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

I haven’t done a count recently, but I know that I’m close to being all caught up on reviews of my current Mythic Legions figures. Today, for example, I’m having a look at the very last Goblin in my collection, but don’t worry… there will be more! This time, we aren’t looking at a specific Goblin character, but rather the Legion Builders, which are meant to be generic troops to strengthen your army. I bought a pair of these, and opened them a while ago, so I don’t have an in-package shot to share, so let’s just jump right in and check out these little green bastards!

Unlike last week’s figure, Gonxx, these Goblins return to the slighter build, which has been the norm. Gobbie is decked out in full armor, colored in a deep, dark shade of iron gray, with all the pitting and scrapes that make these sculpts look so damn convincing. This is armor that’s seen its share of battles, and probably saved the wearer’s life on many occasions. Either that, or another Gobbie got killed and this one just claimed his suit. As is often the case with these Legion Builders, there are no additional paint operations on the body, so you won’t see any painted rivets or belts, but I don’t mind. I love the slight upturn at the toes of the long boots, and the angular shoulders are the perfect marrying of style and practical crudeness. He also dons a collar with upward spikes, no doubt protecting the neck from a lucky decapitating swipe of some do-gooder’s blade. The collar, is the only nitpick I have here. It looks great, but it pegs in in the back and that pushes it forward. It doesn’t take much to push the tab out of the back when handling him.

You get two heads to help customize the Legion Builder into multiple troopers. The default comes sans helmet, and lets all his ugly hang out in the open. But generic soldier or no, the portrait is still outstanding. His bulbous wrinkled nose, deep set yellow eyes, bald pate, and pointy Yoda-ears all look great. And yet it’s the mouth that really makes this portrait shine. The wide mouth is packed with a brace of nasty teeth, framed by two upward jutting fangs, likening him to be a lesser cousin to the Orcs of Mythos. I could easily imagine these fiendish chompers biting chunks out of heroes in battle.

The other head may look familiar, as it’s the same sculpt we saw with Gonxx, and it’s still every bit as glorious a noggin. The paint here lacks the detail and rusty patina that came on the named figure, and in its place is just more of that deep iron finish to match the rest of his armor. You do, however, get some great paintwork visible inside the eye holes, showing off those beady eyes. The sculpt and paint are so good, that if I didn’t know better I’d swear the mask could be removed to show a full face sculpt beneath it. It’s worth noting, that this head works best with the spiked collar removed. OK… Let’s check out his weapons!

For starters, he comes with the Orc scimitar that we’ve seen on a few occasions in the past. As with each of these weapons, the entire piece is painted over in silver, with no flourishes of color on the hilt. It still works well, and the finish does manage to bring out all the scrapes and nicks in the blade. Previous paint work on this sword make it look like the hilt is made of bones or even teeth, but here it just looks like it’s all metal but designed to mimic actual bone, which I suppose is pretty cool too. The blade is a bit long for the slighter Goblin frame, but I think it still works for him, and he can wear it on his belt without much trouble.

Next up is the silver one-handed axe, which accidently made it into a few shots last week with Gonxx. And while there are once again, no additional paint operations on the weapon, it does come with a great looking skull, which can be skewered through the tip of the axe handle, adding a ton of personality to the weapon. It’s great that this adornment got added to a lowly Legion Builder!

And finally, you get a standard silver spear, which is the same type we’ve seen over and over (and over!) again since the original Kickstarter figures. These spears are pretty long even for the human-sized figures, so it might be a bit of a reach for these half-pints to wield it. It wouldn’t have been my first choice for these little guys, but it’ll do in a pinch!

And that’s the Goblin Legion Builder! It took restraint (and a tight budget) to limit myself to just a pair of these guys, but in a perfect world, I’d have a half-dozen. I dream of some day TFH actually stocking their store with Legion Builders all the time, but that could be dangerous to my finances, so maybe it’s better if they don’t! I should note that there is a Deluxe Goblin Legion Builder coming soon and I’m really looking forward to adding him to my army of little green meanies!

GI JOE Classified: Alley Viper by Hasbro

GI JOE Classified has been a dangerously expensive line for me to collect, because it’s full of so many darn troop builders! And troop building is one of those ultimate expressions of excess that I wished I could do as a kid. I can remember asking for another Cobra Trooper or Stormtrooper and being told, “No! You already have that one!” But, now I’m an adult with disposable income, and it’s only natural that I went kind of crazy with the Cobra Infantry and Battle Android Troopers, so I tried to restrain myself when it came to the Alley Viper. Three seemed like a good number, and that’s how many I wound up with… for now!

Truth be told, the original Alley Viper was first released during that Dark Age between when I was no longer getting toys to play with as a kid, and had not yet discovered buying toys to collect them as an adult. This guy first appeared on the shelves in 1989, which would have been the year before I went to college. As a result, I wasn’t even really aware that Cobra had an Urban Assault Trooper until I got back into collecting GI JOE around 1999 or so. And I’m all for getting to experience some Classified figures that I didn’t have as a kid! As always, the box is nice and colorful, his large array of weapons is laid out around him, and the character art even pictures a couple Alley Vipers to subliminally tell you to buy more than one!

Out of the package, it’s hard to first notice anything but the colors… Oh, the colors! The Alley Viper fatigues consists of an retina-sizzling orange and blue camo, with some black and brown thrown in just to keep things somewhat grounded. Love it or hate it, GI JOE Series Eight was knocking on the 1990’s door, ushering in an age of obnoxious toy colors. The Alley Vipers were billed as being brave, and let’s face it, you’d have to be to go into battle wearing this! Once we’re past the deco, I have to admire the attention to detail that went into the fatigues and gear. His vest is a veritable slab of pouches, which extends to his right shoulder. He’s got more pouches on his belt, sheathes for his knives on his right forearm and left shoulder, and a holster for his pistol on his right thigh. And then there’s that gorgeous blue shoulder pouch with the orange Cobra insignia! It’s a lot to take in all at once, and before you can process it all, he’s probably already killed you.

The Alley Viper’s head is encased in a form-fitting, open-faced helmet. with snake fangs emerging from the chin guard, and a textured blue mask beneath it, showing only his determined and hate-filled eyes. There’s a hinged visor, which can be lowered to shield his face, and has only a circular screen in the center for detail. I presume this is some type of imaging sensor that allows him to see, but it sure makes him look creepy and inhuman. The black embossed Cobra emblem at the forehead is a nice touch as well!

The black backpack pegs into the back of the figure and is a superb nod back to the original figure’s backpack. Like the Viper’s fatigues, there’s a crazy amount of detail in the sculpt. In addition to the Cobra emblem at the top, there are magazines sculpted into the sides, a cluster of grenades down at the bottom, more pouches, and what looks like a landmine in the center. The grapple gun, which I believe was sculpted into the original figure’s backpack, is even removable here.

I’m not sure if this is supposed to be a dedicated grapple gun, or just a rifle that also has the ability to fire the hook, but I’m leaning toward the later, because it seems like a pretty big piece of kit to haul around just for those times when you need to grapple somewhere. Regardless, the rifle has a scope, as well as a ring at the muzzle to attach a string (not included). The hook is removable, and it also has a ring to attach the other end of the string (still not included). Let’s check out what else this guy’s got!

Well, any good Urban Commando needs some blades, and the Alley Viper comes with two identical knives that fit in the aforementioned sheathes. I’m a big fan of the one on his shoulder, as it’s well placed and stays put, because it’s secured to the vest. The one on his right forearm is a lot more floaty. It tends to swivel on his wrist, and slide as well. It is removable, and while it hasn’t annoyed me enough to do that yet, it’s nice to have it as an option. Knife accessories in this scale are seldom all that interesting, but I still enjoy getting them.

Next up is his pistol, which fits very well in his thigh holster, as well as in either hand. I really dig this design, as it’s not too sci-fi-y, but rather looks like a fairly credible real-world design. I’ve got nothing much else to say about it, other than it gets my stamp of approval.

Now we’re moving into the heavier hardware with this compact bullpup-style carbine. This is a nice update to the weapon that came with the original Alley Viper, complete with a scope, foregrip, and a crazy positioning of the magazine, which juts out the back at an angle. The weapon is cast entirely in black plastic, the sculpt is great, and while I personally am not a fan of the design, it’s still a great-looking weapon. I was thrilled to see that the magazine was removable too!

And finally, the Alley Viper comes with a more traditional rifle featuring a detachable magazine in front of the grip, just the way I like them. Like the previous carbine, this rifle is cast all in black plastic and has some wonderful detail in the sculpt. This is probably the gun I’ll have these guys carrying most of the time for display purposes. My only nitpick with the Alley Viper and his arsenal is there’s no way for him to carry everything, or even anywhere to attach any of his rifles, except for the grapple gun.

I’ve saved the Alley Viper’s most iconic piece of kit for last, and that’s his riot shield, and boy is it a beauty. This defensive shield shares the same orange and blue deco as the Viper’s fatigues, and has a bold and beautiful Cobra emblem sculpted into the top center. It attaches to the figure’s arm with a pair of straps, and even has a pivot, so it can be positioned in a variety of ways independent of how the figure is posed. It also has a sticker on the interior side, which I presume is a viewscreen, so the Viper can still see what’s happening when taking cover behind it. A lot more safe and secure than the slits in conventional riot shields!

As I mentioned at the start, the Alley Viper is my first Cobra troop builder in the Classified line based off a figure I did not own as a kid, and that makes him a real treat. I wasn’t sure how I would take to the crazy colors, but now that he’s in hand I have to admit that he’s got an unabashed beauty about him that I wouldn’t dare change. There’s a sublime variety of weaponry packed in with him, that makes it possible to kit out multiple figures with some variety, and that’s always a plus. But whatever weapons I give him, that beautiful shield will always be a must! Hasbro hit an absolute home run with this figure, and it’ll take some serious restraint to keep me from getting a few more!

Transformers Legacy: Dragstrip by Hasbro

Lately collecting Transformers for me has become a cycle of conflict. It goes something like this. Oh no, they’re doing him again. We just got him and I don’t need to buy another. Oh, but look at how much better he looks than the last one. Oh, and it’s actually been five to ten years since we last got him. Huh, seems like it was more recent. Oh, what the hell, I’ll buy him anyway because he really is a big improvement. Transformers is the only line I collect, where it feels like I’m constantly upgrading to a better version of an existing character, and yet I’m a sucker for convertorobots, so I usually do it.

And here we go again, because it’s Dragstrip! A character that last saw release in aptly named Combiner Wars back around 2015. And while it feels like that was just yesterday, it really was quite a while ago. As with Hasbro’s last crack at the Stunticons, Dragstrip and the other limbs are Deluxes, but this time it looks like Motormaster will be a Commander Class, which I think is the new Leader Class. That classification makes sense, since those figures have been getting smaller, but coming with more stuff. And, unlike the Combiner Wars version, this Motormaster will have a trailer. Anyway, we’ve seen the Legacy packaging before. I dig the deco, but I’ll continue to complain about the toy being exposed to the elements, not to mention the disgusting booger-mining fingers of children. Just put them in closed boxes, Hasbro. Let’s start with the alt-mode…

Nice! One of my many issues with CW Dragstrip was that the mold was obviously intended to double as Mirage. And so, while we did get an F-1 racer, it wasn’t really the Dragstrip I knew from the G1 toy or the Sunbow cartoon. This version fixes that very well, most notably giving him his distinctive double wheels on the front and the exposed engine on the back. The vehicle is very compact and boxy, and I absolutely love it. I particularly dig what they did with the front scoop, giving him what looks a bit like a cow-catcher on a locomotive, perfect for ramming Autobots off the road!

The colors here are also spectacular! Hasbro took the basic yellow and red stripes from the original toy, but added in some of the brownish-gold from the Sunbow animated model. Toss in the beautiful silver paint on the engine, and the black wheels, and you’ve got a striking color scheme, that manages to pay respects to both G1 versions that I love so much! The large Decepticon insignia on the front is a great touch as well!

Dragstrip comes with a pair of guns, which can be pegged into the holes on the top sides of the vehicle if you like to weaponize your racecars!

Transforming Dragstrip is just complex enough to be satisfying, but not annoying. The result is an absolutely stellar looking robot mode, which again pays respects to the character’s roots. Gone is the f’ugly combiner port chest, and in its place is the open cockpit with the silver exposed engine block, just like the toy and Sunbow versions. Other great call-outs are the spoilers making up the feet, and the position of the wheels, with the backs landing on his lower legs, and the double fronts on his shoulders. Here, Hasbro went with the Sunbow look of having the shoulder wheels line up front to back, rather than on top of each other like the toy. He even has the shoulder ridges, which remind me of the ridges armor sometimes had to prevent decapitation in battle. Even from the back, he’s pretty damn clean and tight.

The head sculpt is a welcome departure from whatever the hell it was that we got with the Combiner Wars figure. While, I eventually warmed up to that figure, I never stopped hating the portrait. Here, we get a very Sunbow looking head sculpt, featuring the bold red visor, red plates on the sides of the “helmet” as well as the little “ears” jutting out the sides.

The color scheme in robot mode is pretty much identical to the alt mode. It’s dominated by thes ame bright yellow and brown-gold accents. I do like how the red stripes land on his arms. Really, the only thing missing here is a little Decepticon insignia near his left shoulder. Indeed, there’s no faction symbol in this mode at all, but I suppose that can be easily fixed with a repro-sticker.

As we saw while looking at the alt-mode, Dragstrip comes with a pair of pistols, which can be combined into one gun, as well as wielded separately. It definitely references the Sunbow gun over the original toy’s, particularly with the inclusion of the scope. The guns look OK when combined, but it does give them two sets of grips, which is a bit weird. I will likely display him with just one pistol and set the other aside, or peg it into his back for storage. The black and purple deco on the guns is excellent!

Almost everything about CW Dragstrip felt like a compromise, whereas the Legacy version is 100% its own thing, and I absolutely love that! Hasbro executed this figure with style and precision, and apart from the bot mode missing a faction symbol, I can’t find anything bad to say about him! Indeed, it’s especially interesting how there’s virtually nothing about him that advertises the figure as doubling as a Combiner limb. No obvious ports or connectors, no extra parts, nothing! Only a tiny graphic on the box suggests he’s part of a Combiner team, and I suspect that’s because all the Combiner stuff will be found in Motormaster.

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

We’re heading toward a solemn day on this Mythos Monday, because I’m having a look at the second to very last Goblin figure in my Mythic Legions collection. Oh, I’ll bet there will be more coming, but this one almost catches me up on what we got so far. And while I’ve been a big fan of all the new creatures and races introduced in the Advent of Decay assortment, these little green bastards continue to have a special place in my heart. Let’s check out Gonxx!

Gonxx is not just any Goblin! No, he’s the Commander of the Goblin Army! And as his bio reminds us, the Goblin Army is nearly infinite in size, so this guy has some major responsibilities riding on his little green shoulders. We’re also told that under his command, the vast armies of The Gobhollow Caverns are now aligned with The Legion of Arethyr, and that can’t be a good thing!

Gonxx is quite a distinctive little bugger, mainly because he doesn’t utilize the slighter body used for the other Goblins. Nope, this guy makes use of the same assortment of pieces as the Dwarves, making him a stockier and more robust Gobbie. As such he really stands out on the battlefield among his pulsating green sea of troops. From the neck down, there’s nothing here that hasn’t been seen before, it’s just a mix of knightly armor and orc armor, all painted in mix of black, brown, and deep bronze, with a hint of shiny copper chainmail peeking through the joints. It works really well, giving his armor a well-worn look, which is brought out beautifully with the heavy paint wash. The rust spots on the shoulders are especially well done! I also really like the use of the more primitive groin piece, with it’s sculpted fur and hanging rings. I look at this guy, and can’t help but wonder if that suit is padded to support a spindly Goblin body, or he really is that buff!

Gonxx comes with a helmeted head, which really follows through on making this guy look like a little tank. The helmet features a reinforced comb running from his nose and straight up the through the back, and there’s a single spike jutting out the back. The lower portion of his face is secured with a bulbous mask, with holes to help him breath. His two beady yellow eyes peek through the eye slits, and his floppy green ears jut out the sides. If this guy were a video game boss, those ears would be your best bet for a weak spot! The helmet has the same rusty brown finish as the rest of the armor, and when coupled with the pitting and scratches in the sculpt, looks absolutely amazing. TFH’s ability to make plastic look like metal will never cease to amaze me. The mask is convincing enough to look like it might rest on actual hinges, but it cannot be moved, so we’ll never actually get to see Gonxx’s lovely mug. I’m OK with that!

As the Commander of the Goblin Armies, Gonxx comes pretty well outfitted with weapons. And let me jump in here first, by saying I accidently put a silver axe on his belt, which he DOES NOT COME WITH. Just consider that accessory as a sneak peek into next week’s review! He does, however, come with this big honkin war hammer. If this thing looks familiar, it should, because it was a fairly common hand-out back in the original Mythic Legions assortment, and we’ve seen it peppered throughout the line ever since. It’s a pretty big weapon even for the regular sized figures, so it’s doubly impressive that Gonxx can handle it. The sculpt is as gorgeous as ever, and it has the same painted worn finish as Gonxx’s armor.

Next up, you get a spiked flail on a real chain. This weapon is a lot less common, but we did see it before, at the beginning of the year with Hadriana. I really dig it and I’d love to see it included with more figures in the future.

And finally, Gnoxx comes with the big two-handed sword that was common in the first assortment. This is a tad large for him to wear on his waist, so I opted to remove one of his shoulders and have him wear it on his back, using the belt as a cross-strap. The blade has a beautiful silver finish, and the hilt is left grungy and brown to match the armor. You could argue that this sword is over-used, but I’m always happy to get another one!

Gonxx is a great addition to the Goblins of Mythos, and I really dig that they built him off the bulkier parts to make him stand out among his fellow Gobbies. And while he’s the only Goblin so far to not show his beautiful face, I think the helmet is so distinctive, that leaving him masked works fine for me. Sure, apart from that noggin, there’s nothing new here, but as usual, TFH managed to pull from their inventory of existing parts, apply some new paint, and give birth to an awesome new creation. And that leaves us just one more Gobbie to go, so next week, we’ll have a look at the Goblin Legion Builder!

Flash Gordon (The Original Superheroes) by NECA

Growing up, Flash Gordon was a big deal to me. No, not the original serial! I’m old, but not that old. No, I’m partly talking about the 1980 Dino De Laurentiis movie masterpiece, but also the Filmation cartoon. The cartoon was absolutely amazing to me, and I loved how it was separated into Chapters, giving it a serialized flavor like the original. It didn’t hurt that it hit at the peak of Star Wars Mania, giving me a regular dose of fantasy space opera. The cartoon still holds up, and laid a lot of the foundation for Filmation’s subsequent He-Man and the Masters of the Universe cartoon, and I think it’s worth checking out. Of course, all this is pertinent because NECA acquired some rights to the classic King Comics characters, and Flash happens to be one of them.

I’m pretty sure NECA started with figures from the Flash Gordon and the Defenders of the Earth cartoon, and I’ll get to those eventually, but I thought I’d start with what they’re calling The Original Superheroes. There are three numbered figures in this assortment: Flash, Ming the Merciless, and The Phantom. The figures come in attractive and collector friendly window boxes, which have some printed distress to reflect the age of the characters, and a slightly exaggerated half-tone printing to evoke the flavor of the old comic strip. To be clear, this Flash Gordon is not based on the Filmation cartoon, but the look is close enough to work for me.

Flash has had a number of difference comic costumes throughout the decades, but this one ranks in as among my favorites. It’s simple, but colorful, and pretty much the perfect look for a swashbuckling space hero. The bright red shirt is painted onto the figure buck, but features the row of sculpted gold discs around the wide collar. The dark blue trousers have gold stripes on the sides, and feature some nice highlights to give it that comic art flavor. And the costume is rounded out with a belt cinched over a padded yellow wrap. The belt has a permanent holster for Flash’s pistol, and a peg hole to attach the scabbard for his sword. Delete all but three of the collar discs, and the weapons, and you have a fine stand in for Filmation Flash.

You get two head sculpts, the first features the blue form fitting headgear, which frames his face, but allows his coif to fly free up top. This look is tied mostly to the comics, as I don’t recall him wearing it in the Filmation series. I like it enough to be torn on whether or not to use it as my default head for display.

The decision becomes more difficult considering how strong the portrait sans headgear is! This one is a direct hit on so many levels. The facial sculpt, dominant jawline, the paint details, the shadowing on the cheeks, and most of all the hair. It’s all superb, and normally I would be 100% for using this as my default display noggin, but I’m still probably going to go with the blue headgear, only for the sake of variety, as I can enjoy this portrait on my Defenders of the Earth Flash.

The package boasts 33 points of articulation, and this figure does indeed have some excellent poseability. It’s all very standard stuff, but most of the points feature an impressive range of motion. The arms ahve rotating hinges in the shoulders, swivels in the biceps, double-hinged elbows, and hinged pegs for the wrists. The legs have rotating hinges in the hips, double-hinged knees, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. There’s a swivel in the waist, an ab-crunch hinge in the torso, and double ball joint in the neck. Oh yeah, he even has hinges in the feet! Flash comes with two sets of hands, consisting of one pair of fists, a right gun hand, and a left sword hand.

The sword is a real beauty, and it comes with a plastic scabbard, which offers a good fit for the blade. The sword has a straight silver blade with a gold and aqua blue hilt, and painted red jewels in the crossguard. The scabbard is painted in a brilliant blue with a gold throat and tip. The scabbard pegs onto the belt quite firmly, allowing it to swivel to accommodate different poses, and it stays put without popping off. There’s just something I love about space heroes wielding conventional swords, and I wish we’d see more of it. It makes a lot more sense to me to repel boarders in space with trusty old steel, than to be firing weapons that could damage ship consoles, or rupture the hull.

Flash’s pistol is also a little work of art. It’s not quite retro-chic, but it does have a nice shape and design, and it’s packed with a load of detail. The deco is similar to Flash’s trousers, with a dark blue/black finish and some lighter blue highlights.

You also get two effect parts for the pistol, one is a simple muzzle blast, while the other is a full on beam and a contact explosion at the end. Both are cast in translucent yellow plastic, and fit over the end of the gun. These are both great, but the full beam is just absolutely awesome. Indeed, this is probably one of my favorite effect parts in recent memory.

NECA really knew their audience when it comes to this figure and me, and if I were making a list of favorites for 2022, this figure would be high on that list right now. I was more excited to get this one in hand than almost anything else I can think of in recent memory. We’ve had some decent figures release now and then from the 1980 Film, but not a lot when it comes to the classic comic character or his early cartoon exploits. The figure is versatile enough for me to stand in as the Filmation Flash, but I think he works best leaping from the pages of the timeless funnybook. On that note, NECA did give us an SDCC variant of this figure on a Filmation style card, but I’m getting ahead of myself there. Next week, I’ll revisit this series with a look at Ming the Merciless!

ThunderCats Ultimates: Lynx-O by Super7

The second season of the ThunderCats cartoon was a big flipping deal for me. It opened with a five-part series that might as well have been a movie. We got the addition of three new Cats from Thundera, new vehicles and new enemies. It was an exciting time be alive! I never owned LJN’s ThunderCats toys as a kid, mainly because my Birthday presents, Christmas gifts, and my allowance were already spread out over too many other toy lines. But, in classic 80’s cartoon fashion, we were getting treated to a whole new series of 30-minute toy commercials for a bunch of cool and brand new shit!

Enter Lynx-O, who would serve as wise elder to the ThunderCats and could also actually fight, because he wasn’t a ghost, unlike some wise elders. Lynx-O escaped the destruction of Thundera, along with Pumyra and Bengali, in the most unlikeliest of coincidences. He was rescued by a Berbil ship that just happened to be passing by, but not before being blinded by a blast of fire. Lynx-O was undoubtedly the stand-out character among the three new additions, and he would quickly become one of my favorite Cats on the show. As usual, the figure comes in a beautiful window box with an outer sleeve and some kick ass artwork on the back. Let’s get this Cat loose!

Lynx-O sports a clean and simple design that vibes well with both the original toy and his animated counterpart. He’s got a black bodysuit, which is painted right onto the buck, with just a shoulder cuff on the right arm, and a sleeve that extends just past his elbow on the left. He sports a pair of red undies with a sort of inverted vest that extends up to his shoulders, a beige belt, sculpted beige wraps around his lower legs, red boots, and a red ThunderCat emblem on his chest. You also get some painted markings around his wrists. The colors on this figure look great, with the bright reds contrasting with the glossy black for a deco that really pops. I just love his design, and Super7 did a beautiful job with it.

The stock portrait is amazing and just loaded with personality and detail. The eyes are shut, showing his red eyelids, framed with black eyeliner. He has bushy white eyebrows and mustache, but his beard is orange with black fringe and spots. There’s some great definition in the structure of his cheekbones and brow, and his bald pate is adorned with a sculpted red bandana, which is tied at the back. Even his ears are quite distinctive, with white interiors, and some black at the tips. I’m so pleased at how this portrait came out, especially since I was a tad disappointed with the Pumyra portrait that we got from Mattel, and from what I’ve seen, it doesn’t look like Super7 improved on it much, but I’ll save that for a later review!

Lynx-O also comes with a second, more expressive portrait. Here, he’s snarling and clearly heading into battle against some troublesome Mutants, Berzerkers, Lunatacs, or perhaps even Mumm-Ra himself. This one is every bit as fantastic as the other, but I associate Lynx-O with more of a calm and disciplined nature, so I’ll likely be displaying the figure with the first one most of the time.

In terms of articulation, Lynx-O follows the same basic formula that we’ve seen with the Mattel’s Classic ThunderCats. That is to say, there’s some good useful points here, making them fun to play with, but the range of motion in some of them isn’t outrageous. For the arms you get rotating hinges in the shoulders, swivels in the biceps, hinged elbows, and hinged pegs for the wrists. The legs are ball jointed in the hips with swivels up high, hinged knees, and hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. There’s a swivel in the waist, an ab-crunch hinge in the torso, and a ball joint in the neck. Lynx-O comes with three sets of hands: One pair of grapple hands, and two pairs of accessory holding hands, one hinged forward and the other hinged sideways.

As for accessories? Well, you get a few potentially cool things, but ultimately I found each of them wanting for one reason or another. For starters, you get the Light Shield. This was a cool gadget in the cartoon, but I don’t think it translated well as an action figure accessory. It clips onto his arm, and the idea is that it can shoot or deflect rays of energy. The clip is too loose, and I have to slide it pretty far up his arm to keep it from falling off. It’s OK for what it is, but I doubt I will even display it on the figure.

Secondly, you get the Tile from The Fountain, and if you’re not up on your ThunderCats lore, this one can be a bit tricky to explain or understand. It’s basically an artifact from Thundera that was used to stabilize New Thundera, in what was the final episode of the original cartoon. Now, on the one hand, I really dig that this got included with Lynx-O as an accessory, although it would have worked with Cheetara too. On the other hand, it’s just a painted square of plastic, so apart from being a very cool reference to the cartoon, it isn’t what I would consider a lot of fun, or a great display piece.

The final accessory is actually my favorite, and that’s the Brailel Board. This is basically a portable control panel that allowed Lynx-O to do… well, pretty much whatever the script needed. It could be used like a console to operate the ThunderStrike, or it could be used like a computer ro scanning device. It’s an excellent addition to the figure, and certainly one that is most associated with the character in the cartoon. Again, probably not the most exciting thing around, but I dig it a lot.

Despite my little nitpicks with the accessories, Lynx-O is a favorite new addition to my ThunderCats shelf. After Season Two kicked off, he quickly became one of my favorite characters on the show, and I think it was great that the cartoon portrayed someone with a disability as an absolute as such a strong hero. He had a razor sharp mind, heightened senses, and on more than one occasion, Lynx-O’s blindness was key to saving the ThunderCats from some dastardly trap!

Mythic Legions (Advent of Decay): Lord Aydon by The Four Horsemen

Welcome to another Mythoss Monday! I still have lots of catching up to do from the spectacularly large Advent of Decay assortment. This massive wave introduced us to the various Elves of Mythoss, and today we’re checking out one of the Wood Elves…

Yes, the Elves were a major attraction in this assortment and they added a new fantasy flavor to the Mythoss lineup. As his bio recounts: The impressively named, Lord Aristaeus Aydon, is both Uncle and advisor to Queen Artemyss Silverchord, which is every bit as big a deal as it sounds! When he’s not dishing out his stern wisdom to his beloved niece, he’s fending off inquisitive tourists mistaking him for Hugo Weaving. OK. That last bit may not have been in the actual bio.

And yet, there’s no denying that TFH were going for a major Elrond vibe with this guy, but I ain’t complaining! A great deal of the body here is reused from the Elf Ranger, which fittingly enough was a firm nod toward Orlando Bloom as Legolas. The torso, upper arms and legs, belt, and hip armor are all borrowed from that release, with the lower arms and legs given the more armored knight parts. But, what I find especially interesting here is the choice of colors. The torso armor is painted brown to give it a hardened leather look, along with silver buckles and brass studs, with the same colors matching on the scaled hip armor. The upper arms and legs feature a bronze finish, with silver chainmail exposed at the joints, and some electric blue accents. Meanwhile, the lower legs and arms have a metallic emerald finish with more of that brilliant blue, along with matching shoulders. It’s a bit of a scattershot color palate, but in the end, I do quite like it. And as always the attention to detail in the sculpt is striking, with all the tiny straps and buckles and rivets on the armor pieces.

The portrait here more than hints at the Hugo Weaving likeness. He sports a rather dour expression, synonymous with his strict teachings. The eyes have a nice gloss to them, his down-turned eyebrows are sharp, and he has a bit of pink to his pouty lip. There’s some brilliant gold leaf paint for his headpiece, and some antler-like horns protruding from the center it. My figure has a pair of nasty scars on his right cheek, which I’m assuming are intentional and not a defect. I mean, they look intentional, but I don’t recall seeing this kind of wound on any of the other figures, nor is it mentioned in his bio. It does certainly give him a distinctive quality. Of course, he has tall pointed ears, and his hair cascades down his back.

Lord Aydon is absolutely stacked with gear, so much so that he comes with two belts, one for his waist and one as a shoulder strap. These can be used to allow him to wear both of his swords at once. The shorter one is the classic knightly sword we have seen over and over again, and remains one of my favorites for it’s trusty, no-nonsense design. The other is the larger two-handed sword with the cut-outs in the ricasso, and a blade that swells near the tip. They are a matched set, with gold hilts and silver blades. Both of these blades date back tot he original Kickstarter.

He also comes with the rather shapely and ornate Elven Shield, which we’ve seen a few times now, but not enough in my opinion. This piece is absolutely gorgeous, with a satin gold finish, emerald cut-outs, and some brilliant blue stones painted into it.

Two blades and a shield is plenty for most Mythic Legions, but Lord Aydon also comes with an arrow, quiver, and one loose arrow to knock in the bow. Yup, both of these accessories are repeats. The bow is painted gold and has a black string, while the quiver is painted in green and gold to match Aydon’s armor. The arrows have silver shafts and bright blue fletching. Simply gorgeous!

Lord Aydon is an absolute homerun in my book. Not only is he a great looking figure with some gorgeous paintwork, but TFH really showed him some favoritism when it comes to his accessories. With two swords and a bow, he’s pretty much equipped for anything. Not to mention he looks great among my other Elves of Mythoss!

Star Wars Black Series (The Clone Wars): Cad Bane by Hasbro

I’ve never been a big fan of The Clone Wars. I’ve tried watching it a few times, but it just never clicked. I think a lot of it has to do with the goofy stylized look of the characters and the fact that it builds off the Prequels. Nonetheless, I became familiar with a lot of the new characters through osmosis and toy marketing, and it’s cool to see some of them bleeding over into other Star Wars media.

One of those characters is Cad Bane, although the figure I’m looking at today was released before his live action appearance on The Mandalorian. Cad tickles my fancy, because I’m a fan of Westerns in general and Clint Eastwood and John Wayne films in particular. It’s only natural that a character that marries The Old West and Star Wars would be right up my ally!

And boy did Hasbro do justice to this guy! The figure perfectly captures the essence of the intergalactic high plains drifter, with some excellent layering and wonderful attention to detail in the sculpt. For starters, the form-fitting trench coat is cast in soft plastic and has the sleeves sculpted as part of the arms. It cuts off at the waist in the front, but trails down to his ankles in the back. It’s a great design, as it not only seems practical in the way it gives him easy access to his guns, but it also doesn’t inhibit the figure’s hip movement. The jacket has a little texturing sculpted in, and I really dig the silver corners on the lapels and lower flaps, which look like reinforced steel tips. My only real complaint about the coat is that the arm holes are too large. At certain angles, it can ruin the effect that the arms are supposed to be sleeves.

As for the rest of the figure, Cad has a sculpted vest under his jacket with two rows of what I presume are power cartridges for his pistols, a satchel hanging on a shoulder strap, two low-slung pistol holsters, and some cool electro gauntlets on his forearms, which have assorted controls on them to access his flamethrower and all sorts of other fun gadgets. Finally, he has a pair of jets attached to the sides of his boots for when he has to skedaddle in a hurry, or head someone off at the pass! That’s western talk!!!

One look at the portrait, and there’s no mistaking that Cad is from Duros, with his bright blue skin, large red eyes, and absence of a nose. His squint and snarl are textbook Clint Eastwood, right off the poster for The Outlaw Josey Wales! He also has two breathing tubes attached to his cheeks, which connect to a control box behind his neck. His distinctive mug is topped off with a wide-brimmed hat, which is removable.

Bane comes with his trusty pair of LL-30 blaster pistols. These are great looking little accessories, especially if you like the smooth and simplified design of the older period Star Wars weapons. They fit perfectly in the holsters, and he has gun-toting hands so he can dual wield them. It would have been great to get his carbine too, but I could always find him something.

I tend to limit myself to only buying characters in the Star Wars shows and movies that I enjoy. These days, that’s The Original Trilogy, The Mandalorian, and Rogue One, but every now and then I have to make an exception. In this case, Cad Bane is not only a cool looking character, but Hasbro nailed this figure so well, that I couldn’t resist having him on the shelf. And now that he’s made an appearance in The Mandalorian, I do believe I’ll have him on display with that collection!

Marvel Legends (Colossus Wave): Shadowcat and Colossus by Hasbro

Well, it took me a little longer than I hoped to swing back and finish up this second Age of Apocalypse themed wave, but there’s an old saying when it comes to timeline-altering narratives: Better late than never! So, let’s wrap things up with a look at the last packaged figure, Shadowcat, and the Colossus Build-A-Figure!

It feels odd to be looking at the Earth-295 Shadowcat before our own version, but that’s more my fault than it is Hasbro’s. They have already released the Earth-616 Shadowcat in a three-figure boxed set with Meggan and Captain Britain, I just haven’t gotten around to opening that set yet. Maybe I’ll push that to the head of the line, and look at some multi-figure packs before diving into the next wave of figures. Either way, Kitty has some cool character art on her box, and they managed to squeeze Colossus’ torso in there with her. Let’s rip this package open and let the cat out of the bag!

Oh my, Yes! I do have a thing for many of the redesigns that the ladies got for Age of Apocalypse, and that goes doubly so for Shadowcat! She comes sporting a metallic blue bodysuit, segmented with cut lines to make it look like some kind of flexible armor, and ending at her chest. The sleeves are separate, with more segmented cuts, and terminate at her biceps, giving her a dystopian-chic bare shoulder look. Her hands are sculpted with fingerless gloves, and she has a pair of silver wrist bracers, which are meant to contain her retracted kitty claws. Her ensemble is finished off with a silver utility belt, complete with pouches and branded X-Men logo on the belt buckle! The belt and bracers are all separate pieces.

I think the portrait turned out great. Kitty looks a bit displeased, and while I’ll admit the expression falls short as you punch in close with the camera, it looks fine with the naked eye. The face printing is crisp and clear, They did an especially nice job painting the glimpse of teeth through her lips. The hair sculpt is also fantastic. It’s sculpted separately from the head to give it a clean hairline, and I love the way it hangs down over her right eye and sweeps back behind her left ear. She has a sculpted choker with a single red oval stone. The choker is painted to match her bodysuit, although this is one area where the paint could have been sharper.

Shadowcat’s articulation is standard stuff for the Legends ladies. The legs feature ball joints in the hips, swivels in the thighs and lower legs, double-hinged knees, and hinges with lateral rockers in the ankles. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and elbows, with hinged pegs in the wrists. There’s no waist swivel, instead you get a ball joint under the chest, and a hinged ball joint in the neck. Kitty comes with two pairs of hands: One pair of fists, one right hand with splayed fingers, and one left accessory holding hand.

She also comes with a second set of wrist bracers that have her kitty claws extended. These are a bit thick, and look more like tendrils than claws, but overall, they’re a decent accessory and make for some nice poses. Let’s move on to the Build-A-Figure, Colossus!

Colossus is comprised of the standard six pieces: Four limbs, torso, and head. I suppose you can say it’s seven pieces if you count the ties for his mask, which connect to the head with a ball joint for some added articulation. Colossus’ AoA redesign represents some of the best and worst aspects of the character redesigns. Colossus has exchanged his one-piece for a pair of shorts and yellow suspenders, which means he’s showing a lot more of his metallic body. And boy the sculpting for all those metal sinews that make up his torso is absolutely fantastic! He’s also sporting a bunch of additional armored pieces, including guards for his knees and lower legs, elbows and forearms, and a giant piece of armor over his left shoulder. Why does Colossus need added armor? Because… Shut up it looks cool!

The colors on this figure are stellar. The mix of bright red armor, bright yellow suspenders, and the gorgeous silver finish of his skin all blend together as a feast for the eyes. You even get some pale red metallic paint hits on the studs of his shoulder armor. I think a lot about this design is just plain dumb, but I can’t hate on it, because it just looks so damn good!

The portrait is probably my favorite thing about the redesign. Piotr looks absolutely savage and just a little bit terrifying here. He’s got a pirate-style mask covering the upper half of his head. As mentioned

Colossus is sporting some excellent articulation for such a big, bulky guy! His arms feature rotating hinges in the shoulders, hinged elbows, swivels in the biceps, and hinged pegs in the wrists. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, double-hinged in the knees, have hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles, and swivels in the thighs and lower legs. There’s a swivel in the waist, an ab-crunch hinge in the torso, and a ball joint in the neck. You get two sets of hands here: One pair of fists and one pair of grapple hands.

I think Hasbro did a superb job bringing these two from comic page to plastic, and boy do they look great together. The detail on Colossus’ body is some of Hasbro’s best work, and Kitty is just all around gorgeous. But the colors are what really make these figures stand out to me. Even on a shelf full of colorful superheroes and mutants, this pair still manages to grab my eyes! Simply beautiful!

And that’s a wrap for the second Age of Apocalypse Wave. I’ve made it no secret that my enthusiasm for Marvel Legends has been wavering lately. I think most of Marvel’s current books are garbage, and I think I’ll be tapping out of the MCU movies after the next Doctor Strange. That leaves just cherry-picking the line for whatever classic characters they haven’t done yet. But when you add the price increase into the fold, well that’s just another nail in the coffin. With all that having been said, this Colossus Wave had me super excited, so there’s still hope. Not to mention, I have a huge backlog of figures still waiting to be opened and given the spotlight here!

Mythic Legions (Advent of Decay): Azza Spirtbender by The Four Horsemen

I did a little investigating this week and found that I’m down to about less than a dozen Mythic Legions figures left to spotlight here before I’m all caught up! And since it’s less than likely any new figures will ship before I get through those, I’ll likely be swapping Monday’s back to Marvel for a time. But, we’re still a couple of months away from that, so let’s press on with this week’s figure!

Azza Spiritbender came to us as part of the Advent of Decay assortment, and up until now I thought she was an Elf, but having a read through her bio suggests otherwise. Indeed, even The Four Horsemen don’t know which Mythoss race she belongs to, making her quite a mysterious young lady! What is known, is that she is a member of The Convocation of Bassylia, and a practiced Necromancer!

I can be forgiven for mistaking her for an Elf, as her body uses a mix of the Elf and female tooling that was introduced in Advent of Decay. But before getting into all that, I have to say that my first impression of this figure are the gorgeous colors! Azza shows a lot of skin under that purple cloak, and it’s such an intriguing shade of blue. It looks suitably dark and mysterious in the shadow, but give it some light, and it becomes so bright and vibrant! Her armor consists of a breast plate, shoulders, and knight’s belt with side armor, and these pieces are all painted in some of that gorgeous metallic purple, which we’ve seen recently, as well as lots of rich gold leaf. Her boots and gauntlets are the only things that aren’t flashy about Azza. They are both painted to look like brown leather. The boots do have some reinforced purple and gold armor bits. She probably spends a lot of time stalking muddy graveyards and digging up bones, so she doesn’t want to get her good boots and gauntlets dirty.

To further cement her mysterious nature, Azza’s head is permanently shrouded in a hood. The hood is plastic with a flat purple finish, which matches her plastic sash, and some gold leaf around the edge of the opening. The hood is not a perfect match for the softgoods cape, but it’s close enough. Nestled in the hood is a pretty face, with blank white eyes, and some printed black and white tattoos, which continue down around her arms and exposed midriff, and bare legs.

The only downside here? Well, unlike some Mythic Legions figures, Azza is not a figure that offers a lot of display options. Of course, the cape and shoulders are removable, but with the permanent hood, I think she looks funny without the cape, so what we see is what we get. Not that I’m complaining, mind you, because Azza is an absolutely stunning figure! Let’s move on to her gear!

Front and center is her ornate dagger and sheath. This little weapon was introduced in Advent of Decay and handed out to quite a few characters. Still, it feels right at home on Azza’s belt. The scabbard is equipped with a clip to attach it to the belt, but mine snapped off almost instantly, so I have to pass it through the loop on the belt. It’s worth noting that after handling dozens upon dozens of these figures, Azza’s dagger clip is only the second QC issue I’ve had, with the first being the peg snapping off a shield. I’m not excusing it, but that’s still not a bad track record.

Next up, she comes with a very nice repaint of the Khopesh Sword. This one has a lush gold blade and a metallic purple hilt. It’s the perfect exotic blade for this mysterious lady, and I really dig the color scheme. I’m tempted to take a fine black marker and add some runes to the blade, but I’d probably just mess it up!

Finally, Azza comes with a very tall gold staff, because every Necromancer needs some kind of staff to do their necromancing. This one isn’t terribly mystical looking, as it features a flanged mace head for a topper, which I imagine comes in handy for beating her enemies with if her spells fail. She looks great holding it, but I don’t know. I may wind up giving this to someone else, and trying to find a more appropriate staff for her to command the dead with.

And here she is with a couple other members of The Convocation of Bassylia, namely Jorund Runeshaper and Herra Serpenspire! They’re a bit of an eclectic crew. I can see Azza and Herra hanging out, but Jorund seems like the odd dwarf out here. All awesome figures, nonetheless.

Azza is an absolutely gorgeous figure on her own right, and an intriguing character as well. Part of me wants to nitpick the fact that she didn’t come with an un-hooded head, but I suppose if she did it would give away some of the mystery surrounding her race. Either way, she’s a perfect example of The Four Horsemen bringing their A-game when it comes to selection of parts and paint. I think one missed opportunity for Advent of Decay would have been to see Azza repainted into a female version of the excellent Elf Ranger, but then again, AoD was a huge assortment as it was. I suppose that’s always possible for a future assortment.