KanColle: Battleship Nagato “Super Premium” Prize Figure by SEGA

Hooray! Anime Saturday is back again! I’m having a lazy morning, sipping some coffee and opening up a brand new Kantai Collection “Super Premium” figure from SEGA. I last visited with this line back in May of last year when I looked at the three Destroyers: Fubuki, Mutsuki, and Yuudachi. These are technically still prize figures, but they’re also closer to fully scaled figures and I found them to be remarkable, especially considering how ridiculously cheap they were. Today, I’m checking out the big mama of them all, Secretary Ship Nagato! And what lies ahead are some choppy waters filled with both delight and disappointment.

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While the Destroyers came in window boxes, Nagato comes in a fully enclosed and very colorful box with lots of pictures and very little in the way of English text. It’s a pretty damn big box too! The Destroyers were large for prize figures and Nagato is similarly scaled, measuring in at a little over 9-inches tall. Between that and her wide stance, the box had to be considerably larger. Inside, the figure comes nestled between two clear plastic trays with the stand detached. All you have to do is plug her into the base and she’s good to go. But wait… that’s it? Isn’t there something missing? Well, that’s the disappointing part, and I’ll save that for the end.

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…because everything else here is nothing but wonderful. Nagato is absolutely gorgeous and it’s hard to believe that she qualifies as a prize figure by any stretch of the imagination. The Secretary Ships, Nagato and Mutsu are my favorite two character designs from the anime and it’s awesome to see one of them get this Super Premium format treatment. The costume includes her sleek rudder boots, crimson stockings, which are held up by straps that attach to her armament belt, and secured by adorable little anchor snaps! She has a very short white skirt, and her cut-off top exposes her midriff and shoulders, and her long, finger-less gloves. I also love the simple but effective pose here.  She’s looks so damn majestic standing there with her right hand on her rigging belt and her left arm thrust out, about to issue the order to attack the cursed Abyssinal Fleet.

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The quality of plastic and paintwork on this figure are both exceptional. The colors are vibrant and the lines are so sharp, you really need to get in pretty close to see any imperfections. When you take a budget-priced prize figure and blow it up to this scale, I would expect to see plenty of opportunities for sloppy paint work, but there’s simply no evidence of that here. What’s more, the skin tones are soft and even and the plastic looks and feels great.

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The portrait is spot on, with Nagato offering up a characteristically stern and defiant expression. I really dig the way her long hair crowns the head and blows majestically in the breeze and her big beautiful eyes are perfectly printed. Naturally, the head sculpt includes her radar and antenna array.

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The simple black disc base is absolutely huge to accommodate her wide stance, but it looks kind of vacant. It also has a rectangular outline in the front. What could that be for? So, yeah… here comes the disappointing part. She’s obviously missing her 41cm Twin Gun Mount. This was one of the rare cases where the figure and armaments were sold separately. The Outfitting Kit included a second stand to display the gun mount independently, but you could also combine it with the figure and stand. I knew this going in, but the seller stated that both were included. When just the figure arrived and I challenged the seller, the response was ship it back for a refund. The truth was, I love the figure, and opted to take a hit and keep her.

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Nagato set me back $40 shipped, which admittedly would have been an amazing price for both the figure and Gun Mount. But hell, even for just the figure, the price seems right. And besides, Nagato spent 95% of the anime without her weaponry, so she’s absolutely fine displayed this way. In that regard, it feels like a crime to come away from this beautiful figure with any sense of disappointment. She’s simply amazing in every way. But in the end, I couldn’t let it stand, so I’ve got her Gun Mount coming from another seller in Japan. Naturally, when it arrives I’ll get her all kitted out and we’ll take a second look!

Arkham Knight: Catwoman by DC Collectibles

Yup, I’m still on an Arkham Knight figure kick and one day, I hope to get around to playing the game too! Honestly, even if I wasn’t starting to collect this line, I’d still probably have picked up Catwoman here, because I tend to pick up whatever Catwoman figures I can find. What can I say? I like cats and I like women. Meow!

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The packaging is the same as we saw last time with the Azrael figure. It’s an attractive and collector friendly window box with that stylish angled edge that features the figure’s name. I like the grittier box art too. The presentation here is just all around fantastic and if I weren’t so damn pressed for space, I’d keep the box. Sadly, that’s not an option.

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Free from her box, Catwoman is looking mighty fine. This isn’t a huge departure from Catwoman’s modern look in the comics, but it’s a quite a bit of a change from the Greg Capullo Catwoman I looked at a little while back. You get a much more realistic catsuit, and by that I mean it’s got all sorts of texturing and extra details. High friction areas are covered with a textured web-like honeycomb pattern while others are reinforced with just smooth padding. There’s a subtle mix of matte and gloss black to further distinguish the details. There’s also some crazy detail on the front laces of her high heeled boots. Those things must take forever to put on!

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While technically an accessory, I’ll mention her coiled whip here. It tabs into a slot on her right hip so you can display her wearing it when she’s not using it. It’s a great addition to the figure and I’ve to to say, I wish the Capullo Catwoman did something similar.

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The head sculpt is quite nice. Again, I can’t really vouch for the likeness to the in-game model since I’ve yet to play the game, but I like what we got here. The cowl has a sort of worn leather look to it and her red tinted goggles are sculpted permanently in the up position. I dig the way her hair falls over her left eye. The paint work on her green eyes and red lips is very sharp, and while Catwoman is often depicted wearing a choker, here she’s wearing a full-on kitty collar! Naturally, her front zipper is way down low to show off the kittens.

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Articulation is not something I expect in spades from DCC’s regular lines, but Catwoman here doesn’t make out too bad at all. The arms feature rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists. The legs have rotating hinges at the hips. swivels in the thighs, double hinges in the knees, and hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. There’s a ball joint just under the chest and another at the neck. She’s by no means super-articulated, especially for a nimble minx like Catwoman, but I’m still impressed at how much she can do for a non-Icons DCC figure. If her hips had just a little more range of motion toward the front, she’d be really something.

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As far as accessories go, I already mentioned the coiled whip. She also comes with an uncoiled whip and a total of three pairs of hands: Fists, whip-holding hands, and scratching claws. And let me tell you, the claws on this kitty are serious business. They freaking hurt like hell the first couple times I swapped hands on the figure. I think some paint rubbed off on the inside pegs, because after a few times, swapping hands wasn’t so difficult or painful.

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The action whip is a lot of fun to play with. It’s a stretchy rubber and she can hold it really well.

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I picked up this Catwoman off of Amazon when they were running some pretty great deals on the Arkham Knight figures. I think she wound up being around $13 and hell, I’ll buy figures like this at that price all day long. Indeed, I would have been perfectly happy shelling out the $20-22 she usually sells for, because she really is that good. Yeah, I’m biased because I dig Catwoman so much, but this may very well be my favorite figure of the character in my collection.

Transformers Titans Return: Darkmoon and Astrotrain by Hasbro

It feels like a while since I last did a proper Transformers Thursday, especially with my schedule change in January, but regular Thursday content is back in full swing, and while I can’t promise every Thursday will be about little plastic convertorobots, I’ll do my best to deliver where I can. Today, I’m checking out Titans Return Astrotrain, a figure that I’ve been looking forward to, because quite frankly the old Classics version just doesn’t cut it for me anymore and I recently unloaded it on Ebay to make way for this guy.

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And he’s a Voyager. I love that! Astrotrain was the Decepticons’ go to mode of interplanetary mass transportation whenever the series forgot that they could all just fly through space on their own. And while you still couldn’t fit any of the other figures in here, it just makes sense to me that he should be bigger than a Deluxe. Naturally, Astrotrain is still a Triple Changer, and I’m going to kick things off with his shuttle mode first!

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So, I really dig this mode. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t hoping for something more traditional, but I can get behind this design. This alt mode looks like a cross between a traditional NASA shuttle and a Cybertronian craft. It’s big and beefy and looks like it was made for battle rather than exploration. Part of that comes from the turret-like gun emplacements on the pylons under each wing. These really remind me of the ones on Armada’s Tidal Wave or even the ones on Energon Omega Supreme. In fact, this figure has a couple of call-backs that really bring that Omega Supreme toy to mind. The shuttle is absolutely loaded with sculpted detail, mostly in the form of panel lines. You also get sculpted windows, some flaps on the back, and what look like some kind of tiny doors on the dorsal surface. I’d like to think that these are missile bay doors. I can just picture an Itano Circus pouring out of the top and swarming toward poor Cosmos as he hauls ass to escape it.

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The coloring here is pretty simple, but so much better than the white Classics version. The top of the shuttle is a beautiful shade of traditional Decepticon purple, while the main body of the craft is gray and black. There’s precious little here in the way of paint apps, as this toy mostly lets the colored plastic do the talking, but it’s still a nice looking toy and I can’t argue with these colors. You do get a pair of crisp Decepticon emblems stamped on the wings. It’s probably worth qualifying here that while I love the coloring on this figure, the Takara version is so much better. I decided a while back that I wasn’t going to pay more for Takara paint jobs, only new molds, but here was one release where I cam close to making an exception.

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Astrotrain’s little Titan Master is called Darkmoon, which is a pretty bitchin’ name. He shares the same purple and gray plastic coloring as his big bot buddy. There’s no paint apps on him and he has the same articulation as the rest of the Titan Masters. That includes a ball jointed head, ball jointed shoulders, and hinges in the hips and knees, with the legs fused together. Astrotrain’s cockpit is at the top of the tail section and includes a purple tinted canopy, which again reminds me of the canopy on that Energon Omega Surpreme toy.

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Astrotrain comes with two guns, which can mount in various places on the shuttle, one of which is designed to fit a Titan Master in a seated position like an outrigger. I’m sure I’ve said this before, but I kind of dig this gimmick, as it reminds me a bit of something I might have made with some of the old Micronauts toys. You can even plug the other gun into it to make a really obnoxious looking gunning station. On the downside, I would have really loved a pair of the other gun to plug into those sockets under the tail fins. Having two different guns goes against my love of symmetry in my Transformers armaments. OK, enough said about the shuttle, let’s check out the train mode.

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Yeah, I’m not really loving this. While the shuttle mode took its share of liberties and worked, this futuristic bullet train just isn’t doing it for me. Frankly, it looks less like a train and more like it’s a few tweaks away from either being a battleship or a submarine. Once again, I’m going to go back to Energon Omega Supreme, because this really reminds me of the combined mode of his bizarre crane-train-and-battleship monstrosity. From the canopy at the top of the tower to the battleship-style turrets, I’d be hard pressed to believe that Energon Omega wasn’t the inspiration behind this mode. The only train elements I get off of this are the “cow catchers” on the front and back and the rather unconvincing rail wheels molded into the flip down panels. The deco remains very close to what we saw in the shuttle mode, and once again there’s plenty of sculpted detail like panel lines and tiny hatches and ladders, which give a good idea of how ginormous this thing is supposed to be. In the end, I think I’m going to forget this mode exists. So let’s deep six this choo-choo and check out the robot mode!

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Now this is where it’s at! From the front, I’ve got precious little to complain about here. Yeah, I really wish they had given him the split tail fin chest shield. That tab there is just aching for it and it seems like it would have been easy to include it as just a piece that gets set aside when the figure is in his alt modes. Other then that, this guy is just fabulous. There’s something about him, and I can’t put my finger on it, that just makes him look a little above and beyond the usual Hasbro Voyagers. Maybe it’s the quality of plastic, maybe it’s the cut panel lines. Whatever it is, I’m at a loss for words. The front of the figure’s color palate dumps a lot of the purple, relegating it to the sides of the legs and fists, in favor of a largely gray and black deco.

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From the back, we can see where most of that purple went. It’s also here that I have my biggest complaint about the figure and that’s his lower legs. They look with the train fronts sticking out, like they want to be heel spurs, but aren’t. Swivel cuts here would have done a world of good, not only aesthetically, but also to help balance the figure a little better. But I suppose these are minor complaints.

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Astrotrain can make use of the turrets from his alt modes as extra armament when he’s in robot mode. I approve of this!

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Darkmoon makes for a mighty fine head. Yeah, the face sculpt is a little soft, but I still like what they did here. You have the option of deploying two pylons on the sides of his head by pressing a lever below his chest. I don’t like these, I’m not even sure why they’re there, so I’m glad they’re optional.

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Of course, Astrotrain can wield the two weapons we saw with vehicle mode as rifles. I’m sticking with just the one that isn’t designed to sit the Titan Master.

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While it may sound like I have more than a few issues with Astrotrain, the good here certainly outweighs the bad. I love the robot mode, I like the shuttle mode, and the train mode… well, two out of three ain’t bad. There’s just a lot to love about this figure and he’s definitely a step up from the Classics version, which has been a sub-standard stand in for Astrotrain for quite a while. I’m certain glad I didn’t cave in and grab one of those pricey Third Party Astrotrain efforts. While they are definite improvements on this guy, I’m perfectly happy sticking with this toy for the money.

Terminator 2 Judgement Day: Ultimate T-1000 (Motorcycle Cop) by NECA

It’s always a great day when a new one of these NECA “Ultimate” figures arrives on my doorstep. Today, I’m opening up the fourth figure in this series from Terminator 2, which also happens to be the second release of the T-1000 from that film (check out the first release here!). This time he appears in his motorcycle cop disguise with a bevy of accessories, some old and some new. I’m always thrilled to pick up another figure from this movie, because it was so groundbreaking and I think it stands as one of the best Summer Sci-Fi-Action flicks of all time. Hell, I can still remember how pumped I was coming out of the theater after seeing it for the first time!

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I’ve gushed on and on (and on!) about how much I love the packaging for this line. The figure comes in a collector friendly box with a front flap secured by velcro. Open it up to reveal a window that offers a great look at the contents. As always, the box evokes the feel of a VHS tape in its sleeve, only a lot more chunkier. NECA also does a wonderful job of matching up these packages, so they look great all lined up on the shelf together.

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And here’s why they call these “Ultimate” figures. As you can see from the tray, you get a lot of stuff. The other great thing about these figures is they really serve to enhance each other. Having either one of these T-1000’s is cool enough, but if you own both of them, you can mix and match parts to recreate whatever you want.

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But make no mistake, this isn’t some minor variant release. With the exception of the belt and maybe the pelvis, this body is an entirely new sculpt. The torso features a motorcycle jacket that is brimming with detail. Besides the usual stitching, pockets, and wrinkles, you get some meticulously detailed shoulder patches and a tiny, but beautiful, badge. I’m really blown away by how much attention NECA spent on this jacket. The trousers feature piping on the sides and he’s wearing tall boots. Finally, the familiar belt features a sculpted walkie-talkie, handcuff pouch, two magazine pouches, and a working holster for his pistol.

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The stock head features the helmet and sunglasses. This noggin looks amazing, and I particularly love the glossy paintwork on the helmet itself.

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In addition to the helmeted head, you get two more portraits. One is just a standard one with a fantastic sculpt of Robert Patrick’s “determined to kill you” mug. It’s very similar to the one that came with the last T-1000 and I’m honestly not sure if it’s the same sculpt or not. This one seems to have more of an intense stare, I’m talking crazy peepers! But that could just be the paint. Either way, the likeness is fantastic and it’s an amazing piece of work.

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The other is a nice compliment to the “zipping up” head that came with the previous release. Here the head is totally blown apart and the effect is fantastic. Some may remember that I had a tough time swapping the heads on the first T-1000 because of a super tight fit. I’m happy to say that these go on and off very easily. And if you’re keeping score at home…

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That’s a total of six Robert Patrick heads so far, assuming you own both releases. That’s a lot of Robert Patrick!!

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The articulation here is pretty standard for the line. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and the elbows, and the hands are attached with ball joints. The legs feature rotating hinges in the hips and knees, with the knee joints actually being slightly below the knee to conceal the joints in the boots. The ankles are hinged and feature lateral rockers. There’s a ball joint in the waist and another at the base of the neck. OK… let’s talk accessories!

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For starters, you get two guns. The first is the same service pistol, which I believe is a Beretta 92FS, that came with the original release. You also get a pair of gun-holding hands and the gun will fit in the holster on his belt. The other is the H&K sub-machine gun that the T-1000 used during the motorcycle chase.

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In addition to the relaxed hands and gun-holding hands, you also get a pair of the extended metal finger hands. These are the same ones that came with the last T-100 release, with one a little longer than the other.

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Finally, you get the sword arm, which attaches at the shoulder. I really like how they did this piece, since despite it morphing from the jacketed arm, it still works and looks just fine on the first release.

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It’s impossible for me to end any review of a NECA “Ultimate” figure without remarking on what a great value these are. If you’re lucky enough to have a TRU or an FYE in your area, you should be able to grab these for about $22-25. And when you consider the attention to detail and craftsmanship that goes into these releases, that’s one of the best deals going in the action figure aisles today. Not to mention all the extras and the premium packaging. What’s even better is that NECA isn’t done with this film yet. They’ve already teased another T-800 release, this time with the flower box and shotgun from the beginning of the film. Just keep making them, NECA, and I’ll keep buying them!

Marvel Legends (Abomination Wave): Scarlet Witch by Hasbro

Marvel Legends continues to both amaze and befuddle me. Obviously, it’s being driven by the marketing juggernaut (HA!) that is the Disney-Marvel cinematic machine. And yet when it comes to Legends figures, the comic-based and often more obscure characters have outnumbered the cinematic counterparts. Now, I’m not complaining… not really. Having figures like Shocker, Batroc, and Eel swinging on the pegs is a wonderful thing. But I’m still surprised that Hasbro has been so slow in giving us MCU versions of many main characters.

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Case in point, I’m only now getting a Legends MCU Scarlet Witch, with Hasbro passing over her premier in Age of Ultron and going straight for Civil War. And here, she’s seemingly thrown into an otherwise totally comic-based wave like an afterthought. It’s weird, but nonetheless welcome. What’s more, this figure turned out so damn amazing… it’s almost magical! All puns aside. I love this figure!

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I really love the evolution of Wanda’s costume in the movies. She starts out with the almost gypsy-like outfit in Age of Ultron (which I happily have represented in Hot Toys form) and streamlines it to something that looks similar, but a lot more polished and more suited to super hero scuffles. Hasbro really nailed it here in their 6-inch version. I really dig what they did with her corset. It’s got that vertical ribbing and some great stitching down the front. The slightly metallic red they used for it looks fantastic and the front lacing is neatly panted in black.

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The jacket, however, is the real star of this little plastic costume. I’ll be the first to admit that the whole trench coat look is getting more than a bit tired, especially in super hero films, but I think this just works splendidly. Every little detail is sculpted in from the overall texture to the stitching on the belt and the reinforced patches on the elbows and shoulders. I also really dig the way it fans out at the bottom. It creates a nice dramatic look and also helps keep it from interfering with her articulation. Even the color is just perfect. They also did a wonderful job on her finger-less gloves.

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And then you have the portrait. Would I recognize this as Elizabeth Olsen? Nah, probably not. If you tell me this is Elizabeth Olsen can I see a little of her in there? Sure, why not. Either way, I think it’s a fantastic looking sculpt. I’m tempted to say they went a little too heavy on the rouge, but then I think it adds a little warmth to the face. It’s certainly miles better than what they did to poor Daisy Ridley with the 6-inch Star Wars Black Rey figure. The sculpted hair here looks great too, although it does work against the neck articulation.

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Speaking of articulation, Wanda’s stacks up pretty well. She’s got rotating hinges in her shoulders, elbows, and wrists, but sadly no bicep swivels. Her legs are ball jointed at the hips, have swivel cuts in the thighs, and double hinges in the knees. The ankles are hinged and have lateral rockers. She’s got a ball joint just under the chest, and another in the neck. Yes, this is case where I really do miss those bicep swivels. They would have allowed for a lot more spell-slinging poses, but I’m still having a good time with what we got.

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About the only knock I have against Scarlet Witch are the crappy effect parts she came with. No, I’m usually not one for effect parts in the first place, but these just look terrible. There’s no subtlety or craft about them. They’re just giant swirls of transparent red plastic. If I didn’t know anything about her character and I saw these, I’d guess her power was shooting flames out of her hands. Here’s a case where I like the comic-style hex effects much better.

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Good thing I have about a thousand pairs of those in almost every color of the rainbow! I went with the pink ones! It’s appropriate, because I think those are the ones that came with comic-based Scarlet Witch.

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I’ll be honest, I wasn’t looking forward to this wave. In fact, the only reason I picked up most of the figures in it was because they were $10 each on Amazon, and if I had waited, I would have found they went even lower. Of course, Scarlet Witch was the exception. I actually wound up forking over $25 for her, but it was worth every penny. She’s a fantastic figure and a long overdue addition to my MCU Legends shelf. And while Wanda deserved her own slot on Marvel Monday, I can’t say the same for the rest of the figures that make up this Abomination Wave. There’s nothing terrible here, but nothing terribly exciting either. So I’ll be doubling up on a lot of the rest so I can get in and get out a little faster than usual.

And just a reminder, I’m starting my new (hopefully for keeps this time) update schedule this week with new content on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. I’ll still be rotating Saturdays, but I do believe I’ll have an Anime Saturday ready for this week. 

DC Universe Signature Series: Superboy by Mattel

It’s been over three years since a DC Signature Series figure last appeared here on FFZ. This line was Matty’s noble attempt to keep DC Universe Classics going as a subscription line after it was pulled from the toy aisles for reasons that still don’t make any sense to me, but that’s an issue that I’ve tackled here before and I won’t go into it again now. Anyway, the subscription didn’t get enough support to go forward in 2014, but Matty still released a handful of figures that were already far along in production. One of those was Connor Kent and he was offered up as part of Matty’s going out of business sale at the end of last year.

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While the figures were designed to fit right in with DC Universe Classics, the presentation got a complete overhaul. And, boy, the packaging for this line was great. You get a collector friendly window box with character art on the side panel so you can identify the figure if you have the boxes all lined up on the shelf. The back panel features another piece of character art and a blurb about the character.

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Superboy features a nice balance between simple buck and unique sculpting. The upper body is just a muscled buck with the black, short sleeved T-shirt painted on and the red S-Shield stamped in the middle. It looks great, and the size really fits the younger, albeit still buffed out, character.

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From the waist down, we get sculpted jeans with a simple belt. There are plenty of rumples in the jeans, and I dig how the actual seams on the upper legs are lined up to match the sculpted seams of the jeans on the lower legs. The jeans end in cuffs, left outside of his black boots. Again, there’s nothing outrageous about the sculpt here, but everything works so well. It’s just a great, simple, and clean looking figure.

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The portrait is notably more mature than the last Superboy we got in the DC Universe Classics series. It’s also a bit more stylized than I’m used to seeing in this line. With all that having been said, I still like it and I think it works well. The head sculpts in this line were usually solid efforts, and Connor here is no different.

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The articulation here reaches back to the DCUC line and really scratches that nostalgic itch. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders, swivels in the biceps and wrists, and hinges in the elbows. The legs have that funky DCUC style hips, the knees and ankles are hinged, and there are swivels in the thighs. There’s a swivel in the waist, an ab crunch hinge in the torso and a ball joint on the neck.

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Connor was one of those figures that fell under my radar. I remember being disappointed at not getting him when the 2014 subscription failed, but somehow I missed him when Matty initially put him up for sale. Lucky for me they had some stock left over at the end, and I was able to drop him into my cart along with the short list of MOTUC figures that I still needed, making my Signature Collection now complete. The only problem with getting a figure like this one is that now I want to hit Ebay and hunt down the elusive DCUC figures that I’m still missing.

Star Wars Black: AT-AT Driver by Hasbro

I’m pressed for time today, but I also wanted to dig into the newest wave of Star Wars 6-inch Black Series figures, so I’m going with the one figure in this assortment that I have the least to say about: The AT-AT Driver! Of course, that shouldn’t be mistaken for a general lack of affection for this guy.

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Somewhere along the way, I fell into the misconception that AT-AT Drivers were just repainted TIE Pilots. It’s an easy mistake to make, although with how long I’ve been collecting Star Wars figures, you’d think I would have known better. Indeed, playing around with this figure really made me appreciate how different the two designs are and in some cases, they are oddly different. For example, the AT-AT Driver has the leg harness that we see on most of the Rebel Pilot flight suits. Why does the AT-AT Driver have those, but the TIE Pilot doesn’t? Shouldn’t it be the other way around? These aren’t questions I can answer here, so let’s just check out the damn figure.

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Wow, he’s fantastic! Well, except for one glaring problem he’s fantastic, but I’ll get to that in a bit. I’ve always been partial to this design, although to be honest the pair that I had as a kid rarely left my Kenner AT-AT’s head. And the pair of modern 3 3/4-inchers that I now own rarely ever leave Hasbro’s Super AT-AT’s head. Well, here’s one that I’ll be able to display on his own, because obviously there ain’t no 6-inch Super AT-AT to put him in and let’s be honest, it’s never coming. Although, a properly scaled cockpit would be cool!

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The sculpt here is excellent. You get all kinds of rumples, stitching, pockets, and texturing in the underlying jumpsuit. The boots are nice and chunky, the gauntlets look great, and the shoulder armor is cast in soft and pliable plastic so as not to impede the articulation. I would have liked more of a matte finish for the suit, but Hasbro went for bare plastic, which has a glossy sheen to it.

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I really dig the attention to detail on the control box. The sculpt is so sharp and the paint is neat and carefully applied. Same goes for the box on his back. The hoses run from the box to the cylinders on the back of the helmet and are flexible enough to allow the head to move unhindered.

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Besides the control box on the chest, it’s always been the helmet on these guys that I loved the most, and Hasbro went all out recreating it for this figure and he’d be just about perfect if it wasn’t for that majorly droopy Imperial Insignia on the right side of his helmet. Dammit, Hasbro! You were so close here and you blew it on an easy one! To be fair, that emblem droop doesn’t bother me nearly as much as I thought it would, but it’s still going to make me hunt down another one of these.

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The articulation is as good as we get with the regular troopers. You get rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, wrists, and hips. The knees are double hinged, there are swivel cuts in the thighs, and the ankles have both hinges and lateral rockers. There’s a ball joint buried in the chest and another under the helmet. And while this guy is probably used to just sitting down and driving his AT-AT you can get some nice poses out of him. Toss in the E-11 Blaster that he comes with and he’s ready for action. It would have been cool to get an homage to the rifle that came with the vintage figure too, but oh well!

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Don’t let my brevity today fool you into thinking I don’t totally dig this figure, because I sure do. Is it really any better than Hasbro has done in the 3 3/4-inch scale? Probably not. But, Hasbro hit all the right points on this guy, save for one damn sloppy emblem placement, and I’m very happy to have him joining my 6-inch scaled Imperial Forces. Even though he’s got nothing to drive, he’s an important figure that I can finally check off my Black Series want list. Now to go hunt down a better one…