#0651: Superior Venom

SUPERIOR VENOM

MARVEL LEGENDS INFINITE SERIES

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Have you guys seen the movie Inception? Because of today’s review might be slightly like that. A little. The focus of this review is a villain, inside a hero, inside a villain. That’s right, it’s Superior Venom, who’s Doctor Octopus’s mind in Peter Parker’s body, while bonded with the Venom symbiote. Confused? You won’t be after the next episode–er, review on The Figure in Question.*

THE FIGURE ITSELF

SuperiorVenom2Superior Venom is the second figure in the latest round of Spider-Man Marvel Legends Infinite Series. He’s the requisite symbiote for the series. Just go with it. He’s based on the brief appearance of the Superior Venom from Superior Spider-Man #22-25. It’s short-lived, but it’s a Venom variant, so…yeah. The figure is just over 6 inches tall and sports 32 points of articulation. He’s built on Hasbro’s new Spider-Man base body, which is sensible, given that it’s supposed to be the same guy (more or less). In addition to the body, Venom gets a brand-new head sculpt, as well as the hands of Spider-Man 2099, and what appear to be a resized set of Ultimate Green Goblin feet. The head is a pretty good match to Humberto Ramos’s artwork from the issues where the design appeared; it’s sufficiently monstrous while still maintaining the Spider-Man look. The figure also has a backpack style piece, which has four slots for his leg attachments. Each slot is designed to fit a specific leg, which I guess makes placing them a bit easier, but it also means the legs are totally static. Given the odd posing of said legs, the lack of movement is rather frustrating. Superior Venom’s paintwork is pretty decently handled. It’s mostly just white detailing, which stands out nicely against the figure’s black plastic. The deliberately crooked webbing makes for a much better detailing than Superior Spider-Man, which is a nice change. He also has the red web shooters on his wrists, which were missing from Superior Spider-Man. The figure is packed with the right arm of Rhino, this series’ Build-A-Figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Yeah, so here’s another Venom, and it’s not the classic Eddie Brock version that pretty much everyone wanted. But, it’s okay, because Hasbro showed that one at ComiCon. No worries. I’m not gonna lie, I pretty much only got this guy because I was buying a whole set. Superior Venom isn’t a look I really needed. That said, he’s a surprisingly enjoyable figure. Sure, the tendril/legs don’t move, which is a definite bummer, but the figure is actually a lot of fun, and he fixes a few of the issues present with the Superior Spider-Man figure.  Damn you Hasbro, making me like figures I had no interest in! You’re killing me!

*that’s right, I made a Soap reference. Everyone knows that action figures and Soap go together like…two things that go together.

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#0650: Scarlet Spider

MARVEL’S SCARLET SPIDER

MARVEL LEGENDS INFINITE SERIES

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It’s a mark of a truly popular character when they get a clone (or are revealed to be a clone, in the case of one Boba Fett). Okay, maybe not. I actually just made that up. Off the top of my head. Sorry if you feel lied to, but I needed an intro for Scarlet Spider, the (first) clone of Spider-Man. So, there you have it. So, yeah, I’m reviewing a figure of Ben Reily, aka the Scarlet Spider. 90s nostalgia activated!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

ScarletSpiderML2Scarlet Spider is the first figure in the third series of Spider-Man Marvel Legends Infinite Series. He’s filling the slot of the requisite Spidey variant for this series, so good for him. He’s presented here in his main Scarlet Spider costume, which, in story, was pieced together from some novelty store items in order to fight Venom. The figure is just over 6 inches tall and features 30 points of articulation. Structurally, he’s built on Hasbro’s new Spider-Man body, which is a pretty good start. He has a new head and torso, as well as add-one for his web shooters, belt, and the pouches on his ankles. The head isn’t wildly different from the one we saw on Pizza Spidey, but the outlines on the eyes are slightly more angular and much larger, which is true to the character design. The torso has been re-sculpted to replicate Scarlet Spider’s sleeveless hoodie. It removes some of the shoulder articulation, but it works aesthetically, and the sculpt is appropriately layered. The bottom has even been sculpted to fit around the contours of the belt, which is a ScarletSpiderML3nice touch. The web shooters don’t feature any real sculpted detail; the lines are painted. This is a little disappointing, though I assume it’s to maximize reuse potential. Scarlet Spider actually doesn’t have much paintwork. What’s there is decent enough; there’s a bit of bleed over, but nothing terrible. The logos on the sweatshirt are nice and sharp, which is really cool.  The figure is packed with three sets of hands in web shooting, fist, and open palm poses. They’re the same as the ones packed with Pizza Spidey, but no less cool because of it. He also includes not one but two heads for the series Build-A-Figure Rhino, which I’ll touch on in Rhino’s review.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

He’s a little confusing, and part of one of the more controversial Spider-Man stories, but I kinda love Scarlet Spider. So, I was super excited when Hasbro showed him at this year’s Toy Fair. I’ve been patiently waiting since then, and I ordered him (along with the rest of the series) from Big Bad Toy Store as soon as he was in stock. This figure turned out really well, and he’s a great counterpart to last series’ Pizza Spidey, as well as a tremendous improvement on the old Spider-Man Classics version of the character.

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#0649: Ninja Talon

NINJA TALON

BATMAN VS. ROBIN (DCC)

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When DC Comics did their New 52 changeover in the comics, they also decided to do a similar restructuring with their line of animated movies. I’ve seen several of the new continuity movies, and, while I like them more than the comics they’re based on, they still leave me cold. Their most recent animated Batman film was Batman vs. Robin, which was (loosely) based on the New 52 storyline The Court of Owls. It’s hardly my favorite animated Batman movie, but it was at the very least an improvement on its predecessor Son of Batman, so that’s good. DC Collectibles is still handling the toys for these movies, and they released one of the film’s faceless baddies, Ninja Talon.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Talon2Ninja Talon was released as part of DC Collectibles’ Batman vs. Robin line. Actually, he’s the entirety of the line. Seriously, he’s the only figure they released from the movie. He doesn’t even get his own packaging! The back of the card is just the Justice League: Throne of Atlantis backing! He’s not even pictured! Poor guy’s so lonely. So, it’s worth noting that there are a few Talons in the movie. There’s a main guy named Talon and then an army of voiceless, personality void Talons. This is one of the latter. The figure stands roughly 6 ½ inches tall and has 15 points of articulation. The figure is built on the basic smaller animated male body, like we saw on Green Lantern, along with a new head and forearms, and add-ons for the belt/knives. The basic body does a pretty decent job of translating the animated style into three dimensions, and it helps to keep all of the figures consistent. The head and hands are very nicely sculpted parts. They fit seamlessly onto the rest of the body and do a great job of replicating the design from the movie. Ninja Talon’s paintwork isn’t perfect, but it’s pretty good. The switches between gold and grey are somewhat prone to bleed over, but nothing too terrible. I really like the shade of gold used, and the two-toned grey looks very sharp. The figure’s paint looks much better as a whole than Green Lantern and Wonder Woman. It’s nice to see DCC improving on that front. Ninja Talon includes no accessories.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

So, I wasn’t really sure I was going to get this figure. The movie was just alright and I don’t exactly have a lot of attachment to Talon as a character. But, then I saw at a comic store in Bethany Beach and he actually looked pretty cool. I had just bought a bunch of stuff earlier that day, so I figured I’d hold off, and I put him back on the rack. And then he was placed back in my hand. So, I put him back again. And he was placed in my hand again. Seems Super Awesome Girlfriend didn’t want me to put him back, nor did Tim and Jill. So, now I have him. Truth be told, I’m glad they didn’t let me put him back. He’s a pretty fun figure.

#0648: Strike Force Storm & Avalanche

STORM – STRIKE FORCE & AVALANCHE

MARVEL MINIMATES

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Man, I’ve sure gotten a lot of new stuff lately. So much that certain things have gotten pushed to the side, sometimes for a lot longer than I intended. Case in point, Marvel Minimates Series 60. I’ve had them for two whole months, and I’ve still only reviewed half of the series. Sorry everybody! In an effort to fix that, I’ll be taking a look at Storm and Avalanche today.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

These two were released as part of Series 60 of Marvel Minimates, which was designed as an X-Men vs the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants set-up. As an added bonus, three of the four X-Men included an extra head to let them double as a second character.

STORM – STRIKE FORCE (PLUS PSYLOCKE)

Storm&Avalanche2Storm’s definitely one of the better known X-Men, so it’s no surprise to see her show up for another turn in the Minimate form. Like the rest of the X-Men in this particular series, Storm is presented here in her Strike Force uniform from the 90s. Like Wolverine before her, she didn’t wear it for very long, but she did wear it long enough to make it a valid variant. The figure is roughly 2 ½ inches tall and has 14 points of articulation. Storm has sculpted parts for her hair, gloves, and the two sets of straps on her legs. Everything is re-use, but this is an example of just how well it can work. The uniform pieces are the same as the rest of this series’ X-Men, and the hair is a traditionally male hairpiece, first used in the Platoon boxed set for Pvt Gator Lerner. Storm’s paintwork is decent, if not without issue. Storm&Avalanche3The colors are nice and bold and the detail lines are nice and sharp, so that’s good. She also has my personal favorite Storm face we’ve seen so far. That said, she still shares the same thin yellow paint on the shoulders and missing bit of red on the belt buckle with the rest of this set’s X-Men. It’s not really surprising, but it is a little annoying. Storm gets two distinctive sets of accessories: those for Storm and those for the alt character Psylocke. Storm includes a pair of electricity attachments and a flight stand, allowing for a nice representation of her abilities. Psylocke gets her extra head, which features a hairpiece first seen on the Marvel vs. Capcom 3 line’s Jill Valentine, as well as a Psi-Knife attachment and a basic clear display stand.

AVALANCHE

Storm&Avalanche4Avalanche is a longstanding member of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, but he always seems to get overlooked. He’s gotten a few toys before (but no Minimates), but he always seems to fade into the background. My only real exposure to the guy was on X-Men: Evolution, where he was merged with Rictor and played as something of an anti-villain, who was conflicted about being a bad guy. That was a cool take on the character, but the comics have always just played him as a rather generic thug. But, he’s important to the team, so here he is. The figure has 7 sculpted parts, for his helmet, chest piece, gloves, belt, and boots. All of these are parts we’ve seen before, but they’re all pretty good matches for the character’s design from the comics. The torso is just a basic powerhouse piece painted to match his armor, which is a little bit Storm&Avalanche5jarring next to the more highly sculpted parts elsewhere, but it looks okay in person. Avalanche’s paintwork is pretty decently handled. The colors are nice and bold, and the detail lines are pretty sharp. His face is a more extreme expression than a lot of others, which is nice to see for a change. Under his chest armor, there’s a fully detailed torso, with a big ol A on his chest, which makes for a neat alt look. For Accessories, Avalanche includes two chunks of road, which are a lot of fun, as well as a set of shoulder pads, should you want to display the giant A look, and a clear display stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This set was part of the full series 60 set I got via Big Bad Toy Store. Storm/Psylocke doesn’t really represent a standard look for either character, but it’s a well-made figure, and it offers those who missed out on the first Jim Lee Psylocke another chance at the character. Avalanche is an important, if somewhat overlooked and underdeveloped part of the Brotherhood. He’s necessary to round out the team, and he’s a pretty well made figure to boot. This set is probably my least favorite of the four sets available, but it’s not a bad set by any means.

#0647: Marvel’s Klaw

MARVEL’s KLAW

RETURN OF MARVEL LEGENDS

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Hasbro’s really been making some great strides with Marvel Legends lately. When they took over the license several years back, they certainly had a rough time managing the line, leading to the whole scale being scrapped for a little while. Then they came back and they came back strong. Now, I’ll admit, I was a hard sell on Marvel Legends after the hiatus. I was happy with my Marvel Universe figures, and Hasbro’s early Return offerings still had some issues to work out. But, they gradually got better, almost sneakily so, and now that they’ve moved onto the Infinite Series, I’ve become thoroughly hooked. So, now I’m playing the catch-up game with some of those Return figures, such as today’s figure of Klaw, major foe of the Black Panther, and a supporting player in this summer’s Avengers: Age of Ultron.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Klaw2Klaw was released as part of the Terrax Series of the Return of Marvel Legends, which was the first series of Marvel Legends following the hiatus. The figure is just over 6 inches tall and sports 30 points of articulation. This figure represents Klaw post soundwave-based transformation. Not really much of a shock there, since a pre-transformation Klaw wouldn’t exactly be the most exciting thing, and he’s spent 99.9% of his career as a red sound guy. Klaw is built on the body first used for Hasbro’s take on Silver Surfer. It was one of Hasbro’s earliest attempts at a base body, and it’s definitely before they had quite gotten the hang of designing these things. It’s not terrible, and certainly not as bad as some of ToyBiz’s worst sculpts, but it’s definitely got some issues. For one thing, it’s really scrawny. Klaw’s not the hugest guy ever, but he’s usually shown with a fair bit of heft to him. Also, the muscles are really, really defined, as if he’s flexing really hard, which looks rather uncomfortable. Throw in articulation that can best be described as clunky and obtrusive, and you’ve got a body that holds poor Klaw back. To Hasbro’s credit, the new pieces (the head and his sound converter) are both very well handled. The head does a great job of capturing Klaw’s very Kirby-styled head and is appropriately menacing, and the “claw” is full of fun little details (though it’s been warped a bit by the packaging, which is annoying). The paintwork on Klaw is pretty decent. It’s rather straightforward, but that works well for a character like Klaw. There’s a little bleed over here and there, but it’s all relatively minor. The biggest issue for me is that the reds of the arms and legs don’t match with the torso. It’s really noticeable on such a simple figure. Klaw’s only accessory was the left leg of the series’ B-A-F Terrax. I don’t have any of the other figures from this series and I doubt I’ll be getting them anytime soon, so all I’ve got’s a leg. Huzzah.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I didn’t purchase Klaw when he was new. Nor did I buy him any of the many times I saw him on clearance at Target. I really can’t say why. I like Klaw, I really do. I guess I was just cold on Legends as a whole. Anyway, I ended up finding this guy at Yesterday’s Fun while on vacation this year. He was less than I would have paid at retail, so I really can’t complain. Ultimately, the figure’s fatal flaw is the unfortunate choice of body. I’d be curious to see how the head and claw might look on the Bucky Cap or Grim Reaper body, as it might make for a nice improvement. As is, he’s passable, which isn’t the worst thing.

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#0646: Leon Kennedy

LEON KENNEDY

RESIDENT EVIL (TOYBIZ)

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For a guy who’s not really into video games, I sure do have a lot of video game-based action figures, don’t I? Hey, I’m a sucker for a halfway decent action figure, regardless of its origin. That said, I do usually try to have at least a passing familiarity with the source material. In the case of Resident Evil, I can name most of the franchise’s main characters and give a fairly loose summary of what’s going on in a given game. I consider that good enough. Now, without ever playing any of the games, I’d say my favorite character is Leon Kennedy. Dude just looks super cool. Of course, everyone else agrees, so figures of him tend to be quite pricey. However, I did manage to find one of them, for better or for worse.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Leon2Leon was released as part of ToyBiz’s first series of Resident Evil figures. He was originally packed in a two pack with a Licker, but I just picked up Leon. Resident Evil seems like a slightly odd choice for ToyBiz in the 90s, but they were running the X-Men vs Street Fighter and Marvel vs Capcom lines at the same time, so I’d guess RE was just part of the master Capcom license. Leon stands 5 inches tall and has 14 points of articulation. He’s seen here wearing his Racoon City Police Department uniform from Resident Evil 2. It’s nowhere near as cool as his bomber jacket look from RE4, but it’s not a terrible look, and it’s certainly distinctive. The figure featured a sculpt that was unique to him. It’s alright, but not really fantastic. It certainly isn’t the same quality of a lot of ToyBiz’s Marvel stuff from the same time. His proportions are weird, with a huge head and hands, but a tiny waist and feet. He’s also very oddly posed, with this sort of hunch and oddly turned legs. It’s weird. The uniform has some decent detail work, so that’s cool, I guess. Leon’s paintwork is actually pretty good. He’s mostly molded in the appropriate colors, but he has a fair amount of paint. I like the subtle differences between the regular parts of the uniform and the padded ones, and the RPD initials are nice and sharp. To be really true to the game design, Leon’s hair should be sort of two-toned, but the single color they’ve gone with is at least a decent midpoint. Aside from being packed with the aforementioned Licker, Leon also featured a shotgun he could hold, which my figure is also missing. In addition, Leon has a lever on his back which…raises his arm and turns his head to the right. Yeah, I guess it went with the gun somehow?

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I ended up finding Leon loose in a bin of other video game figures at Yesterday’s Fun. Since he was fairly inexpensive, I figured I might as well get one, just for the novelty of it. He’s definitely not going to be winning any awards or anything, but he’s not the worst thing ever. I certainly can’t say the guy disappointed me or anything.

#0645: Hudson & Screaming Alien

“CPL” HUDSON & SCREAMING ALIEN

ALIENS MINIMATES

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The first series of Aliens Minimates covered a lot of bases in terms of major characters, but there were definitely a few key characters missing. Fortunately, the Toys R Us assortment and Series 2 are doing their part to fill some of those holes. The TRU series has added two new marines, including today’s focus, the shell-shocked Marine Hudson, who is packed with another Alien Warrior variation.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

These two were released as part of the TRU assortment of Series 1 of Aliens Minimates. As of now, both figures are exclusive, but Hudson is already slated to appear in Series 2 at specialty stores.

“CPL” HUDSON

HudsonXeno2So, let’s get something out of the way right now: Hudson isn’t a Corporal, he’s a Private. The package totally gave him the wrong rank. But, I’m probably one of the few people to actually notice such a thing, so, whatever. Hudson is probably one of the film’s more memorable Marines. He’s got a fair bit of screen time, and, whether you like it or not, his panicky personality sets him apart from the rest of the crew. Anyway, he’s pretty important to the film and the line would feel very incomplete without him, so it’s good to see him turn up here. The figure stands about 2 ½ inches tall and has 14 points of articulation. Hudson features additional sculpted parts for his helmet, chest armor, and boots. These parts are all the same as those used on the Series 1 Marines and Weirzbowski. This is sensible, given that the armor was standard issue in the film. Hudson continues the trend of the removable shoulder lamp, which is a nice option to have. His is a little looser than previous versions, but it stays in place alright. The armor is all stuff we’ve HudsonXeno3seen a few times before, but it’s no less impressive than it was before, and it still does a great job of translating the real deal into ‘mate form. Hudson’s paintwork is pretty decent, but it does have a few nits here and there. The basic armor detailing and underlying fatigues match up with the rest of the Marines, which is good. The chest armor has most of Hudson’s distinctive graffiti; it’s cleanly applied for the most part and helps set him aside from the others. Hudson wore a cover on his helmet in the movie, which featured a slightly different camo pattern and an 8-ball on the back. However, the figure just has the standard issue helmet. It’s not the worst thing ever, but it is just a little disappointing. The likeness on the face isn’t spot-on to Bill Paxton, but it’s a lot closer than the other Marines in the line, so that’s good. On the accessory front, Hudson has an extra hairpiece, a standard issue pulse rifle, a facehugger, and a clear display stand. The rifle and facehugger are the same ones we’ve seen before, but if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The hair is one of the standard male hairpieces, first used for Marvel Series 27’s Ultimate Iron Man. It’s too long to really work for Hudson, and it’s definitely painted too lightly to be Paxton’s hair. But it’s the thought that counts, I suppose.

SCREAMING ALIEN

HudsonXeno5Well, I guess it wouldn’t really be an Aliens set without another Alien, right? So, here’s this one. But this time he has a new hat—err, I mean, he’s screaming! That’s sort of different. Different enough when you’re dealing with army builders, anyway. For the most part, this figure is more or less the same as the other Aliens. It has sculpted pieces for the head, torso, tail, hands, and feet. The pieces are as well sculpted as always, so that’s good. This figure uses the “attacking” head, but it lacks the inner mouth piece, giving it the screaming appearance hinted at in the name. The figure’s paint is pretty much identical to all the prior Warrior and Attacking Aliens the line’s offered. There’s plenty of painted texturing and such, which keeps the figure visually interesting.  As far as accessories go, the Screaming Alien only includes a clear display stand. However, this is totally on par with prior Aliens, and it’s totally reasonable, given how many sculpted parts the figure has.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

When it was announced that Hudson and Vasquez would be available in both this line-up and in Series 2, I had planned to just wait for the later release. Then I saw these guys at my local TRU and I caved. Big shock, right? Hudson’s a pretty good addition to the line. He has a few minor issues, but he’s an important character, and he’s good overall. I’m curious to see if the Series 2 release might fix one or two of the issues here. The Screaming Alien isn’t really that different from the other Aliens, but it’s different enough to add a little bit of variety to your horde of Aliens. And isn’t that the dream?

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#0644: Roboto

ROBOTO

MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE

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I am, at best, a moderate fan of Masters of the Universe. That’s mostly a timing thing. It was really big in the 80s, but it was completely gone by the time I started collecting in the 90s. My first real exposure to the line was the 2002 relaunch, which I quite enjoyed at the time. I have a handful of characters I really like, but beyond that, I’ve never gotten super hooked on any iteration of the line. Still, I really enjoy the various iterations of the line for what they are, and I do pick up the occasional figure here and there, including today’s focus, Roboto, Heroic Mechanical Warrior.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Roboto3Roboto was released as part of the 1985 assortment of Mattel’s Masters of the Universe line. He stands roughly 5 ½ inches tall and has 7 points of articulation. That’s actually one more point of articulation than the average MOTU figure, so that’s cool. MOTU figures were generally pretty big on parts re-use, and, while Roboto isn’t completely exempt from that, he has a surprising amount that is exclusive to him. The legs are the same as those used on Trap-Jaw, but the rest of the figure is unique. He’s admittedly a little on the goofy side, but that’s hardly a bad thing. The sculpt features lots of cool hard angles and the “tech-y” details, which gives him a distinctive look. The head is probably one of the goofier aspects of the sculpt, but it does actually present a nice melding of MOTU’s contrasting barbaric and futuristic styles. It’s got a sort of a knight’s helmet look, but also maintains a more classic robot look. The figure takes advantage of the usually empty torso of action figures, and adds some cool gears to represent Roboto’s inner workings. Roboto is somewhat light in paint, being mostly molded in the appropriate colors (the clear plastic on the torso is super cool, by the way), but there’s some minor paintwork for his left hand and boots, as well as a few of the details on his head. The figure is packed with three possible attachments for his right arm: blaster, axe, and claw. All three snap in and out pretty easily, and offer a nice selection of variety. In addition, Roboto features a pretty nifty little action feature; when the figure’s waist is turned, the gears in the torso spin and the mouth guard opens and closes. It’s nothing big, but it’s something.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Roboto is another of the figures I got from the Rehoboth Beach branch of Yesterday’s Fun. Like I said, I don’t usually go for MOTU stuff, but I saw Roboto sitting in their glass case and he just called to me. It doesn’t help that I’m a sucker for robots. So, I bought him. He’s cheesy as hell, but I really dig it. He’s a really fun figure! Oh, and I went a whole review without a single Mr. Roboto joke. You’re welcome.

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#0643: Kyle Reese

KYLE REESE

THE TERMINATOR (NECA)

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For me, the Terminator franchise is similar to the Alien franchise in that I generally prefer the second film to the first. But, like Alien, I still have quite an appreciation for The Terminator. One of the coolest things it has going for it is Michael Biehn’s performance as resistance fighter (and unknowing father of humanity’s savior John Connor) Kyle Reese. Merchandise for the movies tends to focus on the second film, so Kyle’s been somewhat absent from the action figure form. He did get a couple of Minimates and a ReAction figure, so that’s cool. He also managed to get a single figure NECA, right at the very tail-end of their original run with the licenses to the first two movies. That’s the one I’ll be looking at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

KyleReese2Kyle Reese was released in Series 3 of NECA’s Terminator Collection, which was the line that replaced their Terminator 2 line after they picked up the first film’s license. The figure stands 7 inches tall and features 14 points of articulation. The Terminator stuff was something of a middle point for NECA in regards to articulation. They’re the first time that NECA really began giving their figures any sort of articulation. That being said, it was pretty much entirely on the upper half, leaving the legs mostly stationary. This can be a little limiting, and makes it especially hard to get figures to stand, but it’s not the worst thing ever. Interestingly enough, Kyle was actually sculpted with leg articulation, but it was removed in order to keep him stylistically the same as the rest of the line. Admittedly, it holds him back a little, but it’s understandable. Kyle is presented here in his 1984 look, specifically his first, green-coated look from the first half of the film. The sculpt is unique to this figure, although it appears that the face on this guy and Series 1 Corporal Hicks are at the very least by the same sculptor, if not variants of the same sculpt. His likeness is decent, if maybe not quite as spot on as some of NECA’s work. While the likeness is a tad off, the rest of the sculpt is absolutely superb. All of the clothing has great texture and small detail work and he’s accurate to the look from the film. The legs have been posed mid-stride, which works with the shotgun pose the figure is destined for. While they look pretty good, it’s really hard to keep him standing, which can be very frustrating. Paintwork is something that NECA’s made great strides to improve in the last few years. This puts Kyle at something of a disadvantage. He’s not terrible, to be fair. Most of the work is nice and clean, and they even managed to get the paint splatters right on his pants. But, they missed the stripes on his shirt, which is minor, but still a bit of a bummer. Also, there’s a certain degree of lifelessness to the paint on the eyes, which stands out in comparison to NECA’s most recent work. Kyle includes a shotgun (with a string to keep it attached to him, as in the movie) and the picture of Sarah that Kyle carries with him in the future sequences.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Hey! It’s the beginning of the onslaught of things I picked up while on vacation! I picked up Kyle here from the recently opened Rehoboth Beach branch of Yesterday’s Fun. I missed out on him (and most of NECA’s Terminator stuff) the first time around, and I was really happy to find this guy. Sure, he’s not quite on the same level as NECA’s most recent work, but he’s still a very good figure. A strong figure, all around.

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#0642: Beetle -Deadliest Foes

BEETLE – DEADLIEST FOES

MARVEL LEGENDS INFINITE SERIES

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There are very few lines of which I would consider myself a “completist.” Off the top of my head, I believe the only two I’ve really stuck with are NECA’s Aliens and SMC’s Weaponeers of Monkaa. There was a time, back during ToyBiz’s run on Marvel Legends that I gave owning every figure in the line some thought, but I ultimately decided against it, due mostly to the unevenness of figure quality. When Hasbro took over, I backed down even more, and almost quit the line entirely. When they re-launched under the Infinite Series handle, I went back to cherry-picking, but the quality of the figures has been rapidly increasing, leading to me getting figures I normally wouldn’t. Take, for instance, Beetle, the subject of today’s review. Now, I generally like Beetle as a character, so it’s odd for me to say that he wasn’t a figure I’d normally buy. I’ll get to the why of that in a bit.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Beetle2Beetle was part of the first series of Amazing Spider-Man 2 Marvel Legends Infinite Series. Officially, he’s not actually called Beetle, he’s called Deadliest Foes, a name he shares with Boomerang, who was his swap figure in this line. While they are swap figures, they don’t actually share anything but the Build-A-Figure piece. Beetle is roughly 6 ½ inches tall and has 30 points of articulation. Beetle’s had a few looks over the years, of varying styles. This figure is based on his Ultimate universe design, which is my least favorite of all the Beetle designs. It’s the one used in the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon show, so I guess it makes a little sense, but it definitely turned me off the figure. Beetle features a sculpt that is unique to him (though a fair bit of it will be re-used for a comic-style Ultron later this year). It’s a well detailed sculpt, and it does a nice job of replicating Mark Bagley’s design of the character from the comic. While there are lots of details and bits, the sculpt still maintains certain sleekness, which is definitely cool. The wings and backpack are a separate piece, which clips into place and stays there nicely. The paintwork on the figure is okay, but, for me, it’s flawed from the start. See, the Ultimate Beetle is silver and red, in contrast to the green and purple scheme of EVERY OTHER BEETLE DESIGN EVER. So, yeah, I don’t really care for the color scheme. Aside from that, the paint is decent enough. There’s a bit of slop here and there, but it’s generally pretty clean. Beetle’s only accessory is the leg to the series Build-A-Figure Ultimate Green Goblin. So, now I’ve got two of those. Cool?

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Beetle was yet another contribution to my collection courtesy of my Super Awesome Girlfriend. Apparently, she was walking through Walgreens and saw this guy and thought I’d like him. Amazingly enough, I hadn’t actually broken down and gotten him yet! While I’m not the biggest fan of the design he’s based on, the figure is actually a lot of fun. I’m really glad I got him!

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