Category Archives: Comic Books

Spider-Armor Spider-Man and Superior Foe Beetle – Marvel MiniMates Toys R Us Wave 25 (Toys R Us Exclusive)

We are continuing our look at Toys R Us Wave 25 of Marvel Minimates. This time around, we get Spider-Armor Spider-Man alongside the Superior Foe Beetle. We are heavy on the Spider-Man figures this time around, with one variation of Spider-Man in each of the 2-packs.

Looking at the tray, this 2-pack isn’t quite as heavy on accessories as the Spider-Sense Peter Parker and Chameleon pack. It looks like we will get some good variations though.

First up, Spider-Armor Spider-Man. This is actually the Mark IV version of Spider-Armor. The first was in 1993, and only lasted one issue. Then we had MK II in 2011, MK III in 2012. This MK IV armor lasted two years from 2015-2017, before being utterly destroyed. Thankfully Peter was wearing his “underoos” under that costume. It has a bit of a different look, with stylized webs, and green around the chest logo and eyes. Not much of a difference from a standard figure, so easy to see why they decided to go with the version.

His accessory is Peter Parker’s head. This is more of a smiling version of Peter than the head that came with Spider-Sense Peter Parker, but they are interchangeable, so you can vary his look pretty easily.

Janice Lincoln, known as Beetle, is the daughter of Tombstone. Her outfit is a great iridescent green and purple. Hasbro did a great version of her in the Marvel Legends line, and she looks great again. She comes with a flight stand, though she is REALLY back heavy, so I had to put her on the stand backwards.

Her wings are fantastic. They are really large and are fully posable. The attachment points are on a backpack that fits over the waist post, and her neck. Those wings are safely in place.

Along with the wings and flight stand, Beetle also comes with hair and a cell phone. Her face and hair are pretty simple. I would not expect a lot more than that. Her cell phone fits nicely in her hand. She is probably taking a call from one of the other members of the Sinister-Six.

This is a fun wave for sure. Toys R Us got lucky to get their hands on this one. One more 2-pack to go. Stay tuned.

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Caliburst and Slugslinger – Transformers: Generations – Titans Return (final Deluxe Class figure)

The end is near. Slugslinger is the last figure in the Deluxe Class of TItans Return. One last Decepticon to join the ranks.

He is being released by his Titans Returns mates, Misfire and Triggerhappy. These three share legs, and that is about as close as the three will come to being “brothers” this time around.

Hanging with Overlord, he looks really good in the light blue and light grey. No extra colors needed on this one.

He comes with his Titan Master Caliburst. Back in the day, Caliburst was Slugslinger’s Targetmaster, but times change and bots get… redistributed. Though Slugslinger does not have a lot in common with the other two fliers that helped to make him. Caliburst shares a lot with their Titan Masters, Blowpipe and Aimless.

Back to Slugslinger, he comes with a pair of guns. I am sure he likes it. Two guns and three barrels. The two guns can fit together to make a bigger gun. It is almost put together correctly out of the box, but this is one of the better weapons we have seen in the Titans Return line for the Deluxe figures. Many of them were too gimmicky, losing form to the function of being able to hold a Titan Master.

Transform Slugslinger, and he starts to look very familiar to the G1 fans. A twin-nose starfigher, with a heavy back end. The wide wings look great, and hold the two guns well. As you can see by the size of Caliburst, the cockpits do not fit Titan Masters. Instead, Caliburst rides in the clear blue section between the cockpits.

If you look at Slugslinger alongside Misfire (in pink), and Triggerhappy (dark blue), you can see the similarities in the back ends of the vehicles. I am a huge fan of good engineering. And to have three jets that can have matching back ends, but such different front ends, is quite amazing. They don’t even have similar transformations at the front end.

I think this is a great way to end Titans Return. Slugslinger is similar to Overlord,how we get a figure that is a “retool” of another figure, but is REALLY different. Chapter 2 of the Prime Wars Trilogy has come to an end (with exception of Ramhorn). We are fully moving into Power of the Primes, with their Combiner Features, and small Titan Master type figures. As a trilogy should be, we are bringing it all together and adding a little something extra. Up next, I will be looking at the first two Voyager Class figures, Grimlock and Starscream. One is good and one is not. Stay Tuned.


Spider-Sense Peter Parker and Chameleon – Marvel MiniMates Toys R Us Wave 25 (Toys R Us Exclusive)

Even though it appears Toys R Us is going down like a meteor, they are still getting some exclusives. This time around it the 25th wave and all are Toys R Us Exclusive.


First off the plastic insert. Ooh, there are a lot of extras in this set. Usually when we see exclusives, they are pretty sparse on extra parts. Not this time around. Bare arms and long hair for Chameleon. And on Peter’s side, there is hair, a full mask, a suit coat and arms to go with it. And… a third hand. Hmm, we will get to that in a bit. They both also have a clear stand, and there is a web line curled up behind Peter.

Standing side by side, this is an interesting pairing. Chameleon came about in the very first issue of The Amazing Spider-Man #1. But that is not what Spider-Man looked like back then. He didn’t have external web shooters that I know of. The closest I could find was the 1977 TV show that featured external web shooters and a belt. And then he has Spider-Boots on. This is a strange Spider-Man, but I like him. Let’s take a closer look at Spider-Man.

Spider-Man comes out of the box with half a mask on and his Spider-Sense going crazy. This is a great mask because you can have Peter dressed as Peter and still have his Spider-Sense tingling.

Thankfully we also get a full mask for Spider-Man. Nothing is worse than a single use MiniMate. One added accessory, and we are good to go for hours of play.

Now for the fun. Take off the arms, mask and Spider-Boots. Add a suit coat piece, new arms, black shoes, and his hair, and we get a super snazzy looking Peter Parker. He sure knew how to dress back in the day. The blue of his suit matches his other suit. *wink wink* Dress for the job you want. He certainly does dress nicer than a newspaper photographer.

And then there is that extra hand. Ah yes, on the top of the hand, there is a little spider painted on it. It is THE spider that gives Peter his powers. So no you can reenact Amazing Fantasy 15 when Peter first get bitten by the spider.

Chameleon looks great in his green bathrobe and purple ascot. This is a nice change from the recent Marvel Legends release that as a much newer update of the figure, wearing a dark suit. The head looks great in white with only the face painted on.

In the comics, the white face IS Chameleon’s face, and then he puts on someone else’s face over the top of his. That isn’t very logical for the purposes of MiniMates, so in this case you get to take off his face and there is a face underneath. Beautiful eyes, big lips, and dimples? Hmm, there is more to this figure than meets the eye.

Take off the arms, and bathrobe, and replace the arms with bare arms. Add some hair, and you have Peter Parker’s love interest, girl friend, wife, ex-wife, and anything in between, Mary Jane Watson. What a great surprise hiding under there.

Well, I love the Chameleon figure, and of course it is always fun to have a Mary Jane. Along with two great versions of Spider-Man/Peter Parker, so I grabbed a second 2-pack, so I can have all four figures. This is a very impressive start to this Toys R Us Exclusive set. I didn’t think there would be a lot of hope for the rest of the wave comparing to this one, but the other two sets came out really nice. Stay Tuned.


Dreadnaut and Overlord – Transformers: Generations – Titans Return – Leader Class

Getting the last few Transformers in a series are nearly always tricky. In this case, there were three released at the end of the Titans Returns series if figures: Overlord, Slugslinger, and Ramhorn. One Leader Class, one Deluxe Class, and one Titan Master. I had good luck with the first two, but I am still having trouble getting my hands on Ramhorn. And that little guy will continue to evade me for a while I am sure.

Overlord is free with a little help from Sky Shadow. Generally as we move through waves of Transformers, we start to see redecos (paint) and retools (body work). These two share some similar components, so let’s take a look at them side by side.

Well, the lower body is the same. The legs up to the torso are just repainted. The torsos are not the same. They both have the wheel, but even that is not in the same place. It is clear moving up the body that there are some very big changes that took place to make Overlord.
The entire top part of the body is all new. I think they share hands, and the internal workings of the elbow section of the arms.

From the back, the differences are even more apparent. They do share a few similarities back there, like the folding out of the jets at the bottom of the back, but the entire nose section of the jet has been redone. Where Sky Shadow’s jet folded back, Overlord can wear nearly all of the cockpit on his shoulder. That is very much how he worked as his G1 Transformer as well.

Overlord still has the great articulation that we have seen in the Titans Returns line. Even more so with these two, since their feet roll at the ankles, to keep their feet planted firmly on the ground.

The directions did not mention that there are two doors in Overlord’s chest. These open to reveal two slots for Titan Masters or Prime Masters (can you imagine this guy running around with the power of two Prime Masters? Yikes!!). The fit of the heads is SUPER tight, and the doors don’t close.

Overlord is teamed up with Dreadnaut. He is a retool of Sky Shadow’s Titan Master, Ominus. He has a new head, arms and legs, based on the G1 box art.

Transforming these Leaders into vehicle mode is a lot of fun. We get a 2-for-1 deal with a jet and a tank. Unlike Sky Shadow that is red and black with a touch of other colors, Overlord does not match both vehicles very well. There is a lot of black on the jet, but almost none on the tank, instead going for the blue, teal, white and purple of the jet’s engines.

Comparing Sky Shadow and Overlord, you can really see where the similarities (tanks) and differences (jets) lie.

Back in the G1 cartoon, Overlord had a super long jet mode. This was apparently designed when the production staff was playing around with the toy and figured out the tank can transform and stay on the jet. Well, it has happened again. There are no directions for the long jet mode, but it is possible. There are some big gaps in the leg areas toward the back.

You might think that if Overlord can have a long jet mode, than Sky Shadow can too. Well, I wondered about that and found that it cannot work. Sky Shadow actually has longer arms that do not allow the hips to fold the thighs into a horizontal position.

Then there is the connection between the jet and the tank. Sky Shadow had a door that opened in the bottom of the jet (his chest) that revealed a clip to allow the jet to pick up the tank and fly around as a pair. There is no such port on Overlord. Instead the two chest doors of Overlord open and the two door latches act as hooks on either side of the tank’s turret to lift the tank off the ground.

The problem is that they do not lock into place. So, it does not really work as well as it does with Sky Shadow, where you can zoom the pait around without the tank falling off.

But since the two tanks are the same, the two jets can switch places and pick up either tank. They both have the clip for Sky Shadow, as well as the two indents for Overlord’s doors.

On to the base mode. All Leader Class figures can turn into a base. And as we have seen with the rest of Overlord, the transformations look a little similar, but there are some big differences. Overlord folds at the hips, so his torso is sticking up in the air. With Sky Shadow, the fold for the tower is the nose section of the jet, so he is pretty much laying down with a tower over his head. Overlord’s arms are a part of the tower, while Sky Shadow’s arms are an extension of the ground portion of the base.

I knew Overlord was a retool of Sky Shadow, but I am hugely impressed by how much of a retool he really was. These are two very different robots with a couple of similarities. It seems that Hasbro really did release these figures in the order of how good they are. We got one that was great, like Sky Shadow. Then they release one in a later wave that is just a little bit better. These are a couple of really great figures. A few more to go in the Titans Returns line. I have Slugslinger, and then it is the hunt for Ramhorn. And of course we are knee deep in the first Wave of Power of the Primes. I have some Voyager Class figures to look at while I am hunting down the first of the Leader Class figures. Lots more to come.


Dinobot Swoop – Transformers: Generations – Power of the Primes (Deluxe Wave 1)

Well, if there is one thing we can be happy about with Swoop, is that he is once again Swoop. He was Ptero and Strafe for a while, but now he has his name back, just in time for his remodel into all of his glorious G1 homage.

The original G1 toy used red heavily in the chest, making him a red and silver bot. But in the show, he had a blue chest. They went with TV accuracy this time around and gave him a blue chest. He is a good looking robot. There are so many small details added to the body and the wings. And his face has a great expression on it.

He comes with a sword that is very reminiscent of his G1 weapon. He is missing the twin missile launchers, but instead comes with Prime Armor. Clearly a hand for the upcoming Volcanicus Combiner, the fists have spikes on the knuckles. This is a matching fist to Slug. He comes with a card where he can team up with Alpha Trion to be able to find the weak point of any enemy. That is a good power to have.

Together with the team so far, he looks really different from the rest of the team with the blue chest. I like that Hasbro went with the cartoon theme, but I think I would have liked it a bit better if the team would have matched. Unfortunately the rest of the team wears red, so Swoop really is the odd man out.

Transforming him into Pteranodon mode is pretty fun. The Pteranodon really reminds me of the G1 figure. I heavy backpack and some nice long wings. The head really makes it, with the clear plastic painted gold on the inside.

His wingspan really is quite something for a Deluxe Class figure. The shape is well done.

The Prime Armor can fit on Swoop’s back. Now the backpack is REALLY tall. Not the best aerodynamics for poor Swoop. He is going to have to work hard to fly around like that.

And the sword can be attached to the chin for a nice menacing attack.

Like all of the Deluxe Class figures, Swoop turns into an arm or a leg. I think it is much trickier to be able to make beast-formers turn into body parts. But this is done well.

I set up Wave 1 with Battle Core Optimus Prime. He was standing around without a team to combine with, so I figured he would be a good stand in while we wait for some Power of the Primes Voyager Class figures. It is exciting to see Swoop and Slug in their Combiner mode body parts. It is a nice sneak peek at what we will get when we finally get to combine all of the Dinobots and form Volcanicus.


Dreadwing – Transformers: Generations – Power of the Primes (Deluxe Class Wave 1)

 

This is probably my least favorite figure of the wave… on first inspection. There is not a lot that is really exciting. A heavy retool of Skydive from the Combiner Wars line, so you know the drill. He can become an arm or a leg for any Combiner. Other than that, just another brightly colored Decepticon?

Well, yes and no. The teal and purple and two-toned greys are really reminiscent of the Powermaster figure from 1988 who was named Dreadwind. He looks like he has a wrestling mask on. Guess what? He did back in 1988 too. But this time around, his head is front and center and not placed over his back. So, yay for that.

He comes with a single teal blaster. Back in 1988 he came with two, which is SO much better for a jet, as he could have one gun on each side. Instead of a Powermaster Unit, he comes with Prime Armor. This is the first Prime Armor we have seen that is colored to match the wielder. It is purple with teal insert that covers the Prime Master port, but can also be used as a gun.

Now if you are bot in a perpetual bad mood, it is good to be able to combine with Nexus and spread gloom to all of the bots you are combined with. Well, is it really? I don’t know about that. I can see making everyone as angry as you are, but spreading gloom? Seems like you would want to be able to spread gloom to the enemy. But whatever. I am sure Dreadwing has it covered.

Onto the jet mode. He fits right in with the other small jets we saw back in Combiner Wars. He has some added firepower along the sides just like he has back in G1.

He looks fairly F-16 Falcon like in his overall appearance, as he did back in G1. Nice choice. The thing besides being a Powermaster that Dreadwind could do was combine with Darkwing to become Dreadwing, a really powerful jet. Apparently that will be able to happen again this time but with Darkwing being renamed to Blackwing.

So, since Dreadwind took the name Dreadwing, we will have to come up with a new combined name. Blackdread. Ooh, that sounds menacing.

And the directions show him transforming into a leg. Imagine him becoming a Combiner with the likes of Starscream. That could be quite something.

So, I didn’t love the figure right of, but after some time I liked him fine. Then finding out that he will be able to make a super jet, I am really excited to see what these two can do together.


Black Panther – Marvel Minimates (Toys R Us and Walgreens Exclusives)

We are getting ever closer to the next Marvel movie – Black Panther. We know from the previews of Avengers: Infinity War, that the warriors of Wakanda play a pretty major role in battling the evil that comes our way. The figures are out for Marvel Legends, and Minimates. I was able to grab all 5 sets in one afternoon, stopping at Toys R Us and then Walgreens on my way home from work a few weeks back. There are only the five sets between the two stores. Comic stores only got the 4 pack this time around. Really good for those of us who do not have a comic store nearby that will stock the 2-packs. It is really hard to get that one last 2-pack that is an exclusive to the comic shops a lot of the time. Not this time around. For those keeping track the four figures in the box set are:
Black Panther
Powered Up Killmonger
M’Baku
Shuri
So, we have 2 of the figures, Black Panther and M’Baku in these 2-packs. But Shuri and Powered Up Killmonger may just be a pair that will require getting this set as well.

Here we go. We will start with the 2 sets that are at both stores, and then look at the exclusives.

 

First up is Black Panther and M’Baku.

The first pack better have the star of our movie in there. And it does. This is a new armor, or Habit for T’Challa. He comes with M’Baku, who in the comics, wanted to take over Wakanda. So, we will see what comes of this guy in the movie.

M’Baku comes with a long staff. It has a big knot at the end. I am sure he goes around knocking people over the head with it. Black Panther on the other hand, does not use any weapons, so his only accessory is T’Challa’s hair.

The paint apps on BP are really well done. The suit is a really dark grey, and then there are black and silver apps, plus white eyes added.

 

Killmonger and Ulysses Klaue:

Well, isn’t this a pair. This is a set of bad guys to be sure. Killmonger looks like he wants to be Black Panther. Erik Killmonger’s family was kicked out of Wakanda. Erik will come back to exact revenge on T’Challa. As for Klaue, we know him from Avengers: Age of Ultron. Last time we saw him, he was selling missiles to someone before Ultron showed up to make a deal with him for Vibranium. When Klaue started to mouth off, Ultron cut off his arm. It seemed to be an accident, as Ultron could not grasp the idea of how fragile the human body really is.

Since he had Vibranium (same stuff as Captain America’s shield), and the only place on earth to get it is in Wakanda, there was a strong tie of Klaue to Black Panther even before Black Panther showed up in Civil War. Since Klaue lost his arm, it looks as though he got an upgrade of sorts. His prosthetic arm separates into two parts to allow a weapon (sonic device) to be used. This is in connection to the comic Klaw who has a sonic weapon for a hand.

Killmonger comes with a hair piece. This is a great hair piece unlike anything I have seen in the Minimates lines before. Klaue comes with a second arm where the prosthetic is in the closed position with lines that show where it could open.

 

Dora Milaje Nakia and Okoye (TRU EXC):

The Dora Milaje are the bodyguards of the King of Wakanda, and potential wives of the ruler. Nakia comes with a pair of ring blades. She is a spy for Wakanda and travels the world. Okoye is the leader of the Dora Milaje. She come with a spear that is said to be nearly as sharp as her tongue.

So with that, we have 2 of the members of the Dora Milaje. We did not get Ayo, who talked to Black Widow in Civil War and said, “Move or you will be moved.” A tough lady for sure. Hopefully we will get some more Dora Milaje later on, maybe in a Infinity Wars pack or something.

 

Tactical Killmonger and Casino T’Challa (Walgreens EXC):

I don’t know what is going on with Killmonger’s outfit at this point, but I cannot wait to see what transpires to have a guy in tactical military clothes with a crazy looking mask, and two swords. Killmonger also comes with a hair piece. More on the face in a bit. In the meantime, T’Challa is looking sharp in a printed suit coat.

 

Everett Ross and Powered Up Black Panther (Walgreens EXC):

Everett Ross was introduced to us in Civil War, like Black Panther. Martin Freeman was quoted as saying about Ross, “you don’t know whether he’s good or bad, so you’re not quite sure which side he’s on. It looks a little bit like he’s playing one game when actually he’s playing another.” It will be interesting to see what role he plays in the movie. Maybe he is still hunting for Bucky, who happens to be sleeping in a cryotube in Wakanda. He comes with Powered Up Black Panther. We have a regular Black Panther, and now he gets Powered Up. He was a lot for Cap and Bucky to deal with when he didn’t have extra abilities. He is going to be a handful for the bad guys when he gets mad.

There are the three faces of T’Challa. I am really glad they didn’t just give us three of the same heads. The Black Panther head looks placid, while Powered Up looks mad. Casino T’Challa is somewhere in the middle.

And since we are looking at 3 T’Challas, we should look at the 2 Erik Killmonger heads. Unhappy and “What are you talking about.”

This is a great set of figures. There is a nice wide range. A couple of bodyguards to go along with all of the Panthers. A lot of bad guys to play with too. And I will reserve judgement of Ross for which side he is really on.


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