Pop! Vinyls (Cowboy Bebop): Spike, Jet, Faye, and Ed by Funko

I was all ready to open up another Kantai Collection Figma for this week’s Anime Saturday, but then I thought, “why not serve up a little variety and do something else.” How about some Pop! Vinyls! Yes, folks, while I don’t buy a whole lot of these, the truth is I’m still part of the problem, even if just marginally so. But at least I can still say I’m very choosy about the ones I buy, and those purchases are often targeted at franchises that haven’t been properly exploited in plastic. Apart from a couple Play Arts Kai figures, there’s a bewildering lack of merchandising around Cowboy Bebop. I don’t get this. I mean, seriously? Still no Figmas or Figuarts for the Bebop crew? I get that the love affair with this series has waned in recent years. As always, the more the Internet adores something, the more they will turn on it later on, and I feel that’s set in vis-a-vis Bebop. But to me, Cowboy Bebop belongs among the classic anime that it steals borrows from. And, as usual, Funko has stepped in to fill the plastic void with some of their goddamn Pop!s.

Today I’m looking at all four of the current BePop! offerings, numbers 145 to #148 in the Pop! Animation Series if you’re keeping track. They originally showed off some concept art for Ein a while back, but I haven’t seen him actually make it to vinyl yet. As for the packaging, these all come in standard Pop! window boxes. If you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. There’s a pyramid of these things at the local Barnes & Noble. I think they have more Pop!s than books now. Anyway, let’s run through these, starting with Spike Spiegal.

This is a great likeness for a Pop!, and there’s no doubt about who he’s supposed to be. I love the way the head cocks to the side ever so slightly and they really nailed his Dylan-esque mop of hair. The body is not as lanky as it should be, but let’s face it, one doesn’t buy Pop!s looking for accurate proportions. They did a great job on his blue futuristic leisure suit, complete with yellow shirt and loose tie. He’s even got a cigarette burning in his right hand. The paint quality on this one is excellent, with pretty clean lines and not much slop to speak about. While he doesn’t really need it, Spike comes with a clear disc stand to help keep him from toppling over. Five out of five Woolongs.

Jet Black is also unmistakable to me in this Pop! form. Of course, his portrait is a lot more distinctive than Spike’s, thanks to his cyborg implant and unique choice of facial hair. They even sculpted in the scar that runs down the right side of his face. Unfortunately, they didn’t line up the break in his eyebrow paint to match it, but it doesn’t bother me that much. The rest of the paint is really good, especially the emblem printed on the back of his jacket. Jet is the only one in the lineup that doesn’t come with a stand, nor does he have peg holes in his feet, but he stands just fine on his own. Even if I take a little something away for the botched scar paint, he still gets four out of five servings of Bell Peppers and Beef. Tasty!

Faye Valentine is another very distinctive looking character that translates really well to Pop! form. With her purple hair and yellow hairband, I think I would probably know who this was even if you just handed me her head. The outfit is also created down to the last details of her mid-riff crossing suspenders and thigh-high stockings. I even like the way she’s standing with her hands on her hips and her weight shifted slightly to one side. The paint here is pretty damn good too! The yellow sure is flashy, and I like the mix of gloss and matte finishes. No complaints here, five out of five regurgitated poker chips.

And that brings us to Edward, and another direct hit for this series. Funko had a lot to work with here when it comes to the portrait. The blush on her cheeks is well executed, the hair is great, and the goggles that she wears up on her head actually feature translucent tinted green lenses. She has the simplest outfit among all of them, but it still hits all the right points. The plastic used for her skin tone is a little too shiny for my taste, but I’m not even going to take any points off for that. Five out of Five super-intelligent corgi pups. Arf!!!

What I really enjoy about this set of Pop! Vinyls is that it not only fills the Cowboy Bebop shaped void in my collection, but it’s an easy in and out. Funko may make more of these, we may eventually get that Ein or maybe a Vicious or a Julia, but I don’t need them, because the core of the show’s cast is right here and ready to go up on my shelf. And the beautiful thing about Pop!s is that I rarely ever have to pay full price for them. Someone is almost always doing some kind of deal to chip away at the piles of these on retail shelves. In this case, I got in on a BOGO, so these basically only set me back a fiver each. Not bad at all. And that’s it for today’s Anime Saturday. I think it’s time I blow this scene. Get everybody and the stuff together. Ok. 3. 2. 1. Let’s jam. dundundundundundundundun duuuuuuuuuuuun …

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More Playmobil Ghostbusters Sets! (#9221, 9223, and 9224) 

What? No DC Friday? Nope, not this week. I’m actually caught up on reviews for my DC collection right now and I haven’t had time to go into storage and pull out some old stuff. And so I’m re-purposing the next two Fridays for other things. Never fear, DC Friday will return in two weeks! In the meantime…

Yup, I got some more Ghostbusters sets from Playmobil and today I’m going to knock out three of them! While each of these come in enclosed boxes, the two smaller ones are pretty much just figure packs, and even the larger Stay-Puft set just features the one larger and one regular figure. Of course, I’m not complaining, as these sets all do their part to build up the Playmobil Ghostbusters Universe and they compliment each other nicely. They also provide the rest of the team to go with my Ecto-1. If you have any experience with Playmobil sets the packaging should be familiar to you. While the deco has been branded for the license, everything else is the same. You get photos of everything that comes inside on the backs of the boxes and there is some minor assembly required and stickers to apply, mostly for the Proton Packs and Ghost Traps. Let’s start big and work our way down…

Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man and Ray Stantz: The name is pretty self-explanatory, as this set includes Mr. Stay-Puft and Ray Stantz, the heart of the Ghostbusters! I really love the look of Stay-Puft and I’m happy they didn’t redesign him to look like a giant Playmobil figure. He’s cast in a great looking white pearlescent plastic and features some bright blue and red paint.

Indeed, even if you’re in the market for a Stay-Puft and don’t care anything about Playmobil, this figure would still probably scratch your itch. It’s not as big or impressive as the Diamond Select Stay-Puft Bank that I display with my Mattel Ghostbusters, but to be fair this is supposed to be a smaller scale anyhow. Really, my only complaint here is in the articulation. Sure, I expected a big hollow figure and I didn’t expect any articulation in the legs, but I was a little disappointed that the head doesn’t turn. At least the arms will rotate at the shoulders and the hands swivel at the wrists. All in all, he’s a great looking figure and still fun to play with.

The other half of this set, Ray, features a marshmallow-soiled uniform, which may irk some collectors, who are looking for a set of the guys all in clean uniforms. I find that I don’t mind it so much. It definitely adds a little personality to the figure, especially since Ray otherwise just looks like a standard Playmobil guy. Luckily, he has his name on his shirt and he also comes with his Ecto-Goggles to help further distinguish him. The Proton Pack is an amazing piece, and identical to what we saw in the Ecto-1 set. The wand can peg to the side for storage and it also comes with a particle stream effect piece. Moving on to…

Peter Venkman, Dana, and The Terror Dogs: This is a really well-rounded set of four figures, as it gives you not only Peter and Dana, but also the pair of Terror Dogs, another Ghost Trap, and another PKE Meter. We’ve seen the equipment before, so let’s just take a quick look at the figures…

Like Ray, Peter features a soiled shirt, this time with green slime. Once again, if you’re looking for a clean set of Ghostbusters, this is likely to irritate you, but I’m still happy with it since it gives a little more personality to the figure and further helps to identify him, along with the name on the uniform. Peter wasn’t really known for carrying around the PKE Meter, but it’s cool that Playmobil is throwing us extra equipment. Hell, I’ve got plenty of PKE Meters and Ghost Traps just from the four sets I own.

Dana features her possessed look from just before she turned into one of the dogs. I think it’s a pretty good attempt at the character while still sticking to the Playmobil aesthetic. They also managed to keep the hip articulation while doing her sculpted gown. I love her demon eyes! Who the hell would have ever imagined that cute and innocent Playmobil would ever do ladies possessed by demons!

Not to mention, the The Terror Dogs! These are fantastic little sculpts that manage to be both adorable and still easily recognizable from the film. They feature articulation in all four legs, the neck, and their jaws will even open! My only complaint here is that I wish Playmobil had made this a bigger set that included a rooftop playset. I would have gladly paid an extra $15 for the altar with a Gozer figure and a place to put the dogs. I think that would have been amazing. And that brings me to the smallest set…

Egon Spengler and Ghost: The last set completes the Ghostbusters team with Egon Spengler, as well as including two actual ghosts!

Playmobil did a find job recreating Egon with printed glasses and a crazy pompadour! He comes with a Proton Pack with proton stream, a PKE Meter, and a Walkie-Talkie. It feels like Peter should have come with the Walkie, but I’m not complaining. I can just give it to him, anyway.

The Ghost Trap comes with a ghost that you can plug into it. Oh, so that’s what that hole is for! He’s a pretty jolly wisp of Ectoplasm, as he’s smiling even though he’s about to get sucked into the torture-dimension that I like to think comprises the inside of those Ghost Traps. Playmobil really needs to release a variety of these ghosts to plug into the different traps. Hell, go ahead and blind bag ’em, I’ll buy tons! It’s a simple plastic shell, but if you put an LED behind it, it makes for a pretty cool effect.

The other ghost is a regular figure and I call him Dapper Ghost, because he looks like a proper 19th Century gentlemen. The figure itself is partially translucent and has some skeletal paint apps on him. The overcoat and hat are both regular opaque plastic. I really dig his mutton chops and his little mustache. As much as I love this guy and all his personality, I wish Playmobil would have given us one of the ghosts from the film. This should have been Library Ghost or Taxi Driver Ghost. Still, he’s cool.

That’s four sets down and two to go. I’m still hunting the Hot Dog Stand with Slimer and the Firehouse is on its way to me as I write this article. Right now, I’m just basking in how great it is to have the whole team with my Ecto-1. As with most Playmobil sets, the fun is getting them all together and that’s certainly the case here. These adorable little spook hunters are all ready to go on adventures. These sets were $20, 15, and 10 respectively, which seems a bit high when I compare it to the same $45 I spent on the Ecto-1. Sure, it’s a lot of figures and accessories, but Stay-Puft was the only really substantial piece and he’s nowhere near as complex a toy as the Ecto-1. That’s OK. I’m still fine with the value here and I’m hoping that Playmobil isn’t done with this line yet.

Evil Bug Corps: Kickbutt by BadCube

Here we are, folks, at BadCube’s final entry in their line of Not-Insecticons. Over the last two weeks I’ve looked at Claymore and Hypno, and now it’s Kickbutt’s turn. And yes, if you haven’t noticed some might say that Kickbutt bears something of a resemblance to that Transforming grasshopper Kickback, but I’m sure that wasn’t intentional and a total coincidence. Also… his name is great. Kickbutt. Lolz. Copyright infringement can be fun!

This is the third time seeing this packaging. It’s a fully enclosed box with some nice character artwork on the front. On it’s own, there’s nothing too remarkable here, but if you put all three packages together it creates a little panorama of art, which is kind of neat. Kickbutt comes packaged in his robot mode, between two clear plastic trays, but I’m going to “kick” things off with his alt mode.

Yup, he’s a grasshopper. Or locust. I’m not sure, because I’m not one of them bug doctors. In any event, Kickbutt’s alt mode looks absolutely fantastic, although of the three it is the most fiddly. Part of that has to do with the nature of his alt mode. Grasshoppers just aren’t as compact as beetles, so his legs required a bit of extra futzing when I was posing him to get all those legs even. Either way, I don’t want to make it out to be a big deal and it’s worth the effort because this bug mode is every bit as great as his fellow Evil Corps members.

Some points of interest include his ass-gun (they don’t call him Kickbutt for nothing!), the face shield that keeps his robot head from peeping at you when you look underneath, and the wonderful articulation in his legs. Not only are his back legs fully articulated, but his fronts are as well. Like Hypno, Kickbutt’s legs can hold him so he’s standing with his undercarriage completely off the ground. The butt gun may turn some people off, as it’s definitely the biggest departure any of these designs take from the original G1 models, but I actually enjoy that it incorporates the gun into the alt mode. Plus, he can still shoot at things when he’s running away.

The articulation also means that he can be posed with his back legs rearing up and kicking, which is pretty damn cool.

The deco here falls right in line with his peers and includes the same lovely black plastic with a smooth satin finish, purple plastic, and some red and blue paint hits for detail. I really dig the pencil thin blue lining that circles around those recessed gears on his legs. As this is the “Collector’s Edition” upgrade, Kickbutt features chromed out wings, a chromed out butt gun, and a yellow translucent plastic hatch on his back.

And here are some quick shots for scale comparison. Like his buddies, he dwarfs his G1 counterpart, and rightly so, as those guys are roughly equivalent to today’s Legends Class figures. On the other hand, he’s just a bit bigger than your average Masterpiece car, which for me makes him scaled perfectly with Takara’s MP line. So how’s the robot mode?

Pretty damn great! (Even better if you remember to turn both his fists the right way, which I sadly did not! DAMMIT!) Now, if you read my other Bug Corps reviews, than you’ll know I found Hypno and Claymore to have pretty comfy transformations. Kickbutt breaks that trend. The first time, I converted this guy it was a fidgety nightmare with bug and robot parts flopping around everywhere! He was not fun to transform. But the second time (and a couple days later), I attempted it without instructions and I was surprised to find that I had no problems. So, it’s still pretty fiddly with a lot going on, but it’s fairly intuitive, and it’s impressive just what a clean bot form it produces. The proportions on this guy are great and he fits the bill as a great looking MP version of Kickback.

The deco remains pretty consistent with what we saw in bug mode, with that lovely combination of black and purple and some extra hits of silver and red to make things pop. Once again, the translucent yellow chest plate and those beautiful chromed out wings are exclusive to the “Collector’s Edition” and I couldn’t imagine going any other way with these guys. I really dig the little bit of extra sculpted detail on his back and the fact that they painted it in yellow to more closely match the deco of the other two buggy bots.

Also, like his peers, Kickbutt can store his gun on his back.

The head sculpt is superb and follows the Sunbow animated model of the character, rather than the G1 toy. The silver paint looks sharp and I can’t even begin to properly express my love for that red paint they used for his visor. It looks amazing. His yellow antenna swivel, so you can pose them to give him a little more expression if you like. Also, like Claymore, Kickback comes with an extra smirking face. It’s a great bonus, but not something I’m likely to bother with ever swapping out. I will, however, eventually make use of that spot in the middle of his chest for a Decepticon sticker.

Kickbutt’s gun features the same great “tommy gun” design that the original toy’s gun had. It also features the same spatula handle design that the other Bug Corps guns use. It simply tabs into the slot inside the hand and you hinge the knuckles closed around it.

And yes, Kickbutt also comes with another squishy plastic Energon cube. Before wrapping up, let’s take a look at some size comparison shots for the robot mode.

Yup, he towers over his official G1 counterpart. I love checking these out side-by-side and seeing what a great job BadCube did updating the design. And once again, I think these bugs scale beautifully with the Masterpiece cars. Kickbutt has the edge over Smokecreen, but only because of his shoulder wings. Otherwise, he’s about a head shorter, and that works perfectly for me!

As I mentioned in the previous reviews, these guys are currently selling as a set at $140 for the “Collector’s Edition” and I can honestly say these feel like one of the few bargains of the 3P Transformers market. At just under $50 a figure, they’re certainly a little cheaper than the official MP figures of the same size. I think BadCube did a great job here on just about every level. The plastic quality feels good, the engineering has just the right level of complexity (at least if you account for the initial shock of Kickbutt’s transformation) and the designs hit that wonderful sweet spot between Sunbow animated model and original toy homage. I feel as if this trio fills a vacant hole in my collection. The Legends Class Insecticons were fine individually, but they just don’t match up well enough as a set for me to fully enjoy them. These fellas, on the other hand, really make for a great looking team. And while I hear that Fan Toys’ Not-Insecticons are also pretty spectacular, I’ve got no regrets having gone with these guys.

Alien Vs Predator: Elder Predator by NECA

I originally promised myself I’d stick to just the Ultimate Predator releases, but when it comes to buying toys, I can’t be trusted… not even by myself. And so, I was in one of those big chain bookstores, which seem to sell more toys than books now, and this fella was calling out to me. There was no way I could leave him behind on the shelf. I loved the look of the bookish old lady that was working the register. She looked surprised and appalled at what I was buying. Why do you fill your shelves with these and then act surprised when people buy them?

I’m used to seeing sealed clamshells for a lot of NECA’s lines, but this is just a bubble on a cardback. I’m not complaining, mind you, as it’s easier to get into and still dispenses that lovely rush of plastic fumes. If you like your Predators mint-on-card, the package is designed to stand up as well as swing from a peg. I remember an Elder from the end of Predator 2, but not so much in AVP. Although, I should qualify that statement by admitting that I’ve only seen AVP once because I hated it. But Predators? I like them plenty, no matter what movie they’re in… I don’t judge!

And this is one regal looking fellow! One of the things I love so much about these figures is that the Predator designs all tend to blur together in my memory, but when I get the figures in hand and line them up, it’s so much fun to pick out all the differences. Whatever your personal preferences on Pred designs, it’s hard to deny that NECA really pours the love into these figures and expresses it through some of the finest sculpted detail and paintwork to be found anywhere in this scale. I swear, if you told me that they kept a licensed Predatorologist on retainer, and by that I mean a consultant who has a PhD in Predator culture, I’d totally believe you without a second thought. Anyway, there doesn’t look like there are any shared parts between this guy and the other three Preds in my collection, except maybe the hands.

Here’s a little close up of some of that lovely detail. The belt is loaded with various bits of Yautjan gear and implements. As always, the armor features a wonderful pitted texture to make it look well warn and there’s a paint wash to give it a bit of a rusted patina. There are plastic straps that secure the segmented thigh armor to his legs, and he has a shoulder strap adorned with trophies across his chest. I’ve already worked out in my little head canon, that the bovine looking skull in the middle is from DC’s Red Lantern Skallox, because Elder Predator is so badass that he hunts Red Lanterns. As always, the plastic used for the skin has a slick and semi-transparent look to it, the web suit is sculpted as part of the buck, and all the painted markings on his skin look fabulous. All this, and he sports over 30 points of articulation, including double hinges in the elbows and knees, and a cartload of rotating hinges.

The Elder Predator also features the ubiquitous computer on his left arm and two removable blades for his left arm bracer.

But even with all that lovely detail, I’ll confess that it was the brilliant red cloth cape that got me to do a double take and pick the Elder up off the shelf. It really makes him stand out in the sea of other Preds on the shelves. And not to be content with just hanging a rectangle piece of red cloth on him, NECA created a beautifully tailored garment that hangs off his neck on an ornamental chain. It sits beautifully on his shoulders and just check out the way it cascades down his back, dipping behind the neck so as not to cover up his glorious dreads.

Speaking of dreads, the individually sculpted and painted dreadlocks remain one of my favorite things about NECA’s Predator head sculpts. That’s not to take away anything from the rest of the portrait, because it truly is superb. The deep set eyes are perfectly painted, which makes me wonder how they can get in there to paint those eyes straight when Hasbro has a tough time doing it on regular human figures. The mandibles look great, which is no surprise, as NECA has been sculpting Predator jowls since Moses wore short pants. I really dig the extra crinkly forehead, which shows this to be a Grandpa Predator, who wears his years with pride. But wait… he also comes with his mask!

And boy does it look badass! The Ultimate Predators came with a separate head for the masked option, but this guy actually comes with a mask that fits right over the Elder’s face and it actually stays on pretty damn well. I love the detail on this piece, from the pitted finish in the sculpt to the alien glyphs and silver highlights.

In addition to the mask, Elder Pred also comes with what the package calls his “Ceremonial Staff” but really looks like a gussied up spear. It’s a bit of a frail piece, but it fits perfectly in his right hand.

Damn you, Elder Predator, but I can already tell that you are going to be a gateway purchase. I’m so damn impressed with this figure, that I’ve got no choice but to start picking up some of NECA’s other Pred releases. If I had to come up with any gripes about this fellow it would be that at $25, he costs about the same price as the Ultimate Preds and yet comes with a lot less. Granted, I’m not accounting for the inflated prices that the bookstores usually slap on their toys, but either way the price is pretty close. Still, I suppose that’s more of a point of praise that the Ultimate figures can deliver so much, rather than harp on this guy coming with less. In the end, I still think he was well worth the money.

Marvel Legends: Boomerang, Ultimate Beetle, and Electro by Hasbro

It’s Marvel Monday, folks, and I’m turning back the clock and digging up three figures from 2014’s Marvel Legends Ultimate Green Goblin Wave, which have been buried at the bottom of my Toy Closet for a while. And no, I won’t be looking at the Build-A-Figure yet, because I’m still missing one figure from this wave. Got a Green Goblin head? I have a new waffle maker! Mail me the Gobby Head and I’ll mail you a waffle!

These fellas were all part of a wave that was tied to Amazing Spider-Man 2, a film which I’d be more than happy to never be reminded about again. Much like the recent Guardians of the Galaxy waves, this one was a mix of comic and movie-based figures. As I stressed last Monday, I’m not a big fan of tossing a bunch of Legends figures into one review, but I’ve got waves of these goddamn things piling up, so I can’t afford to go back and do this trio individually. Let’s start with Boomerang!

There’s so much I want to like about this figure and yet so much that I don’t like about this figure. Boomerang is built on a black buck with white plastic used for the buccaneer boots and and the gauntlets, but the rest of the white details of his costume are painted on and they look pretty shabby. The black bleeds through, particularly on the stripe across his chest. It’s a real shame, because the contrast between the white and black plastic otherwise looks great, and even the paint used for his belt isn’t too bad.

I really dig the piece Hasbro provided for his back. It holds the four boomerangs that he comes with, one large pair and one smaller pair. Yeah, it looks kind of ridiculous, like he’s wearing an old TV antenna on his back, but it suits him. It’s also removable if you decide you don’t want it. Boomerang’s left hand is perfectly suited to holding either the large or small boomerangs. Unfortunately his right is not. At first, I thought they tried to make it different so that it could hold the bigger ones better, but upon closer inspection, it’s clearly a gun hand. The smaller boomerangs won’t stay in there at all and even the bigger ones have issues falling out. It’s hard for me to believe Hasbro didn’t have a better right hand lying around to use with this figure.

Grrrr…. Boomerang is wearing the exact expression I had when I first saw this head up close. I hardly ever say this about a Marvel Legends figure, but the portrait on this figure is a mess. It looks like it was fashioned out of sculpting putty and the paintwork is an atrocity. Seriously, it’s like someone’s first attempt at a custom job. Hell, it’s like I attempted a custom job… and I’ve got no skills whatsoever. This line has had some truly spectacular head sculpts and Hasbro usually injects a lot of effort and personality into the villains especially. I don’t know what happened here, but it looks like they just didn’t care.

Boomerang’s articulation is standard stuff. The arms have rotating hinges in the wrists and shoulders, the elbows are double hinged, and there are swivels in the biceps. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have double hinges in the knees, and there are swivels in the thighs and at the tops of the boots. The ankles are hinged and have lateral rockers. There’s a swivel in the waist, an ab crunch, and the neck has both a hinge and ball joint. The joints all feel good and he’d be fun to pose if he weren’t so f’ugly.

In the end, Boomerang is a huge disappointment. I was looking forward to finally getting him onto my shelf of Web Head’s enemies, but this figure is such a train-wreck, I’m not even willing to cross him off my list. With all the Spider-Man themed waves coming out each year, it may not be to out of line to hope for a do-over on this one. The joke is, since he shares a slot with Ultimate Beetle, I didn’t even need him for a BAF part. What a shame… let’s move on to Beetle…

Beetle! BEETLE! Hasbro seems obsessed with Beetle! It was just last year that we got Janice Lincoln as Beetle, and the classic version of Beetle will be part of the Spider-Man Homecoming wave that’s beginning to hit stores now. Well, this here is Earth-1610’s “Ultimate” Beetle. Unlike Boomerang, I have absolutely zero history with this version of the character. Also unlike Boomerang, this figure is pretty damn good! I take it this is supposed to be a fairly powerful suit, and Hasbro did a wonderful job with this sculpt. It has a ribbed underlying body suit fashioned in red plastic, with sculpted armor bits that are painted over with a particularly nice shade of silver. The combination looks great, although this is unfortunately that same somewhat dubious feeling plastic that Hasbro has used for some of the Iron Men armors.

The wing assembly simply pegs into the back and you get some more of that lovely silver paint connecting them and some pretty trippy metallic green paint on the front insides of the wings. It all makes for a very distinctive looking figure.

The head sculpt furthers the cyber-bug motif with some huge compound eyes, a silver painted face plate, and a pair of blade-like antenna. The paint around the eyes slops over onto the silver quite a bit, which I didn’t really notice until I got in pretty close. It does give it a little bit of a glowing effect, but I don’t think that was intentional on Hasbro’s part. Honestly, I don’t think it hurts the look of the figure much at all.

Beetle’s suit includes what I presume to be blasters of some kind sculpted into the forearms. Again, I have next to no involvement with this character. The Ultimate books just aren’t my bag. The blasters do, however, look cool and feature some nice yellow paint hits. The nit-picky among you may notice that Hasbro didn’t shell out for the dollop of silver paint needed for those knee pegs. Annoying, but I can live with it.

Beetle’s articulation makes him a nimble bug and lots of fun to play with, although this type of plastic doesn’t have the strongest of joints. They’re a little gummy, but nowhere near the worst that I’ve seen from Hasbro 6-inch figures. Certainly not enough to spoil my fun. The legs feature ball jointed hips, double hinges in the knees, and swivels in the thighs. The ankles have both hinges and lateral rockers. The arms have rotating hinges at the shoulders and wrists, the elbows are double hinged, and there are swivels in the biceps. The torso has an ab crunch, there’s a swivel in the waist, and the neck is both ball jointed and hinged.

As much as Boomerang was a disappointment, Beetle was a wonderful surprise. No, this is not my Beetle, and I’ll go so far as to say that I think the design works beautifully as an action figure, but maybe not so much on a comic panel. The figure has a few issues, but overall I’m calling it a win. And while I’m not about to run out and start buying up Ultimates comics, I have had tons of fun fiddling around with this guy on my desk during my downtime the past few days. He’s a very cool design and he will most definitely find a place on my Spider-Man Legends shelves. And that brings me to… ugh… Electro from Amazing Spider-Man 2.

I make it no secret that I did not like the Amazing Spider-Man movie, but there were at least moments in it that I enjoyed. The sequel, on the other hand, well I hated every frame of that one and I’m so happy that incarnation of the film franchise is dead and buried where it belongs. As a result, I’m not going to spend a lot of time on this figure, because it’s not really fair. It’s not aimed at me, and the only reason I have it is because he was part of a BOGO deal and he had a BAF part. The bottom line is that I think Electro was terrible in the movie, to no fault of Jamie Foxx who I’m sure did the best with what he was given. With that having been said, this figure is not without some redeeming qualities.

The design that I hated on screen actually sort of works for this figure and Hasbro certainly put some work into it. You get all new sculpting for the body with a lot of nice detail and texturing that adds some interesting qualities to what is a nearly all black buck. Electro does have some blue paint spray on the shoulders, chest, and forearms, but I don’t know that it really comes across as it should. If I was totally unfamiliar with this character and somebody handed me the figure, I’d be more prone to say he’s supposed to have some kind of ice powers as opposed to electricity. The articulation is similar to what we got with Beetle, but the legs on this figure don’t like to cooperate. I blame the sculpted cuffs on the ankles, which really curtail the range of motion there. Every time I try to get him in a wide stance, he just looks awkward.

Electro comes with two head sculpts, and I can say the same about those looking as much like ice as it does electricity. That having been said, I think the first head looks good, but the second one with the effects on the eyes, not so much.

Now, Electro does come with the electricity shooting hands, and with these in place, I think they add the needed context to make the rest of the figure fall in line. I know that’s not a ringing endorsement, but to be honest I think Hasbro tried with this figure, a lot more than they did with poor Boomerang. The sculpt is solid, and the effects hands and extra head give some welcome display options. I expected to hate this figure, but I really don’t. On the other hand, he really doesn’t have any place in my collection either. Yeah, I could put him beside my Amazing Spider-Man 2 Spidey, but while I wasn’t a fan of a fan of Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man, at least I really loved the look of the costume, here not so much.

And that trio of reviews takes care of some long overdue business. It feels like it’s been a long time since I had this much negativity toward anything Marvel Legends related, but one out of three ain’t a great record. It’s pretty bad when the one figure I can endorse here isn’t even the version of the character that I know or care about. As for the Build-A-Figure, Ultimate Green Goblin isn’t a figure that I really need to have on my shelf, but right now he’s just missing a head. If I ever find either of the “Spawn of Symbiotes” figures at anything close to retail cost, I’ll happily pick one up to complete the wave, but I’m just as content to let it go. While there were some really solid figures in this wave, particularly Black Cat and Superior Spider-Man, the truth is that this is the first wave of Marvel Legends since it’s return that I did not feel overly compelled to complete. Next Monday, I’m going to detour to take a look at one of the many Marvel statues that I have piling up and then I’ll be jumping back into Marvel Legends with the second wave from Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol 2.

Figma: “Kantai Collection” Battleship Nagato by Max Factory

I know, it’s been forever since I’ve done a proper Anime Saturday update. Well, time has been tight, but this week I was on vacation, so I had no excuses. Indeed, and to make up for it, I pushed my way through all the prize figures that have been piling up and went straight for a Figma. And since I’m going through some major KanColle withdrawal, I’ve decided to go with Secretary Ship Nagato from Kantai Collection. I have looked at a couple KanColle FigFix figures, but this is my first full blown Figma from their Kantai Collection line up.

Nagato comes in a traditional Figma window box. This is the larger style box to accommodate her armament rig. It’s rather bland when compared to some of the other Figma packages lined up on my shelf, but I guess it sort of suits the cold gray color of naval hardware. The window offers a decent view of what’s in the box, with all the pieces and the figure each wrapped in plastic. This is figure #232, which is really meaningless to me because I’m damn sure not a completist when it comes to Figmas, rather I just cherry pick the franchises that I enjoy. The box is collector friendly and I do hang on to my Figma boxes in order to have somewhere to keep all the goodies inside.

Here’s Nagato without all her guns, which is the way she spent most of the anime series before sailing out to kick some major ass for the finale. The Secretary ships, Nagato and Mutsu are among my favorite Fleet Girls and just looking at this figure reminds me why. Nagato is elegant, stately, and her drive and determination all conspire to make her just so damn sexy. The outfit doesn’t hurt either. She sports a cut-off top with some reinforced armor pieces and an exposed mid-riff (sending some mixed messages there, Nagato!), as well as a short, pleated skirt. Her black and maroon stockings, held up by adorable little anchor themed straps, have the white hash marks down the sides. The outfit is rounded out with her little rudder boots. The paint here is all smooth and clean and I got absolutely zero complaints about this gal.

Of course, Nagato comes with an array of extra faces and hands. The hands include a pair of relaxed hands, a pair of hands with the fingers together, a pair of gripping hands, and a pair of fists. As for the faces, the variations are very subtle, but include a happy face, a determined face, and an embarrassed face. Granted, this is probably a greater range of emotion than Nagato showed in the entire run of the anime series. She was all business, and spent most of her time planning strategies in the command room.

No matter which face you choose, Nagato has her very distinctive looking antenna angling out behind her head and jutting out from the sides. Also, her long hair is parted in the middle down the back and attached with ball joints. And now that we’ve seen everything about the basic figure… let’s gear her up!

Nagato comes with her iconic 41cm Twin Gun Mount, which plugs right into her back and makes her a force to be reckoned with! Each half of the rig is hinged on her back and can be closed in around her. The rear gun emplacements swivel and each barrel can elevate independently. The forward emplacements are on rotating hinges, so the entire assembly can lower and elevate as well as swivel, plus each barrel can also elevate independently. The sculpt on the rig is fairly simple, but it does feature some panel lines and sculpted rivets. The bulk of the piece is cast in battleship gray plastic with some red accents and a tan plastic used for the bases of the barrels.

The back of the rig features the two little AA guns and the smokestack rising up from the middle.

Obviously this beast of an rig makes Nagato a little back heavy. It does displace the weight fairly well, I have been able to get her to stand freely with it on, but for the most part, this is where the Figma stand can happily take over.

I’ve had my eye on Nagato for a long time and came close to paying some pretty ridiculous prices for her. In the end, I was able to bag her for around $65 and I’m pretty comfortable with that price, especially since most Figmas go up for pre-order in that price range, no matter how simple they are. Nagato is a beautiful figure on her own, but her gun mount goes a long way to justify the price. Granted, she doesn’t have the wow factor of my mammoth Super-Premium Nagato by SEGA, but then this one is actually articulated, which makes her a whole lot more fun.

DC Super-Villains: Johnny Quick and Atomica by DC Collectibles

It’s no secret that Forever Evil and Injustice League constitute a comic arc that is saturated with bad guys. Much of it reads like a who’s who of DC Super-Villains. And yet there are two characters in that weighty roster of scumbags that stand out as being truly horrible people. Yup, they would be Johnny Quick and Atomica. Holy shit did this pair feature in some great panels and some of their antics made the rest of the Crime Syndicate look like boy scouts by comparison. DC Collectibles released the entire New 52 Crime Syndicate as part of their Super-Villains line. A few weeks back, I had a look at Deathstorm and today I’m checking out this pair.

Johnny comes in the same type of window box that DCC has been using for all their New 52 figures, although they have been going with a black deco for the Super-Villains line accompanied by a splash of color themed for the character within. It’s collector friendly and shows the figure off well. So well, that I could see I had a problem as soon as I got him out of the shipping box. Apparently, there have been issues with the paint on Johnny’s vest fading and that’s certainly what happened here. I considered sending him back, but he was really cheap so let’s press on…

Here he is out of the box and faded chest paint aside, I love almost everything about this figure. What I didn’t love is that his left foot fell off right out of the tray and I had to glue it back on. Sheesh… the plastic gods are not smiling on me today. Anyway, the costume has a delightfully cheesy, retro flavor to it that contrasts beautifully with the fact that Quick is such an evil bastard. I get a strong Super Sentai vibe off of this design and I really love it.

There’s some wonderful attention to detail in the sculpted suit, which includes ribbing on what I presume is the exposed body suit, and lots of jagged, lightning-like edges on the armor and gauntlets. The brilliant metallic paint looks fantastic… except on his vest where it has faded. Yeah, that vest issue really sucks. It’s obviously  supposed to match the rest of his costume, but it’s gone so pale that it looks like another color paint entirely. At first, I thought it was sun fading, but it’s like that on the front and back. This is apparently a problem with this figure, as I’ve seen a handful of other reports from collectors with similar issues. It almost looks like it’s painted that way by design, but I know better. Anyway, the rest of the paint is pretty good, and I like the mustard tone they used for the glove, boots, and trim.

The head sculpt here is great. While Quick was certainly a shit-bag in the comic, he had fun being one, so I would have liked to see a smirk or something, but I guess the determined expression works for me. The large bug-eyes and the back swept helmet are also pretty cool. Again, if the face was painted to match the helmet, this guy would look like he jumped right out of a Super Sentai show. I’m ready to move on to discuss his articulation, but before I do, both shoulders are stuck, so pardon me while I boil some water.

Ok, so that fixed the right shoulder up great. The left shoulder is still a little sticky, but we’ll press on. One of the most surprising things about this figure is how great the articulation is. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, swivels in the biceps, and hinged elbows. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have swivels in the thighs, and double hinges in the knees. The ankles have hinges and swivels, but in my case that now includes only the right ankle since the left foot is now glued on. There’s a swivel in the waist, an ab crunch in the torso, and the neck is ball jointed. And… OH FOR F’CK’S SAKE!!!

And then that happened. So, suffice it to say… this figure is cursed. From a bad paint job to two joint issues, he’s just a mess and I’m really disappointed. I love the design of this guy, I loved to hate him in the comic, and now I can’t even enjoy him on my shelf. Let’s bag it and just move on to Atomica.

Yes, Johnny also comes with his tiny girlfriend, Atomica. She’s a character that played a pretty big part in the New 52 Justice League and she’s had an appropriate amount of love from DC Collectibles. She last graced the pages of FZZ as a DC Icons figure and a damn good one at that. Of course, this one is a simple static piece, but very well sculpted and painted for such a tiny gal. They even sculpted her itty bitty goggles down around her neck. And I don’t have to worry about any of her limbs falling off because she doesn’t have any joints. She does come permanently attached to a clear disc base.

Well, needless to say this DC Friday didn’t go as planned. The only good news is I picked up Johnny Quick on clearance, so he was dirt cheap and I’m not out that much money. The bad news is, I love this figure so much, I’m considering trying my luck a second time. I know, it’s rewarding bad QC and it’s potentially throwing good money after bad, but I really want this figure on my shelf.

DS: “Sucks, dude…”

DS: “Let’s go murder some people. That always makes you feel better.” 

S-W: “I know I should be more sympathetic, but he’s kind of a dick.” 

Evil Bug Corps: Hypno by BadCube

Last week, I kicked off my look at BadCube’s Not-Insecticons with a review of the leader, Claymore, and found him to be an excellent bug-bot. Today I’m pressing on with Hypno, who you could possibly argue is inspired by a certain Transformer called Bombshell. But I’m sure that BadCube’s lawyers would suggest otherwise. The Bug Corps are scaled to go with Takara’s Masterpiece Collection and as I write this are readily available at a few online retailers for some very good deals.

I bought my Bug Corps as a set, but they come individually boxed. The boxes have some nice artwork on the front, but are otherwise unremarkable. The figure comes packaged in his robot mode, between two clear plastic trays. You also get a beefy instruction book that covers all three figures, a character card, and an Energon cube. I should also note that I’m looking at the “Collector’s Edition” set, which for a little bit more money gives you some chromed parts and translucent chests. Let’s start with the bug mode!

Hypno’s cyber-beetle mode is a fantastic update to the original G1 toy. This new design retains the large boxy body with rounded edges as well as the down swept head, large bug eyes, six legs, and long silver proboscis. He features some simple sculpted panel lines, which are just enough to add detail and still let him keep something of a smooth, animated appearance. The coloring here features a lot of black plastic, which has a nice satin finish, yellow plastic for his eyes and under his belly, and purple plastic for the head. The deco is rounded out with some red and blue paint hits on the body for detail and that gorgeous chrome on his proboscis.

This is a really solid bug that locks together perfectly, and the die cast gives it some decent heft for a figure this size. One of the things I dig the most about this guy is his set of chunky and fully articulated legs. Each leg features several strong hinges, and the legs are capable of holding Hypno so that his undercarriage isn’t resting on the ground. I’m not entirely sure why this pleases me so much, but it does.

Once again, this premium edition features the transparent yellow panel on the top of the head, and he has some surprisingly good articulation in the proboscis. Not only can it hinge up and down, but the front of it can swivel. The plate on the front of his head also floats on a joint, so it can move a bit side to side to get an even better range of motion out of that chromed out sucker.

Here are some side-by-side shots of Hypno in his bug mode with other figures. He’s obviously a lot bigger than the original G1 toy, which is no surprise as those were quite small and roughly equivalent to the modern Legends Class. The shot of him beside Streak shows he’s just a bit bigger than the MP cars. As with Claymore, I think this scale holds pretty well as the original Insecticons were about on par with the original Autobot cars. So far, I’m thrilled with the way this guy turned out, but how about his robot mode, eh?

Not bad at all! I found transforming Hypno to be a bit more fiddly than Claymore, but really not by much. A lot of the engineering involves his robot legs packing and unpacking into the back of the bug. There’s also a clever flip that happens inside his torso to exchange the robot head with the front of the bug head. Another key point worth mentioning is that his proboscis actually detaches to become his weapon in robot mode and I think that works great. BadCube selected some iconic aspects of the original toy to remain, like the tenuous way the arms attach to the shoulders, but they also streamlined a lot too. There’s virtually no bug-kibble on the arms at all, just the blasters that he has on his forearms. I will say that I think the front of Hypno’s lower legs look a bit unpolished, but it’s not all that bad, and they added some paint hits to help spruce it up.

The back of Hypno presents a very clean robot. Again, there’s really no bug-kibble to be seen. Even the two insect legs that reside back here are folded up neatly on his little yellow backpack. The back of the legs look even more refined than the front, with some blue and red paint down near the ankles. About the only thing I can gripe about here are the exposed screw heads, and that’s to be expected. Also, the backpack serves as a storage for Hypno’s gun. It simply clips right on.

Bombshell always had the most distinctive head sculpt of the Insecticons, and by sheer coincidence so does Hypno! I’ve always loved the mouth plate on this guy. It looks like a knight’s visor. The paint used for the eyes casts a cool shimmer effect, which can look like light-piping from certain angles. And, of course, on top Hypno has a faked out diminished version of his proboscis, which can be angled up and down for firing Insecti-shells. Once again, the chest plate on these “Collector’s” versions is clear plastic and he has some silver painted panels down near his abs.

The articulation here is right on par with Claymore. The arms feature universal movement in the shoulders, double hinges in the elbows with swivels, and swivels in the wrists. The legs have rotating hinges in the hips, with some lovely clicking ratchets, double hinges in the knees, and the ankles feature both hinges and lateral rockers. He can rotate at the waist and he has a ball joint in his neck.

As mentioned earlier, Hypno comes with a chromed gun, which is actually formed from the insect mode’s proboscis. It has a spatula-shaped handle that tabs into a slot inside either of Hypno’s fists and holds it pretty well.

And finally, Hypno comes with the same type of Energon cube that we saw with Claymore. Yup, it’s just a squishy cube of pink plastic, but cool nonetheless. Finally, let’s check out a couple of size-comparison shots.

Hypno towers over the original G1 version of Bombshell and he comes up just a little short of Masterpiece Streak, which feels perfect to me. I really dig the way these two styles fit together, making Hypno quite welcome on one of my official MP shelves.

As I mentioned last time, this “Collector’s Edition” of the Evil Bug Corps set me back $140, which makes these guys about $47 each and I think that makes them an incredible value. Indeed, it’s hard to find many MP scaled third party convertorobots of this quality for under $50 these days. The engineering is complex enough, but not overly fiddly, the tolerances feel fine, and there’s nothing involved in the transformation that feels like it can damage the toy. Yup, in the end, I give Hypno two Proboscises up. Sorry, I’ll never get to use that word again, so I might as well go nuts. Anyway, that’s two bug-bots down and my love for the Evil Bug Corps remains unshaken. These guys look fantastic together, and I’m all the more excited to bring the final member of the trio in next week when I look at Kickback… I mean… Kickbutt!

Star Wars Black (Rogue One): Sergeant Jyn Erso (Eadu) by Hasbro

Most of my backlog of stuff right now is Marvel related, which means I’m finally getting caught up on the other lines I collect. That also means I’m hitting the bottom of the piles and finding the stuff that I’ve been pushing off to the side for a number of weeks. Today, I decided to finally open up the Exclusive version of Jyn Erso in her Eadu outfit.

This figure is part of a series of Deluxe Exclusives from Kmart and as such it comes in a larger box to accommodate the base, but otherwise it’s the same branded Black Series packaging. There’s some terrible monochrome character art on the front that doesn’t look much like Felicity Jones to me, but I’m convinced that Hasbro is doing that so the figure’s portraits look better by comparison. Anyway, this presentation is very similar to the Exclusive Kylo Ren and Rey that Kmart had for The Force Awakens, hell it may even just be a repainted base. I don’t know, as I passed on those. In fact, the only reason I picked this one up was because it was so damn cheap, but I’ll come back to that at the end.

Eadu Jyn uses a lot of Jedha Jyn, but there’s also a fair bit of brand new sculpting here too. From the waist down, she’s the same, and I’m going to assume the torso is the same too, but it’s buried under her new rain parka, so it doesn’t matter. The arms have newly sculpted sleeves to match the parka and she has a breather mask that hangs around her neck and connects to a tank behind her left hip. The new sculpting for the outfit looks great, and seeing as how we got this version of Jyn in the 3 3/4-inch line, it’s cool to finally have it in the 6-inch line as well.

There’s some pretty good paint wash on the parka to give it a grungy, well-worn look and even a few holes here and there. We also get some silver paint on some of her gear. The sculpt and paint on the bodies are generally pretty solid on these figures and this version of Jyn is no different.

The head sculpt is very similar to the Jedha Jyn, but it’s definitely new, or at least reworked. Here she has her ears exposed through her hair. The quality of the sculpt is about the same, with very soft features and I think the likeness is only there if you know what you’re looking at, and even then that might be a reach. As usual, the paint is extremely basic giving Jyn that wonderful dead-inside look to her eyes and uneven paint on her lips. Hasbro has obviously shrugged off any credibility for making this a true “Collector’s” line when it comes to the paintwork on the heads.

She does come with a removable helmet, which is definitely a welcome feature. It fits really well and looks good on the figure. The paint on the helmet is a little rougher than the rest of the figure, but it kind of works because it makes it look worn and chipped. Jyn can also wear her breather mask, with the head strap designed to fit around the helmet. I sometimes question whether these 6-inch figures really use the scale to their advantage, and here’s probably one of the few good examples of that. The breather mask just looks and works a lot better here than it did on the 3 3/4-inch figure. Then again, that was a 5-POA figure and not something premium like the Vintage Collection. Maybe it’s not a fair comparison here.

As for other accessories, Jyn includes the same pistol that came with the Jedha version and she still has a functional holster to store it in. She also comes with an E-11 Blaster. You can never have too many of those! And finally, she has a little cylindrical device and I have absolutely no idea what the hell it’s supposed to be. It’s almost bizarre how prominently featured this thing is in the box. If I were to make a guess, it looks like it’s supposed to be a rope coiled tightly around something. I seem to recall there was a zip-line scene that was cut from the film. Maybe this has to do with it.

I saved articulation for last, because it happens to be the thing that comes damn close to breaking this figure for me. The points are all identical to Jedha Jyn, so that’s not the issue, but the legs are so loose and gummy on this figure, it makes her really hard to pose and stand up. I don’t know if it’s shoddy plastic, or because she was packaged in an action pose on the base, but this is the worst I’ve seen in a 6-inch Hasbro figure in a long time. It literally feels like the kind of cheap Chinese knock-off you might get loose off of Ebay for a couple of dollars.

Oh yeah, and how could I forget the base. It’s a decent sculpt and it has peg holes for her to stand on. This sort of thing isn’t a big draw for me, but I can imagine that some collectors will enjoy it and she does look pretty good posed on it.

There are no Kmarts in my area any longer, and even when there were, I rarely ventured into them as they tended to be like the Beirut version of Walmart. No offense to Beirut. The only reason I wound up with this figure was because Amazon was blowing them out at $11 a pop and I said, “well shit… why not?” If it weren’t for the wobbly legs, Jyn would be a decent figure, but I think she’s also an easy pass. Meanwhile, the Black Series continues to be such a roller coaster for me. There are still figures that I pick up that delight me and justify why I collect this line, and then there’s figures like this one, which are just so damn average that they make me wonder why do I still bother.

Marvel Legends (Titus Wave): Nova, Vance Astro, and Titus by Hasbro

Since I detoured last week and I’m now officially three waves of Marvel Legends behind, I’ve decided to pack the next three weeks worth of Legends reviews into one sitting and knock out the rest of the Titus Wave today. I’ve got two packaged figures left and the Build-A-Figure, so in the interest of brevity I’m just going to throw out a few thoughts on each figure and otherwise let the pictures do the talking.

I really hate throwing multiple figures into one review, because it craps all over my tired and repetitious formula nuanced flow. Anyway, the packaging is all more or less the same, so I’m only showing off Nova in the box in order to keep today’s triathlon as brief as possible. Do you think they branded Nova big enough? Anybody going to miss that? No? Didn’t think so. Keep in mind, that this is Sam Alexander, as opposed to Richard Rider, who we got a few years back in the first Guardians of the Galaxy wave! Sam’s was a fun and pretty well received book, so I think this figure was probably high on a lot of people’s lists.

Nova is appropriately built on a smaller, teen buck and it makes all the difference in creating a distinctive new member of the Nova Corps for my display. There’s also a surprising amount of new sculpting on this figure. The gold boots are simply painted on, but you get new sculpting in the gauntlets and torso. The dark blue and gold deco of the Nova Corps is always a favorite of mine and I’m in love with the gold paint they used here. It’s very shiny and consistent. I also really dig the head sculpt, although the plastic used for that famous helmet looks a little rough in a few areas.

Nova’s articulation is pretty damn good, especially for a little guy. The arms feature rotating hinges in the shoulders and hips, double hinges in the elbows, and swivels in the biceps. The legs have ball jointed hips, double hinges in the knees, and swivels at the tops of the boots and again up in the thighs. The ankles have hinges and lateral rockers. The torso includes a waist swivel and an ab crunch, and the neck is both ball jointed and hinged. This is a great looking figure and does the character proud.

I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge that Nova comes with a tiny Phlish figure. I really have to give Hasbro props for adding something like this, but seriously, what am I supposed to do with it? It just lies there waiting to be lost. Sorry, Phlish, but I’d much rather Nova just came with The Nullifier instead. Next up… Vance Astro!

I last encountered Major Victory in Fight for the Future, part of the double-sized Guardians 45th Anniversary issue. Wow, has it been three years already? Vance and his team of Guardians rescued Geena Drake from a slave camp. He made quite the entrance, with Cap’s coveted shield preceding him by at least a couple of panels. But ultimately it felt like a glorified a cameo. Why are we getting this figure now? Who cares, he’s a character with a far reaching pedigree and he’s pretty cool too!

Yes, he’s definitely the “budget saver” of this wave, as there’s zero original sculpting from the neck down. That said, his deco looks sharp, particularly that snazzy metallic blue. The paint lines are pretty clean and he has his little crest tampo’ed on the left of his chest. The head sculpt looks damn cool with that shiny blue finish. Articulation is your standard Legends fare, which I just recounted with Nova, so in interest of brevity I’m not going to run through it all again.

Appropriately enough, Vance comes with Cap’s shield, which is recycled from one of the countless versions of Legends Captain America that we’ve seen over the past few years alone. It has a red back and features the familiar wrist clip with a peg to store the shield on his back. My guess is that Vance isn’t going to be high on a lot of collectors’ lists, but I’m happy to have him. And that brings us to the BAF of the wave… Titus!

Like Vance, Titus may not have been high on a lot of people’s lists either, but unlike Vance, Titus is a pretty new character, and a short lived one at that. Or wait… didn’t he come back shortly after? Either way, none of that makes him any less welcome to me. No sir. Why? Because he’s a giant space tiger with a cyborg eye and a gun arm for Chrissakes! If you haven’t been keeping track, Titus is built with six parts scattered throughout this wave (Don’t forget, Star-Lord didn’t come with one!), making him a pretty standard BAF. As a former Special Ops of the Nova Corps, his buck features the very attractive dark blue and gold deco, but lacking the Nova symbol on his chest. He’s got a sculpted robot right arm, which looks very Colossus-y and leads into a massive four barrel instrument of death. His other arm is punctuated by a grasping tiger claw.

This head sculpt! I have to tell you, this is a thing of beauty. Besides all the great sculpted fur and that partially agape jaw, and those teeth, I think it’s the angry wrinkling in his nose that impresses me the most here. The cyborg eye is pretty cool too. When you set out to sculpt the portrait for an alien tiger cyborg, it’s pretty much guaranteed to have some personality, but Hasbro really went above and beyond here. I love it.

And articulation is what we’ve come to expect from most of the BAF figures. It’s actually quite similar to what we saw with Nova and Major Victory. The only real differences are single hinges in the elbows and Titus doesn’t have the extra swivel in the lower legs. Still, not bad at all for a big guy!

And that’s a wrap for the Titus Wave, another very solid assortment of figures and I really dig that Hasbro broke the Guardians Vol 2 wave into two so we could get more comic based characters. I haven’t decided yet whether I’ll be jumping into the Mantis or Warlock Waves next, but before I go with either of those, next Marvel Monday will be another Trifecta of Legends reviews (I promise, this isn’t going to be a regular thing) as I address some unfinished business with a fairly old wave of figures.