Mythic Legions (Advent of Decay): Shadow Elf Warrior by The Four Horsemen

Obligations in my personal life are getting a bit crazy at the moment and that will be the case the next month or so. A tiny part of me is tempted to put FFZ on hiatus. Luckily, the other parts of me are reasoning that writing about toys is good therapy, so I’m pressing on with business as usual and opening another figure on this fine Mythic Legions Wednesday. I am, however, taking it easy today and going with a figure that will be pretty simple to cover, because he’s extremely similar to a figure we’ve looked at before!

Behold! The Shadow Elf Warrior! We’ve already established that there are many types of Elves in Mythoss and today we’re seeing a new kind! This fellow is kind of a Legion Builder in that he doesn’t have a character specific bio, but he does have some additional paint applications, just maybe not as much as a regular figure. Still, without looking back at my original invoice, I can’t remember if he was one of the budget figures or a regular release. Does he look familiar? He should, because he’s very nearly a straight repaint the Elf Legion Builder. The only different parts are the lower arms and lower legs, which eschew the full plate-mail armor of the previous figure with the lighter wrist bracers and leather-like boots. The rest of the figure is totally the same, even the optional shoulder armor pieces.

And yup, that even includes the head sculpt. Well, two of them to be precise. The Shadow Elf Warrior includes an open faced-helmet, showing off his inky blue skin, pupil-less eyes and long pointed ears. We’ve seen this face before with both caucasian and dark brown skin, and now we’re adding blue into the mix. I still love the contours of the helmet, which give it an organic, if not alien flavor.

The other head is the same helmet with a fully enclosed face plate that leaves just the ears exposed. This takes the same great design and just ups the cool factor by covering the face and making the portrait all the more mysterious. This head also adds a metallic blue stripe to the helmet, which I like, but it discounts the ability to make this the same character head with just the mask added. I also have to report that this particular head features the biggest paint flub I’ve had on any of my Mythic Legions figures. There’s a bit of blue chipped off the stripe and some blue splash on the mask’s left cheek. It’s disappointing, but this line still has a tremendous track record when it comes to nearly immaculate paintwork.

As the name suggests, the base coloring here is a bit subdued, but there’s plenty of flourishes to brighten things up. Much of the armor on the arms and legs is a deep brown with the cuirass and waist armor featuring a purple wash. t works well to make the armor look more like leather than plate and also contrasts nicely with the electric blue metallic paint used for the bracers and knee armor, which are clearly supposed to be plate. Similar blue is used for some of the accents on the upper legs, upper arms, exposed chain-mail, and pauldrons. Copper paint is meticulously applied to all the tiny sculpted rivets, as well as the buckles on each of the individual straps on the armor. The blue and copper mingle beautifully for the disc-shaped belt buckle, and all in all, this is another fine example of some rather unorthodox color choices turning out a striking figure.

This Elven Shadow Warrior doesn’t exactly come packed with a ton of accessories, although the extra head should count, I suppose. With that being said, he does come with the ubiquitous two-handed sword that we see over and over (and over!) again, and I’m still fine with that. Although, as much as I like it, I am starting to think that T4H maybe should have tossed one more two-handed sword design to offset the fatigue over this one being included so many times. I mean, if for some reason you don’t like this design, then you’re pretty much screwed! Personally, I think it works well with this figure, especially with the dark painted hilt, and as you can see, I like him wearing it with the belt over his shoulder and the sword slung across his back.

A shield is included, and we’ve seen this one before as well, probably most recently with the Myria Goldenbranch. I like this shield, and I don’t have a whole lot of them, so I certainly don’t mind getting it again, although I do wonder why T4H didn’t choose to include the Elf shield that they designed with more of the Elves. It’s a beautiful piece, and technically we haven’t even seen it here yet, because I haven’t yet opened the figure it comes with. I think this particular shield works well with the woodland Elves, but this Shadow Elf could have used something more exotic.

I’ve saved the best accessory for last, and that’s this large Elf axe. I don’t believe we’ve come across this one yet, and it is indeed a sexy piece of cutlery. Everything about is exotic, from the turned ebony handle to the sweeping curves of the silver blade. Even the butt of the shaft ends in a sharp bladed point. It’s large enough to be wielded with two hands, yet slender enough for one. I love this weapon!

Being more than a dozen figures into the Advent of Decay series, it’s expected to be encountering figures with lots of re-used parts. That is, after all, the very nature of this line. So, I’m fine with a figure like the Shadow Elf Warrior being more or less a repaint of a past figure, with just a few parts swapped. The new deco looks amazing and I’m continually impressed at how by just changing up the paint, T4H are able to transform parts from heavy full-plate armor to something that more resembles leather. I can happily stand this figure beside the Elf Legion Builder without the similar sculpts slapping me in the face. The axe is a great addition to the Elf arsenal, but I would have preferred the Elf shield be included instead of the round one we got. Either way, he’s another great figure to add to the collection!

Advertisements

Marvel Legends (Lizard Wave): Spider-Man Noir by Hasbro

Last week, I cheated on my Marvel Legends random draw, so I’m being good this week. I closed my eyes, rooted around the stack for a while and I came back with Spider-Man Noir from the Lizard Wave! This pleases me, because it’s been so long since I bought him, I had almost forgotten this figure existed! And while Spider-Verse figures don’t need to further justify their existence to me, this one has become a little more topical since we’ve seen the character portrayed in Into The Spider-Verse and even had a similar suit revealed for Spider-Man: Far From Home!

And just in case you needed any more indication of how far behind I am on my Legends, I reviewed my first figure in this wave, Gwenpool all the way back in April of last year. Spider-Punk followed in July, and here I am opening what is only my third figure from this wave. Needless to say all the amazing Legends reveals at Toy Fair this month had me weeping tears of joy and fear at the same time. I think I had convinced myself that the poor financial reportings would maybe cause Hasbro to pull back on the reigns a bit and slow down on production. Nope, seems like that’s not happening. And while it would have been nice to get a little breathing room to get caught up, I’m happy to see Legends is still a sure thing in their eyes.

And here he is! Another one of many gifts from Spider-Verse, a comic event that was not only really good, but practically made to sell action figures! Lots and lots and lots of action figures! I know, he had his own series first, but my first exposure to him was in Spider-Verse. As his name suggests, Spider-Man Noir is a darker version (both literally and figuratively) of Peter Parker, hailing from Earth-90214 and the pulpy squalor of The Great Depression.

Straightaway, Spidey makes use of pretty obviously recycled parts. The easiest mark is the jacket we’ve seen on figures like Nick Fury and Fantomex. Talk about getting a lot of years out of a garment! I didn’t think I was going to dig it here, but to be honest, I think it works out just fine and looks really good on the figure. What’s more the sculpted sleeves here work a lot better with it then the ones on the Fury figure. The other big call out for me was the Ghost Rider torso, which again is a good fit for the character design. As for coloring, well you obviously get a lot of black, along with some gray that’s so dark it almost might as well be black. Nonetheless, the change up between matte and glossy black go a long way to keep things interesting, and you get a little flash of silver paint on the belt buckle!

The head sculpt looks fantastic. I find the combination of aviator goggles, gimp mask, and featureless mouth all quite terrifying, and Hasbro did a beautiful job with it here. I especially dig the sculpted detail on the top of the hood and the subtle facial details that can be made out under the covering for the lower face. New sculpting also includes the turtleneck-style collar.

Accessories include twin pistols, one of which can be stored in the holster on his right hip. Why no left holster for the other gun? I don’t know, but since I can’t remember whether that was from the character design, I won’t come down on Hasbro too hard for it. These are pretty cool and distinctive sculpts and they fit well in his hands, although the trigger finger makes it easier to just have Spidey practicing proper trigger discipline.

No matter what Earth you’re on, most Parkers are agile little bugs and this figure reflects that pretty well. There are no surprises, so I won’t run down all the points, but as always the double hinges in the elbows and knees go a long way to making him a fun figure to play with. And this was another area where the jacket surprised me. I assumed it was going to put a real hamper on the poseability, but it really doesn’t. I think those were problems inherent to the Fury figure, especially in the arms.

It should come as no surprise that I really dig this figure. He’s a great representation of the character with some sensible parts recycling. And while he may not offer all the usual bright and snappy colors we’re used to seeing in a lot of our Marvel characters, that fact alone makes him stand out on the shelf. I’ve been looking forward to this Legends version ever since I got the 4-inch version back in 2016 and this one just blows that figure out of the way on every level. He also puts me one step closer to having to expand my Spider-Verse shelf.

Star Wars (Solo): “Mission on Vandor” 4-Pack by Hasbro

It’s been a stressful week for me and a couple of nights ago I crashed into my sofa, watched Solo for the first time in a little while, and enjoyed a wonderfully relaxing escape to a Galaxy Far, Far Away. It also reminded me that I have a whole bunch of figures from Solo waiting to be opened and reviewed. I was going to go with some of the 6-inch Black Series offerings, but it’s been so long since I checked out any of Hasbro’s 3 3/4-inch line, so let’s have a look at this Mission on Vandor 4-pack.

This set is very similar to the Rogue One Jedha Revolt 4-Pack. It’s the same size box and collects some characters from a specific sequence in the film. Here we get new versions of Han Solo and Qi’Ra, as well as an Imperial Range Trooper and Weazel, one of Enfys Nest’s gang. We’ll start out with Han and Qi’Ra.

Oddly enough, I don’t think Hasbro released a single carded Han figure for this movie. How crazy is that? There was one bundled with the speeder and one bundled with the Force Link 2.0 Reader. I never picked up that speeder, and while I had no interest in the Reader, I did get that Han figure loose on Ebay.

Anyway, this version of Han comes wearing his big furry coat and goggles, and it’s a pretty damn good looking little figure. The coat itself is a soft plastic vest layered over, what I imagine is a lot of re-use from the regular Han. The sculpted sleeves on the arms don’t quite match up all the way with the coat, but it’s close enough. The texturing on the coat is excellent and his gun belt is sculpted over it to hold it together. In addition to a functional holster, the gun belt also has a sculpted life-line and what I think is his Droid Caller on the other hip. The head sculpt is solid enough and the permanent goggles are decent enough for this scale. Nothing special, but not bad either.  The coloring is good, and I like the addition of the dirty boots.

No surprise, Han comes with his newly acquired DL-44 blaster pistol, which fits in his holster and can also be held in either hand. Although it’s intended for his right, as that one has a sculpted trigger finger.

Next up is Qi’ra in her Vandor duds, and while Han was a solid figure, this one actually impresses me on every level. The sculpt is fantastic, with little details like ribbing on the backs of her sleeves and on her collar. Her flared trousers feature tiny seam lines and little wrinkles, and her heels are even sculpted under the cuffs. The jacket is just part of the body sculpt, which works fine for this figure. Even the paint is so sharp and crisp. From the ultra thin line of her necklace, to the edging on her belt, the paint applications here are better than a lot of the 6-inch scale figures. Even the head sculpt is fantastic for this scale with more of that super sharp paint detailing.

Qi’ra comes with a very simple blaster pistol, which she can hold in either hand, and can also be stored in the holster on her right hip. I’d love to see Hasbro turn out this version of the character in the 6-inch Black Series, just to compare it to this one, because, setting articulation aside, I think this smaller one would hold up remarkably well.

The third figure is the Range Trooper, and this is the only figure in the box that was also available as a single carded release. I don’t have that version for comparison, but based on pictures I’ve seen, I don’t think there’s much difference. My guess is Hasbro gave him a single release because he’s a fodder for army builders. Either way, I think this is an excellent figure for the scale. They really packed a lot of detail into the sculpt, from the mechanics of his boots to the tiny stitch lines in his coat, to the textured fur collar and fringe on the sleeves and coat flaps. The red paint hits on the armor could have been a little sharper, but it’s not particularly bad either. I really dig how they got the same gold paint they used for the 6-inch Black Series version onto his tiny visor.

The Trooper comes with his standard blaster rifle. I actually don’t know what these blasters are called, but they’re very similar to the Stormtrooper E-11 rifles. It’s a decent sculpt, but the plastic on this one is really mushy. He can hold it in either hand, but there’s nowhere for him to carry it. That’s probably a fault of the costume design, because even the 6-inch version didn’t have a holster.

The final figure in the bunch is Weazel, one of Enfys Nest’s gang and of course played by Warwick Davis. This little guy also features some great detail in the sculpt, including a rather wide and complex system of belts, some ribbing on his outer sleeves, and a helmet that is somewhat tribal and similar in design to Nest’s but also includes a range finder like we see on the Mandalorian helmets. This was a great choice for including in a multi-pack like this one, as I’m not sure Hasbro would have risked putting him out there on a single card. Although, I’d be willing to bet he would still have sold well.

Weazel comes with two weapons. The first is this rocket launcher, which is cast in silver plastic and has a red painted rocket on the end. He can sort of hold it in firing position, but not as well as I would like. The design of the stock doesn’t really work with his arm, but I can get it to work fairly well. I really dig that they sculpted and painted two additional rockets hanging off his belt on his right hip.

He also has a small blaster pistol, which he can hold in either hand.

I realize that the 5-POA line is not popular with a lot of collectors, and I’ll freely admit that it isn’t a priority for me either. Nonetheless, collecting 3 3/4-inch Star Wars figures has been a part of my life since I was eight years old and I doubt I’ll ever be free of it. I don’t try to be a completist on these, but I do pick them up whenever I can find them, while I’m more likely to leave the super-articulated 3 3/4-inch figures on the pegs. Either way, this is a really nice assortment with some two cool variants, one brand new character, and an extra troop builder. I believe it retailed at around $30 originally, which is right in the ballpark of what these would cost together if they were single-carded. I picked up this set for $18 and that felt like a great deal!

Mythic Legions (Advent of Decay): Herra Serpenspire by The Four Horsemen

Once again it’s time for Mythic Legions Wednesday and today I’m checking out another one of those rather unique figures that doesn’t quite fit into any of the regular factions. Herra Serpenspire’s bio is enigmatic and steeped in the lore and lingo of Mythoss. And I’ll be honest, most of it goes right above my head, because I don’t know many of the references. Nonetheless, it does suggest that she serves a power that exists above the other factions, but she is ultimately a force for evil to reckon with… so… she’s good? I guess. Either way, I’m intrigued! Let’s have a look…

Among Advent of Decay’s assortment of Elves, Goblins, Vampire’s and Knights, Herra stood out to me at the very first solicitations. And I probably don’t have to articulate why that was the case. Just look at her! If you like your woman a little witch-ay, and I know I do, then Herra is going to be right up your ally. She uses a lot of the bare skin parts we’ve seen on figures like Xarria and Juno, including the upper legs, upper arms, mid-section, and this time the body even includes bare feet. The skin is colored rich brown and she has some cool tattoo stripes on her midriff, arms, and face. She features the grieves, knee guards, and bracers seen on the female knights, this time painted with a gorgeous metallic emerald green with gold trim and a little electric blue thrown in for good measure. I’m not sure if we’ve seen that waist piece before, but I dig it a lot. Finally, she sports an armored brassier with a dual coiled snake motif that really ties that outfit together.

Herra also sports a purple cloth cape which, unlike most figures in the line, uses a simple neck hole rather than relying on shoulder armor to hold it on. Indeed, Herra is one of the precious few Mythic Legions figures that doesn’t come with any shoulder armor at all. And that’s cool, because she really doesn’t need them to complete her look, and judging from the rest of her costume, I don’t think she’s worried too much about armored protection. Either way, the color does a nice job matching the sculpted plastic sash that hangs down from her waist, and the cape is easy to toss off her shoulders when action comes a calling.

And I think I’ve gone on long enough without mentioning that epic hair! I mean, I don’t want to take anything away from the face sculpt and paintwork, because Herra is a real beauty, with full pouty red lips drawn into just a hint of a smirk, a perfect nose, and almond-shaped pupil-less eyes. Her down-swept eyebrows give her expression a bit of a serious note, and I dig the tats. But where was I? Oh yes, that epic hair!!! Herra sports what I can only identify as some kind of Giga-Ponytail, which sprouts from the top-rear of her head and cascades down over her left shoulder and doesn’t quit until it comes close to reaching her ankle, while two smaller groupings of strands dangle down each side of her face. The giant ponytail is bound together with gold serpent-like rings, and it terminates in a gold fixture with a blue bauble sculpted into the middle of it. Hair this incredible does come with a price, and in this case that price was the well-being of my goddamn thumbs. They took quite a punishment trying to peg that hair into her head, but in the end I think it was worth it.

And we’re still not done talking about this beautiful portrait, because the headdress is quite a spectacle as well. She has a gold tiara framing her face, which is part of the head sculpt and an emerald green winged cobra sprouts from the middle of it. The portrait is rounded out with a pair of gold earrings, each with a blue stone set in the middle that matches the one below her neck and at the end of her hair. Yup, there sure is a lot going on with this head sculpt, and every little bit of it contributes to what is an absolutely brilliant piece of character design. Shall we move on to weapons and accessories?

Hey look, it’s that big sword again! And yup, I still love it. Actually I love this version of it a lot, because of the snappy gold and purple deco for the hilt. I will toss out there, that a big two-handed sword feels like it’s out of character for Herra, and I doubt that I’ll display it that often with her, unless I decide to just sling it over her shoulder with the brown belt that’s included. But hey, I ain’t never going to turn my nose up at an extra sword.

If that big sword isn’t enough, she also comes with the stout-bladed dagger we’ve seen many times before. This one has the hilt painted all in gold so it sort of matches the sword. I’ll also mention here that Herra comes with another dagger, or at least she’s supposed to. I’m talking about the small curved dagger that comes with the belt sheath. We’ve seen it a few times, most notably with Lucretia. I say supposed to, because I only have the sheath, not the dagger. It’s certainly possible that it fell out somewhere, but I did get shorted on at least one other weapon this go around, so maybe it never made it into the package. I certainly don’t remember seeing it.

If broadswords and daggers aren’t your thing, Herra also comes with these twin sickle-like swords that we also last saw with Lucretia. These feature beautiful silver painted blades and a sumptuous coat of electric blue paint on the long grips. I love these weapons, and I think their exotic style better fits Herra’s look than the traditional sword. But with that having been said, she must have to be really good with those things to keep from cutting off that massive ponytail.

And yes, these do peg together to form one big double-bladed weapon.

And finally, Herra comes with an amazing staff, which goes perfectly with her outfit and is probably used for all sorts of cool spell-slinging, rather than just accessorizing. The crooked shaft has a beautiful satin-gold finish, an emerald green snake coils around the top, and it’s capped off with another one of those blue orbs and an elaborate circular halo design.

Is this the part where I say Herra is my new favorite figure in the line? Well, she’s certainly a contender. Her design is remarkably fresh and unique and she offers a wonderful blend of new and old parts and some absolutely gorgeous coloring. And it goes without saying that they put a heck of a lot of work into her portrait and I think it shows. My only possible complaint here is that I wish T4H had used this body to create some kind of disciples for her with a different head and maybe a recolor of the armor. That’s something I’d love to see in a future wave.

Marvel Legends (Sauron Wave): Bishop by Hasbro

It’s Marvel Monday and time for me to reach my hand into the big box of unopened Marvel Legends and randomly pull out a… oh, f’ck it, I just saw Bishop at the top of the box and I’m opening him!

Yup, I’ve been hoping to land Bishop in my random picks for a while now, and frankly I just got tired of waiting. I’ve been hoping that Hasbro would slip in with each new X-Men themed Wave and here we are at the Sauron Wave and there’s Bishop in all his classic Jim Lee costume glory. This is a figure that practically breaks out of the packaging and leaps off the peg. And as big and beefy as Bishop is, they still managed to get one of Sauron’s arms and wings stuffed in there behind him. Not too shabby!

Holy hell, this figure practically makes me giddy with joy. I’m a child of the 70’s and 80’s, so I don’t find a lot of nostalgia in the 90’s, but the X-Men of this era scratched a certain itch with me. I was in college, I was on my own, and I was probably looking for something familiar and comfortable and the resurgence of X-Men in both animated and comic book form was that very thing. Not to mention those original Toy Biz figures on those colorful cards! Take all that and now toss in a fantastic new character like Bishop who tapped into some of the that stuff that made the X-Men so cool and it’s no wonder he resonates with me. Even better, just look at how great this figure turned out! It’s a veritable symphony of sculpt and color. Hasbro took an appropriately beefy buck and wrapped some equally beefy web-gear in the form of a waist belt, a shoulder rig, and bicep straps. These are all sculpted with some great detail as well as all the ubiquitous pouches that we have come to expect from our 90’s comic powerhouses. Toss a chunky X-logo offset onto the belt and the trademark neckerchief, and you’ve got goddamn poetry in action figure form.

But it’s equally the coloring on this figure that makes me want to weep tears of joy. The bright blue body suit, coupled with the yellow gear and double stripe, coupled with the red neckerchief and X-logo and you’ve got a deco that sings. I don’t know what it is about these colors that lights up all the pleasure centers of my brain, but it’s been that way ever since my first Toy Biz X-Men figures and that feeling has only grown with age. The blue and yellow in particular just go so well together and they even did a beautiful job printing his shoulder patches. It just doesn’t get any better than this.

And the magic that is this figure doesn’t stop at the neckline, because check out that mug! I’m overall very pleased with the head sculpts Hasbro has been serving up for their modern Legends line, but Bishop’s portrait here even manages to step it up a notch. It is absolutely superb. From the expression to the detail on his facial features to the sculpting in the hair and the perfect paint on his goatee, this is portrait that was crafted with love and reverence for the character. I don’t like to throw around the P-word all that often, but I’m going to do it here. This head sculpt is perfect. I wouldn’t change a thing.

Bishop comes with one accessory and that’s his big honkin’ shotgun-looking weapon. It’s a fairly simple sculpt, appropriately molded in black plastic with a pistol-style grip and a large slide that gives it a distinctive look. Naturally he has a big yellow scabbard behind his left shoulder to store it. He can actually hold it in either hand, as both have sculpted trigger fingers. The only issue I have here is how hard it was for me to get it into either hand, because his fingers are sculpted into a death grip. I know Bishop is an imposing dude, but damn buddy, loosen up them hands so I can get your gun in them! In fairness, it got a lot easier after I’ve had it in and out of the hands a few times.

The articulation here consists of the usual. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, with double hinges in the elbows and swivels in the biceps. The legs have rotating hinges in the hips, double hinges in the knees, swivels at the thighs and the tops of the boots, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. There’s a swivel in the chest, an ab crunch hinge in the torso and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed.

Chances are by now you’re tired of hearing a 46-year-old man verbally jerk off to an action figure, so I’ll go ahead and wrap things up. Bishop is an example of a toy line firing on all cylinders. This figure takes a great character and absolutely does him justice in 6-inches of plastic. The extra sculpting, the amazing portrait, the colors… I don’t think it’s at all possible for me to gaze on this figure without a big dumb happy smile on my face. If you’re at all a fan of the character, or just the 90’s X-Men in general, this one is a must-have for any collection. And most of all, this is why Hasbro’s modern Marvel Legends remains one of my all-time favorite action figure lines.

Wonder Woman (Training Armor) Sixth-Scale Figure by Hot Toys

It’s no secret that I’m woefully behind on my Sixth-Scale figure reviews. Hell, the last Hot Toys figure I reviewed was Yondu all the way back in the Summer of last year. I have some Hot Toys and TB League figures that have been waiting for their turn in the spotlight for the better part of a year, and I really want to turn that around in 2019. And to that end, I’m rolling out a Hot Toys review today and going with one of my newest arrivals just so I can prime the pump and get back into a regular routine. Yes, I got the Justice League version of Diana before this one, but it just seemed appropriate to go with the one from her own movie first.

Hot Toys hasn’t been wowing me with a lot of their packaging lately and this release kind of follows in that trend. The deco is actually beautiful and the art really captures the feel of the film. It also gets by without any pictures of the figure itself. On the other hand, when you get down to it, this is just a flimsy window box with a sleeve around it, which feels wanting for such an expensive item. I will, however, give kudos to Sideshow as this one arrived at my door in a proper shipping box with packing material inside. I’m not sure if that’s something new they’re doing, but if so I approve! Inside the box, the figure comes in the usual molded plastic tray with all her accessories and extras surrounding her. She comes out of the box more or less ready for display. I just had to slip her bicep band on. So let’s check her out!

This is the outfit that Diana wore on Themyscira, basically for the first act of the film. The term training armor might be a little excessive, but I obviously liked the look of the outfit enough to warrant double-dipping on the character, and that’s something I rarely do when it comes to Hot Toys. The armor part comes into play with the bronze cuirass, which is sculpted in plastic and includes a strap that hugs the left side of the figure’s neck. The cuirass includes some really nice texturing and layering, as well as details right down to the tiny sculpted rivets on the straps. The rest of the outfit includes a pleated skirt made out of a slightly stiff cloth, her wrist bracers, sculpted wraps on her hands, and a pair of high sandals, which are separate from the legs, and sculpted as part of the feet.

Hot Toys seems content to reluctantly mingle with the idea of a seamless body, and that continues to be the case here. The shoulders, elbows, and knees are all covered with rubber skin, which makes a huge difference on a figure like this where jointing in those areas would be exposed and, as a result, most definitely spoil the realism. And to that end, the sculpted musculature in the knees and and shoulders looks fantastic. The ankles, on the other hand feature regular joints, which can be seen through the sandals, and the legs themselves are connected under the skirt with ball joints. In this case, I think Hot Toys did everything necessary to keep the realism going, but despite these areas being bare, the range of motion in these joints is still fairly limited, as if she were still wearing a restrictive suit. This is probably not a big surprise for Hot Toys collectors, but mixing realistic bodies with articulation is an area where Phicen continues to have Hot Toys beat.

With all the Wonder Woman action figures the movie has spawned, we’ve seen some hits and a lot of misses with Gal Gadot’s likeness. Some would argue that even Hot Toys didn’t land a direct hit with their Batman VS Superman version. I think this one is pretty spot on. It may not be as perfect as some of their best likenesses, but I can’t find a whole lot to pick at here either. She’s certainly beautiful, and easily recognizable to me, and the paintwork conveys that sense of uncanny realism that Hot Toys is known for. The hair is sculpted, and that was definitely the way to go with this figure, as it’s drawn back very tightly, and braided into a long pony tail down her back. I’m especially impressed by the fine sculpting in the individual strands, and the incredible paintwork along the hairline. It’s great stuff!

Obviously, the figure comes with a bevy of extra hands, from the usual relaxed hands and fists, to ones intended to work with the accessories. The most notable of these accessories are her her sword and shield. The “Godkiller” is a beautiful piece of work. The ornate hilt features a crazy level of detail in the sculpt, and a beautiful gold finish. It has an elongated grip, allowing it to be wielded by one or both of her hands. The blade is straight with a textured finish and an inscription running through the central channel. I’d dare say that this is as fine a recreation of this sword as is possible in this scale.

The sword also comes with a recreation of the stand that held it in the beginning of the film. It’s a simple stand, sculpted from two pieces of plastic with a notch in the top to insert the swords tip. It holds it well and the accessory certainly looks great displayed this way. I’ll likely be displaying the figure holding the sword most of the time, but this is a damn fine option to have.

The shield is also impressive, and possibly my favorite accessory in the box. It’s a large concave disc with a rich, deep brown color and a gold starburst in the center. The edge features a series of triangular designs opening out toward the edge, all of which are neatly painted in gold. All in all, it makes for an absolutely beautiful piece and I love how natural it looks on Diana’s arm.

On the inside, the shield features a concentric circlet of sculpted to look like hammered bronze and you can see the reinforced edges, raised over the rest of the shield surface. There are two straps fixed to the interior with sculpted fixtures, each painted gold. One strap secures the shield near the elbow and the other is used for her hand to grab. It isn’t terribly difficult to get it on and off the figure, although I found it was best to put the hand around the grab strap first and then attach the hand to the figure. Indeed, I’d probably just leave the hand attached to the shield even when it’s off. Then again, I can’t imagine ever displaying the figure without the shield. It really does look that good.

The set also includes a bow and three arrows. These are fine additions to the accessory count, but at the same time, they aren’t going to spend a lot of time displayed with my figure. The bow itself is very thin and elegant with gold and brown paintwork and a real string, which allows for a lot of give to be pulled back. Diana comes with a special hand for the bow and another designed to knock the arrows. The three arrows are identical, and while I’m not going to complain about extra accessories, I’m not really sure why they included three. There’s nowhere to store them, so the only real way to display them with the figure is to have her clutching them in one hand. And since she has a hand specifically designed to hold one, that will likely be the preferred way to go.

Because of the limitations to the articulation, she can’t really be posed drawing to fire, but rather preparing to fire. Obviously, this should come as a surprise to long time collectors of Hot Toys. It’s also a much bigger issue for someone who wanted to display the figure using her archery skills, and that’s not me. And besides, she can still pull off some cool poses while holding the bow and arrow.

Finally, the figure comes with a second pair of her Bracelets of Submission, which are colored to look like they’re glowing. The bracers themselves are made of a translucent orange plastic and the panel lining is traced in yellow. These are a pretty cool idea, but I’m not all that sold on the effect. Fortunately, they are super easy to swap in and out to give them a try or just to mix up the display every now and then.

As always, Hot Toys includes a stand. This one is pretty simple but is styled to convey the feeling of the film’s art direction. It’s a simple rectangular base with a sculpted WW logo to the left and some golden stars to the right. The post is the usual “crotch cradle” which does a fine job holding the figure without messing with the outfit.

There’s also an illustrated cardboard backdrop that can be placed behind the stand. I’m not sure how Hot Toys decides which figures get this treatment. I’ve encountered it with a few before, like the Netflix Punisher and Daredevil figures. I don’t tend to use them, but it’s a pretty cool bonus nonetheless.

At $240, Wonder Woman falls at the higher end of Hot Toys’ Non-Deluxe pricing spectrum. She definitely comes with enough goodies to fill out the box, and there’s nothing essential that I can think of that she’s missing. Granted, the giant column that I have her displayed on in one of the above pictures came with a Sixth-Scale figure from another company that sold for under $200, but by now I’m used to Hot Toys charging a premium.

And between the high price points, and display space needed, I very rarely double-dip on characters when it comes to my Sixth-Scale figures. Indeed, I’ve only done it once before, and that was Captain America. And yet here I am picking up this version of Wonder Woman just a few months after getting the Justice League version. It would be safe to say a lot of it has to do with how great Gal Gadot looks in the costumes. It only took me an offer of a small discount and free shipping to get me to jump on this one, and I’m glad I didn’t hesitate because she sold out pretty quickly. And now that I’ve had some serious time with her, there’s certainly no buyer’s remorse here!

Mythic Legions (Advent of Decay): Knight Legion Builders (Iron and Steel) by The Four Horsemen

As I trek my way through the Advent of Decay series, I’ve been trying to spread the love evenly to the many races of Mythoss. But it’s been a long time since I revisited the noble Knights. Probably because the armored warriors take a back seat to the other factions in this line. Nonetheless, today I’m going to check out the two new Knight Legion Builders, Iron and Steel!

For those of you not following the line, the Legion Builders are sort of the budget figures. They cost less, they feature less paint applications, and they’re general purpose is to either beef up your ranks, or if you’re talented at painting figures (Not Me!), you can even use them as custom fodder. Unlike the previous Black, Silver, and Gold Knight Legion Builders, the Iron and Steel Knights draw parts from the Advent line. As the names suggest, Iron features a darker gray finish, whereas Steel is silver. And since these are Legion Builders, there are no other paint applications on the figures. Both figures share the more slender armored arms and legs introduced for the Elves and females. The biggest difference is found in the torsos. Steel Knight features the armor used for the Elves, which has doubled as both leather and plate, whereas Iron Knight’s torso uses the female plate armor. The sculpted belt and hip armor pieces are also different. Steel has the belt with the disc in the center and has the leather scale-male type armor for the hips and groin. Iron has the simpler waist piece, with the segmented plate armor for the same areas.

The same two head sculpts are included with each figure. One is the Gothic Sallet style and the other is the Bascinet style with a beaked front and a spike protruding from the top. The shoulder armor for each figure is different. Steel Knight comes with the simpler segmented pieces, while Iron Knight has the more decorative ones. And for some reason, these were especially hard to plug into the sockets on these two particular figures.

Each knight comes with more or less the same accessories. T4H switched up the colors of the accessories, so Steel Knight’s gear is all colored in the darker gray and Iron Knight’s is all silver. It’s the same juxtaposition they did with the Gold and Silver Knights in the initial Kickstarter. They also each come with the standard brown sword belt, which can be worn on the figures’ waists or across the chest as a shoulder strap. The first weapons included are the standard single-handed cruciform swords. Yup, we see this sword almost every week. Sometimes, the single colored weapons can be lacking, but I think they work well in these colors.

Next up are the larger two-handed swords, which feature the pointed skull-crusher pommels, sexy down-swept cross-guards, and the blades that swell toward the edges. Again, nothing new here, but I dig these swords a lot!

Oddly, Steel Knight comes with a shield, but Iron Knight does not. It’s the same shield we’ve seen many times in the original Kickstarter series, but with the updated grip. I’m not sure why they cheated Iron Knight out of the shield. These figures are in the same price point and it just leaves one figure with one less accessory. It’s a weird omission, but I’m not terribly upset about it. I have plenty of these shields to go around.

And finally, each figure comes with the standard spear that we’ve been seeing over and over again since the beginning of the line. Nothing special, here, but I’m always happy to get more weapons for my Legions.

I dig these two figures a lot, even if I’m not really the target audience. I mean, I’m not going to army build a bunch of them, and I’m not going to customize them either. Nonetheless, I think they look great even without any additional paintwork, and it’s pretty cool to just have a plain example of all that beautiful sculpting. I’ve remarked plenty of times about how aspects of this line remind me of the old Marx Knights and these Legion Builders do that more than any of the other figures.

Marvel Legends (Apocalypse Wave): Magneto by Hasbro

Marvel Monday is here again, and just to show you how far behind on Marvel Legends I truly am, today’s random selection brings me to another Wave that I haven’t ventured into before. It’s another X-Men themed assortment, this time with the one and only Apocalypse as the Build-A-Figure. There are some great characters in this wave and today I’m starting out with the Magneto!

I’ll confess, I haven’t read an X-Men comic in quite a few years. But that’s more a reflection of my general distaste for Marvel’s comics lately and not a specific rebuke toward the X-Men. Not to mention I have a healthy stack of back issues and trades that I can dip into when I need to show the Mutants some lovin. With that having been said, these characters are still near and dear to my heart, and it’s long past time we had Magneto grace the modern Marvel Legends lineup.

I take it this is what Magneto is wearing these days? It’s far from his iconic classic look, but it’s OK. I’ll confess I dig the black and red a lot more than the black and gray short sleeve look. The body here gets by mostly with paint, so you’ve got a black buck with the red striping. The striping is a little hit and miss. It looks great on the torso, but the legs have some sloppiness and bleed-through. It’s by no means terrible, but could be better.

The new sculpted parts include his boots and wrist bracers, as well as the cape, which has a peg for his back, but seems to be just as happy to hang from around his neck. The shoulder armor and bolted cross-strap are a nice nod to his classic look, and the red inner lining of the cape compliments the snappy deco pretty well.

Magneto comes packaged with his helmeted head, which is excellent. The style of the helmet hasn’t changed much, it’s still a form fitting, medieval looking affair at it appears to be sculpted separately from the head and permanently attached, which adds a lot to the depth and realism of the portrait. Erik’s face sculpt is fantastic, and it depicts him with pupil-less eyes.

The alternative head is sans helmet, and definitely falls into the, “It’s so good that I feel bad because I’ll probably never display him with it.” Actually, this is one of cases where if the figure starts turning up cheap, I might buy a second, so I can display him both ways. This head features the same great facial sculpt and some pretty incredible hair.

As for accessories, Magneto comes with two pairs of hands: Regular fists and a pair of translucent purple hands to go with the pair of translucent effect parts. I actually dig the purple hands a lot, even if I’m not really sure that they convey magnetism all that accurately. The same goes for the effect parts, which look more like your standard Force Lightning from Star Wars, rather than magnetic powers. Still, it’s hard to quibble about extras and he does look damn cool wielding them.

There are no surprises here where articulation is concerned. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, the knees are double-hinged, the ankles have both hinges and lateral rockers, and there are swivels in the thighs and at the tops of the boots. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, the elbows are double-hinged, and there are swivels in the biceps. The torso features a waist swivel and an ab crunch hinge, and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed.

I’m sure I’m not being original by saying that I’d rather have had a classic Magneto, but with that token disclaimer out of the way, I really do like this figure a lot. It may not really be my Magneto, but this is a costume design that I can get behind, and there’s just the right amount of new sculpting here to make it work. Toss in a couple of fantastic portraits, and I do believe this will hold me over until we can get Erik in his red and purple duds. Either way, this is a great start to what is sure to be an incredible wave!

Transformers Siege: Optimus Prime by Hasbro

If the toy aisles in my area are any indication, Siege is selling like gangbusters. In one case last week, they were stocking the shelves when I put the last Deluxe I needed in my cart and did my other shopping before deciding to go back and get Optimus and Megatron, which were being unpacked. In the span of about 10 minutes they were both gone. Luckily, I got another crack at them a few days later and this time I jumped on them. I feel like getting the Leader Class figures is going to be a knock-down fight.

Prime is my first Voyager Class figure in this bunch, but the packaging is identical in style to the Deluxes. You get a collector friendly box with some killer artwork. I love how Hasbro evolved this packaging from when we first saw the Transformers name in red running up the side of the package to now. If Hasbro ever puts out an artbook featuring the character art from Siege, Titan Returns, and Power of the Primes, I’d throw down some money for it. But enough about the box, let’s get to the toy. Prime is packaged in his robot mode, but we’ll start with his alt mode.

The alt mode is a good old-fashioned red truck cab, which is certainly evocative of Prime’s G1 mode, but with a slight futuristic twist. It’s not the best and most polished cab mode we’ve seen on Optimus, but it’s not too shabby either. And this is clearly a case where Hasbro made some sacrifices in the alt mode to assist the aesthetics of the robot mode. Whether it was a good trade off, we’ll see in a bit (psst… IT IS!!). The biggest sacrifice is the extended roof, which hangs over the windshields. It took me a little getting used to, but I don’t think it looks bad, just kind of strange and different. The sides of the truck definitely show seams and some hinges, and probably the biggest eyesore is the use of silver paint for the side windows, while the rest are translucent blue. Speaking of which, I would have liked the grill to be painted silver, rather than using the same translucent plastic for the windows. And you’ll no doubt note that the smokestacks are shortened to keep kids from jamming them into their eyes after they’ve finished off a snack of Tide Pods. That may sound like I have a lot of beefs with this little truck, but I really don’t.

Nope, if I sound like I’m down on this cab, I should point out that there’s a lot I love here too. The circuit-like pattern that’s etched into the plastic behind the windows makes for a really cool effect, as does the sculpted headlamps behind those plastic pieces. I also really dig the “headlamps” to the lower right and left of the front bumper, because I have no other choice to believe that these are actually mini-guns because of the way they’re sculpted. Those will also come into play with the robot mode. The deco is also mighty purdy, with the familiar red and blue mingling with the gray, silver, and white to make a familiar and eye-pleasing combination. And yes, he has some of that brushed on weathering, which has been like a trademark for this line. Finally, Prime’s alt mode can store his axe as a sort of hitch, and if you’re a fan of big goofy guns on your alt modes (I’m not!), there are plenty of peg holes to load Prime up with some weaponry.

The transformation into this mode is pretty complex, considering how simple the Deluxe figures in this line have been, but I was able to get him through it the first time without consulting instructions, and I ain’t no genius, so I’m it’s got to be fairly intuitive. And there’s some truly clever stuff going on to put a smile on my face, even if the final steps require a lot of stuff moving almost simultaneously into place. But in the end, everything locks together perfectly for a solid cab and a pretty fun little toy. So how’s the robot mode look?

What’s the word I’m looking for? WOW? Yup, that’s it. I think it’s safe to say that, at least for me, this is the best looking Voyager Class G1-styled Prime Hasbro has ever done. It’s not perfect, but I think it’s about as perfect as we can expect to see in this size and price range. From head on, I’ve got precious little to nitpick here. He’s beautifully proportioned, and even hits on some of the cool points of Masterpiece Prime, including the vents on the lower legs, and does a pretty decent job of either concealing or obscuring the wheels. I dig that they sculpted the top of the truck cab for his robot mode, even though you don’t see it in the alt mode. The etching on the windshields looks great in his robot mode, and by faking out the cab details on the lower torso, they were able to keep it stylized for the robot mode. Thankfully, that includes swapping out the translucent blue grill with a proper silver one. The shorter stacks on the shoulders are still a bit of a bummer, but it’s not nearly enough to dampen what is an otherwise amazing looking robot.

From the back, things are not quite as clean as I would like in the lower legs, but they’re OK and the designers at least made an effort to close them up so they aren’t completely hollow. Prime does feature a big slab-o-back, which isn’t ideal, but I’m actually thinking that it could be a kind of jetpack, especially with the translucent blue plastic pieces on the bottom looking like thrust emitters. You can also use the peg holes to store his weapons on his back, but that just adds to the bulk.

As for the deco, it’s pretty much identical to what we saw in his alt mode. Prime features all his classic colors: Red, blue, and gray, with some white and yellow, and silver accents. He also features the weathered paint applications that have been present in the Deluxe Class figures. I think these look good, but I get that some collectors aren’t digging them. Maybe Hasbro will put a clean version out at some point down the road. After all, a mold this good can’t possibly only be issued once.

Easily my biggest, and really only, gripe about this figure is the kibble on the underarms, and it isn’t nearly as bad as the Classics version of Prime we got a while back. It’s funny, but I thought that figure was a work of art when it came out, but in retrospect it hasn’t aged all that gracefully. As for this Prime’s arm kibble, I’m actually enjoying the fact that these pieces can be flipped around to form integral mini-guns.

The head sculpt is right on point as well. It’s very traditional with just enough styled flare. The “helmet” is cast in blue plastic, the eyes are painted blue, and the silver paint used for his mouth plate and crest is sharp and clean. Again, I really appreciate that the sculpted the yellow roof lights, even though you don’t see them at all in his cab mode.

Prime comes with two weapons, both of which we glimpsed in the alt mode shots. The first is his battle axe, and I’ll confess I’m not terribly fond of this piece. It’s not all that convincing as an axe and I’ve never understood why Hasbro keeps giving Prime axes anyway. Is it because he had an energy axe in that one fight with Megatron in the Sunbow cartoon? Maybe. Either way, this is a piece that’s going to get tossed into the Tote of Forgotten Accessories.

Fortunately Prime also comes with his very familiar rifle. This baby is cast in black plastic and he can hold it in either hand. Unfortunately, the figure’s articulation doesn’t really allow him to cross it over his chest and rest it in his other hand all that well, but you can fake it out to make it look pretty good.

Before wrapping up, here are some quick comparison shots of Prime with his two Deluxe Autobot Warriors. His cab mode is pretty small when compared to Sideswipe and Hound’s vehicle modes, but he sure makes up for that when he transforms into robot mode. And I’d say the scale here works pretty well. Ideally, I’d like my regular Autobots to be a little closer to Prime’s shoulders, but I’m not going to gripe about it. I think they look great together.

All in all, I think this is an incredible effort on Hasbro’s part and easily my favorite Voyager Class Prime up to this point. It features some great engineering, a transformation that is clever but not too fiddly and complex, and best of all it just delivers unbelievably solid looking alt and robot modes. He’s also so much fun to play around with that I have a feeling he’ll be inhabiting my desk for a long time before he migrates over to my Transformers display. Yeah, at $29.99, he’s a little pricey for a figure this size, but I still think he’s well worth it. Indeed, if Hasbro is smart, they’ll cook up a trailer for this guy and re-release him sometime down the road as part of a bigger and more complete set, because this mold definitely deserves a full-on trailer, Teletran-1, and Roller treatment.

Savage World (ThunderCats): Wave One by Funko

The ThunderCats have had a hard time catching a break. They got an amazing series reboot back in 2011, but it didn’t last. Ban Dai tried to re-launch figures based on the classic cartoon not once, but twice, each time only producing two figures. The license fell to Mattel and they only managed to get a handful of figures out before dropping the line. We all hoped Super7 would have picked it up along with the Masters of the Universe license, but that didn’t happen. Up until now, the only way to get a (sort of) complete team was Mezco’s excellent Mega-Scale figures. And now… it’s Funko’s turn!

Savage World is Funko’s attempt to take popular licenses and merge them with the vintage He-Man action figure aesthetic. These haven’t been nearly as prolific as their Pop! Vinyls, but they’ve managed to do Mortal Kombat, 80’s Slashers, and even DC Comic Heroes as DC Primal Age. Of all of these so far, ThunderCats seems like the most likely candidate, and I was super excited to get these in hand when they were announced. But then the curse struck again. My pre-order filled for three of the four figures, with Panthro remaining in limbo. Weeks went by, I couldn’t find him anywhere, and it seemed like my pre-order was never going to fill. Eventually, I got tired of waiting and picked him up off of Ebay in order to get a complete set.

The first wave consists of Lion-O, Panthro, Mumm-Ra, and Slithe, which feels like a pretty solid assortment. These figures come on simple bubble-and-card packaging, which is in no way collector friendly, with their accessories bagged behind the figure. If you’re looking to keep a set MOC, you might want to be careful ordering these, because it’s not uncommon for them to show up with one or both of the legs detached. Sure, they do pop back on easy enough, but nobody wants to display a figure with its’ limbs rattling around in the bubble. The back of the card has a “Collect-Them-All” layout, which also shows Wave Two consisting of Tygra, Cheetara, Jackalman and Monkian. As much as I’d love to see this line go the distance, I’m just begging the powers that be to get us that second wave. These are pretty simple figures, so I’m going to just tackle the whole wave today…

Lion-O is the one figure in this wave where the squat styling feels a little off to me. At first, I couldn’t figure out why, but I’ve decided it’s because his hair makes his head look big and thereby makes his body look extra squat. It didn’t take long for that to wear off and now I’m fine with it, because everything else about this figure is just spot-on wonderful. I’m especially happy with the way the coloring here came out. Sure, some of that white edging could have been sharper, but I’ve got to get in pretty close before it bothers me. Articulation on all of these figures is identical, which includes swivels in the neck, waist, and shoulders, and ball joints in the hips.

Lion-O comes with his two iconic accessories: The Claw Shield and The Sword of Omens. The Claw is a nice softer sculpt to make it actually look like fur and has the three grappels painted red on the knuckles. The Sword is a solid recreation of the iconic sword. It’s cast in gray plastic and has the Eye of Thundera painted on both sides near the crossguard. All in all, I’m really pleased with this MOTU-styled Lord of the Thundercats and he looks great posed with his accessories.

Panthro looked a lot more naturally to me right out of the gate, because he doesn’t have the whole big hair thing going on and I think this is a great representation of the character, stylized or not. The spikes on his shoulder straps are sharp and solid, and the sculpt even includes his ninja-style footwear and the cords where they are tied on. The only problem I have with this figure is that the Eye of Thundera is printed a bit off-center on his belt. Otherwise, the paint is pretty sharp and the coloring looks great.

Panthro comes with his nun-chuks, which are painted blue and red with a silver painted flexible “chain” connecting them, and have the adorable little cat claws sculpted into the ends of them. He can hold them in either hand and if you cheat, you can even get him to hold them in both hands at once… sort of. Let’s move on to the baddies!

Slithe is the one figure here where the stylized look doesn’t even come into play, and by that I mean this just looks like regular old Slithe to me. They did a great job with the sculpt, from the ragged skirt to the fishy lips and popped eye, he looks great. The coloring here is really evocative of the animation as well and some nice flourishes include the bright silver paint on his wrist bracer and the green spots on his tail. My one little gripe about Slithe is that the way his legs are sculpted can make it tough for him to stand. I feel like they should have sculpted them to be a little wider apart, but after enough fiddling, I was able to get him stable and he hasn’t taken a shelf dive yet.

Slithe comes with one accessory and that’s his long handled axe. I actually had to go back and look at some pictures to remember what the LJN figure came with, and I suppose this is a pretty decent match for the original accessory.

And that brings us to Mumm-RA, The Ever Living! When it comes to sculpt and coloring, Mumm-Ra is easily the most impressive figure in the assortment. He’s also another one that I think works in this scale and style perfectly. Funko really went to town on all the extra bits, like the skirt, cape, torn bandages, and grieves. He also features my favorite head sculpt of the bunch, even though they’re all good, this one just delivers that extra bit of awesome. He’s also beautifully colored with lots of red and gold, and even blue on the twin snakes of his headdress.

Mumm-Ra comes with one accessory and that’s his double-bladed sword. This thing is a nasty piece of cutlery with jagged edges on each blade and a central golden grip sculpted to look like snakes twisted together. I never really associate this weapon with the character a lot, but it’s still pretty cool.

And that’s Wave One of Savage World ThunderCats in the bag! I probably wouldn’t be gushing about these figures as much if Ban Dai or Mattel had managed to make their lines work. But if this is the format that succeeds in getting us a properly fleshed out ThunderCats line, then I’m all for it. The sculpting here is fantastic, the colors are great, and even the accessories are on point. And who knows? Maybe if these sell well, Funko will get us a Cat’s Lair playset in the same style as the Primal Age Batcave! Either way, all I can say is bring on Wave Two!