Hero HACKS: Zorro by Boss Fight Studios

Oh man, Zorro has been around for a long time! Born in the pulp stories of the early 20th Century, his legend has lived on in film and television ever since. I don’t know how he rates nowadays, but Zorro was still a big deal when I was a kid. Granted, I was only two years old when Frank Langella donned the cape in The Mask of Zorro, but I remember years later my dad making popcorn and my brother and I watching it with him and having a great time. I also remember my brother having a really cool 12-inch action figure of Zorro, that he got while we were living in France. I used to beg him to play with it all the time, but he was having none of it. The best I got was to fight his Zorro with my 12-inch Kenner Indiana Jones figure. Whip vs Whip! Maybe it wasn’t so fair because Indy did have the gun. Anywho… Zorro had a bigger budget theatrical outing in 1998, and while I wasn’t a huge fan of that version of The Mask of Zorro, it was still good fun. On the other hand, I absolutely loved the swashbuckling cheese-fest that was the 1990 TV Series and it remains a guilty pleasure to this day! Needless to say, I was beside myself with glee when Boss Fight Studios announced that Zorro would be joining their new Hero HACKS line of 4-inch figures. The initial offerings include a single carded figure and a boxed set featuring Zorro and his horse, Tornado. Today I’m opening the single figure!

Zorro comes packaged in the same style as BFS’s Vitruvian HACKS, and that’s a very good thing indeed. The package offers the best of both worlds, with a colorful card and a collector friendly blister, so you can take him out and play with him and return him to the package for an awesome display piece. The landscape orientation of the cardback is quite distinctive and I love the artwork on the front. To the left of the character art, there’s a sizable bubble that shows off the figure and his extra goodies. As a side note, one of those extra goodies is a branded Hero HACKS figure stand, and as was the case with Flash Gordon, the pegs don’t fit the feet very well, so I had to make due with a generic stand for this review. Let’s check him out!

Presented in 4-inches of poseable plastic, Zorro looks as iconic as ever. The body features an all black outfit with sculpted rumples and wrinkles, high boots, and swashbuckling gauntlets. There’s a sculpted sash tied around his waist, and they did a particularly nice job sculpting and painting the laces at the collar of his tunic. The plastic cape fits around the figure’s neck and also has a peg that secures it into a hole in the back, along with two silver buttons on each side of the neck to offer a splash of color. Finally, there’s a loop hanging off his waist so that he can wear his sword, but more on that in a bit. For a figure that does not feature a lot of color or even a lot of overt detail, Zorro looks absolutely amazing.

You get two head sculpts with the figure, one masked with an all-business expression, and one unmasked with a beaming smile. The broad brimmed hat is sculpted separately from the head and fits securely on either one. Both portraits are excellent with some nice detail in the mustache. I didn’t see a lot of value in the multiple heads included with the Hero HACKS Flash Gordon, but here I think the decision to include two was a fantastic one.

The articulation right in line with previous HACKS figures, which means a whole lot of hinged pegs holding the figure together. There’s a lot of fun to be had here, with some great range of motion in the legs and the shoulders. The elbows, on the other hand, only give about a 90-degree angle and that’s it, and I would have liked some swivels in the upper legs, but still overall not bad at all. The cape isn’t too restrictive, but it can be easily removed if Zorro needs to fight unencumbered. He also comes with two sets of hands, one pair for holding accessories, and one pair of open hands, which can be rather expressive.

Zorro comes with his two trademark weapons: A sword and bullwhip. The rapier is an absolutely beautiful accessory. Yes, the hilt is a tad oversized, but it’s easily forgiven considering the complexity of the guard. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a sword of this type attempted in such a small scale and I have to say that BFS nailed it. The sword looks great both carried on Zorro’s hip or being wielded in either hand. In addition to the sexy curves of the hilt, the blade is stout enough to not be too bendy, and the silver paint on the guard and blade contrasts nicely with the black grips. One word of caution is the crossguard can bend a bit when worn against the cape, something I didn’t notice at first. Fortunately, I was able to straighten it out without any problems, but I’m not sure how many times that will work before it crimps and falls off. But, now that I know to be careful with it, it shouldn’t be a problem!

The bullwhip is fashioned from soft rubbery plastic, which will hold it’s intended form, but is also totally flexible. It features a detailed, braided sculpt with a loop at the grip and a frayed tip. It’s soft enough that it can be coiled, but it won’t stay like that on its own and Zorro can’t really hold it when it’s coiled up. For that reason, I would have loved to get a second version of the whip that was coiled and perhaps could peg onto his belt.

Hey, ya know what? I freaking LOVE this figure! I think it’s fab that Boss Fight took the opportunity of Zorro’s anniversary to get us some figures and boy did they deliver. The only downside here is there’s no one for him to fight. And quite frankly I doubt it’s in BFS’s plans to get us some Spanish soldiers. But that’s OK, as a stand alone figure he’s absolutely amazing. And playing around with this guy has just whetted my appetite for the boxed figure and horse. Chances are I’ll be opening that one for a review in the very near future!

Hero HACKS: Flash Gordon by Boss Fight Studios

Folks, I freaking love the 1980 Flash Gordon movie. I’m not talking I love to laugh at it, or I dig it in an ironic way. I mean, I adore it in the most honest and unapologetic way imaginable. I was only 8 years old when it hit theaters and I was robbed of that experience. But I made my parents rent the hell out of it when it hit VHS and I’ve probably owned every home release of the movie since. I have the movie poster, I have the soundtrack on vinyl, and I have picked up just about every bit of merchandising I could get. The film is so rich with amazing character and costume designs, my dream has always been that it get an action figure treatment as exhaustive as Star Wars. Like, give me a figure of every character on screen! I would army build the hell out of half the denizens of Ming’s Court. Alas, a definitive toy line continues to elude me. Bif Bang Pow did some decent 7-inch figures (which I reviewed OVER TEN YEARS AGO!) as well as some MEGO style versions, but that’s about it. UNTIL NOW! Boss Fight Studios has been branching out their HACKS line beyond just the Greek Mythology and Swords and Sorcery with a number of different licenses and the 1980 Dino De Laurentiis Opus is one of them. They have revealed a few figures, but Flash himself is heralding the line with a special tin lunchbox release.

If you were a child of the 70s or 80s, you no doubt remember it as the Era of Licensed Lunchboxes! Getting ready for the new school year involved my poor parents pouring money into clothes and shoes and books, but all I cared about was who I was going to represent this year on my lunchbox. That was always the question. What would it be this year? Would I be drinking my chocolate milk out of an ALF Thermos? Spectacular! I’ll confess, I never had a Flash Gordon one, but I would have been proud to tote my bologna and cheese to school in a sacred tin tabernacle with the visage of Max Von Sydow and Sam Jones printed on it. And here  it is! The front of this collector’s tin has some artwork inspired by the poster and it is absolutely outstanding. I wish I could say the same for the rest of the box.

Holy Hot Hail, what happened to the rest of it? The disconnect between the art on the front and the other sides is really quite palpable. I suppose you could argue that some of those vintage lunchboxes didn’t always have the best quality art, but this stuff is pretty dreadful. Is it intentionally bad? I just don’t know. Flash and Dale on the back panel are particularly offensive. Prince Barin and Prince Vultan aren’t quite as bad. Klytus is there on the other side panel along with some fellas from Ming’s Court. With the front panel looking so great, this tote is certainly displayable, but I wish they had done a better job on the rest of it. If you’re going to go for special presentation, I’m not sure that this is the way to do it.

Inside, Flash and his extra bits are laid out on a clear plastic tray that fits perfectly inside the tote. I really like the way they did this, especially with the branded figure stand in lieu of any kind of interior packaging art. On the downside there is a hell of a lot of empty space in there, which kind of showcases how light this figure is on the accessories. I’ve been collecting HACKS since the original Kickstarter, and it seemed like most of the figures came with an abundance of extras, so all that open air on the tray is pretty conspicuous here. Well, let’s get Flash out and have a look.

HACKS is billed as a 1:18 scale line, which generally puts Flash here in the 3 3/4 to 4-inch range. However, HACKS figures tend to be a little chunkier and so I find that Flash looks a little oversized when displayed with most Hasbro figures in this scale. I think some of the reason for that is because these figures are designed to be modular to allow for customization. Whatever the case, This figure is based on Flash’s appearance early in the film, and it was a good choice for the debut figure. He dons his self-promoting white T-shirt, a pair of khaki slacks, and some sneakers. In terms of sculpt and paint, I think everything about this figure is excellent. Sure, the outfit doesn’t require anything complex, but it nails the look of the character perfectly. The printing on the shirt is crisp, as is the red borders on the neck and sleeves. I love the way the pants cuffs fall about the sneakers, and the sneakers themselves showcase a ridiculous attention to detail. Flash is even wearing a removable silver watch on his left wrist. The only thing here to mar the look of the figure is the peg hole in the back, which doesn’t serve a purpose on Flash, and the screw in his butt that holds the figure together.

You get three head sculpts, all of which are decent likenesses for Sam Jones in this scale. The figure comes wearing a smiling expression, and that’s my favorite of the bunch. I just think it captures Flash the best. The other two convey more aggression or determination. Quite frankly, I don’t think there’s a big enough difference between the other two heads to warrant including both of them. It’s nice to have options, but I would much rather that plastic had gone into a weapon or other accessory.

HACKS articulation is pretty solid, but I wouldn’t call these guys super articulated. The arms have hinged pegs for the shoulders, elbows, and hands. It’s not bad, but you can only get about a 90-degree bend in those elbows. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have double-hinges in the knees, and sadly no swivels in the thighs. The ankles seem to be on rotating hinges, but with the cuffs sculpted the way they are, the best I can get out of them is a swivel. That’s a shame, because the ankles won’t allow the feet to go perpendicular with his legs. As a result, Flash always wants to fall backwards, which is why I’m using a stand in all of the pictures. Why not use the official HACKS stand? I’ll get to that in a bit. Finally, you get a ball joint under the chest and a double ball joint in the neck. The joints on this guy all feel great and he is fun to play around with, but some points could have used a little fine tuning. And that brings us to the rest of the extras! In addition to the two extra heads, Flash comes with a total of five hands. You get a pair of fists, a pair of accessory holding hands, and a left hand that is pegged for the one accessory he comes with. If you want to get any use out of those generic accessory hands, you’ll have to provide your own guns or swords or whatever you want to arm him with.

That one accessory is the football-shaped tribute to Ming that Flash uses to run his Quarterback moves during the fight in the Court.  The piece is very well done, with an excellent sculpt and great looking paint. I also appreciate the way they designed it to peg into the open hand. But as good as it is, it really doesn’t feel like enough to round out this package. I realize that Flash was wearing a different costume when he brandished the sword and went full on freedom fighter, but I still feel like they should have given him a gun or something. How about that gold gauntlet that one of the guards shot at him. It could have been sculpted to go around his neck with an effect part. That would have been cool.

And finally you get the branded figure stand, which doesn’t work because the pegs are way too thick for the holes in his feet. This is weird, because all my HACKS figures have come with similar stands, and I’ve never had a problem with them before. With four different pegs on the stand, you’d think at least one of them would work with the figure. Bundling a stand with a figure that doesn’t fit the figure seems like a pretty big mess up to me. It’s especially vexing when the figure won’t stand up by itself.

Obviously, I had some issues with Flash, but truth be told, there’s a lot to like about this figure. He looks great, he’s fun to play with, and I’m always going to be happy to have a new figure from this film. But here’s the thing, this little guy cost $45 and that’s just crazy. The overall lack of quality found in the artwork on the lunchbox doesn’t make it worth the extra cost. I would have much rather had this figure carded and given him a few more extras. Or round it up to $50 and make it a two-pack with the red and black tank top version of Flash they’re releasing. Heck, even with the regular carded releases coming in at $28 a pop, I’m still going to support this line because I’d like to see it go the distance. Alas, my fear is that we’re just going to get a handful of figures before this line fizzles. I certainly don’t expect to get any of the cool guards or soldiers, that kind of depth would be something better suited to Super7’s ReAction line. Still, it would be nice to see pre-orders up for Vultan, Dale, Zarkov, or Princess Aura. Right now the only other figures up for pre-order are Flash v2 and Prince Barin. Come on, guys, at least get Ming and Klytus in there. Ah well. I guess time will tell.

Vitruvian HACKS (Series 2): Lord Vehemous by Boss Fight Studio

Last week I got a new box in from Boss Fight Studio with some figures from the newest wave of Vitruvian HACKS, Series 2. I’m quickly getting backlogged with this line, as I still have plenty of figures from Series 1 to review, but when these showed up they just looked so damn good that I decided to bump a few of them to the head of the line. Today, I’m checking out Lord Vehemous, the self-proclaimed Dragon Cult Warrior Priest.
If you’re new to V-HACKS, Series 2 is all about a fantasy-style theme somewhat inspired by the likes of AD&D and other sword-and-sorcery type franchises, but the characters and designs are all original.

As always, the figures come on a landscape-orientated card with some colorful character art on the front and a “Collect Them All” layout on the back showing the figures from this wave, which I believe is the third, and the previous one. You also get a bio that tells us Lord Vehemous and his followers not only worship dragons, but gain supernatural powers by drinking their blood. F’cking-A hardcore! As you can see from the bubble, this figure comes packed with a ton of extra goodies, so if you’ll give me a minute to get him all geared up, we’ll check him out!

Vehemous sports a half-suit of armor, with full plate from the waist up and a long medieval-style skirt (for lack of a better word) covering his legs and most of his boots. The armor reuses some parts from the Knight of Accord, like the legs, arms and lower torso. He even has the slots on the outside of his thighs to tab in armor pieces, even though he doesn’t come with any. The chest armor, on the other hand, is different, as it features a well-worn, pitted finish and even some nasty looking cracks. Indeed, all the armor is colored to look like it’s old, possibly made out of bone, and has seen better days. I really dig the sculpted detail in the robes and belts, and there are peg holes on his hips to attach some of his gear. The various buckles and studs on the belt are all painted gold.

The optional parts for the armor include a pair of sculpted fur shoulder pads and a matching half-cape, the last of which we’ve seen a few times before, but most recently with the Orc. I say these pieces are optional, but Vehemous does have some pegs sticking out of his shoulders to attach them, so if you don’t equip the shoulders, these look exposed and awkward. Of course, you could always borrow different shoulders from one of your other HACKS figures, as mix-and-match is a big part of the charm here.

The head sculpt is excellent. Vehemous is a distinguished old and gray fellow with a rather nasty scar running down his left eye. They’ve even painted that eye gray to show that the damage isn’t just superficial. I’d say this is easily one of my favorite head sculpts in the entire HACKS line. It really is excellent. It seems a shame to cover it up, but you can do just that thanks to the included helmet…

The helmet is made of soft, pliable plastic and fits over the head quite well. It’s cast in the same color plastic as the rest of the armor, giving it an ancient bone-like finish and the design is just superb. I just love the configuration of the horns and the way the figure’s eyes line up with the eye holes in the helmet. This piece certainly adds a lot of intimidation factor to the figure, while also allowing some display variety. I could easily see picking up a few more Lord Vehemous figures, put the helmets on two of them and just display them behind the unmasked figure as his fellow cultists. Damn, I think I’ve just talked myself out of another forty bucks. But if you really want to go nuts, you have one more noggin option…

And that’s the skull. I’m not sure where or how skeletons fit into the whole Dragon Cult business, but this is a beautiful skull and it sure looks great on the figure. The sculpt is incredibly well detailed for a figure in this scale, but I shouldn’t be surprised as the folks at BFS have been sculpting these skulls plenty of times and have had a lot of practice. The skull is cast in a creepy yellowish-green and features some wash to bring out all the little details. Seeing as how the skull still features the red gash running down over the left eye, I’m guessing this is some kind of magical transformation. Alright, so we’ve looked at the figure and the heads, let’s check out the accessories.

For starters, Vehemous comes with this cool book, no doubt an ancient tome dealing with dragon lore and spells that you can do with the blood of the Great Wyrms. I’m pretty sure this is a repaint of the book included with Felonious from Wave 2, but I haven’t opened or reviewed that figure yet, and he’s out of bounds for comparison until I do. Sorry, but thems the rules! Either way, the book features a blue binding with a leather-like texture as well as sculpted gold fixtures and an ornamental piece on the front cover. As a reformed antiquarian book collector, I really dig this accessory a lot. It even has a sculpted chain that you can use to attach it to his belt. Of course, knowledge is power, but nothing beats cold hard steel, so let’s move on to some of Vehemous’ many weapons.

You can’t go wrong with a sword and dagger and Vehemous comes with both, each in their own scabbard and sheath, and each with pegs to attach them to his belt. The scabbard and sheath are a bit on the chunky side, but I’m willing to forgive that in this scale. Both are painted blue to match the shirt that peeks through the armor, you get some sculpted brown “leather” straps and the throats and tips are painted gold. The blades fit in well and can be drawn without much effort. I like that the peg hole for the dagger is angled a bit to the back so I can have him wear it horizontally. The gold hilts are matched (or “en suite” as they say) with pointed pommels and simple cross guards. Both have sculpted ribbed grips painted blue. The blades have a nice silver paint finish and Vehemous comes with two pairs of hands to hold them, one pair is hinged to angle forward and the other to bend side-to-side.

Next up, Vehemous comes with this bitchin’ spiked flail. The handle has sculpted “leather” wrappings and a pretty sharp spike capping off the end. The spiked ball hangs from a chain with gold painted loops securing it at both ends. I’m a sucker for a good flail, and I’m actually surprised that the Vitruvian HACKS 4-inch line beat the Mythic Legions 6-inch line, by doing a flail first. And they did a damn fine job with it.

Lastly, you get a spiked mace with a really long handle, making it look more like a staff than a practical weapon. Not that you couldn’t do some crazy damage with this thing if you were to swing it at the busy-body knights who show up to crash your Dragon Blood Rituals. The spiked ball looks like the same one used for the flail, and the shaft is white with some gold fixtures.

The best compliment I can pay an action figure line is to say that every time I open one, I want to buy another. That’s high praise, especially when we’re talking about 4-inch figures that run me about $25 each. I’ve been suitably impressed with Vitruvian HACKS ever since the first Kickstarter, but damn, Lord Vehemous really ups the ante. This figure is a 4-inches of masterpiece. This is an example of a fantastic original character design that has been executed it brilliantly, and the generous dose of extras and accessories make him a well-rounded package. Next week, I’m going to commit to going back and reviewing another figure from Series 1, before pressing on with more of the Series 2 figures.

Vitruvian HACKS (Series 2): Male Orc Conqueror by Boss Fight Studio

While I may be almost caught up on Mythic Legions, I’m still swimming in Vitruvian HACKS figures, both from Series 1 and 2, that are waiting to be opened and reviewed, so I thought I’d end the week dipping back into the fantasy-inspired Series 2 with the last figure I have to review from the first wave. Let’s check out the Male Orc Conqueror!

As always, the regular HACKS releases feature a colorful portrait-orientated card with a plastic bubble and overlay that hugs the sides and allows for the best of both worlds: A traditional carded look, while still being totally collector friendly. BFS hasn’t messed with this presentation since Series 1 and I hope they never do! And just look inside that bubble! This guy comes packed with a ton of stuff, making him feel more like one of the Ultimate Exclusives from Series 1, than a regular release. If you read my review on the Knight of Accord, you’ll have a good idea about what to expect here, as this fellow is basically the Orcs answer to that figure, with the same types of extras. I’ll note that the word “Male” doesn’t actually appear on the card, but BFS has used it in their catalog listing to distinguish it from the Female Orc that followed.

Here’s Mr. Orc out of the package and stripped down to his bare essentials. Unlike the Series 1 figures, which featured separately sculpted outfits, the bulk of the Orc’s outfit is sculpted as part of the buck. This includes the chest and back plate, which has a cool hammered metal finish, sculpted olive green trousers, and the basic boots. Articulation, however, remains unchanged from the Series 1 figures, and while I would really like BFS to add swivels in the thighs, what we get here is still plenty good.

Additional separate pieces provide his wide belt with sculpted fur and the large medallion belt buckle, the wrist wraps, and the furry fringe at the tops of his boots. There are also two spiked plates that tab into the slots on the sides of his legs. The chest harness is also a separate piece. All the detail here is quite exquisite for a figure in this scale, right down to the tiny sculpted buckles meant to hold on his thigh straps. And while the colors on the outfit tend to be drab, the green skin adds some flash to the overall deco and the steel paint for the armor looks quite nice.

There’s also a pair of spiked shoulders that can be pegged into place and a fur half-cape that an go with them. The shoulders stay on securely, and be careful about those spikes, because they are sharp!

You get two head sculpts to choose from, which is very welcome, because rather than representing a single character, this figure is meant to be customized in different ways to build your Orc army. The stock head features a full beard, as well as great little details like the nose ring and the protruding lower teeth. The alternate head is clean shaven and without the nose ring. Both feature some very sharp details, particularly in the pointed ears. The paint is overall pretty sharp and clean, although my bearded had has a slightly wonky eye. It’s nothing too bad, but if you happen to be picking up this figure at a convention, you might want to check out the eyes before buying.

In addition to having two heads to build off of, you also have a number of helmet combinations to work with. First off, you get an open-faced helmet with knobs on the sides to attach one of the two face-plates, and also works quite well as a helmet all on its own. This system works the same as it did for the Knight of Accord, which is to say it doesn’t work all that well. The masks have holes that are supposed to peg through the knobs on the mask, but the ends of the knobs are too big for the holes. Also, the holes on the mask are located near the edges and I’m afraid if I force them, I’ll tear the edge of the mask. As a result, these will hold onto the helmet fairly well in an opened or closed position, but they won’t hinge up and down as intended.

Both of the masks are beautifully sculpted and look very Klingon to me with those stylized forehead ridges. Indeed, they look so damn Klingon, I’d be surprised if that wasn’t the intention. Both of the masks have a skull vibe going on, designed to strike fear in the hearts of all who cross blades with them. One features a fully sculpted beard.

The other piece of headgear is a full helmet with some rather sinister looking wings and cheek-plates. This piece is sculpted with the same hammered finish seen on the chest armor, and a mohawk of nasty and crude looking spikes. I like the design of this helmet a lot, but I also think it would fit more on an evil knight than it does on an Orc. If I do wind up troop building some of these guys, I’ll definitely reserve this helmet for the leader. And speaking of troop building, between all these different helmets and the two heads, you could probably buy a half-dozen of these Orcs and have no two look alike, and we haven’t even come to the weapons yet. So let’s talk weapons!

The Orc comes with a sword and shield, and each of these are wonderfully crude weapons certainly befitting of a savage Orc. The sword looks like someone took a farming implement, gave it a couple of wacks with a blacksmithing hammer to shape it into a something a little more befitting of butchering manflesh and handed it out to the next Orc in line. It’s jagged and primitive edges give it the no no nonsense look of a cleaver for the rank-and-file soldier and that’s pretty much perfect for this guy. The blade’s finish has a nice metal sheen to it and the grip features a sculpted wrap that looks like it’s meant to be animal hide.

The shield is without a doubt the showpiece of this figure’s accessories, as it is nothing short of a masterpiece. It’s a circular type with sculpted wooden planks, which have seen better days. They’re riddled with slash marks and have whole pieces taken out of them from the rigors of battle. The edge and center are sculpted to look like hammered metal, and they too have some pretty major wear from use. The attention to detail is every bit as strong on the inside as on the outside, where you get reinforcing metal strips bolted across. The shield is held using a simple grab bar, which has a beautiful woodgrain finish painted onto it, and there are also some loops, which could be used with a string so the Orc could wear the shield on his back.

If swords aren’t your thing, the Orc Conqueror also comes with this nifty battle hammer, which looks like a cross-section of a tree with metal spiked caps on the ends and a pole stuck into it. It’s crude, it’s vicious looking, and the detail is off the charts. The bark on the tree-section is beautifully sculpted and painted and the hammered-spiked caps feature sculpted rivets. The handle has a sculpted wrapped grip, and there’s another spike at the end of the shaft. This thing is the perfect Orc weapon, it looks devastating, and I only wish the shaft were a little longer so he could better wield it using both hands.

Finally, the figure comes with the usual black Boss Fight Studio stand. These are always a nice bonus, but the figure stands fine on his own, so it’s not necessary, unless you’re setting up all your figures for display and don’t want to risk them toppling into an avalanche.

The Conquering Orc makes for another great addition to the Vitruvian HACKS Fantasy Series. There’s no denying that the folks at BFS put a lot of love into this guy, from his head sculpt to his outfit and weapons. The attention to detail is superb and the options for display are many. I could easily pick up four or five of this figure and outfit them as a squad of unique looking Orc soldiers. But of all the things to love here, I think my favorite is the fact that this figure looks like someone took one of my beloved old AD&D miniatures and gave him articulation and removable accessories. I have to imagine that’s exactly the feeling they were going for, and it’s exactly the sort of thing which will keep me coming back to collect all this line has to offer.

Vitruvian HACKS (Series 2): Cerisier (Sakura Elven Assassin) by Boss Fight Studio

Did you pop in here yesterday and wonder where I was? Are you wondering why I’m here posting on a Wednesday? Well, in case you missed the Easter memo, my weekday updates for April are happening on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, with the occasional Anime Saturday post when I have the time. Today, I’m dedicating myself to getting caught up on my Vitruvian HACKS reviews before the mother lode from that other Kickstarter, Mythic Legions hits later in the Summer and buries me in figures. I’ve got a good mix of the newer Series 2 figures as well as the many Series 1 figures I’ve yet to review. This time, I’m having a look at Cerisier, a Series 2 release that was exclusive to Boss Fight Studio’s webstore last year.

Most of the Series 1 HACKS Exclusives that I looked at last year were released in partnership with Kokomo Toys and those shipped in illustrated cardboard boxes. But this BFS webstore exclusive comes in the regular carded packaging with a landscape-orientated card and bubble. The packaging is totally collector friendly and features some nice character artwork on the front of the card and a “Collect Them All” style layout on the back as well as a pretty cool little bio that tells us Cerisier is one of the Queen’s Elite Corps of archers, who bathe daily in dark ink, can see in the dark, and have their voices magically removed. Badass! There is no explicit call-out on the package that Cerisier was a webstore exclusive, but the figure is also not pictured on the back with the regular releases.

From the neck down, both the body and costume of this figure is a straight repaint of Aiyana, the Autumn Elven Archer. That’s not a bad thing, because both are excellent sculpts and the re-coloring goes a long way to make this figure feel unique. The gray skin tone gives her a sinister and shadowy visage and the autumn colors of Aiyana’s costume have been replaced with some brown, pink and white. Yeah, the color pink doesn’t really scream shadow assassin to me, but I still dig it. The detail in the costume sculpt is still quite amazing when you consider it’s done in the 4-inch scale, and little details like the sculpted leaves that make up her skirt and the thin painted cord that’s meant to secure her leg wraps go a long way to make this figure look extra special.

As always with these figures, Cerisier’s costume is all comprised of separately sculpted pieces and is completely removable, which links in with the customization aspect of this line. The standard female HACKS buck features some solid articulation too. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have double hinges in the knees, and the ankles have both hinges and rockers. There’s a swivel in the waist, a ball joint under the chest, and the neck is ball jointed.

The head sculpt is new and I really like this one a lot. It’s more angular than Aiyana’s and I’d dare say prettier as well. I really dig how pronounced the pointed ears are here, and just the fact that there are variations in the ears among the HACKS elves. The hair is sculpted as a separate piece and pulled back tight, which would seem practical for an assassin. She also has some flowers sculpted into her hair, which are painted pink to match her top. What? Assassins can like pink! We’ve already established that!

Most of Cerisier’s accessories are new, but she does come with repaints of the same two daggers we saw with Aiyana. She can wield them in both hands, and there’s also a slot on the back of her skirt where she can store them.

Cerisier’s main weapon is her crossbow, which is a classic medieval style weapon with a lever-like trigger in the handle and a stirrup mounted on the front of the bow. There are three loose bolts included, which can be loaded into the weapon, but there isn’t a lot to hold them in there very securely. Still, I was able to get them to stay put for a number of different poses without any trouble.

She also comes with a quiver to hold her extra bolts. This quiver is sculpted with a hook that can hang off the slot at the back of her skirt, provided you aren’t using that slot to hold her daggers. Nope, Cerisier can’t carry all her weapons at once.

And, as always, the figure comes with a standard black Boss Fight Studio figure stand. The pegs on these stands don’t work all that well with the barefoot characters, because the foot pegs aren’t that deep, but I was able to make it sort of work. You don’t really need the stand, though, because Cerisier stands quite well on her own. I’ll also point out that she comes with an extra pair of hands with the axis of the wrist hinges changed, so one pair bends side to side and the other forward and backward. These are also pretty standard on all of the HACKS figures.

Cerisier is another solid figure in the HACKS Series 2 foray into the fantasy world. I’m a big fan of the elves, and I plan on picking up all of them, but then I’ve pretty much been all in on this line anyway. I think Cerisier also makes for a perfect exclusive, since she does reuse a a lot from one of the existing regular releases. If you weren’t able to track her down, but you have Aiyana you then aren’t completely missing out, but I’d still recommend her for a pick up if you’re collecting the line. At the time I’m writing this, she’s even still available through the Boss Fight Webstore. At about $25, the price of the Series 2 figures has gone up a bit, but that may have to do with the fact that the first series was Kickstarted and these are being sold through pre-orders. Either way, I think these figures are still well worth it and it’s a line that I’m enjoying a lot.

Vitruvian HACKS: Warrior Skeleton by Boss Fight Studios

Yesterday, I reviewed the last Mythic Legions figure that I had left to open. I also realized how woefully behind I am on that other Kickstarter line that I collect. Boss Fight Studio’s 4-inch Vitruvian HACKS line is well into Series 2, some of which I’ve already looked at here, but I’m still not done opening and reviewing the first series. So, let’s start knocking these out today with a look at the Warrior Skeleton! Ever since I first saw Jason and the Argonauts as a kid, I’ve been fascinated by the images of Harryhausen’s skeletal armies making war against the Greek heroes. So much so, that I was surprised and a little disappointed that the initial offering of HACKS didn’t include any. Well, it took a wee bit longer, but they finally delivered.

I’ve shown off this packaging plenty of times, but I still enjoy it so much. The figure comes in a bubble set on landscape-orientated card with some great original artwork of the character on the front, and a classic “Collect Them All” presentation on the back, along with a bio about the character. Although, today’s figure isn’t a specific character, but rather an undead army builder. I actually own two HACKS skeletons, which were included as bonuses in some of my orders. They’re neat, and they gave me a great feel for the skeletal sculpt, but both of them are cast in hot pink plastic, so I don’t have much use for them. But this guy? Oh, hell yes!

The skeleton comes out of the package with remnant pieces of Greek armor, presumably from when he was alive. His ensemble includes a pair of gold grieves on his lower legs, gold armor pieces on his right forearm and bicep, and a gold shoulder piece on his right shoulder, held on by sculpted straps. He’s also wearing a hoplite-style skirt to protect his vacant skeletal modesty. The skirt has an ornamental gold buckle on the front and painted lacings on the back.  I’m pretty sure we’ve seen all of these pieces before on other figures, but then it’s the mix-and-match nature of HACKS that makes it such a versatile line. All of these pieces are beautifully detailed and painted, but the shoulder armor stands out as being especially nice.

In theory, you can take all the armor off this guy if you want to have a plain skeleton for your display. I say “in theory” because I was not able to easily remove the grieves. I’m sure I could, but I didn’t want to stress anything on the figure by forcing them. Either way, the skeleton buck is excellent, especially for a figure in this scale. It has a finish that looks like authentic weathered bone and some of the highlights of articulation include rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, wrists, and hips, as well as double hinges in the knees, hinges in the ankles, and ball joints in the neck and middle of the torso. The lower jaw will even open a bit. Some of these joints are super thin, but I didn’t feel like normal handling and posing was ever going to present a problem. I will say that I found it difficult to pose him without his legs looking pretty wonky, but maybe skeletons aren’t too stable when they stand.

The skull looks really fantastic. There are some great cracks and fissures sculpted into it and I really dig the weathering. The sculpting on the teeth is rather soft, and it’s hard to make them out from certain angles, but let’s remember that this is a 4-inch scale figure.

The figure comes with a helmet, but I think it’s a shame to cover up that wonderful skull, so I doubt I’ll be displaying him with it, unless I get some more and I want to vary them up a bit. It’s gold with a black comb on top, and again it’s an accessory that we’ve already seen several times in this line, but that doesn’t make it any less welcome. This one may wind up getting loaned out to one of my other figures.

Of course, every Skeleton Warrior needs his weapons, and this fellow comes with some cool ones. Like his armor, we’ve seen all of these weapons before, as they have been released with previous figures. First off, he has a short sword which he can carry through a strap on the back of his skirt. It has a leaf-shaped blade that’s painted silver, and a simple hilt painted gold. He can hold it perfectly in either of his boney hands.

Next up, he comes with a spear. It has a leaf shaped blade at one end, and a sharp, spiked cap at the other. The shaft is gold and the blade and cap are painted silver.

And finally, he has his shield. This is the same large round shield we’ve seen plenty of times before in the line. Here it’s gold with a black Kraken painted on the front and a black border running around the edge. The interior features a grab bar and a soft plastic sleeve, both of which allow him to hold it quite securely, and the front has a hammered metal finish sculpted into it.

The Skeleton comes with the same Boss Fight Studios stand that we’ve seen with each and every figure. He does not have peg holes in his feet, but they included these translucent pieces that will peg to the stand and you can slip his feet through them.

I really dig this figure a lot. Yeah, his legs are tough to work with and it’s hard to get them to not look a bit awkward when he’s standing on his own, but I can live with that. The skeleton body itself is practically worth the price of admission, but when you toss in all the cool weapons and gear, he really is an amazing little figure. This fellow was issued in one of the later waves of Series 1 and I actually missed out on his release completely. Luckily I was able to track one down at Kokomo Toys. I hope the folks at Boss Fight turn out something similar for their Series 2 line, because I’ll take as many Warrior Skeletons as I can get.

Vitruvian HACKS (Series 2): Aiyana (Autumn Elven Archer) by Boss Fight Studios

With the second wave of Vitruvian HACKS Series 2 upon us soon, I thought I’d better kick it into high gear and have a look at another figure from the initial wave. And with tomorrow being Thanksgiving, it seemed like the optimal time to check out Aiyana, the Autumn Elf Archer!

I won’t go on about the packaging, because it hasn’t changed from Series 1, and we’ve already seen it twice in Series 2. It’s basically a horizontal card with a plastic bubble and covering, which allows it to display like a classic carded figure, but still be collector friendly. You get some nice artwork on the front, some character information on the back, and pictures of the other Series 2 figures that are available to collect.

Aiyana harkens back to the Series 1 figures by offering a standard buck with all of her outfit sculpted in separate pieces and actually worn on the figure. It’s quite an achievement for 4-inch scale figures, and since it’s all removable, it gives you some options to mix and match with other figures if you want. The costume certainly has a strong autumn flavor and includes a separate top and bottom, as well as wrist and ankle bracers. All of the pieces are sculpted with fall colored leaves, cloth, and what looks like vines or twine, giving the outfit a very primitive look. What doesn’t look primitive is the craftsmanship that went into the sculpt and paintwork. The detail on the tiny leaves and wraps is quite extraordinary and the mix or orange, yellows, and browns makes me want to run outside and play in a leaf pile. There’s a hole in Aiyana’s back, which we’ll soon see can equip her quiver, but it can also take a peg from any number of import figure stands for those action poses. I’ve covered the articulation in these female bucks quite a few times in the past, so I’ll forgo it here and refer you back to one of my earlier reviews.

I like the head sculpt well enough, although from certain angles the lips can look a little odd. The hair is sculpted from a separate piece and the way the bangs hang over the forehead gives it a nice sense of depth. The paint on her eyes, eyebrows, and lips is fairly simple, but applied with precision, and her pointed ears are a lot more understated than what we saw on Laguna, her cavern dwelling cousin a few weeks back.

As an archer, Aiyana comes with the tools of her trade, which include a bow, a quiver, and a bunch of arrows. The quiver pegs right into the hole in her back and is painted to look like leather. It has some sculpted lacings holding it together and it can comfortably hold three arrows, but I can get a fourth one in there if I really want to. The figure actually comes with six arrows total. The bow is a pretty simple sculpt, with a painted grip, and there are notches in the ends so that you can string it if you want. I may eventually do that, but for now, I left it the way it is, so we’ll just have to use our imaginations.

Aiyana features breaks in between her fingers where she can hold the arrows very securely and knock them into our imaginary bow string. The articulation works beautifully too, so you can get some nice poses of her withdrawing an arrow from her bow, or preparing to shoot.


What happens when an Autumn Elf runs out of arrows? She relies on her twin daggers, and I absolutely love the distinctive designs on these fearsome blades. There are slots on each side of her quiver where you can store these. Or if you prefer, there’s also a loop on the back of her skirt where you can tuck both of these into. I’m not sure if this is the intention, as I have a little fore knowledge about what this is used for on another figure, but I think it works pretty well for the daggers. Either way, it’s possible to get her to carry all her gear on her at once, well… except for some of those surplus arrows.

In addition to the weapons and extra arrows, Aiyala comes with some extra hands and the standard Boss Fight Studio figure stand. The pegs do not go that far into the holes on her feet, but I was still able to get it to work. I should also note that this figure has some incredible balance and even with a quiver full of arrows on her back, she can stand pretty well on those tiny bare feet without the aid of a stand. The mid-air poses and one legged stances? Well, that’s a different story.

So far, Vitruvian HACKS Series 2 is firing on all cylinders. And while I confess to grumbling a little about having to leave the Greek Hoplites and snake monsters of Series 1 behind, it hasn’t taken long for this new Fantasy theme to win over my heart. I really dig the diversity of this first wave, especially the fairies and the elves. And we haven’t even met The Orcs yet. But I’ll remedy that the next time I revisit this series. In the meantime, these figures should still all be available on Boss Fight Studios’ webstore and even at about $25 a piece, I’ve got no complaints!

And just a reminder, I am taking tomorrow off for Thanksgiving, but Transformers Thursday will be back next week, and I am planning on being back the following day with DC Friday. In the meantime, I have plenty of things to be thankful for, but I’m particularly thankful for everyone that reads my toy nonsense, comments, emails or tweets me. I have met so many wonderful people doing this silly blog, and you all make it worthwhile. I count so many of you among my friends, even the ones I’ve never met. Have a happy Thanksgiving, be well and be safe! 

Vitruvian HACKS (Series 2): Laguna the Cavern Fairie by Boss Fight Studios

A few weeks back, I started to check out the first wave of Boss Fight Studios Vitruvian HACKS Series 2 and after having just spent half my weekend at the local Medieval Faire, I felt inspired to come back and open up another of these fantasy-based 4-inch figures. So let’s have a look at Laguna, the Cavern Fairie!

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, I really dig this packaging. It manages to offer the classic feel of a card-and-bubble, while still being totally collector friendly. Just bend the edges of the plastic on the side and slide the card out to get at the goodies. The landscape-style card features some nice character artwork on the front, and on the back there’s a couple of paragraphs about Laguna and how she and her kind fit into this original fantasy world. You also get a “Collect Them All” shot of all the figures in this wave and the second one, which is going to be shipping out any day now, so I really need to get caught up!

And wow, what a great and unique looking figure this is! While the Knight of Accord was built off a largely newly sculpted buck, Laguna appears to feature the same generic female buck used in the initial series of HACKS, with her outfit sculpted separately and actually worn on the body. As a result, this figure feels like it preserves the heritage of the original HACKS series a lot more closely. It’s also a pretty remarkable achievement for a figure in this scale to actually be wearing a tiny sculpted plastic outfit. The outfit consists of two pieces and fits the figure extremely well. It sports plenty of great sculpted detail and it doesn’t feel like it’s at all over-sized, which has been a common issue with outfits on figures even bigger than this one. The paintwork on the outfit is precise and exact, right down to the little blue baubles that dot the edges of her “skirt.”

The body is cast in an ashen-purple skin color and is characterized by wings, which connect to her back on hinged pegs. BFS did an amazing job with the sculping on both sets of wings. They have beautiful texturing and tiny bone tips. The combination of skin color and wings give her a very gargoyle-like appearance, which also feels very appropriate for a race of cavern-dwelling fairies. Laguna also includes a second pair of open wings to offer a couple of different display options. One unfortunate issue I have with my figure is that the hinge on her left closed up wing is frozen. I’ve tried boiling it, I’ve tried razoring the seams, but nothing will get it loose. It’s a bummer.

The head is gorgeous! While I was a little cool on two of the three heads included with the Knight, this one really shines on every level. She’s pretty, has some sharply defined facial features, and near perfect paint for her eyes, eyebrows, and lips. The hair sculpt is also sharp and very intricate, although it does look like it’s defying gravity. I would have liked it more if it wasn’t so high, but when the rest is so good, I’m not going to nitpick. Laguna also has a pair of sculpted gnomish goggles worn up on her head. She uses these when she ventures out of her cavern habitat into the brightly lit surface world.

Because Laguna uses the standard HACKS buck, she has some great articulation. The only thing lacking would be swivel cuts in the biceps and shoulders. Her legs feature ball jointed hips, double hinged knees, and the ankles have both hinges and lateral rockers. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulder and elbows, and the wrists are hinged pegs. The hinged pegs allow you to easily swap out her hands with the extra pair that’s included. She has a ball joint in her chest and a double ball joint in her neck. As already mentioned, the wings connect to the body with hinged pegs.

Laguna comes with two magical weapons. The first is this wand, which has a sculpted rod and a cluster of crystals at the head.

The other weapon looks like some kind of enchanted hatchet, with a crystal in place of a regular axe head. I’m not sure if this thing shoots magic blasts, or if she just buries that crystal into her enemies, but it’s a pretty cool and imaginative piece. The handle is sculpted to look like ancient and gnarled wood, and the red and blue crystals illuminate nicely under the right lighting.

Laguna is an excellent figure, and she may be my favorite of the pair I opened. That’s saying something, because she’s also a lot simpler than the Knight of Accord, which came with a whole bunch of extras to customize him into different looks. You don’t get any of that with Laguna, instead she’s intended to be a very specific character. And that’s cool. But I do hope that later on down the road, BFS releases some kind of generic Cavern Fairie with a couple extra heads.

Vitruvian HACKS (Series 2): Knight of Accord by Boss Fight Studios

The folks at Boss Fight Studios have followed up their Greek Mythology based Series 1 of Vitruvian HACKS with a Medieval-Fantasy based second series. I’ve reviewed quite a few figures from the original series (with still more to look at eventually… I’ll get to them!) and I’ve been very pleased with all of them. There was never any doubt that I would be diving into Series 2, even though my fantasy figure heart has been forever stolen away by The Four Horsemen’s Mythic Legions. Hey, there’s always room for more, right? And as it turns out, each of these lines of figures have their own charms. I’ve picked up the first wave of four figures, as well as one of the two exclusives, so let’s start out with the heroic Knight of Accord! There’s a lot to talk about, so hang on tight!

I’m delighted to see that they haven’t changed the package design. The figure comes on a landscape-style card with plastic covering the front, which will display beautifully right alongside all my Series 1 figures. It’s also totally collector friendly, as all you have to do is bend the edges of the plastic up and slide out the card to get to the figure. And don’t let the small bubble fool you, there are two nested trays and a ton of stuff packed in there with this 4-inch figure.

The back of the card has a little blurb about the Knights of Accord. Note that this isn’t a specific character and we’ll soon see he can be many different characters. The cardback also shows off the other figures in Series 1 as well as the Series 2 figures, which should be coming soon.

The Knight uses a brand new buck, which is a mix of sculpted armor and clothing. Some of the armor is still removable, like the thigh plates and the grieves. The shoulder pieces also come detached from the figure and have to be pegged into the shoulders. This figure is a pretty big departure from Series 1, which used completely nude bucks with all the armor separate, but given the new time period, it’s certainly understandable that they went this route. The attention to detail is pretty spectacular when you consider the scale. Segmented plates and tiny rivets are all part of the sculpt, as are the straps that are meant to hold on the plates. And those rivets, as well as the reinforced edges of the armor, are painted bronze. I don’t think there’s ever been a better example of an armored knight in this scale. The name of the game here is customization, and the idea is that you can get a bunch of these figures and tweak them all to make up a squad of different characters. To further that end, BFS has included three different heads with the Knight.

Each of the heads come on their own bar-bell ball joint and these noggins are a bit of a mixed bag. OK, none of them are terrible, but overall I’m more partial to the head sculpts we got with Series 1. That stock head, for example, sure got an extra helping of eyebrows! Who is this, Sir Eugene Levy? The second head is my favorite. I think it’s the best overall sculpt and the beard makes him look distinguished. The final head is OK, but looks a little lumpy. Keep in mind, as with most 4-inch figures, they don’t hold up all that well to close scrutiny via the camera lens. Truth be told, they all look fine to me when viewed with my naked peepers. Well, except for that first head… his eyebrows are still huge! Are three heads not enough to customize your Knights? Well, let’s talk helmets…

First off, you get this stand-alone helmet, which looks great and fits the heads perfectly. I really have to give BFS credit in that both Series 1 and Series 2 have had some of the most impressive helmets I’ve ever seen in this scale. I love the sweeping curves of the horned crest and the extra sculpted detail around the visor, which is also painted gold to match the paint accents of the armor. The helmet fits so well that the eyes actually line up with the visor holes. So cool!

You also get an open-faced helmet with pegs on the side and it’s designed to work with three different visors. The problem is the visors don’t peg into the helmet very well at all. I’m afraid to force them at the risk of tearing the hole in the visor itself. Two of them do, however, clip on fairly well with just friction holding them in place and can even still be opened and closed without them falling off. It’s not the way these were intended to be used, but it’s the only way that I can really get them to work. The one up top is my favorite.

But this one is pretty cool too! What about the third? It doesn’t work. I’d have to actually peg it onto the helmet to make it stay put and as I said, I’m not willing to risk it. But even with three heads, two visored helmets, and the other helmet, you’ve got plenty of options to mix and match and create a little army of Knights.

The articulation is virtually identical to the Series 1 humanoids, so let’s run through it real quick. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and elbows, with hinged pegs for the wrists. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, double hinged at the knees, and hinged at the ankles. There’s a ball joint in the torso between the waist and chest, and as mentioned the neck is a double ball joint. The absence of things like lateral rockers in the ankles and swivels in the thighs do hold this Knight back a bit. Also, the legs feel a tad mushy, which was an issue I had with some of my Series 1 figures. So, not perfect, but still pretty damn solid, and I’d say that overall he’s probably more poseable than he should be wearing all that plate armor.

As for weapons, you get a couple of choices here as well. For starters, The Knight comes with this pretty cool double-headed battleaxe. It’s a very ornate weapon and includes a highly stylized head with cut-outs in the blades. The grip is sculpted and painted with black, gold, and blue. It’s designed to be wielded with one or both hands, and the articulation does allow for either.

Next up, he comes with a broadsword and scabbard. The scabbard can peg into the hole on the strap coming off the left side of his belt. It’s a bit of work to get it in there, but unlike the visors, I was able to make this work. There is also a ring on each side of his breastplate, which can hold the scabbard. Functional holsters for guns usually impress me in 4-inch figures, so as you can imagine, I’m practically losing my mind over a functional sword scabbard. Not that we didn’t see them in Series 1 also. The scabbard is painted black with some blue straps and a gold throat and tip.

The sword features a golden hilt with an up-swept crossguard and a stout blade. No bendy plastic here. This thing will go right in your eyeball and keep itself straight while doing it! Like the axe, the sword’s grip is designed to be wielded in either or both hands. It is, however, a bit of a tight fit in the scabbard. It’ll go all the way in, but then getting out requires a bit of force.

The final accessory in the Knight’s inventory is his shield. I believe this is an example of what scholars call a “heater” shield. It’s a pretty classical design with a heavy border framing its heraldic crest. There are sculpted rivets around the border and the grip features a soft sleeve that hugs the figure’s forearm and a grip. It’s kind of tough getting the grip into his hand, but even without putting the grip in there, he can still hold it convincingly. The sleeve will do most of the work.

There are a few extra goodies that I haven’t mentioned yet. The Knight comes with a second pair of hands, in this case the hinges are designed to move the hand forward and backward, rather than up and down. It’s the same thing BFS did with their Series 1 figures, and while the distinction might seem subtle, it’s nice for when you want to have your figure pointing his sword forward. And you also get the standard Boss Fight Studios action figure stand. The figure’s feet peg into one or both of the pegs. It’s exactly the same as the stands that came with Series 1.

If anyone was wondering whether Vitruvian HACKS Series 1 was a case of lightning in a bottle, I would urge them to play around with this figure. And as amazing as this individual figure is, I’m most intrigued by the mix-and-match design. The original HACKS series was designed with customizers in mind, but I felt that accessing it required actual customizing skills, which I sadly do not possess in spades. This time around, it feels like it’s been made far more accessible right out of the package by just swapping out heads and helmet styles. It would have been cool if the sash on the belt could have been swapped out for a different color, but then again I think they’ve done plenty.

The Series 2 figures are selling for $25 a pop on the Boss Fight Studios webstore and yeah, that’s a good chunk of change for a 4-inch figure, unless you’re used to buying GI JOEs from that club. It’s also about five bucks more than most of the Series 1 figures were. I’ll concede the price here feels high, especially when compared to roughly $30 average for a Mythic Legions figure, but at the same time, it’s easy for me to see where the money went. This is an exceptional figure with all new tooling and sculpting and plenty of extras thrown in. And the fact that I’m not only all in so far with these, but I’ll also likely buy at least one more Accord Knight, should prove that I’m very happy with my purchase.

Vitruvian HACKS: Atelis Warrior (Kokomo Toys Exclusive) by Boss Fight Studios

A couple of weeks back Indiana toy store, Kokomo Toys revealed their second Exclusive release from Boss Fight Studios’ Vitruvian HACKS series and I was quick to drop in a pre-order. It also reminded me how I’ve let this line has fall by the wayside when it comes to my reviews. I still have quite a few figures from Series 1, and I promise I’ll be getting back to looking at them regularly. But for now, I’m going to go ahead and push this figure to the head of the line, because I’m really excited to open her up and check her out.

BFS have done a few exclusives in this line and they’ve all come in these simple, illustrated boxes. They’re certainly not as flashy as the full-color carded packaging used on the regular releases, but these are still collector friendly and the little boxes give you a place to keep all the extra bits. And there are a ton of extra bits! I probably could have bought three or four of these figures and kitted each one out to make them look unique. So, let’s start out with the basic figure and then check out all the extra goodies.

The Atelis Warrior (I’m just going to call her Atelis) is the result of a misguided attempt to turn human warriors back after they’ve been cursed as Gorgons. The result is this half-stage mutation warrior, who in the end still remained loyal to Medusa and the Gorgons. That’s a pretty rad backstory for what is a great looking figure. We’ve seen just about all of these parts before in previous HACKS figures that I reviewed here. You get the basic female buck, painted green. The chest armor, shoulder armor, and arm pieces all come from Medusa, while the greaves are from the Spartan Warrior. Pretty much all the armor and accessories here are repainted with a gorgeous gold and they all look fantastic.

The sculpting on the shoulder piece is superbly done, especially for a 4-inch scale figure. I also really appreciate the individually painted rivets on the skirt and straps. The sandal straps are individually painted, and even the body has some nice dark green markings to drive home the whole snake motif. As always, all the armor pieces are removable and they are compatible with the other female HACKS figures. For that matter, even the figure itself can be disassembled and rebuilt fairly easily.

Atelis comes with two head sculpts, which was an unexpected, but most welcome, surprise. The standard head looks to be a repaint of the Coral Snake Gorgon head, which was part of the original wave of four figures. This portrait features some very nice sculpted scaling, and the eyes look incredible. The head attaches via a double ball-jointed post, which allows for easy swapping as well as a little extra movement in the neck.

The second head is an even more incredible sculpt. You get the full open mouth with some beautiful work on the interior. I can practically see the venom glands in there ready to spew! This head has a little more of a sheen to it and both the sculpted scales and the painted markings are different for this head, so if you happen to be picking up a couple of these, you can diversify your display quite nicely. As long as we’re talking heads, let’s take a look at the head gear included with the figure.

You get two types of head gear, the first being a standard Spartan-style helmet. We’ve certainly seen this before, and it looks great in the gold paint with a dark green comb on the top. These helmets were obviously designed for the human heads, so the cheek guards splay out a bit on the snake heads, but I still think it looks fine.

The other piece is a gold repaint of the snake skull headpiece we’ve seen with some of the Gorgons. I loved the design of this thing when I first got it with the Coral Snake Gorgon, and I have to say it looks incredible in gold.

BFS have really been packing these exclusive releases with a ton of weapons and Atelis here is no different. She comes with two sets of hands and each set has the hinges placed differently. As for the weapons, first off you get two of those skeletal whips that have been included with some of the Gorgons in the past.

Next up, you get a pair of matched swords. These are the Etruscan style swords with leaf-shaped blades, all decked out in gold.

You also get this sweet little skeletal dagger, which compliments the whips quite nicely. Get ’em caught in the whip and then make with the stabby-stabby! It’s a delightfully brutal combination.

And finally, Aetlis comes with a gorgeous golden shield with Medusa’s face sculpted into it. This features the usual combination of sleeve and grab bar that allows the figure to hold it pretty securely. It can be a little bit of a chore to get her hand to grasp the bar, but to be honest, the sleeve is more than enough to keep the shield on her arm.

With BFS hard at work on Vitruvian HACKS Series 2 (this time, a medieval-fantasy themed series), I was all but certain that Series 1 was finished. Nonetheless, this lovely lady came across my Twitter feed back in March for pre-order and I jumped on it right away. At $30, she ran about ten bucks more than the regular figures, but in fairness, you do get some more goodies in the box than with a regular release and since that included shipping, the price here doesn’t seem outrageous, especially for an exclusive release. The Atelis Warrior is still available through Kokomo Toys’ Ebay Store.