Transformers Titans Return: Hazard and Blitzwing by Hasbro

Howdy, folks! It’s Transformers Thursday again and as promised I’m here to check out the second of the new Titans Returns Voyager Class Triple Changers! A couple weeks back, I looked at Octone and the feeling was overall one of Meh. I felt he had a really solid robot mode, but I was split on his two alt modes. Here’s hoping that Blitzwing can break the trend, because he’s one of my favorite Triple Changers and I really need a solid version of this guy represented on my shelves. Let’s have a look!

And here’s the packages shot. It’s worth noting that this is the second time we got a Voyager Class Blitzwing in the last four years. The Generations one came close to getting the job done, but ultimately stumbled so badly on the little things (like functional shoulder tabs) that it incurred all my rage. I’m hoping against hope that this one sets things right. I’m going to start with his robot mode.

Well, alright! This is a Blitzwing I can get behind and is overall a solid recreation/compromise of the G1 toy and Sunbow cartoon design. The torso sells it to me the most, which was one of the issues I had with the Generations figure and the exposed cockpit on the chest. This is just a slab of purple, boxy goodness. There’s plenty of sculpted detail, especially in the pelvis, while the upper chest features the faked-out partial nosecone with yellow segmented sections on the sides, flanked by red panels and triangles. The lower legs are pretty free of kibble, just the jet tail fins folded neatly on the sides, although feel free to fold them down to face the front and mimic the G1 toy’s look a little more closely. The arms are pretty complex as the tank treads are folded up into them. They’re not as streamlined as I might have preferred, but they’re not really anything I’m going to complain about either.

The back ain’t too shabby. He features the tank cupola on his back. You can leave the cannon barrel in place to simulate the G1 look, but I think it extends a little too far up, so I opt to remove it. The official transformation suggests his wings should be folded up, but I prefer to leave them out, which mimics the look of the original a little better to me. Little heel spurs help keep him standing up.

The Titan Master Hazard forms Blitzwing’s head and I really love the sculpt here. I would have been OK if they went for for a silver face to match the Sunbow look, but I’m also fine with the purple toy-inspired face. My only complaint on the head is that the yellow paint around the “helmet” is a little splotchy on mine. I can’t remember the last time I had a gripe with the paint on a Transformers figure. Oh, and have a look at that Decepticon sticker on his chest. It’s already starting to peel at the edges. That makes me sad.

Blitzwing comes with a standard gun for a Titan Master to sit in, but in this case it can be combined with the tank cannon to form a long rifle. It looks like a suitable weapon to use for his “Long Bomb” strategy!

And he also comes with his rather unique looking sword. I like the design, but it feels a little on the small side, but not bad. So, all in all, I think Blitzwing is a pretty fantastic robot, but then I could say the same thing about all the other Titans Return Triple Changers. The real proof is in the alt modes. Let’s have a look at Blitzwing’s jet mode…

The transformation from robot to jet mode isn’t too bad and I’m really digging the results. From the top he’s appropriately purple with most of his tan bits relegated to the undercarriage. As with the robot mode, you get some really nice sculpted detail, including panel lines, flaps, and all that jet jazz. And then you’ve got the foil stickers on the wings. So, in a perfect world, these look amazing. The foil is reminiscent of the old toy, the red arrows have been streamlined a bit, but they’re still there as are the Decepticon emblems, proudly displayed on each wing. Practically, however, these stickers are problematic. I had to smooth mine out straight out of the box to get the air bubbles and folds out of them. They look great now, but I don’t expect them to last the test of time, especially when they’re positioned so closely to hinged plates. This was an issue with Octone and Broadside, and here we go again. I realize it’s to help re-purpose the molds, but they worry me. OK, enough about the stickers…

Let’s talk kibble! If you expect a Transformers jet to not be packing some major kibble on its undercarriage, well you haven’t been in this convertorobot game for long, have you, son? In this case, I think Blitzwing’s jet makes good use of it. Obviously, you have a giant upside down tank cupola, but it not only provides the molded landing gear to rest the jet on, but also a nice big under slung cannon. The robot arms are also tabbed away fairly well under the wings. I mean, sure I can tell there are tank treads there, but it’s nowhere near as bad as Octone’s, “Look at me! I’m a plane with two halves of a truck cab under my armpits!” Nope, from top to bottom, I am totally fine with this jet mode.

The jet also has a couple of options for Titan Masters. Despite the compact size of the canopy, you can indeed fit a Titan Master in there, although the method of getting him in there is a little unorthodox. You can also attach one of Blitzwing’s guns to the back of the jet to make a gunning seat for another Titan Master. So far, so good. You haven’t disappointed me yet. Shall we go for three out of three? Let’s have a look at that tank mode!

Ok, so obviously the jet was what I like to call the priority mode and this is what I’d call the compromise mode. There’s plenty to pick at here. The front of the tank is showing some major jet ass, the back side armor plates are obviously folded jet wings. The treads don’t lock into the body well at all, leaving gaps in the middle where they’re unsupported. I’ve found that slotting the folded wing tips into the sides makes them a bit more stable, even if they do angle out a little more.

To make matters worse, almost every facet of this “tank” feels like its at odds with another. And therein lies my biggest issue. I’d actually be OK with the way this thing looks if it locked together into a decent toy, but sadly it does not. And I’ve got to call foul when the robot and jet modes on the box look like actual product images and the tank mode looks like a 3D computer model downplaying the tank’s flaws.

As for play value, the turret does at least turn and there’s a place for Hazard to sit at the top of the cupola, which even provides a clear shield for him so Autobots can’t snipe him while he’s riding his f’ugly tank. They can still laugh, though. It can’t shield him from that. And yet even with all that scorn heaped upon it, I’d still say this is a better compromise mode than either Broadside’s jet or Octone’s cargo plane. Is it better than Astrotrain’s train mode? Well, if we’re talking keeping in spirit with the G1 original, I’d say Yes. If we’re going strictly based on its merits as an alt mode, than definitely not.

And so, the pattern I’m seeing with these Titans Return Triple Changers continues to hold true. We’ve had some great robot modes, each with one very solid alt mode, and one not so solid alt mode. And yet, I still dig Blitzwing a lot, even with his hideous and phoned in tank mode. In fact, I’ll just go ahead and say that I think he’s the most successful of all the Titans Return G1-based Triple Changers and a worthy replacement for the Generations one. Next week, I’ll be steering Transformers Thursday back to Voltron to check out the Legendary Red and Green Lions!

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Marvel Legends (Warlock Wave): Wolverine by Hasbro

After an abbreviated week due to epic storm complications, I’m back and ready to return FFZ to regular operations with Marvel Monday, and today I’m checking out the final figure in the Marvel Legends Warlock Wave with Wolverine! I’ve been on this wave for what seems like forever and Irma has already cost me enough time, so let’s just jump right in and check him out!

The package is beat to hell, but here’s one instance where it wasn’t from shipping. This figure has been kicking around this place for a while and got hastily packed away with a bunch of other stuff before the storm. It’s OK, I don’t save these boxes anyway. And yes, the package says Wolverine, but this figure will be better known to fans as Old Man Logan. It’s hard to believe it’s been almost a decade since this version of the character debuted in what was a truly memorable comic. It’s also sad to see how far Marvel has fallen since then. I can’t imagine them putting out a book as amazingly creative and well-written these days. Ah, but let’s pretend to be this Logan living in a hellish future and look back on happier times.

And here he is in all his geriatric glory. He comes out of the package with his claws popped, but they are the same removable type that we saw with the last Wolverine release, so you can recreate Logan’s refusal to use them by just pulling them out. The fact that they leave behind holes in his knuckles isn’t ideal, but at least we have the option. Just be sure to put those claws in a safe place if you take them out, because I’ve almost lost one already! As far as the buck goes, this looks all new to me and I love how short and stocky it is. Logan sports his retired civvies in the form of brown trousers and a red shirt with a sculpted button collar.

The bomber jacket is the usual “vest with arms sculpted to look like sleeves” trick and it looks great on the figure. The fur-lined collar has some nice texturing and the zipper tracks are neatly painted. Even the belt buckle is beautifully detailed and painted with a nice gold finish. It may not be the most striking costume around, but Hasbro did a wonderful job recreating it in a buck that I doubt will ever get much re-use.

And just check out that head sculpt! I love the crotchety expression and all the little wrinkles and age lines sculpted into his face. This portrait is just packed with detail and oozes character. The gray mutton chops look great, as do the very expressive eyebrows. You can practically hear him yelling at the Hulk Gang to get off his lawn.

This Logan may be old, but he’s still nimble, as evidenced in the articulation. The arms feature 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 swivels at the thighs, and double hinges at the knees. The ankles have both hinges and lateral rockers. There’s a swivel at the waist, an ab crunch hinge in the torso and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed.

If I were a betting man, I would have bet against ever getting this figure. The sculpting required for the buck seems like a dead end, and we all know how Hasbro needs to weigh each new sculpt against possible recycling down the road. It’s also a version of the character that was more or less promoted in a Fox Film and not tied to the usual MCU. The last time Hasbro promoted one of the non-Disney Marvel films was Amazing Spider-Man 2 and I got the feeling that the wave didn’t do so well for them. Nevertheless, here he is and Hasbro did a beautiful job with him.

And opening Old Man Logan last places a very tasty cherry on the top of what was an amazing assortment of figures. Sure, I could have come up with a bunch of better characters for the BAF, but I’m certain that there are New Mutants fans out there who are happy to have Warlock, and I’m not going to begrudge them that. All I can say is, keep these X-Men themed Waves coming, Hasbro, because you’re absolutely killing it with them! Next week, I’m going to take a brief detour from Legends figures to check out another one of Diamond Select’s Marvel Gallery statues and then I’ll start digging into another Legends Wave on the following Monday!

Marvel Legends (Warlock Wave): Warlock Build-A-Figure by Hasbro

As noted yesterday, I’m extending Marvel Monday out to Tuesday with a look at the Warlock Build-A-Figure. Now I know what you’re thinking. How can you look at a BAF when you haven’t finished reviewing all the figures in the wave? The final figure I have to look at is Old Man Logan and he didn’t come with a BAF part. Also, that figure happens to be boxed up and inaccessible to me right now because of some hurricane prep, so I’m jumping ahead to have a look at Warlock and then I’ll swing back around to Logan next week. Mm’kay?

Warlock consists of a pretty standard six BAF pieces, which includes the torso, arms, legs, and the head. Toss in a seventh swap out saw accessory and you’ve got all you need to build him. In my case, building him didn’t go so well. The legs were ridiculously hard to get on, and the left arm pulls out of the shoulder super easy. Couple that with a left shoulder hinge that remains super tight even after soaking in boiling water, and I’ve got a recipe for a BAF figure that I’m not terribly pleased with.

Now, I’ll be honest, New Mutants isn’t my bag, so I have next to no experience with Warlock as a character. As a result, I shouldn’t be too bummed out by problems with the figure. On the other hand, from design to execution, I honestly think this figure is damn near a work of art. The techno-organic sculpt is beautifully done. From panel lines to circuitry patterns, nearly every portion of Warlock’s body is covered with detail. Couple that with a very effective and striking coppery wash and this beauty of a figure actually looks like it could have been cobbled together with reclaimed scrap instead of molded in plastic.

The portrait is certainly unique. Warlock looks like an ad warning robots away from crack. Not even once! But again, the figure beautifully executes the design, no matter how outlandishly goofy. I especially dig the mop of cybernetic dreads that make up his hair.

Also, am I the only one who thinks this looks like Metal Groot, if Metal Groot were a bath-salt zombie?

Because of Warlocks unique body, it’s worth running down all the points of articulation. The arms feature rotating hinges in the shoulders, double hinges in the shoulders and swivels in the biceps and wrists. The legs have ball joints in the hips, double hinges in the knees, and swivels in the thighs. Both the neck and torso have ball jointed hinges. Beyond the problems I have with the left shoulder hinge, I’ll point out that the bicep swivels are super flimsy. Also, the arm hoses, which are permanently attached to the arms and plug into sockets in his back, will pull out pretty much every time I move his arms.

Warlock includes one accessory, and that’s his buzzsaw, which can be swapped out with his right fist. It’s a cool looking piece, and I’ll probably display him most of the time with it in.

Familiar character or not, Warlock is an absolutely gorgeous figure that looks fantastic on the shelf. It is not, however a figure that’s all that fun to play around with. Between a left arm that drops off if you look at it funny, hoses that will not stay put, and a left shoulder ratchet that’s too hard to move, he’s best left standing on display with his teammates. Oh wait… I don’t have any of his teammates. Next Monday, I’ll wrap up this wave with a look at Old Man Logan!

Marvel Legends (Warlock Wave): Sunfire by Hasbro

It’s Monday folks, and I may or may not be under water. While waiting around for Hurricane Irma to come have her way with me, I finished off and scheduled a couple of reviews, just in case I’m running on candle power and no Internet. The show will go on, if only because writing about toys takes my mind off of things. Today, I’ve got a quick one-two punch for Marvel Monday, but since I probably won’t be up and running tomorrow, I’m saving one in place of Tuesday’s normal content. So… today let’s check out Sunfire! This is one of the figures I picked up loose online, so we’ll forgo the packaged shot and jump right into the figure…

And hot damn, do I love this costume! Shiro sports his full red bodysuit with white striping radiating out from his circular red belt buckle, all appropriately very reminiscent of the Japanese flag during WWII. I’m all over the way the design of this costume reflects the spirit of his backstory so perfectly, as few comic book heroes can make that boast. I’m also pleased to report that the white paint looks bright and clean despite being painted over the snappy red plastic buck.

The belt is a separately sculpted piece that hangs around Shiro’s waist and has twin flaming white stripes running around its circumference. The costume’s deco is rounded out by some sharp gold flame patterns on his lower legs and arms.

The head is beautifully done with the somewhat complex mask that leaves just the lower part of his face exposed. It forms two horns sweeping out from his eyebrows and the rest of the mask has always given me a bit of a Universal Monsters Gillman vibe. The large eyes are painted orange and you get more printed gold around the eyes and on the top of the hood. It’s an intimidating look, to be sure!

The articulation here i fantastic, thanks to the use of one of the Spider-Man bucks (2099?), which includes the “butterfly” shoulders. The rest of the articulation includes rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, double hinges in the elbows and knees, swivels in the biceps, waist, thighs, and lower legs, hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles, an ab crunch hinge in the torso, and both a hinge and ball joint in the neck.

Sunfire comes with a pair of flame effect parts that fit over his fists. We’ve seen these before, but they look great on him. And that’s coming from someone who is seldom all that keen on the effect parts.

I like this figure a lot, despite the fact that Sunfire and I don’t have a long history together. Shiro is a great character with an extremely interesting backstory, but he just doesn’t happen to appear in a lot of the books I read, and sadly he wasn’t even a major player in the X-Men cartoon either. Nonetheless, Hasbro did a great job on him and he’s another Mutant that I can cross off my list. Come on back tomorrow, and we’ll check out the Build-A-Figure of this wave… Warlock!

Star Wars Black: Luke Skywalker’s X-34 Landspeeder by Hasbro

I usually take Wednesdays off from toy bloggery, but I’ve got a dicey weekend ahead of me what with Death Storm Irma targeting my city. At this point FFZ could very well go dark at any time, so I figured I might as well post while I can. And so today I’m dropping by to check out another piece of fallout from Force Friday II, this time coming at us from the 6-inch Black Series. And it’s another vehicle! After how many of those Tie Fighters lingered around at deep discounts, I’m a little surprised that Hasbro is releasing more 6-inch scale vehicles, and yet we not only got this one, but also Rey’s Jakku Speeder from The Force Awakens. Let’s have a look!

The box is pretty big and features the artsy-fartsy monochrome look that Hasbro has been doing with their Black Series boxed items for some time now. It’s not terribly flashy, but I like it. You get some schematic-like drawings of the vehicle as well as some photos on the back. There’s a little window to let you look at the included Luke Skywalker figure. If you’re looking for something with a little more premium presentation, you can always try to hunt down the SDCC Exclusive version, but be prepared to pay a chunk of change for it. Everything here seems pretty collector friendly, but my box was shipped with next to no packing from Amazon and beaten to hell by the US Post Office, so I won’t be keeping this box. There’s a little bit of simple assembly required: The top engine needs to be plugged into the back, the windshield needs to be clipped on, and the stand has to be pegged in underneath.

And here she is all ready to go, and I have to say that I like what Hasbro did here a lot. The Speeder seems to be fairly accurately scaled for the 6-inch Black Series figures. It’s possibly just a smidge on the small side, but I’ll get more into that when I get to the figures interacting with it. It’s not terribly hefty, but it is an extremely solid toy. The sculpt looks pretty spot on, although I’ll confess that I probably have the original vintage Kenner toy more firmly etched into my memory, rather than the actual prop from the film. Either way, even after all this time, I consider this to be a great looking vehicle. The design is fairly practical and beautifully retro-futuristic, and above all it has that “used future” look that makes the Star Wars Universe such a visually interesting place.

The stand is a simple clear piece that pegs in under the vehicle and gives it that hovering effect while still offering stability. The Speeder is actually rock solid when resting on the stand, which is great, although I’m surprised how much I do miss the bouncy effect of the old Kenner toy and it’s concealed springy wheels.

The vehicle’s deco gets by with a lot of bare brown plastic, but also features some solid paintwork. Now, to be fair, this is one of those pieces that really straddles the line between toy and collectible. With the size and price point, I don’t feel this is aimed at kids. On the other hand, the paintwork is firmly planted in the toy camp. The weathering, for example, looks neat and gives the Speeder some character, but it’s very deliberate and somewhat heavy handed, so people looking for a high end replica style piece are probably going to be disappointed. On the other hand, I have a feeling we’re going to see some truly spectacular custom paint jobs on this vehicle. And so, with first impressions out of the way, let’s take a closer look at some of the points of interest.

The passenger side engine is missing it’s cover, so you can see all the wires and inner mechanisms. I can’t even count how many times I’ve seen Star Wars and I still can’t remember whether this was always like that or was it inflicted by the Sand People’s scavenging after ambushing Luke. Either way, it’s a great distinctive feature that was overlooked on pretty much every version I’ve ever owned of this vehicle.

There’s some pretty nice sculpted detailing on the back of the vehicle. You practically have to pick the thing up or get down to eye level to even really see these things. I hunted for my Visual Dictionary to see what these things are, but I had no luck.

The back features two opening hatches, one is a storage locker, which can hold Luke’s binoculars or his lightsaber hilt, but not much else. The other hatch reveals part of the Speeder’s inner workings.

This exposed section of engine on the hood is particularly well done and the paint apps for the different wires are very well done. Here you can also get a close up look at the weathering on the side. Yeah, it’s just splotches of silver paint to make it look like the finish has worn off. Not bad, but not terribly convincing either.

The dented front end, on the other hand, is extremely well done. Even the silver dry brushing here is much better than the rest of the weathering on the Speeder. It actually looks like Luke struck a Ronto while driving home after a night of coiffing a dozen Blue Russians at the Cantina. Dude lives on a desert planet. How many things are there to collide with?

One of the most impressive details on the Speeder lies under the hood. The detailing on this engine is absolutely superb. Here is also one of the differences between this retail release and the SDCC Exclusive. The Con release had a button that would spin the turbine inside, this one does not. I’ve got to be honest, as far as exclusive features go, that’s pretty weak. I can’t say as I feel cheated out of anything for going with the retail version.

And finally, as we come around to the passenger side, you can see a clip that holds the rifle included with Luke. And speaking of which, let’s have a look at that figure.

So, this is basically a slightly better version of the single release of “Farmboy Luke” figure, so I’m not going to spend a lot of time on him. The figures are identical from the neck down, or close enough if you allow for some minor natural paint variations. The tunic is supposed to be crafted in better quality material, but I can’t see a big difference. I kind of like the old one a bit more because it has a little more yellowing to it to signify some wear.

The portrait is the biggest difference. The new one is loads better, but still not good. I like that the waxy skin tone is gone and the hair sculpt is tons better, but the caterpillar eyebrows and fish lips don’t are not welcome here. It’s arguably a little closer in likeness, but still not there yet. With that having been said, I’m ready to retire the old one in favor of this one.

The accessories include the same belt, binoculars, and lightsaber that we got with the last figure. New accessories include the hat with sculpted goggles, the aforementioned rifle, and the poncho. The poncho works about as well as I could expect from a garment in this scale that’s supposed to hang loose. It’s a good try and it actually looks and feels like a well tailored piece, but this has never been my “go to” look for Farmboy Luke. And with that out of the way, let’s see how the figure interacts with the vehicle…

Luke fits into the Landspeeder perfectly. He’s got plenty of room and he’s pretty easy to pose either gripping the wheel or putting one hand on the shifter. Even though the first version of this figure came out well before the vehicle was released, it looks like he was made to drive it. And that’s going to be the case for most Black Series figures that aren’t unnaturally bulked up. I’ve got no complaints here at all. So, how about using figures to create other movie scenes?


Much to my surprise, 3PO fits in the passenger seat almost perfectly. Seriously, the only issue here is that he has no elbow joints, so he’s going to be fighting Luke for control of the armrest. He’s not even difficult to get in there. What about R2?

So, R2 is a bit of a compromise. There’s a peg hole on the back that is supposed to fit the sensor in the back of his head and hold him in place. It doesn’t work at all. Not only is it too loose a fit, but it’s not even in the right place. As far as the intended design goes, this feature is a total fail. However, R2 can rest pretty well on the back without it, especially if you position his legs down a bit to stabilize him and keep him from rolling around. How about Obi-Wan?

Well, technically he fits, but you really have to work it to get him in there because of his molded robes, and even then, he doesn’t fit well at all. He pops up a lot higher than Luke and he looks awkward and uncomfortable. I’ve already ordered a second Obi-Wan figure and I’m going to cut off his lower robes, which should make him fit perfectly, but I’ll report back on that with an update to this review when it happens. How about 3PO riding on the back.

To the contrary of what a lot of people have said, this actually works. It’s not perfect, but it’s not too bad either. The trick is angling his legs down into the compartment behind the seats and then turning him at the waist to face forward.

While there’s some room for improvement here, I’m overall very pleased with the way the Landspeeder turned out. The biggest flaw to me is the incompatibility with Obi-Wan. He’s a figure that everyone is going to want to stick in there, so the fact that he doesn’t fit well is disappointing. I shouldn’t have to buy another one and modify it, but I’m glad that it’s an option, as I plan on displaying this vehicle with the extra Luke driving, Obi-Wan in the passenger seat, the droids in the back, and a Sandtrooper off to the side. Now, as happy as I am with it, I’m not quite as happy with the $60 price tag, but a lot of that has to do with the included figure. With SWB figures going for about $20 these days, that brings the vehicle price down to $40, which isn’t all that bad. I just wish they had done Luke right the first time, rather than bundling him with this vehicle to try to beef up the value. With that having been said, I’m satisfied enough that I’ll likely be picking up Rey’s Speeder eventually, although I may wait to see if it price drops.

Star Wars “The Last Jedi:” Poe Dameron, Paige Tico, Rose Tico, and First Order Stormtrooper by Hasbro

Last weekend was Force Friday II, an event where retailers launch the new toys for the upcoming Episode 8: The Last Jedi, and my job requires that I partake, as a planner, coordinator, and executor. But as a buyer I was trying to sit most of this one out. I ordered the 6-inch Black Series figures that I wanted online, and I planned on abstaining from the 3 3/4-inch offerings completely. And after publicly boasting about my awesome willpower, I folded exactly one day later and bought four of these little buggers. Also, because I have even less willpower, I wound up opening them in the car while I was waiting for my order of Chinese Food to be ready, so I don’t even have any packaged shots. Jeez, I’m a real pathetic specimen. But that’s OK, let’s just borrow the official Hasbro pictures to have a look at the packaging…

The presentation here is white, clean, and snappy! The Star Wars logo is in red and you get a red swipe with the character’s name along with some great character art striping the card to the right of the bubble. The bubble shows off the figure and accessories quite nicely, and there’s an insert that calls out the Force Link gimmick, which uses a chip to identify the figure and play sound clips out of a glove-like accessory (sold separately!). Unfortunately, the back of the cards are a f’ugly multi-lingual soup with a mix of warnings and copyright information. I really miss the days of “Collect Them All.” Anyway, I dig what Hasbro has done here. The packages are fresh and original, and it’s a shame I already tore them to shreds. On a side note, just about every one of these cards came out of the cases all bent to hell. I’m not sure if that’s the norm, but it’s certainly enough to vex the MOSC collectors. Let’s start with Poe Dameron…

I wanted to start with Poe, because he’s the main reason I bought these. When I saw him on the peg and realized he was so much better than the garbage Happy Meal toy of a figure that we got for The Force Awakens, I decided to buy him to replace the old one. That quickly descended into, well, if I’m buying one I might as well buy a few more. So, this is essentially an apology do-over figure of Poe in his X-Wing Pilot outfit and from the neck down, it’s actually the exact same sculpt that we got last time. And that’s fine, because my issue with the previous figure was from the neck up.

Here’s a quick shot of them standing side by side and it’s easy to see what a monumental difference the better noggin makes, but I’ll come back to that in a bit. While the mold is clearly the same, the texturing on the flight suit looks a lot more pronounced on the new figure. Otherwise, there are just some minor variations in the coloring and the paint lines on the new figure are a lot cleaner. You still get the functional holster on the right hip and the teeny tiny blaster pistol, which he can hold in either hand.

And gone is the cartoonish blob of a head with the sculpted helmet and ugly painted yellow visor. In its place we get this fully sculpted head, which is not a bad likeness of Oscar Isaacs for this scale and price point. The facial features are really well defined and the paint is sharp and clean. The helmet is a little work of art by itself and includes a translucent yellow visor and crisply painted markings and insignia. What’s more the helmet fits perfectly and doesn’t look oversized at all. Jeepers, Hasbro, how did you manage to make a sculpted-on helmet look bigger than the one that comes off? That flies against all logic!

Poe features the standard five points of articulation, which includes a standard t-crotch, rotation in the shoulders, and a ball jointed neck. He also includes two additional points of rotation in his gauntlets. This is a great little figure and having it in hand just begs the question, why couldn’t Hasbro do this last time? Either way, I’m re-purposing the old Poe as a standard X-Wing Pilot, so he won’t go to waste. And hopefully I won’t lose the gun this time! Let’s move on to Paige Tico…

Paige and her sister Rose represent that magical time before a Star Wars film is released when you have action figures of characters that you know very little about. Case in point: When I was a kid, I proffered that Squid Head was a heroic Rebel spy integral to victory over the empire! Aaaaand then I saw Return of the Jedi and realized I may have overstepped a bit. We do know that Paige is a “Resistance Gunner” and seeing as she’s wearing a flight suit, I can surmise she’ll be manning a turret on some kind of fighter. I really dig the look of her flight suit, it’s similar to Poe’s, but has even more of a WWII flavor to me. You get lots of lovely little details like the rumples in the legs and the belts and buckles on the back of the ribbed vest. The paint is a little rough on the chest apparatus, but intentional or not, I think that gives it a nice weathered look.

As with Poe, Paige features a fully sculpted head with a wearable helmet. I’ve only seen a few stills of the actress, but I think the likeness is decent enough for the scale. The flight hood looks especially good, almost like you could take it off. The helmet features a translucent yellow visor and fits the figure perfectly. The markings on this one are fantastic, including a checkered pattern, blue stripe, and some insignia on the side.

Paige gets one more extra and that’s the breathing mask that hangs off her chest apparatus. This piece has pegs that fit into the sides of the helmet and it works surprisingly well for a figure in this smaller scale.  If and when Paige gets a 6-inch Black Series figure, I’m interested to see if they can really improve all that much on this one, beyond the articulation of course.

Paige has the same articulation as Poe, minus the gauntlet swivels. She also comes with a blaster pistol, which she can hold in either hand. The only downside is that she has no holster to store it in. How the hell am I not going to lose that? I might as well just give it to my cat right now. Moving on to Paige’s sister…

Rose Tico is another mystery character. Other than being Paige’s sibling we’re told that she is a Resistance Technician, I’m assuming means mechanic and I think has a lot of potential for a really cool character. With that having been said, Rose is not one of the more exciting figures in this wave, as she’s basically just wearing overalls. That’s not to say she isn’t a great looking figure. As with Poe and Paige, there’s a ton of great detail in this sculpt, from rumples and wrinkles to the sculpted pockets and the hood. She also has some sharp printing on the right of her chest and her sleeve.

The head sculpt seems like a fair likeness to what I’ve seen of the actress. They definitely got her hair looking close. Again, the printed Aurebesh lettering on her chest is a great touch.

Standard 5-POA applies, making Rose’s articulation identical to that of her sister. She comes with what I think is supposed to be some kind of spanner or diagnostic probe. It pegs into her belt and can be held in either hand. She also includes a rather large blaster rifle, so I’m assuming we’re going to get to see her do some fighting when Episode 8 hits. And that brings me to the last figure of the day, the First Order Stormtrooper.

I was expecting a repack of the exact same figure that was released in The Force Awakens line, but this Stormy appears to be all new. The biggest differences include a wider stance to the legs and a glossy sheen to the armor, where TFA version was more matte.

Here they are side by side, with the new release on the left. Overall, I’d say I prefer this one, although the new leg stance can make him a bit more difficult to stand, especially if you don’t have his feet planted in that one intended sweet spot. I’d also say that the details are a little sharper on the new one and the paint is a little cleaner.

The new version includes both the blaster rifle and pistol that came with the previous release and you can still peg either one into his leg.

The Last Jedi figures are retailing for $7.99 a pop in most places, and I think that’s a pretty good price for what you’re getting. In the past, Hasbro has touted these 5-POA figures as having the best possible sculpts, but this is the first wave in a while where I believe that’s true. Plus, I thought the days of decent action figures under $10 were a thing of the past, but even with the 5-POA standard, I really enjoy these a lot. I haven’t even touched on the gimmick that makes them talk, but I don’t think I’d pick up one of those gadgets unless they were discounted down to almost nothing. Oh, and yes, this means I’m back on the 3 3/4-inch Star Wars bandwagon and I’ll be checking out some more of these soon.

Marvel Legends (Warlock Wave): Colossus by Hasbro

Welcome back my friends, Marvel Legends never ends.

Waves keep coming out like crazy. Come and buy, come and buy!

Yeah, I got a little Emerson Lake & Palmer playing in the background. I’m also dragging ass today, folks, as I’m on seven straight days of work and I’ve got three more to go. I can’t tell you all how tempting it was to close down FFZ for September, but I’m trying my best to stick it out. Today, I’m all set to take a look at my fifth figure in the X-Men themed Warlock Wave and I’ve got quite a heavy hitter lined up for today. It’s Colossus, and since I got this guy loose from a buddy online, I’m going to forgo the usual packaged shot and jump right in to talk about the figure.

And he’s just gorgeous! Colossus is not only a great character in the comics, but he really got thrust into the mainstream limelight recently, with his splendid portrayal in the Deadpool film. Yes, even normies can easily recognize this guy now. This figure is also a little contrary to this wave’s Dazzler, which I looked at last week. While Hasbro had the magnificent balls to give us a very classic Allison Blaire, they went more recent and less iconic with Piotr. As most of you know, I’m reading very little of Marvel’s current crop of books, but I’m still pretty sure that this costume doesn’t line up with the current issues of either X-Men Gold or Astonishing X-Men. To be honest, I’m a bit at a loss as to where they pulled it from. I have no doubt someone out there can set me straight.

With that having been said, this is not one of my favorite looks for Colossus, but let me just come out and say that it doesn’t stop this figure from being totally amazing. Indeed, I like this one so much, it may be winning me over to this costume. The whole maroon and yellow-orange deco is fine, but I don’t get the big black cut out in the middle. I do, however, dig the powerful looking arm bracers with the ribbed cut-outs and the segmented portions on the front and back of the boots. The paintwork on the costume is pretty sharp, the paint looks great and the subtle orange trim to the boots are pretty cool. Of course, the best thing here is that wonderful blued steel finish Hasbro used for Colossus’ skin. That with the sculpted segmented lines and muscles make this figure a sight to behold.

And let’s not stop there, because just look at this head sculpt! It’s so sharp and clean and features such beautiful contours to the facial structure. This is an absolutely epic portrait that elevates a figure that already had a lot going for it. Of course, the head also features that same great steel paint finish, with some very nice and subtle shadowing and a pair of white piercing eyes. How could you possibly top this? How about with a second head?

Yes, Colossus includes an alternate bearded portrait and I have absolutely no idea what books this one is pulled from. I’m really striking out with my comic knowledge today. But that’s not stopping me from loving it. I really dig the squared off chiseled look of the beard and the angular up-swept hair style. The rest of the face falls in line with the original as just being all around fantastic. It pains me that one of these noggins is going to end up rattling around in an accessory bag unless I buy a second Colossus to display it on. And don’t think I’m not crazy enough to do it.

The articulation here is exactly what I would have expected from a beefy modern Legends buck.  Piotr’s arms feature rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, single 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 knees. There’s a swivel in the waist, an ab crunch hinge in the torso, and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed. The joints are all rock solid on this guy and with one hand sculpted in a fist, and the other grasping, there’s a lot to work with when posing him.

I’ll be totally honest, I would have been a lot more excited to get Colossus had he been done in the classic look, and part of me is still disappointed that Hasbro didn’t go in that direction. In fact, I’m actually considering picking up DST’s Marvel Select version to stand in until Hasbro comes back around to him. However, once in hand, this figure has really won me over, and that was no small feat. The colors are sumptuous and whichever portrait I end up displaying him with, he’s going to look great. Nice job, Hasbro!

And just a quick administrative note, I’m not doing a double feature today, because I just don’t have time, but I may try to make up for later on in the week. 

Marvel Legends (Warlock Wave): Dazzler by Hasbro

A place… where nobody dared to go… the love that we came to know… they called it Xaaaaanadu! As a child of the 70’s and 80’s, I can remember one of the first lightning bolts of puberty hitting me while catching a bit of Olivia Newton-John in Xanadu on the family’s new-fangled wood-grain cable box. Ever since then there’s just something about hot disco blondes singing on roller-skates that does it for me. When you mix that up with comic books it’s even better. And therein lies my love affair with Alison Blaire. OK, so she was more Farah Fawcett than Olivia, but close enough. This is one of the figures in the wave that I picked up loose online, so let’s forgo the usual packaged shot and jump right in to the figure.

And this is indeed classic Dazzler, before she went through all her weird permutations and ended up as a Punk Edgelord in Marvel’s current mess of horrible books. Can I express how stupid I think it is for Dazzler as a character to evolve to match different contemporary music styles? I think it took away so much potential for some girl-out-of-time charm. She should always be fighting villains with the righteous power of disco at her back! Regardless, this is the Dazzler I always dreamed to get as a figure, but never thought we would and she is absolutely glorious! Sporting a stylish white jumpsuit with flared out cuffs on the pants, a high popped collar, a low-cut front and a back cut so low, it isn’t even there. The white costume has a nice sheen to it and the skin tones are smooth, warm, and even.

And roller-skates! The skates are cast in gray plastic with blue wheels and toe stops. Interestingly enough, Dazzler is not my first comic book figure on wheels, that honor goes to DC Collectibles’ Roller-Derby Harley Quinn. Now, as much as I love this Dazzler figure, I have to give the nod to DCC for doing the skates better. Not only do the wheels on Harley’s skates roll, but the skates peg into her feet and can be removed. Still, these aren’t too shabby either, and she’s less likely to roll of the shelf, which is a good thing.

The portrait looks great, thanks in part to the beautiful blue face paint surrounding her eyes. The hair is sculpted as a separate piece, which gives it a lot of depth and features a pair of hoop earrings buried in there. She also sports a disco ball style necklace. On the downside, mold flashing strikes again! I’ve been seeing it on a number of my Legends figures lately, but thankfully it’s pretty easy to clean up.

The articulation here is pretty good. The arms feature rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, double hinged at the knees, and have swivels in the thighs. There are rotating hinges buried up in her bell bottoms and she has a ball joint under her chest. Finally, her neck is both hinged and ball jointed.

As we’ve already seen, Dazzler comes with a microphone, which fits into her right hand. It’s a simple little sculpt cast in the same gray plastic as her skates.

Alison also comes with an effect part and it’s the same damned hex effect we’ve seen only a thousand times so far. This time it’s rainbow colored and yeah, I guess it works well enough, although I’m not sure I’m going to display her with it a lot.

When Hasbro brought back Marvel Legends, I never anticipated it would last this long, let alone get us figures of characters like Dazzler. She had to be an extreme risk on Hasbro’s part, and I hope to hell she performed well for them. I’d point out that I don’t see any of her hanging around in my area, but then all the Legends pegs here are usually picked dry or packed with figures from a bunch of waves back. Either way, she’s a great treatment of the character, and I hope Hasbro continues to take these kinds of risks when filling up their waves!

Marvel Legends (Warlock Wave): Shatterstar by Hasbro

It’s just another Marvel Monday, and that’s my fun day! At least this one is, because I have the day off and I’m spending the morning drinking coffee and opening up some action figures. Today I’m checking out my third figure in this wave, Shatterstar, and I’ll be back later tonight with a look at Dazzler!

A lot of this wave I wound up buying loose from a buddy online, but Shatterstar was pretty easy to find, so here’s a packaged shot. I was a big fan of X-Force way back when even to the point of buying some of the Toy Biz figures at a time before I got back into buying toys and was only really collecting Playmates Star Trek figures. I never even opened any of those X-Force figures. I just hung them on my wall and admired them in all their garishly colored beauty. Shatterstar was one of my favorites, so naturally I’m thrilled to see him turn up in this wave.

And here we are, Shatterstar in all his 90’s comic design glory. Giant shoulder pad? Check! Bitchin’ half cape? Got it! Meaty, extra-thick, pointless thigh strap? Of course! Pouches? Um… sorta? He’s got a nice brace of pouches running around his sculpted belt, but honestly, there’s plenty of room for more. All these wonderful 90’s trappings feature original sculpted parts and are tied together with a pair of buccaneer gauntlets and some truly epic flared boots. The underlying, mostly white, buck features wide black stripes down the outer legs and his star pattern printed in black and partially obscured by his mega-shoulder-pad. All the original sculpting looks great. I love the little folds and rumples in his cape and the shoulder pad and belt have a worn leathery look to them. Even the belt buckle is painted silver. When all is said and done, this is a great looking figure!

And the portrait is no slouch either. The facial features are well designed, and he has the star tatt over his left eye. It’s a little tough to see the eyes when looking straight at him because that padded half-helmet sits low and casts a shadow over his peepers. Nonetheless, I love how the top-less helmet looks like it’s sculpted from an entirely separate piece. It matches the weathered leather look of the belt and shoulder pad, almost like an old timey rugby helmet. Also the hair looks great, complete with his trademark snaking ponytail and the twin braided pigtails that hang down the front, which must have been all the rage back on MojoWorld.

The articulation here is superb. The arms feature rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, double hinges in the elbows, and swivel cuts in the biceps. The legs are ball jointed in the hips, have double hinges in the knees, as well as swivels in the upper thighs and hidden under the boots. The ankles are hinged and have lateral rockers. The torso features an ab crunch hinge, a waist swivel, and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed. The only issue I have here is the hips on my figure are really loose. Going to have to address that with a little floor polish.

Shatterstar includes his distinctive swords, and I have always loved these things! They’re both cast in the same matte gray plastic. Some paint apps on the hilts would have been cool, but they still look fine. One features a twin blade and the other a single blade. Both have those kick-ass spiked knuckle guards.

While I haven’t encountered Shatterstar in my funnybook readings in a very long time, the nostalgia I have for this character makes him a most welcome addition to my X-Force roster. Everything on this figure just comes together perfectly and I’ve had him on my desk for quite a few days so that I could play around with him on my down time. I’m still pretty early into this wave, but it’s possible that Shatterstar could turn out to be my favorite in this assortment, but he’s going to have some stiff competition. Come on back tonight and we’ll have a look at Dazzler!

Marvel Legends (Warlock Wave): Polaris by Hasbro

As promised, I’m back tonight to serve up a heaping second helping of Marvel Monday so I can try to get caught up on my Legends reviews. I don’t know if I’ll be able to keep doubling up every Monday, but I’ll sure give it a try. The figure of choice for tonight is Polaris, and since this is one of those figures that I bought loose in a lot, there’s no packaged shot and we’re going to jump right in.

And here she is, sporting her modern green costume, and while some may have liked a more classic look, I’m happy with this choice. I think this is what she’s been wearing most recently, but then I’ve given up on reading Marvels current run of books until they can figure out how to suck less. A lot less. Anyway, Polaris represents a nice mix of borrowed and original parts. Right off the bat, I recognize those arm bracers from the Rocket Raccoon Wave Jean Grey and only because I just had her out to photograph alongside Cyclops earlier today. Polaris looks like she shares a lot with Scarlet Witch, but I don’t think it’s as much as it seems. With the exception of those bracers, the entire costume is achieved solely through paint and it works well. The two shades of green look fantastic and most of the lines are sharp, and I really dig the gloss green used for the bracers. The only real complaint I have is that the seams running up her sides are rather unsightly, especially over the exposed skin.

The short cape rests on her shoulders, but also pegs into the back to keep it in place. It’s also easily removable. I’ve heard a lot of things about the balance of this figure being way off, but I actually haven’t had any issues getting her to stand with or without the cape, and it really doesn’t impede her articulation all that much either.

The portrait here is good and very reminiscent of the Wanda Maximoff likeness we got a little while back. That makes sense, because they are sisters? half-sisters? Whatever. At first, I thought it was an illusion because the tiaras are somewhat similar, but now I’m guessing this might be a re-sculpt of that head. Either way it works, although maybe it’s a tad too big for the body. Or maybe that’s because of the rather unique hair sculpt, which has it bunched up at the top and back of her head. The paint apps on her face are nice and clean and I really dig the gloss used for her lips, it’s quite striking.

Polaris’ articulation is pretty standard stuff. You get rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists. The legs have ball jointed hips, double hinged knees, and swivels in the thighs. The ankles have both hinges and lateral rockers, there’s a ball joint under the chest, and the neck features both a ball joint and a hinge.

As far as accessories go, Polaris comes with the circular effect parts that we’ve seen over and over again to portray her powers of magnetism. Hasbro even included these with Havok, which is nice so the couple can sport a matched set. This time they’re cast entirely in a translucent neon green and she looks pretty good when displayed with them.

And there we are, Polaris is a solid entry for this wave. Maybe not exceptional, but I don’t have many real complaints. Granted, she isn’t a character that I was super excited to get, but this line is all about universe building for me, so I’m certainly happy to have her in my lineup and on my X-Men Legends shelf. Next week, we’ll press on through the Warlock Wave with a look at Shatterstar!