#1386: Roy Fokker

ROY FOKKER

ROBOTECH (MATCHBOX)

“Heroic commander of the famed ‘Skull Squadron’ assigned the monumental task of defending SDF-1. He is the classic definition of a hero. He is also able to transcend his heroic mold to be human and compassionate. He likes to tease his friends especially Rick Hunter, and create a feeling of general camaraderie. His raw courage and skill as a fighter pilot is matched only by Maximillian Sterling.”

Once upon a time, Matchbox was more than just a brand of die cast cars.  They were actually their own toy company outright.  Around the mid-80s, they tried their hand at making action figures, offering up a rather eclectic selection of properties.  They never hit any major success, and were ultimately absorbed into Mattel.  Anyway, amongst their selection of properties was Robotech, a recent discovery of mine.  Last time I wrote a Robotech review, I looked at one of the cool fighter robot Veritech Fighters.  Today, I’ll be looking at that very fighter’s pilot, Commander Roy Fokker!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Roy Fokker was released in the basic series of Matchbox’s Robotech line in 1986 (a slightly tweaked version was later offered in 1992, as part of Harmony Gold’s re-release line).  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 14 points of articulation.  Roy’s construction makes use of a rubber band assembly, similar to the style popularized by GI Joe’s A Real American Hero incarnation.  As Matchbox was not quite as established a player in the industry as Hasbro, the figure isn’t quite as strong an offering.  The articulation is more obvious and slightly more limited, and the proportions are a bit more off (slightly large head, small torso, long arms, etc.)  He’s definitely a dated looking figure.  Not a bad looking figure, of course, provided this sort of style appeals to you.  Fortunately, it’s the sort of style that’s right up my alley.  Stylization aside, he’s got a pretty respectable likeness of Roy from the show, which is really the most important element.  The paint work on this figure is fairly basic overall, but decent nonetheless.  Aside from his skin being a little on the pale side, the colors match pretty well with the source material, and the application is generally pretty clean.  There’s a bit of wear on my figure, most noticeably on the straps on his torso, but that’s nothing out of the ordinary fro a figure of this vintage.  Roy was originally packed with both his pilot’s helmet and a gun, but my figure lacks both of these pieces.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

After finding the Last Stand VF-1S, I was on the lookout for some more Robotech.  Unfortunately, like I noted in that figure’s review, they aren’t the most common items to find.  I’ve been checking out my usual toy store stops, in the the hopes of finding a few more of the Toynami Veritechs, but so far I’ve had no luck.  I did, however, find this guy at Yesterday’s Fun while I was on vacation, which was pretty sweet.  He’s a goofy figure, but I like goofy figures, so he works for me.  Now I’ve got a pilot to go with the fighter!

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#1367: Falcon

THE FALCON

MARVEL SUPER HEROES: SECRET WARS (MATTEL)

“Transported to a strange planet by a force from beyond the universe, earth’s deadliest villains try to destroy the Marvel Super Heroes – as they fight the Secret Wars through the use of secret messages!”

Before Toy Biz came along and gave us just about every single Marvel character under the sun in the ‘90s, there was a very eclectic selection of Marvel characters available in toy format.  Major characters went completely figureless for years.  And yet, in the chaos of pre-Toy Biz Marvel stuff, somehow The Falcon, a relatively minor character until very recently, wound up with not one, but two whole figures.  I’ll be looking at the second of those, courtesy of Mattel’s Secret Wars line.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Falcon was released in the second series of Marvel Super Heroes: Secret Wars, alongside the previously reviewed Daredevil, Black Costume Spider-Man, and Baron Zemo.  As with DD and Zemo, Falcon is another character in the line who wasn’t present in the maxi-series at all.  Not sure why they went with so many non-series stars, but if it gets me a Falcon figure, I won’t complain.  The figure stands about 4 1/2 inches tall and has 7 points of articulation, counting the wings.  He’s built on the same basic body as most of the line, at least for the torso and legs, anyway.  His arms are from Captain America, and his head was an all-new sculpt.  The head is sort of iffy.  I think part of the problem is that he’s the only Secret Wars figure to incorporate hair, and Mattel clearly wasn’t up to hair in terms of sculpting prowess.  He’s also rather wide, and somewhat nondescript.  The standard torso’s been tweaked slightly to allow for the attachment of his wings.  The wings don’t really follow the usual layout for Falcon; his wings have classically been attached to his arms, but these are purely attached to his back, sticking straight out like Angel or Hawkman’s wings.  I find it doesn’t look as cool as his traditional look, but doing them the right way wouldn’t have really been possible given the constraints of the base body.  The paint on Falcon is about on par with the rest of the line, which is to say it’s passable, but far from stellar.  The colors sort of run together, I find, and for whatever reason his shoes are the same color as his skin.  He’s also missing any detailing on the eyes, which comes across as incredibly cheap and lazy in my opinion.  Also, like all of the other figures I’ve looked at, this guy’s exhibiting some rather noticeable paint wear, a symptom of the lower quality paint that was used.  The worst of it’s the missing spot on the nose, which is a little frustrating, but far from horrible.  He was originally packed with his sidekick Redwing, as well as one of the goofy lenticular shields.  Mine has neither, but I can’t really say I’m hurting for either piece.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Falcon is a figure that’s eluded me for quite some time.  Cosmic Comix got one in about a decade ago, which I wanted to get, but decided to come back for later.  Sadly, he was gone when I got back, and not long after I discovered that he’s actually one of the rarer releases from the line.  I was able to finally track him down, courtesy of Heywood Comics in Asheville, NC.  He’s not in perfect condition, but he’s decent enough that I’m happy with him.  The figure’s not one of Mattel’s stronger offerings, but I can’t say he’s out of place with this line.  He could be worse.

#1359: VF-1S Roy Fokker – Last Stand

VF-1S ROY FOKKER – LAST STAND

ROBOTECH: VERITECH SUPER POSABLE FIGURE (TOYNAMI)

For someone who’s so hardcore into media that has to do with giant robot fighting suits, you’d probably assume that I’d be all about Robotech.  Truth be told, I only actually started watching the show a month ago.  I’ve absolutely been loving it; I can’t really say why I put off watching it for quite so long.  Anyway, there are a ton of Robotech toys out there.  They aren’t the most common items to find, since there’s a pretty big fanbase that collects them, but every so often you do find the occasional stray figure, and I was fortunate enough to do so.  Today, I’ll be looking at the Veritech fighter of my personal favorite character from the show, Roy Fokker.  So, let’s look at the figure!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

In 2001, Toynami picked up the license for Robotech, and they put out a line dubbed Robotech: Veritech Super Posable Figures.  Roy Fokker’s VF-1S was from that line.  This particular version is dubbed the “Last Stand” version, presumably based on Episode 18 of the series, which contains Roy’s final stand and eventual demise (spoilers, I guess).  The figure was released as an exclusive through ToyFare magazine, as a way of promoting the line.  Sculpturally, the VF-1S is the same figure as the standard release, just with a tweaked paint job.  The figure stands about 7 inches tall (largely due to his splayed legs; he’d be closer to 8 standing straight) and he has 22 points of articulation.  It’s somewhat amusing to see this figure branded as “super-posable” in this day and age, given his lack of a number of joints that are kind of essential in this day and age.  The most egregious omission is the lack of anything beyond cut joints on the hips, which means he’s perpetually stuck in this slightly splayed-leg-pose.  It’s far from the worst thing ever, and there’s no denying that he’s highly posable in several other areas, but it’s still a little limiting.  For the time, though, it was actually pretty amazing, so credit where credit is due.  The sculpt on this guy is really solid work; he pretty closely follows the show’s design and the detail work is all really sharp and geometric, just like it should be.  The joints are also worked in very nicely, but that’s just a matter of keeping consistent with the character design (which isn’t exactly something that’s always done; looking at you, Hasbro!).  This is a non-transforming figure, so he’s always in robot mode (which is the cool mode), but the important elements that remain from the original mode are still there, and very nicely detailed.  They’ve even made his skull leader insignia a raised element, to help differentiate him from the other Veritechs.  There are a few mold lines that I wish were a little less obvious, but beyond that, I’m very happy with the sculpt.  The paint is what differentiates this from the normal release; where the basic figure was clean and shiny, this figure depicts Roy after he takes a beating.  There’s a bunch of heavy shading and burn marks, as well as some pretty amazing bullet holes and puncture wounds.  Those are all still just painted on, but are quite convincing as actual damage to the figure.  I find that all of this extra work really does a lot to bring out the strengths of the sculpt and makes for an all-around more visually interesting figure.  Roy’s VF-1S is packed with three sets of hands in fists, trigger finger, and open gesture poses, as well as his rifle, which has adjustable pieces, allowing it to be held in his hand or slung over his shoulder.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As noted in the intro, I only got into Robotech very recently, so I didn’t get this guy new (though I do recall when he was offered in ToyFare, since I was a subscriber at the time).  Instead, I found him just a few weeks ago at this awesome place around the corner from me called Lost In Time Toys.  My brother got their card at AwesomeCon and we went to check them out and just happened to catch them in the middle of a moving sale.  This guy was amongst the handful of items still yet to be moved, so I got him for half of his usual price, which was a pretty darn good deal.  I will admit, I was a little annoyed by the hips when I got him out of the box, but other than that small issue, I just can’t help but love this guy.  I foresee myself tracking down more of this line.

#1340: Superman

SUPERMAN

SUPER POWERS (KENNER)

“The Man of Steel – Powers: Super-strength, super-vision (x-ray vision, telescopic vision, heat vision, microscopic vision), invulnerability, flight, super-speed, super-breath, super-senses, super-voice, super-intellect – Weaknesses: Green Kryptonite can kill Superman, Red “K” affects him in bizarre ways, Gold “K” takes away hi powers. Superman’s invulnerability does not protect him against magic. Superman loses his powers in a solar system with a red sun.”

I gotta be honest, I’m a little bit shocked by how few Super Powers figures I’ve looked at on the site.  I mean, I only have so many of them, so they can’t get reviewed all the time.  Anyway, as I’ve mentioned a few times before (I think, anyway), it’s one of my very favorite lines of action figures, and it gets my vote for THE definitive DC-based toyline.  In particular, it provides perhaps the best figures available of a number of DC top-tier characters, including the Man of Steel himself, Superman!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Superman was released in Series 1 of Kenner’s Super Powers line.  Like the rest of the line, he’s based on Superman’s entry in the 1982 DC Style Guide (drawn by the consistently fantastic Jose Garcia-Lopez), which is really just the same look Supes had been sporting for almost 50 years at that point, and would go on to sport for another 30.  Stylistically, of course, he’s very much a Bronze Age Superman, but that’s something only the most dedicated of fans is really going to care about.  The figure stands about 4 3/4 inches tall and he has 7 points of articulation.  Superman’s sculpt is definitely top notch; while he’s a little wider than the Garcia-Lopez Superman seen on the packaging, he’s no less well rendered.  Like the rest of the line, he is, of course, a completely unique sculpt (and also like so many in this line, this sculpt would be slightly tweaked and re-used for Toy Biz’s DC Super Heroes line).  The head has a nice, friendly but strong look about it, which is really just perfect for Superman, and his musculature is actually pretty well balanced.  The arms are a little weird, with the preposing and the somewhat unnaturally upright fists, but they don’t look awful.  The cape is a separate, cloth piece.  It’s done the same way as all of the other capes in this line were done: flat fabric with a little plastic clip impeded in the collar.  It’s a kind of a dated look, since it’s not how such things are rendered anymore, but it’s not bad, and I particularly dig the S-emblem on the back of it.  In terms of paint, Superman is bright and colorful, and pretty clean.  My personal figure has a little wear on a few spots, but he’s generally held up pretty well.  As with all Super Powers figures, Superman has an action feature, dubbed the “Power Action Punch.”  When you squeeze his legs together, his arms rotate in opposing directions.  It’s not as clever as some others, but it’s still pretty fun.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

My first Super Powers Superman was actually not a Super Powers Superman at all, but rather the Toy Biz copy, which I fished out of a loose toy bin at Universal Comics when I was about 5 or 6.  At the time, I didn’t quite know the difference between the two yet.  A few years later, this guy was part of a large lot of Super Powers figures that I got for Christmas, and I at that point recognized the difference between the two, so this guy was added to my collection.  He didn’t have his cape, so he actually has the Toy Biz one (which was pretty much the same).  I quite like this guy, and as I noted in the intro, he’s one of my favorite Supermen.

#1233: Princess Leia Organa – Bespin Gown

PRINCESS LEIA ORGANA — BESPIN GOWN

THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK (KENNER)

2016 was pretty unrelenting when it came to celebrity deaths (and, sadly, 2017 seems to be continuing the trend).  The one that me the hardest personally was undoubtedly Carrie Fisher, an actress I had come to admire more and more with every passing day.  She was truly awesome.  Truly, there is no better way to celebrate an awesome person than with action figures, and, thanks to Star Wars, Carrie was privy to quite a few of them.  Today’s focus figure is one of the earliest, coming from Kenner’s Empire Strikes Back line of figures.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

This Leia figure is one of the two Leias released in Kenner’s Empire Strikes Back line (the other is her Hoth attire, reviewed here).  This one depicts Leia in the gown she was given by Lando when she and the rest of the Millennium Falcon’s passengers arrived on Bespin.  It’s not as prominent a look as the Hoth gear (which she spends most of the movie’s runtime wearing), but it’s certainly unique, and, if nothing else, was an excuse to release a Leia figure in a color other than white.  It’s actually a rather infrequent look for Leia figures, with only a handful of figures over the years.  Still, Han and Luke both got Hoth and Bespin figures, so Leia was due two figures as well.  The figure stands a little over 3 1/2 inches tall and has the usual 5 points of articulation.  Bespin Leia was an all-new sculpt.  Like every other figure in the vintage line, there’s definitely a degree of stylization going on here, especially in how the outfit has been rendered.  With that being said, she’s not as far off from the film design as her first film predecessor.  The basics of the sculpt are pretty good.  She doesn’t really look a whole lot like Carrie Fisher, but she’s at least consistent with the ANH and Hoth versions.  The details on the clothes are rather on the simple side, but all of the important stuff is there, and she fits in with the rest of the line. The skirt has still been cut into a set of legs, but no longer in a way that resembles whatever the first figure was wearing.  Here, the skirt is simply cut with straight lines, as many of the other figures in this line were handled.  Also, while she’s still got the vinyl robe thing that the first figure had, it actually works a bit better with this design, which included a sleeveless cardigan-thing of a similar nature (thanks to Super Awesome Girlfriend for help IDing that piece of clothing.  Side note: she would like it noted that she’s not a fashion expert).  Sure, it wasn’t opaque pink like this one is, but it’s close enough, given the rest of the line.  It’s even got some nice printed detailing, which I believe is a unique feature to this iteration of Leia.  As far as paint, she’s once again pretty simple.  Mostly, she’s just got paint for the hair, the details of her face, and the few spots of flesh tone on the body.  Everything’s pretty clean (apart from the slight wear present on my figure).  The figure was packed with a small blaster pistol, which my figure does not have.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This Leia is a relatively recent acquisition.  I actually picked her up a few days after Carrie Fisher’s passing, from an antique store just outside of the town my family vacations in (in fact, it was the same store where Super Awesome Girlfriend bought me the ANH Leia just the year before).  It’s a figure I’ve been meaning to get, and they had this one there, and she was in pretty nice shape for the price.  I guess it was kind of part of my mourning process.  Anyway, despite this being one of her less essential looks, this was probably the best version of Leia that Kenner released.

#1231: Baron Zemo

BARON ZEMO

MARVEL SUPER HEROES: SECRET WARS (MATTEL)

zemosw1

Mattel’s Marvel Super Heroes: Secret Wars is a strange beast.  It’s one of the earliest examples of true cross-media promotion when it came to action figures and comics, since Marvel essentially created a giant cross-over event out of whole cloth simply to give Mattel a slightly easier time of marketing the toys.  But then, Mattel, being Mattel, went and made some really odd choices.  Despite Marvel purposely filling the comic with many of their heaviest hitting heroes and villains, and wrapping them in a neat and tidy package with a bow, Mattel’s character choices for the series are beyond odd.  Sure, there are the clear hits like Spider-Man, Captain America, Iron Man and Wolverine, but Marvel mainstays like the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, and the Hulk were absent, while many minor and in some cases rather recent additions to the Marvel ‘verse were released, despite playing no part in the actual comic Mattel specifically requested to have as a tie-in.  One such character was Baron Helmut Zemo.  The character was not a part of the Secret Wars event, and though he had appeared back in 1973, he had only taken on the Baron Zemo identity seen here in ’82, just two years prior to this figure’s release.  He wouldn’t even truly become a major player in the Marvel universe until three years later, during The Avengers “Under Siege” story arc.  An odd choice.  Still, he got the figure, and now, 33 years later, it feels a little less odd to have a Zemo figure.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

zemosw2Baron Zemo was released in the second series of the Marvel Super Heroes: Secret Wars line.  As noted above and like everyone else in the series (barring the Black Costumed Spider-Man), he played no part in the Secret Wars maxi-series.  Interestingly, though this figure is clearly meant to be Helmut, the second Baron Zemo, and the back of the package lists his identity as such, the short comic on the back of the box presents a Zemo that far more resembles Heinrich, Helmut’s father.  This was hardly the only discrepancy of this nature in this line, of course.  The figure stands about 4 1/2 inches tall and has 5 points of articulation.  Unlike Daredevil and Spider-Man, who’s presence in this line-up seems to have mostly been due to the low number of new parts needed, Zemo actually got an impressive selection of new parts.  The torso is the same basic piece seen on several of the other figures I’ve looked at, but the arms, legs, head, and belt add-on were all unique to this figure.  The new pieces of course are all still victim to the very simplistic style of this line, but Zemo looks passable enough.  There’s some mild texturing on the fur bits, and the folds on the sleeves are rather believable.  The head looks to just bee a slightly re-worked Spider-Man head, but that’s actually not an unfair re-tooling.  A basic masked head is a basic masked head.  In terms of paintwork, I suppose Mattel can have points for effort on this guy, but that’s as far as I’m willing to go.  The colors are okay, but the contrast between the mask and the jumpsuit is not as drastic as it should be.  There’s quite a bit of slot, and fuzzy lines all over the place.  Similar to what we saw on Daredevil, the black detail lines seem to start and stop wherever they please, with little regard to aesthetics.  His neck, for instance, has no details, making for a jarring break from the face and the shoulders.  Likewise, the lines have a clear break above his headpiece, which has the unintended effect of making him look like he’s got a bit of a receding hairline.  For accessories, Zemo was given one of the blasters included with Dr. Doom, as well as, what else, a goofy lenticular shield, like the ones included with every other figure in the line.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

You know how I keep claiming I never intended to really collect this line?  I think I’ve officially lost the battle, because this is the first figure I’ve bought with no real rationalization.  I got Iron Man because it was the only way to get the classic armor at the time.  Wolverine was $1.  Cap was because I like the character, and wanted him to go with Tony.  Doom and Kang were cheap.  Daredevil and Spider-Man were gifts.  Zemo?  I bought Zemo because I wanted to buy Zemo.  I picked him up from Yesterday’s Fun during the holiday season.  He’s the most I’ve ever personally spent on a Secret Wars figure (which, to be fair, was still a lot less than I’ve paid for most of my Super Powers figures).  Zemo’s what I’ve come to expect from this line: a slightly sub-par figure with a disproportionate amount of charm.  The average collector might not get a lot out of him, but to a hardcore collector like myself, there’s some nice history. 

#1226: Wonder Woman

WONDER WOMAN

DC SUPER POWERS (KENNER)

wonderwomansp1

No matter how great they may be, pretty much every DC Comics toyline from now until the end of time will always be measured to the standard set by one of the earliest DC lines out there, Kenner’s DC Super Powers.  There’s something about the line that just made for the perfect mix of fun, character, and faithfulness to the comics.  Sure, not every figure in the line was top-grade, but it gave us some of the greatest plastic versions of all of the mainstay members of the Justice League of America.  Perhaps the one major drawback of the line was its notable lack of female characters.  In a line of 34, only one of them was female (though, designs discovered in 2004 show that there were another two planned, had the line continued).  That figure was Wonder Woman, and it’s the figure I’m looking at today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

wonderwomansp2Wonder Woman was released in Series 1 of DC Super Powers.  She was based on Wonder Woman’s then-current Bronze Age era look, as seen in the 1982 DC Style Guide.  The figure stands about 4 1/2 inches tall and has 7 points of articulation (although her hair restricts most of the movement on the neck joint).  Super Powers is notable in that every figure in the line had their own unique sculpt (which wouldn’t have been the case had the line continued).  Wonder Woman’s sculpt is pretty good, especially for the time.  She’s not as rail-thin as she tended to be portrayed in the comics and Super Friends, but that’s actually not totally out of place for the line, which gave more realistic proportions to most of the figures.  She’s definitely a good depiction of what someone with Diana’s powers should look like, all things considered.   Her costume captures all of the important elements from the comics and while she’s still sporting heels, they look to be a slightly more sensible design than those seen on a lot of female action figures (and she can actually stand!  Hooray!).  There are some slight issues that crop up due to assembly, with the lines on her thighs being one of the more standout issues.  That being said, they actually don’t look quite as bad in person as they do in the photos; you won’t really notice them.  Diana’s paint work is nice, clean, and bright, all the things it should be.  There’s a bit of slop here and there, particularly around the edges of the white parts of the boots.  That being said, the stars on her shorts are impeccably detailed, and done with an amazing consistency, which you likely wouldn’t see these days.  Wonder Woman was originally packed with her lasso of truth, which was really just a bit of golden thread, and easy to lose, so mine didn’t have it when I got her.  Like every Super Powers figure, Wonder Woman has a special “power” of her own.  Her’s is actually one of the more cleaver ones: when you squeeze her legs, both arms raise and cross in front of her face, replicating her oft used maneuver of deflecting bullets with her bracelets.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Wonder Woman comes from right around the mid-point of my Super Powers collecting.  At that point,  it was pretty much an assumed thing that I’d get a pair of Super Powers figures every year for Christmas from my parents.  I’d gotten Green Lantern the year before, so I knew I wanted a Green Arrow to go with him.  As it turns out, the most economical way of getting me GA was to buy me a big lot of figures, which ended up giving my collection quite the jumpstart.  Wonder Woman was amongst those figures, and I have to say, she’s one of those figures that you have to see in person to truly appreciate.  She’s the figure that set the standard for female action figures, and rightfully so.  As someone who started collecting in the ‘90s, a female figure like this was a serious breath of fresh air as a kid, and she remains my favorite Wonder Woman figure to date.

#1138: Daredevil

DAREDEVIL

MARVEL SUPER HEROES: SECRET WARS (MATTEL)

ddsw1

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

THE FIGURE ITSELF

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

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

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

#1132: Thallo

THALLO

CLASH OF THE TITANS (MATTEL)

thallo1

Let’s take another glance into the vault of “movie toys from the 70s and 80s that only exist because of Star Wars”!  Today, we’re going with a line I’ve looked at once before, Mattel’s Clash of the Titans figures, based on the 1981 film of the same name.  Both the movie and its toys were highly ambitious, but neither hit as big as their creators had intended.  The toyline is still pretty fun, though, and gave us some pretty cool Greek mythology figures.  Earlier this year, I took a look at the line’s take on Perseus, and this review takes a look at Thallo, one of his compatriots from the film.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

thallo2Thallo is another figure from the first, and only, series of Clash of the Titans figures.  The figure is a little under 4 inches tall and he has 5 points of articulation.  As with Perseus, Thallo has a sculpt clearly designed to mimmic the Kenner’s Star Wars line, but is ultimately far less sturdy than any of his counterparts from the galaxy far, far away.  He and Perseus share the same arms and legs, which actually works out in Thallo’s favor, because those pieces actually seem to work better on him than they did on Perseus.  The legs in particular meld a little better with the torso on this guy.  I mean, he still looks a little like he’s wearing a squared-off diaper, but it’s not as bad.  Thallo’s unique parts aren’t bad.  The head’s not quite as good as Perseus, but it’s still decent enough, and the helmet is cool.  The torso exhibits some pretty fun details, especially on the front of the armor.  Thallo’s paintwork is kinda meh.  There’s not a whole lot to get excited about there, since it’s pretty much exclusively browns.  Also, his hair is way to dark for Thallo and his eyes are reduced to simple dots, which looks rather on the frightening side, if I’m honest.  It’s not the worst thing Mattel’s ever put out, but it could certainly better, even for the time.  Thallo originally included a sword and shield, which were identical to Perseus’s.  Mine was purchased used, so no accessories for him!

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I picked up Thallo during the same flea market trip where I picked up Savage Dragon.  In fact, I got him from the same vendor who sold me my Perseus figure earlier this year.  I still haven’t gotten around to seeing Clash yet (I swear I will one of these days!), so I can’t say I know much about the character.  That being said, he’s still a neat little figure, and he goes pretty well with Perseus.

#1125: Spider-Man – Black Costume

SPIDER-MAN – BLACK COSTUME

MARVEL SUPER HEROES: SECRET WARS (MATTEL)

symbiotespideysw1

It’s a rare occasion for a character to have not one, but two of the best known looks in comics under his belt, but that’s the case with everyone’s favorite web-head, Spider-Man.  His original design is clearly his best known, and the one that most people will associate with him.  But, in 1984, Marvel decided to give him a new design.  Coming out of their (toyline tie-in) Secret Wars maxi-series, they introduced a new, black and white costume.*  Obviously, it was never going to replace the original, but it did stick around for a surprising amount of time.  It’s also made quite a few reappearances in comics and other media adaptations, and even gotten spun off into a totally new character, because, let’s face it, it’s a badass design.  Due to the aforementioned badassery of the design, it’s also shown up more than a few times in action figure form.  Today, I’ll be looking at the very first one ever released.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

symbiotespideysw2Spider-Man was released as part of the second series of Mattel’s Marvel Super Heroes: Secret Wars line.  He was the second version of Spider-Man in the line (following Series 1’s standard Spidey), and it should be noted, he’s the only repeat character that the line produced.  The figure stands about 4 1/2 inches tall and has 5 points of articulation.  Structurally speaking, he’s the exact same figure as his Series 1 counterpart, which in turn means he’s very similar to just about every other figure in the line, for good or for bad.  This means the general quality of the sculpt is rather on the soft side.  In their defense on this particular figure (oh my gosh, I’m defending Mattel.  Kill me now), it’s not like the are a lot of really sharp details that should be present.  A generally smooth sculpt is the way to go.  Why Spider-Man is sporting the same build as Captain America and Iron Man is a different question entirely, though.  Spidey gets his own set of legs. You can tell because there’s sort of a pre-posed nature to them. He’s doing some sort of brisk walk or maybe a lunge.  I’m not really sure.  Also, his right arm seems a bit longer than the left.  It’s weird.  All that being said, the overall appearance of the figure’s not bad.  Even his paint’s not awful, although that’s mostly by virtue of the design being rather simple.  It’s worth noting that he’s missing the white blocks on the backs of his hands, admittedly a minor detail, but missing nonetheless.  Also, his logo rather abruptly stops for about 1/4 of an inch on his sides before starting on the back, which is a little weird looking.  And, as with so many Secret Wars figures, the paint is incredibly prone to wear.  Spidey’s only accessory was the big, goofy lenticular shield that every figure included.  His was bright red, because why bother to match the figure, right?

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Okay, you know how I kick off this section of every Secret Wars review by swearing up and down that I’m not trying to collect this line?  Yeah, you can scratch that on this guy.  He’s a figure I’ve been eying up for some time, mostly due to the coolness factor of the costume.  He ended up being purchased for me by my Super Awesome Girlfriend, who picked him up this summer from Yesterday’s Fun.  I know I’m down on Mattel, and I’ve never been particularly kind to their Secret Wars figures, but this guy is very possibly the strongest entry from the line.  Yeah, he still showcases many of the same problems that plagued pretty much every single figure in the line, but if you view him as his own, standalone figure, he’s not awful.  He’s almost kind of charming.