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

Today’s review falls into the better late than never category. I chipped away at it between hospital visits and family crisis, and managed to just wrap it up this evening. If there was ever a great example of how toys are therapy to help me get through impossible situations, this week has been it. So, what’s on today’s agenda? Orcs!!! The Orcs were a big part of previous waves of Mythic Legions, but they got the short stick when it comes to Advent of Decay. Hey, I get it. T4H had a lot of new races and factions to introduce, so it was only natural that some previous ones had to take the bench and sit most of this one out. That’s not to say the Orcs were completely absent from this assortment and today I’m checking out one of their few appearances in the Advent of Decay. And it’s none other than Queen Urkzaa, the ruler of the Orc Nation!

We’ve already seen these scantily clad female parts several times, not to mention in a variety of different skin colors, but here we’re seeing it in green for the first time. Urkzaa’s body is actually a pretty close match to the Demoness Xarria, as she shares a lot of that wonderfully crude and jagged armor that works so well with Orcs and Demons. The breast armor, the forearms, the knees, and the grieves are all the same. The waist armor is also the same, but here it lacks the hip armor and trades the front sash for a swatch of segmented plate. Urzkaa also borrows Herra Serpenspire’s bare feet. And here’s a fun fact, she’s one of the very few figures in the Mythic Legions line up to not come with any shoulder armor pieces.

Obviously, the Orcs don’t stand on ceremony, because despite being a Queen Urzkaa doesn’t cut a very regal appearance. Instead, she looks more like a savage warrior, and she even wears less than her fellow Orc generals and soldiers. T4H have used a few different shades of green to convey Orc flesh and I like that little hint of variety. Urzkaa’s skin leans a little toward the brighter side of green with some nice shading, and even some paint hits on her fingernails and toenails. The paint on the armor looks as great as ever. The gray wash mixes beautifully with the rough pitting in the sculpt to make it look well-worn and battle weathered. From the neck down, there’s absolutely nothing to suggest that Urzkaa is the ruler of the Orc Nation.

The portrait is all business! Urzkaa still manages to be a cutie even with those massive fangs growing up out of the bottom of her jaw. Some added ridges to her nose and brow gives her that not-quite-human appearance, and her almond shaped eyes are yellow and pupil-less. Is that a little mascara I see? The hair sculpt features two bundles of banded hair, each falling in front of one of her pointed ears. The rest of her hair is funneled through a headdress that I can only describe as a creature skull with an inverted jaw bone. It looks damned wicked!

As with her armor, when it comes to weapons, I guess Urzkaa believes less is more. In other words, she doesn’t come with a whole lot. She also doesn’t believe in carrying a shield. With that having been said, there are a couple of interesting blades in her arsenal. The first of which is the really cool Orc sword that was introduced in one of the earlier series. This design features a really distinctive hilt the handle and cross-guard made up of curved horns or teeth, I’m not sure which. The blade is that of a sweeping scimitar with a dark gray finish and a nasty clipped point that gives it a feel of a clever. The blade itself is littered with nicks and pitting to show that it’s seen plenty of action. T4H have used this blade very sparingly throughout the line so far, so getting it here is still a real treat.

The other piece we’ve seen before is the classic spear that goes all the way back to the original Kickstarter. If you’ve been around for my Mythic Legions reviews, then you know we’ve seen this one plenty of times. It’s possibly the least interesting of all the Mythic Legions arsenal, with a chunky shaft and the point all sculpted as one piece. This one has a brown rusty finish, which looks quite unbecoming of the Orc Queen, but it still looks good in her hands.

The final weapon included here is this grizzly looking bone cutlass. If I’m not mistaken, this is the first time I’ve seen this weapon and it is a pretty evil looking piece of cutlery. It’s all sculpted from one piece of plastic and made to look like it’s constructed of fused bones, and the yellowed finish makes it look ancient.

I’m a little torn on this figure, mainly because of her bio. On the one hand, the figure itself looks amazing and I’m thrilled to be able to add her to my collection of Orcs. On the other hand, even for a savage race of warriors, as a Queen I think Urzkaa looks a bit too pedestrian. I would have liked a cape, maybe attached with those jagged shoulder pieces, or even some skull shoulders would have been cool. She’ll look great charging into battle with her fellow clan, but I feel like her design pales in comparison to the Goblin and Dwarf Kings, not to mention some of the more elaborate skeletons. I haven’t decided whether or not to toss out her bio and just consider her a female warrior, but either way I think she’s a fantastic figure.

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Marvel Legends (Sauron Wave): Wolverine (Laura Kinney) by Hasbro

It’s time for another Marvel Monday and today is proof that I probably need to shake the box that holds my unopened Legends figures, because today’s random grab takes us back to the Sauron Wave! And I’m fine with that, as I’m rather excited to get the Sauron BAF assembled. But there was no cheating this week. Honest! So let’s go ahead and have a look at Wolverine!

And this is, of course, Laura Kinney as Wolverine coming hot (well, more like tepid) off the presses of another of Marvel’s sad and pointless gender-swaps. Then again, I’m one of those craaaaaazy people that believes strong female characters can sell books and don’t need to glom on to a male character’s identity to do it. But I will say that of all these recent identity-swaps, I actually didn’t mind this one so much. After all, Laura is one of those great characters that I just mentioned that doesn’t need to bogart Wolverine’s name to sell books. Not something I could say about Jane Foster or Riri Williams. Oh shit, my rant alarm is warning me that I’m getting dangerously close to going off topic, so let’s open this damn figure!

Whatever my feelings on the book, I sure as hell can’t deny that Laura looks amazing in the costume and this figure sells it big time! There isn’t a hell of a lot of new sculpting here from the neck down, as Hasbro lets the paint do the talking when it comes to the costume detail. There are, however, newly sculpted boots, which appear to be layered over the lower legs. It makes them a bit thicker, but not so much that it bothers me. The only other sculpted piece is the brown belt that hangs on her hips and sports the X-logo.

If you read my review of Bishop, than you know how much I love the yellow and blue deco of the 90’s X-Men costumes and those lovely colors are on full display here. The paint lines are pretty sharp, and the only nitpick I have here is the yellow paint on the arms and legs shows up darker than the the yellow paint on the torso because the blue is bleeding through. It’s not as bad as we’ve seen in the past, but still worth mentioning.

The figure comes with two heads, one masked and one unmasked. They’re both solid enough, but I can’t imagine not displaying her with the masked one. I love the classic design of the cowl and the way they sculpted her hair blowing off and to her left. It just looks amazing. Maybe if this figure shows up later on at a discount I’ll pick up a second to display both ways. The unmasked head looks fine on its own, but it’s hard for me to equate both as being the same person. The unmasked head just doesn’t look anything like the exposed part of the face on the masked head. But that’s OK, because I have another use for it…

It looks fantastic on the X-23 figure!

As with past Wolverine figures, the claws are slotted into the knuckles and they are removable, although I’m going to abstain from doing it. I removed one and found it really difficult to get back in. And unlike the X-23 figure from the Sasquatch Wave, this time Ms. Kinney is sporting her toe blades too! Now these blades tend to fall out pretty easily. In fact, I was positive I had lost them at least once.

The articulation here is standard stuff for our Legends ladies. I do like that they got the swivels in the lower legs, despite the sculpted boots. As for the rest, you get rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists. The legs are ball jointed at the hips with double hinges in the knees, swivels in the thighs and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. There’s a ball joint under her chest, and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed.

Hasbro has been killing it with the X-Men figures lately, and Ms. Kinney as Wolverine is just another fine example of that. And nope, I don’t need to love the book to appreciate this figure. While the identity swaps are mostly cheap gimmickry, if anyone was going to take over Wolverine’s tiger stripes, it always should have been X-23 and I’m glad to have this figure on my Legends shelves. Besides, she just looks so damn good in those colors!

Transformers Siege: Megatron by Hasbro

I’m hanging on by a thread this week and I really didn’t think I was going to make it here today. But talking toys is like a soothing balm for all that ails me and so here I am, not at my best, but here nonetheless! Because the show must go on! Anywho… It’s been a few weeks since I’ve been back to look at the Transformers Siege line, and that just won’t do! So let’s go ahead and wrap up this week by opening Voyager Class Megatron! I think this is going to be an interesting ride!

I’ve said my piece about this packaging when I looked at Optimus Prime, so I won’t go on about it all again now. Suffice it to say, I dig it a lot. It’s evolved quite nicely since this style was introduced way back when for The Last Knight figures. Megatron comes in a collector friendly window box with some absolutely bitchin’ character art on the angled side panel, so what’s not to like? The imperious leader of the Decepticons comes packaged in his robot mode, but we’re going to start with his alt mode!

It’s probably not a surprise to anyone that the alt mode is a futuristic tank. Let me go off the rails for a moment and say that while the G1 version of Megatron’s robot mode will likely always be my favorite, I’ve never been a fan of the gun mode. Even as a kid, I thought it made for a crummy toy, and as for the cartoon, it always seemed a little emasculating for the mighty Decepticon leader to shrink down and be wielded by his subordinates like a common implement. The idea of Megs turning into a tank just works better on so many levels. So naturally, one of my favorite things Hasbro has ever done was find a way to make the G1 Megs robot mode work with a tank mode. And that’s probably why the Combiner Wars Leader Class Megatron (along with the help of DX9) remains my favorite version of the character to this day. Of course, I was happy to see them trying it again, this time at the more versatile Voyager Class size. OK, enough of that, on to the tank!

The Transformers designers sure love their H-type tank designs and this alt mode continues to prove that. As a result this tank looks like a bit like a cousin of Hardhead’s alt mode. This mobile gun platform is propelled by four sets of treaded pylons with wheels concealed beneath them to help it roll into the heat of battle. The body of the tank itself is pretty small, taking up slightly less volume than the copula, which is bisected by the massive cannon barrel. The gun itself cannot elevate, but the copula is capable of rotating left and right, adding a little bit of play and display value.

But make no mistake, this is not a sexy tank. It’s not even a photogenic tank. It is an ugly machine of war and that fits Megatron just fine. The surfaces are littered with seams and joints and hinges. There are some panel lines and sculpted hatches, vents, and compartments, but to me it all gets lost in a sort of jumbled mess, and surprisingly I don’t necessarily mean that in a bad way. As for the deco, it’s mostly comprised of gray and black plastic, with a little red, silver and yellow here and there. The cannon itself is easily the best aspect of this mode. It’s intricately detailed with silver and red paint hits to make it stand out. And surprisingly, the business end of the gun itself is not formed by Megs’ familiar fusion blaster, which makes for a nice surprise and a more distinctive design. Instead, it’s a combination of the fusion cannon in the back and a weird sword-gun weapon in the front, which is detached for transformation. All in all, this mode isn’t going to win any awards for aesthetics or ingenuity of design, but it works as a purely functional killing machine. And that’s a totally appropriate alt mode for Megatron. So how about that robot mode?

Well, there’s no doubt about it, this is G1 Megatron! Hasbro clearly designed this figure with the robot mode as a priority and then worked backwards. Sure, there are some bits of telltale kibble, and I’ll get to that in a bit, but so much of the homage is preserved that I’m fine overlooking the compromises that had to be made. Indeed, there are actually two pieces on the tops of his shoulders designed to fold back solely to mimic the hammer kibble from the original toy’s Walther PPK alt mode. Particular attention has been spent in designing the torso to resemble the Sunbow animation model and I absolutely love it. It’s basically the original toy torso, only boxier, beefier, and better proportioned. A few nitpicks? I wish the forearms filled in and the wrists would pivot, but those are some pretty small quibbles.

From the back, he looks nothing like Megatron, and that’s all because of his tank treads. Two of them fold up onto his back to form a fairly neat and tidy, albeit large, backpack. The lower legs, which aren’t too dissimilar from the G1 design when viewed from the front, really break down when viewed from the back, and those heel spurs don’t help either. So, yeah, the nearly pitch perfect homage does fall apart when the figure isn’t viewed from the front. And none of that really bothers me. What does bother me a lot is the choice to leave so much of the figure as just bare gray plastic. I thought it looked terrible when I first saw it, and while it’s growing on me a little, I still think it’s the deco, or lack thereof, is the figure’s biggest drawback. I can’t help but think how good this guy would have looked with the same sumptuous silver paint that Hasbro gave Combiner Wars Megatron. I also think that there’s a criminal lack of paint on his lower torso. It just looks terribly unfinished.

While the homage breaks down from the back, and the coloring is a sticking point with me, the portrait wins back plenty of points. I have to say, old bucket head never looked better. The “helmet” is perfect, the scowl on his face and red down-turned narrow eyes make him look tougher than a week-old Energon Cube. The face is painted silver, making it look superb in contrast to all that dull gray plastic. Megsy has a smattering of silver paint weathering splashed across his chest and arms, and a Decepticon logo printed on his chest.

Also winning back a lot of points is the nearly perfect fusion cannon. So many modern Megatron figures can’t seem to get this right, and yet I consider it crucial to any G1 homage. It was one of those “close, but no cigar” failings of the Combiner Wars Megatron that had to be fixed by a third-party company, and even that wasn’t a perfect fix. This one looks great and it’s positioned on the outer arm, to allow for really good poses and aiming. Hell, you can even peg it onto either arm, but we all know that the right arm is where it belongs, eh?

Megatron also comes with the previously mentioned combination rifle-sword weapon, which forms the front half of the tank mode’s main cannon. This piece can be discarded after transformation, or it can be retained as a weapon. I honestly didn’t think I’d have any use for it, as it’s not really something that I would expect Megatron to carry around. It is, however, surprisingly fun and versatile. I doubt I’ll display Megatron with it in robot mode, but it may wind up going to one of my other Decepticons.

In the end, this review has been quite the roller-coaster of opinion. I want to love this figure more than I do, and when I really dig deep, I realize that the only real sticking point for me is the coloring. I don’t mind the slab of tank kibble on his back, and I love just about everything else about the way the robot mode looks. This figure just feels like a great design with a piss-poor paint job. If Hasbro or Takara released this figure with a premium paint job like Combiner Wars Megsy had, I’d happily fork over the money to buy him again. As it is, the previous Leader Class Megatron with DX9 enhancements will remain my favorite. Nonetheless, I can’t deny this Megatron has everything else going for him, and the Siege versions of Megatron and Optimus Prime are easily the best pairing of these two mortal foes that we’ve had in a long time, if not ever.

Mythic Legions (Advent of Decay): Shadow Elf Warrior by The Four Horsemen

Obligations in my personal life are getting a bit crazy at the moment and that will be the case the next month or so. A tiny part of me is tempted to put FFZ on hiatus. Luckily, the other parts of me are reasoning that writing about toys is good therapy, so I’m pressing on with business as usual and opening another figure on this fine Mythic Legions Wednesday. I am, however, taking it easy today and going with a figure that will be pretty simple to cover, because he’s extremely similar to a figure we’ve looked at before!

Behold! The Shadow Elf Warrior! We’ve already established that there are many types of Elves in Mythoss and today we’re seeing a new kind! This fellow is kind of a Legion Builder in that he doesn’t have a character specific bio, but he does have some additional paint applications, just maybe not as much as a regular figure. Still, without looking back at my original invoice, I can’t remember if he was one of the budget figures or a regular release. Does he look familiar? He should, because he’s very nearly a straight repaint the Elf Legion Builder. The only different parts are the lower arms and lower legs, which eschew the full plate-mail armor of the previous figure with the lighter wrist bracers and leather-like boots. The rest of the figure is totally the same, even the optional shoulder armor pieces.

And yup, that even includes the head sculpt. Well, two of them to be precise. The Shadow Elf Warrior includes an open faced-helmet, showing off his inky blue skin, pupil-less eyes and long pointed ears. We’ve seen this face before with both caucasian and dark brown skin, and now we’re adding blue into the mix. I still love the contours of the helmet, which give it an organic, if not alien flavor.

The other head is the same helmet with a fully enclosed face plate that leaves just the ears exposed. This takes the same great design and just ups the cool factor by covering the face and making the portrait all the more mysterious. This head also adds a metallic blue stripe to the helmet, which I like, but it discounts the ability to make this the same character head with just the mask added. I also have to report that this particular head features the biggest paint flub I’ve had on any of my Mythic Legions figures. There’s a bit of blue chipped off the stripe and some blue splash on the mask’s left cheek. It’s disappointing, but this line still has a tremendous track record when it comes to nearly immaculate paintwork.

As the name suggests, the base coloring here is a bit subdued, but there’s plenty of flourishes to brighten things up. Much of the armor on the arms and legs is a deep brown with the cuirass and waist armor featuring a purple wash. t works well to make the armor look more like leather than plate and also contrasts nicely with the electric blue metallic paint used for the bracers and knee armor, which are clearly supposed to be plate. Similar blue is used for some of the accents on the upper legs, upper arms, exposed chain-mail, and pauldrons. Copper paint is meticulously applied to all the tiny sculpted rivets, as well as the buckles on each of the individual straps on the armor. The blue and copper mingle beautifully for the disc-shaped belt buckle, and all in all, this is another fine example of some rather unorthodox color choices turning out a striking figure.

This Elven Shadow Warrior doesn’t exactly come packed with a ton of accessories, although the extra head should count, I suppose. With that being said, he does come with the ubiquitous two-handed sword that we see over and over (and over!) again, and I’m still fine with that. Although, as much as I like it, I am starting to think that T4H maybe should have tossed one more two-handed sword design to offset the fatigue over this one being included so many times. I mean, if for some reason you don’t like this design, then you’re pretty much screwed! Personally, I think it works well with this figure, especially with the dark painted hilt, and as you can see, I like him wearing it with the belt over his shoulder and the sword slung across his back.

A shield is included, and we’ve seen this one before as well, probably most recently with the Myria Goldenbranch. I like this shield, and I don’t have a whole lot of them, so I certainly don’t mind getting it again, although I do wonder why T4H didn’t choose to include the Elf shield that they designed with more of the Elves. It’s a beautiful piece, and technically we haven’t even seen it here yet, because I haven’t yet opened the figure it comes with. I think this particular shield works well with the woodland Elves, but this Shadow Elf could have used something more exotic.

I’ve saved the best accessory for last, and that’s this large Elf axe. I don’t believe we’ve come across this one yet, and it is indeed a sexy piece of cutlery. Everything about is exotic, from the turned ebony handle to the sweeping curves of the silver blade. Even the butt of the shaft ends in a sharp bladed point. It’s large enough to be wielded with two hands, yet slender enough for one. I love this weapon!

Being more than a dozen figures into the Advent of Decay series, it’s expected to be encountering figures with lots of re-used parts. That is, after all, the very nature of this line. So, I’m fine with a figure like the Shadow Elf Warrior being more or less a repaint of a past figure, with just a few parts swapped. The new deco looks amazing and I’m continually impressed at how by just changing up the paint, T4H are able to transform parts from heavy full-plate armor to something that more resembles leather. I can happily stand this figure beside the Elf Legion Builder without the similar sculpts slapping me in the face. The axe is a great addition to the Elf arsenal, but I would have preferred the Elf shield be included instead of the round one we got. Either way, he’s another great figure to add to the collection!

Marvel Legends (Lizard Wave): Spider-Man Noir by Hasbro

Last week, I cheated on my Marvel Legends random draw, so I’m being good this week. I closed my eyes, rooted around the stack for a while and I came back with Spider-Man Noir from the Lizard Wave! This pleases me, because it’s been so long since I bought him, I had almost forgotten this figure existed! And while Spider-Verse figures don’t need to further justify their existence to me, this one has become a little more topical since we’ve seen the character portrayed in Into The Spider-Verse and even had a similar suit revealed for Spider-Man: Far From Home!

And just in case you needed any more indication of how far behind I am on my Legends, I reviewed my first figure in this wave, Gwenpool all the way back in April of last year. Spider-Punk followed in July, and here I am opening what is only my third figure from this wave. Needless to say all the amazing Legends reveals at Toy Fair this month had me weeping tears of joy and fear at the same time. I think I had convinced myself that the poor financial reportings would maybe cause Hasbro to pull back on the reigns a bit and slow down on production. Nope, seems like that’s not happening. And while it would have been nice to get a little breathing room to get caught up, I’m happy to see Legends is still a sure thing in their eyes.

And here he is! Another one of many gifts from Spider-Verse, a comic event that was not only really good, but practically made to sell action figures! Lots and lots and lots of action figures! I know, he had his own series first, but my first exposure to him was in Spider-Verse. As his name suggests, Spider-Man Noir is a darker version (both literally and figuratively) of Peter Parker, hailing from Earth-90214 and the pulpy squalor of The Great Depression.

Straightaway, Spidey makes use of pretty obviously recycled parts. The easiest mark is the jacket we’ve seen on figures like Nick Fury and Fantomex. Talk about getting a lot of years out of a garment! I didn’t think I was going to dig it here, but to be honest, I think it works out just fine and looks really good on the figure. What’s more the sculpted sleeves here work a lot better with it then the ones on the Fury figure. The other big call out for me was the Ghost Rider torso, which again is a good fit for the character design. As for coloring, well you obviously get a lot of black, along with some gray that’s so dark it almost might as well be black. Nonetheless, the change up between matte and glossy black go a long way to keep things interesting, and you get a little flash of silver paint on the belt buckle!

The head sculpt looks fantastic. I find the combination of aviator goggles, gimp mask, and featureless mouth all quite terrifying, and Hasbro did a beautiful job with it here. I especially dig the sculpted detail on the top of the hood and the subtle facial details that can be made out under the covering for the lower face. New sculpting also includes the turtleneck-style collar.

Accessories include twin pistols, one of which can be stored in the holster on his right hip. Why no left holster for the other gun? I don’t know, but since I can’t remember whether that was from the character design, I won’t come down on Hasbro too hard for it. These are pretty cool and distinctive sculpts and they fit well in his hands, although the trigger finger makes it easier to just have Spidey practicing proper trigger discipline.

No matter what Earth you’re on, most Parkers are agile little bugs and this figure reflects that pretty well. There are no surprises, so I won’t run down all the points, but as always the double hinges in the elbows and knees go a long way to making him a fun figure to play with. And this was another area where the jacket surprised me. I assumed it was going to put a real hamper on the poseability, but it really doesn’t. I think those were problems inherent to the Fury figure, especially in the arms.

It should come as no surprise that I really dig this figure. He’s a great representation of the character with some sensible parts recycling. And while he may not offer all the usual bright and snappy colors we’re used to seeing in a lot of our Marvel characters, that fact alone makes him stand out on the shelf. I’ve been looking forward to this Legends version ever since I got the 4-inch version back in 2016 and this one just blows that figure out of the way on every level. He also puts me one step closer to having to expand my Spider-Verse shelf.

Star Wars (Solo): “Mission on Vandor” 4-Pack by Hasbro

It’s been a stressful week for me and a couple of nights ago I crashed into my sofa, watched Solo for the first time in a little while, and enjoyed a wonderfully relaxing escape to a Galaxy Far, Far Away. It also reminded me that I have a whole bunch of figures from Solo waiting to be opened and reviewed. I was going to go with some of the 6-inch Black Series offerings, but it’s been so long since I checked out any of Hasbro’s 3 3/4-inch line, so let’s have a look at this Mission on Vandor 4-pack.

This set is very similar to the Rogue One Jedha Revolt 4-Pack. It’s the same size box and collects some characters from a specific sequence in the film. Here we get new versions of Han Solo and Qi’Ra, as well as an Imperial Range Trooper and Weazel, one of Enfys Nest’s gang. We’ll start out with Han and Qi’Ra.

Oddly enough, I don’t think Hasbro released a single carded Han figure for this movie. How crazy is that? There was one bundled with the speeder and one bundled with the Force Link 2.0 Reader. I never picked up that speeder, and while I had no interest in the Reader, I did get that Han figure loose on Ebay.

Anyway, this version of Han comes wearing his big furry coat and goggles, and it’s a pretty damn good looking little figure. The coat itself is a soft plastic vest layered over, what I imagine is a lot of re-use from the regular Han. The sculpted sleeves on the arms don’t quite match up all the way with the coat, but it’s close enough. The texturing on the coat is excellent and his gun belt is sculpted over it to hold it together. In addition to a functional holster, the gun belt also has a sculpted life-line and what I think is his Droid Caller on the other hip. The head sculpt is solid enough and the permanent goggles are decent enough for this scale. Nothing special, but not bad either.  The coloring is good, and I like the addition of the dirty boots.

No surprise, Han comes with his newly acquired DL-44 blaster pistol, which fits in his holster and can also be held in either hand. Although it’s intended for his right, as that one has a sculpted trigger finger.

Next up is Qi’ra in her Vandor duds, and while Han was a solid figure, this one actually impresses me on every level. The sculpt is fantastic, with little details like ribbing on the backs of her sleeves and on her collar. Her flared trousers feature tiny seam lines and little wrinkles, and her heels are even sculpted under the cuffs. The jacket is just part of the body sculpt, which works fine for this figure. Even the paint is so sharp and crisp. From the ultra thin line of her necklace, to the edging on her belt, the paint applications here are better than a lot of the 6-inch scale figures. Even the head sculpt is fantastic for this scale with more of that super sharp paint detailing.

Qi’ra comes with a very simple blaster pistol, which she can hold in either hand, and can also be stored in the holster on her right hip. I’d love to see Hasbro turn out this version of the character in the 6-inch Black Series, just to compare it to this one, because, setting articulation aside, I think this smaller one would hold up remarkably well.

The third figure is the Range Trooper, and this is the only figure in the box that was also available as a single carded release. I don’t have that version for comparison, but based on pictures I’ve seen, I don’t think there’s much difference. My guess is Hasbro gave him a single release because he’s a fodder for army builders. Either way, I think this is an excellent figure for the scale. They really packed a lot of detail into the sculpt, from the mechanics of his boots to the tiny stitch lines in his coat, to the textured fur collar and fringe on the sleeves and coat flaps. The red paint hits on the armor could have been a little sharper, but it’s not particularly bad either. I really dig how they got the same gold paint they used for the 6-inch Black Series version onto his tiny visor.

The Trooper comes with his standard blaster rifle. I actually don’t know what these blasters are called, but they’re very similar to the Stormtrooper E-11 rifles. It’s a decent sculpt, but the plastic on this one is really mushy. He can hold it in either hand, but there’s nowhere for him to carry it. That’s probably a fault of the costume design, because even the 6-inch version didn’t have a holster.

The final figure in the bunch is Weazel, one of Enfys Nest’s gang and of course played by Warwick Davis. This little guy also features some great detail in the sculpt, including a rather wide and complex system of belts, some ribbing on his outer sleeves, and a helmet that is somewhat tribal and similar in design to Nest’s but also includes a range finder like we see on the Mandalorian helmets. This was a great choice for including in a multi-pack like this one, as I’m not sure Hasbro would have risked putting him out there on a single card. Although, I’d be willing to bet he would still have sold well.

Weazel comes with two weapons. The first is this rocket launcher, which is cast in silver plastic and has a red painted rocket on the end. He can sort of hold it in firing position, but not as well as I would like. The design of the stock doesn’t really work with his arm, but I can get it to work fairly well. I really dig that they sculpted and painted two additional rockets hanging off his belt on his right hip.

He also has a small blaster pistol, which he can hold in either hand.

I realize that the 5-POA line is not popular with a lot of collectors, and I’ll freely admit that it isn’t a priority for me either. Nonetheless, collecting 3 3/4-inch Star Wars figures has been a part of my life since I was eight years old and I doubt I’ll ever be free of it. I don’t try to be a completist on these, but I do pick them up whenever I can find them, while I’m more likely to leave the super-articulated 3 3/4-inch figures on the pegs. Either way, this is a really nice assortment with some two cool variants, one brand new character, and an extra troop builder. I believe it retailed at around $30 originally, which is right in the ballpark of what these would cost together if they were single-carded. I picked up this set for $18 and that felt like a great deal!

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

Once again it’s time for Mythic Legions Wednesday and today I’m checking out another one of those rather unique figures that doesn’t quite fit into any of the regular factions. Herra Serpenspire’s bio is enigmatic and steeped in the lore and lingo of Mythoss. And I’ll be honest, most of it goes right above my head, because I don’t know many of the references. Nonetheless, it does suggest that she serves a power that exists above the other factions, but she is ultimately a force for evil to reckon with… so… she’s good? I guess. Either way, I’m intrigued! Let’s have a look…

Among Advent of Decay’s assortment of Elves, Goblins, Vampire’s and Knights, Herra stood out to me at the very first solicitations. And I probably don’t have to articulate why that was the case. Just look at her! If you like your woman a little witch-ay, and I know I do, then Herra is going to be right up your ally. She uses a lot of the bare skin parts we’ve seen on figures like Xarria and Juno, including the upper legs, upper arms, mid-section, and this time the body even includes bare feet. The skin is colored rich brown and she has some cool tattoo stripes on her midriff, arms, and face. She features the grieves, knee guards, and bracers seen on the female knights, this time painted with a gorgeous metallic emerald green with gold trim and a little electric blue thrown in for good measure. I’m not sure if we’ve seen that waist piece before, but I dig it a lot. Finally, she sports an armored brassier with a dual coiled snake motif that really ties that outfit together.

Herra also sports a purple cloth cape which, unlike most figures in the line, uses a simple neck hole rather than relying on shoulder armor to hold it on. Indeed, Herra is one of the precious few Mythic Legions figures that doesn’t come with any shoulder armor at all. And that’s cool, because she really doesn’t need them to complete her look, and judging from the rest of her costume, I don’t think she’s worried too much about armored protection. Either way, the color does a nice job matching the sculpted plastic sash that hangs down from her waist, and the cape is easy to toss off her shoulders when action comes a calling.

And I think I’ve gone on long enough without mentioning that epic hair! I mean, I don’t want to take anything away from the face sculpt and paintwork, because Herra is a real beauty, with full pouty red lips drawn into just a hint of a smirk, a perfect nose, and almond-shaped pupil-less eyes. Her down-swept eyebrows give her expression a bit of a serious note, and I dig the tats. But where was I? Oh yes, that epic hair!!! Herra sports what I can only identify as some kind of Giga-Ponytail, which sprouts from the top-rear of her head and cascades down over her left shoulder and doesn’t quit until it comes close to reaching her ankle, while two smaller groupings of strands dangle down each side of her face. The giant ponytail is bound together with gold serpent-like rings, and it terminates in a gold fixture with a blue bauble sculpted into the middle of it. Hair this incredible does come with a price, and in this case that price was the well-being of my goddamn thumbs. They took quite a punishment trying to peg that hair into her head, but in the end I think it was worth it.

And we’re still not done talking about this beautiful portrait, because the headdress is quite a spectacle as well. She has a gold tiara framing her face, which is part of the head sculpt and an emerald green winged cobra sprouts from the middle of it. The portrait is rounded out with a pair of gold earrings, each with a blue stone set in the middle that matches the one below her neck and at the end of her hair. Yup, there sure is a lot going on with this head sculpt, and every little bit of it contributes to what is an absolutely brilliant piece of character design. Shall we move on to weapons and accessories?

Hey look, it’s that big sword again! And yup, I still love it. Actually I love this version of it a lot, because of the snappy gold and purple deco for the hilt. I will toss out there, that a big two-handed sword feels like it’s out of character for Herra, and I doubt that I’ll display it that often with her, unless I decide to just sling it over her shoulder with the brown belt that’s included. But hey, I ain’t never going to turn my nose up at an extra sword.

If that big sword isn’t enough, she also comes with the stout-bladed dagger we’ve seen many times before. This one has the hilt painted all in gold so it sort of matches the sword. I’ll also mention here that Herra comes with another dagger, or at least she’s supposed to. I’m talking about the small curved dagger that comes with the belt sheath. We’ve seen it a few times, most notably with Lucretia. I say supposed to, because I only have the sheath, not the dagger. It’s certainly possible that it fell out somewhere, but I did get shorted on at least one other weapon this go around, so maybe it never made it into the package. I certainly don’t remember seeing it.

If broadswords and daggers aren’t your thing, Herra also comes with these twin sickle-like swords that we also last saw with Lucretia. These feature beautiful silver painted blades and a sumptuous coat of electric blue paint on the long grips. I love these weapons, and I think their exotic style better fits Herra’s look than the traditional sword. But with that having been said, she must have to be really good with those things to keep from cutting off that massive ponytail.

And yes, these do peg together to form one big double-bladed weapon.

And finally, Herra comes with an amazing staff, which goes perfectly with her outfit and is probably used for all sorts of cool spell-slinging, rather than just accessorizing. The crooked shaft has a beautiful satin-gold finish, an emerald green snake coils around the top, and it’s capped off with another one of those blue orbs and an elaborate circular halo design.

Is this the part where I say Herra is my new favorite figure in the line? Well, she’s certainly a contender. Her design is remarkably fresh and unique and she offers a wonderful blend of new and old parts and some absolutely gorgeous coloring. And it goes without saying that they put a heck of a lot of work into her portrait and I think it shows. My only possible complaint here is that I wish T4H had used this body to create some kind of disciples for her with a different head and maybe a recolor of the armor. That’s something I’d love to see in a future wave.

Marvel Legends (Sauron Wave): Bishop by Hasbro

It’s Marvel Monday and time for me to reach my hand into the big box of unopened Marvel Legends and randomly pull out a… oh, f’ck it, I just saw Bishop at the top of the box and I’m opening him!

Yup, I’ve been hoping to land Bishop in my random picks for a while now, and frankly I just got tired of waiting. I’ve been hoping that Hasbro would slip in with each new X-Men themed Wave and here we are at the Sauron Wave and there’s Bishop in all his classic Jim Lee costume glory. This is a figure that practically breaks out of the packaging and leaps off the peg. And as big and beefy as Bishop is, they still managed to get one of Sauron’s arms and wings stuffed in there behind him. Not too shabby!

Holy hell, this figure practically makes me giddy with joy. I’m a child of the 70’s and 80’s, so I don’t find a lot of nostalgia in the 90’s, but the X-Men of this era scratched a certain itch with me. I was in college, I was on my own, and I was probably looking for something familiar and comfortable and the resurgence of X-Men in both animated and comic book form was that very thing. Not to mention those original Toy Biz figures on those colorful cards! Take all that and now toss in a fantastic new character like Bishop who tapped into some of the that stuff that made the X-Men so cool and it’s no wonder he resonates with me. Even better, just look at how great this figure turned out! It’s a veritable symphony of sculpt and color. Hasbro took an appropriately beefy buck and wrapped some equally beefy web-gear in the form of a waist belt, a shoulder rig, and bicep straps. These are all sculpted with some great detail as well as all the ubiquitous pouches that we have come to expect from our 90’s comic powerhouses. Toss a chunky X-logo offset onto the belt and the trademark neckerchief, and you’ve got goddamn poetry in action figure form.

But it’s equally the coloring on this figure that makes me want to weep tears of joy. The bright blue body suit, coupled with the yellow gear and double stripe, coupled with the red neckerchief and X-logo and you’ve got a deco that sings. I don’t know what it is about these colors that lights up all the pleasure centers of my brain, but it’s been that way ever since my first Toy Biz X-Men figures and that feeling has only grown with age. The blue and yellow in particular just go so well together and they even did a beautiful job printing his shoulder patches. It just doesn’t get any better than this.

And the magic that is this figure doesn’t stop at the neckline, because check out that mug! I’m overall very pleased with the head sculpts Hasbro has been serving up for their modern Legends line, but Bishop’s portrait here even manages to step it up a notch. It is absolutely superb. From the expression to the detail on his facial features to the sculpting in the hair and the perfect paint on his goatee, this is portrait that was crafted with love and reverence for the character. I don’t like to throw around the P-word all that often, but I’m going to do it here. This head sculpt is perfect. I wouldn’t change a thing.

Bishop comes with one accessory and that’s his big honkin’ shotgun-looking weapon. It’s a fairly simple sculpt, appropriately molded in black plastic with a pistol-style grip and a large slide that gives it a distinctive look. Naturally he has a big yellow scabbard behind his left shoulder to store it. He can actually hold it in either hand, as both have sculpted trigger fingers. The only issue I have here is how hard it was for me to get it into either hand, because his fingers are sculpted into a death grip. I know Bishop is an imposing dude, but damn buddy, loosen up them hands so I can get your gun in them! In fairness, it got a lot easier after I’ve had it in and out of the hands a few times.

The articulation here consists of the usual. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, with double hinges in the elbows and swivels in the biceps. The legs have rotating hinges in the hips, double hinges in the knees, swivels at the thighs and the tops of the boots, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. There’s a swivel in the chest, an ab crunch hinge in the torso and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed.

Chances are by now you’re tired of hearing a 46-year-old man verbally jerk off to an action figure, so I’ll go ahead and wrap things up. Bishop is an example of a toy line firing on all cylinders. This figure takes a great character and absolutely does him justice in 6-inches of plastic. The extra sculpting, the amazing portrait, the colors… I don’t think it’s at all possible for me to gaze on this figure without a big dumb happy smile on my face. If you’re at all a fan of the character, or just the 90’s X-Men in general, this one is a must-have for any collection. And most of all, this is why Hasbro’s modern Marvel Legends remains one of my all-time favorite action figure lines.

Wonder Woman (Training Armor) Sixth-Scale Figure by Hot Toys

It’s no secret that I’m woefully behind on my Sixth-Scale figure reviews. Hell, the last Hot Toys figure I reviewed was Yondu all the way back in the Summer of last year. I have some Hot Toys and TB League figures that have been waiting for their turn in the spotlight for the better part of a year, and I really want to turn that around in 2019. And to that end, I’m rolling out a Hot Toys review today and going with one of my newest arrivals just so I can prime the pump and get back into a regular routine. Yes, I got the Justice League version of Diana before this one, but it just seemed appropriate to go with the one from her own movie first.

Hot Toys hasn’t been wowing me with a lot of their packaging lately and this release kind of follows in that trend. The deco is actually beautiful and the art really captures the feel of the film. It also gets by without any pictures of the figure itself. On the other hand, when you get down to it, this is just a flimsy window box with a sleeve around it, which feels wanting for such an expensive item. I will, however, give kudos to Sideshow as this one arrived at my door in a proper shipping box with packing material inside. I’m not sure if that’s something new they’re doing, but if so I approve! Inside the box, the figure comes in the usual molded plastic tray with all her accessories and extras surrounding her. She comes out of the box more or less ready for display. I just had to slip her bicep band on. So let’s check her out!

This is the outfit that Diana wore on Themyscira, basically for the first act of the film. The term training armor might be a little excessive, but I obviously liked the look of the outfit enough to warrant double-dipping on the character, and that’s something I rarely do when it comes to Hot Toys. The armor part comes into play with the bronze cuirass, which is sculpted in plastic and includes a strap that hugs the left side of the figure’s neck. The cuirass includes some really nice texturing and layering, as well as details right down to the tiny sculpted rivets on the straps. The rest of the outfit includes a pleated skirt made out of a slightly stiff cloth, her wrist bracers, sculpted wraps on her hands, and a pair of high sandals, which are separate from the legs, and sculpted as part of the feet.

Hot Toys seems content to reluctantly mingle with the idea of a seamless body, and that continues to be the case here. The shoulders, elbows, and knees are all covered with rubber skin, which makes a huge difference on a figure like this where jointing in those areas would be exposed and, as a result, most definitely spoil the realism. And to that end, the sculpted musculature in the knees and and shoulders looks fantastic. The ankles, on the other hand feature regular joints, which can be seen through the sandals, and the legs themselves are connected under the skirt with ball joints. In this case, I think Hot Toys did everything necessary to keep the realism going, but despite these areas being bare, the range of motion in these joints is still fairly limited, as if she were still wearing a restrictive suit. This is probably not a big surprise for Hot Toys collectors, but mixing realistic bodies with articulation is an area where Phicen continues to have Hot Toys beat.

With all the Wonder Woman action figures the movie has spawned, we’ve seen some hits and a lot of misses with Gal Gadot’s likeness. Some would argue that even Hot Toys didn’t land a direct hit with their Batman VS Superman version. I think this one is pretty spot on. It may not be as perfect as some of their best likenesses, but I can’t find a whole lot to pick at here either. She’s certainly beautiful, and easily recognizable to me, and the paintwork conveys that sense of uncanny realism that Hot Toys is known for. The hair is sculpted, and that was definitely the way to go with this figure, as it’s drawn back very tightly, and braided into a long pony tail down her back. I’m especially impressed by the fine sculpting in the individual strands, and the incredible paintwork along the hairline. It’s great stuff!

Obviously, the figure comes with a bevy of extra hands, from the usual relaxed hands and fists, to ones intended to work with the accessories. The most notable of these accessories are her her sword and shield. The “Godkiller” is a beautiful piece of work. The ornate hilt features a crazy level of detail in the sculpt, and a beautiful gold finish. It has an elongated grip, allowing it to be wielded by one or both of her hands. The blade is straight with a textured finish and an inscription running through the central channel. I’d dare say that this is as fine a recreation of this sword as is possible in this scale.

The sword also comes with a recreation of the stand that held it in the beginning of the film. It’s a simple stand, sculpted from two pieces of plastic with a notch in the top to insert the swords tip. It holds it well and the accessory certainly looks great displayed this way. I’ll likely be displaying the figure holding the sword most of the time, but this is a damn fine option to have.

The shield is also impressive, and possibly my favorite accessory in the box. It’s a large concave disc with a rich, deep brown color and a gold starburst in the center. The edge features a series of triangular designs opening out toward the edge, all of which are neatly painted in gold. All in all, it makes for an absolutely beautiful piece and I love how natural it looks on Diana’s arm.

On the inside, the shield features a concentric circlet of sculpted to look like hammered bronze and you can see the reinforced edges, raised over the rest of the shield surface. There are two straps fixed to the interior with sculpted fixtures, each painted gold. One strap secures the shield near the elbow and the other is used for her hand to grab. It isn’t terribly difficult to get it on and off the figure, although I found it was best to put the hand around the grab strap first and then attach the hand to the figure. Indeed, I’d probably just leave the hand attached to the shield even when it’s off. Then again, I can’t imagine ever displaying the figure without the shield. It really does look that good.

The set also includes a bow and three arrows. These are fine additions to the accessory count, but at the same time, they aren’t going to spend a lot of time displayed with my figure. The bow itself is very thin and elegant with gold and brown paintwork and a real string, which allows for a lot of give to be pulled back. Diana comes with a special hand for the bow and another designed to knock the arrows. The three arrows are identical, and while I’m not going to complain about extra accessories, I’m not really sure why they included three. There’s nowhere to store them, so the only real way to display them with the figure is to have her clutching them in one hand. And since she has a hand specifically designed to hold one, that will likely be the preferred way to go.

Because of the limitations to the articulation, she can’t really be posed drawing to fire, but rather preparing to fire. Obviously, this should come as a surprise to long time collectors of Hot Toys. It’s also a much bigger issue for someone who wanted to display the figure using her archery skills, and that’s not me. And besides, she can still pull off some cool poses while holding the bow and arrow.

Finally, the figure comes with a second pair of her Bracelets of Submission, which are colored to look like they’re glowing. The bracers themselves are made of a translucent orange plastic and the panel lining is traced in yellow. These are a pretty cool idea, but I’m not all that sold on the effect. Fortunately, they are super easy to swap in and out to give them a try or just to mix up the display every now and then.

As always, Hot Toys includes a stand. This one is pretty simple but is styled to convey the feeling of the film’s art direction. It’s a simple rectangular base with a sculpted WW logo to the left and some golden stars to the right. The post is the usual “crotch cradle” which does a fine job holding the figure without messing with the outfit.

There’s also an illustrated cardboard backdrop that can be placed behind the stand. I’m not sure how Hot Toys decides which figures get this treatment. I’ve encountered it with a few before, like the Netflix Punisher and Daredevil figures. I don’t tend to use them, but it’s a pretty cool bonus nonetheless.

At $240, Wonder Woman falls at the higher end of Hot Toys’ Non-Deluxe pricing spectrum. She definitely comes with enough goodies to fill out the box, and there’s nothing essential that I can think of that she’s missing. Granted, the giant column that I have her displayed on in one of the above pictures came with a Sixth-Scale figure from another company that sold for under $200, but by now I’m used to Hot Toys charging a premium.

And between the high price points, and display space needed, I very rarely double-dip on characters when it comes to my Sixth-Scale figures. Indeed, I’ve only done it once before, and that was Captain America. And yet here I am picking up this version of Wonder Woman just a few months after getting the Justice League version. It would be safe to say a lot of it has to do with how great Gal Gadot looks in the costumes. It only took me an offer of a small discount and free shipping to get me to jump on this one, and I’m glad I didn’t hesitate because she sold out pretty quickly. And now that I’ve had some serious time with her, there’s certainly no buyer’s remorse here!

Mythic Legions (Advent of Decay): Knight Legion Builders (Iron and Steel) by The Four Horsemen

As I trek my way through the Advent of Decay series, I’ve been trying to spread the love evenly to the many races of Mythoss. But it’s been a long time since I revisited the noble Knights. Probably because the armored warriors take a back seat to the other factions in this line. Nonetheless, today I’m going to check out the two new Knight Legion Builders, Iron and Steel!

For those of you not following the line, the Legion Builders are sort of the budget figures. They cost less, they feature less paint applications, and they’re general purpose is to either beef up your ranks, or if you’re talented at painting figures (Not Me!), you can even use them as custom fodder. Unlike the previous Black, Silver, and Gold Knight Legion Builders, the Iron and Steel Knights draw parts from the Advent line. As the names suggest, Iron features a darker gray finish, whereas Steel is silver. And since these are Legion Builders, there are no other paint applications on the figures. Both figures share the more slender armored arms and legs introduced for the Elves and females. The biggest difference is found in the torsos. Steel Knight features the armor used for the Elves, which has doubled as both leather and plate, whereas Iron Knight’s torso uses the female plate armor. The sculpted belt and hip armor pieces are also different. Steel has the belt with the disc in the center and has the leather scale-male type armor for the hips and groin. Iron has the simpler waist piece, with the segmented plate armor for the same areas.

The same two head sculpts are included with each figure. One is the Gothic Sallet style and the other is the Bascinet style with a beaked front and a spike protruding from the top. The shoulder armor for each figure is different. Steel Knight comes with the simpler segmented pieces, while Iron Knight has the more decorative ones. And for some reason, these were especially hard to plug into the sockets on these two particular figures.

Each knight comes with more or less the same accessories. T4H switched up the colors of the accessories, so Steel Knight’s gear is all colored in the darker gray and Iron Knight’s is all silver. It’s the same juxtaposition they did with the Gold and Silver Knights in the initial Kickstarter. They also each come with the standard brown sword belt, which can be worn on the figures’ waists or across the chest as a shoulder strap. The first weapons included are the standard single-handed cruciform swords. Yup, we see this sword almost every week. Sometimes, the single colored weapons can be lacking, but I think they work well in these colors.

Next up are the larger two-handed swords, which feature the pointed skull-crusher pommels, sexy down-swept cross-guards, and the blades that swell toward the edges. Again, nothing new here, but I dig these swords a lot!

Oddly, Steel Knight comes with a shield, but Iron Knight does not. It’s the same shield we’ve seen many times in the original Kickstarter series, but with the updated grip. I’m not sure why they cheated Iron Knight out of the shield. These figures are in the same price point and it just leaves one figure with one less accessory. It’s a weird omission, but I’m not terribly upset about it. I have plenty of these shields to go around.

And finally, each figure comes with the standard spear that we’ve been seeing over and over again since the beginning of the line. Nothing special, here, but I’m always happy to get more weapons for my Legions.

I dig these two figures a lot, even if I’m not really the target audience. I mean, I’m not going to army build a bunch of them, and I’m not going to customize them either. Nonetheless, I think they look great even without any additional paintwork, and it’s pretty cool to just have a plain example of all that beautiful sculpting. I’ve remarked plenty of times about how aspects of this line remind me of the old Marx Knights and these Legion Builders do that more than any of the other figures.