Marvel Legends (Strong Guy Wave): Warpath and Sunspot by Hasbro

Well hey there, Toyhounds! After taking a week off from Toy Bloggery, I’m back in full force with a brand new Marvel Monday! And since I took the last Marvel Monday off, today I’m doubling up on some X-Force Action with a look at two Mutants from the Strong Guy Wave… Let’s check out Warpath and Sunspot!

If you’re keeping track at home, I already dipped my toe into this Wave way back when I checked out Pirate Deadpool! I’ve got nothing new to say about the packaging, except that you get the mighty X-Force logo emblazoned on the front of each window box. To my surprise, I was actually able to find this pair at my local Target… and on clearance!!! Let’s start with Sunspot!

A Mutant with a sunny disposition and money to burn, Sunspot breaks into the Marvel Legends lineup looking absolutely fab! The buck features a combination of paint and colored plastic to make up the mostly red and blue suit, with some added black for the gauntlets. The deco looks great and the paint lines are pretty clean. You do get some unpainted pins rearing their ugly heads, with red ones on the interiors of the elbows and blue ones on the interiors of the knees. These don’t really bother me, but I know it sticks in some peoples’ collective craws. Overall, I think this deco looks fantastic!

And if that’s not enough, the costume does introduce a splash of added color and original sculpted parts in the form of raised yellow striping on the sides of his boots, yellow bangles on his wrists, and a yellow collar with the X-emblem stamped onto it in red. Damn, this is a cool looking suit!

And Roberto’s portrait is no slouch either! Cast in black plastic, the ebony head sculpt is illuminated only by the bright red mask and his white pupil-less eyes. It makes for a really cool effect. The mask is augmented by a pair of sculpted ties that fly off the back of his head down toward his back. The portrait is rounded out by black energy effects protruding from behind his back to simulate the corona effect of his awesome powers.

There are no surprises here when it comes to articulation, although Sunspot does feature the extra swivel cuts down in the lower legs that we see every now and then. Those are always welcome! He also comes with a pair of effect parts, which we have most certainly seen a few times before, but now they’re cast in a very cool looking black plastic. These hook onto the wrists and blend nicely with the effect parts coming off of his back. OK, let’s turn our attention to Warpath!

If you were with me a few Marvel Mondays back, you may remember that I was ultimately a bit disappointed with Thunderbird and I was hoping that his brother Warpath would turn out better. And for the most part, he did! Built on a larger and more powerful buck, Warpath features a similar costume to Thunderbird’s, and the same beautiful red and blue colors we just saw on Sunspot. His top is short-sleeved, allowing him to show off his mighty guns!

Once again, the colors are crisp and the paint lines are clean. While the fringe on the tops of Thunderbird’s boots annoyed me to no end for their habit of sliding down to his ankles, I’m happy to report that Warpath’s are sculpted in place and stay put! Why couldn’t you have done that the first time, Hasbro? On the other hand, Warpath features some large shoulder pads with matching fringe, and these have a habit of popping off when you try to raise his arms too high. So, it’s really one of those “two steps forward, one step back” scenarios. At least the shoulder pads look pretty bitchin’ when they are staying put. Warpath’s costume is rounded out by a red belt with sculpted pouches running around it, and gold bracers on his wrists.

I absolutely love the portrait here. Proudstar sports a stoic expression, with a firmly downturned mouth, a strong nose, and some chiseled lines in his face. His red domino mask is part of the sculpt, framing his two pupil-less eyes. He has a sculpted red headband, which is mostly obscured by his black coif that cascades down each side of his face. The hair is sculpted so as to add a lot of depth and dimension to the portrait, even to the point where you can make out part of his ears buried in there where the hair parts at his shoulders. The head sculpt is rounded out with a white sculpted feather protruding from the back, behind his right ear. Really, my only complaint here is the bit of mold flashing that’s evident on his chin.

As with Sunstorm, there’s no surprises to be found in the articulation. Warpath sports all the usual points and the joints are solid, making him fun to play with. At least until I knock his shoulder pads off with his arms. Sadly, there are no accessories here, and I think it’s a major bummer that Hasbro did not include his fighting knives. And as if that omission wasn’t bad enough, they actually included a pair of accessory holding hands to swap out with his fists. Seriously, Hasbro? Hands to hold the knives, but no knives to hold? Are you just trolling me on this one? Egads.

Sunstorm and Warpath are two excellent new additions to my X-Men shelf and all in all I have few complaints. I’m always torn on whether I prefer this gorgeous red and blue over the blue and yellow when it comes to my Mutant costume colors. More than anything, these costumes remind me of the good old days of collecting the Toy Biz figures, and these really capture all that magic only with the added articulation and excellent head sculpts. Sunspot is pretty much perfect, but I still have to hammer home the point of how ridiculous it is that we couldn’t have had some knives with Warpath. Hell, even the 4-inch Marvel Universe release got some cutlery. I’ll have to dig through my totes of accessories and see if I can accommodate him.

VACATION!!!

I’m going on Vacation this week, folks!

And by that I mean I’m working a bunch of doubles and am not even going to attempt to carve out the time to do content.

I do hope to take what little time I have to get a jump on next week and hopefully give myself the cushion I need to get back on track for 2021.

In the meantime, I’ve had some cool stuff show up this past week, and I’m anxious to dig into it!

And with that, I’ll catch ya’ll next week for Marvel Monday!

Transformers (Robot Enhanced Design Series): Megatron by Hasbro

A couple of weeks back I embarked on my first look at Hasbro’s series of non-transforming Transformers with Optimus Prime. Overall, I liked the figure well enough, but ultimately I felt that it didn’t really do anything better than the excellent Earthrise figure that could actually transform. Well, today I’m back to give this series a second look with the mighty Megatron!

Here’s a quick look at the packaging, which I like very much indeed. As a window box, it’s not too far off from the current Transformers Deluxe packages, but the deco is a lot brighter and red, which is an on-the-nose nod to the abbreviation of the series name. Whoever has been doing the artwork for Hasbro has been killing it lately, and that goes double for this series, as you get some lovely character art that wraps from the angled side panel to the front of the box. So, if you missed out last tine, these are roughly six-inch figures with some accessories that claim to emphasize articulation and style over the ability to convert. Well, let’s get Megsy out and see what we’ve got!

Straightaway, I like this figure a lot more than I did Prime. It should be said that Optimus Prime’s robot mode doesn’t lose a lot to his transformation. Hell, the original G1 toy was well-proportioned and looked close enough to his cartoon and comic counterparts. Megatron, on the other hand, isn’t so lucky. His G1 mode was an abomination and while subsequent tank modes have been made to work fairly closely with his G1 robot aesthetic, he stands to benefit a lot from this whole non transforming treatment. And benefit he does indeed! What we’ve got here is as  stylish a G1 Megatron figure as we’re likely to see and we owe that to kicking the need for all that transforming engineering. Megatron is one clean-looking robot, with no unsightly kibble, other than the gun barrel peaking up over his shoulder, which has since become an iconic part of his design even in the cartoons and comics. Everything about this bot is beautifully proportioned, and there are no hollow or unfinished areas to be seen from any angle. The figure mostly makes use of colored plastic for its rather limited eco of white, gray, and black. You do, however, get a little more color in the control box under his chest, some red in his elbow joints, and the Decepticon emblem on his chest.

As with Prime, the plastic here has a very dense and chunky feel to it, which makes for an overall soft sculpt. Given that these are simpler animated style figures, that isn’t a problem when it comes to the detail. On the other hand, this plastic does show a few blemishes, which I’m not used to seeing on official Hasbro product. Either way, the plastic makes for a hefty figure that’s fun to pick up and play with and seems like it would be pretty durable under rough play. Prime’s deco felt a little wanting, missing a few key paint hits, but it’s admittedly more complex than what was required for Megatron’s, which looks fantastic.

If there’s one place that the softer plastic detracts from the figure it’s in the head sculpt. Make no mistake, what we got here isn’t at all bad. The portrait captures the Megatron I know and love from the Sunbow cartoon quite well. You get his iconic “helmet” and his smug, slightly downturned mouth. The red eyes are outlined in black, and those triangular “eyebrows” can be seen peaking out from under that “helmet.” No, my one nitpick here is that I wish the facial details were a little sharper.

The fusion cannon often suffers from transformation engineering, sometimes being too small or too big, or just weirdly shaped. Here, it looks great in terms of size and shape. Alas, some of those weird imperfections in the plastic are evident on the barrel of mine. It mostly looks bad when it catches the studio light and in hand under regular lighting it isn’t nearly as bad. Still, it’s bizarre to see a brand new toy with this kind of blemish.

Moving on to articulation, I have to say that while Megatron here is definitely well articulated and lots of fun to pose and play with, it isn’t that great a leap over what we saw in the Siege figure. Indeed, one vexing thing about this figure is the way the shoulder joints don’t work all that well with the fusion cannon. He can aim it well straight in front of him, but it’s difficult to make him aim it off to the side and have it on top of his arm like he often does in the cartoon. Indeed, the Siege figure can actually strike that aiming pose a little better than this one can.

Megatron comes with a number of extra hands, mostly left ones. You get a fist, a relaxed hand, a pointing finger hand, and even a hand holding an Energon Cube, which is a great little extra.

And finally, Megatron comes with his purple Energon Mace, so you can recreate his battle with Prime on the Hoover Dam. Like Prime’s Energon Axe, this plugs into the wrist, replacing his hand. It’s got a pretty long chain to it and looks great.

Ultimately, I like this figure a lot, even if it is far from perfect. I’ve long been on the look out for a Megatron figure that’s faithful to his stylized G1 look and this one fits the bill. I don’t think this figure offers enough improvements in articulation over the transforming Siege figure, it does deliver a cleaner and more traditional looking version of the character and that fits the bill quite nicely. As a result, I think this one succeeds a bit more than the Prime figure, but in the end I like them both well enough to be happy to have them in my collection. We’ve got one more to look at in this initial assortment, and that’s Soundwave. Hopefully I’ll have a review of him ready in the near future!

Marvel Legends (Deadpool): Cable by Hasbro

It’s the first Marvel Monday of 2021 and I’m wrapping up my look at the Marvel Legends figures from the two Deadpool movies! If you’re just joining me, I’ve already checked out the Deadpool and Negasonic Teenage Warhead 2-Pack from the first film, and Domino from the second. Today, I’m opening Cable from Deadpool 2, which looks like it will probably be the last offering from these films, unless you count the upcoming repaint of old Deadpool himself.

Just like Domino, Cable comes in a red window box that has been rebranded for the Fox Move figures, including the recent X-Men releases. It’s a nice, clean look… or it would have been if Deadpool didn’t attack it with a Sharpie. Nathan Summers is crossed out on the bottom and Cable is written over it. Deadpool also added a 14+ Age Disclaimer and stamped his logo over the X-Men logo. I really enjoy this packaging, but not enough to hang onto it, so let’s shred it and check out the figure inside.

It’s amazing to think that Josh Brolin was able to take enough time off from snapping away half the Universe to play the grizzled Time-Hopping Nathan Summers, but I’m damn glad he did because he did a great job in the role. Cable’s design in the film was gritty, dark, and not at all flashy and this figure represents that look perfectly. The body features some drab sculpted military fatigues, high top brown shit-kicker boots, and a tactical vest which is separately sculpted and worn on top of the torso. While his fatigues are pretty non-descript, his vest is nicely detailed with some patches, straps, and even some grenade shells on the left shoulder. The copper paint on the shells offers the most color this costume has to offer.

His right arm sports a short sleeve, while his right arm is sculpted to reflect the ravages of the techno-organic virus. It looks great with segmented mechanical sinews in the bicep and more of an armored look to the rest. The finish is more gray than silver, which is in line with the way the movie seamed to downplay the effects and I really liked that. Cable also has a waist belt with his daughter’s Teddy Bear attached to the left hip. It’s got a cool, soft looking sculpt to it, making it look more squishy than hard plastic. His right hip features a molded holster for his sidearm and a scabbard for his grenade launcher. The belt also features some sculpted magazine pouches and a lick of silver paint to the buckle. All in all I dig the tactical additions to the figure and they really serve the figure well to spruce up what is otherwise some run-of-the-mill fatigues.

Cable also comes with a plastic poncho that he wears around his neck like a cape. The accessory can be added or taken away without having to remove the head, which is unusual with these types of things. It’s sculpted to mesh with the top of the figure pretty well, so it isn’t riding up or getting in the way, at least not for the more neutral poses. It can get in the way of more extreme shoulder movement, so I’m glad it’s easily removed.

Hasbro rarely disappoints when it comes to their cinematic head sculpts and Cable keeps that trend rolling along nicely. The likeness to Brolin is solid and the creases and crevices on the face give him an appropriately hardened look. He’s also got some excellent scarring as well. The I really dig the exposed areas of the virus in his neck as well as in the back where his spine meets his head. Outstanding stuff! AND NOW IT’S TIME FOR TINY PLASTIC GUN PORN!!!

Moving onto weapons, Cable has some cool ones, and he has a pair of gun-toting hands that can be swapped out for his fists. First off, he comes with his Walther PPQ and this is a remarkably detailed copy of the actual pistol for such a small accessory, particularly the diagonal notches at the front and back of the receiver. This one fits snugly in the holster and he can hold it well in either hand.

Next up is his custom build assault rifle, and holy shit did Hasbro pour the love into this sculpt! This Frankenstein-ed Firearm is a patchwork of killing components and you can literally make out all the cool little parts that went into it, right down to the Fenix TK76 Flashlight that he has mounted onto the side of it. Hell, when I opened the box, I think I had more fun studying all the details in this sculpt than I did playing with the figure. This may be one of my favorite firearms ever produced in this scale just from the level of accuracy involved.

In addition to all the sculpted details, Cable’s Masterpiece can be modded with two different attachments by tabbing them under the barrel. One is a fairly standard M203 Grenade Launcher. The other is his Fabrique Nationale EGLM grenade launcher that he uses as a stand-alone weapon and carries in the scabbard on his belt.

And that wraps up the four figures Hasbro graced us with from Deadpool and Deadpool 2. To be honest, I’m still gobsmacked that we got any figures from these flicks, so I feel guilty for asking for more, but I can’t help be disappointed that we didn’t get Colossus. It’s not like I’m asking for Weasel or Blind Al? It’s freaking Colossus. He’d sell! I suppose I could always stand in the comic one, but it’s not the same. Who knows? With Marvel Legends there’s always hope. But for now, I’m thrilled we got what we got, and these are all excellent figures to mingle with my MCU crowd. Oh yeah, if you’re wondering, I’m actually passing on the cinematic X-Men figures. Those movies just don’t do a hell of a lot for me these days and with how many Marvel Legends figures I have coming in each month, I’ve got to draw the line somewhere. Maybe… Maybe I’ll pick up Wolverine, but that would seriously be it.

Transformers Earthrise: Sunstreaker by Hasbro

Well, I didn’t know it at the time, but this past Marvel Monday was my last review of 2020. It was a pretty shitty and challenging year, but overall still better than my 2019, which is admittedly a pretty sobering and horrifying thought. Needless to say, it’s been tough to keep FFZ afloat these past couple of years, but I’m doing my best. I’ve still got some rough months ahead, but I’m hoping things will start to fall into place as we emerge from Winter. And I guess kicking off 2021 with a new review on Day One is a decent start. I’m not going to be doing any End of Year List or Best & Worst kinda crap. I’m just going to focus on trying to get back to some kind of regular routine. And with that being said, how about we look at a new converto-disguise-change-robot?

I have fond memories of Sunstreaker as a kid. His G1 toy was unique and a lot of fun to play with, and he was actually the only one of the Lambor Brothers that I had as a kid. Needless to say I have been jonesing for a new modern update for a while. And then he was revealed, and I was a bit taken back by how bad the official solicitation pictures of his robot mode looked. Well, it’s not the first time that Hasbro promoted a figure with bad pictures, so I just waited and hoped for the best. So now he’s here and I’ve got my fingers crossed!

See that up there is Hasbro’s official packaged shot and I’m using it for a reason. No, it’s not because I was too lazy to take a packaged shot before I tore into it. Well, maybe, but I’m also making a point. Sure, the Earthrise packaging is looking as fabulous as ever with some absolutely gorgeous artwork of Sunstreaker on the angled side panel. The window shows him off in his robot mode and straight away I’m seeing some really badly matched yellow paint and plastic. The chest/roof is so vibrant and the rest is so dull. Is the actual figure going to look like that? Well, let’s start with the vehicle mode and find out what this sunny boi looks like in hand.

Well OK then! That’s not bad at all. Make no mistake, there is some difference between where the blue transparent plastic that makes up the roof is painted yellow and the rest of the yellow plastic, but it is nowhere near as bad as it looked in the solicitation shots. As for the design, Earthrise has played it pretty close to the Classic G1 alt-modes and Sunstreaker here is no different. His auto mode is a canary yellow Lamborghini Countach and it looks damn good here. The low profile of this design is still as sexy as ever and when you pair it up with that flashy yellow, well it’s no wonder that Sunstreaker has a problem with vanity. I particularly love the tinted blue plastic used for the windshield and side windows, and you also get some silver for the wheels, headlamps, and engine. There’s a bit of black trim and an Autobot insignia on the roof. This is a beautiful alt mode!

I did have some difficulty getting all the seams on this car locked in together, and even then I felt they could have been a little more flush with each other, but with a little patience I was able to get a solid car that rolled pretty well. Because Sunstreaker’s engine doubles as his weapon in robot mode, there isn’t any additional weaponized mode for this car, and that’s fine by me! So far, I’m very pleased. Let’s transform him and see how the rest of him looks!

Transforming Sunstreaker isn’t too finicky and the result is a pretty damn good looking robot. He’s fleshed out pretty well, and not as flat and two-dimensional as the original G1 toy. Indeed, proportionally speaking, Earthrise’s version is very well done. All that beautiful yellow is still on full display here, and once again, the differences in paint and plastic are not nearly as bad with the figure in hand. I do like the additional black showing off here, particularly in the lower legs and forearms. The wheels land comfortably on his ankles and upper arms and instead of adding unsightly kibble, I think they compliment the robot mode nicely. Even from the back, this bot mode fills out nicely, and his engine can plug into his back where it looks pretty natural, and with a little imagination could easily double as a jetpack.

The original toy had two weird “rocket boosters” that would attach to his shoulders, and the sculpting here kind of pays homage to those. I really dig the diagonal vents in his upper arms too. Of course, the roof of the car makes for a great slab of chest with the translucent blue plastic on full display and the Autobot emblem on the roof landing in the middle of his chest. I would have liked it if they could have worked in some missiles to plug into the ends of his arms, as the original toy was able to shoot his fists and replace them with missiles, but I’m still happy with what we got. Sunstreaker sports some useful articulation, and he’s fun to pose and play with.

And that head sculpt is damn handsome, even if Sunstreaker does say so himself. The pronounced ear-vents are painted in yellow, while the face is painted silver, leaving the chin black. There’s no light-piping, but the blue eyes are still quite vibrant.

I’m not a huge fan of the engine-gun here. I would have liked to see a little bit of conversion here, like maybe have the sides fold down and make it look a little more gun like and less like he’s holding his engine. I don’t want to come down on it too hard. I willl, however, point out that the peg fits way too loosely in the hand and it does not stay put in his grasp. I was able to get him to hold it, but when I pose the figure it immediately falls out every time.

A workaround is to attach the engine-gun to the peg in his forearm, where it fits snugly and will not fall out. I’ll admit, I think I like it better as an arm-attachment than a hand-held weapon.

And so, I came into this figure with a lot of trepidation and I’m coming away a happy robot collector. This is an excellent update to that weird and wonderful toy that I loved so much as a kid. It remains true to form as both car and bot, and brings with it all the lovely updates that I look for in these releases. In the end, my only real gripe is that I would have liked to see a proper gun or some wrist-missiles, and that’s just me looking for something to complain about. Sunstreaker also looks pretty good paired up with his Lam-bro, Sideswipe, even if Sideswipe is sporting his Cybertron mode and not his Earth mode. I’ll admit I was weary about getting a lot of do-overs when Hasbro moved the line from Cybertron to Earth, but this is one case where I would not mind getting a proper Earth Sideswipe to display with Sunstreaker.