#1331: Chief Tyrol & Mortar Pack Cylon

CHIEF TYROL & MORTAR PACK CYLON

BATTLESTAR GALACTICA MINIMATES

One of the appealing things about collecting Minimates is the ability to have a very wide range of properties all in one consistent style.  Their main Marvel line is pretty much always running in tandem with at least one line based on a popular Sci-Fi property.  Currently, that’s Aliens, but a few years ago, their sci-fi line of choice was Battlestar Galactica.  While it was never a huge seller, the line ran for 4 series before getting cancelled, and even then it was picked up for another two series by Toys R Us.  I’ll be looking at one of those sets today, so let’s dive right into the review!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Tyrol and the Mortar Pack Cylon were released in the second Toys R Us-exclusive series of Battlestar Galactica Minimates.  This pair is notable for being one for the few sets in the two TRU series not to be re-purposed from the cancelled Series 5 and 6 or New Caprica boxed-set line-ups.

CHIEF TYROL

“One of the more troubled members of the Final Five, Chief Galen Tyrol resigned his commission after the loss of his wife and tried to find happiness with his son Nicky before learning the truth about his family’s past.”

Poor Chief.  Dude was a serious punching bag, especially later in the series.  He was pretty lucky when it came to Minimates, though; this was his third.  The figure is about 2 1/4 inches tall and has the usual 14 points of articulation.  He’s built on the standard base body, with add-ons for his hair and the bottom of his shirt.  The shirt is a standard piece and the hair came from Ghostbusters’ Ray Stanz.  The hair seems a touch bulky for Chief, especially a later in the series Chief, but it’s not terrible.  The rest of the details are rendered via paint.  Early BSG Minimates were a bit more on the simplistic side, but when TRU brought the line back, the level of detail was brought up to par with the more current stuff.  Chief’s got some pretty solid detail work, especially on his uniform.  The likeness on the face is a bit iffy.  Personally, I’ve always felt it looked more like Tamoah Pinikett (who played Helo on the show) than Chief’s actor Aaron Douglas.  I think Douglas just has one of those faces that doesn’t really lend itself to the ‘mate aesthetic, as his earlier ‘mates weren’t much better.  Chief included no accessories, but I’m not exactly sure what you’d give him.

MORTAR PACK CYLON

“Capable of downing enemy aircraft from stealthily concealed positions, Cylon ground forces often include at least one Mortar Pack Cylon Centurion. When damaged in battle, these destructive units can even repair themselves on the fly.”

The Cylon Centurions were the bread and butter of this line, since they were kind of the easiest way of keeping the packs at least somewhat interesting.  Chief may just be a normal dude in drab clothes, but that’s okay, because he’s packed with this sweet ass robot, right?  The figure uses the same starting base,  as every other Minimate, but with add-ons for the faceplate, chest piece, hands, pelvis, and feet.  They’re the same pieces that had been used countless times before for other Cylons, though the chest piece has been tweaked ever so slightly to allow for the mortar pack to be plugged into it.  The pieces all make for a decent enough approximation of the Cylons from the show.  I wish the upper torso were a little more mobile, and I’d really like to be able to actually use the neck articulation, but it’s decent enough.  The details are nice and sharp, especially on the torso and face, and he looks suitably different from the standard Minimate, without deviating so much as to lose the aesthetic altogether.  The paint is a bit more lax on this guy, but it’s still pretty solid. The gunmetal grey is applied cleanly, and all of the detail work is pretty sharp.  The only accessory is the titular mortar pack.  I don’t know if this was ever actually used on the show, but it’s a pretty cool piece nonetheless.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

There’s not much of an exciting story behind this set.  It hit Toys R Us, and I went and got it from my local store.  That’s really it.  I had a lot of the BSG Minimtates, but I can’t say I was ever super into any of them.  This set’s about average for the line.  Both ‘mates are well made, but there’s not a whole lot of excitement here.  If you like the show and Minimates, I guess you’d like these.

#0153: Tory & Anders

TORY & ANDERS

BATTLESTAR GALACTICA MINIMATES

Image

So, yeah, today’s gonna be another Minimates review.  I’ll be taking another look at a set from the Battlestar Gallactica line.  I’ve talked about this line before, in my review of D’Anna and Apollo.  Not much more to add there.  Today, I’ll be looking at Tory and Anders.  Tory was President Laura Roslin’s second assistant and Anders was a resistance fighter who ended up marrying hot-shot pilot Kara “Starbuck” Thrace.  Also, (Spoilers from about 5 years ago)….

They’re both Cylons, specifically member of the “Final Five,” who were the last five Cylons revealed amongst other things.  Let’s take a look at the figures.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

This set was released in the second TRU wave of BSG Minimates, and was one of the few sets carried over completely unchanged from the cancelled waves 5 & 6 of the main line.

TORY

First up, presidential assistant Tory.  I honestly wish there were more to say about her, but she never went much beyond that.  She’s on the basic Minimate body, so she stands roughly 2 ½ inches tall and has 14 points of articulation.  She has a sculpted hair piece and no other add-ons.  The paintwork is fairly clean, and the likeness on the face is pretty food.  For some reason, she’s barefoot.  Not exactly sure why that is, but there it is.  Tory includes no accessories.

ANDERS

Next, the resistance fighter turned Viper pilot who always seemed to end up as the Damsel in distress for Starbuck, Sam Anders.  Anders is depicted in his Viper pilot look from the final season of the show.  It’s probably the most interesting of his looks, so that works.  They’ve put a different spin on the uniform, depicting it with the top half pulled down, as many of the pilots wore their uniforms while not flying a Viper.  Anders features 3 sculpted pieces: hair, belt/jumpsuit, and a holster.  The paint work is pretty good on this guy.  The face looks good, the shirt detail goes all the way around, and they even gave him the tattoo that he and Starbuck both got after getting married.  Anders is accessorized with a standard BSG handgun.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Like the first series of TRU BSG Minimates, I got this wave as soon as I could.  I was still pretty excited about the show and was glad to round out the characters.  Looking back, I still think Anders is a pretty cool figure, and is certainly one of the better figures in the line, but Tory is a fairly boring figure of a fairly boring character.

#0142: D’Anna & Apollo

D’ANNA & APOLLO

BATTLESTAR GALACTICA MINIMATES

3&Apollo

We’re continuing with my old faithful of lines to review, Minimates.  This time around, I’m taking a look at a set from the BSG series of Minimates.  BSG Minimates were a line that Diamond really wanted to see succeed in spite of a just mild reception from the fan base.  Pretty much every major character from the series was released at some point, which is a pretty decent feat, but the first 4 waves of the line can still pretty much be found for exceptionally low prices.  Two additional waves were originally announced to continue the line and pretty much wrap up any missing characters, but orders proved too low.  Then, for some reason, TRU came to the rescue, and granted the line two more waves, a reboot of sorts.  The Toys R Us waves are generally seen as being far superior to the preceding waves, and can still command some decent prices.  Today, I’ll be taking a look at one of the TRU sets.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

These two were released as part of first TRU wave of BSG Minimates.

D’ANNA

First up is one of the series 12 human Cylon models, D’Anna Biers aka Three.  Three had quite a following, due to being played by fan favorite Lucy Lawless.  She’s presented here in her all white get-up, which I believe is what she wore following her model being reactivated later in the series.  She’s built on the standard Minimate body, so she has 14 points of articulation and stands about 2 ½ inches tall.  She features 3 sculpted add-ons: hair, coat, and skirt.  The skirt is a generic piece that’s been seen on a number of female ‘mates, but the hair and coat appear to be new.  I’m not a big fan of the coat, as I feel it’s needlessly bulky, but the hair looks pretty spot on for the character’s appearance on the show.  The paint is minimal on this figure.  She’s got face and torso detailing and that’s about it.  The face is nice, and looks pretty close to Lawless, certainly much better than Diamond’s first attempt. The torso detailing is nice, and allows you to display D’Anna without the coat.  D’Anna included no accessories.

APOLLO

Next up  is one of the central characters of the series, Lee “Apollo” Adama.  This was Lee’s 3rd Minimate, and his 2nd in his flight suit.  The figure appears to be based on his look in the final season of the show after he quit being a pilot for a while and had lost his more close cropped military hair.  Originally, the head was meant to go on a suited body to represent him from earlier in the season, but he’s been put in a flight suit, giving him an appearance close to what he had in the series finale.  He features 4 sculpted add-ons: hair, flight vest, belt, and holster.  All the flight suit stuff is reused from the previous flight suit characters, which makes sense.  The hair is a new piece, and it looks pretty good and has a lot of potential reuse.  The paint is fine, though, all the lines and such are clean.  The metallic green of the flight suit is also of a higher quality than previous pilots, so it’s less prone to chipping.  I think that this ‘mate has a closer resemblance to actor Jamie Bamber than the previous two, which is cool I guess.  Apollo includes a flight helmet and a hand gun.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I picked up this set at my local Toys R Us (which is no longer there.  They just moved it across the street, but they had this big “store closing” sale, and deeply clearance everything.  It was weird.)  when they were released.  I know the series had ended not long before and I was fairly excited to get these guys at the time.  They’re still very good Minimates, but I’ve lost a lot of my interest in BSG, so they mostly all sit in a box these days.

#0019: Boomer & Athena

BOOMER & ATHENA 2-PACK

BATTLESTAR GALACTICA (MODERN)

Continuing the BSG theme, I’m looking at what pretty much makes up the rest of my collection (Minimates & Mego-style Cylon aside).  This time it’s two figures, though sort of two of the same person:  Boomer & Athena.  The figures were sold in a two pack after the line of individual figures fizzled.  I should note that I’ve performed a head-swap on these two and will be reviewing the swapped versions as a whole.  I feel this is for the best, because it allows for me to review a good one and a bad one, instead of two fairly mediocre ones.

ATHENA

Athena

THE FIGURE ITSELF

I’m gonna call the one in the flightsuit Athena, since she seemed to spend a decent amount of time in it.  Athena is depicted here with the top of her flightsuit pulled down and wrapped around her waist.  Her hair is pulled back in a ponytail like it frequently was in the show.  She stands just under 7 inches tall and has 20 points of articulation.  She includes a side arm, though a different one than Helo included.  This one looks a great deal more powerful!  This figure (after the head-swap) is the reason I bought the set.   The pulled down flightsuit is a unique look, and one that was frequently featured on the show.  It’s nice to see it represented here.  The head sculpt is also a very good approximation of actress Grace Park, which is always a good thing.  This figure is a really nice representation  of the character from the show.

BOOMER

Boomer

THE FIGURE ITSELF

I’m going to refer to this one as Boomer mostly because I referred to the other one as Athena, and those were the names on the box.  Remember how I really liked the Athena figure?  All the nice things I said about it?  Yeah, none of that applies to this figure.  So she’s shown here in her dress uniform from the show.  She stands just under 7 inches and has 20 points of articulation.  Those are the nicest things I can say about this figure.  The uniform body was not sculpted for Boomer, and you can tell.  The body shape is so horribly wrong for her.  But it’s forgivable because it is a somewhat understandable re-use.  You know what’s not understandable?  That head sculpt.  Man, is that a bad head sculpt.  She’s got this weird “lantern-jaw of Justice” Thing going on, but somehow, she also seems to lack a chin.  I’m not really sure how that happened.  The face really looks like the sculptor forgot that Boomer wasn’t a man in the revamped series, and upon realization, decided to change nothing.   It’s all topped off by the odd choice of hair style.  I know that both Boomer and Athena had their hair down a few times in the series, but it really wasn’t a definitive look for either character, so it doesn’t really fit either body.  Bottom line is, it bears little to no resemblance to Grace Park, which is a shame after the very nice portrait on the other figure IN THIS SET!

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I missed out on this at retail, so I picked it up online a good bit later.  And let me tell you something, finding this thing online was quite a chore.  Seems nobody wanted to part with theirs.  Anyway, I ended up finding the set online through a Canadian retailer, who really helped me out.

#0018: Helo

HELO

BATTLESTAR GALACTICA (MODERN)

Helo

Today, I’ll be looking that first figure in my relatively small Battlestar Galactica collection.  It’s based on a character exclusive to the modern take on the show, Karl “Helo” Agathon.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The figure depicts Helo in his flightsuit from the show.  There was an earlier variant of Helo in his dress blues, but this was the Helo for me.  This one’s all action.  This version is from the second series of the line, though it was a bit difficult to keep track of with all the variants and exclusive figures.  He stands about 7 inches tall and has 20 points of articulation.  He included his helmet, a pair of gloved hands, a first aid kit and a side arm.  You’ll notice that only the side arm is pictured here.  That’s because the rest of his stuff is in storage.  The helmet and gloves are relatively useless anyway, since his flightsuit is unzipped.  The sculpt on the figure is pretty good, especially the flightsuit itself.  The hands are a bit odd looking, but they work.  The head isn’t a perfect representation of Tahmoah Pinikett, but it’s not terrible either.  I suspect some of the offness has to do with the paint job, which is just alright.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Helo is one of three characters on the show I actually liked, and one of the two of those that actually got figures in this line.  He’s a nice representation of the character, and looks pretty good on the shelf.  I tracked this guy down on ebay for about $15 not too long after his release.