Marvel Legends (Lizard Wave): Lasher by Hasbro

Last week, I looked at Mysterio, a figure from the Lizard Wave that cost me about double retail to pick up. Today, I’m opening the second ball-buster from this wave that I had to pay double for and it’s Lasher. Both of these were required to build Lizard, but the main difference is that I actually wanted Mysterio in my collection, so that one didn’t hurt quite so bad. Lasher? Mmm… not so much. I’m going to go through this guy quick, because I’ve got a big review to write for later in the week.

I’ve said before that I’m not a huge fan of the extended family of Symbiotes. And that being the case, Lasher here is a real reach. I found the whole Life Foundation plot to be pretty contrived and silly, but I realize that I’m in the minority when it comes to the Symbiotes. From what I understand they tend to sell comics, so it’s only natural that Marvel will drum up whatever they can to get move of them in there. I’ll bet they sell action figures too, which is why we’ve been seeing a lot of these guys showing up in Legends lately.

Lasher uses one of the Spider-Man bodies, which includes those lateral shoulder crunches, which are always a nice surprise. New sculpting comes in the form of the creature-like hands and feet, which are par for the course when it comes to the Symbiote figures. The body itself is matte black with a slight metallic green wash and you get green splotchy marks on his torso and neck. The head is classic big-eyed Spider-Man with more of the splotches. There’s nothing particularly striking about this figure to me, but it surely gets the job done. From the back you can see four different shaped sockets for his tendrils. These should be readily familiar to anyone who has picked up Venom or other Symbiote figures.

The tendrils go a long way to make Lasher more interesting, but each one is designed to go in a specific slot in his back, so there isn’t a lot of room to mix-up display options. I think ball joints would have been a much better way to go here, as they would have allowed articulation and a choice on where you want to plug in each of the tendrils. The upper ones are designed to curl over his shoulders and the lower ones hang down and curl forward a bit. I do dig the coloring on these, as the metallic green is a lot more pronounced. It’s a shame the whole figure didn’t have this kind of finish.

The articulation here shouldn’t be a surprise, especially since this body has been seen before. The legs have rotating hinges at the hips, swivels in the thighs, double-hinges in the knees, and the ankles have both hinges and lateral rockers. The arms feature that extra crunch in the shoulders, along with the usual rotating hinges, there are swivels in the biceps, double-hinges in the elbows, and the wrists are rotating hinges. There’s a swivel in the waist, an ab-crunch hinge in the torso, and the neck is ball jointed and hinged. As mentioned earlier, there’s no real articulation in the tendrils, and they can get in the way of posing. You just kind of have to work with them.

And that’s all I have to say about this guy. He’s not a bad figure if you’re into this sort of thing, but for me a lot of these Symbiotes just blur together. Remember that wave that was all Symbiotes except for Typhoid Mary? Well, there’s a reason I skipped that wave except for Mary. And that was the first wave of Marvel Legends that I sat out since it made it’s triumphant return.  Even at $20, Lasher would have been an easy pass, but toss in the Lizard head and he was worth double that. Next Marvel Monday, I’ll open the last figure in this wave, Spider-Woman, and finally take a look at the Lizard Build-A-Figure.

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Marvel Legends (Lizard Wave): Mysterio by Hasbro

I don’t often have a lot of trouble completing waves of Marvel Legends. Sometimes there’s a figure I have to pay a couple more bucks for on Ebay, but between Amazon and local stores, I do alright. And then there’s the goddamn Lizard Wave, which had two figures confounding me since all the way back in April of last year, when I began reviewing this assortment. Well, a few weeks ago I eventually gave in and used some Prime Rewards points to grab Mysterio off of Amazon for a crazy scalper price.

And here he is finally in my dirty mitts and getting him has been quite the journey. A while back a certain online retail offered him for pre-order, saying that Hasbro was doing a re-issue. I plopped down the pre-order and stopped looking for him. A short while later they cancelled it and said, Whoops! He’s not being re-issued after all. Sorry! Then when I finally bought him from an Amazon scalper, they sent me Spider-Punk instead. I had to ship it back for an exchange. Sheesh, Mysterio, you’ve been nothing but trouble!

Aw, but check him out! Even if I set aside the coveted Lizard leg BAF part, I think he was well worth the effort, if not the money. Mysterio comes wearing his classic outfit, consisting of a green buck with a cut grid pattern. His boots and gauntlets are also both original sculpts and cast in a brighter, pearlescent green, which looks somewhat ethereal.  The sculpted detail on his squared off forearms is particularly well done, with an ornately occult flavor to them. No, this may not be the most exciting Legends body out there, but it sure fits Mysterio perfectly. Also, huge bonus points for the hovering cape. It’s a design trope that I always love to see, and I’m always surprised how well it works when fleshed out in 3D plastic. And there’s some damn nice texturing on the interior of the plastic garment.

Of course, from behind, Mysterio is one big slab o’cape, so there’s nothing to see here. Because the cape is attached to the helmet, it stays on quite well just by gravity alone. And amazingly enough, I did not find it at all intrusive while playing with this figure.

And then there’s his glorious fishbowl helmet, which is recreated here with frosted clear plastic. It’s an excellent effect, as it doesn’t allow you to quite see in, but you can catch a glimpse of the horror that’s lurking behind it. That horror is a creamy skull with horrific Elder God style tentacles coming off of it. An interesting aside, the figure has been produced with this head and a green one as well. I want to say that the green one was the initial run and probably harder to find, but that’s just my guess. I do like this one a lot because the coloring makes it a lot more difficult to make out through the helmet and contributes to the creepy idea that there’s just some kind of ethereal gas floating around inside that globe.

Mysterio’s articulation is no mystery. The arms feature rotating hinges int he shoulders, bicep swivels, double-hinges in the elbows, and pegged hinges in the wrists. The torso features a swivel in the waist, an ab-crunch hinge under the chest, and the head is ball jointed. The legs have rotating hinges in the hips, double-hinges in the knees, swivels in the thighs, and the ankles have both hinges and lateral rockers. My figure does have a bit of an issue with his right shoulder, where it’s loose and doesn’t always support the arm being up. From what I’ve seen it’s not an uncommon problem with this release.

 

Mysterio comes with two effect parts and these are meant to simulate the horrors of his trickery. They’re cast in a very cool translucent green plastic and represent swirls of gas and tentacles. They are specifically sculpted to attach to his ankles and rest on the floor, but one of them works pretty well when extending from his wrist. You can also attach them from the front or back to offer a little variety to your display. I think he would have been a good candidate for the Hex Power effect parts that clip onto the wrists. Not that I’d rather have those than these, but both would have been nice. Still, I can always borrow the ones that came with Polaris. They’re more yellow than green, but they work OK.

In the end, Mysterio cost me $45. Or at least $45 worth of Prime Rewards points, which is really the same thing. Was he worth it? Yeah, pretty much. I’m not saying that in and of himself, he’s a $45 figure, but he’s a character that I absolutely needed on my Legends shelf and I damn sure needed that Lizard leg too. The way I look at it, I get a whole bunch of my Marvel Legends at pretty good discounts if I’m patient, so when a figure like this one gets away and costs me extra, it all works out in the end. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the only figure in this wave that cost me the big bucks. Next week, we’ll check out the other one.

Star Wars Black: The Mandalorian by Hasbro

This week was Triple Force Friday where Disney launched merchandise for the upcoming Rise of Skywalker film, as well as a Star Wars video game and TV series. Now, sadly I have almost zero interest in the upcoming movie, Yeah I’m at a weird crossroads with Star Wars. I’ve got a case of franchise fatigue, but buying the toys is a tough habit to break when I’ve been doing it all my life. Fortunately, there is still one spark that may re-kindle my love for this franchise, and that’s The Mandalorian series coming to Disney+ next month. And today I’m checking out the 6-inch Black Series version of the titular character.

It’s safe to say that I was completely blown away by The Mandalorian trailer. I was expecting something flat. stuffy, and dire like Game of Thrones with Star Wars characters. What we got was exciting, explosive, and downright cool. To me it looked more like a Star Wars movie than, well… the last Star Wars movie. If they can make the story and characters work, I think this thing is going to be hugely enjoyable. But all of that is still wrapped in mystery. Even the blurb on the back of this box doesn’t betray any of the main character’s secrets. So let’s open him up and check him out. I’ll note here that this figure was also released with a metallic paint job as a Target Exclusive, and I’ll also be taking a look at that one in the near future.

Yup, this is basically a show built around a guy in a cool-looking set of space armor, and Mando here definitely fits the bill. And while the similarities are certainly there, I was pleased at just how different this armor is from that of our friend Boba Fett. Mando’s ensemble looks more rustic and patchwork, and Hasbro did a beautiful job sculpting in all of those details. I am particularly pleased with the sense of depth here, and although nearly everything is just sculpted as part of the figure, it really does look like we’re getting layers of plate armor and belts worn on top of an underlying suit. For example, the mismatched upper leg plates actually protrude up and away from the hips as they cross those thigh swivels. That’s cool. There are sculpted straps over the halves on the lower right leg armor, and the strap of whatever those little canisters are is neatly painted.

The shoulder armor are separate pieces and cast in soft plastic to help the shoulder articulation along. The cross strap and pistol belt are also separately sculpted and worn by the figure, as is the cape, which hangs around his neck and on his right shoulder.

The head sculpt looks more similar to Jango’s than Boba’s, but maybe that’s just me. As many have pointed out, it’s missing the iconic range-finder, and I find this helmet to be more form fitting than Fett’s. It’s also sporting an all silver paint job, with some blemishes of dirt, which interestingly is at odds from what we’ve seen int he trailer where his helmet is clean and shiny. Of course, the T-shaped visor is painted black, further shrouding the man in mystery. While on the subject, all the paint on this figure is well done. From the silver on the buckles and clips, to the weathering on the armor plates.

The articulation here is fairly straightforward for a Black Series figure. I think the only big surprise for me was the lack of swivels in the biceps. Instead, Mando is sporting rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists. The legs have rotating hinges in the hips, double-hinges in the knees, swivels in the thighs, and the ankles have both hinges and lateral rockers. There’s a ball joint hidden up under the torso, and the neck is ball jointed. Yup, he’s pretty fun to play around with, although he does seem to be a little back-heavy.

The Mandalorian comes with a pistol, which is not dissimilar to the one usually included with Boba Fett. This one strikes me as having more of a 19th Century American West quality to it, which suits the outlaw frontier flavor of the series trailer. The pistol fits nicely into the figure’s right hand and the trigger finger threads through the guard comfortably. It can also be kept in the holster on his right hip.

He also comes with his rifle, and I am both in love with, and very curious about, this distinctive weapon. It looks like a composite between an antique Moroccan firing piece, a Winchester, and a… tuning fork? Yeah, that last bit was immediately identified by fans as a homage to Boba Fett’s weapon in the Star Wars Holiday Special. It looks like it’s some kind of plug bayonet, but in reality, I’m thinking that the energy blast produced by the rifle is emitted from these prongs. Either way, I dig it, and Hasbro did a wonderful job on this little plastic version. The stock and furniture is painted brown, the receiver is gun metal gray, and the prongs are silver. It’s a lot of detail and color variation on an accessory in this scale. I also appreciate that the figure can hold it well and even assume a firing position, by drawing it up to his face.

There’s a tab on the side of the gun that looks like it’s intended to be a magazine, but it doubles as a tab that fits into a slot on his back, passing through a slot on his shoulder strap, so he can wear the rifle on his back. Now, I say “fits” but that may be pushing it. Mine barely goes in at all. I can make it work, but it doesn’t take much to knock it off.

If you’ve been around FFZ long enough, you may know that I love getting Star Wars figures of characters before they appear on the big screen. It’s a great way to first experience all the nuances of their look, and get familiar with them before seeing them in action. It also let’s me enjoy them as a blank slate for a little while. I fill my mind with all sorts of assumptions and imaginings of what they are going to be like, and it really brings back the magic of being a kid again. I’ll only have about a month left until more about this character is revealed, but in the meantime, he’s a very exciting figure to add to my collection.

Marvel Legends: The Grandmaster and The Collector by Hasbro

In addition to the non-stop torrential rush of Marvel Legends waves, Hasbro has also been cranking up the multi-pack releases. And I’m just talking the normal retail stuff. To make matters even more challenging for the collectors’ wallets,  they’ve also included a lavishly packaged two-pack for SDCC this year. Pulled straight from the MCU flicks Guardians of the Galaxy and Thor: Ragnarok comes The Collector and The Grandmaster!

The snazzy packaging looks like a drum with windows on each side to show the figures. It actually opens up too, so both figures can be displayed side-by-side in half-tubes. Flip it around and you get the poster art from each flick on the back panels. This is some really nice packaging, but mine was fairly worn even by the time it got to me, and I don’t think it’s going to be easy to store, so I’ll likely be getting rid of it, like I do most of my Legends packaging. Let’s start with The Grandmaster first!

Grandmaster is sort of the non-essential figure here, since he was issued at retail with a different head, and in a two-pack with Korg, a set that still sits unopened on my Pile of Shame. I will get around to it eventually, but this will be my first experience with the Grandmaster figure. Let me say straightaway, that while this is a great looking figure, it isn’t all that much fun to play around with. A lot of that has to do with his lavish golden robe, which is sculpted in soft plastic, is fairly form-fitting, and thereby limits the articulation in the legs and torso quite a bit. This might have been a really good time to try some soft-goods, especially since Hasbro recently cranked out a golden cloth robe for a certain guy over in the Star Wars Black Series department. Indeed, pretty soon I’ll be checking out a Black Series figure with some outstanding cloth robes! Now that I think of it, cloth robes would have been a great idea for this particular SDCC release, to further set it apart from the retail figure. Now, with all that having been said, the robe still looks nice, it’s sculpted with a faint texture, and it pegs together right where the sculpted red belt is meant to be tied. I also really dig how it bunches up on the floor behind him.

Under the plastic robe, he dons a pair of leisure pants, which have an otherworldly purple-platinum sheen and a long sleeve shirt, which is blue and red with a wide red cummerbund worn at the waist. His eccentric outfit is finished off with a pair of funky gold sandals. Grandmaster sports a sculpted ring on his right hand, and painted-blue nail polish on his fingers and toes.

The Jeff Goldblum likeness is pretty solid, especially from certain angles. As mentioned earlier, the head sculpt is the primary exclusive thing about this figure. Here he’s smiling, whereas the retail version has a more neutral expression. Your personal preferences may vary, but I really dig this portrait and I think it captures a lot of the madcap personality of the character. As usual the half-tone printing for the facial features does a fine job for the detail in the eyes and mouth.

The Grandmaster comes with a couple of cool accessories. The first is his infamous Melt Stick, which is cast in gold plastic and can be held in his right hand and cradled in the left. This is a simple, but fun accessory, providing you aren’t the one being melted by it.

The second accessory is the pile of melted goo. Is it supposed to be Carlo? That I’m not sure, but I kind of hope it is. Yeah, it’s just a lump of plastic bubbles, but fun nonetheless. Let’s move on to Grandmaster’s brother, The Collector!

Taneleer Tivan is the true exclusive figure of the set, as for now he has not been made available at regular retail. He’s also one of the MCU characters that has been most sorely missing from my collection. Benicio Del Toro’s weirdly eccentric performance fit Guardians of the Galaxy like a glove and made The Collector, even with his brief screen time, a truly memorable character. And Hasbro sure did a nice job with this figure. The outfit includes some great detail in the sculpt, particularly in the torso, where the texture and patchwork nature pays homage to a 19th Century waistcoat, complete with strings of sculpted beads reminiscent of the chains on a fob watch. His sculpted furry cape pegs into the back and is worn over the shoulders and plunges behind his neck. I think the sculpted sleeve on the left arm is supposed to be part of the cape, as the speckled pattern matches the interior of the cape. You can take off the cape, but it looks kind of funny since the sleeve remains.

As with his brother, The Collector’s portrait turned out great. It’s a fine likeness for Del Toro and I particularly love the high hair, which is again sculpted as a separate piece from the head. You also get a second head sculpt with The Collector wearing his special goggles.

One final accessory in the box is The Orb that housed The Infinity Stone of Power. It’s a simple little ball packed with a lot of tiny detail. The only downside here is The Collector’s hands really aren’t designed to hold it all that well. I can make it work, but it’s a careful balancing act. It might have been better to give him an extra hand with The Orb sculpted into it, or an extra hand with a peg in the palm and a peg-hole on The Orb.

It may irk some to have to buy a second Grandmaster just to get their hands on The Collector, but I get how the business works and sometimes Hasbro has to get some extra money out of a figure in order to make producing another one more cost effective. Truth be told, I would have much rather had The Collector in a box with some of his menagerie, similar to what Hasbro did in the 3 3/4-inch scale for another SDCC Exclusive. Maybe throw in Cosmo and Carina. I would have paid extra for that. But I’m still really pleased they finally got this figure out and that it was pretty easy to get off of Pulse. Maybe not essential for all Legends collectors, but to me that’s what Exclusives should be all about.

Transformers Siege: Ironhide by Hasbro

Only having time for about three posts a week, and having a mile-high pile of toys to open, it sometimes takes me a while to give each line that I collect their due. Case in point, it’s been quite a few weeks since I’ve visited with Hasbro’s Transformers, so I decided to come back to them this week. I was hoping I would get time this week to review the big guy, Omega Supreme, but I’ve barely had any time with him out of the box. Not to mention the time it takes to DIY my pathetic little photo stage to take on a Titan Class Transformer. So, instead I’m grabbing one of the unopened Deluxe Class figures off the pile, and watch out, Decepticreeps, it so happens to be Ironhide!

Leakin’ Lubricants, check out that packaging! I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of the artwork that Hasbro is putting on these boxes, It’s gritty, hardcore, and absolutely fantastic. Poor Ironhide. He’s had such a troubled past. I might have had fun with the original figure had I gotten hold of him before seeing the Sunbow cartoon, but after that all bets were off and I rebuked that poor piece of plastic and die-cast metal for being a creepy little impostor. It wasn’t until Universe 2.0 that Hasbro would try to give us a proper G1-styled Ironhide, and that’s a figure that sure as hell hasn’t aged well. Indeed, I sold mine off the moment I saw this guy was coming. So here we go again, Siege brings us a new Deluxe Ironhide, and this line has been all about the G1 homages, so let’s rip him open and see how they did. We’ll start with the alt mode!

Siege is all about more Cybertronian-looking alt modes, and as such Ironhide is sporting a very utilitarian space truck mode. Some of these modes, like Hound’s, tend to be pretty f’ugly, but when you’re designing self-propelled alien combat vehicles, you kind of get a pass on the design department. Now, with all that having been said, I like what we got here. Ironhide is a rugged, armored vehicle, with just enough nods to his Earth van mode, that it works quite well for me. Granted, this mode looks unfinished, it doesn’t conceal a lot of the engineering, and anyone who has transformed their share of these figures is going to see what’s going on here right away,

It’s pretty obvious, to me at least, that the arms are up top behind the windshield, and that the slab on the back are going to be the feet. He transforms super quickly and the only step that’s even slightly complex is twisting the canopy piece 180-degrees to orientate it for the chest. The coloring is mostly carried by the red and gray plastics, but there’s some silver and gold in the mix too. The silver brushwork on the bumper looks great. Indeed, I do absolutely adore the way the front of this mode looks. With the high positioned canopy, the quad headlights, and those giant tubes on the bumpers, that must pack some serious firepower. It’s sort of a shame that the back of his head has to be so prominently visible through the windshield, but I guess them’s the breaks. In the end, Ironhide comes across as part Killer Moon Buggy, and part Armored Personnel Carrier. Yup, I dig it!

There are also some useful pegholes on this guy, so you can not only equip him with his rifle, but if you can use some of them weaponizer parts you may have lying around. I like to rip off Cog’s arms and pop them on top for added firepower. Let’s move on to the robot mode!

As with the alt mode, Ironhide’s robot mode takes it’s share of liberties with the G1 aesthetic. He’s not as pure an update as, let’s say, Siege Hound or Sideswipe, but the key points are there. He’s still a very beefy and boxy bot, and the windshield is right where it belongs in his upper chest. It just isn’t configured in quite the same way, laying flat instead of having the familiar angle.  Does this bot mode still work for me as Ironhide? Hell, yeah it does. It just looks like he got a little extra tweaking when he was reformatted for his Earth mode. From the back he does look rather hollow in the torso, but most of the rest of him fills out nicely. There are a few QC issues, here involving the folding panels on his legs. They don’t want to stay in the friction notches and frequently pop out out during transformation, which is apparently common for this figure. Also, they are supposed to tab into place, but they won’t stay put. Neither of these issues are huge problems, but they can be annoying.

Besides the windshield chest, there’s other stuff for me to love here. I really dig where the wheels wind up. The fronts are tucked into the sides of his torso, and the rear wheels are mostly obscured by folding plates in his lower legs. The result is a super clean robot mode, that only really offers up the kibble that it wants you to see. The coloring here is mostly the same as his alt mode, minus the gold which is now concealed. You do get that nice silver on display behind the windshield, some striping on the lower legs, and a rather reserved bit of silver weathering down near his feet.

The head sculpt is totally on point for the G1 animated look. from the circular “ears” to the prominent mohawk ridge on his “helmet.” My only complaint here is that his chest piece obscures a bit of his chin, and since he can’t look up, if you hunch him over to better see his face, he’s looking down. Ironically, the Universe 2.0 figure had a similar issue.

Ironhide comes with what I can only describe as a rocket-launcher rifle to assist him in busting Decepti-chops. This weapon is as chunky as it’s wielder and I love all the hyper-detail in the sculpt, not to mention the weathering. Unfortunately, it’s a little difficult for him to hold it properly. The stock is way too long to fit into the crook of his elbow. Still, it’s a great looking piece. He can hold it in either hand, and it can also be pegged in to make an arm cannon.

Ironhide can also sling the rifle across his back, thanks to a well-placed peghole. Plus, the weapon is hinged near the center so it can be transformed into a… um… rocket hammer? Sure, why not?

I didn’t go into this figure with a lot of excitement, because Hasbro’s initial pictures didn’t do anything for me. But now that I have him in hand, I find myself liking him quite a bit. The alt mode isn’t the best thing around, but it gets the job done and it works well for what it is. As for the robot mode, well as a G1 homage, I don’t think it holds up as well as Hound or Sideswipe, but it still looks great, and there’s no doubts about who it’s supposed to be. So far, Siege has yet to let me down, and every time I open another one of these figures, it just fuels my excitement for more. If that’s not the best compliment that I can pay to a toyline, I don’t know what is.

Overwatch Ultimates: Deluxe Reinhardt by Hasbro

It’s time once again to check in on Hasbro’s Overwatch Ultimates line! These are action figures based on a game that I have never played, probably never will play, and yet I collect them anyway, because… I have problems! Also, because I love the characters and art style, I’ve watched all the cinematics, but I really just don’t care for PvP first-person shooters. Today I’m checking out one of the big boys of the line, Reinhardt. Justice will be done!!!

Holy hell, look at this thing! I included a picture of McCree (a figure I shall be reviewing in the near future) in his package just for scale purposes. Yeah… Justice being done is nice an all, but I have no idea where I’m going to put this beast! Reinhardt comes in a ginormous window box, branded with the familiar white, orange, and gray Overwatch color palette and dwarfing even the two-pack packaging. Granted, a lot of the size here is to contain his mammoth shield, which is literally the size of this box’s entire front or back panel, but I’m getting ahead of myself. Everything is collector friendly, so let’s get Reinhardt out of the box…

If his size and full suit of powered armor doesn’t give it away, Reinhardt is a tank in Overwatch, capable of absorbing a lot of punishment to protect his teammates. His armor design strikes me as a cross between a Pacific Rim Jaeger, Cain from Robocop 2, and a suit of Baroque armor, and that is indeed a beautiful thing. It’s cast almost entirely in that bare gray plastic that Hasbro likes to use. Sometimes I’m not a fan of the swirly effect in this type of plastic, but I think it works well here. It’s appropriately shiny under the right lighting and uses some dark gray to mix things up a bit. The sculpt has some nice detail here and there, but most of the armor is smooth and simple to fit in with the toony Overwatch style. There are some minimal paint applications, including red striping on his massive shoulders, as well as an “08” stamped on the left one. There are some yellow and black accents on the front, as well as a large yellow thruster in his back to power his mighty charge attacks. There’s also a large lion head device pegged into his left forearm, and we’ll come back to that in a bit.

Reinhardt’s tiny helmeted head is nested between his giant pauldrons. It has a narrow Mandalorian-style “Y” for a visor, which is partially painted yellow, and you get a crown of industrial horns protruding from the top, which gives him something of a Gundam flavor to me. His noggin is certainly well protected in the center of all that armor plating.

The articulation here is pretty good for such a big armored figure. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders, swivels in the biceps, single hinges in the elbows, and rotating hinges again in the wrists. Those giant shoulder pieces are also hinged. The legs have rotating hinges in the hips, double hinges in the knees, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. He can swivel at the waist, and his neck is ball jointed. All in all, I was pleasantly surprised by the range of motion in this guy, and how much fun he is to play around with.

Big warriors require big weapons, and so Reinhardt comes with his massive Rocket Hammer, a giant crusher propelled by three rocket thrusters in the back. This behemoth of a melee weapon is actually longer than Reinhardt is tall, and that’s really saying something! Both of his hands are sculpted to hold it, although it is a bit tough to get it into the space between his thumb and forefinger. But once it’s in he holds onto it for dear life. He can even hold it in both hands for a little added control to the swing. Of course, in addition to his charge and big hammer, Reinhardt has another signature skill in the game, and Hasbro has also recreated that in a very big way.

The shield! Yeah, this massive slab of translucent blue plastic is the real reason Reinhardt’s box is so damn big. The shield is supposed to be projected energy coming from the lion emblem on his left forearm. To pose the figure with the shield you just pop off the lion head, peg the shield into the arm, and peg the lion head onto the outside of the shield. I really dig the effect of this piece, it even has a faint honeycomb pattern etched into the plastic to recreate the look of an energy matrix. On the downside, I can’t think of any situation where I could possibly have the space to display him with the shield armed. Hasbro offers a bit of a solution with a couple of black discs that clip onto the edge of the shield and serve as a sort of stand. This way you can display the shield behind the figure if you like, although that’s going to require a lot of real estate on the shelf as well!

Reinhardt’s a big guy and he comes with a big price. $50-60, depending on where you get him. I was able to grab him off of Gamestop’s recent sale for $25, and you can’t beat that. Imagine how surprised I was when they didn’t cancel the order and actually shipped him! It’s easy to see where all the money went here, as this is a heavy figure and when you toss in the accessories, there’s a lot of plastic in this box! I also really dig how Hasbro was willing to release a high-priced behemoth like Reinhardt right out of the gate. It certainly shows they had confidence in their newly acquired license. Alas, I missed out on the SDCC Exclusive version, but I’m hoping it might turn up somewhere down the road at a price I’m willing to spend. In the meantime Hasbro’s Overwatch line continues to impress me and I’m happy to have this big guy on my shelf!

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

Yeah, it was all the way back in February when I first dipped into this wave with a review of Silver Sable. Of course, in my defense, my life turned to shit somewhere along the way and I was forced to put FFZ on hiatus. Now I’m back in action, more or less, and ready to wrap this puppy up. Let’s have a look at the Kingpin Build-A-Figure! Oh, boy have I been looking forward to this guy!

And here is Fisk in all his rotund glory. Kingpin is comprised of your six basic BAF parts: Torso, arms, legs, head and a few extras, which we’ll look at in a minute. He dons his trademark white linen (plastic) suit. Yeah, it surprises even me that I can get this excited over an action figure of a big, bald guy in a suit. But, as a character, Kingpin has a sense of frightening gravitas about him, and this figure conveys that perfectly. Indeed, this bulbous buck makes him look like an absolute powerhouse! The suit consists of a sculpted vest with a collard shirt and tie peeking out the top. The buttons on the vest are neatly painted gold, the shirt is black, and the tie is purple. The trousers show some sculpted rumples, especially where they rest on his giant black shoes. The suit’s coat is the usual trickery, where it is sculpted without sleeves and the sleeves are sculpted as part of the arms. In this case, it’s a little obvious, but I still dig it. Some other nice sculpted details include the ring on his left hand and the neatly folded handkerchief that’s sculpted peeking out of his coat pocket.

Kingpin comes with two heads, and they are both outstanding. The first portrait exhibits raw determination, and while I know this is a comic based sculpt, I can’t help but still see some of Vincent D’Oonofrio in there. I’m not sure if that was intentional, or if I’m just seeing it because he’s pretty much irrevocably connected to the character because of his amazing performance as Kingpin in the Daredevil series. Whatever the case, I dig it a lot. The second head, is pure rage and will work for pretty much any action pose I’m going to put him in.

As for articulation, Fisk has all the right points, but because of his portly sculpt, there’s some real limitations here. The arms work well with rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists. He also has a ball joint in his chest, but I can’t do too much with it. The legs are the most stymied. Even though they have rotating hinges in the hips, knees, swivels in the thighs, and hinges in the ankles, there’s still not a whole lot of range of motion there. That’s not really a complaint, as it’s totally expected. Finally, the neck has both a hinge and a ball joint.

Finally, Fisk comes with his cane, which is a simple accessory but looks great. It features a sharply tapered staff with a gold fixture to hold the frosted diamond at the end of it. He can hold it in his right hand, but in order to get a firm grip on it, he has to hold it right at the base of the gold fixture, otherwise it just slips out.

I can’t remember the last time I was looking forward to completing a BAF as much as this one. Kingpin is a villain that has been sorely missing from my Legends collection, and I’m happy to say now that he’s here, he’s absolutely fantastic. Clearly, a Build-A-Figure was the only way they were going to do him justice, and it was worth all the work to get him!

As for the wave itself? I’m not going to lie, this one was a real mixed bag for me. I couldn’t have cared less about Red Goblin or the modern Symbiote Suit Spidey. Black Cat is always a favorite of mine, but I’m just not a fan of this suit. On the flip-side Puma, Night Thrasher, and Silver Sable were all excellent, and Six-Arm Spidey is just a cool figure. Those last four were probably the only figures I would have purchased if it weren’t for needing those BAF parts, and Spidey didn’t even come with any! Ah, but who cares? I have my Kingpin completed, and it feels good to put another wave to bed.

Marvel Legends (Kingpin Wave): Six-Arm Spider-Man by Hasbro

Here we go, folks… it’s my absolute last, cross-my-heart, really mean it this time, figure for me to open in the Kingpin Wave. I was really tempted to build Fisk last week and review him, because Spidey here doesn’t come with a BAF part, but I decided to go ahead and finish off the wave before enjoying that sweet, sweet victory of building the Kingpin BAF. So let’s go ahead and have a look at Six-Arm Spidey! Oh yeah, I’m a little pressed for time today, but I think I can give this figure its due relatively quickly.

For Peter Parker to live, Spider-Man must die!!! The “Six-Arms Saga” is one of those wonderful, inspired, and bat-shit crazy comics that makes me wish I was born ten years earlier so I could have experienced it as it was happening. Sadly, it debuted on the comic stands the year before I was born, and I would have to wait another dozen or so years before carrying the first of these issues home on my bike from the used bookshop downtown. It gave us some genuine body horror, it introduced us to Morbius, The Living Vampire, and it was a helluva great ride. Oh, how happy I was when Hasbro decided to toss us this figure!

And yes, there is something that is both inherently silly and horrifically creepy about this guy! And given the nature of this figure, let’s talk articulation first! The figure is built around a newly designed trunk, which omits the usual waist swivel and ab-crunch in favor of four extra “shoulder” joints sticking out of his sides. So in terms of articulation, this is a “lose some to gain some” kind of scenario. Which is perfectly understandable given the design challenges. The two new sets of arms are bare with ragged pieces of Spidey’s suit painted around the “shoulders” to show where they <gasp> broke free of the suit while they were growing out of him. Each of these arms share identical articulation with Spidey’s regular arms, so you get rotating hinges in the shoulders, swivels in the biceps, double-hinges in the elbows, and hinged pegs in the wrists. The regular hands are both thwip hands, while the four new ones are all balled into fists. The rest of the articulation amounts to the usual stuff. You get ball joints in the hips, swivels in the thighs and lower legs, double-hinges in the knees, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. The neck is both ball jointed and hinged.

The suit itself is wonderful. It consists of the bright blue and red deco that I’ll always love the most. The red parts feature a web pattern, which is sculpted but not painted in. The spider emblem on his chest and back are sculpted and painted black, and as has often been the case, the hinges and pins in the wrists and elbows are left as bare red plastic and not painted to match the blue. Yeah, this is always a bone of contention with some people. Honestly, it never really bothered me much. Finally, the head features that same sculpted, but unpainted, web pattern and two big ‘ol white eyes with black boarders. Pure comic goodness!

The figure is loads of fun to play around with, but the absence of the torso articulation definitely limits the things he can do. I also wish he came with extra regular hands. I’m fine with all the extras being fists, but some relaxed hands and fists for his regular arms would have been pretty sweet. I know, they spent a lot more on this guy to give him extra arms and keep all that articulation, so I’m not making too big a deal about it.

I warned you, today’s review was going to be short, but I honestly don’t have a whole lot else to say about this figure. He’s definitely unique and a welcome addition to my collection. When Marvel Legends returned back in 2013, never in a million years did I expect it to be as prolific as it’s been. And while it’s had its share of Captain America and Iron Man variants clogging the pegs, the real beauty of this line is when it digs deep. Sure, it’s not like Six-Arm Spidey hasn’t resurfaced at least half a dozen times, and in different media, since ASM #101, but how cool is it that Hasbro is still digging this deep? Meet me back here tomorrow and I’ll put this wave to bed with a look at Kingpin!

Marvel Legends (Kingpin Wave): Night Thrasher by Hasbro

It’s another Marvel Monday, and I’m getting more and more comfortable about being back into the swing of things after my hiatus. Do I feel like I’m starting to make any progress at my ridiculous backlog of unopened Marvel Legends? Nah, not a chance. It’s like a digging a hole in the sand! Who knows, maybe I’ll do a few Legends-only weeks to give myself a leg up. In the meantime, and after a slight miscalculation last week, I’m here today with the actual penultimate figure in the Kingpin Wave. For reals this time! It’s Night Thrasher!

Dwayne Taylor showed up in the pages of Marvel comics during the waning days of my career as a teenage comic reader. In 1989, I was getting ready to go to college and trading in my boxes of comics for boxes of textbooks. Not literally, mind you. I just packed them away and put them in the attic. But, needless to say most of my encounters with Night Thrasher have been after the fact, when I got heavy back into comics in my thirties. As a result, Night Thrasher sits right up there with Silver Sable and Puma as one of the figures I was most excited about in this wave.

The design of Night Thrasher’s suit lends itself to a simple figure. The buck is mostly smooth, with chiseled, angular muscles sculpted into the chest, exaggerated elbow and knee pads, heavy treaded boots, and not much else in the way of detail. He does don a wide red belt, sculpted as a separate piece and worn tightly around the waist, and a red sash tied around his right leg, which is held up by friction. I really dig the subtle mix of gloss and matte black on this figure, with matte being used for the upper legs and hands, and the rest gleaming like polished ebony armor. That plus the red accessories make him pop rather nicely.

The head sculpt consists of a tight-fitting red and black helmet and mask with an open visor for his eyes. I don’t have a lot more to say about it, other than it’s pretty intimidating. TMNT’s Casey Jones or DC’s Guardian would certainly give their vigilante stamp of approval to this headgear.

Thrasher has a pair of holes on his back to secure his backpack, which is really just a shield-shaped slab of plastic designed to hold his accessories, the first of which is his pair of batons!

Yup, we’ve seen these before, particularly with Daredevil, Mockingbird. and even Hellcat! These weapons sure do get around! They are cast in black plastic and he can hold one in each hand. They’re not bad, and they definitely suit him, but I would have liked something fresh and new. When not in use, these batons can attach to the clips on either side of the backpack.

And, as always, these batons can peg together to form a longer pole-arm.

The really cool new accessory here is the skateboard. It’s cast all in black plastic with fully sculpted trucks, working wheels, and there’s a crazy amount of weathering in the sculpt. It can be hard to see without the right light, but there’s a ton of scrapes and scratches to show that this board has seen some serious action, was probably used as a shield more than a couple times, and quite probably connected with more than one villains’ jaw over the years. I will concede that it feels a bit small, or perhaps more accurately, he sometimes looks like an adult riding a kids skateboard. Also, there’s no way to attach him to it, so it’ll take a modicum of patience if you want to display him riding it, but it’s certainly not impossible.

The articulation here is pretty standard stuff. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have swivels in the thighs, double-hinges in the knees, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. There is a swivel in the waist, an ab-crunch hinge in the torso, and the neck is hinged and ball jointed. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, swivels in the biceps, and double-hinges in the elbows. His chunky armor does restrict some range of movement, but he’s still a pretty agile fellow.

Night Thrasher may be damn simple, but he’s also loads of fun. And as I’m playing around with him, I can’t help but think that this is sort of what a modern 6-inch GI JOE figure from Hasbro would feel like. Nope, I’m never going to let that dream die! The accessories are cool enough, even if I would have liked some new batons, and you can’t go wrong with a skateboard! It just adds plenty of fun to the mix. Now, can we get some more New Warriors, Hasbro? Please and thank you!

Star Wars Black: Imperial Jumptrooper by Hasbro

Gamestop is not a company that I enjoy doing business with, and that’s a rant for another time. But even I have to get off my high horse for a $5 action figure clearance sale. Yes, even though I know full well that they’re going to take my order then cancel most of it later when they find they didn’t have enough inventory to fill it all. I’m convinced that it’s all just a big come-on to get you on the site to maybe buy a few things at full price. In this case, I ordered about ten figures, and four of the ten were cancelled with the excuse “Item not available.” And a 60% success rate is a lot better than I usually do at these sales. But still, it’s a pretty shitty way to run a business. One of the figures I ordered that actually got fulfilled was the Imperial Jumptrooper, so let’s check him out today!

This guy was supposedly a Gamestop Exclusive, although there’s no indication of that on the package. You can, however, tell it was exclusive to somewhere because there’s no number on the side panel. I had little hope of ever finding this guy in the store, since I try to avoid going in there, and when I do I find it to be pretty terribly stocked. Nonetheless, this wasn’t a figure that I wanted badly enough to go on their site and pay full price plus shipping. My last experience with the Jumptroopers was the 3 3/4-inch figures that were tied to the Force Unleashed game. Those were pretty cool. This one isn’t the same design, but rather it’s based on the look from Star Wars: Rebels. And I guess the older ones aren’t even official canon anymore, but screw that. I have proof it existed! You can’t take away my figures, Disney!!!

Unlike the previous Jumptrooper, this one features a heavy reuse of the regular Imperial Stormtrooper armor. Indeed, most of the body is just recycled from the Black Series Stormtrooper. The big differences include the elongated shoulder pauldrons, and the new helmet. This one also has unpainted lateral hinges in the ankles. Boo! I’m a big fan of the Black Series Stormtrooper, and most everything I dig about that figure can be said about this guy as well. The articulation is solid, albeit appropriately limited for a guy wearing armor. The sculpting is pretty convincing as pieces of armor over an underlying black bodysuit, at least it is for this scale, and the functional holster is a very welcome treat. The orange paint on the left pauldron adds a splash of color to the armor and includes an Imperial insignia stamped on it, as well as the right shoulder.

You can’t have a Jumptrooper without a jetpack, and to be honest, I find this one to be a little understated. I mean, in fairness I guess Boba Fett’s wasn’t that big either. This one has a tank on the top, which I presume is for oxygen, as it has two hoses leading from it and going into the helmet. The pack is mostly white and has minimalist detail, which I guess matches the design of the armor pretty well. The pack itself attaches to the figure simply by pegging into the back, and features a little red and black paint, including some scorch marks around the jet exhaust ports.

The new helmet instantly reminds me of some of the Imperial pilot helmets, like the TIE Pilot or the AT-AT Driver. It still retains a lot of the regular Stormtrooper helmet features, but here the eyes are a continuous visor, the breather tubes protrude from the front, and there’s a crest running up the top of the helmet. The side vents are neatly painted blue, and you get some gray and orange paint on the top. It’s a pretty cool variant that incorporates a number of different Imperial design tropes.

While he may be a specialist, the Jumptroooper still comes with the regular old E-11 Blaster. It’s an excellent sculpt, albeit the plastic is rather soft. Rather than just cast in black plastic, it has a bit of a gunmetal finish to it. He can hold it in his right hand, and it fits into the holster quite well. I don’t mind so much getting this weapon included, as it is the mainstay of the Imperial army, but I still feel like these elites should have been given some kind of special weapon as well.

There is a figure stand included, and this was a big disappointment, mainly because I expected it to be something it wasn’t. As a figure stand itself, it’s perfectly functional. The foot slips into it, and it does a decent job holding him up. I probably wouldn’t mind having a pack of these to prevent some of those action-figure-avalanches in my displays. But when I saw this in the package, I assumed it was going to be some kind of flight stand, with a second piece concealed at the bottom of the box. Obviously, that wasn’t the case and so it feels like a major missed opportunity here.

And as a jetpack trooper, this guy is a little underwhelming to play around with. The regular Stormtrooper armor makes him not terribly agile for those flying poses, which makes me think that maybe Jumptroopers should have more unique armor designed for them to maneuver in the air. Another big missed opportunity here is the lack of any jet blast effect parts to draw attention to that jetpack and really make him look like he’s blasting into action.

Does it sound like I’m down on this figure? Well, maybe. To be honest, I liked the design of the Force Unleashed Jumptrooper a lot better than this one, and I’m kind of sad to know that we’ll never get that one in the 6-inch Black Series. This figure is perfectly serviceable, but it also feels rather lazy. Sure, a lot of that has to do with the design from the show and it isn’t the figure’s fault, but there are also too many missed opportunities for extras. I suppose it’s a good Exclusive release, because I wouldn’t have felt left out if I was never able to get him. As a $5 clearance figure, I’m perfectly happy to have him, but ultimately I am coming away very underwhelmed by this guy.