Eaglemoss continues to run some pretty irresistible sales on Amazon every month or so, which means I’ve been stocking knocking a bunch of their ships off my Want List. A lot of them have been Starships from Star Trek, but today we’re taking a trip back to the Classic Battlestar Galactica series and having a look at the Colonial Viper Mk I!
This is one of the big boys, measuring in at a little over ten inches long, so naturally it comes in a fairly beefy box. The package is collector friendly, with the Viper coming fully assembled and secured between two halves of a styrofoam brick. All you need to do is pop the stand together, but if you’re like me, you’ll be whooshing this around the room before you even get to the stand. You also get a full color booklet that has some technical and behind the scenes info about this iconic ship. I don’t always bother with these books, but I thoroughly enjoyed reading this one.
And this ship is indeed so damn iconic to me. As a kid, BSG blew my little mind, as it truly felt like all the flash and spectacle of Star Wars, but as an ongoing series right in our living room. Hell, I can still marvel at how good the ships and battles look for the time. And while I’m sure it may be sacrilege to some, I would personally hold the design of this Colonial Viper up against that of the X-Wing any day of the week. It may not be quite as distinctive as Incom’s fighter, but I always thought this design looked more realistic and made more sense. It’s basically three big engines attached to a cockpit and fuselage. There’s something about it that just looks more rugged and durable.
The Viper is comprised of both Diecast metal and plastic, but despite it’s size there isn’t a whole lot of heft to this ship, so let’s say mostly plastic. That’s not necessarily a mark against it for me, but considering how heavy some of the Trek ships feel, this one just feels more like a plastic model garage kit. The paint is absolutely exquisite, particularly the weathering work, which really sells this thing. The hull is splotched with wear and tear that looks convincing enough for a studio model. There’s scorch marks around the engine intakes, possible scarring from Cylon laser hits, and of course you get the beautiful deep crimson striping and accents.
And the sculpt is certainly no slouch either. There’s panel lines with interlocking catches, rivets, pipes coming from the exposed parts of the engines, vents, and intakes. I love the cutouts were the front wings almost meet up with the fuselage, and the fact that the laser cannons just sort of float off the wing sections, leaving a stylish gap. I expected the canopy glass to be just painted black, but it’s actually a dark smoked transparent plastic. In just the right light you can almost see inside.
The stand is well designed, with angled transparent arms that slip just in front of the each lower engine. It offers a snug hold on the ship, ensuring that it won’t slip out or topple over, while not obstructing the view of the ship. But because it is pretty tight, it’s probably best to not remove it from the stand too many times as it could lead to some paint wear at the contact point.
I couldn’t be happier that Eaglemoss is doing Classic Battlestar Galactica ships, as I haven’t had an example of this Viper in my collection since I had Mattel’s little version as a kid. It’s perfectly sized to bring out the detail and really get noticed on the shelf, and the quality and craftsmanship is top notch. The MSRP on this fighter is around $70, but I got in on a Buy 2, Get 50% Off Deal, so I paired it up with the Classic Cylon Fighter, only paying $35 for each. And yeah, I’ll try to squeeze a look at the Cylon ship into the mix in the next couple of weeks!
NECA has been working their way through releasing Ultimate versions of the Universal Monsters and I’m all in on the color versions of these releases! They started off with Frankenstein’s Monster, then went to The Wolfman, and then everyone’s favorite shambling Egyptian corpse, Imhotep, aka. The Mummy, which I’m checking out today. Don’t worry, I’ll swing back to The Wolfman eventually!
No surprises with the packaging. The figure comes in a window box with a front flap. The front panel has a great recreation of the original movie poster with pictures of the figure itself on the back panel and inside the flap. The window gives you a good look at the goodies inside, and the whole shebang is collector friendly. I’ll go on record as saying The Mummy is among my favorite of the Universal Monsters, but I watch the Hammer Horror flicks more often than the Universal original. Let’s unwrap this guy and check him out!
Well, I’m really impressed with the overall sculpt, but this is NECA, where great sculpts are par for the course. Where The Mummy is concerned, it’s all mostly just bandages, and there aren’t a lot of specific details to hook onto, and I think that’s what makes me dig this sculpt all the more. It feels like they went all out on making sure that each and every bandage was recreated, and I had a bit of fun just turning this figure over and over in my hands and drinking it all in. Only the exposed smooth joints in the elbows and knees are there to interrupt all that wrapping!
The figure also comes with two loose wraps: One intended to hang around the neck, and the other to hook around the ankle, so it can drag along as he shambles toward his victims. I’ve also taken a few shots of the ankle bandage hanging off his wrist, because I think it works pretty well either way. I like the idea of these, but I wish the neck wrap laid flat against his chest a bit better, and I would have liked a peg to attach the one to his ankle.
You get three heads, two of which are rather specific. One has his eyes closed in case you want to display him resting in his sarcophagus, and I do believe that NECA is planning to release one for this figure in an accessory pack. The other is the normal face, and the final shows The Mummy making his O-Fface, which to me is the creepiest of all the heads. It’s just something about that black soulless void in his maw that gives me the shivers.
The articulation on the figure is probably more than you could possibly need for a shambling corpse, but I find the double hinged elbows very useful, especially if you want to put him with his arms crossed on his chest. The double-hinged knees are probably not necessary, but heck, it’s nice to have him. The figure comes with two sets of hands, one pair of relaxed and open hands, and the other Imma gonna getcha hands. I’m assuming that the second pair were supposed to be right and left, but mine came with two right hands of the second set. They’re extremely close to each other, so I’m not sure if that was intentional or not.
As for other accessories, you get a chest that opens and contains the legendary scroll of Thoth, which consists of hieroglyphs printed on some heavy stock paper. You want more accessories? Pre-order the Deluxe Accessory Set you greedy bastard!
Probably my most anticipated release in NECA’s revealed Universal Monsters, The Mummy does not disappoint. He’s got a great sculpt, an abundance of heads, and some cool accessories. In other hands, this one could have turned out to be a big bore, but NECA did their usual nuanced treatment to bring out every last bandage and some super creepy portraits. Now I’m just waiting on the accessory set to drop, so I can have a proper sarcophagus for him to rise from!
Here we go, folks! It’s the final installment of Mythos Monday for a while, as after today I’ll be all caught up on showcasing the Mythic Legions figures in my collection! As I mentioned last week, I saved the two Deluxe figures for last, and that means today I’m checking out Artemyss Silverchord!
Artemyss comes in the same style packaging as the Deluxe Knight Builder we saw last week, but there isn’t nearly as much stuff crammed into this bubble. In fact, the main reason for the elongated tray was to accommodate her wings, which are nested in the bottom tray under the figure and other accessories. She does, however, have one of the coolest bios I’ve come across in the line. Artemyss’ parents were killed by vampyre assassins, and now she leads Xylona’s Flock as a noble warrior and paragon of virtue. Oh yeah, and Asterionn the Minotaur is her personal guardian! There are a couple of different display options for this figure, so let’s get started!
Artemyss makes use of an interesting mix of parts from Advent of Decay, basically borrowing some heavy armor from the female knights and some lighter armor from the elves. Her cuirass is the one first introduced on Gwendolyn Heavensbrand, finished with the same gold paint, but using some copper and purple to add color to the panels. Her belt, however, is different, with shorter hip armor and a purple stone front and center. Her upper arms and legs are the usual bare female limbs, but her legs are painted to resemble leggings. She has the lighter armor for her lower legs, with the knees painted gold to signify reinforced armor, and the rest brown to convey leather boots. She has the elven wrist bracers on her forearms, painted gold to match the rest of her armor, with brown inner sleeves.
Artemyss is one of the very few figures to not get shoulder armor of any kind, which makes sense, as it would interfere with her optional wings. She does have a cape, but since most capes in this line are designed to hang on the shoulder armor pegs, here it just has a neck hole. I like this method, since it can be worn over her bare shoulders, or folded back out of the way, or even shifted to cover her free arm when wielding a sword. The cape is green, but it’s a few shades shy from matching the green plastic sash that hangs down the front of Artemyss’ belt.
The head sculpt is all new, and I absolutely love it. It’s characterized by the elaborate clutch of braided hair that cascades down her back, complete with gold rings to hold weight them down. She also has an elaborate set of gravity-defying antlers protruding from her tiara. Seriously, for this thing to work, that tiara would have to be bolted to her head! But it looks so majestic and amazing, I’ll just chalk it up to magic! She has a beautiful face, with narrow, almond-shaped eyes, blue lipstick, and a heavy dose of purple eyeshadow. I particularly love how TFH sculpted the two braids that fall from in front of her pointed ears to frame her face.
As for accessories, Artemyss comes with two swords, one is the standard one-handed cruciform sword with a gold hilt and a silver blade. Chances are very good that this one will go to another one of my figures.
And that’s because she also comes with the elven short sword, and this one just suits her perfectly. Sadly, this sword doesn’t turn up very often, and I think I last encountered it when checking out Dorina Onoris. It’s an absolutely beautiful piece with an ornate gold hilt and a leaf-shaped blade.
Next up, Artemyss comes with a bow, quiver, and one loose arrow. The bow is a rather distinctive piece, sculpted to look like it’s crafted from antlers, with a green grip and gold bands to secure the string. This is a new accessory to me, and that’s saying something considering how many of these figures I’ve reveiwed over the years. The quiver is the same sculpt we’ve seen a bunch of times, painted brown with gold trim. These usually have a clip on them, but mine does not, but it can still be passed through the loop on the sword belt and worn on her back using the belt as a shoulder strap. The loose arrow is silver with purple fletching to match the ones sculpted in the quiver. She looks great holding the bow, but as I’ve said before, the articulation on these figures is not ideal for having them actually knock an arrow to shoot it.
And last, but not least, are her translucent pink wings. These attach to the holes usually used for the shoulder armor, or you can use one of the adapter pieces to tab it into the slot in the middle of her back. Because of her hair, I find the shoulder holes work better. And obviously, the cape needs to come off when using these. They attach via hinged pegs, so that gives them the ability to swivel and be angled forward and back. They were positioned in the box with the narrower parts on the top, but I prefer them on the bottom. They do make Artemyss a bit back-heavy, but she can still stand with them without the need for additional support. I find that they also remain pegged in more securely than some of the other, heavier wings.
Artemyss is an absolutely gorgeous figure, and I think she’s a fine addition to end on. The mix of parts here works perfectly to create a fresh new look, the unique head sculpt is beautiful, and the addition of the wings is just icing on the cake! And with that, it’s time to put Mythic Legions on the back burner until some new figures arrive. This trek has taken me through nearly 90 figures over the course of about six years! Keep in mind, I also have Cosmic Legions pre-orders in the pipe, so I’m looking forward to checking those out as well. Next week will see a return of Marvel Mondays so that I can wrap up some of the Marvel Legends waves I have waiting to be opened!
If you hadn’t noticed, I skipped Wednesday this week. It was partly because I went really long on my Monday review, and partly because I was being lazy and opted for floating in the pool all afternoon and playing video games all night. But, I’m back to wrap up the week today with a look at some Sonic the Hedgehog toys! I have a lot of Sonic toys, but the zippy hedgehog has only graced FFZ once before when I looked at Jakks’ Greenhill Zone playset. Eventually I hope to get to all the Sonic toys, but this time I’m having a look at some toys from the second Sonic movie!
When the first Sonic movie went streaming, I originally put it on to hate watch it, but I fell in love about twenty minutes in. It was unbearably charming and I felt that it did my blue boi proud. The second film doubled down and while there were some decidedly odd choices for sub-plots, I still loved it. When I first saw this set with the Tornado biplane scaled for the 2.5-inch figures, I was really excited to get it. And then I couldn’t find it outside of scalpers on Ebay and Mecari. And wouldn’t you know it, just when I stopped looking it turned up on a Walmart clearance endcap! Plus, that Walmart was right across the street from a Sonic restaurant, allowing me to celebrate my good fortune with a chili and cheese dog! The Tornado requires a bit of assembly, but nothing too crazy, but let’s check out the figures first!
As already mentioned, these figures are part of the 2.5-inch line, which means they’re pretty small, but they do scale with the above mentioned Green Zone Playset (which I used as a backdrop!) and the other accessories. The articulation is pretty decent for figures this size, with rotating hinges in the hips and shoulders, ball jointed heads, and Tails has his tails on a ball joint as well.
As much as I loved Sonic’s look in the movie, I don’t think it translated all that well to this figure. It’s not bad, but there’s just something off about it. There’s a bit of a furry texture to him, which is at odds with the familiar smooth and cartoony look of the game figures. I do like the head sculpt, so in the end I’ll chalk it up to the proportions. The paint may look a bit sloppy in some areas, but keep in mind just how small these little guys are.
While, I may be a bit iffy on Sonic, the Tails figure is a home run! He still has the furry texturing, but I think this little guy still works just fine as a game-based figure. Plus, he has the flight helmet and goggles, which ties him directly to The Tornado. The only downside to this little fella is that he cannot stand on his own unless you turn his tails down and use them as a tripod to support him being upright.
And then there’s The Tornado, which was obviously inspired by The Sky Chase Zone in the Sonic 2 game, and the big reason why I was after this toy in the first place. Sure, the colors and markings aren’t a perfect match for the game version, but it’s close enough for me! It’s a pretty simple toy, but like the movie, it’s just oozing charm and it’s a lot of fun. The plastic used for the wing supports is pretty soft, but once its assembled it’s a solid enough toy. There’s even a play gimmick where you can pump the back wheel like a trigger to make the propeller spin.
The cockpit is designed with a shelf behind the seat, so Tails can sit in it and still have room to rest his large, bushy tails, and he looks absolutely fantastic in it! When I first saw the solicitation pictures of the toy, I kind of assumed that Tails would be permanently attached to the plane, so it was a pleasant surprise to later find out he was an actual figure that could sit in it.
The Tornado also has a bunch of pegs and grab bars so that Sonic can interact with it, making for a lot of fun display options.
If Walmart’s original listing can be believed, this thing sold for $60 originally. Now, I’m not saying I wouldn’t have paid that if I found it, but I’m crazy, and that price tag seems ridiculously high for what you’re getting. Thirty bucks would have seemed like a reasonable price, and I was happy to find it for $20 on clearance. Considering I’ve wanted a toy of The Sky Chase biplane since the 90’s, this release scratches a very old itch, and I’m thrilled to have it to display in my Game Room on the shelf above my Genesis and Master System games, but I imagine it’s a pretty cool toy for any kids who were just a big fan of the film, providing such a demographic actually exists!
We’re in the home stretch now, folks! By my reckoning, I have only two more Mythic Legions releases to spotlight here before I’ve wrapped up with all the figures I currently own. And I saved the two Deluxe Sets I have for last! Today I’m checking out the Deluxe Knight Builder, which is kind of like a super-sized Legion Builder, only with the premium paint applications of a regular release, and a hefty assortment of accessories. There’s a lot of stuff to cover here, so let’s jump right in, because I’m going to go long today!
The packaging here is pretty unique, as the figure comes on a much wider card to accommodate the large tray packed full of goodies. Actually, there are two nested trays here, with two levels of weapons, heads, extra armor bits, and you even get a second torso. Obviously, the goal here is to give you as many different options as possible to create all sorts of variants, although both torsos are female, making use of the slighter build introduced in Advent of Decay. As a result, I’m just going to be assembling four different figures, based on the four different heads, to try to show off everything that’s included. Just about everything in the box has been seen before in previous reviews, except for one piece, which I’ll call out when we get to it!
I’m starting out with the Salade style helmet and no tabard for what is a really beautiful femme knight. As always, the armor sculpt here is exquisite, with every tiny rivet, strap, and interlocking plate lovingly recreated, along with the chainmail texturing exposed at the joints. You also get some stunning decorative relief work sculpted into some of the panels. The paint job gives the armor a clean, burnished silver finish, with a striking turquois used for some of the decorative panels. Add to that some gold edging and rivets, copper for the chainmail, and brown for the retaining straps, and you get what I think is one of the most gorgeous knights this line has produced.
I think I first encountered the Salade helmet when I reviewed the Advent of Decay Knight Legion Builders, and it hasn’t been used much, which is a shame because I’m a fan of both the helmet design and this sculpt. The swept back and narrow slit in the visor make it quite a distinctive piece of headgear, and the hammered look of the sculpt is just so damn great. I also went with the segmented lobster-tail style shoulder armor for this particular configuration, which I think looks perfect!
As for weapons, I gave her the simple one-handed cruciform sword, worn on her waist with the brown belt, and the circular, concave shield. The sword needs no discussion, as it was introduced in the original Kickstarter assortment and we’ve seen it dozens of times since. And yes, it’s still a favorite of mine! The shield has turned up a few times, mainly with some of the Gladiator-style figures like Calavius. The paint here is actually very similar to that appearance, but with the central boss left silver like the rest of the shield, as opposed to gold to match the decorative ring. I love the deco, but it would have been interesting to see the outer ring painted in the same metallic turquois!
And just to keep the distribution of weapons fair, here she is wielding the mace. This weapon has a large, bulbous studded head, perfect for bashing in even the most heavily armored brains. The shaft is sculpted with a wood grain pattern, although the whole weapon is painted in silver. The head is interchangeable, so we’ll see a variation on this mace in a little bit. This particular mace is another one of those weapons that has turned up here and there, but is not as often as others, so it’s a welcome addition! Let’s swap out the head and a few other parts, and check out the next variation!
Here’s another head, and I’ve also swapped out the plated groin armor with this leather scaled look. I actually don’t really like using this piece with this armor, I think it looks too low-rent, but I wanted to showcase it anyway. I’ve also moved the waist belt to become a shoulder strap to better carry the two-handed sword.
The Armet-A-Rondelle helmet, to give it its fancy name, is the one piece in this set that I believe is brand new. Or at lest, I don’t remember seeing it before. It’s a close fitting 15th Century style helmet, that’s characterized by the rondel plate at the back and base of the neck. You get some gold trim, and some lovely sculpted relief work around the visor. Like the Salade, I think this helmet goes really well with the figure.
Like the one-handed sword, this two-hander needs no introduction, as it’s been issued so many times to so many releases. It’s even been given the copper painted hilt, which has been seen before. I do like that the silver blade has been given a bit of a wash, to give it a slightly weathered look. All in all, this sword still looks great and remains one of my favorite accessories.
And, as long as we’re on the subject of over-used accessories, here’s the infamous spear introduced in the original Kickstarter assortment. OK, this is one accessory that I think it’s time to retire and sculpt a new one. This one looks a tad chunky, which works fine with the bulkier male knights, but looks a little off with the slighter builds introduced in Advent of Decay. This one has been painted silver and given a bit of a rust wash. Let’s change things up again, and this time we’ll swap the head and the whole torso!
Here is the tabard torso along with the tabard groin piece, introduced in Advent of Decay and seen at least a few times since. The plastic garment has a blue stripe flanked by a mustard color on each side, along with some gold trim. I think it looks pretty good with the existing color scheme on the armor. It also has a little spray on the bottom piece to make it look dirty. I’ve also swapped out the segmented shoulders for these curvy ones, which include the turquoise panels to match the rest of the armor perfectly.
The helmet is pretty familiar, as I first encountered it with back with Delphina, the female Templar in Advent of Decay. Indeed, I think we’ve seen it in this exact color scheme as well. I don’t have anything new to say about it, other than it just goes perfectly with this body, and it’s one of my favorite helmet designs, which somehow manages to look both noble and intimidating at the same time.
As far as weapons go, first, I’ve given her the chunky dagger, which is another callback to the original Kickstarter assortment, and one which hasn’t been turning up that often in the recent waves. I think it’s a great little piece, and it makes for an excellent main gauche when paired with the sword. I’ll also note, the hilt is painted to match that of the sword, which is always a plus in my book!
Next up is the flanged mace, which was swapped out for the spherical studded mace head. I tend to favor this one over the previous, as it has a vicious beauty to its design. I also love that each of the rivets in the head are painted gold.
And let’s bring in the second shield, which introduced in the original Kickstarter, but here given a spiffy new paintjob. The blue and white checkered deco has a nice sense of pageantry about it, and when you add the gold frame, it matches the armor pretty well. Like the tabard, the shield has a little bit of spray on it to give it a slightly dirty and worn look. I think the shield pairs really well with the flanged mace. OK, let’s do one more variant!
Here, I kept the body all the same, but added the final head, which is a sort of Burganet. This lovely form-fitting helmet has a ridged pate, bisected by a central crest, and a rather distinctive beaked visor. You get some piercings to help with breathing, two rather wide eye slits, and some painted rivets. You also get a choice of either a spike for the top, or blue plumage.
And lest you thought we were done showcasing the original Kickstarter weapons, here’s are friend the beefy battle axe. Just about everyone who was anyone got one of these in the initial assortment. The weapon includes pieces to customize it as either a double-headed axe, or to give it a single blade and a spike. Either one works fine for me! The grips are painted black, with the rest silver and given a light patina of rust.
And finally, here she is with the the shiny silver halberd. This is a weapon I’d like to see a little more often. It was introduced in Advent of Decay, but hasn’t turn up all that much since.
If you’re still with me, well congratulations, because this was easily the longest Mythos Monday Review I’ve ever done. The Deluxe Knight Builder set retailed for about $60 at pre-order, and as usual, I wish I had a little more money in the budget to have picked up two or three of these. With so many different weapons, four different heads, and two different bodies, there’s a lot of fun and variety to be had here. But Advent of Decay was a massive figure drop, and I didn’t have enough cash for all the figures I wanted, let alone enough to double up on treasures like this one. This is definitely one of those figures that should be up for order on Store Horsemen all the time, and I wouldn’t mind seeing a reissue with a new deco either!
As I mentioned last week, I am really far behind on my TBLeague figure reviews, and I’m going to try to work them into the regular rotation every couple of weeks so I can get through the backlog. Today, I’m checking out a fairly recent release, The Vampire Slayer! This vamp-vexing femme fatale is another one of TBL’s original concept figure, so there’s no licensed property here to be familiar with. And I’ll say right out of the gate, I think they made some strange choices when putting this figure together. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves… to the packaged shot!
The artwork on the front panel here is absolutely killer. It would probably be enough to make me buy this figure even without seeing what’s inside. And I kind of wish I could stand behind that excuse. As usual, the figure comes in a high quality shoebox-type package with a tri-fold top that secures on the sides via magnets. Inside, the head comes detatched and wrapped in plastic, with everything nestled in in a cozy foam bed, and the whole shebang smells like tea when you open it! It always makes me want to mix up some Lipton’s iced tea! Included in the outer mailer box, but separate from the actual figure box, is a styrofoam brick that houses a diorama-style figure stand. Let’s get her all set up and check her out!
OK, I am so conflicted on this figure that I don’t even know where to begin. She looks cool enough, but nothing about her invokes the idea of being a Vampire Slayer. Unlike the Saintess Knight that we looked at last time, this figure makes good use of a costume designed to show off some of that seamless body. She dons a plastic one-piece black cuirass with some lovely gold trim, a jewel betwixt her ample bosoms, and a skull warning you off of her groinular region. She has a pair of fishnet stockings, with plastic bands about thigh high, and these have some very cool skull motifs facing outward, where they also secure her red leather, high heel boots. Capping this all off is a red leather duster, which is actually in two pieces. There’s a half-jacket, which ends just below her chest, and the rest hooks on to cascade down the back of her legs to the ground. The jacket has a gold design on the back, and a very high collar with some more gold decorations. In theory, I like everything here well enough, but the figure is susceptible to a lot of wardrobe malfunctions.
For starters, the bottom half of the jacket is attached by placing two metal hooks through two very tiny stitches on the back of the jacket. It’s pretty easy to get it attached, but it does not want to stay put. Posing the figure, or just handling her, will usually cause the hooks to come out. You could display her without it for a bit of a cheeky look, but to keep it on her, I’m going to have to try crimping the hooks with a pair of pliers. There are other little issues with the costume as well, like the way the thigh rings tend to slip down past the tops of the stockings. And if you put her in any action poses, the boot tops don’t like to cooperate with leg bends, and wind up looking all messed up. Finally, the plastic fixtures on the front of her boots do not sit flush with her lower legs, but rather stick out a bit.
The head sculpt is nice. Sure, it’s the usual blank expression that we get with these figures, but the paint is absolutely fantastic. The eyes have a little spark of life to them and the lips are painted impeccably. She’s got short blonde hair, which can be a little difficult to keep under control, so I may wind up taking a spritz of hair spray to her. The plastic collar does tend to ride up a lot, and doesn’t sit flush on her skin. Also, that jacket’s high collar must really wreak havoc on her peripheral vision. If vamps come up from the side, she’s probably going to be surprised!
The Vamp Slayer comes with only two accessories, and neither seem like they would be very useful for actually slaying vamps. The first is this little curved dagger that comes in a plastic sheath. It’s a fantastic little accessory, but there’s nowhere I can find to attach the sheath, so she can’t really wear it, unless you rig something up like a belt.
Her main weapon is like a medieval morning star, with the spikes running all the way down to the handle. Like the dagger, I think this weapon looks great, but it doesn’t seem like something a Vampire Slayer should be carrying around. Where are the stakes? The holy water? A crossbow? Even a sword with a crucifix as a hilt? I haven’t seen either of these weapons packed in with previous TBL releases, but it sure feels like something they had lying around and decided to toss into the box when designing this figure.
While the accessories are a bit light, TBL did not skimp on the base. It’s a large rock formation overhanging a lake or river, all presented on a pedestal with a golden decorative ring around it. One of my frequent gripes about TBL’s diorama bases is that they often have no way of securing the figure to them, but they’ve been rectifying that lately by including a bendable post that screws into the base and grabs the figure around the waist. But once again, nothing about this base invokes the whole Vampire Slayer vibe, and I’m tempted to give it to one of my TBL figures that didn’t come with one. Still, it is very nice!
It’s hard to know exactly why I pre-ordered this figure. It’s nice and all, but everything about the design feels half-baked. It’s like they designed her, didn’t know what to call her, so just went with Vampire Slayer, tossed in some unrelated weapons, and kicked her out the door. My guess is that she went up for pre-order at a time when I was flush with cash, and more than a little inebriated, because it’s rare for me to buy a higher end figure that I’m not absolutely in love with. And it’s safe to say I was never in love with this one. I may consider selling her off, but more likely, she’ll go back in the box to be reassessed later, while her base and weapons get parted off to one of my other figures. This figure was also released in a white version, which gave her a white cuirass, black coat and boots, and a brunette head sculpt. Overall, I dig this one more, but that’s still not saying all that much.
When I reviewed Flash Gordon from NECA’s Original Superheroes series, I promised to get to Ming the Merciless the following week. Well, here we are a month later, and what can I say? I’m easily distracted. But as one of my favorite sayings goes, better late than never, so let’s check out the ruthless tyrant of from Mongo!
When NECA secured the King Features license, their main intention seemed to be doing Defenders of the Earth (and I’ll get to those figures eventually!), but they also produced these variants based on Flash Gordon and The Phantom’s standalone adventures and called it The Original Superheroes. Which is why it says that on Ming’s box, despite him being a Super Villain! The packaging here is very nice, with some great pulp artwork, some faux weathering, and a collector friendly box.
Out of the box, Ming does make use of a buck that he shares with his nemesis, Flash, and that even includes the belt with the padded waist wrap and holster. As such, I won’t run through the articulation here, but just note that this figure has all the right points and plenty of range for some fun posing. The tops of the boots are newly sculpted, with a front crease coming to a point at the front of each. You also get some new sculpting for the shoulder ridges, the color piece, and the band that secures the cape. The body suit is green with gold paint for the gauntlets and the new sculpted bits. You also get a different shade of green for the boots. Finally, you get a very nice green softgoods cape, which is fashioned out of a light cloth and falls about the figure quite naturally.
There are two heads included with the figure, one wearing his helmet, and the other without it. Both are decent sculpts, but it’s crazy how hideous these portraits look when you punch in close with the camera. The paint is pretty rough on the helmeted head, with some green spray on his cheeks and some random spots on the helmet itself. It really doesn’t show too bad to the naked eye, but it sure looks terrible when scrutinized by the camera.
The other portrait has a pretty impressive skin tone going on for his bald head, with some spots here and there. This one also has Ming offering a villainous laugh, and boy do the teeth look like a jumbled mess up close. Again, it’s fine with the figure in hand, but the camera just does not do either of these portraits any favors. With that having been said, I dig the crazy eyebrows on both of the portraits, as well as the pointed ears and the trademark beard. The helmeted head is the more iconic look for me from this period, but I could see myself going either way when it comes to choosing a head to display.
Ming comes with three sets of hands, but only the fists are painted to look like gloved hands. The other two are graspy hands and accessory holding hands, and they are sculpted with his long fingernails and rings. I guess if you’re using either of these pairs, the gold paint on his forearms are supposed to be bracers, rather than the sleeves of his gauntlets. And it’s a worthy compromise, because I really dig the detail on the bare hands.
When it comes to accessories, there’s a lot of stuff here that we saw with Flash Gordon. The pistol is exactly the same, as are the two blast effect parts. One is a long laser stream and the other is just a muzzle flash. I don’t mind the gun being the same, as it’s a given that Flash just acquired a Mongo blaster, so there’s no reason it shouldn’t be the same. It would have been cool to get the blast effects in a different color, but I guess if it’s the same model pistol, the effects would be the same color anyway. Either way, I’ve already covered this stuff with Flash, so I won’t spend any more time on it here.
Like Flash, Ming comes with a sword and scabbard, but these are thankfully different, and pretty damn awesome as well! The scabbard is painted in the darker green with gold fixtures to match his outfit. There’s also a real chain that hangs from the throat and connects to one of the bands, which looks great. As with Flash, the scabbard has a hole to peg into the side of the figure’s belt.
The sword features a knucklebow, fairly reminiscent of a sword design found on 19th century Earth. The blade is thick and yellow near the hilt and turns silver and tapers off to the tip, where there is a red diamond painted on each face of the blade. The hilt guard is painted green to match the scabbard and you get a splash of gold on the pommel. I dig this sword a lot!
This version of Ming is certainly not as flashy as the one I’ll eventually look at from the Defenders of the Earth line, but it is a really cool nod back to the earlier days. It’s a great looking figure, even if the amount of recycling here is really on the nose, as NECA tried to get some serious mileage out of the license with as many variants as possible. Yes, there’s even an exclusive boxed set of these figures redone in the style of the Dino De Laurentiis film as well as packaged on retro-style Filmation cards. I’ll pick a day when I’m pressed for time to show off the Filmation ones, because I plan on leaving them carded. The Original Superheroes line also included The Phantom, but I opted out of that one, since I’m content with owning just the one from the Defenders line.
It’s another Mythos Monday, and I’m really closing in on the final figures I have to review from The Four Horsemen’s glorious Mythic Legions line! Today I’m going back to that deep, deep well that is Advent of Decay with a look at the Barbarian Warrior!
While not on the package, Barbarian Warrior is actually a Legion Builder, and as such, she doesn’t have a name or bio on the package, but I’ll just call her Barb-Ra! These figures feature less paint applications, and are intended as a means to army build your forces. That is, unless you’re like me and spent all your monies just trying to get as many of the figures in this assortment as possible, and only have enough left to buy one! Let’s open her up and check her out!
With three heads, and three different weapons, this figure has a number of variations, which is great if you did happen to buy a few. Just to mix things up a bit, I’ve set her up with three different looks, and we’ll take each one in turn. First, I have her as a Barbarian Sword-slinger, and with the addition of the breast armor from last week’s review, we’ve now officially seen all the pieces used on this figure somewhere before. Barb-Ra shows off a lot of skin, utilizing the female bare arms and legs, bare midriff, and just the aforementioned breast armor covering her top. The armor is mostly of the female Orc variety, giving it that crude and angular look. I dig the upturned toes on her boots, plus the hip and shoulder armor works very well here. All of the armor pieces have a blackened iron finish, with no additional paint for the rivets or straps. I think everything about this figure just gels wonderfully!
The head features a very Orcish-style helmet that leaves the bottom of the face exposed. The facial features are a little soft on this sculpt, but not bad at all. The horns curve outward, and can be interchanged with the other set of horns included in the set. There was also a pair of wings, similar to what we saw on Freyja last time, but for the life of me I can’t find where they went. When I’m finally done reviewing these figures, I’m going to start a major accessory organization project! Anyway, the helmet sculpt is great, with plenty of nicks and scrapes to show battle wear. My only complaint is the lack of detail in the eye slits. They’re just left blank. There’s a hole in the top of the helmet, which can be used for a spike or a ponytail, but I’ve opted to leave it vacant. We’ll see that ponytail in a bit.
I’ve got this version of Barb-Ra armed with the standard Mythic Legions 1.0 two-handed sword, this time painted up all in silver. I still love this piece, and if you’re going to go with just one color, I think silver is the way to go! She can get away with wearing the sword belted to her waist, but I prefer it on the back, because it is pretty long. And because these shoulders aren’t too bulky, both can be worn with the sword angled off to one side or the other, for easy reach-around access.
Hammer Girl is up next, sporting a new head, and the tried-and-true Mythic Legions 1.0 Hammer of Smashing! I probably have at least two-dozen of these giant war hammers by now, and I ain’t complaining because it’s awesome. This one is painted in a very dark copper color, which brings out the beautiful detail in the sculpt.
The head here is a fully enclosed helmet with ram horns, and boy do I love this one. It has a very strong Skyrim vibe going for it, and I think it looks absolutely fantastic on this particular figure. The paint matches the rest of the armor, and there’s some beautiful sculpted detail in the strip running down the center of it.
And finally we have Ax Maiden, and finally a weapon that’s not carried over from the first Kickstarter assortment, but rather the bearded ax that was introduced in Advent of Decay. This was another great choice for the Barbarian Warrior, and I think it goes particularly well with this third head.
And, yeah… that’s a pretty distinctive head! It’s recycled from The female Orcs, but painted in a caucasian flesh tone to create what TFH call a Half-Orc. The Orc features can be clearly seen in the pointed ears and the large tusks reaching up from her bottom jaw. The helmet is very similar to the first one, but with side slits for the ears, and the cheek protectors extended. I’ve also incorporated the ponytail into this one. On the downside, the lack of any detail in the eye slits is really jarring on this head.
And that’s the Barbarian Warrior! In a perfect world, TFH would at the very least get their Legion Builders up for sale on Store Horsemen as permanent offerings, and if they did, I would budget out a couple each month, because I’d love to be able to display a squad of all three of these ladies to back up the House of the Noble Bear! I especially think these ladies make nice counters to the Skeleton Soldiers released in the same assortment.
If you aren’t up to date on the tortured history of classic ThunderCats figures, Mattel only managed to get us half of the core team, Lion-O and Panthro (plus the ThunderKittens), before abandoning the line. Super7 took it over, and did some reissues with extra accessories, before gearing up to finish the team. Cheetara is shipping soon, but today we’re adding the noble Tygra to the ThunderCat Possee!
The packaging is as awesome as always, with a black sleeve over the window box. The sleeve has a red foil ThunderCats logo, while the box inside gives you a great look at the figure and thee extras inside. You also get some character art on the back of the box, along with a brief bio. I don’t usually save my figure packages, but so far I’ve been keeping these, so you know they’re something special!
If I was pressed to name my favorite of the original ThunderCats, it very well might be Tygra. He seems a little bit more complex than the others, with his shining virtue being that of integrity. He’s an architect, wise council, and fierce fighter, but he also has a pretty down to earth sense of humor. And if I read the subtext of the cartoon correctly, I’m pretty sure he was the one banging Cheetara. But, I also just really dig his character design. His outfit is comprised of various shades of teal and blue, with gold studs on the front of his stirrup boots. His black and orange tiger-stripes are absolutely gorgeous, and they really make this figure pop. I also dig the single shoulder piece, with the gold trim. Naturally, Tygra sports a bold ThunderCat emblem in the middle of his chest. The only thing I don’t like here is the wash they put on his lower front and back. I don’t think it works as intended, and just makes him look dirty, soiling what is an otherwise bright and snappy deco.
Tygra comes with two head sculpts, one standard, and one with his battle face on. I prefer the standard, but the alternative certainly works well for some action poses. Either way, they both really capture the character likeness beautifully. I particularly like the little bemused smirk on the primary head. It’s such a tiny touch, but it’s just perfect. Once again, the orange and black here really pops, and when you combine it with the white ear tuft, and the flesh tone of his face, it makes for a superb color palate. The paint for the eyes, eyebrows, and stripes is all sharp and crisp, but the white for his ears could have been a bit sharper.
As usual, the articulation here is serviceable, but I would certainly not consider these figures super-articulated. All the necessary points are there, but the range of motion in some of those points, particularly the knees and elbows, just isn’t. They are absolutely fun to play around with, but with an agile character like Tygra, I felt myself wanting a little more.
Tygra comes with no less than three versions of his bolo whip, as well as three sets of hands. You get some graspy hands, and two pairs of accessory holding hands, with the hinges orientated both side to side and forward and back. I know some people are really into the option of having the accessory hands with both hinge options. Sometimes I dig it, especially with Lion-O, but here it feels a bit redundant, and I think I would have rather had a pair of fists. Anyway, the first version of his whip is in its collapsed form, which is just the handle and three bolos at the end. This was a must-have accessory for me, so naturally I’m glad they included it.
The second is an actual string version of the whip, with the bolo piece being plastic. I appreciate what they were going for here, but I’m not sure I’ll get a lot of use out of it. The transition from string to plastic tip is rather jarring, and I couldn’t find much to do with it as far as posing goes. Although, I will concede that It’s a lot of fun to lasso Mutants with.
And lastly, we get the full-on plastic bolo whip, which is sculpted in a sort of serpentine pattern, so it can coil around Tygra, which is how he makes himself invisible in the cartoon. And yeah, that’s probably how I’ll display him most of the time. It’s cast in a soft and flexible plastic that returns to its intended form. This piece looks absolutely fantastic, and it works well both for the invisibility trick, or for just wielding it as a conventional whip. I had lots of fun playing around with it.
No offense to Pumyra and Linx-O, but damn, it feels wonderful to have another main ThunderCat join the team. And despite a few nitpicks, Tygra turned out absolutely great! Giving up three versions of the whip was certainly generous, and they absolutely nailed the likeness in his portrait! And for the record, I did buy Super7’s versions of Pymyra and Lion-O, and I will eventually get around to comparing them to the Mattel versions, which I already reviewed. But I definitely want to get through the rest of the new characters released so far. Next time I visit with this line, I’ll turn my attention back to the Evil Mutants!
It’s hard to remember when and where I was first introduced to Cassandra Peterson’s alter ego, Elvira. I was a full-on horror hound by my early teens, so it’s likely I first met her on her 1980’s Movie Macabre series. She was certainly just the thing to make young, pubescent me sit up and take notice. It’s safe to say at that age, I often found myself watching horror as much for the gratuitous sex and nudity, as for the gore and violence. Either way, I was familiar with her by the time her own feature film came out in 1988, a campy romp which I remember enjoying well enough, but I haven’t revisited it in a while. Anywho…. last year was the 40th Anniversary of the Elvira’s creation, and NECA showed up to celebrate with this release. And naturally, I showed up to pre-order it!
Well, the package looks outstanding! You get a collector friendly window box with some lovely pictures of the super-sexy Elvira on the front and side panels. The top of the box has her signature sign-off catchphrase, “Unpleasant Dreams!” and there’s a 40th Anniversary logo down in the bottom right corner. I guess this figure counts as part of NECA’s clothed retro-line. I like those figures well enough, but I’ve only picked up a couple over the years. Regardless, Elvira here feels like she’s a bit more premium than those retro cloth releases. Let’s get her out and set her up!
This is one of those cases of the actual figure living up to the superb prototype tease that NECA did when they first solicited her release. Elvira sort of strides the fence between realism and a stylized look, and that really works for me. Her signature black dress sports some excellent tailoring and it fits the figure quite well. The bottom edge of the dress is ragged cut, along with both sleeves, and she has a wide pleather-like belt girded around her waist with a loop for her dagger accessory. Everything about the outfit looks great, although while it does show off a satisfying amount of cleavage, even the package photos depict Elvira’s dress showing off even more. Maybe they scaled back a bit for marketing purposes, but either way it still looks fine.
You get two heads to choose from, and both are pretty damn great. The first is a standard look, with Elvira wide-eyed and smiling. Her signature mascara is wonderfully recreated here, and the paint used for her lipstick, blue eyes, and eyebrows is applied nice and sharp. She even has her beauty mark just off to the side of her right eye. Her iconic beehive hairdo towers on top of her head, and the the hair cascades down to her shoulders. The sculpt does a good job of resting on her shoulders for most poses, without hindering the neck articulation too badly.
The other portrait has Elvira giving a saucy wink to the camera. She’s still got a beaming smile, although this time her mouth is a little more open. I honestly didn’t think I’d gel too much to this look, but now that it’s in hand, I dig it quite a bit. It’s very much in character, and I could see myself swapping it out from time to time for display. If I were a greedy sort, I’d say a third head with a shocked expression would have been a very welcome bundle. But, if we were only going to get two heads out of the deal, I’d say I’m glad they went with the wink.
The articulation here is pretty good, with a fairly wide range of motion in most of the points. The arms are definitely the best, with rotating hinges in the shoulders, hinged pins in the wrists, and double hinges in the elbows. It can be a bit tricky to get the elbows turned right under the cloth sleeves, but you can always roll them up to see what’s going on under there. I also like that NECA gave her a pair of black wrist bangles to help conceal the wrist joints a little bit. If I were to complain about anything, it’d be the knees. I really wish they had given her double jointed knees. It might have been a little less aesthetically pleasing, but it would have helped with her signature reclining pose, which this figure can’t really do. I will say, that I’m beyond impressed with the figure’s balance, as the only time I resorted to using a stand was to show off the one included in the box. Sure, a couple times I had her leaning on something, but still it’s pretty impressive for a figure wearing high heels!
As for accessories, Elvira comes with three! First, you get the little dagger, which she can wear in the belt loop. It’s kind of silly, because it actually looks like all adorable and super-deformed. with a squat golden hilt and a tiny little silver blade. Neither of her hands are really ideal for holding it, but I was able to make it work OK.
Secondly, you get this chalice, with some mystical green smoke coming out of it. I really dig the sculpt on this piece. Her right hand seems best suited to holding the chalice, but I was able to make it work in either one. Again, the hands provided seem to be more for gesturing, and that’s fine, but a second set of hands wouldn’t have gone unappreciated.
Lastly, Elvira comes with this absolutely amazing skull candle holder. What can I say, other than it’s glorious, and I’ll bet someone at NECA had a blast designing it. It looks like just the sort fo thing you’d find on the set of a cheezy late-night horror movie hostess. The paintwork is also worthy of high praise, from the patches of brown flesh rotting off the skull, to the bloody eye sockets, and the glossy green on the snake slithering in and out of the mouth. There’s even a black spider nesting on the side of the the skull. Quite magnificent!
As I mentioned earlier, you do get a stand for the figure, but it’s just a generic black disk with a peg hole. Still, I’d definitely recommend it for keeping Elvira from taking shelf dives during long term display, but again, I was very impressed that I didn’t really need it for any of the pictures I shot. Well, except for this one leg standing pose. Ultimately, I may just use a Kaiser doll stand to keep her upright on display.
Elvira retailed for $39.99, and she can be found at a few online retailers for a little less. But, this was one of those figures, that I was willing to jump on the pre-order, and not worry about saving a few bucks. She really turned out great, and I had loads of fun playing around with her and snapping pictures for this review. I’d often hoped that TBLeague would secure the rights to give her the sixth-scale seamless body treatment, and maybe that will happen some day, but for the time being, having this figure in my collection will certainly get the job done.