#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.

#1334: R5-D4

R5-D4

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II

Hey guys! I’m not feeling too hot tonight so Super Awesome Girlfriend is helping me write this review. Isn’t she super awesome?

We’re looking at Star Wars stuff again. Something something something, droid info here-wait Ethan is actually reading this over my shoulder, so I should write something real…

Everybody knows C-3PO and R2-D2, but not many people know about R5-D4. Why? Because he blows up early on in the movie. It’s okay though, because he shares a lot of the same parts as R2 so he gets plenty of toys! Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay! Today, we’ll be looking at one of those toys.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

R5-D4 comes from the second year of Kenner’s Star Wars: Power of the Force II line. The figure is about 3 inches tall and depending on how you count articulation, he has 1 or 3 points (this will make sense later…so he says). So umm, surprisingly enough he and R2 don’t star any parts.

The sculpt is pretty accurate, overall, but it has a few inaccuracies. To start with, there’s the weird bar thingy running between the two back feet (roller things). The R2 figure didn’t have this, so why this one does is beyond Ethan’s congested mind. It just looks weird. Beyond that, there’s the weird silver thingies attached to his legs. Why are they there? Nobody knooooooows. Maybe they’re guns? Ehhhh… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ The sculpt is also hindered by the action feature. Remember how I mentioned that he explodes in the movie? Well Kenner tried to replicate that…sort of. The top of the figure, the dome, splits in half when you press the special yellow button at the base of the body. There’s also this missile that gets launched because why not? It kind of holds the figure back, because you can’t move the head around due to the missile stored there, which is kind of annoying really. But they tried…I guess. Okay, paint. This figure has paint. Let’s talk paint. It’s sandy looking, which is good because you know Tatooine has lots of sand. You know who hates sand? Anakin hates it, because it gets eeveeeeeeeeeerywhere! Including on this guy! Good work team, go team go. Ethan will probably edit this one later, you know, when his head isn’t full of mucus.

You know what the droid’s head is full of? Missiles…nah, just one, which is his only accessory.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This lovely addition to the collection came from the Farpoint charity auction. Ethan has always had a soft spot for R5, which isn’t surprising because he has a soft spot for every robot, droid character. The figure is okay, he’s a bit held back by all the explodey stuff Kenner tried emulating with the figure. They could’ve done a lot worse, so he isn’t bad, just sandy. I honestly have no attachment to the droid, so there’s not much for me to say about it. I guess that’s it? Oh, Ethan just burrowed into the blankets…aaaaaaaaaaand he’s gone. I’m terribly sorry.

#1327: Princess Leia Organa – Jabba’s Prisoner

PRINCESS LEIA ORGANA — JABBA’S PRISONER

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

“Disguised as the bounty hunter Boussh, Leia infiltrated Jabba’s palace as part of a small rescue team to free Han Solo, Leia was captured and forced to endure the status of Jabba’s slave until the opportunity to escape presented itself.”

My very first Princess Leia figure I reviewed for this site was the one from the second series of Black Series figures.  While I was generally nice to that figure in its proper review (I hadn’t yet become jaded and cynical), I’ve always had some issues with the decision to go with the Slave Leia design, seeing as it was the inaugural Leia in that scale.  I don’t have a huge issue with the costume overall, but I feel it’s not the character’s primary look.  Regardless, the design’s a popular one with the fanbase, which translates to toys.  Interestingly, the look wasn’t a part of the vintage line; it’s first release was in 1997, more than a decade after it appeared on screen.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Princess Leia Organa as Jabba’s Prisoner was released in the third year of Kenner’s Star Wars: Power of the Force II line.  She was the third single-release of Leia in the line (there were also four Leias in the Princess Leia Collection and another packed with the Endor Speeder Bike, all released the same year as this one; 1997 was a good year for Leia).  The figure stands about 3 3/4 inches tall (which was rather tall for a Leia figure; later figures would go shorter) and has 6 points of articulation.  This is one of those figures where lessened articulation is a plus, since her design is kind of hindered by being broken up for lots of articulation.  Here, she’s got the simplest assortment of articulation, which allows her to avoid having unsightly lines all over her skin.  In addition, since she’s from later in the line’s run, she’s spared a lot of the crazy proportions that plagued earlier POTF2 figures.  Generally speaking, her sculpt is pretty decent; the details are all pretty true the film’s design, and the proportions are among the best we’ve seen on a Slave Leia figure.  The face doesn’t look much like Carrie Fisher, but it’s far from the worst Leia sculpt from this line, and it’s not a terrible sculpt.  The skirt piece is plastic on this figure, which I think looks for a better overall look when compared the cloth used for just about every other Slave Leia figure; it actually allows for a bit of dynamic flow and is unlikely to fray over time, which are both definite plusses.  The paint work on this Leia is pretty decent.  She’s about on par with the rest of the line; the application is clean and the colors match up with the source material.  The gold actually adds a nice bit of vibrance to the figure, and is one of the better gold paints I’ve seen on an action figure.  Leia’s only accessory is a removable collar with a chain attached.  It’s a bit bulky and doesn’t ever seem to sit right, but it’s easily removed of you so desire.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Like the Bespin Han Solo, while I didn’t own this figure for myself growing up, it was one of the ones my Grandmother had at her house for my cousin Patrick to play with.  Like that Han figure, she went missing somewhere along the way, so when those figures were absorbed into my collection, she wasn’t one of them.  I finally added this figure to my collection  early this year, picking her up from the Farpoint charity auction alongside several other POTF2 figures.  She’s not my favorite version of Leia or anything, but she’s a decent enough figure, I suppose.

#1324: Hunter Ja-Kal

HUNTER JA-KAL

MUMMIES ALIVE! (KENNER)

“Hunter Ja-Kal, ancient Egypt’s greatest hunter has been called form the dead to defend the young descendent of an ancient pharaoh and to command his band of Mummy champions. Hunter Ja-Kal wears the armored wings of the falcon-god Horus, giving him the power of flight.”

Like the ‘80s before them, the ‘90s had more than a few cartoons designed purely to sell toys.  One of my personal favorites was 1997’s Mummies Alive!, which followed a band of undead Egyptian warriors, whose job it was to protect the young boy that was the reincarnation of their Pharaoh Rhapses.  The show was decent enough, but the real star was, obviously, the toys.  Kenner* handled the toyline, which was really cool,  but sadly short-lived.  Nevertheless, we did at least get the main Mummies, including their leader Ja-Kal, who I’ll be looking at today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Hunter Ja-Kal was released in the basic figure assortment of Kenner’s Mummies Alive! line.  He was one of three Ja-Kals in the line, and is the one of the three that depicts him in his most standard appearance from the show.  The figure stands about 5 1/2 inches tall and he has 5 points of articulation. Ja-Kal’s sculpt was shared with the Nile-Ator Cycle’s pack-in Ja-Kal figure.  It’s otherwise unique to these two figures.  It’s a pretty solid offering for the time.  While it’s not a perfect recreation of the cartoon appearance, it’s pretty close, and most of the discrepancies come from the figure adding in some extra details.  Stylistically, he’s sort of similar to Total Justice, but without the insane expression or over-posing that plagued that line.  It’s sort of a best of both worlds scenario.  The proportions are still very ’90s hero, but there’s some internal consistency, and it matches up pretty well with the aesthetic of the show, so it works out alright.  I suppose an argument could be made that his limbs are rather on the lanky side, but the guy *is* a mummy, so I think it’s excusable.  The detailing on the wrappings is exquisitely handled; this would look good on a modern figure, it’s fantastic on a figure of this vintage.  Accenting the pretty sweet sculpt is an equally sweet paint job.  The base colors make for a nice match to the cartoon, plus there’s some really fun accent work on all of the wrapped areas, which successfully makes them look like they’ve been wrapped around a decaying corps for a few thousand years.  Bet those things smell *amazing*.  Ja-Kal originally included a bunch of snap-on armor pieces, recreating his more battle-ready look from the show.  My figure is sadly without those pieces, but I bet they were pretty cool.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I got into Mummies Alive! not too long after it originally aired, but it was long enough that I missed out on most of the toys at retail.  The best I could do were the goofy “Fright Sight” figures, which languished in stores for half a decade after the show was off the air.  Fortunately, I was able to fish this guy out of a loose figure bin at Baltimore ComicCon about a decade ago.  He didn’t have any of his extras, but at least I had a Ja-Kal figure, right?  This line doesn’t get talked about a whole lot, but it was actually really awesome.  I feel like I kinda need to track down the rest of the figures now…

*Interestingly, while Kenner’s name appears on all the packaging, the actual figure’s copyright stamp says Hasbro.  Hasbro of course owned Kenner at this time, but the Hasbro/Kenner products typically only bore the Kenner name.

#1320: Yoda

YODA

STAR WARS: THE POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

“For over 800 years, the diminutive Jedi Master known as Yoda trained the most committed students in the ways of the Force, guiding them into their roles as Jedi Knights, protectors of peace in the galaxy.”

Yoda.  Talks funny, he does.  That’s all I got.

Okay, I’ve probably got more.  The Star Wars prequels are bad for a whole lot of reasons, but if I had to pick one thing I hated the most, it’d be how badly they mucked up the Jedi Knights, Yoda most of all.  For me, Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith cement the little green guy as possibly one of the worst people in the whole galaxy far, far away, having him not only be the guy who essentially establishes the Empire, but also making largely responsible for Anakin’s turn to the Dark Side, by way of spending the majority of Episode III’s first act poking the bear with a stick.  But that’s enough of that.  Let’s go back to when Yoda wasn’t totally the worst!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Yoda was released in Power of the Force II’s second assortment of figures.  This was Yoda’s second action figure, following the original vintage figure.  The figure stands about 2 inches tall and he has 4 points of articulation.  He’s not particularly posable, but I honestly can’t think of a Yoda figure that has been, so it’s hard to hold that against this guy.  In terms of sculpt, as a largely inhuman sort of character, he didn’t fall victim to the same problems that plagued most of the other figures from this line.  With that being said, he’s still rather stylized, and not exactly a pitch-perfect recreation of his on-screen counter part.  The head’s definitely a bit big, and the hands are just sort of goofy looking.  Admittedly, he looks more like his real-life counterpart than most of his compatriots, so that’s a plus.  The articulation really isn’t worked into the sculpt, which is most evident around the hips, where the robes he’s wearing just randomly break their flow.  I’m also not entirely sure what’s going on with how the sleeves of the robe are hanging; it doesn’t seem to lend itself to any particular pose.  In terms of paint, he’s relatively passable.  Basic application seems to be pretty solid, though he’s a little bug-eyed.  They added some slight shading as you get further down the robe, which makes it look like it’s been slowly picking up grime over the years.  Overall, the paint’s fine, but all of his colors seem to sort of blend together, which looks a little bland.  Yoda includes his cane (which he has a little trouble holding), as well as a back-carrier.  The second piece goes with the Dagobah Training version of Luke from this same line, allowing Yoda to be carried on that figure’s back (please excuse the photo; I didn’t have Luke handy, so I just went with the blonde hero kid I had on hand).  It’s actually a pretty nice way of adding some extra value to a figure that would otherwise be half the size of his compatriots.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I didn’t have this Yoda growing up.  In fact, I don’t believe I had any Yodas growing up.  I got this guy at the same time as most of the PotF2 figures I’ve reviewed as of late; he came from the Farpoint Charity auction.  This is actually figure I’ve been meaning to track down for some time, since the complimentary Luke was my very first Star Wars figure.  He’s a bit on the goofy side, but I’m pretty pleased to finally have him!

#1310: Luke Skywalker

LUKE SKYWALKER

STAR WARS (KENNER)

Luke Skywalker has over 100 action figures, which is quite a few.  More than just about any other main character from the franchise, in fact.  There was a time, however, when he had just one.  His very first figure was released by Kenner in 1978, and that’s the one I’m looking at today.  There’s your intro.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Luke is one of the very earliest entries in Kenner’s Star Wars line.  He was initially released in the Early Bird set, alongside Leia, Chewbacca, and R2, and later saw regular release as one of the line’s first 12 figures.  He was also consistently carried throughout the run of the original trilogy’s line.  My figure comes from the earliest of the single releases, or at least that’s what I’ve been told.  The figure stands about 3 3/4 inches tall and has the standard 5 points of articulation (or at least he did; my figure had his head snap off, necessitating it being glued back in place).  The figure sported a unique sculpt at the time (though the head would later see reuse on the Bespin figure from the Empire line), which is decent enough, at least in the context of the rest of the line.  He’s not super detailed, nor is he the spitting image of Mark Hamill as Luke, but the main elements of the character have been conveyed pretty well, and he’s certainly not awful.  His design has also been graced with very few real compromises, which wasn’t completely unheard of in this line, but it was pretty rare.  As one of the three lightsaber wielding characters in the first film, he got one of the retractible blades that Kenner was experimenting with early in the line.  The hilt of the saber is molded in Luke’s hand, and the majority of his right arm has been hollowed out.  There was then a separate blade, which could be pushed up or down, as if he were igniting the saber.  It’s not a particularly accurate rendition of the saber, and it requires Luke to hold his weapon in a way he never does in the film.  Luke’s saber was molded in yellow, because, umm, reasons, I guess?  Of course, you can’t see that from my figure, because they were also really easy to lose, which isn’t ideal.  Still, it wasn’t the worst concept ever.  In terms of paint, Luke is fairly simple; he’s got al the basic colors, and that’s about it.  There were a number of variants on the hair color; mine has the more common bright yellow.  Not super lifelike, but it’s about right for the time.  Luke included no accessories.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

When I was growing up, I had access to a lot of my dad’s old toys.  His collection of Star Wars figures was one of the sets that was given to me to keep.  Luke was by far my favorite of the set, and saw a lot of play time.  His head broke off at some point, and there was a good five years in there where I never seemed to be able to hang on to both pieces at the same time.  I eventually did find both pieces and get him put back together, so that was a small victory.  The figure’s not perfect, but he’s a pretty good starting point, and he’d remain one of the better Luke figures out there for quite a while.

#1306: Han Solo in Carbonite

HAN SOLO IN CARBONITE

STAR WARS: THE POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

“After escaping from Imperial forces in the Hoth system, Han Solo and Princess Leia, Chewbacca and C-3PO, landed the damaged Millenium Falcon on Bespin’s Cloud City for repairs. The four put their trust in the city’s administrator, Lando Calrissian, unaware of the dangers awaiting them. A dashing ex-gambler and long time acquaintance of Solo’s, Calrissian had grudgingly made an agreement with Darth Vader to betray Solo and his friends. In return, the band would be set free once their capture had lured Luke Skywalker into Vader’s grasp. The Dark Lord had no intention of keeping any promises: on his order a carbonite freezing chamber was modified for use on humans, especially Luke Skywalker, to render him helpless for safe delivery to the Emperor. To test the chamber, Solo was frozen and then turned over to the Bounty Hunter Boba Fett. for delivery to the crimelord Jabba the Hutt. He became the favorite decoration in Jabba’s Palace on Tatooine, until a daring rescue attempt led by Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia freed Han and returned him to the enduring cause of the Rebel Alliance.”

Man, they went all out on that bio, didn’t they.  Not much need for me to add anything, so here’s a Han Solo figure!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Han Solo in Carbonite was originally released in 1996, as part of that year’s first assortment of Star Wars: The Power of the Force II figures.  The figure saw a number of re-releases over the course of the line’s run, and is one of the more common figures out there from the line.  He stands about 4 inches tall and has 6 points of articulation.  Han is depicted here just after being freed from his frozen carbonite prison at the beginning of Return of the Jedi.  We can tell he’s an “after carbonite” figure from his lack ofthe shackles he had in Empire.  Technically, I guess the hair could also be a tell, but all of the early PotF2 Hans had the exact same hair anyway.  The head is the same one used for all the other Han figures from this line (well, barring the final one from just before the end), which doesn’t have much in the way of a Harrison Ford likeness.  At least they were keeping it consistent.  The rest of the figure’s sculpt was new to him.  He’s still got the really exaggerated proportions and super tight clothing, but is otherwise one of the tamest sculpts to come out of this line.  He’s pretty much just in a basic standing pose, with no goofy mid-step thing or oddly bent arms.  The one main inaccuracy that stuck out at me was the shirt, which follows the pattern of his A New Hope shirt, rather than the more detailed ones from Empire and Jedi.  It’s far from the worst mistake, and 9 out of 10 people wouldn’t notice it, but I am that tenth person.  The paintwork on Han is about on par with the rest of the line.  It’s fairly basic and the colors aren’t terribly thrilling, but it gets the job done.  Han’s main accessory is, of course, the carbonite block.  It’s a pretty cool piece; the front is a pretty faithful recreation of the movie prop, and the flip side is hollow, with a clip at waist height, allowing for the figure to be placed on the underside.  Han also includes a small blaster, patterned on the one he uses to save Lando from the Sarlac.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This version of Han was the second Hon Solo I owned, following the mail-away Stormtrooper disguise figure.  He was procured on a trip with my grandmother, I think, though I’m not 100% sure on that.  It’s irrelevant at this point, because I don’t own the figure anymore.  I rather foolishly sold it about 15 years ago, on the basis that I already owned other Hans, which doesn’t even makes sense to me anymore.  The figure you see in this review is a replacement, which, like the last several PotF2 figures I’ve reviewed, was picked up during the Farpoint charity auction.  This figure’s actually a bit better than I remember him being, and is probably the best of the Hans from early in this line (though the later ones kind of surpassed all the others).  Not bad at all.

#1295: Egyptian Catwoman & Batman

EGYPTIAN CATWOMAN & BATMAN

LEGENDS OF BATMAN (KENNER)

In an effort to prevent this site from becoming all Marvel Legends all the time, and risking becoming too monotonous, today I’m going to be looking at a DC-related item.  Just to add a bit of variety.  Now, yesterday, I looked at a caped vigilante of the night with a bit of an Egyptian flair.  Today, I’ll be looking at…a caped vigilante of the night with a bit of an Egyptian flair.  The more things, the more they stay the same, right?  Today’s review takes us once more to Kenner’s Legends of Batman line from the ‘90s.  While prior reviews have focused primarily on the line’s pirate-sub-line, this time we’re looking at another of the goofy reimaginings, with Egyptian Batman and his foe Egyptian Catwoman!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Egyptian Catwoman and Batman were released in 1996 as one of a pair of two-packs in the Legends of Batman line (the other two-pack was the previously reviewed Pirate Two-Face & Pirate Batman).  Like most of the goofy variants from this line, these two were original creations of Kenner, and had no ties to the comics beyond being Batman and Catwoman.

CATWOMAN

Ancient Egypt revered the cat—with the exception of Egyptian Catwoman.  The mightiest woman pharaoh ever to rule, Egyptian Catwoman tainted the royal throne through her misuse of her immense power.  Forcing whole nations into slavery to build her lavish palace, pyramids, and towering monoliths, Egyptian Catwoman was despised and feared throughout the land.  Only her sworn enemy, Egyptian Batman, could stand up to her evil-doings and massive cat-claw battle staff to release her unfortunate subjects from her iron rule.”

Unlike Two-Face, it would seem Egyptian Catwoman is a markedly different character from her main universe character.  With that said, despite what her bio may insist, she doesn’t seem to be all that different from the average Pharaoh, apart from her willingness to fight her own battles.  Guess the cat-claw battle staff helps.  Also, can we address how silly it is that the bio has to call her “Egyptian Catwoman” every time she’s mentioned?  It just sounds kind of silly, especially since those living in ancient Egypt would be very unlikely to throw “Egyptian” in front of their name.  It’d be like me referring to myself as “American Ethan H Wilson” all the time.  Wouldn’t “Pharaoh Catwoman” have been a better choice?  Oh well.  The figure stands about 4 1/2 inches tall and has 6 points of articulation (counting the tail, which turns at its base).  Most of the articulation isn’t of much use, since she’s rather preposed; it’s really only there to let you fine tune things so that she doesn’t fall over so much (whether it actually helps with that issue is debatable).  The sculpt is okay, I guess.  It’s not as good as Pirate Two-Face, but also not as bad as Pirate Batman.  It’s somewhere in between.  The pre-posing is at least a pretty decent pose, which is clearly designed to interact with the Egyptian Batman figure.  In terms of design, she seems to take a good deal of influence from her then current Jim Balent-designed outfit, mostly in terms of color and general layout of the various elements.  There are, of course, the Egyptian-styled elements, which are all pretty decently rendered, if perhaps a bit on the soft side.  The Wolverine claws seem a bit overkill, but there are worse things.  The paint work on Catwoman is acceptable, but far from perfect.  There’s a lot of fuzz around the edges, and the gold paint doesn’t seem to have held up particularly well.  Catwoman includes a headdress (meant to evoke her exposed hair in the comics), as well as the previously mentioned cat-claw battle staff.

BATMAN

“Many years ago, the son of a high-ranking Egyptian official disguised himself as Egyptian Batman and made it his life’s mission to out an end to evil-doers.  He didn’t have to look far for his main target: his own father’s sponsor, Egyptian Catwoman.  Battling the evil, feline pharaoh with only his powerful bat-shield staff and keen intellect as weapons, Egyptian Batman strived to make his homeland a prosperous, peaceful place once again.”

Okay, so here’s my question here: why a bat?  Like, it makes sense for Bruce Wayne, but random Egyptian dude?  Cats work into the whole Egyptian mythology thing, but bats?  I don’t know.  Anyway, the figure stands about 5 inches tall and he has 5 points of articulation.  The articulation works a little better here, since the figure’s a little less preposed, which is a definite plus.  I think Egyptian Batman may well sport my favorite sculpt of the five Legends of Batman figures I’ve looked at so far.  Sure, he’s still got slightly exaggerated proportions and kind of insane muscles, but there’s a sort of balance to it.  I definitely get a Neal Adams sort of vibe from this figure.  The general design is also one of the stronger ones.  It maintains the basics of the classic Batman design, but also perseveres the whole Egyptian aesthetic, in a way that I feel works better than his pack-mate.  I particularly dig the morphing of his traditional bat-ears into more of a jackal sort of design.  It preserves the basic silhouette, but offers something new and different for the figure.  The paint work is pretty straightforward.  It’s mostly pretty clean, and the colors suit the character.  There’s still an issue with the gold paint one this figure, but it seems less present on this guy.  Like Catwoman, Batman includes a headdress, as well as his previously mentioned shield staff, which he has a little trouble holding properly.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Like the prior two-pack, I don’t actually remember seeing this set in stores when it was released.  This one I do recall seeing a few times elsewhere over the years, but I just never got around to getting one.  Super Awesome Girlfriend picked this set up for me at the same time as the Pirate set.  I was actually more interested in the pirate set at first (since they go with my other figures), but after opening them both up, this set was actually my favorite of the two, largely due to the pretty awesome Egyptian Batman figure.  If you’re looking for a good jumping on point for this line, you could do a lot worse than this set.

#1293: Tusken Raider

TUSKEN RAIDER

STAR WAR: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

“The Sand People are easily frighted, but they’ll be back, and in greater numbers”

The Tusken Raiders.  What the heck are they?  Are they aliens?  Or just weird nomad people?  We never do see what they look like under all those wrappings.  Heck, they weren’t even called “Tusken Raiders” originally; they were just “Sand People.”  But I guess, like Walrus Man, Hammer Head, and Snuggle Tooth, that name was deemed too goofy to be real.   This is why we can’t have nice things.  Well, okay, that’s not true.  We have some nice things.  For instance, we have this Tusken Raider figure that I’m reviewing today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Tusken Raider was released in the second wave of the 1996 assortment of Power of the Force II figures from Kenner, which happens to be the same set that gave us the previously reviewed Greedo figure.  Like Greedo, the Raider wasn’t featured on cardbacks for some reason.  This was the second sand person/Tusken Raider in the line, following the original vintage release.  The figure stands a little over 3 3/4 inches tall and has 6 points of articulation.  As I’ve noted before, the PotF2 figures were pretty high on the stylization scale, but as the line progressed, this lessened a bit.  The Raider is definitely a little puffier than most depictions of the design have been, and the head is rather on the small side.  There are also some slight bits of preposing, but it’s mostly limited to the arms, where it more or less makes sense.  The sculpting on the legs/feet isn’t particularly crazy, but for whatever reason, this figure tends to fall over a lot, which is really annoying.  Overall, I like this sculpt, but there are some bits of it that are rather uneven.  For instance, while there’s some great detail work on the head and robes, and there’s even a fully detailed torso under the main robe piece (which is removable), the hands are large and mostly devoid of extra detail, which ends up just looking really goofy.  Still, when compared to some of the Series 1 figures, he’s still a definite step-up.  The paint work on the Raider is mostly pretty passable.  Lots of tans and browns, and there’s even a bit of subtle work at the base of the sleeves and the skirt of the robe.  Not the most thrilling color scheme of all time, but accurate to what’s seen on-screen.  The Raider’s one accessory is his Gaderffi stick.  There were two variations of the figure’s left hand sculpt.  Mine is the earlier, closed grip hand, which prevents him from holding the stick anywhere but the very top, which is a little goofy.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Like Greedo, I didn’t have this one growing up. I had my dad’s vintage Sand Person, which held me over.  I ended up grabbing this guy from this year’s Farpoint charity auction.  He’s not a bad figure at all.  Not super thrilling, but fun enough to keep me interested.

#1286: Greedo

GREEDO

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

Boba Fett may be the go-to bounty hunter of the Star Wars universe, but he and all of his bounty hunting pals owe just about everything to one guy: Greedo Q. Kazoo.  Okay, it’s really just Greedo.  No last name.  Or first name.  It’s just the one name, really.  Like Michelangelo. Or Beyonce.  I’m getting sidetracked.  Anyway, Greedo was instrumental to introducing the whole wider bounty hunter thing to the Star Wars universe.  He’s probably my personal favorite bounty hunter, truth be told, due to having a fun design, serving a clear purpose, and generally not being overhyped (unlike some *other* bounter hunters out there).  Greedo’s had a few figures over the years, including one during the infamous Power of the Force II incarnation from the ‘90s, which I’ll be looking at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Greedo was released as part of the second 1996 assortment of Star Wars: Power of the Force II.  Interestingly enough, Greedo’s not one of the figures pictured on the back of the packaging.  This marked Greedo’s second time as an action figure, after his original vintage figure.  He stands about 3 3/4 inches tall and has 6 points of articulation.  The PotF2 sculpts were generally stricken by ‘90s uber-stylization, but as the line moved forward, the stylizing slowly worked its way out.  Coming from the line’s second year, Greedo already shows some of the steps forward, being a lot less pre-posed than some of the earlier figures were; there’s still a slight bit of a mid-step thing going on, but it’s hardly an extreme pose.  He’s still a little on the buff side (which is further accented by the slightly tighter fit of the clothes), but it’s fairly minor.  He’s helped by his more alien design, which helps to mask some of the faults.  From a purely aesthetic standpoint, his sculpt is definitely solid.  The head is a pretty pitch-perfect recreation of the Greedo mask seen in the movie.  It’s perhaps a bit underscaled, but I actually think it looks slightly better that way.  There’s also a ton of really sharp detail work, not only on the head, but also on the rest of the body sculpt.  While he’s certainly not going to be outdoing the Black Series figure or anything, he’s still sporting a very well-crafted sculpt.  The sculpt is topped off with a decent paint job.  Nothing particularly fancy, but all of Greedo’s basic colors are there, and the application is all pretty clean.  Greedo was packed with two blasters; one large, one small.  The smaller blaster is based on Greedo’s sidearm from the movie, and, aside from being a little sized-up, is pretty accurate.  The larger piece is made up for the figure, but hey, at least they gave him something extra, right?

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I didn’t have Greedo growing up (in fact, my first proper Greedo figure was actually the Black Series figure).  This figure was another that I grabbed during this past Farpoint’s charity auction, alongside a handful of other PotF2 guys.  I’ve actually eyed this figure a few times before, and, like Kaylee and Cobra Commander before him, the good cause was enough to finally convince me to pick him up.  I’m glad I did, because he’s definitely one of the better PotF2 figures Kenner put out.