Overwatch Ultimates: Lucio by Hasbro

I can’t tell you how happy I am to be back with a third review for the second week in a row. Sure, things can derail at any time, and it’s really tough to scrounge the time to do these, but I feel like I’m finally starting to get back into the swing of things. And there… I’ve just jinxed myself! Anywho… As promised, I’m back with another one of Hasbro’s Overwatch Ultimates figures. Last time I checked out Sombra and now I’m opening up Lucio, the Brazillian DJ turned Freedom Fighter! And just to remind everyone, I have never played Overwatch, but I really dig its character design and I have watched most of the cinematics, because I’m crazy like that. So if I sound woefully ignorant about some of the details of these characters, that’s because I am!

I just talked about the packaging a few days ago, so I won’t dwell on it much more. It’s attractive, it embraces the style and color pallet associated with the game, and it’s totally collector friendly. If you like to keep your figures and accessories in the boxes and line them up on a bookshelf, then you should be really happy with these! Just compare this bright and snappy package to Hasbro’s own Star Wars Black Series, and let’s just say that there’s a reason I pitch all those boxes right away, but I’m going to try to hang onto these.

If you ever needed a great example of how Overwatch’s sometimes wacky character design just oozes personality, well look no further than Lucio here. I would stop short of calling him distinctive, because Lucio actually looks like he’d be right at home in Jet Set Radio on the Dreamcast. So much so, it’s almost impossible for me to believe that he isn’t a direct homage. Seriously, when I’m playing around with this figure, I catch myself humming Sweet Soul Brother.  From the icon on his shirt to the hard-light blades that he zips around on, everything about Lucio is beautifully executed in a figure that is both a killer sculpt and as colorful as candy. I mean, just look at this dude! The design gave Hasbro plenty to work with, including the complex robotic design of his legs, which includes a mix of lovely blue armor plates, lime green kneepads, and a gray framework underneath. Not to mention a couple of cables that run from the front to back. Are these all part of what’s powering those slick skates? I don’t really know, but they look amazing. I’m particularly fond of the translucent green plastic that makes up those hard-light blades.

I dig the iconography on his shirt, which is very reminiscent of the previously mentioned Jet Set Radio, and he wears a backpack that I presume is part of his audio gear. The yellow unit houses a golden speaker-like disc, and even his belt-buckle has a little sound wave pattern etched into it. As great as the sculpting is on this guy, I have to say it’s the coloring that really sells it. It’s so bright and dynamic and celebrates all that is so damn visually appealing about the game.

Lucio’s portrait is equally well detailed, thanks to his DJ rig, which includes a mic and headphone on his left ear and a translucent green visor that covers his eyes. The portrait is sharp and it’s capped off by a ridiculous set of chunky dreads. Ok, these are probably the one facet of the figure that doesn’t match a lot of the character models I’ve seen as closely as I would have liked. And while I’m on the subject of nitpicking, I got me a QC beef. My figure has some unfortunate yellow paint splatter on his visor. Yeah, it’s one of those problems with buying a figure sight-unseen online. I just have to decide whether it upsets me enough to return him and get a better one, because it does not seem to want to come off.

Lucio sports some improved articulation over Sombra, and I’ve come to expect those differences between Hasbro’s 6-inch male and female characters. That means Lucio benefits from having double hinges in his elbows, and swivels in his biceps. The ball joint in the torso is also not impeded by any soft plastic covering. All this means he’s a remarkably fun figure to play around with. I’ll also note here that he comes with two extra hands, both of which are lefties. One has him gesturing with two fingers, and the other is balled into a fist. Let’s move on to accessories!

I’m actually starting with the effect parts, because these are actually great. You get two translucent green tracks for his skates. They simply fit around the base of the skates and while the figure can stand quite well without them, they do add a lot of stability. Most of you know that I’m not a huge fan of Hasbro’s effect parts, but these are really well designed and I can’t imagine I’ll be displaying the figure without them. And thank god these are so good, because Lucio only comes with one additional accessory.

Ah, but yeah it’s an important one… his Sonic Amplifier. This chunky piece of tech includes a cable that plugs into the notch on Lucio’s right bicep. It’s very well detailed and includes a blue painted shield on top, which matches his leg armor, and a green painted emitter on the front. It fits perfectly in his hand and completes the package quite nicely. Yes, the cable is prone to pulling out of his arm from time to time, but at least it goes back in really easily.

As much as I liked Sombra, I have to say I’m digging Lucio even more. This is a fun character design that has made the transition to plastic form without skipping a beat. Plus, there’s just something about the coloring here that scratches my itch. It’s rare for me to collect a line of figures based on a property that I don’t really consume, but that just goes to show how appealing this line is to me. I’m only two figures in, and I’m already dedicated to picking up whatever Hasbro decides to put out.

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Overwatch Ultimates: Sombra by Hasbro

Oh yeah, did I mention I’m collecting this line? Did I also mention that I’ve never played the game and probably never will? I honestly fell in love with the character design and personality of this game the very first time I watched the teaser and some of the cinematics. But I’m not one to play multiplayer FPS games, so I knew it was never going to be something I actually played. How else to indulge in the characters? Well, with action figures of course! I while back I looked at Figma’s release of Tracer. She was a great figure, but I wasn’t prepared to go too deep at that price point, so I was glad to see Hasbro answer the call with their own line. And just to keep things moving along, I’m going to try to check out two of the figures from the first wave this week. And we’re starting with Sombra.

The boxes are very attractive with the die-cut character art on the front panel and the partial window, which wraps a bit to the side panel. The gray, white, and orange colors match the familiar palette that the game employs. The back panel features some more character art, some stats about the character, and some shots of other characters from the wave. The box is totally collector friendly, and for some reason I’m actually thinking of hanging on to these boxes, even though I’m sure I’ll just end up throwing them out in a few weeks when I get frustrated over the lack of space. OK, let’s have a look at Sombra! Who is Sombra? You’ll never know!

Hacker supreme, Olivia Colomar comes sporting her delightfully distinctive battle dress, all of which is reproduced in soft plastic and laid onto the figure. It allows for some very nice detail and some beautifully vibrant colors, including lavender, purple, silver, and aqua. I particularly dig how the There’s no doubt Hasbro invested a lot of love and attention to her costume. Her legs are painted with long purple stockings and her shoes are sculpted so that you can make out her toes. There’s also a very cool gradation between the purple on her legs and the aqua of her boots. My only complaint here is that while the dress does look good, the fact that it’s laid onto the figure makes it a bit bulkier than it probably should have been.

The portrait is especially nice as well. I think they’ve captured all of Sombra’s cuteness, even if she does look a bit younger than her game model. Her hair sweeps off to the right side of her head, curling up at the ends and terminating in a playful purple. The exposed scalp on the left side shows a pattern in her shaved head, and the paint on her eyes and lips is executed beautifully. She even has the hint of a scar protruding through her left eyebrow.

The articulation here is more or less right in line with Hasbro’s Marvel Legends females. That means the arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and elbows, and the wrists are on hinged pegs. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have double hinges in the knees, and swivels in the thighs. The ankles have both hinges and lateral rockers. It’s kind of hard to see what’s going on under that dress, but I’m guessing there’s a ball joint under her chest. Alas, the heavy dress does curtail a lot of movement there. The head is attached below the neck, and here too it’s tough to get a lot of movement because of her high collar. Moving on to accessories…

Sombra comes with her machine pistol, which I can best describe as a sci-fi infused Uzi on steroids. The weapon features plenty of detail and some blue paint apps on the black plastic. Both her hands are sculpted with trigger fingers, so she can comfortably hold it in either hand. The magazine extends way past the grip, but it is not removable. No big surprise there.

Next up, she has her hacking effect part. This is designed to work with either of her second pair of more relaxed hands. There are tiny holes in one end to pass her fingers through. The effect stays on quite well and I’m glad they didn’t opt to sculpt this as part of the hand, because having the extra pair sure is nice.

And lastly, she has her Translocator, giving her the power to teleport to wherever she can toss it. There isn’t a lot to say about this piece. It’s a simple sculpt and cast in black plastic. There’s a little lavender paint on the top, and she can hold it in pretty much any of her hands.

Sombra gets nothing but kudos from me in terms of sculpt and paint. She’s a beautiful looking figure that really captures the spirit of the character and the game’s art design. What’s more, with the gun and translocator, she comes with everything I would expect to be included, plus the effect part, which was a nice surprise. If I had any nits to pick here, it would be that I wish the dress were a little less bulky and restrictive. All in all, I’m still very happy with how this figure turned out, and she’s certainly made me excited about opening some more. At the $20 price point, these fall right in line with Hasbro’s other 6-inch lines, like Marvel Legends or the Star Wars Black Series, in terms of quality and value. Give me a few days, and hopefully I’ll be back with a look at Lucio!

Fallout 4: Nuka-Girl Statue by ThinkGeek

Have you heard? There’s a new Fallout game out and apparently it’s pretty controversial! It was an easy pass for me, because I have no interest in Online Fallout Lite, but to be fair, I haven’t played it, so I’ll let the reviews speak for themselves. I will, however, toss my hat in the ring as a pretty dedicated Fallout fan. I’ve been on board since the day I got a PC that would play the original and up until now, I’ve played them all. Yup, even that mediocre Brotherhood of Steel on the Xbox, and the annoyingly addictive mobile game. But I’m not here today to talk about the new game. I’m here today because ThinkGeek had a big sale on Cyber Monday Week and I bought a Fallout statue!

And what a great idea for a statue from the game! Sure, there have been Vault Dweller action figures and Power Armor statues, but to immortalize that kissable face of Ms. Nuka-Cola in a PVC Statue? That took inspiration. And I gotta be honest, while this was sold to via an Email advertising the sale, I probably would have picked it up at full price if I had known it existed. Anywho, the roughly 1/10 scale statue comes in a handsome box with an outer sleeve and some spiffy retro-vintage-style artwork. This is apparently #3 in ThinkGeek’s line of Modern Icons statues produced in partnership with Chronicle Collectibles. The first was the the T-60 Power Armor from Fallout 4 and the second was Aloy from Horizon: Zero Dawn. It’s my first experience with this line or Chronicle Collectibles for that matter, and I’ll admit when I first held the box in hand, I had my doubts because it felt like the box was empty. But there was indeed a statue inside, enclosed between two clear plastic trays, and all ready to go on my shelf. Let’s check her out!

And here she is, perched atop a giant bottlecap and looking dead sexy in her retro space suit. The figure itself measures right around the 6-inch mark with a few inches added by the rather pronounced base. The pose is great. It’s just the kind of pure cheesecake that I associate with vintage ads. Ms. Nuka stands with one leg drawn up at the knee, holds her space helmet against her left hip, and offers up a bottle of bubbly Nuka refreshment, while glancing back over her shoulder and offering a bright, beaming smile. My god, I’m so thirsty!

The detail here is fairly minimal, which is in keeping with the retro-styling. Her space suit consist of a pair of thigh-high black high-heeled boots, tight white leggings with red stripes on the sides and a wide black belt. The fact that her mid-riff is exposed is probably my favorite quality of this protective garment. The cropped-top features the same white with red striping as the bottoms, black gloves, a very low-cut top, and a collar to attach the helmet to. In terms of bringing the vintage Nuka-Cola art to life, I think the statue succeeds brilliantly, from the composition to the sculpt, I wouldn’t change a thing. The paintwork is also quite good. The gloves and belt are matte black, the top and bottom have a bit of a sheen to them, and the boots are high gloss. There are just a few flubs in the paint application, mostly on the red border on the end of her left gauntlet, but absolutely nothing that draws my eye away from appreciating it.

The portrait is in keeping with that retro look as well. From the style of her hair to her makeup, she looks like a pin-up from the 50’s. The facial features are painted quite sharply, the eyes are even, and while there aren’t individually sculpted teeth, the pearly whites are painted bright and clean.

And while the design is relatively simple, there are still some nice touches. Her red pop-gun rests snugly in its holster and looks like the old toy ray-guns that my Dad probably played with. The red oxygen tanks feature segmented hoses that feed into the base of the helmet’s collar and the same type of hose can be seen encircling the base of her helmet. And yes, the sculptor paid special attention to capturing all of Ms. Nuka’s very feminine form her copious cleavage right down to the curves of her tushie.

And of course the bottle of Nuka-Cola looks great!

The giant Nuka-Cola bottlecap is a perfect base for the figure and it too is wonderfully executed. It’s painted in a bright red with crisp white lettering, right down to the TM icon, which at first I thought was to drive home the illusion that this is a real brand, but then I’d imagine that Bethesda probably copyrighted the Nuka-Cola trademark for real. But as good as the base looks, it’s also completely hollow, and that’s the one thing this statue is missing… any sense of heft. I commented earlier how the box felt empty, and that just goes to show how light this thing is. Does that really matter if it looks good on the shelf? I guess not, but for whatever reason, I tend to associate quality with weight when it comes to statues, and in this case the lack of weight is a little off-putting. Maybe they should have just filled the base with sand.

The bottom of the base features some copyright information as well as the name of the statue and that it’s a Limited Edition. There’s no actual statement of limitation on the box or the statue, so it’s hard to say how limited this piece really is. I mean, I guess all collectibles are limited in some sense, right? I found two things here interesting: One, that the statue is licensed as Fallout 4 specifically, even though it’s not stated on the box, and that she’s called Nuka-Girl here, even though she’s called Nuka-Cola Girl on the box. Otherwise, there’s really nothing to see here.

These Modern Icons statues retail for $50 a pop and I guess that’s not too bad, but with some of the PVC statues that Diamond Select has turning out in the $40 range, Ms. Nuka-Cola may strike some as a bit on the pricier side. She’s definitely smaller than the Femme Fatales stuff, as well as Koto’s Bishoujo line. I picked this one up when ThinkGeek was offering for half-off and hey, for $25 I figured I couldn’t go wrong and I was right. I like this piece a lot, and it’s made me take a look at some of their other pieces. Although some of these seem to go up in price when they go out of circulation, so I may just focus on what’s coming as opposed to what I’ve already missed.

Replicade Sixth-Scale Centipede Cabinet by New Wave Toys

Good morning, Toyhounds… Today’s review is a bit different, as it straddles a fine line between collectible and video game. It’s actually both! And the subject of a Kickstarter that I backed last year by New Wave Toys. This Sixth-Scale fully operational Centipede cabinet is intended to be the flagship release in a series of Replicade cabinets and the Kickstarter was a huge success. Not only was it easily funded, but the project runners did a great job of keeping backers in the loop with plenty of updates and videos along the way. The original shipping date was supposed to be April, but it arrived to me this week. All in all, that’s not too bad a delay for Kickstarter projects. It’s easy to excuse delays when the project directors use the time getting things right and from the looks of it, it was time well spent.

The cabinet comes in a colorful shoebox style box, fully illustrated with a nice matte finish and plenty of pictures of what’s inside. Lift off the top and the goodies are wrapped in soft foam and plastic. The presentation is nice and professional and everything is collector friendly. The cabinet itself comes all ready to go, you just have to plug it in, peel the protective plastic off the screen and you’re ready to start blasting away at some goddamn centipedes.

Included in the box is a baggie with a micro USB charging cable, an instruction booklet, and a packet of miniature arcade tokens, which you can actually feed into the coin slots, or place on the deck to relay the message: “Back off, man, I’ve got the next game!” The unit can be played right away if you plug it in, otherwise it takes some time to charge in order to play off the battery. I originally charged it for an hour and found that it was still not enough. I was a bit worried the battery might be having problems, but I left it charge overnight and found that was all it took. There’s a charging light on top and when it turns from red to green, you know you’re good to go!

Also included is this die-cast Atari replica coin slot key-chain. It’s a satisfyingly heavy piece with textured edges and if you press in the face plate it lights up red. I love this thing, even if it is too heavy for me to ever use it for a key-chain. I’ll likely wind up displaying it somewhere near the cabinet itself. The key-chain was available as a $25 pledge reward, but it was also included with the cabinet at the tier that I backed. It also looks like it’s going to be included in the retail release of the cabinet. OK, enough with the extras… let’s get on to the main event!

Out of the box and measuring in at just under 12-inches tall, I have to say this cabinet is an impressive piece of design and craftsmanship. With so many cheaper playable mini cabinets on the market these days, this one really needed to stand out and now that I have it in hand, I can comfortably affirm that it does. From the shape of the cabinet to the choice of materials and attention to detail, these guys did their homework resulting in a replica cabinet that does its full-sized cousin proud. Everything about this piece exudes quality.

The marquee on the top lights up to call attention to the crisp and colorful transparency. It automatically comes on during the boot-up routine and will stay on until you power down the cabinet. There is an option in the menu screen to disable the light, but I don’t know why anybody would want to do that. The boot up is not your typical ROM boot up, but rather shows the New Wave Toys logo, followed by a screen that proudly proclaims the cabinet to be fully licensed by Atari.

The side panels are wood with beveled edges and the artwork on the sides is printed on, which was definitely the way to, as opposed to slapping on some stickers. The coloring is vibrant and reminds me of why I’ve always had a thing for early Atari artwork. Looking back, it’s like they were compensating for the simple graphics by drumming up the excitement with this stuff. It’s a lost art these days, but boy does it mash down on my nostalgia buttons. It’s a shame that most of the arcades I visited back in the day used to pack these cabinets so close that a lot of the time you couldn’t see the artwork.

And speaking of mashing buttons, the control deck has a nice satin finish with plenty of color. The deck features light up player select buttons, a fire button, and a track ball. During production, the development team posted videos about the challenge of getting the track ball to perform just right. They even added a sensitivity toggle in the menu screen. I think it works pretty damn smooth on the default setting, but the option is there to tweak its sensitivity up or down a notch. The construction here is all around solid with the buttons are all a perfect fit. The controls respond beautifully.

Indeed, I think I was most surprised about how comfortable this thing is to play. I was expecting a highly accurate scaled replica with the novelty of being able to turn it on and play it, but I didn’t really expect to spend a huge amount of time playing it. And yet that’s exactly what I’ve been doing since it turned up. Playing it doesn’t feel awkward or cramped at all, and before I knew it I was just lost in the game and trying to get my name on the High Score roster. And yes, the cabinet does save scores after you turn it off.

Below the deck you get the light up coin slots on a metal plate, and as mentioned earlier you can actually feed the tiny tokens into the slots. There’s a key sculpted permanently into the lock, which allows you to open it up revealing a little storage compartment inside. Pressing the left coin slot button will add credits to the game, while pressing the right coin slot button will bring up the options menu. In addition to controlling the track ball sensitivity and the marquee light, this menu also lets you adjust the volume and the brightness of the screen.

The back of the unit features the speaker, which puts out some very clear sound. The sound effects in Centipede are so damn iconic and they are reproduced beautifully by the machine. The default volume setting is where I keep it, but there’s room to turn it up even louder. The back also features a faux access hatch with sculpted keyhole and below it is a sticker designated this as one of the limited Backer Edition cabinets. The bottom of the cab has four rubber feet to keep it from slipping.

This initial cab has received some very positive (and well deserved) write-ups in some pretty prominent magazines and in addition to now being for sale at New Wave Toys’ website, it looks like some retailers like Best Buy, are offering pre-orders. If you can’t tell, I’m very happy with this purchase. I got in on the early bird tier of the Kickstarter, which means this beauty only cost $90. That’s quite a step down from the $160 it’s selling for now, but even at the higher price point it’s easy to see where the money went.  Every aspect of this little cabinet shows care and craftsmanship and I truly believe that this is a labor of love on behalf of its developers. I’m not usually a fan of people launching another Kickstarter project before the first is fulfilled, but I still took a gamble and jumped on their Tempest cabinet and with this one in hand, now I’m very glad I did.

Street Fighter: Ibuki Bishoujo Statue by Kotobukiya

It’s been over a year since I last opened and reviewed one of Kotobukiya’s Bishoujo statues, and it’s been twice as long since my last Street Fighter Bishoujo. I haven’t given up on these wonderful works of art, but with the prices climbing higher and higher and my display space running out, I’ve had to be a little more picky about the ones I pick up. Nonetheless, Ibuki here has been on my want list ever since she was first revealed and I’m lucky that even after waiting all this time, I was still able to get her at a good price. The economy of Kotobukiya on the second-hand market isn’t always so kind.

Koto has been using black boxes for the Street Fighter releases, which really sets them apart from the white packaging of the DC and Marvel lines. There’s some wonderful artwork from Shunya Yamashita, on which the statue is based, and you get windows on the front, top, and side panels to let in the light and allow you a good look at the figure inside. Everything is collector friendly, and the only assembly required is plugging Ibuki’s pony-tail into the back of her head. Ibuki made her debut in Street Fighter III and I first encountered her in Street Fighter III: Double Impact on my beloved SEGA Dreamcast, where she became a favorite new fighter of mine.

And here’s Ibuki on the scene and looking mighty fine. She stands gracefully on the toes of her left foot with her right leg drawn up behind her. She counterbalances with her left arm oustretched and fingers held up, while her right hand is drawn to her neck, with a kunai, ready to strike. This line has offered some superb poses and Ibuki is yet another example of that. It’s a beautiful mix of elegance and kineticism and I think it captures the character perfectly, while also allowing for a few different “sweet spots” from which to admire her.

Koto’s Bishoujo statues often tend to feature colorful, glossy, and eye popping decos, and Ibuki here features none of that. Instead, you get various shades of brown, a little white, and a fair bit of skintone. It’s not a criticism, but just a fact of the character’s appearance, which is very faithful to her debut appearance. Ibuki is clad in a brown dogi, which consists of a sleeveless top and frayed shoulders, baggy pants with cut-outs at the hips, and which end just below her knees, all tied with a bow at the front of her waist. The outfit is rounded out by a pair of wrist bracers, a tight head scarf, and bandage-style wrappings on her arms and feet. It looks great, and I love the complexity in the outfit’s sculpt. From certain angles it almost looks like the dogi could have been sculpted over the figure itself, and that’s pretty cool.

The portrait is excellent. Ibuki offers a confident and playful smile with perfectly printed eyes and painted lips. The real showpiece of this portrait, however, is her distinctive hair. She has three long strands protruding from her window’s peak and hooking forward in front of her face, while two longer strands protrude from her knot-top and arch their way down and across her back. This is my first 3D representation of the character and I wasn’t sure how well this coif would translate, but the wizards at Koto did a fine job with it.

The base is a simple clear disc with a slope to support Ibuki’s foot. As usual, you get two different inserts to display on the base, one is a simple Street Fighter logo and the other features character art. These days I tend to display these statues with the character art, but I think either one looks great.

Ibuki here released at just under $60 and I was able to get her for a little bit less. I was often fond of saying that Koto’s Bishoujo line is one of the best values in collectible statues on the market. And that was back when you could get a figure like Ibuki for that price. Nowadays, they tend to release in the $70-90 price range, and while I still think they’re worth the price, the sense of good value is rapidly dissipating. I get it, prices go up, but that’s quite a jump, and with so many things competing for my collecting dollar these days, it means that I won’t be able to pick up as many as I used to. Recently I had to pass on the second versions of Chun-Li and Cammy, but that doesn’t mean they won’t still be turning up here from time to time. Indeed, all Koto has to do is put Elena up on pre-order and I’ll throw down some cash for that release right away!

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus Collector’s Edition “Terror Billy” Sixth-Scale Figure

What the hell is this? A review of a PS4 game? Yeah, you may think that the subject of today’s review is a weird item to mix in among my usual toy talk, but you’d be wrong. I’m not here to talk much about the game, but rather the Vintage-GI JOE-style action figure of BJ Blaskowicz that comes bundled in with this collector’s edition of the game. I count the original Wolfenstein 3D as one of the most influential games of its time, and there’s been a sad lack of merchandise for it. Probably because of the whole Nazi thing. But BJ and I have together blasted our way through countless miles of corridors and it’s about damn time that I have an action figure based on him.

Holy hell, this box is huge! When it comes to video games, I don’t tend to buy a lot of crazy Limited Editions because their odd sizes messes up the feng shui of my game shelves. Yeah, I really am that OCD. Obviously this one had to be upscaled to accomodate the sixth-scale figure inside. The game itself also comes in a steelbook, so I can actually fit it on my shelf. But the overall package looks like a gigantic PS4 game box. But that’s just a sleeve that lifts off to reveal the inner box.

And it’s here where the presentation just oozes charm because it is so delightfully meta. This is supposed to be an action figure from the in-game universe, where the Nazis are in power and instead of GI JOE, they have the ELITE HANS line of action figures, and this figure is marketed as Terror Billy, because our hero is a villain to them. Bethesda even produced their own in-universe toy commercial, which is pretty spectacular and makes me wish they actually produced all those other figures. Anyway, the box has a decidedly vintage feel to it, complete with some faux weathering and a window to show off Billy. The side panels include a fake Collect Them All line up on one side and Billy’s inventory of weapons on the other side. Inside the box, BJ comes in a large molded plastic tray with his weapons and jacket laid out beside him.

First off, I have to say for a collectible pack-in they did a really nice job on this figure. It’s just the right mix of retro feel, while still being a quality figure. The underlying body features some very workable articulation with only the lack of any kind of arm or leg swivels to restrict what he can do. And the absence of bicep swivels really hurts. It’s a shame that I’m not going to get a lot of cool poses out of him, but he’s still a lot of fun to mess around with and feels a lot like an old GI JOE. 

BJ’s outfit features a yellow and black leather-like jacket with elbow patches, a working zipper and some cool art on the back. The stitching is all nice and neat and it fits the figure quite well. Under that you get a yellow short-sleeved t-shirt with Ranger Airborne on the front. The cargo-style pants feature stitched pockets and buttons, and the boots are soft plastic sculpted with laces.

The head sculpt is excellent for what this is. It looks a little GI JOE like, but it’s also a nice representation of BJ’s likeness in the game. Oddly enough, the one they show in the commercial has a scar, whereas the figure in hand does not.

BJ also comes with his brown bomber jacket, and oh boy was this a bitch to get on him. It’s a tight fit around the shoulders and his hands were really tough to get through the sleeves. In the end, I was able to do it, but it really works against the arm articulation because it’s so snug. The jacket features a fur collar, stitched pocket, buttons down the front, and a velcro strip to close the front flap. Unfortunately, I don’t think the jacket looks all that great on him. While I appreciate the fur in the collar, the faux-leather pattern isn’t terribly convincing and it just looks stiff. It’s kind of a shame, because this is his more iconic look, but then it’s pretty amazing that Bethesda included an extra jacket in with this figure, so I’m willing to be pretty forgiving.

Finally, the figure comes with five weapons, four are guns from the game (the Dieselkraftwerk, Schockhammer X, Laserkraftwerk, and Maschinenpistole), plus you also get the axe which he uses for silent take-downs and melee finishes. These are all sculpted in solid pieces of plastic, and while the sculpts are pretty soft, they have some nice detail in them. BJ’s right hand is designed to hold them pretty well, but because there’s no swivel articulation in the arm, you can’t really get him to do much with them. It also would have been nice to give him a gun-holding left hand, since dual-wielding is an option in the game.

I don’t know how much this set cost originally. I happened to find it while digging through a dying Best Buy. It was on a clearance shelf for $39.99, which was worth it for the price of the game alone. BJ has spent most of his career as a non-character, but The New Order and The New Colossus instilled more character into him than most video game heroes, so it’s nice to finally have a figure of him in my collection. Sure, I would have rather someone like NECA grabbed this license and gave us a full line-up, but this works just fine as a consolation prize. More often than not premiums like this just tend to be statues, and those are nice, but this really feels like some serious thought went into it. The figure will appeal more to collectors with a nostalgia for the old 12-inch GI JOE’s, and I to be honest, the real draw here is just displaying the figure in its box.

Crash Bandicoot by NECA

Do you remember the Great Mascot Wars of the 90’s? After SEGA’s Sonic The Hedgehog arrived on the scene to challenge Mario it seemed like every game publisher out there was hell bent on developing a new animal mascot with The ‘Tude©. A few of these turned out OK, most were terrible, but from the ashes a new champion was born. In 1996 developer Naughty Dog gave us Crash Bandicoot, which was published by Sony and soon became a mascot for the Sony PlayStation until eventually flying the coop and going multi-platform. I’m glad that he’s on multiple platforms now, I’m playing N-Sane Trilogy on my Nintendo Switch and enjoying it every bit as much as the originals, but if my interactions with idiots on Twitter are any indication, there are a lot of younger folks out there that aren’t even aware that Crash was such an important poster child for the PlayStation. Kinda sad.

And with his original three games now rebuilt from the ground up, along comes NECA to deliver some toys! This Crash figure is the first in a number of offerings NECA has revealed. Also recently shown off at  SDCC were Crash with a jetpack and Crash with a hoverboard. But the first to arrive on the scene is plain old Crash. He comes in a sealed blister card, which isn’t collector friendly, but does offer up a nice whiff of plastic fumes when you break the seal. The packaging is colorful and there’s even a fun surprise folded up inside the insert. Let’s break this Bandicoot out and have a look!

Straight away, I’ve got to commend NECA on the sculpt. They really did a great job capturing Crash’s overall look and personality. A lot of the Mascots with Attitude came across as smug jerks to me, even Sonic, but I never got that feeling from Crash. OK, I mean the look he gives you when he’s about to mount the boar in Hog Wild is a little creepy, but overall I think this Bandicoot is a good guy and that really comes across in this figure. I think one of my favorite things here is the way they sculpted the fur, rather than just leaving him smooth. It definitely gets the point across that this figure is based more on the remake than the original games, but all in all I think it just makes for a better looking figure. The shorts are smooth with a sculpted waist tie, you can see his little white socks peaking out from the tops of his enormous sneakers, and the sneakers themselves are textured and have sculpted laces. His outfit is completed by a pair of finger-less gloves, complete with cut-outs on the backs of his hands, and sculpted stitching! This character has become so surprisingly iconic to me and this figure delivers on every bit of it.

Another thing that really stands out here is the coloring. Crash’s fur is comprised of multiple shades of orange from the bright yellow parts on his chest and and elbows to the darker shades on his shoulders and around his face. I can swear I remember reading an article in an old video game magazine saying something about how developers liked to use orange in their games because it looked particularly vibrant. True or not, it certainly looks great here in plastic. The blues of the pants have a nice glossy sheen to them and the paint lines are all neat and crisp, even on the shoe laces.

As far as the head goes, NECA totally nailed it. This portrait is all about the personality, and thanks to the ball jointed eyebrows, you can get some different expressions out of him. I want to say Palisades did this first with their Muppets line, but whatever the case it’s a really brilliant idea. I’ve definitely had some fun with it, and it’s just so cool to mess around with. His miss-matched pupils give him that slightly crazy look and his smile shows the delight and wonderment of a Bandicoot on a great adventure. Even his spiky fur mohawk looks great.

In addition to those eyebrows, Crash sports a decent amount of articulation throughout the rest of his body. NECA does love their rotating hinges, and here you get them in the shoulders, elbows, wrists, and knees. There’s a ball joint in the chest and neck, and ball joints in the hips as well.

 

As for accessories, Crash comes with a cardboard box that’s tucked between the folded inserts of the packaging. It’s pretty durable, significantly better than the ones that Jakks included with their World of Nintendo figures, and infinitely better than the tiny ones Hasbro included with their 4-inch Indiana Jones line. It tabs together well and it’s sturdy enough to hold Crash’s significant weight.

But… and here’s where the nitpicking begins, while the figure itself is fantastic, the package feels light on the accessories. Sure, Crash himself uses a lot of plastic, and I’m not expecting a bunch of stuff. It’s not the lack of a quantity of items, but rather the lack of a couple of key items. I really expected to get Aku Aku or even a foam peach and the lack of either really stings. With the follow up Crash variants being packed with jetpacks and hoverboards, this vanilla Crash release seemed like the best opportunity to get us those things. And I just don’t see how you can do a Crash Bandicoot figure without Aku Aku. If I were a betting man, I’d say they plan on releasing Aku Aku with Coco as an extra incentive for collectors to buy her. If that’s the case, I’m OK with it, because quite frankly I plan on being All-In on this line.

And the last thing I want to do is end this review on a negative, because I’m absolutely in love with this figure. The colors and sculpt come together in a way here that approaches Raziel, my favorite NECA video game figure of all time. But most of all, this release allows me to let go of one of my long-time holy grails, and that’s Resaurus’ Crash figures. For those that don’t remember, Resaurus was a toy company that cut their teeth on some great video game licenses like Duke Nukem, Sonic the Hedgehog, Quake, and Street Fighter. Their figures were great, but didn’t always age well, and most of mine wound up breaking. Resaurus’ Crash figures have become rather expensive on the secondary market, and while I look out for them, I never pulled the trigger. And now I don’t have to. My only hope is that NECA gets to a decent number of other characters. At the very least I’d love to get me Neo Cortex, Coco, Nitro Brio, and Tawna!

Half-Life 2: Gordon Freeman by NECA

1999 was a rough year for me, and I’m not just talking about the release of The Phantom Menace. HA! No, seriously. I was working a full time job while also trying to get my own business off the ground, and living in a shitty apartment with a difficult roommate. My downtime consisted of weekends playing games on my computer, which was propped up in the corner of my mostly unfurnished bedroom on a computer table made out of plastic totes and a wooden board. My PC was one of the few things of value that I owned that wasn’t in storage and it was my only means of escaping my dreary surroundings. Thank god, Half-Life came out when it did, because I was able to lose myself in it. It was the only thing that I looked forward to when I got home from work and playing it got me through a tough time. So, besides being such a mind-blowingly influential game for its time, it’ll always be extra special to me. Why did I gas on about all this in the intro? Because sometimes I like to point out that some of these bits of plastic that I collect do indeed have special meaning to me.

And here comes NECA giving the intrepid Gordon Freeman the action figure treatment. This is actually a re-issue of their original figure, and as you can see from the packaged shot, he’s based off of Gordon in Half-Life 2, a great game to be sure, but one that doesn’t instill as many strong memories for me as the first one does. Indeed, I’m drawing a blank on most of what happens in it and seriously considering giving it another play-through. So, yes, I would have rather had a new figure from the original game, but I’ll happily take this one as a consolation prize. And hell, it’s still amazing to me just how iconic Gordon Freeman has become despite him starring in a First-Person Shooter where you hardly ever see him. Anyway… enough about the games, let’s get this figure open and check him out!

Gordon comes wearing his trusty Black Mesa HEV (Hostile Environment) Suit. It’s still totally recognizable as the iconic suit from the original game, which was a Mark IV, but with some notable changes (both cosmetic and functional), upgrading it to a Mark V. Suffice it to say, NECA did an amazing job recreating the suit in 7-inch scale plastic form. Despite being all cast as part of the buck, it has a convincing layered look to its construction. The mesh under-suit can be seen between the armor pieces on the arms and legs, and it’s sculpted to have a very fine chain-mail-like texture. The armor plates feature various cut lines and the lambda logo on his chest is actually sculpted as well as painted.

The suit’s deco is darker and less polished looking than the Mark IV he wore at Dark Mesa, but it definitely fits the darker and dystopian feel of the second game. There’s less orange, but still enough to keep the sense of connection to the older suit. Most of it is done in matte colors, but you do get a little gloss on the red panels on the leg armor. I really like what NECA did with the finish on the shoulder armor as it has a cool unfinished metal patina to it. It really invokes an old medieval suit of armor feel to it, which again meshes well with the feel of the sequel. You get more of that rough metal finish to the armor pieces on the arm, only much darker. I especially like the hint of red padding that can be seen picking through the shoulder sockets. Finally, NECA did some nice weathering in both the sculpt and paint, including some scratching and scarring on the orange plates. This is a well-worn suit that shows off the wear-and-tear of Gordon’s adventures.

The portrait is excellent. This is definitely the slightly gruffer Gordon from HL2, but he hasn’t changed that much. He still sports the clean haircut and the neatly trimmed goatee. One of Gordon’s most iconic features has always been his nerd glasses and they are extremely well done here. Glasses on figures often come off as too large or bulky, but these are perfect. They’re cast in a separate piece, permanently attached to the head, and feature actual lenses. There’s a little bit of spray from the hair on his forehead, but it’s nothing too bad and looks more like dirt than anything else.

The articulation here is pretty solid, although a few of the points are a bit unconventional. The arms feature rotating hinges in the shoulders and elbows, with the wrists attached using ball joints to allow the hands to swap out with his two additional accessory-holding hands. The torso features a ball joint under the chest and another set deep in the base of the neck. The odd bit I was referring to earlier are the hips, which feature pins running from the front and back to form a rotating hinge. They work fine, but they still always look weird to me, and these certainly do their part to identify Gordon as the reissue of an earlier release. Finally, the legs feature rotating hinges in the knees and ankles, and swivels in the thighs. Let’s move on to accessories!

Let’s face it, Gordon Freeman and his crowbar go together like King Arthur and Excalibur. Whether I was busting apart crates or putting the beat-down on head crabs, this trusty tool was always by my side. It’s not just an implement and a melee weapon, but it’s a symbol that Gordon Freeman is the average schlub turned action hero. Well, assuming your average schlub has a Ph.D in theoretical physics from MIT. Anyway, the crowbar is… well, it’s a crowbar. It’s an essential accessory, it sure comes in handy when you run out of ammo, but there isn’t a lot to say about it as an accessory. It has a nice weathered finish and you can see some of the red paint that’s been worn off of the handle. The right hand that comes on the figure can grip it nice and tight.

More interesting, and more central to HL2 is the Zero Point Energy Field Manipulator and boy is that a mouthful! The Manipulator was created as a lifting tool, but it has the power to hurl heavy objects at enemies, which allows it to be classified as a pretty deadly weapon. Gordon’s second set of hands are designed specifically to hold the Manipulator and they do the job perfectly. This is a great looking piece with a lot of attention to detail, although I would advise caution when dealing with the mandibles at the end of the device as they appear to be frail. I’ll likely wind up keeping the box for Gordon, because I don’t want to risk bagging that accessory and having those mandibles wind up breaking or warping.

And Gordon also comes with a Pheropod, which he could use in the game to summon the Antlions to attack his targets. It’s a well-sculpted little ball that fits into one of Gordon’s left hands. A cool addition to be sure!

Finally, Gordon comes with a headcrab, which to me remains the all-time best copy of the Alien facehugger. These things were so damn annoying in the game and were equally creepy when you saw them attach themselves to unfortunate Black Mesa scientists and convert them into unwilling zombies. They kind of look like mutant roasted turkeys, and NECA did a fine job on this little static figure. From the blue veins that run under their golden roasted turkey skin to the unsettling orifice underneath that is meant to wrap around a person’s head and basically turn them into a bipedal murder vehicle. Ugh, it’s really disgusting inside that thing!

As grateful as I am to NECA for re-releasing this fantastic figure, I’m actually quite surprised they did. Sure, the prospect of a coveted Half-Life 3 is forever lurking in the dark corners of the PC Gaming community, but it’s been a long time since Half-Life 2 and sadly Gordon Freeman isn’t the household name he used to be. And as great as this figure is, I think this may be one of those figures where you really have to be centered on the character to appreciate how great it is. But for me, Gordon Freeman is monumental in his importance. He introduced the idea of the everyman protagonist to video games, which in turn made it easy for me to identify and put myself into the game. But most of all, he’ll always be a cherished character who was a symbol of relief in a rather rough year of my life, and I’m very happy to be able to add this figure to my shelf. I was on the fence over picking up their Chell reissue from Portal 2, but now I’m thinking I may go ahead and pick her up too.

Predator: “Concrete Jungle” Scarface by NECA

I’m slowly getting caught up on my NECA reviews, and that’s a good thing because I have a bunch more figures coming in the next week or so that will start filling up the hopper again. Today I’m checking out Scarface from the game Concrete Jungle. I originally played it on the PlayStation 2, but a little while ago I picked up a copy for the Xbox, since my OG Xbox is now rigged for HD. Alas, my poor old girl died on me shortly afterwards and I’ve only recently been able to do the surgery required to get her running again. If I’m being honest, Concrete Jungle is a decent game, but not a great one, although I’ll confess that I’ve enjoyed playing it a lot more than I enjoyed watching any of the films that followed after Predator 2.

I don’t know if NECA classifies this figure as one of their Ultimate releases, but the packaging suggests that it is. You get an extra thick window box with a folding front flap, and there are a lot of goodies inside. The box has plenty of pictures of the figure and accessories and, unlike NECA’s regular Predators, this packaging is totally collector friendly. Let the gushing begin!

Getting Scarface out of the box, I’m immediately greeted by a sense of awe that I rarely encounter with figures in this price range. Seriously! He’s big, he’s beefy, and he’s absolutely gorgeous. Sure, NECA knows their way around a Predator better than anyone other than Stan Winston. They’ve been sculpting these deadly interstellar hunters for ages now and they bring with it a passion that can be seen in the craftsmanship. Scarface features the same familiar body type as previous releases, with the creepy yellow-and-black skin and all kitted out with a sculpted body net. The outfit, on the other hand, is new and distinctive among previous Predator releases, and almost has a medieval flavor to it. For starters, you get some ragged chain-mail protecting the upper part of his torso and his groin. Segmented plate armor covers his shoulders, arms, hips, and lower legs. All of the plate armor is sculpted with pitting and wear, making it look like this dude has seen some major action in his day and the paint is totally convincing as weathered metal.

Some nice extra touches to the outfit include two human skulls, one mounted on his right shoulder and the other used as a belt-buckle. Both are missing their lower jaws and feature a realistic bone finish with a wash to bring out all the details. Additionally, he has a traditional bone sash hanging off his right shoulder and crossing his chest. Scarface also likes his spikes, as his armor is literally studded with them. He’s got some real sharp ones on his right shoulder, hip plates, and knee guards, and some more blunt and knobby ones running around his belt. He ties the outfit together with a ragged brown sash that obscures some of the chain-mail protecting his unmentionables.

As is often the case with NECA’s Predators, Scarface comes with both a masked and unmasked head, and both of these are works of art. The mask is a lot more intricate than what we saw on the City and Jungle Hunters. The configuration of the forehead is similar, but Scarface again sports some spikes on a short ridge that rises up from between his eyes. The almond-shaped eyes are black and soul-less as ever, but the biggest difference here comes in all the detail in the area that covers his mandibles, which looks damn cool and adds to the intimidation factor of the mask. The surface of the mask features the same worn and pitted look as the rest of his armor, and as always, I’m impressed by the individually sculpted dreadlocks. The final touch comes with the splash of red paint that covers the damaged side of his face.

A simple pop-and-swap gets you the unmasked look, and once again I’m faced with the impossible decision of which way to display this figure. Scarface’s naked visage features his mandibles open in full, bloodcurdling scream, allowing for quite the view of his alien oral cavity. Above, you can see his yellow, beady right eye as well as the vacant socket to the left where his horrific wound was suffered, granting him his nickname. I really need to invest in one of those packs of head stands that NECA has on the market, because not displaying both of these noggins is nothing short of a crime. Let’s move on to Scarface’s various instruments of killing…

No Predator feels complete without a shoulder-mounted plasmacaster, and Scarface’s is quite a doozy. The entire assembly tabs easily into the notches on his back and the weapon itself has a track that allows it to be slid forward and hinged into a firing position. NECA did not include a firing effect part with this figure, and I can’t say as I really miss it. If you absolutely must have one, you might be able to borrow from one of the previous releases. As usual, it’s a tight fit between the weapon and the head, but I’m used to that by now.

Next up, Scarface comes with this speargun. I’m pretty sure a version of this thing was seen in Predator 2, but it was really given its due in the Predator video games. The Concrete Jungle version is a bit more compact, not quite a rifle and not quite a pistol. I really dig the design of this thing, and the right hand is sculpted to hold it quite well.

Scarface also comes with this rather distinctive curved sword to hold in his left hand. The handle works so that it is above the blade, allowing for slashing moves with the serrated edge that rests past his elbow as well as downward swipes with the hooked edge that protrudes past his wrist. The exotic shape of the blade reminds me a bit of the Klingon swords from Star Trek and that’s not a bad thing. It’s a very utilitarian looking weapon, without any real ornamentation, save for the artistic curves of the blade.

And for added slicing, dicing, and skewering, Scarface has the retractable blades on his right gauntlet that we’ve seen with most previous Predators. As usual, these don’t actually retract into the gauntlet, but rather tab into the slots when you want to display him with them deployed. There’s also an open right hand that can be swapped out for when he’s not holding his spear gun.

And last, but not least, Scarface includes the opening wrist computer on his left gauntlet. The hinges on this one are a lot sturdier than they’ve been on some previous releases.

Generally speaking, I’ve been pretty good at resisting going nuts with NECA’s Predators line. It’s not that I don’t want to own them all, but I’m at that stage with my collecting, where I really have to think about how much space I have and how deep I want to go into any particular line. So far, I’ve restricted myself mostly to the boxed releases, and one or two of the carded ones. Whatever the case, I’m so very happy I decided to pick up Scarface, because he is a stand-out figure in a line populated almost entirely by stand-out figures. NECA worked their magic with this design and created a masterpiece of a figure that is far better than the rather average game deserved. I’ve had this one sitting around waiting to be opened for a while now, and I was actually surprised to see that he’s still available at the original MSRP of about $25, give or take a little, depending on where you find him. In terms of iconic designs, I’d say that the City and/or Jungle Predators are still the must-haves for any collection, but beyond that, you can’t go wrong picking up this bad boy. He’s quite simply a stunning figure.

Figma “Space Channel 5” Ulala (Orange Version) by Max Factory

“Groooove morning, Space Cats!” Are you ready for a rather unusual middle of the week Figma review? Yeah, most of my Figma reviews land on Anime Saturdays, but since this one is most definitely video game based, I thought I’d fit Ulala in the normal weekday rotation.  I’d forgive you if you aren’t instantly familiar with Space Channel 5‘s Star Reporter, because she hails from a game that premiered on the SEGA Dreamcast about 18 years ago. The sequel, along with a port of the original, came a little later to the US on the PlayStation 2, but after that Ulala’s been more or less relegated to appearing in stuff like SEGA All-Stars Racing and SEGA All-Stars Tennis. It’s a shame, because she’s a fun character and I think she deserved more of her own games. Now, why we’re getting a Figma release of her now, I have no idea, but I sure as hell ain’t complaining.

Ulala comes in a typical Figma window box, albeit it’s bigger than most to accommodate the three Morolians bundled with her. What are Morolians? Let me save some time and just link to a review of the game that I wrote way back when it first came out. I’ll wait… Back? OK, let’s proceed! The colors on the box are brighter than the usual Figma packaging and reflect the bright and trippy color scheme of the game. I’ll point out that Max Factory released two versions of Ulala, this one in her orange outfit from the original game, and another in her white outfit, from the sequel and a lot of her guest appearances. It was no contest for me, I went with orange and I was willing to pay the price, but more on that when we get to the end. Also, I’m not really sure what the “EX” means in the numbering scheme, but maybe someone out there can enlighten me. As always, the packaging here is collector friendly, but if you want to toss it out, they provide you with a Figma-branded Ziploc bag to keep all the stuff in.

And here she is out of the package and ready to get her groove on. Space Channel 5’s star reporter usually went through some outfit changes between levels of the game, but this is undoubtedly Ulala’s most iconic look for me with the orange miniskirt, cropped top, and high heeled platform boots. She has a blue belt sculpted around her right thigh and it features a peg so she can wear one of her guns on it. The coloring is certainly on point with her outfit consisting of a bright orange with white trim and red platforms on her boots. As an added bonus, the finish on the plastic does a nice job mimicking the glossy, rubber look that her outfit had in the game. Her chest features a perfectly printed Space Channel 5 logo and she has two blue jet packs strapped to her back. These are mounted on ball joints to allow for a little bit of re-positioning. That comes in handy for working with the included stand. And boy am I thankful for that stand, since Ulala’s boots make it rather difficult to get her to stay upright on her own.

The portrait here is spot on perfect for the Ulala’s on screen appearance. The paint on her makeup and eyebrows is super sharp and clean and her pigtails are set on ball joints to allow a little bit of movement when posing her. I particularly love the shade of pink they used for her hair. The portrait also includes her blue headset with microphone, which is permanently attached to the head.

Ulala only comes with one face, which is really odd as Figmas usually have an extra two or three to change the expressions. Instead, she has movable eyes! I own quite a few Figmas, but this is the first time I’ve encountered this sort of thing. They even provide a tool to move the eyes, and I had no idea what it was until I looked at the instructions. Basically, you remove the face as if you’re swapping it, and use the tool to direct the eyes where you want them to look. Now, Ulala didn’t really sport a lot of different expressions in the game, so I’m not really bummed out by the lack of extra faces, but at the same time, I don’t think I’ll be using the articulation in the eyes very much.

While the extra faces may be missing, Ulala compensates with a whole lot of hands. Not only is the usual sprue loaded up with four pairs, but she also has an extra pair in a baggie, plus the ones she comes wearing. Hands include relaxed fingers, splayed fingers, fists, pointing fingers, and two sets for holding her accessories. I don’t see a whole lot of use for her fists, but the accessory holding hands work well. And speaking of accessories… let’s take a look at what she’s got.

First off is her official Space Channel 5 news microphone and this little thing is beautiful. It’s cast in two shades of blue plastic and has tiny SC5 logos printed around the ring.

Next up are her twin pistols. These have a great retro sci-fi look to them that fits perfectly with the style of the show. Yes, she only has a place to wear one of the pistols. That was the case in the game as well, and through a good portion of the game she only has the single gun, but there are times when she busts out a second. One was to shoot Morolians and the other was to rescue hostages. But where does she keep that extra gun?

Ulala also comes with three little Morolians and these are just static pieces to display with her, but they look great and come in blue, yellow, and pink. I’ll toss out here that the white costume version of Ulala comes with three different colored Morolians, so if you want to get them all, you have to buy both versions. Who would be crazy enough to do that? Don’t tempt me!

And finally, the box includes the usual clear Figma stand with hinged arm and a peg adapter. If you own any Figmas then you already know what to expect here. I do have one gripe, though, and that’s the peg is not a very good fit for the hole in her back. With or without the adapter piece, it takes way too much force to get that thing to stay put. I’ve had a similar issue on one or two other Figmas in my collection, but it’s not the norm. Granted, it isn’t a huge complaint, but it can be annoying.

What’s also annoying is the price on this gal! For some reason this orange version of Space Channel 5’s star reporter dropped at just over $100 and that’s just stupid expensive for what’s included in the box. Did the articulated eyes add that much to the price? It certainly couldn’t have been the Morolians. I have Deluxe Figmas with elaborate accessories that cost a lot less than Ulala here. And with the white version dropping at $85 (also oddly expensive) the only reason I could possibly see for this one being $20 more is because most people are probably going to want the orange version. In any event, I wasn’t about to take any risks here and so I crushed that pre-order button the moment she went up. I certainly don’t regret it, as she’s a beautiful figure and a wonderful display piece to proclaim my undying love for the SEGA Dreamcast and it’s era of gaming.