Vitruvian HACKS (Series 2): Male Orc Conqueror by Boss Fight Studio

While I may be almost caught up on Mythic Legions, I’m still swimming in Vitruvian HACKS figures, both from Series 1 and 2, that are waiting to be opened and reviewed, so I thought I’d end the week dipping back into the fantasy-inspired Series 2 with the last figure I have to review from the first wave. Let’s check out the Male Orc Conqueror!

As always, the regular HACKS releases feature a colorful portrait-orientated card with a plastic bubble and overlay that hugs the sides and allows for the best of both worlds: A traditional carded look, while still being totally collector friendly. BFS hasn’t messed with this presentation since Series 1 and I hope they never do! And just look inside that bubble! This guy comes packed with a ton of stuff, making him feel more like one of the Ultimate Exclusives from Series 1, than a regular release. If you read my review on the Knight of Accord, you’ll have a good idea about what to expect here, as this fellow is basically the Orcs answer to that figure, with the same types of extras. I’ll note that the word “Male” doesn’t actually appear on the card, but BFS has used it in their catalog listing to distinguish it from the Female Orc that followed.

Here’s Mr. Orc out of the package and stripped down to his bare essentials. Unlike the Series 1 figures, which featured separately sculpted outfits, the bulk of the Orc’s outfit is sculpted as part of the buck. This includes the chest and back plate, which has a cool hammered metal finish, sculpted olive green trousers, and the basic boots. Articulation, however, remains unchanged from the Series 1 figures, and while I would really like BFS to add swivels in the thighs, what we get here is still plenty good.

Additional separate pieces provide his wide belt with sculpted fur and the large medallion belt buckle, the wrist wraps, and the furry fringe at the tops of his boots. There are also two spiked plates that tab into the slots on the sides of his legs. The chest harness is also a separate piece. All the detail here is quite exquisite for a figure in this scale, right down to the tiny sculpted buckles meant to hold on his thigh straps. And while the colors on the outfit tend to be drab, the green skin adds some flash to the overall deco and the steel paint for the armor looks quite nice.

There’s also a pair of spiked shoulders that can be pegged into place and a fur half-cape that an go with them. The shoulders stay on securely, and be careful about those spikes, because they are sharp!

You get two head sculpts to choose from, which is very welcome, because rather than representing a single character, this figure is meant to be customized in different ways to build your Orc army. The stock head features a full beard, as well as great little details like the nose ring and the protruding lower teeth. The alternate head is clean shaven and without the nose ring. Both feature some very sharp details, particularly in the pointed ears. The paint is overall pretty sharp and clean, although my bearded had has a slightly wonky eye. It’s nothing too bad, but if you happen to be picking up this figure at a convention, you might want to check out the eyes before buying.

In addition to having two heads to build off of, you also have a number of helmet combinations to work with. First off, you get an open-faced helmet with knobs on the sides to attach one of the two face-plates, and also works quite well as a helmet all on its own. This system works the same as it did for the Knight of Accord, which is to say it doesn’t work all that well. The masks have holes that are supposed to peg through the knobs on the mask, but the ends of the knobs are too big for the holes. Also, the holes on the mask are located near the edges and I’m afraid if I force them, I’ll tear the edge of the mask. As a result, these will hold onto the helmet fairly well in an opened or closed position, but they won’t hinge up and down as intended.

Both of the masks are beautifully sculpted and look very Klingon to me with those stylized forehead ridges. Indeed, they look so damn Klingon, I’d be surprised if that wasn’t the intention. Both of the masks have a skull vibe going on, designed to strike fear in the hearts of all who cross blades with them. One features a fully sculpted beard.

The other piece of headgear is a full helmet with some rather sinister looking wings and cheek-plates. This piece is sculpted with the same hammered finish seen on the chest armor, and a mohawk of nasty and crude looking spikes. I like the design of this helmet a lot, but I also think it would fit more on an evil knight than it does on an Orc. If I do wind up troop building some of these guys, I’ll definitely reserve this helmet for the leader. And speaking of troop building, between all these different helmets and the two heads, you could probably buy a half-dozen of these Orcs and have no two look alike, and we haven’t even come to the weapons yet. So let’s talk weapons!

The Orc comes with a sword and shield, and each of these are wonderfully crude weapons certainly befitting of a savage Orc. The sword looks like someone took a farming implement, gave it a couple of wacks with a blacksmithing hammer to shape it into a something a little more befitting of butchering manflesh and handed it out to the next Orc in line. It’s jagged and primitive edges give it the no no nonsense look of a cleaver for the rank-and-file soldier and that’s pretty much perfect for this guy. The blade’s finish has a nice metal sheen to it and the grip features a sculpted wrap that looks like it’s meant to be animal hide.

The shield is without a doubt the showpiece of this figure’s accessories, as it is nothing short of a masterpiece. It’s a circular type with sculpted wooden planks, which have seen better days. They’re riddled with slash marks and have whole pieces taken out of them from the rigors of battle. The edge and center are sculpted to look like hammered metal, and they too have some pretty major wear from use. The attention to detail is every bit as strong on the inside as on the outside, where you get reinforcing metal strips bolted across. The shield is held using a simple grab bar, which has a beautiful woodgrain finish painted onto it, and there are also some loops, which could be used with a string so the Orc could wear the shield on his back.

If swords aren’t your thing, the Orc Conqueror also comes with this nifty battle hammer, which looks like a cross-section of a tree with metal spiked caps on the ends and a pole stuck into it. It’s crude, it’s vicious looking, and the detail is off the charts. The bark on the tree-section is beautifully sculpted and painted and the hammered-spiked caps feature sculpted rivets. The handle has a sculpted wrapped grip, and there’s another spike at the end of the shaft. This thing is the perfect Orc weapon, it looks devastating, and I only wish the shaft were a little longer so he could better wield it using both hands.

Finally, the figure comes with the usual black Boss Fight Studio stand. These are always a nice bonus, but the figure stands fine on his own, so it’s not necessary, unless you’re setting up all your figures for display and don’t want to risk them toppling into an avalanche.

The Conquering Orc makes for another great addition to the Vitruvian HACKS Fantasy Series. There’s no denying that the folks at BFS put a lot of love into this guy, from his head sculpt to his outfit and weapons. The attention to detail is superb and the options for display are many. I could easily pick up four or five of this figure and outfit them as a squad of unique looking Orc soldiers. But of all the things to love here, I think my favorite is the fact that this figure looks like someone took one of my beloved old AD&D miniatures and gave him articulation and removable accessories. I have to imagine that’s exactly the feeling they were going for, and it’s exactly the sort of thing which will keep me coming back to collect all this line has to offer.


Mythic Legions (The Coliseum): Rahmulus by The Four Horsemen

Ah, there’s nothing like opening up a new Mythic Legions figure to give me a little boost of happiness in the middle of the week. As I mentioned last time, I only picked up two regular figures from The Coliseum assortment, and I checked out the first of those, Raygorr, last week. Today I’m opening up Rahmulus. I picked this guy up, mainly because he uses some of my favorite parts from other figures, and I also really dig the gritty deco. Let’s take a look…

I’ve got nothing new to say about the packaging and to be honest the bio here is a little on the dull side. Apparently, Rahmulus fought in the Coliseum beside his twin brother, until his sibling disappeared. Now Rahmulus plots to escape the Coliseum and find his lost brother. The bios in this line have always been hit or miss for me, and this one is definitely a miss. Based on the backstory, I’m guessing the name Rahmulus is a play on Romulus as in Romulus and Reemus from ancient Roman mythology, so that’s kind of cool. Hey, they can’t all be gems. Besides, I don’t need backstory to enjoy the figure.

And Rahmulus is indeed a beauty, there are a lot of easily recognized parts on this guy. The legs feature standard knight armor from the knees down and bare legs above the knees. The chest and back plate go all the way back to Gorgo Aetherblade, and was also used on the gladiators, Vitus and Pixxus. Instead of the ornamental gladiator belt worn by those champions, Rahmulus features the segmented leather scale armor skirt worn by some of the knights. His hands feature knight gauntlets, but the right arm is fully armored, whereas the left arm is left bare. Rahmulus features only one piece of shoulder armor, on the right, and he has a brown sword belt worn over his shoulder that allows his sword to be worn across his back.

The coloring here is comprised mostly of brown and black, with some cool flurries of other colors to keep things interesting. The leg armor has high gloss black and gold up near the knees and the boots gradually get brown and muddy as they go down to the toes. The skirt also features a gradient shift from black at the top to brown at the groin armor. All of the rivets are neatly painted in gold. The left gauntlet is glossy black with red and gold accents, while the right sleeve of armor is gold with red accents and gray chain-mail exposed in the joints. The torso armor is glossy black with red and gold striping, and the shoulder is brown with red and silver accents. I really like the way the glossy black paint on the armor is laid on like a thick lacquer and the tanned skin tone is nice and even throughout.

The Greek-style helmet is the same one we saw on Pixxus and Vitus, and it was probably this head more than anything else that instantly sold me on the figure. Besides just adoring this sculpt, I think it looks fantastic in the glossy black paint with the gold borders and scroll-work. The bright crimson comb on the top looks quite brilliant as well. For some reason, I thought I remembered an un-helmeted head coming with this guy, but that’s not the case. I was probably mixing him up with one of the others in the assortment.

You may remember that I felt Raygorr came up a little short in the accessories, but Rahmulus feels like he made out a little bit better. Both figures came with a sword and a sheild, but beyond that Raygorr only came with a dagger, but Rahmulus comes with a spear. I suppose you could argue that Raygorr came with an extra sword belt and two shoulders as opposed to Rahmulus’ one of each, but now we’re really starting to split hairs. The sword is actually the same one that came with Raygorr, only this time with the hilt painted entirely in black.

The shield is a real treat, because it’s not the usual heater-type shield with the groves in the side. Nope, this is the same circular shield that came with Pixxus, and when I say the same, I mean exactly the same, right down to the brilliant gold paint job. I’m not complaining, because even with all the Mythic Legions figures I have, I only owned one of these shields, so I’m quite content to have two now.

And that brings us to the spear, which is the same one that came with Vitus and Pixxus, this time painted with a black shaft and a silver tip. I’ve got no complaints about any of these weapons, they’re great, but I sort of wish T4H had dipped a little bit into the Weapon Kits from the first Kickstarter for this assortment of figures. Those are mostly only available now at crazy prices and it feels like some of those weapons haven’t gotten much circulation, whereas so many of the ones from the first Kickstarter figures have now been bundled over and over again.

While Rahmulus lacks a bit of the “wow factor” I got when I opened Raygorr, I still think this is an incredibly solid figure with a very cool deco. I love the selection of parts they went with here and I can practically see Rahmulus swinging his weapons against his foes in the dusty pits of The Coliseum. I won’t like, I’m already feeling those sharp pangs of regret about not getting more figures from this assortment, but I don’t feel any regrets over the two that I did choose. Rahmulus is yet another great addition to this line, and playing around with him is just making me want the Advent of Decay figures to get here all the sooner. In the meantime, I have one more figure to open from this assortment, and I hope to get to the big guy next week!

Mythic Legions (The Coliseum): Raygorr by The Four Horsemen

Advent of Decay is the next big set of releases for T4H’s wildly popular Mythic Legions series. I have about 35 figures coming to me from that Kickstarter and that’s not even everything. Unfortunately, it’s been delayed a bit and is now expected to arrive sometime in the mid to late Summer. In the meantime, T4H did a much smaller interim assortment called The Coliseum, which consisted of seven figures and one new Deluxe Troll. I was a little strapped for cash when these pre-orders dropped, so I didn’t go too deep here, but I did pick up two figures and the Troll. I may try to pick up a few more when the remaining stock goes up for sale, but those items usually go fast. Anyway, today I’m opening up what I suspect might be my favorite of the bunch, Raygorr!

T4H has yet to shake up the package design since the first figures shipped, and that’s fine by me. Raygorr comes on a generic Mythic Legions card with a large bubble, which can be opened without damaging anything. There’s an insert at the bottom of the bubble with the series logo and a little bio blurb on the side. The blurb on the insert tells us a little about Raygorr. Nicknamed “The Dragon,” Raygorr came to The Coliseum from a distant land and with a unique fighting style. Other contenders in the Coliseum are slaves made to fight for their lives, while Raygorr apparently goes for sport or some secret nefarious purpose. He’s just your everyday mysterious badass.

And oh boy, does he look the part! As you probably know by now, Mythic Legions uses a clever system of interchangeable parts, which allows T4H to mix and match to make new figures. In this case, Raygorr uses the torso and tabard from Sir Gideon, the belt, and bare arms and legs from Vitus, the boots and gloves of the Orcs, and the helmet and shoulders from Gorgo Aetherblade. It’s an eclectic mix that works beautifully and continues to prove that T4H still have some great looking combinations up their sleeves.

Naturally, everything has also received a fresh coat of paint, and I really dig the color combinations here. The tabard is crimson and matches the trim on his shoulders. The boots, gloves, neck guard, and helmet are all a striking deep metallic blue with some lighter blue to give it a little more variety. The belt is a mix of tan and brown with some lovely gold paint on the giant belt buckle and on the fixtures. Finally, the skin is cast in a tanned flesh color. The paint T4H uses on this line has always had a premium look to it, and that trend continues here.

Also evident here are all the extra little touches in the sculpt that I really appreciate. The armored boots and gloves have pitting and nicks from battle. The belt is textured to look like real leather with some frayed and worn edges, and the sculpting evident in that belt buckle is a work of art all on its own.

You have two display options for Raygorr’s helmet. He comes out of the package with these giant black horns, and I think they look great. And since they’re socketed into the helmet, you can even change the angles.

The other option are these bitchin’ wings, and these are what I’m going to go with most of the time. There’s something about this look that just sings to me. I think it makes him look like both royalty and a mighty warrior. Almost like some kind of Duke of War. Hmm… Anyway, the two tone blue coloring on the helmet really looks fantastic. Personally, I would have given him a couple of red eyes peering out from the black void of an eye slit, but either way, this head sculpt just looks grand.

Raygorr does show up a little light on the accessories, but what he does have is plenty good. For starters, he comes with not one, but two of the ubiquitous Mythic Legions brown sword belts. One comes on the figure, worn as a shoulder strap and I’ve opted not to use the other, because I don’t want to cover up that beautiful belt he has. His sword is the same sculpt that I first saw bundled with Gorgo Aetherblade. It’s a classical fantasy design with gold hilt and grip and a stout silver blade. If you opt to give him the brown waist-belt, he can carry it there. You can also remove one of his shoulders and have him wear it across his back. It looks pretty good slung back there, but I prefer he keep both his shoulders.

Next he comes with one of the cool little no-nonsense daggers. This one has a gold guard and pommel and the grip is painted blue to match his boots and gauntlets. There’s a loop on his main belt that he can tuck his dagger into. The loop is a little too snug to work that well with the sword, but you could probably make it fit if you really wanted to.

Finally, Raygorr comes with the typical Mythic Legions shield. The shield includes a pegged wrist clip, so you can angle the shield however you want and independent of the position of the arm. The border is painted silver with a red front surface and a black dragon emblem to advertise Raygorr’s nickname. The accessories here are all great, but it’s worth pointing out that these figures typically come with one more big weapon, like a spear, battle axe, or extra sword. But I’ve got a lot of extra weapons from this line if I really wanted to give him something else, so I’m not complaining.

The way The Coliseum was presented made it feel like a thrown-together ad hoc line of filler to bridge the gap between the two Kickstarters, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at this guy. I’ve now opened and reviewed over 25 Mythic Legions figures and this line continues to impress me. And despite being entirely constructed of parts pillaged from previous figures, Raygorr still feels like he was designed from the ground up. That’s the genius of T4H and their eye for design. I’m not going to say that Raygorr is among my favorite Mythic Legions figures, because I say that almost every time I open a new one, but… Oh, OK. He’s one of my favorites.

Vitruvian HACKS (Series 2): Cerisier (Sakura Elven Assassin) by Boss Fight Studio

Did you pop in here yesterday and wonder where I was? Are you wondering why I’m here posting on a Wednesday? Well, in case you missed the Easter memo, my weekday updates for April are happening on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, with the occasional Anime Saturday post when I have the time. Today, I’m dedicating myself to getting caught up on my Vitruvian HACKS reviews before the mother lode from that other Kickstarter, Mythic Legions hits later in the Summer and buries me in figures. I’ve got a good mix of the newer Series 2 figures as well as the many Series 1 figures I’ve yet to review. This time, I’m having a look at Cerisier, a Series 2 release that was exclusive to Boss Fight Studio’s webstore last year.

Most of the Series 1 HACKS Exclusives that I looked at last year were released in partnership with Kokomo Toys and those shipped in illustrated cardboard boxes. But this BFS webstore exclusive comes in the regular carded packaging with a landscape-orientated card and bubble. The packaging is totally collector friendly and features some nice character artwork on the front of the card and a “Collect Them All” style layout on the back as well as a pretty cool little bio that tells us Cerisier is one of the Queen’s Elite Corps of archers, who bathe daily in dark ink, can see in the dark, and have their voices magically removed. Badass! There is no explicit call-out on the package that Cerisier was a webstore exclusive, but the figure is also not pictured on the back with the regular releases.

From the neck down, both the body and costume of this figure is a straight repaint of Aiyana, the Autumn Elven Archer. That’s not a bad thing, because both are excellent sculpts and the re-coloring goes a long way to make this figure feel unique. The gray skin tone gives her a sinister and shadowy visage and the autumn colors of Aiyana’s costume have been replaced with some brown, pink and white. Yeah, the color pink doesn’t really scream shadow assassin to me, but I still dig it. The detail in the costume sculpt is still quite amazing when you consider it’s done in the 4-inch scale, and little details like the sculpted leaves that make up her skirt and the thin painted cord that’s meant to secure her leg wraps go a long way to make this figure look extra special.

As always with these figures, Cerisier’s costume is all comprised of separately sculpted pieces and is completely removable, which links in with the customization aspect of this line. The standard female HACKS buck features some solid articulation too. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have double hinges in the knees, and the ankles have both hinges and rockers. There’s a swivel in the waist, a ball joint under the chest, and the neck is ball jointed.

The head sculpt is new and I really like this one a lot. It’s more angular than Aiyana’s and I’d dare say prettier as well. I really dig how pronounced the pointed ears are here, and just the fact that there are variations in the ears among the HACKS elves. The hair is sculpted as a separate piece and pulled back tight, which would seem practical for an assassin. She also has some flowers sculpted into her hair, which are painted pink to match her top. What? Assassins can like pink! We’ve already established that!

Most of Cerisier’s accessories are new, but she does come with repaints of the same two daggers we saw with Aiyana. She can wield them in both hands, and there’s also a slot on the back of her skirt where she can store them.

Cerisier’s main weapon is her crossbow, which is a classic medieval style weapon with a lever-like trigger in the handle and a stirrup mounted on the front of the bow. There are three loose bolts included, which can be loaded into the weapon, but there isn’t a lot to hold them in there very securely. Still, I was able to get them to stay put for a number of different poses without any trouble.

She also comes with a quiver to hold her extra bolts. This quiver is sculpted with a hook that can hang off the slot at the back of her skirt, provided you aren’t using that slot to hold her daggers. Nope, Cerisier can’t carry all her weapons at once.

And, as always, the figure comes with a standard black Boss Fight Studio figure stand. The pegs on these stands don’t work all that well with the barefoot characters, because the foot pegs aren’t that deep, but I was able to make it sort of work. You don’t really need the stand, though, because Cerisier stands quite well on her own. I’ll also point out that she comes with an extra pair of hands with the axis of the wrist hinges changed, so one pair bends side to side and the other forward and backward. These are also pretty standard on all of the HACKS figures.

Cerisier is another solid figure in the HACKS Series 2 foray into the fantasy world. I’m a big fan of the elves, and I plan on picking up all of them, but then I’ve pretty much been all in on this line anyway. I think Cerisier also makes for a perfect exclusive, since she does reuse a a lot from one of the existing regular releases. If you weren’t able to track her down, but you have Aiyana you then aren’t completely missing out, but I’d still recommend her for a pick up if you’re collecting the line. At the time I’m writing this, she’s even still available through the Boss Fight Webstore. At about $25, the price of the Series 2 figures has gone up a bit, but that may have to do with the fact that the first series was Kickstarted and these are being sold through pre-orders. Either way, I think these figures are still well worth it and it’s a line that I’m enjoying a lot.

Vitruvian HACKS: Warrior Skeleton by Boss Fight Studios

Yesterday, I reviewed the last Mythic Legions figure that I had left to open. I also realized how woefully behind I am on that other Kickstarter line that I collect. Boss Fight Studio’s 4-inch Vitruvian HACKS line is well into Series 2, some of which I’ve already looked at here, but I’m still not done opening and reviewing the first series. So, let’s start knocking these out today with a look at the Warrior Skeleton! Ever since I first saw Jason and the Argonauts as a kid, I’ve been fascinated by the images of Harryhausen’s skeletal armies making war against the Greek heroes. So much so, that I was surprised and a little disappointed that the initial offering of HACKS didn’t include any. Well, it took a wee bit longer, but they finally delivered.

I’ve shown off this packaging plenty of times, but I still enjoy it so much. The figure comes in a bubble set on landscape-orientated card with some great original artwork of the character on the front, and a classic “Collect Them All” presentation on the back, along with a bio about the character. Although, today’s figure isn’t a specific character, but rather an undead army builder. I actually own two HACKS skeletons, which were included as bonuses in some of my orders. They’re neat, and they gave me a great feel for the skeletal sculpt, but both of them are cast in hot pink plastic, so I don’t have much use for them. But this guy? Oh, hell yes!

The skeleton comes out of the package with remnant pieces of Greek armor, presumably from when he was alive. His ensemble includes a pair of gold grieves on his lower legs, gold armor pieces on his right forearm and bicep, and a gold shoulder piece on his right shoulder, held on by sculpted straps. He’s also wearing a hoplite-style skirt to protect his vacant skeletal modesty. The skirt has an ornamental gold buckle on the front and painted lacings on the back.  I’m pretty sure we’ve seen all of these pieces before on other figures, but then it’s the mix-and-match nature of HACKS that makes it such a versatile line. All of these pieces are beautifully detailed and painted, but the shoulder armor stands out as being especially nice.

In theory, you can take all the armor off this guy if you want to have a plain skeleton for your display. I say “in theory” because I was not able to easily remove the grieves. I’m sure I could, but I didn’t want to stress anything on the figure by forcing them. Either way, the skeleton buck is excellent, especially for a figure in this scale. It has a finish that looks like authentic weathered bone and some of the highlights of articulation include rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, wrists, and hips, as well as double hinges in the knees, hinges in the ankles, and ball joints in the neck and middle of the torso. The lower jaw will even open a bit. Some of these joints are super thin, but I didn’t feel like normal handling and posing was ever going to present a problem. I will say that I found it difficult to pose him without his legs looking pretty wonky, but maybe skeletons aren’t too stable when they stand.

The skull looks really fantastic. There are some great cracks and fissures sculpted into it and I really dig the weathering. The sculpting on the teeth is rather soft, and it’s hard to make them out from certain angles, but let’s remember that this is a 4-inch scale figure.

The figure comes with a helmet, but I think it’s a shame to cover up that wonderful skull, so I doubt I’ll be displaying him with it, unless I get some more and I want to vary them up a bit. It’s gold with a black comb on top, and again it’s an accessory that we’ve already seen several times in this line, but that doesn’t make it any less welcome. This one may wind up getting loaned out to one of my other figures.

Of course, every Skeleton Warrior needs his weapons, and this fellow comes with some cool ones. Like his armor, we’ve seen all of these weapons before, as they have been released with previous figures. First off, he has a short sword which he can carry through a strap on the back of his skirt. It has a leaf-shaped blade that’s painted silver, and a simple hilt painted gold. He can hold it perfectly in either of his boney hands.

Next up, he comes with a spear. It has a leaf shaped blade at one end, and a sharp, spiked cap at the other. The shaft is gold and the blade and cap are painted silver.

And finally, he has his shield. This is the same large round shield we’ve seen plenty of times before in the line. Here it’s gold with a black Kraken painted on the front and a black border running around the edge. The interior features a grab bar and a soft plastic sleeve, both of which allow him to hold it quite securely, and the front has a hammered metal finish sculpted into it.

The Skeleton comes with the same Boss Fight Studios stand that we’ve seen with each and every figure. He does not have peg holes in his feet, but they included these translucent pieces that will peg to the stand and you can slip his feet through them.

I really dig this figure a lot. Yeah, his legs are tough to work with and it’s hard to get them to not look a bit awkward when he’s standing on his own, but I can live with that. The skeleton body itself is practically worth the price of admission, but when you toss in all the cool weapons and gear, he really is an amazing little figure. This fellow was issued in one of the later waves of Series 1 and I actually missed out on his release completely. Luckily I was able to track one down at Kokomo Toys. I hope the folks at Boss Fight turn out something similar for their Series 2 line, because I’ll take as many Warrior Skeletons as I can get.

Mythic Legions: Templar Legion Builder by The Four Horsemen

There’s a lot going on with Mythic Legions these days. The Advent of Decay Series looks like it’s on course for a Summer release, I just got an email to confirm my shipping address for The Colosseum figures, and T4H will be reopening pre-orders for Advent of Decay at the end of this month. For a while, I was keeping a reserve of figures to hold me over, opening and reviewing one of them every month or so. But now I’m down to my very last one and I can’t hold off any longer. Let’s check out the Templar Legion Builder!

T4H has yet to make any notable changes to the Mythic Legions packaging. Will they for the new series? I guess we’ll find out this Summer. In the meantime, I still like what we got. The figure comes on a generic card with a very large bubble that lets the figure do most of the talking. There’s a bubble insert with the Mythic Legions logo on the front and the side panel has a little bio personalized for the character. These are totally collector friendly as well. If you’re unfamiliar with the subtleties of the line, the Legion Builders are slightly cheaper figures with fewer paint apps, and intended as army fodder for collectors who take the word Legions in Mythic Legions very seriously. Also, if this guy looks familiar, that’s because he’s basically the troop-builder version of Sir Godfrey.

Since I already reviewed Sir Godfrey, I’ll focus on some comparisons here. And yes, it’s easy to see that this Templar has more in common with Godfrey than not. Below the neck, the body is identical from the armor to the tabard. The only difference in the armor sculpt is the that this Templar comes with a rather pronounced neck guard. However, he also comes with the more diminished one that Godfrey has, so you can swap it out if you want to make them look even more alike. The tabard is painted identically to Godfrey’s, with a striking red cross against an immaculate white background, but this Templar does not feature the gold accents on the armor that Godfrey’s has.

The Templar wears the same Great Helm as Godfrey with the same reinforced gold strips forming a cross on the front. However, the individual rivets on the rest of the helmet are not painted gold. And while Godfrey’s helmet features a noble plume coming off the top, this Templar has a simple spike. I dig it a lot!

As with most Mythic Legions figures, you also get a pair of shoulders, which peg into holes in the back. These are completely different from Godfrey’s, so between the reinforced neck guard and these new shoulders, the Templar does start to look a little more distinctive. I really like the combination of the two, and while it’s nice to have options, I display almost all of my Legions figures with their shoulder armor on. And I’ve got to say, even with about a dozen Mythic Legions Knights in my collection, the novelty has yet to wear off. I find myself still falling in love with these when opening another. The sculpted detail is as superb as ever, from the tiny rivets and scrollwork etched on the plates, to the exposed chain mail in the joints. And the silver armor matched with the classic white and red Templar colors makes for a fantastic looking figure. Shall we move on to accessories?

Obviously, the Templar comes with the same brown sword belt we’ve been getting with just about every figure. The sword itself is the same mold as Sir Godfrey’s, but the hilt is painted all in one color and it’s more of a pale bronze than the deeper gold used for the pommel and cross-guard on Godfrey’s. It has a nice, stout blade and looks like a serviceable weapon for a rank-and-file knight.

The shield, on the other hand, is identical to Godfrey’s in every way. It’s sort of a Kite Shield only with the sides curving inward and a crest along the top edge. The face is painted white with a red cross to match the tabard. On the inside, there’s a swiveling clip to attach it to the Templar’s wrist. I still like this system a lot as you can orientate the shield whichever way you like independent of the position of the arm. I still wish T4H would release plugs for the figures’ back with pegs so they can wear the shields on their backs when not using them.

Next up, he comes with a really cool halberd, and this is the first time I’ve seen this weapon in the line. It may have been released in one of the weapons packs, but it wasn’t bundled with any of the figures in my collection. The shaft is gold with a pointed cap at the bottom and the silver blade on the op features a rather stylish profile. I hope we get some more of these bundled with figures in the future.

And last but not least, the Templar comes with his standard set atop a pole. It’s the same idea as the one that came with Baron Volligar, only with a different crest, and obviously a different flag. T4H released a bunch of these battle standards in separate sets, but like the weapons packs, I passed on them so I could funnel more money into the actual figures. I can’t say I regret passing on them, but I am glad to finally have a couple.

I’ve always been fascinated by the Templars, and Sir Godfrey is one of my favorite figures in the entire Mythic Legion line. I KNOW I SAY THAT ABOUT ALMOST EVERY ONE! SHUT UP! THIS TIME I MEAN IT!!! So it should come as no surprise that this Templar Legion Builder is up there pretty high too. For a while I thought maybe he was too similar to Godfrey and I shouldn’t have bought him, but now I’m kind of wishing I had picked up two, so I could have them flanking Godrey on each side, one with the battle standard raised high and another with the halberd, both poised to defend their Commander. And that brings me to the end of my run on the current Mythic Legions line. I’m hoping to get word on the Coliseum figures shipping soon, but I only picked up two figures from that set, plus the Cyclops, which won’t be shipping until later. Then it’s just a short wait until Summer when Advent of Decay hits and I’ll be swimming in these awesome figures once again.

Just a quick disclaimer, there’s a very good chance I won’t be posting any content tomorrow due to real life intrusions. If I do get a chance to whip something up, it’ll probably post later in the afternoon, but no promises. Either way, I’ll be back for Anime Saturday. 

Mythic Legions All-Stars 2.0 Final Eight Revealed!

The Four Horsemen have finally revealed the lineup for their All-Stars 2.0 Pre-Order and it’s made me a very happy camper. These are eight previously offered figures that will be once again made available to collectors later this month.

The eight finalists were drawn by fan votes, but all that matters to me is that Carpathias made the cut. This popular and illusive vampire was one of the figures that I had to pull from my original Kickstarter Add Ons, because I ran out of money and running out of money is stupid and lame, and I really wanted him. Of course, he was also one of the figures that shot up in price on the secondary market, but then you could say that about a lot of the Mythic Legions figures. The fact that T4H added more vampires to the second Kickstarter made me want him all the more.

Anyway, the complete list consists of Vorgus Vermillius (The Blood Armor), Attila Leossyr, Bog Goblin, Carpathias, Attlus the Conqueror, the Standard Skeleton Legion Builder, Pixxus, and Jorund Runeshaper! It looks like T4H are also tacking on two extra figures as first time offerings, and teasing the possibility of adding on two additional Legion Builders as well.

I’m only missing two out of these eight, so in addition to Carpathias, I’ll likely be picking up the Bog Goblin as well, and probably one or two more Skeleton Legion Builders. Besides Carpathias, I suspect Pixxus will be the other offering most people are happy to see. He’s a beautiful figure and another that has skyrocketed on the second-hand market.

If you’re looking to pick up any of these figures to fill out your collection, or your looking to dive in to Mythic Legions for the first time, these figures will be going up for Pre-order on Friday, Jan. 19th at 3pm EST at Pre-Orders will be open for three weeks. 

FigureFan’s Favorites 2017, Part 2

Welcome back to the Week of Insufferable Lists. I’m not really here this week, but my Life Model Decoy is right in the middle of laying out my Ten Favorite Acquisitions of 2017. Let’s jump right in with the final five. Again, these are in no particular order…

Mythic Legions Stone Troll by The Four Horsemen: Back when I blew my tax return on that original Mythic Legions kickstarter, I never could have guessed how big it would get. Now my Mythic Legions army is expansive and early next year, I’ll be dropping another 35 figures onto those shelves. But if I had to choose one figure that really illustrates how big and successful this line has been, it would be the huge Stone Troll. The sculpt and paintwork on this guy are amazing and it really illustrates how much more craftsmanship can go into a toy that isn’t destined for the shelves at Target or Walmart. My only regret is that I couldn’t budget the Forest Troll to go with him, but at least I take comfort in the fact that soon he’ll have a Cyclops buddy.

DC Bombshells Batwoman (Designer Series) by DC Collectibles: While I had to take a pass on collecting most of the DC Bombshell statues, I was happy to get the Bombshell figures as a more space-friendly alternative. The first wave was chock full of knockouts, so it wasn’t easy choosing one as a favorite. In the end, I went with Batwoman, because I love the pun, I love baseball, and this figure is just too much fun. Great sculpt, great articulation, and great accessories! But hell, I just as easily could have stuck Harley or Wonder Woman in this slot. These are some of DC Collectibles’ best work in years.

Lost Exo Realm (LER-04) Deluxe Severo by Fansproject: 2017 will likely be my last big hurrah with Third-Party Transformers and it was mostly spent tying up loose ends. It took me a long while to get around to picking up Severo and wrapping up my LER Dinobots, so long that I had almost lost interest. He sat for months waiting to be opened, but when I finally did it was love at first sight. Not only is he an imposing beast in either robot or dino modes, but he comes with so many extra weapons and a throne fit for a king.

DC Gallery (Batman: The Animated Series) Zatanna by Diamond Select: I’ve been generally pleased with Diamond’s line of budget statues based on Marvel and DC characters. So much so, that I knew I had to include something from this line on my list of favorites. There were several contendors, but in the end, I had to go with Zatanna. Not only do I love the character, but this statue is very nearly perfect. The sculpt is a spot on representation of her from the Batman Animated Series, the paint application is clean and precise, and the overall quality feels like something beyond a budget statue.

Zenescope’s Robyn Hood Sixth-Scale Figure by Phicen: I purchased and reviewed all three of Phicen’s Zenescope figures in 2017, and I don’t think anyone really cared. That’s cool. Zenescope is a small comic book company, and most definitely a guilty pleasure of mine, so I can understand the lack of interest. I could have probably picked any one of these figures for this list solely based on the fact that it’s a miracle a company actually produced Zenescope merch, much less high end merch. And while I love all three of these ladies, the truth is that picking one was not even difficult. Liesel Van Helsing and Mercy Dante are both great figures, but Phicen just knocked it out of the park with Robyn Locksley.

And that’s going to do it for the good stuff. Come back tomorrow and we’ll start having a look at some of those purchases that sucker punched me in the nether regions with my first five Disappointments of 2017.

Articulated Icons (The Feudal Series): Deluxe White Ninja by The Fwoosh

If you’re an action figure fan and you’ve got Internet access, then surely you’ve heard of The Fwoosh. It’s a cornerstone site for news, reviews and everything you need to know about little plastic posable peoples. Seems like just the kind of folks who would be good at making action figures, right? Well, they did. They Kickstarted the Articulated Icons, a line of ninja-based action figures with an emphasis on articulation and accessories. At the time, I was really weighed down by Hot Toys Flex-Payments and some other Kickstarter commitments, so I couldn’t go as deep as I wanted. I did, however, pick up a few figures and we’ll look at one of those today.

Behold, the packaging for the Deluxe White Ninja! It’s not the most exciting name for a figure, but it certainly tells you what you’re getting. The figure comes in a collector friendly (and very professional looking) window box. There’s a tray for the figure and a baggie for a ton of accessories. I can’t remember when this Kickstarter officially ended, but I seem to recall it netted more than double its initial goal. I do remember the figures were estimated to ship in May 2016, and these just arrived on my doorstep earlier this month. Yup, that’s a long delay, but if patience is an issue for you, supporting Kickstarters probably isn’t something you want to be doing. So was it worth the wait? Let’s find out…

The basic figure is indeed a generic white-suited Ninja, and I don’t use the term generic in a negative way, because he’s supposed to be whatever you want him to be. Nameless solider? Hero? Enemy attached to a terrorist army that worships snakes? Like I said, whatever you want him to be. And as we’ll soon see, he has all the extra bits to help you customize him to your liking. The body features a standard ninja outfit… yeah, I’m sorry, but all my ninja knowledge comes from Saturday morning cartoons and Sunday afternoon kung-fu movies, so pardon me if I don’t even make an attempt at proper terminology here when it comes to his outfit and gear. The suit is very simple, with some sculpted wrinkles, wraps around the lower legs and a black belt. There are some minor cosmetic imperfections in the plastic, but overall this is a very solid buck, which scales quite well with Hasbro’s 6-inch Marvel line.

The articulation here is excellent, and since it’s a big showcase of the figure, let’s run down all the points. The legs feature ball jointed hips, swivels in the thighs and shins, double hinges knees, and ankles on balled hinges. The arms feature ball jointed shoulders and wrists, swivels in the biceps, and double hinges in the elbows. The torso has a swivel in the waist, a swivel and hinge in the torso, and the neck has both a hinge and a ball joint. It’s a few tweaks away from Marvel Legends style articulation, and that’s a very good thing! For the most part, the joints on my figure feel great and behave just as they should. Although, the feet and hands can sometimes pop out unexpectedly. It’s not that unusual for the hands, as they are designed to be swapped out, but I’m not used to the feet doing it also! It’s also worth noting that the figure has two peg holes, one in the middle of his back and another in the middle of his belt. These not only work for accessories, but also fit a standard Tamashii stand, and that’s a wonderful little extra.

The figure comes with three different heads. First up is the stock head, followed by the balaclava head. Either of these are perfect for your generic ninja warriors, particularly if one of them is named Shadow of the Storm, or something similar. The heads pop on and off pretty easy. There are also two hood pieces, one up and one down, but I didn’t use them in any of my shots, because I wasn’t really happy with the way they looked.

Next up is the unmasked head, which is the epitome of the wise old Master Ninja. I really dig the sculpt on this one, as it sports a lot of personality. If you were lucky enough to get a bunch of these guys, this head is perfect for their leader or teacher. The paintwork on this head is also very solid.

You also get this amazing demon mask that can be worn over the head and it looks fantastic. The sculpt and paint are extremely well detailed and it fits the figure perfectly. There’s also a red scarf to go with it.

In addition to heads, you get a passel of hands. These include fists, accessory gripping hands, hands with splayed fingers, and karate chop hands. But enough about noggins and hands, let’s move on to the accessories, because there are a ton of them to talk about…

For starters, you get what constitutes my favorite look for this guy: A pair of swords and scabbards that peg into the back. These work in conjunction with a shoulder strap to make it look like it’s holding them on. The swords peg in easily and I haven’t had any issues with them falling out while messing around with him.

The swords draw from the scabbards very easily and he looks great wielding them. The black hilts feature some excellent sculpted detail and there’s a little gold paint where the blade meets the tsubas. The blades themselves are painted in a sharp looking silver and are made from pretty stiff plastic, so there’s no worries about these bending and warping if you’re careful with them. The accessory holding hands grip the blades very tightly.

Another optional load out for the ninja turns him into an archer. You get a quiver with sculpted arrows that plug into the back, a bow, and a single loose arrow, which he can hold between the fingers of his accessory holding hand. Indeed, the articulation is good enough so you can pose him knocking the arrow. The sculpted arrows in the quiver can be removed (all as one piece) and there’s even room in there to insert the loose arrow. If you ponied up for a bunch of these guys, you can have a squad of archers backing up your swordsmen as they charge into battle!

Ninjas and shuriken go together like peanut butter and jelly. At least that’s what the old movies tell me. The figure comes with three different types of throwing stars. I’ve only shown off two here, because the third is super tiny. Again, the fingers on the accessory holding hands have a split between the fingers, so you can slide the shuriken in there and it holds very well.

For the next two weapons, I’m going to have to dig deep into my vast reservoir of ninja weapon terminology. You get short sickle weapon thing, and chunky triangle throwing knife thing. OK, so even if I don’t know what they’re called, these are both really cool and unusual accessories and welcome additions to my ninja arsenal.

Oh, this next one is a sai! I knew that one from watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I usually see these used as a pair, so I’m a little surprised he only came with one, but considering all the other stuff included in the package, I’m not about to complain. Moving on to the pole arms…

I think this is called a Bo Staff? At least that’s another thing that I learned from TMNT. It’s a simple staff with a sculpted and painted wrapped grip in the middle.

And finally, you have this glaive, which is one of my favorite weapons in the package. The shaft is just a brown pole, but there’s a sculpted butt on the end, which is painted gold, and another gold socket sculpted between the blade and the pole. It’s loads of fun and looks really cool.

Before wrapping up, I have to mention that the Deluxe Ninja comes with this rooftop base. It includes several pegs so you can position the figure in a variety of positions. There are also pegs on the side, so you can connect several of these together to make a bigger display. Yeah, I’m really regretting not picking up at least three more of these. Why the hell didn’t I do that? Oh yeah, I was short on money at the time.

In case you can’t tell, I’m quite satisfied with the way this fellow came out and to answer my original question, Yes… he was absolutely worth the wait. My only quibble is the plastic used for the body could have been a little cleaner and more consistent, but even those issues are minor and you need to get in really close to notice them. Otherwise, the figure feels great in hand and is loads of fun to pose. Couple that with the insane number of accessories, heads and hands, and you’ve got oodles of ninja fun. I actually pledged the Kickstarter at the Basic Ninja level, so this Deluxe Ninja was one of my add-on items. He ran $50, which is certainly a premium price to pay for a 6-inch scale figure, but when you toss in the extras and the base, and then factor in that it was a Kickstarted series by a small company the price feels about right. That’s especially the case now if you see what these guys are going for on Ebay. In a week or so, I’ll come back to this line and check out the Basic Red Ninja that I also picked up.

Mythic Legions (Covenant of Shadows): Baron Volligar by The Four Horsemen

We still have a loooong while to wait until the “Advent of Decay” figures from the last Mythic Legions Kickstarter ship, but it looks like T4H are gearing up to offer some more figures for pre-order later this month. To celebrate, I decided to open up another one of the handful of “Covenant of Shadows” figures that I’m sitting on to hold me over until next April. So, come on… let’s check out Baron Volligar!

It’s the same old packaging I’ve shown here dozens of times: Attractive, serviceable, and ultimately collector friendly. As always, you get a little bio blurb on the side panel of the bubble insert. I didn’t care about these at all in the beginning, maybe because the figures were still so new to me, but I’ve come to really appreciate exploring the lore and backstory of this action figure line. The bio here describes Baron Volligar as ancient vampyric royalty, and basically tells us that he is a pretty bad hombre, even as far as vampires go.

And oh, boy does he look the part! Volligar sports a suit of armor, which is a hybrid of Sir Godfrey’s and many of the pieces common to the Orcs’ armor. Mating Templar and Orc designs may sound like an unlikely marriage, but fear not, T4H really know what they’re doing and the results are pretty spectacular. Digging deeper, we can see that Volligar features the knightly tabard torso, hip armor, and upper legs and arms of Sir Godfrey, all of which is given a rather sinister twist thanks to the lower legs, grieves, shoulder armor, and collar of the Orcs. It almost looks like Volligar might have had a respectable suit of hero armor and gradually tweaked it after succumbing to the vampire curse. Of course, none of that is spelled out here, but rather just my own little musings.

As always, the shoulders are removable, and actually come packaged separate from the figure. I definitely prefer him with them on, but taking the armor pieces off does improve the range of motion in the shoulders quite a bit. The jagged and primitive look of these pieces mates beautifully with the similarly designed boots and grieves. There are some wonderful little nicks and pitting sculpted in as well to make them look well worn.

We last saw this helmet on Sir Godfrey, although it’s popped up a few times before him as well. It’s a very classically styled Great Helm with reinforced strips forming a cruciform pattern. Yeah, I find that a little odd for a vampire, but I’m willing to let that go. The helm features sculpted bolts and breather holes, and the deep set eye slits reveal only mystery. The helm is further customized by the rather imposing dragon crest at the top. I really dig the way the helmet sits deep in the center of the collar. It just further adds to the darker nature of a helmet that has so far only been used on the good guys.

And speaking of darker, the deco on this figure is superb. Besides knowing all the right ways to mix and match their system of parts, T4H are also adept at putting together some truly amazing color combinations. OK, so this one in particular is kind of a no-brainer and for me it really evokes a lovely Decepticon deco that I love so much. Yup, it’s all about the black and purple on that tabard. It almost looks like a primitive ribcage or ideogram for the undead. Lovely! The armor itself features both matte black and a rich, charcoal gray with a brushed metal finish. You also get some metallic purple applications on some of the ornate panels on the armor, which look quite striking under the light.

For armaments, The Baron relies on his trusty sword and shield. The sword is the two-handed variety that we’ve seen many times before. This design always reminds me of Glamdring from Lord of the Rings, probably because I saw an illustration of Gandalf carrying a similar looking sword. It’s a nice mix of classic and fantasy and I really dig the shape of the crossguard and that skull-crushing pommel. It has a sculpted black grip and the blade and other fixtures are painted with a charcoal gray to match those parts of Volligar’s armor.  The shield is also the same standard sculpt with his black and purple coat of arms painted on the face. Wait? You mean that’s it? These guys usually come loaded for bear. He just has a sword and shield? Yeah, Volligar is a little light on the weapons, when compared to other Mythic Legions figures, but that’s probably because he comes with…

…this enormous battle standard. T4H did a bunch of these representing the different factions of Mythic Legions. I think they were all available in one pack, but every time pre-orders go up, I’ve been budgeting to get as many figures as possible, so this is actually the first time I’m getting one of these standards into my collection. It’s a very cool piece with a pole so long it comes in three separate pieces. The flag itself is painted with Volligar’s coat of arms and there’s a pretty rad set of wings angling off of the top. Unfortunately, it’s way too tall for me to display him holding it on the shelf, but I may yet find a way to display it somewhere.

And so, to the surprise of absolutely no one, here’s another Mythic Legions figure that I can’t stop gushing over. What can I tell ya? I adore this line and I don’t see that changing any time soon. It’s probably worth pointing out that when I pre-ordered Volligar, I didn’t bother to read his bio and I thought he was just an awesome evil knight. The fact that he’s a vampire pleases me greatly, because the decision to chop the vampire, Carpathias from my original Kickstarter Backer Rewards remains a sore spot for me. At least now I finally have a vampire to tide me over until “Advent of Decay” arrives.