Marvel Legends (Sandman Wave): Black Suit Spider-Man by Hasbro

Oh, man! Infinity War was amazing!!! I really wanted to start looking at some Infinity War figures this week, but I decided to wait a couple weeks so that I can actually talk about the movie with the figures without fear or spoiling it. So instead, I spun the wheel of Marvel Legends on this fine Marvel Monday and it landed me all the way back to the Sandman Wave with a look at Spidey in his Symbiote suit! And holy shit, it’s about time I have this version of of old Webhead on my Legends shelf. Both Secret Wars and ASM #252 hit at that perfect sweet spot for me. I was about 12 years old and I couldn’t get enough of Marvel Comics. Almost every Saturday, I used to pedal my bike to the used bookshop downtown and go through their milk-crates of dog-eared issues, fork over a small portion of my allowance and then pedal home and lock myself up in my room for the rest of the day to consume my new treasures. God, those were great times and seeing this version of Spidey is one of the things that always brings me back.

And it’s about damn time I opened this fella, as I’ve had this wave sitting around for ages. I’ll be tossing some of these figures into the mix in the weeks ahead. Black Suit Spidey was the perfect pick for today, because I’ve had a ridiculously busy working weekend and not a lot of free time to spend on a prepping a review, so I should be able to still do this figure justice, as he’s about as simple as you can get. Seriously… we’re going to be done here before you know it!

Because how much can I possibly say about this figure? Once again, Hasbro gives us the Spidey buck with that little extra bits of articulation in those shoulder crunches, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. The figure is cast entirely in black plastic with the white bits painted on. I was bracing myself for that unsightly bleed through we often get when Hasbro slathers the white paint onto a dark body, but there’s not too much of that here. Yeah, the black does soak through in a few spots, but overall, I think the white parts of the deco turned out surprisingly crisp and bright and the lines are rather sharp. The only nit I can really pick here is that I’m getting a little tired of the pancake feet. I mean, they’re really not that bad, but they stand out for me a little more each time.

I love the head and those gloriously huge white eyes. The totally featureless face coupled with those giant peepers gave Spidey a sinister look in this suit. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad this was temporary, but it was pretty damn cool while it lasted.

The only accessories you get here are an extra pair of hands, so that’s one pair of fists and one pair of splayed hands. Nice, but I’m seriously ready for Hasbro to cook up some web effect parts. They could have been bundling them in with all of these figures. Come on, Hasbro… get on that!

As for articulation, I already mentioned the butterfly shoulders and the rest is very familiar. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders, swivels in the biceps, double hinges in the elbows, and hinged pegs in the wrists. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have swivel cuts in the thighs, and double hinges in the knees. The ankles have both hinges and lateral rockers. There’s a waist swivel, an ab crunch hinge under the chest, and the neck is both ball jointed and hinged. The joints on this guy are all strong and solid and he’s a pleasure to pose and play with.

Told ya, today’s review would be a quick one! This is just one of those figures that doesn’t require a lot of time to do justice. As simple as he is, he hits all the right spots for me, and then claps me on the shoulders and knees me right in the nostalgia button. It’s hard to believe it took this long to get him in the modern Legends line, but now that he’s here, I’m not complaining. I am, however, reconsidering whether I need to pick up the 12-inch version that’s been hanging around Target on clearance.

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Mythic Legions (The Coliseum): Brontus the Arena Troll by The Four Horsemen

Today, I thought I’d do a public service announcement by way of review. If you missed out on the Mythic Legions Advent of Decay Kickstarter, and you want to get in on some of these amazing figures, today is your last day to drop in pre-orders over at Store Horsemen. In the meantime, I’m opening the last of the figures that I picked up from small interim assortment called The Coliseum. These weren’t part of a Kickstarter, but rather went straight to pre-order and included a handful of regular figures and the third Deluxe Troll of the series. I already checked out Raygorr and Rahmulus, and now it’s time to have a look at Brontus the Arena Troll!

Brontus comes in a satisfyingly large window box that has a nice bit of heft to it.  The box is identical to the ones they used for the Forest and Stone Trolls and features some nice artwork and lets you get a good look at the big beastie inside. The packaging here is collector friendly, so long as you’re willing to practice a bit of patience when removing all the wire ties. I’ve actually been displaying my Stone Troll in the box up at the top of one of my display cases, and I’ll likely do the same with Brontus here. Sadly, I didn’t have the funds for the Forest Troll at the time, and unless T4H decide to do another run on him, I doubt he’ll ever wind up in my collection. There are usually just a couple on Ebay at any one time, and they sell for stupid amounts of money! Anyway, I’m not here to dwell on the past, so let’s get Brontus opened and check him out!

Here’s the big guy out of the box and in all his orange-y Troll glory. And damn, ain’t he pretty! Brontus uses a repaint of the exact same body as the Forest and Stone Trolls and it’s worth pointing out that this is an incredible sculpt. Every bit of him is covered with some kind of detail, including a leathery skin texture and various fissures and cracks here and there that suggest there is no word for moisturizer in the Troll language. The body is also studded with rock-like scales, which work pretty well on this guy and the Stone Troll, but felt a little out of place on the Forest Troll, which is why that one didn’t make the cut when I was budgeting what I was going to buy.

One of my favorite little details on the Troll body is the way his paunch that hangs over his belt, suggesting that this fellow is well fed on the bodies of his fallen foes. The belt itself is part of the body and has a cool hammered metal look to it as part of the sculpt, which matches his wrist cuffs perfectly. He’s also wearing a real fur diaper, which I believe is the same one that came on the Forest Troll. Under the fur there are leather-like strips that come down and these I’m not all that keen on. They’re made from a very stiff material and rather than hang naturally, they just sort of jut out in all different directions. I’m thinking I might be able to steam them to get them to fall more naturally, but that seems like a lot of work for something that is really just annoying. Brontus also comes with a rather long brass chain that goes around his neck and hangs down.

I can’t say enough good things about the coloring on this figure. The gradations of orange used for the body give him a real premium look and it looks like they used a subtle wash to really bring out all the little cracks and crevices in his disgusting Troll skin. Each of the rocky bits on his skin are individually painted too. His back reminds me of the Horta from the original Star Trek series, and that ain’t a bad thing!

The only new piece of sculpting on this guy is his head, and Brontus is indeed a cyclops, which meant I was powerless to resist this purchase. Why there aren’t more cyclops action figures is a mystery I will never understand. Whatever the case, this is a superb portrait and the paintwork T4H invested in Brontus’ one giant eye is absolutely superb. Couple that with the pointed ears, flat nose, and the broad down-turned mouth, and you’ve got a face that is brimming with personality. Brontus looks slightly pensive and more than a little sad. I don’t think he likes life at The Coliseum.

Because he uses the same body, the articulation here is identical to the previous Trolls. You get rotating hinges in the shoulders and elbows, as well as swivels in the hips, ankles and wrists. The neck also has a swivel, but because of the way he’s hunched over it allows Brontus to tilt his head from side to side, rather than actually rotate it left and right. All in all, you aren’t getting a super articulated beast here, but the points of articulation are solid and useful, and strong ratchets in the shoulders mean that he can hold aloft his gigantic weapon, which in itself is no small feat. So let’s take a look at that weapon.

Brontus wields a giant troll skull mounted at the end of a tree and that’s one of the most badass things I’ve ever heard of. The handle is the same piece used for the Stone Troll’s giant boulder mace with a fresh coat of paint and sculpted iron bands with rivets to fortify the weapon. I really dig the way they have the nub of a branch coming off the handle, as this fits in between the fingers and helps him hold it securely. The skull itself has a bit of a wash to it, but overall looks like it was bleached in the sun before being converted into a weapon. Based on the configuration of the teeth, I’m thinking this is probably from a downed Stone Troll and love the fact that they put a massive iron spike at the end of it, as well as riveted a band of metal to help hold it together.

And there are a few shots of Brontus with Rocky, which is the name I chose for my Stone Troll. Considering that the bodies are shared 100%, I think they still look pretty distinctive from each other.

These guys also scale really well with the regular figures. Brontus towers over Rahmulus, and the troll hands are sculpted so that they can easily pick up and hold pretty much any Mythic Legions figure.

The Trolls were $100 at the time of pre-order and I’m pretty satisfied with that price, especially considering what they go for now on the secondary market. Yes, these are rotocast figures, and they would probably cost only a fraction of that if they were mass market releases, but it’s not like you’re seeing figures like this at retail these days. Plus, the quality of the sculpt and paint, along with how massive his weapon is, really justify the asking price here. If the Forest Troll went back up for pre-order, I’d grab one in a second and that should tell you just how much I love these big guys. And it might just be that the new Troll euphoria hasn’t worn off yet, but right now I’d say Brontus is my favorite of the bunch.

Figma “Space Channel 5” Ulala (Orange Version) by Max Factory

“Groooove morning, Space Cats!” Are you ready for a rather unusual middle of the week Figma review? Yeah, most of my Figma reviews land on Anime Saturdays, but since this one is most definitely video game based, I thought I’d fit Ulala in the normal weekday rotation.  I’d forgive you if you aren’t instantly familiar with Space Channel 5‘s Star Reporter, because she hails from a game that premiered on the SEGA Dreamcast about 18 years ago. The sequel, along with a port of the original, came a little later to the US on the PlayStation 2, but after that Ulala’s been more or less relegated to appearing in stuff like SEGA All-Stars Racing and SEGA All-Stars Tennis. It’s a shame, because she’s a fun character and I think she deserved more of her own games. Now, why we’re getting a Figma release of her now, I have no idea, but I sure as hell ain’t complaining.

Ulala comes in a typical Figma window box, albeit it’s bigger than most to accommodate the three Morolians bundled with her. What are Morolians? Let me save some time and just link to a review of the game that I wrote way back when it first came out. I’ll wait… Back? OK, let’s proceed! The colors on the box are brighter than the usual Figma packaging and reflect the bright and trippy color scheme of the game. I’ll point out that Max Factory released two versions of Ulala, this one in her orange outfit from the original game, and another in her white outfit, from the sequel and a lot of her guest appearances. It was no contest for me, I went with orange and I was willing to pay the price, but more on that when we get to the end. Also, I’m not really sure what the “EX” means in the numbering scheme, but maybe someone out there can enlighten me. As always, the packaging here is collector friendly, but if you want to toss it out, they provide you with a Figma-branded Ziploc bag to keep all the stuff in.

And here she is out of the package and ready to get her groove on. Space Channel 5’s star reporter usually went through some outfit changes between levels of the game, but this is undoubtedly Ulala’s most iconic look for me with the orange miniskirt, cropped top, and high heeled platform boots. She has a blue belt sculpted around her right thigh and it features a peg so she can wear one of her guns on it. The coloring is certainly on point with her outfit consisting of a bright orange with white trim and red platforms on her boots. As an added bonus, the finish on the plastic does a nice job mimicking the glossy, rubber look that her outfit had in the game. Her chest features a perfectly printed Space Channel 5 logo and she has two blue jet packs strapped to her back. These are mounted on ball joints to allow for a little bit of re-positioning. That comes in handy for working with the included stand. And boy am I thankful for that stand, since Ulala’s boots make it rather difficult to get her to stay upright on her own.

The portrait here is spot on perfect for the Ulala’s on screen appearance. The paint on her makeup and eyebrows is super sharp and clean and her pigtails are set on ball joints to allow a little bit of movement when posing her. I particularly love the shade of pink they used for her hair. The portrait also includes her blue headset with microphone, which is permanently attached to the head.

Ulala only comes with one face, which is really odd as Figmas usually have an extra two or three to change the expressions. Instead, she has movable eyes! I own quite a few Figmas, but this is the first time I’ve encountered this sort of thing. They even provide a tool to move the eyes, and I had no idea what it was until I looked at the instructions. Basically, you remove the face as if you’re swapping it, and use the tool to direct the eyes where you want them to look. Now, Ulala didn’t really sport a lot of different expressions in the game, so I’m not really bummed out by the lack of extra faces, but at the same time, I don’t think I’ll be using the articulation in the eyes very much.

While the extra faces may be missing, Ulala compensates with a whole lot of hands. Not only is the usual sprue loaded up with four pairs, but she also has an extra pair in a baggie, plus the ones she comes wearing. Hands include relaxed fingers, splayed fingers, fists, pointing fingers, and two sets for holding her accessories. I don’t see a whole lot of use for her fists, but the accessory holding hands work well. And speaking of accessories… let’s take a look at what she’s got.

First off is her official Space Channel 5 news microphone and this little thing is beautiful. It’s cast in two shades of blue plastic and has tiny SC5 logos printed around the ring.

Next up are her twin pistols. These have a great retro sci-fi look to them that fits perfectly with the style of the show. Yes, she only has a place to wear one of the pistols. That was the case in the game as well, and through a good portion of the game she only has the single gun, but there are times when she busts out a second. One was to shoot Morolians and the other was to rescue hostages. But where does she keep that extra gun?

Ulala also comes with three little Morolians and these are just static pieces to display with her, but they look great and come in blue, yellow, and pink. I’ll toss out here that the white costume version of Ulala comes with three different colored Morolians, so if you want to get them all, you have to buy both versions. Who would be crazy enough to do that? Don’t tempt me!

And finally, the box includes the usual clear Figma stand with hinged arm and a peg adapter. If you own any Figmas then you already know what to expect here. I do have one gripe, though, and that’s the peg is not a very good fit for the hole in her back. With or without the adapter piece, it takes way too much force to get that thing to stay put. I’ve had a similar issue on one or two other Figmas in my collection, but it’s not the norm. Granted, it isn’t a huge complaint, but it can be annoying.

What’s also annoying is the price on this gal! For some reason this orange version of Space Channel 5’s star reporter dropped at just over $100 and that’s just stupid expensive for what’s included in the box. Did the articulated eyes add that much to the price? It certainly couldn’t have been the Morolians. I have Deluxe Figmas with elaborate accessories that cost a lot less than Ulala here. And with the white version dropping at $85 (also oddly expensive) the only reason I could possibly see for this one being $20 more is because most people are probably going to want the orange version. In any event, I wasn’t about to take any risks here and so I crushed that pre-order button the moment she went up. I certainly don’t regret it, as she’s a beautiful figure and a wonderful display piece to proclaim my undying love for the SEGA Dreamcast and it’s era of gaming.

Marvel Legends (Lizard Wave): Gwenpool by Hasbro

Writing about new Marvel characters is often tough for me, as it more often than not turns into a mean-spirited rant about how much I hate the comics that Marvel is publishing these days. Fortunately, Gwenpool has been a sort of the exception to the rule. Yes, she’s technically part of the trend that has put me off Marvel’s comics these days, but she actually happens to be a pretty fun character. And while I’ve only read a few issues of The Unbelievable Gwenpool here and there, the ones I did read tended to be pretty good books. I’m pretty sure I remember hearing that her book got cancelled recently, which is a shame because if nothing else, it was better than half the other books Marvel is turning out these days. But even if that is the case, I’m sure we haven’t seen the last of Gwenpool.

And here we have Gwen in her box and looking pretty spiffy against her hot pink themed background and with her snazzy logo down below. She’s obviously a product of the wild, breakout success of Spider-Gwen coupled with the cult of rabid Deadpool fans. But what really sells Gwen as a fun character is her self-awareness at being in a comic book, and her perceived lack of consequences that comes with that knowledge. She’s more than a lazy copycat character and more than a “What if” fugitive from another Earth. Everything about this character is on the nose, and I think that’s what makes her work for me so well. I’d complain that they didn’t shove a little PVC Howard the Duck into the box, but there’s already plenty of stuff in there, so I’ll hold my tongue and get started with this review!

Rather than just slap a pink version of Wade’s costume, Gwenpool’s creators gave her more of a stand out look and Hasbro did a nice job bringing it to action figure form. The costume represents a decent mix of painted details with some new sculpting. Most of her long sleeved one-piece is achieved through some sharp and vibrant white and pink paint, and the white even has a cool pearlescent sheen to it in some areas. She does have newly sculpted arm bracers, as well as sneakers and shin guards over her socks. The legs are bare with an even flesh tone painted on.

Her brown belt is a separate piece and includes her trademark pink “G” belt buckle. The belt features plenty of sculpted pouches, and even a place for her to keep her cell phone. The cherry on top of this outrageous outfit is her big fat cuddly penguin backpack, which includes slots for her to keep her katanas. Everything about Gwen’s costume is beautifully done here. Hasbro obviously poured a lot of love into this gal, and it shows! The articulation is pretty standard for your average Marvel Legends lady. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and elbows, and the wrists are on hinged pegs. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have double hinges in the knees, and swivels in the thighs. The ankles have both hinges and rockers. There’s a ball joint just under the chest and the neck features both a hinge and a ball joint. My usual gripe about the lack of bicep swivels stands, but I can still get a lot of nice poses out of her.

Gwenpool features two different heads. One is a regular smiling head, the other has her sticking out her tongue as if she’s licking her lips. It’s a nice extra, but to be honest, I would have much rather they included an unmasked head. I wound up having to go to Diamond Select for that look, but that’s a review for another day. Besides, I get it, this head didn’t require an entirely new sculpt and it does add plenty of personality to the figure. Both heads feature more of that pretty pink and white paint and the exposed portion of her face is nicely sculpted with some sharp paint.

Along with the extra noggin, Gwenpool comes with three sets of hands, and two of these pairs are very specific. In addition to the katana holding hands, she has a pair so she can make a heart shape with her fingers. The third pair consists of her left hand holding up a two-finger peace symbol, and one to hold her cellphone. The cell phone is a simple black slab of plastic. I’m tempted to say they should have just sculpted it as part of the hand, but then you couldn’t keep it in the nifty spot they provided on her belt. The extra hands are fun and they certainly suit the character, but don’t even get me started on Marvel and their annoying habit of having all their goddamn characters snapping selfie’s all the time. It’s almost as trite as the recap pages using Tweets or social media posts in books like Squirrel-Girl, or using a Youtube show as the basis for an ongoing plot in She-Hulk.

In addition to the cellphone, Gwen comes with her twin katana swords and these are excellent sculpts. While her right hand seems like it’s sculpted more to hold a pistol than it is a sword, she can still hold the pair of them pretty well, and she’s tons of fun to pose with them.

I’m not looking to get a lot of new Marvel characters on my shelf, but I’ll confess that I was quite happy to see Gwenpool turn up on the Marvel Legends roster. And now that I have her in hand, I have to say that she doesn’t disappoint. Everything about this figure feels really fresh and fun. The newly sculpted parts look great and the paint is sharp, clean, and fits the bill perfectly, so long as you don’t mind your anti-heroes looking like an ice cream truck, I think Gwenpool is going to be a welcome addition to a lot of collections out there! And just a quick reminder, this week starts my randomization of Marvel Legends reviews, so don’t expect another figure from the Lizard Wave next week. It could happen, I’m just not saying it’s going to happen! It’s probably not going to happen.

DP: “That’s not even how you hold that. You’re never going to hit anything unless you…”

** POP! **

DP: “OOOooooOOowwww! Right in daddy’s Chalupas!

DP: <groan.”You better make a run for the border, because when I get feeling back in my Chimichangas…”

Vitruvian HACKS (Series 2): Male Orc Conqueror by Boss Fight Studio

While I may be almost caught up on Mythic Legions, I’m still swimming in Vitruvian HACKS figures, both from Series 1 and 2, that are waiting to be opened and reviewed, so I thought I’d end the week dipping back into the fantasy-inspired Series 2 with the last figure I have to review from the first wave. Let’s check out the Male Orc Conqueror!

As always, the regular HACKS releases feature a colorful portrait-orientated card with a plastic bubble and overlay that hugs the sides and allows for the best of both worlds: A traditional carded look, while still being totally collector friendly. BFS hasn’t messed with this presentation since Series 1 and I hope they never do! And just look inside that bubble! This guy comes packed with a ton of stuff, making him feel more like one of the Ultimate Exclusives from Series 1, than a regular release. If you read my review on the Knight of Accord, you’ll have a good idea about what to expect here, as this fellow is basically the Orcs answer to that figure, with the same types of extras. I’ll note that the word “Male” doesn’t actually appear on the card, but BFS has used it in their catalog listing to distinguish it from the Female Orc that followed.

Here’s Mr. Orc out of the package and stripped down to his bare essentials. Unlike the Series 1 figures, which featured separately sculpted outfits, the bulk of the Orc’s outfit is sculpted as part of the buck. This includes the chest and back plate, which has a cool hammered metal finish, sculpted olive green trousers, and the basic boots. Articulation, however, remains unchanged from the Series 1 figures, and while I would really like BFS to add swivels in the thighs, what we get here is still plenty good.

Additional separate pieces provide his wide belt with sculpted fur and the large medallion belt buckle, the wrist wraps, and the furry fringe at the tops of his boots. There are also two spiked plates that tab into the slots on the sides of his legs. The chest harness is also a separate piece. All the detail here is quite exquisite for a figure in this scale, right down to the tiny sculpted buckles meant to hold on his thigh straps. And while the colors on the outfit tend to be drab, the green skin adds some flash to the overall deco and the steel paint for the armor looks quite nice.

There’s also a pair of spiked shoulders that can be pegged into place and a fur half-cape that an go with them. The shoulders stay on securely, and be careful about those spikes, because they are sharp!

You get two head sculpts to choose from, which is very welcome, because rather than representing a single character, this figure is meant to be customized in different ways to build your Orc army. The stock head features a full beard, as well as great little details like the nose ring and the protruding lower teeth. The alternate head is clean shaven and without the nose ring. Both feature some very sharp details, particularly in the pointed ears. The paint is overall pretty sharp and clean, although my bearded had has a slightly wonky eye. It’s nothing too bad, but if you happen to be picking up this figure at a convention, you might want to check out the eyes before buying.

In addition to having two heads to build off of, you also have a number of helmet combinations to work with. First off, you get an open-faced helmet with knobs on the sides to attach one of the two face-plates, and also works quite well as a helmet all on its own. This system works the same as it did for the Knight of Accord, which is to say it doesn’t work all that well. The masks have holes that are supposed to peg through the knobs on the mask, but the ends of the knobs are too big for the holes. Also, the holes on the mask are located near the edges and I’m afraid if I force them, I’ll tear the edge of the mask. As a result, these will hold onto the helmet fairly well in an opened or closed position, but they won’t hinge up and down as intended.

Both of the masks are beautifully sculpted and look very Klingon to me with those stylized forehead ridges. Indeed, they look so damn Klingon, I’d be surprised if that wasn’t the intention. Both of the masks have a skull vibe going on, designed to strike fear in the hearts of all who cross blades with them. One features a fully sculpted beard.

The other piece of headgear is a full helmet with some rather sinister looking wings and cheek-plates. This piece is sculpted with the same hammered finish seen on the chest armor, and a mohawk of nasty and crude looking spikes. I like the design of this helmet a lot, but I also think it would fit more on an evil knight than it does on an Orc. If I do wind up troop building some of these guys, I’ll definitely reserve this helmet for the leader. And speaking of troop building, between all these different helmets and the two heads, you could probably buy a half-dozen of these Orcs and have no two look alike, and we haven’t even come to the weapons yet. So let’s talk weapons!

The Orc comes with a sword and shield, and each of these are wonderfully crude weapons certainly befitting of a savage Orc. The sword looks like someone took a farming implement, gave it a couple of wacks with a blacksmithing hammer to shape it into a something a little more befitting of butchering manflesh and handed it out to the next Orc in line. It’s jagged and primitive edges give it the no no nonsense look of a cleaver for the rank-and-file soldier and that’s pretty much perfect for this guy. The blade’s finish has a nice metal sheen to it and the grip features a sculpted wrap that looks like it’s meant to be animal hide.

The shield is without a doubt the showpiece of this figure’s accessories, as it is nothing short of a masterpiece. It’s a circular type with sculpted wooden planks, which have seen better days. They’re riddled with slash marks and have whole pieces taken out of them from the rigors of battle. The edge and center are sculpted to look like hammered metal, and they too have some pretty major wear from use. The attention to detail is every bit as strong on the inside as on the outside, where you get reinforcing metal strips bolted across. The shield is held using a simple grab bar, which has a beautiful woodgrain finish painted onto it, and there are also some loops, which could be used with a string so the Orc could wear the shield on his back.

If swords aren’t your thing, the Orc Conqueror also comes with this nifty battle hammer, which looks like a cross-section of a tree with metal spiked caps on the ends and a pole stuck into it. It’s crude, it’s vicious looking, and the detail is off the charts. The bark on the tree-section is beautifully sculpted and painted and the hammered-spiked caps feature sculpted rivets. The handle has a sculpted wrapped grip, and there’s another spike at the end of the shaft. This thing is the perfect Orc weapon, it looks devastating, and I only wish the shaft were a little longer so he could better wield it using both hands.

Finally, the figure comes with the usual black Boss Fight Studio stand. These are always a nice bonus, but the figure stands fine on his own, so it’s not necessary, unless you’re setting up all your figures for display and don’t want to risk them toppling into an avalanche.

The Conquering Orc makes for another great addition to the Vitruvian HACKS Fantasy Series. There’s no denying that the folks at BFS put a lot of love into this guy, from his head sculpt to his outfit and weapons. The attention to detail is superb and the options for display are many. I could easily pick up four or five of this figure and outfit them as a squad of unique looking Orc soldiers. But of all the things to love here, I think my favorite is the fact that this figure looks like someone took one of my beloved old AD&D miniatures and gave him articulation and removable accessories. I have to imagine that’s exactly the feeling they were going for, and it’s exactly the sort of thing which will keep me coming back to collect all this line has to offer.

Mythic Legions (The Coliseum): Rahmulus by The Four Horsemen

Ah, there’s nothing like opening up a new Mythic Legions figure to give me a little boost of happiness in the middle of the week. As I mentioned last time, I only picked up two regular figures from The Coliseum assortment, and I checked out the first of those, Raygorr, last week. Today I’m opening up Rahmulus. I picked this guy up, mainly because he uses some of my favorite parts from other figures, and I also really dig the gritty deco. Let’s take a look…

I’ve got nothing new to say about the packaging and to be honest the bio here is a little on the dull side. Apparently, Rahmulus fought in the Coliseum beside his twin brother, until his sibling disappeared. Now Rahmulus plots to escape the Coliseum and find his lost brother. The bios in this line have always been hit or miss for me, and this one is definitely a miss. Based on the backstory, I’m guessing the name Rahmulus is a play on Romulus as in Romulus and Reemus from ancient Roman mythology, so that’s kind of cool. Hey, they can’t all be gems. Besides, I don’t need backstory to enjoy the figure.

And Rahmulus is indeed a beauty, there are a lot of easily recognized parts on this guy. The legs feature standard knight armor from the knees down and bare legs above the knees. The chest and back plate go all the way back to Gorgo Aetherblade, and was also used on the gladiators, Vitus and Pixxus. Instead of the ornamental gladiator belt worn by those champions, Rahmulus features the segmented leather scale armor skirt worn by some of the knights. His hands feature knight gauntlets, but the right arm is fully armored, whereas the left arm is left bare. Rahmulus features only one piece of shoulder armor, on the right, and he has a brown sword belt worn over his shoulder that allows his sword to be worn across his back.

The coloring here is comprised mostly of brown and black, with some cool flurries of other colors to keep things interesting. The leg armor has high gloss black and gold up near the knees and the boots gradually get brown and muddy as they go down to the toes. The skirt also features a gradient shift from black at the top to brown at the groin armor. All of the rivets are neatly painted in gold. The left gauntlet is glossy black with red and gold accents, while the right sleeve of armor is gold with red accents and gray chain-mail exposed in the joints. The torso armor is glossy black with red and gold striping, and the shoulder is brown with red and silver accents. I really like the way the glossy black paint on the armor is laid on like a thick lacquer and the tanned skin tone is nice and even throughout.

The Greek-style helmet is the same one we saw on Pixxus and Vitus, and it was probably this head more than anything else that instantly sold me on the figure. Besides just adoring this sculpt, I think it looks fantastic in the glossy black paint with the gold borders and scroll-work. The bright crimson comb on the top looks quite brilliant as well. For some reason, I thought I remembered an un-helmeted head coming with this guy, but that’s not the case. I was probably mixing him up with one of the others in the assortment.

You may remember that I felt Raygorr came up a little short in the accessories, but Rahmulus feels like he made out a little bit better. Both figures came with a sword and a sheild, but beyond that Raygorr only came with a dagger, but Rahmulus comes with a spear. I suppose you could argue that Raygorr came with an extra sword belt and two shoulders as opposed to Rahmulus’ one of each, but now we’re really starting to split hairs. The sword is actually the same one that came with Raygorr, only this time with the hilt painted entirely in black.

The shield is a real treat, because it’s not the usual heater-type shield with the groves in the side. Nope, this is the same circular shield that came with Pixxus, and when I say the same, I mean exactly the same, right down to the brilliant gold paint job. I’m not complaining, because even with all the Mythic Legions figures I have, I only owned one of these shields, so I’m quite content to have two now.

And that brings us to the spear, which is the same one that came with Vitus and Pixxus, this time painted with a black shaft and a silver tip. I’ve got no complaints about any of these weapons, they’re great, but I sort of wish T4H had dipped a little bit into the Weapon Kits from the first Kickstarter for this assortment of figures. Those are mostly only available now at crazy prices and it feels like some of those weapons haven’t gotten much circulation, whereas so many of the ones from the first Kickstarter figures have now been bundled over and over again.

While Rahmulus lacks a bit of the “wow factor” I got when I opened Raygorr, I still think this is an incredibly solid figure with a very cool deco. I love the selection of parts they went with here and I can practically see Rahmulus swinging his weapons against his foes in the dusty pits of The Coliseum. I won’t like, I’m already feeling those sharp pangs of regret about not getting more figures from this assortment, but I don’t feel any regrets over the two that I did choose. Rahmulus is yet another great addition to this line, and playing around with him is just making me want the Advent of Decay figures to get here all the sooner. In the meantime, I have one more figure to open from this assortment, and I hope to get to the big guy next week!

Marvel Legends (Okoye Wave): Okoye Build-A-Figure by Hasbro

As promised, I’m back tonight to wrap up the somewhat Black Panther themed wave of Marvel Legends with the Okoye Build-A-Figure. Technically, I could have reviewed this figure last week, since the Iron Man I opened this morning did not include any BAF parts, but since this is the last Legends Wave that I’ll be reviewing consecutively, I decided not to mess with tradition.

And here she is all laid out and ready for assembly. The figure consists of the torso, the limbs, the head, and two weapons. This is one of those BAF’s that could have easily been a packaged figure, because she’s so small. I always see a number of fans come out of the woodwork and complain when Hasbro does this. I get it, I still think this wave should have been all from the movie, but if they released Okoye as a packaged figure, I’m not sure what they could have done for the BAF. Maybe the Wakandan throne? Anyway, let’s get Okoye together and check her out.

The first thing that impresses me here is how little of this figure is recycled from Nakia. Without close inspection, I was assuming there would be a lot of shared parts, and while it definitely looks like some of the parts here are likely re-sculpted, there’s enough new sculpting to make it look like a new figure. The upper legs appear to be directly shared, which goes back to how odd I thought they were on the Nakia figure. At least here they’re painted black and not in her skin tone, so the decorative patterns look like part of her leggings and not like they’re carved into her skin. I also like the streamlined look of Okoye’s boots, making her legs look a lot more sleek and graceful. Those clunkly accordian-style tops on Nakia’s boots didn’t do her any favors.

Like Nakia, Okoye uses a soft plastic sculpted belt with the lower half of her coat and it’s pretty convincing in making it all look like one piece. I like that the back of this piece is detailed to look like several layers overlapping, and it’s designed so as not to hinder the leg articulation too badly. The plastic garment features all sorts of ornamental detail etched into it along with a little gold wash to help it stand out. Okoye’s segmented bracers looked to be borrowed from Nakia at first, but these have pieces that extend up to her elbows, so there was definitely some tweaking done here. These are left in a bare gold plastic, which looks OK, but not nearly as good as the gold plastic used for her shoulder armor. It’s a shame they couldn’t spare some of that paint for these.

Hasbro has been killing it with all the MCU Black Panther head sculpts and Okoye here is no exception. This portrait is a tiny work of art. The smooth contours of her face are so beautifully done, the paint is wonderful, and the tattoos on her head look amazing. It’s so hard to believe this is the same company producing those noggins used in the 6-inch Star Wars Black Series.

The articulation is identical to what we saw with Nakia. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists, and yes, I’d still rather see Hasbro go to double hinged elbows and bicep swivels for the ladies. The legs feature ball joints in the hips, double hinges in the knees, swivels in the thighs, and both swivels and rockers in the ankles. She has a ball joint under her chest, and both a hinge and ball joint in the neck.

Okoye comes with two weapons: A long spear and a spear head with a very short shaft. The long spear has a textured staff with a spearhead that’s split in the middle giving it a rather distinctive look. Both her hands are designed for gripping, so she can comfortably wield this weapon in either or both of her hands.

I don’t recall the smaller spear-type weapon from the movie. I’m not sure if this is supposed to be a unique weapon or a broken piece of s spear. The shaft here is a little too slight to allow her to get a firm grasp on it, so it tends to wobble loose in her hand a bit, but I was still able to get her to hold it fairly well.

I have to hand it to Hasbro, the MCU Black Panther figures have been some of their best work to date. Scoff if you will at the fact that Okoye didn’t need to be a BAF, but I don’t care. I’m not privy to the business decisions that made Hasbro go this route, but so long as we got her, I’m cool. I will, however, keep harping on the fact that the comic-based figures in this wave should have gone elsewhere in favor of Shuri, Klaue, and Everett Ross. Yeah, we’re getting Ross in a two-pack, but what about the other two? I don’t see a big opportunity down the road to release any of these figures, unless they roll them into future releases of the 10-Year MCU Anniversary figures. Unfortunately, we don’t know whether that will be an ongoing thing or not.

On the next Marvel Monday, I’ll start randomizing my Marvel Legends reviews as I continue to hack my way through the pile of backlogged figures in the corner, and there is a lot of them, so what figure will be turning up next week? Your guess is as good as mine!

Marvel Legends (Okoye Wave): Invincible Iron Man by Hasbro

Here we go, folks, it’s the last packaged figure from the Marvel Legends Okoye Wave and it is… Iron Man!?! Oh, Hasbro! Well, I guess you’ve been so good about cutting back on your Iron Man releases, I’ll give this one a pass. And in fairness, Hasbro made it so you don’t have to buy this one in order to complete the Okoye BAF, but even so, I couldn’t resist picking this one up when I saw it on the peg. There’s just so much cool extra stuff in the package!

I believe this is Tony’s armor from a recent run of the “All New, All Different” Avengers, or something like that. As most of you know I’ve been on a sabbatical from Marvel’s current books until they get their collective comic book house in order. But hey, I don’t need context to appreciate another variant of the Iron Man armor, especially when it’s a comic-based one. So, let’s get him open and see what he’s all about!

In the comics, it seems like the more advanced Tony’s armor gets, the simpler it looks. That’s definitely the case here and I really dig that. From memory, this suit reminded me a whole lot of the Extremis Armor figure we got way back in the Terrax Wave. When I put them side by side, it’s maybe not quite that striking, but there are similarities. The limbs here are a little bulkier, the torso less stylized, and he doesn’t have the shoulder armor. I like the economy of panel lining, as most of it resides in his abs, and the crystal-style Arc Reactor is pretty cool. He also has a cool looking spine sculpted into his back.

The coloring here is predominantly red plastic. There’s a little of that swirly effect in it, but not too much. Indeed all the red here has a nice, bright new car luster that makes for a snappy looking figure. Gold paint is used sparingly on the toes, inside of the thighs, the biceps, and the fingers. You even get a bit of matte gray under-suit showing around the neck and under the arms. Also, you may note that the pegs in the elbows aren’t painted to match the gold areas. This bugs the hell out of some people, and I get that, but it doesn’t really bother me at all. There are no repulsors sculpted into the bottom of the feet, but for all I know that’s part of the armor design and not an oversight.

I’m a little iffy on the design of the helmet. The eyes have evolved into almost non-existent slits and the face plate has a sharp angle running down the center. It’s certainly different, and I’m thinking it might grow on me the more I mess around with him. I do like the blue used for the eye slits, as they almost give off a glowing effect under the right lighting.

You also get a really cool comic-based Tony Stark head, which really sold me on this whole package. It’s a beautiful sculpt that borders a bit between comic and animated. It’s got some pretty sharp paint and the sculpting for his hair is especially well done. Gotta dig that pompadour! All in all, I think this noggin looks fantastic on the figure.

The articulation holds no surprises. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders, double hinges in the elbows, swivels in the biceps, and hinged pegs for the wrists. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, double hinged at the knees, and have swivels in the thighs. The ankles have hinges and rockers. There’s a swivel in the waist, an ab crunch hinge under the chest, and the neck is both ball jointed and hinged. The joints all feel great and I can sort of get him into an acceptable ground pound pose… well, with an emphasis on the “sort of.”

Iron Man comes with two sets of hands, and these include fists and the open hands for firing off his repulsor beams. He also includes a set of blue blast effect parts, which can peg into the open hands. The effect parts work OK, but they do droop a little because they’re made of soft plastic and that ruins the effect a bit.

Lastly, you get this big cannon that clips onto either of Tony’s arms. At first, I thought this thing looked like one of the goofy oversized missile launchers that Hasbro loves to pack in with their 4-inch figures, but I’m guessing it’s supposed to be something that deploys and retracts from the suit. I actually like this thing a lot and you can plug the effect part into the end of it as well. It’s pretty fun.

I wasn’t really looking forward to it, but this figure turned out to be quite a nice surprise. I don’t think the armor design is going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but I’m happy to be getting some more comic-based armors, and while I wouldn’t want this to be an everyday look for Tony, I can get behind it for special outings. Granted, I’m a pretty easy sell when it comes to Marvel Legends. I’m probably as close to a completionist as you can get without actually being one, so it’s not like this one was a hard sell, but I’m definitely glad I picked it up. Come on back tonight and I’ll have a look at the Okoye Build-A-Figure!

Mythic Legions (The Coliseum): Raygorr by The Four Horsemen

Advent of Decay is the next big set of releases for T4H’s wildly popular Mythic Legions series. I have about 35 figures coming to me from that Kickstarter and that’s not even everything. Unfortunately, it’s been delayed a bit and is now expected to arrive sometime in the mid to late Summer. In the meantime, T4H did a much smaller interim assortment called The Coliseum, which consisted of seven figures and one new Deluxe Troll. I was a little strapped for cash when these pre-orders dropped, so I didn’t go too deep here, but I did pick up two figures and the Troll. I may try to pick up a few more when the remaining stock goes up for sale, but those items usually go fast. Anyway, today I’m opening up what I suspect might be my favorite of the bunch, Raygorr!

T4H has yet to shake up the package design since the first figures shipped, and that’s fine by me. Raygorr comes on a generic Mythic Legions card with a large bubble, which can be opened without damaging anything. There’s an insert at the bottom of the bubble with the series logo and a little bio blurb on the side. The blurb on the insert tells us a little about Raygorr. Nicknamed “The Dragon,” Raygorr came to The Coliseum from a distant land and with a unique fighting style. Other contenders in the Coliseum are slaves made to fight for their lives, while Raygorr apparently goes for sport or some secret nefarious purpose. He’s just your everyday mysterious badass.

And oh boy, does he look the part! As you probably know by now, Mythic Legions uses a clever system of interchangeable parts, which allows T4H to mix and match to make new figures. In this case, Raygorr uses the torso and tabard from Sir Gideon, the belt, and bare arms and legs from Vitus, the boots and gloves of the Orcs, and the helmet and shoulders from Gorgo Aetherblade. It’s an eclectic mix that works beautifully and continues to prove that T4H still have some great looking combinations up their sleeves.

Naturally, everything has also received a fresh coat of paint, and I really dig the color combinations here. The tabard is crimson and matches the trim on his shoulders. The boots, gloves, neck guard, and helmet are all a striking deep metallic blue with some lighter blue to give it a little more variety. The belt is a mix of tan and brown with some lovely gold paint on the giant belt buckle and on the fixtures. Finally, the skin is cast in a tanned flesh color. The paint T4H uses on this line has always had a premium look to it, and that trend continues here.

Also evident here are all the extra little touches in the sculpt that I really appreciate. The armored boots and gloves have pitting and nicks from battle. The belt is textured to look like real leather with some frayed and worn edges, and the sculpting evident in that belt buckle is a work of art all on its own.

You have two display options for Raygorr’s helmet. He comes out of the package with these giant black horns, and I think they look great. And since they’re socketed into the helmet, you can even change the angles.

The other option are these bitchin’ wings, and these are what I’m going to go with most of the time. There’s something about this look that just sings to me. I think it makes him look like both royalty and a mighty warrior. Almost like some kind of Duke of War. Hmm… Anyway, the two tone blue coloring on the helmet really looks fantastic. Personally, I would have given him a couple of red eyes peering out from the black void of an eye slit, but either way, this head sculpt just looks grand.

Raygorr does show up a little light on the accessories, but what he does have is plenty good. For starters, he comes with not one, but two of the ubiquitous Mythic Legions brown sword belts. One comes on the figure, worn as a shoulder strap and I’ve opted not to use the other, because I don’t want to cover up that beautiful belt he has. His sword is the same sculpt that I first saw bundled with Gorgo Aetherblade. It’s a classical fantasy design with gold hilt and grip and a stout silver blade. If you opt to give him the brown waist-belt, he can carry it there. You can also remove one of his shoulders and have him wear it across his back. It looks pretty good slung back there, but I prefer he keep both his shoulders.

Next he comes with one of the cool little no-nonsense daggers. This one has a gold guard and pommel and the grip is painted blue to match his boots and gauntlets. There’s a loop on his main belt that he can tuck his dagger into. The loop is a little too snug to work that well with the sword, but you could probably make it fit if you really wanted to.

Finally, Raygorr comes with the typical Mythic Legions shield. The shield includes a pegged wrist clip, so you can angle the shield however you want and independent of the position of the arm. The border is painted silver with a red front surface and a black dragon emblem to advertise Raygorr’s nickname. The accessories here are all great, but it’s worth pointing out that these figures typically come with one more big weapon, like a spear, battle axe, or extra sword. But I’ve got a lot of extra weapons from this line if I really wanted to give him something else, so I’m not complaining.

The way The Coliseum was presented made it feel like a thrown-together ad hoc line of filler to bridge the gap between the two Kickstarters, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at this guy. I’ve now opened and reviewed over 25 Mythic Legions figures and this line continues to impress me. And despite being entirely constructed of parts pillaged from previous figures, Raygorr still feels like he was designed from the ground up. That’s the genius of T4H and their eye for design. I’m not going to say that Raygorr is among my favorite Mythic Legions figures, because I say that almost every time I open a new one, but… Oh, OK. He’s one of my favorites.

Transformers Titans Return: Caliburst and Slugslinger by Hasbro

Woah, what’s this? A Transformers review? And the very week after I do away with Thursday content? Yeah, it just kind of worked out that way. While hunting the aisles for the new Power of the Primes figures and coming up empty, I actually stumbled upon Slugslinger, the [second to the] last Titans Return figure that I needed and I was pretty damn happy about it. Lets’ take a look!

And here’s the Titans Return Deluxe packaging once more for old time’s sake. Yeah, it hasn’t changed much for Power of the Primes, but not having to show the Titan Master head attaching to the body does give them a little more to work with when it comes to the character art. As usual, you get the Generations logo in the upper right corner and the Titan Master’s name takes priority over the main robot. I always thought that was a little weird. I really don’t have anything else to say about the packaging, so let me get him out and transformed and we’ll start with his vehicle mode.

Of course, Slugslinger is based on his G1 namesake, along with his Targetmaster, Caliburst, who has now been re-made into a Titan Master. Hasbro was really experimenting with some cool and original ideas at this point in the G1 timeline and Slugslinger’s distinctive twin-nose and cockpit configuration is a fine example of that. Everything about this jet is a wonderful recreation of the original G1 toy, just a little sleeker and more detailed. And if this jet mode looks more than a little familiar, that’s because the legs that form the engines are recycled from Misfire and Triggerhappy and hence the transformation is very similar as well. Keep in mind, I’m not complaining. If you’re going to borrow from other Deluxes, you might as well borrow from two of the best. I also dig the uniformity it gives these three and they look great flying in formation together.

The deco stays pretty close to the blue and gray plastics used for the original toy. The blue here is a little bit darker, but it looks great I’m not going to split hairs. You get tinted blue canopies over the cockpits and some tampos for detail on the tops of the engines and on the wings, including some crisp Decepticon insignia. If you’re not a fan of symmetry, the weapons can be attached under each wing, although I really wish they had made it so you could attach their combined mode to the top of the jet, like you could with Caliburst and the original toy. The sculpt is pretty solid, with lots of panel lines and other little details, and you get some tiny foot pegs in case you want to have some Titan Masters riding on his back.

As I mentioned earlier, Caliburst was G1 Slugslinger’s Targetmaster, but here he’s a Titan Master and he turns into Slugslinger’s noggin. He stands a league above most other Titan Masters as Hasbro actually spared some paint for his tiny face. He’s cast in the same blue and light gray plastic as Sluggo and he ranks pretty high among my favorite little head robots. So which of the two cockpits does he ride in? Neither, because those two are fake outs and there’s a third cockpit centered behind them. That’s the one that opens up to give Caliburst a place to sit. If you can’t tell, I really dig this alt mode, but let’s see how he fares in robot mode.

Hell, yeah! The robot mode not only looks fantastic, but also has just as many wonderful nods back to the G1 toy as the jet mode does. Most notable are the very distinctive four circular devices on each side of his chest. These give off a cool battlemech vibe to me and between those and the dual nosecones rising up behind his head, there’s no mistaking who this is supposed to be. The blue and gray plastic that makes up his deco looks just as good here as it did in his jet mode, and the tampos on his lower legs and shoulders do a fine job of recreating the look of the stickers on the original toy. This is the way to do it, Hasbro… tampos! Never stickers! I hope you learned your lesson with the Voyagers Class figures from this line.

The head sculpt is where this guy varies most from the old toy, as it’s more stylized here, particularly the eyes. The original toy had a visor, but here you get two very narrow and angled peepers that go well with his mischievous grin. The “helmet” is smoother and less detailed than the original Sluggo’s head, and it’s possible that older fans will take issue there, but I think it works fine.

From the back, Slugslinger still looks pretty good, so long as you’re like me and enjoy your robots having jets hanging off their backs. That’s not sarcasm… I really do enjoy jets on my robots’ backs! The dual cockpit assembly folds down a bit in the transformation so that they still creep up over his shoulders, but not too high. I think the wings would have looked better flipped forward, but what’s here is faithful to the G1 toy and who am I to argue with that? Slugsy does suffer from some hollow leg syndrome, but I’m not going to hold that against him.

Slugslinger wields two very distinct looking weapons. One is a blue double-barreled gun with squared off barrels, while the other is a gray, single barrel blaster. I think both are excellent looking weapons, and offer up a bit of variety to the usual guns from this line, which are often just two halves of a combined gun.

Of course, they can still be combined into one beefy gun, and I think I like this option the best. Instead of two halves going together, the gray one mounts on top of the blue one. I think G1 Caliburst would be proud.

I don’t know if it’s because he released pretty late in the line, but Slugslinger was a tough little bot for me to track down. He’s been available at some online stores for a while, but going for way above retail at my usual haunts. I was getting ready to pay premium for him, so imagine my delight when I happened to run into him on the pegs at Target, especially since this line has been gone from stores for a little bit now. He’s yet another variation on an absolutely fantastic base figure and when grouped up with Misfire and Triggerhappy. I’ve said it many times, but I’ll say it once more, the Deluxe Class figures in this line were absolutely fantastic. Some of the best Transformers Hasbro has put out in years, and I’m still sad to have seen it end.

I’d say that’ll finally do me for Titans Return, but I still have a certain Leader Class figure to track down.