Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Avengers Studio Series 6" movie Hulk, Hawkeye, Thor, Walmart exclusive Marvel Legends figure review

Hawkeye HulkThe Avengers movie has set records everywhere in both movie sales and scrambling-to-find-the-newest-figure-hype. If you're lucky you may have seen these 6" Marvel Legends Avengers movie figures on the pegs at Walmart. Here we have Hulk, Hawkeye, and Thor. Right off the bat I'll tell you Thor has the exact same body as the one I already reviewed except with a new head so I won't say too much about him. Hawkeye and Hulk are the other hand are brand new figures and really, really, REALLY nice.

Thor HulkThe sculpting for Hulk and Hawkeye is top notch. Hulk has all sorts of sinewy muscle and cloth pants texture, great open fist to grab Loki and closed fist to punch, and his large-browed face sculpt is perfectly done. Hawk's face sculpt while wearing sunglasses is dead on Renner. His outfit with all the straps, kevlar-texture effect sculpted is perfect. I love the boot detail with tiny clasps. Only difference in Thor is his head and aside from the hair looking a bit short passes for the actor.

Articulation for Hulk is great. He does have 45 hips but his wide stance makes use of them properly. The ab crunch works great allowing Hulk to hunch. He has the new 45 ankles for maximum range and with double knees you can have Hulk kneel like the Atlas pose. Bravo Hasbro! Hawk has 90 deg hips and 45 ankles. His ab crunch moves better side to side more than the back and forth range. His right wrist tilts up and down for bow direction while his left wrist joints side to side for arrow direction. I was really impressed with this.

Paint work here is still a bit on the plain side. Hawkeye has the most with the purple sections, scuffed wrist protector, shaded hair, and all of his main buckles painted. His sunglasses are done sharply and there's no slop here. Hulk is more molded in plastic color tho his eyes, teeth, and shaded hair are perfect. Oh how I miss the paint apps of the last Cap/Thor movie figures. If these figures had them they'd be absolutely perfect. Thor's eyes and beard are nicely done here as are his eyes.

In the accessory department Hawkeye wins. He has his bow, removable quiver and also removable harness. Unfortunately like all bows the string is molded and doesn't make use of the super articulated wrists. A savvy customizer could easily cut-n-modify with wire for posing or string for shooting, tho no arrows are included. His harness while nice makes his quiver sit the wrong direction where it's suppose to jut out over his left shoulder. Hulk just comes with the usual interlocking base the rest do and Thor his hammer.

So what's the verdict? Buy them as soon as you see them. While the paint apps are a bit sparse this time around the sculpting and articulation are top notch. Hawkeye and Hulk can be used for all sorts of custom base bodies but are like Loki unfortunately packed one per case while we get two of Captain America, Iron Man, and Hulk. Tracking these figures down is hard right now because Walmarts are only getting one or two cases in at a time. You might even have to go Walmart-Midnight-Case-Opening like I had to in order to get these, But if the previous Cap/Thor Walmart exclusives are any indication we'll be seeing more of these and possibly so many they get clearanced. *fingers crossed*.

Monday, May 28, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises Movie Masters Bane, Batman, Alfred figure review

Bane, Alfred, Batman
Batman The Dark Knight Rises is one of the more anticipated films this summer and from every Batman film spawns countless action figures. These Movie Masters figures are 6" tall and DC Universe-style articulated. We had these last two movies but there's a new twist this time, a build-a-figure. Rather a build-a-bat-signal. You need six figures to complete it and three are in this first wave which are Batman, Alfred, and Bane.

Sculpting is very detailed and sharply done on all the figures. While Alfred has a new headsculpt he shares the body with the Joker goon/Harvey Dent. Batman is the exact same sculpt as the previous release. Bane is an entirely brand new sculpt and features some fairly nice mask detail, rubbery coat, and harness straps that are all well done. I'm not sure how close it is to the movie character but he looks menacing. His layered waist belts do make him look a little rotund under the jacket however.

Paint work for Bane is excellent. There's various levels of washes on his coat, weathering on his pants/boots, and his mask/eyes look very realistic. Batman has some extra lighter gray on his costume that the last figure didn't. Alfred is cast primarily in matte black but his face is really well done and his tie has some detailed paint work on it. Be careful when choosing your figures because not all were this clean. Batman's belt seems to give problems as I saw some pretty blotchy.

Articulation for Batman and Alfred is DC Universe style allowing for most action poses. There are ankle rockers in Alfred and Batman because they use old bodies but Bane being a new sculpt doesn't have them. He is also missing bicep articulation meaning he cannot cross his arms over in front of him. His ab crunch works very well as does his ball jointed neck. Bane's jacket doesn't really get in the way of his articulation but keeps his arms from moving all the way against his sides.

There are no character-specific accessories this time around. Last figure series we had Gotham City Police evidence but this time each figure has a part to a working build-a-bat-signal. They snap together easily and so far it looks to scale. Three more figures need to be released meaning you're left with an incomplete signal for right now. At around $16 each it's going to sting getting all six especially since there's a duplicate Batman in series 3 and possibly a character you may not want.

So what's the verdict? These are highly articulated figures with premium paint applications tho you probably already own a Batman just like this. The prospect of building a working Bat-Signal may be too cool to pass up for some, especially customizers who want to swap out the movie-bat logo for a comic one to project on their ceiling. Our sponsors Big Bad Toy Store has series 3 up for preorder and will probably get series 1 and 2 in shortly. You can also find them at regular retail outlets but beware, Alfred is one per case and is snatched up right away.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Avengers Studio Series 6" movie Captain America, Loki Marvel Legends Walmart Exclusive figure review

With the Avengers a gigantic worldwide record-setting smash of a movie it's no surprise Walmart got to be the sole distributor of Marvel Legends movie figures just as they did with Thor and Captain America. Here I'll be reviewing Captain America and Loki. Thor, Iron Man, Hulk, and Hawkeye are the others in the assortment tho Iron Man is just a battle damaged repaint of the Mark VII (admittedly cool looking) and Thor is the same as the movie one with a new non-helmeted head.

Sculpt on Cap and Loki are downright beautiful. There's different levels of texture on Cap's suit from the smooth boots, matte dark blue, and cloth-like lighter blue that makes up his main uniform. His helmet wings/forehead A are raised slightly and the utility belt is a separate piece. Cap's face is spot on and stern looking. There's super fine detail on his gloves and individual tread on his boots.

Articulation for Captain America is astounding. He has a new mid-torso joint that acts as a ball joint allowing him to tilt/weave and yet it remains tight. He can look straight up, his 90 deg hip articulation allows for full movement like kneeling, and he shares the same 45 deg MU ankle joint that gives him incredible side range. His wrist swivel is located where the end of his glove where it meets the forearm allowing for a flowing sculpt.

Paint for Cap is crisp and clean but unfortunately lacking. He's primarily cast in colored plastic and unlike last year's Captain America/Thor Walmart figures that had washes and highlights these have neither. You may want to go over him with a dark blue paint wipe and shade in the red to bring out all the amazing detail. Cap's shield has straps that allow you to store it on his back, something not seen since ToyBiz's series 1 Cap. It's hard plastic and looks sharp.

Loki's sculpt is an immaculate representation of Tom Hiddleston's character with one minor flaw, he lacks the long hair that flares out behind him. I suppose this is to get the helmet to fit on perfectly, which it does, but it's noticeably missing. Loki's coat and armor is extremely detailed with the same level of texture Cap has. His gesturing right hand tho unable to hold his staff is nice for effects such as reaching out or placing it on his hip.

Loki shares the same smooth and clean paint apps but again without any extras. Sharp eyes will notice his breastplate is gold instead of grey like in the film. Articulation is quite decent and he has a nice range of hip articulation with his tunic barely hindering his legs at all. He can even sit. While Loki shares the same great 45 deg ankles he only has a cut waist and a single ball jointed neck. Loki comes with quite a bit of extras like his helmet, staff (complete with Thanos' Mind Gem instead of the cosmic cube the 3 3/4" figure staff mistakenly had) his two-piece uniform and an interlocking stand.

The nicely sculpted stands can be configured different ways, stacked or linked together. But the pegs are situated too far back causing feet to stick out over the edge in most poses. With Cap it's not as noticeable since his peg holes are at his heels but with Loki they're more in the middle of his foot. The packaging serves its purpose and displays a quick character bio as well as pictures of the rest of the members.

So what's the verdict only these highly anticipated figures? They are some of the nicest sculpts I've seen come out of Marvel Legends. The articulation is amazing tho they lack the paint app extras we saw in the previous movie lines. If you're a Marvel Legends fan or just want some great movie figures for $14.99 snag these up. Finding them may be a problem for some as they are Walmart exclusives and need to be tracked down. Our sponsor Big Bad Toy Store has a limited amount preorderable but the majority will have to be found on the pegs.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Transformers Prime Vehicon Deluxe RID Figure Review

Transformers Prime is the all-CGI show featuring everyone's favorite Autobot and Decepticons re-imagined in interesting designs. And because a little collateral damage needs to be thrown in for the bad guys the Vehicon was introduced. A clone-army type soldier it comes in two flavors, flying and ground based. Here I'm reviewing the ground based Vehicon as the jet type comes out later and will have shared parts.

Sculpting for the Vehicon mold is sharp with lots of angles and edges. The headsculpt is particularly nice and features a purple light-pipe visor that works great. I like how the chest emblem and detail is under clear plastic. Those tall shoulders give off a dangerous vibe. The arms are a bit thin and it's a shame you can't spin the leg kibble around so the tires are showing in front like they have on the show. A customizer could mod that easily however by removing the purple stop-tab.

Articulation for Vehicon is excellent. His ball neck has good range, his shoulders can spread far apart, and his strange elbow joints allow for tons of movement. His knees don't quite bend 90 deg but one can shave some of the purple plastic off behind them for more range. There's no ankle articulation but the toe does move and it allows Vehicon to step well. There's no waist either but it looks like you could add one with proper measurement and adding a ball joint under chest. He unscrews easily.

Paint apps are clean and detailed on robot mode but somewhat sparse on the vehicle. Missing are the purple grill detail we saw on the proto so get out your paint brush. He's cast in a very nice dark purple plastic that almost looks black. Transformation is magical. Like Animated Lockdown, Vehicon's legs unfold to be the whole length of the car. The back grille pushes down/folds to make the head spring up. Everything simple enough you don't even need instructions and the end result looks great without being a shellformer or gimmickformer

Vehicon's wepon is a single blaster that can be positioned in different ways. On his shoulder, holding it as a gun, or fold up his hand and lock it on to his wrist. There's tabs on either wrist for this but I can only get it to snap on to the right one as it pops off the left. Vehicle mode reminds me of the Batmobile in a big way and feels really solid despite the folding leg panels making up 80% of the car. The blaster can be attached on the side via 5mm port.

So what's the verdict? This figure is a must-buy and in multiples. He's an army-builder but packed only one per case so getting him is going to be tough. Our sponsors Big Bad Toy Store gets him in but sells out fast as does Past Generation Toys. You might have to resort to Amazon or even Ebay for him right now.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Sen-ti-Nel Devilman Amon re:Creatures action figure review

Devilman is a character from a Japanese horror manga and later anime. While the original design was very tame almost Mazinger-ish, Devilman started to be interpreted into more of a monster through later artists. This figure is of Amon the demon fused with the main character to create Devilman. He's made by Sen-ti-nel and is the first in the line of re:Creatures. It's a Japanese import so tracking down this figure for a decent price may be tough. It's like you're looking at a statue here. The sculpting is far beyond that of normal figures and has texture on it of the likes which I have never seen before. From the segmented horns to the scaly wings that transition into leathery, everything sculpted is rendered in super-high-detail. I really like the facial expressions on the two different heads and the hands are excellent in both closed and open sculpts. The bendy tail holds superb detail as well.

Paint on this figure is nothing short of amazing except for the inner joints which were left factory plastic. This may not be a big deal but in some poses you'll see the tan joints at the ankle or shoulder peeking out. Otherwise this figure has been aibrushed, washed, shaded, and has a high-end statue quality paint job to it. The base, a dead demionic turtle is just as well done both in sculpt and paint making me wish it was a separate figure. It has creepy little faces for the shell.

Amon's Articulation is quite extensive and involves multiple ball joints in the chest and waist, neck, head, shoulder hinges and ball sections, then down to the hips and feet. He can crouch, leap, and his wings are jointed along with a really cool bendy tail. Care must be taken because the hinge joints are half-joints instead of full ones. Bending them sideways will snap them easily. But this figure is more for posing than play.

Speaking of posing you get a neat sectional display stand with a mechanical jointed arm to hold him in flying position. There's included pegs to attach multiple stands together. The turtle part is an extra piece that just sits there looking neat. Amon comes with two smaller wings, extra open mouth head, green flames for the mouth, and open clawed hands. Take care to heat the plastic before attaching them as they'll be a tight fit.

The verdict? If you're a fan of the series, want a cool monster, or can even find this guy, buy it. Only Ebay seems to see him pop up as every other online site/service has him out of stock. There's a repaint version, Devilman Sull you may want to check out as well.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Marvel Select Avengers Movie Hulk Figure Review

Normally I'm a comic-style collector. I do like watching movie designs on screen but generally stick to figures as they appear in the comics. Here the Marvel Select Avengers Hulk has broken me of that. I know he's Ruffalo Hulk and he doesn't have purple pants. I don't care. This is one nice figure. Standing at 10" tall this is one massive figure. He's weighty too, not as heavy as the Marvel Select Juggernaut but up there. Don't drop him on your foot.

Sculpting for Hulk is detailed but in a soft, smooth way. There's not a ton of texture to his skin but it's there just under the paint. I would have liked some fabric texture for the pants, they're quite smooth but the wrinkles and torn edges look nice enough. Hulk's face is really well done and his hair is a separate piece. I think all figures need this done as it really gives the Hulk dimension. He has two nicely sculpted fists at long last which fans have been asking for.

Paint work for the Hulk consists of a dark green plastic with a thick wipe of a lighter green paint with airbrushed shading. The dark plastic showing underneath can give his muscles a streaked look so choose the best paint job. It does work for the character, I just wish it was consistent. His pants are weathered and his mottled green nails look cool. Hulk's eyes and mouth are the best thing about the paint apps. They're really well done and you can see the reflective pupil dots.

Hulk's articulation is interesting. Right off the bat you'll notice he has DC Universe hing-hips. He also has new Marvel Universe/ML 45 deg ankle rockers. This allows him to do a complete split! The range on his shoulders and single jointed elbows is good and the neck/abdomen true ball joints allow for nice movement including tilt. Hulk's hips can't get 90 deg, more of a 45 deg stepping forward range. Seeing how bulky he is I suppose it was a trade off. His knees get better range and combined with the ankles makes for decent leg posing.

Hulk's scale against a Marvel Legends is huge, you may want him to crouch down a little. But if you're a fan of giant-comic-Hulks then he's definitely that standing at full height. He's more in scale next to his Marvel Select movie counterparts. But that doesn't stop him from being one awesome looking Hulk when placed on your shelf.Word of caution, hold his upper hips when moving his legs out or inwards at first. They tend to bend a little at the crotch and while they may not break the joint looks bit springy until they loosen up.

So what's the verdict? This may very well be the Hulk you're looking for. In my opinion he's the best we've gotten so far in terms of a standard Hulk even if he is a movie version. Customizers may want to paint his pants purple and give him a belt for that comic look. And at around $20 he's a heavy, well sculpted value. I plan to have him duking it out with my Marvel Select Juggernaut, if my shelf will hold that weight! You can pick Hulk up at our Sponsors Big Bad Toy Store and Past Generation Toys.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Transformers Terrorcon Cliffjumper AM-08 Micron Arms figure review

Takara is known for its Japanese line of Transformers and exclusives. They usually have chromed parts or metallic/extra paint applications. Here we have something radically different in the "Micron Arms" Transformers line. Terrorcon Cliffjumper AM-08 is being reviewed here, a clear purple 'zombie cliffjumper' we saw in red back at Botcon. These come boxed and include a minicon of sorts that you assemble yourself and sticker sheet for the figures.

Terrorcon Cliffjumper is the First Edition Cliff we missed out on. He has the transforming gun-hands and missing back kibble. But he is also molded in CLEAR PURPLE PLASTIC. While not show-accurate it's still incredibly cool. He sports a damaged zombie-head this time around and it's really nicely sculpted. This upper body of this mold looks a lot more like the Cliff in the show, especially the arms.

Articulation is great but differs from the regular release Cliffjumper I reviewed in two major ways. He has no waist movement and the knee/ankle range is less. If only they had combined the two designs. Otherwise Cliffjumper has great range of motion and superior arm design allowing him to aim anywhere. The lack of back kibble also aids in his overall look. The Japanese instructions make

Time to hunt the elephant in the room. The Micron Arms series come with only one color of paint and stickers for the rest. They're also paper foil stickers, the cheapest kind out there. You'll notice I've left off the stickers for most of Cliff's pictures. That's because they look pretty awful once applied. The majority of his stickers are the black windows which end up semigloss and speckled. There's a silver middle bumper piece but no silver stickers for either sides. Unless you want to paint the windows gloss black he just looks better clear purple.

The addition of the Micron Arms is a little Ravage-like character you build yourself. He comes on a plastic sprue and it's incredibly easy to remove the parts. They just sort of snap off with barely any flash. I only needed to rub my nail against the section, no knife-work needed at all. This is probably because the plastic is ABS and not styrene like most model kits. The cat/dog minicon flattens out into an axe or mounts as a chainsaw-claw attachment. These apparently can combine together and this particular one really reminds me of my Crash Test Dummy animals the way it collapses.

Alt mode for Terrorcon Cliffjumper is a nice muscle car similar to the regular release but with the addition of 5mm mech-tech ports on the hood and back of the car. This gives him a souped-up appearance and makes him a bit different looking from the First Edition version, especially at the shoulders where the ports bulk him up. Ravage-saw can be attached to the front port but looks kind of odd on the back ones. Other than that the mold appears unchanged and ald mode is quite nice.

What's the verdict? It's a First Edition-ish Cliffjumper with sub-standard paint apps and a build-it-yourself Minicon at a premium price. In his case the clear purple makes it worth it but only if you ignore the sticker factor and like the clear purple. I've seen the stickers applied to other figures and they're far less appealing than the usual Takara products. However these will make great custom fodder seeing as they're virtually cast in color and their minicons have to be assembled. Our sponsor Big Bad Toy Store has Cliffjumper here along with many others. You can also order the Microns/minicons separately.

GI Joe Sci-Fi 30th Anniversary/Renegades Action Figure Review

One of the longest running 1:18 scale figure lines has to be GI Joe. When people compare lines like Marvel Universe or Microman they often use the term "Joe-scale". Over the years Hasbro has bumped up the overall quality of the line. Here we take a look at a fan favorite, GI Joe laser trooper Sci-Fi. His package is the same as usual and he's shipped along with some GI Joe Renegades characters. The card art makes him look strikingly similar to Robocop in the mouth and facial expression department. STOP CREEP.

Sculpt for Sci-Fi is out of this world, if you'll excuse the pun. He does have re-use parts as do all of the current offerings and removing his vest reveals the Arctic Snake Eyes body and upper legs. But his head, helmets, and other parts are unique. They look incredibly detailed such as the armor plating on his legs and battery packs plugged into his thighs. The facial work and balaclava hood underneath stand out as they could have just molded him in-helmet.

Articulation for Sci-Fi is excellent. He has all the range of motion you'd expect from a Gi Joe including hinged wrists to aid in his laser-accuracy. Even though he's sporting some heavy gear and hoses there's no sacrifice in movement. Paint apps are detailed and tho he's mainly neon-green plastic there's two tones of silver, black straps, and other details that are painted with no slop at all.

Sci Fi's has not one but TWO helmets, one with the blast shield halfway up and fully closed. One could use the closed helmet for a trooper or biker custom easily and this was a great addition. His battery backpack and gun have little red dots where you connect the hose, perhaps meant as fiber optic? The sculpt on the laser rifle is great and it stores on his pack. There's plenty of paint work on the accessories which is surprising, good job Hasbro.

The verdict? I really have to say this is my favorite figure of the series so far. He has the nostalgia factor as I owned the original as a kid, comes in bright colors that still mix well, the updated design is fantastic, and all that combined with a great base body makes Sci-Fi a character to own. Our sponsor Big Bad Toy Store had him in stock but he disappears quickly. Amazon has him at a decent price and you might get lucky at a Walgreens or CVS pharmacy as they still stock this line at the time of this review.