Category Archives: Movies

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, even taking on the name Rogue One at one point. 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.


Scarif Trooper – Star Wars The Black Series – Rogue One (Walmart Exclusive)

I got done with my look at the new Target Exclusive AT-ACT Driver, and realized that I had never looked at the Scarif Trooper. What an oversight on my part. I had looked at the initial release of the Squad Leader that saw general release, but the troop builder figure only saw release at Walmart. That is a pretty strange way to go about selling toys, but whatever. I don’t make the rules.

Being that finding the exclusives for Walmart are super hard to do, I had ordered them online, since I knew it would be way better to just go that route and not have to travel around to see if I could find any (which I never did).

So my box showed up with 3 troopers (best deal to get free shipping). They are very similar to the Squad leader, but with a different belt that does not have the long blue skirt, but instead has a shorter off-white skirt.

I really like these troopers overall. Their paint apps are random, so they don’t all seem to have the same dirt and scuff marks in the same place. Troop building with these guys is fun.

As of the time of this photo shoot, I had 5 Scarif Troopers, 4 Death Troopers, a Hovertank Driver, and a Stormtrooper. That is a goodly number of troopers, but more than that, it is an interesting looking bunch. If for no other reason, Rogue One expanded the universe of the Troopers, and we have more to look at than just a bunch of shiny white dudes, and an occasional Speeder Bike driver (who I have, but somehow didn’t make it to the shoot. That is definitely my bad on that one).


Imperial AT-ACT Driver – Star Wars The Black Series Target Exclusive

Today we are going to take a look at the newly minted Target Exclusive figure AT-ACT Driver. Now, I am not sure we even saw these guys in Rogue One, since we barely saw the AT-ACT, so this could be totally made up for the toy line. That being said, I am a sucker for action figures in the 6 inch line, and The Black Series figures never disappoint (except for the head sculpts of the women, but Hasbro is working on it).

This guy looks very familiar, and he should. He is made up of the two previously introduced new Troopers to the Star Wars Universe for the Rogue One movie. Most of the parts are Scariff Trooper parts with a bit of Hovertank Pilot thrown in. Since those two figures share most of the parts anyway, it is not too big of a surprise to see them being used again.

What I am surprised about is that Rogue One takes place basically right at the beginning of A New Hope. The time runs quickly in A New Hope, and both movies are considered year 0 B.B.Y. (Before the Battle of Yavin). Therefore, it is 3 years before we see the first of the AT-AT Imperial Walkers. Along with that, in the Rebels series, we see AT-ATs in Season 1, Episode 10 (A Princess on Lothal), which takes place 3 years BBY, and we actually see the drivers. They are wearing the suit and helmet of the later AT-AT drivers. It seems unlikely that the AT-AT and the AT-ACT would be different enough to constitute a completely different outfit and helmet. More likely, they would wear the same outfit.

But, you know how it goes. There are 40th anniversary figures coming out, and everybody wants a piece of the giant Star Wars pie. So, Target gets their special exclusive, and it happens to be a driver we never saw. That isn’t totally a bad thing. The figure is well made. He is another Trooper that fits in with the rest of the Rogue One line, and deepens the ranks for the collectors and photographers.

He is similar to the Scariff Trooper and the Hovertank Pilot, but not similar enough that he should be skipped. The coloring is really well done with white armor, that neither of the other two have. He has red markings that are unique to him.

Overall, this is not going to be a figure I think a lot of people will want to army build. We will probably never have a 6 inch scale AT-ACT, as the 3 3/4 inch version did not sell well. I am looking forward to see what all we get with the 40th Anniversary line. It will be a fun summer.a


Rey – Star Wars Elite Series (Disney Exclusive)

The Force Awakens came out about a year and a half ago. Since it is the first part of the new trilogy, there is more attention being paid to it than there was to Rogue One, which was a one off movie. One place they are being equally represented is at the Disney Store. They get to have their own exclusive editions of figures and clothing. One of the best representations of this is in the Star Wars Elite figures. They are larger figures with real cloth clothing. Some of the figures are taller, around 12 inches while others, like Rey stand shorter, around 10 inches.

I was able to get Rey on a sale, as well as having a 25% off coupon for the Disney Store for my birthday. She ended up costing about $13. That is a great deal for a The Black Series figure, much less a larger figure with cloth clothing.

Taking her out of the box, the first thing I notices was the rooted hair. I was expecting sculpted hair at best. I was not expecting it to be rooted. And it is in her tell-tale triple buns.

Her outfit is the standard outfit she wore through most of TFA. She has a nice mix of cloth and plastic goods. Her outfit is layered, including the arm coverings, tunic and short pants. She comes with her belt pouch attached, as well as a leather strap around her left forearm.

Her boots are molded on, but they have good movement around the ankle. There is a separation there that allows a ball joint. She also has toe articulation.

She comes with plenty of accessories. She has her backpack that is molded in plastic. There are a lot of mechanical doodads that are well painted, along with weathering and straps. She also comes with her staff. It is nice and tall, as it should be. The strap of the staff is molded in place. It would have been really nice to see that staff in fabric, I may go back and build my own staff for her, and give her a proper staff, so she can wear it on her body. She comes with a gripping hand for her right hand that will grip the staff.

There are two weapons as well. First off is the blaster that Han gave her. It seems like it is out of scale for her. It is very larger in her hand. She comes with a special gun hand that can be swapped out for a relaxed hand.

She also comes with Luke’s blue lightsaber. This one seems REALLY out of scale. It is almost as long as Rey is tall. The blade is really thick, and the hilt seems to be really fat and long too. They even gave Rey a lightsaber hand, since the hand for the staff is closed too small for the hilt of the saber. The blade is not removable. So you cannot re enact the end of the movie.

Overall, I really like this figure. It makes me want to get more of these well done figures. I am bummed about the lightsaber and the gun being too big, but it is a minor problem with the overall well done figure.


Nova (Sam Alexander) – Marvel Legends Titus Series (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Wave 1)

 

Sam Alexander is Nova. There are a lot of Novas out there, but Sam is the newest Nova to the Legends team. Why is he a part of a movie series?
Well, I will tell you. Sam’s dad was Nova Centurion. He lost his helmet along with his life. His son found the helmet with the help of Gamora and Rocket Raccoon, hence the connection to the Guardians. On top of that, Sam is a part of the Titus Series, with Titus being the Build a Figure. AND Titus used to be the Nova Centurion too. There are a lot of tie ins to this lineup. He was not just thrown in there.

Now, here is the thing about the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Series. It feels like it is a redo of the original wave from the first movie. We are going to take a look as we move along and see the connections between this wave and the first wave, and see if this was a good move.

This time around, we get Kid Nova as in Sam Alexander. In the original wave we got Richard Rider who was Nova Prime. This was definitely not a copy. There is nothing that is the same about these two, other than they are both Novas.

Sam uses the newer “teen” buck. A shorter, slighter build body. He is clearly teen Spider-Man with some modifications to the body. There was work done to the upper and lower torso to incorporate the gold circles and straps. And there was added bulk to the forearms. In addition the helmet head is all new.

Don’t be tricked by this photo. The perspective of the lower camera makes Sam look taller than he is compared to Richard.

He stands almost a head shorter than Richard Rider, and it suits him. He is a great looking figure. These two look great together, looking linked but different all the same. Where Richard Rider’s suit is shiny and metallic all over, with Sam, only the gold parts are shiny. The rest of the suit and the helmet are matte.

So far, this wave shows similarities from the first wave, but this NOT the same figure. He is a great addition to the space side of the Marvel Universe, and will look great working with the Guardians, or with the younger members of the Spider-Verse.


1970 Ford Escort RS1600 Mk1 – Fast and Furious 6 – Mattel

Another day, another company tackling the amazing cars from the Fast and the Furious franchise. This time around it is none other than the Hot Wheels parent company Mattel. This is a different series than Hot Wheels, and a different series than Matchbox. I am starting to get the feeling that Mattel is working hard to corner the market on the diecast market.

Jada usually has the movie licenses in 1:55 scale, which is where we just ended the last run of Fast and Furious vehicles. Most of those are making a reappearance in this series of 32 cars. The fun part of Jada was the Build-a-Car feature they had. Each vehicle in the set had a part to build another car. This time around we are not so lucky. And the price tag. $3.99! Ouch!! That is a lot to pay for a diecast car that is slightly larger than the $.99 Hot Wheels. Yes these have some added detail that the standard Hot Wheels don’t have, but that is a lot to ask when you, as a company, are trying to get people to buy 32 cars. Not to mention again that we saw many of those cars executed really well by Jada not that long ago. I have a feeling that we are going to see these cars warming the pegs for a while, unless they all go on sale for a great price. I would like to add some of the new cars for the upcoming movie, but not for that price point.

I did however need to get my hands on one of the cars. For me, Brian always had the best cars. They were always a bit different than the rest, and the 1970 Ford Escort RS1600 Mk1 is no different. This car started life in Europe. I grew up with an Escort in my family. A teal wagon with a 5-speed manual transmission. But that was the American version that used the name started in Europe in the late 60s. Eventually the dreaded 80s look took this car from a rally great to a family sedan, but in the meantime, this car had some great style.

This is a great little car. Built back in the day, when artists designed cars. Even if it was for an economy car. The stance is right, just a little added graphics, and some added rally lights to the front. And gold rims? Awesome!

The cars used in the movie were rebuilt from the ground up. They used 5 in the movie, destroying 2 in the jump scene where Brian has to save Roman from the tank.

This was really the only car I really wanted that has come out so far. There may be another few that haven’t come out yet, and I will be keeping my eyes out for them. I would have to have the green Eclipse, since it was the first car of the film franchise. But for now, the Escort has joined my 1:55 scale F&F family of cars.

In case you want to see the little Escort in action, I have a little video for you.  It is easy to see how two of the 5 cars were destroyed making this jump:


Power Rangers (2017 Movie) – 6.5 inch figures (Toys R Us Exclusive)

WOO HOO!!!!!! I never walk into something early. I have been a serious toy collector for a long time now, and follow a lot of people online. I see people getting figures early. I don’t know if I happen to live where the toy department people are better at saving products until release date, or if I am just so unlucky.

Well today I was in Toys R Us for one last look, and there they were, the new 6.5 inch Power Rangers movie figures. I did not know these were going to be a thing. I had the list of what was supposed to be coming out this year in the 6.5 inch figures, and this was not on it. I have been missing a few news items since I have been sick for all of 2017 so far, and I was finally feeling well enough to venture out and see what I could find. And boy did that pay off. I did not know they were not supposed to be released until I got up to the check stand and they guy had to get his manager to override the pre-sale lock.

I decided to go with my favorite Pink Ranger, and Alpha 5. I almost grabbed Trini, but I knew I could do a good look between the two Pink Rangers, since the MMPR Yellow Rangers has not yet been released.

So, let’s take a look at Alpha 5. I think I am in the majority when I saw the design for him. Um, yikes? That is a big change from the original gold headed robot we had back in the day. They went with a much more organic alien look. It is growing on me.

His articulation is really well done. I was a bit worried that with the first non-Ranger in this line of 6.5 inch figures, that they would do something terrible. Bandai America stuck to the script and gave us a really good figure. He has really good range of motion in his arms including shoulders, elbows and wrists. The same goes for the legs with good hips (hindered a bit by the leg design), knees, and ankles that allow the feet to swirl 360 degrees and bend on a ball. His head is mounted on a solid neck with a ball joint. Simple and perfect. It allows for good movement of the head in any way you could imagine.

The Pink Ranger has a bit of a more realistic look to her than the rest of the figures in the 6.5 inch line. The other figures are more similar to the ideal of what the Power Ranger would look like. They are clean and smooth. The new Rangers have far more texture than the others.  The new Kimberly has a darker pink as the base, with touches of silver/blue that takes places of the original white checkerboard.  The overall design is a more organic alien look, but a nice nod to the original costume. Areas around the visor look right on, but as you move back, the head is pointed on top. So some similarities and some deviation.

The new Pink Ranger has all of the articulation of the other figure buck with the addition of better hips that allow for splits. Mostly that is thanks to the lack of a skirt. The rest of the body has the same movement, with a few cuts placed in slightly different areas for aesthetics. Pink Ranger 1 has a ball torso where the upper and lower parts are connected. Pink Ranger 2 has the classic Marvel ab crunch and waist swivel. The ab crunch does not allow for quite as much motion as the ball jointed torso, so there is a slight loss there, but it is clear that Bandai was going for the really clean look of the costume, and didn’t want a big line across the middle of the torso.

There are two other pretty big changes. One good and one not so good. They both have to do with reduction of body parts. First is the chest area. The previous 6.5 inch females have torpedo boobs, and does not look like anyone in the show. I can’t think of any Ranger that looked large in their costume. Bandai did a good job of slimming down the chest a bit to give a more realistic look.

The other reduction is in the size of the feet. They went with a much smaller foot. They are too small. It would have been great with standard feet that the other females have. At least Kimberly didn’t end up with the super-tiny Marvel Legend feet with high-heeled solid boot. Ugh! I will take this over that any day.

Being a part of the 6.5 inch line, they come with Build-a-Figure parts that build the movie Megazord. I am still on the fence with this Megazord, but I think the design works in the 6.5 inch line. Part of what bothers me so far is that the toys do not have very good articulation, but not many Power Rangers Zords do. These are the best at articulation we have seen yet… if we will ever get to complete them. 😉 I know we will eventually, but now I have 3 Megazords in different levels of completion, with Ninja Storm Megazord being the only one complete so far.

I am definitely glad they ended up making this team for the 6.5 inch series. I am looking forward to getting the rest of the team. They are going to be fairly stand-alone in style compared to the rest of the figures we have gotten, and well continue to get. Hopefully with the inclusion of Alpha 5, we will get to see some other characters show up in future waves. Next up, Bandai is going to complete the In Space and Mighty Morphin’ teams. Can’t wait!


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