Marvel Legends (The Watcher Wave): Sylvie by Hasbro

I’ve got just two more figures left to open in this What If? inspired assortment before I can finally build The Watcher BAF. I would have been happy to pair them up, but Sylvie doesn’t really have much connection to the What If? Doctor Strange, so I guess I’ll take them each in turn. I’m going with Sylvie first, because I have little to no interest in this figure, and I didn’t want to end the wave on a downer.

Which one of these is not like the other? It’s Sylvie! She hails from the LOKI Disney+ series and not from What If? like the rest of these figures. Now, in fairness, I didn’t particularly enjoy What If? but at least I was able to sit through most of it. I bailed on the LOKI series somewhere into the second or third episode, I honestly can’t remember which. Even though I absolutely adored Hiddleston as Loki in the MCU flicks, giving him his own series seemed like a really strange idea, and from what I watched of it, it seemed to undo a lot about what made him a cool character in the first place. Yeah, Disney has been all about deconstructing a number of their MCU heroes lately, and it’s a big part of why so little about it all interests me any more.

You can sure tell that Sylvie isn’t part of this wave’s running theme, since all the pretty bright colors are gone and we just get dark colors with a bit of two-tone green on the cloak to spruce things up. Still, given the source material, I think this is a pretty solid representation. The detail in the body suit sculpt is somewhat soft, with the laces on the boots looking a lot sharper, and there isn’t much else going on with the costume sculpt. I really like the look of the cloak’s fit, but as expected it completely hinders the articulation of the upper body, and even a bit in the legs, so I’m going to cast it off. The problem is once it’s gone, so goes what is the best looking thing about the figure to me.

Well, you still have the head, which I think is an excellent sculpt with a decent likeness to the actress playing Sylvie in the series. I’m not familiar with her from anything else, but I like what they did here. The hair piece has lots of different sculpted strands, which offers plenty of dynamic depth to the portrait, and her horned tiara has one broken horn. I think the man-bun is a little weird, but I’ll blame that on the show’s character design and not the figure. The halftone printing for facial features looks great. Hasbro generally has a lot of success with these MCU portraits lately, and Sylvie here is certainly no exception.

Of course, we’re back to the standard female Legends articulation with rotating hinges in the elbows and no bicep swivels. Everything else is standard stuff. Unfortunately, my figure has a terrible pull to the swivel joint at the top of her right boot, leaving a bad gap. I get these joint gaps from time to time, but they are usually in one of the bicep swivels. Either way, it’s a real bummer, but I guess if it had to happen in this wave, I’m lucky it was on the figure I care the least about. Sylvie comes with two sets of hands: One pair for holding her accessory, and the other pair includes a right fist and a left hand with splayed fingers.

The accessory is a really cool short sword. I don’t remember this from the series, but like I said, I only watched a couple of episodes. It has a falchion-like design with an ornate golden hilt and a green blade that absolutely pops as if it’s being illuminated. It’s just an all around awesome looking piece.

It really irks me that Hasbro included Sylvie in this assortment, especially now that they have revealed another Disney+ assortment with a mix of characters from What If? and other Disney+ shows with a BAF that I don’t care about. They should have kept the two separate, or at least given Sylvie’s slot to Zombie Iron Man or Zombie Scarlet Witch. Sure, she is actually a very nice figure, but there are a lot of very nice licensed figures out there that I don’t buy because I have no love for the character or property they represent. And truth be told, I would have easily skipped Sylvie if it weren’t for her BAF part, but then that’s the whole strategy behind BAFs in the first place, so bravo Hasbro… you win this round! But I’ll get the last laugh because I’ve gone from a completist in this line to now cherry picking figures and buying a lot less. I suppose I could just toss her on the MCU shelf and just call her MCU Enchantress. Whatever!

Transformers Legacy: Kickback by Hasbro

Well, it looks like a Hasbro trifecta this week, as I’ve gone from Marvel Legends to GI JOE Classified, and now to Transformers Legacy. But hey, I do collect an awful lot of Hasbro properties, so that’s bound to happen from time to time. Today I’m dipping back into Hasbro’s new(ish) line called Legacy, which has been keeping a lot of the G1 love rolling, and this time it’s with a brand new version of an old favorite Insecticon of mine!

Here he is in the rather colorful Legacy packaging…. We last saw Kickback released in the Titan Returns line as a Legends Class in about five years ago. HOLY CRAP, THAT WAS FIVE YEARS AGO!?! He was the final release in that Insecticon trio, and while I liked that figure a lot, Hasbro took too long to release all three and by the time we got to Kickback, they all had annoying differences in their colors and aesthetics. When I finally got to put them on the shelf together and they just didn’t feel like a cohesive team. Later that same year, I picked up Bad Cube’s unofficial Insecticon Trinity, known as the Evil Bug Corps. Soon thereafter Hasbro’s little bugs went into a tote and I haven’t seen them since. But I absolutely adore the Insecticons ever since they made their first appearance in the old cartoon, and I’m ready to see Hasbro take another crack at these bug bots, so let’s start with Kickback and his cyber-locust mode.

Just from handling this guy, you don’t have to see the robot mode, to tell that Hasbro remained VERY faithful to the design and engineering of the original toy. That could be good or bad, depending on your opinion of overly simple transformations. For me, one of the reasons I Loved the G1 Kickback figure so much was that he looked exactly like his Sunbow animated counterpart, he actually had decent articulation and felt like a real action figure, and he was quick to get from robot to bug and back, which made playing with him a lot of fun. And all that certainly applies here! Sure, the way his legs work has been tweaked, but in spirit everything here is the same as the original. The deco is simple and gorgeous, and black and purple one-two punch to the eyeballs is to die for, and the added yellow brings it to new heights. And while his yellow chest plate is perfectly visible on his back here, I’ll wait to talk about it until we get him transformed.

The only thing I am torn on here are those wings. Oh, they look really nice with their intricate sculpted patterns set upon clear plastic canvases. But, I really miss the silver, because it’s just such an iconic part of the original toy. The chrome present on the original toy is very noticeably absent here. I’ve decided that it’s not a deal breaker for me, and that’s probably just because these do look so nice. The gun storage, on the other hand, is such a wonderful bonus on this update. It plugs right up into his undercarriage and adds some nice firepower to locust mode. If you’re a fan of asymmetry, you can also mount it on either leg.

Kickback also comes with two energy sword-gun-things, which are designed to tab into his wings in the locust mode. These are cast in translucent purple plastic and they’re OK. I’ll never complain about some nice bonus accessories, but I’m never going to display him with them, so they’re pretty much lost on me. Actually, I’ll probably loan them out to other figures. Maybe two of the Legacy Stunticons. But, yeah I wish Hasbro had saved the plastic to give us two sets of wings and the ability to swap them out for two different display options. That would have been really cool. Let’s move on to his robot mode…

Awww, yeah! It takes only a few seconds to get him into robot mode, and what a killer mode it is! Kickback is a tad on the stout side, but apart from that this is just a beautiful homage to his original G1 toy. He has actual fists now, instead of claws cobbled from his insect legs, and while I didn’t realize it in time for most of these pictures, he actually has ankle tilts hidden up in them feets. But what I absolutely have to uncontrollably gush over is that yellow chest plate. It’s yellow-tinted clear plastic over what I assume is a silver painted plate under it, and it creates a gorgeous radiant glow, like he’s practically pulsating with energon. Holy shit, it’s just gorgeous, and I can’t wait to see Bombshell and Shrapnel get the same treatment. I imagine the only people who could gripe about the execution here is that it doesn’t open up as an homage to the diaclone pilot compartment from the original toy. The Decepticon insignia on his upper chest looks great, and I dig the addition of some red panels and yellow striping on his lower legs. Kickback even looks all closed up and polished from the back! What an amazing robot mode!

And the head sculpt is pure money! Hasbro went with the Sunbow style face, as opposed to that of the G1 toy, and I’m always happier when they go this route! He’s got some beautiful silver paint on his face and forehead, and his black “helmet” is flanked by his glorious yellow bug antenna. Yes, there’s a little silver overspray at the top of his bright red visor, but thanks to his pronounced brow, you have to get down low to really notice it. Thankfully, the rest of the paint is fine, but sometimes I worry about these silver faces exposed to the elements with no window to protect them in the packaging. I’ve been lucky so far, but I do buy most of these online and sight unseen, so it’s always a gamble now.

Kickback comes with a wonderful update to his original Electrothermic Blast Tube weapon, which is mostly silver, but also has some metallic purple on the muzzle and on the drum-style magazine. It’s a great looking gun and a very distinctive design!

And the sword-gun-thingies that we saw attached to his locust mode, can also be wielded as weapons in his robot mode. You can attach these to his arms as guns, or he can wield them like energon swords. Again, these are cool bonus accessories, but I don’t plan on using them. I would have much preferred Hasbro include some Energon Cubes instead of these.

Here are some comparison shots of Legacy Kickback with the Commemorative Collection G1 Reissue figure, and boy do I think he represents well! He’s a little bit bigger in locust mode and A LOT bigger in robot mode. Sure, the legacy version is missing a little of the pop from the stickers on the G1 toy, but still an absolutely great representation of one of my favorite G1 figures.

A few petty nitpicks aside, I am absolutely thrilled with how great Legacy Kickback came out. This is just another example of me retiring an older Transformers figure in favor of a newer update. He’s so much fun to zip in and out of locust mode, and to just play around with on my downtime. He’ll likely be on my desk for a while, before finding a home on the display shelves. Yeah, I may buy a second Kickback and have a go at coloring those wings, but we’ll see if the clear set grows on me. My only hope now is that Hasbro doesn’t wait a a couple years to finish the trio off, and that Bombshell and Shrapnel both show up with the same style chests, and an overall cohesive look for the team!

G.I. JOE Classified: Spirit Iron-Knife by Hasbro

It’s been too long since I dipped back into Hasbro’s outstanding GI JOE Classified series, and with some new figures stacking up in my backlog, it sure seems like a good time for me to get on that. Cobra has been getting a lot of the spotlight from me, so let’s have a look at one of the brand new JOEs… It’s Spirit Iron-Knife and Freedom!

If you’ve been away from GI JOE for a while, the name Spirit Iron-Knife may seem odd, but it’s just one of Hasbro’s little tricks to get around trademark legalities, by putting his real name on the box along with his Codename. My only gripe here is that I really do not like the character art they went with. It’s super stylized, and it just doesn’t stack up to some of the magnificent art we’ve seen on past packages. But, I mainly toss these boxes anyway, so it’s not a big deal. And I practically shredded this box, because I was so excited to finally get Spirit in this line. He was a fantastic release back in 1984, even though I’m pretty sure I didn’t get him until the following year. But once I had him, Spirit was on just about every team of JOEs I assembled, usually as a tracker, and often stepping in and picking off Cobra troops when his teammates got captured. I absolutely loved this guy!

And here’s Spirit out of the box and ready for action! And man, did Hasbro do a bang-up job on this update! Spirit hits all the right points of his vintage figure, from the high boots and khaki trousers to the blue shirt, rolled up sleeves, and red undershirt peeking out from the collar. This new figure sports the correct shoulder insignia, as well as the brown sheath slung vertically off the left side of his chest. The update adds a cross-strap and shoulder rig to hold the sheath. as well as a utility belt, and a regular belt with a bright silver buckle. The cross-strap has a couple of grenades sculpted onto it, which were sculpted as part of the shirt on the vintage figure, as well as that weird gizmo on his right shoulder that all the Classified JOEs have. Honestly, the only thing we’re missing here is the white feather necklace seen sculpted onto the original figure. I’m surprised they aren’t here, but I suspect something like that would be simple to make for him.

The backpack is a complete redesign from his old green one. Now it’s a mix of black and khaki, and instead of being stacked with arrow cartridges, we get four compartments, a peg for his rifle to hang off the side, and a perch for Freedom, but more on that in a bit!

And how about that portrait! This may be one of my favorite head sculpts in the Classified line to date. The definition in his facial features are splendidly realized, giving him a stoic, all-business visage. He has a thick, black hair, with one ear exposed, and a sculpted red bandanna, with some strands of hair spilling out of it and streaming down behind his left cheek. There are sculpted braids, which hand down over each shoulder, with red ties on the end. This is no doubt the face of Spirit! Let’s move on to his gear!

It may not be a surprise that Charlie Iron-Knife does love him some knives! Spirit comes with two combat blades, one stored in the chest sheath, and the other on a sheath that’s strapped to his left thigh. The former is a fancy knife with some patterns on the blade. I’m not sure if that’s supposed to signify a Damascus blade or a flint blade, but it sure looks cool. I only wish they had painted the hilt white to match the one sculpted on the original figure. The second knife is just a standard combat variety, similar to what we’ve seen other Classified JOEs carrying. Both his hands are gun-hands, but he can still hold the knives fairly well, if not quite as secure as I would like.

Next up, Spirit comes with an automatic pistol as a sidearm, which is stored in a holster double-strapped to his right thigh. It’s a decent sculpt, molded all in black, and I love it. There’s no sci-fi crap to the design, and it actually looks like a straight up Desert Eagle. Quite a nice addition, since the original figure didn’t come with a sidearm.

Possibly one of the biggest departures from the vintage figure is found in Spirit’s rifle. The original figure came with a scoped rifle that fired arrows. I never really got what it was all about, so I’m actually glad to see that Classified Spirit comes with a more traditional combat rifle. This beauty is mostly black, but with a brown foregrip, a suppressor on the muzzle, and a pretty serious looking scope. The magazine is even detachable, and I always love that! Yeah, some fans may be disappointed to not get an update to his classic weapon, but that thing never really became all that iconic to me.

And last, but certainly not least, Spirit comes with his trusty winged companion, Freedom! I really love what Hasbro did with this figure, and yeah it really is a figure all it’s own. There’s articulation in the upper legs, swivels in the feet, articulation in the neck, and the wings are on ball joints with a set of spread wings for flight, and tucked wings for chillin’. There are pegs in Freedom’s feet that allow him to perch on the backpack, and Spirit also has something like a Falconer’s Gauntlet on his left arm with peg holes for him to perch there as well!

Wow! Spirit turned out to be an absolutely fantastic figure, and he’s certainly high up there among my favorite JOEs in the line so far. Hasbro did a nice job paying respects to a lot about what made the vintage figure so special, while also tossing in a few new updates here and there. The fact that they were able to give him a solid assortment of weapons, in addition to decently articulated Freedom, really showcases the sense of value I get out of these figures. Especially when I see the price of Marvel Legends creeping up there. I guess it makes all the difference when you own the license yourself!

Marvel Legends (The Watcher Wave): Heist Nebula by Hasbro

Welcome friends, to another Marvel Monday, as I continue my trek through The Watcher Wave of Marvel Legends! Yes, I really am this far behind! This assortment is largely inspired by the Disney+ What If? series, which didn’t really hold my interest the first time I tried to watch it. However, in the interest of being a good host, I’ve been trying to re-watch some of the episodes before checking out the corresponding figures, but I can’t say the results have been all that much different. I just don’t think these Disney+ Marvel series and I are ever going to click. But, let’s press on and have a look at what Hasbro is calling Heist Nebula…

Yeah, I should have paired Nebula up with T’Challa Star-Lord when I reviewed him, but I didn’t have enough time to cover two figures that week, so they each get their own chance at the spotlight. The Heist part of her moniker refers to Nebula’s scheme to steal The Embers of Genesis from The Collector in the What If T’Challa became Star-Lord episode. As I said last time, the episode plays with some cool ideas, also has some real dumb ones, and once again it was a struggle for me to really stay interested. A lot of the OMG, STAR-LORD, YOU’RE THE GREATEST got old fast and I actually laughed out loud when Nebula first showed up looking like a recolor of Jessica Rabbit. Anyway… Nebula comes with the body and some other costume parts for The Watcher Build-A-Figure, which was remains my main motivation for buying this wave.

If there’s been one running theme in my reaction to the figures in this wave, it has to be the colors. They’ve all been such beautifully colored figures, and Nebula here is no exception. It may seem like a strange thing to start out with, but dammit, the purple of the outfit, the electric blue shade of her skin, and the bright blonde hair, all just make for such a striking deco. I think these figures look a lot more vibrant than most of the characters did on screen, and that’s a good thing! The sculpt is excellent, giving us lots of little details and textures in the costume, making this figure look like she would fit right in with the MCU or modern comic Legends releases. Which is odd, because they went in the exact opposite direction with Star-Lord, making him mostly smooth and stylized. But I’ll swing back to that at the end.

The portrait looks absolutely fantastic when viewed with the naked eye, but the hair has a lot of issues when you punch in close with the camera. There’s a lot of weird blemishes to the paint, and quite a bit of mold flashing. Still, these aren’t problems outside of extreme closeups, so I’m fine with it. Obviously, they were going for a stark contrast from the borg-ified version of MCU Nebula, and it works pretty well, although I’m pretty sure Sue Storm wants her MILF hair back. The hair is sculpted separately from the head to give it some nice depth, as it covers her left eye entirely. As for the face sculpt, I absolutely love the shape of the nose, and the lovely little smirk they gave her. Very pretty!

The articulation is a return to the standard female form, which is a bit disappointing after the proper double-hinged shoulders and bicep swivels we got with Captain Carter. As a result, she only sports 90-degree flex in those elbows. It’s not like I really thought that was going to be a running change, but hey a collector can hope, right? Everything else in the articulation is fine, except for the feet, which do that weird thing where the heels aren’t attached to anything, as the hinge is further up the foot and at the front of the ankle. These can make getting the right manipulation of the ankle difficult for some poses, and it’s just weird. Nebula comes with two sets of hands, one pair of gun-toting hands, one left fist, and one right hand with splayed fingers.

Yup, two gun-hands, but only one gun, which is kept in a functional holster on the right hip of her gun belt. The gun belt looks great, but it rides up when you put the figure in wide stances, which tends to happen when a piece like this is sculpted separately to float on the hips. I dig the futuristic sculpt of the gun, but the trigger guard is so narrow, she can barely get her trigger finger through it. At first, I thought it might have been squished, but I think that’s really how it’s supposed to be.

Heist Nebula is a gorgeous looking figure, with just a few areas presenting opportunities for polish and improvement. But I think the biggest issue for some people who are enthusiastic about this Wave may be the jarring difference in style between this one and Star-Lord. When checking out Star-Lord, I mentioned that he was so stylized that he felt like he belonged in a different line entirely, and I think that’s super apparent when you put these two figures together. And yet, they’re pulled from the same episode and animated in the same style. Still, overall I love what they did here, and while I’m not sure where she’ll end up in my Legends display, she’s a welcome addition to the collection!

Doom Eternal: Classic Doom Slayer by McFarlane Toys

It’s hard for me to think of a video game franchise that has stayed as consistently fantastic as Doom. It’s one of those games that I can vividly remember playing for the first time when it was released, and it’s crazy to look back at how unnerved playing it made me. Little did I know what was to come! The series spawned some amazing sequels and map packs, before going away for a while. It came back as Doom 3, and while this wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea, I thought it was a pretty great game, albeit a very new direction for the series. The modern updates, Doom and Doom Eternal, would eventually deliver that one-two punch of pure visceral action that most fans were looking for, and these two remain among my favorite video game updates of all time. I’d go so far to consider the 2016 release of Doom about as perfect a game as I have ever played. Crazy to think that until now I didn’t have any Doom toys, right?

Well, in fairness there haven’t been a whole bunch. Heck even Quake II did a lot better on that front. McFarlane eventually scooped up the license, and it took me until their release of the Classic Doom Slayer to get me to bite. Truth be told, I’m not a huge fan of McFarlane’s figures, but I thought The Witcher releases turned out pretty good, and so I’ve been picking up a few of their other figures here and there. Doom Slayer comes in a window box with a giant gold sticker, proclaiming this as part of their Gold Label Collection. I honestly have no idea what that means. I’ll also point out that this is released under the Doom Eternal license, because the Classic Doom look was available as an unlockable skin. Let’s check out Mr. Doom Guy!

Out of the package, I think this guy looks pretty sweet, even with one glaringly non-authentic element. McFarlane built him like a tank, which he would have to be to face the unending onslaught of hell demons. I am not at all a fan of the Predator-style shoulder cannon, as it’s just a little too much on the nose and looks really out of place with the Classic gear, but the rest is just fine. This cleaner and simpler look really scratches my itch when compared to the hyper-detailed look of the modern Doom Slayer armor. Hell, I love how OG Doom Guy is barely even wearing much armor. Hell, he’s got short sleeves, and a little exposed window in his gut that basically says, “Dear Hellspawn, Please Slash Here! Go On… Try It!” His upper body is kitted out with shoulders and protective hear not unlike that of a Football player. And even this setup is bulkier than what we saw him wearing in the original art, but it still looks great to me, complete with the wear and tear sculpted into the armor. The military-style trousers have some very nice detail in the stitching and the various rumples and wrinkles. He’s got some heavy duty knee pads, and some big chonky boots. The belt is nice too, with sculpted pouches and some ammo across the front of his waist.

If the sculpt takes a few liberties, I think the colors really nail the original look quite brilliantly. The bright green on the upper body really pops and contrasts with the darker greens used for the rest of the fatigues. The flesh tone for the exposed skin looks nice, and you get some additional silver paint hits for the fixtures and snaps on his gear. I really dig this deco!

And the helmet! Oh, boy do I love this helmet! You get the grill on top, the chonky cheeks, and the snout-like breathing unit on the front. It’s a nice mix of functional design and possibly intentional intimidation factor. The silver-gray paint looks sharp without looking shiny and new, and the sculpt has plenty of battle wear, including scrapes and some pock marks. The visor is exceptionally well done, in that it has a bit of a clouded look to it, and while it’s completely opaque matte paint, it almost looks like if you get in close enough you could catch a glimpse through it.

If there’s one place this figure stumbles it’s in the accessories. Doom Guy should have an arsenal at his disposal, and the figure only includes a gun and an arm blade attachment. And yes, the arm blade is the same one that came with McFarlane’s regular Doom Slayer, and it doesn’t really belong on this Doom Guy. Oh what I wouldn’t give for a chainsaw! Still, it looks really cool, and it’s a beautifully sculpted piece, so it’s hard to get mad at it. Plus, it’s entirely removable if you’d rather not display the figure with it. When all is said and done, I believe I will leave it on him.

And that brings us to the Doom Eternal Super Shotgun with the meat hook attachment. Once again, it’s a beautiful accessory and a very nice representation of the weapon from the game. And yet this one pisses me off, because the least McFarlane could have done was sculpt us a Classic Super Shotgun for this figure. I’ll also toss it out there that with the limited range in the elbow articulation, he can’t really pose with it all that well, nor could I get his off-hand to cradle the foregrip.

And finally, you do get a standard McFarlane figure stand, and these things are just the bare minimum worst. It’s a black disc with a peg and the Doom logo stamped on it. These always seem too small for the figures, and I’m not even bothering to take it off the packaging.

Yeah, I’m kind of missing the point of this figure, since it is emphatically not supposed to be the Doom Guy from the original game. But I knew that going in, and tried keeping that in mind while taking a look at him. I would have liked a legit release of the original Doom Guy, and this is simply my consolation prize, and it’s a damn nice figure at that. I’d definitely be down to pick up some of the Demons from the game if McFarlane committed to making a bunch of them, but for now I think this figure will be a one-off for me to place in my Gaming Room.

Marvel Legends (The Watcher Wave): Zombie Captain America and Zombie Hunter Spidey by Hasbro

It’s another Marvel Monday, and I am continuing to work my way through the What If? inspired Watcher Wave! And just in case I don’t manage to squeeze in all three reviews this week, I’m doubling up today with a look at both figures from the Marvel Zombies episode. I decided to actually try to watch these again before reviewing the rest of the figures, and while I thought this episode had a strong opening, I still wound up wandering away from the TV to do dishes, scoop cat litter, or otherwise keep me occupied. For a 30 minute show, that’s not a great endorsement, but I don’t think it was all bad.

Hasbro gave us two figures in the wave based off of this episode, and I can’t help but think they should have just made this episode the entire wave. Or at the very least, I think Zombie Wanda should have been included over Zombie Hunter Spidey. At the very least we could have got an Ant-Man head in a jar with Cap, since he doesn’t come with a BAF part, but I’m guessing Hasbro predicted he would sell just as well without one.

And it was a pretty good call, because this is a fantastic figure! All the zombies in the episode looked really cool, and Hasbro really nailed it when bringing this creepy Cap to action figure form. Despite the animated style, there’s plenty of great detail here, both in the costume, and in his damaged zombie bits. There’s a ton of new sculpting here to depict Cap’s traditional MCU-style outfit tattered and shredded. He’s got one boot on, and the other ashen foot bare with the scraggly bits of the pants leg hanging down. Likewise, his left sleeve is torn off at the shoulder. All the distress to the uniform looks great!

But what really looks exceptional are the gaping holes in his legs, where you can see clear through between the tattered uniform and his exposed bone. That is so cool!!! There’s some blood and meat hanging around these wounds, and you also get a bit of exposed ribcage peeking out of the hole under his left armpit. There’s some blood spray around the wound and some more spray on his bicep and shoulder. I also dig the yellowed tint of the usually white area around his abs. Beyond that I dig the sculpting on his belt and shoulder harness, and the gold paint on his chest star and the rest of the fixtures. This is just an amazing sculpt, with some damn nice paint to back it up.

And the head sculpt is no slouch either! You can see through torn sinews in his jaw, which is a very nice touch. His mouth looks to be sculpted from a separate piece and stuck into his undead maw. The helmet also looks like it’s sculpted separately from the rest of the head, giving it some nice definition, and I love his broken chin strap just hanging down in the breeze. His pupiless eyeballs look appropriately spooky and there’s blood splatter on his chin and neck. Simply fantastic!

And since even undead super soldiers need their trusty shield, Cap comes with his. It’s red, silver, and blue colors still shine, but like its bearer, it’s been splattered with blood for a nice effect. The interior has the usual double strap to slip his rotting arm through. This is an absolutely fantastic figure, and my only minor gripe is that they didn’t make it so you could pull him apart at the waist. Probably asking a bit too much, but it would have been cool nonetheless. Let’s move on to Spidey…

Zombie Cap is a tough act to follow, and while this version of Spider-Man isn’t as impressive, it’s still a surprisingly nice figure. We get what is essentially an animated-style version of the MCU Spidey Suit, and it looks really nice! I want to say this is most like the suit from Homecoming, but to be honest, he’s had so many in just three films, that it’s hard for me to keep track. Either way, I love the coloring here, with the bright red and pale blue, interspersed with some heavy black borders. The sculpted web design doesn’t have a wash to bring it out, but that might have been to give it more of an animated look. He does have some weathering to the suit, I guess to signify his tribulations through the zombie apocalypse. These don’t look bad, but I could have easily done without them entirely.

You get both a masked and unmasked head included. The unmasked portrait is a decent animated approximation of Tom Holland. It’s not bad, it’s not exceptional. Maybe I’m spoiled after the Peggy Carter portrait.

The masked head is also somewhat unremarkable, but certainly not bad. I dig the extra big eyes, but the lack of wash in the webbing sticks out here. This head on my figure was also a really tight fit on the ball joint.

The lack of the extra crunches in the shoulders here is unfortunate, as I’ve come to expect those with my Legends Webheads, but that’s not to say that otherwise the articulation is anything but exceptional here. You do get two sets of hands: One pair of fists and one pair of thwippy hands. I really dig the pronounced webshooter bracelets on this figure, even though it’s hard to line them up with the thwippy hands all the time.

And Zombie Hunter Spidey does indeed come with Doctor Strange’s Cloak of Levitation. It looks like an entirely new sculpt, as it fits the figure very well, despite not actually pegging in anywhere. This was kind of a blink and you miss it moment in the episode where the Cloak landed on Spidey’s shoulders, which makes for an odd reason to make the figure. Then again, I was doing other things while watching, so maybe I missed something.

For a wave based on a show that I really don’t care much about, I confess that these figures have been really good. Zombie Cap features some fantastic sculpting and paintwork, and definitely has me craving some more Marvel Zombies from the episode. As for Spidey, I wasn’t convinced that putting him in Strange’s cloak would make me want this figure, but to be fair, it’s a very nice effort even without the Cloak, and I’m glad to have him!

Star Trek “Starships Collection:” Deep Space Nine by Eaglemoss

What’s this? Two consecutive weeks of Star Trek content? Well, as our beloved Doctor McCoy once jested, “It never rains, but it pours!” Today’s review has been on my mind for two reasons. Firstly, Eaglemoss has fallen on bad financial times, and the outlook for the company seems pretty dire. I guess we had plenty of clues, what with them running such deep discounts on product lately. Also, Deep Space Nine departed Netflix at the beginning of this month, and so I spent a great deal of June binging my favorite episodes, and I guess I’ll just have to hunt down a used set of the DVDs, because there’s no way in hell I’m paying for CBS/Paramount’s streaming service and have even the slightest possibility of any of their current garbage Trek shows violating the sanctity my home. Ahem… rant over. Let’s take a look at Eaglemoss’ Deep Space Nine model!

I titled this review as being part of their Starship Collection, but I don’t know if that’s accurate, since DS9 obviously isn’t a Starship, but let’s just go with that as an umbrella title covering all their Trek models. This is one of their big boys, with the model itself measuring at roughly 6-inches across. It’s too small to be in scale with Eaglemoss’ smaller ships, but if you have some Trek Micro Machines lying around, that will be a little closer. I’ve actually seen pictures of this model with a tiny Enterprise-D docked at it, but I’m not sure if that was an exclusive, or just something that didn’t make it into the final release. The station comes in a fully enclosed box and nestled between two styrofoam bricks. The only assembly required involves popping the stand together, and you get a nice color magazine-style booklet detailing some lore about the station, both behind the scenes, and in front of the camera.

And here’s DS9 all set up, and it’s amazing to me just how iconic this old Cardassian station has become to me. One look, and I can’t help but hear the melancholy, yet slightly triumphant, theme song swell up in my ears. And I can imagine a tiny Chief O’Brian running around inside trying to hold the thing together. The show creators took a lot of risks, not only setting this series on a space station rather than a starship, but on an alien station, stripping the show of almost any Federation comfort and familiarity. It sure was a gamble, and it paid off in spades. This old station saw some unprecedented growth for the Trek franchise, and showed us a new side of the Trek Universe, which TNG could only hint at. Suffice it to say, I absolutely love the design of Terok Nor, with it’s inhospitable arching tendrils, concentric circles, and jagged edges. It looks like some kind of bizarre sea creature floating in space. And boy, did Eaglemoss do a great job bringing that design to this model!

The mix of diecast metal and plastic gives the model a nice heft, while still allowing for some very sharp detail. Each of the tiny docking ports are present around the outer ring, you get the tiny hatches on the inner towers, signifying the hidden location of the torpedo launchers, and some really nice sculpting around the inner habitat ring. I think my favorite details on the whole model are the painted triangular cut-outs that show some more intricate details inside.

Eaglemoss really punched things up for the central core and Ops area. The three tiny deflector shield emitters are present, and actually a bit fragile too! I had to straighten mine a bit when it came out of the box. You can even make out the tiny windows of The Promenade, from where so many of the inhabitants have watched the Wormhole open and close.

flip down to the undercarriage, and I found this area particularly interesting, since we didn’t often get a good look at it in the series. Here the station’s main fusion reactor hangs down, suspended by the power transfer conduit. We get some nice red paint surrounding this area, along with a central nub jutting out from the middle. The stand here is very well done, and consists of the same combination of translucent plastic stand and black diecast base, which cradles the station underneath, offering sturdy support without interfering with the look of the model.

I’ve been after a new Deep Space Nine model ever since I lost my Playmates version when moving from NJ to Florida way back when. That was a very nice representation, and it included some lights and sounds, but I’m content to have this beauty take its place. I find that the size of this model is a perfect balance between being large enough to offer a good bit of detail, but small enough to fit on a shelf and not take up too much real estate. The original MSRP for the station was around $80, but I picked mine up during one of the half-off sales, and that was a deal that even a Ferengi would be envious of! I’ll be very sad to see Eaglemoss go, assuming they can’t restructure, but happily I’ve still got a whole lot of their models to check out here in the future!

Masters of the Universe Origins: Stridor by Mattel

My MOTU Origins backlog may not be nearly as bad as other lines, but there’s still a few things I’m behind on. Case in point, poor Stridor has been waiting to be opened for a while now, and it’s well past time we let this mecha-horsey out of the stable. And boy am I excited! I love animals, and I love robots, so it stands to reason that I love robot animals like Stridor!

The packaging for this line continues to kick all sorts of ass, thanks in no small part to the vintage-style artwork on the extended back panel. It shows He-Man charging into battle atop Stridor while Fisto gets ready to lay down some righteous fist on Skeletor, who approaches in The Roton! Oh yeah, baby! The Origins Roton is coming! Ah, but let’s not take any thunder from Stridor, because he looks all sorts of awesome on display in that window box! Give me a sec to carefully open this box (because it’s a keeper!) and let this electric equine out to trot!

Stridor comes out of the box more or less assembled. You really just have to attach his front guns and he’s good to go. The design is very faithful to the original vintage toy, but with a bit more detail in the sculpt, and now fully articulated legs! You still get the mostly brown body with some lovely silver paint on the neck, head, and ass. You also get some additional silver paint picking out the joints and hydraulics on the legs, which looks quite nice! The orange here looks a lot brighter than what I remember from the vintage toy, and I certainly dig that. The tail, front guns, and head armor all add some bright red to the colors, making this figure’s deco pop brilliantly! What a fantastic looking toy this is!

In addition to the sculpted vents and mechanical bits and bobs, the toy makes use of some well placed stickers to add some detail. These include the vents between the legs on the front, the instruments on the back of the seat and in front of the ass-cannon, the dash board controls, and the heraldic images on each side of the body. I’m not sure what the collector consensus is on the stickers, but I really dig them. They evoke the feel of the vintage toys, and I’m sure they help to keep the cost down on these toys as well.

Stridor comes with the vintage-style armor for his head, which can be removed and swapped out with a more modern look. The modern armor covers more of the head, encompassing the nose and adding holes for the robot horse to… breath? I dunno… maybe that’s where he expels exhaust. There’s a lot more sculpted detail in this armor, including interlocking scales around the top of the neck, and overlapping plates on the snout. The longer spike and the shape of the eyeholes conspire to make him look a lot more aggressive. I like them both, but I think I’ll go with the vintage one for display.

The added articulation in the legs is a welcome treat, with three joints in each leg: At the top, knees, and ankles. The back legs are also ratcheted, so they can easily hold Stridor as he rears up on them. The figure is also balanced well enough to pose like this without any support, which is pretty damn cool. There’s a little articulation in the neck, but not a lot of movement there. Stridor’s jaws will open and snap shut again, so watch your fingers when you’re feeding him sugar cubes, or energon cubes, or whatever! The ass-cannon can turn left and right, and the two front guns can raise and lower a little. I do have a bit of a gripe with the front guns, as they have a habit of falling out when rotated.

Naturally, Stridor has room for a rider, with the rider’s legs going into the body, more like a car than a horse. It works really well, and Stridor can pretty much handle any of the normal Origins figures. Sorry, Ram Man… Not you! You have to walk! Or bounce, or whatever the hell it is you do! Stridor comes with a set or reins, which are made out of rope and has a plastic bit that goes in his mouth, and two handles for the rider.

You also get some blast effect parts to go over the three guns. These are cast in translucent blue plastic, and they’re kind of big. It’s nice to have display options, but I just don’t know about these. I doubt I’ll use them much.

And finally, Stridor comes with a little stable, which consists of a green stone floor and a couple of hitching posts. It’s a cool extra, but I wish they had added a computer or something to make it look like Man-At-Arms could run diagnostics on him or program him or whatever. Maybe I’m being greedy. It’s fine.

The base also has an optional stand, which can hold Stridor in action poses, and that’s very cool!

I paid $30 for this magnificent robo-steed, which I think is the actual MSRP, and I think that’s a damn fine deal considering his size and all he comes with. Indeed, Stridor encapsulates everything that’s fun about the Origins line. He’s a big and satisfying toy, with plenty of display options. He’s a great figure all by himself, but he also interacts really well with the regular figures, giving them yet another option for riding into battle against Skeletor and his minions of evil. Now, bring on Night Stalker! God, I love this line!

Marvel Legends (The Watcher Wave): T’Challa Star Lord by Hasbro

Sorry, for crapping out on Friday content last week. At this point it would probably be best to assume I’m going to be missing a day here and there until I start feeling like myself again. Anyway, last week I started in on The Watcher Wave of Marvel Legends with Captain Carter, and today I’m going to check out T’Challa as Star Lord!

As I mentioned last time, I couldn’t get into the What If? series on Disney+, which these figures are based on. I had it on in the background while I was cleaning up around the house, and there were only a couple episodes that inspired me to sit down and watch for a while. I honestly thought the T’Challa Star Lord episode had some interesting ideas, but it still didn’t keep me hooked for the whole thing. Did I mention that I mainly bought this wave of figures for The Watcher BAF? Well, Captain Carter turned out great, so let’s see if the same can be said for T’Challa here.

So, straightaway, I’ll say that I like the stylized look of this figure. Captain Carter’s design works fine in with my MCU or comic based figures, but with T’Challa here, there’s no mistaking that this is intended to be an animated, or at the very least stylized comic-based figure. The limbs are a little over-contoured, and the whole figure has a clean and shiny vibe about him that screams modern animation. I also dig the colors here. The purple vest with gold accents looks very sharp, and contrasts nicely with the gray suit and brown high boots. The whole costume design is pretty damn cool, and has a polished futuristic vibe that I think works brilliantly. It’s definitely a departure from Peter Quill’s rough-and-tumble look. Unfortunately, all of that also makes this figure feel like a one-off, but I’ll discuss that more at the end.

Likewise, the portrait is an animated style through and through. I love it when viewed from the front, but in profile, I think they exaggerated the contours a bit too much. Even still,, it’s a well put together sculpt with some very clean paint, and I’d say the good definitely outweighs the bad here, and this is a nice animated homage to the Chadwick Bozeman likeness.

You also get a second head, with T’Challa wearing the Star Lord helmet. The helmet is clearly based on the MCU design worn by Peter Quill, with the main difference being the purple lenses in the goggles, which match the figure’s coat, and the gray and gold matching the rest of the outfit. It looks pretty snazzy.

You only get one set of hands here, and they are sculpted to hold the included pistols. These hands are pretty big, and they make me wish Hasbro had included a pair of fists with the figure as well. Come to think of it, I also wish the figure had tabs on the hips to holster his pistols like the Peter Quill figure had. Like the helmet, the pistol sculpts are based off of the MCU designs carried by Quill, and these too have been treated to a purple, gray, and gold paint job to accessorize them with his outfit. And once again, they look very snazzy!

I like the way this figure turned out, but it really doesn’t have a place in my collection, and I probably would have passed on it if it weren’t for The Watcher’s noggin being included in the package. I think Hasbro did a fine job here, but with the heavily animated style, he’s just going to look out of place on whatever shelf I put him. Indeed, he looks like he’s from a different action figure line completely. Hell, I couldn’t even think of any other figures to put him with, as I usually do a group shot at the end of the review. I kind of wish they had bridged the aesthetics gap a bit more with this figure, like they did with Captain Carter, but then I think a lot of what makes this figure as interesting as it is would have been lost. In the end, I suppose I’ll just group the What If? figures together in a corner and them all hang as a group.

ReAction Star Trek: The Next Generation (Wave Two) by Super7

It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost exactly one year since I checked out Super7’s first wave of Star Trek TNG ReAction figures. Well, minus Guinan, because I decided to wait to see if she turns up on clearance. The second wave has now hit and I’m back to check out this new assortment, but again minus one figure, because these are damn expensive and I’m trying to at least be a little selective. There are five figures here to look at, which more or less round out the main cast, so let’s get started!

This wave consists of Riker, Troi, LaForge, Dr. Crusher, and Q, as he appeared in his judge robes from the very first and last episodes. Also included in the wave was Armus, the tar creature who killed Lt. Yar on Vagra II. I skipped Armus because he’s just a one-off alien in a very terrible episode, and the figure didn’t look so hot anyway, but I’ll keep an eye out for him turning up on the cheap. I also thought it was in bad form to include the creature that killed Yar before even making Yar. I could also point out that while the crew are all depicted in their later season uniforms, Q and Armus are both from the first season, which just makes no sense to me at all.

The card designs are the same as the first wave, and they’re absolutely fantastic. You get the familiar TNG title logo up at the top with the Enterprise-D speeding out of the card with warp streaks all around it. Each card is personalized with individual character art inside a Delta insignia. The character art appears to be original and it looks great. There’s also some foil on the cards, which gives them a premium look, and they damn well should considering the price. I generally keep all my ReAction figures carded, and I was tempted to do so with these, but I opened the first wave, so let’s tear into these and check them out!

Starting out with Riker and LaForge, these figures utilize the same body that we saw last time for Worf, Picard, and Data. It’s unfortunate, since the cast were all very different heights, and Riker should not be as tall as LaForge. Sorry, but this kind of recycling would be acceptable on $10 retro figures, but not at nearly double that price. The paint on these are also not as tight as the first wave. Both of these figures have weird smudges on their backs, and LaForge has smudging on the front of his tunic as well. As expected, all the figures in this wave have the retro-style five points of articulation. And yeah, they should have given Riker one articulated knee, so he could do his signature pose.

Riker’s head sculpt isn’t great, but I guess it’s acceptable for a retro line like this. I like his blue eyes, but for some reason he looks a bit like an adult Wesley Crusher, which kind of makes me laugh. LaForge’s, on the other hand, is really quite good. Sure, he’s more recognizable because of his visor, but I think they did a great job on his facial features too. Both heads have paint issues, but Riker made out better with just some stray marks on his face. LaForge’s is an absolute mess, with silver paint from the visor on his nose and up near his eyebrows. It’s a shame, because the sculpt deserved better paint. Normally, I’m not very critical of paint on 3 3/4-inch figure portraits, because I punch in pretty close for these pictures, but the problems here are all noticeable with the figure in hand and viewed by the naked eye.

The ladies offer all new sculpting, but they do also share the same arms. The legs are almost the same, but Crusher’s have the bottom parts of her lab coat added. As a result, you have the same height issues going on, but in this case Troi is actually a bit taller than Crusher, because of her wall of hair. With that having been said, both of these sculpts are excellent for the line, and the paint here is actually not bad, making them stand out from the piss-poor paint on the dudes. They didn’t quite capture the magical contours of Troi’s tushie, but it is a retro line, so I’ll let it go. I am glad they put Crusher in her lab coat, and I think they did a great job working it into the retro sculpt. It would have been interesting to see them try it as a Kenner-style vinyl cape, but I’m not sure that would have worked.

The portraits here are pretty solid. I think Troi made out a little better in the likeness, but Crusher isn’t bad for a retro line. They also did a nice job with their hair. My only big complaint with Crusher is that she isn’t Dr. Pulaski. Crusher was easily the weakest character of the show to me, and I thought bringing in Pulaski punched things up a lot. Boy, was I pissed off when she only lasted one season. I would definitely have to buy a ReAction Pulaski if they made her, and then I could disappear Crusher!

And finally, we have Judge Q, and this is an excellent figure. I’m not sure the likeness is really there, but the costume is so distinctive, that there’s no denying who this is supposed to be. The robes are implemented in a fashion similar to Kenner’s Obi-Wan or Emperor, and they looks great. I like the paint and detail on his necklace, and all around this is solid work.

One of my big gripes with this line last time around was the lack of accessories, as all you got were some phasers. Here we have one step forward and one step back. Riker and LaForge come with the same phasers we saw last time, and they still can’t hold them very well. Crusher comes with a medical tricorder, and Troi and Q come with nothing. I’m fine with Troi and Q not including accessories, but that meant we should have had more come with the others. Could we at least get a diagnostic tool for LaForge? And maybe a regular tricorder so I could give it to Data? Not having a tricorder for Data pisses me off all the more when I see what a great job they did with Crusher’s medical tricorder. It may not look like much in the picture, but it’s so damn tiny that I think it’s impressive work. Either way, it’s not cool to skimp on accessories when you’re charging $18 a pop for 5-POA figures.

And last time I checked out these figures with Galoob’s Shuttlecraft, as both lines were scaled roughly the same. This time I pulled out the Playmates shuttle to see how that would work, and it works pretty damn well. Playmate’s shuttle was under-scaled for it’s own line, which makes these work even better. Of course, the giant single seat in the cockpit is completely out of whack, but I’ll be someone could 3D-print a set of two seats for it that would work even better. All in all, it makes for a great piece to display with these figures.

And that’s Wave Two of Super7’s TNG ReAction line! This assortment was a real mixed bag. Riker and LaForge should have been easy slam dunks, since they’re 95% recycled parts, but the QC on the paint was non-existent. At least the ladies and Q all came out fine. I haven’t seen anything about a third wave, and that’s fine by me, because I think I’m done with these. I would consider picking up some more aliens, and Yar if they ever do her, but my guess is that if we do get more figures, we’ll see some repaints, like LaForge in his Season One uniform, maybe a Thomas Riker, and at these prices, I’m not biting on those. If these were ten bucks a pop, I’d be willing to stick with it, but $18 for these is just way too much, making me wish I had just left them all carded. With Playmates releasing some new TNG figures soon, I’m interested to see how those turn out.