#1247: Rogue

ROGUE

X-MEN (TOY BIZ)

Another non-newest series of X-Men Marvel Legends X-Men figure?  Does this mean Ethan’s still looking for that freaking Cyclops figure?  No, actually.  Ethan found that freaking Cyclops figure yesterday afternoon.  He was very excited about that freaking Cyclops figure.  But, he also needs some time to properly appreciate those figures before jumping into the reviews.  Still, X-Men on the brain and all that, so let’s take a look at the back catalogue again.  We’re going even further back this time, and pulling out one of the old Toy Biz 5-inch figures.  Let’s look at Rogue!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Rogue was released in Series 6 of Toy Biz’s X-Men line, and was by far the most popular figure in the series.  She was actually quite rare for some time, but was eventually re-released as part of the KB Toys-exclusive Marvel Universe line.  The two figures are more or less identical.  I think mine may actually be the re-release, since the timelines line up best that way.  The figure stands 5 inches tall and has 7 points of articulation.  The articulation count is a bit lower than other figures TB was producing at the time, mostly due to the upper cut action feature on her left arm, which removes the neck movement (to allow for the lever that activates the feature) and the left elbow movement.  It also limits the left shoulder a bit.  Not really sure why they opted to go for such an intrusive feature.  Rogue sported an all-new sculpt (which would later be re-used for Polaris).  It’s fairly standard for the time.  Nothing super amazing, but it’s a decent enough recreation of her Jim Lee look.  Her proportions are a bit weird; her hairs is really small, and her legs seem to make up a larger portion of her body than they should.  She’s also a bit on the boxy side.  But, like I said, fairly standard for the time, so I can’t judge it too harshly.  Missing from my figure is her add-on belt, which replicated her wacky asymmetrical thing from the comics.  Yay for asymmetry!  Rogue’s paint work is decent enough.  Everything is applied pretty cleanly and all of the important details are there.  I will say I’ve always found this figure’s color palette to be a bit washed out and dull.  I guess the cartoon and future figures just have made me expect this costume to be a bit warmer.  Rogue included no accessories, not even the weird ‘90s blaster thing that Toy Biz seemed to give to all of the other figures who they couldn’t think of anything better to give to.  Alas, I suppose she’ll just have to steal one from one of the other figures.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Rogue was one of the last “main X-Men” I got when I was growing up.  Most of the others had seen one or two re-releases, so getting them wasn’t too prohibitive.  I actually ended up getting the 10-inch version of her first.  Ultimately, I’m pretty sure I ended up with the Universe re-release when it hit.  I think she was a Christmas present from my parents if I’m not mistaken, likely from our first Christmas in the house I spent most of my childhood in.  She may not be the best Rogue figure I own, or even the first Rogue figure I owned, but I was really happy to get her when she was new.

#1246: Strong Zealot & Astral Form Doctor Strange

STRONG ZEALOT & ASTRAL FORM DOCTOR STANGE

MARVEL MINIMATES

Okay, one more day of the Doctor Strange Minimates.  Well, unless I track down the two specialty exclusive sets.  Which I probably will, because that’s the sort of person I am.  Anyway, today we get another version of the film’s title character, who this time around is facing off against one of Kaecilius’s Zealot followers.  Specifically the strong one.  It says so on the box!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

The Strong Zealot and Astral Form Doctor Strange were the Toys R Us-exclusive set for the Doctor Strange assortment of Marvel Minimates.  It’s actually a pretty solid pairing, since the Strange fights this particular Zealot while in Astral Form.

STRONG ZEALOT

Okay, so the box just calls him “Strong Zealot,” but this guy was actually named Lucian (not that it’s ever said in the movie), and he was played by stunt man Scott Adkins.  This is actually the second time Adkins has gotten a Minimate; he portrayed Weapon XI in X-Men Origins: Wolverine.  Hey, it’s not his fault!  Anyway, this particular Zealot was actually fairly important, so it’s cool that he got his own specific ‘mate.  The figure is built on the standard ‘mate body, so he’s about 2 1/4 inches tall and he has the usual 14 points of articulation.  He has two add-on pieces for his hair and skirt piece. The hair s re-used from BSG’s Anders.  It’s not a perfect match for Lucian’s hair, but it’s close enough that it doesn’t look too off.  The skirt looks to be a new piece, and it’s about on par with the rest of the pieces from this particular assortment.  Actually, the details might even be a little sharper on this particular piece, which is always a good thing.  The paint on the Zealot is generally pretty top-notch.  He’s got all of the various shades of purple down pretty well, and there’s plenty of detail work therein.  He’s got the funky eyes to match Kaecilius’ alternate head, and it looks just as cool here as it did there, with the added bonus of being on a slightly better ‘mate.  Lucian’s only extra is a clear display stand.  While something else might have been nice, I can’t really think of anything else you could give him.  Maybe a head without the eye stuff?

ASTRAL FORM DOCTOR STRANGE

Astral Form Strange figures are pretty standard, since they mean you can get an easy re-use out of the already existing Strange molds.  That being said, this is actually the first time the look has shown up in ‘mate form, so it’s noteworthy in that respect.  Anyway, this figure uses all the same pieces as the regular Doctor Strange from this same series.  They were good there, and they remain good here.  He keeps the cloak of levitation, despite its absence during his main Astral Projection scene, but I’m hardly going to complain about getting an extra piece here.  The main difference here is the coloring; this figure is molded in a translucent pale yellow, which works well enough.  He still retained his overall coloring in the movie, with just a slight tint, but that’s a bit harder to do in plastic, so this is the look that most figure versions have been going with.  The actual details are lifted directly from the normal Strange figure as well.  While a different expression or something might have been nice, this is perfectly acceptable.  Like his pack-mate, Strange’s only extra is the display stand, which is a little frustrating on a figure that’s all parts re-use.  A flight stand or something would have been nice.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Like the last two sets, this pair was a Valentine’s Day gift from Super Awesome Girlfriend.  This set is definitely less essential than the last two, but I find myself really liking it.  Lucian’s a cool minor character, and we finally get Strange in one of his more important looks (and you can probably pass this off as comic version if you really want to).  All in all, this is a pretty fun set.

#1245: Mordo & Kaecilius

MORDO & KAECILIUS

MARVEL MINIMATES

When Doctor Strange was still in production and most of what we had was cast list, there was a lot of confusion about who exactly would be the film’s antagonist.  Mordo, one of Strange’s usual foes, had been cast, but Marvel was reporting he would be on the side of good this time.  Mads Mickelson had been cast, but as who?  Everything seemed to point to either Dormamu or Nightmare, since those are really the only two other foes anyone’s ever heard of.  So, it was a bit of a surprise when Mickelson was revealed to be playing Kaecilius, a rather minor character from the comics.  Ultimately, while he’s certainly a driving force in the film, Kaecilius takes the back seat to….pretty much every one else in the film.  He didn’t get picked up for either the Marvel Legends or Marvel Select tie-ins for the film, but fortunately Minimates can offer a more rounded cast, so he did show up there, alongside Mordo.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Mordo and Kaecilius are the second of the two sets shared between Series 70 of Marvel Minimates and the TRU-exclusive tie-in series for the movie.  They’re easily the oddest pairing in the assortment.  They are in some scenes together, but I don’t believe these two ever directly interact in the film.  I guess they’re a case of pairing the spares in the assortment.

MORDO

Mordo was definitely my favorite part of the movie, and clearly had a decent following, so it’s my guess that he’s meant to be this particular set’s hook.  The figure is built on the usual ‘mate body, and so he has all the standard articulation and is about 2 1/4 inches in height. He uses add-ons for his hair and skirt.  The hair is a re-use of TWD’s Battle-Damaged Tyrese, and it’s a pretty good fit for Mordo’s on-screen appearance.  The skirt is a new piece, ad it matches up pretty well with the design from he movie, as well as fitting in stylistically with the sculpted pieces from Strange.  I do wish it sat a little more flush with the upper torso, but that’s a minor complaint.  The paint work on Mordo is quite expertly handled.  The base color work is all pretty good; he doesn’t seem to have been brightened up like the others, but that’s okay for him.  The details are really top notch.  He’s got the appropriate scars on his face, and the slightest bit of stubble.  I don’t know that he’s the spitting image of Ejiofor, but he’s close enough that you can more or less make out who he’s supposed to be.  The most impressive paint work is definitely not he torso, which has a ton of really ornate work, on both the front and the back no less.  Mordo’s only accessory is a clear display stand.  It’s too bad he didn’t also get his staff.  The inaccuracy of the one included with the Hasbro figure and the total omission here leads me to believe it wasn’t included in the material sent to licensors.

KAECILIUS

Here he is!  The bland guy himself!  Okay, that’s not really fair.  Kaecilius was perfectly entertaining, and Mads Mickelson turned in a pretty great performance in the role.  But he really was rather secondary, wasn’t he?  Anyway, like Mordo, he’s build on the standard body.  He uses  add-ons for his hair and skirt.  Both pieces are new to this figure, and do a reasonable job of capturing Kaecilius’s look from the movie.  The skirt is a little on the soft side, but not horribly so.  The paint work on Kaecilius is okay, but probably the weakest in the series.  There’s a fair bit of slop on the base color work, which is rather frustrating.  The worst of it seems to be on the skirt, which doesn’t help the already present issues with the softness of the sculpt.  The detail lines are all pretty clean, and they sum up his look pretty well, but they feel a bit simplistic when compared to the really fine level of details seen on Mordo and Strange.  The basic head presents a decent enough likeness of Mickelson, but is rather bland.  There’s an alternate “powered” head, which helps to make him a little more exciting.  The details around the eyes are nice and sharp, and do a nice job of capturing the cracked skin as it looks on screen.  In addition to the extra head, he’s also got the standard display stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Like yesterday’s set, these two were a Valentine’s Day present from Super Awesome Girlfriend.  While Mordo’s probably my favorite ‘mate in the series, Kaecilius is definitely the weakest figure included.  He’s just rather bland, and lacks the really solid execution like we saw on the Ancient One.  Still, it’s not a bad set, and accents yesterday’s pair quite well!

#1244: Doctor Strange & Ancient One

DOCTOR STRANGE & THE ANCIENT ONE

MARVEL MINIMATES

Not gonna lie, I’ve kind of fallen behind with Minimates.  I used to pick them up as soon as they were released, but now I sort of grab them as I remember and have the available funds.  One set I totally missed when it hit was the tie-in stuff for Doctor Strange, which I’m finally getting around to picking up now.  Today, I’ll be taking a look at the title character and his mentor, the Ancient One!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Strange and the Ancient One were one of the cross-over sets for the Doctor Strange ‘mates, and as such were shared between the TRU-Doctor Strange assortment and Series 70 of the main line of Marvel Minimates.  Both figures are based on their looks from the Doctor Strange movie.

DOCTOR STRANGE

First up is the movie’s main character, Doctor Stephen Strange!  Stephen had a number of looks over the course of the movie, most of which found their way into ‘mate form, but this one is based on his primary look.  The figure is built on the standard ‘mate body, so he’s about 2 1/2 inches tall and he has 14 points of articulation.  The legs are rather restricted by the skirt piece, but his movement is otherwise pretty good.  Strange uses add-on pieces for his hair, cape, and skirt piece, all of which are new to this figure.  The pieces are quite nicely rendered; they preserve all the important details, while still keeping it simple enough that the ‘mate aesthetic is preserved.  The rest of the work is handled via paint, which is also quite nicely handled.  It does seem they’ve brightened his color palette ever so slightly, but I can’t say that really bugs me.  Apart from that, there’s a lot of really sharp detail work.  Most of it’s on the face and torso, but there’s also fully detailed boots on the legs, and they’ve even included his scars on the backs of his hands.  The hand thing in particular really impressed me, since that’s the sort of thing that is easy to miss, but very key to the character.  Strange is packed with a pair of extra hands with magic effects attached, which make for some very fun posing opportunities, as well as the standard clear display stand.

THE ANCIENT ONE

The Ancient One is another in the long line of expendable mentors in superhero origin stories (okay, it’s not just superhero origins, as one Obi Wan Kenobi will attest).  It’s a role that can sort of be on the shallow side, but I felt Doctor Strange’s portrayal of the Ancient One made for a pretty intriguing character, and one I’m quite happy to have a figure of.  Like Strange, she’s built on the standard ‘mate body.  She has the poofy upper arm pieces (first introduced on Series 29’s 90s Storm) to denote her robes, as well as a long skirt add-on and a hood (borrowed from Spider-Gwen).  The pieces aren’t exactly a perfect recreation of the Ancient One’s garb from the movie, but it’s pretty clear that one figure in this series really needed to just be parts re-use and the Ancient One was close enough to work.  And, in that respect, she’s perfectly fine.  Obviously for her, the pain carries a lot more of the weight.  Fortunately, it’s quite nicely done.  The robes are very cleanly defended and I really dig the bright colors.  The patterns on the front are also very nicely rendered, and keep her from being too drab.  The face looks enough like Tilda Swinton on the role that you can figure out who it’s supposed to be, which is good.  My one major complaint is that they left off the scar she had on the back of her head.  It’s pretty prominently seen at several points in the movie, and the fact that they remembered to include Strange’s hand scars makes its absence rather notable.  The Ancient One includes an extra pulled-down hood piece and the usual display stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Not being in the same state as my comic book store means that I don’t spot new Minimates when they hit, and that was the case with this whole series.  I kept meaning to order it online, but just never remembered.  On Valentine’s Day, Super Awesome Girlfriend and I were out and about, and we saw the the whole set at Toys R Us.  Since she hadn’t yet gotten me anything (in her defense, we said no gifts and then I went back on it), she picked them all up for me.  This set’s probably the strongest in the series, due to the prominence of the characters included and the general construction of both figures.  If you liked the movie, this is definitely a good set to grab.

#1243: Mr. Freeze

MR FREEZE

DC COMICS MULTIVERSE (MATTEL)

What am I reviewing today? <checks review docket> Mr. Freeze.  DC Comics Multiverse.  Mattel.  *sigh* Well, I’m sure this’ll be a joyous review.

Okay, so my hate for Mattel is no secret, nor is my general dislike of their current DC line, dubbed DC Comics Multiverse, which, in its small-scale form, never even came close to living up to that name.  Might as well have called it “Batman & Friends: Arkham Style (and also three ‘80s movies that get two figures each).”  Yes, there was more than a small focus on the Arkham games in this line.  And that’s not inherently bad; the Arkham games were a popular series, and a solid source of cool toys; but there’s a whole lot more DC out there, and returning to the days of no one but Batman getting any toys doesn’t exactly thrill me (the larger scale line looks like it’s avoiding this for now, which is good).  Anyway, I don’t hate Batman or his rogue’s gallery, so I’m not completely unwilling to pick up the stray figure here and there.  One of my all time favorite Bat-Villains is Mr. Freeze, who I’ll be looking at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Mr Freeze was released in the very first series of DC Comics Multiverse figures from Mattel.  He’s based on his appearance in Arkham City, the second Arkham game.  It’s not a terrible Freeze design; it feels a little over  complicated for my taste, but it fits alright with the rest of the Arkham game aesthetic, which I guess is really the main point.  The figure stands a little over 4 inches tall and has 17 points of articulation.  The articulation is like a lot of the other figures in this line, where the lower half has reasonable movement, but the upper half is mostly pretty restricted.  Freeze’s shoulder pads in particular limit when can be done with his arms.  Also, the lack of bicep movement is a real killer on Freeze, since it means he cant hold his freeze gun with both hands.  Freeze’s sculpt was all-new to him, and it’s honestly one of the best sculpts this line had to offer.  There are some slight oddities to the proportions, especially when it comes to the placement of the pelvis.  The feet also are a bit clown shoe-y, which looks pretty goofy.  The head and helmet is a pretty solid implementation; his head is connected to the waist joint, which subverts the usual issues with neck movement on Mr. Freeze figures, so that’s something Mattel actually did right.  The paint on Freeze is decent enough.  It’s pretty straight forward work, with solid color work, and no real accent work to speak of.  The application is all pretty clean, and he has some brighter colors that help him stand out from the pack a bit.  Mr. Freeze is packed with his freeze gun, which as I noted above, he can only hold one handed.  It doesn’t look awful that way, so I guess it’s not the end of the world.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As with Knightfall Batman and Detective Mode Bane, Mr. Freeze was given to me by Super Awesome Girlfriend, who purchased him for me during one of her stress-buying sprees.  I gotta say, I came into this review kinda down on this figure, but I’ve come out the other side actually kind of liking this guy.  I mean, he’s still far from perfect, but he’s certainly not as bad as the last few Mattel items I’ve looked at.

#1242: Cyclops

CYCLOPS

X-MEN: CLASSICS (TOY BIZ)

I’ve spent the better part of the last two weeks searching for the latest Marvel Legends Cyclops figure, with no luck so far (he’s the only one who illudes me.…).  Fortunately for me, I have an extensive backlog of figures I can pull from, allowing me to review a Cyclops just about any time I want to.  Heck, I can even review one that’s wearing the same costume!  In the same scale!  Isn’t that nifty?  I sure think it is!  So, without further ado, here’s a Cyclops figure!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Cyclops hails from the first (and sadly only) series of Toy Biz’s X-Men: Classics line.  Since they had launched Marvel Legends, Toy Biz had been using Spider-Man: Classics to release Spider-related characters in the same style, thereby clearing the way for Legends to release more obscure characters from elsewhere.  In 2004, they launched both X-Men: Classics and Hulk: Classics, in an attempt to do the same with those groups of characters.  Somehow, the X-Men got the short straw, and their line only lasted a single series before the team was rolled back into Marvel Legends (the line didn’t even last long enough for them to actually exit Legends, of course).  On the plus side of things, the line did manage to give us our first version of the X-Men’s stalwart field leader, Cyclops!  The figure stands a little over 6 inches tall and he has 37 points of articulation.  Due to a light up feature, his neck movement is restricted to just a cut joint, and even then, it can only go so far in each direction.  It’s better than no movement at all, but frustrating that that this guy is hampered by the same issue that the 5-inch figures had finally moved past.  Cyclops had an all-new sculpt, based on his Jim Lee-era design.  Though every piece here is new, I’ve always thought he looked rather similar to the Legends Gambit in terms of aesthetics.  I have to wonder if they had a common starting point.  The sculpt is a bit of a mixed bag if I’m honest.  The head is definitely the strongest bit; it’s probably the best Cyclops sculpt that Toy Biz ever produced, and just encapsulates the character very well.  I wish the body lived up to it.  It’s not awful, but it’s very scrawny.  Sure, Scott’s long had the nickname “Slim,” but this seems a bit excessive.  It also doesn’t help that it’s the Jim Lee design, and Lee always depicted Scott as pretty solid.  The figure suffers from some rather obvious articulation as well (a common issue with TB figures of this era), which only makes the lankiness look worse.  The actual details of the costume are actually pretty nice, and the work on the boots in particular is really top-notch, so that’s a plus.    The paintwork on Scott is okay overall.  The work is mostly pretty clean, and there’s some pretty good accent work.  There’s the usual slight inconsistencies of accenting from piece to piece of the figure, and the head seemed particularly prone to chipping, but other than that it seems fine.  I think my biggest gripe is the shade of blue they used; it just seems too muted for Cyclops.  While Legends was all about the collector driven extras, the Classics lines went a little more toy-etic.  Cyclops included a stand that I believe is meant to replicate a portion of the Danger Room.  There’s a cannon hooked up to one side, and Scott can be hooked up to the pole on the other side.  There’s a box at the top of the pole with a plug that goes into Scott’s back, and a lever at the base of the stand.  When the lever is pulled, Scott spins 90 degrees and his eyes light up, and then the cannon “explodes” via a spring-loaded feature, simulating him hitting it with his optic blast.  It’s quite gimmicky, and never worked particularly well on my figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

When I first saw this figure, it was as part of Raving Toy Maniac’s coverage of one of the Toy Fairs.  He was there alongside Series 5 and 6 of the main Legends line, with no info as to where he would be showing up.  Eventually we found out.  Of course, 2004 was kind of when Legends was at its worst in terms of scarcity and scalpers, so I never actually saw this guy at retail.  That summer my family took a trip to the large KB Toys warehouse store located in Dover, which I had been to once before, and which housed a huge selection of figures going back almost a decade .  When we arrived at the store, it was cleared out and closed, which was more than a little bit of a bummer.  Feeling bad for me, my Dad tracked this guy down from an online vendor, and bought him for me (he likes to buy me Cyclops figures when I’m down.  It’s a thing).  He paid a whopping $15 with shipping, which is kind of laughable these days.  This figure’s not perfect, but he was one of my favorites for a good long while, and I still think of him quite fondly.

#1241: Wedge Antilles

WEDGE ANTILLES

STAR WARS: COMIC PACKS (HASBRO)

When it comes to characters in fiction, I’m sort of odd about my favorites.  Main characters are great and all, but my favorite characters, the ones that really stick with me, tend to be the ones just slightly out of focus.  Most of my favorite Marvel characters aren’t going to be headlining their own movies any time soon, and my all-time favorite DC character is Elongated Man, who 90% of people have probably never heard of.  So, it follows that my favorite character from the original Star Wars Trilogy isn’t one of the mains, but is instead X-Wing pilot Wedge Antilles.  In Wedge’s defense, he’s one of the only background characters to show up and have dialogue in all three movies, and he participates in three major battles without dying, which is actually pretty impressive for a generally normal dude.  He’s also been a rather prominent player in the Expanded Universe, which is how he got the figure I’ll be looking at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Wedge Antilles was released as part of the Comic Packs sub-line of Hasbro’s Star Wars: 30th Anniversary line.  He was packaged with Borsk Fey’lya, as well as a copy of Star Wars: X-Wing Rogue Squadron #35.  They were set 14 in the line.  Wedge stands 3 3/4 inches tall and has 18 points of articulation.  Wedge is seen here not in his usual pilot garb from the films, but instead in what appears to be a dress uniform, presumably from Rogue Squadron.  It’s certainly a unique design, even if its not one I’m immediately familiar with.  Wedge uses the legs and hands of the 2007 Training Fatigues Clone Trooper, along with a new head, torso, and arms.  The end result is perhaps not the greatest sculpt that the Star Wars line ever put out, with arms that feel a little over-sized, and a slightly awkward bend to the legs.  That being said, it’s not awful, and is certainly better than some of this figure’s contemporaries.  The likeness presents a decent halfway point between Dennis Lawson and the comic depictions of Wedge, resulting in a pretty good likeness of the character, if maybe not the actor.  Still, if you know who it is, you can see some of Lawson peeking through.  Paint work on Wedge is pretty solid, if not amazing.  The colors match up with what I’ve been able to find of the source material, and he’s a different enough palette of colors to stand out pretty well on the shelf.  Some of the application is a little sloppy, but nothing incredibly bad.  Wedge was packed with a rather basic rebel blaster, which he can hold or stow in his holster.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve honestly been meaning to buy this figure since it was first released.  I don’t really know the material he’s based on, but I like Wedge, so why not?  I ended up picking him up from Yesterday’s Fun over the holidays.  He was loose, which is why I didn’t also get his pack-mate.  He’s a decent enough figure, and probably the best version of Wedge I own, even if he’s not from the movies.

#1240: Invisible Woman

FORCE FIELD INVISIBLE WOMAN

MARVEL MINIMATES

At one point, the Fantastic Four were the premier characters at Marvel.  They’re the whole reason for the modern Marvel universe’s existence, and were a central piece of said universe for almost 50 years.  Unfortunately, the fact that the film license for the characters lies with 20th Century Fox has made the characters very difficult to use in Marvel’s current structure, which is very reliant on movie momentum to keep things going.  This, plus a less than stellar relationship with Fox and the fact that the Four don’t have the same selling power as Spider-Man and the X-Men, has led to Marvel’s first family and all associated characters being absent from pretty much all Marvel merchandise for quite a few years, which is a real shame.  Before it all fell apart, the FF were the main source of one of my all-time favorite assortments of Marvel Minimates, which is where today’s version of the Invisible Woman hails from.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Force Field Invisible Woman was released alongside the Moloid (previously reviewed here) in Series 48 of Marvel Minimates.  Sue was the heavier-packed regular release to Alicia’s short-packed variant release.  She, like the rest of the team in this series, is based on her appearance during John Byrne’s lengthy run on the title in the ‘80s, which just so happens to be my favorite set of costumes for the team (in no small part due to the presence of the designs in the ‘90s cartoon, which served as my main introduction to the characters.)  The figure stands about 2 1/4 inches tall and has 14 points of articulation.  She’s built on the standard body, with an add-on piece for her hair.  It’s a new piece, and it does a reasonable enough job of capturing Sue’s standard look, from early in Byrne’s run and any time an artist other than Byrne depicted this design.  Seems odd that they sculpted an all-new piece, since there were several that probably would have worked fine, but I’m not complaining.  She also has an alternate hairpiece, based on the mullet she was sporting for while during Byrne’s run.  Not my preferred look for her, but it was a look she had for a good long while in the costume, so it’s good DST didn’t leave it out.  The paint on Sue is about what you’d expect from a modern ‘mate.  The details are nice and clean, and the colors are a pretty decent match for the comics.  If we’re getting picky, the shadows should be black, not dark blue, since Byrne has stated many times that the costumes weren’t actually blue.  However, it’s dark enough that it’s still passable.  Sue is packed with two sets of arms and legs: solid colors and partially transparent, simulating her powers.  She also includes a stand made up to look like the beginnings of an invisible shield, which is a really fun piece. 

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This whole series was one of my most anticipated releases of Minimates at the time, so I made it a point of going to Cosmic Comix the day they were released to pick them up.  I’ve got other Invisible Woman ‘mates, but this one’s my favorite.  The costume choice is great, and the extras are, well, they’re just fantastic.  Which is very appropriate, is it not?

#1239: Katana

KATANA

DC COMICS MULTIVERSE (MATTEL)

Hey, remember when I was talking about Suicide Squad yesterday?  Well, I’m gonna do some more talking about it today.  If I’m very lucky, this will be my last bit of talking on the Suicide Squad front.  As noted yesterday, one of the biggest flaws with the movie was just how under-utilized anyone not named “Deadshot” or “Harley Quinn” was.  Boomer at least got some characterization (mostly due to Jai Courtney’s scenery chewing performance), but today’s focus, Katana, gets a whole lot of nothing.  No fancy introduction, no particularly good fights, next to no dialogue, and no anything else that would make her even slightly interesting.  Karen Fukuhara really tried to inject something into the character, but there just wasn’t anything there to work with.  Anyway, she got a figure, which I’m looking at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Like yesterday’s Captain Boomerang, Katana was released in the second Suicide Squad-themed assortment of Mattel’s DC Comics Multiverse, which hit well after the movie’s release, thereby guaranteeing that most audiences would have zero interest in the figure.  You know what might have solved this problem?  Shipping all six figures at the same time! (In Mattel’s defense, the most recent series of Multiverse wasn’t split in two, so maybe they’re learning)  The figure stands about 6 1/2 inches tall and has 25 points of articulation.  The ab crunch can move a little bit this time, but not much more than Deadshot’s.  Of course, the elbows and knees are both unable to make it to a full 90 degree angle (really restricting for a sword wielding character).  Also, the ankles on this figure are essentially useless, which makes it very hard to get her to stand.  How do you screw up ankles this badly?  Okay, the movement’s not good, but it’s all for the sake of the sculpt, right? Well, that wasn’t the case with Boomerang, so it’s probably not a shock to find it’s not the case here.  All of the joints stick out like sore thumbs, her torso is flat and thick, her arms are super spindly, the legs and pelvis continue the trend of not really looking like any human ever, and the head doesn’t really resemble Fukuhara at all. Perhaps the worst piece of this already pretty bad sculpt is the sash which holds the sheaths for her swords.  The sash itself is super thick and juts out really far from the figure’s hip, in a way pretty much no real fabric ever would.  The sheaths are separate pieces, and they are actually too small to properly fit in the proper slots, leading them to shift out of place a lot.  This is particularly bad with the smaller front sheath, which tends to naturally fall so it hands straight down, thereby making Katana look like she has a certain appendage that she shouldn’t really have.  It’s really a mess.  Who looked at that and went “yeah, that’s okay?”   As far as the paint goes, Katana’s alright, I guess.  The colors are all pretty basic, but there’s at least some interesting character work on the left leg and the back of her jacket.  She looks way too clean to be from the movie, but she fits with the other figures in that regard.  Katana includes a long blade and a short blade, neither of which she can actually hold properly, as well as the head and pelvis of Killer Croc, the CnC I’ll never be finishing.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

After determining that Boomerang was only $1, I went back and also grabbed a Katana figure.  Not really sure why her, aside from the whole $1 thing.  I was actually in a bit of a hurry, so these were the only two I grabbed, and by the time I made it back to that particular Walmart, they’d been mostly cleaned out.  Alas, no more crappy $1 action figures for me.  I’m not gonna lie, Katana’s a really rough figure.  I’d have a hard time telling you whether she or Boomerang was the worse figure, just due to the large number of issues associated with both of them.  For $1, I feel like I got what I paid for, but I can’t imagine ever being willing to spend even close to full retail on this thing, even if I *had* liked the movie.

#1238: Boomerang

BOOMERANG

DC COMICS MULTIVERSE (MATTEL)

To quote Jack Sparrow, “There should be a captain in there somewhere.”

So, Suicide Squad was DC’s less sucky live action film from last year.  Of course, when your claim to fame is “not as bad as Dawn of Justice,” you may not be on the strongest footing.  As I noted in my review of Mattel’s version of Deadshot from the film, it did have its moments where it didn’t totally suck, or at least hinted at not sucking as much.  It was kind of like watching a clumsy kid on a bike riding up a ramp; there’s promise, and you hope things end well, but it pretty much always ends with a disappointing crash of reality, and leaves all the participants worse than they were at the start.  With a few exceptions, the movie’s cast really did try their best to salvage the film, putting in the best performances they could of the material they were handed.  Outside of Will Smith (who almost manages to save the movie), the performance I was most impressed by was Jai Courtney’s Captain Boomerang.  After seeing him give a number of rather forgettable turns as generic action heroes, Courtney actually did the good captain some justice.  The fact that he was so underused (especially given Boomer’s long history with the Squad) is one of the film’s greatest failings.  He ended up getting a figure from Mattel, which I’ll be looking at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Boomerang was released in the second assortment of the Suicide Squad sub-set of DC Comics Multiverse, which hit stores late last year, well after anyone was actually interested in Suicide Squad figures.  Good move there Mattel.  The figure stands about 6 1/2 inches tall and has 23 points of articulation….in theory.  As I noted in the Deadshot review, a lot of the joints on this figure are significantly limited in range of motion.  The elbows can at least make it to 90 degrees, which is something.  Of course, on the flipside, there’s the torso crunch; remember how Deadshot’s ab-crunch was essentially useless?  Well, Boomerang goes right past “essentially” and straight to “completely.”  Seriously, the joint cannot move.  At all.  What is even the point of including this joint if it literally provides no extra movement.  All it does is stick out like a sore thumb on the sculpt.  All of the articulation sticks out, as a matter of fact; there doesn’t appear to be even the slightest attempt to work any of the joints into the sculpt organically, resulting in a figure that strangely offers the worst of both worlds in regards to sculpt and movement.  I guess the sculpt has some merit.  The head looks passably like Jai Courtney’s Boomer, albeit one who’s been scrubbed and cleaned within an inch of his life.  He’s also got a rather bland expression, which seems rather out of place. The rest of the body is…well its there.  Most of the details are rather on the soft side, and he looks rather clunky and outdated compared to most modern figures.  The worst offender is the torso/pelvis, which isn’t really shaped like any human ever, much less Boomerang from the movie.  The coat is inaccurate, mostly because it’s just a re-use of the Dark Knight Rises Bane coat.  They aren’t really that close in design, and it also doesn’t fit the new body sculpt, so it just looks awkward and poofy.  Under the coat, there’s a holster piece, which is glued in place.  It looks rather weird and tacked on, and it can’t really hold a boomerang all that well, thanks mostly to the ill-fitting jacket.  The paintwork on Boomerang isn’t the worst work I’ve seen, but it’s not particularly great.  Everything is just solid colors, with no real weathering, which is really essential on a figure like this.  There’s several noticeable occurrences of slop, and overspray on the neckline.  Lots of details, such as the zipper on his shirt and the buttons on his jacket are just left completely unpainted.  And, to top it all off, the silver paint they used is already starting to flake off.  Boomerang comes packed with three of his namesake weapon.  They are each stamped with a large “CHINA” branding, but what else is new.  They don’t really resemble any of the boomerangs he uses in the film, and on top of that he can’t actually *hold* them, thanks to his hands being sculpted into weird, generic grip poses.  If you’re already sculpting him new hands, why not at least make it so he can hold his signature weapon?  Boomerang also includes the other arm of Killer Croc, which he, amusingly, can actually hold pretty well.  Maybe Mattel thought they were actually making a figure of Captain Killer Croc Arm?

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Ethan, you didn’t like the movie, you don’t like Mattel, and you don’t like DC Comics Multiverse.  Why, dear God why, did you buy this figure?  That’s a good question.  Remember how I got the Son of Batman figure for $5 on clearance?  Well, this guy was sitting next to him on the shelf.  He had no price tag, but I was curious, so I took him to the price scanner, to see if he was also $5.  He wasn’t.  No, he, along with all of the other Suicide Squad figures at my local Walmart, was $1.  And for $1, there are few action figures I’d say no to.  This is an awful figure, make no mistake.  Don’t pay full price, ever.  But if you see one for $1?  Well, okay, he’s still awful, but at least he’s cheap, and therefore a little more worth it.  At least this way my Deadshot figure’s less lonely.