The Mandalorian sure has been getting a lot of my Hot Toys money these days, and as long as they keep the figures coming, I don’t see myself stopping. In addition to some of the main characters, we’ve been seeing plenty of Imperial troops, which should appeal to the wider Star Wars collecting audience as well. Most notably, we’ve seen some Rogue One troops resurface, and now the Scout Trooper! These guys distinguished themselves in a stand out scene of self-depricating and banter, which definitely helped to push this release to the top of my list.
The Scout Trooper comes in the usual boring and minimalist shoebox with a printed wraparound band. Yeah, I pick on the Hot Toys Star Wars presentation a lot, but it’s fine. Inside, the figure is laid out on a vac-formed plastic tray. The Scout was available in this single release or as a wallet-busting Deluxe set with the Speeder Bike and some extras. I went with the single release to see how he turned out, and that’s the one I’m checking out today!
If you’ve had any experience with Hot Toys Stormtroopers, then a lot about the Scout should feel familiar to you. Of course, these guys feature much less armor, allowing them increased mobility, not to mention being lighter and more suited to piloting the Speeder Bikes. This figure makes use of a black body suit with all the armor and gear worn on top of it. The suit is more loose than the traditional Stormtrooper suits, but it’s immaculately tailored and fits well. It even includes some stitched pockets in the legs.
The armor consists of a cuirass, backplate, shoulders, arm plates, knee and elbow guards, and hip pieces, all of which are cast in a pretty sturdy plastic with some decent weathering effects. Additional gear includes a quilted cloth cumberbund and codpiece, with a pair of large utility pouches. The utility belt is plastic, with clasps holding the hip pieces on, and the gauntlets are cast in plastic to simulate leather. The boots feature hard plastic feet with a soft plastic material for the tops, which close up along the backs with velcro. They look good, and serve to obscure the split-cut in the boots that improves ankle articulation for those wider stances. As you can no doubt tell from the pictures, the armor and boots feature significant weathering. The grunge is pretty convincing, and while I don’t think they over did it, if you’re looking for a clean and prestine Scout Trooper, this one is certainly not going to fit that bill.
The thermal detonator pack is the only part of the Trooper’s gear that needs to be attached when you get him out of the box. It clips ontot he belt rather simply, but it took me a while to get it on, because the belt curves and the clip doesn’t. Still, once it’s on it stays put. There’s some nice detail on this piece, and I do like that it’s removable even if I doubt I ever will, since I don’t want to bother with getting it clipped back on again.
The helmet sculpt looks pretty similar to what we saw in the good old days on Endor. I’m sure there have got to be some differences, but there’s nothing that really stands out to me. It has been pointed out that this helmet is sculpted with a noticeable gap where the faceplate meets the head piece. Apparently that was done intentionally to mimic the fact that the Scout Troopers’ helmets in the series didn’t close up all the way either. Yeah, I had to re-watch that scene to catch it, so I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have picked up on that if it wasn’t brought to my attention. The helmet has more of that weathered dusting, and while it looks good, I think this helmet is dirtier than the on screen counterpart. The visor has a nice sheen to it.
If you’re looking for a dirth of accessories, prepare to be disappointed, because this guy comes with the bare minimum. You get several sets of hands, most of which felt so inconsequential that I barely changed any out for the pictures in this review. But trust me, you do get extra hands! You also get the standard EC-17 pistol, which fits into the holster on his lower right leg. The pistol features an excellent sculpt, but it doesn’t feature any articulation or removable parts like we sometimes get with Hot Toys weapons. It stays put in the holster very well, and the right gun-hand is a perfect fit without causing any stress when placing it in or removing it from his grip. Sadly, it does not rattle like a spray paint can when you shake it!
One of the coolest things about this figure is how well articulated he is. Sure, technically all Hot Toys are well articulated, but their costumes usually inhibit a lot of that range of motion. That’s not the case here, and that makes this fellow a lot of fun to play around with. That’s not something I can often say about my Hot Toys. There isn’t much need to worry about stressing the costume, so you can even keep him in action poses indefinitely without fear of damage to the suit. And because of the lighter armor, he has a much better range of movement than the traditional Stormtroopers.
And what’s our last stop on any Hot Toys review? Yup, the stand! You get the typical crotch-cradle stand with a rectangular base. The top of the base has a textured terrain covering with footprints to position his feet. The nameplate is in silver and simply states Star Wars: Scout Trooper without mentioning The Mandalorian.
It’s awesome that The Mandalorian is giving Hot Toys a reason to revisit some traditional Imperial troop designs, especially since I think this release improves on the Sideshow Scout Trooper from a little while ago. Indeed, the only thing I can really find to complain about here is the price. The regular Imperial Stormtrooper from a couple years ago released at under $200. The Remnant Stormtrooper was $205. The Scout Trooper here was $220. I wouldn’t be so picky about the price if they had thrown in a sniper rifle, but they didn’t have them in the series, so I guess it wasn’t considered essential. Still, if you want this fellow with a Speeder Bike, it’ll set you back another $220, and you’d have to be crazy to do that, right? Yeah… I did that too. So, we’ll be able to have a look at the bike when that set ships in a month or so.
I dominated most of last week with a two-part Star Wars Hot Toys review, so let’s go again… but only one part this time! Everyone’s favorite Nanny Kill-Bot, IG-11, arrived early this week, and I decided to bump him to the head of the line. How cool was it to not only see an IG droid in The Mandalorian, but also see him in full-on ass-kicking action, eh? And hell, he even had a better character arc in the series than half the stars of The Sequel Trilogy. I kid, I kid! But not really… Let’s check him out!
Do you want super premium packaging and fine presentation to go with your expensive action figures? Then look elsewhere, because you won’t get it here. Hot Toys serves up their Star Wars figures in minimalist shoeboxes with an illustrated insert and a vac-formed tray to protect the figure and all its bits and bobs. It’s efficient, it’s serviceable, but just not very flashy.
IG-11 is a tall boi! And he comes out of the box just about ready for display. The only thing required is to put on his bandoleer straps, which easily slips over his head and through his right arm and than velcros closed in the back. There are also some included batteries that need to be installed if you want to take advantage of his two light up features. The design of the IG assassin droid has long been a favorite of mine, and I think it perfectly captures that used future vision so distinctive about the Star Wars universe. Made from junk and a recycled prop, all IG-88 needed to do was stand in the background to ignite my childhood imagination and beg my parents for his action figure. Hot Toys captured every bit of that utilitarian, hunk of junk design here in this figure. And I mean that in the best possible way.
I should start by noting that there is indeed some die-cast metal in here, which is most welcome because he’s kind of a beanpole, and the metal in his thigh pieces gives this bot some well-needed weight right below his center of gravity. And then there’s the overall sculpt. There’s so much going on here! Hot Toys did a great job recreating all the exposed wires, pistons, canisters, and servos that make up the IG Droid’s body. And despite being mostly plastic, the beautiful paint job gives the figure a very convincing metal finish, complete with blemishes and rust patterns. I also really dig the flourishes of copper paint around the shoulders and upper arms. The bandoleer straps are made of a leather-like material and feature some kind of power packs or ammo canisters, each with more of that great faux-metal finish.
The head sculpt features lots of personality, as well as lots of posing potential, as each of those rings can rotate independently of each other. His main two eyes can therefore be rotated to just about any configuration along with the mess of eyes in the upper ring. Popping off the tip of IG-11’s crown allows you to turn on the eye lights, which have a pretty intense burn. I was surprised how visible they are even under the bright studio lights.
I’m also very impressed by his claws. These feature a total of four pincers, each with three hinges. Yes, these are plastic and rather delicate, but they are capable of grabbing and holding things quite well. I’ll come back to these in a bit when I talk about his guns.
As a rule, I don’t talk about articulation much in my Hot Toys reviews, because it isn’t terribly important to me. I tend to assume they will have very little, not because they don’t have the points, but because the suits are either too restrictive or too prone too damage from extreme poses. So, I was surprised and delighted to find how much fun this figure is to play around with. Since IG-11 is bare-ass-metal naked, you can not only see all of his points of articulation, but make good use of them too. And he has just about everything you can want. He’s also very well balanced. My only fear here would be that working those joints too much may make them loose, so as always a modicum of care is recommended.
IG-11 comes with two weapons, the first is your standard Stormtrooper-issue E-11 Blaster. Hot Toys probably has a warehouse full of these things to toss in with all the Stormtroopers they release, so it was a cheap and easy accessory to include. Not that it’s any less welcome. As always, this is a wonderfully detailed little blaster and includes an articulated folding stock. One of the things I love the most about this figure is the way his claws work with the weapons. Other than a little nub on his wrist to support the back, there isn’t any cheat here. The claws just grab the gun by the grip and one claw passes through to the trigger. It works surprisingly well and looks great.
IG-11’s other weapon is a DLT-20A Blaster Rifle. I’m pretty sure this is the same combo that IG-88 was meant to have, so he looks as iconic as ever holding these. The rifle features an excellent sculpt, but it doesn’t have any articulation like the E-11 Blaster. It’s just cast in one solid piece of plastic. Because the claws grasp the weapons as they should, you can have him wield either one in either claw. I do wish there was a way to store them on his back or something, though.
In addition to his guns, IG-11 includes his last line of defense… the one that he seems all too eager to use: His Self Destruct Core. Instead of a simple opening compartment, this is a swap-out block that secures into his chest cavity with magnets. The open core piece has a light up effect, which flashes red when activated and it looks great.
Our last stop in every Hot Toys review is the figure stand, and here we get an exact repack of the one that came with the Deluxe Beskar Armor Mando, complete with sand covered base and even Mando’s footprints. Wait, what? Yeah, that’s really disappointing. It’s not a huge deal, as IG-11’s feet cover up the human footprints, but it feels like a real kick in the teeth when you’re blowing $250 on an action figure and they can’t re-sculpt the base to give you robot footprints in the sand. I mean, holy shit, Hot Toys! At least you switched the name plate, I guess. On the plus side, using the same base means that you can join the Baby Yoda pram base with it and display IG-11 watching over Grogu. I gotta admit, I like that a lot!
Getting to see an old school Star Wars robot, that was designed to stand in the background of a scene, go on an action-packed killing spree was one of the high points of the first season of The Mandalorian. So, naturally I was pleased when Hot Toys revealed they were going to be doing him. And what a nice job they did! I have yet to decide if I’m going all in on the Hot Toys Mandalorian releases, but getting IG-11 was never in question. He may not come with a lot of stuff, and recycling that figure stand base was really cheap, but I’m still thrilled to have him.
Last time, I embarked on a review of Hot Toys’ excellent Deluxe Beskar Mandalorian figure, and as promised I’m back now to look at the other half of the set. Say it with me in your best Herzog voice… “I would like to see The Baby!” And fear not, this second part of the review will not run nearly as long as the first part did.
We saw the packaging last time, but here’s a quick refresher. It’s a Deluxe set, which means bigger and beefier package to hold in all that Star Wars goodness. The standard release came with most everything we saw last time (except the Whistling Bird effect part, I think), but about half of what I’m checking out today was exclusive to the Deluxe release. Now, make no mistake, despite containing two versions, Grogu is still just a small portion of this set’s contents, but that doesn’t make him any less welcome. Let’s start with the standing figure first!
And here he is looking as adorable as ever. Even at One-Sixth Scale, Grogu is pretty damn tiny, and yet Hot Toys packed a lot of detail into him. From the neck down, this is a static figure with his right arm down at his side, and the left arm reaching up. His little feets are sculpted under the robe, and he stands very well thanks to his plastic frock. The garment has sculpted stitching and a textured pattern and the collar and sleeve cuffs are sculpted to look like some kind of fluffy wool. The bottom of the frock also has some uneven threads, giving it a somewhat worn or crude appearance. Was it too much to hope for articulation in the shoulders? Honestly, I don’t think it would be worth it to mess up this perfect little sculpt.
The head is ball jointed, and while I can’t get much of an up or down movement out of it, he can turn his head easily. The portrait is admirable considering the size, with the ears and mouth slightly downturned. You can make out his tiny teeth peeking out of the part in his mouth, and those huge eyes look remarkably lifelike. I suppose you could argue that he’s missing his little tufts of hair, but I can’t find a lot else to nitpick here.
Grogu comes with one accessory and that’s the Mythosaur necklace, which consists of the tiny pendant on a string. To put it on him, you have to pop off his little head, which isn’t as scary as I thought it might be. What no shifter knob? Honestly, I don’t know what I would do with it since it would be so small. Maybe a tasty frog would have been cool. Of course, Hot Toys had to save something for Grogu’s solo release, which is up for pre-order at the time I’m writing this.
The set also comes with Grogu in his Hover Pram, and this is probably the one I will display with the figure. This Grogu is an entirely different figure, or more accurately half of one, since the bottom half is shaped specifically to magnetize to the inside front of the Pram. Everything I had to say about the other Grogu’s sculpt rings true here. It’s just a marvelous little piece with some fantastic paint. The inside of the Pram is fully detailed, and you even get a little blanket to put in there to keep Grogu warm and snuggly.
The Pram hovers on a clear plastic rod that plugs into the rocky base. The figure is able to be displayed alone like this if you want, but it’s also made to mate with Mando’s base for a joined presentation. And if you’re some kind of monster and want to display the base without the Pram, there’s even a rock designed to plug in the hole for the Pram’s pole. Why the hell Hot Toys thought it was necessary to include that, I have no idea. But hey, they got you covered.
And if you’re sick of looking at Baby Yoda, but you still want to display him with Mando, there’s a cover to display the Pram in it’s closed up configuration. Why? Well, to add value to the set, of course!
And there you go! As promised Part 2 didn’t take nearly as long as Part 1. This Deluxe set retailed for $315, which for Hot Toys these days is not bad at all. I was expecting it to be more like $350, but I think they are saving some money by recycling parts for the different Mando releases. Not to mention Grogu, who will be available again with the third Mando release, again with the Scout Trooper and Speeder Bike, again with Ahsoka Tano, and yet again as a solo release. I will have a review of the Scout Trooper coming up soon, and I am fighting a powerful urge to pick up the Scout Trooper with Speeder Bike as well, so this may not be the last time we see a Hot Toys Grogu reviewed around these parts!
I am quite seriously backlogged in my Sixth-Scale figure reviews, but what better motivation to get my ass in gear than the recent reveal of Hot Toys’ third figure based on the titular Mandalorian, this time appearing in his Second Season armor. The first release was how he appeared at the beginning of the series, and the one I’m looking at today is his later appearance, after securing some of that scrummy Beskar armor. I skipped the first figure, opting for what I hoped would be his final form, and I’m still pretty content with that decision. The second season saw him replacing the final pieces of his crappier armor, so as I see it this version is a nice compromise between his ramshackle beginnings and the spiffy complete suit. That’s also my way of convincing myself that I’m good with owning just the one release. Also note, this is a Deluxe figure and I’ve got to make it a two-parter, because there’s so much to look at here!
As I’ve said many times before, the packaging on these figures is nothing special. You get minimalist art design, and a pretty simple shoebox with an illustrated band around it. There’s also an illustrated inside cover over the trays, all showing pictures of the toy inside. Since this is a Deluxe set, the box is wider than your average Hot Toys release, and the three levels of nested trays are absolutely packed with stuff. So much stuff! I was genuinely overwhelmed when I first opened it. This may be the most accessories I’ve seen included with any of my Hot Toys purchases. Some of these goodies I’ll look at as part of the outfit, while other’s we’ll take a closer look at. I’ve kitted Mando out with most of his gear from the start, so let’s have a look!
Straightaway, I’ll say that Mando’s outfit presented Hot Toys with plenty of opportunities to go wild, and they certainly stepped up to the challenge. He comes out of the box mostly ready to go, with a few bits and bobs that need to be added to his person, and in this case I already slung his rifle across his back. The costume is built around a simple gray jumpsuit with the armor pieces attached. Wait, what? Gray? Yeah, I’m not sure what happened there. The solicitation photos showed the correct brown suit, but that’s not what we got. For a company that is so meticulous about correct detail, I’m not sure why they changed it to wrong. Personally, I think the gray looks better with the shiny Beskar, but that doesn’t make it right. Anywho, the armor includes his chest piece, pelvic piece, shoulders, arm bracers, two thigh guards, a right knee guard, and a couple of hip plates. All of these pieces are fashioned to look like shiny new Beskar, with the exception of his holdover right thigh plate and knee guard. The weathering on the older pieces is very well done, retaining the ugly brown of his old armor. There’s scuffing and even some splattering of silver on the thigh plate. The finish on all the Beskar pieces is beautiful and pretty convincing as metal even though they are all simple plastic. I just love seeing the light reflect off of it!
His cape is made of a fine material, which falls about the figure quite naturally. I dig the way it wraps around his front, and the color of the fabric matches his jumpsuit pretty closely. There’s a hole in the back of the cape where you can pass the retaining strap through, to help hold his rifle in place, whereas another strap goes over Mando’s left shoulder and pegs into his bandoleer to secure it. This makes it pretty easy to take off and put back on, which is always a good thing! I love that the cape doesn’t interfere with having the rifle on his back, but things will get a little trickier later when we equip his jetpack.
The right shoulder armor is actually removable so the figure can be displayed with or without his newly earned signet. It’s attached by velcro, so swapping them out requires no fuss at all. The embossed Mudhorn is the only difference between the two pieces, and I’ve chosen to go with the signet piece for photos throughout the review.
The brown bandoleer strap runs from his left shoulder down to his gun belt. There are loops on the strap and the belt to hold some of his ammo cartridges. Here you can also see a few pouches on the belt and a place where he tucks his bounty tracking fob for safe keeping. Or at least where I chose to tuck it! Below that he has a holster with retaining strap to keep his pistol and some additional cartridges on the belt behind it. He also has a place for three detonators on his left hip, the first of which is removable. As expected the belts and holster are meticulously stitched and look great on the figure. The holster is very easy to work with too, which was a welcome treat. Having passed on the first release, I can’t say for sure, but my guess is that a lot of this stuff is recycled from that figure. Boy was I happy to see all this rigging already on the figure straight out of the box!
Moving down to his high boots, he has a belt with more ammo cartridges around his lower right leg and a dagger thrust into the top of his boot. The boots are fairly convincing as being all one piece, but there is a ball joint hidden up in the ankle for those wide stances or flight poses.
The helmet hasn’t changed much between the outfits, although this one looks cleaner than the previous release. This set does not include an unmasked portrait, and that’s fine with me. Obviously the unmasked portrait would add a lot ot the value, but I honestly can’t imagine displaying the figure without his helmet, especially since we’ve only seen Mando’s face like three times during the run of two seasons. Sorry, Pedro, if it were up to me you would have kept your helmet on the whole time.
The helmet does include a swap-out flashlight for the right side. It’s easy enough to pull off the retracted plate and pop on the one with the device deployed. I may actually leave the light out when I display him, as it adds a little something to the helmet.
The vibro blade dagger and the tracking fob, which I already mentioned, are cool little accessories, but probably best displayed as part of his outfit. Both feature great sculpts with a lot of attention to detail. The figure comes with a hand specifically made for holding the dagger, but it’s a real tight fit. The fob can be coaxed into it as well, but I think this hand needed to be reworked in order to be up to the task. I might as well point out here that Mando comes with all the usual extra hands, including pairs of relaxed, pistol-holding, rifle-holding, and the so-called dagger-holding right hand. All of these are extremely stiff with next to no flexibility in the fingers, so be careful with those fragile accessories!
Each of Mando’s arm bracers contains a weapon, and there are accessories to show them off. On the left gauntlet, you get two different pieces for the Whistling Bird, one with the tiny missiles retracted and one with them deployed and ready to fire. I gotta say, the inclusion of two different pieces here just feels like Hot Toys flexing their ridiculous attention to detail. Even with the two different pieces side by side the difference isn’t all that noticeable to me. This is one of those tiny accessories that I would never have missed if it wasn’t included, but I can appreciate that they did it anyway.
The Whistling Bird also has a firing effect part, which I believe is exclusive to the Deluxe release. It doesn’t quite convey the sheer number of independently directional micro-missiles as seen in the show, but it’s certainly not a bad effort. I also appreciate that the effect part is super easy to put on and take off. My only real gripe here is that the range in Mando’s shoulders isn’t quite enough to have him hold his arm fully perpendicular to his body, which is really how they should be positioned when firing this weapon. Official pictures do show the figure in that pose, but I can only get about 70-degrees before it feels like I’m forcing it, and I’m not about to do that. It’s a little frustrating, since there’s nothing about the costume that should be restricting his movement like that. It feels like all the resistance is coming from the padding between the body and the costume.
The right bracer features his flame thrower, and this is a plastic effect part that clips onto the edge of the bracer and lines up with the tiny nozzle. Again, range of motion in the shoulder doesn’t make for optimal posing, but I absolutely love the way this effect looks. They did a beautiful job recreating the flame jet with translucent plastic. It’s substantial, but not too heavy, and to continue one of the running themes of this figure, it’s easy to attach and remove.
The final attachment for the right arm bracer is the grapple hook. The hook is attached to a piece of stiff wire which plugs right into the gauntlet. This was a cool surprise, as I hadn’t even realized it was going to be included. And now that we’re through all these hidden gizmos, let’s take a look at his regular weapons.
Being a firearms enthusiast, one of my favorite things about the guns of the Star Wars Universe is that they’re nearly all based on real world counterparts. Modifying these functional weapon designs gives these fantasy guns a great degree of credibility and realism. Mando’s pistol design comes from the Swiss made Bergmann M1894 7.5mm pistol. It was a distinctive design even before the sci-fi mods were added, and Hot Toys did a wonderful job recreating it in plastic. The sculpt is intricately detailed, features a nice weathered finish, and some additional silver and copper paint hits. It’s a good fit in the intended trigger-finger hand, and this piece is easy to remove and replace from the holster.
The Amban Phase-Pulse Blaster rifle looks every bit as cool as its name sounds. This design was famously inspired by Boba Fett’s rifle in the animated short of the Star Wars Holiday Special, and with the exception of the tuning forks at the muzzle, it reminds me of an old Moroccan firing piece. Once again, the sculpting on this accessory is absolutely off the charts. From the intricate mechanisms in the breech to the copper bands holding on the scope, it seems like not a detail has been missed and every one of those little details looks like it serves a purpose. Not only does this weapon look great, but it can even open and be loaded with one of the many cartridges on Mando’s person. Sadly, I’m not able to get him into a decent firing position with it, but he does look great holding it, or displaying it slung across his back. Hey… You still with me? We’re not done yet… Who wants some ice cream?
Fans of Willrow Hood, will be happy to see this rather detailed recreation of the camtono personal vault included in this set. It’s the vessel used to safehouse the Beskar paid to Mando for retrieving The Baby. This protector of valuables and crafter of cold dairy treats has some nice weathering on it, as well as a hidden battery compartment to power it’s LED feature.
When opened, it lights up to showcase the precious Beskar inside. Each of the container’s three hatches can be opened and the switch for the lights is hidden under a removable cap on the top. A cap that I did not do a good job of closing up in the previous photo. The Beskar can be removed and separated into a larger and smaller pile. The set also contains a single separate Beskar bar as well. These have a nice finish, but I think they could have done a better job on the Imperial insignia stamp. Hey, nitpickers gonna pick.
Mando also comes with this little armor hologram, cast in translucent blue plastic with a silver disk base for the emitter. He can hold this pretty well in one of his left hands. Phew… are we done yet? Almost!
Last, but certainly not least, is Mando’s jet pack. This beauty appears to be sculpted in mostly one piece and features a beautiful silver finish that matches the armor. The details are sharp, and the paintwork features a few areas of pitting, as well as some scorch marks from the heat.
The jetpack is covered on the reverse side with felt and there are magnets inside to attach it to the figure’s back quick and easy. And if you’ve spent any time attaching jetpacks to either Hot Toys or Sideshow’s Boba Fett figures, you know what a relief this is! No tiny clasps to deal with! You do have to push the cape all the way to one side to attach it, which gets me to thinking about how it’s probably not a good idea to wear a cape with a jetpack. Speaking of flaming exhaust… The jetpack also includes some effect parts that plug into the thruster cones, which look great, but are a little understated and difficult to see from the front. All in all I dig the jetpack a lot and it was an essential inclusion, but I’ll be displaying my figure with the rifle on his back instead.
Whoops, not quite done yet, because you also get the figure stand. The rectangular base with angled silver nameplate is pretty standard stuff for Hot Toys Star Wars these days. The sculpted sand base is a nice flourish, though. It actually has foot imprints to position Mando’s feet, although I would have preferred had they left those out. Instead of the typical crotch cradle, the stand features one of those thick semi-posable cables with a spring-loaded waist clasp. I can appreciate the thought behind this giving the ability to display Mando in a flight pose, but I would have much preferred a standard support. The bulky clasp tends to be at odds with the cape and rifle, and that’s how I plan on displaying him.
There’s no doubt that this set is worthy of the Deluxe moniker, and we still have more stuff to look at, so I’m going to call it quits here for today and reconvene on Friday, because I’m sure people “Would like to see The Baby!” As curious as I am as to why they went with the gray colored jumpsuit, the reality is it doesn’t bother me at all. I may not have even noticed if it weren’t for the brown suit depicted on the box. Yes, the limitations in the shoulder are more than a bit disappointing. It’s not that I usually expect crazy articulation out of my Hot Toys, but the costume didn’t seem like it would be restrictive, and in this case I was expecting more. I guess I hadn’t counted on the interior padding. Still, all in all, none of these downsides have really hurt my appreciation of this figure. It looks absolutely gorgeous, and there is a crazy amount of stuff here to mess around with. And I’ll bring even more to the table on Friday when I wrap up this review with part two!
I’m giving the unending parade of Marvel Legends a week off on this Marvel Monday so I can turn my attention to a new Hot Toys arrival! And on that subject, I believe I may be approaching the end of a long journey, as I started collecting Marvel Hot Toys nearly ten years ago, and now some 30 figures later, all of that feels like it’s coming to an end. I have a few on my shelf left to review, and a few more pre-orders waiting to ship, but I have a grim sense of foreboding that I am not going to enjoy the post-Endgame run of the MCU, and as such probably won’t be investing top dollar in the figures any more. I mean, it may end up being a decent movie, but am I going to want a shelf full of Hot Toys Eternals? Probably not. I bring it up now, because I’m acutely aware of it and that makes Nebula’s arrival feel less routine than some of the others have been.
Hot Toys have been all about delays these days, distancing their releases from the respective movies by quite a bit. I imagine part of that is Covid-related, but I actually had one of my Sideshow statues delayed because of some kind of nautical catastrophe. And while I’ve been cancelling some, I let Nebula ride it out. And while Nebula is billed as an Endgame figure, I see her as a way to finally complete my Guardians of the Galaxy collection. Sure, she was given a lot of screen time in Endgame, and ultimately a satisfying character arc, but I associate the character most with Guardians Vol. 2. Anyway, the package doesn’t really convey the price of the figure inside. It’s a fragile window box housing a vac-formed plastic tray with an illustrated sleeve around it. Although, I have to admit that the artwork on that sleeve is absolutely breathtaking, particularly the colors. I don’t save these boxes anymore, but I could be persuaded to flatten out this sleeve and tuck it away somewhere, because it’s just too pretty to pitch. But enough about the package, let’s get her open and see what we’ve got!
Plucked from Endgame, this is Nebula in her Ravager garb, and if she’s only getting one Hot Toys figure, I’d say this version was a pretty good choice. Although, I still would have liked one from either of the Guardians flicks, since we didn’t get Ronin and it would have been nice to get bad Nebula as a villain stand in. Still, the Ravager style outfit displays well with my original Guardians Star Lord and my Guardians Vol. 2 Yondu, so I’m a happy collector. The space-pirate outfit consists of a very tight-fitting maroon one-piece, which is stitched together in a bit of a patchwork fashion, and while this isn’t one of the flashiest costumes out there, Hot Toys did it proud by recreating all of its little idiosyncrasies. Every stitch of it has some form of texturing, plus there are multiple layers with different types of fabrics, reinforcements, piping, belts, and buckles. When I first got the figure out of the box, I had a great time just studying all of these little details and marveling at how with something like 50 Hot Toys figures on my shelf, the attention to details never ceases to impress me. I especially love how the sculpted bits that make up the boots and bracers and gloves pair so seamlessly with the actual fabric aspects of the suit.
Some particularly noteworthy highlights are the reinforced shoulder pads, the Ravager badge on her right bicep, and the gun belt, which has a holster for her sidearm and straps to hold her baton in the back. Although, I’m a little unclear as to why she only carries one back there when she fights with two. The holster actually needs to be attached to the belt via two small hooks, and I don’t mind telling you that it was a daunting task to finally get it on. I had to rely on tweezers and I think I got through almost the entire Podcast I was listening to before I actually got those hooked. On the downside, because the figure is literally stitched into the suit, the articulation is severely limited up in her groin. I really can’t get much of a wide stance at all without fear of popping those stitches. At the same time, the boots are all sculpted in one piece, so forget getting her feet flat all the time. As a result, from the waist down, this is not a very dynamic figure to play with or pose.
Of course, this version of Nebula has a completely exposed cybernetic left arm, which mostly consists of sculpted panel lines, but does have a few areas where the innards are exposed. These areas feature some finely detailed wires and servos, some of which are individually painted. The joints are sculpted into her fingers and the mesh on the hands look great. While we’re on the subject of hands, Nebula comes with three sets (fists, relaxed, baton holding) and a right gun hand. My only gripe about the cybernetic arm is the limited articulation. It’s got a rotating hinge in the shoulder and another at the elbow, but sadly no swivel in the bicep. Maybe they thought that would look bad, but what’s here still feels rather limiting.
That brings us to the portrait, and for this I only have praise. Nebula’s on screen make up is nothing short of amazing. After following Karen Gillan in Doctor Who for so many years, I can only catch glimmers of familiarity of the actress as Nebula, and that’s high praise to her acting abilities as well as the make up effects. And this portrait continues Hot Toys’ mostly unswerving ability to capture likenesses for their figures. The two shades of blue used for her skin are rich and the metallic sheen on the darker middle is particularly beautiful. I also love how they managed to still create that realistic speckled skin tone even through such unconventional colors. The eyes also feature that lifelike spark that Hot Toys always manages to capture in these portraits. The expression is fairly neutral, which was what Nebula often showed in the films. A second head sculpt with gritting teeth and rage would have been welcome, but Hot Toys seldom seems to do multiple portraits these days. Finally, the exposed cybernetic plate on her left side and around her eye looks fantastic.
Nebula does not come with a whole bunch of accessories and extras, but what we did get is pretty good. For starters, her pistol is a real thing of beauty. I love the gun designs in the Guardians flicks, and this one looks like it shares a little heritage with Star Lord’s Elemental Guns. At the very least they look like they come from a shared Universe. The grip has an intricate honeycomb pattern and the rest of the tiny details include a knob on the back, little screws, and there’s even some burn marks painted around the three vents near the muzzle. The top piece is ivory, the bulk of the body is painted with a brushed steel finish, and there’s a little metallic blue and gold on some of the fixtures. It’s quite a striking piece!
Her other weapons are her batons. We already saw that she has one collapsed one to store in the back of her belt, while the other two are sculpted in the extended position. There’s some great detail in the handle sculpts, but as great as they look, it’s hard for me to get too worked up over a couple of batons. They do work well with the hands that are designed to hold them.
You also get some blue electrified effect parts, which can be snaked around them. Sure, these are basically the same types of things Hasbro includes with some of their Star Wars figures to convey Force energy, but they still look mighty nice when fitted around them, and I may actually keep these on when I’m displaying her.
As always, our last stop on the Hot Toys review train is the figure stand, and here we get one branded for Endgame. It features a hexagonal base with a standard, adjustable crotch cradle post. Her name is printed kind of unceremoniously on the front, instead of using one of those metallic name plates. Also, the printing is ever so slightly askew. Ah well. You do get some really nice and colorful artwork on the base with the Avengers Endgame logo and the Ravager emblem. And yeah, I really wish they had given her the same style of stand the rest of the Guardians had, because this one looks really out of place in that display.
Nebula represents all the usual quality and craftsmanship that I’m used to seeing out of Hot Toys. They’ve been doing this a long time, and they are freaking great at it. This is simply a gorgeous figure that captures the character as best as anyone is ever likely to do in action figure form. With that having been said, the limitations of the suit on her articulation can be quite frustrating. Granted, I usually go with some pretty reserved poses for my figures, so it’s not going to hurt my overall, long-term enjoyment of the figure. But on the same note, I do like to play with them in front of the camera every now and then and have fun with them. Sadly, Nebula is one of those figures that will have to be content with standing on her stand and looking pretty. As for value, at $235, this one really needed an extra head or something to justify that extra $25-30. Even still, I can’t say as I’m feeling even a shred of buyer’s remorse. The Guardians of the Galaxy characters have been some of my favorite Marvel Hot Toys releases and I’m thrilled to finally put Nebula among them. At this point the one hole remaining in my Guardians display is Mantis, who was shown off back in 2019 and is still teased on Sideshow’s website, but I haven’t seen any new activity lately. If she is finally offered, I’ll be down for a pre-order. But until then, Nebula marks my final addition to this bunch of sixth-scale A-Holes. Although, I will admit that I’m a little tempted to double-dip on Gamora now.
It’s well known that Hot Toys are pricey, so it’s not a line of figures that I tend to look at for picking up multiple variants or repaints. So, when I picked up the Stormtrooper a little while ago, I hadn’t planned on picking up any more. But it only took one drunken night of browsing Sideshow’s website along with some Reward Points and a Gift Card burning a hole in my pocket to get me to pull the trigger on this variant Stormtrooper. Drunk or no, I reasoned that I was already all in for the other Hot Toys figures from The Mandalorian, so there was no point in stopping now.
I make it no secret that Hot Toys packaging doesn’t impress me and nowhere is that more feeling stronger than when it comes to their Star Wars line. These boring boxes feature no flare of presentation or craftsmanship. It’s just a receptacle to get the figure to me. OK, so they splurged and added a colorful, illustrated wraparound band to this one, but it feels like a cheap afterthought. But hey, I should be thankful because I don’t have the space to keep all these boxes anyway, so I only keep the ones that feel like something special, and those are few and far between. Inside the box, the Remnant Stormtrooper lays on a tray with his extra hands and accessories around him.
To some, this may just be a dirty Stormtrooper, but I really dig what these guys represent. I can’t believe anyone bothering to read this review hasn’t watched at least the first season of The Mandalorian yet, but just in case… The series takes place after the events of The Return of the Jedi and recognizes that Galactic Empires, even defeated ones, don’t go away overnight. And that’s a pretty insightful concept for Star Wars. The galaxy is replete with planets where the local remnants of Imperial rule grasp desperately for a hold on their now baseless power. The Stormtroopers may still be at their posts, but as evidenced by their degraded armor, they’ve seen better days. As a result we have the Remnant Stormtrooper! After the unexplained, magical appearance of The First Order in the Sequel Trilogy, I found the world of The Mandalorian a lot more believable and interesting. And I just love the idea of a splintered Empire with Moffs and their Stormtroopers going it alone. The Empire ain’t sending any more replacement armor and the pomp and circumstance of inspections are a thing of the past. Hot Toys did a beautiful job taking their bright and shining galactic enforcers and making them slum it.
A good deal of this review will be making comparisons to the previous Hot Toys Stormtrooper, which I reviewed early last year, and I’ll have some comparison photos at the end. To be honest, I was expecting a straight repaint, but instead Hot Toys gave us what is practically a brand new figure. The biggest differences can be found in the abdominal armor, which is completely new, and the belt, which is now made entirely of plastic, where the previous one was plastic and cloth. Overall, the armor detail on this figure is a lot sharper in places, particularly on the detail in the back plate, but I think it would be safe to say that the majority of this armor is different, subtle in some ways and obvious in others. Is one better than the other? I guess it’s a matter of preference. The previous one looks more classic to me, and while I haven’t scrutinized any screen shots, I’m guessing these changes are made to reflect actual changes in the costumes for The Mandalorian series.
As has been the case with Hot Toys troopers, the underlying body is wearing a black body suit and the armor pieces are worn on top of that, rather than being sculpted as part of the body. Exceptions include the boots and helmet. Even the body suit is different, with the previous release being mostly plain cloth and this one having more of a quilted texture, which feels more in tune with the sharper detail on the armor. Either way, I’m always happy to see cloth as opposed to vinyl used for the suit, but unfortunately it only opens up the range of articulation a little bit. There is a nice range of motion in the arms, but not so much in the legs, and it’s hard to tell what exactly is holding it back.
The helmet also varies a bit from the previous Stormy, particularly around the chin and the vents on the cheeks. The helmet also feels like it sits a little higher off the shoulder, which would probably make it compatible with a pauldron if you happen to have one and want to make him an officer. Another notable difference is in the goggles, which were tinted green on the previous figure and here appear to be just black. And now is as good a time as any to discuss the weathering, which is really well done. All of it is achieved through paint, despite the fact that many of the chips look convincing enough that I thought I would be able to actually feel them on the armor. The chipping is particularly heavy on the helmet, perhaps because it gets thrown around a lot, and on the left shoulder. There’s also some yellowing around the edges of most of the armor pieces, and some splotches of general dirt and what looks like pitting from rust. It all looks great, but I’d be curious to see if the weathering is identical from figure to figure. Not that I’m planning on picking up a second, but that would probably be a deal breaker to have two or more with the exact same chipping patterns.
The last Stormtrooper was pretty light on the accessories, so I wasn’t disappointed to see this one is too. You do get the usual passel of extra hands, including fists, relaxed hands, weapon holding hands, and the like. These are very easy to swap out, which is always welcome, although positioning the arms can sometimes cause the forearm armor to shift forward and knock the hands off their pegs. It’s not a big deal and I’m happier to have them pop off now and then as opposed to being so hard to pop off that I’m afraid I’ll snap something.
And of course, you can’t have a Stormtrooper without his trusty E-11 Blaster. This looks like it’s borrowed directly from the previous Stormtrooper, and that’s fine because it’s an absolutely beautiful little blaster. The attention to detail is fantastic as always, and the folding stock is articulated, albeit rather fragile. Unfortunately, the Remnant Stormy does not come with a holster for the weapon, like the regular release did. I’m not sure if this was omitted for canonical reasons or just because Hot Toys didn’t want to toss it in, but seeing as how they don’t usually cheap out, I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt.
Much to my surprise, this box did contain one additional weapon, and that’s the SE-14 Light Repeating Blaster Pistol. This was a great little bonus, as I’ve never had a nice version of it for any of my figures. The sculpt lacks the complexity of the E-11 Blaster, but it’s still an excellent little piece, which he may wind up sharing with the other Stormtrooper. And not to sound ungrateful, but the inclusion of the pistol makes me wish even more that they had given him a holster so that he could carry both.
As always, our last stop on these reviews is the figure stand, and this one is both generic and functional. They did actually print Remnant Stormtrooper on the name plate, which I was happy to see, although I was surprised that they did not brand it with the series name.
The Remnant Stormtrooper probably isn’t a must-have, even for people who are going to be collecting other Hot Toys from The Mandalorian. Once again, if I wasn’t made extra impulsive by a bottle of Jameson, I probably wouldn’t have made this purchase. But ultimately, I’m very glad that I did. While this could have been a cheap-and-quick cash grab, Hot Toys put a lot of work into this release and the result makes for a distinctive looking figure, even when he’s standing right next to the vanilla Stormtrooper. And as I mentioned at the outset of this review, the whole concept of the fragmentation of the Remnant Empire is easily one of my favorite concepts introduced in the franchise and this fellow represents it well. I think this figure retails for just a tad over $200, but by the time I was done throwing coupon codes and reward points at him, I stole him for about $90. Well worth it if you ask me!
It surprises even me that I’ve been able to go this long without adding a Hot Toys Boba Fett to my collection. Sure, I do have a Sideshow Fett, but that’s a review for another time. Truth be told, I try to be very selective about which Original Trilogy characters I pick up as Hot Toys, because otherwise it can be a damned slippery (and expensive) slope to fall down. Up until now I’ve been able to resist the parade of pricey Bobas that have been released, but then this fellow came out of left field and I found him to be totally irresistible. So what’s different about him? Well for one he’s got a bright, beautiful, and totally inaccurate Kenner-inspired deco. And secondly, the packaging is absolutely killer! And hell, it’s goddamn Boba Fett!!! Even with his mug plastered on every kind of conceivable merchandising over the decades, even with countless action figure releases, I’ve never once had a case of The Fett Fatigue. It seemed only right that he should be honored in my collection by Hot Toys. At least until I get up enough of the crazies to get a Life Size one!
And here’s that delectable packaging, and boy is that rare for Hot Toys these days. Every now and then they produce some nice packaging for a Deluxe, like they did for Doctor Strange or for Jyn Erso, but for the most part the figures ship in glorified flimsy window boxes with even flimsier sleeves over them. The artwork is usually nice, but that’s about it. It’s gotten to the point where I can’t even justify keeping most of the boxes any longer. Fett here does come in a window box, but it’s made of sturdier stuff and is designed to be reminiscent of the kind of packaging Kenner used for their old 12-inch figures. Of course, this spectacular presentation is in celebration of the 40th Anniversary of The Empire Strikes Back. The artwork of Fett on the front looks like it was ripped right off the old Kenner box and everything else falls in line too. It’s got the starfield, the silver borders, everything that used to get me excited when I tore off the wrapping paper on Christmas morning and saw it peeking out. Not only am I keeping this box, but it’s very likely that I will display the figure in it.
Boba doesn’t require too much set up to get him ready for display. You do have to attach his jetpack, which is a little challenging, as it hooks onto the tiny clips on his back. MAGNETS, HOT TOYS! You’ve used them before, why not now? You also have to insert his little tools into his leg pouches, but that’s really it. I am assuming this figure is a straight repaint of Hot Toys’ previous Boba from The Empire Strikes Back, but I don’t have that figure to compare, so I’ll just have to stick with that assumption. And so despite being a mere recolored variant, he’s an entirely new figure to me! And boy does he look great! The brighter intensified colors really invoke that old vintage Kenner magic and it looks quite stunning on a figure this realistically detailed. The jumpsuit has all the usual immaculate tailoring that I’ve come to expect from Hot Toys, and I’m particularly in love with how the chest armor is actually made up of separate pieces of plastic and independently attached to the vest. It may seem like a small touch, but it makes these pieces shift realistically in a way that I’ve yet to really see on a Fett figure before. The weathering on the armor has taken a step back in exchange for this color scheme. You still get some pock marks and dents, but even these are painted in a brighter silver to make the figure pop. Interestingly, they went for a more subdued paint job for the body of the jetpack, instead of the deco on Kenner’s old 12-inch figure, but I do like how the silver thrusters and the bright red rocket makes it pop.
Some beautiful touches include the tattered cape that cascades off the back of his left shoulder, the Wookie braids coiled on his right shoulder, the leather pouches on his belt, a hard-shell pistol holster positioned just behind his right hip, and I already mentioned the little tools that fit into the pockets on his lower legs. There’s also some wonderful detail on his gauntlets. If I’m nitpicking, my only real gripe would be that his arms seem a little too thin and it feels like they could have wrapped them to fill out the sleeves a little better, but even that is only something I tend to notice when I’m posing him in certain ways. Beefing out the arms a little bit would also make the bracers more snug. The right gauntlet has a piece of tubing tha ttucks up into the sleeve of his jumpsuit, and the left one has the flamethrower, rocket, and other bits and bobs.
By now Hot Toys must know their way around Fett’s helmet backwards and forwards, so it doesn’t surprise me that it looks this good. The vintage coloring gives the helmet a gray finish with no weathering on the red paint around the high gloss visor. Despite the giant dent in the dome, and some traces of light weathering on the cheeks, the deco gives the helmet something approaching a new look, that we seldom get to see. Although the stripes on the left side of the dome are still painted in a faded manner. The range finder is articulated, and the post is made of firm plastic so it won’t bend or warp. It will, however, no doubt break pretty easily so a modicum of care is needed when positioning it.
The jumpsuit isn’t terribly restrictive, making Fett a little more fun to play around with than a lot of other Hot Toys. The arms have a great range of motion, although those elbow joints feel a little loose. The codpiece does inhibit his hip movement a bit, but not terribly so, allowing for some action poses. And speaking of action, Boba isn’t exactly laden down with accessories, but he does come with everything he should, and that includes a number of sets of hands. The hands are very easy to work with, although there are some very fragile bits on those gauntlets, so again care is recommended when changing these out. You get relaxed hands, fists, a right gun hand, and a left hand designed for cradling his carbine. And speaking of which, he comes with both his pistol and his iconic carbine.
The pistol is very simple with a maroon grip, trigger guard, and frame, and the rest painted silver. Most of the fine detail is seen in the muzzle. He can hold it pretty well, but it’s clear that the gun hand was intended more for the carbine than this little guy, so it isn’t a perfect fit. Still, I never associate this pistol with The Fett, but it’s cool that he has a little bit of insurance in case he needs it.
Ah, now this is a lot more like it! The EE-3 carbine is a little work of art, with loads of detail. It’s got glyphs laid into the stock, a scope suspended above the barrel with two brackets, and a carry strap. I love how convincing this weapon is, which isn’t surprising as it’s infamously based off of an old Webley & Scott flare gun. It’s not fancy or flashy, it’s just a great utilitarian design. Just the kind of trusty tool that a bounty hunter would carry. The finish has some light weathering on it, presumably because Fett takes good care of his weapons! It takes a little effort to get his gun hand wrapped around it, but once it’s on it’s a perfect fit.
Our last stop on these Hot Toys review is inevitably the stand, and Boba comes with a pretty standard one. The gray base is meant to look like the deck of a spaceship and he has a nameplate on the front. Because it’s not like people aren’t going to know who he is, right? I’m guessing this base is recycled from the regular release. It would have been cool to get something special for this Vintage Color release, but it looks fine and it certainly does the job of holding him up.
Hot Toys figures aren’t usually impulse buys for me, but when I saw this guy go up for pre-order, there was nothing that was going to stop me from slamming on that button. I do try to go a little easier when it comes to Star Wars Hot Toys, because with so many iconic characters, things can get out of hand pretty quickly. But with that having been said, it seemed like sacrilege to have a Hot Toys collection without a character as iconic as Boba Fett represented. And this release allowed me to add him to the collection in a truly special manner. In many ways, these colors actually feel more accurate to me, because I’ve had them engraved in my brain from such a young age. I’m not sure that this figure is for everybody, but I think he’s definitely worth checking out if you’re looking for something nostalgic and special!
Since I’m between waves of Marvel Legends, I’m going to divert my attention elsewhere on this Marvel Monday, and shift the spotlight to Hot Toys! Wow, it’s been a while since I reviewed a Hot Toys Marvel figure. I still have a few more Marvel Hot Toys to review, a few on pre-order, but my confidence in the future of the MCU has been waning, and I have a feeling that my days of collecting Hot Toys Marvel may be drawing to a close. It makes me a little sad, but my wallet very happy. Speaking of which, let’s take a look at The Mad Titan himself, who recently snapped his fingers and made half my toy budget for the month disappear! I passed on Hot Toys Thanos twice before. The Guardians of the Galaxy version with the throne looked great, but it was also a little small and I didn’t have the scratch for it back then. It was a shame because it’s the only Hot Toys release from that film that I didn’t buy. Next came the Infinity War version, and that was an easy pass because his costume was just so boring that I couldn’t justify the price tag. This armored up Endgame one was obviously the one I was waiting for!
Big Boi’s come in Big Boxes! If you’ve been with me for some previous Hot Toys reviews, you may know that I don’t think much of their packaging. They usually have pretty artwork, but the cardboard is super flimsy and they’re little more than window boxes with sleeves around them. I just think the price I’m paying warrants something a little more impressive. Hell, I don’t even keep most of these boxes anymore, because they take up too much space for what they are. That’s pretty much true for Thanos here, but I will admit the size itself is impressive! Thankfully, Thanos comes out of the box with most of his armor on and pretty much ready to go!
And here he is looking absolutely superb! Thanos not only towers above my other Hot Toys (well, except for The Hulk), but he’s also a hefty mo-fo with a lot of girth. Everything about this guy feels substantial. The figure depicts past Thanos who followed The Avengers back to future Earth in full battle gear. Yes, this could also pass for Thanos in the very beginning of Infinity War, and I’ll come back to that idea eventually. Hot Toys did a beautiful job on his armor, which is comprised of golden plastic plates over more flexible and textured black plastic. I was happy to see that it’s not sculpted as part of the figure itself, but an actual suit. I’m not sure if they did this to reuse the previous Thanos body, or just to be awesome, but it adds so much to the figure’s complexity. He even has cloth pants under his leg armor. The gold plate pieces are exquisitely painted, giving off a look that is so convincing, it’s almost surprising to touch it and feel that it’s just lightweight plastic. These pieces feature some panel lines, as well as a number of nicks and scrapes acquired in past battles, giving the suit a very lived in look. There are also some tarnished spots in the paint to make it look well weathered. Hot Toys didn’t go too nuts with these effects, as they sure wanted to sell a proper battle damaged version of this figure too, but what’s here is just enough to make it look like the armor has been well used. I also really dig the copper colored pieces on his chest, just to mix things up a bit.
Despite being worn, the bulk of the armor is permanently attached to the figure, but the right arm bracer can come off. The left can’t, but more on that later. The bicep pieces are held on by the straps and friction and they stay in place quite well. There’s a decent amount of clearance in the shoulders, so the arms can be posed without me being too worried about scraping or breaking these pieces. But as with most Hot Toys, you just don’t want to try to get the arms raised much higher than the shoulders. The arms are covered with a rubbery skin, quite similar to what we saw on The Hulk. It looks great, but I’m not terribly keen on how the skin folds at the elbows when the arms are flexed. It just looks a bit too much like what it is, rubber covering an articualted arm. I think I might have preferred that they went with regular exposed elbow joints here. Then again, if he’s in a pose with his arms fairly straight, it does look much better with the seamless joints. It’s a compromise. And while on the subject of articulation, I’ll give credit to the ratcheting joints they designed for him. This is a hefty figure, but he has no troubles standing on his own and his joints tend to stay where you put them. You can use Thanos’ joints to tweak some cool poses, but nothing too extreme. Of course, that’s usually the case for most Hot Toys.
I’m not sure if the regular portrait is recycled from the Infinity War figure, but whatever the case, it’s everything I would expect from Hot Toys these days. Seeing as how they have all but perfected capturing actor likenesses with remarkable realism, a CG version of Josh Brolin is probably no great shakes for them. Still, I don’t want to take away from how amazing it turned out. The purple skin tone looks great and matches the arms perfectly. If you get in really close you can make out all sorts of little creases and natural looking textures in the skin. His well-defined facial features are recreated flawlessly here as is his giant ball sack of a chin. The deep set eyes also have that wonderful spark of life that only the best paint in the industry can convey. Of course, you do get the visible jointing between the head and neck, but it’s mostly apparent when the portrait is viewed from the back or side, and it’s to be expected. The head is attached via a balljoint, and it is easily popped off to swap it out with the second portrait.
Here we have angry and defiant Thanos, and it is a powerful portrait indeed. Thanos bears his titanic teeth in a grimace of rage. I often imagine that it’s far more difficult to convey emotion in these portraits, but you wouldn’t know it from how well this turned out. The sculpting and paint on his teeth is truly amazing. It’s going to be a tough call to decide which portrait to display on the figure regularly. Chances are it will be the first, but only because I plan on displaying him in a fairly neutral position. Nevertheless, I’ll likely be changing it up fairly often. Hot Toys really needs to follow in the path of NECA Toys and release some kind of display method for extra heads. I usually just wind up resting them on the display stands.
Thanos also comes with his helmet, which fits easily onto either portrait. I was very afraid that this was going to be a tight fit and would risk damaging the paint every time I wanted to put it on or remove it, but I’m happy to say that’s not the case. It looks like a form-fitting piece, but it doesn’t feel like it’s rubbing much when it goes on. Heck, it fits so well that I could be convinced it was part of the head sculpt if I didn’t know better. Once again, the gold paint here is exquisite and the weathering is especially well done, with lots of little scrapes and some pitting. The helmet presents another dilemma on whether to display with it on or not. Right now, I have the figure holding the helmet in his left hand. And that brings me to hands!
You can’t buy a Hot Toys figure and not expect to get a bunch of hands. Thanos comes with no less than four sets. You get fists, relaxed hands, graspy hands, and accessory holding hands. These attach via some pretty chunky ball joints, and they are a real breeze to get on and off. I have my share of Hot Toys figures that don’t get their hands changed out often because they are difficult to get off, or I’m afraid I’m going to snap the wrist pegs, but the benefit of having a big figure like this is the hands are a lot easier to work with. The fists work really well with the more expressive portrait.
Thanos’ big accessory is his double-bladed sword, and it is indeed an intimidating weapon! When held vertically it’s taller than the figure and Hot Toys did a great job with this design. The blades have deeply etched designs on the flats of the blade and if you look really closely you can not only see a faint damascus pattern in the blade, but also the marks on the edges where it has been sharpened. That level of detail really blows me away.
As amazing as the sword looks, it’s rather deceptive when picked up, mainly because it’s so incredibly light. I really feel like they should have done something to beef this up a big, particularly with how tight the grip is. Maybe they could have made the the framing pieces on the backs of the blades die-cast. Unlike everything else about this figure, I felt like I needed to be super cautious when putting the sword into his hand. Indeed, I’ll likely leave the hand attached to the sword from now on. It feels like a good idea would have been to have the sword split apart in the middle of the grip, so you could pass one end through the top of his hand and the other through the bottom and peg them together.
The last accessory included in the box is the Infinity Gauntlet, which is something of an anachronism, since this version of Thanos never had it. Nonetheless, Hot Toys had it made for the Infinity War Thanos, and it’s cool that they threw it into the box here, as it can transform this version of Thanos into the one from the beginning of Infinity War, so long as you’re willing to overlook the fact that all the Infinity Stones are present. Accurate or not, I will be displaying him with the Gauntlet, just because it looks so damn cool. This piece is attached by pulling the left arm off at the joint where the bracer starts and plugging in the Gauntlet. Like everything with this figure, it goes on easy-peasy. There is a light up feature included, but it’s disappointingly dim. Maybe the batteries I got aren’t at full strength, but it really wasn’t worth the effort of showing it off. In addition to rotating at the arm, the gauntlet has a ball joint at the wrist, which also allows you to pull off the fist and replace it with an articulated Gauntlet.
The articulation here includes double hings in the fingers and a rotation in the thumb. It’s not quite good enough to get his fingers into a snapping position, but I like the added articulation a lot. In the case of both Gauntlets, the gold finish is quite luxurious and it’s given a deeper and richer finish than the armor, making it look newer. The sculpted details look great, as do the individual Stones. And since the electronics are in the lower portion of the Gauntlet, the articulated hand shares the same light up feature as the fist.
Finally, Thanos comes with a figure stand, which is similar to the regular Hot Toys bases, only a lot bigger. And yet it feels like it’s not quite big enough. In a moderate stance, Thanos’ feet hang over the edges of the stand. But it still works just fine. The base has a colorful image of the Avengers logo disappearing into dust and the logo proper closer to the front. The base has a nameplate on the front as well. I like the way it looks a lot, but I’m a little surprised they didn’t go for some kind of diorama base like they did for The Hulk.
Sometimes patience pays off and that was certainly the case here. I really wanted a Hot Toys Thanos in my collection, but the Infinity War outfit just didn’t do anything for me, especially not at such a titanic price. This guy, however checks all the boxes. He’s huge and imposing and he comes all decked out in his battle gear. Plus, the inclusion of the Infinity Gauntlet was a wonderful bonus. He’s a commanding presence on my shelf, and I had to rework a whole bunch of my Hot Toys collection to find room for him. Still, he was worth the effort, as well as the $415 price tag! With the exception of the Marvel Hot Toys that I have on pre-order, this could very well be the last MCU figure I purchase, so it was pretty cool that it was such a great figure!
I’m really trying to commit to getting some of these Marvel Hot Toys figures reviewed on Marvel Mondays, but these take a lot more time than Legends reviews. Nonetheless, I was off this past weekend and a new Hot Toy arrived, so I thought I’d sneak this review into the mix for today. It was waaaaay back in February of 2019 that Hot Toys opened pre-orders for their Captain Marvel figure. I hit that pre-order button the day she went up and she just hit my doorstep this past Friday. Fifteen months later! Now, Hot Toys collecting has never been a game for those who lack patience, but that turn-around time was pretty ridiculous! Today I’ll be checking out the Deluxe version, which means there are a couple of extra accessories over the regular release.
The box art is very attractive, complete with a lenticular type front panel on the sleeve and shimmery letters. But it’s still just a flimsy window box with an equally flimsy sleeve. I’m sorry, but these figures are expensive and I don’t think the presentation is all it can be. And with rare exceptions, like Doctor Strange, it hasn’t been for a long while. Nonetheless, the figure comes in a plastic tray with a ton of extra bits and effect parts scattered around it. I should note that the February pre-order date meant that I bought this figure about a month before the Captain Marvel movie came out. And while I certainly didn’t hate the movie, I did think it was fairly disappointing. On a few occasions in the past, I’ve come out of Marvel movies buying the accompanying Hot Toys figures on my phone while walking to the car. Here, it kind of put a damper on this purchase. Still, in the end I absolutely loved the look of the costume, so I wasn’t about to cancel it. Besides, I wasn’t all that smitten with the Doctor Strange movie, and that remains one of my favorite Marvel Hot Toys figures in my collection. And in the end, when this figure showed up, I was still every bit as excited to check her out as I always am.
Carol comes out of the box with some plastic protectors her costume, but once that’s all removed she’s all ready to go! And damn, she does indeed look marvelous! The costume designers did such a beautiful job faithfully recreating her comic costume for the film, and likewise the wizards at Hot Toys did an equally impressive job creating it for this figure. The underlying suit is comprised of a super thin rubbery material, similar to what’s on my original Avengers Black Widow figure. But it’s also reinforced with plastic armor on the torso, shoulders, forearms, knees, and boots. What’s particularly impressive is how seamlessly they coexist, particularly the torso piece. It’s genuinely tough to tell where the armor ends and the flexible suit begins.
I just can’t say enough good things about how well the coloring on the costume turned out. It’s just pure eye candy. The blue and red have a sumptuously satin finish that pairs so well with the gold piping and trim. And I particularly love how the starburst on her chest turned out. Likewise, the stitching is immaculate and the suit is tailored so well that it looks like it’s practically painted onto the figure. And yes, that means it does hinder the articulation big time! I can get a decent range of motion out of her shoulders and elbows, but below the waist is limited because of how tight things are in the groin area. Even wide stances make me worried that I’m going to pop those stitches. When I get a figure like this, I tend to refer back to the official photos to see what the possibilities are and even those photos don’t go too far when it comes to dynamic leg movement.
While I’d be willing to say the costume is perfect, I can’t be quite that generous when it comes to the portrait. Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s a beautiful portrait and I can see a lot of Brie Larson in there, but I don’t think it’s one of their strongest likenesses. At some angles it’s great, but at others it’s a bit harder to see. I wasn’t all that satisfied with Ms. Larson in the role (although she grew on me a bit in Endgame), so this is one figure where I’m willing to be more forgiving on the likeness, maybe because it’s not as important to me. With all that having been said, the paintwork is as good as ever and the level of realism in the skin tone and the eyes is superb. As for the decision to go with sculpted hair, I think maybe they should have gone with rooted hair here. It’s kind of weird to stand her beside my other Marvel Hot Toys ladies, all of which have rooted hair, and see her plastic coif. Then again, I’ll likely be displaying her quite often with her masked head, which we’ll get to in a bit.
As a Hot Toys figure, you just know Carol comes with a lot of hands! Here you get fists, relaxed hands, a left STOP hand, and some gesturing hands. These are switched out in the usual manner by popping them off the ball joint, but since there’s a light up feature in her arms, the posts are fixed into the forearms. As a result, I find myself being extra careful swapping the hands. If the posts snap here, you’re pretty much shit out of luck. Each of the hands feature sculpted and painted red finger-less gloves with gold piping to match her forearm bracers.
And as mentioned earlier, in addition to the extra hands, you get an extra head. Using this one involves also swapping out the neck post from the bare neck to the covered one that goes with the mask. Her sculpted cowl covers all but the lower part of her face. There are all sorts of cut panel lines in the cowl as well as more of that pretty red and blue to match the rest of the uniform. Her mohawk sprouts from the top and is beautifully sculpted. And now it’s time to turn down the lights a little bit so we can enjoy some of the light up features, this figure has to offer.
The head features a swap-out mohawk, which is molded in translucent yellow plastic, and an electronic box inside the head, powered with three cell batteries. One of Hot Toys’ biggest stumbling blocks over the years has been making the electronic features of their figures more accessible. Here, it’s not too bad. Buy lifting off the head you get access to the on/off switch on the back of the box. A remote control would have been better, but I like that it can be done without even picking up the figure or taking her off her stand. The light up effect in the mohawk is very bright and it looks great, but it’s the eyes that really sell it here for me.
Carol also features a light up feature in her arms, which works in conjunction with a number of effect parts and a pair of arm bracers cast in brighter plastic to make them look like they’re channeling energy. Again, accessing the feature here isn’t too bad, and since you’ve got to swap out the fists anyway you’ll have access to the on/off buttons. First off, she has a pair of translucent fists, which light up brilliantly.
These can also be used with translucent blue energy effects that fit over the bracers. I’m not terribly impressed by these. The sculpts actually make them look more like foliage than energy. They kind of remind me of bigger versions of the effect parts you might find with a Marvel Legends figure. I doubt I will get much use out of these.
A much nicer effect are these energy fireballs, which snap on in place of the fists. I love the swirling sculpt on these and they’re cast in a mix of clear and yellow plastic, and if you look closely you can see that they sculpted the translucent blue fists in the center of them. These are easily my favorite effect parts that come with the figure, and I think they look cool enough even without the lights, that I would consider sometimes displaying her with these on.
Finally, she comes with two huge mega-beams, which also attach in place of fists. I only attached one for the photos because the two of them make her top heavy and I’m not too keen on these either. The light up feature on these works well, but they’re kind of ridiculous. They’re basically hollow tubes of blasting energy. I don’t recall these being listed in the solicitation pictures so they were a total surprise to me. They definitely add value to the box, because they use a hell of a lot of plastic, but I just don’t think the effect works all that well. OK, let’s turn the lights back up and check out the accessories that are exclusive to the Deluxe version.
The first of the two Deluxe accessories is her leather bomber jacket, which fits right over her costume and is surprisingly easy to put on. The only thing to watch out for here is her sculpted hair, as the ends can be a little sharp and I can imagine it damaging the jacket if you aren’t careful, especially when turning her head. I also remove her arm bracers when she’s wearing the jacket, as it just makes it easier to put on. The jacket is a beautiful little garment and tailored to fit perfectly. It’s got soft elastic material around the lower edge and the wrist cuffs, a large patch on the back, a name patch on the front left of her chest, and an American flag patch on the left shoulder. I think this looks fabulous on the figure, and I’ll likely be displaying her with it when I’m using the unmasked head.
The other Deluxe accessory is Goose the Flerken! To know me is to know that I’m a cat lover and I’m very happy that Goose got a figure of his own. It’s an adorable little static figure that features some great attention to detail, like the collar and name tag, and some good coloring, but Hot Toys had better not quit their day job of sculpting human likenesses. The painted details on the face here look almost cartoonish and I get no sense of realism from any aspect of this little guy. I’m still happy to display him with the figure, but if you’re considering getting the Deluxe for Goose, I’d take this into consideration before spending a lot.
And our last stop on this review is the figure stand. The base remains the same seven-sided platform that Hot Toys has been using for Marvel for a little while now. The surface has a colorful illustration of the movie logo along with the starburst from Carol’s chest piece. I’m usually fine with them leaving the base plain black, but I’ll confess I do like the colors here a lot. The name plate also stands out, and they go with the name Carol Danvers instead of as Spider-Man would say, her made-up name. Instead of the usual plastic post and crotch-cradle, the stand here is a thick flexible tube with a clamp that grabs the figure’s waist. It can be adjusted up or down so that she can be displayed standing or hovering.
While I’ve had some nitpicks along the way, I have to say I’m extremely pleased with how this figure turned out. And despite not being a huge fan of the movie, I’m still just as excited as ever to put Captain Marvel on my shelf. This is just one of those figures that pops out at me even among all the other colorful Marvel characters in my Hot Toys display. And at about $260, this figure feels like one of the better values I’ve had in a Hot Toys lately. Besides the amazing work they did on the costume, you get a second portrait, light up effects in the head and arms, four sets of effect parts, the bomber jacket, and a Flerken. And yeah, Goose didn’t turn out as well as I had hoped, but if I remember correctly, they the Jones figure that got bundled with Aliens Ripley didn’t turn out so hot either. Maybe Hot Toys just has problems with cats.
The Force Awakens, eh? How topical is that? Well, they did just drop a sorta-trailer for The Rise of Skywalker, so I guess that’s something. Anyway, today’s review may feel like I’m digging all the way down to the bottom of my backlog, but in reality I just got this figure a few months back. A certain e-tailer was tossing out large credit incentives to help them unload their unsold Hot Toys stock, and this one was just too good to pass up because it basically reduced the figure to $75. I know, that’s not a ringing endorsement to start the review with, but fair is fair. And I don’t mind stating ahead of time that without the incentive, I wouldn’t have otherwise bought Phasma. But am I glad I did? Let’s find out…
Here’s the box, and it’s so bare bones and completely uninteresting, that I’m not going to spend any time on it. If you’ve picked up any of Hot Toys’ Star Wars figures, then you know what to expect from the presentation here. And so, with a package not worth talking about, I’ll take the time here to explain that I decided to dredge up Phasma to review today because I had fun looking at the Stormtrooper a few weeks back, and while the new trailer for The Rise of Skywalker did nothing for me, I did re-watch Solo and The Force Awakens recently and had a good time doing it. OK, let’s check out the figure!
Like the recent Hot Toys Stormtrooper, Captain Phasma is an incredibly simple release, but she makes up for that by looking so damn good! Let’s face it, on the big screen, Phasma failed as a character, but as a high end action figure? It’s the perfect canvas for that sublime chromed out First Order Stormtrooper armor. Yes, she’s so good, I can forget that she was another non-character in a cool outfit. The figure body is appropriately taller than the First Order Stormtrooper (which I promise I will get around to reviewing some day), and dressed in a pleather undersuit, which looks great peeking out between those armor plates, but really cramps the figure’s articulation something fierce. I also dig how it’s ribbed around the arms and neck. It’s quite reminiscent of the old Cylons from Classic Battlestar Galactica and that’s why I love it so much. The armor itself is worn in pieces over the bodysuit and for the most part these pieces are held fast by friction. Each of these pieces sport an absolutely dazzling reflective finish along with some moderate rust effects to give the suit a weathered and well-worn look.
In addition to her suit of armor, Phasma’s other fashion accessory is her flowing cape. This garment fastens together around the neck and is easily added or removed simply by popping the head. You can certainly display her without it, but the spacing between the helmet and the shoulders looks awkward to me when she isn’t wearing it. This is especially the case from behind where you get a glimpse of extra neck, and the zipper to the bodysuit as well. The cape is odd in that it looks refined and finished on the interior liner and ratty on the outside. After doing some research it looks to be accurate, but I didn’t get that sense from my memory of the film. It also has a tailored red stripe running down the edge. The cape is worn in a lopsided fashion to cover more of her left side and leave her gun hip unencumbered.
The helmet sculpt looks great and features a lot of the pitting and rusty speckling as seen on the rest of the armor. I like the recessed textured screen that makes up the “mouth” and the visor is dark and foreboding.
As if attempting to beef up the contents a bit, Hot Toys loaded Phasma up with hands, and I have to say that a lot of these just seem pointless. She has relaxed hands, slightly more relaxed hands, fists, and hands to interact with her weapon. Sure they all serve their different purposes, but outside of this review, I doubt I’ll ever swap them out. She’s destined to be holding her rifle all the time. Another reason I’m less than enthusiastic about changing them is the fact that the pegs come out in the hands each time, requiring me to grab some pliers to get them out. It just isn’t worth all that fussing to me.
As we’ve already seen, the only other accessory in the box is her customized F-11D Blaster rifle, and I am absolutely in love with how this weapon turned out. The details are so sharp and the platinum finish with black trim is drop-dead gorgeous to me. It includes a scope, a telescoping stock, and a swing down grip under the barrel. The accessory is also magnetized so it can be worn on her right hip without the need for a holster. The gun works quite well in her weapon-holding hand and she looks great wielding it!
Our last stop is the ubiquitous figure stand and, like the packaging, there’s no surprises here. It’s a typical hexagonal stand with a crotch-cradle post. The surface of the base features the First Order emblem and the front panel says “Star Wars” and “Captain Phasma.” It does it’s job, and that’s about it.
Are you looking for that one great Hot Toys figure that shows what the company can do and really feels like solid value for your money? Well, Captain Phasma probably ain’t it. Oh, she’s a great looking figure, and I honestly can’t complain about any must-have accessories that have been left out. But in the end, I just can’t see the value here. This figure retailed for over $250 and there’s precious little in the box to account for that price tag. There’s no likeness rights, no complex and realistic portrait, no die-cast parts, and accessories that amount to a pile of hands and a gun. It’s hard not to look at some of my Marvel figures that cost less and came with so much more. It’s no wonder this figure hung around long enough to need credit incentives to get rid of her. I don’t know, maybe the chrome and weathering technique on the armor was some kind of crazy expensive process, but I think this was just an example of Hot Toys getting greedy to sell a figure of a character that a lot of people wanted even before they saw the movie. But, I like her well enough and I was able to pick up a TBLeague Phicen figure with the credit, so I consider this purchase a win-win!