#0498: Casual Jules

CASUAL JULES

PULP FICTION

Jules1

I’ve mentioned that I didn’t get around to seeing the Kill Bill films until rather recently. In part, this had to do with the fact that, when Volume 2 was released in 2004, I was only 12 years old. However, a major player in why I didn’t seek them out in the years after the release is that when I was about 17, I had seen Tarantino’s other big film Pulp Fiction. Or at least the first hour or so of it, before I was so turned off by what was happening that I had to turn it off. A lot of people really like Pulp Fiction, but I just couldn’t get into it. So, when it was announced that Diamond Select Toys had picked up the license to do Minimates from the movie, I figured they would be one of those rare Minimate properties that I would just skip. But, as has clearly been established on this site, I am weak. Also, no matter what my opinion of the film, Samuel L Jackson is a bad-a ss M*****-F*****, so passing completely on the all of the Minimates of his character, Jules, seems unrealistic. So, let’s have a look at one of those.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Jules2Jules was released as part of a four-pack of figures titled “Diner Showdown.” The set is based on the Diner scenes that bookend the film, and it’s exclusive to Hastings, a store which doesn’t actually have any locations near me. The figure is roughly 2 ½ inches tall, with 14 points of articulation. He’s based on Jules’s appearance in the diner scenes, where he’s wearing the clothes he received from Jimmy Dimmick, after his got a little messy. It’s certainly not the look every one associates with the character, but it’s a fun little variant, and it’s certainly goofy. Jules is built on the standard Minimate body, with add-ons for his hair and the bottom of his shirt. Both pieces are re-use. The hair was previously used on the last Jules. It’s a very good replication of the hair he has in the movie, and it’s well-sculpted and nicely detailed. The lower portion of the shirt is done with a rather standard belt piece that we’ve seen a number of times before. Essentially, it just lengthens the torso block, which is the effect they were going for. The figure’s real shining point is his paint work, which is excellent, aside from one small nit. The issue is that Jules’s t-shirt should actually have a design on it, but it doesn’t. Presumably, the design on the shirt is a pre-existing design, which would require a separate license, which seems a bit excessive for a one-off figure. Aside from that, the figure features some very clean base paint work, as well as some truly great detail line work. The SLJ likeness is truly spot-on, not just for the actor, but also for the character. The design on his shorts is also really well done, and certainly helps to make the figure a particularly unique one. Jules includes a handgun and a briefcase. He also had a coffee mug, but I got mine loose, so he didn’t have that piece.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I fully intended not to get into the Pulp Fiction line. I really did. But, then I totally had to go and try to do something nice. See, the Kraang, from the recently launched Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Minimates line is something of a rarity, especially for people without a K-Mart nearby. So, when I came across a Kraang in a somewhat remote K-Mart nearly a month after most sources dried up, I picked it up, with the intent of helping someone on the Minimate Multiverse out. The guy I ended up trading with was quite eager to get a hold of the Kraang, but after a few back-and-forths via PM, we were having difficulty finding something he could trade to me in return. Finally, I just asked what he had extras of, and he said that he’d bought a bunch of Diner sets for the coffee mug pieces. So, I figured, what the heck and traded the Kraang for a Jules, sans coffee mug. Even though I hadn’t intended to get the figure, he’s actually a pretty well done ‘mate. Sure, he’s not the best ever made, but he’s of solid quality, and I got to help someone else get something they’d been looking for. And that’s what really makes it worth it.

#0497: Green Goblin

GREEN GOBLIN

MARVEL LEGENDS

GreenGoblinML1

Ah, yes, ToyBiz’s Marvel Legends. What a bunch of mixed feelings that was. When they were new, I loved the figures, but they were impossible to get. Now, they’re a lot easier to get a hold of, and… well, it seems there was quite a nostalgia filter.

One of the things about when ToyBiz was handling the line is that they consistently had a Spider-Man line running alongside it. This generally meant that any Spider-characters would appear in that line, not in Marvel Legends. However, there were three instances of the unofficial rule being broken. One such case was today’s figure, the Green Goblin!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

GreenGoblinML2Green Goblin was released in the 13th Series of ToyBiz’s Marvel Legends. The series was officially titled the “Onslaught Series” after its Build-A-Figure, and unofficially titled “Bring On the Bad Guys” due to the fact that it was a series of nothing but villains. It was actually a pretty novel idea, but seems like the sort of thing that would never happen now. Goblin is roughly 6 inches tall and he has 36 points of articulation. All that articulation, and he still couldn’t stand on his glider the right way. It’s mostly the fault of the hip joints, which were common to this era of ML figures and were notorious for their inability to forward and back and side to side at the same time. You had to pick one or the other. This figure does actually represent one of the few times that the toe articulation proved useful, so that’s a plus, though the finger articulation was as pointless as ever. The figure’s sculpt may or may not have been new to him. This figure was released around the same time as a Hobgoblin from the Spider-Man line, and they shared all but the head, pelvis, and shins. I don’t know which one of them used the pieces first, or if they were in fact designed to share the pieces from the beginning. Regardless, the figure sports one of the best Green Goblin sculpts, pretty much ever. The build is actually pretty great for the Goblin, and the scales on his arms and legs look fantastic. The highlight of the figure is easily the head, which translated Goblin’s grinning visage perfectly to three dimensions. This is easily one of ToyBiz’s best sculpted efforts from this time-period. While the figure is fantastically sculpted, the paint leaves a little bit to be desired. The biggest thing is that it’s just way too dark. Goblin’s a character who really needs to be bright and garish, so the subdued green and not quite purple doesn’t really work. The washes are also a little heavy and uneven, and they just make the figure even darker. From a purely technical standpoint, the paint is clean; cleaner than a lot of other ToyBiz Legends, so kudos to them on that. The figure included his trusty satchel, a display stand in the form of his signature glider, and a piece of Onslaught. The glider ends up with the most issues. For one thing, it seems a little droopy on the sides. The biggest issue, though, is the completely opaque piece holding the glider up. They didn’t even try to make it a little inconspicuous, which just feels lazy.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Goblin actually comes from the point in the line where the figures became a little easier to get a hold of. He was picked up from my local comicbook store, who had started getting the figures in for a slightly higher price. I can’t remember exactly what led me to get Goblin, as I’m not the character’s biggest fan or anything. I will say he’s one of the nicer figures the line had to offer, and, aside from the hip joint issue, he actually still looks pretty good with modern Legends.

#0496: Kill Bill Minimates – Masters of Death

BEATRIX KIDDO, BILL, HATTORI HANZO, & PAI MEI

KILL BILL MINIMATES

KillBillSet3a

“I’m calling you a killer. A natural born killer. You always have been and you always will be.” – Bill

I didn’t see Kill Bill when it was first released. In fact, I didn’t see Kill Bill for several years after it was released. On the outside, Quentin Tarantino’s movies never really appealed to me. But then, Diamond Select Toys got the license to make Minimates for a few of Tarantino’s films, Kill Bill among them. And, seeing as both parts were up on Netflix, I figured it was as good a time as any to watch the movies. And I really quite enjoyed them. The first two sets in the Kill Bill Minimates line were firmly based on the first film, specifically its final scene. While I certainly enjoyed the first movie, I think the second is the stronger of the two, so I was happy to see that the third set would be delving into that movie. So, let’s see how this set turned out.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

The third set of Kill Bill Minimates is officially titled “The Masters of Death Set.” Unlike the previous two sets, it isn’t based upon a particular scene or sequence from the movies. Instead, the theme of this set is the Bride and the three men who helped her hone her skills as a killer.

BEATRIX KIDDO

KillBillSet3bOkay, spoilers: the Bride’s name is Beatrix Kiddo. Bam! Mind blown, right? This is the second figure of Beatrix in the line. The figure is roughly 2 ½ inches tall and features 14 points of articulation, although most of the leg articulation is rendered inert by the skirt. The first Bride figure was based on her look from the first movie’s climactic battle with the Crazy 88s. This one is based on her look from the second half of the second movie, which includes the sequence where she fights Bill. It’s not quite as distinctive as the yellow tracksuit, but it’s an important look nonetheless. Beatrix is constructed on the standard Minimate body, with add-ons for her hair, jacket, and skirt. The jacket is a reuse from the Marvel Minimates Series 22 James Rhodes, which is a pretty great leather jacket piece. The hair and skirt are both new. The hair seems a little on the bulky side, but it’s not terrible. The skirt is pretty accurate to the source material; the details aren’t the sharpest, but they’re decent. Beatrix’s paintwork is overall pretty clean. The colors are nicely matched to the source material, and the leather jacket is appropriately shiny. The sash on her skirt piece shows a little bit of bleed over, however, it’s nothing too severe. The detail line work is all very sharp and clean, and the face has a passing resemblance to Uma Thurman (I thought the last one was a bit better, though). Beatrix includes her Hattori Hanzo sword with a scabbard to match, a handgun, a spare set of sleeveless arms, and a clear display stand. The sword and scabbard, it should be noted, are the same as those included with the first Beatrix, which means the scabbard is still upside down.

BILL

KillBillSet3cSo here’s the guy the Bride was out to kill. It says so right in the title! Bill is presented here in all of his Bill-ish glory, depicting the character as he appears in his scenes at the end of the second movie. Though, to be fair, Bill looks about the same for pretty much all of the second movie, so this figure works for just about all of his appearances. The figure is about 2 ½ inches tall, with 14 points of articulation. Bill is constructed on the basic Minimate body, with add-ons for his hair and jacket. The jacket is the same basic suit jacket that DST had been using since way back in the Back to the Future Minimates “Enchantment Under the Sea” Marty. It’s a good, standard suit jacket, so the re-use is certainly warranted. The hair is new to Bill, and it’s a fairly decent approximation of his hair in the movie. It’s sculpted with some rather nice fine detail work and the bottom has been handled in such a way as to not impede articulation. Bill’s paintwork is pretty good. It’s sort of a subtle sort of a paint job, that looks pretty basic at first glance, but actually has quite a bit of detail. His jacket has the proper detaiing at the top, which could have easily been overlooked. His shirt is also fully detailed, with wrinkles and such, and you can even see some of his chest hair. The best part of the paint is definitely the face, which is a pretty great likeness of David Carradine. It’s very definitely Bill. Bill includes a Hanzo sword, a revolver, a bamboo flute, and a clear display stand.

HATTORI HANZO

KillBillSet3fHattori here is the only figure in this set who hails from the first movie. That being said, his role in the first movie is pivotal to the second, and he and his work as a sword maker are brought up quite a lot in the second film. So, he’s definitely not out of place here (although being pretty much the only genuinely good person in the set does make him a little out of place). The figure is roughly 2 ½ inches in height and sports 14 points of articulation. Hattori is based on his appearance when he first meets the Bride, while working in his sushi restaurant. He uses the basic body, with add-ons for his headband, sleeves, and the lower portion of his robe. The sleeves and lower robe are both fairly standard pieces that we’ve seen many times before. They are well chosen and do their job admirably. The headband is a new piece; it’s a fairly straightforward piece, and it captures the look from the movie nicely. Overall, the figure’s paint is pretty good, but there’s one rather annoying issue. The figure’s skin tone on the body is appropriately warm and lifelike, but for some reason, the skin tone on the head is more gray. It doesn’t look right, and it clashes with the rest of the figure. Other than that, the paint is nice and clean, and the figure has some wonderful detail line work. Hattori includes one of his own swords and a clear display stand.

PAI MEI

KillBillSet3dPai Mei is an intriguing character. He’s a very important character to the story, but his role is entirely in flashback. By the actual time of the movie, he’s been dead for some time. He also portrayed as a positive figure in Beatrix’s life, while at the same time being one of meanest characters to her in the movie. Seriously, she’s treated much better by the people who are actively trying to kill her. But, he’s key to her training, and, more specifically, her defeat of Bill. This is Pai Mei’s first Minimate, but it’s the second Minimate his actor, Gordon Liu, has received for Kill Bill. His other character, Johnny Mo was one of the Crazy 88s featured in set #2. Pai Mei is about 2 ½ inches tall, with 14 points of articulation, although, just like Beatrix, the leg articulation is restricted by the sculpted parts. Pai Mei is constructed from the basic Minimate body, with unique forearm pieces, as well as add-ons for his hair, beard, and the lower half of his robes. The robe piece and forearms are re-used from the Marvel Minimates Series 52 Mariko, and they are definitely a reasonable re-use. The beard and hair are both new to Pai Mei. They are decent pieces, though the KillBillSet3eeyebrows could stand to be a bit more distinctly separate. As it stands now, he sort of looks like he’s got a very strange haircut. Also, on my figure, the left strand of hair was stuck between his head and his torso, causing it to be misshapen. It can be fixed pretty easily, but it’s still annoying. Pai Mei has pretty good paintwork. The black/white contrast is nice and bold, and there’s plenty of fine detail work. Pai Mei includes his distinctive staff and a clear display stand. I do kind of wish he’d had a spare beard piece that could be held, but oh well.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Like yesterday’s Godzilla set, I got these four from my very favorite Minimate retailer, Luke’s Toy Store. I was fairly excited for this set. It’s nice to have a Bill for Beatrix to… uhh… kill. And, Hattori is one of my favorite characters from the movie, so I’m definitely glad to get him. The one thing I will say about this set, is that it and the next set feel like their release order has been reversed. This set featuring both Bill and the final battle version of Beatrix kind of makes it feel like it should be the final set. But, as long as they all get released, it doesn’t really matter in what order they’re released.

#0495: Godzilla Minimate Set #2

ATOMIC GODZILA, MECHA GODZILLA, HEDORAH THE SMOG MONSTER, & JET JAGUAR

GODZILLA MINIMATES

GodzillaSet2a

CREEEEEEEEEONK!!!!!!!!!!!! Did you hear that? That’s the sound of a Godzilla. I know it is, cuz that’s how it’s written out in all the comics! Do you know what that sound means? No, it’s not actually Godzilla. That’s the dumb talking. Obviously, the only thing that sound could possibly mean is that I’m totally about to review some Godzilla Minimates up in here!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

This sets makes up “series 2” of the Godzilla Minimates line, which is being handled through boxed sets, at least for the time being.

ATOMIC GODZILLA

GodzillaSet2bFirst up, it’s the title character, Godzilla. This is the second Godzilla in the line, which isn’t surprising, given there have been two sets. The figure is about 2 ½ inches tall, with 14 points of articulation. This Godzilla, like the last one, is something of an amalgamation of a few of the “classic” Godzilla designs. The main difference between this Godzilla and the last one is that this one represents Godzilla when he uses his atomic ray, which is one of his most distinctive attacks. The figure is built using the standard Minimate body as a starting point, with a unique head, hands, and feet, as well as add-ons for the torso/tail and upper thighs. All of these pieces were used on the previous Godzilla, which is a sensible re-use. The pieces are pretty well sculpted, although the fact that the arms and legs are just basic Minimate arms is a little goofy looking. The torso piece is also a little on the simple side for Godzilla, especially when compared to the other figures in the set. The head is very well sculpted, though, so it’s definitely got that going for it. The paintwork on the figure is generally pretty good. It’s pretty straight forward, but it’s nice and clean. Plus, his back spines are molded in clear blue, which is just plain cool. The figure includes an atomic ray piece and a clear display stand.

MECHA GODZILLA

GodzillaSet2eYou can’t have Godzilla without having his mecha counterpart, so here it is! Mecha Godzilla is 2 ½ inches in height and he has 14 points of articulation. I’m pretty sure he’s based on the first version of Mecha Godzilla, though there were more than a few versions of the concept. The figure uses the basic Minimate body as a starting point, with a new head, hands, and feet, as well as an add-on for the torso. The pieces are all new to this figure and they are incredibly well sculpted. All of the details are nice and sharp. Just look at those rivets! Amazing! The figure’s paint is a little bit more detailed than Godzilla, with some more fine detail. Everything is nice and clean, and all the line work is really sharp. Mecha Godzilla includes a clear display stand.

HEDORAH THE SMOG MONSTER

GodzillaSet2dOkay, so I don’t actually know anything about Hedorah. He’s apparently a smog monster, so there’s that. I’ve gathered that he’s one of the more minor Godzilla foes, but you have to get a few of them in to keep the line going. The figure is about 2 ½ inches tall and he has 13 points of articulation. He has unique hands and feet, as well as an add-on for the head/torso/tail. When fully assembled, the figure is really quite large. Like, so large that the package had to be specially shaped just to accommodate him. I’m pretty sure that’s a first. The sculpt is certainly unique, and very gloopy. He does look like a smog monster, so that’s a plus. As far as paint goes, Hedorah actually pretty lax on the paint work. For the most part, he’s molded in a dark green plastic. He’s got some detailing for his eyes and a few spots of brighter green. The paint is cleanly applied, and the detail work is pretty sharp. Hedorah includes a clear display stand.

JET JAGUAR

GodzillaSet2cJet Jaguar! Jet Jaguar! So, um, Jet Jaguar. How about that. See, I don’t know a whole lot about Jet Jaguar, but he’s one of my favorite parts of the Godzilla mythos. And that’s mostly because he is literally just Ultraman. And that’s totally okay. The figure is 2 ½ inches tall with 14 points of articulation. He’s built on the same body as the others in the set, with a unique head and an add-on for the shoulder piece. Both pieces are new to Jet, and they’re both pretty good translation of the Jet Jaguar design, so that’s good. Jet probably has the most complicated paint work in the set. With the most room for error, Jet does end up with a few more issues with bleed over. That said, most of the work is really great. The colors are bold and bright, and the line work is clean and sharp. Just look at that awesome grin! Jet Jaguar includes a clear display stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I ended up passing on the first set of Godzilla Minimates for a variety of reasons. However, when it was announced that both Mecha Godzilla and Jet Jaguar would be in the second set, I was immediately on board. I picked this set up from my favorite Minimate retailer, Luke’s Toy Store. I really like this set a lot. The figures are definitely unique looking and very well put together. I may even go back and get the first set now!

#0494: Robin

ROBIN

TEEN TITANS GO!

RobinTitans1

I’ve touched on Bandai’s Teen Titans Go! line twice before on this site. The first time, I was at least of mixed feelings about the line. The last time I looked at something from the line, my feelings were… less mixed. And generally far less positive. So, reviews of this line are certainly a less than stellar prospect for me. But, hey, I have to review everything, right? So, let’s look at this Robin figure.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

RobinTitans2Robin was released in the second series of Bandai’s 3 ½ inch Teen Titans Go! line (which, it should be stressed, was not 3 ½ scale, but 3 ½ SIZE. Everyone was the same height). He was released in two different ways: in a two-pack with Slade (a.k.a. Deathstroke) or in a large playset thingy. Mine came from the two-pack, but my Slade literally crumbled into pieces. So, just Robin today. Robin is 3 ½ inches tall and he has 9 points of articulation. The only new piece on this figure is the head, which was an attempt to make the figure more accurate to the show. The head is, admittedly, a little better than the preceding one, though the choice of expression is a bit questionable. For some reason, he’s got a huge, toothy grin, which is an odd choice for the usually broody Robin. From the neck down, the figure is identical to the Series 1 Robin. It’s a passable sculpt, but it’s far from perfect. The figure’s paintwork is okay, if not great. The original application was pretty clean and such, but the figure still has the same issues as the rest of the line where the paint came off really easily. Robin included no accessories. Not even the dumb blaster thingy from the first series!

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I found Robin along with the rest of the second series of figures at a Target, not long after their release. My mom and brother were at a concert, so my dad and I were exploring the area nearby. I remember being rather excited for the figures, although I think that was more for the new characters and less for the boy wonder here.

#0493: Terminator Cyberdyne Assault Minimates

CYBERNETIC T-800, SWAT SARAH CONNOR, MILES DYSON, & SCORCHED ENDOSKELETON

TERMINATOR 2 MINIMATES

T2AssualtonCyberdyne1

So, like, it’s been a whole twelve days since my last Minimate review. And that was just a Sisko Minimate (plus some other dude I really don’t care enough about to know his name. I think it was Jim or something…). You have to ask yourself, does Sisko really count? Anyway, it’s time for my first look into the world of Terminator 2 Minimates, which is a line that I kinda feel was the first “modern Minimate line.” Seriously, these guys were really influential to how future lines were handled, in character selection, property selection, assortment layout and even distribution. They were pretty darn epic!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

These four figures were released as a San Diego Comicon exclusive set, distributed by Action Figure Xpress. AFX aren’t really one of the big players online toy sales anymore, but they used to be at the top of the list, and they were pivotal to helping Minimates get on the map. Anyway, the set was dubbed “Cyberdyne Assault” after the attack on the Cyberdyne building late in the movie.

CYBERNETIC T-800

T2AssualtOnCyberdye2It would hardly be a proper T2 set without a version of Arnold (or, as he’s known in the movie, Uncle Bob). This particular version of the character is not from the “assault on Cyberdyne,” but is instead from a scene right before the attack, where the T-800 demonstrates the concept of the machines to Miles by slicing open his hand to reveal the robotic component beneath. Fun times. The figure is roughly 2 ½ inches tall and features 14 points of articulation. He’s built on the standard Minimate body, with a unique left hand, as well as add-ons for the hair and belt. All of this figure’s pieces are re-use, but given that he’s a T-800 variant, that’s pretty sensible. The hair and belt are both from the previous T-800s in the line, and the hand is from the basic endoskeleton. The hair’s not bad, though I always found it to be a bit too long for Arnold’s T2 look. The belt is a rather standard piece, so no issue there. The hand is a nice sculpt, but it’s a little weird to see it next to the normal hand on the other side, since it’s actually too big to fit under a normal hand. Just one of those things. The figure’s paint work is fantastic, aside from one small inaccuracy. Namely, those tears in the front of his shirt aren’t accurate, as he hadn’t taken any damage at that point in the movie. But, they’re nicely detailed, so I can’t really complain. Also, the figure’s Arnold likeness is totally spot on, which is great to see. The T-800 included a spare hand in silver (so you could replace the sculpted hand if you want to) and a plasma rifle.

SWAT SARAH CONNOR

T2AssaultOnCyberdyne3So, the other important piece of T2 set is definitely Sarah Connor. According to James Cameron, she’s actually meant to be The Terminator of the movie, so there’s that. Like the T-800, Sarah’s not actually from the attack on Cyberdyne; she’s actually from a little earlier in the movie, when she attacks Dyson’s house. Maybe this set should have been called the “Attack on Dyson’s.” This is Sarah’s most iconic look from the film, so it’s a good choice, regardless of which attack it’s part of. Seeing as this was the first Sarah Connor to actually be released, being iconic is a good thing. The figure is about 2 ½ inches tall and has 14 points of articulation. She’s built on the standard Minimate body, with add-ons for her hat/glasses, web gear, and belt. All three of these pieces are new to Sarah, and they are all very well sculpted and accurate to the source material. The hat and glasses in particular are a dead on interpretation of the look from the movie. Sarah’s paint is a lot simpler than the T-800’s, but it’s still rather nicely done. Underneath of the glasses, there’s a pretty great Linda Hamilton likeness, and all of the line work is nice and sharp. Sarah includes an alternate hair piece with the glasses and hat removed, as well as a machine gun.

MILES DYSON

T2AssaultOnCyberdyne4Poor Dyson. This guy really got the short end of the stick, didn’t he? Probably one of the most genuinely likeable people in the movie, and he gets his house blown up, his family attacked, he gets shot (a bunch) and then he dies. But, hey, for what it’s worth, he’s the only figure in this set that’s actually from the attack on Cyberdyne. So there! Dyson is about 2 ½ inches in height and he has 14 points of articulation. He’s got the same body as the others, with add-ons for the hair and coat. The hair is new to Dyson, and it’s a pretty good approximation of hos look from the movie. The coat actually began its life on a cancelled Colonel Tigh Minimate from the BSG line, before making it to an actual release with Miles here. It’s a nice, standard coat piece. It’s well sculpted and rather versatile, so it’s nice that it actually got released somewhere. Dyson probably has my favorite paint work of the set. He has a spot on likeness of actor Joe Morton (great if you T2AssaultOnCyberdyne6want to do any Eureka Minimates), but my favorite part is the detailing on the shirt. With the jacket on, it looks like just a regular button down shirt, but remove the jacket and there’s a fully detailed bandaged gunshot wound, complete with slightly dried blood. It’s a fantastic touch, and something that could have been easily overlooked. Dyson includes a fire axe, which is definitely important to the character and is my favorite accessory in the set.

SCORCHED ENDOSKELETON

T2AssaultOnCyberdyne5Ah, yes, the scorched Endoskeleton, hero of the… no wait, ummm… yeah, so I literally have no idea what this figure is meant to represent. Like, there’s some endoskeletons at the beginning, but they’re all shiny and new. None of them get “scorched” and none of them go back in time, so it doesn’t even really make sense for this figure to be in this set. But, I guess you have to get and endo in somewhere. The figure is about 2 ½ inches tall, with 14 points of articulation. It uses the same body you’ve seen three times before in this review, with unique hands and feet, and well as add-ons for the upper torso and pelvis (which is missing on mine). All of these pieces were initially seen on the normal endo, released both in the first series of two-packs and in the single pack case. I’m of two minds about the pieces. The feet are well done, and the hands, while large, are still pretty cool. But, the torso and pelvis pieces, while nicely sculpted, make the figure way too big to believable be the thing under Arnold’s skin. It just doesn’t work. On the plus side, the figure’s paint has that covered. There’s a fully detailed normal torso under the sculpted one, so you can remove the sculpted piece and have a seeker looking Endo. The figure has some pretty decent paint, with detail lines for all of the various tech pieces. The main difference between the normal endo and this one is that this one is done in more of a dull gray, to look “scorched.” The endo includes a plasma rifle, which is the same as the one with the T-800.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was beyond thrilled when the T2 license was announced for Minimates. I rushed out and bout the first series from TRU (back when TRU was getting their Minimate assortments first!) and I patiently awaited the arrival of others. This set excited me the most, because it offered my favorite version of Sarah, as well as Dyson, the unsung hero of the film. SO, I ordered this set the day it went up on AFX and patiently awaited its arrival. Sadly, it seems not everyone else was quite as thrilled by the set, as it hung around for quite some time, and was eventually clearanced off by the CASE! I still think this a really solid set. Sure, the endo’s pointless and a little boring, but Miles and Sarah more than make up for that, and you get a fun version of the T-800 to boot!

#0492: Ewoks and catapult

CHUBBRAY, STEMZEE, & CATAPULT

STAR WARS: THE VINTAGE COLLECTION

Ewoks1

Ah, yes, Ewoks. The very first thing to split Star Wars fans. No one is simply okay with the Ewoks. You love them or you hate them. And you certainly can’t ever, under any circumstances see the other side’s point of view. They’re wrong and that’s just how it is. They must accept it.

I fall into the camp that likes the Ewoks. I was probably 3 or 4 when I saw Return of the Jedi for the first time, so I never had a problem with the Carebears from Hell. Thing is, I never actually had any of the Ewok action figures for some reason, even though Jedi was my favorite of the movies growing up and I had just about every other Endor themed figure. But, things change, so here I am reviewing some Ewoks. Yay!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

The two Ewoks and their catapult were released as part of Hasbro’s second go at the Vintage Collection line. The set was released exclusively through K-Mart stores and it was done in packaging that replicates the vintage line. So, no window boxes for these guys! I just had to trust that I was getting figures and not like, two rocks or something. (Incidentally, there are totally two rocks in this box! Also figures, but that’s not the point!)

CHUBBRAY

Ewoks3According to Wookiepedia (which I totally had to use to figure which of these two was which), Chubbray is “an Ewok who participated in the Battle of Endor alongside the ewok Stemzee.” Which I actually could have figured out on my own, just from this set. Hilariously, the entry on Stemzee reads: “Stemzee was an Ewok who participated in the Battle of Endor alongside ewok Chubbray.” That’s sort of the equivalent of two words using each other in their definitions. I’m honestly shocked that there’s not even some sort of EU stuff for them. I mean, there’s a freaking entry for Ice Cream Maker Guy! Obviously, these two have gone over looked for far too long. So, I’ll just have to give them some backstory myself.

“Chubbray is the greatest Ewok warrior of all time. The Chubster (as he is known to his friends) is a total mechanical genius (especially impressive in a society still based around trees and rope technology.) He is a revolutionary, responsible for leading the cavalry charge against the tyrannical Empire. In Ewok language, Chubbray is synonymous with death, because that’s what Chubbray rains down upon his enemies. Also, he makes a killer martini.”

See? That wasn’t so hard! Chubbray is about 2 ¾ inches in height and he features 14 points of articulation. While that’s certainly more articulation than most previous Ewoks, the lack of elbows and knees do make the figure a little stiff. I don’t have an expert on the previous Ewok figures, so I don’t know if any pieces are shared here. Regardless, the sculpt is nicely done. It looks like the creatures from the movie, and there’s some very nice detail work on the fur and the head covering. About the only downside of the sculpt is that the joints are really visible. Chubbray’s paintwork is generally pretty clean, though, to be fair, it’s not the most complex paintjob of all time. Still, it’s all well applied and all the colors are well chosen. Chubbray includes a spear, which is probably just a normal spear, but I’m going to pretend it’s some sort of an energy spear that’s powered by some minutely scaled generator that Chubbray built himself. I mean, the greatest Ewok warrior that ever lived has to have a top-notch weapon, right?

STEMZEE

“Stemzee was the best friend of Ewok hero Chubbray from childhood. When Chubbray led the Ewoks against the Empire, Stemzee stood by his side the whole time. Stemzee proved himself quite the formidable warrior. After the battle, Stemzee professed his long-standing love for Chubbray, and the two settled down in a house built from the skulls of the freshly killed Empire forces. Stemzee drinks a killer martini.”

Ewoks2Aw, wasn’t that one kinda sweet? They’re so happy together! Stemzee is roughly 3 inches tall and features 20 points of articulation. Check out those elbow joints! Those are certainly a nice thing. Stemzee’s sculpt seems to be a more advanced one than Chubbray’s, which leads me to think that these two use bodies from previously released Ewoks. It’s a pretty good sculpt, with lots of fine detail work and such, and the articulation is even pretty smoothly worked in, which is good. Stemzee features a slightly more complex paintjob than Chubbray, and he’s a better figure for it. The colors look nice and everything is applied rather cleanly. Stemzee includes a spear, which is different from the one included with Chubbray.

CATAPULT

Ewoks4“The Catapult is the unsung hero of the Battle of Endor. It’s life began when it was built by brilliant Ewok warrior, Chubbray the Great, who was having something of an off day. The Catapult, known as ‘Leslie’ to its closest friends, fought bravely throughout the battle, and was personally responsible for saving an entire platoon of Ewok soldiers. Leslie was forced to make the ultimate sacrifice while facing off against one of those chicken-walker-thingies. It was given an honorary medal of…honor, and another catapult was constructed in its honor. There was a lot of honor. It may or may not have been killed by a killer martini. Evidence was inconclusive.”

Oh no! We killed off Leslie the Catapult! The tragedy! So, the catapult isn’t really a figure, but it is the centerpiece of the set, so it gets its own section. It’s about 3 inches tall, 4 inches long, and 2 inches wide. It doesn’t actually have any articulation to speak of, but you can wind the winch up to pull the arm back for a throwing action. It doesn’t work fantastically, but it’s okay. The sculpt of the catapult is rather nicely detailed, and it actually does look a little like it was constructed out of something that at least resembles wood. It’s like imitation wood. There’s also some nice work on the ties and such, which helps to further illustrate the “built from trees thing.” The paintwork on the catapult is pretty decently handled, with lots of nice accent work to bring out the details of the sculpt. The catapult includes two large rocks, each with a small hole on the bottom so they can be placed on the catapult’s arm.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This set was picked up while I was killing some time at a K-Mart with my Super Awesome Girlfriend (it was the same trip which got me the FOOT NINJA!!!!). We were wandering through and I noticed this set in the clearance section for about $10. With a little encouraging from SAGF, I figured “why not?” and went for it. I can kinda see why the set might get clearanced. It’s not the most thrilling set, and I can imagine the whole “not being able to see what you’re getting” thing probably turned some people off. Still, I kinda feel bad for the poor set. It’s really not a bad set, and at clearance prices it’s a fantastic way to get a couple of Ewoks. Plus, there’s a really cool catapult!

#0491: Android No. 18

ANDROID NO. 18

S.H. FIGUARTS

18a

Slowly, but surely, I’m being sucked into the world of Japanese import figures. It started with Ultraman, which is a Japanese property for which there is a small quantity of US-based merchandise. I’m a huge Ultraman fan. So I had to get an import, right? Then there were the Power Rangers, and sure, there’s been a plethora of stuff from that show, but it wasn’t ever particularly good. I was rather fond of Power Rangers too, so it made sense. But, then there was Dragon Ball Z. I’d seen the show, and all, but I never even bought the cheap figures released in America. Why would I pony up the big bucks for import figures? Well, I’m weak. I can’t help it. I caved, and I bought Android 17 at a convention. So, obviously I had to get his sister, Android 18. It’s just what’s right! So, umm… here she is, I guess…

THE FIGURE ITSELF

18bAndroid 18 is part of the Dragon Ball Z subset of Bandai’s S.H. Figuarts line. She was released in the third quarter of 2014, not long before her brother. Her figure is about 5 ½ inches in height, with 36 points of articulation. Unlike her brother, 18 actually had quite a few looks on the show to choose from for the figure. They’ve gone with her earliest look, from the episodes that introduced these two. Since they’re also releasing Android 16, it’s a sensible choice to put her in this outfit, as it allows the three of them to be displayed together properly. It’s also the outfit I most associate with the character, so no complaints here. 18 features a unique sculpt, based on her design from the show. I thought 17 was a pretty great translation of the show design and I think that 18 is even better. She looks great from just about every angle and stays true to the show, while still adding some nice fine detail work not present in the show designs. The hair in particular has some wonderful fine detail work. The vest and skirt pieces have both been carefully engineered so as to look good and solid while at the same time not interfering with the movement. It’s a careful balance, and it’s handled very well. Like 17, 18’s basic face is one devoid of emotion, which is perfect for the early portrayals of the character. Perhaps the only down point of the sculpt is the separation of the hair pieces, which are not quite as recessed as they were on 17. It’s especially noticeable around the part at the front of her hair. However, it’s mostly a matter of posing, so there’s lots of views where the seam isn’t too obvious. The paintwork on 18 is pretty solid. The colors are nice and bold, and accurate to the show. Everything is clean and there is plenty of great accent work to help bring out the strengths of the sculpt. All of the small detail work is clean and concise, and there’s no bleed over or slop to speak of. S.H. Figuarts are always well accessorized, and 18 is no exception. She includes a spare set of arms in the crossed position, three extra faces, a separate hairstyle and four sets of hands. The crossed arms are much the same as those with 17, and they offer a definitive pose for the character. The faces include one with a grin, one with angry eyes, and one with what can only be described as a “kissy face.” The differences in the grin and angry faces are minimal at best, but not bad, I guess. The kissy face is meant to directly interact with Krillin, and it’s a good replication of that look, though it’s hardly a standard look for the character. The hair is windblown, in a similar fashion to what we saw on 17, which is definitely cool. The hands include: fists, wide spread open palm, two finger grip, and relaxed. They are, notably, a lot easier to swap than 17’s, which is good. In addition to her own pieces, 18 also includes and extra head, hand, and a remote control piece that are all meant to go with Krillin. The head is Krillin’s reaction to the kissy face, and the hand and control are pieces that are directly related to the Android story arc. They’re nice enough pieces, though, having no Krillin figure, I won’t be getting much use out of them.

18d 18e 18g 18f

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

After getting 17 at MAGFest, I was immediately interested in getting the other two members of the android trio. 16 is still up for preorder, so he was easy enough to get, but 18 proved a bit more difficult. She’d been out for a while, so the price was a bit higher than I wanted to pay. However, I ended up making use of a few Amazon gift cards, which allowed me to get the figure for (essentially) nothing. 17 was a great figure, and I think 18 is an even better one. I’m definitely happy I took the plunge on this line. Now I just need to resist the urge to get a Krillin to go with those extra pieces I got with this one…

18c

#0490: Nebula

NEBULA

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VINYL FIGURES

NebulaVinyl1

Alright, so after the detour into Marvel Legends land, I’m coming back around to Funko’s Guardians of the Galaxy stuff. This review was actually supposed to be posted last Monday, but it wasn’t. I’m not sure if it had to do with being rather sick last weekend or if I had just had too many “meh” reviews in a row, but when it came time to write this, I just couldn’t. The words wouldn’t come to me. So, I did the ML stuff, which has brightened my spirits a bit, and now I’m back to Nebula. Let’s take a look at how she turned out.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

NebulaVinyl2Nebula’s part of the first assortment of Guardians of the Galaxy Vinyl Figures. Unlike Star-Lord, Nebula is the only version of the character available in the line (also one of only three Nebula figures available total, like in all of the GotG product). Nebula is a little under 3 inches tall and has no articulation, unless you want to count the bobble head. Nebula’s sculpt is wholly unique to her, and while it is well done from a technical stand-point, there are some questionable choices. Namely, what the heck is up with her pose? She’s standing kind of straight, with her legs wide, and she’s leaning forward just a bit, with her head tilted back ever so slightly. And then there’re the arms, which are outstretched, but almost in a halfhearted sort of way, like she’s been holding them up for a minute and now they’re starting to get tired. What was Funko going for here? Is this meant to replicate a specific pose from the movie? Because I don’t recall Nebula replicating this pose at any point, and if she did it must have only been for the briefest of moments. There seems to be some inconsistency on how the mechanics on her head should be done as well. The bit at the top of her scalp is sculpted, which the stuff around her eye is just painted, so they don’t match. Those things aside, she does have some nice detail work on her costume and such, which is cool, I guess. While the paint on Star-Lord was beyond the Funko norm, Nebula is about par. There’s some nice work on the face, but the paint on the body is fuzzy around the edges and there’s a fair bit of bleed over. Also, the colors are all very similar, which makes the figure a little dull looking. I know she had a limited palette in the movie, but other merchandise has made it work.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Nebula is from the same mall trip (with Super Awesome Girlfriend!) that got me Star-Lord and my SciFi Vinyl Figures. Nebula was the other half of the two GotG blind-boxed figures I picked up. I was initially rather excited to get her, what with Nebula being a favorite of mine from the movie, but I think some of the excitement has worn off. She’s really not as good as she could have been, and it’s sad that this was Nebula’s only figure at the time of the movie’s release. With all that in mind, the figure’s not the worst thing ever. I honestly can’t say why I put this review off for so long. It was actually rather painless.

#0489: Odin

ODIN

MARVEL LEGENDS INFINITE SERIES

Odin1

Yesterday, I looked at Thor, God of Thunder! How about a look at his dad? As luck would have it, Odin happens to be the Build-A-Figure of the very series that Thor was a part of! Isn’t that convenient? Or perhaps just proper planning on Hasbro’s part. I guess it could be that. If you wanna be all practical and stuff. So, let’s have a look at the Allfather, shall we?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Odin2Odin is the Build-A-Figure for the first series of Avengers Marvel Legends Infinite Series figures. Technically, he doubles as both Odin and Future Thor, but the series is dubbed the “Odin” series, so I’m going to refer to him as Odin, and include the Future Thor parts as accessories (for the most part, anyway). Odin is about the same size as Thor (fitting), clocking in at about 7 inches tall, and he has 30 points of articulation. I don’t actually know which particular Odin this is based on, or if it’s a particular Odin at all. I think they’ve actually used the Future Thor design as a starting point and just made it work for Odin, which, when you’re dealing with a character who doesn’t really have a definitive look, like Odin, isn’t a bad move. The look is mostly armored and has an appropriately regal look to it. The sculpt is fairlyt detailed, with a lot of texture work and such. Also, you’ll note that the left arm is armored, while the right is not. This actually isn’t completely accurate for Odin, as the left arm is meant to be Future Thor’s Destroyer arm, which replaced his missing arm. However, the regular Odin arms were packed with Sentry, and I didn’t really want to get him, so I settled for the Thor arms. Plus, the armored arm is a little cooler anyway. As a build-a-figure, the figure works pretty decently. He snaps together pretty easily and, aside from his legs popping off from time to time, he stays together pretty well. Odin’s paintwork is generally pretty clean, and it has some decent weathering to help ring out the Odin4sculpt’s details. The blue cape is definitely a cool touch, and it nicely separates him from Thor. It would be a little better if there were a some more gold on the actual body armor. As it stands, it’s entirely confined to his helmet, which looks just a bit jarring. Also, some gold on the body might make the figure a little brighter; it’s just a little on the drab side. Odin includes his trusty spear Gungnir (which never gets the credit it deserves!) as well as a spare head and cape for Future Thor, as well as Future Thor’s axe Jarnbjorn. I think this may be the first Build-A-Figure to actually get an accessory compliment. Let’s hope that idea sticks around!

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

So, Odin is the Build-A-Figure that resulted from my getting all of the figures in this series. I actually kind of wanted to finish him. I’m not the world’s biggest Odin fan or anything, but he’s certainly a fixture in the Marvel Universe. He also makes for a pretty neat figure, drab color choices aside. Odin’s one of the few B-A-F’s I’ve finished of late, and I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that not only is he a pretty solid figure, but also none of the figures required to build him were the dud’s that we’ve inevitable come to expect from the B-A-F model. I’m glad to see Hasbro applying equal effort to all of the figures in the series!

Odin3