Fighter Woman Sixth-Scale Figure by Phicen/TBLeague


I’ve had an uncanny amount of ambition lately to start rolling through my tremendous backlog of Sixth-Scale figures. A lot of that backlog includes TBLeague’s work, so I thought I’d dig deep and have a look at one of their lovely ladies from a few years back. It’s Fighter Woman!

If the name doesn’t give it away, Fighter Woman is one of TBLeague’s original concept releases. They’ve been doing more and more of these and fewer and fewer of the licensed ones. I don’t know if they ran out of indie comic properties to mine, or maybe they just realized that there was more profit in doing their own thing and not having to pay license fees for other people’s characters. Whatever the case, their original figures tend to be pretty amazing, so I’m fine with that. Fighter Woman comes in a heavy duty box with a tri-fold cover that connects to the sides with magnets. There’s a fair bit of prep work to get her gear and armor on, so let me get to it and we’ll have a look. And in the interest of brevity, let’s just call her Fi from now on!

And all that set-up is worthwhile, because Fi is quite breathtaking! She’s got a whole Battle Princess with an Eastern flavor thing going on, and I’m not sure where to begin. Her highly decorated armor consists of a sumptuous gold and deep maroon motif. The boots have sculpted laces with golden accents, the grieves have some intricate scrollwork patterned plates on the front with textured, simulated leather wrapping around her calves. The grieves terminate just above her knees, where they are fitted with some metallic purple stones. Her forearm bracers and bicep bands are matched to her grieves, with some extended points, which would make for some particularly nasty elbow smashes.

An intricate armored belt hangs on her hips, with a bejeweled fixture in the center, making up what looks like a dagger pointing down away from her exposed belly button. Hey, there’s no vital organs in that midriff area, right? At least part of her upper body is encased in a tight fitting breastplate, which inverts the color balance of the rest of her armor in favor of more of that deep maroon and reserving the gold to just the trim. Another purple jewel is placed in the center, and I dig how the top of the piece flares up on the outer edge of each of her breasts. Two pieces of shoulder armor, held on by elastic straps, complete Fi’s armor ensemble, and these were the most time-consuming pieces to get on.

The final element to Fi’s costume is the long crimson skirt, or half-cape, with two rows of some rather ostentatious gold fringe. The fact that this costume is so gorgeous, makes up for the fact that it’s not in the least bit tactically sound. But that’s to be expected in the realm of female fantasy warriors, and doubly so when they’re based off of one these lovely Phicen seamless bodies. What’s the point with going seamless if you aren’t going to show it off, right? And besides looking dead sexy, there’s nothing here to restrict the incredible articulation that you get when you take a stainless steel skeleton and wrap it in fleshy silicone.

Despite being a somewhat older figure, TBLeague was still making huge strides in their head game when Fi was released. There’s a nice spark of life in the eyes, thanks to some incredible paintwork. The lips and eyebrows are nice and sharp too. The skin tone is soft and realistic and it’s a good match for the silicone used for the body. Fi is sporting rooted red hair, which isn’t too difficult to keep under control. She has a necklace made out of several gold rings with a purple stone pendant to match the ornamental stones in her armor, as well as some more purple stones in her earrings. The final touch is a rather ornate tiara that fits snug around her head.

Fi comes with two fantasty-style weapons, the first of which is a double-bladed implement of death. Yeah, I don’t know what to call this thing, but it’s basically two curved blades connected with a central grip. The blades are silver with a bit of a wavy flame motif going on, while the grip connecting them is gold. The blades are plastic, but still pretty sturdy and this is a pretty fun weapon to pose her with. I can picture her pulling off some rather picturesque dance-like moves while swinging this around at her foes!

The other weapon is a rather beefy falchion, and boy do I dig this piece of cutlery! The blade has a nice satin finish with an exaggerated clipped point and a poetic curve to the edge. The hilt features something like a pistol grip, which is delightfully unusual, there’s a reinforced section where the blade meets the hilt, and a backstrap, all of which is finished off in more of that sumptuous gold. The grip allows for both single or double-handed use, and to be honest, either way looks pretty good. Like the previous weapon, the blade is plastic, and while I do miss the days when Phicen employed metal in their blades, this thing would be way too heavy for her to hold if it wasn’t cast in plastic.

It’s sometimes the case that people buy these boxed figures with hopes of re-purposing the body, so I should caution buyers that the cape does have a habit of staining her lovely skin, up near the hips. Fabric dye transferring color is just one of those things you have to accept when dealing with these silicone bodies. In this case, it’s only an issue if you plan on re-dressing the body in something, well let’s say less modest. On the other hand, the staining is completely obscured by the skirt, so if you plan on keeping her in her armor, there’s no need to worry!

About the only gripe I have here is that TBLeague is still inconsistent with whether or not they include a stand with their figures, and Fighter Woman here didn’t come with one. Sure, she stands just fine on her own, but who wants to risk a shelf-dive on a $160 figure? Not me! Luckily, I have a decent supply of generic sixth-scale stands. Beyond that, it was love at first sight for me and Fighter Woman, and this is just one of those figures that proves TBLeague doesn’t need to lay out money for licensing fees. They’re obviously quite adept at cooking up their own designs. The sculpted armor pieces look phenomenal and the gold and maroon deco makes this figure really pop on the shelf.

Masters of the Universe Origins: Prince Adam and Sky Sled by Mattel

One of the best things about Mattel’s MOTU Origins line leaning away from the collector aspect and more toward the toy side of things is that we are getting vehicles a lot faster than we did in Classics. I already had a look at the evil, menacing Land Shark, we’ve got a Wind Raider incoming soon, and today I’m going to take a look at one of the workhorses of Eternia’s personal transportation offerings: The Sky Sled! Oh yeah, and it comes with Prince Adam too!

The retro style of the packaging here continues to delight and confound me. As much as I’m hurting for storage space, I can’t bring myself to get rid of some of these boxes. You get some of that amazing artwork that had us kids salivating in the toy aisles back in the day, as well as the iconic Masters logo. The Origins “Retro Play” logo appears in a exclamation burst and the window proudly shows off both the vehicle and the figure. There are three vehicles depicted in the action scene on the box. One is the Sky Sled, one is the Wind Raider, which has already been revealed, so let’s hope the Roton is coming up soon. It was one of the last things to be released in the Classics line, and sadly, I didn’t have the cash or room for it back then. The package here is pretty collector friendly, so let’s open it up and have a look at Prince Adam!

Adam sports He-Man’s body and a brand new belted red tunic, which ironically makes him look even more buffed out than He-Man does. The arms and torso are painted white to look like a long-sleeve shirt, and yes that includes the sculpted wrist bracers! Adam forgoes the fuzzy barbarian diaper in favor of some purple undies, his legs are painted lighter purple to look like leggings, and he’s got purple boots with white fur around the tops. I dig this figure a lot, although it does lead me to some suspicions that Adam may indeed by the Most Powerful Man in the Universe.

It doesn’t help that they reused He-Man’s head, and that’s easily my biggest gripe with this figure. They really should have given Adam a less angry looking face, and in doing so that would give us an alternate head for He-Man. It seems like a no-brainer since the line is modular anyway. I mean, Clark Kent head a pair of glasses, Prince Adam could at least force a smile to try to remain in character.

He-Man comes with a whole Power Sword, much like Keldor did, although it’s cast in mauve plastic. And about that, I have questions. Actually, no I don’t. Probably best to just leave it. I will say, that I think it’s another missed opportunity, this time to cast it in gray and give us a whole Power Sword to give to He-Man. Yeah, I’m nitpicking a lot, I really do like this figure, but a these little things could have made it a whole lot better.

Still, the Sky Sled is probably the real star of this set. This cool little one-man vehicle includes a clear stand, which plugs into the bottom, and a base that looks like a patch of desert ground. I would have preferred the base be left clear as well, but what we got is still fine. There’s a hinge at the top of the stand, so the vehicle can be displayed pitched up or down, and the connection also swivels.

And what can I say? I’ve long been a fan of this very Flash Gordon-like design ever since I first saw it in the cartoon. The Sled feels pretty solid and features a sculpt that is simple enough to evoke the animated style, but still pack enough details to keep it interesting. There are vents and panel lines, cross-hatched texturing on the foot pedals, and even some tiny rivets where the armor plates are meant to be bolted on. The bulk of the coloring comes from the slightly metallic blue plastic, but you do get silver quad-exhaust pipes, silver blasters on the sides, and a silver cannon mounted on the front. The sides have stickers with stylized green dragon deco, and we’ll come back to these in a bit.

The dashboard has a sculpted instrument panel with some gauges and controls, all set below a sticker screen showing a grid pattern and some radar-like blips. The control grips are painted black.

The figures fit pretty well on the Sled, and they stay put thanks to both some foot pegs on the pedals and the tight grip the hands have on the control handles. I say hands plural, but most figures only have one grippy hand, and that’s still sufficient to keep them on and looking good. Prince Adam actually comes with a grippy left hand as well, and you can loan that hand to your He-Man figure if you’d like him to ride it most of the time. It’ll also allow him to dual wield his sword and battle ax!

The main cannon can swivel a bit to the left and the right, and it also comes with a firing effect part, which looks pretty neat. Holy shit, it looks like this thing packs quite a punch!

The Sky Sled also comes with three extra parts to swap out and make it into an EVIL Sky Sled! Just pull of the side pieces with the green dragons and replace them with the much more evil red dragons. Then you pop off the heroic bird-like head and replace it with the EVIL Cat? Dragon?? head. To be fair, I think either of these configurations would work for the good guys, so if you’re looking to buy a fleet of these, you can probably still have each side pilot the two different variants. Not to sell this feature short, though, because I think it was a really great idea.

The Sky Sled was one of the easiest toys in this line for me to get so far. Not only have there been an abundance of these on the shelves at Target, but they’ve been discounting the hell out of it, so I’ve picked up a few more. And that leads me to one last nitpick about this set. I really wish they had included a Palace Guard as the pack-in figure and released Prince Adam on his own. Yes, I like the Adam figure, but after buying three of these, I now have extra Adams. A troop builder figure would have made a lot more sense to me. Now, with that having been said, this is a fantastic toy and it makes for a great display piece. I can’t wait to get more Origins vehicles!

Marvel Legends (Tri-Sentinel Wave): Moira McTaggert by Hasrbo


After meandering around a bit for the past few Marvel Mondays, I guess it’s time to swing back to my unfinished business with the Tri-Sentinel Wave! There’s just two more figures, and today I’m going with Dr. Moira McTaggert!

I’ve said my piece about the packaging for this wave over and over again, so let’s just say I dig it a lot and leave it at that. Moira seems to have been a polarizing character in House of X, thanks to some major (and heavily Hickmanesque) retconning. I actually had a pretty spirited discussion with one of my co-workers over it. It was admittedly weird to see such a major reassessment of a comic character that’s been around almost as long as I’ve been alive, but in the end I was pretty cool with it. It certainly wasn’t done out of hand, it was a major push forward in the X-Men story as a whole, and it’ll be interesting to see where it goes, assuming she ever decides to leave No-Place. Thanks to two sets of arms and two heads, you get a couple of display options, but let’s start with how she comes out of the box.

Dr. Moira, as lab-coated geneticist looks pretty good. She’s sporting a violet sweater with a maroon skirt and shoes. The coat is molded in soft plastic like a vest, with the sleeves sculpted onto the arms. It’s an old Hasbro trick and it works great, even if you can see the gaps in the shoulder holes in certain poses. Like any good nerd doing The Science, she has her coat pocket well stocked with pens. She also comes with two sets of hands. One is a pair of fists, the other features a right hand with the fingers splayed, which I believe is the usual powers-casting hand, and another to hold her accessory.

The scientist head sculpt is OK, but it’s definitely the lesser of the two. I don’t want to pick on the glasses too much, because it’s really tough to get those right in this scale. These don’t look too bad, but the paint on the frames is a little sloppy around the lenses. They also kind of look like Coke-Bottle Glasses, which makes this portrait unintentionally funny looking to me. But my biggest gripe here is that the painted lipstick does not match the mouth. Moira’s mouth was clearly sculpted with a dour, down-turned expression, while the lips are just painted straight on. It just doesn’t look good.

There are no surprises when it comes to articulation. Despite having swap-out arms, all the points function normally. I am happy to report that Moira’s skirt does not inhibit her articulation nearly as badly as Marvel Girl’s did. It feels like it’s made out of a softer plastic, and there’s a generous slit running up the right side. Not that I need Dr. Moira to be doing anything crazy, other than holding her Genetics Book, which is the only accessory she comes with. To change up Moira’s look, you basically pull out her arms to remove the lab coat and replace them with her sweater arms. Then you pop off the bespectacled head sculpt, put on her neckerchief, and pop on the second head. I should note that it’s really hard to pull the lab coat arms out of my figure.

So yeah, Casual Moira ditches the lab coat in favor of the white neckerchief and fashionable hat. Overall, I do like this version of the figure better, but I think a lot of that has to do with this second head sculpt.

The glasses are gone, the lipstick still doesn’t quite match the mouth, but I still think it’s a huge improvement. It’s like in those dopey comedies when the unpopular girl is obviously just a really attractive actress wearing glasses and has her hair up, only to have her get a makeover, which just involves taking off her glasses and letting her hair down. The hat could have used a bit more detail, but it’s fine.

Moira may not be the most exciting release around, but her Marvel Legends figure is long overdue. I really dig the extra effort they put into her. I mean, it’s only fair that a woman with an untold number of lives should at least get two display options for her action figure. And you can always pick up a second for Pyro to light on fire. That brings me to just one more figure in the wave before the BAF! So, next week I’ll wrap things up with Omega Sentinel!

ReAction Star Trek: The Next Generation (Wave One) by Super7

Playmates just announced a return to making Star Trek figures, and while I fear that line will be populated by stuff from the grim-dark, depressing, dystopian shit that is Discovery and Picard, it’ll certainly be worth a look. But it wasn’t too long ago that Super7 announced that they had secured the license to The Next Generation and that got me more excited! I don’t think a week ever passes me by without watching at least one episode of Star Trek. It will forever be my Go-To show when I want to put something on to relax or watch something while I’m having dinner. No, it’s not always The Next Generation, but that one remains one of my all-time great comfort shows. So, when Super7 announced they were adding TNG to their ReAction series, I smiled and said Make it So!

Now, I say in the title Wave One, but I bought an extra Borg Drone instead of Guinan, so I was fibbing just a little bit. The others include Picard, Data, Worf, and Wesley Crusher. If you’re keeping score, this is the second time ReAction and Star Trek teamed up, but the first time it was Funko doing Classic Trek, and well, they weren’t very good. I had high hopes for these, however, as I’ve been enjoying most of Super7’s ReAction lines. Transformers, Alien, ThunderCats, Jem, I’ve been buying a lot of them. Most of those I’ve chosen to keep carded, but I decided to open this TNG line, mainly because I want to be able to crew my Shuttlecraft Galileo from Galoob’s old line, and it’s just not compatible with the totes and totes of Playmates Trek figures I have.

I dig the cards a lot. They are personalized with some great character art on the front, set against a snappy silver foil Delta symbol. The backdrop features the multi-colored star streaks with The Enterprise at warp, and the familiar title logo is at the top. The figures are on trays, so they don’t rattle around in their little bubble coffins, which is always a plus. The back of each card has a little blurb about the character, and oddly enough Star Trek is written in the Classic font at the top. It also features the standard ship’s computer LCARS display, which is really cool. Finally, you also get a Collect Them All style look at all six figures available in this wave. It’s not a bad assortment, but I would have preferred another alien instead of Guinan. Maybe a Romulan or Ferengi.

Straightaway, the Enterprise crew all share the same body, which is fine for some and a bummer for others. I have no problem with Data and Picard sharing a body, but Worf should have been bigger. Yeah, he is very slightly taller, but only because of his big head. The uniforms are modeled after the later seasons, with the tunic and trousers as opposed to the S1 jumpsuits, and that was probably a good choice. I dig that the patterns on the tunic are actually part of the sculpt, and the tiny comm-badges look good. Oh yeah, the rank pips on the collar are different sculpts. As always, these ReAction figures feature the old style five points of articulation. I like that the T-crotch doesn’t cause their legs to spread like they did on the Playmates figures. Ironically, these might actually be more compatible with the Playmates Bridge Playset than the Playmates figures were!

Wesley features a newly sculpted torso and arms for his fashionable sweater, although they cheaped out by giving him the same legs as the uniformed figures, so he’s as tall as Worf and kind of lame. The Borg is the only figure among these that uses a completely unique sculpt, and they did a beautiful job on him. Sure, it’s simplified design to match the retro style, but it still looks great, with tubes and implants all over. I think I actually like this one more than the Playmates Borg.

The head sculpts range from pretty good to outright fantastic. I think Picard’s is the weakest, but not terrible. I think the smile is a little uncharacteristic, as he tends to come across as a little stodgy and dour a lot of the time. Still, I dig it.

Data’s is second from the bottom, but again decent. The yellow eyes are a nice touch. When you punch in this close with the camera, the paint tends to look sloppy, but it’s not something that’s noticeable with the figure in hand. And at least his face isn’t bizarrely speckled like Galoob’s first Data!

Wesley’s is surprisingly good for being so simple. A lot of the likeness is conveyed in the hair sculpt, but the facial features are pretty good too, especially the shape of the mouth.

Worf comes out on top among the Enterprise crew. Holy shit, this is a phenomenal sculpt for a 3 3/4-inch retro line. Sure, they had the most to work with here, but the detail is still exceptional. They also managed to refrain from giving him a giant bobble head. I should also mention here that Worf’s baldric is sculpted separately and worn by the figure. That’s one of the few advantages of Super7 recycling the same body, because it looks great.

The Borg is on par with Worf as just having a fantastic portrait. Again, they had a lot to work with here, but it turned out fantastic. The Borgified part of his head is actually sculpted separately and attached to the head.

I hope you don’t like accessories, because half the figures in this wave come with bupkis, and the ones that do all come with the same one! Wesley and the Borg get nothing and the others get the same phaser. Now, in fairness, the phaser is incredibly detailed for such a tiny accessory. They can hold it pretty well, although they have to have their arms lowered to have it pointed straight out to shoot. But hey, that’s better than sculpting it into their hands like Galoob did back in the day!

So, here’s the deal. At $18 a pop, Super7’s ReAction figures are expensive for what they are. But their past lines like ThunderCats and Transformers have justified the cost to me with gorgeous card artwork and excellent unique sculpts. They’re just cool What If? lines to me and fun to collect and display. That’s not the case here. The Next Generation already had its turn at 3 3/4-inch and 4-inch figures, making these less a cool curiosity and more of a Here We Go Again! The cards look good, but I didn’t shed a tear when I was ripping into them. And while the figures look good, this wave features too much parts recycling to justify the cost. I like the phasers, but these really needed a few more extras. A tricorder with Data? A bat’leth with Worf? Maybe a PADD with Picard? Keep in mind, with shipping these set me back $120. That’s insane! I had no problem spending that for past ReAction waves, but the value just isn’t’ there on these. I don’t know if the cost of acquiring the license required cut backs, but with CBS/Paramount running the franchise into the ground, it couldn’t have been that expensive to get. Even McFarlane walked away from it just a year or so ago. Even still, with half the wave sharing the same body, these should have been no more than $10-15 a pop. Will I buy any more? It depends on what they show for Wave Two. Or more to the point, if there is a Wave Two! That’s all I have to say about the figures… so feel free to dip out now, but for anyone interested, I’m going to see how these work with…

The Galoob Shuttlecraft Galileo! I don’t have any loose figures to go with this beauty, because all my Galoob figures are carded, but they were the same scale as ReAction and not stylized like the Playmates line, so let’s see how they do!

The shuttle is definitely undersized, but that was the case with the Galoob figures as well. But they certainly fit well in the vehicle. The box claims this thing holds six figures, but I’ve always called bullshit on that. It comfortably seats four, with two in the cockpit and two in the back cargo area. Where are the other two supposed to go? Maybe if you pull them apart it would work, but it always seemed like a fascicle claim to me.

I always liked this original TNG shuttle design and I was sorry when they dumped it. Although the replacement isn’t bad and Playmates did an excellent job on that one. As a toy, Galoob’s Galileo ain’t so great, but I do adore it as a curiosity. There’s no electronics, the sides of the nacelles are detailed with stickers, which never stay on, and the Pop Up Sensor Unit and Slide-Out Phaser Cannon are kind of underwhelming. It’s not a cheap toy to get nowadays, so I can’t really recommend hunting one down. Still, it’s nice to finally have some figures to go in it!

G.I. JOE Classified: Baroness & Cobra COIL by Hasbro


Last week, Hasbro got some more of their now infamous Target Exclusive Cobra Island figures back up for order/pre-order. At first, it seemed like another shit-show, but over the course of about 48 hours they seemed to fix things. By the end, I managed to get everything I was missing, and it dawned on me that while I scored a Baroness the first time around, I had not yet featured her here, so let’s resolve that today with a look at this magnificent set!

This set is similar to the Deluxe Riders that Hasbro has been putting out in the Marvel Legends line, as most of those included a motorcycle. I’ve gushed on and on about how much I love the Classified packaging, and it looks even better in this bigger format. You get some great character art, a big map on the back panel, and the window shows off the figure, the bike, and all the extra goodies. Let’s start with The Baroness!

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, it seems like Hasbro is taking a page from Sideshow’s book when it comes to designing their Cobra figures. Zartan and Major Bludd both had similarities to those Sixth-Scale figures, and now Baroness does to. And boy, that sure ain’t a bad thing! Like her original vintage figure, Baroness is reinforced with some sleek black armor to protect her in the never ending fight against the JOEs. Her legs are entire encased in the stuff, from her pointed-toe boots to the pointed, scalloped pieces that run up to her thighs. She has a breast plate, arm bracers, and asymmetrical shoulder pieces, with the left one being a serpent head!

In-between all that shiny armor, you can see her textured body suit with reinforced patches in all the high-friction areas. There’s some great Cobra branding on her outfit, consisting of embossed red Cobra emblems on her chest plate, her arm bracers, and her belt buckle. Baroness is sporting a crisscrossed gun belt with holsters on the back to hold her pistols out at angles. I’d like to think that this is a callback to the Sienna Miller Baroness from the Rise of Cobra film, as that Baroness also carried her guns this way. Finally, The Queen of Cobra has a sheath for her combat knife secured to her left thigh.

The head sculpt is quite good, although I’m not sure that I would rank this one as one of Classified’s best, but seeing as how good some of this line’s portraits are, that’s nothing to be ashamed of. The likeness certainly suits the character, and I love the little part in her lips. The printing for her facial features looks great, and I think the glasses here are quite an achievement. It’s got to be so hard to do glasses in this scale, but these turned out great. The lenses are fairly clear and I like the gold accents at the corners of the frames. I think these are supposed to be removable, but mine are stuck pretty good. Unless I score a second Baroness, I’m not about to try to force them out. The hair sculpt is pretty simple, it’s straight and cascades down her back.

As for articulation, everything is fine here, except for the rotating hinges in the elbows, which can’t quite do a 90-degree bend. It’s hard to tell if that’s because of the sculpt or the joints aren’t cut right, but I definitely wanted a better range of motion there. Everything else here is fine, and what you would expect to see in a Hasbro 6-inch figure these days. Baroness is loads of fun to play with, and she’s fairly well balanced, despite her rather small feet.

As for weapons, Baroness comes with a cool little black combat knife with a golden Cobra protruding from the pommel. It’s an exceptional bit of sculpt for such a tiny weapon. Part of me continues to wish Hasbro would paint the blades on these silver, but then having a matte black blade makes sense in a lot of combat situations where stealth is warranted. Despite having only gun-hands, Baroness can hold this little piece of cutlery surprisingly well.

Her matched set of golden pistols are certainly distinctive! No doubt, these were a birthday present from Pimp Daddy Destro. I really dig these, as the designs aren’t too crazy and they basically just look like legit automatic pistols, albeit all blinged out. I could definitely see her fighting her way to a Rattler with these after an operation went sour.

And then there’s this thing. I wouldn’t have any idea what it was if there wasn’t a picture of her on the box firing a laser out of it, so yeah… Laser Snake Gun! I honestly love this thing. Yeah, it’s balls-out weird and totally impractical, but the sculpt and paint on are just so damn good. It coils around her arm and she holds it right at the base of the Cobra’s head. I’m guessing she just squeezes it to fire. I can imagine the scene now. She pulls this thing out and Flash sees it, laughs, and shouts “What the hell are you going to do with that?” right before she uses it to burn a hole through Beachhead’s torso and he screams, “SWEET LASER JESUS!!!” Yeah, I put a lot of thought into it. OK, let’s check out the bike!

The Cobra COIL is a callback to the COBRA Coils, which were Cobra’s elite motorcycle drivers, and this thing is one sexy ride quite befitting its sexy driver. It even outclasses the Deluxe Riders Black Widow motorcycle by a long mile. The red and black bike looks sleek and mean, with it’s aggressively placed front wheel, tinted green windshield, and silver detailed engine. There’s a textured seat, Cobra emblem’s embossed near the handlebars, side mounted machine guns, and a folding kickstand to keep it upright.

You don’t get a whole lot of detail in the instruments, just some green fluorescent paint, but the handlebars are ball jointed to allow them to more easily fit the Baroness’ grip. Oh yeah, and she also comes with a swap out motorcycle helmet head, which is such a wonderful bonus! The colors, build, and overall quality of this bike is excellent for a pack-in vehicle!

And The Baroness rides it pretty well. There are pegs on the foot pedals for Baroness’ feet, but I find it better not to bother with them.

The side-mounted weapons on the motorcycle can also be removed and used as rifles, which is pretty damn cool.

To be honest, at first I thought this was a strange mash-up, as I never really associate Baroness riding a superbike, but Hasbro really sold the idea with this set. She looks simply amazing on the COIL with her bitchin armor and her helmet on, and I would not be opposed to seeing this bike re-released in a more traditional blue and black with a male Cobra COILS update.

As amazing as this figure and bike turned out, it’s obviously been a sore spot for collectors. Maybe if the figure alone got a separate wide release without the motorcycle and helmet, it wouldn’t have been so bad. But making The Baroness a retail exclusive was a terrible idea, and scalpers just poured salt in the wound by buying them all up and asking crazy prices on Ebay. And even after the recent online re-stock, this set is selling for up to $100, which is more than double. I was lucky enough to get mine at cost the first time around, but I probably would have gone $20 over the MSRP, I had to and I’m not proud to admit that, but heck… It really is a fantastic set.

Marvel Legends (Cap’s Wings Wave): Scarlet Witch by Hasbro

Today is another diversion from that Tri-Sentinel Wave. I hope to get back to it next week, but I today’s figure arrived and I decided to bump her up to the front of the line. I’m sad to say it, but Disney+’s MCU series experiments have lost their grip on me. I enjoyed WandaVision well enough up until it fell apart at the end, where it tossed aside a lot of cool psychological drama and mystery for a big dumb fight. I didn’t make it far into Falcon and Winter Soldier’s preachy meanderings before realizing I had better things to do, and it took me a few tries just to make it through the first episode of Loki. As a result, I was going to skip this Disney+ themed wave entirely, but since I really like MCU Wanda, I thought I’d at least grab her figure.

The packaging includes the WandaVision series logo and for the first time, Wanda can legit be called The Scarlet Witch, so that’s something! This wave does not feature a BAF figure, but rather the parts to build the wings for Sam Wilson’s Captain America costume. And yes, this is actually the second time modern Legends has done a Build-A-Wings wave and both times for the MCU. That’s crazy!

Wanda looked stunning in the solicitation photos, and I have to say she looks just as good in hand. I missed out on the Infinity War Wanda and Vision 2-pack, so this is the first MCU Scarlet Witch in my Legends collection since the Civil War release. Here Wanda is depicted in her final form (What? No sweat pants version? BOO!!!), which is very similar to her Infinity War look, only with a longer skirt and her iconic tiara in place. I like this costume design a lot and the figure executes it brilliantly. Her black trousers are dominated by her thigh high black boots, each with red stripes running up the centers. The top and skirt have a two-tone red design and some nice alternating textures to give it that extra punch for the TV screen. She has sculpted fingerless gloves and sleeves that reach up to her biceps. The bare shoulder look is nice, her top terminates in a snug collar.

I remember being pretty happy with the Civil War portrait, but it looks pretty primitive now when compared to this latest effort. I remember seeing some pictures of some MCU Figuarts recently and thinking that this portrait isn’t so far off from those expensive imports. The sculpt captures Elizabeth’s Olsen’s likeness beautifully, and the halftone printing used for her features totally seals the deal. There’s even some speckling to her skin, and the eyebrows looking uncanny in their realism. Her wild mane of hair is equally impressive, as it spills out from behind her tiara, and the tiara is sculpted from a separate piece and attached to the head to give it a nice dose of depth. And boy, it’s cool to see MCU Wanda finally get that tiara!

The articulation here is standard stuff for a Marvel Legends lady, which isn’t bad, but still not as good as the dudes. Rather than the double-hinged elbows and bicep swivels, Wanda gets by with just a rotating hinge in the shoulder and elbow. At least she can get a full 90-degrees out of those elbow joints. She has a ball joint under her chest, and the head is ball jointed and hinged. Her legs are ball jointed at the hips, have swivels in the thighs, double-hinges in the knees, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. Alas, Wanda is sporting some small feet with slight heels, making her a difficult figure to stand. On the other hand, I’m happy to say that the long skirt didn’t really get in the way of having fun playing with her.

Wanda comes with two sets of hands, both are of the spell-slinging sort, with the second pair being translucent pink. She also comes with a pair of matching pink hex effect parts that snake around her forearms. These look really good when paired with the translucent hands. As some of you may know, a lot of the Legends effect parts are often lost on me, but I dig these a lot.

I can’t seam to say enough nice things about this figure! She’s beautifully crafted from head to toe, with some striking colors, a stunning portrait, value added effect parts, and she’s just all around fun. About the only thing more I could ask for would have been a second portrait with glowing hex eyes. I’m so happy with her, I’m even considering picking up the White Vision to go with her, if for no other reason, than because I don’t have an MCU Vision in my collection. Now if Hasbro would release a two-pack of Wanda and Vision in their Halloween costumes? Sold!

Masters of the Universe Origins: “Rise of Evil 2-Pack by Mattel

Exclusives can be a pain in the ass, or they can be proof that patience pays off. In the case of today’s Rise of Evil 2-Pack, it turned out to be all about patience. This set, featuring Keldor and Kronis, the original forms of Skeletor and Trap-Jaw, is another Target Exclusive that has been infamously difficult to find. After weeks of having no luck, I came very close to grabbing it from a scalper on Ebay. I actually had it in my cart, and I just couldn’t bring myself to pull the trigger. My desire to own it wasn’t stronger than my disgust for the people buying them up to profit on it. Two weeks later, I found six of them sitting on the shelf. Go figure!

Still, if Mattel is going to insist on doing exclusives, I’ll concede that this is probably a good pick for it. Some may argue that Keldor and Kronis are essentials, but I wouldn’t really agree. They are definitely great figures to have, but essential? Nah. Also, I think Mattel probably completely underestimated the demand on this one. Let’s start with Kronis!

The Evil Criminal from Another Dimension represents Trap-Jaw before getting all messed up and undergoing a body-horror style repair by Tri-Klops, or at least I think that’s how the 200x lore went. The figure recycles Trap-Jaw’s torso, pelvis, and legs all with the same coloring, including those neon green patches on his thigh armor. The left arm no longer has the bolt on the shoulder and he has his normal right arm, both of which include the standard Eternian wrist cuffs, here colored in pale gray. The chest harness is different, as it now has a strap that goes across his chest and secures in the front, but it’s definitely similar to the one Trap-Jaw uses to hold on his artificial limb.

The head sculpt definitely fits the look of psychopathic space pirate. He looks demented and like someone who probably has a lot of problems running around in his noodle. The slack-jawed expression includes a wall of white teeth and an look that suggests he’s rather displeased with me and quite possibly wants to do unpleasant things to my intestines. The close-fitting helmet is similar to what he would wear as Trap-Jaw, right down to the loop at the top for zip-lining. String not included! I’ll note here that my figure is a bit of a bobble head. The neck connection is just loose, making poor Kronis’ head wobble around.

Kronis comes with one accessory, and that’s his cool looking laser rifle. The rifle has two grips, but Kronis only has one grippy hand, as the left is the standard open hand we see with a lot of these figures. I really wish Mattel had added a second grippy hand like they did with Clamp Champ, but he can still hold the rifle fairly well and rest it on his open hand for some decent poses. Moving on to Keldor!

OK, so Kronis was pretty neat, but Keldor is really where it’s at with this set. This guy looks absolutely amazing. He features a very standard pale blue Origins buck with purple boots and wrist cuffs, and a black pelvic piece. The shoulder armor and belt are recycled from regular Skeletor, but cast in a darker purple, which matches his darker purple boots. We also get a few paint hits on the chest piece, including the neon green emblem and the mauve stone in the middle of his crossed bones. Wow, this all looks so good!

Keldor also comes with a cape, which is held on by a plastic chain that goes around the front of his neck. It looks great from the front, but it’s not terribly flattering from the back, as it just puffs out and makes him look like a grape.

The portrait is nothing short of fantastic. Keldor was quite the dashing fellow before the magic acid mishap. He definitely has all the stylings of a villain, with that mustache, widow’s peak, and pointy beard, but the broad grin makes him look like he would be a charismatic adversary. I think this is one of the best head sculpts to come out of Origins so far!

Keldor comes with both his sword and the Havoc Staff. The sword is finished on both sides, unlike the half-sword that came with the original Skeletor release. It’s also painted with a neon green glow toward the point.

The Havok Staff is the same sculpt, but the dark purple transitions to a translucent neon green as it gets to the ram head at the top. This makes for a cool effect, and not a bad stand-in for Skeletor’s staff.

And finally, Keldor comes with a brand new Skeletor head, which is a huge improvement over the one we got on the original Origins release. I love the sculpt, and the paint is just about perfect. He also has some flashy red jewels for eyes. It’s almost a shame that the hood is darker than the armor on the original release, because I would use this as my regular Skeletor head in a heartbeat if the colors matched up.

But in all honesty, this figure could easily stand in as your Origins Skeletor, providing you don’t mind him having regular feet and not those webbed monster feet. I just love everything about this guy! He looks like a premium quality release compared to regular Skeletor.

No doubt about it, this is a great set! Keldor definitely nudges out Kronis as the star for me, but Kronis is no slouch either. And while I’m glad I didn’t have to pay extra, I probably would have been OK with spending more if I had to. This 2-pack is a release that I would have expected to come much later in Origins‘ lifespan, but it’s cool that Mattel is investing in some deep cuts fairly early on. It makes me wonder what other goodies they have in store for us!

Star Wars “The Mandalorian:” IG-11 Sixth-Scale Figures by Hot Toys

I dominated most of last week with a two-part Star Wars Hot Toys review, so let’s go again… but only one part this time! Everyone’s favorite Nanny Kill-Bot, IG-11, arrived early this week, and I decided to bump him to the head of the line. How cool was it to not only see an IG droid in The Mandalorian, but also see him in full-on ass-kicking action, eh? And hell, he even had a better character arc in the series than half the stars of The Sequel Trilogy. I kid, I kid! But not really… Let’s check him out!

Do you want super premium packaging and fine presentation to go with your expensive action figures? Then look elsewhere, because you won’t get it here. Hot Toys serves up their Star Wars figures in minimalist shoeboxes with an illustrated insert and a vac-formed tray to protect the figure and all its bits and bobs. It’s efficient, it’s serviceable, but just not very flashy.

IG-11 is a tall boi! And he comes out of the box just about ready for display. The only thing required is to put on his bandoleer straps, which easily slips over his head and through his right arm and than velcros closed in the back. There are also some included batteries that need to be installed if you want to take advantage of his two light up features. The design of the IG assassin droid has long been a favorite of mine, and I think it perfectly captures that used future vision so distinctive about the Star Wars universe. Made from junk and a recycled prop, all IG-88 needed to do was stand in the background to ignite my childhood imagination and beg my parents for his action figure. Hot Toys captured every bit of that utilitarian, hunk of junk design here in this figure. And I mean that in the best possible way.

I should start by noting that there is indeed some die-cast metal in here, which is most welcome because he’s kind of a beanpole, and the metal in his thigh pieces gives this bot some well-needed weight right below his center of gravity. And then there’s the overall sculpt. There’s so much going on here! Hot Toys did a great job recreating all the exposed wires, pistons, canisters, and servos that make up the IG Droid’s body. And despite being mostly plastic, the beautiful paint job gives the figure a very convincing metal finish, complete with blemishes and rust patterns. I also really dig the flourishes of copper paint around the shoulders and upper arms. The bandoleer straps are made of a leather-like material and feature some kind of power packs or ammo canisters, each with more of that great faux-metal finish.

The head sculpt features lots of personality, as well as lots of posing potential, as each of those rings can rotate independently of each other. His main two eyes can therefore be rotated to just about any configuration along with the mess of eyes in the upper ring. Popping off the tip of IG-11’s crown allows you to turn on the eye lights, which have a pretty intense burn. I was surprised how visible they are even under the bright studio lights.

I’m also very impressed by his claws. These feature a total of four pincers, each with three hinges. Yes, these are plastic and rather delicate, but they are capable of grabbing and holding things quite well. I’ll come back to these in a bit when I talk about his guns.

As a rule, I don’t talk about articulation much in my Hot Toys reviews, because it isn’t terribly important to me. I tend to assume they will have very little, not because they don’t have the points, but because the suits are either too restrictive or too prone too damage from extreme poses. So, I was surprised and delighted to find how much fun this figure is to play around with. Since IG-11 is bare-ass-metal naked, you can not only see all of his points of articulation, but make good use of them too. And he has just about everything you can want. He’s also very well balanced. My only fear here would be that working those joints too much may make them loose, so as always a modicum of care is recommended.

IG-11 comes with two weapons, the first is your standard Stormtrooper-issue E-11 Blaster. Hot Toys probably has a warehouse full of these things to toss in with all the Stormtroopers they release, so it was a cheap and easy accessory to include. Not that it’s any less welcome. As always, this is a wonderfully detailed little blaster and includes an articulated folding stock. One of the things I love the most about this figure is the way his claws work with the weapons. Other than a little nub on his wrist to support the back, there isn’t any cheat here. The claws just grab the gun by the grip and one claw passes through to the trigger. It works surprisingly well and looks great.

IG-11’s other weapon is a DLT-20A Blaster Rifle. I’m pretty sure this is the same combo that IG-88 was meant to have, so he looks as iconic as ever holding these. The rifle features an excellent sculpt, but it doesn’t have any articulation like the E-11 Blaster. It’s just cast in one solid piece of plastic. Because the claws grasp the weapons as they should, you can have him wield either one in either claw. I do wish there was a way to store them on his back or something, though.

In addition to his guns, IG-11 includes his last line of defense… the one that he seems all too eager to use: His Self Destruct Core. Instead of a simple opening compartment, this is a swap-out block that secures into his chest cavity with magnets. The open core piece has a light up effect, which flashes red when activated and it looks great.

Our last stop in every Hot Toys review is the figure stand, and here we get an exact repack of the one that came with the Deluxe Beskar Armor Mando, complete with sand covered base and even Mando’s footprints. Wait, what? Yeah, that’s really disappointing. It’s not a huge deal, as IG-11’s feet cover up the human footprints, but it feels like a real kick in the teeth when you’re blowing $250 on an action figure and they can’t re-sculpt the base to give you robot footprints in the sand. I mean, holy shit, Hot Toys! At least you switched the name plate, I guess. On the plus side, using the same base means that you can join the Baby Yoda pram base with it and display IG-11 watching over Grogu. I gotta admit, I like that a lot!

Getting to see an old school Star Wars robot, that was designed to stand in the background of a scene, go on an action-packed killing spree was one of the high points of the first season of The Mandalorian. So, naturally I was pleased when Hot Toys revealed they were going to be doing him. And what a nice job they did! I have yet to decide if I’m going all in on the Hot Toys Mandalorian releases, but getting IG-11 was never in question. He may not come with a lot of stuff, and recycling that figure stand base was really cheap, but I’m still thrilled to have him.

Happy 4th of July… Long Weekend!

Sorry, folks, but I’m taking Marvel Monday off tomorrow… not because I really have a long weekend, but because I worked extra this weekend and am just looking to have some burgers and beers and relax for the rest of the day, rather than do anything productive like produce content.

So, I hope everyone has a safe and happy 4th of July, and I will be back with something for you all on Wednesday!

By figurefanzero

Star Wars “The Mandalorian:” Deluxe Mandalorian and Child Sixth-Scale Figures by Hot Toys, Part 2

Last time, I embarked on a review of Hot Toys’ excellent Deluxe Beskar Mandalorian figure, and as promised I’m back now to look at the other half of the set. Say it with me in your best Herzog voice… “I would like to see The Baby!” And fear not, this second part of the review will not run nearly as long as the first part did.

We saw the packaging last time, but here’s a quick refresher. It’s a Deluxe set, which means bigger and beefier package to hold in all that Star Wars goodness. The standard release came with most everything we saw last time (except the Whistling Bird effect part, I think), but about half of what I’m checking out today was exclusive to the Deluxe release. Now, make no mistake, despite containing two versions, Grogu is still just a small portion of this set’s contents, but that doesn’t make him any less welcome. Let’s start with the standing figure first!

And here he is looking as adorable as ever. Even at One-Sixth Scale, Grogu is pretty damn tiny, and yet Hot Toys packed a lot of detail into him. From the neck down, this is a static figure with his right arm down at his side, and the left arm reaching up. His little feets are sculpted under the robe, and he stands very well thanks to his plastic frock. The garment has sculpted stitching and a textured pattern and the collar and sleeve cuffs are sculpted to look like some kind of fluffy wool. The bottom of the frock also has some uneven threads, giving it a somewhat worn or crude appearance. Was it too much to hope for articulation in the shoulders? Honestly, I don’t think it would be worth it to mess up this perfect little sculpt.

The head is ball jointed, and while I can’t get much of an up or down movement out of it, he can turn his head easily. The portrait is admirable considering the size, with the ears and mouth slightly downturned. You can make out his tiny teeth peeking out of the part in his mouth, and those huge eyes look remarkably lifelike. I suppose you could argue that he’s missing his little tufts of hair, but I can’t find a lot else to nitpick here.

Grogu comes with one accessory and that’s the Mythosaur necklace, which consists of the tiny pendant on a string. To put it on him, you have to pop off his little head, which isn’t as scary as I thought it might be. What no shifter knob? Honestly, I don’t know what I would do with it since it would be so small. Maybe a tasty frog would have been cool. Of course, Hot Toys had to save something for Grogu’s solo release, which is up for pre-order at the time I’m writing this.

The set also comes with Grogu in his Hover Pram, and this is probably the one I will display with the figure. This Grogu is an entirely different figure, or more accurately half of one, since the bottom half is shaped specifically to magnetize to the inside front of the Pram. Everything I had to say about the other Grogu’s sculpt rings true here. It’s just a marvelous little piece with some fantastic paint. The inside of the Pram is fully detailed, and you even get a little blanket to put in there to keep Grogu warm and snuggly.

The Pram hovers on a clear plastic rod that plugs into the rocky base. The figure is able to be displayed alone like this if you want, but it’s also made to mate with Mando’s base for a joined presentation. And if you’re some kind of monster and want to display the base without the Pram, there’s even a rock designed to plug in the hole for the Pram’s pole. Why the hell Hot Toys thought it was necessary to include that, I have no idea. But hey, they got you covered.

And if you’re sick of looking at Baby Yoda, but you still want to display him with Mando, there’s a cover to display the Pram in it’s closed up configuration. Why? Well, to add value to the set, of course!

And there you go! As promised Part 2 didn’t take nearly as long as Part 1. This Deluxe set retailed for $315, which for Hot Toys these days is not bad at all. I was expecting it to be more like $350, but I think they are saving some money by recycling parts for the different Mando releases. Not to mention Grogu, who will be available again with the third Mando release, again with the Scout Trooper and Speeder Bike, again with Ahsoka Tano, and yet again as a solo release. I will have a review of the Scout Trooper coming up soon, and I am fighting a powerful urge to pick up the Scout Trooper with Speeder Bike as well, so this may not be the last time we see a Hot Toys Grogu reviewed around these parts!