DC Universe Classics Wave 20: White Lantern Flash by Mattel

We’re going back in time a bit today, and actually all weekend, as I take care of some unfinished business with Wave 20 of DC Universe Classics. You may remember that I covered this entire wave a little while back, except for two figures. Well, my poor Collect & Connect Nekron figure has been lying on the shelf without any legs for too long, so I decided to hunt down the last two figures and finally have some closure in that Wave. Those last two figures were the Flash variants: Eobard Thwane, aka Reverse Flash, and Barry Allen Flash as part of the White Lantern Corps. We’ll start out today with White Lantern Flash.

I’d say it’s good to see this packaging again after DCUC got canned and all that, but then we just saw this packaging, more or less, when we looked at the new DC All Stars figures. Considering nothing much has changed, let’s just get on with the figure. I’ll confess right now that I would have easily passed on this one if it weren’t for my Nekron needing legs. I love me my Darkest Night/Brightest Day, but enough was enough, Mattel. A figure like this had no business being in the last wave of DCUC.

I wasn’t nearly as upset with getting the Blue Lantern Flash, mainly because I think that’s a really great looking figure. The black and blue paintwork on it makes it really pop on the shelf, so I could easily forgive having to buy it to finish my C&C Anti-Monitor. White Flash, on the other hand, is just boring. It’s the same old head sculpt, and while the White Lantern emblem looks nice and sharp, his color scheme isn’t even  as good looking as the White Lantern Hal Jordan.

In fairness, Mattel didn’t go the straight repaint here. Oh, it’s close, but they did add a little flare in the way of lighting energy. Unfortunately, in this case going the extra mile kind of ruins the figure for me. I appreciate that you can just take off the arm lighting, but the lightning that comes up off his shoulders is permanently embedded in his back. And even if you were to get ambitious and pry it out, you’d wind up with either a big hole, or a lump of plastic there. I’m just not digging it.

Articulation is exactly what you would expect should you happen to own any of the other Barry Allen Flash figures, or any DCUC figure for that matter. You get a ball jointed neck, the arms have ball joints in the shoulders, hinges in the elbows, and swivels in the biceps and wrists. The legs feature universal movement at the hips, hinges in the knees and ankles, and swivels in the thighs. The torso swivels at the waist and has the usual ab crunch hinge.

And there you go, quick and easy. The brief tone of today’s feature should convey how badly I want to finish up and get to The Pub much I care about this figure and how badly I wanted it, which is not at all. And considering what a big Flash fan I am, that’s pretty sad. Look, if you were jonesing for a White Lantern Flash, this figure should scratch your itch. It isn’t inherently bad. The lightning effects aren’t for me, but everything else about him pretty much fits the bill. I think part of the problem is that looking back at Wave 20 is reminding me how badly I wanted Mattel to keep figures like this one in their parallel Green Lantern Classics line and keep the proper DCUC slots for the vast number of characters I still want to see in this format. Anyway, now that I get him out of the way, I’ll be back tomorrow to check out the one in this pair I was actually excited to get… Reverse Flash!

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Marvel Legends: Iron Man (Neo-Classic Armor) by Hasbro

Holy hell, the new Marvel Legends figures are beginning to trickle out both in retail and across the Cyberwebs. I honestly didn’t think we were going to start seeing these until November. I knocked out the first two waves by buying them by the case, but when I saw two lone Wave 3 figures, Iron Man and Mystique, hanging on the pegs, I couldn’t resist getting them individually. We’ll check out the first one this week, then I’ve got to take care of some unfinished DCUC business over the weekend, and I’ve got a themed week planned for next week, so who the hell knows when I’ll get to Mystique.

Yes, it’s Iron Man in his second Legends appearance in only three waves. Ok, it’s technically the third if you count that blue repaint in Wave 1. And there’s the glorious, eye-catching Marvel Legends packaging. God, I love it! You get comic book style and action figure goodness married together in a perfect package. The only way this could be better is if ML figures actually had a reprint comic book as the backing for the figure. Oh wait, they did until Hasbro got hold of the line!

The first thing you may notice is that there’s no Build-A-Figure part, instead you get a big figure stand, recycled from the 6-inch Avengers movie figures. The stand is sculpted to look like a number of hexagonal tiles strung together. There are several pegs so you can position the figure in different stances, and the stand will hook together with other similar stands in various ways so you can create a big display. I like these a lot, and if Hasbro would sell them in packs at their web store, I would probably buy a bunch. Since the previous two waves were named after their BAF, Hasbro has just called this wave “Epic Heroes.” Fair enough!

When I heard Iron Man was going to be in another wave of Legends, I wasn’t thrilled. Sure, it makes sense, as he’s a huge personality in the Marvel Universe right now and with Iron Man 3 soon to be released, the character will continue to make bucket loads of money for Disney and Hasbro for the foreseeable future. Nonetheless, I was a lot happier when I saw the choice for the armor. The Neo-Classic armor is a nice break from the modern stuff we’ve been getting so much of lately.

First off, I want to thank Hasbro for finally bulking up Iron Man a bit. My main complaint with the Extremis Armor release was that he was so small compared to the other 6-inch Avengers on my shelf. Stand him next to Steve Rogers from the same wave and, well, there’s clearly a problem. The added bulk to this figure comes closer to looking like he’s scaled about right for a guy wearing armor. He is, however, notably shorter than the Extremis Armor Iron Man from the first wave, so in some way Hasbro took a slight step forward and a slight step back. Proportionally, he looks good with two exceptions… his hands. Those hands look awfully tiny to me. I do, however, dig those clunky Mega Man style boots.

Since this is the older style of armor, the figure is built off a standard muscled buck with separate sculpted armor pieces on the chest, shoulders, arms and legs. I’m really keen on the head sculpt, which offers a bit of depth around the eyes and mouth slots, although not as much as the production photos suggested. After being exposed to so much of the sleek new armor suits both in the comics and on the big screen, looking at this style is like looking at a vintage automobile. It has a retro charm and sexiness all of its own.

The figure’s sculpting is solid, but I think it’s the color that really makes this figure stand out. Hasbro used just the right shade of gilded gold paint for the body and a beautiful deep, metallic red for the armor plating. They may be the only two colors on the entire figure, but man do they look great together.

Iron Man’s articulation includes a ball joint in the neck, arms with ball jointed shoulders, double hinged elbows, hinged wrists, and swivels in the biceps, forearms, and wrists. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, double hinged at the knees, and have swivels in the thighs and lower legs. It looks like there are hinges in the ankles, but they are useless because of the way the boots are sculpted. The torso features a swivel at the waist and an ab crunge hinge in the chest. It certainly isn’t the best articulation we’ve seen in the line, but some of the restrictions come from the style of the sculpt and I think Hasbro did their best to work around this where they could. One notable point is the hinged shoulder flaps to allow for greater arm movement. I really would have liked an extra neck hinge so he could look up if I pose him on a flight stand. It’s also worth noting that the peg holes in Iron Man’s feet don’t go deep enough to work with the figure stand! Come on, Hasbro!

I’ll confess Iron Man was the one figure in Wave 3 that I was looking forward to the least. He certainly isn’t one of the shining beacons of the line, but he’s certainly not terrible either. A number of little issues cause him to land right in the middle of the average range on my patented Marvel Legends figure Cool-O-Meter. Still, it’s nice to see this armor in this scale and I’m definitely content to put him up on my shelf where he looks damn good. That all having been said, I’m still pretty sure he’ll wind up the peg-warmer of this wave, although with how well these figures have been selling in my area, there may not be any peg-warmers at all.

Thundercats: 6-inch Series: Tygra by Ban Dai

Looking back at the Thundercats re-launch makes me a sad kitty. I thought the new series was excellent, although I drifted away from it because of the gaps in the release of new episodes. I loved the toys, and I know I was largely a minority on that point, but I thought the 6-inch figures were great, even if they did have unpainted joints, and I thought the 4-inch figures were loads of fun. I did everything I could to support the line at retail, but it seemed like it was doomed to slip away from the very beginning. Of course, the problem with a re-launch is when it fizzles out, like Thundercats did, it’ll likely be a while before anyone else touches it. And considering how long it took for Thundercats to get its second chance at bat, it may be a very long time indeed.

Well, we’re revisiting this dead line today because I finally picked up the last of the 6-inch releases. [I just realized I never did look at the 6-inch Mumm-Ra either, but we’ll come back to him some other week. –FF] As is often the case when a line dies, the last releases are hard to find, and for a while Tygra was going for insane monies on the secondary market. I finally found him for a fairly reasonable price on Amazon, so let’s check out the last of the Thundercats team in this scale.

Once again we see that if you are a mint-on-card collector, you don’t want to buy from Amazon because they don’t give a shit when their packing your toys. This time, the figure was jammed into a box that was too small, so the card flap was bent all the way over. I know, I don’t really care, I tear these things open most of the time, so if I’m getting free second day shipping, I’m willing to deal with a mangled package in most cases. As with the other 6-inch figures, Tygra comes in a huge bubble on a fitted card. I always thought this was attractive and serviceable packaging, although I was never fond of the tri-lingual stuff. The bubble uses a personalized insert with Tygra’s character art and a sticker that boasts 18-points of articulation. The back of the card shows a photo of the figure along with some of the other figures that are available.

I was not a big fan of the character Tygra in the new series, but after only a few moments in my hand, I was sure that his is one of my favorite figures in the 6-inch line. For starters, the head sculpt is excellent. It doesn’t have any of the soft sculpt problems that Lion-O or Cheetara has. Tygra’s face is very well defined and the paintwork is outstanding.  The body and armor are also very well sculpted. There are parts of the armor that look like they could be detached, even though they’re actually sculpted as part of the figure. The armor is all cast in a nice deep matte green plastic, while the painted tiger stripes on Tygra’s exposed fur skin are expertly applied. I would have liked a bit more gloss on the Thundercats emblem, but at least it looks nice and crisp. The silver belt is a separate piece and detachable, but it is fitted so well to the figure that it looks and feels like it’s a part of him. The silver belt includes a functional holster and some sculpted canisters running across the front.

The joints are still unpainted. It seems less unsightly with Tygra because of his armor, but this was never a big sticking point with me. The exposed screws on the back are rather conspicuous, but again, it doesn’t do anything to ruin the figure for me.

As the package suggests, Tygra has 18 points of articulation. You get a ball jointed neck. The arms have ball joints and swivels in the shoulders, double hinged elbows, and ball joints in the wrists. The legs ball jointed at the hips, double hinged in the knees, and hinged at the ankles. He is also ball jointed at the waist, and it feels like he’s got another joint going on under that chest armor. Hmm… I count 20 points, but more is better so I’m not complaining.

Tygra comes with two accessories. You get his whip and the laser pistol he took off one of the mutants. The whip is just a long piece of bendy blue rubbery plastic with two tails at the end. It certainly serves its purpose and you can work it into different cool poses, as it has just the right amount of flexibility. The gun is a cast in silver plastic, nicely sculptd and fits great in the figure’s right hand so that the trigger finger can go through the trigger guard.

Tygra turned up on Amazon for $24.99 and I jumped at him. Yeah, that’s about $8-10 more than he would have been at retail, but I’m not going to gripe about it. He’s a really cool figure and definitely one of the best, if not the best, figures in this short lived modern 6-inch line. It really makes me sad to know that we won’t be getting the Thunderkittens in this scale, nor Jaga or Grune or any of the mutants. I think Bandai did an alright job with these figures (much better than I originally anticipated) and quite frankly I think collectors were just too hard on them. As mentioned earlier, I still have the 6-inch scale Mumm-Ra sitting around here somewhere, so at some point in the next couple of weeks, I’ll be revisiting this line just one more time to check him out.

World of Warcraft: Human Paladin Colton (Faction Pack) by Mega Bloks

I haven’t looked at any of the toys or statues based on Blizzards ridiculously successful MMORPG game, World of Warcraft. And while I have looked at my share of Lego and even some Not-Lego (Character Building and Kre-O), I have only really looked at a few of Mega Bloks’ blind bagged minifigures, and not any of the actual sets. Well, for the last two or three weeks, I’ve been falling back into the dark, evil addiction of WoW, as I try to learn all the ins and outs of the new Patch before the new Expansion drops in on the 25th. It seemed like a good time to start checking out some of what Mega Bloks has done with the WoW license.

I’m starting off small, with some of their so-called “Faction Packs.” These are little boxed sets that contain a minifigure and a couple of dozen bricks that let you build a little display base. It’s a really cool idea that gives you something a bit more substantial than the blind bagged minifig format. I really dig the packaging, which consists of a little window box that shows the figure. The back panel shows the figure and base in detail along with some of the other available Faction Packs. Inside the box, the figure (which comes completely assembled), his weapon, and his faction symbol are all nested in a tray and the baggie of pieces for the base is concealed above. You also get an instruction sheet. The whole thing is wonderfully collector friendly, providing you don’t mind taking the base apart to store it.

 

The minifig in this set is Colton and he’s a Human Paladin, which makes him one of the hated Alliance *ptoowey* I spit on the Alliance, as in the game I only roll Horde. That having been said, Colton here is a pretty cool little guy with a design that really matches the game pretty well. His face is pretty generic, but the armor is very nicely sculpted for such a small figure and the shoulders and torso armor can all be removed and swapped out with other sets to customize. His five points of articulation consist of ball joints in the neck, shoulders, and hips, which is not at all bad for a minifig. He comes with a double-bladed axe.

The base consists of a fairly large platform and a number of bricks that look like… well, stone bricks. These make up a little corner of castle wall. You also get two long torches, and the aforementioned faction symbol. It only takes a couple of minutes to put this thing together, but it makes for a very nice way to display the figure. On the downside, it doesn’t hold together as well as Lego, so moving it requires a bit of care.

Of course, the other cool thing here is that Mega Bloks is compatible with Lego sets and that means I can slap the faction symbol on one of my Kingdoms sets for Colton to hang out in.

The whole set includes 28 pieces, which compares pretty closely to Lego’s impulse sized sets. I picked up this set at Walmart for about $6.88. It seemed a tad high at the time for just a minifigure, but when I saw how big the base was, I was a little happier. It seems like Mega Bloks only has four of these Faction Packs out right  now, and I’ve already grabbed two more, so we’ll be checking them out in the near future.

Transformers Fall of Cybertron: Shockwave by Hasbro

I rarely buy games when they first come out, but I was happy to fork over the sixty bucks for Fall of Cybertron on Day One. Unfortunately the next day my Xbox decided to give up the ghost and die on me, so I’m still only three levels into it. The irony is that I actually had the PS3 version in my hands and then put it back and went for the 360 version because all of my gaming friends only play on Xbox’s Network. So, until I can get motivated enough to swap out the DVD drive on my 360, I’ll have to enjoy this game through the toys, which have just been hitting the pegs in my area this past week or so. I’ve been waffling a bit on Optimus and Jazz, but when I saw Shockwave, I grabbed him right away.

It’s so good to see Generations back on the shelves after the tsunami of Dark of the Moon has come and gone. With the return of the line comes newly rebranded packaging and I’m really digging the new look. The G1-style grid on the card tugs at my nostalgia strings, as does the very G1-inspired portrait of Shockwave. The back panel has photos of the toy and a pretty cool bio blurb about how he’ll murder you with his logic. And holy shit, check it out… they brought back the tech specs! Shockwave is packaged in his robot form and held on to the tray with a ridiculous number of string twisties. Overall, this package design gets my stamp of approval and I do hope they continue to use it forGenerations beyond Fall of Cybertron.

With Shockwave out of the package I find myself blown away by this figure. Yes, I am biased with my love for Shockwave, but it really is an absolutely amazing update to the character we all know and love. But more than that, the design is so clean and solid, the proportions are so right, that it feels more like an action figure and less like a Transformer. The head sculpt is a perfect homage and the light piping for his eye works exceptionally well. The arm cannon is also a great design, as Shockwave can simply fold back one of his hands and the cannon mounts onto either arm. It’s bigger than G1 Shockwave’s arm cannon, but not as ridiculously big as say, Energon Shockblast’s arm cannon. The sculpt features a lot of panel lines and great little details, like all the cables molded around his neck.

The one thing that I’ve been the most disappointed over with this year’s Transformers has been the lack of paint apps. Shockwave is no different, but his color scheme works without it. He’s mostly sculpted in traditional Decepticon purple, with some great translucent purple plastic and some silver paintwork on his trim. The ensemble is perfect and I wouldn’t have changed a thing. His Decepticon logo is kind of small, but I don’t know where else you could put it to make it larger.

Shockwave sports solid articulation. The head turns, but is not ball jointed. The arms rotate at the shoulders and have hinged lateral movement and ball joints in the elbows. The legs are ball jointed at the hips and have both swivels and hinges at the knees. A waist swivel would have been welcome, but I don’t think its absence really hurts the figure a lot.

I was a little concerned about Shockwave’s size, especially since the TF Prime figures have been getting smaller and smaller. He does look small in the package but once I got him out and stood him next to my War for Cybertron Megatron, my fears were vanquished. He’s perfectly sized to stand beside his leader. Some might have preferred him as a Voyager, but I’m really happy with Hasbro streamlining the figures into mostly Deluxes. It may create some scale issues in alt mode, and sure, some Transformers should be bigger than others, but Shockwave here is scaled perfectly in robot mode for the other Classics and Generations figures.

I actually had to look at the instructions to get Shockwave into his alt mode, and that’s something I almost never have to do. The reason here is not because he’s a complex Transformer, but rather his alt mode, unlike a car or jet or tank, is somewhat abstract, so it’s tough to figure out where everything is supposed to go. He’s billed as “Cybertron Mobile Artillery” which is basically like a big hovering cannon. I like to think of him more as a spaceship, but either way it is a very nice nod back to his original G1 gun mode. The alt mode locks together very nicely and looks damn good too. I’m impressed with the number of panel lines in the sculpt and while there aren’t a lot of paint apps, (he basically has the exact same color scheme as his robot mode), the coloring on the figure doesn’t feel like it’s missing anything. Well, maybe a Decepticon logo would have been nice.

How about the price? Dang, these things are getting expensive. True, I haven’t been buying a lot of Transformers since Dark of the Mooncame out, but I still remember only paying around $10-11 apiece for those Deluxes. Shockwave was $15!!! It’s kind of outrageous considering the size of the figure, but I can justify it by passing this off as a collector line. Plus, I love this figure so much that I probably would have paid even more for him if I had to. But then, even the TF: Prime Deluxes have shot up to the $15 price point at the local Walmart. I’ve been a Transformers fan from Day One, but even I think Hasbro is starting to overestimate the demand for these guys.

Shockwave has had some decent re-imaginings in lines like Energon and Animated, but this release is a bona fide stab at bringing the character into the Classics continuity. Sure, it’s his Fall of Cybertron version, but since the character never got an Earth alt mode, it fits right in, much the same way that I prefer to use my War for Cybertron Megatron and Soundwave as my default Classics versions. Shockwave is definitely a solid and well-engineered figure, and while I don’t like to use the word perfect a lot, I think this guy comes closer to being a perfect Transformer than any I’ve seen in a while. I just love him to pieces and he’s sure to be a popular release with the fans.

Chaos! Comics: Lady Demon by Moore Action Collectibles

While we’ve spent the last two entries hobnobbing with obscurity, that’s certainly not the case today with the team up of Brian Pulido and Clayburn Moore. Whether you’re a fan or not, it’s hard to argue with Pulido’s prolific bibliography that ranges from the kind of indie stuff we’re looking at this weekend to his efforts with more mainstream pop culture horror franchises. Not to mention his works have graced the pages of Marvel and Dark Horse comics. He may not be the heaviest of hitters in the comic market, but he’s been pretty darn successful at something I, and lots of other comic book nerds, would love to do.

Today’s figure ushers from the pages of Chaos! Comics, an indie press with a sad little history that carried it for a mere six years before going belly up over legal and financial problems. I’ve thumbed through a few issues of Lady Death, one of the characters that survived the demise of Chaos!, but can’t confess to ever having been a big fan of anything other than the artwork. I am, however, a pretty big fan of Clayburn Moore of Moore Action Collectibles and CS Moore Studios fame, and his efforts at sculpting various action figures, statues and other icons of nerdom. And that brings us to the last, and my favorite, of this weekend’s indie comic figure trifecta… Lady Demon.

Lady Demon’s package doesn’t have the “in your face” comic art that the last two figures had. In fact, it’s the same kind of downplayed and serviceable cardback that we saw the last time we looked at a Moore figure. It may not be as exciting, but then there’s something to be said for letting the figure speak for itself, and Lady Death here certainly does that. She’s displayed very nicely under the bubble with here figure stand and accessories beside her. The Chaos! Emblem, engulfed in tendrils of lightning, is printed on the card to serve as a backdrop for the figure and bubble. The back of the package features a nice piece of character art, a little bio blurb on Lady Demon, and photos of some of the other figures available in the line. Again, the package here isn’t as flash as what we’ve seen this weekend, but it feels more polished and professional.

Lady Demon stands about 6-inches tall and she’s in perfect scale with Moore’s other figures, including the Ariel Darkchylde figure that I have standing on one of my shelves. She stands in a pretty neutral pose and she looks fantastic. Her outfit is a mix of sculpting and paintwork, which really accentuates her killer body. The giant demon skull that sits atop her tiny loin cloth is pretty outrageous and her skin tone has a very cool brownish, slightly ethereal tone. Her skin has a glossy plastic finish, and while some may prefer a more flesh painted finish, this look works fine for me.

If you can draw your eyes away from her other assets, Lady Demon’s head sculpt is worth scrutinizing, because it really is excellent. The full, smirking lips, the large pupil-less eyes are great and the unexpected giant devil horns that protrude from her forehead really make for a distinctive looking figure. The whole ensemble is capped off with a cascade of sculpted white hair and two large detailed earrings, because even hellspawn chicks need to accessorize. When you compare her to the other indie comic figures we looked at this weekend, Lady Demon’s head sculpt really separates her from the passable efforts of the Rendition figure and the downright hack performance of the sculptors at Skybolt, and that’s all thanks to the talents of Moore.

If you’re familiar with Moore Action Figures, you know not to expect a lot of articulation. Lady Demon features the old standard five points, with arms that rotate at the shoulders and legs that rotate at the hips. The head actually does have a ball joint, which surprised me a little and allows the joint to work better with the sculpted hair. There’s not a lot you can do with her articulation, and I’m fine with that because elbow and knee joints would have detracted from her sculpt. It is, however, a shame the figure doesn’t at least have wrist cuts.
Lady Demon comes with three accessories. You get a very nice figure stand with the Chaos! Emblem sculpted into it. You also get a sword and some kind of little skull scepter. I absolutely love the sword. Not only does it have a cool sculpt and actually look like the kind of sword that a hell-bitch might wield (unlike the swords of Sinthia or Ravyn), but I really dig the metallic red paint job. The scepter is a nice little sculpt, and while it isn’t as cool as the sword, the lack of articulation in the figure means that I’ll probably display her with the scepter. As good as the sword looks, she just can’t be posed so that she’s holding it that convincingly.

So, guilty pleasure or not, I love this figure and I’ll be anxious to pull some of the other Moore Action Figures out of the tote and check them out. Perhaps I’ll save some of those for when we get closer to Halloween. It’s good to end this weekend on a high note, but make no mistake, I’ve got a ton more of these figures and I plan on photographing a bunch of them before consigning this tote back to the dark reaches of storage, from whence it came. In the meantime, tomorrow starts a new week and I really need to start chiseling away at my pile of new arrivals.
Transformers… Thundercats… World of Warcraft… Marvel… DC… it’s going to be a crazy week!

The Ravening: Ravyn by Rendition Figures

Are we ready to look at more obscure figures based even more obscurererer comic books? Of course we are, because these are figures of scantily clad chicks with big boobs, swords, and demon bits mixed in. I’m a bit liquored up and good to go, so let’s get to it. Today it’s a figure from the 1996 comic The Ravening (The Ravening?) from Avatar Press. We all remember and love that one, right? No? Little bit? Avatar actually collected some worthwhile licenses back in the day, most of which were horror themed. I have no doubt that I’ve picked up one of their books at one time or another, but I sure can’t remember the experience, and I don’t remember anything about this particular comic other than the fact that it centered around Vampires. Yep, you wouldn’t know it by looking at her, but our star figure today, Ravyn, is indeed a bloodthirsty creature of the night.

Much like Sinthia, Ravyn comes on a big card plastered with some nice looking comic art. I’ve never seen an issue of The Ravening, so I’m not sure if this is a recreation of one of the covers or not. Either way, you get a big picture of the main character, Ravyn, showing off a lot of skin. The figure is mounted under a big bubble alongside her bevy of accessories and animal friends. The back of the card shows off other figures produced by Rendition Figures, including another lovely vamp lady from The Ravening comic. Rendition shows off figure’s based on eight characters all together and I don’t know a single one of them, although most of them are probably sitting in this blasted tote.

After excising Ravyn from her package, I have to say I’m a lot more pleased with her over what I had to deal with yesterday. Ravyn is a bit bigger than Sinthia, measuring in at closer to 7-inches. She’s a fairly hefty figure too. Last time, I started with the head sculpt so let’s get that out of the way. Ravyn’s head sculpt is much better than Sinthia’s, although she looks nothing like her character art. In fact, it almost looks like this figure’s head was repurposed from a Vampirella or Bettie Page figure. It’s an ok sculpt for a 15 year old figure, that honestly looks better in person. The paint apps are ok and the hair is sculpted blowing off to the side to give the figure a dynamic look, although I would have preferred something a little more neutral.

Ravyn’s got a killer bod and she isn’t afraid to show it off. Her outfit, what there is of it, is actually almost the exact same color as Synthia’s, all red and yellow, but it’s a bit more revealing, and I dare say a lot better sculpted and arm guards and all sorts of thigh belts. She’s sculpted in a fairly neutral pose, but the bottoms of her feet are designed to be in a pretty specific position to let her stand, with one knee drawn up a bit. It’s a little tricky to get her to stay up, especially since she doesn’t come with a figure stand or have any peg holes in her feet.

Unlike yesterday’s selection, you actually get a lot of stuff with this figure. There’s a sword, a knife, and a little spikey weapon thing. The sword is has a pretty unique design to the hilt, and she can hold it in either hand. I’m not too big on the other two weapons, as they’re really tiny and don’t really match the figure as well as the sword does. You also get a bat, which is pegged to pose rather awkwardly on Ravyn’s right arm, and a static wolf figure, which is actually rather nicely sculpted and painted and looks good standing next to her.

Ravyn sports a decent amount of articulation. You get a swivel cut in the neck. The arms rotate at the shoulders, have hinged elbows, and swivels in the wrists. The legs rotate at the hips and have hinged knees. There’s a lot more points of articulation here than I would ever expect in this kind of figure. The wrist cuts are particularly welcome as they allow you to pose her with the sword held across her body.

Honestly, when I set out to do this weekend’s three features, I planned on panning the hell out of two figures and then looking at one genuinely good one. I had no problems panning yesterday’s figure, but I actually wound up liking Ravyn a lot. Putting her in the context of 90’s indie comic figures, Rendition delivered a solid enough figure. If I was a fan of the comic, I doubt I would be happy with the likeness, but taken on her own, this figure works fine for me. It’s a competent sculpt with good articulation and decent paintwork. The coloring on her outfit wouldn’t have been my first choice, and unfortunately this figure is one of the few in the tote that doesn’t have an insane number of repainted variants. Ravyn was a pretty nice surprise. She might actually find her way onto one of my display shelves when the rest of the tote goes back to the FigureFan remote storage enclave.

Sinthia: Princess of Hell by Skybolt Toyz

“WHO IS SINTHIA?”

It’s never reassuring when an action figure package needs to ask and answer a question about the identity of the main character. And yet, Skybolt Toyz was so confident you’d have no idea who the hell this character is that they ask the question for you right on the upper corner of the cardback. In fact, not only does the card explain that Sinthia is the 18 year old (hot and bratty) daughter of Lucifer himself, but tosses in a couple of pages from the 1997 premier issue, published by Indie Comic Press, Lighting. Yep, Lightning knew how to lure horny teens to the world of comics with panel after panel of a half-naked buxom blonde demon on a quest to find true love on Earth. How is it the CW hasn’t optioned this series yet?

I’ve only ever seen two issues of Sinthia. In fact, I’ve seen more variant covers then actual installment, and trying to research just how much staying power this comic had beyond Issue #2 suggests that Skybolt may have produced more action figures of Sinthia than Lightning produced actual comics. But enough preamble, let’s look at the package…

Sinthia comes on a massive, colorful card that recreates the standard cover of Issue #1. The front features full panel art of Sinthia and her self-proclaimed guardian demon, Mhor-Duke. I wholeheartedly approve of this idea of using cover art of the premier issue as the cardback for the figure. It’s cool. The figure itself comes on a tray with her sword and scabbard each mounted separately beside her. I do like the way the card art just serves as a backdrop for the figure inside the bubble. However, the bubble is unnecessarily large and only serves to make it look like she should have come with more accessories. The back panel of the card also shows some of the other figures available from other forgotten comics. Let’s go ahead and get Sinthia out of the package, because I think this is going to be a rough ride.

Woof! Ok, so props to the sculptor for delivering a figure that from the neck down personifies your average comic reading nerdling’s wet dream. But before we get to that let’s just check out the head. I can almost see what they were going for here before it all derailed. The eyes are kind of angled right, I suppose the hair is ok, but everything else went horribly wrong. I think it’s the nose and eyebrows… or maybe everything else.

Sinthia stands roughly 6-inches tall and her costume strikes me more as a heroine from Dungeons & Dragons than she does a Princess of Hell. She’s got a red and gold one piece that’s slit in the front all the way down to below her naval, where it terminates into an asstacular thong. She’s certainly not shy about showing off the goods, but then she is some kind of half-demon princess. She’s got shoulder armor, arm bracers with blades on her left arm, knee high boots, and a dagger sculpted to her left thigh. I really have no problems with the body sculpt and paintwork at all. For what she is they did a fairly good job.

Sinthia has a huge rubbery plastic belt that hangs around her waist and features a peg so you can attach her red and yellow checked scabbard. Unfortunately, the way the belt is sculpted it looks like the weight is drawing it down on the side without the scabbard attached. It hangs from the belt just fine, but it looks rather awkward. A little coaxing can get the belt off entirely, or you can try to reposition it so it fits a little better. In addition to the functional scabbard, you get her sword. I’m sorry, her Hell Sword! It’s a fairly simple piece with a silver blade and yellow hilt, which fits into her left hand. I have to throw in some kudos any time a figure in this scale has a functional scabbard.

Sinthia features all of five points of articulation. She has rotating cuts at her neck, shoulders and hips. The neck and shoulder cuts are fairly useful, but there’s not much point to the hip cuts. If you try to sit her down, her legs spread way apart (har har!) and they pretty much have to be in one specific position if she’s going to stand. Speaking of standing, Sinthia has pegs holes in the bottoms of her feet, but no stand.

Are there still fans of this comic? Were there enough fans of this comic to warrant not only one action figure, but tons of repainted variants? Who can tell? She’s more of a slightly poseable statue than an action figure, and if it weren’t for her unfortunate head sculpt, she wouldn’t be all bad. If nothing else, I can definitely see a lot of potential here for customizers and the landscape of Ebay is certainly littered with Sinthia in all her many versions, but that’s probably where she’s best off remaining. If you’re looking for a sexy vixen figure for your desktop, you can do

Indie Comic Figure Weekend!

So, I took a little ride this week to FigureFan’s remote storage enclave and took home a couple of dusty totes. One of these totes was the result of me picking through the basement of a comic shop that was closing down near my old hometown back in New Jersey. The other tote… well, there were some cool surprises in there, but I’ll save that for another time.

A lot of this stuff hasn’t seen the light of day in quite a few years, but I had a pretty good recollection of the kind of figures that I culled out of that place. I picked up most of these for $2 a pop, and the guy liquidating the place was offering me even better deals if I bought five or more of each. We’re talking the kind of figures that only the 90’s indie comic book culture could produce. The kind of figures that you could find hanging and collecting dust in the back reaches of any little comic shop. It was an unending parade of scantily clad chicks with big boobs, thongs, leather gear, swords, and sometimes the occasional demon parts. Figures based on art designs that seemed to be inspired by Meat Loaf album covers.  And all produced over and over again in every possible color variant you can imagine.

I was originally planning to do a whole week of this stuff, because God knows there are enough figures in this tote to sustain it, and then some. But with my acquisitions pile continuing to grow, I thought I’d confine this detour to just a weekend and come back to more later on. So, I randomly picked out something from each of the three major offenders companies putting these things out. Rendition? Check! Skybolt?Check! Moore Collectibles? Check!

Stay tuned… I’ll be back later to kick this thing off with a look at everybody’s favorite Princess of Hell… Sinthia.

Um, who???

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Michelangelo (Nickelodeon) by Playmates

Ok-dokey, folks, it’s the last day of my look at the new Nick TV styled Turtles, and I’ve saved the runt of the litter for last. It’s Michelangelo!!!

I was about to say this is the last time we’ll see this packaging, but who am I kidding? I’ll be picking up more of these figures in the future. Suffice it to say, the packaging is awesome and brimming with personality. The bubble insert declares Micky as the “Jokester & Hard-Hitting Nunchuck Hero.” Indeed he is. The back of the card has a nice File Card that you can clip out and save with a terribly goofy shot of Mickey as he appears in the new Nick show. Once again, the bottom of the card has pictures of the rest of the figures that are currently available in the line.

The first thing I noticed when getting Micky out of the package is he’s actually notably shorter than the other figure, which just continues the cool trend of Playmates making each figure so unique. The back of his belt has two loops to store his nunchucks, but we’ll get to more on that in a minute. He has the same basic style of arms and legs, complete with the nicely detailed hand and foot wraps and the cool leathery texture to the skin. His shell has some distinctive scrapes and nicks, although he looks to be slightly less battle scarred than some of the others. I like Mikey’s head sculpt a lot. Beyond the fact that Playmates didn’t go all goofy on us like his screen counterpart, he still has a lighthearted, toothy smirk and just looks very much appropriate to the character as I remember him.

As with the other Turtles, Mikey’s coloring comes more from the plastic than paint apps. The paintwork that is here is very good. I’m not a big fan of the coloring Playmates used on his skin. It’s kind of a puke, pea-soup green and it looks slightly jarring when posed with the other turtles.

Mikey comes with his nunchucks, and here’s where my first big complaint about any of these figures comes into play. The chucks are each molded in one piece of plastic, one with them close together and the other with them a little bit apart. If you flex the molded chain on either in the slightest, you get nasty stress marks that look like they’re going to break apart any second. Unfortunately, to store them right, you need to squeeze them together and tuck them into the loops on the belt. The alternative is to just stick one end of each into each loop. It works, but it looks terrible. I wish Playmates had taken a page from Bandai’s book and given us an extra set of closed chucks on the sprue tree. Yes, Mikey comes with a nice assortment of gear in his Ninja Arsenal, just like the other figures.

And that wraps up my look at the Nickelodeon turtles. Hopefully I’ve properly conveyed just how awesome these figures are. In fact, they’re so well done, I think I actually dig them a bit more than the Classics, and that’s saying quite a bit. If nothing else, this line (as well as the Classics figures) proves that even a company with a track record as spotty as Playmates can go above and beyond and it’s particularly gratifying to see them do it with one of their oldest and greatest licenses. While it’s always tricky to compare different figure lines, I think you’d be hard pressed to find a better made set of figures hanging on the pegs at this price point. What’s even cooler is that Playmates is trying to give the whole vehicle and playset thing a go, and I hope it works for them. I’ll definitely be picking up more of these figures, and some of the vehicles. I’m still on the fence over the mammoth sewer playset. I want to support their decision to release it by buying the thing, but I seriously have absolutely nowhere to put something that big, and it doesn’t look like something that would go back into the box all that easily. We’ll see…