Marvel Legends Infinite: Superior Spider-Man by Hasbro

I’m continuing to cherry-pick this wave of Spider-Man figures, and while I started out a week ago by looking at the Amazing Spider-Man 2 figure, Superior Spider-Man was the figure I wanted the most. Dan Slott got me back into reading the Amazing Spider-Man on a regular basis. It wasn’t always my favorite comic, but it kept me coming back and I was glad it did, because it would eventually set up the events that lead to what has been one of my favorite comics in recent years: Superior Spider-Man. With a decidedly groan-worthy and clichéd premise of body swapping, in this case between Doc Ock and Peter Parker, Superior Spider-Man is wonderfully written and takes the premise in directions that make it feel like a totally original idea. It’s also one of the only comics I’m reading right now, where I couldn’t wait for the trade releases so I’ve been reading them digitally as they come out and getting the trades later for my bookshelf. And that brings us to today’s figure!


There’s the new Marvel Legends Infinite packaging and I’m still digging it quite a bit. It’s technically a window box so it’s totally collector friendly, but it’s compact enough to hang easily on a peg like the old Legends packages while still taking up less room. Spider-Man is positioned in his tray beside the BAF part and his extra pair of hands.



When Doc Ock took over as Spider-Man in Peter’s body, the suit was redesigned to reflect the new mind at the helm. Spidey’s new suit deco went from blue and red to black and red and with an emphasis on the black over the web pattern. The chest emblem also got a lot bigger and more intimidating. Hasbro’s new figure recreates the overall new deco pretty well. Unlike the Amazing Spider-Man figure from this wave, this figure doesn’t suffer from unpainted joint syndrome. It also doesn’t make any use of texturing either, giving the figure a cleaner look. The buck used here is very similar to the one used for the Amazing Spider-Man figure. He’s maybe a bit more muscular, but the height is about the same, and he scales much better with my other Marvel Legends than the Big Time Spidey, Future Foundation Spidey, or Scarlet Spider figures.


That having been said, the figure stumbles on a few little points. The head sculpt looks good, although the paint for the eyes is a strange choice. It’s either dark brown or dingy copper when it really should just be white or maybe pearlescent. The other missed opportunity is in the feet. In the comics, the Superior Spidey costume features Japanese style tabi boots, whereas the figure’s feet are just flat and don’t feature the split in the toes. Neither of these points ruins the figure for me, but they still seem like obvious details that shouldn’t have been missed.



As with the last Spidey figure I looked at from this wave, Superior Spidey includes an extra pair of thwipping hands. Oddly enough, the figure comes with a pair of griping hands that look like they were designed to hold weapons. I presume these were reused from another figure, but I would have much preferred fists and I doubt I’ll ever display the figure with this set of mitts. The thwipping hands even feature tiny barbs sculpted into the extended figures.




If you read my piece on the Amazing Spider-Man figure, than you’ll already be familiar with the articulation here as the two figures feature identical points. The shoulders feature ball joints as well as hinged crunches. The arms have swivels in the biceps, double-hinged elbows, and hinges and swivels in the wrists. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have swivels in the thighs, double-hinged knees, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. Spidey can swivel at the waist, has a hinged ab crunch, and both a ball joint and hinge in the neck.



As much as I love the Superior Spider-Man comic, this isn’t my favorite Spidey Suit design, but it certainly fits the change in direction of the comic. It’s more sinister, but not overtly so. A major force in the comic is the ambiguity of Ock’s role as Spidey and the suit properly reflects that. That having been said, it’s always a beautiful thing when we can get a figure based on the character as he is currently appearing in the comics. It’s doubly sweet when it’s a comic as good as Superior Spider-Man. Oddly enough, this figure seems to be one of the more common and less desirable figures in the wave so he’s readily available at a lot of online retailers below the usual $20 that these figures have been commanding on the  pegs. I’ve got one more figure in this wave that I’m actively gunning for and that’s Black Cat and I’m going to wind up paying through the nose for her, but I guess the money I save not buying the rest of this wave will help defray the costs.


Transformers Cybertron: Ransack and Crumplezone by Hasbro

It’s Transformers Thursday, folks, and today you get two for the price of one! I’m in the process of paring down some of my Transformers collection. I can’t bear to part with many figures, even many of the ones that don’t excite me anymore, so some of these guys are going to be sealed into totes and put away into storage, possibly not to be seen again for quite a while. I decided that I might as well at least feature some of them here before I send them off to storage oblivion, so today we’re going to look at a pair of Decepticons from the Speed Planet… Ransack and Crumplezone. This is a pair that I have very mixed feelings about.


Since I didn’t watch much of the Cybertron cartoon I don’t know a lot about this pair, other than they liked to hang out together and that’s why I’m looking at both of them today. I’ve always pictured them as a kind of Lenny and George double-act, which may be far from the truth, but the idea still makes me chuckle. Or that could be the three Jamesons I’ve had tonight. Let’s start out with Ransack who was a Basic or Scout or whatever the hell they used to call the smaller size assortment back then.



Ransack’s alt mode is a red futuristic motorcycle. Transformer motorcycles are pretty interesting to me because they require extra clever engineering to make them work and they almost always fail to look decent in robot mode. To date I still think the best motorcycle transformer of all time wasn’t a Transformer at all, it was the Go-Bot Renegade Leader Cy-Kill, but I digress. [Note to self: Pick up a Cy-Kill figure someday. He was really cool!] Ransack’s bike mode has just the right amount of Tron Lightcycle vibe to make me appreciate what Hasbro was going for here. This super-sonic crotch-rocket looks sleek and speedy and the mix of opaque red and translucent red plastic, along with the silver and gold paint does make for a striking deco. The wheels are chunky enough so that Ransack can stand upright without toppling over. That’s more than I can say about his robot mode, but I’ll get to that in a minute.


As with most Cybertron figures, Ransack comes with a Cyberkey that unlocks his gimmick. In this case if you plug it into the back just above the seat a pair of what I presume is either a set of guns or thrusters deploy out the back. Ransack is a Decepticon, so I prefer to believe they’re guns for shooting at anyone following him. But even my great imagination can’t save this gimmick from being pretty boring. Oh well, he is just a little guy so maybe I’m expecting too much.


Unfortunately, Ransack only goes downhill from there. When I first got this figure way back when, it literally broke right out of the package. One of his heel spurs snapped off. It’s a piece that doesn’t affect the alt mode at all, but the lack of it makes it impossible for him to stand in his robot mode. As a result, I have to keep the two halves of his rear wheels folded down to stabilize him when they are supposed to be tucked alongside his legs. It’s not a total loss… I like to think of them as hover turbines.


I know I should cut this guy some slack because he’s a pretty small figure and he’s a motorcycle, which isn’t a particularly easy mode to work with. On the other hand, a good piece of his motorcycle bulk detaches to become his gun so as clever as a few things about his transformation are, some of it still feels like a cheat. And it’s not like the end result is all that great to look at. A lot of Cybertron figures featured some really cool engineering, and given that context Ransack’s robot mode just feels primitive. Of course, the Cybertron line gave birth to another motorcycle Transformer that makes Ransack here look like a Masterpiece figure, but I’ll get to Lugnutz another day. For now, let’s just move on to Crumplezone.




Now, this is a bitchin alt mode! While I could never get behind Cybertron’s whole idea of differently themed planets, I have no problem taking many of the Speed Planet figures and considering them to be native Cybertonian forms. Crumplezone fits that idea perfectly. He’s a big, mean looking three-wheeler with a jet-style cockpit and two huge engines hanging off his ass. This guy would look great tearing down the streets of Iacon City and blasting away at Autobot fools. The detailing on this vehicle is really nice, and if you aren’t a fan of the two-tone green deco, which admittedly doesn’t feel very Decepticon, you could always go for the Dark Crumplezone repaint, which I believe also featured some remolded parts and extra weapons too.


Crumplezone’s Cyberkey gimmick unleashes his two massive spring-loaded engines and flips them forward to mount on each side of his cockpit and serve as missile launchers. It also deploys his spoilers like wings. I was also surprised to find that the accompanying electronics on mine still worked and the toy unleashes a bitchin symphony of synthesized mayhem when his weapons are deployed. I think this is the first Cybertron figure I’ve played with in ages that still has working batteries in it! Either way, with weapons deployed, Crumplezone is one bad ass looking vehicle.


Crumplezone’s transformation isn’t terribly complex for his size and in robot mode he feels more like a jet Transformer what with his cockpit landing right on his chest. With his giant upper body and diminished legs, he has the same wonky but loveable proportions that would be later adopted by Bulkhead in both Transformers Animated and Transformers Prime. Yes, despite him being a Decepticon, I get a very strong Bulkhead vibe off this guy mixed with just a jot of Beast Machines Tankor. The only thing about this robot design that I don’t like is the fact that his wings just flop around on his forearms.


“But Crumplezone has no weapons,” you say? Fortunately, his Cyberkey gimmick works in robot mode too and you can deploy his missile launchers onto his shoulders, accompanied by the same glorious fanfare of electronic sounds. This configuration reminds me of the Armada Seekers with their shoulder cannon deployed.


And that wraps up today’s Transformers Thursday. Honestly, I could take or leave Ransack even if mine wasn’t broken, but I’ve always considered Crumplezone to be a solid figure and I think he still holds up pretty well. Unfortunately, he takes up a lot of room and he doesn’t really fit with any of the other Transformers that I’m going to be putting out on display right now and so he’s going to get put away with his buddy Ransack. But the nice thing about putting toys into storage is you get to rediscover them again someday.


Masters of the Universe Classics: Glimmer by Mattel

It’s Matty Collector time again, and this month’s Sale Day came and went without me even noticing. Why? Because I have a subscription this year so I no longer have to fight to get my figures or try to order them with my phone under the table during staff meetings. It sure paid off in February as both Glimmer and Modulok were must-haves for me. Will I still think the Sub was justified at the end of the year? Well that remains to be seen, but so far I have no complaints. Both of these figures just landed on my door a couple of days ago and I decided to feature Glimmer first because exploring the possibilities of Modulok is going to take a lot more time.


There’s the Greyskull inspired packaging and it is as awesome as ever. I don’t remember anything in particular about Glimmer from the She-Ra cartoon, but the package identifies her as “The Guide Who Lights the Way.” I was planning on queuing up an episode with her in it before doing this feature, but I’m currently out of Jameson and I can’t tackle Filmation cartoons without a some booze in me.


The back of the package has the usual bio blurb on the bottom and a bunch of figures pictured. I’ve got a fair share of these, but I still need to go back and pick up Bubble Power She-Ra and Bow. I am also missing Shadow Weaver, but she sells for well over $100 so she can go f’ck herself.



Out of the package and Glimmer certainly is the spitting image of her animated counterpart, as opposed to the vintage doll. Her outfit is pretty simple, which really conveys that unmistakable Filmation style with a bit more detail added to her belt and arm bracers. The bulk of her dress is layered onto the figure, which is something I’ve always loved about the MOTUC females. If there is a heavy reuse of parts here, I’m not picking up on it. I thought the skirt looked familiar at first, maybe it’s Adora’s but when you stand Glimmer beside her fellow sisters of The Rebellion she certainly holds her own.


The head sculpt here is also quite good. Glimmer features an attractive portrait that leans a bit toward the exotic, although the nose and cheekbones remind me a lot of the She-Ra sculpt. Glimmer’s head piece is part of her head sculpt and behind it flows her copious mane of purple hair. The hair sculpt inhibits the neck articulation a bit, but you can still get some movement out of her noggin. The paint used for the face is all clean and crisp.

Speaking of paint, I really applaud Matty’s use of coloring on this figure. The combination of speckled metallic blue and matte purple certainly makes for a striking deco. The edge striping of the blue and purple areas with darker shades of those colors also adds a lot to the outfit. Glimmer’s skin tone is slightly darker than most of the other ladies in the line, except maybe Netossa, but I don’t have her in my collection yet to do a direct comparison.


Glimmer offers no surprises in the articulation, at least where female MOTUC figures are concerned, but it’s been a little while since I’ve looked at a Princess of Power figure so let’s run it down. You get ball joints in the neck, shoulders, and hips. The arms feature swivels in the biceps and wrists, and hinges in the elbows. The legs feature hinges in the knees and ankles and also lateral rockers in the ankles. The rockers on my figure were painted shut, but a little finesse got them going. Glimmer can also swivel at the waist.


You get two accessories with Glimmer. First off, you get her staff. You aren’t anyone in Etheria unless you have a staff! Glimmer’s is cast in metallic purple and features a yellow crystal in the center of the head. I really dig this piece as it feels more like a vintage PoP accessory than anything else I’ve seen with this line, probably because of the shimmery plastic or the flowery sculpt.



You also get a crystal ball, which is as simple an accessory as it sounds, it’s just a clear marble, and yet so very cool. Glimmer can palm it in her left hand and she looks great holding it. Forget Hordak, Glimmer, you’re going to have to spend most of your time fighting my cat to keep him from taking this away from you.




I’m sure I’ve said it before, but I absolutely love the Princess of Power figures in this line. It’s probably because they actually present these characters as proper action figures, rather than dolls, and they blend so seamlessly with the Masters characters. Glimmer is a great addition to my PoP shelf. Matty was pretty savvy to release her on the same month as they opened enrollment for the Club Etheria Add-On Sub. If I wasn’t already sold on it, playing around with Glimmer would probably have gotten me there.


Ghostbusters: “Ready to Believe You” Egon Spengler by Mattel

I’m interrupting my regular planned feature today for this little special. Sure, it was spur of the moment and I wound up having to stay up pretty late to write it and do the photo shoot, but considering the occasion I think it was worth it. If you follow me on Facebook, I posted a short piece yesterday about Harold Ramis passing. Being a child of the 70’s and growing up in the 80’s Ramis was involved in so many of the movies that I loved during that curious transition from adolescent to teenager. Whether behind the camera or in front of it, Ramis was a genius at writing, directing, and even delivering comedic dialogue. He knew what was funny and yet the often crass comedy of his films almost always hid a message of inspiration for the underdog. I loved this man’s work and it had a huge influence on my formative years, helping me to grow into the smart-ass that I am today. But this blog isn’t about movies, so I thought it fitting to give him a tribute FFZ style by looking at one of his action figures. While the bulk of Harold Ramis’ work did not dabble in science fiction, the nerd and geek community nonetheless adopted him for his role as Egon Spengler in Ghostbusters, and so let’s check out that character today, immortalized in plastic.


It seems oddly appropriate to point out today that Egon was actually the very first of the Ghostbusters to get the 5-inch treatment from Mattel. He appeared as a Slimed Variant Exclusive released at the 2009 San Diego Comic Con. Later he would get a wider release without the slime and yet again he was released as the figure we’re looking at today. While this line has had its share of critics, it’s hard to knock the presentation here. Egon comes packaged, along with the Library Ghost, under a huge bubble against a carded backdrop of the Stay Puft Marshmallowman. The Ghostbusters emblem is on the top and the bubble is flanked by the Keymaster and Gatekeeper. The whole package is big enough to sit right on your shelf and it looks good enough to leave in the package and display it as is. But y’all know me… let’s rip this baby open.


The “Ready to Believe You” variants come from the commercial shown during the original Ghostbusters movie. All three of the original Ghostbusters got the “RtBY” treatment, but none seem more at home in their lab coat than Egon here. I own all three of these figures, but if I were only going to pick up one it would certainly have been Dr. Spengler. The underlying buck is the same used for the Ray Stantz figure that I featured here last year. It’s a solid enough figure, complete with black slacks, belt, and white dress shirt. The tie is even a separate piece, sculpted in soft rubber. It’s a pretty lean body, which works much better for Egon than it did for Ray. The lab coat is the usual vest-style overlay with sculpted arms to look like sleeves and the illusion of this being a full coat works fairly well. Egon’s coat features a newly sculpted pocket computer, attached to his pocket, and white painted buttons, besides that and the blue tie, this figure is identical to Ray from the neck down.


The portrait is the same sculpt used for the previous Egon figures. Whether that’s good or bad is a matter of personal taste. I think it’s a decent likeness of Ramis although it definitely errs more toward being a caricature than a straight up likeness. A lot of that comes from the ridiculously high bangs that were so gloriously emphasized in his Real Ghostbusters animated counterpart. The glasses are rather thick, but they are sculpted as a separate piece, include plastic lenses, and are permanently attached to the figure. I give Mattel props for the glasses. No, they don’t look perfect, but they can’t be easy to get right in this scale, so I’m willing to be rather forgiving.



The articulation here is pretty standard for the line. The arms feature ball joints in the shoulders, swivels in the biceps and wrists, and hinged elbows. The legs have the DCUC-style hips, swivels in the thighs, and hinges in the knees and ankles. Egon can swivel at the waist and he has a generous ball joint in the neck. Egon is by no means super articulated, but it’s not exactly crucial to the character and I think what’s here is fine. He’s at least limber enough to hold a Twinkie while using it as a metaphor for the frighteningly elevated levels of supernatural activity within the Greater New York area.


Egon comes with three PKE meters, each one in a different stage of detection. You get one with the arms all the way down, one with them partly up. “Listen! Do you smell something?” And one with them at full on ball-to-the-wall “Oh shit, there’s a ghost here!” mode. The inclusion of even one PKE meter was a very nice accessory, considering it was conspicuously absent from the first Egon release, so getting three really made buying this figure worthwhile.



What else made this figure a very worthwhile purchase was the inclusion of the Library Ghost, or Eleanor Twitty if you prefer, from the beginning of the original film.  This free-roaming vaporous full-torso apparition is beautifully recreated in partially translucent plastic. The face sculpt is awesome right down to the swept back grey hair and messed up ghoul teeth. I really dig the paintjob on this figure too. The mix of matte purple with the translucent parts makes for a pretty eerie effect. She features three points of articulation, which includes a rotating head and rotating shoulders. Twitty also comes with the same clear plastic stand that all of the ghosts featured. So far, this is easily my favorite of all the bundled ghosts in the line.



All in all, this set is a well-rounded package. The causal collectors can probably do without Peter or Ray in their lab coats, but as I said earlier, it seems a must to have Egon in his “doing science” outfit. The inclusion of the PKE Meters and one of the most iconic minor ghosts in the franchise makes this deal all the sweeter and I definitely recommend anyone collecting this line pick it up. It may seem trivial to some to honor Harold Ramis’ passing with a look at one of his action figures, but the fact that this figure exists celebrates part of the legacy he left behind and a character that lots and lots of people loved. I know I’ll be celebrating his life for the rest of this week with some of his movies and trying to remember him with smiles and laughter because I think that’s what the way he would have wanted it.

Godspeed, Harold Ramis… and thanks for all the laughs!


Suicide Squad: “New 52” Deadshot by DC Collectibles

Last Monday, I checked out the first of DC Collectibles’ Suicide Squad figures. It’s Monday again, so let’s just keep this little tradition rolling along with a look at the next figure… Deadshot! Floyd Lawton is, of course, one of the common threads between my beloved Secret Six comic and Suicide Squad and he also happens to rank pretty high on my list of favorite DC villains. The pre-reboot Deadshot got a great figure in Mattel’s DCUC line and now it’s up to DC Collectibles to deliver unto us the “New 52” version.


The box is the same as we saw last week with Captain Boomerang. It’s a little more exciting than most of those bland white boxes we’ve been getting from DC Collectibles. For example… oh, look! Bullet holes! But in the end it really just serves to show off the figure at your local comic shop, whether it be sitting on the shelf or hanging on a peg. There’s no blurb about the character or the comic or anything. The back panel does, however, have images of the three figures released so far and if you do decide to hang on to the box, it is completely collector friendly. Let’s open him up and check him out.



The character design of pre-reboot Deadshot is pretty iconic to me, but I’m not adverse to Floyd’s new look. It’s worth noting that I’m also pretty fond of the Arkham City re-imagining of the character too, so apparently I’m not terribly picky. The Suicide Squad Deadshot is a far grittier and he sports a lot of strategically placed armor over his segmented body suit. Most of the armor plates and straps are part of the body sculpt, but executed so as to offer a lot of credibility and depth to Deadshot’s combat ensemble. The shoulder armor pieces are separate from the body and mounted on hinges so that they can work with the arm articulation and the four magazine pouches running across his chest are also additions to the body. Naturally, Deadshot features his wrist guns mounted on his gauntlets. They look good, but I’m not as keen on these as I am his old fashioned rotating bracers. Those were downright awesome!


The helmet on the other hand is pretty incredible. Deadshot retains his iconic monocle, complete with tampo’d crosshairs. The panel lining on the helmet is beautifully done and I love the way the neck of the segmented body suit disappears into the bottom of the helmet. A swappable head would have been really cool, but it’s omission is understandable at this price point. Still, if DCC were to produce an unmasked version featuring Floyd’s handsome mug, I would buy this figure again in a heartbeat.



The paintwork on the figure is high quality and really supports the excellent sculpt. All of the little straps for his armor plates are neatly painted brown. The dark maroon suit and dull gold and grey metallic paint conspire to make a far less colorful looking figure than the pre-reboot DCUC version. Like I said earlier, this is a grittier Deadshot and the darker colors work well with the realism of the design. I’m thoroughly convinced that WB could basically bring this costume straight to the big screen without any tweaking at all. If I were going to nitpick anything on the paint it would be that the artwork from the comic often suggests to me that Floyd’s armor be a bit shinier. Still, I’m not sure a high gloss metallic would have worked on the figure as well as what we got.


While old Deadshot was just fine going into battle with his wrist guns, this version comes with a big and beautifully detailed assault rifle. I love the sculpting on this piece. The scopes alone are ridiculously complex and every little panel line and screw are reproduced right down to the textured grips. Deadshot can hold the rifle perfectly in his left hand, and can even loop his finger around the trigger, but his right hand is sculpted in a fist. Here’s where a swap out right hand would have been great. I get why the fist was used, as it looks good when Deadshot is aiming his wrist gun, but it would have been nice to get him to hold the rifle in both hands.


As with Captain Boomerang, Deadshot’s articulation is a pleasant surprise. You get ball joints in the neck, shoulders, and hips. The elbows, knees, and ankles all have hinges. And lastly, there are swivels in the biceps, gloves, and at the tops of his boots. It’s not quite the same level of articulation we saw in Digger. There’s no waist swivel here and Boomerang had ball joints in the elbows, but what’s here is still pretty good and offers a lot better poseability than I got in most of my DC Direct figures.


While this new version of Deadshot will never replace the old one as my favorite, I still dig the design and this figure does it and the comic art justice. The sculpt is super detailed and pretty much flawless with a paintjob to match. He’s beautifully proportioned, well-articulated, and looks quite stunning on the shelf. What’s not to like? Well, he set me back $21.95, which still seems a little steep but the addition of his amazing rifle helps cushion the blow and I’m not going to quibble about a couple of dollars anyway. Truth be told, I DCC probably could have squeezed a few more bucks out of me because I wanted Suicide Squad figures so badly. Next week we’ll finish off this troublesome trio with a look at the Squad’s femme fatale herself… Harley Quinn.


Batman (1989) Quarter-Scale Figure by NECA

Uh oh! It’s time to make a lot more room on the shelf because the latest in NECA’s gloriously giant Quarter-Scale figures has shown up at my doorstep with a resonating thud. With my space limitations being what they are, I have to be batshit crazy to be collecting a line of figures in this scale, but I was so impressed with NECA’s Cap and Iron Man that there was really no turning back. I also got a crazy good deal on this figure, but more on that later. Some may think this one an odd pick-up for me as I have frequently confessed to not being the biggest Batman fan around. I grew up watching Adam West in the role, and I like Batman as part of an ensemble cast in the Justice League comics, but I’ve never taken to any of his own books. Even stranger, I absolutely hated the 1989 Batman movie when I first went to see it. I found it was too dark and really boring. Well, something happened along the way because sometime in the early 2000’s, I happened to watch it again on DVD and I warmed up to the flick quite a bit. I think Keaton did a great job playing a role that first seemed like a prime example of egregious miscasting. Plus, this version of the Dark Knight’s costume has long been my favorite. Buy a giant figure of it? Why not!



As one might expect the box for this figure is huge. That having been said, it doesn’t waste a lot of space and it doesn’t bother with a lot of high end frills in the presentation. It’s a simple window box with a nice Batman inspired deco that really invokes the movie. If you were around in 1989, you’ve got to remember this deco on every single goddamn thing you can think of. It was down every toy aisle and on every fast food cup. The entire country had gone Bat Crazy! But one thing we didn’t have was no eighteen inch Batman figure and now we do! The accessories are stored in an enclosed tray attached to the side of the cardboard insert. It’s all collector friendly so you can keep the box to store your figure if you want, but it’s like they just decided that the figure is so impressive, we’re not going to spend a lot of time on the box it comes in. I imagine it helped keep costs down too, which lends itself to the fact that at under $100 retail, these figures feel like a pretty great value.



Have I mentioned this figure is big? For the record, Batman stands at about 18-inches tall to the tips of his bat ears. He comes out of the box with his copious cape partially stuffed into a clear baggie. The problem is that it also adds a lot of rumple to the cape. You see the cape on the figure pictured on the back of the box. Yours will not look like that unless you do something about it. I am going to have a go at ironing at some point, but to do that first I need to borrow an iron so I couldn’t do it for this feature. The cape is connected to the figure so that it can be worn over the shoulders or swept back off the shoulders. The former makes for a nice shrouded and spooky look, while the later is great for action poses. Anyway, the figure itself is quite well done. The chest features sculpted muscles and there’s a ton of detail in the gauntlets and boots. The belt is actually a separate piece, so it can slide up and down a bit, but it does not appear to be removable. As expected, the deco here is mostly black on black with a little black thrown in. Joking aside, I really dig the mix of high gloss black and matte black used for the suit. The bulk of the suit’s matte finish makes it look really close to the rubbery material used for the on screen costume, while the glossy paint on the gloves and boots add a little something to jazz it up. Even the tiny gripping points on his palms are individually painted silver. I’ll concede that the ’89 Batsuit doesn’t offer as much opportunity for paintwork and detailed sculpt as say the Captain America or Iron Man figure, but what’s here is pretty damn good. For some reason I expected the matte black plastic to have a lot of scuff marks, but there isn’t anything like that.


What’s even better than good is the cowl and head. The cowl itself features a very cool and accurate texture and has the bat symbol attached and neatly painted. The seams on the back of the hood are also part of the sculpt, which I found to be a very nice touch. The head itself is actually a fully sculpted Keaton portrait with the hood and cowl placed permanently over it. The exposed lower half of the face is really spot on Keaton and the eyes feature black paint and look every bit as good. I was really blown away by the portrait on NECA’s Quarter-Scale Captain America and I have to say that while this figure’s costume shows a little less, the end result is still every bit as good.


The other figures that I own in this line weren’t really big on accessories, but Batman here bucks that trend. I’ll confess I don’t really look for a lot of accessories with these bigger figures, but let’s see what we got. For starters, he comes with three extra hands to replace the fists that come on the boxed figure. One set is designed to hold the two posts, which are used to pose Batman with his cape spread apart. The posts, which look like police batons, slide into tiny holes in the cape’s lining and the effect is fantastic. When I first heard NECA was engineering this I didn’t think much of it because I knew I’d never have the space to display him like that. Now that I’ve seen it in action, I’ve decided I really need to find the space because it looks too amazing not to make use of it. I have to blame this display option for the makeshift studio setting I had to cobble together to accomodate how freaking big he is with his cape spread.


Next up, you get a batarang that actually folds up into a neat little package via three hinges. It’s a very nice piece and the cape hands also double as a way to hold it.



Finally, you get the grapple gun, which comes with a deployed grapple, a string to attach to it, a harness to attach the gun to the back of the utility belt, and a hand for holding the gun. The gun has a folding handle and looks pretty good in Batman’s hand. NECA probably should have stopped there because the rest of this ensemble is either useless or just crap. You can break the down into two pieces to attach to the belt rig, but the belt rig snapped in half the moment I tried to attach it to the belt and honestly, based on the way it’s designed, I don’t see any way it could have done anything other than break. Ok, so no big deal. I was only attaching it to shoot a picture for the review and I doubt I would ever have used it otherwise, but it’s still no fun to have a piece break right out of the box like that. So, Boooo… Boo, NECA… BOOOOO!!!  The deployed grapple also seems like a waste because it doesn’t interact with the gun at all. What am I supposed to do? Tie it the ceiling and hang my Batman figure, which weighs the same as a small toddler, from it? I shouldn’t complain about useless extras because they are just that… extras. At least they don’t impact on the quality of the figure.



Batman features some useful points of articulation. I was particularly happy to see some rotation in the cowl, as I didn’t expect there to be any head movement at all. All in all, he seems a bit less poseable than the other two Quarter-Scale figures in my collection, but then the suit has its limitations. What’s here is pretty good and you can indeed choose from a number of different display options.


I hemmed and I hawed about which Quarter-Scale Batman to get. On the one hand the Adam West Batman looked more interesting and tugged at my nostalgia strings. On the other hand, the Keaton Batman looked like pure badass. It was a sale at Entertainment Earth that nudged me toward the Keaton Batman and I was able to pick him up for $65 shipped as part of their Deal of the Day. For sixty-five bones I’ll buy these figures all day long. If I paid the $100-120 he’s going for at a lot of online retailers, I would have gotten a lot more up in arms about the broken piece or the rumpled cape, but with the money I saved, hell I can go buy me an iron to smooth that shit out. Maybe this figure doesn’t have the wow factor of my giant Iron Man or Captain America, but it’s still a great display piece, so no regrets here. Now, NECA, you have to do a Nicolson Joker to go with this guy. I mean it… YOU HAVE TO!!!

By figurefanzero

Transformers Generations: Skywarp (IDW Comic Pack) by Hasbro

Batten down the hatches, Transformers fans because it’s a movie year and that means a lot of Hasbro’s attentions will be turned to “Age of Extinction” toys. Still, the year ahead may not be quite as bad, as Hasbro stated earlier this week at Toy Fair that they will keep the more “collector focused” Generations line running alongside the movie line. That’s good news because I don’t see myself buying any of the movie toys this time around. But I’m getting ahead of myself. There are still some Deluxe Comic Packs out there to be had, and a few I will no doubt have to pay a premium for online because I can’t find them in stores. Anyway, today I’m finishing off my Fall of Cybertron Seekers and I’m as happy as a Dinobot in beryllium bologna… or is that cesium salami? Whatever!



There’s Skywarp in all his delicious IDW Comic Pack glory. As I already mentioned these have not been showing up anywhere in my neck of the woods, so I’ve resorted to hunting them online where even the less desirable ones are going for crazy money. As usual, you get the figure packaged in his robot mode and set against the backdrop of a reprint comic book. Skywarp actually comes a little bit mis-transformed. I don’t remember that being the case with the last two releases of this mold, but I might have missed it. Let’s start with Skywarp’s alt mode.






This is the third time we’re looking at this mold and it’s worth mentioning that I was a little underwhelmed by it when it was first released as Starscream. I thought the Thundercracker deco helped it along quite a bit for the second release. How about the third time? Well, I’ve always been fond of Skywarp’s deco and while I think Thundercracker’s paint job is the best out of the three Seekers, Skywarp’s coloring looks mighty good too. The black and purple represent the most iconic Decepticon colors to me and here they look as snappy as ever along with the Decepticon tampos on the wings. Otherwise, there isn’t a lot that hasn’t been said about this mold. The weapons are exactly the same as we’ve seen two times before and peg in nicely under the wings.





Skywarp’s robot mode also holds no surprises, other than the left arm on my figure wants to pop out at the bicep whenever I rotate that joint. I’m going to have to see if a little nail polish remover might help hold it in place. There’s no new sculpting, which is fine as I’m very happy with the head sculpt on this mold and the light piping effect in the eyes is as great as ever. The weapons can be pegged into his forearms or he can hold them like guns. I think the one big outstanding gripe I have with the design is how much I wish the weapons would have been made to peg into his biceps like the Classic Seekers, but you can still get some decent action poses with his weapons. Otherwise, Skywarp is a pretty solid figure and while I always thought this robot mode was perfectly fine, I think it’s been growing on me even more.




It seems like an eternity ago when I first picked up a controller to play War for Cybertron and I’ve wanted a complete set of those Seeker designs ever since. It might have taken a while, but I have to give it to Hasbro, they eventually delivered. I still wish Starscream had been delivered as part of the WfC line and not the FoC line. The earlier figures were more complex, had better paint apps, and were all around better designs. Starscream would have probably been a better figure and so would his two Seeker chums, but what we got in the end aren’t at all bad and they still look smashing when displayed alongside War For Cybertron Megatron.


GI JOE: The Baroness (Intelligence Officer) Sixth-Scale Figure by Sideshow Toys, Part 2

Yesterday I checked out Sideshow’s Baroness figure and the two beautiful portraits, today we’re going to run down her inventory of goodies. Before getting into the hardware, let’s talk hands!


If you read my look at Cobra Commander, you may recall how impressed I was that each of his extra hands came with its own post. Well, unfortunately that might have been a one-shot deal because Baroness’ hands all require you to share the two posts that come on the figure. You do get an extra pair of replacement posts in case you snap some, but swapping hands isn’t as simple this time around. Is it a big deal? Probably not. At no point did the posts feel like they were going to snap nor did they give me any trouble coming out or going back in. I just thought it was worth mentioning. The Baroness comes with a pair of fists attached and you get three additional pairs. Two are designed for holding her accessories and the last are in with the fingers straight out and together as if she is going to karate chop you.




The biggest weapon in Baroness’ arsenal is her assault rifle, which features the “bullpup” configuration with the action behind the trigger housing. It’s a very modern looking weapon and I think it’s a good choice for her. The weapon features the usual superb sculpt that I expect out of Sideshow’s Sixth-Scale guns. The scope mount does not seem to be removable, however the silencer can be slipped off and the site can be flipped up. The magazine can be removed to expose the tiny painted bullet waiting to enter the chamber. An extra magazine would have been nice, but considering Baroness has a nice accessory load-out, I won’t complain. What I will gripe about is the lack of a shoulder strap for the rifle, only because it was pictured in some of the promo-pics. I’m sure I can cobble something together from some of my other Sixth-Scale weapons.






Next up, The Baroness features a Sub-Machine pistol, which I believe is supposed to be a MAC-10, but my firearms expertise tends to lean more toward the WWII period and earlier so I could be wrong there. This weapon is a very simple, but realistic looking accessory. There’s no action or moving parts, but the magazine is removable and you get an extra mag as well. The two magazines can store in the pouches on Baroness belt just above the holster. God, I love that! The pistol itself fits snugly into the sculpted holster, and when I say snugly I do mean it! If you want to get the retaining strap to fasten the pistol needs to get pushed pretty far in and it is hard to get out afterwards.



The final piece of Baroness’ arsenal is a nice, serviceable combat knife that fits into the scabbard on her right hip. There’s not much else to say about it, other than it fits really well into one of the extra hands.


And lastly, you get the same figure stand with the red Cobra emblem on it. It’s the exact same stand that came with all the past Cobra releases in the line. Sideshow is now selling more elaborate stands for their Cobra figures with a raised and sculpted base with a drawer to fit extra accessories. It’s a cool idea, but I really like the simple elegance of the stock stands.




Sideshow’s Real American Hero line continues to creep up in price and so The Baroness retailed at $179.99, the same price point as Cobra Commander. As I said last time, I was much more comfortable paying $159.99 for these figures, and while the $180 was pushing it for Cobra Commander, I have to say Baroness still feels like a solid value. Besides just being a drop-dead gorgeous figure, the costume is suitably complex and well-crafted and the selection of weapons and gear feels right. I also can’t deny the extra portrait adds a lot of value and I can’t stress enough about how the Sideshow Exclusive version has to be the way to go on this one, especially since she is still available on Sideshow’s site and most re-sellers are asking the same price for her anyway. Not to mention you earn points! Precious, precious points! So far, I haven’t regretted getting into this line and I’m really excited to see what else Sideshow can do with it. The next release will be Destro, sometime in the Summer, but in a week or so, I’ll be taking a step backwards to look at an older release that I just picked up… Zartan!


GI JOE: The Baroness (Intelligence Officer) Sixth-Scale Figure by Sideshow Toys, Part 1

Last month Sideshow Toys hit us with Joe fans with a one-two punch of Sixth-Scale Cobra awesomeness. I’ve already featured Cobra Commander and now it’s time to check out that sultry and exotic vixen of mayhem, The Baroness. As usual, I’m going to break down this feature into two parts. Today we’ll check out the packaging, the base figure, and the alternate portrait and tomorrow we’ll look at all the great stuff she comes with. To the packaging!



If you read my look at Cobra Commander than you’ll be readily familiar with what to expect here. Baroness comes in a gorgeous retro-style box that captures everything that made the old Joe cardbacks so great. You get the character artwork set atop an animated explosive field and a filecard that is positively dripping with nostalgia.



The front flap is secured with a magnet and opens to reveal the window and the figure inside. Baroness is packaged with her alternate, Sideshow exclusive head beside her and her extra bits fanned out around her. There’s a second tray under that one with the bulk of her weapons. If you lift out the plastic trays you are treated to some more excellent artwork on the cardboard underneath. All in all the packaging here fuses a wonderful style with a good economy of space and a convenient place to keep your extra pieces or store the figure when she’s not being displayed. But why would you not want to display her when she looks like this…



Ooooh my! Out of the box, Baroness is indeed a stunning figure. Let’s kick things off with a look at the outfit, which manages to stride that line between iconic and modern update quite brilliantly. The shapely female buck is clad in a tight black cloth body suit that has a bit of sheen to it. It doesn’t simulate leather, but it looks good, and I like to think it’s some kind of secret bullet retardant fabric that’s been cooked up in Cobra Labs. Maybe it’s a special side project that Baroness convinced one of the lab geeks to make for her with the promise of certain… favors. Maybe I’m thinking too much about this. Her chest, back, and shoulder armor are all sculpted in plastic and held together with straps to make one rig. It fits the figure quite nicely and the sculpted front allows her to show off her lovely assets while also proudly and stylishly advertising her Cobra allegiance. Yes, kids, come work for Cobra… we have boobs! Baroness’ arms feature pleather bracers with sculpted Cobra styled guards and end in gloved hands. We’ll look at the hands more in depth tomorrow when we talk about accessories.




Moving on down, The Baroness is sporting a complex belt rig with a low-slung sculpted Cobra emblem that is positioned in a rather obviously strategic place. The main belt is a V-Style configuration that rides up on her hips and includes a number of faux pouches with sculpted straps and painted buttons. The belt includes thigh straps as well as a holster for her Sub-Machine pistol and a sheath for her combat knife. The Baroness’ legs feature pleather boots with scalloped fronts that run all the way up her thighs. The fronts of her legs are covered with sculpted armor plates, each of which is held in place by nearly a half-dozen buckling straps. Yup, this figure has a lot of straps and buckles giving The Baroness that not-so-subtle whiff of S&M style that all the Cobra bad girls love to flaunt.



The head that comes on the figure is absolutely fantastic. Baroness looks beautiful, seductive, and has the hint of a smirk as if she knows something you don’t… like maybe she just slipped a live grenade down your shorts. She has high arching eyebrows and clean paintwork for her eyes and lips. The rounded glasses are made of wire and do not have lenses. They also feel as if they are removable, but I don’t plan on risking it because they are made of very thin wire. The sculpted hair falls straight down to her shoulders and sweeps back. I find sculpted hair is tough to do at this price-point because you expect a certain degree of realism. I’d say Sideshow nailed it. Also, the plastic is very soft and it does not impede the head articulation at all.





Of course, if you picked up this figure through Sideshow, you also get the exclusive extra head, which offers a more dynamic portrait and some minor differences. You just pop Baroness’ noggin off the ball joint post and push the other one on there. The exclusive head comes without her glasses on, but they are located in the tray of parts. This pair features smaller, rectangular frames and the arms slide into gaps above her ears and hair. The face itself is pretty much the same excellent sculpt as the regular head, but features the sculpted hair blowing off to the side. It’s both fabulous and frustrating at the same time, because I honestly can’t decide which head to display her with.



And that’s where I’m going to break for today. I’ll be back tomorrow and we’ll start checking out all the extra goodies that come with this lovely figure!


Celebrating Four Years of This Nonsense!


That’s right. Four years of a (semi)functional alcoholic middle aged guy writing about toys. That translates into just over 1,200 posts of plastic tomfoolery. I’d like to blame each and every one of you reading this, but the truth is I love it, and I’d still be doing it even if the only one reading it was my cat. Anyway, thanks to all my readers and supporters and I’ll just have to hope my liver holds out so I can keep doing this for another four years.

By figurefanzero