Thursday, September 11, 2014

1/6th scale TOA Heavy Industries Synthetic Human by 1000Toys action figure review


This week I'm covering a different scale of figure in my review, a 12 inch (commonly called 1/6th scale) Synthetic Human by 1000Toys. Normally I focus on 6-8" figures but here we have something pretty special. Only a limited number of these were produced and you had to be lucky enough to be picked from 1000Toy's sale drawing in order to purchase one. Various toy reviewers received one to review for free and there was a variant offers at SDCC 2014. This is 1000Toy's first foray into the world of action figures. How does the Synthetic Human fare? Let's find out.

The Synthetic Human ties in with the Biomega Manga and comes in an extremely sturdy, collector-friendly box. The outside has a light canvas texture with some logos. Inside is perfectly cut foam that houses the Synthetic Human and the two extra hands.There's a foam lid that protects the front of the figure and a cover page of sorts that protect it. The thumb notches to pull the box apart are located at the top and bottom rather than the sides. Getting the box open is somewhat challenging given the vacuum caused by the two halves and the lack of properly spaced notches to hold the inner section with.

Sculpting for the Synthetic Human is nothing short of an amazing replica of human form. Like a cross between i-Robot, wooden artist model, and a skeleton, the design is sleek and detailed. Every joint and seam is cleanly designed and there are sculpted plugs over the screw holes that keep the design smooth. Different ports/vents dot the body in various places and the Synthetic Human even has a belly button, something I found charmingly funny given its name. A customizer could have a field day with all the different ways to modify such a perfect blank canvas such as this figure like the way the SDCC 2014 variant was done.

The Synthetic Human's faceplate can be removed revealing the robotic skeletal head underneath which is extremely detailed if not downright frightening! The eyes have tiny sculpted pupils and actually move via pegs inside the skull when you take it apart. Each segment of the body has a clean sculpt all the way inside the joint and there's very little gap that shows when posing, a credit to the design. Symthetic Human's fingers and toes have plenty of detail as well, nothing is skipped over.

It's the articulation department where the Synthetic Human truly shines. You can very well create any pose you wish with the range of motion offered in this figure and balance as well. From standing on one foot to a full crouch, the Synthetic Human can do it all. The eyes and jaw of the inner skull move and the neck motion is outstanding. The torso/abdomen is segmented and can arch any direction. The toes and heel are positionable for precise stances and the shoulders/hips have multiple pivots/hinges at many junctures. The fingers are not poseable (tho that would have been an amazing feat) but you can swap out an open or closed fist. I'm not a collector of 12" figures so I can't compare him against Hot Toys True Type bodies but he has to be up there in range of motion.

Paint work for the Synthetic Human gives the figure a robotics-factory-production feel, the main body shell being a glossy white with matte grey-green under sections. There's panel lining all over the figure and a very light grey wash has been applied to the white along the edges helping to define each section. In all it's very clean work and the grey plastic joints blend in well. Synthetic Human's inner skull has an amazing amount of detail too with each tooth outlined and a speaker/port inside the mouth. The red/black pupils look very cool especially when moved to give the figure a lot of personality.

The only accessories the figure comes with are the two extra clenched fists that can be swapped out from the wrist peg. The pegs have tips that grip inside the joint unlike Revoltech pegs which slide out without a stop to them. Some sort of swappable faceplates or spread-finger or gripping hands would have been nice seeing as the relaxed hands don't do a great job of holding articles. I can't really count the lack of accessories against the company seeing that this is their first product and the future figures look to have all sorts of gear and weaponry.

So what's the verdict here on the Synthetic Human? If you're a 12" scale collector and want something really unique looking, track one down. If you like amazingly posable, i-Robot type factory-production humans, this guy is your best bet. But you're going to have a very tough time getting a hold of one. Right now 1000Toys is only holding drawings for purchase orders (and in VERY small amounts) in which you only have 24 hours to enter and hope you're picked. From there you have to turn to Ebay and pick one up or choose the SDCC variant. The Synthetic Human is a great leap into the 1/6th scale market for 1000Toys and they look to have even more offerings in the future.






Friday, August 29, 2014

Marvel Legends Walgreens Exclusive Agent Venom action figure review

Welcome to this week's three-minute toy review! Hah I kid but this review focuses on just one figure tonight, the long awaited release of Agent Venom. If you haven't been keeping up with the comics Flash Thompson has the symbiote suit now and while he lost his lower legs during combat the symbiote creates them for him. Hasbro has come out of left field and made this a Walgreens drug store exclusive, eight Venoms per case. Yep, you won't have trouble finding him...unless you don't live near a Walgreens. He runs the standard $19.99 and sits in a nifty pre-hung display rack that's usually located near either of the toy aisle endcaps. But is he worth hunting down? Let's find out.

Right off the bat you'll find that Agent Venom's sculpt really, really shines. The headsculpt is slick with goggle-like bug eyes. Venom's base body is the Shield Agent/Steve Rogers/Drax, also being shared by the Toys R Us exclusive Magneto but you won't see much of it as its covered in some great looking armor. It's done in a bumpy organic sculpt with brand new lower arms and legs. The chest piece is intricately done as is the belt full of grenades and weaponry. There's a holster on his right leg with a non-removable gun on it as well. Venom's fingers are in a cool gnarled pose that allows him to hold different sized weapons.

Paint work comes in one shade, white on black plastic. You'll want to compare as the very fine eyeliner can be skewed and the white logo is actually a tampograph, meaning paint that's been applied with a stamp rather than sprayed on. This lends to some symbols being all crisp white and some having missed the sculpt with black specks showing through at the crevices and organic sculpt. However this doesn't actually look terrible and can fall in the way of accidental shading. Just snag a jar of Testors Model Master Acrylic white paint and you can easily touch him up. I wasn't kidding either that's it for his paint work, yet he still looks amazing.

Articulation for Agent Venom is top notch! While some of you may not want to fall back towards the ball-hips they're hardly noticable. His shoulderpads are on thin flexible strips and move out of the way. Every joint including the ab crunch has excellent range. His wrists turn at the upper forearm where the armor meets and he has side-tilt ankles. Pose him however you like, Agent Venom has great proportions and range of motion.

You're in for an accessory extravaganza here. Agent Venom's chest armor and belt are removable. He comes with four guns and a wicked looking symbiote tendril attachment on his back that can wield them. Three of the guns are Hit Monkey's so they're a bit on the small side (tho your Black Widow would benefit from them!) but not a noticeable with the tendrils holding them. The other gun is Steve Roger's and looks better in the actual figure's hand. Removable armor and a bunch of guns, that's pretty decent.

So what's the verdict on Agent Venom? You're probably reading this review on your cellphone walking through a Walgreens right now looking for him. And if you aren't, you should be. This is one awesome figure and I'm having a hard time putting him down. Even if you aren't a huge fan of this Venom customizers can always use the weapons and armor for other figures and that head is practically Spiderman Noir material. The problem is not living near or IN a country with a Walgreens. Hasbro cut out the scalpers by making the entire case Venoms tho his card shows all the other Spiderman Infinite characters as if he were a variant of the assortment. You just need to ask some friends to keep an eye out for you, he won't be hard to find. I'd plug my sponsors here but you're really only going to find him at Walgreens, tho various 3rd parties on Amazon and Ebay have him in stock at various markups if you can't stand to wait.












Thursday, July 17, 2014

Mavel Legends Infinite Guardians of the Galaxy action figure review (Groot build a figure wave)

According to fans everywhere the big summer movie expectation lies with Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy, a rag-tag team of galactic misfits that are out to save the...galaxy.  This week's review has the Marvel Legends Infinite series in the spotlight again with the complete GotG set under scrutiny. Starlord, Drax the Destroyer, Gamora, Rocket Raccoon, comic Nova, and the build-a-figure Groot make up this very unique set. Packaging is no surprise and is the same collector friendly Marvel Legends Infinite style we've seen in the Spider-Man and Captain America 2 reviews earlier. It allows you to replace the figure for resale or storage at any time and I hope all action figures move towards this style.

Sculpting for the whole line is amazing with extra detail paid to just about every aspect of these figures. Starlord's jacket has all sorts of tech paneling on it, Drax's tattos are raised on his skin, you can make out each hole in Gamora's fishnet body stocking, and even each individual claw on Rocket's tiny paws. Starlord's mask is really well done and the hair coming out from the edges looks sharply defined as do his boot rockets.

Nova is the one you've all been waiting for in his 'Annihilation' comic costume. His helmet is a three-piece design and looks perfect, all his gold armor sections separate as well with detailed costume lines. Rocket Raccoon is a cute little figure with plenty of facial detail, fur, and his tiny flightsuit detail showing. Iron Man is in his cosmic comic armor and is a remold of the Bleeding Edge version with a new head and arms.

Groot is the big winner here with so much wooden detail it's incredible they managed to get it all down. Twisted gnarled branches make up his limbs with mossy texture to them as well as the wood grain look. Tiny twigs sprout from his head and arms. The whole sculpt is a work of art. Gamora is quite pretty for a female Legends sculpt and has a great body design. There's tons of detail on her as well including tiny bootstraps and excellent flowing hair. The facesculpt really does look like the actress where as Starlord's alternate head sculpt isn't spot on to his.

Now it's time for articulation. First off everyone but Gamora and Rocket have side-swivel ankles. Poor Rocket doesn't get any lower body articulation either, the same as his comic build-a-figure version was shorted. He does sport fully articulated arms, a ball head, waist, and tail however. Gamora's hips don't move out to the side more than a couple millimeters making her hips more like a T-crotch design. That's the bad. The good is that everyone else has articulation that's well designed.

Drax can literally do the splits and actually has the most range of motion out of all the figures for such a buff guy! Nova can get into some amazing flying poses and his flexible shoulderpads swivel up out of the way very well. Starlord's coat doesn't get in the way at all and can be posed flipped up in the back with a little patience. Iron Man has the same great movement as his previous mold leaving Groot. He's tall and lanky with great range of motion, and tho he has single jointed knees they work great. His hips are 45 deg angles but don't look odd when bent to the side given his tree-trunk anatomy. A great ball jointed neck gives hims plenty of personality too.

Now for the paint applications. I'm happy to say everyone is fairly cleanly painted with very little slop. The eyes on Starlord's unmasked head are a little odd with thick pupils and eyelashes much like a GI Joe has. Drax has some amazing looking eyes with red iris rings and reflective dots. His tattoo paint is applied on top of the sculpt correctly for the most part with only a couple areas shifted. Rocket's fur has a great wash and his Raccoon coloration is really great looking with different shades of fur. Gamora's metallic blue sections shine as does the amazing metallic gradient of her hair.

Both Iron Man and Nova are cast in metallic plastic that give off a great shine. Nova's chest ports are bright and Iron Man's arc reactor has fading color tones. The wash on Starlord's coat really brings out the detail inside and out. I'm impressed with his mask too, it's very well done. Groot sports paint highlights and mossy green detail over a primarily light brown plastic and looks great, though a wash may have been a better choice to bring out detail.

Accessories for this line are great on some and lacking with others but balance out, Starlord taking top marks. He comes with an alternate head, orb, two blasters, a tape deck, and headphones he can wear. The tape deck really threw me for a loop with all the tiny detail. Gamora comes with an odd looking sword, Drax with two daggers that fit into his boots. Nova and Iron Man have zip unless you count the Groot parts. Rocket comes with one of the best looking guns I've seen with tons of tech detail and a paint wash. He also comes with the giant cannon Starlord wields in the movie and it fits against his chest.

So what's the verdict on these Guardians of the Galaxy? You're going to want Nova and Starlord even if you're not keen on his movie look because of all the awesome stuff he comes with. Drax is surprisingly great, Gamora looks sleek, and you're going to need the rest of the figures regardless to build Groot. He's so very worth it, tall, poseable, and unique looking. Our sponsor Big Bad Toy Store has them all with sets and a few singles. You can get some great deals on the figures at Amazon right now as they dip below retail some days or hover at normal price. Unfortunately Nova is one per case as is Rocket and the two are getting bought out. Don't forget to see the movie and look for Nathan Fillion as Nova, back in a sci-fi role once more!





Friday, May 30, 2014

Captain America Marvel Legends Infinite: Black Widow, Winter Soldier, Mandroid action figure review

Sorry for the long delay between reviews but here's part 2 of the Marvel Legends Infinite Captain America series. This is the second (and third) wave of the figures that complete your Mandroid Build-a-Figure. Aside from Mandroid the last three figures are all movie figures which is probably why they were released later as not to spoil anything.


Sculpting for Black Widow, Cap, and Winter Soldier are brand new bodies with no re-used parts. Widow is the big draw for collectors as she completes your movie Avengers team and she's well worth the wait. Her suit looks accurate with plenty of seams, straps, buckles, and wrist stingers. Her headsculpts are attractive if not a slightly bored expression but with very nicely sculpted hair. You can definitely tell this is Johansson's likness. Black Widow has holsters but the guns are permanently sculpted there so you'll need to supply your own pistols. Both sets of hands look great, trigger and open-palm.

Captain America and Winter Soldier's sculpts are equally as detailed with some neat looking boots and suit designs sharply defined. The sculpt really works with the articulation here and any pose looks dynamic with very little gapping. Steve and Bucky's unmasked heads only barely resemble the actors they're based upon and like the Electro head from the ASM2 figures are more of a generic look. The masked heads work more for the movie look here. Bucky's cyber arm is wicked cool and Cap's alternate pointing/chop hands work for saluting, combat moves, there's a lot of posing possibilities!

When it comes to articulation these figures are absolutely gold. Widow's range of motion is great even with her single elbow joint. The long hair alt head is limited because of the sculpt but her torso joint helps with that. Her open palms aren't jointed however so she can't do the hands-flat-on-floor pose which is what I suspect they were there for. Tho heeled like Black Cat's, Black Widow's ankle joints are done better and are pretty useful tho they will take some effort to balance.

Steve and Bucky's articulation and range of motion have me overjoyed. They can reach out, lean back, forwards, side-step, and everything looks natural. Their wrists are jointed too so Cap can salute or open-palm strike. Interestingly enough these figures don't have cut calf joints, their boots are separately molded in plastic and glued on. I'm not a big fan of calf motion and the ankles give you all the motion you need here.

Paint apps are surprisingly detailed all the way around. Black Widow has multiple suit tones, straps and buckles painted galore. Winter Soldier's body has a great dark wash that brings out the detail and Captain America's suit has definition. Even Widow and Bucky's hair has a light shading wash done. Uh, Bucky shouldn't be staring into exhaust pipes of cars. What's mean to look like the eye shading is too spread out on his face and looks downright strange. Widow's SHIELD logo tampos are sharp looking as is Winter Soldier's star.

There are accessories a plenty here in this wave with everyone getting an extra head and Steve and Widow with an extra set of hands. Bucky's sniper rifle is a remold of the weapon that came with the Hydra solider but Cap's shield is a brand new sculpt...and...it's huge. The shield was either accidentally flattened out or scaled for a 7" figure because this sucker covers more than just his torso. The big letdown is that Black Widow doesn't come with any guns yet has trigger-hands to hold them. The upside is that you can complete your SHIELD Mandroid and let me tell you, this thing is a beast!

The Mandroid battle suit is a partial remold of the Iron Monger BAF with a new torso, head, and forearm weapons. The whole thing is cast in a very nice metallic silver plastic and the giant SHIELD logo on its chest looks sharp. The head is on a full ball joint but the shoulder cannon can only swivel, not tilt. Basically it's a free giant robot and who can turn those down? It has the same great range of leg articulation with a bit of elbow restriction that was present with Monger.

So what's the verdict on these last figures? They're some of the best movie Marvel Legends yet and you're going to need them to complete Mandroid. Snag them at our sponsor Big Bad Toy Store in singles or sets so you can get Black Widow at retail price or camp Amazon for deals when they restock. Either way you won't be sorry especially if you loved Captain America: Winter Soldier movie and want to recreate some of those fight scenes. Now where's our 6" Batroc?