Transformers Siege: Megatron by Hasbro

I’m hanging on by a thread this week and I really didn’t think I was going to make it here today. But talking toys is like a soothing balm for all that ails me and so here I am, not at my best, but here nonetheless! Because the show must go on! Anywho… It’s been a few weeks since I’ve been back to look at the Transformers Siege line, and that just won’t do! So let’s go ahead and wrap up this week by opening Voyager Class Megatron! I think this is going to be an interesting ride!

I’ve said my piece about this packaging when I looked at Optimus Prime, so I won’t go on about it all again now. Suffice it to say, I dig it a lot. It’s evolved quite nicely since this style was introduced way back when for The Last Knight figures. Megatron comes in a collector friendly window box with some absolutely bitchin’ character art on the angled side panel, so what’s not to like? The imperious leader of the Decepticons comes packaged in his robot mode, but we’re going to start with his alt mode!

It’s probably not a surprise to anyone that the alt mode is a futuristic tank. Let me go off the rails for a moment and say that while the G1 version of Megatron’s robot mode will likely always be my favorite, I’ve never been a fan of the gun mode. Even as a kid, I thought it made for a crummy toy, and as for the cartoon, it always seemed a little emasculating for the mighty Decepticon leader to shrink down and be wielded by his subordinates like a common implement. The idea of Megs turning into a tank just works better on so many levels. So naturally, one of my favorite things Hasbro has ever done was find a way to make the G1 Megs robot mode work with a tank mode. And that’s probably why the Combiner Wars Leader Class Megatron (along with the help of DX9) remains my favorite version of the character to this day. Of course, I was happy to see them trying it again, this time at the more versatile Voyager Class size. OK, enough of that, on to the tank!

The Transformers designers sure love their H-type tank designs and this alt mode continues to prove that. As a result this tank looks like a bit like a cousin of Hardhead’s alt mode. This mobile gun platform is propelled by four sets of treaded pylons with wheels concealed beneath them to help it roll into the heat of battle. The body of the tank itself is pretty small, taking up slightly less volume than the copula, which is bisected by the massive cannon barrel. The gun itself cannot elevate, but the copula is capable of rotating left and right, adding a little bit of play and display value.

But make no mistake, this is not a sexy tank. It’s not even a photogenic tank. It is an ugly machine of war and that fits Megatron just fine. The surfaces are littered with seams and joints and hinges. There are some panel lines and sculpted hatches, vents, and compartments, but to me it all gets lost in a sort of jumbled mess, and surprisingly I don’t necessarily mean that in a bad way. As for the deco, it’s mostly comprised of gray and black plastic, with a little red, silver and yellow here and there. The cannon itself is easily the best aspect of this mode. It’s intricately detailed with silver and red paint hits to make it stand out. And surprisingly, the business end of the gun itself is not formed by Megs’ familiar fusion blaster, which makes for a nice surprise and a more distinctive design. Instead, it’s a combination of the fusion cannon in the back and a weird sword-gun weapon in the front, which is detached for transformation. All in all, this mode isn’t going to win any awards for aesthetics or ingenuity of design, but it works as a purely functional killing machine. And that’s a totally appropriate alt mode for Megatron. So how about that robot mode?

Well, there’s no doubt about it, this is G1 Megatron! Hasbro clearly designed this figure with the robot mode as a priority and then worked backwards. Sure, there are some bits of telltale kibble, and I’ll get to that in a bit, but so much of the homage is preserved that I’m fine overlooking the compromises that had to be made. Indeed, there are actually two pieces on the tops of his shoulders designed to fold back solely to mimic the hammer kibble from the original toy’s Walther PPK alt mode. Particular attention has been spent in designing the torso to resemble the Sunbow animation model and I absolutely love it. It’s basically the original toy torso, only boxier, beefier, and better proportioned. A few nitpicks? I wish the forearms filled in and the wrists would pivot, but those are some pretty small quibbles.

From the back, he looks nothing like Megatron, and that’s all because of his tank treads. Two of them fold up onto his back to form a fairly neat and tidy, albeit large, backpack. The lower legs, which aren’t too dissimilar from the G1 design when viewed from the front, really break down when viewed from the back, and those heel spurs don’t help either. So, yeah, the nearly pitch perfect homage does fall apart when the figure isn’t viewed from the front. And none of that really bothers me. What does bother me a lot is the choice to leave so much of the figure as just bare gray plastic. I thought it looked terrible when I first saw it, and while it’s growing on me a little, I still think it’s the deco, or lack thereof, is the figure’s biggest drawback. I can’t help but think how good this guy would have looked with the same sumptuous silver paint that Hasbro gave Combiner Wars Megatron. I also think that there’s a criminal lack of paint on his lower torso. It just looks terribly unfinished.

While the homage breaks down from the back, and the coloring is a sticking point with me, the portrait wins back plenty of points. I have to say, old bucket head never looked better. The “helmet” is perfect, the scowl on his face and red down-turned narrow eyes make him look tougher than a week-old Energon Cube. The face is painted silver, making it look superb in contrast to all that dull gray plastic. Megsy has a smattering of silver paint weathering splashed across his chest and arms, and a Decepticon logo printed on his chest.

Also winning back a lot of points is the nearly perfect fusion cannon. So many modern Megatron figures can’t seem to get this right, and yet I consider it crucial to any G1 homage. It was one of those “close, but no cigar” failings of the Combiner Wars Megatron that had to be fixed by a third-party company, and even that wasn’t a perfect fix. This one looks great and it’s positioned on the outer arm, to allow for really good poses and aiming. Hell, you can even peg it onto either arm, but we all know that the right arm is where it belongs, eh?

Megatron also comes with the previously mentioned combination rifle-sword weapon, which forms the front half of the tank mode’s main cannon. This piece can be discarded after transformation, or it can be retained as a weapon. I honestly didn’t think I’d have any use for it, as it’s not really something that I would expect Megatron to carry around. It is, however, surprisingly fun and versatile. I doubt I’ll display Megatron with it in robot mode, but it may wind up going to one of my other Decepticons.

In the end, this review has been quite the roller-coaster of opinion. I want to love this figure more than I do, and when I really dig deep, I realize that the only real sticking point for me is the coloring. I don’t mind the slab of tank kibble on his back, and I love just about everything else about the way the robot mode looks. This figure just feels like a great design with a piss-poor paint job. If Hasbro or Takara released this figure with a premium paint job like Combiner Wars Megsy had, I’d happily fork over the money to buy him again. As it is, the previous Leader Class Megatron with DX9 enhancements will remain my favorite. Nonetheless, I can’t deny this Megatron has everything else going for him, and the Siege versions of Megatron and Optimus Prime are easily the best pairing of these two mortal foes that we’ve had in a long time, if not ever.

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Marvel Legends (Lizard Wave): Spider-Man Noir by Hasbro

Last week, I cheated on my Marvel Legends random draw, so I’m being good this week. I closed my eyes, rooted around the stack for a while and I came back with Spider-Man Noir from the Lizard Wave! This pleases me, because it’s been so long since I bought him, I had almost forgotten this figure existed! And while Spider-Verse figures don’t need to further justify their existence to me, this one has become a little more topical since we’ve seen the character portrayed in Into The Spider-Verse and even had a similar suit revealed for Spider-Man: Far From Home!

And just in case you needed any more indication of how far behind I am on my Legends, I reviewed my first figure in this wave, Gwenpool all the way back in April of last year. Spider-Punk followed in July, and here I am opening what is only my third figure from this wave. Needless to say all the amazing Legends reveals at Toy Fair this month had me weeping tears of joy and fear at the same time. I think I had convinced myself that the poor financial reportings would maybe cause Hasbro to pull back on the reigns a bit and slow down on production. Nope, seems like that’s not happening. And while it would have been nice to get a little breathing room to get caught up, I’m happy to see Legends is still a sure thing in their eyes.

And here he is! Another one of many gifts from Spider-Verse, a comic event that was not only really good, but practically made to sell action figures! Lots and lots and lots of action figures! I know, he had his own series first, but my first exposure to him was in Spider-Verse. As his name suggests, Spider-Man Noir is a darker version (both literally and figuratively) of Peter Parker, hailing from Earth-90214 and the pulpy squalor of The Great Depression.

Straightaway, Spidey makes use of pretty obviously recycled parts. The easiest mark is the jacket we’ve seen on figures like Nick Fury and Fantomex. Talk about getting a lot of years out of a garment! I didn’t think I was going to dig it here, but to be honest, I think it works out just fine and looks really good on the figure. What’s more the sculpted sleeves here work a lot better with it then the ones on the Fury figure. The other big call out for me was the Ghost Rider torso, which again is a good fit for the character design. As for coloring, well you obviously get a lot of black, along with some gray that’s so dark it almost might as well be black. Nonetheless, the change up between matte and glossy black go a long way to keep things interesting, and you get a little flash of silver paint on the belt buckle!

The head sculpt looks fantastic. I find the combination of aviator goggles, gimp mask, and featureless mouth all quite terrifying, and Hasbro did a beautiful job with it here. I especially dig the sculpted detail on the top of the hood and the subtle facial details that can be made out under the covering for the lower face. New sculpting also includes the turtleneck-style collar.

Accessories include twin pistols, one of which can be stored in the holster on his right hip. Why no left holster for the other gun? I don’t know, but since I can’t remember whether that was from the character design, I won’t come down on Hasbro too hard for it. These are pretty cool and distinctive sculpts and they fit well in his hands, although the trigger finger makes it easier to just have Spidey practicing proper trigger discipline.

No matter what Earth you’re on, most Parkers are agile little bugs and this figure reflects that pretty well. There are no surprises, so I won’t run down all the points, but as always the double hinges in the elbows and knees go a long way to making him a fun figure to play with. And this was another area where the jacket surprised me. I assumed it was going to put a real hamper on the poseability, but it really doesn’t. I think those were problems inherent to the Fury figure, especially in the arms.

It should come as no surprise that I really dig this figure. He’s a great representation of the character with some sensible parts recycling. And while he may not offer all the usual bright and snappy colors we’re used to seeing in a lot of our Marvel characters, that fact alone makes him stand out on the shelf. I’ve been looking forward to this Legends version ever since I got the 4-inch version back in 2016 and this one just blows that figure out of the way on every level. He also puts me one step closer to having to expand my Spider-Verse shelf.

Star Wars (Solo): “Mission on Vandor” 4-Pack by Hasbro

It’s been a stressful week for me and a couple of nights ago I crashed into my sofa, watched Solo for the first time in a little while, and enjoyed a wonderfully relaxing escape to a Galaxy Far, Far Away. It also reminded me that I have a whole bunch of figures from Solo waiting to be opened and reviewed. I was going to go with some of the 6-inch Black Series offerings, but it’s been so long since I checked out any of Hasbro’s 3 3/4-inch line, so let’s have a look at this Mission on Vandor 4-pack.

This set is very similar to the Rogue One Jedha Revolt 4-Pack. It’s the same size box and collects some characters from a specific sequence in the film. Here we get new versions of Han Solo and Qi’Ra, as well as an Imperial Range Trooper and Weazel, one of Enfys Nest’s gang. We’ll start out with Han and Qi’Ra.

Oddly enough, I don’t think Hasbro released a single carded Han figure for this movie. How crazy is that? There was one bundled with the speeder and one bundled with the Force Link 2.0 Reader. I never picked up that speeder, and while I had no interest in the Reader, I did get that Han figure loose on Ebay.

Anyway, this version of Han comes wearing his big furry coat and goggles, and it’s a pretty damn good looking little figure. The coat itself is a soft plastic vest layered over, what I imagine is a lot of re-use from the regular Han. The sculpted sleeves on the arms don’t quite match up all the way with the coat, but it’s close enough. The texturing on the coat is excellent and his gun belt is sculpted over it to hold it together. In addition to a functional holster, the gun belt also has a sculpted life-line and what I think is his Droid Caller on the other hip. The head sculpt is solid enough and the permanent goggles are decent enough for this scale. Nothing special, but not bad either.  The coloring is good, and I like the addition of the dirty boots.

No surprise, Han comes with his newly acquired DL-44 blaster pistol, which fits in his holster and can also be held in either hand. Although it’s intended for his right, as that one has a sculpted trigger finger.

Next up is Qi’ra in her Vandor duds, and while Han was a solid figure, this one actually impresses me on every level. The sculpt is fantastic, with little details like ribbing on the backs of her sleeves and on her collar. Her flared trousers feature tiny seam lines and little wrinkles, and her heels are even sculpted under the cuffs. The jacket is just part of the body sculpt, which works fine for this figure. Even the paint is so sharp and crisp. From the ultra thin line of her necklace, to the edging on her belt, the paint applications here are better than a lot of the 6-inch scale figures. Even the head sculpt is fantastic for this scale with more of that super sharp paint detailing.

Qi’ra comes with a very simple blaster pistol, which she can hold in either hand, and can also be stored in the holster on her right hip. I’d love to see Hasbro turn out this version of the character in the 6-inch Black Series, just to compare it to this one, because, setting articulation aside, I think this smaller one would hold up remarkably well.

The third figure is the Range Trooper, and this is the only figure in the box that was also available as a single carded release. I don’t have that version for comparison, but based on pictures I’ve seen, I don’t think there’s much difference. My guess is Hasbro gave him a single release because he’s a fodder for army builders. Either way, I think this is an excellent figure for the scale. They really packed a lot of detail into the sculpt, from the mechanics of his boots to the tiny stitch lines in his coat, to the textured fur collar and fringe on the sleeves and coat flaps. The red paint hits on the armor could have been a little sharper, but it’s not particularly bad either. I really dig how they got the same gold paint they used for the 6-inch Black Series version onto his tiny visor.

The Trooper comes with his standard blaster rifle. I actually don’t know what these blasters are called, but they’re very similar to the Stormtrooper E-11 rifles. It’s a decent sculpt, but the plastic on this one is really mushy. He can hold it in either hand, but there’s nowhere for him to carry it. That’s probably a fault of the costume design, because even the 6-inch version didn’t have a holster.

The final figure in the bunch is Weazel, one of Enfys Nest’s gang and of course played by Warwick Davis. This little guy also features some great detail in the sculpt, including a rather wide and complex system of belts, some ribbing on his outer sleeves, and a helmet that is somewhat tribal and similar in design to Nest’s but also includes a range finder like we see on the Mandalorian helmets. This was a great choice for including in a multi-pack like this one, as I’m not sure Hasbro would have risked putting him out there on a single card. Although, I’d be willing to bet he would still have sold well.

Weazel comes with two weapons. The first is this rocket launcher, which is cast in silver plastic and has a red painted rocket on the end. He can sort of hold it in firing position, but not as well as I would like. The design of the stock doesn’t really work with his arm, but I can get it to work fairly well. I really dig that they sculpted and painted two additional rockets hanging off his belt on his right hip.

He also has a small blaster pistol, which he can hold in either hand.

I realize that the 5-POA line is not popular with a lot of collectors, and I’ll freely admit that it isn’t a priority for me either. Nonetheless, collecting 3 3/4-inch Star Wars figures has been a part of my life since I was eight years old and I doubt I’ll ever be free of it. I don’t try to be a completist on these, but I do pick them up whenever I can find them, while I’m more likely to leave the super-articulated 3 3/4-inch figures on the pegs. Either way, this is a really nice assortment with some two cool variants, one brand new character, and an extra troop builder. I believe it retailed at around $30 originally, which is right in the ballpark of what these would cost together if they were single-carded. I picked up this set for $18 and that felt like a great deal!

Marvel Legends (Sauron Wave): Bishop by Hasbro

It’s Marvel Monday and time for me to reach my hand into the big box of unopened Marvel Legends and randomly pull out a… oh, f’ck it, I just saw Bishop at the top of the box and I’m opening him!

Yup, I’ve been hoping to land Bishop in my random picks for a while now, and frankly I just got tired of waiting. I’ve been hoping that Hasbro would slip in with each new X-Men themed Wave and here we are at the Sauron Wave and there’s Bishop in all his classic Jim Lee costume glory. This is a figure that practically breaks out of the packaging and leaps off the peg. And as big and beefy as Bishop is, they still managed to get one of Sauron’s arms and wings stuffed in there behind him. Not too shabby!

Holy hell, this figure practically makes me giddy with joy. I’m a child of the 70’s and 80’s, so I don’t find a lot of nostalgia in the 90’s, but the X-Men of this era scratched a certain itch with me. I was in college, I was on my own, and I was probably looking for something familiar and comfortable and the resurgence of X-Men in both animated and comic book form was that very thing. Not to mention those original Toy Biz figures on those colorful cards! Take all that and now toss in a fantastic new character like Bishop who tapped into some of the that stuff that made the X-Men so cool and it’s no wonder he resonates with me. Even better, just look at how great this figure turned out! It’s a veritable symphony of sculpt and color. Hasbro took an appropriately beefy buck and wrapped some equally beefy web-gear in the form of a waist belt, a shoulder rig, and bicep straps. These are all sculpted with some great detail as well as all the ubiquitous pouches that we have come to expect from our 90’s comic powerhouses. Toss a chunky X-logo offset onto the belt and the trademark neckerchief, and you’ve got goddamn poetry in action figure form.

But it’s equally the coloring on this figure that makes me want to weep tears of joy. The bright blue body suit, coupled with the yellow gear and double stripe, coupled with the red neckerchief and X-logo and you’ve got a deco that sings. I don’t know what it is about these colors that lights up all the pleasure centers of my brain, but it’s been that way ever since my first Toy Biz X-Men figures and that feeling has only grown with age. The blue and yellow in particular just go so well together and they even did a beautiful job printing his shoulder patches. It just doesn’t get any better than this.

And the magic that is this figure doesn’t stop at the neckline, because check out that mug! I’m overall very pleased with the head sculpts Hasbro has been serving up for their modern Legends line, but Bishop’s portrait here even manages to step it up a notch. It is absolutely superb. From the expression to the detail on his facial features to the sculpting in the hair and the perfect paint on his goatee, this is portrait that was crafted with love and reverence for the character. I don’t like to throw around the P-word all that often, but I’m going to do it here. This head sculpt is perfect. I wouldn’t change a thing.

Bishop comes with one accessory and that’s his big honkin’ shotgun-looking weapon. It’s a fairly simple sculpt, appropriately molded in black plastic with a pistol-style grip and a large slide that gives it a distinctive look. Naturally he has a big yellow scabbard behind his left shoulder to store it. He can actually hold it in either hand, as both have sculpted trigger fingers. The only issue I have here is how hard it was for me to get it into either hand, because his fingers are sculpted into a death grip. I know Bishop is an imposing dude, but damn buddy, loosen up them hands so I can get your gun in them! In fairness, it got a lot easier after I’ve had it in and out of the hands a few times.

The articulation here consists of the usual. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, with double hinges in the elbows and swivels in the biceps. The legs have rotating hinges in the hips, double hinges in the knees, swivels at the thighs and the tops of the boots, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. There’s a swivel in the chest, an ab crunch hinge in the torso and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed.

Chances are by now you’re tired of hearing a 46-year-old man verbally jerk off to an action figure, so I’ll go ahead and wrap things up. Bishop is an example of a toy line firing on all cylinders. This figure takes a great character and absolutely does him justice in 6-inches of plastic. The extra sculpting, the amazing portrait, the colors… I don’t think it’s at all possible for me to gaze on this figure without a big dumb happy smile on my face. If you’re at all a fan of the character, or just the 90’s X-Men in general, this one is a must-have for any collection. And most of all, this is why Hasbro’s modern Marvel Legends remains one of my all-time favorite action figure lines.

Marvel Legends (Apocalypse Wave): Magneto by Hasbro

Marvel Monday is here again, and just to show you how far behind on Marvel Legends I truly am, today’s random selection brings me to another Wave that I haven’t ventured into before. It’s another X-Men themed assortment, this time with the one and only Apocalypse as the Build-A-Figure. There are some great characters in this wave and today I’m starting out with the Magneto!

I’ll confess, I haven’t read an X-Men comic in quite a few years. But that’s more a reflection of my general distaste for Marvel’s comics lately and not a specific rebuke toward the X-Men. Not to mention I have a healthy stack of back issues and trades that I can dip into when I need to show the Mutants some lovin. With that having been said, these characters are still near and dear to my heart, and it’s long past time we had Magneto grace the modern Marvel Legends lineup.

I take it this is what Magneto is wearing these days? It’s far from his iconic classic look, but it’s OK. I’ll confess I dig the black and red a lot more than the black and gray short sleeve look. The body here gets by mostly with paint, so you’ve got a black buck with the red striping. The striping is a little hit and miss. It looks great on the torso, but the legs have some sloppiness and bleed-through. It’s by no means terrible, but could be better.

The new sculpted parts include his boots and wrist bracers, as well as the cape, which has a peg for his back, but seems to be just as happy to hang from around his neck. The shoulder armor and bolted cross-strap are a nice nod to his classic look, and the red inner lining of the cape compliments the snappy deco pretty well.

Magneto comes packaged with his helmeted head, which is excellent. The style of the helmet hasn’t changed much, it’s still a form fitting, medieval looking affair at it appears to be sculpted separately from the head and permanently attached, which adds a lot to the depth and realism of the portrait. Erik’s face sculpt is fantastic, and it depicts him with pupil-less eyes.

The alternative head is sans helmet, and definitely falls into the, “It’s so good that I feel bad because I’ll probably never display him with it.” Actually, this is one of cases where if the figure starts turning up cheap, I might buy a second, so I can display him both ways. This head features the same great facial sculpt and some pretty incredible hair.

As for accessories, Magneto comes with two pairs of hands: Regular fists and a pair of translucent purple hands to go with the pair of translucent effect parts. I actually dig the purple hands a lot, even if I’m not really sure that they convey magnetism all that accurately. The same goes for the effect parts, which look more like your standard Force Lightning from Star Wars, rather than magnetic powers. Still, it’s hard to quibble about extras and he does look damn cool wielding them.

There are no surprises here where articulation is concerned. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, the knees are double-hinged, the ankles have both hinges and lateral rockers, and there are swivels in the thighs and at the tops of the boots. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, the elbows are double-hinged, and there are swivels in the biceps. The torso features a waist swivel and an ab crunch hinge, and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed.

I’m sure I’m not being original by saying that I’d rather have had a classic Magneto, but with that token disclaimer out of the way, I really do like this figure a lot. It may not really be my Magneto, but this is a costume design that I can get behind, and there’s just the right amount of new sculpting here to make it work. Toss in a couple of fantastic portraits, and I do believe this will hold me over until we can get Erik in his red and purple duds. Either way, this is a great start to what is sure to be an incredible wave!

Transformers Siege: Optimus Prime by Hasbro

If the toy aisles in my area are any indication, Siege is selling like gangbusters. In one case last week, they were stocking the shelves when I put the last Deluxe I needed in my cart and did my other shopping before deciding to go back and get Optimus and Megatron, which were being unpacked. In the span of about 10 minutes they were both gone. Luckily, I got another crack at them a few days later and this time I jumped on them. I feel like getting the Leader Class figures is going to be a knock-down fight.

Prime is my first Voyager Class figure in this bunch, but the packaging is identical in style to the Deluxes. You get a collector friendly box with some killer artwork. I love how Hasbro evolved this packaging from when we first saw the Transformers name in red running up the side of the package to now. If Hasbro ever puts out an artbook featuring the character art from Siege, Titan Returns, and Power of the Primes, I’d throw down some money for it. But enough about the box, let’s get to the toy. Prime is packaged in his robot mode, but we’ll start with his alt mode.

The alt mode is a good old-fashioned red truck cab, which is certainly evocative of Prime’s G1 mode, but with a slight futuristic twist. It’s not the best and most polished cab mode we’ve seen on Optimus, but it’s not too shabby either. And this is clearly a case where Hasbro made some sacrifices in the alt mode to assist the aesthetics of the robot mode. Whether it was a good trade off, we’ll see in a bit (psst… IT IS!!). The biggest sacrifice is the extended roof, which hangs over the windshields. It took me a little getting used to, but I don’t think it looks bad, just kind of strange and different. The sides of the truck definitely show seams and some hinges, and probably the biggest eyesore is the use of silver paint for the side windows, while the rest are translucent blue. Speaking of which, I would have liked the grill to be painted silver, rather than using the same translucent plastic for the windows. And you’ll no doubt note that the smokestacks are shortened to keep kids from jamming them into their eyes after they’ve finished off a snack of Tide Pods. That may sound like I have a lot of beefs with this little truck, but I really don’t.

Nope, if I sound like I’m down on this cab, I should point out that there’s a lot I love here too. The circuit-like pattern that’s etched into the plastic behind the windows makes for a really cool effect, as does the sculpted headlamps behind those plastic pieces. I also really dig the “headlamps” to the lower right and left of the front bumper, because I have no other choice to believe that these are actually mini-guns because of the way they’re sculpted. Those will also come into play with the robot mode. The deco is also mighty purdy, with the familiar red and blue mingling with the gray, silver, and white to make a familiar and eye-pleasing combination. And yes, he has some of that brushed on weathering, which has been like a trademark for this line. Finally, Prime’s alt mode can store his axe as a sort of hitch, and if you’re a fan of big goofy guns on your alt modes (I’m not!), there are plenty of peg holes to load Prime up with some weaponry.

The transformation into this mode is pretty complex, considering how simple the Deluxe figures in this line have been, but I was able to get him through it the first time without consulting instructions, and I ain’t no genius, so I’m it’s got to be fairly intuitive. And there’s some truly clever stuff going on to put a smile on my face, even if the final steps require a lot of stuff moving almost simultaneously into place. But in the end, everything locks together perfectly for a solid cab and a pretty fun little toy. So how’s the robot mode look?

What’s the word I’m looking for? WOW? Yup, that’s it. I think it’s safe to say that, at least for me, this is the best looking Voyager Class G1-styled Prime Hasbro has ever done. It’s not perfect, but I think it’s about as perfect as we can expect to see in this size and price range. From head on, I’ve got precious little to nitpick here. He’s beautifully proportioned, and even hits on some of the cool points of Masterpiece Prime, including the vents on the lower legs, and does a pretty decent job of either concealing or obscuring the wheels. I dig that they sculpted the top of the truck cab for his robot mode, even though you don’t see it in the alt mode. The etching on the windshields looks great in his robot mode, and by faking out the cab details on the lower torso, they were able to keep it stylized for the robot mode. Thankfully, that includes swapping out the translucent blue grill with a proper silver one. The shorter stacks on the shoulders are still a bit of a bummer, but it’s not nearly enough to dampen what is an otherwise amazing looking robot.

From the back, things are not quite as clean as I would like in the lower legs, but they’re OK and the designers at least made an effort to close them up so they aren’t completely hollow. Prime does feature a big slab-o-back, which isn’t ideal, but I’m actually thinking that it could be a kind of jetpack, especially with the translucent blue plastic pieces on the bottom looking like thrust emitters. You can also use the peg holes to store his weapons on his back, but that just adds to the bulk.

As for the deco, it’s pretty much identical to what we saw in his alt mode. Prime features all his classic colors: Red, blue, and gray, with some white and yellow, and silver accents. He also features the weathered paint applications that have been present in the Deluxe Class figures. I think these look good, but I get that some collectors aren’t digging them. Maybe Hasbro will put a clean version out at some point down the road. After all, a mold this good can’t possibly only be issued once.

Easily my biggest, and really only, gripe about this figure is the kibble on the underarms, and it isn’t nearly as bad as the Classics version of Prime we got a while back. It’s funny, but I thought that figure was a work of art when it came out, but in retrospect it hasn’t aged all that gracefully. As for this Prime’s arm kibble, I’m actually enjoying the fact that these pieces can be flipped around to form integral mini-guns.

The head sculpt is right on point as well. It’s very traditional with just enough styled flare. The “helmet” is cast in blue plastic, the eyes are painted blue, and the silver paint used for his mouth plate and crest is sharp and clean. Again, I really appreciate that the sculpted the yellow roof lights, even though you don’t see them at all in his cab mode.

Prime comes with two weapons, both of which we glimpsed in the alt mode shots. The first is his battle axe, and I’ll confess I’m not terribly fond of this piece. It’s not all that convincing as an axe and I’ve never understood why Hasbro keeps giving Prime axes anyway. Is it because he had an energy axe in that one fight with Megatron in the Sunbow cartoon? Maybe. Either way, this is a piece that’s going to get tossed into the Tote of Forgotten Accessories.

Fortunately Prime also comes with his very familiar rifle. This baby is cast in black plastic and he can hold it in either hand. Unfortunately, the figure’s articulation doesn’t really allow him to cross it over his chest and rest it in his other hand all that well, but you can fake it out to make it look pretty good.

Before wrapping up, here are some quick comparison shots of Prime with his two Deluxe Autobot Warriors. His cab mode is pretty small when compared to Sideswipe and Hound’s vehicle modes, but he sure makes up for that when he transforms into robot mode. And I’d say the scale here works pretty well. Ideally, I’d like my regular Autobots to be a little closer to Prime’s shoulders, but I’m not going to gripe about it. I think they look great together.

All in all, I think this is an incredible effort on Hasbro’s part and easily my favorite Voyager Class Prime up to this point. It features some great engineering, a transformation that is clever but not too fiddly and complex, and best of all it just delivers unbelievably solid looking alt and robot modes. He’s also so much fun to play around with that I have a feeling he’ll be inhabiting my desk for a long time before he migrates over to my Transformers display. Yeah, at $29.99, he’s a little pricey for a figure this size, but I still think he’s well worth it. Indeed, if Hasbro is smart, they’ll cook up a trailer for this guy and re-release him sometime down the road as part of a bigger and more complete set, because this mold definitely deserves a full-on trailer, Teletran-1, and Roller treatment.

Marvel Legends (Kingpin Wave): Silver Sable by Hasbro

It’s another Marvel Monday where I’m tossing randomness to the wind and pushing a new arrival to the head of the line. The Kingpin Wave has started showing up online and I grabbed me the two ladies of the wave, along with a certain young vigilante. Silver Sable just happened to be on the top of the stack, so let’s go ahead and have a look at her first. OK, I actually have another reason to look at her first, and I’ll get to that very shortly.

As you can tell from the box, this is going to be another Spider-Man themed wave. This time there are seven figures in the assortment, but only six needed to complete the Wilson Fisk BAF. Most waves have left me content to grab figures at a leisurely pace as I find them, but I’ll tell you right now that I’ll be looking to wrap this one up pretty quickly, because I want me that Kingpin real bad. Like the Kree Sentry Wave, the packaging here still features the change that has the window as a cover for the tray and not part of the box, so I guess this is something that Hasbro is sticking with.

So, my first thoughts are… SILVER SABLE!!! It’s about damn time, right? My second thoughts are… She looks damn great!!! And finally… But wait, why does she look so damn familiar? And the obvious answer is that she’s mostly just a repaint of Lady Deadpool, the figure I just looked at last week. The sculpted gauntlets are new and look nice, but from the neck down the rest is all recycled from Wanda Wilson, including the belt, thigh pouches, and the shoulder rig.

Granted, it all looks great on Ms. Sablinova, but I think the belt is the biggest giveaway, because it’s so damn distinctive looking. Maybe if I wasn’t reviewing these figures in two consecutive weeks it wouldn’t have been so apparent. With that having been said, the coloring on the costume is fantastic. The silver buck with lighter silver paint looks quite striking and the plastic they used for all the added gear matches the lighter silver paint quite nicely. As much as I was a little underwhelmed with Lady-D, I’m properly impressed here. Although, those thigh straps are still a pain in the ass to keep in place when I’m playing around with her.

The head sculpt is also excellent. Sable is sporting an all-business expression, the silver headband looks great, and the hair itself is sculpted so as not to mess with her neck articulation much at all. The paint on the eyes and lips is straight and clean. I think my only nitpick here would be the eyebrows, which kind of look like they were just drawn on with a silver Sharpie. And since I mentioned articulation, I’ll just refer you back to last week’s Lady-D review rather than go through it all again here.

Silver Sable comes with two weapons and since recycling is the word of the day, it’s not too surprising that these guns aren’t new. We last saw these included with Domino and this time they’re recast in black plastic, which I think looks a lot better than the previous blue. I like these designs a lot, although to be honest, I think I would have been happier if we just got two of the same pistol. I’ll also note that I wish we could have had a holster for the pistol. Sable can hold the rifle just fine in either hand, but her grips are a little too wide to get a tight grip on the pistol, leaving it to flop about in her hand a bit.

In the end, I like this figure a lot more than I should. I mean, I kind of want to (metaphorically) piss all over it because of the heavy recycling, but I can’t because I think she looks fabulous, she’s fun to play with, and she’s probably going to be on my desk for a while. And it’s not like Hasbro sent me this figure as a review sample. As always, I paid for it with my own hard-earned dollars, so I’ve got no guilt about saying it. I dig her a lot. And with that having been said, I’ll happily take a more classic version of the character if Hasbro wants to take another crack at her in a future wave.

Marvel Legends (Sauron Wave): Lady Deadpool by Hasbro

It’s time again for Marvel Monday and today I stuck my true-believing meat-hooks into a big box of unopened Legends figures and pulled forth none other than Lady Deadpool! The fates were good to me, as she’s the first figure I’m opening from the Sauron Wave, a Build-A-Figure that I am rather anxious to put together! Definitely more anxious than I am for this figure.

The Sauron Wave gives us a mix of Deadpool and X-Men characters, and I can tell right away from the back of the box that this one is going to be all about highs and lows, but with one figure kind of hanging out in the middle. That figure just happens to be Wanda Wilson. But let’s set aside my feelings about the rest of the wave’s assortment and instead focus on Lady-D. I didn’t want to like Deadpool Corps. Even to someone like me, who adores The ‘Pool, the concept of tossing a bunch of Deadpools, from across the multi-verse, together seemed like way too much pandering. Eventually I begrudgingly read it, and I begrudgingly loved it, and I begrudgingly bought the hardcovers. It was fun and stupid and sometimes that’s all I’m looking for out of my funnybooks. And with that context in mind, let’s check out Wanda!

Hey, it’s a basic female buck in Deadpool colors! Well of course it is, what else would I be expecting? The red is very red, the black is very black, and the paint lines are very… well, they could have been a lot sharper. Normally I’m not a huge stickler about this, but when the bulk of the costume comes from the paint, I’d like some crisp lines. Indeed, from the neck down, the only original sculpting on this figure comes in the form of her attached gear, all sculpted in soft brown plastic. This includes patches strapped to each of her thighs, a belt-o-pouches around her waist, and a shoulder rig, with a modest two-pouches, positioned under her right armpit. The sculpts have some nice detail, the belt buckle is painted in a silver and black variation of the old Pool emblem, and my only real complaint here is that the thigh straps are held up only by friction, so they have a habit of sliding down her legs. I’ll likely just end up securing them each with a drop of glue.

The head sculpt is surprisingly expressive, with Lady-D’s eyes narrowed and the shape of her furled brow clearly transmitted through her mask. She looks like she’s either trying to make outs something far off on the horizon, or trying to comprehend the stupidity of the person she’s about to kill. The stitch lines around the black areas are sculpted in, but what really saves this noggin from being ordinary is the wonderful stream of hair that spills out of her hood and coils its’ way down her back. It looks great and it’s really the one thing about this figure that stands out as special.

Accessories include her twin katanas, each with red painted grips. These are nice swords, but I wish they had painted the blades silver instead of leaving them as flat, gray plastic. Her grip on them can be a little loose, but they will usually stay in her hands. The only real downside here is that she doesn’t have any scabbards on her back to wear them. I was extremely disappointed by this omission.

As for articulation, well no surprises here. Like most of the Marvel Legends gals, Wanda doesn’t get the double-hinged elbow treatment, nor does she get any bicep swivels. Instead her sword-swingers get rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists. The legs have ball jointed hips, double-hinged knees, swivels int he thighs, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. The torso has a ball joint under the chest and there’s both a hinge and ball joint in the neck.

Wanda comes with one more accessory, and that’s Headpool! And this little floating zombie noggin is the sole reason I’m not complaining about there being no guns in the package. The sculpt here is excellent and the paint is surprisingly tight for such a tiny accessory. Headpool also comes with a clear plastic stand, but it sits pretty low. In all the pictures, I put the stand up on a shot glass before painting them out of the pictures. So don’t expect Headpool to float that high up without some assistance.

Lady Deadpool is a fun and decent-looking figure, but not one that I was really jonesing to own. That doesn’t mean I’m not happy to have her, just that there are plenty of other characters I would have wanted first. To me, Lady-D is more a gimmick or a gag than an actual character. I think she may have been better served being put out in a box set like they did with the 4-inch version a few years back. But like I mentioned earlier, she’s certainly not ranking in at the bottom of this wave, but for that dubious distinction, we’ll have to wait for a future Marvel Monday.

Marvel Legends (Vintage Style): Ant-Man and Wasp by Hasbro

Well, after a whole week of Marvel Legends reviews it’s refreshing to start a new week and get into something diff… oh, riiiiight… It’s Marvel Monday. Well, hopefully everyone isn’t all Marvel’ed out, because apparently we have one more day of this! Today I’m mixing things up just a tad and opening a couple of the Vintage Style figures. Let’s have a look at Ant-Man and Wasp!

This is my first time checking out figures from one of these special waves, and they’re mainly special because of the packaging. Some of these have been repacks, some are brand new figures. I have picked up a few of these in the past, and while I’m always tempted to leave them carded, that just ain’t me. The card-and-bubble is designed to invoke the packaging from Toybiz’s Marvel Superheroes line and it certainly does that. On the downside, they are not collector friendly, so it’s time to get with the shredding. Let’s start with Ant-Man, but first, I’m going to change backgrounds because Wasp’s wings don’t show up all that well against the white!

I’m such a huge fan of this classic Ant-Man suit, and it’s crazy to me that it’s taken so long to get it in the modern Legends line. It’s also a bit crazy that he’s coming as part of this retro-inspired sub-line, rather than in one of the proper waves. No, in the end it doesn’t matter, but I find it worth mentioning nonetheless. The figure itself is very nearly a straight repaint of the Eric O’Grady figure we got as a Walgreens Exclusive back in 2015, and it works just fine for that purpose.

The costume relies almost entirely on the coloring of the buck, with only the belt as original sculpting, and by original, I mean that too was borrowed from the O’Grady figure. Replacing the mostly black buck, we get a mostly red suit, with blue boots, gloves, and ant-undies, and a black stripe running up the chest, forming a circle, and then terminating in a collar. There are some discrepancies in the red, where the red paint doesn’t quite match the red plastic, but overall I think the coloring looks good.

The biggest change to the figure is found on the head, or more specifically the eyes. The O’Grady figure had his eyes painted over as red lenses whereas Hank here has his eyes visible. At first, I thought this was actually a change in the sculpt, but nope, it’s just paint. Otherwise, the helmet is now silver. The grim expression isn’t my first choice, but it works OK. My only concern with this figure is the fragility of the antenna. They look great, but most of my Legends live in baggies and I always have to make sure Black Ant is at the top of the box so his antenna don’t get crushed or warped. I may avoid that here, as I’m probably going to have this pair on display somewhere.

The articulation is identical to the Black Ant figure, right down to those lovely shoulder-crunches. And since I’m looking at two figures today, I’ll be lazy and refer you back to that review for the details. Let’s move on to Wasp!

Janet has had a veritable ton of different costumes in the comics, and to be honest, I’d probably buy more than Hasbro would ever care to release. This one, wouldn’t be high on that list, but that’s mainly because I don’t recall her ever actually wearing it in any of my funnybook readings. I do recall it being released by Toybiz around 2006 as a variant of The Wasp in that Modok Wave. It saw very limited production and I think it ranks up there as being one of, if not the, rarest Toybiz Legends figure. So, while there are at least a dozen other Wasp costumes I’d like to have seen here instead, I do appreciate what Hasbro was doing here.

While Hank was a straight repaint, Janet here is nearly a straight repaint. In this case her body and wings are recycled from the Ultron Wave Wasp, released back in 2015. And while I don’t really have any association with this costume, I do dig it a lot. The blue body suit and white boots and gloves looks great, albeit maybe a bit too Fantastic Four-ish. The arrows pointing down from her thighs are an interesting choice, but I do like the way her black collar forms the “W.” The wings are also the same molds as Ultron Wave Wasp, but now cast in a pinkish-pearlescent and semi-translucent plastic, which compliments the coloring of the costume quite well. Articulation is all the same as the previous Wasp, and once again I’ll just refer you back to that review for the details.

The head sculpt is different from the 2015 Wasp and while I like both, I’m going to give this one the nod. The hair is more of a bob than a pixie cut and the paint on the eyes and lips are sharp and clean.

Each figure comes with a miniaturized version of the other. We’ve seen both of these before, but mine usually wind up in accessory bins, so I’m happy to have a couple more. Sure they’re just simple and tiny sculpts with some rough paint on them, but there’s only so much you can do with these, and to be honest, these look about as good as the miniatures that came with the Hot Toys Ant-Man, so I’m not complaining.

I love what Hasbro is doing with this line, or at least some of it. To be fair, I only picked up two figures from the first wave, Black Widow and The Punisher, so I haven’t been double-dipping on the figures I already have just to get them in the retro-packaging. This pair were must-haves because I love the characters and quite frankly, I’ll buy all the Classic versions of Hank and Janet that Hasbro will pump out. Seriously, Hasbro, call my bluff… I dare you! As for the rest of the wave, it’s mostly figures that I already own, so unless I come across a great deal on them and decide that I want to hang them on my wall, I doubt I’ll be revisiting this retro-series any time soon.

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

After a steady diet of Marvel Legends for dinner all week, it’s finally time for dessert. And in this case, dessert means taking all those delicious BAF parts and putting together the Build-A-Figure Sundae. Of course, in this case the Sundae is a killer alien robot! So, let’s wrap up this long-ass week with a look at the Kree Sentry!

The Sentry is comprised of your standard six BAF parts: Four limbs, a torso, and a head. Obviously, there are seven figures in this wave, so you could opt out of buying the regular suited Captain Marvel and still build this guy, because Hasbro knows you’re probably going to buy that one anyway. Putting this guy together is as simple as simple gets and all the parts fit nice and easy.

And does it get any more Kirby than this? The design is a nice mix of chunky angular robot parts with organic curves in the upper arms and legs and I dig it a lot. He reminds me of a smaller, stockier Sentinel. There are a ton of cut lines running throughout the figure, as well as lots of segmented plates, and vents. There are hardly any paint apps on this guy, and the coloring is a simple one-two punch of snappy silver and deep metallic purple, plastic which looks fabulous. Some might argue it could have used a wash, but I kind of like the comic minty-fresh look.

In terms of size, the Sentry ranks up there for being pretty big and beefy as far as BAFs go, but depending on what kind of Sentry you’re looking for, he could be considered undersized. I know these guys ranged from massive to roughly man-sized in the comics, so technically this guy could work fine with the rest of the Legends collection, but I think I’m going to opt to display him with my 4-inch figures. I like big bots and I cannot lie.

The head sculpt is so wonderfully weird by modern sensibilities, but hearkens back to a time when these kinds of designs ruled the day. The blue energy waves that fills the eye are just missing some of that patented Kirby crackle speckling. Other high points include the jigsaw mouth, the dome ears, and the skull piece, which is basically the knitted cap of the robot world. There’s a bit of purple plastic bleeding through the silver paint on his face, but it’s not too bad.

Articulation is pretty standard stuff. The legs have rotating hinges in the hips, swivels in the upper thighs, double hinges in the knees, and both hinges and rockers in the ankles. The ankle rockers don’t have a whole lot of play because of the sculpt. The torso has no waist swivel, but there’s a ball joint under the chest, and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, there are swivels in the biceps, and hinges in the elbows. Again, the sculpt can be pretty restrictive when it comes to the elbows. The Sentry has his right hand sculpted into a fist and his left hand is opened ready to fire off a blast. I really dig the sculpted aperture in his palm.

 

I’ve got to be honest, the Kree Sentry wasn’t even on my radar, let alone my wish list, but now that I have him, I’m glad Hasbro made him. It’s surprises like this one that makes the Legends line so much fun to collect. And while on the subject, Blast you, Hasbro! Why you gotta be making potential army builders into BAF’s? It would be damn cool to have a couple more of these.

And that’s a wrap for this Marvel Legends week. I really enjoyed this wave overall. It’s a great mix of predictable movie-based characters with a couple of excellent comic-based figures pulled out of left field and tossed into the mix. Of course, the Legends love is going to continue for one more day, because tomorrow is Marvel Monday! I won’t rule out the possibility of another Legends themed week coming up, maybe to look at the new Black Panther wave, but for now, I’ll be digging back into my pile of outdated shame!