The Muppets (Wave 1) by Diamond Select, Part II: Kermit with Robin and Bean Bunny

In case you missed yesterday, I’m smack in the middle of a Muppets Trifecta as I look through the first wave of Diamond Select’s new Muppets figures. I went really long yesterday, which often happens when I introduced myself to a brand new line, so let’s jump right in and check out Kermit and friends!



I had a lot to say about the packaging yesterday, so let’s just take a quick look and move on. It looks great and it gives you a clear look at the figures and accessories inside. The large character portrait on the side panel is nice to be able to identify who is in the package if you have them all lined up on a shelf. But, great presentation aside, it’s not at all collector friendly and takes up way too much room for my taste. It’s also really wasteful. When I was all done opening this set it was crazy how big the pile of cardboard and plastic was in relation to the actual toys that came in it. But enough said about that, let’s start off with Kermit…


At about 3 1/2-inches tall, Kermit is just a smidgen taller than Gonzo. And like Gonzo, DST did a really nice job with this sculpt. Granted, there isn’t as much to work with here. There’s no outfit, no elaborate coloring. Just a green frog and as we all know, it ain’t easy being green. The head sculpt is spot on, with the mouth open to show the painted tongue and throat inside. The best detail for me here are the little creases that appear at the sides of his mouth that showed on the real life Muppet when he opened his mouth. There’s a little bit of slop around the eyes where the white meets the body. It stands out a bit on close up photos, but it’s not too bad when viewed with the figure in hand.


I was really curious to see how they were going to make him work with his spindly arms and legs while still maintaining articulation and not being ridiculously fragile. As it turns out, they did a really nice job. Kermit sports rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, knees, and ankles. He also has a rotating hinge in the neck, which allows him to look up and down, where Gonzo really couldn’t. I was honestly terrified when I first got the figure out and started to work his joints. They are certainly fragile and the left hip joint on mine wouldn’t move until I gave it some prolonged gentile coaxing. I think the most amazing thing about this figure is that while the joints are tiny and some feel loose in hand, he can still stand surprisingly well on his own. Seriously, just look up there at the balance on this guy. Half the time, I didn’t even have to put any effort into it at all.


Robin, Kermit’s nephew, measures in at only 2-inches tall. He’s a very simple figure with the only articulation being the swivels in his elbows and hips. He’s a lot tougher to stand than Kermit is, but he will stand. I’m not sure, but I might have preferred him sculpted in a seated position. That was the way he was almost always seen on the show and I think he would have made a more stable display piece that way. Still, all in all, he’s not bad.




And that brings us to Bean Bunny. I had absolutely no idea who he was until I did a little research to discover the character premiered in 1986 and was a little after my time. I won’t hold that against him as he is a cool little guy, even if his black, soulless eyes give me the creeps. At about 2-inches tall, this is a really impressive little sculpt and features quite a lot of paintwork for such a tiny piece. He also sports an impressive about of articulation, especially considering I expected him to be a static piece like Camilla. With ball joints in the shoulders, swivels at the hips, and a head that turns, he made out a lot better than Robin. With Kermit and his two chums, this pack really feels like a better action figure value than Gonzo and Camilla… let’s see how it stacks up with the accessories…



My guess is that DST had their doubts about Kermit’s uncanny ability to stand because a lot of what you get in this pack are things for Kermit to sit on. The largest one is the director’s chair and it’s a great piece to give him a little height if you want to display him alongside any 5 or 6-inch scale special guest star figures. Additionally, you get a little stool and a log for Kermit to plant his green ass on, especially when he feels like plucking away at a string instrument.



And hey, speaking of instruments… you just happen to get a couple: A banjo and a guitar. These are great for any time he wants to bust out Rainbow Connection. These are fairly simple sculpts and fairly simply painted, but welcome additions nonetheless and I could see these getting passed around my Muppets figures quite a bit.



While there were some things about the Gonzo set that left me a little cold, Kermit brings it all back home for me. This is a great set with some thoughtful accessories and combining it with Gonzo and his stuff begins to hint at how much potential this line is going to have as it continues to grow. And while I still can’t quite figure out what sort of black magic DST used to get Kermit to articulate and stand so wonderfully, I’m glad they were able to do it. He’s a fantastic little figure that gives me nothing but high hopes for The Muppets future.

Tomorrow, I’ll wrap up this Trilogy with a look at Fozzie Bear and Scooter!

The Muppets (Wave 1) by Diamond Select, Part I: Grover and Camilla

“It’s The Muppet Show, with our very special guest…” Growing up hearing those words meant about 25 minutes of sheer bliss was about to be unleashed on our household. I was about seven years old when The Muppet Show was in full stride, right around 1979 and let me tell you, it was event programming in my house. It truly was great family television, because there was something for everyone. My brother and I watched it for the Muppets craziness and my parents watched it for the guest stars and musical numbers. My father would even pop popcorn. It was a magic time and produced many wonderful family memories. And while I would have killed for some actual Muppet puppets as a kid, the only Muppet toys I ever had were those little figures from Fischer-Price with the big white sticks coming out of their backs. As if to pour salt into the wound, Palisades introduced their epic line just a year or two before I got back into toy collecting and I missed out on that. When Diamond Select announced their new line, I was pretty excited and instantly sold. I’m going to be looking at all of Wave 1 over the next three days and just to warn you, today will get a little long-winded. Let’s start with Gonzo and Camilla…


Diamond Select has been doing figures for a long time, but apart from one of their Classic Star Trek sets with Kirk and Khan, I’ve never actually bought any. Yeah, that even surprised me. I’ve come close to picking up some of their Marvel Select figures and some Universal Monsters, but never got around to pulling the trigger. As such, this packaging is a new experience to me. It certainly is impressively HUGE for what are in this case some pretty small figures. The figures and accessories come spread out in a tray under a giant bubble, allowing you to see everything you’re getting. Also… Disney? I honestly had no idea that Disney owned The Muppets now, but I guess I should have because they own everything. A folded illustrated cardboard spine offers some great pictures of Gonzo and Camilla, so you could line these up on a shelf and know exactly who is in which package. Of course, none of this amazing presentation makes much sense when you have to destroy it to get to the figures. Nothing here is collector friendly, and all of the packages seemed to be pretty rough just from being on the shelf at the store. All this plastic and cardboard seems rather wasteful for something that I’m betting most people are just going to throw out. And considering all the accessories, keeping these mint-in-package makes even less sense to me than doing it with their Marvel figures. But hey, to each their own.


As I already mentioned, these are pretty small figures, with Gonzo measuring about 3 1/2-inches tall. If I were buying these without any foreknowledge, I probably would have been surprised when I got them. Diamond Select’s figures are usually sizable and the $21 price tag can cause sticker shock if not for all the extras in the package. Yes, I consider Camilla more of an extra than an actual figure, but more on her in a bit. Now, with all that having been said, I think the scale works for a couple of reasons. One, it does allow for more accessories, especially some of the big stuff coming in the second assortment, like Animal’s drums and Statler and Waldorf’s balcony. And who knows? Is a playset or two too much to hope for? Secondly, it will allow for bigger characters, like Sweetums, without having to break the bank. Finally, and this applies more to DST than us the consumer, it would make no sense for DST to adhere to the Palisades scale because then collectors would just be cherry-picking what Palisades didn’t get around to doing, instead of starting over. With all that out of the way, let’s turn our attention to little Gonzo.



The sculpt here is pretty spot on, with Gonzo sporting his trademark tuxedo, complete with bow tie and flower on the lapel. Gonzo adopts many different outfits, but this is the one I would call his standard look. I couldn’t have asked for more out of the portrait, at least not in this scale. His mouth is partially open. which I suspect will be the consistent look for all the Muppets throughout this line. The eyes are on point and while the wispy hairs that protrude from the real Muppet’s head are a lot heavier handed here in plastic, they still convey the look just fine for my tastes. What’s also cool is that Gonzo’s tiny body manages to employ a good deal of articulation. Rotating hinges are the running theme here, as they appear in his shoulders, elbows, knees, and ankles. The hips are ball jointed, the wrists swivel, and there’s even a waist swivel buried under that tuxedo jacket. The neck is ball jointed, but really only allows for rotation, which is easily the most disappointing thing about the figure’s articulation. Yup, as far as the sculpt goes, I’m pretty happy with what we got.



The paint on my figure is pretty solid, at least to the naked eye. Keep in mind, Gonzo is shorter than your standard Star Wars figure and closeup shots of figures this small don’t usually do the paint any favors. That having been said, my figure only has a couple of nagging issues, like a weird yellow smudge on the back of his head and the fact that the purple along his mouth could be sharper where it meets the blue fur. Yeah, I’m nitpicking, especially when I’ve heard horror stories from some other collectors about horrible paint on some of these figures. Maybe I got lucky. Bottom line: The sculpt is great, the paint is solid. I like this figure a lot and he’s pretty fun to play with.


Camilla, as I already mentioned feels more like an accessory than a figure.  I was hoping for a little articulation here, like swivels in the feet and a rotating head, but she’s a totally static piece. The sculpt is good, and again the paint looks fine with the figure in hand. Except the eyebrows. I don’t know where they were going with that blue paint. There’s nothing really wrong with her as far as non-poseable plastic chickens go, but despite her name being on the package, she feels more like a piece of window dressing. And that brings us to… accessories!



Gonzo comes with a rather odd mix of accessories, and by that I mean that only a few feel like they really belong to him. Now, I get the feeling this line is going to treat accessories (as much as the characters) as universe building blocks. You only need look at the packages to realize that. And as such, there’s stuff in this packet that becomes a lot more fun when you heap it all together with the others. For example, you get a coffee mug and a box of popcorn. I don’t remember Gonzo being a coffee afficiando, but that mug will look nice on Kermit’s desk while he’s working out the scheduling for the acts. And the popcorn? Well, it is a theater, so it makes sense, just not so much with Gonzo.



Well, now we’re talking… It’s Gonzo’s horn! At the end of the opening song and dance before every episode Gonzo would pop out of the sign, blow his horn and some different unexpected hilarity would ensue. To me, no other accessory better characterizes Gonzo, so this one was a great choice. Can he hold it? Mmmm, sort of, but it’s not like it feels the figure was meant to.


The final mixed pair of accessories are the easel and studio light. The easel comes complete with a cardboard poster showing Gonzo’s Daredevil Stunt Spectacular. This is a cool little display piece and I could see future figures coming with different posters to display with it. And then you have the studio light. A great accessory for that universe building I was talking about earlier, just not something specific to Gonzo. I could easily see DST repacking a couple more of these in with other figures and I don’t know that I would mind it that much. It’s an extremely well done piece and they will look great scattered about a shelf that is gradually being converted into The Muppet’s Theater.




I have a confession to make… I went with Gonzo first because this pack was the least impressive one to me, so it’s going to be all up hill from here. Not to say that I don’t like this set, I do! Gonzo is the man!!! But of the three releases, it feels like this one has the least amount of value on its own. It feels like you’re really only getting one figure and some of the accessories are a little random. However, taken as a group with the entire wave and the value here goes way up and offers a hint of all the fun stuff that I’ll be amassing for my Muppets, assuming that this line does well. And that’s why I remain a little apprehensive here. On the one hand I’m crazy excited about putting together a huge collection of characters. Hell, just the idea of completing Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem is making me giddy. But for that the line has to succeed and so I’m going to be 100% all in. Which is exactly how pissed I’ll be if this line fizzles after just a few waves.

Come on back tomorrow, and we’ll check out Kermit & Co.!

Disney Infinity 2.0: More Marvel Figures, Part 2!

I gotta be honest here, with the extra content I did this weekend and with the pressures of Christmas Week upon me, Monday kind of snuck up on me and kicked me in the nuts. As a result, I’ll be staying true to Marvel Monday, but I won’t be opening another Legends figure today, because I just don’t have time. Instead, I’m going to take a quick look at the remaining Marvel figures in my Disney Infinity 2.0 collection, something I was intending to do over the weekend before I went all Star Wars crazy.



I have packaged shots this time, because I found all of these swinging on the pegs in one shot at Target and they were only $5.50 each. The only figure I didn’t buy was Green Goblin, because I just don’t like the look of him. He’s not the Gobby I know and love so I didn’t feel I needed him. At least not until my OCD kicks in and the agony of realizing that there’s JUST ONE FIGURE IN THIS SERIES THAT I DON’T HAVE becomes unbearable. Anyway, the packages are attractive, but simple. Each figure also comes with a character card, which I believe can be used in the PC version.


Oh yeah, they also had the Power Disc blind bags for $1.50 each, so I bought a heaping handful of them. It was only after I had opened a bunch that I realized none of them were Marvel 2.0 discs. They were all 1.0 discs. Meh, you can still use them in the 2.0 and 3.0 Toy Boxes. I did get one RAREZ in there, but also a bunch of doubles. F’ck these things. OK, let’s start off with the two figures from Guardians of the Galaxy….




It’s Yondu, and ain’t he just adorable? This figure draws pretty heavily from the movie and I can even see a little bit of Michael Rooker in there. This figure ranks pretty high on my list and I think they did a beautiful job on him. I particularly love all the details in his outfit. His boots look great, he’s got a little dagger on his sleeve and he’s got his flying arrow poised and ready to be unleashed. The blue paint used for his skin is mighty pretty too.




Next up is Ronan. It’s a crying shame we didn’t get a movie version of Ronan from either Hasbro’s Marvel Legends or Hot Toys. I can’t really say this one invokes a lot of sentiment from the movie design either, but maybe a little. Either way, it’s another of my favorites. He’s a beefier figure than most and I love the stance. He’s standing defiant with his hammer and ready to judge me with that adorable little Disney-fied face of his. Awwww. The paint on this guy is great too!




Moving away from Guardians and into the Ultimate Spider-Man Playset comes Iron Fist. He’s cool. I dig him. But I just don’t feel like he’s anything special. The pose is decent, his iconic costume is conveyed in the sculpt and paint, but he just feels a wee bit bland. Still, I bet he’s fun to play in the game.




Finally, the last figure that I needed in The Avengers series: Falcon! This guy is obviously more comic based than movie, although his movie costume can be unlocked in the game. I was a little cool on this one until I got him out of the package and saw his gorgeous translucent red wings. Very snazzy. I also dig his pose a lot. He just looks a tad out of place with the other Avengers, which do feel more influenced by the Cinematic Universe.





Alas, I haven’t had a chance to play as any of these characters yet. But with how much time I’m spending in the 3.0 Toy Box, I’ll definitely be swapping these guys onto my Infinity Platform to take them for a spin. I do still have a little bit of unfinished business with my Infinity 1.0 and 2.0 Collections and I’ll try to swing back next weekend with a look at the rest of the collection, so I can finally get into checking out the 3.0 Star Wars stuff. Of course, 3.0 also has some new Marvel figures as well as a brand new Marvel Playset coming too!

And yeah… next Monday I’ll pick up where I left off with the Hulkbuster Wave of Marvel Legends.

Disney Infinity 2.0: More Marvel Figures, Part 1!

The Evil money-grabbing entity known as Disney has already unleashed Infinity 3.0 on us and I begrudgingly took the plunge, even though I felt as though I wasn’t fully finished with 2.0. Nonetheless, before I get into checking out the new stuff, I thought I’d deal with some of the unfinished business with 2.0, as I’ve got these things everywhere. I’ve already looked at The Avengers and The Guardians of the Galaxy, so today I’ll start checking out the some of the other Marvel figures on my shelf. I’m not going to bother with in-package shots today, as I’ve had most of these opened for a while now. I’m looking at them on a Saturday because I don’t like to take up a normal weekday slot with this sort of thing. I’m behind enough on my regular Features as it is. Let’s kick it off with Loki…



Loki is the last figure I needed from The Avengers assortment and while I never actually used him with my 2.0 set, I have been messing around with him in the 3.0 Toy Box and he’s a surprisingly fun character to play. I also really love everything about the figure. Loki’s got a treacherous, lurking pose going on and a devilish grin on his mug. His trademark horns are present and he’s even clutching the Chitauri Sceptre in his left hand. There’s some nice sculpted detail on his outfit too and the paint on mine is pretty clean. He’s a great way to finish off what was a solid line of little figures for The Avengers. And that brings me to the Spider-Man figures…



The Spider-Man Playset came with Spider-Man and Nova, and I think this set was actually directly linked to the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon, rather than just Infinity’s own thing. I was surprised to find the Spider-Man Playset to be my least favorite of the three, but that wasn’t the fault of the characters. Spider-Man is lots of fun to play and his figure is pretty damn great too. He’s crouched and looking like he’s ready for action. The web pattern is sculpted into his suit and the paint is very bright and clean.



I’ve never seen the show, but I understand Nova was a pretty big supporting character, so he was a good choice for the second figure bundled with the Playset. I can’t say as I’ve ever been a huge fan of the character and I’ll confess, this figure has yet to even sit upon my Infinity Platform so I can’t comment on how he plays. The figure itself is not bad. They did a nice job capturing the stylized version of his costume and he strikes a nice, heroic pose. Next up is Nick Fury…



I thought Fury was an odd fit for the Spider-Man set, but seeing as how he’s an NPC in the Avengers set, he wouldn’t have fit in there as a playable character. I haven’t actually used him in the Spider-Man Playset, but he’s been  a “go-to” character for me when playing around in the Toy Box, especially when I’m building mindless shooty levels. They did a really nice job on the figure. I love his cross-armed stance and the way his trench coat bellows off to the side. I’d say the portrait is also one of the best. And that brings me to the last figure for today… Venom!



Like Nova, Venom hasn’t actually been on my Infinity Platform yet. In fact, he’s the only figure in today’s Feature that I actually had to open just to photograph. If his play style is anywhere near as annoying as fighting the Symbiots in the game, then he’s probably a force to be reckoned with. Anyway, I really love the look of the figure and he’s about on par with The Hulk’s size. There are some uneven spots on the paint, and a glossy patch on his right shoulder, but nothing too bad.


All in all, this is a great set of figures and thanks to the staying power of the Toy Box, I’m still getting a lot of play time out of them, although with 3.0 out now, there’s a lot more little guys competing for time on the Infinity Platform. You’ll note that I dubbed this Feature, Part 1. Part 2 will probably be coming next weekend as I have at least another four Marvel figures kicking around to look at. In that case, though, none of them have actually been opened yet so I may try to spend some time with them in the Toy Box beforehand.

Disney Infinitey 2.0: Guardians of the Galaxy

Yeah, it’s a little Sunday bonus feature this week as I’ve been on a bit of a Infinity 2.0 kick lately. With 3.0 Star Wars announced and on its way (I’m so excited!!!), I thought I better throw things into high gear and start opening and playing with the crapload of 2.0 figures that I’ve got around here. I’ve already looked at all The Avengers figures and I’ve played that Playset through at least once with each character. Now it’s time for The Guardians of the Galaxy!


I don’t have in-package shots of everything, but there’s the Playset 2-pack that comes with Star-Lord and Gamora. The Playset piece is a clear plastic Milano and it unlocks the new game to play with any of the Guardians pieces. As always, playing through the game with different characters will unlock all sorts of new toys for the Toy Box and awards plenty of opportunities to earn heaps of blue sparkles so you can buy those toys. I can’t stress enough how much fun I’m having screwing around with the Toy Box.


There’s the entire team… what a bunch of A-Holes! Rocket, Groot, and Drax are each sold individually and they are all playable in the game. The game itself takes place in Knowhere with missions being doled out by Cosmo and The Collector with Yondu as a supporting non-playable character and Ronan as the Boss. Knowhere is full of all sorts of classic video game tropes like moving platforms, rails, gun turrets and the like. It makes for a bit more interesting environment than The Avengers NY stage, but I did find the level design a bit confusing. There’s a little more 3D platformer-style puzzle solving in this Playset and this time around you’re fighting Sakaaran instead of Frost Giants and I found the diversity of enemies in this game a lot better than in The Avengers Playset. I got burned out on fighting Frost Giants a lot quicker than I did the baddies in this game. Eventually you do get to travel to The Dark Astor and fight your way to Ronan for the final battle. You can also collect Crossover Coins in the game to unlock Iron Man and Nova as crossover characters, providing you own the figures. Since none of the Guardians can fly, playing through this Playset as Iron Man or Nova gives you a brand new perspective and allows you to reach areas that were otherwise closed off to you.



I’ve grown really fond of the style and execution of these little statues. I love my little set of Avengers and now I’m equally smitten with my cute little stylized Guardians. They’re plenty cute and yet still manage to convey all there is about the characters themselves. For stylized statues of this size some of them have some pretty great attention to detail. Star-Lord’s mask and guns, for example, are particularly well done. I also think Gamora is just adorable in this re-imagined Disney Princess look. I’ve seen some criticisms of the paint quality on the Infinity statues, but honestly, I haven’t had many issues and most of these I purchased online, sight unseen. Sure, some of the lines aren’t as sharp as they could be, but these are small inexpensive game pieces, not high grade collector items.




The in-game versions of the characters all have their own thing going on. Naturally, Star-Lord is very shooty and he can hover a bit with his ankle jets. Gamora has both a sword and gun attack. Rocket is even more shooty then Star-Lord. Groot can punch into the ground and have his branches surface right under a distant enemy. And Drax is all a spinning deathtrap of deadly knives. They all have their little catch phrases appropriate to the characters to give them an extra dash of personality.


I bought these back when one of the Big Box retailers was having a huge sale on them. The Playset pack was only $20 and the single pack figures were $9 each. There are two more Guardians figures available, Yondu and Ronan, and I’ll definitely be picking them up and featuring them here at some point. Neither are playable in the Guardians Playset, but as always, they can be used in the Toy Box. In the meantime, I’ve got to try to rip myself away from tinkering in the Toy Box so I can get started on playing the Spider-Man set through with all of those figures.

Disney Infinity 2.0: Captain America, Hawkeye, and Hulk

I’m a little pressed for time today, so I thought it would be a good day to try to get caught up on looking at my Disney Infinity figures by finishing off The Avengers. I’ve had Cap and Hawkeye since the line first launched and Hulk was a delayed release, as prior to that he was an exclusive included with one of the limited pack releases. Disney’s been pumping out a lot of new Marvel figures for the Infinity 2.0 software lately, so I’m starting to get the bug and get back into collecting these.


I don’t have much to say about the packaging. The figures come on a simple carded blister pack with their character art dominating the card and a symbol showing which Playset they are designed to work with. It’s important to keep in mind that any 2.0 figure can be used in the Toybox Mode, but you can only use specific figures in specific Playsets. If you care about the packages, I’d avoid getting them at places like Gamestop. That’s where my Cap came from and you can see what they did to his card. In addition to the figure, each package contains a collectible art card that doubles as a web code to unlock the character in the PC version of the game.



Captain America sports a pretty classic pose with his shield out in front of him and his other hand balled into a fist. Cap is also the only figure in the line where I have some paint issues. There’s some overspray between the blue and gray on his right bicep and a little bit of rubbing on the white star on his chest. It’s nothing terrible, but worth pointing out because the paint on the rest of my Infinity figures has been absolutely solid work. At least the paint on his shield is immaculate.


Cap also happens to be my favorite of these characters to play in the game, and overall second only to Iron Man. They really nailed the play mechanics of his shield beautifully. I love whacking Frost Giants with it by doing combos and it’s a very satisfying to hurl it, strike an enemy, and watch it arc back to me. Pure arcadey goodness!




Next up we have Hawkeye, who is styled very much like a cross between the Marvel NOW! look and his Marvel Movieverse appearances. Hawkeye is relatively simple looking, but it’s the pose on this figure that really does it for me. He’s reaching for an arrow from his quiver and has his bow held out in front of him. The position of the legs is very dynamic and he looks absolutely fantastic when displayed beside Black Widow. I didn’t expect much from playing the game as Hawkeye, but it was a surprisingly fun experience, particularly after unlocking some of his advanced bow skills.



Lastly, we have The Hulk. He was the one Avengers character that was delayed from launch to entice early adopters to buy the super expensive complete set. I thought he was going to be tough to find, but I was able to pre-order him as a single-pack through Amazon with no fuss or muss. He’s pretty much a perfect little stylized and cartoony Hulk. I love his angry little face and those big honkin’ nipples. He’s also sporting a fantastic “come at me bro!” pose. The green they used is a tad washed out, but otherwise the paint is neat and clean. He probably needed to be a little bigger, but I’m sure they were under constraints to keep him within the price point and to work with the Infinity Portal.


Hulk is the only one of the Avengers characters that I haven’t beaten the game with. In fact, I haven’t actually played him in the game at all. It’s nothing against Hulk, but after going through The Avenger’s Playset five times with the rest of the gang, I needed a break. If Hulk had been available at launch, I’m sure I would have played him by now, but either way, I’ll get back to him sooner or later.




And that (finally!) wraps up The Avengers from Infinity 2.0. I like these little figures a lot and they look great all lined up at the top of my entertainment center. The next set I’ll be working on will be The Guardians of the Galaxy. I already have Rocket Raccoon, as he is the only Guardian that can be unlocked for use in The Avengers Playset. I’ll probably wait until I have a complete set and have played the Guardians Playset through a bunch of times before I feature them here on FFZ. The new figures that have been hitting the shelves this past month look great, but I only wish they could interact with the Playsets and not just the Toybox.

Disney Infinity 2.0: Marvel Super Heroes Starter Pack

It’s one of the most devious marketing concoctions that I’ve ever seen: The combining of two of the three things I spend most of my money on… collectible figures and video games. Of course, Skylanders did it first and while I admired the concept, I was able to keep otherwise disinterested. Then Disney got into it with Infinity 1.0, and while I was surely tempted by getting a set of The Incredibles and playing their adventures, it wasn’t enough to get me to buy the whole setup. But that third thing I mentioned spending money on? Comic books. And with Marvel now brought into the fold of Disney’s figure based gaming system, Infinity 2.0, I could no longer sit by on the sidelines. In fact, I barely lasted longer than a couple of weeks from the launch.



Obviously, video games aren’t something that I review here, but I’m making an exception because these are also figures based on one of my favorite properties. I’ll give some impressions of the game at the end, but for the uninitiated let me at least try to explain what this whole Infinity 2.0 thing is all about. The Starter Kit comes with the game disc, the portal, the three figures (Iron Man, Thor, and Black Widow), the Avengers Play Set piece, and two Power Discs. The portal is the interface you use to unlock the content tied to the pieces and it lights up when you put the pieces into place. There’s one hexagonal space and two circular. The hex space is for either the Play Set piece, which is basically the main game you’re going to play, or Power Discs that are tied to the Toy Box, which is sandbox type area where you can play other games or make your own with a comprehensive editor. It’s kind of like a cross between Animal Crossing and Minecraft with mini-games and the ability to create and script your own mini-games. Everything you do in the Play Set game unlocks stuff or gives you currency that you can use in the Toy Box. Sound complicated? It really is until you’ve spent some time sussing it out.


Right now there are three Play Sets available: This Avengers (included with the Starter Set), Ultimate Spider-Man, and Guardians of the Galaxy. The later two each come with two figures. Individual figures are also sold and each one is tied to a specific Play Set. The game limits what figures you can use with which Play Sets although with Crossover Coins you can make a couple exceptions. For example in The Avengers Play Set, there are 10 coins for Rocket Raccoon and 10 for Nova and if you collect them all you can import those figures into The Avengers Play Set, but that’s the limitation of the crossover. On the other hand, any 2.0 figures, and 1.0 figures, for that matter can be used in Toy Box. So, if you have a Marvel related Toy Box game, you can still buy yourself an Elsa from Frozen or a Lightning McQueen from Cars and use them in it. The figures are actually just stylized statues, roughly four inches tall, but they are much better quality then I was expecting. I heard some early reports about really bad paint, but I went with the first set I picked off the shelf and they are absolutely fine in hand. The same goes for the one individual figure I bought. Let’s take a look at the three…



Iron Man is pretty cool, but he’s definitely my least favorite figure of the three. I don’t think the style works for him quite as well as the others and the coloring on him seems a little dull. Still, there’s some good detail on him and it’s a classic pose. Just because he comes up bottom of this batch doesn’t mean that I don’t still dig him a lot. The base portrays a broken piece of concrete with the interace disc on the bottom so he can sit on the portal.


Of the three characters, I’ve spent the most time playing as Iron Man in the game, and he is tons of fun. He flies, hovers, and has some vicious combos that change it up between melee and close range. The animations for his attacks are really fluid and look great. I love the way he’ll punch one guy, blast another with his repulsor and smack another one without missing a beat. Once I got him leveled up and followed a very offensive path on his skill tree, he was a veritable killing machine.  Also, his special move, an area-clearing missile barrage, is so damn satisfying and hasn’t gotten old yet.



Thor is a particularly nice piece quite chunky too. I really dig his pose a lot, as he stands drawing Mjolnir back a little and has his cape swishing all about him. He has the same shattered concrete style base, but it’s angled upward a bit to help the composition of his heroic pose. The paint on this figure is the weakest of the three, but that’s only because there are a few black smudges on his cape, otherwise it’s still pretty good.



Of the three characters, I’ve played as Thor the least, but I’m going to remedy that this weekend by starting a new game and spending some quality time with this Asgardian. I’ve got nothing against Thor, it’s just that I happened to start with Iron Man and Black Widow and they just happened to monopolize my time. Like, Iron Man, Thor can fly and his ranged attack, while slower because he has to wait for Mjolnir to return to him, is still pretty powerful. He also has some pretty lightning attacks and some great quips.



Black Widow may be my favorite figure of the bunch, partly because I love her kinetic pose and partly because I think she just looks adorable as a Disney-fied character. Hey, Black Widow is a Disney Princess now! She’s got her iconic stinger bracelets and even a gun holstered on her hip. Yes, folks, this is a Disney statue packing an automatic pistol! The paintwork on this one is really exceptional too. Yeah, she’s mostly black, but it’s impressive how they were able to get to those hard to reach bits, like the hourglass emblem on her belt buckle.



As a playable character, she’s easily the most limited since she can’t fly, but I find that makes her interesting in her own right. She needs to rely on summoning motorcycles to get around fast and can utilize strategically placed trampoline pads to get to the tops of buildings. Of course, you could just wait until you’ve unlocked one of SHIELD’s flying motorcycles to help her get around too. Her combat is fast and fun, although you actually have to unlock her ability to dual wield pistols. Special moves include a cloaking skill, called “The Widow’s Veil,” and her “Widow Sting,” which unleashes a satisfying chained electrical attack!


I haven’t messed around with Toy Box yet, but I’ve played through The Avengers game once and have started a new one with different characters. The gameplay is very reminiscent of a LEGO game, and that isn’t a bad thing. You basically roam an open city and take on missions, nearly all of which are just excuses to make you fight lots and lots of Frost Giants. The story progresses a bit with some boss encounters and as you fight your character levels up and you can spent points on unlocking new skills or improving existing ones. You also collect currency to spend on stuff in the Toy Box. The main game is not very deep, it’s a tad buggy, and the occasional herky-jerky frame rate is inexcusable for how simple the graphic style is, but man is it fun. Each character is distinct enough to make it worth playing through separately, although you can swap out figures to change characters at any time. While most of the time death isn’t really punished, there are some fights where if you die you’ll have to swap out your dead figure for another one. I really dig that.

At $75, I don’t think the price here is unreasonable, considering a lot of new games are starting at $59.99 and this one comes with the figures and the USB portal. On the other hand, if you’re already an adopter of Infinity 1.0, I imagine it would be irksome to have to pony up for another Starter Kit. Consolation may come in the fact that Disney made some vast improvments to the Toy Box and in the end, that’s probably where most of the time will be spent long after the three Play Sets have been beaten to death. I really dig the figures as collectibles, and I can see myself going all out with buying them. At about $15 each they aren’t such a great value solely as collectibles, but when you add in the unlockable content I think it more or less costs out. I didn’t really get into the Power Discs at all, but I’ll save that for next weekend when I check out another one of the figures.

ReAction Figures: The Rocketeer by Funko!

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, or have no interest in toys, then you probably know that Funko is putting out a ridiculous number of retro-style 3 ¾” figures based on a whole slew of licensed properties. While I think this line would have been more interesting if they focused first on actual retro-properties, at least initially, I can’t help be drawn in to some of these figures and I wound up pre-ordering a ton of them, despite the fact that a lot of them don’t really look that good. What’s wrong with me? I don’t have enough time to get into that now. Anyway, the first release is a stand-alone figure drawn from Disney’s 1991 sleeper hit, The Rocketeer, and this figure should give us a good idea of what to expect when the flood of figures rolls in toward the end of the Summer.


If there’s one thing about these ReAction figures that is going to drive me crazy is whether or not to open them. In keeping with true vintage style, the figure comes on a card and bubble and it is most definitely not collector friendly. I get that they were going for authentic vintage packaging here, and I’m sure keeping costs down played into it too, but these figures are aimed at collectors so I’m thinking they could have come up with something a bit more versatile. On the other hand, the figures are cheap enough that openers can buy two without breaking the bank.


The presentation here is very nearly a homerun. You get the simple Kenner-inspired card with some very nice art deco style artwork inspired by the film. I think the black box with the figure’s name is a little bland and the outline for the bubble doesn’t line up with the actual bubble, but those are really the only blemishes on an otherwise attractive looking card. The figure is encased in a coffin style bubble with the accessories similarly sealed beside him. There’s no tray to support the figure and so he is rather askew in the bubble, but that’s all part of the retro charm. If you haven’t guessed yet, I’m going to rip this baby open so we can check him out.



So, one of the things I’m going to grouse about is the fact that the ReAction line seems to be overdoing the retro thing just a bit. If you take some of the old Star Wars figures, you can see that there’s actually a lot of sculpted detail on many of them. The sculpt on the actual figure feels like it’s dumbed down a bit to emphasize its faux retro heritage. There’s also a little inconsistency where the sculpting on the jetpack looks a lot more detailed than the figure. I’ll also point out that I’m not a fan of the plastic used for the head. It looks super cheap and doesn’t really jibe with the rest of the figure. It’s also a bitch to photograph properly. Now, with all that having been said, I still dig what Funko did here. It’s a solid looking figure within the stylistic confines that they set out to emulate.


The paintwork and quality control on the figure has a few hiccups. There is a large mess of something on poor Cliff’s groin area and there are a few other stray paint marks here and there. Still, I’m rather impressed with the individually painted buttons on his tunic and sleeve buckles as well as the paint apps for his eyes and eyebrows. Naturally, the figure features only the classic vintage 5-points of articulation. The joints are all nice and tight, although now is as good a time as any to point out that one of my figure’s legs is slightly longer than the other so he’s always going to be leaning a bit.



As for the accessories, what would The Rocketeer be without his helmet and jetpack? The jetpack, as mentioned, is quite highly detailed and pegs right onto the figure’s back and holds on snugly. The silver paint looks really nice on this piece and they even sculpted and painted the piece of bubblegum used to for the makeshift repair in the film. The helmet fits over the figure’s head quite well. Yeah, it’s a little big, but I’m going to write that off to retro charm.


It may sound like I had a lot of beefs with this figure, but I actually do like it a lot. It’s important to note that while the figure is definitely a niche collector item, we are still talking about a $10 figure here, so expectations should be tempered. My only standing complaint would be that I really wish they would either use a less cheap looking plastic for the head, or paint the face, because as it is I think it detracts from the figure. Ultimately, however, I think Funko succeeded in what they set out to do here and I’m looking forward to seeing some of the other releases, particularly the 80’s Slashers and the Universal Monsters.

The Lone Ranger: Colby City Showdown (#79109) by LEGO

Disney’s Lone Ranger movie came and went resulting in one of the more spectacular box office flops in a long time. Despite my strong ties to the character and the Gabriel Lone Rangers figures when I was kid back in the late 70’s, the movie didn’t interest me. I’d even go so far as to say I’m glad that it flopped, but the truth is that Hollywood big-wigs will probably interpret the event as evidence that Westerns aren’t worth making and that’s a shame because I adore the Western film genre. And when I say western film genre, it does not include seeing Johnny Depp trotted out once again in grease paint and acting goofy. Anyway, the one good thing to come out of the movie is Lego grabbing the license. It’s been ages since Lego tackled a Cowboys & Indians theme, and so despite the shitty movie tie-in, these sets really scratch my itch, and I’ve embarked on an effort to get them all before they disappear from the shelves and get even more pricy then they already are.



The one we’re looking at today is the Colby City Showdown. I picked this one because it’ll make a nice little town to go with Stagecoach Escape. Plus, at 587 pieces, it seemed like a pretty satisfyingly sized set. The set comes in a substantial box with some nice yellow borders. I don’t get all gaga over Lego boxes. They’re just boxes… so let’s spill the contents and see what we got.


Inside you get four big bags of bricks, one loose base, two instruction booklets, and a sticker sheet. God, I love this moment. When you have band new Lego and you’re spilling them out of the bags and getting ready to build. It’s like having a great meal in front of you, knowing that it’s going to be the best thing ever, but soon it will be over. Of course with Lego, when you’re done you’ve got something to display or play with, so maybe that analogy sucks. Now is as good a time as any to mention that it looks like I got two color-switched bricks. Almost every time I build a Lego set, at some point I cry foul that I am missing a piece and every single time up until now it’s always turned up. In this case, it turned out that I was missing a grey 1×1, but had an extra tan 1×1. I was also missing a tan 1×2 and had an extra grey 1×2. I was able to discretely place the grey brick behind the roof slats, so the only real noticeable evidence is the tan 1×1 on the back wall of the cell. As always, let’s start with the Minifigs!


Obviously, you get the Lone Ranger and Tonto and, as I suspected and feared, these are the exact same Minifigs that came with Stagecoach Escape. Yeah, it kind of sucks to have to pay to get the same two figures again, but this is a franchise with really only two well-known characters, and I wasn’t expecting Lego to just include them in one set. Still, variants maybe? Anyway, these were great little figures the first time around and they still are. The Ranger comes with his white hat and two revolvers and Tonto comes with the bird on his headdress and his tomahawk. I don’t remember getting the tomahawk in the other set, so at least that’s new.


The other three figures are cowboys. They all have names, and I presume their characters from the movie, but to me they’re just generic cowboys. These are a huge part of the set’s appeal and I really dig each of these guys. One appears to be a sheriff, or at least he has a badge. I think the other two are supposed to be bad guys. They come with a handgun, some rifles, and a bag of money. I love the one with the bowler hat and the crazy whiskers! In fact, these guys are so cool they easily make up for the repacks of the Lone Ranger and Tonto. There’s also a little two-wheeled cart that can hold some bits and pieces. I may repurpose that for my Kingdom sets.




The first two bags of bricks build the Jailhouse, so let’s start there. It’s a pretty small shack, but I love the design. The front looks wonderfully Old West-y, complete with a covered porch, railings, a wanted poster and the Sheriff clapboard that hangs off the awning.  There’s also a good use of stickers here for the wood pattern on the awning. There’s room for some Minifigs on the porch and off to one side is a barrel and a set of hinged shudders. To the right of the porch is the jail cell and room to place a nifty-looking shrub, so long as you don’t plan on using the exploding wall gimmick. The exploding wall gimmick just involves jamming on a rod to blow out the front. It works pretty well as far as Lego gimmicks go and there’s a clip to place the dynamite. Thankfully, the wall section clips in, so you don’t have to worry about it falling out if you move the Jailhouse around.



The roof features a fold down wall that reveals a cannon. I love how this works because as you flip the wall down the cannon shifts forward into firing position. Neat! There’s room on the roof for a couple more Minifigs and there’s a box to hold the three cannonballs that come with it. The cannon actually uses a spring mechanism to fire. You load it up, pull back the rod in the back and let it go and you can get some good distance on it. It’s a nice improvement to the usual flick-fire missiles.


Turn the Jailhouse around and inside there’s a door leading into the jail, a little desk and chair, a clip for the jail key and a rack to hold a rifle and a pair of handcuffs. You get two pairs of handcuffs and two keys, as well as a clear mug. There’s not a lot of room in there and you can’t get into the jail cell unless you remove the front wall or the roof area, so once you toss a Minifig in through the door of the cell, he’s not very accessible.




The second two bags of bricks build the bank. It’s set on an angle and on the outside it’s a lot simpler than the Jailhouse. There’s a lantern hanging off one wall and a sign on the top. The door opens and there’s not a whole lot else apparently going on out here. Flip it around and inside you can see a HUGE vault with opening doors and a banker’s area where the poor Minifig bankers work and hope they don’t get robbed.



While the bank seems pretty simple, there are three play gimmicks built in. The sign up top can be tripped to fall down on unsuspecting pedestrians below. The chandelier inside can also be dropped on people as they come in. Lastly, there’s a switch that will blow out the wall and reveal the inside of the vault. Yes, the people of Carson City built the biggest, toughest looking vault you can imagine, but the back of it is just the wall of the building… with a window! D’oh!


Colby City Showdown is an awesome set, and it complements Stagecoach Escape nicely, even if the stagecoach is as big as the buildings. In fact, the only gripe I have about this one is that it really left me wanting more. I want a saloon and a general store and maybe a livery. My favorite Lego series are the ones that let you world-build and the Lone Ranger stuff certainly lets you do that, but not as much as I’d like to. I think I’ll have to get The Constitution Train Chase next as it might look nice running through the town, although the Silver Mine Shootout is still calling me.

The Lone Ranger: Stagecoach Escape (#79108) by Lego

When I was a wee lad I got a lot of “hand me down” toys from my uncle, which included the 1970’s Lone Rangers figures by Gabriel. Those figures were amazing and I’ve had a fascination with lawmen and gunslingers ever since. Of course, since then, I’ve became more about John Wayne and Clint Eastwood than The Lone Ranger and Tonto, but it was probably those very toys that made me the hardcore western fan I am today. With that all having been said, I have no interest in seeing Disney’s new Lone Ranger movie. It’s not a “you’re raping my childhood” kind of deal. Nah, I just didn’t enjoy the Pirates of the Caribbean movies and this looks to be more of the same only set in the Old West. Maybe I’ll check it out when it comes out on a free streaming service. Nonetheless, movie tie-in or not, I simply could not resist Lone Ranger based Lego and so I jumped on one of these sets as soon as I spotted it. I started out with the Stagecoach set because it’s one of those nice mid-range sets that give me a good feel for the line without costing too much money. A brand new line of Lego! I’m excited!!!



The packaging is very distinctive, mainly because of the yellow stripe across the top of the box. I’m not sure if they were going for a desert look or maybe old, weathered paper? I don’t know, but these sets really stand out on the shelves. There’s a big Disney logo and a head shot of the guy playing The Lone Ranger in the film. IMDB tells me his name is Armie Hammer, but I still don’t know who that is. I’m actually surprised they didn’t slap a picture of Johnny Depp as Jack “Tanto” Sparrow on the front too. Anyway, the box makes the set look crazy awesome. Let’s open it up!


Ah… Lego smell! It’s been way too long since I built a proper Lego set and I knew this was going to be fun, but I forgot how hard it is to keep the cat hair off it while building. Inside you get three numbered baggies containing a total of 279 pieces. You also get a sticker sheet, and an instruction booklet. Let’s see if I still remember how my Lego reviews work… oh yeah… we start with the minifigs!!!! The set is not stingy on the minifigs, as you get a total of five, which include: The Lone Ranger (hereafter TLR), Tonto, Jesus, Barret, and Red Harrington. Apart from TLR and Tonto, I have no idea who any of these people are, but suffice it to say Red is the lady passenger, and I’m guessing Jesus and Barret are bandits. Works for me! You also get three horses, two black and one brown, if you want to include them in the count of minifigs.


Kicking it off with our heroes… TLR doesn’t look like the character I remember, but he is a really nice cowboy minifig. He’s got a black printed suit complete with sheriff’s badge on it. He’s sporting his trademark black mask and white hat, and he’s got a pair of silver revolvers. He’s simple, but cool nonetheless. Tonto has a simple printed body and an elaborate headdress with a bird that pegs onto the top. He has two printed faces, one smiling and one surprised. He comes with a knife and a square brick with a pocket watch printed on it, which I assume has something to do with the movie. I would have liked Tanto to look like a more traditional Indian than one of the zombies from the last Pirates of the Caribbean movie, but Lego had to stick with the source material and they did a fine job with what they had to work with.


Moving on to Red and Jesus… Red Harrington has an elaborately printed dress and a clever use of a cloth cape, which when inserted between her torso and legs makes the back of her dress. It looks good, but it keeps her from being able to sit properly in the coach. She has a huge hair piece and a little hat that pegs on top. She has two printed faces, one smiling and one with the classic Lego anxiety expression. She also comes with a grey revolver. Jesus is the cowpoke in the brown vest. He’s got a brown hat and a cool kerchief-mask and is pretty stereotypically cowboy looking. I like that a lot, because I want a bunch of generic Lego cowboys. He comes with a knife.



Last up, we’ve got Barret and the brown horse. Barret is the feller in the grey shirt. The box art suggests giving him a brown hat and kerchief-mask, but I think he looks better with the extra black hat I got and sans kerchief. Again, he’s a simple, printed figure, but he looks great. The brown horse comes with a saddle that can hold a set of dynamite and a rifle. It also comes with the extra horse bricks to fill out his middle if you don’t have anyone riding him. Speaking of extra bricks, there’s a ton of extra stuff in this set, and I’m not talking about just random extra bricks like usual. You get the extra black hat that I already mentioned, an extra revolver, an extra kerchief, and an extra pocket watch brick. Ok, that’s not a ton, but they are some useful extras. I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to mix some of these bits with my Lego Police and make Space Cowboys!


Of course, the showpiece here is the stagecoach. It’s a fun build and the finished model looks excellent. I was particularly interested in how the undercarriage was constructed as that and the horses take up all the parts in the first bag. There’s a ball joint connecting the horses to the carriage, and a string for the reigns. The front wheels of the coach turn and the back wheels actually have working struts! The harness for the horses makes use of the spaces where you usually put riders. You do get extra bricks to fill them in if you want to use them as just a couple of horses chilling around without huge bites taken out of their middles, or you can have the minifigs ride them. Extra horses are always a bonus and these may find their way into my Lego Kingdoms sets from time to time.




The cabin of the coach has opening doors on both sides and it can comfortably seat two minifigs, although you can pack more in there if you aren’t particular about comfort. There’s a seat up front for the driver, a mailbag with a letter, a safe that fits on the roof, complete with silver bar inside. There’s also a play feature where by tapping the back of the coach, you can launch a briefcase out of it! Yeah, I’m guessing that’s something that happens in the movie! This thing holds together fine and rolls along really well. The stickers are well thought out as they add the lettering to the top of the sides and some ornate designs.



There simply aren’t enough Old West toys these days, so Lego’s Lone Ranger fills a major hole in my compulsion to own toys based off of things I love. This one was a fun and satisfying build and in the end you get everything you need for a little stagecoach robbing fun. The brick count seems right for the $30 price tag, and yet in the end the size of the coach and all the horses and minifigs makes this set seem like a better value than usual. I’ll definitely be picking up more of these sets. I’m tempted to go right for the jugular and pick up the $100 train, but more likely I’ll grab a couple of the cavalry sets next.