Star Wars (Rogue One): Imperial Combat Assault Tank by Hasbro

I make it no secret that Rogue One is my favorite of all the modern Star Wars flicks. Hell, if you take away the nostalgia boost from A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back, it may even be my favorite of all time. But that still didn’t get me to shell out $80 for Hasbro’s Assault Tank because, well… it seemed like an awful lot of money. But Amazon had a Deal of the Day on this baby last week, reducing it to $48 and even then I thought good and hard before finally giving in. Was it worth it? Let’s open it up and find out!

Behold the faux vintage packaging! The old style silver border and the Kenner logo really punches me in the nostalgia button and makes for a very handsome bit of presentation. I also really miss the days when they used to just let pictures of the toy and a bunch of figures do the talking. And because it’s a fully enclosed box, it’s also collector friendly, so I won’t feel tempted to throw it out. Also notice that they finally stopped calling this thing a Hover Tank? Apparently, it was originally supposed to hover in the film, but that got nixed for the final production and I guess the toy companies never got the memo. This resulted in “Hover Tank” appearing on the packaging of the LEGO set and the pilot figure. I kind of wish they kept the name on this package, though. It would have been another cool mistake for the ages, along the lines of the whole 4-LOM/Zuckuss mix-up. Anyway… The tank comes out of the box with very little assembly required, and it can indeed go back in the box, which is always a big plus for me when it comes to this vintage packaging. All you have to do to get the tank ready for action is load up the cargo containers on the back and plug in the guns on the sides. There are no stickers to apply either.

Here she is ready to patrol the streets of your neighborhood and haul away all of your Kyber crystals. The TX-225A “Occupier” Tank doubles as both an armed cargo carrier or troop transport. I’m starting out with it set up first as the former, with the three cargo containers loaded up in the back. My first impression out of the box is that this toy has a real nice heft to it, which hasn’t been the case with most of Hasbro’s vehicles these days. Many of them have had a hollow and cheap plastic feel, but this tank feels solid. It’s a decent size, but not impressively large. I’ll talk about scale again when we load some figures onto it. Beyond that, I’m not sure what to talk about first, the sculpt or the paint, because both stand out right away as being exceptional. Let’s go with the paint first…

It’s all about the weathering, folks. Hasbro dry-brushed the hell out of this thing, giving it tons of wear and tear and making it feel right at home in the used-future of the Star Wars Universe. It’s one of the things most missing from a lot of Hasbro’s vehicles these days, they come out of the box with little to no paint apps and looking all bright and shiny. It tends suck a lot of the character out right out of the designs. Nearly every edge on this tank is painted to look like the finish is scraped down to the bare metal. There are blotches of wear and tear scattered around the body, there are abrasions near the hatches to show frequent use, and even the overall paint job looks like it’s been blasted by Jedha’s harsh climate. This is exactly the kind of personality and craftsmanship that we don’t usually see on Hasbro’s Star Wars vehicles, and it really sets this one apart as being a collector’s piece. It looks like a workhorse that’s been patrolling the streets of the Holy City of that desert moon for years. I love it!

As for the sculpt, there’s some wonderful detail work on the hull that reminds me of some of the old WWII tank models I used to build with my father when I was a kid. You get mesh grating, straps, hatches, panel lines, bolts, and compartments on the sides, just to name some of the highlights. There aren’t any play gimmicks here, just some cool practical features. The vehicle rolls along on two real working rubber treads, which I personally dig a lot more than a hover tank any day! There are double-barreled cannon mounted on each side of the driver compartment and these can swivel 180-degrees to lay down destructive fire in front, above, or behind. You also get a double-barreled cannon peeking out the bottom front section, which can swivel left and right.

There’s a hatch on top that can be removed to allow engine access. The side hatch actually looks like it could open too, but that’s just part of the sculpt. Hasbro even coughed up a lick of paint for some of the components in there. The hatches locks in flush with the body of the vehicle and it actually takes a bit of work to get it open.

Two additional hatches are there for personnel. One allows the driver to pop his head out and see, while the one behind it accommodates the tank commander. These are basically cannon-fodder hatches, or if my old war movie knowledge is applicable, perfect for lobbing grenades into.

The entire plate over the driver compartment is also removable to give you access and also to see how much incredible work Hasbro put into it.  There isn’t an inch of this interior that isn’t packed with detail. There’s grating on the floor, wires and controls on the walls, a shifter lever, control yokes at each seat and a little sticker showing some gauges on the dashboard. If you get all the way in there, you can see a hatch behind the driver’s seat that leads into the back. It doesn’t open, but for a moment, I thought it did.

Also, check out how much detail is sculpted into the inside of the removable hatch! There’s a fan and ventilation system and I love how the filter compartments are sculpted underneath where the vents are on the outside of the panel. This kind of stuff is just so damn cool.

The three cargo containers simply lay in the bed of the tank, but they stay put quite well and are easy to lift out. Removing them allows you to slide the flooring to each side, revealing an area with foot pegs, turning the tank into a troop transport. There are eight pegs in there. We’ll load it up with some troops in a little bit. But first…

Here’s where things get really mind-blowing. One of the cargo containers actually opens and you can remove three of the storage cylinders. I didn’t read a lot about this tank before I bought it and I certainly wasn’t expecting that. That goes double for the fact that you can open each of the three canisters…

…and slide out the Kyber crystals. OK, sure the interiors are made of super soft, gummy plastic. And they don’t really look like anything. But come on, I’d still say that’s going above and beyond! These are the kinds of features that I love in toys. Forget about the electronics and the spring loaded gimmicks. Just give me stuff like this! OK, so we’ve seen all the tank has to offer, let’s take her for a spin with some figures.

For this review, I’m using all 5-POA Rogue One figures. I haven’t been buying many of the 3.75-inch Vintage Collection stuff, and besides, 5-POA is the only way many of the Rogue One figures have been released anyway. These figures fit perfectly in the tank’s driver compartment. The driver seat is raised so that his head will poke out the top of the tank, and I had no trouble replacing the hatch with a Stormtrooper in the co-pilot seat. I’ll likely end up picking up a few of the Vintage Collection Tank Driver, because the 5-POA one is only available as part of the Jedha 4-pack, and he’s the only troop builder in that set.

With the cargo containers removed and the floor plates slid back, the tank will comfortably transport six Stormtroopers in the back. Keep in mind that the foot pegs do not work all that well with the 5-POA figures, nor are they positioned all that well to hold the figures this way. Still, I really dig this as a troop transport and if I dig out a couple of my super-articulated Stormies, I could add a few sitting on the tailgate.

As far as scale is concerned, the tank is definitely a bit undersized, but not by too much. Most of the stills from Rogue One that I consulted show the top of the tank at about the same height as the Stormtroopers escorting it on foot. In the case of the figures, they stand a smidge taller. Personally, I think the figures look fine riding on it, but when they’re walking alongside, it’s when I can see that the vehicle needed to be a bit bigger. It’s not a deal-breaker for me, especially when you consider how many Star Wars vehicles have been down-sized to make the toys work. Although I suppose there’s a case to be made that Hasbro could have scaled this thing properly without breaking the bank, and for $80, they probably should have.

In the end, this is a very, VERY nice toy. The quality and attention to detail feels more in line with the work Hasbro put into the heavy hitters like the huge Millennium Falcon and AT-AT Walkers. Hell, when it comes to the paintwork, I’d say it’s better. And yet I’m still torn on the sense of value here. As nice as it is, my gut reaction tells me that the original MSRP of $80 is WAY too high for this. But then I look at the prices of some of Hasbro’s other recent vehicle releases. Both Kylo Ren’s Silencer from The Last Jedi and the TIE Striker from Rogue One retailed for $50, which is a lot, although granted both of those came with pack-in figures. So grading on the scale of Hasbro’s other ship prices, maybe this one isn’t so bad, but I knew I was never forking over $80 for this. At $48 I’m glad I picked it up, but even at that price, I feel like it should have included a pack-in of the Tank Commander figure.

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Mythic Legions (Advent of Decay): Snagg by The Four Horsemen

I’ve been focusing on some of the new stuff for my first Advent of Decay reviews. So, I started with a female knight and vampire, and then showed off an Elf. Now it’s time to touch on what is easily my most anticipated addition to the Mythic Legions lineup… The Goblins! Hell, YEAH! I totally freaked out when T4H first showed off these deranged little beauties, and I knew right away that I would be getting all of them. It was impossible for me to decide which one to start with, so I just picked one at random. Let’s have a look at Snagg!

And isn’t that just one of the best Goblin names ever? Snagg! Even better, Snagg’s bio tells us that he’s a devious thief. And with his green face and blue sock cap, he kind of reminds me of Zarak, The Half-Orc Assassin from LJN’s old Advanced Dungeons & Dragons line. Not only is that not a bad thing, but I kind of demand a repaint as homage.

The Goblins are about the same height as the Dwarves, but they have a much leaner build. And like the Dwarves, they’re designed so they can borrow parts from the full-sized humans and elves. For example, Snagg has a completely repainted version of the belt and hip armor piece that we saw last week on the Elf Legion Builder. He also uses the wrist bracers that we’ll see on the Elves in future reviews. The body is rounded out with a simple set of plate armor for the torso and armored legs. I’d say that it’s a hodge-podge look that works well for a Goblin, but to be honest, I think all the pieces go together perfectly.

The paint here is excellent, particularly on the belt piece. The prominent disc belt-buckle, the individual rivets on the leather scales are painted in a rich copper. The plates on the tops of the hip-armor are mismatched with one side copper and the other a gun-metal blue. The brown belt has a great textured leather-like look to it and you get some fine silver paintwork on the buckles. Other highlights of the paint include the worn copper color of the leg armor, the metallic blue stones embedded in his arm bracers, and the heavily tarnished finish of his chest armor. Even the tiny buckles on his wrist bracers and leg armor are all neatly painted silver.

And that brings me to the head sculpt, and oh boy is it fantastic! Snagg features a cartoonishly pronounced nose and chin, balanced by the long, swept-back pointed ears. He sports a devilish grin, showing his tiny sharp teeth and two prominent fangs rising up from his bottom jaw. Two beady yellow eyes gaze out from under the stitched blue cap.

Snagg comes with a mismatched pair of shoulder armor, no doubt stolen from the dead on some battlefield. The right shoulder is pretty ornate with some blue panels that manage to match his cap, as if it’s a sad little attempt he made to accessorize. The left shoulder, on the other hand, is a simple, segmented piece with signs of rust setting in. I dig the idea behind these pieces being scavenged, but I may actually prefer him sans shoulder armor.

For a little guy, Snagg comes with quite the arsenal of weapons, which includes a standard cruciform sword, a two-hander, a dagger, and a rustic cleaver made by attaching blades to a piece of stag horn. With the exception of the last piece, I’ve seen all of these weapons before, and I love that all of these weapons are mismatched, again probably all taken from looting and thievery, as they look way too clean and shiny to have been owned by him for long. To carry his weapons, Snagg comes with two of the standard brown belts, allowing for one to be worn on the waist, and the other as a cross strap. Let’s take a quick look at each of his weapons…

The dagger is a repaint of the one that came with Lucretia, now with an entirely gold hilt. I really like the design of this one and the paint job does a good job of setting it apart. I actually had to double check Lucretia’s to make sure it was the same mold. It looks like it would be an excellent parrying dagger as well as serviceable for all the backstabbing that Snagg probably does.

The one-handed sword is the classic cruciform type we’ve seen over and over again in this line. I’m a big fan of the no-nonsense design of this piece and I’m always happy to get another. Oddly, this one is painted all in silver, which is something that T4H usually reserve for the Legion Builder figures, but I think it still looks fine. I would have liked it more if it had a rusty finish, like we’ve seen with some of the Orc weapons, but like I said, maybe he stole it.

The two-handed sword is very familiar from the previous series of Mythic Legions. I tend to refer to this one as a “Tolkien Sword,” because it reminds me of a design I saw of Glamdring once. Either way, I really dig the way the blade swells slightly toward the edge and the stylized crossguard, copper wrapped grip, and skull-crusher pommel are both nice touches. On the other hand, this sword looks totally out of place with Snagg. It’s really big compared to his height and he looks a little awkward wielding it. It just furthers the idea in my mind that he stole it somewhere and just carries it around to make a statement.

Only the stag-handled weapon looks like it might have been made for him, and it manages to be both crude and quite beautiful. The sculpt and paint on the stag handle is superb. The clever-like blade has some nasty gashes and scrapes in it and a serrated area near the grip. The back also has a metal piece with spikes sticking out of it. Now this looks like a Goblin weapon!

Snagg also comes with some other assorted bits, which confused me at first. You get a set of antlers, which are the same pieces used to adorn some of the other figures’ helmets. You also get a single piece of black horn. These aren’t compatible with the figure himself, as he doesn’t come with a helmeted head, but I’m chalking these up to being more loot that he’s scavenged. And it’s always nice to have extra pieces to share with my helmeted figures to create more display options.

And so while he may be small, Snagg is probably packing more personality than almost any other Mythic Legions figure I own. He’s also no doubt the first in what will be my serious love affair with the Mythic Legion Goblins. He’s a magnificent little figure with some superb paintwork, and clearly a lot of thought and love went into his demented design. I can’t wait to pit him against some of my brave warriors and have him try to bite their kneecaps off and steal all their shit. I’m really tempted to just keep going with the Goblins for the next month, but I promise I’ll try to be back with something a little different next week.

Marvel Legends (Deluxe Riders): Black Widow and Motorcycle by Hasbro

[ Edit: Shortly after I posted today’s Marvel Monday Review, I heard the news that Stan Lee had passed away. I debated whether or not to post a separate tribute, but the more I tried to outline a piece that measured his impact on my life, the more I found that impact was immeasurable. I grew up reading almost every comic book I could get my hands on, but Fantastic Four and Spider-Man were among my favorites, and those are two books that have stayed with me the longest. But it’s simply impossible for me to recount the ways in which Stan Lee’s creations and imagination helped to influence my life from a child to a middle aged man, and almost every moment in between. I will, however, thank him for the fact that I never really did grow up. I’m 46 and I still read comic books and collect action figures, and have framed posters of Super Heroes on my walls. I’d like to think a big piece of that was because of him. 

I don’t want to look at Stan Lee’s death as a tragedy. We should all be so lucky to live to 95. We should all be so lucky to leave this world with so many adoring fans. We should all be so lucky to leave this world with such an enormous positive impact. But I will say that I will miss him terribly. Obviously, I didn’t know him personally. I never even met him. But his creations represented hope, goodness, justice, morality, and I can say that from what I’ve seen of Stan himself, he struck me as a never ending well of positive energy. It does give me great comfort to know that he lived to see his creations break out of the comic book shops and become so massively mainstream. His influences escaped the comic panels and burst out on 50-foot movie screens across the world. He lived to know that the fruit of his imagination was both boundless and timeless.

I did not know you, Stan Lee, but I loved you. Excelsior! ]

This week’s Marvel Monday is not a random grab, because if this huge box were in with the others, I’d wind up grabbing it every time. Nope, this one has been sitting beside my Legends Unopened Box of Shame and I just decided that this was the week to check it out. So let’s have a look at Black Widow and her motorcycle!

Remember when Toybiz did that line of Marvel Legends Riders? Well, I guess this is kind of like that. Only in that case a lot of the vehicles were pretty shitty. Hasbro seems to be doing it right this time by offering these figures in bigger boxes (and bigger price points!) to get us some really cool, full-sized vehicles. And given the 6-inch Scale of Legends it should come as no surprise that they’ve all been motorcycles so far, but I’m not complaining. The packaging looks great, it’s collector friendly, and it really shows off the goods splendidly. So let’s open this set up and start out with the figure.

I was expecting a straight repack of Natasha in this set, but we actually get an all new figure. And with all the Black Widows in my Legends collection, I’m happy to say that she still manages to bring a new look to the table. Indeed, this version strikes me as a nice balance between a classic version and a cutting-edge modern MCU version. Her bracers are silver and made to look like angled metal. These remind me of the ones she had in her earliest appearances. On the other hand the high collar and low zipper give her a bit more of a modern flare. The rest of the costume is just a black body suit and the painted belt consists of silver discs and the red Black Widow emblem. The costume is clean and simple, but looks great.

You get two different head sculpts, one with short hair and one with long hair, and I really dig them both. The paint applications for the eyes, eyebrows, and lips is all quite sharp, and there’s a little wash to bring out the detail in her red hair. The only thing here I don’t like is the big ugly seam that’s running down the center of her neck. Seriously, Hasbro? You couldn’t have hid that a little better?

You get standard Legends female articulation. That includes rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists. The legs have ball joints in the hips, swivels in the thighs, double hinges in the knees, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. There is no waist swivel, but you do get a ball joint just under the chest, and the neck has both a hinge and ball joint. I’ve had the legs pop out at the hips a couple of times while posing her, but they pop right back in. It’s a shame she doesn’t have any guns, but the extra head is the figure’s only “accessory,” unless you count the motorcycle!

Like the figure, the motorcycle goes above and beyond what I was expecting. It’s a sporty bike with a red, gun-metal gray, and lighter gray deco, and you even get a Black Widow emblem on the right side near the front. Other nice touches include stickers for the instrument gauges, a tinted yellow headlamp cover, and I do believe the tires are made of rubber! Sculpted details include the engine and the chain drive, as well as a textured seat. The steering wheel turns the front wheel, you get a flip down kickstand, and holy hell, the suspension on the front wheel actually works!

Even with all that good stuff, I think what delights me the most about this set is how well Natasha can fit on the bike. There’s no compromising here. I can get her to hold the handlebars, keep her tushie on the seat, and have both feet on the foot pegs and she looks she looks totally natural on it. The only thing worth noting here is that Natasha works better on the bike with the shorter hair, as it allows her to look up more. Also, that long hair should be flowing in the breeze when she’s riding, so it doesn’t quite work on the bike anyway.

Even with pumping out an obscene number of figures, Hasbro is still looking for new ways to grow the Legends brand, and I think that’s fantastic! Especially in this day and age when vehicles are getting scarce in the toy aisles. What’s even better is this set seems to be around $30 at most retailers, I picked it up for a few bucks less, but either way it feels like quite a deal. The figure is excellent, and when you consider that Legends figures sell for around $20 these days, that leaves only about $10 for the bike. Not bad at all! It’s also got me pretty pumped to pick up the Wolverine and Ghost Rider sets then next time I see them!

One Piece: “Flag Diamond Ship” Nefeltari Vivi (Code: B) by Banpresto

I’m on vacation this week, which means I actually had time to resurrect Anime Saturday! And while I won’t make any promises, I’m really trying to bring it back on a semi-regular basis, because the Prize Figures and Figmas have been stacking up quite a bit. Today I’m opening up another one of Banpresto’s Flag Diamond Ship figures and this time it’s the Princess of Alabasta herself, Nefaltari Vivi!

As always, the figure comes in a fully enclosed box with some shots of the statue and the deliciously weird mission statement of the series: For some reason, I got it into my head that the Code B meant it was the second version of the character in the series, but I’m pretty sure this is first time Vivi has appeared. Anyway, this roughly 9-inch scale figure requires a bit of minor assembly, so let’s get her set up and check her out!

And here she is all put together and looking… well, nicely put together, if ya know what I mean! Early on, I thought they were going for a strong pirate theme in this line, but it seems like that’s not necessarily the case. That’s not to say I don’t like what I’m seeing! Vivi sports a black button-down half-shirt, which also only happens to be about halfway buttoned. Thankfully there’s a strap across her chest to hold it together. The sleeves are rolled up just below her elbows and she has one glove on her right hand.

Moving down, she’s got black short shorts with a blue sash tied around her waist, a flintlock pistol strapped to her right thigh, a knee below that, one thigh-high blue stocking on her left leg, and a pair of very tall glossy black boots with sculpted laces and buckles. It may not be traditional pirate garb, but I really dig it.

Overall, the paint is pretty solid on this figure. I love the gradient blue coloring on her left stocking, it gives me a bit of a Harley Quinn vibe, and the high gloss black used for her boots and glove looks great. Some high points of the applications include the individually painted brass buttons on her top, the silver buckles in her boots and holster strap, and the gold ring on her right hip, that’s holding her waist sash together. The brown used for the holster is a darker shade than the pistol itself, and while they painted the butt cap on the pistol gold, they neglected to paint the rest of the fixtures on the gun. This omission is really the only complaint I have about the paintwork on this figure, as it is the gun looks like it’s made out of chocolate!

The portrait is excellent. Vivi’s big eyes are perfectly printed, along with her lips and eyebrows. The pose has her gathering up her long blue hair, which is flowing wildly all around her. While the detail is overall great on the figure, I think it’s the hair that really sells this sculpt the most to me.

Banpresto has experimented a bit with the bases in this line. They started out using a large circular disc with the first Nami, then they went with a little pile of gold for the second figure, Boa Hancock. Now it seems like they’ve settled for using just black chunks of plastic that pegs into one of the feet. I like these, as they don’t take up as much space as the conventional bases, but I kind of wish they kept the treasure motif, because it actually looked likes something and not just a hunk of black plastic. I know some collectors have had issues with the stability on these stands, but mine have been pretty good. They fit flush with the shelf and they do their job keeping the figures upright.

Four figures in, and I have to say that I’m still a big fan of this line. The costumes are creative, the ladies are beautiful, and the quality is certainly there for the price point. And speaking of which, I’ve found that pricing on this line has been anywhere from $20 all the way up to $30, depending on where I get them. It seems like pre-ordering them is the way to go, as I got Vivi here for $20, but I’m probably going to cough up $30 for the Nico Robin I missed out on. Twenty bucks feels like a great value, whereas thirty is right up at the ceiling.

Masters of the Universe Classics: Karg by Super7

I was supposed to wrap up my look at Super7’s second wave of Collector’s Choice figures weeks ago, but I got sidetracked by Halloween content and I’m only now getting to open the last figure in the wave. Anyway, today’s figure is Karg and he’s special because he’s one of a handful of figures based off the 1987 Masters of the Universe film. Matty gave us Blade and Saurod, and now Super7’s addition of Karg nearly rounds out the quartet of baddies pretty well with only Beastman still out of the picture. Although I shudder to think what I would give up to get a Skeletor and Evil-Lyn from this flick. Young Meg Foster… Yum!

The packaging is right in line with what we were getting from Matty for all those years. And speaking of all those years, there’s a nice Tenth Anniversary logo on this one, celebrating the line from 2010-2018. That’s a long time! No wonder I have so many boxes of these figures! Karg’s tagline labels him as the “Evil Inquisitor With A Horrible Hook” which I presume makes him Skeletor’s chief torturer and that’s some pretty harsh shit for kids toy line. The back shows a spread of figures from Super7’s two most recent waves and you get a bio on the back that works Karg into the mainstream Masters Classics canon.

Here he is out of the package and I’ll go ahead and say it: Super7 did a nice job recreating the costume from the film, at least in terms of the sculpt. It’s not 100%, probably due to copyright issues, but the influences are certainly there. The chest and shoulder armor are comprised of one piece, sculpted in soft plastic, and permanently attached to the buck. There are some nice details around his gorget and under the armor he has a quilted tunic that hangs below his waist and is belted in place. They even recreated that distinctive horn-like emblem for his belt buckle. Sculpted onto his belt are various tools hanging down, which I would imagine are some kind of torture instruments. Below that you get some smooth leggings and buccaneer-style boots. The coloring here, on the other hand, is a big departure from his on screen look. The figure eschews the browns, coppers, and golds of the big screen costume for a metallic blue deco. It may not jibe in terms of screen accuracy, but I do like it a lot. Hell, I actually prefer it. I like my MOTUC figures crazy and flashy, and this beautiful paint job is certainly delivers that and with a gorgeous paint job. The metallic blue is exceptional and I like the silver detailing on the tools.

If there’s one thing here that I’m not too crazy about it’s his cape. It’s extremely wide, and while the sculpted woolly pattern on the top half is well done, it just doesn’t look all that great from the back. I wish it was removable, but it’s permanently attached to the chest armor. At least I don’t mind it so much when viewed from the front.

As for the head sculpt? Well, it’s a work of art. Karg’s mask was an impressive piece of work in the film and this figure captures that look very well. The skin tone has been changed up to green, but the sculpt itself is as faithful as I could want. From the wrinkled skin to the somewhat porcine nose, everything just looks great. I especially dig the sunken eyes and the very distinctive paint used for the eyes themselves. The hair isn’t quite as poofy as movie Karg’s white coif, and it’s been re-colored to yellow. I’m fine with that and I like how you can see his very alien-looking ears peeking out through the hair. Oh yeah, and he has an Elizabethan Collar around his neck! As many times as I’ve watched that movie, I never noticed it until seeing it on this figure and comparing it with stills from the flick.

I’ve yet to mention one of Karg’s most distinguishing features, and that’s the “Horrible Hook” that he has grafted onto his left arm. It’s your standard pirate hook and it does swivel at the base and have a slightly barbed end to it. My only little gripe here is that the hook had a much cooler design to it on the early prototype. It’s a pity they changed it for the final product.

Karg comes with two accessories, the first of which is the delightfully named Dagger of Agony. It actually looks like it might supposed to be an energy blade of some kind, but I don’t really know anything about it. As far as accessories go, it’s OK, but I think the design is a little dull and certainly doesn’t live up to its foreboding name.

Second, you get this pretty cool laser blaster. It’s got a bit of a Star Wars vibe to it and I can certainly get behind that! I’ll definitely be displaying him with this over the dagger.

In case you can’t tell, I really love this figure. It’s not only great that Super7 was able to get us one more original character from the ’87 movie, but I think Karg is a wonderful addition to Skeletor’s Minions. This figure represents some superb sculpting and excellent paintwork. Is there a downside? Well, Super7 have opened the pre-orders for their third wave of Filmation Style figures, but I haven’t seen any word on a third wave of Collector’s Choice figures. These new characters have been my main focus, and it would be a shame if we didn’t get any more of them.

Mythic Legions (Advent of Decay): Elf Legion Builder by The Four Horsemen

It’s Week Three of Mythic Legions Wednesdays‘ return and I couldn’t be more excited! I’m not following any particular order in which I open and review these figures, but I’m not going totally random either. Since I already looked at two of the regular figures, I thought this week I’d check out one of the Legion Builders. And since the Elves are introduced in the Advent of Decay series, let’s have a look at the Elf Legion Builder!

I’ll go ahead and show a packaged shot here, because unlike the named characters, the Legion Builders don’t actually have bios, because they’re just nameless soldiers. But you can name if you want to! Oh, go on… name them! The Legion Builders are cheaper than the regular figures because they involve less paint operations, usually on both the figure and the accessories, but as we’ll soon see, that doesn’t make them any less spectacular! And in fact, this Elf in particular doesn’t feel like your typical Legion Builder at all.

Behold the Elven armor of golden splendor! Yes, let’s remind ourselves that this is what the rank-and-file Elf Warriors are wearing and it’s pretty fabulous. In case you didn’t already know, Mythic Legions is all about mixing and matching parts, and here we get a great example of that in Advent of Decay. The torso here is new, but the arms and legs are lifted straight from the armored bucks we saw on Gwendolyn and Lucretia. It works well for the diminutive Elven build as well as the female knights, and even though we already saw those parts in gold on Gwen, I think this combination still makes for a pretty unique look.

And the sculpt here is absolutely beautiful. As always, it’s brimming with detail from the overlapping plates to the tiny rivets and sculpted buckles and straps. I particularly like the discs on the chest and belt. When combined with the coloring and the rather thin armored build, it gives me a little bit of a C-3PO vibe. And the armor sculpt that does just fine showing off its details with nothing but a sumptuous golden finish. And while we’re on the subject of paint, it’s worth noting that the past Knight Legion Builders featured only one color on their armor and no additional paint apps at all, except maybe on a helmet plume. The Elf breaks that trend by adding the green scaled armor below his belt with the individually painted gold rivets. It’s a great touch that breaks up all that gold just enough to make him feel more like one of the regular figures. Of course, the figure also comes with the ubiquitous sword belt and removable shoulder armor. And yup, those are the same shoulders we saw on both Gwen and Lucretia.

The Elf Legion Builder comes with no less than three different heads. He comes out of the package with dark skin, green eyes, and an open faced helmet, complete with nasal guard and a wonderfully organic sculpt to the helmet. The ears are quite prominent, but they stay close to the head, giving him more of a Tolkein-esque Western interpretation, as opposed to the ones we usually see in anime or mangas. There isn’t a lot of sharp detail in the face, but I still like it a lot and he has a bit of a dour but noble expression.

The other option is the lighter skinned head, again with green eyes, and the exact same helmet. Actually, it looks like the whole head sculpt here is identical, with just the lighter skin distinguishing it.

The final option is a completely enclosed helmet, but with green skin showing on the exposed ears. I think it’s likely that this is intended to be the open helmet with a mask on it, but I could be wrong about that. Either way, it’s a real sexy piece of design. I love the organic curves and the darkened visor. All three heads are great choices and they make me wish I had picked up at least one more of these guys to display them on. But we’ve also got a lot of accessories to talk about, so let’s move on to the weapons.

The Elf comes with a pretty standard sword and dagger, which can be worn on the belt. Well, there’s one loop so either the sword or dagger can be fitted through the loop and the other just has to be thrust through the belt. Either way it works just fine. We’ve seen both of these weapon molds before many times, but I really dig them a lot. The sword is a pretty no-nonsense weapon with a broad blade and a cruciform hilt and the dagger has a stout blade and a slightly down-turning crossguard. The hilts aren’t matched perfectly, but they’re close enough so that they look good together. Both blades are painted silver and the hilts are painted gold, which is notable because most of my previous Legion Builder Knights did not have any paint apps on their weapons.

Next up is the bow and quiver of arrows, both of which are accessories that are introduced in Advent of Decay. The bow has some really beautiful contours, is painted all in silver, and includes a string. The quiver is painted gold and the arrows have silver shafts and gold fletching. The quiver has a clip that can hook onto the belt, just like we saw on the dagger’s sheath that came with Lucretia. There’s also an attachment that can be used to put it on his back, but it sticks out too far and I don’t like it. The arrows in the quiver are all part of the sculpt, but you do get a single loose arrow.

The loose arrow is pretty thin and frail and he can’t really hold it, at least not without the help of a little blue-tack inside his hand. There are, however, two little nubs on the bow that the arrow can sort of clip into. With a little determination and trickery, I was able to get him to actually knock the arrow and draw the bow. It would have been cool if T4H created a hand for these guys with a slit between two of the fingers. I suppose it would be easy to customize with a good razor blade, but he only comes with the two hands and I don’t want to risk messing him up.

Finally, the Elf Legion Builder comes with a spear and this accessory is as old as Mythic Legions itself. It was a popular pack in accessory with a lot of figures from the first Kickstarter, and I’m not surprised to see it continuing to see service in Advent of Decay. It’s a very simple accessory, all molded from one piece of plastic and painted entirely in silver. The spear is also the thing the only accessory that feels like the weapons included with previous Legion Builders. I’m not going to gripe about it, because quite frankly this figure comes with enough goodies that the spear just feels like a gratuitous extra.

As I mentioned in the beginning, the Legion Builders are the  in this line, and that’s part of what makes this Elf Soldier so impressive to me. Sure he doesn’t have as many paint operations as the regular figures, but he still looks great. And with three different heads and a whole passel of weapons, he feels like anything but a budget figure. Alas, the secondary market prices on these figures preclude me from doing any kind of troop building when it comes to Mythic Legions, I just might pony up for one more of these Elves to make one an archer and the other a regular knight.

Marvel Legends (Thanos Wave): Iron Spider by Hasbro

It’s just another Marvel Monday, but I wish it was Sunday cuz that’s my fun day. Actually Mondays are pretty fun because I get to open another random Legends figure off my pile. Today my grubby mitts went into the “To Open” box and drew back Spider-Man from Infinity War! Ok, this one probably wasn’t so random because it’s the last figure I dropped into the box and I didn’t give it a good stir before picking today.

I can’t even begin to tell you how frustrating it was for me to get this figure. I never saw him on the pegs and, for the longest time, this Webhead was going for upward of $40 on Amazon. I finally grabbed him off another retailer who got some singles in and wouldn’t you know it, the next week he started selling on Amazon for the regular MSRP. That’s pretty par for the course when it comes to my luck with these Infinity War figures. Hell, I’m still hunting down Captain America and he’s usually the over-produced peg warmer of the wave.

So, here’s Spidey out of the box and right away, I have some issues. The figure features some extensive texturing, which feels all wrong. From memory, the Iron Spider suit in Infinity War was pretty slick and smooth. I checked a few stills and even the pictures of the upcoming Hot Toys version (which are usually a pretty good source for accuracy) and I think I’m justified as saying the texturing isn’t supposed to be there. It looks more like one of the older suits. Now with that having been said, I think the coloring is pretty good. I like the shade of red they used and the gold trim is neatly painted, especially around the spider logo. On the downside, this is one of those instances where Hasbro doesn’t paint the pegs, which is really obvious on the insides of the sleeves and the lower pegs on the knees where they interrupt the gold striping. Overall, not a bad looking figure, but not one that really conveys the suit from the movie to me.

The head sculpt just looks cheap to me. Once again, the texturing feels wrong, and while the web pattern shouldn’t be blackened, it should be more pronounced than it is here. The crazy amount of mold flashing hanging off my figure’s seam-lines also don’t help to instill a feeling of care and quality. The previous MCU Spidey gave us two heads to depict the eyes wide and narrowed. Here we just get the one noggin.

Fortunately, the articulation here is everything I expect from a Legends Spidey. I wasn’t sure they were going to put the shoulder crunches in this one, but they did and that makes me happy. The legs have ball joints in the hips, swivels in the thighs, double hinges in the knees, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. The arms have rotating hinges in shoulders and wrists, double hinges in the elbows, and swivels in the biceps. There’s a swivel in the waist, an ab crunch, and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed. As a result, Iron Spider is pretty fun to play around with!

So here comes the real sucky part. Iron Spider comes with absolutely no extras. No swappable fists, no second head, and the biggest crime? He does not come with his additional mechanical legs. Hasbro has set a bit of a precedent for extras with our Spidey Legends so when they don’t include them, it hurts the value. But not including his mechanical legs is something I just can’t overlook. It’s the coolest thing about this suit and they featured prominently in the film. Hell, I’m pretty sure even the shitty Titan figure got those legs.

After hunting so long for him, Iron Spider turned out to be quite a letdown. He’s a nice looking figure, but the texturing on the suit feels wrong and the lack of extras really hurts. For what was the biggest and coolest costume reveals for me in Infinity War, this figure deserved to be so much better. It’s still bewildering to me that Hasbro could have released this one without the mechanical legs. Even if they were just a static piece that plugged into the back, that would have been better than nothing. It’s not like Hasbro to drop the ball in this line, especially not with the MCU versions of the characters, but here’s one that needs an instant do-over.

Evil Dead 2: Ash and Evil Ed (30th Anniversary Set) by NECA

What was an early birthday present back in August has now been sitting on my shelf for months waiting to be opened on the spookiest of weeks. And here we are! Believe me, there were plenty of times when I was tempted, especially when I was binge watching the third season of Ash Vs Evil Dead on Blu-Ray. The last time NECA dipped its toe into Classic Ash was back in 2016 with the release of Ultimate Ash from Evil Dead II. Now we get another version from the same flick, and this time he comes bundled with Deadite Ed Getley!

I’m sure I’ve gushed plenty in the past about my love for Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn, so I’ll spare you the repeat performance. Suffice it to say it’s been a favorite of mine ever since discovering it as a VHS rental back when I was a teenager. NECA is no stranger to the property, as they’ve produced lots of figures and merchandise from the films and TV Series. They also know how to do some killer presentation. This set comes in a big window box with a front flap showing some of the vintage poster art from the film and also the tagline, “Kiss Your Nerves Goodbye!” The package is totally collector friendly, which is great because there’s a bunch of stuff in this box to keep track of. Let’s start with Ash!

The previous Ultimate Ash from Evil Dead II depicted our hero from earlier in the movie, with his clothes still in tact and without his soon-to-be-favorite accessory. But this? This is Ash as I love him best. He’s in his full-on Deadite Hunting form from the second part of the movie and also from the beginning of Ash Vs The Army of Darkness. So iconic! Here he is with his shirt torn to shreds, his makeshift chest harness, his boomstick scabbard, and his chainsaw arm attachment. This is The Prophesied One!

As always, NECA did a beautiful job with the sculpt and attention to detail. From the waist down, he appears to be a straight re-use of the Ultimate Ash right down to the shredded left trouser leg. And there’s nothing wrong with that. The top half features a torn shirt that’s actually sculpted separately and attached to the figure. This not only adds a great deal of depth and credibility to the sculpt, but allows for the ball joint to be partially hidden by the shirt. Other nice touches include the immaculate stitch lines on the trousers, the carefully painted eyelets on the shotgun scabbard, and the blood splattered on the shirt. Rotating hinges give him some decent articulation, no surprises here, although I would have liked to be able to get a tighter bend in those elbows.

The chainsaw is also pitch-perfect when it comes to the sculpt and paint, but it does have a couple of drawbacks. First, the blade is super soft and bendy, which has not been a problem with my previous NECA Ash figures. Second, the peg that connects the chainsaw to the wrist stump is a pretty weak connection causing it to come off frequently, and I mean FREQUENTLY, when I’m posing him. I really wish they had used a ball joint for that connection point. But since the swivel is separate from the connecting peg, I may just wind up gluing that bad boy on him.

Ash comes with a whopping three heads! The first is a variant of the sort of surprised or scared-stupid look that came with EDII Ultimate Ash. The big difference here is a lot less blood on the forehead, but that’s not to say there isn’t a fair amount of blood here and there. Ash has taken a few blows to the face and it shows. The paint for his five-o-clock shadow is particularly well done. Is it a great likeness? Well, I think NECA’s younger versions of Bruce Campbell tend to have an element of caricature to them. Don’t get me wrong, the likeness is there, and it’s better at certain angles, but I don’t think it’s quite as good as what they did with older Ash from the TV Series.

Next up is a sort of neutral expression. I like the blood applications on this head a little better and the overall paint is fantastic.

And finally, you get the teeth-gritting “I’m sick of taking shit off these Deadites” expression. I think in terms of likeness, this one may be the weakest of the three, but given the way I’m likely to pose him, this one will probably get the bulk of the display time with my figure. I really do need to pick up some of those Head Display Stands that NECA does.

In addition to the chainsaw, Ash also comes with his sawed-off boomstick, which he can hold pretty well in his left hand. It is, however, a tight fit in that scabbard on his back. I’m hoping it stretches out a little over time. Moving on to Deadite Ed…

Or as he’s lovingly known as Evil Ed or how about just Edite? Whatever you want to call him, this is Annie Knowby’s significant other after who got possessed. From the neck down, he’s just a dude in khaki pants, loafers, and a striped dress shirt, oh yeah… and demon hands with creepy, spindly fingers.

But from the neck up he’s a whole lotta grusome. NECA went above and beyond recreating this portrait down to the finest details: The pupil-less eyes surrounded by blotchy purple skin, the wrinkled nose, the extended maw of a mouth overflowing with a mess of green teeth. Disgusting!

Evil Ed even has a hinged jaw so you could recreate him eating Bobby Joe’s hair! *Hair not included. What more could you ask for?

How about a second head that’s cut across the top to recreate Ash’s killing stroke? The top piece attaches well enough so that it looks like he just has a scar, but you can indeed pull it off to reveal his greasy green brains. COOL!

Ah, but we’re not done yet. You get a few more cool accessories in this box. First up is the Necronomicon Ex Mortis and this one one-ups the Book of the Dead that came with Ultimate Ash because it actually opens to show a couple of pages and holy shit, that’s going above and beyond! Seriously, it’s ridiculous how impressed I am by this!

Next, you get the very Gigeresque Kandarian Dagger! It’s pretty big for a dagger and the sculpt is packed with little details. Ash can hold it pretty well in his good hand.

And finally, the set includes the Deadite-possessed deer trophy! It’s a great bonus to beef up the value of the set, and the sculpt is superb, capturing all the personality of the outrageous puppet used in the film. I’m just sad because I have no idea how I’m going to display it. I’ll probably just try to find a panel of wood and blue-tack it to it, or maybe just attach it right to the back of the shelf where I wind up displaying these figures.

With the unfortunate demise of Ash Vs Evil Dead after just three seasons, it’s nice to know that NECA is still mining the classic movies to get Ash and the Deadites some love, and this set is indeed full of a lot of love. This will always be the most iconic look for Ash as far as I’m concerned and NECA did a fine job on him while still packing in a much-needed Deadite figure and some cool extras. I think this set retailed for around $45, but I’m not sure as it was a birthday gift, but if that was the MSRP then it was worth every damn penny. I can only hope that NECA isn’t going to let the Evil Dead license vanish into obscurity.

Friday the 13th (Part 5: A New Beginning) Ultimate Jason Voorhees by NECA

I tried my darnedest to pack in as much spooky content as I could before Halloween, but I couldn’t get to all of it. That’s why my Twitter #HalloweenCountdown has become the #HalloweenAfterParty. Yeah! I still won’t get to everything because I’ve got a busy week and weekend ahead, but let’s see how much more damage I can do before the weekend’s over. Aaaaand…it just so happens that NECA’s latest version of The Scourge of Camp Crystal Lake showed up at my door last week!

If you’re playing along at home, this is the fifth version of Jason to get the Ultimate treatment. For those of you who haven’t been keeping up, the Ultimate moniker means that NECA packed as much articulation and extra goodies as they could into these releases and wrapped them up in some premium and collector-friendly packaging. And if had any doubt as to NECA’s commitment to Jason Voorhees, then know that this version is indeed coming from the one movie in the franchise that technically didn’t even have Jason in it. It’s also quite possibly the first figure in my collection based entirely on movie dream sequences. A lot of people don’t care for Part 5 because Jason sits it out and it’s definitely not one of my favorites, but I actually find it to be pretty enjoyable. If nothing else it has a few pretty creative and grizzly kills.

Continuity is a beautiful thing, especially when it means an action figure can recycle a lot of parts. In this case, Part 5 Jason shares his entire body sculpt with that of the Part 4 release. The paint is also fairly similar, although this version is given a more slicker, glossier, and wetter look to simulate the rainy dream where young Tommy Jarvis watches two idiots dig up Jason and quickly get dispatched by him. Of course, it doesn’t work quite as well for recreating Dream Jason at the end. As usual, the sculpt here is excellent and you get rotating hinges in all the right places to pose your imaginary Jason. That’s really all I have to say about this body, let’s check out some heads!

There are two heads that are tied directly to the opening dream in the film and both feature the extra wet and dirty hockey mask. The only difference between these two is that one has the worms coming out of his eyes from when he was lying in the grave and the other is sans worms for when he got up and started killing. Now, unlike most of the Ultimate Jasons, all the heads in this set feature the mask permanently sculpted onto the head. They did this with the original Ultimate Jason from Part VI and I wasn’t a big fan, mainly because the blacked out eye holes are a lot less convincing. It’s not as big a deal for me here, since Dream Jason was never unmasked, and I guess you could argue that the blacked out eyes adds to his dreamlike qualities. With that having been said, I think the decos on these two versions of the mask look fantastic. These are undoubtedly the masks that I will display this figure with the most.

The third head depicts Jason from the dream sequence towards the end of the flick. It’s slightly cleaner but has the cut in the upper corner and the blood trickling down. This is another great looking mask, but here the blacked out eyes bother me a lot more.

The fourth head is a bit of a reach, but it’s based on the very stylized looking mask with glowing eyes depicted in one of the film’s posters. I guess it’s a cool item and it’s a great reason to pick up one of NECA’s head stand packs, but it really feels like NECA was desperately looking for something extra to include in the box, given that this set is light on weapons and completely reuses the body from a previous release. This extra is even more puzzling since NECA didn’t even use this particular piece of art for the cover of the box. I’ll be honest, I never really cared for this particular poster. The styling never made any sense to me and I could easily see some more casual Jason fans not even realizing what this head is supposed to be. Let’s check out the other accessories!

For starters, you get the machete and what I think is either supposed to be a chisel or a screwdriver. Both of these are the implements Dream Jason used to dispatch the idiots who dug up his grave. They’re decent looking accessories and Jason can hold them pretty well in his right hand.

The third and final weapon is this double-bladed axe. I don’t remember Dream Jason ever holding an axe, but maybe this is supposed to be the one that was used to kill Joey? It’s been a long time since I saw this flick, so I don’t remember. Either way, this is a cool killing implement and NECA went heavy with the blood!

The final accessory is Jason’s grave marker from the first dream sequence and it’s a pretty rad piece. It’s meant to be crudely fashioned from boards and has Jason’s name inscribed across it in what looks like white spray paint. Of course, it’s just an imaginary version of Jason’s headstone. We get to see the real one in the next movie.

If I ever had any doubt that NECA was committed to releasing a Jason from every damn movie, than this one puts that doubt to rest. And if ever there was a figure made for Jason completists like myself, this is the one! It’s a figure of an imaginary Jason from a movie that he doesn’t even appear in and a lot of folks don’t seem to like all that much. And as great a figure as it is, it’s also probably the least impressive when it comes to extra accessories. Sure the passel of heads is great, the worm-ridden one if fantastic, and I love the grave marker, but there’s not much else in this box to generate a wow factor. And so Part 5 Jason is really going to be for those of us who are all in and digging deep and buying them all. If that’s not you, you may want to sit this one out or hunt down one of the others.

Savage World (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre): Leatherface by Funko

The day is finally here, my week long Twitter #HalloweenCountdown has reached Halloween, and I haven’t managed to get through nearly as much new stuff as I wanted. How the hell did I used to find the time to do five reviews a week? Nonetheless, I’m not going down without a fight and I’m back this afternoon to check out another one of Funko’s Savage World Slashers. Who will survive? And what will be left of them? Let’s find out…

Yes, Funko decided that they weren’t filling up those landfills in New Jersey fast enough with all the Pop!s and WobblerZ and Dorbs and whatever the hell they make, so now they’re shipping horror movie slashers with He-Man figures. What idiot buys this stuff? ME!!! And here is the obligatory packaged shot. You get a good look at the figure if you want to hang him on the wall carded. Otherwise, it’s time to do some slashing of your own to get him out because this card-and-bubble is decidedly un-collector-friendly.

And despite the Masters of the Universe makeover, there’s no doubt who this is supposed to be! Funko took all the key points of old Leatherface and did some tweaking, but the results are pretty damn cool. His shirtless upper body advertises his impressive new physique that makes me wonder just what them boys are putting in all that chili he eats. He’s got a sculpted apron with some wear and tear, as well as stitching, and it’s accessorized with a hook on a chain that girds it around his pinched waist. Toss in some splattered blood and the result is c’est magnifique.

I’ve pointed out my appreciation for the little details on the other two Savage World figures I reviewed and the same holds true here. Leatherface actually has a sculpted furry loincloth layered under his apron, which is pretty cool. He also has the furry barbarian boots with the stitching up the backs, and his right left arm features a long leather glove.

While Freddy’s portrait was a bit of a reach, Leatherface falls more in the Michael Meyers camp in having a pitch-perfect head sculpt. The DIY human-hide mask is haphazardly stitched and his real skin is peeking out around the mouth and eye holes. I also dig his crazy black hair.

Leatherface’s right arm is fitted with a contraption that would make Ash Williams proud, and that’s a medieval-looking chainsaw grafted onto the end of his forearm. This is where most of the liberties are taken with this design, but it looks great and I really dig it.

There’s even an extra attachment in the form of this goofy wooden mallet. Hey, that people meat don’t tenderize itself, amiright?

While I’ve been enjoying all of the figures in this line quite a bit, I’m going to have to rank Leatherface here as my favorite so far. They really did a nice job adapting the character to this ridiculous format. Sure, he’s clearly Leatherface, but he also looks like some crazy medieval butcher out of one of those B-movie Sword-and-Sandals flicks. So, maybe this is just a nonsensical license-mashing cash-grab on Funko’s part, but it’s hard to deny that they’re putting some real love into it.

And that wraps it up for my #HalloweenCountdown, but I’m not quite done with the spooky stuff for the week, because tomorrow starts my #HalloweenAfterParty where I’ll try to squeeze in a few more horror-themed reviews before the end of the week!