Marvel Legends (Sauron Wave): Bishop by Hasbro

It’s Marvel Monday and time for me to reach my hand into the big box of unopened Marvel Legends and randomly pull out a… oh, f’ck it, I just saw Bishop at the top of the box and I’m opening him!

Yup, I’ve been hoping to land Bishop in my random picks for a while now, and frankly I just got tired of waiting. I’ve been hoping that Hasbro would slip in with each new X-Men themed Wave and here we are at the Sauron Wave and there’s Bishop in all his classic Jim Lee costume glory. This is a figure that practically breaks out of the packaging and leaps off the peg. And as big and beefy as Bishop is, they still managed to get one of Sauron’s arms and wings stuffed in there behind him. Not too shabby!

Holy hell, this figure practically makes me giddy with joy. I’m a child of the 70’s and 80’s, so I don’t find a lot of nostalgia in the 90’s, but the X-Men of this era scratched a certain itch with me. I was in college, I was on my own, and I was probably looking for something familiar and comfortable and the resurgence of X-Men in both animated and comic book form was that very thing. Not to mention those original Toy Biz figures on those colorful cards! Take all that and now toss in a fantastic new character like Bishop who tapped into some of the that stuff that made the X-Men so cool and it’s no wonder he resonates with me. Even better, just look at how great this figure turned out! It’s a veritable symphony of sculpt and color. Hasbro took an appropriately beefy buck and wrapped some equally beefy web-gear in the form of a waist belt, a shoulder rig, and bicep straps. These are all sculpted with some great detail as well as all the ubiquitous pouches that we have come to expect from our 90’s comic powerhouses. Toss a chunky X-logo offset onto the belt and the trademark neckerchief, and you’ve got goddamn poetry in action figure form.

But it’s equally the coloring on this figure that makes me want to weep tears of joy. The bright blue body suit, coupled with the yellow gear and double stripe, coupled with the red neckerchief and X-logo and you’ve got a deco that sings. I don’t know what it is about these colors that lights up all the pleasure centers of my brain, but it’s been that way ever since my first Toy Biz X-Men figures and that feeling has only grown with age. The blue and yellow in particular just go so well together and they even did a beautiful job printing his shoulder patches. It just doesn’t get any better than this.

And the magic that is this figure doesn’t stop at the neckline, because check out that mug! I’m overall very pleased with the head sculpts Hasbro has been serving up for their modern Legends line, but Bishop’s portrait here even manages to step it up a notch. It is absolutely superb. From the expression to the detail on his facial features to the sculpting in the hair and the perfect paint on his goatee, this is portrait that was crafted with love and reverence for the character. I don’t like to throw around the P-word all that often, but I’m going to do it here. This head sculpt is perfect. I wouldn’t change a thing.

Bishop comes with one accessory and that’s his big honkin’ shotgun-looking weapon. It’s a fairly simple sculpt, appropriately molded in black plastic with a pistol-style grip and a large slide that gives it a distinctive look. Naturally he has a big yellow scabbard behind his left shoulder to store it. He can actually hold it in either hand, as both have sculpted trigger fingers. The only issue I have here is how hard it was for me to get it into either hand, because his fingers are sculpted into a death grip. I know Bishop is an imposing dude, but damn buddy, loosen up them hands so I can get your gun in them! In fairness, it got a lot easier after I’ve had it in and out of the hands a few times.

The articulation here consists of the usual. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, with double hinges in the elbows and swivels in the biceps. The legs have rotating hinges in the hips, double hinges in the knees, swivels at the thighs and the tops of the boots, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. There’s a swivel in the chest, an ab crunch hinge in the torso and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed.

Chances are by now you’re tired of hearing a 46-year-old man verbally jerk off to an action figure, so I’ll go ahead and wrap things up. Bishop is an example of a toy line firing on all cylinders. This figure takes a great character and absolutely does him justice in 6-inches of plastic. The extra sculpting, the amazing portrait, the colors… I don’t think it’s at all possible for me to gaze on this figure without a big dumb happy smile on my face. If you’re at all a fan of the character, or just the 90’s X-Men in general, this one is a must-have for any collection. And most of all, this is why Hasbro’s modern Marvel Legends remains one of my all-time favorite action figure lines.

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Wonder Woman (Training Armor) Sixth-Scale Figure by Hot Toys

It’s no secret that I’m woefully behind on my Sixth-Scale figure reviews. Hell, the last Hot Toys figure I reviewed was Yondu all the way back in the Summer of last year. I have some Hot Toys and TB League figures that have been waiting for their turn in the spotlight for the better part of a year, and I really want to turn that around in 2019. And to that end, I’m rolling out a Hot Toys review today and going with one of my newest arrivals just so I can prime the pump and get back into a regular routine. Yes, I got the Justice League version of Diana before this one, but it just seemed appropriate to go with the one from her own movie first.

Hot Toys hasn’t been wowing me with a lot of their packaging lately and this release kind of follows in that trend. The deco is actually beautiful and the art really captures the feel of the film. It also gets by without any pictures of the figure itself. On the other hand, when you get down to it, this is just a flimsy window box with a sleeve around it, which feels wanting for such an expensive item. I will, however, give kudos to Sideshow as this one arrived at my door in a proper shipping box with packing material inside. I’m not sure if that’s something new they’re doing, but if so I approve! Inside the box, the figure comes in the usual molded plastic tray with all her accessories and extras surrounding her. She comes out of the box more or less ready for display. I just had to slip her bicep band on. So let’s check her out!

This is the outfit that Diana wore on Themyscira, basically for the first act of the film. The term training armor might be a little excessive, but I obviously liked the look of the outfit enough to warrant double-dipping on the character, and that’s something I rarely do when it comes to Hot Toys. The armor part comes into play with the bronze cuirass, which is sculpted in plastic and includes a strap that hugs the left side of the figure’s neck. The cuirass includes some really nice texturing and layering, as well as details right down to the tiny sculpted rivets on the straps. The rest of the outfit includes a pleated skirt made out of a slightly stiff cloth, her wrist bracers, sculpted wraps on her hands, and a pair of high sandals, which are separate from the legs, and sculpted as part of the feet.

Hot Toys seems content to reluctantly mingle with the idea of a seamless body, and that continues to be the case here. The shoulders, elbows, and knees are all covered with rubber skin, which makes a huge difference on a figure like this where jointing in those areas would be exposed and, as a result, most definitely spoil the realism. And to that end, the sculpted musculature in the knees and and shoulders looks fantastic. The ankles, on the other hand feature regular joints, which can be seen through the sandals, and the legs themselves are connected under the skirt with ball joints. In this case, I think Hot Toys did everything necessary to keep the realism going, but despite these areas being bare, the range of motion in these joints is still fairly limited, as if she were still wearing a restrictive suit. This is probably not a big surprise for Hot Toys collectors, but mixing realistic bodies with articulation is an area where Phicen continues to have Hot Toys beat.

With all the Wonder Woman action figures the movie has spawned, we’ve seen some hits and a lot of misses with Gal Gadot’s likeness. Some would argue that even Hot Toys didn’t land a direct hit with their Batman VS Superman version. I think this one is pretty spot on. It may not be as perfect as some of their best likenesses, but I can’t find a whole lot to pick at here either. She’s certainly beautiful, and easily recognizable to me, and the paintwork conveys that sense of uncanny realism that Hot Toys is known for. The hair is sculpted, and that was definitely the way to go with this figure, as it’s drawn back very tightly, and braided into a long pony tail down her back. I’m especially impressed by the fine sculpting in the individual strands, and the incredible paintwork along the hairline. It’s great stuff!

Obviously, the figure comes with a bevy of extra hands, from the usual relaxed hands and fists, to ones intended to work with the accessories. The most notable of these accessories are her her sword and shield. The “Godkiller” is a beautiful piece of work. The ornate hilt features a crazy level of detail in the sculpt, and a beautiful gold finish. It has an elongated grip, allowing it to be wielded by one or both of her hands. The blade is straight with a textured finish and an inscription running through the central channel. I’d dare say that this is as fine a recreation of this sword as is possible in this scale.

The sword also comes with a recreation of the stand that held it in the beginning of the film. It’s a simple stand, sculpted from two pieces of plastic with a notch in the top to insert the swords tip. It holds it well and the accessory certainly looks great displayed this way. I’ll likely be displaying the figure holding the sword most of the time, but this is a damn fine option to have.

The shield is also impressive, and possibly my favorite accessory in the box. It’s a large concave disc with a rich, deep brown color and a gold starburst in the center. The edge features a series of triangular designs opening out toward the edge, all of which are neatly painted in gold. All in all, it makes for an absolutely beautiful piece and I love how natural it looks on Diana’s arm.

On the inside, the shield features a concentric circlet of sculpted to look like hammered bronze and you can see the reinforced edges, raised over the rest of the shield surface. There are two straps fixed to the interior with sculpted fixtures, each painted gold. One strap secures the shield near the elbow and the other is used for her hand to grab. It isn’t terribly difficult to get it on and off the figure, although I found it was best to put the hand around the grab strap first and then attach the hand to the figure. Indeed, I’d probably just leave the hand attached to the shield even when it’s off. Then again, I can’t imagine ever displaying the figure without the shield. It really does look that good.

The set also includes a bow and three arrows. These are fine additions to the accessory count, but at the same time, they aren’t going to spend a lot of time displayed with my figure. The bow itself is very thin and elegant with gold and brown paintwork and a real string, which allows for a lot of give to be pulled back. Diana comes with a special hand for the bow and another designed to knock the arrows. The three arrows are identical, and while I’m not going to complain about extra accessories, I’m not really sure why they included three. There’s nowhere to store them, so the only real way to display them with the figure is to have her clutching them in one hand. And since she has a hand specifically designed to hold one, that will likely be the preferred way to go.

Because of the limitations to the articulation, she can’t really be posed drawing to fire, but rather preparing to fire. Obviously, this should come as a surprise to long time collectors of Hot Toys. It’s also a much bigger issue for someone who wanted to display the figure using her archery skills, and that’s not me. And besides, she can still pull off some cool poses while holding the bow and arrow.

Finally, the figure comes with a second pair of her Bracelets of Submission, which are colored to look like they’re glowing. The bracers themselves are made of a translucent orange plastic and the panel lining is traced in yellow. These are a pretty cool idea, but I’m not all that sold on the effect. Fortunately, they are super easy to swap in and out to give them a try or just to mix up the display every now and then.

As always, Hot Toys includes a stand. This one is pretty simple but is styled to convey the feeling of the film’s art direction. It’s a simple rectangular base with a sculpted WW logo to the left and some golden stars to the right. The post is the usual “crotch cradle” which does a fine job holding the figure without messing with the outfit.

There’s also an illustrated cardboard backdrop that can be placed behind the stand. I’m not sure how Hot Toys decides which figures get this treatment. I’ve encountered it with a few before, like the Netflix Punisher and Daredevil figures. I don’t tend to use them, but it’s a pretty cool bonus nonetheless.

At $240, Wonder Woman falls at the higher end of Hot Toys’ Non-Deluxe pricing spectrum. She definitely comes with enough goodies to fill out the box, and there’s nothing essential that I can think of that she’s missing. Granted, the giant column that I have her displayed on in one of the above pictures came with a Sixth-Scale figure from another company that sold for under $200, but by now I’m used to Hot Toys charging a premium.

And between the high price points, and display space needed, I very rarely double-dip on characters when it comes to my Sixth-Scale figures. Indeed, I’ve only done it once before, and that was Captain America. And yet here I am picking up this version of Wonder Woman just a few months after getting the Justice League version. It would be safe to say a lot of it has to do with how great Gal Gadot looks in the costumes. It only took me an offer of a small discount and free shipping to get me to jump on this one, and I’m glad I didn’t hesitate because she sold out pretty quickly. And now that I’ve had some serious time with her, there’s certainly no buyer’s remorse here!

Mythic Legions (Advent of Decay): Knight Legion Builders (Iron and Steel) by The Four Horsemen

As I trek my way through the Advent of Decay series, I’ve been trying to spread the love evenly to the many races of Mythoss. But it’s been a long time since I revisited the noble Knights. Probably because the armored warriors take a back seat to the other factions in this line. Nonetheless, today I’m going to check out the two new Knight Legion Builders, Iron and Steel!

For those of you not following the line, the Legion Builders are sort of the budget figures. They cost less, they feature less paint applications, and they’re general purpose is to either beef up your ranks, or if you’re talented at painting figures (Not Me!), you can even use them as custom fodder. Unlike the previous Black, Silver, and Gold Knight Legion Builders, the Iron and Steel Knights draw parts from the Advent line. As the names suggest, Iron features a darker gray finish, whereas Steel is silver. And since these are Legion Builders, there are no other paint applications on the figures. Both figures share the more slender armored arms and legs introduced for the Elves and females. The biggest difference is found in the torsos. Steel Knight features the armor used for the Elves, which has doubled as both leather and plate, whereas Iron Knight’s torso uses the female plate armor. The sculpted belt and hip armor pieces are also different. Steel has the belt with the disc in the center and has the leather scale-male type armor for the hips and groin. Iron has the simpler waist piece, with the segmented plate armor for the same areas.

The same two head sculpts are included with each figure. One is the Gothic Sallet style and the other is the Bascinet style with a beaked front and a spike protruding from the top. The shoulder armor for each figure is different. Steel Knight comes with the simpler segmented pieces, while Iron Knight has the more decorative ones. And for some reason, these were especially hard to plug into the sockets on these two particular figures.

Each knight comes with more or less the same accessories. T4H switched up the colors of the accessories, so Steel Knight’s gear is all colored in the darker gray and Iron Knight’s is all silver. It’s the same juxtaposition they did with the Gold and Silver Knights in the initial Kickstarter. They also each come with the standard brown sword belt, which can be worn on the figures’ waists or across the chest as a shoulder strap. The first weapons included are the standard single-handed cruciform swords. Yup, we see this sword almost every week. Sometimes, the single colored weapons can be lacking, but I think they work well in these colors.

Next up are the larger two-handed swords, which feature the pointed skull-crusher pommels, sexy down-swept cross-guards, and the blades that swell toward the edges. Again, nothing new here, but I dig these swords a lot!

Oddly, Steel Knight comes with a shield, but Iron Knight does not. It’s the same shield we’ve seen many times in the original Kickstarter series, but with the updated grip. I’m not sure why they cheated Iron Knight out of the shield. These figures are in the same price point and it just leaves one figure with one less accessory. It’s a weird omission, but I’m not terribly upset about it. I have plenty of these shields to go around.

And finally, each figure comes with the standard spear that we’ve been seeing over and over again since the beginning of the line. Nothing special, here, but I’m always happy to get more weapons for my Legions.

I dig these two figures a lot, even if I’m not really the target audience. I mean, I’m not going to army build a bunch of them, and I’m not going to customize them either. Nonetheless, I think they look great even without any additional paintwork, and it’s pretty cool to just have a plain example of all that beautiful sculpting. I’ve remarked plenty of times about how aspects of this line remind me of the old Marx Knights and these Legion Builders do that more than any of the other figures.

Marvel Legends (Apocalypse Wave): Magneto by Hasbro

Marvel Monday is here again, and just to show you how far behind on Marvel Legends I truly am, today’s random selection brings me to another Wave that I haven’t ventured into before. It’s another X-Men themed assortment, this time with the one and only Apocalypse as the Build-A-Figure. There are some great characters in this wave and today I’m starting out with the Magneto!

I’ll confess, I haven’t read an X-Men comic in quite a few years. But that’s more a reflection of my general distaste for Marvel’s comics lately and not a specific rebuke toward the X-Men. Not to mention I have a healthy stack of back issues and trades that I can dip into when I need to show the Mutants some lovin. With that having been said, these characters are still near and dear to my heart, and it’s long past time we had Magneto grace the modern Marvel Legends lineup.

I take it this is what Magneto is wearing these days? It’s far from his iconic classic look, but it’s OK. I’ll confess I dig the black and red a lot more than the black and gray short sleeve look. The body here gets by mostly with paint, so you’ve got a black buck with the red striping. The striping is a little hit and miss. It looks great on the torso, but the legs have some sloppiness and bleed-through. It’s by no means terrible, but could be better.

The new sculpted parts include his boots and wrist bracers, as well as the cape, which has a peg for his back, but seems to be just as happy to hang from around his neck. The shoulder armor and bolted cross-strap are a nice nod to his classic look, and the red inner lining of the cape compliments the snappy deco pretty well.

Magneto comes packaged with his helmeted head, which is excellent. The style of the helmet hasn’t changed much, it’s still a form fitting, medieval looking affair at it appears to be sculpted separately from the head and permanently attached, which adds a lot to the depth and realism of the portrait. Erik’s face sculpt is fantastic, and it depicts him with pupil-less eyes.

The alternative head is sans helmet, and definitely falls into the, “It’s so good that I feel bad because I’ll probably never display him with it.” Actually, this is one of cases where if the figure starts turning up cheap, I might buy a second, so I can display him both ways. This head features the same great facial sculpt and some pretty incredible hair.

As for accessories, Magneto comes with two pairs of hands: Regular fists and a pair of translucent purple hands to go with the pair of translucent effect parts. I actually dig the purple hands a lot, even if I’m not really sure that they convey magnetism all that accurately. The same goes for the effect parts, which look more like your standard Force Lightning from Star Wars, rather than magnetic powers. Still, it’s hard to quibble about extras and he does look damn cool wielding them.

There are no surprises here where articulation is concerned. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, the knees are double-hinged, the ankles have both hinges and lateral rockers, and there are swivels in the thighs and at the tops of the boots. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, the elbows are double-hinged, and there are swivels in the biceps. The torso features a waist swivel and an ab crunch hinge, and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed.

I’m sure I’m not being original by saying that I’d rather have had a classic Magneto, but with that token disclaimer out of the way, I really do like this figure a lot. It may not really be my Magneto, but this is a costume design that I can get behind, and there’s just the right amount of new sculpting here to make it work. Toss in a couple of fantastic portraits, and I do believe this will hold me over until we can get Erik in his red and purple duds. Either way, this is a great start to what is sure to be an incredible wave!

Transformers Siege: Optimus Prime by Hasbro

If the toy aisles in my area are any indication, Siege is selling like gangbusters. In one case last week, they were stocking the shelves when I put the last Deluxe I needed in my cart and did my other shopping before deciding to go back and get Optimus and Megatron, which were being unpacked. In the span of about 10 minutes they were both gone. Luckily, I got another crack at them a few days later and this time I jumped on them. I feel like getting the Leader Class figures is going to be a knock-down fight.

Prime is my first Voyager Class figure in this bunch, but the packaging is identical in style to the Deluxes. You get a collector friendly box with some killer artwork. I love how Hasbro evolved this packaging from when we first saw the Transformers name in red running up the side of the package to now. If Hasbro ever puts out an artbook featuring the character art from Siege, Titan Returns, and Power of the Primes, I’d throw down some money for it. But enough about the box, let’s get to the toy. Prime is packaged in his robot mode, but we’ll start with his alt mode.

The alt mode is a good old-fashioned red truck cab, which is certainly evocative of Prime’s G1 mode, but with a slight futuristic twist. It’s not the best and most polished cab mode we’ve seen on Optimus, but it’s not too shabby either. And this is clearly a case where Hasbro made some sacrifices in the alt mode to assist the aesthetics of the robot mode. Whether it was a good trade off, we’ll see in a bit (psst… IT IS!!). The biggest sacrifice is the extended roof, which hangs over the windshields. It took me a little getting used to, but I don’t think it looks bad, just kind of strange and different. The sides of the truck definitely show seams and some hinges, and probably the biggest eyesore is the use of silver paint for the side windows, while the rest are translucent blue. Speaking of which, I would have liked the grill to be painted silver, rather than using the same translucent plastic for the windows. And you’ll no doubt note that the smokestacks are shortened to keep kids from jamming them into their eyes after they’ve finished off a snack of Tide Pods. That may sound like I have a lot of beefs with this little truck, but I really don’t.

Nope, if I sound like I’m down on this cab, I should point out that there’s a lot I love here too. The circuit-like pattern that’s etched into the plastic behind the windows makes for a really cool effect, as does the sculpted headlamps behind those plastic pieces. I also really dig the “headlamps” to the lower right and left of the front bumper, because I have no other choice to believe that these are actually mini-guns because of the way they’re sculpted. Those will also come into play with the robot mode. The deco is also mighty purdy, with the familiar red and blue mingling with the gray, silver, and white to make a familiar and eye-pleasing combination. And yes, he has some of that brushed on weathering, which has been like a trademark for this line. Finally, Prime’s alt mode can store his axe as a sort of hitch, and if you’re a fan of big goofy guns on your alt modes (I’m not!), there are plenty of peg holes to load Prime up with some weaponry.

The transformation into this mode is pretty complex, considering how simple the Deluxe figures in this line have been, but I was able to get him through it the first time without consulting instructions, and I ain’t no genius, so I’m it’s got to be fairly intuitive. And there’s some truly clever stuff going on to put a smile on my face, even if the final steps require a lot of stuff moving almost simultaneously into place. But in the end, everything locks together perfectly for a solid cab and a pretty fun little toy. So how’s the robot mode look?

What’s the word I’m looking for? WOW? Yup, that’s it. I think it’s safe to say that, at least for me, this is the best looking Voyager Class G1-styled Prime Hasbro has ever done. It’s not perfect, but I think it’s about as perfect as we can expect to see in this size and price range. From head on, I’ve got precious little to nitpick here. He’s beautifully proportioned, and even hits on some of the cool points of Masterpiece Prime, including the vents on the lower legs, and does a pretty decent job of either concealing or obscuring the wheels. I dig that they sculpted the top of the truck cab for his robot mode, even though you don’t see it in the alt mode. The etching on the windshields looks great in his robot mode, and by faking out the cab details on the lower torso, they were able to keep it stylized for the robot mode. Thankfully, that includes swapping out the translucent blue grill with a proper silver one. The shorter stacks on the shoulders are still a bit of a bummer, but it’s not nearly enough to dampen what is an otherwise amazing looking robot.

From the back, things are not quite as clean as I would like in the lower legs, but they’re OK and the designers at least made an effort to close them up so they aren’t completely hollow. Prime does feature a big slab-o-back, which isn’t ideal, but I’m actually thinking that it could be a kind of jetpack, especially with the translucent blue plastic pieces on the bottom looking like thrust emitters. You can also use the peg holes to store his weapons on his back, but that just adds to the bulk.

As for the deco, it’s pretty much identical to what we saw in his alt mode. Prime features all his classic colors: Red, blue, and gray, with some white and yellow, and silver accents. He also features the weathered paint applications that have been present in the Deluxe Class figures. I think these look good, but I get that some collectors aren’t digging them. Maybe Hasbro will put a clean version out at some point down the road. After all, a mold this good can’t possibly only be issued once.

Easily my biggest, and really only, gripe about this figure is the kibble on the underarms, and it isn’t nearly as bad as the Classics version of Prime we got a while back. It’s funny, but I thought that figure was a work of art when it came out, but in retrospect it hasn’t aged all that gracefully. As for this Prime’s arm kibble, I’m actually enjoying the fact that these pieces can be flipped around to form integral mini-guns.

The head sculpt is right on point as well. It’s very traditional with just enough styled flare. The “helmet” is cast in blue plastic, the eyes are painted blue, and the silver paint used for his mouth plate and crest is sharp and clean. Again, I really appreciate that the sculpted the yellow roof lights, even though you don’t see them at all in his cab mode.

Prime comes with two weapons, both of which we glimpsed in the alt mode shots. The first is his battle axe, and I’ll confess I’m not terribly fond of this piece. It’s not all that convincing as an axe and I’ve never understood why Hasbro keeps giving Prime axes anyway. Is it because he had an energy axe in that one fight with Megatron in the Sunbow cartoon? Maybe. Either way, this is a piece that’s going to get tossed into the Tote of Forgotten Accessories.

Fortunately Prime also comes with his very familiar rifle. This baby is cast in black plastic and he can hold it in either hand. Unfortunately, the figure’s articulation doesn’t really allow him to cross it over his chest and rest it in his other hand all that well, but you can fake it out to make it look pretty good.

Before wrapping up, here are some quick comparison shots of Prime with his two Deluxe Autobot Warriors. His cab mode is pretty small when compared to Sideswipe and Hound’s vehicle modes, but he sure makes up for that when he transforms into robot mode. And I’d say the scale here works pretty well. Ideally, I’d like my regular Autobots to be a little closer to Prime’s shoulders, but I’m not going to gripe about it. I think they look great together.

All in all, I think this is an incredible effort on Hasbro’s part and easily my favorite Voyager Class Prime up to this point. It features some great engineering, a transformation that is clever but not too fiddly and complex, and best of all it just delivers unbelievably solid looking alt and robot modes. He’s also so much fun to play around with that I have a feeling he’ll be inhabiting my desk for a long time before he migrates over to my Transformers display. Yeah, at $29.99, he’s a little pricey for a figure this size, but I still think he’s well worth it. Indeed, if Hasbro is smart, they’ll cook up a trailer for this guy and re-release him sometime down the road as part of a bigger and more complete set, because this mold definitely deserves a full-on trailer, Teletran-1, and Roller treatment.

Savage World (ThunderCats): Wave One by Funko

The ThunderCats have had a hard time catching a break. They got an amazing series reboot back in 2011, but it didn’t last. Ban Dai tried to re-launch figures based on the classic cartoon not once, but twice, each time only producing two figures. The license fell to Mattel and they only managed to get a handful of figures out before dropping the line. We all hoped Super7 would have picked it up along with the Masters of the Universe license, but that didn’t happen. Up until now, the only way to get a (sort of) complete team was Mezco’s excellent Mega-Scale figures. And now… it’s Funko’s turn!

Savage World is Funko’s attempt to take popular licenses and merge them with the vintage He-Man action figure aesthetic. These haven’t been nearly as prolific as their Pop! Vinyls, but they’ve managed to do Mortal Kombat, 80’s Slashers, and even DC Comic Heroes as DC Primal Age. Of all of these so far, ThunderCats seems like the most likely candidate, and I was super excited to get these in hand when they were announced. But then the curse struck again. My pre-order filled for three of the four figures, with Panthro remaining in limbo. Weeks went by, I couldn’t find him anywhere, and it seemed like my pre-order was never going to fill. Eventually, I got tired of waiting and picked him up off of Ebay in order to get a complete set.

The first wave consists of Lion-O, Panthro, Mumm-Ra, and Slithe, which feels like a pretty solid assortment. These figures come on simple bubble-and-card packaging, which is in no way collector friendly, with their accessories bagged behind the figure. If you’re looking to keep a set MOC, you might want to be careful ordering these, because it’s not uncommon for them to show up with one or both of the legs detached. Sure, they do pop back on easy enough, but nobody wants to display a figure with its’ limbs rattling around in the bubble. The back of the card has a “Collect-Them-All” layout, which also shows Wave Two consisting of Tygra, Cheetara, Jackalman and Monkian. As much as I’d love to see this line go the distance, I’m just begging the powers that be to get us that second wave. These are pretty simple figures, so I’m going to just tackle the whole wave today…

Lion-O is the one figure in this wave where the squat styling feels a little off to me. At first, I couldn’t figure out why, but I’ve decided it’s because his hair makes his head look big and thereby makes his body look extra squat. It didn’t take long for that to wear off and now I’m fine with it, because everything else about this figure is just spot-on wonderful. I’m especially happy with the way the coloring here came out. Sure, some of that white edging could have been sharper, but I’ve got to get in pretty close before it bothers me. Articulation on all of these figures is identical, which includes swivels in the neck, waist, and shoulders, and ball joints in the hips.

Lion-O comes with his two iconic accessories: The Claw Shield and The Sword of Omens. The Claw is a nice softer sculpt to make it actually look like fur and has the three grappels painted red on the knuckles. The Sword is a solid recreation of the iconic sword. It’s cast in gray plastic and has the Eye of Thundera painted on both sides near the crossguard. All in all, I’m really pleased with this MOTU-styled Lord of the Thundercats and he looks great posed with his accessories.

Panthro looked a lot more naturally to me right out of the gate, because he doesn’t have the whole big hair thing going on and I think this is a great representation of the character, stylized or not. The spikes on his shoulder straps are sharp and solid, and the sculpt even includes his ninja-style footwear and the cords where they are tied on. The only problem I have with this figure is that the Eye of Thundera is printed a bit off-center on his belt. Otherwise, the paint is pretty sharp and the coloring looks great.

Panthro comes with his nun-chuks, which are painted blue and red with a silver painted flexible “chain” connecting them, and have the adorable little cat claws sculpted into the ends of them. He can hold them in either hand and if you cheat, you can even get him to hold them in both hands at once… sort of. Let’s move on to the baddies!

Slithe is the one figure here where the stylized look doesn’t even come into play, and by that I mean this just looks like regular old Slithe to me. They did a great job with the sculpt, from the ragged skirt to the fishy lips and popped eye, he looks great. The coloring here is really evocative of the animation as well and some nice flourishes include the bright silver paint on his wrist bracer and the green spots on his tail. My one little gripe about Slithe is that the way his legs are sculpted can make it tough for him to stand. I feel like they should have sculpted them to be a little wider apart, but after enough fiddling, I was able to get him stable and he hasn’t taken a shelf dive yet.

Slithe comes with one accessory and that’s his long handled axe. I actually had to go back and look at some pictures to remember what the LJN figure came with, and I suppose this is a pretty decent match for the original accessory.

And that brings us to Mumm-RA, The Ever Living! When it comes to sculpt and coloring, Mumm-Ra is easily the most impressive figure in the assortment. He’s also another one that I think works in this scale and style perfectly. Funko really went to town on all the extra bits, like the skirt, cape, torn bandages, and grieves. He also features my favorite head sculpt of the bunch, even though they’re all good, this one just delivers that extra bit of awesome. He’s also beautifully colored with lots of red and gold, and even blue on the twin snakes of his headdress.

Mumm-Ra comes with one accessory and that’s his double-bladed sword. This thing is a nasty piece of cutlery with jagged edges on each blade and a central golden grip sculpted to look like snakes twisted together. I never really associate this weapon with the character a lot, but it’s still pretty cool.

And that’s Wave One of Savage World ThunderCats in the bag! I probably wouldn’t be gushing about these figures as much if Ban Dai or Mattel had managed to make their lines work. But if this is the format that succeeds in getting us a properly fleshed out ThunderCats line, then I’m all for it. The sculpting here is fantastic, the colors are great, and even the accessories are on point. And who knows? Maybe if these sell well, Funko will get us a Cat’s Lair playset in the same style as the Primal Age Batcave! Either way, all I can say is bring on Wave Two!

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

It’s another Mythic Legions Wednesday and time to turn my attention back to that most noblest of races… The Elves! Today, I’m checking Myria Goldenbranch, who hails from a place in Mythoss known as Whispervale. She’s a special kind of Elf, known as a Whisperling, and imbued with the power to draw magic from the very trees around her!

And here’s a She-Elf that can enchant my forest any time! The bulk of Myria’s armor comes from the standard female knight body that was introduced with Gwen Heavensbrand. This includes the torso, the upper arms and upper legs, and the hip piece. The plate armor is given a little bit of a lighter touch with the elf bracers for the lower arms and the boots, which are sculpted and painted to look like leather with reinforced plates on the knees and around the ankles. Instead of the crotch plates, Myria gets by with the lower tabard piece, which is sculpted in soft plastic. This is the only part of the figure that doesn’t quite work for me. I’m not sure if it’s the color or not, but I would have rather they used the leather scale armor piece here instead. But, because Mythic Legions is totally modular, I could always borrow that piece from another figure and make the change myself!

With nothing fresh in terms of armor pieces, much of Myria’s wow-factor comes in the form of the new deco. Not that the sculpt isn’t fantastic, but we’ve seen it before, and I’ve gushed over it many times. Instead, I’ll just spend some time gushing over the coloring here because I absolutely love it. I wouldn’t have thought to pair the metallic green with electric blue, but I’ll be damned if it doesn’t look fabulous together, especially when that rich copper coloring is tossed into the mix. The deep brown used for the boots and gauntlets does a great job simulating leather, and I never cease to be impressed at how all the little sculpted straps are painted along with their fixtures. The exposed chain-mail in the joints is painted silver, and there’s some fine gold edging done along the different sculpted plates in the armor.

While the neck down may be a case of been there, done that, Myria does sport a brand new head sculpt and it is very nice, indeed! She has a pale green complexion, which may or may not be the norm for the Whisperlings, with green lips, and pupil-less ebony eyes. The eyes would probably look horrifying on any other figure, but here they just make her look more mysterious and exotic. Myria features a gold tiara sculpted as part of the portrait, as well as long red hair, which falls back down her neck and leaves her long pointed ears exposed. In the back, her hair is sculpted with two sets of braids that join together in a golden clasp, similar to what we saw with the Elf Ranger.

As great looking a figure as she is, Myria comes up really short when it comes to her accessories. For starters, she’s got the usual basic sword and dagger, which we’ve seen too many times to count now. And yes, this is the point where I say that no matter how many times we see these, I still love them. The problem is, these are the only two weapons she comes with, so recycling the most common ones feels like a poor choice. I think she would have been better served getting a repaint of that curved dagger and scabbard we’ve seen a few times already. Or to go one further, since her bio points out that she possesses magic abilities, maybe a staff would have been a good idea. And I’m not even talking about instead of, because by every accounting, Myria’s accessory count is low.

The only other thing included is this shield. It’s definitely one of the less common shields in the Mythic Legions armory, and I think it suits her well, but at the same time, why not give her the Elven shield. We actually haven’t seen it here yet, it’ll be in an upcoming review, but that just goes to show how uncommon in is. Whatever the case, this shield is a great looking piece, with the wood finish painted green and the frame and edges painted copper, and the rivets painted blue.

I know some people who passed on Myria simply because of her low accessory count, and while I can certainly understand that. The pre-orders are a crazy time when you have to really crunch numbers and try to get the most for your money. Still, I’m glad I didn’t count her out. I stand by what I said about her accessories, and I think just one more carefully weighed item like the Elf shield or a magic staff would have gone a long way. But in the end, she’s a beautiful figure and her bio makes her sound like a cool character. In my collection, I’ll probably have her hanging out with the Silverhorn folk more than the Elves, as some sort of Emissary. If anything, she makes me wish I had picked up the Elven Weapons Pack so I could have kitted her out better myself.

Purgatori Sixth-Scale Figure by Phicen/TBLeague

I’m on vacation this week, so I’m going to try to work a few extra reviews into the mix to dig out from how behind I am. One of the things I want to focus on this year is getting out from under my backlog of Sixth-Scale figure reviews, and since the newest offering from TBLeague (formerly Phicen) showed up a couple weeks back, I thought I’d bump her to the head of the line. These guys have been making a nice little niche for themselves combining their amazing seamless Sixth-Scale bodies with various ladies from the indie comic scene. Some of these characters I only know peripherally, like Arhian: Head Huntress and I buy them mainly because I like the figure, but I’m well acquainted with today’s lady in question!

Once we got Chaos! Comics’ Lady Death, I was hoping Brian Pulido’s Purgatori wasn’t far behind, and here she is! She comes in shoebox style packaging, with the lid being gate-folded cardboard that clips onto the sides with magnets. This has become the standard for TBLeague’s figures and I’m happy for it. It looks beautiful, the box itself is sturdy, and overall it just feels suitable for a high end collectible figure. Purgatori comes nestled in a foam tray with her head and extra bits around her. Beneath that there’s another foam tray that houses her two sets of wings. Let’s get her set up and take a look!

If you were expecting a lavishly tailored and complex costume, than you’re probably not familiar with the character. When it comes to clothing, Purgatori firmly believes less is more, and that’s fine because it’s a shame to cover up the seamless beauty of the Phicen body. Indeed, TBLeague’s version adds a little more outfitting for Purg than I’m used to, with the inclusion of the two black sleeves. I realize that she’s sometimes drawn wearing these, but I’m used to seeing her without them. Normally, I’d write these off to being there to hide the seams, but that’s definitely not the case here. Still, I thought I would wind up taking them off, but they’ve grown on me, so I’m leaving them on. The body itself features a beautiful red skin coloring that matches the character art perfectly and makes for a very distinctive looking figure, even when surrounded by TBLeague’s other ladies of horror comics.

As for the rest of the costume, Purgatori features a pair of black high-heeled boots, which look like they may have been re-purposed from Lady Death. They’re pretty non-descript, but they do have a pair of clip-on straps to hold them up. Her bikini bottom is black with gold trim and paired with a belt and a silver horned death’s head buckle. Her wrists feature sculpted bracers with bangles at both ends, all painted in gold, her finger-less gloves are sculpted as part of her hands and also feature some gold painted finery. Next, she sports a hard plastic brassier, black with painted gold edges. And finally, her shoulders are adorned with sculpted skulls, which slide on over her arms and hug her biceps. And while the outfit is indeed fairly simple, it all fits well and looks great.

I wish I could say the same about the wings. Purg comes with two pairs of wings, one closed up and the other extended outward. These are all cast in translucent red plastic and secure into her back via pegs. The sculpting on these is excellent, as they’re textured and even have some holes in the membrane. They also feature a little bit of paint for the bone points. Unfortunately, these are a far cry from what I remember seeing in the prototype images used for the solicitations. Those showed the wing frames painted to make them look more solid, and there was even some paintwork applied to the membrane. The final pieces just look like what they are: Translucent plastic. And so, the final production pieces are definitely lacking, and while they aren’t enough to ruin the figure for me, they are a disappointment.

The open wings are absolutely huge, so much so that I can barely get her into my little studio area with them on. Obviously, that means that they take up a lot of display space on the shelf, so I doubt I’ll be using them as my default. The fact that they can swivel when connected to the body, does at least give some leeway and if you have more vertical space than horizontal, you can angle them all the way up and they hold in place pretty well.

The head sculpt is excellent, although since it isn’t stylized it isn’t going to match a lot of the character art found in the comics. Nonetheless, I do dig it a lot. She’s damn pretty for a demoness, and I’m particularly impressed with the paintwork on her eyes. The black rooted hair trails down her back, and while I tend to use a little styling gel to get the hair tamed on these figures, I think I’m going to leave Purg’s hair a little wild. The twin horns that protrude from her hairline are articulated and they look great. Finally, Purgatori features a tight choker collar, which was probably the hardest thing to put on the figure, and an ankh pendant attached with red string.

The articulation on these figures remains as impressive as ever. I have no idea which Phicen body this is, but the stainless steel skeleton that lurks beneath all that seamless red silicone skin is a thing of wonder. The figure not only has the usual points one would expect from an articulated Sixth-Scale figure, but it also supports all kinds of subtle adjustments that the human body is capable of. This includes throwing the hips to one side or another and even lower neck articulation buried in the upper torso. And the fact that there isn’t much costume here to inhibit poseability, Purg offers a lot more hands-on fun than you’re average Hot Toys or Sideshow figure. Even better, none of the movement feels delicate or scary.

When it comes to accessories, Purgatori does come up pretty short. I attribute that a bit to the wings counting as accessories and using up a lot of plastic, as well as space in the box. It’s probably also due to the fact that the last bunch of TBLeague figures I got were technically considered Deluxe Editions. Whatever the case, in addition to the two sets of wings, and a total of three pairs of hands, Purg only comes with two additional accessories. One is this kris dagger, which features a very sinister looking curvy blade, a brown sculpted grip, and gold painted cross-guard and pommel. I’m really on the fence over this piece, as it’s nicely executed, but the hilt design is really chunky to the point that it looks a little over-sized.

The other accessory is a gold chalice full of hot and bubbly blood and with a bit of the stuff spilling out over the side. The paint applications on this piece are especially nice and pretty damn convincing. I’ll likely be using this for her regular display. Now is as good a time as any to point out the complete lack of a figure stand, which for a Sixth-Scale figure is pretty inexcusable. Who is going to pose a $160 figure without some kind of support and risk it taking a shelf dive? Sure some of my other TBLeague figures came with decorative diorama bases that didn’t work all that well as stands, but I’d happily take one of those over nothing at all. Thankfully, I have a small stockpile of generic Sixth-Scale stands for just such an occasion.

At $160, TBLeague is continuing to keep their releases well under the $200 mark, and that’s no small feat in the Sixth-Scale figure market
these days. I like the figure a lot, but I would have much rather dropped an extra $20 if they had offered a Deluxe Edition that came with a figure stand and extra paint on the wings. Previous TBLeague releases at this price point felt more complete, whereas Purg here feels like they had to make some cuts to keep her at this price point. Either way, I’m glad I got her, and I’ve even pre-ordered the Exclusive Shanghai Comic Con variant that they’re calling Lady Bat.

Marvel Legends (Kingpin Wave): Silver Sable by Hasbro

It’s another Marvel Monday where I’m tossing randomness to the wind and pushing a new arrival to the head of the line. The Kingpin Wave has started showing up online and I grabbed me the two ladies of the wave, along with a certain young vigilante. Silver Sable just happened to be on the top of the stack, so let’s go ahead and have a look at her first. OK, I actually have another reason to look at her first, and I’ll get to that very shortly.

As you can tell from the box, this is going to be another Spider-Man themed wave. This time there are seven figures in the assortment, but only six needed to complete the Wilson Fisk BAF. Most waves have left me content to grab figures at a leisurely pace as I find them, but I’ll tell you right now that I’ll be looking to wrap this one up pretty quickly, because I want me that Kingpin real bad. Like the Kree Sentry Wave, the packaging here still features the change that has the window as a cover for the tray and not part of the box, so I guess this is something that Hasbro is sticking with.

So, my first thoughts are… SILVER SABLE!!! It’s about damn time, right? My second thoughts are… She looks damn great!!! And finally… But wait, why does she look so damn familiar? And the obvious answer is that she’s mostly just a repaint of Lady Deadpool, the figure I just looked at last week. The sculpted gauntlets are new and look nice, but from the neck down the rest is all recycled from Wanda Wilson, including the belt, thigh pouches, and the shoulder rig.

Granted, it all looks great on Ms. Sablinova, but I think the belt is the biggest giveaway, because it’s so damn distinctive looking. Maybe if I wasn’t reviewing these figures in two consecutive weeks it wouldn’t have been so apparent. With that having been said, the coloring on the costume is fantastic. The silver buck with lighter silver paint looks quite striking and the plastic they used for all the added gear matches the lighter silver paint quite nicely. As much as I was a little underwhelmed with Lady-D, I’m properly impressed here. Although, those thigh straps are still a pain in the ass to keep in place when I’m playing around with her.

The head sculpt is also excellent. Sable is sporting an all-business expression, the silver headband looks great, and the hair itself is sculpted so as not to mess with her neck articulation much at all. The paint on the eyes and lips is straight and clean. I think my only nitpick here would be the eyebrows, which kind of look like they were just drawn on with a silver Sharpie. And since I mentioned articulation, I’ll just refer you back to last week’s Lady-D review rather than go through it all again here.

Silver Sable comes with two weapons and since recycling is the word of the day, it’s not too surprising that these guns aren’t new. We last saw these included with Domino and this time they’re recast in black plastic, which I think looks a lot better than the previous blue. I like these designs a lot, although to be honest, I think I would have been happier if we just got two of the same pistol. I’ll also note that I wish we could have had a holster for the pistol. Sable can hold the rifle just fine in either hand, but her grips are a little too wide to get a tight grip on the pistol, leaving it to flop about in her hand a bit.

In the end, I like this figure a lot more than I should. I mean, I kind of want to (metaphorically) piss all over it because of the heavy recycling, but I can’t because I think she looks fabulous, she’s fun to play with, and she’s probably going to be on my desk for a while. And it’s not like Hasbro sent me this figure as a review sample. As always, I paid for it with my own hard-earned dollars, so I’ve got no guilt about saying it. I dig her a lot. And with that having been said, I’ll happily take a more classic version of the character if Hasbro wants to take another crack at her in a future wave.

Predator (Dark Horse Comics): Ultimate Ahab by NECA

It’s been a few weeks since I opened some NECA goodies, so let’s remedy that on this fine Friday by plunging into their Predator pool and pulling out something new! I’ve still got two of the three figures from Series 18 to look at, but I think I’m going to set those aside and instead open up another of their Ultimate Series, and one that’s been sitting around for way too long. Let’s check out Ultimate Ahab!

Pulled from the pages of Dark Horse’s Predator comics, Ahab is an Elder Predator with a bit of an obsession over hunting Engineers (as in Space Jockies not people who drive trains or design bridges!) and oh my, what a great choice he is for the Ultimate Series treatment. As always, the packaging here consists of a window box with a front flap covering the window. It’s got plenty of pictures of the figure as well as some kick-ass artwork, and everything is collector friendly. The fact that these are some of the few action figure packages that I actually keep should speak volumes about how much I dig them, but saving the boxes also comes in handy to keep all those extra goodies! They don’t call these Ultimate for nothing!

After the uniquely crazy look of Broken Tusk, Ahab is kind of a return to basics, or at least a much simpler and streamlined outfit. He’s got the usual net-motif sculpted into his torso and legs, as well as armor on his lower legs, forearms, shoulders, and the upper left part of his chest. The outfit is rounded out with a simple belt, thigh armor, partially covered by sculpted fur, and an alien skull hanging around his neck. He also features a stylish crimson cape, which is made of an exceptionally nice material and hangs down just a bit below his waistline. Obviously, the comics and other associated Predator fiction has given us a wide array of different looking Predator outfits, and while I dig the more distinctive ones, it’s also refreshing to get back to basics.

The paintwork is excellent and the figure exhibits all the usual flourishes I’m used to seeing on these guys. Ahab’s Yautja flesh varies from a sickly pale yellow to orange, and he’s got several natural markings on his skin, particularly at the inner thighs and shoulders. The armor isn’t as heavily weathered on this guy as some of my other Preds, but it has just the right amount to make it look lived in and well used. There’s also a bit of gradient brown on the sculpted fur patches.

The exploits of Ahab’s hunts are written all over his face. His right eye is missing and flesh has grown over the socket. He’s also missing his right upper mandible, and there are some scars interrupting the spotting on the top of his head. But he’s still a handsome devil and I will never stop being impressed by the work NECA puts into the Predator dreadlocks, with each one separately sculpted. And while it’s not actually part of his head, now seems as good a time as any to talk about the hose that connects the shoulder armor to the piece of chest armor. With my past Preds, articulating the arm would cause this to pop out of the hole on the chest armor. That’s fine, because otherwise it would severely limit that limb’s articulation. Unfortunately, this one appears to be glued in, because instead of simply popping out, the tab broke off in the hole. I may glue it, I may leave it out, or I may just snip it off entirely.

Instead of a swappable head, Ahab actually comes with a wearable mask. This is held on mostly by friction, but it fits pretty well and leaves his mandibles exposed. The interior also features some great detail, and I love that NECA bothered to paint the interior of the eyes red.

Ahab’s arm bracers conceal the usual Predator gadgets. The left arm has his flip up computer and his right arm houses his twin extending blades. You can also swap this piece out for one with triple blades, which is a damn cool bonus. And if you don’t want either sets of cutlery getting in the way, you can remove them and attach the bracer piece to have them retracted all the way in.

Ahab also comes with a satisfying number of weapons, the first of which is his shoulder-mounted plasma-caster. If you’re familiar with NECA’s Predator figures, than you’re familiar with this piece. It clips onto the shoulder and features the same level of detail in the sculpt and paint finish as the rest of Ahab’s armor, blending in perfectly. The caster itself is positioned on an articulated arm allowing it to target his pray. I love the look of these as display pieces, but they tend to get in the way of the head articulation, so I tend to use them for regular display, but not when I’m playing around with the figure.

Next up is his spear. It’s got a beautifully sculpted blade with serrated hooks trailing down the top of the shaft. The middle is sculpted with a thick grip and the far end terminates into a sharp point. Ahab comes with a pair of accessory holding hands, which allows him to wield this in one or both hands. Although it should be noted that it’s a delicate piece, and some care should be taken when getting it into his fingers. NECA also included a small clip that can be attached to his back to hold the spear, but I doubt I’ll use it since the cape gets in the way.

The Smart Disc is an accessory we’ve seen before and it’s always a welcome addition. It’s painted gold and features some great sculpted detail, along with finger holes to work with one of the right hands. The only downside here is that he doesn’t have a place to store it when he’s not using it.

And I saved my favorite weapon for last, and that’s the Engineer rifle. The design of this weapon is just so damn cool and it brilliantly reflects the HR Giger techno-organic motif seen in the Engineer’s spaceship. The way it coils around it looks like some kind of worm-like creature is wrapping around Ahab’s arm. I’d love to get another one of these to give to one of my Engineer figures, but I’m sure as hell not going to take this one away from Ahab.

The final accessory is the skull and spinal column of an Engineer. It’s a beautiful, albeit grim, sculpt and features a gray painted finish.

I don’t think I’ll ever grow tired of adding new Predators to my collection, and Ahab here is yet another great example of why. The team at NECA clearly loves these alien hunters so much, and that comes out in all the beautiful details and wonderful craftsmanship and bevy of accessories. It’s hard for me to choose favorites here, but Ahab surely takes a place right beside the Jungle and City Hunters as my top Predators. And best of all, since I never owned the original NECA release of Ahab, I didn’t even have to double-dip to get this Ultimate edition.