Transformers Legacy Evolution: Scraphook by Hasbro

I have pulled waaay back on collecting Transformers, mainly because Hasbro has been drifting away from the G1 stuff in favor of other eras. And that’s fine! They’ve given me most of what I’ve wanted in terms of G1 remakes, and it’s time to spread some of that love to the collectors who are nostalgic for the Unicron Trilogy stuff. Plus, it saves me money so it’s a Win-Win. But, I do have a backlog of convertorobots that I have not checked out on FFZ, and I’m going to try to give them the spotlight here and there, even if some of them are pretty dated by now. I especially want to get to those Legacy Stunticons! But today I’m keeping it small and simple with a new Deluxe Class Junkion!

The Legacy packaging is kind of a mixed bag to me. It’s a lot more eye catching than some of the previous lines’ packaging, but it starts to melt my retinas if I look at it too long. I also have no idea what this Evolution stuff is all about. We’re still on the windowless packaging, and instead of a fully enclosed box part of the toy is open to the air so kids can put their sticky, disgusting fingers all over the toy before you buy it. I should note that Scraphook is an unusual figure in that he’s somewhat similar to the Weaponizers that we got during the Siege line. He does transform, but he’s also meant to be taken apart and mixed and matched with other toys. That’s probably fun for the kids, but it’s really not my bag. Anyway, let’s start with the alt mode.

Scraphook’s vehicle mode looks like a tow truck from a Mad Max film, and I am totally down with that! He’s got a delightfully drab deco of rust brown and dark gray, with a little orange to spice things up. The windows are all reinforced with armored vents, the front has some vicious looking ramming blades, the engine is exposed through the hood, there are some bitchin exhaust pipes on the back, and he’s got a spiked tire on the back, along with his big tow hook. Everything about this truck is just too cool!

Oddly enough, Scraphook’s alt mode struck me as being really small when I got him, but comparing it to some other Deluxes showed me that it really isn’t the case. I’ll do some comparisons at the end with another Deluxe Autobot tow truck, Hoist. Scraphook doesn’t actually come with any weapons to plug into his vehicle mode, but there are plenty of ports if you want to borrow some guns from another figure. All in all, this is just a great sculpt and a super fun vehicle that’s perfect for a Junkion.

Before transforming Scraphook, you have to strip him of some of his parts, and some more traditional Transformers fans may not be happy about that. But he’s not really a parts-former, because all of the stuff that comes off is just kind of extras. The parts include his two sets of exhaust pipes, his tow hook, his spiked tire, and his engine, which splits into two parts. You can omit all of these pieces and still transform Scraphook into his bot mode, but his robot mode is definitely enhanced by these extra bits.

And here he is all transformed and looking pretty damn good… and small! I may have been mistaken about thinking his alt mode was small, but his robot mode actually is pretty tiny for a Deluxe. Here, I’ve attached his exhaust pipes to his shoulders, put his spiked wheel on his left arm, attached his tow hook to the back, and we’ll get to the engine block pieces in a bit. Now, I really dig this robot mode a lot and just like his alt mode, it makes for a great looking Junkion. The robot mode casts off some of that rust brown and shows a lot more orange, which makes the figure pop a lot more in this mode. My only nitpick of the design is the long flat feet are kind of weird when viewed from the side or back. I do wish these folded up and tabbed into the backs of the lower legs. I think that would have looked a lot better. And keep in mind, there are sockets all over this guy, so what you do with those extra pieces is up to you. This is just my preferred look for him.

Scraphook has some pretty good poseability and thanks to some nice ankle rockers, he can keep those big slabs of feet flat on the ground in wide stances. My figure does have some issues with his elbows, which are simple friction hinges that love to pop off and are extremely loose. I can get his arms to stay bent for a while, but they will eventually flop down if given enough time. I’m not sure if this is a problem with my figure or the design in general, but at $25, it shouldn’t be an issue.

Hasbro went all out on the head sculpt for this guy. He’s got a rounded brown “helmet” with a pronounced mohawk-like crest in the middle I also dig that he’s got a plate bolted over his left eye. Scraphook also has some sculpted facial hair in the form of a mustache and goatee, which became all the rage after Transformers: The Movie. I’ve never been a huge fan of that, but it kind of fits with the Junkions, I guess. The face paint is dark gray instead of the silver we’re used to seeing, which is also pretty fitting for a Junkion. All in all, this portrait has a ton of personality and I love it!

The two pieces of his engine become handguns, which is pretty cool. Or you can socket these on his body in various places. Not bad!

And as I mentioned earlier, Scraphook is designed to come apart at the shoulders and knees. You can use this to mix and match with other compatible figures in either robot or vehicle modes. Like I said, this gimmick isn’t really my bag, but it’s probably fun for the kiddos. The connections stay put pretty well when fiddling with him in alt mode, but they did separate a few times while I was transforming him.

I like Scraphook, but I fall just short of loving him. He gets major points for great looking alt and robot modes, but his robot mode is way too small for a $25 Deluxe. Add to that the issues with the shoulders, and he just feels grossly overpriced. It’s also a shame that he doesn’t display well with the Studio Series Junkions, but having a tow truck about half the size of a motorcycle is a bummer. Yeah, I know. Transformers scaling has always been wonky, and that’s true. These are also from two completely different lines, so there’s no reason they should be able to cohabitate on the shelves, but with a design this cool it would have been nice to see him in that larger scale. Maybe I will pick up Crashbar to at least have another Junkion that scales well with him as a bot. This guy is also being remolded and repainted into what I believe will be the first Decepticon Junkion, so that may be worth a look too!

Indiana Jones Adventure Series: Sallah and Marion (Raiders of the Lost Ark) by Hasbro

This week is going to be all about wrapping up loose ends, as I finish off looking at some figure waves that I started, in some cases, weeks ago. I try to keep my promises, but sometimes it can take me a little while! So, let’s kick things off by checking out the last two figures in the first assortment of Hasbro’s 6-inch Indiana Jones Adventure Series and then build us an Ark of the Covenant! So far, I’ve been up and down on this wave with mixed opinions on Indy as well as Toht and Belloq, so let’s see what happens in the final lap.

Once again, we get completely enclosed boxes with pictures of the figures. We already know that Hasbro will be stepping away from these and going back to window boxes for most if not all of their 6-inch figure lines. With that having been said, I think the art design on these does a nice job of conveying the heart and soul of the film franchise. At the same time, these also illustrate why these types of packages border on false advertising. And when it comes to disparity between box pictures and actual figures, Sallah and Marion are two of the biggest offenders in this wave. It’s probably always best to let the figure speak for itself through a window, even if it does mean shaving a few hundred years off of the planet’s lifespan, right? OK… let’s start with Marion…

This is Marion in the outfit she wore in Cairo, and to be honest, I think I would have preferred the version we got in the old Kenner line in Belloq’s dress. Kenner did do a version of this Cairo Marion but only as a static piece to go inside a basket in their Cairo Playset. Hasbro later did a 3 3/4-inch version in their line that released alongside Crystal Skull, and that brings us to now. To cut to the chase, this figure is what I would call passable. It doesn’t excel in any particular area, but it’s not a total trainwreck. I think the colors on the outfit are nice, and there’s some sharp printed patterns on her blouse, but ridiculously puffy garments don’t usually translate well to plastic, and I’ll just say that Hasbro probably did as good as anyone could turning this type of outfit into an action figure.

The portrait looks better in hand than I expected. There’s definitely some Karen Allen in there, but I think the zombie-like expression sabotages whatever credit the likeness may have had. I like that they printed her freckles and the hair is sculpted pretty well too. Then again from some angles any semblance of the likeness disappears. For a company that has a long history of failing to capture a certain actress’ likenesses who played a character in a galaxy far, far away, I don’t think this is that bad, but it’s not particularly great either.

Articulation is solid enough for this type of outfit, but those rotating hinges in the sculpted billowy sleeves can barely do 90-degrees and the same goes for the knees. You also get rotating hinges in the shoulders, wrists, and ankles. The hips are ball jointed and you get swivel cuts in the thighs. There’s also a ball joint in the waist and ball joints at the top and bottom of the neck. The ankles joints are big and bulbous balls, which are fine for posing, but look pretty bad. Fortunately they’re somewhat obscured by the billowy cuffs.

Marion comes with a frying pan, which if you ask me is a pretty sexist accessory for a female action figure. Yeah, I kid. It was actually used as a weapon while she was being chased through the streets of Cairo. And overpowering a dude that has a knife using only a frying pan is pretty bad-ass. The frying pan looks as basic as you can get and it’s made out of super thin plastic that looks almost translucent if you shine a light through it. Hasbro put no effort into it at all.

More impressive is the little traitor monkey bastard with his teeny tiny vest. This is a pretty great sculpt for such a little accessory and the paint is decent too, but it looks no where near as good as the picture on the box. There’s articulation in the neck and the base of the tail, which surprised me. I think he could have been sculpted a little better to attach to Marion’s neck or shoulder, but eventually I was able to make it work. Overall, this figure is OK, but it’s pretty lacking for a premium 6-inch collector line. Let’s see if Sallah does any better.

The short answer is… Nope. Again, there’s some stuff here that is passable and I have to acknowledge that it’s a guy in beige robes and there’s only so much you can do with that. There aren’t any flashy colors to draw the eye or complex costume to sculpt. The lower half of the robes are cast in soft plastic with slits running up the sides to help give his legs a bit of space to move. The robes are textured and there’s some brown sandy weathering brushed on here and there. The tan belt looks nice and I like the vest with the black fringe down the sides. I did find this figure very difficult to keep standing, as he kept wanting to fall backwards and I’m not entirely sure why. In terms of the body, it gets the job done and that’s about it.

The portrait is at least recognizable as John Rhyes Davies, especially in the eyes and nose, but the beard looks bad. The paint is sloppy and uneven. And what is going on with this neck? They gave poor Sallah some kind of turkey neck that’s way too long and juts out unnaturally. It looks like some kind of NPC video game glitch. Mine is also covered with mold flashing that makes his skin look like it’s peeling off. What a mess!

To add insult to injury, Sallah comes with some pretty crappy accessories. The shovel is a good call, but it’s just a warped wreck. The handle is all bendy and the shovel itself is made of the same super thin plastic as Marion’s frying pan. Even in the relative low light of these pictures you can see the light bleeding through the plastic. The handle is also too thin for him to really grip it very well.

The other accessory is just a coiled rope, and oh boy is that a fun accessory! You can put it on his shoulder or have him hold it. I would have literally rather just got a coil of actual string. At least that would have added some play value. How about a torch? How is it we didn’t get a single torch in this entire wave? I just don’t have anything more to say about this figure, other than it would be acceptable as a 3 3/4-inch figure, but not in this scale and certainly not at this $25 price tag, and that’s mostly how I feel about Marion too, albeit she is definitely the better of the two. Let’s move on to the Ark!

The Ark is assembled from a total of twelve pieces scattered across the five figures of the wave. Half of the pieces make up the carry poles, leaving the top and bottom, side pieces, and end pieces. As I collected the pieces together I did not have high hopes for this thing. It seemed like it was going to be way under scaled and some of the plastic looked terribly thin and cheap.

But, to my surprise, once it was all together I was pretty happy with the final result. The poles are a bit bendy and soft, but I think the finished Ark looks pretty damn good. It feels like it’s scaled quite well for the 6-inch figures and the carry poles work really well. I think the gold finish looks pretty nice, with more of a satin finish as opposed to high gloss. At least there’s none of that awful looking swirly plastic gold Hasbro uses from time to time. The bulk of the sculpted detail is in the lid, and that is indeed the real showpiece here. The angels look beautiful and the intricate sculpting on the little fence around them is quite well done. You did good on this one, Hasbro!

So yeah, this wave has been a bit of a roller coaster. It’s still odd to say that I still think Belloq is the best figure in the assortment, with Sallah taking the dubious prize of being the worst. Toht and Marion fall somewhere in the middle. As for the star of the wave… I had a lot of nitpicking with Indy, and while I think the figure showcases a lot of inexcusable little fumbles, he’s grown on me a bit more since that review. Indeed, he’s been on my desk for weeks now and I really enjoy picking him up and fiddling with him on my downtime. And despite my lackluster reception to this wave, I have decided to press on and pick up a few of the future releases in this line, so we’ll see how things go from here.

Indiana Jones will return!

G.I. JOE Classified: Cover Girl by Hasbro

Hasbro continues to have the Classified release gun set to full auto, and I sure ain’t complaining. I have had some issues with their other lines of late (some of those may not have been published here yet… but they will!), but it seems that I can continue to count on this line to be evergreen. I also love how impossible it is to predict what figures we’re going to see next. Case in point… Cover Girl was mainly known as the Wolverine driver and I’d probably rank her as a C-lister at best in terms of the G.I. JOE fiction, but I was still delighted to see her solicitation come up, and now I’m excited to check her out!

This is the first time I’m looking at a regular release Classified JOE without a window box. I talked about my issues with this back when I looked at Indiana Jones, so I won’t go through it again. The figure comes wrapped in a GI JOE branded paper bag with the accessories in another bag, stuffed in an illustrated cardboard footlocker. And that’s pretty cool. What isn’t cool is how much I absolutely hate this character art. I have no idea what were they going for here, and I’m not going to bother to speculate. If you’re going to take the window away, at least give us some decent art on the cover. Well, it’s all probably moot, since Hasbro just announced that they’re returning to plastic windows for their 6-inch lines. Anyway… Courtney is an interesting release, as she was originally bundled as the driver for the Wolverine, and I hate to break it to you, but there ain’t no Wolverine in that little box. That’s OK, though… let’s check her out.

And what we have is another Classified figure that perfectly strides that line between homage and modern update. Her trademark bomber jacket has some sculpted white fur fringe around the neck, and some great detail in the pockets, buttons and tailoring lines. It’s cast in soft plastic with the sleeves sculpted on the arms, and I think it looks great! The RAH figure had matching cream-colored top and trousers, but here we get the trousers in khaki, which adds a little more color. There are reinforced patches on the fronts of her thighs, knee guards, and high brown boots with olive green reinforcements on the fronts. I love the way her pants legs bunch up at the tops of the boots, and they gave her some finger-less gloves, which the RAH figure lacked. This figure also adds a double belt with a slot for her wrench and two thigh rigs, one for her pistol holster and one to hold her PDA. She certainly looks the part of a rough-and-tumble combat mechanic, and it’s a nice nod to her RAH file card, which listed her as having proficiency in diesel mechanics and gas turbine technology.

I was in love with the portrait from the original solicitation shots, mainly because I could see some likeness to J. Scott Campbell’s particular style, whether intentional or not. The final production head loses a little something, but I still think it’s pretty great. The curve of the nose, the arch of the eyebrows, and the full lips are where I see the most JSC in there. The eyes have some nice printing and I think the hair sculpt looks solid.

I’m at the point where I’ve looked at enough of Classified that running through articulation gets redundant. I will say that I’m thrilled to see the double-hinged elbows and bicep swivels in the ladies, and that this figure has some nice range of motion and balance to her. I had no issues with stuck joints allowing Cover Girl to skip the hot tub, aka microwaved coffee cup of water.

Her PDA is a simple but wonderful accessory with a sticker on the front showing the schematics to her beloved vehicle. The printing here is so on point, making it look like it’s an actual glowing screen. I’d like to think that she knows the Wolverine by heart and she just carries that around so she can look at it lovingly when the two are apart. The storage slot for it works very well too! She also has the simple black wrench, which I would have preferred be painted silver, but it’s a great inclusion.

Courtney comes with a very nice automatic pistol with some silver paint on the slide. She held proficiency in the use of the M1911, and this stands in pretty well as a modern version.

And finally she comes with a shotgun for when she empties all dozen of the Wolverine’s missiles and she has to climb out and take care of business herself. The sculpt here is a little softer than the pistol, but it sure isn’t bad, although it’s weird to see bolt action on a military shotgun. I like that Hasbro threw in some olive paint on the foregrip. It’s a unique and nice looking gun, and I wish there was a scabbard for it for her back like Flint got.

Damn, this is a great figure! Granted, I have mixed feelings about getting vehicle drivers as single release figures. Does getting Cover Girl mean we have no chance at a 6-inch scale Wolverine? Does it make it more of a possibility? Probably the former. I have no doubt that Hasbro could do a pretty good Wolverine in this scale as a HasLab project, but if it were a possibility I’m sure they would have saved Cover Girl to bundle with it. Besides, I’m sure there are a bunch of GI JOE vehicles that would be considered more iconic and more likely to have a chance. Either way, I’m happy to have Courtney on my shelf! But Hasbro really needs to do a do-over on Scarlett. She just does not hold up at all.

Indiana Jones Adventure Series: Major Toht and Rene Belloq (Raiders of the Lost Ark) by Hasbro

Just last week I was telling one of my toy collector buddies how I thought Hasbro was probably done with Indiana Jones after this wave and the few exclusives we’ve seen. And then Hasbro went apeshit and showed off something like two-dozen more figures, so boy was I wrong. I guess it makes sense, as The Dial of Destiny has got to be the really, really last time they’re going to wring any money from this license. Also, that newest trailer did not do much for my anticipation. I mean, I adore the first three Indy films, but everything about that trailer seemed tired and old. Will I see it? Yup. And hopefully I’ll be wrong on that count too. Anyway…The rest of the Raiders of the Lost Ark wave from Hasbro’s Indiana Jones 6-inch Adventure Series arrived from Hasbro Pulse, so I’m going to check out the rest of figures in pairs. Today I’ll have a look at the baddies with Renee Belloq and Major Toht and then I’ll swing back next week to look at Sallah and Marion and the Build-A-Ark.

The packaging is the same as what we saw last time with fully enclosed boxes. Inside, the figures comes wrapped in tissue paper with a map printed on it in gold and the accessories and the Build-An-Artifact parts are in a separate bag. I commented about my issues with these enclosed boxes when I looked at Indy, so I won’t go into it again now. I will say that of all the windowless boxes Hasbro has used, I like the look of this series the most. The art design really invokes the film, even if the pictures of the figures can be misleading. Let’s start off with Toht!

I have to admit, I didn’t think Hasbro had the balls to do it, but here we are: A 6-inch scale figure of a Nazi Gestapo torturer is swinging on the pegs down your local toy aisle. I’m also a little amazed that community outrage hasn’t recalled him yet, but it’s hard for me to understand the spectrum of over-sensitivity that the world runs on these days. I found Major Arnold Ernst Toht was one of the more memorable characters in Raiders. He served as both intimidating villain and comic relief, and he had a twisted sense of humor, with lots of memorable moments. There’s a great scene where Indy stops the German caravan and threatens to blow up everyone with a rocket launcher and in the background you can see Toht just walk over to a rock and sit down, like he’s just tired of all this shit and thankful for the rest. I laugh every time! And maybe the reason I’m gassing on about film memories is because I don’t have a lot to say about this figure. It’s an evil guy in a black suit. He has a soft plastic trench coat that fits over his shoulders, very similar to what the vintage Kenner figure had, and looks really good on the figure. It has a little texturing and decent detail in the sleeves and tailoring.

On first pass I think the figure looks good, albeit this is not a figure that required a lot of paint or even sculpted detail. Like I said, it’s a guy in a black suit. I like the exposed white shirt cuffs peeking out from the jacket sleeves, and the white collar and red striped tie looks good too. They did sculpt the tiny pin on the side of his chest, but it is understandably scrubbed of any actual details showing Nazi insignia. He’s got black gloves, with a trigger finger on the right and an accessory holding hand on the left. There’s nothing spectacular here, it’s all very serviceable. But, even the wrath of God couldn’t get Toht’s elbows and knees to bend, so I had to soak him in hot water for about five minutes. I honestly don’t understand it here, because there’s no paint in those areas, just black plastic. What the hell is sticking on these figures? Anyway, the articulation is similar to what we saw with Indy, and while the rotating hinges for the elbows and knees were disappointing for him, they seem a little more appropriate here.

The portrait isn’t bad, but it does fall victim to the fact that it’s hard to do wire-frame glasses well in this scale. The arms of the glasses are kind of thick and the paint isn’t as sharp as it could be. Yeah, those specs look awful. The portrait is a passable likeness for the actor, especially when viewed from straight on. But, there are some horrendous molding seams running up the side of his face that really bring the whole thing down. When I first saw these, I honestly thought the face was detachable and that the swap-out melted face wasn’t the whole head. Lately, the issues of mold flashing and seam lines is something Hasbro needs to get there arms around.

I do find it kind of strange that they made his hat removable, while Indy’s was not, but whatever. It reminds me of the scene where he takes his hat off to wipe his head revealing his male pattern baldness. Let’s move on to accessories!

Toht comes with a Luger pistol, which has a bit more detail than Indy’s revolver. You even get painted grips, which is nice. It’s still very soft and gummy plastic though.

Secondly, you get a swap out right hand with Marion’s Medallion burned into it. I think the sculpting and paint look really good on this piece, but it doesn’t go into the wrist peg all the way and so it looks pretty bad with the peg sticking up like that. I could probably go in there with a razor and shave out the socket in the hand a bit, but I can’t be bothered. Seriously, Hasbro. How do you screw up something as simple as this?

The final accessory is an alternate head with the face melting away, and this is really well done. Sure, the glasses still look bad, but I still think the sculpt and paint look great, and I am absolutely stunned that Hasbro had the balls to include something this grizzly in with the figure. It almost makes up for the shitty fit on the extra hand.

Ultimately, I think Toht is pretty average. There’s a few areas where he excels and a few more where he fails. I definitely think he could have used a few more accessories, like maybe the poker from the bar in Nepal, or the coat hanger that looked like a torture device. Hell, they could have included the actual Medallion with him too. Maybe the extra head ate up the cost on any more accessories. OK, let’s move on to Belloq.

This is Belloq in the Hebrew ceremonial outfit he wore while opening the Ark. We got a similar figure in the original Kenner line and I believe Hasbro did him in the 3 3/4-inch line that came out with Crystal Skull. I’m tempted to say I would have rather had Indy’s rival in his regular clothes and not something this scene specific, but I’ll just come right out and say that this figure looks so good, I guess I’m glad they did it. Sure, this costume gave Hasbro a lot more to work with than Toht’s black suit, but it feels like they just poured the love into this one.

The sculpted robes have a great layered look and the checkered tunic is outstanding. In addition to the sharp paint, there’s some excellent texturing and sculpted floral motifs here and there. The sash is sculpted separately and hangs down the front, and the jeweled chest board is also separate and attached with sculpted gold chains at the shoulders. The paint on the various colored stones looks great! I was expecting the boots and legs to be reused from Indy, but to my surprise they aren’t. Also, there are slits up both sides of the robes so as not to inhibit the leg articulation, and that’s nice, but it’s not like Belloq was doing a lot action poses in this scene.

I think the portrait here is excellent. The likeness is there and you get some incredible definition in the facial sculpt. The creasing around the eyes is particularly impressive. The head wrap has some sculpted Hebrew lettering on the gold plate, and while there’s a little overspray from the gold paint, you have to get in pretty close to notice it. Also, the grim expression just oozes character.

Belloq comes with one accessory, and that’s the Ram’s Head ceremonial staff. The right hand is designed to hold it, while the left hand is flat and evocative of the scene where he holds it over the Ark while reciting the Hebrew liturgy. It’s a great looking accessory with a white ribbed grip running down most of its length and really nice detail in the golden head piece. I do wish we got a second head sculpt with this figure. I realize it would be tough to sculpt Belloq’s head exploding, but I would have loved to see his terrified expression right before it happened. It would look pretty cool displayed next to melted face Toht. Of course, I’d be surprised to get Herman Dietrich, so we couldn’t display all three together anyway, which is a shame.

And that’s the villains for this wave. Toht is merely OK. I don’t hate the figure, but I don’t really love him either. A lot of my issues with him would have been fine on a 3 3/4-inch release, but this is a premium $25 6-inch figure, so I expected more polish. Belloq, on the other hand, turned out to be the breakout star here. The sculpt and paint are top notch, and I love the head sculpt. And since we found out this weekend that we are getting a plain clothes Cairo version of Belloq, I’m happier with this release even more! Next week, I’ll finish off the wave with a look at Marion and Sallah, and we’ll hunt down the Ark of the Covenant!

Indiana Jones Adventure Series: Indiana Jones(Raiders of the Lost Ark) by Hasbro

Back when Kingdom of the Crystal Skull came out, Hasbro went wild with their 3 3/4-inch Indiana Jones line. We got figures from all the films, as well as mini playsets, vehicles, and even a big playset. The line was not terribly popular with collectors as the paint apps had a habit of being rather rough, but I absolutely loved the line for being super fun and very expansive. I still maintain that it was the best thing to come out of what was a pretty poor film. Fast forward to now and we have yet another Indiana Jones film on the horizon and one which I am really dubious about. But hey… more Indy toys! This time we’re getting 6-inch and 3 3/4-inch retro lines. The first pair of the 6-inch Adventure Series figures have arrived, so let’s start with the man himself. If adventure has a name, it must be Indiana Jones!

Yeah, I have no words for how much I love Raiders of the Lost Ark. It’s on a short list of what I consider to be perfect films. It’s not a move I can have on in the background either. If it’s on, it has my total attention, even though I know it by heart. Adventure Series Indy comes in a fully enclosed box, which looks nice, but also illustrates the problem with these boxes. The figure pictured on the front just isn’t what’s in the box, mostly because of the portrait. And I’m not talking about paint flubs or QC issues. We’re clearly seeing a pre-production figure as opposed to what actually shipped, and that’s where you wander into the nefarious Temple of False Advertising. Inside the box the figure comes wrapped in a paper bag with the accessories in a second bag. Both bags have maps printed on them, which is a nice touch. This wave is also doing a Build-An-Artifact thing, so Indy comes with the two angels from the top of the Ark of the Covenant. But I’ll save those for when I check out the last figure and have all the pieces.

At casual glace, everything looks fairly solid. Indy comes in his trademark leather jacket, which is cast in soft plastic with the sleeves sculpted as part of the arms. The sleeves don’t really match up with the arm holes well enough, making it really obvious that they aren’t part of the jacket, but that’s often the case with this trick. There’s a button-down shirt sculpted under that and his satchel is worn with the shoulder strap under the jacket. You can easily remove the satchel if you want. The detail on the shirt is very nice and there’s some great weathering on the jacket. The khaki trousers have rumpling down by the cuffs and there’s some sharp detail in his boots. I really don’t have any complaints about the body sculpt.

The head sculpt features a permanently attached fedora, which I don’t really mind that much, although for a $25 figure, not having it be removable does hurt the value a bit. There’s also some bad mold flashing on the brim of my figure’s hat. As for the portrait itself, I don’t think it’s bad, but it’s a far cry from what’s on the box. The more I handle the figure, the more I like it. Had the figure been sold in a window box, I don’t think I would have a problem with it at all, but when compared to the picture on the box it still feels like a bit of bait and switch. I actually think it most resembles Indy from some the painted movie posters, and that’s not a bad thing. Hasbro has certainly done some better likenesses in this scale, but they’ve done a lot that have been far worse too. The nose and mouth are undeniably Harrison Ford and they even worked his chin scar into the likeness. After a few days of mulling it over, and not looking at the photo on the box, I ended up liking this portrait quite a bit.

Nearly every joint on my figure was fused right out of the box, so Indy had to take a bath in the Hot Tub to get him limbered up. I sure didn’t want to snap any joints. The articulation feels like it takes a step back from some of Hasbro’s other offerings in this scale. You get rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, knees, and ankles. The hips are ball jointed, there are swivels in the thighs, a ball joint in the waist, and another for the neck. The hands are on dog bone-style double ball joints so they can be swapped out, with the peg in the arm and not in the hand, which is weird. You get a pair of fists, a gun-holding right hand, a whip-holding right hand, an idol-holding left hand, and a relaxed left hand. The elbows can do slightly better than 90-degrees, but boy do I wish they were double-hinged. The knee joints work alright, but they look absolutely awful when bent. Even the elbow joints look a bit bulbous when bent. Let’s look at accessories!

You get two versions of the iconic whip, one coiled to hang from his belt loop and one for action. The coiled whip looks very nice with some excellent sculpted braiding. Unfortunately, it is damn near impossible to close the loop and keep it closed. The peg is really soft and either doesn’t want to go into the hole or just pulls out a few seconds later. I was honestly amazed I was able to get any pictures at all with the loop closed around the whip. Sometimes the whip will stay in place for a while even after the loop’s peg pulls out, but eventually it will just fall to the floor. Something this simple should not be this poorly implemented, and especially not on a $25 figure.

The other whip is rubbery and wants to keep returning to a semi-coiled state. I can sometimes get a good pose with it, but it won’t do what I want it to do. I was thinking back to the Super7 ThunderCats Tygra figure, where his bolo whip would hold a shape and this one will not. I can’t believe Hasbro couldn’t work something out with a poseable wire, because that’s really what this accessory needed. And it’s no fun that it can’t be latched onto anything very well to make like he’s swinging. There were a bunch of different directions Hasbro could have gone with this version of the whip, but this just doesn’t work for me. At least this one still has the excellent braided sculpt as the coiled one.

Beside the whips, you get Indy’s revolver, which fits in his holster. The peg on the strap that holds the holster closed is almost as frustrating as the whip loop peg, but at least if it doesn’t stay pegged in, the gun can still stay in the holster. The sculpt for the gun is passable, but it’s real rubbery and kind of just blah. It does work well with the trigger-finger hand.

Finally, you get the fertility idol that Indy recovered from the temple at the beginning of Raiders. This is a nice little sculpt and while the gold plastic isn’t super vibrant, it looks good enough for me. Sadly, the hand that is designed to hold it really doesn’t work. I had to use a piece of poster putty to get it to stay in his hand for these photos.

Indiana Jones and the Death of A Thousand Cuts. It makes for an intriguing title, but a disappointing figure. I’m hard pressed to remember opening a figure that I wanted to love more, and yet there are just so many little things wrong with this one that it makes me kind of sad. Am I sorry I bought it? No. Indy is one of my favorite film characters and I’ll always buy him when he’s released as an action figure. This figure is by no means awful, but at $25, some of the aspects needed to be thought out a lot better, and I guess I had my hopes set high. It’s a rough start to the wave, doubly so since he’s the star, but we’ll see how the rest of the assortment pans out next time with Toht. Holy shit, they actually made a figure of the Nazi Gestapo agent Toht!

Transformers: Legacy Evolution Shrapnel by Hasbro

Last year, Hasbro gave us Kickback and the promise of getting the Insecticon band back together with new versions. I absolutely adore the Insecticons, and so this made me happy. Then Kickback came out and I absolutely loved him, and that made me happy. But as the old saying goes, fool me once! Because the last time Hasbro did the Insecticons, they started strong and we ended up with a team that didn’t really look like they belonged together. I was worried the same thing would happen here, and so I waited with baited breath for the second release, and here he is. Let’s check out Shrapnel.

We’ve seen the Legacy packaging before, and while I admit it’s rather eye catching in all it’s crazy colors, it doesn’t really scream Transformers to me. All I need in my Transformers packaging is a grid pattern, and either some purple or red to denote faction. Also, what’s this Evolution business? I still don’t know. Hasbro is still refusing to put plastic windows on the boxes, because of saving the planet or whatever, but I get my Transformers online, so there aren’t any kids to put their sticky fingers on my toy or wipe boogers on them. Now the Amazon employees do that. I am pleased to see that somehow Hasbro secured Shrapnel’s name again, as last time I think he was called Skrapnel. Also, the packaged shot showcases the thing about this figure that triggers me the most. Can you guess what it is?

Here’s Shrapnel’s beetle mode and it’s pretty good! But let’s get that one thing that triggers me out of the way first. Somewhere along the way, Hasbro decided to not paint the antenna-slash-pincers silver like it is in the solicitation photos. Instead they left them bare gray and it looks positively awful. I understand that if you read the fine print on the package it actually states that final production appearance may vary, but it still pisses me off, particularly when you look at the price hikes on these little Deluxes. I will give Hasbro credit on two points: First, it’s not a fully enclosed box so at least you can see what you’re getting if you buy him in the store. Secondly, they actually reflect the change in the official package shot online. Of course, I pre-ordered, so the first whiff I got of the change was when I took him out of the shipping box and looked at him.

Other than all of that bitching, I think the alt-mode here is fine. It locks together well and I like how the pincers will open and close without revealing the robot head. The translucent yellow chest plate with the silver plastic behind it and the Decepticon logo stamped on top looks fantastic. Plus, you get that most regal of all Decepticon colors: Black and purple. I also appreciate the use of gloss black paint on the body, as it resembles the diecast of the original toy. There’s some nice silver, red, and blue trim here and there and if it weren’t for that gray plastic, this little bug bot would be a total home run.

Shrapnel comes with two weapons, and you can peg them into his back to weaponize the beetle mode. And look, the G1-inspired gun is actually painted silver, making the ugly gray pincers stand out even more. Yeah, I know. I should get over it. Let’s get him transformed into his robot mode.

Hasbro didn’t muck up the rather simple transformation design from the original figures. Sure, it’s a bit more complex, but it’s still in the spirit of the original toy and it’s still quick, easy, and comfy. Like the beetle mode, Shrapnel’s robot form is a pitch perfect homage to the G1 toy only with better proportions and more articulation. Hey, did I mention how bad the pincers look without silver paint? Oh yeah. I did. Everything else here is just superbly done. You get most of the same beautiful colors on display in his bug mode, and that wonderful yellow chest plate is front and center. I could complain that the upper legs aren’t painted silver too, but that really doesn’t bother me at all. Just the pincers. See… I’m reasonable! From the back, he’s pretty well filled out, except for the hollow upper legs and backs of the pincers.

The head sculpt is also spot on perfect from his big red visor to his silver painted face. You had the silver paint out, Hasbro. It was on the table. You just had to use some more of it on those pincers, dammit!

The two guns are pretty cool, but I’ll mainly just be displaying him with the G1-inspired silver weapon. The purple one can be combined with it a couple of different ways, which is fun, but I don’t like how either of them look enough to go with it.

So, I was really pissed when I opened this figure and saw the pincers, but you probably get that from having read the same complaint over and over again. What I did not expect to happen was to get past it, but get past it I eventually did. At some point the rest of the figure’s merits won me over and I was willing to let it go. And since, Hasbro did something different with Kickback’s wings instead of painting them silver, the two figures do pair up pretty well and look great together. So all that’s left is to see what Hasbro is going to do with Bombshell. If they paint his head cannon silver it’ll make Shrapnel look worse, so I guess the only thing to do is to embrace the gray plastic. We’ll see. But for now, I’m actually really happy with these two, although I won’t be retiring my third party bug bots by Bad Cube any time soon.

Transformers (Studio Series 86) Sludge by Hasbro

How about we start the week with some Transformers, eh? Seems like a little while since I checked back in with Hasbro’s Change-o-Bots! With Hasbro’s reveal that Snarl is coming, it has occurred to me that I am not current on reviewing the previous giant metal dinosaur convertobots. I have checked out Grimlock and Slag (SLAG, I SAYS!), so let’s get caught up with the last of the original Dinobot trio and have a look at Sludge!

The packaging has changed a bit since Slag’s release. The window is gone and Sludge comes in a fully enclosed box with some fantastic character art on the front showing Sludge battling it out with some Sharkticons in his dinosaur mode. It’s kind of interesting that they went with the dino mode on the front, seeing as how the window boxes used to show off the figure in the robot mode. Either way, this works fine. Also worth mentioning is that Sludge does not come with a companion figure. Grimlock came with a semi-articulated Wheelie and Slag came with Daniel in his Exo-Suit. And that’s fine, because I didn’t particularly care for either of those figures and they quickly got pitched into the dreaded Tote of Forgotten Accessories. But naturally Hasbro used the plastic saved here to include swords for everybody, right? No! No, they didn’t. Let’s start with Sludge’s dino mode.

Naturally, Sludge’s alt mode is still a Brontosaurus, or whatever they call this type of dinosaur nowadays. Them science types have been up to a lot of revisionist history since I was in school. Straightaway, I’m going to say that I think Sludge has the best looking alt mode of any of the Studio Series Dinobots so far. They’ve all been good, but Grimlock had some proportion issues and Slag had a bit of a patchwork look to him, but Sludge here is mostly comprised of a really nice and well-rounded shell. He’s got a lot of dark gray with some silver panels making up his hump and tail, a little red showing near his hind legs, and some beautiful satin gold paint on his back, undercarriage and finally his head. Slag let me down a bit with that cream colored plastic they used for his cowl, but all the coloring on Sludge just looks fantastic. The panel lining on Sludge’s hide is especially nice, with all sorts of cybernetic bits and bobs. Almost every inch of this guy has some detail to take in.

The head sculpt is also superb. There’s so much personality in that snap-dragon of a head! I dig the narrow blue eyes, and the nasty looking serrated teeth. With the past Dinobots, I have lamented Hasbro abandoning the translucent yellow plastic of the G1 toys, but I honestly don’t miss it here. I think the satin gold used for the head and upper neck just looks so beautiful in its place. You also get a decent amount of articulation here with not only the hinged jaw and side to side rotation, but the ability for the head to look down. The legs rotate where they connect to the body and have hinges midway down, giving him just enough poseability that I would expect.

I guess if I had to nitpick something with Sludge’s dino mode, it would be the seam on his back can be a bit tough to keep closed, and even when it is closed up, it’s designed to still look like there’s a bit of a gap there. His belly hangs really low to the ground too because of his golden bot-mode toes being down there. But that’s not a big deal. There’s a compartment under there to store his weapon, since unlike Slag, it isn’t incorporated into his dino mode. And while I’m still nitpicking, last time I commented about how I thought Slag’s transformation was a bit needlessly complex. The original Dinobot designs had some elegant engineering, which I would argue could be modernized without messing with them all that much. Sludge here still feels like they went out of their way to make his transformation more complex. Now, I know that some people expect more complex engineering with the bigger and more expensive figures, so that’s not necessarily going to be a sticking point for a lot of people. And to be fair it isn’t really that big of one for me either. After a few goes, I was able to do the transformation without any difficulty.

Getting Sludge converted, reveals a robot mode that is as faithful as the previous two Studio Series Dinobot releases. Sludge is an absolute tank of a robot, very befitting of the original design. In fact, I’d say this one cleans up the best as far as modernizations go. The proportions are all smoothed out, and his wings are a more full and robust than the G1 toy. There’s some impressive packing going on in the lower legs, but I am glad they left the tail sections on the outside of the legs, as it beefs them up. Unfortunately, Sludge does still have the weird elbow hinges, where the hinges are all the way to the front. There’s something about that design that doesn’t sit right with me, but it’s certainly not a deal-breaker. The backside is just a solid slab of robot, with the dino head and neck hanging straight down. It looks very nice and finished, making for a solid and highly playable figure. As for the coloring, it’s all most of what we saw in the dinosaur mode, only with more red revealed in the torso. This is just a fantastic looking figure all the way around!

The portraits have been great in this group so far, and Sludge is no exception His “helmet” is black with the two little angled slats on each side and a large silver coffin-shaped plate on his forehead. The silver paint looks good, but mine has some wear on the forehead plate, giving him an unintentionally weathered look. His blue eyes came out really nice, and makes me wish there was some light piping on these. I also love the bold and crisp Autobot emblem stamped on his chest.

I’ve already established that there’s no sword, which continues to be a huge oversight by Hasbro, leaving third parties to pick up the slack. Sludge does, however, come with a gun and it’s pretty damn nice. It’s cast in black plastic with some gold paint on the barrel and ont he scope.

I’m pretty sure I said this last time, but it still confounds me that Takara never produced a full set of Masterpiece Dinobots. Grimlock’s MP figure went through a whole bunch of releases and seemed like he was always in demand. I can’t imagine that Slag and Sludge would have done any worse. Then Power of the Primes came along and gave us some nice looking versions, which were way too small and sacrificed way too much for what I thought was a terrible and unnecessary combiner mode. So, thank Primus for these Studio Series releases. Sludge marks the first time since G2 that we got a solid set of this trio from Hasbro based on the original designs, and I am extremely pleased with how they all came out. They are appropriately sized, look great in both modes, and having all three together on the shelf makes for an absolutely awesome display! Now bring on Snarl and Swoop!

G.I. JOE Classified: Zarana by Hasbro

I’m easily half a dozen figures behind on my GI JOE Classified reviews, so today I’m dipping back into that line to finally check out one that I’m pretty damn excited for! I never had Zarana as a kid, having to make do with just Zartan and the three Drednoks. I don’t ever even recall seeing her in the toy aisles then, because I’m sure I would have wound up getting her if I did. Then again, by 1986, I was starting to move away from toys a bit and more into video games, so maybe I was spending a little less time in the toy aisles. Either way, I’m happy to have her in Classified, so let’s see what we got!

Oh, dear… that character art! Not only is it totally out of style with the rest of the Classified packages, but it’s just awful. My guess is they were going for some kind of misguided Harley Quinn vibe, but it sure as shit doesn’t work for me. That’s OK, though, because I’m going to toss the package, and what I’m seeing through the window looks pretty damn nice!

Thankfully, this is another case of Hasbro sticking close to the vintage figure for the Classified design, and I love what they did here. The pink half-jacket and shoulder armor are superb modernizations of the original costume. The jacket has some fine detail for the silver studs and zipper, and it’s sculpted separately from the figure, so it looks like something she’s actually wearing. It extends down just far enough to cover the ball joint under her chest, and to show off the killer abs she’s sporting. The black sleeves are textured, and she has brown fingerless gloves. Her blue trousers have ribbed reinforcements on her inner thighs, and pink areas on the front where her leggings are exposed through tears in the thighs. This is a great little touch, as when I first saw the figure, I assumed those were just pink patches. Her boots have extended knee pads, and I really dig the silver spurs, they look fantastic! Final touches to the outfit include a sculpted brown belt, a brown sheath belted around her right thigh, and a lovely little sculpted silver chain hanging from her belt. This is an absolutely beautiful update, and I love the colors!

Zarana comes with one head and two swappable hairstyles. The one that comes on the figure in the package is the modern look, with a mix of orange, pink, and purple. I actually think it works pretty well for the character, but this is the only time you’ll see it in this review, because…

Yeah, that’s the stuff! The alternate coif is patterned after the original figure, and it’s the one that I’ll be using all the time. As for the face, I really do love it. Zarana offers up a mean snarl, which works well as a battle expression. The printing on this one really breaks down as you get in close, especially the eyebrows which can look a bit crusty, but it all looks fine with the figure in hand. And take note, she’s got her earrings, so this is based on the earlier of the two heads produced for the vintage figure. Not a bad choice, because I seem to remember the second head being a big step down from the first. I think this portrait turned out great, giving Zarana that level of bad girl hawtness she deserves.

Zarana comes with a few weapons, the first of which is a simple dagger. This one is a nod to the sheathed dagger that was sculpted on the vintage figure. The dagger itself has a black hilt and a nice silver painted blade. It kind of reminds me of a Fairbairn–Sykes style fighting knife from WWII. Very nice!

Next up, she has this beefier piece of cutlery that’s stored in her backpack. I think this design is original to the this Classified figure, because I don’t remember seeing reference to it in any past media or previous versions of the figure. It looks like someone looked at an electronic kitchen knife and said, let’s make that for the battlefield! And that’s a little bit genius. The grip looks like it’s off a sawed off shotgun, while the middle part looks like it houses the electronics. The blade is red, which I’m pretty sure isn’t meant to signify blood, but… it’s blood. Yup, blood! I didn’t think I was going to dig this accessory that much, but it’s totally won me over.

And lastly, Zarana has her rifle with a circular saw attachment, clearly evolving from the vintage figure’s pinwheel-ripper-rifle. I think this is a wonderful update, as I always assumed the original wasn’t an actual gun, but just a spinning-spur-cutter, and now she has the best of both worlds! The rifle looks like an original design, but very grounded in reality. There’s a rail running across the top, and the buzzsaw is an under-the-barrel attachment with a foregrip. I would have put some kind of finger guard behind that blade, because… YIKES! But, I’m pretty sure Zarana scoffs at safety regulations.

The magazine can be removed from the rifle, and this makes me happy every time I see it!

I was a little worried that whatever Classified figure I spotlighted after Stalker was going to have to be a let down, but that’s not the case here. Yes, Zarana is a simpler figure for sure, but she hits all the right points right on target! Like Stalker, I did not expect the final release to look as good as the solicitation photos, but I’m happy to be proven wrong. Zarana is another five outta five for me, and she looks great on display beside her brother in arms. If she’s any indication of how the Classified Drednoks are going to turn out, I can’t wait!

Dungeons & Dragons (Cartoon Classics): Dungeon Master and Venger by Hasbro

Today, I’m getting all up to date on Hasbro’s Dungeons & Dragons line, or at least the one that’s based on the old 80’s cartoon. This line has had its share of problems, with lots and lots of QC issues, from figures arriving broken in the package to figures breaking soon after being taken out. Indeed, my very first experience with this line was instantly snapping Diana’s right elbow joint! Since then I’ve been boiling the figures before handling them, and I haven’t had any other issues. Not exactly a ringing endorsement, but I’ve waited for these toys for enough decades that I want to see it to the end. And that brings me to the first multi-pack in the line, with the evil Venger and that little shit, The Dungeon Master coming together in one big box!

The box is shaped exactly like the one used for the Honor Among Thieves Gelatinous Cube, with that one weird angle in place of a top, right corner. You get some beautiful artwork inspired by the cartoon as well as the “40” which is denoting the 40th Anniversary of the toon. Photos of the toy is the best you’re going to get as far as seeing these before you buy them, which is why I try to be fairly timely on my reviews of these. Once again, each figure comes with dice. I haven’t really been showcasing these, because as much as I used to play the actual role playing game when I was in Middle School and High School, I never felt the connection between the game and the cartoon was all that strong. Most of my friends who watched it weren’t even remotely interested in ever playing the game. Anyway, let’s start with Dungeon Master…

This little bastard was a good choice to bundle with Venger, because he’s small and not really all that much of a figure. And that’s not a slam against what Hasbro did with him, because there’s really only so much you could do with this guy. The body and legs are static, you get rotating hinges in the shoulders as well as hinged pegs in the wrists. The neck has some kind of joint, but I can barely get him to turn his head at all and I’m not going to bother to boil him to see if it unlocks any more movement. I suppose if Hasbro went with softgoods robes, we could have had some more articulation here, but the sculpted costume captures the look spot on.

I think the head sculpt is OK. I feel like there’s something a little bit off about it, but it’s certainly not bad. There’s a hint of smugness to him that’s actually quite brilliant. I’m not even joking when I tell you that I absolutely hated this dude in the cartoon. It made absolutely no sense to me as to why he was such a cryptic bastard, putting these kids in mortal peril every week so they could do his dirty work. It was kind of appropriate that the toon was cancelled before they ever got home, because I like to think he actually had no idea at all how to get them home, even if certain episodes dispel my cynical theory. So, this is a decent figure, nothing great, but I’d say it’s the best Hasbro could do with the character design they had to work with. Let’s move on to Venger…

I’m pretty torn on this figure. On the one hand, I think they nailed the sculpt beautifully. The flowing plastic skirt looks great, as does his red armor and the sculpted black shoulder covers. The wings plug into his back as one piece and can be easily unplugged if you want to keep him in the box. The matte colors really sell the animated look, but you still get a little glossy red to spruce things up. He’s a nice, big and majestic figure that suits the character perfectly.

The head sculpt is also solid, but for some reason, Hasbro took a page from McFarlane’s book and painted him with side-eye. Side-eye works fine for statues, but not for action figures. Action figures should NEVER go side-eye. Maybe it was some kind of meta commentary on how poorly the articulation works on this figure, but I’ll swing back around to that in a minute. The eyes may sound like a minor nitpick, but it really limits the kind of posing you can do with him and not have it look like something is off. With that having been said, I love everything else about this portrait, right down to his tiny fangs and his enormously asymmetrical horn.

So… articulation! Venger has a full range of articulation in his legs, and I won’t bother going into it because it’s pretty pointless. The plastic skirt causes a tenting effect, which renders all that leg articulation moot. Ironically, I still had to boil his legs to get him to stand because his left ankle joint was stuck with his toe pointing downwards. There are slits in the sides of the plastic skirts, but they don’t really help. Even if Hasbro were to release his steed, Nightmare, I doubt there’s anyway this figure could sit on a horse. The arms are a lot better with full articulation in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists, and thankfully slits in the shoulder covers don’t inhibit them. You also get a ball joint under the chest. Like Dungeon Master, I don’t know that the limitations for the lower body could have been helped without the use of a cloth skirt.

Venger does come with an extra pair of hands with built in magical blast effects. These are pretty decent, and I was surprised how easy it was to swap the hands without fear of damaging the fragile joints. His regular hands include one graspy hand and one fist, which work fine for menacing poses.

This set also comes with a cardboard backdrop of the amusement park with the D&D ride, which is a nice touch, but one of the folds on mine was nearly torn right out of the package. I do actually like these figures, despite all the nitpicks, but I will say I was disappointed that Venger just isn’t very much fun to pose or play with. As an adult collector, that doesn’t bother me too much, as these are meant to stand on a shelf and look cool and maybe be fiddled with every now and then. Truth be told, I think these all look great on display, and while I’ve certainly tempered my expectations for these figures, it’s kind of a miracle that we’re getting them at all. I’m still excited to get Presto, Eric, and Sheila, but I doubt the line is going to extend much past that next wave, and I’m OK with that.

Marvel Legends (Bonebreaker Wave): Sabretooth and Bonebreaker Build-A-Figure by Hasbro

This is it, folks. It’s the last Marvel Monday and I’m wrapping up my look at the Bonebreaker Wave. Sabretooth gives me the last pieces I need to cobble together my half-tank, all bad-ass Reaver, Bonebreaker, and I am pretty damn excited about that. As for the end of Marvel Monday? Well, I’ll swing back to say a few things about that at the end.

Here’s Sabretooth in the package, and this is actually the third time I’ve added this character to my collection since Legends returned. The first was as part of the Apocalypse Wave, which I don’t think I ever got around to reviewing here, and the second was as part of the Age of Apocalypse themed Colossus Wave. I don’t really mind, because he’s come in a few different shapes and sizes over the years, but this one sticks fairly closely to the characters’ original roots.

And to be honest, I don’t have a whole lot to say about him, other than there’s some things that makes me like him more than the Apocalypse Wave version and some that fall short. Comparisons are tough because it’s too different takes on the character, and I think my preferences falls somewhere in-between. Taken on his own, I dig the proportions here, especially the huge claw hands, which give him an eerily long reach, and the furry fringe on his collar, forearms and lower legs all look great. The feet have fully realized claws, which is a first for him in this line, and makes him look a lot more intimidating, especially the way his fingers and toes pop out of the gloves and, um… socks? I can’t say I ever remember his fingers and toes being colored like that in the comic panels, but I’m certainly no expert on Sabretooth’s appearances. The rest of the costume is just painted buck, which features a pleasing yellow-orange with some brown undies and a brown stripe running up the middle.

The head sculpt is pretty good, but not as bat-shit savage as the Apocalypse Wave version. Still, he looks plenty angry and scary. The definition in the face sculpt is quite good with plenty of lines and creases as he bares his teeth in rage. Ironically, it’s the teeth that I think lets the sculpt down the most, as they’re rather soft and lack the definition in the rest of the face. It’s even kind of hard to make out his fangs at all, as it kind of just looks like a bunch of white mush. In that sense, I’d say it’s a step down from that earliest release. Still, I overall like the portrait and the hair is especially nice.

The articulation is fine and Sabretooth is fun to play around with. It’s a shame we couldn’t get him with the shoulder crunches that we saw in Havok, Vulcan, and Darwin. Still, I think this guy turned out pretty great and as the last packaged figure for Marvel Monday, I certainly could have done worse.

Since I didn’t review the earliest release, here’s a quick comparison. I like the costume on the earlier figure the best, with the wide brown stripe down the middle and the fur collar that doesn’t connect. On the other hand, I wish he had the foot claws. They’re both decent figures, and intentionally different takes on the character, but I think I’m going to give the nod to the Apocalypse Wave version. OK… let’s move on to Bonebreaker!

Hell yeah! Just look at this magnificent bastard! While each Build-A-Figure has its own charm, there is a certain amount of sameness to them. You get a torso, you get arms, legs, and a head, and sometimes one or two additional pieces. Bonebreaker shatters that with his half-tank, half-humanoid design. The parts consist of the two halves of the tank chassis, the two barrels on the back, the engine, a net-cover for the back, the upper torso with the arms attached, the head, and the sort of pelvic piece that connects the torso to the tank chassis. Pop it all together and you get the most unique BAF that modern Legends has put out!

The detail on the chassis is absolutely fantastic! It’s got textured plates and panels, scrapes and scars and weathering, and while the tank treads don’t actually roll, they’re actually separate soft plastic bands and not sculpted with the wheels as one piece. The detail in the engine alone is superb, and even the barrels on the back have some pits and pockmarking. There are two opened hatch doors where Bonebreaker’s body attaches, and a machine gun poking out the front of the chassis. You also get a pair of foot pegs near the back for other figures to catch a ride! Egads, I love this!

The upper body also sports some great new sculpting in the form of the five-point chest harness, wrist cuffs, and the neck collar.

You’d think being half a tank would be all the personality Bonebreaker needs, but Hasbro also packed plenty into this head sculpt. Bonebreaker has his mouth agape in a ridiculous joyful expression that shows how much he’s loving life and carnage. His flamboyant mohawk flutters a bit in the breeze, and his cool black shades can be flipped up or removed entirely to show off his lovely Reaver eyes. Every damn thing about this portrait is an absolute homerun!

The torso includes all the usual articulation, with a hinged ball joint in the neck, a swivel at the waist, and an ab-crunch hinge under the chest. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders, swivels in the biceps, double-hinged elbows, and hinged pegs for the hands. You get two pairs of hands, which include a set of fists and a set to hold his rifle. The rifle itself is a wonderful sculpt that’s simply packed with detail.

It’s impossible to imagine a better Build-A-Figure to end Marvel Mondays with. Hasbro just poured the love into this figure in terms of sculpt, design, and coloring, it all comes together into one absolutely unique figure, and it’s hard for me to imagine them ever outdoing this one. Now that I have him assembled and in hand, it even forgives what seemed like an over abundance of budget figures in this assortment. Quite frankly, I’m fine with whatever Hasbro had to do to make this work!

And there we are, Marvel Monday has had a great run here on FFZ. I started it because Marvel Legends was so damn prolific, that I needed to lock myself into one Legends review a week or else I would get hopelessly behind. And even with that schedule, I still managed to develop quite a backlog. I can’t stress enough that I’m not done reviewing Marvel Legends figures here on FFZ, nor am I completely calling it quits on collecting the line. I have no bad feelings about the line, other than the price hikes, which have been a factor in this decision. Sure, I spend a lot more than $25 on other figures, but at that price it doesn’t seem like the value is consistently here anymore. And with a single Spider-Man Legends figure hitting $36, it seems like it’s time to send a message to Hasbro. But even without the price hikes, Legends has become too much to keep up with, both in terms of purchasing and reviewing, and I want to diversify my content a bit more. You’ll see a return to regular DC Comics figure content, as I start to try out some McFarlane DC figures, but I’ll pledge to do at least one Legends review a month going forward, and I’ll even try to make it land on a Monday for old time’s sake.