Marvel Legends (Okoye Wave): The Sub-Mariner by Hasbro

After the high I was on from checking out the three MCU Black Panther figures in this wave, moving on to the next installment is like getting slapped in the face with a rotting trout. I’m not here to rag on Namor. I had nothing but praise for the Walgreens Exlcusive that we got last year, which depicted him in full costume. And maybe that’s the point. Did we really need to double dip on The Sub-Mariner so soon? And if so, did it really need to be dropped into this wave? Obviously, my answers to both questions are no, but I’m pressing on with the review anyway.

Here’s a quick look at the packaging, and straightaway I have a few issues to get off my chest. One, the package says Sub-Mariner on the front whereas it should have read Shuri. Second, the figure inside the box is actually The Sub-Mariner, whereas it should have contained a figure of Shuri. Finally, this figure is clearly a fishy-man-gigolo named Namor and not a spunky, tech-savy Wakandian cutie named Shuri. I’m going to do my best to get beyond each of these critiques and appreciate this figure for what it is… not Shuri.

Now, all kidding aside, Hasbro really went all out on this figure and they did a great job. But I don’t know how much I can possibly say about it. The figure itself depicts The Sub-Mariner wearing only a pair of scaly speedos, arm bracers, and he has the obligatory wings on his ankles. This is about as close to a naked dude as we’re likely to ever get swinging on the pegs in the toy aisle, or at least until we get a Hercules. Yup, this one is a special treat for the ladies. The body is muscular, but not bulky, has some great sculpted muscle definition, and I think it suits the character well.

There isn’t a whole lot of paint here, but what we get is quite good. His trunks are painted with a beautiful metallic emerald finish and has a gold belt with a tiny seashell sculpted in the middle. The wrist bracers are painted gold, and the ankle wings are painted white. Otherwise, you get a fleshy plastic, which granted is a bit glossy, but let’s assume Namor just got out of the water and is all wet.

Where Hasbro really went nuts here was with the extras. Not only did they include the swimming hands from the Walgreens Namor, but we also got two heads with this figure, and neither of those are repacked from the earlier release. The stock head looks like a simpler, more comic booky look than the Walgreens head. When I compare the two the previous release looks like it could pass for a realistic MCU version played by a generic actor. I like this new head a lot, the sculpt is excellent and the paint is perfect. Both heads have the hair trailing back a bit, which makes him look all the more streamlined for zipping through the ocean.

The alternate head features Namor all beareded out and looking like Tony Stark co-splaying as an Vulcan. Again, it’s a great sculpt with sharp and beautiful paint, but I think I prefer my Namor sans beard.

Articulation includes all the usual points. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders, swivels in the biceps, double hinges in the elbows. The wrists are on hinged pegs so they can be swapped out. The legs have ball jointed hips, swivels in the thighs and the lower legs, double hinged knees, and the ankles have both hinges and rockers. The torso has a waist swivel and an ab crunch hinge under the chest. The neck has both a hinge and a ball joint.

If all that wasn’t enough, Hasbro also gave Sub-Mariner a brand new trident. This one is more elaborate than the one that came with the Walgreens Namor. It looks more like a proper trident and less like a spear. This one is cast all in gold plastic and lacks any paint apps, but I really dig it. The sculpting includes a coiled sea-serpent and a pointed fin motif.

If you ever wanted an example of just how delightfully serious and passionate Hasbro is about Marvel Legends, Sub-Mariner here is the figure to look at. I certainly wouldn’t consider Namor an A-Lister, and yet this is the second release of the character in the line in about a year. Does Hasbro know something we don’t? Is Disney going to secretly launch a Sub-Mariner movie to go up against the DCEU Aquaman flick? Probably not, and that’s what makes this release all the more intriguing. Not to mention, they also kitted the figure out with two new heads and a brand new accessory. Now, as much as I admire this figure, I really wasn’t kidding about my feelings that an MCU Shuri should have been in this spot. Hasbro obviously has the likeness rights because they did her in the basic 6-inch Black Panther line. And besides, The Sub-Mariner could have been shoved into any wave and not feel as out of place as he does here. Instead, we have to settle for a comic-based Shuri in one of the upcoming two-packs. That’s not to say I’m not happy to have The Sub-Mariner here, but c’mon Hasbro… Give us a Legends Shuri!!!

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Happy Easter! …Here’s some administrative bullshit!

I’m not really a celebrate Easter kinda guy, but I am off today, so I’ll take it. And because I’m off and have no content planned, I wanted to drop by and unload some things that I’ve got going on here at FFZ. To make this dry post more palatable, I will interject random pictures of my cat.

“This is my shitty eyesore of a beach chair.

When my human tries to throw it out, I cry like I’m being murdered.”

First and foremost, I’m cutting back to three weekday updates for the month of April. So, that’ll mean Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Marvel Monday will stay, but more on that in a bit. Wednesdays and Fridays will be whatever I’ve got on hand for the day, but I do anticipate getting some new Transformers soon, so those will probably get reviewed on Wednesdays. This new rotation won’t effect Anime Saturdays. I’ve been pretty good about keeping up on those, and they’ll still be dropping in whenever I get time.

“You can write your stupid toy reviews later. I’m sleeping!”

There are a few reasons for the change-up. Firstly, I have a few bigger reviews to write this month and it’ll help get me the time I need to put in on those. Secondly, it’s going to be a busy month for me at work, and rather than try to keep up and get stressed out and fail, I thought I’d be proactive. I’m also woefully behind on updating my Index of Reviews and hopefully this will give me the time to do that. Finally, the main reason I was doing four weekday posts was to accommodate all the Transformers and DC content, and I don’t have as much to cover when it comes to those brands, so I feel I can lose a day and still get a good variety each week. Now, does this mean I’ll be going back to normal in May? We’ll see. If I don’t feel like I’m falling behind, I may keep it this way, but I don’t have to decide that now.

“You better run, human! I am charging my eye-lasers!”

OK, so on to Marvel Mondays. Right now, I go through each wave of Marvel Legends together. So I look at all the packaged figures, then check out the Build-A-Figure, and then I move on to the next. I’ve thought about it a bit and I’ve decided that after I finish looking at the Okoye Wave, I will no longer be reviewing Marvel Legends by the wave. There are a few reasons for this. First, there are figures that I want to review that I may not get to for a long time if I’m going strictly by wave. Second, I have a big backlog and I don’t want to invest five or six consecutive weeks of Marvel Mondays going back to look at the Sandman Wave or something like that. This way, I can mix it up, look at newer releases then go back and look at older figures. When I do review the last figure in a wave, I’ll follow it up with the Build-A-Figure, and I’ll try to do it on the same day. I’ve also been working on creating a new page that will lay out all the Marvel Legends reviews by wave.

“If I guard the guitar, human cannot torture me with his awful playing.”

That’s it! If anything changes, I’ll post an update! Enjoy your holiday or your day off or whatever you have to celebrate today and I’ll catch ya tomorrow on Marvel Monday!

“HELP!!! CALL THE ASPCA… HUMAN IS GIVING ME A BATH BECAUSE I SLEPT IN DIRT!!!!”

By figurefanzero

KanColle: Battleship Mutsu “Super Premium” Figure with 41cm Twin Gun Mount by SEGA

Of all the Fleet Girls in the KanColle Universe, Mutsu is my favorite. I can’t tell you why, I just dig her a lot. Ironically, to date I’ve only reviewed one figure of her, and that was the Figma FigFix Half-Damage version. I do have one other to look at one day, but the truth is that she doesn’t get quite as much love as her fellow Fleet Girls when it comes to prize figures, or even scaled figures. But today’s release makes a mends, because it is the incredible “Super Premium” Figure from SEGA, and her armaments are so freaking big, they had to be boxed and sold separately. If you’ve seen my review on the SPM Battleship Nagato and her Gun Mount, then you’ll know exactly what to expect here. The only difference is I was able to buy these together, so Mutsu didn’t have to wait an extra couple of months for her guns to arrive from Japan like poor Nagato did. Let’s start with the figure…

Mutsu comes in a pretty big box for a prize figure. The regular SPM figures are roughly 8-inch scale and since Mutsu is a Battleship, she scales just a bit bigger. The box is fully enclosed, has some nice artwork, but mine arrived beat to hell with a big crunch in the side. And you know what? I don’t even care because I got a really good price on this lady and even manged to get her from a US Seller off of Amazon. She comes out of the box inside a plastic tray and the only assembly required is to place her on her stand. There’s also a little name plate in Japanese that you can place on the base or remove and place on the base that comes with the Gun Mount. It all depends on how you want to display the figure and gear, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

Here’s Mutsu all set up and looking great. It’s a playful and demure pose and it almost looks like she’s blowing a kiss. I think this pose works great when the figure is on its own and without all the gear. It also nicely reflects Mutsu’s flirty and seldom too serious personality. Otherwise, she wears an outfit that’s very similar to Nagato’s, which includes a black and white half-top and a very short black pleated skirt with white stripe around the bottom. The outfit is rounded out by white gloves and a pair of knee-high red and gray rudder boots with white striping at the tops. One thing of note is that the arming belt she’s displayed with here does not have the ports to attach her armaments. I’m guessing they did that to give her more of a streamlined look for people who wanted to display her without her gear. I think it was a good choice!

The paint and coloring here is quite good. The whites are bright and the red and gray areas are smooth and even. The striping is solid, but in some areas could have been a bit sharper. Still, all the paint applications are well within what I expect of a prize figure, if not better. She also has a gold painted chrysanthemum embedded in the center of her belt. The skin tone is pretty good, but under certain light it does have a bit of that waxy sheen that you tend to see in prize figures, but not in the more expensive scaled figures. This sort of thing is usually a big pet peeve of mine, so when I say  it’s not too bad, you can believe it. All in all I’m really happy with how the coloring on the statue turned out with the figure in hand, even if it does look a little too orange in some of my pictures.

The portrait is spot on for my favorite Fleet Girl. She’s got big, perfectly printed green eyes and the hint of a smile. I really love how they sculpted her short, brown hair framing her face and blowing off to the back a bit. She also has her trademark antenna, which earned her nickname, Snail.

The simple black disk base is absolutely massive, and that’s because it’s designed to work with the Gun Mount. Alas, that means if you choose to display her alone, she takes up a lot more real estate on the shelf than should be required, and the base looks way out of proportion for the figure. But I have no intention of displaying her without her weapons, so let’s move on to the second box!

Like the figure, Mutsu’s armaments come in an enclosed box with lots of pictures and lots of Japanese text. If you’re like me and hopeless at reading Japanese, you really need to know what you’re looking at here or you could easily pick this up thinking that you get the figure as well. I’m pretty sure it says “Mutsu sold separately” somewhere on that box, but hell if I can read it. Although, if you’re familiar with the SPM figures, it would be pretty obvious that the figure couldn’t fit in this box. In any event, the Gun Mount requires a bit of assembly, as you have to attach the stand to the base, then connect the two sets of guns together, then plug those into the stand and put on the smokestack. Oh yeah, you also have to attach the anchor. There are also some support posts intended for when its hooked up to the figure, but I found they were totally unnecessary and didn’t look so good, so you won’t see them featured here. Obviously, the instructions are in Japanese, but there’s nothing here that can’t be figured out by way of the illustrations. When you’re all done cobbling this thing together, here’s what you get…

Now, I really dig the presentation here. The stand is meant to look like a gantry, cast in a smokey translucent plastic, complete with sculpted detail and even some stairs, which makes me wonder what’s going on with the scale in the KanColle Universe. The pieces all attach very securely and you can work the articulation on the individual guns and also rotate the turrets. That’s pretty much all the articulation that’s here. It’s fine for customizing the look I want, but if you want the fully articulated package, you really need to go with the Figma version of these Battleships. There’s a loop to hook the anchor chain through and I like to wind it around the back and hang it off the front, similarly to how it will look when worn by Mutsu.

The whole rig looks great, but apart from some sculpted rivets and a few panel lines, there isn’t an overload of detail and that’s fine because it carries the animated look quite well. You do get some nice variations in the gray with shading in some areas, cream colored plastic used for the coverings at the base of the guns, and a red border running along the bottom of the rig. The name plate is the same one pictured on the Mutsu base, and there’s no way to actually secure it, so I just use a bit of blue tack to keep it in place. There are some very faint hash marks on both bases so you know exactly how to position it. As I said, I really dig all the effort that went into the presentation here, and that makes it kind of sad that I will never ever display the guns this way. Nope, just like Nagato’s guns, these babies are going to stay on the figure, so let’s get Mutsu all kitted out.

The first thing you need to do is swap out the arming belt on the figure with this one that has the actual connecting ports. To do this, you pull poor Mutsu apart at the middle and lift out the old arming belt and swap it out for the new one. Yup, the skirt is sculpted as part of the belt, so it swaps out too. When you’re done, you just have to tab in the left and right gun assemblies, pop the smokestack onto the back, and attach her anchor. Traditionally, Mutsu is seen with her anchor’s chain wrapping around her left leg and attaching at her left rudder boot, but here the intent is that you run it around the back and then have it dangling from her left hand.

And here she is all armed up and looking absolutely spectacular! While Nagato’s gun assembly attached entirely by one connection point at the back, Mutsu’s feel a little more secure because each half attaches to each of the side ports. Not that I’ve had any issues with Nagato’s falling off, but it’s worth noting the difference in design and execution. However, like Nagato, fully armed Mutsu is a beast of a prize figure, measuring about 10-inches tall and requiring at least 10-inches radius to properly display her big guns.

While Mutsu’s pose works better than Nagato’s when she’s unarmed, I think the reverse is true for the armed up display. It’s not that Mutsu’s pose doesn’t work, it actually fits her character perfectly, but Nagato just looks like she’s ready to kick all kinds of ass with her hand out, commanding her Fleet Girls to open fire. Mutsu looks more like she’s just along for the ride. But either way, she sure looks adorable, and the two poses really speak volumes about each gal’s personality.

The two figures also look amazing displayed together, but they take up the bulk of my shelf, so even with most of my “Day Off” figures put away right now, I’m still going to need to do some expanding in order to make room for Mutsu. I’ll probably wind up displaying Mutsu and Nagato on each end of the shelf with SEGA’s three SPM Battleships, Fubuki, Mutsuki, and Yuudachi in the center. So, it looks like the rest of the Fleet Girls will be annexing the lower shelf, where I just have a random assortment of prize figures. I was able to pick up Mutsu and her Gun Mount for about $45 and that’s a lot better than I made out with Nagato. She was $45 all by herself, although she was advertised as coming with her Gun Mounts. Ah, but I already told that story back in that review. Either way, I’ve got no complaints, as I would have been perfectly happy paying a premium for this gal if I needed to. The bulk of my Kantai Collection figures are casual pick ups, but SEGA’s “Super Premium” Mutsu was a must-own figure and one that I jumped on as soon as I saw her.

 

RoboCop Vs Terminator: Future RoboCop by NECA

Wow, was it really over a month ago since I looked at NECA’s EndoCop and Terminator Dog from Dark Horse’s RoboCop Vs Terminator comic? I’m pretty sure I promised back then that I’d be back with a look at this Future RoboCop the following week, but things appear to have gotten away from me. Nonetheless, when I was picking up in the Toy Closet the other day, this guy fell off a stack and hit me in the head. It was clearly the Universe’s way of reminding me to make good on my promise. And finding a new NECA figure to open makes every day better! So let’s check him out!

If you were here for the EndoCop review, then you’ll know exactly what to expect from this packaging. The figure comes in a window box, but it has a hinged front flap that secures with the premium goodness of velcro. It’s also the same style packaging that NECA uses for their Ultimate figures and I hate it because it’s so nice and I can’t throw it out and it takes up so much space and oh my god, I have so many shelves of these things! Naturally, it’s all collector friendly, although I would recommend a modicum of care when removing Robo from the tray, as his legs pass through holes in it and he’s got those somewhat fragile pistons down there. The artwork on the box is superb as it looks like it’s straight out of the comic. It also compliments the artwork on the EndoCop box perfectly. The photos, on the other hand, are pretty awful. I don’t know what happened here, but most of the official promo shots of this figure look really rough and rushed. I’m glad I didn’t let that influence my decision to purchase it. Oh yeah, the lettering on the front flap is printed in rich foil blue and red and it looks super spiffy. The whole presentation is just a wonderful send up to the comic and a perfect example of how NECA pours their collective heart and soul into these projects.

And here he is out of the box and ready for action! Far in the future, Alex Murphy’s consciousness hides within Skynet’s artificial intelligence until the time is right to fabricate himself a new body. Augmented by Terminator technology and a new battle frame, RoboCop allies itself with the human resistance to take out Skynet and prevent the annihilation of mankind. At least that’s how I remember it. It’s been a while since I read this comic. As you can probably tell, there are a lot of parts shared between this figure and the EndoCop, indeed the bulk of the figure is very much the same, but there are also some cool new bits here as well. From the waist down the only thing that I can see different is the little device coming off of his right hip. I have no idea what this is, but I really hope someone can enlighten me. At first, I thought it might be a gun, but it doesn’t pivot into what would resemble a firing position. The torso is the same as the EndoCop’s and includes the fortified pistons and shoulder plates.

The right arm is the same, but his lower left arm has been replaced with what looks like a rocket launcher. The sculpt still features all the great little touches like the OCP branding on the leg and helmet, the working pistons on his lower legs and the backs of his upper arms, the thruster modules attached to the outsides of his lower legs, and the detail in the right hand is extremely intricate.

The head appears to be the same sculpt that NECA used for their regular RoboCop figures. The only major difference here is that the chin guard is painted silver instead of black. And speaking of paint, it looks great all over the figure. NECA did make use of some blue highlights here and there, and at first I thought this was to recreate that blue-purple hue the suit sometimes showed on screen. It sort of works at some angles, but it looks a bit obvious if you get in close. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that they were probably going for more of a comic coloring effect here, and if that’s the case… well, bravo!

From the back, we can see the biggest change on the figure in the form of his massive backpack-o-death. This thing is like a Swiss Army Knife of Mutual Assured Destruction. It’s got missiles, rockets, and something that looks like an anti-tank gun. Sadly none of these pieces are removable and are for display only, but holy crap does it look cool!

Future Robo does, however, have a mini-gun mounted behind his right shoulder that can be deployed for attack. I dig this thing a lot and it gives me a bit of a Predator feel. But lets not get them or the Aliens involved. This crossover is mind-bending enough.

And when a back full of ICBMs and mini-guns can’t get the job done, or just for old times’ sake, Future Robo also still comes with his trusty Auto-9 pistol. This looks like the exact same accessory that came with the EndoCop. It’s a decent enough sculpt, but it feels a little too flat and two-dimensional. The right hand can hold it perfectly and you can even thread the trigger finger through the guard.

After playing around with the EndoCop, I was pretty excited to get my hands on this figure and I have to say I am not disappointed. This line is so damn fun and it’s making me want to go back and pick up the RoboCop video game figures that NECA did a while back. I think if there are any fan complaints here, it’ll be that Future Robo and the EndoCop share so many parts, but you won’t hear me griping about it. They’re both accurate to the comic designs, and the ability to share so many parts is probably what allowed this project to happen, because I fear these figures will have a rather niche audience. To be honest, at this point I’ll take any new RoboCop figures that NECA is willing to produce. I just wish they could get some likeness rights and do an unmasked Murphy in this scale.

Lady Death “Death’s Warrior” Sixth-Scale Figure (Deluxe Edition) by Phicen/TB League

TB League, formerly known as Phicen, continues to pump out a number of fantastic boxed figure sets based on the ladies of indie comics. I’ve already looked at their Zenescope gals, as well as Vampirella and Red Sonja, and now it’s time to give Brian Pulido’s Lady Death from Chaos! Comics a go. The character has had a troubled history of being passed along to different comic companies as each previous one folded. There was a less-than-stellar anime released by ADV Films, and now she lives on through Kickstarter-funded stories. Like Red Sonja, the first version of this figure was released a little while back and I missed out, because she sold out quickly. But TB League recently issued a brand new version and this time I was quick to pre-order the Deluxe Edition. As “Death’s Warrior” this release comes with some pretty cool armor and a brand new helmet and the Deluxe Edition includes a gigantic throne display diorama. Let’s take a look…

The Deluxe Edition comes in a massive cardboard mailer box, which houses the figure’s box and a large styrofoam brick with the extra display environment. I’m fond of pointing out just how premium the packaging on Phicen’s figures look, especially when compared to some of the more expensive big name Sixth-Scale producers out there. Lady Death’s heavy duty box consists of a lift off tri-fold front, which secures to the sides via magnets. You get some great shots of the figure itself and a little blurb on the back. Inside, the figure resides in a foam tray with some of her accessories laid out around her. There’s another tray beneath it with more goodies, and as always the head comes off the figure and wrapped in plastic. And speaking of plastic, nearly the entire figure comes wrapped in plastic with the armor placed over it. This is great for protecting the silicone skin, but getting it off is a daunting task that involves some precise cutting near and around the soft skin, right where you do not want to be putting a sharp edge. But, a little patience and care is all it takes.

And here she is all set up and ready for display and boy is she beautiful! The most distinctive thing about this particular body is her is her pure white skin, and I have to say that it looks quite stunning. I say, pure white, but it actually has a bit of a ghostly blue hue to it that comes out rather striking under certain light. Of course, this body consists of Phicen’s usual silicone skin and muscle covering a fully articulated stainless steel skeleton, and thanks to Lady Death’s predilection for skimpy costumes, the character design allows a lot of that seamless body to show through. The only joints visible on the figure are her wrists and neck, and the only ones concealed by the costume would be in the ankles. Phicen has produced a wide collection of these bodies in different types to use on different boxed figures, but because of her distinctive skin tone, Lady Death is probably the first time they had to fully customize one to work with the character. I really dig that. And while they were a little restrained when choosing the bust size for Red Sonja and Vampirella, they kind of went all out for Lady Death. I really dig that too!

The costume consists of an armored top that just about manages to contain her ample bosom. It’s sculpted in plastic with a texturing that makes it look like leather and with bronze scroll-work decorations sculpted in. There are painted rivets running along the bottom edge and a very lucky skull placed betwixt her undead orbs. The bracers on her arms are sculpted with a similar motif, here with some smooth black and textured brown panels and more of the bronze scroll-work sculpted in. Moving down, she has a rather small sculpted plastic plate with a skull to shield her Netherworld regions, front and back. Finally, she has a pair of fairly plain leather high-heeled boots with a pair of ornate bronze skulls at the tops just above her knees. These are actually separate rings and not part of the boots. They stay on purely from friction and they do stay put fairly well, but every now and then they need an adjustment to make them sit flush with the tops of the boots. There may not be much of it, but I think Phicen did a beautiful job with the sculpt and paint on this outfit. It’s a lot more ornate than the simpler leather bikini that came with the first release. Admittedly, that first outfit is more iconic for the character, but I’ll happily take this one as a consolation prize.

The portrait is absolutely stunning, and I really appreciate how far Phicen has come in this area. They’ve managed to up there game a little bit with each release, both in terms of sculpt and paint quality, and getting a bit closer to that uncanny level of realism slowly but surely. Granted, Lady Death isn’t a great example for judging realism, since she’s an undead demon warrior, but there’s so much to love here. The paint on on the eyebrows and around the eyes is very sharp and clean, and there’s a nice glossy coat over her pupiless eyes. Her lips are slightly parted, feature some nice texturing, and are painted with a bright and glossy red that really stands out among all the white of her skin. And speaking of skin, the skin tone on her head matches the silicone skin on the body very closely. The hair has that same slightly blue tinge to it, and there’s a lot of it, so some rudimentary styling skills will come in handy. Personally, I think this is a character where the hair looks best just left to run wild.

Before getting into the accessories, it’s worth mentioning that Lady Death comes with three pairs of hands. These include a relaxed pair, a pair that looks like she’s about to claw your eyes out, and a pair designed for holding her weapons. Surprise! No fists! Each of these include red painted fingernails and swapping these out is pretty easy, and this is another area where I commend Phicen for improving. Swapping hands on some of their earlier boxed figures was an absolute chore, but I found that these come off and go on without any problems.

Lady Death also comes with a cape, which is a beautiful little garment with a black leather-like outer material and a softer red cloth for the interior lining. The neck includes sculpted skulls as a clasp and a high collar, but it does not open, so you do need to pop her head to put it on and take it off. The edges include some flexible wire so that you can pose it. I love the way this looks on the figure, but I don’t think I’m going to use it a lot. I don’t think it works well with the throne, and I also get a little nervous about having all that red dye in the cape’s liner in constant contact with Lady Death’s pearly white skin. Still, it’s a great option to have and just adds more value to the set as a whole.

As “Death’s Warrior,” naturally she’s got to have a helmet and this is quite a nice piece of work. The entire thing appears to be cast in single piece of plastic and includes a black and bronze deco to match her armor. There’s a row of tiny painted rivets running along the brow and a skull front and center, because Lady Death sure loves her skulls. The cheek guards on the sides extend upward to form some jagged looking wings, and there’s a silver bar that runs under her eyes and meet just above her nose. The helmet was a bit of a bear to get on the first time, as it really is a very snug fit and there isn’t a whole lot of flexibility in the plastic. I was mostly worried about scraping the paint on her face. When I did finally get it on, I found that her hair was trapped in front of her eyes, so I had to give it a second try, this time with her hair pulled tightly back. As much as I love the way this looks on the figure, I’m not going to be putting it on and taking it off a lot.

As for weapons, for starters Lady Death comes with her sword. I should point out that the character has wielded three swords (that I know about), named Apocalypse, Darkness, and Nightmare. Apocalypse is the one I most closely associate with her, but this one is Nightmare and it’s no slouch. The blade is made of diecast metal, a technique that I first saw Phicen using with Red Sonja and I wholeheartedly approve. The figure’s joints can handle the weight and it gives the accessory a premium feel. The rather ornate hilt features a bronze guard and pommel with a brown painted grip to simulate leather wrap. The silver blade has a generous amount of blood spattering on it. The accessory holding hands make for a tight grip, allowing her to hold it perfectly in either hand or both. On the downside, she doesn’t have a scabbard that allows her to wear it on her person, but as we’ll soon see, that doesn’t bother me so much.

Her other weapon is this giant sickle. I think this is the same one that came with the previous release, but whatever the case, it’s an impressive piece of hell-spawned cutlery! Even with the curved handle, the sickle is taller than Lady Death herself. The handle is sculpted and painted to look like wood, complete with a natural wood-grain finish and sculpted wrap on the handle and shaft. The blade itself is plastic, but painted in metallic silver to look like real metal. There’s also a really cool looking skull mounted at the top of the shaft and painted to look like part of the blade. And just when I thought this figure can’t get any better, I opened up the huge chunk of sytrofoam to find this…

Holy SHIT! Lady Death’s throne is the mother of all accessories, if you can even call it that. It’s really a massive display environment. I know, I gassed on and on about how cool the dragon base that came with Red Sonja was, but I think this might one-up it. It’s made of three pieces: The base, the chair itself, and the skull that connects to the top of the throne with a magnet. I guess you can say it’s four pieces if you count the velvet pillow that goes into the chair. Yes, it actually has a real pillow! The base is sculpted to look like old stone and rock and there’s a pile of skulls in the back left corner as well as a single skull and some bones on the front right corner. The chair doesn’t actually attach to the base, so you can position it where you like on the platform, or even just use the platform and stand Lady Death on it. The chair itself features some exceptionally nice sculpting and paintwork. I love the skulls on the armrests and the bones that connect them to a third skull on the bottom front of the piece.

There are lots of fun ways to place Lady Death on the throne, and while I had to clear plenty of space on my shelf to fit it, I can’t imagine displaying this figure without the throne. I also like that it gives me a place to display her helmet and sword. The one caveat is that if I’m going to have her sitting on it regularly, I worry about the red dye on the pillow transferring to the white skin of her demon derriere. In the end, I took some non-acidic archival plastic and cut a square to put between the pillow and her tushie. Hey, you can never be too careful!

The more of TB League’s boxed figure sets I pick up, the more impressed I am with what this company is putting out. The seamless bodies keep getting better and better, and they’ve been upping their game on the quality of the costumes and accessories. But it’s the Deluxe Editions that are adding that extra little (actually not so little) something that has been launching these releases to the top of my Sixth-Scale want lists. This Deluxe Edition of Lady Death set me back $179, and I’m actually a little curious how they’re able to pack in something as impressive as the throne and still keep these figures under $200. I was motivated to finish this review, because I have another of TB League’s ladies arriving this week, and I actually have two more on pre-order that are due to hit in the next month or so. And if that’s not bad enough, they just revealed a few more that look pretty damn good. The releases are coming so fast that this line is getting hard to budget for, but I’m going to try to make it work any which way I can! And if that means cutting into my Hot Toys and Sideshow budget, then so be it.

Marvel Legends (Okoye Wave): Nakia by Hasbro

Ah, it’s a great time to be a Marvel fan! What? No, they haven’t fixed the dumpster fire on the comic side of things, but we’ve got some amazing trailers for Deadpool 2 and Infinity War, I just picked up the Blu-Ray of Thor: Ragnarok, and I’ve got enough Marvel Legends figures to keep me happy for the foreseeable future. Today I’m pressing on through the Okoye Wave and opening up Nakia from the spectacular Black Panther movie!

Nakia, not to be confused with that brand of famously indestructible Finnish cell phones, Nokia, comes in the typical Legends window box. It’s got some great character art on the side panels, the back panel shows you the rest of the figures in the wave, and the window on the front lets you get a look at all the goodies inside the box. I really enjoyed Nakia in the film, and I’d love to see them explore her character further in the next one, particularly her background with the Dora Milaje, and boy would it be cool for them to work the Malice storyline into it. I can practically see that whole thing unfolding on the screen and it would be awesome.

And here she is out of the package and looking fabulous. Black Panther was a visual feast, and a lot of that came from the pageantry of the Wakandan costumes. Hasbro had a lot to work with when it came to Nakia’s outfit and I think they did a bang up job with it. The top of the red tunic is part of the buck, while the lower half is part of the belt, sculpted in soft plastic, and extends down to hang down the front and back. The effect works really well, and it’s pretty convincing as being one plastic garment. There are a ton of cut lines running throughout the tunic, forming various geometric patterns, some of which are picked out by gold paint. On top of that you get long segmented bracers on her forearms, a large piece of armor on her right shoulder, a smaller piece on the left, and some sharp detailing around her neck, all painted in silver. She also has a sculpted silver belt buckle that looks like a panther emblem. This is some fantastic stuff!

My only nitpick is the legs, which are painted to look like they’re supposed to be bare, but have a lot of the same ornamental cut lines running throughout. Just looking at them makes me wince, because it’s like she went through some kind of ritual and had these carved into her flesh. I’ve only seen the movie twice now, but I don’t remember this being the case, and I haven’t been able to find any reference shots of her costume showing it either. In fact, it looks like she’s just wearing some fairly plain leggings. Okoye’s costume does have these designs, but they’re part of her leather leggings. Anyway, her ensemble is rounded out by a pair of black boots, with some accordion style rings on the top, which look a little clunky, and throw off what is an otherwise pretty graceful figure. If it sounds like I’m coming down on this figure, keep in mind, these are just nitpicks, and I think the sculpting and coloring on this costume look outstanding.

Also outstanding is the head sculpt. More often than not, Hasbro has been on point with their MCU head sculpts, but they’ve really upped their game recently and this is another great example of that. The likeness to the lovely Lupita Nyong’o is certainly there. Granted, I prefer it when she’s smiling, but the stern and solemn look here is more appropriate for the character and action figure. They did an amazing job sculpting her hair and she even has her tiny earrings.

The articulation here is what I’ve come to expect from my Legends MCU ladies, which means good, albeit not perfect. I would still love to see Hasbro go with double hinged elbows and bicep swivels in the arms. Instead, we get the typical rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists. The legs fare a lot better, with ball joints in the hips, double hinges in the knees, swivels in the thighs, and both swivels and rockers in the ankles. There’s no waist swivel, but she does have a ball joint under the chest, and she has both a hinge and ball joint in the neck.

In addition to the BAF parts, Nakia comes with a pair of Chakram, which as far as I knew were generally from India, but I’m not going to quibble about it because they’re exotic and cool and movies often play it fast and loose with historical authenticity. Anyway, these are beautiful accessories, with brown textured grips to simulate wood or leather, and silver blades with decorative inscriptions scultped into them.

Black Panther and Killmonger were both great figures, but lets face it the black with gold and black with silver suits didn’t really showcase the movie’s colorful costumes. With Nakia, we finally get to see some of that translate to plastic, and it looks superb. I nitpicked some of the liberties Hasbro seemed to take with the costume, but really I have nothing but love and admiration for the work they did here. From the exquisite costume, to the beautiful likeness, to some really fun accessories, this figure has it all.

And that’s it for the packaged MCU figures. Next week, I’ll start in on the comic-based figures!

KanColle: Light Cruiser Oyodo-Kai “Super Premium” Prize Figure by SEGA

After a long week of being sick, I’m ready to enjoy a leisurely morning with some coffee and a brand new KanColle Super Premium figure from the wonderful folks at SEGA. These SPM figures are presented in a roughly 8-inch scale and they’ve been digging pretty deep on the character selection, which keeps me coming back for more. Today’s Fleet Girl is the Light Cruiser Oyodo in her refit “Kai” form.

As always, SEGA’s SPM Fleet Girls come in standard enclosed boxes with a shot of the figure on the front, character art on the side panels, and lots of Japanese copy on the back. There’s very little English here, so hopefully you know what you’re getting. These boxes usually arrive pretty badly beaten up, but Oyodo’s is actually in pretty nice shape. Inside, the figure comes between two clear plastic trays. The only assembly required involves plugging her into her base.

While Oyodo-Kai is a fully armed Light Cruiser, she’s known more as an administrative “Mission Girl,” and only really sees action if you happen to be playing as her in the game. Likewise, she never saw action in the anime either, but rather served as assistant to Battleship Nagato and relayed action orders to the Fleet Girls. Even in the final battle when Nagato and Mutsu hit the water for action, Oyodo was nowhere to be seen. Her administrative nature is nicely reflected in the figure, which stands with clipboard in hand and turning in mid walk, as if to receive some last mission detail before hurrying off to relay orders.

Her outfit is rather unique among the Fleet Girls, and while she retains the familiar sailor-type uniform, she wears the top over an office-style long-sleeved button-down blouse with a red necktie. While she looks like all-business from the skirt up, she’s got a bit more whimsy going on down below decks. She’s wearing a pair of thigh-high stockings with lace around the tops and tied with pink ribbons just below. Over those she has white boots with gray, red, and gold rudder boots. Finally, she has a single piece of armor on her lower left leg, tied with two red ribbons.

The portrait here is pretty nice, but maybe not one of their best. I think maybe if the mouth was closed it would match the character art a little more closely. I do, however, like how they did her glasses, and they definitely add to her official administrative look. One thing that’s noteworthy is the white head band, which is correct for this refit “Kai” version. On the other hand, I’m pretty sure that as Oyodo-Kai, this version should have flower patches on her lapels, but they seem to have been omitted.

Oyodo-Kai may be a Mission Girl, but she still retains her armaments. In this case, that includes her twin 15.5cm gun mounts, one of which she wears across her back and the other on her right thigh. She also wears her catapult on her right arm, used for launching her Type 0 reconnaissance seaplane. Her full gear would also include a considerably large hull part on her backpack and extra guns, which SEGA wisely omitted from this figure, probably because it would have been too big and ungainly and I’m fine with that.

Oyodo-Kai comes with a white hexagonal base, which is similar to several of SEGA’s previous SPM releases. Her name is also printed in blue near the front and off-center. These are more or less standard designs for the SPM figures, although they do change them up from time to time.

And here’s a shot of Oyodo-Kai with Heavy Cruiser Ashigara Kai II and Aircraft Carrier Shokaku Kai II. No matter what ships I assemble in the fleet, these gals always display beautifully together.

As a characeter, Oyodo was not terribly high on my list, but as I fill out most of Kantai Collection’s heavier hitters, I’m having fun picking up some of the back-benchers as well. Besides, Oyodo really brings a lot of charm to my collection with her rather distinctive outfit. And it doesn’t hurt that both the sculpt and paintwork on this figure are excellent. I snatched her up off of Amazon for $18 shipped and I’d say as far as missions go, that was a success!

Star Wars “30th Anniversary Collection:” V-Wing Starfighter by Hasbro

It feels like a long while since I’ve looked at a 3 3/4-inch Scale Star Wars vehicle, especially if you exclude the whole 5-POAPALOOSA I did for the opening of The Last Jedi. Let’s face it, Hasbro doesn’t do a lot of these anymore and when they do, they’re a far cry from what they were in the glory days. Unless you want to count a certain Sail Barge Experiment that’s going on right now. Anyway… A couple of weekends back, I spent Saturday morning going through one of my Star Wars totes. I was expecting it to be mostly figures, but there were a few surprises buried in there, and one of them was this cool Starfighter that was released as part of the 30th Anniversary Collection, one of the last of Hasbro’s Star Wars lines that I collected with excitement and fervor. I was surprised to find that I never gave it a proper review here, so I set it aside for a day just like today!

The Alpha-3 Nimbus Class “V-Wing” Starfighter made its appearance at the end of Revenge of the Sith, escorting Palpatine’s shuttle to Mustafar. I’ll confess, this last point came up in my research and I didn’t remember actually noticing them when I watched the movie. For a long time, I just assumed this ship was based off an Expanded Universe design from The Clone Wars, or a concept that never actually got used. One bit of credit I’ll always give to the Prequels and Clone Wars era, is they featured some pretty cool ships, many of which were given the royal treatment by Hasbro to become excellent toys. Anyway, I think this ship was released a few times, but I got the 30th Anniversary Collection version. I was never a big fan of the package design, but I think I bought just about everything this line put out. The package indicates the ship being flown by a standard Clone Pilot, and that’s the figure I’ve used for my pictures, but I’ll point out that Hasbro did release an official V-Wing Pilot as part of an exclusive multi-pack and that one wore a black flightsuit. The V-Wing requires a bit of assembly as all of it’s wings have to be attached, as does the front section of the hull. It’s probably more than I’m used to seeing in this size toy, but nothing too complicated.

To say that this is a distinctive design is quite the understatement! I suppose you could argue that there’s a little bit of A-Wing in here, at least in the ship’s main body, but this one is more elongated and has a much sharper taper, like the head of a spear. Also, I’m a big fan of ships that have different configurations for landing and flight, and as we’ll see in a bit, the V-Wing very nearly takes this idea to the extreme. The basic layout follows the usual Rebel/Republic ship formula with a single-pilot cockpit positioned in front of a socket for an Astromech Droid. In this case, the Droid’s head is permanently attached to the ship, so you cannot provide your own. His head will, however, swivel, and if accessorizing is your thing, he’s painted to match the hull of the ship. And speaking of paint, the deco on this ship is absolutely gorgeous. In addition to the red and off-white coloring, you get some yellow markings, scorch marks, and a lot of silver scrapes and weathering. I think you could argue that Hasbro overdid it a bit with the silver scrapes, but in this case, I think too much is better than nothing. Comparing this ship to Hasbro’s super-clean modern offerings is like comparing apples and oranges.

When landed, the V-Wing rests on three landing struts, the rear two are integrated into the collapsed wings, while the front retracts into the primary hull. There are three sets of articulated wings, one set on each side and another set mounted behind the top of the cockpit. All of these have textured heat radiating panels on the interiors. I really dig the armored-up look the V-Wing sports when it’s all closed up and landed.

From the back, you can see the V-Wing’s dual vertically-stacked thrusters, as well as a pair of articulated rudders that flank the engines. The V-Wing is not capable of Hyperspace on its own, but apparently could be adapted to take a Hyperspace Ring like the Jedi Starfighters. When the ship is ready to take off, you just fold in the front landing strut and press in the upper engine to deploy the wings.

And man, does this thing look awesome with the wings deployed! They spring open like scissor blades and really show off the sleek and aggressive design of the hull. They also reveal the banks of missiles that are positioned on each side of the cockpit area.

The missiles are cool in that they actually look like missiles and not the usual simple rods that we see in a lot of Hasbro’s ships. They have pronounced fins and the tips are painted red. Paint applications on missiles! These truly were wondrous times! There are buttons positioned at the top of the wing mounts which will fire these and they shoot pretty damn far!

The cockpit looks nice and snug, but there’s actually plenty of room in the compartment for the Clone Pilot figure, and I imagine most other normal humanoid figures would fit fine as well. The cockpit is hinged at the back and there’s a little slot at the front to help open it. Fun fact: The V-Wings sacrificed life support for maneuverability, hence the importance of the sealed flightsuit. The eye on my Q7-Series Astromech is a tad wonky, but otherwise the paint on him is pretty good, and I really appreciate the fact that his head will swivel.

About the only downside of this beautiful ship is that it doesn’t come with a way to display it with the wings open. There is, however, a useful cluster of pipes sculpted on its undercarriage near the back. I was able to make it work fairly well with a flight stand that Mattel used to sell for their DC figures.

If you’ve been with me for a while, then you may have heard me talk about my Great Star Wars Purge that happened around 2009 or so, where I liquidated a huge portion of my Star Wars collection. I can still remember getting ready to add this one to the selling pile, but relenting at the last moment. It might have been because it was still a relatively new purchase at the time, but now that I’m holding it in my hands again, I think it was probably more about just how unique and special this ship’s design is, and how well Hasbro carried it off. It’s hard to think of too many ships in this class since that have turned out this well. It’s both a fun and great-looking toy, and it’s been rescued from the storage tote and now displayed on my shelf once again!

Masters of the Universe Classics: Fang-Or by Super7

My sincerest apologies for calling out sick on Tuesday, but I’ve had a bad case of the crud since the weekend and it’s only now starting to lift. Five days at work with this shit didn’t leave me enough strength to do anything when I got home, other than try to sleep and I couldn’t do much of that either. So I spent a great deal of time mired on the sofa with the fever sweats and bingeing on anime blu-rays. Anywho… Since I planned on opening another one of Super7’s Masters Classics figures on Tuesday, I figured I’d just roll that review over to today. And so, while the Cold & Flu meds are still pumping through my veins and buoying me to action, lets open up Fang-Or! And then it’s back to bed for me!

Once again we see that Super7 is preserving every drop of wholesome goodness that was Matty’s MOTUC packaging. As one of the Snake Men, Fang-Or was probably the one figure that was most influential in getting me to pre-order this wave. I just cannot resist me some Snake Men! And according to his tagline, Fang-Or is a “Freakishly Fanged Snake Men Warrior!” Lets ponder on that one for a moment. Fang-Or’s snake features are so extreme that even the Snake Men consider him a freak. That’s hardcore! There’s a bio on the back, but more and more these things are reading like Mad Libs to me, as they just seem to drop a lot of names and places and events, many of which don’t mean anything to me anyway. But that’s cool. I don’t need a backstory to make me appreciate this guy…

Because just look at him! In fact, you might say this is a case of love at first bite! Sorry, that pun was the Nyquil-Sudafed-Jameson-Unisom cocktail talking. It won’t happen again. Sure, Fang-Or’s gimmick, just having really long fangs, might not be all that original, but when it comes down to pure aesthetics, I love every bit of this figure’s design. Fang-Or’s body makes use of the segmented arms and legs we saw with King Hsss, and uses a rather pleasing olive green plastic for his skin color. I dig the decision to use these parts because it sets him apart from the rest of the Snake Men Warriors, giving him a rather distinctive look.

Fang-Or also sports a great looking set of brown and gold armor, consisting of a vest, belt, arm bracers, and grieves. The arm and leg armor features ornately sculpted gold fixtures reinforcing what I imagine is intended as leather. The grieves even have the detailed hinges and clasps that are supposed to be holding them in place. The vest has gold trim around the edges and sculpted rivets, each neatly painted gold, and a pair of green snakes running around the arm holes, over the shoulders and meeting under the neck. But the real showpiece here is the wide belt, which includes a huge ouroboros medallion in the center with a snake icon in the center. The belt has a leather-like texture, gold-painted studs, and it’s worn over the traditional Eternian furry diaper. The brown and gold and olive green deco blend together really well on this figure, and there’s even some coppery colored paint on the armor to spice things up. Overall, the quality of the paint application is pretty good. My figure has a stray gold fleck on his vest, and there’s a little bit of brown on his right thigh, but nothing I’m going to want to call the QC police over.

Fang-Or features the standard articulation that we’ve seen in Matty’s MOTUC figures, and that’s actually a little disappointing. The other two figures in this wave added hinges to the wrists, but Fang-Or here missed out on that little upgrade. I guess it’s not a deal-breaker for me, since 99.9% of my Masters Classics collection doesn’t have them either, but it would have been nice to know that all the Super7 figures were going to include the hinged wrists and not just some. Another thing about Fang-Or that disappoints is how loose his ab crunch hinge is. It’ll hold itself upright just fine, but it still feels like a figure that’s been played with a lot, even though it came straight from the package. Hawke had similar issues, and I’m hoping that Super7 gets some of these wrinkles ironed out by the time the next wave hits.

Fang=Or includes two heads and comes packaged showcasing his elongated fangs. The sculpted scaled noggin features a distinctively saurian shape with some pupiless yellow eyes and a wide stretched mouth. There’s some great detail inside the mouth and around the tongue, and the giant hangs are impressive indeed.

The alternative head has the shorter fangs. According to the bio, Fang-Or can “project” his fangs like knives and then grow new ones. I hope that means he shoots them out of his mouth, because I’d hate to think he snaps them off and throws them, because that just gives me the willies. Either way, this head features all the same great sculpting as the other, but it’s a little less awkward because of the normal sized fangs. I really like both heads a lot, but chances are I’m going to display this guy with the big ones, since that’s what he’s all about. At least, that’s the head I chose to use for the pictures throughout most of this review.

Fang-Or comes with a nice collection of accessories, although I’ll note here that I found his lack of serpent staff like a big omission. It’s become a tradition to get some kind of snake-related staff with these guys and I was surprised they didn’t work something up for Fang-Or as well. But that’s not to say what’s here isn’t great. For starters, he has this rather exotic and totally bitchin’ sword. This thing looks like it’s part falchion, part sickle, and all business. It’s got a silver painted blade with a black guard and pommel, and a brown ribbed grip. There’s even a saw-back sculpted on the back near the hilt. I don’t know how practical this design is, but it looks wicked and unique and I really dig it.

How about a set of tools? Fang-Or’s bio mentions that he’s fascinated by technology and that he learned all about tinkering on machines from Snake Man-At-Arms. As such, he comes with three of his favorite tools: A screwdriver, a hammer, and a pipe-wrench. Naturally, each of these tools is snake-themed, with snake head style implements (well, except for the screwdriver) and rattler-style handles. The gold paint on these looks especially nice. Pity they didn’t give him a toolbelt or something to tuck them into. These tools are not only super swanky, but it’s probably pretty convenient to have tools personalized like this, so that if someone tries to borrow them and not return them Fang-Or can always prove that they’re his.

Finally, Fang-Or comes with this adorable little winged serpent. It’s a simple static plastic figure, but the paint and sculpting are both nice. I have no idea if this is pulled from some particular piece of the MOTU fiction, but I’m very happy to have it. In fact, I can think of several different toy lines in my collection that would love to borrow it.

Fang-Or is a fantastic figure who definitely ranks way up there as one of my new favorites in the entire collection. I love the coloring, I love the personality in his head, and I particularly love all the fine detail work in his armor. He’s definitely my favorite figure in this assortment so far, and he may even be in the running as my favorite Snake Man, and that’s saying a lot, because I love each and every one of these loony bastards quite a bit. Yes, the lose hinge in the chest is troubling, and probably something we should not have to be dealing with at this stage of the game, but everything else about this figure is so good, it’s hard for me to get too upset over it. And that’s three down and one to go… Next week I’ll open up the final figure in this wave and add to the ranks of my Evil Space Mutants!

Sick Day!

Sorry, Toyhounds, but there isn’t going to be an update today as I’m still trying to shake whatever the hell this crud is that I have. It descended upon me on Saturday and between feeling like shit and trying to sleep, I couldn’t summon up the strength to open anything up. And if I don’t feel like opening toys, you know something is wrong.

I’m hoping to be back in action by Thursday, but we’ll see how it goes.

By figurefanzero