Mythic Legions (Advent of Decay): Orc Legion Builder 2 by The Four Horsemen

Well, ain’t this a kick in the head… I actually made it through the week with three updates! I had a ton of options for content today, but in the end I just went into the Toy Closet and decided to open the first thing that hit me in the head from the toppling piles of shame. And it’s from Mythic Legions! You can never go wrong with Mythic Legions! This time I’m going all the way back to the Advent of Decay Series to check out Orc Legion Builder 2! At this point we’ve seen the packaging a hundred times, so let’s just jump right into the figure.

The original Orc Legion Builder was the last figure from the original Kickstarter that I reviewed back in 2016. This new version makes use of the new female parts from Advent of Decay to give us an Orc Femme Fatale. No, she’s not the first She-Orc I’ve reviewed here. That honor goes to Queen Urkzaa, and we’ll see some of those same parts used here. The left arm is almost identical to Urkzaa’s, being bare from the shoulder to the elbow and featuring the same grieve. The key difference here is this figure is wearing a full gauntlet as opposed to having a bare hand. The right arm breaks up the symmetry by being completely encased in armor and features a pauldron as well. Yup, OLB-2 only comes with the one Pauldron. The belt and groin armor are the same as Urkzaa’s, but this new Lady Orc includes plated hip armor attached to it. The legs are identical to Urkzaa’s down to the ankles. They’re bare down to the knee armor and in this case armored all the way down to her toes, whereas Urkzaa had bare feet. The biggest difference is in the chest armor, where Urkzaa made due with a simple armored bikini top and OLB-2 has full plate up there, exposing only her midriff.

Of course, the Legion Builders are slightly less expensive figures than the regular releases and that means they tend to have fewer paint apps and flourish. Still, what’s here is great. I love the shade of green they use for Orc flesh and, as always, I really dig the crude and jagged look of the Orc armor. The paintwork gives it a worn and weathered appearance, slightly darker than Urzkaa’s. The decision to include only one pauldron allows for the large sword to be worn on the back instead of the waist, which doesn’t work well with two pauldrons. Plus, it fits the look of the armored sleeve better. Still, it would have been nice to get a second, seeing as how this is a Legion Builder and meant to be kitted out as army builders. That second Pauldron would have allowed for a little more variety when displaying multiples. But hey, I’m not going to hold that against her.

The head sculpt features a smooth helmet that extends over the eyes and the bridge of her nose with cheek guards sweeping forward to points. There’s a pointed ridge that runs across the top like a mohawk and the eye slits are completely blacked out with no visible eyes behind them. The lower portion of the face is exposed showing a determined mouth with two tusk-like teeth protruding up from the lower jaw. She has pointed ears and a ponytail spills out the back of the helmet. resembling a horse tail. I’m assuming that’s intended to be her hair, but I suppose it could devised as something added to the helmet for ornamentation purposes.

When it comes to weapons, Orc Legion Builder 2’s arsenal is a total throwback to the original Kickstarter accessories. The sword is the two-hander with the slightly leaf-shaped blade that we’ve seen over and over again. And hey, I can’t deny that I still like this sword a lot. Many of the Legion Builders’ weapons are just one color, but this one is silver with a yellowish wash to make it look a little rusty.

Next up, it’s the familiar old battle axe. This is actually the exact same axe that came with the first Orc Legion Builder only now in silver with the same yellowish wash as the sword. Previously, this axe often included an axtra blade so you can change it from single to double-bladed. That’s not the case here. Again, I get it that these are the less expensive figures, but it would be nice to have more display options for army builders.

And finally, yup you probably guessed it, it’s the spear. At this point, I probably have more of these spears than any other accessory in the history of my collecting. There’s nothing wrong with it, but I’m ready for something else to take its place. This weapon is painted to match the others, so once again it’s all silver with a yellow wash.

I love this figure, and I actually wish I my budget would have allowed me to pick up one more. Mixing her up with the male Orc Legion Builder grants some nice diversity to my Orc army’s ranks. But obviously my big complaint here is the tired selection of weapons. We’ve seen these so many times now, and Advent of Decay introduced so many new ones. I would have liked to get at least one of the new ones with this figure. Some of the newer crude-looking weapons have been so underused and they would have been most welcome bundled with this figure.

Aliens Vs Predator Arcade: Arachnoid Alien and Razor Claws Alien by NECA

My Toy Closet has become something like an archaeological dig these days. So much so that I’ve really pulled way back on what I’m buying and trying to take the time to unearth the unopened treasures that lie under the levels of cardboard strata. This past weekend I unearthed a particularly interesting box of NECA goodies, a lot of which center around Capcom’s 1994 beat-em-up classic, Aliens Vs. Predator. In an effort to clear out this box, I’m going to try to check some of this stuff out each week until I get to the end. There are eight figures in the series total and today I’m starting with two of the three Aliens released from the game.

And here’s Arachnoid and Razor Claws in their boxes. You’ll notice that Chrysalis Alien is unaccounted for and that’s because I haven’t been able to find him at Target, or online for a decent price. I may wind up over-paying for him at some point, but for now let’s just have a look at this gruesome duo. They come in collector-friendly window boxes, which I dig a lot more than the sealed clamshells. I’m going to start with Arachnid!

So, this guy reminds me a lot of the Xeno Warrior from Aliens, but with enough key differences to set him apart. I believe it’s a new sculpt, but I don’t own all the NECA Xenos, so I won’t stake my (admittedly next to worthless) reputation on that. As with all of NECA’s Aliens, there is some absolutely amazing detail work in this sculpt, which really brings out the Giger flavor in the design. Why he’s called an Arachnoid, I don’t know because there really aren’t any arachnid influences that I can see. He does have fairly typical arms and legs, the usual exposed rib-cage, and a pretty basic segmented tail. This fellow only has four of the stalks protruding from his back and he has bone-like loops hanging off his forearms. The coloring features a very pale blue with a black wash to pick out all that lovely detail.

The head sculpt features the usual elongated head. The cranium is overall pretty smooth, but it does feature a spiked ridge running down the center. The front half is blue, while the back half is decidedly cockroach colored. The mandibles are the usual mess of sinew webbing and the jaw opens to reveal the secondary mouth, which can extend out past the jaws.

I dig this guy a lot, but if you’re looking for something vastly different than the regular Xeno’s I don’t know if this one will scratch your itch. He’s definitely got a lot of unique stuff going on, but I really had to compare him to my Alien and Aliens Xenos to pick out all the differences. Still, I’m sure the die-hard fans out there will spot the differences a lot easier than me. The coloring adds to his distinctive look, and helps makes him stand out as a video game character. With all that having been said, he takes second place in this pair to my favorite…

 

 

Razor Claws is just so damn awesome on every level.  He features a completely different body sculpt, with a lot more sharp detail, particularly in the legs. The structure of the torso still shows off the rib-cage, but with an entirely unique structure. Of course, the biggest differences here are found int he giant razor clawed hands and the tail, which possesses a cycle-like blade at the end. This fellow still only has four tubes coming off his back, but these are longer and taper to points at the ends. He’s also missing those extra toes that the Arachnoid has, and he has pretty powerful looking talons jutting out from the front of his feet. The coloring here is also gorgeous. He has a reddish and almost pink finish and just like his comrade, the black wash brings out all the exquisite detail in the sculpt.

The head is also completely different, with a totally smooth cranium, tusk like horns protruding from his chin, and the same articulated jaw with the secondary mouth that extends outward. The cranial plate is somewhat translucent so you can just make out some of the detail that’s going on underneath it. Overall, it’s a simpler styled head than the Arachnoid, but my personal taste makes it my favorite of the two.

And I can say that pretty much about the entire figure. Not only does this Xeno look a lot more distinctive than his Arachnoid brother, but he also looks like an absolute killing machine. Between those shredding claws and that extra blade on his tail, this fellow looks like he’s just designed to leap on Colonial Marines and eviscerate them in a matter of seconds. Plus, there’s just something about the coloring that really does it for me.

I’m always looking to add some new Xenomorphs to my collection, so even if I wasn’t a fan of the quarter-munching arcade game, I would have still been all over these. But the fact that they are realistic interpretations of the 16-bit pixelated game characters makes them all the more sweeter. And even if you aren’t looking to collect all the Arcade figures, I think these fellas would be right at home in any NECA Aliens collection. They look fantastic together, and I just know I’m going to wind up dropping a lot of money to pick up the last one and complete the set. Next week, I hope to be back to check out the Predators in this line!

Marvel Legends (Caliban Wave): Jubilee by Hasbro

Well, folks, I’m not off to a good start for the new year, as I wasn’t able to check back in again last week after Marvel Monday. I’m still swamped with stuff that’s wrestling for my time, and it’s probably going to be a few more months before I’m locked back down to regular updates. Nonetheless, I’m back to spread more X-Men loving today and I have a good feeling that the rest of the week will work out. Today I’m headed back into the Caliban Wave with a look at Jubilee!

I guess you can consider Jubilee here an apology figure. Hasbro gave us to her a few years back as a Build-A-Figure, which was an odd choice in and of itself. Then to add fuel to the fire, the Wave was notoriously hard to find and complete. I don’t think I ever saw any of the figures once, although I heard tell it wound up as a Toys R Us Exclusive. Needless to say the figures went for big money online. Beside that, the Jubilee BAF wasn’t based on the classic look for the character anyway, so here’s Hasbro taking a brand new stab at getting her into the hands of collectors.

I don’t own the BAF Jubilee, but comparing this one with some pictures, it looks like there’s definitely some recycling here, at the very least her yellow trademark jacket looks the same. And they did a nice job with it. It’s cast in retina-melting yellow plastic, features a high, popped collar, and comes down to behind her knees. The sleeves are sculpted onto the arms, rolled up to the elbows, and she sports a pair of blue gloves, which match her boots. Under the jacket, she casts off the black outfit from the previous release in exchange for her blue shorts and pink top. There are some lovely little touches in the sculpt, including the buttons and the pin on her chest, all of which are neatly painted in gold. Her sculpted black belt features a gray belt-buckle, and the shorts have some sculpted tailoring and cuffs around her thighs. The colors on this figure are fantastic!

The portrait is pretty tight, although my figure has a bit of a wall-eye thing going on. I’m not so sure that it’s just the paint to blame, as the eyes really do look a little too far apart. Everything else is fine, though. The paint on her lips is sharp and clean, the earrings look great, and I love the sculpting they did on her hair. I particularly dig the way her transparent pink glasses came out. It’s never easy doing eyewear in this scale, but these fit the figure perfectly.

Now, with all the gushing aside, I will say that while I was quite excited to get this figure, now that she’s in hand I’m a little cool on her. Part of the problem might be that the plastic is really gummy on mine, particularly in those double-hinged knees and in the neck hinge. It’s weird. Working some of her joints feels like a dubious prospect and most of those hinges would rather try to warp than actually work the way they’re supposed to. Add to that the lack of any effect parts, and she’s just not as much fun to play around with as she might have been. I’m surprised Hasbro couldn’t even cough up a few of those hex-type effect circles that clip to the wrists. Yeah, I’ve got tons of them, but that’s not really the point.

She does, however, come with a couple extras, namely this second portrait with removable glasses. And yup, this one has her blowing a bubble with her gum. I love that they included this one, it’s a wonderful effect, and the removable glasses were a nice touch. Unfortunately, this head does not fit right on my figure. It won’t snap in properly and when I try to apply pressure, the gummy neck joint just bends. I can sort of make it work, but it’s just another example of how the QC on my Jubilee isn’t up to snuff.

I guess Jubilee turned out a little disappointing. The figure looks great, and she’ll be fine representing on my X-Men shelf, but the mushy plastic on this figure drags her down a lot. When I open a figure for Marvel Mondays, that figure usually stays on my desk for the week so I can play around with them on my down time, but Jubilee just isn’t that much fun, so I think she’ll be going right up on the shelf. Next week, the X-Men train rolls on. Who will it be? I won’t know for sure until I start digging through the Legends pile, but I feel like I have a hankering for some crawdads and gumbo.

Marvel Legends (Caliban Wave): Beast by Hasbro

I’m going to keep an X-Men streak going on Marvel Mondays for at least a few more weeks, although I’m not sticking to any one wave. Today’s figure is one I was really excited to get and it is indeed Dr. Hank McCoy! I thought this was the first time I was dipping into the Caliban Wave, but it turns out I already opened and reviewed Blink a little while back.

Beast is so essential to the X-Men lineup, it surprises me it took this long to get him and this long for me to open him. It’s also impressive that even with his rather large stature, Hasbro was able to cram an extra set of hands and Caliban’s noggin in there. Hell, they probably could have made Hank a BAF himself and I would have been cool with that.

And I’m certainly pleased with the look Hasbro went for here, as this is definitely my favorite version of the character. He’s big, burly, no shirt, and just a big slab of muscle and blue fur. His entire outfit consists of some blue undies and his branded yellow X-Men belt. And I have to say, both the detail in the sculpt and the beautiful gradations of blue conspire to make Beast a great looking figure. Virtually his entire surface is covered in sculpted fur texture, with extra thick patches on his chest, shoulders, back, and around his neck. He’s got giant feet and hands, along with an additional set of swap-out hands, which include a hand-standing hand and a fist.

Hasbro went all out on the articulation here, so much so that I’m getting some flashbacks to the Toy Biz days, where articulation often took a front seat to aesthetics. Thankfully that’s not quite the case here, although I will say that with all these points of articulation, I think Beast looks better in action poses than simply standing prone. Nonetheless, lets run down all of those points! His arms have the butterfly shoulder crunches, rotating hinges in the proper shoulders, double hinges in the elbows, hinged pegs in the wrists, and swivels in the biceps. The legs are ball jointed in the hips, double jointed in the knees, and have swivels in the thighs. The ankles have hinges and lateral rockers, and there are hinges in the feet. There’s a swivel in the waist, a ball joint under the chest, and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed. Needless to say, this figure is tons of fun to play around with!

If there’s one thing that I’m torn on here it’s the portrait. Don’t get me wrong, it looks great, but it also lacks some detail in the sculpt, particularly around the mouth and the teeth. The teeth are really just painted lines, and the paint is a little rough. It looks more like an animated portrait, and that’s not a bad thing, but it’s at odds with some of the more detailed head sculpts we’ve seen out of Hasbro in the past. With that being said, the hair and whiskers looks great and the fierce expression is certainly packed with personality. Still, I’m going to have to say it. We should have gotten a second head sculpt with this figure. Beast shouldn’t only be characterized in a furor like this. I would have loved a calm portrait for Hank.

But hey, I don’t want to end this look on a downer, because I really do dig this figure a lot! I was still playing around with him long after I was done snapping pictures, and this big lovable guy has been sitting on my desk for a few days now so I can pick him up and play with him on my downtime. With Beast, the core X-Men characters continue to pour onto my Legends shelves, and I say keep ’em coming, Hasbro. I ran short of time to do a decent group shot this week, but I’ll make up for it next week when I keep the Legends X-Men love train rolling along!

Cowgirl Sixth-Scale Figure by Phicen/TB League

It’s a brand new year, and boy am I ready for that! One of my many little resolutions for 2020 around these parts is to start digging into my Sixth-Scale figures and get caught up before all the pre-orders that were delayed last year start piling up in about a month. Yeah, that’s like a year’s worth of Hot Toys that all got bumped. So, this week I had a perusal through a stack of boxes looking for something to open and review, and I decided to go with one of TB League’s (formerly Phicen) offerings. This little lady was released last year and marries two of my favorite things… Lovely Phicen figures and The Old West! Giddyup, Cowgirls!

Yee-Haw! Here’s the part of the review where I gush over TBL’s packaging and lament that we don’t get the same quality out of Hot Toys’ more expensive figures. Seriously, the presentation is really solid with a durable cardboard shoebox and an illustrated tri-fold magnetic cover. Ok, so the artwork here isn’t anything special, but these boxes feel so much better than the flimsy window boxes that Hot Toys has been using for a lot of their releases these days. Remove the top and you get your figure and all her accessories nestled in a foam tray. And as with all TB League releases, this lovely cowpoke’s head comes separate from her body. It’s creepy, but I think they do that so it can be wrapped in plastic better. TBL is known for mining their source material from Indie (read cheaper to acquire) licenses, but this little lady is one of their concept figures, or at least I’m 99.9% sure she isn’t based on any specific license or property. But hey, if there’s a comic somewhere with Cowgirl in it, I’ll jump on board. There’s a little bit of set up required here, but nothing too bad, so let’s check her out and see how The West was fun.

Cowgirl is the result of a painstakingly researched pursuit of authenticity. The creators of this figure really wanted to capture all the historical details of your average late 19th Century hawt blonde gunfighter absolutely perfectly, and it shows! From the leather studded top that does little more than hold her large doggies in place to the leather panties that protects her modesty south of the border, she looks like she jumped straight out of the history books! Yeah, I’m funning with ya, but if you weren’t expecting something like this outfit out of a TBL female gunfighter, than you need to revisit some of my other reviews and acquaint yourself with the copious T&A of their previous releases. Apart from her skimpy top and bottom, Cowgirl sports a pair of long black leather leggings with knee-pads and some nice fringe coming off the sides. Each of these leggings hooks to her panties similar to a garderbelt. The outfit is rounded out by a dual-holstered gunbelt, a pair of boots, complete with spurs, fingerless gloves sculpted onto the hands, and a felt fedora to top off her pretty head.

And speaking of pretty heads, TBL has been getting better and better with their portraits, and I have to say I like this one very much. She sure is purdy and the rooted blonde hair falls naturally about her head. The paint quality on the eyes and lips are both quite lifelike, even if the eyebrows and overall skin texture don’t quite meet that uncanny realism we see in those top-tier Sixth-Scale figure producers. There isn’t a lot of expressiveness in the face to support some of the more action-packed poses, but I still like what we got here a lot, it’s quality work. Indeed, I have a feeling that the customizing community of Phicen collectors will be happy to add this head to their collection. The hat holds it’s shape well and fits her head nicely. It stays on quite well too. I’m always happy to see an actual felt hat in this scale, rather than a plastic one.

The skimpy outfit does it’s job in allowing the Seamless Phicen Body to strut it’s stuff. I’ve lost track of what body type they’re up to, and to be honest I could never really keep them straight anyway. Suffice it to say the soft plastic skin surrounds a stainless steel skeleton that offers what is probably the most realistic human articulation available in the action figure market today. And without actually seeing where all those joints are, it’s fun to discover all the crazy little nuances that are locked away in her articulation. Likewise, this is an extremely well balanced figure (insert joke about her being top-heavy here), and I found her able to hold her own without needing a stand. Which is good, because she doesn’t come with one. Not that I would trust her to stand on the shelf for long periods of time without one. Thankfully inexpensive stands for figures in this scale can be had pretty easily.

And as great as the body is, that’s not to say the craftsmanship and detail in the outfit take a backseat. The stitching and studs on the leather (well, leather-like substance) look great, along with a little bit of weathering, and that big red stone in the middle. And while my Cowgirl does suffer the occasional nip-slip when posing, the top piece of her wardrobe does a good job at rustling those doggies. The gunbelt features a silver painted buckle and a string of sculpted cartridges running around its length. The holsters fit the guns very well, although they tend to slide to the front from time to time. Another thing to watch for when posing Cowgirl are the clips for her leggings. These will sometimes come un-clipped with leg movement and have to be re-clipped. Finally, the sculpted boots include some lovely decorative work around the tops, silver studs across the fronts, silver medallions on the sides, and working spurs!

Moving on to accessories, and here’s where the figure takes a couple of hits, and I’m talking about her shootin’ irons. Make no mistake, these are incredibly detailed revolvers with silver finish and brown painted grips. The detail and level of articulation on these are quite impressive. The hammers can be cocked back, the chambers spin, and they can even flip out for loading or be removed from the guns entirely. What’s my gripe? Well, they’re obviously modern pistols and not age-appropriate single-actions. It really feels like the folks at TBL just re-purposed some guns from another figure set. And I get it, I don’t really know the intent behind this character. Taking the outfit into consideration, maybe she isn’t supposed to be from the past. Maybe she’s some kind of sexy cowboy-themed bounty hunter or vigilante, and if so that’s fair enough. But, I’ll still be looking for some more authentic pistols for her online. Naturally, Cowgirl comes with a pair of trigger finger hands and these work very well with the pistols.

And as impressive as the articulation on these guns is, it may be a little too much. The action on these is extremely delicate and the chambers are held in only by friction, so it’s not uncommon for the chamber and the retaining pin to fall out when I’m posing the figure. Indeed, one of them even disappeared somewhere on the floor of my studio while I was taking pictures for  this review. The hunt for it continues. It’s a race against time to find the little shiny things before my cats do. But all the more reason for me to hunt down some new guns for her.

Fortunately, she does come with a rifle that better suits her presumed time period, and that’s this beautiful lever-action. Now, I’m a real sucker for lever actions. I own four of the real deals, so this accessory is near and dear to my heart, even if it doesn’t seem to be based on any specific firearm that I can recall. The sculpted detail here is just packed with character, from the wood-grain patterns in the stock and forearm to the screws, barrel bands, and bolts holding the receiver together. Even the coloring is beautiful, with a lush brown for the wooden pieces and a convincing gun metal gray for the rest. This accessory features no articulation, and considering the troubles I had with the pistols, maybe that’s for the best. I sling or maybe even a scabbard to carry it on her back would have been cool, but either way it’s plenty cool.

You do get a few other extras in the box, the first of which is a rope, which while simple enough doesn’t go unappreciated. I’ve even tied mine into a noose for he to hold.

The final accessory is a combat knife and sheath, but it suffers the same issue as the guns. With it’s black segmented grip and sawback edge, It looks like a modern survival knife and not something someone would be carrying around in The Old West. I would have loved to have seen a beefy Bowie knife included here or maybe a Civil War era sword-bayonet, but no such luck. Hey, extras are always nice, but I doubt I’m going to display this piece with her. Nonetheless, she does come with a tight grip right hand that holds it very well.

Most of the TBL figures I’ve purchased lately have been Deluxes, which means they often come with elaborate bases or some kind of set piece prop, but Cowgirl bucks that trend. The plus side of that is she was a little cheaper, around $149 if I remember correctly. The downside is, I think they could have done something cool like a saloon door or a wagon wheel or something to display her with. As she stands, I think she’s a pretty cool figure. I love the outrageous costume, the portrait is great, and I don’t think I’ll ever stop being impressed by Phicen’s seamless bodies. My biggest gripes here come in the accessories, and maybe that’s more my personal preference. A couple of single action six-shooters and a big Bowie knife would have been perfect for her, but maybe I’ll be able to supply those things somewhere down the road. As it is, she’s certainly a nice break from the fantasy and medieval style warrior women we’ve been seeing from TBL lately. Not that there’s anything wrong with those, but Cowgirl adds a little spicy variety to my shelf.