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Marvel Minimates – Thor: Ragnarok – Walgreens and Toys R Us sets

With Thor: Ragnarok only a few weeks away, it is time to break into these MiniMates boxes and see what we have going on here.

Gladiator Thor and Hela:

Gladiator Thor and Hela are one of the two packs that are the same across the series. They come dressed for battle. Thor is wearing his gladiator outfit that we are very familiar with from the preview. The details in the outfit are fantastic. He comes with two blue/green swords that have replaced Mjölnir after it was destroyed by Hela.

Hela comes in her over-the-top headdress. It is so wide and fantastic looking. Hela also comes with a cape that is bit too long for her. It touches the ground before her feet, so she leans forward a bit. Good thing I was posing the figures in sand.

They both come with an additional accessory. Thor comes with his short hair, while Hela comes with an unmasked head and long hair.

Gladiator Hulk and Valkyrie:

Gladiator Hulk and Valkyrie are the other set that are the same amongst the retail sellers.

Hulk is nothing short of amazing in this small scale. He is HUGE! Well relatively huge anyway. He stands nearly a head taller than any of the other figures. He comes with lots of additional body parts to beef up his arms, legs and torso. There are great little additions here and there to make him larger overall using the same basic body as a standard Minimate and then going from there. He has his hammer and axe going into battle.  Valkyrie looks good. She comes with a sword that matches those of Thor in color. The design is unique. She also has a half cape similar to Thor, with a different color.

These two also have additional accessories. Hulk comes with hair, and Valkyrie comes with two small daggers. They are SO small. I am sure I am going to lose them soon.

It is not a surprise that these would be the four figures selected to be in all retail packs. You have to have the main two stars, Hulk and Thor, and you want a bad guy as well as someone else of interest. This is a good start.

 

Roadworn Hero Thor & Civilian Loki:

The Walgreens Exclusive side consists of 2 more 2-packs. The first is Roadworn Hero Thor and Civilian Loki. Thor looks to be in a toned down version of his Avengers outfit. We don’t know what he has been up to yet, but I am sure he is going home for a bit of a rest (you know because he is Roadworn Hero).

Loki is just a civilian at the moment. We know that won’t last long, but I like the all-black suit. It suits Loki very well. The only accessory in this set is Thor’s Mjölnir. We know what happens in the previews with the hammer…

Skurge & Grandmaster:

The other Walgreens Exclusive pair is Skurge and Grandmaster. We saw Grandmaster last at the end of Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2. Now he plays a major role in this movie as he is the leader of Skaar, and the reason we get to see a battle between Thor and Hulk.

Grandmaster is played by Jeff Goldblum, who I really like as an actor. Along with him in this set is Skurge who is played by Karl Urban, who I think is a totally under-utilized actor today. Skurge looks a little on the fat side as opposed to being in armor.  Neither figure comes with an accessory.

These are interesting secondary characters that make for a richer collection. It is nice to get some figures that are not all the same.

All 4 Walgreens packs have the same back pictures and info.

Sakaar Loki & Heimdall:

The final set is the Toys R Us Exclusive. TRU only got three 2-packs for this series, and the first two showed up at Walgreens as well.

A fitting 2-pack. Heimdall had been cast out of Asgard by Loki who was posing as Odin. Heimdall does not have his gold armor, but he does have his fantastic sword.

In the meantime, Loki is in his second box and is being called Sakaar Loki. Guess he ditches the black suit for some super colorful armor. I am bummed to see that there were not additional accessories beyond Heimdall’s sword. We saw Loki in the preview flipping a few daggers. That would have been an easy addition to the set, since we just saw two that came with Valkyrie.

All 3 2-packs come with the same backing for the TRU set.

I don’t know about the rest of the Marvel Universe, but I have been dying to see these two go at it since they began fighting amongst themselves in The Avengers. This should be a pretty epic battle.

Overall this is a great series of figures. Lots of fun, as I am sure the movie will be. Now I just have to wait for the movie in a few weeks.

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She-Ra Princess of Power 12 inch figure – Mattel

 

She-Ra here sat in my pile of reviews for a long time. I got her from Matty Collector when she went on clearance. I had not actually known she existed until I heard about the clearance deal at the end of 2016. The price was good, so I grabbed her.

Once she finally arrived I was blown away by the extreme size of the box. It was one of the largest boxes I have ever gotten a single figure in, and that includes the boxes for Trypticon and Fortress Maximus.

There was some great art all of the way around the box, with a great story on the inside of the creation of She-Ra and the hard work that went into creating this figure after 30 years.

Getting her out of the box, she is wearing the She-Ra outfit from the TV show. I am not gonna lie, I had a huge crush on She-Ra back in the day. I was a young guy back then, but I knew a strong beautiful lady when I saw one.

The face sculpt is fantastic. She has piercing blue eyes and just enough makeup to make her cheekbones pop. A few little touches here and there, and she is perfect.

The cloth goods are amazing. The dress is a leather type material in white. There is a separate piece of gold leather that is added to make the accent on her torso. You always need accessories, so gets gold gauntlets, a gold belt, gold leather boots, a gold headdress, and a red double thick cape.

Don’t forget any warrior princess’ main accessory, her sword. Of course, as a TV character, she would need to tie into He-Man, so her sword looks very similar.

Let’s take a look at the body they used for She-Ra as we change her clothes. This is an amazing body sculpt. She has muscles for miles. I cannot believe Mattel went to so much trouble for this body sculpt. I haven’t seen anything like it since.

I wonder if they were planning to use it more for other figures in the line at a later time. Maybe they were using SDCC 2016 as a test pool to see if She-Ra could make a comeback in store.

Okay, onto outfit two. Princess Adora. I really liked Adora better than She-Ra in the show. There was something about her that was more personable.

 

This is a completely different outfit. They went with the leather goods again for the main suit, this time a red unitard. She has white spandex material that goes up to her neck, and down her arms. She wears red plastic gauntlets that are solid, so they have to be put on before the hands.

Always one that has to be ready to jump into action, Adora has loops in the back of her unitard that allows for her sword to be held in place.

The only part I have trouble with here is her hair. It came pushed back behind her tiara initially, so she has a bit of a case of hat head going on. The price we pay for real hair as opposed to molded plastic hair.

Now things get interesting. Back in the day, She-Ra came out in stores across the country. She had an outfit that was nothing like the outfit from the cartoon. It was designed to be a fashion warrior look, and it was something. Well, we actually got an updated version of that outfit too. Now you can see why this box was so big. Three full outfits.

This outfit is probably the most intricate of the three with a gold bodice that has a flower and a big jewel in the middle. There is a little white fabric that pops up on the right side from the asymmetrical undergarment. She comes with a different cape that has white frills at the top.

Her other accessories consist of a silver shield, new gold gauntlets, and a new sword.

Her tiara can be reversed to make a mask. Back when she was first created in 1985, This was a feature of the original doll. It was not a hit with the kids when they did testing, and downplayed the design of being able to flip over the tiara. What were those kids thinking? A double use for an accessory? Oh well.

She-Ra is strong and powerful, and they made her look great. I put her with a soldier to show her in comparison. They are about the same height, and her body proportions are great.

Comparing her to some other Mattel dolls, it is clear that this one went more of the route of realism. She is more proportionate to a real human as opposed to the exaggerated head and legs of some other popular lines. So, she will be able to play with.

I am glad I picked her up. She has been living on the shelf in her She-Ra outfit as it looks fantastic, and though I love Adora, the hair is not great. I may have to try washing it at some point in the future. We will see. I would love to have seen Mattel make a He-Man to go with her, but since I got her on clearance from SDCC 2016, I am guessing she did not sell well, and we have probably seen the end of the line for the Princess of Power.


Blastwave – Transformers: Robots in Disguise (Warrior Class)

This guy is an Autobot? He has a skull for a face. How can HE be an Autobot? Oh, he is a bounty hunter. Okay, ya gotta be pretty mean looking when you are after some of the greatest types of villainy in space.

Blastwave is a SUPER retooled version of Megatronus. And I mean major. They share the same basic structure, but everything is different on the outside from the knees up.

The face on his chest is a pretty cool looking effect. It reminds me of the anime, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, with the robots that had faces for chests.

Blastwave comes equipped for battle. He has a sword, as well as a double cannon. The cannon and sword can be stored on his back for when good old fashion fists work best.

In tank mode, he continues to be a force. Double cannons on a tall rotating turret.

The sword can be mounted to the top and is not actually that much of a standout when in place.

From the back it is clear that the arms make up the turret. The fists face upwards. This is more of a trait that we have in the Robots in Disguise line. Not as much attention to detail go into these figures than the Generations line, and we tend to see a bit more greeble. This isn’t too bad.

Blastwave hanging out with a few of the guys that followed him in the following wave. I like the figures overall. It helps that they are pretty fun in their TV show. The figures are pretty basic as they are. Some are definitely better than others. I am a bit surprised at the variety of details put into the figures. Some are really cool with good transformations, while others seem more thrown together. I am definitely not as much of a fan of the RiD line as I am the Generations. And I am really not a fan of the super gimmicky Crash Combiners that came out of the Combiner Force.

There are supposed to be a few more figures coming out in the Warrior Class, Thermidor (Bisk repainted, Twinferno (who we also got as a two-headed dragon in Generations), and Bludgeon (who is a repaint of Blastwave). I bet the skull face makes more sense when you know that the extensive retool of Megatronus was to make Bludgeon and a second repaint for Blastwave. Make the most of your money spent. Not a good deal if they never come out in the stores.


Chasm and Decepticon Quake – Transformers: Generations – Titans Return (Deluxe Class)

Later in the series we tend to see some new repainted figures. Chasm and Quake are a repainted version of Furos and Hardhead that came out a few waves ago. Where Hardhead was an Autobot, Quake is a Decepticon. And a good looking Decepticon he is. He is painted up REALLY hard with dark grey, blue, and maroon.

When Quake is side by side with Hardhead, it is clear that he is a repaint. There were no changes to this figure, as we have seen with many of the other retooled figures. The only difference is the face of the figure which comes on the back of Chasm.

Chasm is a repaint of Furos. Back in the day Furos (or Duros as he was known back then) was the Headmaster for Hardhead. Chasm is a new character, as Quake was not a Headmaster, but a Targetmaster. Now the funny thing is that Quake could have had either one of two figures (Tiptop or Heater) be his Titan Master this time around, but they went with a whole new name for this one. Maybe they didn’t want Quake’s two original Targetmasters to be upset that one would get picked over the other.

The tank mode is the same as Hardhead. This design was clearly taken from Hardhead’s original design with the quad-tread design and the offset cockpit.

Quake was originally a tank too, but back then, he was based off of a real-life tank, as opposed to a futuristic design. I really like the overall design and am not sad to see it a second time around. The tank still has the cannon that can rise off of the body, as well as pivot.

The same but different. This is a well designed Transformer, and it looks like a different design in two colors. One good and one bad, and that is easy to tell apart. And we needed some more Decepticons anyway. The percentages of the series are 52.7% Autobot and 46.4% Decepticon, and Gnaw being both with 0.9%. That is based on 110 figures over Titans Return from the smallest of Titan Masters to the giant Titans.


Flameout and Twin Twist – Transformers: Generations – Titans Return

Last time we looked at Topspin, so it is only fitting that we take a look at Twin Twist, the other Jumpstarter from 1985. Back in 1985, the two figures were not “brothers.” They were both Jumpstarters, but they were not made on the same body. Both went on to be copied into other figures, but these two were not related.

Twin Twist is a good looking dude. He shares a lot of similarities with Topspin, but there were enough changes that the two are unique. Most notably are the wings, now missing on Twin Twist, replaced with taller forms that are not distinguishable from the front.

When looking at the back , you can see not only are the wings replaced with treads, but the dual drills tuck so nicely into Twin Twist’s back.

Side by side you can see the similarities between the two figures. They have the same torso, legs and forearms. The entire shoulder has been replaced, as well as the back, and the bottom of the feet.

Twin Twist is joined by Flameout. He is an all grey figure with a new head on his back.

Flameout is a twin with Freezeout. This is probably the best named duo in Transformers history. One will freeze you down, and the other will burn you up. Where Freezeout will freeze the cogs that allow transformation to take place in an enemy, Flameout will cause the cogs to speed up and cause a meltdown. Both are efficient in causing the enemy to lose the ability to change forms.

Once transformed, the telltale Jumpstarter shows up. Twin drills in the front, and a big back end with the engines.

There are quad jets in the back, just like Topspin, but these have a different shape. What a nice touch. They very easily could have used the same jets twice, but these look a bit more rugged, like they would stand up to being underground.

Side by side in vehicle mode, it is clear that these two are similar. There are enough differences between the two that they look quite a bit different too. They have a bit of a reverse color scheme going on and extra touches of color.

One fighting down low, and one up high. This is a duo that can work well together.

I think Hasbro really hit it out of the park with these two. One from wave 4 and one from wave 5, they saved some of the best figures for the end of the Titans Returns line. I can’t wait to see what else they come up with.


Freezeout and Autobot Topspin – Transformers: Generations – Titans Return

 

Back in 1985, the Jumpstarts appeared. They were vastly different than the rest of the Transformers, which is why these guys still stand out in my mind. We are lucky in the Titans Return line to get not one, but two of these great robots making a comeback.

Today we are going to look at Topspin. The colors are right on with this guy. There are clear differences from the original version. Better details and a whole lot more articulation.

Way back when, Topspin came with one gun. Today he comes with two. They look like stacked cannons.

Put the two together, and Topspin gets one big quad blaster. that is laid out horizontally.

And when he doesn’t want to hold his guns any more, they can be stored on his wings in their alternate mode configuration.

There are so many great tiny details in Topspin. My favorite is one you cannot see too well in robot mode, because it is on the bottom of his feet. Topspin has a jet on the bottom of each foot. They are really well detailed, and I like it even more because in vehicle mode, there are two jets. One folds up, while the second stays out and ready for use, either in flight or jumping.

The articulation really is something to behold. I don’t think he is more articulated than any of the other Transformers in this wave, but he sure feels like it when looking back at the 1985 version with only swinging shoulders.

Since we are in a new era, Topspin gets a sidekick… or is Topspin the sidekick? Well, either way, he is teamed up with Freezeout. Freezeout gets his name because whoever uses him as a head gains control of his powers of being able to “freeze” the enemy in whatever mode they happen to be in at the time.

The transformation is quite intricate. Probably one of the more step-heavy figures we have had in the line, and definitely in the Deluxe Class.

He looks fantastic in vehicle mode. He is a spaceship that looks very much like his original counterpart. It is as if they took the essence of the original and gave him an upgrade. He still has the silver double-nose cones, and the bulky back end.

He is longer than the original, and the wings are wider and are actually usable in flight.

And then there are the engines in the back. I love how big and powerful they are.

This is a fantastic figure overall. This is exactly what we love to see when we see figures brought back from the original line. They work better today, because they were not multiple toy companies being brought together to create a line. Hasbro has done a great job of making all of the figures look and feel like they belong together.


Optimus Prime and Orion Pax – Transformers Tribute

While we are still in the midst of Titans Return, Hasbro has come out with something interesting. This is a special two-pack depicting the evolution of one of the greatest Transformers to ever live.

Optimus Prime started his life as Orion Pax, the librarian. And to commemorate those two parts of his life, Hasbro has put together a pack that shows this change. Included is a slight repaint of Optimus Prime from the War for Cybertron line of Generations. Along with him is a repainted Sergeant Kup with a new head sculpt Titan Master.

Optimus Prime is not all that different. The greys are darker, and the red lighting has been turned blue. This is not the reason for me to buy this box set. It is the other guy I really wanted.  Orion Pax is a complete repaint of Sergeant Kup. The use of Kup is great, because that way Pax gets to have a Cybertronian truck mode as well as a thinner body of an intellect, before he became a warrior.

Pax comes with a Titan Master with no name. I am hoping he will eventually get a name, but there is none on the packaging that I could find. Maybe this is a robot version of Roller.

I was not sure how the truck modes would compare. Both are in the Generations line, but they are a bit separated in time and sublines. While Pax looks very utilitarian, Prime has a much meaner look.

The changes in Optimus Prime do not warrant a rebuy of the figure. He is nearly the same, with just a bit of color change.

Buying two figures just to get one? Well, I think it is worth it. We do not have a lot of Orion Pax figures. Back in 2014 we did get a figure in the Thrilling 30 subline of Generations, and he is great. There is something about the simplicity of this one that really stands out.

If you love the Titans Return line, or you are a huge fan of Optimus Prime, this is a good set to get. The Orion Pax alone is a great figure to add to your collection. A one for the price of two is not that great of a deal if you already have the first WfC Optimus Prime, unless you NEED the new Pax.


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