League of Legends: Jinx 1/10 Scale Figure by Xin Hao

I buy figures from games I don’t play. Wow, it feels good to get that off my chest! Don’t get me wrong, it’s not an intentional collecting trend, but there are just times when I’m having a couple of drinks, feeling fine, browsing some e-tailers late at night, and I see stuff that I dig despite never having spent any time with the game its based on. League of Legends… I know what it is, I’ve seen people play it, I don’t have any interest in it, but the character designs sure seem fun and my Twitter feed is usually graced a couple times a day with pictures of chicks cosplaying as Jinx. So when I saw this statue, I pulled the trigger.

loljinx1

So first off, who the f’ck makes this thing? Seriously, I had to flip the thing over and see it printed on the bottom as Xin Hao, a company that I never heard of. The website listed is Xinhaowanju and trying to visit there lit up all sorts of warnings on my browser. And why the hell is there a God Eater 2 logo on the back of the box? That’s an entirely different god damn game from Ban Dai. This is also the cheapest feeling box I’ve ever encountered… and check this shit out…

loljinx2

All of this, plus the fact that this figure was dirt cheap spells horrible piece of crap Chinese bootleg to me. The funny thing is I couldn’t find anyone selling the same statue from a familiar company that this would be a bootleg of. It’s an enigma wrapped in a riddle and stuffed inside a mystery. So let’s get her opened up and find out what horrible piece of shit I just bought.

loljinx6

loljinx3

OK, so despite the shady box and unknown manufacturer, this is actually a damn nice figure. I’ve been stuck with bootleg figures before and the one thing I’ve noticed is they’re never subtle in the shitty-ness of their quality. Jinx, who strikes me as the video game equivalent of Harley Quinn… unless you count the Arkham games and then Harley Quinn is the video game equivalent of Harley Quinn… strikes a pose that I’ve seen before on art work proliferated around the Interwebs. She has a wide stance with her right hand sliding back through her hair and her left hand resting on her sidearm. She’s loaded with her signature weapons and her long braids snake down her back to the base. She stands about 9 1/2-inches from the bottom of the base to the top of Fishbones.

loljinx7

loljinx5

This young lady is beautifully sculpted, suitably hefty (at least for a PVC piece) and the paint is quite good, with only a few minor stray marks. The flesh tone has a very slight waxy sheen to it, which is something that you don’t usually see in the legit imports, but it’s not bad at all. The last bootleg I got stuck with looked like it was sculpted from human earwax. The skin here is smooth and even. There is, however, a seam running down the middle of her hair, which would probably have been avoided by one of the better figure producers out there. The coloring on this figure is wonderfully vibrant and beautiful. From the bright blue of her hair to the metallic pink of her stocking and BFG, both balanced out by some black.

loljinx9

I really dig the blue printed tattoos running down her right side and arm. They’re a little more subtle than they look under the studio lights. You can see some of the nice sculpted quilting on her leg strap and the pink short-shorts peaking out from under all that gear. Each of the tiny bullets and fixtures on her belts are painted and I love the little loving touches like the band aids on her left knee.

loljinx10

The portrait is pretty simple. She’s winking and her hair is partially covering up her right hand. The paint on the eyes, eyebrows and lips are all nice and sharp. All in all, it’s a pretty subdued look for a bat-shit crazy chick, but I still like it. And speaking of crazy… this chick sure loves her weapons and this figure doesn’t disappoint.

loljinx12

First off you have Fishbones, her shark-themed rocket launcher. This mammoth piece of killing hardware tabs into her left shoulder and holds in place very well despite it’s size and weight. Fishbones has a nice metallic silver and gray finish with some additional paint and details and a translucent red plug inside his mouth.

loljinx8

Next up, Jinx has Pow-Pow, her hot pink Mini-Gun slung over her shoulders and worn across her back. This piece is actually supported by her shoulder strap, but it’s also attached to the back of the figure to keep it in place.

loljinx11

Finally, her left hand wrests on the grip of Zapper, her shock pistol. It’s a combination of gold paint and translucent turquoise plastic.

loljinx13

Not to be outdone by Jinx’s wild outfit and colors, the base is a large oval with white crackling energy patterns across a black backdrop. Her name is graffiti-ed in hot pink paint between her feet along with “The Shooter.” The figure actually comes off the base when you open her, but she pegs in very securely.

loljinx14

Jinx was one of those, “Click Buy-It-Now And Hope For The Best” scenarios.  At $30 shipped, I was all but certain that I was going to get ripped off by some piece of garbage. I even searched around to try to find a “legit” version of this piece and I probably would have paid twice as much for. As it turns out, this seems to be the Real McCoy and I’m absolutely delighted with what I got. Yes, she has a few minor paint flubs that wouldn’t have been acceptable on a Kotobukiya piece, but there’s nothing even remotely bad here and at this price it’s hard to argue. Jinx is a great figure of a very colorful character design (from a game I’ll never bother to play) and she’s going to look fantastic on one of my import figure shelves.

Advertisements

DC Icons: (#05) The Flash by DC Collectibles

It’s DC Friday and time to open another figure from the second wave of DC Icons. This time it’s Barry Allen as The Flash. I was especially excited to get this figure, not only because it’s The Flash and he comes with a damn cool accessory, but it’s a very classic 80’s Flash, which is something I haven’t seen in a while in action figure form.

dciflash1

The package is the same thing we’ve been seeing all along. It looks great, it’s fairly compact, and it shows off the figure beautifully. A quick glance may have some scoffing, “What? All he comes with his a couple of hands?” But that’s just because the Cosmic Treadmill isn’t prominently displayed in the package. The package denotes that this is the fifth figure in this series and that Flash comes from the late 80’s “Chain Lightning” Arc. I was about 15 at the time, and this one was a stand out story for me, particularly because I love the time travel elements so much.

dciflash5

dciflash6

The best way to describe this figure is basic, classic, goodness. DCC could have gotten away with just painting most of the costume, but they went that extra mile and gave us a decent amount of unique sculpting here. The boots feature sculpted lightning bolts on the sides and treads on the feet. The lighting bolts around his waist and arms are sculpted as well as painted, and the chest emblem is also sculpted. The build feels exactly right for Barry, in other words not terribly buff, and while the red plastic is a little duller than I would have liked (it looks a lot brighter under the studio lights) I still think the coloring here is overall very good.

dciflash8

The head sculpt is solid, but not exceptional. In addition to the “wings,” the contours of the mask around the face is part of the sculpt, which is nice, and the exposed lower half of the face looks good. The eyes are very squinty and while the paint looks fine with the naked eye, it breaks down as you get in really close. The portraits have never been one of this line’s greatest points, but I’m fairly happy with what we got here.

dciflash4

dciflash3

Articulation, on the other hand, does continue to be one of this line’s better points and if you’ve played with any of the Icons figures then you know what to expect out of the rest. Flash features rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, swivels in the biceps, and double hinged elbows. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, double hinged at the knees, the ankles have hinges and lateral rockers, and you do get swivels at the tops of the boots. There’s an ab crunch hinge in the torso as well as a ball joint under the chest. Finally, the neck is ball jointed.

dciflash9

dciflash10

Ah, and then you have the accessories. For starters… HANDS! Oh, y’all know how much I love getting extra hands in with my figures. I poke fun, but truth be told, I’m warming up to the idea of having to swap out the mitts on my figures. Flash comes with a pair of “running” hands, which are basically fingers together and straight out so he can cut through the air. The other pair features a graspy right hand and a left fist. Not bad.

dciflash13

dciflash14

And then we have the piece that I was really excited for… The Cosmic Treadmill. Truth be told, in execution it’s a wee bit disappointing. Oh, don’t get me wrong, it’s a very nice sculpt and with some decent paint apps, but it feels just a tad small. I applaud the fact that DCC was able to pack it in with a regular priced figure, but I think they missed an opportunity to bump Flash up to a Deluxe (Like Green Lantern, which I’ll be looking at next week) and put a little more effort and plastic into treadmill. Now I feel bad for nitpicking. It really is a nice little pack-in.

dciflash12

dciflash11

Simple and effective is exactly how I would characterize the Icons version of The Flash. He’s as solid a figure as they come and that lovely Icons articulation makes him as fun to play with as any of the figures in this line. He’s also a great example of how this line is not playing favorites with any one particular era or cross section of the DC Universe. You’ve got New 52 version’s like Mister Miracle and Lex Luthor sharing space with classic versions of Batman and Flash, and I think that’s just great. And while I still maintain a Deluxe version of the figure with Treadmill would have been cool, I don’t want to dismiss the fact that they were able to get us such a cool accessory at the regular price point.

Transformers Combiner Wars: G2 Stunticons Box Set by Hasbro, Part 3: Dragstrip and Breakdown

Transformers Thursday continues to chug along thanks to this multi-part feature on Hasbro’s Generation 2 Stunticons Boxed Set. Today I’m checking out the last two limbs in the box, Dragstrip and Breakdown. As I mentioned last time, these are straight repaints of the Combiner Wars Stunticons that I looked at when they came out, so we’re going to be focused mostly on the new coloring. We already looked at the packaging a couple of features back, so let’s dive right in and start with Breakdown and his alt mode!

g2dragdwn1

g2dragdwn2

g2dragdwn3

Awwww, yeah! This is the type of thing I think of when I think G2. Breakdown’s previous off-white and blue deco has been replaced with a glorious teal, accompanied by a black hood, purple trim, and gold painted windows. You also still get some nice silver paint hits for the headlights, front bumper, and wheels. The hood features a G2 Decepticon emblem and the windshield is engraved with “94 Racing” as opposed to the “15 Racing” of regular Breakdown. This is one rad looking ride that looks like it was plucked right off the streets of Liberty City in Grand Theft Auto.

g2dragdwn9

g2dragdwn10

g2dragdwn12

All of those colors translate well to his robot mode. The teal is more balanced out with purple and that lovely silver. To be honest, this mold hasn’t really held its appeal to me all that well, but I will say the crazy color palate here is at least a lot more interesting than the mostly off-white of his former incarnation. My only complaint here is that the tiny teal G2 Decpticon emblem on his chest is rather awkwardly placed and tough to make out. Breakdown comes with the same sword-gun combo, only this time painted maroon and silver. Moving on to Dragstrip…

g2dragdwn4

g2dragdwn5

g2dragdwn6

Hooooly shit is this some kind of awesome! To say that I was never a fan of the first Dragstrip’s coloring would be a Unicron-sized understatement. But this? The black and blue coloring on this car shouldn’t work, but it’s really tickling my retinas in every good way imaginable. Toss in the yellow interior of the cockpit and the touches of silver on the wheels and suspension and I am in love. Granted, the Mirage repaint of this car swayed me on the mold already, but this one does it again with a much stronger intensity.

g2dragdwn14

g2dragdwn15

g2dragdwn16

And that goes for the robot mode too! A figure that was mostly “blah” for me has been elevated to greatness with this new deco. The black and blue just looks so good together and the extra pop of that yellow from the cockpit is carried over in the form of his combiner port. Even the head sculpt, which I didn’t care for at all is now a thing of beauty. Dragstrip comes with the same gun/sword combo as his previous version. It’s not as cool as Breakdown’s but it’s not bad.

g2dragdwn8

g2dragdwn11

g2dragdwn7

g2dragdwn13

g2dragdwn20

g2dragdwn19

g2dragdwn18

So, I’ve looked at five figures in this set and each and every one has justified the purchase. These two, in particular, were my least favorite of the CW Stunticon molds, but a fresh coat of 90’s paint works wonders for them. I absolutely love the way these vehicles and bots turned out. Now, if you remember my look at the first releases, I loved these guys as individual bots, and not so much for the combined Menasor mode. Can these new paint jobs win me over on the big guy as well? Well, we’ll find out next week when I look at the last figure in the set, tiny Blackjack, and then put them all together and see what we get!

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

Yes, we already had Marvel Monday, but I didn’t want to interrupt my progress getting through the stacks of Legends figures in the corner. So, I decided to double up on Marvel content this week, because I’m also starting to fall behind on featuring my Marvel Hot Toys. Vision just turned up at my door this past weekend, and I’m pretty excited to check him out. I really dig what they did with the character in the film, although had they managed to keep him a secret, it would have completely blown me away when I saw it. Seriously, when he emerged from the casket, I probably would have screamed like a girl and rabbit kicked the seat in front of me in sheer delight. On second thought, probably better that they spoiled it.

htvis22

I have very little to say about the box, other then it’s the same window box with a sleeve around it that we saw with Age of Ultron Hawkeye. You get the usual character art, in this case a great shot of Paul Bettany looking every bit the part, and I like that the deco matches the packages for the other figures in this series. So, yeah, it’s attractive and serviceable, but it doesn’t feel up to par with the kind of presentation that a $220 figure warrants.

htvis1

Vision comes out of the box and ready to go. This is a relatively simple, but beautiful figure through and through. The rubbery body suit looks similar to what Hot Toys did for Man of Steel Superman, a figure which I admired a lot, but couldn’t bring myself to buy because I despised the film so much. The suit fits Vision perfectly and it strikes a nice balance between allowing for a surprising amount of articulation and still being tight enough to show the anatomy of the figure beneath it. The stitching is well concealed and while it can require some adjusting after re-positioning the arms and legs, it’s easy to get back into it’s natural state.  You get some nice piping throughout the suit and the coloring, along with the different tones of red patterns, looks perfect to me. The texturing on the suit is also quite striking.

htvis21

htvis10

In addition to the suit itself, you get the plastic gorget around the neck, along with the wrist bracers, all of which are cast in plastic and painted with some sumptuous gold and a vibrant, metallic shade of… I’m not sure what to call this… magenta? Either way it’s beautiful. The boots are similarly colored, although a little closer to maroon and since the feet peg into the legs, and the upper part of the boots are sleeves, they allow for a decent amount of articulation in the ankles.

htvis2

htvis7

The cape… oh boy, am I torn on this cape! Taken on it’s own It think it looks great on the figure. it has an interesting, almost Art Deco pattern printed throughout and it’s pleated where it attaches to the figure so that it’s natural state is almost entirely collapsed behind the figure. Overall, I like it. On the other hand… as a recreation of the cape we saw Vision wearing in the film, it’s a complete failure. Now, I’m pretty sure that cape was CG, so I’m willing to cut Hot Toys some slack here, but given the price of this figure, I think they could have gone for a material more like silk, which would have better approximated the on screen look. With all that having been said, this cape features some wires running through the edges that does allow it to work with some dynamic poses.

htvis4

htvis5

htvis6

While I may take issue with the cape, I’ve got no such qualms about the portrait. I was really interested to see how this one was going to turn out, as Hot Toys have more or less nailed the human element and skin tones of their figure portraits, but here was something entirely different. I’m not sure whether this qualified as being easier or more difficult, but whatever the case I am very pleased with the result. This is most definitely Bettany in the make up. The sculpt is beautifully realized from the panel lining right down to the subtle texturing around the eyes. And those eyes definitely contain that eerie Hot Toys spark of life. As for the rest of the head, you get more of that gorgeous magenta paint along with some green to match the suit. I would have really liked to see a light up feature in the Infinity Stone. At a price like this, I think that was warranted.

htvis11

htvis3

htvis8

In terms of accessories, well… we aren’t talking a heck of a lot. You get the usual parade of hands… four pairs total. In this case it’s a pair of relaxed hands, a pair of splayed hands, a pair of fists, and a pair to hold Mjolnir… which conveniently brings us to the only other accessory…

htvis12

htvis13

Mjolnir is most likely re-purposed from one of the recent Thor figures, presumably the most recent Age of Ultron release. I only own the original Avengers Thor release from way back when and it has some notable differences from the hammer that came with that figure. It’s still diecast and it still has the lanyard. The biggest differences are in the handle sculpt. I won’t say it’s better or worse, just different. I love that Hot Toys included Mjolnir with the figure, particularly because of the way it was used in the film. The early scene where they’re establishing the link between worthiness and being able to lift the hammer seems to be played for laughs, but then it cleverly comes back to establish trust in Vision later on. Brilliantly done and to be honest, I can’t think of any other accessories that could have been included here.

htvis15

htvis16

Vision comes with the new(ish) type of stand that was introduced to the Marvel figures with Guardians of the Galaxy and Age of Ultron. These are bigger and classier looking than the old style, which is both good and bad. From a presentation standpoint, I feel these offer more value. They’re sturdier, have nicer name plates, and while some have balked at the stickers, I think they look fine. On the downside, these do take up more real estate on my shelves and my OCD doesn’t like that they don’t match the older figures. This one, however, has the nice bonus of offering a swap-out flight stand with waist grabber…

htvis19

htvis18

htvis17

This is similar to the one that came with my Winter Soldier Falcon figure only not quite as long. The stands are easy to swap out from the base and yet they hold very firm. Considering how light the accessories are with this figure, I’m glad Hot Toys decided to include this. It does help justify where some of the extra money went.

htvis14b

htvis9

I really am in love with this figure, even though the cape keeps it from being perfect. Granted, there have been third-party capes produced for Hot Toys figures before and here would be a great opportunity for another. Then again, I’m usually too much of a pussy to try even simple custom jobs on these figures, so I’m happy to leave it the way it is, because I truly don’t mind the way it looks on the figure, only that it doesn’t look screen accurate to the film. Everything else about Vision is beautifully crafted and he really pops on the shelf even when surrounded by his fellow Avengers. As for the price, Vision retails at $220, which is pretty much the low end of the spectrum for Hot Toys pricing these days. Unless your Quicksilver, in that case they knocked another ten off because he’s Quicksilver. I shouldn’t poke fun at it, because I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t considering him as a purchase, if nothing else as a companion piece ot the next Hot Toys figure I’ll be looking at… Age of Ultron Scarlet Witch. Hopefully next week…

Aliens: Xenomorph Warrior and Sgt. Craig Windrix by NECA

Star Wars has May the 4th and now Alien has April 26th… as in 4/26… as in LV-426. Was this a thing last year? Because I honestly have no memory of it. Anyway, what better way to celebrate then by checking out some Aliens figures from NECA? Today I’m opening up the Alien Warrior and Sgt. Windrix…

xenowind1

The figures come in sealed blisters very much like the ones used for the figures based off of the original Alien film. In fact, the only real difference is that the inserts here are branded for the sequel Aliens. The packaged figures look outstanding, but they’re not really collector friendly, as you’ll need a plasma cutter, blow torch or a vile of alien blood to get into them. Also, scissors work too. Let’s kick things off with the Xenomorph Warrior.

xenowind2

xenowind3

Of course, the Xenomorph received a cosmetic makeover between the original film and Aliens and this figure reflects all the design changes. The majority of the buck is the same as the one we saw from the first film and in the AvP Two Pack, but there are significant changes as well. The hands and feet are brand new, featuring longer and creepier fingers on the hands and an extra toe jutting out on the feet that gives the creature a bit of a simian look. You also get the weird “handles” added to the forearms.

xenowind4

xenowind5

The head sculpt is also brand new. Gone is the smooth and shiny dome of its cousins and in its place is one that better reflects the bio-architecture of the rest of the body. You get some disgusting sinewy bits around the jaws and the inner mouth seems to project out a lot further in this one than my other Xenos. So which Alien head is my favorite? Pfft. That’s like asking me what my favorite ice cream is. I happen to love whatever is in the bowl in front of me. They all have their charms. I happen to find the smooth head a little more creepy, but this one has a lot more cool Giger stuff going on.

xenowind8

The paint features a blue-gray wash over the lovely high gloss black, which nicely picks out all those incredible details in the body sculpt. I’ve opened three different Xenos from NECA now and I fall in love with this mold each and every time.

xenowind7

xenowind6

The articulation is the same as we’ve seen on the previous figures. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders, with some nice ratcheting action. The elbows are hinged and have swivels, and the wrists have rotating hinges. The legs have rotating hinges in the hips, double hinges in the knees, and rotating hinges again in the ankles. The toes are even hinged! The head is ball jointed on the neck and has a hinged mouth. Finally, the tail has that lovely bendy wire in it that lets you pose it in a myriad of ways. The Xenomorph is fun to pose and he’s balanced enough to maintain a surprising number of poses. I don’t think I’m engaging in hyperbole when I say that NECA’s Xenomorphs are among the finest figures to ever swing on a peg at this price point. And thankfully, we’ve got a brave Space Marine to fight him…

xenowind9

If you aren’t already familiar with the both heartwarming and heartbreaking story, Marine Sgt. Craig Windrix is a loving nod to real life Craig Windrix who the world lost to cancer back in 2014. He is the brother of Kyle Windrix, lead sculpting wizard at NECA Toys. Craig was immortalized in plastic form by NECA’s Randy Falk and the rest is history. As if it wasn’t enough that the folks at NECA make some wonderful toys, they seem like a bunch of wonderful human beings as well. It’s a beautiful story and I actually had to stop typing this paragraph about halfway through and collect myself, because… well, you know.

xenowind10

xenowind11

Besides the great story behind the figure, I really wanted to get Sgt. Windrix, because quite frankly, I’m not fond of any of the Marines in Aliens. I find them all to be incredibly annoying. So Craig is, and will likely continue to stand as my one and only human representative in the war against the Xenomorphs. Having no others in my collection, I’m going to assume this is built on the same body as Hicks and Hudson. The majority of the buck is a beautifully camouflaged set of fatigues with sculpted knee pads and shin guards. The patches on the shoulders are actually part of the sculpt too!

xenowind12

Wrapped around the torso is a soft plastic vest, which includes a harness and all sorts of sculpted gear, as well as a removable shoulder light. Windrix’s name is printed across the front just under the neckline and he has all sorts of lovingly painted graffiti, which are references to real life Craig’s girlfriend and his other favorite things.

xenowind22

The articulation on the figure is quite good, especially when you consider how much gear and armor he’s wearing. The arms feature rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, double hinged at the knees, and have ball jointed ankles. There’s a ball joint in the chest under the armor vest and the neck is ball jointed.

xenowind13

No Marine can go into battle without his gear and Sgt. Windrix has some cool stuff. For starters, he comes with a cutting tool that attaches to his belt. This is a very simple accessory that actually looks like part of the web gear, but it can indeed come off and be held by the figure. It’s also worth noting that the shoulder light can come off and be held by the figure.

xenowind14

xenowind15

Next up, you get the motion tracker, which includes a shoulder strap for easy carrying. The sculpt on this thing is fantastic and the tiny screen even has a detailed instrument panel, because being you have to be well-informed when you’re on a bug hunt.

xenowind17

xenowind16

Finally, you get the military grade flamethrower. It’s another excellent accessory with great sculpt and paintwork, but it’s a little tough to get him to hold it convincingly. The way the handle is shaped doesn’t jibe all that well with Windrix’s gun-toting hand forcing him to hold it rather awkwardly. Having him cradle the barrel in his off hand does help things a bit. I’m guessing that the right hand on the figure came from Hicks and/or Hudson and was designed to hold a different kind of weapon.

xenowind23

xenowind18

xenowind19

I’ve had this pair waiting to be opened for a while now, so I’m glad Alien Day came up and gave me the motivation to do it. NECA has really made this franchise (along with the Predators) into their bread and butter and it’s easy to see they have a deep love and respect for the property. Opening up this figures finally catches me up on the Alien figures that I own. My next acquisitions from this line will likely be the figures based on the Alien: Isolation game as well as the Kenner-inspired Ellen Ripley that I just pre-ordered. Beyond that we’ve got another killer wave coming up soon inspired by Alien 3, a film that many people hate, but I hold a lot of affection for.

Marvel Legends (Red Onslaught Wave): Demolition Man by Hasbro

Another Marvel Monday, another Legends figure. I’m in the home stretch with my look at the Red Skull/Onslaught Wave and down to the very last slot of shared figures. These are the “Mercenaries of Mayhem” and if you haven’t guessed yet, I’m saving my most anticipated figure of this wave for last… so until then let’s check out Demolition Man.

mldemo1

Package Shot. Nothing new to say about it, so let’s take a minute to qualify who this figure really is. Yes, it’s Dennis Dunphy who was Demolition Man, but this is the character under the control of Hydra in the guise of Scourge in the pages of Captain America. Why they didn’t just name him Scourge on the box is beyond me, because I’d be pretty surprised if Hasbro let the name Scourge fall out of trademark what with it being the name of a character in their line of change-o-bots. I’d argue that having the name Demolition Man on the package isn’t even correct, but hey at least it only appears on the back. Also, Hasbro… make us a proper Legends Demolition Man! But hey, don’t take any of that Jameson-fueled ramble to mean that I’m not happy to get this figure. My Vol. 3 TPB of Brubaker’s Captain America is well read…

mldemo2

… and besides, just look at him! He’s pure 100% concentrated mercenary badass! After getting so many painted bucks, it’s always a treat to get a figure with some fresh sculpting and this guy has it plus layers of tactical gear. The buck looks all new to me, but then I’m terrible at spotting this sort of thing. He’s loaded with detail from the texturing on the torso to the segmented elbow pads, down to his distinctive looking boots. And while Scourge’s deco is derived mostly from black plastic, you do get some really sharp looking white and silver paint to spruce things up a bit.

mldemo3

mldemo5

mldemo4

Over that brilliant buck, Scourge is toting a tactical harness with enough pouches to make Deadpool jealous. You also get some nice gold paint on the shotgun shells he has on the cross belt. The main harness has a sheath for his combat knife and he’s got a second thigh strap holding a great looking molded holster for his automatic pistol. This is great stuff!

mldemo6

mldemo7

The head sculpt is an imposing mask, which would scare any villain straight. It features narrow red eyes and slits for a mouth flanked by two breather canisters. The only thing not armored on this guy are his ears. Again, the metallic silver paint on the mask and shoulders really pops against the black of the rest of the figure.

mldemo13

Scourge is loaded with great articulation. The arms have rotating hinges at the shoulders and wrists, double hinges in the elbows, and swivels in the biceps. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, double hinged at the knees, and have swivels both at the thighs and tops of the boots. The ankles are hinged and have lateral rockers. There’s a ball joint in the chest and both a ball joint and hinge in the neck.

mldemo17

mldemo16

You get three weapons with Scourge and they’re all excellent. First up is the combat knife that fits into the sheath. This is a sweet little military style combat knife with a sculpted brown grip and a black tanto-style blade. He can hold it beautifully in his left hand.

mldemo11

mldemo12

mldemo10

Next up, is the automatic pistol. The maroon and orange color scheme is certainly distinctive and the sculpt is spot on. Hasbro has gotten pretty funky with some of the pistols in this line now and then, but this sidearm is sized right and looks great in his hand. It also fits into the holster on his thigh.

mldemo8

mldemo9

Finally, when things get serious, Scourge can bust out his combat shotgun. This weapon features a solid sculpt and a deco that matches the pistol. It has a hand grip for the pump and some painted shells along the side of the receiver.

mldemo14

mldemo15

mldemo18

I started this feature with a little dig against Scourge saying I was saving my most anticipated figure for last, but I have to say, this guy is going to be a tough act to follow. He features an amazing sculpt, great paint, fun articulation, and some damn fine weapons. Scourge is an absolute home run in every category and he may indeed be the surprise breakout figure of this wave for me. He’s also a perfect example of why I think Hasbro needs to bring GI JOE to the 6-inch format. I think about the amount of fun I’ve had playing with this guy and I can only imagine a Real American Hero line getting the same style of treatment in this scale. I’d even be willing to full on subscription service for something like that, Hasbro, so long as the figures turned out as good as Scourge here. Anyway, it’ll be interesting to see if the last figure of the wave can beat this guy. I’ll find out next Monday when I finally open Taskmaster!

Eiyuu Senhime Gold: Hero Princess Tutankhamun PVC Figure by QuesQ

Today I’m checking out my first PVC figure from QuesQ, a company that has done work with some anime properties that interest me, like Attack on Titan (but who hasn’t?) and Arpeggio of Blue Steel (not much out there from that series), as well as some game franchises that are rather obscure here in the States like Eiyuu Senhime Gold. I’m always a bit apprehensive about going in with a new manufacturer without ever having seen their figures in person, but here’s one where I was willing to roll the dice.

quesqtut1

quesqtut2

The figure comes in a rather compact box with a nice Egyptian themed deco and windows on the front and top to allow for a peek at the goods inside. Alas, my box is a little crunched up on top, but I got such a good deal on this one that I’m not concerned about it. The figure comes sandwiched between two clear plastic sleeves and while she can come apart at the waist and neck, the figure come assembled. You just have to peg her into the base and put her staff in her hand and she’s ready to go. At approximately 1/8 scale she stands exactly 8-inches, including the base.

quesqtut3

quesqtut4

quesqtut5

All set up, this young lady looks gorgeous. If you’re not familiar with the game, Eiyuu Senhime Gold, you’re in good company. I only learned about the first time I saw this figure and I rather fell in love with the game’s character art. It’s billed as a strategy game, but it sounds like it’s equal parts visual novel. You’re out to conquer the world and up against some of the most famous rulers in history… and all of them happen to be adorable chicks, because… reasons… and Japan… and reasons. Obviously, this little lady is Tutankhamun. Just go with it.

quesqtut6

quesqtut7

quesqtut8

I think it was a combination of the bishoujo style, the Egyptian theme, and the rather wonderful composition that made me take notice of this figure. The lingering pose reminds me a lot of my Lineage II Elf, another figure I own based off a Japanese game that I knew nothing about. Lady Tut is clad in a very simple white dress that’s blowing up just enough to give you a hint of a little sumthin-sumthin going on underneath. It’s tied at the waist with a red sash from which dangles a metallic blue ankh on her left hip. I dig the way they did the myriad of bangles on her wrists and ankles, each with three of them sculpted in series and one left loose to dangle. Her left hand is raised to her cheek and her right hand drags behind her holding her blue and gold staff. The skin tone is orange, which adds to her exotic look and suggests that she possibly eats a lot of carrots.

quesqtut10

quesqtut13

The portrait is fantastic. I love the way her sculpted bangs hang way over her face, but it’s her eyes that really get me. The striking tones of blue and purple paint are quite mesmerizing.

quesqtut11

quesqtut12

You also get this fabulous headdress that resembles a giant blue eye set in a golden frame with chains of gold medallions draping around her head.

quesqtut9

The base is an extremely simple raised disk, cast in a rose colored plastic with the name inscribed across the front. The figure pegs into it quite easily. Oh yeah, and because the figure does come apart, if you’re really keen on seeing what’s going on under that skirt, it happens to come off…

quesqtut17

quesqtut18

Yup. She’s got a dainty little modesty cloth in the front and a cute little gold bird around back.

quesqtut19

quesqtut16

Everything about this piece makes me happy I bought it, but that brings us to price. Granted, the sculpt and paintwork on this figure are practically flawless, but the original retail on this little lady was a whopping $150 and as impressed as I am with her, I just can’t see the justification there. And I’m not someone who isn’t adverse to spending some money on a well-crafted anime honey, as evidenced by some of the money I’ve thrown at MegaHouse and Orchid Seed. I’ll leave Kotobukiya out of it, because quite frankly I think a lot of their figures are worth more than the initial asking price. Nonetheless, price was the reason I admired Ms Tut here from afar until I was ultimately able to get a nice deal on her at about $55. I’d like to sit here and say that I feel she’s worth three times that, but the truth I wouldn’t have been as satisfied with her had I gone much higher.

DC Icons: (#06) Blue Beetle by DC Collectibles

It’s DC Friday and I’m back to working my way through the pile of DC Icons figures that currently resides in the corner of my toy closet. Today’s figure? Blue Beetle! Now, I’m a Ted Kord fan and I will be until the day I die. How come everyone else gets to come back to life, but not Ted? Even Booster Gold couldn’t make that happen. My point is, when when DC passed the mantle of Blue Beetle onto some kid named Jaime Reyes, I was pretty skeptical and resistant. But in the end I was won over by a really great character, a super cool new (retconned alien) suit, and what was a truly solid ongoing book.

dciblueb1

Here’s the package. We’ve seen this plenty of times, so let’s not dwell on it. It points out that this is the 8th figure in the series and that Blue Beetle is based on “Infinite Crisis,” which was his first appearance back in 2006. As always, the box is collector friendly and gives you a great look at the figure and the accessories inside.

dciblueb3

Besides Reyes being a great character, it’s hard not to fall in love with the design of this suit and it’s obviously heavily influenced by the retconned alien tech origins. The Icons figure nails all the crucial details, particularly how almost eerily slender it looks. The two-tone black and blue deco is quite striking and I’ve got to say the blue plastic they used here is absolutely gorgeous. The black portions of the suit feature sculpted segmented lines, while the blue armored portions are beautifully contoured. The beetle sits on his back and the legs protrude around the sides of the torso as well as over the shoulders. You can get a better look at it from behind…

dciblueb4

It actually looks like a separate removable piece, although it is permanently attached to the figure. The wings peg into the back of the beetle and are cast mostly in an iridescent clear blue plastic, which offers some spectacular effects when lit up from behind.

dciblueb5

In most cases, I’ve said the portraits on the DC Icons figures aren’t really up to the DC Universe Classics standards. With Blue Beetle here, that’s definitely not the case. The DCUC figure’s head was too flat in the face, whereas this one is absolutely perfect. The blue chin guard that extends around to frame the face is actually part of the sculpt, as is the down-turned mouth. The painted details here are particularly good as well.

dciblueb9

dciblueb6

dciblueb7

Another area where the DCUC version of this character fell flat was the articulation. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t up to snuff with the incredible agility that the suit gave Reyes. It’s much better executed here in what is essentially the standard articulation for the Icons line, although there are a few opportunities for improvement. You get rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, the elbows and knees are double hinged. There are swivels in the biceps and middle of the forearms. The hips are ball jointed. The ankles feature hinges and lateral rockers. There is a ball joint in the chest and another in the neck. As always, my only real gripe here is the lack of swivels in the thighs.

dciblueb10

The wings are articulated only because they peg in and can swivel. I really would have liked to see hinges added similar to what Mattel has done with some figures in the Masters Classics line. It’s not a huge deal and what we got here is still better than the completely static wings of Mattel’s DCUC Blue Beetle.

dciblueb15

dciblueb14

Of course, Blue Beetle’s suit can create various weapons and tools and this figure conveys that ability with two swap-out arm pieces. You just pop the arms off at the middle of the forearm and pop in the desired weapon. The first of these is some kind of beam emitter, which kind of reminds me of Cyborg’s sonic cannon. I honestly don’t remember what this thing is supposed to do, but it looks pretty cool on the figure.

dciblueb11

dciblueb13

dciblueb12

The other is an alien minigun and I absolutely love this thing. There’s so much detail packed into the sculpt and while it’s clearly some kind of chain gun the alien influences in the design are unmistakable.

dciblueb2

dciblueb17

Blue Beetle is easily my favorite figure that I’ve featured in the DC Icons line to date. He’s a huge improvement over what we got from the DCUC line and he’s ridiculously fun to play around with. I would expect that this is going to be the definitive action figure version of the character for a long time to come, only because it’s hard to imagine anyone doing it any better. The sculpt and colors are spot on and the addition of the swappable arm parts just add value to what is already a fairly reasonably priced $20 figure.

Transformers Combiner Wars: G2 Stunticons Box Set by Hasbro, Part 2: Dead End and Brake-Neck

It’s Transformers Thursday again and here we are at the second part of my look at Hasbro’s Generation 2 style Stunticons. Last time we checked out Motormaster and today I’m going to take a look at Menasor’s legs: Dead End and Brake-Neck, or Wild Rider, if you prefer. We already saw the packaging last week, so let’s jump right in with the alt modes! These are, of course, straight repaints of the original figures, so we’re mostly going to be talking colors here…

dednek1

dednek2

So, straightaway I love the Sideswipe and Sunstreaker vibe that I get off of this pair. In the world of 90’s toy repaints that usually land somewhere between Swatch Watches and a Trapper Keeper, these guys are really not that outlandish. They are, however, blindingly bright. Dead End adopts a sumptuous candy-apple red and Brake-Neck a brilliant yellow. But just in case their colors aren’t crazy enough, they advertise their Generation 2 pedigree with the giant G2 Decepticon emblems on their hoods. Both emblems are in each car’s base color against a black backdrop and I really enjoy that they match each other.

dednek5

dednek6

Dead End’s deco does mingle with the outrageous by having a bright blue front bumper. It looks like he needed to replace it and went to Wheeljack’s U-Pull-It and could only find a blue bumper from his make and model and will eventually get around to painting it later, but right now he doesn’t have the money for it. He also sports some totally bitchin flame streaks down the side and teeny tiny G2 Decepticon emblems on what looks like it could be his gas caps, but that doesn’t make sense because there are two of them and he’s not a Jaguar. Still neat, though. The coloring is rounded out by some relatively sedate silver painted windows.

dednek4

dednek3

Brake-Neck’s deco is mostly just more yellow. He does have a little gradient orange trim behind the front wheel wells. He also has this crazy pattern on the roof that sort of reminds me of the cover of Pink Floyd’s The Final Cut. The rear window is black, but the side windows and windshield are painted with a very vibrant blue. Alright, let’s transform these guys and check them out, starting with Dead End…

dednek11

dednek12

Again, he’s fairly subdued for a G2 coloring. You get more of that lovely bright red with a good mix of gray and black. The bright blue chest really makes the sculpted detail there stand out and the yellow, red, and blue paint on the head is just fantastic. I don’t recall being too smitten with this head sculpt when I looked at the original figure, but here I’m really digging it a lot.

dednek9

dednek10

Brake-Neck is a little more surprising in that he sports some of that bright blue from his windows on his upper legs and fists. You also get some beautiful silver and his chest is black. The real treat here is the Wildrider head with the purple face. Man, do I dig that! I’ll also point out here that while Hasbro has been notorious for using some really shitty yellow plastic in the past, this stuff is actually really nice looking.

dednek16

dednek13

Both Stunticons come with the same exhaust pipe truncheon, which can be held in their hands or pegged onto their vehicle modes. I’m slightly disappointed that they didn’t paint them different colors, but I suppose they were the same colors on the original releases too, so maybe I was expecting too much there.

dednek7

dednek14

dednek8

dednek15

For two straight repaints, I’m surprised at how excited I am by this pair. The coloring just looks outstanding on every level and a lot of that is owed to the beautiful quality of the plastic and the way it holds the vibrant yellow and red. They really are a couple of beautiful figures and as bright as they are, I’d say the coloring on these could probably even win over those crazy people out there who are adverse to the whole G2 thang. Next time, I’ll wrap up the limbs with a look at Dragstrip and Breakdown!

Star Wars Black: Ahsoka Tano by Hasbro

If you follow me on The Twitters, you may have seen me carrying on like a big baby over the fact that while shopping at a BIG online retailer, I had a BAD experience shopping at that particular TOY STORE vis-a-vis this figure. Of course, I’m not going to mention them by name here (I have too much class for that!) but truth be told I’m still a little bitter over the way they handled it and the fact that I basically got screwed out of something I ordered. It wouldn’t have been such a big deal, but in this case Ahsoka has been rather difficult to find and prices online have been pretty outrageous. Thankfully a friend was able to hook me up without raking me over the coals too badly.

swbtano1

Here’s Ahsoka in her box and there’s really nothing new to to say about the packaging. Yes, the Star Wars Black Series is now becoming home to characters from what remains of the Expanded Universe. I suppose you could put Ahsoka here in the same category as the realistic version of Kanan that I looked at a week or so ago. Either way, the small corner of the EU that has not been dismantled by the Disney buy-out still includes The Clone Wars and Rebels. I’ve never been a big fan of The Clone Wars series, but OH MY GOD, DID YOU SEE THE SEASON TWO FINALE OF REBELS??? In that context, Ahsoka seems like a perfect companion to the Kanan figure and she also justifies me buying some prequel figures in this line a while back.

swbtano3

Yes, this is Ahsoka done with more realism and less of her more familiar stylized look. It’s not the first time we’ve seen her done this way, I think the first time was in the 4-inch Vintage Collection line, and like Kanan, I think this look suits her. I’m presuming that this is meant to be the older version of the character appearing in Rebels as she does look like an adult. Her outfit isn’t the most complex of designs, but I think they’ve managed to capture it pretty well here from her detached sleeves down to her knee-high boots. The skirt is comprised of soft plastic layered over a soft goods skirt, which is a nice touch and it’s designed to have enough give so as not to inhibit the hip articulation too badly.

swbtano4

Something about that skirt makes Ahsoka look like she’s sporting quite a badonk. Note to self: Immediately commit suicide for using the term badonk. I don’t remember her having such a large caboose in the show, but as the late, great Freddie Mercury sang: “Fat bottomed Togruta girls make the rocking galaxy go round!”

swbtano5

swbtano6

The portrait here is quite good in terms of sculpt. I particularly like the shape of her face in profile. Sadly, the paint is another story. The blue stripes on the tendrils are all over the place, which I suppose give them a little bit of an organic feel. Those are natural, right? Do Togrutas paint those? Is that a racist question? I feel like I should be backing out of this line of questioning. The other issues I have with the paint include her facial markings, which are a little off center and the eyes, which aren’t even. None of these issues really ruin the figure for me. Indeed, they’re not as apparent from the naked eye, and as always mileage may vary from figure to figure.

swbtano8

swbtano24

The articulation here is pretty good. You get rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, wrists, and ankles. The legs have ball joints in the hips and double hinges in the knees. There are swivels in the thighs, a ball joint in the chest, and a hinge and ball joint in the neck. On the downside, Ahsoka is sporting some pretty tiny feet, so getting her to remain upright in some of those action poses will require either a lot of patience or a good stand. I recommend NECA’s stands for use with most of these 6-inch Black figures. Obviously the tendrils inhibit her neck articulation quite a lot. I could get some side to side movement, but very little up and down.

swbtano9

swbtano10

swbtano19

swbtano17

Naturally, Ahsoka comes with her two lightsabers and there’s honestly not a lot to say about them. The clear blades are removable and the hilts can be hooked onto her hips.

swbtano22

swbtano21

swbtano25

swbtano23

swbtano2

Ahsoka is a very solid figure. I like her a lot and I continue to be a big fan of these realistic treatments of the animated characters. The sculpt is excellent, the articulation is solid, it’s only in the paint where she disappoints. Granted, what’s here is no worse than what we’ve been seeing in a lot of releases in the Black Series. And let’s face it, this line has been all over the place in terms of paint and sculpt quality. But, I’m making a point of calling it out here because Ahsoka is so hard to find and a lot of people are going to be tempted to pay a lot of money for her. If you want to buy her on Amazon right now she’s going to cost you between $45 and $60, and that’s a lot of money for what you’re getting.