Avengers “Age of Ultron:” Hawkeye 1:6 Scale Figure by Hot Toys

Marvel Legends has been totally dominating Marvel Mondays lately, so let’s go for something different today. I was really hoping to be looking at Hot Toys’ Scarlet Witch right around now, but they keep bumping her back and now it looks like March is Wanda’s new target date. So, let’s look at Hawkeye instead. This figure has been out for a little while now, but the fact that it took me this long to get to him shouldn’t be taken as an indicator of any lack of love for the character or Renner’s portrayal of him in Age of Ultron. He had a lot of great moments in the film and they were well deserved considering he spend so much of the first Avengers as a brain-washed Loki-lackey. It was nice to see him take the center stage for some of the new film and considering how expensive the first release has become on the secondary market, this is a release that really needed to be out there.

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While I’m no stranger to Marvel Hot Toys, this is my first HT figure from the Age of Ultron film, so the package design is new to me. The figure comes in a window box with an illustrated sleeve wrapped around it. I do prefer the shoebox style as they tended to be more durable and feel more like premium packaging. This isn’t bad, though, and honestly I really just keep the packaging as a place to hold all those extra bits that never make it to display. The front of the sleeve has a picture of Hawkeye in action with the Age of Ultron logo and points out that this figure is #289 of the Movie Masterpiece Series. There are a lot of goodies in this box, so let’s get started with a look at the figure itself.

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Hawkeye sported two costumes in Age of Ultron, one being close to his original Avengers look and the other being this snazzy new jacket. I like this look a lot, as it’s sort of a mix between a trench coat and a modern take on the medieval arming coats worn by archers in the old days. The tailoring on the new outfit is superb right down to the reinforced sleeves (complete with straps and buckles) and the T-shirt he wears under the jacket. The zipper is a bit big, something that Hot Toys still struggles with, but it’s mostly concealed under the flap, so it’s not an eyesore. The extra padding on the jacket looks great, as does the purple nods to the character’s comic costume. I was afraid that the bulky jacket would be puffy and restrictive, but it’s neither. It’s a beautiful form-fit for the figure and as far as costumes go, this is one of the least restrictive outfits that I’ve seen on a Hot Toys figure in a while.

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The back of the jacket has another zipper, which I find is best left undone to allow for a wider range of hip movement. Also, there’s a cool mesh liner that can be seen through the gap, which just furthers my respect for whoever tailored this thing. The jacket also features a plate to attach the quiver. The pants are also beautifully done, with knee pads and reinforced patches, and the boots exhibit some great sculpting, especially in the laces . While technically accessories, the speed-loaders are as much a part of the costume as anything else. These are magnetic pieces that adhere to the outside of the boots. They stay on quite well unless you bump them, but occasionally I had to re-position them while I was posing the figure.

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The portrait on the original Hot Toys Hawkeye was pretty damn good, and I think this one pushes the envelope a little further. As with all of Hot Toys’ portraits, they tend to have a certain sweet spot that really drives the likeness home, but I’m pretty satisfied with this one all across the board. The realism in the skin tone is downright eerie and I especially like the hint of five-o’clock shadow. Very nice.

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If you prefer your Hawkeye with shades, there is a pair included with the accessories and they fit the figure perfectly. I’m really tempted to go with these as my default display, but then I feel guilty covering up any part of the hard work they did on the face sculpt and paint. Moving on to the rest of the accessories…

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Holy crap, look at all this stuff! In addition to three sets of hands (What? Only six hands? Oh, Hot Toys, you’re slipping!) You get a regular bow, a collapsed bow, two pieces that make up the quiver, a crazy number of arrows and shafts, an assortment of three basic tips, and another assortment of Clint’s “special” arrow tips, which include the one he used on Scarlet Witch when she tried to fiddle with his brain. At first, I thought a lot of this stuff was extra, but by the time I was done filling the quiver, I was left with one arrow for the outside slot and one for Clint to knock into the bow, plus the specialty tips.

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It takes a while to load up the quiver, but the end result looks amazing. The instructions show you how to position everything and since all the tips are removable, you can customize them to your heart’s content. Twelve of the arrows are complete arrows, and eight are just shafts to fill out the quiver. Once the arrows are all loaded, the two halves go together with the help of magnets and some pegs. The entire thing then slots into the plate on the jacket making it very easy to attach and remove. All the complexity and effort that went into the quiver is one of the things that really make these figures shine. They could have just as easily just sculpted the quivers and arrows as one piece and had one or two be removable, but it wouldn’t have looked anywhere near this good.

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The collapsed bow is one of those neat extras that sadly I will probably never use. It’s a beautiful piece with loads of detail and a checkered purple and black finish. The folded parts of the bow are on actual hinges too, making it really feel like it could deploy into the full weapon.

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Of course, the full bow is the baby that he’ll be displayed with and it is indeed a sexy piece of kit. It has the same checkered finish as the collapsed bow and it’s strung with just enough slack and elasticity that I’m not afraid to pose him with it drawn. Although, it’s probably not recommended to keep it drawn for long periods of time. It also functions surprisingly well. While posing him I accidentally fired off more than a few arrows and they had quite some distance on them.

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The figure comes with relaxed hands attached, but I imagine that I’ll be keeping the ones designed to work with the bow on him most of the time. My only gripe here is that the fingers designed to draw the bow doesn’t have any spaces between the fingers. As a result, you have to knock the arrow into the string above or below the hand instead of between the fingers. This is easily fixed with a straight razor cut between the fingers, but I’m not sure I’m going to do anything that extreme.

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Naturally, Hawkeye comes with a figure stand. This is the first of my Hot Toys Avengers to not feature the traditional black oval stand. Instead, it’s more in style with what they used for the Guardians of the Galaxy figures. There’s a silver name plate with the AoU logo and an illustrated surface with the Avengers “A.” I like it, it offers a lot more room to display the figure, but I’d be lying if I said the different stands on the same shelf doesn’t annoy my OCD.

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Hawkeye was the last member of the core team that was missing from my Hot Toys Avengers shelf. I didn’t start collecting these beauties until a good deal of the original Avengers figures had already sold out, so being able to finally add Hawkeye to the team is a big deal for me. He’s a fantastic figure, which usually goes without saying when it comes to this line, but more importantly, he comes with a very satisfying collection of accessories, and that’s something that’s been missing from a lot of Hot Toys’ releases lately. When you take into account all those extra bits, plus the beautifully tailored outfit and solid likeness, the $219 price point actually feels reasonable. Or at least as reasonable as you can get in the high end action figure market. I’ve certainly paid more for less. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that I spent around $110 worth of Reward Points, bringing him down to a $109 steal. Now hopefully in a couple weeks, I’ll be able to revisit Hot Toys’ Age of Ultron line with a look at Scarlet Witch, with Vision due to follow on in April.

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Guardians of the Galaxy: Ships and Figures by Hasbro

I can still remember seeing the first images for Hasbro’s Guardians of the Galaxy ships and thinking, “Holy crap, they’re going full Star Wars on this movie and it’s going to be so amazing!” Then the facts came out that the ships we were seeing were scaled for tiny little 2 1/2-inch figures and that threw a bucket of cold water on my celebration. I’m not sure why. To this day one of my favorite of the lesser 80’s toy lines is Kenner’s MASK, and those figures were right about at the 2 1/2″ scale. In the end, it didn’t matter because I had too many other things vying for my wallet to be able to start in on this line and even when it was swept away on clearance, I stayed away. Fast forward to a week or so ago and a friend of mine decided to get rid of his Guardians collection and I took it off his hands for the cost of shipping it to me. Hey, that’s what friends are for!

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And behold! I should note that this is not a complete set. It’s actually missing the Sakaaran Necrocraft and one of the figure packs. But it’s still a good chunk of it. It’s rare that I try to tackle most of an entire toy line in one Feature, let alone in bonus Saturday content, but the circumstances here just seemed to warrant it. Frankly, I’ve got too much else to look at without taking up half a dozen regular Feature slots with these toys. But, I’ll confess I had a whole lot of fun opening these up yesterday, putting them together and applying all the stickers. STICKERS! I LOVE ‘EM!!! It was kind of like Christmas in February. Anyeay, there’s a lot here to look at. I’m not going too terribly in depth. Let’s dive right in with the ships. We’ll start small with the Nova Corps Starblaster and work our way up.

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It’s almost too weird to wrap my head around the fact that I’m holding a toy of a Nova Corps spaceship. Wow! We comic book nerds live in wondrous times! I really enjoyed the ship designs in Guardians and the Nova Corps patrol ships are a great example of why. The shape and color scheme give it an insectoid vibe, like a wasp or hornet, and this is a pretty cool recreation of the ship we saw on the big screen. The eight wings are all textured and the main body of the ship also has a little bit of sculpted detail, but Hasbro didn’t go particularly wild on it. The ship includes an action feature that deploys all the wings in unison when you fold out any one of them.

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With the wings deployed, this is a fairly sizable toy, which leads me to believe they were on to something when they went with the 2 1/2-inch scale. The wing span would have been enormous on a proper 4-inch scaled ship. The wings include peg holes where you can attach a missile launcher and some weird translucent red weapon pieces. I’m not a fan of the extra parts, but at least they are optional and I can leave them in the box.

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The Patrol Ship comes with a Nova Corps Officer. I’ll deal with all the figures in a bit more detail at the end. The canopy on the ship opens up and there’s plenty of room to put the figure inside. There’s also a surprising amount of detail sculpted into the cockpit. Moving on to the Warbird…

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This is the Ravager ship that Rocket Raccoon was flying toward the end of the flick when defending Xandar against The Dark Aster and it’s another example of what I love about the ship designs from the film. It’s a bit unconventional, but evocative of a flying wing. While the detail was sparing on the Nova Corp ship, Hasbro went to town on this one. The sculpt features all sorts of panel lines and vents and machinery in the engines. It really looks damn good. The grey plastic has a bit of a sheen to it and the black and deep blue makes for a pleasing deco. The rest of the markings on the ship are achieved with stickers.

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The action feature on this one is a lot more subtle than the Nova ship. The top wings can be angled ever so slightly in an higher position. It’s really barely even noticeable. Of course, the cockpit also opens up and the included Rocket Raccoon figure can sit inside. Actually, he just kind of lays inside, since he’s a totally static figure. Again, there’s some nice sculpted detail in the cockpit. Yes, you also get a missile launcher and more of the translucent weapon parts to peg in around the ship if you want to. Next up… The Milano!

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Star-Lords ship is the biggest one in the line, although it’s obviously scaled quite a bit back from how big it really should be in relation to 2 1/2-inch figures. I’m cool with that, because if Hasbro hadn’t taken creative license with the size, it would have been massive. Like the Warbird, The Milano is loaded with sculpted panel lines and little details along the hull. The gray plastic is the same used on the Warbird and it looks great here, particularly with the blue and yellow deco. The extra color and markings come from the stickers. And yet again, you get a missile launcher and extra translucent weapons to peg on if you want.

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Two of the wings are articulated and can fold back or be positioned in line with the other wings. It’s not a big deal. You also get some electronics in the toy. It makes a few different attack sounds and the angled “T” on the nose of the ship lights up and flickers. The canopy opens and the cockpit can fit three figures. Again, it’s definitely scaled back, but I think it’s cool they made extra room for more than just one figure.

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Speaking of figures, they mostly come in two-packs, although the one with Rocket is a three-pack. What sucks about these is that Hasbro packed them in a way that if you’re going for a complete set of figures and ships, you can’t avoid getting doubles. Star-Lord comes with The Milano, but he also comes packed with Gamora. You want Groot? You’ve got to buy both Rocket and the Nova Officer, which come with the Warbird and Nova ship. On the brighter side, Drax comes with Korath, so no double dipping there, and while Ronan comes with Star-Lord again, it’s the long jacket version, so at least it’s not the same figure. Each of the figure packs come with one large missile launcher and a sprue of translucent weapons, all of which are goofy over-sized junk. At least the missile launchers, which are way too big for the figures can be mounted on the ships for extra firepower. On second thought, I suppose even the translucent ones can be added to the ships. The figures themselves are pretty rough. Their hands are oddly large to be able to hold the crappy accessories and all of them (except Rocket) have five points of articulation. Let’s run through them real quick…

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Star-Lord is ironically one of the worst. His head is hilarious and he won’t stand up unless you lean him forward. Gamora is passable for the scale, I guess. They did actually sort of get a little bit of the likeness in there.

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Drax and Korath are fairly decent, I guess. They actually got all of Drax’s tats painted onto him and Korath’s armor looks pretty cool for such a little figure.

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Groot looks surprisingly bad, considering he was the biggest figure they had to work with. Rocket is passable, although he’s obviously way out of scale, otherwise he would be too tiny. At least his tail makes it so he can stand.

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I’d say the Nova Corp Officers are the best. They’re colorful and the uniforms look pretty good. Also, it’s not so bad having a couple of these, since they can be seen as troop builders.

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In the end, I’ll say that I was surprised by how decent the ships are and not at all surprised by how forgettable the figures turned out. The line definitely pulls at some of my nostalgia strings. Maybe a little bit of MASK, but also a little bit of Mattel’s Battlestar Galactica ships from the 70’s that got pulled from the market because of missile choking syndrome. Apart from having Gamora and Drax to sit in my Milano with Star-Lord, I could have easily done without the separate packs of figures. Which makes me think that Hasbro should have just not bothered with the separate packs and just bundled all the figures with the ships. I haven’t decided whether or not I’m going to bother picking up the Necrocraft and the Ronan figure pack. I’m not as fond of the Sakaaran ship designs and I don’t really want to buy another Star-Lord just to get a tiny Ronan. I suppose this line was a valiant effort on Hasbro’s part and it’s just a shame that the market wouldn’t have supported a proper 3 3/4-inch line. A Millennium Falcon-sized Milano with a back that came off and doubled as a playset would have been amazing.

DC Comics: Raven Bishoujo Statue by Kotobukiya

It’s another DC Friday and as anxious as I am to dig into Wave 2 of DC Icons, I’m not yet ready to get back just yet. Instead, let’s check out the latest successful attempt by Kotobukiya at hoovering more money right out of my wallet. It’s Raven’s turn to get the Bishoujo treatment!

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Not much new to say about the packaging. It’s stylish, shows off the statue inside quite well, and it’s decked out with some beautiful artwork by Shunya Yamashita. The box is collector friendly and the statue comes out all ready to go, you just have to unwrap it. This is the most recent release in the DC Comics Bishoujo line, but I still need to go back and pick up Black Canary. Also, the back of the box teases the next DC release and it’s Harley Quinn v.2 in her New 52 outfit. I’m gonna be down with that.

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Raven is absolutely gorgeous! She’s levitating above the display surface with her voluminous cape serving as the base. The last time I remember Koto doing this was way back with Scarlet Witch. I loved the effect then and I still really dig it now. Raven’s left leg is straight with her toe not quite touching the ground and her right leg is cocked up at the knee. Her hands are up with her fingers at the ready to start with the spell-slinging. This is an inspired piece of composition that perfectly captures the spirit of the character.

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Raven’s outfit is comprised almost of the same glossy blue plastic, from her cloak to her dress to her gloves, and straight down to her thigh-high boots. The cape itself almost has a life of its own, as it cascades off her shoulders in a serpentine fashion and collects on the ground. It doesn’t offer a hell of a lot of variety in terms of colors, but it still looks lovely and the metallic gold belt and cloak clasps help to break things up a bit and add a bit of pop. The cloak itself is fairly chunky, it has to be to hold her up, but her torso is sculpted so that you can readily see the contours of her body under her costume, right down to her belly button, suggesting that the dress is pretty thin. Raven shows a little bit of skin, mostly in the thighs and under the arms, and I like that the thigh cuts in the boots are part of the sculpt. And, of course, the cloak shifts conveniently to one side to offer a decent glimpse of tushie fan service. Just don’t let Trigon catch you looking! As always the skin tones are soft and lifelike.

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This piece also features one of the more concealed portraits of the Bishoujo line. In the past, even with masked characters like Spider-Woman or Batwoman, we were given alternate unmasked portraits. Granted, here, you can see the entire face, but it’s guarded by the overhanging hood and the front of the cloak between the golden clasps with a little bit of visible hair framing her cheeks. Now don’t get me wrong, this is a splendid portrait. Raven sports a particularly mischievous smirk on her perfectly painted lips and the green paint used for her eyes is positively haunting. I would have loved to see an alternate portrait with the hood pulled back and the hair flowing free, but what’s here is still plenty good. Seriously, Koto usually loves to go crazy on the hair sculpts. This one must have frustrated the hell out of them.

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While using the cape as a base is an inspired idea and works beautifully, it does in this case limit the range of the “sweet spots” for display. Some of my favorite statues have diverse charms depending on what angle they’re viewed from and the Bishoujo line has been really good about composing pieces that excel in that area. Here, they went with a very specific idea and the result is that Raven is best viewed offset to the left a bit and with her eyes staring straight out at the beholder. Still, I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s a weakness of the piece, because honestly, a statue that looks this good has very little to apologize about.

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Raven is yet another beautiful addition to my Bishoshelves and she looks especially striking displayed beside fellow Teen Titan, Starfire. I’ll note here that I haven’t been pre-ordering my Bishoujos as often these days, because they haven’t been selling out that quickly and every now and again I can find them a little cheaper through Amazon or other sources. Raven, on the other hand, well I had a feeling about her, and so I did reserve one through my usual plastic crack dealer. That means she set me back the full $65, which is a price I’m still perfectly comfortable paying for Koto’s beautiful craftsmanship. What isn’t so comfortable is the growing congestion of my Bishoujo shelves. At the rate things are going, this collection is going to have to start spilling over into the neighboring display case, which will start putting the squeeze on my ArtFX+ and DC Cover Girls Statues.

Transformers Cybertron: Optimus Prime by Hasbro

I’ve spent all of February’s Transformers Thursdays meandering around 2005 and 2006 looking at some Cybertron Transformers before kicking them to the curb via Ebay. This involved a lot of digging through totes and matching up missiles and CyberKeys and all sorts of bullshit that I have little patience for. But hey, at least it gives me something to do while listening to Podcasts. Eventually I got to the bottom and found this beauty. The big daddy of the Autobots. Cybertron Optimus Prime. And while there’s no way in hell I’m letting this guy go, I thought I might as well take a look at him because he’s just such a fabulous toy and quite frankly I’m amazed that in six years he hasn’t had a Feature here on FFZ yet. As always, let’s start with his alt mode…

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I seem to recall that the official name for this is his Super Truck Mode, but without all the extra parts that makes it “super” he’s really just a flatbed truck, so I pretty much consider this the regular alt mode. Taking a page from 1999’s Robots in Disguise, Prime is a firetruck… I think? He’s mostly red, he has a light bar on top and he has a couple things on his back that look like they could sort of be interpreted as ladders, but are really just giant assault guns. So, maybe it’s supposed to be a firetruck, but in reality it’s a beast of a battle wagon. Oh, and don’t pay any attention to those folded wings on the sides because they’re not wings. Did I call them wings? Well, they’re not.

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While there’s admittedly some ugliness here and there, I actually dig this alt mode a hell of a lot. It’s bristling with sculpted detail, from panel lines to texturing, to the tiny faux rivets holding everything together. In addition to the red and blue and gray plastic there are some nice silver paint apps on the sides and some crisp Autobot tampos on the cab.

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The cab is just all sorts of badass. The angled front windshield makes him look wonderfully vicious and the front bumper makes for a great battering ram to blow through barricades or any Decepticon fools who happen to stand in his way. If you were to weather the hell out of this thing it would look right at home cruising the badlands in a Mad Max film.

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As with all Cybertron toys, Prime comes with a CyberKey, which activates either of two attack modes. Unfortunately they’re pretty lame. For the first one, you plug the key into the back of the longer gun and the front splits open and activates some lights and sound. Meh. The second one is even less impressive as it just deploys two missile launchers off the sides of the smaller gun-ladder thing. I do dig the fact that Prime’s Key is pretty unique. It’s all translucent blue except for the red paint on the Autobot emblem. It also looks a little like The Matrix.

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Remember when I said those things weren’t wings. Ha Ha, I fooled you, because they totally are! Yes, Prime also has a second flight alt mode. Yeah, it’s just the truck with wings and a few tweaks to the guns. You know what? I still dig it. Plus, when you fold out the guns in the middle, there’s room for him to carry a smallish Deluxe or Basic figure in its alt mode in there.

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To transform Prime into his robot mode you have to pull all the extra bulk off his vehicle mode and set it aside. You’re left with a flat bed, which is fun in itself because you can use it to carry Jetfire around. You can also attach the two  extra guns to his back to give him some firepower in this stripped down mode. Transforming Prime is pretty simple, although some may cry foul that his chest in robot mode is faked out and not actually the front of the cab. I’m OK with it because the resulting robot looks really good…

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Awww, yeah! That’s good Prime! Yes, he’s a bit stocky (and I’ll show you the fix for that later), but dammit I was absolutely blown away by this toy back in 2005 and I’m still really impressed with him now. He’s a powerful looking robot and this isn’t even his final form! There’s plenty of homages to the Prime we all know and love , not least of which is the overall color scheme and the windows making up the chest. I really dig the placement of the wheels on the figure and those powerful shoulders look great. It’s almost like Hasbro was deliberately trying to apologize for the Energon Prime figure by making this one so awesome.

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The head is a bit large, but that’s because he shares it with his powered up robot mode. It’s definitely Prime, but with some new elements to the design. Probably the coolest is the inclusion of a flip up mouth plate that allows you to choose what kind of mug you want your Prime to have.

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The articulation here is also surprisingly good for the era. Prime features rotating hinges in the shoulders, swivels in biceps, hinges in the shoulders, hinged knuckles, universal movement in the hips, swivels in the thighs, and hinges in the knees. The head can rotate. The only downside here is that there’s no waist swivel. All of the joints are incredibly solid and satisfying. Prime is a crazy fun toy that feels great in hand and is lots of fun to play with.

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Prime’s gun is about as far from his familiar G1 Buster Rifle as you can get, but I still dig it. It’s got a knuckle guard and it pegs into his hand to help him hold it. It’s also a missile launcher, but I’ll be damned if I can find any of the missiles for this guy. PRIMUS, HOW I HATE THROUGH BAGS OF LOOSE MISSILES! 

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Last, but not least, Prime’s chest opens up to reveal a removable Matrix of Leadership. It’s just one more thing to make an already amazing figure just a bit better. Oh wait, he also has a Super Powered-Up Mode, which uses all the parts from his trailer. To start that process, you transform the backs of his legs into larger feet. and attach two of the gun pylons on the backs of his legs…

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Before moving on any further, I’ll point out that this is actually how I display Prime in his basic robot mode. I think the longer legs and bigger feet give the figure much better proportions. You also get a pair of flip up cannons on his legs and who the hell doesn’t want that? Then again, why stop at leg cannons, when you can have this…

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SWEET MOTHER OF PRIMUS! When Cybertron Prime is sick and tired of your shit, he goes straight for the nuclear option by strapping a set of wings onto his back and two giant guns onto his shoulders. This is the Optimus Prime equivalent of Death Blossom. He looks like he could shoot Decepticon space cruisers out of orbit with these babies. I wasn’t a big fan of this mode back in 2005 when I got the figure. Maybe it’s sublety was lost on me. Whatever the case, I must have been crazy, because I’m sure as hell digging it now. It’s destruction taken to the most absurd level possible and that’s a beautiful thing.

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One of the clever little things about this assault gear is that it doesn’t just peg into Prime’s back. It actually fits him like a real backpack with hinged shoulder straps that go over his shoulders and peg in under his arms. And yes, you can fold the guns back, but doing so makes it almost impossible for him to stand up.

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Cybertron Optimus Prime is an incredible toy, not just for its time, but it still is some 11 years later. One of the great things about packing toys away for a while is that you can fall in love with them all over again when you eventually rediscover them and I’m sure I had a huge smile on my face the whole time I was playing with him. This thing looks great, has a ton of play value, and pays respects to the iconic hero while still bringing some originality to the table. When you consider the leap that this is from Energon’s Optimus Prime (a figure I do not hate, I might add) it just makes this release all the more miraculous. Long after the bulk of my Cybertron collection has been scattered to the wind, this Optimus will still reign supreme on my shelf… or maybe in a tote. Either way, I’m proud to have him.

Star Wars Black “The Force Awakens:” Flametrooper by Hasbro

The First Order. They don’t f’ck around. We learned that pretty early on in The Force Awakens when they murdered and torched an entire village of civilians for harboring a couple of The Resistance. It was an effective scene and a side of Star Wars that we seldom saw in the films. Oh, sorry Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru. I guess y’all got torched by Stormtroopers too. I wonder if they were Imperial Flametroopers or if those Sandtroopers just brought along a book of matches. What? Oh yeah, let’s look at the figure…

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If you don’t count pauldrons, this is the third flavor of First Order Stormtrooper in the Black Series. Maybe the fourth if you include Mr. Badass Riot Trooper. I’ve already looked at the regular version Stormtrooper and the Snowtrooper Officer, and I’m still waiting on my regular Snowtroopers to arrive. Anyway, the box is the same and the figure comes with his gear all spread out so you can get a good look before you open him up. Well, at least I got a good look at him in the store before I got the package home and it became a cat hair magnet.

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The base figure includes an entirely new set of armor, which is more featureless than the ones worn by his non-flame-toting brothers. His armor is slightly bulkier too, probably because it’s padded out by his asbestos underwear. I dig the simpler design, in a way it makes him look even more sinister, although I’m not sure if there’s any logic behind it. He has a different style belt with a hip pouch on one side and a grab bar just above his ass. You’ll also note the lack of hip clip for a pistol or other sidearm. When this guy runs out of flame juice, he’s pretty much done.

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The back features a couple of pegs so that the backpack can be fitted or removed quickly and securely. This is as good a time as any to point out that my figure has an unusual amount of mold flashing and ugly seams. I’ve never seen anything quite like it on a 6-inch Black figure before. If I bought this loose on Ebay I might be inclined to start leveling some bootleg accusations against the seller. But nope, it’s official Hasbro alright.

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As far as the helmet goes, I’m really torn. The design is somewhat similar to the Snowtrooper, but even more minimalist. Unfortunately, when you have a helmet that is this devoid of detail and relies on just a few features to make a statement, it really needs to be sharp and flawless and that’s far from the case here. The silver paintwork isn’t too bad, but the two black lines that make up the visor and the line running above it, is too sloppy to make the helmet work. I imagine that the effectiveness will vary from figure to figure, but I’d guess that perfect ones are few and far between. It’s a shame because I think Hasbro did a fairly decent job on the other trooper helmets. Also, why does he have such a bad case of giraffe neck? I know in some cases it was to allow room for a pauldron, but I don’t think I’ve seen any mention of a Flametrooper Officer.

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The articulation holds no surprises. You get rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, with swivels in the thighs, double hinges in the knees, and the ankles have both hinges and lateral rockers. There’s a ball joint in the torso and another in the neck. It’s overall solid articulation and you can easily get him to hold his weapon across his chest with both hands.

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If the helmet feels lacking, the flamethrower backpack certainly makes up for it. It’s a very credible looking piece of kit with two tanks and all the appropriate pipes and tubing. I particularly like the “OII” emblem carrying forward on the little block on the upper right tank. The flexible hose comes off the bottom pipe and plugs right into the grip of the thrower. Remember, Resistance, when you see this guy enter the fray, that tank is what you aim for.

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All geared up, this guy looks pretty damn imposing. The sculpting on the thrower is exceptionally good and the white paint apps make it really stand out. It’s obviously made of soft plastic, but it isn’t easily deformed or warped. There’s an obvious grip for his left hand, but it fits him more naturally if he’s cradling it a little further up towards the trigger.

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While I was particularly hard on the quality of the helmet paint, I still think this is overall a decent figure. Obviously, he’s all about his specialty weapon and that part of the figure is executed with great success. That having been said, while I’ll still happily buy all the First Order Stormies and Snowies that I come across, I think one Flametrooper will be enough for me. That is unless I can find one with much sharper paint on the helmet. I think this is one that would be drastically improved upon by one of the higher end 6-inch scale lines.

Heroes of the Storm: Illidan Stormrage (Warcraft) by NECA

Last week, I started looking at NECA’s new Heroes of the Storm line with Nova Terra, a great looking figure that unfortunately suffered from fragile hip syndrome. Today, I’m opening up my second figure in the series and hoping he’s made of tougher stuff. Let’s check out Illidan Stormrage, aka. The Betrayer!

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Here he is in package, which gives you a great look at the figure you’re getting. Heroes of the Storm eschews collector friendliness and goes for a sealed clam shell. I’m not going to complain because it gives me a perfectly good excuse to not keep the packaging. Also… plastic fumes. Gotta love the plastic fumes when you cut into one of these babies. I can’t tell you how long I’ve been hoping to get proper Warcraft action figures. So much so, that I nearly went for some of those DC Direct statues back when they were out. Needless to say, I’m damn excited to get this guy out…

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And he does not disappoint! Illidan dons his blindfold to cover the vacancy left behind by having his eyes seared out. Or, if you prefer, it’s because he’s a Demon Hunter and they cover their eyes because the eyes cannot be trusted when hunting disguised demons and instead they hunt auras. Ooooor, if you prefer, it’s so they aren’t tempted by the evil they hunt. Maybe it can be all of those things. Or none of them. Warcraft lore is deep and complex. And to think I spent most of my 10,000 hours of playtime just trying to not get ganked. Where was I? Oh yeah… he wears a blindfold and it makes him look like a badass. And just to please the lady Blood Elves, he doesn’t wear much of anything else. Just a pair of brown fur-lined pants and a loin piece that screams out the familiar aesthetic of the World of Warcraft universe.

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NECA invested just enough detail on this guy to keep the ‘toony look of the game while still delivering on their rep for quality sculpts. The fringe on the pants looks great, as does the stitching up the sides. I really dig the shade of purple plastic used for his skin and the sculpted muscles are a little on the chunky side to further mimic that great WoW style. The green tats on his upper body are sharp and crisp and look great and they are not only painted on, but also part of the figure’s sculpt.

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The portrait here is damn solid. I’ve already mentioned his blindfold. He sports a crazy mane of sculpted hair, a massive pony tail that has to be pegged into the back of his head, and a glorious scowl on his pus. If I had to nitpick something, I’d say the teeth could have been a bit better realized, but I’d have to be really looking for something to complain about.

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I might have started this Feature off with articulation, since it’s the first thing I checked when I got the figure out. Thankfully I found no stuck joints and no breakages. I can tell the hips are the same design as on Nova because when I move one leg, the other moves a little with it. It’s that same pin design and seeing as it’s perfectly fine on this figure, that gives me hope for trying my luck on another Nova. Anyway, Illidan’s arms feature rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, swivels in the biceps, and hinges in the elbows. The hips and ankles are rotating hinges and the knees are double hinged. There’s a ball joint in the torso and another in the neck. All in all, he’s a fun figure to mess around with.

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In addition to his plug-in ponytail, Illidan comes with the Twin Blades of Azzinoth. AND OH, MY HELL YES!!! These are beautiful, big, and chunky weapons that come sealed in individual baggies to protect the paint. And what fabulous paint it is! The blades feature a sumptuous metallic green with black lines etched into the blades. The hilts are gold and red and have sculpted wrapped handles inside the guards. Once again, NECA has just done a beautiful job of translating that familiar WoW aesthetic to plastic form. These blades look magnifcent in Illidan’s hands.

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Every now and then a figure comes along that doesn’t seem like it’s going to be a stand out piece, but it winds up just hitting that sweet spot. Illidan here is exactly that kind of figure for me. If Nova didn’t already capture my heart for Heroes of the Storm, well Illidan certainly would have done the job. Everything about this guy from the sculpt to the quality and colors of the paint, right down to the fun articulation makes him a treat. And, of course the fact that he didn’t come with any joint issues is a huge win too. Illidan The Betrayer indeed… Betrayer of my wallet! I’ve already got orders in for the next three figures available in this line, including the beefy Deluxe figure Stitches, which constitute a couple more Warcraft figures and my first from Diablo. And thankfully, NECA teased the roster for more Heroes of the Storm figures releasing later this year and you can bet that I’m on board.

Marvel Legends: “Age of Ultron” Hawkeye (AoU 4-pack, Part 4) by Hasbro

And here we go with the last figure in the Marvel Legends Age of Ultron 4-pack. On a positive note, a Marvel Cinematic Universe Hawkeye in Legends scale was high on my want list. On the downside, I regret going from left to right in my coverage of this set because now I have to finish on a down note. AoU Hawkeye… you got some issues.

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Yes, this is a repaint and partial re-sculpt of the Walmart Exclusive figure that came out alongside the first Avengers film. The biggest differences are a new head, a more muted shade of red paint on his tunic, and while the space for it is still there, the SHIELD emblem tampo is no longer present. Finally, the shoulder strap running across the chest of the Avengers figure has been removed. Granted, Hawkeye spend part of Age of Ultron wearing something very similar to his first Avenger’s costume, so the reuse here isn’t unwarranted, but it would have been nice to get him in the brand new costume. As it stands, the texture and detail on the costume is pretty solid, although those ball hips are pretty f’ugly.

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With that having been said, right off the bat, something feels off about Clint and I’m going to say it’s the proportions. I can’t quite put my finger on it, because if I put him next to Dr. Banner, they’re almost the same height and their legs and torsos are pretty much even. And yet Hawkeye’s legs look really short and his torso looks really long. It seems to be an optical illusion, but every time I look at the figure I can’t un-see it.

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The new portrait features Clint without his glasses. I like that. Including the glasses on the old figure seemed like a lazy way out. The new head features a passable likeness, that would probably be a lot better with some decent paint to bring it out. Unfortunately, my Clint’s peepers are a little wonky. Hawkeye? More like Walleye… amiright?

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Hawkeye comes with two accessories: His bow and quiver and both are the same pieces that came with the WM Exclusive Avengers figure. Unfortunately, that means the quiver isn’t movie accurate, as he wore a rectangular one in AoU and not this drum-style quiver. Yeah, I get it, Hasbro was able to release this set by cutting some costs. I’m still going to mention it, though. The bow is on par with the last Legends Hawkeye figure that I got and I probably would have been a lot happier with it if I hadn’t just opened DC Icons Green Arrow a couple of weeks ago. That figure featured a real string on the bow and removable arrows in the quiver. After playing around with that ensemble of archery accessories, this one just leaves me flat.

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The articulation here looks good on paper, but I do have a few issues with it in practice. Those hips are the terrible rotating hinges that make me work harder to get all the movement out of them. The hinges in the elbows are super mushy and one of the hinges on my figure’s right elbow doesn’t want to sit properly. I have to squeeze the two halves together every time I work the elbow to keep it from wanting to pop out. Otherwise here’s the run down: The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, bicep swivels, and double hinge elbows. The legs have rotating hinges in the hips, swivels in the thighs, double hinge knees, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. There’s a ball joint in the chest and ball joint and hinge in the neck.

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I don’t think this is a terrible figure, but it did turn out to be the weakest one in the box for me. Although, granted the fact that I never got the Walmart Exclusive from the first Avengers film makes him a little more welcome. There’s some good stuff going on here, but the proportions still look off to me and a screen accurate quiver would have been nice. At the end of the day, I’m glad to have him to at least round out my Age of Ultron team. And thanks to Toy Fair we know we’re getting an MCU Scarlet Witch. Still no sign of Quicksilver, though. Next week, I’m going to take a break from Legends and we’ll check out the Hot Toys version of Age of Ultron Hawkeye.

Batman (Classic TV Series): Batmobile by Mattel

Yes, it’s DC Friday and yes, the last four weeks have been all about DC Icons, but I’m taking a short break to catch up on some other DC related goodies before diving into the second wave of Icons. Today’s feature is long overdue as I picked up the 1966 Series Batmobile last year right around Christmas when Amazon was blowing it out at an irresistible price. This is one of the most iconic vehicles in my nostalgia addled brain, so I’m more than ready for this… Atomic engines to power… Turbines to speed…

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Mattel has done a consistantly nice job with the packaging and presentation on their 1966 Batman line and the Batmobile is no different. You get a colorful window box that gives you a great look at the toy and a lot of vintage TV flavor. My only complaint here is that the side flaps are glued and not taped. Since I don’t have the shelf space to display this beast right now, it’ll go back in the box and I had to be very, very careful when opening it up.

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The vehicle itself comes fully assembled. There are some clever little locks on the bottom that hold it into the tray. You just need to turn them, pull them out and unpeg the mounts from the bottom of the car. I was sure I was going to need a screwdriver, but that wasn’t the case.

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Out of the box and this thing looks pretty fantastic. Although, it’s worth noting that for a vehicle this size, it is extremely light because it’s a totally hollow piece. The lack of heft may be disappointing to some, but it doesn’t effect the wow factor when displaying it, so I’m not bothered by it at all. While the bulk of the car’s body is cast in a lovely high gloss black plastic, there are some rubber pieces designed to comply with toy safety. The back fins, for example are rubber, although it does a pretty good job matching the rest of the finish.

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The driver side fin on mine has a notable gap in the seam, which would bug me a lot more if this was a high end piece, or perhaps if I paid anywhere near the original retail. The exhaust pipes behind on the back are also very soft plastic, but they seem fairly straight and sturdy. Lastly, the lights on the top and the gold thing sticking up behind the hood (I have no idea what that is) are also soft plastic.

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Overall, the paint is applied pretty well. There are a few fuzzy spots on the orange striping, but nothing specifically bad to call out. The bat symbol tampos on the doors are very sharp. The silver looks nice, particularly around the turbine on the back and the license plate is printed on. I love the fact that the parachute packs are also sculpted on the back. The silver wheels really pop and I dig the sculpted bat emblems.

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As nice as everything looks, I think this Batmobile’s greatest feature is the detailed cabin. There’s all sorts of neat stuff in there like the batphone and the bat fire extinguisher. I suppose you can call those things the bat steering wheel, the bat seats, the bat gas and brake pedals. Everything is branded BAT! You also get two seat belts that tab into slots to hold the figures in place. The steering wheel turns, although it does not turn the wheels.

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The figures, which are not included in this particular release but are included in the more recent one, fit into the seats quite well. The individual release Batman without the wires in the cape goes in better, but since there’s only one Robin and he has the wires, I keep that pair in the seats. The belts can be a little tricky to tighten, but they do come out the bottom so you can grab them and pull them through.

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All in all, I think this Batmobile is a great piece and a perfect addition to the action figure line. It’s hard to articulate the nostalgia I get from it as it brings back strong memories of playing with my Mego Batmobile as a wee lad in the early 80’s. Not to mention my brother and I watching the TV show almost every afternoon. Of course, my opinion on this vehicle is colored by the fact that I got it for $22 shipped when the original retail was in the $50-60 range. At that price, I think it’s only fair to expect a heftier piece with a few more bells and whistles, but as things stand, I’m delighted with this purchase.

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It’s possible that this will be the last addition to my Mattel 1966 Batman collection. I am still missing Batgirl, but individually she goes for way too much money. The three-pack (bundled with Batman and Robin) is more tempting, as the packaging is really nice and the going rate works out to less than $20 a figure, but I’m still in a holding pattern. That having been said, I liked this line a lot and I don’t think it deserves a lot of the flack it got from collectors. They may be closer to the toy end of action figures than collector end, but I would have absolutely killed to own everything you see in the picture above back when I was a kid.

Transformers Cybertron: “Jungle Planet” Optimus Prime and Megatron by Hasbro

Yes, folks, this February Transformers Thursdays are all Unicron Trilogy all the time and to be honest, I have yet to venture outside the Cybertron line. Bear with me, there will be new Transformers coming in March, but for now, let’s travel back to 2006… yet again. It’s the 10th Anniversary of Beast Wars and Hasbro had a bizarre little homage for us in the form of two Cybertron Deluxes of Optimus Prime and Megatron in Jungle Planet versions that looked suspiciously like Optimus Primal and Megatron from the great Maximal and Predacon War.

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And that’s because these molds were actually part of the Beast Wars 10th Anniversary revival and released in their proper Beast Wars colors in commemorative style window boxes. Why, Hasbro felt the need to repaint them and release them as part of the Cybertron series in the same damn year was always a puzzle to me. But I bought them anyway, mainly because I never found the Beast Wars versions at the TRU’s near me.  Let’s start with Megatron and his alt mode…

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Megsy is a totally bitchin’ techno T-Rex and I absolutely love this mold! It’s loaded with sculpted panel lines and crazy contours that make it look just a little bit H.R. Giger inspired. There’s also surprisingly little robot kibble to be seen, even if you flip him over and check out his undercarriage.

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The deco consists of two green tones with some purple bits showing here and there and some black, brown, gold, and silver paint. Holy shit, Hasbro was not stingy on the paint hits back then! I’ll be honest, I would have preferred the more purple Beast Wars version over this Jungle Planet theme with all the green, but he’s still plenty cool.

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Articulation here also makes for a very fun toy in beast mode. There are ball joints in the “hips” and “shoulders” and hinges in the “knees” and “ankles.” You also get a hinged jaw with a sculpted tongue in there. It’s hard to believe they could get this beast mode so right and so many of the Grimlocks that would follow so wrong. It’s also worth noting that while most Cybertron figures had CyberKey gimmicks in both robot and alt modes, this pair only have them in their robot modes. And speaking of robot modes… Megsy’s is gorgeous!

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Ooooh, yeah! A big part of transforming Megsy here requires pulling off his tail. Maybe some would consider that a cheat, but if it’s any consolation, the tail becomes a weapon he can hold, and he is technically holding it while in beast mode. So, let’s let him slide on that. Besides, without the tail in his hand, his left arm looks really gimpy. Either way, this I’m totally down for this robot mode. The way the torso flips into place is cool as is the engineering on the left shoulder, which folds down and neatly into place. And that head sculpt… Yessssss!

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Of course, he has the same dino-head right hand that Beast Wars Megsy had and as mentioned, the tail becomes a bludgeon he can hold in his left hand and inserting the CyberKey converts it into a missile launcher. This figure is both a great little homage to Beast Wars Megatron and a pretty fine original piece on its own. Unfortunately, this feature is going to start skidding hopelessly out of control as we see how Optimus made out…

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Sweet Primus, what happened here? The fact that Optimus’ beast mode sucks so much quite frankly surprises me. I would have guessed the engineering from monkey to robot would have been easier to work with. I don’t hate this, but I don’t love it either… in fact, I don’t even think I like it. Prime’s beast mode seems to cling more to organics with sculpted fur, but there’s still some techno parts showing and the face looks particularly robotic. It’s an unsettling mix that kind of creeps me out.

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That face! Oh no. No no no no no no… no! And while the articulation is overall good with ball joints all around, Prime’s monkey mode feels like it’s intended to just stand there on his feet and knuckles. Let’s see if his robot mode can sell me on this figure…

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Better! Although, this is one of the most frustrating transformations I’ve dealt with on a Deluxe in a long while. Why is that? The Beast Wars toy wasn’t anywhere near this annoying. Halfway through I just had a pile of limbs, all interconnected on reciprocal hinges and a mess that looks like a gorilla had an accident in a teleporter. Fortunately, the end result is actually pretty good.

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This is a lovely little re-imagined Deluxe version of Optimus Primal and finally a fun figure to play with. The sculpted chest with the silver and red paint looks great and the same articulation that felt rather wasted on the gorilla mode makes for a great robot mode. The head sculpt is a home-run too. Oh yeah, Prime comes with his hover board for his gorilla mode to ride on and… OH F’CK, I HAVE TO CHANGE HIM BACK??? God dammit… be right back…

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There. You happy? There’s a god damn robot monkey riding a hoverboard… sideways… and it looks like crap. The board has pegs for Prime’s gorilla feet, but he just looks awkward trying to ride it. There’s also a CyberKey gimmick that deploys the side of the board, kind of like an outrigger and reveals the trigger for the hidden missile launcher in the nose.

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Obviously I’m mixed on this pair. My love for Megatron needs no qualifications. He’s great in both modes and lots of fun to play with. Hasbro did a splendid job on him. Optimus, on the other hand, has a pretty piss poor beast mode and a needlessly complex transformation, but he has a robot mode that carries the day. It was a neat little experiment to work Beast Wars homages into the Cybertron line for the 10th Anniversary and thanks to the Jungle Planet in the fiction, this one sort of makes sense in the context of the series. It’s likely when the Unicron Trilogy purges of my collection are complete, these figures may survive it.

Masters of the Universe Classics: Laser Power He-Man and Laser Light Skeletor by Mattel

Here we are in February and I’m still opening stuff from last year’s Club Eternia subscription. Well, this is the last box to open from the sub’s final month and it’s a two-pack to boot, so let’s dive right in and check out Laser Power He-Man and Laser Light Skeletor!

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We’ve seen this box before. It’s the standard two-figure window box with the sloping sides and that great greyskull stone motif. It’s collector friendly if you’re careful, and since I kept the box for my last Skeletor and He-Man two-pack, I’ll likely keep this one too. Flip it over and drink in the goodness and sorrow that is the last of the MOTUC bios. Now, I’m no expert when it comes to Masters of the Universe, but as I understand it, these were two of the last figures to be released in the vintage line (in 1988), and even that needs qualifying because they were only circulated in Europe. Let’s start things off with He-Man and look at the base figure first…

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Yeah, it’s another version of He-Man, but considering how long this line has run, I don’t think they’ve milked the variants too badly and they’ve all been pretty good, including this one. This guy is like a hybrid of traditional He-Man and Space He-Man. I’m pretty sure I said that about He-Ro II, but it’s true here as well. The chest harness calls back to his original, but it’s blue and has a futuristic flavor to it right down to the silver “H” in the middle. It rides a little high on the shoulders, but it’s got to be strong to hold the enormous piece of kit he’s going to strap to his back. The boots have the same sci-fi look about them and the paint on those silver gauntlets just look stunning, as does the belt. If you’ve complained in the past that He-Man’s fuzzy barbarian diaper leaves too much for the imagination, well you’re in luck because this new tiny blue steel speedo clamped around his junk does not. All in all, I really dig the look of this guy.

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The portrait appears new, although I’ve lost count of all the He-Man noggins floating around in my Masters Accessories Tote. This is an impressive piece of sculpting, although it looks like it might have been pinched a bit in the final production. I think I can see a little bit of Dolph Lundgren in there, but maybe that’s just my wishful thinking. Of course, we’re really here to talk about that new Laser Power!

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After a lifetime pitched in desperate struggle with his arch nemesis, Skeletor, He-Man has finally had enough and decides to strap a giant box, which I presume holds a series of daisy-chained car batteries, on his back to power his newest electric sword. Evil will die! Actually, screw the batteries, in my mind I’d like to think that this thing is gas powered and that Duncan has to pull a cord on the back a bunch of times to get it to start and when it’s running it’s louder than a hundred leaf blowers. The box clips onto the harness very securely and there’s room to store the sword on the side. He-Man also has to wear two bulky pieces of armor on his right hand, presumably to protect him from the horrific lethal radiation given off by the sword. Come to think of it that’s probably why he wears the steel speedo, to protect the Eternian jewels from getting irradiated.

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All kidding aside, though, I like this thing a lot. Sure, it’s bulky and makes the figure rather back heavy. And with the sword in storage he looks like he’s ready to go bust some ghosts. But it’s a cool gimmick and it’s remarkable that it survived translation to the Classics line where gimmicks have been traditionally neutered. Yes, that backpack really is crammed full of electronics and batteries, and yes the sword really does light up. You can even get it to spazz out and flash like crazy. So good! Let’s move on to Laser Light Skeletor…

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Right off the bat, there’s a lot of New Adventures Skeletor in here. Some of the arms and some of the legs are reused, the feet are repainted and reused, I think the belt might be the same, but there’s a lot of excellent new sculpting here as well, like the new lower legs that make use of some remarkable copper paint to make the grafted armor stand out from the blue skin. The same could be said for the gorgeous copper chest piece. As amazing as this figure looks, it would be cool to see a skilled customizer add some paint hits to the tech bits sculpted into the blue body.

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I’m not all that fond of the portrait here, although I will concede that based on pictures I’ve seen it is a solid update to the vintage Laser Light Skeletor. Still, something just looks odd about the face. The hood is removable and sits rather strangely too. It’s hard for me to figure out if I have it in the intended position or not. I do like the added techno-bits sculpted into the back of the head. I’ll also note that while there are electronics in the head, I find it impressive that Matty was able to keep the neck articulation to a degree.

llskel3As with He-Man, Skeletor has an electronic box on his back, but unlike He-Man, Skeletor integrates all his electronic gimmickry right into the figure so the box is not removable. There’s some really nice sculpting and paint on it that was absent from He-Man’s backpack. The problem here is that the figure is still very back heavy and while He-Man was able to compensate with a decent pair of feet, the little clodhoppers that Skeletor has just isn’t up for the task. It’s really hard to get him to stand decently and it’s a shame that Matty couldn’t have engineered some lateral rockers into those ankles. They’ve done it on a fair number of Classics figures, and here’s one that really would have benefited from them.

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Skeletor’s electronics feature glowing eyes and a light up right gauntlet that is supposed to light up his translucent red Havoc Staff. The gauntlet and eyes light beautifully but the light doesn’t travel very far up and down the staff. Don’t get me wrong, it still looks plenty cool. It is worth noting that in order to accommodate the electronics in the right arm, there is no elbow hinge or bicep swivel. There is, however, still a swivel at the top of the gauntlet.

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A lot of other companies would have just phoned in the final two figures of a line, but Matty gave us something special here. We got two figures that most fans never saw in their vintage collections and we got them engineered with electronic gimmicks. That’s a first for the last, and that’s going above and beyond in my book and these are overall fun and solid (and perfectly appropriate) figures to end the line with. I feel like I should get all sappy and wax sentimental about Club Eternia. It delivered a fantastic series of action figures and sapped a shit ton of money out of my bank account. In other words, it was a great ride. But I still have older Classics figures and vehicles to open and look at (not to mention a giant castle) and I still have the Collector’s Choice figures ahead of me, so for now I’ll resist the urge. At some point down the line, I’ll eventually open my last Masters Classics toy or figure and I’ll save the reminiscing for then.