Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2: Yondu Udonta 1:6 Scale Figure by Hot Toys

The only real gripes I had with Hot Toys over their Guardians of the Galaxy line (besides how long it took to get Drax) was the conspicuous absence of both Yondu and Nebula. I get it that Hot Toys has to be careful when banking on releasing second or third tier characters, but then this is also the company that released a Stormtrooper with a porcelain china pattern. Sure, it was just a repaint and not something where likenesses had to be licensed and sculpted, but my point is they’re willing to take risks. And when Guardians 2 hit and both Yondu and Nebula had even more screen time and much bigger roles, I was sure they’d finally get the Hot Toys treatment. Well, so far I was half right. Yondu arrives based on his appearance in the second film, and it’s a good thing too, because with the way things went in that flick, there wasn’t going to be any more opportunities. But let me get off that topic before I start tearing up.

Behold! The packaging! After some flimsy window boxes covered with even flimsier sleeves, it’s nice to see Hot Toys stepping it up on their packaging. Yondu comes in a shoebox style affair illustrated with the console of The Milano’s tape deck and with a profile shot of Yondu painted on the speaker. The tape door is a window showing Awesome Mix Tape, Vol 2, which is illustrated on the inside insert. It’s a great looking box that shows off a little more thought and craft in the presentation then I feel like we’ve been getting from Hot Toys lately. Under the lid and the illustrated insert Yondu comes on a plastic tray surrounded by his many accessories and extras. Apart from clipping off some protective plastic, he’s pretty much ready to go right out of the box, so let’s check him out…

Yondu comes wearing his patchwork Ravager outfit and boy this must have been like a playground for Hot Toys’ talented tailors and craftsmen. There’s so much personality in this wardrobe and I had a great time going over every little detail of it as soon as I got the figure out of the box. The sleeveless trenchcoat has a leather-like texture with various other materials patched in here and there. I particularly like the triangular scale pattern that makes up the back of the shoulders. There are brass eyelets, straps and hooks that hilariously seem to serve no purpose, and lots of little weathered effects, all of which show what a labor of love these figures are to the people who craft them. Thankfully, Yondu’s outfit hasn’t changed much since the first movie, which means this figure fits nicely in with my Hot Toys Guardians line up.

Some additional highlights include the darts lined up on the right shoulder strap, and the Ravager emblem that he wears on the left side of the jacket’s chest. Under the jacket, he has a long sleeved shirt with a fastening front flap that reminds me of some kind of 19th Century Gentlemen’s outfit straight out of The Old West. The garment has an interesting pattern of purple ovoid loops against a red backdrop, which displays some remarkable attention to detail and craftsmanship. The outfit is rounded out by a pair of red, purple, and brown trousers, high boots, and a scarf tied neatly around his neck.

Yondu has a wrist bracer on his right arm, which also houses a removable throwing knife. I don’t remember this even being featured in either of the films, but it’s damn cool that Hot Toys included it as an actual accessory. He also has a couple of left hands that can hold it quite well. Other hands include a couple of fists, relaxed hands, and a right hand intended for holding back the flap of his coat.

At this point, it should go without saying that Hot Toys’ likenesses are almost always on point, and that’s certainly the case here. Michael Rooker has been sculpted by a number of different toy companies over the years, but I’d say this is one of the best portraits I’ve seen. The shade of blue they used for the skin looks just right, and somehow they still manage to make the skin look realistic, despite being such an outlandish color. You get some veins running under the skin, as well as what I think is supposed to be scarring from his time spent as a Kree Battle Slave. Of course, the eyes feature that same eerily lifelike quality that it seems like only Hot Toys can do. I also really dig the realism of the whiskers on his chin, they just look fantastic. Hot Toys went for a fairly neutral expression, which was probably a smart move to allow for a versatility of display options, but this is one figure that I would have loved to see an extra portrait for, either whistling for his arrow or smiling and showing off his rather distinctive teeth! And as we’ll see in a bit, I would have easily traded the Deluxe accessories for an extra Yondu noggin.

And yes, he comes with his fin, which is easily swapped out as both pieces are magnetic and both of them have sculpted and painted circuitry on the inside where it connects to his head. The fin is pretty much the key item for changing Yondu from a first movie appearance to a Vol. 2 appearance. And while I really do love the way the fin looks, chances are I’m going to stick with the look from the first film as it just fits in better with the Guardians on my shelf. Moving on to accessories… well, Yondu may not have a talking car like Zardu Hasselfrau, but he does come with a flying arrow.

Yondu’s belt features a holster for his Yaka Arrow and he actually comes with two: One is just the plain arrow and the other is attached to an effect part, which tabs into two other effect parts to create it’s flying effect. The plastic trail is cast in fairly soft translucent pink plastic, which allows for a little bit of variety to the poses you can do, but it’s mainly intended to fly up from the holster, circle behind his head and pass over the left shoulder. I think the effect is well done, but I also think it would have been cool to get a couple more pieces of it to better mix up the display. Thankfully, Yondu does come with a pair of hands for holding the arrow and that helps support it when it’s hovering over his shoulder. So, what else is in the box?

How about an angry Attacking Baby Groot with stretching arm tendrils? This is a tiny static figure, but oh boy is it a fantastic little sculpt. The detail from the wood grain finish to Groot’s skin to the texturing on his little Ravager outfit. Even the paint apps on the zipper are so crisp and clear and the expression on his little face is perfect. I think it’s great that Hot Toys puts so much effort into such a little extra. The figure comes with a simple black disc stand with pegs for the feet, and it’s pretty essential because he will not stand on his own. And that’s it for the accessories included with the regular edition of the figure, which just leaves the extra goodies included with The Deluxe version. And DX Yondu does indeed come with some cool extras, but they’re all solid examples of what I would consider non-essentials, especially if you don’t own the Rocket figure from the second movie, because one (perhaps you could argue two) of these accessories are intended for him.

First off, we have the Groot cage. Yes, you can put the Baby Groot that came with Yondu in here, but because he’s attacking with his arms it looks a little odd. Clearly, this cage was intended for the Baby Groot that came with Rocket. Although that one is also wearing the Ravager outfit, which is a little out of context from the scene in the movie. Either way, it’s kind of a dick move to switch up the Baby Groots like that, since there has got to be other collectors out there like me who are happy sticking with their Rocket from the first movie. It feels like a strategy designed to make me want the other Rocket and indeed Sideshow even cross-sells Vol. 2 Rocket as a companion piece to Yondu on their website. Ah, but you won’t get me that easily, Hot Toys. I’ll just topple the cage on its side with an open door and have Baby Groot standing in front of it, like he’s just escaped and is out for blood! Of course there’s no beating around the bush with the next accessory… it’s straight up an accessory for Rocket.

It’s Rocket’s blaster and this one I really do have to call bullshit on because it has nothing to do with Yondu. Plus, with how small Rocket is, there’s no reason Hot Toys couldn’t have included this with Vol. 2 Rocket. I get that Yondu and Rocket were paired up for part of the movie, but including this piece with Yondu just feels wrong. That’s not to say I mind getting it, because it works just fine with my Rocket from the first movie. It’s a beautiful little weapon too, but I prefer the far more distinctive design of his rifle from the first flick. So, two DX accessories both designed to go with Rocket. Are any of the DX extras designed for Yondu? Yep, I saved the best for last…

The Aero Rig! This chest harness is made up of front and back pieces, which attach around the figure. The detail and paintwork on this rig are both exceptional, with a nice metallic silver finish and satin black and copper touches. The jet tubes feature sculpted vents and a little weathering where the flame shoots out. It’s worth noting, however, that the rig is made of extremely fragile plastic. Just getting it apart to put it on the figure was a little scary and getting it apart again to take off was even more so, because you can’t get at the fragile clips on the interior of the shoulder straps. I’d also advise against displaying the figure with it for extended periods because it will probably put some troublesome wrinkles in the jacket. Another cool bonus is it looks like it should have no problem fitting Star-Lord. It might fit Drax too, but I don’t want to mess with his sensitive nipples. It’s not something I’m going to use a lot, but I do like having the option, and Hot Toys put a lot of great work into it.

With Yondu I feel a sense of closure on this journey that started back in 2015 with Star-Lord. I suppose there’s always a chance we might still get a Mantis and Nebula release from Infinity War, and I’d jump on either of those releases, but I still feel content with the lineup I have now. Although part of me is still considering the Rocket and Teen Groot two-pack. Anyway, I jumped on Yondu at Sideshow the moment he went up for pre-order and I’m glad I did, because he went to Wait List pretty quickly and sold out at a lot of other retailers just as fast. Right now he seems to be pushing $300+ on Ebay. But was the extra thirty or so dollars for the Deluxe worth it? Eh. I’m almost always willing to pop the extra money for the Deluxe version, but here’s an example where I would not have minded sticking with the regular release if I had to. Either way, I’m just glad to have the figure because it turned out amazing and it’s every bit as fine a tribute to the character as a full-blown Ravager Funeral.

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Star Wars Black: 4-LOM by Hasbro

I’m sure that I’m not alone when I say the Bounty Hunters from The Empire Strikes Back are one of the sub-groups that I’m the most excited to see completed in the 6-inch Black Series. Hasbro started out of the gate with a Boba Fett in the very first wave, but after that it took us a little while to get Bossk and IG-88. I wouldn’t have bet money on the next release being 4-LOM and yet here he is, the fourth Bounty Hunter from The Empire Strikes Back to hit this line.

4-LOM, or Zuckuss if you’re Kenner old school, comes in the typical Black Series packaging. Yeah, it’s kind of boring, but the black and red deco has grown on me over time. Like all the bit characters from Star Wars, 4-LOM has been retroactively credited with a backstory. In this case the package says a glitch allowed him to break out of his protocol droid programming and become a Bounty Hunter. Back in the day, I always just assumed he was a droid owned by Zuckuss to help him hunt bounties, and I tend to stick with that idea in my head canon.

Whatever the case, I always thought 4-LOM was a bad-ass looking droid. Sure, he’s sporting a design that is very close to the standard protocol droid, but there are some key differences. Plus, Hasbro really stepped up to the plate to point them out and even toss in some improvements over the two 6-inch Black Series C-3PO figures they have released so far. The legs look identical to me, as does the pelvis, but that’s where the parts recycling seems to end.

For starters, the arms are new and actually feature elbow articulation this time around. Yup, that was a pretty big sticking point with me on the previous 3PO body. Now, granted, there isn’t a huge range of motion in those joints, but the fact that it’s there, complete with little tracks for those hydraulics to slide on, really impresses the hell out of me. At the same time it makes me wonder why they invested the extra work into 4-LOM and not into a main character like 3PO. Sure, the hydraulic on my figure’s right arm seems to prefer bending instead of sliding in the track, but I still appreciate the effort. Apart from the added articulation, the arms look mostly the same, although there is new sculpting in the shoulders and the hands are now designed to hold a weapon. The rest of 4-LOM’s articulation is identical to the C-3PO figure and I’ll refer you back to that review for the details.

Also new are both the torso and the exposed midriff circuit area. 4-LOM still features the familiar protocol droid concentric circles design in the middle of his tummy, but he looks like he has two sets of chests. The coloring on the body is very simple, as it’s all done in a matte black with a lighter gray used for the midriff, and an orange rust wash to pick out the details. He also has a red stripe of paint slashed over the left side of his chest.

The head sculpt is quite a little masterpiece. I’ve always loved the idea that Industrial Automoton would just tweak a standard protocol droid body and slap a Gand head on it to make it more familiar to that species of clientele. The detail in the facial sculpt is absolutely superb and I love the translucent green plastic they used for the giant compound eyes. It’s still amazing to me that a line that still struggles with producing basic human likenesses can turn out something so good when it comes to the aliens and masked figures.

4-LOM comes with his rather distinctive, and rather long, blaster rifle. It has a very thin profile and features a folded bi-pod under the barrel, which cannot be articulated. I really dig how well 4-LOM can hold this thing and even the stock is a perfect fit to get him into a firing position where he’s aiming right down the barrel.

I don’t think I was expecting to enjoy 4-LOM nearly as much as I do, and yet I’ve been messing around with him ever since I opened him up. The extra articulation is certainly a welcome surprise, but beyond that everything about this figure just comes together so perfectly. That’s the thing with the 6-inch Black Series. There are so many figures that could be done better and mediocrity often rules the day, but when this line is good, it’s really really good! Now bring on Zuckuss and Dengar!

Marvel Legends (Lizard Wave): Spider-Punk by Hasbro

I hope you don’t have Marvel fatigue from last week’s Marvel Legends theme, because I’m headed into the new week with Marvel Monday, business as usual! And I’m also back to spinning the Wheel of Legends to pick another random figure to open up today from the towering pile of shame in the corner. This week, the wheel landed on Hobart Brown, aka Spider-Man from Earth-138! I couldn’t be happier with this result.

Ah, but Hasbro seems to know him best as Spider-Punk as that is indeed the name printed on the box. I’ve said it before and I’m sure I’ll say it again: Hasbro must thank the heavens for Spider-Verse, as it gave them a deep well of Spider-Man variants to drop their bucket into, knowing damn well that idiots like me will fork over our hard earned money to buy them all! And they sure are going full guns with it. There was a time when I thought the now all but defunct 4-inch Marvel Universe line was the only hope I had to get characters like this one, but the 6-inch Legends line has exploded to the point where literally any character seems like fair game. Let’s rip open this package and check him out!

The bulk of Hobart’s costume is painted onto the buck, just like most Spider-Man figures. Here we get a beautiful combination of vibrant blue and red. The blue occupies most of the figure and forms a large spider emblem on the chest, while the red features the familiar web pattern. The paint on my figure looks great, but if unpainted pegs in the joints bother you, then you may be pissed to find that the elbow pegs on the interior of the arms have been left red. In a perfect world, I would have liked to see them match the surrounding blue, but this just isn’t something that I get all worked up about. You do get some original sculpting for the sneakers, which are white with red sides.

Of course, Spider-Punk also features his vest, which is sculpted in soft plastic and given a denim-like texture. The sleeves have been ripped off and there’s a patch sculpted on the back, as well as some stitch lines around it. The shoulders feature some silver spikes, and there are various red and white buttons sculpted onto the front flaps. Boy did Hasbro do a nice job on this one!

The head sculpt is pretty typical Spider-Man fare, unless you count those bitchin’ silver spikes that crown his head. The mask has nice, big eyes and the paint apps are all pretty crisp and clear.

Hobart features all the articulation I’m used to seeing in my Legends Spider-Man figures. The legs have ball joints at the hips, double hinges at the knees, and swivels at the thighs. The big difference here is that the lower leg swivels are in the ankles at the tops of the sneakers. The ankles also have hinges and lateral rockers. The arms feature rotating hinges in the shoulders, swivels in the biceps, double hinges in the elbows, and hinged pegs at the wrists. There’s a swivel in the waist, an ab-crunch hinge, and the neck is hinged and ball jointed.

Obviously, you can’t have Spider-Punk without his trusty guitar and it is a seriously fun accessory. The mostly white guitar features a few blue paint apps and a black shoulder strap. The upper strap on mine pulled off the guitar after just a few poses, but it was easy to glue back into place. I would have really liked some more paint on the guitar to bring out some of the detail, but it’s still pretty damn cool.

Even better, Hobart comes with two guitar-specific hands, and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate Hasbro going through the trouble of sculpting these two hands that will probably never be used for anything ever again. The right hand is sculpted with a tiny pick between the fingers and the left is fingering chords.

You also get an extra left “thwippy” hand, which has a delicious double purpose here, as Hobart can use it to flash Dio’s two-fingered salute. ROCK ON!

Like a lot of the recent waves of Marvel Legends, Spider-Punk was tough for me to find at a decent price. He hasn’t turned up anywhere on the pegs in my neighborhood and he’s still selling for $30+ on Amazon. Luckily, I got in on a pre-order at one of the big online toy retailers, and while it cost me a few bucks more than he would in the store, I’m just happy to have him. This is a great example of just how much love Hasbro is willing to put into this line, and just how deep their willing to go when it comes to variants and characters. But most of all, this figure is just so damn fun to play with.

Marvel Legends (Astonishing Ant-Man): Ant-Man and Stinger by Hasbro

Happy Friday, Toyhounds! I work a lot of weekends, so Fridays don’t always mean anything to me, but this time I have a three-day weekend lined up with nothing planned but to binge comics and video games while drinking lots and lots of alcohol! But before I can sign off, it’s time to wrap up this Marvel week with a look at another Legends boxed set. Hasbro knows to strike while the iron is hot and in this case that means getting some comic-inspired Ant-Man-themed figures out while the new movie is in the theaters. And I can’t praise Hasbro enough for being willing to mix so many comic characters in with the heavy hitters from the movies. Let’s take a look at Scott Lang as Ant-Man and his daughter Cassie as Stinger!

As with most Marvel Legends boxed sets these days, the figures come in a stylish window box, which offers a great look at the figures. You get the Astonishing Ant-Man logo on the bottom as well as the characters’ names, and some nice artwork on the side panels. The back of the box notes that the set is inspired by art in Astonishing Ant-Man #13 and there’s even a tiny shot of the cover as well. Let’s start off with Ant-Man…

Wow, this is a great looking costume and a great looking figure! The black and red deco looks sharp and the extra bits of metallic charcoal paint on the knees, belt, and collar really make the figure pop. Most of the original sculpting is found on the belt and collar and thanks to the use of this particular buck, Ant-Man has some unexpected shoulder crunches. It kind of sucks that we still don’t have a classic Hank Pym Ant-Man from this line, but getting Lang in this suit is quite possibly the next best thing.

The portrait here is also very well done. I really dig Scott’s smirk and the facial detail is sharp and well-defined. The chin guard is on soft plastic so it can be flipped up over his mouth, but it doesn’t really look like it’s meant to do that. You get a little of that swirly effect going on in the silver plastic used for his helmet, but all in all, I think the finish on the helmet here looks a lot better than what we got on the Scott Lang from Ant-Man and The Wasp. A little red paint on the eyes and ears, and those two antenna round out a great looking head sculpt.

Apart from those shoulder crunches, the rest of the articulation is right in line with what I’ve come to expect. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, double hinges in the elbows, and swivels in the biceps. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, double hinged at the knees, have swivels in the thighs and lower legs, and the ankles have both hinges and lateral rockers. There’s a swivel in the waist, an ab-crunch hinge, and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed. Unfortunately, this figure has serious problems with some loosey-goosey joints. Besides practically being a bobble-head, the ab-crunch is really loose too. It’s not enough to ruin the figure for me, but it does take what could have been nearly perfect and makes him flawed. Moving on to Stinger…

I’ll confess, I never thought we’d ever get a Cassie Lang figure, but here she is and she looks pretty good, just not quite as good as I had hoped. I really dig this purple and black costume, but the figure has some color matching issues that we’ve seen before. Hellcat comes instantly to mind. The lower torso doesn’t quite match the upper torso, and the paint used for the thighs doesn’t match the pieces where the legs are jointed to the hips. To make matters worse, the hinges in the shoulders aren’t painted to match the silver shoulder guards, they’re just left purple and it looks like a really bad oversight. Hell, even the image on the package shows them painted, but that’s why they always toss in that disclaimer that says, images may not match final product. I do really like the silver paint on her wrists and gloves.

Stinger uses upper wings that we’ve seen before, most notably with the comic version of Wasp. Of course, Wasp had four wings, Stinger only has two, but you can still see the holes where the smaller pair pegged in. These are cast in a very pale translucent blue and they look great. They attach with hinged pegs giving them a nice degree of articulation.

Like Ant-Man, Stinger’s head sculpt is fantastic. I love the design of the helmet and the silver finish looks good. I think they also did a really nice job on the lower half of the face. The above shot also shows the unfortunate black paint trail that’s on her neck and another black smudge on her right shoulder hinge. I have some confidence that these might come off, but the fact that they’re there at all is a shame.

In addition to the wing articulation, Cassie gets by with the usual articulation seen on the Legends ladies. That includes rotating hinges int he shoulders, elbows, and wrists. The legs are ball jointed with double hinges in the knees, swivels in the thighs and lower legs, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. She has a ball joint under the chest and her neck is both hinged and ball jointed.

This is a solid set, that could have been great if it weren’t for some unfortunate QC issues. Between the loose joints on Scott and the inconsistent coloring and paint flubs on Cassie, these just fall short of my expectations. Don’t get me wrong, I was excited to get this set, and I’m certainly not sorry I picked it up, but I can’t help but feel this pair deserved a little better. And considering how great most of Hasbro’s Marvel Legends have been lately, problems like these tend to stand out even more.

Marvel Studios “First Ten Years” Captain America and Crossbones by Hasbro

Even if I wasn’t gobsmacked by almost every Marvel movie that’s come out, I’d still have to respect what Marvel Studios (and Disney) has managed to accomplish with their cinematic universe. Ten years worth of movies all set in motion to culminate in a massive team up. It seems like a sure thing now, but if you go back to the beginning, to the original Iron Man film, nothing was guaranteed and crazy risks were taken. And now, in a market where a Goliath-like Disney is even pulling back on the reigns of the Star Wars franchise, Marvels flicks continue to put asses in the seats to the tune of about $12 Billion total. Hell, even Ant-Man and The Wasp opened with respectable numbers and beat the previous release. And if you think that $12 Billion is a lot of cheddar, now imagine how much the merchandising has raked in, because silly middle aged nerds like me buy toys!

And that brings me to my first two figures from Hasbro’s First Ten Years releases. These Marvel Legends figures are culled from the various films of the MCU and some of these figures are long overdue. Today I’m having a look at Cap and Crossbones from Captain America: Civil War. I’ve wanted a figure of the MCU’s Brock Rumlow as Crossbones ever since the movie was out. Hot Toys teased one and then decided against releasing him, but I’ll happily take Hasbro’s Legends version as a consolation prize. The figures come in a collector friendly window box with a Marvel Studios: The First Ten Years logo as well as Captain America: Civil War. The box here is also squared off at the edges, distinguishing it from the packaging used for the regular Legends two-packs and I like it a lot. It just looks spiffy and new. Let’s start with Captain America!

Do you enjoy buying a figure you already have to get one you don’t? Me neither. And that’s sort of the case here, so I’m not going to spend a lot of time with this figure. From the neck down, I can’t see any difference between this figure and the Civil War Cap that we got as part of the Giant-Man Wave. And I’m pretty sure that figure was just a repaint of the Cap from Age of Ultron. I said back then that I preferred the brighter blue on the AoU Cap over the darker costume here, but to be honest this one has grown on me quite a bit. I’ll spare you a run through of articulation as you can just link back to either of those reviews to get the lowdown.

That’s not to say this figure is entirely recycled. For starters, you get a pair of much improved heads. From straight on, I think the masked head is fantastic, but from the side, there’s some weird shit going on over the ears. There’s no hairline showing, so it kind of looks like he’s bald. The helmet is sculpted separately and it just doesn’t fit all that well, so you get some gaps around the back too.

There’s a similar thing going on with the unmasked head. When viewed from straight on I think it’s the best MCU Steve Rogers likeness we’ve seen in this scale. A profile view, however, shows that the hair is sculpted separately and it’s not a perfect fit. You get that same weird gap over the ears that doesn’t look natural and a gap around the sideburns where the hair doesn’t fit flush with the head. It’s kind of a shame because everything else here is done so damn well.

The shield is also different than the one that came with the previous Civil War Cap release. This one has a more vibrant and premium paint job and a segmented star in the center. It also features the realistic straps on the reverse side, which work much better than the hinge clip and peg affair we’ve seen so many times. The only disadvantage here is you can’t secure it to his back. All in all, this is a great figure and probably the best Legends MCU Cap Hasbro has released, so I’m not so bummed about having to buy this version again. OK, so enough about Cap, let’s get to the real reason I bought this set.

Crossbones’ screen time in Civil War was brief, but oh boy was it glorious. The rogue SHIELD agent’s scrap with Cap was a great way to kick things off and I loved his costume. I think the folks at Hasbro did too, because they sure poured the love into this figure. The detail on this guy is absolutely fantastic. The tactical vest is sculpted separately from soft plastic and worn over the buck with a white X scratched into it with what looks like pure rage. All of the straps and clasps are sculpted down to the finest details, as well as the various little pouches, and the texturing on his belt.

Other highlights include his Glock 17 pistol with molded holster on his right hip, which sadly is not removable…

The collection of magazines for various weapons slotted into molded open pouches on his right shoulder…

And on his left shoulder he has a brace of shotgun shells and what I believe are supposed to be tools for tuning up his hydraulic fists. One of them sure looks like a socket wrench. Whatever the case, the attention to detail is fantastic, and I’m especially impressed by the silver and brass paint hits here. Great work!

Rumlow comes with two heads, one masked and one without. The masked head is the one I’ll be using most of the time and it turned out quite nice. The white scratches on the mask that make up the skull motif are applied with the new half-tone printing techniques. What really impresses me here is the definition between the mask and what’s exposed through the eye-holes. It really looks like they sculpted a separate mask and attached it to the head. It’s not only the depth of sculpt that works so well here, but also the paint apps applied around the eyes showing the scar tissue.

The unmasked head is no slouch either. It’s not a perfect likeness to Frank Grillo, but he is supposed to be horribly scarred up. The hair is nicely sculpted and I really like the way the printing on his five o’clock shadow came out. I don’t know how much work it is to get likeness rights from someone like Grillo, but I think it’s really cool that Hasbro went the extra mile just to include the bonus head with this figure.

The articulation here is identical to Cap’s so I’m not going to run through all the details. I will, however, point out that the arm rigs are removable. These are sculpted in a fairly soft plastic, so the sculpted detail isn’t as sharp as it could have been, but there’s still plenty to appreciate in them. I especially like the DIY-stylings of the sculpted belts that are wrapped around them and holding them together.

Overall I’m very pleased with my first Marvel Studios: The First Ten Years set. Even though this tweaked version of Captain America turned out to be a welcome addition, I was in this set for Crossbones, and I am not disappointed. Quite the contrary, if this is the kind of effort Hasbro is putting into these First Ten Years figures, I’m pretty excited to pick up some more. I grabbed this one at Hasbrotoyshop for $40 and I think it was money well spent! Come back on Friday and I’ll wrap up this Marvel week with a look at Ant-Man and Stinger.

Marvel Legends (Cull Obsidian Wave): The Wasp by Hasbro

I make it no secret that back when the MCU was still forming The Avengers, I was pretty pissed that Hank Pym and Janet Van Dyne were not getting their due. But as things progressed, I realized that the MCU was doing its own thing and it was hard to argue with the results. And while we never really did get to see Hank and Janet in action beyond a quick missile-stopping scene, the duo of Scott Lang and Hope Van Dyne make for a pretty damn good substitute in the latest Marvel cinematic outing. Last week I checked out Ant-Man, now let’s take a look at The Wasp!

Yeah, Ant-Man and The Wasp was a damn good movie and just the right follow-up to the angst-ridden downer that was Infinity War. It was fun and an all around perfect mix of action and laughs. Unless you stay for that post-credit scene in which it kind of becomes a quite a downer as well, but I guess they had to tie it into Infinity War somehow. In any event, I doubt we’ll see any more figures from this movie, but that’s probably why they slid the incredible shrinking duo into the second Infinity War wave. But hey, I’m just glad we got these two.

Hope comes packaged with her helmet on and that’s where I’ll start. I really dig this costume a lot. It pays respects to the The Wasp’s modern comic appearances with the black and gold outfit, which has always been a pretty good look for her. A majority of the suit is textured to give it the same finish as the Ant-Man suit, and in addition to the gold pattern on the front of the torso, you also get some gold on the arms, bottoms of the knee guards, and some striping on the legs, along with some hits of red. The arms feature the cuffs, which presumably house her blasters and she comes with a pair of fists attached. From the back, Wasp features a removable backpack, which I’ll come back to when we add her wings. All in all, this looks to me like a more refined suit than Scott’s, and that’s exactly what it’s supposed to be.

The helmet sculpt is solid, although it’s cast in that same questionable gray plastic as Ant-Man’s helmet. I think this one turned out a little better, but I’m still not a fan of the swirly patterns in the plastic. If I can get another Wasp figure at a decent price I may actually wind up trying to paint it proper silver. The biggest win here are the eyes being visible through the yellow lenses in the mask. I love that they were able to make that work and it looks fantastic.

And you also get an alternate unmasked head, which is a pretty good likeness to Evangeline Lilly. As always, the new printing technique tends to break down when you get in real close, but in hand the lips and eyes look fantastic, as does the sculpted ponytail. Nice job!

The articulation is mostly good. My usual issue holds true for the Legends ladies and Hasbro’s choice of articulation for the arms. The rotating ball joints in the shoulders and elbows sounds fine, but the range of movement in the elbows is disappointing. I can barely get a full 90-degrees out of those elbows. The wrists are on hinged pegs, to allow the hands to be swapped from fists to flying hands with the fingers held tightly together. The legs have ball joints in the hips, double hinges in the knees, swivels in the thighs, and hinges in the ankles. It doesn’t feel like she’s got lateral rockers in the ankles, but if she does, mine just don’t want to move that way. Lastly, there’s a ball joint under the chest, and she has both a hinge and ball joint in the neck.

Deploying Wasp’s wings is as easy as pulling off the backpack and pegging in the wing assembly. I think the backpack is sculpted to make it look like the wings are retracted but still showing a bit. If that’s the case it’s not that convincing, mainly because of the color difference, but swapping out the backpacks works well enough. The wings are cast in a frosted translucent plastic, which makes for a nice effect, but can be a little tough to see against a white backdrop. I think it would have been cool if they could have worked some kind of shimmery effect in there.

There also isn’t as much range of motion in the wings as we saw in the comic-based Janet Van Dyne from a bunch of waves back. Still, the wings are a whole lot of fun. They sure look nice and they hold onto the figure quite securely.

With there now being no less than four MCU versions of Scott Lang in the Marvel Legends lineup, it’s great to finally see The Wasp in action on the big screen and have a figure as well. Hasbro did a solid job on this release and I’m interested to see what the future holds for Hope Van Dyne as the MCU continues to unfold. As a footnote… I got in a couple Marvel Legends boxed two-packs last week, so I’ve decided to go All Marvel, All Week! So I can have a look at those without interrupting my usual Marvel Mondays. So on Wednesday I’ll be checking out the Marvel Studios “First Ten Years” Captain America and Crossbones set, and then we’ll bring it on back home on Friday with a look at the Ant-Man and Stinger set.

Half-Life 2: Gordon Freeman by NECA

1999 was a rough year for me, and I’m not just talking about the release of The Phantom Menace. HA! No, seriously. I was working a full time job while also trying to get my own business off the ground, and living in a shitty apartment with a difficult roommate. My downtime consisted of weekends playing games on my computer, which was propped up in the corner of my mostly unfurnished bedroom on a computer table made out of plastic totes and a wooden board. My PC was one of the few things of value that I owned that wasn’t in storage and it was my only means of escaping my dreary surroundings. Thank god, Half-Life came out when it did, because I was able to lose myself in it. It was the only thing that I looked forward to when I got home from work and playing it got me through a tough time. So, besides being such a mind-blowingly influential game for its time, it’ll always be extra special to me. Why did I gas on about all this in the intro? Because sometimes I like to point out that some of these bits of plastic that I collect do indeed have special meaning to me.

And here comes NECA giving the intrepid Gordon Freeman the action figure treatment. This is actually a re-issue of their original figure, and as you can see from the packaged shot, he’s based off of Gordon in Half-Life 2, a great game to be sure, but one that doesn’t instill as many strong memories for me as the first one does. Indeed, I’m drawing a blank on most of what happens in it and seriously considering giving it another play-through. So, yes, I would have rather had a new figure from the original game, but I’ll happily take this one as a consolation prize. And hell, it’s still amazing to me just how iconic Gordon Freeman has become despite him starring in a First-Person Shooter where you hardly ever see him. Anyway… enough about the games, let’s get this figure open and check him out!

Gordon comes wearing his trusty Black Mesa HEV (Hostile Environment) Suit. It’s still totally recognizable as the iconic suit from the original game, which was a Mark IV, but with some notable changes (both cosmetic and functional), upgrading it to a Mark V. Suffice it to say, NECA did an amazing job recreating the suit in 7-inch scale plastic form. Despite being all cast as part of the buck, it has a convincing layered look to its construction. The mesh under-suit can be seen between the armor pieces on the arms and legs, and it’s sculpted to have a very fine chain-mail-like texture. The armor plates feature various cut lines and the lambda logo on his chest is actually sculpted as well as painted.

The suit’s deco is darker and less polished looking than the Mark IV he wore at Dark Mesa, but it definitely fits the darker and dystopian feel of the second game. There’s less orange, but still enough to keep the sense of connection to the older suit. Most of it is done in matte colors, but you do get a little gloss on the red panels on the leg armor. I really like what NECA did with the finish on the shoulder armor as it has a cool unfinished metal patina to it. It really invokes an old medieval suit of armor feel to it, which again meshes well with the feel of the sequel. You get more of that rough metal finish to the armor pieces on the arm, only much darker. I especially like the hint of red padding that can be seen picking through the shoulder sockets. Finally, NECA did some nice weathering in both the sculpt and paint, including some scratching and scarring on the orange plates. This is a well-worn suit that shows off the wear-and-tear of Gordon’s adventures.

The portrait is excellent. This is definitely the slightly gruffer Gordon from HL2, but he hasn’t changed that much. He still sports the clean haircut and the neatly trimmed goatee. One of Gordon’s most iconic features has always been his nerd glasses and they are extremely well done here. Glasses on figures often come off as too large or bulky, but these are perfect. They’re cast in a separate piece, permanently attached to the head, and feature actual lenses. There’s a little bit of spray from the hair on his forehead, but it’s nothing too bad and looks more like dirt than anything else.

The articulation here is pretty solid, although a few of the points are a bit unconventional. The arms feature rotating hinges in the shoulders and elbows, with the wrists attached using ball joints to allow the hands to swap out with his two additional accessory-holding hands. The torso features a ball joint under the chest and another set deep in the base of the neck. The odd bit I was referring to earlier are the hips, which feature pins running from the front and back to form a rotating hinge. They work fine, but they still always look weird to me, and these certainly do their part to identify Gordon as the reissue of an earlier release. Finally, the legs feature rotating hinges in the knees and ankles, and swivels in the thighs. Let’s move on to accessories!

Let’s face it, Gordon Freeman and his crowbar go together like King Arthur and Excalibur. Whether I was busting apart crates or putting the beat-down on head crabs, this trusty tool was always by my side. It’s not just an implement and a melee weapon, but it’s a symbol that Gordon Freeman is the average schlub turned action hero. Well, assuming your average schlub has a Ph.D in theoretical physics from MIT. Anyway, the crowbar is… well, it’s a crowbar. It’s an essential accessory, it sure comes in handy when you run out of ammo, but there isn’t a lot to say about it as an accessory. It has a nice weathered finish and you can see some of the red paint that’s been worn off of the handle. The right hand that comes on the figure can grip it nice and tight.

More interesting, and more central to HL2 is the Zero Point Energy Field Manipulator and boy is that a mouthful! The Manipulator was created as a lifting tool, but it has the power to hurl heavy objects at enemies, which allows it to be classified as a pretty deadly weapon. Gordon’s second set of hands are designed specifically to hold the Manipulator and they do the job perfectly. This is a great looking piece with a lot of attention to detail, although I would advise caution when dealing with the mandibles at the end of the device as they appear to be frail. I’ll likely wind up keeping the box for Gordon, because I don’t want to risk bagging that accessory and having those mandibles wind up breaking or warping.

And Gordon also comes with a Pheropod, which he could use in the game to summon the Antlions to attack his targets. It’s a well-sculpted little ball that fits into one of Gordon’s left hands. A cool addition to be sure!

Finally, Gordon comes with a headcrab, which to me remains the all-time best copy of the Alien facehugger. These things were so damn annoying in the game and were equally creepy when you saw them attach themselves to unfortunate Black Mesa scientists and convert them into unwilling zombies. They kind of look like mutant roasted turkeys, and NECA did a fine job on this little static figure. From the blue veins that run under their golden roasted turkey skin to the unsettling orifice underneath that is meant to wrap around a person’s head and basically turn them into a bipedal murder vehicle. Ugh, it’s really disgusting inside that thing!

As grateful as I am to NECA for re-releasing this fantastic figure, I’m actually quite surprised they did. Sure, the prospect of a coveted Half-Life 3 is forever lurking in the dark corners of the PC Gaming community, but it’s been a long time since Half-Life 2 and sadly Gordon Freeman isn’t the household name he used to be. And as great as this figure is, I think this may be one of those figures where you really have to be centered on the character to appreciate how great it is. But for me, Gordon Freeman is monumental in his importance. He introduced the idea of the everyman protagonist to video games, which in turn made it easy for me to identify and put myself into the game. But most of all, he’ll always be a cherished character who was a symbol of relief in a rather rough year of my life, and I’m very happy to be able to add this figure to my shelf. I was on the fence over picking up their Chell reissue from Portal 2, but now I’m thinking I may go ahead and pick her up too.

Transformers “Power of the Primes:” Moonracer by Hasbro

My quest for finding new Transformers has been hard fought, but it’s finally started to produce some results. Last week I checked out the first of the Terrorcons, Rippernsapper, and today I’m having a look at Autobabe Moonracer. I’ll confess that I’ve wanting figures of Moonracer and her cohorts ever since I first saw The Search for Alpha Trion. I was also disappointed we didn’t get more of her and her companions in the cartoon. Well, here we are decades later and Hasbro has begun to turn up the love for the femmebots. We got Arcee and Chromia a few years back, and now we’re getting Moonracer and Elita-1 in Power of the Primes. Was it worth the wait… Mmmm, maybe?  Oh yeah, apologies in advance for the pictures. I didn’t realize at the time how badly her white parts were going to blend into the white background. I really should have shot her with a gray or black backing, but I didn’t have time to do a complete re-shoot.

Here she is in the package and the character art looks great… but boy is it misleading. If you look closely you can see Moonracer has a rather shapely femmebot profile that somewhat matches her animated look. You can also see that in no way does she have a crippling block of kibble welded to her back. You can, however, kind of see from the packaged figure that isn’t really the case and believe me you ain’t seen nothing yet. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s start with her alt mode.

Moonracer is a futuristic car and not a bad one. She’s very long and pretty thin and has a pretty sleek styling that is a bit reminscent of a Formula-1 car. There are a number of tinted blue panels on the top, making it hard for me to decide which is the canopy for the driver’s compartment, because none of them open like on the Titans Return figures. I’m guessing it’s the one near the front. Or maybe none of them are, since this is probably supposed to be a Cybertronian vehicle? In addition to those tinted blue pieces, the bulk of the car’s deco consists of teal plastic with some white plastic in the back and some lavender paint hits. I don’t think she has the personality of Arcee’s convertible mode or the sexiness of Chromia’s lightcycle mode, but it’s fine.

I like the front, especially the addition of the yellow paint apps for the headlights. She also has an Autobot insignia printed on her hood. There’s a very obvious socket in the front of the car that hints at her combiner capabilities, but I dig it as just part of the car’s weird design. I will say that she doesn’t roll all that well, as some of the undercarriage hangs pretty close to the ground.

The back is a little hollow and f’ugly and you can see her hands folded up there too. There are some peg holes at the back where you can equip her rifle as a weapon on the car. You can also add her Prime Armor piece back here to fill things out, so let’s see how that looks…

Well it fills out that hollow space a bit, but it also makes her longer, which is something she didn’t need. The only advantage is that you now have two additional ports to arm her with her gun, but I don’t think it’s really worth it. You can also attach the Prime Armor to the front of the car, but I’m not even going to go there. Let’s move on to her robot mode…

From the front, Moonracer isn’t too bad, but she’s still got some issues. For starters, you can see in her mid-section where they sculpted the hourglass shape that they wanted her to have, but behind it you can see that it’s just faked out and she’s got a rather blocky torso. The legs are fine, and they have that nice rounded organic look to them, but she has those two awkward quarter-panel shells from her alt mode just jutting out on each of her lower legs. Hey, at least they help to make her enormous feet look a little smaller. I’m also not a fan of having those windshield pieces on the bottoms of her feet. As for the deco, well the teal and white goes well together and she also has a splash of lavender and a tinted blue cockpit showing in her midsection. I think the coloring is a nice approximation of her animated look from the original cartoon.

Switching to the back and here’s where things fall apart more. There’s really no semblance at all of her femmebot form from the back. Her legs look very kibble-heavy and the backpack looks very boxy. Now, I understand that some will argue there’s no reason for femmebots to be all svelte and curvy and I ain’t trying to body-shame no bots. I am, however, going by their own character art and the character design from the cartoon, so I don’t think I’m out of order bringing these things up. And things only get worse when you view her from the side…

As a rule, I don’t have a problem with my Transformers wearing backpacks. It’s a convenient place to pack away kibble, but this? Yeah, this just isn’t acceptable to me. Poor Moonracer’s backpack is so damn big that she had to be mis-transformed in the package so the figure would fit in the bubble. When I opened her up, I was shocked at this amount of back kibble and then I realized that I still had to fold another piece into it and make it bigger. Surprisingly, she’s not too back-heavy. I’m thinking that those quarter-panels that protrude off the sides of her legs help to counterbalance her a bit.

I do like the head sculpt a lot. The “helmet” has a curved design that matches the Sunbow femmebots and also has a certain flavor from the animated movie designs. The eyes are big and blue, although they do look a little too scared to fit her character. She was kind of the wisecracker and here she just looks worried or surprised about something. Alas, the paint on my figure’s lips is pretty uneven. It looks like they just blotted it on there without much thought. In fairness, you do have to get in pretty close to see it.

And if Moonracer isn’t bulky enough for you, you can always take her Prime Armor piece and attach it to her chest. The less that I say about this gimmick the better.

Moonracer comes with a pretty cool blaster, which we already saw in her alt mode. It features a scope and she can hold it in either hand and I really don’t have much else to say about it. Before wrapping up, let’s do a little side-by-side look with another femmebot…

I couldn’t put my hands on my Chromia in time for this review, but here’s a shot of Generations Arcee with Moonracer. Obviously, Arcee isn’t perfect and she’s got a sizable backpack as well, but I just like the way they dealt with it so much better. It’s completely separate of her body, which still manages to capture the animated femmebot aesthetics. Plus even her backpack features contours and curves, making it feel more like part of the design. Granted, Arcee is a shell-former and Moonracer is a combiner, and that has to add a lot of obstacles to the design, which is all the more reason I wish she wasn’t.

After such a long wait, I want to say that Moonracer is pretty disappointing. But at the same time, I can’t say that I have buyer’s remorse. I’ve wanted a figure of this character for a long time, and I have to sympathize with the challenges that Hasbro had designing a Deluxe Class figure that could match the animated look of the character and still transform and fit their (weird and IMO unnecessary) rule that all Deluxes have to be combiners in this line. Moonracer isn’t a total dud. There are things I dig about her, but when you consider that Hasbro could have redesigned her car mode to look like anything, maybe they could have met in the middle with a better compromise between robot and alt mode. In the end, it’s cool that they made her and I’m happy to have her, but boy am I glad I didn’t wind up paying a premium for her.

Marvel Legends (Cull Obsidian Wave): Ant-Man by Hasbro

Who’s ready for another Marvel movie, eh? Getting tired of them yet. I’m honestly not, although lately I’ve been a little more excited for the more peripheral films rather than the Avengers-centric stuff. Well, Ant-Man and The Wasp hits theaters this week and I’ve already got my tickets lined up for Thursday night and this is one that I’m really looking forward to. To celebrate, I’m putting the Wheel of Marvel Legends aside and casting randomness to the wind. Instead, I’m pulling out the eponymous stars of this flick for the next today and the next Marvel Monday. So today let’s have a look at Scott Lang in his new Ant-Man suit, and next Monday we’ll check out Hope Van Dyne in her Wasp costume.

Egads, how I love the font they used for the title of this flick. It’s so bold and exciting and goofy and comic booky. Putting it on the box is almost enough to make me save the package, but I need room for more toys, so that’s not going to happen. I’ll also toss out how much I dig the idea of combining figures of different MCU movies into one wave. In this case, the Cull Obsidian Wave is mixed with Infinity War and this pair from Ant-Man and The Wasp. I think it allows them to spread the love, and let’s face it… there’s usually enough MCU films making their rounds at around the same time so that wave sharing can still feel fresh. Scott Lang comes packaged unmasked, but I’m going to kick things off by looking at him with the helmet on, because I really need to get a running start to tackle that Paul Rudd head.

So, straight away I’ll say that I do prefer the Ant-Man costume from the original film over this one and the one that debuted in Civil War. This one feels even more streamlined than the last one and it’s not that I don’t like this one, I really do, but there was something extra cool about the more complex and less polished look of the original. The belt is a separate piece now, but there isn’t a whole lot of detail going on there. Most of the lines separating the red and black parts of the suit are part of the sculpt, which is always a big plus for me. You get the same mix of black, red, and silver as on the original, as well as that lovely texturing all over the suit. Overall, the coloring is nice and the paint application is pretty clean. There are a few lines where the silver could have been a wee bit sharper, but nothing terrible. And yes, there are some unpainted pegs in the knee and elbow hinges, so if that pisses you off… well, prepare to be pissed off, I guess.

Once again, I dig the old style helmet a lot more than this one, which is a lot more streamlined. The helmet sculpt looks solid enough, but maybe a little rough around the edges as I get in close. As many of you know I’m not a big fan of this swirly gray plastic Hasbro likes to use. It’s a shame that they couldn’t have painted the helmet with the same silver they use for the rest of the suit. Hell, even the stuff they used for Deathlok’s arms looked a lot better than this. Another shame is that they couldn’t have gone with sculpted eyes and tinted clear lenses for the mask. They did it for the Ant-Man BAF from Civil War and as we’ll see next week they did it for Wasp too. Moving on to the alternate head…

I swear to God I saw pictures of this head in pre-production that looked absolutely amazing, but this isn’t it. I’m not sure what happened between then and now, but I think the final head came out too elongated. Maybe it got pinched in the molding process. I mean, it’s definitely Paul Rudd, but it comes off looking more like a caricature of him and not so much a realistic portrait. Besides the fact that it looks elongated, I’m going to chalk a lot of it up to the expression they went with. The shit-eating smirk kind of fits the character, and it’s a nice attempt at endowing the figure with a lot of personality, but it just comes off as creepy and weird to me. I’m going to go with points for trying here, but I don’t think they quite hit the mark.

The articulation is everything I’ve come to expect from my Marvel Legends figures. The arms feature rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, double hinges in the elbows, and swivels in the biceps. It’s worth noting that the shoulder articulation is a tad more limited from the sculpt and even the elbows don’t bend as far as I would have liked. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have swivels in the thighs, double hinges in the knees, and the ankles have both hinges and lateral rockers. You get a swivel in the waist, an ab-crunch hinge under the chest and the head is both ball jointed and hinged. A bit better range of motion in the arms would have been appreciated, but not bad.

Scott Lang has been one of the most pleasant surprises for me in the MCU and I’m happy to see him getting a figure from each one of his appearances. The unmasked head is a bit of a hiccup, but I give them high marks for trying and I’ll still likely display the figure with it from time to time. And yes, I’m going to happily pick up the Marvel Studios: First 10 Years two-pack because it not only nets me a Civil War version of Lang in normal size, but it also comes with what looks like a better unmasked head. And also a figure of Yellowjacket, which is something I’ve wanted for a long, long time, especially since Hot Toys’ version never made it past prototype. Join me again next week, when I’ll have seen the flick and have a look at The Wasp!

Vitruvian HACKS: Berzerker by Boss Fight Studio

Once again, I’m ending the week with a look at another Vitruvian HACKS figure from Boss Fight Studio. I’m still sticking with Series 1 for now, but this time venturing far into Wave 6. I’ve only reviewed a handful of figures past the initial four waves, but don’t worry, they’re all coming eventually. As for today’s choice? Well, I’ve just finished rounding out my look at the three Gorgon Sisters and Eurayle’s Disciple, so it seemed only right to go with the Gorgon Berzerker this week.

What do you get when you cross one of Eurayle’s warrior slaves with Stheno’s snake-morphing bite? A male Gorgon Berzerker who will stop at nothing to fight back the Spartan and Myrmidon armies. The Berzerker comes on your typical landscape-styled card featuring some nice character art on the front, and shots of the various figures from Waves 5-7, as well as the mysterious lost wave of variants. As always, the bubble is totally collector friendly and the package can be displayed standing on a shelf or swinging by a peghook.

While the idea of going with a male Gorgon flies in the face of the Sisters’ matriarchy, it feels like a no-brainer for a line that likes to mix and match parts and I think the result speak for itself. The lower half features all the great articulation and texturing of the female Gorgons. The tail is segmented into multiple ball joints, which can be turned and twisted into a variety of poses, and I’m still amazed at how easily these half-snakes can be made to balance on their own when the tail is coiled up to form a base. We’ve had Gorgons in all different colors, but the tail on this figure is a very dark green with a lighter green underbelly.

The sculpted scales go up past the tail to encompass the abdomen, with things smoothing out above the ball joint that connects the upper portion of the humanoid buck. I love that they did this, rather than just slap half a regular buck onto the tail. The dark and light green deco also carries to the figure’s upper half with the light green coloring the chest, the hands and the chin. The head sculpt is a fairly generic bald head with piercing red eyes. I also dig the pattern printed on the figure’s back. There’s nothing terribly flashy here when it comes to the colors, but I think it works perfectly for an army builder like this guy. And since you can’t have your Berzerker going berserk without his weapons, let’s get this fella all geared up!

For starters, we get the skull and spine style helmet that we’ve seen with many of the lady Gorgons. This one is sculpted in black plastic with white paint on the fangs. The design of these pieces is just fantastic. The spine curves down the back of the neck, while the open jaws frame the figure’s face. If a half-snake warrior wasn’t intimidating enough, this headgear really launches him over the top.

The Berzerker also comes with a pair of matched leaf-bladed short swords, each secured in its own scabbard with shoulder strap. The scabbards are black with silver fixtures and red tassels to match the red hilts of the swords. These look great on his hips with the two shoulder straps crisscrossing his chest. The buckles on the straps are also neatly painted silver to match the fixtures on the scabbards. The straps were originally made to be worn by the warriors over their armor, so they are a tad loose on this figure.

The sword blades are painted silver and have some green blood spilled on them. At least I’m assuming it’s green Gorgon blood. The bio makes a point of saying that once in the rage of battle, the Berzerkers don’t stop once their enemies are vanquished and are likely to turn on their own. I would have preferred human blood on the blades. I might just consider the green stuff to be some kind of poison.

The Berzerker can hold the swords perfectly and he also comes with an extra pair of hands so you can have the wrists hinges bend side to side or forward and backward. Oddly enough, he also comes with the usual pegged figure stand, which he obviously can’t use because he has no feet. Some may scoff at the fact that he doesn’t come with more accessories, but with how much extra plastic goes into the tail, I think it all works out in the end. I will confess that I will probably end up giving him a spear.

The Berzerker is definitely one of the more unique figures in the line, as he even stands out among the myriad of different colored female Gorgons.  He doesn’t come with a lot of stuff, but he is a fantastic figure with some great sculpting and coloring. Doing a male Gorgon was kind of a no-brainer, even if they had to bend their own rules to do it. I like how they worked it into the fiction, though. Of course, the rub here is that he’s an army builder and while I’d love to pick up some more, at $25 a piece, I’ve been trying to avoid troop building any of the figures in this line, so for now I may have to be content with just the one… maybe two at some point, but I doubt any more than that.