Tag Archives: Toy photography

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.

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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.


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.


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