Saturday, July 30, 2011

Stan Winston's Blood Wolves: Vereticus action figure review

I'll mention right off the bat this figure is from 2003 so you won't find him on the shelf at Walmart. However his is available at Amazon or cheaper at EBay. But he's worth reviewing because he's a 7" tall fully articulated medieval knight and you simply don't see those anywhere these days. Vereticus is styled with a pigface bascinet helmet. Wait, isn't he a wolf?

The sculpt of the figure is excellent for being 2003 and rightly so because NECA made them. Each rivet, chainmail link, and armor bend is simply perfect. The wolfish face underneath the movable visor is great looking as well. Even his accessories and base are well done, he could easily pass for a statue on your desk. The arrows are a nice touch tho I can't figure out where the 3rd arrow pegs into.

Articulation is paramount these days and this figure is nicely articulated, in fact more articulated than most of NECA's offerings back in 2003. Ball shoulders, elbows, neck, wrists, waist, cut hips but with swivel thighs, and knees. He's missing ankle articulation and a ball jointed head would have been great but what's here is plenty to get him into some great dragon-slaying poses.

Vereticus' paint work is also top notch, The use of different metallics, shading, and the dirtying up of his tunic looks great. He comes with two swords and can hold the larger one with both hands as the end cap comes off allowing you to slip it into his fists. However the second sword, while removable, doesn't have a removable cap and therefore can't be held unless you cut it off. He also comes with an alternate head which could have been left out because you can lift up his visor anyway. A nice shield would have been cool instead.

Regardless of the slight flaws and the fact you have to order him online somewhere, THIS IS AN ARTICULATED 7" KNIGHT. That alone makes him worth getting and you could customize him into a Marvel Select Black Knight with a little work I'm betting.

Spiderman 4" series Stretch Strike Venom action figure review

The newest 4" Spiderman series is floating around and contains what looks like the best Venom figure in years, Stretch Strike Venom. First thing you'll notice is that he isn't black like in the comics but a dark gray-brownish color with metallic purple highlights. It's not nearly as garish as it sounds in hand but that's what Testors Acryl semigloss black paint is for.

Venom's sculpting is excellent, lots of musculature and tendrily detail. Unlike most figures he's solid PVC so he has some heft and the back tendrils flex. The facial sculpt is sharp just like the teeth and the tongue isn't over the top. I really like the long arms and no-nail clawtips are sculpted. Head and hands, the most important part of a figure.

The articulation is acceptable and better than most figures in the series. Ball head, shoulders, and hips. He's missing a waist, ankle, and unfortunately wrists but that still doesn't hinder him much from getting into some awesome poses. This really surprised me. The range of motion is really good too allowing for everything to move regardless of his stocky form.

Speaking of surprises his action feature isn't all that horrible. It's a blast that attaches to his hand and resembles symbiote moray eel. It's made of a stretchy silicon and can be wrapped around, also jointed at where it attaches to the firmer plastic end that goes on his hand. The sculpt is sharp, this could have worked for an alternate head it's so nice, the gaping mouth and vicious teeth. What's the downside? Finding this guy. Right now he's being scalped by the neackbeard population for upwards of $40. Hopefully the assortment will find its way into more stores but with older Spiderman figs still clogging the pegs who knows.

Right now only Amazon has him.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Marvel Select Juggernaut action figure review

He's the Juggernaut and he's stomping into stores, well, he's already out actually. You can find him at comic shops or online...and boy is he big! Juggy stands a whopping 8 1/2" tall and weighs at least 3 pounds because he's solid plastic. It amazed me the packaging could even support him without tearing the bubble off!

Don't get me wrong, he may be solid plastic but still has plenty of articulation. Ball shoulders, torso, hips, and weird rocker ankles that are pinned through instead of across. They get the job done though. His range of articulation is pretty good considering his stocky design and the only negative is no wrist swivels so he can uppercut. The helmet doesn't come off but you can buy an 'unmasked' version.

The sculpt and paint apps are phenomenal as well, his skin and costume having a nice texture to it and just the right amount of airbrushed shading. There's great copper highlights to his helmet and metal bands as well. With Diamond Select it's usually hit or miss when it comes to paint apps. Here it's a definite hit! Check out those chompers. Every little detail on Juggernaut is there.

This is pretty much the definitive Juggernaut for your collection, fitting in with your Marvel Legends or Marvel Select. A quick repaint and you can have a Marvel vs Capcom Juggernaut too. Snag him for just $20 on Amazon or even cheaper on Ebay and soon. This is one of those miss-this-character-and-you're-out-of-luck type thing because I don't see Hasbro making a Build-a-Figure Juggernaut that can beat this guy anytime soon.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Transformers Skyhammer Power Core Combiner action figure review

Continuing with the last wave of Power Core Combiner Transformers is Decepticon Skyhammer. It's odd because while Skyhammer is Dreadwing colored, the bot really doesn't look all that Decepticonish. In fact the Power-up Commander mode really looks like how Autobot Highbrow looks with the goggles. However he is a neat little Transformer.

Skyhammer's bot mode is pretty solid, both in design and terms of awesomeness. He has double jointed elbows/knees! This allows all sorts of great poses. The bright blue pegs are of course jarring to the eyesight especially next to the bright orange. Alley Viper Transformer maybe? He looks cool with the Commander 'goggles' pulled down in this mode too. More on that later.

Looking at SH's jet mode is easier on the eyes since most of the crazy colors are hidden underneath and two of the blue connector pegs tuck away out of sight. His Targetmaster-ish Airlift minicon can attach himself. Airlift is a great mold who's head turns when you turn his waist. No elbows but he has gun-arms.

Commander Power-up mode is way. way better than the first two PCC waves. Everything plugs in securely and SH gets additional joints in his shoulders where the fins hinge. The Commander head is literally a goggled helmet that folds over the smaller head like a clamshell and has a separate swivel underneath so you can still turn the head. This is a really, really cool feature.

Throw some drones on his limbs and you have yourself a fairly sturdy mech. Not as great as Heavytread in our last review, mainly because Skyhammer is missing the waist swivel which would have added much more play value. But the legs and shoulders work better than the usual PCC commanders and the goggled head just looks neat. You can snag Skyhammer on Amazon pretty cheap because he's not one that's usually available in retail stores. At least I've never seen any of this wave on the pegs.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Transformers Heavytread Power Core Combiner action figure review

It's no secret I'm not a fan of Power Core Combiners. I bought all of the first ones and they were poorly designed, loose jointed, limb-popping-off atrocities. (tho I now snag clearanced ones for the dual heads) I'm happy to report the new waves are much better including Heavytread with Groundspike. This PCC Commander is everything the originals weren't! Thanks to my aussie bro HAVector for finding this guy.

HT's robot mode is a short stocky little guy with plenty of articulation like ball-jointed/swivel everything and even a waist swivel. His tank mode is solid as well, resembling one of the Bruticus bots. Great sculpt on both modes and yes the tank turret turns. Only downside are big blue blocks showing in both modes.

Groundspike the minicon is pretty neat, able to turn into a Devastator-like chest piece, battering ram for the front of the tank, or claw mode for the robot. He's got joints in all the right places except no elbows. That's probably because he has giant blades where his arms should be. I wish he was a solid color because much of the detail is lost with the clear plastic.

Now for the fun part, Commander mode. His core is the best one I've seen yet and is completely solid. The turret unfolds into an antenna and movable shoulder cannon. HeavyTread's commander head is voyager-class sized, much bigger than the other PCC's and looks amazingly cool. The little head folds into the back of the larger one which is also a nifty feature because you can display him with the small head for the commander unit.

Unfortunately I've not heard of anywhere that got this wave as a US release which is a shame because it seems PCC are out now that they were just getting good. You'll have to snag him on Ebay or if you want this guy to add to your military Transformers. He's worth it though!

Fireblast Destroyer: Thor movie 3 3/4" action figure review

The Destroyer was a big, bad, unstoppable suit of enchanted armor in the Thor movie and looked absolutely amazing onscreen. Aside from the 10" open box version already out we're treated to the "Fireblast Destroyer" in the third wave of Thor movie figures. He's 5" tall putting him above the height of your normal Marvel Universe figures. That's good because in the movie he was huge.

The paint is a dull silver or gunmetal color with a black wash to bring out the lines. Tiny little numbs line his sides because tiny spikes probably wouldn't pass safety tests or translate that well into sculpt. Everything else is sculpted well including his hands and angled faceplate in the closed position.

Destroyer's articulation is fairly decent. The only thing not ball jointed is his shoulders, probably because of the electronics. Wrists, elbows, knees, head, ankles, the rest is great. He only has cut shoulders but his arms do raise up well. 

Press the button on his stomach and his chest glows....but not his head. Funny because it's clear plastic and looks as if it should. This was the only figure I found so I don't know if there's a broken/missing LED in there or if the LED just isn't powerful enough. Maybe my paint splattered silver thumb is causing him issue, I don't know. It's also not orange like the movie fire blasts but red. He's an ok figure but you could probably pass on him as there's another version of the Destroyer coming in a future Thor assortment without electronics and no middle-of-my-stomach-box.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Jazzware's 6" Mortal Kombat Sub Zero action figure review

Normally Jazzwares and the phrase "hey that's awesome!" aren't associated with each other. They're not know for making Marvel Legends or NECA quality figures, but rather more kid-oriented things like with their Sonic line. Until now, so wasn't sure what I was looking at when I first picked up Sub Zero from Jazzware's Mortal Kombat line...

That being said I was pleasantly surprised, though I still have a hard time paying $15 a figure which is what TRU was charging. Sub Zero has a great sculpt. His armor is detailed and you can see all the folds in his gi, his narrowed gaze, and mask detail. The hands look a little oversized but that might just be me. Even his pants look nicely sculpted which wasn't the case with the last series. 

Sub Zero comes with a nifty looking ice sword that would have really looked amazing clear, but instead it's just painted blue with a white drybrushing for highlights. He can hold it with both hands! This is pretty rare in figures but Sub-Z has ball jointed/hinged neck, shoulders, elbows, waist, hips, knees, and ankles having great range of movement. He can high-kick and look great doing so.

I saw Raiden and Scorpion who looked particularly cool and came with more weapons but Sub Zero has always been one of my faves. He's just a tad shorter than your average DCU or Marvel Legends but still fits in. So, great paint apps, nice sculpt, great articulation, has Jazzwares redeemed themselves? Snag one of the new Mortal Kombat figures and see for yourself.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Transformers Cyberverse Decepticon Hatchet action figure review

Originally I wasn't going to get the Cyberverse figure. They're an odd scale (if scale actually meant anything in the line) and appeared to be just miniaturized versions of characters we had Deluxe and Voyagers of. Then I found Hatchet and was suddenly converted. Hatchet is actually one of the black SUV's from the movie I'm told, but for some reason is a jet here. Whatever, it works for him. You also get two mini-drones that turn into cannons.

Hatchet transformers fairly easily and has just the right amount of articulated sections to make him look great in both modes. His cougar/wolf/whatever-robot mode is quite articulated! Ball hips, shoulders, hinged wrists, ankles, knees, elbows, etc. His head is on a dual up/down hinge tho it can't turn side to side. Oh well, I guess he'll be running forward anyway. His tail extends, that's pretty cool.

Hatchet's alt mode is is nifty black and gold fighter jet. It has two detachable drone planes that turn into gun pods. Each pod has a different barrel. Buy two Hatchets and swap a pod if you want two of the same kind. His jet mode is sleek unless you look at it from behind. Since his paws don't fold up they're left sticking out from the back. Not a huge problem but kind of odd they didn't make them turn into thrusters or something.

So is he worth the $7-$8? Sure, why not. Hatchet is larger than the other Cyberverse so far and you need another jet to chase down Powerglide. His head is large, deluxe sized so you could customize it onto a Crankcase I'm betting and get your other dreads-Decepticon teammate.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

NECA's Light Up Big Daddy, Bioshock action figure review

NECA is a leader in innovative design, articulation, paint, and sculpt. They're like pre-everything-statue McFarlane toys on steroids. Big Daddy Bouncer is the main character of Bioshock and NECA saw fit to re-release him, this time with lights! They're suppose to reflect his 'mood' and do a pretty good job of getting the idea across because you get three different colors to choose from. Green, yellow, then red. He's like a stoplight gone crazy!

The sculpting is top notch as it was with the original. There's stitching, bent and chipped metal, oxidized bumps, and fabric sculpt all over the figure. It really does look like a miniaturized version of a diving suit. The paint apps are just as great highlighting the sculpt without going overboard in washes or drybrushed highlights.

The switch on his back slides up and down to select the different colors or just to off. Green seems to be the brightest color, followed by red, then yellow as the dimmest. I may need different batteries or perhaps that's the way he's suppose to be. Either way it looks excellent though there is a little bleeding through the helmet's paint as it was cast in clear plastic then painted. This will probably very with each figure.

Big Daddy's articulation is decent. Let's face it, this is a giant bulky diving suit, not something meant for black ops stealth missions. The joints are VERY well hidden and all ball joints, even the wrists and ankles. You can get some pretty good poses out of him and for $20-$23 it's a great value in the days where a 6" Iron Man costs $18. I'm happy with him just protecting my shelf with that giant drill. Lord knows he's heavy enough that I could heave him at an intruder! If you're a Bioshock fan then you'll want this guy. Here's hoping NECA makes a light up Subject Delta and Big Sister too!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Transformers DOTM Voyager class Sentinel Prime action figure review

Sentinel Prime is kinda a mixed bag of hmmmm and ehhhhh, I'll get that right off my chest now. At first glance he's a striking red but upon closer inspection he's more of a lipstick red. If you don't want to shell out $40+ for the leader class then this Sentinel is kinda...uh..Deluxe sized? Standing a little under 7". This means your Generations and earlier Voyagers are going to be taller than him.

Sent's articulation is a mixed bag I suppose. He has great leg/arm movement and can kick really well. His feet move forward on a good hinge but not side to side like the Leader class. No wrist movement, no waist, and his head is just a swivel. To this end the figure seems kinda rushed, like they had to get another version of Sent out there quick! This shows in his paint apps too, they're pretty plain. Red, silver, black, done.

The large firetruck hanging off of his back is half the transformation. Sentinel is pretty much a shell-former because though his legs do make some of the back and lower portion of the truck everything else is covered up by the mass of kibble on his back. It sticks off kinda far and you can fit your fingers in the large gap. Sent only comes with a mechtech weapon and not his sword and shield. Because of this, son I am disappoint. I wasn't expecting loads of weapons but not even his signature stuff?

The saving grace of the figure is the rather awesome alt mode, his Rosenbauer Panther fire truck form. It's long, fairly well detailed, and the boom crane is the mechtech weapon. Transformation is fairly simple, it's just a lot of tabbing panels. Walmart has this guy for $18 and with a little black detailing on the face and some of the body you could have this guy looking pretty spiffy. Below he's shown with two of the DotM Deluxes, Walmart exclusive Prime and Nitro Bumblebee.

Autobot emblem/logo for your vehicle

Hey everyone, you may have been asking yourself where the blog went over the last couple of days. All the post are gone! That's because I've redesigned the theme of this blog to feature daily action figure/collectible reviews. My plan is to take 4 pictures of a new figure, item, or product related to the genres we love and write up a 5 minute review of them. I say 'daily' but we'll see if I can keep my promise. I get pretty busy customizing. I'll do my best however! And now for our first review...

If you've seen Transformers you know how psyched Sam was to have a giant transforming car. While our cars may not transform we can deck them out in Transformers gear! One such item I'm reviewing tonight is an Autobot hood emblem. It's 4" tall by 3 3/4" across at its widest point and about as thick as your average figure cardback.

 What struck me first was now sharp and crisp the actual logo was. There's no rounded plasticy-edges because the whole thing is made out of milled aluminum! On the back is a super sticky foam pad which probably isn't removable because it's REALLY STICKY, like 3M quality sticky. This is good because you don't want someone peeling off your logo and putting it on their own car.

Upon closer inspection you'll see that there are tiny striations, those little carved lines in the sculpt that help it reflect light. This is some really nice machine work. The red is quite brilliant with the silver behind it. You could effectively stick this thing on the back of your laptop, computer tower, front of your wife's car as a surprise (my plan to do so soon), on your door, I mean really the possibilities are endless! Heck, put one on all of those! Well...that would be expensive right? Nope. You can order this thing for $4 shipped to your door by going here and snagging one. They also have them in silver and black!

I mean really. A pack of paper Transformers stickers is more expensive than that. I'm still looking for a Decepticon faction symbol of this quality that has a border around it, not cut out. You'll notice this Autobot logo is contained within one and looks all official like Prime's hood logo in the movie. And that's it for my first new blog entry.