Masters of the Universe Origins: Castle Grayskull by Mattel

Yup, I sure did tell myself I wasn’t going to collect this line! Nope. Got a nearly complete MOTU Classics collection taking up a lot of room over here, and I’m not starting all over again. And then it was, “Well maybe just a couple more figures. Maybe just a couple of vehicles. Maybe just one more Wave.” And then, “Aw Shit. I got Grayskull coming!” This would have been the rational excuse to stop. I already have Classics Grayskull, which takes up an entire corner of my spare room. Surely, I don’t need another. And yet here we are. I really think I may be overcompensating for the fact that I didn’t have any of these toys as a kid, because I don’t seem to have any plans on stopping.

I was seriously worrying about whether I was going to have Buyer’s Remorse when this showed up. I knew it wasn’t going to be as big or well made as the Classics behemoth, but how could I deprive all my new Origins figures of a legendary mystical fortress to fight over? The box is suitably large and features some kick ass vintage-style artwork on the front, while also advertising the included Sorceress figure. There are some shots of the toy on the flipside, and the rather long and thin box suggests that the Castle is inserted in the open position, so you can get a good idea of the size just by holding the package. Give me a minute to slide the castle out and get it all set up.

Looking as iconic as ever, Origins Grayskull does a great job of recreating the original magnificent example of skull-faced green stone architecture. It’s nearly tiny when compared to the Classics version, but still scaled perfectly fine with the Origins figures. The sculpting is a little soft in places, but you still get plenty of jagged, craggy stone in pale green plastic. There’s some bright green wash in a few areas and black paint inside the eyes and nose of the skull. The closed jawbridge is sculpted in brown with a wood pattern, has silver painted fixtures, and a green heraldic motif. The back of the Castle has shingled roof areas, which are painted brown and there are several open windows to peek out of. The only thing I’m not too keen on here is the weird white speckling Mattel put in the plastic. It’s hard to see in the pictures, but fairly visible when the Castle is in hand. At first, I thought it was some kind of unintentional spray of an unspecified substance, but turns out it’s part of the plan. What was the purpose? I have no idea, but I could have done without it. The back of the castle has a handle, so you can pick it up and take it to your friend’s house, and this thing is a lot easier to lug around than the Classics Castle.

If you’ve owned the Classics or Vintage Grayskull, you’ll be pretty familiar with the play elements here. There’s a hinge on one side and too hook-latches on the other. Open it up and you reveal the playset inside! When you first set up the Castle, the floors need to be slotted into their appropriate places and some stickers need to be applied. You also have to attach the floor plate to the elevator, position the computer components, and plug the flag and laser turret into the top towers. Finally, there are two banners that can be plugged into the ceiling of the Throne Room area. It’s all quick and easy to do, and while the Castle will close up with all this stuff in place, you can remove it all if you want to return the Castle to the box for storage. As far as build quality is concerned, nothing seems fragile, but the plastic used here is pretty soft, which is good for kids, as it means things will bend and not break under the rigors of play. Let’s start in the basement and work our way up!

Most of the extra bits and bobs go in the basement area, although in fairness you can put them anywhere you want! Here we get two weapons racks and a handful of weapons to put in them. The one on the left is just like the Classics one I have only smaller, and I was surprised to find the extra one on the right, which is pretty cool. You also get the sparring device so the Heroes can brush up on their combat skills. The weapons include a mace, a sword, a rifle, and a halberd, all of which are cast in an off-white plastic. The basement also has a sticker showing the dungeon and all sorts of bizarre creatures trying to escape from it.

Access to the upper level is gained via the working elevator. There’s a foot peg on the base plate and a string is used to raise and lower it.

The upper elevator room also has a large computer with a viewscreen showing some planets and stars. The computer bank has all sorts of sculpted panels and cables, as well as some red, green, and blue paint applications to the controls. There’s a smaller computer bank in the Throne Room.

The Throne Room features the ubiquitous trap door gimmick, which is activated when the Throne is turned to the left. The Throne itself is surprisingly well suited to fit the figures and even has foot pegs at the bottom to secure the figures into it. Oh yeah, there are two notches in the floor in front of the Throne designed for the scaling ladder, which I completely neglected to photograph for this review and didn’t realize it until everything was put away. And that’s why I shouldn’t coif so many Jamesons when I’m working on these damn reviews!

The tower features a laser turret, which can only be comfortably manned when the Castle is opened. It’s weird, because the Tower with the flag actually has room for figures when the Castle is closed! Anyway, the turret pivots left and right and will raise and lower, so the Castle can be defended against enemies on the ground or in the air. Will there be a Point Dread that fits atop this Castle like we saw in the Classics line? Only time will tell, but I wouldn’t bet against it.

Our last stop on Castle Tours is the Jawbridge, which can only be opened by inserting The Power Sword into the slot. Or another sword, or a toothpick, or whatever else you have lying around… BUT DON’T TELL SKELETOR!!! I word of caution…. at first I could not get my Castle’s Jawbridge to open at all. The mechanism was unlocking, but it seemed stuck. I eventually had to use a scary amount of force to pry it open and now it works just fine. Anyway, the Jawbridge and doorway are scaled well, so the figures can pass through them without bumping their heads. Except maybe Mechaneck if he forgets to go down scope before going in. Before wrapping up, let’s have a look at The Sorceress!

As the packaging points out, this is The Temple of Darkness Exclusive version of The Sorceress, meaning that she’s based on the all-white costume depicted in the titular Mini-Comic. I suppose that means that we’ll eventually be getting a regular Sorceress in this line. Yeah, I probably would have preferred to have the regular Sorceress bundled with the Castle, but I guess this was a better move for collectors who are only buying the figures and not ponying up for the Castle. With that having been said, I do like this figure a lot, as simple as it is. I expected the boots to be recycled, but they lack the detail seen on Teela’s. Sorceress’ one-piece has some bird feathers sculpted in, but not much else noteworthy detail. The head sculpt and bird hood are excellent, and she does come with her staff.

I really like the way they did her wings! They’re cast in semi-transparent plastic and and feature overlapping hinges so that they can spread and contract, both independently of her arms. Alas, no all white Zoar is included. Still, I look forward to seeing this figure all decked out in the Sorceress’ regular colors.

It does my heart good to see a playset as iconic and majestic as Castle Grayskull in the toy aisles again! Well, truth be told I haven’t actually seen it in a brick-and-mortar store, as mine came by way of Walmart.com. Still, it’s good to see pictures of other collectors spotting it in the wild! In the end, this version of Grayskull holds few surprises, as it hits all the key points we’ve seen before, while not really introducing much new. And that’s not a criticism, because this is an excellent recreation of the Vintage playset for the Origins figures. It’s fun to play with and it makes for a great display for my figures. And while it was impossible to find the space to display my Classics Grayskull the way I wanted because of it’s insane size, it’ll be a lot easier to build an epic display around this one.

Marvel Legends (Dude Thor Wave): Iron Patiot by Hasbro

Today’s Marvel Monday figure may seem like I dug deep into the backlog, but I actually just got him last week. The only figures from the “Dude Thor” Wave that turned up in my area were the Cap and Iron Man, and I decided that I didn’t really need another MCU Cap or Iron Man in my collection. I also wasn’t really all that interested in this Build-A-Figure either. As for the rest of the Wave, they were going for well over retail when I could find them online, and so I decided I was just going to sit out this Wave entirely. It was possibly the first time I skipped any Marvel Legends releases.

Well, fast forward to a month ago and pre-orders for Iron Patriot started showing up on some online retailers. Not the whole Wave, mind you, just Iron Patriot. Now, I don’t know if this was found stock or an actual re-issue, but I didn’t ask questions. Instead, I plunked down my pre-order and I’m so very glad that I did. So, I’m just going to go ahead and say it. I think this may be the most gorgeous Marvel Legends figure yet. If not, it’s certainly in my Top 5!

I mean, just look at this amazing amalgamation of piece of plastic! After Iron Man 2, I certainly didn’t expect Iron Patriot to show up again in the MCU, so it was a pretty cool surprise when Rhodey rearmed for the final battle. The Endgame Iron Patriot Armor shares some parts and design elements from the War Machine armor, which is reflected in this figure. There are a lot of common threads in the design, but they aren’t all recycled parts. As a result, this one feels pretty fresh! And while I was a big fan of the War Machine figure from the Banner Hulk Wave, I think I’m even more smitten with this one!

For starters, I love the bulked up look of this suit. Iron Man is all about better and better tech with a lot of the suits getting slimmer and more advanced, to the point where they are almost like a second skin for Tony. That’s not War Machine! This guy is literally a walking tank and he looks it! I particularly dig the larger upper body and those big forearms. I’d also swear I see some nods to MechWarrior design in the torso. About the only thing I’m not so keen on here is the redesign of the feet, which are smaller. Maybe they’ve been redesigned with flight in mind, but I think they should be big and clunky like we saw on War Machine. But enough with the negativity… back to gushing! I can’t deny a big part of what makes me tear up with joy here is the coloring. There’s something to be said for the cold and utilitarian military black and gray of the original War Machine, but when you recolor in this drop dead gorgeous metallic red, silver, and blue, I just lose my shit, because the result is so damn beautiful! To me, the quality of the coloring here is just above and beyond for a $20 mass produced figure.

Of course, Iron Patriot is sporting some major weaponry, even when he isn’t powered all the way up. His forearms feature static machine gun barrels, which are a lot more elegant than what we saw on War Machine. He also has rocket launchers mounted on each of his outer thighs. These are actually removable in case you want to display him with them retracted, but they don’t really get in the way so I prefer to leave them armed. On a side note, the articulation here is pretty decent, in that he can make some nice wide stances and point them guns in any direction. With that having been said, the bulky nature of his armor means that his range of motion in some of those articulation points aren’t as good as what we’re used to seeing in Legends. But I have no complaints!

If you really want to gear up Iron Patriot for battle, he comes with two sets of additional weapons to attach. These include additional guns and rocket packs, which position over his shoulders. In the movie, through the magic of CG, these deploy from inside his suit, but here they simply peg into holes in his back. They’re each separate pieces so you can deploy one set or the other, or one of each, or whatever you like. These added weapon pods are ridiculously awesome and stay put pretty well too! I’m just not sure how he fires those without falling over.

While I’d eventually still like to pick up Heimdall and Valkyrie from this Wave, Iron Patriot here was the one figure in this assortment that I wanted the most. And I’m damn glad to have had a second chance without having to pay double or triple. He is an absolutely gorgeous figure and a worthy addition to my collection, even if this particular Stark Armor didn’t have a big presence in the film.

Transformers (Studio Series 86): Grimlock by Hasbro

As you can probably tell, I’m on a real Transformers kick lately, and why not? The figures are coming out in rapid succession, and they are all pretty damn great. The original animated film is getting a lot of attention, and I’m here today to check out another of the Studio Series 86 figures. This time it’s Leader Class Grimlock!!! Oh, and Wheelie too. I guess.

We saw the Studio 86 packaging back when I reviewed Scourge, and I don’t have much more to say about it, other than making Grimlock share the title card with Wheelie might have been a little excessive. I’m tempted to gripe here about how many do-overs we’re getting lately. After all, it was only a few years ago that we got the Power of the Primes Grimlock, along with the rest of the Dinobots, but since those were a collective mixed bag, I’m all in favor of it this time. As I recall, I wasn’t terribly thrilled with PotP Grimlock’s T-Rex mode and while I was a bit warmer toward his robot mode, it wasn’t really ideal either. Of course, that Grimlock sacrificed a lot in favor of an ill-conceived combiner gimmick. Let’s take a look at this new Grimlock’s T-Rex mode.

I gotta be honest, I was a little iffy on this Dino Mode when I first opened the figure, but it’s been growing on me quite a bit. It’s not the homerun I was hoping for, but it’s pretty solid. Grimlock has a bit of a Dino Pot-Belly, but it gives him a powerful look and some charming character. The arms feel like they’re a little too big, but they’re still fun to pose and have articulation in the shoulders and elbows. I do really wish they were painted silver, though, because the bare off-white plastic looks unfinished compared to the rest of the toy, and we get more of it at the tip of the tail. The rest of the plastic coloring is a satisfying deep gray, and I think they added just the right amount of sculpted panel lines and bits and bobs to his skin. It’s not as hyper-detailed as the PotP Grimlock, but I think that what we got here works well for the movie aesthetic.

His legs are big and powerful, but don’t add an unnecessary width like they did with the PotP version. No need for a Wide Load bumper sticker here. Grimlock looks great when he’s sitting up with his tail resting on the ground. And while he’s a little back heavy, he can stand with the tail off the ground as well. When viewed from the back, he’s got a case of beaver tail going on. It’s really not terrible, but a little too flat and wide for my liking. At least the red, green, and blue painted panels look nice.

The head is pretty good, but he has no front teeth, which is really weird. A big strike against him is that they nixed the translucent plastic on the neck in favor of a satin gold paint job. I probably wouldn’t have noticed, but the toy’s neck on the back of the box had it and it looks so much better than what we got. Also, the exposed screws on the right side of his head and neck are a real shame. How much could it cost to throw some plugs into those? They went with the blue eyes here, and I dig them. All in all, this T-Rex mode is loads better than either the Power of the Primes or the Fall of Cybertron toys, but I’d still take the original G1 toy’s Dino Mode over this one as being more polished overall. Let’s move on to robot mode!

The transformation is based on the original toy, but with some tweaks that make it a little less elegant, but not at all too fiddly. And the result is an absolute tank of a robot! The T-Rex mode might not have been a homerun, but this robot mode sure does the job! The proportions here are fantastic and he hits all the right points for me! Some of my favorite nods are the T-Rex claws protruding from his wrists, and the Dino Hide Wings coming off his back. These are even hinged so they can be angled up a bit more if you prefer. The Dino head hangs close to his back, just like on the original G1 toy, and there’s no hollow leg syndrome on this guy at all. He even has some really nice ankle tilts for those wide stances. Furthermore, he’s solid and lots of fun to play with. I actually prefer posing and playing with this robot mode than I do my Masterpiece Grimlock, which tends to be pretty floppy in the groinular region.

If I’m going to nitpick anything, it would be that I wish the translucent plate on his chest was a little less smoked so you could make out the Autobot emblem under it a bit more clearly. Yeah, it’s a tiny gripe, but it’s really all I’ve got. The head sculpt is pretty much perfect, and like the T-Rex eyes, they went with the blue visor here. I don’t really have a preference between the red or blue, but I will say the blue here looks rather pretty.

Grimlock comes with his rather iconic double-barreled blaster, which is suitable large and hefty. Alas, we’ve been cheated out of a sword for the second release in a row. Sure, he’ll end up with my Fall of Cybertron Grimlock sword, but I Still can’t understand why Hasbro couldn’t give him one. I would have much rather had a sword than the other accessory he came with…

And that’s Wheelie! Wheelie is more an accessory than a figure. He doesn’t transform and his articulation is limited to his hips, shoulders and neck. He’s meant to sit on Grimlock’s shoulder and pose like he’s firing off his slingshot, although you can actually get him to stand in a decent action pose. It’s a great sculpt, and he looks good sitting on Grimlock, but I’ll stick with my Titans Return Wheelie, thank you very much.

If it felt like I picked on this figure a bit, that should be a testament to just how great Hasbro’s Transformers releases have been lately. This Grimlock is a great figure, but my expectations have been so high lately, I turned my spotlight on him extra bright. The robot mode is definitely this figure’s strongest point, but the T-Rex mode ain’t bad, it’s just not as polished as I had hoped. What I’m really happy to see here is Grimlock scaled properly. The Dinobots are supposed to be huge, and the Power of the Primes Dinobots were ridiculously tiny. It’s nice get a Grimlock that even towers over Optimus Prime. And thanks to some leaked images, we know more similarly sized Dinobots are coming!

By figurefanzero

Legacy Series: Lady Death by Coffin Comics

Brian Pulido and Coffin Comics have done a bang up job bringing back Lady Death in a series of some of the most successful comic-based projects on Kickstarter. Not only does each new volume gets funded immediately, they all seem to set new records, showing that the Legions of Sworn are in no short supply. I look forward to each and every one of these, as the books are unbelievably high in quality, feature drop-dead gorgeous art and colors, and are just so damn fun to read. It’s great to see that Lady Death has come so far since being introduced as arm-candy for Evil Ernie back in the day. Meanwhile, Meanwhile, she’s seen a decent amount of merch and collectibles in recent years, including an amazing Sixth-Scale figure from TBLeague, and a damn fine Gallery Statue from Diamond Select Toys! And now, taking a cue from Hasbro’s Marvel Legends, Lady Death gets the 6-inch action figure treatment thanks to a pre-order campaign run by the folks at Coffin Comics themselves.

They certainly did a bang up job with the packaging! Lady Death comes in a collector-friendly window box with an illustrated inferno backdrop, the Coffin Comics logo at the bottom and her name up top. The figure itself is nestled in a clear plastic tray with a top cover over it, and she displays really well in the package. The flipside has a picture of the figure in a fantasy setting, along with a little blurb about the character and some highlighted features about the figure. On the bottom we have a tease of four future figures. I sincerely hope this isn’t just a mock up, and that Coffin is actually planning on releasing them, because I sure as hell am down for each one.

The side panels feature some beautiful character art with Lady Death sporting a couple different variants of her costume. I love this art, and I wish they had credited the artist on the box. I happen to collect quite a few art prints of of Pulido’s characters, and I wouldn’t mind picking up prints of these, particularly the one on the right. Lastly, the box does feature a J-hook, in case you want to hang the box on the wall, or maybe you have a wall of pegboard for displaying your packaged figures!

Here’s Lady Death out of the package and straightaway I am very impressed with the quality. With a first attempt figure like this one, you can never be quite sure what you’re going to get. Case in point, I had a Cassie action figure from Hack/Slash on pre-order, but wound up cancelling before it shipped, and after seeing the final product, I really dodged a bullet. Thankfully, this figure feels like a professional effort through and through, and I’ve got very few nitpicks. The sculpt is very nice, with the costume design taking the middle ground between her very simple style and the hyper-detailed one. I think it was a good choice. She sports a sculpted bra-top and G-string with golden skull fasteners in all the key places. Her thigh-high boots have sculpted belts connecting to the G-string, and she has a plastic cape, which hangs around her neck and stops just a bit below her knees.

The coloring on the figure is quite well done. Her skin consists of a chalky white plastic, which contrasts nicely with the black costume. The black also has some blue shading to give it that comic-panel style coloring, which makes for a very cool effect. The skull fixtures are hit with gold leaf paint, and her fingernails are painted bright crimson, as is the interior of her cape. The quality of the paint application is overall very solid. There are some examples of very minor overspray between her costume and skin, but you have to get in pretty close to see it, so it’s hardly worth mentioning.

The portrait is right on target, even if it is a rather soft sculpt, it still manages to capture Lady Death’s powerful beauty. Her lips are painted bright crimson and she has black eyebrows as well as black liner around her pupil-less eyes. All of these applications are razor sharp. Her flowing white hair is sculpted as part of the head and features some black wash and blue highlights. It’s also sculpted slightly above the shoulders so that her copious coif doesn’t curtail her neck articulation. Would I have liked an alternate head with a fierce expression? Sure! But given that we only had one, I’m very content with the more neutral tone.

Oh yes, the cape is removable, simply by popping off the head, which frees up the figure’s range of motion and allows you to better appreciate the view from behind.

Speaking of movement, I was very curious to see how this figure would articulate in hand, and I’m happy to report that the designers made some excellent decisions. The arms feature rotating hinges in the shoulders, single-hinges in the elbows, swivels in the biceps, and the hands are attached with hinged pegs to allow them to be swapped out. You get one pair of relaxed hands and one pair of accessory holding hands. The legs are ball jointed in the hips, have double hinges in the knees, swivels in the thighs, and hinges and rockers in the ankles. There’s a ball joint under the chest, and the head attaches to the body with a swiveling peg and a ball joint up top. The joints are a tad more loose than I’m used to seeing in Hasbro’s 6-inch figures, but it’s not an issue with her holding her poses. Indeed, all the joints feel sturdy. The balance on this figure is also exceptional, especially when the cape is removed. Even with her high heels, I didn’t have to resort to using a figure stand for a single shot. If pressed, my one gripe with the articulation would be a greater range of motion in the ball joint under the chest. It swivels fine, but there isn’t a lot of room for her to bend forward or back. Let’s have a look at her accessories!

First off, she comes with her trusty sword, Deathbringer, and it’s quite the beautiful weapon! The quality and attention to detail make this look like a sixth-scale weapon that’s been shrunken down. Besides the intricately sculpted hilt and guards, it has a two-tone paint job with the hilt painted in bronze, the blade in silver, and bronze again in the central channel that runs the length of the blade. It also has an extended grip for two-handed wielding, and the figure’s articulation certainly allows it.

And she also includes her Hell Scythe, which isn’t quite as ornate as the sword, but it’s a mighty impressive accessory due to its formidable size. The long shaft has some sculpted wraps for a grip and the head and blade are painted bright silver.

And before wrapping up, here’s a quick comparison shot of Lady Death with Hasbro’s Satana Hellstrom from their Marvel Legends line. They scale closely with one another, and I think Lady Death stacks up pretty damn well, although you could argue whether or not it’s a fair comparison. Marvel Legends are mass produced figures, which sell for about $20-22 at retail, whereas Lady Death is a collectible produced in a smaller quantity and sold for $50. Still, as I pointed out with the example of the Hack/Slash figure, these things don’t always work out. Hasbro’s figure may be less expensive, but they also have infinitely more experience under their belt. Either way, I think the comparison favors Lady Death!

If you can’t tell, I’m thrilled with how this figure turned out! Sure, fifty bucks is no small amount for a 6-inch figure, but in the end, I think it was well worth it. I’m not sure how the partnership works, but the box has Executive Replicas credited, and they are the same company that Phicen teamed up with to release their Sixth-Scale Lady Death. Whatever the case, somebody really knew what they were doing. The result was a top-notch action figure, that is doubly impressive for a first effort. And as I said, I really am all-in on whatever other characters they make, but I’m certainly rooting for Hellwitch being next!

Marvel Legends: M.O.D.O.K. by Hasbro

Many years ago, when I sold off my Toy Biz Marvel Legends figures, I had planned to keep some of the Build-A-Figures, particularly MODOK and the Sentinel. But when I boxed them all up to ship them out, MODOK wound up in the box and I didn’t think it would be in good taste to ask for him back. Over the years, I worked on getting some of the BAF parts to put him back together, but here I am still two pieces short and now I can finally stop trying.

Behold, Deluxe MODOK!!! It sure took Hasbro long enough! And much to my surprise, he comes to us not as a Build-A-Figure, but as a boxed Deluxe. And I’m perfectly fine with that. The box shows the figure on the front as well as the flipside. I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am to finally have this guy in hand. It seems to me like MODOK has been played for laughs a lot lately (don’t get me started on the trailer for that Hulu series), but he seriously creeped me the heck out when I was a kid. He’s a horrible looking abomination with a messed up history of body horror, and I’ve grown to dig him a lot over the years. Besides, my AIM troops were in desperate need of a giant demented brain to lead them. Based on the slender package, I’m guessing there’s going to be some assembly required, so let’s bust him open and see what we got!

OK, so here’s why they didn’t go the BAF route. Even though MODOK requires a fair bit of assembly, Hasbro would be hard pressed getting some of these pieces into the regular Legends boxes. Heck, the back probably wouldn’t fit even if you left the figure out! Needless to say, I’m glad they went for a Deluxe release because they didn’t have to skimp on MODOK’s size, and they were even able to toss in an extra face plate. Anyway, putting him together is pretty straightforward. The pieces go together just fine, and he can easily be taken apart again in case you want to store him in his box.

Is is possible for something to be horrible and gorgeous at the same time? Today the answer to that question is a resounding YES! I am equally in awe of both how beautiful this figure turned out, and how creepy and off-putting MODOK’s giant mug is. The chair is cast in a rather sumptuous looking gold plastic, with plenty of deep-cut panel lines, vents, tiny sculpted rivets, and other bits and bobs. I particularly love the Kirby-style zig-zag circuit pattern that runs along the back! You get a control panel for his right hand and an articulated joystick for his left hand. There’s even a little painted oscilloscope screen with a green sound wave pattern painted onto it. Everything about the chair is just wonderfully executed!

MODOK’s undersized legs hang down from the front of the chair, and even though they aren’t very functional, Hasbro still endowed them with full articulation, including double hinges in the knees and hinges in the ankles. The arms are a little more useful and are also fully articulated. You also get two sets of hands: One pair has open hands, while the other features a right fist, and a left hand designed to clutch the joystick on the chair. I would have liked a pointing finger hand, but there’s already quite a bit in this set. His limbs are decked out in bright blue plastic, which really contrasts nicely with the gold of the chair. Meanwhile, the chair itself is suspended on a plastic beam of propulsion energy, cast in a translucent red and orange. It holds the figure quite well, and there’s a little room for tilt and adjustment.

And that brings us to this beautiful face and holy crap that’s some nightmare fuel. From his broad fish-lipped mouth to his tiny nose set directly between his pupil-less eyes and overpowering brow. I don’t know what it is about this guy, but if I saw him in real life, I’d most assuredly crap my pants. Naturally, he also has his headband, with more of that zig-zag Kirby-style circuit pattern and a large beam emitter so he can blast his foes with a beam of pure mental energy. This face is some of Hasbro’s finest work on the line. It can also be pulled off and substituted for a second face!

This second face has his mouth agape, showing off his giant teeth and a bit of the tongue inside. I think expression works for a few different moods. He can either be barking orders to his AIM troops or monologuing. It also kind of works as a surprised, “WHAT??? HOW DID THE AVENGERS FIND MY LAIR???” kind of vibe. Luckily it is easy to swap them in and out, and this may be one of those rare cases, where I actually do switch portraits every week or so, because they are both so damn good!

MODOK here is going to be tough to beat as my favorite Marvel Legends release of the year. The Toy Biz version was excellent, and this one still blows it away. Not confining him to the constraints of a Build-A-Figure was a smart way to go, and I really appreciate all the articulation they kept in his arms and legs. Of course, now I’m wishing I had loaded up a bit more on that AIM Soldier 2-pack, but at least I have a couple to display on each side of him.

Transformers Kingdom: Inferno by Hasbro

It’s Friday and that means something to me this week, because I actually have this weekend off! And what better way to celebrate than tearing into another Transformers figure! It’s hard to believe it was way back in September of last year that I reviewed Earthrise Grapple, and we all knew that Hasbro would be giving us an Inferno based on the same mold, because that’s just unwritten Transformers law. Well, it took a lot longer than I expected, but here we are!


It’s kind of strange to see these two Bots released over two different lines, with Grapple hitting Earthrise and Inferno as part of Kingdom. Although, I suppose these are all under one branded War For Cybertron umbrella. To be fair, I don’t really get where Hasbro is going with Kingdom, as it’s a slurry of G1 Earth modes and Beast Wars Beast modes. But who cares if the figures are good, and they have most certainly been very good! The character art on Inferno’s packaging is absolutely killer, showing the Autobot extinguishing what look to be the very fires of Hell. I grabbed Hasbro’s official package shot for the image above, and I can’t help but note the change from clear windshield to the black one we got, and which I happen to prefer. Let’s kick off with his alt mode!

Yup, other than having a ladder instead of a crane, Inferno’s vehicle mode is identical to Grapple’s, and that was to be expected. Inferno does have a few added parts, like the coiled hoses on the sides and the wings under the ladder base. But, that’s not to downplay how great this firetruck looks, as the mold serves both types of vehicles very well. The snappy red plastic mixed with black trim looks fantastic, along with some silver paint and the gray add ons. Inferno proves something that I’ve known since I was a little kid: That there’s nothing quite like a firetruck toy.

The ladder features the same movement as Grapple’s crane, allowing it to raise and lower, as well as extend outward. There’s also a nozzle on one side, which can pivot up and down. Finally, there are peg ports, allowing you to weaponize Inferno’s firetruck mode with his rifle, because sometimes you just need to shoot the hell out of a fire to show it who’s boss.

Inferno’s engineering is pretty close to his G1 roots, making this toy both easy and intuitive to transform. And that simplicity is mighty impressive when you consider how great both the vehicle and robot modes look. When I think of some of the tortured plate-shifting and double or triple hinge manipulations it took to turn those Bayformer toys into what looked like vaguely humanoid piles of scissors, a toy like Inferno here is simply poetry in plastic. The robot mode is so beautifully proportioned and what kibble is present looks like it’s there by design. Even his bulky ladder hangs close to his back, making a decent counter-balance without being an eyesore.

In addition to those perfect proportions, Inferno is just loads of fun to play with, thanks all those points of articulation. Hell, he’s wonderfully poseable even if he was a non-transforming figure, and that’s something worthy appreciating. Something else I really appreciate is the way he can store his gun by pegging it into his back.

Inferno’s portrait is absolute perfection. He has a kind and heroic visage about him with some beautiful silver paint on his face and bright blue eyes. Hasbro even broke out the yellow paint for the sole purpose of hitting those vents on his “helmet.” The nozzle that was on the side of the firetruck rests on the side of his head compartment, making for a conveniently placed weapon. Although, I’ll confess, It’s hard to talk to someone who can blast you in the face with water any time he wants.

Either of Inferno’s hands can be retracted in favor of a nozzle attachment, which he was often depicted using in the original Sunbow cartoon. I don’t know what it is I love so much about this concept, but I was a big fan of it whenever Inferno, Ironhide, or Ratchet would retract their hand and replace it with some kind of tool or weapon. It just seemed like a really handy skill. No pun intended.

And finally, Inferno has his big rifle, which is the exact same gun that came with Grapple. I honestly can’t remember whether the original G1 toys shared the same weapon, but I’ll allow it here since it really is a cool rifle design.

In case you can’t tell, I absolutely adore this figure! Inferno is everything I want in a modern G1-style update. He looks great in both modes, he’s easy to transform and borrows most of the original toy’s engineering, and above all he’s so much fun to play with. Like Grapple before him, Inferno is an example of how right now Hasbro is firing on all cylinders and turning out some of the best Transformers toys of all time. Great Primus, it’s such an amazing time to be a Transformers collector!

DC Comics: Premium Format Wonder Woman Premium Format by Sideshow

The fact that I only own a few Premium Format Statues by Sideshow proves that as a collector I at least have some willpower left. These things are huge and expensive, and I frequently find myself with glass of Jameson in hand drooling over them on Sideshow’s website into the wee hours of the night. I’m fond of saying that I got my first taste for free when I won a Sideshow contest for the Batman Returns Catwoman, but it’s today’s Wonder Woman statue that was the first Premium Format to get me to open up my wallet. I actually had this lady in my sites for a long time, hoping that she would sell out so I could finally stop agonizing over the decision. But a couple of years ago I got a nice bonus at work and decided to treat myself.

These statues usually come in pretty big boxes, but this Wonder Woman’s box is absolutely massive. It features absolutely no images of the figure inside, just Wonder Woman’s name and logo and some stars against a red and white backdrop. Inside, the statue is nestled between two large Styrofoam bricks, with the individual pieces wrapped in tissue paper. As always, there’s some assembly required, but nothing here was too difficult and all the pieces fit together with ease. Before proceeding, I’ll start with an apology. This piece is well beyond the comfortable constraints of my little studio set up, which is designed for action figures, not mammoth pieces like this. As a result, when I reviewed my camera roll, I wasn’t happy with many of the pictures I took. This piece deserved better, but until I can put together a larger studio space, I have no reason to think a reshoot would have had better results.

Here she is, standing majestically among crumbled ruins of Themyscira and meauring something like 24-inches high. Her right hand is held out at arm’s length, clutching the shaft of her spear and balancing it on her shoulder and behind her neck. Her left hand grasps the handle on her shield, while her left foot rests up on a piece of ruined architecture. Sideshow has done several excellent Premium Formats based on the Amazonian Princess, but the composition of this piece is probably the one thing that makes it my favorite. Diana looks like she just got finished pummeling the combined armies of Ares, and now she’s coming for the Big Guy himself. Simply wonderful!

Probably the next thing that attracted me to this piece was the portrait. I’ve got to say it, maybe two-thirds of the time, Sideshow’s female portraits let me down. I was willing to throw money at their Zatanna figure when it was first teased, but I couldn’t get past the somewhat masculine head sculpt. What I like about this one is the way it portrays Diana as both tough and beautiful. The portrait isn’t inspired by the likenesses of Gal Gadot or Linda Carter either. Not that there’s anything wrong with those lovely ladies. I think they each look perfect in the role, but I just love that this isn’t influenced by any of the movies or TV. Either way, here she has a strong, determined brow, and an upturned smirk as she assesses the confrontation ahead. Meanwhile, her hair blows off to the side. The paint on her eyes is razor sharp, and there’s a nice glossy finish to her lips.

Her costume is certainly one of the more abbreviated designs. There’s no skirt, but just the blue panties with white stars. Her gold belt offers up her trademark WW logo, and she has the Art Deco-style golden eagle motif on the front of her chest. Meanwhile, everything in between is painted with a rich crimson. The coloring is lush and deep, rather than being too flashy and bright. It definitely has a patina of realism too it, or at least as realistic as you can make an outfit like this look! It’s simple and elegant, and the quality of paint application is above reproach.

The spear is a simple wooden shaft, which has a sculpted ribbon tied around it. Once upon a time, Premium Formats all had some form of mixed media incorporated into them, and while that hasn’t been the case in a while, I do wish they had made this ribbon out of real cloth and sewn a wire into it to make it poseable. It’s not that it looks bad, it actually looks quite nice, but I just think some cloth would have been a great touch here. It also would have been a lot less fragile. She also carries her coiled Lasso of Truth on her right hip. This piece is sculpted with braids and painted with the same finish as the gold portions of her costume.

The shield is an absolute masterpiece, and it definitely draws the eye toward it almost immediately, thanks to that brilliant high-gloss finish. It’s a cool contrast with the matte coloring of the rest of the costume and it really pops from across the room. The concentric circles feature a blue ring of stars, a silver ring of Gracian patterns, and a central red disk with two silver stars and a raised golden eagle. Sideshow also released an Exclusive version of this statue where the shield could be swapped out with an battleax. It wasn’t too much more, but I still opted for the regular release, since I couldn’t imagine myself ever displaying this figure without the shield.

And that brings us down to the base, which compliments the figure perfectly. It’s quite large and adds some height to what is an already impressive piece. The crumbled stone texturing is exceptionally well done, and Diana attaches to it securely. A sword and helmet serve as some additional ornamentation. I wasn’t able to get this beast turned upside down for a picture, but the bottom surface of the base is fully illustrated and the statue is hand numbered. Mine is 4172 of 6000 total pieces. Not a low number to be sure, but it does represent how long I wrestled with myself over this one before finally buying it.

I can still remember my anticipation over this piece arriving. It was more money than I’m used to spending on any single collectible, and I was worried that I would come down with a case of buyer’s remorse. Not to mention the stress over it arriving broken or with some horrible QC issue, which has been known to happen with these statues from time to time. But after getting her unboxed and up on display, I found that I was delighted with my purchase. I don’t buy a lot of collectibles from DC Comics these days. I mainly blame that on the lack of a sustained, cohesive action figure line and my rage at them changing scales and styles so often. But, I do have a small collection of Wonder Woman statues, so this lovely lady is in good company.

Marvel Legends (Retro Style): Silver Samurai by Hasbro

I’ve spent the last bunch of Marvel Mondays wandering through some of Hasbro’s 80 Year Anniversary releases, and it’s almost time to dig into another regular wave. But before that, let’s squeeze in at least one more! This one is actually a double dip, as it’s not only an 80 Year release, but also one of them Retro Carded figures!

I am by no means a completist when it comes to these Retro Carded figures. The inner turmoil over whether to open them or keep them carded takes too much of a toll on my frail booze-addled nerves. But, when it’s a first time release like Silver Samurai here, there’s no question I’m going to pick it up and tear into it. The package art harkens back to the old Toy Biz X-Men line, and even though I was already in college when that line was out, I still get the nostalgia feels from seeing these. The character art is nothing mind blowing, but the figure sure looks awesome on the card. I’ve had some luck in the past carefully razoring the bubble halfway around to slide the figure out without too much damage, but I still wound up tossing the card eventually.

As a character, Silver Samurai is almost as old as I am. I’ve actually got a couple years on him. Even still, I find that I haven’t encountered him all that often in my decades of Marvel meanderings, but I’m always pleased to see him turn up, mostly because I love his armor so damn much. He’s had run ins with all sorts of characters from Daredevil to Elektra and Spider-Man to Wolverine. And it turns out that he makes for a remarkably unique and beautiful action figure! I mean, just look at this guy, shining in all his silver glory!

I’m used to Hasbro using the Retro Carded waves for a lot of repacks and repaints, so it’s odd to me to see a figure like this, one that uses nearly all new tooling, to not get a regular boxed release. And yet here we are! Most of Kenuichio Harada’s armor is sculpted as part of the figure’s body, although the armored skirt and shoulder are attached separately, giving an already complex sculpt a bit more added depth. And boy do I love the detail on this armor. It takes a pretty traditional looking Samurai design and casts it in brilliant silver, complete with sculpted rivets, as well as the tiny ties and straps that are meant to keep it on. I particularly appreciate how Hasbro colored many of those straps white to distinguish them from the silver armor. It’s a little touch that they could have left out and I probably wouldn’t have noticed. It just shows that extra bit of care.

And speaking of colors, some of you may know by now that I’m quite the afficiando of premium silver paint on my action figures. Hasbro has been using some nice stuff lately, and it’s certainly on display here. Some of the pieces, like the shoulders and skirt have been left as plain gray-silver plastic, which contrasts nicely with the snappy silver painted parts. He also has the brilliant crimson Rising Sun emblazoned on his chest and a red orb on the crest of his helmet.

The head sculpt is every bit as good as the armored body, with the majestic helmet covering the top half of his face. The exposed lower half shows a down-turned mouth and a grim expression. The overlapping plates that make up the sides and back of the armor have more sculpted rivets, and his deep-set eyes are painted without pupils.

Silver Samurai comes with his two swords, which the package identifies as a Katana and Wakizashi. At first I was going to cry foul, as I thought they were the same length, but the Wakizashi blade is a tad shorter than the Katana, but not by much. The blades and Tsuba are left the same bare plastic color as the skirt and shoulders, and it’s a solid color, not that weird semi-translucent gray plastic Hasbro sometimes uses for accessories. The blades are soft, but don’t seem too prone to warping. The sculpted grips are painted black, and the belt includes a loop for each sword on the left hip.

Despite a big build and a full set of armor, Silver Samurai still has great articulation. All the usual points that I expect from my Legends dudes are represented here. He even has extra swivels in his lower legs. The shoulders aren’t as restrictive as I would have guessed, and the way the skirt is designed, he still enjoys a lot of range of motion in his hips. The joints all feel solid, and he is ridiculously fun to play around with. He is, however, not the best balanced figure out there, and I do sometimes have difficulties getting him to stand in the more extreme poses.

Silver Samurai is a prime example of me not needing to have a deep relationship with a character in order to love a figure. Indeed, I would imagine that even if I weren’t collecting Marvel Legends, I would have still picked up this figure if I encountered him on the pegs. He’s a great design, which Hasbro has nearly flawlessly recreated in action figure form. And since I was never able to find the Marvel Universe Wolverine/Silver Samurai Comic Pack, getting him in the 6-inch line feels like an extra treat!

Star Wars Black Series (The Mandalorian): Beskar Armor Mandalorian and The Child by Hasbro

A few days ago I reviewed a trifecta of action figures from The Mandalorian, and as promised I’m back to end the week with a couple more. And while last time was all about supporting characters, this time we’re going straight for the Dynamic Duo themselves: The Mandalorian and The Child! Yeah, Yeah, these are long overdue. I have a huge backlog. Get over it!

I don’t have much to say about Mando’s packaging, as it’s pretty standard Black Series fare. So let’s check out The Child! This box is so tiny! And it’s actually kind of bloated compared to the size of the figure itself! And here’s where I’m going to go off on a rant over WHAT WERE THEY THINKING??? Why, Hasbro, would you not include the Hover Pram and a stand in this set and beef it up to $15 or $20? Ten dollars isn’t a lot of money to me. I’ve blown more than that on questionable plastic purchases in the past. But even I was put off by plunking down ten bucks for the contents of this box. Was it all part of your evil scheme to make people buy another Beskar Armor Mando and another Child figure to get the Pram? Was it also your plan to make that version so hard to get that it’s selling for over $100 on the scalper market? Honestly, I don’t understand any of this! Let’s look at Mando.

So, this is the second version of Mando to be released in this format (I reviewed the first back in 2019), and as indicated it represents the character after getting his hands on some of that tasty Beskar and decks himself out with some new armor. I have to admit, I was disappointed that they changed his look so early in the series. I liked raggedy Mando. It really played into the whole Mando With No Name Spaghetti Space Western vibe that the series was going for. If it were up to me, I would have held off on the armor upgrade until the second season. But what do I know? Now with all that having been said, I still dig his Beskar look, and I absolutely love the way this figure turned out! Yes, it does reuse some parts from the first figure, but only where appropriate.

And to be fair, he does still have a bit of a rag-tag look to him. He upgraded his cuirass, shoulders, gauntlets, and added a few nice pieces of thigh armor. The rest of his costume is still pretty low-rent and I like that. With how costly Beskar is presented as being, it makes sense that he couldn’t afford an entire suit of it. Actually, I’m not even sure both of the thigh pieces are supposed to be Beskar. It looks like the left one is, but he ran out and so he just painted the right one to match, and the paint is already half worn off. If that’s meant to be the case it’s a wonderful little touch. I also like his newly earned signet, which is sculpted onto his shoulder. The lower legs are recycled, as is the shoulder strap and gun belt. The cape is also the same one we got with the previous figure, but the gauntlets are new sculpts, with the Whistling Birds launcher clearly present on the left gauntlet.

In addition to getting the Beskar upgrade, he obviously sprung for the wash and wax on his helmet. The head is recycled from the previous figure, which makes sense, as it’s the same helmet. But all the brown grime has been cleaned off and it looks nice and shiny to match the Beskar armor. A few smudges have been added here and there to the armor and helmet, but I really do love the metallic paint they used for these pieces. The finish is so rich and luxurious!

In terms of accessories, most of what we get here is a trip down memory lane from the first release. His trusty pistol is once again included and fits nicely into the holster on his right hip. The pistol is the same accessory, but it’s been given a brighter silver coat of paint. Hey, you’re throwing down some credits to get your gear improved, might as well detail your gun too! Now with that having been said, I actually prefer the pistol from the first figure. The duller finish brought out the details in the sculpt a lot better.

Mando also comes with his Disintegration Rifle. It can still be tabbed into his back when not in use, and the figure’s articulation works really well with it, allowing him to hold it pretty close to his cheek and sight his target through the scope.

The new accessory here is the jetpack. It’s certainly a necessary item, but it’s kind of bland and dull. The sculpt is kind of soft and there’s no paint applications at all. There’s some weathering sculpted into it, but it kind of looks more like a one of my cats got at it and chewed it for a while. The jetpack plugs right into the back of the figure, and while you can kind of put it on with the cape, it’s best to take the cape off entirely. Maybe this would have been a good opportunity for softgoods, but I’m not sure it’s a good idea to be wearing a cape with a jetpack. It seems like a good way to set yourself on fire.

Any nitpicks I have with this figure are pretty minor, and I come away actually liking it as much, if not more, as the first release. Yes, I still like that more weary High Plains Drifter kind of vibe earlier Mando had, but this one has actually become more iconic to me. The figure itself is a great mix of old and new, it looks fantastic, and it’s loads of fun to play with. Let’s move on to The Child!

So, I really have very little to say about The Child. Yes, this figure is tiny, but overall I think Hasbro did a great job with what they had to work with. Indeed, the sculpt and paint executed for the portrait are rather outstanding for a figure this size. The body is just a solid piece of sculpted plastic robes, although his feet are visible from the bottom. I’m surprised they got ball joints into the shoulders, neck, and hands, although the arms do pull out rather easily and have to be snapped back in.

He does come with a clear plastic case with three accessories: A bowl, a delicious froggy, and the control knob from the Razor Crest. These accessories are so tiny that I haven’t even bothered to remove them from the case, and I’m not going to do it now either. I sure as hell don’t want to drop one and wind up making a 2am run to the Pet ER because one of my cats has a Baby Yoda soup bowl in his or her throat.

And there you have it! Besker Armor Mandalorian is a superb figure and one that I’ll likely have on my desk for a while. The Child is impressive for how small it is, but it still galls me that Hasbro put this tiny figure out as a solo release. I think the proper way to go would have been to bundle him with Beskar Mando as a regular retail release in the first place. Or, at the very least they should have given him his Hover Pram as a solo release. There’s no way I’m paying $100 just to get that Pram, but if that set does get a re-release, I’d probably go so far as to pick it up for $30. And oddly enough, just as I was writing today’s review, I got shipping notice for the Hot Toys Deluxe Mando and Child. It should be arriving early next week, and I’ll likely bump that set to the head of the line, as it’s been a while since I’ve done a Hot Toys review!

Star Wars Black Series (The Mandalorian): Greef Karga, Kuiil, and The Armorer by Hasbro

Last week I doubled down on Transformers reviews, and I’ve decided that this week I’m going to do the same with the Star Wars Black Series. Hell, I’m going to do better than that. I’m going to knock out three figures today, and at least one more on Friday. I’ve just got so many of these SWB packages piled up and waiting to be opened, it’s starting to get frustrating! So let’s go crazy and check out some figures from The Mandalorian! And yeah, these will be somewhat brief because I’m tackling three figures.

Hasbro hasn’t gone all that deep with the figures from this series, but they at least gave us a good sampling of the main and side characters from the first season. It feels like an eternity ago that I last watched this series, but that’s probably because I deep-sixed my Disney+ after the end of WandaVision. As much as I loved the first two seasons of The Mandalorian, I think it had closure enough to move on, using Boba Fett as a spring board to move on to something else. Especially since I’m bummed we won’t be getting the Rangers series with Cara Dune. Either way, I’ll likely pick up my subscription again after The Book of Boba Fett premiers, but for now, I’m just not that interested in what Disney is selling. I am, however, still excited about most of these figures. Let’s start with Kuill!

If I were to go back in time about 20 years and tell Past Me that we were going to have a Star Wars TV Series with Nick Nolte playing an Ugnaught, Past Me would have punched me in the balls for being a lying sack of shit. And who could blame me? The idea is crazy! Who could have foreseen any of this stuff? Anyway, I loved Kuill and I was very sad to see him die. OH, COME ON. THAT’S NOT A SPOILER. IT HAPPENED FOREVER AGO!!! Well, at least Hasbro immortalized him in plastic, and did a damn fine job at that! I really dig the complexity of the outfit here, as it feels rather layered. The orange tunic is sleeveless, showing the rumpled sleeves of the brown shirt under it and has a belt piece with an extension of the tunic below it. He’s got some puffy brown trousers, which are tucked into his Blurrg riding boots. The belt has hip pouches, he’s got a worn, rugged backpack, and the outfit is tied together with a scarf around his neck and shoulders, which is sculpted separately from the figure.

And man, what a great head sculpt! Hasbro usually does a bang up job on the aliens in the SWB Series, but I still think this one is especially nice. His deep set eyes are surprisingly expressive, and they did a particularly great job sculpting his whiskers. His goggles are sculpted in place, so you cannot move them down over his eyes, but you know what?

I had no idea that the helmet was removable! It really does fit the figure so well, that I thought it was either part of the head sculpt, or it was secured on with glue. This was just a wonderful little surprise. Did I know that Ugnaughts have tiny pointed ears? Feels like I’m discovering that for the first time right now!

In addition to the removable helmet, Kuiil comes with his little blaster rifle. This highly detailed piece of kit has some brown paint for the wood on the stock, and a sling that looks like it’s probably removable. He can sling it over his shoulder, or ready it for action. Honestly, the only downside I can come up with for this figure is that they didn’t make him a Deluxe and bundle him with a Blurrg to ride. Either way, Kuiil gets an A+ in my book! Moving on to Greef!

Greef Karga, played by the always charming Carl Weathers, is a cool character and I was happy to see him get carried over into the second season and right his wrongs toward Mando. I was pretty damn sure that he was going to be a major baddie in the series, and certainly never expected to see them team up! The figure is a very solid effort, but nothing about Karga’s character design is terribly interesting to me. Sure, you could argue the same about a lot of characters from the Original Trilogy, but their outfits have long since become iconic. Greef’s hasn’t, so it’s really just a brown suit. But don’t get me wrong, the texturing on this figure is excellent, and there’s some nice detail to be found, like the quilted pattern on his gauntlets, the wraps on his boots, and the double-holstered gun belt. I also like the cape, which only hangs over his right shoulder and is secured with a belt that runs across his chest and under his left arm.

Alas, I don’t think the head sculpt is one of Hasbro’s better likenesses. It’s not terrible, but it’s just kind of soft. Also, there’s a weird glossy finish to his face, which makes him look like he’s wet. It’s probably sounding like I don’t dig this figure, but that’s not the case. I actually dig him a lot and he’s going to look great on the shelf with Mando and Dune.

Karga comes with twin pistols, which look like someone took the grips and backs of .45’s and gave them sci-fi fronts. I don’t know if it was intentional, but this reminds me a lot of how most of the guns in Star Wars were just modified versions of real firearms, so I’m a big fan of these. Ok, that’s two down and one more to go!

The last figure I’m looking at today is The Armorer, and if I’m being honest, I probably would have been fine skipping this figure entirely. She’s OK. There’s nothing specifically wrong with her, but with storage and display space at an all time premium around my place, I’m not sure I really needed her. She kind of strikes me as being like an upscaled 3 3/4-inch figure, although I can’t really put my finger on why. There’s certainly enough detail in her outfit, like the quilted pattern on her gauntlets and shoulders, or the stitching on her apron. I also find that I like the look of the sculpted half cape a lot more than the softgoods one that came with the Pulse Exclusive version. Although it does drop off of her with the slightest bit of encouragement, to the point where I may just glue it on.

The helmet sculpt is nothing special, as the visor isn’t terribly convincing. It just looks like that part of the helmet is painted over. Maybe gloss finish would have helped. The gold finish does have a decent worn patina to it, and I do like the metallic paint they used for her cuirass. Even still, this figure is doing much for me.

The Pulse Exclusive came with a few extra accessories, whereas this retail release just comes with her hammer and tongs. These are decent enough pieces, and she can hold them pretty well. Obviously, I would have liked to get the extra stuff, but even with them, I wouldn’t have been any happier paying an extra ten bucks for the Exclusive.

I didn’t mean to end this trio of reviews on a downer, and honestly, The Armorer is not a bad figure at all. Maybe she just doesn’t stack up as well to Kuill and Greef, both of which are quite excellent. And with three more figures opened and up on the shelf, I feel like I’ve made a tiny bit of progress with my backlog of Black Series figures, but there’s still a lot more to come. I haven’t yet decided what figure (or figures?) I’ll be checking out on Friday, but it will definitely be more from the 6-inch Black Series, and I’ll probably stick to The Mandalorian. So come on back at the end of the week!