Marvel Universe Infinite: Deathlok by Hasbro

[Sorry for the technical difficulties this morning. This is my second crack at today’s feature as I had a problem with the original upload and the first completed draft was lost to the farthest reaches of the Interwebs. I’ve done a speedy re-write in a coffee and donut fueled rage, so let’s try this again… ]

Well, Christmas if finally behind us and I’m anxious to get back to business as usual. Sometime last week I was cleaning out the Toy Closet and I happened upon a couple of unopened Marvel Infinite Series figures, Deathlok and Valkyrie, that had fallen behind the shelving. It’s always fun to find unopened toys that I forgot I had, so let’s tear one of these babies open! I’m going with Deathlok because if I had remembered that I had him I would have opened him up along time ago. No offence, Valkyrie, but it’s Deathlok!

dlok1

Ah, there’s the bleak and ugly Infinite Series packaging. It’s black and boring and everything a comic book action figure package should not be. The back of the package points out that this is the Luther Manning version of the character, but apart from that I don’t have much more to say about the card. I haven’t heard much about the Infinite Series since the last wave when Hasbro made the mistake of re-releasing the Guardians of the Galaxy figures on single cards. They were great figures and all, but it was a poor choice considering that boxed set was still sitting on the toy shelves of many big box retailers. At least that Wave did give us a powered up version of Wonder Man. What was I talking about? Oh yeah, Deathlok…

dlok2

dlok3

I have a strange affinity for people who are mortally injured and saved by cybernetic enhancements. It’s a cool compromise in that you’re still alive, but not quite the person you used to be. That’s why I love Robocop so much, and Deathlok too. Of course, Deathlok takes it to a whole new level with dimension hopping and fighting demons and all sorts of crazy Marvel shit. I think Hasbro did a really nice job on the figure, even though it’s obvious they did some parts shopping from other figures to build him. The limbs are almost definitely off of Marvel Universe Colossus and we saw them again as recently as Wave 2 of Infinite Series with Death’s Head. I’m not complaining though, the parts reused make sense and there’s enough new stuff here to make the figure work. The paint is quite well done as the yellow striping on his costume and the American Flag tampo on his chest are both clean and precise. Most of the sculpted detail on the body comes from the segmented design of the cybernetic limbs.

dlok4

dlok5

The portrait here is really good. The organic part of the head looks grisly and zombie-esque and contrasts beautifully with the sterile and almost featureless cybernetic half. Hasbro has introduced some pretty great sculpts into this line since the Marvel Universe days and I’d dare say that Deathlok’s is among the better ones.

dlok7

dlok8

dlok10

In addition to borrowing some parts for the figure, Hasbro also raided the Marvel Universe Cable figure for Deathlok’s arsenal. The gun belt is the same, only repainted brown and both the pistol and rifle are the same, just cast in a different color of plastic. I suppose that the pistol could pass for Deathlok’s helium neon laser pistol and as for the rifle, well that’s one of my favorite weapons in the line so I don’t mind getting it again.

dlok12

dlok11

Unfortunately, Deathlok has some issues with articulation. The points are all there with everything I’ve come to expect from the modern Marvel Universe buck, but his leg joints came out of the package a bit warped. He still works OK for action poses, but I can’t get him into a regular, standing at attention pose because the legs just want to be splayed outward. Also, the ball joint in his torso is really loose and floppy. It feels like an old GI JOE figure when the O-ring was going bad. I’m not sure if it’s a problem with my specific figure or one that is common to the whole run, but I like this guy enough that I may pick up another to see if I make out any better.

dlok14

dlok13

Don’t let my talk about parts re-use fool you, I really dig this figure a lot and I’m kind of surprised that it took Hasbro this long to get us this character in their expansive 3 3/4” line. I am a bit surprised they went with the more classic look over Deathlok’s most recent appearance, but I’m not disappointed. I like the classic look a lot better and despite all my efforts, I haven’t been able to get more than a few issues into v5 of Deathlok before wandering away from the book to read other things. Next time we revisit the Infinite Series, I’ll check out Valkyrie and that should just about bring me up to date on Hasbro’s 3 3/4″ Marvel offerings.

Advertisements

Marvel Universe Infinite: Death’s Head by Hasbro

While he may bask in relative obscurity, the character we’re looking at today wears a veritable aura of greatness about him. Well, he does as far as I’m concerned! Through the pages of Marvel comics, he has hob-nobbed with The Transformers and Doctor Who alike. He is a conduit for tying together two of my favorite franchises of all time and for that I can’t help but revere him. I also can’t help but sit here in slack jawed amazement as I stare at this figure on my desk. He is Death’s Head! Hasbro made a Death’s Head figure! Holy shit!!! I have no packaging to show you, because this fella came to me loose from the proprietor of the spectacularly awesome toy review site, Starscreamersrants. Go check it out. Seriously… go now. I’ll wait.

<Let’s see what’s in the paper today. Well, look at that. A big ass hole opened up in Siberia. That can’t be good. Can’t be long until demons start spilling out of that. I bet right now they’ve got Spetsnaz teams headed down there to dynamite that thing closed before the para-dimensional invasion begins… >

HUH? Oh, you’re back. Ok. So, Starscreamer was content enough to scoop me on the review before bartering the figure into my greedy hands and sparing me having to risk getting my throat cut by going down to 17th Street and buying the figure from my dealer. Anyway, the packaging is the same horridly boring and uninspired dreck that we saw last week for the Cyclops review and we’ll be seeing a lot more of it in the future so I need not dwell on it.

muidh1

muidh2

And there he is in all his glory. Hot damn, it’s Death’s Head! Even if I had no idea who this character is, I’d still fall in love with his wild and colorful design, which is beautifully portrayed in this figure. I mean, I just look at this guy and my imagination runs wild.

muidh3

muidh11

The body is built straight off of the Marvel Universe Colossus figure and I think that was a great choice. The only notable resculpting done to the buck is the addition of the new and bulkier boots and new hands. The silver paintwork on the arms and legs is also kept, albeit made a smidge more vibrant. The biggest changes come in the addition of the shoulder and cape piece, which is removable, and the new belt and skirt ensemble. Hasbro put some beautiful work into these new pieces. I love the pitted and pock-marked armor on the shoulders and the battle scrapes and scars on the boots and skirt pieces. Very nice!

muidh4

Of course Death’s Head sports a new sculpt for his… Death’s head! This guy’s portrait has more personality than anyone I can think of. He’s basically a metal skull, horned demon, with the jowls and under bite of a bulldog. It’s readily apparent that sweet, sweet love was poured into this head sculpt and it is most certainly appreciated. And as great as the overall sculpt is, this figure is also enhanced by some beautiful coloring. In addition to the aforementioned silver paint, you get some really beautiful metallic blue mixed up with the yellow, red and even some gold on his belt. This is what a comic book figure is supposed to look like. It’s like watching colors having sex. Seriously, I’m looking at him now and my eyeballs are aroused.

muidh12

muidh13

muidh10

muidh6

As he’s built entirely on the Colossus buck, Death’s Head features the same articulation as his predecessor. The arms feature ball joints in the shoulders, hinges in the elbows, and swivels in the biceps and wrists. The legs are ball jointed at the hips and ankles, double-hinged knees, and swivels in the thighs. There’s a ball joint in the torso and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed.

muidh7

muidh8

Death’s Head comes with a few accessories to aid him on his bounty hunting. You get a classical spiked mace and a short handled axe. Both pieces are cast in metallic silver and the axe has some great weathering in the sculpt to show that Death’s Head gets a lot of mileage out of his weapons. You also get a small bronze colored target shield that can clip onto either of his wrists. The shield can also be clipped onto his back and there are slots on the shield to hold both his weapons.

muidh14

muidh15

muidh16

dhardis

Normally I would say that Death’s Head’s obscurity as a character, at least in the US, is going to restrict the appeal of this figure to only a small number of collectors out there. On the other hand, his quirky character designed coupled with the wonderful job Hasbro did on the figure have me reconsidering that. It’s hard for me to imagine that many Marvel Universe collectors are going to see this beauty on the pegs and dismiss him just because they aren’t familiar with who he is. I know I’d pick up this figure even if I had no history with the character at all. Possibly the only sad thing here is that even with two scales of Doctor Who figures out there, Death’s Head isn’t compatible with either of them. That’s OK, though. I think he fits in OK with the Classics and Generation line of Transformers, and that’s probably where I’m going to display him.

Marvel Universe Infinite: Cyclops (Astonishing X-Men) by Hasbro

I do still have some unfinished business with the now defunct Marvel Universe line, but in the interest of being topical I’m going to press on and start looking at some of the Marvel Infinite Series. Yes, it’s the same thing only rebranded. It’s so much the same thing that a significant portion of the Infinite lineup has been repackaged figures or in today’s case figures from MU that were cancelled altogether. This Astonishing X-Men version of Cyclops was from a planned three-pack. It’s possibly worth noting that this is my first figure of Scott Summers since the one included in the Secret Wars Comic Pack a long time ago.

muicy1

There’s the brand new packaging and it, along with the Star Wars Black and Age of Extinction packages, provides further evidence to me that Hasbro has sacked its entire art design department. I mean, really Hasbro, what the hell is up with this? It’s so bland and boring. You’re supposed to be marketing comic book figures for chrissake. Look at the old packaging. It was colorful and exciting and it had great character art. Hell, I still have some of those carded figures hanging on my wall because they look so good. This is so sterile and… blah! Had I not known better I would guess that this package was designed for repacking older Marvel Universe figures and selling them at The Dollar General for five bucks a pop. On the plus side, I don’t have to feel bad about opening the figures any more. So, let’s shred this crappy card to bits and get Cyclops out of his dingy digs.

muicy3

muicy4

I can’t say the Astonishing X-Men version is my favorite incarnation of Scott’s costume. Nostalgia dictates that I will probably always be a fan of the 90’s look. Nonetheless, I’m always going to applaud Hasbro for trying to get the look from the current books out on the shelves and pegs. Something in me has to believe that there are still kids out there reading the comics and wanting to go to the store and buy the corresponding figures so they can make adventures of their own. Anyway, aside from the head, there’s really no original sculpting on this figure. Cyclops represents the fairly easy “paint a costume on a standard buck” variety of release.

muicy5

Cyclops is cast in dark blue plastic with gold paint apps for the arm bracers, lower legs and piping of his costume. He also has the “X” emblem painted on the left of his chest, which I really don’t recall him having in the comics. The paintwork here is all pretty clean with just one break in the gold piping on my figure.

muicy9

The head sculpt is pretty good, but nothing extraordinary. The lower part of the face assumes a rather stern expression and his visor is quite well defined. Cyclops also features a left hand that is sculpted so that it interacts with his visor to help create some good action poses. There is something odd going on with the paint on his face. It looks like he had an explosive sneeze. It’s not noticeable under normal circumstances, but it’s sure turns up when you get in close with a camera lens.

muicy8

muicy7

As far as articulation goes, Cyclops makes use of the most articulated buck we’ve seen in the Marvel Universe line. You get ball joints in the neck, shoulders, and hips. The arms have hinges in the elbows and swivels in both the elbows and wrists. The legs have double hinged knees and swivels in both the thighs and lower legs. The ankles feature both hinges and some generous lateral rockers. The torso swivels at the waist, has a ball joint just below the chest and there’s an extra hinge in the neck. It’s worth noting that the waist swivel on my figure was totally stuck and I had to boil the figure in order to reclaim the joint.

muicy10

muicy2

If it hasn’t come across in this feature, I’ll just come out and say it now: Cyclops was the one release in the Infinite line so far that I was the least interested in. In fact, I intentionally picked him to go first so I could spend some time talking about the rebranded packaging because I just don’t have a lot else to say about this figure. There’s nothing wrong with him and if anything he has reassured me that despite the crappy new packaging and the needless name change, once you get the figure loose, this is still the same old Marvel Universe that I’ve collected and loved since the beginning. If you were jonesing for Scott Summers in this costume then you’ll probably be glad to have him.