Star Trek “The Wrath of Khan:” Khan Collector Figure by Diamond Select

If you follow me on Twitter than you know that I’ve had a lot of Star Trek on the brain lately, and it’s all because of CBS’ new series Discovery. Now, it’s not what you might think. You see, I hate the show. In fact, I’m not sure hate is even a strong enough word. But in a way I’m almost thankful for it, because it’s gotten me so worked up about Star Trek that I’ve been back into watching one or two episodes a night of everything from The Original Series to Voyager and I’ve been falling in love all over again. I’m not sure how much of any of that really factors into today’s review, because truth be told DST’s Khan Noonian Singh just popped up in my Amazon Recommendations for a crazy good price, so I bought him. Probably would have happened anyway.

If you’re not familiar with these Trek Select releases, they fall somewhere between action figures and statues, and favor swappable parts over articulation. In fact, Khan here actually has less articulation than the Original Series Kirk and Spock sets that were released earlier. I reviewed the Kirk set over four years ago and it left me a little befuddled. To be honest, I bought this one mainly for the Movie Era Captain’s Chair. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s talk packaging… I have been pretty critical of DST’s action figure packaging in the past, particularly with their Muppets line, because it’s so big and wasteful. Here, I think it’s totally warranted because there’s a whole lot of stuff in this box and I don’t think they could have crammed it into a smaller bubble. The cardback features a wrap-around with a picture of Khan on the side panel and the Star Trek 50th Anniversary logo running up the front. The back of the card has a satisfying and lengthy piece of background copy and shows some of the other figures in this line. Also, check out the picture of the Reliant on the bubble insert. That sure looks like it might be a painted prototype of a Starship Legends Defiant. WHERE IS MY STARSHIP LEGENDS DEFIANT, DIAMOND???

Did I mention I bought this mainly for the chair? Well, the chair is quite nice. The deck piece is made out of very sturdy plastic with slots to plug in the chair and the railing. It features a textured deck plate, which looks great, and a rather unfortunate footprint and peg to show you where to put Khan’s foot, which doesn’t look so great. The chair doesn’t swivel, but it does feature two hinged armrests with painted controls panels. DST has been including some cardboard pieces with some of their sets, most notably the Kirk with Engineering section in this line and their Seven of Nine Femme Fatales statue. It would have been cool to get a standee showing the back of the bridge behind the chair, but alas, it was not to be. I guess we might as well take a look at the Khan figure too. I’ll start him off in his standing pose.

We’ve got to start somewhere, so here he is proffering, “I make you a counter-proposal, I will agree to your terms, if…” and pointing his finger in the air. Overall, I think this is a really solid sculpt, but I’ll talk about it more at the end, when I do some comparisons with DST’s actual Khan figure from 2007 or so. For now I just want to run through all the different combinations of poses and parts!

Here I simply swapped out the calm head for the angrier portrait and traded his left pointing hand for a fist. Not a huge difference, but it does change up the scene a little bit. I’m a bigger fan of the calmer face over this one, although I think it’s passable. Let’s try swapping out both arms and going back to the calmer portrait…

Now this look I dig a lot. The folded arms are first thing we’ve seen that an articulated action figure would not have been able to do, and I think this pose looks great. Chances are I’m going to be giving the chair to Kirk, but if I do wind up displaying Khan, this is most likely the look I’ll be going for. Now let’s pop the legs off at the waist and get him seated in the chair…

He fits into the chair pretty well, but considering he was sculpted specifically to sit in it, I think it could have been a bit of a better fit. He has a right arm that is made specifically to rest atop the armrest and his left arm looks pretty good resting the elbow with his fist clenched in anticipation. He looks pretty good in the chair, but displaying him this way shows just what a bad design choice that footprint and peg in the deck-plate was. The footprint is totally unnecessary and it would have been much better to just put the peg in the foot and a less unsightly hole in the deck.

Swapping out the head and left hand and rotating the arm up at the shoulder offers a couple different gestures and expressions. I think both of these look pretty good.

You can also go with the crossed arms while he’s in the chair. Not bad at all. And so while clearly not an action figure, I was able to get at least seven fairly unique display options out of him with the parts provided. I’ve got to admit, it’s kind of fun seeing what you can do, but not so much fun that I’m a big advocate of this concept. As I mentioned earlier, the Kirk and Spock figures had full articulation in their arms, but were static below the waist. Here, the only purposeful articulation is in the ball jointed neck, while the rest are just rotating cuts as a byproduct of the parts swapping.

So, here’s a shot of this guy with the original, and fully articulated, DST Khan figure. In terms of sculpt and paintwork, I think the new one is an improvement on just about every level, but then again we’re talking about a difference of ten years. The tunic on the new one properly reflects the wear and tear a lot better, the glove is more screen accurate, as is his wrist communicator and delta necklace. The flesh tones on the chest of the older figure are not painted very well at all, whereas the new one is much improved.

The portraits are overall better and more detailed too, although they work for me from some angles and not so well from others. I think the calm expression head is far more successful than the angry one. The features are much sharper on the new sculpts, both in the facial features and hair. I also really appreciate the better attention to paint in the face, even if it is a little heavy handed around the eyes. But again, nearly ten years separate these figures, so these improvements aren’t so much a triumph of craftsmanship, but more an expected march of improvements.

And while this version of Khan scales slightly bigger than the original DST Wrath of Khan figures, the chair does indeed make for a good fit with those previous releases. Indeed, I think the articulated Khan actually fits a bit better in the chair than the one designed for it. And since the command chairs in the Reliant and Enterprise were basically the same, I’m happy to pop Admiral Kirk in there.

Back when I reviewed the original Kirk set, I came away saying I didn’t really understand its purpose and that still applies here. And it must be repeated that I did buy this mainly for the chair and also because it was on deep discount at Amazon. I’m glad I bought it, the chair was definitely worth the thirteen bucks I paid, and the Khan figure has its charms too. But if you want an actual Khan figure, the original release can still be had for surprisingly low prices if you hunt around on Ebay. Sadly, that’s more than can be said about the rest of the crew!

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Marvel Legends (Vulture Wings Wave): Moon Knight by Hasbro

Spider-Man Homecoming made its own homecoming last week on Blu-Ray, but I only just picked up my copy today. Whether I get to actually watch it again today remains to be seen. The plan was to be wrapping up this partially Homecoming-inspired wave when the Blu-Ray hit, and I’m not too far off schedule. Today I’m checking out Moon Knight and next week we’ll finish things off with a look at Spider-Man as well as Vulture and his wings.

The reveal of this release was bitter-sweet for me. I’m a big fan of Spector and the Bendis run of Moon Knight back in 2011 remains among my favorites. The art, the story, the dialogue, it all gelled so beautifully and while it’s nice to own the whole shebang in two trades, it broke my heart that it didn’t last longer. Critically, it was well received, but for whatever reason the book just didn’t sell. Of course, this figure is not that version of Moon Knight, and to be honest, I couldn’t tell you from which book Hasbro pulled this costume. I’m going to assume it’s from last year’s run. That’s my dilemma right now. I love the movies and action figures, but I’m avoiding most of Marvel’s current comics until they get their house in order. As a result, every now and then I get a figure where the design is lost on me.

But, unfamiliar or not, I really dig this costume a lot! Moon Knight is built on a glossy black buck with some beautiful pearlescent white plastic strategically attached as armor. These areas include his boots, lower legs and forearms, gloves, hips, chest, and shoulders. The crescent designs of his segmented arm and leg armor is pretty sweet and he features a crescent moon emblem outlined in black on his chest plate. This is a clean and modern look that gives him a lot of agility. Ultimately, I still prefer the all white suit, but like I said, this works for me too!

The cape pegs into the back, although it really doesn’t need to because it also encircles the neck. It’s fairly flexible and doesn’t throw the figure off balance too badly. The pleating on the top looks great and it has a nice swirling and billowing effect on the bottom.

The head is a simple masked black sculpt with two piercing blue eyes. I’m sure we’ve seen this head before, I just can’t place exactly where. I love when Hasbro sculpts the facial details under the mask like they have here. The hood is a separate piece and permanently attached to the head so as not to inhibit the neck articulation. This is a big improvement over the ToyBiz Legends Moon Knight, which had the cape and hood as one piece.

Speaking of articulation, Moon Knight has got everything you might expect. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have double hinges in the knees, and swivels in the thighs. The ankles have both hinges and lateral rockers. The torso has a swivel at the waist and an ab crunch hinge under the chest. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders, double hinges in the elbows, swivels in the biceps, and pegged hinges in the wrists. The neck has both a hinge and a ball joint.

Moon Knight comes with some weapons and a pair of extra hands to help him use them. First off, you get his crescent darts, three small ones and one bigger one. The knuckles on his fists are slotted to hold the smaller ones, so you can make it like he’s about to fling up to three at a time. In practice it works OK, but they tend to fall out pretty easily and it’s kind of hard to see he’s even holding anything. And since these are so tiny and there’s nowhere to store them on his person, I can see them getting lost pretty easily.

The larger one is a little more fun to play with. He can hold it in his regular grasping hands. Again, there’s nowhere to stow it on him and that’s a bummer.

Also included is Marc’s baton, which can split into two. Yup, we’ve seen this piece many times with different figures, Hellcat and Daredevil to name a couple. He can hold these pretty well in his graspy hands. And once again, there’s nowhere to put them on him. Do I sense a theme? Chances are I’m just going to display him with his larger crescent dart and put the rest away somewhere.

Why is Moon Knight in a Spider-Man wave? I couldn’t tell you. Do I care? Nope. This is a great looking figure and he’s loads of fun to play around with. He’s also a character that I am very happy to finally get on my Legends shelf again. If I had to complain, I’d say that I’m not going to get a lot of use out of the tiny darts, but I can’t see of any way Hasbro could have implemented them much better. As of now, this figure is ranking in as one of my favorites of this wave.

DC Bombshells: Deluxe Harley Quinn Statue by DC Collectibles

I really wanted to get in on the DC Bombshells statues, but at the time I was still building my collection of DC Cover Girls and the last thing that my wallet and living space needed was a new line of statues to collect. By the time I was caught up on Cover Girls, Bombshells was in full swing and most of the early A-Listers were way too pricey for me to go back to. And so I happily settled on the action figures, which turned out to be great! Fast forward to now and DC Collectibles is revisiting some of those main characters and producing them in new Deluxe versions. They’re larger, more elaborate, and of course a bit more expensive. When Harley went up for pre-order, I jumped on it right away.

The statue comes in a fully enclosed and mostly white cardboard box. It’s much bigger than the Cover Girls boxes, but very similar in size and style to the DC Designer Statues. In this case, the box also features a sticker indicating that it’s Harley’s 25th Anniversary. Harley isn’t quite in the Sixth-Scale range, but with the base and the one arm up in the air, she still measures over 12-inches tall. The statue itself is based off original art by Ant Lucia and the “Gotham or Bust” art print is available from QMx designs. I picked up one of the prints shortly after getting the statue and I’ll say a few things about it at the end.

And here is Harley all set up! She comes in three pieces, all individually wrapped in plastic, and sandwiched between two pieces of styrofoam. The set up requires you to plug her into the base via two metal rods and attach her right arm via a magnet. Getting her slotted into the base was a little troublesome. At first I thought she wasn’t going to stand flush at all, but I gently coaxed the pegs out and tried again and again and one more time, and eventually got there. The magnet that holds the arm in is not very strong, but it is attached to a tab, so between the tab going into the socket and the magnet, the arm stays in place very well.

It’s impossible for me to begin anywhere else but the composition, because that’s what made me fall in love with this piece at first sight. Harley surfs through the sky atop a descending WWII-era bomb, tethered to it with a bat grappling hook in one hand and her other hand flying free, waving her pop gun in the air. It’s a scene reminiscent of Dr. Strangelove and also perfectly fits the 1940’s aircraft nose art and pin-up art styles that fuels this series. The whole piece has a wonderful sense of balance to it and almost seems to defy gravity. But that’s not to say this statue favors composition over craftsmanship, and style over substance. The sculpt and paint quality here are both top notch, and I’ll lay it out right now that I have no complaints about either.

Harley’s wearing the same costume we saw in the original Bombshells statue and in her action figure and they did a beautiful job detailing it here. She’s got a pair of really short and pretty tight black shorts, secured with a golden batman utility belt with red and black pouches. Her feet feature a pair of brown boots worn with socks over red and black stockings. And she’s got a black and red bikini top with a vintage-style bomber jacket and red gloves. There’s some wonderful sculpted detail to be found in her wardrobe, from the knitted pattern of her socks, to the wear on her boots.

They also packed some great touches in the outfit include the Joker card that’s tucked into her left stocking and the Joker-style medal pinned to her jacket, some wing medals on her lapel, and stars pinned to her epaulets. The “Joker’s Wild” painting on the back of her jacket is a work of art all by itself. It makes me want to get a mirror to put behind her, because sadly, it won’t be visible when viewed from the front.

And that brings us to the portrait, which is excellent. Somehow they’ve managed to keep a little bit of Harley’s crazy and still maintain the homage they were going for. She looks absolutely delighted that she’s about to steer a bomb right into some unsuspecting target in Gotham’s cityscape. Her pigtails fly up behind her in the wind, and she has a pair of goggles secured to the top of her head. The paintwork on the face is as solid as the rest of the statue with immaculately painted eyes and lips. The white face paint isn’t overdone, and it’s worth mentioning here that the flesh tones on the rest of the figure are warm, even, and clean. I also love the pink tips on the ends of her blonde hair. It’s worth mentioning that because of the nature of the composition, Harley is looking down, so this is a piece that is going to best be displayed at eye level, or a little higher.

Her pop gun is beautifully sculpted and painted with a silver finish and black grips with a cork stuffed into the barrel. You gotta love the tiny Batman dangler that’s tied to the lanyard loop of the butt.

The base consists of the bomb sitting on an angle in a smokey-clear cloud with additional motion effects streaking off the back fins. The smoke is frosted clear plastic with some white paint and a rough texture. Effects like this are tough to do in this format, and I think it came out pretty good, but if I get in real close, the illusion tends to break down. The trailing effect parts are pretty delicate. One got knocked off, even while I was re-positioning the statue very carefully, but they’re tabbed in and it went right back on easily.  The artwork on the bomb includes the “Gotham or Bust” slogan along with Harley’s initials, a bat symbol with a line through it and a “Cherry Bomb” sticker on the tail. I just love the whole look of this thing!

Of course, the statue has a limited production run, in this case 5,000 were produced, so it’s not really that limited, but still a couple hundred less than when DC Collectibles was doing 5,200 of almost everything. As usual, the limitation is indicated on the bottom of the base. In this case, mine is 3,223 of 5,000.

Deluxe Harley retails at about $160, which makes her the most expensive DC Collectibles piece I own, but only by about twenty bucks. Was she worth it? Hell yeah. She also seems to be doing well because the place I got her from sold out quickly and she’s back to pre-order status. This is one of those “love at first sight” statues for me, which has also given me a second chance to own Bombshell Harley in the statue format, without having to blow the $350+ that the original is now going for. I have to say, I’m not quite as smitten with the early shots of the Bombshells Wonder Woman Deluxe, but having Harley on my shelf may get me to pick up a few more of the regular Bombshells releases to keep her company.

Oh yeah… the “Gotham or Bust” print is available from QMx directly or any number of re-sellers. I got mine off of Amazon for about $13 shipped securely in a tube. It measures 18″ by 24″ so it’s easy to get a frame for it, and I think it really complements the statue wonderfully. The only problem will be finding someplace to display the both together, but these are nice problems to have.

Transformers Titans Return: Gatorface and Krok by Hasbro

I honestly never buy stuff just for the sake of reviewing it here. A couple of decades ago, I was guilty of doing that with my old website when there was a KayBee Toys Outlet a couple towns over and it lead to boxes and boxes of figures and toys I really had little interest in. I just bought them because they were there and they were cheap and I could write about them. So, why bring that up now? Because I pretty much just bought Krok for the sake of having something new for Transformers Thursday. I’m not proud of myself right now.

Here’s the packaging and yes, this is a straight repaint of a figure that I wasn’t terribly impressed with when I reviewed him over a year ago. I found Krok while hitting up a Walgreens looking for Marvel Legends figures and coffee creamer. There were no new Legends, so rather than come home empty handed I grabbed Krok and a bottle of Dunkin Donuts Extra-Extra. Neither the brand nor the flavor of creamer is relevant here, but I think I’m going to need to pad out my word count on this one. OK, let’s take a look…

Gator mode! Everything I loved about the sculpt last time still holds true. And to my surprise, this one pegs together a lot better than my Skullsmasher does. I still love the G1 mecha-animal aesthetic, and this guy captures it beautifully. And imagine this, I think I even like the deco on this sucker better than Skullsmasher’s. No, I’m not digging those Mountain Dew claws, but the rest of the colors are black and purple and as Decepticon as you can get. I also really love the translucent yellow-green plate on the head and hatch in the body. The whole thing is very reminiscent of those lovely Insecticons. If only the claws were painted silver, this would have been a home-run, homage be damned!

For a bit, I thought Krok’s mouth didn’t open like Skullsmasher’s does, but it was just really stuck. I eventually got those jaws apart and to my delight the teeth and tongue are all cast in transparent yellow-green plastic, which I think looks really cool. Are you taking notes? opaque Mello Yello plastic is bad. Translucent Mello Yello plastic is good. I can’t rationalize it for you, I can only tell you how it is.

The unfortunately named Gatorface is exactly what I’ve come to expect from these little Titan Masters. For some reason, I actually don’t mind the obnoxious coloring here, but it is really hard to make out any of the sculpted detail in his head. Just like Grax, he can sit in the hatch and pilot the giant robot gator. Well, so far, I’m not too upset that I bought Krok. Let’s get him transformed and see how the other mode is…

Krok’s robot mode is still a decent mold, but the deco introduces a whole hell of a lot more Mello Yello plastic, and that’s a shame. If we got some silver instead, this would have been a repaint that I could get behind. I know, I’m missing the point of the homage to the G1 Action Master Krok, but whatever. I do, however, love what they did with his abs. The red down the middle and the silver on the sides really brings out the sculpting in there. It’s something I didn’t really notice in the Skullsmasher release. Beyond the coloring, my figure is also spoiled by the loosey-goosey hips. They were a little annoying on Skullsmasher, but here they’re just intolerable. Shooting pictures of this guy was an exercise in frustration, not only because the yellow-green plastic was befuddling my shitty camera’s sensor, but because the figure kept doing the splits.

And this head! Even with a better deco, this sculpt isn’t winning me over. I can’t figure out what’s going on with the mouth plate. It looks like he’s constantly surprised. The pink on his head crest, eyes, and in his chest panels is kind of a weird addition too. Nice Decepticon logo, though. I wish Skullsmasher had that on his chest.

You get the exact same weapons that came with Skullsmasher. Well, obviously, since one is his tail.

Krok is a veritable roller-coaster ride of highs and lows. The deco here is aimed very squarely at all those Action Master fans out there, and I’m not really one of them. Don’t get me wrong, I would actually love a modern day sub-line of 6-inch scale Sunbow designed G1 Transformers that focused on accessories and super articulation at the expense of transformation. But this fellow is too obscure even for my tastes. Toss in the fact that I’m going to have to treat his hips with some nail polish, and I’m pretty much regretting having picked him up. I think I’ll just leave him in gator mode and set him in the back of my display shelf.

Star Wars Black: Death Squad Commander by Hasbro

Hooray for more bonus Wednesday content! Unless five days in a row is more than you can take of my inane toy banter, in which case… Boo! More bonus Wednesday content! The truth is, I really want to get through the last few Black Series versions of the original “Kenner Twelve.” Especially now, because getting the last two have been rather problematic. Again, the Jawa and Death Squad Commander have so far only been released on the 40th Anniversary vintage-style packaging and they never turned up in my area. Eventually, I bit the bullet, paid a couple of bucks extra, and picked up today’s figure online.

As much as I grumble about it, these figures sure do look amazing on the vintage cards. Believe me, if Star Wars was my one and only collecting focus, I would have picked up a set to hang on the wall. And I’m sure it will even gave me a slight pang of regret when I tear this baby open in a few seconds.  Although, I do think Hasbro missed a huge opportunity to release a vintage-style green uniformed version on the 40th Anniversary vintage card and release the black one in a regular box, but what do I knew, eh? Let’s get with the ripping!

Now, I may be biased because I do love me some Imperial figures, but I think this guy turned out great. Granted, there’s nothing terribly complex about him. He’s just a dude with a badass sounding name in a black uniform that pushes buttons all day. I mean, what does the Empire call its accountants? Murder Force Commandos? What’s that? These guys carry out the orders to blow up entire planets and kill billions? OK, fair enough. I guess their name is earned after all.

The sculpted uniform is very well done, complete with the front flap detailed on the tunic, and just a little bit of texturing to show off the material. I particularly love the use of matte black for the uniform and gloss black for the boots and gauntlets. There’s also a crisp silver Imperial emblem stamped on his left shoulder. The wide belt features the large silver plates on the front, which helps to break up all that black, and it includes a functional holster on his right hip. The proportions on the figure are perfect, and he looks very smart and trim in the uniform.

I’ve always thought that this helmet design was pretty cool, although as a kid I somehow never made the connection between this helmet design and Vader’s helmet. I can’t remember when I had that epiphany, but ever since I tend to look at these guys with a sense of wonder. Did they design the helmets as a tribute to Vader? If so, that’s odd, because Vader seemed more like just a right-hand man to Tarkin in the original Star Wars. Were they just both cribbed off of an old Samurai design and there is no in-universe explanation? Am I overthinking this way too much? Whatever the case, they did a really nice job with this helmet, although it does look like it would be really heavy and awkward to wear all day, especially when you spend most of your time at a computer terminal.

The helmet is removable, which I’ll admit I did not see that as a given, so it was a really nice surprise when I got him in hand. It fits the head well and the chin strap does it’s job. The generic head sculpt is also pretty well done, although he still suffers from the same extremely basic paintwork as most of these Black Series portraits. The paint isn’t bad, the eyes are fairly straight and the eyebrows and hairline are clean, but it’s nothing special either. And do I detect a little bit of guilt in that expression for having pushed the button that vaporized Alderaan? Nah, probably not.

The articulation here is pretty good. He features rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists, along with swivels in the biceps. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, with double hinges in the knees, and swivels in the thighs. The ankles are hinged and have lateral rockers. There’s a swivel in the waist and both a hinge and ball joint in the neck. The portion of the tunic that goes below his belt is fairly soft and I was pleased to see that he can easily go into a kneeling position. Alas, he does not have an articulated murder button finger, although the trigger finger on his right hand can work for gesturing or pressing buttons.

Death Squad Commander comes with a BlasTech DH-17 Blaster Pistol, or at least I’m pretty sure that’s what it is. This point confuses me because I generally associate this design with Rebel weapons and I think I would have preferred getting the more Imperial-looking E-11 Blaster with this guy. I seem to recall that’s what the vintage figure came with. I guess they were both made by BlasTech and there’s no reason why Rebels and Imperials wouldn’t use the same model. A friend and I bandied this about a little via texting while I was playing with this guy and he swears Imperials were seen using the weapon in the movies. That’s good enough for me. Either way, it’s a great sculpt of a cool design, and I appreciate the silver paint on the muzzle.

Obviously, I dig this figure a lot and I seriously hope that Hasbro gets around to putting him in a box as a regular release, because I’d definitely pick up a few more. That’s the other thing that pisses me off about the 40th Anniversary line. The only three figures that were new (Tusken Raider, Jawa, and this guy) are all potential troop builders and all very tough to find here. Thankfully, Hasbro has since rectified that with a boxed release of the Tusken Raider and his price has come down quite a lot since, so I’ll likely pick up a few more of those. If the same thing happens here, I’d grab two more of these as well. The Jawa? Well, that’s a whole different story, and I hope to get to checking him out next week.

Vitruvian HACKS (Series 2): Knight of Accord by Boss Fight Studios

The folks at Boss Fight Studios have followed up their Greek Mythology based Series 1 of Vitruvian HACKS with a Medieval-Fantasy based second series. I’ve reviewed quite a few figures from the original series (with still more to look at eventually… I’ll get to them!) and I’ve been very pleased with all of them. There was never any doubt that I would be diving into Series 2, even though my fantasy figure heart has been forever stolen away by The Four Horsemen’s Mythic Legions. Hey, there’s always room for more, right? And as it turns out, each of these lines of figures have their own charms. I’ve picked up the first wave of four figures, as well as one of the two exclusives, so let’s start out with the heroic Knight of Accord! There’s a lot to talk about, so hang on tight!

I’m delighted to see that they haven’t changed the package design. The figure comes on a landscape-style card with plastic covering the front, which will display beautifully right alongside all my Series 1 figures. It’s also totally collector friendly, as all you have to do is bend the edges of the plastic up and slide out the card to get to the figure. And don’t let the small bubble fool you, there are two nested trays and a ton of stuff packed in there with this 4-inch figure.

The back of the card has a little blurb about the Knights of Accord. Note that this isn’t a specific character and we’ll soon see he can be many different characters. The cardback also shows off the other figures in Series 1 as well as the Series 2 figures, which should be coming soon.

The Knight uses a brand new buck, which is a mix of sculpted armor and clothing. Some of the armor is still removable, like the thigh plates and the grieves. The shoulder pieces also come detached from the figure and have to be pegged into the shoulders. This figure is a pretty big departure from Series 1, which used completely nude bucks with all the armor separate, but given the new time period, it’s certainly understandable that they went this route. The attention to detail is pretty spectacular when you consider the scale. Segmented plates and tiny rivets are all part of the sculpt, as are the straps that are meant to hold on the plates. And those rivets, as well as the reinforced edges of the armor, are painted bronze. I don’t think there’s ever been a better example of an armored knight in this scale. The name of the game here is customization, and the idea is that you can get a bunch of these figures and tweak them all to make up a squad of different characters. To further that end, BFS has included three different heads with the Knight.

Each of the heads come on their own bar-bell ball joint and these noggins are a bit of a mixed bag. OK, none of them are terrible, but overall I’m more partial to the head sculpts we got with Series 1. That stock head, for example, sure got an extra helping of eyebrows! Who is this, Sir Eugene Levy? The second head is my favorite. I think it’s the best overall sculpt and the beard makes him look distinguished. The final head is OK, but looks a little lumpy. Keep in mind, as with most 4-inch figures, they don’t hold up all that well to close scrutiny via the camera lens. Truth be told, they all look fine to me when viewed with my naked peepers. Well, except for that first head… his eyebrows are still huge! Are three heads not enough to customize your Knights? Well, let’s talk helmets…

First off, you get this stand-alone helmet, which looks great and fits the heads perfectly. I really have to give BFS credit in that both Series 1 and Series 2 have had some of the most impressive helmets I’ve ever seen in this scale. I love the sweeping curves of the horned crest and the extra sculpted detail around the visor, which is also painted gold to match the paint accents of the armor. The helmet fits so well that the eyes actually line up with the visor holes. So cool!

You also get an open-faced helmet with pegs on the side and it’s designed to work with three different visors. The problem is the visors don’t peg into the helmet very well at all. I’m afraid to force them at the risk of tearing the hole in the visor itself. Two of them do, however, clip on fairly well with just friction holding them in place and can even still be opened and closed without them falling off. It’s not the way these were intended to be used, but it’s the only way that I can really get them to work. The one up top is my favorite.

But this one is pretty cool too! What about the third? It doesn’t work. I’d have to actually peg it onto the helmet to make it stay put and as I said, I’m not willing to risk it. But even with three heads, two visored helmets, and the other helmet, you’ve got plenty of options to mix and match and create a little army of Knights.

The articulation is virtually identical to the Series 1 humanoids, so let’s run through it real quick. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and elbows, with hinged pegs for the wrists. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, double hinged at the knees, and hinged at the ankles. There’s a ball joint in the torso between the waist and chest, and as mentioned the neck is a double ball joint. The absence of things like lateral rockers in the ankles and swivels in the thighs do hold this Knight back a bit. Also, the legs feel a tad mushy, which was an issue I had with some of my Series 1 figures. So, not perfect, but still pretty damn solid, and I’d say that overall he’s probably more poseable than he should be wearing all that plate armor.

As for weapons, you get a couple of choices here as well. For starters, The Knight comes with this pretty cool double-headed battleaxe. It’s a very ornate weapon and includes a highly stylized head with cut-outs in the blades. The grip is sculpted and painted with black, gold, and blue. It’s designed to be wielded with one or both hands, and the articulation does allow for either.

Next up, he comes with a broadsword and scabbard. The scabbard can peg into the hole on the strap coming off the left side of his belt. It’s a bit of work to get it in there, but unlike the visors, I was able to make this work. There is also a ring on each side of his breastplate, which can hold the scabbard. Functional holsters for guns usually impress me in 4-inch figures, so as you can imagine, I’m practically losing my mind over a functional sword scabbard. Not that we didn’t see them in Series 1 also. The scabbard is painted black with some blue straps and a gold throat and tip.

The sword features a golden hilt with an up-swept crossguard and a stout blade. No bendy plastic here. This thing will go right in your eyeball and keep itself straight while doing it! Like the axe, the sword’s grip is designed to be wielded in either or both hands. It is, however, a bit of a tight fit in the scabbard. It’ll go all the way in, but then getting out requires a bit of force.

The final accessory in the Knight’s inventory is his shield. I believe this is an example of what scholars call a “heater” shield. It’s a pretty classical design with a heavy border framing its heraldic crest. There are sculpted rivets around the border and the grip features a soft sleeve that hugs the figure’s forearm and a grip. It’s kind of tough getting the grip into his hand, but even without putting the grip in there, he can still hold it convincingly. The sleeve will do most of the work.

There are a few extra goodies that I haven’t mentioned yet. The Knight comes with a second pair of hands, in this case the hinges are designed to move the hand forward and backward, rather than up and down. It’s the same thing BFS did with their Series 1 figures, and while the distinction might seem subtle, it’s nice for when you want to have your figure pointing his sword forward. And you also get the standard Boss Fight Studios action figure stand. The figure’s feet peg into one or both of the pegs. It’s exactly the same as the stands that came with Series 1.

If anyone was wondering whether Vitruvian HACKS Series 1 was a case of lightning in a bottle, I would urge them to play around with this figure. And as amazing as this individual figure is, I’m most intrigued by the mix-and-match design. The original HACKS series was designed with customizers in mind, but I felt that accessing it required actual customizing skills, which I sadly do not possess in spades. This time around, it feels like it’s been made far more accessible right out of the package by just swapping out heads and helmet styles. It would have been cool if the sash on the belt could have been swapped out for a different color, but then again I think they’ve done plenty.

The Series 2 figures are selling for $25 a pop on the Boss Fight Studios webstore and yeah, that’s a good chunk of change for a 4-inch figure, unless you’re used to buying GI JOEs from that club. It’s also about five bucks more than most of the Series 1 figures were. I’ll concede the price here feels high, especially when compared to roughly $30 average for a Mythic Legions figure, but at the same time, it’s easy for me to see where the money went. This is an exceptional figure with all new tooling and sculpting and plenty of extras thrown in. And the fact that I’m not only all in so far with these, but I’ll also likely buy at least one more Accord Knight, should prove that I’m very happy with my purchase.

Marvel Legends (Vulture Wings Wave): Tombstone by Hasbro

I didn’t think I was going to make it back for a Marvel Monday Double Feature tonight, but I ultimately decided that I could polish off the second half of the “Sinister Villains” without needing too much time. Besides, if I’m going to get through this wave and into the Gladiator Hulk Wave before Thor: Ragnarok hits theaters, I’ve got to get busy on these reviews. So, let’s take a gander at Lonnie Lincoln, aka Tombstone!

The package is identical to what we saw this morning with The Beetle. This time there isn’t quite as much packed into the tray, just the figure and the Vulture Wing part. Also, to get in the mood, I have a Pepperoni Tombstone Pizza in the oven that’s going to be ready in like ten minutes, so let’s get right to it.

There were two directions Hasbro could have gone with this figure: Broad shouldered and business suit, or bulked out and well… whatever the hell this is he’s wearing. It is a pretty iconic look for him so either way would have worked for me, but I’m thinking this look required a little less effort in the sculpt. Indeed, while this is a pretty distinctive looking figure, it is a fairly basic one as well, and he doesn’t have the snazzy paint job that Beetle has to make that simple buck really stand out.

The bulk of the outfit is just matte black with a couple of loose cuffs around his ankles and wrists, also matte black. Everything is just black. Jesus, it feels like I’m talking about Hotblack Desiato’s stuntship (And if you don’t get that reference, Don’t Panic… just Google it). At least the belt breaks things up a little bit with a dark gray, a belt buckle, and some sculpted studs. I think it would have been cool if Hasbro went with the traditional soft-plastic vest with sculpted arm-sleeves look, but instead we just get some lines forming the open jacket and the ashen skin of his bare chest. Even the high collar looks like it might just be attached to the buck. I’ll admit that it looks a little cheap to me.

Ah, but once we get up past the neck, this is where the figure really shines. Hasbro has turned out some truly spectacular headsculpts in the modern Legends line, and Tombstone here is yet another example of that. Lonnie really is an interesting character, and this portrait captures him perfectly right down to his sharpened teeth. It really elevates this figure from an average budget-minded release in the wave to something special.

The articulation here is standard modern Legends fare, but let’s run through it anyway. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, swivels in the biceps, and double hinged shoulders. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have double hinges in the knees, and swivels in the thighs and the lower legs. The ankles are hinged and have lateral rockers. He has a swivel in the waist, an ab crunch hinge under the chest, and his neck is both hinged and ball jointed. He does have that issue annoying issue where his arms won’t hang close to his sides, but I’m willing to turn a blind eye to that. And so is Daredevil. In fact, two of them!

Before wrapping up, I just wanted to say how much I wish they had given Tombstone an extra pair of accessory holding hands. Yeah, I know he doesn’t come with anything for him to hold, but it would have been nice to be able to have him be able to grab Spider-Man. Even one fist and one graspy hand would have been cool. The fists are a little limiting, although fine for if you want him always ready to spar and throw punches.

I wouldn’t say Tombstone is a great figure, but maybe I’d say he’s a great treatment of the character? Does that make any sense? He’s perfectly serviceable as he is. A solid figure through and through, but he definitely feels like the figure designed to make the rest of the wave cost out and that definitely holds him back a bit. But hey, if that’s what Hasbro has to do to get characters like this one swinging on the pegs in 2017, I’m fine with the compromise.

Marvel Legends (Vulture Wings Wave): Beetle by Hasbro

Holy hell, someone at Hasbro sure loves The Beetle. We’ve already had the Janice Lincoln version in The Absorbing Man Wave and the Ultimate Beetle from Earth-1610, as part of The Ultimate Green Goblin Wave, and now we’re getting Abner Jenkins, the original article! That’s right, all you True Believers who were upset that Hasbro was dicking around with them other Beetles can now rest easy. Your day has finally come. Me? Well, I really dig the other two figures, and I always knew they’d get to Abner soon enough.

Beetle shares the same slot in this assortment with Tombstone as one of the “Sinister Villains” and there sure is a lot of stuff in this box! He comes with his wings and shell pieces detached, as well as one of the VTOL pieces needed to build the MCU Vulture’s wings.  Putting on Beetle’s own wings and shell is as easy as plugging them into his back and he’s all ready to go.

The coloring! So pretty! I rarely start out talking about the paint job on a figure, so when I do, you know I’m really pleased with the result. Here’s one example where the paint and colors carry the day and take this figure from potentially average to absolutely gorgeous. I’m in love with this metallic green and purple combo. The shimmery green plastic reminds me of the factory paint on my first Ford Mustang. I think it was called “Hunter Green,” but whatever the case, I think this is beautiful. Couple that with the eye-melting sex that is the metallic purple on the boots, pelvis, and gauntlets and it’s easy to overlook how little sculpted detail is on this figure.

Beyond the coloring, my favorite thing here is the beetle shell on his back. The pieces swivel to open and close, so you can display him with his wing’s retracted and the shell closed or open it and peg in the wings for when he’s ready to take to the skies. Marvelous!

Do the wings look familiar? They’re the same translucent purple flappers that we got with the Janice Lincoln Beetle. The main wings are mounted on rotating hinges and the smaller ones are pegged into the larger ones so they will swivel. All four have sculpted veins running throughout them and they really look great with the purple and green deco of the suit.

The head sculpt is simple, but really captures that classic comic look. The purple paint matches the rest perfectly and the giant gold eyes really pop.

The articulation makes this bug loads of fun to play with. The arms feature rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, along with swivels in the biceps, and double hinges in the shoulders. The legs are ball jointed up in the hips, have double hinged knees, and swivels in the thighs and the lower legs. The ankles are hinged and have lateral rockers. He has a swivel in the waist, an ab crunch hinge under the chest, and his neck is both hinged and ball jointed.

Hasbro has done well by The Beetle, now in his many forms, and these have been among my favorite additions to Spidey’s rogue gallery. Personally, I think he was well worth the wait, not only because he turned out beautifully, but also because we got two other great figures running up to this release. I first opened him up back on Friday and he’s been on my desk all weekend for me to fiddle about with while watching Netflix or working on projects. I have to imagine that even if I had no interest in Spider-Man or Marvel Legends (OK, I can’t really imagine that, but bear with me), I’d love to have this figure in my collection. Will I be back tonight with a Double Feature? No guarantees, but I’m going to do my best!

DC Icons: (#25) Supergirl by DC Collectibles

We knew it was coming, but that doesn’t make it any easier. DC Collectibles has officially discontinued the single-boxed releases for their DC Icons line and as things stand Number 25, Supergirl, appears to be the final release, with Nightwing preceding her and a Robin and Superboy two-pack included in the assortment. I’ve reviewed a lot of these figures here, but certainly not all of them. I’m still pondering over whether or not to go after the handful that I missed. But for now, let’s just enjoy checking out this last figure.

The packaging hasn’t changed. Supergirl comes in a clean window box with an angled corner that bears her name. If you’ve collected any of the DC Designer Series, you’ll also know what to expect here. Her name and number are also on the side panel as well as the comic she’s drawn from, in this case ReBirth Renaissance. The window shows off the figure beautifully as well as the bevy of extra bits, which are laid out beside the figure. Everything here is collector friendly, and while I would have loved to be able to keep these boxes, my available space doesn’t allow it.

Here she is, freed of her packaging and looking amazing. Icons has been a great line from the beginning, so when I say I was impressed by Kara here as soon as I got her in hand, well that’s saying something. I think this is one of those perfect combinations of great choice of outfit, great portrait, and some spot-on coloring. So where to begin? Well, for starters, the costume design lends itself to this sculpt really well. The thigh-high boots are sculpted at the top edges, as is the belt and skirt. The S-Shield is fully realized in the sculpt and I love the look of the way the cape hugs her shoulders. Note, I said the look, and I’ll come back to that in a bit. The sculpt on this costume is just the right mix of poetic simplicity and just enough detail to know that no shortcuts were taken.

The cape falls naturally down Supergirl’s back with just a hint of breeze blowing it to the side. The yellow S-Shield is stamped on the back, and I will point out that there’s a bit of chipping to it on my figure. But that’s about the only place I can criticize the paint or coloring here. DC Collectibles used the exact perfect shades of red and blue for her costume. From the neck down, this is a figure that absolutely pops on the shelf.

And things aren’t too shabby from the neck up either. I really dig the way they sculpted her portrait and the use of a printed face instead of paint makes for a nice change. If you get in really close, you can start to see the halftone effect begin to break down, but when viewed in hand with the naked eye, it looks perfect. I like the styling on her hair, but I do think it could have used a little refinement. As it is it looks a tad more like putty and less like hair. Maybe deeper cuts in the sculpt to give it the feel of actual hair would have helped. But don’t get me wrong, Kara’s coif does not even come close to diminishing this figure for me.

The articulation here is standard for the Icons line, which means it’s good and comes oh so close to being great. The arms feature rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, double hinges in the elbows, and swivels in the biceps. The legs are ball jointed at the hips and have double hinges in the knees. The ankles have hinges and lateral rockers. There’s a hinge in the torso down near the waist, a ball joint under the chest, and the neck is ball jointed. Alas, the hair keeps her from being able to look up while flying and the absence of thigh swivels will forever bug me. I will say that they did a really nice job on the skirt. It’s very soft and pliable and allows for a decent range of motions in the hips. And remember that shoulder-hugging cape? Yeah, it does restrict shoulder articulation a bit, although not nearly as much as I would have expected.

Supergirl also comes with three pairs of hands, all of which are very easy to swap in and out. You get fists, accessory holding hands, albeit with nothing for her to hold, and hands with her fingers together as if she’s about to karate chop someone. But why karate chop your foes, when you can just fry them with heat vision!

Yes, Kara comes with a second head and two effect parts that plug into her eyes to recreate her heat vision. I think this looks pretty rad from a distance, although if you get in really close it looks goddamn creepy. Also, if you display this head without the effect parts plugged in, her eyes look like two bloody, vacant holes.

Supergirl includes one final accessory and that’s a rather unique flight stand. It’s actually just a clear cylinder with a slanted top and a peg for her right foot. The illusion is supposed to be not so much one of flight, but more like hovering. I’ve had mixed results with it, but I do think it’s a pretty neat experiment and I may very well wind up using it to display her. In fact, I wish they had included something like this with Superman as well.

If DC Collectibles wanted to punish everyone for not buying into this line enough, this figure was a great choice for the final single release. It makes the point that this line was pretty fantastic and that in a perfect world it would have kept going. I know at least one fellow collector who was confident enough in the success of Icons that he started selling off his DC Universe Classics figures. I’m glad I didn’t go that route, although I would have been very happy had Icons become as prolific as Mattel’s and took its rightful place as the new resident universe building line. As things stand, I will forever be disgruntled that we are likely to never get the Booster Gold/Blue Beetle 2-pack. I can, however, promise you that this will not be the last time you see DC Icons grace my pages of toy bloggery.

Voltron: Legendary Red Lion by Playmates

I had planned to look at both the Red and Green Lions last Thursday, but I was only able to get Green in time, so this week, I’m going to take a look at Red. It actually worked out fine, because I’m a little pressed for time today and needed to do a quickie… and after reviewing four of these kitties, this should indeed be quick!

We’ve seen this packaging three times so far, and Red’s isn’t any different. The card and bubble are not collector friendly, but it does offer a good look at what you’re getting. The inserts are personalized to fit the lion and the package shows you where Red goes when he combines with the others to form Voltron!

Of all the lions, Red and Green are the most similar to each other, both in size and overall aesthetic. The legs share the same molds and the differences in the bodies are very minor. I realize similarities are to be expected for the sake of Voltron’s symmetry, but I think the designs for Blue and Yellow (Voltron’s legs) were better distinguished. That’s not to say I’m disappointed. This sculpt is sleek and curvy and absolutely beautiful and the the heads are each unique.

Playmates picked a fantastic shade of red plastic, which looks great along with the black, gray, and silver paint. You also get a little bit of yellow at the base of the tail and some light blue paint apps on the hind legs. None of my lions have had poor paintwork, but I think Red here is probably the tightest. There aren’t any nicks in the white around the mouth and the slop is kept to a bare minimum. Given that these are most definitely toys and not collectibles, I’m quite happy with how they turned out.

And yes, the little pilot sled accessory is still included and can be stored in the hatch under the belly. I wish they were able to keep the paint apps on these that are shown on the package and promotional materials. Or that I had the skills to paint them up myself. As it stands, I don’t have a lot of use for these other than the way they really convey how enormous these lions are supposed to be.

The articulation is identical to the Green Lion, which means you get hinges in the hips, knees, and ankles of each leg, all of which contain ratchets. The head can rotate side to side but cannot look up or down. The jaws are spring loaded and the elbow joint for the arm mode gives him the ability to bend left or right in the middle, which is useful for posing.

As with the other lions, Red comes with a back-mounted weapon. In this case it’s called a Magma Beam Launcher. It’s fairly similar to Green’s weapon and as big and goofy as it is, I really don’t mind it too much. I do think it’s unfortunate that they couldn’t cast the missile in a red translucent plastic instead of the blue they used for Blue’s Ice Beam.

Red also includes the other half of the Blazing Sword. which features a translucent blue blase. Like Green, he can hold it in his jaws, but I don’t think it looks as good with him carrying it as the Green lion does wielding his half.

Playmates has produced yet another fun lion to add to the team. Right now, I’d say that Red is contending with Blue to be my favorite, but they’re all quite good. He even escapes the one minor gripe I have with these and that’s the paint on the others could have been a bit better. With that having been said, I’m happy to have most of this Pride of Lions assembled. Next up will be Keith’s Black Lion and after that I’ll be able to check out Voltron. And fear not, convertorobo fans, next week, I hope to be turning my attention back to Transformers proper at least for a week or two before coming back to Voltron!