#1145: Zira

ZIRA

PLANET OF THE APES (NECA)

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Hey Ethan, what are you up to today?  Oh, nothing much voice-in-my-head, just following up on an item I looked at 797 reviews ago, that’s all.

Yeah, you remember waaaaaay back in #0348 when I reviewed Cornelius from NECA’s Planet of the Apes line?  Well, I really liked that figure.  He was sort of lonely on the shelf, so today, I’ll be taking a look at his lovely wife, Zira.  Okay, that actually really undersells Zira, since she’s probably the most important of the ape characters (in the first three movies, at least). She’s the first character to discover Astronaut George Taylor’s heightened intelligence, and she serves as an ally to both Taylor and his companion Nova for a large part of the first two films.  And she’s also super cool, so there’s that!  Also, fun fact: the role of Dr. Zira was originally offered to actress Ingred Bergman, who cited turning down the part as one of her biggest regrets.  Now, onto the figure!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

zira2Zira was released in the second series of Planet of the Apes figures (the last series of the line to be released at retail, sadly).  She was a pretty natural choice, especially since Cornelius had found his way into the first series, and it would be silly to have one of them without the other.  The figure stands about 6 3/4 inches tall and has 24 points of articulation.  Zira is based on her standard look from the first two movies, which is certainly good.  Would have sucked is NECA had thrown us a curveball and given us Zira from Escape from the Planet of the Apes, now wouldn’t it?  Zira’s got herself an all-new sculpt, which is pretty good, if perhaps just the slightest bit of a letdown.  See, NECA’s Cornelius is a pretty strong sculpt.  And Zira’s pretty good too, but I’m just not sure she’s quite at the same level.  I think a lot of it’s the head.  It’s not awful, but it’s a little large, and the hair is really solid, almost as if there’s no real weight to it.  At the very least, it should come down a little further, rather than just abruptly ending in the back.  Also, while Cornelius’s actor Roddy McDowell is very evident in his figure’s sculpt, I’m not seeing Kim Hunter in Zira’s sculpt.  It’s still pretty clearly a Planet of the Apes Ape, but it’s slightly on the generic side.      The body is a bit better.  It matches pretty well with Cornelius stylistically and does a pretty good job of capturing Zira’s costume from the films.  Her skirt is actual cloth, which can always be an iffy venture, but NECA remembered the one key rule of real cloth on figures that Hasbro keeps forgetting: don’t phone it in.  The cloth is of a decent quality and they’ve done such crazy things as actually fitting it to the figure and, get this, hemming the bottom.  I know, that’s zira5out there, right?  Seriously, though, it’s nice that they actually put in the effort, and the figure is better for it.  Zira’s paintwork is alright, though not quite as sharp as some other NECA product.  The head seems the get the worst of it.  It’s mostly the eyes, which just feel sort of lifeless.  It’s out of place for me to say that for a NECA figure, which is why it stood out so much for me here.  Apart from that, the work isn’t awful.  It’s all pretty clean, and once again she matches up with Cornelius, which is certainly appreciated.  Zira includes three accessories: a photo of her and Cornelius, Taylor’s “MY NAME IS TAYLOR” note to her, and the paper airplane that Taylor makes for her and Cornelius.  All of these are just made from paper/cardboard, but they’re really fun little extras.   

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I meant to buy Zira when she was first released.  I really did.  I even saw her a few times and almost bought her.  But there was just something ever so slightly off that always held me back.  Ultimately, I ended up finding her at Suncoast (one of the last seven in the country!) marked down to like $8, which was enough to push me into buying her.  Zira’s not as strong a figure as Cornelius, but I’m still glad to have her.  She’s one of my favorite characters from the movies, and it’s just not right having only one half of my favorite ape couple.  It’s just too bad this line didn’t last very long.

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#1144: Wonder Man – Energized Emissaries

MARVEL’S WONDER MAN — ENERGIZED EMISSARIES

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

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Remember that bio I ran with Captain Britain that was no help as an intro?  I don’t think it’s any more help for Wonder Man.  That’s okay, I think I did an alright job of introducing the guy yesterday.  So, without further ado, here’s another Wonder Man figure!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

wondermanhas2Wonder Man is the fifth figure in the recent Abomination Series of Marvel Legends.  His official name is “Energized Emissaries,” which he shares with Captain Britain.  It’s…well, it’s not really a name that works particularly well for either of them.  They seem like an odd pair to share packaging really, since it’s not like they really have anything at all in common.  Ah, who cares about the names, it’s the figures that matter, right?  This figure stands about 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  He’s based on Wonder Man’s most recent costume design, which he was sporting in Uncanny Avengers.  Admittedly, it’s a design I have some issues with.  Most notably, the swapping out the belt for the straps on the upper arms and legs just feels like change for the sake of change.  Still, it’s far from the worst costume the guy’s ever worn, and at least it’s current.  Wonder Man is built on the Grim Reaper body, a fitting choice, given that Grim Reaper is Simon’s brother Eric.  It’s also the same body now being used for Captain America, who is canonically the same height as Simon, so it’s a good fit all around.  Certainly a better choice than the last ML Wonder Man!  Wonder Man gets an all-new head sculpt, which is a decent enough piece.  I personally would have liked the hair to be a touch longer, but this matches up with most of the character’s depictions while in this costume.  He also makes use of the bracer-wearing forearms we saw on the Walgreens-exclusive Namor figure, which are a great bit of re-use.  Honestly, it wouldn’t shock me to find out the pieces were deliberately designed for use with both of them, given how close the figures are in terms of release.  Wonder Man continues the trend of very clean paintwork that we’ve been seeing from Hasbro as of late.  There’s a little bot of slop on his leg bands, but aside from that, the work is very clean.  There’s even the slightest hint of blue on his hair, which adds a nice bit of pop.  Also of note: they actually got his logo right!  Finally!  The last few Wonder Men have all had the Ionic powers represented by a separate figure, but this time around they’ve just been rolled into the main figure, by way of some extra hands and some effects pieces.  He gets a pair of fists (slightly underscaled due to being outsourced from the Bucky Cap body.  How has Hasbro not yet sculpted fists for the Reaper body?) in translucent purple, along with the effects pieces from Havok done up to match.  It’s admittedly not a bad way of showcasing the powers, though I certainly wouldn’t say not to a fully Ionic re-paint.  I’m not sure the effects pieces work quite as well for Simon as they did for Havok, but they work well enough that they don’t bug me.  In addition to the Ionic pieces, he also includes the right leg of the BAF Abomination.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As I noted yesterday, Wonder Man’s always been one of my favorites.  That, coupled with his last Legends figure being somewhat lackluster, meant I was pretty excited for this guy.  I ended up grabbing him off of Amazon at the same time as Captain Britain and Scarlet Witch.  Aside from not being my ideal costume choice, he’s a pretty solid take on the character, and a much worthier rendition than the last figure.  Wonder Man gets to be part of the default Avengers set-up again!

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#1143: Wonder Man

WONDER MAN

MARVEL LEGENDS (TOY BIZ)

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In a world where death is already meaningless, Simon Williams, aka Wonder Man, is the type of guy who’s still noted for not staying dead.  He’s the male equivalent of Jean Grey in that respect, I suppose.  The guy died at the end of his very first appearance (way back in the *first* Avengers #9) and thanks to a friendly warning from Marvel’s Distinguished Competition on the potential problems with infringing upon established brands, he stayed that way for a while.  But then the Competition didn’t actually follow their own warnings, and Marvel felt comfortable enough bringing Wonder Man back a few years later, ultimately making him full-fledged member of the Avengers for several years.  He’s died at least two more times since then (currently he’s sharing a body with Rogue, which is awkward to say the least, what with her killing him and all), but never been gone for all that long.  Simon’s never been an A-list character, but he’s managed to get his fair share of figures over the years, including three Marvel Legends figures, two of which I’ll be looking at today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

wondermanml4Wonder Man was part of the eleventh series of Toy Biz’s Marvel Legends, officially dubbed the “Legendary Riders Series.” There were two different versions of Wonder Man available: the regular flesh-and-blood Wonder Man, and the variant Ionic Wonder Man.  Regardless of version, the figure stands 6 inches tall and has 35 points of articulation. Wonder Man has more than a few parts in common with the recently reviewed Captain Britain, being constructed from that same Black Panther body.  As I noted in my Captain Britain review, while the Panther body was certainly fine on it’s own, it was a slightly odd choice for pretty much every other character they used it for.  While it’s not quite as blatantly out of scale for Simon as it was for the good Captain, it’s still rather on the small side.  Also, for whatever reason, while the body looks decent enough on Panther and Captain Britain, it ends up looking kind of misshapen when used for poor Simon.  Not sure what the difference is.  One of the defining  traits of the Panther body was the unique texturing, which showed that it was a full-body costume.  Since Wonder Man’s design shows a fair bit of skin, his arms are all-new, and his torso has been slightly retooled to smooth out his neck a bit.  The weird thing is that they only removed the actual texturing, not all traces of those pieces being clothed, which means that Wonder Man ends up with these strange folds and wrinkles on his arms and neck.  Wonder Man also featured new pieces for his head, forearms, hands, shins, and feet, as well as an add-on piece for his belt.  Independently, all of the new pieces are decent enough.  The face seems a little low on the head, but not terribly so, and the boots, wrist bands, and belt all feature some cool detailing.  Why did I specify “independently?”   Because the pieces aren’t actually in scale with each other.  The head is too wondermanml1small, and the hands and feet are definitely too big.  The end result is a really odd looking guy.  The standard Wonder Man was painted to be sporting Simon’s fourth costume, which is probably his best known.  It’s not my personal favorite, but the odds of the Safari Jacket look ever getting a proper Legends release are probably slim.  The paint work is decent enough.  There’s some room for improvement, especially on the “W” logo, which isn’t quite shaped the right way and could have probably used a second coat.  That being said, the overall quality of the paint is pretty solid.  The variant Wonder Man represents his powered up Ionic look from when Busiek and Perez brought him back in the 90s.  Pretty much, he’s just molded in translucent indigo plastic, with some red for his eyes, logo, and belt.  Like the Hasbro version of this look, the inclusion of the belt on the Ionic form really isn’t accurate, and it’s made even weirder by the decision to paint the belt red.  Why would the belt remain red, but the wristbands and boots turn blue?  That makes no sense!  Ah well.  Each figure in the Legendary Riders Series included a vehicle of some sort.  Wonder Man’s is some weird W-shaped moped-thingy, which seems to exist for the sole purpose of reminding us all that Toy Biz didn’t have the foresight to realize just how few Marvel characters really fit the “Legendary Riders” theme.  He also included a little Yellowjacket figure, which could be plugged into his back, as well as a copy of Avengers #51 (an odd choice to include with this guy, since it doesn’t really explain the character very well, isn’t really anyone’s favorite Wonder Man story, and the look he’s sporting in the story is not the look he’s sporting on either figure).

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’m a pretty big Wonder Man fan, so I was pretty anxiously awaiting his addition to the line for most of Toy Biz’s run on Marvel Legends.  Then the prototype was shown, and I was more than a little disappointed.  Then the final product showed up and I was slightly less disappointed.  I ended up getting the regular version as a Christmas present from my parents the year he was released, and I later picked up the variant loose from All Time Toys a few years later.  Ultimately, neither figure is really perfect, and I was always pretty aware of that, but I was happy to have them nonetheless.

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#1142: Marvel’s Captain Britain – Energized Emissaries

MARVEL’S CAPTAIN BRITAIN – ENERGIZED EMISSARIES

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

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“Heroes from around the globe team up to vanquish evil wherever they find it.”

Okay, so that’s not as good an intro for this guy as I’d hoped…

Hey, so I looked at an older figure of Captain Britain yesterday, why not look at his newest figure today?  That seems fairly reasonable, doesn’t it?  Of course it does!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

capbritainhas2Captain Britain—sorry, *Marvel’s* Captain Britain—is figure three in the Abomination Series of Marvel Legends.  He’s officially titled “Energized Emissaries,” a name he shares with Wonder Man.  It’s sort of an odd choice of name, and their sort of an odd pairing, but they’re far from the worst shared name figures Hasbro’s given us (Vision and Doctor Strange’s turn as “Marvel Heroes” is still way more forced).  This is Brian’s first Marvel Legend since the Toy Biz figure I reviewed yesterday.  Rather than going for the same costume, Hasbro’s decided to use his New Excalibur look from a few years back.  It’s certainly not a bad choice; it hits all the proper Captain Britain notes, but also allows long-term collectors a slightly different look for their money.  The figure stands 6 3/4 inches tall and has 32 points of articulation.  Brian is built on the Hyperion buck.  It’s not a perfect body and, as one of the oldest bodies still in regular use by Hasbro, it’s starting to show its age.  That being said, it’s definitely a far better fit for Captain Britain than the Black Panther body used on the TB version.  If nothing else, the scale is much better this time.  Brian gets a new head, forearms, hands, and lower legs, and also makes use of the belt add-on from the most recent basic Captain America (and, by extension, Red Guardian).  The new pieces are all quite nice, and fit well onto the pre-existing parts.  The head is actually made from two different pieces, allowing for his helmet to actually look like a helmet, and not just a simple mask.  Also, another figure that avoids the dreaded Hasbro scowl that cropped up on like 90% of their male Legends figures in the last few years.  Yay!  The new arms and legs both feature a surprising amount of detail, showcasing some slight folds and wrinkles to make his costume actually look like, you know, clothes.  That being said, I must say I’m perplexed by how his pants are super skintight on his thighs and knees and then really baggy at his shins.  The belt piece works well enough, but it’s worth noting that, since it was designed for a smaller figure, it’s very tight on this guy.  Captain Britain’s paintwork is pretty decent overall.  There’s some slop here and there (mostly on the white sections of the costume), but for the most part the application is pretty clean, and the colors match up pretty closely with how this design was portrayed in the comics.  Captain Britain’s only real accessory is the left arm of the BAF Abomination.  It would have been cool to get Excalibur, since he carried it from time to time in this costume, but oh well.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

When I was ordering Scarlet Witch online, I noticed that Amazon also had this guy in stock for about 40% his usual price, so I figured that was as good a time as any to grab him.  Despite not really being a huge Captain Britain fan, I was pretty excited to get this figure.  There’s something about the design that just looks really cool as an action figure.  While I can’t say he’s quite as “wow’-inducing as Scarlet Witch, he’s still a solid figure, and a definite step up from the Toy Biz version!

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#1141: Captain Britain

CAPTAIN BRITAIN

MARVEL LEGENDS (TOY BIZ)

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Can you believe that Toy Biz handed over the reigns to Marvel Legends (and all the other Marvel toys) almost 10 years ago?  That’s pretty darn crazy.  It also means that it’s been long enough since every single one of those Legends figures was released that updates are pretty much a given.  This year in particular, Hasbro seems to have put some serious effort into redoing some of Toy Biz’s efforts.  While the Juggernaut series was perhaps the most evident case of this, it’s seeped into some of the other line-ups as well, including the recent Abomination Series.  Like I did with the X-Men figures, I’m going to be looking at the originals and the updates in tandem with each other, and I’ll be kicking things off with Toy Biz’s take on Captain Britain!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

capbritain2Captain Britain was released in the (first) Giant-Man Series of Marvel Legends, alongside Havok and Kitty Pryde.  The set was the first Walmart-exclusive series and would prove to be one of the last three series during the Toy Biz run.  Captain Britain is based on Brian’s second costume, which is the one he’s best known for, and is, quite frankly, his best look.  It’s worth noting that prototypes for this figure showed him in both this and his look from later in the Excalibur run pretty much interchangeably, so it was kind of down to the wire as to which particular look was getting released (in fact, the figure pictured on the box for this guy was painted in the other costume, prompting some to wonder if it would be some sort of running change).  The figure stands 6 inches tall and has 35 points of articulation.  The body that Brian is built on was initially sculpted for the Series 10 Black Panther figure, before being ever so slightly re-tolled for Series 11’s Wonder Man.  The good Captain gets most of the Panther pieces, with the slightly tweaked upper torso from Wonder Man, as well as Wonder Man’s hands.  He also gets a new head, forearms, and lower legs, which are mostly sculpted to match up with the pre-existing pieces.  The head is nice, and is probably one of the better head sculpts we got out of the TB Legends.  The helmet/mask even matches up with the rest of the body’s texturing, which shows that real effort was put into making the piece match up.  The forearms are fine; basic flared gloves.  The boots/feet are the real weak part of the new pieces; we were well into TB’s duck feet phase at his point, and it was something that they never really got past.  The lower legs are also completely un-textured, which feels rather weird compared to the rest of the body.  And, speaking of the body, that’s where we hit the next snag.  The Panther body was actually pretty cool for the time; it had a nice, sturdy build, and the added texturing to make it clear that he was wearing a costume, not just prancing around in body paint.  It hasn’t aged particularly well, but it was a reasonable piece for the time.  So, it’s not a bad base, generally speaking.  Except, of course, for the fact that Brian Braddock is canonically half a foot taller than T’Challa, which is a bit of an elephant in the room, if I’m honest.  The proportions of the new pieces have been kept internally consistent with the body, which means Captain Britain is, as a whole, in a scale that is completely his own.  There’s pretty much no other figure in the line you can put this guy with.  Captain Britain’s paintwork is decent, certainly on par with other offerings from the line.  The base work is mostly pretty clean.  The white piping on the red details is a little sloppy (because painting a textured base is a bit hard to do consistently), but not awful.  He’s also got some accent work, which feels like it goes a little overboard, especially on the white, or should I say light blue, areas of the costume.  TB never quite grasped how difficult it was to translate this sort of detailing from a custom-painted two-up to an actual production figure.  Captain Britain had no character specific accessories, but he did include the right leg (JUST the leg.  No foot.  That came with another figure…) of Giant-Man.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The Giant-Man Series as a whole was rather difficult to acquire, thanks to Walmart’s trademark spotty distribution.  I eventually found this guy (and a few others from the series) while on a trip to visit some family in North Carolina.  Because the small mountain town definitely needed a large stock of this exclusive series of figures that most of the general public had never heard of.  This is a flawed figure.  There’s no denying that.  And, unlike so many Legends from this era, it’s not simply an age thing; he was always flawed.  The weird thing is, as hyper critical as I’ve been of this guy, and as many things that are wrong with him, I still have a soft spot for this figure.  And I’m not even that much of a Captain Britain fan!

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#1140: Scarlet Witch

SCARLET WITCH

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

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As superhero movies have begun to feature larger and larger casts of colorful heroes and villains, sadly the toys that tie-in with those films have become smaller and smaller.  When it comes to the MCU, ever since the first Iron Man (which really only has like, what, four figures you really need to make?  And two of them are essentially the same sculpt), no movie has really gotten a full-lineup, especially not in the 6-inch scale most collectors prefer (Avengers did eventually get there, but only after a few years and additional movies).  Age of Ultron came pretty close, giving us the six basic Avengers and Ultron Prime, but the three newest additions to the team were sadly left out.  Hasbro’s put quite a lot of effort into getting as many figures as possible out of  Civil War, including Scarlet Witch, one of the characters who got left out of the larger Age of Ultron product.  I’ll be taking a look at her today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

scarletwitchcw4Scarlet Witch is the first figure in the Abomination series, which is the latest series of the Captain America-themed Marvel Legends.  She’s this series’ resident movie tie-in, and appears to be the last of the Civil War-based Legends, unless Hasbro pulls a surprise out of their sleeves, but that seems unlikely at this point.  The figure stands just under 6 inches tall and she has 27 points of articulation.  Scarlet Witch features an all-new sculpt, based on her Civil War design.  It’s my favorite of the three looks we’ve seen her in so far, so I’m pretty happy about the costume choice.  This figure may actually have one of my favorite MCU sculpts (really, only Panther is better, and his was reeeeeaaaaaally good).  There are a few small details that are a little off (the shoulders on the coat should really be a little more squared off, but that change probably has more to do with better range of motion than anything), but the overall figure is very accurate.  The head’s easily got one of the best likenesses of any of the MCU Legends; there are a few angles where it’s ever so slightly off, scarletwitchcw1but there’s really no denying that this is Elizabeth Olsen.  Also, I rarely talk about hands, but the hands on Wanda are pretty phenomenal; they’re perfectly posed to replicate her “spellcasting” look from the movies, and look awesome in a ton of different poses.  Hasbro’s been trending upwards in terms of paint application, and Scarlet Witch definitely benefits from this.   Slop and bleed over is minimal, and the colors match pretty well with the onscreen design. The face in particular is not only very clean, but also has degree of life to it, which a lot of the MCU figures haven’t quite gotten.  If there’s one downside to this figure, it’s the accessories.  She includes two effects pieces for her hands, which aren’t awful, but don’t really look much like how her powers manifest onscreen, and are just sort of a general step down compared to the effects pieces included with more recent figures.  She also includes the head of this series’ BAF, Abomination.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This is a figure I’ve been waiting for since Hasbro first showed it off earlier this year.  I’ve yet to see this particular series turn up anywhere nearby, and on top of that, Wanda’s by far the most sought after in the set.  Her price online was pretty high for a while, but she finally came down to pretty much retail on Amazon, so I ordered her there.  I really like this figure a lot, and I’m very happy to be able to add her to my MCU collection.  Between her and Panther, I have high hopes for future MCU Legends.

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#1139: Ygritte

YGRITTE

GAME OF THRONES (FUNKO)

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When I got into Game of Thrones this past spring, I got into the accompanying toys pretty hardcore (such a shock, right?)  Unfortunately, I caught up with all of the Legacy Collection figures available in just a few months, leaving me with pretty much nothing new to buy.  Just before I started collecting, Funko announced they would be moving Game of Thrones to their smaller 3 3/4-inch scale, and thus restarting the line.  I’m always a bit iffy about starting another scale (especially when it comes to Funko; I’ve got an incomplete Serenity crew in three different scales from them.  It makes them hard to trust), so I’ve been holding out to see what else they’d be offering.  So far I’ve picked up two figures from the new line: Tormund, who I reviewed a couple of months ago, and Ygritte, who I’ll be looking at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

ygritte2Ygritte is the second of the 9 figures that make up the first series of the smaller Game of Thrones line.  As I noted in my Tormund review, all of the figures in this first set are themed around The Wall (which is the first playset from the line).  Ygritte was one of the more demanded figures back when Funko was still doing The Legacy Collection, so it’s not a huge surprise to see her here as one of the anchor figures for the new line.  She stands about 3 3/4 inches tall and has 9 points of articulation.  Ygritte’s movement is a little improved over Tormund, but still not anything near what we were getting from the Legacy figures.  There’s no way you’re getting her to hold her bow properly, that’s for sure.  Also like Tormund, Ygritte’s joints aren’t really worked into her sculpt in any real organic way; they’re just thrown wherever they may land, exposed, for the whole world to see.  In some ways, her sculpt is an improvement over Tormund, but in other ways it lags behind a bit.  The detailing on her clothes is a bit sharper, which is good.  She’s also got a better likeness on the head than Tormund.  It’s not perfect, but you can tell who she’s supposed to be.  Unfortunately, the head’s far too large for the body, which makes her look rather like a bobble-head, and drags the whole figure down a bit.  Ygritte’s paintwork is passable, I guess.  The basic details are all pretty decent, and the work on the clothing is definitely the standout work.  My figure has a slight mark on her forehead, which is slightly annoying, but not so bad that it totally ruined the figure.  Like Tormund, I do feel her hair could be a brighter red.  Ygritte includes a bow, but no separate arrows to hold.  The bow’s fine, but seems a little under-scaled, truth be told.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

After picking up Tormund, I wasn’t really sure I was going to get into this line.  And, if I’m totally honest, I can’t say Ygritte is one of my favorite characters from the show, so I wasn’t exactly expecting to pick this figure up.  But, then I ended up finding her at Goodwill for like $2 (the box was smashed to heck, but the figures was fine), and that was enough to push me into getting her.  I’m still not totally sold on this line, but Ygritte is a slight improvement over Tormund.  Perhaps future figures might pick up a bit?

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#1138: Daredevil

DAREDEVIL

MARVEL SUPER HEROES: SECRET WARS (MATTEL)

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When you’re talking Marvel Super Heroes action figures (or really action figures from the big two in general.  Or even just licensed action figures in general), the first major blip on the radar was Mego’s World’s Greatest Super Heroes line.  That line gave us our first figures of a number of Marvel’s best known characters.  However, there were a number of characters who found themselves left out of the whole action figure thing until the second blip on the Marvel action figures radar, Mattel’s Secret Wars line.  One such character was Daredevil, a character who has recently come into a fair bit of popularity on his own.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

ddsw2Daredevil was released in Series 2 of the Marvel Super Heroes: Secret Wars line.  This was his very first action figure, but it’s kind of amusing to see him crop up in this line, given that he wasn’t present for the actual comic series it was based on (don’t worry, he was in good company; none of the Series 2 figures but the Symbiote Spider-Man were from the comic).  One presumes that his presence in the line over any of the many characters who were actually there has more to do with his relative lack of new pieces than anything else.  The figure is roughly 4 1/2 inches tall and has the same 5 points of articulation that all of the other Secret Wars figures had.  Daredevil uses the standard male body, with only a unique head sculpt to set him apart from the rest of the line.  It’s a pretty good sculpt, though the neck does seem just a touch too long for the body.  Still, the actual head is a pretty good rendition of ol’ Hornhead, so I can’t really complain.  Also, like Spider-Man, Daredevil’s already rather simple design means he’s not a bad fit for the admittedly doughy base body.  Daredevil, like so many of the other figures in this line, relied heavily on paint, and, just like all those other figures, he’s also rather letdown by said paint.  I mean, it’s not awful.  They molded him in a decent red, and what’s there is pretty sharp.  The problem is, what’s there isn’t all that much.  He gets the logo, his lower face, and then the front third of his belt, the front quarter of each boot, and the outward quarter of each glove (which is inexplicably up at his elbow).  Why they only gave him part of each glove and boot is beyond me, and it ends up looking really strange.  Couldn’t they just finish those lines?  Or, if they were really being that cheap, just leave those lines off entirely?  Also, just like his companions, Daredevil’s paint is very prone to wearing off, as you can tell by the state of my figure’s nose.  Daredevil was packed with his usual billy club, and, of course, the weird holographic shield thing that every figure in the line had.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Geez Ethan, for someone who swears he’s not trying to collect this line, you do seem to have quite a lot of them, don’t you?  Yeah, weird voice in my head, I do.  This one’s not my fault, though, I swear.  This is another addition to my collection courtesy of my Super Awesome Girlfriend, who bought him for me from Yesterday’s Fun over the summer.  I gotta say, as many issues as there are with this figure, I really find myself liking him.  And really this line in general.  Yep, I think I’m gonna end up with this whole line.  Crap.

#1137: Sabine Wren

SABINE WREN

STAR WARS: ROGUE ONE

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Alright, let’s wrap up this here Star Wars week with yet another review from the world of Rebels.  It seems like ever since Boba Fett graced the small screen in the Star Wars Holiday Special, the franchise has always put a lot of effort into representing those wacky Mandalorians from whom Boba/Jango got their armor.  The Clone Wars devoted a whole sub-plot to the Mandalorians and where they came from, and Rebels has picked up on a few of those threads, mostly via the main team’s resident T-Visor-wearing warrior, Sabine Wren, who I’m taking a look at today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

sabinewren2Sabine is another figure from the first series of Star Wars: Rogue One figures.  She’s the second of the two Rebels figures in the set, and the second version of Sabine to be released as well.  This figure is based on Sabine’s look from the show’s second season, which fits nicely with the other figures released recently.  The figure stands about 3 1/2 inches tall and has the usual 5 points of articulation.  Sabine gets an all-new sculpt, which is pretty decently handled. Rather than the typical straight-armed pose we’ve seen on most of the line, Sabine gets one arm bent at the elbow, giving her something of a quick draw pose, which is actually pretty cool.  I’m glad Hasbro’s moving away from using the same pose on every figure.  Sabine’s sculpt is a pretty good recreation of how she looks on the show.  I’m not sure she’s quite as good as sabinewren3Kanan, but she’s certainly not bad.  I think the head is the most “off” part of the figure; the hair’s pretty good, but something about the face doesn’t quite jibe with Sabine’s on-screen appearance.  I think the chin might be too small.  Fortunately, if you’re not a fan of Sabine’s headsculpt, that’s okay, because she comes with her signature helmet, which actually fits the figure very nicely, and is very well-rendered.  The paintwork on Sabine is quite nicely handled, which is good, because all that graffiti on her armor is pretty integral to the character.  I’m glad to see it’s all been translated so well to the figure.  I also appreciate the color scheme on her; she uses a lot of colors you don’t frequently see on Star Wars figures.  In addition to the removable helmet, Sabine includes two blaster pistols and a zipline contraption.  The zipline is a little on the goody side, but it’s probably one of the better gimmicky weapons we’ve gotten, especially since it actually goes pretty well with the character.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Sabine Was picked up at the same time as yesterday’s Kanan figure.  I actually held out on getting Kanan until I could get him and Sabine together, but it wasn’t really that difficult a task attaining them both.  Like Kanan, Sabine is definitely one of the stronger figures from the initial assortment, though my enjoyment of these two may simply have to do with already knowing the characters.  Of course, now I’ve got Sabine and Kanan, and I’m feeling like I need to pick up the rest of the crew…

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#1136: Kanan Jarrus

KANAN JARRUS (IN STORMTROOPER DISGUISE)

STAR WARS: ROGUE ONE

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For my last two entries in Star Wars week, I’ll be moving over to my newest Star Wars obsession, Star Wars: Rebels.  I’ve been steadily making progress through the show (or at least I *was* until Disney😄 took the first two seasons off of their site…), and have become familiar enough with the characters that I felt the need to own what I could in action figure form.  Fortunately for me, there’s a nice helping of Rebels figures being mixed in with the Rogue One product, offering me the chance to pick up a few of the main characters.  Today, I’ll be looking at the leader of the show’s band of merry Rebels, Kanan Jarrus!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

kanandisguise2Kanan is part of the first series of Hasbro’s smaller Star Wars: Rogue One line.  He was one of the figures to hit on Rogue Friday, but seems to still be available in decent numbers two months after the fact, which is certainly a good thing.  This is Kanan’s third figure (though his first figure was released quite a few times on its own), and it’s based on his appearance from the Season Two premier, after he steals a Stormtrooper’s armor.  The figure stands about 4 inches tall and has the standard 5 points of articulation.  Kanan has an all-new sculpt; he’s actually a little taller than the basic Rebels Stormtrooper, so I guess Kanan’s a little tall for a Stormtrooper.  I like that he’s close enough to the normal trooper to pass, but different enough that we can easily identify it’s Kanan.  The head sculpt is a fairly decent recreation of Kanan’s design from the show.  It’s not perfect, but it’s close enough, and it certainly appears to be better than the prior versions of him.  The shoulder pauldron is a separate piece (so he can be either a sand trooper or a basic Stormtrooper if you want), which sits a little weird on the body.  His neck is also slightly on the long side in order to compensate for it.  In general, the sculpt is pretty good, though.  The paintwork on Kanan is pretty standard fare for recent Star Wars figures.  Not incredible levels of detailing or anything, but he’s mostly pretty  clean.  He’s better than the basic Rebels trooper I have, so that’s definitely a good thing.  Kanan includes his lightsaber, a blaster pistol, the helmet to match his armor (which fits surprisingly well, especially given his ponytail), and a big ol’ disk-launcher thing.  Because Hasbro, I guess.  He’s actually got one of the better accessory selections from this line, and really for the scale in general.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

So, after getting into Rebels, I realized what a horrible mistake passing up the two Rebels figures in the first series of Rogue One figures was.  I went back to the Walmart across the street, and they still had both Kanan and Sabine, so I got them.  Thrilling story, right?  Kanan’s a cool figure to be sure, definitely one of the cooler figures from the initial Rogue One assortment.

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