Thursday, February 19, 2015

Marvel Legends Infinite 'Odin Wave' Hawkeye, Iron Fist, Sentry, Thor, Machine Man, Scarlet Witch, Captain Marvel figure review

Well there was a pretty large gap between my last review and this one, my apologies but moving takes quite a bit of time. Fortunately I was able to pick up the latest Marvel Legends series in town, the Avengers Odin build-a-figure wave. The case packout is one of each character except there's two of Hawkeye. So if he's sitting on the pegs all by himself you can be sure someone bought the whole series at once. You get Machine Man, Iron Fist, Scarlet Witch, Hawkeye, Sentry, Thor, and the female Captain Marvel inn this one. Hasbro is trying something new as well here, there's no variant characters...instead two of the characters come with variant build-a-figure pieces. So passing up Scarlet Witch for Captain Marvel... or Machine Man for Sentry will still net you a complete Odin or King Thor depending on your choice. Let's dive into the review!

Articulation for the wave is a mix of excellent and decent because of the body re-uses here. Machine Man, Witch, Captain Marvel, Sentry, and Hawkeye all shine in this department. After all each shares one of the newer bodies and sports all the sweet points. Thor is based on armored version in the Terrax wave so he's missing ankle tilts, the double elbows, and has those weird cut-knee-pads. Iron Fist shares the Bigtime Spiderman mold so his hips are 45 angled balls but he still has amazing range of motion. Hawk's ab crunch is slightly hindered by his vest but he can still move within it.

Sculpt for the wave consists of body re-use but in a good way. From top to bottom Scarlet Witch's body is actually a completely new mold, not Emma Frost's as one would suspect. And where she could have shared Black Cat's boots even those are new. It's sleek, sexy, and with more defined abs. As mentioned Iron Fist shares BT Spidey's mold. Machine Man and Hawkguy use the basic everyone-mold, Sentry the Hyperion/Toxin body, and Captain Marvel the Miss Marvel body. This really isn't an issue because most of the bodies have great movement and sculpt.

If you already have Thor from the Terrax wave this one has new arms and head. And like that one his head motion is limited to looking left and right because of the sculpt. Paint work for the set is pretty clean across the board with some exceptional shading work and some characters left lacking. Machine Man looks amazing with his shiny metallic purple plastic and blued-steel accents. Captain marvel has a great two-tone wash on her hair and precise tampograph details on her uniform. Both Sentry and Iron fist feature airbrushed body shading that bring out detail.

Hawkeye's two-toned purple looks sharp as does his Winter Soldier shared cyber-arm done in metallic plastic. Scarlet Witch gets a hair wash and a really nice airbrushed cape. Her face has been painted perfectly and features just a hint of eye shadow. Thor has a shaded cape and helmet/weapons but lacks any flesh detail or costume shading making him somewhat plain

Accessories are plentiful here! Iron Fist blows everyone away with eight different hand poses! From the chop, tiger claw, and fist, you can recreate just about any kung-fu pose. Captain Marvel has her helmeted alt head and Jubilee's energy effect. She also comes with Odin's axe. Machine Man has bendable extendo-arm sections and two extra fists! You can actually double the arms to form a really long one too.

Scarlet Witch has two awesome looking hex-effects that clip to her wrists and a removable cloak. Hawkeye comes with a brand new quiver and re-use bow from, well, every other Hawkeye but in purple. Thor gets his hammer and a huge brand new sword that features some great sculpting to it. Sentry...uh...comes with his belt. I'm not sure what else he could have come with because no parent would want to see bloody halves of the characters he's torn apart included.

Now for the build-a-figure, it's the Allfather Odin himself! As I mentioned you get a choice of parts. You can use Odin's helmeted head with right eye patch/scepter and red cape if you buy Witch. King Thor's alternate Destroyer armored left arm comes with Machine Man. Fortunately this BAF doesn't have locking limbs so you can pop on the King Thor head with the left eyepatch and swap arms at your leisure. Bravo Hasbro! Odin has great articulation including tilt ankles. You get an all new sculpt here as well and his armor has a gritty wash to it as if he's seen many a battle. His sword, scepter, and axe all look nice tho his scepter is plain gold plastic and could have used some paint.

I'm pretty sure I covered all the important nuances in the wave but if I missed any let me know. With all said and done you're wondering what the verdict is? Go out and hunt these down! Granted most have body re-uses but that's the norm these days and it's done very well here. You won't get to cherry-pick your paint apps because of the single character assortment in the case besides Hawkguy but thankfully they're all pretty clean. Scarlet Witch will be bought up by scalpers the same as Captain Marvel but you'll have the most fun out of Iron Fist and the quirky Machine Man in my opinion. If you don't like to hunt just pick them up at Big Bad Toy Store or refresh the Amazon page until they show up back in stock (like right now at the time of this post!)

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!