and lots of characters to play with. I have a whole bunch of figures from Episodes 1-3, as well as some other figures that came out along with those. Somewhere along the way, Hasbro went back to the old 5 points of articulation. That saves a lot of money, but the figures were still the same price. On top of that, they came out with The Black Series 3.75 inch figures that did have all of the good articulation, but the prices are insane. With the lack of good figures, and really high prices on the vehicles, it was pretty easy to pass on the vehicles.

Today I found the First Order Special Forces TIE Fighter at ROSS, marked down from $30 to $16.99. That is a great markdown, and at 40% off, that was the right number to get me to pull the trigger.

I could tell just pulling the TIE out of the box that I was going to really like this vehicle. It comes in a lot of parts. The old TIEs just had the wings removed. This one has two wings, the body, the cockpit hatch, the bottom gun mechanism, two firing blaster bolts, and the antenna array.

First off, I busted the TIE Pilot out of the box. He looks rather TIE Pilot like. He has his all-black suit with matching black helmet and chest-mounted breathing apparatus. The helmet is an update from the Imperial TIE pilots, this time around looking more similar to the First Order Stormtrooper helmet. He comes with a blaster. Always nice to have if you actually survive being shot down on one of these things.

Looking inside the TIE before it is put together, you can see two seats. Since they made the pilots without knees, they had to have them sitting with their legs out straight. That will not work to have them sitting back to back, so they are side to side, with their legs facing opposite directions. All of this could have been more realistic to the movie, had they given the pilots knees. Then they would have had to do the same for Finn and Poe, since kids would also want them to play in there too.

In the canopy, there are tabs that allow the pilot to store their holdout blasters. What a great touch. Many of the older ships have guns rattling around in there, since there wasn’t a place to keep them. Now there is. And a place for two, so each pilot can have a gun. Nicely done Hasbro!

The details on the solar collectors is amazing. The colors are backwards from the old TIEs with the body parts being black, and the solar collectors changed to a grey color.

Once together, this is one fantastic mode. It is easy to see where the upgrades to the new TIE/sf are located. The original TIE/LN models did not have an antenna array, and they were strictly a one-seater. When the First order updated the TIE/LN to the TIE/fo, the armaments and shields were upgraded. For the Special Forces, they needed something a little extra, so that is where the TIE/sf came in. The first designation is the bright red patch on the left side of the cockpit. This is reminiscent of the 181st Imperial Fighter Wing that flew TIE Interceptors with a red stripe on the wings.  You can see very robust attachment points from the cockpit arms to the wings. That is a lot stronger than the standard TIE configuration.

The TIE/sf is equipped with the same chin-mounted laser system as the TIE/fo. It then has the addition of a turret that can fire forward or backward.

The greatest gimmick that the TIEs ever came with were spring loaded wings. This one is no different. What they did though was hide the buttons better to blend in with the body. On some of the TIEs that have the spring wings, they tend to kind of fall off. These really pop off well, and add to the playability.

The antenna array folds down as well as swivels. I am sure there is a kid out there that will love the little extra play they can do with this.

Looking at the back end of the TIE, it is clear that there is a lot of new stuff going on from the standard TIE. First off, there is a window. The gunner can actually see out the back, rather than relying on weapon systems alone. There are engines back there, but they are more robust than the old engines that looked like tiny openings. That is because these are capable Hyperdrive engines. A new touch that the standard TIE did not have. If you were left behind, when the capital ship left, it was a long ride back to wherever you were going.

 

This is a great ship. If I can find any others from this line at the discount stores, I will be all over them. I would love to get the standard TIE/fo, to be able to see them side by side. There are also a couple of X-Wings I would not mind having too.


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