Legend of Vox Machina: Vax’Ildan and Vex’Ahlia by McFarlane Toys

I haven’t been all that into Amazon Prime’s original content lately, but I gave Legend of Vox Machina a try and I wound up really loving it. And that surprised the hell out of me, because I had sampled Critical Role a short while prior to seeing the show, and boy was that not for me! Nonetheless, I was pleasantly surprised by LoVM’s ability to blend the snappy quips and action with some pretty solid character studies, and it only took a couple episodes for me to be completely invested in this crazy gang of mercenaries. And then figures were announced and I was all… Oh, YAY! And then I saw who was making them and I was all like, Oh, NO! But seeing as how I thought McFarlane’s Witcher figures were pretty OK, I decided to give these a try. Four figures have been released so far, with an initial wave consisting of Vex’Ahlia and Percy and the wave that just shipped populated by Vax’Ildan and Keyleth. I decided to mix things up by checking out one figure from each wave and pairing up the twins, Vax and Vex.

The figures come in your standard McFarlane window box, which do a nice job of showing off the figure inside, but are otherwise unremarkable. You do get some decent character art on the side panels, and I like that the purple box is adorned with a D&D dice pattern. These boxes are mostly collector friendly, but you will have to tear open the bubble that secures the figure stands if you want to get at them. McFarlane stands are nothing special, so I usually leave them attached to the tray if I’m going to save the boxes. I prefer to use the larger, clear NECA stands anyway. Let’s take a look at Vax first!

Turning 2D stylized animated character designs into 3D plastic action figures isn’t always easy or successful, but I think McFarlane did a very nice job here. Granted, both Vax and Vex’s Elven physiques aren’t too far out there when it comes to their body types. Vax here is a little gangly in the limbs, but otherwise he conforms to normal human proportions. His costume, by design, is on the drab side, mostly black with gray trim, some brown belts and straps, and a green belt providing the only splash of color in the ensemble. There isn’t much in the way of texturing here, in keeping with the more simple animated look, although you do get some nice sculpted fur on his shoulders, at the top of the cape. The cape is sculpted so as not to hinder Vax’s range of motion too badly, and it conceals the two sheathed daggers he wears across his lower back. The cape does, however, make him pretty back-heavy and I had some difficulty keeping him upright.

I do like the portrait here quite a bit. Again, it’s simple in keeping with the animation style, and I think it captures the character very well. The hair is sculpted separately from the rest of the head, giving him a sharp hairline, both across his forehead and around his pointed ears. His eyes, eyebrows, and lip coloring are all executed with halftone printing, which can look a little blurry when you punch in close with the camera, but looks fine with the naked eye. With that having been said, the eyebrows on my figure could have used a bit more paint.

Articulation here is rather standard stuff for McFarlane’s modern figures. Highlights include double-hinges in both the knees and the elbows, rotating hinges in the shoulders, wrists, and hips, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. He even has hinges in the middle of his feet, and there’s a ball joint in the waist. I don’t know what it is with McFarlane’s figures, but even with all that articulation they tend to feel a little stiff to me, but on paper everything here is pretty solid. You only get the one set of hands, and those are designed to hold his three daggers. Well, two at a time anyway! The daggers are simple sculpts and cast in gray plastic. Let’s turn our attention to Vex!

It may not be a fair comparison, but it only took a moment for me to realize that Vex was going to be my favorite of the two. But to be fair to her brother, and McFarlane’s efforts, she’s just a much more interesting looking character to me. The bright blue tabard certainly helps catch the eye, especially since the rest of her outfit is mostly brown and more brown. I like the network of belts that cinch her waist, the high V-neck collar looks sharp, and the one tuft of gray fur on her right shoulder is quite chic. What’s especially impressive is that her top appears to be sculpted separately and actually worn over the figure buck! There’s just a lot more going on here to please the eye!

And sure, some of that may have to do with the fact that she’s one pretty Elf lady, and boy did the team at McFarlane do a wonderful job on this portrait! Now, it’s worth pointing out that McFarlane takes some well justified heat for overusing the side-eye, that is painting the eyes of figures looking off to the right or left. It’s fine for a statue, but I’m not usually a fan of it on action figures, but I just think it looks so damn good here, I have to allow it. When paired with Vex’s flashing eyes and crooked, naughty smirk, I think it connects with the character all the more. Also worth pointing out is the wonderfully complex hair sculpting. The bangs over her forehead, the licks of strands in front of her ears, and the strategically placed blue feather all make for a wonderfully kinetic coif!

Vex’s articulation is identical to that of her brother, so kudos to McFarlane for not skimping on the ladies’ arm articulation like Hasbro does. She’s a little more fun to pose than Vax, mainly because she can balance a lot better, even with the quiver on her back. And yes… you observant readers may have noticed that Vex comes packaged with her quiver angled to the wrong side, even if the way she wears it on the show doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Her animated counterpart angles the quiver over her left shoulder, but holds the bow with her left hand and draws with her right, which means she has to reach across her body to pull an arrow from the quiver. Here, the figure’s right hand is sculpted to hold the bow, which means her quiver should be angled over the opposite shoulder for her off-hand to pluck arrows from it. Fortunately, the quiver is attached via a peg, so you can easily adjust it to angle over the opposite shoulder, but the figure will always be holding the bow in the wrong hand.

Obviously, Vex’s acessories include her bow, which is a decent piece, but I really wish they had gone with actual string instead of sculpted string. It just looks so thick and unrealistic. You also get a cluster of silver arrows, which slide into the quiver, but no single arrow for Vex to knock in her bow. I suppose you can consider the quiver an accessory, since it can be removed from her back.

Overall, I’m pretty happy with these figures, and while I clearly liked Vex more, Vax certainly gets the job done. The sculpts are very faithful to the show and while the accessories aren’t mind-blowing, they aren’t really lacking either. Still, I would have liked to get an extra pair of hands with each figure, particularly with Vex to allow her to hold the bow in her left hand and knock with her right. And while I do like this pair a lot, I’d really like to see the twins get the Figma treatment, because I think that would be something really special. I have two more figures in this line to check out, and I’m hoping that McFarlane sees it through to give us all of Vox Machina, because I’d be on board for the rest.

Marvel Legends (The Watcher Wave): The Watcher Build-A-Figure by Hasbro

It’s that time again! Time to try to figure out where I put all the BAF parts for a wave that were accumulated over the span of the last five weeks! Actually, I was smart this time and put them aside with all the figures so I could do the obligatory group shot at the end. But, before we take a quick look at The Watcher BAF, it’s story time! I was originally going to skip this wave entirely because I wasn’t into the Disney+ What If? series and Diamond Select had their own Watcher figure coming out. I pre-ordered it, but my pre-order was summarily cancelled because apparently the company that took my pre-order likes to take pre-orders for product they aren’t going to be able to fill. I won’t call them out by name, because I’m above such pettiness, but let’s just say that its a company that sells Entertainment products to people who live on Earth.

And so, here we are checking out The Watcher BAF! Yes, this bulbous headed bastard is the main reason I bought this wave, and I can’t say I’m sorry I did. Now, this particular figure is based on his appearance in the What If? series, so I guess you could say he’s an MCU Watcher, but the design is certainly close enough that he could pass for a modern comic appearance. The Diamond Select figure was a more classic comic look, which I still would have preferred, but as far as consolation prizes go, this guy is not at all bad.

The assembly here was a tad different than the usual plug four limbs and a head into a body deal we usually get with these BAFs. Sure, you still had four limbs and a head, but the body came an an upper and lower piece, with the skirt piece getting sandwiched between them. There is also the piece of his costume which extends up behind his head, which plugs into the back. Still, Hasbro was able to bundle all the parts over just six figures, as Zombie Cap didn’t include one at all. The physical assembly was a real pain in the ass, because the bottom of the torso took a ridiculous amount of force to get it to plug into the top. I seriously thought I was going to break the thing, but eventually the peg popped in securely. The arms were also really tough to get plugged in, but we got there in the end.

I really dig this guy’s robes, even if the lower portion renders all the articulation in his legs completely useless. You can make minor adjustments to get him to stand, but it seems like a waste to have given him full knee and hip articulation. Maybe these pieces will be recycled at some point, but it seems unlikely. You do get full articulation in the arms, although the wizard robe cuff on the right arm looks funny unless you have the arm positioned so the cuff is falling about the arm downward and not defying gravity. Still, the blue and gold combo looks nice, especially when accompanied by The Watcher’s orange skin.

The head sculpt is excellent, even if this Watcher’s head isn’t quite as bulbous as I would have liked. I mean, his noggin is big, but not as creepily disproportionate to the body as good old Jack Kirby’s version, and I do prefer the more classic look. Still, the sculpted definition of the face here is just beautifully done, and combined with that judgmental pout and those empty eyes, I think this head sculpt is quite a work of art.

And that’s really all I have to say about this guy. I think he’s a great figure, but I still wouldn’t mind picking up the Diamond Select release, as this guy doesn’t quite scratch that itch for having a classic Watcher on my shelf. And since it does seem to be popping up here and there online at or close to retail, I’d say there’s a good chance that you might see that figure reviewed here at some point in the near future.

All in all, it was an interesting trip through this assortment, as this is one of the first times I completed a Marvel Legends wave that I had so little interest in, just to get all the BAF pieces. But with that having been said, most of these figures surprised me in some way or another, and when all is said and done, I think Sylvie is the only one of the bunch that I genuinely have no use for. Nebula and Star-Lord are fun, Zombie Hunter Spidey is actually a great little Spider-Man figure, especially if you toss away the Cloak. Zombie Cap and Strange Supreme are both awesome, and Captain Carter may be my favorite of the assortment. There are some great sculpts on display here, and the running theme of this assortment has been the bright and vibrant colors on most of the figures. I was pleasantly surprised by these!

Star Wars Micro Galaxy Squadron: TIE Fighter and X-Wing by Jazwares

It’s not often that you see a new mainstream toy line launch with the Star Wars brand name and not see Hasbro on the box! And yet that’s exactly what we’ve got here, as Jazwares has secured the license to make little Star Wars ships, and even littler figures to pilot those ships. These are sort of like a reimagining of the old Micro Machines or Action Fleet ships, and they seem to be drawing from every corner of the Star Wars franchise! I swore up and down that I wasn’t going to collect these, because I’m trying to tighten up the shit I spend money on, but in the end I thought I’d give it a go with a couple and see what they’re all about!

I decided to go with the TIE Fighter and X-Wing, and these sure do look nice in the packages. At a time when Hasbro is weening their action figure packaging off of plastic, these two have big, bold windows to show off the goods. These are really playing up the collector aspect, with the Series number and the ship number on the cards. These also state Launch Edition in gold foil, which I imagine will pertain to the deco, as it seems like Jazwares will be releasing these ships in multiple colors and finishes. The tiny 1-inch figures are packaged beside their ships in their own self-contained tray and bubble, which is just adorable. Let’s rip these open and start with the X-Wing!

Measuring at about 5-inches long, this is billed as Luke Skywalker’s own X-Wing Fighter, and looking great! With the wings closed, it can rest on it’s three retractable landing gear, ready to launch and take on the Empire! I’m always cautious about discussing accuracy in these sculpts, because no matter how many toys and models of the X-Wing I’ve owned over the last 40 years, there are plenty of people who are much better versed in how well these toys match up to the on-screen models. So let’s just say this looks pretty damn close to me! Despite it’s small size, Jazwares packed a ton of detail into this little bit of plastic. There are panel lines, exposed panels, and all sorts of little bits of attention to take in as I turn this thing about in my hands. Even the undercarriage is fully detailed, with only a couple of screws and licensing information there to distract from it all.

And as fantastic as the sculpt is, the paint work on this little fighter really does its part to elevate the entire toy. Everything about the ship looks dirty, grimy, and well used, hammering home the concept of a lived-in universe that Star Wars practically pioneered. This tiny ship has seen some shit in its day, and the weathering tells the story of a fighter craft that is being barely held together by an undermanned and underfunded rag-tag band of Rebels. I particularly love the scorched black thrusters on the back, and the little chips taken out of the red wing paint. We have certainly seen many larger and more expensive toys of this ship with a lot less attention to sculpt, paint, and overall detail.

The figures are pretty nice considering how small they are. The sculpts are definitely better than the paint, but there’s enough here to get the idea across. Luke even has four points of articulation (hips and shoulders), which are there to help him sit in his cockpit. And that’s obviously what these figures were designed to do, but it’s nice to have the option to display them standing beside it if you so choose. Luke fits in the seat perfectly, and R2 secures into his droid slot with a peg. If you press the panel under the slot, he will rise up to make it easier to pluck him out.

In addition to the landing gear, the wings can also be moved into attack position, simply by pulling them apart. And again, it just looks amazing and begs the handler to whoosh it around the room looking for TIE’s to blast and trenches to run. If I was trying to convince myself not to collect this line, this little X-Wing probably wasn’t the best one to open first, because even after handling it for a short while, I want a couple more. Let’s move on to the TIE Fighter.

I actually don’t have as much to say about this little 3-inch TIE Fighter. That’s not because it’s any less impressive, but rather it’s just a much simpler toy. The sculpt here is every bit as phenomenal as the X-Wing, with all sorts of little details in the body, and some absolutely beautiful texture work on the wing-panels. This literally looks like Jazwares took one of Hasbro’s toys and shrunk it down. There’s no complex paint work or weathering on here, nor should there be. The Empire flies state-of-the-art fighters in tip-top condition. These things are well serviced and scrubbed clean after each mission, and that’s certainly reflected here. You do get a transparent front windshield, and red paint hits for the laser emitters.

The TIE Pilot is the most impressive of these three tiny figures, probably because he didn’t require any precision paint to make him work. I could complain about the one droopy emblem on his helmet, but one of my 6-inch Hasbro Black Series AT-AT Drivers had the same problem, so I think I can let it slide here on a 1-inch bundled figure. The top of the TIE opens and the pilot seat can be raised or lowered to make it easier to pop him in and take him out.

The only other feature here is the ability to pull off the wings to simulate it exploding. It’s a great nod back to the original Kenner toy, and it really makes me want to get one of these in white. And I’ve already picked up a second TIE Fighter for the fleet, so that alone should tell you how much I love this little ship.

These little Starfighters cost $16.99 each, and in this day and age, that ain’t bad. The sculpt on both ships is downright impressive, showing that these were not stamped out on the cheap. The designers clearly put some serious work into them, and succeeded in delivering what have got to be some of the most detailed examples of these ships in such a small scale. I’d argue you could blow these up a lot bigger and the sculpts would still stand up just fine. But it’s the paint work on the X-Wing that really delivers the Wow-factor and makes me want to press on and see what else the Micro Galaxy Squadron has to offer. My guess is that Jazwares will be repainting the hell out of this X-Wing and I’ll probably be here for all of them.

Heavy Metal: Deluxe Taarna & Avis by Executive Replicas

I have a tremendous amount of nostalgia for the 1981 adult cartoon anthology masterpiece, Heavy Metal. It seemed like it was always being shown on Cable TV and I must have watched it every damn time I came across it. It was like some kind of mystical taboo treasure that I knew I shouldn’t be watching, being as young as I was, but it sparked my imagination (among other things), and it was probably the very first time I discovered that cartoons weren’t just for kids. I don’t think I fully understood it until way later, but man is it a wild ride! It definitely left its mark on me and hell, I even own a UMD copy of it for my SOny PSP… so there’s a bit of humble bragging for ya! Sadly, there hasn’t been a whole lot of decent merch for this flick, which is a shame, because there are some amazing character designs. The far inferior sequel Heavy Metal 2000 or FAKK 2, or whatever the hell it calls itself, did get some action figures and a video game, but nothing great. So naturally when Executive Replicas revealed they were doing a proper 6-inch scale Taarna figure with her flying mount Avis, well I was excited! The Taarna figure is also available to pre-order, without Avis, as a limited exclusive.

The set comes in a very nice looking window box with some really iconic artwork on the back. I can never work out exactly what kind of company Executive Replicas is, but best I can tell they partner with sculptors and toy producers to release licensed product. LooseCollector is also credited on the box, and I think they are the the actual producers of the figure. I’ve featured some of Executive Replicas’ work with Phicen’s Sixth-Scale figures, but their one previous release that relates most to this one is their partnership with Coffin Comics and the 6-inch scale Lady Death figure. That figure established a cohesive line of sculpting and articulation that continues on to this release, as well as future releases which will include several more Coffin Comics and some indie comic characters. And yes, I have virtually all of those on pre-order, so they will turn up here eventually. Anyway, the packaging here is collector friendly, and while Avis requires a little assembly, everything can go back into the box with no worries. Let’s start with Taarna!

Taarna comes kitted out in her skimpy Taarakian battle armor… ah, who am I kidding? This ain’t armor. It’s barely a bikini. Either way, part of it is sculpted and other parts are just painted onto the figure. The combination works pretty well and the paint lines are reasonably sharp. There’s a little gold applied to the buckles and a gold bicep band on her left arm. Taarna also has her sculpted red boots as well as a gauntlet and shoulder armor for her sword arm. I really like the wash given to her boots and gauntlet, as it’s somewhat evocative of some of the panel art in the comics. I’m not as keen on the red blemishes scattered over her body. I’m assuming this is supposed to be bruising from battle, and in fairness Taarna takes a lot of abuse in the film, but I think I would have preferred her without these marks.

OK, here’s the weird part. The figure comes with two different heads, and I’m not sure what they are each supposed to signify. The obvious answer is one has regular hair and one has windblown hair. But the hair pieces are actually removable and can be used for either head. The eyes are different colors, the purple eye makeup is more pronounced on one, and there’s more color in the cheeks. But why? I can understand a second head with a different expression, but the differences here seem more like a minor paint variation. Even the solo Taarna exclusive only has one head to share the two hair pieces. Either way, I do prefer the first head over the second, but I don’t think either one does a great job of capturing the character likeness. Taarna often looked a lot more pissed off, and I wish at least one of these portraits portrayed that. They’re fine, but just not spectacular.

It’s not easy incorporating a lot of articulation into a figure that shows a lot of skin, unless you’re going with something like a Phicen seamless body. All in all, I think they did a nice job here. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders, single hinges in the elbows, swivels in the biceps, and hinged pegs in the wrists. The legs are ball jointed up in the hips, have swivels in the thighs, double-hinges in the knees, and hinges and rockers in the ankles, although the sculpting in the ankles does curtail the range of movement there quite a bit. There’s a ball joint under the chest and the neck is double ball-jointed. This is a fun figure to pose and play with, and the joints all feel great.

Taarna comes with her gold sword with a red scabbard. The sword doesn’t sport a lot of detail in the sculpt, but it looks pretty close to the design in the film. Her relaxed hands can be swapped out to allow her to hold the sword as a lefty or a righty, and the scabbard hooks onto the belt off her left hip. The sword is fine, but the scabbard has a few little issues. For starters, the blade is a very tight fit, and I don’t feel comfortable inserting it all the way up to the hilt for fear of getting out again. The scabbard is also a curved a bit, so that might be the problem. Attaching it to the belt works OK, but I would have preferred a peg so the scabbard could be angled while she is wearing it. As it is, it can be a bit awkward and as a result, I tend to prefer to display her without it. OK, let’s move on to Avis…

Out of the box, Avis requires her wings and tail fins to be attached. The wings socket in with ball joints, which offer a bit of articulation, while the fins simply tab into place. I actually expected this to be a mostly static figure, but in addition to the wings, there’s a little bit of movement where the legs meet the body, and a decent amount of movement in the neck. Make no mistake, there isn’t a lot of poseability here, but what we get is still plenty cool. Now, it would have been really cool to get a second set of legs and a clear stand to put her into flight mode, but no doubt that would have added a lot to the cost of the set. Either way, Avis is a very solid and substantial figure with some really nice texturing all over her skin and some fine shading bringing out the details in her otherwise pale orange hide. You also get some great sculpted detail in the leg muscles and in the feet and talons.

She’s got an adorable head sculpt with big green eyes and a prominent beak. The reigns are permanently attached and are cast in soft rubbery plastic. Yup Avis is just adorable and I still find the scene where Avis gets wounded hard to watch.

Some really nice attention went into the sculpting and paint on her saddle and gear. You get a green bedroll, a pair of saddlebags, and a round thing, which might be a canteen or something. The saddle is textured to look like worn leather, and you get some nice hits of gold paint on the sculpted buckles and snaps.

Taarna can mount Avis pretty well without any assists, like a peg up her butt. Indeed, there aren’t even any stirrups for her feet, but I don’t recall there being any in the movie, nor are there any on the poster art. Her sword holding hands work perfectly for taking the reins, and she looks damn great atop her flying steed! Yup, this is surely the way she’s going to be displayed!

It feels like part of me has been waiting almost four decades for a figure set like this, and I’m mighty happy to have Taarna and Avis on my shelf, despite a few nitpicks here and there. It’s not a perfect set, but it’s still a pretty damn good one. The MSRP is $129, which feels about right for something from an old movie and a fairly small production company. Still, I really wish Executive Replicas would have gone the Phicen seamless route on this figure. Had they done her with their 6-inch scale body, they could have still included this Avis, and I think the result would have been pretty spectacular. Hell, I’d still be down for picking up a Phicen/TBLeague release of Taarna in either the 6-inch or 12-inch scale. That would be a perfect marriage! Back at the beginning, I mentioned that the Taarna figure is up for pre-order all by herself, but for whatever reason that figure is priced at $85, which is batshit crazy, especially considering this set is still pretty widely available, and you get Avis included for only $50 more.

Marvel Legends (The Watcher Wave): Doctor Strange Supreme by Hasbro

Welcome back to another Marvel Monday. This time, I’m wrapping up my look at the boxed figures in the What If? inspired Watcher Wave with Strange Supreme! Like a lot of figures in this assortment, this is one that I wasn’t particularly excited about, but as we’ll see it surprised me in some ways. Let’s jump right in!

I really tried to go through and again try to watch each episode before reviewing the corresponding figure, but in this case I just didn’t make it far at all. These Disney+ Marvel shows haven’t been able to grab me enough to invest the time, and that trend doesn’t seem to be changing, as I barely made it fifteen minutes into the first episode of She-Hulk, before I seriously asked myself, “Why am I watching this?” and noped out of it. Anyway, the idea here, as I understand it, is that Strange crosses the line between good and evil in order to save Christine Palmer and we get a very sinister version of Strange corrupted by the dark magics.

And here’s another example of me not having to be invested in the source material to really like a figure, because this guy is all sorts of awesome. I’ve been really fixated on the beautiful colors in this wave (except for you, Sylvie), and I’m impressed at how they’ve managed to keep that going even in a figure that is supposed to be all kinds of grimdark. I’m sure the temptation was to go with a lot of dark colors, but even evil Doctor Strange has a costume that just pops beautifully with some blues, purples, reds, golds, and even some orange!

The sculpt here is excellent, and I particularly dig the sculpted tunic, which looks a bit like a tabard that a Templar might have worn, complete with a sculpted emblem on the front. If you get in real close, you can see it even has a cloth like texture. There’s also a lot of detail in the complex system of belts cinched around his waist. My only gripe here is that I wish each of these were painted instead of left the same color as the tunic. It looks kind of unfinished the way it is.

The cloak is really the showpiece of this figure. It pegs into the back and rests on the shoulders for a decent fit, and I love the way it billows out and practically frames the figure itself. The outside is black while the inside is a very regal high-gloss purple, with some gold trim and a network of gold striping running throughout. It looks fantastic!

The portrait is pretty stylized, reflecting the art direction of the show, but I still wouldn’t have a problem putting this figure on any of my comic-based Legends shelves. As with the cartoon design, the likeness is clearly based on Cumberbatch, but with a bit more severity to the facial features, making him look all the more sinister. The hair sculpt is really good, with a couple of stray swirls spilling over his forehead, and the beard is well defined and neatly painted. The eyes make use of half-tone printing and the dark patches under them add to his more sinister nature. And once again, the cloak just does a beautiful job of framing the portrait. Unfortunately, there’s a patch of mold flashing or something just above my figure’s left ear, which I’m hoping will clean up.

While Strange looks amazing, I have to report that he’s not all that fun to play around with. Sure, he has all the usual points of Legends articulation, but his plastic tunic really hinders all those points in the lower legs. As a result, I felt a little limited on what I could do with him. He does have full range of movement in the arms, even with the cloak on, and his hands are sculpted in a spell-slinging fashion.

Strange comes with one accessory, and that’s an extra right hand with a permanently attached magic effect part. I’m pretty sure this is recycled from the Infinity War boxed set that came with Iron Man, Strange, and Thanos, or at least sure enough that I’m not going to digging through boxes to find it and do a comparison. I’ve got no problem with Hasbro reusing this part, as we’ve only seen it once before, it’s a very nice piece, and it really does look fantastic on this figure.

Strange Supreme is a beautiful figure, but he’s not going to be spending a lot of time on my desk before getting placed onto the display shelves. That honor is reserved to figures that I enjoy fiddling with and posing in my downtime. Nope, this one is more of a looker than a poser, and that’s fine, especially when he displays as well as he does. I didn’t expect to really like a lot of figures in this assortment, but most of them surprised me in the end, and Strange Supreme is definitely one of those! And now that I have the final piece I need for The Watcher BAF, we’ll wrap things up next week with a look at that figure!

ThunderCats Ultimates: Cheetara by Super7

It’s been a long road… getting from there to here. Oh wait. Wrong franchise. Still, the sentiment holds up. After two abandoned lines from Ban Dai and one abandoned line from Mattel, Super7 picked up the mantel, and has finally given us a complete team of original ThunderCats… well, provided you have the Mattel ThunderKittens… oh, and we’re still minus one Snarf. And just to add to the unbearable torture of waiting, Cheetara was even delayed in favor of some revisions. Well, she arrived a little while ago, and I finally had the time to sit down and spend some time with her!

There’s nothing left for me to say about the packaging, other than the fact that it looks great and has a very premium flavor to it. It’s rare that I ever keep boxes for figures in this scale, but I’ve been keeping all of these. That’s high praise, considering I can’t imagine ever not having these figures on display somewhere. I’ve been very anxious to get Cheetara for a lot of reasons. Her little segment from the ThunderCats intro alone may have sparked the jolt to my nether regions that kickstarted puberty for me. Sure, the intro is a universally gorgeous piece of animation, but I found Cheetara to be particularly arousing. And I’m not into furries. Honest! Well, before I make any more awkward confessions, let’s get Cheetara out of the box and have a look!

MEOW! Super7 has been doing a superb job bringing the animated versions of the ThunderCats to figure form, but they started out borrowing from Mattel’s molds, so it’s nice to see that with Tygra and now Cheetara, they are continuing the trend on their own. Granted, Cheetara’s character design isn’t overly complex, consisting of an orange leotard, gold rimmed boots, left arm bracer, and bangles on her right wrist, but it’s nonetheless beautifully translated here. They also did a wonderful job on her tush! The colors are also spot on for the animated look, and yes, if you’re looking for the LJN toy colors, I think that variant is up for pre-order now. I really dig how sharp the spots turned out on her right shoulder, as well as her ThunderCat emblem.

You get not one, not two, but three heads, which is pretty above and beyond if you ask me. I was a little worried with what we were going to get since I was never really thrilled with Pumyra’s head sculpt. But turns out I had nothing to fear, as the standard head is an excellent portrait. The yellow and black spotted coif is sculpted separately to offer a clean hair line around the scalp, and the little licks of hair here and there give it a naturally untamed look. Her facial markings, as well as the eyes and mouth are pretty sharp and all very evocative of the cartoon kitty.

The second head is pretty much the same, only with glow-in-the-dark eyes. It’s a cool bonus and the glowing eyes look pretty nice, but this head isn’t going to get much use by me.

The final head is for those action poses, with her hair blowing back, as she exercises her super speed ability. This wasn’t something I expected when I was imagining what Super7 would do with the figure, but now I couldn’t imagine the figure without it.

As for articulation, we know by now that these figures aren’t exactly super-articulated, but what they have is pretty serviceable and I’ve got few complaints. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and elbows, and the wrists are on hinged pegs. There are rotating hinges up in the hips, and they are designed to be concealed pretty well unless you’re looking up and in between the legs. You also get rotating hinges in the knees, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. There’s a ball joint under the chest and another in the neck. My only nitpick here is that I would have liked to see swivels at the tops of the boots.

In addition to the three portraits, Cheetara comes with four sets of hands! You get fists, grapple hands, accessory holding hands, and running (or karate chop!) hands.

Naturally, Cheetara comes with her trusty bo staff, or actually two versions of it. The first is in its retracted form, and this can be fitted into her arm bracer for easy storage. The second is the fully extended version, which she can wield in either, or both, of her accessory holding hands. Yup, it’s a pretty simple accessory, but the gold paint looks nice and she looks damn great holding it.

There’s also a flame effect part, which can be fitted onto the end. It looks fantastic, but it’s very heavy and it’s pretty hard to get a good pose with it where it isn’t bending the bo staff under the weight of its bulk.

You get a few more accessories, which are pretty much all fun little Easter Eggs from various episodes of the cartoon. First off is The Mirror of Truth. This ThunderCats artifact reveals the truth to whomever gazes into its reflection. It also kind of makes me want the team to be released as ThunderKittens.

Next up is the Magical Flute, and like the Mirror, this is another one of Thundera’s lost treasures. This artifact allows the player to control animals. I don’t dig this one as much as the Mirror, as it’s hard to get Cheetara to hold it like she’s actually playing it. But it’s still a cool bonus piece.

Finally, you get two versions of the ThunderCats communicator: One closed and one open. They both have strings. Honestly, I could take or leave these pieces. They aren’t particularly iconic to me, and they’ll probably spend most of their time back in the box.

It feels so great to finally have the core team of ThunderCats to proudly display on my shelf! And holy crap, do these cats look great together. I’ll concede that I was more than a little nervous when Cheetara was first delayed, as I had high expectations out of this figure. Well, now that she’s here, I’m very happy with what we got! Super7 took the time to do some much needed tweaks, and the final product turned out great! And now, with the core team complete, next time I revisit this line I’ll be checking out The Evil Mumm-Ra!!!

RoboCop and RoboCop 2 (1:18 Scale Exquisite Mini) Figures by Hiya Toys

I do love me some RoboCop toys, but after picking up the Hot Toys Diecast figure quite a ways back, and just about every NECA release, I decided that Murphy was well represented in my collection, and passed on the Hiya Toys 1:18 (roughly 4-inches) scale figures. But then it happened. Hiya solicited pre-orders for a Cain figure from RoboCop 2. Now all bets were off and I decided to go back and collect what I was missing from the line so I would be ready for Cain’s arrival. As a result, we’re going to take a quick look at four carded releases from RoboCop and RoboCop 2, and then I’ll open one and see what these little guys are all about! At least two of these are some kind of Exclusives, but I can’t remember the details on those.

Let’s start with RoboCop from the original film. All of Hiya’s RoboCops come on old style cards, which look very nice but they are definitely not collector friendly. One odd thing about the packaging here is that the cards each come in sealed window boxes, but they’re all punched and the condition of the cards are a bit rough by collector standards. It’s not a big deal for me, but it certainly may be fore more particular collectors out there and makes me wonder what was the point of the outer box? I love the layout of the original RoboCop’s card, and I really dig the character art. It’s gritty and looks like something from an old pulp magazine. You get some bullet holes superimposed over the image and a movie scene up at the top edge of the card. This is the figure that I’ll be opening to review.

The following three are all from RoboCop 2, starting with the regular vanilla flavor of OCP’s future of law enforcement. The sculpt on this one appears to be identical, but the paint shows some differences in how it portrays that purplish-hue that the armor gave off under certain light. The accessories are also mostly the same, but here you get Cain’s brain container, which is pretty cool! The character art on the card is a very similar pose, but it’s still all new art. Murphy seems to be jutting out his groin a bit more in this one. Cheeky bastard! You also get a scene from RoboCop 2 up at the top edge of the card.

Next, we have the battle damaged version of the last figure. There’s a new character pose on the card and the damage on the figure is mostly found on the front chest plate and the helmet, where he has the burn streaks from Cain’s arc welder.

And finally, and easily my favorite of the variants, you get KIK ME RoboCop, reflecting the scene where Murphy tried to go all Afterschool Special on a bunch of kids and they tagged him with spray paint. The card is given more of an orange hue to the deco and we get another new piece of character art, this time with orange paint on Murhpy’s helmet. I’m assuming it’s also on the front of the figure’s helmet, but I’m never opening this one to find out. It’s just the perfect figure to keep sealed. Also, this one does not come with the Cain Brain Jar. And that’s all the packaged shots I’ve got, let’s get RoboCop from the first movie free and see what he’s all about.

So, straightaway, I’ll credit Hiya for what is a spectacular sculpt for such a small figure. In terms of the detailing in the panel lines and all the finer parts of his exo-skeleton, I’d say this sculpt is every bit as good as what we saw on NECA’s 7-inch versions. And that’s intended as high praise, as NECA’s RoboCop figures are all quite excellent. The sculpted lines might be a little softer in some areas on this little guy, but I’m very impressed that they packed so much of it into so little plastic. They also really nailed his overall proportions, making even this 4-inch figure look powerful and menacing. The figure is simply a delight to hold in the hand and I just don’t see anything in this iconic design that got lost in the translation.

I will say that NECA’s version looks a lot cleaner and smoother, and I think that’s because of the painted finish on this little guy. And while I do like the more polished factory-new look of NECA’s, I think it was sacrificed by Hiya here to better recreate that purplish-silver hue that the suit reflects on screen and when seen in certain light. And to be sure, it’s not an easy thing to reproduce, although the Hot Toys Movie Masterpiece version did a nice job of it. NECA’s captured a little of that, but I think this figure does it better. Whether the trade off is worth it will depend on personal taste. I’m not sure this finish would have worked as well on a bigger figure, but in this scale I’d say it works very well.

The portrait is especially impressive, especially considering the smaller size and there’s only the lower half of the face to work with. Regardless, the likeness in that lower half is superb. The stern expression, and tightly pursed lips leave me with no doubt that it’s Peter Weller under that helmet. There’s a hint of overspray around the lower black part of the helmet and his skin, but it’s really only noticeable when you get in close with the camera. About my only other nitpick with the head sculpt is there’s a hint of seam running across the helmet from the mold process, but it’s really not too bad.

The articulation here contains most everything I would want in my RoboCop figures. The arms have full rotation in the shoulders with just a very little bit of lateral outward movement. The hinged elbows can do 90-degrees, and the wrists are ball joints. The legs have full forward and backward movement at the hips, and a little bit of lateral outward movement. The hinged knees can’t quite make 90-degrees back, and the ankles are hinged. The hydraulics on the ankles and back of the legs are designed exactly like the ones on NECA’s figure, allowing the piston to move in and out with the ankle articulation, and that’s damn cool for the scale! There are two ball joints in the abs, giving him a nice range of movement there, and the neck is ball jointed. The joints all feel solid and he has very nice balance. Robo is basically a walking tank, so I’m not looking for any kind of super articulation here, and I think what Hiya went with replicates his capabilities quite nicely.

You get one set of hands stock hands, which are just open with the fingers slightly splayed. Additionally, the figure comes with a right gun hand and a right fist with his data spike extended. The spike hand is cool, but the spike itself is very bendy and kind of hard to keep straight. What’s the point of putting Adult Collectible on the package if you can’t include a proper eye-poker? Either way, I understand why this is always included in these figures, but it’s not something I’m likely to display with him.

Especially not when that hand needs to be holding RoboCop’s trusty Beretta Auto 9. It fits into the gun hand snugly and he looks damn good holding it. No, the leg doesn’t conceal a holster, which is understandable for this size. Even when NECA pulled it off in the 7-inch scale, the mechanism was pretty complex and fragile. Still, it would have been cool to have part of the leg pull off and a replacement with the open holster pop on. But that would have surely required a big boost in the price tag.

Finally, RoboCop comes with a little stand to display him on. It’s a simple rectangular block with some sculpted tiles, which look like they’ve been crushed under the weight of our hero. If you noticed the weird H-shaped plastic pieces in the packaged shot, those are connectors so you can join multiple bases together and display all your RoboCopses on one big platform. It’s a pretty cool idea, and certainly a nice bonus.

In the end, Hiya’s little RoboCop isn’t going to replace the NECA or Hot Toys versions as my favorite, but that’s not to say I don’t love it a lot. The new scale certainly has possibilities that are already paying off with the upcoming release of Cain. And yes, Hiya has already released an ED-209, and I hope to get around to checking him out next week. And who knows? Maybe we can even get a Ford Taurus (or Mustang for you RoboCop TV Series fans) for this little guy to drive around in! Probably not, but a little wishing never hurts! Probably the best thing of all is that these little RoboCops sell for about $20 a pop, and that’s not too bad considering a lot of retro-styled figures with far less detail and articulation are among the competition at this scale these days.

Marvel Legends (The Watcher Wave): Sylvie by Hasbro

I’ve got just two more figures left to open in this What If? inspired assortment before I can finally build The Watcher BAF. I would have been happy to pair them up, but Sylvie doesn’t really have much connection to the What If? Doctor Strange, so I guess I’ll take them each in turn. I’m going with Sylvie first, because I have little to no interest in this figure, and I didn’t want to end the wave on a downer.

Which one of these is not like the other? It’s Sylvie! She hails from the LOKI Disney+ series and not from What If? like the rest of these figures. Now, in fairness, I didn’t particularly enjoy What If? but at least I was able to sit through most of it. I bailed on the LOKI series somewhere into the second or third episode, I honestly can’t remember which. Even though I absolutely adored Hiddleston as Loki in the MCU flicks, giving him his own series seemed like a really strange idea, and from what I watched of it, it seemed to undo a lot about what made him a cool character in the first place. Yeah, Disney has been all about deconstructing a number of their MCU heroes lately, and it’s a big part of why so little about it all interests me any more.

You can sure tell that Sylvie isn’t part of this wave’s running theme, since all the pretty bright colors are gone and we just get dark colors with a bit of two-tone green on the cloak to spruce things up. Still, given the source material, I think this is a pretty solid representation. The detail in the body suit sculpt is somewhat soft, with the laces on the boots looking a lot sharper, and there isn’t much else going on with the costume sculpt. I really like the look of the cloak’s fit, but as expected it completely hinders the articulation of the upper body, and even a bit in the legs, so I’m going to cast it off. The problem is once it’s gone, so goes what is the best looking thing about the figure to me.

Well, you still have the head, which I think is an excellent sculpt with a decent likeness to the actress playing Sylvie in the series. I’m not familiar with her from anything else, but I like what they did here. The hair piece has lots of different sculpted strands, which offers plenty of dynamic depth to the portrait, and her horned tiara has one broken horn. I think the man-bun is a little weird, but I’ll blame that on the show’s character design and not the figure. The halftone printing for facial features looks great. Hasbro generally has a lot of success with these MCU portraits lately, and Sylvie here is certainly no exception.

Of course, we’re back to the standard female Legends articulation with rotating hinges in the elbows and no bicep swivels. Everything else is standard stuff. Unfortunately, my figure has a terrible pull to the swivel joint at the top of her right boot, leaving a bad gap. I get these joint gaps from time to time, but they are usually in one of the bicep swivels. Either way, it’s a real bummer, but I guess if it had to happen in this wave, I’m lucky it was on the figure I care the least about. Sylvie comes with two sets of hands: One pair for holding her accessory, and the other pair includes a right fist and a left hand with splayed fingers.

The accessory is a really cool short sword. I don’t remember this from the series, but like I said, I only watched a couple of episodes. It has a falchion-like design with an ornate golden hilt and a green blade that absolutely pops as if it’s being illuminated. It’s just an all around awesome looking piece.

It really irks me that Hasbro included Sylvie in this assortment, especially now that they have revealed another Disney+ assortment with a mix of characters from What If? and other Disney+ shows with a BAF that I don’t care about. They should have kept the two separate, or at least given Sylvie’s slot to Zombie Iron Man or Zombie Scarlet Witch. Sure, she is actually a very nice figure, but there are a lot of very nice licensed figures out there that I don’t buy because I have no love for the character or property they represent. And truth be told, I would have easily skipped Sylvie if it weren’t for her BAF part, but then that’s the whole strategy behind BAFs in the first place, so bravo Hasbro… you win this round! But I’ll get the last laugh because I’ve gone from a completist in this line to now cherry picking figures and buying a lot less. I suppose I could just toss her on the MCU shelf and just call her MCU Enchantress. Whatever!

Transformers Legacy: Kickback by Hasbro

Well, it looks like a Hasbro trifecta this week, as I’ve gone from Marvel Legends to GI JOE Classified, and now to Transformers Legacy. But hey, I do collect an awful lot of Hasbro properties, so that’s bound to happen from time to time. Today I’m dipping back into Hasbro’s new(ish) line called Legacy, which has been keeping a lot of the G1 love rolling, and this time it’s with a brand new version of an old favorite Insecticon of mine!

Here he is in the rather colorful Legacy packaging…. We last saw Kickback released in the Titan Returns line as a Legends Class in about five years ago. HOLY CRAP, THAT WAS FIVE YEARS AGO!?! He was the final release in that Insecticon trio, and while I liked that figure a lot, Hasbro took too long to release all three and by the time we got to Kickback, they all had annoying differences in their colors and aesthetics. When I finally got to put them on the shelf together and they just didn’t feel like a cohesive team. Later that same year, I picked up Bad Cube’s unofficial Insecticon Trinity, known as the Evil Bug Corps. Soon thereafter Hasbro’s little bugs went into a tote and I haven’t seen them since. But I absolutely adore the Insecticons ever since they made their first appearance in the old cartoon, and I’m ready to see Hasbro take another crack at these bug bots, so let’s start with Kickback and his cyber-locust mode.

Just from handling this guy, you don’t have to see the robot mode, to tell that Hasbro remained VERY faithful to the design and engineering of the original toy. That could be good or bad, depending on your opinion of overly simple transformations. For me, one of the reasons I Loved the G1 Kickback figure so much was that he looked exactly like his Sunbow animated counterpart, he actually had decent articulation and felt like a real action figure, and he was quick to get from robot to bug and back, which made playing with him a lot of fun. And all that certainly applies here! Sure, the way his legs work has been tweaked, but in spirit everything here is the same as the original. The deco is simple and gorgeous, and black and purple one-two punch to the eyeballs is to die for, and the added yellow brings it to new heights. And while his yellow chest plate is perfectly visible on his back here, I’ll wait to talk about it until we get him transformed.

The only thing I am torn on here are those wings. Oh, they look really nice with their intricate sculpted patterns set upon clear plastic canvases. But, I really miss the silver, because it’s just such an iconic part of the original toy. The chrome present on the original toy is very noticeably absent here. I’ve decided that it’s not a deal breaker for me, and that’s probably just because these do look so nice. The gun storage, on the other hand, is such a wonderful bonus on this update. It plugs right up into his undercarriage and adds some nice firepower to locust mode. If you’re a fan of asymmetry, you can also mount it on either leg.

Kickback also comes with two energy sword-gun-things, which are designed to tab into his wings in the locust mode. These are cast in translucent purple plastic and they’re OK. I’ll never complain about some nice bonus accessories, but I’m never going to display him with them, so they’re pretty much lost on me. Actually, I’ll probably loan them out to other figures. Maybe two of the Legacy Stunticons. But, yeah I wish Hasbro had saved the plastic to give us two sets of wings and the ability to swap them out for two different display options. That would have been really cool. Let’s move on to his robot mode…

Awww, yeah! It takes only a few seconds to get him into robot mode, and what a killer mode it is! Kickback is a tad on the stout side, but apart from that this is just a beautiful homage to his original G1 toy. He has actual fists now, instead of claws cobbled from his insect legs, and while I didn’t realize it in time for most of these pictures, he actually has ankle tilts hidden up in them feets. But what I absolutely have to uncontrollably gush over is that yellow chest plate. It’s yellow-tinted clear plastic over what I assume is a silver painted plate under it, and it creates a gorgeous radiant glow, like he’s practically pulsating with energon. Holy shit, it’s just gorgeous, and I can’t wait to see Bombshell and Shrapnel get the same treatment. I imagine the only people who could gripe about the execution here is that it doesn’t open up as an homage to the diaclone pilot compartment from the original toy. The Decepticon insignia on his upper chest looks great, and I dig the addition of some red panels and yellow striping on his lower legs. Kickback even looks all closed up and polished from the back! What an amazing robot mode!

And the head sculpt is pure money! Hasbro went with the Sunbow style face, as opposed to that of the G1 toy, and I’m always happier when they go this route! He’s got some beautiful silver paint on his face and forehead, and his black “helmet” is flanked by his glorious yellow bug antenna. Yes, there’s a little silver overspray at the top of his bright red visor, but thanks to his pronounced brow, you have to get down low to really notice it. Thankfully, the rest of the paint is fine, but sometimes I worry about these silver faces exposed to the elements with no window to protect them in the packaging. I’ve been lucky so far, but I do buy most of these online and sight unseen, so it’s always a gamble now.

Kickback comes with a wonderful update to his original Electrothermic Blast Tube weapon, which is mostly silver, but also has some metallic purple on the muzzle and on the drum-style magazine. It’s a great looking gun and a very distinctive design!

And the sword-gun-thingies that we saw attached to his locust mode, can also be wielded as weapons in his robot mode. You can attach these to his arms as guns, or he can wield them like energon swords. Again, these are cool bonus accessories, but I don’t plan on using them. I would have much preferred Hasbro include some Energon Cubes instead of these.

Here are some comparison shots of Legacy Kickback with the Commemorative Collection G1 Reissue figure, and boy do I think he represents well! He’s a little bit bigger in locust mode and A LOT bigger in robot mode. Sure, the legacy version is missing a little of the pop from the stickers on the G1 toy, but still an absolutely great representation of one of my favorite G1 figures.

A few petty nitpicks aside, I am absolutely thrilled with how great Legacy Kickback came out. This is just another example of me retiring an older Transformers figure in favor of a newer update. He’s so much fun to zip in and out of locust mode, and to just play around with on my downtime. He’ll likely be on my desk for a while, before finding a home on the display shelves. Yeah, I may buy a second Kickback and have a go at coloring those wings, but we’ll see if the clear set grows on me. My only hope now is that Hasbro doesn’t wait a a couple years to finish the trio off, and that Bombshell and Shrapnel both show up with the same style chests, and an overall cohesive look for the team!

G.I. JOE Classified: Spirit Iron-Knife by Hasbro

It’s been too long since I dipped back into Hasbro’s outstanding GI JOE Classified series, and with some new figures stacking up in my backlog, it sure seems like a good time for me to get on that. Cobra has been getting a lot of the spotlight from me, so let’s have a look at one of the brand new JOEs… It’s Spirit Iron-Knife and Freedom!

If you’ve been away from GI JOE for a while, the name Spirit Iron-Knife may seem odd, but it’s just one of Hasbro’s little tricks to get around trademark legalities, by putting his real name on the box along with his Codename. My only gripe here is that I really do not like the character art they went with. It’s super stylized, and it just doesn’t stack up to some of the magnificent art we’ve seen on past packages. But, I mainly toss these boxes anyway, so it’s not a big deal. And I practically shredded this box, because I was so excited to finally get Spirit in this line. He was a fantastic release back in 1984, even though I’m pretty sure I didn’t get him until the following year. But once I had him, Spirit was on just about every team of JOEs I assembled, usually as a tracker, and often stepping in and picking off Cobra troops when his teammates got captured. I absolutely loved this guy!

And here’s Spirit out of the box and ready for action! And man, did Hasbro do a bang-up job on this update! Spirit hits all the right points of his vintage figure, from the high boots and khaki trousers to the blue shirt, rolled up sleeves, and red undershirt peeking out from the collar. This new figure sports the correct shoulder insignia, as well as the brown sheath slung vertically off the left side of his chest. The update adds a cross-strap and shoulder rig to hold the sheath. as well as a utility belt, and a regular belt with a bright silver buckle. The cross-strap has a couple of grenades sculpted onto it, which were sculpted as part of the shirt on the vintage figure, as well as that weird gizmo on his right shoulder that all the Classified JOEs have. Honestly, the only thing we’re missing here is the white feather necklace seen sculpted onto the original figure. I’m surprised they aren’t here, but I suspect something like that would be simple to make for him.

The backpack is a complete redesign from his old green one. Now it’s a mix of black and khaki, and instead of being stacked with arrow cartridges, we get four compartments, a peg for his rifle to hang off the side, and a perch for Freedom, but more on that in a bit!

And how about that portrait! This may be one of my favorite head sculpts in the Classified line to date. The definition in his facial features are splendidly realized, giving him a stoic, all-business visage. He has a thick, black hair, with one ear exposed, and a sculpted red bandanna, with some strands of hair spilling out of it and streaming down behind his left cheek. There are sculpted braids, which hand down over each shoulder, with red ties on the end. This is no doubt the face of Spirit! Let’s move on to his gear!

It may not be a surprise that Charlie Iron-Knife does love him some knives! Spirit comes with two combat blades, one stored in the chest sheath, and the other on a sheath that’s strapped to his left thigh. The former is a fancy knife with some patterns on the blade. I’m not sure if that’s supposed to signify a Damascus blade or a flint blade, but it sure looks cool. I only wish they had painted the hilt white to match the one sculpted on the original figure. The second knife is just a standard combat variety, similar to what we’ve seen other Classified JOEs carrying. Both his hands are gun-hands, but he can still hold the knives fairly well, if not quite as secure as I would like.

Next up, Spirit comes with an automatic pistol as a sidearm, which is stored in a holster double-strapped to his right thigh. It’s a decent sculpt, molded all in black, and I love it. There’s no sci-fi crap to the design, and it actually looks like a straight up Desert Eagle. Quite a nice addition, since the original figure didn’t come with a sidearm.

Possibly one of the biggest departures from the vintage figure is found in Spirit’s rifle. The original figure came with a scoped rifle that fired arrows. I never really got what it was all about, so I’m actually glad to see that Classified Spirit comes with a more traditional combat rifle. This beauty is mostly black, but with a brown foregrip, a suppressor on the muzzle, and a pretty serious looking scope. The magazine is even detachable, and I always love that! Yeah, some fans may be disappointed to not get an update to his classic weapon, but that thing never really became all that iconic to me.

And last, but certainly not least, Spirit comes with his trusty winged companion, Freedom! I really love what Hasbro did with this figure, and yeah it really is a figure all it’s own. There’s articulation in the upper legs, swivels in the feet, articulation in the neck, and the wings are on ball joints with a set of spread wings for flight, and tucked wings for chillin’. There are pegs in Freedom’s feet that allow him to perch on the backpack, and Spirit also has something like a Falconer’s Gauntlet on his left arm with peg holes for him to perch there as well!

Wow! Spirit turned out to be an absolutely fantastic figure, and he’s certainly high up there among my favorite JOEs in the line so far. Hasbro did a nice job paying respects to a lot about what made the vintage figure so special, while also tossing in a few new updates here and there. The fact that they were able to give him a solid assortment of weapons, in addition to decently articulated Freedom, really showcases the sense of value I get out of these figures. Especially when I see the price of Marvel Legends creeping up there. I guess it makes all the difference when you own the license yourself!