Playmobil Ghostbusters Firehouse (#9219)

Once again, folks, DC Friday is being preempted so that I can get to some Playmobil Ghostbusters goodness. Sorry about that, but rest assured, it will return next week when I get back into checking out some DC statues. And now… on with today’s content…

There’s something about getting a playset in a big box that still feels like something special. Maybe it’s because it reminds me of the magic of being a little kid at Christmas, or maybe it’s because so few of these things are made anymore that it’s become a rare occurrence. Either way, I knew after only a few moments after getting Playmobil’s Ecto-1 set up that I would need to get the Firehouse to house it in. Well, it arrived earlier this week and I’ve had some time to play around with it. If this set had come out anywhere near December, I probably would have held off opening it until Christmas, but that’s still a ways off, so I’m diving in right away!

In typical Playmobil fashion, the illustrations and photos on the box let’s the product do the talking. Sure there are some digital effects, but for the most part what you see on the box is what you’re actually getting inside. Also, the box is huge, although it’s not terribly deep, so right off the bat you just know there’s going to be a lot of assembly here. You can also tell that from rattling the box or by looking at where it proclaims that there are 228 pieces inside!

Open her up and you’re presented with more than ten bags of pieces, plus a bunch of loose bigger pieces, and a bag with instructions, some rubbery splotches of green slime, and a sticker sheet. I knew right away it was time to brew up a pot of coffee and tuck in for a fairly lengthy build. Granted, a fair number of those 228 pieces include the figures, equipment, and furnishings, but even putting together the structure itself was more involved than I was expecting, and I’m no stranger to Playmobil! I should throw out a warning, that while it’s probably possible to disassemble the Firehouse and get it back in the box, it’s not something I’m willing to risk, which means somehow I’m going to have to find the shelf space for this beast!

The instructions are pretty good, although the bags aren’t numbered like LEGO sets, so while you may be finding most of the pieces in a step in one bag, some might be in another. As a result, I played it fast and loose with the steps, and I still did OK. A lot of putting together the actual building involved these red square joining pieces and this Playmobil tool. I’ve had Playmobil sets ever since I was a kid, and I’ve never even seen one of these before! The worst thing about the entire build was putting together the two staircases. Each step had to be individually inserted (something like sixteen in all!) and it took a ridiculous amount of force to get them together. Also, the tool didn’t help with it and my thumbs were almost destroyed by the time I was done. Let’s start with a look at the figures that are included, then a look at the Firehouse itself, and then I’ll go floor-by-floor to look at the furnishings and accessories.

The set comes with a whopping five figures! These include Ray Stantz in a clean uniform, Janine Melnitz in her civvies, Louis Tulley with the brain scanner/kitchen colander on his head, Egon Spengler in his “doing science” outfit and forehead spotlight, and the Library Ghost from the beginning of the movie. I’d say all of these are excellent, except the Library Ghost just doesn’t do much for me. It’s neat to have another ghost, but this was probably a tough design to translate to the Playmobil aesthetic. The clean suited Ray comes with a Proton Pack, Ghost Trap, PKE Meter, and a weird looking device that I don’t recognize. The inclusion of this figure also means that Playmobil has to release at least one more set with a clean suited Peter Venkman… THEY HAVE TO!!! As for Janine, Louis, and Egon, they’re all very Firehouse specific, so it’s great that Playmobil included them here. Seeing as how the figure two-packs can range up to $10 at retail, I think these figures add a lot of value to this package.

Here’s the exterior of the Firehouse and I think it’s a damn fine approximation of the building from the film. All of those windows and all of the brickwork are part of the assembly process. I think the only thing here that’s a bit of a letdown is the door on the side is just a sticker and it’s scaled a little too small. Then again, this is a Playmobil set designed for kids, so I’m probably being way too critical! There’s a fire hydrant beside the building and you get the iconic Ghostbusters logo on the sign above the garage door.

The garage door opens and building those tracks for it to do that is fairly involved. Moving inside, you can see that there are three levels, each accessible by those damn stairs! Seriously, my poor thumbs are still hurting from snapping all of those together! I’m going to start at the top and work down. Keep in mind, you really are free to deck this thing out any way you want, I just followed (more or less) the suggestions on the box.

So the top floor is Janine’s office. She’s got a desk with a computer and keyboard, a second piece of furniture with a phone and a lamp, an office chair and a stool. The drawers on that other piece of furniture actually open and you can put little Playmobil stuff in them. The monitor shows a map of the city with a Ghostbusters emblem indicating ghost activity. She also comes with an issue of Playmobil Today featuring stories about the Ghostbusters and their equipment. You can also see the fire alarm just to the side of the banister. “WE GOT ONE!!!”

You also get a pizza in a box! What? No Chinese Take Out???

There’s a fire poll that connects all the floors and a sliding hand grip for the figures to slide down on.

The middle section is the lab area, which houses all the scientific equipment. You get the device that they hooked Louis up to with a screen that shows an image of a Terror Dog, indicating that he’s possessed. The equipment itself has all sorts of buttons and gauges and it’s even branded with the Ghostbusters logo. It includes a chair and the monitor sits on a cabinet with three opening drawers. Here you can also see a floor lamp, and a video camera on a tripod.

A closer look at the bookcase in the background shows it contains a couple of cooking pans, a test tube rack with three test tubes, a jar of green slime, and a copy of Tobin’s Spirit Guide!

You also get this rolling cart with a few scientific flasks, a microscope, and a stray test tube. SCIENCE!

And there’s a coffee decanter for Louis to hold. “YES HAVE SOME!” I’m really impressed with all the great stuff they packed into the science area and I’m already on the hunt for some other Playmobil sets that might allow me to expand it even more.

Moving into the garage level, there isn’t a whole lot going on down here, but you do get the containment system, which opens up and you can put a trap in there. If you’re like me and you have most of these sets then you’ve got a lot of Ghost Traps by now, which gives me a spare to keep in the unit. The detail on this thing is mostly stickers, but it looks great. It has a couple of handles, one to open the door and one to flush the machine. I really dig the hoses coming up out of the top.

Of course, the reason there isn’t a whole lot else going on in the garage is because they had to leave room for the Ecto-1 to fit, and it does indeed fit… granted just barely, but I’m not complaining, because it looks great in there and it’s one of the biggest selling points about this whole set.

Now, obviously all this playset don’t come cheap. I was able to get mine for regular retail price off of Amazon for $69.99. Right now it’s selling for a little more than that and without the free Prime shipping. When you break down everything that comes in this box, I think the asking price is fair, especially since it’s the exact same price that Playmobil charges for their largest Pirate Ship sets, which are obviously not licensed. My point is, you aren’t getting soaked just because it’s an official Ghostbusters product, and you get a lot of goodies in the box for your money. I’ll be honest, I probably would have ponied up more money if I had to, because I never in a million years would have guessed that we’d get an actual Ghostbusters Firehouse playset like this ever again. The fact that it’s from Playmobil is both bizarre and fantastic at the same time. I have only one set left to pick up, the Hot Dog Stand with Slimer, and I’m going to nab it as soon as I find it. I’m still going to hope we see some more sets out of the Playmobil-Ghostbusters fusion, but my gut tells me this may be it, and if that’s the case, well… Playmobil certainly gave it their all and did a fantastisc job.

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Splinter: I’m A Hero! by DX9

Yes, it’s still Transformers Thursday. No, this is not a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles review. I’m checking in with yet another Third Party Convertobot and this time it’s DX9’s Not-Wreck-Gar, who is most definitely not a Junkion, was never voiced by Eric Idle, and did not appear in any films in 1986 also starring Orson Welles and Judd Nelson. With this being the fourth week in a row of 3P Transformers love, you might think that I’m diving head first into these guys again. The truth is, I’ve just found some good deals and I’m taking care of unfinished business before I try to pull out from Imitation Transformers collecting altogether. And with that having been said, let’s check out Splinter!

I love this packaging. Nothing about it takes itself seriously, but man does it feature some great and colorful artwork! I only own one other product from DX9, and that’s their upgrade kit for Combiner Wars Megatron. It’s a great kit, but it came in bland and boring packaging. This, on the other hand, well like the copy says, it’s just beyond my imagination! Besides being a hoot, the box is completely collector friendly. The figure comes in a plastic tray in his robot mode with his weapons and wheels laid out beside him, but let’s go ahead and get started with his alt mode.

As expected, Splinter is a motorcycle and I think this is a really solid alt mode, but it does fall short in a few areas. There are clearly some robot parts showing through, particularly under the seat, and I think that keeps Splinter from hitting that high Masterpiece quality pedigree. I also think the handlebar area could have used some more polishing. The handlebars themselves are kind of floppy and the headlamp is quite obviously on a hinge, and I’m not sure why they opted to make it out of translucent red plastic. I also really wish he had a proper transparent windshield.

Now, that’s a lot of nitpicking, but considering that this is a 3P figure aimed at the Masterpiece market in both cost and scope, I think they’re all fair points. And to be fair there’s also plenty of good stuff going on here too. The coloring is very much on point. That orange-brown plastic they used for most of the body certainly suits the homage and the chromed out engine and exhaust system looks really sharp and elevates the look of the toy to that premium level. The black flames on the gas tank are a nice touch, as are the rubber tires. And while I don’t know squat about motorcycles, I do really enjoy the style they went with here. It looks to me like an older bike, and while it’s obviously not as squared off as the original G1 toy, there are just enough boxy bits here and there to drive that homage home without compromising the look of the alt mode. I’m also very pleased with how well the bike mode stays together and the fold down kickstand is certainly welcome. Again, it’s a solid alt mode, but it’s the lack of fine tuning that keeps it from truly running with the official Masterpiece bots.

As far as scale goes, Splinter’s bike mode is pretty close to being suited for 6-inch scale figures and I tossed out a shot of Hasbro’s Marvel Legends Ghost Rider mounting him to give you an idea of what that looks like. Of course, that means he’s nowhere near in scale with the Masterpiece alt modes, as evidenced by the above comparison shot of him with Masterpiece Ironhide. He’s enormous by comparison. Now, I’m not going to hold that against Splinter, because until the toy companies work out a way to employ actual mass shifting in their products, you’re going to have to sacrifice the scale of a motorcycle alt mode to make the robot mode work. And in the end, it’s the robot mode’s scale that I really care about. So let’s get this guy transformed and see how that robot mode fares!

Transforming Splinter is not an overly complex undertaking, but I found that there are a few steps that are more difficult then they should be. The clearance on the arms, for example, is way too tight and you really have to have them in a very precise position to get them to fold in and out of  for the bike mode. It’s also worth mentioning that Splinter requires a fair amount of parts removal and this initial above shot is him without those bits re-attached yet. Both wheels and both exhaust pipes come off and there are additional spiked plates for the wheels that don’t fit into the motorcycle mode at all. Some fans are likely to cry, Partsformer! Me? I think it would have been cool to work those wheel plates in as saddlebags or something, but overall I think it’s fine and, as we’ll soon, see it does give you a number of options on how you want to display Splinter in his robot mode.

One option is to put the wheels on the shoulders, which looks good, but it’s not really how I picture Wreck-Gar. It’s also a dead giveaway that this mold was also used by DX9 as their Not-Cy-Kill from the Go-Bots. That’s right, kids… Third-Party Go-Bots! Anyway, let’s try again…

Ahh, that’s more like it. This is how I’m used to seeing Wreck-Gar. Actually, it’s usually with one tire on his leg and the other worn as a shield, and that’s possible here as well and I’ll demonstrate it when I get to the weapons. Looking beyond the position of the tires, I think this is a really solid robot mode. I kind of miss G1 Wreck-Gar’s nipple guns, but I still like the design and sculpt of the chest. There’s a fair amount of detail in it and the gray and silver paint hits make it pop, as does the yellow plastic in his hips and forearms and the extra hits of red paint. I’m usually not a fan of asymmetry in my robot designs, but Wreck-Gar is a Junkion, so I’m cool with the fact that his lower legs are mismatched. The shocks from the bike mode look really good as pistons in his legs and the feet, formed by the seat and the front of the bike, give him a stable stance. The overall aesthetic forms a nice compromise between the boxy G1 look with just the right amount of sleek curves in the lower legs. Not bad at all!

From the back, things are a little rougher, but there’s nothing back here that really wrecks the figure for me. They did a fair job tidying things up, particularly with the engine parts folding in to fill the void in his torso.

The head sculpt is OK. It definitely looks like Wreck-Gar, but I think the head may be a little too small. And I’m not judging that by the fact that the G1 figure’s head was enormous. Part of my issue here might be that the neck post is so small that it kind of looks like the head is just floating there. The chrome pieces on his shoulders are probably the biggest departure from the original design, but I actually kind  of dig them. What I don’t like is that the hinges that the shoulders are on do not lock into place and will swing away from the body pretty much every time I articulate his arms.

The spiky wheel covers peg right into the wheels and I have to say I really dig them a lot. Granted, they present more of a general Junkion aesthetic then Wreck-Gar himself, but I just really like the way they look, especially when pegging one of the tires to his forearm as a shield. They do add quite a bit of bulk to his lower body, but I’m willing to accept that for the added dose of bad ass that these pieces bestow upon him. Plus, he can wield the exhaust pipes like clubs, which makes for quite a striking display when coupled with the shield.

The exhaust pipes can also be converted into rifles, which have a pretty cool retro design to them and they even have scopes. The chrome on all of these parts look fantastic and really adds a lot to the figure.

In terms of scale, the robot mode succeeds at Masterpiece scale where the bike does not. I included a shot of him with MP Ironhide, which in retrospect was probably not the best choice since Ironhide is a lot bigger than the rank-and-file Autobot cars, but hopefully you get the idea.

I realize I wound up being a lot more critical of Splinter than I have been with other recent 3P offerings. In the end, I like this figure a lot… I really do! In fact, after playing with him for a couple of days, I went ahead and ordered Salmoore and Cocomone, DX9’s versions of the Go-Bots’ Cy-Kill and Crasher. So even with all the nit-picking, that should be taken as an endorsement. But here’s the thing… I bought all of these at half price and so I’m willing to be a lot more forgiving of some of the criticisms I had with this guy, then if I had paid the original $75 for him. I don’t feel as if this is anywhere near a $75 figure, even by the usually inflated 3P standards.

Marvel Comics: Lady Deadpool Bishoujo Statue by Kotobukiya

That’s right… Marvel Monday was yesterday, but I’ve got so much Marvel stuff to look at, I’m extending it out to today. That means you get an extra helping of Marvel Monday without the Monday! Besides, I’m also falling behind on my Bishoujos. Case in point, this one dates back to last Summer and it is indeed Lady Deadpool! I was originally going to take a pass on this release, but I was pretty disappointed by Diamond Select’s Marvel Gallery Lady Deadpool and decided that I’d try my luck with the Bishoujo version. But I really didn’t need luck, because with Kotobukiya, it’s never a gamble.

Now, I know what you’re thinking… Take a pass? But it’s Bishoujo and it’s Deadpool and it’s Bishoujo Deadpool? It’s the self-proclaimed Chickee of Chimichangas appearing in your most favoritest statue line of them all! Are you feeling alright? Yes, but for some reason the whole Bishoujo Lady Deadpool thing didn’t click with me, and I’ll get into one of the reasons why in a bit. Anyway, Wanda Wilson comes in a typical Marvel Bishoujo box, white with windows on the front, top, and one side panel to let in plenty of light and see the goods inside. There’s also some wonderful character art by the great Shunya Yamashita, on which this statue is based. Everything is collector friendly, so let’s get Ms. ‘Pool out of the package and check her out!

So, now things are clicking, and it’s hard to deny that this is a very attractive statue. Leave it to Koto to take an idea that I’m lukewarm on and still win me over at first sight. Wanda stands with her left knee bent and her heel off the ground, striking her sexiest of poses. She gestures to herself with her left thumb and proffers a trademarked grenade in her other. Because even if she does hail from Earth-3010 and is packing lady parts, she’s still a Deadpool and she’s still gonna blow some shit up. There is absolutely nothing groundbreaking about this pose. In fact, I’ll go ahead and say it feels like they played it safe, but it’s executed quite beautifully and it just works for me. I think a lot of it has to do with the sheer kineticism of her snaking pony tail. Even if most of the composition here is pedestrian, that hair is pure poetry. I’ll also concede that this statue has several sweet spots to view her from.

I suppose a lot of the appeal here also has to do with Koto’s unswerving dedication to craftsmanship. The coloring on this piece is gorgeous. It eschews this line’s frequent love affair with high gloss finishes and serves up a combination of sassy matte reds and blues for Ms ‘Pool’s costume. It may not pop quite like a lot of the other Bishoujos on my shelf, but the red is deep and rich and I love it. And if you’re looking for something shiny, you get it in her wrist and ankle cuffs, as well as her bicep bands and collar. The quality of the paint application is quite nearly flawless too. I also appreciate that all the details on this costume are part of the sculpt, so you get raised piping on the borders between black and red. You also get some tantalizing rumples in between both bosoms and buttocks!

This Deadpool may not be packing a bulge in the nether regions, but you do get a belt with plenty of pouches and a kick ass belt buckle with a brushed silver finish. I find it a little odd that the buttons on the pouches aren’t painted, because Koto is not one to ever skimp on the paint. That leads me to believe it was a deliberate decision, they did after all paint the fixtures on the shoulder rig, so I guess I’m OK with that.

Her back is decked out with her sword rig and twin katanas, again all cast in brown. The grips feature sculpted brown wraps with some gold paint showing through. Again, it’s kind of a dull coloring for her swords, but here it’s clearly intentional because the paint hits are there and the effort was made.

And that brings us to the portrait, which is replete with Deadpooliness and certainly befitting of Lady Sassy Pants of the House of ‘Pool. Wanda has one eye popped and one eye squinting and you can clearly make out her dainty little nose jutting out from the middle of the mask. It looks fantastic. But, is it really a Bishoujo statue if the figure is masked? Of course not, and that’s why Koto always gives us a second, unmasked portrait. In this case, the alternate look not only involves a pop-and-swap for the head, but also the left arm, which includes the mask.

So, depending on what you’re reading, Wanda either is or isn’t as scarred up as her Earth-616 Dudeoppleganger, but either way, this feels more like a chick in Deadpoolette cosplay than the real McDeal. Maybe it’s because she’s too cute, maybe it’s because the unmasked hair doesn’t match, or maybe it’s because the first time I actually saw this statue it was the SDCC 2016 Exclusive that had her holding a bunch of Comic Con swag. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a fantastic portrait. She’s adorable and the coloring is beautifully done. I don’t want to take anything away from the workmanship here. It’s just that this one reminds me of those Freddy, Jason, and Chucky Bishoujos, which are also akin to chicks in cosplay. You may have noticed that I passed on each of those.

Our last stop is the base, which is a simple disc with the Deadpool logo on it. Could it ever have been anything else? Nope. It’s perfect!

I absolutely do not want to sound overly critical of this statue, because it really is an exceptionally nice piece. I’ve never experienced anything even remotely akin to Buyer’s Remorse with any of Koto’s figures and this one is certainly no different. She’s beautiful and she’s going to look great on my Bishoujo shelves. I just feel that this particular character was a bit of a reach for the line. But then maybe I’m overthinking this piece way too much and maybe I should just try to enjoy it for what it is. Wanda slipped in just under the recent Bishoujo price hikes, which means she hit most retailers at around $60, but I don’t think she’s been selling as well as others, because here we are a year later and she’s readily available from a number of sellers for considerably less.

Marvel Gallery: Jessica Jones (as Jewel) by Diamond Select

As much as it pains me to take time away from the piles of backlogged Marvel Legends in my closet, I’m taking a brief hiatus this week (and next week) to look at some other things Marvel. I may even go ahead and do a Legends theme week soon, just so I can get a whole wave out of the way. We’ll see. But, today I’m returning to my favorite line of budget statues from Diamond Select. These started life as the Femme Fatales line of indie comic figures and have since been re-branded as the DC and Marvel Galleries. Let’s have a look at Jewel… aka Jessica Jones. See what I did there!

The style of boxes hasn’t changed much since the Femme Fatales days. You still get window panels on the front, top, and both sides. This lets plenty of light in and allows for a good look at the statue before opening it. It also helps, as right now I have these all displayed in their packages. The decos on the boxes are usually designed to suit the character, although in this case we just get a pleasing star-scape with a big Diamond Gallery logo and the character’s name on the front. The figure comes suspended between two clear plastic trays and there’s no assembly required. One of the things I love about this line is Diamond’s willingness to take some risks with the character selection now and then. Sure, Jessica Jones is a big name now what with her excellent Netflix series and all, but instead of doing something that newcomers would find familiar, they released her as Jewel. That’s awesome.

And this is pretty awesome statue! Jewel is depicted in her simple, but sexy, white body suit with some gorgeous metallic blue paint on her gloves, belt, and bordering around her chest. These areas are also part of the sculpt, as is the rather large jewel that hangs off her belt. The suit itself features a very pretty pearlescent white finish that catches the light beautifully. The blue and white just compliment each other so well! Jewel’s muscle tone is also sculpted around her abs, and you get some subtle little touches like the hints of flex wrinkles around the backs of her knees and her toes. It’s obviously meant to be a pretty snugly fit costume and it shows off all her curves perfectly. There’s no doubt about it, the sculpting wizards at Diamond know their way around the female form.

The pose is playful and a more than a little seductive. Jewel has one leg in front of the other, her left hand is resting on her hip, and she’s blowing a kiss with her right hand, which manifests in the form of translucent purple shooting stars. Now, I’m not entirely sure what they were going for with the star effect, as I’m not aware of that ever being even remotely expressed as one of her powers, but it’s cute and fun, and I think that’s certainly the vibe they were going for in this piece. I like it, because the noir nature of Jessica Jones’ character packs a lot more punch when seen in the context of what she was like before Zebediah Killgrave messed her up. At least, that certainly holds true for this comic version of the character.

The portrait works on the same level too, although you could argue that she’s even a little more reserved than some of her panel art. The purple paint work for her eyebrows, eyes, and lips, is all crisp and clean, and the skin tone is warm and smooth. The only issue I have here is that I wish they used a matte purple paint for her hair, instead of the gloss they went with. I think it would have looked a little less plastic and more convincing. But truth be told, I’m just looking for things to nitpick.

The base is the same transparent plastic used for her shooting star kiss, and it has something of a crystalline look to it. Like the kiss, I think the base is a bit of a reach in terms of tying it thematically in with the character, but in the end it looks good and it presents the figure well, so I’m not complaining.

Once again, these are budget statues, with an average retail of about $45. I picked up Jewel for a little less than that and as is usually the case with this series, I’m so very glad I did. At roughly 9-inch scale, you’re getting a decent sized display piece, and I have to say the quality of the paint here is quite remarkable. I can usually find something about the paint on these to pick at, be it an uneven line or rubbing on the finish, but that’s simply not the case here. I’d easily compare the paint work on this statue to any number of ones from DC Collectibles, or even Diamond’s own Premier Collection, at more than twice the price. And besides, in market flooded with Marvel’s A-listers, how cool is to see characters like Jewel get their own statue? It’s just another reason why I’m happy to support this line.

Pop! Vinyls (Cowboy Bebop): Spike, Jet, Faye, and Ed by Funko

I was all ready to open up another Kantai Collection Figma for this week’s Anime Saturday, but then I thought, “why not serve up a little variety and do something else.” How about some Pop! Vinyls! Yes, folks, while I don’t buy a whole lot of these, the truth is I’m still part of the problem, even if just marginally so. But at least I can still say I’m very choosy about the ones I buy, and those purchases are often targeted at franchises that haven’t been properly exploited in plastic. Apart from a couple Play Arts Kai figures, there’s a bewildering lack of merchandising around Cowboy Bebop. I don’t get this. I mean, seriously? Still no Figmas or Figuarts for the Bebop crew? I get that the love affair with this series has waned in recent years. As always, the more the Internet adores something, the more they will turn on it later on, and I feel that’s set in vis-a-vis Bebop. But to me, Cowboy Bebop belongs among the classic anime that it steals borrows from. And, as usual, Funko has stepped in to fill the plastic void with some of their goddamn Pop!s.

Today I’m looking at all four of the current BePop! offerings, numbers 145 to #148 in the Pop! Animation Series if you’re keeping track. They originally showed off some concept art for Ein a while back, but I haven’t seen him actually make it to vinyl yet. As for the packaging, these all come in standard Pop! window boxes. If you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. There’s a pyramid of these things at the local Barnes & Noble. I think they have more Pop!s than books now. Anyway, let’s run through these, starting with Spike Spiegal.

This is a great likeness for a Pop!, and there’s no doubt about who he’s supposed to be. I love the way the head cocks to the side ever so slightly and they really nailed his Dylan-esque mop of hair. The body is not as lanky as it should be, but let’s face it, one doesn’t buy Pop!s looking for accurate proportions. They did a great job on his blue futuristic leisure suit, complete with yellow shirt and loose tie. He’s even got a cigarette burning in his right hand. The paint quality on this one is excellent, with pretty clean lines and not much slop to speak about. While he doesn’t really need it, Spike comes with a clear disc stand to help keep him from toppling over. Five out of five Woolongs.

Jet Black is also unmistakable to me in this Pop! form. Of course, his portrait is a lot more distinctive than Spike’s, thanks to his cyborg implant and unique choice of facial hair. They even sculpted in the scar that runs down the right side of his face. Unfortunately, they didn’t line up the break in his eyebrow paint to match it, but it doesn’t bother me that much. The rest of the paint is really good, especially the emblem printed on the back of his jacket. Jet is the only one in the lineup that doesn’t come with a stand, nor does he have peg holes in his feet, but he stands just fine on his own. Even if I take a little something away for the botched scar paint, he still gets four out of five servings of Bell Peppers and Beef. Tasty!

Faye Valentine is another very distinctive looking character that translates really well to Pop! form. With her purple hair and yellow hairband, I think I would probably know who this was even if you just handed me her head. The outfit is also created down to the last details of her mid-riff crossing suspenders and thigh-high stockings. I even like the way she’s standing with her hands on her hips and her weight shifted slightly to one side. The paint here is pretty damn good too! The yellow sure is flashy, and I like the mix of gloss and matte finishes. No complaints here, five out of five regurgitated poker chips.

And that brings us to Edward, and another direct hit for this series. Funko had a lot to work with here when it comes to the portrait. The blush on her cheeks is well executed, the hair is great, and the goggles that she wears up on her head actually feature translucent tinted green lenses. She has the simplest outfit among all of them, but it still hits all the right points. The plastic used for her skin tone is a little too shiny for my taste, but I’m not even going to take any points off for that. Five out of Five super-intelligent corgi pups. Arf!!!

What I really enjoy about this set of Pop! Vinyls is that it not only fills the Cowboy Bebop shaped void in my collection, but it’s an easy in and out. Funko may make more of these, we may eventually get that Ein or maybe a Vicious or a Julia, but I don’t need them, because the core of the show’s cast is right here and ready to go up on my shelf. And the beautiful thing about Pop!s is that I rarely ever have to pay full price for them. Someone is almost always doing some kind of deal to chip away at the piles of these on retail shelves. In this case, I got in on a BOGO, so these basically only set me back a fiver each. Not bad at all. And that’s it for today’s Anime Saturday. I think it’s time I blow this scene. Get everybody and the stuff together. Ok. 3. 2. 1. Let’s jam. dundundundundundundundun duuuuuuuuuuuun …

More Playmobil Ghostbusters Sets! (#9221, 9223, and 9224) 

What? No DC Friday? Nope, not this week. I’m actually caught up on reviews for my DC collection right now and I haven’t had time to go into storage and pull out some old stuff. And so I’m re-purposing the next two Fridays for other things. Never fear, DC Friday will return in two weeks! In the meantime…

Yup, I got some more Ghostbusters sets from Playmobil and today I’m going to knock out three of them! While each of these come in enclosed boxes, the two smaller ones are pretty much just figure packs, and even the larger Stay-Puft set just features the one larger and one regular figure. Of course, I’m not complaining, as these sets all do their part to build up the Playmobil Ghostbusters Universe and they compliment each other nicely. They also provide the rest of the team to go with my Ecto-1. If you have any experience with Playmobil sets the packaging should be familiar to you. While the deco has been branded for the license, everything else is the same. You get photos of everything that comes inside on the backs of the boxes and there is some minor assembly required and stickers to apply, mostly for the Proton Packs and Ghost Traps. Let’s start big and work our way down…

Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man and Ray Stantz: The name is pretty self-explanatory, as this set includes Mr. Stay-Puft and Ray Stantz, the heart of the Ghostbusters! I really love the look of Stay-Puft and I’m happy they didn’t redesign him to look like a giant Playmobil figure. He’s cast in a great looking white pearlescent plastic and features some bright blue and red paint.

Indeed, even if you’re in the market for a Stay-Puft and don’t care anything about Playmobil, this figure would still probably scratch your itch. It’s not as big or impressive as the Diamond Select Stay-Puft Bank that I display with my Mattel Ghostbusters, but to be fair this is supposed to be a smaller scale anyhow. Really, my only complaint here is in the articulation. Sure, I expected a big hollow figure and I didn’t expect any articulation in the legs, but I was a little disappointed that the head doesn’t turn. At least the arms will rotate at the shoulders and the hands swivel at the wrists. All in all, he’s a great looking figure and still fun to play with.

The other half of this set, Ray, features a marshmallow-soiled uniform, which may irk some collectors, who are looking for a set of the guys all in clean uniforms. I find that I don’t mind it so much. It definitely adds a little personality to the figure, especially since Ray otherwise just looks like a standard Playmobil guy. Luckily, he has his name on his shirt and he also comes with his Ecto-Goggles to help further distinguish him. The Proton Pack is an amazing piece, and identical to what we saw in the Ecto-1 set. The wand can peg to the side for storage and it also comes with a particle stream effect piece. Moving on to…

Peter Venkman, Dana, and The Terror Dogs: This is a really well-rounded set of four figures, as it gives you not only Peter and Dana, but also the pair of Terror Dogs, another Ghost Trap, and another PKE Meter. We’ve seen the equipment before, so let’s just take a quick look at the figures…

Like Ray, Peter features a soiled shirt, this time with green slime. Once again, if you’re looking for a clean set of Ghostbusters, this is likely to irritate you, but I’m still happy with it since it gives a little more personality to the figure and further helps to identify him, along with the name on the uniform. Peter wasn’t really known for carrying around the PKE Meter, but it’s cool that Playmobil is throwing us extra equipment. Hell, I’ve got plenty of PKE Meters and Ghost Traps just from the four sets I own.

Dana features her possessed look from just before she turned into one of the dogs. I think it’s a pretty good attempt at the character while still sticking to the Playmobil aesthetic. They also managed to keep the hip articulation while doing her sculpted gown. I love her demon eyes! Who the hell would have ever imagined that cute and innocent Playmobil would ever do ladies possessed by demons!

Not to mention, the The Terror Dogs! These are fantastic little sculpts that manage to be both adorable and still easily recognizable from the film. They feature articulation in all four legs, the neck, and their jaws will even open! My only complaint here is that I wish Playmobil had made this a bigger set that included a rooftop playset. I would have gladly paid an extra $15 for the altar with a Gozer figure and a place to put the dogs. I think that would have been amazing. And that brings me to the smallest set…

Egon Spengler and Ghost: The last set completes the Ghostbusters team with Egon Spengler, as well as including two actual ghosts!

Playmobil did a find job recreating Egon with printed glasses and a crazy pompadour! He comes with a Proton Pack with proton stream, a PKE Meter, and a Walkie-Talkie. It feels like Peter should have come with the Walkie, but I’m not complaining. I can just give it to him, anyway.

The Ghost Trap comes with a ghost that you can plug into it. Oh, so that’s what that hole is for! He’s a pretty jolly wisp of Ectoplasm, as he’s smiling even though he’s about to get sucked into the torture-dimension that I like to think comprises the inside of those Ghost Traps. Playmobil really needs to release a variety of these ghosts to plug into the different traps. Hell, go ahead and blind bag ’em, I’ll buy tons! It’s a simple plastic shell, but if you put an LED behind it, it makes for a pretty cool effect.

The other ghost is a regular figure and I call him Dapper Ghost, because he looks like a proper 19th Century gentlemen. The figure itself is partially translucent and has some skeletal paint apps on him. The overcoat and hat are both regular opaque plastic. I really dig his mutton chops and his little mustache. As much as I love this guy and all his personality, I wish Playmobil would have given us one of the ghosts from the film. This should have been Library Ghost or Taxi Driver Ghost. Still, he’s cool.

That’s four sets down and two to go. I’m still hunting the Hot Dog Stand with Slimer and the Firehouse is on its way to me as I write this article. Right now, I’m just basking in how great it is to have the whole team with my Ecto-1. As with most Playmobil sets, the fun is getting them all together and that’s certainly the case here. These adorable little spook hunters are all ready to go on adventures. These sets were $20, 15, and 10 respectively, which seems a bit high when I compare it to the same $45 I spent on the Ecto-1. Sure, it’s a lot of figures and accessories, but Stay-Puft was the only really substantial piece and he’s nowhere near as complex a toy as the Ecto-1. That’s OK. I’m still fine with the value here and I’m hoping that Playmobil isn’t done with this line yet.

Evil Bug Corps: Kickbutt by BadCube

Here we are, folks, at BadCube’s final entry in their line of Not-Insecticons. Over the last two weeks I’ve looked at Claymore and Hypno, and now it’s Kickbutt’s turn. And yes, if you haven’t noticed some might say that Kickbutt bears something of a resemblance to that Transforming grasshopper Kickback, but I’m sure that wasn’t intentional and a total coincidence. Also… his name is great. Kickbutt. Lolz. Copyright infringement can be fun!

This is the third time seeing this packaging. It’s a fully enclosed box with some nice character artwork on the front. On it’s own, there’s nothing too remarkable here, but if you put all three packages together it creates a little panorama of art, which is kind of neat. Kickbutt comes packaged in his robot mode, between two clear plastic trays, but I’m going to “kick” things off with his alt mode.

Yup, he’s a grasshopper. Or locust. I’m not sure, because I’m not one of them bug doctors. In any event, Kickbutt’s alt mode looks absolutely fantastic, although of the three it is the most fiddly. Part of that has to do with the nature of his alt mode. Grasshoppers just aren’t as compact as beetles, so his legs required a bit of extra futzing when I was posing him to get all those legs even. Either way, I don’t want to make it out to be a big deal and it’s worth the effort because this bug mode is every bit as great as his fellow Evil Corps members.

Some points of interest include his ass-gun (they don’t call him Kickbutt for nothing!), the face shield that keeps his robot head from peeping at you when you look underneath, and the wonderful articulation in his legs. Not only are his back legs fully articulated, but his fronts are as well. Like Hypno, Kickbutt’s legs can hold him so he’s standing with his undercarriage completely off the ground. The butt gun may turn some people off, as it’s definitely the biggest departure any of these designs take from the original G1 models, but I actually enjoy that it incorporates the gun into the alt mode. Plus, he can still shoot at things when he’s running away.

The articulation also means that he can be posed with his back legs rearing up and kicking, which is pretty damn cool.

The deco here falls right in line with his peers and includes the same lovely black plastic with a smooth satin finish, purple plastic, and some red and blue paint hits for detail. I really dig the pencil thin blue lining that circles around those recessed gears on his legs. As this is the “Collector’s Edition” upgrade, Kickbutt features chromed out wings, a chromed out butt gun, and a yellow translucent plastic hatch on his back.

And here are some quick shots for scale comparison. Like his buddies, he dwarfs his G1 counterpart, and rightly so, as those guys are roughly equivalent to today’s Legends Class figures. On the other hand, he’s just a bit bigger than your average Masterpiece car, which for me makes him scaled perfectly with Takara’s MP line. So how’s the robot mode?

Pretty damn great! (Even better if you remember to turn both his fists the right way, which I sadly did not! DAMMIT!) Now, if you read my other Bug Corps reviews, than you’ll know I found Hypno and Claymore to have pretty comfy transformations. Kickbutt breaks that trend. The first time, I converted this guy it was a fidgety nightmare with bug and robot parts flopping around everywhere! He was not fun to transform. But the second time (and a couple days later), I attempted it without instructions and I was surprised to find that I had no problems. So, it’s still pretty fiddly with a lot going on, but it’s fairly intuitive, and it’s impressive just what a clean bot form it produces. The proportions on this guy are great and he fits the bill as a great looking MP version of Kickback.

The deco remains pretty consistent with what we saw in bug mode, with that lovely combination of black and purple and some extra hits of silver and red to make things pop. Once again, the translucent yellow chest plate and those beautiful chromed out wings are exclusive to the “Collector’s Edition” and I couldn’t imagine going any other way with these guys. I really dig the little bit of extra sculpted detail on his back and the fact that they painted it in yellow to more closely match the deco of the other two buggy bots.

Also, like his peers, Kickbutt can store his gun on his back.

The head sculpt is superb and follows the Sunbow animated model of the character, rather than the G1 toy. The silver paint looks sharp and I can’t even begin to properly express my love for that red paint they used for his visor. It looks amazing. His yellow antenna swivel, so you can pose them to give him a little more expression if you like. Also, like Claymore, Kickback comes with an extra smirking face. It’s a great bonus, but not something I’m likely to bother with ever swapping out. I will, however, eventually make use of that spot in the middle of his chest for a Decepticon sticker.

Kickbutt’s gun features the same great “tommy gun” design that the original toy’s gun had. It also features the same spatula handle design that the other Bug Corps guns use. It simply tabs into the slot inside the hand and you hinge the knuckles closed around it.

And yes, Kickbutt also comes with another squishy plastic Energon cube. Before wrapping up, let’s take a look at some size comparison shots for the robot mode.

Yup, he towers over his official G1 counterpart. I love checking these out side-by-side and seeing what a great job BadCube did updating the design. And once again, I think these bugs scale beautifully with the Masterpiece cars. Kickbutt has the edge over Smokecreen, but only because of his shoulder wings. Otherwise, he’s about a head shorter, and that works perfectly for me!

As I mentioned in the previous reviews, these guys are currently selling as a set at $140 for the “Collector’s Edition” and I can honestly say these feel like one of the few bargains of the 3P Transformers market. At just under $50 a figure, they’re certainly a little cheaper than the official MP figures of the same size. I think BadCube did a great job here on just about every level. The plastic quality feels good, the engineering has just the right level of complexity (at least if you account for the initial shock of Kickbutt’s transformation) and the designs hit that wonderful sweet spot between Sunbow animated model and original toy homage. I feel as if this trio fills a vacant hole in my collection. The Legends Class Insecticons were fine individually, but they just don’t match up well enough as a set for me to fully enjoy them. These fellas, on the other hand, really make for a great looking team. And while I hear that Fan Toys’ Not-Insecticons are also pretty spectacular, I’ve got no regrets having gone with these guys.

Alien Vs Predator: Elder Predator by NECA

I originally promised myself I’d stick to just the Ultimate Predator releases, but when it comes to buying toys, I can’t be trusted… not even by myself. And so, I was in one of those big chain bookstores, which seem to sell more toys than books now, and this fella was calling out to me. There was no way I could leave him behind on the shelf. I loved the look of the bookish old lady that was working the register. She looked surprised and appalled at what I was buying. Why do you fill your shelves with these and then act surprised when people buy them?

I’m used to seeing sealed clamshells for a lot of NECA’s lines, but this is just a bubble on a cardback. I’m not complaining, mind you, as it’s easier to get into and still dispenses that lovely rush of plastic fumes. If you like your Predators mint-on-card, the package is designed to stand up as well as swing from a peg. I remember an Elder from the end of Predator 2, but not so much in AVP. Although, I should qualify that statement by admitting that I’ve only seen AVP once because I hated it. But Predators? I like them plenty, no matter what movie they’re in… I don’t judge!

And this is one regal looking fellow! One of the things I love so much about these figures is that the Predator designs all tend to blur together in my memory, but when I get the figures in hand and line them up, it’s so much fun to pick out all the differences. Whatever your personal preferences on Pred designs, it’s hard to deny that NECA really pours the love into these figures and expresses it through some of the finest sculpted detail and paintwork to be found anywhere in this scale. I swear, if you told me that they kept a licensed Predatorologist on retainer, and by that I mean a consultant who has a PhD in Predator culture, I’d totally believe you without a second thought. Anyway, there doesn’t look like there are any shared parts between this guy and the other three Preds in my collection, except maybe the hands.

Here’s a little close up of some of that lovely detail. The belt is loaded with various bits of Yautjan gear and implements. As always, the armor features a wonderful pitted texture to make it look well warn and there’s a paint wash to give it a bit of a rusted patina. There are plastic straps that secure the segmented thigh armor to his legs, and he has a shoulder strap adorned with trophies across his chest. I’ve already worked out in my little head canon, that the bovine looking skull in the middle is from DC’s Red Lantern Skallox, because Elder Predator is so badass that he hunts Red Lanterns. As always, the plastic used for the skin has a slick and semi-transparent look to it, the web suit is sculpted as part of the buck, and all the painted markings on his skin look fabulous. All this, and he sports over 30 points of articulation, including double hinges in the elbows and knees, and a cartload of rotating hinges.

The Elder Predator also features the ubiquitous computer on his left arm and two removable blades for his left arm bracer.

But even with all that lovely detail, I’ll confess that it was the brilliant red cloth cape that got me to do a double take and pick the Elder up off the shelf. It really makes him stand out in the sea of other Preds on the shelves. And not to be content with just hanging a rectangle piece of red cloth on him, NECA created a beautifully tailored garment that hangs off his neck on an ornamental chain. It sits beautifully on his shoulders and just check out the way it cascades down his back, dipping behind the neck so as not to cover up his glorious dreads.

Speaking of dreads, the individually sculpted and painted dreadlocks remain one of my favorite things about NECA’s Predator head sculpts. That’s not to take away anything from the rest of the portrait, because it truly is superb. The deep set eyes are perfectly painted, which makes me wonder how they can get in there to paint those eyes straight when Hasbro has a tough time doing it on regular human figures. The mandibles look great, which is no surprise, as NECA has been sculpting Predator jowls since Moses wore short pants. I really dig the extra crinkly forehead, which shows this to be a Grandpa Predator, who wears his years with pride. But wait… he also comes with his mask!

And boy does it look badass! The Ultimate Predators came with a separate head for the masked option, but this guy actually comes with a mask that fits right over the Elder’s face and it actually stays on pretty damn well. I love the detail on this piece, from the pitted finish in the sculpt to the alien glyphs and silver highlights.

In addition to the mask, Elder Pred also comes with what the package calls his “Ceremonial Staff” but really looks like a gussied up spear. It’s a bit of a frail piece, but it fits perfectly in his right hand.

Damn you, Elder Predator, but I can already tell that you are going to be a gateway purchase. I’m so damn impressed with this figure, that I’ve got no choice but to start picking up some of NECA’s other Pred releases. If I had to come up with any gripes about this fellow it would be that at $25, he costs about the same price as the Ultimate Preds and yet comes with a lot less. Granted, I’m not accounting for the inflated prices that the bookstores usually slap on their toys, but either way the price is pretty close. Still, I suppose that’s more of a point of praise that the Ultimate figures can deliver so much, rather than harp on this guy coming with less. In the end, I still think he was well worth the money.

Marvel Legends: Boomerang, Ultimate Beetle, and Electro by Hasbro

It’s Marvel Monday, folks, and I’m turning back the clock and digging up three figures from 2014’s Marvel Legends Ultimate Green Goblin Wave, which have been buried at the bottom of my Toy Closet for a while. And no, I won’t be looking at the Build-A-Figure yet, because I’m still missing one figure from this wave. Got a Green Goblin head? I have a new waffle maker! Mail me the Gobby Head and I’ll mail you a waffle!

These fellas were all part of a wave that was tied to Amazing Spider-Man 2, a film which I’d be more than happy to never be reminded about again. Much like the recent Guardians of the Galaxy waves, this one was a mix of comic and movie-based figures. As I stressed last Monday, I’m not a big fan of tossing a bunch of Legends figures into one review, but I’ve got waves of these goddamn things piling up, so I can’t afford to go back and do this trio individually. Let’s start with Boomerang!

There’s so much I want to like about this figure and yet so much that I don’t like about this figure. Boomerang is built on a black buck with white plastic used for the buccaneer boots and and the gauntlets, but the rest of the white details of his costume are painted on and they look pretty shabby. The black bleeds through, particularly on the stripe across his chest. It’s a real shame, because the contrast between the white and black plastic otherwise looks great, and even the paint used for his belt isn’t too bad.

I really dig the piece Hasbro provided for his back. It holds the four boomerangs that he comes with, one large pair and one smaller pair. Yeah, it looks kind of ridiculous, like he’s wearing an old TV antenna on his back, but it suits him. It’s also removable if you decide you don’t want it. Boomerang’s left hand is perfectly suited to holding either the large or small boomerangs. Unfortunately his right is not. At first, I thought they tried to make it different so that it could hold the bigger ones better, but upon closer inspection, it’s clearly a gun hand. The smaller boomerangs won’t stay in there at all and even the bigger ones have issues falling out. It’s hard for me to believe Hasbro didn’t have a better right hand lying around to use with this figure.

Grrrr…. Boomerang is wearing the exact expression I had when I first saw this head up close. I hardly ever say this about a Marvel Legends figure, but the portrait on this figure is a mess. It looks like it was fashioned out of sculpting putty and the paintwork is an atrocity. Seriously, it’s like someone’s first attempt at a custom job. Hell, it’s like I attempted a custom job… and I’ve got no skills whatsoever. This line has had some truly spectacular head sculpts and Hasbro usually injects a lot of effort and personality into the villains especially. I don’t know what happened here, but it looks like they just didn’t care.

Boomerang’s articulation is standard stuff. The arms have rotating hinges in the wrists and shoulders, the elbows are double hinged, and there are swivels in the biceps. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have double hinges in the knees, and there are swivels in the thighs and at the tops of the boots. The ankles are hinged and have lateral rockers. There’s a swivel in the waist, an ab crunch, and the neck has both a hinge and ball joint. The joints all feel good and he’d be fun to pose if he weren’t so f’ugly.

In the end, Boomerang is a huge disappointment. I was looking forward to finally getting him onto my shelf of Web Head’s enemies, but this figure is such a train-wreck, I’m not even willing to cross him off my list. With all the Spider-Man themed waves coming out each year, it may not be to out of line to hope for a do-over on this one. The joke is, since he shares a slot with Ultimate Beetle, I didn’t even need him for a BAF part. What a shame… let’s move on to Beetle…

Beetle! BEETLE! Hasbro seems obsessed with Beetle! It was just last year that we got Janice Lincoln as Beetle, and the classic version of Beetle will be part of the Spider-Man Homecoming wave that’s beginning to hit stores now. Well, this here is Earth-1610’s “Ultimate” Beetle. Unlike Boomerang, I have absolutely zero history with this version of the character. Also unlike Boomerang, this figure is pretty damn good! I take it this is supposed to be a fairly powerful suit, and Hasbro did a wonderful job with this sculpt. It has a ribbed underlying body suit fashioned in red plastic, with sculpted armor bits that are painted over with a particularly nice shade of silver. The combination looks great, although this is unfortunately that same somewhat dubious feeling plastic that Hasbro has used for some of the Iron Men armors.

The wing assembly simply pegs into the back and you get some more of that lovely silver paint connecting them and some pretty trippy metallic green paint on the front insides of the wings. It all makes for a very distinctive looking figure.

The head sculpt furthers the cyber-bug motif with some huge compound eyes, a silver painted face plate, and a pair of blade-like antenna. The paint around the eyes slops over onto the silver quite a bit, which I didn’t really notice until I got in pretty close. It does give it a little bit of a glowing effect, but I don’t think that was intentional on Hasbro’s part. Honestly, I don’t think it hurts the look of the figure much at all.

Beetle’s suit includes what I presume to be blasters of some kind sculpted into the forearms. Again, I have next to no involvement with this character. The Ultimate books just aren’t my bag. The blasters do, however, look cool and feature some nice yellow paint hits. The nit-picky among you may notice that Hasbro didn’t shell out for the dollop of silver paint needed for those knee pegs. Annoying, but I can live with it.

Beetle’s articulation makes him a nimble bug and lots of fun to play with, although this type of plastic doesn’t have the strongest of joints. They’re a little gummy, but nowhere near the worst that I’ve seen from Hasbro 6-inch figures. Certainly not enough to spoil my fun. The legs feature ball jointed hips, double hinges in the knees, and swivels in the thighs. The ankles have both hinges and lateral rockers. The arms have rotating hinges at the shoulders and wrists, the elbows are double hinged, and there are swivels in the biceps. The torso has an ab crunch, there’s a swivel in the waist, and the neck is both ball jointed and hinged.

As much as Boomerang was a disappointment, Beetle was a wonderful surprise. No, this is not my Beetle, and I’ll go so far as to say that I think the design works beautifully as an action figure, but maybe not so much on a comic panel. The figure has a few issues, but overall I’m calling it a win. And while I’m not about to run out and start buying up Ultimates comics, I have had tons of fun fiddling around with this guy on my desk during my downtime the past few days. He’s a very cool design and he will most definitely find a place on my Spider-Man Legends shelves. And that brings me to… ugh… Electro from Amazing Spider-Man 2.

I make it no secret that I did not like the Amazing Spider-Man movie, but there were at least moments in it that I enjoyed. The sequel, on the other hand, well I hated every frame of that one and I’m so happy that incarnation of the film franchise is dead and buried where it belongs. As a result, I’m not going to spend a lot of time on this figure, because it’s not really fair. It’s not aimed at me, and the only reason I have it is because he was part of a BOGO deal and he had a BAF part. The bottom line is that I think Electro was terrible in the movie, to no fault of Jamie Foxx who I’m sure did the best with what he was given. With that having been said, this figure is not without some redeeming qualities.

The design that I hated on screen actually sort of works for this figure and Hasbro certainly put some work into it. You get all new sculpting for the body with a lot of nice detail and texturing that adds some interesting qualities to what is a nearly all black buck. Electro does have some blue paint spray on the shoulders, chest, and forearms, but I don’t know that it really comes across as it should. If I was totally unfamiliar with this character and somebody handed me the figure, I’d be more prone to say he’s supposed to have some kind of ice powers as opposed to electricity. The articulation is similar to what we got with Beetle, but the legs on this figure don’t like to cooperate. I blame the sculpted cuffs on the ankles, which really curtail the range of motion there. Every time I try to get him in a wide stance, he just looks awkward.

Electro comes with two head sculpts, and I can say the same about those looking as much like ice as it does electricity. That having been said, I think the first head looks good, but the second one with the effects on the eyes, not so much.

Now, Electro does come with the electricity shooting hands, and with these in place, I think they add the needed context to make the rest of the figure fall in line. I know that’s not a ringing endorsement, but to be honest I think Hasbro tried with this figure, a lot more than they did with poor Boomerang. The sculpt is solid, and the effects hands and extra head give some welcome display options. I expected to hate this figure, but I really don’t. On the other hand, he really doesn’t have any place in my collection either. Yeah, I could put him beside my Amazing Spider-Man 2 Spidey, but while I wasn’t a fan of a fan of Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man, at least I really loved the look of the costume, here not so much.

And that trio of reviews takes care of some long overdue business. It feels like it’s been a long time since I had this much negativity toward anything Marvel Legends related, but one out of three ain’t a great record. It’s pretty bad when the one figure I can endorse here isn’t even the version of the character that I know or care about. As for the Build-A-Figure, Ultimate Green Goblin isn’t a figure that I really need to have on my shelf, but right now he’s just missing a head. If I ever find either of the “Spawn of Symbiotes” figures at anything close to retail cost, I’ll happily pick one up to complete the wave, but I’m just as content to let it go. While there were some really solid figures in this wave, particularly Black Cat and Superior Spider-Man, the truth is that this is the first wave of Marvel Legends since it’s return that I did not feel overly compelled to complete. Next Monday, I’m going to detour to take a look at one of the many Marvel statues that I have piling up and then I’ll be jumping back into Marvel Legends with the second wave from Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol 2.

Figma: “Kantai Collection” Battleship Nagato by Max Factory

I know, it’s been forever since I’ve done a proper Anime Saturday update. Well, time has been tight, but this week I was on vacation, so I had no excuses. Indeed, and to make up for it, I pushed my way through all the prize figures that have been piling up and went straight for a Figma. And since I’m going through some major KanColle withdrawal, I’ve decided to go with Secretary Ship Nagato from Kantai Collection. I have looked at a couple KanColle FigFix figures, but this is my first full blown Figma from their Kantai Collection line up.

Nagato comes in a traditional Figma window box. This is the larger style box to accommodate her armament rig. It’s rather bland when compared to some of the other Figma packages lined up on my shelf, but I guess it sort of suits the cold gray color of naval hardware. The window offers a decent view of what’s in the box, with all the pieces and the figure each wrapped in plastic. This is figure #232, which is really meaningless to me because I’m damn sure not a completist when it comes to Figmas, rather I just cherry pick the franchises that I enjoy. The box is collector friendly and I do hang on to my Figma boxes in order to have somewhere to keep all the goodies inside.

Here’s Nagato without all her guns, which is the way she spent most of the anime series before sailing out to kick some major ass for the finale. The Secretary ships, Nagato and Mutsu are among my favorite Fleet Girls and just looking at this figure reminds me why. Nagato is elegant, stately, and her drive and determination all conspire to make her just so damn sexy. The outfit doesn’t hurt either. She sports a cut-off top with some reinforced armor pieces and an exposed mid-riff (sending some mixed messages there, Nagato!), as well as a short, pleated skirt. Her black and maroon stockings, held up by adorable little anchor themed straps, have the white hash marks down the sides. The outfit is rounded out with her little rudder boots. The paint here is all smooth and clean and I got absolutely zero complaints about this gal.

Of course, Nagato comes with an array of extra faces and hands. The hands include a pair of relaxed hands, a pair of hands with the fingers together, a pair of gripping hands, and a pair of fists. As for the faces, the variations are very subtle, but include a happy face, a determined face, and an embarrassed face. Granted, this is probably a greater range of emotion than Nagato showed in the entire run of the anime series. She was all business, and spent most of her time planning strategies in the command room.

No matter which face you choose, Nagato has her very distinctive looking antenna angling out behind her head and jutting out from the sides. Also, her long hair is parted in the middle down the back and attached with ball joints. And now that we’ve seen everything about the basic figure… let’s gear her up!

Nagato comes with her iconic 41cm Twin Gun Mount, which plugs right into her back and makes her a force to be reckoned with! Each half of the rig is hinged on her back and can be closed in around her. The rear gun emplacements swivel and each barrel can elevate independently. The forward emplacements are on rotating hinges, so the entire assembly can lower and elevate as well as swivel, plus each barrel can also elevate independently. The sculpt on the rig is fairly simple, but it does feature some panel lines and sculpted rivets. The bulk of the piece is cast in battleship gray plastic with some red accents and a tan plastic used for the bases of the barrels.

The back of the rig features the two little AA guns and the smokestack rising up from the middle.

Obviously this beast of an rig makes Nagato a little back heavy. It does displace the weight fairly well, I have been able to get her to stand freely with it on, but for the most part, this is where the Figma stand can happily take over.

I’ve had my eye on Nagato for a long time and came close to paying some pretty ridiculous prices for her. In the end, I was able to bag her for around $65 and I’m pretty comfortable with that price, especially since most Figmas go up for pre-order in that price range, no matter how simple they are. Nagato is a beautiful figure on her own, but her gun mount goes a long way to justify the price. Granted, she doesn’t have the wow factor of my mammoth Super-Premium Nagato by SEGA, but then this one is actually articulated, which makes her a whole lot more fun.