#1309: Beast Boy

BEAST BOY

DC UNIVERSE CLASSICS

“While traveling to Africa with his scientist parents, Garfield Logan fell victim to a deadly virus and was saved via an experimental treatment that tuned his skin and hair green, in addition to granting him the ability to transform into any animal he imagined. After his parents died in a boating accident, Gar was taken in by the Doom Patrol, a team of misfit heroes that helped him to master his powers.”

It’s kind of odd that his bio mentions the Doom Patrol, but not the Teen Titans.  I’m not complaining, just noting that that’s the way they went.  In regards to DC Universe Classics, I’ve looked at Negative Man, Elasti-Girl, and Robotman.  The only Doom Patrol member they released that I haven’t yet looked at is the aforementioned Beast Boy, adopted son of Elasti-Girl (but we don’t seem to talk about that anymore), and, more prominently, member of the New Teen Titans.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Beast Boy hit in the Walmart-exclusive Series 10 of DC Universe Classics, alongside fellow Doom Patroller Robotman.  The figure stands about 5 1/2 inches tall and has 25 points of articulation.  The sizing on this guy is confusing to say the least.  He’s effectively wearing his costume from the Teen Titans cartoon, which was worked into the comics when Gar rejoined the Doom Patrol after “One Year Later.”  When Gar was wearing this costume in the comics, he was a full-grown adult, but this figure builds him on the small teen male body (introduced on the Series 3 Robin figure), as if he were just the version of BB from the cartoon.  This wouldn’t be a huge issue if the BB-specific parts weren’t clearly meant to be emulating the older Gar from the “One Year Later” storyline, and built with the proportions of an adult.  So, the end result is a Beast Boy that just sort of seems out of scale with just about everything.  I’m fine with Gar being a little smaller than the rest of the Patrol, but a full inch difference seems a little excessive, and he’s actually just flat-out in the wrong scale.  What’s really frustrating is that the actual sculpt really isn’t that bad.  He’s a pretty solid recreation of Gar from this period in the comics, and has a lot of nice little small details, such as the arm hair on his forearms, and even the really sharp work on his shoes.  The hair is a separate piece, which makes its contrast really sharp, and the ears even have the point they gained in later designs.  It’s clear a lot of effort went into this sculpt; he’s simply too small.  The figure’s paint is pretty solid, at least; the colors are a good match for both the comic and the cartoon, and everything is applied pretty cleanly.  There’s not a lot to mess up here, and Mattel succeeded in not messing it up.  Good for them.  Beast Boy included a green falcon (re-used from the MotUC line), meant to emulate his shape-shifting abilities, as well as the right arm of the series’ Collect-N-Connect, Imperiex.  Woo.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Beast Boy is one of the earlier figures I got from this series.  Just after it started hitting Walmart, my dad and I had a few trips just checking our local stores, and he was one of the ones we found.  I’ve always liked Beast Boy, and at the time I was super pumped about getting the Doom Patrol as action figures.  I can acknowledge some of this figure’s merit, and I certainly don’t hate him, but he disappoints me greatly.  He’s kind of a perfect example of DCUC in a nutshell; great in theory, and in 95% of the execution, but there was just enough leeway for Mattel to find a way to screw him up.  They were so close, and yet still so far.

#1305: Captain America

CAPTAIN AMERICA

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Steve Rogers is a soldier with superhuman strength and an indestructible shield!”

Generally speaking, I’m a pretty big supporter of Hasbro these days.  They run two of my favorite lines and generally do things that I support.  They get a lot of hate, and I think a lot of it’s undeserved.  With all that said, about a decade ago, I was NOT much of a Hasbro fan, due to a lot of very silly decisions on their part, both with the end of their DC license and the early days of their Marvel license.  While they’ve improved leaps and bounds, they do still have the occasional slip-up.  Today, I’m looking at one such slip-up.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Captain America is the first figure in the Red Onslaught Series of Marvel Legends, which was the first of the three vaguely Captain America: Civil War-themed series released last year.  I looked at a handful of figures from the series back when they were still new, but never got around to this guy, mostly for the aforementioned “slip-up” reasons.  This figure is, or is at least intended to be, an updated classic Captain America, which was a nice thought, given that the last actual classic Cap before this one was the Face Off version from Toy Biz.  He stands a little over 6 1/2 inches tall and has 32 points of articulation.  Cap is built on the Reaper body, which most of us had figured would be the case as soon as the Reaper body showed up.  I’m not sure it’s the best base for the character; it seems a little chunky for him.  That being said, it’s certainly an improvement on the body that was previously being used for Cap, so that’s a plus.  Cap got unique pieces for his head, forearms, shoulder straps, belt, and boots (the forearms, belt, and boots would later be re-used for Red Guardian).  The majority of the pieces are decent work, and they fit well on the body.  He really, really could have used at least one fist, but that’s minor. The first major nit I have with the figure is the straps on the shoulders; previous pieces have always been done as a single harness piece, but for some reason this time Hasbro opted to go with two separate pieces.  The issue is that they don’t have anything to connect to, nor do they have the tension that would be brought by connecting to each other, so the end result is that they’re pretty much impossible to keep in place.  They just fall right off the arms.  Just getting the one photo with them was a nightmare.  The second major nit, and the primary reason I held off on getting this figure for so long is the head sculpt.  I’ve never been happy with the Hasbro Legends take on Steve Rogers, and this figure really exhibits the worst of that, even more so than prior figures.  His head looks thuggish and angry, and just all-around ugly, which is hardly how I think of Cap.  He takes the squared off, scowlly “Hasbro Face” that I so despise and dials it up to 11.  On top of that, the head is super, super wide, like it’s been stepped on or something, and is in general just way too large for this body.  It’s almost like they scaled it to the Hyperion.  I wish I had something nice to say about this head, but I really, really hate it.  The paint on this guy is okay, but hardly Hasbro’s best.  It’s a bit weird stepping back a year to just before they started really making the strides in paint quality.  He’s okay, but there’s some noticeable slop, especially on the white sections.  Ironically, the head gets probably the best work, but it’s not enough to save it.  Cap is packed with his mighty shield (which is the same mold used for Taskmaster, Red Guardian, and Vance), a pair of gripping hands, a left hand that’s pointing, a right hands that flat, an extra Cap Wolf head (which is probably the coolest included piece, and at least gives the figure *some* value), and the back-thingy of Red Onslaught.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I saw this figure a ton of times over the course of the last year, but, despite being rather excited when he was initially announced, I just couldn’t bring myself to pay full retail for this guy.  A few things happened that finally got me to buy him.  First of all, Hasbro’s eBay shop marked the figure down to $8.99, which for those of you playing at home is less than half of the original retail price.  On top of that, I came across an image of a mod for the figure (which I’ll be posting about later today), which finally convinced me he was worth owning.  The basic figure is certainly disappointing.  That head is just terrible, and the shoulder straps are beyond annoying.  However, the base body is pretty decent, and at lest he’s got the extra Cap Wolf to make him more worthwhile.

#1297: Yokai

YOKAI

BIG HERO 6 (BANDAI)

Hey, remember waaaaaay back in 2014 when Big Hero 6 was released?  And I picked up exactly one of the action figures?  Well, I got more.  Because that’s what I do, I guess.  Today, I’ll be looking not at one of the members of the titular team, but rather at their foe from the film, the kabuki masked dude whose name was apparently Yokai.  Who knew?  Well, Bandai knew, and I guess Disney also probably knew.  But I didn’t know, mostly because he’s not ever referred to as Yokai in the movie.  But, I guess putting the name of his alter ego on the package would be a bit of a spoiler, wouldn’t it?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Yokai was released in the first series of Big Hero 6 figures from Bandai, alongside the six members of the team.  The figure stands a little over 3 1/2 inches tall and he has 13 points of articulation.  Yokai falls victim to the same problem that a lot of Bandai America’s output does: terrible relative scale in terms of the line as a whole.  As a full-grown adult, he should be pretty tall in comparison to the adolescent characters that make up the rest of the line, but due to Bandai’s very odd views on scaling, he’s at most a quarter of an inch taller than Hiro, a character he should tower over.  The way it’s done, Yokai feels like he’s from an entirely different line than the rest of the figures, barring maybe Baymax.  This is the same issue that plagued every version of Slade back when they were doing the Teen Titans figures, and it’s a shame they’re making the same mistakes a decade later.  Scaling issues aside, the sculpt isn’t terrible.  It’s hardly a perfect recreation of his on-screen design (which would be a good deal thinner), but he’s a passable recreation, I suppose.  There’s some pretty solid work on the various details of his costume, and it’s clear who he’s supposed to be.  I wish his coat was a bit less floaty, but it’s the sort of thing I’ve come to expect from Bandai America.  The paint work on the figure isn’t anything amazing, but it’s certainly passable.  The colors all match up with the character’s film design, and the application is all pretty clean.  The best work is on the mask, which is nice and bold, and helps him stand out.  Yokai is packed with a attachment for the hand that’s designed to simulate the nanobots Yokai uses in the movie.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I had totally planned to grab a few more of the Big Hero 6 figures after I got Wasabi back in 2014, but I got kind of distracted by other lines of figures.  Back in March, I stumbled across most of the line for a deep discount at the nearest Ollie’s, which was enough to prod me into grabbing a set.  Yokai’s…okay.  After being pleasantly surprised by Wasabi, this guy feels more like an unfortunate return to form for Bandai America.  He’s still better than vast majority of the Teen Titans figures, and a perfectly enjoyable figure in his own right, but in the context  of the line as a whole, he’s got some definite issues.

#1278: Jean Grey

JEAN GREY

MARVEL UNIVERSE 10-INCH (TOY BIZ)

“When the X-Men investigate a rash of mutant disappearances, they find that crime fighter Daredevil is working on the same case. Tracking down clues connected to the crimes takes Daredevil and Wolverine to an abandoned chemical factory while Jean Grey and Professor X use their incredible psi-talents to locate the kidnapped mutants inside. Battling and defeating their captors, the X-Men and Daredevil are able to give the kidnapped mutants back their freedom.”

I know I just got through reviewing a ton of X-Men figures but I’m gonna review another one.  Why?  Because this is my site and I do what I want.  Also because this figure was the next on the randomized list that tells me what figures to review.  Don’t let that undermine my previous statement.  Anyway, today I’ll be looking at founding X-Men member, Jean Grey!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Jean Grey was released in 1997 as part of Toy Biz’s 10-Inch-scaled Marvel Universe line.  As the bio might have clued you in, she was released alongside Daredevil and Professor X (the both had matching bios).  Wolverine is also mentioned, but I wasn’t able to find any reference to a specific Wolverine that had this matching bio, so it’s possible they were just counting on kids to already have a Wolverine.  Jean is based on her Jim Lee-designed look from the ‘90s, which was an oddly rare design to see at the time. Not exactly her most attractive design, but it was the one on the cartoon (more or less). This figure stands about 9 1/2 inches tall and has 9 points of articulation.  Jean, like all but one of the female figures from this line, is a repaint of the X-Men line’s Rogue figure (which was a larger scale version of the 5-inch figure I just reviewed).  It wasn’t an ideal set-up, since Rogue and Jean aren’t *that* similar in design, especially in their Jim Lee costumes.  That being said, I suppose it could have been worse.  Jean’s aided by the fact that she ditches the belt and coat from Rogue (which is better than can be said for Polaris or Mystique), which at least gives her a different silhouette than Rogue.  The proportions on this figure are passable.  Obviously, they’re rather off, but in the context of the rest of the line, they don’t look too bad.  The paint carries most of the weight of turing this figure into Jean Grey.  It’s okay, I guess.  They try to use the paint to make her costume look more appropriate.  It’s not awful on the head, where the only real issue is the texture of the headband not matching the rest.  The shoulders should technically be raised shoulder pads, but even that doesn’t look so bad.  It really starts to fall apart with the wrist bands, which not only paint over the cuffs of the gloves as if they aren’t there, they also don’t even try to follow the shaping of the wrists from the comic design.  There is similarly do nothing to hide the tops of Rogue’s boots; I get that new tooling was out of the option, but at least the other figures to use this body did some slight tweaking to try and include the boots organically.  They look really weird totally unpainted.  Jean’s one accessory was a….big…bazooka?  You know, that bazooka thing that Jean always hauled around in the ‘90s!

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

When I was growing up, my Dad had his own small collection of 10-inch figures (in retrospect, three of them were Jean, Professor X, and Yellow Daredevil, all of whom were part of this same subset).  Eventually, they were passed on to me.  Even as a kid, I always found Jean to be one of the weaker 10-inch figures that Toy Biz released.  Making an important character like Jean nothing more than a cheap repaint was seriously messed up.  She’s alright, I guess, but really, really, really, really disappointing.

#1277: Pirate Two-Face & Pirate Batman

PIRATE TWO-FACE & PIRATE BATMAN

LEGENDS OF BATMAN (KENNER)

Remember when I reviewed Buccaneer Batman, the inexplicable pirate-themed Batman variant from super wacky ‘90s Legends of Batman line?  Well, he wasn’t the only inexplicable pirate-themed variant in the line.  Not by a long shot!  Today, I’m looking at the *other* pirate-themed Batman from the line, dubbed “Pirate Batman” (real original on that one, guys), alongside one of his pirate-themed foes, Pirate Two-Face (again, great job on the name, guys…).  Let’s have a look!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Pirate Two-Face and Pirate Batman were released in 1996 as one of the two two-packs from Kenner’s Legends of Batman.  These two wrapped up the Pirate subset that was started in Series 3 of the main line.

TWO-FACE

“After a tragic accident left half his body hideously scarred and half his mind horribly insane, the once promising ship’s captain Pirate Two-Face sailed the seven seas as the most ruthless pirate leader in the annals of history.  Upon boarding captured ships laden with treasures, Pirate Two-Face would decide the fate of the crew and passengers with the flip of a coin.  His unpredictability, unchecked greed, and sword fighting skills could be challenged by just one man, Pirate Batman, who he eluded at every port of call.”

So, in this pirate scenario, Two-Face is more or less unchanged, it seems.  Mostly, they just threw the word “pirate” in there a lot.  Fair enough.  It’s worth noting that this was Two-Face’s only figure in this line; Joker, Catwoman, and Riddler all had standard comic figures, but Harvey was stuck as a pirate all the time.  I mean, at least he got a figure at all, right?  The figure stands about 5 inches tall and he has 7 points of articulation.  Pirate Two-Face was a unique sculpt, and it’s actually a pretty solid one.  His design plays up the “good vs evil” dichotomy, but in true pirate style.  Rather than his usual suit, Pirate Two-Face is half naval officer, half dastardly pirate captain.  His naval officer side is clean and pressed while the pirate side is disheveled and wrinkled like crazy.  His collar on the pirate side is even slightly popped, before settling back down on the “good” side.  The pirate side gets the usual facial scarring (which is surprisingly gruesome for a kid’s toyline), and he also seems to have lost an arm and a leg along the way, replacing them with a peg-leg and some sort of swiss army knife-sword-hook combo replacing them.  As a whole, he really sells the pirate angle pretty well, while still sticking close to the Two-Face side of things as well.  For paint, Pirate Two-Face is generally pretty good for the time; his colors are obviously split down the middle, with blue on the right and red on the left.  The changeover works pretty well, though there’s a bit of slop right on the line, where some of the primer coat under the red shows through.  Most annoyingly, the paint for his belt doesn’t continue all the way around, so it’s just flat blue and red back there.  It looks kind of sloppy.  Pirate Two-Face included no accessories, which is slightly odd, since his hand seems to be begging for something to hold.  He does have a “sword-fighting action”; when you turn the wheel in his back, his sword hand spins.  Woooooooooo!

BATMAN

“Taking it upon himself to make the world’s waterways safe from marauding bands and looters, Pirate Batman relentlessly scoured the seas in pursuit of the most villainous of them all—Pirate Two-Face.  Armed with a razor sharp sword and dagger, Pirate Batman was renowned for his extraordinary dueling ability and courage in the face of danger.  He ceaselessly hunted his evil foe with the split-personality, hoping to rid the seas of his maniacal menace once and for all!”

There was already a Buccaneer Batman in Series 3 of Legends of Batman, but I guess Kenner felt a second one was needed to be made.  The bios for the two indicate they actually might be two different people, which is a somewhat interesting idea.  The figure stands about 4 1/2 inches tall and has 6 points of articulation.  Of course, one of those points is on his right shoulder, which does jack-all in terms of posing, thanks to the outstretched arm.  The figure is actually a complete re-hash of Series 1’s Power Guardian Batman.  Admittedly, the Zorro stylings of that figure lend themselves to a pirate-theme as well, so it’s not a terrible re-use in theory.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t one of the stronger sculpts when it was new, and two years later, it felt even more out of place with the rest of the line, especially the pirate subset it belonged to.  He’s more pre-posed than even the worst of the Total Justice figures, in this really deep lunge.  Remember when I said Buccaneer Batman had the widest stance I’d seen?  Well, this guy’s topped him on that, which has the added bonus of making him virtually impossible to keep standing.  Also, I’m not really sure what’s going on with the left arm; it’s just at an odd angle, and the hand’s doing…something.  Not really sure what.  And it’s at least half an inch too long and isn’t attached to the shoulder in a natural way at all.  In general, the proportions are just super wacky on this guy.  The cape is a removable piece, and while it looks okay, it never really seems to sit right and it falls off a lot.  Pirate Batman’s paint is decent enough.  His scheme is actually somewhat reminiscent of the “Gotham By Gaslight” design, albeit slightly bluer.  I personally find this design to be a bit more exciting than the Power Guardian look, so I guess that’s a plus.  The figure is packed with the sword and dagger mentioned in the bio (they’re the same pieces included with the PG version).  He’s also got his own sword-fighting action, which works fairly similarly to Pirate Two-Face’s.  Honestly, it’s probably the best thing about the figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I don’t actually recall seeing this set when it was new.  It wasn’t until years later that I even knew that it existed.  When I dug out my Buccaneer Batman to write his review, my interest in completing the set was piqued.  A few months back, while picking up Super Awesome Girlfriend’s comics, I noted that the store had this set in stock.  Super Awesome Girlfriend, being who she is, insisted on getting them for me.  Pirate Two-Face is pretty cool.  Goofy, but cool.  Pirate Batman is…well, he’s the other figure in the set.  And that’s about it for him.  He just feels really tacked on, and almost as if he’s from another line entirely.  Still, the set’s more than worth it for Two-Face!

#1272: Wolverine – Old Man Logan

WOLVERINE — OLD MAN LOGAN

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“With incredible powers of strength and healing, Wolverine reveals his claws and uses them to slash down opponents.”

Okay, I know I’m trying not to critique the bios, but shouldn’t there be at least some mention of this being Old Man Logan in there?  Just seems a touch generic.  Oh well.

So, back in March, Logan was released, and met with near unanimous praise.  I gotta say, I didn’t really get it.  I mean, it was far from the worst comic movie I’ve seen, but I felt it had a lot of the same problems of the last two Wolverine films, but without Origins’ fun cameos or The Wolverine’s slightly more cohesive story to make up for it.  All it really had going for it was the R-rating, and I’ll be honest, there’s only so many times you can see people getting stabbed in the face before it loses its edge.  On the plus side, it did inspire an action figure, so that’s good.  Since Disney is discouraging licensees from releasing any direct tie-ins to the Fox movies, we didn’t get a Hugh Jackman Logan, but rather a Logan based on “Old Man Logan,” the Wolverine from the bad-future story that Logan the movie drew some inspiration from.  Yay?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Wolverine is part of the Warlock Series of Marvel Legends.  He’s the one figure in the set not to include a Build-A-Figure piece, taking the the loosely movie-themed figure slot from last year’s Deadpool figure.  The package just calls him “Wolverine”; no denotation of the storyline he comes from or anything.  There’s a part of me that wonders if they were initially planning for this to be a more standard civilian Wolverine figure at some point and that’s why the name and bio are more generic.  Who knows?  Anyway, the figure stands about 6 inches tall (just a smidge taller than the Juggernaut Series Wolverine), and he has 32 points of articulation.  Logan is based on OML’s look after he was integrated into the main Marvel universe.  It’s not wildly different from his prior appearances, but this way he fits in a bit better with the main X-Men figures.  He sports an all-new sculpt, which depicts him in his usual civilian garb.  I feel almost certain we’ll be seeing the body again for a 616 Logan at some point, just to get some more milage out of it.  The body is pretty solid; his general build is a pretty close match for the last Wolverine, so it looks more or less like the same guy.  The level of detail on the various bits of clothing is quite nice; not quite Star-Lord level, but given this is supposed to be a comic figure, that’s excusable.  The head is a pretty nice piece of work, and sells Logan as being as old and cranky as he should be.  Once again, the features on the face line up pretty well with his younger counterpart, or at least what we could see of his face.  He loses the wacky Wolverine hair, which makes him look a bit more average, but is also accurate to this take on the character.  The paintwork on this figure is pretty subdued; there’s a whole lot of brown going on here.  That’s pretty accurate, I guess.  The paint is all pretty cleanly done, and there’s even a touch of accent work on his face, to bring out all of those extra wrinkles.  Some of the rest of him could do with a little accenting work as well, but he’s on par with the rest of the line as of late, so I’m not really going to complain.  What I am going to complain about, however, is the complete lack of accessories.  When this figure was first shown, a lot of people were hoping there would be an extra 616 Logan head included.  Not only does he not get that, he also doesn’t even get extra non-claw bearing hands, which wouldn’t have even required any new tooling.  And on top of that, he’s the only figure in the set not to get a Build-A-Figure piece, leaving him feeling very empty for the $20 most places are charging.  Compared to last series’ Deadpool, who lacked the BAF piece but made up for it in spades with all the other extras he included, this is incredibly disappointing.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Logan was the third of the figures I found from this series, alongside Sunfire.  I wasn’t sure I was going to pick him up at first, but I sort of got caught up in the thrill of the hunt, and thus he was purchased.  He’s not a bad figure, but the lack of any extras really hurts him when he’s compared to the rest of the series, which makes him the weakest in the set, in my opinion.  Still, weakest in this particular set isn’t the worst thing ever, since the Warlock Series is probably my favorite Legends line-up in recent history.  And with that, my reviews of this series come to a close!

#1251: Kilowog

KILOWOG

GREEN LANTERN: MOVIE (MATTEL)

You know how I rag on Mattel a lot, but sometimes they still do things right, and I can give them props?  This isn’t one of those times.

2011’s Green Lantern isn’t a particularly well-regarded film.  In a lot of ways, I don’t think it deserves a lot of the hate it gets.  It had the misfortune of being released in a summer already pretty jam-packed with super hero movies, three of which hailed from Marvel and were generally above expectations.  Marvel fans wanted another Iron Man (which, in their defense, is what DC was promoting the film as; not their smartest move) and DC fan’s wanted The Dark Knight.  The end result is really more in line with Tim Burton’s Batman movies.  It definitely could have been better, but it was far from awful.  One of the movie’s better aspects was its cast.  The late Michael Clarke Duncan made his second turn in super hero flick (his first being the similarly maligned Daredevil; I ain’t defending that one!), playing the GL drill sergeant Kilowog.  He got a few figures courtesy of Mattel’s tie-in line.  I’ll be looking at the standard version today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Kilowog was released in the first series of Green Lantern figures, which hit about a month or so before the movie’s release.  The figure stands about 4 1/2 inches tall and has 8 points of articulation.  The articulation scheme on these figures was really strange; it’s not totally out of the ordinary to see lesser articulated figures in the 3 3/4-inch scale, but these figures randomly had extra shoulder joints, which tend to come after elbows and knees in the articulation hierarchy.  Also, while Hasbro’s started offering more lower POA figures as of late, their competing figures from 2011’s Thor and Captain America lines were fully articulated.  Heck, even Mattel’s own DC Infinite Heroes line was fairly decently articulation.  I’m not really sure why these figures were so out of sync with everything around them.  I’m getting distracted.  Sorry.  Kilowog had a unique sculpt initially, but it would eventually be reused for a number of variants as the line progressed.  It’s a reasonable translation of Kilowog’s movie design.  Of course, the problem with that is that his movie design wasn’t really their strongest.  I mean, it’s nice that he didn’t have the same muscle striation thing that Hal did, but he’s just for of lumpy looking.  Also, they seriously tweaked the shape of his head, which always bugged me; he looks more like Shrek than Kilowog.  Objectively speaking, the head on this figure was definitely the best part.  It’s actually so detailed that it looks rather out of place on the smooth and mostly featureless body.  They almost look like they belong to different figures.  Also, note that once again Mattel has made no attempt to work the articulation into the sculpt.  It’s especially bad at the waist, where there’s really no good reason to have a joint that obvious.  Like many of this line’s figures, Kilowog’s feet are bent back a little too far, which results in a lot of falling on his back.  Getting the two photos for this review was no small feat.  As far as paint, Kilowog was okay, but suffers from a very similar issue as with the sculpt.  The head has some very nice, very subtle work, which makes him look really lifelike.  Then the body seems to just let the paint go where it goes.  One thing that really frustrated me with this whole line was the inconsistency of the greens.  Pretty much ever lantern had their own shade, which was really odd, since that wasn’t true onscreen.  Was it really that hard to pick on pantone number and stick with it?  Each figure in the line included their own construct piece to slip over their ring hand.  Kilowog actually didn’t get a proper construct, but instead got the larger hand adapter piece, which allowed for him (and other larger figures) to make use of the constructs included with smaller figures.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I picked up a handful of the GL movie figures when they were first released, during my pre-movie excitement, and Kilowog was one of those figures.  No figure in this line is particularly noteworthy, but Kilowog was probably the best the line had to offer.  He’s got his issues, but he’s also got some saving graces, which is more than can be said about a lot of the line.

#1250: Baron Zemo

BARON ZEMO

MARVEL LEGENDS (TOY BIZ)

Earlier this month, I took a look at Baron Helmut Zemo, who’s one of my favorite Captain America villains. Well, he’s my favorite Cap villain that’s not a crazy leaping Frenchman…or a robot with face for a torso…look, he’s nearer the top of the list than he is the bottom, alright?  Anyway, I looked at Helmut, but he wasn’t the first Baron Zemo to face off against Cap.  No, that would be his dad, Baron Heinrich Zemo, who, amongst other things, founded the Masters of Evil.  Heinrich hasn’t been quite as prevalent to the toy world as his son, but he’s gotten a few entries.  He was actually the only Baron Zemo to be released during Toy Biz’s lengthy tenure producing Marvel figures, and was even one of the last figures they produced.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Baron Zemo was released in Series 14 of Toy Biz’s Marvel Legends, which was also commonly known as the “Mojo Series” after its Build-A-Figure.  It was the penultimate series of the line, and ended up being rushed into production so that Toy Biz could get it out before passing the license off to Hasbro.  The figure stands a little over 6 inches tall and he has 36 points of articulation.  As with so many of Toy Biz’s Legends figures, there was a definite priority placed on the articulation over the integrity of the sculpt on this guy.  For some, that was less of an issue, but on this guy?  Oh boy, it’s pretty bad.  Now, admittedly, there were some production things that made some problems crop up that weren’t on the initial prototype (mostly the neck), but this guy was always going to look sort of…weird.  His shape is vaguely human, I guess.  The hands and feet were definitely too large, the neck too long, the waist both too high and too thin, and the limbs too skinny.  His clothes are both uncomfortably clingy and oddly loose, in a way that he would have to have them sewn on him that way.  It just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.  I mean, if you take some of the pieces individually, there’s some good stuff there.  The head is pretty good, and captures his comics design pretty well.  The boots are also pretty nice, especially the fur lining.  The holster’s okay, but the gun’s non removable, which is always very frustrating.  Other than that, though, it’s pretty goofy.  Did no one stand back, look at this guy, and go “that looks nothing like a human?”  Because I did that.  On top of the very questionable sculpt, there were also some major quality control issues on this series in particular.  Most of the figures, Zemo included, were saddled with incredibly rubbery joints.  It makes getting him to stand quite difficult, and leaves him always looking the slightest bit deflated.  The paintwork on this guy is probably his strongest aspect.  It’s still not perfect; the gold pieces in particular are a real mess, and the washes can be rather hit and miss.  However, it’s still pretty passable.  Zemo included the head and upper torso of Mojo, as well as a weird staff thing.  The staff is kind of goofy; there’s a hole in the handle and a corresponding peg in his right hand, but he never holds it in a particularly convincing way.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I got most of Series 14 for as Christmas presents in 2006, and Zemo was amongst them.  I was happy to have him at the time (Legends was my absolute favorite line to collect at that point), but even when he was new, I knew he was less than stellar in execution.  This is definitely a figure I’d like to see Hasbro tackle at some point, especially since I liked their Helmut figure so much.

#1239: Katana

KATANA

DC COMICS MULTIVERSE (MATTEL)

Hey, remember when I was talking about Suicide Squad yesterday?  Well, I’m gonna do some more talking about it today.  If I’m very lucky, this will be my last bit of talking on the Suicide Squad front.  As noted yesterday, one of the biggest flaws with the movie was just how under-utilized anyone not named “Deadshot” or “Harley Quinn” was.  Boomer at least got some characterization (mostly due to Jai Courtney’s scenery chewing performance), but today’s focus, Katana, gets a whole lot of nothing.  No fancy introduction, no particularly good fights, next to no dialogue, and no anything else that would make her even slightly interesting.  Karen Fukuhara really tried to inject something into the character, but there just wasn’t anything there to work with.  Anyway, she got a figure, which I’m looking at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Like yesterday’s Captain Boomerang, Katana was released in the second Suicide Squad-themed assortment of Mattel’s DC Comics Multiverse, which hit well after the movie’s release, thereby guaranteeing that most audiences would have zero interest in the figure.  You know what might have solved this problem?  Shipping all six figures at the same time! (In Mattel’s defense, the most recent series of Multiverse wasn’t split in two, so maybe they’re learning)  The figure stands about 6 1/2 inches tall and has 25 points of articulation.  The ab crunch can move a little bit this time, but not much more than Deadshot’s.  Of course, the elbows and knees are both unable to make it to a full 90 degree angle (really restricting for a sword wielding character).  Also, the ankles on this figure are essentially useless, which makes it very hard to get her to stand.  How do you screw up ankles this badly?  Okay, the movement’s not good, but it’s all for the sake of the sculpt, right? Well, that wasn’t the case with Boomerang, so it’s probably not a shock to find it’s not the case here.  All of the joints stick out like sore thumbs, her torso is flat and thick, her arms are super spindly, the legs and pelvis continue the trend of not really looking like any human ever, and the head doesn’t really resemble Fukuhara at all. Perhaps the worst piece of this already pretty bad sculpt is the sash which holds the sheaths for her swords.  The sash itself is super thick and juts out really far from the figure’s hip, in a way pretty much no real fabric ever would.  The sheaths are separate pieces, and they are actually too small to properly fit in the proper slots, leading them to shift out of place a lot.  This is particularly bad with the smaller front sheath, which tends to naturally fall so it hands straight down, thereby making Katana look like she has a certain appendage that she shouldn’t really have.  It’s really a mess.  Who looked at that and went “yeah, that’s okay?”   As far as the paint goes, Katana’s alright, I guess.  The colors are all pretty basic, but there’s at least some interesting character work on the left leg and the back of her jacket.  She looks way too clean to be from the movie, but she fits with the other figures in that regard.  Katana includes a long blade and a short blade, neither of which she can actually hold properly, as well as the head and pelvis of Killer Croc, the CnC I’ll never be finishing.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

After determining that Boomerang was only $1, I went back and also grabbed a Katana figure.  Not really sure why her, aside from the whole $1 thing.  I was actually in a bit of a hurry, so these were the only two I grabbed, and by the time I made it back to that particular Walmart, they’d been mostly cleaned out.  Alas, no more crappy $1 action figures for me.  I’m not gonna lie, Katana’s a really rough figure.  I’d have a hard time telling you whether she or Boomerang was the worse figure, just due to the large number of issues associated with both of them.  For $1, I feel like I got what I paid for, but I can’t imagine ever being willing to spend even close to full retail on this thing, even if I *had* liked the movie.

#1238: Boomerang

BOOMERANG

DC COMICS MULTIVERSE (MATTEL)

To quote Jack Sparrow, “There should be a captain in there somewhere.”

So, Suicide Squad was DC’s less sucky live action film from last year.  Of course, when your claim to fame is “not as bad as Dawn of Justice,” you may not be on the strongest footing.  As I noted in my review of Mattel’s version of Deadshot from the film, it did have its moments where it didn’t totally suck, or at least hinted at not sucking as much.  It was kind of like watching a clumsy kid on a bike riding up a ramp; there’s promise, and you hope things end well, but it pretty much always ends with a disappointing crash of reality, and leaves all the participants worse than they were at the start.  With a few exceptions, the movie’s cast really did try their best to salvage the film, putting in the best performances they could of the material they were handed.  Outside of Will Smith (who almost manages to save the movie), the performance I was most impressed by was Jai Courtney’s Captain Boomerang.  After seeing him give a number of rather forgettable turns as generic action heroes, Courtney actually did the good captain some justice.  The fact that he was so underused (especially given Boomer’s long history with the Squad) is one of the film’s greatest failings.  He ended up getting a figure from Mattel, which I’ll be looking at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Boomerang was released in the second assortment of the Suicide Squad sub-set of DC Comics Multiverse, which hit stores late last year, well after anyone was actually interested in Suicide Squad figures.  Good move there Mattel.  The figure stands about 6 1/2 inches tall and has 23 points of articulation….in theory.  As I noted in the Deadshot review, a lot of the joints on this figure are significantly limited in range of motion.  The elbows can at least make it to 90 degrees, which is something.  Of course, on the flipside, there’s the torso crunch; remember how Deadshot’s ab-crunch was essentially useless?  Well, Boomerang goes right past “essentially” and straight to “completely.”  Seriously, the joint cannot move.  At all.  What is even the point of including this joint if it literally provides no extra movement.  All it does is stick out like a sore thumb on the sculpt.  All of the articulation sticks out, as a matter of fact; there doesn’t appear to be even the slightest attempt to work any of the joints into the sculpt organically, resulting in a figure that strangely offers the worst of both worlds in regards to sculpt and movement.  I guess the sculpt has some merit.  The head looks passably like Jai Courtney’s Boomer, albeit one who’s been scrubbed and cleaned within an inch of his life.  He’s also got a rather bland expression, which seems rather out of place. The rest of the body is…well its there.  Most of the details are rather on the soft side, and he looks rather clunky and outdated compared to most modern figures.  The worst offender is the torso/pelvis, which isn’t really shaped like any human ever, much less Boomerang from the movie.  The coat is inaccurate, mostly because it’s just a re-use of the Dark Knight Rises Bane coat.  They aren’t really that close in design, and it also doesn’t fit the new body sculpt, so it just looks awkward and poofy.  Under the coat, there’s a holster piece, which is glued in place.  It looks rather weird and tacked on, and it can’t really hold a boomerang all that well, thanks mostly to the ill-fitting jacket.  The paintwork on Boomerang isn’t the worst work I’ve seen, but it’s not particularly great.  Everything is just solid colors, with no real weathering, which is really essential on a figure like this.  There’s several noticeable occurrences of slop, and overspray on the neckline.  Lots of details, such as the zipper on his shirt and the buttons on his jacket are just left completely unpainted.  And, to top it all off, the silver paint they used is already starting to flake off.  Boomerang comes packed with three of his namesake weapon.  They are each stamped with a large “CHINA” branding, but what else is new.  They don’t really resemble any of the boomerangs he uses in the film, and on top of that he can’t actually *hold* them, thanks to his hands being sculpted into weird, generic grip poses.  If you’re already sculpting him new hands, why not at least make it so he can hold his signature weapon?  Boomerang also includes the other arm of Killer Croc, which he, amusingly, can actually hold pretty well.  Maybe Mattel thought they were actually making a figure of Captain Killer Croc Arm?

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Ethan, you didn’t like the movie, you don’t like Mattel, and you don’t like DC Comics Multiverse.  Why, dear God why, did you buy this figure?  That’s a good question.  Remember how I got the Son of Batman figure for $5 on clearance?  Well, this guy was sitting next to him on the shelf.  He had no price tag, but I was curious, so I took him to the price scanner, to see if he was also $5.  He wasn’t.  No, he, along with all of the other Suicide Squad figures at my local Walmart, was $1.  And for $1, there are few action figures I’d say no to.  This is an awful figure, make no mistake.  Don’t pay full price, ever.  But if you see one for $1?  Well, okay, he’s still awful, but at least he’s cheap, and therefore a little more worth it.  At least this way my Deadshot figure’s less lonely.