Tron Legacy: Deluxe Rinzler by Spin Master

Back again for more Tron goodness. I’m continuing my way through the larger Deluxe figures and this time we’re looking at the Rinzler character. In the off chance someone reading this hasn’t seen the film yet, I’ll cut the intro short to avoid any massive spoilers about this guy. Suffice it to say he was the best warrior on The Grid and Clu’s number one henchman. So let’s just get to the figure.

The packaging is the same as the kind used for the Sam Flynn figure we looked at a little while ago. The card is pretty generic, but I love the deco and the huge Tron logo on the side. There’s an insert in the bubble that identifies the character. The bubble is pretty big and shows off the figure and his large array of accessories. Once again, there’s a Try Me hole cut out in the bubble so you can reach in and activate Rinzler’s electronic light feature. The back of the card shows a close up of the figure and his accessories and there’s a little blurb about the character, which is understandably vague so as not to contain spoilers.

There’s a good deal of sculpted detail in the figure, but since he’s virtually all black it isn’t all that easy to make it out, except under close inspection. The only paint apps include a few orange circles on his chest and a little bit of orange on his helmet and again on his gloves. Still, the figure is a pretty good match for the character’s design.

Rinzler’s articulation is the same as the Deluxe Sam Flynn figure, with one addition: His head has a ball joint. Obviously neck articulation had to be sacrificed for Sam (and Clu’s) impulse projection tech in the head, but Rinzler doesn’t have that so he can move his head around just fine. Other articulation includes ball joints in the shoulders and hips, swivels in the wrists and ankles, and hinges in the elbows and knees. Most of the expected points are certainly here, although the range of motion in the shoulders seems a tad limited, making it difficult to hold his Katana in both hands.

After looking at the Deluxe Sam figure, Rinzler’s electronics certainly seem sparse by comparison. There’s no impulse projected face and there’s no voice chip. In this case, it’s pretty understandable, though, since Rinzler hardly said anything through the entire film and you didn’t see his face until the very end. I suppose Spin Master could have had the figure make that creepy sound Rinzler made in he film, but it’s not here. What you do get are an array of small orange lights down the front of his torso. The lights are bright enough, but the whole effect is a little underwhelming and for some reason the lights reaked havoc with my shitty old camera.

As the biggest badass warrior on The Grid, RInzler comes with a lot of accessories. He has two identity discs, one of which can clip to his back. He has a fighting staff, a light katana, a set of light-chucks, and two batons, which attach to pegs on either leg. His hands are sculpted so he can hold pretty much any of these items in either hand.

I think Spin Master did a nice job with Rinzler. The sound chip I suggested would have been a nice addition, especially since he feels a little lacking in the electronics department when compared to Sam Flynn. Both figures are at the same price point, and yet there’s a lot less tech involved in this one. Still, he comes with a lot of goodies and the added neck articulation really helps. He’s a fun figure to play around with and he sure does look nice on the shelf.

Masters of the Universe Classics: Shadow Beast by Mattel

It’s been a while since I’ve been back to look at any of the MOTUC figures. Mattel had several figures up for sale this month, including a re-release of Keldor, Bow from the She-Ra line and the figure we’re going to look at today: Shadow Beast. I’ll admit that Digital River’s ordering process is getting a little better and Matty seems to be genuinely upping the number of figures they produce. I was able to log in around 4pm and buy my figure without any problems at all. Shipping, on the other hand, has really taken a hit. Twelve dollars to ship a figure and it takes over a week to get it to my door? Here’s your next opportunity to fix, Matty.

Shadow Beast comes in a really big white mailer box. I guess if you bought Gygor you know what to expect, but I passed over the big Mellow Yellow Ape in favor of this guy, so I was suitably surprised by the size. Out of the mailer, the package is a large window box that is very much in keeping with the overall presentation of the smaller carded figures. A little patience can get him out of the box without mauling it, so the packaging is pretty collector friendly. I am glad, however, I’m not a MISB collector, because my Shadow Beast came with his massive club clanging around loose inside the box.

I’m really thrilled with the way this figure turned out. The head sculpt is superb and suitably menacing and I love the pupil-less red eyes and the horn that pokes up from the top of his head. We all know that Filmation original designs are off limites to Mattel and The Four Horseman, but this figure is pretty darn close to the design I remember from the cartoon. I’m guessing that’s because of the similarity between the cartoon version and the one in the comic. Either way, purists should be mighty happy with the way this guy looks. The paintwork isn’t as outlandish as Gygor, which may be good or bad, depending on how you see it. I like the traditional browns used here over the radioactive neon used on Gygor, but there’s no doubt that if you have both of these beasts on your shelf, Gygor is the one that’s going to stand out.

I wouldn’t say that Shadow Beast is super articulated, but he has a fair amount of poseability for what he is. His head is ball jointed, as are his shoulders. He has swivel cuts in his biceps and wrists and hinges in his elbows. His stubby little legs have swivels cuts at the hips, which give him a little bit of useful movement there, and allows you to put him in a really goofy seated position. Of course, if you already own Gygor than you know all of this.

Shadow Beast comes with one accessory: A honking big club! It really is massive and it’s sculpted to look like a tree limb (or trunk!) with leather straps wrapped around it for a grip and iron studs scattered around the head, because let’s face it, getting hit in the face with a tree isn’t bad enough, so you need to add iron studs to make your point. The figure can hold the club pretty well, although sometimes you need to jimmy it around in his hand so that he can get a good grip on it. His joints are also tight enough so that he can hold the club above his head, although I’m not sure how long that will be the case.

I’ll admit to being a little cautious about buying this figure. It’s sometimes hard enough for me to justify the $28 a pop for the regular MOTUCfigures and Shadow Beast set me back $41 with the shipping. Ultimately, I’m very happy with my decision to get him, although I am still glad that I just went with one of the two figures based on this body sculpt. Nothing against Gygor, he looks like a great figure and one of these days I may still pick him up, but the Shadow Beast fits in with my Masters of the Universe nostalgia much better. He’s a beautifully sculpted figure and I well deserved addition to my collection.

Lego Prince of Persia: Battle of Alamut (#7573)

Hey, guess what? I still haven’t seen Disney’s Prince of Persia movie. I am a big fan of the Sands of Time game, but that’s about as far as my love for this license goes. Suffice it to say, I didn’t buy this set because of the movie or game tie-in, I bought it because it looked awesome and I thought it would fit in fairly well with my Kingdoms stuff in case the Lion and Dragon Knights ever want to bury the hatchet, join forces, and go on a Crusade. It didn’t hurt that I was able to pick up this set for half price either. At 821 pieces, this is the biggest Lego set I own and appropriately, it took me a good part of the evening to put it all together.


The box is not only huge, but it’s literally bowed out on the sides from all the parts crammed in there. It’s also pretty heavy, which is something I’m not used to with even the biggest Lego sets I’ve owned. I’ll attribute that to it being a building and a lot of those 821 pieces are honest to god bricks. The box includes two thick instruction books, a loose base piece that is small enough that it could have been put in the baggies, a single bagged camel, and seven numbered baggies of bricks. Nice! Nope, I didn’t leave out the stickers, there aren’t any! The first baggie builds the minifigs and the crossbow carriage, the second baggie builds the gate, the next two build the left and right walls, and the last three build the main building. There’s a little bit of repetition in the building steps but not much, and I have to say I found this set to be a really fun and satisfying build.

The set contains no less than seven minifigs, and that’s not including the camel! Once again, I didn’t see the movie, so I don’t know who any of these characters are, but they’re named on the box: Dastan the hero, Seso, Nizam, Giant Scimitar Hassasin, Razor Glove Hassasin and two Guards. This is about twice as many minifigs I ever got in one set so it took me a fairly long time just to match up their pieces and build them.

Once assembled, the fortress looks great. The architecture is fantastic, particurly on the main building, and I love the color choices for the bricks in the walls. My favorite thing about the fortress is its hinged and modular design. The left and right walls are hinged onto the gate, so you can place them at angles or even straight out to make the main wall look even bigger. When you close them up at 90 degree angles to the gate, they also peg into the main building to form a proper fortified castle, but if you’re going to play with it, you’re probably going to want to detach the walls and gate from the building to give you more access. If pressed, the only real complaint I can level against this set is that it could have been taller, as its highest point doesn’t quite reach that of the Prison Tower Rescue set.

I’m more of a displayer than a player, but I still can’t help but admire all the play features Lego designed into this set. The left wall has beams that slide in and out to give the invading forces something to climb on, while the right wall has a chunk that can be blown out of it. The crossbow doesn’t work too well, but I can usually knock it over using one of my catapults from the Kingdoms line. The main gate has opening doors, a rotating mini catapult with projectiles on either tower and a pair of barrels that can be tipped, spilling their flaming contents onto whoever breaches the gate. Cool!

If you’re looking for a really satisfying build and a set that’s lots of fun you can’t go wrong picking up this baby. It originally retailed for around eighty bucks, but with the Prince of Persia line being discontinued by Lego, these sets are starting to go on deep price cuts or outright clearance, so you can probably start to find it at a deal. Mine was $54.99, and for 821 pieces, that ain’t too shabby.

Tron Legacy: Kevn Flynn’s Lightcycle by Spin Master

When Disney made the new Tron movie, it’s pretty obvious that they were trying to tug at the nostalgia strings for us old folks, as well as appeal to a new audience of young minds. Here’s a perfect example of that in toy form: Kevin Flynn’s lightcycle, patterned pretty closely after the CG models seen in the original film, the toy is also remarkably close to the pair of red and yellow Tomy Lightcycles I owned as a kid. Of course, those featured rip-sticks instead of LED lights and the white deco on this one isn’t quite as exciting, but let’s take a look and see how it turned out.

I can’t say enough good things about the packaging for the Tron: Legacy toys. The logo and art deco on the box captures the movie motif really well, and the window shows off the toy nicely. There’s a hole cut into the window, which allows you to hit the Try Me button and see the lights. The back shows photos of the 3 3/4″ figures in the line and illustrates that the cockpit opens and you can cram one of those figures into here. The packaging isn’t quite so elaborate as the one that houses Sam Flynn’s Lightcycle. You remember, the one I looked at a while ago, with the viewmaster-style gimmick in it? But this one looks just as good and certainly makes use of a better economy of space. The box is sort of collector friendly, although it’s easy to mangle when opening, because I sure did. If these things ever hit clearance, I could see myself buying another just to keep it in the box.

Once out of the package, the toy looks very close to the Lightcycle seen in the movie. It was designed by Kevin Flynn to be the “fastest thing on the grid,” despite its old age. I’m a little iffy on how he can keep this thing as a musem piece, parked in his living room like a common motorcycle, when the rest of the time they summon them forth when they use them and dispell them when finished, but I digress. Besides, I so wanted to see a Tron sequel on the big screen, I was willing to look past a lot of stuff to favor my enjoyment of the film and I’m prepared to do the same here as well. There isn’t a whole lot else to say about the toy. It stands up fine on its own and rolls along really well. It does feel a little small and insubstatial for the price, so, do any of the gimmicks save the day?

Well, the cockpit does open and theoretically you can put a figure in it. I don’t yet own the Kevin Flynn 3 3/4″ figure, but from what I hear he doesn’t fit in the cockpit very well because of his sculpted robe. Sam Flynn, on the other hand, does fit, but you really need to contort and mash him in there if you’re going to get the cockpit to close, and even then he doesn’t look like he’s piloting it, but rather like he was knocked unconcious and stuffed inside. The older Tomy Lightcycles held those figures much better than this one, and they only had five points of articulation.

How about them electronics? Unfortunately, I’m not all that impressed, especially when compared to Sam Flynn’s Lightcycle. First off, there’s no sound, which was pretty disappointing. Couldn’t they have just stuffed the other Lightcycle sound chip into this one? Secondly, the lights are confined to just the small area by the front wheel and it doesn’t stay lit for long. There’s a peg inside the cockpit, which is supposed to activate the lights when you put the figure in, but it’s hard to get him to keep contact with the peg, and even when he does, the lights just flicker on for a little while and go out. Sam Flynn’s Lightcycle lights up when you push it along a surface, this one doesn’t do that either.

If it sounds like I hate this toy, I really don’t. It’s a fine representation of what was in the film and it looks great on display, especially with one of the figures standing next to it. As a toy, however, most of the play gimmicks are iffy or broken, especially compared to how well the Sam Flynn Lightcycle toy performs. I thought both toys were in the same price point, but I could be mistaken. I did pay about ten dollars more for my Sam Flynn Lightcycle, but I think it’s because this one was on sale and pretty deeply discounted at $9.99. By the way, Spin Master, if you repaint this thing a couple three times in red, yellow and blue, I’ll buy all three of them. Just saying, is all.

Star Wars Vintage Collection: Zam Wesell by Hasbro

I haven’t looked at a lot of Hasbro’s Vintage Collection Star Wars figures here, mainly because I can’t find any of the ones I want on the pegs and I’m not prepared to buy a whole case of them online. The pegs around my parts are clogged with the Prequel figures and while I was happy to get General Grievous carded this way as a curiosity, I don’t have a lot of interest in many of the other Prequel figures. Nonetheless, a good friend of mine knowing I was fond of the Zam Wesell character (or at least what she looked like), sent me along the loose figure, so I thought I’d check her out here.

It’s true I really liked the design of this character, although I like to forget that she was some kind of shapeshifting lizard. Besides the fact that she was one of the few chick bounty hunters in Star Wars, I liked the way she looked a bit like she was plucked out of a Sergio Leone film. The long duster and the rifle definitely have that Old West vibe going on. I’ve owned two of the previous incarnations (Preview and Saga), both of which were really well sculpted, but both suffered from some annoying pre-posing and poor articulation. I’m happy to say that this Vintage Collection version makes up for all the past sins and offers up what is likely to be the definitive figure of this character, at least as far as I’m concerned. Like I said, I don’t have the packaging, but chances are you won’t have a problem seeing what her card looks like if the Prequel figures are selling as poorly in your area as they are in mine. Just go down to Target or Walmart and check it out!

Zam’s outfit is very nicely detailed, especially whatever the hell those tubes are on the front of her chest. The belt is sculpted from soft plastic and includes a working holster for her pistol. Her duster is soft plastic, and while it doesn’t really get in the way of her articulation, she can’t really sit down with it. The human head sculpt won’t win any awards for its resemblance to the actress in Attack of the Clones, but at least it ain’t a f’ugly sculpt, as Hasbro is known to turn out some bad looking lady figures in this scale. Zam isn’t one of them, that is unless you slap on her lizard head. I guess the sculpting is ok, but it looks really stupid on top of her flesh tone neck. One other cool thing about Zam, both of her hands are sculpted to hold her weapons.

Zam’s articulation includes a ball jointed neck, ball joints in the shoulders, elbows, knees and ankles and regular rotating hip joints. She also has that universal joint in her torso. Yeah, we’ve seen better articulation in this scale, but only by a few points so Zam has nothing to be ashamed of in this department and you can certainly get some great poses out of her.

Zam comes with a nice little selection of weapons and accessories. Her weapons include a blaster pistol that fits into her holster and her sniper rifle. The paintwork on the rifle is particularly impressive for such a thin and fragile accessory. Her helmet is removable and works with the other three accessories. You get the visor thingy, the face mask that goes across her face and another sculpted version of it that just hangs off of one side. All of these pieces just peg right into the holes on either side of her helmet and stay in place pretty well.

I think Zam is a fair enough argument for putting some Prequel figures out in the Vintage Collection. The fake retconned packaging doesn’t appeal to me in the slightest, but in this case the figure inside is fantastic, so who am I to argue with the packaging. You can take it or leave it, and at $7.99, it’s not like we’re really paying extra for the packaging anyway. Plus, I don’t feel compelled to buy two of her and keep one carded like I’ve been doing with most of the Original Trilogy figures in this line.

DC Universe Classics Wave 11: John Stewart, Katma Tui and Kilowog by Mattel

I’ve had Wave 11 of DCUC kicking around for a couple of months now and I’ve been meaning to get back to it. I completely missed this wave when it was in the stores and the assortment tends to go for ridiculous sums online so it’s been a long journey of watching and waiting before I was finally able to snag a set on Ebay for what turned out to be lower than what I paid for other waves. The assortment of figures is pretty solid, and while I usually like to save the best for last, I’m going to jump right in today and look at three of the main reasons I wanted the wave so badly.

Despite being released many waves ago, the packaging hasn’t changed all that much. The brand new cards are a little bigger and the shape of the bubble has changed, but the spirit of the card art is still there. The only thing that really catches my eye about these older cards is the lack of the pointless collector button peeping through the bottom of the card, as we’ve been getting these for a little while now. Both John Stewart and Katma Tui are packaged in slight action poses, but it doesn’t seem to have done their leg joints any harm.

Both John and Katma utilize pretty generic DCUC male and female body sculpts and rely mostly on paint apps for detail. Their uniforms are painted really well and there’s virtually no slop or bleeding on either of my figures. The head sculpts are excellent. John Stewart’s is based on his visage before he went all bald-and- goateed, which I like, and it leaves the option open for another version down the road. Katma has a pretty face and her short hair is sculpted well and doesn’t interfere with her neck articulation.

You get standard DCUC articulation on both figures, which includes ball joints in the neck and shoulders, universal movement in the hips, swivels in the biceps, thighs and wrists, and hinges in the elbows, knees, and ankles. They each swivel at the waist and feature the ab crunch hinge in the torsos.

John and Katma come with two ring constructs each. John Stewart comes with a gun and a punching fist and Katma comes with a sword and shield. All of them slip on over the figure’s fists and work pretty well and the gun has an added arm clip to help hold it in place. I really like Stewart’s gun the most, but they’re all pretty good.

And then there’s Kilowog, who stands just behind Darkseid as my favorite Collect & Connect figure to date. There were many times when I was tempted to buy him alone, but he’s so ridiculously expensive that it seemed a better value to just wait and build him by getting all the figures in the Wave. Now that I finally have him, all I can say is he’s huge and absolutely glorious in person. Most of the sculpted detail in the body goes into his muscles and like John and Katma, he relies on paint apps for the details of his uniform, although the sculpting on his power ring is really exceptionally well done. The head sculpt is also amazing, capturing not only a lot of detail, but a priceless expression that gives the figure tons of character.

As is usually the case with the C&C figures, Kilowog features a few less points of articulation than the smaller figures. What’s missing? Only the swivels cuts in his thighs, apart from that you still get a very poseable figure.

I will eventually get to looking at the rest of the figures in Wave 11, but these three were the main draw of this Wave for me, although I should add The Question to that group as well. I already mentioned that this assortment of figures tends to go pretty high on the secondary market, and with the Green Lantern movie looming, I doubt that’s going to change anytime soon. You can always pick up John Stewart and Katma Tui in the Walmart Exclusive 5-pack that’s on the shelves right now, but then you’ll still have to hunt down Kilowog, and finding him alone can be a tough and pricey prospect.

5 Things My Wallet Loved About Toy Fair This Year

The inevitable follow up to yesterday’s entry. Tomorrow we’ll start looking at some toys again.

5. Mattel’s Young Justice Figures.
I really dig this cartoon, and I was worried that I was going to have to jump on board when I saw the figures revealed, but now that I have, I know I don’t need them. Should Mattel ever decide to release a wave of these in the DCUC line, I’d be fine with that, but otherwise these are an easy pass.

4. Ghostbusters.
While there’s a slight chance I may pick up the 12″ Winston with the Slime Thrower, and possibly one more 6″ figure, my previous belief that I’m more or less done with this line has been justified, not to mention I’m relieved I didn’t go ahead and subscribe to it. If Mattel was serious about keeping this line alive, they need to pony up with the ghosts or Vigo or anything but more variants of the same four characters. I know, they did Walter Peck and Luis Tulley, great. I don’t depart this line bitter, I have my set of 6″ figures and the original three Ghostbusters in 12″ and I’m fine with that.

3. Marvel Universe.
I’ve bought a lot of these figures over the last month or so, but I think I’m going to start slowing down and doing a lot more cherry picking. There were some good figures shown off at Toy Fair, but only a few of them are what I would consider must owns and The Sentinal looked kind of disappointing. There’s no doubt that the MU line will still got it’s fair share of my monies, but maybe not as much as I originally thought. Afterall, that Thundercat fund has to come from somewhere, right?

2. Masterpiece Rodimus Prime.
To be fair, I already decided against buying this figure before seeing the shots from Toy Fair. The figure looks nice in photos, but too many early reports say it’s as fragile as all hell and not at all impressive in person. Throw in the fact that I’ve never been a big fan of Hot Rod or Rodimus Prime, and that makes this an easy way to save about a hundred bucks.

1. GI Joe.
There’s no doubt Hasbro went for quality over quantity last year with the GI Joe license and it looks like this year will be more of the same. With the exception of the Sky Striker, there’s nothing on the table that I’m even remotely interested in buying. Last year, I decided I wouldn’t be buying any new versions of characters already done in the 25th Anniversary line, and while I still plan on picking up the Pursuit of Cobra HISS and VAMP, and the aforementinoed Sky Striker, it’s safe to say that I can free up any monies that I had earmarked for GI Joe to be spent elsewhere in 2012.

5 Things My Wallet Hated About Toy Fair This Year

Toy Fair was pretty exciting this year, and I’m only now finally done sifting through all the photos and press releases and all that good stuff. There are going to be a shit-ton of toys coming out later this year, but oddly I didn’t feel quite so overwhelmed as I have in the past. Nonetheless, here are five of the things revealed at Toy Fair this year that are likely going to cost me the most.

5. Transformers Cyberverse.
One of the aspects of Transformers toys I have managed to stay away from has been the Legends Class figures. I love me some Minicons and Spymasters and Micromasters, but I don’t dig the idea of spending five bucks to get a smaller, crappier version of a toy I already own. All was well and good until Hasbro decided to recreate this line by giving them little transforming playsets. At the very least I’m going to have to dip my toe into the Cyberverse waters and see what happens, but there’s a good chance I’ll be buying this line.

4. DC Universe Classics.
It was unlikely that I was going to shake this monkey off my back in 2011 and having not yet picked up the Bane wave, I’m already starting the year off behind. But the real kick in the balls here is the Crime Syndicate 5-pack. It’s a Walmart Exclusive, which means I’ll be paying through the nose for it on Ebay, unless it winds up like that Green Lantern 5-pack and is actually available to buy on Walmart’s website.

3. Transformers Prime.
After watching six episodes, I have finally come to the conclusion that the new Transformers Prime series is a good thing. It’s not my first choice for how a TF series should be done, and I can’t say I’m chomping at the bit to see the next episode each week, but when I do sit down and watch it, I generally enjoy myself. Hasbro had us believing there wouldn’t be toys any time soon, but they showed them off at Toy Fair, and most of them looked pretty fine, so I’m on board with these.

2. Sky-Scream-Striker.
It’s bad enough for my wallet that Hasbro is bringing back the GI Joe Sky Striker, but in an effort to be particularly cruel, they are also repainting it like G1 Starscream and bundling a Cobra Commander figure into it with a little Megatron gun to boot. Oh yeah, and it’s going to be an SDCC Exclusive! There’s a slight chance I’ll be able to pick this up on HasbroToyShop, as some of Hasbro’s exclusives have been easy to buy online even weeks after the Con, but somehow I don’t think this is going to be one of them. Either way, I’m likely going to pay out the ass for this one.

1. Thundercats.
I’ve got enough shit to buy without adding another entirely new toy line to the mix, much less one with vehicles, playsets and multiple scales of figures. I’ve already pre-ordered every Thundercats item shown at Toy Fair, including the roleplay items which I hardly ever buy, so August is going to be a tough month. To make matters worse even Mezco is getting into the game with that massive and awesome Lion-O figure. It’s going to be a to fit into the budget this year, so I probably should start saving now. The only good side of this is I can finally kick the lingering temptation to buy vintage Thundercat figures, and at least those overpriced Stactions aren’t tempting me.

Lego Space Police: Hyperspeed Pursuit (#5973)

Ahh, I’m rapidly running out of Space Police sets to buy and it’s starting to bum me out. While I’m sure I will eventually pick up the bigger sets and the pair of mid-size sets that I’m missing, Hyperspeed Pursuit was the last one that I was really chomping at the bit to buy and build. At 456 pieces, this is the largest Space Police set I own as it surpasses the Lunar Limo set by over 50 bricks and gives you the best of both worlds with both a police ship and a criminal ship. Let’s take a look!

The set comes in a really long box and contains two instruction books, one sticker sheet, two rubbery hoses, and four numbered bags of bricks, although oddly enough two of them are numbered “3.” The 456 pieces consist of two decent sized ships, a safe with gold bars, a prisoner pod, and three minifigs. As I mentioned above, this set was a really satisfying build and took me more than a couple of hours to complete. While there were some duplicated parts on the ships, the fact that I was building two unique ships made it more engaging.

The minifigs consist of one Space Police officer and two criminals. The cop seems pretty standard and features a helmet with moving visor, a set of oxygen tanks and a double printed face. The criminals are the Skull Twins, which also feature double printed faces and identical skull helmets that fit over their heads. Yeah, making twins is kind of a cheat to drop doubles of a minifig in the box, but I like them well enough. Each ship only holds one pilot, and the other one of the Skull Twins goes into the prisoner pod on the police ship.

I’ve made it no secret that I’m really in this line for the cool designs of the criminal ships. [One of these days I’ll look at the Gold Heist set, which pretty much sums up everything I dislike about the police ships -FF] The Space Truck and the Lunar Limo were both awesome, whereas the police ships have been ok, but not great. The police ship in this set, however, is defintely a step up. I love the design of it and some of the little details are really cool and well thought out. The hoses that run from under the wings into the forward laser cannons, for example, are a beautiful touch, and the complex build of the rear thrusters alone are comprised of about 20 pieces each and articulated to boot. There are weapon pods under the wings and articulated antenna arrays on each of the engines. The ship doesn’t rely all that heavily on stickers either, although the Police stickers on the sides are nice touches.

The police ship is designed to hold the Prisoner Pod, which in turn can hold a minifig. If you have the Galactic Enforcer, you’ll already be familiar with this construct. It can easily detach from the ship and it has a target gimmick that blows the pod open when you hit the disc with a projectile or just tap it with your finger.

The Skull Twins’ ship has a lot of the same stylings as the cab of the Space Truck and the Lunar Limo, which means it’s pure, concentrated awesome. The top of the cabin lifts off so you can place the minifig. The truck compartment can hold the boosted safe and the two front torpedo launchers fire so you can try to hit the Prison Pod and free the prisoner. The amount of detail on this ship is impressive and the stickers really tie the whole thing together. The safe is simple enough and opens from either side, allowing access to the gold bricks inside. It’s not as cool as the one that comes with the Gold Heist set, but it’s a nice bonus all the same.

Based on build and playability Hyperspeed Pursuit has become my favorite of the Space Police sets thus far, and that’s saying quite a bit because I’ve been thoroughly satisfied with all of the sets that I own in this line so far. The ship designs are great and fun to build and there’s a lot of decent play features and stuff to muck about with. It doesn’t hurt that I got this set off of Wally World’s website for only $35 either. If you’re into the Space Police, I’d say this is a must buy, and if you only want one Space Police set to get a flavor of the series, than this is probably the best one to get.

Marvel Universe: Moon Knight and Black Panther by Hasbro

I’m slowly going through the case of Marvel Universe figures that I got in a couple of weeks ago. This time I’m going to look at two characters that I admittedly don’t care a whole lot about, but I wanted to pick them up for one reason or another. Moon Knight has always intrigued me, but I’ve never read anything that he’s ever been in, apart from a cameo in issue of Deadpool. I’ve got some of Moon Knight’s stuff on my To Read list, but at my age I think my reading list is a lot longer than the time I’ve got left on this old world of ours. I’m a lot more familiar with Black Panther, but he is by far my least favorite of all the Avengers. Apart from the issues of his comics that coincided with theDark Reign saga, I’ve never read any of his books, so most of my exposure to him is from the second animated Avengers movie and Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. 

Standard Marvel Universe packaging, only these figures were released before the HAMMER theme took over from SHIELD. The character art on these cards is a little weak, but that might be more because both characters have fairly simple designs rather than any lack of effort on Hasbro’s part. The bubbles show off the figures nicely.

Moon Knight is a really cool looking figure. In fact to find as nice a looking figure with virtually no paint apps, you’d have to look to Mattel’s Gentlemen Ghost from the DCUC line. He relies on a fair amount of new sculpt, a bulkier muscular build and and a really nice hood, cowl and cape piece that still allows for some articulation in the neck. His face is basically just a Jawa, but it really serves the original character design very well. He comes with his staff weapon and a moon dart, which looks exactly like a clipped toenail. Mine flew out of the package when I opened it and was never seen again. It’s a fair bet my cat ate it.

And speaking of figures with virtually no paint apps, next up is Black Panther. [See, there’s a reason I chose to look at these two figures together! -FF]  Of course, Panther hits the other end of the spectrum and is all black. I’ve tried many times to embrace this character, but I simply can’t do it. That’s not to say I didn’t want this figure, albeit solely because of his membership in the Avengers. I’m tempted to say there’s a lot of original sculpt on Panther’s body, because his torso looks to have fewer muscular lines than most other figures, but I’m not prepared to say one way or the other. I do think Hasbro did a fine job on the head sculpt. Panther comes with his Poleaxe.

While Moon Knight features all the standard articulation we’re used to seeing in the MU male figures, Black Panther has two exceptions: His knees. He doesn’t have the double hinged knees that Moon Knight and most other MU figures have. However, Both figures include their packet of secret SHIELD documents with file cards. On the other hand, these guys were released before Hasbro decided to start including the personalized stands. Boo!

And there you have it, another couple of solid offerings from the Marvel Universe line. I imagine that Black Panther will be a pretty well sought after figure just because of his Avengers affiliation, although it seems pretty questionable as to whether he’ll be brought into the picture when the Avengers assemble on the big screen in a year or so. I’m not so sure about Moon Knight. Granted, no matter how obscure a character, there will always be fans happy to get the figure, but I read a fair amount of Marvel comics and my exposure to him has been nil, so I have to wonder just how he’ll be received among the masses.