Marvel Legends: Hydra Soldier and Hydra Enforcer by Hasbro

Welcome to Marvel Week: Day 3, also known as Hydra Humpday! I’m super excited because I just got this Hydra two-pack and can’t wait to dig into it. I’ve got to tell ya’s, I was so damn excited when Hasbro revealed this set, because the Hydra Soldier, previously released as part of the Mandroid Wave, never turned up in my area and went for crazy money online. I never ponied up a premium for him, and part of me always regretted not having him in my collection. Same goes for that AIM bastard! Getting another crack at this Hydra hooligan with a ‘roided out buddy and a bunch of extras was almost too good to be true. But here it is! I have a lot of stuff to cover today, so let’s dive right in… HAIL HYDRA!!!

When it comes to packaging, if you’ve seen one Marvel Legends two-pack you’ve seen them all. This one is characterized by a cool Hydra insignia on the front and a shiny Toys R Us Exclusive sticker. Thanks to a Twitter tip, I ordered this set the moment it dropped onto TRU’s website. They then proceeded to sit on the order for three days and then cancelled it because it was “Out of Stock.” Thanks, guys! Have fun with that bankruptcy… you’ve earned it! I hope it buries you! I subsequently put the set on my Amazon Wish List where it sat for a week or so at $65+ before finally dropping to around $50 and I just sucked it up. There’s surprisingly little in this box that we haven’t seen before, and yet so much to look at! While there is certainly room to share between the figures, for organizational purposes, I’m going to treat them as two separate entities. Let’s start with the Hydra Soldier first!

So, this is pretty much the same figure that we saw released in the Mandroid Wave. Like I said earlier, I don’t own that one, but when I compare it to the tear-stained picture that I carried in my wallet for the past couple years, I can’t see any differences. He features a dark green buck with bright yellow boots and gauntlets. Additional sculpted parts include a belt and a shoulder rig, both of which are cast in bright yellow to match his outfit, and both can be removed fairly easily. The belt and rig each include some sculpted pouches, you get a little silver paint on the belt buckle, and the rig has a shield over the left side of his chest painted black with a silver H. I think I would have preferred a red Hydra emblem there, but the H is fine.

Especially since you get a pair of yellow Hydra emblems printed on his shoulders. And just look at that head sculpt! It looks like Protector’s much angrier brother. This really is the perfect noggin for a comic book henchman. The hood gives him a little bit of stooge anonymity. The red eye globes are a nice touch. He just looks so angry and deranged, and perfectly willing to bring on the pain by charging in to attack Captain America. It’s everything I’m looking for in my Hydra soldiers! But… variety is nice too! And as such, he comes with a couple of other recycled noggins to choose from.

Look familiar? Remember Taskmaster from the Red Onslaught Wave? Well this is indeed his Udon head, and who would have guessed that this would work so well for a Hydra Soldier. Not me, but I sure do dig it. The hood is cast in green plastic to match the uniform and the mask is painted yellow and given some narrow red eyes. Still want more options?

Here’s the masked SHIELD Agent head that came with Nick Fury from the Giant Man Wave. Who says SHIELD and Hydra can’t order their goon helmets from the same catalog? This one gets a fresh coat of black and green paint and a red visor. I think this is my least favorite of the three options, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like it. And if swapping heads doesn’t scratch that customizing itch, how about an entirely new outfit for your Malibu Hydra Ken?

Well, more like a slightly different outfit? OK, dammit, it’s a vest. But it’s a snazzy yellow vest and it can replace the shoulder rig. Holy shit, they dug all the way back to 2013 for this one, as it’s a recolor of Ultimate Cap’s vest from the Hit Monkey Wave! So, I like the way this looks on the figure, I just wish it was branded for Hydra. It does have a little bit of silver paint on the waist buckle, but that’s it. Not bad at all, but unless I get extras of this set, I think I’ll stick with the shoulder rig and the stock head. I will, however, experiment with different looks while showing off his weapons and articulation.

The first weapon is a tactical shotgun. I’m sure we’ve seen this a few times, but the first time I remember seeing it was back in 2012 with The Punisher. Alas, it was painted a lot nicer back then. This one is just cast in gray swirly plastic. Awww, you could have at least painted the shells on the side, Hasbro! Still, it’s a really nice sculpt with plenty of detail and it suits the figure very well. The right hand has a trigger finger, which is perfect for holding it.

The other weapon is this lovely piece of hardware that I first remember seeing with Chameleon from the Rhino Wave. Once again, it’s cast entirely in swirly gray plastic, but it’s a really cool design, with a ton of detail packed into the sculpt. It also has a detachable drum magazine. Hasbro even painted the Hydra emblem on the front of the drum. Aww, you redeemed yourself, Hasbro. I love it!

OK, so our last stop on this guy is articulation, and his holds no real surprises. The arms feature rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, swivels in the biceps, and double hinges in the elbows. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have swivels in both the thighs and tops of the boots, double hinges in the knees, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. There’s a swivel in the waist, an ab crunch hinge in the torso, and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed. For the most part, the joints feel solid, but the right elbow on mine could be a little tighter. I would have been perfectly happy to pick this guy up as a single-packed re-issue, but the extras make him a real treat. Not to mention, his buddy…

Behold… The Hydra Enforcer! I really love the idea Hasbro was going with here. Not only do the different body types add some variety to the Hydra Forces, but his beefier build makes him feel like a heavy weapons specialist to me. On the downside, from the neck down this guy is a 100% recolor of Nuke from the Giant Man Wave. Sure, it would have been great to get an all new sculpt, but that’s not usually what these multi-packs are about. And besides, I think Nuke was a good choice. He was a fantastic figure and I think one that lends itself pretty well to the concept. His buck is painted green and yellow to match his partner, and he also has the same Hydra emblems printed on his shoulders. The vest, belt, and hip pouches have also all been recolored yellow, and he gets a bit of black paint for the sculpted grenades and some red paint for the shotgun shells. The buckles on his two waist belts are painted silver, but not the ones on his other belt or thigh straps.

The stock head is a repaint of Captain Britain’s noggin from the Abomination Wave. Yeah, that was a weird choice! The helmet has been repainted green to match the buck and he’s been given yellow stripes on the top. I’m still not sure whether this works for me or not. It has such a strong RoboCop vibe, that it’s hard to unsee that, even on the Captain Britain figure. I also think the serene expression on what is a hero portrait feels off here. I guess I don’t need all my Hydra troops to be slobbering maniacs, but it’s still my preference.

The other two heads include one recycled from Nuke and one that I can’t place, but given the propensity for re-purposing here, I’m sure we’ve seen it before. If you know, shout it out in the comments! Using the repainted Nuke head on the repainted Nuke body may be going too far. Then again, it is a killer sculpt and the bloody gash running down the side of the face is genuinely disturbing. I’m not a fan of the other head. He has a butt chin, a lot of mold flashing on the jaw line, and what the hell is up with those lips? Anyway, there aren’t any extra wardrobe options with this guy, so let’s just take a look at his weapons.

First off, he comes with the same combat knife we saw included with Nuke, and yes it can still be stored in the sheath that’s sculpted onto the back of the vest. I loved this knife back then, and I still do. It’s big and beefy and a really cool sculpt. He can also hold it just fine in either hand.

Next, he comes with the bazooka that we first saw included with Drax The Destroyer from the the Titus Wave. This is a really cool sculpt and now it’s cast in gray plastic to match the other weapons in this set. It is a little difficult to get him to rest it on his shoulder properly because of the vest, but I was able to make it work, more or less. This particular weapon really reinforces his role as a heavy weapons expert in my Hydra army.

As if it wasn’t ballsy enough repainting Nuke’s body and his head, Hasbro also tossed in Nuke’s weird-looking sci-fi gun, which is again cast in that same gray plastic. I actually don’t mind this rifle too much. It seems natural that Hydra would be arming themselves with alien tech. Maybe this is a Chitauri weapon or something they nicked from AIM. Either way, it adds a little flavor to the mix and he looks pretty good holding it. It doesn’t look nearly as flashy as it did with the previous paint job, but the plain gray finish makes it a little less obvious that it’s another thing recycled from Nuke.

As expected, The Enforcer’s articulation is identical to Nuke’s. You get rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, swivels in the biceps and double hinges in the elbows. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have swivels in the thighs and tops of the boots, and the knees are double hinged. The ankles are hinged and have lateral rockers. The torso swivels at the waist and has an ab crunch. And finally, you get both a ball joint and hinge in the neck.

I’ve seen some critical reactions to this set among collectors, including objections to some of the heads, and the vest, but personally I couldn’t be happier. This set not only put a highly sought out figure into my hands, but it gave me lots of cool extras. It may be 100% recycled parts, but this is the kind of creative recycling that I can get behind. Hey, I get that not everyone likes the same thing, so if you bought this set and hate it, feel free to send it to me. No Hydra soldiers will be turned away and I’ll definitely be picking up at least one more of these sets. Now, Hasbro, if you would just throw together an AIM 2-pack that would be most welcome too. You don’t even have to go nuts. Just throw two AIM soldiers in there, repack a few extra weapons, and you can have more of my monies.

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Marvel Legends (Gladiator Hulk Wave): Hela by Hasbro

Welcome, my friends, to not just Marvel Monday, but Marvel WEEK! That’s right, I just swept all the other shit off my desk and I’m going full Marvel this week, Monday through Friday. Some Legends, a statue, maybe a Hot Toys figure. Anything goes this week, so long as it’s got the MARVEL brand stamped on it. Their comics may be shite right now, but thank The Watcher that the torch is being carried by the toys, collectibles and movies. And so as not to interrupt the normal flow of Marvel Monday, I’m picking up where I left off last week…

Have you seen Thor: Ragnarok yet? If not, you really should. It’s fantastic! I actually planned on seeing it again last week (with a friend from work!), but it didn’t pan out, but I am headed out to see it again tonight if everything pans out. And as long as the movie is still fairly fresh in theaters, I thought I’d wrap up the MCU side of the Gladiator Hulk Wave with a look at the film’s lead villainess, Hela!

I was a little worried when this figure arrived, because her crazy antlers were all over the place in the package. Turns out that they need to be tabbed into place, so nothing was broken. I’m actually not a huge Cate Blanchett fan, but I think she did a great job in this film. I guess it helped that you’re not really supposed to like her. I’ll still refrain from spoilers, but I will say that Ragnarok felt like a blend of two movies, a wacky comedy and a darker action-drama. Hela was certainly part of the film’s darker half.

Hela comes packaged with her battle helmet, but I’m starting with her sans helmet. The costume sculpt on this figure is rather fantastic. There’s an intricate metallic emerald framework running throughout her suit, with some nice texturing in the black spaces between. The pattern is very Asgardian and reminds me of the type of scrollwork patterns left behind on the ground by the Bifrost beam. The black and emerald coloring is pretty tight, and you also get some painted flesh-tones on her exposed shoulders and her fingers. And even her tiny fingernails are painted!

Oh yeah, she’s also got a hela fine tush. And then there’s the cape! Finally, we have a cape in this assortment that isn’t a pain in the ass. Well, Thor’s wasn’t that bad, but Loki’s really was that bad. There’s nothing too fancy here, as the cape simply pegs into the back, and imagine that… It works perfectly… well, almost. There are two soft plastic arms that are supposed to wrap around her shoulders, but they don’t always stay put, but it’s a minor quibble to me when the rest of the cape actually works like it’s supposed to!

The un-helmeted head sculpt is superb. Not only is it a solid likeness to Blanchett for this scale and price range, but there’s some wonderful paint showing subtle traces of dark veins in her forehead. The eyes use the halftone printing we’ve been seeing and it looks good, as do the lips. The hair is sculpted to look like it’s billowing out in the wind, which not only looks good, but doesn’t hinder the neck articulation either.

The other head is sculpted with her crazy-ass space antlers and it is glorious. I’d like to think that these are patterned after a Bilgesnipe, which Thor mentioned in The Avengers as having “scary, big antlers.” As I mentioned above, you do need to tab two of the horn clusters into the head. One went in fine, the other was a pain, but once these were in, they stay in pretty well. This is one of those times when I really can’t decide which head to display her with, because they’re both so damned good.

The articulation here is pretty standard for Hasbro’s 6-inch females, which means there are no bicep swivels, but everything else is more or less in tact. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, with swivels in the thighs, double hinges in the knees, and hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. There is no waist swivel, but you do get a ball joint under the chest and both a hinge and ball joint in the neck. The hips on my figure are a little loose, so I may have to apply some fix there.

Hela comes with on extra accessory, and that’s her sword. The sculpt is pretty intricate, but it really needed a paint wash to bring some of it out. It’s also very soft and bendy, and not at all impressive. Her right hand is sculpted to hold it, which brings me to mention one little missed opportunity here. Hasbro should have given her an extra left hand, either sculpted to hold Mjolnir, or perhaps sculpted with Mjolnir in it. That would have been rad. As it is, I have to use a little poster putty if I want to recreate that scene.

And so, Hela clocks in easily as the most impressive figure in this wave so far. With the exception of the flimsy sword, Hasbro really poured everything they’ve got into this one. The sculpt and paint are superb, and I think you’d be hard pressed to find another company’s 6-inch figure on the market at this price range executed as well as this one. Just compare this lady to some of those DC Multiverse figures from Mattel and you’re not even in the same ballpark. Next week, I’m going to start in on the comic-based figures of this wave, but before that. Tomorrow, I’ll be looking at something a little different, but I’ll be back to Marvel Legends on Wednesday!

Star Wars Black: 40th Anniversary Legacy Pack with Darth Vader by Hasbro

In case you missed it, 2017 is the 40th Anniversary of A New Hope, and Hasbro did the bulk of its celebrating through the 6-inch Black Series. Not only did we finally the last of Kenner’s “Original Twelve” figures in the 6-inch format, but Hasbro also released all of them on vintage-style cards. The entire thing culminated in the release of a new Darth Vader bundled with a recreation of the Kenner Early Bird Kit display stage. Let’s start off with the packaging and the figure, and then we’ll take a look at the stage.

The set comes in an elongated box with some artwork similar to that old Kenner kit. There’s also a window that shows the carded Darth Vader figure inside. The stage itself is pictured on the front along with a silver foil 40th Anniversary shield, and the Kenner logo in the bottom right hand corner. It’s kind of an oddball presentation that borders on ugly, but it’s all part of recreating the charm of one of the craziest ideas in action figure history. But more on that in a bit. Let’s look at Vader first…

The carded figure is right in line with the rest of the 40th Anniversary releases, so if you are keeping these mint-on-card, he’ll display with the rest of them perfectly. Then again, if you’re doing that, you really don’t need the stage. Hasbro really just wants you to buy two of each of these, only not really, because they did a piss-poor job of distributing them. If you’re area is like mine, you’d be lucky to find one complete set, let alone two. But I’ll settle down now, because I can fell the anger flowing through me.

When I first heard about this figure, I assumed it was going to be a quick-and-dirty apology figure for the Return of the Jedi version we got boxed a little while back. I figured they’d slap on a new head and he’d be done. I was surprised to learn that a lot of new work went into him. Now, I’m not one of those *air quotes* “Vader Experts,” but I do know that there were some significant changes to the suit between ANH and RotJ. The most obvious was the inner robe running over the shoulder armor in the original suit and it does here as well. The rest of the changes include a fully re-sculpted upper torso, with a bigger chest box, and a new belt with bigger and different control boxes there as well. The legs appear to be the same, but the boots on this one are more of a matte finish.  One point where this version takes a step back is in the cape. The RotJ release is an all around nicer tailored garment. This one is is thinner and it came out of the package a little wrinkled. Also, the cape’s chain is gone. So, from the neck down, I wouldn’t say this figure is better, but just different, and appropriately so.

Now, the helmet sculpt is a huge improvement over the previous release, and I’m not talking about changes to the costume. The RotJ version made obvious sacrifices to have a removable helmet, resulting in that giant, sad-eyed Vader look. This new helmet sculpt is pretty damn tight and also features more of a matte finish. I don’t know that I would say it’s perfect, but it’s a good looking sculpt and I’m very happy with the way it turned out.

Another big change is the new left hand, which features Vader doing the force choke throat pinch. It can also be used as a pointing finger. I love it.

The last notable difference that I can see is the inclusion of a belt hook for his light saber. It irked me to no end that the RotJ version didn’t have a way for Vader to wear his saber. This feature also required a brand new saber hilt sculpt with the ring on it. Sadly, this one doesn’t work so well. I can’t really get it to stay in place and even in the above picture he’s really holding it there.

I don’t have much else to say, except this is the Vader figure we should have had first. It’s fantastic, and when you consider how many goddamn Darth Vader figures I’ve had over the years in all different scales and price points, I’m surprised at how much fun I’ve had playing around with this one.  Let’s move on to the stage…

The stage requires assembly, and the parts come in four baggies, and includes a folded cardboard backdrop and a sticker for the top of the frame. Assembly is quick and easy and I was happy to see that the set can easily be broken down again for storage. Before I cobble this thing together, a little explanation of what this thing is may be in order for you younger folk out there. In Christmas of 1977, Kenner was unprepared for the popularity of Star Wars and the demand for the action figures. Their rather creative solution was to offer an Early Bird Kit, which included vouchers, which could be mailed in for four figures, to be delivered when supply could catch up to demand.  The kit also included membership in the Star Wars Fan Club, and a cardboard display stand. This set mimics that general idea, while also making it a little more substantial by adding a plastic frame to the backdrop, and a plastic stage to put the figures on.

There are two backdrop graphics to choose from. One has the vintage-style artwork of each of the characters, suggesting where to place the figures on the stand. The flip-side has some nice vintage-style art of an X-Wing and Tie-Fighter battling it out in orbit of The Death Star. Overall, this is a pretty nice stage, but I wish they had added more pieces to help lock the cardboard into place. As it is, there are just two little swing down pieces in the corners. There are, however, clearly holes in the frame for two more in the sides, and possibly two at the top, but those pieces aren’t in the box. I guess Hasbro cheaped out on those. It also would have been nice if they could have packaged it so the cardboard didn’t need to be folded, although the creases really aren’t that bad. I suppose some of these nitpicks give the piece a certain vintage charm that reflects back to the original Early Bird release, but I’m sure that wasn’t intentional.

Here it is loaded up with the Black Series “Original Twelve,” and using the character art backdrop as a guide. I expected it to be a lot more cramped than it is, but with three figures on each of the four sections, it’s not too bad, so long as you’re going for fairly static 5-POA style poses. I’m not a huge fan of the way the characters are laid out. For example, I would rather have R2 and 3PO together, but I still think that this is the way I’ll go for display purposes. It is worth mentioning that I had mixed results with the foot pegs. Most of them work OK, but 3PO’s would not go in at all and the Tusken Raider’s doesn’t hold him up too well.

If you’re willing to use a little shelf real estate in front of the stand, you can also fit everyone together in more dynamic poses, and I think this looks pretty good too. This set originally retailed for $40, so you figure twenty for Vader and twenty for the stage. The Vader figure is worth it, no question. The stage is worth having, but I’m not sure I can see twenty dollars in there. With that having been said, this set was deeply discounted at some Walmarts, but of course the ones in my area weren’t among them. I picked up my set off Amazon for $25 and it’s price continues to fluctuate. I could definitely see myself picking up one more at the same price to display some more figures. It wouldn’t be a bad idea for Hasbro to release packs of just the base pieces, maybe as an exclusive to their website. Just toss four or five of them in a bag. I’d be all over that.

Just a heads up, Marvel content is taking over FFZ all of next week. So if that’s not your cup of tea, I’ll apologize in advance, but I’ve got some stuff on my pile that I’d like to get to sooner rather than later. Things will return to normal the following week, and I’m trying to get some time to bring back Anime Saturday at least once in November.

Star Wars Black: Jawa by Hasbro

I’m still trying to push through some extra content on Wednesdays for fear that I’ll be AWOL toward for the last week of the month when the crazy times arrive. Today I’m doubling up on some long overdue business with Hasbro’s Black Series. Now, if you’ve haven’t been keeping up, you should know that I’ve been peppering my last few Star Wars Black Series reviews with some of my vitriol about today’s figure, so let’s recap! 1) The Jawa never should have debuted on the 40th Anniversary vintage-style card. It made the demand too great and the distribution of that series seemed far worse than the regular boxed releases, at least in my area. 2) This should have been a two-pack, because I couldn’t see what Hasbro could possibly do to make a Jawa worth $20. That’s the reason I skipped Black Series Yoda. With that out of the way, here’s hoping the actual figure will be good enough to make up for it all. Spoiler… It isn’t.

Here he is on the card and it is a beautiful presentation! These over-sized vintage-style cards are fantastic sights to behold. If they were more readily available, if I was a focused Star Wars collector, and if I had the wall space, I could have seen myself relenting and buying a set to display in package. But that’s not me, and I’m in this for the loose figures themselves, so as pretty as it is, this package is going to be torn apart… right now.

Out of the box and standing on the shelf, this Jawa looks pretty good. The robes are sculpted quite nicely, complete with a fabric texture and frayed edges around the sleeves and bottoms. Even the bandoleer straps look great and he has the holster for his ion rifle, which I’ll come back to in a bit. On the downside, the sculpted robes negate his leg articulation. There are little slits up the sides, but they do nothing to help matters. There’s a sculpted seam running up the middle, which if sliced, might give him some better range of motion, but I’m not going to attempt that until I get another one of these little bastards. Also, I’m not a big fan of the sandy paint spray on the bottoms of the robes.

So, an obvious quibble here is that there are no softgoods and I think that was a big missed opportunity. Granted, they might not have looked as good as the sculpted robes, but considering this little guy is already way overpriced, put it in there and let us decide whether or not to use it. The Kenner cloth robed Jawa could be displayed with it or without it, and I’d argue it looked pretty good with its tiny cloak. If it works in that scale, there are no excuses for not trying it in this scale. You’re charging $20 for this little figure, Hasbro, you should have been throwing everything you could in here to give us a sense of value for the dollar. Hell, when you released these little fellas in the 3.75-inch scale, you usually tossed in a droid with them or released them as a two-pack.

Counting out the leg articulation (I’m not even going to bother, because it’s pointless), this little fellow still has rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists, as well as a ball joint in the waist and neck. So at least everything above the waist is useful. But even coming up with enough different poses for pictures was difficult. There just isn’t a lot you can do with him.

The Jawa comes with two weapons, I believe both are considered ion blasters: One is a blunderbuss design and the other is attached to a battery pack. I’ve always loved these weapons and Hasbro did a particularly nice job recreating them here. The one with the battery pack resembles a chibi Lee-Enfield Rifle right down to the little integral magazine and wood stock. It’s permanently attached to the battery pack with a cord and fits into the holster on the back of the belt. Unfortunately, the Jawa’s hands are not really sculpted to work well with either of these weapons. There’s no trigger finger to get through the trigger guard of the battery powered blaster and he can barely even hold them across his chest because the robes limit his arm movement.

For about five bucks less, I’d consider this Jawa a passable figure, but even then he’s got a lot working against him. Half the articulation is useless, no softgoods, and he can’t even really hold his weapons properly. I really like how Hasbro handled the smaller scale Jawas in the Legacy Collection. We actually got a couple different sculpts, and they knew enough to pack them either together or with a droid to make it worth the money. I’m still hoping Hasbro will do something similar with these guys, but as it stands now, I’m afraid this figure was ultimately an overpriced disappointment. And with that, I’m finally finished with my Black Series versions of Kenner’s “Original Twelve.” Unless you count the A New Hope version of Darth Vader, and since I don’t have anything up my sleeve for DC Friday this week, I’ll come back then and check him out, along with the Black Series version of the Kenner “Early Bird Kit” display.

Marvel Legends (Gladiator Hulk Wave): Loki by Hasbro

Welcome back for a second dose of Marvel Monday as I double-dip into the Gladiator Hulk Wave of Marvel Legends with Loki! Let me warn you and apologize ahead of time, because this one is going to be quick and frustrating. Part of the blame goes to me, part of it goes to the figure, and part of it goes to my goddamn cat. Let’s go…

Have I stated how much I loved Thor: Ragnarok? Yeah, I’m sure I did in this morning’s review, but I’ll say it again here anyway. It’s quirky, it’s bizarre, and ultimately it’s a crazy fun ride that’s never ashamed to be based off a bunch of comic book characters. Loki returns and it’s great to see him on the big screen again. It’s also about time we got the MCU version of him in a proper Marvel Legends release, because I missed out on that Walmart Exclusive version from the original Avengers film way back when.

There’s plenty of nice things to say about this figure, and one colossal and annoying thing. Let’s talk about some of the good stuff first. His costume is new, but it takes some cues from what he wore in his previous appearances as well as a bit from what his brother Thor is wearing in Ragnarok. There’s a great deal of sculpted detail in his plastic garb, along with some segmented shoulder armor. The only piece sculpted separately from the buck is his belt and “skirt,” which is fairly loose and has a habit of sliding up the torso. The deco features a few shades of blue and some purple, along with some gold accents. It’s a pleasing color palate, and the paint applications are all solid.

And then there’s the cape, which is an annoying piece of garbage. It’s supposed to peg into his shoulders, but the pegs on mine will pop out if you breathe on them too hard. Part of the problem is the pegs are mushy and soft. Also, when it is plugged in the cape angles away from the figure’s back.

Just look at this shit! Pushing it closer to his back knocks those pegs out, and it’s impossible to handle the figure normally without pushing it closer to the figure. His sculpted hair will keep the cape more or less in place, but not where it’s supposed to be. On the other hand, if you choose to display it without him, his hair seems to be resting in mid air, since the padding to the shoulders isn’t there. Why the hell couldn’t they have just pegged it into his back like half the other Marvel Legends figures out there?

The portrait here is passable with the figure in hand, but boy does it not photograph well. It also really breaks down the closer that I get. I think the sculpt is mostly there, maybe a little too much Tommy Wiseau, but the plastic looks too waxy and the halftone printing technique didn’t work well here at all.

The articulation here is the same we saw with his brother, Thor. The arms feature rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, along with swivels in the biceps, and double hinges in the elbows. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, with double hinges in the knees, swivels in the biceps, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. And finally, Loki features a swivel in the waist, an ab crunch hinge in the chest, and both a ball joint and hinge in the neck. Most importantly, he can do “Get Help!” although he’s not overly fond of it.

Apart from Hulk’s right leg and the shitty cape, Loki’s only accessory is his iconic horned helmet. And guess what? I can’t show it to you, because my cat stole it. I thought I knew most of his stashes, but a search of both of them turned up only other shit I was missing, like some extra hands and a few weapons. I’m still on the look out for it, but if I don’t find it, I may just pick up a second Loki, because it’s a great accessory and it looks fantastic on the figure. EDIT: I found it! Cat has a new hidey spot!! Here are some shots…

The helmet is cast in very soft gold plastic and fits Loki’s head quite well. I could say that the cheek plates could fit a little tighter, but then I’d really nr nitpicking. I can’t think of too many cases where Hasbro has had removable head gear with Marvel Legends, so this was a pretty cool surprise. Loki doesn’t wear it a lot in the movie, but since this is my only MCU Loki figure in this scale, I’m glad they included it, and I will likely display him wearing his iconic horns.

It’s a shame that Loki doesn’t come with any weapons, even if I do feel bad about complaining about a lack of extra accessories, when I immediately lost the one he does come with. The thing is, the movie had some really cool and imaginative weapon designs, and I would have like to see a couple of those guns released with the figures. Loki would have been a great opportunity for that.

So, the badly designed cape is on Hasbro, losing his helmet is on me and the cat. EDIT: No, it’s not, I found it! All things being equal, I think this is a solid, but not really spectacular release. It gets the job done, and I’m happy to finally have an 6-inch MCU Loki on my shelf, but I find myself still wishing it was a version other than this one. A cool Sakaaran gun would have made me happier.

Marvel Legends (Gladiator Hulk Wave): Thor by Hasbro

Thor: Ragnorok debuted in US theaters last week and it was a hell of a great ride! I doubt it will please fans looking for a respectful treatment of the comic book versions of Ragnarok or Planet Hulk, but it does manage to synthesize the elements of both comic arcs and mash them into a ridiculously fun and action-packed flick. Ironically, it’s also the best characterization of Hulk we’ve seen on the big screen yet. I’d even rate it above Guardians Vol. 2, and if you know me, then you know that’s high praise indeed! And against all odds, I was actually able to stick to a schedule and start in on the Ragnarok-inspired assortment of Marvel Legends right on time! OK, I was originally hoping to start last Monday, but close enough. This assortment includes six figures, and it’s split right down the middle between MCU-based figures and comic-based figures. I thought I’d kick things off with Thor himself, so let’s take a look!

Since I’ve got nothing new to say about the packaging, this is the part where I want to keep gushing on and on about the movie, but it’s only been out for one weekend and I don’t want to spoil one second of it, so I’ll refrain from saying anything other than I’ll definitely be catching it at least a couple more times before it leaves the theaters. It’s a spectacle. It’s a delight. It ranks up there among my favorite MCU films. The Thor movies have always had a fun element to them, but I’d say this was easily the most enjoyable of the bunch. If Disney can do this with Thor, they can do anything.

Thor’s had his share of wardrobe changes throughout the MCU timeline, but this gladiatorial armor is probably the biggest departure from what we’ve seen. And yet, it still manages to remain 100% Thor. The armor is mostly sculpted as part of the buck, and features some fine detail work, like tiny rivets and panel lining, as well as stitching on the trousers, and wrappings around his lower arms and legs.

Thor has reinforced plate armor on his left shoulder and his right leg and knee. The leg armor is a clip on piece and comes off easily. Other separately sculpted pieces include the waist belt and “skirt,” the shoulder strap, and the cape, which pegs into his left shoulder and his right hip. The cape can be a little tough to keep in place, as the pegs are rather soft and I find that the shoulder one will pop out, especially if I try to articulate his waist or his ab crunch too much. It looks great, but it does get in the way of play.

While the figure has an overall dark palate, there are some nice flourishes of color that are in keeping with the film’s wild and often lavish visuals. The leg and shoulder armor, for example are painted in a stunning metallic teal, and he has what appears to be alien scripted painted in blood red on these plates, as well as running down the left side of his suit. He also features a little bit of subdued gold leaf paint detailing on his tunic.

The portrait is excellent and I think it’s safe to say that this is Hasbro’s best Chris Hemsworth likeness at this scale. Hasbro is continuing to use halftone printing techniques for some of the facial features, and I think it works very well.  The beard is neatly painted and he has more of the blood red war paint on the left side of his face. The helmet is very reminiscent of Thor’s traditional helmet and features elongated wing pieces on the sides and more of that lovely teal paint mixed with gray. The wings are made of pretty soft plastic, but they seem to hold their shape pretty well.

There really aren’t any surprises in the articulation here. The arms feature rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, along with swivels in the biceps, and double hinges in the elbows. The elbow hinges are a tiny bit soft, but not outright mushy. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, with double hinges in the knees, swivels in the biceps, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. The range of motion in the hips is empeded a bit by the “skirt.” Lastly, Thor has a swivel in the waist, an ab crunch hinge in the chest, and both a ball joint and hinge in the neck. Again, to really get the most out of the torso articulation, you’re best off removing the cape.

In addition to the BAF parts, Hulk’s helmet and noggin, Thor comes with a matched pair of futuristic swords, which he carries in the film. The blades have cut panel lines, and they also give us even more of that teal paint. It’s probably not a spoiler to point out how weird it is to get Thor figure without Mjolnir. One could argue that Hasbro should have still included it, as it does appear in the film, but to be honest, I have plenty of them already.

For some reason I wasn’t expecting a lot from this figure. That may because it’s peg-warming in my area and a lot of online retailers were discounting him right out of the gate. Imagine my surprise to learn that I think he’s the best MCU Thor Legends has given us. Maybe that’s not such high praise, because a lot of the Hemsworth Thors have been fair but mediocre. It’s also worth mentioning that Hasbro has released a variant of this figure, sans helmet, packed in with MCU Valkyrie, and I’m still on the hunt for that two-pack. Oh yeah, and if you come back tonight I’ll have a look at Loki.

Marvel Legends (Vulture Wings Wave) Vulture by Hasbro

Welcome back for a second helping of Marvel Monday! I’m at the final stop on this trip through this somewhat Homecoming-inspired wave of Marvel Legends. It should be obvious that I saved Vulture for last, so that I can include his wing assembly in this review, so let’s start with a look at the final boxed figure in the assortment… Adrian Toomes!

Here’s a last look at this wave’s packaging, which is pretty much the same as we’ve been getting in this line for a while now. I still have not had a chance to re-watch Homecoming since it’s home release, but that’s OK, because I caught it three times in the theater and I’m hoping I’ll have time to pop in the Blu-Ray sometime this week. Michael Keaton was an excellent piece of casting and I don’t think I was alone in being surprised at how Vulture has become the second best villain in the MCU. Granted, the competition wasn’t very steep. It’s amazing how a little motive, sympathy, and charisma can make a villain great. Oh, and it doesn’t hurt that Keaton is just stupendous.

Unfortunately we don’t get to see him here, but I’ll come back to that in a minute. The figure features Vulture in his movie flight suit and I really dig this design a lot. This is, of course, not the first winged flight suit we’ve seen in the MCU, but this one has a lot more character and more of a homebrew flavor than Sam Wilson’s EXO-7 Falcon. The top half features a vintage-style bomber jacket with a sculpted fur-lined collar, zippers, and chest harness. Below the knees, Toomes is wearing a pair of metallic boots with talon-like feet to help him grasp objects (or people) while in flight. It’s a great modern and “realistic” update to a pretty outlandish costume we all knew we weren’t going to see on screen.

From the back we can see the back plate that attaches to the wings, as well as those vicious talons that come off the backs of his boots. The overall paint on this figure is very well done. The jacket is painted in glossy brown and the pants in glossy green. A matte might have been a better choice for the trousers, but what we got certainly doesn’t look bad. The metal finish on the boots looks outstanding, and little touches, like the gold paint on the zippers and buckles, are appreciated.

Yes, it’s a shame that Hasbro couldn’t get the likeness rights for Keaton. At least, I’m assuming that’s why we only got the masked head. Maybe it was more than they wanted to spend, I honestly don’t know, but they did the best with what they had available to them. The flight helmet features breather tubes coming off the face mask and a clear plastic visor fixed over the two piercing green night vision goggles. This thing has a cool, sinister look to it and I love it.

And finally, let’s run through the articulation. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, double hinges in the elbows, and swivels in the biceps. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have double hinges in the knees, swivels in the thighs, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. there’s a swivel in the waist, an ab crunch hinge in the chest, and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed. It would have been cool to add some articulation to those feet so he could actually grasp something, but I guess it didn’t cost out. All in all, this is a really solid figure on its own, but what good is Vulture without his wings, eh?

The wings arrive in seven parts, spread out among the figures in this wave, and Vulture also comes with a semi-transparent plastic stand. I can’t say enough about how much I love the idea of Hasbro doing something different with the collect-and-connect concept. Build-A-Figures are fine, but this felt like something special, and I’m sure there are more creative outlets like this out there to consider as future possibilities. Remember when Mattel did the C&C Justice League building with their 4-inch line of Young Justice figures? I’d be totally down for some dioramas. Anyway, let’s get these wings assembled…

I’ve got to confess, when I was putting these together I had some pangs of disappointment. The pieces felt soft, and I worried a bit about how this experiment was going to turn out. However, once I figured out how to cobble them together and got them on display, I was a lot happier. Yes, they do feel flimsier than I would have liked, but they look so great on the figure, and they’re so much fun to play with, that I’m willing to let the quality of construction slide. For starters, there is a lot of great detail in the sculpt. Not only are the wings themselves littered with feather-like panel lines, but the actual piece that plugs into the figure is particularly intricate in its detail.

The pieces are cast in a dark green plastic with some lighter green paint used on the panels, somewhat sparingly on the undercarriage, but there’s quite a bit of it on the top face. There’s also some really cool paint used to simulate the thruster being lit up. The stand cradles the bottom point of the wings at just the right level to attach to the figure, so it can be used to display the wings by themselves, or stabilize them while Toomes is wearing them. Pretty cool!

Each of the wings are designed to articulate in three places. They’re hinged where they attach to the backpack, hinged again where they join at the middle, and there’s also a swivel hinge so they can open or collapse a bit. It makes for some pretty fun posing opportunities.

Additionally, each of the VTOL propellers can spin, their housings can hinge away from the wings, and the propellers themselves can also angle within the housings to simulate their use in multi-directional flight.

Despite being held onto the figure by only a peg, I haven’t had any difficulty with it disconnecting, even when I was using various stands to hold him up by only the wings. It’s pretty impressive when you consider that some Marvel Legends can’t even hang on to a pegged cape all that well without it popping off.

So, yeah… consider me impressed. I’ll concede that had Hasbro done this figure in a box set, they might have been able to design the wings to feel a little sturdier, but it would have been out of the scope of the current Legends pricing model. Besides, I think these came out fine in the end. Maybe we can get some kind of Build-A-Thone for Thanos when Infinity War comes out. Whatever the case, I think this was a particularly solid wave of figures and I continue to really enjoy Hasbro’s practice of mixing the relevant MCU characters with comic characters in each wave. These give us the best of both worlds, and continue to push Legends as a fantastic universe-building line. With Thor: Ragnarok hitting theaters this week (Got my ticket for Thursday night!) I hope to start in on the Gladiator Hulk Wave next Monday!

Marvel Legends (Vulture Wings Wave): “Homecoming” Spider-Man by Hasbro

It’s Marvel Monday again, folks, and I am in the middle of a hellacious work week. But the show must go on, and I’ve got not one, not two, but THREE reviews to get to today, as well as wrap up work on a special Halloween review for tomorrow, so I hope you don’t mind if I skip the preamble and jump right in. Let’s check out Spider-Man in his Homecoming Stark Tech suit.

Spider-Man has had some great suits in his various cinematic outings. I loved the Raimi movies (well, two of them) and I really liked the suit design in them. I hated the Amazing Spider-Man movies, but really loved the suit design in those. And with Homecoming, I finally have an agreement in opinion: Loved the movie, loved the suit! I realize it bothered a lot of people that Spidey’s suit was developed by Stark, but I’m not sure why. The MCU has always done its own thing, and it’s not like Tony never built a suit for Peter Parker in the comics. Either way, I had no problem with it, especially since the film addressed the issue of Peter relying too heavily on it by having him wear his powerless Hoodie Suit for the final battle.

The good news? Hasbro went all out on this guy with a brand new buck and sculpt. Not only do you get cut web patterns and a subtle texture, but every single detail on this suit is incorporated into the sculpt from the black chevrons on his shoulders to the spider emblems on his chest and back. The buck is nicely proportioned and skews toward the teenage sized bucks we saw recently with the younger comic version of Peter Parker and Miles Morales.

The coloring is also very good. I’d argue the red could have been a little brighter, but I had that issue with Hoodie Spidey too, so I’m beginning to think it might just be me. The paintwork is overall fairly solid and it looks fine with the figure in hand, although it does break down a bit when you get in really close. That issue is mostly with the paint on the webbing, and it’s not something I’m going to make a big deal about. What I know some people will make a huge deal about is that the pins in the elbow joints aren’t painted to match the costume. This doesn’t tend to be a sticking issue with me, but I get why it irks people. When you put so much work into the rest of the figure an oversight like that seems lazy.

You get two head sculpts, representing the variable apertures of Spidey’s peepers. I can’t believe how many people I’ve talked to had issues with the eyes articulating in the suit. I thought it was a great way to give him that same expressive quality he has in the comics. I also thought it was worth it for the gag outside the girls’ tent when the eye mechanisms freak out. What can I say, I’m easily entertained. Anyway, I like that we got options here, but I’ll be sticking with the larger eye head for my displays. Not only do I like the look better, but the paint on the narrow eyes head is a little rough on mine.

In addition to two heads, Spidey comes with two pairs of hands: Thwippy hands and fists. He comes out of the package with one of each on the figure and let me tell you, I had a hell of a time getting them off. Things went a little easier after I swapped them in and out a few times.

The articulation here is superb. Here’s a rundown… Rotating hinges in the shoulders, double hinges in the elbows and knees, hinged pegs in the wrists, swivels in the biceps and thighs, ball joints in the hips, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. The torso features a waist swivel, an ab crunch hinge, and the neck is both ball jointed and hinged. Spidey also features butterfly hinges in the shoulders.

Finally, you get a pair of web-wings, and oh boy are these things hot garbage. They’re cast in a frosted white-clear plastic and they’re supposed to tab into the slots in his biceps. Just one look at how small the tabs are and how giant the slots are told me these weren’t going to work. Not only will they not hold in place when reposing the arms, but they’ll usually just fall out if I move the figure at all. Hasbro was able to make web-wings work with other Spider-Man related figures, so I’m not sure what happened here, but they’re unfortunately worthless.

Overall, Homecoming Spider-Man is a pretty solid figure. I really dig this costume and the folks at Hasbro did a nice job re-creating it here in 6-inch action figure form. They spared no expense with the sculpt, but it’s a shame that the web-wings don’t work. For me, it’s a relatively minor hiccup in an otherwise fine piece of work. On the other hand, if you were dead set on displaying them on, you might want to invest in some poster putty to keep them in place. Come on back later tonight and I’ll wrap up this wave with a look at Vulture and his assembled wings!

Marvel Legends (Vulture Wings Wave): Moon Knight by Hasbro

Spider-Man Homecoming made its own homecoming last week on Blu-Ray, but I only just picked up my copy today. Whether I get to actually watch it again today remains to be seen. The plan was to be wrapping up this partially Homecoming-inspired wave when the Blu-Ray hit, and I’m not too far off schedule. Today I’m checking out Moon Knight and next week we’ll finish things off with a look at Spider-Man as well as Vulture and his wings.

The reveal of this release was bitter-sweet for me. I’m a big fan of Spector and the Bendis run of Moon Knight back in 2011 remains among my favorites. The art, the story, the dialogue, it all gelled so beautifully and while it’s nice to own the whole shebang in two trades, it broke my heart that it didn’t last longer. Critically, it was well received, but for whatever reason the book just didn’t sell. Of course, this figure is not that version of Moon Knight, and to be honest, I couldn’t tell you from which book Hasbro pulled this costume. I’m going to assume it’s from last year’s run. That’s my dilemma right now. I love the movies and action figures, but I’m avoiding most of Marvel’s current comics until they get their house in order. As a result, every now and then I get a figure where the design is lost on me.

But, unfamiliar or not, I really dig this costume a lot! Moon Knight is built on a glossy black buck with some beautiful pearlescent white plastic strategically attached as armor. These areas include his boots, lower legs and forearms, gloves, hips, chest, and shoulders. The crescent designs of his segmented arm and leg armor is pretty sweet and he features a crescent moon emblem outlined in black on his chest plate. This is a clean and modern look that gives him a lot of agility. Ultimately, I still prefer the all white suit, but like I said, this works for me too!

The cape pegs into the back, although it really doesn’t need to because it also encircles the neck. It’s fairly flexible and doesn’t throw the figure off balance too badly. The pleating on the top looks great and it has a nice swirling and billowing effect on the bottom.

The head is a simple masked black sculpt with two piercing blue eyes. I’m sure we’ve seen this head before, I just can’t place exactly where. I love when Hasbro sculpts the facial details under the mask like they have here. The hood is a separate piece and permanently attached to the head so as not to inhibit the neck articulation. This is a big improvement over the ToyBiz Legends Moon Knight, which had the cape and hood as one piece.

Speaking of articulation, Moon Knight has got everything you might expect. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have double hinges in the knees, and swivels in the thighs. The ankles have both hinges and lateral rockers. The torso has a swivel at the waist and an ab crunch hinge under the chest. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders, double hinges in the elbows, swivels in the biceps, and pegged hinges in the wrists. The neck has both a hinge and a ball joint.

Moon Knight comes with some weapons and a pair of extra hands to help him use them. First off, you get his crescent darts, three small ones and one bigger one. The knuckles on his fists are slotted to hold the smaller ones, so you can make it like he’s about to fling up to three at a time. In practice it works OK, but they tend to fall out pretty easily and it’s kind of hard to see he’s even holding anything. And since these are so tiny and there’s nowhere to store them on his person, I can see them getting lost pretty easily.

The larger one is a little more fun to play with. He can hold it in his regular grasping hands. Again, there’s nowhere to stow it on him and that’s a bummer.

Also included is Marc’s baton, which can split into two. Yup, we’ve seen this piece many times with different figures, Hellcat and Daredevil to name a couple. He can hold these pretty well in his graspy hands. And once again, there’s nowhere to put them on him. Do I sense a theme? Chances are I’m just going to display him with his larger crescent dart and put the rest away somewhere.

Why is Moon Knight in a Spider-Man wave? I couldn’t tell you. Do I care? Nope. This is a great looking figure and he’s loads of fun to play around with. He’s also a character that I am very happy to finally get on my Legends shelf again. If I had to complain, I’d say that I’m not going to get a lot of use out of the tiny darts, but I can’t see of any way Hasbro could have implemented them much better. As of now, this figure is ranking in as one of my favorites of this wave.

Transformers Titans Return: Gatorface and Krok by Hasbro

I honestly never buy stuff just for the sake of reviewing it here. A couple of decades ago, I was guilty of doing that with my old website when there was a KayBee Toys Outlet a couple towns over and it lead to boxes and boxes of figures and toys I really had little interest in. I just bought them because they were there and they were cheap and I could write about them. So, why bring that up now? Because I pretty much just bought Krok for the sake of having something new for Transformers Thursday. I’m not proud of myself right now.

Here’s the packaging and yes, this is a straight repaint of a figure that I wasn’t terribly impressed with when I reviewed him over a year ago. I found Krok while hitting up a Walgreens looking for Marvel Legends figures and coffee creamer. There were no new Legends, so rather than come home empty handed I grabbed Krok and a bottle of Dunkin Donuts Extra-Extra. Neither the brand nor the flavor of creamer is relevant here, but I think I’m going to need to pad out my word count on this one. OK, let’s take a look…

Gator mode! Everything I loved about the sculpt last time still holds true. And to my surprise, this one pegs together a lot better than my Skullsmasher does. I still love the G1 mecha-animal aesthetic, and this guy captures it beautifully. And imagine this, I think I even like the deco on this sucker better than Skullsmasher’s. No, I’m not digging those Mountain Dew claws, but the rest of the colors are black and purple and as Decepticon as you can get. I also really love the translucent yellow-green plate on the head and hatch in the body. The whole thing is very reminiscent of those lovely Insecticons. If only the claws were painted silver, this would have been a home-run, homage be damned!

For a bit, I thought Krok’s mouth didn’t open like Skullsmasher’s does, but it was just really stuck. I eventually got those jaws apart and to my delight the teeth and tongue are all cast in transparent yellow-green plastic, which I think looks really cool. Are you taking notes? opaque Mello Yello plastic is bad. Translucent Mello Yello plastic is good. I can’t rationalize it for you, I can only tell you how it is.

The unfortunately named Gatorface is exactly what I’ve come to expect from these little Titan Masters. For some reason, I actually don’t mind the obnoxious coloring here, but it is really hard to make out any of the sculpted detail in his head. Just like Grax, he can sit in the hatch and pilot the giant robot gator. Well, so far, I’m not too upset that I bought Krok. Let’s get him transformed and see how the other mode is…

Krok’s robot mode is still a decent mold, but the deco introduces a whole hell of a lot more Mello Yello plastic, and that’s a shame. If we got some silver instead, this would have been a repaint that I could get behind. I know, I’m missing the point of the homage to the G1 Action Master Krok, but whatever. I do, however, love what they did with his abs. The red down the middle and the silver on the sides really brings out the sculpting in there. It’s something I didn’t really notice in the Skullsmasher release. Beyond the coloring, my figure is also spoiled by the loosey-goosey hips. They were a little annoying on Skullsmasher, but here they’re just intolerable. Shooting pictures of this guy was an exercise in frustration, not only because the yellow-green plastic was befuddling my shitty camera’s sensor, but because the figure kept doing the splits.

And this head! Even with a better deco, this sculpt isn’t winning me over. I can’t figure out what’s going on with the mouth plate. It looks like he’s constantly surprised. The pink on his head crest, eyes, and in his chest panels is kind of a weird addition too. Nice Decepticon logo, though. I wish Skullsmasher had that on his chest.

You get the exact same weapons that came with Skullsmasher. Well, obviously, since one is his tail.

Krok is a veritable roller-coaster ride of highs and lows. The deco here is aimed very squarely at all those Action Master fans out there, and I’m not really one of them. Don’t get me wrong, I would actually love a modern day sub-line of 6-inch scale Sunbow designed G1 Transformers that focused on accessories and super articulation at the expense of transformation. But this fellow is too obscure even for my tastes. Toss in the fact that I’m going to have to treat his hips with some nail polish, and I’m pretty much regretting having picked him up. I think I’ll just leave him in gator mode and set him in the back of my display shelf.